Very interesting letter dated Greenfield Academy (Lancaster, Highland County, Ohio), May 25 1843, from M. C. Whitehurst, a student, to Dr. F. O. Foster, Circleville OH, with Lancaster/ O, Jun 1 (1843) postmark.
The letter reads, in part, as follows, "Study seems to get much easier than it did and time moves off considerably faster than it has done heretofore. though not as pleasant yet as I should desire it, owning to my having taken up so many studies at the commencement that it leaves me no time for other reading. I hope, however, to get through with several of them soon. I begin to think it one of the first places in the State to get instruction (for several reasons), first on account of its cheapness; secondly; the manner in which it is conducted. Thirdly; owing to its being situated in the country where there is nothing to lead the mind away from study, and the kind of students that attend a country place are (with but few exceptions) of the right kind. They are either persons that are educating themselves or old farmer's sons that have been brought up in the way they should go, and the teacher is one of the best educated men in the State, can teach anything, takes great pains to teach all that are about him good morals. Is a regular read physician & attends to all his students that get sick. There was but one Society when I first came here, but finding it too large, there was a committee appointed to divide it. It is now Society No. 1 & Society No. 2. Ther is no library connected with either. We have some very good speakers in Society No. 1 and the debates are kept up with considerable interest. No one can doubt but that it is far superior to anything found in Athens. I wish you could be in the school on Thursday afternoon & hear the eloquence there displayed. I say on Thursday afternoon, because this half day is devoted to reading, composition & declaiming. One half the school has got to read compositions, while the other half speaks. It would do you good, I would describe it to you, but it is altogether indescribable, Cicero & Demosthenes are no comparison. There are some twelve or fifteen studying Latin, a very large class in Philosophy, several studying Botany, a large class in Surveying, a large class in Geometry & a large class in Algebra, and you may rest assure it keeps the old man moving to get 'round in a day, but there appears to be no tire out to him. He visits the rooms at night to see if all is going on right. Without joking this is a very pleasant place in the summer. The beautiful wild flowers afford considerable amusement to the fanciful. The tall oaks of the forest clothed in their robes of green present a beautiful view. The large field, too, that promise such an abundant harvest, presents its loveliness to the view. Could you but take a walk with me over the beautiful fields or through the wild woods of the forest in the morning before the Sun makes his appearance, you should not only see nature in all its simplicity & loveliness but feel a good effect of such a walk. Religious instruction is tolerably good here. During the summer we have preaching once every Sabbath, though not as good as I would desire it half the time. The other half we are favored with a sermon from Revd. Mr. Fox of Lancaster, who I presume you have heard [is] a very excellent preacher. We have also raised a Sabbath School, which will be of no small benefit to the children of this region (but rather a barren place in the winter season) ... You may let anybody read this that you please, but Mr. Atwater. Please do not let it be exposed to his sarcastic remarks, but please give him my respects ... [signed] M. C. Whitehurst."
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