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This historical research responds to a call from other scholars to allow the
topics discussed in the lyceum of the nineteenth century to shed light on
the social consciousness of the frontier settlements of the era. The recent
discovery of the “Proceedings of the Naperville Lyceum” (1836-1843)
provided the means to do this. Since political topics were clearly central to
the Naperville Lyceum members, this research focused on those items. It
is revealing that lyceum topics in this location were not self-absorbed. The
debated topics included several global issues and did not simply
champion the American status quo. It suggests that the frontier settlers of
Naperville were concerned with concerns of justice as citizens of a
cosmopolitan world, one in which they valued self-governance. The study
further reveals how some topics have continued to be politically relevant
for more than 180 years since the Naperville Lyceum began. Many of the
same topics are prominent in modern political discussion and debate.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Originally published as:

Fletcher, C., Perry, S., Dunbar, B. et. al. (2022) Educating and Debating Social and Political Issues in the Naperville Lyceum. Artifact Analysis, 1(1), 1-21.