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known as Circulars of Information. The annual report is constructed on the theory that, when occasion may require, special reports will be made based on each of the several tables included in the statistical appendix of the annual report. The Special Report on Public Libraries in the United States is an illustration of this class of publications.
The publications of the Office since 1870, it may be added, comprise 7 annual reports, 2 special reports, 32 Circulars of Information, and 4 other pamphlets. These publications amount to more than 10,500 octavo pages, they have been distributed in more than 250,000 mail and freight parcels all over this country, and to various persons, offices, and institutions in Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
NEEDS OF THE BUREAU.
We are now prepared to state somewhat specifically the wants of the Bureau:
First. It wants additional clerical force. A sufficient number of suitably qualified clerks — clerks possessing the high attainments de. manded—it has never had. As the work increases, the divisions into which it naturally falls should each be in charge of a competent chief, with such assistants as are necessary to do the work well and promptly. These divisions exist, but the several persons of ability and culture employed in each division are unequal to the tasks assigned them. Work is delayed, information in their hands of great importance to vast educational interests and often asked for by school officers simply cannot be given because there is no one to compile and write it out. The fact is discouraging to the clerk and liable to misunderstanding on the part of the correspondent. The work of one division is compelled to give way to that of another and there is danger of confusion. The Bureau, therefore, wants enough clerical force to do this work promptly and well.
Second. The Bureau wants fit and permanent quarters. The Office has the kindly and sympathetic oversight of the accomplished Secretary who is at the head of the Interior Department; and to him and his immediate assistants is it due that the Office is able to welcome you in the pleasant rooms now allotted to its use. Never before has the Bureau been able to store its library and its museum in immediate relation to each other. Indeed, we have moved five times in the last nine years, each time with great damage to the work and the property of the Office.
The Bureau therefore wants a permanent and fit abiding place, (1) where its clerical work can be performed ; (2) where its publications can be received, stored, and distributed to advantage; (3) where it can store its library; (4) where its appliances illustrative of education can be collected and exhibited for the benefit of specialists in education and the public generally. What benefit would accrue generally from one such collection - a collection in which improvements in educational appliances may be received and examined, and where a national system of exchanges may be carried on—to all grades of instruction and all classes of institutions, and what saving of money, of health, and of life would result in so vast a country as this!
Third. The Bureau wants provision by law for a librarian, and wants to catalogue its library. This library numbers 10,000 volumes and 20,000 pamphlets. The absurdity of making no provision for a librarian is obvious.
Fourth. The Bureau wants provision for arranging, preserving, and exchanging its educational appliances.
Fifth. The Bureau wants a sufficient number of its annual reports to supply a copy to each of its nine or ten thousand correspondents.
Sixth. The Bureau wants means to enable it to publish more Circulars of Information. It has now in hand summaries of the late able report of the French commission to the Centennial upon primary education in this country; also rich and valuable extracts from conferences in relation to education in connection with the Paris Exhibition; also val. uable and extensive collections of material in regard to industrial education in foreign countries, all of which is in demand and it is believed would be very useful.
Seventh. The Bureau wants more means for the publication of special reports; one on the growth of college education, one on the development of text books, one on the progress of instruction in drawing and in art education, and others of great interest are already well advanced, and would ere this have been completed, had there been means to complete them.
Eighth. The Bureau wants proper provision for receiving, storing, wrapping, and distributing its publications.
Ninth. The Bureau wants means to enable it to carry on the exchange of educational information with foreign countries. Something of how you have been able to use it in these international relations is seen in connection with the exhibition at Vienna, that at Philadelphia, and the recent one at Paris.
Tenth. The Bureau wants your discriminating judgment upon its works and its wants.
Eleventh. The Bureau wants a continuance of the hearty coöperation it has received from the educators of the country.
Twelfth. The Bureau wants for its work, as above specified, an annual appropriation of $51,740. The appropriation for the present year is $30,720,
Finally, in a word, the Bureaul wants to do, and wants aid in doing, what no State, nor institution, nor individual has ever been able to do, but what the National Government only can do in this work of collecting and publishing educational information.
The PRESIDENT then announced the papers to be read at the evening session, and the Department adjourned to 7.30 P. M.
FOURTH SESSION-WEDNESDAY EVENING.
WASHINGTON, February 5, 1879. The Department reassembled and was called to order by the President at 7.30 P. M.
INSTRUCTION IN GOVERNMENTAL IDEAS.
Mr. Justice STRONG, of the United States Supreme Court, read the following paper:
I think it one of the most interesting features of the present age that public attention is so much directed to popular education. Not only is the duty of training the young for useful manhood and womanhood more generally recognized than ever before in the history of the world, but there is a great increase in the number of thougbtful men who are considering the best moiles of conducting educational operations in our public schools. We have passed the time when it was doubted whether schools for universal popular education may properly be sustained at the public expense. It is now acknowledged everywhere that the wise administration of governmeut, as well as its safety and perpetuity, is largely dependent upon the intelligence of the masses of the governed. This is true in all nations that exist under a constitutional form of government. Above all is it true in the United States. Here the people themselves are the government. They dictate its forms and agencies; they select its officers; they make the laws; they designate directly or indirectly what men shall legislate for the country, what judges shall adininister the laws in existence, and who shall execute them. Their impulses, their prejudices, or their judgment dictate what governmental policy shall be pursued. There is upon our statute books no law of universal application that has not been placed there and is not kept there in obedience to the popular will. All governmental and legal changes flow from the same source. It is the voice of the masses that declares what shall be the rights of labor, of property, and of persons. If the forms of government become unpalatable to them, others are substituted. If they disapprove its administration, they force a change. If the question be Shall free trade prevail or duties be levied for protecting American industry? they answer potentially. Shall the law of descent cast the estate of a decedent upon all his children alike! They determine. Shall additional protection be given to the rights of married women? It is for them to decide. Such is the moving power controlling all others in a government formed as ours is, and resting on almost universal suffrage.
It is needless to say, it is of unspeakable importance that a power so vast and so far reaching should be intelligently exercised. It may be admitted that the most ignorant and untrained of all our people would not wantonly imperil or destroy institutions so precious as ours. But even honest ignorance is dangerous. Beyond the facility with which
it may be employed by ambitious, selfish, and unpatriotic men lies the fact of its incapacity to bring to the consideration of the public questions that must constantly arise a sound and a wise judgment. It will, it must exert its power; but whether for good or evil is a thing of haphazard.
Instead, therefore, of doubting whether the general education of the young before they come to adult years is a matter outside of governmental concern, it is a wonder that it does not absorb more of the pub. lic interest and attention, more of the wise care of the government itself. No government can set before itself a higher duty than that of making provision for its perpetuity and its broader usefulness. And, in my judgment, these great ends can be secured in this country in no other way so efficiently as in fostering and guiding wisely the education of our youth in the public schools. Parents will not do the work; except in comparatively rare cases, they never did. In most cases they turn over the education of their sons and their daughters to the public school teacher, and consider themselves thus relieved from their responsibility. What the child learns of geography, of English grammar, of arithmetic, is generally learned at school, and, if not learned there, will never be learned. What the youth knows of the history or institutions of the country is an acquisition not made at home. I do not speak of this to justify parental neglect; I speak of it as a fact. In truth a vast majority of those parents who now have the government of the country and the preservation of its institutions in their hands are incapable of giving to their children the instruction which is needed to make them the most safe and useful citizens. It should never be forgotten that the children and youth of the country belong not to their parents alone; they are, in one sense, the heritage of the state, its property-as much so as are the public lands or the proceeds of taxation, for they are to be its supporters and the guides of its action. The government is to live not only for them, but by them. It is this consideration which justifies and demands the establishment and support of public schools by taxation and by appropriations of public money. It is this that justifies government supervision of the schools, as well as a watchful care that they accomplish the purposes of their being.
The paramount purpose of public school education, as I have said or intimated, is to fit the entire body of children and youth in the land for good and useful citizenship; to prepare them not merely to enjoy the blessings of an orderly, wise, and beneficent government, but to protect, perpetuate, and enlarge those blessings. And the attainment of this object, it seems to me, is to be reached by three successive steps. I speak not now of moral training, the importance of which cannot be overestimated; it should ever accompany intellectual culture, and it will always be found a helper. At present I refer only to what is com. monly understood to be the proper curriculum of the schools. The first step is preparatory yet essential. It is to teach the use of instruments,
without which mental culture and the acquisition of needed knowledge, if not impossible, is difficult. I refer now to the primary stages, such as reading, spelling, writing, and arithmetic. Of this step I say nothing.
The second step is to teach the formation of habits of thought, of reflection, and the exercise of judgment; this, I have often thought, is too much overlooked; yet it is a most important step in training in the direction of those results which are to be sought through the agency of popular education at public expense. In the civil and social life of those who now fill our school-houses questions will constantly arise which they must meet and which they will help to solve. Those questions will demand cool reflection and calm judgment. They cannot safely be left to the decision of blind impulses or unreasoning prejudices. Wise, upright, and firm thinkers are what society needs and what the highest interests of the public demand for voters. But I do not propose to enlarge upon this theme.
The third step in public popular education, which is or ought to be secured by our public schools, is the acquisition of that knowledge which is essential, or at least useful, in the discharge of the civil and social duties that will soon fall upon those instructed in the schools. The knowledge which can there be acquired, I know, is not extensive, nor can it be. But it may be and it should be enough to make intelligent voters and useful citizens in every department of civil life. It may be enough to create intelligent homes and family circles where it shall be a subject of conversation, and where, even under a mother's influence, the boy shall be trained into a higher manhood.
The appropriateness and value of some knowledge beyond that of the mere elements of an education are generally conceded. No one doubts the wisdom of instructing a boy or a girl in the geography of his own country and in that of the world. To an American citizen knowledge of his own country and of the whole of it would seem to be indispensable. How can he legislate or influence legislation for a country of which he has no adequate or accurate conception ! How even can he read the daily newspaper intelligently without some considerable knowledge of the regions of which it speaks?
So a knowledge of history, at least the history of the United States, is generally and properly regarded as a most desirable acquisition to be made in the public schools. It has often been said that no man is fit for a legislator who is not familiar with the history of his country, with its progress, with its development, with the embarrassments it has encountered, with the advances it has made, and with the causes of those embarrassments and advances. And if such knowledge is essential for a legislator, it would seem to be equally essential for those who make legislators and control their action. It is unhappily too true that members of Congress and of State legislatures, as well as local legislators and executive officers of municipal bodies, are but the mouth-pieces of those who send them, the reflex of the popular sentiment of the locali