Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CARTER, James Gordon, educational reformer, born in Leominster, Massachusetts, 7 September, 1795; died in Chicago, Illinois, 22 July, 1849. He was graduated at Harvard in 1820, and taught school at Leominster until 1830. In 1823 he contributed to the "Boston Patriot" a series of papers, subsequently published under the title of "Essays on Popular Education." In 1823 his "Letters to William Prescott on the Free Schools of New England, with Remarks on the Principles of Instruction," first developed the idea of a normal school or seminary for teachers. In 1824 he edited the " United States Review " at Boston. In 1830 he assisted in organizing the American institute of instruction, of which he was long an active member and officer. His lectures before that body in 1830-'1 were valuable contributions to its transactions. From 1835 till 1840 he was a member either of the house or senate of Massachusetts, was chairman of the legislative committee on education, and in 1837 drafted the bill establishing the board of education. Governor Everett appointed him the first member of the board. He was the author of a work on the "Geography of Massachusetts," one on Middlesex and Worcester counties (1830), and one on the " Geography of New Hampshire" (1831).
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