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John Adams - Supporter of Public Schools

John Adams - Supporter of Public Schools Philosophy American Presidents American History Government Law and Politics

John Adams, who was instrumental in the drafting of America's Declaration of Independence but was absent from the Constitutional debates because he was Minister to Great Britain, believed in public education.

On September 10, 1785, Adams sent a letter to John Jebb (a British medical doctor and political reformer).  In it he discusses the need for public schools:

The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it.  There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.

Click on the image for a better view.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.  

 

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