February 6, 2009

February 6, 1919: From the Diary of Martha Barksdale

A member of the first group of women students to enroll at the College of William and Mary, Martha Barksdale kept a journal during the first year of co-education. Her earlier entry for the school year was dated November 26, 1918, and covered events from September through November 1918. Below is an entry from February 6, 1919, her first of 1919. At the top of the page was written "From Carroll Rieves, February 6, 1919."

This was our first night out together. We went to the last show and didn't get in until 10:40. But I had Miss Tupper's permit and Celeste was snoring when I came up. I enjoyed the evening very much and the box of candy he handed me as he left was some good and Oh! so fancy.

On Saturday night, Feb. 8, we saw the first celebration of a W&M victory! The news came of a victory over R.C. The bell started tolling and the campus simply went wild. With Capt. Oglesby's help we made a bonfire, but the boys soon got a larger one down at the end of Duke of Glouster [Gloucester] Street, so we went over and joined them.

They had a Duc parade. The Ducs with shirt tails out were bringing wood for the fire dancing jiggs [sic], singing and making speeches. Rieves was the song and cheer-leader. The boys will do anything he starts. He was very gentlemanly and nice to us. Capt. Oglesby enjoyed some of our chocolate fudge very much.

Tuesday, Feb. 11, I went to the movies again with Rieves. His throat was so sore from leading the rally for the game Wed. night with Hampton-Sidney [sic] that he could hardly talk but we had a fine time, and he is certainly a perfect gentleman. We went to Stones after the movie and had some ice cream. He tucked another box under his arm as he went out and Oh! it was good but he couldn't help me eat it because of his throat, and didn't stay long.

Miss Tupper is very much interested in this case. She likes Rieves fine and tries to make me be extra nice to him.

We won the game with Hampton Sidney and had another celebration. The bon fire [sic] got so hot that the cop came up and ordered the boys not to put any more wood on. Hudson, the basket ball forward threw a box on and the cop arrested him. The boys tried to keep him from carrying him off but he would so they decided to go to jail in a body. They went off down the street, and we came in. They finally prevented the cop from putting H. in jail and brought him back. Rieves came over and told us they had gotten him out O.K. Later they brought Hudson on their shoulders to the back window and the girls shook hands with him.

The girls got fearfully angry with me for arguing against their yelling alone and calling them in early? (11:40).

On account of Elizabeth Scott's resignation I appointed Janet as vice president and Catherine as secretary. The girls resented my having that power and went to Miss Tupper. I determined that I would not change. Miss T. agreed with me and the girls have gotten over it somewhat.

On Saturday night we had a basket ball game before the game with Richmond College. I had been in bed Friday and a part of Thurs. but at five o'clock Sat. evening I got up and dressed for the game. Contrary, to my expectation I was able to play the entire game but almost "fell out" before it ended.

The Blacks won 6 to 5: They have to win once to keep them playing so I don't mind. The boys beat R.C. by one point too. We had quite a time celebrating. Rieves bossed a crowd of Ducs while they hauled the boxes and crates out of Miss Tupper's cellar for the bonfire. We danced and rested until the boys came back from the show, they helped themselves to at eleven o'clock. They had the fire at the corner of our lawn since they couldn't have it at the head of D.of G. Street, and nearly set the adjacent houses on fire. Rieves came over after wards [sic] for the candy I saved him.

Sunday evening Day came up again my! but he is boring to me now that the novelty has worn off.

I don't think I shall allow him to come again. He staid [sic] until the supper bell rang. I went to supper without even combing my hair. Rieves and Ferguson joined Pal and I coming home from supper. We occupied the sofa and had quite a time but my hair did slip so!! The girls have certainly tried to tease me since. Louise said it was a case of "Believe me if all those endearing young charms," and "Drink to me only with thine eyes," also that she never envied any one more than she did me that night. Funny, but it doesn't appeal to me like it does to them.

--From the diary of Martha Barksdale available in the Special Collections Research Center.

For additional information about the first women students at the College of William and Mary see: When Mary Entered with her Brother William: Women at the College of William and Mary, 1918-1945 by Laura F. Parrish; "The Petticoat Invasion": Women at the College of William and Mary, 1918-1945; The Martha Barksdale Papers; and the Women at the College of William and Mary page on the Special Collections Research Center Wiki.

No comments: