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Counsellors — Charles Hutchins, Boston, Mass.; J. W. Allen, Norwich, Conn.; George N. Bigelow, Framingham, Mass.; W. T. Adams, Boston, Mass ; A. G. Boyden, Bridgewater, Mass. ; W. A. Mowry, Providence, Á. I.; N. A. Calkins, New York City; J. W. Webster, Boston, Mass.; D. W. Jones, Roxbury, Mass.; J. A. Bartlett, New Britain, Conn.; J. S. Eaton, Andover, Mass.; A. S. Higgins, Huntington, L. I.
On motion of A. P. Stone, the Auditor, Mr. Hutchins, reported that the books of the Treasurer had been properly kept, the accounts strictly and correctly cast and properly vouched.
J. D. Philbrick, of Boston, stated that he had received from Rev. Warren Burton a few copies of his “ Helps to Education,” for sale, and recommended it very highly as one of the best books both for the house and the school ever published in America.
At eleven o'clock, Hon. E. P. Weston, Superintendent of Public Schools of Maine, delivered a lecture on the Tendency to Extreme Opinions and Practices in School Affairs.
Adjourned to 2 o'clock, P. M.
The Institute was called to order by the President at two o'clock.
Mr. Stevens made a report from the committee on teachers and teachers' places.
Messrs. Sheldon, Hutchins, and Warren, were appointed to distribute, collect, and count the votes for officers of the Institute for the ensuing year.
The gentlemen whose names were announced by the committe on nominations were unanimously elected as officers.
On motion of Mr. Sheldon, it was voted that the incoming officers enter upon their duties at the close of the present Annual Session.
At two and a half o'clock, a lecture on “ The Teacher an Agent, and not a Servant," was delivered by J. W. Allen, Esq., of Norwich, Ct.
Mr. Elbridge G. Smith, of Norwich, Ct., then offered the following resolutions :
Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to remove from this life Gideon F. Thayer, a member of this body, therefore
Resolved, That in the death of Mr. Thayer, the American Institute of Instruction has lost one of the most earnest, active, and able of its original founders.
Resolved, That we place on record our most emphatic testimony to the superior worth of Mr. Thayer as a man — his energy, his public spirit, his warm sympathy with every good and great enterprise, and his truly gentlemanlike bearing in all the relations of life.
Resolved, That we record our deep sense of his superior ability as a member of our profession ; that as a teacher he has left his mark upon his generation, and that in some of the most important elements of school culture he was a pioneer; that methods and means originated by him have now become to be regarded as the indispensable conditions of success; that as a writer on educational subjects, as an officer of this Institute, as a lecturer and debater, the name of Mr. Thayer · is one of the brightest on the long catalogue of our members.
Resolved, That we tender to the family and friends of Mr. Thayer our tenderest sympathies in our common affliction.
Earnest and eloquent remarks were made by Mr. Smith, and Hon. J. D. Philbrick, bearing testimony to the superior worth, the energy, and public spirit of Mr. Thayer, and the resolutions were adopted.
ADDRESSES ON OBITUARY RESOLUTIONS.
Mr. Smith. I suppose it is unnecessary to offer any remarks in connection with these resolutions. I am aware that I have but imperfectly sketched those pleasing traits in friend Thayer's character with which we are so well acquainted.
This is, to a considerable extent, a formal service; but it is, nevertheless, in the present case, most decidedly a hearty service. These resolutions, so far as I am concerned, and so far as you, ladies and gentlemen, are concerned, who have for long years united with Mr. Thayer in these agreeable exercises, with us, I say, these resolutions are a matter of the heart. I think I do Mr. Thayer no more than justice when I say, that we not only respected but loved him. He was one of the most genial and interesting persons whom we met on these interesting occasions; and to my mind there is a peculiar sadness in the thought that we are to see him here no more. He was a lecturer before this body at its first meeting, thirtyfive years ago; and at nearly all the meetings since that time, he has been one of the most instructive speakers to whom it has been our pleasure to listen.
I think there were some points in his character as a teacher that I might notice as being peculiar. In one of these resolutions, I have referred to some things that were originated by him. Perhaps I might with more propriety have said that they were applied in the school-room by him. I refer especially to the cultivation of a truly polite and gentlemanlike deportment in his scholars. It was a peculiarity, and still is, as far as I know, a peculiarity of the Chauncy Hall School, - of which, as you are well aware, Mr. Thayer was the founder, - that the boys belonging to that school were well bred. They were young gentlemen. Those who have attended the public exhibitions of that school have been uniformly struck, I think, with the correct, civil, and amiable deportment of the scholars. Mr. Thayer made it a cardinal principle in his work as an educator, that the boys should be taught these habits. In addition to this, he was very particular to secure habits of cleanliness. Everything was orderly; and this, to his mind, was a most important part of their education. He regarded these things, which, I am sorry to say, some teachers are inclined to sneer at, as entering into their characters, and as determining, in no small degree, their success in life.
I trust, sir, there are others present who will take pleasure in adding something to this short testimony to the character of Mr. Thayer, which it has fallen to my lot to render on the present occasion.
Mr. Philbrick. I rise most cordially to second the resolutions; and perhaps I ought to say a word in regard to them. I did not come prepared to say anything on this subject, and was not aware that the resolutions were to be presented at this time, and it would be impossible for me to do justice to the character of Mr. Thayer without some preparation.
It is, sir, eminently appropriate that the decease of our brother should be noticed here and on this occasion. Mr. Thayer, as has been stated, was one of the originators of this society. I am inclined to think that he was one of the suggestors of the preliminary meeting which was held in Columbian Hall, Boston, in March, 1830, to take steps in regard to its organization; and I am inclined to think that no individual whatever has done more, from that time to the day of his death, to promote the interests of this association. I presume he was present at nearly every meeting, and he was certainly an officer of the society from its organization to the time of his death, having occupied the chair very acceptably for several years. His great activity, his zeal and devotion to the work of education, both as a practical teacher in the
school-room, and in a large way, with reference to the general interests of education, made his influence felt extensively. He was a man who gave his whole heart to the work. He did not engage in teaching as a mere temporary occupation, but he gave his whole soul to the business of education. I might mention a fact here which is, perhaps, not known to all the younger members of the association. I believe allusion has been made to a lecture which he delivered at the first meeting of the Institute on the subject of spelling. I have had occasion, within the last three or four years, to look up that subject in all the various educational publications within my reach, and therefore have had an opportunity to survey what has been written on it; and I give it as my opinion, that that is the best practical essay on the subject of teaching spelling in our schools that has been written in America. And not only that, but I find that all the books which I have seen, that have come to us from the other side of the water — from England, Ireland, and Scotland — for several years, on the subject of practical teaching, have all quoted largely from that lecture. It is the standard authority, I undertake to say, on the subject of teaching spelling in schools, not only in this country, but in England; and I affirm this from the fact that there is nothing there which is quoted from so largely and with so much approbation as this lecture. I mention this as an illustration of the practical views which he took, and of the influence he has exerted, not only in this country, but elsewhere.
I remember meeting Mr. Thayer one day, and asking him how he obtained such wonderful success in teaching penmanship (for I have seen some of his pupils who perfectly imitated his beautiful style); and so long as I have anything to do with education, I never shall forget how he dropped into my mind precisely that element of which I was in search. It