Guide to the Microfilm Edition

Collection Summary


This microfilm edition is composed of five collections: the Horace Mann papers, 1669-1926; Horace Mann papers II, 1826-1882; Horace Mann papers III, 1709-1904; Horace Mann papers IV, 1827-1835; and Horace Mann papers V, 1841-1849. These collections pertain to the lives of Horace Mann (1796-1859), Mary Tyler Peabody Mann, Thomas Mann, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Elizabeth Amelia Dwight, George Albert Hubbell, William Bentley Fowle, Benjamin Pickman Mann, Horace Mann (1844-1868), and George Combe Mann, among others.

Biographical Timeline

4 May 1796
Mann is born in Franklin, Mass., the son of Thomas and Rebecca (Stanley) Mann.
20 June 1809
Thomas Mann, father of Horace, dies.
22 July 1810
Stephen Mann (born 1792), brother of Horace, drowns in Uncas Pond.
Fall 1816
Mann enters Brown University in Providence, R.I., as a member of the sophomore class.
1 Sep. 1819
He graduates from Brown University with high honors.
Fall 1819
Mann obtains a legal apprenticeship in the office of Josiah J. Fiske of Wrentham, Mass.
Feb. 1820
He returns to Brown University as a tutor in Latin and Greek; he is later appointed school librarian as well.
Feb. 1822
He attends Tapping Reeve's Law School in Litchfield, Connecticut.
21 Dec. 1823
Mann is granted the privilege of practicing law in the Norfolk Court of Common Pleas (Mass.).
Calvin Pennell, Mann's brother-in-law, dies.
Thomas Stanley Mann, Horace's older brother, loses three children within days of each other.
21 Dec. 1825
The Norfolk bar recommends that Mann be admitted to practice before the Supreme Judicial Court.
1 May 1827
Mann is elected as representative to the Massachusetts General Court from Dedham.
29 Sep. 1830
He marries Charlotte Messer, daughter of Brown University president Asa Messer.
1 Aug. 1832
Charlotte Messer Mann dies.
11 Aug. 1834
The Ursuline Convent in Charlestown, Mass., is attacked by a mob. For ten days, Mann heads an ad hoc committee of citizens to investigate the incident, until he falls ill.
Nov. 1834
Mann is elected as a Whig senator in Massachusetts. He is president of the Senate from 1836 to 1837.
Thomas Stanley Mann (born 1788) dies.
11 Oct. 1836
Asa Messer dies.
Rebecca Stanley Mann dies.
29 June 1837
Mann is elected secretary of the Board of Education of Massachusetts.
Jan. 1840
Barre, Bridgewater, and Lexington are selected as sites for the new Normal Schools.
Spring 1840
Mann journeys south along the coast and then westward with George Combe.
4 July 1842
He gives the Fourth of July oration in Boston.
26 Mar. 1843
Mann proposes marriage to Mary Tyler Peabody.
1 May 1843
The couple marry and depart on the Britannia for Europe with Samuel G. and Julia Ward Howe. They visit England, Scotland, Hamburg, Magdeburg, Berlin, Potsdam, Leipzig, Saxon Switzerland, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Baden-Baden, Utrecht, Leyden, Haarlem, Amsterdam, Paris, England, and Ireland.
Nov. 1843
The Britannia arrives in Boston after a rough passage.
24 Feb. 1844
Horace Mann, Jr., is born.
27 Dec. 1845
George Combe Mann is born.
Apr. 1848
Mann is elected from the Eighth District to the U.S. House of Representatives.
15 Apr. 1848
At midnight, Daniel Drayton and Edward Sayres sail down the Potomac in the Pearl with 76 freedom seekers. They are apprehended on Apr. 16.
30 Apr. 1848
Benjamin Pickman Mann is born.
30 June 1848
Mann gives his maiden speech in Congress, strongly supporting the anti-slavery cause.
July 1848
Mann decides to serve as attorney for Drayton and Sayres in "the Pearl case." Drayton's trial begins.
Nov. 1850
He is re-elected from the Eighth District.
15 Sep. 1852
Mann is nominated as the Free-Soil candidate for governor of Massachusetts. He is simultaneously appointed by the "Christian Connexion" as the president of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He loses the gubernatorial election and accepts the presidency of Antioch.
Sep. 1853
The Manns arrive in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
5 Oct. 1853
Mann is inaugurated as president of Antioch.
Aug. 1858
George Combe dies.
20 Apr. 1859
Antioch College is sold at auction to a group of Mann's friends led by Josiah Quincy.
29 June 1859
Mann gives his final baccalaureate address.
2 Aug. 1859
Horace Mann dies.

Collection Description

This microfilm edition of the papers of Horace Mann is composed of five separate collections of Horace Mann papers held by the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS). The five collections are: the Horace Mann papers, 1669-1926; the Horace Mann papers II, 1826-1882; the Horace Mann papers III, 1709-1904; the Horace Mann papers IV, 1827-1835; and the Horace Mann papers V, 1841-1849. The first collection is the largest and is represented in Series I-III of this microfilm. The Horace Mann papers II, III, IV, and V are represented in Series IV-VII of this microfilm. Series VIII consists of oversize material from all of the Horace Mann papers.

This collection consists of the papers of Horace Mann and other family members, including material from Mann's career as a lawyer, legislator, abolitionist, educator, and president of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Mann's correspondence constitutes the bulk of the collection. His correspondents included most of his prominent contemporaries in his various fields of interest. The collection also contains the correspondence of reformers Mary Tyler Peabody Mann (1806-1887) and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (1804-1894), as well as some of the letters of Elizabeth Amelia (White) Dwight (1809-1883). Also included in the collection are a number of Horace Mann's journals, legal papers, and speeches on wide-ranging subjects, such as education, politics, slavery, temperance, and religion.

Other individuals represented in this collection are: Thomas Mann (1756-1809), George Albert Hubbell (b. 1824), William Bentley Fowle (1795-1865), Benjamin Pickman Mann (1848-1926), Horace Mann (1844-1868), and George Combe Mann (b. 1845), among others.

Acquisition Information

Horace Mann papers: Gift of George Combe Mann and Benjamin Pickman Mann, Jan. 30, 1915. Additional material gifts of Laura E. Richards, 1940, and Horace Mann, Oct. 1945.

Horace Mann papers II: Deposited by Horace Mann (of Maine), May 1952.

Horace Mann papers III: Acquired by purchase, 1954.

Horace Mann papers IV: Gift of Mr. Wilder Dwight, Oct. 4, 1920.

Horace Mann papers V: Acquired by purchase, Waterston Fund I, Nov. 30, 1918.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. General correspondence, 1669-1926

Arranged chronologically.

This series consists of Horace Mann's correspondence with many of his important contemporaries, including George Combe (1788-1858). Almost every one of the letters is individually described in the MHS manuscript catalog.

Reel 1
Undated material, 1.1-1.13
Reel 2
Correspondence, 1669-1830
Reel 3
Correspondence, 1831-1833
Reel 4
Correspondence, 1834-1837
Reel 5
Correspondence, 1838-1840
Reel 6
Correspondence, 1841-1842
Reel 7
Correspondence, 1843-1844
Reel 8
Correspondence, 1845-1846
Reel 9
Correspondence, 1847
Reel 10
Correspondence, Jan.-May 1848
Reel 11
Correspondence, June-Sep. 1848
Reel 12
Correspondence, Oct.-Dec. 1848
Reel 13
Correspondence, Jan.-May 1849
Reel 14
Correspondence, June-Dec. 1849
Reel 15
Correspondence, Jan.-Feb. 1850
Reel 16
Correspondence, Mar.-May 1850
Reel 17
Correspondence, June-Aug. 1850
Reel 18
Correspondence, Sep.-Dec. 1850
Reel 19
Correspondence, 1851
Reel 20
Correspondence, Jan.-July 1852
Reel 21
Correspondence, Aug.-Dec. 1852
Reel 22
Correspondence, 1853-Mar. 1854
Reel 23
Correspondence, Apr.-Dec. 1854
Reel 24
Correspondence, 1855-Mar. 1857
Reel 25
Correspondence, Apr. 1857-1858
Reel 26
Correspondence, 1859-1926
Reel 26
Horace Mann to George Combe, copies of letters, 1839-1858

II. Lectures, sermons, and legal notes, 1820-1859

Arranged chronologically.

This series contains Mann's lectures, sermons, speeches, and legal notes. Undated miscellaneous notes are at the end of the series.

Reel 27
1a. "Speech of Horace Mann in Boston Legislature," [182-]
Reel 27
1b. Closing arguments for a civil suit, [182-]
Reel 27
1c. [1825]
Reel 27
2a. Bill in aid of the Western Railroad, [183-]
Reel 27
2b. Legal notes, Commonwealth vs. Leach & Manley, [183-]
Reel 27
3a. Insanity, [183-]
Reel 27
3b. "Chaos," [183-] [probably 1838]
Reel 27
4. Education, physical education, and health matters, [183-]
Reel 27
5. "Remarks upon the comparative profits of Grocers and Retailers as derived from Temperant or Intemperant Customers" and other remarks on intemperance, [1834]
Reel 27
6. "Lecture on Elementary Education, Delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Teachers in Barnstable County," 11 Nov. 1835
Reel 27
7. Education, 1839
Reel 27
8a. "Normal Schools," [184-]
Reel 27
8b. "Acquisitiveness," [184-]
Reel 27
9. Importance of the study of nature and physical laws, [184-]
Reel 27
10. Practicability of the improvement of man, [184-]
Reel 27
11. Truth and knowledge, [184-]
Reel 27
12. Education, [184-]
Reel 27
13. Language, [184-]
Reel 27
14a. Historical view of education, its dignity and degradation, [1840]
Reel 27
14b. Knowledge, with a lecture on the Commonwealth school system on the left-hand pages, crossed out, [1842]
Reel 27
15. "Darmstadt," trade schools and 'real' schools, [1843]
Reel 27
16. "For the Common School Journal," "How is Reading to be taught? Lesson on the Sounds of Letters," [1844]
Reel 27
17. Definition of education, [1845]
Reel 27
18. "Educated Manufactory Labor," [1845]
Reel 27
19. "Bridgewater speech," 19 Aug. [1846]
Reel 27
20. "Motives of Teachers," [1847]
Reel 28
21a. Liberty, and miscellaneous notes on slavery, Drayton & Sayres case, [1848]
Reel 28
21b. "Speech in Drayton & Sayres Case," 1848
Reel 28
22a. "Mercantile Association," [185-]
Reel 28
22b. "Political Economy," [185-]
Reel 28
23a. National government, [185-]
Reel 28
23b. Morality and politicians, [1850]
Reel 28
24. Samuel G. Howe, [1850]
Reel 28
25. Slavery or freedom in newly-acquired territories, [1850]
Reel 28
26. "Temperance -- Following Gen. Houston's Speech," [Feb. 1852]
Reel 28
27. "Portland, Maine, 4th of July Address," on slavery, [1 July 1853]
Reel 28
28. Dedicatory, Antioch College, [Oct. 1853]
Reel 28
29. "No. 1, Georgie," 30 Oct. 1853
Reel 28
30. "No. 2, Horace," 4 Dec. 1853
Reel 28
31. "Liberty," [1854]
Reel 28
32. "Miracles," [1854]
Reel 29
33. Education, [1854]
Reel 29
34. "No. 4, Horace," "Liberty is the Law of God," 19 Feb. 1854
Reel 29
35. "No. 3, Georgie," "Sin -- the Transgression of the Law," 9 Apr. 1854
Reel 29
36. [No. 5], "Testimony against Evil, a Sin," 14 May 1854
Reel 29
37. [No. 6], "The Prodigal Son," 17 Sep. 1854
Reel 29
38. Cincinnati Mercantile Library Association, introductory lecture, 28 Nov. 1854
Reel 29
39a. Class lists, [1855]
Reel 29
39b. Astronomy, [1855]
Reel 29
40. "The Two Natures," 6 Nov. 1855
Reel 30
41. "Sermons: Retribution," 24 Feb. 1856
Reel 30
42. "The Kingdom of Heaven," 23 Nov. 1856
Reel 30
43. Graduation speech, [1857]
Reel 30
44. "Psalms 139: part of 14th verse, I am fearfully and wonderfully made," 20 Sep. 1857
Reel 30
45. "Where God's creatures dwell," 31 Oct. 1857
Reel 30
46. Baccalaureate addresses, [1857 & 1858]
Reel 30
47. "Temptation," 21 Nov. 1858
Reel 30
48. "Relation of Colleges to Community," 15 Dec. 1858
Reel 30
49. Human immortality, [May 1859]
Reel 30
50. "Last Baccalaureate of Horace Mann," 1859
Reel 30
51. Mary Peabody Mann, "Comment on H.M.'s Management etc. of Antioch," [186-]
Reel 30
52. Notes by George A. Hubbell, [1900]
Reel 31
53. "Great Britain," n.d.
Reel 31
54. Poverty, n.d.
Reel 31
55. Speech in Mass. Legislature concerning spending of funds, n.d.
Reel 31
56. 4th of July address, n.d.
Reel 31
57. Peace on earth, n.d.
Reel 32
58. Legal publications, n.d.
Reel 32
59. Address to Milton Social and Benevolent Society, n.d.
Reel 32
60. Education, n.d.
Reel 32
61. Different types of knowledge, n.d.
Reel 32
62. Address to Milton Social and Benevolent Society, n.d.
Reel 32
63a. Knowledge, n.d.
Reel 32
63b. Physical laws, n.d.
Reel 32
64. The mind, n.d.
Reel 32
65. "Bunker Hill Monument," n.d.
Reel 32
66. Education as organic necessity, n.d.
Reel 32
67. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
Reel 32
68. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
Reel 32
69. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
Reel 32
70. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
Reel 32
71. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
Reel 32
72. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
Reel 32
73. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
Reel 32
74. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
Reel 32
75. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
Reel 32
76. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
Reel 32
77. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
Reel 32
78. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
Reel 32
79. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.
Reel 32
80. Miscellaneous notes, n.d.

III. Volumes, 1782-1880

Arranged in arbitrary numerical order.

This series consists of journals, letterbooks, notebooks, accounts, and other volumes, with some loose pages. Included in this series are some of Mann's writings on slavery and those of Mary Tyler Peabody Mann on her husband's life and other topics.

Reel 33
I. Journal, 1837-1843
Reel 33
Ia. Typescript extracts of journal, 1837-1843
Reel 33
II. Journal, May-Oct. 1843
Reel 33
III. Letterbook, 1838
Reel 34
IV. Pocket book, [1850]
Reel 34
IVa. Loose pages from Volume IV
Reel 34
V. Teachers' Institute accounts, 1846-1848
Reel 34
Va. Loose pages from Volume V
Reel 34
VI. Notebook, 1843
Reel 34
VII. Notes on slavery, n.d.
Reel 34
VIII. Commonplace book, [183-]
Reel 35
IX. Notebook, History of England, [183-]
Reel 35
IXa. Loose pages from Volume IX
Reel 35
X. Mary Mann's Estimate of Horace Mann, 1860-1880
Reel 35
XI. Horace Mann and Slavery -- manuscript of a book, apparently two copies, neither of which is complete
Reel 36
XII. Mary Mann, Sequel to Mr. Alexander's "The Wooing of O'T"
Reel 36
XIII. Thomas Mann's Cyphering Book, 1782
Reel 36
XIV. Jacob Cushing, Almanack for 1795
Reel 36
XV. Benjamin Pickman Mann, "A List of Horace Mann's Publications," 1867
Reel 36
XVI. Benjamin Pickman Mann, "A List of Elizabeth Palmer Peabody's Publications," 1869

IV. Horace Mann papers II, 1826-1882

Arranged chronologically.

This series contains correspondence of Mary Tyler Peabody Mann and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, 1826-1882.

Reel 37

V. Horace Mann papers III, 1709-1904

Arranged chronologically.

This series contains correspondence and miscellaneous papers, including deeds and will of Thomas Mann, correspondence of Horace Mann, correspondence of Mary Tyler Peabody Mann, and correspondence of Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, 1709-1904.

Reel 38

VI. Horace Mann papers IV, 1827-1835

Arranged chronologically.

This series contains correspondence from Elizabeth Amelia (White) Dwight to Mary Tyler Peabody Mann, 1827-1835.

Reel 39

VII. Horace Mann papers V, 1841-1849

Arranged chronologically.

This series contains correspondence from Horace Mann to William Bentley Fowle concerning Mann's lectures and writings on education and religious liberty, 1841-1849.

Reel 39

VIII. Oversize material, 1709-1864

Arranged chronologically.

This series consists of oversize material from the various Horace Mann collections that are joined in this microfilm edition.

Reel 40

Preferred Citation

Horace Mann collection, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.


Dwight, Elizabeth Amelia, 1809-1883.
Fowle, William Bentley, 1795-1865.
Hubbell, George Albert, b. 1824.
Mann family.
Mann, B. Pickman (Benjamin Pickman), 1848-1926.
Mann, George Combe, 1845-
Mann, Horace, 1844-1868.
Mann, Mary Tyler Peabody, 1806-1887.
Mann, Thomas, 1756-1809.
Peabody, Elizabeth Palmer, 1804-1894.

Materials Removed from the Collection

Photographs from this collection have been removed to the Horace Mann family photographs. Photo. Coll. 500.56.