Detail from centennial map of campus, illustrating Superintendent Samuel Hilles and early students
|Prevarication||Cutting his desk|
|Whistling||Eating in school|
|Being out of bounds||Being noisy in chamber|
|Drinking wine||Novel reading|
|Having a copy of Shakespeare||Smoking|
|Indecent behavior||Firing a gun|
|Swimming||Throwing in school|
|Being in another boy’s room after bedtime||Setting fire to grass on lawn|
The first students at Haverford were boys from Quaker families between the ages of 13 and 18. Their daily schedules may have been regimented and their extracurricular activities may have been under the constant watchful eye of Superintendent Samuel Hilles, but they still found opportunities to cultivate active social lives and to express themselves creatively. An extraordinary document titled Annals of Haverford College provides ample evidence of student fun and leisure. Authored in the spare moments of 1834-1835 by three self-appointed school historians, these accounts mention swimming, sledding, ice skating, nature walks, “common plays of ball,” an abortive attempt at founding a student debating society, and an elaborately planned New Year’s Day party. The accomplished, even elegant, prose style of these three students reveals their anonymous writers to have responded well both to the subjects they studied as well as the methods of their teachers.
This is not to say that early students complied with each restriction obediently. Lapses in discipline were common enough that they merited mention in the “register,” or gradebook. The activities at right are recorded in the gradebook as justifications for deducting points for bad conduct.