Haddock, Charles B. (Charles Bricket), 1796-1861

Titles by this author
Christian education : containing valuable practical suggestions in the training of children for usefulness and heaven

Haddock was born in Salisbury (later Franklin), New Hampshire, to William Haddock and Abigail Eastman Webster, who was Daniel Webster's older sister. He graduated first in his class from Dartmouth College in 1816 and spent two years at Andover Theological Seminary. He returned to Dartmouth in 1819 as professor of rhetoric and oratory and stayed there as professor of intellectual philosophy, English literature, and political economy until his retirement in 1854. While maintaining his professorship at Dartmouth, Haddock also held public office. He served from 1845 to 1848 as a Whig in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

As a legislator, Haddock successfully advocated measures that would fortify urban centers such as the building of a rail line across New Hampshire from Concord to Lebanon on the Connecticut River. He fought even more strongly for reform of the common schools. He believed that schools were in decay and insufficient for the education of intelligent citizenry. He advocated the creation of high schools and criticized the low pay of schoolteachers. In 1846 he became the first incumbent of a position that he established: the state commissioner of common schools. He declared, "The only way of securing a Republican equality and, of course, an equal legislation, equal rights and common privileges is by general education . . . There must first be an aristocracy of intellect before there can be an aristocracy of power . . . Public intelligence and public virtue are the best securities of equal laws" (qtd. in Smith 774). Haddock was firmly entrenched in Christian republicanism and his Puritan heritage was reflected in the academic moral philosophy that he taught.

While a professor at Dartmouth, Haddock published Christian Education. This volume is written in the form of a letter addressed to the, "Christian Parent." As in Abbott's Early Piety, Haddock emphasizes the importance of the parental role: "Have you thought what a charge you have assumed what amazing responsibility God has attached to the blessed relations of Father and Mother? What power these relations imply over the character and destiny of the little ones who owe their being to you?" Haddock lists seven specific prescriptions or "hints" for the Christian Parent. These include: 1. "Regard the education of your children as one of the greatest and most direct objects of your own personal efforts" (5). 5. "Be judicious and unwearied in the use of motives" (9). 7. "Finally, see that your example co-operate with your efforts and your prayers" (11). Haddock characterizes himself in the book as "one who anxiously prays, that you may be guided in your interesting, your momentous work, by better wisdom than his - "the wisdom which is from above" (4).

Smith, Wilson. American National Biography, Vol. 9. Eds. John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes. New York: Oxford,1999, 773 - 774.

Written by Stephen Rachman