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First Day's Proceedings.
The Eighteenth Annual Meeting of the National Educational Association was opened in the Girls' Normal-School Building, in Philadelphia, Pa., at 104 o'clock, A. M., Tuesday, July 29th, 1879.
President John HANCOCK called the Association to order and prayer was offered ly the Rev. A. D. Mayo. The Association was then welcomed by Mayor Wm. S. STOKELY in the following
Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen, Members of the National Educational
I cordially welcome you to the City of Brotherly Love. It is fitting that you should celebrate the attainment of your majority in the city where your Association was organized twenty-one years ago, and I trust that your stay among us may be made very pleasant, and that your deliberations may tend to the advancement of the cause of popular education.
The perpetuation of a free government, and the stability of Republican Institutions can only be maintained by the education of those who are to become citizens, and from whom the country's rulers are to be chosen.
Your duties in ascertaining the best modes of conveying and imparting instruction to the youthful mind, fitting the recipients for the arduous duties of life, and so shaping and directing their studies that they may become useful and intelligent members of society, while a very pleasant task, is attended with grave responsibilities; and my earnest wish is that the present convention, under the guidance of Him from whom comes all knowledge, may be of great service in strengthening and refreshing those who teach, that they in turn may have enlarged opportunities and increased capabilities to impart knowledge to the rising generation.
EDWARD SHIPPEN, Esq., then followed with the following
ADDRESS. Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen :
The pleasing privilege of giving you words of welcome and cordial greeting on behalf of the educational interests of Philadelphia has fallen upon me during the unavoidable absence of my friend Mr. Steel, President of our Board of Education. You are now assembled in the place of the nativity of your Association. Twenty-one years ago you left us, and have now attained lawful age. Meanwhile you have travelled over our land, from city to city, increasing in strength and usefulness and scattering broadcast your combined wisdom and experience. At last you gather again around the parental hearthstone in the pride and vigor of full manhood. It is fitting, therefore, that Philadelphia's honored and respected Chief Magistrate, the Mayor, should tender a city's welcome, and all these words of his I cordially second, bidding you a thousand welcomes and offering unto you, collectively and individually, the kindest greetings and salutations.
In doing so I respond not only to the feelings of every educational official and teacher, but to those of a city's million. It is true that we have not killed for you the fatted calf, yet we have prepared the tables for the feast of reason which you yourselves have provided. All of our institutions of learning, of science, art, and benevolence have opened wide their doors to our guests. The time-honored University of Pennsylvania invites you to its palatial edifices, literary, scientific, and medical. The Academy of Fine Arts seeks your presence in its costly, refined, and elegant galleries. The Academy of Natural Sciences, the largest in America, bids you welcome there. The Institution for the Deaf and Dumb invites your attendance, as does also the Museum of Industrial Art in Centennial grounds, and you are claimed at the last of your three days, at the Permanent Exhibition, at the Main Building, which is honored by all who love our Centennial memories. All Philadelphia's institutions bid you welcome, and in truth, ladies and gentlemen, you are welcome everywhere in our city of Brotherly Love.
May I tell you a profound secret in implicit confidence? We are a proud people; proud of our ancient memories and history; proud of the legion of great and good men who have been born or lived or died with us; proud of the noble acts of our ancestors in the days which tried the very hearts and reins of men; of our institutions and their fruits, and proud of the fresh Centennial memories which have so gilded and reflected American honor, intelligence, and learning in every corner of the earth. That is my secret. But we are proud also, of the presence here to-day of the vast array of wise and learned men and women who compliment Philadelphia by meeting here in educational conclave. This last is no secret, I ask you to blazon forth this pride on the permanent pages of your record.
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, I bear to you Philadelphia's cordial salutation, greetings, good-will, and welcome, and beg your acceptance of them.
At the close of this address Mr. SHIPPEN stated that a card of member. ship in the Association would admit the holder of it, free of charge, to nearly every place of special interest in the City, and read special invitations to visit the followiug:
1. Permanent Exhibition.
President HANCOCK responded to the address of welcome in the following
ADDRESS. This city has many sacred associations, and we come here to celebrate our majority, and I trust that this celebration will be of such a character that we shall go away strengthened for our work, and that the Association will leave associations for good for your people. Mr. Mayor, you preside over one of the great cities of the world—a city containing nearly one million inhabitants; a city which has more comfortable homes for its laboring classes in proportion to the population than any other city on the globe. Your prosperity is founded upon a solid basis; it is founded upon the intelligence of its people. Here was given expression to the thought that has cheered men and rendered them enthusiastic all over the world. Here was pronounced the doctrine of equality of chances in life, and our educational system only goes to carry out that grand doctrine.
The gentleman who has spoken for the Board of Education I sincerely thank for the welcome extended us. I have learned that you have an army of 100,000 children in your public schools. This army is led by 2000 teachers. What an army, what a corps is this in the community! It is an army that marches to conquests of peace, and such an army is irresistible when properly officered. It is not only in this school, in this army, that you are strong, but your higher institutions are buttressing the walls of your material intellectual wealth so that no enemy can throw them down and enter upon your domain. You have Girard College, a grand charity, your Academy of Fine Arts, with its fine collection of paintings, and other institutions with elevating influences throughout your whole city. Your Permanent Exhibition, which is a continuation of the grandest exhibition which was ever held in this or any other country, is; also a great educator. All these things are going on to build you up in the prosperity that, as I think, has its foundation upon a basis that cannot be overturned. On behalf of the Association I tender our thanks to you, Mr. Mayor, and to the gentleman who has spoken for the Board of Education.
The President then proceeded to read the following
INAUGURAL ADDRESS. A half century ago two great educational organizations were established in this country. The one embraced in its field of operations chiefly the New-England States; the other the States of the Mississippi Valley. A great cloud of teachers in the midst of the noble White Mountains joined in the exercises of the fiftieth annual meeting of the first, within the present month; the second held its last meeting in the year 1845. It matters little which may justly claim precedence by a year, and this is no place to discuss the question. In the one were found the learning, wisdom, zeal, and self-sacrifice of the educators of the older part of our country, of that section which has done so much to shape all our institutions; in the other were united for like purposes the educators of the same character belonging to the States of the Great West.
The American Institute of Instruction had its origin in a convention of teachers held in the city of Boston, in the month of March, 1830. At this meeting a committee, consisting of EBENEZER BAILEY, BENJAMIN D. EMERSON, ABRAHAM ANDREWS, GEORGE B. EMERSON, GIDEON F, THAYER, HENRY K. OLIVER, and J. WILDER, was appointed to prepare a constitution. This duty was discharged by the committee, and the first regular meeting of the Association was held in Boston on the 19th of August of the same year. The introductory discourse was delivered by Rev. FRANCIS WAYLAND, President of Brown University, “On the Object of Intellectual Education, and the Manner in which that Object is to be Attained.”
It had been proposed to call the society the New-England Association: of Teachers, but as several other States were represented in the meeting, a more comprehensive name was given it. But notwithstanding its amended title, the American Institute has been and still remains essentially a New-England institution, though educators from other States have always received a hearty welcome to its meetings. One needs but to glance through its fifty published volumes of proceedings to learn how wide has been the field covered by its discussions. It is safe to say that no subject, however remote its connection with education, has escaped notice. And when we read over the roll of great men who participated in these discussions, there is no need of inquiry as to the ability with which all topics. were treated. In addition to the names already given as belonging to the early history of the Institute may be added those of MANN, BARNARD, ALCOTT, COLBURN, Dwight, GREENE, FELTON, FOWLE, NORTHEND, PIERCE, RUSSELL, SEARS, PHILBRICK, TWEED, Miss PEABODY, and a mighty host scarcely less eminent.
Now that women have deservedly come to occupy so prominent a place as instructors of youth, the following provision of the original constitution of the Institute has a ring of the antique about it, and can scarcely fail to