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From these figures it is apparent that one of the earliest intellectual movements of the Republic was the organization of professional schools, and that during the last few years these institutions have multiplied with a rapidity unparalleled except by the prolific colleges. Most of these seminaries (the theological furnishing the chief exceptions) are very poorly endowed, and hence depend upon fees, distributed among the professors.
One of the most important modifications in the higher education has been the growth, within the last twenty-five years, of special schools of science. For a long period the United States Military Academy at West Point, founded in 1802, was not only a school of military engineering, but was the chief place in the country for the training of topographical, hydrographical, and civil engineers. In 1826 the Rensselaer Polytechnic School at Troy was incorporated, and under the guidance of Amos Eaton quickly exerted a strong influence in favor of what has been called in later days the New Education. About twenty years later the foundation of the Lawrence Scientific School at Cambridge, and the accession of Agassiz to its staff of teachers, gave the next impulse to scientific education, and soon the Yale, now the Sheffield Scientific School, began its prosperous career. Numerous private gifts have enabled other colleges to institute their scientific departments, and now most of the older institutions, of which Columbia, Princeton, Dartmouth, Rutgers, Easton, and the University of Pennsylvania are conspicuous examples, announce their special courses in chemistry, engineering, and other departments of science. The Stevens Institute at Hoboken, distinct from every other foundation, has made a specialty of mechanics and physics.
In 1862 Congress appropriated a very large portion of the national domain for the encouragement of scientific instruction. The Act is known as the “ Agricultural College Act,” but its provisions include the sciences relating to agriculture and the mechanic arts, not excluding literary and classical studies. Its intent was to give an impulse all over the land to those studies which have the most obvious relation to the development of the national resources, and which will fit young men for modern scientific professions. Its effect has been remarkable. Notwithstanding occasional infelicities in the plans of operation adopted by some of the States, the general influence of this endowment has been excellent. In the older Eastern States the national grant was sometimes given to the support and development of institutions already begun, as at Providence, New Haven, Burlington, Hanover, and New Brunswick. In Massachusetts alone it was divided, a part going to the Institute of Technology in Boston, and a part to the Agricultural College at Amherst. In New York this gift gave strength and vitality to the munificence of Ezra Cornell, and enabled the university which bears his name to spring at once into a position of conspicuous influence. In most of the Western States the national bounty was directed to the State universities, though there were exceptions, as in Michigan, where it went to the Agricultural College, and in Iowa. The Southern States, in consequence of the war, were slow to receive the benefits of the Act; but throughout the entire North, institutions aided by this grant are now in full progress, and usually with results which are better than even the friends of the enactment anticipated.
Hostility toward scientific pursuits or toward scientific instruction has never in this country been manifested to any noteworthy extent by the religious part of the community or by theological teachers. In discussions relating to the sphere of science and religion, the teachers of religion have almost always been earnest in their approval of scientific research; so, again, there has been very little controversy between the advocates of scientific and classical culture, each party having been disposed to concede the importance of maintaining institutions in which literature and science may alike be efficiently promoted. There can be no doubt that the influence of Harvard, Yale, and the other older colleges has in this particular been powerful throughout the land.
One of the most praiseworthy and one of the most peculiar features of the educational progress of the country is the amount of benefactions bestowed upon institutions of learning by men of wealth. The task of summing up these gifts has never, so far as we are aware, been adequately performed. Within the last few years the United States Commissioner of Education has presented the figures which he has been able annually to collect. He reports that in 1871 eight millions and a half of dollars were given by individuals for educational establishments, but this sum includes the bequest of Horace Hawes (estimated at two million dollars), from which nothing was realized. In 1872 he reports similar benefactions amounting to nearly ten millions; in 1873, to over eleven millions; and in 1874, to over six millions; that is to say, thirtythree millions in the four years prior to 1875. There is hardly any sign of the times more encouraging than the readiness displayed by those who have been prosperous to bestow, many of them in their active lifetime, large gifts upon institutions of learning and education. The care with which such trusts have been administered by the oldest institutions, and their freedom from public interference, during their entire history, are also worthy of remark.
The liberal provisions which have been made for the education of teachers should be considered if our space would permit; and the special higher institutions for young women, like Vassar College, Wellesley College, the Smith College, and multitudes of earlier enterprises, would merit ample discussion.
Special attention should also be directed to the instruction of the unfortunate, the deaf and dumb, the blind, the orphan, the neglected, and the idiotic. The story of deaf
mute instruction, from its commencement in this country at Hartford in 1817 to the foundation of the Clark School at Northampton, is an excellent illustration of the spirit with which an important class of educational institutions has been encouraged and maintained. The influence of one man, Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet, has been strongly impressed upon all subsequent laborers in his chosen field. The organization of the Hartford institution was placed in his hands, and he was sent to Europe for the purpose of acquiring the art of teaching deaf-mutes. He labored with great earnestness and success to secure State and national support for the cause of deaf-mute instruction, besides giving attention to the training of his pupils, and also to the preparation of teachers who might engage in the work elsewhere than at Hartford. Upwards of forty-five institutions VOL, CXXII. - NO. 250.
for the education of deaf-mutes now exist in the United States, with more than five thousand pupils annually in attendance.
In the institution at Washington, sustained by the Federal government, a department for advanced study was organized in 1864 under the name of the National Deaf-Mute College, in which a full academic course of instruction is given. One hundred and thirty-seven youth, representing twenty-eight States and Territories, have come under instruction in this College. Twenty-seven of these have received the degree of Bachelor of Arts, two that of Bachelor of Science, and three that of Master of Arts. In no country, other than our own, has a college for deaf-mutes been established.
The instruction of the blind has also its romantic and instructive record, since the Perkins Institute was founded at Boston in 1829. The education of one of the earliest scholars there, Laura Bridgman, under the skilful hand of Dr. S. G. Howe, has probably attracted more attention than the education of any living person. The success which attended her intellectual development has encouraged multitudes of teachers and has favored the foundation of twenty-seven institutions of the blind now maintained in different parts of the Union.
Public libraries deserve to be mentioned among the agencies for the promotion of education, and the growth of such institutions has of late years been rapid, though not so rapid as in European countries. It is estimated by the United States Commissioner of Education, that, in 1800, the colleges, collectively, owned but fifty thousand volumes; and now Harvard alone has two hundred and eleven thousand volumes. He also reports the number of volumes in public libraries of all classes in Boston, and at Harvard, to be eight hundred and eighty thousand. In 1817 it was estimated by a writer in this Review that there were sixty thousand volumes in the same limits. The National Library at Washington was founded at the beginning of this century, and now contains about two hundred and eighty thousand volumes. Every State and Territory has now at least one library practically free to all comers. New York, in 1835, passed a law providing for the support of district school libraries by taxation, and a similar provision has been made in ten other States. By this agency many excellent
books have been brought before young persons who would otherwise have been without them. Towns are now authorized by law in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, and Wisconsin to lay taxes for the formation of libraries.
In conclusion, the student of American education, during the first century of the Republic, may well be gratified by the wide-spread diffusion of intelligence through the vast territory of the United States, and at the readiness with which the people of the North and West have taxed themselves for the support of common schools. He may rejoice in the testimony of observing foreigners, that the people of this land, if not the most highly educated, are the most generally educated in the world. He may discover in English popular educational movements on the one hand, and in Japanese on the other, that American methods and results have been carefully considered, commended, and copied in distant lands. He may trace the nfluence of the common-school system upon plans for the advancement of the States of South America. He may observe that the arrangements for popular education are improving, year by year, by reason of better training-schools for teachers, better supervision, more liberal pecuniary support. He may review with gratitude the efforts of Horace Mann in Massachusetts, and of hosts of men still living in every State of the Union, who, by public addresses, educational conventions, newspaper articles, teachers' institutes, and legislative discussions, have awakened the popular zeal for education when it was dormant, and have controlled it when it was awakened. He may see with satisfaction the growth of a few strong colleges, the commencement of numerous public libraries, the foundation of schools and galleries of the fine arts, and of museums of natural history. He may enumerate munificent benefactions for education which have never been surpassed in the listory of civilization.' From all this he may
But he can hardly fail to be dissatisfied by a comparison of our systems of higher instruction with those of Europe ; he must acknowledge that, in intermediate instruction, we are far behind what we know to be requisite ; and that in primary schools we lose, from one cause and another, much time and