William A. Scott, Missionary to California
James A. Lyon, described him bluntly.
He is remembered as a great, big, fat, serious, sober, ruddy, smooth-faced, awkward boy (yes, boy), with now and then a gleaming from his eyes! And for his ambitious diligence in study, and for a voracious appetite for books. Every dollar that came into his hands was laid out in books, until he had not, any longer the wherewith to meet his current expenses for board and clothing. (Drury, 44)
The bibliomania afflicting Scott is reminiscent of that of Thomas Smyth. Scott graduated Cumberland College in 1833. He suffered financially for a number of years and his love of books may have contributed to the dearth of funds.
Scott moved to Princeton, New Jersey for seminary. He was on campus from February through the summer session of 1834. He had trouble adjusting to Princeton because it was larger and more formal than Cumberland College. Master linguist J. Addison Alexander took a special interest in Scott introducing him to the Syriac and Arabic languages. When Scott left Princeton he intended to return and complete the curriculum but limited funds, the travel distance, and a romantic interest that would lead to marriage ended his formal studies.