The two societies were some of the oldest collegiate organizations and literary societies in America and had a friendly rivalry between them. Both claim to be one of the three oldest literary societies but as for collegiate societies, UPS as the seventh-oldest collegiate society, while Belles Lettres was the sixths oldest collegiate society having been founded three years earlier in 1786. Both societies appear to no longer be active. The orator at the event, was Charles Frederick Mayer (1795-1864), and American lawyer, State Senator (Maryland), and railroad director. He had attended Dickinson College himself and eventually also become one of its trustees, as well as being a member of the Belles Lettres Society since 1810. Each speech implores the members of the two societies to continue to use their minds in all spheres, be it literary or science, and that all educational realms, even poetry, are worthy of pursuit and will only enrich one's life, mind, and society. The speech was given at the Lutheran Church in Carlisle, PA, just outside of the Dickinson College Campus. The college itself is also located in Carlisle, and it is a private liberal arts college first founded as a Grammar School in 1773, before chartering as College on September 9, 1783. As this was only mere days after the Treaty of Paris, it makes Dickinson College the first college to be founded after the official formation of the United States. It is named after John and Mary Dickinson (1732-1808), as John was a Founding Father of American, signer of the Constitution and governor of PA. The school is still in existence today offering either a Bachelor of Arts or Science in 22 disciplinary majors and 20 interdisciplinary majors. Inscribed with: "From your friend John C. Jenkins"Carlisle, PA: Office of the "Herald" 1827. A copy of the speech given by Charles F. Mayer, to the Belles Lettres and Union Philosophical Societies (UPS) of Dickinson College on Tuesday, September 28, 1827. John Jenkins was a member of the Belles Lettres Society at Dickinson College, and he was on the Committee who organized the speech and requested its publication. 28 pgs. Blue printed wrappers. String binding. Measures 8" x 5 3/4".
Here is an excerpt from the speech:
"It is pleasing to witness the union of you societies in this celebration. They mingle here their common zeal and aspirations toward their high intelligent purpose, with no irritated rivalry, and with only a fervid emulation in the aim of rational excellence... The spirit of Science and Literature is unobtrusive and serene; but it is most pervading and efficient in the inspired warmth and hues of enthusiasm. Its reign is that of the golden age, and no bitter antipathies are admitted to its limits, or can endure the atmosphere of its territory... Literary genius has thus ever delighted in the climates of peace: in any other it but languidly exists It flourishes not as the parasite of despotism - or to embroider the vanity of aristocracy; but only in the quiet shelter of order and virtue. And the spirit of science, irrepressible and diffusive as electricity itself, yet shuns the inflamed scenes of contention, and retreats rather to the humblest retirement to work out her stores.... let us now into the sublime dome of the mind herself, and take the index of our Intellectual Philosophers to the powers that there dwell, and mark the profound conference of the mind itself... the human mind was formed to improve the elements that the material and social worlds present, and to enrich and enliven the probation we have to toil through... no one will say at this day, after poetry has illustrated so many departments of learning and taste, that its pleasures are proper and only for the languid idler, or the effeminate votary of mere dainty literature... A world of contingencies, and a field of intellect is before you -- resources that spread their wealth and charms to a pure moral day, solicit your minds. Use them with all the zeal of intelligence." General wear. Foxing. Inscribed by owner. Several, but not all interior pages are unopened at the top edge.