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gravers. When these charts, executed with precision and elegance, under the sanction of public authority, are produced, we shall, for the first time, be able to look upon similar works, contributed by the English and French governments to the safety of commerce and navigation, without envy and shame.
Much is said of the expense of the survey, as at present conducted. In this matter, we are not particularly careful to answer. An honest and prudent appropriation of the public money we are willing to leave in the hands of those to whom it is legally intrusted. In this case, at least, we may be contented to contide in their integrity. Economy, it is true, is a virtue ; but mere saving is not always economy, - it may be the most imprudent waste ; — and, being satisfied of the paramount importance of this work, both to the public interest and to the national honor, we might say, without further comment, that it should not be interrupted. It is in accordance, however, with our previous remarks to add, that this is one of those cases in which economy is not identical with retrenchment. If chronometers possess in themselves an insurmountable tendency to error, the survey undertaken by their means, and dependent on their results, is not likely to be ever completed. What is certain to-day may be doubtful to-morrow. Subsequent observations may bring discredit upon those which have gone before ; and it is to be apprehended, that, however multiplied they may be, so far from ultimately removing the difficulty, they will only serve to strengthen doubt, and increase perplexity.
Besides this, experience will prove that the repeated transportation of numerous chronometers will be attended with but little less expense than a regular and scientific survey. As some ground for this opinion, we shall refer again to the high authority of Mr. Paine. In a letter to the Bureau des Longitudes at Paris, he gives the longitudes of several towns in Massachusetts, the results of his own observations, and adds ;
“These longitudes have been generally determined by the transportation of time repeated several times with numerous chronometers. Thus, between Northampton and Boston, I have carried seventy-four chronometers in twenty-four journeys ; between Amherst (the college) and Boston, or Northampton, twenty-seven chronometers in nine journeys ; between Barnstable and Boston, fifty-nine chronometers in sixteen journeys; and between Gloucester and Boston, sixty chronometers in sixteen journeys."
We have here an example of the manner in which chronometers are employed in the hands of a skilful observer. In estimating their use for a survey of the coast, the additional risk of transportation by sea is to be added to this account.
The financial department of the Coast Survey does not however present any thing so startling as to render these statements necessary for its defence. They are in themselves valuable facts and considerations, tending immediately to elucidate the subject, and weighing heavily against the proposed change ; but they are not, we imagine, essential to vindicate the present plan of operations from a suspicion of waste and extravagance.
Since the year 1832, six hundred and twenty thousand dollars have been appropriated to this service, one hundred and twenty thousand dollars of which remains on hand in the form of vessels, instruments, and other property, leaving a balance of five hundred thousand dollars to be charged to the survey.
When we consider that this expenditure extends through a period of ten years, that it has been bestowed upon a great national work, of the highest importance to the commerce and defence of the country, that it is a contribution to knowledge, and that its investment in this way has gone further than any thing yet done, to establish the character of the country abroad for a liberal patronage of science, we are not disposed to regard it as an expense which the strictest economist may not approve.
As to the amount of money, and probable length of time required to complete the survey, we cannot do better than to say, that these questions are ably and properly treated in the document before us. 6. With the advancement of the mathematical and physical sciences, the means of acceleration of any work grounded upon them also increase. All that is needed is, that the whole work be carried on in the most economical manner.” (p. 11.) We are satisfied, that its progress will compare favorably with that of any similar work in Europe ; and we are not willing to be behind the old world in accuracy, and in honorable and permanently useful results.
* Connaissance des Temps, 1843. Additions, p. 95. The Additions et Corrections sur les Tables des Positions Géographiques, by Mr. Daussy, will repay a critical examination.
The course pursued has already met the approbation of men abroad eminent in science, and practised in such works, whilst at home the survey has more than repaid the sumns drawn from the treasury by the benefits it has conferred upon two of the largest commercial cities, New York and Philadelphia. It ought to be a sufficient argument for its continuance, that it has discovered what other operations, though often repeated, failed to find out ; and its success here was owing to strict conformity to the principles of surveying, which alone a severe science recognises. It is needless to say, that the duration of the work is indefinitely protracted by the frequent interruptions to which it has been subjected. if it were permitted to enjoy the friendly and intelligent patronage of Congress and the government, the greatest number admissible of assistants would be employed, and all the rapidity of execution consistent with accuracy would be secured. Mr. Hassler has given a list of similar works which have been executed, and are now in progress, in Europe ; from which it appears that not only flourishing kingdoms, but even petty principalities, have made their triangulations. When we contemplate the wealth, extent, and dignity of this vast empire, we feel that the hope is not unreasonable which looks for enterprises suited to its condition. But science, which knows no limits either of power or national boundary, finds a home among the thrones and insignificant dominations of Italy and Germany ; and, if it be rejected from the councils of this nation, will confer upon their humble princes a distinction before which we must be content to bow. The abandonment of this work will not fail to be regarded in Europe both as a calamity and a dishonor. The impress of instability, which seems to be stamped upon every public measure, might at least be removed from this, in which all parties and all prejudices may unite and harmonize. The survey of the coast has already created a distinguished school of topographical and hydrographical engineers, thus overcoming one of the early difficulties in the undertaking ; it will further contribute to erect a standard of science, the practical value of which we cannot now discuss. Should some other mode be adopted for the time, there can be small doubt that the pres
ent method, the only one which strict science 'approves, will be hereasier resumed ; and the chances of an accumulation of errors upon such a long extent of seacoast as that of the United States, particularly in the direction in which it lies, will be too great, and the consequences of a want of system and care too glaring, not to bring discredit and shame upon a less accurate operation." *
We observe, in conclusion, that we have heard with surprise, that some officers of the navy are to be found among ihe active enemies of the present survey of the coast.
It certainly reflects no credit upon that gallant profession, that such should be the case. None are so likely as seafaring men to profit by its labors, and we were disposed to believe, that gentlemen of that service were able to appreciate the utility and merits of the work. We will venture to remark, that it will give a desirable appearance of candor and disinterestedvess to their efforts, if they are not found to derive a personal advantage from any contemplated change of measures which may go into effect. If, among those who are consulted either by the Navy Department or by members of Congress in relation to this subject, there be found any who have heretofore unsuccessfully sought a connexion with the Coast Survey, or who, having been once engaged in it, have had that connexion unhappily dissolved, it will be well
, in considering their testimony, to weigh its value with an even hand. Any suspicion that may rest upon their opinions will not be attributed to our suggestion, but to the common experience of mankind, and to that judgment of human affairs, which finds in the probable motives of men the best explanation of their conduct.
Papers relating to the Surrey of the Coast. American Philosophical Transactions, New Series. Vol. II. p. 400.
G. S.Hillard & Jot. Palfrey.
Art. IX.-1. Reports of the Board of Commissioners of
Common Schools in Connecticut, together with the Annual Reports of the Secretary of the Board. 1839.
1840. 1841. 2. The Connecticut Common School Journal ; published
under the Direction of the Board of Commissioners of Common Schools. Vols. I. II. III. Hartford. 1838
- 1841. 3. Fifth Annual Report of the Board of Education,
[of Massachusetts] together with the Fifth Annual Report of the Secretary of the Board. Senate Document, No. 4. Boston: Dutton & Wentworth. 8vo. pp. 135.
The State of Connecticut has always recognised, in her practice and her legislation, the duty of a State to provide for the moral and intellectual education of all its children. The first enactment in her statute book on the subject of education bears the date of 1650, and forms part of a body of laws compiled by Mr. Ludlow. In this compilation are found various provisions on the subject of education, the preamble to one of which we copy for the sake of its quaint phraseology
“It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures, as in former times, keeping them in an unknown tongue, so, in these latter times, by persuading them from the use of tongues, so that at least the true sense and meaning of the original might be clouded with false glosses of saint-seeming deceivers ; and that learning may not be buried in the graves of our forefathers, in church and commonwealth, the Lord assisting our endeavours: it is therefore ordered, &c.”
Various other provisions were made from time to time, by the legislature, showing a laudable interest in the subject of education, and a wish to contribute to its improvement. In 1795, the avails of the sale of certain Western lands, now forming part of Ohio, which had been reserved by the State in its deed of cession to the United States in 1782, amounting to $ 1,200,000, were for ever appropriated to the support of common schools ; and, in 1818, this legislative destination of it was confirmed, with the sanction of constitutional provision. This capital has been increased by judicious