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Dartmouth College Library Bulletin

Notes from the Special Collections

THE DARTMOUTH COLLEGE SEAL

JONATHAN GOOD

Meeting in Hanover on 25 August 1773, the Trustees of Dartmouth College in their first order of business:

Voted that the Seal generously given by the Honorable George Jaffrey Esq. viz: An Oval, circumscribed by a Line containing SIGILL: COL: DARTMUTH: NOV: HANT: IN AMERICA 1770. within projecting a Pine Grove on the Right, whence proceed Natives towards an Edifice two Storey on the left; which bears in a Label over the Grove these Words "vox clamantis in deserto" the whole supported by Religion on the Right and Justice on the Left, and bearing in a Triangle irradiate, with the Hebrew Words ydv la, agreeable to the above Impression, be the common Seal under which to pass all Diplomas or Certificates of Degrees, and all other Affairs of Business of and concerning Dartmouth College.[1]

It may not have been a momentous occasion, but it must have started the meeting on a good note. Four years after the grant of its charter the fledgling College finally had possession of a legal signature, which lent legitimacy and authority to its diplomas, certificates, and affairs of business.

The word seal, in the context above, can mean one of two things: Either a physical die used to impress a design into wax or paper, or the design itself, be it as an impression, a line drawing, or a carving. In 1773 the former meaning of seal was more important than the latter for the Dartmouth trustees, as possession and use of a seal helped justify their infant enterprise. Yet the design was also important. Although it contains certain puzzling elements, the seal's design also lent legitimacy and authority to Dartmouth by presenting an idealized picture of the College's mission to the outside world. This interplay between the form and function of the seal was to determine many of its subsequent developments, from the wearing down of both the die and the design in the late nineteenth century, to the correction of the foundation date in the late 1950s.

The education of Indian youth in the ways of Christianity was the lifelong pursuit Eleazar Wheelock (1711-1779), Yale Class of 1733, Congregational minister, and founder of Dartmouth College. While called to the second parish church of Lebanon, Connecticut, in the 1740s, Wheelock accepted natives for private tutoring in his own home, one of whom, a Mohegan named Samson Occum, proved an excellent student and subsequently became a Congregational minister himself. In 1756, Wheelock formalized his educational efforts by establishing Moor's Indian Charity School, which he took to promoting with particular zeal, earning moderate fame for himself and attracting donations from several colonial and English sources. Although these gifts were never quite enough to meet the school's expenses, Wheelock was not deterred. In 1766 he sent Occum and the Reverend Nathaniel Whitaker to Britain to raise money for Moor's. They stayed for two years, giving sermons all over the country and amassing a fund of �12,000 while spending only �1000. Despite Wheelock's nonconformity, many members of the established Church of England, including King George III, were so impressed with Occum that they gave heartily to Wheelock's enterprise. A formal trust fund was set up under the Earl of Dartmouth, another prominent donor, to manage the money that had been raised in order to assure the donors that it would be spent wisely.

Wheelock had wanted, since the early 1760s, to move Moor's Charity School. Connecticut was by that time too far from any major Indian settlements, and had consistently refused to grant the school a charter of incorporation.[2] After considering several offers he finally settled on one from New Hampshire, since the colony offered both closer access to Indians and, through its Governor John Wentworth, an esteemed royal charter that Wheelock himself was to compose. This document was very attractive to Wheelock, as it endowed his school with prestige and permanence, but he knew that the English Trust would perceive it as a threat if they were to discover everything that he wanted to put in it. The charter proposed to make substantial changes to the nature of the school. In addition to allowing for the education of English youth upon whom the College could now confer degrees, an American board of trustees was to assume real governing power over the institution, leaving the English Trust as a simple collection of fundraisers. When Wheelock finally sent a copy of the charter to the Trust some three months after it was actually granted on 13 December 1769, he attempted to dispel any negative feelings the members may have had by announcing that he had named the new College after the Trust's chairman, and by proposing that:

with my Patrons would devise a proper Seal for the College with one of the Gentlemans coat of arms upon it, if they shall think Proper this motto around it Vox Clamantis in Deserto this may also Serve a proper Seal for the Commissions of the Missionaries, as well for Diplomas, and be a Standing Evidence and monitor to succeeding Generations of the Original Design of this Institution.[3]

This offer, although not touching the substance of the new college, had the appearance of being a substantial one in that Wheelock proposed to favor the members of the Trust over section thirty of his own charter, which called for a seal that was to be:

engraven in such a form and with such an inscription as shall be devised by the said [American] Trustees for the time being or by the major part of any seven or more of them convened for the service of the said College as is above directed.[4]

The Trust members, however, were not fooled by Wheelock's attempt at flattery. They felt that 'by the affair of the charter the trust is here meant to be annihilated' and told him that he had taken a 'very wrong step.'[5] As a result nothing became of Wheelock's proposed seal, and the Trust only sent funds to Wheelock with his assurance that they be used solely for the education of Indians. Wheelock's drastic changes to the nature of his school, although unpopular, were not without reason. As much as he was bent on converting the Indian, educating them no longer seemed to work. Samson Occum aside, most natives, even after a lengthy stay at Wheelock's school, would tend to revert to their heathen ways (or if not, to be simply ignored) once they returned to their tribes. Part of Wheelock's plan in refounding Moor's Charity School as Dartmouth College included concentrating on the education of white students, with the idea that they, in turn, would go and missionize directly to the Indians. It is difficult to tell exactly when Wheelock had this change of heart-there had been a few white students enrolled at Moor's-but since so much of his public image rested on the direct education of natives he had to be very careful in revealing his plan, which disappointed many once it was apparent. Samson Occum in particular felt betrayed by the decision. 'I am very jealous,' he wrote in a letter to Wheelock, '[T]hat instead of your Semenary Becoming alma Mater, she will be too alba mater to Suckle the Tawnees . . . for she is already equal in Power, Honor and Authority to any College in Europe.'[6] In order to secure the continued support of the English Trust Wheelock was forced to maintain Moor's Indian Charity School at Hanover alongside Dartmouth College, although Moor's itself maintained few Indians and most of its money ended up in the College treasury.[7]

Such was the situation in Hanover when the trustees voted to accept the seal of Dartmouth College in 1773. A consensus exists that the seal was engraved by one Nathaniel Hurd of Boston, 'a preeminent early American craftsman;'[8] unfortunately nothing as definite can be said about who exactly designed it.[9] There is evidence, however, to suggest that Wheelock himself was the main if not sole designer of the seal. We have already seen how Wheelock felt at liberty to overrule the charter without consulting his American trustees, and no record of seal proposals or a seal committee appears in the Trustees' minutes before 25 August 1773. If Wheelock did design the seal it shows a progression in his relationship with the English Trust, from one of flattery to one of deception, while at the same time exhibiting a desire to one-up the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.

Universities, in the English-speaking world, have traditionally been represented symbolically by heraldic coats of arms-that is, by balanced and relatively simple abstract arrangements of objects contained within shield shapes. Often these arms will make some reference to the university's founder, and often they are be engraved into the institution's seal. Wheelock knew this, which is why he had originally proposed that the College seal bear a coat of arms of one of his patrons on the English Trust. The members of the Trust, however, were not in the mood to be flattered, for they resented the fact that Wheelock had turned his school into a university behind their backs. Thus the proposal was dropped, and three years later a College seal emerged that featured a crowded, 'picture-postcard' shield. One could also argue that this design was heraldic as far as the period was concerned: the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries are often referred to as the heraldic decadence, since, under the influence of neoclassicism, heraldic art of the time had strayed far from its simple medieval roots and could include depictions of historical or allegorical events.[10] But it should come as no surprise that Dartmouth's heraldically decadent seal looks remarkably like that of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.[11] As it is based on the seal of a missionary society, the Dartmouth seal implies the conversion of Indians, as opposed to a traditional academic heraldic device, which would have connoted a university-style institution for white students. The SPG was founded in 1701, and in the same year adopted a seal depicting:

A ship under sail, making towards a point of Land, upon the Prow standing a Minister with an open Bible in his hand, People standing on the shore in a Posture of Expectation, and using these words: Transiens Adiuva Nos.[12]

The main features of each seal are the same, with a large European element on the one side, and a crowd of expectant natives on the other, all under an irradiated object representing the watchful eye of God. The two speech-ribbons are even in the same place, although in the SPG seal it is the natives who speak, and in the Dartmouth seal, God. The Dartmouth seal, however, takes the iconography of the SPG seal one step further. Among other things, instead of missionaries coming to help the natives, the natives themselves, called by God, beat a path to the missionaries' door. This should also come as no surprise, since the SPG was an Anglican institution and by its very charter, from William III, could not send aid to nonconformists. Indeed, the Reverend William Johnson, Anglican priest, SPG member, and Indian commissioner for the province of New York, while initially supportive of Wheelock and his school, eventually grew suspicious of the nonconformist and ultimately prevented Wheelock's delegates from recruiting in New York by turning it over to SPG missionaries. In this light the Dartmouth seal can be seen as a 'riposte' to the SPG seal, perhaps as subtle revenge for Wheelock's earlier experiences.

Unfortunately, as with many cases of one-upmanship, it went a bit too far. Although Wheelock shied away from a formal heraldic coat of arms, he could not resist inserting some heraldic elements into his seal design, as if to impute a greater prestige to his college. The result is a piece of late colonial kitsch. The Dartmouth seal features a shield, which is supported by figures on each side, and, as traditional heraldry requires, directions on the shield are described by the bearer's position behind it-the pine grove is on the right, even if it appears to the viewer to be on the left.[13] But this is where the similarities with traditional heraldry end. The shield is very crowded, filled with no less than nine natives walking towards a building, itself partially obscured, while trees and a rather strange-looking garden simply act as filler. The motto 'vox clamantis in deserto' is not in a heraldic label, and the shield is not bearing a triangle irradiate where properly a crest should be. Furthermore, if this irradiated triangle parallels the SPG's smiling sun in representing God's supervision, the introduction of the shield on the Dartmouth seal has forced God out of the picture somewhat, and arranges things in such a way that He is not aligned with His pronouncement on the label.

Furthermore, the supporters are quite puzzling. Their dress, for instance, is in no particular historical style. The doublet and hose they wear (and the absence of breeches), along with their pointy shoes, seem to date them before the Renaissance. Their hats, however, do not seem to come from any period. Their capes tend to imply academic but they are not academic gowns and they appear to have only one sleeve each. As well, if we are to follow the heraldic directions established for the shield, on the right stands Religion, holding a book. One could argue that to such a nonconformist as Wheelock this would have made sense. Having a ready, open Bible in one's right hand neatly encapsulated what religion was all about. But this leaves the other supporter, Justice, holding a cross, a much more obviously religious (indeed, almost Catholic) symbol. If, as is more likely, Religion holds the cross, this leaves Justice a long way from its traditional depiction as a blindfolded female figure holding in one hand scales and in the other a sword. Perhaps the Dartmouth figure of Justice unconsciously embodies a Puritan concept of justice-patriarchal, with the only law needed being that of the Bible. The only conclusion seems to be that the supporters were both thoughtlessly engraved by Hurd and carelessly described by the trustees.

Dartmouth's beloved motto, 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness', appears in five places in the Bible, in Isaiah 40:3, and when it is used to describe John the Baptist, in Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4, and John 1:23. The motto was, and in some ways still is, appropriate to the rural Dartmouth College, and it is the only thing that Wheelock recycled from his original proposal. It seems strange, however, that God should be saying this directly rather than, as He does in the Bible, through the mouths of His prophets. Furthermore, the passage in the King James Version of Isaiah reads:

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.[14]

In the seal, as at Hanover, Dartmouth College is planted firmly on a hill, as though to emphasize its importance. One is reminded of the original Puritan image of a City on the Hill. But it is either the ultimate in Christian humiliation or a clunky mixed metaphor to include the college-on-a-hill and the garden in the same scene with a quotation that foreshadows the levelling of hills and the withering of vegetation.

Despite these subtle flaws, however, the SPG/Dartmouth motif serves as excellent propaganda. In Dartmouth's case the message is conveyed even at the expense of truth, as Indians never amounted to more than a minority of the students at Hanover. In 1773, there were seventeen native students among a total population of eighty.[15] Everything about the scene upholds the European worldview of Christianity as a superior religion, worthwhile for natives to follow. The natives are small, many, and apparently unclothed; the European element is larger, higher, and more technically advanced-and in 1773, the 'Edifice two Storey' was more an image of what Wheelock hoped his college would one day look like, rather than a depiction of what it actually was at the time. God's pronouncement falls onto the open book carried by one native, reflecting the Protestant ideal of inspiration through God's word. Furthermore, according to Ray Nash, the figure in the foreground with a staff is 'a late savage turned husbandman,'[16] which accords well with Wheelock's belief that a sedentary, agricultural way of life was more civilized-or at least less likely to bring Indians into conflict with white settlers-than a life of hunting. Wheelock had always provided husbandry and housewifery as part of the curriculum at Moor's, and later at Dartmouth.[17] If some of the seal's details make no sense, the husbandman in the garden underlines a very important point.

But whether or not the propaganda of the Dartmouth seal had any effect on the English trustees or any of Wheelock's public supporters or detractors cannot be determined. The English trust fund was exhausted in 1774, and the revolution two years later cut Wheelock's ties to Britain even further. Instead of beseeching the aid of English charitable societies, either directly or through their American Boards of Correspondence, Wheelock and his successors would lobby the New Hampshire state legislature for permission to hold fundraising lotteries. In New England, the Indian was a lost cause, and Wheelock shrewdly took up the business of training young white men for the ministry. The design of the seal was as irrelevant then as it is today.

Nothing much happened to the design or the die of the seal for the next hundred years or so. From 1817 to 1819, the period when the state of New Hampshire took over the College and renamed it Dartmouth University, the few professors and students who carried on Dartmouth College acquired a different seal with a different device, of which nothing remains.

However, the centennial celebration in 1870, and the concurrent rise in intercollegiate athletics, sparked demand for, and informal use of, line drawings of the College seal. The first of these appeared on the title page of the student magazine The Dartmouth in January 1869, but soon many more followed, on stationery, books, and cards.[18] If anything, these drawings are even more complicated than the original design, since shading could now be introduced onto the objects. One version turns the farmer-Indian in the foreground into a 'frock-coated gentleman',[19] and places Eleazar Wheelock beside the building, welcoming the natives with open arms. Another version features ydv la ('El Shaddai', literally 'God almighty') looking as if it has been written in Arabic.[20] No names survive as to the makers of these unsanctioned drawings, but they were most likel name=fntxt20y students and souvenir merchants, and with increasing market for College mementos, these versions started appearing more frequently and on many different things.

Figure 1. Version of the Dartmouth seal with Arabic-looking lettering of El Shaddai.

In 1876 another die was commissioned for the seal. This male die fit directly over the pre-existing female die, and allowed students' diplomas and other documents to bear the College seal stamped not in wax but directly into the paper.[21] The manufacturer of the new die is unknown, but Dartmouth sought his services since apparently wax seals were going out of style. The effect of this was to increase dramatically the wear on the old female die: instead of being pressed into soft wax, it was now being squashed against its opposite in a very tight fit.

The proliferation of different line drawings of the seal and the conversion of the seal from a single to a double die are unrelated events, but both entailed, coincidentally, a sigillographical wearing-down. Both in their turn sparked developments in the twentieth century: respectively, the rise of the Dartmouth coat of arms and the complete replacement of the seal when the trustees adopted a new foundation date.

The minutes of the trustees meeting on 28 October 1926 record, as the last items of business, these entries:

Voted that the use of the College corporate seal be limited to official documents and publications issued by the Institution, and that any other use of the seal be discouraged; and

Voted that a new emblem, to be known as the Dartmouth College Shield, be approved as an emblem of the College for general use, such shield to be similar to the shield portion of the official corporate seal along the lines of the rough sketch prepared by W. Parke Johnson and submitted herewith.[22] To an increasing number of people the many extant depictions of the College seal now appeared very ugly, and their placement on such things as belt buckles and ash trays somewhat tacky and inappropriate. Unfortunately nothing remains of this sketch, and it appears that nothing for general use ever followed directly from this meeting. W. Parke Johnson is described in Who Was Who in American Art simply as a sculptor and painter, and, in 1920, a member of the Guild of Freelance Artists of New York City. He was not a Dartmouth alumnus and had no apparent connection to the College outside of this one business transaction.

Why people should now start to see the nineteenth-century seals as 'ugly' can perhaps be explained through a change in public taste: Victorian clutter was out; clean, modern design was in.[23] Dartmouth, in its way, participated in this movement through a group of professors keenly interested in graphic design, whose legacies include the Book Arts Workshop in Baker Library and the Stinehour Press in Vermont. Ray Nash, an assistant professor of art at Dartmouth, was active in the group; Dartmouth was fortunate in that he also served on the College Publications Committee, which had overseen the production of the Dartmouth College Manuscript Series in the 1930s, and went on to produce a Dartmouth general catalogue in 1940. Nash infused a strong sense of aesthetics into the committee, and as a result the committee catalyzed three changes which affected the College seal. In preparing the new general catalogue-a record of everyone who had ever been a Dartmouth student, instructor, or administrator-the publications committee wanted to use the official line-drawing version of the College seal for the catalogue's title page. A thorough inventory of existing drawings of the seal revealed that there was no such official version, and so Dartmouth President Ernest Hopkins gave permission for the committee to procure one. The committee approached W. A. Dwiggins, whom Ray Nash describes as a 'distinguished calligrapher, type designer, author, typographer, and illustrator,' and 'an experienced hand with emblems, marks, seals and coats of arms.'[24] He had redone seals for Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia,[25] and produced a line-drawing version of the Dartmouth seal in time for the publication of the general catalogue in 1940, that was, in his words, about as good as he could make it considering that the seal had 'a desperately bad design to start with-as a design.'[26] Dwiggins's rendition received glowing reviews from the College community, and was immediately copyrighted.[27] With one posthumous change it is practically the only line version of the seal in use today.

The success of Dartmouth's experience with Dwiggins inspired a resurfacing of the idea of an unofficial shield. Even if there finally existed a well-executed line drawing of the College seal, it was still the seal, and according to the trustees' 1926 resolution it should be reserved for official uses only. On the urging of the publications committee Dartmouth commissioned a simplified coat of arms to be based on the shield portion of the College seal, and on 9 June 1944 the trustees:

Figure 2. Dartmouth coat of arms as rendered by Thoreau MacDonald.

VOTED to approve the drawing of a Coat of Arms for Dartmouth College as designed by Thoreau MacDonald, to provide a Dartmouth insigne for unofficial uses.[28]College secretary Albert Dickerson, another member of the publications committee, took to promoting this coat of arms with particular zeal, writing in 1944 to all the merchants in Hanover who dealt with items bearing the College seal and entreating them to substitute for it the new coat of arms.[29] He had no objection to the businesses selling off existing stock in the old seal, but when he discovered in 1949 that some businesses were reordering new items with the seal he wanted to send a 'spying mission' downtown to 'defend the purity of Dartmouth's official insigne,' and asked Richard Morin, 'May I invoke God's blessing on this worthy enterprise?'[30]

Figure 3. Dartmouth coat of arms with corrected date of foundation.

The last major change to the seal occurred in 1957 when, in doing some preliminary planning for the upcoming College bicentennial, the publications committee discovered that the date on the new coat of arms, and hence the seal, had been wrong ever since 1773. The College had moved to Hanover in 1770 and held its first classes in that year, but the date on the charter quite clearly read 13 December 1769. People were receptive to the idea of changing the date on the coat of arms simply for the sake of accuracy, although the fact that it was a backdating, making the College just a little older and hence more prestigious, doubtless helped to shape the favorable public opinion. The only controversy seems to have been a jocular memo sent between two administrators reading, 'Do you want to make a drive on the "69" design?'[31]

Figure 4. Dartmouth seal with corrected date of foundation.

Changing the coat of arms was a simple matter, but changing the seal was a different story. There was quite a bit of sentimental attachment to the old dies: the members of a committee formed to investigate the issue of changing the date did not want to have the 184-year-old seal reworked, but they also did not want it to be demoted to the 'position of a relic.'[32] But legally the College could not have two different seal designs, and since the old seal was showing 'hard usage' and was 'in danger of becoming further damaged and more illegible if . . . given more than occasional use in the future,'[33] it was retired to the College Archives. On 5 February 1958, the trustees authorized the treasurer 'to have prepared a new and more portable seal with the date 1769 thereon.'[34] Dwiggins had died by this time, and the date on his exemplification of the seal now reads 1769, the '69' looking suspiciously as if it were done by another hand.

Thus once again we see that the function of the seal dictated its form. It is entirely possible, owing to the attachment people had to the old seal, that the trustees would have kept it in use for historical reasons, while authorizing a change in the coat of arms only. But the fact that the dies were badly worn offered the chance to replace them when a new date was discovered.

Being just over thirty years old and in fine working condition, and no longer used to stamp Dartmouth diplomas, the new Dartmouth seal is secure, for now, from change. If there are to be any movements to modify current Dartmouth iconography-such as by removing Native symbolism or by uncluttering the shield[35]-they will most probably be aimed at the unofficial level of the coat of arms; that is, if anyone gathers the courage to take on anything to which people at Dartmouth have a sentimental attachment.[36]



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[1] Dartmouth College, Trustees's Records, 1:26. Dartmouth College Library, Special Collections, DA-1.

[2] Connecticut itself was incorporated by charter, and English law of the time proscribed one corporation creating another.

[3] Letter to Robert Keen, 13 March 1770. Dartmouth College Library, Special Collections, Ms. 770213.2.

[4] Charter of Dartmouth College, section 30. Printed as an appendix to Jere R. Daniell, Eleazar Wheelock and the Dartmouth College Charter (Hanover: Dartmouth College Publications, 1969), [15].

[5] Robert Keen, letter to Eleazar Wheelock, in Daniell, Eleazar Wheelock, [10].

[6] Samson Occum, letter to Eleazar Wheelock. 24 July 1771, in Harold Blodgett, Samson Occum, Manuscript Series No. 3 (Hanover: Dartmouth College Publications, 1935), 122.

[7] The previous three paragraphs are adapted from Leon Burr Richardson, History of Dartmouth College, 2 vols. (Hanover: Dartmouth College Publications, 1932); and Daniell, Eleazar Wheelock.

[8] Ray Nash, 'Rediscovering the College Seal,' Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, 34:3 (December 1941), 17.

[9] Martha Fales seems to think that the engraver Hurd may have helped determine the final design of the seal, but this assumption is based on an error. The trustees' description of the shield part of the seal has the motto-label proceeding 'over the grove' of trees, but Frederick Chase, in his History of Dartmouth College, misreads the manuscript as 'over the roof' of the two-storied edifice. Reading Chase, Fales thus interprets some indentations found in the die over the building to be evidence of an earlier motto which had been removed. See Trustees' Records, 1:26; Frederick Chase, A History of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover, New Hampshire, ed. by John K. Lord, 2 vols. (Cambridge, [Mass.]: John Wilson and Son, 1891-1913), 1:255; and Martha Fales, 'Heraldic and Emblematic Engravers of Colonial Boston,' Boston Prints and Printmakers 1670-1775 (Boston: Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 1973), 198.

[10] The American revolution has tended to freeze this as the iconography of choice for public bodies in the United States, as any perusal of the seals of the fifty states will show.

[11] The author is indebted to the Reverend Dr. Robert M. Black of Trinity College, University of Toronto, for drawing this similarity to his attention.

[12] Charles Frederick Pascoe, Two Hundred Years of the S. P. G. An Historical Account of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foregin Parts, 1701-1900, rev. ed. (London: The Society, 1901), 6. The first seal of the Colony of Massachusetts (1628-1684) featured an Indian saying 'Come over and help us.' See Eugene Zeiber, Heraldry in America (Philadelphia: The Heraldry Department of the Bailey, Banks & Biddle Co., 1909), 141-142. The motif probably derives from Acts 16:9: 'And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed to him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.'

[13] Such a reversal of horizontal directions could also have occurred if someone was describing the seal design by looking directly onto the die rather than onto its impression. But this rather silly error is unlikely, as the trustees' description of the seal was impressed onto the same page as its manuscript description. See Nash, 'Rediscovery,' 19.

[14] Isa. 40:3-7.

[15] Eleazar Wheelock, letter to the English Trustees, 22 February 1773. Dartmouth College Library, Special Collections, Ms. 773172.2.

[16] Nash, 'Rediscovery,' 17.

[17] James Dow McCallum, Eleazar Wheelock: Founder of Dartmouth College, Manuscript Series No. 4 (Hanover: Dartmouth College Publications, 1939), 79.

[18] Nash, 'Rediscovery,' 17.

[19] Nash, 'Rediscovery,' 17.

[20] One vertical file in Dartmouth College Library, Special Collections, is devoted to such exemplifications of Dartmouth College seal.

[21] Nash, 'Rediscovery,'17.

[22] Trustees' Records, 7:183.

[23] Heraldry, too, had enjoyed a modest American revival: When the College of New Jersey became Princeton University in 1896, a new, heraldic seal was cut for the University that bears little visual resemblance to the old, unheraldic seal of the college. Similarly, Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania adopted heraldic coats of arms sometime in the first decades of this century. Not to be outdone, Harvard, for its tercentennial in 1936, devised a complete system of coats of arms for its various graduate schools, and Yale did the same thing at about the same time for its undergraduate colleges.

[24] Nash, 'Rediscovery,' 17.

[25] These can be seen in W. A. Dwiggins, 22 Printers' Marks and Seals Designed or Redrawn by W. A. Dwiggins (New York: W. E. Rudge, 1929).

[26] Nash, 'Rediscovery,' 17.

[27] Albert I. Dickerson, College secretary, letter to all Hanover merchants dealing in renditions of the seal, 14 September 1943. Dartmouth College Library, Special Collections, vertical file, 'Seal.'

[28] Trustees' Records, 9:9. Thoreau MacDonald, of Thornhill, Ontario, was the son of J. E. H. MacDonald, of the Group of Seven landscape artists. MacDonald produced several other drawings for Dartmouth, including devices for Dartmouth Publications and the Dartmouth Development Council. These can be seen in Thoreau McDonald, Thoreau MacDonald's Drawings for Dartmouth: With Notes by Ray Nash (Lunenburg: North Country Press, 1950).

[29] Dickerson, letter to Hanover merchants.

[30] Albert Dickerson, letter to [Richard W.] Morin, 2 January 1949, vertical file, 'Seal.'

[31] W. H. McCarter, memo to Sidney Hayward, vertical file, 'Seal.'

[32] Committee recommendations, 1957, vertical file, 'Seal.'

[33] Committee recommendations, 1957.

[34] Trustees' Records, 11:252.

[35] Since 1939 there have been three proposals to make the Dartmouth coat of arms heraldic. See Jonathan Good, 'A Proposal for a Heraldic Coat of Arms for Dartmouth College,' 1995, vertical file, 'Seal.'

[36] This essay began as a term paper for Jere Daniell's 'History of New England' course at Dartmouth College, spring term 1994. It has benefited greatly by comments from Prof. Daniell; the Reverend Dr. Robert M. Black of Trinity College, University of Toronto; Mrs. Clare Brown of Rhodes House Library, Oxford University; Ms. Barbara Krieger of Special Collections, Dartmouth College Library; and Ms. Linda Phillips of the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto. Of course, the author takes full responsibility for any errors that may remain.



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