Popular Science Monthly/Volume 43/July 1893/Correspondence



Editor Popular Science Monthly:

MY attention has just been called to the notice you have given, in the May number of The Popular Science Monthly, of the second volume of the report upon which I am engaged (see pages 131 and 132 of the May number). I am gratified by the approval expressed of the "report proper," "five hundred pages of well-digested matter," etc., as that is in an especial sense my own work; but it seems to me the writer would have been more just if he had stated that the work was avowedly largely a work of reference, and also that every device had been availed of to facilitate such reference.

This book is made for the use of educators and teachers, and its purpose is to record what has already been done in this country in introducing "Manual Training in Public Schools," and also to furnish those considering the wisdom of making any changes in this direction, with the experience, opinions, and plans of educators who have seriously considered or undertaken the work. All the literature on these topics is ephemeral and not within reach of the ordinary teacher nor to be found in ordinary libraries. It largely consists of speeches, papers, addresses, and local reports. The movement is a live one, progressing by rapid strides, and the material grows rapidly. My purpose has been to get together and put in the hands of the teachers all the material and the latest material possible. Now, the work of planning, collating, preparing, arranging, proof-reading and indexing this big book falls upon myself alone, with aid, part of the time, of a single copyist. As fast as the matter is proof-read it is stereotyped; so the only way in which I could add later matter was to turn the "Introduction" into an extra appendix. I know, as well as the wise reviewer, that if 1 could have had all the material in those appendices spread before me in clean printed pages as he finds it in this volume, I also could have made a smaller and a better-proportioned book; but my aim was to be of most use to the educators and teachers, and my reward has been, much as it may surprise our critical friend, to meet with the hearty approval of all classes of educators, including the Presidents of Yale, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins, Tulane; the superintendents of education throughout the country, educational authorities like Newell and MacAlister, and countless teachers; while the National Education Association in convention at Saratoga last summer took occasion to pass a special resolution of approval.

Now to consider the special features criticised for a moment. The contemptuous treatment given to my first volume by The Popular Science Monthly, and especially by the New York Nation and the Evening Post, was such as to lead me to think that it might be well for me to put on record the approving judgment of such educational and literary authorities as the veteran educators Henry Barnard and George Bancroft, the poet Whittier for his appreciation of Philbrick, and John Sparkes, the head of the Kensington Art Schools. The press of the United States and also of Great Britain and France gave generous and intelligent approval of the first volume of this report; but in the Cosmos Club, of this city, of which I chance to be one of the founder members. The Popular Science Monthly, and the twin sheets over which Mr. Godkin presides, are largely read; and, of course, my standing, in the opinion of those who accept these as divine oracles, suffered! I proposed that this abuse—for the Nation-Post article was largely abuse—should be offset, so that in case any of the Cosmos followers of Godkin chanced to open my second volume, they might find that there were other views!

Your reviewer criticises the fact that the tributes were paid to Philbrick, Smith, and Perkins; but surely, if anywhere it was proper to have printed tributes to these three great teachers, it was in this report, the first volume of which was but a record of their great experiment, as this second volume is a history of what has been the immediate outcome of their endeavor. I should have felt condemned had I failed to pay such poor tribute to them as was in my power. Those three citizens did more for their country than hundreds of ordinary citizens are enabled to do.

One hundred pages of the "Introduction" it was plainly stated were made use of as an extra "appendix," since that part of the book is printed last; but your reviewer suppresses that fact, and implies that this "Introduction" is all a mere mass of useless verbiage.

It is the easiest of all things to sneer, as your reviewer has done; but is it very manly in a journal, professing to be respectable and scientific, to treat a serious work in such a flippant vein? If other books are reviewed with as little of the spirit of fairness, or with the effect of so plainly seeking to belittle them, as is shown by the treatment accorded to this volume, I shall hardly look to the Monthly as giving any very valuable information about the works it assumes to notice. I have thought it due to the work to write this much of protest against the attitude assumed toward it by the writer in the Monthly; but yet it seems hardly worth while, for the verdict of approval by those for whom the report was undertaken had been <riven long before this notice appeared; indeed, the demand by teachers and educators for this "overgrown volume" and for its predecessor is so much greater than the supply that the closing reference to "so many copies going back unread to the paper vat" falls rather flat to those who know the facts; of course, however, the falsehood, which is there implied as a truth applicable to this particular publication, helps to damn book and author in the opinion of the ingenuous and gullible reader.

I. Edwards Clarke.
Department of the Interior, Bureau of
Education, Washington,
April 29, 1893.

[We have never received a protest which furnished us quite so much evidence in support of our own position as does this letter of Mr. I. Edwards Clarke. In his first paragraph ~he shows that we discriminated between the well-digested part of his second volume and the gatherings of his drag-net. In his second paragraph he states that his purpose has been to get together "all the material" on his subject, which involved the reprinting of much "ephemeral" literature, such as "speeches, papers, addresses, and local reports." He does not show that the purposes of a "work of reference," as he calls his report, necessitate the reprinting of these speeches, etc., in full, nor does he seem to see that the reason why such compositions are ephemeral is that they are not sufficiently condensed to be suitable for permanent preservation. We are gratified to learn that our reviewers of Mr. Clarke's two volumes arrived independently at the same opinion of his work, for we find that the person who noticed the second volume did not know what another writer had said of the first in the Monthly seven years ago. We are also gratified to find ourselves in accord with such an able critical authority as The Nation. It is not surprising that a great many teachers and educators have wanted the book enough to ask for it. We stated in our notices that it contains much valuable material, and complained only of the quantity of chaff among the wheat. Mr. Clarke has evidently done his work conscientiously, but he needs the wholesome, bracing atmosphere which surrounds the writers of books that must pay their own expenses, and which the Government bookmaker is protected from. Finally, if any more evidence of his tendency to diffuseness were needed, it would be afforded by the length of the letter above.—Editor.]


We have received the following letter from Mrs. H. Carvill Lewis, in reference to some remarks recently made in The Popular Science Monthly concerning the work of the late Prof. Lewis and Prof. G. F. Wright in tracing the glacial moraine across Pennsylvania. Having given our authority in the editorial (Correspondence Department) in the April number for the statements made in the article Recent Glacial Discoveries in England, in the December number, we publish the letter without further comment:

Hotel Lang, Heidelberg, April 16, 18 3.

Editor Popular Science Monthly.

Dear Sir: In reference to your editorial on Recent Glacial Researches in England, Popular Science Monthly, March, 1803, and to my statement that "it was only over the last third of the work (i. e., in the tracing of the terminal moraine across Pennsylvania from June to October, 1881) that Prof. Carvill Lewis had the pleasure and benefit of Prof. Wright's companionship," may I take the liberty of calling your attention to the inclosed letters, which will explain themselves?

The question as to whether Prof. Wright has on one or more occasions seen the whole or "three fourths" of the moraine in Pennsylvania does not seem to me the point at issue. It is simply this:

Is the statement in Mr. Warren Upham's sketch of Prof. H. Carvill Lewis's life and work, as quoted by yourself, that in "the following year (1881) Profs. Lewis and Wright together traversed the southern border of the drift from Belvidere on the Delaware" etc., "to the line dividing Pennsylvania and Ohio," correct?

To this question an exact knowledge of the facts of the case compels me to answer "No," and in support of this opinion I inclose you two letters, the latter of which was published by Prof. Wright himself.

The matter itself is of little consequence, but as the accuracy of my statement is for the general reader of the Monthly apparently controverted by the abstract you have given from Mr. Upham's article, I feel it best to produce proof of its correctness.

With regard to the map of the glaciation of England, which prefaced your article in the December number of The Popular Science Monthly, I regret to say that it does not "represent Prof. Lewis's work as completed in England by Prof. Kendall." I most heartily wish that it did!

The map in question has in its main features been copied from some of the leading English authorities—possibly from one of the maps in Geikie's Great Ice Age, to which it bears a strong resemblance.

Over this older map, which is quite at variance with my husband's leading conclusions, the tracks followed by Scotch and Lake District erratics, as traced by Prof. Kendall, and the moraine line across England and Wales only, as traced by my husband, have been drawn. The moraine line is tolerably accurate.

The points of agreement between Prof. Kendall and my husband, and the proofs more recently found by Prof. Kendall in northwest England (a part of the country with which he is thoroughly familiar) of the correctness of my husband's views with regard to the origin of the interbedded marine and glacial deposits of Lancashire and Cheshire, will appear in full in the first appendix of the memoir on my husband's observations in Great Britain, which is now in the hands of the printer. I am, with respect,

Faithfully yours,Julia F. Lewis.

The following letter, inclosed in Mrs. Lewis's letter, was copied by her from the work on The Terminal Moraine in Pennsylvania, by H. Carvill Lewis, introduction, p.li.

(Letter of Transmittal.)

Prof. J. P. Lesley, State Geologist.

Dear Sir: In transmitting to you the following notes on the terminal moraine, I desire to express my thanks to the Second Geological Survey, which has afforded me the opportunity to undertake an exploration which to me has been of the greatest interest.

I desire also to express my thanks to those citizens and railroad companies which have rendered assistance in the prosecution of my field work. Especially I am indebted to my friend Prof. George Frederick Wright, of Oberlin, Ohio, who for six weeks—about one third of the time employed in field work in 1881—gave me valuable assistance.[1] While we were together over a great part of the field, portions of the moraine in central Lycoming and southern Venango Counties were traced by him alone, and his experience in the glacial phenomena of New England has been of great value in correlating similar deposits in Pennsylvania.

Hoping the inclosed report will meet with your approval,

I remain, very respectfully yours,
(Signed)H. Carvill Lewis.
Germantown, October 15, 1882.

The other letter referred to by Mrs. Lewis is a letter from her published by Prof. Wright, to whom it was written, in Science of May 27, 1892.

  1. I. c, in tracing the terminal moraine across Pennsylvania.—J. F. Lewis.