A cash book in the GEH manuscript collection records a visit by Horace Mann to the Southworth & Hawes studio on July 22, 1848 (or 1849). A partial ninth plate variant of this image with two exposures, not reproduced in this catalog (Young America) is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 43.1456.
Biography: Although he spent his early years as a lawyer and legislator, Horace Mann (1796-1859) devoted himself to education reform for most of his life. Mann was elected secretary of the newly formed Massachusetts Commission to Improve Education in 1837 and he remained in the post until 1848, promoting the establishment and growth of common schools supported by taxes and open to all citizens regardless of race, class or sex. In 1848, he was elected to Congress as an antislavery Whig, succeeding John Quincy Adams, and he was reelected in 1849 as an independent candidate. An outspoken opponent of slavery, he ran unsuccessfully for governor of Massachusetts in 1852 as a Free Soiler. In 1853, Mann left Boston to become the first president of Antioch College, a progressive institution in Yellow Springs, Ohio, that shared his belief that education produced political stability as well as economic benefits for the state.