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John Eaton

Eaton, John, 1829–1906, American educator, b. Sutton, N.H., grad. Dartmouth, 1854. After serving as a school principal in Cleveland, Ohio, and as superintendent of schools in Toledo, he enrolled at Andover Theological Seminary in 1859. During the Civil War, he served as a chaplain in the Union army and was brevetted brigadier general for his work in caring for the blacks who entered the Union lines. After the war, as editor of the Memphis Post and as Tennessee superintendent of schools (1867–69), he was a strong advocate of free public schools. Appointed (1870) U.S. commissioner of education, he won public and congressional support for the Bureau of Education, which he directed until 1886. Afterward he served (1886–91) as president of Marietta College and in 1899–1900 was in charge of the school system of Puerto Rico.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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