Our signature magazine, The Hamptonia, owes its beginnings to the literary societies and left a trail of historical stories told by alumni and faculty throughout the first hundred years. Today, we continue this tradition with an annual production of the year in review gleaming with content from all touched by the institution.
The Hamptonia, published quarterly by the Social Fraternity and Literary Adelphi, made its first appearance on March 26, 1883. This first edition had 28 pages bound in a blue paper cover with local advertisements inside and out. In those days, local business ads paid for the production costs. The featured story is John Wentworth, who served in the US Congress and Mayor of Chicago. He graduated from New Hampton in 1831 and was given much of the credit for founding the Social Fraternity. He was a native of Sandwich, NH, and loathed the elitists of the Literary Adelphi —a group made up of the wealthier students who could attend the school all year. Farm boys and girls who had to work in the summer and fall could only participate in the winter term.
Aside from the background on the founder of the Social Fraternity, there were letters to the editor, poems, stories of the day, editorials, local information including colleges, and societal activities. Perhaps some of the most essential information is the articles given by those affected by war. M. Frances Stewart 1864 from New Hampton wrote of her time sitting in class, “When cold weather came we heard pitiful stories of how our boys were suffering for want of stockings. Nearly every girl in school knit a pair…I must admit that I knit several times around a stocking under my cape while [Melvin B.] Tasker, [Isaac] Tyler, and others who later entered the army stumbled over Greek roots. Even then, I sat up all night to finish my stocking, which I hope helped some good soldier to keep comfortable.” Frances continues the article claiming that “Melvin slept in a soldier’s grave,” not returning home from war.
Although The Hamptonia took a hiatus and other publications began, such as the Manitou and the Alumni Bulletin, the magazine commenced again in the late 1980s first monthly, and now it runs as an annual magazine filled with stories on new buildings, students, and teachers as well as alumni updates.