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1. Page 4.— The remarkable benefaction of Dr. Rollins left $10,000 as an Aid Fund, one-fourth of the interest on which was to be continually turned over into the original principal, thus augmenting the same annually by (perhaps) one-fiftieth of itself, while the remaining three-fourths was to be applied to the maintenance at the University of worthy youths of Boone County. The administration and distribution of the Fund is in the hands of the County Court of Boone County. The Fund has now attained the very considerable sum of $45,000, and more than $2000 is annually available for the support in question. Unless maladministered and squandered, the Fund must in time assume excessive proportions, and three-fourths of the income must far transcend the real needs of the youths in question. Part of the income should in fact be diverted to much more useful ends, as to founding fellowships and scholarships, or else to endowing special chairs in the University. In this way there might be added every few years some new member to the vast organism of higher education, all sustained by the original gift of Dr. Rollins. Generation after generation the ancient stem would put forth new and imperishable branches; the stream of blessing that the great-hearted physician taught to flow would roll on with steadily augmenting volume even to remotest ages. Surely a most noble and beneficent immortality, and purchased at a price how incomparable !
2. Page 31.— This speculation as to the possible results of a very slight change in the count of votes is by no means a mere fancy of the biographer. The friends of Major Rollins, among them some of the most conspicuous figures in the nation, regarded him as in every way worthy of the highest trusts within the gift of the whole people, and they looked forward to his possible elevation to the Presidency as to no unreasoning political haphazard, but as to a recognition of merit contingent indeed upon “availability.” But there is no evidence discovered that he himself ever indulged the lofty ambition cherished for him by his wide circle of admirers. And yet,—the head of the Whig party in Missouri, once its choice for United States Senator, twice its candidate for Governor; the largeminded lawgiver, for eighteen years at Jefferson, for four years at Washington, the conspicuous champion of every liberal and enlightened measure; the founder and most zealous promoter of the system of higher education in his adopted commonwealth, for seventeen years President of the Board of Curators of its University; the popular orator whom the most cultured, competent, and experienced judgment in the State has pronounced, with deliberation, “ second only to O'Connell,”— to what political eminence might he not without presumption have aspired ?
3. Page 41.- The earnestness, intensity, and fidelity of Major Rollins's friendships were never perhaps more strikingly exemplified than in the case of President Lathrop. The bond of mutual affection united the lives of these two men, of natures so widely different and even complementary, through a period of nearly a whole generation, the busiest and most exciting in all the busy and exciting life of Rollins. A toilsome quest may be necessary for souls to find one another, but recognition comes spontaneously. Almost immediately upon Lathrop's arrival in Columbia, to assume the Presidency of the new University, he attached himself to the young statesman, and every year in the quarter-century that followed seemed to tighten and strengthen the cords of union between them. During his first incumbency President Lathrop leaned with full weight on his stalwart young friend, though the latter had no official connection with the University. At Jefferson City it was Rollins that was continually invoked for help in devising, recommending, advocating, and securing all salutary and necessary legislation; but still more in Columbia it was Rollins that was continually sought for cheer, for counsel, for support, and for encouragement. In 1849 Lathrop accepted a call, long held under advisement, to the University of Wisconsin, at Madison. But Rollins had already clenched his friend's heart to Columbia with nails of adamant, and for eleven weary years, in Wisconsin and in Indiana, Lathrop's face remained turned steadily toward Missouri, his eyes fastened wistfully on La Grange. He left Rollins not only the keeper of his affections, but also the guardian of his professional reputation and personal dignity against the attacks of envy, jealousy, and petty malevolence - a trust that was bravely and faithfully discharged. Though hundreds of miles away, in every doubt, danger, or difficulty he turned confidently to Rollins, and whenever he needed help of any kind, whether of money, or of influence, or of advice. His letters are full of touching laments at his inability to revisit Columbia - a happiness that each year he seems to have set before him as a goal to be attained the next vacation, but which each following summer dissolved like the mirage of the desert. It was the old story, eternally new for the Western teacher: Res angustæ domi ! Never, in fact, did the hart pant for the water-brooks as the gentle soul of Lathrod panted for the sweet companionship of his “other self”—such is the supreme title by which he designates Rollins — on the “banks of the Hinkston.” When
at last, in 1860, the breeze abated and there came a shifting of the sails, it was to Rollins alone that Lathrop opened his whole heart, entrusted his whole cause, and it was largely, by his own glad avowal, a yearning to “resume an ancient Boone companionship” that induced him to exchange a presidency in Bloomington for a professorship in Columbia. His language, used in a letter to his “alter ego" under date of August 29, 1860, is very remarkable, emphatic to the limit of emphasis, and explicit beyond all cavil: “I constitute you privately my guide, my philosopher, my friend — my confessor in all personal and official matters." President Lathrop was a man of kindly heart, of generous impulses, and of confiding, affectionate nature. Such a man would claim many persons as friends. Yet Rollins was not in his relations to Lathrop, any more than in his relations to the University, merely one, even if the principal one, of many. It is a fact of history, which the correspondence of Lathrop with Rollins sets in clear and bold relief and rescues from the treachery of memory and the detraction of envy, that the relations of Rollins to the head of the University were like his relations to the University itself- altogether unique, disparate, and incomparable with any contemporary's.
This correspondence reveals Lathrop himself in a favorable and amiable light, as conspicuously a scholarly man, passionately devoted to the “things of mind,"
to literature and to education, of high professional attainment, of wide and active intellectual sympathies. He was neither dogmatic nor aggressive, yet he had “found himself” and had arrived at clear consciousness and enlightened views on all questions of pedagogy and University organization. Neither was he to be lightly shaken in his convictions, nor to be aroused to self-defense with impunity. He was no less formidable in controversy for the finish and elegance of his rhetoric, and his antagonist was not slow in learning that a silken glove might cover a hand of steel. As an executive, President Lathrop showed himself at all times equal to his duties, and always faithful in discharging them; yet they were never according to his taste, and they scarcely favored the highest display of his talent. The high-bred racer may indeed draw the cart or turn the treadmill; but it is not in such harness that he will bear witness to his pedigree. The true mission of Lathrop was to teach, to stand for learning and education, to plead the cause of the intellect, to guard the prerogatives of Mind. Nature had chosen him to the apostolate of culture, and chance had cast his lines in partibus infidelium.
The life of a missionary is at best but a rugged and checkered one. "Aller Anfang ist schwer,” say the Germans, but especially difficult are the beginnings of education. Arduous and thankless beyond all others is the task of him who would blaze out the highways of culture through the dense “ erroneous wood” of primitive ignorance, prejudice, and parsimony. Such was the stern and ungrateful duty that fell to the lot of Lathrop. He discharged it nobly and well, though molded by nature from much finer clay for less rigorous service. His devoted and pathetic life-work has not yet received any recognition fit or worthy of mention, the century-plant he so lovingly tended has not yet burst into bloom; but the future historian of the University and of education in the West will take delight in honoring his memory. Meantime the beautiful obelisk of granite, that keeps watch over his ashes, bears witness to the world on its counter-faces with these two inscriptions, which briefly sketch his career and broadly outline his character:
A GRADUATE OF YALE COLLEGE,
WAS A TUTOR IN YALE COLLEGE,
ALSO OF THE WISCONSIN UNIVERSITY,
OF WHICH HE DIED PRESIDENT.
EMINENT IN HIS GENERATION,
HE LIVED NOT FOR HIMSELF
It was eminently fitting that the epitaph of the pious missionary should be written by his “other self,” the hardy pioneer, who most of all men deeply loved and highly prized him; and it is impossible in sight of their monuments not to recall the tender lament of David :
Saul and Jonathan, beloved and kind !
4. Page 58.— The truth seems to be that though Major Rollins sympathized very cordially with Schurz and Brown in the original “Missouri policy,” though he was fully and formally enlisted in the revolt of the Liberal Republicans, yet he was never in hearty accord with the Democratic party. He was too clear-eyed, wide-sighted, and honest-minded not to recognize individual merit, whether in the dogmas or in the leaders of Democracy, no less than corresponding demerit in those of his own political faith ; and he was most glad to wield the opposition as a scourge of blessing, in the chastisement of peace, to correct the frequent aberrations of Government. But with all its acknowledged shortcomings the Republican organization seemed to him the bearer of the higher concerns of the State; on its shoulders rested the supreme interests of the nation, and to it alone he looked for the solution of governmental and of social problems. Even the very act of revolt he meant to be remedial rather than destructive, to reform rather than to overthrow the party.