New York, 1874. Two works bound together. 13; 24,16,10,,7pp. Original printed blue wrappers bound into a presentation binding of green pebbled cloth, ruled in gilt and with gilt title on front board. Light shelf wear. Near fine. Two works on political and educational reform in New York City, inscribed on the front pastedown: "U.S. Grant President of the United States. With the compliments of the author." This copy also bears the bookplate of collector Joseph M. Gleason, just above the inscription to Grant. Dexter A. Hawkins (1825-86) was born in Maine and became involved in issues of educational reform at a young age. He attended classes at Harvard Law School and built a respected practice, but returned to his first passion after the Civil War. "In 1867 he devoted his energies once more to the cause of education and was instrumental in the establishment of the Department of Education....During the remainder of his life Hawkins was an ardent champion, by speeches, pamphlets, and newspaper articles, of a system of free, independently controlled public schools....In 1874 he drew up provisions which were passed into law by New York State under the title, 'Act to Secure to Children the Benefits of Elementary Education.'...His attacks on parochial schools were bitter....He was equally outspoken in his denunciation of political corruption and extravagance in New York City. The statistics contained in his various pamphlets were instrumental in the overthrow of the Tammany ring and in the correction of other less glaring irregularities" - DNB. Both the pamphlets bound herein are published under the aegis of the "New York City Council of Political Reform." The wrapper title of the first pamphlet, published in 1874, is REPORT ON COMPULSORY EDUCATION. The second pamphlet, published in 1873, is entitled FIVE REPORTS and contains sections on surface street railroads; "sectarian appropriations of public money"; the "duty of the state to protect the free common schools by Amendments to the Constitution"; with two sections on the Tammany Ring. Much is devoted to an attack against Catholic opposition to free compulsory public schools, and in opposition to the appropriation of public funds for sectarian (i.e. Catholic parochial) schools. Ulysses S. Grant lived in New York City late in his life, composed his memoirs there, and is buried in Grant's Tomb in the city's Morningside Heights. DAB VIII, pp.414-15. (Inventory #: WRCAM47901)
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