Fee's Tale of Theft at Augusta College
- Below is an excerpt from "Garnering the Sheaves," by Rev. William Fee submitted by Caroline Miller. William was a cousin of Rev. John G. Fee, another graduate of Augusta College. According to Wikpedia, Dr. Bascom, who is mentioned in the text below, was professor of moral science and belles-lettres at the college from 1932-1942.
"About the time I entered college, I became familiar with Mr. V, for many years, the janitor of the Institution. He was poor, but had a spotless reputation; he was respected and loved; and very useful to the church.
"One day, Dr. Bascom missed his pocket-book, which contained valuable papers and a considerable amount of money. He supposed that he had left it in his room; and this was in charge of the janitor. He was approached, but utterly denied it. He was arrested, but the only evidence was circumstantial, and he was acquitted. He lost his enviable standing, dismissed from the college, and was almost friendless. He would still visit the church services, all the while protesting his innocence! His heart was almost broken.
A short time after this, commencement day arrived. Mr. A, from a distant state, especially distinguished himself, and later that evening left on a steamer for his distant home. Some hours afterwards, he was seen on the hurricane deck of the steamer, walking backward and forward, hurriedly.
A few moments later after this, the boiler exploded, and he was seen no more. A trunk was left on the boat, which was not claimed by any one. After remaining there for days - for the boat went on its course - the officers of the boat unlocked it and examined its contents. It was Mr. A's trunk. In it was found a pocket-book, which, on examination, proved to be the one lost by Dr. Bascom. They not only found the papers unharmed, but also the very money which he had lost. It was at once sent to Augusta.
Mr. V. was at once restored to his position in the college and his standing in the church. The young man (Mr. A) found a watery grave, and his remains were never recovered. God will vindicate the innocent."