"The most interesting part . . . is the section telling how the students lived in the old days . . . the attempts at repression by the faculty, and the religious influences that played upon them."
Coulter recounts, among other things, how Athens was chosen as the university's location; how the state tried to close the university and refused to give it a fixed allowance until long after the Civil War; the early rules and how students invariably broke them; the days when the Phi Kappa and Demosthenian literary societies ruled the campus; and the vast commencement crowds that overwhelmed Athens to feast on oratory and watermelons. Coulter's account, interspersed with delightful anecdotes, not only depicts the early university but also shows its importance in the antebellum South.
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