27 Facts About Horace Mann


Horace Mann was an American educational reformer, slavery abolitionist and Whig politician known for his commitment to promoting public education.


In 1848, after public service as Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, Mann was elected to the United States House of Representatives.


Horace Mann then studied law for a short time in Wrentham, Massachusetts and was a tutor of Latin and Greek and a librarian at Brown.


Horace Mann was elected to the Massachusetts legislature in 1827, and in that role was active in the interests of education, public charities, and laws for the suppression of alcoholic drinks and lotteries.


Horace Mann established an asylum in Worcester, and in 1833 was chairman of its board of trustees.


Horace Mann continued to be returned to the legislature as a representative from Dedham until his removal to Boston in 1833.


In 1830, Horace Mann married Charlotte Messer, the daughter of former Brown University president Asa Messer.


Horace Mann persuaded his fellow modernizers, especially those in the Whig Party, to legislate tax-supported elementary public education in their states and to feminize the teaching force.


Horace Mann traveled to every School in the state so he could physically examine each school ground.


Horace Mann planned and inaugurated the Massachusetts normal school system in Lexington, Barre and Bridgewater, and began preparing a series of annual reports, which had a wide circulation and were considered as being "among the best expositions, if, indeed, they are not the very best ones, of the practical benefits of a common school education both to the individual and to the state".


Horace Mann hoped that by bringing all children of all classes together, they could have a common learning experience.


Horace Mann suggested that having schools would help those students who did not have appropriate discipline in the home.


Horace Mann faced some resistance from parents who did not want to give up the moral education to teachers and bureaucrats.


Horace Mann believed that women were better suited for teaching, regardless of their status as a mother, and used his position to push for a feminization of the profession.


The practical result of Horace Mann's work was a revolution in the approach used in the common school system of Massachusetts, which in turn influenced the direction of other states.


In carrying out his work, Horace Mann met with bitter opposition by some Boston schoolmasters who strongly disapproved of his innovative pedagogical ideas, and by various religious sectarians, who contended against the exclusion of all sectarian instruction from the schools.


Horace Mann stated that this position resulted in a near-universal use of the Bible in the schools of Massachusetts and that this served as an argument against the assertion by some that Christianity was excluded from his schools, or that they were anti-Christian.


Horace Mann described the letters of the alphabet as "skeleton-shaped, bloodless, ghostly apparitions".


Horace Mann was defeated by a single vote at the ensuing nominating convention by Webster's supporters; but, on appealing to the people as an independent anti-slavery candidate, he was re-elected, serving from April 1848 until March 1853.


Horace Mann employed the first female faculty member to be paid on an equal basis with her male colleagues, Rebecca Pennell, his niece.


Horace Mann himself was charged with nonadherence to sectarianism because, previously a Congregationalist by upbringing, he joined the Unitarian Church.


Horace Mann was drawn to Antioch because it was a coeducational institution, among the first in the country to teach men and women in the same classes, Horace Mann and his wife had conflicts with female students who came to Yellow Springs in search of greater equality.


Horace Mann collapsed shortly after the 1859 commencement and died that summer of typhoid fever.


Horace Mann is buried in the North Burial Ground in Providence, Rhode Island, next to his first wife.


Horace Mann's statue stands in front of the Massachusetts State House along with that of Daniel Webster.


In 1843, Horace Mann traveled to Germany to investigate how the educational process worked.


Horace Mann focused on two aspects of Prussian education upon his return to the United States: the creation of Normal Schools and well-appointed, safe, and well-resourced schoolhouses.