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ART. XVI.-1. A Review of the plan of Education in South
Carolina. Columbia, S. C. 1521. . 2. Address to the Graduates of the South Carolina College ;
December 1821. By Thomas Cooper, M. D. President of the College. It is remarked by Dr. Ramsay, that the settlement of Carolina' was nearly coeval with the institution of the royal society of London, and began at a time when Addison, Boerhave, Barrow, Fenelon, Hall, Locke, Milton, Newton, Rollin, Sydney, Sydenham, Sloane, Tillotson, Watts, and many other sons of intellect, were living and enlightening the world with the beams of knowledge. Though few, if any, of the early settlers of the province were learned men, yet they brought with them general ideas of European literature.' The doctor appears to intimate, in this array of great names, that some light may have been reflected from them on the infant settlement of Carolina. It is however only by the licentia historica, if there be such a figure, that all these luminaries can be made contemporaries. Of the labors of one of them, from whom, as the formal legislator of that colony, something might have been expected, the author of the seasonable pamphlet before us, expresses himself in the following decided manner.
• One will not be surprised, when he has read the number of stupid and illiberal things contained in Locke's Constitution for South Carolina, (for instance, such as prohibiting the existence of lawyers, and of commentaries and reports on legal subjects-compelsing a man to worship some god publicly, or be driven from society and the protection of the law-giving absolute power to the master over his negro slaves, &c. which show a great want of philosophy as well as Christianity,) that he should have made no provision whatever, in his government, for education. I rejoice that our ancestors expelled it with contempt and indignation, as the unworthy offspring of a writer on the mind and republics. He apologised for one clause, and I think he might have included twenty. p. 11.
Indeed, Carolina was not indebted for the first efficient efforts made in that province, for the promotion of literature, to any of the shining luminaries mentioned in Dr Ramsay's catalogue; but to a man, whose name most of our readers will probably hear now for the first time—a Dr Bray -by whose liberality chiefly it was, that libraries were early
established in Charleston, and the other parishes into which the province was then divided. In 1700, the legislature took these libraries into its own care, and appointed commissioners to loan out the books. Following up this salutary beginning, in 1710 and 1712, the legislature founded a free school in Charleston, on a pretty large scale, and schools in the other parishes, on a less extensive plan. The preceptor of the free school was to receive £100, and the country masters £10, per annum,“ to be paid out of the public treasury.' Donations were also made by private individuals to found academies in different parts of the state. Our author thus mentions one of them :
• The academy at Childbury with its little cupola, situated near Strawberry-ferry on Cooper river, is now in ruins, and is the habitation of owls and bats. Just by, is a romantic little church, with its grave-yard and solemn grove of live oaks, from whose large and spreading branches masses of grey moss hang, with almost architectural arrangement, picturing to the fancy of the classical enthusiast gothic arches, festoons, and all the variety of tapestry and ornaments; and where the writer has often seen the prowling fox, loitering in the dusk of evening, with his mewing whine, awaiting nightfall, when he may prey upon the poultry of the neighbouring tavern, where the reader, should he ever travel for the gratification of romantic night-thoughts, church-yard walks, and good lodging, may be gratified in them all.'-p. 10.
Nothwithstanding this liberality, both of the legislature and of private lovers of literature, the colony still lacked the means of affording such an education as would place the natives on a level with emigrants reared in the European colleges; and * none of the British provinces,' says Ramsay, in proportion to their numbers, sent so many of their sons to Europe for education as South Carolina. This disadvantage continued to be more and more felt, until, in the year 1769, a bill was introduced into the legislature, to found a provincial college. Such, however, was the prevalence of aristocratical prejudice,—such the fear, that, by facilitating the acquisition of a liberal education, the conditions of men would be equalized,--that the project entirely failed. The revolution purified the atmosphere of this kind of influence; and, as soon as peace was fairly established, in 1785, the legislature, it should seem, were determined to make up for the discomfiture of 1769, and instituted three colleges on the same day,-one in Charleston, one in
Winnsborough, near the centre of the state, and the third in Cambridge, near its western extremity. But experience soon taught that this was going to the opposite extreme. These colleges, in due time, sunk into mere grammar-schools, and still continue in the same state. In 1795, the citizens of Beaufort obtained another charter for a college; but that soon shared the fate of the three others; and it was not until the year 1801, that the legislature hit upon the proper plan.
In that year a law was passed, with unexampled unanimity,' as Dr Ramsay informs us, to found a college, to be called the South Carolina college, at Columbia, the seat of government. The chief executive and judicial officers of the state, with thirteen associates elected by the legislature for a term of four years, constitute the trustees, who possess the sole power of inflicting the punishment of expulsion, and a negative on all suspensions. With these exceptions, the government of the college is in the hands of the faculty.'
The trustees having been empowered to make choice of certain public squares in Columbia, for a site for the college,
selected a beautiful eminence to the south-east of the city, commanding a view of the country for many miles around; not indeed like the view from the state-house in Boston, embracing villages, steeples, and country houses, with the bay and its numerous islands, but affording to the north and west a prospect of the capital of South Carolina, one of the finest villages perhaps in America, with a population of three or four thousand inhabitants, and as refined a society as our country affords, and overlooking to the south an immense forest, of twenty or thirty miles in extent, and now and then interrupted in the uniformity of its appearance by some great cotton field, that stretches itself along the immense plains, through which the Congaree winds its way between its willow banks.'
The number and construction of the college edifices, as set forth by our author, appear adequate to the purposes of the institution, though with a brick building designed as an observatory, and the astronomical apparatus kept in it, he makes himself somewhat merry. The library consists of about five thousand volumes, and was selected by general Pinkney, judge De Saussure, and judge Johnson. The smallness of the library is a just subject of complaint; and we must be permitted to remark it as somewhat inconsistent with that claim to liberality, of which Carolinians so justly boast, that, after making such
ample provisions for planting a college, they should furnish so scanty a stock of the very pabulum, upon which it must subsist. If the three first essentials of oratory be action, the three first requisites of a college are books; and we think it was a fine conceit in the ten clergymen, who founded Yale college, that the only act necessary for the purpose was, each to bring three or four large books, and lay them on a table, saying, I give these books for the founding of a college. Five thousand volumes would scarcely be considered as a decent library for a private gentleman in Europe. Our author mentions several persons in this country, who have twice as many volumes; and we fully adopt his sentiment, when he adds, 'a late writer in the clerk's office in Charleston had 2 or 3000; and will an independent sovereignty confine the whole body of her youth to 5000 ?'*
The faculty of the college consists of the president, a professor of the languages, a professor of mathematics, mechanical philosophy and astronoiny, a professor of logic and moral philosophy, and a professor of chemistry and mineralogy. There are also two tutors, who superintend the freshman class. The salary of the president is 3500 dollars; that of the professors, 2000; that of the tutors, 1000.
There is but one vacation in the year, which includes the months of July, August, and September, and the annual commencement is holden in December. The course of studies prescribed resembles in general that which is followed at simiIar institutions in our country. It does not appear designed to introduce the students to a familiar acquaintance with ancient literature, and of course leaves them without that discrimination in the use of words, and that familiarity with the whole intellectual history of man, which can only be derived from the study of the ancient authors. An additional objection to the limited range prescribed to the study of the Latin and Greek is, that if more be not learned, the beginning made is worthless; and the student is condemned to waste years in the irksome and unprofitable task of conquering the elements of a language, of which he does not pursue the study far enough, to read its authors with ease or pleasure. We are happy to perceive, however, that an improvement has been made in this respect. By the former system of study, all attention to the learned
* There are five or six well selected private libraries of four or five thou. sand volumes in our immediate vicinity. New Series, No. 10.
languages ceased at the expiration of the freshman year. They are now studied throughout the college life, although the selection of authors to be read is quite limited.
The legislature of South Carolina has manifested a praiseworthy liberality in its appropriations for the support of the institution at Columbia. The author before us has been at the pains of constructing a table to show the yearly and total expenses of South Carolina college ; and from his results it appears, that the appropriations increased during the period between 1811 and 1820, from 10,000 to upwards of 15,000 dollars a year; the whole sum, for that time, being 138,659 dollars. Up to the year 1811, where our author's table commences, the annual and special appropriations had amounted to 148,000 dollars; so that the total sum of appropriations is 266,659 dollars. Among the articles, which make up this sum, we observe one of 3 or 400 dollars a year for the education of orphans.' In 1811 the legislature passed an act, empowering the commissioners of the orphan house in Charleston annually to select one of the boys educated and maintained by the bounty of that institution, for the purpose of completing his education at college. The expenses of such youth, except for clothing, are to be defrayed from the general appropriations to the college ; and, for clothing, a special appropriation is to be annually made of 140 dollars to each individual.
Our remarks thus far regard the college of South Carolina. We must now devote a little space to those minor institutions, in which are taught the primary elements of learning,-reading, writing, and arithmetic.' This is the language of an act passed in 1811, to establish, in every district of the state, as many free schools as each district respectively sent members to the house of representatives. By free is meant that the tuition only is free to every citizen of the commonwealth : but, where the citizens are too numerous, the children of the necessitous and poor orphans are to be preferred. These schools are placed under the care of commissioners; who have full power of appointing teachers, determining the situation of schools, increasing or diminishing their number, arranging the system of instruction, of drawing on the comptroller for sums appropriated,' &c.
Three hundred dollars per annum were voted to each school, until sufficient funds should be provided; and, in 1815, the legislature began with an appropriation of 37,000 dollars a year,