University of Mississippi.
Oxford, August 7th, 1857.)
My Dear boy:
Your father remarked, in the course of a conversation which he held with me last night, that you desired to attend Yale College, rather than to graduate here or at any other Southern institution.
As an old friend of your parents, one who has known you from your infancy, and who may be presumed to possess some information on the subject of collegiate education, you will not consider me intrusive when I offer you a few words of practical advice.
Why do you wish to go to Yale? Is it not solely because you understand that to be a College of such high reputation, that you suppose its diploma would be regarded, by all those who know you had obtained it, as conferring upon you a more elevated rank, among educated men, than you would be entitled to claim as a graduate of any Southern College? Let us suppose, now, that, as a graduate of Yale, you would be regarded by your acquaintances as better educated than an alumnus of the University of Mississippi, for example. Would not that be the sole advantage which, as the possessor of a diploma from Yale, you could promise yourself? It does not follow, by any sort of necessity, that, because Yale College has acquired a higher reputation, as an institution of learning than the University of Mississippi, therefore the education imparted to students in the University is at all inferior to that of Yale. It is not every established reputation that is really deserved, as men soon discover by mingling a few years with the world. Understand me: I do not wish to depreciate Yale College; but I would have you bear in mind the fact that it is an old institution, having existed since 1701. Its alumni are counted by thousands. They are widely scattered over the United States; and, very naturally, each remember his alma mater with grateful affection. Will not these facts, sufficiently account for the popularity –the high reputation—of Yale, with out supposing that its graduates are better