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The Comstocks of Cornell-The Definitive Autobiography$
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Anna Botsford Comstock and Karen Penders St. Clair

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501716270

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501716270.001.0001

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A Sailor and a Scholar

A Sailor and a Scholar

(p.17) Chapter II A Sailor and a Scholar
The Comstocks of Cornell-The Definitive Autobiography

Anna Botsford Comstock

, Karen Penders St. Clair
Cornell University Press

This chapter examines John Henry Comstock's experience as a sailor and a scholar. Living as he did among sailors, it was natural that he should turn to sailing as the most available means of earning money. His first experience was on a small lumber vessel plying between Oswego, New York and Kingston, Canada. At the end of the first season of sailing, Henry had twenty dollars in his pocket after he had bought his clothing for the coming year, and with this surplus he started home. When he started school, the devoted teacher Miss Eleanor Dickinson encouraged Henry to take up algebra. It was the first time in his life that even a thought of higher education had dawned on his mind. A new world then opened to the boy, and Miss Dickinson taught him his algebra after school hours. To her influence Henry always attributed his ambition for an education; he had become thoroughly imbued with the desire for a college education and gave his whole thought and energy to his work in school. The chapter then details Henry's terms at Mexico Academy and Falley Seminary. In the fall of 1869, he entered Cornell University.

Keywords:   John Henry Comstock, sailor, sailing, higher education, college education, Mexico Academy, Falley Seminary, Cornell University, Eleanor Dickinson, algebra

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