Character in Real Life - One-Minute Testimonials

RESPONSIBILITY- a One-Minute Testimonial Announcement

Faith Committee, Character Council of Grater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky


Contributed from Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations


Early in the nineteenth century the Presbyterian minister at Darlington, Pennsylvania, out on his pastoral round, was riding his horse down a country lane. As he drew up before a humble cottage he heard the sound of a woman’s voice lifted in earnest prayer. As he listened he heard this widowed mother, with her boy’s kneeling at her side, earnestly entreating God that he would open a door for the education of these boys, so that they might become good and useful men.

The pastor dismounted and went in to speak with the widow who had prayed so earnestly, and yet with a note of sorrow in her voice. Struck with the alertness of one of these boys and touched by the woman’s petitions, he took the boy with him to the old Stone Academy at Darlington, and there gave him the instruction for which his mother had prayed.

That boy, so handicapped in his birth, and for whom there seemed to be no opportunity, influenced more young minds in the last century than any other man. He was William McGuffey, the author of the famous Eclectic Readers, which had the extraordinary circulation of a hundred million copies.

– C. E. Macartney

[Reproduced with permission from Encylopedia of 7700 Illustrations, by Paul Lee Tan, Assurance Publishers, Rockville, MD, 1984. #4656]

[Editor’s note: William McDuffrey (1800-1873) began teaching at 13 with 48 students. In the early 1800’s he realized the need to provide universal education to huge numbers of pioneers and language-impaired immigrants. Combining his talents as orator and educator with his religious convictions (he was an ordained Presbyterian minister), he developed the progressive series of Readers which were highly effective in teaching reading, pronunciation, elocution, and information retention, and in which was interwoven belief in God, morality, right living. Approximately half of all American children learned to read from them, and Readers became a unifying force in American culture up through the 1920’s. They are still published today.]


This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.