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MR. PICKARD, of Wisconsin, said that State had been in an educational chaos, having set up universities of all sorts, on paper, and which had no other existence. But recently, real progress has been made; and with Mr. Barnard to superintend their general educational interests, and a great willingness, on the part of the people, to follow his suggestions, they have strong hopes of securing a most thorough school system. Good teachers are greatly needed.
Rev. McKENDRY TOOKE, of Iowa, highly praised the capabilities and inviting features of that State. Ample provision has been made for public instruction in Iowa, and the code of school laws, having been borrowed from the best of those of other States, or modified from them, is the best in the Union, as he believed. As there is a great variety of people there, whom Mr. T. called the “ cream of the nations,” he thought the state of society would ultimately be of the highest type. He would encourage teachers to migrate thither also.
MR. F. A. SAWYER, of Charleston, spoke for South Carolina. Massachusetts and South Carolina had often stood together, he said, and he hoped would often do so again. (Applause.) However much they may differ on other matters, there was no disagreement on the topics that brought this Institute together here. South Carolina is not ashamed to follow the lead of Massachusetts in the work of education. We are aware, said Mr. S., that we have many things to learn, and that we can come no where to learn them better than to Massachusetts. The 'schools of Charleston were all represented here, by those who had come to inquire what new truths they could carry home, and put in practice there. The educational system of South Carolina may be dated only four years ago. In Charleston, a large Grammar School went into opera
tion in 1856, after much opposition ; and many similar schools have since been added, and also a High and Normal School for young ladies. The reform has been chiefly confined to Charleston, though it is beginning to spread to other large places in the State.
MR. J. C. Elliot, a gentleman nearly or quite seventy years of age, spoke for North Carolina. He said, when the applause with which he was greeted had subsided, Our school fund, I am sorry to say, is small, for two of the best of reasons. Before the war of Independence, our school fund was squandered from us, to build a royal palace for Gov. Tryon, in the town of Newbern. We thus had a cause for the revolution which perhaps no other State had. That was one cause of our war of the regulators, which preceded the war of Independence. After achieving our independence, our State gave away all her public lands in the noble State of Tennessee to liquidate that debt. These, you will say, are two excellent reasons for the smallness of our fund. We are now struggling for a system of railroad improvements, and our taxes are heavy. Yet, with all these reasons against us, we have a fund which gives, with county taxation, to each person between the ages of six and twenty-one, $1.35 a year. This supports a school in each district three months and upwards, giving a salary varying from $18 to $ 45 per month. We have about 4000 free schools, entitled Common Schools by our law, and have a general State Superintendent.
Rev. Dr. McJILTON, Superintendent of Schools in Baltimore, spoke for Maryland. They have no system of Public Schools in that State. But in Baltimore they had done something a little original. They were the first, not only in this country, but in the world, to establish proper female High Schools, and the first to establish a
Floating School. They had also the honor of putting the Bible into the Public Schools. They fought that battle for more than the city of Baltimore. The amount expended for schools annually in Maryland, is about $800,000; in the city of Baltimore it is about $ 200,000. In that city they have a school system which can bear a good comparison with any in the country. The Western Female High School, was as pretty a piece of human machinery as was ever put together. The schools are of three grades ; High, Grammar, and Primary.
Hon. Thomas H. BURROWS, State Superintendent of the Schools of Pennsylvania, spoke for that State. He said, they were told not to speak of statistics. He could not therefore tell the Institute anything about the 10,000 working directors, the 15,000 teachers, the 650,000 pupils, and the $ 2,500,000 which Pennsylvania spends annually for instruction, for that would be statistics. (Laughter.) He therefore would say nothing about statistics, but would propose a mode by which the Institute might gain a knowledge of the schools of Pennsylvania, and improve their knowledge of geography at the same time, which was to hold the next meeting of the Institute in Pennsylvania. If the Institute would do that they would see the humors and the strength of a Dutch system of Common School education. The schoolmasters and schoolmistresses of Pennsylvania were a jolly set, when they got together at their Institutes. He thought the mixture of races there had improved their people, and given them the best Common School system, and they would like to show the results of it to the Institute, if they would onsent to come out of their shell in New England for a short time.
PROF. PHELPS, of Trenton, for New Jersey, said he would speak of only a few features in respect to education in that State, and confine himself to events of the past year. The first was, they had chosen a new State Superintendent of Common Schools. He is a small man, but carries a large head well stocked, and he has as large a heart as his other physical proportions will admit. He proposes to write hereafter an annual report, in good English, and in a clear and concise way, exhibiting the defects of our system, and proposing the remedies. The second event, which he mentioned with sorrow, was the death of Mr. Paul Farnum, of Beverly, a native of Massachusetts, who had endowed the New Jersey Normal Schools with a bequest of $ 50,000, besides making other liberal appropriations for the same. The next matter to be noticed, was that the teachers' institutes of the State were to be re-organized, and to be modelled upon the plan of those of Massachusetts. The fourth and last fact he would mention was, that at the end of nine years the Camden and Amboy Railroad monopoly would come to an end.
MR. J. W. BULKLEY, Superintendent of Schools in Brooklyn, responded for New York. The State has not a free school law. New York was the first State to give libraries to every school district; and was also the first to organize a purely State Teacher's Association in 1845. The evening schools established in some parts of the State, were spoken of as doing a great deal of good. Saturday Normal Schools, in which the teachers meet for improvement in their work, are also held in many large cities.
Hon. D. N. CAMP said, he considered it a pleasure and an honor to represent the “ Nutmeg State.” That good old “ land of steady habits” has the credit of making wooden nutmegs, and, said Mr. Camp, I have no doubt it is true, for the people of Connecticut can make anything that the world ever saw. But let it be understood that this article never finds a home market. . (Laughter and applause.) That Connecticut can also make men, I have only to cite the fact, that our young friend from Toledo (Mr. Brown) was taken, in the “ raw material” from the hills of New Hampshire, and worked up in Connecticut, and made a tolerable man - for the West. (Renewed laughter.). Connecticut says to every child within her borders, “ The school-house is open to you.” There is a district library in more than one third of the districts of the State. She has a Normal School for the education of teachers ; she sympathizes with the work which is proceeding so prosperously in New England and the West, and I believe she has sent more teachers from her borders, in proportion to her population, than any State in the Union, or any country in the world.
Prof. GREENE said the people of Rhode Island thought they had done something; and perhaps they may claim to have multum in parvo. We are active; we do not claim to have arrived at the highest degree of excellence. I am happy to state that a monument, one hundred and fifty feet high, is about to be erected to the memory of an old teacher whom you were kind enough to send to us from Massachusetts. We are glad you sent him, though I do not know that you deserve any credit. We are proud of him. Our State has established a Board of Education, similar to that of Massachusetts. We have good schools, and we are willing you and others should come and visit our schools. They are still progressing.
MR. J. C. Pelton, of California, gave an account of the progress of education in that State, since he himself commenced teaching there, a little more than ten years