Educator/Founder, Boys’ School
Born 2 March 1818 in New York (Manhattan), New York
Died 12 September 1896 in New York (Manhattan), New York
Buried Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York
Proposed by Gulian C. Verplanck
Elected 1 November 1856 at age thirty-eight
Archivist’s Note: Father of Charles W. MacMullen
We shall all of us miss our old friend John MacMullen, the sturdy, uncompromising, earnest, but kindly and gentle man, first in debate and last to yield the field, who has gone in and out before us for over forty years, and has found his recreation and pleasure so complete within these walls that he was seldom missed from our meetings, and noticeable from the interest he took in any subject under discussion. For nearly fifty years he conducted a boys’ school in the city, numbering among his pupils many of our most prominent and distinguished men, who will bear witness to his worth and high character. The originality of his methods, the thoroughness of his instruction, his earnest devotion to his calling, his intelligence and appreciation of the work he had to do, brought him distinction and merited success. He was a good citizen, an ardent lover of liberty, especially prominent in the struggle for the independence of Greece and the establishment of the Italian Kingdom. In his early years, in order to prepare himself for his profession, he had, like Goldsmith, traveled all over Europe on foot, and there are lines in the “Deserted Village” which suggest and describe him:
“A man severe he was, and stern to view;
I knew him well, and every truant knew:
Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault.
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
And e’en the story ran that he could gauge.
In arguing too the parson owned his skill,
For e’en though vanquished he could argue still.”
Well he served his day and generation, and we can earnestly say, peace to his ashes.
Henry E. Howland
1897 Century Association Yearbook