Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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HOLMES, John, Canadian educator, born in Windsor, Vermont, in 1799; died in Lorette, near Quebec, Canada, in 1852. He was preparing to enter the ministry of the Wesleyan church, when he became a convert to Roman Catholicism. He subsequently studied philosophy and theology in the seminary of Montreal and was a professor for some time in Nicolet college. While there he was ordained priest, and appointed assistant to the cure of Berthier, after leaving which parish he was a missionary to the eastern townships. In 1828 he entered the seminary of Quebec as professor, was elected a director, and soon became principal. He was the first to introduce the study of Greek into the seminary, and created a sensation by the introduction of dramatic performances, music, and dialogues in public examinations. He was commissioned in 1836, by the provincial government, to inquire into the system of normal schools in Europe and the United States, and to procure teachers and apparatus for the new normal school at Montreal, which was opened upon his return to Canada in 1837. The insurrection and the suspension of the constitution, however, soon forced its projectors to close the institution, and it was not reopened until twenty years afterward. In 1838 a domestic addiction led him to live thenceforth in seclusion, and he appeared only to deliver a course of Lenten lectures, which was published as "Conferences de Notre Dame de Quebec" (1850). He published also a "Manuel abrege de geographie moderne" (revised ed., Quebec, 1870).
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