Imágenes de páginas

WHEREAS, the compensation or profit of those engaged in the business of professional educators does not make it possible for them to be at the personal expense of these labors, and publications. of the sort demanded are not yet sufficiently profitable to invite voluntary private efforts adequate to these professional examinations of facts and systems; and

WHEREAS, there is no other concern more national, or more intimately affecting the entire body-politic; therefore,

Resolved, That we congratulate ourselves and the country that the national bureau of education has been enabled, to some extent, to begin to meet those wants, by pursuing those investigations which are increasing the value of educational statistics, and by publishing occasionally, for the benefit of the educators of the country, the rare products in the educational field in this and other countries.

Resolved, That, in our opinion, facilities for the publication of circulars of information by the national bureau of education should be increased; also, that Congress should provide for a larger edition of the annual report of the bureau, to be distributed immediately or its publication, as an executive document, among the teachers and school-officers of the country, in order that they may have at once, in the conduct of their work in the current year, the advantage of its aggregation of information drawn from the previous year's experience.

Resolved, That in the death of W. 0. Hiskey, of Minnesota, an officer of this Association, the cause of popular education has lost an able, earnest and efficient laborer, the Christian church one of its brighest ornaments, and society a large-hearted and noble man.

Resolved, That our thanks are due, and are hereby tendered, to the President and other officers of this Association, and also to the presiding officers of the several departments, for the faithful and efficient manner in which they have performed their several duties;

Also, to the Citizens, and especially to the Local Committee, of the City of Boston, for their kind and liberal provisions for the accommodation and comfort of the members of this convention;

To the Press, for the noticeable accuracy of their reports of what we have said and done;

To such of the railroad and steamboat companies as have offered reduced fare to the delegates;

To such proprietors of hotels as have reduced their charges for entertainment;

To the officers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for their kind invitation to this body to visit all parts of that institution;

To the President and Faculty of Harvard University, for a similar invitation to visit that venerable and honored institution of learning; and finally,

To the Municipal and Public-School Authorities of Boston, for their invitation to the members of this Association to participate in their liberal hospitalities at Faneuil Hall,

The resolutions were adopted.

It was voted that a copy of the resolutions regarding sale of public lands, and and also of those relating to the Bureau of Education, be sent by the secretary to the senators and representatives in Congress, and placed also in the hands of the Japanese Minister.

There being no further business, the President returned his hearty thanks to those associated with him in the labors the year, and to the Association for the great honor conferred in calling upon him to preside over its deliberations now nearly closed.

He then introduced his successor, Hon. B. G. NORTHROP, of Connecticut, who in a few brief words accepted the position with its honors and labors.

The Association then adjourned sine die.

In the evening the members of the Association, in response to the invitation of the School Committee, assembled in Faneuil Hall, where they were entertained with a bountiful collation, music, and brief addresses from gentlemen representing different sections of the country.


The exercises of the Association closed with a reception and banquet tendered by the City of Boston and given in Faneuil Hall. Rev. Dr. R. C. WatERSTON called the assembly to order, and introduced President CHADBOURNE, of Williams College, who invoked the Divine blessing. Without further ceremony, those present were invited to partake of the good things spread before them, and responded heartily. Nearly an hour was passed pleasantly at the tables, CARTER's Band furnishing the music meanwhile; and at a little past nine o'clock the Rev. Mr. WATERston again called the assembly to order, and made a brief address. He then read a letter from Mayor Gaston, expressing his regret at being obliged to be absent from the city at such a time, and in his stead introduced the Hon. A. H. Rice, President of the Board of Trade, and formerly Mayor of Boston.



Ladies and Gentlemen, I am certain that I feel a very great weight of obligation to my distinguished friend for the very handsome manner in which he has presented me to this company. I am here quite unexpectedly. I have come as a citizen of Boston, without official position, and without any present connection with the educational institutions of the city; but simply as one of the citizens of Boston, to testify to their cordial interest in and sympathy with the great cause which you have undertaken and are carrying forward; and also with the hope of supplying one place made vacant by those necessarily absent.

I esteem it a great honor to the City of Boston that she is the recipient of so large and distinguished a body of the educators of the country. I recognize in what has been said heretofore, although I have not had the honor and pleasure of attending your meetings, that this organization is a national association of teachers, and I confess there is something peculiarly interesting and fascinating in that word “national.” There was a time when we had no national association of teachers, neither in name nor in fact; nor was it possible to have a national association representing what might be called a national system of edution.

It was only a very few years ago, in a conversation held with one of the most

distinguished men in a neighboring state, that he occupied a considerable time in an argument with me against the cause of popular education, on the ground, as he said, that the education of the common people would tend to render them unfit for those common labors which were the necessary inheritance of the masses. It was not many years ago that that argument was made with considerable force. As I stand here this evening, in the presence of so many of the intelligent educators of the nation, indicating how thoroughly the sentiment of devotion to the cause is permeating the whole community, and as I contrast the present opinion and acknowledged results with the propositions laid down by the gentleman to whom I have referred, I am impressed more than ever before by the falsity of his position, and by the great advance which the popular mina has made in the direction of universal education.

What do we find to be the result of experience, as compared with the current opinion out of New England twenty-five years ago? The more highly cultivated the boy or girl, the man or woman, in stead of being unfitted thereby for the practical duties of life, the more they are able to accomplish in even common pursuits. It is clearly demonstrated by statistics, and by the actual test of experiment in our mills and factories, that in the matter of economy, looking at no higher object, the results of educated labor are vastly superior in value to those of the uneducated.

I can only express the gratification which I know the members of the city government, of those gentlemen whose duty it is to appear on occasions of this kind, by their connection with municipal affairs and with our school system, would have experienced at being present to extend to this company a sincere and cordial welcome. I know they would have done it in their official capacity in a manner much more distinguished and acceptable than as a private citizen I can hope to do. But I bid you a sincere and cordial welcome to our city, while I but express the universal desire that your stay may be a source of present and future gratification to you all. [Applause.]

Mr. Waterston presented Professor B. G. NORTHROP, President-elect of the Association, and recently selected by the Japanese government for an important position in connection with the educational movement in that country.

Mr. Northrop said, in reply to the question what had inspired this advance in sentiment in Japan, that the Father of All had been its author, but that much was owing to governmental changes. The uniting of the two governments in 1868 had done much to bring about this result. Such a sight had never been witnessed in history. Caste was abolished, and now the opportunity of reaching any position is as open as in this country. All this sprang from pure patriotism. Now, in stead of the long-existing stagnation, there is an unparalleled enthusiasm. Our Congress, busy in its president-making, could n't find time to decide the question of admitting six Japanese students to West Point. If next season they are not admitted, England and France, now losing prestige in Japan, will open their doors. Shall this foolish policy, which will keep hundreds away from our country, be continued? The indemnity fund due to Japan ought to be paid at once, especially as, when paid, it is to be devoted to educational purposes. He hoped the matter would receive the attention of the country and of Congress at once.

Hon. Joseph White, Secretary of the Massachusetss Board of Education, spoke for the state. Alluding to the charge, some times made, that Massachusetts is noted for her radicalism, he said that she came honestly by it. It is an inheritance from the fathers. She is not a whit more radical to-day than was the first man who built his hut on this peninsula where we are now assembled. And in respect to education, she has to-day no deeper sense of its value, to the individual and the state, that had John WINTHROP and his compeers, who, in 1635, engaged “ Brother PHILEMON PORMONT" to be the first master of the first free school in Boston, and paid his wages by a general and liberal voluntary contribution. Moreover, in the venerable statutes of 1647 are found the vital elements of all her subsequent school legislation. Even at an earlier period, in 1642, the principle of Compulsory Education, of which so much is now said, was clearly announced, in an order requiring the "selectmen of every town to have a vigilant eye over their neighbors, to see that none of them shall suffer so much barbarism in any of their families as not to endeavor to teach, by themselves or others, their children and apprentices so much learning as may enable them to read perfectly the English tongue, and knowledge of the Capital Laws, upon penalty of twenty shillings for each neglect therein.”

It is only in the more thorough application of the principles enunciated by the fathers, and improved methods of teaching and organization, that we of the present generation have made any considerable progress.

While Massachusetts claims to have the oldest system of free schools in the country, if not in the world, and to have established the first municipal graded schools, Mr. W. expressed the fear that, resting content with past achievements, she would fail to keep pace with her younger sisters in that progress which the present times demand.

The speaker closed with some earnest words for the continuance of the Bible in the common schools, as the great Text-Book of that public morality without which the existence of a free state is an impossibility; and also with the expression of the pleasure it gave him to meet so many of the leading educators of the whole country in Massachusetts and in Faneuil Hall. | Hon. E. E. White gave some reminiscences of two visits made by him to Boston years ago, the latter in an official capacity, when he was the recipient of many attentions, and had the opportunity of examining its schools and other institutions. This reception is in keeping with the reputation of the city for hospitality, and is another evidence of the high regard which the good people of Boston feel, not only toward the cause of education, but to the workers in that cause. Standing in this presence, I feel that silence would be more eloquent than any words of mine. There are times when we seem to stand so near to the departed that only a thin veil appears to separate us. In this old “Cradle of Liberty,” that has resounded with words of liberty that have run through the world and shall reverberate through the coming centuries, we seem to stand so near to the fathers that we can almost feel their heart-beats and their presence. As teachers of the nation, we hope that the day may speedily come when the educational spirit of these fathers shall bless every portion of this country; and when the schools which they planted, and which their descendants carried with them as they pushed the wilderness toward the Rocky Mountains, may consecrate every square mile of our peopled territory.

Mr. White then asked to be excused from acting as President, and invited Hon. John EATON, Jr., U.S. Commissioner of Education, to take the platform as Chairman.

Gen'l Eaton acknowledged that he had been called to do an awkward thing, without notice, to preside on such an occasion; but there had been formerly minute-men in Boston, and perhaps it was his duty to serve as one now, in obedience to this sudden call of the President. Enjoying this feast here in this old hall, whose walls are animated with the speaking eyes and lips of the honored dead, we are reminded of the antagonisms of the past, when the Puritan and the Quaker dwelt here; the one guided more by the light of the Bible, and the other more by his inner light, yet both struggled toward the realization of the same liberty and became important parts of the same nation. Puritans and Quakers are represented here to-day.

I call upon a man to speak to you whom the Quaker State has selected to guide its youth in their steps toward intelligence and virtue, and to supervise the disbursement for the support of education of $10,000,000,- Hon. Mr. WICKERSHAM.

Hon. J. P. Wickersham. Mr. President, if I were a revengeful man, I would certainly, for being called out to speak here, now, give the speech that I did not make last night on Compulsory Education. [Laughter.] And I will say this, and there is a whole sermon in it, that I would make every school-house in the United States of America as attractive as this hall and this banquet have been made, and then I am sure we would need no compulsory law. I have observed that, for the days during our session, large numbers of members have been wandering outside of the rooms in which the meetings were held; and I hardly believe that all the police of the City of Boston could have kept them together; and yet, strange to say, this banquet has been so attractive that we see them all here. Had the roll been called, every one would have answered to his name. So I propose that the school-houses should be made so attractive that children can not stay away.

It would seem that I am to speak for the State of Pennsylvania, and for the Quakers in particular. I am glad to do it; I am glad to speak for that state in this old hall, and on this platform; I am glad to say a word for those people who came over with WILLIAM PENN and settled on the Delaware. Pennsylvania, materially speaking, is a great state. We have great rivers and great mountains; we have a population now approaching four millions; we have limestone, iron ore, coal and oil, to an amount which no man has computed or can compute. We have rich and fertile fields, and we have great manufacturing facilities. Pennsylvania, sir, I am sure, possesses resources that will make her the equal in the race with any of the great states, even the states of the West, in the coming years.

Historically speaking, sir, Pennsylvania has some claim. You have here the “Cradle of Liberty” in old Faneuil Hall; but we have in Pennsylvania, to match it, the hall in which the Declaration of Independence was made, with its “Liberty Bell.” You have, out yonder, Lexington and Bunker Hill; we have in Pennsylvania Valley Forge and Brandywine. And I saw to-day a statue of good old BenJAMIN FRANKLIN up near your Court-House; we can take you

« AnteriorContinuar »