Scope and Contents
This collection includes three letters written by Charles Minnigerode.
One letter was written to Robert McCandlish, Rector of the Board of Visitors and dated February 23, 1847. Minnigerode writes to ensure McCandlish and the Board don't misunderstand the faculty's view about an extension of the A.B. course and details his feelings on the matter.
A second letter, written to an unknown person and dated August 31, 1848, appears to have been written after he left his professorship at W&M. He writes about various subjects, including his failure to be hired at the University of Georgia by a count of two votes, which he owes to his being a foreigner but also being the will of God. He states his desire is to "confine my labors to the Ministry." He discusses his accent at length, specifically as it relates to preaching. Minnigerode also writes that William & Mary "seems to be in a bad condition." He states "The injudicious action of the Visitors in forcing Mr. Peachy into the faculty, and his strange demeanor in raising points of personal variance with some of the Professors have resulted in an entire dismemberment of the Faculty. Mr. Peachy himself and Judge Tucker are the only remaining members of the Faculty. Mr. P is a novice as a Professor of that College; Prof. Tucker is unpopular and a man without administrative powers; so that the future looks necessarily gloomy." He continues with more information about the faculty. The letter ends with pleansantries towards the letter's recipient, who is in Alabama.
A third letter, written to President Benjamin Ewell and dated July 9, 1879, concerns honorary degrees conferred by William & Mary and Minnigerode's desire for specific person to receive one.
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Biographical / Historical
Charles Frederick Ernest Minnigerode was imprisoned while a student at the University of Giessen in Germany because of his political activities. He emigrated to the United States in 1839 and was appointed Professor of Humanity at the College of William & Mary in 1842. He taught through 1848. He was friendly with the family of William & Mary Law Professor Nathaniel Beverley Tucker and at Christmas in 1842, he presented the Tucker family with the German custom of decorating a tree, the first Christmas tree in Williamsburg, Virginia.
In 1847, Minnigerode became an Episcopal priest. After leaving William & Mary in 1848, he served several parishes before being called to St. Paul's Church in Richmond. During the Civil War, Jefferson Davis attended his church and the two men became friends. After the war, Minnigerode worked in various capacities for the Episcopal Church, serving on several councils. He served on the College of William & Mary's Board of Visitors from 1871-1893.
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