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common participation in the relief promised by the sale and exportation of our immense surplus crop, their ability in consequence, to make collections, and a reliance upon their own proper resources, will be productive of substantial benefit of freedom from peculiar embarrassments, and a restoration of public confidence in their integrity and ability.
The Commissioner most respectfully submits the foregoing, and has the honor to be Your excellency's obedient servant,
DIGBY V. BELL,
Bank Commissioner, Ionia, September 3d, 1838.
alue of real and personal
eposites in other bank
al amount of resour. 8.
(No. 9.) Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
STATE OF MICHIGAN,
Marshall, December 31, 1838.
of January, eighteen hundred and thirty-nine. The Superintendent of Public Instruction, agreeable to the provisions of chapter one, title eleven of the revised statutes, has the honor to submit the following report:
The supreme object in legislation, and in the administration of government undoubtedly should be the promotion of the greatest good of the whole people. To elevate man in the scale of being, and improve his condition, is the sole purpose of every wise system of government, and every just code of laws.
To reach this high object, our system was formed, and our code established. Under the healthful operation of such and similar systems and codes, such indeed as are based on the principle of equal rights and privileges, is full and perfect protection thrown around every individual of the state. Defended, in the peaceful enjoyment of the rewards of honcst industry and toil, every individual is secured from invasion of his personal rights, with no sacrifice on his part, save only such as is essential to the very existence and continuance of his security and welfare.
The attainment of the greatest general good, being the end and aim of the institution of civil government, a severe responsibility is imposed upon all entrusted with the administration, legislation and execution of its laws; and on the part of the people, unceasing watchfulness, lest by unfaithful agents, the "republic should suffer detriment.” Hence it becomes a matter of vital importance that such a system of general instruction be established, as will best promote ihe ends of government. To do this effectually, the means of knowledge must be extended to every member of the community, and those great fundamental principles, which are the sole basis of all right, national, political, social, and individual, be instilled into the public mind.
In a government like ours, where all power is retained in the hands of the people, the only safeguard of our liberty lies in the general diffusion of right knowledge. Ignorance is a fearful foe to freedom ; but knowledge, without virtue, is certain death to the republic. Such a system of instruction, then, as combines intelligence and virtue, will alone ensure the continuance of universal happiness and peace ; and such a system, the republican form and character of our government imperiously demand. Virtuous intelligence alone will ensure correct feeling and princinle in the mass, and a consequent selection of such officers to fulfil the duties of public trust, as will best promote and carry out the great purposes and plans of government. Without intelligence, how are the offices created for the high purpose of attaining the greatest good to be filled? Without virtue, what security have we that the highest intelligence will not lead to infidelity, in the discharge of duty ? Without the diffusion of knowledge, sanctified by virtuous principle, where lies our security from corruption, convulsion, civil war and ruin? What safeguard have we against anarchy, misrule and violence, unless it be in and by the diffusion of a correct, virtuous, intelligent public sentiment ?' And on the other hand, what is to secure us from the formation of powerful aristocracies, even under our own wise system of government, but the general dissemination of knowledge, based on moral principle ? Let the history of the down-trodden nations of the earth answer. It is the constant and unvarying tendency of power, in passing from the many to the few, to amplify itself in their hands. Where ignorance is the inheritance of all, but the noble few, there is nothing that can successfully resist this tendency. When, indeed, the exercise of this concentrated and accumulating power becomes so oppressive as to madden a whole people, in their fury they may rise and pui it down-but not having sufficient intelligence and virtue lo establish and maintain a wise and just system of government, power must soon pass from their hands to the few, when the process of accumulation is again commenced and steadily goes on as before. The people of France, driven to desperation, overthrew the government of Louis XVI, to pass under the imperial reign of Napoleon. Again they rose and put down the government of Charles X, to pass under the despotism and constantly increasing power of Louis Phillippe.
We have secured ourselves agains: the despotism of a czar, and the oppression of an aristocracy of nobles; but how are we to be secured, as individuals, from the tyranny of the many ? The majority of numbers is as capable of exercising despotic pow. er, as an emperor or an oligarchy. A sense of justice in the monarch, may control the action of his government, and his subjects be secure while life remains. If the prince is wise and benevolent, the people may be contented, prosperous and happy; but his successor may be a prodigy of wickedness, and his kingdom be filled with violence and blood. So long as the principles of humanity, a love of justice and equity reign in the hearts of the majority, we, as individuals, are free and safe. But no longer.
It has of late been urged with great power and eloquence, and with distinguished learning,* that our constitution and form of
*De Tocqueville, by M.-Democrary in America.