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What is the question now chiefly agitating England? What is the question that may yet divide the British Islands, as other great nations of Europe, into separate states? Can a state exist whose education is purely secular and from whose public schools dogmatic theology is excluded ? is the paramount question upon which the coming parliamentary elections in England will chiefly turn. Can religion continue to exist among a people without a state-church? is a questiou only second in British consideration to the one just stated. Government and people will come to find us absorbing nearly half a million of foreigners a year, with four million freedmen among is, who less than a decade ago were slaves, with four million other people who were without education so long as slavery dwelt by their side; and they will find that a system of secular education has given a high average culture to the whole people of the United States, embracing a greater variety of elements than is elsewhere to be found in one country; that that education is progressing, as you will demonstrate by the historical sketches you will exhibit, as the educational systems of no other country have progressed ; and they will find that, without a semblance of a state-church anywhere in the broad land, the people are more profoundly religious, without superstition, than any people in any country or any people living under one flag. [Applause.]

The coming Centennial is therefore to be a world-wide educator. Bat especially is it to be so to the American people. The first words that caught my ears as I entered this hall were “South Carolina and Massachusetts.” They reminded me of that "bloody chasm” over which men recently spoke of shaking hands. The Centennial Celebration will obliterate from all but the historic page the fact that there has been a bloody chasm. There will meet in generous emulation they who met with equal bravery, willing to lay down life for an ideal theory upon which government should be based. The opening on the 19th of April will mark the opening event of the revolutionary war, the battle of Concord. There Massachusetts had her glory; but it was within the limits of the late southern confederacy that Cornwallis surrendered his sword and command to Wasbington, on the 19th of November, the day on which the Centennial Exposition will close. [Applause.] So that both the once temporarily-divided sections will have their glory marked by the opening and closing days of the exhibition. And they from New England and they from the sunny South, rambling from the expositiongrounds to the little cemetery in Germantown, may mingle their tears or their exultations at the grave of General Francis Nash, who led a full brigade from the colonies south of the Potomac, and died within a few feet of the spot where his honored remains now lie, while struggling for the freedom not alone of North Carolina, which he so grandly represented. The Centennial will come to us as a healing balm and revive the memories of our common heritage of glory. But it will educate us in other ways than this. Suppose I turn school-examiner, to illustrate how this event will educate us all, and put a few questions to you. Can any of you, ladies and gentlemen, tell me what are the four great industrial regions of the State of Alabama and define their limits? Who among you is prepared to answer and state the boundaries of the cotton, the timber, the grain, and the mineral regions of Alabama! With great respect for your attainments, I may be pardoned for saying that I do not believe any one is equal to the task. (Laughter.] It would be surprising if you were. Suppose I further ask you to tell me the location of those fields of chalcedony which glow and glisten upon the hills and valleys of Arkansas, and to tell me whether you believe the theory that they have been transmuted from the rough red sandstone by exposure through long ages to the chemical action of the water of the hot springs that have flowed over them? I do not believe many can give the location or give an enlightened theory of the chemical processes which have strewn these marvelous masses among the rude red sandstone that covers so large a field.

[Other similar suppositions were made to show to the members of the department that, after the Exposition has been beld, every intelligent American will bave, must have, a clearer, broader, higher perception of the great elements which are at the disposal of American genius. He will bave also an idea of what American genius, hopeful interest in the matter of education, they are not able to do what they would like to do, by reason of poverty; and I presume it is some. what familiar to some here that our financial management has not been a success, so that the State to-day cannot do what is needed. And I am here to appeal to the benevolent gentlemen of this department, and all wherever I can, and to implore all who have an interest in educational matters and an influence with the law-making branch of the General Government, to aid us in this matter.

We are not without hope; we hope, in the course of time, to develop a system and to stand as equals with the other States in the matter of education. I certainly hope that this resolution will be adopted. If there is any amendment that I could suggest to the resolution, it would be to recommend and to urge the passage of such a measure. I certainly hope you will pass the resolution.

Mr. PHILBRICK. I hope so too. Coming from a State that has been alluded to as one which has liberally furnished means of education and which does not seem to be in immediate need of aid of this description, I have listened to the gentleman from South Carolina with great interest. But he is altogether too anxious on this point; it is not necessary to appeal to the beneficence of gentlemen here. Why, sir, it is for the in. terest of every State in our common country that every other State shall be equally well supplied with the means of education ; and I am happy to know that a representative of Massachusetts has introduced this bill, and is so heroic in championing it through Congress.

You will remember that Daniel Webster, in answering Mr. Hayne, referred to the fact that, “shoulder to shoulder,” Massachusetts and South Carolina contended through the struggles of the Revolution; and I trust that, in this great struggle for the conquest of ignorance, we shall stand "shoulder to shoulder” and “hand in hand” with Mr. Hoar in his effort to carry this through Congress. [Applause.)

Prof. COMFORT. In view of the limitation which appears to be in the bill, I will not urge my views at all; and I would like to express to the gentleman from South Carolina, what I am sure is the feeling of all here, the desire that the action begun in this matter may have the greatest success. But movements like this do not go forward very rapidly. The people cannot be educated in five years, nor in ten years. A new generation must come on; and if the gentleman sees his State in a condition of earnest activity, without the ten or twenty thousand dollars that may come from Congress, he will see within ten years a new generation of educated people. And I think our earnestness as educators should rather be to see what is planted, than to see the rapidity with which, for the moment, the movements of growth are carried forward.

At this time, as the Secretary of the Interior was about to withdraw, . he briefly addressed the department as follows:

introduced, it might be hard to get rid of it hereafter. In the bill referred to, it is limited to five years; it then expires of its own limitation. And, inasmuch as it is favorably considered in Congress, perhaps it may be better to modify the resolution so as to limit the time.

Hon. J. K. JILLSON, State-superintendent of South Carolina. As a representative of the State of South Carolina, a State which is as sadly in need of aid as any State in the Union, I hope the resolution will pass as it stands, and that the proviso, which we recognize as just, will be retained, so that the proceeds of the public lands for at least five years shall be devoted to education and divided on the basis of illiteracy in the population above 10 years of age. The question of the diffusion of general education in the South is a problem somewhat difficult of solution, and one which creates a great deal of anxiety in the minds of those who really have the education of the people at heart. It seems to me that, if tbis bill passes, it should provide for giving the greatest amount of money to those States which need it most. There are States in the Union which are not in need of money. For instance, the State of Massachusetts, which probably stands as high as any, does not need this money. But I assure you, Mr. President and gentlemen, that the State of South Carolina needs all the aid it can get to develop its ed. ucational interest; and, in my humble opinion, the salvation of that State, as well as of other States in the South, depends upon the education of the people. I feel this at heart; for I feel that there is no hope for the State of South Carolina, except in the education of its people; and I sincerely hope that this convention will give such an expression, and in so forcible a manner, that it may have an influence upon the Congress of the United States, and induce it to pass a bill which will help those who are applying for help.

We must recollect one thing, that the original States have not had the benefit of the public lands, while in the newer States every sixteenth section of land was set apart for the benefit of education. I have yet to learn that the State of South Carolina has received a rood of the public lands for public schools. She has received her quota of the agriculturalland-scrip, but I think nothing for public schools.

Again, if you have read that valuable document, the Report of the Commissioner of Education, you have learned that many of the Southern States have a large amount of illiteracy. I believe we have an illiterate population of about 290,000. It seems to me we need some help down there. The people are very poor indeed.

You must also recollect that in our State we had no free-school-sys. tem before reconstruction. The city of Charleston had a well-organized and efficient system of public schools, but there were roue in any other part of the State. We are just beginning now to lay our foundations. The people are poor; and, while they are awakening to an anxious and hopeful interest in the matter of education, they are not able to do what they would like to do, by reason of poverty; and I presume it is some. what familiar to some here that our financial management has not been a success, so that the State to-day cannot do what is needed. And I am here to appeal to the benevolent gentlemen of this department, and all wherever I can, and to implore all who have an interest in educational matters and an influence with the law-making branch of the General Government, to aid us in this matter.

We are not without hope; we hope, in the course of time, to develop a system and to stand as equals with the other States in the matter of education. I certainly hope that this resolution will be adopted. If there is any amendment that I could suggest to the resolution, it would be to recommend and to urge the passage of such a measure. I certainly hope you will pass the resolution.

Mr. PHILBRICK, I hope so too. Coming from a State that has been alluded to as one which has liberally furnished means of education and which does not seem to be in immediate need of aid of this description, I have listened to the gentleman from South Carolina with great interest. But he is altogether too anxious on this point; it is not necessary to appeal to the beneficence of gentlemen here. Why, sir, it is for the interest of every State in our common country that every other State shall be equally well supplied with the means of education ; and I am happy to kuow that a representative of Massachusetts has introduced this bill, and is so heroic in championing it through Congress.

You will remember that Daniel Webster, in answering Mr. Hayne, referred to the fact that, “shoulder to shoulder,” Massachusetts and South Carolina contended through the struggles of the Revolution; and I trust that, in this great struggle for the conquest of ignorance, we shall stand 6 shoulder to shoulder” and “hand in hand” with Mr. Hoar in his effort to carry this through Congress. [Applause.)

Prof. COMFORT. In view of the limitation which appears to be in the bill, I will not urge my views at all; and I would like to express to the gentleman from South Carolina, what I am sure is the feeling of all here, the desire that the action begun in this matter may have the greatest success. But movements like this do not go forward very rapidly. The people cannot be educated in five years, nor in ten years. A new generation must come on; and if the gentleman sees his State in a condition of earnest activity, without the ten or twenty thousand dollars that may come from Congress, he will see within ten years a new generation of educated people. And I think our earnestness as educators should rather be to see what is planted, than to see the rapidity with which, for the moment, the movements of growth are carried forward.

At this time, as the Secretary of the Interior was about to withdraw, he briefly addressed the department as follows:

REMARKS OF HON. C. DELANO, SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.

Mr. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN: I had the honor and pleasure to receive a visit yesterday from a delegation from this body. I then expressed in a few words the profound interest that I have always felt in this organization. I happened to be a mem ber of the House of Representatives when the foundations of the Bureau of Education were laid. My interest in it has dever decreased; and I have never felt its importance more than I have since I have seen, this year and previously, such a body of intelligent gentlemen at work for this cause.

I have only to say that I hope your deliberations will be so conducted as to furnish Congress, if they need it, such advice as will enable them to bestow the funds which they may appropriate in such places that they will do the most good. [Applause.]

The Secretary and governor then took leave.

The report of the committee on national aid to education was then adopted, with the several resolutions before given.

The department next listened to an address by Hon. J. D. Philbrick, of Boston, on

SYSTEMS OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION IN EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN CITIES COMPARED,

No doubt very encouraging progress has been made during the last few years in developing and improving the means of public instruction, both in the larger and sinaller cities of this country. The courses of study for elementary schools have been inproved by the introduction of additional branches of great practical utility, as well as by providing for a more judicious arrangement and limitation of the several subjerts taught. School-architecture has received much attention, and vast sums have been expended by American cities during the past ten years, in erecting convenient, and even elegant, school-edifices. The salaries of teachers have been considerably advanced and training-schools for teachers have been established by many of the larger cities. In almost all our cities more or less provision has been made for secondary education in high schools for youth of both sexes.

But, however encouraging and meritorious the recent progress in the means of public instruction in our cities has been, it would be a great mistake to suppose that there is no further room for improvement or that our best city-systems have reached a completeness of development equal to what may be found in the cities of soine foreign countries.

As many of the best existing elements in our systems of education have been borrowed from Germany, so Germany is still the country where Americans can study educational science and art to great advantage. Forty years ago it was universally acknowledged by the best judges that Prussia had the best systein of education in the world. Since that time great advancement has been made in several other countries ; but Prussia still maintains her pre-eminence as an educating State. In no other conntry is educational science so much cultivated or applied so thoroughly and systematically in the management of educational affairs.

As London is the world's center of commerce and trade and Paris the world's center of fashion and taste, so the city of Berlin is emphatically the world's center and capital of education and learning. But it will not be an easy matter for Berlin to maintain this acknowledged educational lead. A powerful rival has entered the lists to compete for the supremacy. That rival is the capital of the Austrian empire. The rapid progress of Vienna during the last twenty-five years in educational development is probably without a parallel.

Previous to the revolution of 1848, the insufficiency and imperfection of the educational institutions of Vienna afforded a striking contrast to the excellence of those of the Prussian capital. But since that event, and as a consequence of it, so extraordinary

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