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our happiness, to labor with earnest hearts for its future honor and usefulness. And now, with devout thanks to the kind Providence that has so long smiled on our efforts, let us so engage in the duties and pleasures of the present occasion, that when, a few days hence, we hear the summons to another year of toil, we may re-enter our several fields of labor, better teachers, wiser friends of education.
The Report of the Directors was read by the President, and accepted, and ordered to be placed on file.
The President then, on motion, appointed the following gentlemen a Committee on Teachers and Teachers' Places : Messrs. Ansorge of Dorchester, Phelps of New Haven, and Johnson of Chicago.
On motion of Mr. Stone, of Plymouth, a Committee of seven on nomination of Officers for the ensuing year, was ordered. The President appointed the following gentlemen : A. P. Stone, of Plymouth; S. S. Greene, of Providence, R. I.; Charles Northend, of New Britain, Conn. ; N. Hedges, of Newark, N. J.; H. E. Sawyer, of Concord, N. H. ; Z. Richards, of Washington, D. C.; and James A. Page, of Boston.
The following subject was then taken up and discussed: “ Is it expedient to make Calisthenics and Gymnastics a part of school training ?”
T. W. VALENTINE, of Williamsburg, N. Y., was called upon to address the Institute. He said it was rather an ungracious task to lead off in a discussion of this nature. The time was, he said, in which education consisted in merely storing the mind ; but now it was in moral, intellectual, and physical culture.
He thought it very strange that in many institutions the training is almost wholly intellectual. Physical training is almost entirely lost sight of. True, in many insti
tutions in the country, gymnasia have been established, and they are doing some good. But I have yet to find, said he, any institution that is really doing this work as it ought to be done. In this respect we are not doing our duty to the rising generation. Under the present system, it is no wonder that so many children grow up deformed. Our Creator designed that every man and woman should be good looking. Horace Mann said, “A disordered stomach was as great an abomination in the sight of God as lying lips.” That class of men, whose high priest, at present, is Heenan the Hittite, is doing some good in this direction, though they do much to demoralize society.
In looking round upon the females in our schools, he felt sad to see so many narrow chests and stooping shoulders. This ought not to be. They should be in the open air. He had been disgusted in seeing the pupils of a fashionable boarding-school in New York, while going out to exercise, so much were they like an automaton. The girls should be allowed toʻscream and bawl as loudly as they please. He had a place in connection with his school where they could do so to their heart's content.
PROF. PHELPS, of Trenton, N. J., desired to know of the previous speaker the details of his gymnasium.
MR. VALENTINE complied with the request. He used dumb-bells, poles, cross-bars, weights, ladders, &c. He thought it necessary to have an exclusive teacher in this department of education. In his own school, he instructed some two hundred at a time.
Rev. MR. NORTHRUP, of Saxonville, said that a gentleman was present, who had given this subject special attention, and desired that he might be heard from.
DR. LEWIS, of Newton, responded. He said that he excluded bars, clubs, and almost all the usual gymnastic apparatus. He disbelieved in everything that did not cause fun. He had a gymnasium in the vicinity, and was
about to propose to have a committee of the Institute to visit it. The speaker found his system to work admirably among the insane. If he might characterize his system, he said it consisted of a variety of positions; and was directed, not to lifting great weights, but to rapidity of evolution.
MR. SHELDON, of West Newton, said he had been a pupil of Dr. Lewis, and had been growing young every day since.
MR. NORTHRUP moved that a committee of six be appointed to witness the exhibition of Dr. Lewis' pupils; and also to devote a half hour of the session of the Institute to an illustration of his theory.
MR. GREENLEAF, of Bradford, favored the motion. He had been much gratified with the manner in which the subject had been treated. Those who exercise most, become the best scholars. Those ladies who do nothing but attend to study, become weak. He related, in an amusing manner, the pleasure that he had on visiting an elderly clergyman, of more than four score years, who took him into his study and showed him how he practised gymnastic exercises. He would cut a pigeon wing like a young man, though he looked as solemn as the grave all the time. When he asked me to do it, said Mr. Greenleaf, I told him I could neither sing, swim, skate, nor dance. Sawing wood, or splitting it, — as they say some of our great politicians split rails, – is about as good a gymnasium as can be had. At any rate, do not sit down in sloth and idleness.
The motion to raise a committee was carried, and the following committee of gentlemen were appointed, with power to select the ladies who should accompany them : Messrs. Richards of Washington, Valentine of Brooklyn, and Batchelder of Salem.
The Institute then adjourned till half-past seven o'clock.
At the opening of the meeting this evening, the President read a circular, calling for aid in the erection of a statue of Hon. Horace Mann.
Gov. Boutwell followed the reading with a few remarks, urging the propriety of the call. Mr. Mann did not need, for the perpetuation of his memory, a monument in bronze or marble; but it is necessary to the reputation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that some such memorial of him be erected on her soil. He, more than any man in modern times, gave to the profession of teach. ing its respectability and power.
The PRESIDENT then introduced MR. FELTON, President of Harvard College, as the lecturer of the evening. In doing so he took occasion to state, that, thirty years ago, the same distinguished gentleman delivered an address before the Institute, at its first meeting, on 6 Classical Learning.”
PRESIDENT FELTON was received with applause.
Although he spoke for nearly two hours, his remarks were listened to with delight to the close; and he was frequently warmly applauded. His lecture was interesting and happy in the highest degree.
At the conclusion of Mr. Felton's address, the audience, by invitation, proceeded to the Music Hall.
SOIREE AND PROMENADE CONCERT. This was given to the members of the Institute and those in attendance upon its sessions, by the School Committee of Boston. Gilmore's Band provided the Music, and performed a welcoming air as the company entered the Hall.
Rev. Dr. LOTHROP, in behalf of the Committee, welcomed the Institute to the Hall in a cordial and characteristic speech.
The President briefly responded, acknowledging the pleasure the Institute enjoyed at receiving such a Boston welcome, which, it seemed, it required the eloquence both of a Boston Mayor and a Boston Divine to express. The gratitude of the Institute ought therefore to be expressed by more than one man.
PROF. PHELPs, of New Jersey, was called on, who also spoke briefly, when the music and the social festivities of the evening began, and were continued in a most pleasant manner till a late hour.
WEDNESDAY MORNING. The minutes of yesterday's proceedings were read by the Secretary. Prayer was then offered by Rev. A. H. Quint, of Jamaica Plain.
MR. RICHARDS, from the committee appointed to visit the school of Dr. Lewis, reported that the impressions of the committee were highly favorable to the system as illustrated by the class.
The thanks of the Institute were returned to the committee, and the report accepted, Dr. Lewis was then invited to give an illustration of his system. This constituted a most interesting exercise for the Institute, and evidently was highly approved as a system of gymnastic training.
The Institute then took a recess of five minutes.
REGULAR PROCEEDINGS RESUMED. MR. STONE, of Plymouth, then offered the following resolution:
“Resolved, That the members of this Institute have this morning witnessed with great pleasure and interest the exercise in Gymnastics, under the direction of Dr. Lewis, and that we believe it eminently worthy of general introduction into all our schools, and into general use."