Page images
[blocks in formation]

of New Haven in Connecticut, nearly 30 years ago. Probably no experiment of the kind was ever made under circumstances more unfavorable than this. The laborers were ignorant, and many of them vicious; and they were of many various nations ; American, English, Scotch, Irish, French, &c. From a document published in New Haven, in January 1812, and signed by seventeen gentlemen of respectability living near the works, we derive the following interesting facts.

• The younger of the laborers, not only the apprentices but many of the rest, were instructed daily in spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic, and made a very commendable proficiency. Premiums in books and other articles were often awarded to the more successful members of the classes, and appeared to supersede, almost entirely, the necessity of punishment. Great attention was paid to their physical condition and management. The consequences were a striking improvement, not only in their intellectual, but in their moral condition. Negligence and idleness in a great measure disappeared, and habits of order, industry and cheerfulness took their place.

Experiments have been made, also, at the Dyottville glass works, near Philadelphia ; at a manufactory in South Boston; and in several other places; and with uniform good success. The most ignorant and stupid become gradually interested by coming in contact with others already awakened; a spirit of improvement becomes predominant in the public sentiment of the prison or factory, where instruction has been commenced ; and the whole face of things is soon altered and amended.

What then becomes of the cold insinuation, that the operatives in our factories are so degraded, as to render it useless to attempt to instruct them? Can we place the least reliance on them? And, if we except those instances where such statements are the mere echo of the statements of others, what are they but an apology for that selfishness which seeks to enrich or aggrandize itself, by keeping in the most abject ignorance the immortal spirits, whose bodies are, for reasons best known to their eternal Father, entrusted for a few months or years to their care or direction?

And after all, it is a most mistaken selfishness which leads to such base treatment of the human soul. It is not for the pecuniary benefit of those who employ laborers in factories or else. where, to keep thein in ignorance. At least it cannot be for their benefit in the end. No man can enrich himself and his posterity after him, by grinding the faces of the poor in this manner. The very ordinances of Jehovah, in the constitution of civic society, forbid it. The punishment of such misdeeds can

Appeal to the Friends of Education.


never be wholly evaded, until it ceases to be true that the sins of the parents are visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

We conjure those individuals then, who have it in their power to establish schools, lyceums, lectures, libraries, &c., for the benefit of the operatives whom they employ, to take the matter into serious consideration; not merely as a general duty to God and their fellow men, but also as a duty to themselves and their families ; nay, even as a matter of mere economy.

We call upon those friends of education—whose hearts beat high with philanthropy-residing in the vicinity of large factories, to exert themselves in endeavoring to convince the proprietors of these establishments of the importance and necessity of improving every means in their power for promoting the physical, intellectual, social and moral improvement, pot of the children merely of their laborers, but of the adults of both sexes and of all ages. You know not what will be the result of your efforts till you have made the experiment. Perhaps they stand ready, even now, to listen to your suggestions, and to co-operate with you and your associates, in effecting the reformation you seek. Or if not, perhaps it needs but your earnest and faithful endeavors to awaken them, and to lead them to measures upon which Divine Providence will bestow a most liberal blessing. Again we say, you know not your strength, in these cases, till you have tried it. Moreover the work must be done. It cannot long be deferred. The time is at hand when even a low public sentiment will not permit such blots to darken and disgrace' our country. The character of the inmates of factories and large mechanics' shops must and will be elevated ; but the sooner it is done the better, both as respects the public happiness and the public safety.

There are not a few females, in every manufacturing village of country, a portion of whose time might be devoted to preparing the way for this most desirable work. Grant that they have not the power in their hands-physically speaking—to accomplish any thing ; they have in their hands a moral power, I mean a kind and degree of influence which needs but to be put forth, and the work of the intellectual emancipation of factory inmates would soon be achieved. Were the means of improving the minds and hearts of these persons to become as common a topic of conversation among the ladies in their circles, as some other topics now are, it would not be possible for the present state of things to remain. A change would follow as inevitably as the magnetic needle turns towards the pole.


Interior of a School Room.


The following is a representation of the interior of a school room, constructed according to the recommendations of the Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, in his late ercellent report on School Houses.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

a a to

A represents the Teacher's Desk.
B B Teacher's Platform, from 1 to 2 feet in height.

C Step for ascending the Platform.
L L Cases for Books, Apparatus, Cabinet, &c.

H Pupils' single Desks, 2 feet by 18 inches.

Explanation of the Engraving.

259 M Pupils' Seats, 1 foot by 20 inches.

I Aisles, 1 foot 6 inches in width.
D Place for Stove, if one be used.
E Room for recitation, for retiring in case of sud-

den indisposition, for interviews with parents,
when necessary, &c. It may, also, be used

for the Library, &c. FFFFF Doors into the boys and girls' entries-- from the

entries into the school-room, and from the

school-room into the recitation room. G G G G Windows. The windows on the sides are not

lettered. • The seats for small scholars, without desks, if needed, to be movable, and placed as the general arrangement of the school shall render convenient.

• Where there is but one teacher, the space between the desks and the entries are to be used for recitation. Here, also, is the place for black boards, whether movable or attached to the wall. This space should be 8, 10, or 12 feet wide, according to the size of the school.

The height of the room should never be less than 10 or 12 feet.

The following is designed to represent an end view of the pupils' Desks and Seats.

J represents the Pupils' Seats, and K the shape of the board or plank which forms the side and support of the desks.

A light green is perhaps the best color for the scholars' desks and seats, as it is more grateful than any other to the eye. For the outside of the house, white is the color most universally pleasing.'

We have seen numerous representations of improved school rooms, not only for our own State, but for New York, Ohio, and other States; but no one, (as we observed in our last number) which we have seen, comes so near our own plan-developed many years ago—as that which is here presented. The general outlines of the two are the same ; but the plan of Mr Mann is certainly an improved one. It is more simple, and at the same time, more philosophical than any we have before, seen.

ose no one, Casate, but for Nimproved schon


Warming Rooms by a Furnace.

The above representation will probably create a desire in all who are interested in the subject of common school education, to see the Report we have alluded to, from which indeed the above plan is taken ; and we wish some method were devised to bring it within their reach. All we can do shall be done to circulate it; but for the present we have no other means of doing even this, except by commending it warmly, and making large extracts from it.

The Secretary dwells at length on the evils of breathing bad air in school rooms, or any where else ; and adduces much evidence on this subject. Among other things, he presents letters from Prof. Silliman, of Yale College, and Dr Woodward of our Lunatic Hospital. But it does seem to me, that of the importance of ventilating school rooms, so much has been said of late years, that the public cannot, as a general rule, be ignorant. We would at least charitably hope so. On the means of venTILATION and of warming a house properly at the same time, Mr Mann, in his Report, thus observes.

• The best apparatus for expelling foul air froin a room consists in the proper means of introducing a supply of fresh warm air. Undoubtedly, the best mode of warming a room is to have a cellar under it, and to place a furnace in the cellar. Some place of storing wood, seems indispensable for every schoolhouse, and a cellar could ordinarily be dug and stoned as cheaply as a wood-house could be built. I suppose, also, that a schoolhouse would be much less exposed to take fire from a furnace well set, than from a common fireplace or stove.

. But the great advantage of warming by a furnace is, that all parts of the room are kept at the same temperature. The air presses outward, instead of inward, through every crack and crevice in door or window. No scholars are injured by being forced to sit in the vicinity of a stove or fireplace; nor is any part of the room encumbered by either. When the latter are used, many scholars, who sit in exposed situations, will spend half an hour a day, and often more, in going to the fire to warm themselves; and, in addition to those, whose comfort requires them to go, idlers, from all sides of the house, will make it a rendezvous or halfway place, for visiting. With an unequal diffusion of heat in a school warmed by a stove, or fireplace, I believe it is always true, that diligent scholars will stay in their seats and suffer, while the lazy will go to the fire to drone.

Feet can be warmed or dried at the orifices for admitting the heated air from the furnace, as well as at a stove. There may be two of these orifices, one for the boys and one for the girls. The setting of a furnace requires some skill and science.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »