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  • 58-BAC 1X1-Horace Mann
  • 58-Horace_Mann

Horace Mann

Artist:

Emma Stebbins

Location:

Massachusetts State House, on south lawn near Beacon St.  

Location

Massachusetts State House, on south lawn near Beacon St.
United States
42° 21' 28.4544" N, 71° 3' 49.536" W

Neighborhood:

Downtown

Type:

Sculpture

Year:

1865

Medium:

Bronze

Collection:

Funders:

Unknown

Description:

Draped in a long robe and clasping a book to his chest, this figure looks more like a philosopher or a preacher than a political hero. In fact, Horace Mann was both an important politician and an influential thinker whose ideas about educational reform shaped the modern American public school system. Mann’s desire to improve public schools may have been prompted in part by his own experiences. As a child, Mann was kept busy working on his family’s farm in Franklin, MA, and he attended school only three months out of the year. But he educated himself at the local library and went on to attend Brown University, where he developed an interest in social reform and education. After graduating as valedictorian, Mann pursued a career as a lawyer and then as a politician. He left the state Senate in 1837 to serve as the first Massachusetts Secretary of Education in 1837 and worked tirelessly to bolster public schools by increasing funding, promoting legislation, and improving training for teachers. Mann ended his career in education as President of Antioch College in Ohio—one of the few institutions to accept African-American students at the time.

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