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Settled in 1624. Area, 31,766 square miles. Admitted into the Union in 1820.


1790. leતો. 1010. 1830..

96,540 151,719 228, 705 298,335

1830. 1840 1850. 1860.

399, 455 501,793 583, 169 628, 279

The constitution adopted in 1820 has an article relating to


A general diffusion of the advantages of education being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people, to promote this important object the legislature is authorized, and it shall be its duty, to require the several wwns to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the support and maintenance of public schools; and it shall further be their duty to encourage and suitably endow, from time to time, as the circumstances of the people niay authorize, all academies, colleges, and seminaries of learning within the State : Prorided, That no donation, grant, or endowment shall at any time be made by the legislatire to any literary institution now established, or which may hereafter be estabIshed, unless at the time of making such endowment the legislature of the State shall have the right to grant any further powers to alter, limit, or restrain any of the powers vested in any such literary institution as shall be judged necessary to promote the best interests thereof.

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The colonial charter remained in force until 184", when a constitution was adopted by the people. The provision relative to education is as follows:

ARTICLE XII.-OF EDUCATION, SEC. 1. The diffusion of knowledge as well as of virtue among the people being essential to the preservation of their rights and liberties, it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to promote public schools, and to adopt all means which they may deem necessary and proper to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education.

2. The money which now is, or which may herenfter be, appropriated by law for the establishment of a permanent fund for the support of public schools, shall be securely invested and remain a perpetual fund for that purpose.

3. All donations for the support of public schools, or for other purposes of education, which may be received by the General Asseinbly, shall be applied according to the terms prescribed by the donors.

4. The General Assembly shall make all necessary provisions by law for carrying this article into effect. They shall not divert said money or fund from the aforesaid uses, nor borrow, appropriate, nor use the same, or any part thereof, for any other

purpose, under any pretence whatever.


Settled in 1609 by the Dutch. Area, 46,000 square miles.

POPULATION. 1790.... 340, 120 1830.

1,918, 608 1800.

586, 756

2,428, 921 1810 959, 049 1850.

3,007, 394 1820.. 1, 372, 812 1860.

3,880, 735 The first constitution was adopted in 1777, in which is no reference to schools; the second, in 1822, in which it was provided in article seventh, section five, that

• The proceeds of all lands belonging to this State, except such parts thereof as may be reserved or appropriated to public use, or ceded to the United States, which shall hereafter be sold or disposed of, shall remain a perpetual fund, the interest of which shall be inviolably appropriated and applied to the support of common schools.”

The third constitution was adopted in 1846, and the provision therein for education is comprised in article ninth.

SEC. 1. The capital of the common school fund, the capital of the literature fund, and the capital of the United States deposit fund, shall be respectively preserved inviolate. The revenues of the said common school fund shall be applied to the support of common schools; the revenues of the said literature fund shall be applied to the support of academies, and the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars of the revenues of the United States deposit fund shall each year be appropriated to and made a part of the capital of the said common school fund.


First settlement in 1627. Area, 8,320 square miles.


1790.. 1800. 1810. 1820.

184, 139 211,549 245, 555 277,577


320, 823 373, 306 489,555 672, 035

The first constitution was adopted in 1776, and the second in 1844, in which is this provision for education :



The fund for the support of frec schools, and all money, stock, and other property which may hereafter be appropriated for that purpose, or received into the treasury under the provision of any law heretofore passed to augment the said fund should be securely invested, and remain a perpetual fund; and the income hereof, except so much as it may be judged expedient to apply to an increase of

the eapital, shall be annually appropriated to the support of public schools, for the equal benefit of all the people of the State ; and it shall not be competent for De Legislature to borrow, appropriate, or use the said fund, or any part thereof, for any other purpose, under any pretence whatever.

Settled by the Swedes in 1631. Area, 46,000 square miles

434,373 | 1830..

.1,348,233 1-1, 602,361 1840.

.1,724,033 1810, 810,091 | 1850.

..2,311,786 1220. .1,049,058) 1860.

..2,906,215 First constitution was adopted in 1776. The second, in 1790, in which the subject of education was recognized, contains two brief sections on the subject, under


SECTION 1. The legislature shall, as soon as conveniently may be, provide by law for the establishment of schools throughout the State, in such manner that the poor may be taught gratis.

SECTION 2. The arts and sciences shall be promoted in one or more seminaries of leaming.

In the convention of 1838, Mr. Bedford, of Luzerne, offered an amendment to the provision of the constitution of 1790, so that it would read

"The legislature shall continue to provide by law for the establishment of common schools throughout the State in such a manner that all

persons residing therein may enjoy the benefits of education.” The following remarks were made at the time of offering the reso

lution :

“I am aware that many gentlemen who occupy


this floor deem such a constitutional provision unnecessary, because, as they assert, the legislature may at any time make suitable enactments upon the subject. But the law that is passed this year may be repealed the next; so that our school system, which is the basis of the intelligence of the people, must be liable to change with the political policy of our law makers, and thereby be liable to perpetual fluctuation and enactments, etc."

At that time there was not the interest in popular education in Pennsylvania that now exists, and the amendment was not carried; and the constitution of 1838 on the subject of education has the same language as that of 1790.


Settled in 1627. Area, 2,120 square miles.


59,096 || 1830

76,748 1800 64,273 1840

78,085 1810 72,674 1850

91,532 1820 72,749 1860

..112,216 In the first constitution, adopted 1776, there is no provision for education ; but as amended in 1831, the Legislature is instructed “to provide by law" "for establishing schools, and promoting arts and sciences."

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Previous to the Revolution, the public school system had not obtained root beyond the limits of the eastern States. The township and district school organizations of New England had, however, excited the admiration of Wythe, Jefferson, and other eminent Virginia statesmen.

Patrick Henry wrote to John Adams: “It shall be my incessant study so to form our portrait of government that a kindred with New England may be discerned in it; and if all your excellencies cannot be preserved, yet I hope to retain so much of the likeness that posterity shall pronounce us descended from the same stock." Richard Bland Lee, at a later period, on the floor of Congress, spoke of the forefathers of New England, who have established the wisest institutions for the perpetuation of human liberty and human happiness the world has

Debate on Madison's resolutions, Jan. 20, 1794. Such views having been cordially entertained, it was not surprising that Jefferson, as one of those appointed by Virginia, after the Declara

* Wangoy's Excursion to the United States. 1794.

" **


tion of Independence by the Colonies, to prepare a co le of laws adapted to the altered condition of that commonwealth, should strive to introduce the New England system of common schools.

The year that the first constitution was formed, a committee was appointed to prepare a code of laws adapted to the altered condition of affairs.

In 1779 Wythe and Jefferson made a report, in which was a full chapter from the pen of Jefferson on public schools. The caption was

A BILL for the more general diffusion of knowledge. SECTION 1. Whereas it appeareth that however certain forms of government are better calculated than others to protect individuals in the free exercise of their Datural rights, and are at the same time themselves better guarded against degeneraey, yet experience hath shown, that even under the best forms those intrusted with power have in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny; and it is believed that the most effectual means of preventing this would be to illumiDue, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts which history exhibiteth, that, possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know an.bition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes; and whereas it is generally true that the people will be happiest whose laws are best, and are best administered, and that laws will be wisely formed and honestly administered in proportion as those who form and administer them are wise and honest; whence it becomes expedient for promoting the public happiness, that those persons whom nature hath endowed with genius and virtue should be rendered, by liberal education, worthy to receive, and able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow-citizens, and that they should be called to the charge without regard to wealth, birth, or other accidental condition or circumstance. But the indigence of the greater number, disabliug them from so educating at their own expense those of their children whom nature bath titly formed and disposed to become useful instruments of the public, it is better that such should be sought for and educated at the common expense of all, than that the happiness of all should be confided to the weak or wicked.

The succeeding sections provided that each county should be divided in convenient districts for public schools. “At every one of these schools,” in the language of the bill, “shall be taught reading, writing, common arithmetic; and the books which shall be used therein for instructing the children to read shall be such as will, at the same time, Take them acquainted with Grecian, Roman, English, and American history.”

It was also provided that over every ten of these schools an overseer should be appointed annually, by the aldermen, to select teachers, to visit the schools, to direct in the choice of reading books, and superintend the teachers.

The superintendents were to meet in convention, and establish at central points a certain number of grammar schools, in which were to be taught Latin, Greek, grammar, geography, and higher arithmetic.

The most needy and meritorious scholar from a grammar school district was to be educated at the expense of the State, and one scholar

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