Public Exercises 595
it had arisen very early. In November, 1838, the Philomathesian
Society had voted to celebrate publicly their Anniversary on February
28, 1839, and had elected Mr. A. A. Connella to make the principal
address on that occasion. On February 13, of the following year, the
Society, following the suggestion of a committee of arrangements that
on February 28, "the weather in all probability will be cold and
disagreeable, and our company small," voted to abandon the plan to
celebrate their Anniversary, but instead to have an exhibition on April
24. For this the Society made an elaborate program, consisting of an
oration, a debate, a dissertation, two declamations and one of
Garrick's farces. But it was too big an undertaking, and was given up.
In November, 1847, the Societies made arrangements for the
celebration of Washington's birthday with an oration, each Society to
furnish the orator on alternate years. The Philomathesians furnished
the speaker for February 22, 1848, Henry Bate Folk, of Bertie County,
of whose distinguished career in after life some account is given in
another section of this work. It seems that the occasion excited no
great interest; among the speakers, however, were some of the ablest
men; J. H. Mills was chosen by the Euzelians as orator for February
22, 1853. He was probably the last Washington Birthday speaker,
since the celebration was discontinued after the celebration of the
Anniversary was begun in 1854.30
At their meetings on November 5, 1853, the Societies took
the first action towards providing for the annual celebration of their
Anniversary on February 14. Committees from the two Socie-
Eu. So. Rec., February 21, 1852 and April 3, 17, 1852. The Euzelians purchased
four gowns, and raising only $13 by subscription ordered that the Mr. Strowd be
paid for them by the Treasurer.
Records, March 28, 1839. Mr. Connella resigned on account of the
unwillingness of members to take part in the Exercises; "under such circumstances"
the society thought best "to dispense with, as inexpedient, the celebration formerly
agreed upon."
Phi. Records, November, 1847; November 30, 1854; Eu. Records, November
28, 1847; December 2, 1854. The Philomathesians' proposal to have celebrations of
both anniversary and Washington's birthday, on alternate years, was not accepted by
the Euzelians.
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