Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Education's the altar at which all sacrifice,
Do duty, pay homage, and, like incense, arise
Universal prayers ; for 'tis now, as in days of old,
Centaries past, are gathered the good, the brave, and the bold.
Athens, the seat of learning, of science and arts,
To her center would, from the world's greatest marts,
Invite men of letters - pupils, tutors and sages —
On whose intellect, works, wisdom and valor were wages;
Not chiefly for value, but for honor conferred,
As the victor was crowned for excellence or power preferred,
Let it be physical or mental, for both were revered.
And unto this "Athens of the South” you have come,
Seeking honor and good for a Nation, now one;
States bound by the bonds of brotherly love and devotion,
One great people swept by the same noble emotion.
Channels for thought will be opened, and through them will flow,
In fullest fruition, the current to lands that lie low;
As the clouds arrested by towering crags and peaks
To disperse their fullness, which then flows and creeps
In by-way places and to thousand valleys, giving
One source of life, one free-born gift of Heaven -
Naught is more like than the master-minds of learning.
New impulse thus inspired, and genius will arise
Above the ten-fold barriers youth's modesty supplies ;
Such make the paths green that lead beside
Heaven's stream of knowledge – a crystal tide.
Virtue and intelligence must go hand in hand
If society is to exist or government in the land;
Let us mark and remember what this obligation entails -
Learning without honor, truth and justice fails ;
Education, with religion and virtue, prevails.
To the "sons and daughters of the golden West,"
Eastern brothers and sisters along with the rest;
Northern, also, as broad and as vast as our main
Nashville bids you all welcome, thrice welcome again!
Ere you leave us we trust that you still can maintain
Southern homes and hospitality are not merely a name;
So, with cordial friendship, we give you our hand,
Earnestly hoping that this meeting may ever stand
Educationally, nationally, socially, the first in the land.

HỌN. C. P. M'CARVER, MAYOR OF NASHVILLE. Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Association: It is my pleasant duty and honor, on behalf of the citizens of Nashville, to tender to you a kindly greeting, and to welcome you to our city. I will not undertake to tell you of the many advantages we claim for our section and city; but I will

say that we believe that Tennessee is destined to be one of the grandest States in the Union, and that her capital is, and will be, the greatest city in the South.

We believe that our public-school system equals that of any city in the country. We are proud of our schools and colleges. Our teachers have the confidence and esteem of our people, which was thoroughly demonstrated by their response to the call of the committee when it announced the fact that the National Educational Association had accepted an invitation to hold its annual session in Nashville. When our local committee informed our citizens that the hotels of the city might fail to acconimodate the vast multitude that would be in attendance, they replied: "Our doors are open; bring them on; we will take care of them.” This did not come from one class or one section, but from all classes and from every section of the city.

This fact alone speaks more welcome to the teachers who have met here to-day, than any words that can be uttered. I feel that this city, in wel. coming you as it does through her mayor, has given you a grander assurance of welcome than any words at my command, in the fact that she is the educational Athens of the South; and in her schools, colleges and universities she has provided for the culture and tuition of her youth of every race and every color,

I hereby tender to you the hospitalities, and give into your custody the keys of our capital city, assuring you of our friendship and profound esteem.

TENNESSEE'S MESSAGE OF WELCOME.

MISS DOLLY FINNEGAN, NASHVILLE.
Traveling through the marts all burdened

With the fruit of manhood's toil;
Through the fields where nature showers

Richest gifts o'er Southland soil,
Come you from the “Land of Flowers":
From the haunt of Hiawatha-
And our hearts unite in greeting -
Filled with joy at such a meeting.

“Welcome!” proudly shout the people —

Echo gladly answers “Come!”
Bounding from our eastern mountains,

Murmuring in our city's hum,
Bubbling up in lovely fountains
Where our western river rushes,
Comes the message forth to greet you,
“Tennessee is proud to meet you."

Sits she on a throne of honor,

Famous for her children's deeds;
Shows with pride the long, unbroken

Record of their wondrous meeds.
Yet is ever free, outspoken

In her praise of noble action; -
Northern genius, Western daring,

Ever hold for her attraction.

Glorious tribute to old Wisdom

Is this vast, assembled throng;
Men and women still are toiling

To arrest the tide of wrong.
And not one is found recoiling
From the awful, surging billows;
Looking o'er the ranks this hour,
Think you knowledge is not power?

Labor omnia vincit! hear the

Cry resound so loud and clear;
On each brow is writ a purpose

Sacred to the heart, and dear.
As the years their course are winging,
Each its special duties bringing,
May that purpose find its answer

In the heart of every youth;
Till proudest of all flags shall be -

Waving o'er & land of truth
The stars and stripes of Liberty.

W. R. GARRETT, CHAIRMAN OF THE LOCAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.

Fellow-Members of the National Educational Association: The Governor of Tennessee has greeted you in the name of the citizens of the State; the Mayor of Nashville has expressed to you the pleasure which your visit affords to the people of the city; the Superintendent of Public Instruction has offered to you the welcome of the teachers of Tennessee; a representative of the ladies bas spoken to you in poetic words; and on behalf of the Local Executive Committee, I appear as a witness to testify to the sincerity of the sentiments which have been expressed.

For the past eight months, the members of our committee have performed a double office. As your representatives, we have looked to the interests of the Association; as the agents of our own home people, we have labored on their behalf to perfect the local arrangements for your reception. It has been to us a source of congratulation and pleasure that these two offices have been harmoniously blended. The sentiments which have been expressed by those who have preceded me are not suddenly inspired by the presence of this vast and grand assembly. For many months our people have looked forward with cordial anticipations to your visit. All classes of our citizens — not teachers only, but our business men, our professional men, our ministers of the gospel, and the entire corps of the evinced the liveliest interest in this meeting, and have aided us in our preparations. Our young men have entered upon the work of reception with enthusiasm, and have prepared, at West Side Park, a military encampment to emphasize your welcome, to which I am requested to invite your attendance. We have received assistance from another source, which doubtless you have already suspected, but I believe you will hear it confirmed with especial pleasure. The ladies have cheered us with unfaltering sympathy and invaluable aid. They have formed clubs and societies to provide for your entertainment, and they have manifested their interest in many ways. I have exposed these secrets of the committee-room, for the purpose of showing that the hearts of our people are open to you, and that all our words of welcome are sincere.

press — have

We welcome you not only as teachers, not only as brethren in the great work of education, but we welcome you as friends and as guests. Our people wish to greet you not only in formal utterances from the speakers' stand. Mingled in this immense concourse, our citizens are among you. They will wait for no formal introductions, but will welcome you individually and socially. They wish to welcome you in their homes, and to form your personal acquaintance.

The barbecue introduces you to one phase of Southern social life. It is said to be a peculiarly Southern institution. I do not know how true this may be, but I do know it is typical of Southern life. The barbecue is not only, as defined in dictionaries, “an animal roasted whole:" it is something more. It includes rural scenery, the open air, the canopy of heaven, and social enjoyment. We can have no barbecue in the crowded limits of the city, or in the fashionable park, where nature has been expelled by art.

The Southern people were originally a rural people, and with the recent development of their cities they have not outgrown their strong rural tastes, and may they never outgrow them. They love to select a spot where the trees were not planted by the hand of man, where the spade has never turned the soil, and where the landscape gardener has not dressed nature in gaudy ornaments. In such a place they love to assemble, to recline on the grass beneath the shade of the trees, and to mingle in social intercourse as free and untrammeled as the scene they witness, and the air they breathe.

Our committee have chosen such an occasion and such a scene as a fitting place where our citizens may form the acquaintance of their guests, and where we ourselves may lay down our temporary authority.

RESPONSES.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION.

Mr. Chairman, Your Eccellency, and Ladies and Gentlemen: I thank you on behalf of the National Educational Association of the United States, for the kind words with which you have welcomed us, and for the ample provisions you have made for our entertainment. We are glad to assemble in the beautiful city of Nashville, famed throughout the country for its institutions of learning, and for the culture and refinement of its citizens; we are glad to meet in the State of Tennessee, the home of two Presidents, and the first State to give us a President emphatically for the people— that man of iron nerve, Andrew Jackson; we are glad to come together as a body for the fourth time in the South, for this body has met at Louisville, in Atlanta, and once before in Nashville.

This section of the country has been much maligned, especially for its climate. People at the North, the East, and the West, have hot weather in July; and when the mercury stands 90° they make the mistake of always thinking that it is ten or fifteen degrees higher in the South. We find here no less comfort than in our far New England or Minnesota homes, and we propose to tell our friends about it. Nor is this the only wrong impression that prevails, more or less, in the remote sections of our country about the people of this.

To know you, to feel the warm pressure of your hands, and to partake of the savory roasted fat ox, to listen to your public addresses and to sit in friendly conversation by your side and partake of your generous hospitality, opens to us a new view of your character and purposes, and binds us in friendship and love to you. And, in like manner, as you become more and more acquainted with the real character and purposes of the communities which we represent, you will, I doubt not, be warmed with a new feeling of admiration and love.

The trouble is, that remote sections of our Union, if they do not visit each other and mingle freely with each other, often take that to be representative which is not so. For example, it would be unfortunate for you to take the great John L. Sullivan as a representative of his State of New York.

At its meeting here in 1868 the National Educational Association was a feeble infant. I doubt if many citizens remember that meeting; but like the infant Hercules, it possessed the elements of power; it was organized by men possessed of a great idea - the importance of universal education - men who are still on the ground, and whose names are known on two continents. And now this body is numbered by the 10,000; it has met in Chicago, it has crossed the continent and met on the shores of the Pacific, where the meeting under my immediate predecessor, President Gove, was unparalleled in the history of this or any other similar body. The favorable auspices under which we now meet here are due, your

Excellency and Mr. Chairman, to your untiring efforts in our behalf, and to the cordiality of the people of this city and neighborhood. If we do not enjoy ourselves, it will not be your fault. From the results so far shown there is no room for doubt that this will be a profitable meeting, and that every section of the country will alike be benefited; for the discussions and proceedings of the National Educational Association will be distributed to all parts of the country.

THE SECRETARY OF THE ASSOCIATION. * Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: We are here to-day because of a unity of thought and a unity of purpose; because we recognize that in this

* Stenographer's report.

« ForrigeFortsett »