Presentation of the Carnegie Library to the People of Pittsburgh, with a Description of the Dedicatory Exercises, November 5, 1895. Printed by order of the Corporation of the City of Pittsburgh.
- Mr. Carnegie's Address.
- Mr. Frew, on accepting the key
- Mr. Frew's Address.
- Governor Hastings' Address.
- Mayor McKenna's Address.
- Mr. Dalzell's Address.
It was the evening of November 5th, 1895. The great gift was finished. In one superb architectural pile the builders had wrought out Mr. Carnegie's plan. Under one vast roof the Library, the Art Gallery, the Museum, and the Music Hall were ready for presentation to the people of Pittsburgh; and the people had come out to receive the gift. The Music Hall was chosen for the ceremony. On walls and ceiling the painter's soft tints shone rich and warm in the generous illumination, while over the stage the radiant arch of white and gold was ablaze with light.
The audience was the whole people by representation. Every seat was occupied, and hundreds stood in the aisles. Artisans in every line of industry; skilled workmen of every trade; laborers, in both special and common fields; toilers, indeed, chosen from every branch of material activity, were there, and with them came their wives. Clerks and merchants, bankers and professional men touched elbows from every chair. The members of the City Councils, all the city and county officers, the Board of Education, the Judges of the Courts, with ladies accompanying them, were in the expectant throng. Society was there in the force of numbers--the society which comprises men and women who are worthy, from every station, in a rich and vast community. And in a just regard for the dignity of the occasion, the audience was brilliant in dress and splendid in its whole appearance. It is probable that Pittsburgh had never before seen so representative an assembly.
In the upper box on the left were Mrs. Andrew Carnegie and her sister, Miss Estelle Whitfield; Mrs. Lucy C. Carnegie, and her daughters, Miss Florence and Miss Nancy Carnegie; and Mrs. Henry Phipps, Jr.
The following gentlemen occupied chairs on the stage, and their wives were placed in the boxes and in seats reserved for them:
The members of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, viz.: William N. Frew, Esq., Hon. Bernard McKenna, H. C. Frick, W. A. Magee, S. H. Shannon, Esq., George A. Macbeth, Thomas G. McClure, Robert Pitcairn, David McCargo, H. K. Porter, John S. Lambie, Esq., J. F. Hudson, George L. Holliday, H. P. Ford, John McM. King, A. W. Mellon, E. M. Ferguson, W. H. McKelvy, M. D.; His Excellency Daniel H. Hastings, Governor of the State of Pennsylvania; Hon. John Dalzell, Member of Congress from the Pittsburgh District; Andrew Carnegie, Henry Phipps, Jr., Andrew Easton, M. D.; Charles Stewart Smith, ex-President of the New York Board of Trade; G. W. Vanderhoef, Alexander King, A. R. Whitney, A. R. Peacock, J. J. Garmony, M. D.; W. S. Hawk, Howard Russell Butler, President of the New York Society of Fine Arts; Thomas W. Wood, President of the Academy of Design of New York; Prof. O. C. March, Chair of Paleontology, Yale University; Joseph Wharton, Hew Morrison, Librarian of the City of Edinburgh, Scotland; A. W. Longfellow, Elmer E. Garnsey, Rev. W. J. Holland, D. D., Chancellor of the Western University of Pennsylvania; John A. Brashear, President of the Academy of Science and Art of Pittsburgh; Edward M. Bigelow, S. P. Avery, Jr., Mr. Chartan, Thomas B. Clark, Mr. Knoedler, Right Reverend Cortlandt Whitehead, D. D., Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh; Right Reverend Richard Phelan, Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh; Rev. J. P. E. Kumler, D. D., Pastor of the East Liberty Presbyterian church of Pittsburgh; Hon. James P. Sterrett, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Pennsylvania; and the following Associate Justices: Hons. James T. Mitchell, J. Brewster McCollum, D. Newlin Fell, Henry Green, John Dean, Henry W. Williams; the following Judges of the Courts of Common Pleas of Allegheny County: Hons. Thomas Ewing, Christopher Magee, J. W. F. White, Edwin H. Stowe, F. H. Collier, Jacob F. Slagle, John M. Kennedy, Samuel A. McClung, William D. Porter; the Judges of the Orphans' Court of Allegheny County: Hons. Wm. G. Hawkins and J. W. Over.
Back of the row of guest chairs on the stage were tiers of seats occupied by two hundred men and women of the Mozart Club. The assembling of the ladies on these seats, in their particolored dresses, gave the background an air of brilliant animation.
It was half-past eight o'clock when the audience on the stage, in the boxes, and out in the auditorium had placed itself for the evening, and an air of expectancy was on the vast throng. As those who had been assigned to chairs on the stage entered from the stage doors, they were welcomed with applause. This was especially notable on the entrance of the Governor of Pennsylvania, the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Congressman John Dalzell, and Mr. Henry Phipps, Jr. When all but two of the stage chairs were occupied, William N. Frew, President of the Board of Trustees, who had given his personal supervision to the construction of the great gift from the start, came in view, and was greeted with the most hearty applause yet. But ere it had ceased, Mr. Carnegie came out on the stage and advanced to his seat, and it is safe to say that a more cordial and generous welcome was never extended to any man. Thousands of hands clapped together in a prolonged and rising wave of sound, full of approbation, of earnest sympathy, and of sincere appreciation of a benefaction well bestowed. Louder and louder, through the whole house, the applause continued, until the swelling tide of enthusiasm burst into a hearty and vociferous cheer. Mr. Carnegie rose from his chair and bowed again and again, seemingly helpless, though happy, in the vast welcome of his friends. Finally he raised his hands appealingly, and the great demonstration slowly subsided, quiet being soon restored.
Mr. Frederick Archer, the City Organist, played Weber's "Jubilee" on the great organ; after which the Right Reverend Cortlandt Whitehead, D. D., Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh, delivered the following
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O Almighty God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, at Whose command Light came forth out of darkness, and by Whose infinite mercy the true Light has been manifested unto men; Vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, to send Thy blessing upon this building erected for the enlightenment and instruction of this people.
Bless him who gave it, and those who are hereafter to make use of it. Send out Thy light and Thy truth throughout this whole community, and direct and prosper this, and all other means of good, that all things may be so ordered by Thy Providence that peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety may be established among us for all generations, to the advancement of Thy glory, the good of Thy Church, the safety, honor and welfare of Thy people.
Most heartily we beseech Thee with Thy favor, to behold and bless Thy servants, the President of the United States, the Governor of this State, and all others in authority; and so replenish them with the grace of Thy Holy Spirit, that they may always incline to Thy will, and walk in Thy way.
And upon us here assembled to inaugurate this good work, vouchsafe to pour Thy heavenly benediction. Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings, with Thy most gracious favor, and further us with Thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued and ended in Thee, we may glorify Thy holy Name, and finally, by Thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who hath taught us to pray unto Thee, O Almighty Father, in His prevailing Name and words,
Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed by Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
After the Invocation was spoken, the Mozart Club, directed by Mr. J. P. McCollum, sang two choruses, "Roses strew we for his footsteps," by Hofmann, and "Song of the Vikings," by Faning.
Mr. Frew then said: "No other words than those of merely formal introduction are necessary to present to you the man who, by his princely munificence, has made all this possible--Andrew Carnegie."
When Mr. Carnegie rose to deliver his address, the purpose of which was, of course, to present his gift to the people, the demonstration was very similar to that which had greeted his entrance on the stage. When at last he could be heard, he said:
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Mr. Carnegie's Address.
My Dear Good Friends of Pittsburgh, and
Citizens of the Greater Pittsburgh that is to be:
The Library Commissioners who have so admirably managed the trust committed to them, expressed some weeks ago their desire that upon this occasion I should state the reasons which induced me to establish among you the institution about to be opened, and the objects which I had in view. With your indulgence, I shall now do so.
The development of a man's intellectual and moral being advances with his years, and with the experience which years alone can give. In childhood and early youth we have, fortunately, time for nothing but play, and in early manhood time for nothing but life's struggle. The keenness of the strife leaves but little time for thought. It is only just, therefore, to take little or no account of the follies of youth, and to expect but little from it, or even from early manhood. Indeed, we should not expect much from those who have to engage in the struggle for existence during the second term of twenty-one years, except, perhaps, the absence of folly and the presence of negative virtues. For positive, good work for others, and conduct flowing from experience and thought, perhaps we do not extend the term too much in fixing it as far on in the second term of twenty-one years. Reference is not made here to those born to assured competency, but to such as are born to the best heritage of all, poverty, which entails, upon us the necessity to render some daily useful service to his fellows, and brings us under the divine order which proclaims that "Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labor until the evening."
It is distasteful to speak of one's self, but as I am called upon to give reasons for what I have done, necessarily these must be purely personal.
It is long since I entered upon the third term of twenty-one years, and into the ranks of those who would push aside considerations of a pecuniary character, and long since I reached that toward the attainment of which Junius says all our efforts should be concentrated, viz., a competency for the reasonable and necessary wants of life for yourself and those dependent upon you, without which, he declares, no man can be independent, scarcely honest. It was only reasonable, therefore, that I should then cease to take absorbing interest in, and give unremitting attention to, the details of business; although never has my pride and interest in the general results of our business, and of the prestige and honor of the firm, or of the prosperity of Pittsburgh been lessened for one moment. I had then more time to study, to travel, scarcely less important than study, and what was more natural than that the social conditions of men, and especially the problem of the creation and distribution of wealth, should force themselves upon me. Every thoughtful man must at first glance be troubled at the unequal distribution of wealth, the luxuries of the few, the lack of necessaries of the many, and giving away to feeling without regard to judgment, he is very sure to commit many grievous mistakes. For all the foolish, and not only foolish, but injurious gifts I may have made in my early days, and these have not been few, from contributions of considerable sums down to the trifles given to the street beggar, of whose habits I was ignorant, I crave forgiveness, and hope that they may be attributed to the inexperience of the youth of mature age.
Fellow-citizens, one has not to study deeply or to travel far to learn that the path of the philanthropist is difficult, and to find, through sad experience, that how to do genuine good and not mischief by the giving of money, is one of the most difficult problems with which man has to deal. When I read aloud to Mr. Thorndike Rice, editor of the North American Review, at his request, my first essay upon wealth, and came to the passage which stated that for every thousand dollars spent in so-called charity nine hundred had better be thrown into the sea, because it was so given as to increase the very evil it was intended to cure, Mr. Rice interrupted me, saying, "Make it nine hundred and fifty out of the thousand," and I did so. You will perceive, when forced to the conclusion this indicates, how restricted the field for the wise use of surplus wealth becomes. My views of wealth and its duties soon became fixed, and to these I have ever since sought to give expression upon fitting occasions; which are, that under existing industrial conditions, which we shall not see changed, but which may be modified in the course of centuries to come, surplus wealth must sometimes flow into the hands of a few, the number, however, becoming less and less under the operation of present conditions, which are rapidly causing the general distribution of wealth day by day, the proportion of the combined earnings of capital and labor going to labor growing greater and greater, and that to capital less and less. To one to whom surplus comes, there come also the questions: What is my duty? What is the best use that can be made of it? The conclusion forced upon me, and which I retain, is this: That surplus wealth is a sacred trust, to be administered during life by its possessor for the best good of his fellow-men; and I have ventured to predict the coming of the day the dawn of which, indeed, we already begin to see, when the man who dies possessed of available millions which were free and in his hands to distribute, will die disgraced. Great applause. He will pass away "unwept, unhonored, and unsung," as one who has been unfaithful to his trust. The aim of millionaires should be to deserve such a eulogy as that upon the monument of Pitt: "He lived without ostentation, and he died poor." There must sometimes be surplus wealth, then, and it is our duty to use this for public good. But having proceeded thus far, the most serious question of all remains: How is good to be accomplished? How is wealth to be used so that it will not tend to pauperize the community, or to increase the very evils we would fain extirpate? Distributed equally among all the people in the morning, we know that there would be pandemonium at night. Imagine a man with millions looking upon the poorer districts of a great city, and saying, "I shall cure all this." To the wretched poor he says: "You have not your share of wealth, takes this;" and to each one he gives his portion. A few nights later this zealous philanthropist takes his friend to see what he has accomplished, the evils of poverty he has cured. Imagine the sight they behold! Poverty, wretchedness, misery, and crime cured, or even diminished? No, all these increased. The hitherto well-doing and industrious have seen the thriftless and idle in receipt of unearned funds, and these hitherto self-respecting people have said: "Why should we rise in the dark and go forth to toil till dark? There is no special reward for the toiler; the idle receives equally with the industrious; we shall join their ranks." Distribute more millions, and the area of poverty, pauperism, and drunkenness is extended in ever-increasing circles of demoralization. The true benefactors and reformers of society would call aloud to the unwise giver: "Down on your knees and crawl for pardon! You have done more injury than can be cured by all the good you can ever do in a long life." And so in greater or less degree does every man who gives to a cause, society, or institution which is not most wisely and carefully designed and managed so as to encourage the habits of industry, thrift, temperance, morality, and self-help--the best help of all--and to discourage idleness, drunkenness, and dependence upon others. We hear much in these days of the poor, submerged tenth. There is danger that undue interest in this class may render us less disposed to regard the vastly more precious class, and one much more worthy of our attention--the swimming tenth--the industrious workers who keep their heads above water and help themselves, though sometimes requiring our assistance, which should never be withheld in times of accident, illness, or other exceptional cause, and always deserving our sympathy, attention and recognition, and the outstretched hand of brotherhood.
Considerations such as these must render it difficult for any man, if he be seeking solely the lasting good of his fellows, and not his own gratification or popularity, to determine just how to administer surplus wealth so as to work good and not evil. It may be said, if surplus wealth brings such difficulties, much better try to prevent its coming. Distribute every month, for instance, your surplus gains among those you employ. This would be indiscriminate giving again--our supposed millionaire's plan of curing evils--by distribution. The habits and needs of each employe [sic] and the use he would make of the gifts, we should be bound to ascertain. We should no more desire to give to unworthy employes [sic] than to to others of like character or habits. From a business point of view, also, this would be a disastrous use of wealth both for employer and employe. Business in our day is a matter of small margins, a trifling sum per day upon each man employed. The firm that fails to apply the strictest rules of business will soon find itself of no use whatever to the community, for it will have no employment to give. The continuance of any business depends upon success. It must be successful or slowly sink. Let the slightest laxity of management appear and its success is endangered; but even were it otherwise, the plan suggested does not commend itself as justifiable or wise, because there are higher uses for surplus wealth than adding petty sums to the earnings of the masses. Trifling sums given to each every week or month--and the sums would be trifling indeed--would be frittered away, nine times out of ten, in things which pertain to the body and not to the spirit; upon richer food and drink, better clothing, more extravagant living, which are beneficial neither to rich nor poor. These are things external and of the flesh; they do not minister to the higher, the divine, part of man. The surplus money gathered in one great sum and spent for the Cooper Institute of New York, the Pratt Library of Baltimore, for the Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, the Drexel Institute of Philadelphia, or by my friend and partner, and your distinguished fellow-citizen, Mr. Phipps, for the conservatories Applause, prolonged, until Mr. Phipps, who sat on the platform near Mr. Carnegie, rose and bowed to the enthusiastic audience, or by Mrs. Schenley for our park Great applause, or spent by Seth Low for the Columbia College Library, is put to better and nobler ends than if it had been distributed from week to week in driblets among the masses of the people. Concentrated in one great educative institution, lasting for all time, its usefulness is forever, and it ministers to the divine in man, his reason and his conscience, and thus lifts him higher and higher in the scale of being; he becomes less and less of the brute and more and more of the man. I am not content to pass down in the history of Pittsburgh as one who only helped the masses to obtain greater enjoyment of those appetites which we share equally with the brutes--more to eat, more to drink, and richer raiment. "Man does not live by bread alone." I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen, and many so-called poor men, who revel in luxuries beyond the power of those millionaires to reach. It is the mind that makes the body rich. There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else. Money can only be the useful drudge of things immeasurably higher than itself. Exalted beyond this, as it sometimes is, it remains Caliban still and still plays the beast. My aspirations take a higher flight. Mine be it to have contributed to the enlightenment and the joys of the mind, to the things of the spirit, to all that tends to bring into the lives of the toilers of Pittsburgh sweetness and light. I hold this the noblest possible use of wealth. Applause.
What we must seek, then, for surplus wealth, if we are to work genuine good, are uses which give nothing for nothing, which require co-operation, self-help, and which, by no possibility, can tend to sap the spirit of manly independence, which is the only sure foundation upon which the steady improvement of our race can be built. We were soon led to see in the Free Library an institution which fulfilled these conditions, and which must work only for good and never for evil. It gives nothing for nothing. Applause.
The taste for reading is one of the most precious possessions of life, and the success of Allegheny and Braddock Libraries proves that the masses in this community fully appreciate this fact, and are rapidly acquiring it. Applause.
I should much rather be instrumental in bringing to the working man or woman this taste than mere dollars. It is better than a fortune. When this library is supported by the community, as Pittsburgh is wisely to support her library, all taint of charity is dispelled. Every citizen of Pittsburgh, even the very humblest, now walks into this, his own library, for the poorest laborer contributes his mite indirectly to its support. The man who enters a library is in the best society this world affords; the good and the great welcome him, surround him, and humbly ask to be allowed to become his servants; and if he himself, from his own earnings, contributes to its support, he is more of a man than before. Applause.
Our newspapers have recently quoted from a speech in which I referred to the fact that Colonel Anderson--honored be his memory--opened his four hundred books to the young in Allegheny City, and attended every Saturday to exchange them; and that to him I was indebted, as was Mr. Phipps Applause, for admission to the sources of knowledge and that I then resolved that if ever surplus wealth came to me--and nothing then seemed more unlikely, since my revenue was one dollar and twenty cents a week as a bobbin boy in a factory; still I had my dreams--it should be devoted to such work as Colonel Anderson's. The opening to-night of this library, free to the people, is one more realization of the boyish dream. But I also come by heredity to my preference for free libraries. The newspaper of my native town recently published a history of the free library in Dunfermline, and it is there recorded that the first books gathered together and opened to the public were the small collections of three weavers. Imagine the feelings with which I read that one of these three was my honored father. He founded the first library in Dunfermline, his native town, and his son was privileged to found the last. Applause. Another privilege is his--to build a library for the people, here in the community in which he has been so greatly blessed with material success. I have never heard of a lineage for which I would exchange that of the library-founding weaver. Many congratulations have been offered upon my having given for this purpose, which I have declined to receive, always saying, however, that I was open to receive the heartiest congratulations upon the City of Pittsburgh having resolved to devote part of its revenues to the maintenance of a library for its people. Applause.
Ladies and gentlemen, I hope sufficient reasons have been given for devoting surplus wealth to the founding of the Library.
We now come to another branch, the Art Gallery and Museum, which the City is not to maintain. These are to be regarded as wise extravagances, for which public revenues should not be given, not as necessaries. These are such gifts as a citizen may fitly bestow upon a community and endow, so that it will cost the City nothing.
The Art Gallery and also the Museum you will to-night have an opportunity to see. Already many casts of the world's masterpieces of sculpture are within its walls. Ultimately, there will be gathered from all parts of the world casts of those objects which take highest rank. The Museum will thus be the means of bringing to the knowledge of the masses of the people who cannot travel many of the most interesting and instructive objects to be seen in the world; so that, while they pursue their tasks at home, they may yet enjoy some of the pleasures and benefits of travel abroad. If they cannot go to the objects which allure people abroad, we shall do our best to bring the rarest of those objects to them at home. Another use we have in view is that the objects, rare, valuable and historical, belonging to this region will here find their final home. We think we see that there will be gathered in this Museum many of the treasures of Western Pennsylvania, so that after generations may be able to examine many things in the far-distant past, which our present will then be, which otherwise would have been destroyed.
It is to be hoped that special attention will be given to the industrial feature, so that the artisans of Pittsburgh and their children may see and examine the raw materials as found in the mines, and after each of the various stages of their manufacture, up to the finished product, and that they may become acquainted with their physical and chemical properties, and learn how strange these are, and how wonderful their preparation for the use of man.
We should ever bear in mind that Pittsburgh is the greatest manufacturing centre, and can continue to be this if true to her destiny; and that the continuance of her supremacy rests equally upon the superior skill and intelligence of her workmen, for whom she is justly celebrated, and upon her men of affairs doing their duty. We are entitled to presume that there are in our mills to-day more than one embryo Brashear or Westinghouse Great applause, which was acknowledged by both Mr. Brashear and Mr. Westinghouse bowing from the platform to the audience capable of profiting by every new idea which we can place within their reach. It was well to begin with the mummies from Egypt, dating before our era, and to follow with casts of the great masterpieces of Greece and Rome, as we have begun, since these could be so readily acquired; but we should not end there. The practical and educative power of the Museum should never be overlooked, and it should be largely industrial. Applause.
Now we come to the third branch, the Art Gallery. Here we enter upon a wide field. I remember, as if it were yesterday, when I first awoke to the sense of color, and what an awakening it was and has been. A child, sitting in a cold, barren little church, the only relief to the dull white walls and plain ceiling being one inch of a border of colored glass around the edge of the principal window, and yet that narrow line of little square pieces of different colors was the first glimpse I ever had of what seemed to me the radiance of heaven. Color in nature--on the moors, and on the hills, and in the sky, and in the streams, and on the sea--and the scene of beauty pervading the earth becomes more and more a tearful joy. I am firmly convinced that no surer means of improving the tastes of men can be found than through color and the sense of beauty. The cant of art, indulged in most by those who are least under its influence, is not, perhaps, to be altogether deplored, for it keeps interest alive. Each petty school calls aloud that it has the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, but no school can embrace the whole, since art is universal, and the judgment of the masses of the people is finally to prove the truest test of the supreme in art, as it is admittedly in literature. Applause. Let us hope that the pictures exhibited here from time to time will be of all schools, and reach both extremes--the highest critic and the humblest citizen; as the greatest books appeal to both, and attract not only the few, but the many. That extreme care will be given to the purchase of pictures for the historical collection may be taken for granted.
One of the most important objects in view in endowing it with annual revenues is that this Gallery should eventually contain a chronological collection of American painting and sculpture. It is provided that the commission shall each year purchase at least three works of American artists exhibited in that year, preferably in this Gallery. These are to be placed permanently side by side, each year, so that if we imagine the coming of the year 2000 or 3000, Pittsburgh should be able to show to the world--for we may assume that the whole world will then be interested--an historical record of what was considered by a commission in this early day of the world's history the best that the United States year after year produced. Great applause. It will not much matter historically, as you will observe, whether these pictures are invariably of surpassing excellence; if art in the United States has its periods of decadence and revival, it is proper that a historical record should show this clearly. Applause.
The commission is empowered, should it ever be necessary, to expend part of the endowment for extensions to the Gallery, so there never can be cessation of growth from lack of room. Applause.
There is a great field lying back of us, which it is desirable that some institution should occupy by gathering the earliest masterpieces of American painting from the beginning. But the field for which this Gallery is designed begins with the year 1896. From next year we may hope that the Nation will have something worthy of being considered in after years a record from year to year. Some day, perhaps, and that may not be remote, the artists of the United States will strive to have one of their productions selected as the best of its year, and placed in the historical collection of this Gallery, as to-day they strive to be admitted to the Luxembourg, and through the Chantrey bequest, to the British National Gallery. If this fond hope be realized, then Pittsburgh will be famous for art as it is now for steel. While thus looking to the future for these grand results, we shall have in the present the supreme satisfaction of endeavoring to do something year after year, in our own day and generation, toward the development and maintenance of the coming school of national American art. Applause.
There remains to notice this Hall the Music Hall in which we are assembled, but I see it is unnecessary to say one word in explanation of, or apology for, its existence. It has already spoken for itself, and is fully vindicated in your opinion. You know from the public press what has already been arranged, and what the masses of the people are to obtain here, without money and without price. That this Hall can be and will be so managed as to prove a most potent means for refined entertainments and instruction of the people and the development of the musical taste of Pittsburgh, I entertain not the slightest doubt, and Goethe's saying should be recalled, that "Straight roads lead from music to everything good." Applause. Let us trust that here, also, the great organist whom the committee has been so fortunate as to secure Applause, and the manager of the Hall will ever bear in mind that there has not been in view the entertainment of the cultured musical few, but that it is intended as an instrument for spreading among the masses of the people the appreciation and the love of music which musical people already possess. There is much to be said for the old lady who declined to contribute for the conversion of our good friends, the Jews, because, as she very justly observed, "the Jews were quite rich enough to convert themselves." Laughter. The artist, pure and simple, is liable to what is surely a grave error. He is apt to think that because he has reached a plane from which he receives rarest satisfaction only in the highest developments of art in painting or in music, that what he deems the highest and the best should be provided here for the people. The judgment of the teacher might be doubted who insisted upon beginning by trying to reveal the beauties of Shakespeare, or of Wagner, to the child. There seems something still to be said for the alphabet as a first lesson in art and music, as in letters. There does not appear to be much use in providing a ladder for the people to ascend if the distance from the earth to the first step be made so great they cannot reach it. No one advocates poor or meretricious literature, music or art, but there are simple things as pure in art as the most elaborate; indeed, simplicity is a characteristic of supreme genius, and we trust that the managers of the Hall and Gallery will aim to lead the people gently upward, beginning, though not ending, with the simplest forms, "easily understanded of the common people," as was so finely said of the Bible when its message, hitherto a sealed book, was revealed to the uneducated masses by being given to them in their own language. Great applause. If Library, Hall, Gallery or Museum be not popular and attract the manual toilers, and benefit them, it will have failed in its mission; for it was chiefly for the wage-earners that it was built by one who was himself a wage-earner, and who has the good of that class greatly at heart. Applause.
Speaking of the Art Gallery and Museum combined, our hope is that these will become the final home of the art and historical treasures of Western Pennsylvania. The masterpieces of art gravitate to public galleries as if by a law of their being; a generation more or less is nothing; they have no permanent resting place in the hands of private individuals, who are only permitted to enjoy them for a day; sooner or later they become the property of the people. Some good men leave their dearest treasures to the community in which they have resided, and some without bestowing art gifts, like Mr. J. D. Bernd Great applause, leave the residue to their estates. Mr. Bernd, honored by his memory, has the distinction of being the first to set us all an example. His name will be first upon the tablet at the entrance which is to record for all time the names of our benefactors. Funds have already been received from his legacy exceeding $20,000 and appropriated for the use of the Library. Applause. The Gallery has not been forgotten. The first picture was presented by my friend Charles Stewart Smith Applause, a name justly becoming widely known throughout the land. This has been followed by a valuable and most appropriate gift from the Daughters of the Revolution, an original portrait of Pitt, after whom our city was named. Applause.
The Museum has also been remarkably fortunate. Professor Marsh, of New Haven, present with with us to-night, has promised to assist in giving the skeletons or plaster casts of some of the rarest specimens known to scientific men. Applause. When it is ready for exhibition we need not concern ourselves about the Museum attracting the populace for some time. The experience of Pittsburgh is very soon to be the experience of New York with its Metropolitan Museum--not what shall be offered, but what we can accept. No expectation in which I have ever indulged in my most sanguine moments, no air-castle which I have ever inflated, no dream which I have ever dreamed regarding the inauguration of this gift, equals what has been accomplished in reality. We have made a splendid start. Applause.
I have now passed in review each of the branches of this institution, and complied with the request of the commission. To that commission I beg to return thanks and gratitude, for both of which I find words inadequate. The work has been admirably done, every step has been wise. To possess such a body of able, good men, willing to devote themselves without reward to work for the good of the community, is one of the most precious possessions of a city. Applause. Pittsburgh is rich in such men. We have been fortunate indeed in our Presidents; the untimely death of the first, Mr. Scott, left a vacancy which it seemed almost impossible to fill, but in Mr. Frew we have found an ideal successor. Born to wealth he yet scorns its vain delights and gives himself to laborious days in work for the public good without reward, except the only reward worth having, the knowledge that by virtue of his labor he will leave Pittsburgh a little better than he found it. Prolonged applause. And now I might say to the commission, that if they ever wish for a simple test by which they can surely know whether the objects aimed at by the founders are attained or not, they have only to note whether the thousands who visit the conservatories near us, so wisely given by my life-long friend and partner, Mr. Phipps Great applause, pass over here from those entrancing gardens of delight and find in some department of this building something also which attracts them and gives them pleasure and instruction. If so, the commission may rest assured our fondest hopes have been realized. If this building be so managed as not to attract the wage-earning thousands to the Museum, Hall, or Library, and especially to the exhibitions in the Art Gallery, which will perhaps need most care, then there is still something left to be desired.
It is only an act of justice to give public credit to the Rev. Dr. W. J. Holland, Chancellor of our University, for first drawing attention to the merits of this admirable location. I had walked alone behind the hill yonder and thought we must locate there, but when he suggested to me the entrance to the Park, and explained its merits, all other places vanished; it was the flash of light which revealed this site so brightly as to obscure all others. Applause. It has also this unique merit for all Pittsburghers, that it plants us upon Schenley ground, which could never have been obtained but for the generosity of Mrs. Schenley Applause and her desire to co-operate in this work. We owe much to Mr. Carnahan, who first interested Mrs. Schenley in the Park idea; and for her co-operation in this Library site, much do we owe to the persuasive power of our friends, Colonel W. A. Herron and Mr. E. M. Bigelow. Great applause. Thus we have thrown around us for all time the sweet influence of Pittsburgh's "Uncrowned Queen," who will read of to-night's proceedings with the deepest interest, as I well know; for nothing about her native city fails to elicit her keenest attention. She is one of us, heart and soul a true Pittsburgher. Her portrait for the Gallery is promised. Some day let us hope she will be able to accept the invitation of the City to visit us and see how much she has done to endear her memory to Pittsburgh forever. Applause.
To the architects of this structure I am sure you will expect me to express hearty thanks and congratulations. I have been much pleased with the numerous judicious commendations bestowed upon it by those best qualified to judge. One high authority in Europe said to me when he saw the plan, "This is classic, something that can never go out of fashion, a structure which will grow in favor with the years to come. I scarcely thought your young country would favor anything so fine. I am delighted with it." Applause.
The decorator has already had his full meed of praise, but you will wish me, I am sure, to heap still more upon his head. We owe much also to the the contractors, all of whom have proved their title to confidence. We have been most fortunate in having such men. The organ is entitled to special mention, and Pittsburgh is to be congratulated upon having an instrument so remarkably fine. Applause.
Mr. Mayor, before closing let me say one word to you, as representing the City of Pittsburgh. The city grows apace. This site, you remember, seemed to many as not central. To-day it is certainly not too far east for the centre of the Greater Pittsburgh which already appears upon the horizon. The plan made for branch libraries may soon be inadequate and require further attention. Already we have an important library at Braddock, which ranks with that of Allegheny City. Its work is so valuable that a commission recently appointed to report upon institutions connected with vast industrial works has given it first place, a result for which we are chiefly indebted to Mr. and Mrs. Gayley. For some years a surplus has been desired that I might be able to give a similar library to Homestead, which is to be my next use of wealth. Applause. I hope to be able to go forward with that work the coming year. We intend to follow that with a similar library for Duquesne Applause, and hope also to be able to provide a library for a community which has been so partial as to adopt our name, much to the surprise of Mrs. Carnegie and myself Applause, but I will not deny also, much to our satisfaction; for we should rather stand well with our fellow-citizens in and around Pittsburgh than receive the plaudits of all the world besides. Great applause.
By the time the Greater Pittsburgh comes we shall thus have several libraries, which it may perhaps be thought best to incorporate with the general library system of Pittsburgh. Such other districts as may need branch libraries we ardently hope we may be able to supply, for to provide free libraries for all the people of Pittsburgh is a field which we would fain make our own, as chief part of our life work. Great applause. Although thus desirous to preempt the library field, it will not be inferred that we see no other proper use for surplus wealth--a list of which we shall be most happy to supply to any enquiring millionaire upon application. Great laughter and applause. I have dropped into the plural, for there is one always with me to prompt, encourage, suggest, discuss, and criticise; whose heart is as keenly in this work as my own, preferring it to any other as the best possible use of surplus wealth, and without whose wise and zealous co-operation I often feel little useful work could be done. Prolonged and enthusiastic applause, which was received by Mrs. Carnegie with a very happy smile.
Mrs. Carnegie and myself, who have given this subject much thought, and have had it upon our minds for years, survey to-night what has been done; the use to which we have put our surplus wealth, the community to which we have devoted it, and say to ourselves, if we had the decision to make again we should resolve to do precisely as we have done. Great applause. We feel that we have made the best use of surplus wealth according to our judgment and conscience; beyond that is not for us; it is for the citizens of Pittsburgh to decree whether the tree planted in your midst shall wither or grow and bear such fruits as shall best serve the county where my parents and myself first found in this land a home, and to which we owe so much. Applause.
There is nothing in what we have done here that can possibly work evil; all must work good, and that continually. If a man would learn of the treasures of art, he must come here and study; if he would gain knowledge, he must come to the library and read; if he would know of the great masterpieces of the world in sculpture or architecture, or of nature's secrets in the minerals which he refines, or of natural history, he must spend his time in the museum; if he is ever to enjoy the elevating solace and delights of music, he must frequent this [music] hall and give himself over to its sway. There is nothing here that can tend to pauperize, for there is neither trace nor taint of charity; nothing which will help any man who does not help himself; nothing is given here for nothing. But there are ladders provided upon which the aspiring may climb to the enjoyment of the beautiful and the delights of harmony, whence comes sensibility and refinement; to the sources of knowledge, from which spring wisdom; and to wider and grander views of human life, from whence comes the elevation of man. Applause.
We now hand over the gift; take it from one who loves Pittsburgh deeply and would serve her well. Great and prolonged applause.
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Mr. Frew, on accepting the key, said:
"Mr. Carnegie, representing as I do the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, who are acting on behalf of the people of this City, I am proud to receive at your hands this key, symbolizing the control of the library system which you have founded. Allow me to express the wish, or rather to give you the confident assurance, that its only use will be to open to the people the treasures of literature, science, and art, that have already accumulated within these walls, and which will undoubtedly multiply as the years go by."
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Mr. Frew's Address.
At the conclusion of Mr. Carnegie's address, Mr. Frew said:
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The committee of the Board of Trustees having the arrangement of these exercises in charge, have decided that a proper preface would be a brief history of the enterprise, the completion of which we are met this evening to celebrate, and it has fallen to my lot to be the historian.
I do not wish to weary you with statistics, and will be as concise as the nature of the case will permit. This undertaking is not strictly a new one. In 1881, Mr. Carnegie, in a communication to Hon. Robert W. Lyon, then Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, offered to give $250,000 for the erection of a free library, on condition that the city would agree to appropriate $15,000 annually for its maintenance. No action looking to the acceptance of this generous offer was taken at that time, owing to the fact that the City, under the then existing law, had no power to raise, by taxation, money to be used for such a purpose. Resort was had, however, to the Legislature, and in 1887 the enabling act was passed.
Some time after Mr. Carnegie was notified of the action of the Legislature, another communication was sent, under date of February 6th, 1890, in which he stated that as the city had so wonderfully increased in size and importance, in the past few years, he was convinced that more extensive buildings were needed, combining reference and circulating libraries, accommodations for the exhibition of works of art, assembly rooms for the various learned societies, and suggesting the erection of branch libraries. To provide these structures, he proposed to expend not less than $1,000,000.
The conditions attached to this offer were, first, that the location and erection of the buildings and the control of the Library system should be placed in the hands of a Board of Trustees, consisting of eighteen individuals, nine to serve as ex-officio members, and to consist of the Mayor of the City, the Presidents of Select and Common Councils, the President of the Central Board of Education, and a Library Committee of five members of City Councils. The other half of the Board to comprise nine gentlemen, whom he named, this latter to have the power of filling all vacancies occurring in its own number.
The second condition was, that the City of Pittsburgh, through its proper representatives, should appropriate and place in the hands of the Treasurer of this Board the sum of $40,000 each year, to be, by the Board, expended for the maintenance of the Library system.
On May 31st, 1890, the ordinance accepting the second offer, with its conditions, was passed. The Board of Trustees organized shortly after by electing James B. Scott, President; H. C. Frick, Treasurer; and W. N. Frew, Secretary. Several committees were created, the principal one being the Building Committee, of which James B. Scott was made chairman.
The serious work of the enterprise was begun without delay. The President of the Board of Trustees prepared a general specification for the main Library building, and a public invitation was extended to all architects to enter a competition, to be held in this city; $700,000 were set apart for the main structure and $300,000 reserved for the local or branch Library buildings.
In the competition which resulted from the invitation ninety-seven architects, from all parts of the United States, were represented by one hundred and two sets of plans, which were place on exhibition in a room in the Ferguson Building. A special committee of the Board was appointed to make a critical examination, and after several weeks' study, a recommendation was made that the plan of Longfellow, Alden & Harlow be selected. The Board adopted the recommendation of its committee, and the following months were spent in elaborating and maturing the plans.
It was finally decided to make use of stone instead of Florentine brick, as originally contemplated, for the exterior, and Mr. Carnegie generously added $100,000 for this purpose. In 1891, the City of Pittsburgh showed its appreciation of the philanthropic act of Mr. Carnegie by passing an ordinance authorizing the Board of Trustees to erect the main structure on part of the nineteen acres of park lands, then recently acquired from Mrs. Schenley.
The foundation of this main building was laid in the fall of 1892, and in May, 1893, the contract for the superstructure was awarded to Henry Shenk. Work was begun in July, 1893, and has continued without interruption almost until the present time.
In February, 1894, James B. Scott died, and his place as President of the Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Building Committee was filled by W. N. Frew. Mr. Scott contributed unsparingly of his time and skill in making this building what it is, and almost unaided succeeded in removing many serious obstacles to the success of the enterprise.
In 1894, a committee of the Board of Trustees on Branch Libraries was appointed, having H. P. Ford as chairman, with instructions to recommend the number and location of sites for the branch library buildings. After much labor, seven locations were selected, three on the South Side, one in Hazelwood, one in Lawrenceville, one in the East End, and one in the old city. Most of these sites have already been purchased.
The several departments of the main Library building are under the control of a corps of gentlemen, each selected solely on account of his peculiar fitness for the position. Edwin H. Anderson is at the head of the Library proper, Frederic Archer controls the development of the Musical department, with George H. Wilson as manager of the Music Hall and in charge of the press work connected with it. Professor Gustave Guttenberg had most to do with collecting and arranging the Museum exhibit, while John W. Beatty gathered the art loan collection. Charles Cunningham is Superintendent of the building. Each of these gentlemen is held directly responsible to the Board of Trustees for the proper management of the department under his care, and has been given the sole right to employ and discharge his assistants.
Arrangements have been made with the Academy of Science and Art to occupy and control the meeting and lecture rooms in the Science wing, with the understanding that numerous lecture courses shall be free to the public. Similar contracts have been made with the Art Society and the Mozart Club. The School of Design for Women and the Art Students' League have found comfortable quarters in the building.
And now, in one sense, we have arrived at the completion of our labors. This building, watched so carefully for years, is finished and furnished; the Art Galleries are filled with a collection valued at over $1,000,000; the Music Hall is fully completed and ready for constant use, and the Library shelves are weighted down with sixteen thousand volumes, selected, purchased, recorded, and labelled, with the catalogue printed, and ready to go into general circulation to-morrow.
Viewed in another light, and that the all-important one, we are simply crossing the threshold, and to-morrow will begin to answer the question whether the money, that has been provided with no grudging hand, has been wisely expended or wasted. Many circumstances augur in favor of a brilliant future for this great enterprise. One of these is the liberal and intelligent way in which it is being treated by the legislative and executive heads of our City Government, who have gone hand in hand with the Board of Trustees in bringing about a successful completion of this first part of the undertaking.
Another is the great and universal interest manifested by the people of this City, very many of whom have already contributed rare and valuable books, manuscripts, and works of scientific and artistic worth.
Allow me in this public manner to express my hearty appreciation of the very ready co-operation of each member of the Board of Trustees in the advancement of this work. No body of men could have been more zealous for the success of the undertaking than those with whom I have had the honor to be associated. Let me also return the thanks of the board to Mr. J. O. Brown, Director of the Department of Public Safety, whose very watchful care is being exerted in your behalf at this moment, and to Mr. E. M. Bigelow, Director of the Department of Public Works, to whom we are indebted for the beautifying of the grounds around and the approaches to this building.
It is almost unnecessary for me to mention here the architects, Longfellow, Alden and Harlow; the mural painter, Elmer E. Garnsey; the contractor, Henry Shenk. These graceful architectural lines and softly decorated walls speak more eloquently of their ability than I am able to do. And it is really unfair to particularize, as all the trades and professions represented in this finished structure have striven earnestly to erect a building that will do them honor.
Indeed, I feel to-night as if I were come to the parting of the roads, and with saddened heart were saying farewell to a party of pleasant companions who will, in all human probability, never travel together in company again.
I am sure I properly voice the sentiment of the Board of Trustees when I say that the people in charge of the several departments have been selected with an eye to obtaining the very best results, and these efforts have been so successful that there is no one employed in any department who is not more than willing to give promptly and courteously to any citizen of Pittsburgh any information or assistance that might properly be expected.
Carved in the stone, over the entrance to the Library building, are the words, "Free to the People," and I can confidently state that it is the intention of the Board to have this motto lived up to, not only in letter, but in spirit.
I am authorized to announce formally that Mr. Carnegie proposes in the near future to place in the hands of a Board of Trustees, as an endowment for the Art Galleries and Museum, forming part of this foundation, the sum of one million dollars. This, as I have calculated, when added to the cost of the additional Library buildings, promised this evening, will make the total of Mr. Carnegie's gifts to this section amount, in round numbers, to five million dollars. Great and prolonged applause; the demonstrations being renewed again and again.
We have present with us a distinguished foreigner in the person of Mr. Hew Morrison, Librarian of the City of Edinburgh, Scotland. Mr. Morrison brings with him from twelve Scottish towns greetings to Mr. Carnegie and the Board of Trustees and hearty wishes for the success of our undertaking. Applause.
I am also directed to state that the guarantee fund of $20,000 for a Symphony Orchestra is practically completed, and that Pittsburgh will shortly be able to rejoice in the possession of an Orchestra, which we fondly hope, and have reason to believe, will be second to none.
Mr. Frew: "We are honored to-night by the presence of the Chief Executive of the State, His Excellency, Governor Daniel H. Hastings, who shall next address you."
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Governor Hastings' Address.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The desire for knowledge is part of the equipment with which God has endowed the children of men. The history of all times and countries discloses largely the results of human effort in the search for, or the possession of, knowledge--knowledge in the larger definition of the term.
The savage in the wilderness acquires from his birth almost an instinctive knowledge of that which is necessary to his existence, as well as his relations to the tribe under whose protection he lives. The Bible is filled with admonitions to search for knowledge. Individuals and nations, in greater or less degree, have been obeying the Divine precept ever since God said, "Let there be light."
It would be an affectation of learning to attempt to recount the triumphs, moral and physical, individual and national, which knowledge has accomplished over ignorance. The byways of all history are strewn with the wrecks of men and nations, who builded upon ignorance, and practiced the vices attendant thereupon. "Knowledge is power; ignorance is slavery," says Plato, and the proof of his saying is found in the history of every governmental organization, and nowhere more clearly illustrated than in the history of our own country. The very highest quality of intelligence, of intellectual development, of patriotism, was disclosed in the work of those men who founded a new empire upon the rock of freedom and called it the United State of America. Applause.
There was a general conclusion which had become axiomatic, running through long periods of time, that, in the rotation of governmental forms, Monarchies came first, followed by Republics, and the latter succeeded by Anarchy.
The government under which we live is an exception to that rule. No one can be found to dispute the proposition that the safety, strength and glory of our national existence rests upon the moral and intellectual development of the people who compose it.
The rush of business and the struggle for money; the fierce competitions in all lines of intellectual and physical pursuits; the even chance open to all competitors; instead of tending to lower the standard, have made the necessity for education, in all walks of life, more apparent. The perennial streams of immigration to our land are assimilated in a ratio equal to their education and capacity to become a part of our national economy.
Mind training is an established industry in America. It is the most profitable investment within our borders. There are no dividends so great as those which come from the church, the schoolhouse, and the college. Applause. Free education has become as necessary a part of our Government as our legislatures and our courts. No tax is paid so cheerfully as the school tax. No expense is met with so much cheerfulness as that for the education of the boys and girls growing up about the family hearthstones.
The old time doctrine that rudimentary education was sufficient for the purposes of those intending to live out their lives in physical toil, has given place, in this land, to a higher and better understanding that there will eventually be placed within the reach of all young men and young women, no matter what may be the condition surrounding them, the opportunity for the educated mind to hold undisputed sway over every faculty and effort of hand and body, to the best advantage of the individual, the community, and the State.
Through all the period of our national existence the trend of public opinion has been growing in this direction. The proof is found in the patriotic legislation affecting the subject; in the appropriating of large sums of public moneys to provide the facilities for more general and diversified education, and in the earnest desire of patriotic men, whose lives have been successful, to make the way easier for those who are to follow. Confidence in the stability of the present and promise of the future is advanced with every instance of a citizen strengthening an existing institution of learning or founding a new establishment.
History will always find a place in her pages for the soldier and the statesman who rendered service to humanity, each in his particular field; but no pages of history will longer endure nor leave a richer or more grateful fragrance than those that tell of the seats of learning which bear the names of such philanthropists as Harvard, Girard, Yale, Dickinson, Cornell, Hopkins, Drexel, and Carnegie. Applause.
The public library is equally a public necessity and a public blessing. Its unfolding and spreading influence for good is beyond calculation. This community already thrills in anticipation of the blossoming and the ripening fruit to come from the tree this day planted.
Here is a temple of enduring stone which will stand through the ages, whose grand and graceful proportions will be a constant source of pleasure to the beholder. Here, Music will charm the ear and gladden the soul. Here, Art will welcome and inspire her devotees. Here, Literature will sit upon her throne and the children of men will gather wisdom at her feet. Here are assembled the representatives of the greatest industrial community in the land to receive the trust committed to their keeping by a benefactor and a philanthropist.
As the Chief Executive, for the time being, of the State, and, in so far as I have a right to speak for it, I congratulate this audience and this community on the work this day completed, and, in behalf of all the people, I thank Mr. Andrew Carnegie for this magnificent contribution to the educational establishments of the Commonwealth. Great Applause.
Mr. Frew: "The City is also present in the person of her chief executive officer, Hon. Bernard McKenna, who will speak on behalf of the municipality."
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Mayor McKenna's Address
Mayor McKenna said:
As Chief Magistrate of this, my native city, I am pleased to receive for the people this beautiful building which you, at great expense out of your abundant means, have erected and designated that it shall be "Free to the People."
Starting from the lower rung of the ladder, you have, by your indomitable perseverance and tact, raised yourself to a place among the great men of the world, distributing your wealth with your own hands, thus improving the condition of mankind. This, and other buildings of like character, erected by you, will stand as monuments to your memory, and the name of Andrew Carnegie will live in grateful remembrance.
I know I voice the sentiment of all when I wish you long life; that you may live to know the benefits our people have derived from your generous and magnificent gift. I thank you in the name of the people of the city which you have helped to make great, and with which you have been identified from boyhood to mature age. Applause.
Mr. Frew: "I am sure you will be pleased with the announcement that the next speaker will be the gentleman who so ably represents, in the councils of the Nation, the Congressional district in which this building is located, Hon. John Dalzell."
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Mr. Dalzell's Address
Mr. Dalzell said:
Three-quarters of a century ago an Englishman visiting Pittsburgh, from observations there made, summed up his estimate of American character in these words:
"Gain is the education, the morals, the politics, the theology, and stands in the stead of the domestic comfort of all ages and classes of Americans; it is the centre of their system from which they derive both light and heat."
Even to this day there are those who regard Pittsburgh simply as a money-making community, lacking in the finer qualities of an advanced civilization. This estimate was not true seventy-five years ago; much less is it true now. Were it given to that Englishman and to those who think with him to look in to-night upon these ceremonies in dedication of the People's University, and to realize that this splendid structure, devoted to the liberal arts, is the princely gift of a private citizen, accepted by the people with a pledge of its adequate maintenance, they could not but be impressed with their failure truly to grasp the character of the community upon which they pass judgment, the influence of its environment, and of the institutions under which it exists. The traveling Englishman mistook for sordid avarice the twin genii of pioneer industry and thrift that were laying here the foundations of a noble community that was to be, and which contained within itself and its environments the living germs of a magnificent future. For I hold it to be true that Pittsburgh has attained to an advanced place among the cities of the civilized world materially, intellectually, and morally, and that this result is the inevitable outgrowth of certain conditions, which are manifest and must impress themselves upon every thoughtful student of our city's history.
These conditions have reference to industrial progress and to progress in refinement and culture as well.
Nature designed Pittsburgh for a great manufacturing city. Situate at the headwaters of the Ohio, and in the midst and within easy reach of mineral deposits of boundless extent and value, she possesses the two essential conditions of manufacturing wealth, facility of supply and of distribution; in other words, raw material and the means of transportation. It may be--indeed it is--true that the time has now come when, to maintain our supremacy, our transportation facilities must be increased, but the feasibility of such increase and its method having been determined, the same energy, ingenuity, and intelligent courage that have overcome every business obstacle in the past will in the future, whether by public or private means, supply present and coming needs. Applause. I do not believe that the time has come, or ever will come, when Pittsburgh shall fail to maintain her manufacturing supremacy. Applause. Successful rivalry upon the part of her competitors is dependent upon artificial aids, and there are no artificial aids within the reach of others that are not within the possibility of her grasp. And this generation will be unworthy of its predecessors if there be any lagging upon its part in the race. Pittsburgh, I believe, will continue truthfully to boast, in the language of the gifted and unfortunate Realf:
"I am the monarch of all the forges,
I have solved the riddle of fire,
The Amen of Nature to need of man
Springeth at my desire.
I search with the subtle soul of flame
The heart of the rocky earth,
And from under my hammers the prophecies
Of the miracle years come forth."
In analyzing the conditions of our city's manifest destiny, we must remember that before the advantages which pertained to her geographical situation and her natural wealth admitted of possible development, her territory had to be won from a hostile and an alien race. No estimate of our present relation to the past can be accurate that does not take into account the fierce struggle that gave to the Saxon, instead of to the Latin, the ultimate possession of this continent. In that struggle Fort Duquesne was a decisive factor.
The founders of our industries were soldiers before they were artisans, traders and merchants, and strengthened their virtues in the hardy school of frontier warfare. There is no foot of ground within our city's bounds, daily trod by the tireless foot of business energy, that the blood of brave men has not rendered sacred, from the field where Braddock fell, past the hill which Grant's Highlanders baptized, to the forks of the river, where George Washington planted the British flag over the deserted ruins of Fort Duquesne, and where, as that flag caught the breezes of the Ohio, the place was with one voice named Pittsburgh, to the glory of William Pitt. Applause.
And these men were in the main Scotch-Irishmen, men of a race whose character, developed through centuries of struggle and under varied skies, has made them always, wherever they have gone, the Conquerors of Fortune.
I have suggested some of the fundamental conditions of material growth and prosperity; natural resources, geographical situation as to territory; preliminary discipline and habitual character as to inhabitants.
But what now as to the elements of intellectual and moral advance? It is an historical fact, the end of all experience, that social progress follows the line of the material prosperity of the masses. The laborers are many, the capitalists are few. Hungry men and women have neither time nor inclination for education or culture. Comfortable homes, a full supply of the necessaries and some of the luxuries of life, some breathing time for school and church and lecture, these are conditions of social advance. Its law is always from the material to the intellectual and moral, and these communities the world over and through all time have been the most advanced intellectually and morally where the well being of the masses has been the most marked. Ample wages and reasonable prices of the necessaries of life are among the most effective of moral agents, and social progress has had no more powerful factors than steam, the spinning jenny, the power loom and like inventions, and the factory system.
There never was a time, barring exceptional periods, in the history of our city when the essential elements of the social progress of the masses were lacking. We have always had wages reasonably adequate to the needs of a workman who was also an American citizen. And I pray God in the interest of the Republic that such may ever be the case. For I hold it to be true, as declared by a recent writer that "it is in the needs of the masses that the economics of the future must be studied and statesmanship determined." Applause.
It is one of the characteristics of republican institutions to devolve upon private enterprise certain matters that elsewhere are the subject of governmental care. It is one of the characteristics of republican citizens that the responsibility is cheerfully accepted and nobly responded to. For example, the traveler through Europe is struck with the number, the costliness, and beauty of its churches. England has no greater glory than her cathedrals. They are interwoven with every thread of her history. The same may be said to large extent of the countries of the Continent. Now, all these churches, cathedrals, and ecclesiastical institutions are the product of governmental or Royal aid in some form or other. But with us there is no sterner maxim of republican polity than that there shall be an absolute separation of church and state.
Whence then came the religious edifices, from the humble meeting-house on the hillside to the magnificent city churches and cathedrals that from one end of the land to the other mark us as a religious people? Not from any monastic inheritance, nor Royal gift, nor governmental subsidy, but from the voluntary contributions in money and enterprise and moral purpose of the American people. Applause.
And whence come our institutions of advanced learning? While it is true that Alexander Hamilton declared that education was, under the constitution, a legitimate object of governmental concern, yet it has always been accepted as a full acquittance of governmental duty if an ordinary common school education were afforded to our children.
No Oxford or Cambridge, laden with Royal gifts and the spoils of Royal robberies, beckons ambitious American youth to the classic paths of higher education, but Yale, and Harvard, and Princeton, and thousands of others, the beneficiaries of consecrated individual wealth, afford facilities nowhere excelled for the cultivation of scholarship. Technical schools, as complete and thorough as anywhere to be found, fit our young men for the practical duties of life to which a rapidly advancing science, fruitful almost daily of new and wonderful discoveries, gives an alluring call. These, too, are the monuments of private wealth generously devoted to the public good.
As civilization advances the field of education broadens and calls for new instrumentalities. Beyond the universities, far wider in the sphere of their activities, come the institutions whose very presence in a community is suggestive of lofty ideals, and an invitation to learn the elevating influences of the beautiful and the good in nature, art, and letters. Such are the libraries, museums, the parks, the statues of our country. We are in the midst of such to-night. Schenley Park, the people's playground, nature's open handbook, with its lessons in tree, soil and plant, and the story of the ages written in its seams of stone; the great Conservatory where so long as season shall follow season there shall be beauty, blossom, bloom, and fragrance, in flower and heart for the name of Henry Phipps Applause.; at the gateway, dominating all, Carnegie Library, an open treasure house, where he who will may take counsel with the wise men of other ages and climes and of our own time. Who shall measure the power for good of these benefactions in elevating to a higher and broader plane and in widening the horizon of those who shall come within their influence? Such institutions are with us as a rule the gifts of private generosity.
Our public libraries and museums do not, like the Louvre, suggest the name of some great soldier or monarch, nor like it display the spoils of military conquest, nor like others of the world's great galleries tell of Royal or governmental favor, but on the contrary are the lasting and glorious monuments of a republic's private citizens. Of men like Astor, Cooper, Tilden, Lenox, Pratt, Corcoran, and others, and not last or least, but in the number and extent of his benefactions, greatest of them all, Andrew Carnegie. Applause.
In seeking to account for Pittsburgh's elevated place in the list of the world's cities as the legitimate outcome of certain causes and conditions you will not understand me as intending to pluck one laurel from the wreath that should crown the donor of this great gift. All the efficient causes of advancement and growth have found only one such benefactor. Others have done well, but he has done better than them all. Applause.
That testy old Scotchman, Thomas Carlyle, once wrote to a younger brother who was contemplating emigration to this country:
"You shall never seriously meditate crossing the great salt pool to plant yourself in the Yankee-land. That is a miserable fate for anyone at best; never dream of it. Could you banish yourself from all that is interesting to your mind, forget the history, the glorious institutions, the noble principles of old Scotland--that you might eat a better dinner perhaps?"
Whether the younger Carlyle found American dinners and Scottish sentiment incompatible with each other, I know not. But I do know, and so do you, the history of a Scotch lad who crossed the great salt pool and planted himself in Yankee-land, who did not banish himself from all that was interesting to his mind, nor forget the history, the glorious institutions, or the noble principles of old Scotland; but who, on the contrary, lived to cherish the same sweet love of his kind that warmed the heart of Burns, and to be animated by the same love of liberty and faith in the people as the legitimate source of sovereignty, that inspired the bold and fiery eloquence of John Knox. Applause.
This splendid audience does honor to that Scotch lad to-night in this beautiful home of science and literature, art and music reared by his generosity, and over whose ample and inviting portals is carved in stone, enduring as the ages, the inspiring democratic legend, "Free to the People." Applause.
There are unnumbered hearts here and elsewhere, in this, the land of his adoption, and across seas in the land of his birth, that beat to the measure of "God bless Andrew Carnegie" Applause, and hearts shall continue thus to beat through generations yet unborn and by us unnumbered. Because to the scholar and the artist he has given the opportunity of further culture; to those of straitened means and narrow life he has opened glimpses of a brighter world; and because to all, learned and unlearned, rich and poor, and those who have neither poverty nor riches, the stately tower of this, his temple, shall forever voice the inspiring call, "Come up higher," while it daily proclaims that he
"Held it truth with him who sings
To one clear harp in divers tones,
That men may rise on stepping stones,
Of their dead selves to higher things."
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At the conclusion of Mr. Dalzell's address, Mr. Archer played Myerbeer's "Schiller March" on the organ. When that was over the entire audience, led by Mr. and Mrs. Carnegie, filed out of the Music Hall in an almost endless winding column and passed through the entire building, viewing, in detail, all the attractions of the Library and the Museum, and then going into the Art Gallery, where all shook hands with the donors of the gift.
On the walls of the Gallery was a collection of pictures, the like of which Pittsburgh had never before seen together. Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Landseer, Tadema, Constable, Bonheur, Van Ruisdale, Daubigny, Corot, Cazin, Diaz, Schreyer, Bouguereau, Gerome, Henner, Inness, Millet, Moreland, Munkacsy, Van Marcke, Von Bremen, Whistler, Abbey, and Alexander, were a few of the names signed on these canvases.
In the corridors were many marble statues and plaster casts of the world's greatest pieces of sculpture.
When the people had viewed these features of the great gift and entered into their ownership with appreciation and delight, as it was past midnight, all went home. And in every heart was the overflowing sentiment, Well done, Andrew Carnegie!
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