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Benjamin W. Arnett. Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society.

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Arnett, Benjamin William (06 March 1838–09 October 1906), African-American religious, educational, and political leader, was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel G. Arnett and Mary Louisa (maiden name unknown). Arnett was a man of “mixed Irish, Indian, Scots, and African ancestry” (Wright, p. 79). He was educated in a one-room schoolhouse in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania. Arnett worked as a longshoreman along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and briefly as a hotel waiter. His career as a longshoreman and waiter ended abruptly when a cancerous tumor necessitated amputation of his left leg in 1858. He turned to teaching and was granted a teaching certificate on 19 December 1863. At that time, he was the only African-American schoolteacher licensed in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. For ten months during the academic year 1884–1885, Arnett served as a school principal in Washington, D.C. He returned to Brownsville in 1885, teaching there until 1887. Although largely self-educated, he attended classes at Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati. A man of many interests, he was an occasional lecturer in ethics and psychology at the Payne Theological Seminary at Wilberforce University, served as a historian of the AME church, was a trustee of the Archaeological and Historical Society of Ohio, served as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Sociological Society, and was statistical secretary of the Ecumenical Conference of Methodism for the western section from 1891 to 1901....

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Joshua L. Chamberlain. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1859).

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Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence (08 September 1828–24 February 1914), soldier, politician, and educator, was born in Brewer, Maine, the son of Joshua Chamberlain, a farmer and shipbuilder, and Sarah Dupee Brastow. After attending a military academy in Ellsworth, Chamberlain entered Bowdoin College in 1848, graduating in 1852. Three years later, after graduating from the Bangor Theological Seminary, he joined Bowdoin’s faculty and taught a broad range of subjects, including logic, natural theology, rhetoric, oratory, and modern languages. In 1855 he married Frances Caroline Adams; of the couple’s five children, three survived to adulthood....

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Frazier, Maude (04 April 1881–20 June 1963), educator and state legislator, was born in Sauk County near the town of Baraboo, Wisconsin, the daughter of William Henry Frazier and Mary Emma Presnall, farmers. Frazier began teaching as soon as she graduated from high school, having received a teaching credential through examination. Her determination to attain a higher education led her to attend college over her father’s objections, and she worked her way through the two-year course at the State Teachers College in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She then accepted a teaching job in a small Wisconsin mining town, where she heard stories about opportunities for teachers in the West. The challenge of new experiences appealed to Frazier, who accepted a position in Nevada....

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Fuller, Thomas Oscar (25 October 1867–21 June 1942), educator, clergyman, and politician, was born in Franklinton, North Carolina, the son of J. Henderson Fuller and Mary Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). Fuller’s father was a former slave who had purchased his freedom and later his wife’s with money earned as a skilled wheelwright and carpenter. While a slave, the elder Fuller taught himself to read, and after the Civil War he became active in Republican politics. During Reconstruction he served as a delegate to the 1868 state Republican convention and as a local magistrate....

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Haddock, Charles Brickett (20 June 1796–15 January 1861), educator and legislator, was born in Salisbury (later Franklin), New Hampshire, the son of William Haddock, a tanner, currier, and shoemaker, and Abigail Eastman Webster, Daniel Webster’s older sister. He graduated first in his class from Dartmouth College in 1816. After spending two years at Andover Theological Seminary, Haddock returned to Dartmouth in 1819 as professor of rhetoric and oratory until 1838, when, declining the presidency of Bowdoin College, he became professor of intellectual philosophy and English literature. He married Susan Saunders Lang in 1819; they had nine children. Starting in 1844, he served as professor of intellectual philosophy and political economy at Dartmouth until his retirement in 1854. A successful and well-liked, if not inspiring, teacher, Haddock was an impressive figure who possessed elegant manners and a striking resemblance to his famous uncle....

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Hadley, Herbert Spencer (20 February 1872–01 December 1927), politician, lawyer, and educator, was born in Olathe, Kansas, the son of John Milton Hadley and Harriett Beach, farmers. He earned an A.B. in 1892 from the University of Kansas and an LL.B. in 1894 from Northwestern University. In 1901 he married Agnes Lee; they had three children....

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Harpur, Robert (25 January 1731–15 April 1825), college professor and government official, was born in Ballybay, County Monaghan, Ireland, the son of Andrew Harpur and Elizabeth Creighton, immigrants from Scotland. Raised a devout Presbyterian, Harpur graduated from Glasgow University. He intended to enter the ministry but found that he lacked the necessary oratorical skills. Harpur taught grammar school for several years in Newry, Ireland....

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Anna Arnold Hedgeman. Oil on canvas, 1945, by Betsy Graves Reyneau. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Harmon Foundation.

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Hedgeman, Anna Arnold (05 July 1899–17 January 1990), educator, policy consultant, and political activist, was born Anna Marie Arnold in Marshalltown, Iowa, the daughter and eldest child of William James Arnold II, an entrepreneur, and Marie Ellen Parker Arnold. The Arnolds subsequently moved to Anoka, Minnesota, becoming the only black family in that town. Young Anna graduated from high school in 1918 and went on to attend Hamline University in nearby Saint Paul, becoming the college's first black graduate in 1922....

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Howard, Timothy Edward (27 January 1837–09 July 1916), professor, legislator, and judge, was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the son of Martin Howard and Julia Beahan, farmers. Howard enrolled in the University of Michigan after attending “common schools” and a seminary in Ypsilanti but left during his sophomore year because of an illness in his family. He taught in rural Michigan schools for two years before entering Notre Dame in 1859. In February 1862, before he had graduated, he enlisted in the Twelfth Michigan Infantry. His friends would later recall that he had enlisted without telling anyone at Notre Dame. He served only two months before he was seriously wounded in the battle of Shiloh. Although he recovered, the wound was so severe that he was discharged as unfit for further service....

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Johnson, Edward Austin (23 November 1860–24 July 1944), educator, lawyer, and politician, was born near Raleigh, North Carolina, the son of Columbus Johnson and Eliza A. Smith, slaves. He was taught to read and write by Nancy Walton, a free African American, and later attended the Washington School, an establishment founded by philanthropic northerners in Raleigh. There he was introduced to the Congregational church and became a lifelong member. Johnson completed his education at Atlanta University in Georgia, graduating in 1883. To pay his way through college, he worked as a barber and taught in the summers. After graduation he worked as a teacher and principal, first in Atlanta at the Mitchell Street Public School (1883–1885) and then in Raleigh at the Washington School (1885–1891). While teaching in Raleigh he studied at Shaw University, obtaining a law degree in 1891. He joined the faculty shortly after graduation and became dean of the law school at Shaw two years later. He acquired a reputation as a highly capable lawyer, successfully arguing many cases before the North Carolina Supreme Court....

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Larrazolo, Octaviano Ambrosio (07 December 1859–07 April 1930), politician, lawyer, and schoolteacher, was born in Allende, Chihuahua, Mexico, the son of Octaviano Larrazolo, a prosperous landowner, and Donaciana Corral. The Larrazolo family lost everything in the 1860s, when the French invasion force under the emperor Ferdinand Maxmilian crushed the Mexican revolt led by Benito Juarez. An old family friend, the Reverend J. B. Salpointe, the Catholic bishop of Arizona, offered in 1870 to ease the family’s financial burdens by taking Larrazolo (who had assisted Salpointe as an altar boy) to the United States. After five years in Tucson, Salpointe, who in the interim had become archbishop of Santa Fe, New Mexico, enrolled Larrazolo in that community’s Christian Brothers’ preparatory program known as St. Michael’s College....

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McClellan, George Brinton (23 November 1865–30 November 1940), educator, author, and mayor of New York City, was born in Dresden, Saxony, the son of Civil War general George Brinton McClellan and Mary Ellen Marcy. McClellan attended St. John’s Boarding School in Sing Sing, New York. He then entered Princeton University in 1882. Upon graduating with an A.B. in 1886, he spent two years traveling in Europe. Afterward, he reported for New York daily newspapers, including the ...

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Northen, William Jonathan (09 July 1835–25 March 1913), politician and educator, was born in Jones County, Georgia, to Peter Northen, a planter, and Louisa Maria Davis. In 1840 the family moved to Penfield in Greene County, Georgia, where Peter Northen directed Mercer University’s manual labor program and farmed a modest plantation. William Northen attended Mercer University, graduating with a B.A. in 1853. That same year he experienced Christian conversion, joined the Baptist church, and suffered his first emotional and physical breakdown. Like many driven individuals, Northen struggled with depression and exhaustion several times during his life....

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Snow, Wilbert (06 April 1884–28 September 1977), college professor, poet, and politician, was born Charles Wilbert Snow on White Head Island, St. George, Maine, the son of Forrest Alwin Snow, a coast guardsman, and Katherine Frances Quinn, the Canadian-born daughter of Irish immigrants. When he was seven the family moved to Spruce Head on the mainland so that four of the six children could attend the village school. Before attending high school in Thomaston, Maine, Snow worked for three years as a lobsterman, deepening his acquaintance with the tasks and rhythms of the coastal life that were to figure in his poetry. After high school he worked in a stone quarry. Fired for trying to organize the laborers there, he taught for two short periods in rural schools. Seeing in both settings the plight of people who worked hard and faced retirement with no pensions and little savings motivated Snow to improve social conditions through political action....

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Thompson, Hugh Smith (24 January 1836–20 November 1904), educator and governor, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Henry Tazewell Thompson and Agnes Smith, slaveowning farmers. He grew up on the family farm in the Greenville District. In 1852 Thompson enrolled at the South Carolina Military Academy in Charleston (the Citadel) and graduated in 1856. In 1858 he married Elizabeth Clarkson; they had seven children....