|William H. Clark.|
|Dr. James Hoose|
The Cortland Democrat, Friday, August 21, 1891.
CORTLAND NORMAL SCHOOL.
A Letter From Supt. of Public Instruction Draper to Dr. J. H. Hoose Made Public.
Supt. of Public Instruction A. S. Draper has addressed the following letter to Principal J. H. Hoose of the Cortland Normal school.
AUGUST 5, 1891.
Dr. James H. Hoose, Thousand Island Park, N. Y.
Sir:—I am in receipt of your extended letter of the 3d instant. In my letter of July 28, I stated to you in substance that in my opinion the interests of the Normal school required the contemplated change in the principalship of that school should be affected before the opening of the fall term. From what you said to me at Toronto I supposed you had concluded that if there was to be a change in the near future it might better take place at once. In your own interest I suggested that you send in your resignation and relieve me from the necessity of performing an unpleasant duty. Aside from your personal interests, or your ideas of what might be wisest and best under the circumstances, I felt justified in supposing that in view of all the efforts I have made to conserve and promote your interests during the time I have occupied the position of State Superintendent, you would not be averse to meeting my desires. In all this I seem to have been mistaken.
Acting upon my sense of duty and as was intimated to you I should feel constrained to do in the event of your refusal to act upon my suggestion, I have this day formally approved the resolutions adopted by the Local Board on the 8th day of June last, removing you from the principalship and naming Dr. Francis J. Cheney as your successor, and have forwarded my approval to the secretary of the Local Board.
Of the contents of your lengthy letter I have no time or present inclination to speak in detail. It is proper, however, that I should say that many of your statements pervert or give an unwarranted coloring to the facts, and that the whole letter seems to me to reveal the writer in a light which is unfortunate for him and which I regret.
A. S. DRAPER, Superintendent.
THE LOCAL BOARD'S REASONS.
At Last the President of the Local Board Files His Indictment Against Dr. Hoose—A Weak Document That is Easily Quashed.
The Cortland Standard of last week contains thirteen and a half columns on the removal of Dr. Hoose. It is the first intimation its readers have had that any attempt had been made upon the part of the Local Board to remove him and this fact alone makes the article interesting.
The first charge made against him is that on the 20th day of March, 1890, a few hours after the death of the late Norman Chamberlain, then Secretary of the Local Board, Dr. Hoose called at the house and asked for certain books and papers belonging to the Board and that the same request was repeated twice thereafter and before the funeral.
The next count charges that at a private and informal meeting of the six members of the Local Board, who believed Dr. Hoose's resignation desirable, he was invited to be present and was there requested to resign, that the reasons for asking for his resignation were stated to him and that he was informed that his successor had been selected.
The third and last count charges that Dr. Hoose had caused the six members of the Local Board many petty vexations and irritations within the past four years.
There are other charges in the body of their indictment but they are of such a boyish nature that they are unworthy of attention and show that the framer of the document was hard pressed for material.
Now to show the animus of this entire movement from the beginning, it is necessary to go back to the time when Dr. Hoose failed to recommend the appointment of John H. Clark, a brother of William H. Clark, as a member of the faculty the Normal school in this place. Clark never forgave Dr. Hoose for his refusal to intercede in his brother's behalf and at once determined to destroy him. This occurred some time previous to 1880, when W. H. Clark attempted, through Supt. Neil Gilmour, to remove Dr. Hoose and failed. The attempt cost the State a handsome sum and the amount of right should be charged up to W. H. Clark, who then said that he would yet "have Jimmy Hoose's scalp."
As soon as it was possible he managed to get himself appointed a member of the Local Board and since that time has contrived through the connivance of Draper, to secure the appointment of three others to places on the board, who were enemies of Dr. Hoose. There were already two of his opponents on the board and this gave Clark a sure working majority.
To say that Clark was not actuated by malice and that he was not doing everything possible to "down Hoose" is sheer nonsense and no one believes it. If he had no such object in view why did he not select some of Hoose's friends or at least some who were not known to be his bitter enemies? Is it to be wondered at that Hoose was irritable and that he might have caused the board some annoyances? Could any man have been cool and calm under like circumstances? Was it anything but natural that Dr. Hoose should appeal to the Superintendent and ask to be directed by him, when he knew that his enemies on the board were watching for something upon which to base charges for his undoing?
Here is a circumstance that proves plainly that Clark was on the watch and was collecting evidence to compass his destruction. We refer to the affidavit of F. N. Chamberlain, published in last week's Standard. The affidavit shows that Norman Chamberlain died March 20, 1890, and that the affidavit was sworn to April 4, 1890, just fifteen days after Mr. Chamberlain's death. Why did Mr. Clark have this affidavit made at that time unless he intended to use it against Dr. Hoose at the first opportunity? This was more than a year before the six decided to remove him. Clark at once gave young Chamberlain employment in his printing office although he was a farmer instead of a printer. Did Clark employ him for the purpose of securing his affidavit?
The following letter from Judge Duell to Dr. Hoose is sufficient answer to the charges made in Chamberlain's affidavit:
CORTLAND, N. Y., March 26, 1890.
Dr. J. H. Hoose:
MY DEAR SIR :—Yours of this date at hand. I have not seen the reporter of the Syracuse Standard, but it is rumored that he is here to write up a sensational case growing out of your visits to Mr. Chamberlain's house to obtain the books and papers relating to the Normal School.
I should like to see the reporter and tell him the facts. You went there at my request, to get the books and papers, and my reason for requesting it was that the voucher for the monthly salaries of teachers should have been made out the day of Mr. Chamberlain's death. We had been in the habit of making up the monthly voucher about the 20th of each month in order to forward to Albany so that the check for the amount would be sure to reach Cortland the 1st of the month. Many of the teachers needed their monthly salary promptly as I well knew. These blank vouchers were at Mr. Chamberlain's house as well as the Secretary's book of minutes.
Mr. Chamberlain had informed me a time before his death that the minutes of the board meetings had been taken on loose sheets of paper, and had not been copied on the book. He asked me if one of the teachers could not do that work for him. I said we would see that it was done. He was to bring the book and rough minutes to me about the time he was taken sick, but in consequence of his illness this was not done. I mentioned this fact to you the day we heard of his death and I suggested that you should call there and not only obtain the blank vouchers, but the book of minutes etc., also.
This attempt to make capital against you is entirely unjustifiable, since all you did in the matter was at my request, and from the best motives on my part.
R. H. DUELL.
How came the reporter of the Syracuse Standard to be in Cortland? Hoose called at the house March 20, and again on Saturday the 22nd, and the funeral was held on Sunday the 23rd. On the 26th, the Syracuse Standard's reporter was in town looking up the matter for a sensational article. Soon after Hoose called at the house, a member of the family notified Clark of the fact. Did Clark send for the reporter or did a little bird carry the news to him? Clark was the only person besides the parties interested who knew of the occurrence until the advent of the reporter. Clark turned himself into a detective the moment he determined to have Hoose's scalp and has pursued him night and day with the persistency of a sleuth hound. Every movement of Hoose has been noted and in all these years the only action on his part that could call forth criticism was that in connection with his calling at Mr. Chamberlain's for the books and papers, and the letter of Judge Duell robs this of any significance whatever. His action was perfectly proper under the circumstances, and nothing would have been thought of it had he not unwittingly or unknowingly perhaps, stumbled among enemies.
Dr. Frederick Hyde, then President of the Local Board, died on Saturday the 15th day of October, 1887. The caucusing that was engaged in on that day and the day following on Tompkins-st., and in full view of the family of the deceased, was observed and commented upon by more than one citizen and the unseemly haste of our neighbor [Clark] in taking the first train for Albany to forestall the contemplated action of a majority of the Local Board in procuring the appointment of Dr. Hyde's successor, was anything but creditable to him.
Undoubtedly our neighbor acts upon the notion that he can do no wrong. That which is right and proper for him to do, becomes a crime when done, by his enemy. Even if Dr. Hoose had gone to Chamberlain's house without other authority than his own notion, he simply followed a more than horrible example. But the letter of Judge Duell shows that he was directed to go and from the very best of motives.
What could Dr. Hoose do? The six members of the board had taken the management of the school into their own hands and they had an able and apparently unscrupulous coadjutor in Albany. From the moment Draper disregarded the many written protests of reputable citizens of Cortland and appointed the editor of the Cortland Standard as a member of the Local Board, Dr. Hoose was doomed and he must have known and appreciated the fact. He was between two fires. Draper was playing into Clark's hands and the latter had all his traps baited and set, hoping that his game might become unwary and fall into his clutches. The Dr. managed to steer clear of all the pitfalls dug for him by his enemies, who becoming impatient, finally brought the meaningless and unsupported charge of "strained relations."
How Dr. Hoose managed to get on with the self constituted detective at all is most wonderful. We doubt if any other man could have got through one term with the president of the Local Board under similar circumstances, without bursting every relation.
The second count is simply nonsense. The only thing about it that is noticeable is the fact that the six held a star chamber council and demanded Dr. Hoose's resignation. Why did they not invite the other two to be present? Were they ashamed of the business in which they were engaged? Did they show their associates on the board proper respect?
To the charge that Dr. Hoose had caused the six members of the Local Board many petty vexations and annoyances within the past four years, the answer is plain. The six meant that he should. If he could be harassed and annoyed into the commission of any act that would cause the president annoyance, he at least did not mean that he should want provocation. What was Dr. Hoose to do? It was impossible for him to please Clark and if he was displeased Draper felt the shock in Albany. The entire matter can be summed up in a few words.
Clark determined without cause to secure Hoose's dismissal from the Cortland Normal School. To bring this about he became the subserviant tool of Draper, a tricky politician, to whose election to the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction he had been opposed. He made Draper believe that he could assist him politically, and in return that official gave him the selection of the members of the Local Board. He selected the most conspicuous of Dr. Hoose's enemies and thanks to the concurrence of Draper, he has succeeded in accomplishing his cherished purpose and the school and the citizens of the county must suffer in consequence. It is a little surprising that our neighbor after looking upon the ruin he has wrought, should glory over it, and unblushingly announce that under the same circumstances he would repeat the work.
What Others Think.
(From the Chenango Union.)
Dr. Francis J. Cheney was on Wednesday of last week confirmed by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Draper as Principal of the State Normal School at Cortland, in place of Dr. James H. Hoose. Dr. Cheney will enter upon the discharge of his duties at the opening of the fall term. There is much dissatisfaction in Cortland over this result, as but a few weeks ago Superintendent Draper, through his deputy assured them that Dr. Hoose would open the next term of school as usual. Draper has followed the dictation of the Local Board, and an efficient and popular teacher is dismissed to make room for one of their choice.
(From the Marathon Independent.)
The decision of Superintendent Draper removing Dr. Hoose was, in full, made public on Monday. It reviews at length the history of the Hoose troubles: recites the alleged facts in relation to the appointees on the Local Board, and says: "The vacancies have been filled by the appointment of prominent men and substantial citizens of Cortland, without reference to the past difficulties in which the school has been involved, but with the injunction that old troubles be forgotten." It is an able document, built on false premises. What Mr. Draper says is entitled to all consideration, but when he affirms that his appointments were made "without reference to the past difficulties" he gives evidence that he has either been imposed upon or is guilty of something worse. He ought to, and probably does, know that every appointment he has made on the Local Board has been a person unfriendly to and prejudiced against Dr. Hoose. Is it any wonder that the relations were "strained," when the Superintendent, himself, supplied the tension?