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Proceedings of the American Lyceum.
an ancient commercial and industrious republic, whose manners and institutions bear a strong analogy to those of the United States. This work will appear in a few days. In the mean time, these four little pamphlets which I subjoin, may be of some service.
Accept, Sir, the assurance of the deep interest which I take in your honorable efforts.
I am wholly yours,
PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICAN LYCEUM. The Eighth Annual meeting of the American Lyceum was convened in the Free Church, at Hartford, Conn., May 15, 1838, at 10 o'clock, A. M. Rev. T. H. Gallaudet, of Hartford, was called to the chair, and prayer made by the Rev. Mr Putnam, of Middleborough, Mass.; after which the meeting was duly organized, by the appointment of General Nath'l Terry, President, and Prof. Charles Davies, Secretary. Prof. Davies subsequently declining, Theodore Dwight, Jr., of New York, was chosen in bis stead.
The credentials of the delegates from Lyceums, and other literary institutions having been examined, the reports of those delegates were called for, in the order of the various States of the Union to which they belonged. The reports were chiefly verbal; but a resolution was passed, early in the session, requesting the delegates to leave them, in writing, with the Secretary.
A report was made by Dr W. A. Alcott, of Boston, on the character and objects of the American Physiological Society. A brief account was also given of another Association with which he was acquainted in Boston - the Social Institute.
A letter was read from Lewis G. Pray, Chairman of the Primary School Committee of Boston, on the Primary Schools of that city, which was referred to the Executive Committee for publication.
Reports were made either at this time or during the progress of the meeting, by the following individuals, from the societies respectively named ;-most of them, though not all, being delegates. By Prof. John Johnston, from the Cuvierian Society of Middletown), Conn.; by Mr
Emert A. Parker; from the New Britain Lyceuni; by a delegate from the Peithologian Society of the Wesleyan University; by Dr Terry, from the Hartford Society of Natural History; by Mr Knox, from another Society in Middletown, and also from the Young Men's Lyceum of Middletown; by a delegate from the Social Club of Norwich; by Mr Ives and Mr Thomas, from the Young Mechanic's Institute of New Haven; by Mr Remington, of the Suffield Lyceum; by Mr Kelsey, from the Hartford Young Men's Lyceum; by Mr Dwight, from the Hempstead Lyceum, New York, the Brooklyn Lyceum, and the Brooklyn Lyceum of Natural History; by Mr Friend, of the Gloucester lostitute, at Gloucester, Mass.; by Mr Lemuel H. Parsons, of the Northern Lyceum, of the city and county of Pennsylvania, the State Lyceum of Pennsylvania, and the Lyceum of Bucks County in that State; by Dr Pennington, of the Young Men's Society, and the Mechanics’ Institute and Lyceum of Newark; by a delegate from the Middletown Friendly Association; by a delegate of the Franklin Lyceum; and by Erastus Smith, Esq., from the State Lyceum of Coon., which had been formed during the present session of the American Lyceum. Rev. Mr Burgess, by request, made a verbal report, concerning the public schools of Hartford.
During the afternoon of the first day of the session, the Annual Report of the American Lyceum was read by Mr Dwight; which was accepted, and referred to the Executive Committee for publication. · This was followed by a discussion on the embellishment and improvement of our towns and villages, with advantage to the cause of intelligence and morality; in which Dr W. A. Alcott, Prof. R. Cunningham, of Lafayette College, and Mr S. Graham of Northampton, took part. The subject was referred to a committee, consisting of Messrs Alcott, Graham and Brace.
An Essay was also read, during the afternoon, by Dr Alcott, on Religious Instruction in Common Schools, which was referred for publica
At eight o'clock in the evening, Prof. Cunningham delivered a lecture On those principles of the Prussian system of Education, which are applicable to the condition of the United States.'
Mr Dwight, the Secretary, being compelled to be absent after the first day of the session, his place was supplied by Prof. Johnston, of the Wesleyan University.
During the second day of the session, a lecture was given by Mr F. A. Packard of Philadelphia, On the importance of uniting moral and religious instruction with the cultivation of the intellect.'
The following resolution was then offered by Mr Gallaudet, and after a subsequent discussion by Messrs Graham, Thomas and Packard, unanimously adopted.
Use of the Bible in Schools.
• Resolved, That the American Lyceum regards with deep interest, the proposition of the American Sunday School Union, to publish a selection of their books of an entertaining and instructive character, such as biographies, histories, travels, &c., as a school library; and that we consider the offering of this library to families, manufacturing villages, neighborhoods and schools for introduction among them, after examination by proper persons, as happily tending to advance the interests of literature, religion and social happiness, among all classes of our citizens, (it being understood from statements made before the Lyceum, that the books comprising this library are free from sectarian peculiarities) and that we regard the proposal for thus circulating this library, as directly instrumental in preparing the way for other and still higher efforts of a kindred character.'
The following resolution, offered by Mr Packard, was discussed by Messrs Smith, Johnson, Packard, Rice, Gallaudet, Graham, North, Cunningham, Parsons, Terry (the President,) Patten and Morgan, and unanimously adopted.
• Resolved, That the use of the Bible in our popular systems of education, as a text book of moral and religious instruction, is regarded by the Lyceum as indispensable.'
Mr Hamersley of Hartford, read an essay upon the subject of an international copy right law.
The following resolution was offered by Mr Ripley, which after a debate by Messrs Ripley, Hawes, Johnston and Parker, passed unanimously.
• Resolved, That the American Lyceum recommends an association of the teachers of public and private schools to be formed in every town or school society throughout the country, and that they hold regular periodical meetings for mutual instruction relative to their duties in the government, education and elevation of the character and condition of their respective schools.'
A paper was read by Dr Alcott, sent from Switzerland, by Rev. Wm. C. Woodbridge, containing an account of two remarkable Sicilian Arithmeticians; after which an account was given by Mr Graham of a singular instance of premature intellectual development, in a lad eight years of age, which he had seen lately in Massachusetts.
The following question proposed by the Committee of Arrangements, was discussed by Messrs Smith and Graham, and decided in the negative. Can the system of monitorial instruction be adopted with advantage in Common Schools?' On motion of Mr Smith, however, the subject was reconsidered and laid on the table. It was afterwards referred to the next annual session of the Lyceum.
At six o'clock this afternoon, the President and other officers, togethe
Officers for the Year ensuing.
with the members of the Lyceum, in pursuance of an invitation from Henry Hudson, Esq., Mayor of the city, took tea at his house, and subsequently visited his garden.
In the evening an Essay was read by Mr Gallaudet, sent by Rev. Wm. C. Woodbridge of Switzerland, On the Education of the Eye;' in which the introduction of Linear drawing into Common Schools, was particularly insisted on.
On Thursday, the third day of the session, in addition to other subjects of more or less importance, a resolution was passed recommending it to the Lyceums and Societies here represented, to contribute such means as they may deem expedient to enable the publishing Committee of the American Lyceum, at New York, to publish the proceedings of the Lyceum or any part of them, as they may think proper, and forward the same to the said Committee.
Dr Alcott, Chairman of the Committee upon the embellishment and improvement of towns and villages, read a Report, which was accepted and approved, unanimously.
The following resolution was offered, and referred to the next annual meeting of the Lyceum.
Resolved, That it is highly desirable and important that this Lyceum employ one or more agents, for the purposes of organizing State, County, and local Lyceums in different parts of the country, and visiting schools, and of collecting and diffusing information on the subject of popular education.
Resolvcd, That a Committee of — be appointed, with authority to employ, in behalf of the American Lyceum, such number of agents, as they may deem proper, for the purposes specified in the preceding resolution, at such salaries as shall be agreed upon ; but no agent shall himself collect. Aud said agents are hereby authorized to solicit contributions in the name of the Lyceum. It shall be the duty of each agent to make report to the Executive Committee, at least once in six months.
Mr Brace of Hartford, chairman of the Committee of nomination, reported a list of officers of the Lyceum for the ensuing year, which was accepted, and the officers were afterwards duly appointed. They are as follows.
President, Wm. A. Duer, New York.
Vice Presidents. G. W. Ridgely, Penn.; Edward Everett, Mass.; Peter W. Radcliff, New York; John Griscom, Penn.; Nathaniel Terry, Conn.; and Theodore Frelingbuysen, New Jersey. Recording Secretary, Robert G. Rankin, New York. Treasurer, Abraham Halsey, New York.
Duties of School Committees.
Corresponding Secretaries. Theodore Dwight, Jr. New York; F. A. Packard, Phil.; J. L. Comstock, Hartford; John P. Brace, do.; Wm. A. Clayton, Athens, Geo.; J. M. Sturtevant, Minois; Wm. C. Woodbridge, Switzerland; Alva Woods, Alabama; James M. Garnett, Virginia; Charles Goddard, Zanesville, Ohio; James M. Alexander, N. J.; and Prof. A. W. Smith, Conn.
Additional Members of the Executive Committee.-Dr J. S. Rogers, N. Y.; James M. Donaldson, do.; G. P. Disosway, do.; A. P. Halsey, Brooklyn; Thomas H. Gallaudet, Hartford; and Lemuel H. Parsons, and J. Holbrook, Pennsylvania.
The next annual meeting of the American Lyceum is to be held at Newark, New Jersey.
Duties of School COMMITTEES. The following are extracts from a late law which was passed by the Legislature of Massachusetts, respecting schools, and especially the duties of School Committees.
· The School Committees shall annually make a detailed report of the condition of the several public schools in their respective towns, designating particular improvements and defects in the method or meaus of education, and stating such facts and suggestions in relation thereto as in their opinion will best promote the interest and usefulness of said schools; which report shall be read in open town meeting, in February, March or April in each year, or be printed and distributed for the use of the inhabitants.
The School Committees shall select and contract with the teachers for the town and district schools; provided, however, that the teachers may be selected, and contracted with, by the prudential committees as heretofore, whenever the town shall so determine.
The School Committee in each town shall be provided with a Record book, in which all votes, orders and proceedings of the committee shall be duly recorded, and said record shall be delivered over by the committees at the expiration of the year, to their successors in office.
The members of the School Committees, except in the city of Boston, shall be paid by their respective towns one dollar each per day for the time they shall be actually ernployed in discharging the duties of their office, together with such additional compensation as the town may allow.
The Board of Education shall prescribe a blank form of a Register to be kept in all the town and district schools in the commonwealth, and the Secretary of State shall forward a sufficient number of copies of the same to the school committees of the respective towns; and said committees shall cause Registers to be faithfully kept in all said schools according to the form prescribed.'