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The Cambridge of eighteen hundred and ninety-six: a picture of the city and its industries fifty years after its incorporation (ed. Arthur Gilman) 1 1 Browse Search
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 10. 1 1 Browse Search
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onal policies, Mr. Cogswell has shown rare wisdom and tact, and throughout his prolonged experience has enjoyed the uninterrupted confidence of his committee, the schools, and the public. It is usually understood that the first superintendent of schools in Massachusetts was appointed in Springfield in 1840. Cambridge records show, however, that the town warrant of March 17, 1836, contained an article with reference to employing a superintendent of schools, that the school committee, April 15, 1836, voted to employ one of their number in that capacity, that Josiah Hayward was accordingly elected superintendent, April 25, 1836, and that his salary was fixed at $250. The office was not kept up long in Cambridge; but in Springfield it was permanent, so that Springfield's claim to priority has a pretty solid basis. The high school system of Cambridge embraces practically three schools,—the Cambridge Latin School, under the head mastership of William F. Bradbury, with 14 teachers and
a long one, but that was a characteristic of the meetings of that time. The names of twelve of the speakers are given in the report in the Hingham paper, prepared by Mr. Brooks, and among them are found Unitarian and Trinitarian Congregationalists, Baptists, and Methodists. One sentence from the report must suffice: It seemed deeply impressed on many minds that Sabbath-schools were to be the means of renovating the church, of reforming society, of saving the world. Hingham Gazette, April 15, 1836. By the autumn of 1836 Brooks had had enough experience in the presentation of his subject to enable him to formulate a definite plan of campaign, and that this plan was successful the sequel shows. The changes of the last seventy years have already been spoken of. Here is another instance, for the method Brooks adopted successfully then would hardly attract attention now, even if it did not defeat the purpose entirely. His plan was to call a convention. First, he sent out a cir