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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 1206   View pdf image (33K)
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duty, I have known many, and I could not
to-day say I know of one man who is fit for
the office. If any one of these men who
would take this as a God-send had the intel-
lect we require, he would certainly have
brought more in the market than the salary
The gentleman from Anne Arundel (Mr.
Miller) has, I think, stated fairly and impar-
tially what in his own mind is the actual
comparison between the Northern States and
ours. It is notorious as a matter of fact that
all salaries are lower there than here. It is
also a fact that the position of president or
of professor in one of these large colleges
gives a man a social position in that com-
munity that compensates for a deficiency of
pay; that that position puts the man at the
head of the social ladder; that there is no
honor more to be coveted by a literary man
and a scholar, than to be put into one of those
exalted literary positions. That is not the
case here. Your State superintendent is not
to be at the bead of the social ladder in this
State; nor will he be until you have educa-
cated our people to a much higher apprecia-
tion of the advantages of education than
they now entertain. Your presidents of col-
leges, and your professors in England are
lifelong. Their salary is but an infinitessimal
part of their endowments. The position in
the community given to one of these men, if
be is a man of talent, will enable him in the
community in which he lives, by lecturing
alone, to quintuple the salary he gets from
his office. He may get $2,500 for his office,
and $7,000 to $10,000 from his lecturing.
The duties of this superintendent will not
be light after he has gotten this system into
operation. In the first place, he will not get
the system into harmonious action in one
year, or in two years, or possibly in the four
years of his term. He is to fight men at
every turn. He is to be a man who will
throw the whole force of his nature into the
work he has to do. He is to be a man who
will task every energy, however great. He is
to have the constant supervision of every de-
partment, and of the economy and prudence
with which the whole thing is to be con-
ducted. He is to control a great interest, a
great corporation so to 'speak, with an in-
finitely greater number of threads to be con-
trolled by one master hand, than in employ-
ments for which you pay other men the high-
est possible salary.
I object to leaving it to the legislature; but
whoever may be appointed, I want the per-
son so appointed to know at the outset,
whether the salary will be such as to justify
him in taking the post. The legislature of
Maryland has never hitherto been particularly
favorable to' common school education. It
has consistently and uniformly thrown its
decisions against free education in Maryland.
I object to putting this into the constitution
to render the system of education in Mary-
land dependent upon the legislature.
It was for this reason that the committee
in another part of their report, not only in
the 1st section of this article, made it the
duty of the superintendent to report a system
to the legislature, but provided in the 5th
section, that if the legislature should fail to
act upon that report, it should become a
I do not think that this salary is any too
high; nor do I think it is wise to leave it to
the discretion of the legislature. I have
heard no reason assigned which has struck
me as in the slightest degree, proving that
the salary as at present fixed, is too large.
On the contrary, some other officers, who
will not have a tithe of the labor to perform,
will receive a salary of $2,000 or $2,500.
Mr. SANDS. I should not have arisen a
second time, had I not deemed it necessary to
reply to one or two remarks that fell from
the gentleman who succeeded me. I want to
talk to the common sense of gentlemen here;
and not to go off to Henry Ward Beecher,
with a salary of $10,000, while some little
country curate, who is as good a man, and
perhaps as good a preacher, gets $300; be-
cause if there ever was false logic in the
world, that logic was false. Do you want to
give a man $3,000, because he is worth that
in the market somewhere, perhaps as a ship-
builder, an engine builder, a merchant, a
lawyer, or something else? Henry Ward
Beecher, as a preacher, is worth $10,000, and
therefore he gets $10,000. Because God
stamped a man all over with genius, yon
make him a nabob. There is no logic in
that, no sense, no common sense.
What sort of a man do we want? I can-
not agree with my friend from Baltimore
county, that we do not want a learned man.
I say we do. Would you make a judge of a
man unlearned in the law? Would you trust
a physician unlearned in physic? Would
you put a man at the head of a manufactory,
unskilled in the peculiar duties of that posi-
tion? It is perfectly absurd. Yon do want
a man learned in every branch of learning
taught in your schools, or he has got no
business there. If he does not understand
exactly what is to be done there, and all that
is to be done there, from the bottom to the
top, from the lowest branch to the highest,
from A B C to the classics, what business
has be there? If he is unlearned in these
things, he ought not to teach others, or
superintend other teachers, himself being
ignorant. It is folly. He must be a learned
man, and learned in the trade of teaching.
Every one knows the practical operation of
this business, how our popular schools are
managed all over the State. Some one has
capital to begin with. He sets up a young
ladies' boarding school or an academy, over
which he presides as principal, merely because

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 1206   View pdf image (33K)
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