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The only records we have found of incorporations granted under these ordinances are the following:
Fabius Select School, February 27, 1841.
Hunter Classical School, June 23, 1851.
It is believed that the Lancasterian plan of education has wholly disappeared from the school system of our State. We have evidence of its successful operation in the Records of the Public School Society of the City of New York, and in the testimony of multitudes of those who witnessed its operation and profited by its teaching, but like many other measures of public utility that have sprung into existence under the impulse of enthusiastic projectors, it had its period of brilliant success, of decline and final abandonment - perhaps less from any fault in the system itself than from the changes in our social organization and habits of thought and action that have favored the introduction of other methods.
We can assign no other reason for the slight effect produced by the act for the incorporation of "Select Schools," than the very probable one that persons engaged in the founding of schools of learning are seldom contented with the humble name and moderate claims implied in that title. Their ambition rises higher, seldom resting upon an object less honorable than an Academy, and sometimes better still. The attendance in "Select Schools" and private unincorporated Seminaries of learning has at all times been large, including as it does, parochial schools, private boarding schools, and the like, which attract great numbers of patrons, notwithstanding the public schools are free.'
Of Parochial Schools the Catholics have established by far the greatest number, and much more than all other religious denominations together. It appears from statistics given in the Catholic Directory of 1884, that there are 319 of these schools in the State of New York, with a total of 89,535 pupils. There were besides these 80 Academies and Select Schools, of which scarcely any are under the visitation of the Regents.
1 The Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of 1884, shows that nearly ten per cent of all pupils under instruction in the State, were attending private schools. The numbers and percentages were as follows :
MILITARY INSTRUCTION IN ACADEMIES.
The question of admitting and encouraging military instruction in Academies, came before the Board of Regents in 1826, in an application from Middlebury Academy, and was made the subject of an extended and favorable report.
After noticing the probable benefits that would ensue in the Militia service, the knowledge of constructions in which solidity and strength are desirable but too often neglected, and the avoidance of accidents from the use of firearms, and of cannon which generally happen through ignorance, and which a good military education would prevent, the Committee remarked:
"But there is another and more important view of the subject, which we beg leave to present, and which, as they deem, gives the project a still better claim to your favorable notice. Military engineering in all its branches relies upon the abstruse Sciences; and to be perfect in it one must be well acquainted with Natural Philosophy, and also intimately conversant with the pure Mathematics. These 'exact Sciences' thrive best where their results are more immediately applied to practical purposes, and where the student has an opportunity of constantly seeing that his investigations are not only pleasant to himself but beneficial to mankind. It is always from the practical applications of Science that those who cultivate it must expect to derive their revenue; and where we show the use of any speculation which may at first seem only intricate or pleasant, we recommend it to the public notice and favor. The effect, therefore, of encouraging this Military education will be to encourage the cultivation of all those sciences with which it is connected, or on which it depends, by showing one of the most important uses to which they can be applied."
The Regents, therefore, resolved that they were willing that the experiment should be made, for the purpose of testing the utility of Military instruction, in connection with the usual studies pursued in the academic course, and allowed the Middlebury Academy to institute a Military department. The Trustees in their annual reports were requested to communicate the results of their experience, and particularly as to the practical effects of such course of instruction, with the rules and regulations established in relation to the same.
The exigencies of the late war having called into exercise the military talents of great numbers of our citizens, and the need of
proficiency in this being apparent, the Assembly, on the 24th of January, 1862, passed the following resolution:
"Resolved, That the Regents of the University be requested to indicate to the House, their views as to the practicability of the introduction of a military drill and the manual of arms, together with the practice and theory of military engineering, into the Colleges and higher institutions of learning of this State; and if they regard the same, in whole or in part, as feasible, that they report a method of carrying the same into effect, the total cost of which to the State shall not exceed the sum of $25,000 a year."
On the 31st of January, 1862, the Regents addressed the following circular to the Presidents of Colleges, upon the subject embraced in the above resolution:
"The Honorable, the Assembly, by a resolution adopted on the 24th instant, requesting the views of the Regents as to the practicability of introducing a military drill and the manual of arms, together with the practice and theory of military engineering, into the Colleges and higher institutions of learning in the State; and if they should regard the same as feasible, that they report a method of carrying the plan into effect.
Before responding to the resolution of the Assembly, the Regents desire to obtain the views of as many persons connected with the higher literary institutions of the State, as they can conveniently consult, in regard not only to the general question referred to them, but also the details of any plan which may appear to be desirable for securing the objects contemplated.
The early period at which it is manifestly necessary to respond to the resolution of the Assembly, if any legislation is to be based upon the report of the Regents, prevents an extended statement at this time of their views, but it is the impression of several members of the Board, who have consulted with each other informally, that our higher institutions of learning may readily and usefully to the State, and to themselves, be made at a moderate expense, the effectual means of imparting the elements of a respectable military education to a large portion of the young men under their care, qualifying them at any future period in life to become efficient army officers. Had there been such a body of men in our State, from which officer's for our present army could have been chosen, they would have had ample opportunity to render most valuable service to the country. The Regents respectfully request your views on the following points:
First. As to the general practicability of the plan, and the best mode of carrying it into effect.
Second. Would your institution desire to establish a department of military instruction?
Third. If so, would you prefer to make a military professorship
a separate one, or would you add its duties to those of an existing Chair?
Fourth. What aid, if any, from the State, would you deem necessary in introducing and maintaining a system of military instruction in your institution?
Fifth. As an actual life in camp for a few weeks every year would be desirable in almost any scheme of military education, would this in any way influence your general course of study, or your vacations, and to what extent ?
We shall be happy to receive your answers to the above inquiries, and your views on the subject generally, at an early day. We are very respectfully, JOHN V. L. PRUYN, YN, Chancellor of the University.
S. B. WOOLWORTH, Secretary."
On the 7th of March, 1862, the Regents made the following report:1
"That the subject of the resolution received their early and careful attention. The object proposed by the Assembly is presumed to be the preparation of a class of educated men competent for officers of the militia of the State, whenever it shall be called into active service. Such preparation should embrace, besides general culture and scholarship, essential in the officer to secure respect from the soldier and influence over his conduct and character, at least so much of military engineering as is required for the construction of field fortifications and roads and bridges, a thorough knowledge of military tactics in the school of the soldier, the company and the battalion; the principles of attack and defense; the general theory of war, and the laws which govern its conduct in all the relations of bellig
The Regents are confirmed in their opinion, that such a course of instruction may be engrafted on our existing collegiate and academic studies, by answers which they have received to a circular addressed to the Colleges and several of the Academies of the State on this subject, several of which, and extracts from others, they herewith submit for the consideration of the Assembly.
In our National Military Academy, more than half the time of the student is spent in studies which have only a relation in their application to military affairs. These branches are now taught in the Colleges and best Academies. Without injuriously affecting the character, or impairing the efficacy of the studies now pursued, their application to military purposes may be taught even by the existing faculties of instruction. Tactics in the limited sense in which the term is usually taken, has already been introduced into many Colleges and Academies. Its salutary influence is clearly seen in the improved bearing of the young men, in the strengthening of their
1 Assem. Doc., 135, 1862.
physical powers, in the forming of habits of subordination and prompt obedience, and in directing to useful purposes the natural exuberance of youthful feeling. To the well-furnished officer, the knowledge of military tactics in its more enlarged sense is essential. In this view it embraces the formation and disposition of armies, the modes of encamping and lodging them, and directing their movements in the face of an enemy. In this department of military education, the instruction of the thoroughly educated officer will be required, and for this special provision must be made by the State. A Professor, competent to supervise the whole system of military instruction, and to lecture on the subjects above indicated, together with international law, and the laws of war, should, in the opinion of the Regents, be provided for every two Colleges. A subordinate officer, whose duties shall be principally those of drill-master, will be necessary for each College and Academy in which military instruction shall be given.
In an experiment entirely new in this State, the Regents would urge that so much should not be attempted as to hazard its success. It would be better that a limited system should be first adopted, which may be gradually enlarged in such ways and to such extent as experience shall dictate.
It is, therefore, recommended that it shall at first provide for the education mainly of infantry officers, and that for such purpose six Colleges, and also one Academy in each Judicial District, shall be selected.
In organizing the system, some expenses will necessarily be incurred which need not annually be repeated. The necessary annual expenses will probably be somewhat as follows:
For salaries of three Professors
$4,500 00 10,500 00 1, 500 00 1,500 00
$18, 000 00
In this estimate, no account is taken of the expense of arms and equipments, as it is presumed that they will be in possession of the State, and may be furnished without direct expense. That the system of drills may be maintained uninterrupted by the condition of the weather, convenient rooms will be required; some institutions are furnished with these. It may be necessary that others receive aid from the State for their erection.
Small libraries for military books, both for study and reference, and maps, plans and models of fortifications must be provided. For these purposes, and to meet incidental expenses, unavoidable in the organization and arrangement of any such system, the proposed appropriation may be applied for four or six months, within which the