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[p. 18] be the means of renovating the church, of reforming society, of saving the world.’1

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 circular which he had carefully prepared and had printed as a broadside, containing sixteen hundred words. The date was November 10, 1836, and the convention was not to meet until December 7, nearly a month later. But communication was slow in those days.

After a brief appeal by way of introduction, he said:—

In order that we may do something I would propose that a convention of delegates from the several towns in the county meet at Plymouth in Court Week (Wednesday, December 7, at 6 P. M.), to discuss the merits of the greatly improved modes of elementary instruction which have been in most successful operation for several years in Germany, Prussia, and other European states. This step might result in the appointment of a Board of Education. . . .

There is one provision preparatory to a full instruction of our youth, which I deem of vast moment; I mean, a seminary for preparing teachers. After this is established, all other improvements may be easily carried forward; and until this is done, we shall, I fear, advance, but in very slow and broken steps. In Prussia there are forty-two such seminaries, and they are there found to be the very life blood of their school system, a system vastly superior to ours. Two such seminaries, one for males, and the other for females, situated, the one in Plymouth and the other in Middleboro, would soon have a direct influence on every school in the county.

He then mentions in detail topics that might be discussed to advantage in meetings called officially by the Board of Education, such as schoolhouses and their construction, school books, compulsory attendance, and the

1 Hingham Gazette, April 15, 1836.

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