The Black book or book of misdemeanors in King's College New-York 1771-1775. ()

(New-York: :  Printed for Columbiana at the the University Press,  1931.)



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Columbia is most fortunate in having had preserved
through a hundred and sixty years that extraordinary docu¬
ment, "The Book of Misdemeanours in King's College, New
York." Myles Cooper, coming to the College after seven
years at Oxford, did much to fit it into the pattern of his
alma mater, and as part of his system of rigid discipline he
introduced the Black Book, which had been for centuries a
tradition at Queen's College, Oxford. In its pages, as in
no other record which has come down to us, we can be with
the students of King's College day by day in the most inti¬
mate manner. Aside from its interest as a human docu¬
ment, the Black Book has great value as an unconsciously
transmitted source-book with its off-hand mention of facts
which historians will eagerly pounce upon.

The original is a black leather volume measuring seven and
three-fourths by six and one-fourth inches; it is a blank-
book of about a hundred and fifty leaves, of which only the
first thirty-one pages and the last page bear writing. Three
handwritings appear in the book, those of Myles Cooper,
Robert Harpur and Benjamin Moore. Although extracts
from the Black Book have frequently been published, this
is the first time it has been printed in full. It has been
transcribed as literally as modern typography will permit.
Material crossed out in the original has been enclosed in
angle-brackets, viz. <>; this material is of two sorts: errors,
and expiated punishments. The students mentioned in
the book have been identified as far as possible in footnotes.
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