Boys' Excelsior Lyceum, Excelsior  1861-1862
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This book contains two editions of the Boys' Excelsior Lyceum's magazine Excelsior, containing essays and poetry by students in Cohoes, New York. The bound volume, third in a series, contains manuscript copies of two issues from the magazine's 4th volume, numbers 15 (March 26, 1861, pp.1-62) and 16 (April 9, 1861, pp.63-97), edited by Charles Francis Doyle and Lizzie L. Giles. Each begins with a lengthy essay addressed to the editor, reflecting an ongoing debate between "John Brown, Esq.," and "Dick" on the merits of slavery and temperance. Both authors utilized Biblical quotations while offering lengthy moral justifications for their positions. Additional essays address a range of topics such as war, gambling, and truth, and a number of poems reflect more lighthearted topics, such as ice skating and kissing. What appears to be a third edition of the magazine, dated May 15, 1862 (30 pp.), is inserted into the volume and tied together with red, white, and blue ribbons. Its topics are similar to those in the previous volume, though the debates on slavery and temperance are not addressed. One essay in this edition, attributed to "Alice," pertains to a visit to "the Washington Hospital" and a discussion with a convalescent soldier.

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