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Full text of "Memorial of Daniel C. Brown, A. M., late master of the Bowdoin school, Boston, Mass. Not published"

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This Memorial of Daniel C. Brown, A.M., has been 
prepared, and is printed in a limited edition for such 
relatives and friends who desire to preserve in some 
durable form a suitable memento of one so loved, and 
whose name will ever be cherished by them in fond 
remembrance. A complete history of his life and valu- 
able services in educational labors has not been at- 
tempted ; but simply a condensed and brief account of 
his early and maturer life, with a few contributions 
from friends and associates in educational work, who 
well knew his sterling worth as a faithful teacher and 

a noble man. 

J. B. 





Mr. Daniel C. Brown, late Master of the Bowdoin 
School, was the son of Benjamin and Mary Brown, and 
was born in Kingston, N.H., where he spent his boy- 

He showed when a child the same good traits that 
afterward made him honored as a man. Dutiful as a 
son, he learned a trade, but never worked at it, because 
study had ever greater charms for him. Earnest as a 
student, his parents gave him every opportunity in their 
power to prepare himself for his life work. He received 
his earlier education at the academies at Exeter and 
Kingston. Later, he studied medicine for some time ; 
but, thinking that he could be more useful as a teacher, 
he gave up a noble profession for the work of teaching, 
and never regretted his choice, nor have his friends. 

Recognizing the fact that one cannot stand still, 
that if he does not advance he must fall back, he 


studied early and late, took advantage of all the means 
for self-improvement that Boston so generously offers, 
and richly deserved the degree of Master of Arts con- 
ferred on him by Middlebury College, Vermont. 

His work as a teacher in Arlington, Mass., was very 
successful, as many of the pupils of that time, now 
business men of Boston, can testify. To his work in 
Boston it is hardly necessary to allude. Brimmer and 
Bowdoin suggest his name, which alone is sufficient to 
awaken the memories of many of the best men and 
women in the city ; and not alone do men and women 
think with gratitude of the dear teacher, but girls of 
all ages in that section of the city in which he worked 
so conscientiously for almost thirty years. As the able 
and devoted head of the Bowdoin School, he did a 
grand work for the city, yet so quietly and unobtru- 
sively that few beside his own scholars and co-laborers 
had any just appreciation of his high worth. The city 
is largely indebted to him, not only for his own ser- 
vices as teacher, but also for a most able corps of 
assistants selected by his ripe judgment. 

His modesty caused him to shrink from putting forth 
his own views in public too frequently ; yet, in the quiet 
atmosphere of his school-room and home, he was ever 
true to his convictions of duty. So engrossed was he 
in the interests of the school that it was too late for 
Nature to rally when he heeded the warnings of dis- 

ease. What the effort to give up his trust cost him, 
only those who knew his love for the work can under- 
stand. His friends hoped that he would live many 
years to enjoy his well-earned rest. 

He was a faithful and affectionate son, a helpful and 
loving brother, and later in life a most devoted hus- 
band and father. He married Miss Rose J. Prescott, a 
lady born in Deerfield, N.H., and educated near Boston. 
Those who were privileged to know him in his home 
have the pleasantest recollections of his married life. 
A cordial welcome ever awaited his friends, so willing 
was he to share his joys with others. Long will his 
genial greeting be missed. He leaves a little daughter, 
who is tenderly attached to him, and a wife whose 
heart is very deeply smitten by her bereavement. 


Daniel C. Brown died on the afternoon of Thurs- 
day, July 3, 1884. 

Funeral services were held on the afternoon of Sun- 
day, July 6, at 3 o'clock, at Hotel Waterston, on 
Bulfinch Place. 

The parlors were thronged with friends, past pupils, 
teachers, members of the School Committee, and Mas- 
ters of the Grammar Schools. 

On the casket, about which were many flowers, was 
a simple plate, bearing the inscription, " Daniel C. 
Brown, aged 69 years, 9 months, 29 days." 

The funeral services were conducted by the venerable 
Dr. Miner, who read appropriate selections from the 
Bible, spoke fittingly of the pure life and noble work 
of Mr. Brown, and of the lessons it taught, and out 
of the abundance of his heart uttered words of faith, 
consolation, and hope to those who mourned. 

In beautiful accord with these words from Dr. Miner 
was the " Service of Song " by the Ruggles-Street 
Quartette Choir, who sang " Come Unto Me," " Let 



Them Sleep, They Shall Wake to Life Again," and 
" Gathering Home." 

The pall-bearers were Messrs. James A. Page, Robert 
Swan, James F. Blackinton, and W. L. P. Boardman, 
masters of grammar schools with whom the deceased 
had long been associated. 

The remains were taken to Mt. Auburn and placed 
in the receiving tomb, whence they were removed, on 
Oct. lo, and laid in their final resting-place, lot No. 


"Dust to Dust." 

W. L. P. B. 



Milton, Mass., July 29, 1884. 
My Dear Mrs. Brown : 

Your note of the 27th came last evening. We are 
very glad to learn from it that you are getting the rest 
and quiet you must need so much, after weeks of care, 
anxiety, and watching, and hopes disappointed, and the 
great loss and sorrow, at last. 

Why God permits such great and seemingly unneces- 
sary sorrows to come is past our finding out. But 
certain it is, that such an experience either so expands 
our powers of endurance or deadens our sensibilities, that 
all other troubles seem but " light afflictions." And yet 
all is not gone. Let us trust you are to find, in the care 
and nurture of the dear little child, a well-spring of hope 
and joy and peace at the last. 

It will be thirty years next September since my work 
in Boston began, and Mr. Brown came into the city to 
live. He had been in the Brimmer School some years 
then, but had lived in West Cambridge (now Arlington), 


For many years thereafter we boarded together for the 
most part ; occupying the same room ; attending the 
same church ; the same and many courses of Lowell and 
other lectures ; the same French lessons for several 
seasons ; the same elocution lessons ; witnessed the 
same plays ; voted mainly the same tickets ; were 
together during the rise, the progress, and the ending 
of the great war of the Rebellion ; shared in its 
anxieties, excitements, and surprises ; rejoiced in the 
emancipation it brought ; grew almost wild with joy 
over Lee's surrender, and mourned with the whole 
nation for its sons slain, and the tragic death of its 
martyr President. From the first, and all along, we 
were interested in the same work ; went out much 
together; and, in "daily walk and conversation," I 
trust, for good, mutually influenced each other. At 
least, I am sure, his influence upon me was good, and 
only good. In all my years with him, I never saw 
anything that was low, or base, or impure. 

We were one year together in the Brimmer School 
with Mr. Bates, whom we both loved and honored, and 
who has, I think, never had any one associated with 
him whom he held in such high esteem as Mr. Brown. 
Then he was made master of the Bowdoin School ; but 
we continued boarding together, most of the time, until 
my marriage. Since that, we have seen him much less 
than we have wished. The absorbing and exhausting 


nature of his work, and his very retiring disposition, 
kept him too much away from us for our good. But 
it has always been with pleasure that we have seen 
him at our house, or have met him elsewhere. 

When sickness came to him, it seemed as if it had 
come to one of our own household. His death has taken 
from me a more than brother. There is no man left 
now whom I know, or by whom I am known, as we 
knew each other. 

In our maturer years we may make new acquaint- 
ances, but seldom intimate friends ; and, thus, you will 
see how, in a measure, I am able to understand and 
sympathize with you in your great bereavement, for I 
too have suffered loss. 

It will always be a pleasant thought to me that the 
last few years of his life were made his happiest, in 
a home of his own ; and that a little child came to 
sit on his knee and call him "father." 

When in his last sore needs I witnessed the unspeak- 
able joy and peace which the ministering of loving hands 
brought to him, I felt renewedly grateful to our God, 
who had " set the desolate in families." 

Mrs. Boardman and Sam. join me in love and sym- 
pathy, and assurances of our interest in and for the 
family of my dear old friend. 

Ever very sincerely yours, 

W, L. P. Boardman. 





At the October meeting of the Boston Masters 
Association, — the first for the school year, — resolu- 
tions, commemorative of the late Daniel C. Brown, 
supplemented by an eloquent and fitting tribute to his 
life and work as a teacher for half a century, the last 
twenty-nine years of which have been as Master of the 
Bowdoin School, were presented by Mr. James F. Black- 
inton, of the Emerson School. 

For some years before his appointment to the Bowdoin 
he was associated with the now venerable Joshua Bates, 
as sub-master in the Brimmer School, coming to the city 
from Arlington, where his half-century of teaching began. 
In all these places are left enduring monuments of his 
untiring zeal, his wisdom and faithfulness, and his pure, 
upright life and example, in the love and honor of the 
multitudes he has helped to educate. By his associates 
he was universally honored and respected for his sound 
judgment, his liberal attainments, his progressive con- 
servatism, his unostentatious independence of character 



and thought, and for his simple, manly, genial bearing 
toward all the members of his profession. 

A prudent, simple living had ensured him a competent 
provision for a comfortable old age, to the enjoyment of 
which it was his purpose to retire when the work of the 
year ended. But he died with the harness on, the prom- 
ised land just in sight. Man proposes, but God disposes. 
The resolutions were seconded by Mr. Boardman, of the 
Lewis School. Remarks were made by Mr. H. H. Lin- 
coln, of the Lyman, and an able and discriminating paper 
upon the lifework of Mr. Brown by Joshua Bates, LLD., 
was feelingly read by Mr. James A. Page, Secretary of 
the Masters Association. The resolutions were unani- 
mously adopted by a rising vote, and the Association 

If education be the corner-stone of a republic, in the 
death of Mr. Brown the city and the State have lost a 
master builder. 

The resolutions were as follows: — 

Whereas it has pleased the all-wise Father to remove 
from our number our late associate, Mr. Daniel C. 
Brown : 

Resohed, That in the death of Mr. Brown there has 
fallen from our ranks a faithful teacher, a safe counsellor, 
an upright citizen, and a true friend. 

Resolved, That Mr. Brown, by his earnest, conscien- 
tious, and life-long devotion to the duties of his profes- 


sion, by his scholarly attainments, by his pure and manly 
life, by his unswerving adherence to what he believed to 
be the true and the right, and by his modest, dignified, 
and gentlemanly bearing, offers an example worthy of all 
imitation, commanding our admiration and respect. 

Resolved, That we look with just pride and satisfaction 
upon the record of a full and rounded life, devoted for fifty 
years to the cause of education, inspired with upright zeal 
for the honor of the profession, active with single purpose 
to train the youth of our community to studious habits, 
lofty aims, and useful lives. 

Resolved, That we tender to the stricken wife and father- 
less daughter our heartfelt sympathy in this the hour of 
their bereavement and sorrow. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be presented 
to the family of the deceased. 



Mr. Chairman and Brethren : — 

It has chanced to me to present these resolutions, 
not because I have known Mr. Brown as long as some 
Other members of this Association, not because I was 
as well acquainted with him as were some of you, but 
I have done it at the earnest solicitation of my friend 
and brother on the Committee, who was most inti- 
mately associated with Mr. Brown for many years, and 
who loved him as a brother. 

But I have known Mr, Brown for more than a quar- 
ter of a century ; and during all these years, I have 
known him, as you, brethren, have known him, whether 
for a longer or shorter period, as an earnest, devoted 
teacher, thoroughly imbued with the teacher's spirit. 
It needed but little acquaintance with Mr. Brown, one 
needed to hear him speak but a few times on the sub- 
ject of education, or to visit his school, to be convinced 
that he was thoroughly in earnest, devoted to his work. 



He never shirked any duty, never shrunk from any labor 
connected with his school. Everywhere and always, 
early and late, in season and out of season, he was at 
his post seeking the best interests of his pupils. 

His voice, which was heard all too seldom at educa- 
tional gatherings, was always listened to with profound- 
est attention and respect. He never spoke without 
having something to say, always coming directly to the 
point and forcibly discussing the subject under consid- 
eration. When he rose to speak in this room, every 
man of us felt that something would be said worth lis- 
tening to. No matter whether we agreed with him or 
not, we felt we were listening to the clean, clear-cut 
utterances of a trained and thoughtful mind. He had 
strong convictions on the subject of education, and he 
had the courage of those convictions, — always ready to 
defend his opinions, always ready to give a reason for 
the faith that was in him. 

Mr. Brown, I suppose, would be called a conserva- 
tive teacher. His methods, perhaps, would be regarded 
a little old-fashioned by modern lights in education. 
Such men are needed ; we shall find out sometime, per- 
haps, that they are about as nearly right as any of us. 
He was never carried away by new theories, never rode 
hobbies ; and, while he was modest in the presentation 
of his views, never obtruding them on others, he felt 
most strongly that for himself he must follow those 


methods which long experience had proved best for 
him. And I fancy, my friends, it made Httle differ- 
ence in the result, whether those methods were always 
such as would be approved by a disciple of the " new 
education," so called, so long as there were to be 
found behind those methods the indomitable energy, 
skill, perseverance, and enthusiasm of Daniel C. 

He was just old-fashioned enough to believe in hon- 
est, thorough work in the school-room, not only on the 
part of the teacher but of the scholar ; and if there is 
any one thing more than another, for which the hun- 
dreds and thousands of pupils who have been under 
Mr. Brown's care for the last half of a century, have 
reason to be grateful for, it is for those habits of 
study, of industry, of attention and thought to which 
they were disciplined under his direction. Could we 
call up this long line of pupils and question them, what 
an array of testimony should we have to his faithfulness 
and fidelity ! 

And this, after all, my friends, is the test. What, 
on the whole, do our pupils think of our work ? On 
the xvJiole, — not whether we never made a mistake, 
whether we never did or said a foolish thing, whether 
we were sometimes too severe or too lenient in our 
discipline, but what is the final conclusion in regard 
to the value of our work as it affects our pupils .-' 


There are three stages in the life of a pupil from 
which he regards the ability and work of his teacher. 

At first, the youthful tyro, when he looks up into 
the face of his teacher, — if he is worthy of the name, 
— places the most implicit confidence in everything the 
teacher says ; he never imagines the teacher can make 
a mistake ; he regards every question as settled by his 
decision ; the words fall from his lips as from an 
oracle. This is the age of hero worship ; and then 
the pupil overestimates the ability and work of the 
teacher. Farther on, when the pupil begins to think 
and investigate for himself, he finds his teacher is not 
infallible, — he makes many mistakes ; he finds there 
are two sides to questions which he had regarded as 
settled ; the pupil himself comes to a different con- 
clusion from that of his teacher on many points, and 
often sets his own opinion above that of his teacher. 
Then the pupil often swings off to the other end of 
the arc in his estimate. 

Later in life, when the pupil takes broader views 
and looks over the whole field, if he is unprejudiced 
and has a well-balanced mind, he comes to a true and 
just conclusion in regard to the work of the teacher. 
Happy the teacher who can stand the test of this judi- 
cial decision ! 

If our pupils can say of us, as I heard a pupil say 
of one of our number who passed away some time ago, 


" He was the best friend I ever had," we have erected 
for ourselves a monument, " perennius aere," for we 
shall live forever in the lives and hearts of our pupils. 
Such a monument has our departed brother erected for 
himself. He needs no other monument. We see it 
all around us. " If you seek his monument, look 
around ! " is the inscription which some of you have 
read on the marble tablet that covers the bones of the 
great architect in the vault of the mighty cathedral that 
he planned. If you seek the monument of Daniel C. 
Brown, " circumspice ! " 

Mr. Chairman, this is not the time to preach ser- 
mons or to enforce lessons. Nor is it necessary. This 
sad, significant decimating of our ranks which has been 
going on for the last three years, taking for the most 
part those who for many years had marched at our 
side, but sometimes, as within the last few weeks, tak- 
ing one of the younger and newer recruits, preaches 
its own sermon, enforces its own lesson. 

Mr. Chairman, I cannot stand here to speak from the 
experience of closest intimacy or of endeared friend- 
ship. This I leave to others. I knew the teacher ; 
some of you knew the man as well. 




Mr. Chairman: — 

Though not now an active member of the Boston 
Masters Association, yet I trust it will not be deemed 
inappropriate for me to add a few words to the many 
kind expressions that will find utterance on this par- 
ticular occasion. 

I ask the privilege to say a few words, not only 
because this Association and its interests are most 
dear to me, but also because in my declining years the 
memory of the past and its happy retrospect crowd 
upon my mind, making me feel young again, and ever 
ready to rejoice with you when you rejoice, and to 
mourn with you when you mourn. 

Particularly am I moved, my brethren, to address you 
on this occasion ; for he who has so lately left our 
circle, and who now sleeps peacefully in his final rest- 
ing-place, was indeed a cherished friend, with whom I 
spent pleasant years in associate and harmonious edu- 
cational work, with daily increasing affection and ever 

1 Owing to Mr. Bates's sickness, read at the October meeting of the Boston 
Masters Association. 



growing admiration for his sterling worth as a man and 

With the early life and home surroundings of our 
friend and brother, Mr. Brown, I have little knowl- 
edge ; but I apprehend, like most boys from inland 
homes, his parents' pecuniary means were perhaps lim- 
ited to a strict economy. Thus compelled and trained 
by the circumstances of his early life to habits of indus- 
try and patient labor, there was laid in him the founda- 
tion for physical strength, mental discipline, and moral 
culture that gave prominence and success to his pro- 
fessional life. 

In his early manhood Mr. Brown commenced the 
study of medicine, but soon wisely concluded that the 
profession of a teacher would be a more appropriate 
niche for him to fill, — one more congenial to his taste, 
and that promised to him a better opening for useful- 
ness and success in life. He never regretted that he 
devoted his life to teaching, and his numerous friends 
ever rejoiced in his prosperity as a distinguished edu- 
cator. After suitable preparation, he commenced his 
career as a teacher in West Cambridge, now Arlington, 
and soon established a reputation as a competent and 
successful teacher. Many of his pupils in the early 
years of his teaching, now men and women in mature 
life, most thankfully remember his faithful instructions, 
and will ever hold in fond endearment the man who 


constantly labored to fit them to become useful mem- 
bers of society. 

Mr. Brown's term of educational service in Boston 
covers a period of about thirty-five years. In the year 
1849 h^ ^'^ss appointed usher, and somewhat later sub- 
master in the Brimmer school. A more genial and 
efificient associate in school-work, a more conscientious 
and able teacher, never crossed the threshold of the 
Brimmer. Ever prompt to duty, thorough in instruc- 
tion, and discreet in discipline, he assiduously studied 
not only to properly teach and educate all his pupils 
in practical and valuable knowledge, but also to give 
such a moral bearing to all instruction, as would tend 
to form in them a strength of character that would 
make men, pure in heart, efficient in business, well 
educated, virtuous citizens. 

While in the Brimmer, by untiring earnestness, by 
daily honesty in fulfilling all school requirements, and 
by his prudent and wise management in all affairs, he 
gave unvarying satisfaction to committees, received very 
unanimously the approbation of parents, and the sin- 
cere love and gratitude of his pupils ; and I can call 
to mind no instance in which occurred one word of 
misunderstanding, or even a shadow of unpleasantness, 
during the six years of our co-operate labor. 

On the election of Mr. Brown to the mastership of 
the Bowdoin school, his views on educational methods 


and school administration did not essentially change, 
though a wider field was now opened to him, in which 
he could give full scope to the investigations of all 
theories and measures in school management, that 
might be suggested to his active and inquiring mind. 
Though he succeeded one of the most popular and 
thorough instructors that Boston has ever had enrolled 
on her list of teachers, — Father Andrews, as he was 
familiarly called, — yet the Bowdoin took at once, under 
his administration of affairs, a high rank among the 
best of our schools, which position it has ever since 
justly maintained. 

On assuming the mastership of the Bowdoin, Mr. 
Brown at once took a more prominent part in all 
educational movements. His voice was heard in this 
Association and in public educational conventions, not 
too often, but always with pleasure and profit. He 
never talked for the sake of talking, but always spoke 
to the point in question, and discussed it with great 
frankness and decision. In manner of address he 
was modest and unassuming, never ostentatious, or in 
any respect pretentious. His suggestions were practi- 
cal ; his views clearly stated, and forcibly advanced and 
maintained. He left the impress on his hearers that 
he was a sound thinker, a wise man. 

Mr. Brown, in his social and professional intercourse, 
was attentive to all the proprieties of life. His manner 


was a compound of simplicity, urbanity, and dignity. 
The remarkable symmetry and completeness of his char- 
acter was at once noticeable to all, even on slight 
acquaintance. The various qualities that made up the 
man were well balanced and harmonious. He never 
betrayed in social or public life the slightest manifes- 
tation, in personal manner or in habits of thought; 
those eccentricities that astonish and bewilder. He 
recognized order as Heaven's first law, and to that law 
the movements of his mind naturally and easily con- 
formed. His constitution was strong, his mind clear, 
acute, and vigorous. He had such uncommon strength 
of purpose and perseverance that scarcely any obstacle 
was too great to be overcome. He had unbending in- 
tegrity, never swerving from his honest convictions, no 
matter what might be the temptation. He scrupu- 
lously avoided giving needless offence, and was always 
slow to impute bad motives, when good ones might be 
supposed to exist. He was characteristically modest, 
more inclined to manifest deference toward others, than 
to claim it for himself. 

It has been well said, that "The proper sign of a 
great man is that he succeeds." Mr. Brown's profes- 
sional life was certainly marked throughout with suc- 
cess, and for many years past he has ranked among 
the foremost teachers of our city. He loved his occu- 
pation, and his heart was in his work. True teaching 
requires skill, intuitive aptitude, and entire consecration 


to all professional obligations. Vital success in instruc- 
tion is developed in the life and soul of the man, for 
the prime factor in every prosperous and efficient school 
is the teacher. Such a man was Mr. Brown. He was 
not only sincerely devoted to his calling, and to the 
legitimate work prescribed by school regulations, but, 
also, he was ever ready to adopt progressive measures 
in school management, when fully convinced that such 
measures were practical, wise, and safe. 

He never sanctioned or adopted empirical methods, or 
without careful examination introduced into the school- 
room any crude or new notions in education. He 
heartily despised all shams in teaching. Mr. Brown 
was a close student, a sound thinker; and, in token of 
his scholarship and his prominence in educational inter- 
ests, some years ago the degree of A.M. was con- 
ferred on him by Middlebury College, Vt. It was his 
constant thought and study to teach principles rather 
than facts ; and in his teachings he aimed to discipline 
rather than cram the mind. The cultivation of the 
memory, and that instruction which quickens the per- 
ceptive, and guides the reasoning and reflective powers, 
and gives acuteness to the faculties of comparison and 
discrimination, he believed essential to intellectual at- 
tainment ; consequently, the use of the text-book he 
considered all important in school instruction, espe- 
cially with the older scholars. He always maintained, 
with Dr. Arnold, "that the pupil should not be told 


by the teacher, what he himself could acquire by close 
application and study." 

" It is no wisdom," says this model teacher of the 
Rugby school, " to make boys prodigies of information, 
and mere passive recipients of knowledge ; but it is 
wisdom and duty to cultivate their faculties and disci- 
pline their minds." Ever ready to receive suggestions 
and to learn from others, when settled in his opinions 
Mr. Brown was firm and decided, and conscientiously 
and fearlessly acted up to his convictions. In the 
labor-loving student he especially delighted. "If there 
is any thing on earth," says Dr. Arnold, "which is 
truly admirable, it is to see God's wisdom blessing an 
inferiority of natural powers, when they have been hon- 
estly and zealously cultivated." In this sentiment he 
fully agreed ; and whenever there was honest diligence 
and labor, whether in those of moderate or surpassing 
natural powers, it was regarded by him with true sat- 
isfaction and appreciation. 

Mr. Brown's course through life was never marked 
by a false step ; and we find no blemish in his character 
to mar his reputation, or for which there is occasion 
to invoke the charity of the world. 

Do not the results of such a life, as the one we have 
now considered, bear the impress of true greatness and 
moral sublimity .'' Who can trace out all the streams 
of blessed influence that have proceeded from him dur- 
ing the period of his educational services ? Especially, 


who can hazard a conjecture as to the ulterior results 
of his career, as they shall be developed in the process 
of coming ages? There are many, some of whom are 
in positions of influence and distinction, whose charac- 
ters have been moulded, perhaps, chiefly by his instru- 
mentality ; so that it is not too much to say that the 
man, who now lies so peacefully in his grave, is still 
acting through a thousand influences to bless his coun- 
try and the world. As that slumber will remain un- 
broken while time rolls on, the living will still represent 
him on earth, through the example of his life, that will 
act with mighty power in forming the characters and 
destinies of the myriads he has influenced. 

The name of our departed brother we shall ever hold 
fragrant in our memory ; and, as we dwell upon the vir- 
tues of his noble life, love sinks into forgetfulness any 
imperfections in him whom the grave now covers ; and 
affection lingers with the tenderness of friendship in 
and around the places where he lived, walked, labored, 
and daily held converse with wife, child, friends, and 
his companions in professional life. 

Our friend now lives in a higher and brighter sphere, 
towards which we, my brothers, should daily be incited 
to aspire, that we may stand ready, and equipped with 
the armor of righteousness, when the hour of our 
departure shall come. 




Mr. Daniel C. Brown was for thirty-five years a 
successful teacher in the public schools of Boston, and 
he died with the harness on. When he commenced 
this service, in a subordinate position in the Brimmer 
School for boys, he was already a capable and experi- 
enced teacher, and won the promotion to this place, 
from the principalship of a suburban school, by his 
superior merit. Here his energy and tact, both in 
instruction and government, soon attracted the atten- 
tion of the committee, and after five or six years he 
was advanced, in 1856, to the mastership of the Bow- 
doin School for girls, on Beacon Hill, which had been 
for more than a generation, under the able direction of 
Master Andrews, the foremost school of its class in the 
city. His service in these two situations extended over 
the most important period in the history of the Boston 
public school system. During these years the system 



has been, by successive modifications, almost completely 
revolutionized. The old " double-headed " system has 
disappeared. Separate schoolrooms have been substi- 
tuted for the large hall containing several classes. Fe- 
male teachers have largely replaced male teachers. The 
old primary school-board of nearly two hundred mem- 
bers has been abolished. The grammar school-board 
has been increased from twenty-four to seventy-two, 
and then to one hundred and sixteen members ; and 
finally reduced again to twenty-four. Supervision has 
been provided for by the creation of the office of sup- 
erintendent, and more recently supplemented by the 
appointment of supervisors. The primary schools have 
been graded and grouped around the grammar schools, 
under the principalship of the masters. The school 
accommodations have been immensely improved. The 
pupils have been furnished with free text-books and 
stationery, and thus public instruction has been ren- 
dered wholly gratuitous. Stringent provisions have 
been made for compelling the attendance of pupils. A 
normal school of the first order has been brought into 
being for the professional training of teachers. New 
and essential branches of instruction have been intro- 
duced. Not the least important of these changes was 
the introduction, fifteen or twenty years ago, of syste- 
matic and rational courses of study into the primary and 
o-rammar grades. In the meantime the enrollment of 


pupils has so greatly increased that the present num- 
ber is threefold that of thirty-five years ago, and the 
number of teachers has increased in a corresponding 
ratio ; while the ratio in the increase of expenditure 
has risen not less than twice as high as that of the 
attendance. All these and many other minor modifica- 
tions took place while Mr. Brown was in the service. 
Two of the practical results of this development and 
transformation of the system have been to increase, 
first, the demands upon the pupils, and, second, the 
demands upon the teachers, and, above all, upon the 
principals. In 1849, when Mr. Brown became usher, 
the position of a Boston master was virtually little 
more than that of head teacher of a comparatively 
small school, assisted by two, or at most three, subor- 
dinate teachers. Gradually the responsibility of this 
office was increased, until the master became the actual 
supervising principal or local superintendent of schools 
comprising, in some cases, from fifteen hundred to two 
thousand scholars, instructed by from thirty to forty 

Mr. Brown was fortunate in his first associations in 
his Boston work. This work began in a school which 
was in reality a model school, under the charge of a 
model schoolmaster. Dr. Joshua Bates, who always kept 
in view the highest ideal of the duties and respon- 
sibilities of his profession, regarding nothing as done 


while anything remained to be done. Mr; Brown's 
mind being of that high cast which gathers wisdom 
from the experience* of others, he could not fail to 
derive advantage from the association, for several years, 
with such a chief. He came, therefore, to his career 
as master thoroughly equipped for it by natural endow- 
ments, education, and experience. 

I knew Mr. Brown from the time he received his 
appointment to the Brimmer school as usher, and at 
once recognized his extraordinary qualifications as a 
teacher. It was my duty, during the long period of my 
superintendency, to keep myself thoroughly acquainted 
with the manner in which he fulfilled the requirements 
of his responsible office as principal. With such means 
and opportunities of forming a just estimate of Mr. 
Brown's character and career, -I take profound satis- 
faction in bearing testimony to the eminent ability, 
zeal, fidelity, and conscientious devotion with which he 
performed every function, and discharged every duty 
devolved upon him by the important position which he 
held. He was never found wanting. Noth withstanding 
the increase of requirements which the expansion and 
reorganization of the system imposed upon him, he was 
always equal to every task assigned him, and met 
cheerfully and successfully every new demand made 
upon his resources and capabilities. Always at his 
post, always alert to ascertain his duty and instant in 


the performance of it in season and out of season, he 
had no part or lot with pretenders, marplots, obstruc- 
tionists, and drones. He was equally strong as a 
teacher and as a director and supervisor of teachers. 
He never left a thing half done. He was exacting, 
but judicious in his exactions. He was by nature gen- 
tle and genial, but he never was lacking in decision 
and firmness. He had the art of making both pupils 
and teachers do their best with cheerfulness and good 
will ; they had perfect reliance on his justice and impar- 
tiality. As a scholar and teacher, he was thorough and 
exact, without being in the least pedantic. In govern- 
ment he carried an even hand, being strict yet not 
austere, ever endeavoring in all his disciplinary pro- 
cesses and methods to develop in his pupils the ability 
and disposition to govern themselves. In his endeavors 
to perfect the scholarship of his pupils, he spared no 
pains to fortify every weak spot. In conducting his 
classes, the observer could readily perceive that, while 
he labored with skill and energy to store the minds of 
his pupils with sound knowledge, he felt it still more 
important to inspire them with a love of knowledge 
for its own sake, and to teach them the best methods 
of attaining it. In a word, to enumerate his qualifica- 
tions, moral and intellectual, is but to recite the cata- 
logue of qualifications requisite to constitute the man 
of noble character and the model schoolmaster. 


Mr, Brown was a man of marked individuality, but 
his individuality was not of that sort which manifests 
itself in ultraisms and general one-sidedness ; it con- 
sisted, rather, in a rare symmetry and harmonious 
development of character. He was, in my judgment, a 
man of most extraordinary mental balance. A man of 
such a composition could neither indulge in hobbies 
nor be guilty of shams. The type of his character was 
naturally reproduced in the characteristics of his educa- 
tional work. In his school it was difficult to point out 
any overdoing, and it was equally difficult to discover 
any underdoing ; that is, excess and deficiency were 
alike absent, — and what better description of a model 
school .-* 

As I recall the characteristics of Mr. Brown, I recog- 
nize in him the man of roundabout common sense, of 
high moral principle, of dignified and courteous de- 
meanor, and of eminent practical efficiency. But it 
seems to me that if he had any one dominant charac- 
teristic it was that of fidelity ; hence his devotion to 
duty ; hence he thought more of fitting his pupils for 
life than of fitting them for examination ; hence he 
could always be trusted with the utmost confidence to 
do all in his power for the benefit of the pupils under 
his charge ; hence he worked for good results rather 
than for reputation and credit ; and hence his loyalty 
to duty in every relation of life. He loved and hon- 


ored his profession ; he valued it for the opportunity it 
afforded for doing good ; he chose it and persevered 
in the conviction that it was the sphere of activity in 
which he could the most satisfactorily make his contri- 
bution to the general good. His modesty forbade his 
undertaking to impress upon the profession at large his 
views and thoughts on educational matters by pen or 
voice. But he has left an example of faithful and effi- 
cient service as teacher and master worthy of universal 
regard and imitation. Let his name be held in honor ! 

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