« PreviousContinue »
many times; but he persisted in what he thought right until his point was gained. Even in circumstances of great excitement, when he was most earnest for measures, he was remarkably free from any bitter, unkind, or ungenerous judgments of those who differed from him in opinion.
Both teachers and pupils could rely on his kindly sympathy; he loved their work. No one could ask aid of him without feeling that he rejoiced to be a friend and a helper; he sympathized with the difficulties of another by bending all his enthusiasm, all his energy, to overcome them.
Mr. Philbrick's wonderful power of discipline was the natural outgrowth of the order, perseverance, and desire for progress seen in his early school life. When he came to regulate schools he knew all about them. When he was sent to Paris to arrange the educational department of the United States, it was evident that the government had put the right man in the right place. He did remarkable work as an organizer. Nothing was overlooked or neglected; thoroughness of détail stood side by side with the great principle, “the greatest good of the greatest number.” As a friend of the public schools no man has done more for their highest and best interests. No words of eulogy are needed for him whose work has been to mould, to stimulate, and to elevate the minds of the youth of his time, and to place the results of the educational system of his country on a broad and permanent basis in the world's record. For ourselves, it is well that we should stop to look carefully at such a
work, to take fresh inspiration from so noble a life as that of John D. Philbrick.
ADDRESS OF DANIEL B. HAGAR, Ph. D.
Nearly forty years ago I made my first visit to the Quincy School, in Boston, which was then under the charge of him over whose death we are now called to mourn.
I had learned that the school was one of extraordinary excellence. I found it to be well worthy of its high reputation. Although a stranger to the master, he received me with that genuine courtesy which was one of his marked characteristics. From that day to the close of his life it was my great privilege to regard him as my warm and faithful friend. Coming to know him intimately, I found him in all respects worthy of esteem and confidence. His admirable personal qualities and his intellectual ability attracted to him hosts of friends, and commanded the highest respect of all who best knew him. To young teachers he was always kind, endearing himself to them by the interest he manifested in their welfare and the readiness with which he rendered aid in their behalf.
Mr. Philbrick's work as an educator was too broad and comprehensive to admit of even an outline at the present time. His career was one of vast usefulness. His reputation as a leader in educational affairs is world-wide. Prof. L. W. Mason, while visiting all parts of Europe, investigating methods in his department of instruction, was everywhere greeted with kindly inquiries in regard to Dr. Philbrick, and listened to the warmest expressions of regard for him and his work. The Japanese Minister at Washington states that when commissioners of Japan had been appointed to examine systems of education, with reference to the adoption of the best system for Japan, they visited the principal cities of the United States, including Boston ; they carefully studied the leading systems of Europe, and then returned to Boston, having decided that the Boston system, as devised and conducted by Superintendent Philbrick, was, in their judgment, the best. On their return to Japan, they took with them specimens of the school furniture and the various school appliances of Boston. To-day there may be found in Tokio a Boston schoolroom in all its completeness. As a result of Mr. Philbrick's labors, Boston has long been a Mecca for educators from all parts of the civilized world.
His influence does not end with his life. His wise opinions on educational subjects have been embodied in a series of reports whose excellence has never been surpassed, if ever equaled. Even after he had lost his eyesight, so that he was compelled to write by dictation, he prepared for the National Bureau of Education a report on the city schools of the United States, whose great value cannot be overestimated.
Mr. Philbrick held positive opinions on education, which he maintained with unflinching fidelity, - opinions which were not formed hastily, but were the outcome of extensive knowledge and careful deliberation.
As an educator he may well serve as a model for young men who are ambitious to become distinguished in the field of labor in which he wrought so long and so successfully. His life was one of constant usefulness. We who are teachers mourn over him as a departed friend. Death has come; but to him “death is the crown of life.”
ADDRESS OF LARKIN DUNTON, LL.D.
A great and good man has gone to his rest. We meet to-day to pay our last sad tribute of respect to his memory. To know him was to trust him and to love him.
Of all the men of the present generation who have devoted their lives to the cause of popular education, John D. Philbrick was the foremost. I think it not too much to say that among the educational men of all the civilized nations of the world there is not a living man to-day whose name is so widely and so favorably known. Not to know him is to be ignorant of the history of public education.
His profound and minute knowledge of the origin and development of the public school system of Boston is well known to many of those present; but his acquaintance with the school systems of other important cities in this country, and, indeed, with the school systems of all civilized nations, was just as profound and little less minute. I have often heard him say that the best data for determining the value of educational theories and methods were the tendencies of educational practice among civilized nations, and judged by this standard no man was more competent.
I remember well his first official visit to my school. I was then a subordinate teacher in a grammar school of Boston, where he was superintendent. After listening for half an hour to the school exercises, he drew me into general conversation upon schools, and in a few moments I believed myself in the presence of the wisest school man that I had ever known. This belief has been gaining strength for the last eighteen years. It was my privilege to spend a day with him about a month ago in this very room.
He was then in pretty good health and in excellent spirits. I never left him with so profound a sense of his great educational wisdom as on that evening.
Another of his characteristics was his patience. I have never known a man who better understood the value of waiting. He was wonderfully tolerant of opinions at variance with his own, and was quite willing to wait till knowledge and reason had produced conviction.
His mantle of charity was so broad that it covered friends and foes alike. For those who differed from him on matters of educational policy, and even for those who had caused him infinite labor and trouble, he was ever willing to accord the best of motives. He was preëminently a man of sweetness of temper.
Add to this a serene and cheerful mind, a broad, correct judgment, and a keen insight into the tendencies of educational movements, and you have the elements of character that made him so universally respected, trusted, and loved by the old Boston masters with whom he worked for so many years.
To his stricken widow and other mourning relatives, permit me to say, that it has fallen to the lot of few mor