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CONTENTS: 1.-Historical sketch, by Zalmon Richards, of Washington, D. C. II.

Organization and functions of the Association, by William T. Harris, LL. D. III.Constitution of the Association. IV.-Constitution of the National Council of Education. V.-List of meetings, officers, and annual membership from each State. II.- Catalogue of papers and addresses since first organization, subject classification. l'II.-Same, author classification.


By ZALMOX RICHARDS, Washington, D. C. The present name of this association was assumed in 1870, at the annual meeting held in the city of Cleveland, Ohio. Previous to that date it bore the name of " The National Teachers' Association.” This latter name was assumed a' its first organization in Philadelphia, August 26, 1857.

This association has a legitimate origin. It is not the result of any faction, accident, or antagonism. Neither ambition nor rivalry furnished any incentives for its formation, for it was the natural outgrowth from the spirit of the times and the demands of the period.

It is true that at the time of its origin there were not less than twenty-three Stato educational associations in this country, the first of which was organized in the State of New York in 1815. With pleasure we also speak of the “American Institute of Instruction," organized in 1830, wbich is still doing ethicient and highly commendable work in its New England field. The next year after, 1831, “The Western Collego of Teachers” was organized in Ohio. This western association should be specially commended and honored for the evolutionary influence which it exerted not only upon the teaching fraternity of Ohio, but upon the teachers of many other States.

So far as we know now, tho first educational association in this country was organized in Middletown, Conn., under the name of “ The Middlesex County Association for the Improvement of Common Schools.” (See note, ? Barnard's Journal of Education,” Vol. II, p. 19.)

We would also especially refer to “The American Association for the Advancement of Education,” which was the result of a "Convention of the Friends of Common Schools and of Universal Education,” held in Philadelphia in December, 1819, and which completed its organization in 1850. Its prominent original movers and officers for 1819 were Hon. Horace Mann, president; Joseph Henry, John Griscom, Samuel Lewis, Dr. Alonzo Potter, Greer B. Duncan, vice-presidents; Charles Northend, P. Pemberton Morris, Solomon Jenner, secretaries.

The business committeo were Henry Barnard, John S. Hart, Nathan Bishop, H., H. Barney, and Thomas H. Benton, jr. These are all venerable names of noble men, whose intluence in the case of education, public and private, will never cease to be felt both in our own and in other countries.

The influence of all these associations was felt more or less by the first movers in the organization of the National Teachers' Association, but the most direct intuence came from the American Institnte of Instruction, the New York Teachers' Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Education. Of the eleven original founders of the National Teachers' Association, six of whom are now living, three, viz, T. W. Valentine, the first to suggest its organization, and at the 'Read before the National Educational Association at the meeting held in Toronto, Canada, 1891.


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time president of tho New York Teachers' Association, J. W. Bulkley, and James Cruikshank, were representatives of the New York Teachers' Association.

Two of these founders, viz, D. B. Hagar, who propared the original call and drew up the constitution, William E. Sheldon, who, with the speaker, are the only members present to-day, were representatives of the Ainerican Institute of Instruction, and of the Massachusetts State Teachers' Association. Three of them were representatives of educational work in Pennsylvania, viz, J. P. Wickersham, William Roberts, and Edward Brooks. One, C. 8. Pennell, was from Missouri; one, J. D. Geddings, was from South Carolina; and one, the writer, Z. Richards, from the District of Columbia, who was also a representative of the American Institute of Instruction and of the American Association for the Advancement of Education. Five of this number, viz, T. W. Valentine, J. W. Bulkley, William Roberts, J. D. Geddings, and J.P. Wickersham have closed their educational work on earth to enter upon a higher and nobler employment.

As above intimated, T. W. Valentine, then president of the New York Teachers' Association, the oldest State teachers' association in our country, was the first to suggest the formation of the National Teachers' Association. After consulting with D. B. Hagar, of Massachusetts, and with others, he requested Mr. Hagar to prepare a call for a convention of the presidents of the various State teachers' associations, with a few other prominent educators at that time.

Mr. Hagar prepared the call, and Mr. Valentine sent copies to the officers and workers in the teachers' associations of the whole country, asking for their cooperation; but only ten presidents respondel, or consented to attach their names to the call. Some viewed the call with suspicion, some as visionary, and some with indifference. The call was as follows: To the Teachers of the United States:

The eminent success which has attended the establishment and operations of the sereral teachers' associations in the States of this country is the source of mutual congratulations among all friends of popular oducation. To the direct agency and the diffused influence of these associations, more, por. hapa, than to any other cause, are due the manifest improvement of schools in all their relations, the rapid intellectual and social elevation of teachers as a class, and the vast development of public interest in all that concerns the education of the young.

That the State associations have already accomplished great good, and that they aro destined to exert a still broader and more beneficent intuence, no wise observer will deny.

Believing that what has been accomplished for the States by State associations may be done for the whole country by a national association, we, tho undersigned, invite our fellow.teachers throughout the United States to assemble in Philadelphia on the 26th day of August next for tho purpose of organizing a National Teachers' Association.

We cordially extend this invitation to all practical teachers in the North, the South, the East, and
tho West, who are willing to unito in a general effort to promote the general welfare of our country
by concentrating the wisdom and power of numerous minds, and by distributing among all the accu.
mulated experiences of all; who are ready to devote their energies and their means to advance the
dignity, respectability, and usefulness of their calling; and who, in fine, believe that the time bas
come when the teachers of the nation should gather into one great cducational brotherhood.

As the permanent success of any association depends very much upon the auspices attending its
establishment, and the character of the organic laws it adopts, it is hoped that all parts of the Union
will be largely represented at the inauguration of the proposed enterprise.
Signed by-

T. W. VALENTINE, President of the New York Teachers' Association.
D. B. HAGAR, President of the Massachusetts Teachers' Association.
W. T. LUCKY, President of the Missouri Teachers' Association.
J. TENNY, President of the Vew Hampshire Teachers' Association.
J. G. MAY, President of the Indiana Teachers' Association.
W. ROBERTS, President of the Pennsylvania Teachers' Association.
C. PEASE, President of the Vermont Teachers' Association.
D. FRANKLIN WELLS, President of the Iowa Teachers' Association.
A.C. SPICER, President of the Wisconsin Teachers' Association.

S. WRIGHT, President of the Illinois Teachers' Association.
In accordance with the above call many teachers of the United States assembled
at the Athenæum Building, in Philadelphia, at 10 o'clock a. m., August 26, 1857.

The meeting was called to order by T. W. Valentine, of New York, who read the call and made the following statement, in substance:

Weassen ble here today under circumstances of more than ordinary interest. It is true that onr meeting is not large in numbers, as our coming together has not ben publicly announced in tiaming advertisements. We have not expected that the quiet gathering of a body of teachers in this great city would creato unch a sensation as a political or compiercial convention representing merely mate. rial interests might do, yet in its results upon the great cause of education directly, and upon the well-being of the country ultimately, this meeting may provo as important as many of those of a more pretentions character.

We can not always see the end from the beginning. That noble band of patriots who, more than eighty years ago, sent forth to the worll, from this city, the immortal Declaration of Independence, could scarcely liavo realized the mighty intluence which their action was calculated to exert upon our country and the world. All experience, as well as the woni of inspiration, admonishes us not to "dispise the day of small things."

Twelve years ago, in the Enipire State, the first State association of teachers in this country was formed. Some of us now here, who were instrumental in its formation, can well remember the lear and trembling with which that enterprise was commenced. Previous to this organization teachers every where wero almost entirely unacquainted with each other. But what a mighty change a few

years have wrought! Besides many minor organizations, there are now not less than twenty-three State teachers' associations, each doing good work in its own sphere of labor, and to-day I trust we Bhall proceed to raise the capstone which shall bind all together in one solid, substantial structure.

In our proposed organization we shall have no antagonisms with any of the State associations, for they have their peculiar local work, nor with the venerable American Institute of Instruction, for its field has always been New England, nor with the American Association for the Advancement of Education, which was not designed to be specifically an association of teachers.

What we want is an association that shall embrace all the teachers of our whole country, which shall hold its meetings at such central points as shall accommodate all sectious and combine all interests. And we need this not merely to promote the interests of our own profossion, but to gather np and arrange the educational statistics of our country, so that the people may know what is really being done for public educatior, and what yet remains to be done. I trust the time will come when our Government will lave its educational department just as it now has one for Agriculture, for the Interior, for the Navy, etc.

We neeil such an organization as shall bring the teachers of this country more together, and disseminato as well as collect educational intelligence.

Such an effort is imperatively demanded of us, and I trust we shall now go forward and devise measures to accomplish these great objects.

After the close of Mr. Valentine's address, Mr. James L. Enos, of Iowa, was made chairman pro tempore, and Mr. William E. Sheldon, of Massachusetts, secretary pro tempore.

After prayer by Rev. Dr. Challen, of Indiana, Mr. Hagar, of Massachusetts, offered the following resolutions:

Resolved, That in the opinion of the teachers now present as representatives of various parts of tle United States it is expedient to organize a national teachers' association.

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed by the chair to prepare a constitution adapted to such an association.

After a full and free discussion of the resolutions they wero adopted unanimously, and the chair appointed Messrs. Hagar, of Massachusetts; Cann, of Georgia, and Challen, of Indiana, to prepare and report a constitution.

The convention then engaged in a general discussion upon the condition of educational systems and methods in different parts of our country. In the afternoon the committee on a constitution reported.

On motion of T. W. Valentine, à committeo of one from each State and district represented in the convention was appointed by the chair to nominate a list of offi cers at tho evening session.

The following persons were appointed, viz:

William Roberts, of Pennsylvania; J. F. Cann, of Georgia; James Cruikshank, of New York; D. B. Hagar, of Massachusetts; James L. Enos, of Iowa; N. R. Lynch, of Delaware; J. R. Challen, of Indiana; Thomas Granger, of Illinois; E. W. Whelan, of Missouri; J. W. Barnett, of Illinois; Z. Richards, of the District of Columbia, and J. D. Geddings, of South Carolina.

At the opening of the evening session, Chairman Enos presiding, Mr. T. W. Valentine was called upon to read the specially prepared and valuable address.of Prof. William Russell, of Massachusetts, whose ill-health prevented his attendance.

This address set forth the importance of this convention to organize an association of professional teachers that shall be national in its character:

First. As regards wider and juster views of education, and corresponding methods of instruction.

Second. As giving an opportunity for the establishing of a national society of teachers, from which we may expect great national benefits. (See Professor Russell's address, in full, in Barnard's Journal of Education, Vol. IV, new series, 1864.)

After the reading of the address, the committee on nomination of the first officers made the following report:


For president, Z. Richards, of Washington, D. C.
For vice-presidents, T. W. Valentine, New York; D. B. Hagar, Massachusetts;
William Roberts, Pennsylvania; J. F. Cann, Georgia; J. L. Enos, Iowa; T. C. Tay-
lor, Delaware; J. R. Challen, Indiana; E. W. Whelan, Missouri; P. F. Smith, South
Carolina; D. Wilkins, Minois; T. Granger, Indiana, and L. Andrews, Ohio.

For secretary, J. W. Bulkley, New York.
For treasurer, T. M. Cano, Delaware.

For counselors, William E. Sheldon, Massachusetts; Janies Cruikshank, New York; P. A. Cregar, Pennsylvania; N. R. Lynch, Delaware; William Morrison, Maryland; 0. C. Wight, District of Columbia; William S. Bogart, Georgia; William T. Luckey, Missouri; A. J. Stevens, Iowa; William H. Wills, Illinois.

This inangural meeting was harmonious, enthusiastic, and characteristic of the founders, the future workers, and the future meetings of the association.

At a meeting of the directors after adjourument, they resolved to hold the first annual meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the second Wednesday in August, 1858, at 10 o'clock a. in. After making full arrangements for the next meeting, and expressling their harmonious purposes, the directors adjourned.


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Of the thirty-eight signers of the constitution at the time of its adoption only five were present at tho first annual meeting. Appropriate arrangements, however, had been made by Mr. A. J. Rickoff, superintendent of tho Cincinnati public schools, as chairman of the local committee, for the reception of a large delegation.

When the time came for calling the meeting to order it was found that only five of the constituent members were present, viz., the president, the first vice-president, the secretary, and two counselors.

These few members, however, wero heartily welcomed by a very large audience, who were then, and have always been, in blissful ignorance of the small representation of actual members.

After the usual welcome by the dignitaries of Cincinnati, the president called his four coadjutors into service by keeping the secretary by his side on the platform, and by assigning special duties to the three other members, who were located in différent parts of the large audience.

Upon the motion of one of these members the secretary was called upon to read the constitution of the association for the information of those present who might be disposed to become members.

After the reading of the constitution and some explanatory remarks by the president, another of these members moved that an opportunity be given for any person to become a member. The opportunity was granted, of course. The secretary and, in the absence of the treasurer, one of the three others acting as treasurer, were kept busy for some time in receiving fees and in recording names of applicants, until the number of new members liad reached about seventy-five.

This movement, fortunately, furnished a good working body, and prepared the way for other additions. The president, thus being relieved from apprehended embarrassment in conseqnence of the small number of members, at first proceeded to deliver his inaugural address, in which he pointed out the causes and the demands for forming a national teachers' association, and urged the following important ends to be aimed at in its future work:

First. The wion of all teachers, North, South, East, and West, in friendly associated action, for strengthening the cause of education.

Second. To create and permanently establish a teachers' profession by methods usually adopted by other professions.

Third. To secure the examination of all teachers, by making the examining boards to consist of competent, practical teachers.

Fourth. To increase the number of normal schools, and establish departments of pedagogies in connection with all schools whiclı send out persons to teach.

During the sessions of this first anniversary there was a full attendance, a deep interest and close attention to all the exercises of the programme.

Among the large number of representative teachers and educators present, besides the officers, woro tho following persons: Hon. Horace Mann, Supt. J. D. Philbrick, John Hancock, A. J. Rickoff, I. W. Andrews, William Russell, W. E. Crosby, John Ogden, C. E. Hovey, Rev. J. N. MacJilton, Prof. Daniel Read, Anson Smyth, 0. C. Wight, and others.


First. The inaugural address of the president.

Second. “ The educational tendencies and progress of the past thirty years," by
Prof. Daniel Read.

Third. The laws of nature," by Prof. John Young:
Fourth. “On.moral education," by Supt. John D. Philbrick.
Fifth. “ The teacher's motives,” by Ilon. Horace Mann, of Massachusetts.


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For president, Andrew J. Rickofi, Cincinnati, Ohio.

For vice-presidents, T. W. Valentine, New York; D. B. Ilagar, Massachusetts;
B. M, Kerr, Pennsylvania; J. F. Cann, Georgia; J. S. Adams, Vermont; B. T. Hoyt,
Iowa; C. E. Hovey. Illinois; I. W. Andrews, Ohio; A. Drury, Kentucky; Daniel
Read, Wisconsin; J. N. MacJilton, Maryland; Thomas Bragy, Alabama.

For secretary, J. W. Bukley, New York,
For treasurer, C. S. Pennell, Missouri.

For counselors, James Cruikshank, New York; William E. Sheldon, Massachusetts;
S. R. Gummere, New Jersey; J. D. Yeates, Maryland, S. I. C. Swezy, Alabama;
J. B. Dodd, Kentucky; N. D. Tirrel, Missouri; C. C. Nestlerode, Iowa; L. C. Draper,
Wisconsin; Isaac Stone, Illinois; E. P. Cole, Indiana; R. W. McMillan, Ohio; 0. C.
Wight, District of Columbia; H. C. Hickok, Pennsylvania; C. Pease, Vermont.


One of the most prominent questions discussed at this first annual meeting was that of " Parochial schools." The leading thought of the discussion was that “ moral training, without sectarianism, is necessary.”

The inspiring influence of woman in our educational meetings was welcomed and emphasized by the association.

After the adjournment of the association, the board of directors met and agreed to hold the next annual meeting in the city of Washington, D. C., and appointed Mr. Z. Richards, of Washington, as chairman of the local committee, to make all local arrangements.

As proof of the genuine national spirit of the originators of this association, we may refer to one of the first resolutions, passed at the time of its organization, as follows:

Resolved, That there shall bo six lecturers appointed for the next meeting-two from the Southern, two from the Western, one from the Middle, and one from the Eastern States.

As this resolution was offered by a true-blue New Englander, it shows the characteristic modesty of the Eastern States in not assuming honors which belong equally to the other States. This liberal spirit has at all times characterized the operations of this association. It started out with high patriotic purposes, and to its honor it may be recorded that there has never been a single manifestation in any of its official operations of a spirit of sectionalism or of partisanship. Its officers and its managers have generally been selected, first, from its most faithful and best qualified workers, which should always be the case; and, second, as representatives of all sections of our country.

Its friends have worked assiduously for the general cause of public and universal education, and not for pecuniary advantage, nor for oftice, nor for personal honor.


At the Cleveland meeting, in 1870, the constitution was so amended as to admit cooperation and conbination with two other educational associations: First, the American Normal Association, which was organized in 1861; second, the National Superintendents' Association, organized in 1865. At the same time the constitution was so amended that other departments could be organized, and immediately two other departments were organized, viz, the department of higher instruction and the department of primary or elementary instruction. A full set of subordinate officers, viz, a president and secretary for each department, was chosen, who were to provide their own programme of exercises for their annual meetings.

Until 1870 all the educational topics were discussed before the whole association as a body. While this method of performing edncational work has many superior advantages, it would be hazardous either to abandon the plan of departments or to proportionately extend the length or number of sessions so that tho whole membership could have an opportunity to listen to all papers and discussions.

In 1875 the industrial department was organized and admitted under the constitutional provision.

In 1880° the National Council of Education was organized as a department, but under a constitution of its own which required its sixty or more members to be chosen from the general association and from the several departments."

Very few persons are aware of the important work performed by the National Council of Education, unless they attend its sessions or read its papers and discussions from year to year.

But its meetings and deliberations were to be held so as not to interfere with the general association and the department meetings.

During the first twenty years of its operations its officers were often obliged to put their hands down deep into their own pockets to meet the annual current expenses. This had to be done in addition to the regular membership fee and the often very heavy traveling expenses.

But in 1881 a new era dawned upon the association. It is true that the enlargement of the association's field of labor in 1870, at the Cleveland meeting, by engrafting upon itself the more specific work of the departments of superintendents of normal schools, of higher instruction, and of elementary training, besides providing constitutionally for creating other departments, has done much to broaden the sphere of its work and inspire confidence in its plan of operations.

But no organization in this age of the world can work or exist long without money, Many of the real friends of this association foud that the constant draining of their pockets to keep the ponderous wheels in motion was also draining their patience and weakening their faith in its perpetuity.


See the constitution of the National Council of Education for 1891, pp. 1508-1510

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