‘Some did not know N.C. even had a university….’

“Francis L. Hawks of Newbern, North Carolina, the Episcopal minister of Calvary Church in New York, a historian, and the founder of a New York Review, felt the force of these condescensions and explained them to David Swain in 1860. In Hawks’s experience, Northerners ‘thought that the people in the South were a set of craven imbeciles’….

“Once, in company, it was asked where Hawks was educated. One person said Yale, another ‘somewhere else at the North.’  Hawks volunteered that he had attended the University of North Carolina. ‘They coolly asked me how it was possible I could have acquired there such an education as they knew me to possess?’

” ‘Some did not know that North Carolina even had a university, let alone one dating from the 1790s and possessed of ‘400 undergraduates with as good a set of professors and instructors as Yale could show.’ ”

– FromConjectures of Order: Intellectual Life and the American South, 1810-1860″ by Michael O’Brien (2004)


3 thoughts on “‘Some did not know N.C. even had a university….’”

  1. I really enjoy the North Carolina Miscellany blog. I’ve been reading it regularly for more than three years. My only critique would be that it is given to overemphasis on the University of NC @ Chapel Hill. Of course I do understand that those running the blog are employed by said institution and that it is the repository of all the great info shared on the blog. Yet, the subtitle of the blog is “Exploring the the History, Literature, and Culture of the Tar Heel State” not the Tar Heel “University”. It would just be nice to see as many stories about the rest of the state’s history, literature, and culture that don’t have any explicit ties to Chapel Hill. I’m sure this is probably too much to expect but as a native citizen of said sate I think I have the right to expect the very best from the Old North State and her historians. Thanks again for the blog. I am a true fan!

  2. Wow, just because the stereotype of Southern intellect by this time was one of slack jawed ignorance did not justify this person’s total lack of knowledge about the University of North Carolina (or was it Northern arrogance about their universities?) Sounds like an interesting book to read.

  3. Thank you, Old North State Native, for your thoughts (and your long readership!)….. I agree that not all roads lead to Chapel Hill, however often it appears in the Miscellany….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *