Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11







Those who are charged with the responsibility for the his-

tory of any community have the power to perform great services

for society. The tendency to waste and to be careless of the future

is one of the most dangerous which man displays. Conservation is

one of the most necessary correctives which he has created to

save himself. A state historical society is a great institution dedi-

cated to conservation and therefore of the utmost importance to

the commonwealth. The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical

Society is one of Ohio's greatest assets.

This great institution is not so much devoted to the conserva-

tion of physical resources, although it does its part; it is rather

concerned with that greater and more vital task of conserving

social values. This weighty objective requires that the Society

work with both yesterday and tomorrow ever .in mind.

The social values which this institution conserves are those

concepts, of what to do in time of need, which Americans have

worked out through the years of their historic past. Knowledge

of these values should protect the nation from certain destructive

tendencies, particularly from moral flabbiness. As a people we

have believed in a healthy civic righteousness, a morality without

which democracy--so dependent upon individual and group re-

sponsibility, upon fair dealing, upon honesty in public life and

justice in the courts--could not exist.

These social values therefore are the fruits of the public

conscience:--morality, civic virtue, the national ethics. While

these values are always fundamentally the same, the growing com-

plexity of life has made them, at times, more difficult to main-

tain. More effort has to be made and more ingenious devices

created, to render them effective. The answer to the question of

how to preserve them is found in history alone and it is one of


* Delivered at the evening session of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Ohio State

Archaeological and Historical Society, Friday, April 12, 1946,