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Transformation is Timeless: Westfield State at 175: 1838

Horace Mann

Horace Mann, founding Secretary of the Massachusetts Commonwealth Board of Education, 1837 - 1848

Horace Mann (May 4, 1796 – August 2, 1859) served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1827 to 1833 and then the Massachusetts Senate from 1834 to 1837.

In 1838, under his strong leadership, state funds were appropriated to match a $10,000 gift from Edmund Dwight of Boston to establish in Massachusetts the first state-supported institutions in the United States for the training of teachers for the “common schools”. He chose the sites of the schools, hired the staff, and outlined the curriculum. Mann was the ideological and administrative founder of the State Normal Schools, including Westfield State.

After serving as Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education he was elected to the US House of Representatives, replacing John Quincy Adams. He later moved to Ohio where he founded Antioch College.

Mann was a brother-in-law to author Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Image: Taken between 1843 and 1859 by Matthew B. Brady; half plate daguerreotype, gold toned. Source: Library of Congress LC-USZC4-7396.

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