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"The Advantages and Praises of Wisdom. A Sermon Delivered at Deerfield, Jan. 1, A.D. 1799, at the Opening of Academy"
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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On January 1, 1799 Deerfield Academy was formally opened and dedicated with a sermon delivered by the Reverend Joseph Lyman (1749-1848), minister of nearby Hatfield, Massachusetts, and a trustee of the new Academy. The occasion was considered important enough that the sermon was published. Reverend Lyman's theme was a prevalent one in American public education, a focus on useful knowledge. He believed that understanding equaled wisdom and that wisdom then rendered men useful. Lyman stressed also the profitable aspects of attaining knowledge (wisdom) for both material gains and for personal enrichment. Deerfield Academy was one of dozens of academies founded in this period to educate young men and women. According to the best political science of the day, a well-educated citizenry was crucial to sustaining a healthy republic.
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