Page images

While the committee were absent, Mr. Ran. alone; but such a grand public movement as dall, of Albany, Deputy State Superintendent, your convention, will arrest their attention, and stated that on account of other pressing duties, mahe itself felt by its publicity if not by its methe Hon. Samuel Young, State Superintendent, rits. In our country and with our institutions, would be unable to attend the convention. this view of the subjecteleserves great consider.

Mr. R. also read the following letter from the ation. With a few most honorable exceptionsHon. Horace Mann, Secretary of the Massachu. and in no state more than in yours-our public setts Board of Education, expressing his regrets Those to whose hands the welfare of society has

men have been indifferent to public schools. at his inability to attend the convention.

been entrusted, have been regardless of that To the Hon. SAMUEL. Young,

which is the very basis of the welfare of society. Superintendent ni Common Schools,

It has been fashionable for governors, in their for the State of New-York:

inaugural addresses, to pay verbal complimente MY DEAR SIR-I thank you leartily for your to the cause of popular education; but this empkind invitation to be present at the Rochester ty homage has rarely been followed by any effiConvention of County Superintendents of Com cient deeds. One annual eulogy from each go. mon Schools, on the isth inst. By what I learn vernor of a state gives the schools twenty-six from various sources, I believe the meeting will eulogies a year; while these schools have been be worthy of the cause. Either personally, or fortunate if they enjoyed even one

or two real by reading their reporis, I feel acquainted with acts of friendship. Legislators too, who have a large proportion of the gentlemen who will studied constitutional history, and have mastercompose that meeting; and I have no hesitation ed the science of jurisprudence, frequently know in saying, that a body of men at once so nume. nothing of the condition of the public schools. rous, intelligent and influential, has never be. Ought these things any longer to be so? In a fore assembled to consider the interests of popu- despotism, the man who understands diplomacy, lar education.

commerce, jurisprudence, national and interna. Shortly after your message, I had the honor tional law, may be called a statesman. He has of receiving from Mr. Hulburd, chairman of the what the institutions of his country require. committee of your assembly on colleges, acade. But, in a republic, is any man worthy to be call. mies and common schools, the votes of the direc. ed a statesman, who does not understand, in ad. tors of the several railroad companies between dition to all these subjects, the foundations upon Albany and Rochester, tendering a free passage which the republic rests? Should any man be over their respective roads to myself and other allowed to perform either legislative or execu. friends of education in Massachusetts, invited to tive functions, who is not disposed to watch over, be present on that occasion. Such a complimeat and has not the ability to strengthen and fortify paid to the cause of education, in the person of the citadel where all the treasures of the com. its friends, and bestowed upon it by the mana-munity are gathered? Is there not occasion, gers of moneyed corporations, is a fact as hono- throughout our whole country, and is it not time rable to them as it is new in the history of com. for every good citizen to promulgate and defend mon schools. It surely proves a great advance the doctrine, that no man is qualified to fill any in public sentiment on the subject of popular in office or station which has any direct influence struction. Five years ago, I believe that any or bearing upon the popular will, who is not by man, in any part of our country, who should his acts or his character, pledged to extend and have conceived such an idea, when no more po. increase the blessings of public schools? pular cause than that of our common schools was the object, would have been supposed to possess

Your state, I understand, has now established a most enterprising imagination; and any one

a normal school. What renders this step of who should actually have venture i to make such full and fair trial of the experiment of preparing

greater significancy, is that it was taken after a a request of a moneyed institution, would have teachers, in special departments of your acade, earned that appellation which Black llawh, the mies, and after that experiment was supposed Indian chief, gave to the man whom he saw as. cend in a balloon-a GREAT BRAVE.

to have failed. I claim none of the honors of a I rejoice at your proposed meeting, and at the prophet, but you may recollect that I predicted many auguries of good aitending it. It will act deficieney in the academies themselves, for I be.

this resnut five years ago-not however from any beneficially in different directions. It will bring lieve they have generally had as able men and many experiences and suggestions together from all quarters of the compass, will throw them into good teachers as the academies of any other a common stock, and then, such are the infinite state--but from the incompatibility of the two ly reproductive powers of truth, that it is no pa. State, has advanced so far as to require a divi.

objects. Education, even in its present immature radox to say, each inan will carry away the whole. It will shed light and warmth upon the Sion of labor. It is impracticable to fit men for schools in all parts of your state. These, there all departments in the same school. is no danger of stimulating too much, for they Afier all my reflection and observation on this are plants of such innate rigor, that they need no subject, I ain more and more convinced that winier for repose;-although ihey can live even normal schools are the only means for raising in frozen latitudes, yet they can bear a climate our common schools to the requisite standard. where spring and sum ruer reign throughout the We may have every thing else we can desireyear, and in such a temperature there will be a school-houses, funds, libraries, apparatus-yet. perpetual succession of flowers and fruits. we never shall have schools adapted to the wants Your convention will also act upon men who of a republican government without prepared hold intiuential and responsible stations in soci. teachers, any more than we can have judges ety.

This class of men might disregard the most without the study of law, or physicians without a worthy individuals laboring in obscurity and knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology.

Bat sir, I have suffered myself to be led away lowing rules and orders of the convention, which from the main objects of this letter. That ob. were taken up by sections and acted upon. ject was to express my deep regret that I shall The business committee recommend the fol. be unable to be with you at the ensuing conven- lowing as the order of proceedings of the contion. I have seldom had a greater struggle to vention, viz. : subject inclination to a sense of duty. But on I. The session of each day shall be opened account of my absence during the last season, with prayer. official la bors' have accumulated uron ine; and II. The conivittees shall be appointed by the I find that a ten days' absence will deprive me president, unless otherwise ordered by the conof time indispensable for other engagements. I vention. should have not only pleasure but profit from III. All resolutions, amendments and orders meeting with you. As laborers in the field of shall be submitted in writing. education we need encouragement and support, IV. The business committee shall report all and as we receive but scanty portions of these business to the convention ; but after the acceptfrom the community at large, we can only derive ance of their report, any member may present them from each other. The general wants of any resolution for the action of the convention. the cause show us how much work is yet to be V. All resolutions shall be submitted in writ. done. I look upon what has been done as the ing to the President, and at his discretion submeasure of what may be done, and I derive mitted either to the business committee, or laid therefrom not discouragement, but stimulus. directly before the convention, unless otherwise The coldness of the public mind is to be coinpen. disposed of by a resolution of the convention. sated by our zeal. The cause of popular educa VI. No member shall speak more than fifteen tion has indestructible merits. Let us not expend minutes at any one time, or more than twice on our strength in repining or complaining at the in the same subject, without unanimous consent. difference to it of those who really have the great. VII. Alt ex-state and county superintend. est interest in it; but let us rather consider it a fa. ents, acting town superintendents, and delegates vor that we are allowed to labor for it, even un- from county associations, shall be considered der present difficulties and discouragements. Se honorary members of this convention. neca says that those men whom God appoints VIII. The morning session shall commece at for unrequited toil and self-sacrifice, ought to be 9 o'clock and close at half-past 12 m., and the thankful for the station and consider it as a post afternoon session commence at 2 o'clock. of honor, because the Almighty would not choose IX. Committees of three shall be appointed agents to perform a work of diilicuity, unless he on the following topics, viz. : 1. School District had confidence in their qualifications. On this Libraries. 2. Upon the reorganization of school principle, I know of no men in our times who districts. 3.. Methods of teaching. 4. Upon have greater proofs of the divine favor, than the introduction of vocal music into our common those who are called in a public capacity, to schools. 5. Text-books. 6. Normal Schools. 7. promote the welfare of popular education through School celebrations and conventions. 8. Teachthe instrumentality of common schools.

ers' drills. 9. Moral instruction. 10. Discipline Very truly and sincerely yours, and government of schools, duties and responsi

HORACE MANN. bilities of town superintendents ; to consist of Letters of a similar import were read, from all town superintendents present.' 11. Oral in other distinguished friends of education.

struction. The committee on nominations reported the to the business committee, elicited a briet discus

The fourth section, referring all resolutions following gentlemen as officers :

sion, in which several gentlemen participated. President-H. E. ROCHESTER, of Monroe. It was finally amended satisfactorily. 1st Vice-President-S.S. RANDALL, of Albany. The seventh section, inviting ex-county sui.

2d Vice-President-H. B. CROPSEY, of Rich. perintendents, town superintendents and county mond.

delegates, to sit as honorary members, called Secretaries--Ira Patchin, of Livingston, and forth a debate which lasted some time. Some Wm. S. Wetmore, of Oneida.

were in favor of admitting them as active memMr. Rochester, upon taking the chair, made a bers, and giving them a right to vote. These brief address upon the objects and duties of the contended that the call embraced all such perconvention. He regretted that they were de. sons. After various amendments and substi. prived of the counsel and assistance of many of tutes had been ollered, the resolution was so the more distinguished friends of education, amended as to entitle ail the friends of educamany of whom were veterans in the cause. He tion” to a seat in the convention, not as active referred particularly to the absence of the vene. but as honorary members. rable James Wadsworth, whom they had all expected to meet on this occasion. But ill health,

AFTERNOON TERM. and the infirmities of age had compelled him to The President announced the standing com. remain at home. Col. Young, our honored su- mittees as follows : perintendent, is also unable to be present, to School District Libraries—Messrs. Dwight, guide us with his counsels and rouse us by' his Powell and Dubois. appeals. Mr. R. adverted to various other to. Union Schools--Messrs. Ely, Brodt and John. pics connected with the cause of education.

Mr. Randall moved the appointment of the Free Schools--Messrs. Mack, Hawley and usual business committee.

Johnson. The chair named the following gentlemen : School District Organization-Messrs. Tidd, Messrs. Thomas, O. W. Randall, Wright, Fon- H. Wright, and D. R. Randall. da, Finch and Palmer.

Meth s of Teaching-0. W. Randall, Palmer The business committee then reported the fol. land Arnold.



[ocr errors]

Vocal Music-Messrs. Shumway, Ingraham Mr. Cooper of Waterloo said he had been en. and Olney.

gaged in the occupation of teaching for some Text Books--Messrs. King, Fonda, Smith, A. years, and that he should be glad to hear the Wright, Wetmore, Robertson, Cole and Brown. views of the convention on the question. He

Normal Schools--Messrs. S. S. Randall, came for the purpose of information. Both sides Sprague and Storkes.

of the question had advocates, and it was in. School Celebrations and Conventions-Messrs. I volved many difficulties. This speaker spoke Temple, Moulton and Montgomery.

some time very awly and judiciously upon the Teachers' Institutes-Messrs. Stevens, Wat subject. kins and Wilsea. Moral Instruction-Woodin, Nay and Sylves- rose and said that the great error in discussing

Mr. Olmsted, Principal of Mendon Academy, ter Oral Instruction-Finch, Allen and Hopkins. opposed to corporal punishment, would some.

this topic, was in taking the extremes. Those Discipline-Henry, Allen and Curtiss. Duties of Town Superintendents-All such exemplification of the system, and draw from

times find an extreme case, and point to it as an officers present-Rev. Mr. Mekoon, chairman. thence an argument against bodily punishment

Mr. Thomas, of Rensselaer, offered a resolu- in all cases. He believed that not one-thou. tion requesting all authors of school books in sandth part of the punishment used was neces. attendance to hand in their names and the to- sary; but the resolution went against it in all pics upon which they treat, to the President. After some discussion, the convention resolved the observation of every teacher, which proved

There were cases which had come under to appropriate the evening to hearing authors most conclusively that moral instruction could be explain the peculiar merits of their several conveyed by the rod. Children were frequently works.

thrown into schools who had no training at home, Mr. Patchin, of Livingston, moved the ap- and it was almost impossible to train them in pointment of a committee on the subject of intro- schools without the use of severe measures. He ducing the study of agriculture in our common used corporal punishment himself, and he was not schools, and also a committee on physical edu- prepared to say that it could be dispensed with alcation.

together. Some had adopted the plan of apa Mr. Shumway, of Essex, suggested a com

pealing to panents. This had been found inef: mittee on the study of political science.

fectual. Expulsion had been resorted to by CORPORAL PUNISHMENT.

some trustees. But that was only ensuring the Mr. Thomas of Rensselaer, offered a resolu. destruction of the pupil. The assertion of the tion instructing the committee on• discipline to gentleman from Wyoming, (Mr. Stevens) that make a report on the inutility and barbarity of punishment could not be inflicted without anger

on the part of the teacher or parent, was a miscorporal punishment in schools.

Upon this question arose a discassion which take. He had punished when he indulged only lasted the whole afternoon, in which several gen- of duty. Mr. O. spoke at considerable length on

the kindliest feelings, from an imperative sense tlemen took prominent parts.

The point debated in the first place, was the the various points connected with the question. propriety, expediency and right to instruct the Rev. Mr. Van Ingen, of Grace Church, rose in committee. To obviate the difficulties growing reply. He was gratified that the discussion had out of this question, Mr. Randall of Albany of commenced at the right point. The resolution fered the following substitute :

went to an extreme, It declared all punish Resolved, That the infliction of corporal pun. ment unnecessary. This was in direct contra. ishment, as a means of school discipline, has no vention of the sentiment taught in the Scripture, sanction but usage, and that this convention and of the judgment of the wisest and best wholly disapprove the practice and recommend men in all ages of the world-men whose hearts its discontinuance.

were full of the milk of human kindness. Mr. Thomas, the mover of the resolution said, “ Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a that so far as he had any knowledge of the sub-child, but the rod of correction must bring it ject, the best schools were those in which corpo. out," was the sentiment of one of the wisest of ral punisment was not practised. He had inva. men. Let not the Scriptures be supposed to riably found that the scholars most punished, sanction brutality or justify severity. The acwere the most obstinate and refractory, and that tion of this convention should be deliberate and in neighborhoods where this practice was most

wise. Our institutions are happily pesanctioned, the young people partook of the same culiar to themselves. The distinction of noble disposition. The custom was of barbarous origin. or plebeian blood obtains no footing here. In Those schools where ox-goads and serules, fit our country most of our youth are taught, but only for a butcher's stall found a place, generally they only hear of right and moral duty. Were showed all the marks of depraved character.

all on both sides taught in early lile that practi. Mr. Stevens of Wyoming said he would like to cal real subjection to any and every good gov. hear the advocates of corporal punishment. He ernment under which they were placed was the believed the custom barbarous, and of barbarous true path to honor or to dishonor! Did they origin, and that there was no good reason for its learn its important agency in the formation of continuance. Those in favor of capital punish character ? let us look at these considerations ment were generally in favor of corporal pun. and not suffer our feelings to influence our ishment. He pointed to it as a remarkable fact. judgments. Let us discuss this question with. that so deeply had this custom interwoven itsell out excitement, that under the influence of the into all the ramifications of society that we gene. right spirit we may happily adopt the medium rally found the best people in favor of the disci. so essential to success in governing and eleva. pline of the rod and ferule.

ting the youth of our land and thus influencing



through them the future character of the na. casion, a scholar being absent, I was ordered to tion. He believed the child must be taught to read his verse ; to me this was unreasonable ; feel that it was implicitly his duty to obey his I refused, he afterwards flogged me, but I was parent or teacher. If mildness and persuasion unyielding and beat him. Ai another time, for would not do, severity must be used. Mr. Van making such disposition of some Ingen spoke at considerable length in a highly suited my genius, I was flogged, but I conquered interesting manner, but our limits will not al. again. low us to present more than a mere sketch of his Not however to give a chapter of such incr. arguments.

dents attended with no belier success, I have Professor Dewey, of the Rochester Collegiate only to remark, that what has been so success. Institute, said he did not belong to the rising ful with the gentleman, in my case most signally generation. His opinions were made up. He failed. (Laughter.) knew that corporal punishment had been a be About twenty-three years since the city of nefit to him; he felt it to this day, (laughter.) Boston established a school in efect for vaga: The blows inflicted on the "back behind hin” | bonds. It consisted of vagrants and the excluhe was sure had been of benefit to him, (roars ded from other schools. A Scotchman procured of laughter.) They were not, it is true, very from Albany to subdue them, was soon recalled grateful to his feelings, but they conveyed in to subdue a mutiny in his own school, matured structions which would have been unheeded in during his absence of a few months from that another form.

cily, and this left the Boston hopefuls as they But seriously--whence the authority of the doubtless preferred to be, free from all restraint. schoolmaster? who gave him the power he I was called upon to supply the place and adexercises ? the school committee! If so whence minister the legitimate authority attached to do they derive it but from the parent? whence the terror-inspiring station. (Laughter.) For do they derive it, if not from the source of all one whole year I flogged them like an amateur. power. Strike at the principles derived from (Great Laughter.) The good (if any) were that source, and you strike at the authority of not improved, and the bad were worse. The the parent himself,

idea of governing without the infliction of corNone would be satisfied with this! If the poral punishment was then indeed Utopian, but schoolmaster has none, then has the parent convinced of its propriety and necessity, I be. none, There is no propriety in carrying this gan by burning the cow-skin and cat-n-nine. tails; principle as far as the resolution contemplates. told them I was going to seek their good and laBut aside from the language of the Bible bor for their benefit. It is true it was difficult (though I would conform my life to that.). No at first; in the first case I turned a boy out of matter in what manner pain is inflicted, it is all school and sent him home to explain the cause, corporal punishment though not inflicted by the I told him I would think of his case and birch or ferule.

conclude what course to adopt, at the end He thought there ought to be a distinction of a week he came back and aslied " Have you made between punishment inflicted with a rod thought of that matter ?" Yes, some, (I re. and other modes which were not deemed corpo. plied,) but what course do you think I ought to ral punishment. He had known teachers and adopt ?" "I would rather take a whipping and parents who discarded corporal punishment, but come back, than to stay out!” No, but can't you who did not scruple to shut up their children, behave another week without any unpleasant or make them stand for a great length of time in infliction ?" I will try, said he, he entered painful and unnatural postures. This they did school again and behaved well ; other boys saw not call bodily punishment, although it was fre- him and copied his behaviour. quently more painful and disagreeable than In another instance I set a hard character to flogging. He did not use corporal punishment be monitor, he began at once to feel his responsi. himself, nor had he for several years. The only bility, and amended his manners and conversapunishment he inflicted upon his pupils was to tion. One day he came to me and said “one compel them to hear his lectures on morals. boy wont mind," well, said I, what shall be

(Laughter.) He generally gave them line up: done ? " why I should like to make him mind • on line, and precept upon precept. (A laugh.) me;" But (I replied,) he sees you disobey, and

But he was not prepared to say, although he got imitates you. This made a deep impression on along without corporal punishment himself, his mind and he became a most faithful and that others could. In small schools moral sua. obedient scholar; at the end of a week his fasion might do ; but in large ones it was almost ther came to me and said, " what is it you have impracticable. Prof. D. spoke also on the Scrip. done to my boy; I don't understand it?" I looked ture views of the question.

surprised, no doubt, and asked what was the Mr. Fowle of Boston said, I cannot pretend maiter, why,” said he, “my boy does not run to be as good as the gentleman though my expe away, or even go out to play evenings; he is rience is somewhat similar to his. (Roars of studying all the time when not doing chores ;” I laughter.) I recollect doing something which I called the boy up and asked, what are you knew was wrong-my father expostulated, but studying, my boy? " the lessons of my class added a threat and an unwelcome alternative- sir!" but why do you study them? "in order to my pride was aroused and my temper excited, teach my class when I am monitor, I learn the I was not then to be driven ; he flogged me lessons in advance, for I am ashamed of my but did not subdue me.

ignoranee ?! Tomy mind the defect of his attempted mode He ruled his class in memorable style, and of government was then apparent. Again, the was a task master of no ordinary character; school in which I was, in preparing for an ex. they dared not disobey him. This school be amination had certain verses assigned to each, came an easily governed association of children to be read on that memorable and interesting oc. and at last embraced ninety girls, from whom

were also selected the monitors hy whom they! Several other works were brielly advocated. were taught. The whole school had cause to Olinste i's Philosophy and Astronomy, several respect their teachers and from them have ari. i systems of penmanship, &c. Mr. Jencks, a sen many of our most useful and highly respec. publisher from Boston, recommended Emerson's table citizens. I was many years afterwards Spelling Book, Worcester's Dictionary, and some travelling through one on the outer streets of other works. the city of Boston, and saw a stout man super. 1 The views presentel by those who addressed intending an iron establishment (including the the convention were highly interesting. different branches employing some twenty men,) On motion of Mr. Patchin, of Livingston, who accosted me with how do you do? but in. Resolved, That this convention, sensible of forming him that I could not recognize him ;, the obligations which the common schools are what, saill he, do you not remember Damon? under to the authors of the many valuable text. This is all mine said he, and I am much obliged books now in use, tender the thanks of its memto you for it.

bers for the interesting and useful exposition of Never have I since that change, either as pa: the character of the several works now brought rent or teacher, flogged a single scholar ; and before their notice. God being my helper, I never will. Mr. Van Ingen, replied, that this was another

WEDNESDAY MORNING, May 16. proof that mildness and severity would always Prayer by the Rev. Dr. Dewey. effect the reformation of the vicious. In the case just related, severity came first and mild of three on the District School Journal.

Mr. Reynolds, of Orleans, moved a committee ness followed; whereas, milúness should always

The chair named Messrs. Reynolds, Wheeler be used first, and if that failed, severity must be

and Woodin. exercised, not as a general thing; but as a last Dr. Thomas moved that such authors as were resort. The child must be made to feel that its not heard the previous evening, be permitted to judgment is immature, and that its duty is to occupy the time till ten o'clock. obey implicitly the commands of its parent or

Mr. Brown moved a committee on school ap. teacher. The great error in school or family paratus. government, was inflicting corporal punishment The chair named Messrs. Brown, Robertson, before moral suasion had been tried.

and Patchin. The farther discussion of the question was

Mr. Shumway moved the appointment of a postponed till Wednesday morning. Mr. Henry, of Herkimer, from the committee committee on the introduction of political sci

ence into common schools. on school discipline, made a majority report, ad.

The chair named Messrs. Shumway, Henry, verse to the entire abolition of corporrl punish

and A. Wright. ment. This was referred to the committe of the

Mr. Patchin moved a committee on the intro. whole, to be taken up at ten next day.

duction of agriculture into common schools. RECOMMENDATION OF BOOKS BY AUTHORS AND The chair named Messrs. Patchin, Mills and PUBLISHERS.

Sentell. The session of the convention on Tuesday eve; information concerning the convention, Profes

For the purpose of obtaining some statistical ning, was devoted to hearing authors' of school books and publishers' agents explain the several sor Dewey oficred a resolution requesting the works in which they were interested. Much members to hand to the president their names, valuable information was elicited, though they ages, and professions, and also their views on

Carried. each occupied but fifteen minutes. The conven.

temperance. tion remained in session until half.past ten, yet a the subjects of their various works.

The convention proceeded to hear authors on large number of authors were not heard sor want

Mr. Lindley M. Moore read an essay by Miss of time.

Mr. Cornell explained the advantages to be Robbins, on the subject of her series of works for derived from the use, in our common schools, of

common schools. the small terrestrial globe which he had recently nication from Mr. Paliner, proposing to deliver

The President presented the following commu. got up. 0. O. Wickham presented his school ledger

a series of lectures on subjects conncted with the and Holorooks' apparatus for schools.

cause of education. It was referred to a select Professor Davies, of West Point, occupied the committee: time allotted to him in speaking of his series of To the Convention of Superintendents assembled at Mathematical works, designed for common

Rochester, to devise measures for the improvement

of the Common Schools. schools.

Prof. Perkins-His Arithmetic and Algebra. GENTLEMEN–Will you allow one who has de Mr. Sweet-Sweet's Elocution.

voted the chief part of his time and attention for Mr. Cobb-Spelling book, and a series of many years, to the investigation of this most im. readers for small children.

portant subject; one who feels a deep interest in Mr. Sanders Spelling book, and a series of the successful issue of the movement your state reading books.

is making towards a substantial improvement of Mr. Gilman'advocated the claims of Town's clucation; will you allow him, I say, to throw Spelling book. Mr. Cooper, Town's Analysis. in his mite in aid of that great cause? I would

Mr. Pierce spoke at some length in advocat. propose, should my offer be sanctioned by this ing the superiority of his work on English intelligent boly, to deliver either one or five lec. grammar.

iures in every county or half county of the state, Mr. Harrison presented Root's System of Pen. to which I might be specially invited by its remanship, Mr, Northeod, the Salem System of spective superintendent, on the most pressing Penmanship.

wants of the schools, and the best method of sup

« PreviousContinue »