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have been made in the General Assembly to have the laws founding it repealed, and, that no reader may be mistaken as to the object of the school, we give place to the following extract, from the biennial report of James P. Slade, Superintendent of Public Instruction, for 1882, bearing upon the subject:
"It is evident that a large portion of our people have no just notion of what the work of a normal school should be, nor of the purpose of such a school. Hence it cannot be repeated too often that a normal school has no legitimate purpose but to fit its pupils to teach and manage schools; that nothing is proper to be done in such a school which does not tend directly to this result, and that with a given body of students, anything essential to fit them for the teacher's work, is legitimate in the work of a normal school."
Professor Slade might have carried his remarks farther. He might have assumed that the Normal schools of our State have been the prime cause of the success of our common school system. From them we have obtained our most successful teachers; and we have not only derived good teachers from our own Normals, but the bright, active men who graduate in the Normals of the Eastern States come West, many of whom locate in Illinois, and become invaluable agents in the school work. The Normal system is no Yankee invention, but it is co-extensive with the civilized world. In Prussia, where the educational standard is of the highest order, no one is allowed to teach who has not a certificate from the Normal; and in our own country the Normal system is growing in greater favor daily. In many of the older States it has become widely founded; in Pennsylvania there are ten of these schools, and in Massachusetts seven, which will suffice to show that our State is not over-taxed in this regard. We could better afford to have more than less. Education is the hope of the world. Let Illinois statesmen do nothing to retard its progress. In closing this subject it is just to say
that our public schools rank with the best in the United States, and in the list of the great States, ours is the third in educational advancement.
In point of Colleges we have made less progress than some of the older States, for the reason that we have not concentrated our energies in that direction. Where other States have taken one or two colleges as a basis on which to create great and grand schools, we have founded many, and the result has been that while we have a number which rank well, yet we have none which have become widely known.
The proud position Illinois occupies, in an educational point of view, is due perhaps as much to the State Teachers' Association as to any other cause. It has really been the power behind the throne. Through its influence came the present school system, the State superintendency, the County superintendency, the Normal and the Industral University. The primary organization of the association took place at Bloomington on the 26th of December, 1853. The circular calling the meeting was signed by Alexander Starne, Secretary of State and ex-officio Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Presidents and Professors of Shurtleff College, Wesleyan University and Knox College. The Rev. W. Goodfellow was elected President; Rev. H. Spaulding, Thomas Powell and C. C. Bonney, Vice Presidents, and Rev. D. Wilkins Secretary. Committees were appointed to petition the Legislature to create the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and for the passage of an act establishing Normal schools. The next meeting of the Association was held at Peoria, December 26, 1854,- since which time the organization has been kept intact, and each year it has increased in numbers and in usefulness.
In point of education, we hazard the opinion that Illinois is not behind other States. In the great array of men and
women who have been foremost in the school work, we feel free to select the following as having been intimately connected with our educational advancement: Newton Bateman, W. H. Powell, C. E. Hovey, Bronson Murray, Simeon Wright, B. G. Roots, Prof. J. V. N. Standish, W. H. Wells, W. M. Beeker, Dr. Richard Edwards, Ninian W. Edwards, George Howland. J. L. Pickard, E. C. Delano. Thomas Metcalf, H. L. Boltwood, E. L. Wells, E. A. Gastman, Andrew M. Brooks, Flavel Mosely, John C. Dore, Miss Harriet N. Haskell, Miss Anna P. Sill, Mrs. Thomas A. Wood Shimer, Henry Raab, George Bunsen, Julian M. Sturtevant, James H. Blodgett, Dr. Samuel Willard, W. B. Powell, Prof. J. B. Turner, D. S. Wentworth, Samuel M. Etter, James P. Slade, S. W. Moulton, Dr. E. C. Hewett, Dr. Robert Allyn, and David A. Wallace. Messrs. N. W. Edwards, W. H. Powell, Bateman, John P. Brooks, Etter, Slade and Raab, have each been honored with the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, while all of the others have been active workers and held many high trusts in our schools and colleges.
Mr. Edwards was appointed Superintendent of Public Instruction by Governor Matteson in 1854, and held the office until January, 1857, when Mr. Powell became his successor through election by the people. Mr. Bateman was elected to the office five different times.
As an auxiliary to the school work, a number of excellent school periodicals and journals have been established in the State, the first of which was the Illinois Teacher, published from 1855 to 1872. It was first established by the State Teachers' Association, but later was published as a private enterprise by N. C. Nason, of Peoria. It exercised a marked influence in leading and shaping public opinion upon school questions. Among the journals in existence now, we take pleasure in mentioning the Illinois School
Journal, published by John W. Cook, at Normal; Present Age, Practical Teacher, and the School Master, of Chicago.
To review the history of the intellectual advancement of Illinois during the sixty-six years she has been one of the sovereign States of the National Union, is to conclude that, under wise direction and liberal and judicious legislation, we shall continue to advance in literature, art, science and good government.
EIGHTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY-1832-34.
The Eighth General Assembly convened December 3, 1832, and adjourned March 2, 1833. Lieut.-Gov. Casey having resigned, Wm. L. D. Ewing was elected President pro tempore of the Senate, and Jesse B. Thomas, Jr., Secretary. Alex. M. Jenkins was elected Speaker of the House, and David Prickett Clerk.
An able and influential member of this General Assembly was John T. Stuart, of Sangamon. Mr. Stuart was born in Kentucky, November 10, 1807; he graduated at Centerville College, Danville, and having studied law, settled in Illinois. Abraham Lincoln studied law under him. Mr. Stuart served three terms in Congress-183941-43 and 1863-65-the first two with ex-President John Quincy Adams, from whom he learned the useful lesson, that it was "better to wear out than rust out." Though advanced in years, Mr. Stuart is yet hale and hearty. He is the oldest ex-member of Congress and practicing lawyer in the State, being the senior member of the well-known law firm of Stuart, Edwards & Brown.
John Dement, of Franklin, was elected Treasurer in February, 1831.
Gov. Reynolds was elected to Congress in 1834, and resigned the office of Governor November 17, when acting Lieut.-Gov. Ewing became Governor.
Gov. Reynolds was born in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, February 26, 1789, of Irish parents, who landed in Philadelphia in 1786; he belonged to a company of scouts in the campaigns against the Indians, in 1812 and 1813; he was a lawyer by profession, and prior to his election as Governor, he was a Justice of the Supreme Court, and served one term in the Legislature; he commanded the Illinois volunteers during the Black Hawk war, 1832; he served in the Legislature from 1846 to 1848, and from 1852 to 1854; the last term he was Speaker; he published a pioneer history of Illinois in 1848; "Glance at the Crystal Palace, and Sketches of Travel," in 1854; "My Life and Times," in 1855, and at one time he conducted the Belleville Eagle, a daily paper. He died at Belleville May 8, 1865.
Among our early intestine troubles was the Mormon war, led by Joseph Smith, who first organized the Mormon Society, at Fayette, New York, June 1, 1830. It then numbered but thirty members. In 1831, the whole church removed, temporarily, to Kirtland, Ohio, and subsequently located at Independence, Missouri. At that time the sect numbered nearly 2,000. Their assumptions of superiority, their intolerance of "gentiles," and their antislavery opinions, made them obnoxious to the people of Missouri. In 1838, the whole colony was violently expelled from that State, and in 1839, the society, in a body, came to Illinois, settling in Hancock county, where they founded a city called Nauvoo. The colony now numbered some 15,000, and among the new accessions were Brigham Young, Orson Hyde, Herber C. Kimball, and Parley P. Pratt. As in Missouri, they soon became unpopular, and