Sunday, May 28, 2023

Congressman Horace Mann, January 7, 1850

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 1850.

Mr. A. has infinitely slender cause to praise Mr. Cobb for putting Mr. Giddings on the Committee on Territories, and Mr. Allen on the District Committee, and Mr. King on the Judiciary; for he has so buried them up with Southern Democrats, that they cannot get their heads high up enough to breathe. With such a committee as Mr. Winthrop would have appointed, we should have met with no obstacles in getting our measures before the country and the House. Now we shall encounter the most serious of obstacles at every step; and, if it is possible for skill or power to bar out all antislavery measures, it will be done.

There is no end to the perversions of partisans. A partisan cannot be an honest man, whether he be a political or a religious partisan. How necessary it is to cultivate the seeds of truth in the young! Nothing can be, or can approach to be, a substitute for it. So of the great principle, that it is for the interest of every man to be a true man, and that by no possibility can perversion or error be useful. How the world needs to be educated!

Does H. get exact and complete ideas of things? Can he reproduce what you teach him? This is an all-important part of teaching. Has a lesson been so learned that the pupil can restate it in words, or exemplify it in act, or draw it on blackboards, &c.? This is the test to which learners should be early subjected. I am very glad about the music. We pity Laura Bridgeman for the privation of her physical powers; but how many of us need to be pitied for the privation of faculties whose absence deforms just as much as a loss of the senses! One of these is music.

SOURCE: Mary Tyler Peabody Mann, Life of Horace Mann, p. 285

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