Written by Lloyd Hutner, For Duty and Destiny: The Life and Civil War Diary of William Taylor Stott, Hoosier Soldier and Educator, now available from the Indiana HIstorical Society Press, explores the career of Stott, a native Hoosier and an 1861 graduate of Franklin College. Stott later became the president who took the college from virtual bankruptcy in 1872 to its place as a leading liberal arts institution in Indiana by the turn of the century.
The story of Franklin College is the story of W. T. Stott, yet his influence was not confined to the school’s parameters. Stott was an inspirational and intellectual force in the Indiana Baptist community, and a foremost champion of small denominational colleges and of higher education in general. He also fought in the Eighteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, rising from private to captain by 1863.
Stott’s diary reveals a soldier who was also a scholar in camp and on the march, one who took every available moment to read theology, philosophy, great literary works, the classics of ancient Greece and Rome, and a few novels. He was as familiar with Burns and Byron as he was with ramrods and knapsacks.
Hunter is professor emeritus of history and American studies at Franklin College. While at Franklin, he founded and directed the American Studies Program and occupied the Roger D. Branigin Chair of History. Hunter received recognition by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for Advancement and Support of Education as the 2003 Outstanding Indiana Professor of the Year.
For Duty and Destiny costs $27.95 and is available from the IHS's History Market.