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commissioner makes the following remarks in reference to this item: "The esti mate for straw, &c., is made upon the following basis, viz: $4 worth of straw is allowed for every 30 bushels of English grain, and $1 of fodder for every 20 bushels of Indian corn. An intelligent farmer of Delaware, (John Jones, Esq.) estimates $8 worth of straw for every 30 bushels of English grain, $1 of fodder for every 10 bushels of Indian corn. In the French tables, the straw and residium are put down at about 11 1-2 per cent. on the whole value of agricultural products, and products of the forest. A less proportion is allowed for pasturage after harvest, than in the French tables."
Now, it must be borne in mind, that the value of these articles, as well as that of almost every other thing, depends upon the demand, and use that is made of them; and hence, in a very large portion of the United States, straw, chaff, and the residuum of the crop, can scarcely be valued at any price. In many of the western States, fodder is rarely made of the blades of Indian corn, but is left to waste on the stalk in the field. In many parts of the west, grain itself will scarcely bear transportation to market, and being more convenient for feeding stock, few farmers will give themselves the trouble of preparing straw and chaff for food; nor are these articles much used, even for the purposes of manure. Straw, chaff, &c., are doubtless of great value in countries where the prices of land and grain are high as in Great Britain; but where corn is worth only 10 cents, and wheat from 30 to 50 cents per bushel, straw and chaff can scarcely be classed with articles of value.. It would be about as rational to estimate an acre of forest in South Missouri by the value of a like quantity in England, as to estimate the value of straw and chaff here, by their value in that country. And for these reasons, we conclude that the estimates of the commissioner are at least double the true value of these articles.
By adding up the deductions which we have made on seven articles embraced in the table, we find them to amount to $190,770,913, a sum nearly equal to onefourth of the entire estimate of agricultural products. There are other items in the table, that are doubtless estimated too high; but for some of these, the commissioner should not be held responsible. The article of cotton, for instance, is estimated at 7 cents; this was a reasonable estimate in November, 1847, but the price declined greatly afterwards. Indeed, no reliable estimate of the value of a crop can be made until it is consumed, or nearly so; and for this reason the final estimates should not be made up until the close of the next year, This would. afford time to ascertain the quantity, as well as the value, with much more accuracy, and we trust that Congress will take the subject under consideration, and so direct in future.
Before dismissing the subject, we desire to express our full conviction, that the duty of collecting and arranging statisties, ought to be separated from the duties of the patent office, and that a separate bureau should be established for this purpose.. Such a department would properly embrace the entire subject of our internal.
commerce; and if confided to the care of a competent individual, would do more to enlighten both Congress and the people, upon the subjects connected with our true interest, than all the books that have ever been written on political economy. By making known our own resources, and exposing the true nature and importance of our internal commerce, the people will learn to appreciate foreign commerce at its true value, and perceive the folly of looking to that as the source of individual or national wealth.
In conclusion, we would remark, that if any should doubt the fairness of this review of the patent office report, we recommend them to examine the commercial and agricultural statistics of the country, and then, we think, they will become satisfied that our estimates of the quantity and value of the agricultural products of the country, are, generally, above rather than below the truth.
BY JOHN H. TICE, President of the Board of Directors of St. Louis Public Schools.
THERE is no subject that creates an interest so universal, elicits so many essays, furnishes so many themes for declamation, and paragraphs to embellish annual messages, as education. Yet, notwithstanding this universal interest in and general homage paid to it, it would be difficult to name a subject that has elicited so much attention, and has yet been so barren of results. In the thirty States, that compose our confederacy, with a few bright and honorable exceptions, nothing has been done for general education, that deserves attention, either at home, or abroad. Why is this? It is certainly not because public sentiment is not impressed with its imperious necessity, for in this, all are agreed. Painful as it is, we are compelled to ascribe it to the money-getting, and money-loving propensities of our people; and that in the ceaseless conflict between our tax-resisting propensity, and paren. tal and social duties, the former too generally overslaughs the latter. Our prison and penitentiary statistics annually furnish us the startling facts that nineteen-twentieths of their inmates can neither read nor write, and that crime, vice and ignorance are inseparable companions; yet our men of substance while they willingly pay taxes to support prisons and the gallows to punish vice, are unwilling to pay taxes to support schools and academies, to educate and preserve from vice and
crime the rising generation. As a matter of economy, then, each community ought to educate its own children. Because at some time a tax must be paid. Better it should be done while innocence and an unseared conscience are yet their portion, than when society has consigned them to an outlaw's doom, or a felon's cell.
But upon us, as citizens of this great and growing Republic, whose foundation rests, and whose future prosperity depends, upon the virtue and intelligence of the people, as patriots, philanthropists, and christians, the education of all the children is imposed as a duty, from which no power can absolve or relieve us. No government can remain pure and stable, that is administered and directed by vicious men either individually or collectively. The evils over which the philanthropist weeps and the christian grieves will never abate, but ever rise mountain high in every community where ignorance predominates, and vice and folly rule. Harmony in social and individual life, can only be produced where an enlightened intelligence presides over, and directs the springs of social and individual actions. An enlightened mind only can comprehend the extent of its own rights and the sphere of its own duties. Hence the necessity of education. But man is a social as well as an individual being, he has duties to perform in relation to others as well as in relation to himself. In these, if not under the direction of an enlightened mind, and cultivated understanding, he must necessarily be under the control of his individual passions and prejudices; hence all the wrongs, bickerings and discords of society. But in this country at least, great and imposing duties have been added; here not only man has committed to him, his individual and social destiny, but the destiny of a Republic already embracing thirty States, and extending from ocean to ocean,-rivalling in extent either the Grecian or Roman empire. This Republic is to be directed and swayed by the intelligence of its citizens. The understanding of all its nicely adjusted powers, the knowledge of the relation between the National and the State governments, all its internal and external policies and dependencies must be comprehended and traced out, in order to maintain its complicated machinery in harmonious motion. To take a comprehensive and enlarged view of all these, a greater degree of cultivation is necessary; and it is only by understanding the whol
machinery of our social and political system, that it can be carried successfully forward.
But our design is not, at present, to elaborate the necessity nor the advantages of education. Nor is it necessary. If we take as any indication of public sentiment, the high-wrought and fancy-colored views which embellish the effusions of the press, the pulpit, the legislative hall, and the executive chair, the public mind is already made up, both as to its necessity and advantages; and nothing remains but to provide the machinery, or the ways and means, to put an efficient system of education into operation. To this task we now address ourselves. But before we do so, a brief review of the different systems of education in vogue in different States, is necessary, that, if preference be given to any system, it may be to that which has stood the test, and produced the most happy results, wherever tried.
Assuming, therefore, that some public system is necessary to educate the rising generation, and qualify them for discharging every social and political duty incumbent on them, as individuals, or as citizens, our inquiry is, what ought that system to be? This question can only be answered by solving the collateral question, what system will effect the object in view? But this latter we are unable to answer, until we have determined what we wish to effect. If we wish to have no greater diffusion of intelligence, nor more thorough training or instruction, than is now afforded children by the means or inclination of every individual parent, then we have nothing to do; for everything that we desire is already accomplished. But, no one believes that the education furnished by this means is sufficient. Sad experience has forced the conviction upon every mind, that something more has to be done, or else a large portion must forever remain ignorant of even the rudiments of learning, ready to be used as implements to effect the objects of every unprincipled charlatan, impostor, or demagogue. All seem then agreed, that sufficient education should be furnished to each individual, to enable him to think, judge, and act for himself. This, then, is the object. Now let us see the various modes proposed to accomplish it.
The first mode is, to leave the education of the children of such parents as are able to bear the expense, to the parents themselves;
and, for the education of such as are not able, the State is to provide the That is, provide a fund for the education of indigent children. The second mode is, that the State furnish the means of educating partially all children, irrespective of the condition of the parents; and whatever else may be needed or expended, to be raised by rating the scholars of such parents as are able to pay.
The third mode is, by furnishing education entirely free to all, without respect to age, sex, or condition, by providing sufficient means through the combined action of the State, county, town, or district authorities.
To determine which of these modes should be preferred, we must look at the practical operation of each, wherever adopted.
Of the first mode, though in operation in several States, we have no data at hand, to judge of its feasibility and utility, except that furnished by the State of Virginia. If the result is the same in other States, all we have to say is, that the sooner the plan is abandoned
We have before us the report of J. Brown, Jr., Superintendent of the Literary Fund of the State of Virginia, for the year 1844, from which we glean the following items:
The State provides free schools only for her indigent, children..、 Maximum of literary fund appropriated by law, for this purpose, is $70,000. Five per cent. of which is to be expended for books. Number of free schools returned during the year, 3,506. Number of indigent children in the State, 53,155. Number returned as attending the free schools, 28,369. Leaving the number of children unprovided for, 24,786.:
The average attendance at school of those returned, is 59 days for each child. This is equivalent to about 10 weeks of schooling in a year. Leaving 42 weeks vacation in a year.
The practical result then in Virginia is, that of 53,155 children, 24,786 never attend school at all, and the remainder, 28,369, attend only 10 weeks per annum. So much, then, for the schooling. Now let us see the character of the schools. We extract the following, as a specimen, from the report of the commissioners of Marshal county : "In most cases, the children improve very well while at school