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union. It is a system which has existed among our brethren of New-England for almost a century. It has grown with their growth, and strengthened with their strength. It has indeed been the primary cause of that growth and strength, and has become as essential to the moral, as the very air they breathe is to the physical existence of that great and happy people.”
Judge McCaleb congratulates the citizens of New-Orleans on its having been the first city at the South to lead the way in this great improvement:
“It becomes my pleasing duty then, to congratulate my fellow-citizens of the Second Municipality of New-Orleans on the important fact, which cannot fail to excite emotions of pride and pleasure in the minds of all who are not insensible to the influence of local attachments and local sympathies. It has fallen to your lot, fellow-citizens, to set an example to the whole southern section of our confederacy, by being the first to engage in this greatest of all moral enterprises, the establishment of a permanent system of primary instruction. The beauty, utility and moral grandeur of this system, consist in the perfect equality with which it dispenses the means of education among the children of every class and condition. It disburses this invaluable treasure with a liberality uncontrolled by all those contracted considerations which take into view the station in life occupied by the parents of the innocent and immortal beings, who seek to become the recipients of its salutary and unalloyed bounty. It operates upon the principle of affording the greatest good to the greatest number, and with reference to that eternal and undeniable truth, that the cultivation of the mind should ever be regarded as an object of the first importance, as well in its effects upon individual as upon national character; for whether we consider it with reference to individuals or to nations, it must and will be acknowledged to be as vitally essential to the happiness of the one, as to the permanent prosperity and glory of the other. The system we advocate claims in a word as the ultimate consequence of its successful prosecution, the promotion of that great end of all free governments, for which the lives of patriotic statesmen have been spent in anxious toil, and about which the noisy and hypocritical demagogue is heard to thunder so loud and is known to care so little-equality of rights, privileges and enjoyments among all mankind. It is difficult indeed to imagine a system more catholic in its operation or more directly beneficial in its practical results in regulating the destines of such a community as the one in which our fortunes have been happily cast; and it becomes our imperative duty to cherish and sustain it as the mightiest engine which human wisdom has ever devised for the eradication of vice and immorality, for the prevention of crime, and for the consequent elevation of our moral and intellectual character."
We have room only for another brief extract from the peroration of this eloquent and truly classic production, in which the author expresses wishes and hopes equally indic61
VOL. VI.--NO. 12.
ative of his attachment to his city and State, and of his devotion to the great interests of our common country :.
“And now let us, fellow-citizens, ardently hope that in the prosecution of this important work, there may at all times be found a concurrence of sentiment and an unity of action throughout our great and growing city, and that the fruits of the great "seminal principle” here sown and cherished, may be realized and enjoyed in every village and every cottage of Louisiana ;-yea, that the whole South, yielding to the influence of our own bright example, may soon cause the pure and limpid waters of social existence, which shall bountifully How from the system we this day advocate, to roll back upon their great Northern source, until our whole happy Union, mingling in one mighty and magnificent stream of emigration Westward, shall pour forth a perennial flood of moral intelligence, with all its concomitant blessings, upon our boundless and untrodden wilds !"
The system of schools adopted in the First, does not differ essentially in its features from that which prevails in the Second, Municipality, although it has been a shorter time in operation. The number of pupils is about the same, and the course of studies nearly so. Both the English and French languages are taught to pupils, whose parents or guardians may desire it; but the English language is taught to all children indiscriminately. No corporeal or other degrading punishment is inflicted under any circumstances. The schools are under the supervisory control of a Superintendant, with an income of $2,500. His duty is to visit all the schools, and carefully examine into their condition, as often as practicable,--to make reports thereon to the Committee on Teachers and to the Board of Directors, and to render to all teachers such information and assistance in the discharge of their duties, as he may judge beneficial to the interests of the schools.
In both the Municipalities there are some spacious and commodious school edifices, but, generally speaking, better school buildings are required. So short a time has elapsed since the adoption of the new system, that the public authorities have not been able, as yet, to erect, on an extensive scale, new and suitable edifices, but have been content, for the most part, with such accommodations as could be procured, intending to erect commodious buildings hereafter, as soon as circumstances permit them to do so. Notwithstanding the disadvantage of crowded rooms, one is struck, on a visit to these schools, with their admirable order and discipline, the beautiful system of teaching that prevails in them,
and the deep interest which both teachers and pupils appear to feel in the ordinary routine of their duties. In no schools that we have visited, has it been our lot to see so many cheerful and happy faces, such studious habits, such prompt attention and ready answers, such ambition of excellence, such respect for teachers, such apparent good will and friendship of the pupils for each other. The teachers are selected with judgment, and none are permitted to occupy this responsible station but highly competent persons, who from choice, rather than necessity, have adopted teaching as a profession, and who feel a peculiar pleasure in it.
In the Third Municipality, as we are informed, active and zealous efforts have been made to carry out the plan of educational reform; and although the number of pupils falls far short of that in the other Municipalities, “yet from the known fidelity of the gentleman who is performing the duties of Superintendant, and who has long been favorably known as an instructor of youth, the most happy results are anticipated." It will be perceived, that this system of Public Instruction embraces the establishment of Academies or High Schools, in which the mathematics, the learned languages, and all the higher branches of education, peculiar to such institutions, are to be taught. Within a few weeks past, an elegant and spacious brick edifice has been erected in the Second Muni. cipality for this purpose ; and this will be followed by other structures, of the same character, in different parts of the city, as soon as circumstances require their erection. The influence of the Public, upon the patronage heretofore extended to the Private Schools in New Orleans, has been sensibly manifested in the great diminution of the pupils in the latter establishments, who have flocked in numbers into the Public Schools, not merely from motives of economy influencing parents, but because the latter are satisfied that in these institutions their children will be surrounded by better influences, and will stand a fairer chance of obtaining a complete and thorough education, than they could do elsewhere. Considerations of economy, however, are not, and ought not to be overlooked in the educational arrangements of any community, and it is gratifying therefore to learn, that by these cheap, popular and excellent establishments, the expense saved to the citizens of this Municipality, according to a very moderate estimate, amounts at least to the sum of fifty thousand dollars per annum; and supposing the same
amount, by the introduction of the same system, to be saved to the citizens in the other Municipalities,-to the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars per annum to the entire city.
We have brought this noble movement of the great Southern emporium of trade and commerce thus conspicuously before our readers, because it is the first effort of the kind at the South which has been crowned with complete and
gratifying success; and because, although it was pronounced chimerical at first, and encountered much odium and opposition from the higher as well as lower classes of the community, it has, at length, triumphed over all opposition, and has awakened a generous sympathy and enthusiasm among parents, children, teachers and persons of every grade, of whose extent it is impossible for those, who have not witnessed it, to form any estimate. The example has already been followed in the neighboring and thriving city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, whose enterprising Mayor, the Hon. Miles Folkes, having brought the subject urgently before the view of the city council, that body patriotically resolved immediately to introduce the system into that community, and have already carried the design into successful execution. The city of Jackson, the capital of the State, a place of much refinement, and entertaining an equally high sense of the importance and necessity of popular education, has adopted similar measures, and, in order to complete and extend the plan as fully and widely as possible, the present highly intelligent and public-spirited Chief Magistrate of the State, the Hon. A. G. Brown, has directed the venerable President of the Mississippi College, the Rev. Dr. Alexander Campbell, to prepare the model of a Free School system, to be submitted to the Legislature at its next session, with a view to its adoption by that body. This energetic action of whole communities at the South in promotion of the best of causes, is beginning, as might be expected, to rouse public attention and elicit many comments. Timid persons, who have often witnessed the evanescence of popular enthusiasm when enlisted on the side of new projects, have predicted that the excitement which now prevails on the subject of Public Schools, must soon subside, and that the plans of educational reform, now so popular, must be abandoned. Such apprehensions may be allayed in the breast of the real patriot, when he reflects on the noble results which have sprung
from these institutions, and the deep and growing interest which they have excited, and continue still to excite, in those sections of our Union, where they have existed in a flourishing condition for upwards of half a century. But if he prefer to go abroad for examples in order to fortify his courage, let him turn to the schools of Europe, of which we have an exceedingly interesting and instructive account given in the very able Report of the Hon. Horace Mann, Secretary of the Board of Education of Massachusetts, which now lies before us.
Mr. Mann's name, as connected with the great cause of education, is well known to our readers. It is honorably known throughout the United States, and throughout Europe. Wherever it is pronounced within those circles of civilization, it produces an emotion not like the sensation created by brilliant achievements of art or genius mingled with the envy of rivals, but a pure and joyous feeling of deep gratitude, such as is felt towards a public benefactor, before whose presence whole communities rise up, under a sense of their obligations, to shower blessings on his head. It is well known that Mr. Mann, in the very maturity of his pow. ers and usefulness, relinquished the honors and emoluments of a lucrative profession, in order to devote all the energies of his mind to the cause of which we have spoken, and regardless of pecuniary losses or of the difficulties he would encounter, that he entered boldly upon the labors which he has prosecuted with such remarkable success, animated solely by the desire to advance the intellectual character of his native State,-an instance of self-sacrifice rare in the present and in any age, and worthy of being recorded as an example for the age that is to follow. Mr. Mann's Report gives the results of his inquiries into the condition and various modes of teaching, adopted in the Public and Private Schools of England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Prussia, Saxony, Belgium and Holland. It contains much new information, the result of patientand critical examination, and also much original, profound, philosophical, and yet practical speculation on varions subjects of education, which, at this stage in the history of our educational improvements, are deserving of mature consideration. As we are unable, at the end of an article, to do that justice to these topics which they demand at our hands, we must postpone this labor for the present, and take up the entire work-one of the most interesting