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canse, either to a greater fine, taking security for due conformity to the scope and intent of this law, or may take such children or apprentices froin such parents or masters, and place them for years, boys till they come to the age of one and twenty, and girls till they come to the age of eighteen years, with such others who shall better educate and govern them, both for the public conveniency and for the particular good of the said children or apprentices.
Colony Law. 1655.
COLONY OF PLYMOUTH.
Forasmuch as the maintenance of good literature doth much tend to the advancement of the weal and flourishing state of societies and republics, this court doth therefore order, that in whatever township in this government, consisting of tifty families or upwards, any meet man shall be obtained to teach a grammar school, such township shall allow at least twelve pounds, to be raised by rate on all the inhabitants.
Order of Legislature. 1669.
In the early history of almost every town in every state of New England, a portion of the public land was reserved, or special grants were made by individuals for “gospel ” and school purposes.
On the 17th of May, 1784, Mr. Jefferson, as chairman of a committee for that purpose, introduced into the old Congress an ordinance respecting the disposition of the public lands, but this contained no reference to schools or education. On the 4th of March, 1785, another ordinance was introduced-by whom does not appear on the Journal, and on the 16th of the same month was recommitted to a committee consisting of Pierce Long, of New Hampshire, Rufus King, of Massachusetts, David Howell, of Rhode Island, Wm. S. Johnson, of Connecticut, R. R. Livingston, of New York, Charles Stewart, of New Jersey, Joseph Gardner, of Pennsylvania, John Henry, of Maryland, William Grayson, of Virginia, Hugh Williamson, of North Carolina, John Bull, of South Carolina, and William Houston, of Georgia. On the 14th of April following, this committee reported the ordinance—by whom reported, no clue is given; which after being perfected, was passed the 20th of May following, and became the foundation of the existing land system of the United States.
By one of its provisions, the 16th section of every township was reserved " for the maintenance of public schools ;” or, in other words, one section out of every thirty-six composing each township. This same provision was incorporated in the large land sale, 1786, to the Ohio Company; and, the following year, in Judge Symmes' purchase. The celebrated ordinance of 1787, for the government of the Territory Northwest of the river Ohio, and which confirmed the provisions of the land ordinance of 1785, further declared, that, “RELIGION, Morality and KNOWLEDGE, being necessary to good government, and the happiness of mankind, SchoolS, AND THE MEANS OF EDUCATION, SHALL BE FOREVER ENCOURAGED.” From that day to the present, this noble policy has been confirmed and extended, till its blessings now reach even the distant shores of the Pacific, and FIFTY MILLIONS OF ACRES of the public domain have been set apart and consecrated to the high and ennobling purposes of education ; together with five per cent. of the net proceeds of the sales of all public lands in each of the States and Territories in which they are situated.
Lyman Draper. Report of Supt. of Public Instruction, 1858.
When the rich man is called from the possession of his treasures, he divides them, as he will, among his children and heirs. But an equal Providence deals not so with the living treasures of the mind. There are children just growing up in the bosom of obscurity, in town and in country, who have inherited nothing but poverty and health, who will, in a few years, be striving in generous contention with the great intellects of the land. Our system of free schools has opened a straight way from the threshold of every abode, however humble, in the village or in the city, to the high places of usefulness, influence and honor. And it is left for each, by the cultivation of every talent; by watching with an eagle's eye, for every chance of improvement; by bounding forward, like a grey. hound, at the most distant glimpse of honorable opportunity; by redeeming time, defying temptation, and scorning pleasure to make himself useful, honored, and happy.
It is a noble and beautiful idea of providing wise institutions for the unborn millions of the West; of anticipating their good by a sort of parental providence; and of associating together the social and the territorial development of the people, by incorporating these provisions with the land titles derived from the public domain, and making school reservations and road reservations essential parts of that policy.
Doubtless it will be urged that a general tax on property, for this object, (Public Schools,) would fall on many who have no children, and is therefore unjust. Carry out the principle of this objection, and it would overthrow the whole system of taxation. One would say that he never uses the public roads, and therefore he must not be taxed for them. Another never goes out in the evening, and therefore must not be taxed for lighting the streets. Another denies the right of all government and prefers to be without any protection but that of virtue, he must not be taxed for courts and legislatures. But taxation, we apprehend, is never based on the principle that the individual wants it for his direct benefit, but that the public wants it; for the public has a right in all property as truly as the individual, and may draw upon it for its own uses. And one of these uses is the education of the youth ; for there is a very important sense in which children belong to the State, as they do to the family organization. Indeed, if we revert to the Jewish, Persian, Lacedemonian, and Roman States-all those ancient fabrics that rose in the youth time of nature—we see the State to be naturally endowed with a real instinct of civil maternity, making it the first care of her founders and constitutions, to direct the education of the youth. And why should she not? These are her heroes of the future day, her pillars of state and justice, her voters on whose shoulders she rests her constitution, her productive hands, her sentinels of order, her reliance for the security of life, liberty, and property.
DR. H. BUSHNELL.
III. THE STATE AND EDUCATION.
What Lycurgus thought most conducive to the virtue and happiness of a city, was principle interwoven with the manners and breeding of the people. This would remain immovable, as resting on inclination, and be the strongest and most lasting tie; and the habits which education produced in the youth, would answer in each, the purpose of a lawgiver. For he resolved the whole business of legislation into the bringing up of youth-which he looked upon as the loftiest and most glorious work of a lawgiver, and he began with it at the very source. PLUTARCH.
You (Athenians) will confer the greatest benefit on your city, not by raising the roofs, but by exalting the souls of your fellow-citizens; for it is better that great souls should live in small habitations, than the abject slaves should burrow in great houses.
EPICTETUS. That the education of youth ought to form the principal part of the legislator's attention, can not be a doubt, since education first molds, and afterwards sustains the various modes of government. The better and more perfect the systems of education, the better and more perfect the plan of government it is intended to introduce and uphold. In this important object, fellow-citizens are all equally and deeply concerned; and as they are all united in one common work for one common purpose, their education ought to be regulated by the general consent, and not abandoned to the blind decision of chance, or to idle caprice.
ARISTOTLE. What, under heaven, can there be more worthy of our most strenuous attention, than knowledge; what more worthy of our highest admiration? Is calmness or serenity of mind the object of our wishes? What so likely to secure it as the pursuit of that knowledge which enables us to enjoy life in the happiest manner? Or do we esteem above all things unsullied integrity and spotless virtue? Either the study and acquisition of wisdom point out the path, or there is none, to the attainment of these distinctions.
By learning, the sons of the common people become public ministers; without learning, the sons of public ministers become mingled with the mass of the people.
I promised God, that I would look upon every Prussian peasant child as a being who could complain of me before God, if I did not provide for him the best education, as a man and a Christian, which it was possible for me to provide.
If you suffer your people to be ill educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for their crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this but that you first make thieves, and then punish them?
Though there be not many in every city which be exempt and discharged of all other labors, and appointed only to learning—that is to say, such in whom, even from their very childhood, they have perceived a singular towardness, a fine wit, and a mind apt to good learning-yet all in their childhood be instructed in learning. And the better part of the people, both men and women, throughout all their whole life, do bestow in learning those spare hours which we said they have vacant from bodily labors.
Sir Thomas More. Utopia.
To make the people fittest to choose, and the chosen fittest to govern, will be to mend our corrupt and faulty education; to teach the people faith, not without virtue, temperance, modesty, sobriety, economy, justice; not to admire wealth, or honor; to hate turbulence and ambition; to place every one his private welfare and happiness in the public peace, liberty and safety. Milton. Way to establish a Free Commonwealth.
The discipline of slavery is unknown
But in their industry?
Thy might but in their arms ?
Oh grief then, grief and shame,
If in this flourishing land
Where squalid poverty
And on her wither'd knees
The education of the common people requires, perhaps, in a civilized and commercial society, the attention of the public more than that of people of some rank and fortune.
They have little time to spare for education. Their parents can scarce afford to maintain them even in infancy. As soon as they are able to work, they must apply to some trade by which they can earn their subsistence. That trade, too, is generally so simple and uniform, as to give little exercise to the understanding; while, at the same time, their labor is both so constant and so severe, that it leaves them little leisure and less inclination to apply to, or even to think of any thing else.
For a very small expense the public can facilitate, can encourage, and can even impose upon almost the whole body of the people, the necessity of acquiring these most essential parts of education.
The public can facilitate this acquisition, by establishing in every parish or district a little school where children may be taught for a reward so moderate, that even a common laborer may afford it; the master being partly but not wholly paid by the public; because if he was wholly, or even principally paid by it, he would soon learn to neglect his business.
A man without the proper use of the intellectual faculties of a man, is, if possible, more contemptible than even a coward, and seems to be mutilated and deformed in a still more essential part of the character of human nature. Though the state was to derive no advantage from the instruction of the inferior ranks of people it would still deserve its attention, that they should not be altogether uninstructed. The state, however, derives no inconsiderable advantage from their instruction. The more they are instructed, the less liable they are to the delusions of enthusiasm and superstition, which, among ignorant nations, frequently occasion the most dreadful disorders. An instructed and intelligent people, besides, are always more decent and orderly than an ignorant and stupid one. They feel themselves, each individually, more respectable, and more likely to obtain the respect of their lawful superiors, and they are therefore more disposed to respect those superiors. They are more disposed to examine, and more capable of seeing through, the interested complaints of faction and sedition; and they are, upon that account, less apt to be misled into any wanton or unnecessary opposition to the measures of government. In free countries, where the safety of government depends very much upon the favorable judgment which the people may form of its conduct, it must surely be of the highest importance that they should not be disposed to judge rashly or capriciously concerning it.
ADAM SMITH. Wealth of Nations, Book V., Education of Youth.
But there are other things, of the worth of which the demand of the market is by no means a test; things of which the utility does not consist in ministering to inclinations, nor in serving the daily uscs of life, and the want of which is least felt where the need is greatest. This is peculiarly true of those things which are chiefly useful as tending to