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to me, affords the best possible evidence that he was, after all, a man of “ brilliant parts.”
It was well said, “Mr. Philbrick always stood for the right, and standing there he never could be moved.” Yes, and he would fight for it. With the rowdyism of college life he had no sympathy. An anecdote will illustrate. The self-styled “Dart. Guards," a band of hazers, whose object was to annoy and insult freshmen, came, masked, one evening, into his room. His room-mate hid in the closet, but Mr. Philbrick, armed with a stick of wood, ordered them to leave. Not obeying, he attacked and drove them, sore-headed, from the premises. He had so severely punished them that the organization was never heard from afterward.
That Mr. Philbrick was a true, earnest, and helpful friend, the writer is a grateful witness. Always attentive, kind and sympathetic, he at once gained my confidence and affection, and many times, during our forty years of toil in the same profession, did I seek his counsel and never sought in vain. From no other man have I ever received so much help, encouragement, and inspiration. But "the great and good man has
to his rest,
“Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.”
His book of life, as indicated by the magnificent floral book laid upon the foot of his casket by the Boston masters, is "closed," but at least one chapter was unfinished. During my last pleasant interview with Dr. Philbrick, at his home, he told me of his plans and work laid out for the immediate future, and that he was ready to commence it the next morning. He did commence, but could not finish it as he had hoped. Yet “Well done, good and faithful servant,” has been spoken, and a monument has been erected to his memory which will never crumble.
LETTER OF H. F. HARRINGTON, A.M.
I heard of the death of Dr. Philbrick with peculiar feelings. I have repeatedly drawn upon his kind friend. ship for assistance, and it was only a week or two previous to his death that I received from him an extended argumentative letter on a topic of great interest to me. I was preparing an early expression of my gratitude for the benefit. it had been when I was saddened by the report that he was no more.
I have known him intimately since the inception of the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, in the Educational Department of which he held a prominent official station. Deputed by him to organize a distinct section of the Massachusetts Exhibit, and repeatedly brought into consultation with him on that and other points connected with the great undertaking, I had ample opportunity to test his powers both as a thinker and an organizer, and I learned to hold him in great respect for his comprehensive grasp of principles, and his sagacious management of affairs.
His services to the cause of education in this country are well known. He was an authority and a power as
long as his health enabled him to take an active part in affairs. It can truly be said of him, and it would be a proud record for any man, that there has not been a forward movement in this country in the great cause, which was the paramount joy and interest of his life, with which he was not identified as one of its intelli. gent instigators and its heartfelt and devoted sponsors. The good he has done is his noblest monument.
LETTER OF A. P. MARBLE, Ph.D.
John D. Philbrick has, for the last quarter of a century, been one of the most conspicuous figures in connection with the American system of common schools. He became superintendent of schools in the city of Boston when that office was yet in its infancy; he was the second incumbent of the office in that city. The organization of the schools in classes, each in a separate room and in care of a separate teacher, was adopted through his influence, in place of the large assembly rooms, with assistant teachers to conduct classes in adjoining recitation rooms, — a plan in vogue generally before this organization. The impetus given to public schools in that city by this organization extended itself to other cities and towns throughout the country. This organization, indeed, has in some instances been carried to excess. no doubt, and there has recently been a healthy reaction, To no one man, perhaps, is due the present advance in education so much as to Mr. Philbrick.
In the exhibits of education at the Centennial in Philadelphia, and at the World's Fair at Paris and at Vienna,
Mr. Philbrick was prominent. He has been influential in bringing this important interest before the public and into a position which its essential character demands. Education is now in the foreground among our national concerns through the life-long activity of Mr. Philbrick His proud position as an educator places him among our national benefactors, on a line with the statesmen of the land, — the Sumners, the Garfields, and the Manns.
LETTER OF HENRY E. SHEPHERD.
My acquaintance with Dr. Philbrick began during the time that I was Superintendent of Public Instruction, Baltimore, Md., 1875 - 1882. The annual convention of school superintendents, which met usually in Washington, first brought us into personal relations. Our acquaintance soon ripened into a warm friendship, a friendship which, I trust, has not been dissolved, even by death.
"They do not change who die,
In conventions and associations in which were em. bodied the purest and most advanced educational thought of our era, Mr. Philbrick was an acknowledged leader. Indeed, the position seemed to be spontaneously conceded to him; no one thought of disputing his supremacy. Perfectly devoid of pretentiousness or assumption, somewhat reserved in his bearing toward strangers, he was everywhere recognized, almost intuitively, as an oracle
whose utterances upon the grandest educational problems of the time were to be received with profoundest regard and respect. My own opinion is, that the beginning of Mr. Philbrick's national renown as a wise and judicious educator, may be traced to the series of Reports issued by him while Superintendent of Public Instruction, Boston, from about 1856 to 1875. The Boston Reports of those years are unsurpassed in modern literature for soundness of judgment, breadth of view, and definiteness of purpose. If collected into a single volume, and published in such form as to be easily available, they would prove invaluable to teachers of all classes throughout our common country. When I first entered upon the delicate and complex duties of Superintendent of Public Instruction in Baltimore, Mr. Philbrick's wise and discriminating Reports were my most trusted guides and counselors. Doubtless scores of others, who never saw his face, can bear testimony similar to my own. The life and work of Mr. Philbrick are a striking refutation of that morbid sentiment which the Poet Laureate has expressed in one of his best-known creations :
" The individual withers,
And the world is more and more."
The colossal results achieved by such men, despite of the most formidable opposition, demonstrate that in no age has the power of individual influence, directed by rational intellect, been more productive and more resistless than in our own.
My last meeting with Mr. Philbrick was in Washing