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life had been devoted, in the visits made to this city. On the 22d of October, 1838, having left a school at No. 7 Chrystie street, where an examination had been held, in crossing Grand street, he was thrown down by a horse and carriage and very seriously injured. He died two days after in Williamsburgh, and was buried in grounds belonging to the Society of Friends in Houston street, between the Bowery and Chrystie street.

These schools, under the patronage of the Public School Society, were scattered throughout the city, and shared in the School Fund. The receipts of the Society from its incorporation in 1805 till its dissolution in 1823, amounted to $3,509,755. 15, and its expenditures to $3,525,754.63. The aggregate of attendance was 488,589, and for many years toward the last from 20,000 to 25,000 a year.

PoughkEEPSIE.— The Lancaster School Society," of this village, was incorporated March 11, 1814. We have no data concerning its operations.

SCHENECTADY.— A Lancaster School Society was authorized November 12, 1816, in this city, and continued more than twenty-five years. In an act passed April 17, 1822, it was required to report to the Superintendent of Common Schools.

In the enactinent of the Revised Statutes in 1829, the main provisions of the law of 1821 were embodied, in an article entitled “Of the Foundation and Government of Lancasterian or Select Schools." The words “ on the system of Lancaster-Bell, or according to any other improved plan of elementary education,” were superseded by

on the system of Lancaster or Bell, or any other system of instruction approved by the Board of Regents," which was now defined by the Regents as including

SELECT SCHOOLS. The meaning of this term has never been officially defined. They have generally been schools taught upon private account by individual or associated enterprise, without incorporation, and usually without the buildings and endowments that give stability and permanence to Academies and Colleges. They have very seldom been continued under one management for a long series of years.

The first application that came before the Regents, under the powers vested in them by the Revised Statutes, with respect to "Select Schools," was in March, 1834, from the “ Farmington School, Association."

The requisites for acceptance under this act, not having been defined, an ordinance was passed at that time, as follows:

“That the founders or benefactors of any Academy, or of any school established, or to be established for the instruction of youth, on the system of Lancaster or Bell, or any other system of instruction approved by the Board of Regents, or as many of such founders as shall have contributed more than one-half of the property collected or appropriated for the use of such academic school, shall present satisfactory proof to the Regents that they own property yielding a net annual income of $250, and that they are seized of an estate of inheritance in a lot suitable for a site for such Academy or school, and that they have erected a building sufficiently commodious for the uses and purposes of such Academy or school, and that such lot and building are free and clear of all incumbrances.”

Seven years later it was thought proper to give this ordinance in more systematic form, and the following was adopted :

Ordinances Respecting the Incorporation of Select Schools

(Adopted May 4, 1841). The founders and benefactors of any Select School desiring to have the same incorporated under the Sixth Article of the First Title and Fifteenth Chapter of the First Part of the Revised Statutes, are to make an application for that purpose to the Regents of the University in the following manner:

I. The application must be in writing, and must be subscribed by as many of the founders as shall have contributed more than onehalf of the property collected or appropriated for the use of such school.

II. It must nominate the first trustees, who ought not to exceed twelve in number.

III. It must specify the name by which the corporation is to be called.

IV. The property collected or appropriated for the use of the school must be particularly described, with the estimated value of each item, and the property and fund, contributed must amount to at least $1,000.

V. The courses of studies and the system of instruction intended to be pursued must be specified.

VI. There must be an affidavit annexed to the application by two or more of the applicants, sworn to and subscribed before some officer authorized to take affidavits to be read in courts of record of this State, stating that the same is made by as many founders of such school as have contributed more than one-half of their property collected or appropriated for its use, and that the facts set forth in the application are true.

VII. In case the Regents conceive a compliance with such request will be conducive to the diffusion of useful knowledge, they will declare their approbation of the incorporation of such school.

The only records we have found of incorporations granted under these ordinances are the following:

Fabius Select School, February 27, 1841.
Ilunter 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 nunber, and much more than all other religions denominatious 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 :

Number. Common Schools...

1,041,089 Normal Schools..

6,270 0.51 Academies..

32,126 2.65 Colleges.


0.62 Private Schools..


9.99 Law Schools.


0.03 Medical Schools..

Per cent.


3,011 0.20






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 officers 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

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