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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 36

Bearing of the Subject Upon the Education of the People

Bearing of the Subject Upon the Education of the People.

Some paper has sneeringly alluded to this proposed amendment as; a measure of temperance reform for posterity. Chiefly so it is; and! all the voices of humanity cry out for its adoption. All thinking men admit that the condition of posterity depends upon intelligence and virtue, and these are transmitted and developed by the educational institutions and processes of the country, of which by far the most important is the common school; and over that alone has the Government any control. Contrast for a moment the means of education in virtue and intelligence with those which exist for the promotion of vice and crime and misery in this country, and then let those sneer who will at a measure which aims to save posterity from the fate which, if there is no reform, will overtake us in national life, just as surely as the time finally comes when the individual inebriate, whether in the horrors of delirium or the stupidity of the consumed sot, drops into the tomb of despair.

The census of 1870 shows that there are in the United States 141,629 schools, with 221,042 teachers, and 7,209,938 pupils who attend in the aggregate—the average is less—costing $95.402,826, Of these, 125,059 are public schools, with 183,198 teachers, 6,228,060 pupils, costing $64,030,673 yearly.

There are 12,955,443 between the ages of five and eighteen years page 22 who should be at school, leaving 4,845,505 who do not attend at all About 740,000 of these are engaged in labor of some kind; but there must be more than 3,000,000 who do not go to school at all. Dr Hargreaves says that ninety-nine hundreths of them are children of the intemperate, and he makes the following tabular statement, showing the relative efficiency of the "two educational systems" as they are operated in Pennsylvania, whose condition is not discreditable in comparison with the country at large:
Education in Knowledge and Virtue.
Schools, colleges, etc., in Pennsylvania 16,090
Professors and teachers 18,783
Pupils and students, etc., in regular attendance 542,076
Cost for educational purposes in Pennsylvania $8,399,723
Education in Immorality and Vice.
Drinking-places in Pennsylvania 23,606
Persons employed in liquor shops 45,490
Tipplers and drunkards 802,604
Direct cost of liquors in Pennsylvania $80,000,000,000

More than nine times as much money spent to destroy as there is to save "posterity" by these two systems. And again he says:

Though within the last twenty years our teachers have increased from 25 to per cent, and pupils attending school more than 50 per cent., yet crime has increased more than 60 per cent.

Rather a hard look for "posterity;" and if there is no change, "posterity" better not be there.