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ON THE PRINCIPLE OF
CONNECTING SCIENCE WITH USEFUL
RE-PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF THE TRUSTEES OF WASHINGTON'S MANUAL LABOR
The annexed Pages are now presented to the Public under the
authority of the following Resolution :
At a meeting of the Trustees of " Washington's Manual Labor School and Male Orphan Asylum," held on the 27th day of October, 1838, the following Resolution was unanimously adopted :
Resolved, That PETER W. GALLAUDET, Agent, be appointed to re-publish a Pamphlet heretofore published by him, on the subject of Fellenberg's System of Education, together with a notice of the object of this Institution."
EDWARD INGLE, Secretary.
The instruction and bringing up of youth is a subject of great importance, both to the individual instructed, and to society; for every member becomes, in a greater or less degree, interested. If the youth becomes a useful member of the community, he contributes to the general good; but if the reverse, he takes from that good in proportion to his vices and bad habits. Some, it may be said, do neither good nor evil, being mere drones in the hive; but on reflection it can scarcely be said that any one member of society is of this class; for, if they do not immediately act to the detriment of others, still their example will have its baneful influence. All become partakers of the public good, and all should, in some way or other, contribute to this good. With this view of the subject, Education becomes a national, as well as an individual concern.
On the present plan, it is quite uncertain as to its successful result. It is much to be lamented that, after many years
and much expense have been devoted to this object, the favorable termination still remains doubtful. In the present mode of education, it appears to the writer that sufficient attention is not given to the formation of habits which would lead to active, useful industry, and prevent the waste of time. Early habits become our friends or enemies through life, and will tend either to add to, or take from, the public good. They should be formed with reference to future usefulness. For this purpose, science and labor should become united. A system might be formed to connect them, by allotting, early in life, a portion of time daily to the acquisition of some useful mechanical branch, practical agriculture, or horticulture, or by uniting them; and would be no hindrance to the pupil's progress in science, but serve as a profitable relaxation from his studies. A small portion of time might still be given to recreation, where the age and disposition require it. This plan would produce such habits as would prove beneficial through life to the individual,
to his connexions, and add to the public good. It would be complying with that law of God which, in the origin of the world, declared that man should eat his bread by the sweat of his brow-or useful labor.
The character of man is formed in early life, or at least, a foundation is laid that will greatly influence him in future It therefore becomes necessary to give both mind and body that bias which may prove advantageous. To come into active life with habits of industry, and a right estimate of the value of time, will form the best protection against the vices incident to youth, and the best security for success in whatever pursuit may be undertaken. They would also possess a greater degree of confidence in themselves: and as this is evidently a changing world, should they fail in their pursuits they would still bave a resource within themselves. Should they be engaged in agriculture, skill in the use of tools would be of great service, enabling them to make or mend their implements of husbandry, or to erect buildings for their use. The earth, that great depository, provided by God with a rich abundance of good things to nourish the body and to please the senses of man, will not open its treasures nor yield its supplies without labor. Man, in a savage state, may exist as the wild beasts of the forest; but, in civilized society, he cannot live without its application. God has so ordained it that his law is essential to us, which commands that man should provide his bread by labor; and by its judicious application the earth readily yields an abundance whereby man is remunerated for all his toil; and it is calculated to fill his heart with gratitude and love to his great Creator, who, in the productions of the earth, gives a rich display of his wisdom, power, and goodness.
By this plan of education youth would acquire a more patient and persevering industry, and be more temperate and moderate in their views, which would lessen that too prevailing disposition for speculation, with the hope of acquiring fortunes at once, in which so many fail, and some are lost to society. By habits of industrious application of mind and body men would be more willing to continue their pursuits to the end of life, with moderate acquisitions. All men desire happiness : youth seek it with ardor, and too often from indulgence in expensive and mistaken pleasures, which end in disappointment, pain, and sorrow. It would have a tendency to moderate their taste for false pleasure, and make useful employment a source of happi
This system would raise bodily labor from that too
degraded state in which it is now viewed, (especially by youth,) and place it on a more respectable footing; and would be complying with the order of Providence in man's degenerate state. Were this duty early impressed by precept, exarnple, and practice, so that men were habituated to act under its influence, it would greatly mitigate the painfulness of labor, and make that a source of pleasure which is now considered a hardship. It would tend to eradicate a mistaken propensity, too inherent in human nature, that indulgence and ease give happiness. The effect of this plan would be to lessen the number of drones in the human hive. Man would be so employed as to secure to society the sweets of industry, and thereby contribute most effectually to his own comfort and happiness.
Much has been done by the forming of societies for the relief of the indigent and distressed, and for the prevention of pauperism. What so likely to prove effectual as an early education, calculated to give habits of industry, and a right estimation of the value of time? This would be laying the axe at the root of the evil, and be the means of preventing many of our youth from becoming habitual idlers and public burdens.
Should this system of education become general, those early habits would be so stamped on the character as not to be easily effaced, and would lessen those crimes which now fill our pris
As it is much easier to prevent disease, by temperate living, than to effect a cure after it has taken place—so it is much easier to prevent habits of indolence and dissipation, by early education, than afterwards to remedy the evil.
The following will show the sentiments of Johnson and Locke on this subject, taken from the Rambler, No. 85: ,
“ It is necessary to that perfection of which our present state is capable, that the mind and body should both be kept in action; that neither the faculties of the one nor the other be suffered to grow lax or torpid for want of use: that neither health be purchased by voluntary submission to ignorance, nor knowledge cultivated at the expense of health. It was, perhaps, from the observations of this mischievous omission in those who are employed about the intellectual objects, that Locke has, in his system of education, urged the necessity of a trade to men of all ranks and professions, that, when the mind is weary with its proper task, it may be relaxed by a slighter attention to some mechanical operation—and that, while the vital functions are resuscitated and awakened by a vigorous motion, the understanding may be restrained from that vagrance and