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This record book of the early debating societies at Marshall Academy and early Marshall College (Diagnothian Literary Society and Erodelphian Literary Society) is important for multiple reasons: (1) it is the earliest primary source on Marshall Academy (1855-1857) housed in the Marshall Archives that mentions student names; (2) it definitely confirms that there were female students at Marshall Academy before 1858; (3)it contains the only known three handwritten issues of the Marshall College Gazette (early college newspaper) for 1879. From the minutes of the debating societies we have extracted a student list for 1855-1857, a student list for 1861, and a list of the debate topics. Also found in the record book are the constitution and by-laws of the debating society, which show they were well organized and had a library which was managed by a society librarian. It had an initiation fee, fines for “non-performance” and for missed attendance. The lists show that Marshall Academy students were from the prominent and influential families of the counties of Western Virginia. This book contains a scanned image of every page from the record book, with a verbatim transcription on the opposite page. There are numerous footnotes which identify the students in the records.
Dickinson, Jack, ed. and anon. Record Book of the Erodelphian and Diagnothian Literary Societies at Marshall Academy and Marshall College 1855-1861. Huntington, WV: Marshall University Libraries, 2012. Print.