Key Dates

- 1796 -

Horace Mann is born in Franklin, MA on May 4

- 1819 -

Horace Mann graduates from Brown University as valedictorian

- 1823 -

Horace Mann is admitted to the bar and opens a law office in Dedham, MA

- 1830 -

Horace Mann marries Charlotte Messer

- 1832 - 

Charlotte dies of tuberculosis

- 1836 - 

Horace Mann is elected President of the MA Senate

- 1837 -

Horace Mann creates the Massachusetts Board of Education

- 1843 -

Horace Mann marries Mary Tyler Peabody and together they sail to Europe to study common schools

- 1848 -

Horace Mann is elected to the US Congress as a Whig

- 1852 -

Horace Mann runs for governor of Massachusetts but loses, so he accepts a position as President of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio

- 1859 -

Horace Mann dies in Yellow Springs, Ohio on August 12

The Life of Horace Mann

The first great American advocate of public education, Horace Mann believed that, in a democratic society, education should be free and universal, nonsectarian, democratic in method, and reliant on well-trained, professional teachers. To learn more about the Father of Public Education in America, come visit the Museum today!

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Horace Mann's Six Principles on Education

1. The public should no longer remain ignorant

2. Education should be paid for, controlled, and sustained by an interested public

3. This education will be best provided in schools that embrace children from a variety of backgrounds

4. This education must be non-sectarian

5. This education must be taught by the spirit, methods, and discipline of a free society

6. Education should be provided by well-trained, professional teachers