« AnteriorContinuar »
flame of lightning; that Butler, the indomitable, unfurled from the ramparts of our treason-bound emporium ; that will victoriously float over Liberty's Dominions, when the ‘Stars and Bars’ will be buried in oblivion.” This was the inauguration ceremony of a brilliant series of flag presentations, which ended in placing an American flag over every public school in New Orleans. The sight of the National emblem waving from the public institutions infuriated its enemies, who in their madness declared, “That their children should not be taught to love the United States Government.” Dr. Dostie, the chairman of that committee which had drawn up the resolutions requiring the introduction of national airs and patriotic sentiments in the schools, says, in his report to the Board of Education, “I have received communications from the principals of some of the schools, informing me that many of their pupils have risen in rebellion and refused to sing national airs as requested by their teachers. I am urged to use my influence in quelling this insubordination instigated by rebellious parents. Upon consultation with several members of the Board of Education, and finding that their views coincided with mine—that it was our duty to enforce the laws governing the institutions under our charge —I have informed the disobedient that the requirements were just, and therefore, irrevocable, and that if they persisted in their rebellion they must be expelled from the schools. Only three hundred of the eight thousand in attendance refused, and were expelled or withdrawn from the schools.” The following testimony relating to the noble labors of Dostic in the cause of republican education, is worthy to be placed among the historical records of those eventfol times when, in the hands of loyal educators, science, poetry, music, and flowers, combine to make Unionism and the United States flag popular in the halls of education in New Orleans. The True Delta, through a cor‘espondent says: “MESSRs. EDITORs: I ask the use of your columns to publish the following well deserved and highly flattering testimonial to the zeal and efficiency with which that pre-eminently earnest Union man, Dr. A. P. Dostie, discharged his duties while a member of the Board of Visitors of the First District Schools. The public generally, in common with the School Board, feel keenly the retirement of so earnest a votary of true cducation. They indulge the hope, though, that the work of regenerating the public schools from the moral leprosy of treason, so happily inaugurated by the Doctor during the past year, may be continued until there shall remain no youthful mind capable of retaining and receiving so unseemly a
taint. ::: >}< >}< sk “I:OARD OF VISITORs of THE PUBLIC schools of THE FIRST DISTRICT.
NEW ORLEANs, Sept. 15, 1863.
“At a regular meeting of the Board of Visitors of the First District Public Schools, held on the 14th inst., on motion of Mr. J. A. Noble, seconded by Messrs. Hahn and Graham, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
“I’esolved, That the thanks of this Board be tendered to Dr. A. P. Dostie for his constant and well directed exertions in the cause of education, while a member of the Board of Visitors during the past year.
“Resolved, That the labors of Dr. Dostie have, in the opinion of this Board, contributed more than those of any individual towards restoring the public schools to loyalty and patriotism, and that we regret his retirement from active co-operation with us in our official labors. “Joesolved, That the Secretary be instructed to forward a copy of these resolutions to Dr. A. P. Dostie. “A true copy from the minutes. “F. O. SCHRod ER, Secretary.”
Dr. Dostie's successful efforts in making treason odious in the public schools, made the enemies of the Union in New Orleans rampant in propagating slander against his personal truth and superior excellence. But his patriotic achievements will bear exposure to the scorn of rebellious spirits, whose tenacious calumnies not only followed him through his labors in the public schools, but in all the reforms wherewith his name was honorably associated. The extent of indignity to which Dr. Dostie was subjected, may be partially inferred from the following acrostic, one of the many low exhibitions of malice put forth to intimidate or prevent his exertions for liberty:“All hail to thee, Dr. may’st thou always prove true, Patriotic and proud of the red white and blue; Do all that thou canst for the flag that once waved O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. Stout hearts fight against it—they’ll rally around : The stars and the stripes they’ll haul to the ground;
In the dust they will trail it, and thee they will hang, Emancipating thy soul to where c’er it may gang.”
In the midst of such enemies, the voice of a friend reached the ear of Dostie, breathing a spirit in striking contrast to the foregoing. In the columns of the New Orleans True Delta, appeared the following lines, a beautiful acrostical rejoinder to that of his enemies:
“Amid the stunted forest trees, Perennial grows the stately oak, Defying all the storm-king's power, Or the fierce lightning's deadly stroke So thou, brave man, 'mid traitors' scorn, Traced the white flame of loyalty In dangers oft, 'mid threats of death, Ever the ‘Friend of Liberty l’ “NEw ORLEANs, Sep. 2, 1864. UNA.” An inquiry into the private seminaries and schools of New Orleans instituted by a Commission appointed by Major General Banks, Commander of the Department of the Gulf—of which commission Dr. Dostie was an active member—reveals the following then existing state of things: “In many of the schools in this city, persons are instructing our youth who avow themselves “rebels' or “rebel sympathizers 1” And many others who show by their evasive manner of answering these questions, that their whole sympathies are with those now in armed rebellion against our Government and shedding the blood of our countrymen And further, that these individuals are permitted to organize schools, teach our children and tacitly or openly instill the poison of rebellion and treason into their young minds ! The thing would seem impossible, but there the record of facts stands, on their own confession—attesting to the impudent daring of a deed which is only exceeded in its violation of all that is right and honorable by the forbearance and magna. mimity of the Government against which rebels and rebel sympathizers are waging a suicidal war, and under whose flag these teachers are or have been quietly pursuing their vocation.”
Said Dr. Dostie, in referring to that commission to visit, examine and report as to the character of the private schools of New Orleans—“I knew that in that work I should meet some of my old personal friends, which the rebellion had made my enemies, and that the interview would not be a pleasant one. It was with no spirit of revenge or vindictive feeling that I approached my former friends, but I will never shrink from the duty of exposing the work of traitors—not if all my friends become my enemies.” Dr. Dostie's unselfish acts often gained him the friendship of those who differred with him. Many of the most bitter rebels speak kindly of his benevolent acts. When Mayor Monroe was imprisoned in Fort Jackson; his wife, upon several occasions, requested Dr. Dostie to urge his influence with General Butler in her behalf. As she was left in destitute circumstances, he went several times to the office of General Butler to ask the favors she required. He also obtained a position in the public school for the daughter of Mayor Monroe. When told that he was rendering assistance to the family of a rebel, he replied, “Must the wife and daughter suffer for the acts of the husband and father ? Bring me the proofs of treason and I will expose the perpetrators. They have assured me that they cherish Union principles, and I have no reason to doubt their word. The charge of treason, said he, when it has a just foundation is a fatal one, in my estimation, to personal character. In regard to that ‘crime of crimes,” I must not act upon suspicion, but upon evidence.”