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and the great body of our people left to struggle as they have struggled bøfore. Here, at least, it may be demanded, that those who support all, defend all, and govern all, should not in addition to this, be expected to suffer all. But if this is not to be so—if the wrong and injury already done, are to be stopped; if the melancholy distinction of sharing an equality in uneducated population with a single American rival is to be effaced, and our labors are hereafter to elevate the mind which our neglect has done so much to crush-if this is to be so, not an hour, not an energy which the legislature can command, should be lost, before this work of justice, hope and renovation, shall have been begun.

I have submitte.lin former messages what seemed to me the germ of a suitable plan for the accomplishment of this work, and respectfully refer to it now as capable, in my judgment, of being successfully matured and applied. That plan was, generally to establish in each county, with the consent of a majority of its tax-payers, free schools for common education. To rely for the support of these schools upon the quotas of the present school fund, and upon such additional sum as might be found necessary, to be made up of county and state taxes united in given proportions. To place the schools, wherever adopted by county vote, and all matters connected with their location, accounts and management, under county tribunals, and these, in turn, under the general supervision of some central and controlling head; and to authorize each county to renounce the plan, after having adopted it, should it wish to do so; and in all cases, whether the plan is accepted, rejected or renounced, to continue the school quota to each county just as at present.

Without illustrating this plan by additional detail, it is, perhaps, enough to say of it, that by placing its adoption in each county upon the express consent of its own tax-payers, you appeal to those who are the most concerned in interest, and most identified with cach other in intercourse and business, to decide whether it will suit them or not; you enable each county, in case of its adoption, to modify, adapt and mature it, according to its judgment and its own view of its local circumstances and wants; you connect every citizen, in some degree, with its management, make every tax-payer a sentinel upon its operation, and thus secure its ultimate sufficiency and support by surrounding it with the largest possible amount of watchfulness, interest and affection. Nor is this all—by supporting these schools upon a general fund, making them free from any charge for tuition, you at once destroy those designations of indigence and charity, which have kept so many thousands in ignorance; you bring the rich and poor of our people into closer connection with each other, diffuse a kindlier and healthier sympathy throughout the whole of society, and discourage, in their very embryo, all youthful tendencies to exclusiveness and caste.

A Convention of more than two hundred delegates from different parts of Virginia, met at the Capitol in Richmond, on the 10th of December, and continued in session through the 11th and 12th, with Governor McDowell as President; Judge Lomax, Judge Duncan, Thomas J. Randolph, Dr. Patrick, A. T. Caperton, W. H. McFarland, G. H. Carson, and S. Watts, Vice Presidents; and S. Gallagher, and R. B. Gooch, Secretaries.

The deplorable condition of education in Virginia, was freely exposed, and various plans for improving the whole system of public instruction, were presented and discussed. The Convention finally adopted a report, in which the present system is pronounced defective in the following particulars :

1st. It creates a distinction between the rich and the poor.

2d. It makes no provision for the examination of teachers as to their moral characters and qualifications.

3d. It confers no authority on school commissioners for the selection of school books.

4th. It embraces no provision for the education of teachers.

To supply these and other defects, the Common School System, or schools for the rich and the poor, supported by public funds, taught by teachers whose qualifications are properly ascertained, and managed by officers elected by the people, was recommended to the favorable consideration of the Legislature.

Let us now turn to the results of the Common School System, in a state* where its cradle was rocked, side by side, with the infant commonwealth, and which has grown with the growth, and strengthened with the strength of the state.

MASSACHUSETTS.

From the Abstract of School Returns for 1844–5, made up with great care in the office of the Secretary of State, we have compiled the following Tables :

1. A Table exhibiting the condition of the common schools in several important particulars, in twenty-nine towns, which rank highest among the three hundred and eight towns in the state, for the sum annually voted for the education of each person between the ages of 4 and 16 years, the length of the school, the number of children in daily attendance, and the average compensation paid to teachers, male and female.

No state in the Union,-no country in the world can show returns for the same number of towns, which argues su favorably for the condition and improvement of common schools, as does this Table.

2. A Table exhibiting the condition of common schools in the same particulars, in the same number of towns which rank the lowest in reference to the amount of appropriation for school purposes, length of school, and compensation of teachers. Low as is the relative rank of these towns in Massachusetts, they would occupy the highest relative position on a scale similarly graduated, in any other state.

3. A Table exhibiting the condition of education in the several counties of the state, graduated according to the apropriation in each for the support of common schools, with the aggregate of the State.

* A history of the School System of Massachusetts, with an abstract of the laws as they are now on the statute book, is given in Educational Tract, No. NII.

TOWNS.

COUNTIES,

POPULATION.

VALUATION.

Arount.

person le

mer.

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193

Somerville,
Brookline,
Boston,
Chelsea,
Medford,
Brighton,
Charlestown,
N. Braintree,
Dedham,
Lowell,
Watertown,
Milton,
Dorchester,
Roxbury,
Nantucket,
Worcester,
Newton,
Weston,
Dover,
W. Cambridge,
Hull,
Waltham,
New Bedford,
Cambridge,
Stoneham,
Boxborough,
Salem,
Concord,
Lexington,
Sherburne,

Middlesex,
Norfolk,
Suffolk,

Do.
Middlesex,

Do.

Do.
Worcester,
Norfolk,
Middlesex,

Do. .
Norfolk,

Do.

Do.
Nantucket,
Worcester,
Middlesex,

Do.
Norfolk,
Middlesex,
Plymouth,
Middlesex,
Bristol, .
Middlesex,

Do.

Do.
Essex,
Middlesex,

Do.
Do.

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Rank of Towns in the State, and in the County, according to the amount

Number of Average wages

Scholars of paid to Teachraised by tax, for each person between all ages, in ers, per month, i he ages of 4 and 10 years, including

all the
only wages of teachers, and fuel.

including value

Schools. of Board.
Ne of per- Amt foreach Rank R.
$*i beri

ill

In Sum. In Win
Handlo. upen X 18 State.

Males. Females.
$2,100 311

$7 61

1 309 310 4:56 66 $17 03 1,365 $713,953 1,900

273 6 66

1 214

49 00 15 02
93,383 109,301,318 124,963 18,178 6 76

15,5:20 15,5:20 100 14 20 83
2,390 605,781 4,900 800 5 58

723 796 46 67 17 11
2,478 1,005,195 3,201

501 5 56

496 496

51 53 12 15
1,125 158, 185 2,000 301

5 51

353 355 18 16 14 68
11,491 4,033,170 14,000 2,750 5 03

2,514 2,514 75 00 14 81
752
385,722 800 166 4 82

171 210 24 50 12 29
3,290
1,218,518 3,750 770 4 81

560 686 38 78

16 53
20,790 10,160,652 22,896 4,867 4 70

4,107 4,008 | 49 24 16 79
1,810 976,835 2,200

470 4 65

351 352 39 08

16 00
1,822 653,2171 2,000) 439 4 56 12

381

386 33 26 18 00
4,875 1,691.215 5,500 1,216 4 52 13

1,010 1,098 36 45 16 53
9,089 3,257,503 11,375 2,531 4 43 14

1,793 1,836 66 91 17 99
9,012 6,074,371 8,275 1,900 4 35 15

1,143 1,413 62 50 16 66
7,197 3,635,001 8,972 2,290 4 35 16

2,166 2,332 38 58 16 14
3,351 897,235 3,125 733 4 26 17

595 646 43 29 20 59 1,092 386,191 1,030) 250 4 20 18

199 270 36 50

15 56 5:20 192,3091 450 120 4 19 19

70 115 24 87

10 33
1,363 472,123 1,000 386 4 14 20

323

33 70 12 75 231 55,121 130 32 4 06

36 42 20 00 8 00 2,501 1,069,171 2,681 658 4 01

10 638

628

42 00 14 09
12,087 6,019,520 13,000 3,981 3 90 23 1 2,030 2,071 66 66 18 27
8,109 4,179,501 10,337 2,619 3 9.3 2 11 2,111 2,038 55 07 18 36
1,017
217.960 1,000 235

3 92
25 12 256

193

32 50 14 86
426 114.663 400 103 3 88 26 13 98 139 25 22 10 50
15,053 | 10,218,109 15,276 4,000 82 27

2,385 2,385 65 74 13 03 1,781

C08,619 2,000 525 3 81 23 14 469 513 30 71 11 81 1,612 561,549

1,1170 371 3 77 29 15 317 3:26 35 40 28 16 995 318,162 925 2-15 3 77

16 202 270 28 12 12 23

401

Rank of Town in the State, and in the Number of
County, according to the Amount raised

Scholars of

Average Wages by tur, for each person between the

ages all ages, in paid to Teachers, of 4 and 16 years, including only wages

per month, in

all the
of teachers, and fuel:

Schools.
No. of per- Amt, for each Rink

cluding value of

Rank
Amount. sons between person be.

Board :

in In Sum-In W10-
4 an 1 16. tween 4 & 16.

State.
Co.

Males. Females.
$588,290 $ 900 630

$1 43

280 20 435 474 $26 71 $ 12 59 235,962 1,000 699 1 43 281 10 534 683 23 10 11 26 289,889 600 421 1 42

282 16 270

300

20 26 11 33
120,311 400 283 1 41 283 18 2014 269 19 43 10 26
578,670 600 425 1 41 281 19 376 418 24 03 11 41
160,695 400 285 1 40 285 23 219 315 18 88 8 55
423,279 1,200 857 1 40 286 11

813 25 96 944
270,299 400

217
1 33 287 19

217

231 21 23 9 83
553,021 800 586 1 37 288 55 390 531

22 50 10 91
961,317 1,400 1,030 1 36 289 17 680 830 21 75

11 41
56,219 200 147 1 36 290 20 120 152 16 75 9 11
359,024 400 295

1 36 291

21 171 181 19 10 12 57
192,694 400 295 1 36 292 21 253 218 26 66 10 83
130,491 850 625 1 36 293 12 409 581 25 633 12 32
471,761 896 657 1 35 294 22 522 539 24 00 12 75
517,740 900 668 1 35 295 23 455 484 19 07 9 95
625,025

1,100
826 1 33 296 24 480

615 20 41 12 99
233.932 1,325 932 1 33

297
13 736

23 21 10 21
177,951 400 303 1 32 298 24 265 313 19 11 8 79
63,406 200 151 1 32

299 25 135 165 15 66 9 12
330,613 600 453 1 32

300

3 178 21 13 09 13 00
317,950 300 231 1 30 301 26 79

18 55 11 50
310,978 500 388 1 29 302 27 263 3:22 19 50 12 66
159,814 399 312 1 25 303 25 211 271

16 74 8 69
162,473 315 276 1 25

301

26 221 326 18 30 9 98
52,126 155 124 1 25 305

102 U3 16 75 8 33 773,929 1,468 1,175 1 25 306 29 810 735 17 21 11 31 234,147 250 212 1 03 307 30 137

172 22 00 12 00 297,411 00 365

46 308 18 262 309 18 35 10 15

188

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*TABLE, showing the Population, Valuation, fc., of the different Counties, with the Aggregate of the State.

Suffolk, - 95,773 $110,000,000 001 151 16,256 16,316 19,338 11.27 122 401 $73 40 $18 97 $129,868 00 6 92 $90 00 Essex, 91,987 31,110,201 00 31 18,702 18,797 | 26,591

8.27 258 443 30 37 11 87 67,700 37 2 54 6. 121 00 Middlesex, 105,011 37,592,082 00 4351 21,287 26,001 28,114

8.12 330 661 32 281 13 66 102,100 07 3 65 3 158 59 Worcester, 95,313 29,801,316 00 577 21,163 20,392 25,897

2 34 8 1,415 43 Hainpshire, 31,897 7,238,351 00219 6,136 6,969 8,379

113 291 20 71 10 96 18,033 52 2 21 9 4,730 46 lanpden, 37,365 10,188,193 71 2:21

2 13 10 6,193 37
11 klin, 23,812 6,518,601 09 253 6,558 8,285 8,119 6

1 88 12 5,612 30
Berishire, - 41,680) 9,516,926 70 201 8,511
9,639 11,453 7. 9 197 316 19 20 10 96 17,202 88

1 57 14 9,629 03
Norfolk, 5:3,11) 15,52,527 00 2101 11,335 12,180 | 14,299

90 00 Bristol, - 69,165 19,493,695 84 276 10,525 13, 102 | 17,15 11

211 316 28 52 13 23 41,200 63 2 43 7 3,213 00 Plymouth, - 47,3 733 10,691,719 00 261 9,931 11, 163 12,915 7.18 189 314 26 86 12 15 32,705 31

2 60 5 2,411 39 Barustable, 32,313 4,896,683 09 102 5,951 8,913 9,387 7. 8 138 179 28 11 12 22 15,693 00

1 76 13 2,613 45 Dukes, 3,958 1,107,313 00 19 519 650 1,107

1 9911 Nantucket, 9,012 6,074,374 00 15 1,113 1,113 1,900 12

12 56 62 50 16 66 8,275 00 4 35 2 Total, - 14 737,700 $299,878,329 31 338:2 149,189 169,977 191,981 7.25 2,523 4,774 32 11 13 08 576,556 02 2 99 36,338 02

Number of Scholare of all ages, in all the

Schools.

COUNTIES. Population

Valuation.

Number of Public Schools.

Rank of each County according

to the
MALES. FEMALES
Number of Tench.
Average
length of the summer and Wis

ers, including
Schools.
ter Terros.

Average Average
wager paid wages paid
per month, per month,
including including

value of value of
Nos. Days. Malos. Femalee Board. Board.

Number of persons between

4 and 16 sears of age in the Countics.

and
Amount of money raised

by taxes, for the pup-
port of Schools, inclú-
umg only the wages of
trachers, board,
fuel.

Surn for each child be.

Tween 4 and 16 years
of age.

Amount contributed for board

and fuel.

Iu Summer. In Winter.

5.23 43S 21 511 11 53 59,806 18

6.20

9,261 10,981 7.25 158 315 19 77 10 60 20,014 60

113 361 19 49 10 37

14,820 63

167 302 32 87 14 37 46,935 83

3 35 4

6.21

4.19 17 17 30 89 15 03

2,200 00

The Returns for 1845 show that there are in the different counties 66 incorporated Academies, with an average attendance of 3939 scholars; and 1167 unincorporated Academies, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong summer Schools, with an average attendance of 28,762 scholars. In the first-named elass, the aggregate amount paid for tuition is $51,264 07; and in the second, $236,768 09.

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