Mr. Wendell P. Garrison of the class of 1861 has written a letter to the Boston Advertiser on the attitude of the candidates for the board of overseers towards the "voluntary prayers" question. He says: "On receipt of the official list of nominees for overseers of Harvard College I selected five, to whom I addressed the following inquiries:
1. If elected, would you favor granting a petition that attendance upon morning prayers be made purely voluntary?
2. Would you favor granting a petition that church attendance on Sunday be left (a) purely voluntary, or (b) subject to parental control?"
Four of the nominees responded to these queries, three showing a disposition which determined Mr. Garrison to vote for them.
In replying to the questions, Gen. Samuel M. Quincy writes: "I have no objection to state that I have long regarded the matter of attendance on all religious exercises and observances as something which should be purely voluntary in every instance, for which reason it certainly seems to me now that I should favor the granting of such a petition as that which you mention.
In the matter of church attendance on Sunday, it seems to me that the same principle would govern my action. Whatever influence in religious matters parents would seek to exercise over children after the latter have left the paternal roof should, in my opinion, be by precept and example only; certainly by no further attempt at control."
Gen. Quincy, however, declines to pledge himself to any definite course of action in case of his election.