Ohio History Journal

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Ohio Valley Hist

Ohio Valley Hist. Ass'n, Fifth Annual Meeting.           111


believe, unique in receiving an annual appropriation ($5,000) from the

city government, to aid in its educational propaganda.

In truth, there is no reason whatever why this example should not

generally be followed by large American cities. Exactly the same argu-

ment used in behalf of the school system can and should be urged for

the historical society. But such a society, state or local, can lay slight

claim to official aid if it be not popular in its organization and methods.

It must perpetually demonstrate its reason for being, by proving its

usefulness to the public. Its directors must heartily believe in the enter-

prise, and be willing to spend freely of their time and effort. Its sal-

aried staff must be headed by some one holding office for the good to

be done-an historical expert, yet at the same time possessed of a knowl-

edge of men and a capacity to influence public opinion in a good cause.

He must be not a mere dry-as-dust antiquarian, living in the world but

not of it, but be imbued with modern ideas and familiar with modern

business management-an earnest, practical man, in whom both scholars

and men of affairs may sefely repose confidence.

It is gratifying to learn that there is a project for the establish-

ment here in Pittsburgh of an institution such as I have described-a

logical fruit of this remarkably successful centennial celebration. Most

sincerely do I trust that the enterprise may from the beginning be well

assured of its financial future. To many of our municipal societies are

weakly and struggling, with means insufficient for virile public service.

Either well endow your society and its proposed historical building, or

make it an acknowledged part of your general educational system, and

place it in keen rivalry with similar institutions elsewhere.

Given such a society, adequately housed, properly supported, and

Pittsburgh may in this matter easily take first rank among the cities

of America. Her rich dowry of local history will then become the com-

mon possession of her people. Every boy and girl within her limits

will be proud to have sprung from such historic soil. Every foreigner

will rejoice to dwell within the gates of a city whose story, known of

all men, can kindle his affection.







Librarian American Antiquarian Society.


"Among the singular advantages which are enjoyed by the people

of the United States none is more conspicuous than the facility of

tracing the origin and progress of our several plantations. * * With