Table of Contents
A Guide to the Henry Barnard Papers at the Connecticut Historical Society
Henry Barnard was born January 24, 1811 in Hartford, Connecticut to Chauncey Barnard and Elizabeth Andrus. He graduated from Yale College in 1830 and began teaching in Pennsylvania at Wellsboro Academy. Barnard studied law with Willis Hall in New York City and with William Hungerford in Hartford before entering Yale Law School in 1833. He was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1835.
In 1835 Barnard was also elected to the Connecticut General Assembly and served for three years. He framed a bill in 1838 for the State Board of School Commissioners, which was passed as ‘An Act to provide for the better supervision of the common schools.’
Barnard was a founder of the Hartford Young Men's Institute (which later became the Hartford Public Library) and served as secretary of the Connecticut Historical Society. He remained in Hartford until 1845 when he was appointed Secretary of the Board of Education of Rhode Island. Four years later Barnard returned to Connecticut as Superintendent of Common Schools. Other positions Barnard held include Principal of the Connecticut State Normal School in New Britain (1850-1854) and Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin (1858-1860). In 1867 he became the first Commissioner of Education in the country.
Barnard also edited the Connecticut Common School Journal, the Journal of the Rhode Island Institute of Instruction, and the American Journal of Education. Work on these publications earned Barnard national recognition, alongside Horace Mann, as an educational reformer.
Henry Barnard married Josephine Desnoyers of Detroit in 1847. The couple had five children. Barnard died in Hartford on July 5, 1900.
The collection consists predominantly of correspondence, both personal and business. Of particular note are letters, addressed to Barnard as Corresponding Secretary of the Connecticut Historical Society. They concern a celebration of the first Constitution of Connecticut. The material has been divided into three series: the Emily Barnard collection, the Henry Barnard papers, and Broadsides.
Series I:The Emily Barnard series consists of letters to Henry Barnard, poems regarding the first Constitution of Connecticut, and replies from notable persons to invitations to the Connecticut Historical Society's bicentennial celebration of the Constitution.
Letters to and from Henry Barnard comprise Series II: the Henry Barnard papers.
Series III:>Broadsides consists of an advertisement of a lecture series at the Hartford Young Men's Institute.
There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Use of the material requires compliance with the Connecticut Historical Society's Research Center regulations.
Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, Conn.).
Young Men's Institute (Hartford, Conn.).
Holographs; holographs, signed.
Item, Collection Title, Collection number (Box #, Folder #). Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.
Collection was processed by Marilyn Paul-Lewis under an NHPRC grant (#89-003) in November 1998.
Finding aid and EAD instance compiled by Stephen Yearl in November, 1998.
Updated to EAD2002 in December 2010.
An index of catalog cards is available to access Barnard related material in other collections at the item level. Access is through writer, recipient and date. The card catalog is located in the library reading room.
Other repositories holding Barnard related material include the Milton S. Eisenhower Library, The Johns Hopkins University; Trinity College and the Watkinson Library; Fales Library and the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, New York University; Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library,Yale University; and Special Collections, James P. Adams Library, Rhode Island College.