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[p. 26]

It is doubtful if again an attempt will be made to prepare a paper on the work of Charles Brooks for Normal Schools. It seems, therefore, that I should submit to you at this time what is the conclusion of my delving as an ‘educational antiquary,’ a personification of Mr. Brooks' fancy of sixty years ago.

There are three men who will stand out above others in the history of that time: Carter, who showed the need; Brooks, who offered the remedy and aroused public attention so that the law was established, and Horace Mann, who put the law into practice.

At the Framingham meeting in July, 1864, one of the orators prepared an historical sketch of the labors of the men of the fourth decade of the century, and described what each had done. Of Brooks, he said:—

To Charles Brooks, whose labors in the years 1835-6-7 were second to those of no man—one might also say to no number of men—we owe the particular form which normal schools took, and he did very much toward preparing the public mind to look with favor on the new system. From his friend, Victor Cousin, the first scholar of France, he obtained reports and documents, and encouraging words which were to him the pabulum vitae; for in this phase of the enterprise he stood almost, if not quite alone; yet planting his feet literally on Plymouth Rock, he was conscious of strength. Barnard's Journal of Education, Vol. XVII, p. 664. Historical Sketch by Rev. Eben S. Stearns.

Brooks waived for himself all claim to originating any policy. He found the Prussian system, urged its adoption, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts made it a law. For over ten years, James Carter had been working, but had made little progress. His field was among educators in the American Institute of Instruction, and later in the Legislature, where he did grand work. But the people had not been aroused, and in this particular and important field Brooks labored.

To his audiences Brooks was a man of attractive presence, a cultured gentleman, thoroughly unselfish, plainly influenced by a desire to benefit children, reinforcing his arguments with appeals to his hearers' patriotism

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