Course catalog of the University of North Carolina, June 1819.
Course catalog of the University of North Carolina, June 1819.

On the 22nd of February 1819 a publick dinner was given by the students of College. On that occasion many of them became intoxicated, and much quarreling and improper conduct ensued. Some prompted by passion in the delirium of intemperance, had recource to weapons of the most deadly violence, such as dirks and pistols. Information of these things being communicated to the Faculty, it was deemed necessary by them, to have a meeting, that the nature and consequences of such proceedings might be investigated, and such measures adopted as the interest of the institution might demand. A meeting was consequently called by the President on this the 26th of February; there being present,

Revd. Joseph Caldwell Pres.
Elisha Mitchell M. P.
Denison Olmstead C. P.
William Hooper P. L.
Simon Jordan } Tutors
Robert King

Thomas Carthey Tucker Carrington and Alexander Irvine were cited before the Faculty. It appeared from examining these young men, that in a quarrel between said Carthey & Carrington on the 22nd the former drew a dirk, with which Irvine, acting as peace maker was stabed in the arm. John Starke & William Hunter were also called before the Faculty, from which examination, it was discovered, that said Hunter while drunk, had used a loaded pistol in a very daingerous way among a crowd of his fellow students, and that Starke fortunately succeeded in geting the pistol from him before any mischief was done. From some general questions put by the Faculty to these young men while under examination, it was discovered that many of the students were armed with dirks and pistols. This being the case a resolution passed the Faculty to call upon the students individually, and enquire of each one whether he owned or had in his possession a pistol or dirk, and if so, to require him to deliver it into their possession or suffer suspension from College. The students accordingly, after information being given of this determination of Faculty, in the publick Hall, by the President, were called upon by their classes and in the order to their names, and interrogated as follows: Do you own a pistol or a dirk? Have you either in your possession? The Faculty succeeded in geting six pistols and 2 dirks. The Faculty judging the conduct of Carthey and Hunter on the 22nd highly culpable, thought it indispensable, to their being longer students of the College, that they should make certain confessions and promises, which are severally as follows.

“I acknowledge that on the 22nd. of February, I drank intemperatly, armed myself with a dirk, and when Mr Irvine attempted to get it from me in order to hinder me from injuring a fellow student, I was guilty of wounding him with it. I confess that my conduct was highly improper in all the three instances. I profess a sincere regret and sorrow for the same, and promise to abstain from similar conduct hereafter while I continue a student in the University.” Thomas Carthey

“I acknowledge that on the 22nd of February I armed myself with a pistol, and becoming intoxicated on the same day, used it in a rash and dangerous manner among my fellow students until it was wrestled from me by one of them and thrown away; I profess a sincere sorrow for my conduct both in regard to intemperance and my temerity in the use of the pistol; and I promise to abstain from such conduct ever hereafter while I continue a student of this University.” William H. Hunter

The faculty after the conclusion of the former business came to the following resolution which was published in the Hall: Resolved that from the present time till the session of the board of Trustees of this University which shall next ensue, if it shall be ascertained by the Faculty, that any student shall have in his possession or carry about his person any dirk or pistol it shall be considered ipso facto, as a sufficient cause for suspension; unless permission to possess or wear such dirk or pistol, be expressly granted to the student by the Faculty or some member of the Faculty.

— Minutes of February 1819 [An Account of How Students are Drunk and Violent During a Holiday From Classes],¬†University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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