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DEPARTMENT OF SUPERINTENDENCE, NATIONAL
The Department of Superintendence of the National Educational Association, agreeably to arrangements previously made, assembled in the legislative hall, Washington, D. C., this morning at 104 o'clock.
The members present at the opening of the meeting were as follows: Rev. J. M. P. Atkinson, D. D., president of Hampden Sidney College, Farmville, Va.; Hon. W. H. Ruffner, State-superintendent, Richmond, Va.; G. F. T. Cooke, superintendent of colored-schools, Washington and Georgetown, D. C.; Charles Parker, ex-superintendent, Houstou, Tex.; J.S. Edgerly, superintendent, Manchester, N. H.; R. W. Stevenson, superintendent, Columbus, Ohio; Hon. T. W. Harvey, State.commis. sioner of education, Columbus, Ohio; Hon. B. W. Byrne, State-superintendent, Charleston, W.Va.; Richard L. Carpe, superintendent, Alex. andria, Va.; R. K. Buehrle, superintendent, Allentown, Pa.; Hon. M. B. Hopkins, State-superintendent, Indianapolis, Ind.; Hon. Thomas W. Bicknell, State commissioner of education, Providence, R. I.; A. P. Marble, superintendent, Worcester, Mass.; George J. Luckey, superintendent, Pittsburg, Pa.; Hon. J. P. Wickersham, State-superintendent, Harrisburg, Pa.; Hon. Daniel G. Beede, State superintendent, Concord, N. H.; William T. Curran, superintendent, Sandusky, Ohio; Hon. B. G. Northrup, secretary of State-board of education, New Haven, Conn.; Hon. J. K. Jillson, State-superintendent, Columbia, S. C.; J. D. Philbrick, superintendent, Boston, Mass.; Hon. Andrew D. White, president of Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y.; Ariel Parish, superintendent, New Haven, Conn.; William R. Creery, superintendent, Balti. more, Md.; Hon. M. A. Newell, State-superintendent, Baltimore, Md.; George L. Farnham, superintendent, Binghamton, N. Y.; J. O. Wilson, superintendent, Washington and Georgetown, D. C.; J. H. Binford, superintendent, Richmond, Va.; A. J. Rickoff, superintendent, Cleve. land, Ohio; Prof. George F. Comfort, Syracuse, N. Y.; J. C. Graham, Meadvi'.e Pa.
Letters were received from the following gentlemen, expressing regret at their inability to be present and their best wishes for the success of the meeting: E. E. White, Columbus, Ohio.; S. H. Wbite, Peoria, I.; John Hancock, Cincinnati, Ohio; J. L. Prichard, Chicago, Ill.; Hon. Joseph Wbite, secretary of the Massachusetts board of education ; Hon. John Monteith, Jefferson City, Mo.; and Messrs. Lupton, of Alabama ;
Pearce, of New Brunswick, N. J.; Brown, of New Orleans, La.; Horton, of Williamsport, Pa.; Snow, of Auburn, N. Y.; and others,
The meeting was called to order by the president, J. H. Binford, superintendent of schools, Richmond, Va., and opened with prayer by Rev. J. D. Mitchell, D. D., of Alexandria, Va.
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT.
The president then said : : GENTLEMEN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SUPERINTENDENCE: After consultation with the United States Commissioner of Education, this department has been assembled to-day in obedience to a resolution passed by you at Elmira in August last. The limited time before the meeting has prevented the preparation of a definite programme. In the circular issued January 13, only a few general subjects were suggested for consideration, leaving to individual members, as time and circumstances might allow, to propose questions which might be sug. gested in the course of our discussion.
Where there is such a vast field and when practical men meet for mutual encouragement and instruction, I apprehend we need have no difficulty in employing our time profitably. Various and vital questions affecting the educational interests of the country are continually arising, the proper solution of which requires careful thought and patient investigation. It is matter for congratulation that so many of the representative educators of the country should meet here in the National Capital to discuss some of these varied questions and attempt to find the proper solution of many perplexing details, the management of which daily requires our utmost skill and ingenuity, and to endeavor to so generalize our plans as to enable us to accomplish our work with greater uniformity, and thus secure more satisfactory results.
To gentlemen who, in their daily duties, are continually reminded of the necessity for condensation and brevity, it is only necessary for me to say that our time is short and that we have much to do.
I hope, gentlemen, we may find our meeting pleasant and profitable, and go away satisfied with its results and feeling that, as a united brotherhood, we have the sympathy, support, and co-operation of each other.
Hon. J. O. Wilson, in behalf of the board of education of Washington, briefly expressed the hearty welcome extended to the department by them, with the assurance that they desired to tender all the hospi. tality possible for the sake of the cause, and would endeavor to make this visit to the Capital as full of interest and as pleasant as possible to all the members of the department.
In the absence of the secretary of the department, (Mr. Armstrong, of Iowa,) Mr. A. P. Marble, of Worcester, Mass., was chosen secretary pro tempore.
On motion of General EATON, Commissioner of Education, it was voted that an invitation be extended to the members of the Committees on Education and Labor of the Senate and House of Representatives to attend the sessions of this department; particularly, that they be invited, with their friends, to attend the meeting this evening, to listen to the address of President White; also, that a similar invitation be extended to the Committee of the House of Representatives on the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, and especially to Ex-Governor Hawley, the president of the Centennial Commission, and to Hon. William D. Kelley, chairman of the Centennial Committee of the House.
On motion of Hon. J. O. WILSON, similar invitations were extended to the President of the United States, to the honorable Secretary of the Interior, and to Hon. A. R. Shepherd, governor of the District of Columbia.
The PRESIDENT called the attention of the department to the fact that it had been suggested that one of the important subjects which should be considered is the relation of this department to the Centennial Exposition and the manner in which education shall be represent. ed there.
General EATON. The subject is so comprehensive and so difficult to be properly adjusted, that the department may find a large share of its work in connection with this subject. Two plans have been suggested : One, to appoint a committee of three, who shall at once meet to consider the question and report upon the subdivision of the subjects and their assignment to permanent committees, to work out the im. portant matters to be presented for the consideration of the department. The other proposition is that we have a general discussion here, and then appoint a large committee to lay out the work and report before we adjourn. I have no particular preference for either of these plans. But you will readily see that we shall have the questions how far the statistics of the country shall be summarized; how many details shall be reported upon; how much can be reduced to a uniform plan, and what cannot be thus reduced to uniformity. You will have the question how State-systems can be best represented and how city-systems can be best shown. And then there will be the questions of libraries, of university-education, and of all the different institutions of the country for the blind, for the deaf and dumb, and every other form of culture.
Hon. T. W. BICKNELL thought the subject to be considered should go to committees; but that, while in the hands of committees, a general discussion might be.bad upon certain topics. He accordingly moved that a committee of three be appointed by the Chair, to select such topics as shall be brought before the department.
The motion was agreed to, and General Eaton, Hon. W. H. Ruffner, and Hon. T. W. Harvey were appointed as the committee.
On motion of Hon. Mr. Bicknell, the school-board of the city of Wash. ington was invited to attend the sessions of the department and participate in its deliberations.
General Eaton, from the committee to arrange the order of business, reported, recommending that the convention proceed to the White House to pay their respects to the President; also, to the office of Governor Shepherd, and to that of the Secretary of the Interior, for the same purpose.
A CALL ON THE PRESIDENT. The report was adopted, and the convention then took a recess and proceeded in a body to the Executive Mansion, assembling in the East Room. The President soon afterward made his appearance, when Gen. eral Eaton introduced Mr. J. H. Binford, of Virginia, president of the convention, who said:
Mr. PRESIDENT: As representatives of the executive officers of education in the country, we are happy to pay our respects to the Chief Executive of the United States and to assure you of our appreciation of your uniform interest in the cause of education and courtesy towards its friends.
RESPONSE BY THE PRESIDENT. The President said : I am very glad to meet the gentlemen who are engaged in so worthy a cause as that of education, and one upon which depends so intimately the stability of republics particularly. I believe that republics can only stand upon the education and enlightenment of the people.
The members of the convention were then individually introduced to the President by General Eaton. Several of thein expressed their thanks to the President for the attention which he gave the subject of education in his last annual message and said they regarded that as an evidence of the deep interest he takes in the promotion of education among the people.
A CALL UPON GOVERNOR SHEPHERD.
The members then proceeded to the governor's office, corner of Pennsylvania avenue and Seventeenth street, for the purpose of paying their respects to Governor Shepherd.
The president, Mr. Binford, was presented to the governor by Hon. J. O. Wilson.
Mr. Binford said: We are happy to pay our respects to you as the executive of the National Capital, from which have emanated not only the legislative measures for our common country, but very many wise educational ones.
RESPONSE BY THE GOVERNOR. The governor replied : I am very glad, gentlemen, to meet you and to extend to you the hospitality of the city. I hope to meet you all at my house before your departure from the city,