The Harvard Speakers.
Of the four, Dobyns alone has had previous experience in intercollegiate debates, having made the Princeton debate last year, and, as substitute, the Yale debate also. Youngman, Warren and Steward, however, have all benefited by several years' experience in the debating clubs. They have also received training in English VI and English 10, and have taken courses in economics and history.
It speaks well for the energy and hard work of the Forum that three of the speakers, Youngman, Dobyns and Steward, are members of that club.
William Sterling Youngman '96, of the Law School, spoke first for Harvard. He is 23 years old and comes from Williamsport, Pa. At the Williamsport High School he showed interest in debating, and became president of the school debating club. He graduated at the head of his class in 1891.
Youngman's work at college has been chiefly in the departments of history, economics and English. He has taken English 10 and English VI. In his junior year he joined the Forum, of which he is now president, and last year he won a Boylston Prize, and spoke well in the Union-Forum Debate.
Last spring in the class race he rowed No. 2 on the '95 crew. He is president of the Weld Boat Club, and has won the singles scull prizes for the last three years. In the New England regatta of '95, Youngman and B. W. S. Thomson won the Junior double scull race.
Ever since his freshman year Youngman has worked for the 'varsity debates, and he has well earned his final success. His speaking is forcible and direct.
The second Harvard speaker was Joseph Parker Warren '96, of Boston. He is 22 years old. He graduated from the Boston Latin School in '92, at the head of his class, delivering at Commencement, the class oration. He also won there the Derby medal for an English poem.
All through his course at college, Warren has been interested in debating. He has, like Youngman, shown great perseverance, and obtained much valuable experience in trying for 'varsity debates. In '92, at the beginning of the Yale debates, Warren was the only freshman chosen among the twelve charter members of the reorganized Union. Since then he has held various offices in the club, and is now president. He represented the Union in last year's inter club debate.
Warren has maintained at college the high position in scholarship which he attained at school. He was the only '96 man in the Latin play, and took second year honors in classics and History. He was in the first eight chosen last year for the Phi Beta Kappa.
Warren's chief weakness as a speaker lies in his lack of form and ease. His clearness, however, and his logical argument do much to atone for these deficiencies.
The third Harvard speaker, Fletcher Dobyns '98, is 23 years of age, and comes from Oberlin, O. He prepared at the Oberlin Academy, where he was president of one of the two debating clubs, and won second place in a state oratorical contest, although college seniors were among his competitors.
In 1892 Dobyns was elected vice-president of the National Intercollegiate Prohibition Association, and later, under the direction of the national committee of the Prohibition party, he spoke in all the colleges of some twenty-five states, an experience which has aided him greatly in his debating work.
Dobyns was chosen substitute for the Yale debate last fall, and later made the Princeton debate. He is a member of the Forum, which he represents in the recently formed advisory committee on debating. His college courses have been chiefly in the departments of philosophy and economics.
Dobyns is a persuasive speaker, combining force with an intelligent grasp of his subject matter.
The substitute speaker was Frank Rudolph Steward '96, of Fort Missoula, Mont. He is 23 years old. Steward graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, and while there won first prize in oratory.
In college he has made a specialty of English, history and economics. He has taken English 10 and is now in English VI. He is vice-president of the Forum, of which he has been a prominent and hard working member. He delivered a strong speech for the Forum in the inter club debate last year, and has proved himself an effective speaker.
Steward's form is graceful and convincing.