The ‘Trial’ of Oliver S. Munsell–an exposition

Research output: Working paperPreprint


The first indication of serious trouble at Illinois Wesleyan University came in the form of a ‘communication’ from the president, Oliver S. Munsell, to the executive committee of the university’s Board of Trustees: ‘Dear Brethren: I fear it to be my painful duty in view of the present unhappy condition of affairs in the University affecting my usefulness and acceptability [?] to ask to be relieved from and after tomorrow, Friday, from [sic] all official duties until the annual meeting of the Board next June.’ On Saturday, Feb. 22, 1873, the executive committee met in extraordinary session to consider President Munsell’s request to be suspended from administration and teaching for the remainder of the spring term. Though the committee granted his wishes, nothing in its minutes hints at what the ‘unhappy condition of affairs of the University’ was, nor what might be Munsell’s involvement in the problems.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • History
  • Education

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