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less than at least one generation. Ignorant suffrage can in that time be extirpated by laws so just to the individual as to deprive no one of a right he now possesses, and so preservative of free government as to admit no one to the right of suffrage, after a certain date, who has neglected to learn to read and write. Peace, prosperity, and genuine democratic republican freedom will then return to these States, and capital and immigration will no longer go two thousand miles west to find a home, but will seek to enjoy the mild climate and prolific soil of our Southern States.
The foregoing address was extensively republished in the winter of 1878 by the newspaper press of the Cotton States; and their editorials indicated its general approval.
In harmony with the suggestions therein contained, a bill was introduced into the last Congress to devote to public education the whole proceeds of the sales of the public lands, and to distribute the interest of the same for ten years to the States, according to the number of illiterate adults in each. It passed the Senate, but was not reached in the House.
It is to be hoped that the next Congress will make it a law. It would, in a few years, give this country a school fund of fifty millions of dollars, and, in one generation, a school fund of a hundred millions. The income of that, supplemented by state legislation and state taxes, would enable us to extirpate adult illiteracy and make every voter intelligent.
The late Rev. Dr. William Ellery Channing, in 1838, in his celebrated Franklin Lecture on self-culture, expressed himself as follows on the use of the proceeds of the sale of the public lands for public education:
“There is another mode of advancing education in our whole country, to which I ask your particular attention. You are aware of the vast extent and value of the public lands of the Union. By annual sales of these, large amounts of money are brought into the national treasury, which are applied to the current expenses of the government. In this application there is no need. In truth, the country has received detriment from the excess of its resources. Now, I ask, why shall not the public lands be consecrated to the education of the people? This measure would secure at once what the country most needs, that is, able, accomplished, quickening teachers of the whole rising generation. The present poor remuneration of instructors is a dark omen, and the only real obstacle which the cause of education has to contend with. We need for our schools gifted men and women, worthy by their intelligence and their moral power, to be entrusted with a nation's youth; and to gain them, we must pay them liberally, as well as offer other proofs of the consideration in which we hold them. In the present state of the country, when as many paths of wealth and promotion are opened, superior men cannot be won to an office sợ responsible and laborious as that of teaching, without stronger inducements than are now offered, except in some of our large cities. The office
of instructor ought to rank and be recompensed as one of the most honorable in society; and I see not how this is to be done, at least in our day, without appropriating to it the public domain. This is the people's property, and the only part of their property which is likely to be soon devoted to the support of a high order of instructors for public education. This equal instruction to all classes, has peculiar claims on those where means of improvement are restricted by narrow circumstance.
“The mass of the people should devote themselves to it as one man, should toil for it with one soul. Mechanics, Farmers, Laborers! let the country echo with your united cry, the Public Lands for Education.' Send to the public councils men who will plead this cause with power. No party triumphs, no trades-unions, no association, can so contribute to elevate you as the measure now proposed. Nothing but a higher education can raise you in influence and true dignity. The resources of the public domain, wisely applied for successive generations to the culture of society, and of the individual, would create a new people, would awaken through this community intellectual and moral energies, such as the records of no country display, and as would command the respect and emulation of the world. In this grand object, the workingmen of all parties, and in all divisions of the land, should join with an enthusiasm not to be withstood. They should separate it from all narrow and local strifes. They should not suffer it to be mixed up with the schemes of politicians. In it, they and their children have an infinite stake. May they be true to themselves, to posterity, to their country, to freedom, and to the cause of mankind."
The census of 1880 shows we have a population of over fifty millions, of which 15,000,000 are of the school age, and 9,500,000 are actual attendants upon schools, taught by 272,686 school teachers.
What a magnificent standing army for a republic to sustain! And all fighting ignorance, and elevating and enlightening the people and fitting them the better to make their way in the world, not oppressing and enslaving them!
European nations exhaust themselves in feeding and clothing millions of soldiers, and providing them with the best arms and ammunition for destruction. We enrich ourselves in supporting and equipping with books and school apparatus nine and a half millions of school children, marshaled by more than a quarter of a million of instructors. Let us have more school money, and a conscription that will draft into the ranks of the army of learners the 5,500,000 that still remain outside of the schoolrooms.
The possible average school period in the free public schools in this country is fourteen and one-half years, while in European countries it is, on an average, only eight years.
The effect of this upon our people is to make them, as a class, the most intelligent and productive laborers on the globe. They not only work to better advantage, but excel all others in the number and variety of their labor-saving inventions. They have, in ten years, from 1870 to 1880, as the census shows, doubled the food products of the country. In 1870 the grain crop was 1,387,299,153. In 1880 it was 2,716,826,495.
Though the tables are not fully made up for the other products of in. dustry, yet the indications are that they have increased in like ratio. In six years we have sold a thousand million dollars' worth of products more than we have bought. Our extraordinary progress for the last ten years, while facilitated by our climate and soil, is yet largely due to the superior intelligence of the laborers. And we are all laborers of some kind.
This intelligence has been brought about by establishing and maintaining, in twenty-six of our thirty-eight states, the free public school within reach of every child, and, in a large part of these states, requiring children to attend for a certain number of years, unless taught elsewhere.
The prosperity, progress, industry, and wealth of each state, other things being equal, are almost in the direct ratio of the excellence of public education. A tour through Massachusetts and North Carolina, or Ohio and Louisiana, or Colorado and New Mexico, will show this to the most casual observer; an examination of their statistics from decade to decade demonstrates it.
The young people of the Southern States, who have come of age since slavery was abolished, are fully alive to the importance and necessity of the free common schools as a means of securing to their States the great prosperity to which their natural resources entitle them.
Generous men and Christian denominations are contributing money by millions to establish in those states universities, colleges, and academies. But they lack the broad support that comes only from a general diffusion of knowledge among the common people. These institutions of higher education do not reach the masses.
For the want of the free common school, like an all-pervading nursery in which to germinate the seeds and start the young plants, these institutions are obliged either to remain without students or lower their standards of admission.
The immediate need of the South for common schools is native teachers and normal schools in which teachers may be trained, and standard educational or pedagogic literature for these teachers to study.
The Rev. Dr. Mayo, who has just spent nine months as an educational missionary and public school apostle in the Southern States, says, that if every normal school, academy, college, and university there could be provided with a set (fifty volumes) of the educational works of Dr. Henry Barnard (the editor of this journal), it would be of inestimable benefit to both students and professors, in showing them how to do, in the most effective way, the great educational work that is now before them.
Cannot generous friends, at the North, of these institutions, be found who will provide money and send on the books ?
D. A. H. JUNE 24, 1881,
THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY.
COLUMBIA COLLEGE. GRADUALLY the older American Colleges as they come into pos. session of larger resources, and a few recent universities (so-called) more richly endowed at the start — each on somewhat different lines, are aiming to provide the necessary facilities of higher cul. ture for American young men and young women, who, heretofore, could only secure them by a residence, more or less prolonged, in some European capital or university town. These facilities will doubtless be increased and enlarged, and more and more widely enjoyed, as our preparatory schools are better equipped, and the smaller colleges restrict themselves to the work of secondary instruction. But in all probability we shall never have a university of the best American type, until we have a larger number of institutions, public or endowed, to do the work which the German Gymnasia, and the French Lycee and college, and the English public school and endowed grammar school, now do for their respective great High Schools; and added to this better preparation of students, our Universities must have within themselves a body of unattached instructors corresponding to the Eng. lish private tutor, or the German docent.
The immense development of Columbia College in the last fif. teen years, since the Trustees found themselves out of debt and in possession of larger resources, under the guidance of a wise educator, as narrated in the annual Report of the President for 1879-1880, is full of interest and instruction. A few more steps by the Trustees in the direction indicated by the President will place Columbia College, by whatever name it may be called, in a position to offer the facilities of a real American university to the young men and young women of the country, and there is no one measure so important as the establishment of a Superior Normal School, and the gradual formation of a teaching body, from which the chairs of instruction may be filled. We need the German Seminär, or the French Superior Normal School.
AIM OF COLLEGE EDUCATION.* There seems to be a singular confusion in the public mind as to what a college ought to do. The notion was distinct enough a century ago. It was then understood that the business of a college is not so much to teach as to train. It was held that the benefit to the student is not so much the knowledge he acquires, as the mental discipline he receives. In this view a well-stored mind is per se of little cousequence; a well-developed mind is the main thing, though it be stored with rubbish. And in fact, when we consider the monstrous tasks of original Latin and Greek verse—nonsense and otherwise—with which the college lads of the earlier times had to wrestle, it would seem as if, in the eyes of the teachers of those days, rubbish had the preference.
Mental discipline, however, and not the acquisition of knowledge, having been the recognized and exclusive end of the early collegiate education, it followed, as a necessary and inevitable consequence, that the curriculum of study chosen for the purpose should be, as it was, extremely limited in range. It was made up almost wholly of Latin, Greek, and the pure mathematics. A little rhetoric, a little logic, a little astronomy, and later a little psychology, completed the circle. The last named subjects were only the efflorescence of the course, making their timid appearance in the final year. The earlier three years and all the preparatory course were absolutely solid with Latin, Greek and the pure mathematics.
In a certain sense, considering the object in 'view, this was wise ; for as in physical training, neither strength of limb, nor skill of hand, nor cominand of muscular movement can be acquired except on the condition of often repeated and long continued practice of the same identical forms of exercise; so in education, no increase of mental vigor, no sharpening of the faculties, no facility of wielding to purpose the intellectual energies will be secured, unless the subjects employed to provoke the mind to exertion are so few as to make it certain that such exertion shall be steady and continuous. Therefore it is that the early educators were wise when they limited the curriculum to the narrow range represented by Latin, Greek, and the pure mathematics.
It may be said of them, indeed, that their wisdom in this matter was not a couscious wisdom, that the world at that earlier day had little else worth knowing except Latin, Greek, and the pure mathematics, and that they merely took what they found. If this is the case, they probably “ builded better than they knew.”
But a greater wisdom has been claimed for them than that they limited the curriculum ; it is that the subjects they placed in it are the very be-t, educationally considered, that could have been selected for their purpose; that Latin, Greek, and the pure mathematics are so infinitely superior to all other instrumentalities for exciting the intellectual activities, as to make them the sole necessary, perhaps the sole
• Report of President Barnard to Trustees of Columbia College for 1881.