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nerve our arms, to make strong our hearts for the great work to which we soon return.
Oạe half-year we give our strength, souls, and hearts, to our professional work. Winter and spring are gone ; summer, with burning heat, is upon us ; our school-year closes; we take leave of our loved pupils; worn with long labors, we hail the coming of a long vacation. Many of us are about to visit that dear place, like which earth has no other, the homes of our childhood, our parents and others, dear to our souls. But, ere we thus go, we turn our eyes to some provincial Athens, as a center for our summer gathering. Cleveland, Sandusky, Dayton and Zanesville are visited. Another summer is upon us, and another gathering is before us, and at what town shall that gathering be ?
Ninety-seven years ago, in that American Eden, New Haven, Jared Mansfield was born. At eighteen years of age he graduated at Yale. He became a Schoolmaster, and in New Haven and Philadelphia, he spent several years in teaching. He was then appointed Professor of Natural Philosophy at the U. S. Military Academy, at West Point. The publication of his “Philosophical Essays " added to his reputation, and he took a front rank among the scientific men of the nation. Fiftythree years ago President Jefferson appointed him Surveyor General of the United States, for the Northwestern Territories. He became a resident of Cincinnati, and died twenty-six years ago.
Forty-eight years ago, in Richland County, there was laid out a town, “ beautiful for situation," occupying an elevation, where we look out upon a landscape handsomely disposed in hills and valleys. That town was destined to be occupied by a population second to no other for enterprise, intelligence and morality. It was to be the residence of Governors and Judges, of men high in the councils of the State and the Nation.
A name is wanted for this town of beauty and of fame. What shall men call it ?
The proprietors cast about for an appropriate name for the embryo village. Shall they go to the classic lands of Greece and Italy, whence to transport the cognomen of some heathen city, or hero, or demi-god? Shall they search the rolls of our American warriors and statesmen for a name with which to christen their prospective city ? No! They will name it for the able and earnest Schoolmaster. They will call it Mansfield. Mansfield—which some of its manly citizens may choose to interpret as signifying man's field; a field, in which man, strong-banded-man, brave-hearted-man, courageous to plan and firm to execute, shall be found. There may be shrewd lawyers and distinguished judges here, who would proudly trace back the name of their beautiful town, and find its origin in that famous English Lord, who just 100 years ago, was made Chief-Justice of the King's Bench. But to no such unjust and ambitious assumptions will we yield. It was a School Teacher, whose name, redolent of every manly grace and virtue, honors the town in which the Teachers of our State this day assemble.
Teachers of Obio, thanks we owe to the politeness which invited us to hold this meeting here, and higher thanks for the generous hospitality of the families whose doors are opened wide for our entertainment. But we have a right to be here ; we are “part owners
in the good name of this happy village. Mansfield was a father in the Israel of School Teachers. And we come, not as pilgrims to worship at bis shrine, for his supulcher is this day in the land of his fathers, but we come, claiming a share in the fame of Mansfield. This is our cherished Athens for 1856. True, we here look upon no resplendent marble, in the form of Minerva's Temple. The Academy with its groves, and the Lyceum with its fountains, are not here. We find not here an orator like Demosthenes, a philosopher like Plato, a poet like Euripides. Nor do we desire to find them here. We come up to Mansfield to meet ourselves. We are Teachers, all engaged in the same work; all acting from a common purpose ; all meeting like experiences of hope and discouragement. We come here to exchange greetings, to give play to our sympathies, to speak to each other words of encouragement, to impart impulses and influences, and to receive impressions and inspirations which shall make us better and happier men and women; more earnest and successful Teachers. On an errand more worthy, on a mission more sacred, we could not meet. Heaven bless our interview, guide our councils, and direct to such conclusions as shall make it good for us to be here.
Teachers, I congratulate you upon the auspicious circumstances in which we gather here to-day. But eight and a half years have since this Association was formed. At Akron, on the 30th of Dec. 1847, delegates from eleven counties assembled for the organization of an Obio State Teachers' Association. Where then were the Union Schools, and the High Schools -the school houses and School Teachers of to-day? Less than twenty Teachers were present at that Akron meeting
But what a change have these eight years accomplished. Hundreds of Teachers, high in character and qualifications, are now found at our meetings. The old dispensation has passed away, and, chiefly through the earnest efforts of the Teachers of the State, a new law has been enacted, which, in my estimation, is the glory of our great commonwealth. This School Law might, in some of its details, be made better. I trust that it will receive certain modifications, which will increase its efficiency and usefulness, and at the same time allay that very general opposition which the operation of certain of its provisions has excited. But in all its prominent principles, our School Law is one of the wisest and grandest State enactments that has ever blessed the world.
I congratulate you on the results which have already followed the action of our school system. The late report of our State Commissioner affords indisputable testimony to the truth that this system is a fountain of life to the youth and children of Ohio,-a fountain 'whence flow streams to refresh and bless and make glad the intellectual, the social, and the moral interests of the people.
And when we reflect on the change for the better which eight short years have affected in the condition and prospects of popular learning in our State, let us, like St. Paul at Appii Forum, " thank God, and take courage.
STATE SCHOOL COMMISSIONER.
The present School Law of Ohio was enacted in March, 1853; and the Commissioner was elected in October of the same year. It was the wish and effort of the Teachers of the State, that this office should be kept aloof from party politics. This wish, however, was overruled by a large majority of the electors of the State; and it was then decided that this office must take its chances with the other offices of the State.
We took no part in the nominations made for Commissioner in 1853, but we had our reasons for desiring the election of Mr. Lorin Andrews. When first we met the successful candidate, Mr. H. H. Barney, we frankly said to him that Mr. Andrews had been our choice for Commissioner, but that we would cheerfully render him, (Mr. Barney,) any assistance that might be in our power, in the execution of his official duties. We said to him that, in our estimation, he held the most important office in the State, and we hoped that his administration of our School Law would prove eminently successful.
So far as we are aware there have from that day to this, existed the most amicable relations and purposes between us. When we, last winter, came to reside at our State Capital, Mr. Barney showed us most friendly attentions. For several weeks he kindly gave us a table in his office, while a room was preparing for us.
In January, the Democrats had nominated Mr. Barney for reëlection; and in May we were made a candidate for the same office by the Republicans. For months our friends in various parts of the State, had heen inquiring of us whether we would accept such a nomination. All such inquiries we answered with an honest negative. We did not desire the office. It imposes great responsibility and severe labor, and the salary, ($1,500,) is no greater than is paid to many Teachers in positions much more easily filled. And more than all, we did not believe that our qualifications were equal to the demands of the office.
While we were in nomination we made little or no effort to secure our election. We made no speeches, except on one occasion, when unexpectedly called upon. We then did little more than to apologize for not speaking at length. But the papers say that we have been elected, though we have received no official information on the subject. If such is the result, we shall do what we can towards discharging the duties of our office in a judicious and efficient manner. That we shall commit no mistakes and errors, we dare not hope. That our administration will please all, we are not vain enough to expect. As Commissioner, we shall “know no North, no South," in either State or Church. That is, with political and denominational differences of opinion, we shall have nothing to do. We shall seek counsel from the active and judicious friends of education, whether they be Democrats, like Dr. Trevitt, Judge Thurman, Harvey Rice and George Willey,-Republicans, like Judge Bates, Senator Canfield, Rufus King and Charles W. Hill, or Americans, like Dr. Stevens, and others of his party.
But we have said quite as much as is proper for us to say on this subject at present.
I love a hearty laugh, (says Sidney Smith,) above all other sounds. It is the music of the heart; the thrills of those chords which vibrate from no bad touch; the language Heaven has given us to carry on the exchange of sincers and disinterested sympathies. Herein we differ from the brutes. Animals don't laugh.
LETTERS TO THE CHILDREN OF OHIO.
NUMBER X. DEAR CHILDREN :
What pretty letters you do write me. I wish that I could have them all printed in the Journal, but there is not room for them. I was greatly pleased with the “Resolutions” passed in Miss F-'s school. Stick to them, you little jewels. The children in Miss T—'s school, in C-D-, are often thought of. One little girl writes a glowing description of her loved Teacher, -describing her bright, blue eyes her fresh cheeks and pleasant voice,-all of which I sincerely believe is true of her. One boy writes me that he has the best Teacher in all the world, “only his ugly moustache makes his mouth look real mean.” We rather sympathize with his wish that “he would cut off the dirty thing.” But our little friend must remember that when Sampson lost his hair, there was not mueh left of him.
You will remember, children, that in one of my letters, I told you about the children who can not speak ; who have to make motions with their fingers when they wish to communicate their thoughts. It is a great affliction to be dumb. But we better not be able to talk, than to use our tongues for bad purposes. We better have no tongues at all, than to use them for speaking profanity, falsehood and vulgarity. Boys, when I hear a man swear, I say to myself, "poor man, what a pity it is that you are not dumb." It does nobody any good to swear. God has solemnly forbidden it. It is a crime against God, and against good manners.
There once was a boy who used sometimes to swear, when he was displeased. One day he read these words, and he never swore after that.
“It chills my blood to hear the blest Supreme,
Reflect, your Maker now may stop your breath.” It is not " brave” to use profane words. The greatest cowards in the world can swear. It is not "polite." A true gentleman would no sooner swear than he would tell lies. It is not “wise," and fools can swear just as well, or bad, as any body else. O boys! never speak profane words; and, if possible, do not associate with swearers.
I do hope that none of you ever tell lies. A lying tongue is a great