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“I am comparatively a stranger among you, born in another, in a distant State; no parent or kindred of mine did, does, or probably ever will dwell within your borders. I have none of those strong cords to bind me to your honor and your interest; yet, if there is any one thing on earth which I ardently desire above all others, it is to see Pennsylvania standing up in her intellectual, as she confessedly does in her physical resources, high above all her confederate rivals. How shameful then, would it be for these her native sons, to feel less so, when the dust of their ancestors is mingled with her soil, their friends and relatives enjoy her present prosperty, and their descendants, for long ages to come, will partake of her happiness or misery, her glory or her infamy!” * *

“In giving this law to posterity, you act the part of the philanthropist, by bestowing upon the poor as well as the rich, the greatest earthly boon which they are capable of receiving; you act the part of the philosopher by pointing, if you do not lead them, up the hill of science; you act the part of the hero, if it be true, as you say, that popular vengeance follows close upon your footsteps. Here then, if you wish true popularity, is a theater on which you may acquire it.”

"Let all, therefore, who would sustain the character of the philosopher or philanthropist, sustain this law. Those who would add thereto the glory of the hero, can acquire it here; for, in the present state of feeling in Pennsyl. vania, I am willing to admit that but little less dangerous to the public man is the war-club and battle-axe of savage ignorance than to the lion-hearted Richard was the keen cimeter of the Saracen. He who would oppose it, either through inability to comprehend the advantages of general education, or from unwill. ingness to bestow them on all his fellow citizens, even to the lowest and the poorest, or from dread of popular vengeance, seems to want either the head of the philosopher, the heart of the philanthropist, or the nerve of the hero."

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He has lived long enough to see this law, which he helped to found in 1834, and more than any other man was instrumental in saving from repeal in 1835, expanded and consolidated into a noble system of public instruction. Twelve thousand schools have been built by the voluntary taxation of the people, to the amount, for school houses alone, of nearly ten million dollars. Many millions of children have been educated in these schools. More than seven hundred thousand attended the public schools of Pennsylvania in 1864–65, and their annual cost, provided by voluntary taxation in the year 1864, was nearly three million dollars, giving employment to sixteen thousand teachers.

It is glory enough for one man to have connected his name so honorably with the original establishment and effective defense of such a system.

But it is said that the thirst for knowledge among the young; the pride and ambition of parents for their children, are agencies powerful enough to establish and maintain thorough and comprehensive systems of education.

This suggestion is answered by the unanimous voice of publicists and political economists. They all admit that the doctrine of " Demand and Supply” does not apply to educational wants. Even the most extreme advocates of the principle of laissez fuire as a sound maxim of political philosophy, admit that governments must interfere in aid of education. We must not wait for the wants of the rising generation to be expressed in a demand for means of education. We most ourselves discover and supply their needs, before the time for supplying them has forever passed. John Stuart Mill says:

“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 Linistering to inclinations, nor in serving the daily uses of life, and the want of shieh is least felt where the need is greatest. This is peculiarly true of those things which are chiefly useful as tending to raise the character of human beings. The uncultivated can not be judges of cultivation.

** Those who most need to be made wiser and better, usually desire it least, and if they desired it, would be incapable of finding the way to it by their own lights. It will continually happen on the voluntary system, that, the end not being desired, the means will not be provided at all, or that the persons requiring in prorement having an imperfect or altogether erroneous conception of shat they want, the supply called forth by the demand of the market, will be any thing but what is really required. Now any well intentioned and tolerabıy evlized government may think, without presumption, that it does, or ought to possess a degree of cultivation above the average of the commurity which it rules, and that it should, therefore, be capable of offering better education and better instruction to the people, than the greater number of them would spontaneously select.

** Education, therefore, is one of those things which it is admissible in principle that the government should provide for the people. The case is one to which the reasons of the non-interference principle do not necessarily or uniTersally extend.

** With regard to elementary education, the exception to ordinary rules may, I conceive, justifiably be carried still further. There are certain primary elements and means of knowledge which it is in the highest degree desirable that all human beings born into the community should acquire during childhood. If their parents, or those on whom they depend, have the power of obtaining for Liem this instruction, and fail to do it, they commit a double breach of duty; toward the children themselves, and toward the members of the community gearrally, who are all liable to suffer seriously from the consequences of ignorance and want of education in their fellow citizens. It is, therefore, an allowable exercise of government to impose on parents the legal obligation of giving elementary instruction to children. This, however, can not fairly be done without taking measures to insure that such instruction shall always be accessible to them, either gratuitously r at a trifling expense.”

This is the testimony of economic science. I trust the statesmen of this Congress will not think the subject of education too humble a theme for their most serious consideration. It has engaged the earnest attention of the best men of ancient and modern times, especially of modern statesmen and philanthropists.

I will fortify myself in the positions I have taken by quoting the authority of a few men who are justly regarded as teachers of the human race.

If I keep in their company I can not wander far from the truth. I can not greatly err while I am guided by their counsel.

In his eloquent essay entitled Way to establish a Free Commonwealth, John Milton said :

“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 nis private welfare and happiness in the public peace, liberty and safety."

England's most venerable living statesman, Lord Brougham, enforced the same truth in these noble words :

“Lawgivers of England! I charge ye, have a care! Be well assured that the contempt lavished upon the cabals of Constantinople, when the council disputed on a text, while the enemy, the derider of all their texts, was thundering at the gate, will be a token of respect compared with the loud shout of universal scorn which all mankind in all ages will send up against you, if you stand still and suffer a far deadlier foe than the Turcoman,--suffer the parent of all evil, all falsehood, all hypocrisy, all discharity, all self-seeking-him who covers over with pretexts of conscience the pitfalls that he digs for the souls on which he preys,-to stalk about the fold and lay waste its inmates-stand still and make no head against him, upon the vain pretext to soothe your indolence, that your action is obstructed by religious cabals-upon the far more guilty speculation, that by playing a party game you can turn the hatred of conflicting professors to your selfish purposes!

“Let the soldier be abroad, if he will; he can do nothing in this age. There is another personage abroad, a person less imposing—in the eye of some insignificant. The Schoolmaster is abroad, and I trust to him, armed with his primer, against the soldier in full uniform array."

Lord Brougham gloried in the title of schoolmaster, and contrasted his work with that of the military conqueror in these words :

“The conqueror stalks onward with the 'pride, pomp and circumstance of war,' banners flying, shouts rending the air, guns thundering, and martial music pealing, 10 drown the shrieks of the wounded and the lamentations for the slain. Not thus the schoolmaster in his peaceful vocation. He meditates and prepares in secret the plans which are to bless mankind; he slowly gathers around him those who are to further their execution; he quietly, though firmly, advances in his humble path laboring steadily, but calmly, till lie has opened to

the light all the recesses of ignorance, and torn up by the roots the weeds of rice. His is a progress not to be compared with any thing like a march; but it leads to a far more brilliant triumphi, and to laurels more imperishable than the destroyer of his species, the scourge of the world, ever won.”

The learned and brilliant Guizot, who regarded his work in the office of Minister of Public Instruction, in the government of France, the noblest and most valuable work of his life, has left us this valuable testimony

* Cniversal education is henceforth one of the guarantees of liberty and social stability. As every principle of our government is founded on justice and reason, to diffuse education among the people, to develop their understandings and enlighten their minds, is to strengthen their constitutional government and secure its stability.”

In his Farewell Address, Washington wrote these words of wise counsel:

“ Promote, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened."

In his Inaugural Message, when first taking the Presidential chair, the elder Adams said:

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“The wisdom and generosity of the legislature in making liberal appropriations in money for the benefit of schools, academies and colleges, is an equal bonor to them and to their constituents, a proof of their veneration for letters and science, and a portent of great and lasting good to North and South America and to the world. Great is truth-great is liberty—great is humanity-and they must and will prevail."

Chancellor Kent used this decided language:

“ The parent who sends his son into the world uneducated, defrauds the community of a lawful citizen, and bequeaths to it a nuisance.”

I shall conclude the citation of opinions with the stirring words of Edward Everett:

“I know not to what we can better liken the strong appetence of the mind for improvement than to a hunger and thirst after knowledge and truth, Do1 bow can we better describe the province of education than to say, it does that for the intellect which is done for the body, when it receives the care and nourishment which are necessary for its growth, health and strength.

"From this comparison I think I derive new views of the importance of education. It is now a solemn duty, a tender, sacred trust.

"What! feed a child's body, and let his soul hunger! pamper his limbs and starve his faculties !

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“Plant the earth, cover a thousand hills with your droves of cattle, pursue the fish to their hiding places in the sea, and spread out your wheat fields across the plains in order to supply the wants of that body, which will soon be as cold and senseless as their poorest clod, and let the pure spiritual essence within you, with all its glorious capacities for improvement, languish and pine! What! build factories, turn in rivers upon the waterwheels, unchain the imprisoned spirits of steam, to weave a garment for the body, and let the soul remain unadorned and naked!

“What! send out your vessels to the farthest ocean, and make battle with the mousters of the deep, in order to obtain the means of lighting up your dwellings and workshops, and prolonging the hours of labor for the meat that perisheth, and permit that vital spark, which God has kindled, which He has intrusted to our care, to be fanned into a bright and heavenly flame; permit it, I say, to languish and go out ! ”

It is remarkable that so many good things have been said, and so few things done by our national statesmen in favor of education. If we inquire what has been done by the governments of other countries to support and advance public education, we are compelled to confess with shame that every government in christendom has given a more intelligent and effective support to schools than has our own.

The free cities of Germany organized the earliest school systems after the separation of church and state. The present schools of Hamburg have existed more than 1,000 years. The earliest school codes were framed in the Duchy of Wurtemburg, in 1565, and in the Electorate of Saxony in 1580. Under these codes were established systems of schools, more perfect, it is claimed, than the school system of any State of the American union. Their systems embraced the gymnasium and the university, and were designed, as their laws expressed it, “to carry youth from the elements to the degree of culture demanded for offices in church and state.”

The educational institutions of Prussia are too well known to need a comment. It is a sufficient index of their aim and high character that a late Prussian school officer said of his official duties :

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“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."

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France did not think herself dishonored by learning from a nation which she had lately conquered; for when, in 1831, she began to provide more fully for the education of her people, she sent the philosopher Cousin to Holland and Prussia, to study and report upon the schools of those States. Guizot was made Minister of Public Instruction, and held the office from 1832 to 1837. In 1833 the report

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