There is one name that stands out above all others in the early years of the educational revival, that is, prior to 1837, James G. Carter
of Lancaster, Massachusetts
A Harvard graduate of 1820, a teacher by profession, a clear, strong thinker, and a forcible writer, he began as early as 1824 to publish to the world his thoughts on the Principles of Instruction.
Then he sought to reach the public through the columns of a Boston newspaper, and suggested an outline of an institution for the education of teachers.
His ideas were new, attracted much attention, and were discussed in the periodicals of the time.
He was active in founding the American Institute of Instruction, in 1830, an organization that still exists in a flourishing condition, thus proving Carter
's appreciation of what was needed.
Later, as a member of the Legislature, he strove earnestly for the cause of education, as we shall see presently.1
But there was one thing lacking to set the work going, namely, the arousing of public sentiment to demand action that would lead to better teachers and better schools, and to this work, for which he was especially adapted, Charles Brooks
gave three of the best years of his life.
Now we left Mr. Brooks
a while ago, sailing for Europe
Let us return to him and hear him tell in his own words how he was led to take up this work.2
At a literary soiree in London, August, 1834, I met Dr. H. Julius of Hamburg, then on his way to the United States, having been sent by the King of Prussia to learn the condition of our schools, hospitals, prisons, and other public institutions.
He asked to be my room-mate on board ship.
I was too happy to accede to that request.
A passage of forty-one days from Liverpool to New York gave me time to ask all manner of questions concerning the noble, philosophical and practical system of Prussian elementary education.
He explained it like a sound scholar and a pious Christian.
If you will allow the phrase, I fell in love with the Prussian system, and it seemed to possess me like a missionary angel.
I gave myself to it, and in the Gulf Stream I resolved to