George Downing's Eulogy of Philip White

Mr. Downing’s tribute to the memory of his friend was not only exhaustive, but eloquent. It dealt with the character of the man and made it an opportunity for reading a lesson to all his people. Among other things, he said: “God gave him to earth and his generation on June 27, 1823. His parents were well worthy of the son, who inherited the sterling qualities of each. His father, a native of the north of England, gave him those mental peculiarities so prominent in the Saxon race; his mother gave him a sense of family pride, virtuous habits and inspired him with an aim to be great and good. When the boy Philip was 8 years old his father died; this laid upon the mother the arduous task of maintaining and rearing a family. To her close devotion and judicious training the success of her youngest son was mainly due. For this devoted self-sacrificing mother Mr. White always expressed the deepest filial affection. For some years prior to his decease, Thomas White was a confirmed invalid. His confinement to the house brought him into close and more frequent contact with his children than is customary. They busied themselves in giving him the countless little attentions so essential to the comfort of an invalid, and, at his knee, spelled the first reading, recited the catechism and childish hymns and prayers; nor did the stern old English gentleman forget to instill into the impressible minds a reverent awe for the Creator and a respectful love for parents. He exacted instant, unquestioning obedience, and supervised manners and morals after the good old fashion of that era. Until the loss of their head, this family, obscure, but happy, grew and throve in a little world of their own.

From: "Downing's Eulogy." Brooklyn Citizen, March 27, 1891