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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 1245   View pdf image (33K)
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ing the good and doubling the account of
the silver.
Let the gentleman, if he desires to defeat
the thing, take the broad ground that educa-
tion is not desirable in the State of Mary-
land, Let him take the ground that if we
do inaugurate a system of education it is not
desirable to pay the instruments that are to
carry it out. Let him fight the question on
its own merits.
There is no question, but the bulk of the
counties and the bulk of the people of Hie
State of Maryland, represented upon this
floor, are earnestly agreed that their poor
shall be educated.—that the time shall cease
when one-fifth of the population of Mary-
land cannot read the laws that are made—
when one-fifth of the population of Maryland
is liable to be led away by the tongue of any
specious man who may choose to tell them
that such and such is law. It is time yon
were beginning to strike out of statistics
the fact that one-fifth of the people are in
the blackness of ignorance. But it strikes
me that statistics are ignored—that the his-
tory of the past is ignored, and the promise
of the future is made light of by gentlemen
here. They touch not the merits of the
question, but attempt to appeal to the old
idea that you are loading your people with
They have seen that from the portion of
the State which pays your taxes no such ap-
peal comes here—that from the portion of the
State where the bulk of the expense is to fall
no word of remonstrance has reached this
body. But the high honor is reserved to
Anne Arundel, through her representatives,
to tell the rest of the State of Maryland that
this is a grievous burden. I deny that the
proportion of taxes paid by that county is so
great as to give to her any controlling voice.
Certainly you would have expected the cry
of heavy taxation rather to be raised by the
portion of the State which pays half your
tax and will pay half of this. One would
certainly have expected it from some of the
large counties where the taxes are to be paid,
but the remonstrance has not so come. There
is nothing to spread the light of education
in this portion of the State that they are not
willing to pay a fair price for, to aid what
they believe to be vital to the interests of the
There are men enough in the State that
believe that upon the education of your peo-
ple you must depend for good laws, good
judges, and good legislators. There are, I
hope, enough people in the State who do not
hold that ignorance for the masses is the best
form of government—who do not believe
that yon progress to the highest develop-
ment of human nature just in proportion as
yon keep in ignorance the mass of the peo-
ple of the State.
I did suppose if the gentleman ranted to
go into the question of taxes again this morn-
ing, he would have brought up some new
light; that he would have brought up some
clear, new statement; that he would at
least have added something which would have
commended it to all reasonable man to sus-
tain the proposition he would have advanced.
The gentleman has stated upon this floor time
and again, that he was opposed to the policy
of loading your constitution with legislative
enactments; yet he here desires and pro-
poses to force the legislature to do a thing the
legislature has always had the power to do ;
and against the willingness of the legislature
to do which I have heard no intimation from
any gentleman except the gentleman from
Anne Arundel (Mr. Miller.) I have beard
him argue that you must leave out proposi-
tions that are for the interest of the people,
because you are loading the constitution but
now he proposes to put in a thing which he
hopes will destroy the effect of a thing which
is for their interest, and for that be is willing
to encumber your constitution with any
amount of legislative enactment.
He burns with no steady light; but is
bright and dark by turns. When the same ar-
guments which he advances under one set of
circumstances, he repudiates to-day, it is but
fair to doubt whether his desire is to se-
cure to these people a good common school
education. I believe the gentleman said last
night that he should vote against the whole
constitution, notwithstanding the benefits it
might secure. Therefore I much question the
advisability of paying regard to the amend-
ments that come from men who do not hesi-
tate to declare their hostility to the whole
constitution that we have made and their in-
tention and endeavor to defeat it. I question
if suggestions made by those who are in favor
of it, and intend to do all they can to secure
its ratification by the people, are not entitled
to more weight, it is not human nature to
perfect a thing that we do not desire; and 1
give to the gentleman the credit to believe
that it would cause him more pain to vote
against and to endeavor to secure the condem-
nation of a perfected constitution than of an
imperfect one. I am not willing to believe
that wantonly be would perfect the symme-
try of a building, and when it should be per-
fect he would ruthlessly proceed to tear it
It is well occasionally to take a common
sense view of propositions. It is well enough
sometimes to consider the source from whence
propositions come. It is especially desirable
to see that when statistics are offered, they
should take in the whole question. I repeat,
that in his statement of what you have paid
upon the $100, he has ignored the fact that half
of it you paid last year to the State, and more
than the other half you have each paid in your
respective counties, and paid it too for what
has been but little benefit to the State, I have

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 1245   View pdf image (33K)
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