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Title: The Duty of American Women to Their Country

Author: Catharine Esther Beecher

Release date: December 16, 2016 [eBook #53739]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Larry B. Harrison and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)




Harper & Brothers, 82 Cliff-St.


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845, by
Harper & Brothers,
In the Clerk’s Office of the Southern District of New-York.



My countrywomen, you often hear it said that intelligence and virtue are indispensable to the safety of a democratic government like ours, where the people hold all the power. You hear it said, too, that our country is in great peril from the want of this intelligence and virtue. But these words make a faint impression, and it is the object of what follows to convey these truths more vividly to your minds.

This will be attempted, by presenting some recent events, in a country where a government similar to our own was undertaken, by a people destitute of that intelligence and virtue so indispensable; and then it will be shown that similar dangers are impending over our own country. The grand point to be illustrated is, that a people without education have not intelligence enough to know what measures will secure safety and prosperity, nor virtue enough to pursue even what they know[4] to be right, so that, when possessed of power, they will adopt ruinous measures, be excited by base passions, and be governed by wicked and cruel men.

Look, then, at France during that awful period called the Reign of Terror. First, observe the process by which the power passed into the hands of the people. An extravagant king, a selfish aristocracy, an exacting priesthood, had absorbed all the wealth, honour, and power, until the people were ground to the dust. All offices of trust and emolument were in the hands of the privileged few, all laws made for their benefit, all monopolies held for their profit, while the common people were condemned to heavy toils, with returns not sufficient to supply the necessities of life, so that, in some districts, famine began to stalk through the land.

Speedily the press began to unfold these wrongs, and at the same time, Lafayette and his brave associates returned from our shores, and spread all over the nation enthusiastic accounts of happy America, where the people govern themselves, unoppressed by monopoly, or king, or noble, or priest. The press teems[5] with exciting pages, and orators inflame the public mind to a tempest of enthusiasm. The court and the aristocratic party cower before the storm; and ere long, the eleven hundred representatives of the people are seen marching, in solemn pomp, through the streets of the capital, while the whole land rings with acclamations of joy. They take their seats, on an equality with nobles and king, and proceed to form a constitution, securing the rights of the people. It is adopted, and sworn to, by the whole nation, with transports and songs, while they vainly imagine that all their troubles are at an end. But the representatives, chosen by the people, had not the wisdom requisite for such arduous duties as were committed to them, nor had the people themselves the intelligence and virtue indispensable for such a change. Men of integrity and ability were not selected for the new offices created. Fraud, peculation, rapine, and profusion abounded. Everything went wrong, and soon the country was more distressed than ever. “What is the cause of this?” the people demand of their representatives. “It is the aristocrats,” is the reply; “it is the king; it is the nobles;[6] it is the clergy. They oppose and thwart all our measures; they will not allow our new Constitution to work, and therefore it is that you suffer.” And so the people are filled with rage at those whom they suppose to be the cause of their disappointment and sufferings. The clergy first met the storm. “These bishops and priests, with their vast estates, and splendid mansions, and rich incomes—they beggar the people, that they may riot on the spoil.” And so the populace rage and thunder around the national Hall of Legislation till they carry their point, and laws are passed confiscating the property of the clergy, and driving them to exile or death. Their vast estates pass into the control of the National Legislature, and for a time, abundance and profusion reign. The people have bread, and the office-seekers gain immense spoils. But no wisdom or honesty is found to administer these millions for the good of the people. In a short time, all is gone; distress again lashes the people to madness, and again they demand why they do not gain the promised plenty and prosperity. “It is the aristocrats,” is the reply; “it is the king; it is the nobles; it is the rich men. They[7] oppose all our measures, therefore nothing succeeds, and the people are distressed.”

Next, the nobles meet the storm. “They are traitors; they are enemies of the people; they are plotting against our liberties; they are living in palaces, and rolling in splendid carriages from the hard earnings of the poor.” The populace rage against them all over the land. They besiege the House of Representatives; they beseech—they threaten. At last they carry their point; the estates of the nobles are seized; they are declared traitors, and doomed to banishment or death. Again millions are placed at the control of the people’s agents. It is calculated that by this and former confiscations, more than a thousand millions of dollars were seized for the use of the people. Again fraud, peculation, profusion, and mismanagement abound, till all this incomprehensible treasure vanishes away.

Meantime, all the laws have been altered; all the property has passed from its wonted owners to new hands; the wealthy, educated, and noble are down; the poor, the ignorant, the base hold the offices, wealth, and power. Everything is mismanaged. Everything goes[8] wrong. The people grow distracted with their sufferings, and again demand the cause. “It is the king; it is his extravagant Austrian queen, who rules him and his court. They thwart all our measures. They are sending to brother kings for soldiers to crush our liberties. They are gathering armies on our borders to overwhelm us.”

Next, the helpless king and his family become the mark for popular rage. Every indignity and insult was inflicted and borne with a patient fortitude that extorted admiration, till finally the king is first led forth to a bloody death; next the queen is sacrificed; next the virtuous sister of the king; and, last, the little dauphin is barbarously murdered.

Still misery rules through the nation. The friends of the king and former government, and all the peaceable citizens and supporters of order, are called aristocrats, and every art devised to render them objects of fear, suspicion, and hatred, especially such of them as hold property to tempt the cupidity of the people. Through the whole land two parties exist; one the distressed, bewildered, exasperated people, raging for their rights, and driven[9] to madness by the fancied opposition of aristocrats; the other a trembling, cowering minority, suffering insult, and fear, and robbery, and often a cruel death.

And now priests and nobles and king and queen are all gone, and yet the people are more distressed than ever before. Amid these scenes of violence, confusion, and misrule, confidence has ceased, commerce has furled the sail, trade has closed the door, manufactures ceased their din, and agriculture forsaken the plough.

There is no money, no credit, no confidence, no employment, no bread. Famine, and pestilence, and grief, and rage, and despair brood over the land. Again the people cry to their representatives, “Why do you not give us the promised prosperity and plenty? We have nothing to eat, nothing to wear; our business and trades are at an end. The nations around us are gathering to devour us, and what is the cause of all these woes?”

“It is the Girondists,” is the reply; “it is this party among the people’s representatives. They are traitors; they have been bribed; they have joined with foreign aristocrats and kings.[10] They interrupt all our measures, and they are the cause of all your sufferings.”

And now the people turn their rage upon the most intelligent and well-meaning portion of their representatives, who have been striving to stem the worst excesses of those who yield entirely to the dictation of the mob. After a period of storms and threats and violence, at length a majority is gained against them, and a decree is passed condemning a large portion of the National Legislature as traitors, while their leaders are borne forth by the exulting mob to a bloody death. Still the distress of the people is unrelieved, and again they clamour for the cause. “It is the party opposed to us,” say the Jacobins, with Robespierre at their head; “they are the traitors; they will not adopt the measures which will save the people from these ills.”

“Cut them down!” cries the populace; and again another portion of the people’s representatives are led forth to death.

And now Robespierre, the leader of the lowest mob of all, is supreme dictator, and all power is lodged with this coldest-blooded ruffian that ever doomed his fellow-beings to a[11] violent death. This was the Reign of Terror, when the mob had gained complete mastery, and this man, its advocate and organ, administered its awful energies. Look, then, for a moment, at the picture.

But the horrors of this period are so incredible, the atrocities so monstrous, that the tale will be regarded with distrust, without some previous indication of the causes which led to such results.

Let it be remembered, then, that this whole revolutionary movement was, in fact, a war of the common people upon the classes above them. Let it be remembered, too, that the French people, by the press, and by emissaries all over Europe, had invoked the lower classes of all nations to make common cause with them. “War to the palace, and peace to the cottage,” was their watchword. Every throne began to shake, and every person of rank, talents, and wealth felt his own safety involved in the contest. It was thus that the revolutionary leaders felt that they were contending for their lives, against the whole wealth, aristocracy, and monarchical power of Europe.

In France itself, individual ambition, hate,[12] envy, or vengeance added fearful power to this war of contending classes. Not only every leader, but every individual, found in the opposing party some rival to displace, or some private grudge to revenge, while ten thousand aspirants for office demanded sacrifices, in order to secure vacated places. At last the struggle became so imbittered and desperate, that each man looked out only for himself. Friend gave up friend to save his own life, or to secure political advancement, till confidence between man and man perished, and society became a mass of warring elements, excited by every dreadful passion.

Few men are deliberately cruel from the mere love of cruelty. Thousands, under the influence of fear, revenge, ambition, or hate, become selfish, reckless, and cruel. When, too, in conflicts where men feel that by the hands of opponents they have lost property, home, honour, and country; when they have seen their dearest friends slaughtered or starved, then, when the hour of retaliation arrives, pity and sympathy are dead, and every baleful passion rages. Thus almost every man in the conflict had suffered: if a democrat, from[13] those above him; if an aristocrat, from those below him.

Meantime, religion, that powerful principle in humanizing and restraining bad passions, had well-nigh taken her flight. The war upon the clergy at length turned to a war upon the religion they represented, till atheism became the prevailing principle of the nation.

By a public act, the leaders of the people declared their determination “to dethrone the King of Heaven, as well as the monarchs of the earth.” For this end, the apostate clergy, put in the places of those exiled, were induced to come before the bar of the National Legislature and publicly abjure Christianity, and declare that “no other national religion was now required but liberty, equality, and morality.”

On this occasion, crowds of drunken artisans appeared before the bar of the house, trampling under foot the cross, the sacramental vases, and other emblems of religious faith. A vile woman, dressed as the Goddess of Reason, was publicly embraced by the presiding officer of the National Legislature, and conducted by him to a magnificent car, and followed[14] by immense crowds to the grand Cathedral of Nôtre Dame, where she was seated on an altar, and there received the worship of the multitudes. The Sabbath, by a national decree, was abolished; the Bible was burned publicly by the executioner; and on the graveyards was inscribed, “Death is an eternal sleep!”

At Lyons, a similar scene was enacted, where a fête in honour of Liberty was celebrated. The churches were all closed, the Decade, or Sabbath of Reason, proclaimed, and an image of a vile character was carried in procession, followed by vast crowds, shouting, “Down with the aristocrats! Long life to the guillotine!” After the image came an ass, bearing the Cross, the Bible, and the communion service; and these were led to an altar, where a fire was lighted, the Cross and Bible burned, the communion bread trampled under foot, and the ass made to drink out of the communion cup. Wherever democracy reigned, the services of religion were interrupted, the burial service vanished, baptisms ceased, the sick and dying were unconsoled by religion, while every species of vice, obscenity, and[15] licentiousness were practised without concealment or control. The establishments for charity, the hospitals, and all humane institutions were swept away, and their funds seized by the agents of the people. Even the sepulchres of the dead were upturned. The noble, the wise, and the ancient, the barons of feudal ages, the heroes of the Crusades, the military chieftains, the ancient kings, resting in long-hallowed tombs, the mightiest monarchs of the nation, the “chief ones of the earth,” were moved from their rest, and rose to meet the coming of this awful day, while the treasures of their tombs were rifled by vulgar hands, and their very sculls kicked around as footballs for sport.

Meantime the sovereigns of Europe were making preparations to meet this flood of democratic lava, which threatened to overflow every surrounding land. Vast armies began to gather on every side, and avenging navies hovered along the shores. This added the fervour of patriotic devotion to the mania of democracy.

“Ye sons of France! awake to glory!
Hark! hark! what myriads bid you rise!
Your children, wives, and grandsires hoary,
Behold their tears, and hear their cries!
Shall hateful tyrants, mischief breeding,
With hireling hosts, a ruffian band,
Affright and desolate our land,
While Peace and Liberty lie bleeding?
To arms! to arms! ye brave!
The avenging sword unsheath!
March on! march on! to victory or death!”

These inspiring sentiments, sung in the thrilling notes of the Marseilles Hymn, were echoed from one end of the land to the other, awakening a whirlwind of enthusiasm. The wants of thousands thrown out of employ, joined with the excitement of patriotism, raised an army unparalleled in numbers. It is calculated that, at one time, one million two hundred thousand Frenchmen were thus enrolled, and at the command of the National Legislature, while the millions of property, not otherwise squandered, were employed to clothe, feed, and equip this incomprehensible multitude. All France was bristling like an armed field; while every mandate of government, backed as it was by such a military force, was utterly resistless. Thus it was that the Reign of Terror was so silent, awful, and hopeless.

Behold, then, through the terror-stricken and miserable land, the national troops employed[17] in arresting every person suspected of favouring aristocracy, or conspicuous as the holder of wealth, or object of hate, envy, or suspicion to all in the possession of power. Behold the prisons of the capital, of the provincial cities, and of the country villages, crammed to overflowing with the rich, the noble, and the learned. No regard was paid to station, age, or sex. Gray hairs and blooming childhood, stern warriors and beautiful maidens, coarse labourers and noble matrons, were huddled together into the damps, and filth, and darkness of a common dungeon, while the guillotine daily toiled in its bloody work of death.

Whenever a fresh supply of funds was demanded for the national service, a new alarm of invasion or of counter-revolution was spread, and then followed new arrests of those suspected, or of those who held any species of wealth. In disposing of captives to make room for new supplies, some were poniarded in prison, some shot, and some guillotined. At last, it was found needful to adopt a more summary method, and the National Legislature decreed that the land must be cleared of traitors and[18] aristocrats, not by trial and single execution, but by a slaughter of masses. A corps was formed of the most determined and bloodthirsty, and sent all over the land to execute this mandate. In carrying out this unparalleled system of cold-blooded murder, various modes were adopted. One was called the Republican Baptism, by which men, women, and children were placed in a vessel with a trap-door in the bottom, and carried out into the midst of the waves; then the trap-door was opened, and the crew, getting into a boat, left their victims to perish. Another method was called the Republican Marriage. By this, two of the opposite sex, generally an old person and a young one, were bereft of all clothing, then tied together, and, after being tortured a while, thrown into the waves. Another mode was called the mitrillade or fusillade. Sixty, or more, captives were bound, and ranged in two files along a deep ditch dug for the purpose. At the two extremities of each file, were placed cannons loaded with grapeshot, and, at a given signal, these were discharged on this mass of human beings. But a few were entirely killed at the first discharge. Wounded and mutilated,[19] they fell in heaps, or crawled forth, and, with piercing shrieks, entreated the soldiers to end their sufferings with death. Three successive discharges did not accomplish the work, which was finally ended by the swords of the soldiery. Next day, the same scene was renewed on a larger scale, more than two hundred prisoners being thus destroyed. This was repeated day after day; while, on one occasion, the commanding officer rose from a carouse, and with thirty Jacobins and twenty courtesans, went out to enjoy a view of the horrid scene.

At Toulon the mitrillades were repeated, till at least eight hundred were thus slaughtered in a population of less than ten thousand. In Lyons, during only five months, six thousand persons suffered death, and among these were a great portion of the noblest and most virtuous citizens. At Toulon, one of the victims was an old man of eighty-four, and his only crime was the possession of eighty thousand pounds, of which he offered all but a mere trifle to escape so shocking a death, but in vain. Bonaparte, who saw these horrors, says, “When I beheld this poor old man executed,[20] I felt as if the end of the world was at hand.”

At Nantz, five hundred children, of both sexes, the oldest not fourteen, were led out to be shot. Never before was beheld so piteous a sight! The stature of the little ones was so low that the balls passed over their heads, and, shrieking with terror, they burst their bonds, and, rushing to their murderers, they implored for pity and life. But in vain; the sabre finished the dreadful work, and these babes were slaughtered at their feet.

At another time, a large body of women, most of them with young children, were carried out into the Loire, and while the unconscious little ones were smiling and caressing their distressed mothers, these mothers were bereft of all clothing, and thrown with their infants into the waves.

At another time, three hundred young girls were drowned in one night at Nantz, where, for some months, every night, hundreds of persons were carried forth and thrown into the river, while their shrieks awoke the inhabitants, and froze every heart with terror. In this city, in a single month, either by hunger,[21] the diseases of prison, or violence, fifteen thousand persons perished, and more than double that number during the Reign of Terror.

In the prisons not less dreadful sufferings were endured. In these foul and gloomy abodes, the cells were dark, humid, and filthy; the straw, their only beds, became so putrid that the stench was horrible, while enormous rats and every species of vermin preyed on the wretched inmates. In such dens as these were gathered the rank, the beauty, the talents, and the wealth of Paris, and the chief cities of the land. Here, too, degraded turn-keys, attended by fierce dogs, domineered over their victims, while on one side were threats, oaths, obscenity, and insult, and on the other were vain arguments, useless supplications, and bitter tears.

Every night the wheels of the rolling car were heard, coming to carry another band of victims to their doom. Then the bars of the windows and wickets of the doors were crowded by anxious listeners, to learn whether their own names were called, or to see their friends led out to death. Those summoned bade a hasty farewell to their friends. The[22] husband left the arms of his frantic wife, the father was torn from his weeping children, the brother and sister, the neighbour and friend, parted and went forth to die, while survivers, picturing the last agonies of those they loved, or waiting their own fate, suffered a living death, till again the roll of the approaching car renewed the universal agony.

To such a degree did this protracted torture prey upon the mind, that many became reckless of life, and many longed for death as a relief.

In many cases, women died of terror when their cell door was opened, supposing their hour of doom was come.

The prison floors were often covered with infants, distressed by hunger, or in the agonies of death. One evening, three hundred infants were in one prison; the next morning all were drowned! When the citizens once remonstrated at this useless cruelty, the reply was, “They are all young aristocratic vipers—let them be stifled!”

Such accumulated horrors annihilated the sympathies and charities of life. Calamity rendered every man suspicious. Those passing[23] in the streets feared to address their nearest friends. As wealth was a mark for ruin, all put on coarse, or squalid raiment. Abroad, no symptom of animation was seen, except when prisoners were led forth to slaughter, and then the humane fled, and the hard-hearted rushed forward to look upon the agonies of death. In the family circle, all was fear and distrust. The sound of a footstep, a voice in the street, a knock at the door, sent paleness to the cheek. Night brought little repose, and in the morning all eyed each other distrustfully, as if traitors were lurking there.

But there is a limit to the power of mental suffering; and one of the saddest features of this awful period was the torpid apathy, which settled on the public mind, so that, eventually, the theatres, which had been forsaken, began to be thronged, and the multitude relieved themselves by farces and jokes, unconcerned whether it was twenty, or a hundred of their fellow-citizens, who were led forth to die.

Learning and talent were as fatal to their possessors as rank and wealth. The son of Buffon the naturalist, the daughter of the eloquent Vernay, Roucher the poet, and even the illustrious Lavoisier, in the midst of his philosophical[24] experiments, were cut down. A few more weeks of slaughter would have swept off all the literary talent of France.

During the revolutionary period, it is calculated that not less than two hundred thousand persons suffered imprisonment, besides those who were put to death, of whom the following list is furnished by the Republicans themselves:

Twelve hundred and seventy-eight nobles, seven hundred and fifty women of rank, fourteen hundred of the clergy, and thirteen thousand persons not noble, perished by the guillotine under decrees of the tribunals of the people.

To this, add the victims at Nantz, which are arranged in this mournful catalogue:

Children shot 500
Children drowned 1500
Women shot 264
Women drowned 500
Priests shot and drowned 760
Nobles drowned 1400
Artisans drowned 5300

The whole number destroyed at Nantz, of which the above is a portion only, was thirty-two thousand.


To these add those slaughtered in the wars of La Vendée, viz., nine hundred thousand men, fifteen thousand women, and twenty-two thousand children. To this add the victims at Lyons, numbering thirty-one thousand. To this, add those who are recorded thus: “women who died of grief, or premature childbirth, three thousand seven hundred;” and we have a sum-total of one million twenty-two thousand human beings destroyed by violence. How many should be added, as those who died of prison sufferings, or from the pangs and privations of exile, or from famine and from pestilence consequent on this state of anarchy and violence, who can enumerate?

At some periods, such was the awful slaughter, that the rivers were discoloured with blood. In Paris, a vast aqueduct was dug to carry off the gore to the Seine, and four men employed in conducting it to this reservoir. In the river Loire, the corpses accumulated so that birds of prey hovered all along its banks, the waters became infected, and the fishes so poisonous that the magistrates of Nantz forbade the fishermen to take them.

Thus, in the language of another, “France[26] became a kind of suburb of the world of perdition. Surrounding nations were lost in amazement as they beheld the scene. It seemed a prelude to the funeral of this great world, a stall of death, a den into which thousands daily entered and none were seen to return. Between ninety and a hundred of the leaders in this mighty work of death, fell by the hand of violence. Enemies to all men, they were of course enemies to each other. Butchers of the human race, they soon whetted the knife for each other’s throats; and the same Almighty Being who rules the universe, whose existence they had denied by a solemn act of legislation, whose perfections they had made the butt of public scorn, whose Son they had crucified afresh, and whose Word they had burned by the hands of a common hangman, swept them all, by the hand of violence, into an untimely grave. The tale made every ear that heard it tingle, and every heart chill with horror. It was, in the language of Ossian, ‘the song of death.’ It was like the reign of the plague in a populous city. Knell tolled upon knell, hearse followed hearse, coffin rumbled after coffin, without a mourner to shed a tear, or a[27] solitary attendant to mark the place of the grave. ‘From one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, the world went forth and looked upon the carcasses of the men who transgressed against God, and they were an abhorring unto all flesh.’”

Such, my countrywomen, are the scenes which have been enacted in this very age, in a land calling itself Christian, and boasting itself as at the head of civilization and refinement. Do you say that such cruelty and bloodthirsty rage can never appear among us; that our countrymen can never be so deluded by falsehood and blinded by passion?

Look, then, at scenes which have already occurred in our land. Look at Baltimore: it is night, and within one of its prisons are shut up some of its most excellent and respected citizens. They dared to use the rights of free-men, and express their opinions, and oppose the measures of the majority; and for this, a fierce multitude is raging around those walls, demanding their blood. They force the doors, and, with murderous weapons, reach the room containing their victims. Some friendly hand extinguishes the lights, and in the protecting[28] darkness they seek to escape. Some succeed; others are recognised, and seized, and stabbed, and trampled on, and dragged around in murderous fury. One of the noblest of these victims, apparently dead, is seized by some pitying neighbour, under the pretence of cruelty, and thrown into the river and carried over a fall. There he is drawn forth and restored to consciousness; and there, too, it is discovered, that by Americans, by the hands of his fellow-citizens, his body has been stuck with scores of pins, deep plunged into his flesh!

Look, again, at the Southwest, and see gamblers swinging uncondemned from a gallows, and among them a harmless man, whom the fury of the mob hung up without time for judge or jury to detect his innocence.

See, on the banks of the Mississippi, fires blazing, and American citizens roasted alive by their fellow-citizens! See, even in New-England, the boasted land of law and steady habits, a raging mob besets a house filled with women and young children. They set fire to it, and the helpless inmates are driven forth by the flames to the sole protection of darkness and the pitiless ruffians. See, in Cincinnati,[29] the poor blacks driven from their homes, insulted, beaten, pillaged, seeking refuge in prisons and private houses, and for days kept in constant terror and peril.

See, in Philadelphia, one class of citizens arrayed in arms against another, both excited to the highest pitch of rage, both thirsting for each other’s blood, while the civil authority can prevent universal pillage, misrule, and murder, only by volleys that shoot down neighbours, brothers, and friends.

See, too, how the rage of political strife has threatened the whole nation with a civil war. South Carolina declares that she will not submit to certain laws, which she claims are unconstitutional. Her own citizens are divided into fierce parties, so exasperated that each is preparing to shoot down the other. Even the women are contributing their ornaments to meet the expenses of the murderous strife. From neighbouring states, the troops are advancing, the ships of war are nearing their harbours. One single act of resistance, and the state had been the battle-field of that most bitter, most cruel, most awful of all conflicts, a civil and a servile war.


And all these materials of combustion are now slumbering in our bosom, pent up a while, but ready to burst forth, like imprisoned lava, and deluge the land. How easy it would be to bring the nation into fierce contest on the subject of slavery, that internal cancer which inflames the whole body politic! How easy to array native citizens against foreign immigrants, who at once oppose the prejudices and diminish the wages of those around them! How easy to make one section believe that tariff, or tax, is sacrificing the prosperity of one portion to gratify the envy, or increase the luxuries of another!

How easy to make one class of humbler means, believe that bank, or monopoly, is destroying the fruit of their toil, to increase the overgrown wealth of a class above them!

And here is no standing army, such as is wielded by all other governments in sustaining law. When our communities are divided by interest or passion, the lawmakers, the judges, the jury, and the military are all partisans in the strife.

Nor can one part of the Union suffer, and the other escape unharmed, as might be supposed,[31] amid this reckless talk about the dissolution of the Union. An overt attempt to dissolve the Union is treason; and it can never be carried out without fierce parties in every state, ready to fight to the last gasp against such a suicidal act. Such a national dislocation would send a groan of agony through every city, town, and hamlet in our land; civil war would blow her trump, citizen would be arrayed against citizen, and state against state, and the whole arch of heaven would be inscribed with “mourning, and lamentation, and wo.”

What, then, has saved our country from those wide-sweeping horrors that desolated France? Why is it that, in the excitements of embargoes, and banks, and slavery, and abolition, and foreign immigration, the besom of destruction has not swept over the land? It is because there has been such a large body of educated citizens, who have had intelligence enough to understand how to administer the affairs of state, and a proper sense of the necessity of sustaining law and order; who have had moral principle enough to subdue their own passions, and to use their influence to control the excited minds of others. Change our large[32] body of moral, intelligent, and religious people to the ignorant, impulsive, excitable population of France, and in one month the horrors of the Reign of Terror would be before our eyes. Nothing can preserve this nation from such scenes but perpetuating this preponderance of intelligence and virtue. This is our only safeguard.

What, then, are our prospects in this respect? Look at the monitions recorded in our census. Let it be first conceded, that the fact that a man cannot read and write is not, in itself, proof that he is not intelligent and virtuous. Many, in our country, by intercourse with men and things, by the discussions of religion and politics, and by the care of their affairs, gain much reflection and mental discipline. Still, a person who cannot read a word in a newspaper, nor a line in his Bible, and who has so little value for knowledge as to remain thus incapacitated, as a general fact, is in the lowest grade of stupidity and mental darkness. So that the number who cannot read and write is, perhaps, the surest exponent of the intellectual and moral state of a community. For though this list may embrace many intelligent and[33] virtuous persons, on the other hand, there are probably as many, or more, of those classed as being able to read and write, who never have used this power, and who are among the most stupid and degraded of our race.

Look, then, at the indications in our census. In a population of fourteen millions, we find one million adults who cannot read and write, and two millions of children without schools. In a few years, then, if these children come on to the stage with their present neglect, we shall have three millions of adults managing our state and national affairs, who cannot even read the Constitution they swear to support, nor a word in the Bible, or in any newspaper or book. Look at the West, where our dangers from foreign immigration are the greatest, and which, by its unparalleled increase, is soon to hold the sceptre of power. In Ohio, more than one third of the children attend no school. In Indiana and Illinois scarcely one half of the children have any schools. Missouri and Iowa send a similar, or worse report. In Virginia, one quarter of the white adults cannot even write their names to their applications for marriage license. In North Carolina,[34] more than half the adults cannot read and write. The whole South, in addition to her hordes of ignorant slaves, returns more than half her white children as without schools.

My countrywomen, what is before us? What awful forebodings arise! Intelligence and virtue our only safeguards, and yet all this mass of ignorance among us, and hundreds of thousands of ignorant foreigners being yearly added to augment our danger!

We are not even stationary. We are losing ground every day. Every hour the clouds are gathering blacker around us. Already it is found, that the number of voters who cannot read and write, and who yet decide every question of safety and interest, exceeds the great majority that brought in Harrison. Already the number of criminals and felons, who, on dismission from jails and penitentiaries, are allowed to vote, exceeds the majority that brought in our chief magistrate in 1836![1]


Nor is the picture of our situation less mournful, when we examine into the condition of young children in those states, which have done the most for education. Take New-York, for example, where, for forty years, the education of the people has been provided for by law, and where the very best school system in the world has recently gone into operation. It is the chief business of the Secretary of State, to take care of the common schools of the state, while, in every county, a deputy-superintendent, paid five hundred dollars each[36] year for his services, devotes his whole time to the care of common schools. Every year these county superintendents report to the Secretary of State, in regard to the situation of the schools in the county under their care. It is from these reports of the superintendents of schools in New-York, that we are enabled to draw a picture of the condition of young children in common schools, that should send a chill of fear and alarm through our country. For if this is the condition of young children in that state which has excelled all others in a[37] wise and liberal provision for the care of schools, what must be the condition of things in other states, where still less interest is felt in this great concern!

The Secretary of State, in presenting the reports of the county superintendents to the Legislature of New-York, remarks thus: “The nakedness and deformity of the great majority of schools in this state, the comfortless and dilapidated buildings, the unhung doors, broken sashes, absent panes, stilted benches, gaping walls, yawning roofs, and muddy and mouldering floors, are faithfully portrayed; and many of the self-styled teachers, who lash and dogmatize in these miserable tenements of humanity, are shown to be low, vulgar, obscene, intemperate, and utterly incompetent to teach anything good. Thousands of the young are repelled from improvement, and contract a durable horror for books, by ignorant, injudicious, and cruel modes of instruction. When the piteous moans and tears of the little pupils supplicate for exemption from the cold drudgery, or more pungent suffering of the school, let the humane parent be careful to ascertain the true cause of grief and lamentation.”


To exhibit, more fully, the sufferings of little children at school, the following is abridged from these reports:

Sufferings of Little Children from Bad Schoolhouses.

One of the county superintendents reports of the schoolhouses in his district: “One house in K. is literally unfit for a stable; the sashes of several windows are broken, twenty or thirty panes of glass are out, the door is off, and used for a writing-table. Yet the district is wealthy, but ‘they cannot get a vote to build a new schoolhouse.’” “Another schoolhouse in W. is nearly as bad; the gable ends falling out, the chimney down, and the windows nearly all boarded up.” Many of the schoolhouses are situated in the highway, so that, at play, the children are endangered by the passing horses and vehicles, and the traveller is also endangered by the rushing of boisterous boys, frightening his horses. Instances of this sort have repeatedly occurred.

Another writes, that in one of the largest landed districts, the worst log schoolhouse in the district is still retained, offering no security[39] against winds and storms. One of the window sashes was “laid up overhead because it would not stay in its place.” To keep the door shut against the wind, one end of a bench was put against it, and a boy set to tend it, as one and another went out.

Another writes, that he often finds the schoolhouses situated on some bleak knoll, exposed to the howling blasts of winter and the scorching rays of the summer’s sun, or in some marsh or swamp, surrounded by stagnant pools, rife with miasma, and charged with disease and death. It is not uncommon, in such places, to find large schools almost entirely broken up by sickness, and that, too, when no contagious diseases are prevailing among children.

One of these superintendents says, “A trustee of one school, where the schoolhouse was situated in a goose-pond, the water under the floor being several inches deep, told me his children were almost invariably obliged to leave school on account of sickness, and that the school was often broken up from this cause. Parents pay ten times as much, for physicians to cure diseases contracted at school, as it would cost to build a comfortable schoolhouse[40] and supply it with every accommodation.”

Another says of the schoolhouses in his county, that, in some cases, the latches are broken, so that, however cold the day, the door cannot be shut; sometimes the sills are so rotten that snakes and squirrels can enter; while there are cracks in the floor, one or two inches wide, and holes broken large enough for the children to fall through.

The wretched condition of these houses is not owing to poverty, but to the leaden apathy on the subject of education, and the belief among farmers that their money can be better applied in building barns and stables for their cattle. In one large village, where a great sum has been expended for adorning public grounds, and where is much wealth and style, the two schoolhouses are the meanest-looking buildings in the place.

Another says of the schoolhouses in his county, that, in many cases, they stand on the highway, no cooling shade to protect them from the burning sun, exposed to the full fury of the wintry northwester, clapboards torn off, door just ready to fall, and great caution needed in[41] order to keep from falling through the floor. In one case, an aperture in the roof was of such a size, that the teacher could give quite a lesson on astronomy by looking up at the heavens through the roof of the house. Frequently, to the grief of the teacher, when the parent brings his child the first day, such expressions as these are heard from the clinging and distressed child, “Oh, pa, I don’t want to stay in this ugly, old house! Oh, pa, do take me home!”

Sufferings of Little Children from Want of Accommodations at School.

One superintendent says, “But few of the schoolhouses are furnished with blinds or curtains to exclude the glare of the sun. Thus, children suffer great uneasiness, headaches, and often serious affections of the eyes. I have found many cases of weakness of eyes, approaching almost to blindness, caused by studying in such dazzling light.”

Another states, that in most schoolhouses the desks are so high, as to compel the scholar to write in a half-standing, half-sitting attitude; while the seats for the smallest children are[42] often twice the proper height, sometimes a hemlock slab with legs at one end, and a log at the other. Many of the little ones have to be helped up on them, where they are in peril of life and limb from a fall. Here they are obliged to sit, day after day and week after week, between heaven and earth, “and in a frame of mind unfit for either place,” without anything to support either their backs or their feet. Those who would realize what distress this occasions, let them try sitting only one half hour on a table or sideboard, with back and feet unsupported, and see what suffering ensues.

Another writes thus: “Sitting with the legs hanging over the edge of the seat presses the veins (which lie near the surface, and carry the blood to the heart), and thus retard its return, while the arteries, being deeper, carry the blood with its full force from the heart. Thus the veins become distended, numbness and pain follow, and sometimes permanent weakness is the result. Where children sit a long time without any support to their backs, the muscles that hold up the body become weary and weak, for no muscle can be too long contracted[43] without weakening it. In schools thus badly furnished, it will be seen that the children prefer the northern blasts out of doors to the sufferings they endure within, and come in unwillingly, with chilled bodies and checked perspiration. In some cases, parents provide comfortable chairs for their children, and then it is seen, that such stay but a short time out of doors, while those seated on such comfortless benches stay as long as they can. This shows one predisposing cause of the curvature of the spine, and distortion of the body and limbs. Is it any wonder that so many of our youth have round shoulders, and a stooping of the body through life?”

What would be said of a farmer who made his boy hold a plough as high as his head, or a joiner who made his apprentice plane a board on a bench as high as his shoulders? And yet they expect teachers to make their children study, read and write with just such improper accommodations.

Sufferings of Little Children for Want of Pure Air.

To understand this subject properly, it must[44] be borne in mind, that the body is so constructed as to inhale at every breath about a pint of air. The air is composed of 79 parts nitrogen and 21 parts oxygen. When it is drawn into the lungs, the oxygen is absorbed by the blood, and what we exhale is the nitrogen, mixed with the carbonic acid, formed in the lungs by the union of the oxygen of the air with the carbon of the blood. Now, neither carbonic acid, or nitrogen can support life. Take the oxygen from the air, and then breathe it, and instant death ensues. So, put any animal into carbonic acid alone, and it dies instantly. Thus, every breath of every human being uses up the oxygen in one pint of air, and returns it with only nitrogen and carbonic acid. Let a schoolroom, containing 18,000 gallons of air and twenty scholars, be made perfectly airtight, and in twenty minutes they would all be corpses. The horrible sufferings produced by this process, were once witnessed in Calcutta, where 146 men were driven into a room 18 feet square, with only one small window, and kept there from eight at night till six next morning. Before midnight they all became frantic with agony, fought for the window,[45] choaked each other to death, screamed to the soldiers to shoot them, and thus end their misery; and in the morning only 26 were alive, and these in a putrid fever! Lessening the amount of oxygen in the air by breathing, produces languor, sleepiness, nausea, headache, flushed face, and sometimes palsy and apoplexy.

On this subject, the superintendents of the New-York schools make these statements:

“Confinement in some of our schoolrooms is manslaughter. Our children, shut up in these hot holes, made so by their own breaths, by perspiration, and by a close, overheated stove, lay the foundation for diseases which show no gain except to the physician, and which, in after-life, no riding on horseback, or journeys by sea or land, or southern residence can cure.”

Another states, that the uncomfortable condition of the schoolhouses, in his county, is such as to cause much suffering, both mental and bodily, to the children doomed to inhabit their gloomy walls and breathe the tainted air.

Another writes of the schoolhouses in his district, that they are usually low, and in cold[46] weather so overheated as to be hotbeds of disease, the close atmosphere being actually dangerous. One teacher, in one instance, was struck with palsy from the effects of confinement in such a poisonous atmosphere. At a public meeting, one citizen stated it as his conviction, that one of his children died from disease engendered by breathing the pestilential atmosphere of the schoolroom. Instances are numerous where the children come home dull, listless, and with severe colds and coughs. The teacher, in such situations, often loses ambition, energy, and health, and closes school pale and emaciated, perhaps to sink to an early grave, a victim of the poisonous air in which, for day after day, he has been confined.

Sufferings of Little Children from Cold, Heat, and Filth.

One superintendent says, “Could parents witness, as I have, the sufferings of their children from cold, I am sure no other appeal would be needed. Some of those buildings, I am confident, would be considered by a systematic farmer, who regarded the comfort of his stock, as an unfit shelter for his Berkshires.”


Another states, that in some cases the schoolhouses are small and overheated. Then the teacher throws open the door, and a current of cold air pours on to the children. The reeking perspiration is suddenly stopped, and “a cold” is the result, which is often the precursor of fevers and consumption. When no such results follow, the parents say, “It is only a cold;” when diseases and death follow, it is called a dispensation of Providence! A physician of extensive practice stated to this superintendent, that a large part of his consumptive cases originated from colds taken at school.

Another describes one of the schoolhouses in his county as too small, too low, the seats too high, half the plastering fallen off and piled in one corner, and the house warmed by a cook-stove unfit for use. Six sevenths of the panes of glass were gone, and two windows boarded up. Going to attend the annual school meeting at this house, he met two citizens coming with a candle and firebrands, and picking up sticks along the road for a fire, because there was no wood provided at the schoolhouse.


Another thus describes some of the schoolhouses in his county. It is very common to see cracked and broken stoves, the door without hinges or latch, and a rusty pipe of various sizes. Green wood, and that which is old and partially decayed, either drenched with rain, or covered with snow, is much more frequently used than sound, seasoned wood. Thus it is difficult to kindle a fire, and the room is filled with smoke much of the time, especially in stormy weather. Sometimes the school is interrupted two or three times a day to fasten up the stovepipe.

The extent of these evils may be perceived from the report, which says of one county about as well supplied as any, out of eighty-seven districts only twenty schoolhouses have provided means for keeping their wood dry.

Another says, “At the commencement of the winter term of our schools, some one of the trustees generally furnishes a load of green wood, perhaps his own proportion. The teacher proceeds till this is exhausted, and he is compelled to notify his patrons of the entire destitution of wood. After meeting his school, and shivering over expiring embers till the hope[49] of a supply is exhausted, he dismisses the school for one, two, or three days, and sometimes for a week, before any inhabitant finds time to get another load of green wood. With such wood it is impossible to keep the schoolroom at a proper temperature. The scholars, at first, crowd around the stove, suffering extremely with cold, and then are driven as far off as they can get, in a high state of perspiration, and almost suffocated with heat. Our schools in this country suffer much from such methods of procuring fuel. The time which is lost in school hours by the use of green wood, I think will include near one fourth of the whole time.”

Another says, “The teacher found abundant employment in stuffing the old stove with green birch and elm, cut as occasion required by the teacher and the boys. A continual coughing was kept up by nearly seven-eighths of the children, and the teacher apologised for want of order by saying, ‘they could not usually do much in stormy weather till afternoon, when the fire would get a going.’ On this occasion, one trustee and two of the inhabitants of the district were present an hour,[50] when, getting frozen out, they asked to be excused, and left the children to suffer, saying, ‘We did not think our house was so uncomfortable. Some glass must be got, and a load of dry wood’” Some of the statements of these superintendents, as to the order and neatness of their schoolhouses, are no less lamentable. One remarks, that “some of them, as to neatness, resemble the domicil for swine.” Another describes one schoolhouse as “having the clapboards torn off, the door just ready to fall, an aperture in the roof where the chimney once was, slabs with a pair of clubs at each end for legs, and so high no child could touch foot to the floor, rickety desks falling to ruin, the plaster torn off, and the whole covered with dirt, and as filthy as the street itself.” But this is not all. “This house is situated in a district of wealthy farmers.”

Another says, “It is a startling truth, that very many of our schoolhouses furnish no private retreat whatever for teacher or scholar. Thus is one side of the schoolhouse, and, in some instances, the doorstep, rendered a scene more disgusting than the filth of a pig-sty.”

Another says, “Schoolhouses, generally,[51] are not furnished with suitable conveniences for disposing the outer garments of the children, their dinner-baskets, and other articles. Sometimes there are a few nails in an outer entry where clothes and dinners may be put, but in such cases the door is left open for rain and snow to beat in; the scholars, in their haste to get their own clothes, pull down many more, which are trampled on. Moreover, the dinners are often frozen, or eaten by dogs, and sometimes even by hogs.”

Sufferings of Little Children from Cruel and Improper Punishments.

In reporting on this subject, the county superintendents mention these as inflictions not uncommon. Standing on one foot for a long time; “sitting on nothing,” that is, obliging the child to hold himself in a sitting posture without any support; holding out the arm horizontally with a weight on it; tying a finger so high as to oblige the child to stand on tiptoe; holding the head downward, sometimes causing dangerous hemorrhages from the nose, or injuring the brain; frightening little children by threats. Many cases are declared to[52] have occurred in which permanent injuries have been inflicted by thus straining the muscles, and torturing the body and mind of little children.

The following is a description of a scene witnessed at school by one of the county superintendents in his periodical visitation: two girls, about twelve years of age, were out of order, and the teacher, without any warning, sprang across the room and severely flogged both. A little boy, tired of sitting on his hard seat, leaned over on his elbow; he was caught by the head, dragged over the desk to the floor, and ordered to study. A little girl of seven, after one or two admonitions to “tend her book,” was caught by the arm, dragged on to the floor, rudely shaken, cuffed on both sides of her head, and then whipped. “I looked around,” says the superintendent, “to learn the effect upon the other scholars. I saw no happy faces. There seemed to settle upon the countenances of nearly all, a cloud of gloom and terror. The school closed soon after, and the teacher remarked to me, that he did not punish near as much now as he formerly did.”


Moral Injuries inflicted on Children at School.

One teacher writes thus: “Where the plastering remains, it is covered with coal marks, and numerous holes are cut through the writing desks, while vulgarities and obscenities are not only written, but deeply cut in the desks and doors.” Of another house he says, “Within and without are manifest evidences of a polluted imagination. Several lewd representations are deep cut in the clapboards in front of the house, in the entry, and even on the girls’ desks, so as to be constantly before their eyes.” “These things,” he adds, “are but specimens selected from scores.”

Another writes thus: “I have alluded to the representations of vulgarity and obscenity that meet the eye in every direction. I am constrained to add that, during intermissions, ‘certain lewd fellows of the baser sort’ sometimes lecture boys and girls, large and small, illustrating their subject by these vile delineations. Many of our schoolhouses are nurseries of disorder, vulgarity, profanity, and obscenity—nay, more, in some cases, they are the very hothouses of licentiousness.”


One single statement, made up from these reports of the county superintendents, and presented by the head superintendent in his report, speaks volumes on the neglect of modesty, decency, neatness, and purity. In the whole state there are six thousand schoolhouses destitute of any kind of woodhouse or privy; and of the whole number, only about one thousand have privies provided with separate accommodations for children of different sexes.

It appears, also, that though the schools and teachers are fast rising in character, and that many now are of uncommon excellence, yet that many of the teachers are notoriously depraved, while intellectual training, in the majority of cases, is deplorably low, and the moral training still more defective.

One superintendent remarks, “Gloomy, indeed, are the impressions made by our schoolhouses. The lessons of immorality and indecency often taught there would cause a shudder to thrill every sensitive mind.” Another says, “There are, I regret to say, many teachers whose morals, manners, and daily example wholly unfit them for their duties.” Another says, “In some instances, moral qualifications[55] have been wholly disregarded, and teachers notoriously intemperate employed.” Says another, “I have found a number whose language was low, obscene, and sensual, still employed in teaching.”

Says another, “If the tastes, associations, and moral sentiments of the teacher lack elevation and dignity, what literary progress will atone for examples so pernicious? And yet such are the moral influences shed about them by many licensed to teach.”

After presenting all these shocking details, the chief superintendent, in 1844, thus remarks:

“No subject connected with elementary instruction affords a source for such mortifying and humiliating reflection as that of the condition of a large portion of the schoolhouses as presented in the above enumeration. Only one third of the whole number visited were found in good repair; another third in only comfortable condition; while three thousand three hundred and nineteen were unfit for the reception of man or beast. Seven thousand were found destitute of any play-ground, nearly six thousand destitute of convenient seats and desks, nearly eight thousand destitute of any proper facilities[56] for ventilation, and upward of six thousand destitute of a privy of any sort. And it is in these miserable abodes of filth and dirt, deprived of wholesome air, or exposed to the assaults of the elements, with no facilities for exercise or relaxation, with no conveniences for prosecuting their studies, crowded together on benches not admitting of a moment’s rest, and debarred the possibility of yielding to the ordinary calls of nature without violent inroads upon modesty and shame, that upward of two hundred thousand children of this state are compelled to spend an average period of eight months each year of their pupilage. Here the first lessons of human life, the incipient principles of morality, and the rules of social intercourse are to be impressed on the plastic mind. The boy is here to receive the model of his permanent character, and imbibe the elements of his future career. Here the instinctive delicacy of the young female, one of the characteristic ornaments of her sex, is to be expanded into maturity by precept and example. Such are the temples of science, such the ministers under whose care susceptible childhood is to receive its earliest impressions.[57] Great God! shall man dare to charge to thy dispensations the vices, the crimes, the sickness, the sorrows, the miseries, and the brevity of human life, who sends his little children to a pesthouse, fraught with the deadly malaria of both moral and physical disease? Instead of impious murmurs, let him lay his hand on his mouth, and his mouth in the dust, and cry ‘Unclean!’”

Let it not be imagined that this picture is peculiar to New-York. The superintendents of the common schools in Ohio, and even in Massachusetts and Connecticut, have reported similar evils as existing, to a greater or less extent, in the schools in their respective states; and if such things exist in the states where most has been done for education, what can be hoped for the neglected and abused little ones where even less is done by law for their comfort and improvement? In view of such utter destitution of schools in the greater part of our country, and of the sufferings and neglect endured by little children in other portions, the inquiry must be earnestly pressed, “What can be the reason of this deplorable state of things?”


The grand reason is, the selfish apathy of the educated classes, and the stupid apathy of those who are too ignorant to appreciate an education for their children. In those states where no school system is established by law, the intelligent and wealthy content themselves with securing a good education for their own children, and care nothing for the rest. When any project, therefore, is presented for obtaining a good school system, the rich and intelligent do not wish to be taxed for the children of others, and the rest do not care whether their children are educated or not, or else are too poor to pay the expense.

In those states where a school system is established, parents of intelligence and moral worth, seeing the neglected state of the common school, withdraw their children to private schools. And feeling no interest in schools which they do not patronise, they pass them with utter neglect. And thus, neither rich, nor poor care enough to be willing to be taxed for their elevation and improvement.

Thus, too, it has come to pass, that while every intelligent man in the Union is reading, and hearing, and saying, every day of his life,[59] that unless our children are trained to virtue and intelligence, the nation is ruined, yet there is nothing else for which so little interest is felt, or so little done. Look, now, to that great body of intelligent and benevolent persons, who are interesting themselves for patriotic and religious enterprises. We see them sustaining great organizations, and supporting men to devote their whole time to promote these several enterprises, which draw thousands and hundreds of thousands from the public for their support. There is one organization, to send missionaries to the heathen and to educate heathen children, with its six or eight paid officers, devoting their whole time to the object. Then there is another to furnish the Bible, and another to distribute tracts, and another to educate young men to become ministers, and another to send out home missionaries, and another to sustain Western colleges, and another to promote temperance, and another to promote the observance of the Sabbath. Then we have an association to take care of sailors, and another to promote the comfort and improvement of convicts in prisons and penitentiaries, and another to relieve and ransom the slave, and another[60] to colonize the free coloured race. All these objects are promoted by having men sustained by voluntary contributions, who spend their whole time in urging the claims of these various objects on the public mind, while almost all have a regular periodical to advocate their cause. But our two millions of little children, who are growing up in heathenish darkness, enchained in ignorance, and in many cases, where the cold law professes to provide for them, enduring distress of body and mind even greater than is inflicted on criminals in our prisons, where is the benevolent association for their relief? where is there a periodical supported by the charitable to tell the tale of their wrongs? where is there a single man sustained by Christian benevolence to operate for their relief?

Let it not be claimed that Sunday-schools meet this emergency. A Sunday-school cannot, in its one or two short hours, educate a child, or undo all the fatal influences of six days of idle vagrancy, with their pernicious lessons of vice and sin. Besides, the Sabbath-school is of little avail, except where there is a large class of intelligent and benevolent persons[61] to labour, and such are thinly sprinkled in those portions of the land where no schools exist.

The vast proportion of neglected children in our land are never reached, even by the feeble influence of the Sunday-school.

And this fatal neglect cannot be palliated by the plea, that the means employed to sustain other objects cannot be directed to this cause. Why cannot the press be employed for popular education as efficiently as for the promotion of temperance, or the support of the Sabbath? Why cannot men of talents be supported to write and to labour for this cause as well as for any other? The only thing that can save us is, to arouse this people from the fatal apathy which is luring them to destruction. Ministers must preach, agents must lecture, conventions must be called, discussions must be urged, tracts must be written and circulated, the political press must be enlisted, and every possible mode of arousing public attention must be adopted. It must be shown that teachers are needed as much as ministers, that teachers’ institutions are as important as colleges, that it is as necessary to educate and[62] send forth “poor and pious young women” to teach, as it is “poor and pious young men” to preach. And when the same influence and efforts are directed to educate our two millions of American children, as are now directed to establishing missions among the heathen, our country may escape the yawning abyss now gaping to destroy.

The American people are sanguine and hasty, careless of peril, and thoughtless of risk, but, when brought by danger to reflection, they have first-rate common sense, surpassing energy, and endless resources. And if they can but be convinced of their danger in season, all is safe; but the work to be done is prodigious, the time is short, and the question all turns on whether the work will be undertaken soon enough, and with sufficient energy.

Look, then, at the work to be done. Two millions of destitute children to be supplied with schools! To meet this demand, sixty thousand teachers and fifty thousand schoolhouses are required. Or, if we can afford to leave half of them to grow up in ignorance, and aim only to educate the other half, thirty thousand[63] teachers and twenty-five thousand schoolhouses must be provided, and that, too, within twelve years. The census calculates the children between four and sixteen, and in twelve years most of these children will be beyond the reach of school instruction, while other millions, treading on their heels, will demand still greater supplies. Sixty thousand teachers now needed for present wants, and thousands, to be added every year for the increase of population!

Where are we to raise such an army of teachers? Not from the sex which finds it so much more honourable, easy, and lucrative to enter the many roads to wealth and honour open in this land. But a few will turn from these, to the humble, unhonoured toils of the schoolroom and its penurious reward.

It is woman who is to come in at this emergency, and meet the demand; woman, whom experience and testimony has shown to be the best, as well as the cheapest guardian and teacher of childhood, in the school as well as the nursery. Already, in those parts of our country where education is most prosperous, the larger part of the teachers of common[64] schools are women. In Massachusetts, three out of five of all the teachers are women. In the State of New-York and in Philadelphia similar results are seen.

Women, then, are to be educated for teachers, and sent to the destitute children of this nation by hundreds and by thousands. This is the way in which a profession is to be created for woman—a profession as honourable and as lucrative for her as the legal, medical, and theological are for men. This is the way in which thousands of intelligent and respectable women, who toil for a pittance scarcely sufficient to sustain life, are to be relieved and elevated. This is the way, and the only way, in which our nation can be saved from impending perils. Though we are now in such a condition that many have given over our case in despair, as too far gone for remedy—though the peril is immense, and the work to be done enormous, yet it is in the power of American women to save their country. There is benevolence enough, there are means enough at their command. All that is needed is a knowledge of the danger, and a faithful use of the means within their reach.


And who else, in such an emergency as this, can so appropriately be invoked to aid? It is woman who is the natural and appropriate guardian of childhood. It is woman who has those tender sympathies which can most readily feel for the wants and sufferings of the young. It is woman, who is especially interested in all efforts which tend to elevate and dignify her own sex. It is woman, too, who has that conscientiousness and religious devotion, which, in any worthy cause, are the surest pledges of success.

And it is the pride and honour of our country, that woman holds a commanding influence in the domestic and social circle, which is accorded to the sex in no other nation, and such as will make her wishes and efforts, if united for a benevolent and patriotic object, almost omnipotent.

To you, then, American women, are brought these two millions of suffering and destitute children; these “despised little ones,” of whom is written, “their angels do always behold the face of our Father in heaven;” who are loved and cared for by the good Shepherd above, so that it were better for any of us, that we were[66] thrown with a millstone about our necks into the sea, than that, through our guilty neglect, even one of these little ones should perish.

To you, my countrywomen, these little children call, with voices soft as the young ravens’ cry, yet multitudinous as the murmuring ocean waves. To you they complain of the filth, and the weariness, and the aching muscles, and the throbbing head, and the tortured eyes. To you they lament the degrading scenes and fatal influences, that wither all that is pure, and sweet, and lovely in childhood and youth. Of you they ask relief from suffering, and all those blessed ministries that will lead their young feet to usefulness and happiness on earth, and to glory, honour, and immortality on high. Ah, surely their supplications will be heard, and speedy relief will be found!

How, then, can American women act for these children, and thus for the salvation of their country, in an emergency like this?

Before answering this question, it is needful to consider that the education demanded for the American people is not merely to be taught to read and write. In communities where it is the universal fashion to read, and[67] where books and papers are multitudinous as the flakes of heaven, it might, perhaps, suffice to teach a child to read, so far as intellect is concerned. But if the tastes and principles are not formed aright, the probability is, that blank ignorance would be better than the poisonous food, which a mind, thus sent forth to seek its own supplies, would inevitably select. But in those sections of our country that are most deficient in schools, there are neither books, nor the desire, or the taste for reading them. And among those who are taught to read, thousands go from the portals of knowledge to daily toil, or to vicious indulgences, leaving the mind as empty and stupid as if no such ability were gained. And how many there are, who have sharpened their faculties only as edged tools for greater mischief! No; the American people are to be educated for their high duties. The children who, ere long, are to decide whether we shall have tariff or no tariff, bank or no bank, slavery or no slavery, naturalization laws or no such laws, must be trained so that they cannot be duped and excited by demagogues, and thus led on to the ruin that overwhelmed the people of[68] France. They must be trained to read, and think, and decide intelligently on all matters where they are to act as legislators, judges, jury, and executive. The children who, ere long, are to be thrown into the heats and passion of political strife and sectional jealousy, must be trained to rule their passions, and to control themselves by reason, religion, and law. The young daughters of this nation, too, must be trained to become the educators of all the future statesmen, legislators, judges, juries, and magistrates of this land. For to them are to be committed the minds and habits of every future child, at the time when every impression is indelible, and every influence efficient. What, then, can American women do in forwarding an enterprise so vast and so important?

In the first place, there is no woman in any station, who has not work cut out to her hand. Wherever there is a single ignorant child, there is one of the future rulers or educators of this nation; there is one immortal being, who, if neglected, will become an engine of mischief to our country, and at last sink to eternal wo; or, if trained aright, will prove[69] a blessing to our nation, and an angel of light in heaven. And no woman is free from guilt, or free from the terrific responsibilities of the perils impending over her country, till she has done all in her power to secure a proper education to all the young minds within the reach of her influence.

Is it asked, What then; would you require every woman to turn teacher and keep school? No; but every woman is bound to bring this into the list of her duties, and, as one of her most imperious duties, to do all in her power to secure a proper education to the American children now coming upon the stage.

Every woman has various duties pressing upon her attention. It is right for her, it is her duty, to cultivate her own mind by reading and study, not merely for her own gratification or credit, but with the great end in view of employing her knowledge and energies for the good of others. It is right, and a duty for a woman to attend to domestic affairs; but, except in cases of emergency, it is not right to devote all her time to this alone. It is a duty for her to attend to religious efforts and ordinances; but it is not right for her[70] to give all her time to these alone. It is right for her to devote some time to social enjoyments, some time to the elegancies and ornaments of taste, some time to the adornment of person and residence, and some time to the relaxation of mere amusement. In many cases, these last are as much duties as the more weighty pursuits of life.

But this great maxim is ever to be borne in mind, The most important things first in attention. It is the due proportion of time and attention that decides the rectitude of all useful or innocent pursuits. And a woman is bound so to divide her time, as to give some portion of it to each of her several duties, so that no one shall be entirely crowded out; and so, also, to apportion her attention, that each shall be regarded according to its relative value.

In this view of the subject, what, except her own immortal interest, can an American woman place, as demanding more serious attention and more earnest efforts, than an attempt to use her time and influence to avert the dangers now impending over her country, her kindred, and herself? Is there any ornamental design, any gratification of taste or appetite,[71] any merely temporal good, that can at all be placed in comparison with this great concern? Is it, then, assuming too much to claim that every American woman is bound to give, not only some time, but more time to this enterprise than she gives to any social enjoyment, any personal or domestic decoration, or any species of amusement? Is it not so? Is it right for a conscientious woman, when all that is dear and sacred is in such peril—when she has means, time, or influence which will aid in saving her country, her friends, and herself from such dangers—is it right to give to this effort less attention and time than is devoted to visiting, or to entertaining company, or to the adornment of her person or her house? Judge ye, as ye will give account for these things to the Judge of quick and dead.

What, then, are the ways in which an educated woman can employ the talents committed to her for the salvation of her country?

Many may be pointed out, some one of which can be adopted by every woman in this nation.

Some, who are mothers, can superintend the education of their children, and, while[72] doing it, can seek in their own vicinity orphans, or children of peculiar promise, and train them with their own children to become teachers of others.

Some, who are sisters, can superintend the education of younger brothers and sisters, and add to this class others of humbler means, whom they may thus prepare for missionary teachers in some of the destitute villages of our land.

Some, who are just returned from school, with all their knowledge fresh, and all their powers in active play, may collect a class around them in the vicinity of their homes, and impart the discipline of mind and treasures of knowledge given them by God, not to be laid up as in a napkin, but to be employed for the good of others. Thus they will be raising up, not only useful teachers, but valuable friends for the exigencies of future life.

Oh, how much happier, and more respectable, and more lovely, in such benevolent toils, than in the shopping, dressing, calling, gossiping round pursued by a large portion of the daughters of wealth!

Some, on completing their education, can[73] interest themselves in the common schools in their vicinity, seeking the friendship of the teacher, and then contributing their time and labour to raise the school to higher intellectual and moral excellence.

Some, who have a missionary spirit, may go forth to the destitute portions of our land, and collect the future sovereigns and educators of this nation, and train them for their duties.

Some, who have wealth at their command, understanding that much is required from them to whom much is given—that wealth is bestowed, not for selfish enjoyment, but for the good of others—that education is conferred, not as the means of selfish distinction and advantage, but as the instrument for benefiting mankind—such may devote time, and service, and wealth to this noble enterprise. Such may aid in founding and superintending institutions for the education and location of female teachers, thus originating permanent fountains of knowledge and influence, that long shall send forth bounteous waters in all portions of our land.

Some, who cannot enter personally into[74] such labours, may aid in furnishing means to send forth others into the field. There are hundreds and thousands of benevolent women in the land, who would rejoice to spend and be spent in this service, but who have neither the opportunity to qualify themselves, nor the assistance necessary in finding the proper location when prepared. Why is it not time to turn some of the charity of woman, which so long has clothed and educated young men for their benevolent ministries, to aiding their own sex in as important and more neglected service?

Some can interest themselves in the schools in their vicinity, and aid the teacher by sympathy, counsel, and lending suitable books. A woman who is well informed herself, may, in this way, do much to save both the body and minds of children from great evils. On such an errand, in some cases, she will find young children pent up in a tight room, heated by a close stove, poisoning the air with their breaths, without the least relief from the process of ventilation, so easily secured by a trap-door in the upper wall. Thus it is, that many children engender weak stomachs, headaches, feeble[75] constitutions, and sometimes deformity and death. In other cases, she may rescue some little sufferers from the torture of supporting the body on high and hard benches, without any aid to the muscles from a support to the back. Thus it is that children sometimes are rendered feeble and distorted, especially those of delicate conformation. In other cases, she may ascertain, by her own inspection, the shameful neglect of cleanliness, comfort, modesty, and decency, too often to be found in our common schools. Nowhere else is the supervision of woman so much demanded. The preceding details of the situation of our common schools in these respects, found in reports made by the state officers of education in New-York, where great efforts have been made to remove such evils, are painful indications of the shocking abuses which are to be remedied. The poor in our almshouses, the criminals in our prisons, even the cattle in our stables, have more attention paid to their comfort than is given to thousands and thousands of the little children of our country. In other cases, she can inquire into the course of study, and the modes of giving moral and religious instruction,[76] and into the character of the books used in school, and if any improvement or alteration is needed, by seeking the confidence and friendship of the teacher, and lending her books to read on the subject, or by influencing trustees and those who direct the school, she may remedy evils and secure improvement.

In some portions of the country where education is most prosperous, the mothers of a district have formed an association for the improvement of the school which their children attend. This is usually brought about by the teacher of the school. These mothers meet once a month, to consult, or to read books, or to visit the school, and their contributions of money are used to increase the school apparatus, or to buy the books needed by the teacher or themselves for this object.

Some can interest themselves for the domestics of their family, to whom the health, character, and happiness of little children is so extensively intrusted. By kind expressions of interest, by conversing with them on their pursuits and duties, by lending useful books adapted to their capacities, by reading to them, by inducing them to secure suitable religious[77] privileges, and by using all practicable means to impart knowledge and moral principle, much may be done for this greatly neglected class, who not only have so much influence over the children of others, but are most of them, ere long, to rear children of their own. In no way can a mother so surely receive her reward as in faithful and benevolent efforts for her domestics.

Some can employ their time and means in circulating books, papers, and tracts, which shall enlighten the people, and awaken them to their duties and dangers. Some can use their personal influence over fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, and friends, presenting this subject to their attention, pointing out articles for them to read, and urging any measures that may tend to advance this cause. Some may approach their clergyman, and if he needs any information, or any quickening on the subject, furnish the books, and add entreaties to secure his powerful influence both in private and in the pulpit.

Some can employ the pen in writing to arouse public interest, and their influence in getting articles on this subject into newspapers.[78] Such works as the periodicals on Education, published in Boston and Albany, Stowe’s and Mann’s Reports on the Systems of Education in Europe, and the volume called the School and Schoolmaster, will furnish materials for such articles.

Some, who have but little time at command, can render very essential service by an occasional visit to the schools in their vicinity, especially in seasons of examination; thus encouraging both teachers and pupils by the conviction that their labours are known and appreciated, and that the community around are interested in their success. If the influential ladies in any place would go but once a year to the schools in their vicinity, to inquire for their comfort and prosperity, it would give a wonderful impulse to the cause of education. The torpid indifference of the influential classes to the education of the young, except where their own families are concerned, is the grand cause of all the dangers that threaten us.

There are many who feel that any useful object of common interest can be more successfully achieved by association than by individual influence. Such are accustomed to[79] form societies, or associations, with officers and committees. In cases where this mode of operating is common and popular, a Ladies’ School Association might be formed, who might act somewhat in this manner:

A meeting might be called, of all ladies in the place, disposed to lend their influence to promote the proper education of American children, where some gentlemen, familiar with the subject, might address them. Committees might then be appointed to obtain information on these questions. Are all the children in this vicinity so provided with schools and schoolbooks that they are gaining a proper education? Do the Sunday-schools avail to secure a proper education to the children who go to no other? Is the Bible used, or any moral or religious instruction given in the schools? Where schools are provided, what is the condition of the schoolhouse, the seats and desks, the mode of heating and ventilating, the order and neatness of the premises, and what are the outdoor accommodations?

When the committees have obtained the information on these points, another meeting can be called to hear their reports, and to devise[80] means for remedying any evils or deficiencies that may have been discovered.

In proceeding in this way, it will be indispensable to seek the good-will and co-operation of the teachers whose schools are examined; and as these measures would all tend to promote their comfort and usefulness, a moderate degree of discretion and kindness would secure their ready co-operation.

Those who are so infirm, or so embarrassed in other ways, that they cannot engage in any one of the measures suggested above, can at least speak to those around them, and endeavour to influence them to engage in this work.

Those who have access to men of wealth and influence, those who can approach the minds that are forming comprehensive plans, and enlisting thousands to promote them, may, in many cases, most efficiently aid this cause by urging such inquiries as these.

Why is it that no plans are formed to train up our own millions of destitute children? Why is no organization effected to educate and locate female teachers, when there are hundreds and thousands in our land, who have a truly missionary spirit, and are longing to be[81] sent forth? Why should so much money be collected for a nine year’s course for young men, who are to go forth as preachers, and none be received for the education and location of young women, who, as teachers in destitute villages, could, with only one or two year’s education, do as much good as missionary preachers?

If women are called upon to spend their time and money in clothing and educating young men, is it not proper and reasonable that the other sex should do something to aid young women who are longing to be sent forth to save the perishing children of our country?

Is it not required that children should be trained up in the way they should go? and ought there not to be benevolent organizations to secure this, as much as organizations to reform and convert those who are vicious and irreligious, simply because they are not thus trained?

Is it not better to save children from being poisoned, than to pay physicians for trying to cure them after they are contaminated, and, in many cases, beyond the reach of cure?

Is it not as important to send forth tracts to[82] influence the people to educate their children virtuously and religiously, as it is to send forth tracts to convert and reform them after they have been trained up to vice and irreligion?

Is it not as important to teach our two millions of destitute children to read, as it is to send forth tracts, and Bibles, and colporteurs to a population where three millions cannot read a line in Bible or tract?

Is it not as important to organize, in order to secure a good common-school education to our millions who cannot read, as it is to sustain and endow colleges for the few thousand youth who enjoy their advantages, and who have such disproportionate treasures lavished on their education?

If we neglect the democracy and provide only for the higher classes, shall we not eat the fruit of our own way? The aristocracy of France took all the wealth and power for selfish enjoyment, and when the democracy came into power, how awfully did they revenge themselves! In this country, are not the rich and influential acting on the same selfish principle? “And the people do perish for lack of knowledge!” Oh! the horrors of that day[83] when this neglected people shall visit their wrongs on those, who now are selfishly withholding that light of knowledge which is the only means of our peace and salvation!

In attempting to influence others to engage in this work, appeals can be made to the generous and patriotic feelings of the young with great effect. Why cannot an enthusiasm be created for educating children which shall equal that which has been created for preventing and curing intemperance? Let the same amount of money be spent, and the same number of good and influential men attempt to do it, and it will be done. Let every woman, then, urge on this attempt.

If a woman can do nothing else for this cause, she can at least pray for it; and it is rarely the case that any person offers sincere and earnest prayer for any good object, without speedily finding something to do for that object.

In attempting to enlist American women in the work of securing a proper education to the children of this nation, there is one topic worthy of special consideration. The great problem of the age on this subject is, how shall the moral and religious instruction of children[84] be secured at school? When we consider the vast multitudes of children who have no such training, either at home or anywhere else, this question becomes one of paramount interest; for, unless virtuous and moral principles and habits are formed, education only adds new powers of mischief to those who are trained. The indifference of a large portion of the community to this subject, and the extreme sensitiveness of sectarian jealousy, interpose great obstacles; but these may be much more readily overcome than many suppose.

Professor Stowe, in his Report to the Legislature of Ohio on the Prussian System of Schools, makes these remarks.

“The universal success, also, and very beneficial results, with which the arts of drawing and designing, music, and also moral instruction and the Bible, have been introduced into schools, was another fact peculiarly interesting to me.

“I asked all the teachers with whom I conversed whether they did not sometimes find children incapable of learning to draw and to sing. I have had but one reply, and that was, that they found the same diversity of natural[85] talent in regard to these as in regard to reading, writing, and other branches of education; but they had never seen a child capable of learning to read and write, who could not be taught to sing well and draw neatly; and that, too, without taking any time which would interfere with, or which would not rather promote progress in other studies.

“In regard to the necessity of moral instruction and the beneficial influence of the Bible in schools, the testimony was no less explicit and uniform. I inquired of all classes of teachers, and of men of every grade of religious faith; instructers in common schools, high schools, and schools of art; of professors in colleges, universities, and professional seminaries in cities and in the country; in places where there was a uniformity of creed, and in places where there was a diversity of creeds; I inquired of believers and unbelievers, of rationalists and enthusiasts, of Catholics and Protestants, and I never found but one reply: and that was, that to leave the moral faculty uninstructed was to leave the most important part of the human mind undeveloped, and to strip education of almost everything that makes it valuable;[86] and that the Bible is the best book to put into the hands of children, to interest, to exercise, and to unfold both the intellectual and moral powers. Every teacher whom I consulted repelled with indignation the idea, that moral instruction is not proper for schools, and that the Bible cannot be introduced into common schools without sectarian bias in teaching.”

While it is universally conceded by all intelligent persons, that there is no nation on earth, whose prosperity, and even existence, so much depends on the moral training of the mass of the people, there is no nation, where schools are established by law, in which so little of it is done. It is mournful to reflect, that by far the larger part of our schools banish religious and moral training altogether, and confine their efforts entirely to the training of the intellect, and a great part of them merely to that of the memory.

It is supposed, by many, that the Sunday-school in our country, to a great degree, supplies the deficiencies of our schools in respect to moral and religious training. It is true that this institution does more than any other to meet these wants. But it must be remembered[87] that such schools are properly sustained only where there is a large number of benevolent and intelligent persons to teach them.

But in our country, the places which most need such labourers are the very places where the fewest are to be found. And even in the most favoured portions of our land, much of Sunday instructions is committed to very young persons, while the parents often are thus led to throw off their own responsibility upon those of less experience.

Moreover, if the moral training of children is neglected through the six days of the week, in which they are exposed to the most temptation, how vain to expect that all the consequent evil is to be remedied by gathering them for an hour or two on Sunday, to receive religious instruction. Even were this a remedy, there are thousands of places in our land where no Sunday-schools are to be found.

Many persons justify the neglect of moral training in our schools, by claiming that religion must be banished from schools, on account of the great diversity of sects, who cannot agree in this matter. Such are little aware on how many important points all sects are agreed.[88] To exhibit this, and to aid any who may be induced to attempt a course of moral and religious training in their schools, the following is presented as an outline of a course of instruction that could be introduced into all schools, without violating the conscientious scruples of a single denomination in this nation, professing to be Christian.

In the first place, all children in schools, can be taught, that the Bible contains the rules of duty given by God, which all men are bound to obey. This is what all denominations allow, and if there is any dispute about which translation is the proper one, each child can be allowed to use the Bible his parents think to be right.

When this is duly taught, the children can be required, for several successive mornings, each to repeat a passage from the Bible, which teaches the character of God.

When this subject is exhausted, then the teacher can compose a form of prayer consisting exclusively of passages from the Bible, to be used as the first act of school duty. The children might be required to repeat each portion, either with, or after the teacher, simultaneously, and thus unite in the exercise.


The following is presented as a specimen of the prayers, of which a great variety could be made, simply by arranging texts from the Bible:

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee.

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and look up.

For thou art not a God that hast pleasure in wickedness; neither shall evil dwell with thee.

Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness; make thy way straight before my face.

Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me;

Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing.

O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, because we have sinned against thee; neither[90] have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws which he set before us.

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.

For thou art the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in mercy and truth. Therefore will we trust in thee.

To the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Or this:

O Lord, my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty:

Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment, who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.

Who layeth the beams of his chambers in great waters, who maketh the clouds his chariot, who walketh upon the wings of the wind.

Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

He that walketh uprightly and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor[91] doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord.

He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me.

Thou knowest my down-sitting and my up-rising; thou understandest my thoughts afar off.

Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain unto it.

I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts;


And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Now unto the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory now and forever. Amen.

Next, the children may be required to bring texts in reply to such questions as these:

Who is Jesus Christ?

For what did he come into this world?

What is the character of Jesus Christ?

What has he done for us?

What does he require of us?

What is to be the condition of those who are wicked after death?

What is to be the condition of the good after death?

How are we to escape from the portion of the wicked after death?

How are we to gain the rewards of the good after death?

Some such question can be given each morning; and the children can be required to learn a text from the Bible, which will answer this question, to repeat the next morning. If they are too young to find it themselves, they can be required to ask the aid of[93] their companions who are older, or of their friends at home.

The being, character, and works of God, the feelings and duties owed to him, and our relations and duties in reference to a future state, are the topics which usually are classed as religious instruction.

Moral training commonly is understood as relating to the duties we owe to ourselves and to our fellow-creatures. In this department the following methods could be adopted:

Each morning, some one of such practical texts as the following could be given out for the children to reflect on through the day, and in reference to which, they can be required to seek from books, or from their friends, some cases in which this command of God is either obeyed or disobeyed.

“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

“Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

“Recompense to no one evil for evil.”

“Forbear one another, and forgive one another, if any one have a quarrel; as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

“Bless them that curse you; bless, and curse not.”


“If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink.”

“Put away lying, and speak every one truth with his neighbour.”

“Put on humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering.”

“Be followers of Christ, who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who hath left us an example, that we should walk in his steps.”

When such texts are given out, their spirit and meaning should be illustrated by example, and then the children should be required to learn the text, and next morning to bring some case to illustrate the violation of, or obedience to this rule.

But it is not sufficient to give children clear views of duty, and store their memories with the precepts enforcing their duties.

The teachers should keep a strict watch over the children, and whenever any conduct or disposition appears, that violates these rules, they should be pointedly applied. A precept from the Bible should be employed to counteract whatever bad disposition or bad conduct is observed.


For example, if a child complains that a companion has defaced his booklet the faulty child be called up, and made to repeat the command of God which he has violated: such as, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” If a child has taken a pen from his companion without leave, take occasion, on reprimanding him, to set before the school the evil and danger of pilfering. Enlarge on the nobleness of strict honesty and uprightness. Show that the evil is not so much the loss of property by the owner as the bad habit induced in the pilferer, which may lead at last to the dungeon and the gallows.

Again, if a child is found to be prevaricating, or using any kind of deceit, require him to repeat the commands of God, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” “Lie not at all.” “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but they that deal truly are his delight.”

Then set forth lying before the school, as what should be held in universal abhorrence; show the importance of truth, as indispensable to the existence of society and the happiness of all beings; show how any kind of attempts at deceit weakens the habit of truthfulness, and certainly will lead, at last, to lying.


When it is needful to punish, endeavour to select a penalty that will have a good effect on the school, instead of one that will awaken sympathy for the offender. When a child is whipped, in many cases, his cries excite pity and sympathy, and often indignation at the teacher. But if, when a child has broken the laws of God, the teacher sets forth the evil of the sin, and then takes some such precept as this, “Withdraw thyself from every brother that walketh disorderly,” as his directory in requiring all the school to be separate from him, shutting him out from the play-ground, and depriving him of the usual period of recess until the delinquent appears penitent and anxious to do well; then the teacher appears to the school as acting by Divine authority, and for the good of the whole.

There are many sins against such commands of God as these: “Let all things be done decently and in order.” “Whatsoever things are lovely and of good report, think of these things.” “Be ye courteous.” The violations of the rules of politeness, of neatness, and of order, come under these precepts, and school is the place, above all others, where such faults should be[97] checked. Throwing down hats and caps, abusing clothes, tearing books, defiling desks with ink, cutting the benches, marking the walls, are faults which ought to be noticed as disobedience to these rules. So, also, rude language, calling nicknames, teasing and frightening companions, mocking the aged, or deformed, or lame, cruel treatment of birds and other animals, injuring trees, and many similar practices, should be checked by appeals to the Word of God.

In addition to this, let the benefits of refined taste and good breeding be set forth by specific examples. Show the consequences where the children of a community are rude in the streets, abuse and injure fences, milestones, graveyards, and fruit-trees, and then set forth the advantages of street politeness, of the care of our neighbours’ property, and of all that belongs to the public.

In all efforts to lead children to benevolent feelings and conduct, it is very important to set before them the example of Jesus Christ, appealing to their feelings of gratitude and love.

If a child frets at being obliged to serve another,[98] let him be reminded that Jesus Christ has done far more for him, and that he came into this world to set us an example, that we should walk in his steps.

While it is indispensable to notice and reprove faults, it is no less important to notice and approve whatever is commendable in children. And much care should be taken to observe whatever is right, for it is much easier and much better to govern by motives of pleasure rather than those of pain.

Whenever, therefore, any cases are observed of kindness, firmness, patience, truth, and faithfulness, let them be spoken of, not in such a way as to awaken vanity, but simply with approbation as right, and worthy of imitation.

For example, if a child gives up some gratification in order to relieve some poor companion, or furnish a destitute schoolmate with clothes or books; if a child has aided or defended a companion when laughed at, or ill-treated; if another has found some tempting article, and, instead of secreting it, has sought out the owner and returned it; if, when insulted and provoked, another has refrained from angry words and all retaliation; if another has refused[99] to believe evil of a companion, and endeavoured to stop an injurious report; if another has taken care to preserve his own premises from filth and disorder, and protected the schoolhouse and play-ground from abuse; let all such actions be presented to the school as good, and worthy of imitation. Commendation not only encourages and animates those who do well, but inspires the desire to imitate in others.

In cases where a teacher assumes the care of a school where there are many children who have formed bad habits, it is very important that he should imitate Christ in his feelings and deportment towards sinners. In such a case, it is very important to convince his pupils that, however bad they are, he is still their friend, and ever ready to do them good. He should state to them that he is aware that they have formed bad habits, and that the labour of curing them is great and difficult. He should carefully notice all attempts to do better, and where there are efforts made to improve, occasional failures should be spoken of with words of kindness, sympathy, and encouragement.

And all teachers need to be careful not to[100] be so frequent in finding fault, and so severe in manner as to produce the feeling of hopelessness in efforts to please and satisfy. When a child feels that, however earnestly he may try to do right, he has such bad habits already formed that he shall not succeed so as to please his teacher, all motive for exertion ceases, and he becomes reckless and hardened.

The great art of curing faults is, so to secure the affection and confidence of a child, that he shall be a cheerful co-worker with his teacher, assured of approbation in success, and of forbearance and sympathy in any failure.

In cases where the morals of a school are very bad, it will be wise for a teacher to let many things pass unnoticed that in a better community he would reprove.

Some one, two, or three rules of duty can be presented at a time, and diligent efforts be made to remedy habits which violate these rules. When some gain has been made on these points, then one or two more can be added, and thus a gradual advance will secure far more success than attempting everything at once.

There are many ways of rendering the[101] Bible interesting to children, which should, if possible, be introduced into common schools. Some of these will be mentioned.

When reading the historical parts of the Old or New Testament, a large map of Palestine and the other countries spoken of in the Bible, should be suspended before the school, and all the places mentioned be pointed out. There are large maps of this kind to be obtained of the Sunday-school Union.

There is also a cheap chart of history prepared by a Mr. Lyman, which is most excellent for aiding in the study both of sacred and profane history. It is so made that it can be hung conveniently around the wall of a schoolroom, and is so large, that children can read the names and events while sitting in their seats.

Besides these articles, there are large drawings to be obtained of the tabernacle and all the articles spoken of in the Pentateuch, and others, also, that illustrate the manners and customs, dress, furniture, and dwellings of the Israelites, and the scenery of Palestine. These pictures, employed to illustrate the history of the Bible, would give wonderful interest to the[102] exercise of reading it. It is hoped that, ere long, gentlemen of wealth will begin to endow common schools with such useful apparatus, instead of confining their benefactions exclusively to higher seminaries.

In reading the Bible in schools, the following method will be found to be both useful and interesting: Let the teacher, by the aid of Townsend’s Bible, arrange a regular course of Bible history chronologically, selecting only such chapters as will carry on a connected and complete history. This can be read aloud by the children in portions each morning; and by the aid of the maps, pictures, and charts, a vivid interest can be imparted to the exercise, while, at the same time, opportunities will be given to the teacher to notice incidents that convey moral instruction.

After this course is completed, then the teacher can prepare a course of biographical reading, arranged in chronological order, and use this opportunity also to point out the moral instruction to be found in these histories of individuals. Next, he might arrange a course embracing the didactic portions of the Bible, combining in one course of reading all[103] the moral precepts; and while this is going on, he can collect anecdotes to relate to the school illustrating these precepts. Lastly, he might make a selection of the poetry and other rhetorical beauties of the Bible, and, while this is being read, point out the inimitable sublimity and beauty of the ideas and the style. The Introduction to the Study of the Bible by Horne, the larger edition, and Lowth on Hebrew poetry, are works which would greatly aid a teacher in such a course of Biblical instruction.[2]

In this course of moral training, it will be seen that there is nothing sectarian, and nothing which would be objected to by any but those opposed to the use of the Bible in schools, and to all religious and moral training. In such cases, it would be proper to adopt the following course:

It could be stated to the objector, that in this country it is the majority that must decide every question not already settled by the Constitutions of the state or nation. That, in regard to the question of moral and religious training in the schools, the people are free to use their own judgment. That where the majority[104] wish to have such training a part of school exercises, they have a right to require it. But in cases where persons object to having their children so trained, the majority have no right to insist on it. In order to avoid this, in every case where a parent requests it, his children can be allowed to leave the schoolroom while these exercises are going on, to study, or to perform some other school duty. Or if this is inconvenient, they can be allowed to come half an hour later, and then remain half an hour longer, after the others are dismissed. No man could object to such an arrangement without violating the first principle of our democracy, by demanding that the minority, and not the majority, shall be accommodated in this matter.

Now is it not practicable for every woman, who attempts to promote the proper education of American children, to use whatever influence she may have with parents, or teachers to secure such a course of moral training in the schools in her own vicinity, as is here indicated? Let every woman try what she can do to promote this important object.

American woman, whose eye may be resting[105] on this page, are you willing to commence an effort to aid in saving your country from the perils of ignorance? Are you not spending more time in adorning your person, your children, or your residence, or in social enjoyments, or in providing for the gratification of the palate, than you have yet given to this cause? Can you continue this unchristian, unpatriotic apportionment of time, without an upbraiding conscience? Do you say that already you have more to do than you can properly perform? But, in the list of your pursuits, are there not some that are of far inferior consequence to this, which it would do no harm to curtail, and thus gain time for this? Do you not spend time and money for articles of dress, or ornaments, or in social intercourse, or for needless luxuries, that you might, without any evil, give up to this object?

Do you say that you can do but little, and relieve yourself from obligation because it is so little? Suppose each drop of rain should urge this plea, and thus delay to refresh the fields? Is not every great and good work accomplished by a union of many little influences, and as much so in the moral as in the natural world?


Are you dwelling in those parts of our land where most is done for education, and comforting yourself that at least you and yours shall escape in safety? But how can you tell that in five or ten years either you, or those you love best, will not be the other side of the Alleghany, and in the most destitute portion of the nation? The changes of fortune, the pursuit of wealth, the mutations of matrimonial connexions, utterly forbid any reliance on permanency of residence.

And how can one portion of this nation suffer and the other escape? Is not the vast River Valley, whatever may be the character of its millions, to hold the controlling power of our nation? If any portion of the fair West be tortured with civil commotion and lawless rage, will not every groan re-echo from the maternal heart of New-England and New-York, whose sons and daughters are dwelling on every prairie and in every valley of our land?

Mother, whose hands are so busy in ornamenting your darling child; Sister, whose fingers fly so swiftly over the canvass or lace; Daughter, so earnestly engaged in preparing your elegant habiliments, look back to that[107] beautiful daughter of emperors, that sister of kings, that mother of princes, brought to her palace-home amid a nation’s transports, the welcome bride of the nation’s heir.

Again, on the birth of her first-born, hear the triumphant pæan re-echoed across the ocean, sung by the very children in our streets, and in the memory of many now on the stage:

“A Dauphin’s born! let cannon loud
With echoes rend the sky;
All hail to Gallia’s King!
Columbia’s great ally!”

And thus the great English orator of that day describes her: “It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the Dauphiness, at Versailles: and surely never lighted on this orb, which she scarcely seemed to touch, a more delightful vision! I saw her, just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in, glittering like the morning star, full of life, and splendour, and joy. Little did I dream I should have lived to see such disasters fall upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords would[108] have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult.”

Look, now, through those prison bars. There, pale and mournful, upon a pallet of straw, rests one for whom the splendours of Versailles scarcely seemed enough. Her once bright locks, even in youth, are gray with fear and sorrow. She is in solitude; her husband in one cell, and her weeping children, torn from her and placed with brutal keepers, in another. And now her husband is borne forth to a bloody death. Again her prison doors unclose, and she comes forth, seated on the fatal car, her hands tied behind her back, surrounded by thousands, who shout with malignant joy as the fatal guillotine terminates her woes.

See that last and most innocent sufferer, the poor little Dauphin, every tender feeling crushed, deliberately instructed in vice, doomed to disgusting and degrading services, and, ere long, cruelly starved to death!

American mother, wife, sister, daughter, the same earthquake is trembling under your feet! If such an awful period agitates any portion of this land, it will be those raised by wealth and station as the objects of popular envy, who[109] must first meet the storm. You sit now in peace and plenty; you spend your time in elegant pleasures, and, while absorbed in selfish enjoyment, you forget the young and destitute growing up around you. And as you embroider the flower, and twine the silk, and fold the riband, they are learning to sharpen the dagger, and twine the cord, and plant the cannon. Within a stone’s throw of that smiling child with golden locks, who now absorbs a mother’s thoughts, may be growing up, in the darkness of ignorance and vice, the very hand that, at some awful crisis, will grasp those locks in rage, and plant the dagger in that happy bosom.

And when, in some after hour of terror and distress, when the roar of musketry is heard, shooting down father and husband, and brother and friend; when the bells are tolling, and the drums beating, and the wife, mother, and daughter behold those they love best girding to meet the violators of law; when they catch the parting expression of flushed excitement, or stern determination, or serious foreboding, as the loved one departs, perhaps to be returned a breathless corse—then, in the hour of[110] anxious solitude, will the solemn inquest be made for those ruffian minds, ruined by neglect; and the voice of the Lord God will be heard, walking in the trees of the garden, demanding, “Where is thy brother?” And the trembling response, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” will meet the stern rebuke, “What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.”

But why appeal to motives of fear and danger? Alas! those thousands and millions of neglected little ones in our land, they know not their wants or their danger, or they would raise their supplicating hands. Is there anything more appropriate than that gentle woman should be invoked to their aid? Is there anything more beautiful, more heavenly, than that she should spend her time, and thoughts, and means to rescue them? What is it that you would enjoy the most in after days, gazing at the fading beauties you have wrought in canvass, muslin, or lace, or looking around on the intelligent, useful, happy minds you have been instrumental in training, and who will rise up and call you blessed? True, you cannot gain this rich reward without some self-denying toil and[111] persevering effort. But is it not worth the labour?

And when your eye is closing on earth, and the memories of the past are hovering around your pillow, who do you wish should meet your dying eye, the haggard faces of those ruined by your neglect, or the grateful smiles of those you have toiled to bless, who will bear you in their love and prayers, like seraph’s wings, to the opening gates of heaven; who will shine forever as stars in your crown of rejoicing?

And into that world of perfected benevolence and joy, who is it that shall enter and go no more out? It is those who, in this world, have followed the footsteps of Jesus Christ; who have lived, not for themselves, but for others; who, like him, have denied themselves daily to promote the salvation of the lost. Is not Jesus Christ presented as the bright and perfect example of self-denying benevolence, and is it not written, “If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his?”

Oh, ye who are appointed by Him, who toiled for your salvation, to go forth and rescue these little ones, what saith your great Exemplar?[112] “Ye are the light of the world; and if the light in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!”

Where, then, are your golden lamps? Whom will you guide to the light and liberty of his presence? Awake, from the dream of thoughtless pleasure! Awake from the reveries of selfish care, and save yourselves and your country, ere it be forever too late!



It is the object of what follows, to enable every woman, who wishes to do something for the cause of education and her country, to act immediately, before the interest awakened is absorbed by other pursuits.

The thing to be aimed at is, the employment of female talent and benevolence in educating ignorant and neglected American children.

In order to give an idea of what needs to be done, and of what can be done, some facts will be stated of which the writer of this volume has personal knowledge. There are, in all parts of this country, women of education and benevolence, and some of them possessing wealth, who are longing for something to do, which is more worthy of their cultivated energies than the ordinary pursuits of women of leisure. There is a still greater multitude of women of good sense and benevolence, who, if educated, would make admirable teachers, but who now have no resource but the needle and the manufactory. It is melancholy to see, in all mechanical trades where woman’s labour is available, how many thousands are following pursuits, many of them injurious to health and to morals, and none of them qualifying a woman, in any respect, for future domestic duties.

In the schoolroom, or at domestic service, a woman[114] is learning to train children, and to perform domestic duties properly, but in the workshop and manufactory, she follows a monotonous toil, useful neither to body nor mind, often injurious to both, and forming habits and tastes disqualifying her for future domestic duties.[3]

On the other hand, in all parts of our country, especially at the West, there are multitudes of flourishing towns and villages willing and anxious to have good schools, and able and ready to support them, but unwilling to do anything to sustain the miserable apology for teachers within their reach. And still broader regions are to be found, in every direction, not only without good teachers, but in many cases without any desire for schools of any kind. Our two million destitute children are an appalling proof of this destitution and apathy.

Now, there are hundreds and thousands of enterprising, benevolent, and, many of them, well educated women, who would rejoice to go forth as missionary teachers to these destitute children. Such women, by their influence, not only in their schools, but in the village around them, could do almost as much as a missionary, and at far less expense. For a woman needs support only for herself, a man requires support for himself and a family. And there are multitudes of such women, sighing over our destitute country and wishing to be sent forth on such a service, and yet they know of no way to secure the object of their wishes.


In the Catholic Church, a wisdom is shown on this subject, which Protestants as yet have not exhibited. In that Church, if a lady of wealth and family is led to devote herself to benevolent enterprises, a post is immediately found for her as Lady Abbess, or Lady Patroness, or Lady Superior, where she secures the power, consideration, and rank, which even ambition might covet. There is now a Catholic institution in one of our principal western cities, known to the writer, which is superintended by a lady of rank and family from Belgium, and which is only a branch of a still larger institution in Belgium, over which another titled lady presides. And there are several other ladies of family and fortune from Europe, who are spending their time and wealth in gathering American children into the Catholic Church. Meantime, all women of humbler station have places provided, as Nuns or Sisters of Charity, where they can spend their benevolent energies in honoured activity. The clergy, having no families to occupy their time, devote their whole attention to the extension of their faith by schools as well as by planting churches. To these instrumentalities are added the Jesuit establishment in this country, expressly devoted to the interests of education, with the head Jesuit for the West stationed in Cincinnati, to supervise and promote all plans for education. He is a man of winning manners, great policy, untiring industry, and, so far as human eye can see, honestly and sincerely devoted to the cause he has espoused. Under his watchful[116] eye, no energy, or benevolence, or skill is ever lost, but all is husbanded and skilfully directed.

But among Protestants there is no system or organization instituted, thus to secure and employ the benevolent energies of the female sex in the cause of education. If a woman finds it in her heart to turn missionary and go away from her country to instruct the heathen, in most cases, every facility is provided, and public sentiment urges and encourages her efforts, and she knows to whom to apply for support and encouragement. But let a woman become interested in her own country, and earnestly desire to labour for destitute American children, and no such means, or facilities exist as make it suitable, or practicable to undertake. Among Catholics, let a woman of family and fortune talk of going to the West to teach, and she instantly is lauded as a saint; bishops, priests, and Jesuits are at her side to encourage and aid, and honour in life and canonization at death are her sure reward. But let a Protestant woman of wealth and high standing express a wish and intention to go to the West to teach, and it would be regarded by most of her friends and associates as a mark of oddity—a deficiency of good sense. Family friends would oppose, acquaintances would sneer, a few would faintly approve, no individual and no body of men could be found, whose appropriate business it is to aid, and so many obstacles would oppose, that, in most cases, it would really be Quixotic to encounter them. And women in humbler circumstances find almost[117] as insurmountable obstacles; they know of no place where they can go, it is the business of no one to aid them, they know of no one to whom to apply for assistance, and thus it is that hundreds and hundreds of women, abundantly competent to act as missionary teachers, are pining in secret over wasted energies, which they are longing to spend in the most appropriate duty of women, the training of young minds for usefulness and for Heaven. It may be replied, that in the Catholic Church women take vows of celibacy, which alone can enable them thus to act for the cause of education, and that no such efficient action for education can be anticipated from Protestant women, whose religious faith opposes rather than encourages this sequestration from domestic alliances. A few facts will serve to show the fallacy of this impression. A lady of New-England, who for a number of years conducted a large female institution, furnishes this as the result of her experience. During nine years, four hundred teachers went out from this institution. Of these, eighty-eight went to the West and South. At the end of these nine years, of the eighty-eight who went to the West and South, sixty-four (which is more than three fourths) continued as teachers. Twelve of these continued teachers after marriage. During three years of this time, a society connected with this institution was in operation to aid young women in educating themselves to be teachers. This assistance was in the form of a loan, which at no time was to exceed two hundred dollars to any one individual,[118] and this loan was to be returned whenever it was practicable. The society remitted the debt in cases where it was not. Means were also provided for the appropriate protection and location of these teachers. The number who in three years received aid was forty-three, and the sum of $4340,00 was loaned for this purpose. Twenty-four of these, in the space of eight years from the first loans, refunded from their own earnings all that was loaned. Eight refunded in part. The remainder did not refund within the eight years, but all who were not sick or dead were expecting and aiming so to do.

A clergyman, who for a number of years was a travelling agent for one of our benevolent institutions, and who felt an interest in discovering the results of the above effort, stated it as his conviction, that no college in our country had, in the same period, done more for the cause of education and religion in our land than this institution had done by sending forth its female teachers. Many other similar facts could be stated, showing that there is even a greater chance of permanent results in employing a given sum for the education of female teachers, than for the education of young men for the ministry.

The lady who conducted this institution, and furnished these facts, also stated, that at all times the number of those desirous of qualifying themselves for teachers, and who would gladly have obtained loans for this end, was far beyond the means the society could command, while the demands sent on[119] to this institution for teachers, from the South and West, was altogether more than could be supplied; thus showing that there were places demanding teachers, and teachers seeking for places, and no adequate instrumentality in existence for meeting these reciprocal demands. In the Eastern States, it is the testimony of school committees, and others employed in selecting teachers, that crowds of female applicants are constantly turned aside, not because they are not qualified, but because the number of applicants greatly exceeds that of the vacancies.

Another lady, who had conducted a large female institution in New-England, made an attempt to aid women of education and benevolence, who were anxious to act as teachers, and wished for aid in finding a proper location. The failure of health interrupted her efforts, yet, with a very limited inquiry, more than a hundred women of appropriate spirit and qualifications were immediately found, anxious to avail themselves of such aid; while the rumour of such an effort, for two or three years, brought letters to her from all parts of the country, asking assistance, some of them in the most moving terms.

By the census, it appears that the excess of female population in New-England over that of the other sex is more than 14,000. From extensive inquiries and consultation, the writer believes that one fourth of these women would gladly engage as teachers; that a large part are already qualified, and that the others could be fitted for these duties[120] at an average expense of two hundred dollars each.

Another fact will be mentioned to show the waste of female talent and benevolence for want of some organized agency which secures men whose business it is to attend to the interests of education.

A lady, who had conducted a large female institution in New-England, removed to one of the largest western cities, and, in connexion with several other ladies of experience and reputation, established an institution, which they designed, eventually, should become an institution for the preparation and location of female teachers, with a school connected with it, supported by the citizens, which should serve as a model school. It was hoped that, when the teachers had gained public confidence at the West, as they had done at the East, funds would be furnished, both at the East and West, which would enable these ladies to say to hundreds of their countrywomen interested in the effort, “Here is a resort for you, where you may qualify yourselves to be first-rate teachers, and be aided in finding a location in the many flourishing but destitute towns and villages of the West.”

The school was abundantly patronised, and successfully conducted. The ladies then applied for a fund of some $30,000, given for purposes of education, by a gentleman of that city; and not specifically devoted to any particular object. The trustees of this fund voted to devote it to this enterprise, if the citizens would raise $15,000 for a building. The[121] citizens manifested all appropriate interest, so far as kind words and liberal offers were concerned. Two gentlemen subscribed a thousand dollars each, and several five hundred each, and nothing was needed but a person properly qualified, who should devote himself to the enterprise. The ladies conducting the school, with failing health and many cares, could not carry forward such an effort, and no man could be found to devote himself to it. The result was, that the Catholic bishop bought the building occupied by this school for a Catholic female institution. No other suitable building could be hired. The hard times came on, and funds could not be raised to build one; and thus, with tears of bitter disappointment, the school was given up, and the whole enterprise failed, and simply because it was the business of no person to attend to the general interests of education. Had these ladies turned Catholics, bishops, priests, Jesuits, and all their subordinates, would have been devoted to their cause, and rich funds from foreign lands would have been laid at their feet. As it was, in a wealthy and most liberal Protestant city, where four of the largest establishments in its bounds have been purchased for Catholic institutions of education, and two of them for females, a Protestant institution, conducted by four female teachers of established reputation, passed away for want of suitable accommodations. Meantime, in that same city, the agents of various benevolent societies took up liberal contributions for the heathen, for slaves, for drunkards, for sailors,[122] for convicts, for colleges (both in and out of the city), for the education of young men, for the distribution of Bibles and tracts, and for many other objects; because men are supported, by voluntary contribution, to give their whole time to these objects.

There is no just foundation for the remark not unfrequently made, that the Catholic Church contains more self-denying benevolence than other communions, while sisters of charity and nuns are pointed out as illustrations. There are hundreds and thousands of women in this Protestant land, who, without the mistaken principles, possess all the self-denying benevolence which, in Catholic communities, leads to cloistered vows. The writer, after extensive inquiries in almost all the free states, believes it would be far within the bounds of moderation to assert that, if any responsible persons would pledge the pecuniary means and appropriate protection, five hundred benevolent women could be found in less than one month, with all appropriate qualifications for missionary teachers. Some of these are possessed of wealth, and still more command a pleasant home, with all the comforts of competence and the best society; yet they would joyfully encounter the privations of missionary life in efforts to save their country, could any appropriate method be devised.

These allusions to the aid and encouragement offered to benevolent women in the Catholic Church are not designed to be invidious. Whatever class of religionists conscientiously hold, that there is no[123] safety from eternal ruin but in their church, not only Christian benevolence, but common humanity should impel them to all possible efforts, to gather every human being into their communion. And it is feared that Protestants do not always make sufficient allowance for this consideration.

The wrong lamented is, not that Catholics act consistently with their faith, but that Protestants do not offer the same aid and encouragement to benevolent Protestant women, who are so earnest in their desires to devote time and talents, and, in some cases, wealth, to the salvation of the children of our country.

In view of these facts, it is now proposed to attempt to raise means for educating destitute American children, by the agency of women of education and benevolence, who wish to engage in the work; and for supporting at least one gentleman of suitable character and influence, whose time shall be wholly devoted to this enterprise.

The first thing which will be attempted will be to select, from those who are desirous to engage in such a service, a certain number of those who are best qualified by education, energy, discretion, and self-denying benevolence, and who are willing to be stationed, under the protection of some adjacent clergyman, in places where there are neither churches or schools, assured of nothing more than is allowed to home and foreign missionaries, namely, a proper mode of conveyance and location, and[124] a simple support, secured by some responsible persons.

A small beginning will be made, under the supervision of a committee of six gentlemen, one from each of six different Protestant denominations. The following gentlemen have consented to act as such a committee until more permanent arrangements can be made.

As soon as means are raised sufficient to support a gentleman who shall devote himself to this object, the above committee will endeavour to organize a Board of Managers, consisting of an equal number of gentlemen from each of the principal Protestant denominations, who are resident in different sections of the country, and possess general confidence. This board will then appoint an Executive Committee, Treasurer, and Secretary, to superintend and perform all the business connected with this enterprise, who shall be located either in New-York or Cincinnati.

In order to aid in raising funds for this object, a method is proposed, which will enable every woman[125] who feels an interest in the effort, to contribute, at least a small sum, to promote it.

Two works are now issued by the largest publishing house in the country, which, it is believed, will prove useful and interesting to every American woman. An account of these works and the terms of the contract will be found at the close of this volume.[4] It will be seen that these terms are very favourable, and involve no hazard of loss. These works will be put into the market and be sold at ordinary prices. Half the profits (after paying a moderate compensation to the author for the time and labour of preparing them, the amount to be decided by the above gentlemen) will be devoted to this object, and as the works are of a kind that will always be useful, a large sale would secure both a present and future income.

Any woman, then, who is desirous to aid in promoting this enterprise, can do so by requesting some bookseller in her vicinity to send for these works, and then purchasing them herself and using her influence to induce her friends to do the same. Still more will be effected by securing notices of these works in newspapers and other periodicals.

Should means be obtained sufficient, to secure the services of a suitable gentleman, the following measures are suggested as what might be attempted.


In the first place, an effort could be made to secure committees of ladies, of each denomination, in all our principal cities, who shall agree to act simultaneously, on some uniform plan, and, if need be, keep up a correspondence in order to secure this result. Such committees might exert themselves in one, or all of the following ways:

They could, firstly, aim to secure the aid and co-operation of the conductors of the periodical press, literary, political, and religious. The gentleman who engages in this enterprise, could write, or cause others to write, articles calculated to arouse the public mind in regard to popular education. These articles could be transmitted to all the affiliated committees in every part of our land, and by their influence, be inserted in most of the newspapers, or other periodicals within their reach. Thus a steady and most powerful influence would be brought to bear on the public mind. The people would be aroused, and through the people, the legislatures might be led to energetic and appropriate action. And then, as fast as schools are formed, female teachers will be in demand.

These committees, if it is deemed proper, might also address private letters to clergymen of their several denominations, asking aid and advice. Next to the press, the pulpit is the most effective engine of moral power, and, happily, the clergy of this nation have ever been among the most ardent and active friends of education, and the warm supporters of almost every benevolent enterprise.[127] An appeal to them for aid must secure happy results.

Another method, which such committees could adopt, would be, to make personal appeals, both to ladies of large means and to those, also, of smaller ability, for subscriptions to aid in educating and locating female missionary teachers. Such subscriptions, however, cannot be successfully sought until some body is organized, consisting of gentlemen of various denominations, who possess public confidence, and who shall be properly authorized to receive and appropriate subscriptions.

Another and most important measure could be prosecuted by these committees. At the East, where there is a superabundance of teachers, and of women who could speedily be qualified to teach, such committees could act in selecting the most suitable women of their own denomination to receive the aid provided; and the number might be regulated by the relative amount of subscriptions in each denomination.

At the West, such committees could aid in providing schools for those sent out, a suitable escort, a proper home, and the advice, sympathy, and aid that would be needed by a stranger in a strange land.

Were such committees known to be in existence at the East, they speedily would be addressed by multitudes of intelligent and benevolent women, seeking aid in their efforts to gain opportunities to impart knowledge and salvation to the perishing heathen children in our own land.


Were such committees in existence at the West, and their eyes directed to the desolate regions of ignorance around them, they would soon find their warmest energies enlisted in gathering outcast lambs into the fold of safety, to be trained and guided to heaven.

To impart a more vivid idea of the wants which are to be met, and of one of the first objects to be aimed at, in the efforts proposed, some incidents in the experience of the writer will be narrated.

In a small village, less than thirty miles from one of the largest cities of the West, the writer once stopped to dine. Several children were playing about, when the following conversation took place:

“Is there any school in this place!”

“No, madam; it is a good while since we have had one. Miss L. came and taught here nearly a year; but she went home, and we have had no school since.”

“How many children are there here who would go to a school if there were one?”

“I should think there are as many as forty or fifty.”

“Do you suppose the parents would like to have a school, and would pay the teacher well?”

“Oh, yes! If we could get a good teacher, she would be well paid for her trouble; but none of us know where to get one, and the men folks are too busy to go and look for one.”

“Have you any clergyman in the place?”

“No, madam.”


“Do the people here ever go to any church?”

“Yes, madam; they sometimes go off a good piece to W., where there is preaching sometimes.”

It was in another village of the West, and one as destitute as this, that a young lady from New-England, who came out under the care of a clergyman, stationed herself to rear up a school. She agreed to teach for a small sum, and to board around with the parents of her pupils.

Most of these parents were from the South, where they were unaccustomed to the notions of comfort and thrift which the young lady possessed.

She not only taught the children at school, but, in each family where she boarded, taught the housekeeper how to make good yeast and good bread. She also taught the young women how to cut dresses and how to braid straw for bonnets.

Her instructions in the day-school and in the Sunday-school, and her influence in the families, were unbounded, and almost transforming. No minister, however well qualified, could have wrought such favourable changes in so short a time.

In another case, known to the writer, a young lady went into such a destitute village. There was no church, and no minister of any sect. She taught the children through the week, and also instituted a Sunday-school. In this she conducted religious worship herself. Gradually the mothers came to attend, then the fathers, until, at last, she found herself in the office both of teacher and clergyman.[130] The last portion of her duties she resigned to a minister, who, by her instrumentality, was settled there.

The writer might mention several other similar cases which have come to her knowledge.

There are hundreds of such destitute places in our land, where a prudent, self-denying, and energetic woman might be instrumental in leading a whole community “out of darkness into marvellous light,” and there are hundreds of such women wishing to go to them.

The writer, when returning to the East, has often been met by young friends with such representations as these: “I have nothing to employ my time which satisfies my conscience. I have education, leisure, and means; can you find me a sphere of usefulness which I can reach with propriety? I cannot go off alone; for, even if I thought it proper, my friends would not consent.”

Again, another friend says, “Why cannot you find something for Miss G. to do? She is well educated, rich, benevolent, and really is suffering for want of something to do. She has thought of going on a foreign mission, but surely there is enough for her to do in her own country.”

Yes, surely, there is enough to do in our own country. When will the wise, and the influential, and the benevolent awake to this subject, and devise the proper mode of meeting such wants?

Those who are interested in the project presented in this work by no means assume that this is the[131] best way. They only feel that something ought to be attempted; and that, if this effort does no other good, it may put in train influences that will develop a better way.

The writer of this volume also presents this enterprise, not as the plan of an individual, but as a project devised, by consultation, among many ladies of influence and benevolence, who are interested in securing its success. And if it is effected, it is hoped that it will be by such simultaneous interest and efforts, that no one will be conspicuous, either as originator or leader in the enterprise.

The views presented in this work are those held in common by a large number of intelligent ladies in all parts of our land; and, though one has been selected and requested to write this work, it should be regarded, not as the opinions of an individual, but as a wreath of benevolence, woven, indeed, by one hand, but gathered from many noble and benevolent minds.

The following extracts from letters received from gentlemen of high standing in various parts of our nation, will serve to corroborate the views expressed in the preceding pages:

From the Hon. Thomas Burrowes, late Secretary of State in Pennsylvania.

I have long been of opinion that the great deficiency[132] of our age and country, in reference to the sound instruction of the coming generation, is the want of teachers.

I am now fully convinced that this want must be supplied before any other step can be safely or usefully taken. Nay, I believe that, until this indispensable preliminary measure is accomplished, money, and effort, and legislation will be, as they have been, money, and effort, and legislation nearly thrown away. Since 1834, this state has expended more than five millions for the support of her common schools, and, at the end of ten years, I see but little improvement.

In this immense expenditure, not a dollar has been spent to secure this great prerequisite—good teachers; and hence the system has not only failed to obtain general favour, but is in danger of becoming more and more unacceptable the longer it is tried. It is sad to think that we have thus wasted five millions of dollars, and ten years of time, to say nothing of the labour expended and obloquy encountered, and must now re-commence from the foundation; but so it is.

I know of no cause which so much needs a general movement as this. Let not its friends shrink from the undertaking because they may not be able to operate in all, or even in many of the states. Let it be remembered that if a commencement is made in one state, and a report of results sent forth, it will serve to start the good work in all the rest.


The necessities, the crying necessities of this cause, are far and away before those of the Temperance Reform, or of Colleges, or of Foreign Missions. He who, being fit, should devote himself to this cause, would confer a greater benefit on his fellow-man than he could possibly do by any other use of his time and talents.

The missionary to a heathen land opens the Book of Life to his fellow-man; the missionary in this cause opens the mind of his fellow-citizens, not only to the Book of Life, but to a knowledge of all those rights and duties, without which our free institutions cannot stand to encourage and reform the world.

If my gifts and domestic relations permitted, I should devote myself to a mission in this and other states for the purpose of impressing on Legislatures, philanthropists, and teachers, the necessity of Teachers’ Seminaries.

A gentleman, supported to operate in this cause, might be employed in this way. He could visit different states one after another, and address the citizens of each county in the county town, after long and full notice. Besides addressing the people publicly, he could appeal to leading individuals privately, and engage them to act with him for this object. Meantime, he could be obtaining educational statistics for future use, and ere long he could make such a report as would set the people to work in earnest, and for their own sakes.

While thus proceeding, he could also obtain the[134] promise of one or more intelligent persons in each county, to write on the subject every week in each of the county newspapers. Articles thus addressed to the reason, the patriotism, and the economy of the people, would have a powerful effect, and cost nothing.

If funds could be provided from private benevolence to establish proper Teachers’ Institutions in two or three states, they would set the matter far ahead in a few years. They would serve as models and inducements to the public, and would not long continue to need the support of private philanthropy. They would really be normal, or pattern establishments.

Beyond a doubt, the plan ought to embrace institutions for the preparation of female teachers. The gentleness, self-devotion, and untiring humanity of women eminently qualify them to be the instructers of the more youthful pupils of both sexes, and of their own of all ages. There is not a show of any reason why male teachers only should be provided for at the public charge, when female teachers are as necessary, as useful, and as much confided in by the public.

From the Rev. Mr. Sturtevant, President of Illinois College.

“In regard to some voluntary organization to secure popular education, if it were worked with a truly liberal and Christian spirit, it could, and would, do us great good in this state: first, by collecting[135] statistics of our wants, and calling attention (by the press, and by public lectures all over the state) to these wants, and to what has been accomplished in other states and countries.

2. By supporting, at least in part, model schools in different parts of the state, to show, by example, what good schools are.

3. By bringing public sentiment to bear on the Legislature, especially in reference to our school fund. It is now nearly two millions, and is yearly increasing. Now, its whole management is left to the unregulated action of the Legislature, without a single mind devoted to acquiring and disseminating knowledge as to the proper mode of using it. Whether, any one year, there shall be even one intelligent friend of education in our Legislature, is a matter of chance. If some plan be not devised for leading the Legislature to wise views, the object of this fund will be lost. It will a little diminish the expense for each child, but add nothing towards getting better schools.”

President Sturtevant’s account of the deplorable state of their schools, and of the public apathy on the subject, is mournful.

From the Rev. Henry Beecher, of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Much can be done in Indiana, much ought to be done, and speedily; for,

1. It will be a more densely-populated state than Ohio or Illinois, because its land is uniformly good.

2. It has been grievously neglected. Its settlers[136] were originally from Kentucky, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Such do better for flocks and farms than for mental and moral improvement.

3. We have a good system of common school education, which, for purposes of Church and State ambition, some sectarians are disposed to break down; and they are of the dominant sect in the state. Those sects that foster education are in the minority, and struggling up through many embarrassments.

4. We have a school fund of more than two millions, which is in such neglect as threatens its entire loss.

An agent should be supported to lecture through the state, in every county town, to secure workers to defend our school system, to protect our school fund from depredators, to secure an annual Education Convention, and otherwise exert influence. The right man for such an agent I know. It is a Dr. Cornett, of Versailles, Ripley Co., Ia. He is a member of our Senate, and chairman of their Committee on Education: a man prudent, cool, sagacious, interested in the cause, and of great weight in the community.

The following is extracted from a letter from the Dr. Cornett spoken of above.

Strange it is, that while the benevolent among our people are exerting themselves so much at home and abroad, that the thousands and millions in our own country who cannot so much as read one[137] word in the Book of Life, should be overlooked, and no organization effected in their behalf. It is absurd to think of a Republic being long sustained without the people generally being educated. To talk of their maintaining their rights when denied the means of knowing what their rights are, is to talk nonsense. If our whole people could be educated by the right sort of teachers, there would be little need of temperance societies, and temperance newspapers, and lectures, and other means now so properly employed for moral reformation. Our children would enter on the practical duties of life with pure minds, well fortified against vice in all shapes. In Indiana we are in deplorable want of good teachers for our common schools. Why cannot some plan be devised for educating intelligent boys and girls for these duties, and then finding them situations?

In reference to the school fund, he says,

Many of our state legislators seem more disposed to favour the borrowing of school money than to promote education. If competent lecturers were sent among the people, urging the value of education, both in a pecuniary and political view, these same demagogues would find it for their interest to become clamorous for the cause. I have been at the head of the Senate’s Committee on Education, and have had great difficulty in sustaining the integrity of our school fund. The term of my services has expired, and I cannot resume them. From what I know of our Legislature, I believe[138] there is great need of a stir being made among the people in reference to this matter and the cause in general. My isolated condition, laborious profession, and poor health forbid my following my feelings in going forth as a voluntary lecturer; but let some organization be effected, and numerous and efficient lecturers would rise up to do gratuitous work.

The following is from Judge Lane, of the Supreme Court of Ohio.

I believe our Legislature, if left to itself, would permit the Common Schools to sink and perish in their hands. That body possesses at all times individuals of great worth, but the larger part have very little intelligence, and their motives of action are entirely different from those which would subserve this cause. I believe that an association of gentlemen in this state is the only mode of leading the Legislature into the necessary measures, and that, through them, this might be accomplished by the press and by public lectures (if the right man and measures are employed). I believe that a change of public opinion on this subject cannot be secured, indirectly, through the elevation of the minds of a few, nor by the dissemination of good principles by the circulation of Bibles and tracts, or the settlement of ministers, or the cultivation of young men in colleges, or in any other speedy mode except that of an association acting on a specific plan, and pursuing it with perseverance, and by expedient[139] means. I deem the employment of some agent indispensable to give form and intensity to such an association; and a man for this work would require a rare combination of qualities.

The following is from one of the leading Lawyers of Ohio.

The more I think of this subject of national education, the more I feel anxious to be up and doing. I do not think that any other field of labour now presents itself in which so much good can be done, and it is not the least important consideration, certainly, that while thus engaged in doing good to others, we shall be, in the highest sense, educating ourselves. All that I can do, I feel anxious to do in this great work; and as soon as any plan is definitely arranged, I will go to work, and if I can get time in no other way, will diminish my business for the purpose.

The following is from E. C. Delavan, Esq., who has devoted so much of his time for several years to the cause of Temperance.

The importance of the question of national education cannot be overrated. In a selfish point of view, the old states could well afford to be taxed a million a year to enlighten the new, but they will not see it or feel it, I fear, until it is too late; yet much can be done. When leading minds are suitably impressed, the mass will be. Under God, the press is the great instrument that must be used, and a long time before the mass will move. It appears[140] to me that the first step to be taken is to interest men in all parts of the Union to feed the political and religious press. Then, when the public mind is aroused, talents and means will be found to take hold practically.

The following is from a Lawyer in Cincinnati.

Our city and vicinity would furnish room for a dozen labourers in this cause instead of one; and one of the most effectual modes of operation would be to enlist a dozen others in the cause. A man devoted to this cause would be welcomed among us as an angel of light by all classes and all sects, and would be sure to enjoy the good wishes of all, the positive aid of many, and the useful counsel of not a few. The spirit of education is largely abroad among us, and only wants an efficient leader to enable it to breathe a new existence into the whole moral, social, political, and religious being of our community here, and, by necessary consequence, into the whole valley of the West. We have the best tools to work with, the best materials to work upon, and we only want, and this we sadly want, some person to influence us to use the one and act upon the other, by commencing an example.

I should hail the commencement of such an enterprise as the dawning of a new light upon the West, and would not only give what little aid I might, but would use all my little influence to make it work effectually in its onward progress.


These extracts will suffice to show the vast field of labour open to a man of talents, supported for the object aimed at.

The following extract from an address of Prof. Stowe, delivered at Portland in 1844, corroborates the views expressed by the author on the subject of moral training.

But in this country, in consequence of our unbounded religious freedom, the subdivisions of sect are almost innumerable; it is impossible, in a system of public instruction, to provide separately for them all; and, unless religious instruction can be given without sectarianism, it must be abandoned.

“In this country the rights of all sects are the same, and any denomination that would have its own rights respected must respect the rights of others.

“The time which can be devoted to religious instruction in schools is necessarily very limited; and if there be an honest and sincere desire to do right, the whole of this time certainly can be occupied, with efficiency and profit, without encroaching on the conscience of any sect which really has a conscience.

“Facts show plainly that, notwithstanding the diversity of sects, there is common ground on which the sincerely pious of all sects substantially agree. For example, the most acceptable books of practical piety, which are oftenest read by Christians of all denominations, have proceeded from[142] about all the different sects into which Christendom is divided, and are read by all with scarcely a recognition of the difference of sect. Such are the writings of Thomas à Kempis and Fenelon, who were Roman Catholics; of Jeremy Taylor and Bishop Hall, who were Churchmen; of Baxter, Watts, and Doddridge, who were Presbyterians or Congregationalists; of Bunyan and Andrew Fuller, who were Baptists; of Fletcher and Charles Wesley, who were Methodists. This fact alone shows that there is common ground, and enough of it too, to employ all the time which can properly be devoted to religious instruction in our public institutions.

“All Christian sects, without exception, recognise the Bible as the text-book of their religion. They all acknowledge it to be a book given of God, and replete with the most excellent sentiments, moral and religious. None will admit that it is unfavourable to their peculiar views, but, on the contrary, all claim that it promotes them. To the use of the Bible, then, as the text-book of religious instruction in our schools, there can be no serious objection on the part of Christians of any sect; and even unbelievers very generally admit it to be a very good and useful book.

“But shall it be the whole Bible? or only the New Testament? or selections made from one or both?

“A book of mere selection would be very apt to awaken jealousy; and the exclusion of any part of[143] the Scriptures would, to my mind, be painful. Let every scholar, then, have a whole Bible. The book can now be obtained so cheap, that the expense can be no objection.

“But how can the teacher instruct in the Bible without coming on to sectarian ground? He can teach a great deal in regard to its geography and antiquities, and can largely illustrate its narrations, and its moral, and even religious, beauties. An honest, intelligent teacher can find, in this way, abundant employment for all his time, if he be himself a lover and student of the Bible, without ever passing into sectarian peculiarities, or giving any reasonable ground of offence.

“But, apart from all this, the chief business of instruction in this department may be the committing to memory of portions of the Divine Word. The most rigidly orthodox will not object to this, for they believe every portion of the Bible to be the word of God which liveth and abideth forever, and that all Scripture is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness; and the liberal, though they may not sympathize in the high orthodox view of the divine excellence of the Word, yet regard it as, on the whole, the best of books, and the more of it their children have treasured up in their minds, the better it must be for them. If the parent chooses, he can always himself select the portions to be committed by his child, or he may leave it to the discretion of the teacher, or he may give general directions, as selections from the Gospels,[144] the Proverbs, the Psalms, &c. It is not at all essential that all the children of the same school, or even of the same class, should recite the same passages. Each child may be called upon, in turn, to recite what each one has committed, and the recitation may or may not be accompanied by remarks from the teacher, as circumstances may seem to justify or require.

“But there is another difficulty. The Roman Catholics, it is said, do not desire that their children should be instructed in the Scriptures; they receive the apocryphal book as a part of Scripture, and contend that we have not the whole Bible unless we include the Apocrypha; and they object to our common English translation.

“In reply to this, I remark, in the first place, there are many parts of our land where there are no Roman Catholics, and, of course, the difficulty will not occur in those places.

“Secondly, if Roman Catholics choose to exclude their children from a knowledge of the Bible, they have a perfectly legal right to do so, and we have no legal right to prevent it; nor should we desire any such legal right, for the moment we desire any such legal right, we abandon the Protestant principle and adopt the Papal. Catholic parents are perfectly competent to demand that their children should be excused from the Bible recitation, and this demand, if made, should be complied with; but they have no right to demand that the Bible should be withheld from the schools because they do not like[145] it, nor do their objections render it necessary or excusable for Protestants to discard the Bible from schools.

“Again, if Roman Catholics desire that their children take their Bibles into the schools, and recite from them, by all means let them do so; and so of Jews, let them recite from the Old Testament, if they choose, to the exclusion of the New. We allow to others equal rights with ourselves; but we claim for ourselves, and shall insist upon having, equal rights with all. I am perfectly willing to give to the Roman Catholics all they can justly claim, but I am not willing to encroach on any one’s rights, or the rights of any Protestant denomination, for the sake of accommodating the Roman Catholics. Nor do I suppose that the Romanists have a claim to any special accommodation, for they have never yet manifested any particular disposition to accommodate others. Let them have the same privileges that our Protestant sects have—that is enough; and they have no right to demand, our legislators have no right to grant, any more; and we Protestants will be perfectly satisfied when Protestants can enjoy as great privileges in Italy as Roman Catholics now enjoy in the United States. In judicious practice, I am persuaded there will seldom be any great difficulty, especially if there be excited generally in the community anything like a whole-hearted honesty and enlightened sincerity in the cause of public instruction.

“It is all right for people to suit their own taste[146] and convictions in respect to sect; and by fair means and at proper times, to teach their children and those under their influence to prefer the denominations which they prefer; but farther than this no one has any right to go. It is all wrong to hazard the well-being of the soul, to jeopardize great public interests for the sake of advancing the interests of a sect. People must learn to practise some self-denial, on Christian principles, in respect to their denominational preferences, as well as in respect to other things, before pure religion can ever gain a complete victory over every form of human selfishness.

“Happily, there are places where religious instruction that is purely denominational can be freely given, so that there is no need whatever of introducing it into our public schools. The family and the Sunday school are the appropriate places for such instruction; and there let each denomination train its own children in its own peculiar way, with none to molest or to find fault. It is their right, it is their duty.

“As to the objection, that the use of the Bible in schools makes it too common, and subjects it to contempt, as well might it be objected that the sun becomes contemptible because he shines every day and illumines the beggar’s hovel as well as the bishop’s palace. Where is the Bible most respected, in Scotland and New-England, or in Italy and Austria? The works of man, the robed monarch, may make themselves contemptible by being too often seen; but never the works of God. The children may,[147] and ought to be, taught to treat the book with all possible reverence, and to preserve it as nice and unsullied as the Catholic preserves his crucifix; and in this way, I am sure, on all the principles of human nature with which I am acquainted, that the Bible will be no more likely to suffer from the habit of daily familiarity than the crucifix.

“Let no one say that the religious instruction here proposed for schools is jejune and unprofitable. I do not so view the words of God. In any view, if the child faithfully commit to memory so much as the single Gospel of Matthew, or the first twenty-five Psalms, or the first ten chapters of Proverbs, or portions of the book of Genesis, those divine sentences will be in his mind forever after, ready to be called up to check him when any temptation assails his heart, to cheer him when any sorrow oppresses his soul, to be a lamp to his feet and a light to his path; to be in all respects of more real and permanent value to him than any creed, or catechism, or system of theology, or rules of ethics, of merely human origin, ever can be.

“Why should we prevent so great a good by claiming what we have no right to claim? Are we not willing to trust the Word of God to cut its own way? Or can we claim to be Christians at all, while we consent to have the Word of God and all Christian teaching banished from our institutions of public instruction? Let not infidel coldness, jesuitical intolerance, or sectarian jealousy, rob our schools of their greatest ornament and most precious treasure, the[148] Bible of our fathers. Let not denominational feeling so far prevail as to lead us to destroy the greatest good while attempting to secure the less, as has so often been done in the Christian world heretofore. We are willing to give up much for the sake of peace and united effort; but the Bible, the word of God, the palladium of our freedom, the foundation of all our most precious hopes, we never can, we never will give up. Let all who love the Bible unite to defend it, to hold on upon it forever.”


[1] The following is the mode of obtaining the facts stated above:

In the census, 550,000 is the number of those who have confessed their inability to read and write. That many have claimed to be able to read and write, who are not, is thus established. In Virginia, every man, on applying for marriage license, must sign his name or make his mark. An examination was made in ninety-three out of 123, the whole number of the county courts giving license, and one quarter, and in many cases one third, of the applicants could not write their names. Their wives could not be any better educated. This indicates that certainly as many as one quarter of the white adults in the state cannot sign their names. One quarter of 329,959, which is the adult population of Virginia, is 82,489. But the census, instead of that number, gives only 58,789 who cannot read and write, a difference of forty per cent. Take, then, the 550,000 who have confessed their ignorance, and add forty per cent. for inaccuracy, and the number is 770,000. To these, add the increase since the census was taken, and those also who, by neglect, have lost all ability to read and write, and one million is a very moderate calculation for adult ignorance in this nation. Of these, at least 175,000 are voters. General Harrison’s majority, in 1840, was 146,000, or 24,000 less than the number of voters who cannot read and write.—(See Mr. Mann’s 4th of July Oration.)

The census also records more children as attending school than is the truth. Thus, in Massachusetts, the state records, presented to the Legislature, are very accurate, and these make the number several thousands less than the census. In 1840, our population was fourteen millions. One fourth of these are between four and sixteen, making 3,645,388 of an age to go to school. But the census, although exaggerating the number, shows only 1,845,244 as attending schools. This, deducted from the number of those of age to go to school, leaves 1,800,144, or nearly one half, who do not attend school. To these, add the increase since the census, and more than half the children of this nation are without schools!

The census also shows 4750 in penitentiaries, and their average time of confinement is four years. An equal number were in jails for crime, and their average time of imprisonment is six months. Supposing them to live, on an average, eight years after their release, and we have 85,500 criminals as voters.

In 1836, Mr. Van Buren’s majority was 25,000. Thus it is shown, that the majority which elects our President is far outnumbered by the criminals who are allowed to vote.

[2] See note A.

[3] See note B, p. 153.

[4] See Note B.


The writer, in the preceding part, has presented a mode of religious training adapted to schools composed of children whose parents are of different sects.

There is one modification of this mode, which the writer wishes to present to that class of parents who not only believe in the Supreme Divinity of Jesus Christ, but are in a habit of addressing their worship to Him distinctively; believing that this is the way in which we have access to God the Father, who is worshipped as dwelling in Jesus Christ. Such suppose that the Bible sanctions alike the mode of addressing Jesus Christ distinctively, and also the Father distinctively, and that we can pray in either mode with acceptance.

It is believed that parents who hold this view[149] will find great aid in the religious training of their children by adopting this method.

In commencing instructions from the Bible, let the first lesson consist of such texts as the following:

“Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.”

“And his name is called the Word of God.”

“All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that is made.”

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”

“By Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him, and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. Every house is builded by some man, but He that built all things is God.”

Having thus fixed in the child’s mind that the Creator of the world is Jesus Christ, and that the terms Jesus Christ, God, Jehovah, and the Lord, are different names for the same person, then let all the Bible history in the Old Testament be read with the understanding that the being spoken of through the whole of it is Jesus Christ. If any one has doubts on this point, let him read President Edwards’s work on the History of Redemption, and let him also collate all the passages in which God appeared to the ancient patriarchs and prophets, and it will be clear that there was a Jehovah who sent, and a Jehovah[150] who was the messenger, and that this last was Jesus Christ, and the one who always appeared to the patriarchs.

The advantage of this mode of commencing religious instructions is, that it presents to the mind of a child a Being who can be clearly conceived of, and a character which is drawn out in all those tender and endearing exhibitions that a child can understand and appreciate. It thus is rendered easy for parents to obey the words of the Saviour, who, when his mistaken disciples would have driven them afar off, said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.”

If a child is taught, from the first, to pray to Jesus Christ, all that perplexity, doubt, and difficulty which many feel in regard to Jesus Christ and the place he is to hold in their devotions will be escaped. Then, if they feel any doubts as to whether they understand correctly about the Father, and whether they are required to worship him distinctively, these doubts will easily be removed by these words of Christ.

“He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father. I am in the Father, and the Father in me. The Father dwelleth in me. Believe me, I am in the Father, and the Father in me. And whatsoever ye ask in my name, that will I do; that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye ask anything in my name, I will do it.”

The writer has seen a family of four children, the[151] youngest four and the eldest not nine, where the mother, who pursued this course, remarked that these children seemed to be aided in overcoming faults, and strengthened in doing right, by love to the Saviour, just as true Christians are; and that if they continued their present habits of feeling and conduct, she should not know where to date the time when they became pious.

There is also a mode of practical teaching in regard to right and wrong, sin and holiness, which tends much to aid a child’s right apprehension of truth.

Let the child be taught that Jesus Christ created all his creatures for the purpose of making them good and happy; that it is not possible for any one to be perfectly good and happy, unless he has such a character as Jesus Christ, and that the nearer we come to possessing such a character, the better and happier we are. Then set forth the character and example of Christ, as a perfectly benevolent and self-denying being, living not to gratify himself, but to do good to others. Show the child that he has not such a character, that he is living to please himself, and not to do good, and that this is selfishness and sin. Set before him the misery to which selfishness leads, and the consequences of it, both here and hereafter.

Teach the child that the great business of life, to us all, is, by the aid of God’s Spirit, to change our characters, in order to become like Christ; that it is a difficult work, and one that we can never accomplish without this aid from God.

Show him that all the commands of Christ are[152] designed to keep us from doing what will injure ourselves or injure others, and that these rules are so many and so strict, that no one ever will, in this life, perfectly obey them all.

Teach him that the true children of Jesus Christ are those who love him, and who earnestly are striving to obey all his commands.

Set before the child the command of Christ, “Deny thyself daily, and take up thy cross and follow me,” and then teach and encourage him every day to practise some self-denial in doing good.

Teach him that the more he practises this self-denial for the good of others, the more he becomes like Jesus Christ, and that the duty will become easier and pleasanter, the more he practises it.

Inquire daily, especially at the close of the day, whether the child has practised any self-denial in doing good during the day, and express satisfaction at any success.

Teach the child to pray for help to overcome selfishness, and to give thanks for Divine aid when he has performed any act of benevolent self-denial.

If any tendency to self-righteousness and self-complacency is discovered, point out his various deficiencies, or overt sins, and teach him daily to observe and confess to God his faults.

Teach him that heaven is a world where all are perfectly free from selfishness, and that those, who are selfish, could not be happy there, and will never find admittance until they become like Jesus Christ. Teach him that this life is designed as a world of[153] trial and discipline, to free us from selfishness, and thus prepare us for heaven.

This mode, in connexion with others suggested in the previous part, if faithfully pursued, would produce results such as seldom have been seen.

These views are presented, not to oppose the views and opinions of others, but simply to induce those who hold them to act consistently with their belief.


Of the two books referred to, the first is A Treatise on Domestic Economy, by Miss Catharine E. Beecher, which has been examined by a committee of the Massachusetts Board of Education, and deemed worthy of admission as a part of the Massachusetts School Library. The following are the titles of the chapters:

1. The Peculiar Responsibilities of American Women. 2. The Difficulties peculiar to American Women. 3. The Remedies for the preceding Difficulties. 4. On the Study of Domestic Economy in Female Schools. 5. On the Care of Health. 6. On Healthful Food. 7. On Healthful Drinks. 8. On Clothing. 9. On Cleanliness. 10. On Early Rising. 11. On Domestic Exercise. 12. On Domestic Manners. 13. On the Preservation of a Good Temper in a Housekeeper. 14. On Habits of System and Order. 15. On giving in Charity. 16. On Economy of Time and Expense. 17. On Health of Mind. 18. On the Care of Domestics. 19. On the[154] Care of Infants. 20. On the Management of Young Children. 21. On the Care of the Sick. 22. On Accidents and Antidotes. 23. On Domestic Amusements and Social Duties. 24. On the Economical and Healthful Construction of Houses. 25. On Fires and Lights. 26. On Washing. 27. On Starching, Ironing, and Cleansing. 28. On Whitening, Cleansing, and Dyeing. 29. On the Care of Parlours. 30. On the Care of Breakfast and Dining Rooms. 31. On the Care of Chambers. 32. On the Care of the Kitchen, Cellar, and Store-room. 33. On Sewing, Cutting, and Mending. 34. On the Care of Yards and Gardens. 35. On the Propagation of Plants. 36. On the Cultivation of Fruit. 37. Miscellaneous Directions.

The other work is called the American Housekeeper’s Receipt Book, and the following is the Preface and Analysis of the Work.

Preface (for the American Housekeeper’s Receipt Book.)

The following objects are aimed at in this work:

First, to furnish an original collection of receipts, which shall embrace a great variety of simple and well-cooked dishes, designed for every-day comfort and enjoyment.

Second, to include in the collection only such receipts as have been tested by superior housekeepers, and warranted to be the best. It is not a book made up in any department by copying from other books, but entirely from the experience of the best practical housekeepers.

Third, to express every receipt in language which[155] is short, simple, and perspicuous, and yet to give all directions so minutely as that the book can be kept in the kitchen, and be used by any domestic who can read, as a guide in every one of her employments in the kitchen.

Fourth, to furnish such directions in regard to small dinner-parties and evening company as will enable any young housekeeper to perform her part, on such occasions, with ease, comfort, and success.

Fifth, to present a good supply of the rich and elegant dishes demanded at such entertainments, and yet to set forth so large and tempting a variety of what is safe, healthful, and good, in connexion with such warnings and suggestions as it is hoped may avail to promote a more healthful fashion in regard both to entertainments and to daily table supplies. No book of this kind will sell without an adequate supply of the rich articles which custom requires, and in furnishing them, the writer has aimed to follow the example of Providence, which scatters profusely both good and ill, and combines therewith the caution alike of experience, revelation, and conscience, “choose ye that which is good, that ye and your seed may live.”

Sixth, in the work on Domestic Economy, together with this, to which it is a Supplement, the writer has attempted to secure, in a cheap and popular form, for American housekeepers, a work similar to an English work which she has examined, entitled the Encyclopædia of Domestic Economy, by Thomas Webster and Mrs. Parkes, containing over twelve hundred[156] octavo pages of closely-printed matter, treating on every department of Domestic Economy; a work which will be found much more useful to English women, who have a plenty of money and well-trained servants, than to American housekeepers. It is believed that most in that work which would be of any practical use to American housekeepers, will be found in this work and the Domestic Economy.

Lastly, the writer has aimed to avoid the defects complained of by most housekeepers in regard to works of this description issued in this country, or sent from England, such as that, in some cases, the receipts are so rich as to be both expensive and unhealthful; in others, that they are so vaguely expressed as to be very imperfect guides; in others, that the processes are so elaborate and fussing as to make double the work that is needful; and in others, that the topics are so limited that some departments are entirely omitted, and all are incomplete.

In accomplishing these objects, the writer has received contributions of the pen, and verbal communications, from some of the most judicious and practical housekeepers, in almost every section of this country, so that the work is fairly entitled to the name it bears of the American Housekeeper’s Receipt Book.

The following embraces most of the topics contained in this work.


Suggestions to young housekeepers in regard to style, furniture, and domestic arrangements.

Suggestions in regard to different modes to be pursued both with foreign and American domestics.

On providing a proper supply of family stores, on the economical care and use of them, and on the furniture and arrangement of a store-closet.

On providing a proper supply of utensils to be used in cooking, with drawings to illustrate.

On the proper construction of ovens, and directions for heating and managing them.

Directions for securing good yeast and good bread.

Advice in regard to marketing, the purchase of wood, &c.

Receipts for breakfast dishes, biscuits, warm cakes, tea cakes, &c.

Receipts for puddings, cakes, pies, preserves, pickles, sauces, catsups, and also for cooking all the various kinds of meats, soups, and vegetables.

The above receipts are arranged so that the more healthful and simple ones are put in one portion, and the richer ones in another.

Healthful and favourite articles of food for young children.

Receipts for a variety of temperance drinks.

Directions for making tea, coffee, chocolate, and other warm drinks.

Directions for cutting up meats, and for salting down, corning, curing, and smoking.

Directions for making butter and cheese, as furnished by a practical and scientific manufacturer of the same, of Goshen, Conn., that land of rich butter and cheese.


A guide to a selection of a regular course of family dishes, which will embrace a successive variety, and unite convenience with good taste and comfortable living.

Receipts for articles for the sick, and drawings of conveniences for their comfort and relief.

Receipts for articles for evening parties and dinner parties, with drawings to show the proper manner of setting tables, and of supplying and arranging dishes, both on these and on ordinary occasions.

An outline of arrangements for a family in moderate circumstances, embracing the systematic details of work for each domestic, and the proper mode of doing it, as furnished by an accomplished housekeeper.

Remarks on the different nature of food and drinks, and their relation to the laws of health.

Suggestions to the domestics of a family, designed to promote a proper appreciation of the dignity and importance of their station, and a cheerful and faithful performance of their duties.

Miscellaneous suggestions and receipts.

The following extract from the Preface to the Domestic Economy will exhibit the origin of these two works, and some of the objects aimed at by the writer:

“The author of this work was led to attempt it, by discovering, in her extensive travels, the deplorable sufferings of multitudes of young wives and mothers, from the combined influence of poor health,[159] poor domestics, and a defective domestic education. The number of young women whose health is crushed, ere the first few years of married life are past, would seem incredible to one who has not investigated this subject, and it would be vain to attempt to depict the sorrow, discouragement, and distress experienced in most families where the wife and mother is a perpetual invalid.

“The writer became early convinced that this evil results mainly from the fact, that young girls, especially in the more wealthy classes, are not trained for their profession. In early life, they go through a course of school training which results in great debility of constitution, while, at the same time, their physical and domestic education is almost wholly neglected. Thus they enter on their most arduous and sacred duties so inexperienced and uninformed, and with so little muscular and nervous strength, that probably there is not one chance in ten, that young women of the present day, will pass through the first years of married life without such prostration of health and spirits as makes life a burden to themselves, and, it is to be feared, such as seriously interrupts the confidence and happiness of married life.

“The measure which, more than any other, would tend to remedy this evil, would be to place domestic economy on an equality with the other sciences in female schools. This should be done because it can be properly and systematically taught (not practically, but as a science), as much so as political economy[160] or moral science, or any other branch of study; because it embraces knowledge, which will be needed, by young women at all times and in all places; because this science can never be properly taught until it is made a branch of study; and because this method will secure a dignity and importance in the estimation of young girls, which can never be accorded while they perceive their teachers and parents practically attaching more value to every other department of science than this. When young ladies are taught the construction of their own bodies, and all the causes in domestic life which tend to weaken the constitution; when they are taught rightly to appreciate and learn the most convenient and economical modes of performing all family duties, and of employing time and money; and when they perceive the true estimate accorded to these things by teachers and friends, the grand cause of this evil will be removed. Women will be trained to secure, as of first importance, a strong and healthy constitution, and all those rules of thrift and economy that will make domestic duty easy and pleasant.

“To promote this object, the writer prepared this volume as a text-book for female schools. It has been examined by the Massachusetts Board of Education, and been deemed worthy by them to be admitted as a part of the Massachusetts School Library.

“It has also been adopted as a text-book in some of our largest and most popular female schools, both at the East and West.


“The following, from the pen of Mr. George B. Emmerson, one of the most popular and successful teachers in our country, who has introduced this work as a text-book in his own school, will exhibit the opinion of one who has formed his judgment from experience in the use of the work:

“‘It may be objected that such things cannot be taught by books. Why not? Why may not the structure of the human body, and the laws of health deduced therefrom, be as well taught as the laws of natural philosophy? Why are not the application of these laws to the management of infants and young children as important to a woman as the application of the rules of arithmetic to the extraction of the cube root? Why may not the properties of the atmosphere be explained, in reference to the proper ventilation of rooms, or exercise in the open air, as properly as to the burning of steel or sodium? Why is not the human skeleton as curious and interesting as the air-pump; and the action of the brain, as the action of a steam-engine? Why may not the healthiness of different kinds of food and drink, the proper modes of cooking, and the rules in reference to the modes and times of taking them, be discussed as properly as rules of grammar, or facts in history? Are not the principles that should regulate clothing, the rules of cleanliness, the advantages of early rising and domestic exercise, as readily communicated as the principles of mineralogy, or rules of syntax? Are not the rules of Jesus Christ, applied to refine domestic manners and[162] preserve a good temper, as important as the abstract principles of ethics, as taught by Paley, Wayland, or Jouffroy? May not the advantages of neatness, system, and order, be as well illustrated in showing how they contribute to the happiness of a family, as by showing how they add beauty to a copy-book, or a portfolio of drawings? Would not a teacher be as well employed in teaching the rules of economy, in regard to time and expenses, or in regard to dispensing charity, as in teaching double, or single entry in book-keeping? Are not the principles that should guide in constructing a house, and in warming or ventilating it properly, as important to young girls as the principles of the Athenian Commonwealth, or the rules of Roman tactics? Is it not as important that children should be taught the dangers to the mental faculties, when over-excited on the one hand, or left unoccupied on the other, as to teach them the conflicting theories of political economy, or the speculations of metaphysicians? For ourselves, we have always found children, especially girls, peculiarly ready to listen to what they saw would prepare them for future duties. The truth, that education should be a preparation for actual, real life, has the greatest force with children. The constantly-recurring inquiry, “What will be the use of this study?” is always satisfied by showing, that it will prepare for any duty, relation, or office which, in the natural course of things, will be likely to come.

“‘We think this book extremely well suited to be[163] used as a text-book in schools for young ladies, and many chapters are well adapted for a reading book for children of both sexes.’”

To this the writer would add the testimony of a lady who has used this work with several classes of young girls and young ladies. She remarked that she had never known a school-book that awakened more interest, and that some young girls would learn a lesson in this when they would study nothing else. She remarked, also, that when reciting the chapter on the construction of houses, they became greatly interested in inventing plans of their own, which gave an opportunity to the teacher to point out difficulties and defects. Had this part of domestic economy been taught in schools, our land would not be so defaced with awkward, misshapen, inconvenient, and, at the same time, needlessly expensive houses, as it now is.

The copyright interest in these two works is held by a board of gentlemen appointed for the purpose, who, after paying a moderate compensation to the author for the time and labour spent in preparing these works, will employ all the remainder paid over by the publishers, to aid in educating and locating such female teachers as wish to be employed in those portions of our country, which are most destitute of schools.

The contract with the publisher provides that the publisher shall guaranty the sales, and thus secure against losses from bad debts, for which he shall receive[164] five per cent. He also shall charge twenty per cent. for commissions paid to retailers, and also the expenses for printing, paper, and binding, and make no other charges. The net profits thus determined shall be divided equally, the publisher taking one half, and paying the other half to the Board above mentioned.




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The Letters of the British Spy. By William Wirt, Esq. To which is prefixed, a Biographical Sketch of the Author. 12mo. With a Portrait.

Directions for Invigorating and Prolonging Life, or, the Invalid’s Oracle. By William Kitchiner, M.D. Improved by T. S. Barrett, M.D. 12mo.

The Cook’s Oracle and Housekeeper’s Manual. Containing Receipts for Cookery, and Directions for Carving. With a Complete System of Cookery for Catholic Families. By William Kitchiner, M.D. 12mo.

The Plays of Philip Massinger. In 3 vols. 18mo. With a Portrait.

The Dramatic Works of John Ford. With Notes Critical and Explanatory. In 2 vols. 18mo.

Wonderful Characters; Comprising Memoirs and Anecdotes of the most Remarkable Persons of every Age and Nation. By Henry Wilson. 8vo. With Engravings.


Paris and the Parisians in 1835. By Frances Trollope. 8vo. With Engravings.

A Narrative of Four Voyages to the South Sea, North and South Pacific Ocean, Chinese Sea, Ethiopic and Southern Atlantic Ocean, and Antarctic Ocean. From the year 1822 to 1831. Comprising an Account of some valuable Discoveries, including the Massacre Islands, where thirteen of the Author’s Crew were massacred and eaten by Cannibals. By Captain Benjamin Morrell, Jun. In one volume. 8vo.

Narrative of a Voyage to the South Seas, in 1829-1831. By Abby Jane Morrell, who accompanied her husband, Captain Benjamin Morrell, Jun., of the Schooner Antarctic. 12mo.

Traits of the Tea-Party; being a Memoir of George R. T. Hewes, one of the Last of its Survivers. With a History of that Transaction; Reminiscences of the Massacre, and the Siege, and other Stories of old Times. By a Bostonian. 18mo. With a Portrait.

An Elementary Treatise on Mechanics. Translated from the French of M. Boucharlat. With Additions and emendations, designed to adapt it to the use of the Cadets of the U. S. Military Academy. By Edward H. Courtenay. 8vo.

The Life of John Jay: with Selections from his Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers. By his Son, William Jay. In 2 vols. 8vo. With a Portrait.

Annals of Tryon County; or, the Border Warfare of New-York, during the Revolution. By W. W. Campbell. 8vo.

A Narrative of Events connected with the Rise and Progress of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia. To which is added an Appendix, containing the Journals of the Conventions in Virginia from the Commencement to the present Time. By Francis L. Hawkes. 8vo.

A Memoir of the Life of William Livingston, Member of Congress in 1774, 1775, and 1776; Delegate to the Federal Convention in 1787, and Governor of the State of New-Jersey from 1776 to 1790. With Extracts from his Correspondence, and Notices of various Members of his Family. By Theodore Sedgwick, Jun. 8vo. With a Portrait.


The Writings of Robert C. Sands, in Prose and Verse. With a Memoir of the Author. In 2 vols. 8vo. With a Portrait.

Narrative of an Expedition through the Upper Mississippi to Itasca Lake, the actual Source of this River; embracing an Exploratory Trip through the St. Croix and Burntwood (or Brulé) Rivers. By Henry Schoolcraft. 8vo. With Maps.

England and America. A Comparison of the Social and Political State of both Nations. 8vo.

Sketches of Turkey in 1831 and 1832. By an American. 8vo. With Engravings.

Letters from the Ægean. By James Emerson, Esq. 8vo.

Records of my Life. By John Taylor, Author of “Monsieur Tonson.” 8vo.

The History of the American Theatre. By William Dunlap. 8vo.

Memoirs of the Duchess d’Abrantes, (Madame Junot.) 8vo. With a Portrait.

Memoirs of Lucien Bonaparte, (Prince of Canino.) 12mo.

The Life and Remains of Edward Daniel Clarke. By the Rev. William Otter, A.M., F.L.S. 8vo.

Visits and Sketches at Home and Abroad With Tales and Miscellanies now first collected, and a new Edition of the “Diary of an Ennuyée.” By Mrs. Jameson. In 2 vols. 12mo.

Public and Private Economy. By Theodore Sedgwick. Part First. 12mo.

The History of Virgil A. Stewart, and his Adventures in Capturing and Exposing the Great “Western Land Pirate” and his Gang, in Connexion with the Evidence, also of the Trials, Confessions, and Execution of a number of Murrell’s Associates in the State of Mississippi during the Summer of 1835, and the Execution of five Professional Gamblers by the Citizens of Vicksburgh, on the 6th July 1835. Compiled by H. R. Howard. In one volume, 12mo.