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About two weeks after Dr. Philbrick's funeral, the New England Journal of Education published a memorial number, consisting of eulogistic letters from all parts of the country. These letters, perhaps, indicate as clearly as anything can the estimate in which Dr. Philbrick was held by the educators of America, and the warm place he filled in their hearts. Below are given many of these letters. Explanatory of the purpose of publishing these letters, there appeared in the memorial number of the Journal, under date of Feb. 18, 1886, the following
It was our purpose to give a liberal share of the JOURNAL this week to tributes to the memory of Mr. Philbrick; but, so generous and prompt have been the responses, and so valuable are the reminiscences, reviews, and estimates of his life, that we most cheerfully surrender our editorial, as well as other pages, to the words of high esteem and noble affection which flow from so many pens. It is most worthy of record that these contributions are not fulsome eulogies, nor unbecoming praises of Mr. Philbrick. All bear, in their deepest meaning, honest and heartfelt testimonies to some trait, quality, or service, which are established by the mouths of many
We had intended to add our own humbler word to these, but must withhold it for another opportunity, preferring that the brethren, who speak so truly and eloquently, should express their sentiments of appreciative affection. Their contributions to his worth form a monument as enduring as can be built, having for its foundation, a noble, devoted, generous, Christian manhood. We shall be greatly surprised, if our readers in all parts of our country do not welcome these tokens of regard, which are not only personal to Mr. Philbrick as a man and an educator, but are of greater moment to the whole body of teachers, as the recognition of a professional spirit and devotion, which are the best evidence that his life had a purpose, and that it was crowned with most gratifying success. With Mann and Agassiz and Page and Philbrick among our worthies, we certainly have some reason to be proud of our calling, and of all who bear the name of Teacher.
LETTER OF E. E. WHITE, LL.D.
The death of the noble Philbrick has touched me more deeply than that of any other New England educator since the death of Horace Mann, and Mr. Mann, as you know, spent his last years in Ohio as president of Antioch College, thus adding to my high esteem for him the felicity of a personal acquaintance.
I first met Dr. Philbrick in the superintendent's office in Boston, the city so long and so highly honored by his professional labors, and the acquaintance there formed grew with passing years into an intimate friendship;
and, though the distance between our homes denied me the close personal fellowship enjoyed by his New England associates, I am sure that few of them think of his death with a deeper sense of personal bereavement. I have not only admired Dr. Philbrick for many years, but I have increasingly esteemed his wisdom, and leaned upon him for counsel and guidance. Few American educators have spoken or written fewer unripe views on education than he. He was blessed with that poise and catholicity of mind that enabled him to look on all sides of a complex truth, and especially a truth to be embodied in methods of teaching. If he were less enthusiastic than some others, it was because he saw more clearly their limitations. His apparent conservatism was the poise of deep insight and wide knowledge. He held firmly to the good that had been tested, while he sought for and welcomed better things.
His reports as superintendent of the Boston schools, so admirable in contents, spirit, and diction, and his more recent papers on current school questions, will be consulted a few years hence as the wisest contributions of these days. His comprehensive papers on "City School Systems," published in 1885 by the Bureau of Education, and on "School Reports," submitted to the Council last summer, embody wise experience, patient research, and profound wisdom. But I must leave a fitting recognition of Dr. Philbrick's great services in the cause of education to others. My heart calls me back to a simpler tribute of obligation and love.
When I assumed the principalship of a Cleveland
school many years ago, I was so fortunate as to take a "peep" into a Boston school, through the keen eyes of the lamented Cyrus Knowlton of Cincinnati. The school thus seen became an inspiring ideal, and greatly contributed to my success as a teacher. Years afterward I learned it was Mr. Philbrick's school that had been so vividly pictured to me, and so for a third of a century I have been his debtor. There now lies before me a precious letter from his stricken home, informing me that Dr. Philbrick wrote his name the last time to attest his friendship for me, and that my name was among the last words which he uttered. Thus the debt of long ago and this last touching honor span all the years between with inspiration and benediction!
A prince among American educators has fallen! Peace to his ashes, and consolation and blessings to the afflicted widow !
LETTER OF WM. T. HARRIS, LL. D.
I feel keenly the grief that comes to teachers and friends of education, at the announcement of Dr. Philbrick's death. There is an inner circle of personal friends who knew him and loved him and honored him, for both personal and professional reasons. There is an outer circle who knew him and respected him as a veteran authority in matters pertaining to education, and this circle includes the entire profession devoted to teaching and the management of schools, in every civilized country in the world. I would fain lay claim to belong to the inner circle, although I have never been officially con