Christian Case Papers
Scope and Content
This collection contains materials regarding allegations of hazing perpetrated against a Virginia Polytechnic Institute freshman named Bowly by upperclassmen J. L. Brown, William B. Christian, Julian M. Salley, and Rowland P. Eubank. Most of the materials relate to the appeal by Judge George L. Christian (father of one of the accused) to have the four students reinstated following their expulsion from the school and the many charges he leveled against the college's administration. The collection includes correspondence, as well as published copies of Christian's appeal to the Virginia Assembly and the faculty's response to Christian's allegations. Also included is a report from the college's Board of Visitors, requesting a legislative investigation. The collection also contains the lengthy proceedings and findings of a joint legislative committee that convened in Blacksburg to investigate not only the hazing incident but all aspects of the college's administration.
- 1905 - 1906
- Christian, George L. (Person)
Language of Materials
The materials in the collection are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open to research.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.
Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.
On September 24, 1905, four cadets at Virginia Polytechnic Institute were accused of having violated college rules by hazing a freshman cadet named Bowly. The four upperclassmen were caught by Lieutenant-Colonel William Mayo Brodie in the act of "bucking" Bowly in his dorm room. A faculty meeting was called immediately to level charges of hazing against the students and to question them on the matter. Shortly after the incident, one of the boys, J. L. Brown, left the college. The other three students, William B. Christian, Julian M. Salley, and Rowland P. Eubank, were found guilty by the faculty and asked to leave the campus and barracks immediately. Christian's father, Judge George L. Christian, appealed to the school's Board of Visitors, asking the Board to persuade the faculty to reverse its decision. The Board agreed to hold a hearing in December. Judge Christian presented a strong appeal, and the Virginia General Assembly appointed a joint committee of the house and senate to investigate the case.
The committee met on campus on July 23, 1906. Claiming that he had obtained new information, Judge Christian acknowledged that his son and the others had been guilty of hazing and therefore withdrew his request for an investigation of the matter. As rumors and allegations against the school had become so widespread, however, the committee had been instructed to "investigate any other matter at the college which may seem proper." The committee dropped the Christian case from its agenda but proceeded for the next six days to examine and review the university's faculty and administrative practices. In issuing its final report, the committee ultimately vindicated the college's administration.
0.2 Cubic Feet (1 box)
This collection of materials about accusations in student hazing incident at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, subsequent disciplinary actions by the university's faculty, actions taken by the Board of Visitors, appeal by Judge George L. Christian (father of one of the accused), and proceedings of a joint legislative committee investigating the incident and the college's faculty and administrative practices and policies.
The collection is arranged by document type, then chronologically.
Source of Acquisition
The Christian Case Papers were transferred to Special Collections as part of the Records of the Office of the President, John McLaren McBryde, RG 2/5, probably in 1973.
Rights Statement for Archival Description
The guide to the Christian Case Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).
The processing, arrangement and description of the Christian Case Papers commenced and was completed in February 2007. The materials had been previously housed within the Records of the Office of the President, John McLaren McBryde, RG 2/5, but were deemed to be more appropriately processed as a separate collection.
- Christian Case Papers, 1905-1906
- Katie Cox, Student Assistant, and John M. Jackson, Archivist
- 2008 (CC0 1.0)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
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Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US