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Horace Mann School
The Horace Mann School was founded by Nicholas Murray Butler as a co-educational experimental and developmental unit of Columbia University's Teachers College. First opening its doors in 1887 at 9 University Place in Manhattan, the school's first students were two sets of siblings. Three years later, the school added a secondary division, and a year after it added a college preparatory division, which charged $150 as a full year's tuition for a high school senior.
Horace Mann was born in 1796. He played a leading role in establishing the elementary system in the U.S. After graduating from Brown University, he went on to be a member of the Massachusetts State Legislature. In 1848, he won a seat in the House of Representatives, in which capacity he was a fervent advocate of public education. He was the President of Antioch College from 1853 until his death in 1859. Although Horace Mann was one of the most well known proponents of mandatory public school education in America, he did not have anything to do with the founding of the school that bears his name.
The school moved up to 120th Street in Morningside Heights in 1901, at a time when few large buildings were in that area and geese and goats (pets of the numerous squatters) still roamed freely around the empty lots. The school was across the street from the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum (which had been deserted shortly before the school's arrival), which also served housing for the students at Teachers College. The building, however, was state-of-the-art, thanks to a donation from Mr. and Mrs. V. Everit Macy, and included electricity and an imposing statue of Athena in the front hallway. Columbia University, to which Horace Mann was still closely tied, moved from their Manhattan campus up to their present location at 116th Street shortly after Horace Mann had made the transition. By this time, however, Horace Mann was becoming less of an experimental school for the students of Teachers College to try out their new ideas, and more of a well-recognized school in its own right. Teachers College eventually created the Lincoln School as a new co-educational school in which to practice their experimental teaching methods, leaving Horace Mann more and more independent.
This Horace Mann School sub-pocket contains numerous original documents that provide insight into the daily running of the school such as correspondences between staff & faculty, budgets and meeting minutes from various committees associated with the school and the Teachers College Board of Trustees. The sub pocket also includes items that document some of the major incidents in the schools’ life ranging from various studies, reports & surveys conducted, its proposed merger with the Lincoln School (see also Unification & Consolidation) and the lawsuit (Elliott vs. Teachers College) that ensued in response to this proposal.
Created By: Pocket Master