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buried in Richmond, and at the funeral his colleagues in this board were represented by the treasurer, Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan. Mrs. Curry, who was then a great invalid, died a few weeks later.
It is not easy to sum up in a few sentences the characteristics of this remarkable man. His versatility is shown by the various positions to which he was called—the bar, the ministry, the legislature,
the Army, the Congress of the Confederate States, the Congress of the United States, the professorship of law, the administration of two educational trusts, the mission to Spain. It was twenty years after the outbreak of the civil war when he entered upon his task as a promoter of peace and union by the agency of education; and during the twenty-two years that still remained to him of life his other distinctions, if they did not vanish, were quite subordinate to that which came from his connection with this fund. As an adviser to the trustees, as the official visitor to the schools which were aided by the board, as the authorized exponent and advocate of general education, as the eloqnent and forcible speaker upon the public platform, he won the admiration and respect of his associates and colleagues. Other leaders will undoubtedly come forward, but the managers of this trust will never fail to associate the names of Sears and Curry with those of Peabody and Winthrop. To these four men perpetual gratitude is due.
II.-EULOGIUM OF DR. J. L. M. CURRY.
BY E. A. ALDERMAN, PRESIDENT OF TULANE UNIVERSITY.
[An address delivered at the 1903 meeting of the National Educational Association, Boston, Mass.]
Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry was born in Lincoln County, Ga., on June 5, 1825, and died in Asheville, N. C., on February 12, 1903. This long life was a purposeful life, rich in experience of men and governments, and full of devotion, of service, of struggle, and achievement. There was never a pause in its unceasing, virile activities, and when the end came I know no man of whom it could be more truthfully said that he had drunk honorable life to its lees. Doctor Curry had been a soldier in two wars, a maker of laws in State and nation, a teacher and preacher, a writer of useful books, twice a representative of his Government at the court of Spain, and a statesman of that truest sort whose faith in the perfectibility of men was unfailing and whose ambition was to give to all men a chance to inherit the power, the beauty, and the richness of life.
The intense, rich life of Doctor Curry covered an equally rich period of his country's history. Thomas Jefferson was still alive when he entered the world. The scene of his youthful activity was the isolated lower South; for, though born in Georgia, Alabama was the State which lie served from his entrance into the Alabama legislature in 1847 to his presidency of Howard College in 1868. He was well born and well educated, and he inherited a certain distinction of manner and presence that commended him well to the genius of his age and region. His young manhood was passed amid the storin of a great argument, made necessary by the silence and indecision of the Constitution as to the nature of this Union. To our minds, cleared of the hot temper of the time, that age seems an unhappy, groping age; but it was a good age in which to be born, for men were in earnest about deep, vital things. It was, indeed, an age of passion, but of passion based on principles and enthusiasın and deep loyalties. The cynic, the political idler, the self-seeker, fled before these fiery-eyed men who were probing into governmental theories and Constitutional interpretations and who counted their ideas as of more value than their lives. The time had its obvious faults, and was doɔmed to fall before the avatar of progress; but there lived in it beauty and force, and a great central note of exaltation of personality above social progress. Around the fireside the talk did not fall so much upon the kind of man who forms the syndicate or corners the stock market, or who wages the warfare of trade around the world, but, rather, simple, old questions were asked which might have been asked in the Homeric age: Is he free from sordidness or stain? Has he borne himself bravely in battle? Has he suffered somewhere with courage and dignity? Has he kept faith with ideals?
Doctor Curry had reached his prime when the great drama, fate driven and fate determined, passed from argument into war, and he himself, caught in the grip of that same fate, notwithstanding all his gentleness and tenderness, played the part of a man and a soldier. He had reached the heights of middle age when the storm had passed and pain and despair had sınitten so many souls. What is there for a strong man to do-a man of heart and courage, with a spirit unspoiled by hate or bitter memories, with a purpose unshaken by any doubt? This was the great interrogatory that faced him in the silence of his soul. There could be no bickerings for such men as he. There could be no crude racial scorn, no pettiness, no puerile obstinacy. His passion was for constructiveness. His supreme genius was for adaptability to environment. He saw his task lying before himlike a sunlit road that stretches straight before the traveler's feet. He was to walk in that path for all his remaining days. The quality of his mind, the sum of his gifts and graces, the ideals of contemporary civilization suggested forensic preferment, but no consideration of fortune or of seif could swerve him from his course. The quiet man at Lexington who had borne the greatest burden of all saw the same vision that appeared to Curry. It was a vision of many millions of children standing impoverished and untanght amid new duties, new occasions, new needs; appealing to the grown-up strength of their generation to know why they should not have a country to love, an age to serve, a work to do, and training for that work. The vision was life-unconquered, tumultuous, renewing, regenerative young life. The elders had had their day. Here stood undefeated youth asking a chance to live worthily in its world and time. George Peabody, away off in Massachusetts, saw the same vision. It did not matter to him that these youths were the sons of men who had been enemies to his cause. It did matter to him that youth which the nation needed was springing up untrained; and, rising clear above sınall passions, le poured his great fortune into the stricken States. Our amazing democracy has nothing finer to show than the spectacle of these three men acting thus largely in a time of national passion and headiness.
The general agency of the Peabody and Slater boards came to Doctor Curry in 1881 as the opportunity of his life, and his last years were to be years of splendid youth wherein he was able to work resolutely for high national ends. The task that confronted him, in its larger lines, was to democratize the point of view of an aristocratic society, to renationalize its ideals and its impulses, to preach the gospel of national unity to both sections, to stimulate the habit of community effort for public ends, to incarnate to young men the ideal of social service, and to set the public school, in its proper correlation to all other educational agencies, in the front of the public mind as the chief concern of educational statesmanship. His task, in its more technical aspect, was to reveal the public school as it should beactually at work in a democratic form of society, with all of its necessities-trainerl and cultured teachers, variel curricula, industrial training, and worthy surroundings. From 1881 to 1895 his work was to be a battle for public opinion. And slowly that public opinion got born, and many earnest men gathered around this splendid figure, and under its influence young scholars had their creative instincts awakened and public men felt its stirrings in the air. Above it all and energizing it all stood this genuinely gifted man-I had thought to say old man, but there was never any suggestion of age about Doctor Curry. He met youth on its own grounds and asked no odds. As the things of sense faded from his sight there was vouchsafed to him that supremest good of life-an honest bit of creative work well done and bearing fruit.
At the beginning of his work not a single Southern State had a system of free public schools. At his death there existed in every one of the Southern States a
System of public schools more or less complete, and a wonderful activity in university, normal, technical, and industrial education. And, greater than all this, a generous and triumphant public sentiment had been aroused that will never stop short of efficiency and perfection. It was given to him to see Southern governors from Montague to Heard turned into educational statesmen and to behold the best brain and heart of the North and the South united in a common and intelligent purpose, to get at this great task right and heartily.
His was the first voice to declare that the strategic point of this whole battle was the untaught white man and his child. He was among the first to declare that there was no place for a helot in our system and that the negro should be properly trained for life in the Republic. He was among the first to urge common sense as against sentimentality in the education of the negro. He caused the world' to know something of the courage and patience and self-reliance of the southern struggle for self-realization, and he made the world believe that there were strength and purpose enough in this people to solve their own problems with justice and wisdom. In the discharge of all these duties of the pioneer and propagandist, no man who has lived in America since Horace Mann has shown such energy and enthusiasm as J. L. M. Curry.
Personally, Doctor Curry was a man to enjoy and to love. He had the grand manner and the social instincts of the old order. He mored in a fine, lordly way among his fellows. But at his heart he was a democrat to the core, and an individualist in the structure of his mind and in his sublime patience with and belief in the unfailing rectitude of public impulse. He had the genins for giving himself out and the equipment of intellect and temperament necessary for his many-sided duties. It did not matter to him whether he spoke before this learned body or in some little country village-he was all there, heart and soul. The real genius of the man, as I have said, was for adaptability to his time and for 3yinpathy and service on the side of its better forces.
The most vivid characteristic of the man was his intense and complete Amoricanism. He had believed in his youth in the ethics, at least, of secession. HA did not change that belief in his old age. Calhoun was second only to Aristotle in his regard; and yet I have never seen a man to whom the flag made such an appeal or to whom the great unrended nation was so dear.
The unforgettable service of J. L. M. Curry was the development of an irresist. ible public opinion for the education of all the people in the Southern States. The great lesson of his life is the joyous fruitfulness of unselfish striving for high impersonal aims.
His fame is secure, for it is the persistent fame of the teacher and reformer. Is it not our task—the task of the living-to press forward with patience and quiet resolve not to be deterred, not to despair, nor fret, nor doubt? Surely this work we are in is the nation's work, and this nation is a great spiritual adventure, worth living for and working for, as well as dying for.
III.-SERVICES OF DOCTOR CURRY IN CONNECTION WITH THE
BY A. D. MAYO, A. M., LL.D.
The death of Dr. Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry at Asheville, N. C., on February 12, 190:3, removed from the Southern States a man who for the past twenty-two years had been not only the most conspicuous of southern educational leaders, but. perhaps, beyond all others, has illustrated the position and functions of an educational statesman. The fifty-six years of public life allotted to him were an extraordinary training for a work of great magnitude in a crisis of the civilization
of the Southern States of the Union. The object of this essay is not a final estimate of Doctor Curry, especially in his public career in his own State legislature and in the National and Confederate Congresses, in which he was occupied from the age of 22 till 41. Neither is it essential to dwell upon his service to the Republic as minister to the court of Spain, including his last visit to that country as the representative of our Government at the coronation of its youthful monarch, a service undertaken in peril from declining health and which practically closed his active life. His career as a southern public man will be written and amplified by those who knew him best during the troubled years of the civil war. But it will be necessary to briefly sketch the first forty years of his life with a view to its influence on the later half, especially the twenty-two years from 1881, when his administration as agent of the Peabody and Slater educational funds was in more than one sense a conspicuous and characteristic educational spectacle before the whole country. The history of the rise and progress of the American system of common school education, crowded as it is with romantic and dramatic incidents, contains nothing more inspiring or instructive than the plain record of what Doctor Curry was and what he accomplished during the years from 1881 to his closing visit to the Peabody Normal College, at Nashville, only a few weeks before his death.
Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry was born in Lincoln County, Ga., on June 5, 1825. At the age of 9 his family removed to the beautiful mountain country of northern Alabama, near the village of Talladega, where his father established himself as a wealthy and well-known planter. Here the boy came up according to the regulation life of the promising son of a prominent southern landholder and slave owner. At the age of 14 he entered the University of Georgia, and graduated at the age of 18, in 1813. He studied law at the Law School of Ilarvard University, from which he graduated in 1845, at the age of 20. His interest in public affairs was already awakened. Until his death he spoke with enthusiasm of the strong impressions then received, not only from the distinguished instructors of the law school at Cambridge, Mass., but from a frequent hearing of the political speeches of Daniel Webster and others famous in New England. Only two years later, at the age of 22, he was elected as a member of the Alabama legislature, and he was reelected for two sessions, between 1849 and 1856.
His most notable work as a candidate for the State general assembly was a campaign in which he was elected over an opponent who represented the Knownothing movement which ran its brief course through this decade. But far more important was his connection with the establishment of the first public school system of the State of Alabama. In 1852 the city of Mobile, then the largest in the State, made its first advance out of a system of public education under the control of a close corporation to a proper common school for its entire white population. A commission from Mobile visited the public schools of New York, Boston, and other northern cities in 1953, and the people of the city and county indorsed the movement by the appointment of a superintendent of the new common schools. A year later, 1854, the legislature passed the act which finally separated the public school system of Mobile from all connection with the rising system of the Commonwealth, save a share in the State educational funds. At the outbreak of the civil war, seven years later, the city was paying $46,600 for the schooling of 6,000 white pupils. In 1853 the governor, following the regulation example of southern governors in those days, called attention to the unsatisfactory condition of educational affairs in the State. A legislative committee's report showed that the original national gift of school lands, amounting to $2,000,000, during the past thirty-five years had been rendered almost valueless by the careless and sometimes very questionable local policy in their sale and use. There were 130,000 white children then in Alabama between the ages of 5 and 15, of whom only 35,000 to 40,000 were in public schools. A legislative committee recommended the appointment of a State superintendent, drafted an educational bill, and published tables showing the condition of local school affairs.
A year later the educational committee of the legislature was reenforced by Jndge A. B. Meek, of Mobile, as chairman, with young Representative Curry, from the Talladega district, as a member. An elaborate report, in which it is not difficult to recognize the hand of the new member, presented the situation. Indeed, it was high time the alarm was sounded, for, in the language of the report, “ of the 140,000 children of school age 100,000 are receiving no school instruction. So great mental destitution is apparent in no other State. The demand for a great advance in educational facilities is clamorous, coming from the great body of the people, who are the chief support of the State in peace and war, its rightful rulers in all legislation, and their voice should be heard and obeyed. The elementary branches of learning at least should be free to all pupils without money and without price."
The bill reported by the committee provided for a State educational fund from the interest on a portion of the surplus revenue of 1836, an 8 per cent income of the proceeds from the sales of public lands, a 6 per cent income from the sales of sixteentlı-section lands, with $100,000 additional paid by the State. A State superintendent of education, three commissioners of free schools chosen in each county, and three trustees of schools for each township constituted the executive force. Even then it required another year, until Deceinber, 1855, to get the new educational machine in motion. After two State superintendents the system had risen in 1858 to 2,597 schools, with 98,000 registered pupils, 42,274 in average attendance six and one-half months in the year, and an expenditure of $564,210, more than one-half contributed as tuition fees by parents. But this favorable beginning was destined to share the fate of other similar movements in the Southern States in the deluge of secession which engulfed the 11 Cominonwealths known during four years, from 1861 to 1865, as the Southern Confederacy.
From 1857 to 1861 Mr. Curry had been elected to the Congress of the United States from the Fourth district, including the six counties adjacent to Talladega. By marriage he became connected with another family which has furnished more than one Representative in Congress for the same district. The new member at once attracted attention in the North by his Congressional speeches, in which a classic form of expression was remarkably blended with the rhetorical fervor then and now characteristic of southern oratory. But already the rising tide of secession had swept away from national moorings the great majority of brilliant and ambitious young public men of the entire South. In connection with Yancey, Morgan, and others, only less notable, young Curry rode the topmost wave in his own State, and in 1861 was found in Richmond, an active member of the Confederate Congress, which position he held till the close of the war, although during its last two years bearing the title of lieutenant-colonel of cavalry and aid on the staffs of Gens. Joseph E. Johnston and Joseph Wheeler. The most important educational result of this experience during the brief existence of the Confederacy has been the two volumes published by Doctor Curry in 1895 and 1901 entitled “The Southern States of the American Union” and “ The Civil History of the Government of the Confederate States, with some Personal Reminiscences." In these volumes the reader in search of the true history of the great war for the preservation of the Union will find in condensed and jndicial form the substance of the library of volumes and documents published in support of the contention of the seceding States. The complete history of these tremendous years has not yet been written and we must await its advent for the information of the relative position of Representative Curry among the elder and more conspicuous figures of the period.