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Media: 40 reels of 35mm microfilm.
Format: Free with Collection
Coverage Dates: Early 19th Century

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Widely recognized today as "the father of American education," Horace Mann was largely a self-made man. Subjected to the most primitive of childhood educations in the early nineteenth century, Mann floundered before meeting an itinerant tutor who prepared him for Brown University in a matter of months. He went on to a distinguished career as lawyer, state legislator, and president of the Massachusetts state senate.

In 1837, however, Mann jumped at the chance to reshape public education as secretary to the new state board of education With only moral suasion to rely on, he rebuilt Massachusetts' educational system and promoted centralized programs still in place around the country: the first normal colleges, minimum school year laws, free nonsectarian education, and adequate funding. He later served as a U.S. congressman and president of Antioch College.

This microfilm edition of Mann's papers includes his general correspondence, lectures, sermons, speeches, legal notes, and journals, letters by Mary Peabody Mann and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody; letters by Eliza A. White to Mary T. Peabody; and other miscellaneous papers and letters from the Massachusetts Historical Society holdings.


Titles from the Massachusetts Historical Society Collections may be purchased by individual reel.

  • Content Type: Guide free with collection.

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