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Van Bokkelen

maryland, life and fame

VAN BOKKELEN, 1361c-kelan, Libertus, American educator and clergyman: b. New York City, 22 July 1815; d. Buffalo, 1 Nov. 1889.

Although most of his life was spent as rector of various Protestant Episcopal churches in the States of Maryland. and New York, and al though during the Civil War period he was widely knowp as an Abolitionist, his chief claim to fame is doubtless his notable career as an educator. In 1845 at the suggestion of Bishop Whittingham of Maryland he established a church military school, known as Saint Timo thy's Hall, at Catonsville, Md. This was the first school of its kind in the United States, and it soon became widely known throughout the South. His national fame, however, rests on the fact that in 1864 he was appointed by Gov ernor Bradford as the first superintendent of public education for the State of Maryland; and in this capacity he elaborated a comprehen sive educational plan which was incorporated in a bill entitled "A Uniform System of Public In struction for the State of Maryland." Dr. Van

Bokkelen's administration of his high office was so successful that Franklin and Marshall Col lege, Lancaster, Pa., in 1865 conferred on him the degree of LL.D. When Maryland adopted a new constitution in 1867 the office which he held was abolished, and he, therefore,.returned once more to private life. On the day after his death the Buffalo Express paid him the fol lowing glowing tribute: "Dr. Van Bokkelen was indeed a remarkable man. He was a scholar who had become an authority on educa tional questions, a patriot and a philanthropist who dared to be an Abolitionist in a southern community, an able business man, and, withal, a devout and earnest pastor. To few men has it been granted to do so much good in a lifetime, and none can leave a fairer fame as a legacy to their loved children.* A fuller account of his life may be found in George C. Keidel's 'Ca tonsville Biographies) (1915).