My attention has recently been drawn to the subject of1 Phonography and Phonotypy, and I want you, as a friend of universal reform, to look into it; for I am persuaded you will be delighted with it, as I have been. It is a new system of writing and printing, invented by Mr. Isaac Pitman, a teacher in Bath, England, by which the ignorant masses may be taught to read and write in an almost incredibly short space of time— compressing the labor of months into weeks, and of years into months. As a teacher and a scholar, you know how monstrous and endless are the absurdities and perplexities of English orthography, and how laborious is the ordinary mode of writing. But here is a system devised which brings order out of chaos, makes everything plain, simple, consistent, and infallibly sure, surpasses stenography in the rapidity of writing, and is perhaps next in importance to the discovery of printing in the fifteenth century. It is making great progress in England, and is receiving in this quarter a strong impetus. Several hundred persons in this city (a large number of school-teachers included) have already taken lessons in it, among whom I am one. Our teacher is Mr. Augustus F. Boyle, an English young gentleman, who has been teaching the French language for the last three years, and who enters into this new reform with zeal and spirit. He will probably hand this letter to you, as he leaves immediately to attend a convention of teachers which is to be held in a few days in Syracuse. As he will be able to give you all the information you may desire in regard to this matter, I need not add any more. I understand Mr. Peirce, of the Normal School,2 is much interested in it. This evening we meet to form an American Phonographic Society.Of this Society Mr. Garrison became an officer, and his3 friend May was quickly made president of the branch4 organization established in Syracuse. Anyone who has ever attempted phonography will correctly surmise that Mr. Garrison, with his multiplicity of cares and engagements, and his rigid and laborious, if elegant, penmanship, never acquired the art he dabbled in. Its utility to the abolition cause was the one thing that escaped his prophetic vision. It enormously increased the audience
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.