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the same sources. We say this, not out of disrespect to the English. The causes of an indisputable fact are to be found in the different situation of England and the German sovereignties. Had Heyne been an Englishman, he would have been a practical statesman; and many of his countrymen, who are now indefatigable students, had they been natives of the British islands, would have found other employment in India or the colonies.
But apart from this discussion, it is certain, that, since we must have elementary works, he, who enlarges the number of useful and good ones, has a claim to public gratitude, as having increased the number from which a choice may be made. Let us take the most excellent, wherever we may find them. Whether we speak of books for youth or for men, let us remember, there is but one republic of letters, and that republic should pursue but one policy, the advancement of truth and science, of free and familiar intellectual intercourse of all parts of the world with each other, a commerce of minds, limited by no restricting prejudices, and checked by no unworthy jealousies or partialities.
ART. XVI.-Third Annual Report of the Superintendent of
Common Schools in the State of New York. Submitted to the Assembly at Albany, Jan. 8, 1824. On a former occasion the attention of our readers was called to a statement of the School Funds in New York, and the liberal donations of that state for the purposes of education and literature. * We have now before us a very interesting document, which was presented to the Assembly during its session the present year. This document consists of sixty eight folio printed pages, containing the Report of the Superintendent of Schools, an abstract of the returns of the several towns in the state for 1823, and other papers relating to the subject. The nature and value of these returns may be understood, when it is known that they contain the number of school districts in each town; the average number of months a school has been kept during the year, the amount of public money received; the number of children taught; and the number of children residing in each town between the ages of 5 and 15 years.
* No. XXIX, for October, 1820.
This minuteness in the returns necessarily makes them voluminous, but at the same time it affords the only accurate means of knowing the wants of the people, and effecting a judicious distribution of the funds. The following summary is found in the superintendent's Report, and informs us,
1. That all the counties, fifty four in number, and all the towns, being six hundred and eighty four in number, including wards in cities, have, with the exception of ten old, and seventeen new towns, presented their reports for the preceding year.
62. That there are in this state 7382 school districts, and consequently, as many common schools. That from 6705 of those districts, returns have been received at this department.
63. That within the last year, 331 new school districts were formed and organized.
64. That 377,034 children were instructed in the districts stated in the abstract for the space of eight months, during the preceding year; and 23,500 more, are estimated to have been instructed for the like time, in the non reporting districts not stated in the abstract, making a grand total of 400,534.
65. That 25,861 more children were educated in our common schools, during the year 1823, than during the year 1822.
66. That the number of children reported to be between the ages of 5 and 15 years, is 373,008, and exceeds the number reported the year before, by 15,979.
•7. That in 29 counties, more children were educated the year 1823, than the number reported to reside therein between the ages before mentioned ; and that 4026 more children, throughout the state, were educated in 1823, than are reported to reside therein, between the ages above mentioned.
68. That in 45 counties, a greater number of children were instructed in common schools, in the year 1823, than in the preceding year.
9. That 182,802 dollars, 25 cents, of public monies, (being the whole amount drawn last year from the treasury, raised by tax, and received from the local school fund,) were expended for the support of common schools during that year, and it is estimated that, in addition to this amount, more than 850,000 dollars from the private funds of individuals were appropriated, in like manner,
New Series, No. 18. 37
during the same period, (exclusive of public and private appropriations and benefactions for the support of colleges and academies,) making a grand total of more than a million of dollars. p. 2.
The above statements refer exclusively to common schools, in addition to which there are in the state of New York 36 incorporated academies, containing 2683 students. At the three colleges, Columbia, Hamilton, and Union, are 464 students; and at the two Medical Colleges 291. In three counties the average expense of educating each scholar, taught in the common schools during the year 1823, was more than one dollar ; in 16 counties it was less than a dollar and more than fifty cents; in 34 counties it was between fifty and twenty five cents; and in one county it was under twenty five cents. This difference arises chiefly, we suppose, from the circumstance of there being a school for a less number of months in some counties than others; and also in some degree from the difference in the expense of teaching.
It is asserted in the Report, that in no state in the Union are the advantages of a common school education enjoyed by so large a proportion of the population as in New York; and that even the most enlightened part of the old world cannot produce a parallel.' As a proof of these facts it is said, that
England, three years ago, had only 18,449 endowed and unendowed schools, in which were instructed 644,282 children; and in Scotland the whole number of schools was at the same time only 3556, containing 176,303 pupils,—and while in Connecticut not more than one sixth, in England one fifteenth, and in Scotland one tenth of their respective populations every year attend their schools, it will be found that in this state more than one fourth part of their entire population is receiving instruction annually in common schools alone.' These statements are novel and curious; they are perhaps correct, although in regard to Connecticut and Scotland we have slight misgivings. In Massachusetts, too, we are prepared to believe, that if the same accurate returns were made as in New York, the proportion of children attending common schools would be found quite as large. We say this, however, only in reference to the facts of the case, without the least disposition to detract from the meritorious exertions of New York in promoting an object the most important, which can engage the attention of a liberal and enlightened legisla
ture, especially in a country whose happy lot it is to have a government, which depends for its strength and prosperity on the intelligence of the people. It is not in the way of comparison that we desire to speak. Such a parallel would be invidious, when so many of the states have made, and are still making generous provisions for the advancement of education. The enlarged plans and munificent appropriations of Virginia are well known; and the recent vote of that state, in favor of its new university, is an additional evidence of the earnestness and magnanimity with which the original designs are carried into execution.
The school funds of the state of New York are derived from such sources, as to ensure them a gradual increase for many years. There are two separate and permanent funds set apart by the legislature, which already amount to million and a quarter of dollars. The whole amount of the general and local school fund is given in the Report at $1,637,003. Two lots of six hundred and forty acres each are also reserved, in all the military bounty lands, for the support of the gospel and of schools. In several townships some of these lands have become productive, and the money arising from their sales or lease is called the local school fund, by reason of its being appropriated for the benefit of the towns in which the lands are situated. The proceeds of all the military lands, which shall not be taken up, are to be added to the common school fund. The lands still unsold, which are reserved for the purposes of education, amount to nearly a million of acres. When we consider the rapidity with which the new parts of this state are becoming settled, and the consequent increasing value of the lands, and when we take into view the generous spirit, which bas prompted so noble a scheme for the benefit of schools, and the thorough and admirable plan which has been adopted for carrying it into effect, we have a right to look for results, which have not been surpassed, and probably not equalled, in any state or community. We are presented with an example not more honorable to the feelings, and creditable to the wisdom of the people of New York, than deserving the imitation of our legislatures in other parts of the union.
ART. XVII.--Journal of a Residence in Chili. By A YOUNG
AMERICAN, detained in that Country, during the Revolutionary Scenes of 1817, 1818, 1819. Boston, 1823. Of the kingdom of Chili, a country not much less extensive than the Atlantic States of North America, less, we believe, has been written, than on the single subject of the butterflies of Europe. Of few regions of the earth, not directly included in the limits of terra incognita, is less known. This has not been for want of good claims upon the attention of men. Its natural qualities of climate and soil, its mineral wealth, its adaptation for a rich commerce, the history of its aboriginal inhabitants and of its colonization by the Spaniards, unite to place it among the countries, which deserve to be known. That, notwithstanding these claims to notice, so liule attention has been paid to it, is one among the thousand proofs, that every gift of nature and providence may be overbalanced by vicious political institutions. Not a single printing press could be found in the thirteen hundred miles of the extent of Chili, before the year 1810; and nothing is more certain, than that all accurate information of a people must come from out of themselves. A man has but to read the most intelligent and impartial traveller in his own country, to be satisfied that, at least as far as manners, character, and the genius of institutions go, no foreigner can do it justice.
It would be well for the Chilians, however, if this were the great difficulty with respect to them. Countries so little advanced, as not to contain a printing press, can offer but little, morally or politically, which is important to be known. On no part of the earth is there a contrast more glaring, at least, in no part is there one that strikes us more painfully, than that of the natural advantages, and the political and social condition of the Spanish colonies in America. It is not perhaps to be wondered at, that, with a natural unwillingness to have the secrets of their maladministration exposed, the Spanish government should have thrown such obstacles in the way of those, who wished to explore its American possessions.