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Dr. Webster and the Free Academy

page 446 [3 of 3]

"Webster and the New York Free Academy,"
The International Magazine of Literature, Art, and Science (1850-1852); 444-446.
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[continued from page 445]
be interesting if we indicate their character very briefly, and describe the chief teachers. Edward C. Ross, LL. D., the Professor of Mathematics, is, like Dr. Webster, a graduate of the Military Academy, and was many years a successful teacher in that institution and in Kenyan College. He is assisted by G. H. Doeberty, A. M., who was formerly the Principal of the Flushing Institute. The course embraces all the studies necessary for the best accomplishment in engineering, and indeed is as thorough and complete as that pursued at West Point, with the modifications appropriate to the prospective pursuits of the pupils. Theodore Irving, A. M., is Professor of History and Belles-Lettres, assisted by Edward C. Marshall, A. M., and G. W. Huntsman, A. M. These gentlemen have experience, and we believe their system of instruction is in some respects original and in every way very excellent. Mr. Irving in a kinsman of "Geoffrey Crayon," and himself master of a pleasing and classical style. Oliver Wolcott. Gibbs, A. M., M. D., Professor of Chemistry, Natural Philosophy, Mineralogy, and Geology, is one of the best practical chemists in this country, having completed his own education under the celebrated Liebig, in Germany, and since in many ways evinced such capacities in this department, as made his selection for the place he occupies almost a matter of course. John J. Owen, D. D., whose scholarship is exhibited in his ably edited series of the classical authors of these languages, is Professor of Greek and Latin, and we neither agree with nor have much respect for those who deprecate the attention demanded in the Academy for such studies. The French, Spanish and German languages are taught by Professors Roemer, Morales, and Glaubensklee, all of whom are known to the public for such talents as are necessary in their positions. Mr. Paul P. Duggan, a painter whose works adorn many of our best collections in art, is Professor of Drawing.

The Free Academy will fulfil the reasonable expectations of its founders. It is admirably designed, and its appointments and administration have thus far been judicious. We lack yet a University: there is no school in America deserving this title; all our colleges should be regarded as gymnasia, sifting the classes of the common schools and preparing their more advanced and ingenious pupils for such an institution; and the Free Academy may be accepted as a model by which they can be reshaped for their less ambitious but more appropriate duties. This is a subject ably and properly treated in Professor Tappan's recent volume on Education, (published Mr. Putnam,) to which we beg attention.

The whole number of students now attending the Free Academy is three hundred and twenty-nine, of whom one hundred and five were admitted at the last examination, in February. The number for whom the building is designed, is about six hundred. [end of article]

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