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Ir may not be inappropriate to preface this report of the proceedings of the first year of the second half-century of the American Institute of Instruction with a brief outline of the origin, aims, and purposes of the Association.
At a meeting of teachers in Boston, March, 1830, it was resolved to form a permanent association of persons engaged and interested in the profession of teaching. A committee was appointed to draft a constitution, and the first meeting of the American Institute of Lustruction was held Aug. 19, 1830, in the State House at Boston. Of the above committee, and the only original member now living, Hon. Henry K. Oliver, of Boston, was in attendance at the meeting at St. Albans.
Rev. Francis Wayland was the first president, and in the list of bis successors we find many eminent names. To the first meeting there came, by stage-coach and on horseback, representatives from fifteen States. From that time till the present, this association has held annual meetings in various places, - twenty-three in Massachusetts, nine in New Hampshire, five in Maine, five in Connecticut, four in Vermont, three in Rhode Island, and two in New York. The first ten years the meetings were held in Boston, and open only to members, then numbering from one hundred to two hundred and fifty ; but they have since been open to all comers.
For many years the Institute was the only general educational association in America, and it attracted to itself the earnest workers in these fields from all parts of the country. But in 1857 the National Educational Association was formed, and the older body, though still “ American ” in name, has become gradually more distinctively New England in sympathies and location.
Previous to 1874 the Legislature of Massachusetts appropriated three hundred dollars annually to help defray the expenses of the Institute. Since that time it has been entirely self-supporting.