FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY

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Letter from Alfred Cope to Octavius Catto
A Great Thing for our People


Letter from Alfred Cope to Octavius Catto

13 [illegible] ‘69

                My Esteemed Friend

                                O.V. Catto

                                                                I have just need to write of this meaning & will tomorrow take steps to report the substance of it to some members of the Board.

                Owning to my confinement & the many engagements of my colleagues I am not informed of the personal visions of the Board, but I feel a good deal of regret that in view of a contingency which by the chaste or disability or will demand of our Principals might at any time within the period of they engagement have occurred, thou had not kept they self somewhat fresh in all those branches which are allotted to the statue of Principal.

                I think thou will see on reflection, that if the school heard occupied its present advanced position at the time when EDB became Principal we could not have placed him at the head of the Institute. Only necessity would have justified us in claiming that. ___ The necessity we ___ invest yields & no one could complain of us for that. ___ I suppose from what [illegible] says, EDB is to quit us very soon. That is probably a necessity. I had hoped that when over the times cause for a change of Principal, ample time might be allotted for deliberation on the part of the Board & preparation for the work of the post of candidates. But it would seem this may not be.

                I hope to see some of the managers next week & hear from them their views. We all I believe have a high appreciation of thy services to the Inst. & should be glad to do whatever we can to promote thy welfare.

Thy Friend,

Alfred Cope


Background Information

This letter from a member of the Board of Managers, Alfred Cope, to Octavius V. Catto discusses the departure of Principal Ebenezer Bassett from the Institute. Cope assures Catto that he is highly regarded among the Board members and seems to indicate that Catto will be appointed Principal.

Image: "American Negro Historical Society, December 19, 1856 - Feb. 6, 1871," Leon Gardiner Collection [0008B], Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Link: http://digitallibrary.hsp.org/index.php/Detail/Object/Show/object_id/12379


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