John Walter Wayland was born in 1872 in Woodlawn, Virginia. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1907.
When the Baltimore Sun conducted a competition for the best definition of a true gentleman, John Walter Wayland’s piece, written in 1899, was the winner.
Though composed over a hundred years ago there is much to appreciate and emulate in his words:
The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.