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of the law itself, “for the instruction of youth of every class and grade without distinction, in reading, writing, arithmetic and other necessary branches of a common education.” The author of this law, which first made popular and common education an established policy in Ohio, was Nathan Guilford, of Cincinnati. He will be remembered as one of the Commissioners appointed under Caleb Atwater's resolution. He was elected Senator from Cincinnati in 1824, and in the Legislature he distinguished himself as a warm and persistent advocate of state education. He was made chairman of the joint committee on school legislation, and in that capacity he prepared the law in question and backed its claims by an elaborate and able report. The work commenced by Cutler in 1819, and revived by Atwater in 1821, was consummated by Guilford in 1825. To these three men Ohio owes her common school system. All subsequent legislation has been amendatory of the great idea which they developed and erected into a law.
The immediate results of the school law of 1825 were not favorable. There was still much opposition to it in some parts of the state, and although the common school system had not advanced with that rapidity which its friends had predicted, it gradually but slowly grew in favor with the people. Its advocates had the double duty imposed upon them of sustaining and operating the law and fighting its enemies. Even after the law was in full force, efforts were made to secure its repeal. The Legislature following its enactment, was flooded with petitions asking for its suspension or repeal, but the law stood all assaults. With good sense the committee to whom the petitions were referred reported that when said act shall have been tested by the touchstone of experience, it will become popular, because its features are stamped with an enlarged wisdom, a liberal and enlightened policy.” Fifty years of experience and history have confirmed this. Improvements and additions to the school system of Ohio have made it a structure of majestic power and good. It destroys all aristocracy and caste, and leaves no mark of distinction but that which is intellectual. Year after year the common schools of Ohio have increased in strength and numbers in a marvelous ratio. So thoroughly are the people interested in and attached to popular education, that no means are spared, that are necessary to a persect condition. In 1886 the total expenditure for common school purposes was $10,121,897, an amount greater than in any other state in the Union, excepting New York and Illinois. More than ten per cent. of all the money spent in the United States for educational purposes is expended in Ohio. She has a greater
than any other state.
In the conveniences of educational facilities Ohio has no peer in the Union. Her school-houses and grounds are valued at thirty millions of dollars, more than twice the whole taxable property of the State when Ephriam Cutler offered his first bill. To her teachers she pays over six millions of dollars annually. Out of this widespread education of the people has grown a demand for higher scholarship, consequently we find that Ohio possesses more colleges than any other state. The aggregate value of these colleges is $5,616,000; New York is the only state which exceeds this amount in college property. And all this is the result of the ideas so manfully and zealously contended for by Cutler, Atwater and Guilford. Little did they dream, in the most sanguine hour of their enthusiasm, that their schemes of “schools for all” would produce such magnificent results.
1825—1840. LAFAYETTE'S VISIT—MORMONISM IN THE WESTERN
RESERVE—THE FLIGHT OF JOSEPH SMITH AND
DAYTON. Lafayette, the distinguished compatriot and friend of Washington, paid a formal visit to Ohio in 1825. He was received at Cincinnati in May of this year by Governor Morrow and his staff in the presence of 50,000 people. Amid the thundering of cannon and the acclamations of a grateful multitude, the friend of the Nation in its darkest and youngest hour, was welcomed by a new generation. It was truly a marvelous scene. When last in America, sharing with Washington the hardships of the camp and the glories of the field, the territory upon which he now landed was absolutely wild with sayage beasts and still more savage men. Since then a new empire in the West had grown up, cities had arisen where once forests grew, and the great unknown and uncivilized West of the Revolutionary era had developed into a territory of three and one half millions of people. To Lafayette it was indeed a soul-stirring sight. He loved the Republic and republican institutions wherever found. The new world received the Great Republican of the old, not only for the glorious help he gave in the Revolution, but because for liberty's sake he had since then suffered fines and persecution and imprisonment.
Lafayette had arrived in this country the summer before, and his visit was a continual ovation from a grateful Nation unforgetful of patriotic memories. He was escorted to Cincinnati by the Governor of Kentucky and a splendid suite, and received as before stated by the Governor of Ohio. Among those prominently identified with Lafayette's reception were Generals Harrison and Lytle, and Judge Burnett, a trio of pioneers who revived strongly the days of the Northwest Territory.
An interesting incident occurred on this occasion. Among the thousands that welcomed the great guest on that bright May morning was a good German woman who, years before, gave Lafayette a cup of milk and a three-franc piece as he came out of the fortress of Olmutz, where he had been long and cruelly imprisoned as a friend of liberty. Lafayette upon meeting her gave her an affectionate and tender greeting.
He could not find time in the press of his engagements to visit the interior of Ohio. Governor Morrow accompanied him eastward as far as Wheeling, where he was received by the people of Virginia with similar honors and hospitality. Bidding him goodbye and God-speed, Governor Morrow returned to the State Capital.
Commencing in 1831, Mormonism flourished several years in Ohio. Its rise and development form an important, as well as an interesting, part of State history.
Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, known among his followers as the “Prophet of the Lord,” came to Kirtland, then in Geauga, but now in Lake county, in February of that year. Under a revelation, which the prophet claimed to have received from the Lord in December, 1830, Kirtland was designated as the Promised Land. Accordingly, in January, Smith and his followers, numbering more than fifty families, migrated from Western New York. As they traveled to what they called, and believed to be, the New Jerusalem, the seeds of Mormonism were sown by the wayside, and many converts made. Amid prayers and singing and religious demonstrations, these duped devotees of a religious fraud entered Ohio. The new religion spread with marvelous rapidity. Smith, from all that can be learned of his life, was a worthless and cunning man. He saw with what avidity his doctrines were
first perpetrated as a joke, came a structure of religious enthusiasm and belief unsurpassed by any fraud since the days of the rise of Mohanımedism. The origin and development of Mormonism is one of the most phenomenal occurrences in psychological history. “The Book of Mormon” appeared in 1830.