In the Winter of 1894 plans were made by Dr. Pepper, then Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, to dose the scholastic year by exercises of more than usual solemnity. He regarded the formative period of the Institution as ended. It seemed to him that the University idea which Benjamin Franklin had outlined and to the practical application of which he himself had devoted his life, had been firmly planted. Moreover, the close relation with the community which he had so carefully fostered had been established.
In the thirteen years of his administration, thirteen new departments had been founded. Most of them, when necessary, had been properly housed and equipped. He regarded the coming year as the opening of a new chapter in the history of the University. To the creative period to succeed an era of development. The thought of worthily marking this distinction between the two eras in the existence of the great institution of learning had been in his mind for some time past. Already during the summer of 1893, when on a brief visit to the Chicago Columbian Exhibition, he had expressed a desire to possess the statue of Dr. Franklin which stood at the entrance of the Electricity Building, with a view to using it at the commencement exercises in order to emphas ize the fruition of the seed planted by Philadelphia's greatest citizen. He hoped eventually to have the statue cast in bronze. So earnest had he been about the matter that the writer, then in Chicago, was requested to officially apply for and succeeded in obtaining the statue as a gift from the management to the University of Pennsylvania.
These unusual preparations on the part of the Provost suggested to some of his friends and co-workers the thought of a personal testimonial to the man to whose creative genius the University, and indeed 'the whole community, owed so much.
The only difficulty in the way seemed to be in the selection of a suitable form of testimonial. The Provost's numerous foundations and extensive benefactions made it impossible to consider such a tribute, and anything else seemed trivial. The problem, however, soon was solved through an accident.
It happened that on one of his professional journeys to New York a friend invited Dr. Pepper to visit the studio of Mr. Karl Bitter. He was Strongly impressed with the personality of the artist. On his return he spoke freely of his admiration for his wo rk, and declared his intention some time to sit to him for a bust to be bequeathed by him to his sons. This remark, made perhaps at random, to an intimate friend, gave a definite shape to the whole project, and it was decided to ask Dr. Pepper to sit to Mr. Bitter for a bust to be presented to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania at the following June Commencement. In the meantime, the Provost determined that the time bad come when he could worthily retire from the administration of the Univer sity of Pennsylvania. In view of this decision the movement in its limited scope seemed inappropriate and the bust insufficient; and a more formal tribute was planned.
The project had originated in the Department of Archaeology. The Dean of the College and some of the Trustees were now approached upon the subject and, with fullest approval, entered into the plan.
A preliminary meeting was held on April 23d, 1894, at 237 South Twenty-first Street, at 9 o'clock A.M. There were present Mr. Charlemagne Tower, Jr., Trustee of the University, of Pennsylvania, and then President of the Department of Archaeology; Dr. Har rison Allen, of the Wistar Institute; L)r. Horace Jayne, Dean of the College; Dr. Morris Jastrow, Professor of Semitic Languages; Dr. Judson Daland; Mr. Gregory B. Keen, Librarian; Dr. John Marshall, Dean of the Medical Faculty; Dr. W. P. Wilson, of the Department of Biology; Miss Frances E. Bennett and Mrs. J. Dundas Lippincott, of the Women Graduates; Mrs. Cornelius Stevenson, Secretary of the Department of Archaeology; and Rev. Jesse Y. Burk, Secretary of the Board of Trustees. Notes were read from Dr. Horace Howard Furness, Mr. Samuel Dickson, Hon. John Scott, Trustees of the University, and from others who, whilst endorsing the movement, were unable to attend.
The Committee of the Dr. Pepper Testimonial was organized as follows:-
Chairman, Mr. Charlemagne Tower, Jr., Trustee of the University and President of the Department of Archaeology and Palaeontology.
Treasurer, Rev. Jesse Y. Burk, Secretary of the University of Pennsylvania.
Secretary, Mrs. Cornelius Stevenson, Secretary of the Department of Archaeology and Palaeontology.
Members representing Board of Trustees: Charlemagne Tower, Jr., Dr. Horace Howard Furness, Rev. Jesse Y. Burk.
Dr. Horace Jayne, Dean of the College Faculty.
Dr. Edmund J. James, Wharton School of American History.
Prof. John B. McMaster, Wharton School of American History.
Dr. William P. Wilson, Biology.
Dr. G. F. Barker, Physics.
Dr. E. Smith, Chemistry.
Dr. F. E. Schelling, English Literature.
Prof. Warren P. Laird, Architecture.
Prof. H. W. Spangler, Engineering.
Prof. Edgar Marburg Engineering.
Dr. John Marshall, Medical.
Dr. Judson Daland, Medical.
Dr. James Truman, Dental.
Dr. W. Morris, Hospital.
Mr. Gillingham, Veterinary.
Dr. J. W. Adams, Veterinary.
Mr. C. Stuart Patterson, Law.
Dr. Daniel G. Brinton, Archaeology and Palaeontology.
Mrs. Cornelius Stevenson, Archaeology and Palaeontology.
Mr. Gregory B. Keen, Library.
Dr. Morris Jastrow, Jr., Library.
Gen. Isaac J. Wistar, Wistar Institute.
Dr. Harrison Allen, Wistar Institute.
Miss Frances E. Bennett, Women Graduates.
Mrs. J. Dundas Lippincott, Women Graduates.
Charles H. Cramp, University Archaeological Association.
Dr. E. J. James, University Extension.
Dr. Edward T. Devine, University Extension.
Mr. Charles A. Brinley, University Extension.
It was unanimously--
Resolved, That in view of Dr. Pepper's long and untiring services to the interests of the University of Pennsylvania and to the cause of higher education in this city, and in view of the large share which his personal effort has had in placing the Institu tion where it now stands before the eves of the community, a bronze statue of himself by Karl Bitter be presented by us, his co-workers, to the University, as an inadequate expression of our appreciation, and that a committee of three be appointed by the Chair to call upon the Chairman of the Committee on Finance and Property to apply for a suitable site on the Campus whereupon it can be erected.
It was further-
Resolved, That the Secretary be, and is hereby, authorized to communicate at once with Mr. Bitter and to order a statue of Dr. William Pepper in accordance with the terms of his letter.
In accordance with the resolution recorded above the Chair appointed itself, Mrs. Stevenson, and Dr. Jayne to call upon the Chairman of the Committee on Finance and Property with regard to the assignment of a space on the Campus for the projected statue, and the following official letter was written:--
Philadelphia, April 26, 1894.
Dear Sir:--In accordance with the enclosed resolution unanimously passed at a meeting of the Dr. Pepper Testimonial Committee the undersigned were appointed by the chairman to apply to you for the assignment of the site on the Campus whereon to erect a br onze statue of Dr. Pepper by the Sculptor, Karl Bitter. We feel that the splendid results of Dr. Pepper's thirteen years' administration are the true monument that will perpetuate his memory and that, in asking your committee for the centre of the circular plot of grass in front of the college building for the proposed statue we are only asking for the privilege of stamping his great work with the appreciation of his fellow workers. Hoping that your committee will grant our request, we remain,
CHARLEMAGNE TOWER, JR.,
President of Department of Archaeology and Palaeontology, Chairman of the D. Pepper Testimonial Committee.
Dean of the College Faculty.
SARA Y. STEVENSON,
Chairman of the Museum Committee, Secretary of the Dr. Pepper Testimonial Committee.
A conference with the Committee on Finance and Property of the Board of Trustees was accordingly held in the Library Building of the University to discuss the future location of this statue--Mr. Karl Bitter being present.
The gift of the statue having been accepted by the Trustees, Mr. Bitter stated that, owing to the size of the monument as then planned, the space between the arches in the centre of the reading room of the library was, in his opinion, the most suitable place for its erection. This site was, therefore, assigned to it by the Trustees and reluctantly agreed to by the sub-committee.
At a meeting held on May 9th, a committee of five, composed of the Chair, the Treasurer, Secretary, and two other members to be selected by the Chair, was appointed, with full power to fill any vacancy which ml-ht occur in its own body, to take charge of and to attend to all the details of the testimonial, to employ experts to pass upon the merits of the statue when finished, to raise funds and to disburse the same, to transact all business for the Committee, to erect the statue, and to carry the enterprise to its final completion. In compliance with the above the Chair appointed Mr. Baugh and Mr. Strawbridge members of the Committee.
The Committee in charge accordingly raised the necessary funds and contracted with Mr. Bitter for a bronze statue, with the understanding that it should be designed of a size and material suitable for placing on the grounds if deemed advisable. It was al so stipulated that the bust study, already begun, should be ready for presentation at the "Commencement," on June 10th, 1894, and Dr. Horace Howard Furness was invited to deliver the presentation address. The masterly oration delivered by this eminent sc holar at the Academy of Music on that memorable occasion still lingers in the minds of those who had the good fortune to hear him.
As he recited in forcible words the transformation in the scope and character of the University under the retiring Provost during the thirteen years of his administration, it seemed almost incredible that one man could have accomplished so much. He took his audience back to 1881 for a "bird's-eye view" of the University at that time--"It need not be a very large bird," he said; "I think a sparrow will do." In all, four buildings, a modest library of 20,000 volumes, and 44 professors and instructors, teaching Latin, Greek, Mathematics, French, German, Music, Dentistry, Medicine, and Law to 981 students. The contrast to present conditions was indeed great.
The difficulty met with in obtaining sittings from Dr. Pepper caused serious delay in the completion of the statue, and it was only in 1896 that it was finally accepted by the committee in charge, after it had been critically, though unofficially, examine d by Mr. John Lafarge, Professor Ware, of New York, and Mr. Clifford Grayson, of Philadelphia, as well as by others who, at the request of members of the Committee, were informally invited to examine it. The opinion of the first-named artist seemed of special value as being that not only of an art expert but of a near connection of Dr. Pepper, and one, therefore, familiar with his moods and usual attitude.
In 1896 it was sent to the Gorham Manufacturing Company to be cast in bronze.
In the Winter of I897 it was, at the request of the artist, placed on exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts, in this city. Here it was unfortunately set on a low pedestal. Having been designed to stand on a pedestal eight or ten feet in height, intende d to be placed on the highest point of a series of terraces, it appeared at a disadvantage.
It was some time before the artist's drawings for the bronze panels intended to be placed on either side of the granite pedestal designed by Mr. Leigh Hunt, were perfectly satisfactory to himself and to those in charge.
Meantime, changes had occurred in the Committee which caused additional delays. Mr. Tower accepted a diplomatic post abroad, and the chairmanship of the Committee passed into the hands of Mr. Justus C. Strawbridge; and Rev. Jesse Y. Burk, the Treasurer of the Fund, having), fallen seriously ill, Mr. Daniel Baugh was appointed to take his place. Under these circumstances, when the Secretary, now the only remaining original officer, found herself at this time compelled to go abroad, it was deemed wise to await her return before making final arrangements with regard to the pedestal.
In the Spring of 1898 the Committee requested of the Trustees of the University that the centre of the plot of ground reserved on the plans of the Free Museum of Science and Art, on the southwest corner of Thirty-third and Spruce Streets, for an open space, be substituted for the place formally agreed upon as a site whereon to erect the statue. This request was granted. In June, 1898, Mr. Bitter's drawings for the bronze side panels intended to adorn the pedestal were finally accepted by the Committee.
On July 28th Dr. Pepper, whose strength had been visibly failing for two years past, breathed his last in California, where he had gone in quest of health and a much needed rest. He was in the fifty-fifth year of his age.
The testimonial erected by his fellow-workers in token of their appreciation of his fruitful activity and masterful leadership, now became a memorial to a devoted life ungrudgingly sacrificed in the cause of the public welfare.
During the progress of the work on the pedestal the new building of the Free Museum of Science and Art of the Department of Archaeology of the University of Pennsylvania, the last effort of Dr. Pepper's public life, was approaching completion. It seemed highly appropriate to link the formal presentation of the statue with the official transfer to the Trustees of this imposing edifice, and to make the occasion one great tribute to the late Provost and President of the Department of Archaeology and Palaeon tology-the man to whom the University and the city of Philadelphia owed so much.
The fact that the main hall of the structure now about to be dedicated had been erected by him and bore his name, added to the appropriateness of the plan. The Committee's suggestion was warmly received by the Board of Managers of the Department of Archa eology. At a meeting they authorized the President to appoint a committee to co-operate with the Testimonial Committee in preparing for the ceremonies of the opening of the building and to consult with Mrs. Pepper and the executors under her husband's will, in order to learn their wishes with regard to details. Mrs. Pepper formally signified her intention of selecting this occasion to announce a gift of $50,000 to the University as an endowment in memoriam for the hall in the Free Museum of Science and Art known as "The William Pepper Hall," thus adding another lasting tribute to the memory of the late Provost, and most fittingly attaching it to the foundation, the future of which her distinguished husband-by a formal expression dated only a few days be fore his death-had sought to secure.
December 20th, 1899, was the day fixed upon for the official transfer of the fully-equipped building and its collections, for the formal presentation of the statue to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, and for the announcement of the endowmen t of "The William Pepper Hall" by Mrs. Pepper.
The day was propitious, and a large company of representative men and women assembled in the Widener Lecture Hall to witness the exercises. Absent friends sent flowers and wreaths to be laid at the foot of Dr. Pepper's statue, which could be seen from th e windows of the crowded Lecture Hall.
The pedestal designed by Leigh Hunt is a plain block of granite. On the front of the statue, which faces Thirty-third Street, is a bronze plaque fastened upon a stone shield and bearing the simple inscription:--
WILLIAM PEPPER, M. D., LL. D.,
PROVOST OF THE UNVERSITY
On one side is inserted a fine bronze panel, representing a draped figure sitting with calm dignity, under the spread-out foliage of a tree, holding in her hand the Torch of Knowledge. In a space left for the purpose is a quotation from Emerson's "Essay on Character" :--
"All things exist in the man tinged with the manners of his soul."
On the second panel the tree is bearing rich fruit and the figure is actively caring for the coming harvest. Here the quotation is one from Franklin's "Poor Richard"--it was a favorite one with the Provost:--
"There will be sleeping enough in the grave."
On the back of the pedestal is an inscription giving a list of some of Dr. Pepper's most remarkable achievements. The inscription runs as follows:--
As Provost he established the following University Departments:--
The Wharton School of Finance and Economy,
The Biological Department,
The Department of Philosophy,
The Veterinary Department,
The Training School for Nurses,
The Department of Physical Education,
The University Library,
The Graduate Department for Women,
The Department of Hygiene,
The Department of Architecture,
The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology,
The William Pepper Laboratory of Clinical Medicine,
The Department of Archaeology and Palaeontology.
And the following public institutions were his creations:-
The Free Library of Philadelphia,
The Free Museum of Science and Art,
The Philadelphia Museums.
Below is inscribed a sentence which Dr. Pepper constantly used as a most convincing argument in favor of persistent effort:--
"You and I must pass away, but these things will last."
Nothing could have been more impressive in their simplicity than the exercises held on that winter afternoon in memory of the man whose statue, erected by loving hands, now would stand in all ages to come near the scene of the hardest struggles of his ear ly manhood, surrounded by his own achievements-on the very ground redeemed by him from a barren waste and turned by his genius into a scene of useful and ever-growing activity.
Little said--what need was there for words? All the surroundings told of the greatness of the man, of his foresight and masterful grasp of affairs, of his power for work and of his independence of thought, in contrast with his gentle simplicity, fortitude , and cheerful self-sacrifice.
The Honorable George F. Edmunds, a warm personal friend of the late Dr. Pepper, as well as one of his most esteemed co-workers, at the request of the Committee had consented to be its official representative. At the invitation of Mrs. Pepper, he had als o consented to represent her, and after the official report of the President of the Department of Archaeology, which was but one long tribute to the memory of his distinguished predecessor, he formally presented the statue and the endowment of the " Willi am Pepper Hall" to the University The Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Charles C. Harrison, in the name of the Board of Trustees, officially accepted both the gifts, and in an able address declared the Free Museum of Science and Art open to the public.
The three addresses are herewith given. They practically form one whole, and properly belong to this record The address delivered by Dr. Horace Howard Furness or the occasion of the presentation of the bust in 1894, although published at the time, forms part of the history of the movement, and is also reprinted and added to the present report.
The Committee in charge feel that they have fully carried out the task assigned to them.
The man whom they undertook to honor now lives only in his works. Future generations will, more correctly than we can, appreciate the value of Dr. Pepper's efforts on behalf, not only of this community, but of this continent. To his fellow-townsmen is a ssigned the duty of handing down what they know of him. M. Brunetière says that "posterity knows of a man but his works; only his contemporaries know the man." Surely, no man ever received a nobler tribute from his lifelong associates as well as f rom the most eminent among his contemporaries than did Dr. William Pepper. on the occasion of which this report is the record.
TO CASH RECEIVED-- Subscriptions $11,799 49 Interest on deposits 145 76 ---------- Total $11,945 25 By CASH PAID-- Karl Bitter, as per contract $9,240 00 Gorham Company for casting 1,828 83 Stacy Reeves & Sons 90 00 Bureau Brothers 66 66 Roman Bronze Company 45 00 Robert D. Kelly, for moving statue 18 43 Clerical service and postage 149 24 L. Dreka, engraving cards for presen- tation ceremonies 45 25 Sundries 80 27 Printing and distributing report 335 50 ---------- 11,899 18 *Balance $46 07*This balance has been turned over by the Committee to the Treasurer of the Department of Archaeology of the University, to be used for the care of the statue.