This session of Washington College opened with very favourable prospects. The number of students was larger than ever before, every southern, and some northern States being represented. The new chairs of instruction which had been instituted were now in good working order, their professors were comfortably established, and the entire machinery of the institution was running well and smoothly. The president commenced to see some of the results of his untiring energy and steady work. He had many plans which lack of funds prevented him from carrying out. One of them was a School of Commerce in which a student, while following the branches which would discipline and cultivate the mind, might also receive special instruction and systematic training in whatever pertained to business in the largest sense of the term. Another was a School of Medicine, the plan for which, with full details, was drawn up under his eye, and kept in readiness until the funds of the institution should permit of its being carried into effect.
His meeting with Mr. Peabody at the White Sulphur Springs attracted that gentleman's attention to the college and to his work as its president. To a request for his photograph to be placed in the Peabody Institute among the friends of its founder, he sends with the likeness the following note:
"Washington College, Virginia, September 25, 1869.
"F. Poole, Secretary Peabody Institute, Peabody, Massachusetts.
"Dear Sir: In compliance with your request, I send a photograph of myself, the last that has been taken, and shall fell honoured in its being placed among the 'friends' of Mr. Peabody, for, though they can be numbered by millions, yet all can appreciate the man who was illustrated his age by his munificent charities during his life, and by his wise provisions for promoting the happiness of his fellow-creatures.
"Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
My father's family was now comfortably established in their new home, and had the usual number of friends visiting them this autumn. In due time Edward Childe, Blanche, and "Duckie," their little dog, arrived and remained for a week or two. The last-named member of the party was of great interest. He was very minute, very helpless, and received more attention than the average baby. He had crossed the Atlantic in fear and trembling, and did not apparently enjoy the new world. His utter helplessness and the great care taken of him by his mistress, his ill-health and the unutterable woe of his countenance greatly excited my father's pity. After he went away, he often spoke of him, and referred to him, I find, in one of his letters. During this trip to America, Edward and his wife, carrying the wretched "Duckie" with them, paid their visit to the "White House."
This autumn the "little carriage" my father mentioned having purchased for my mother in Baltimore was put into use. He frequently drove out in it with my mother, his new daughter, and grandson. "Lucy Long," under his guidance, carefully carried them over the beautiful hills around Lexington. One afternoon, while paying a visit with his daughter, Tabb, to Colonel William Preston Johnston, who lived two miles down the river, in pulling up a steep ascent to the front door, "Lucy" fell, choked into unconsciousness by too tight a collar. My father jumped out, hastily got off the harness, and on perceiving the cause of the accident reproached himself vehemently for his carelessness and thoughtlessness. He was very much distressed at this accident, petted his mare, saying to her in soothing tones that he was ashamed of himself for having caused her all this pain after she had been so faithful to him.