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Horace Mann: Father of Public Education - Horace Mann's Life and Accomplishments

Horace Mann remembered his father, who died of tuberculosis in 1809, and the $200 he left for his children to help pay their school tuition. It was a significant financial benefit for Horace and his siblings.

The death of Mann's wife, Charlotte—in 1832—caused him to sell his estate and move to a boarding house in Boston. This move resulted in his life taking a change in direction. He decided to leave his State senate position and run, and win, a federal position as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mann recalled the difficult decision he had to make when he resigned as Secretary, in 1848, to take the seat of former President John Quincy Adams in the United States Congress where he campaigned against slavery. A few years later, as Mann remembered, he had another decision to make—to leave politics in order to serve as president of Antioch College in Ohio.

Antioch was then a new school, but it reflected all that Horace valued since it was coeducational, nonsectarian and gave an equal opportunity for African-Americans.  The college also championed reforms such as temperance and religious toleration.

Mann realized that through proper educating of the public, lasting change could be effected.

Original Release: Sep 15, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Apr 23, 2017


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