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LIFE AND CHARACTER
JOHN D. PHILBRICK.
John Dudley Philbrick was born in Deerfield, New Hampshire, May 27, 1818. He was the son of Elder Peter Philbrick, a clergyman of the Freewill Baptist denomination, and Betsey Dudley.
He fitted for college at Pembroke Academy, in Pembroke, New Hampshire, with the exception of two terms spent in study at Strafford, New Hampshire. He was graduated from Dartmouth College in 1842.
He was a teacher in the Roxbury Latin School, at Roxbury, now a part of Boston, in 1842 and 1843. He was made a teacher in the English High School in Boston in 1844, and the next year was chosen principal of the Mayhew School in Boston, which position he occupied till elected master of the then new grammar school in Boston, called the Quincy School, in 1847. He served as master there from 1847 to 1852.
During the early years of his teaching in Boston, he studied law to some extent, and, contrary to the commonly expressed opinion, it was not till 1847, the year that he took charge of the Quincy school, that he decided to adopt education as a profession.
He was called from Boston to the State Normal School at New Britain, Connecticut, and served there as principal in 1853 and 1854. He was superintendent of the public schools of the State of Connecticut in 1855 and 1856.
He was superintendent of the public schools of Boston, from December 22, 1856, to September 1, 1874, and from March 1, 1875, to March 1, 1878.
He was agent of the Massachusetts State Board of Education during a part of 1875-1876, in charge of the preparation of the Exhibition of the Education and Science of the State at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia ; Massachusetts Special Commissioner of Education, and United States Honorary Commissioner, and Member of the International Jury, at the Vienna Exposition in 1873; and Director of the United States Exhibition and Member of the International Jury, at the Paris Exposition, in 1878.
He was at different times one of the editors of the Massachusetts Teacher. He was also editor of the Connecticut Common School Journal for two or three years, when employed in that State.
The following are among his published works :- Annual Reports of the Public Schools of the State of Connecticut for 1855 and 1856; twelve quarterly and thirtythree semi-annual Reports of the Public Schools of Boston, and several special reports relating to these schools, printed in the annual volumes of the Reports of the School Committee of Boston from 1857 to 1878 inclusive; the Reports of the Massachusetts State Board of Education to the Legislature for the years 1865 and 1872; Report as Director of the United States Exhibition at the Paris Exposition of 1878, printed with Reports of the Commissioner in Chief; article Etats Unis, Dictionaire de Pedagogie Paris; several lectures and papers printed in the volumes of the American Institute of Instruction, of the National Educational Association, and circulars of the National Bureau of Education ; articles for the Atlantic Monthly and North American Review, 1881; Catalogue of the United States Exhibition at Paris, 1878 (pp. 124), London: printed at the Cheswich Press; American Union Speaker (pp. 588), Boston, 1865, and second edition (pp. 536), Boston, 1876; the Primary Union Speaker (pp. 110), Boston ; City School Systems in the United States, published by the Bureau of Education, 1885; and School Reports printed in the Proceedings of the Council, 1885.
I am not certain that the list is complete ; but it does not include a considerable number of unpublished lectures and addresses.
Dr. Philbrick was president of the Connecticut State Teachers' Association, the Massachusetts State Teachers' Association, the American Institute of Instruction, and the National Educational Association.
He was a member of the National Council of Education, member of the Massachusetts Board of Education for ten years, member of the government of the Institute of Technology from its establishment in 1861 to the time of his death, and a trustee of Bates College for ten years.
He received the degree of LL.D. from Bates College in 1872, and from St. Andrew's University, Scotland, in 1879; was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France, 1878, and also received the Gold Palm of the University of France, with the title Officier d'Instruction Publique.
Probably none of these titles and their accompanying diplomas afforded him so much pleasure as a “Reward of Merit," received from his first teacher, who occupied the "little red schoolhouse on the hill," in School District No. 1, in his native town. Dr. Philbrick remembered this school district in his will. A quarter part of the income from the money which he has left to the town of Deerfield is to be given annually to this district, "in addition to its legal share of school money." The reward of merit read as follows:
This may certify that John Philbrick is at the head of class No. 2, and for his good behavior and laudable improvement the week past has the approbation of his teacher,
RUTH BAILEY. Deerfield, July 2, 1824.
His foreign travels in 1873 included visits to Liverpool, London, Paris, Vienna, Prague, the principal cities of Germany, and Brussels; and in 1878, France, Eng. land, and Scotland.
Such are the positions he held, the works he wrote, and the marks of honor he received. Let us now exam. ine with more care some of the results of his labors.
Like many of the older teachers of New England, he laid the foundation for his future success in the old dis