1852 Graduating Class of Jefferson College

Among the papers of the Shuman family, I found the following commencement card announcing the graduates of Jefferson College (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania) in 1852 along with the Order of Exercises. I have posted both the front and reverse sides of the card along with a page from the Jefferson College Catalogue of Graduates where the full names of the students may be found.

aacivshu93 - Version 3 aacivshu94 - Version 3 JeffersonCollege1852

The names of the 1852 graduates (as they appear on the card) are:

William J. Alexander
David Bacon
A. B. Beamer
R. K. Campbell
William M. Christy
John H. Clark
Silas M. Clark, Indiana, Pa.
Joseph L. Cook
William Cunningham, Blairsville, Pa. (gave Valedictory Address)
John B. Davidson
E. L. Dodder
William J. Edie
William H. French, Washington county, Pa.
Charles H. Geddes
George Hammond
Thomas J. Himes
Albert O. Johnson
Jacob W. Lanius
James L. Marshall
James Mathers
Henry McCormick, Springfield, Ohio
W. W. Miller
Thomas Francis Otwell, Georgetown, Kentucky (“Secession — a Right”)
Robert W. Playford
Matthew B. Riddle
James F. Robinson, Huntingdon county, Pa.
Alexander Scott, New Concord, Ohio
Joseph Shaw
A. B. Simmons, Clinton county, Pa.
J. Rowland Stewart, Library, Pa.
Francis L. Stewart, Murraysville, Pa.
Lewis M. Stewart, Water Street, Pa.
D. W. Templeton, Greenfield, Ohio
John W. Van Lear, Williamsport, Md.
B. C. Ward
Eugene M. Wilson, Morgantown, Pa.
John E. Woods, Allegheny county, Pa.
John N. Young

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Griff View All →

My passion is studying American history leading up to & including the Civil War. I particularly enjoy reading, transcribing & researching primary sources such as letters and diaries.

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  1. Joseph Shaw of the class of 1852 was the son of William Shaw, a vet of the war of 1812, and one of the original commissioners for Carroll County, Maryland. Shaw lived, presumably with his father and mother at the Shaw farm near Keysville, and set out to become a school teacher in Charles W. Webster’s academy in 1853–1854. at the county seat of Westminster. While there Shaw was inducted into the Know Nothing Party, most likely through Webster. Shaw stayed long enough to rise to the third rank, before he bolted to the Democratic Party and began his true avocation as a newspaper writer and editor eventually taking over the reins of the Carroll County Democrat. Shaw was immediately embroiled in a conflict with Webster and other Know-nothings in and around Westminster and Carroll County, centered on satirical articles, doggerel, squibs, all focused on presenting Shaw, his opinions, and his lifestyle, as foolish. Shaw grew from being ‘Joseph the Bolter’ to ‘Blubberdegullion’ a name that Shaw earned by weeping over the state of his finances before Webster, William Grammer, and other members of the American Sentinel newspaper and its circle, a mouthpiece for the know-nothings. The most devastating use of satire was reserved for a series of mock-heroic poems called ‘The Chronicles’ written in mock Biblical Style, that presented on almost a day to day basis the trials of Blub and his crew. The chronicles lasted from about 1855 to 1859, give or take a year, a the complete newspaper morgues of both papers doesn’t exist. The American Sentinel writers were too clever for Shaw to attempt to answer them in the pages of the Democrat, so the situation devolved, toward the end into physical fights between the Know Nothings of Westminster, and Shaw. The rest of the story, including Shaw’s eventual murder and the break-up of his newspaper business, because of some ill-considered remarks he published about Lincoln that appeared unluckily right before Lincoln’s death, can be found in my book Newspaper Wars. Jesse Glass

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