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which, but yesterday, expatriated a whole village—the pastor and his flock-for daring to claim "freedom to worship God;" part and parcel of a system by which even private teachers are required to send notice to the Government of their change of residence, to give exact information of their terms, and, most monstrous of all, are forbidden to give religious instruction," " except by the permission of the ecclesiastical authorities;" they are yet presented to Englishmen as worthy to be admired and imitated.


One extract will suffice to shew how these principles are expounded, when intended to be applied to this country. It is on the choice of teachers :


"Not, then, in the hands of THE PEOPLE should be either the training or selection of public teachers; it is a task to which Government alone is competent, and which, for the sake of the people itself, the Government should boldly and largely assume." If the people are allowed to choose their own teachers, the political partisan, the religious fanatic, the monied intriguer, will usually be the victor; the modest and virtuous scholar, of course, the vanquished." "To rescue Education from such abuse, to rescue the people from the people's passion and folly, is to render a good and great service both to the people and to Education. It is to interpose between their true and false, their temporary and permanent interest. To effect this we require external, compressing, and repressing power, an intelligence fully adequate to comprehend the universal interest, a solicitude to provide impartially for it, and an energy and activity to carry such provision into execution. Is this to be found in the people,-in sections of the people,—in the people ignorant,—in the people excited? Where are we to look for it but to the Government ?"

It may well be asked, what terrible discovery brings Mr. Wyse and his friends to conclusions so strange as those to which we have adverted? I know not. Why we should betake ourselves to measures so foreign to the habits and feelings of the nation; so liable to abuse; tending so directly

to the worst of all tyrannies,—the enslaving of public sentiment, is a question I confess myself utterly unable to answer. I can discover no imaginable reason why we should thus toss at the feet of any Government an amount of moral influence, the possession of which, under some circumstances, might lead to the destruction of our liberties.

Many reasons however might be mentioned why a different course should be adopted; why voluntary efforts, instead of being repressed, should be encouraged; why existing societies should be upheld, and why the power of selecting teachers, and directing Education should, under all circumstances, rest with the people. To some of these as deduced from the experience of other States, I beg the candid attention of the reader.


"At a very early period, the State of Connecticut was divided into parochial societies, whose limits sometimes comprised the whole of a town (township), and sometimes only a part of it.


In May 1717, these societies were empowered by the Legislature to levy taxes on their inhabitants, and to make regulations for the support of Schools. Considerable appropriation was made from the public treasury to aid in this object, until May 1795, when the avails of certain lands (now forming a part of the State of Ohio) amounting to $1,200,000, were appropriated to the maintenance of Schools throughout the State, and the annual product made liable to a perpetual distribution for the purpose. In various ways this sum has gradually increased to upwards of $1,700,000, and about $70,000 are now annually distributed for the support of Schools.

"Previous to the appropriation no general system existed, but every society adopted its own method of Instruction, rarely resorting to the power of taxation, except for the erection of School-houses. In the country towns the employment of the children was chiefly agriculture. In the warm seasons the children who were of sufficient age were employed in the labors of husbandry, and in winter were generally kept at School. For one-third or half the year teachers

were employed in almost every neighbourhood in the State; and reading, writing, and the rules of arithmetic, adapted to ordinary use, were understood by almost every child at the age of fourteen years, throughout the state. In these Schools morning and evening prayers, and religious instruction, were almost universal, and conduced, not a little, to inspire an early respect for the principles of morality and religion.

"When the appropriation was made in 1795, the territories composing ecclesiastical societies were formed into School societies; and when convened in that capacity possessed no power, except in regard to the regulations of common Schools. This change became very proper, and even necessary. Originally, the inhabitants of the territory were of one religious denomination, and the same individuals had a common interest in all its concerns, both religious and secular: but at that period the great diversity which had arisen in the course of time gave rise to a new corporation, of the same territorial limits, for the regulation of Schools. As early as 1766 the several societies in the State were authorized to divide their territory into School districts; and when the act of 1795 was passed, that power had been exerted, and districts formed in almost every part of the State.


The outline of the system now existing is briefly this :-every School society is required to hold an annual meeting, and elect a clerk, a treasurer, a committee to direct and manage their concerns; a committee for each School district within their limits; and a number of persons, not exceeding nine, of competent skill in letters, to be overseers or visitors of the several district Schools. The districts are legal corporations, with power to levy a tax for the erection or repair of a School-house, furnishing it with all proper accommodations, and supplying the School with fuel: the teacher is elected by the committee for the district appointed by the society, with the assent of the district; but is not allowed (by the statute) to commence his duties until he has been examined and approved by the visitors. The visitors have a general discretionary power to prescribe regulations, and they may at any time displace the teacher. It is made their duty to visit the Schools at certain periods-to exact such exercises and exhibitions as may enable them to judge of

the proficiency of the pupils and to superintend and direct the general course of instruction.


Each society may institute, within its limits, a School of a higher order for Instruction in the highest branches of literature. This appertains to no district, but its privileges are common to the whole society; and it derives a proportional share, according to its number of pupils, of the revenues of the School fund, payable to the Society.


'The School fund is managed by a single commissioner, who pays to the treasurer of the State its annual net proceeds. Twice in each year the treasurer transmits to the several societies in the State, which have conformed to the requirements of the law, the sums then in the treasury, proportioned to the number of children in each society, between the ages of four and sixteen; ascertaining, by actual enumeration: but not until the society's committee have first certified that the monies previously received from the Treasury for the like purpose, have been wholly expended in paying and boarding teachers, who were duly examined and approved, and whose schools have been kept in all respects according to law. The monies are also distributed amongst several districts in each society by a similar proportion."

On this statement the able Editor of the American Annals of Education, makes the following remarks :

"A system, so excellent as that which is here faithfully described, sustained by funds more ample we suspect, than are provided for any other community of the same number, would very naturally be expected to produce the most happy results; but we have more than once expressed our conviction that the condition of Education in this state, when compared with its improvement in other respects, is no better than it was before the fund was provided, nor even as good. Instruction had indeed been in a very excellent condition for a long period. For sixty years, not an individual was known to appear before the court of justice who could not write his name; but we are assured, that in one town, at least one member of a School Committee was recently found, who could not write, and there have been very many whose knowledge of arithmetic was

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limited to addition and substraction of simple numbers. The effect of this fund has been that which may always be expected, where he who is able and habituated to earn his own subsistence, is supplied with the means of living without exertion. The State, by its bounty, has virtually declared that parents need no longer pay for the instruction of their children, (that is for their tuition): and the habit, and the sense of obligation to do their duty, were destroyed together. The State has been made exclusively responsible, and it has too extensively been deemed sufficient to provide such teachers as the fund would pay for.


'We beg our readers to understand that in these, and the following statements, we refer to the majority of sixteen hundred School districts of Connecticut, and not to all. We know that there are many-we hope several hundred honorable exceptions; and it is worthy of remark that (other things being equal) those districts, which either from necessity or choice, depend most on their own exertions have the best Schools."

Now let us contrast with the above, the position of things elsewhere.


"In this great State a fund has been established, yielding only $100,000 annually; little more than the product of the School Fund of Connecticut. In 1816, when the distribution of the School Fund was commenced, the whole number of school districts in New York was 2,755, the whole number of children 176,449, and of these only 140,106 were instructed. In 1834, we learn from the present report, that the whole number of districts is 9,690, from 9,107 of which returns have been received, containing 522,618 persons from five to sixteen years of age, and giving instruction to 512,475. Ninety new districts have been formed during the past year, and 266 have been added to the number that have made returns.

"The amount paid to teachers for public schools, is stated by the superintendent to be $677,429,44 by the aid of $100,000 from the State, and the whole amount expended for instruction in public and private institutions is calculated at $1000,000. It would thus appear that the State of New York, by contributing 193 cents for the in

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