Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

the character, both at home and abroad, of the seamen that may be shipped in the port of Baltimore.

The accommodations of the school are sufficient for over three hundred boys, and it is confidently expected that as the present pupils advance in their attain. ments and force of character, they will be qualified for the work of instructing others; and that, by this means, the efficiency of their training will be felt in its operation upon future pupils. The expense of the school, so far as the ordinary instruction is concerned, is the same as of the other grammar schools; and as it takes in only the proper subjects of public education, it involves no extra expense to the city. The additional expense borne by the Board of Trade will not exceed one thousand dollars per annum.

A decided benefit to be secured, in addition to the nuore direct objects contemplated in the establishment of the school, is, the gathering in of a class of boys who might not otherwise be induced to avail themselves of the opportunities afforded of obtaining their education in the common schools. They embrace with eagerness the privileges offered them in this school, while those of all others are slighted and neglected. Facilities of instruction presented to them in this more congenial form, seems to attract the idle and exposed, whose habits incline them to loiter about the wharves; and the chances are in favor of their being transformed into intelligent, active and useful members of the community. And not only upon these lads, but upon some of those who are more advanced in life, is there the promise of a happy influence through the agency of this school. Applications for admission have been made by seamen already engaged in service; and by some who have been advanced to the position of mates of vessels, the favor has been requested that they may be permitted to attend the school, at such times as they may remain in port. As far as the permission may be allowed, may the influence of the school be extended, in its improvement of the character of seamen.

The school is directed by a joint committee from the Board of Education, and the Board of Trade, composed of E. A. Abbott, Esq., chairman, and Messrs. Plummer, Pitt, Griffin, Knowles, and Eaton, of the School Board, and Messrs. E. S. Courtney, and Lawrence Thornsen, of the Board of Trade. Authority is conferred by the state of Maryland, and city of Baltimore, to give a certificate, or diplomas of proficiency to every deserving pupil who shall graduate in the institution. It is designed that this diploma shall be a recommendation and passport for its possessor, to those to whom he may apply for employment or assistance in the pursuit of the purposes of commerce.

XIII. JOHN GEORGE TOBLER.

John GEORGE TOBLER, an educator of the Pestalozzian school, was born at Trogen, in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, in Switzerland, October 17, 1769. He lost his mother in his third year, and his father in his tenth. His education was very inadequate, as was usual in those times. His disposition inclined him to become a preacher. Want of means, however, prevented him until his twentythird year, when with a very insufficient preparation he entered the University of Basle. With all the other qualifications for becoming a valuable preacher and catechist, his memory for words failed him in respect to the acquisition of foreign languages. This defect decided him entirely to give up entering for the examination as candidate. He was to find a greater sphere of usefulness in another career. He exchanged his theological studies for the practical employment of a tutor and teacher.

In 1799, he placed himself at the head of a school for the female children of emigrants at Basle. An invitation from Pestalozzi brought him to Burgdorf in May, 1800. He there became the friend of Buss and Krüsi, and married, and after a short disagreement with Pestalozzi, labored with bim for seven years at Munchen Buchsee and Yverdun. Circumstances brought him to Mühlhausen, where, besides other exertions, he founded his labor-school, which quickly increased so as to contain from four to six hundred scholars, but which came to an end in.1811, in the midst of a prosperous career. Tobler returned to Basle, and set about collecting his pedagogical views and experiences, and preparing for the press a geography upon Pestalozzi's principles.

His pecuniary needs, however, obliging him to seek another situation, he obtained a place as teacher in a private institution in Glarus. On New Year's day of 1817, together with his fellow-teachers, he was dismissed, by reason of the famine. He immediately turned to his profession of tutor, and held a situation for three entire years, in an eminent family of the neighborhood. The children being afterward sent to a newly erected cantonal school, he went to Arbon on the Lake of Constance, with the design of erecting there, instead of a school, a superior orphan-house ; but the place was too small. A year afterward he went to St. Gall. Here, the real star of his peda

gogical career shone out upon him. That place deserves gratitude for having afforded him ten years together, of free and unimpeded room for the display of his talents as teacher and educator. One of the noblest fruits of this time, was the education of a son to follow his father's honorable example. In 1831, this son was able to graduate from school, and in 1836, he left St. Gall, and accompanied Niederer to Yverdun, and then to Geneva, at both of which places he was at the head of institutions of his own; and was also of very great service to Niederer's school for girls. At present he fills the place of director of a cantonal school at Trogen.

Tobler passed his latter years at Basle, in part with his second son, the principal of a boys' school at Nyon; where he died in his seventyfourth

year, after a short sickness, Aug. 10, 1843. The last months of his life were rendered happy by an elevated self-consciousness, by the pleasant prospect of ending his days at his native place, as he desired, and by incessant and active occupation in setting in order his writings and his domestic affairs. His inner life was as happy and elevated above earthly things as the evening sun, amidst the eternal blue of heaven.

After this short sketch of Tobler's life, varied and struggling as it was, although not fateful, we may devote a few words to his intellectual peculiarities, his rank as a teacher, and his services to humanity and human culture.

His moral and religious nature was bis predominating trait; the key-tone of his mind. His father, who filled the place of both father and mother to his sensitive nature, inspired these sentiments into him while yet a child. The maxim “Seek first the kingdom of God (or what was with him its equivalent, the sphere of attainments according to Christ) and its righteousness, and all other things shall be added unto you,” was his rule of life; and in his teaching and his example, afforded him constant assistance in answering such questions as arose during his labors for moral improvement.

As soon as he could write, he commenced the practice of taking down sermons and catechizings; and thus acquired great facility in his German style, and a mastery of analytic methods which afterward stood him in good stead by enabling him to deliver extemporaneous sermons and addresses to children, and to compose excellent sketches of sermons. His popular and instructive style occasioned various congregations, after hearing him, to desire him for a pastor. His morning and evening prayers with pupils and children were exceedingly simple, pathetic, clear, and impressive. In moments of higher excitement, the very spirit of the Apostle John's epistles spoke through

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »