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Statement compiled in 1893 by the State College of Pennsylvania (about two-thirds of the States and Territories represented).
It may entertain those students of sociology who prefer an array of facts to an array of titles of unread books, called a bibliography, to follow the spread of this Massachusetts doctrine, which says that liberty is based on wisdom and knowledge, or perhaps on wisdom through knowledge; for “wisdom and knowledge, far from being one, have ofttimes no connection: knowledge dwells in heads replete with thoughts of other men, wisdom in minds attentive to their own." Rhode Island, it will be remarked, omitted the word “wisdoin” in her constitution o! 1812.
Pennsylvania (1776). --All useful learning shall be duly encouraged and promoted in one or more universities. Laws for the encouragement of virtue and the prevention of vice and (other) immorality shall be made and constantly kept in force, and provision shall be made for their due execution, and all religious societies or bodies of men heretofore united or incorporated shall be encouraged and protected in the enjoyment of the privileges, immunities, and estates which they were accustomed to enjoy under the former constitution.
North Carolina (December, 1776).-All useful learning shall be duly encouraged and promoted in one or more universities. See also at close of this note.
Vermont, 1777, followed Pennsylvania as above.
New Hampshire (1784), the first State after Massachusetts to adopt a new constitution.-Knowledge and learning generally diffused through a community being essential to the preservation of a free government, and spreading the advantages of education through the various parts of the country, being highly conducive to promote this end, etc.
Ordinance (Continental) of 1787.-Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged (in the States formed from the “ Western Territory.")
Ohio (1803), the first State made from the “Western Territory."— Religion, morality, and knowledge being essentially necessary to the good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of instruction shall forever be encouraged by legislative provision not inconsistent with the rights of conscience. In putting this last clause in, the makers of the constitution of Ohio innovated upon the language used by the Continental Congress at the urgent solicitation, it is said, of the Rev. Dr. Cutler, the pastor settled at Ipswich, in Massachusetts, who was lobbying the ordinance through so as to purchase some 4,000,000 or 5,000,000 acres of Ohio lands. His own company's (the Ohio) and the Symmes' purchase were the only instances of the twenty-ninth section of each township being reserved for religion. The idea did not take at all like the common-school idea. The makers of the constitution express themselves in their bill of rights thus: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, however, being essential to good government, it shall be the duty of the general assembly to pass suitable laws to protect every religious denomination in the peaceful enjoyment of its own mode for public worship, and to encourage schools and means of instruction.”
Indiana (1816), the second State of the Northwest.-Knowledge and learning generally diffused through a community being essential to the preservation of a free government, and so on, like the New Hampshire constitution of 1781.
Mississippi (1817).-Religion, morality, and knowledge, and so on, like the ordinance of 1787.
Alabama (1819).-Schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged in this State.
Maine (1820).-A general diffusion of the advantages of education being essential to the promotion of the rights and liberties of the people, therefore, etc.
Missouri (1821).-Similar to the Alabama, but see below in 1865.
Tennessee (1835).-Knowledge, learning, and virtue being essential to the preservation of republican institutions, and then on like the New Hampshire instrument of 1784.
Arkansas (1836).-Repeating the provisions of New Hampshire exactly; but see below, 1868.
Rhode Island (1842).-—The diffusion of knowledge as well as of virtuo among the people being essential to the preservation of their rights and liberties, etc.
Texas (1845).-A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people, etc., seemingly after Maine (q. v.,1820).
Minnesota (1858).—The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it shall be the duty of the legislature, etc.
Missouri (1865).-A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence, and then apparently copies Maine constitution (q. v., 1820, above).
Nebraska (1867).-Copied Ohio constitution of 1851, which was practically the same as the preamble of the constitution of 1803.
Arkansas (1868).-A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence, etc. (Of Missouri, above.)
Mississippi (1868).-Same as Minnesota, adding “virtue" to "intelligence.”
Arkansas (1874).-Intelligence and virtue being the safeguards of liberty and the bulwark of a free and good government, the State, etc.
North Carolina (1876).–Follows ordinance of 1787.
North Dakota (1889).-- A high degree of intelligence, patriotism, integrity, and morality on the part of every voter in a government by the people being necessary in order to insure the continuance of that government and the prosperity and happiness of the people, the legislature shall, etc.
Idaho (1890).-Copies Minnesota constitution of 1858.
The declaration of Maryland in 1864 is unique: “ The legislature ought to encourage the diffusion of knowledge and virtue, the extension of a judicious system of general education, and the promotion of literature, the arts, science, agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, and the general melioration of the condition of the people.
The declaration of the North Carolina constitution of 1868 is still inore remarkable: “ The people have a right to the privilege of education, and it is the duty of the State to guard and maintain that right."
THE FIRST COMMON SCHOOLS OF NEW ENGLAND.1
By GEORGE GARY BUSH, Ph. D. "The education of the people ought to be the first concern of a State."— Vacaulay.
New England was most fortunate in the character of her colonists. Doubtless the first projects of emigration to the New World had their origin in commercial adventure and the expectation of a higher political liberty, yet nothing can be clearer than that the actual settlers, who fled hither from the ecclesiastical and political tyranny of Europe, were filled with thoughts of establishing a Commonwealth based upon religion and learning. In their adventurous spirit they might perhaps be compared to the Greeks who colonized the lands bordering the Mediterranean, but they differed widely from them in most respects, and especially in the measure of their religious faith, and in the intellectuality of the objects which they sought to attain. According to the testimony they have left us, they had become weary of the corruptions in the church in which they had been born and nurtured, and went out to the new England “to practice the positive part of the church reformation, and to propagate the gospel in America." But this determination to seek a new land was aided much by the great reform movement which was then agitating all Europe, and quickening the desires and ambitions of men for new fields of activity, wealth, and honor. To the Puritans, accordingly, America seemed to offer a proper theater for the development of that “master principle," a religious reformation. Exiles from the country they loved, they asked only that, “in quiet insignificance,” they might lay the foundations of civil and religious liberty. But these men of such strong convictions who, for principle, were willing to pay the price of banishment, were alike worthy of honor for the nobility of their lineage and for their high intellectual acquirements. A New England writer says that they were the most highly educated men that ever led colonies." 2 We shall not then be surprised to find that they devoted themselves with such earnestness to the cause of education, being fully aware that without the schoolmaster and the schoolhouse nothing could save them from sinking into barbarism. Such was their conviction on this point, that scarcely a lustrum was allowed to pass before they placed the schoolhouse beside the church, determined that upon these two-education and religion-they would lay the foundation of
1 From the New Englander, No. VIII, March and May, 1885.
2 G. B. Emerson, Education in Massachusetts, p. 17 (Lowell Institute Lectures for 1869), who also says that of the ministers of the first fifteen or sixteen towns in Massachusetts, the greater part had been educated at Oxford or Cambridge, many of them being men of eloquence and famous preachers. Had it not been so, they would scarcely have been persecuted and driven from England.
3"Educational Progress" in the First Century of the Republic, p. 279.-The spirit of these early times is well expressed in the prayer of the Apostle Eliot, “ Lord, for schools everywhere among us! That our schools may flourish!
That before we die we may be so happy as to see a good school encouraged in every plantation of the country." (Mather's Magnalia, Vol. I, book 3, p. 498; ed. 1820.)
the new government. This was before they had any body of laws, and when the
The Pilgrims, the earliest settlers on the Massachusetts coast, after many vicis.
In 1633 a happy accession was made to the little colony in the person of the Rev. John Cotton. After the coming of Governor Winthrop and his associates with the first charter, in 1630, probably the arrival of no other person caused so great felicitation, or had a more important bearing upon the future welfare of the new colony. One has said that “in all its generations of worth and refinement, Boston has never seen an assembly more illustrious for generous qualities
* than when the magistrates of the young colony welcomed Cotton and his fellow-voyagers at Winthrop's table."3 These were men and women who were indeed “fit to be concerned in the founding of a State." 4 To Mr. Cotton, who was chosen pastor of the First Church, the praise has been given (justly as it would seem) of establishing the first school in Boston. Certain it is that in April, 1635, one year and five months after his landing, the free Latin school was opened on the north side of School street, 6 on the southeasterly portion of ground
1 The Germanic Origin of Now England Towns, p. 21. By H. B. Adams, Ph. D., Baltimore, 1882.
4 Ibid. Many of them brought their libraries, consisting of standard theological and classical
s Cotton came from Boston in Lincolnshire, England, where, as rector of the “most stately
& The record that assures us of the existence of this Boston school, dated “13th of ye and