3. In the third place, the State should take the subject in hand, because this is the only way by which consistency and coherence can be secured in the different departments of instruction. Education is a connected work, and its various subdivisions should be so arranged, that while each is a whole in itself, it should be, at the same time, a part of a still greater whole. The lower elementary education should, for example, be complete for those who aspire to nothing more; it should likewise be naturally introductory to a higher culture. It should be a perfect whole for the one class, and a properly adjusted part for the other. So also, the higher elementary education, that of the grammar school, should be complete for those who are not looking to a liberal education, and yet, in relation to others, subsidiary to the College or the scientific school. This unity in the midst of variety cannot be secured without a common centre of impulse and of action. There must be one presiding spirit, one head, one heart. Education will become a disjointed and fragmentary process, if it is left to individuals, to private corporations, and religious sects. Each will have his tongue and his psalm, and we shall have as many crotchets and experiments as there are controlling bodies. The competition excited will be a competition, not for efficiency in instruction, but for numbers, each will estimate success by the hosts that can be paraded at its annual festivals, or the pomp and pretension of a theatrical pageant, played off under the name of an examination. This is not the language of reproach ; it is a result which, from the principles of human nature, will be inevitably necessitated, by the condition in which the schools shall find themselves placed.

Let me add, in this last place, that Public Education is recommended by considerations of economy. Absolutely, it is the cheapest of all systems. It saves the enormous expense of boarding schools, or the still heavier expense of domestic tutors, one of which must be encountered where it is left to private enterprise to supply the means of education. If the amount which is annually expended in South Carolina upon the instruction of that portion of her children who are looking to a liberal education, could be collected into one sum, we should be amazed at the prodigality of means in comparison with the poverty of the result. The same sum judiciously distributed would go very far towards supplying every neighbourhood with a competent teacher. From the want of system there is no security that, with all this lavish expenditure, efficient instructors shall be procured. Those who employ the teachers are not always competent to judge of their qualifications; and the consequence is that time and money are both not unfrequently squandered in learning what has afterwards to be unlearned. The dangers, too, of sending children from home at an early age, the evil of exemption from parental influence and discipline, are not to be lightly hazarded. The State should see to it that the family is preserved in its integrity, and enabled to exert all its mighty power in shaping the character of the future


citizens of the Commonwealth. Comparatively, Public Education is cheap; as general intelligence contributes to general virtue, and general virtue diminishes expenditures for crime. It is cheap, as it developes the resources of the country, and increases the mass of its wealth. It is not labour, but intelligence, that creates new values, and Public Education is an outlay of capital that returns to the coffers of the State with an enormous interest. Not a dollar, therefore, that is judiciously appropriated to the instruction of the people, will ever be lost. The five talents will gain other five, and the two talents other two, while to neglect this great department of duty is to wrap the talent in a napkin, and bury it in the bowels of the earth.

2. But, after all, the practical question is the one of real difficulty. What shall the State do? This is a point of great delicacy, and demands consummate wisdom. Nothing should be done abruptly and violently, no measures should be adopted that are not likely to recommend themselves, no attempts made to force an acquiescence into any provisions, however salutary they may have proved elsewhere, which are not founded in the habits and predilections of the people, or obviously indispensable to elevate and improve them. The public mind should be prepared for every great movement, before it is begun. Popular enthusiasm should, if possible, be awakened by addresses and disputations, which, like pioneers, prepare the way for the law, by making rough places plain, and the crooked straight. Above all, we should guard against attempting to make our system too perfect at the outset. The words of Cousin are as applicable to us now, as they were to France at the time he wrote them. “God grant that we may be wise enough to see, that any law on primary instruction passed now must be a provisional, and not a definitive, law; that it must of necessity be reconstructed at the end of ten years, and that the only thing now is to supply the most urgent wants, and to give legal sanction to some incontestable points.” Festina lente contains a caution which it becomes States as well as individuals to respect.

What we first need, is a collection of the facts from which the data of a proper system may be drawn. We must know the number of children in the State, of the ages at which children are usually sent to school, the kind and degree of education demanded, the relative distances of the residence of parents, the points at which schoolhouses may be most conveniently erected, the number of buildings required, the number of teachers, and the salaries which different localities make necessary to a competent support. Facts of this sort must constitute the groundwork. In possession of these, we may then proceed to compare different systems, adopting from among them that which seems to be the best adapted to our own circumstances, or originating a new one, if all should prove unsatisfactory. All, therefore, that, in my judgment, the Legislature should undertake at present, is to acquire this preliminary information, including the accumulation of facts, the comparison of different Common School sys. tems, and the digest of a plan suited to the wants of our own people. This can be done by the appointment of a minister of public instruction, who shall be regarded as an officer of the government, compensated by a large salary, and who shall give himself unreservedly to this great interest. Let him be required to traverse the State, to inspect the condition of every neighbourhood, and, from personal observation and authentic testimony, let him become acquainted with the number, the extent, and the circumstances of the children. Let him be prepared to say where school-houses can be most conveniently erected, the distances at which they should be removed from each other, the kind of teacher needed in each neighbourhood, and let him indicate what sections of the State are unprepared for schools in consequence of the dispersion of their inhabitants. Let him be able to give some probable estimate of the expense incident to the successful operation of an adequate schem In the next place, it should be his duty to master the existing systems, whether in this country or Europe, and to lay before the Legislature a succinct account of their fundamental provisions. Let him propose the scheme which he thinks ought to be adopted here, and let his report be referred to an able and learned commission, charged with the final preparation of such a scheme as we may be ready to enact into law.

I shall not disguise from your Excellency, that, upon many points connected with the details of any and every scheme my own opinion has long ago been definitely settled. The extent or degree of elementary education, the best mode of securing competent teachers, the principles which should regulate their salaries, the introduction of religion into the schools--these, and many other similar topics, I have investigated to my own satisfaction. But in the present condition of the whole subject, it would

be obviously premature to express the opinions of any individual. The Minister of Public Instruction should have the whole subject before him, and whatever discussions may take place upon details, should be consequent upon, and not prior to, this report. All, therefore, that I would now press upon your Excellency, is, to have Public Instruction erected into a department of the government. That is the first and indispensable step, and until that is done, there never can be a plan, adequate, consistent, and successful. I have only to add here, that this is substantially the recommendation which I had the honour to make in concert with the Bishop of Georgia, some fourteen or fifteen years ago; and time and observation have only strengthened my convictions of the wisdom and necessity of the measure.

3. The third and last part of our system is the military schools. What I have to suggest in regard to them, is that they be made to supply a want which is constantly increasing, as the country advances in trade and the arts. It is a great evil that there should be nothing intermediate between the Grammar School and the College, and that all who wish to acquire nothing more than the principles of physical science, on account of their application to various branches of industry, should be compelled to purchase this privilege by bearing

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what to them is the heavy burden of a liberal education.

They do not want Latin, Greek, and Philosophy, and it is hard that they cannot be permitted to get a little chemistry, a little engineering, or a little natural philosophy, without going through Homer and Virgil, Aristotle and Locke. “ Two great evils," I use the words of Cousin, who is deploring a similar state of things in France, “two great evils are the consequence. In general, these boys, who know they are not destined to any very distinguished career, go through their studies in a negligent manner; they never get beyond mediocrity; when, at about eighteen, they go back to the habits and business of their fathers, as there is nothing in their ordinary life to recall or to keep up their studies, a few years obliterate every trace of the little classical learning they acquired. On the other hand, these young men often contract tastes and acquaintances at College which render it difficult, nay, almost impossible, for them to return to the humble way of life to which they were born; hence a race of men, restless, discontented with their position, with others and with themselves; enemies of a state of society in which they feel themselves out of place, and with some acquirements, some real or imagined talent, and unbridled ambition, ready to rush into any career of servility or revolt.

Our Colleges ought, without doubt, to remain open to all who can pay the expense of them: but we ought by no means to force the lower classes into them; yet this is the inevitable effect of having no intermediate establishments between the primary schools and the Colleges.” The remedy, as I have already shown, is not to change the constitution of the College, but to employ the elements which we confessedly have, and which are essentially suited to the purpose. .

I shall trespass upon the patience of your Excellency no longer. In all that I have said I have had an eye to the prosperity and glory of my native State. Small in territory and feeble in numbers, the only means by which she can maintain her dignity and importance is by the patronage of letters. A mere speck,

A mere speck, compared with several other States in the Union, her reliance for the protection of her rights, and her full and equal influence in Federal legislation, must be

upon the genius of her statesmen and the character of her people. Let her give herself to the rearing of a noble race of men, and she will make

up in moral power what she wants in votes. Public education is the cheap expedient for uniting us among ourselves, and rendering us terrible abroad. Mind after all must be felt, and I am anxious to see my beloved Carolina pre-eminently distinguished for the learning, eloquence and patriotism of her sons. Let us endeavour to make her in general intelligence what she is in dignity and independence of character, the brightest star in the American constellation. God grant that the time may soon come that not an individual born within our borders shall be permitted to reach maturity without having mastered the elements of knowledge. I am, with considerations of the highest respect,








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GENTLEMEN OF THE THALIAN AND PHI-DELTA SOCIETIES :Although I appear before you almost without note of warning or time for full preparation, I have, nevertheless, fearlessly thrown myself into the engagement, animated by the glorious nature of the subject which has been suggested for discussion, and the hope that I may be able, through you, and the lustre of this occasion, give to it greater prominence and a more considerate and general attention.

My theme is DENOMINATIONAL EDUCATION-its necessity and its practicability,—especiallly as it regards colleges: and my object will be to show that society will, and must be, educated; that education to be a blessing, and not a curse, must be religious; that a religious education can most effectually be imparted by institutions under the control of some one denomination ;-and that denominational colleges are both necessary and practicable, and free from any valid objection.

1. As it regards education in general, the controversy is now nearly at an end. Its importance, its value, its paramount worth, its absolute necessity as a qualification for the duties and privileges of the present advanced condition of society,--and the indisputable right which every man who is born within society and made subject to laws, has to its reception,-these are truths now universally admitted. These were formerly matters of grave discussion and angry dispute. These are still reprobated heresies under every system of civil or ecclesiastical despotism-where, as in Italy, and in Austria, in Turkey and in China, free-born citizens are taught,—to use the language of the Austrian catechism,t that “subjects ought to conduct themselves as faithful slaves towards their masters, whose power extends over their goods as well as their persons. But throughout Protestant Christendom these are no longer, thank God, problematic questions to be determined by experiment, but demonstrated theorems, or rather admitted principles and ultimate facts, so that the man who questions or denies them is regarded as a traitor to his species, and a conspirator against the dearest rights and liberties of humanity. And one thing is most certain, that whether it is or is not true that civilization is more beneficial to a community than barbarian ignorance, and that it is in a state of darkness rather than in a condition of light that erroneous views and evil practices are most

* An Address delivered before the Literary Societies of Oglethorpe University, Ga., 1846.

† Italy, Austria, and the Pope, by Joseph Massini. London, 1845, p. 52.

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