Horace Mann- and
M. Hale Smith
HORACE MANN AND I. HALE SMITH.
At the close of a pamphlet of fifty-six pages, enti-
tled " Sequel," &c., Mr. Mann, with great official
importance, took leave of the undersigned. He had
learned so much of my character and standing, as to
render it useless to notice me farther. The friends
of the Secretary shouted that " Mr. Smith was used
up." "Great is the Secretary of the Board of Edu-
cation ! " went up from all the craft. From Mr.
Smith's fate, let all take warning how they touch the
" indefatigable," " the resistless Secretary."
But not having done quite so much as was antici-
pated, Mr. Mann has made another addition to the
" yellow-covered " literature of the day, in a letter of
twenty-two pages, to " Rev. Matthew Hale Smith."
The pamphlet is a curiosity, in its way. The
author wishes to show that he is a very good man,
by attempting to prove that I am a very bad man.
By the attempt to lower my character, he hopes to
raise his own. He proves that he is a believer in the
canonical Scriptures, in the discipline of the Bible, in
something more and better than Deism, by proving,
conclusively, that I once professed to believe in ultra-
Universalism, but am now a Calvinist. It is amusing
to hear the friends of the Secretary talk of him as a
" tremendous writer." So is a Billingsgate woman,
with a basket of fish upon her head, a " tremendous
talker." The elements of power are the same in
each. A collision is to be dreaded in either case, for
similar reasons. If any one is in doubt, let him read
this letter of Mr. Mann.
I shall notice but two things in the pamphlet.
The one personal to myself the other relating to
the Normal School at West Newton.
PERSONAL TO MYSELF.
On page 12, I find the following :
MR. SMITH'S " BOWLING " : First preached
against ; then committed ; then confessed to his
Church ; then denied to the world.
That I preached against bowling, and then prac-
ticed it, is a falsehood. That I ever confessed to
my Church what I denied to the world, is another
falsehood. In his Sequel, Mr. Mann insinuated that
I was in the habit of " bowling Sunday mornings and
evenings." He intended to make such an impres-
sion ; he did make it. Now, he pretends to have
had no such intentions. He presents two other
falsehoods, more infamous than the first.
In the early part of August, 1843, I was at the
famous watering-place at Hampton Beach. At the
invitation of some townsmen, I went out and rolled
at ten-pins, for exercise, a short time. At that time,
I had not given the question a consideration, whether
such an exercise, under such circumstances, purely
for purposes of health, was, or was not, proper. I
knew it was no unusual thing for gentlemen of my
profession to take such exercise. In the Winter fol-
lowing, I found it necessary to rebuke certain pro-
fessors of religion, who were " lovers of pleasure,
more than of God." On the 23d day of December,
almost jive months after my visit to Hampton, \
preached from 2 Cor. vi : 17, 18. Lest the force
of my appeal should be lost, I resolved to reprove
myself for having once been caught in the devil's
society, since I " put off the old man and his deeds."
And this I did by saying, " A ball-room is no place
for a Christian ; a bowling-saloon is no place for a
minister of the gospel." Such is the simple story,
and all the story. The Secretary has given to the
; public two different versions of this matter. Let
him try again.
" I have been told " that Mr. Mann was bred to
the law, though by it he was scarcely able to get his
own bread. In the few cases committed to his care,
he learned to estimate the advantage of diverting at-
tention from the real issue. Suppose all he had as-
serted were true, would it vindicate him ? Would it
prove that he is not a dangerous, designing man ?
Whether this allusion to myself will pay the Secre-
tary for the expense and trouble of sending to
Nashua to get the information he has published, he
THE NORMAL SCHOOL.
In allusion to my visit to the State School at West
Newton, I said, in page 6 of my " Reply " :
"But 'to spy out the lapd ' I went, if Mr. Mann
is to be believed. Then I was singularly unfortunate
in the time I selected. 1 should have gone ' incog.,'
to a recent exhibition of that pattern State school
I should have looked upon some of those ladies, can-
didates for emolument and fame, as pupils of the
Normal School, taking lessons in propriety and deli-
cacy, by wearing the garb of young men ; I should
have beheld the lady assistant of that school, deepen-
ing those impressions of delicacy, by appearing before
the school with arms, feet, &c., apparently bare,
though daubed with paint. I say apparently, for the
covering worn, if any, looked so like the skin, that
the deception was perfect to the eye. I should then,
as did the men of old, have spied out the ' nakedness
of the land.' "
In the Boston Courier, of March 25, Mr. Cyrus
Pierce, the Principal, charges me with " hyperbole
and gross misrepresentation." Under the wing of
the Secretary, in this letter, Mr. Pierce waxes
warmer and warmer. He pronounces the above the
" blackest of his [my] calumnies the most devilish
of them a//." (The Principal of the pattern school
should not swear!) If 1 have misrepresented, why
does not Mr. Pierce give me the true version ? For
the simple reason that he dare not do so ; for in so
doing, he would falsify his own correction. If I have
misrepresented, then let unmeasured censure fall upon
my head. " Mark now,-" Mr. Pierce, " how a plain
tale shall put you down."
At the close of the Fall Term of the Normal
School, at West Newton, a Tableau was got up
among some of the scholars, and Miss Lincoln and
Mrs. Pierce. The exhibition was held in the Normal
school-house ; all the school attended, except a few
persons. Nine gentlemen were present ; among
whom the bar-keeper of the tavern and the Princi-
pal of the school were conspicuous. Five scenes
were enacted. No. 1 "BEFORE MARRIAGE." A
young lady of the senior class, dressed in a complete
suit of gentleman's apparel, represented the lover.
No. 2 " MARRIAGE." The depot-master, in gown
and bands, represented the priest ; a young lady, in
full costume of a man, represented the bridegroom.
No. 3 "AFTER MARRIAGE." The female gentle-
man at home, with his " heels as high as the chair,
or higher." No. 4 - LITTLE PIECE OF POPERY;
nuns taking the veil. No. 5 POCAHONTAS. A
young lady, dressed as a man, in a reclining position,
represented Captain Smith ; the lady Principal, with
shoulders bare, naked arms and neck, but painted,
with clothes reaching just below the knees, stockings
of Indian-skin color, with a position more disgusting
than the dress itself, represented Powhatan. The
whole ended with a dance, in which the young keep-
er of the bar-room and the young lady who teaches
the model-school waltzed, to the mutual satisfaction
of each other and of the Principal ; for at the close,
Mr. Pierce praised the young ladies for acting their
parts so Well ! These facts are known to some of
the members of the Board of Education. I have
documentary evidence before me, while I write.
Even Miss Lincoln has admitted the general truth of
my original statement. Soon after I published it,
she read her journal to the school, and in self-defence
said, " She should not hesitate to do the same thing
again, under similar circumstances."
There are one or two things in regard to the Nor-
mal school at West Newton which ought to be
known. Mr. Mann has once or twice referred to the
fact, as he calls it, that three-fourths of the present
common school teachers in the State are orthodox.
His statistics show that he has closely looked at this
matter. A remedy for so great an evil is to be found
in Normal schools. The pupils for the last season, at
West Newton, have ranged from forty to eighty,
making an average of sixty. Of this number but
two are known to be orthodox communicants, and
only six to be favorable to evangelical sentiments.
The originator of this schoor, contends that nothing
above the lowest form of Deism can be taught in any
common school in the State, as the principles of pie-
ty. The head of that school, if common fame does not
misrepresent him, in theology is a Parkerite. His
theory of discipline would cause him to turn a boy
out of school rather than use the rod. The loose-
ness of moral principle, attendant upon such senti-
ments, have been developed at West Newton. At
the beginning of last season, the mass of the school
did not go to church or keep the Sabbath some on
that sacred season made it a sort of gala day some
washed, and others ironed. At one time it seemed as
if the opening of that school in West Newton was
the opening of Pandora's box. The condition of
things called up certain members of the Board of
Education. They gave laws on the subject of keep-
ing the Sabbath. The school debated the matter,
and resolved that they would do as they pleased. A
compromise was made, and the circular of Mr. Pierce
went out, making it obligatory upon the scholars to go
to church one half the day, on the Sabbath, and the
rest of the day do as they pleased. And this is the
model State school supported by funds paid out of
the treasury of the Commonwealth. Five hundred
Normalites are already abroad. Sixty more are
nearly ready. These must have the pre-eminence
over others. They will go out under the influence of
the Secretary. In five years what will be the condi-
tion of the common schools in this ancient Common-
In an appendix to his letter, which was added to
some of the copies, and carefully kept out of others,
Mr. Mann boasts, that the vote recently passed by
the Legislature, making an appropriation to the Nor-
mal school, is a triumph over " Mr. Smith and his
friends.' 5 " Mr. Smith and his friends " say this,
that if the people of the State are content to vote
away their money, to sustain dancing in school-
houses exhibitions in which women are stripped to
their skin, and the other influences that go out from
that school, then let the fact be known. I am
obliged to Mr. Mann for the issue he makes before
the people. We will meet him on that issue.
In my correspondence, I feel that 1 have done the
State some service. Not so much by what I have
written, as what Mr. Mann has been compelled to
write. He is much better known to the people of
Massachusetts than he was when he asked, " Who is
Matthew Hale Smith ? " I excuse all the abusive
language he has employed in respect to myself, for
the benefit the State will derive from knowing Mr.
Mann so well. Satan is most to be feared when he
puts on the garb of an angel of light, and takes on
himself the appearance of a minister of righteous-
ness. A distinguished citizen of Boston, soon after
the " Sequel " was published, said to me, " I hope
you will keep Mr. Mann writing pamphlets ; a few
more such as this from his pen will save the State
from his pernicious influence."
Mr. Mann has once or twice alluded to the distin-
guished men with whom he has been officially asso-
ciated. It is evident that such associates have not
improved his manners. It remains to be seen wheth-
er he will corrupt theirs. Driven to the wall, the
Secretary has sought new allies. He has opened a
communication between himself and the Trumpet
office. He needs weapons ; they want a medium of
utterance. The Trumpet office is to furnish matter,
and Mr. Mann is to give it to the world. When I
left the ranks of the Universalists, in 1840, and gave
my reasons for so doing, the sect Commenced an as-
sault upon me. They have kept it up till now. But
a new page was opened to them in the correspond-
ence of Mr. Mann. The stale stories, the vile in-
sinuations, in the Secretary's letter, bespeak their
origin. He can find any quantity of such matter in
the files of the Trumpet ; and in becoming a retailer
of second-hand scandals, which have originated in
the Trumpet office, he will find an employment bet-
ter suited to his cast of mind, better suited to his
" accomplished " mode of doing business, than in at-
tempting to decide what the constitution means by
" principles of piety." I leave him in the fraternal
embrace of his new allies, giving him full permission
to print any thing relating to me personally that he
pleases, on the condition that he will put his name to
what he writes, that the bane and the antidote may
then go together.
I am not so rnuch a stranger to Boston as Mr.
Mann would represent. My childhood was passed in
the town of Boston. I was educated in the common
schools of the town and city. The greater part of
my life has been passed in Boston or immediate vi-
cinity. I consider Mr. Mann officially a bad man
bad in his theory and unscrupulous in the modes by
which it is extended. If he is not checked, and that
right early, a lasting blight will settle down upon the
fair heritage of New England. There is hope yet.
Mr. Mann and his theories and their influence are
becoming well known. I leave both to the verdict of
a moral and religious people. To them I propose
this sentiment " Horace Mann, *as Secretary of the
Board of Education Psalm 109 : 8th verse."
MATTHEW HALE SMITH.
Boston, April 30th, 1847.
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