It may be of interest to observe that upon his arrival in New Haven his father presented his name to various tradesmen of the city, directing them to supply his son's demands upon them, and as these included the opportunity to order all that livery stables or wine cellars could provide, it is greatly to young Hyatt's credit that he was a sober, serious minded, hard-working student from the moment of his arrival in New Haven.
He remained only one year at Yale, and then his mother withdrew him from college and took him to Italy, where he came under the influence of certain catholic friends of the family who sought to convert him to the service of the church. In his journal he gives a graphic description of the magnificence of the papal court, but is distressed that "the Swiss guards in their harlequin uniforms stand fencing off the high altar from the approach of common people." He might still have acceded to the counsels of his mother's catholic friends had he not one day seen the pope's dragoons charge wantonly and without warning upon a crowd of merrymakers on the Corso, crushing four of them to death. The horror of this scene, and the filth and misgovernment of Rome under Pius IX., turned him with loathing from all thought of serving such a heartless regime as that of the papacy of those days, and in his journal he exclaims: