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Archives & Special Collections: Fitz Hugh Ludlow


Fitz Hugh Ludlow is a peculiar figure in Union College History.  He arrived at Union as a questionable transfer from Princeton in the mid-19th century, but achieved a fairly prominent place in the history of the College.  Ludlow composed the college's Alma Mater, "Ode to Old Union," and in the 1980s Union created "Fitz Hugh Ludlow Day", which focused on ways to have fun without drinking alcohol. Although Ludlow generally abstained from alcohol, he smoked hashish to the point of addiction.  This habit spurred the creation of one of his first novels, The Hashish Eater, which discussed his experiences with hashish and propelled him into the circle of the literary community.  He reportedly kept close company with renowned authors of the era, including Mark Twain and Walt Whitman.

The material on Fitz Hugh Ludlow in Special Collections presents the researcher with the opportunity to examine an aspect of the social history of the 19th century.  One area of the investigation could be to evaluate the impact of drug use on the literary community of the period. 

Primary Sources

Project Gutenberg has A Brace of Boys written by Ludlow in it's collection. 

The Hashish Eater: Being Passage from the Life of a Pythagorean has been digitized in its entirety by Google Books. Print copy located in library stacks.

Ludlow, Fitz Hugh, class of 1856. See alumni file (Located in Special Collections)

Ludlow, Fitz High. "Miscellany" 1856-1970 MSSUT L945m (Located N:14 Special Collections).

Secondary Sources

Try searching the Schaffer Library Catalog for "Fitz Hugh Ludlow" (with the quotes) to find sources related to him. 

Driscoll, Lawrence V. Reconsidering Drugs: Mapping Victorian and Modern Drug Discourses. New York: Palgrave, 2000. 

Inglis, Brian. The Forbidden Game: A Social History of DrugsLondon: Hodder and Stoughton, 1975. 

Norwich, J. HashishNew York Quarter Books, 1984. 

Porter, R. and Teich M. Drugs and Narcotics in History. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995. 

Kimmens, Andrew C. Tales of Hashish. New York: Morrow, 1977. 

O'Neil Erin. "Fitz Hugh Ludlow '56, Wrote 'Ode to Old Union'." Concordiensis, February 24, 1995.