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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1866
Volume 107, Page 487   View pdf image (33K)
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this donation is designed to create. The Act of Congress stipulates that
"any State which may take and claim the benefit of the provisions of
this act, shall provide within five years, at least not less than one Col-
lege as described in the fourth section of this act, or the grant to such
State shall cease."
Under these circumstances I recommend such legislation as will give
the State an interest in the property, as a member of the Corporation,
the affairs of the College to be directed by a body of Trustees consisting
of the State Board of Education, and seven gentlemen selected by the
Stockholders. The detail of this plan will be presented in the memorial
of the Stockholders, a memorial which has the hearty approval of the
members of the State Board.
By the friends of Universal Education, our system of Public Instruc-
tion will not be recognized as such, unless it provides for all the children
in the State. Knowledge is better than ignorance, and virtue is better
than vice, and therefore it is wise that the opportunity of instruction
shall be proffered to all who have minds to be cultivated or moral sen-
timents to be developed. If ignorance leads to idleness, and crowds our
Almshouses with paupers—if vice tends to crime, and fills our Jails and
Penitentiaries with wretched convicts—then it is good policy to open
the School House to every child whom ignorance may degrade or vice
corrupt. It matters not what may be the color of the skin or the land
of nativity, the shape of the cranium or the height of the cheek bones,
whether the child be of Indian or African, European or Asiatic descent;
his ignorance will be a blight and his vice a curse to the community in
which he lives.
Whether the pauper be white or black, the tax to support him is
equally great, and it costs as much to conduct the trial by which an
Americo-African or a Chinese is convicted of crime, as it would were he
of the superior race. All the economic arguments, therefore, which are
advanced for the education of the white child are equally applicable to
the black. They are even more forcible, because the colored race,
having been so long degraded by ignorance, need education the more.
We cannot reconcile it to sound judgment that any portion of our
thinking population be deprived of instruction; if knowledge bo good
for any, it is good for all. Yet we record the fact, that Maryland,
While devising a uniform system of what is termed Public Instruction,
closed the School door against one-fourth of her people, they represent-
ing one-half of her laboring population.
We all know that the prosperity of our State and the development of
her vast resources depend upon the skill and intelligence of the indus-
trial classes. The labor of Maryland is her wealth. The more perse-
vering and expert the labor, the greater and more valuable its product.
The virtue of the laboring class is the strongest incentive to persevering
industry, and the only certain assurance that the gains of diligence will
be well applied and frugally consumed.

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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1866
Volume 107, Page 487   View pdf image (33K)
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