For Duty and Destiny: The Life and Civil War Diary of William Taylor Stott, Hoosier Soldier and Educator

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9780871952905: For Duty and Destiny: The Life and Civil War Diary of William Taylor Stott, Hoosier Soldier and Educator
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William Taylor Stott was a native Hoosier and an 1861 graduate of Franklin College, who later became the president who took the college from virtual bankruptcy in 1872 to its place as a leading liberal arts institution in Indiana by the turn of the century. The story of Franklin College is the story of W. T. Stott, yet his influence was not confined to the parameters of the college. Stott was an inspirational and intellectual force in the Indiana Baptist community, a foremost champion of small denominational colleges and of higher education in general, and a figure of note in local politics and the Grand Army of the Republic. He also fought in the Eighteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, rising from private to captain by 1863. His diary reveals a soldier who was also a scholar in camp and on the march, one who took every available moment to read theology, philosophy, great literary works, the classics of ancient Greece and Rome, and a few novels. He was as familiar with Burns and Byron as he was with ramrods and knapsacks. While amazingly ecumenical for that era, he was nonetheless a Baptist through and through, insisting on baptism only by immersion and displaying a hatred of alcohol and its effects on his cohorts. A scion of Baptist preachers, Stott championed temperance in the army and inherited an antislavery fervor that prompted his belief that, in God s eyes, there were no walls erected between the races. He loved solitude, embraced nature, and contemplated its lessons in periods of reflection and self-cultivation. Many were his meditations on God, humanity, race, and relations between the sexes. Stott the thinker, however, had a playful side, slyly exposing a dry wit and a sense of humor that can sneak up on the reader.

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Lloyd A. Hunter is Professor Emeritus of History and American Studies at Franklin College, where he founded and directed the American Studies Program and occupied the Roger D. Branigin Chair of History. Hunter received recognition by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) as the 2003 Outstanding Indiana Professor of the Year.

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