Russell Colgate was not only a gentleman and scholar but also a distinguished athlete. He was a tall, lanky man, perhaps 6’4” in height with a mustache that could kill on Monday and woo on Saturday. His scrapbook was made all the way back in 1892, which was the year he graduated. He matriculated the year earlier in 1891. The scrapbook is in lackluster condition; however one would expect this for a book of this age. In his scrapbook presides an abundance of historical pictures and many are in surprisingly good condition and of good quality.
His athletic endeavors are well documented in this book. There are about six pages dedicated just to the football match against Exeter, which they won 26-10. He included the storm of the field at the end of the game and a team picture with the football, on which the score was written. This is not the only game documented nor was football his one sport. He also ran track and played baseball and tennis. He kept many of the scorecards from those games in addition to the pictures. He kept the baseball scorecard from the game against Brown as well as a newspaper article about it. They only lost to the college 5-3. He also included photographs from a tennis tournament, one of which he labeled “Shaking hands at the net in the Exeter Tournament.” On the baseball team he played first base, and his scrapbook comprises several photographs of the baseball team.
In addition to his athletic experiences, he also included many pictures of himself and his best friends in the dorm including one of himself reading. One of the photographs clearly shows an abundance of alcohol on the floor in front of the students. After a snow storm, he and the boys from his dorm made a giant snow sculpture, which they called the Eiffel Tower of Snow. Furthermore, many pictures are of the various buildings on campus. The main building, then called Main Building was one of the best documented. Colgate has also included some dance cards, a concert advertisement for banjo clubs as well as a list of all the students and faculty. He placed an “x” by all the names of the students he had met. He crossed out his own name. Interestingly enough, the book included one person of color in a photograph who appeared to be a student, something perhaps one would not expect from a scrapbook constructed in 1892. Lastly, there are many song cards of old Andover anthems such as Fair Andover, which begins “Andover! Star of New England, Andover! Gem of New England, Andover! Star of the nation, Andover! Gem of Our country.”
At the scrapbooks conclusion lies a Yale College pamphlet labeled “Examination for Admission”. Perhaps this is where Colgate continued his academic endeavors. Overall the scrapbook shines great light on the Andover-Exeter rivalry. Many students seemed more like adults than the average student here today, many possessed killer facial hair, were recipients of an extremely rigorous academic program, and were destined for prestigious colleges.
by Alexandre Daccord, class of 2018
Scrapbook Box 102