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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, D. C., April 11, 1889. The COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION:
SIR: I acknowledge the receipt of your letter of February 19, 1889, in which you recommend the publication of a monograph on Federal and State aid to higher education in the United States.
Authority is hereby given for the publication of the monograph, provided there are funds in sufficient amount available for such purpose. Very respectfully,
JOHN W. NOBLE,
One of the chief difficulties encountered in writing the following monograph, has been to determine what schools should be classified as institutions of higher education. When treated historically higher education is quite relative in its nature. There is no line that can be drawn separating into groups schools of the same grade of work. The names of institutions are misleading; an old time academy might have been equal in curriculum and instruction to a modern college, and on the other hand a modern high school may be equivalent to an old time college. There has always been a tendency for an institution, when first founded, to take upon itself a great name with the hope of soon becoming greater than its name. All classification is at best merely relative. Under such circumstances there is only one alternative—to classify institutions appearing under the names of “college” and “university” as schools of superior instruction. On the other hand, many normal schools have courses of instruction ranging into the classics and higher English branches. But as these schools are professional, being devoted to the preparation of teachers in the primary and secondary schools, they are naturally excluded from the classification under higher education. They should be treated by: themselves, and it would be exceedingly interesting to trace the history of normal education in the United States. The question of determining the position of pure agricultural and technical schools, where the chief work has been directed to manual training rather than to theoretical knowledge, is not easily settled. In this monograph the agricultural and mechanical colleges have been included, as upon the whole the best solution of the question. The educational institutions for the deaf, dumb, and blind, though State schools, do not come within the range of this paper, being usually classified under “Charities.” Many schools have been discussed which are, strictly speaking, to be excluded from the classification of superior instruction, but their intimate historical connection with schools of advanced learning renders it necessary to give them brief mention. The difficulties attendant on the presentation of a subject extending over such a wide range of topics may be readily discerned. The chief sources employed by the writer are as follows: (1) Catalogues, regents' reports, and collateral material, chiefly found in the 9
library of the Bureau of Education; (2) the reports of the State superintendents and secretaries of Boards of Education; (3) the Constitutions and charters of States; (4) the revised statutes of the States; (5) the United States Statutes at Large; (6) Congressional literature; (7) the acts of the Assemblies of the several States for each year; and (8) the colonial laws and records. Useful articles in the magazines and periodicals and pamphlets containing public addresses have been suggestive and helpful. There is also a series of monographs to which the writer has given especial attention. Included in this series are the following: The College of William and Mary, by Dr. H. B. Adams; Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia, by the same author; History of Education in North Carolina, by Charles Lee Smith; History of Higher Education h South Carolina, by C. Meriwether; Education in Georgia, by Charles
E. Jones; Higher Education in Indiana (MS.), by James A.Woodburn;.
Education in Louisiana (MS.), by Edwin S. Fay.
There is another class of works that has been useful, including such books as Hough's History of the University of Missouri; Bush's History of Harvard; Ten Brook's History of Michigan University; Smith's History of Dartmouth; Moore's History of Columbia; Smart's History of the Schools of Indiana; Wickersham's History of Education in Pennsylvania; La Borde's History of South Carolina Colleges, etc.
The writer is indebted to the Superintendents of Public Instruction and the presidents of State colleges and universities for valuable information, and desires to acknowledge the courtesy of Dr. G. Brown Goode, of the National Museum, of Col. N. H. R. Dawson, of the Bureau of Education, and Professor Newcomb. The writer has received valuable assistance in the preparation of this monograph from Messrs. Charles Haskins and Robert J. Finley, of the Johns Hopkins University.
F. W. BLACKMAR. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, February 17, 1889.