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Fröbel attaches the natural sciences to this contemplation of the exter. nal world in a circumference more and more extended, and particularly as a germ and point of departure, the science of botany. With botany is connected, in an entirely organic and living way, the knowledge of the surface of the earth, "for certain plants are companions of the water, and grow on the border of the stream or river ; others prefer the carpet of the meadows and valleys, or the fresh and balmy air of mountains ; others still were brought from distant countries. Therefore plants are excellent guides for the study of geography. Also botany always seconds the education of the sense of color and form, by the reproduction of leaves and flowers in drawing or painting.”
Such are the suggestions left by Fröbel, in view of establishing a bond between the two degrees of primary instruction, between the concrete and the abstract. They are amply sufficient if not to the elaboration of the complete programme of the school proper, at least for the immediate organization of the intermediate class or the lower section of the primary school. By carrying back to unity the intuitions and knowledge which have come to the child by fragments; by restoring the principle of action that animated antiquity, so as to combine knowing and doing in their industry, Fröbel gave a real basis to education. It cannot be denied that there still exists in the realization of his gigantic work more than one gap and more than one want of equilibrium. But he has traced out the plan, surveyed the ground, and collected the materials ; it is for the men of initiative and of good will to do the rest.
PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN CONNECTICUT.
INTRODUCTION. Noah WEBSTER, in his “Miscellaneous Remarks on Divisions of Property, Government, Education, Religion, Agriculture, &c., in the United States," written at Hartford in 1789, after pointing out the wisdom of the founders of Connecticut and Massachusetts in establishing public schools and colleges, and in making the business of teaching respectable, by employing for this purpo-e only young inen of character and education, calls attention to the favorable influences of parish libraries. “They are procured by subscription, but they are numerous, and have made the desire of reading universal. One hundred volumes of books selected from the best writers, read by the principal inhabitants of a town or village, on ethics, history, and divinity will have an amazing influence in spreading knowledge, correcting the morals, and softening the manners of a nation. I am acquainted with parishes where almost «very householder has read the works of Addison, Sherlock, Atterbury, Watts, Young, and similar writings, and will converse handsomely on the subj cts of which they treat." In visiting every part of the State in 1838 to 1842, we noted the existence of over fifty of these libraries prior to 1800, and could in nearly every instance follow the results of reading created and fostered in the families of their members, by the larger number of college graduates in such parishes, and the many persons who had become influential in the professions and public life from these parishes and towns as compared with others where such libraries had not been established. Wherever libraries existed it was found that newspapers were more largely taken and read, and a much livelier and more intelligent public spirit prevailed. Men of ivfluence in the political affairs of the Colony and the country were sure 10 spring up in such communities. The representative men of the time must be looked for in towns where the press makes itself felt through books and newspapers.
These library associations took different names, but their members were generally of the same parish. Durham had a Book Company in 1733; Lyme a Social Library in 1735; Guilford à Parish Library in 1737; and prior to 1800 upwards of fifty were in operation.
'In 1803 the first Youths Library was established in Salisbury, hy a donation of books from Caleb Bingham of Boston; in 1838, the first School Library; in 1838, the first of the cla.s of institutions known as Young Men's Institute, and in 1839 the first Library of Reference (in the Connecticut Historical Society's Collections founded in 1825), by the benefaction of David Watkins n of Hartford in 1837.
United Library Association—1740.* Miss LARNED, in her IIistory of Windham County, devotes a chapter to the “United Library Association,” and “The Wolfllunt," which together give to Pomfret an cnviable position in the llistory of Connecticut. Of the former—the first library association in Eastern Connecticut-wc give a condensed account:
Public libraries were then very rare. Books were costly and money scarce. A small library had been collected at Yalo College. Library associations were formed in Lymo and Guilford in 1738, but Hartford, New London, Norwich and other leading town; had made, as yet, no provision for supplying the public with reading. In Massachusetts, associations for procuring books were becoming very common, and thence spread into the border towns settled by that Colony. A grand Union Library Association, embracing the citizens of Woodstock,+ Pomfret and Killingly, was projected, perhaps by Colonel Johp Chandler and tho Rev. Messrs. Williams and Stiles, all distinguished as the warm friends of learning and literature. A meeting for this object was held September 25, 1739, at the house of Mr. Ebenezer Williams. Very great interest was manifested. Many prominent men from the north part of Windham County were present. Colonel Chandler was there, as fresh, vigorous and eager in promoting intellectual improvement as when fifty years before he taught the Woodstock children how “to write and cypher.” The ministers of the respective towns and parishes were present-Williams of Pomfret, Stiles of Woodstock, Fisk of Killingly, Cabot of Thompson, and Avery of Mortlake. Woodstock was further represented by John May, Benjamin Child, and Penuel Bowen; Pomfret by Abiel Cheney, Ebenezer Holbrook, Joseph Dana, Joseph Bowman, Ephraim Hide, and her two physicians; Mortlake by William Willi ms; Thompson by Hezekiah Sabin, and Joseph Cady, the richest man in the parish, together with William Chandler and the much-tried Samuel Morris from the banks of the Quinebaug. The Hon. John Chandler was appointed moderator, Marston Cabot, scribe, and a most elaborate Triplicate Covenant formally adopted. Each individual covenanted, under his own hand and seal, to pay a certain specified sum, “to be used and improved to purchase, procure, or buy a library, or number, or collection of such useful and profitable English books as the said covenanters by their major vote taken and given . . shall bo agreed and concluded upon, and for no other use or purpose whateverwhich said Library shall be called and known by the name of The United English Library for the Propagation of Christian and Useful Knowledge, and the covenanters or proprietors thereof shall be called and known by the name of The United Society or Company for Propagating Christian and Useful Knowledge; in the towns of Woodstock, Pomfret, Mortlake, and Killingly and west part of Thompson Parish, as aforesaid."
The original articles of regulation and agreement were then agreed to by the following original members of the “United Society or Company for Propa
* l'istory of Windham County, Connect cut. B, Ellen D. Luned. 1874.
+ C.] John Chandler, one of the original propriet. re and settling (f Woodstok, was requested, by the townemen in their first town-meeting assembled in 1690, *t teach anii instructiсhildren and yuthh w to write and cypher.'' in advance ot the establishmnt of a public echool." This he did in bis own hou e for several win'ers. He was town clerk and trigerer, and foremost in all public affairs, military, c vil, and ecc esiastical. He died Aug. 12, 1783, in the 79th year of his age. The Boston Gazette, in chronicling his decease, Bays: "He wa« in the Commiss on of Connecticut forty years ; one of the Council rev. n years, which offices he served with much honor and acceptance, He was a gentleman greatly delighted with conversation; of a mo t generous and hog.
table dis osition. He loved to promote everytbing that was decent and orderiy." Two I his rons graduated at Yale College.
gating Christian and Useful Knowledge "* in the northeast corner of Connecticut:
John Chandler, Esq., twenty pounds.
Samuel Dana, ten pounds.
Among the books belonging to the library, we noticed, Jacobs' Law Dictionary, Chambers' Dictionary, Rrpin's History of England, Burnet's History of his own Times, Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible, Bentley's Sermons, Locke on Government and Education, Quarles' Emblems, Prideaux's Connections, Watts' Logic, Astronomy, and other publications.
In 1745, it was found necessary, on account of the distance of the members from a common centre, to resolve into two organizations.
After the death of Colonel Chandler, a separation was deemed advisable. At a meeting of the “United Company for Propagating Useful and Christian Knowledge in Pomfret, Woodstock, &c., met at the Rev. Mr. Williams', June 7, 1745":
“ Voted, That the society do agree to divide ye books into two parts, viz., one part to Pomfret and Mortlake, and the other to Woodstock and Killingly, according to the interest that the respective proprietors in said towns have therein, and to hold their property according to the abovesaid division, any vote to the contrary notwithstanding."
Thirty-nine volumes were then assigned to Woodstock and Killingly, and the remainder allowed to Pomfret and Mortlake. The residents of the latter
* The name was dubtless sugges:ed by tho London Society for the Propagating Christian and Useful Knowledge.
towns at once renewed the covenant, obliging themselves to keep that part together which belonged to the towns in which they lived as a United Library, and to remain under the same regulations and restrictions in general as the former company, with these additional conditions :
“1. That the said Library shall be governed by votes, according to ye interest which the several persons or members have therein.
2. That no membor be allowed to d spose of his right out of said towns at all.; nor in said towns, but with the consent of the majority of ye proprietors.
3. That each proprietor have liberty to dispose of his right upon his decease, to any one of his heirs living in said towns.
4. That no member be admitted out of said towns.
5. That, inasmuch as the Library is diminished by ye division, the several proprietors shall take out books in proportion to their subscription, or else all shall be obliged to come up to what a twenty pound subscription paid; which addition shall be expended for purchasing more books—and that the Rev. Mr. Williams, Mr. Avery, and Deacon Holbrook be a committee to lay out the money that shall be paid for this end in such books as they shall see fit.
6. That a twenty pound right shall take out two books at a time, though but one of them a folio.
7. That an octavo shall be returned in two months, a quarto. in three months, and a folio in four months.
8. That if any book be abused in the hands of any one of said company, he shall be obliged to make it good.
9. That that article in the covenant which speaks of three of ye same tenor being necessary to be kept, be revoked; one being kept by the scribe and recorded, being sufficient.
10. That Eph. Avery be scribe of said company till otherwise ordered; and shall call meetings on occasion agreeable to ye covenant.
11. That the comm ttee before mentioned shall have power to admit new members in the room of any old ones or such as were never members before, as they shall think fit; i. e., within the towns aforesaid; but no ne shall be admitted without paying equal to what a twenty pound subscription
12. That Mr. Samuel Sumner be keeper of said Library till the company shall agree otherwise—and that Mr. Williams accordingly deliver him the books, together with ye case made to keep you in.”
"The United Society or Company for Propagating Christian and Useful Knowledge in the towns of Pomfret and Mortlake," now numbered twentyone members. Ebenezer Grosvenor, Nathaniel Holmes, Nathaniel Sessions, and Joseph Holland had been previously admitted. Ephraim Hide now resigned his right to Abiel Lyon. The usefulness and popularity of the Library were greatly augmented by its restriction to more convenient limits. New books were from time to time added, less theological and polemic in character, and many residents of Pomfret gladly availed themselves of its privileges. The affairs of the Company were well managed by a faithful and efficient committee, and its membership in time embraced all the leading men of the township. Pomfret's Library became one of her most cherished institutions, and maintained and extended her reputation for intelligence and culture.
Just one hundred years after the establishment of the “United English Library,” the editor of this Journal visited the towns of Woodstock and Pomfret, and had the satisfaction of handling several of these old volumes, which bore evidence of much, and yet careful, usage. It was still more satisfactory to recall at their ancestral bearth-stones the names of individuals in different States eminent for professional and public service, the germs of whose influence could be traced back to the early schools and libraries of Pomfret and Woodstock—the Chandlers, Dwights, Hydes, McClellans, Purnaus, Larneds, Notts, Sumners, &c.