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CLEVELAND LYCEUM

The CLEVELAND LYCEUM was an early cultural organization for young men and a forum for the exchange of literature and ideas. The lyceum was incorporated by SHERLOCK J. ANDREWS, JOHN W. ALLEN, IRAD KELLEY, JOHN BARR, LEONARD CASE, Edward Baldwin, Richard Hussey, James Conger, and Thomas Kelley. Founded in March 1833 as part of a national movement originating in Connecticut in 1826, it encouraged adult self-improvement through lectures, debates, museums, libraries, and educational associations. The Cleveland Lyceum offered a reading room, for members only, and public debates and lectures. In 1836 members debated the questions "Would it be a good policy for our Government to admit Texas into the Union?" and "Ought the Right of Suffrage be extended to Females?" In 1838 the lyceum addressed the necessity of corporal punishment in the training of children. A lecture series, using outside and local talent, was an annual event. By 1837 the lyceum had a membership of 110. In 1838 an attempt was made to unite with the Cleveland Library Co., the Cleveland Reading Room Assn., and the Young Men's Literary Assn. The attempt failed, but despite economic hard times for other library undertakings, the lyceum lingered until ca. 1843. When it closed, its library was divided among members, many of whom later joined other, similar organizations.


Benton, Elbert J. Cultural Story of an American City (1944).

See also LIBRARIES, ARCHIVES & HISTORICAL SOCIETIES.