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which has gradually changed to personal regard and a high measure of confidence, as year by year has manifested how ripe the scholarship of this comparative stranger to our educational circles; how broad and mellow and luminous his skill as a teacher; how thorough and profound his knowledge of what the schools, from the primary to the Normal grade (his latest suggestions as to the latter being found elsewhere in this issue, in his annual report), need in appliances and in the teaching art; how clear his conception of duty as the chief of his great department; how sound the ring of his utterances when discussing the questions of school polity or suggesting lines of progress for legislative action-rising conspicuous among those about him, as he has always done whatever his field of labor, and brushing aside mere martinetism with the broad influence of general principles.

The foremost scholar and probably the ablest man in the common school work, he has rapidly grown to be a welcome and familiar presence everywhere in Pennsylvania; with warm greeting from hosts of friends because of personal good-will; and with an official record such as to merit the highest compliment possible to any State Superintendent of Public Instruction-that of re-appointment by an Executive of an opposite political faith, in deference to what he regarded a sense of duty to the Commonwealth. The situation was unique. Mere partisanship, however intelligent and devoted to the public welfare, would neither have encouraged nor permitted what, in the opinion of Governor Pattison, the public good demanded, and what he had resolved should be done in the best spirit of the new article in the advanced political creed-tenure of office and civil service reform. Men said this would never be. Dr. Higbee neither asked for the position nor made effort to bring influence to bear that he might retain it, but quietly awaited the event, gratefully declining many offers of friendly aid while the appointment was pending. Not that he was at all indifferent as to the result, but he felt that he had been "called"; the position had come without his seeking it; if his first term was to be his last-it was well. He was confident that the Governor would, in his discretion, do as seemed best in discharge of his official duty.

Now that so many school men in all parts of Pennsylvania know Dr. Higbee, it has been thought that brief personal mention of fact or incident, casually referred to in the freedom of personal intercourse, and

some statement of impressions fixed through years of intimate acquaintance, would be of especial interest in these columns. When we enjoy a man we want to know more about him-all about him, if that were possible.

His father, at one time a man of large means, having by an ill-starred endorsement lost his property, it was early the good fortune of the son to feel the necessity for selfdependence.

In deference to the wishes of his mother,, he declined a desirable appointment as cadet to the United States Military Academy at West Point-turning aside from a branch of the national service for which he seemed especially fitted from his ardent love of adventure, his great strength and skill in all athletic sports, his fearless energy, good judgment, fine social qualities, rare mental gifts, and the ready command of all his powers at any moment. Had he entered the army thirty-five years ago, and studied the science and art of war as he has since devoted himself to the sciences and arts of peace, he would, doubtless, long ere this have attained high military rank and reputation.

Instead of West Point, he entered the University of Vermont, where, at the same time that he was one of the most brilliant students in the recitation room or on the platform, he became known as the champion foot-ball player of New England, as well as one of her champion wrestlers, having in his college days encountered but one man— and he a Canadian of firm-set limb and mighty strength of loins-whom he could not put down and keep down in this goodnatured test of bodily skill and strength and endurance. A good wrestler must be "good" all over, and weak nowhere. He was also a famous cricketer, until a finger broken by the ball compelled him to forego the vigorous game.

On a recent visit of his brother from the Pacific coast, a few months ago, the latter inquired whether he remembered how he (Dr. H.) had learned to skate, saying that it had impressed him as a remarkable thing at the time, and that he had often thought of it since. We mention the incident here as illustrating his boyhood mastery of a boyhood art, as perhaps not another lad in ten thousand has acquired it. The boy had buckled on his skates for the first time, but had hardly got upon the ice before a sudden and stunning fall put an end to his anticipa tions of sport. He promptly took them off, and could not be induced to put them on again during the winter. Ice coming again

with the next winter, he went out with the boys as before, put on the skates a second time, and glided away from everybody-a skillful master of the art! Between his fall and the second time he buckled on the skates, he had become a skillful skater—not on but off the ice! The boy had thought it | out. Going along the road to school during the summer-anywhere, everywhere without a word on the subject to anybody, the lad was trying the slide, studying it, until he had mastered its theory and the concept was clear. Then much of the strength and skill acquired in other directions here came into play, and he led the lively company many a merry chase.

Hunting with shot-gun or rifle among the Green Mountains; fishing in the streams. and lakes, living in the woods, under the trees, in the shadow of the rocks, or beneath the open sky; at home in marshes and meadows the eagerly observant student of birds and beasts and fishes, trees and plants and flowers, clouds and sky and stars, natural appearances and phenomena in manifold variety-he early acquired that love of nature in her ten thousand phases and objects of interest, which gives so much of added charm to his conversation, to his platform addresses, and to all his literary work.

Some years since, at the corporation dinner at Burlington, Vermont-which is given. by the city corporation on graduation day to the University and its alumni-at the right and left of the President of the University sat Dr. McCosh, president of Princeton College, and Dr. Higbee, president of Mercersburg Theological Seminary. After Dr. McCosh had been introduced and had made his speech, the President, in introducing Dr. Higbee, remarked, "The last time. I saw him was many years ago, on the campus behind the University. It was on the day when his class graduated. He had the foot-ball in his hand, as he shouted, 'Here goes for the last kick!' The records of the University show that the ball went over the four-story building, three feet higher than it was ever kicked before or since!"

This "muscular" introduction-worthy the prowess of a brilliant Eton or Harrow or Rugby boy, come back to an alumni dinner at Oxford with honored laurels won in other fields-was, of course, greeted with uproarious applause. The triumphs of the playground, the campus, the cricket or the diamond field, we can all appreciate; and with them the brightest minds have keenest sympathy.

On the same day, immediately after his

graduation, he was offered a most desirable position in the office of one of the leading lawyers of Vermont, a gentleman in possession of a large and lucrative practice, which he wished to leave in the hands of an able successor. Had he accepted this promising offer, he would, no doubt, have become known as a lawyer of profound learning, and as an eminently successful advocate of splendid forensic ability. His gifts as a public speaker, his mastery of statecraft, and the fiery energy of argument, or appeal, or denunciation, which would then have been cultivated rather than repressed-ambition lending its sharp spur to his intentwould have made him known prominently in the political arena of struggle and preferment, during the memorable era of the past thirty years.

But he turned resolutely from all this to the higher life of the teacher-student, of college professor and president; to the quiet round of clerical duty-so often a life of actual privation-accepting whatever of duty or obligation a wise Providence might have in store. And well was that choice made.


a clergyman, his rank is undisputed as one of the foremost divines in the Reformed Church of the United States. He has preached thousands of able discourses, but has in his possession probably not a dozen sermons completely written out, being exceedingly impatient of manuscript, seldom caring to re-read a paper or to repeat an address-though at the same time very careful, painstaking and accurate in the preparation of any formal paper or official report, for illustration of which the reader is referred to his annual reports as Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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In the field of instruction, his rank is simply extraordinary. Men skilled in specialties say of him, "Dr. Higbee should teach nothing but Greek,"-"Dr. Higbee should never teach anything but Latin "nothing but Philosophy of History""nothing but English Literature"-" nothing but Church History and Exegesis "nothing but Mathematics"-in fact, nothing but the specialty in which he happens, for any length of time, to be giving instruction, because in it he has become so able a master. So thorough is his acquaintance with these varied lines of study and research that he turns, at times, for relaxation and pleasure, to the calculus in mathematics, or to the Greek comedy in the original, for the enjoyment it affords.

As chairman of the general committee on music and the revision of the hymnal of the

Reformed Church some years ago—with his accustomed broad-gauge thoroughness, in order that the work might be as well done as possible-he made a collection of hymnology, mediæval and modern-Latin, German and English-which is spoken of by those competent to form a reliable judgment, as probably the most complete to be found anywhere in Pennsylvania. Had he devoted his life to Music or Painting, he would have been a master in either direction, the work that he has done as an amateur being sufficient evidence of this.

For an ordinary lifetime he has been on the footing of acquaintance, more and more familiar as the years have passed, with the master spirits of all the ages of history kings whose brows are encircled not with shifting metal crowns but with the aure'ola of immortality; who rule by divine right in the realm of the intellect and in that sphere higher yet, the empire of the heart; whose voices speak to all succeeding generations; whose thought has challenged and quickened the thought of all great thinkers since their time. He is as familiar with Socrates as with Luther; with St. Paul as with Milton; with Aristophanes as with Shakespeare; with Chaucer as with Longfellow or Tennyson. He knows, as Lord Macaulay did, with a rich fullness of personal experience," the feeling which a man of liberal education naturally entertains towards the great minds of former ages," and this is constantly manifesting itself in his addresses and reports. More than any other man we know, "they have filled his mind with noble and graceful images."

Many of his pupils speak of him as a man with the gift or power of inspiring in them a new and nobler enthusiasm, such as no other man could arouse. We have heard our most earnest Superintendents and Principals of Normal Schools, as well as teachers, say this of him in the work he is endeavoring to do in the State. Built firmly into the development of the mind, his work tells mightily in the life of the soul.

The secret of his power lies in the fact that he lives constantly in two worlds-the spiritual, invisible to the eye of sense, being ever the substantial; and the material, upon which we tread and with which we are in contact on every side, ever the fleeting. For him the past and the future are always the present. In habit of thought like this, life is forever lifted out of the sphere of the commonplace-quite apart from the dollarand-cent struggle for power and gain-into that altitude where the " strength of the

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known personally a man so many-sided, or capable of high-grade work on so many lines of effort or another man of whom such an article as this could be written. He will, of course, say on reading it that it is not true of him! Modest disclaimer by a man of merit is ever comely, and generous selfnegation delightful; but the witness is here ruled ont of court. What is written must stand. We believe it-and the present seems a case in which it is not best to wait until a man is dead before the many may learn facts well known to the few.

Ex-State Supt. Hickok, who, from the quiet seclusion of his home in Philadelphia, still manifests a sympathetic interest in the cause to which he gave the best years of his life under very trying circumstances, has incidentally touched this subject from his own point of view, in reply to a private letter written shortly after the appointment of Dr. Higbee for a second term. Though published so late as perhaps to have lost some of its point, it possesses an interest that will attract attention among school men. put the letter into type as deserving to become a part of the permanent record of the present situation in our school affairs, from the standpoint of a veteran observer:


DEAR SIR, *** Yes, certainly! I do agree with you that the public is to be congratulated on Dr. Higbee's re-appointment. It could not well be otherwise on educational grounds, and Governor Pattison deserves great credit for sagacity and resolute purpose in that regard. It is no disparagement to other aspirants for that conspicuous post of duty, no matter what their abilities, that one so well equipped for the work, in technical details as well as in its higher aspects, and so unselfishly devoted to its interests, should be continued where his usefulness would be more than doubled because of the fruitful ex

periences of his first arduous term of service. So far as he is personally concerned, if he had been retired now instead of continued, he could safely rest his official reputation upon his last annual report, one of the soundest, best documents that have emanated from that Department, and very timely and conclusive in its suggestions. It

shows that he has passed the stage of investigation into the scope and tendencies of our somewhat peculiar school system, which, as a stranger to its organization, and history, he had first to make, and writes now with the confidence of settled convictions as to what its future should be. That the Legislature may not, and probably will not, at once endorse all of his recommendations, proves nothing against their soundness. He is not the first Superintendent who has had to wait a decade or score of years for theories to crystallize into enactments. But they come in time, in one shape or other. Festina lente has always been a controlling influence in our school movements, whether we liked it or not; and he is a wise man who recognizes that fact, and tempers zeal with patience. Both are necessary, and in no stinted measure. It is a cause that requires a long look ahead. A Superintendent who is not in advance of public sentiment, as well as fully abreast of the times, would be out of place in that Department. The title of the office-Superintendent of Public Instructionmeans a great deal more than the routine work of the elementary schools, important and energetic though that must be; and true though it be that the school-room and not the school Department is the objective point of our school system.

The Doctor's re-appointment vindicates anew the forecast and equilibrium of the Act of 1857, creating a separate school department, which holds each successive Governor as a moral hostage for the right management of our school system, through the responsibility centered upon him of selecting its chief administrative officer, after he has had nearly the whole of his gubernatorial term to officially estimate men and measures, and thus act advisedly near the close of his term, instead of hastily and under political pressure at its beginning. The door being open for a change after an unprecedented continuance under one head, itself one of the results of that act, Governor Hoyt did himself special credit, at this stage of our school affairs, by going into the ranks of the clergy for a successor, and assuring himself from the highest learned authorities that the right candidate had been presented. Clergymen are educators by virtue of their profession. and this nomination was only reviving the early traditions of the Commonwealth, when the edu

cation of youth, especially in its higher phases, was almost entirely in their hands, and they were looked up to with reverence as the highest authority in the educational world. There were giants among them, and they left a positive impress upon their times.

From 1834 to 1881, all of our State Superintendents were lawyers except three, and of the latter two were professional teachers and one a practical man of affairs. We had many estimable clergymen in the County Superintendency, and in the School Boards, but until 1881 no one of their cloth was placed in supreme command of our Common School system. Now "turn about is fair play," and it seems to me that it was a wise and good thing to let our reverend friends get a foothold on the quarterdeck at last. We shall be the better for it; all the more so when coupled with special qualifi

cations, as in the present case. Dr. Higbee's simple presence in the School Department as a clergyman, disarms and neutralizes the unfounded but tenacious prejudice that still existed against the common schools as "godless" and demoralizing, and his official testimony proves it to be groundless. We know that they level up, not down. In some localities, the only idea of order and discipline, good manners, good principles, respect for authority, that children get, they get in the common schools. The clamor referred to has died out, and under clerical leadership we have more than ever for the schools the sympathy and friendly influence of the churches, which is so pervading and powerful, and whose co-operation, but not interference, is so desirable. Christianity, like the air we breathe and the sunlight that blesses us, is a diffused and subtle atmosphere, that bears healing on its wings far beyond sectarian lines, and through the spiritual sense can be felt like an intangible but positive presence in all educational work.

Genial and broad-minded, Dr. Higbee is and cannot fail to be popular, his usefulness steadily growing with ripening experience. With MacAlister in Philadelphia regenerating the First School District, and himself in the School Department with its comprehensive jurisdiction, the educational interests of Pennsylvania were never in better or safer hands than now, and we have a right to cherish "great expectations as to ultimate results.

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Rev. Elnathan Elisha Higbee, D. D., LL.D., was born in Burlington, Vermont, March 27, 1830. His parents were people of good descent and of marked intellectual power, and the son, while a mere lad, was noted for his skill in the solution of puzzling problems in arithmetic and algebra that came to him from all the region for many miles around. When quite young he entered the University of Vermont, where he distinguished himself in a class of great ability, and was graduated with honor in 1849. He taught a common school in his native state before he was sixteen years of age. After graduation, he was induced, through the influence of his brother-in-law, Rev. Dr. Geo. W. Aughinbaugh, now President of Mercersburg College, Franklin Co., Pa., to engage in teaching in Emmittsburg, Frederick county, Md. Here he was employed as tutor in the family of the late Hon. Joshua Motter, whose daughter he afterwards married. He also taught a year as assistant teacher in the High School of Lancaster, Pa. While in Emmittsburg his mind was turned to the Christian ministry, and he soon after entered the Theological Seminary of the German Reformed Church,

then at Mercersburg, under Drs. Philip Schaff and Bernard Wolff as professors. He was licensed to preach the gospel in May, 1854. In 1855 he was united with the Congregational Association of Vermont, and labored with great acceptance at Bethel, in that State. In 1858 he received a call to the First Reformed church at Tiffin, Ohio, and at the same time served as Professor of Languages in Heidelberg College, located at that place. Some of the pupils who enjoyed his instruction there have since ranked among the ablest linguists in the country. In 1862 he took charge of Grace church, Pittsburgh, where his brilliant sermons attracted much attention. In 1864, while Dr. Schaff was on a visit to Europe, he was appointed by the Board of Visitors Professor of Church History and Exegesis at Mercersburg, and so satisfactorily did he perform his duties that when Dr. Schaff resigned the chair in 1865, the Synod at Lewisburg unanimously and by acclamation elected him to fill the place permanently. Dr. Higbee continued his connection with the Seminary until its removal to Lancaster in 1867, when he resigned, and took the presidency of Mercersburg College, where he labored until 1881, when he was appointed by Governor Henry M. Hoyt to the Superintendency of Public Instruction. During the year 1878, leave of absence was given him for a brief trip to Europe with the view of examining the libraries and studying the educational institutions of foreign lands.

As has been said at some length elsewhere in this article, he is an extraordinary man in many directions, but especially in such as require skill in combination for weight or brilliancy of result. Illustrating this his skill in chess may be cited, for during his college and clerical life he was a recognized master of this fascinating game, and many a confident player of local reputation has come to grief contesting with him the mimic field.

This article would not be complete without reference to certain personal qualities that have been grossly misrepresented. Instead of being the "dyspeptic parson," with teeth on edge, which some newspapers have persistently pictured him, he is one of the busiest and happiest of men, observing naturally Mr. Beecher's three rules of health: "Eat well, sleep well, and laugh well," and without a trace of dyspepsia, mental or physical. We know no man who tells an apt story with better zest, or laughs over it more heartily. The "merry men of Sherwood Forest would have welcomed him with

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"What things have we seen Done at the Mermaid! heard words that have So nimble, and so full of subtle flame, [been As if that every one from whom they came Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest."

So run Beaumont's lines, and in just such company would this man Higbee be most at home, for he knows and delights in the dramas of Shakespeare and the contemporary writers of his era as not another man in tens of thousands can. Dyspepsia! He is one of the gladdest souls that breathe vital air and revel in the sunlight.

Physically, he is a man of tough, wiry constitution, with great power of endurance, and wholly equal to the arduous duties of the two important positions which he occupies. Though, of course, past the climax of physical strength, if necessity arose he could, as of old, strike a blow like a sledge-hammer, with the quickness of thought and the precision of the skilled boxer. When the Institute season or that of examination and visitation of Normal and Orphan Schools is on, he travels continuously by day and night, working and speaking all the while, with frequent sermons on Sundays, at times preaching twice in one day-and this for weeks together, coming out of his busy campaign strong and vigorous.

The only physical ailments to which he has any predisposition, are pneumonia from exposure to cold, nervous stricture of the muscles of breathing which results from occasional asthmatic trouble, and an annually recurring hay-fever annoyance-neither nor all of which have in any sense prevented the full and complete discharge of the varied and important duties devolving upon him as Superintendent.

What was designed to crush him, and would have crushed a weaker official, has but given him new strength, and made more evident the granite temper of his mind and the steel-like quality of his endurance. His numerous friends have been more outraged than even himself at the unremitting efforts which have been made to destroy the reputation, to belittle the character and work, and if possible, to bring into popular contempt, the ripest scholar and one of the very

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