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And I particularly invite again their attention to the expediency of cxercising their existing powers, and, where necessary, of resorting to the prescribed mode of enlarge ing them, in order to effectuate a comprehensive system of roads and canals, such as will have the effect of drawing more closely together every part of our country by promoting intercourse and iniprovements, and by increasing the share of every part in the common stock of national prosperity.
VIII. PRESIDENT MONROE.
Mr. Monroe shared the constitutional scruples of Mr. Jefferson. In his first message he recommended such amendment of the Constitution as would admit of internal improvements being made by Congress. He flattered himself that “the benign spirit of conciliation and liarmony” prevailing throughout the Union promised to such a recommendation the most prompt and favorable result. IIe added:
I think proper to suggest, also, in case this measure is adopted, that it be recommended to the States to include in the amenilment sought a right in Congress to institute, likewise, seminaries of learning, for the all-important purpose of diffusing knowledge among our fellow-citizens throughout the United States.
IX. THE SECOND PRESIDENT ADAMS.
The second President Adams, in breadth of intellectual attainments and sympathies, was inferior to no man who has filled the Presidential oflice. He had acied for many years with the Virginia school of polities, but he did not regard their constitutional subtleties. He was, in fact, a broad constructionist, holding large views on all subjects of a national character. As Secretary of State he had made a celebrated report on weights and measures, which is still considered one of the mest valuable documents on that subject ever written. As the recommendations of that report had not been enacted into law, he naturally took occasion, in his first annual message, to draw the attention of Congress to the subject again, connecting it with the profouud, labori. ous, and expensive researches into the figure of the earth and the comparative length of the pendulum vibrating seconds in various latitudes from the equator to the poles which had been made in Europe. He thought it would be lionorable to the country to share in these investigations, and as a means of making this possible he went on to say: - Connected with the establishment of a university, or soparate from it, might be undertaken the erection of an astronomical observatory, with provision for the support of an astronomer, to bo in constant attendanco of observation upon the phenomena of the heavens, and for the periodical publication of his observations. It is with no feeling of pride, as an American, that the remark may be made that on the comparatively small territorial surface of Europe there are existing upward of 130 of these light-louses of tho skies, while throughout the whole American hemisphere there is not one. If we reflect a nioment upon the discoveries which in the last four centuries have been made in the physical constitution of the universe, by the means of these buildings and of observers stationed in tliem, shall we doubt of their usefulness to every nation? And while scarcely a year passes over our liceads without bringing some new astronomical discovery to light, which we nuust rain receive at secondhanıl from Europe, are we not cutting ourselves off from the incans
of returning light for light, whilo we have neither observatory nor observer upon our half of the globe, and the earth revolves in perpetual darkness to our 'unsearching eyes?
He referred in fitting terms to the interest that his first predecessor bad taken in institutions and seminaries of learning, saying that if lie could now survey the city which had been honored with his name, he would see the spot of carth which he had destined and bequeathed to the use and benefit of his country as the site for a university still bare and barren.
If possible, John Quincy Adams's recommendations had less weight with Congress than his father's had had, and this one was perhaps the lcast fortunate of all. It was received with shouts of derisive merriment that show, not merely the furious partisan rancor of 1825, but also the low state of science in the United States. With March 4, 1829, American politics took a new departure, and the national university passed out of sight. The first six Presidents had recommended such an institution more or less warmly, and it is painful to think that, whatever its merits, it should have expired amid the inextinguishable laughter with which the recommendation of a “light-house in the skies” was greeted.
The main purpose of the compiler of these documents is to exbibit the views of the early Presidents concerning a national university, and not to give a full history of the subject. Those who wish to pursue the subject more fully are referred to the bibliography following the documents. Dr. F. W. Blackmar, in his Federal and State Aid to Higher Education, tells us that in 1796 a memorial was before Congress praying for the foundation of a university; that again in 1811 the subject was considered by a Congressional committee, which reported that it would be unconstitutional for Congress to found, endow, and control such a seminary; and that another Congressional committee considered the subject in 1816, but with no practical results. (His references are Ex. Doç. Fourth Congress, second session; Ex. Doc. Eleventh Congress, third session; Ex. Doc. Fourteenth Congress, second session.) He also remarks, as others have done, that Congress has founded and supported the National Museum, the Library of Congress, the National Observatory, and the Bureau of Education, which in some sense take the place of a university. In fact, the old National Observatory stood on " University Square," which Washington had chosen as the site of the university. Dr. Blackmar also draws attention to the fact that although the university question was considered practically settled after 1816, it was reopened for discussion when Congress came to dispose of the Smithson bequest, and again in 1873 following the Paris Exposition. At this time a bill was before the House of Representatives providing for a university at Washington, endowed by Congress to the amount of $20,000,000, yielding 5 per cent interest, the income to be used for buildings, furnishings, and for the general support of
the institution. (House Report No. 89, Forty-second Congress, third session, 90.)
Mention may be made of the bill introduced into the United States Senate by Hon. George F. Edmunds, May 14, 1890, entitled “A bill to establish the university of the United States.” This bill was read twice and referred to a select committee of nine. Also of a bill entitled “A bill to establish a national university,” introduced into the Senate by Hon. Redfield Proctor, February 4, 1893, read twice and referred to a special committee.
Additional references are the following: C. K. Adams: Washington and the Higher Education, 1888. Henry Adams: The Writings of Albert Gallatin, 1879; The Life of Albert Gallatin, 1879. H. B. Adams: Washington's Plan for a National University, Johns Hopkins Uni. versity Studies, III, 93; Thomas Jefferson and the University of Vir. givia, 1888; The College of William and Mary, 1887. C. W. Eliot: A National University, Proceedings of the National Educational Association, 1873. J. C. Henderson: Thomas Jefferson and Public Education, 1890. J. W. Hoyt: Preliminary Report on an American University, Proceedings of the National Educational Association, 1870; An American University, Second Report of the National Committee, Proceedings of the National Educational Association, 1871; Report on Education, United States Commission, Paris Exposition, VI, 1873; A National University, Review of a Paper Read at Elmira, N. Y., by Charles W. Eliot, Proceedings of the National Educational Association, 1874; Memorial in regard to a National University, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1892 (this memorial is a magazine of quotations and arguments in relation to its subject). A. D. White: National and State Governments and Advanced Education, American Journal of Social Science, 1874; A National University, The Forum, 1889. See also Poole's Index to Periodical Literature, indexes of the leading reviews and magazines, under “University," and the list of authorities in Knight, Land Grants for Education, 173-175.
X. PROVISIONS CONCERNING EDUCATION IN THE STATE CON
1. First period, 1776-1802.-II. Second period, 1802–1835.—III. Third period, 1835-1861.
IT. Fourth period, 1861–1895.
I. FIRST PERIOD, 1776-1802.
Discussion ; Pennsylvania, 1776; North Carolina, 1776; Georgia, 1777; Vermont, 1777;
Massachusetts, 1780; New Hampshire, 1784 ; Vermont, 1787; Pennsylvania, 1790 ; Delaware, 1792 ; Tennessee, 1796 ; Georgia, 1798. The provisions of the State constitutions concerning schools and education, from 1776 to the present time, form an interesting chapter in the history both of American jurisprudence and of Ainerican education. They are the legal foundations of our State school systems. It is proposed in this section to bring all these provisions together in such a
manner as to illustrate fully the development of this important branch of our educational history. This object will be best gained by following, in the main, the chronological order in which these provisions were enacted. It will be convenient also to present the subject under certain heads, determined by certain important facts.
In May, 1776, the American Congress recommended the assemblies and conventions of the States where the existing governments were not sufficient for the exigencies of their affairs “ to adopt such govern. ment as shall, in the opinion of the representatives of the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular and America in general.” In pursuance of this recommendation, which was plainly necessitated by the lapse of events, all the States but Connecticut and Rhode Island, which considered their colonial charters amply sufficient for present exigencies, proceeded to frame State constitutions; some of them very rudimentary and imperfect, but others well thought out and elaborated. Several of these States, finding their first constitutions inadequate to the purposes of government, were compelled almost immediately either to frame new ones or to make important amendments. Again, before any new educational forces or interests began to act or appear, Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee came into the Union. These various constitutions are no mean criterion of the conditions of popular education in the several States, as well in those that did not recognize education at all as in those that made some provision for it. Furthermore, the fuller realization of a national consciousness following the organization of the Government under the Constitution of 1787 led to a general quickening of the pulses of national life. An historian of the time has said:
No sooner had the war for independence ended, and the Government of the United States been placed on a settled basis by the adoption of the Constitution; no sooner had the national life begun to flow in its new channels, than there was a great advance along all the lines of denominational activity and educational enterprise. Everything which before had been carried on in scattered, sporadic methods now tended to organization. Boards of foreign and home missions were established; Bible and tract societies were organized; theological seminaries were founded; now colleges were planted, and the older institutions more liberally endowed; the reli. gious press was multiplied; associations for moral reform were instituted. The first half of this century was prolific in all these movements.?
In making extracts from the State constitutions, “The Federal and State constitutions, colonial charters," etc., compiled under an order of the United States Senate by Ben: Perley Poore, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1878, has been followed to the date of publication. Great pains has been taken to make the compilation as complete as possible, but some unimportant provisions have perhaps escaped observation. The date on which a constitution or an amendment took effect has been given in every case where it could be ascertained from documents at hand. Journal of Continental Congress, II, 339. 2 J. 0. Murray, Life of Dr. Wayland, pp. 1, 2.
TIIE CONSTITUTION OF PENNSYLVANIA, SEPTEMBER 28, 1776. SEC. 44. A school or schools shall be established in each county by the legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters, paid by the public, as may enable them to instruct youth at low prices; and all useful learning shall be duly encouraged and promoted in one or more universities.
45. Laws for the encouragement of virtue, and prevention of vice and immorality, shall be made and constantly kept in force, and provision shall be made for their duo execution; and all religious societies or bodies of men heretofore united or incorporated for the advancement of religion or learning, or for other pious and charitable purposes, shall be encouraged and protected in the enjoyment of the privileges, immunities, and estates which they were accustomed to enjoy, or could of right have enjoyed, under the laws and former constitution of this State. THE CONSTITUTION OF NORTH CAROLINA, DECEMBER 18, 1776.
[This was continued in the constitution of 1835.] 41. That a school or schools shall be established by the legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters, paid by the public, as may enable them to instruct at low prices; and all useful learning shall be duly encouraged, and promoted, in one or more universities.
TIIE CONSTITUTION OF GEORGIA, FEBRUARY 5, 1777. ART. 54. Schools shall be erected in cach county, and supported at the general expense of the State, as the Legislature shall hereafter point out.
THE CONSTITUTION OF VERMONT, JULY 8, 1777. The state of affairs in Vermont from 1776 to 1791 vas anomalons, At the first of those dates Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York each claimed in whole or in part the territory at present compris. ing that State. The people asserted their independence of all these States, as well as of England, and strove to be admitted to the Union as an independent State. Massachusetts assented in 1781, New Hampshire in 1782, New York in 1790, and Vermont became the fourteenth State in 1791. In this period two constitutions were framed, each of which was declared by the legislature to be a part of the laws of the State, and appears to have been so regarded by the people. The first of these constitutions contains the two following propositions. This is the first mention made by a similar document of school lands:
SEC. XL. A school or schools shall be established in each town, by the legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters, paid by cach town; making proper use of school lands in each town, thereby to enable them to instruct youth at low prices. One grammar school in each county, and one university in this State, ought to be established by direction of the General Assembly.
SEC. XLI. Laws for the encouragement of virtue and prevention of vice and immorality, shall be made and constantly kept in force; and provision shall be made for their due execution; and all religious societies or bodies of men, that have or may be hereafter united and incorporated, for the advancement of religion and learning, or for other pious and charitable purposes, shall be encouraged and protected in the enjoyment of the privileges, immunities and estates which they, in justice ought to enjoy, under such regulations, as the General Assembly of this State shall direct.