CINCINNATI, OHIO. Spring 1828. Education for Females in America.
Cincinnati contains many schools, but of their rank or merit I had very little opportunity of judging; the only one which I visited was kept by Dr. Lock, a gentleman who appears to have liberal and enlarged opinions on the subject of female education. Should his system produce practical results proportionably excellent, the ladies of Cincinnati will probably, some years hence, be much improved in their powers of companionship. I attended the annual public exhibition at this school, and perceived, with some surprise, that the higher branches of science were among the studies of the pretty creatures I saw assembled there. One lovely girl of sixteen took her degree in mathematics, and another was examined in moral philosophy. They blushed so sweetly, and looked so beautifully puzzled and confounded, that it might have been difficult for an abler judge than I was to decide how far they merited the diploma they received.
This method of letting young ladies graduate, and granting them diplomas on quitting the establishment, was quite new to me; at least, I do not remember to have heard of any thing similar elsewhere. I should fear that the time allowed to the fair graduates of Cincinnati for the acquirement of these various branches of education would seldom be sufficient to permit their reaching the eminence in each which their enlightened instructor anticipates. "A quarter's" mathematics, or "two quarters'" political economy, moral philosophy, algebra, and quadratic equations, would seldom, I should think, enable the teacher and the scholar, by their joint efforts, to lay in such a stock of these sciences as would stand the wear and tear of half a score of children, and one help.
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND. March 1830. Visit to the Infant School.
We visited the infant school, instituted in this city by Mr. Ibbertson, an amiable and intelligent Englishman. It was the first infant school, properly so called, which I had ever seen, and I was greatly pleased with all the arrangements, and the apparent success of them. The children, of whom we saw about a hundred, boys and girls, were between eighteen months and six years. The apartment was filled with all sorts of instructive and amusing objects; a set of Dutch toys, arranged as a cabinet of natural history, was excellent; a numerous collection of large wooden bricks filled one corner of the room; the walls were hung with gay papers of different patterns, each representing some pretty group of figures; large and excellent coloured engravings of birds and beasts were exhibited in succession as the theme of a little lesson; and the sweet flute of Mr. Ibbertson gave tune and time to the prettiest little concert of chirping birds that I ever listened to.
A geographical model, large enough to give clear ideas of continent, island, cape, isthmus, et cetera, all set in water, is placed before the children, and the pretty creatures point their little rosy fingers with a look of intense interest, as they are called upon to show where each of them is to be found. The dress, both of boys and girls, was elegantly neat, and their manner, when called upon to speak individually, was well-bred, intelligent, and totally free from the rude indifference, which is so remarkably prevalent in the manners of American children. Mr. Ibbertson will be a benefactor to the Union, if he become the means of spreading the admirable method by which he has polished the manner, and awakened the intellect of these beautiful little Republicans. I have conversed with many American ladies on the total want of discipline and subjection which I observed universally among children of all ages, and I never found any who did not both acknowledge and deplore the truth of the remark. In the state l of Ohio they have a law (I know not if it exist elsewhere) that if a father strike his son, he shall pay a fine of ten dollars for every such offence. I was told by a gentleman of Cincinnati, that he had seen this fine inflicted there, at the requisition of a boy of twelve years of age, whose father, he proved, had struck him for lying Such a law, they say, generates a Spirit of freedom. What else may it generate?
NEW YORK CITY. Spring 1830. Curriculum of a Female Boarding School in Brooklyn.
Whilst at New York, the prospectus of a fashionable boarding-school was presented to me. I
made some extracts from it, as a specimen of the
enlarged scale of instruction proposed for young
Jacob's Latin Reader, (second part); Roman Antiquities, Sallust; Clark's Introduction to the Making of Latin; Ancient and Sacred Geography; Studies of Poetry; Short Treatise on Rhetoric; Map Drawing, Composition, Spelling, and Vocal Music.
Caesars Commentaries; first five books of Virgil's Aneid; Mythology; Watts on the Mind; Political Geography, (Woodbridge's large work); Natural History; Treatise on the Globes; Ancient History; Studies of Poetry concluded; English Grammar, Composition, Spelling, and Vocal Music.
Livy; Horace, (Odes); Natural Theology; small Compend of Ecclesiastical History; Female Biography; Algebra; Natural Philosophy, (Mechanics, Hydrostatics, Pneumatics, and Acoustics); Intellectual Philosophy; Evidences Of Christianity; Composition, and Vocal Music.
Horace, (finished); Tacitus; Natural Philosophy, (Electricity, Optics, Magnetism, Galvanism); Astronomy, Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology; Compend of Political Economy; Composition, and Vocal Music.
The French, Spanish, Italian, or Greek languages may be attended to, if required, at any time.
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND. October 30, 1831. Tocqueville's conversation with lawyer John Hazlehurst Bonval Latrobe on the efforts of Catholics to win members.
[Catholics] are taking on an extraordinary increase, and following a very clever policy...In the last twenty years they have, with great skill, turned all their efforts toward education. They have established seminaries and schools (colleges). The best institutions of education in Maryland are Catholic; they even have schools in other states. These are full of Protestants. There is perhaps not a single young man of Maryland who, having received a good education, has not been brought up by Catholics. Although they take good care not to speak to the students about their beliefs, you can appreciate that they always exercise a certain influence. Furthermore, they have very adroitly turned most of their efforts to the education of women. They think that there where the mother is Catholic, the children must almost always be the same.
From Marie, Chapter 2: American Women.
The education of women in the United States differs completely from that of women in our country.
In France a young girl lives, until she marries, in the shadow of her parents. She is placid and trusting, because always at hand there is tender solicitude which watches sleeplessly over her; spared from thinking because others think for her. Doing as her mother does, with her joyful or sad, she is never ahead of life; she follows its current. So the tender vine, attached to the branch which upholds it, receives from it violent jolts or tender swayings.
In America, she is free before adolescence; having no guide but herself, she walks aimlessly on untried paths. Her first steps are not so dangerous; the child sets out on its journey into life as a fragile craft glides unendangered upon a calm sea.
But when the stormy billows of passion roll up, in early youth, what becomes of the frail skiff, with its swelling sails and its inexperienced pilot?
American education wards off the danger: at an early age the girl is informed of the traps besetting her path. Her instincts will defend her but poorly; she is taught to place her trust in reason; thus enlightened on the snares which surround her, she depends solely upon herself to avoid them. She is never lacking in prudence.
These guiding torches given to the adolescent girl are a necessary consequence of the liberty she enjoys; but they deprive her of two qualities which are so charming in youth: candor and naivete.
The American girl needs knowledge to be chaste; she knows too much to be called innocent.
This precocious liberty gives her thoughts a serious turn and stamps her character with a certain masculinity. I remember hearing a girl of twelve discussing and answering the grave question, Which of all the kinds of government is best? She placed the republic above all others.
This coolness of the senses, the supremacy of the mind, this masculine behavior among women, may find favor with one's intellect; but they hardly satisfy the heart....
APPENDIX B: Note on American Women. On the Different Roles of Men and Women in Marriage.
The most striking trait in the women of America is their superiority to the men of the same country.
The American, from his tenderest youth, is devoted to business; hardly has he learned to read and write when he becomes a merchant. The first sound in his ears is the chink of money; the first voice he hears is that of self-interest; he breathes at birth the air of industry; and all his early impressions persuade him that a business career is the only one becoming to a man.
The lot of the young girl is not the same; her moral education goes on till the day she marries. She acquires knowledge of history and literature; she generally learns one foreign language (ordinarily French); she knows a little music. Her life is intellectual.
MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA. April 1835. Inadequacy of Education in the Western part of the country.
A gentlemanŐs family, where there are children to be educated, cannot live for less than from seven hundred pounds to one thousand pounds per annum. The sons take land and buy slaves very early; and the daughters marry almost in childhood; so that education is less thought of, and sooner ended, than in almost any part of the world. The pioneers of civilisation, as the settlers in these new districts may be regarded, care for other things more than for education; or they would not come I heard in Montgomery of a wealthy old planter in the neighbourhood, who has amassed millions of dollars, while his children can scarcely write their names. Becoming aware of their deficiencies, as the place began to be peopled from the eastward, he sent a son of sixteen to school, and a younger one to college; but they proved " such gawks," that they were unable to learn, or even to remain in the society of others who were learning ; and their old father has bought land in Missouri, whither he was about to take his children, to remove them from the contempt of their neighbors. They are doomed to the lowest office of social beings; to be the mechanical, unintelligent pioneers of man in the wilderness.
There is pedantry in those who read ; prejudice in those who do not ; coxcombry among the young gentlemen ; bad manners among the young ladies; and an absence of all reference to the higher, the real objects of life. When to all this is added that tremendous curse, the possession of irresponsible power, over slaves, it is easy to see how character must become, in such regions, what it was described to me on the spot, " composed of the chivalric elements, badly formed.
MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA. April 1835. Visit to the Franklin Institute.
My next visit was to a school, the Franklin Institute, in Montgomery, established by a gentleman who has bestowed unwearied pains on its organization, and to whose care it does great credit. On our approach, we saw five horses walking about the enclosure, and five saddles hung over the fence: a true sign that some of the pupils canoe from a distance. The school was hung with prints; there was a collection of shells; many books and maps; and some philosophical apparatus. The boys, and a few girls, were steadily employed over their books and mapping; and nothing could exceed the order and neatness of the place. If the event corresponds with the appearance, the proprietor must be one of the most useful citizens the place has yet been honoured with.
CHILDREN. General Treatise on Education and Discipline of the Young.
NOTHING less than an entire work would be required for the discussion of the subject of education in any country. I can only indicate here two or three peculiarities which strike the stranger in the discipline of American children; of those whose lot is cast in the northern States; for it needs no further showing, that those who are reared among slaves have not the ordinary chances of wisdom and peace.
The Americans, particularly those of New England, look with a just complacency on the apparatus of education furnished to their entire population. There are schools provided for the training of every individual, from the earliest age; colleges to receive the elite of the schools; and lyceums, and other such institutions, for the subsequent instruction of working men. The provision of schools is so adequate, that any citizen who sees a child at play during school-hours, may ask " why are you not at school?" and, unless a good reason be given, may take him to the school-house of the district. Some, who do not penetrate to the principle of this, exclaim upon the tyranny practised upon the parents. The principle is, that, in a democracy, where life and society are equally open to all, and where all have agreed to require of each other a certain amount of intellectual and moral competency, the means being provides, it becomes the duty of all to see that the means are used. Their use is an indispensable condition of the privileges of citizenship. No control is exercised as to how and where the child shall be educated. It rests with the parent to send him to a public or private school, or have him taught at home: but in case of his being found in a neglected state as to education, it is in the power of any citizen to bring him to the advantage provided for him by society.
The instruction furnished is not good enough for the youth of such a country, with such a responsibility and such a destiny awaiting them as the working out the first democratic organisation that the world has witnessed in practice. The information provided is both meagre and superficial. There is not even any systematic instruction given on political morals: an enormous deficiency in a republic. But it must be remembered how young the society is; how far it has already gone beyond most other countries; and how great is the certainty that the majority, always ultimately in the right, will gradually exalt the character of the instruction which it has been already wise enough to provide. It must be remembered too, how much farther the same kind and degree of instruction goes in a democracy than elsewhere. The alphabet itself is of little or no value to a slave, while it is an inestimable treasure to a conscious young republican. One needs but go from a charityschool in an English county to a free-school in Massachusetts, to see how different the bare acquisition of reading and writing is to children who, if they look forward at all, do it languidly, and into a life of mechanical labour merely, and to young citizens who are aware that they have their share of the work of self-government to achieve. Elderly gentlemen in the country may smile, and foreigners of all ages may scoff at the self confidence and complacency of young men who have just exercised the suffrage for the first time: but the being secure of the dignity, the certainty of being fully and efficaciously represented, the probability of sooner or later filling some responsible political office, are a stimulus which goes far to supply the deficiencies of the instruction imparted. It is much to be wished that this stimulus were as strong and as virtuous in one or two colleges whose inmates are on the very verge of the exercise of their political rights, as in some of even the primary schools. The aristocratic atmosphere of Harvard University, for instance, would be much purified by a few breezes of such democratic inspiration as issue from the school-houses of some of the country districts.
Some persons plead that there is less occasion for school instruction in the principles of politics, than for an improved teaching of some other things; because children are instructed in politics every day of their lives by what they hear at home, and wherever they go. But they hear all too little of principles. What they hear is argumentation about particular men, and immediate measures. The more sure they are of learning details elsewhere, the more necessary it is that they should here he exercised in those principles by which the details are to be judged and made available as knowledge. They come to school with their heads crammed with prejudices, and their memories with words, which it should be part of the work of school to reduce to truth and clearness, by substituting principles for the one, and annexing ideas to the other.
A Sunday-school teacher asked a child, " Who killed Abel?" "General Jackson." Another inquired of a scholar, " In what state were mankind left after the fall?" " In the State of Vermont."
The early republican consciousness of which I have spoken, and the fact of the more important place which the children occupy in a society whose numbers are small in proportion to its resources, are the two circumstances which occasion that freedom of manners in children of which so much complaint has been made by observers, and on which so much remonstrance has been wasted; I say " wasted," because remonstrance is of no avail against a necessary fact. Till the United States cease to be republican, and their vast area is fully peopled, the children there will continue as free and easy and as important as they are. For my own part, I delight in the American children; in those who are not overlaid with religious instruction. There are instances, as there are everywhere, of spoiled, pert, and selfish children. Parents' hearts are pierced there, as elsewhere. But the independence and fearlessness of children were a perpetual charm in my eyes. To go no deeper, it is a constant amusement to see how the speculations of young minds issue, when they take their own way of thinking, and naturally say all they think. Some admirable specimens of active little minds were laid open to me at a juvenile ball at Baltimore. I could not have got at so much in a year in England. If I had at home gone in among eighty or a hundred little people, between the ages of eight and sixteen, I should have extracted little more than " Yes, ma'am," and " No, ma'am." At Baltimore, a dozen boys and girls at a time crowded round me, questioning, discussing, speculating, revealing in a way which enchanted me. In private houses, the comments slipped in at table by the children were often the most memorable, and generally the most amusing part of the conversation. Their aspirations all come out. Some of these are very striking as indicating the relative value of things in the children's minds. One affectionate little sister, of less than four years old, stimulated her brother William, (five,) by telling him that if he would be very very good, he might in time be called William Webster; and then he might get on to be as good as Jesus Christ. Three children were talking over the birth-day of the second, (ten) and how they should like to keep it. They settled that they should like of all things to have Miss Sedgwick, and Mr. Bryant, and myself, to spend the day with them. They did not venture to invite us, and had no intention of our knowing their wish.
In conversing with a truly wise parent, one day, I remarked on the change of relation which takes place when the superior children of ordinary parents become guides and protectors to those who have kept their childhood restrained under a rigid rule. We talked over the difficulties of the transition here, (by far the hardest part of filial duty,) and speculated on what the case would be after death, supposing the parties to recognise each other in a new life of progression. My friend observed that the only thing to be done is to avoid to the utmost the exercise of authority, and to make children friends from the very beginning. He and many others have done this with gladdening success. They do not lay aside their democratic principles in this relation, more than in others, because they happen to have almost unlimited power in their own hands. They watch and guard: they remove stumbling-blocks: they manifest approbation and disapprobation: they express wishes, but, at the same time, study the wishes of their little people: they leave as much as possible to natural retribution: they impose no opinions, and quarrel with none: in short, they exercise the tenderest friendship without presuming upon it. What is the consequence ? I had the pleasure of hearing this friend say, " There is nothing in the world so easy as managing children. You may make them anything you please." In my own mind I added, "with such hearts and minds to bring to the work as the parents of your children have." One reason of the pleasure with which I regarded the freedom of American children was that I took it as a sign that the most tremendous suffering perhaps of human life is probably lessened, if not obviated, there: the misery of concealed doubts and fears, and heavy solitary troubles, the misery which makes the early years of a shy child a fearful purgatory. Yet purgatory is not the word: for this misery purges no sins, while it originates many. I have a strong suspicion that the faults of temper so prevalent where parental authority is strong, and where children are made as insignificant as they can be made, and the excellence of temper in America, are attributable to the different management of childhood in the one article of freedom. There is no doubt that many children are irrecoverably depressed and unnerved for want of being convinced that anybody cares for them. They nourish doubts, they harbour fears and suspicions, and carry within them prejudices and errors, for want of its occurring to them to ask questions; and though they may outgrow these defects and errors, they never recover from them. Unexplained and inexplicable obstacles are thrown in the way of their filial duty, obstacles which not even the strongest conscientiousness can overcome with grace: the vigour of the spirit is prostrated, or perverted into wilfuluess: the calmness of self - respect is forfeited, and so is the repose of a loving faith in others. In short, the temper is ruined, and the life is spoiled; and all from the parents not having made friends of their children from the beginning. No one will suppose that I mean to represent this mistake as general anywhere. But I am confident it is very common at home: and that it cannot, in the nature of things, ever become common in America. I saw one or two melancholy instances of it: and a few rare cases where parents attempted unjustifiably to rule the proceedings of their grown up sons and daughters; not by express command, but by pleas which, from a parent, are more irresistible than even commands. But these were remarkable, and remarked upon, as exceptions. I saw two extreme contrasting cases, in near neighbourhood, of girls brought up, the one in the spirit of love, the other in that of fear. Those two girls are the best teachers of moral philosophy that ever fell in my way. In point of birth, organisation, means of education, they were about equal. Both were made to be beautiful and intelligent. The one is pallid, indolent (with the reputation of learning,) tasteless, timid, and triste, manifesting nothing but occasionally an intense selfishness, and a prudery beyond belief. The education of this girl has been the study of her anxious parents from the day of her birth: but they have omitted to let her know and feel that anybody loved her. The other, the darling of a large family, meeting love from all eyes, and hearing tenderness in every voice, is beautiful as a Hebe, and so free and joyous that her presence is like sunshine in a rainy day. She knows that she is beautiful and accomplished; but she is, as far as eye can see, absolutely devoid of vanity. She has been apprised, over and over again, that people think her a genius: she silently contradicts this, and settles with herself that she can acquire anything, but originate nothing. She studies with her whole being, as if she were coming out next year in a learned profession. She dances at balls as if nothing lay beyond the ball-room. She flits hither and thither, in rain or sunshine, walking, riding, or driving, on little errands of kindness; and bears the smallest interests of her friends in mind in the heights of her mirth and the depths of her studies. At dull evening parties, she can sit under the lamp, (little knowing how beautiful she looks) quietly amusing herself with prints, and not wanting notice: and she can speak out what she thinks and feels to a circle of admirers, as simply and earnestly as she would to her own mother. I have seen people shake their heads, and fear lest she should be spoiled; but my own conviction is that this young creature is unspoilable. She has had all the praise and admiration she can have: no watchfulness of parents can keep them from her. She does not want praise and admiration. She has other interests and other desires: and my belief is, that if she were left alone to-morrow, the last of her family, she would be as safe, busy, and, in due time, happy, as she is now under their tender guardianship. She is the most complete example I ever witnessed of a being growing up in the light and warmth and perfect freedom of love; and she has left me very little toleration for authority, in education more than in anything else.
APPENDIX: RECOLLECTIONS OF A SOUTHERN MATRON. Education, Slaves, Duties of a Wife on the Plantation.
After the departure of our Connecticut teacher, Mr. Bates, papa resolved to carry on our education himself. We were to rise by daylight, that he might pursue his accustomed ride over the fields after breakfast. New writing-books were taken out and ruled, fresh quills laid by their side, our task carefully committed to memory, and we sat with a mixture of docility and curiosity, to know how he would manage as a teacher. The first three days our lessons being on trodden ground, and ourselves under the impulse of novelty, we were very amiable, he very paternal; on the fourth, John was turned out of the room, Richard was pronounced a mule, and I went sobbing to mamma as if my heart would break, while papa said he might be compelled to ditch rice fields, but he never would undertake to teach children again.
A slight constraint was thrown over the family for a day or two, but it soon wore off, and he returned to his good-nature. For three weeks we were as wild as fawns, until mamma's attention was attracted by my sun-burnt complexion, and my brothers' torn clothes.
“This will never answer," said she to papa. "Look at Cornelia's face! It is as brown as a chinquapin. Richard has ruined his new suit, and John has cut his leg with the carpenter's tools. I have half a mind to keep school for them myself."
Papa gave a slight whistle, which seemed rather to stimulate than check her resolution.
"Cornelia," said she, " go directly to your brothers, and prepare your books for to-morrow. I will teach you."
The picture about to be presented is not overwrought. I am confident of the sympathy of many a mother, whose finger has been kept on a word in the dictionary so long a time, that her pupils, forgetting her vocation, have lounged through the first interruptions and finished with a frolic.
One would suppose that the retirement of a plantation was the most appropriate spot for a mother and her children to give and receive instruction. Not so, for instead of a limited household, her dependents are increased to a number which would constitute a village. She is obliged to listen to cases of grievance, is a nurse to the sick, distributes the half-yearly clothing; indeed, the mere giving out of thread and needles is something of a charge on so large a scale. A planter's lady may seem indolent, because there are so many under her who perform trivial services, but the very circumstance of keeping so many menials in order is an arduous one, and the keys of her establishment are a care of which a northern housekeeper knows nothing, and include a very extensive class of duties. Many fair and even aristocratic girls, if we may use this phrase in our republican country, who grace a ball-room, or loll in a liveried carriage, may be seen with these steel talismans, presiding over store-houses, and measuring with the accuracy and conscientiousness of a shopman, the daily allowance of the family; or cutting homespun suits, for days together, for the young and old slaves under their charge; while matrons, who would ring a bell for their pocket-handkerchief to be brought to them, will act the part of a surgeon or physician, with a promptitude and skill, which would excite astonishment in a stranger. Very frequently, slaves, like children, will only take medicine from their superiors, and in this case the planter's wife or daughter is admirably fitted to aid them.
There are few establishments where all care and responsibility devolves on the master, and even then the superintendence of a large domestic circle, and the rites of hospitality, demand so large a portion of the mistress's time, as leaves her but little opportunity for systematic teaching in her family. In this case she is wise to seek an efficient tutor, still appropriating those opportunities which perpetually arise under the same roof, to improve their moral and religious culture, and cultivate those sympathies which exalt these precious beings from children to friends.
The young, conscientious, ardent mother must be taught this by experience. She has a jealousy at first of any instruction that shall come between their dawning minds and her own, and is only taught by the constantly thwarted recitation, that in this country, at least, good housekeeping and good teaching cannot be combined.
But to return to my narrative. The morning after mamma's order, we assembled at ten o'clock. There was a little trepidation in her manner, but we loved her too well to annoy her by noticing it. Her education had been confined to mere rudiments, and her good sense led her only to conduct our reading, writing, and spelling.
We stood in a line.
" Spell irrigate," said she. Just then the coachman entered, and bowing, said, " Maussa send me for de key for get four quart o'corn for him bay horse."
The key was given.
" Spell imitate," said mamma.
"We did not spell irrigate," we all exclaimed.
" Oh, no," said she, " irrigate."
By the time the two words were well through, Chloe, the most refined of our coloured circle, appeared.
" Will mistress please to medjure out some calomel for Syphax, who is feverish and restless?"
During mamma's visit to the doctors shop, as the medicine-closet was called, we turned the inkstand over on her mahogany table, and wiped it up with our pocket-handkerchiefs. It required some time to cleanse and arrange ourselves; and just as we were seated and had advanced a little way on our orthographical journey, maum Phillis entered with her usual drawl, " Little maussa want for nurse, mam.."
While this operation was going on, we gathered round mamma to play be-peep with the baby, until even she forgot our lessons At length the little pet was dismissed with the white drops still resting on his red lips, and our line was formed again.
Mamma's next interruption, after successfully issuing a few words, was to settle a quarrel between La Fayette and Venus, two little blackies, who were going through their daily drill, in learning to rub the furniture, which with brushing flies at meals constitutes the first instruction for house servants. These important and classical personages rubbed about a stroke to the minute on each side of the cellaret, rolling up their eyes and making grimaces at each other. At this crisis they had laid claim to the same rubbing-cloth; mamma stopped the dispute by ordering my seamstress Flora, who was sewing for me, to apply the weight of her thimble, that long-known weapon of offence, as well as implement of industry, to their organ of firmness.
" Spell accentuate," said mamma, whose finger had slipped from the column.
" No, no, that is not the place," we exclaimed, rectifying the mistake.
" Spell irritate," said she, with admirable coolness, and John fairly succeeded just as the overseer's son, a sallow little boy with yellow hair, and blue homespun dress, came in with his hat on, and kicking up one foot for manners, said, " Fayther says as how he wants master Richard's horse to help tote some tetters to t'other field.''
This pretty piece of alliteration was complied with, after some remonstrance from brother Dick, and we finished our column. At this crisis, before we were fairly seated at writing, mamma was summoned to the hall to one of the field hands, who had received an injury in the uncle from a hoe. Papa and the overseer being at a distance, she was obliged to superintend the wound. We all followed her, La Fayette and Venus bringing up the rear. She inspected the sufferer's great foot, covered with blood and perspiration, superintended a bath, prepared a healing application, and bound it on with her own delicate hands, first quietly tying a black apron over her white dress. Here was no shrinking, no hiding of the eyes, and while extracting some extraneous substance from the wound, her manner was as resolute as it was gentle and consoling. This episode gave Richard an opportunity to unload his pockets of groundnuts, and treat us therewith. We were again seated at our writing-books, and were going on swimmingly with Avoid evil company," when a little crow-minder, hoarse from his late occupation, came in with a basket of eggs, and said,
" Mammy Phillis send Missis some egg for bay, matam; she ain't so bery well, and ax for some 'baccer."
It took a little time to pay for the eggs and send to the store-room for the Virginia-weed, of which opportunity we availed ourselves to draw figures on our slates: mamma reproved us, and we were resuming our duties, when the cook's son approached and said,
" Missis, Daddy Ajax say he been broke de axe, and ax me for ax you for Len him de new axe."
This made us shout out with laughter, and the business was scarcely settled, when the dinner - horn sounded. That evening a carriage full of friends arrived from the city to pass a week with us, and thus ended mamma’s experiment in teaching.
Our summers were usually passed at Springland, a pine-settlement, where about twenty families resorted at that season of the year. We were fortunate to find a French lady already engaged in teaching, from whom I took lessons on the piano-forte and guitar. The summer passed swiftly away. Papa was delighted with my facility in French, in which my brothers were also engaged, and we were happy to retain Madame d'Anville in our own family, on our return to Roseland.
In the middle of November a stranger was announced to papa, and a young man of very prepossessing appearance entered with a letter. It proved to be from our teacher, Mr. Bates. The contents were as follows:
" Respected Sir. I now sit down to write to you, to inform you that I am well, as also are Sir and Madam, my sister Nancy, and all the rest of our folks except aunt Patty, who is but poorly, having attacks of the rheumatiz, and shortness of breath. I should add, that Mrs. Prudence Bates, (who after the regular publishment on the church-doors for three Sundays, was united to me in the holy bands of wedlock, by our minister Mr. Ezekiel Duncan,) is in a good state of health, at this present, though her uncle, by her father's side, has been sick of jaundice, a complaint that has been off and on with him for a considerable spell.
" The bearer of this epistle is Parson Duncan's son, by name Mr. Charles Duncan, a very likely young man, but poorly in health, and Dr. Hincks says, going down to Charleston may set him up. I have the candour to say, that I think him, on some accounts, a more proper teacher than your humble servant, having served his time at a regular college education.
"I have writ a much longer letter than I thought on, but somehow it makes me chirpy to think of Roseland, though the young folks were obstreperous.
" Give my love nevertheless to them, and Miss Wilton, and all the little ones, as also I would not forget Daddy Jacque, whom I consider, notwithstanding his colour, as a very respectable person. I cannot say as much for Jim, who was an eternal thorn in my side, by reason of his quickness at mischief, and his slowness at waiting upon me; and I take this opportunity of testifying, that I believe if he had been in New England, he would have had his deserts before this; but you Southern folks do put up with an unaccountable sight from niggers, and I hope Jim will not be allowed his full tether, if so be Mr. Charles should take my situation in your family. I often tell our folks how I used to catch up a thing and do it rather than wait for half-a-dozen on 'em to take their own time. If I lived to the age of Methusalem, I never could git that composed, quiet kind of way you Southern folks have of waiting on the niggers. I only wish they could see aunt Patty move when the rbeumatiz is off, if she isn't spry, I don't know.
" Excuse all errors,
" Yours to serve,
`` JOSEPH BATES.
I detected a gentle, half-comical smile on Mr. Duncan's mouth as he raised his splendid eyes to papa, while delivering Mr. Bates' letter; but he soon walked to the window, and asked me some questions about the Cherokee-rose hedge, and other objects in view, which were novelties to him. I felt instantly that he was a gentleman, by the atmosphere of refinement which was thrown over him, and I saw that papa sympathised with me, as with graceful courtesy he welcomed him to Roseland -- Southern Rose-Bud.
APPENDIX D: EDUCATION.
The following is such information as I have been able to obtain respecting the public Educational provision in the United States, [in the year 1830].
The Free States in 1830.
MAINE. By a law of the State, every town, however large or small, is required to raise annually, for the support of schools, a sum equal at least to forty cents for each person in the town, and to distribute this sum among the several schools or districts, in proportion to the number of scholars in each. The expenditure of the sum is left principally to the direction of the town, and its committee or agents, appointed for that purpose. In the year 1825, the legislature required a report from each town in the State, respecting the situation of the schools. --United States Almanack
At that time, the number of school districts in ten counties was, 2,499.
The number of Children between 4 and 21 was..............137,931
The number who usually attend schools............................101,325
Amount required by law to be expended annually..........119,334
Amount raised from taxes........................................................132,263
Amount from the income of permanent funds.......................5,614
Total annual expenditure..........................................................137,878
The number of incorporated academies in the State was 31; 4 of which were for girls: the amount of funds varying from 2,000 to 22,000 dollars a-year.
NEW HAMPSHIRE. " From the year 1808 to 1818, there were raised in New Hampshire 70,000 dollars annually by law, for the support of common schools. This amount was raised by a separate tax, levied throughout the State, in the ratio of taxation for the State Tax. Since 1818, the yearly amount of the sum raised has been 90,000 dollars. This is the amount required by law, but a few towns raise more than they are required. The legislature assumes no control over the immediate appropriation, but leaves this to each town."
The State had also, in 1830, an annual income of 9,000 dollars, and a literary fund of 64,000 dollars, raised by a tax of a half per cent. on the capital of the banks; both to be, from that time, annually divided among the towns, in the ratio of taxation.
Some of the towns had separate school funds.
The white population of New Hampshire at this time was 268,721
The coloured population 607
VERMONT. An act was passed in 1827 to provide for the support of common schools. About 100,000 dollars was raised in 1830. A fund was also accumulating, which was to be applied whenever its income would support a common free-school in every district of the State, for two months in the year.
There were about 20 incorporated academies in the State, where young men were fitted for college. The number of students was supposed to average 40 at each.
MASSACHUSETTS. "By the returns from 131 towns, presented to the legislature, it appears that the amount annually paid in these towns for public schools, is 177,206 dollars.
The number of scholars receiving instruction 70,599
The number of pupils attending private schools in those towns 12,393
At an expense of , 170,349 dollars
"The number of persons in those towns, between the ages of 14 and 21, unable to read and write, is 58.
"In the town of Hancock, in Berkshire county, there are only 3 persons between 14 and 21 who cannot read and write; and they are mutes."American Annual Register.
RHODE ISLAND "In January, 1828, the legislature appropriated 10,000 dollars annually for the Support of public schools, to be divided among the several towns, in proportion to the population, with authority for each town to raise, by annual tax, double the amount received from the Treasury, as its proportion of the 10,000 dollars.
"There has been as yet no report of the number of school establishments under the act, but it is thought that they may safely be put down at 60, as all the towns have availed themselves of its provisions. The whole number of schools in the State now probably exceeds 650."American Almanack.
The white population in 1830: 93,621
The coloured : 3,578
CONNECTICUT. The revenue derived from the school fund amounted to 80,243 dollars. The State is divided into 208 school societies, which contained in the aggregate 84,899 children, between the ages of 4 and 16.
NEW YOR K.
The number of school districts was..................8,609
Number of children between 5 and 15...............................449,113
Number of children taught in the schools ......................468,205
This estimate does not include the scholars instructed in the two great cities, New York and Albany.
Amount paid to the districts.................................232,343 Dollars.
Of this, there came out of the Treasury...........100,000
Raised by tax upon the towns................................119,209
From a local fund...........................................................13,133
Voluntary tax by the towns.......................................19,209
PENNSYLVANIA. This State was in the rear. Not above 9,000 children were educated at the public charge, of about 16,000 dollars.
The white population in 1830: 1,309,900
The coloured: 38,333
NEW JERSEY. A fund of 222,000 dollars being realised, a system of Common School education was about to be put in action; an appropriation of 20,000 dollars per annum being ordered to be distributed among the towns for that purpose.
OHIO. In Cincinnati, the first anniversary of freeschools was kept in 1830. Three thousand pupils belonged to the free-schools of Cincinnati. The amount of the school-tax was about 10,000 dollars.
INDIANA. A committee of the legislature was appointed to consider and report upon the expediency of adopting the Common School system.
The white population in 1830: 339,399
The coloured : 3,632
ILLINOIS contained less than 160,000 persons in 1830, and had no public schools.
The Slave States in 1830.
MARYLAND. Provision was made for the establishment of Primary Schools throughout the State. One was opened in Baltimore in 1829. There were 8 or 10 academies, which received annually from 400 to 600 dollars from the Treasury of the State.
Grants to the University of Maryland: 5,000 dollars.
Grants to Colleges, Academies, and Schools: 13,000
DELAWARE. A law ordaining the establishment of a Common School system was passed in 1829, and the counties were being divided into districts in 1830.
NORTH CAROLINA had a literary fund of 70,000 dollars; but nothing had yet been done towards applying it.
VIRGINIA. No free-schools.
SOUTH CAROLINA. " It appeared by a Report of a Committee on Schools, that the number of public schools established in the State was 513, wherein 5,361 scholars were educated at the annual expense of 35,310 dollars."
" The benefit derived from this appropriation," says the governor, " is partial, founded on no principle, and arbitrarily dispensed by the Commissioners. If the fund could be so managed as to educate thoroughly a given number of young men, and to require them afterwards to teach for a limited time, as an equivalent, the effects would scan be seen and felt." American Annual Register.
The white population in 1830: 957,863
The coloured: 323,322
GEORGIA. The appropriations for county academies amounted to 14,302 dollars: and the poor school fund, 742 dollars.
Tbe white population in 1830: 296,806
The coloured : 220,017
ALABAMA. No schools.
MISSISSIPPI. No schools.
MISSOURI. No schools.
LOUISIANA. Instead of schools, a law making imprisonment the punishment of teaching a slave to read.
TENNESSEE. A fund is set to accumulate for the purpose of hereafter encouraging schools, colleges, and academies.
KENTUCKY. The Common School system was established by law, and provisions made for the division of the counties into districts, and the levying of the poll and property taxes for the purpose.
"The Louisville Advertiser announces the establishment by that city of a school at the public expense, stated to be the first south of the Ohio. It is opened to the children of all the citizens. The number of pupils entered is 300." American Annual Register.
ALBANY, NEW YORK. July 1837. Examination of Pupils at the Female Academy.
I set off for Albany, where I had an engagement, having been invited to attend at the examination of the young ladies at the seminary. Here again is a rivalry between Albany and Troy, each of them glorying in possessing the largest seminary for the education of young ladies, who are sent from every State of the Union, to be finished off at one or the other of them. Here, and indeed in many other establishments, the young ladies upon quitting it have diplomas given to them, if they pass their examinations satisfactorily. They are educated upon a system which would satisfy even Miss Martineau, and prepared to exercise the rights of which she complains that women have been so unjustly deprived. Conceive three hundred modern Portias, who regularly take their degrees and emerge from the portico of the seminary full of algebra, equality, and the theory ofthe constitution! The quantity and variety crammed into them is beyond all calculation. The examination takes place yearly, to prove to the parents that the preceptors have done their duty, and is in itself very innocent, as it only causes the young ladies to blush a little.
This afternoon they were examined in algebra, and their performance was very creditable. Under a certain age girls are certainly much quicker than boys, and I presume would retain what they learnt if it were not for their subsequent duties in making puddings, and nursing babies. Yet there are affairs which must be performed by one sex or the other, and of what use can algebra and other abstruse matters be to a woman in her present state of domestic thraldom.
The theory of the American constitution was the next subject on which they were examined; by their replies, this appeared to be to them more abstruse than algebra: but the fact is, women are born tories, and admit no other than petticoat government as legitimate.
The next day we again repaired to the hall, and French was the language in which they were to be examined, and the examination afforded us much amusement.
The young ladies sat down in rows on one side of the room. In the centre, towards the end, was an easel, on which was placed a large black board on which they worked with chalk the questions in algebra, &c., a towel hanging to it, that they might wipe out and correct. The French preceptor, an old Emigre count, sat down with the examiners before the board, the visitors (chiefly composed of anxious papas and mommas) being seated on benches behind them. As it happened, I had taken my seat close to the examining board, and at some little distance from the other persons who were deputed or invited to attend. I don't know how I came there. I believe I had come in too late; but there I was, within three feet of every young lady who came up to the board.
"Now, messieurs, have the kindness to ask any question you please," said the old Count. "Mademoiselle, you will have the goodness to step forward." A question was proposed in English, which the young lady had to write down in French. The very first went wrong: I perceived it, and without looking at her, pronounced the right word, so that she could hear it. She caught it, rubbed out the wrong word with the towel, and rectified it. This was carried on through the whole sentence, and then she retreated from the board that her work might be examined. "Very well, very well, indeed, Miss, c'est parfaitement bien;" and the young lady sat down blushing. Thus were they all called up, and one alter another prompted by me; and the old Count was delighted at the success of his pupils.
Now, what amused me in this was the little bit of human nature; the tact displayed by the sex, which appears to be innate, and which never deserts them. Had I prompted a boy, he would most likely have turned his head round towards me, and thus would have revealed what I was about; but not one of the whole class was guilty of such indiscretion. They heard me, rubbed out, corrected, waited for the word when they did not know it, but never by any look or sign made it appear that there was any understanding between us. Their eyes were constantly fixed on the board, and they appeared not to know that I was in the room. It was really beautiful. When the examination was over, I received a look from them all, half comic, half serious, which amply repaid me for my assistance.
As young ladies are assembled here from every State of the Union, it was a fair criterion of American beauty, and it must be acknowledged that the American women are the prettiest in the whole world.
APPENDIX: GENERAL OBSERVATIONS. Curriculum and Financial Arrangements for Public Education.
THE reader who has accompanied me thus far, will not need to be informed that I have designedly omitted many of those remarks on scenery, manners, and institutions, which were naturally suggested to my own mind by a retrospect of my sojourn in the United States. On various subjects of great interest and importance, it would be difficult for me to add any thing new or valueable to the information contained in other and well known works; while on those points to which my attention was chiefly directed, I have endeavoured, as far as practicable, to incorporate the results of my inquiries in the preceding narrative. There remain, however, a few observations, for which, having found no appropriate place, I would bespeak attention in a concluding chapter.
In the northern States, education in the common acceptation of the term, may be considered as univereal; in illustration of which it may be mentioned, that on the occasion of the late census, not a single American adult in the State of Connecticut, was returned as unable to read or write. Funds for education are raised by municipal taxation in each town or district, to such an amount as the male adults may decide. Their public schools are universally admitted to be well conducted and efficient, and combine every requisite for affording a sound, practical, elementary education to the children of the less affluent portion of the community. I need scarcely add that in a republican government, this important advantage being conceded, the road to wealth and distinction, or to eminence of whatever kind, is thrown open to all of every class without partiality-the coloured alone excepted.
The following extract from a letter received since my return from a respected member of the Society of Friends, residing in Worcester, Massachusetts, will give a lively idea of the general diffusion and practical character of education in the New England States.
" Thc public schools of the place, like those throughout the State, are supported by a tax, levied on the peoplc by themselves, in their primary assemblies or town meetings, and they are of so execllent a character as to have driven other schools almost entirely out from amongst us. They are so numerous as to accommodate amply all the children, of suitable age to attend. They are graduated from the infant school, where the A. B. C. is taught, up to the high school for the languages and mathematics, where boys are fitted for the University, and advanced so far, if they choose, as to enter the University one or two years ahead. These schools are attended by the children of the whole population promiscuously; and, in the same class, we find the children of the governor and the ex-Governor of the State, and those of their day-labourers, and of parents who arc so poor that their children are provided with books and stationery from the school fund. Under this system, we have no children who do not acquire sufficient school learning to qualify thcm for transacting all the business which is necessary in the ordinary pursuits of life. A child growing up without school learning would be an anomaly with us. All standing thus on a level, as to advantages, talent is developed, whcrever it happens to be; and neither wealth nor ancestral honours give any advantage in the even-handed contest which may here be waged for distinction. It is thus that we find, almost uniformly, that our first men, either in government or the professions, are the sons of comparatively poor and obscure persons. In places where the wealthier portion of the community have placed their children in select schools, they are found much less likely to excel, than when placed in contact and collision with thc mass, where they are compelled to come in competition with those whose physical condition prepares them for mental labour, and whose situation in society holds forth every enticement to their exertion. To this system, which is co-eval with the foundation of the State, I atrribute, in a great degree, that wonderful energy of character which distinguishes the people of New England, and which has filled the world with the evidences of their enterprise."
The preceding statements refer to New England, the oldest portion of the free Sates. The more recently settled Northern and Western States are necessarily less advanced, yet their educational statistics would probably bear comparison with any country in the world, except the most favoured portion of their own. In the slave States the aspect of things affords a striking contrast. Not only is the slave population, with but few exceptions, in a condition of heathen barbarism, a condition which it is the express object of those laws of the slave States, forbidding under the heaviest penalties, the instruction of the slaves, to perpetuate; but the want of common elementary education among large numbers of the privileged class is notorious. Compare Virginia with Massachusetts,- The American Almanac for the year 1841, states (page 210,) there are supposed to be hardly fewer than 30,000 adult white persons in Virginia who cannot read and write ! An able writer gives the following facts.
" No one of the slave States has probably so much general education as Virginia. It is the oldest of them-has furnished one half of the Presidents of the United States-has expended more upon her University than any State in the Union has done during the same time upon its colleges-sent to Europe nearly twenty years since for her most learned professors; and in fine, has far surpassed every other slave State in her efforts to disseminate education among her citizens; and yet, the Governor of Virginia in his message to the legislature, (Jan. 7, 1839) says, that of four thousand six hundred and fourteen adult males in that State, who applied to the country clerks for marriage licenses in the year 1837, one thousand and forty seven were unable to write their names." The governor adds, "these statements, it will be remembered are confined to one sex: the education of females, it is to be feared, is in a condition of much greater neglect."-The editor of the Virginia Times published at Wheeling, in his paper of January, 23rd, 1839, says,-" We have every reason to suppose that one fourth of the people of the State cannot write their names, and they have not of course, any other species of education." The destitution of the means of moral and religious improvement is in like manner very great.
CINCINNATI, OHIO. Spring 1842. Female Education.
Cincinnati is honourably famous for its free schools, of which it has so many that no person's child among its population can, by possibility, want the means of education, which are extended, upon an average, to four thousand pupils, annnally. I was only present in one of these establishments during the hours of instruction. In the boys' department, which was full of little urchins (varying in their ages, I should say, from six years old to ten or twelve), the master offered to institute an extemporary examination of the pupils in algebra; a proposal, which, as I was by no means confident of my ability to detect mistakes in that science, I declined with some alarm. In the girls' school, reading was proposed; and as I felt tolerably equal to that art, I expressed my willingness to hear them. Books were distributed accordingly, and some half-dozen girls relieved each other in reading paragraphs from English history. But it seemed to be a dry compilation, infinitely above their powers; and when they had blundered through three or four dreary passages concerning the Treaty of Amiens, and other thrilling topics of the same nature (obviously without comprehending ten words), I expressed myself quite satisfied. It is very possible that they only mounted to this exalted stave in the Ladder of Learning for the astonishment of a visitor; and that at other times they keep upon its lower rounds; but I should have been much better pleased and satisfied if I had heard them exercised in simpler lessons, which they understood.