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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 1209   View pdf image (33K)
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1209
And I think you would get as many men at
$2,000 and expenses, as at any other salary.
Mr. PUGH. I do not know but what the
suggestion of the gentleman from Baltimore
city (Mr. Daniel,) to fix the salary at $2,500,
and office and travelling expenses paid, would
cover the case. I am only raising file general
principle that it is notorious to all who have
studied this subject, that wherever education
has been considered valuable, there it has
been thought important to paly those who had
that business in charge. And 'in those lo-
calities where people halve considered educa-
tion a matter of high importance, and have
created offices in reference to it, they have to
the extent of the importance they attached to
it, increased the salaries of the school officers.
How was it. in the State of Pennsylvania?
1 remember well, as a boy, when the system
of education was inaugurated in that State.
And simply by looking at the election re-
turns upon this question only, you could,
on the one hand, pick out every county
throughout the length and breadth of the
State where ignorance prevailed, and on the
other band, every county where intelligence
prevailed. And if there is any gentleman
here who remembers that time he will bear
me out in that statement.
Mr. SANDS. I would like to ask the gen-
tleman a question for information. Will he
tell me what is the salary of the superinten-
dent of public schools in the State of Penn-
sylvania ?
Mr, PUGH, I do not know.
Mr. SANDS. Or in any other State?
Mr. PUGH. I do not know. I am not tho-
roughly posted upon this question. I only
know the general principle and its applica-
tion. And I do know the application of this
very principle in the State of Pennsylvania.
At the introduction of the system there,
the law required that each county should
elect its own superintendent, and fix the sal-
ary of that superintendent. And there arose
in the State of Pennsylvania the very ques-
tion that is raised here. That is to say, if
we consider this office an office of great im-
portance, we will fix a salary commensurate
with our idea of its importance. If we con-
sider the office of but little importance, then we
will make the salary small. And it so resalted
in the State of Pennsylvania.. Chester county
voted for its superintendent one thousand
dollars, Lancaster county voted either twelve
or fifteen hundred dollars; I now forget which,
Berks county, a populous county, and larger
than either of the two I have named, voted
three hundred dollars as a sufficient compen-
sation to pay who was intrusted with the
education of the children of the county , out
of whom and from whom we must expect all
the greatness of the State and of the nation,
And in so far as we clog and interfere with
the development of the people, through the
channel of education in the county or in the
30
State, by just so much do we curtail and cut
off the development of every other develop-
ment which makes a nation or a State great.
I remember hearing my lather say that he
once travelled through the county of Berks
on horseback. He bad a map with him for
his guide, which he accidentally lost. When
he discovered his loss he went back to find it.
He came up to a crowd of men, who had
gathered around it, and were examining it
with amazement. And there was not a man
in that crowd who had ever seen a map be-
fore or knew what a map was. That was the
character of the people of Berks county. And
everybody knows that, compared with oth-
er counties in that State) or other counties
in other States in the Union, that county was
just as notorious for its ignorance as for its
unflinching, unswerving devotion to democ-
racy. And the people there vote for Jackson
to this day. That county of Berks thought
three hundred dollars sufficient to pay a
main to superintend the instruction of its
future men.
The PRESIDENT, There are individuals in
Accomac and Northampton counties of Vir-
ginia, who never saw a newspaper in their
lives.
Mr. PURNELL. Was this county of Berks,
the county that gave two thousand five hun-
dred votes the other day against allowing
soldiers in the field to vote?
Mr. PUGH. The very county. But I now
return to the point from which I started;
that in every community, or county, or State,
where the people regard this matter of public
education as one of great importance to that
community, county, or state, they announce
to the world their idea of its importance by
saying that they will pay well the man who
attends to it, I would like to refer the gen-
tleman from Howard (Mr. Sands) to an old
school book in which there is a dialogue
about the qualifications necessary for a school
master. One of the committee men states
this—your shoemaker must be a workman;
your bricklayer must be a workman; your
carpenter must be a workman, and they
should all be paid for their work; but the
teacher of your children must work cheap,
Now, if the people in this State are ready
now to take their position, and say what I
think they ought to say, that there is no office
in the gift of this people, no position that
can be occupied in this State of so great im-
portance as this office which we are now
about to create—if they are ready to take
that position, if they have arrived at that
point, all I ask of them is that they shall an-
nounce to the world that they think it an
ultimo of sufficient value to pay the man at
least three thousand dollars a year. If they
are not up to that point, then I am perfectly
satisfied with two thousand five hundred
dollars. But I do not remove myself one
jot from the position I took at the outset.


 
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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 1209   View pdf image (33K)
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