Milo P. Jewett resigned as President of Vassar following a difference of opinion with the Founder about when the college should open.  Jewett wanted to begin as soon as the physical plant was ready, while Vassar insisted on waiting for the end of war, both so that his experiment could start in as calm and favorable a public climate as possible and so that the unruly financial fluctuations caused by the war could subside.

 A letter sent by Jewett to several trustees, in which he described the Founder as "vacillating and growing daily more childish and fickle," was brought to Matthew Vassar's attention. He declined to have any further dealings with Jewett and demanded his resignation.