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given to the subject, they do not think it advisable to own ability and labor, or by improving such school master legislate further, till the actual condition of our schools is or other help and means as the plantation doth afford, or better known. Before taking leave of this most interesting the family may conveniently provide, that all children and and important subject, the Committee propose to review apprentices as they grow capable, may, through God's briefly the past history of our legislation with regard to blessing, obtain, at least, so much as to be enabled to popular education, and the present condition of our pub- read the Scriptures, and other good and profitable books lic schools, as far as it can be gathered from the informa- in the English language.” This provision was enforced tion before them.

by fines, increasing in amount for repeated violation, till Connecticut has always acknowledged in her practice in case of continued neglect, the children and apprentices and her laws, that it was the chief duty and highest inter- were taken from their natural guardians and protectors, est of a State, to provide for the education of all its citi- and placed where they might be better educated and zens. With a profound wisdom and forecast, its early governed, both for the public convenience, and for their settlers and legislators laid deep the foundations of her own particular good. peace and prosperity, in the education and morality of the In 1672, eight years after the union of the two coloentire community. Prior to 1650, it does not appear that nies, the same general provisions of the early Connectiin either of the original colonies of Connecticut or of New cut Code were re-enacted with additional penalties; and Haven, there was any legal enactment on the subject of these proving insufficient, in 1690, the grand jurymen of Schools, or the education of children. The whole subject each town were authorized to visit every family which was left to the discretion of the magistrates and the may be suspected of neglecting the education of their clergy. In 1650, the original colony of Connecticut children or apprentices, and to report the names of such adopted a Code of Laws, in which the practice of the parents or masters as may be found offending against the colonists is at length clothed with legal sanction; and here law in this particular, to the next County Court, who could it is provided that “forasmuch as the good education of impose a penalty of twenty shillings for each child or apchildren is of singular behoof and benefit to any com- prentice whose teaching was thus neglected. monwealth; and whereas many parents and masters are In 1700, all the previous legislation of the colony was too indulgent and negligent of their duty in that kind, revised, and the common scliools were placed on altogethis therefore ordered that the select-men in the several er a better foundation than they had before occupied,

and precincts and quarters where they dwell, shall have a vigi- where they continued with but little variation, till 1795. İant eye over their bretheren and neighbors, to see that By this law, every town of seventy families should maintain none of them suffer so much barbarism in any of their " one good and sufficient school for the teaching youth families, as not to endeavor to teach by themselves or and children to read and write, to be kept at least eleven others, their children and apprentices, so much learning as months in the year by a master suitably qualified.”.

And may enable them perfectly to read the English tongue, and towns with less than seventy families, for six months. A knowledge of its laws, upon penalty of iwenty shillings.” grammar school was also required to be kept. The towns And it is further ordered, that children and apprentices were taxed forty shillings in every thousand pounds of taxmust be brought up “ to come honest lawful.calling, laborable property, for the support of schools, collectible with or employment, either in husbandry, or some other trade the County tax, and were entitled to draw on the Treasuprofitable for themselves and the commonwealth." These rer for their share, provided they could certify that the provisions were enforced by severe penalties, and in case schools had been kept according to law. If they could of continued neglect, the authority were empowered to not, it was passed to the common and ordinary uses of the assume the place of the parent and master, and exercise County. "If this sum, when received, was not sufficient to those natural rights, which they had used to so bad a pur- support the school, the deficiency was made up "the one pose.

half by the inhabitants of such town, the other by the paThe same Code, having thus recognized and enforced rents or masters of the youth or children that go to such the duties of parents and masters as to the education of schools, unless the towns should otherwise order, as they their children and apprentices, provides in another place were authorized to do." The civil authority and selectfor the establishment and maintenance of schools in the men, are required" to inspect the schools once a quarter, several townships within its jurisdiction. After a pream- to enquire concerning the time such schools are kept, the ble nearly similar to that of the Massachusetts law of qualifications of the master, together with the proficiency 1647, that “ to the end that learning may not be buried in of the children under their care, and to give such dithe graves of our forefathers in church and common- rections as they shall find needful to render such schools wealth,” it is ordered, that every township of fifty house- most serviceable for the increase of knowledge, religion, holders "shall appoint 'one within their town to teach all and good manners.” such children as shall resort to him, to write and read, In 1766, towns and ecclesiastical societies were emwhose wages shall be paid either by the parents or masters powered to divide into school districts, and each district to of such children, or by the inhabitants in general, by way draw its share of the school money raised by tax as above. of supply, as the major part of those who order the pru Prior to 1795, with the exception of the proceeds of dentials of the town shall appoint." And every township the sale of seven new townships in the western part of this “ of one hundred families, shall set up a grammar school; State in 1733, and certain sums of money due on excise the masters thereof being able to instruct youths so far on goods in 1765, which were divided among the towns, as they may be fitted for the university.” Every town and the interest of the same, appropriated forever to the which neglected this last provision, must pay five pounds support of Common Schools, the expense of public schools every year to the next such school, till they shall perform fell upon the inhabitants of the town, or upon the parents this order.

and guardians of the children who attended them. Up to In 1656, the New Haven colony compiled a Code of this time, it was rare to meet with a native of Connecticut Laws, in which the education of children is provided for who could not read or write, so that the provisions thus in nearly the same way. The public authorities in each made, and the care with which the money was applied, plantation within its jurisdiction, are ordered to have a met the wants of the community. vigilant eye "that all parents and masters, either by their *In 1795, the avails of the sale of western lands, now

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forming part of Ohio, amounting to $1,200,000, was No. of School Societies in the State,

211 No. of Districts,

1664 forever appropriated to the support of Common Schools,

No. of children between the ages of 4 and 16,

83,237 and in 1818, this legislative destination of it was con No. of School Societies returned,

144 firmed, with the sanction of constitutional provision. No. of Districts returned,

1080 The interest of this fund was at first distributed among

No. of children enumerated in above Societies,

59,911 No. in average attendance,

40,026 the several school societies and districts, according to

Males,
No. in attendance during any period,

27,917 the amount of taxable property in each. But in 1820,

Females, 23,933 the present rule of distribution according to the number Average length of Schools in months, a little over 7, but ranging as of children between the ages of 4 and 16, enumerated low as 2 in summer, and 2 in winter.

No. of teachers, including summer and winter Males, 1,018 each year, was established.

terms,

Females, 1,109 The capital of this fund under the judicious manage

Whole amount paid teachers,

Male, 63,982,92 ment of the present School Commissioner, and his pre

Female, 34,588,94

Amount raised from all sources other than School Fund, 39,421,66 decessor, has increased to more than two millions of dol

No. of private Schools and Academies,

255 lars, yielding an annual income of one hundred thousand No. of scholars in attendance,

6,626 dollars, which, according to the last enumeration, is about Amount paid for tuition,

$94,326 one dollar and twenty-five cents to each child. Since

No. of children between 4 and 16 returned, as not in
attendance upon Schools, public or private,

1615 1800, the income realized from this fund, and expended

No. of persons between the ages of 16 and 21, who upon the education of the children of this State, amounts cannot read or write,

111 to over two million two hundred thousand dollars. In 1836, that portion of the Surplus l'und belonging to above 144 School Societies, and not unfrequently in the

The returns show there is on an average, and in the the United States, which fell to this State, was, by an act schools of each Society, 5 different kinds of Spelling of the Legislature, deposited with the several towns, in Books, 24 Reading Books, 9 Geographies, 7 Histories, 6 proportion to their respective population according to the Grammars, 11 Arithmetics, 5 Philosophies, 10 Miscellacensus of 1830, on condition ihat at least one half of the

neous Books. income thereof should be appropriated for the promotion

From returns collected by a member of the Committee of education in the Common Schools in such towns. Of

it the whole amount coming to this State, only $764,670,61

appears that in 105 towns in the State, has as yet been received. The committee have not been Schools, by attending examinations, or otherwise.

Parents exhibit generally no interest in the Public able to ascertain in how many towns the entire income

School Committees are in no instance paid. has been appropriated to the support of Common Schools, nor what amount will be annually realized from this

School Visiters are paid but in 12 towns. In these

towns the number is reduced to 3 or 4,—the duties are source. The act of the present session, creating a Board of

better performed, and the Schools in a better condition. Commissioners of Common Schools, and providing for Schools per month, exclusive of Board, is

The average wages of male teachers in the Common

$14,50 the services of the Secretary of that Board, and requiring

Female teachers, ditto,

5,75 reports from School Visiters, adds an important feature to

Average wages of the former in Priratc fchoolo, 30,00 our School System. Hitherto, the State, which has pro

of the latter

ditto,

10,00 vided so liberally for the maintenance of the public schools, appointed the proper officers to manage its funds and at- follow teaching as a regular profession.

Only 85 teachers in the Public Schools of these towns tend to the distribution of its avails, had neglected to as

The average rate of tuition for each scholar in the certain, either through the reports of the Visiters of the Public Schools, is about $11,00 per year. several School Societies,or of any agent of its own, the condition of the schools themselves. Each School Socie- in the Common Schools, but to better advantage, for there

The same studies are taught in the Private Schools as ty may now, through the annual Report of their Visiting is less diversity of school books, better classification as Committee, learn the condition of the several schools in

regards age and proficiency, and better qualified teachers. their limits; and the Report of the Board, constituted as

Private Schools have increased rapidly within the last it is, and of the Secretary, whose province it will be to trav- 20 Years. erse the whole State to ascertain the excellencies and de

From returns and calculations made by the same gentlefects of the several schools,-compare different schools

man,

it

appears that there were over 6000 children between under different influences,enlist a corps of co-operators the ages of 4 and 16, not in attendance upon any school, in the enterprize of improving education among the intelligent and virtuous parents of every district, -and dis- 16 and 21, who could not read or write, and 10,000

in the year 1837, over 1000 persons between the ages of cover the origin of the apathy and neglect so much com- children receiving instruction in Private Schools and plained of, and the measures which would be at once ac

Academies. ceptable and efficient to remedy existing evils, -will spread annually before the Legislature and the people, the actual London, collected with great care, the statistics of Common

In the year 1836, a gentleman in the County of New condition of popular education among us.

Schools, from every town and district in the County exWith this hasty review of our past legislation on the subject, the Committee ask the attention of the Gene

cept one, which give the following results : ral Assembly to a few of the general results which they No. of Districts,

213

$13,922,58 hare arrived at, from the sources of information at their

Public money received for 1835, command.

$13,546,18 Public money expended during the year 1835,

Amount expended for teachers' wages beside public In pursuance of a resolve of the last General Assembly, money,

$3,652,71

199 directing the Comptroller to prepare and forward blank No. of male teachers employed,

No. of female teachers employed,

145 forms to the several school societies, requiring certain in

No. of persons enumerated in 1835,

10,011 formation concerning the condition of Common Schools, No. of persons taught,

9032 as specified in that resolve, returns were received from Average attendance,

6603

5095 about one third of all the societies in the State. These

No. of male scholars,
No. of female scholars,

3937 returns were referred to the Committee, and from them

No. of districts where the teachers boerded in the they have gathered the following results.

families of the district,

143

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No.of districts where they did not board,

support a family, and rise to a fair equality, in point of Average No. of months' school in the year, No. of good school houses,

85

property, with those around them? Ought these things so No. of poor school houses,

112 to be? Will not an enlightened community be ready to No. of districts that wish to improve Common Schools,

regard its own best interests, by speedily allowing to good No. of districts that would probably be willing to

and faithful teachers a more adequate compensation? pay a small tax,

110 No. of districts that would probably not be willing

This will be taking one of the most effectual steps for to pay a tax,

procuring a better supply of such teachers. No. considered doubtful,

3. Wherever it is practicable, and in very many cases it Average of male teachers' compensation,

$13,45 would be found to be so if a small additional expense were From these and other sources of information to which incurred, -that great evil of having no suitable classificathe Committee have had access, although this information tion of the scholars should be remedied. It is impossible is far from being complete, and in some particulars is to do this while a school consists of forty, fifty, sixty, or quite defective, they are constrained to come to the con- even more, under one teacher, and those of ages, from clusion that much yet remains to be done to make our four years up to twenty. Unless the school is an exceedCommon Schools what they ought to be in order to ac- ingly small one, the quite young scholars who are attending complish the important ends for which they were designed. as yet only to the simplest rudiments of instruction should In alluding to some of their prominent defects, exceptions be collected together under their appropriate teacher, must of course be made with regard to those school socie- while an opportunity would thus be given for the judicious ties and districts, (we wish they were more numerous,) classification of the rest, and the more successful efforts who set a noble example of efficiency in the manage of the teacher. It would remove that dead weight which ment of their concerns, and of the success of this effi- now so often paralizes his efforts, and by encouraging him ciency, in the flourishing condition of their schools in most in his work, prove of increased benefit to the older scholars. respects. These are comparatively few, and the very How strange it is, that the obvious principle of a wise ones too who will be the most ready to appreciate still division of labor and of husbanding time and effort are so further improvements, and to unite with their fellow-citi- well understood and practiced upon in other matters, zens in carrying them forward. For it is often the hope- where money is to be made, and not equally so in our less characteristic of ignorance, that it desires no deliver- schools, where mind and character are to be formed ! ance from the darkness that envelopes it; and both the 4. Too many children of the proper age to receive inguilt and the wretchedness of degradation, that it dis-struction do not attend school. It is to be feared that the dains the means which are proffered for its rescue.

number of such is increasing. In one hundred and five 1. It cannot be denied that many more competent teach- towns it appears that during the past year six thousand ersare needed, and that it is much too frequently the case, children between the ages of four and sixteen, were in thatthere are those occupying this responsible station who this condition, and that in one thousand and eighty are very poorly qualified for the discharge of its duties, school districts, in which there were about sixty thousand A thorough investigation will show the extent of this evil, children between the ages of four and sixteen, there was while it will bring to light, and it is hoped to more en

an average failure of nearly twenty thousand, one third larged ophores of influence, those accomplished and faith of the whole, in attending school at all! What are the ful teachers, both male and female, who are laboring in causes of this deplorable evil? Are they not well worth their arduous employment too often for a compensation by a thorough investigation, to see whether they are to be no means equal to their services. The facts to be elicited attributed in any degree, to some deficiency in the system by such an investigation, which we trust will be minutely of Common Schools, or the modes of its practical operaand faithfully pursued by the Board of Commissioners for tion, and whether any remedy can be found and applied ? Common Schools, will doubtless prepare the way for the 5. The schools are kept, many of them, for too short a appropriate remedies; among the most important of which period of time, during the year. The lowest time ascerwill be that of devising some plan for raising the qualifi- tained, is two months in summer, and three in winter. cations of teachers, and furnishing a better supply of good The average time of all the schools in one hundred and

forty-four school societies, which is a fair specimen, proba2. The wages of well qualified and efficient te hers bly, of the whole, is a little over seven months. If even of Common Schools are too low. It does not bear, among

two months are allowed for vacations, the schools, on an the male sex certainly, a fair proportion to the compensa- average, are closed for one fourth part of the year.

What tion for labor, and the rewards of skill and industry, that an incalculable loss this is to that portion of our youthful intelligent and enterprizing young men can command in population who are too young to be otherwise industriousvarious other channels of effort, which, in a country like ly employed, to others who are old enough, but for whom our own, open before them. Few comparatively of this employment is not provided, and to all who are not conclass of young men, if they are induced from any peculiar strained, by the necessity of their condition, to forego the circumstances to become the teachers of Common Schools, favorable opportunity of getting a good education, at the continue in that occupation but a very short period of very time of life, when, if ever, it is to be attained! How time. Yet they are the very ones most needed for that many habits of indolence and misrule does such a state important service. The same remarks apply to the case of things tend to form, and how many temptations to of many female teachers. How happens it that we are vice does it present! After allowing a fair proportion willing to pay a price for the skill and labor bestowed on of time for innocent recreation-useful occupation, either very many things which we deem essential to our com- in school or in labor of some kind, constitutes one of the fort and gratification, that enables those who furnish this surest safeguards of the morals of the rising generation. skill and labor, or trade in its products, soon to obtain a Here is a wide field open for interesting inquiry, and the competency, and even to amass wealth, while the teachers necessary effort to remove the evil. of our common schools, who expend their time and talent Is the money distributed from the public treasury, large upon what we profess to regard as the dearest to us of all as it is in amount, sufficient to keep the schools in operathat we can call our own, our children and youth, can tion as long a period of time during the year, as they never, by that occupation alone, get forward in the world, ought to be, and of affording such a compensation as will

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furnish competent and faithful teachers? This question eties, the school committees and visiters are not faithful ought to be examined carefully by the whole community, in the discharge of their duties as prescribed by law. and answered in the light of the numerous interests Everybody admits that where the necessary examinations which are at stake. The Committee trust that the facts of those who seek to become teachers, and a suitable suwhich it involves will be so accurately ascertained by the pervision of the schools are neglected, they must deteriBoard of Commissioners, and so clearly presented to the orate. How many of our schools are suffering from this public as to call up that attention to them which their im- neglect, it is difficult to determine. The Committee hope portance demands.

that an impartial inquiry will be made, and they are of the 6. The great diversity of books that are in use in the opinion that the result will be a decision of public sentischools is acknowledged by all as an evil of no small ment in favor of giving a moderate compensation for their magnitude, and is getting to be a topic of general com- services, at least to the school visiters. This has already plaint. The Committee are well aware of the very great been done in a very few towns, and with the most manidifficulty of finding the proper remedy. To do this, en- fest advantage. lightened public sentiment is indispensable. We need to

9. On the subject of private schools, which have inknow all the facts in the case, and also the modes, if any, creased greatly in number within a few years past, the which have been adopted elsewhere to remedy the evil. Committee feel hardly prepared to express a decided One thing is certain, give the schools, in other respects, opinion, especially with regard to the general influence all the improvements of which they are susceptible-fur- which they will eventually have on the common schools. nish an adequate supply of competent teachers, infuse life That this influence, at present, in certain circumstances, . and spirit into the action of school committees and visit- is injurious, they have no doubt. But it is a subject which ers, and excite in parents and the public generally a deep requires a critical and candid examination in order to see interest in popular education, and the elements will be at it in all its legitimate bearings. A more full developework for producing a better state of things in this respect. ment of facts is needed. This may go to show that a As in the use and consumption of those articles which criminal apathy on the part of many with regard to the we need for our comfort or convenience, the best of its condition of the public schools is the great reason why kind is easily ascertained by competent judges, and there private ones have increased, and that nothing will sooner are competent judges enough to give it a character and a produce a desirable state of things in this respect than currency, in spite of the complicated movements of self- the making of the common schools what they onght to be. interest, so we trust it will be in the progress of society In contrast with these defects, the Committee are well here with regard to school-books, while ample scope will aware that the mode of conducting popular education in still be left for a fair competition among them. For such the State has many excellencies, for which we have abuna competition, in a free and improving country like ours, dant cause of gratitude to that Providence under whose ought never to be foreclosed. It may be kept, indeed, with guidance and blessing it was devised, and has been carried in proper bounds, and regulated in its injurious tendencies, forward to the present time. But so many changes take by the force of public sentiment, and perhaps by the judi- place in the habits and views of a people, that, as society cious recommendation of books by some disinterested advances, its institutions often need modification. What public body of men—to have just that weight with those worked well fifty years ago may now have its defects and who exercise the immediate management of the schools deficiencies. It is the part of true wisdom to ascertain which it truly deserves, and which they choose to give. what they are, and, so far as remedies are safe and practicaThe expediency of having the committees in the re-ble, to apply them. What the Committee would especially spective school societies prescribe the kind of books to urge, in conclusion, is, that the importance of a thorough be used in the schools, as is the case in a neighboring inquiry into the actual condition of our common schools, state, is, in some respects, to say the least, a little ques- and the operation of the system throughout the State, may tionable. This is one of the topics which we need to dis- be appreciated by all its citizens. For when all the facts cuss with great deliberation, and it only shows, among are fully known, their strong belief is, that great unanimiother things, how important it is to have such a Board ty of sentiment and action will eventually prevail. of Commissioners as has been constituted, with an efficient All of which is respectfully submitted. and active Secretary, that by collecting both the facts

By order of the Committee, in the case, and the opinions of intelligent men throughout

JOHN A. ROCKWELL, Chairman. the State on the subject, we may come to a safe and favorable result.

AN ACT 7. The defects of school houses, and their internal ac

To provide for the better supervision of Common Schools. commodations, must not be overlooked. That very many Sec. J. BE it enacted by the Senate and House of Repre need improvements with regard to their location, structure, sentatives in General Assembly convened, That his Excellenlighting, warming, ventilation, and the arrangements for cy the Governor, the Commissioner of the School fund, ex-ofthe convenience and comfort of both teacher and pupil, ficiis, and eight persons, one from each County in the State, 10 no one can doubt. There seems to be a waking up of be appointed annually by the Governor, with the advice and public feelin on this subject, but it needs to be still more

consent of the Senate, shall constitute, and be denominated the moved, so as to produce action. A pretty general inquiry Board of Commissioners of Common Schools.

Sec. 2. The Board of Commissioners of Common Schools on this subject, with regard to the actual condition of shall submit to the General Assembly an annual report, conour school houses, and the contrasting of the defects of taiping, together with an account of their own doings, first, a the poor ones with the excellencies and advantages of such statement, as far as may be practicable, of the condition of as are built and arranged after a good model, with judi- every common school in the State, and of the means of popucious remedies, where practicable, of the evils connected lar education generally; second, such plans for the improvewith those now in existence, and plans for new ones, where ment and better organization of the common schools, and all the community are disposed to build them, will, the Com-such matters relating to popular education, as they may deem mittee believe, so affect the great mass of the public as school visitors of the several school societies, semi-annually,

expedient to communicate, and said Board may require of the soon to effect a reformation in this important particular. returns of the condition of each common school within their

8. It is much to be feared that in not a few school soci- limits; and they shall prescribe the form of all such returns,

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and the time when the same shall be completed, and transmit

ADDRESS blank copies of the same, to the clerk of each school society; and said Board may appoint their own Secretary, who shall To the People of Connecticut, by the Board of Commisduvo:e his whole time, if required, under the direction of the

sioners of Common Schools. Bourd, to ascertain the condition, increase the interest, and pru'n10!e the usefulness of common schools.

Fellow Citizens :Sec. 3. The school visitors in the several school societies,

The undersigned were constituted by the Legislature shall lodge with the Clerks of their respective sucieties, such returns of the conition of each common school, within their at its last session, The Board of Commissioners of Comlimits, in such particulars, and at such times as the Board of inon Schools, and the duties were pointed out which they Conmissioners of Common Schools may specify and direct, would be required to perform. In entering upon the disand said visitors shall, on or before ihe first of April in each year, lodge with the clerk of their respective societies, a writ

. charge of these duties, they feel deeply their responsibility, ien report of their own doings, and of the condition of their and must rely on the cordial support and co-operation of several schools within their limits, for the preceding seasons the public, to carry into effect the great object of their apof schooling, with such observations as their experience and reflec.ion may suggest, who shall submit the same to the next pointment. Without this, they can do nothing to any good meeting of said society, and said visitors may require of the purpose. With it, under the blessing of Providence, they several teachers, 10 keep a register of their schools, in such look forward to the most cheering results. form as may be prescribed by the Board of Commissioners aforesaid.

It is made the duty of the Board, to “submit to the Sec. 4. The clerks of the several school societies shall General Assembly an annual Report, containing, together traus:nil to the Board of Commissioners of Common Schools, with an account of their own doings ---First-a statement, on or before the Tenth day of April in each year, such returns as the school visitors may nake, in pursuance of the provisions as far as may be practicable, of the condition of every Comof the preceding section.

mon School in the State, and of the means of popular Edu-
Sec. 5. The school society committee shall not certify to
the Comptroller of Public Accounts, that the schools in their cation generally ;-Secondly—such plans for the improve-
respective societies have been kept according to law, unless the ment and better organization of the Common Schools, and
provisions of the third and fourth sections of this act, have a!l such matters relating to popular Education, as they
been duly observed.

Sec. 6. For the compensation of ahe Secretary, provided may deem expedient to communicate."
for in the second section of this act, the Comptroller of Pub The Board are, also, authorized, if they see fit to do
lic Accounts is directed to draw an order on the Treasurer for it, to “require of the School Visiters of the several School
such sum as ihe Board of Cominissioners of Conmon Schools
may allow for his services, provided the same does not exceed Societies, semi-annual returns of the condition of each
three dollars per day, and his expenses, while employed in Common School within their limits: And they shall pre-
the duties of his office, to be paid out of any monies pot other-scribe the form of all such returns, and the time when the
wise appropriated.
Approvid May 31, 1838.

same shall be completed, and transmit blank copies of the
WILLIAM W. ELLSWORTH.

same to the Clerk of each School Society: And said

Board may appoint their own Secretary, who shall devote Board of Commissioners of Common Schools.

his whole time, if required, under the direction of the

Board, to ascertain the condition, increase the interest, The following gentlemen constitute the Board:

and promote the usefulness of Common Schools." His Excellency, Gov. Ellsworth,

You will see from this, that the duties imposed upon Hon. Seth P. BEERS,

the Wilbur Fisk, President of Wesleyan University,

Board, are of no common magnitude. It is true, they HENRY BARNARD 2ND, Esq., of Hartford,

are clothed with no official authority, to make the least alJohn HALL, Esq., of Ellington,

teration in the System of Common Schools now in exHon. ANDREW T. JUDSON, of Canterbury,

istence, or to add to it, in its various modes of action, any Charles W. ROCKWELL, Esq., of Norwich,

thing, in the way of law or regulation, of their own deRev. LELAND HOWARD, of Meriden,

vising. Wherever it is found expedient to attempt this, HAWLEY OLMSTED, Esq. of Wilton,

the people alone will do it, through the constitutional William P. BURRALL, Esq., of Canaan.

organ of their power,-the Legislature which they them

selves create. The powers, if they may be so called, of The Board held its first meeting in Hartford, on the the Board of Commissioners of Common Schools, are 15th and 16th of June. The Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet

simply, to ascertain, for the information of the Legislature, was appointed Secretary, and in the event of his declining, at its annual sessions, and of the citizens generally, what (which he afterwards did) Henry Barnard 2d was offered has been done, and is now doing, in the Common Schools, the appointment, and subsequently accepted it.

and in the whole department of popular education throughThe Board directed the Secretary to hold Conventions out the State, and to suggest any improvements which, from of School Visiters and Teachers, and the friends of popu- their own inquiries and reflections, aided by the experilar education generally, in the several Counties of the ence of the community around them, may appear to be State, and to establish a periodical devoted to the subject, safe and practicable. as early as practicable.

For these important purposes, such a Board as that His Excellency, the Governor, Messrs. Beers, Fisk and which is now constituted, with an intelligent and efficient Rockwell, constitute an Executive Committee, to act Secretary, was indispensably necessary. Our sister States, during the recess of the Board.

both in our immediate neighborhood and in the remoter

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