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[287] invited to lecture in each of the New England States. I went to Portsmouth, Concord, Nashua, and Keene, N. H.; to Providence and Newport, R. I.; to Hartford, Conn.; to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. I went through our own State, holding conventions at the large central towns. All this time I seemed to have little real success. I began to despair. I returned, after two years of excessive toil, to my professional duties, concluding that the time had not yet come for this great movement. One evening, in January, 1837, I was sitting reading to my family, when a letter was brought me from the friends of education in the Massachusetts Legislature, asking me to lecture on my hobby subject before that body. I was electrified with joy. The whole heavens to my eye seemed now filled with rainbows. January 18th came, and the hall of the House of Representatives was perfectly full. I gave an account of the Prussian system; and they asked if I would lecture again. I consented, and, the next evening, endeavored to show how far the Prussian system could be safely adopted in the United States.

Here my immediate connection with the cause may be said to stop; for one of my auditors, the Hon. Edmund Dwight, after this, took the matter into his hands, and did for it all a patriot could ask. He gave $10,000 for the establishment of Normal Schools, on condition the State would give as much. This happily settled the matter. A “ Board of Education” was established, and they found the man exactly suited to the office of Secretary; and at Worcester, Aug. 25, 1837, I had the satisfaction of congratulating the American Institute, in a public address, on the realization of wishes which they had for years cherished. Mr. Mann entered upon his labors that day; and the results are gladdening the whole country. May God still smile on this cause of causes, until schools shall cover the whole world with knowledge, and Christianity shall fill it with love!

My friend, do not misinterpret my letter by supposing that I originated these ideas. Oh, no! They were picked up by me in Europe. There had been an attempt at a teachers' seminary at Lancaster; and the American Institute, unknown to me, had discussed the subject before I was a member; and the idea was not a new one. All I did was to bring it from Europe with me, and talk about it, and write about it, until the Old Colony adopted it. I hope the many early friends I had there will believe me when I say, that, without their generous and steady co-operation, I should have failed in my plans. The Normal Schools are of Prussian origin; but let us not mourn on that account. The beautiful fountain of Arethusa sank under the ground in Greece, and re-appeared in Sicily; but I have never read that the Sicilians mourned for the appearance of that foreign blessing among them.

Bespeaking your patient forbearance under this epistolary infliction, I am, as ever, yours, truly,

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