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Iowa.-Mineral Point 3; Mifflin 3; Linden 2; Waldwick 3; Pulaski 7, .....
lin 5, ............ ..............
Valley 3,.......... ........ ..
Buena Vista 5,................... .............. ............ Racine.-Racine 4; Burlington 2,........ Richland.-Rockbridge 2; Marshall 4 ; Dayton 8; Eagle 6; Henrietta 5;
Akan 2: Bloom 4; Richland 6; Buena Vista 2; Sylvan 6; Westford 5; Willow 6.........
.............................. 56 Rock.-Harmony 1; Newark 9; Beloit 2; Clinton 1; Rock 1.............. 14 St. Croir.–Ceylon 2; Hudson 2; Erin Prairie 3; St. Joseph's 1; Hammond
4; Richmond 3; Somerset 1,..
Supt. of Pub. Instruction in acc't with State of Wisconsin.
1859. Feb. 7th. To Dictionaries on hand at the settlement with Inves
tigating Committee of the Legislature,......... Aug. 1st. Dictionaries purchased as per act of Legislature, ap
proved March 17, 1859,......................... Dictionaries returned from Kenosha County,........ Distribution of Dictionaries as above (613) as per
vouchers in the office of this Department,........
According to the best data of this Department, as given in my last year's Report, not very far from 3,250 Dictionaries had then been distributed, and now 607 others, not reckoning the 6 returned copies which have already been once counted as distributed, and we have a total of 3,807 copies distributed to the several cities and districts of the State. All the copies the State has ordered have been distributed; and there are now applications on file for something like seventy-five copies. Many other districts must be unsupplied, as there are in the State, as shown by the statistical returns referred to in the early part of this Report, not less than 4,331 districts in the State, estimating two and a half parts upon an average to a joint district. This would show 484 districts yet unsupplied; and as new districts are constantly multiplied, and each separate department of a public school is entitled to a copy, it is evident that sooner or later, quite an additional supply will be required. Probably 200 copies might answer for the ensuing year.
OUR FREE SCHOOL SYSTEM, THE IOPE OF OUR COUNTRY.
There are four millions of students, and one hundred and fifty thousand teachers, in the public schools of the United States; or one student for every five free persons. In Wisconsin, with a population of 900,000, we have about 175,000 children attending our Free Schools--or one to every five of our population. In Great Britain there is one student for every eight persons ; in France, one for every ten. But Prussia exhibits the largest number in school attendance, and consequently the smallest number who can neither read nor write. In the Prussian standing army of one hundred and twenty-six thousand men, but two soldiers are unable to read ; and of two millions and nine hundred thousand children between the ages of seven and fourteen at the last census, two millions and three hundred and twenty-eight thousand were actually attending the public schools. We need here in Wisconsin to take shame to ourselves when we are reminded, that at the census of 1850, out of a population of 305,000, we returned 6,453 persons, over the age of twenty years, who could neither read nor write; and I have been assured by Mr. MAGRAW, the Prison Commissioner, that there are not more than half a dozen inmates in our State Prison who have any claims to scholarship, the great mass being sadly ignorant and depraved. When the census is taken next year, if we have made no improvement, we shall have placed upon the records of the nation the humiliating fact of from eighteen to twenty thousand persons, over the age of twenty, unable to read or write. I trust the number may not
prove so large. If we do justice to our children, and afford them every possible means of intellectual improvement within our power, we may feel assured that the time is not far distant, when there will be found within our borders few or none so unfortunate as to be classed among the totally illiterate.
Our Free Schools are emphatically the hope of our country. The knowledge they will impart, with their constantly inproved methods, and a higher standard of education, will give to the next generation a power for good, which few are now willing to concede, or hopeful enough to anticipate. And above all, do I delight in the beautiful belief, that the struggling children of poverty of to-day, who are wending their way through swamps, and fields, and storms, and difficulties, poorly clad without, but animated by manly hearts and noble impulses, and firmly bent on the high resolve to acquire an EDUCATION—that these noble youth, hungering and thirsting after knowledge, will, a few years hence, wield the destinies of our country, and prove a blessing to millions of our race. A visitor going into a Free School in Boston during a recent half-year examination, observed two fine looking boys, one of whom had just taken the first prize, and the other the second. Said the teacher, “The boy who took the first prize is the son of the man who saws my wood; the boy who took the second, is the son of the Governor of our State.” And such must ever be the legitimate results of the Free School system, placing the high and the low, the rich and the poor, upon a common level-where unconquerable devotion and intrinsic worth, however humble or however poor, alone secure the prize.
CHANCELLOR BARNARD'S SERVICES.
First and foremost in this great work of providing a better education for the masses of the people, and, like Saul, the son of Kish, a head and shoulders above all his fellows, is HENRY BARNARD. He comes to us ripe in educational experience, and is devoting, with unflagging energy, the best years of his life to the honor and glory of Wisconsin. In the marked success which has attended the series of Teachers' Institutes held at various points in our State during the past Autumn, we have the strongest assurance for the future. Our Normal Schools, our Teachers' Institutes and Teachers' Associationsthese all-important agencies in elevating the character of Free Schools—will all feel the genial influence of his persuasive instructions, and the moulding power of his zeal, his talents, and his genius.
With such a leader, all should feel proud to follow ; and for
such an educator, all untiring, as he is, in devising plans for the attainment of a yet higher standard of intellectual improvement, we should all—legislators, school officers, teachers and people-feel it alike a pleasure and a duty to strengthen his lands, and encourage his efforts.
he positiefer my herm of During
About retiring forever from the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction, I cannot but flatter myself that some progress has been made, during my two years' term of service, in the great cause of primary education in Wisconsin. During that period, there has been an increase of 37,326 children of school age; of 620 school districts; of 272 school libraries, and of 13,369 volumes; and the average for the two years of the number of volumes taken out for reading is considerably more than twice the number taken out the year preceding. The increase of expenditures on school house property has been over $321,000; and an increase of not less than $250,000 has been paid alone for instruction in our primary schools ; while the total expenditure for the past two years, for school houses, fixtures, libraries, and instructional purposes has exceeded the sum of one million, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
There have been, during the two past years, two editions of the School Code prepared and published, and fully 9,000 copies supplied to school officers; 1,164 copies of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary distributed to the districts; not less than 5,000 business letters answered ; nearly a hundred appeal cases considered and decided ; many thousand circulars and blanks sent forth to every part of the State; the opinions and decisions of the Department for the first time published, and given regularly in the columns of the ably-conducted and valuable Wisconsin Journal of Education; and, in repeated instances, State school moneys saved to towns by kindly pointing out errors in their returns, and patiently urging their correction.Hundreds, if not thousands, of district difficulties have been amicably adjusted, and the cause of education thereby promoted. Several important amendments to the School Code have been secured; and last, though not least, a new School Library system adopted, that has called forth the highest commendations of the wise and the good in almost every part of the Union -a system that must prove an unfailing source of untold usefulness and happiness to the noble army of youth, and “the toiling millions,” of our State, for all coming time. The business of the office has been systematized, and attended to promptly; so that, according to the testimony of the Joint In
vestigating Committee, “a new order of things has been established from that heretofore found in the management of the Department.”
So far as I know, no just complaints or accusations have been made, that the appropriate business of the Department has ever been neglected, or partiality or prejudice exercised in giving opinions, or rendering decisions. Whatever complaints have been made against me, relate to reforms and improvements which I have, from time to time, felt it my duty to urge in behalf of the great cause of primary education; and for contending also, earnestly for moral, and as earnestly deprecating sectarian, instruction in our public schools ; and pleading for the sacred preservation of the School Fund, consecrated to the education of our children. In view of these things, I feel like adopting the eloquent and touching language of BURKE : "No! the charges against me are all of one kind—that I have pushed the principles of general justice and benevolence too far-further than à cautious policy would warrant, and further than the opinions of many would go along with me. In every accident which may happen through life, in pain, in sorrow, in depression, and distress, I will call to mind this accusation, and be comforted."
LYMAN C. DRAPER,
Sup't of Public Instruction. MADISON, Dec. 10th, 1859.