Definition

 

(The following is a brief description of a Lyceum given in the January 24, 1829 edition of Freedom's Journal, New York.)

Lyceum - A very popular mode of conveying instruction with amusement, has recently come into use under the name of a Lyceum. It is an association, formed by several individuals, for the purposes of mutual instruction. They hold weekly, or monthly meetings, for this purpose, and are provided with a cheap apparatus, for illustrating the sciences. Wherever these Lyceums have been established, they have been found to improve the condition of the people, by introducing subjects of useful knowledge, instead of the ordinary frivolous topics of conversation, by giving a proper direction to amusements, by creating a taste for reading and thus introducing the public libraries. They have likewise improved the characters of teachers of schools and have directed the public attention to the compilations of two histories, and the surveys of towns for the purpose of preparing maps. They have also excited an attention to the nature of soils, and have led to the formation of exploring parties for mineralogical surveys. Institutions of this character are now found in almost every town in the State, and it is intended, during the present session of the Legislature, to organize a State Lyceum. The plan of these associations was first suggested, we believe, by Mr. J. Holbrook, of Boston, who has been engaged for the last three years, in establishing them throughout the State.

 

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