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William H. Crogman

American classical philologist
The development of an individual will invariably be in the direction of his ideal, and will partake largely of the nature and character of that ideal. ... Is the object of his thought lofty in its character, so is he. Is it low, so is he. We rise or fall, we ascend or descend, according to our ideals.
He, therefore, who fixes a limit of any kind to his intellectual attainments dwarfs himself, and cramps the growth of that mind given to us by the Creator, and capable of indefinite expansion.

William H. Crogman (1841–1931) was a pioneering African American educator and classicist at Clark University of Atlanta in the United States.

QuotesEdit

Talks for the Times (1896)Edit

"Life's Deeper Meanings" (1895)Edit

Baccalaureate Address Delivered at Clark University, May 19, 1895
  • Young men, don't be in a hurry to distiuguish yourselves. Don't feel when you go into a strange community, that it is necessary to inform the people how wise you are, and what vast stores of learning you possess. Too many are doing that now, wasting precious time and life. Life was not made for that. Life hath a deeper meaning. If you know anything, if you are of any value to the community, the people will discover it in time, and give you credit for it; and if they do not, you can better afford to go without such recognition than not to have merited it.
    • p. 42

"The Importance of Correct Ideals" (1892)Edit

Address To The Students Of Talladega College, Talladega, Alabama, June, 1892
  • Whatever you are in the future, young ladies and gentlemen, will depend largely upon your conceptions of life, its duties, its responsibilities, its end. For this reason I have proposed to myself to speak to you in a practical manner on the importance of correct ideals.
    • p. 272
  • The development of an individual will invariably be in the direction of his ideal, and will partake largely of the nature and character of that ideal.
    • p. 272
  • Is the object of his thought lofty in its character, so is he. Is it low, so is he. We rise or fall, we ascend or descend, according to our ideals.
    • p. 273
  • The pugilist, whose highest ambition is to pound and bruise human flesh, and bear off from the prize-ring the victory and money staked thereon, subjects himself to the severest physical training in order to secure those ends, and naturally enough he always develops into a powerful animal, but an animal of less value than the horse or mule, whose powers of body contribute so much to human comfort.

    There have been pugilists on a more gigantic scale, with larger arenas for their operations, men like Julius Caesar, who conceived a passion for sovereign power.

  • p. 273
  • Let us not, however, deceive ourselves with the thought that vaulting ambition, that lust for power and place is a disease peculiar to great minds, for nothing is more commonly found among ordinary men in the humbler walks of life. We need not travel very far in any direction to find a little Caesar or a little Napoleon.
    • p. 276
  • In these days of ours there is an almost irresistible impulse towards wealth, an indescribable passion to grasp and concentrate material forces. "By thy words," saith Scripture, "thou shalt be judged, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." The recent editions of our English dictionaries furnish us a number of new words, and words used in a new sense, which are irrefragable evidence of the existing spirit of greed, the passion to grasp and centralize wealth, such words as "pool" and "pooling," "combines," "trusts," "deals," and many more.
    • p. 278
  • Neither the black boy nor the white will ever be educated in the best and broadest sense of the term who seeks an education merely to reach an office, for, as in nature a stream never rises higher than its source, so in life men never rise higher than their ideals. The education that merely seeks an office must of necessity be limited to the dimensions of that office.
    • p. 281
  • A large proportion of the offices in this vast country is not held by the best, most learned and most cultivated men, but by men of mediocre attainments, whose hearts and whose eyes have been fixed on those places, and who, to obtain them, have used every means, honorable and dishonorable.
    • p. 281
  • The place-seeker will resort to methods from which self-respecting men would shrink with as much aversion as the ancient Jew shrank from contact with the leper. The true purpose of education is not office. "The true purpose of education," says one, "is to cherish and unfold the seed of immortality already sown within us; to develop to their fullest extent the capacities of every kind with which the God who made us has endowed us." He, therefore, who fixes a limit of any kind to his intellectual attainments dwarfs himself, and cramps the growth of that mind given to us by the Creator, and capable of indefinite expansion.
    • p. 282
  • Character is eternal; all other things are transient and fleeting. No ideal, perishable in itself, is worth striving for by an immortal soul.
    • p. 287

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