Letter written by William & Mary student, Charles L. Hepburn, to his grandfather, Charles Leven Powell, dated January 21, 1894.
Hepburn discusses the reorganization of the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. He states the fraternity was reorganized in December 1893 by "several old members who had been taken in here before the war." Later in the letter, he mentions a couple of those members, including Benjamin Ewell and Colonel William Lamb. He says that all faculty were admitted as well a Charley Coleman "the poet." Hepburn discusses the character of the chapter, calling it a "post-graduate society" and notes that Harvard and other northern colleges only take in a small number of their brightest graduates. He believes Ewell and Lamb intended for William & Mary's chapter to be on the same footing.
Hepburn also discusses the Nu Chapter of Kappa Sigma. He states there are 13 members and mentions there are two other "frats" at William & Mary and of those, only Kappa Alpha is "any good." It has 10 members. The other fraternity is Phi Theta Psi, which he describes as very small and whose chapter "killed itself by taking in bad men on the start." There are only two members who are "very poor and who cannot get anyone else to join them."
Hepburn continues discussing fraternities, both at a local and national level. Notes that he's distinguished among others because of Powell's acceptance into PBK in 1823.
He then switches to more personal content, specific to his grandfather's new housing and acknowledges that William & Mary "just enjoyed a holiday on account of the Great Lee's birth." He mentions that a committee from the state legislature came to visit. He describes the visit, how the students acted, and how they all hope to get a big appropriation from the state finance committee. Hepburn ends the letter with love to his family.
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Charles L. Hepburn Letter to Charles Leven Powell, Special Collections Research Center, William & Mary Libraries https://scrcguides.libraries.wm.edu/repositories/2/resources/8067 Accessed June 16, 2021.