August, 1837, he quoted from a petition to the Legislature the previous winter, and said, ‘The committee of the institute in their petition gave their evidence before the world in these words, ‘A very large number of both sexes who teach the summer
schools are to a mournful degree wanting in all these qualifications, in short, they know not what
to teach, nor how
to teach, nor in what spirit
to teach, nor what is the nature
of those they undertake to lead, nor what they are themselves
to stand forward to lead them.’’
I will not ask you to burden your minds with these quotations, for it is certain that some of the words will stay by you, such as, ‘young and ignorant persons,’ ‘starved by parsimony,’ ‘hovel,’ ‘farmer's apprentice,’ ‘excitement about new chimney.’
These conditions, mind you, were in Massachusetts
, not in some border territory or frontier settlement, and the time was the third and fourth decades of the last century.
But it must not be supposed that all were indifferent to the existence of such deplorable conditions.
The work of these men is fully discussed by Dr. Hinsdale
in his ‘Life of Horace Mann
in the chapter on ‘Horace Mann
In this he aims ‘to name the principal of Mr. Mann
's precursors, and briefly to characterize their work.’
The bibliography of the educational work is large and complete, and an investigator will find much that will interest him if he compares and contrasts the plans proposed.
But in such a paper as this, which treats of the definite work of Charles Brooks
, it would be wandering from the subject and would tend to confusion if an attempt were made to treat of the general work and of what others were doing, except as such work was related to that which Brooks
marked out to be done by himself.
did a definite and specific work.
Its inception, its progress, and its consummation, all are clearly defined.
did have a clear and definite purpose