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The F.H.C. was founded on November 11, 1750, and faded away in the 1770s (after 1772). The group was revived on September 30, 1920, but again ended during World War II. The last known meeting in the 1940s was in 1943. The F.H.C. Society was again revived in May 1972. (see news clippings in "F.H.C. Society" folder, University Archives Subject File Collection)

The organization's initials likely stand for the Latin phrases "Fraternitas, Humanitas, et Cognitio" or "Fraternitas Humanitas Cognitioque" (two different renderings of "Brotherhood, Humanity, and Knowledge") (Jack Morpurgo, Their Majesties' Royall Colledge : William and Mary in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries).

Also known as: FHC, F.H.C., F. H. C., Flat Hat Club (by non-members).


This list is in-progress and will always be incomplete.

Julian A. C. Chandler, no. 1083, president, 1919-1934

Harold Lees Fowler, no. 1170, history professor, 1934-1974, initiated 1938 (see news clipping in Subject File)

Herbert L. Ganter, class of 1927, Law 1930, College archivist 1948 to 1974

William George Guy, class of 1924, chemistry professor, 1925-1968

Robert Hornsby

James Innes

Thomas Jefferson, circa 1760-1762

J. Wilfred Lambert, no. 1148, class of 1927, psychology professor and administrator, 1930-1973

Bathurst Daingerfield Peachy, Jr., WM 1914


[ http://scrc.swem.wm.edu/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=6847 Ralph Stambaugh]

Earl Gregg Swem, no. 1087, College librarian 1920-1944

St. George Tucker

Dyckman W. Vermilye, class of 1943

George Wythe

Herbert Young, no. 1121, 1937/1941

Roscoe Conkley Young, student 1906/1910, faculty 1913/1915, 1919/1944

FHC Material in the SCRC

  • The Flat Hat Club and the Phi Beta Kappa Society, edited by George P. Coleman, Call Number: Archives LJ 75 P29 W75
  • James Innes and His Brothers of the FHC by Jane Carson, Call Number: Archives F234 W7 C3449
  • In Token of Friendship by Robert W. Storm, Jr., Call Number: Archives LJ 41 C63 s8
  • Letters to and from St. George Tucker, William and Mary class of 1772, concerning the FHC and the secret society's members. The FHC was particularly active in the pre-Revolutionary era. Tucker kept in contact with his FHC colleagues, and his correspondence reflects an enduring fellowship after he officially left the College. Note in particular William Nelson, Jr.'s letter hoping in 1779 for a revival of the FHC during the turbulent times of the war. Nelson quotes the purpose of the FHC as "charity, friendship, and science." Tucker Coleman Collection: the specific letters are dated 3/19/1774, 9/7/1777, 3/30/1779, 7/29/1781, 10/8/1783, and 6/7/1773.
  • In the early nineteenth century with its reverence for the Revolution, founding fathers, glories of the 18th century, etc., several people wrote to Jefferson concerning the F.H.C. and his member ship in the "ancient" collegiate fraternity. Jefferson's letter to Thomas McAuley recalls a casual relationship with the F.H.C. during the years he was at the College, 1760-1762. Thomas Jefferson to Thomas McAuley, June 14, 1819, Mss 39.1 J35, Lot 2 item 238 Folder 4. Copies are available in the Subject File.
  • University Archives Faculty-Alumni File Collection, See the folders of: J.A.C. Chandler, Robert Hornsby, Bathurst Daingerfield Peachy, Herbert Young, Roscoe Conkley Young. Additional certificates are in the University Archives Subject File Collection "FHC Society" folder.
  • University Archives Artifact Collection, FHC Medals: Harold Lees Fowler (history professor, 1934-1974); Earl Gregg Swem (College librarian 1920-1944); Dyckman W. Vermilye (class of 1943); and a medal that was a gift of Otis Geddy.
  • J. Wilfred Lambert (class of 1927, psychology professor and administrator, 1930-1973), FHC medal.
  • Fifteen Sermons Preached at Rolls Chapel..., Joseph Butler, London: Printed for J. and P. Knapton, 1749. Gift of the F.H.C. Society. This volume was purchased by the twentieth-century F.H.C. to illustrate the eighteenth-century collection of the group's books.

External Links

In the News

A Note About The Contents Of This Wiki
Unfortunately, many of the early original records of the College of William and Mary were destroyed by fire, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information available here is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in the SCRC's collections and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the SCRC's access tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.