an interesting bit of history--William L. Marcy, Gov. of NY
Weekly Standard Newspaper, Raleigh, NC-- Sep 14, 1859
A STORY FOR TEACHERS AND PARENTS.--Hon. Salem Towne, about the year 1800, taught a school in the south-western district of Charleston, Massachusetts. An inhabitant of Sturbridge, the adjoining town, had a boy of whose abilities and general character he appeared to entertain a low estimate, Mr. Towne, notwithstanding parental forewarning, consented to receive the lad on probation. On the evening of the very first day, the school agent cam to the school, and told the teacher that the boy was a bad boy, and would disturb the school, and must be turned out. Mr. Towne rejected this hasty counsel, and informed the agent that he should keep a watchful eye upon the lad, and that he thought it would be time enough to turn him out of school when he made any disturbance; and that he was entitled to a fair trial. When the boy came up to recite his lesson, and had got through, Mr. Towne told him to shut his book, He did so, but instantly recoiled and dodged his head, as if he expected a blow. the teacher inquired what was the matter; the boy replied, that he supposed he should be beaten; and being asked if he were accustomed to such usage, he replied in the affirmative. Mr. Towne then quieted his alarm, and assured him that he had nothing to fear if he conducted himself well, and encouraged him by commending his recitation; and was so impressed by the lad's manner of receiving this approbation, that he ventured to say to him, 'I believe you are a good boy.' These words not only entered the ear, but they reached the heart. The lad told his associates that, although others had said the he was a bad boy, Mr. Towne had told him he believed he was a good boy, and he was sure he wished to be a good boy. this youth continued to attend the school daily and profitably, for two winters. At the close of the second winter, the father came to the school, and said: 'Bill says that you say I must send him to college, and have him fitted in some private family, not at an academy.' The father inquired of Mr. Towne what he had seen in Bill to justify the idea of sending him to college. 'I see,' said Mr. Towne. 'a boy that you will hear from in after life.' Mr. Towne recommended the Rev. Mr. Lyman of Connecticut, as an instructor.--The course was followed; the boy went to college, and the predictions of his kind and judicious primary teacher have been verified. That Sturbridge boy was William L. Marcy, afterwards Gov. of New York, and Secretary of State of the United States.--Educational News.