Society Halls 519
the Philomathesians received on November 18, 1843. Unfortunately it
does not seem to have been preserved.
In January, 1846, the Philomathesians appointed a committee to
report on plans of having ex-President Wait's portrait put in their hall.
Nothing more was heard of this. In December, 1855, the Society
again gave attention to the matter, with the result that the portrait of
Wait that now hangs in the Philomathesian hall was made and
delivered to the Society within a year. It was painted by O. P.
Copeland, probably of Oxford, at a cost of thirty dollars. The frame
cost twenty dollars additional; half of the total amount was raised by
subscription.24 This seems to have been the first painted portrait
owned by either Society, and the only one before the Civil War.
Except for the constant complaint about the leaks in the roof, for
which there was good reason, the Societies in general seem to have
been well satisfied with their halls. But a proposition to erect a
building of their own gained much favor with the Philomathesians. In
April, 1850, Mr. B. W. Justice presented a set of resolutions to the
Society, suggesting means of raising the necessary money for its
erection, which was fixed at $3,000. The members were to pay each
session additional fees of one dollar each and as much more as they
would; a subscription was to be circulated among resident members;
former members were to be solicited for contributions, and even
honorary members were to be approached, but no others. It was to be
wholly a Philomathesian enterprise. Professor J. B. White drew the
plans and much enthusiasm was aroused. The members of the Society
subscribed most liberally, seven members pledging $650, while the
total subscription reached $2,137.50. After this, for some reason the
interest lagged, and within a year the purpose was altogether
abandoned.
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24 Phi. Records, December 12,1855; March 28, April 12, May 25,1856; February
7, 1857.
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