« 上一頁繼續 »
any graduate of Harvard or Yale for the names of his classmates, and he will never mention the name of any scientific student. I am far from imputing this to Yale as an unpardonable sin ; I love my alma mater too well for that. Still, from that day to this, the student in science, and especially applied science, has not been considered the equal of the student in classical literature.
SCIENTIFIC AND CLASSICAL INSTRUCTION MADE EQUAL. The next great step was taken at the University of Michigan, when the student in science was made the equal of the student in literature. He studied in the same room, on the same benches, before the the same professors, with the classical student, so far as his studies were the same; graduated from the same stage with a degree of equal value; and the classical and scientific students were alike enrolled upon the lists of the college-catalogue.
Still, industrial education in the United States was poor and feeble. Other nations had gone on doing great things. France had put into her Museum for the School of Arts and Trarles, in Paris, models illustrative of machines, to the amount of nearly half a million dollars. Germany had been rivaling France. Switzerland had laid noble foundations, and even England was working steadily towards her great Industrial School at South Kensington, to which she has now given millions.
At the beginning of our civil war an effort was made in the Congress of the United States and a bill was proposed, which had for its object the endowment, by means of a grant of land, of various institutions for general, scientific, and industrial education thronghout the country. It was passed, but vetoed by the President, Mr. Buchanan. Again it was taken up, and this time it had as its champion a real statesman. I am glad to name him here, and he stood then, as he stands now, in the Senate of the United States. Then, as in more recent struggles, Justin S. Morrill, of Vermont, was the champion. In spite of all the do-nothings, sham economists, optimists, pessiwists, he led the forces in favor of true scientific and industrial education. At last be conquered, and the bill was signed by President Lincoln.
ACTION OF THE STATES.
I pass now to the reception of the benefits of the act by the various States.
Under the law land-scrip was given the different States, based upon the representation of each State in Congress, scrip for thirty thousand acres being issued for each Representative and Senator. You will note here, in passing, one more provision showing thoughtful statesmanship. It was provided that, except in the case of States baving public lands within their own borders, no State should “ locate” the scrip. The great majority of the States could not, therefore, obtain land. They could only take the scrip and sell it at market-prices. An individual might buy the scrip and locate it; a State could not. Thus was prevented any troublesome imperium in imperio, such as would have been created, for example, had the State of New York been allowed to acquire a million of acres in the heart of the State of Wisconsin.
The various States accepted the scrip, and in almost all cases sold it at low prices the market being glutted; and with the proceeds each established its institution under the act, as its interests demanded or as the money realized permitted.
DIFFERENCES OF SYSTEM.
Note now another important fact. Some States-as Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, where the fund was too small to establish a separate institution-gave it for the endowment of scientific and industrial education in an existing institution. Connecticut gave her share to Yale, Rhode Island gave hers to Brown, New Jersey gave hers to Rutgers.
States which received a larger share, but still not enough to carry out the act in all its parts, gave theirs to purely agricultural colleges. Of these were Michigan and Iowa. Others with a larger share divided theirs between an institution for agricultural and an institution for technical instruction. Of these were Massachusetts and Missouri. A few which received the largest sbare determined to carry out the act in its whole scope by founding a single institution in which industrial and scientific education should be united to general instruction and culture. Of these were Illinois and New York.
It may appear to some that this difference in modes of carrying out the act in the different States was a inisfortune. Far from it. I am prepared to inaintain, against all comers, that, of all the good fortune which has attended the carrying out of the act of 1862, this variety of plans and methods in the various States was the best.
Look at it for a moment. Of all men none has stamped more ideas into the thinking of this generation than bas John Stuart Mill; but among all his thoughts regarding education I remember none more pregnant and original than one regarding systems of public education. It is that, with all its benefits, such a system has one great danger, and that is: its tendency to sbape all minds by the same course of education into the same mold, thus preventing the fruitful collision and friction of mind with mind, thus bringing on a stagnant, barren sort of Chinese routine in thought.
Happily for us, by leaving these funds to each State for management, this evil has been avoided. And not only this, but almost every one of these institutions has found out something of use to every other. There is, indeed, unity between all, but not uniformity; and here let me say that, having made it my business to look closely into the methods of all these institutions and to visit and personally inspect many in order to bring home what might be good for our own use, I can bear testimony that never have funds been more carefully applied and made to do more in furthering this great purpose.
I know every one of these institutions, and I know not one which is not making a noble return on all it has received.
So much for the main features of the struggle towards the establishment of what has been called the “new education."
But what is this new education ?" I ask you to look first at its special purpose and finally at its general scope. And, first among the special departments grouping themselves uwder such a system, I name
THE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE. And here let me refer to a misapprehension, which should be corrected at the outset. For a typical example of this, I take up a paper read at the recent educational convention at Elmira, by the Rev. Dr. McCosh, president of Princeton College. In that paper, the whole national and State-policy regarding scientific and industrial education was condemned. The decisions arrived at by two different Congresses of the United States and by nearly thirty State-legislatures, the plans adopted by nearly thirty boards of trustees and faculties in the various States-many of them after careful study of institutions at home and abroad-were dismissed with contempt. The main argument was so far as argument can be detected among the multitude of assertions, that Scotland, from wbich the doctor bad not long before emigrated, had got along well enough without any provision for agricultural instruction.
Never was there a more admirable illustration of the thoughts put forth by James Russell Lowell, on “a certain condescension in foreigners.” To two institutions the doctor paid his respects by name, one being Rutgers College, in New Jersey; the other, Cornell University. The first of these, Rutgers College, it would appear, had committed an unpardonable sin. While the doctor's learned predecessors at Princeton had been preaching against "science falsely so called," the Rutgers College authorities had received that portion of the college-land-grant-fund which came to New Jersey and had established an admirable school for applied science.
His reference to the Cornell University was of another character, and not all my respect for the doctor's ability as a metaphysician will allow me here to suppress the fact that his whole argnment was based upon one of the most astounding misrepresentations ever attempted upon an American audience.
This misrepresentation was in regard to the law of Congress of 1862. Throughout the doctor's address the idea is conveyed that the law of 1862 contemplateci solely the establishment of exclusively agricultural colleges.
Nothing could be more wide of the fact. Had the doctor ever read that law, he would have seen that, while “subjects relating to agriculture and the mechanic arts” were named as “leading branches," it was expressly declared in the act that other scientific and classical branches should not be escluded. Nay, more, he would have seen that so broad was the intention of Congress that the wording of the act is that “subjects relating to agriculture and the mechanic arts” shall be taught, thus giving the authorities permission to extend their teaching into every field of learning which could strengthen these departments or elevate them.
I am aware that, in opposition to the plain intent of the act of 1862, the doctor may fall back upon its title, in which, for the sake of brevity, only the leading objects of the colleges are mentioned ; but, had he read even so accessible an exposition of law as Kent's Commentaries, he would have found that every act is to be construed by its contents, and not by its title.
But the doctor was especially hilarious over the small number of graduates from our agricultural colleges.
Let us look at this. The number is at present very small, but I presume that no thoughtful man expected that at so early a period after their establishment the number would be very large, nor, indeed, do I expect that for some years the number will greatly increase. In a new country like ours, those professions which present the most brilliant returns will be sought for first. Hence we find that, when a farmer decides to educate his son, it is not generally with the idea of making him a farmer, And even when he does bring him up as a farmer, he has great doubts as to the value of any instruction for that purpose outside of the old farm-routine.
But while I allow freely that this is the case now, I can state quite as confidently that this condition of things cannot continue for many years. There are those now living among us who will stand among a hundred millions of citizens within the boundaries of our Republic. When that day comes-nay, long before-this present condition of things must change. The present system of routine-cultivation-this present system of "skinning" lands and then running away to soils more fruitful, in the intention of robbing and running away from them in turn-cannot last. Men must get a subsistence on less and less land; and they can only get it by bringing to bear upon it better and better cultivation. How soon we shall come to the division of property, as in the Scotch Lothians or the Belgian Pays de Waes, with their small farms, exqnisitely tilled and supporting well a body of thrifty men, I cannot say; but the steady approximation to it is as inevitable as fate. And at the same time that this goes on, the professions hitherto known as learned will be more and more thoroughly filled. We see the beginnings of this now. Already is it becoming less and less easy for the farmer's boy to be sure that the little dark office in the great city-block, swarming with lawyers, is, after all, so much more promising than the open fields and the work of the farmer.
But it is said that scientific and industrial education does not better agriculture. Does it rot? Of all assertions this is the most fearful indictment against the most extended field of human thought and work. If this be true, then is agriculture the only industrial pursuit unworthy of a human being ; for tbis assertion would not be made against any other branch of human industry. But it is not true. The whole history of agriculture shows exactly the reverse of this. Look at those wonderful Tables in Comparative Sociology, by Herbert Spencer, just issued, and study there the progress of agriculture and other industries from their rudest beginnings, and you see that skill in observation and reasoning on observation have been steadily improying agrieulture at the same time that they have improved other industries.
But grant that the number of students devoted wholly to agriculture is small; it is not these alone whose education tells upon agriculture. Even a partial course in it has great value. It was the remark of a very distinguished statesman that the main thing in agricultural education was to do something to make agricultural pursuits attractive. His view was that, whereas in England every man longs to obtain a com• petency to enable him to retire from the city, here men seek to escape from the country to the city; and that we should attempt to bring about a change of this sentiment in our educated young men. The author of that remark is Horatio Seymour. It struck me powerfully as sound and just; and shortly after the establishment of the Cornell University, the trustees adopted a rule by which every student in every department, as a condition for graduation, must hear a course of lectures on general agriculture. I am glad to state that, although the rule was received with some grumbling at first, that grumbling stopped immediately after the first lecture. Said a student to me at that time: “These lectures make us all wish to get hoes, and go at scratching up the ground at once."
But suppose that no young men came forward to take agricultural studies, the new education would still tell powerfully on agriculture. Thirk you that we can send out year after year—as we did last year-a hundred graduates from all our various departments, whose powers of observation have been trained and whose real knowledge of subjects bearing on agriculture has been extended by close study in botany, animal physiology, geology, and chemistry, without its telling ultimately on the progress of agriculture ?
VALUE OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, But suppose that not one student was even thus educated, I maintain that the State and nation would receive more than the equivalent of its endowment.
Look at a few figures. The last census gives certain agricultural statistics whose magpitude is almost oppressive. The value of farm-productions in the United States in the year 1870 was considerably over two thousand millions of dollars. The value of farm-productions in the State of New York the same year was over two hundred and fifty millions of dollars.
Does not common sense tell us that we can well afford to make a little outlay to promote any sciences which may help such a vast interest? If, in the course of years, in all these laboratories and experiments, some one useful idea should be struck out, it would pay our endowments a thousandfold.
Says Emerson, " the true poet is an inspired prophet.” Did you ever think what an inspiration lies in the poet's declaration that “the greatest benefactor of mankind is he who makes two blades of grass grow where one grew before ?" If not, look at the census-returns showing the enormous value of the hay-crop of the Northern States.
Knowledge of nature-coming by research and observation in the laboratory and the field-these are to give us finally our “two blades of grass” and multitudes of other benefactions to our race not less precious.
The Sheffield Scientific School at Yale College has not a single student in agriculture; but Profs. Brewer and Johnson, by their experiments on fertilizers and kindred subjects, have returned the value of their endowment to the nation a hundredfold already.
THE DAIRY. Take another item. The dairy-products of New York in 1870 were over one hundred million pounds of butter and over twenty million pounds of cheese. Now, there has been quietly at work in our laboratory of agricultural chemistry, at Cornell University, a young professor, Mr. George C. Caldwell. He has made little noise in the world. While Dr. McCosh was striking the stars with his lofty head and his voice was shaking the agricultural colleges, this young man worked quietly on upon the chemistry of the dairy. Said Mr. L. B. Arnold, an authority invariably recognized among dairymen : “Prof. Caldwell's researches on the chemistry of the dairy are
worth more to the State than your whole endowment. He has taught us to do such things in dairy-matters as to increase dairy-products as we never dreamed of doing." And to this substantially Mr. Arnold has lately sworn before the commission of investigation.
ORCHARD- AND GARDEN-PRODUCTS. Take a few figures more from the same census. In 1870 the market-garden- and orchard-products of the State of New York amounted in value to close upon twelve millions of dollars.
Can any one, then, gainsay the wisdom of our employing, as we do, a young naturalist of genius to devote his whole time to investigations regarding insects injurious to vegetation and to giving lectures based upon these researches !
Take still other figures. The same census shows the value of farm-implements in the State of New York to be over forty-five millions of dollars. In view of this we have investigations and lectures upon mechanics related to agriculture and have obtained models and implements at home and abroad to illustrate this subject. Is not the mere pittance this requires well laid out?
THE VETERINARY COLLEGE.
I remember some years since seeing a paragraph going the rounds of the papers stating that President White had sent from Europe to Cornell University an Oxford professor and a horse-doctor. The charge was true. The Oxford professor was Goldwin Smith; the "horse-doctor" was Prof. James Law, formerly of the Royal Veterinary College at London, Each one of these men, in his way, has been a blessing to the university and to the country. But look at a few more figures from the census. The number of horses in the State of New York is over 800,000; the number of peat-cattle exceeds two millions. Prof. Law's lecture-room is one of the most attractive places I know. Animal physiology is a study worthy of any man ; but, even if he never taught a student, in view of this vast interest, is it not well worth while to provide such a man to investigate regarding it?
Visit the Industrial University of Illinois, and you see experiments going on in the matter of forest-culture suited to the prairies and in other matters of importance to the great West. Go to the Agrioultural College of Massachusetts, and you see many other valuable experiments, a most valuable series relating to the making of the best sugar. Go to any one of these colleges fairly in operation, and you find it trying some experiment valuable to its part of the country.
Take another branch of the subject. As to our efforts at Cornell, we have been fitting up an establishment for experiments in the best rotation of crops and in the feeding of cattle. A careful resident professor has been called to carry on these, and I trust that Mr. E, W. Stewart may be called to superintend them.
Some time since, in view of this matter, I visited certain cattle-feeding establishments with a gentleman whose sound sense on such matters is widely recognized-Hon. George Geddes. Said he: “This experiment fairly tried will be worth to the State of New York more than your whole endowment. No matter which way it turns out; no matter whether soiling' is found profitable or unprofitable; to try this matter fully, and fairly, and scientifically, will be worth more than your endowment."
AGRICULTURAL AND OTHER INDUSTRIES.
But it may be said, why not devote all your resources to agricultural experiments nd instruction ! I answer, first, because the law of the United States does not allow