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except the reason for the early termination of his career at college.
An interesting account of this incident is supplied by Mr. Hanna himself. In a speech delivered on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the college, June 13, 1901, he tells the story so well that his account deserves to be repeated in full. He said on that occasion, in the easy colloquial manner characteristic of his public speaking: "I am neither a student nor a scholar, and it is with diffidence I address this audience. My connection with the Western Reserve College reaches back as far as 1857. I had finished my education at the public schools, and I had a choice of going to work or attempting a college course. My mother persuaded me to try the latter. Western Reserve College at 'Hudson' was near at hand, and there I went. I entered what was called the scientific class, in which a kind-hearted professor made things easy for me. There were five members of the class when I entered it. Later the numbers dwindled to three, and when I left there was not any.
"My environment was largely responsible for my going. At my boarding house I fell in with a number of jolly sophomores, and they persuaded me to help them in getting out a burlesque program of the Junior oratoricals. In the division of labor it fell to my lot to distribute these mock programs. I well remember when the iron hand of Professor Young fell on my shoulder. 'Young man,' he said, 'what are you doing?' 'I am distributing literature and education,' I replied,' at the expense of the Junior class.' Well, it was near the end of the term, anyway, and I went home. I told my mother I thought that I would go to work, and that I was sure the faculty would be glad of it. A little while after I met President Hitchcock on Superior Street. I was in jumper and overalls, for I was working. He asked me what I was doing, and I told him 'working.' He didn't say anything, but his eyes and manner said very eloquently that he thought I had struck the right level. And the moral of that story is, boys, 'Don't be ashamed of overalls.'"
The penalty of expulsion or even suspension looks unnecessarily severe for such a harmless joke. In order to account for it, the reader must understand the high importance of the Junior "oratoricals" among the intellectual festivities of a year of the Western Reserve College. It was the great feature of the college term — more important even than the commencement exercises. Every member of the Junior class was expected to "oratorical"; and at the same time the collegiate honors, which were to be distributed among the class a year later, were indicated and practically announced.
Mr. Geo. H. Ford, classmate of Mark Hanna's, tells the story of the episode in the following words: "The 'affair' occurred April, 1859.1 The Junior class of that year was unusually large and above the average in talent. In it were several Clevelanders. I remember W. W. Andrews, son of Judge Sherlock J. Andrews, as one of them, and John F. and Henry V. Hitchcock, sons of the president of the college. The faculty was justly proud of this class, but certain of its individual members had put on 'airs,' and the lower classmen resented it, Hanna among the rest. The coming 'exhibition' was looked forward to with great local interest. The program was prepared secretly, and to prevent accidents was sent to Cleveland to be printed. Hanna saw an opportunity of removing a little of their conceit, so he went to Cleveland, got on good terms with some one in the printing office, secured a proof of the program, and forwarded it to his fellow-conspirators in Hudson. A racy burlesque or sham program was prepared and returned to him, which he had printed in elegant style and sent back. I think, although I am not sure, he also managed to suppress, or get possession of the genuine programs, and to forward a bundle of the shams by express to the class on the morning of the exhibition, too late for a remedy. The shams were thoroughly distributed throughout the audience in the crowded chapel by boys enlisted by his co-conspirators.''
Mr. Ford does not believe that Mark was expelled. He was merely reprimanded severely by the faculty, indefinitely suspended and his return made conditional on a promise of good behavior. He adds that Mark Hanna was easily a captain among the boys of his age in college — frank, fearless and ener
1 This is a mistake. Mr. Hanna could scarcely have been 21 years old when he entered college. He entered in 1857. The joke was played in 1858.