Excerpt from The Star in the West, or Kenyon College, in the Year of Our Lord, 1828
To those whd love their country, and with deep solicitude anticipate the effects of known causes, according to the examples of past ages, what painful images do these facts present to View! what feelings do they convey to your breasts, most respected Gentlemen, who are the appointed guardians oi the general welfare of our country! Do not the many evils, which You-know to be the sure consequence of such a state of things', prompt you to inquire. With eagerness into the reasons why the efforts of the Legislature, to diffuse learning by the means of common schools, have hitherto, in so great a degree, proved fruitless? If the true answer'to this important inquiry has not already occurred to your mind, allow'me to state, that the reasons of such failure are, not that those legislative measures were in themselves unwise or unnecessary on the contrary they were both wise and necessary. But they have failed, because they kick the foundation on which theinp'ropriety and fitness were predicated. They have failed and still fail for want, of to carry their wise provisions into effect. For, of persons duly dualifiedand willing 'to teach, there is not, according to the Opinion of good judges, one tenth of the number, _which the law contemplates. So long then 'as the prcs'ent state of things continue, 'the law x-respecting common schools will be little more'than a dead letter, and consequently 'our inquiry whence schoolmasters are to beo'btained, ' increases in importance, according to our desire of encouraging that degree of common learning, which all history shows to be necessary to perpetuate ours freedom: for no nation ever continued to be free, that was not gen'erally enlightened alluc'lespotic governments havitig had their origin in the common ignorance of the [amp e.
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