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1851 Commencement Speech
by M. Edgar Richards


M. Edgar Richards' essay "Improvements of the Age" was the last of twelve student orations listed on the program for the July 3, 1851 commencement of Penn's College Class of 1851. The seven page manuscript of Richard's tongue-in-cheek commmentary on mid-nineteenth century progress is available here as both facsimile and transcription.



Facsimile pages :Title 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Transcription: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


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and if they will adopt the new costume they do but follow the tendency to perfection manifested by the improvements of the age for then all our fair rose buds of creation will become full Bloomers.


M. Edgar Richards
June 25th 1851
University of Pennsylvania
Commencement, July 3rd 1851