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Laying of the Corner
Stone of the New High
4,000 SCHOOL CHILDREN
10,000 Persons Present
The laying of the corner stone of the
new HiglfSchool building, at the corner
of Bedford avenue and Fulton streets,
in the, Eighth ward, - which took place
with appropriate ceremonies yesterday
morning, was an event in the history of
our glorious Common School - System
- long. to be remembered, not alone by
those who participated in, but by every
friendof free education throughout the
State. A more delightful day for the
ceremonies could not have been desired,
and the programme, notwithstanding it
was a lenthy one, was gone through with
without the occurrence of a single inci
dent of a nature calcalated_tcf mar the
pleasure of the occasion. The interest
manifested by the public generally, ex
ceeded the expectations of the most san
guine friends of Common Schools and
_ Free Colleges.
The programme included a proces
sion of the children of the Public Schools
of this city, which was one of the grand
and imposing features of the day. ..kt an
early hour in the morning the streets
and sidewalks along which the proces
sion was expected to move, were literally
crowded with people anxiously awaiting
the first sound of the music to warn
them of the approach of the army of
school children. -
The procession formed under the di
rection of Mr. R. R. Kelley, Chief Mar
shal, astdsted by Prof. Eaton, on Penn
street, with the right resting on' Sixth
—streeton the following order:
detachment of twenty-six policEL
,, men in full: uniform, raider charge of
- Lieutenant Barker.
State Superintendent Wickersham
and City Superintendent Luckey.
Orators of the day. s • ' -
The members of the Central Board of
The Iron City Brags Band under
• charge of Julius Moore.
The Faculty of the High School and
the Professors of Musk.
• Pupils of the High School; with flags
and banners. The pupils number about
Duquesne School, First ward, one hun
dred and fifty strong; Forbes School,
numbering 'three hundred; Franklin
School, two hundred and fifty; Grant
School, two hundred and twenty-five;
Howard School, one hundred and four;
Lawrence School, one hundred; Lincoln
School, sixty-two; Minersville School,
• eighty-six; Moorhead School. three hun
dred; North School, one hundred and
fifty; Oakland School, two hundred and
twenty-four; O'Hara School, two hun
dred and fifty; Germania Turners' Brass
Band; Ralston School, two hundred and
'• five; South School, one hundred and sev
enty-five; Washington School, two hun
dred and twenty.
At ten o'clock the column moves by
way of Sixth-street to Market, thence to
Fifth avenue, up Fifth avenue to Wood
street, along Wood to Liberty, counter
marched to Fifth avenue, up the avenue
to Wylie street, up Wylie to Fulton,
where 'the procession again counter
' Marched and thence to the site of the
High School building at the corner of
Bedford avenue and Fniton street. The
several schools were designated by neat
and beatuiful silk banners, bearing in
_ addition to the name of the school, ap
propriate mottos, and many of the chil
-dren wore badges upon which was in
• scribed the name of the school to which
they belonged. In addition to the ban
. her described, each school carried ri
beautiful stand of our national colors;
'The little girls were neatly and tastefully
dressed and many of them carried beau
tiful boquets and wreaths of flowers..
ON THE GROUNDS
The preparation at the grounds were
- simple yet appropriate. A beautiful
' arch of evergreens was erected over the
entrance to the lot from •Fulton street
.a commodious platform was : con.
atructed on the foundation of the build
ing, upon which were six of Estys cot
tage orgam When the right of the pro.
cession reached the entrance, the poliee
formed in open order and the column
marched throu gh, the members of the
Central Board of Education, the orators,
of the day, focutly and schollara of the
High School and the Allegheny Quer
tett Club took places assigned them •on
the 'platform, whlle the selpollars "TIE&
public schools arranged along the hill
aide above the building.' The gates were
then throwers open and the vast multi
tude which had assembled on the out
side was admitted; until the entire
lot was a vast _sea of human being's.
numbering fully ten thousand persons,
and the whole presenting one of the
grandest' and most imposing spec;
tacles ever witnessed in this city.
On motion of G. J. Luckey, City Spy
perinterident, Ur. John Wilton, Pres'.
dent or the Central Board of Education,'
Was called upon to preside.' 'Mr. Wilson
called the meeting to order, and at his
request Rev. Alexander Clark delivered
a feeling and impressive prayer, after
which an appropriate anthem was sung
by the children of the schools, under the
direction of Prof. Walter'Slack.
LAYZNG TRE CORNER STONE.
The Chairman introduced' Professor
Philotus Dean, Principal of the High
School. Who had been selected by the
Committee of Arrangements to lay the
Mn DEAN said: It is a custom of men
to mark the commencement, as well as
the completion, of important structures,
with ceremonies and symbols comport
ing in eharacter with the enterprise, and
exhibiting in form their rtispect • for its
purpose. With like interest we have as
sem hied here. This broken ground,
these massive foundations, bespeak the
design of\a large and intelligent commu
nity to erect a noble structure- and tnis
great • assemblage,. gathered hero from
all quarters, with flashing banners and
martial music, attests that the purpose
of this structure tonehes widely and
deeply vast numbers of individual inter- -
eats. The representatives of thousands
are here to solemnize the beginning of
that which, they fondly hope, will prove
to multitudes the gateway of a higher
and a nobler life. Gray headed guard!.
any of the public welfare are here to seal
and sanctify the corner stone of an edifice
to be consecrated to the cause of public
education. The honored head of
-the peple's schools of
no the Com
monwealth of the ble Penn
is here, to • rejoice in one more
opportunity of carrying out thoSe
admirable proviaions of her constitution
which make it the ' duty of her legisla
ture to provide for free public instruc
tion, and to promote the arts and
sciences in seminaries of learning. A
toiling, devoted, yet honorable, and
ever-to be-honored band of educators is
here, to smile upon an effort which pro
mises to assist the ripening of the fru it
agra of their continuous labors. Here
are those upon whom, as parents, rests
the responsibility of having given to the
human race a representative, to society
a member, to the State a citizen, to the
world an intellect, and to God a soul
Here they lift their hand to consecrate
that which is designed to help them fur
nish to the race an improved represent
ative, to society a better member, to the
State a more useful citizen, to the world
a higher intellect, and to God a more ex
A. great congregation of the hopeful
and happy young are here to represent
that vast human tide which ever sets in
from the mysterious eternal past toward
all gateways of a promising future.
And there are also here, warm with the
heart fires of a grateful remembrance,
those who have passed this gateway, and
are now speeding onward and upward
in the path that lies beyond. From the
other side of this rainbow spanned arch
of hope the alumni of this institution
have come here to smile upon those who
have not yet reached it, and to beckon
As the mouthpiece of all these repre
sentatives of interests' and hopes, past,
present and future, ycur speaker is, in
the providence- of God, permitted to be
here, after an identification of two jubi
lees of yews with the enterprise now be
ginning to culminate. Time has not
abated the force, of his early desire that
any institution which the people have
may combine in itself every practicable
excellence., Procrastination and 'delay
have not drowned in bitterness his love
for the cause of popular education. The
obtuseness of the lukewarm and the op.
position of the hostile have not
changed his 'conviction that what
ever is worth having at all is worth.
being - made good; that the people's
schools should be capable of imparting
to the people's children that which is, in
the world's estimate, an education; that
an educational system which the people
pay for and sustain, shall not bd despica
ble in the quantity of its products, when
compared either with what the world
wants or with what the world enjoys:
that the people themselves, who must be
educated in their, own system, if st all,
shall not be looked upon as a pariah
caste In education, shut out from knowl
edge held only by a favored few; that the
talented of the people shall have a chance
of development-in the people's own in
Having been appointed by a Commit
tee of the Central Board of Education to
the duty of laying this corner stone, at'
their command Idepbsit within its crypt
a box of documents, memorials :of the
past history of the High School, signifi
cant of its character and expressive to fu
ture generations; who may open it, of
the purposes of ita-founders. This re
ceptacle also contains evidences of the
present state and workings of the schools
of Pittsburgh. In it are also placed the
1. Conies of all the latest dailies, week
lies and monthlies published in Pitts- -
2. List of members of Central Board of
3. Pittsburgh Educational Directory.
4. Copies of the Pittsburgh School Law
of 1855 and 1869..
IL List of text books in use In the Pub
lic Schools. .
6. Schedule of the grades in the Public
7. SpecifiCations of the High . School
8. Schedule of salaries of Teachers.
9 Copy of rules and regulations of
10. Printed blanks and forms used in
it. Programme - of exercises at 'the lay
ing of the corner stone, and orders of the
Marshal of the day. - ;
12. Manuscript History of High School,
with lista of Faculty and graduates.
13. Manuscript History of Alumni of
High SChlwl, by the*Seeretall of the As
14•' Copy of 111ble, without hOto or com
ment. - •
15. Copies of all text books In use in
pittshurglktiinbllistrict Schools. ,
• 16: 'Spedimens of 50c., 25.,18e.: and - lOcr.-
currency, and 5e.. 8c:. 2e., and-lc. coins.
,point Prof. Dean descended
faltietictlhe box in
the civitYPripared.for It. Cement was
then spread over it and the stone slowly
lowered into position- 1 ' Taking a mallet,
three blows ware struchlen the fop, after
which Mr. Dean continued:
By this solemn act the guardians of the
Public Schools of the city of Pittsburgh
Ilame•and cocsecrate the structure that
shall rise over this corner stone--A. PUB
LIC! MME( senora,.
In it they deposit the evidence of 'theii•
-intentions and their hopes. In their be
-half, end in behalf of the people whom
they represent, we invoke upon these
beginnings the prospering smile of the
great berdircent Father of all. may thi s
•become a building which shall Rive to
the community that erects it its pay in
intelligent and valuable citizens, to the
State that fosters it a proud sustaining
column of capable intellects and loyal
hearts, to the country that protect it a
bulwark and battlement. of freedom,
truth and . right. God bless our common
country, and make her sons the peers of
those of any, nation in anything that
makes cur nation noble. God bless the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and
[ make her sons the peers in intelligence
and virtue of those of any State In our
starry cluster. God bless the city of
Pittsburgb, and make her copulation the
peers of that of any city of . the land, not
only in the abundance and solidity of
material posiessions, but also In the
higher riches of the soul.
The scholars, at the conclusion of Mr.
Dean's address, sang igAmerica," led by
Prof. 'Slack and accompanied on the six
Esty organs by the teachers of mucic in
the city schools. The rendition of the
piece was excellent, considering the
number of .voices engaged i it, and it
produced a thrilling effec upon the vast I
THE ORATION OF JOHN H. HERR, ESQ.
Ladie4 and Gentlemen—lt is with hesi
tation that I raise my poor voice to break
the eloquent silence of God and Nature.
I am cheered, however, by the evidence
of Divine approval and human sympa
thy. I gather inspiration from beholding
this large assemblage of the - scholars,
teachers, and friends of popular educa
tion, and felicitate myself, that I ant not
only of you but with 'you all in heart,
feeling and sentiment in your grand and
glorious work of human improvement.
Leaving the school room deserted, the
counting house neglected, the workshop
forsaken, roseate youth, mature man
hood, venerable age, matron and maiden,
wisdom, beauty ana labor have comae up
here in numbers hard to estimate, witn
banners raised aloft and tun tic vibrating
the air, to celebrate with appropriate
ceremonies the laying of the corner•stone
of the first free academy in Western
Pennsylvania. We meet to mark the
Augustan era in our municipal history
ana participate in an event not soon to
be forgotten. We meet to show by our
presence and example that our hearts
are in the work - this day inaugurated.
We meet to rejoice that the foundation
of this edifice has been laid, that
after years of trials, difficulties and
disappointments, the Pittsburgh nigh
School rests at last upon a basis
as fixed as the sand rock upon
which its foundation stand+. We
meet to congratulate each other that this
institution of learning has been dedi
cated to the education of the masses of
the people for all time. In the name of
the thousands of coming generations
who shall here enjoy the benetits of your
efforts, I thank you who compose the
Central Board of Education, for contrib
uting so much for the welfare of that
common humanity_ upon' which rests all
that is true and good and best In Society.
For providing for the masses a temple of
education, that will rise like the Temple
of Fame reared by the imagination of
Chaucer and perfected by the genius of
Pope, to enshrine the contributed wis
dotn of all the ages of - the'past. 2
• - Vert In he structure that we'ratie
Time Is with materials tilled,
Our to-daps and y*e ter/lass
Are in,. block. , with ss hit:h we be I'd. '•
- Although liVtn. enn, lathe first school
founded in this 'State, declared "Good
instruction is better than riches: - al
though it was written in our State charter
"that the Legislature, as soon as conven
iently may be, shall establish free schools
threughout the State," it was not until
184 that a general system of free schools
was established in our own great Com
monwealth. In 1836 an organiz9d effort
was made to overthrow that system, but
Thaddeus Stevens came to the rescue
and performed the greatest act of his
life in defending it. May we not pay to
him the tribute which the gifted Junius
paid to the'great Chatham: "Recorded
honors gather round his monument and
thicken over him. It is a solid fabric
and will support the laurels that adorn
Oar fathers established the Common
Schools,-but upon us devolves the re
sponsibility of their maintenance and
improvement. In IMS the High School
was a step in the march of progress—and
we are gathered hero to-day to bear the
first sound of the hammer upon the
walls of a permanent structure for free
a , .adetritc- education. This age is pro - -
greisive, we must not stand where our
fathers stood. We must not open the
portals of the future with the rust-stain
ed key of the past, we must advance the
standard of the schools onward and up.
ward, and plant it upon higher ground.
The age demands ** higher ado -
cation. ' The citlzsns of Pittsburgh
representing millions of wealth, ft el
ing a just pride in their vast re
sources and 'unrivaled--manufactories,
should manifest a local pride in making
this city as renowned for Intellect mil cul
ture as ills for material interests. They
should open to the vast congregation of
noble souls here to-day school that
will compare favorably with the Latin
High School of Boston and the Free
Academy of the city of New York, or
any other common echpol in the hind.
An Institution that will prove a studio of
the soul, where the rough blocks of hu
manity may be :moulded. chiseled and
polished into graceful, '
dons of science and- art faith, love' and
valor, where the rich and poor may
press up to the same high attain
ments of knowledge,„ and hand in
hand struggle ter the , vflitor'S crown.
The influence of the High' School
upon the intelligent and indusitial char
acter of society cannot be adequately
measured. From many obscure and
bumble 'homes will be called forth
trained Inventive talent, productive skill
and intellectual taste, which will add to
the general wealth and will carry for
ward every enterprLse which alms to
bless and elevate society; Like the sun
which =ekes each bill top glorious with
ir ftiraterownrantleatilirlife-puise to beat
with songful rhythm, it will send its
male dispel 'the' Moral darkness that
hangs over humanity and cause wealth;
industry and a refinementqd flourish in
its light. • It. approaches that- true ideal
of public instruction where-Ahe schools
shall be free -to all, and attended
by the children ' of nit. Such will
be the High *boot when this struct
ure shall reach conipletioo ' when R a
plitude of grounds shall be ,beautified,
when its walls shall be bung with paint
ings, when its scientific department shall
be supplied with philOsophleatapparatus
and chemical larbratory, whertliterature
and art wiil have a place in its spacious
.Wlll notiziz Over i11e../9flif //et of
its Mutant filling honorable positions in
even , positioic( mercantile pursuit and
mechanical avocation. I shall not make
a defence against the attacks of its ene
mies. The numbers hero to-day indi
cate the public feeling in its favor and
speak louder than words, more con
vincing than logic. But , permit me
to pause one brief moment to consid
er the objectloa of one for whose
opinion I have great respect. Said he:
"Every young man who graduatea at the
High Schoothinks he should enter the
learned or feseions which are already
crowded to xcess. The result is, labor is
deprived of is services, and the number
of non-prodhcers is greatly increased."
I answer thot in this land every man
should havethe opportunity of being
the equal of every other man if he can.
That as you elevate the masses of the
people, the labor of the hand and the la
bor of the brain come more closely tn.
gether. That, wherever education is
freest and best, there does the labor
of the hand most flourish. That,
whenever education, and especially
higher education, is circumscribed and
confined to class, there manufactures
languish, and men of thought and
men of action are seldom found. That
sohlety is beat which has in - the work
shop men of culture and education, and
more of such will be found in work
shops where culture and education is
within the reach of all. All true labor
is sacred. There is a divineness in it,
from the labor of the hand up to the
labor of the brain and heart, which in
cludes all of Kepler's calculations, all of
Newton's meditations, all actedoheyoism
and martyrdoms up to that agony, of
bloody sweat which all men have called
divine. Every one 'should have an
equal chance to win victories in life's
conflict, and as said by the Frst Na
poleon, "The true victories—the only
ones we need never lament are those
won over the dominion of ignorance."
* * * * * 4.. * * *
It la the crowning glory of onr free
born. unsceptred Empire, that the hum
blest individual in it, if endowed
with a noble mind may rise above his
obscure origin to stand among thfogreat
and illustrious of earth. Here, from the
common materials of poverty, a sublime
architecture may be reared that will
stand pyrmld in the solitude of time.
Here, under the free school system, the
poor child of genius, burning with im
mortal inspiration, and animated by a
holy striving, may divest himself of the
beggarly habilarnents of earth, and find
in •drnowledge the wings wherewith to
soar to Heaven." Here, "some mute in
glorious Milton," may first feel the di
vinity that, stirs within Lim; acme Web
ster become first conscious of the power
that will lead captive at his will a na
tion's throng, and
"Leave his le name
a light, a lant Imam an i.e entreat fame "
Here may be nurtured in some !ago
rae us youth a grand thought that will
stand the creea of ages. Here In quiet
meditation and dreamy boyhood, may
breathe some dormant reformer, who in
after years will revolutionize society,
shake the pillars of the throne, and above
the dogma of the "divine right of kings"
raise the labarum of the impreseripuole
rights ol man. Here may be heard some
still small voice that wilt be repeated in
some oratorio of song, some outburst of
eloquence that will till the soul ofhuman
ity with a "boddeas enjoyment"—Tnat
hence some Herschel may ascend to
sweep through, the circle of the stars
as with an angel's privilege, or some self
taught Franklin to tame the fury of the
lightning and rend. it a servile messen
ger obedient to his will—that from this
place may go forth some missionary who
will carry the torch of civilization, and
the inspired Word beyond the seas and
frighten the slumbering heathen god
from his repose on the banks of the upper
Ganges. Here Religion- shall have a
sanctuary and Truth as altar, and man,
breathing the spirit of both, be redeem**
from self, redeemed from sin, and an
notated for the championship of hie high
oestin,y. Other monuments of greatness
may pass away, but the Common School
seems from Its veryopature imperishable.
I read on your banners to day "that
education fosters patriotism"—l read that
the "common schools are the hope of
the nation." Teach the rising youth the
value of their great privileges. As citi
zens and patriots, guard your 'common
schools. Guard them as the ancient
Aztec guarded with superstitious, zaal
the sacred fires that burnt on the sum
mit of the Teocalli—whose extiaguish
meat presaged wrath and ruin to the
nation. Guard them as the angels of the
Lord stood watch and ward around the
ark of the Covenant. Guard them ao the
palladium of your civil -and religious
freedom—the sanctuary of your (.nth—
the shrine of your devotion.
Lifting our eyes heavan wart!, '.et us !n •
yoke the aid of the Divine Architect that
from this high otnineuni, this edifice
may rise lu -unadorned grandeur—lofty
in purpose as it shall be elevated lu posi
tion—the crowning glory of our city,
kissed by the first rays of morning and
gilded by the last beams of sunset. That
thousands may enter Its portals. and
passing beyond with minds enlightened
Lied hearts purified, shall mingle with
the great throng of humanity that is
pressing up to that diviner scholarship
beyond the realms of material things,
when, to use the eloquent language
of Everett', himself a' graduate of
the Common Schools,"after the bloom
of the cheek has ladd, after the wreath
of fame has withered, after the taste of
pleasure has palled, after nature, after
life, after death, we reach at last the
pleasant lands, .
Sweet fields beyond the rolling/ atom'.
Where the philosophy of the mind awaits
at the foot of the Cross from a Wisdom
higher than its own; the complete solu
tion of its momentous problems."
At the conclusion of Mr. Kerr's able
and eloquent address, an ode, written by
one of the faculty of the High School ap
propriate to the occasion, was sting by the
scholars, to-the air "Work for the night
Mr. George W. bithrldge was then in.
traduced and read the &liming henna
'. n 1 - poem, the productiOn of his own
gifted pen written expressly for the occa.
slow • '
Not with the beat of rolling drum,
• Or sabres brightly eleasniuggg,
Not with the pomp of war w Come'
To the utilmde proudly etre ming':
From tombrelue and noisy. IL.
Froln store and school and fa nil i
'PAM home and hail. with royal will, .
And sovereign might the People conic. ,
No more we swarm to stay the blows
Of Treason's arm descending:
We Meet toeless's thedeadlier foes .
Our country's ettbs sitending.
.Wlth trlomph song on thlo blast we found
Aschool for our wriors , training, •
whose arms of Tiu th and Right shall wound
The hosts Of Xrrer waning.
Firm lay tic stone on the rock-rlhhed mound,
With heart-beats store end tendert
:Rose high these trolls! They'll e'er be found
Our country's su e def nder.
Build broad and high on .. tau and mound.
Volta Skyward wall ens Spirit;
And truth-armed wanton, vanward bound,
our country chat tuber t.
And year be year. adown this bight.
Truth's chamioonS WO be itreimilogi
wiik tongue and pen,to a ay the blight
of Error's snbtio sob( dna.
E•en now their youthful units we are
1 heir triumph-voices a et ill;
They soon in the foremost ranks will be—
On the b&ttie•teld they 'II meatus.
In t W he ow
twn Jr e ccnilag years
Pee tise.c oufilet
'Fair match f,r a tnirt.t.lesch appears.
grspples Error griznic.
Yonder are th.y who vrl, Id the Pr se.
Wtitt wit s. ,
i ;mow. hakes iaaln A. Our race, itt:darknels crMNIWg and bless
Behold n br those minds profound
God's tlmeles , law the. strtv, t, sound.
In time.b,rn no,c3 add w..rding-
Al3d near ut Sc.- the true and tried
Th. rlaltfal healer—Sitting.
As teacher now — discus.s et We
Only the 'vice-permitting.
On every alJe. In every wali:
Bu Of human life. we'll find them
ere the }ears of Mite shrili lock
Tne door ni youth tebled theta:
That their heart& inny know nn writin g 4 1,0,
Ther steed no backward turning:
We bide ise—the people cry—
These training-bane of learning. , •
, And to you, young hearts:the people breathe,
A low yourender wanting:
Around brow we hope. to wreathe
An . trimortelle adorning.
May word or detd uowor.hy you
T he'er ditu y our briabteunggiorl;
truthstese last to duty true.—
Ile your live.' undying .tory.
Then gn ye forth, to nobly rope
With FaLseti...oo, Wrong anu Ern::
ye rauld the co al, that gr...re
In darkness. gloom and tern• r:
tipeed ye the whee.s of the lightning Press,—.
our brain-cola Is the tsation , e.
Your hear.', , de. p hokly dress
1.0 soul Ln4nrt.d oration 3.
'There are wor:sla unftund, rich mines on
And fields that await your tilling:
There id W(hilil ULILI Id br dews and thought.
r or earn. at hearts and w.l ling.
Then Loth oh Youth, In your morning years.
At manhood's a , 011.t;111,, stay u..t;
Unheeding Pleas u 'e. scorn log ?cars,
Year Llfe's brief work delay ` st.
The on. on-dr.or, by bolt unman d.
Oc unused 11.11:: • l 4,e1) stanulli...
Ile the cangsnan's rope, a rope of sand:—
Man'a law n s Mood d. manoing.
Ceas- Lot tilt every lID no mofe
Snell Vocert.l 's rod be t le bing:
Nor the hand of ti II fl,lll riCLILY . I3 door
Ite tniust with role dismitsing.
Cease not till told tree thought shall and
In every clone tx resslon;
priest, nor poorer from mini shall grind
CroirJ pure, Dlvine Impression;
Till sin and pain nu l.o,ger stain
h.a•''s sin•wrecked bony evert
And llt , as the iettluje, tniu, slap wane.
un a field of crow. ed endeavor.
Till men no more refo, to clad
The fet of their toiling aisterf. '
Ana "unworthy • about' with voices glad,
When their feet are t. rn with
Then close to teem the college hall.
Close every d..or of labor.
'Tit eminin's sphere to yield to alt
Tne buthly waeta of 11. r neighbor.
Cease not, fair youth, till the druni:trd's
Thts slumbering nation wsken
In the gutter's tiith debssed he Iles,
Drink-marred and man-forsbk-1.:
7 n tit, darkness dim, what triena Maws nigh.
lee oloated hand upraising?
Tls Wt, Mtn heeds hi4m,4l.tng cry,
W.th tenderest pity gazing.
Ob. Woman! tender, lovincr. true:
W..mun purr and huts!
Vas Godlike work ir worthy you,
raise y..ur brothrr lon. i
Then the bail it v re: t from btu trembling baud
And with n—s mbrids - I-vet
This hell•lit brand froxis our dear, dear!and,
Cast oat tbe tiili forever:
ADDRESS BY OEO. N. MUNROE, ESQ.
At the conclusion of the'reading of the
Poem, the President introduced Prof.
Geo. N. Munroe, Principal of Duquesne
school, who addressed the, assembly. Mi.
We meet here to-day to raise another
column in support of the grand edifice of
To this fair spot now to be dedicated
have come from the confines of this
great city earnest friends, lovers of popu
lar education, and with them the bright
and Intelligent youth and happy-chil
dren for whose benefit' this edifice is to
With joyous songs, and with beautiful
banners and glad hearts, they have
come; rejoicing because the work of
education is going forward; rejoicing be
cause to day is laid the corner stone of
another temple for the moral and intel
lectual elevation of man.
What convincing evidence is this of the
powerful hold that popular education
has on the popular heart. Not many
years have passed since our system of
common schools began its great mission
amid strenuous opposition from mis
taken men, who little dreamed of the
good accomplished through Its intru
mentalities.. They saw not in the future;
they looked only at the present expense;
they saw not the wise, patriotic and far
sighted policy kept in view by the sup
porters of the 'system; they re
fused to recognize the Interest that
every good and well regulated State i
has In the education of her children.
They saw not the grandeur of the po.
Eition to be won ter our Country among
the other nations of -kie -world, their
minds did not attain a comprehension of
the idea that the education of the people
was of vital importance to the stability
of the State. But the advocates of our
common shools, men in the highest sense
of the term, clearly comprehended their
duty and that of the State to her future
citizens, and manfully bore back the tide
of opposition and established upon a firm
basis the common schools of our laud.
Little by little the end of the system
began to show Itself. It was invariably
the observation of those who took an
interest In the work that In those parts
of the State where already the people
were most intelligent there most eagerly
was the sytem received and appreciated,
while in the strongholds of 'lgnorance its
growth was 'slow and, it wrs met with
disfavor and 'opposition. Even here,
however, it won its way to the affections
of the people, and through the blessing
of God success Inset last attended upon
its every step, and only rare, individual,
cases are to be found; leavened with the"'
old leaVen, 'who still gainsay and resist,
as far as their little power extends the
onward movements of these, our peo
The speaker then spoke of the demand
for a higher culture which sprung up as,
the outgrowth of a higher oddcation and
led first to the establiehmeut of the eon
tral Board of education, in 1855, `
sepiently to the organization of the
High Sohool'which met with such Dwor
that In 1863 measures were taken toward.
the erection of the new betiding for the
accommodation .of the increasing de
mands of the school.--,
* * *
Here dare taught and practised the cor
dial principles underlying every creed
and profession. Here fionrish industry
and high intelligence. Here the youth
of our city are taught the Useful-sciences
and are fitted and nrepared for the active
pursuits of fife. The hopes of the people
are centred here. They have sent their
children to be educated under its foster
ing care. It has proved a blessiug to
many who are now among you to sing Its
praise, and under Divine Providence it
will rove an Alm Mater to thousands.'
This i p
s a pples' school because it Is em . . intended to break down all those
class distinctions that in time would in.
evitably rot and destroy the essential
principles of freedom in this land. The
rich and the poor alike are educated,herel
and it is the great policy of that
noble band of men who are giving their
talents and energies and time to make
the school such that no better education
can he received anywhere. So that rich
and pcor shall find it to comport with
their interests to send their children here,
and while the rich man's child is being
taught that with cquar advantages of
education the son of the poor man is
every way his equal, the latter may, by
a sound mentalsnd moral training, be so
taught that all his powers may be devel
oped, and his strength and capacity
brought to light. The advantages of such
a school can not be calculated. No
country can afford to dispense with
them, cost what they may. Short as the
time has been since the organization of
this school, its pupils have nobly illus
trated its uses and have amply
repaid. for all the care and ' labor
spent on their education. They have
in turn become teachers of the men of
their day. Some are found in the Chris
tian ministry; some are working np to
high position and reputation at' the bar.
At the call to arms in the day of the
country's peril many were found in the
front, others winning their way as lead
ers of the thought of the day in that
great school cf Public...lnstruction—the
Public Press. Many more have' become
teachers of the youth of our city and
country, and In their quiet and inobtru
sive life are contributing their- skill and
talent to advance thegrand work of edu
Let your eyes dwell for an instant on
the seen before you today. Before us,
floating side by side with our countrys
flea and the beautiful banners of the
school, reared by children's hands, up-
on them are enscribed mottoes, des
criptions of the aspirations of yonth,
their love and praise of education
mingled with sentiments of true, patri
otic feelings, nothing can separate these
sentiments in the warm hearts and
honest impulses of the young. The
sublime sentiments of gratitude prompts
them to look to their country who as
a tender foster mother cares for them
with emotions of the deepest love, while
their minds enlightened by inetruction,
recognize that the best and dearest of
all lands is the land of nativity or their
adoption. ere th state is edcating
such materialWh e
as this the future u of the
country is secure.
- Lay then the corner-stone of our build- •
ing and doubt not that Heaven smiles
upon your work. It is cemented well
with the good wishes and prayers of these
assembled thousands of. innocent young
hearts. The noble and earnest men who
have come to join in the completion of
their labors, the men and women, the
laborers in the vineyard, the earnes.
working teachers, are here, and from all
around this vast city, from the workshop
and the flreside."converging, to this spot
borne by wings - .of.love, come the
hopes and desireS that this people's
school may prove, a b'essing to the land,
and as its stately walls rise under the
care of the human aichitect, let es not'
'doubt that the- Divine- Architect will eo
guide and direct that our building eliall
prove a blessing to the Republic, a greti
tication to her citizens and an Instrarnent
for working out the moral and intellec
tual elevation of our young, and in
everything redound to the honor and,
praise of the great Master Builder.
THE STATE syrratievrENDENT.
Prof. J. P. Wickersham, State Super
intendent of Public Schools, was then
introduced by Prof. Luckey:
Mr. Wickersham said:
Mr. President,:Ladies and Gentlenien:—
If time would permit it, I might make
you a speech, but owing to the lateness
of the hour and the great length to which
these interesting exercises have already‘.
been continued, I will be brief in what I',
have to say. The speaker said he had a •
deep interest in the exercises, in fact
a personal interest. Ile lad all
his life been battling in - the
cause of free schools and free colleges;
when but a boy of ten years, he had seen
the importance of a system of tfree
schools, and since that time he had been
working for the cause. Re felt tin in
terest in the cereinonies in which he was
`now participating, not because cf its im
portance to the cause of education in '
Pittsburgh alone, but on account of the
beneficial effect it would have through
out the. State. The progress made by
those li wing in charge tit& schools of
the city have already been of in
calculable benefit throughout the
State, and -ho was thankful to* Pitts- .
burgn fur it. After referring brief
ly to. the progress of the Coalmen
Schools in the State the speaker said that
he had but one thing to regret to day,
and that was that the scholars of the Col
ored ' co
)ols were not in the procession.
Ile e used to the systetn of separate
echoo '' ?
he echeols were not and never
won! =what they were represented
until they wore free to all. This senti-
ment was applauded enthusiastically by
his hearers. The speaker thanked the
audience for their attention and closed
Mr. George H. Anderson, a member of
the Central Bourd of Education, was
I next introduced and made a brief ad
dress. He stated that notwithstanding
the almost universal favor with which
the Common Sehool system wasreCeived
in this State, and, the rapid progress it
had made toward perfection, . there was
danger ahead. All great measures for
the public good were more or :wain dan
gersand there had already been'an attack
made upon the
.pliblic- school system.
A move had been made to exclude the •
Bible fronithe Commcn Schools, and he
would Warn those who in future years
would control .the sehools, to guard
against such . invasions.
A VOTE OF THAICEst.,::-
On. motion of Prof. Luoky..,a vote of
thanks was tendered to PrOf.,./..P. Wick
ersham, -State Superintendent, for his
presence on the occasion, mad for his able
and elocruent address.:'
The closing ode was. then sung by the
scholars, with, an -organ accompaniment,
after which the long metre dqxology was
. sung, and the assembly -dismissed with
a benediction by Rev. Alex. Clark.
-The vast assemblage quietly dispersed,
the acholartr' of the . several schools in
charge or ctheir respective princlpaki,
marching to their school house; and the
Parents and friends of education,
participated in the interesting and long
to be remeinbered 'ceremonies, seeking
their respective homes. -So - ended one
Of the grandest movements for. the lid
varibement of free education, free schools
and free colleges, that has.yet been made
in thin State, the beneficial vaults of
which will be felt not only in:Pittsburgh
but throughout the Stare, and will be
hailed by future generatiOns as - a living
monument to the noble Minds .Who pro.
joined the enterprise:- • '