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A Public Appeal for Redress to the Corporation and

PROFESSOR ROYCE'S LIBEL.

* * * * *

A

PUBLIC APPEAL FOR REDRESS

TO THE

CORPORATION AND OVERSEERS

OF

HARVARD UNIVERSITY.

BY

FRANCIS ELLINGWOOD ABBOT, PH.D.

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.

* * * * *

BOSTON, MASS.

GEO. H. ELLIS, 141 FRANKLIN STREET, 1891.

PUBLIC APPEAL.

TO THE PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS AND BOARD OF OVERSEERS OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY:

_Gentlemen_,--Believing it to be a necessary part of good citizenship to defend one's reputation against unjustifiable attacks, and believing you to have been unwarrantably, but not remotely, implicated in an unjustifiable attack upon my own reputation by Assistant Professor Josiah Royce, since his attack is made publicly, explicitly, and emphatically on the authority of his "professional" position as one of your agents and appointees, I respectfully apply to you for redress of the wrong, leaving it wholly to your own wisdom and sense of justice to decide what form such redress should take. If Dr. Royce had not, by clear and undeniable implication, appealed to your high sanction to sustain him in his attack,--if he had not undeniably sought to create a widespread but false public impression that, in making this attack, he spoke, and had a right to speak, with all the prestige and authority of Harvard University itself,--I should not have deemed it either necessary or becoming to appeal to you in self-defence, or, indeed, to take any public notice whatever of an attack otherwise unworthy of it. But under the circumstances I am confident that you will at once recognize the inevitableness and unquestionable propriety of my appeal from the employee to the employer, from the agent to the principal; and it would be disrespectful to you to doubt for a moment that, disapproving of an attack made impliedly and yet unwarrantably in your name, you will express your disapprobation in some just and appropriate manner. My action in thus laying the matter publicly before you can inflict no possible injury upon our honored and revered Alma Mater: injury to her is not even conceivable, except on the wildly improbable supposition of your being indifferent to a scandalous abuse of his position by one of your assistant professors, who, with no imaginable motive other than mere professional jealousy or rivalry of authorship, has gone to the unheard-of length of "professionally warning the public" against a peaceable and inoffensive private scholar, whose published arguments he has twice tried, but twice signally failed, to meet in an intellectual way. If the public at large should have reason to believe that conduct so scandalous as this in a Harvard professor will not be condemned by you, as incompatible with the dignity and the decencies of his office and with the rights of private citizens in general, Harvard University would indeed suffer, and ought to suffer; but it is wholly within your power to prevent the growth of so injurious a belief. I beg leave, therefore, to submit to you the following statement, and to solicit for it the patient and impartial consideration which the gravity of the case requires.


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