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served only by intelligence and virtue. The war arouses in thinking minds the determination to prepare our youth to receive and perpetuate the institutions their fathers and elder brothers are so earnestly fighting to defend. With the thought that our country calls for mind and heart as well as for muscle and money, we are nerved to double diligence, and “bate not a jot of heart or of hope."
Hon. Anson Smyth, State Superintendent of Ohio, a State second in her Schools to no other in the Union, writes as follows:
Sir William Berkeley, one of the early Governors of Virginia, wrote: “I thank God that there are no Free Schools nor printing presses here, and I hope we shall not have them for these hundred years for learning bath brought disobedience and heresy and sects into the world, and printing hath divulged them in libels against the best of Gopernments." • Here are set forth the beginnings of those influences which have moulded the characters of the loyal and disloyal States. With the former, the education of all has been à prominent and predominant idea. Their children have been taught to read-to investigate truth--to think for themselves. In the older of the seceding States, very little has to this day been accomplished towards the education of the children of the lower classes; while in the newer, something has been effected through the grants for educational purposes made by the General Government. But nowhere in all the land of rebellion has popular education been a prominent idea. The children of the wealthy classes have enjoyed facilities for learning, but the “ poor whites” have had few opportunities in this direction. In some of these States, the number of adults who cannot read is, proportionably, fifty times as great as that of the same class in some of the loyal States.
The State of Ohio is educating more children in Public Schools than are all the seceded States. Who can believe that this rebellion could have assumed its present proportions, but for the ignorance of the lower classes there?
I have not made these statements and instituted these comparisons for the sake of casting reproach upon any of the Southern people; but simply for the reason that I wish to exhibit the connection there is between popular education and the safety of free institutions.
The State Superintendent of Michigan says:
God give us power to hold our Common Schools to their full work, and the children to the Schools, and we may hope to hold fast to all that is true and worthy in our social life and civilization till the storm be past. Disrupted and dissolved as we must be, we may hope to settle down again when peace comes, and crystalize into the same peacefully great people we were ere the war began.
There has been no decrease of interest or of effort in behalf of the Public Schools in this Commonwealth, but rather an increase of both. Passing events have seemed to deepen the conviction in the minds of our people of the vast importance of our system of popular education, not only to the public prosperity, but also to the perpetuity of our free institutions.
The State Superintendent of Illinois, Newton Bateman, says:
The State School tax-two mills ad valorem-has not been disturbed, and will not be. The vested School Fund, State, county, and township, amounting to about five millions of dollars, is, of course, beyond the reach of the contingencies of the times; so that in a financial sense our system of public instruction is breasting the war storm bravely.
I have watched the bearing of current events upon our educational enterprises with the greatest solicitude, not unmingled with forebodings of evil. It is with inexpressible relief that I find the citizens of this Commonwealth disposed to rally around and sustain their Free Schools in this trying hour. It is, indeed, but the instinct of selfpreservation. Never before in all our history did the absolute necessity of universal intelligence and virtue to the preservation of our political system and the well-being of society appear to me so clear and demonstrable. As well might the mariner throw overboard his chart and compass in the midst of the tempest, as for our people to abandon their Free Schools at a time like this. The loss of a battle or of a campaign would be comparatively a trifling disaster.
With such words of cheer coming to us across the continent, shall we become disheartened, and lose our faith in the capacity of a free people for self-government?
Intelligent free laborers are working out the great problem of civilizing this contipont; intelligent fighting men are consolidating its Government; and, underlying all, the Public Schools are silently forming a sound national character. Free as air, vital as electricity, and vivifying as the sunlight, they act on the organic forces of the nation as these three physical agents build up the life of the globe out of inorganic matter.
The insurrection will be put down by the sword and the bayonet; treason will be rooted out by armed men; but even then the only strength of the Union will be in a public opinion based on an intelligent comprehension of national affairs by the people of the whole nation.
The number of legal roters in the United States who cannot read and write is greater than the ordinary majority by which a President is elected.
It is seldom the Governor of any State is elected by a majority larger than the number of “illiterate voters of the State." What avails the Constitution at the mercy of men who cannot read it? Unless the laws of the several States are administered by rulers chosen by electors whose ballots fall vitalized by intelligence, no standing armies, no Constitutions, can hold them in harmonious spheres around the central sun of a Representative Government. They will shoot off in eccentric orbits into the un. fathomable darkness of dissolution and chaos, never to return.
When Public Schools shall have performed their great mission so that every ballot shall represent an idea, Whittier's Lines on “ Election Day” will no longer be ideal.
Around I see the powers that be,
Not lightly fall beyond recall,
Our hearts grow cold, we lightly hold
The shadow rend, and o'er us bend
So shall our voice of sovereign choice,
It is a Prussian maxim “ Whatever you would have appear in the life of the nation you must put into the Schools."
If the Schools inculcate with intellectual training love of country, cordial submission to lawful authority, moral rectitude, some knowledge of the theory and organic structure of our Government, and a true spirit of patriotism, then shall our citzens be truly sEN, and our electors princes indeed.
When I consider the power of the Public Schools, how they have disseminated intelligence in every village, and hamlet, and log house in the nation, how they are moulding the plastic elements of the next generation into the symmetry of modern civilization, I cannot think that our country is to be included in the long list
Of nations scattered like the chaff
I hold nothing in common with those faint hearted patriots who are beginning to despair of the future of our country. The latent powers of the nation are just coming into healthful and energetic action, and in spite of treason, are moving the Republic onward and upward to a higher stand-point of liberty. What though it comes to us amid the storm of battle and the shock of contending armies !
Not as we hoped—but what are we !
Above our feeble arms and plans
The Anglo-Saxon race, even in its ruder years, always possessed an inherent power of independence and self-government. Tell me not that now, when this stubborn vitality and surplus energy, expended so long in overrunning the world, are guided by intelligence and refined by Christianity, this same race is to be stricken with the palsy, because of a two years' war.
The two millions of boys now in the Public Schools constitute a great “ Union League," electrified by intelligence, cemented by the ties of one blood, one language, one course of instruction-strong in its power to perpetuate the Union as the great “Union Leagues” which the citizens of the nation are now organizing for its defence. Long before the completion of the Pacific Railroad, these new recruits, drilled in the Public Schools, will push their way across the continent, as the Saxons sent out from their northern hives, a vast army of occupation, cultivating the “National Homestead," and fortifying the whole line of communication by a cordon of School houses that shall hold it forever as the heritage of free labor, free men, and a free nation.
So shall the Northern pioneer go joyful on his way,
STATE NORMAL SCHOOLS..
DELIVERED BEFORE THE CALIFORNIA STATE TEACHERS' INSTITUTE, ON MONDAY, MAY 4th, 1863, BY S. I. C. SWEZEY, A, M.,
OF SAN FRANCISCO.
I had occasion, not long since, to make a short journey into the country. For a considerable distance the land on either side of the way was under good cultivation; the young grass was making the hillsides beautiful, and the springing grain, just coming from the fertile earth, gave promise of an abundant harvest. Nature had received the weary labor of the farmer kindly, and seemed intent upon doing her work, wonderful in its silence and its greatness, in such a fashion as to cheer him on to do still greater things for her. It was as if she wooed him to his task ; and, giving the grass and the grain, had asked for further culture and further effort, to show how rich she was, by giving trees, and flowers, and vines.
Passing along, I came to a wide stretch of land untamed. It was a salt marsh, soft under foot, muddy enough in places to require the utmost strength of the horses to draw the stage. Hundreds of acres were lying there, owned, indeed, by somebody, yet all uncared for. But even here this Nature would not be idle. Over all the surface were growing coarse grass and weeds-useless, it may be, for many purposes, yet serving to hide the depths beneath, as well as to show the passer that something could grow even there. A wonderful power hus Nature, which she seems bound ever to use in one or another way. If the fruit trees or the grains are not given her, she tries to send out wild flowers; and if they will not obey her call, the coarse grass and the weeds of the salt marsh come. Wherever there is soil she makes something grow.
I remember thinking, as I passed over that sad waste of neglected land, that it is not alone in the material world the law of growth prevails. In the intellectual and moral nature of the human race something is ever growing, and what it shall be is determined chiefly by the means men use. But with land a score of years may pass without the farmer's care, and even then fine crops may come, and pleasant fruits ; while in the human soul the first score of years determines for the most part its future destiny. After these first years, culture may somewhat modify, but will rarely radically change the character.
The State has come to recognize these facts, and in self defence has established Public Schools, that the growth which is inevitable may be good growth, and that the early years may give a safe tendency to the character of its future citizens. After many trials, it has been learned that these Public Schools may exist without accomplishing wbat the necessities of the Commonwealth require. Much, indeed, has been accomplished. Most children have, through much tribulation, been taught to read ; but the reading aloud which may be heard sometimes in the rural districts is indicative of little attention in the Primary Schools to more, in this most valuable of all accomplishments, than the art of calling the words of a sentence. More children have learned to guess with tolerable accuracy at the spelling of words than to attach even a shadow of an idea in respect to their meaning after the component letters were expressed, while the missives that fill our mails bear witness to their readers that spelling itself is often carried on by original methods; and penmanship, instead of being the medium of instruction in the principles of beautiful forms, has often dernonstrated the possibility of that state in which, according to the Book of Genesis, the world once was—being emphatically “without form, and void.” Arithmetic has been so learned that rules could be remembered, but probably nine tenths of the Public School graduates would be at a loss to explain the reason of the rules they learned at School, and therefore one very important use of this study must have been entirely lost sight of in their instruction. Geographical facts have in most instances been memorized, without clear ideas of real geographical principles. Grammar has generally been a matter of words-hard, dry, unmeaning; and its rules, flippantly repeated in parsing, have been violated upon the play-ground within the hour from the class dismissal, as if they were too sacred to be used except in connection with the solemn duty of escaping disgrace before the eyes of the Autocrat of the Birch.
To secure the culture already attained has not been the work of a day. The resoutces of the best minds have been fully taxed, and the machinery for the management of the Public School System is almost perfect in its details. School districts have been organized, and men appointed under the significant title of Trustees, as if the State would have them ever mindful of the real estimate she places upon their services in carrying out the great work of educating the children: Not Directors, not Commissioners, not Kings; but Trustees. This is the trust of the State ; the chief trust. Her future welfare depends upon the aggregate result of their care. To aid these officers, each county has its Superintendent of Public Schools, who is to guard the Trustees from imposition in the persons who may attempt to perform the actual work of the Schoolroom, by examination into their character and their qualifications to teach. The Teacher upon whom the Trustees and the County Superintendent have placed their seal is then to give his best spirit to his special work. He is presumed to änderstand his responsibilities, ard to be personally interested in his high mission. He is allowed to rule the children in his own way. He is privileged to make suggestions to parents that would be impertinent from others, respecting the habits, the language, the disposition, and the employment of the children. He has the right—it is in faet his duty under the law-to determine their studies, and to aid their real progress in knowledge, to watch over their associations among themselves, to direct their aspirations toward all that is good, and right, and beautiful, and to make them detest and avoid all that is foolish, mean, and wrong.
The State does not rest satisfied with these local officers of the Public Schools. She adds one superintending mind to influence County Superintendents, Trustees, and Teachers, to harmonize the efforts they may make in their various spheres of action, and to report to the people, through documents submitted to the Legislature, what has been done each year for the advancement of the children in the Schools. And, then, lest this Superintendent of Public Instruction should be overwhelmed by his weight of responsibility, she constitutes from her leading men a Board of Education with whom he may always consult upon the vast questions which come before him. Butinasmuch as Trustees, County Superintendents, State Superintendent, and the Board of Education, cannot call out at once, or at all, Teachers enough of the true spirit for her present needs, while new demands are made each year as the Schools increase in number and magnitud ,, the State has finally established an Institution for the instruction and