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much for us in our free schools. But let this sentiment be what it should be in regard to the education, and the salvation of the young, and not a lad would be out of these schools, who should be in them. Let there be, as I think there should be, a superintendant, with regard to schools, of children between the ages of 4 and 14 years, whose duty it should be, to place every boy and girl whom he finds out of school, and unemployed, in one of our public schools; and, where any one, through filial disobedience, cannot be kept in one of these schools, let it be the duty of this superintendant to take proper measures for his or her moral security; and the good obtained would be incalculably great. Considered only as an economical expedient, I think that it would be second to no one that could be proposed.*
* There are vagrant boys in our streets, and on our wharves, who should be in the school for Juvenile Delinquents. It would be the highest possible exercise of charity towards them, to place them there. I know of no other means of their rescue from ruin. Let there be such an officer as I have proposed, and these boys would come under his charge. Nor in this, or in any other department of his charge of the children referred to, need there be the smallest encroachment on the rights either of parents, or of their children. This superintendant might, likewise, almost daily be adding much to the relief and comfort of parents among the poor, as well as to the general order and security, by providing places for children in families; and, especially, by apprenticing as many as possible, or otherwise providing for them, in the country. It is hardly to be conceived with what difficulties poor parents, and especially poor widows, often have to struggle, in obtaining employment for their children; and many children are lost, wholly from the want of a friend at that critical time, when they must be taken from school, or are just taken from it, and when their parents know not what to do with them. I do not know of any office in which a greater amount of moral good may be done, than it would
Then, too, whatever be the cost to be incurred, there would not be tolerated for a year among us, nor unnecessarily for a month, a prison, which is preparing the young transgressor who is sent to it, to come forth from it at least as much worse than he was at entering it, as the most experienced and willing teachers of iniquity can make him. — But here, again, I must not enlarge. Suffer me only once more, in view of the admonitory lessons to which I have adverted, to address myself to the professional man, to the merchant, and to the mechanic; to all who have property, and to all who hope to have, and to enjoy it; to parents, guardians and masters; to those who respect the laws, and would maintain them; and, above all, to those who call themselves, and who would be, Christians. Whose interests are untouched by the great questions respecting poverty and crime? Who has a right to be indifferent concerning them? Who, if he will, may not contribute something to relieve the wants, and to advance the moral security, and the best good of the poor; something to stay the progress of sin; and something to save some of the rising, or the risen generation, from moral death?
In closing the fourth year of the ministry in which I am engaged, allow me to say, that I feel a gratitude and happiness which I cannot express to you, in a recurrence to the privileges with which I have been
be in the power of this superintendant, if he have the spirit of his office, to accomplish ; or one, by which the vital interests of the city would be more essentially served. This office would be as properly municipal, as that of a city marshal. Would not public opinion, then, support our city authorities in establishing it?
blessed in this most interesting work. During the past
best thanks. They are not less my own, than the benefactors of those whom I serve. May the blessings of those who have been ready to perish come upon them; and ten thousand fold be repaid into their bosoms, for all their christian kindness to their suffering fellow beings!
JOSEPH TUCKERMAN. November 5th, 1830.