Henry Barnard, LL. D., an American scholar and educator, born in Hartford, Conn., Jan. 24, 1811. He graduated at Yale college in 1830, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1835. From 1837 to 1840 he was a member of the legislature of Connecticut, and labored to secure the independence of the judiciary, the improvement of county prisons, the care of the insane poor, and the reorganization of common schools. From 1838 to 1842, and again from 1850 to 1854, he was superintendent of schools, and revolutionized the construction of school houses, established public high schools, teachers1 institutes, and a normal school, and improved the system of school instruction. From 1843 to 1849 he was school commissioner of Rhode Island, and by repeated visits to and public addresses in different states he aided to set on foot similar reforms elsewhere. From 1857 to 1859 he was president of the state university of Wisconsin, and in 1865-6 of St. John's college at Annapolis, Md. He labored to improve these institutions by consolidating them with other colleges, thus increasing their resources, by establishing public high schools, and by abridging the enforced course of study to two years, and extending the range of optional studies to the modern languages and sciences.
From 1867 to 1869 he was United States commissioner of education, and brought about the national recognition of the educational interests of the whole country, for which he had labored since 1840. He has received the degree of LL. D. from Harvard, Yale, and Union colleges. Among his works, several of which have passed through many editions, are: "School Architecture" (1839); " National Education" (4 vols., 1840); "Normal Schools and Teachers' Institutes" (1850); "Educational Biography" (3 vols., 1857); "Papers for Teachers " (8 vols.); "Military Schools," and "Technical and Scientific Education." He has also conducted the following educational periodicals: "Common School Journal" (1838-'42); "Rhode Island School Journal" (1845-'49); "American Journal of Education " (Hartford, 1856 et seq.).