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In March, 1856, the “ Louisville Teachers' Institute" was formed, which soon embraced the greater part of the teachers of the public schools as well as some private teachers.
The fourth convention (semi-annual) met at Harrodsburg, 23d August, 1859. Addresses were delivered by Prof. W. N. Hailman, on “ Object Teaching,” and by Prof. J. B. Dodd, on the “ Nature of Arithmetical Science.” The subject of the use of the Bible as a text-book in schools, excited a warm discussion. When and how books shall be used in the education of the young, and the proportion of the day and of the year that pupils should be confined to study, as also the affairs of the Journal, were made subjects of debate. It was resolved to discontinue the weekly paper and to commence the publication of the “ Educational Monthly," the first number of which was issued in November, 1859,-E. A. Holyoke, resident editor. A committee, consisting of Pres. L. W. Green, Pres. Robert Milligan, and Pres. J. A. Williams, was appointed to memorialize the Legislature in behalf of a Normal School.
The third Annual Meeting was held at Paris, Dec. 27th, 1859. Addresses were delivered by Pres. Milligan, Prof. W. N. Hailman, and Noble Butler, and discussions were held upon the expediency of public examinations in high schools and academies, the best methods of teaching history and composition in schools, and the relation of parent and pàpil to the teacher. Action was also taken in promotion of the formation of County Associations. E. A. Grant and E. A. Holyoke were reëlected as president and secretary,
The semi-annual meeting of the Association in August, 1860, was ueld at the Mammoth Cave, at which addresses were delivered by Prof. Parsons, on the “ Uses and Abuses of Intellect ;" by Prof. Wilson, or “ Language ;” and by Dr. Hamilton, of Tennessee, on " Introducing Industrial Departments into the Female Schools of the South.” The amount of mental discipline afforded by the study of the usual common school course, and the present system of college discipline were made the subjects of protracted dissussion. The publication of the “ Monthly” was discontinued during the year, and the subsequent meetings of the Association were interrupted by the events of the Rebellion. An attempt was made to resuscitate it in 1864, but unsuccessfully. Under the auspices of the State Board of Education a new organization was effected in 1865, but of the plan or proceedings of the meeting we have seen no account.
that they could read any classical author into English and readily make and speak true Latin, and write it in verse as well as in prose, and perfectly decline the paradigms of nouns and verbs in the Greek tongue, they were judged capable of admission to Harvard College."* This standard of “admission” speaks well for the early scholarship of the college as well as of its preparatory schools. It may be doubted whether the standard of classical attainments, on the whole, was not higher then at Harvard than it has been in any American college since.
It is certain that good scholars of that day could both make and speak “true Latin,” the language which learned men of the time used with the ease and fluency of their own vernacular. The first civilians and ministers of New England, the Winthrops and Winslow, Robinson, Cotton, Ward, Rogers, and Chauncey, were excellent scholars and some of them authors of distinguished repute. Norton, Shephard, Eliot, and Symmes, were graduates of Cambridge, and Davenport of Oxford; and most of them were the contemporaries of John Milton, the great classic scholar of his own century and the great poet of all the centuries. At no period before or since, in the history of English literature, were the ancient classics more eagerly or extensively studied than in the days of the Puritan emigration to America. The great questions of controversy in ecclesiastical and civil affairs were discussed by the master-minds of the time in the Latin tongue, as for instance the conflict of Milton with Salmasius,
In liberty's defense, a noble task,
Of which all Europe rang from side to side. Those great men wrote in Latin, not for a few scholars only but that all the thinking, well educated men of the world might read and understand.
In the great strifes of the first and second English revolution, no class of men in Christendom were more interested than were the early colonists of New England. When we read, then, of their anxious fears, lest the learning, which the first generation of scholars brought with them to these shores, should be buried with them in their own graves, we may better understand what that learning was they prized so much, when we know the uses to which it was applied in their own times, and why they deemed it so essential that that same learning should live after them in all ages of the future.
The dread of the early Puritans as to the decline of learning in the colonies came near to actual realization, notwithstanding their
• Mather's Magnalia, Vol. 20, Book IV. 4.
appointed Chairman, and Prof. A. M. Lea, Secretary. A constitution was adopted, in which the object of the Association was stated to be “ to advance the interests of education in East Tennessee, by improving the common school system, through legislative action and otherwise, by encouraging young men to qualify themselves suitably for the profession of teaching, and by awakening a more general interest upon the subject of education by means of popular lectures and the adoption of such other active measures as may from time to time be deemed expedient.” The following officers were elected :Hon. W. B. Reese, President. R. S. Hynds, S. W. J. Lucky, T. N. Van Dyke, Rev. W. D. Carnes, and D. R. McApally, Vice-Presidents. S. A. Jewett and Rev. T. Macintire, Secretaries. Prof. A. M. Lea, Treasurer. Adjourned meetings were held on the 28th of April and 9th of June, in the same year, at which very little of importance was done, and no farther record of the history of the So ciety appears.
After the war of the Rebellion, Tennessee was the first State in which any general movement was made in behalf of education. On the 21st of July, 1865, in response to a previous call through the press, an Educational Convention met at Knoxville, in the chapel of the Female Institute. Rev. Mr. Humes was elected President; Col. S. R. Rodgers, Vice-President; and J. F. Spence, Secretary; besides whom some forty others were present.
The TENNESSEE STATE TEACHERS' Association was immediately organized by the adoption of a constitution and the election of the following officers :-Rev. Thomas W. Humes, Pres. Col. M. C. Wilcox, VicePres. Prof. John F. Spence, Rec. Sec. Chancellor J. B. Lindsley, Cor. Sec. Dr. R. L. Standford, Treas. Dr. J. B. Lindsley, Col. M. C. Wilcox, and A. A. Gee, Ec. Com. Membership in the Association was made open
to any teacher or active friend of education loyal to the Government of the United States.” The following resolutions were adopted :
That we will do all in our power as teachers and friends of true progress 10 make education free to every child in the State.
That we urge upon the Legislature of the State the establishment (at as early a day as practicable) of Teacher's Seminaries or Normal Schools, for the more thorough training of professional teachers for the schools of the State.
That we bail with pleasure the establishment of schools among the freed people, as the safest and shortest way not only to enable them to take care of themselves, but to fit them for the exercise of the functions of citizens.
Messrs. Dr. J. B. Lindsley, Rev. R. P. Wells, and Hon. S. R. Rodgers were appointed to prepare an address on the subject of popular education, the formation of County and District Teachers' Associations was recommended, and the Association adjourned to meet at Nashville on the 12th of Oct., 1865.
It was at this time of greatest discouragement that the donations of Governor Hopkins were made for the endowment of classical • schools in Hartford, New Haven, Hadley, and Cambridge. No benefaction for a good cause was ever more opportunely given. The “true intent” of his legacy was well expressed in the words of his will “ to give encouragement in those foreign plantations for the breeding up of hopeful youths, both at the grammar school and college, for the public service of the country in future times.” It was well that the avails of the Hopkins' donations accrued chiefly to the benefit of the grammar schools, which received his endowments. It thus became possible for a classic school, formed after the English grammar school, to be planted on American soil and to take deep root, nourished, as the English schools were, with ample endowments, and to bear fruit perennially to the latest generations.
Whatever fate might befall the grammar schools of other towns planted by the Puritans, it was a consolation to Davenport and his fellow-trustees of the Hopkins' endowments, that one school, at least, in each of the leading colonies, could be maintained, in which the three languages, Lattine, Greeke, and Hebrew, might be taught soe far as was necessary to prepare youth for colledge." Though the Hopkins' donations made it possible to establish grammar schools at a few important localities, yet classic culture did not readily thrive, and those precious funds were in danger of perversion even in New Haven, under the trusteeship of Davenport, who was the only man that conld have saved them. For the people were so poor even in that colony, which was more wealthy than the others, and the public mind was so distracted by the political questions resulting in the union of New Haven Colony with Connecticut, that but little attention was given to the interests of education for the time. Hence, public sentiment at first tolerated the use of the funds for an English school. Indeed, teachers of the classics were so scarce that no fit master could be found except for an English school and hardly for that. " The fittest that could be found was George Pardee, who was willing to do what he was able, but told the town frankly that he had lost much of what learning he formerly attained.” He however “undertook to teach Englishe and to carry on the scholars in Lattine as far as he could; also to learn them to write.” It was then that Mr. Davenport performed “one of the last and most useful public services” to the town of New Haven, by protesting, as he was required to do according to the “ will of the dead," against the longer misapplication of the avails of the Hopkins' fund contrary to the intent of the
donor, and declared it to be his purpose to transfer the fund to some other town if the use of it was not made for a proper grammar school. This intimidation had the desired effect; and as soon as possible the school was established according to the true intent of its founder. “The advantage of this single effort in favor of liberal education," says Prof. Kingsley,* “can not be easily estimated.” One of its results was the great number of young men sent to Harvard College from the single town of New Haven, being one in thirty of all the graduates of that college prior to 1700, and that, too, from a town not having more than five hundred inhabitants at any time during that period.
The endowments at Hartford and Hadley were far less fortunate. The people of those towns used those funds for a long period to maintain schools of no higher grade than a common English school. “ The Hopkins School at Hartford seems to have been the only public school of any sort for the first century of its existence.”+ In 1797 the town of Hartford sought a charter of incorporation and surrendered its control of the Hopkins' fund to a self-perpetuative board of trustees, under wbose management the funds were greatly increased and a classical school of a high order was maintained on the ancient foundation according to the will of the donor. So, too, the Hadley Grammar School became an Academy after the town had controlled and perverted the use of the Hopkins' fund from 1669 to 1816. Under the new organization a contest soon arose between the town and the Academy, which at last was decided by the Supreme Court of Massachusetts in 1833, when Judge Shaw held that the devise of Gov. Hopkins was made, not for founding a town school for the exclusive benefit of the inhabitants of Hadley only, but for all the persons in that (then) newly settled part of the country who desired to avail themselves of a grammar school adapted to instruct and qualify papils for the University."!
If one of our distinguished divines has said that "barbarism is the first danger" of modern civilization in America, it was surely a fearful peril when Hopkins and Davenport tried to withstand it. It was their glory that they laid the foundations of the State aright. They could not be expected to do much more than this, which was their destined work. The day of small things, as they called their own cherished plans and institutions, was really a day of great
* See Kingsley's Historical Discourse, page 92.
See Rev. L. W. Bacon's Address at the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Hopkins Grammar School at New Haven, page 65. (Mr. Bacon is mistaken as to his surmise of there having been no other school at Hartford. H. D.]
I See L. W. Bacon's Address, page 65.