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CONTENTS: I.-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. VI.—Catalogue of papers and addresses since first organization, subject classification. VII.-Same, author classification.


By ZALMON 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 as 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 State educational associations in this country, the first of which was organized in the State of New York in 1845. With pleasure we also speak of the "American Institute of Instruction," organized in 1830, which is still doing efficient and highly commendable work in its New England field. The next year after, 1831, "The Western College 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, the 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, 1849, 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 committee 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 influence in the cause 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 influence came from the American Institute 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.

time president of the 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 prepared the original call and drew up the constitutio, William E. Sheldon, who, with the speaker, are the only members present to-day, were representatives of the American 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. S. Pennell, was from Missouri; one, J. D. Geddings, was from South Carolina; and one, the writer, Z. Richards, froin 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 responded, 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 Teaches of the United States:

The eminent success which has attended the establishment and operations of the several teachers' associations in the States of this country is the source of mutual congratulations among all friends of popular education. To the dir et agency and the diffused influence of these associations, more, perhaps, than to any other cause, are due the manifest improvement of schools in all their relations, the rapid intellectual and social elevation of teghers 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 are destined to exert a still broader and more beneficent influence, 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, th undersigned, invite our fellow-teachers throughout the United States to assemble in Philadelphia on the 26th day of August next for the purpose of organizing a National Teachers' Association.

We cordially extend this invitation to all practical teachers in the North, the South, the East, and the West, who are willing to unite in a general effort to promote the general w lfare 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 has come when the teachers of the nation should gather into one great educational 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 adopt, 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 New 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 Iwn Teachers' Association.
A. C. SPICER, President of the Wi con in Teachers' Association.
S. WRIGHT, President of he 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:

We assemble here to-day under circumstances of more than ordinary interest. It is true that our meeting is not large in numbers, as o ir coming together has not be n publicly announced in flaming advertisments. We have not expected that the quiet gathering of a body of teachers in this great city would create suc a sensation as a political or commercial convention representing merely material interests might do, yet in its results upon the great cause of educa ion directly, and upon the well-being of the country ultimately, this meeting may prove 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 world, from this city, the immortal Declaration of Independence, could scarcely have realized the mighty influence which their action was calculated to exert upon our country and the world. All experience, as well as the word of inspiration, admonishes us not to "dispise the day of small things.

Twelve years ago, in the Empire 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 fear and trembling with which that enterprise was commenced. Previous to this organization teachers everywhere were 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 shall 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 shail accommodate all sections and combine all interests. And we need this not merely to promote the interests of our own profession, but to gather up and arrange the educational statistics of our country, so that the people may know what is really being done for public education, and what yet remains to be done. I trust the time will come when our Government will have its educational department just as it now has one for Agriculture, for the Interior, for the Navy, ete.

We need such an organization as shall bring the teachers of this country more together, and disseminate 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 the 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 were 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 edncational 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 committee of one from each State and district represented in the convention was appointed by the chair to nominate a list of offi. cers at the 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. Taylor, Delaware; J. R. Challen, Indiana; E. W. Whelan, Missouri; P. F. Smith, South Carolina; D. Wilkins, Illinois; T. Granger, Indiana, and L. Andrews, Ohio. For secretary, J. W. Bulkley, New York.

For treasurer, T. M. Canu, Delaware.

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

This inaugural 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 adjournment, they resolved to hold the first annual meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the second Wednesday in August, 1858, at 10 o'clock a. mn. After making full arrangements for the next meeting, and expressing their harmonious purposes, the directors adjourned.

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