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3. To name some settlement, and tell who made it.
4. Let one pupil describe some noted person, and allow the class to guess the name.
5. Describe some important event, and let the class tell when and where it happened.
6. Give one or more facts as a cause, and let the class state one or more facts as a result.
7. Let one pupil think of some noted historical person, place, or event, and the others ask questions to ascertain what is thought of by that pupil.
8. Let one pupil think of some historical character, and then give to the class circumstance after circumstance, until some one is able to guess the name.—John Swett.
A Noted Richmond Teacher Eighty Years Ago.
It is a good thing to gather up fragments of local history and biography and save them in printed pages of such popular magazines as the EDUCATIONAL JOURNAL, where they can be both preserved and disseminated.
The facts herewith communicated have been gleaned from various reliable sources, and will, I trust, be of interest to teachers and other readers of the JOURNAL.
Doubtless the fathers of many of the present citizens of Richmond were pupils of an eccentric but competent teacher named James Ogilvie, who came from Scotland about eighty years ago, and established a classical academy in Richmond.
Among his pupils were Winfield Scott, afterwards the famous general, and W. W. Seaton, the renowned editor of the National Intelligencer, and Mayor of Washington. A memoir of Mr. Seaton in the Report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1866, page 82, attributes the varied accomplishments and refined taste of the well known editor to the influence exerted on his opening mind by his teacher Ogilvie “ of whom few persons living at that day had not something to tell, as well respecting his eccentricities as his diversified accomplishments.” In a similar way Mansfield refers to the Scotch teacher, in his “ Life of Winfield Scott." Ogilvie was the teacher of Hon. Wm. S. Archer, and of Commodore and General Jones, as also of many others distinguished in the history of VirElocution was the specialty of Mr Ogilvie who, although a Scottish nobleman, was biding his time to claim the title of Earl of Findlater and Airy, which he subsequently inherited and received.
The restless pedagogue closed his school and set off on horseback to visit the great West, as far as Lexington, Kentucky. I find in the American volume of the Percy Anecdotes, published by the Harpers, the following account of the “school-master abroad,” which may interest school-masters at home.
“After a wearisome day's ride, as night carne on, he sought accommodation for the night at a small cabin. He saw only an old woman who attended to the comforts of man and beast as her circumstance allowed.
“After a supper of homely fare, she said if he 'chose bed' he might take the one in the corner of the only room in the cabin. The polite hostess went out, telling Ogilvie he could undress by himself. He had enjoyed his snug bed but a short time, when the latch of the door was drawn, and there entered a dark looking man of gigantic stature, with stiff black hair, eyebrows, and beard. He was, apparently, about twenty-eight years old, and was dressed in a brown hunting shirt, which partly concealed a pair of dirty buckskin overalls, with moccasins of the same material. As soon as this ferocious looking man entered, the woman, who proved to be his mother, pointed to the bed and enjoined silence. The man cautiously walked to the chimney, put his gun on a rude rack, and sat down by the fire which dimly lighted the cabin. Ogilvie's suspicions were aroused, and drawing the cover over his head, leaving a peep-hole for observation, he watched the man and woman as they sat whispering by the fire.
“The frightened traveler heard the enquiry as to the probability of his being asleep, and saw the woman stealthily approach the bed, gaze a moment, and return saying, yes, he is fast asleep now. The fierce looking man then rose, and taking a huge knife from a shelf, moved noiselessly toward the bed, looked a moment to be sure the stranger was asleep, reached up to a peg on the wall, took down a venison ham, and went on tip-toe to the fire. When the terrified guest saw the tired hunter quietly eat the meat he had provided, and the attentive mother minister to his wants, and both of them lie down to rest on the floor, he began to understand why his kind entertainers moved about so quietly, lest they should disturb his supposed slumbers."
Mr. Ogilvie used to depict this and other adventures in his lectures, which he delivered in most of the cities of the country. The fierce and villainous face and mien he saw by the flickering flame at night, he declared as revealed to him by the dawning daylight were the most kind and benevolent features he had ever seen.
It is sad to know that the eloquent lecturer and accomplished scholar and teacher, after becoming heir to a large estate and an honored title in Scotland, perished by his own hand. After enduring the miseries of disappointment, debt, and destitution he heard of the death of his relative, the Earl of Findlater, and went home to claim his inheritance, but the dreadful habit of opium-eating had done its usual work in wrecking his constitution and impairing his intellect, so that he completely broke down in his attempt to repeat one of his American lectures before the Surrey Institute, and soon after reaching Scotland the pistol finished the work the seductive narcotic began. The death of James Ogilvie, Earl of Findlater, occurred in Aberdeen, September 18th, 1820, in the sixtieth year of his age.
Among other eminent teachers in Richmond may be named the great Unitarian divine, Rev. Wm. Ellery Channing, who taught a year and a half in the family of David Meade Randolph, and also the distinguished engineer, Col. Claudius Crozet.
N. B. WEBSTER. Norfolk, Va.
- DANIEL WEBSTER'S ADVICE.—Other people may find the advice of Daniel Webster to his grandson of use to themselves. He wrote it about four years before his death.
“Two things I wish now to impress upon your mind. Firsı, you cannot learn without your own efforts. All the teachers in the world cannot make a scholar of you if you do not apply yourself with all your might. In the second place, be of good character and good behavior—a boy of strict truth and honor and conscience in all things. Have but one rule, and let that be always to act right and fear nothing—but wrong doing. Finally, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth. You are old enough to know that God has made you, given you a mind and faculties, and will surely call you to account. Honor and obey your parents, love your sister and brother, be gentle and kind to all, avoid peevishness and fretfulness, be patient under restraint. Look forward constantly to your approaching manhood, and put off every day, more and more, all that is frivolous and childish.” -Selected.
School Duties and Society.
BY ESTHER CONVERSE.
“I am thoroughly disgusted,” said Carrie Howard, as she threw aside her wraps in her aunt's sitting-room ; “ I will not go into society again while I am teaching.'
" What is the matter?" asked Mrs. Carter.
“People talk to me of nothing but my school; did you not hear them this evening? • Do you enjoy your school, Miss Howard ?' 'Are you fond of teaching? How many pupils have you? Is it not very fatiguing?' What branches do you teach ?' and so on, on every side, throughout the evening. Do I look like a walking curri. culum ? Am I surrounded by a halo of arithmetical symbols? Are there geometrical angles and curves about my person? Do you see history in my eyes, grammar upon my lips, crayon dust in my hair, ink on my fingers ?".
“My dear," interrupted Mrs. Carter, “ listen to me while you regain your breath. This is not a new experience, I think. I have often noticed this limitation of subjects, but supposed it not disagreeable to teachers.”
" You surely cannot think I enjoy losing my personality ; since I began to teach I seem to be only a unit among the three hundred thousand teachers of the United States."
“Carrie," said Mrs. Carter, gravely, “are you wholly irresponsible for the conditions you deplore ?”
“ Why, Aunt Mary, you cannot think I desired or encouraged conversation to run in that channel through the entire evening? Please tell me what I have done to suggest such a thought ?
"I have wished to speak with you on this subject; can you bear a little plain, un. tarnished truth?"
“ Say whatever you please, auntie; if I am in fault I wish to know it.”
“I need not remind you, my dear, that since you began to teach you have gradu. ally withdrawn yourself from the social pleasures and duties you once found so enjoy. able. I know what you would say. You would plead fatigue and school duties; but do you not know that change is often better than inactivity, and recreation more beneficial than repose ? You think you did not encourage conversation to run in the channel so distasteful to you, but when you were asked to sing, your reply was that school duties required so much of your time you were entirely out of practice; you had lost interest in wood-carving and tile decoration ; you had not attended the reception at the art rooms; had not seen the pictures on exhibition at Lanier's, nor visited the flower show, for the same reason. You have left the Sunday School, and declined to take the class Mr. Wheaton so earnestly desired ; you could not accompany the children in the cantata Miss White is arranging ; your memory can doubtless supply other instances. Do you not see, my dear, that you limit those who wish to converse with you to the one subject ? and that you are defrauding yourself of opportunities for broadening your life and cultivating both mind and heart ?"
“But, Aunt Mary, you do not know how exhausting my work is. I need all my time and strength for the faithful performance of school duties."
“I understand it perfectly, Carrie ; you have forgotten my half-dozen years of teaching. One needs to be well furnished for the work. You certainly are ; and it
is not necessarily exhausting; gentlemen seldom complain of the labor. It would be interesting to know when or by whom teachers were first set apart as a class. Dr. Barlow said, last week, when making up his church committees, that he had avoided putting teachers upon them, knowing how arduous were their labors; yet I noticed the names of housekeepers and mothers whose time is less at their own disposal. It would have seemed absurd had he said, 'I have put no lawyers or bank tellers upon these committees.' Yet if you compare your tasks with Walter's duties at the bank. I think you will find them less fatiguing."
“You are right, Aunt Mary, and Walter is a teller' only at the bank, while I am a teacher wherever I go; his occupation is known to few. What can I do to put myself right?”
“I leave that to you, dear; your good sense will direct you in systematizing your work; in your father's house you had his time at your command, and were subject to more interruptions than here.”
Carrie's good sense directed her to ask advice of her cousin Walter. She knew how burdensome were his duties, and how faithfully they were performed; yet he seemed to be always at “leisure with himself,” and ever ready to assist others. At literary gatherings, in society, at church, and at home, he was ready and helpful. Walter had noticed that the teacher was rapidly absorbing his cousin, and laughingly told her that she wore her office precisely as she wore her breast-pin. “You keep it in the foreground, and wear it with a martyr-like air, as if you were saying, “Know all present that I belong to that noble, long-suffering, under-valued class, known as teachers!' In the commercial world," he continued, "we have kings of business and slaves of business; so I suppose one may be the master or the slave of a school; one must have rest, and occupation that diverts the mind is often more restful than inactivity. You will find that being of service to others, thinking of others, anything that broadens your life and leads from self, will aid you in counteracting the influences that have effected the change in you we all regret."
Carrie had neglected church, society, home, and self for what she had called “school duties; ” she was growing nervous and morbid, but being thoroughly aroused she began at once to systematize her work. Remaining in class-room each afternoon until everything was in readiness for the morrow, she obtained a sense of freedom that did much toward restoring energy and elasticity, and by rising a halfhour earlier she found ample time for the reading necessary for her work.
Saturday morning she devoted wholly to school matters, arranging plans for the coming week, correcting exercises and compositions, and providing subjects, topics, and examples. Church duties were no longer neglected ; a class in the Sunday School seemed no burden; and she found ample time for personal improvement, besides assisting her aunt in social duties, where her ready sympathy and cheerful disposition soon won hosts of friends. Her class did not suffer by this change, for the tired, dis. pirited teacher was soon transformed into a fresh, earnest woman, who brought new illustrations and thoughts from the world beyond the four walls of the school-room. The petty trials and jealousies that once annoyed, found no place in her life, broad. ened and enriched by nobler impulses.
Months have passed since we first met our teacher. We will look upon her again in the same pleasant room, where now she seems the life of the little company present. A gentleman, apparently a recent acquaintance, asks, "Are you a stranger in the city, Miss Howard ?"