We all know Wesleyan has a history of activism and student camaraderie. We all know Wesleyan students love farming. We all know the administration hates it all. This, my friends, is the true tale of when the Freshmen of 1856 said, “Enough.”
Digging through the New York Times online archives this morning, I came across this curious piece of Wesleyan history:
I assume you are currently as confused as I was when I first read this news clipping. In my imagination it plays out kinda like this:
The freshmen class in 1856 really loved oats, but the administration was not setting aside ample time for sowing. The young men grew bitter and resentful, but they knew they could not bring such an “insubstantial” grievance to the faculty—those fine gentlemen and Christians who devoted their lives to thought. Instead, the freshmen devised a plan to steal the time that was rightfully theirs. No more classes after tea! No more classes in the afternoons! No more recitations! We will sow! And we will reap! Revolt! Revolt! Revolt!
As always, if you have a theory about the events of 1856, please comment below. All ideas are welcome.