Henry Barnard.

Educational biography. Memoirs of teachers, educators, and promoters and benefactors of education, literature, and science, reprinted from the American journal of education online

. (page 1 of 64)
Online LibraryHenry BarnardEducational biography. Memoirs of teachers, educators, and promoters and benefactors of education, literature, and science, reprinted from the American journal of education → online text (page 1 of 64)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Afl ' v






J \ /


k V.AA^.

' N ^^v^

(Ehttatiaual i







Reprinted from, the American Journal of Education.


Chancellor of the University of "Wisconsin.





ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in tlie year 1838, hy


In the Clerk's Office c f the District Court of Connecticut.



THE memoirs which compose this volume, were originally
prepared by the Editor, or at his request, and in some in-
stances from material furnished by him, for the American
Journal of Education, to accompany an account of the In-
stitution, or System of Education, with which the subject
was connected as founder, benefactor, or teacher. The plan
necessarily included persons still living; but of them, the me-
moirs, so far as the editor's wishes were consulted, was con-
fined to their educational activity no attempt being made
to dwell on other departments of their lives or character.

The selection is made mainly from the first five volumes
of the Journal.

This volume will be followed by a second, devoted to Bene-
factors, and Promoters of Education, Literature, and Science;
and to both, probably other volumes will be added, from time
to time, in the hope of supplying an acknowledged deficiency
in this department of English and American Literature.












Ezekiel Cheever, 13

Samuel Johnson, 43

Caleb Bingham, 53

Timothy Dwight, 78

Thomas H. Gallaudet, 97

Denison Olmsted, 119

Mrs. Emma Willard, 125

Samuel Read Hall, 169

James G. Carter, 182

Warren Colburn, 195

Gideon F. Thayer, 218

William Russell, 227

Harvey P. Peet, 232

William A. Alcott, 249

William C. Woodbridge, 268

Walter R. Johnson, 281

Wilbur Fisk, 297

John Kingsbury, 311

Lowell Mason, 326

George B. Emerson 333

Calvin E. Stowe, 344

Samuel Lewis, 351

Horace Mann, 365

Cyrus Peirce, 405

Nicholas Tillinghast, 439




Francis Dwight, 457

David Perkins Page, 465

William F. Phelps, 473

John S. Hart, 481

Frederick A. P. Barnard, . . 497


Hail! tolerant teachers of the race, whose dower
Of spirit-wealth outweighs the monarchs might,

Blest be your holy mission ! may it shower
Blessings like rain, and bring by human right
To all our hearts and hearths, love, liberty, and light.

propose to devote a portion of our columns from time to time,
to a series of Biographical Sketches of Eminent Teachers and Educa-
tors, who in different ages and countries, and under widely varying
circumstances of religion arid government, have labored faithfully and
successfully in different allotments of the great field of human culture.
We hope to do something in this way to rescue from unmerited
neglect and oblivion the names and services of many excellent men
and women, who have proved themselves benefactors of their race by
sheding light into the dark recesses of ignorance and by pre-occupy-
ing the soil, which would otherwise have been covered with the
rank growth of vice and crime, with a harvest of those virtues which
bless, adorn, and purify society. Such men have existed in every
civilized state in past times. " Such men," remarks Lord Brougham,
"men deserving the glorious title of teachers of mankind, I have found
laboring conscientiously, though perhaps obscurely, in their blessed voca-
tion, wherever I have gone. I have found them, and shared their fellow-
ship, among the daring, the ambitious, the ardent, the indomitably active
French ; I have found them among the persevering, resolute, industrious
Swiss ; I have found them among the laborious, the warm-hearted,
the enthusiastic Germans ; I have found them among the high-minded
but enslaved Italians ; and in our own country, God be thanked, their
numbers every where abound, and are every day increasing. Their
calling is high and holy ; their fame is the property of nations ; their
renown fill the earth in after ages, in proportion as it sounds riot far
off in their own times. Each one of these great teachers of the
world, possessing his soul in peace, performs his appointed course,
awaits in patience the fulfillment of the promises, resting from his
labors, bequeathes his memory to the generation whom his works
have blessed, and sleeps under the humble, but not inglorious epi-
taph, commemorating 'one in whom mankind lost a friend, and no
man got rid of an enemy !' "


We cannot estimate too highly the services rendered to the civili-
zation of Xew England, by her early teachers, and especially the
teachers of her Town Grammar Schools. Among these teachers we
must include many of her best educated clergymen, who, in towns
where there was no endowed Free or Grammar School, fitted young
men of piety and talent for college, and for higher usefulness in church
and state. To her professional teachers and clergy it is due, that
schools of even an elementary grade were established and maintained.
r>ut for them the fires of classical learning, brought here from tho
Public Schools and Universities of England, would have died out, the
rooms of her infant colleges would have been deserted, her
parishes would have ceased to claim a scholar for their minister, the
management of affairs in town and state would have fallen into
incompetent hands, and a darkness deeper than that of the surround-
ing forests would have gathered about the homes of the people. In
view of the barbarism into which the second and third generations of
new colonies seem destined to fall, " where schools are not vigorously
encouraged," we may exclaim with the Rev. Dr. Mather

" 'Tis Corlet's pains, and Cheever's, we must own,
That thou New England, are not Scythia grown. '

Let us then hasten to do even tardy justice to these master
builders and workmen of our popular civilization. In the language
of President Quincy, when about to review the History of Harvard
College for a period of two centuries " While passing down the
series of succeeding years, as through the interior of some ancient
temple, which displays on either hand the statues of distinguished
friends and benefactors, we should stay for a moment in the presence
of each, doing justice to the humble, illustrating the obscure, placing
in a true light the modest, and noting rapidly the moral and intel-
lectual traits which time has spared ; to the end that ingratitude the
proverbial sin of republics, may not attach to the republic of letters ;
and that, whoever feeds the lamp of science, however obscurely, how-
ever scantily, may know, that sooner or later, his name and virtues
shall be made conspicuous by its light, and throughout all time
accompany its lustre."

We commence our .Educational Biography as we propose to
il.'Hirnate the series with a Sketch, such as we have been able to
draw up from scanty materials, gleaned from torn and almost illegible
records of town, and church, and from scattered items in the publica-
tions, pamphlets, and manuscripts of Historical Societies, Antiqua-
rians, and Genealogists of Ezekiel Cheever, the Father of Connecti-
cut School-masters, the Pioneer, and Patriarch of elementary classi-
cal culture in New England.




EZEKIEL CHEEVER, the son of a linen draper of London, was
born in that city on the 25th of January, 1614, Of his education and
life in England, we find no mention ; or any memorial except copies of
Latin verses,* composed by him in London, between the years 1631
and 1637, and manuscript dissertations, and letters written in Latin,
now in the Boston Athseneum. The pure Latinity of these per-
formances, indicate that he enjoyed and improved no ordinary oppor-
tunities of classical training. He came to this country in 163V, land-
ing at Boston, but proceeding in the autumn of the same, or the spring
of the following year, with Theophilus Eaton, Rev. John Davenport, and
others, to Quinnipiac, where he assisted in planting the colony and
church of New Haven his name appearing in the "Plantation
Covenant," signed in " Mr. Newman's Barn," on the 4th of June,
1639, among the principal men of the colony. He was also chosen
one of twelve men out of "the whole number thought fit for the
foundation work of a church to be gathered," which " elect twelve "
were charged "to chose seven out of their own number for the seven
pillars of the church," that the Scripture might be fulfilled " Wisdom
hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars"

From various considerations it is thought that he held the office of
deacon in the first church of New Haven, from 1644 to 1650, and some-
times conducted public worship. In May 1647, among other " gross mis-
carriages," charged upon one " Richard Smoolt, servant to Mrs. Turner,"
for the aggregate of which he was "severely whipped," was his 4 scof-
fing at the Word of God,' as preached by Mr. Cheevers." He was held
in such esteem by the " free burgesses," as to be elected one of th
"Deputies " from New Haven, to the General Court in October 1646.

He commenced there his career as a schoolmaster in 1638, which he
continued till 1650, devoting to the work a scholarship and personal
character which left their mark for ever on the educational policy of

k " A Selection from the Poems of Cheever's Manuscripts" appended to an edition of Rev. Dr.
Mather's CORDERICS AMERICANUS, or Funeral Sermon upon Mr. E/ekiel Cheever, published in
Boston, by Dutton and Wentworth, 1828.


New Haven.* His first engagement was in the only school, which
was opened within the first year of the settlement of the colony, to
which the " pastor, Mr. Davenport, together with the magistrates,"
>vere ordered "to consider what yearly allowance is meet to be given
to it out of the common stock of the town." In 1641, a second and
higher grade of school was established, under Mr. Cheever's charge,
to which the following order of the town meeting refers :

"For the better training of youth in this town, that, through God's blessing,
they may be fitted for public service hereafter, in church or commonwealth, it is
ordered that a free school be set up, and the magistrates with the teaching elders
are entreated to consider what rules and orders are meet to be observed, and
what allowance may be convenient for the schoolmasters care and pains, which
shall be paid out of the town's stock."

By Free Schoolef and Free Grammar School,]; as used in this extract,

*To the bright example of such a teacher, and especially to the early, enlightened, and per.
severing labors of the Rev. John Davenport, the first pastor of the first Church of New Hu-
ven, and of Theophilus Eaton, the first Governor of the Colony, is New Haven indebled for
the inauguration of that educational policy which has made it a seat of learning from its first
settlement for the whole country. The wise forecast and labors of these men contemplated,
and to some extent realized ; 1. Common Town Schools, where " all their sons may learn to
read and write, and cast up accounts, and make some entrance into the Latin tongue." 2. A
Common, or Colony School, with " a schoolmaster to teach the three languages, Latin,
Greek, and Hebrew, so far as shall be necessary to prepare them for the college." 3. A Town
or County Library. 4. A College for the Colony, " for the education of youth in good litera-
ture, to fit them for public service in church and commonwealth." The whole was made
morally certain by the employment of good teachers from the start. After the retirement of
Mr. Cheever from the school, the records of the Town are full of entries showing the solicitude
of the Governor and Minif-ter in behalf of the schools and the education of the children and
youth. Under date of Nov. 8, 1052: " The Governor informs the court that the cause of call-
ing this meeting is about a schoolmaster," that " he had written a letter to Mr. Bower, who
as a schoolmaster at Plymouth, and desires to come into these parts to live, and another letter
about one Rev. Mr. Landson, a scholar, who he hears will take that employment upon him,"
and ''that now Mr. James was come to town, who would teach the boys and girls to read
and write " " and there would be need of two schoolmasters for if a Latin scholmaster come,
it is found he will be discouraged, if many English scholars come to him." About the same
date: "The town was informed that there is some motion again on foot concerning the set-
ting up of a College here at New Haven, which, if attained will in all likelihood, prove very
beneficial to this place" "to which no man objected but all seemed willing." At a General
Court of the Colony, held at Guilford, June 28, 1052, " it was thought [the establishment of a
college for New Haven Colony] to be too great a charge for us of this jurisdiction to undergo
alone. But if Connecticut do join, the planters are generally willing to bear their just propor-
tion for creating and maintaining of acollege there [New Haven]." " At a town meeting, held
February 7, 1667 ['8], Mr. John Davenport. Senior, came into the meeting, and desired to speak
eomething concerning the [Grammar] school; and first propounded to the town, whether
they would send their children to the school, lo be taught for the fitting them for the service
of God. in church and commonwealth. If they would, then, the grant [made by Mr. I), in
1660, as Trustee of the Legacy of Gov. Hopkins] formerly made to this town, stands good ;
but, if not, then it is void : because it attains not the end of the donor. Therefore, he desired
they would express themselves." Upon which several townsmen declared their purpose
of bringing up one or more of their sons to learning," and as evidence of the sincerity of
their derlaraiii.n, and of the former efforts of (;<>v. Eaton and Mr. Davenport, in favor of
liberal education, Prof. Kingsley in his Historical Discourse, on the 200th Anniversary of
the First Settlement of the Town, remarks:^" Of the graduates of Harvard College, from its
foundation to year 1700 [the founding of Yale College], as many ns one in thirty, at !,-a^t. w. re
from the town of New Haven " - with a population, so late as the year 1700, of only five hun.
,j re( } p Hr | ;i< -nfirrrx /// v/ory '/ Kilnfnti'm in Conncelici. '

rst establishment of the FRKE S< ii:>i, - or School for the gratuitous instruction of poor


and in the early records both of towns and the General Court in Connec-
ticut and Massachusetts, was not intended the Common or Public School,

children can be traced back to the early ages of the Christian Church. Wherever a missionary
station was set up, or the Bishops' residence or Seat [cathedra, and hence Cathedral] was fixed,
there gradually grew up a large ecclesiastical establishment, in which were concentrated the means
of hospitality for all the clergy, and all the humanizing influences of learning and religion for that
diocese or district. Along sid of the Cathedral, and sometimes within the edifice where divine
worship was celebrated, a a song scole," where poor boys were trained to chant, and the "lecture
scole," where clerks were taught to read the sacred ritual, and in due time the ''grammar school"
when those who were destined for the higher services of church and state were educated according
to the standard of the times, were successively established. The monasteries were also originally
seats of learning, as well as places of religious retirement, of hospitality for the aged and infirm,
and of alms for the poor of the surrounding country. Their cloister schools were the hearth-stones
of classical education in every country of Europe, and were the germs of the great Universities,
which were encouraged and endowed by learned prelates and beneficient princes for the support and
exaltation of the Christian faith and the improvement of the liberal arts. But for the endowments
and the ordinances and recommendations of early synods and councils, these schools might have
been accessible only to the children of the titled and the wealthy. The council of Lyons in 1215,
decreed "that in all cathedral churches and others provided with adequate revenues, there should
be established a school and a teacher by the bishop and chapter, who should teach the clerks and
poor scholars gratis in grammar, and for this purpose a stipend shall be assigned him ;" and the
third council of Lateran still earlier ordained "that opportunity of learning should not be with-
drawn from the poor, who are without help from patrimonial riches, there shall be in every cathe-
dral a master to teach both clerks and poor scholars gratis." In the remodelling of the cathedral
establishments, and the demolition of the monasteries by Henry VIIL. and his successors, several of
the cathedral schools were provided for, and Royal Grammar Schools founded out of the old
endowments. See Barnard's National Education in Europe.

t The names, by which the various educational institutions in the colonies were designated
in the early records and laws on the subject, were adopted with the institutions themselves
from the fatherland, and must be interpreted according to the usage prevailing there at the
time. By a Grammar School whether it was a continuation of the old Grammar School of
the Cathedral, or the Cloister School of the Monastery, in some cases dating back even beyond
the reign of Alfred or newly endowed by Royal Authority out of the spoils of the religious
houses, by Henry VIIL, Elizabeth, or Edward VI. or established by benevolent individuals
afterwards was meant a school for the teaching of Greek and Latin, or in some cases Latin
only, and for no other gratuitous teaching. A few of the poor who were unable to pay for
their education were to be selected some according to the parish in which they were born
or lived, some on account of the name they bore, and to receive instruction in the learned
languages, and under certain conditions to be supported through the university. These Public
Grammar schools were thus the nurseries of the scholars of England, and in them the poor
and the rich, to some extent enjoyed equal advantages of learning, and through them the way
to the highest honors in the state, and the largest usefulness in the church was opened to thg
humblest in the land. See Barnard's National Education in Europe.

"Considerations concerning Free Schools as settled in England" by Christopher
Wase, published in Oxford, 1678. Carlisle's " Endowed Grammar Schools in England and
Wa?es." 2 vols, London. 1818. Ackermanns,'' History of the Principal Schools of England,"
London, 181G. Parliamentary Reports of Commissioners to enquire into the Endowed Char-
ities of England and Wales from 1826 to 1850.

The Free Schools of England were originally established in towns where there was no old
Conventual, Cathedral, Royal or Endowed Grammar School. With very few exceptions these
schools were founded and endowed by individuals, for the teaching of Greek, and Latin, and
for no other gratuitous teaching. The gratuitous instruction was sometimes extended to all
the children born or living in a particular parish, or of a particular name. All not specified
and provided for in the instruments of endowment paid tuition to the master.

The total value of Endowed Charities for Education in England and Wales, including the
Grammar and Free Schools, and excluding the Universities and Great Public Schools ol Eton,
&c., according to a late report of the Commissioners for Inquiry into tneir condition, is
returned at 75 000.000. and the annual income at .1.209.39:3, which, by judicious and
faithful management, it is estimated, can be raised to -1.000 000, or 20.000 000 a year. Ear-
nard's National Education in Europe, P. 736.



as afterwards developed, particularly in Massachusetts, supported by tax,
and free of all charge to all scholars rich and poor ; neither was it a Charity
School, exclusively for the poor. The term was applied here, as well
as in the early Acts of Virginia* and other states, in the same sense,
in which it was used in England, at the same and much earlier
dates, to characterize a Grammar School unrestricted as to a class
of children or scholars specified in the instruments by which it was
founded, and so supported as not to depend on the fluctuating
attendance and tuition of scholars for the maintenance of a master.
In every instance in which we have traced their history, the " free

* The Virginia Company in 1619, instructed the Governor for the time being to see "that
each Town, Borough, and Hundred procured, by just means, a certain number of their chil-
dren, to be brought up in the h'rst elements of literature : that the most towardly of them
should be fitted for college, in the building of which they proposed to proceed as soon as
any profit arose from the estate appropriated to that use ; and they earnestly required their
utmost help and furtherance in that pious and important work." In 1621, Mr. Copeland,
chaplain of the RoyalJames, on her arrival from the East Indies, prevailed on the ships
company to subscribe JEIOO toward 4i a free schoole," and collected other donations of
money and books for the same purpose. The school was located in Charles City, as being
most central for the colony, and was called " The East India School." The company
allotted 1000 acres of land, with five servants and an overseer, for the maintenance of the
master and usher. The inhabitants made a contribution of jEloOO to build a house, &c-

A second Free School was established in Elizabeth City in 1642; although Gov. Berkeley,
in 1670, in reply to the Question of the Commissioners of Foreign Plantations, " what course
is taken about instructing the people within your government in the Christian religion ; and,
what provision is there made for the paying of your ministry 1" answered as follows:

" The same course that is taken in England out of towns ; every man, according to his
ability, instructing his children. We have forty-eight parishes, and our ministers are well
paid, and, by my consent, should be better, if they would pray oftener, and preach less. But,
of all other commodities, so of this, the worst are sent us, and we have had few we could
boast of since the persecution in Cromwell's tyranny drove pious, worthy men here. But,
1 thank God, there are no free schools, nor printing, and, I hope we shall not have these
hundred years ; for, learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world,
and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from
both ! "

To the same question the Governor of Connecticut, replied : " Great care is taken for the
instruction of the people in the Christian Religion, by the ministers catechising of them and
preaching to them twice every Sabbath day, and sometimes on Lecture days, and also by
masters of families instructing and catechising their children and servants, being required so
to do by law. There is in every town, except one or two new towns a settled minister, whose
maintenance is raised by rate, in some places jElOO, in some JE90. &c." In a subsequent
answer to similar questions the Governor states that one-fourth of the annual revenue of the
Colony, " is laid out in maintaining free [common] schools for the education of our children."

The first school established in Manhattan [New York], was by the West India Company, in
. This was an Elementary Parochial School under the management of the deacons of the
Dutch Church, and is still continued. The first " Latin Schoolmaster" was sent out by
the Company in 1659. In 1702 a " Free Grammar School " was partially endowed on the
King's farm; and in 1732 a " Free School for teaching the Latin and Greek and practical
branches of mathematics " was incorporated by law. The bill for this school, drafted by Mr.
Phillipse, the Speaker, and brought in by Mr. Delancey, had this preamble ; " Whereas the
youth of this Colony are found by manifold experience, to be not inferior in their natural gen-

Online LibraryHenry BarnardEducational biography. Memoirs of teachers, educators, and promoters and benefactors of education, literature, and science, reprinted from the American journal of education → online text (page 1 of 64)