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ington or Lafayette, had arisen to free them from bond. age.
But if rightly informed, this bill aimed to abolish our school law and to leave our schools and the educational interests of the State, uncared for and at the mercy of cir. cumstances. Similar efforts have been made before and to the same end, and in some instances, have been successful. There was a law on our statute books requiring the legislature to appoint a State superintendent of common schools. But three years in succession, this honorable body refused to make that appointment and thus trampled under foot, one of its own laws which it had not the power to amend nor courage to repeal. In view of this reckless act in the public Halls of legislation, we were led to exclaim, "where in Christendom have our Leg. islators been educated? And is it in Vermont and in the nineteenth century, that their constituents call themselves enlightened freemen?"
At length, the more intelligent and patriotic men in the State were roused to action and came up to rescue Ver. mont from lasting disgrace and threatened barbarism.Our excellent School Law was revived. A well coustruct. ed machine had been prepared; it only needed to be put in motion. A beautiful and well proportioned educational edifice had been erected, it was now to be inhabited.The symmetrical figure of our educational body, that had long stood before us like a marble statue, was now vitalized and soon seen walking about in all the dignity of living manhood. Our school Law as it was, would not suffer in comparison with those of any other States. It wanted life-giving power, and this vitality was at length imparted to it by the appointment of our able “Board of Education," with its energetic and efficient executive -the Secretary. Under his administration and through his timely efforts and influence, the educational interests of the State have been vastly improved, our Schools elevated and the honor of Vermont preserved.
But we are reminded that this mercenary and reckless spirit which had before ruled in the halls of legislation, is not yet crushed out. Though it has lost position and power, yet it has not changed its character. It is less bold; seems more inclined to conceal its “horns" and "cloven-foot” under the assumed garb of patriotism. “An act to restore to the people their original rights and priv. ileges”! What wonderful intelligence, foresight and good will are here concentrated! We propose to the constituents of the originator of that bill, at once to engage the services of our distinguished Vermont Artist, that their hero may be preserved in marble and placed in the State House, side by side with Ethan Allen! It should never be forgotten that in the year 1860, in the Vermont Legislature, a man claiming to be a patriot and christian, seriously proposed to abolish our school law. And would not that same man favor a law paying bounty on crows, protecting the fish in our ponds and the dogs in our streets? This protection and care of animals is indispensable to the welfare of the State, but the education of our children who are soon to take the places of their fathers and mothers, in the family and neighborhood, who are to sit in the Halls of Legislation and on the Bench of Jus. tice, and to transact the business and manage the affairs of Church and State, needs no over-sight, or expense or care !
But after all, our schools must have the fostering care of government. They are its chief support and stability. From them flow its life-blood and upon their healthful condition and success depends the prosperity, if not the existence, of the State. Hence the obligations of gov. ernment to provide liberally for her schools. It is economy, as well as duty, to make as large appropriations to this object, as are necessary, to secure a thorough, practical superintendency over all their interests. Must our railroads and banks and factories be provided with an able board of managers, while our schools are left without management? Is it economy to pay the president of a railroad corporation, his thousand a year to look after its interest, and a “ useless expenditure" to pay a fair compensation to a faithful secretary whose time and strength are devoted to the welfare of our schools? We think not.
EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT. For the first time in our life, we take the editorial pen. We do it with diffidence, but not without hope—for we are permitted to wear the mantle of one and to share the responsibilities of another whose experience and success both as teachers and editors, serve as encouragement to future effort.
Our only apology for consenting to act in this capacity, is the interest we feel in the cause of popular education in our noble State, and the desire we cherish, to aid in its advancement. But we cannot hope to make the Journal what it should be, without the encouragement and aid of the practical teachers and other friends of education in the State. The "School Journal" should be an exponent of the best educational talent in Vermont. The impor- . tance of the cause and the honor of the State demand it. We who consent to act as editors, assume the pecuniary responsibility, but have no expectation of pecuniary reward, and we cheerfully take upon ourselves this risk, and perform the necessary editorial labor. We will endeavor to contribute our part at least, to enrich the colnmns of the Journal. Should more be expected of us ? Will not the Teachers and friends of education in Vermont, pledge their hearty co-operation ? May we not regard them as associate editors, or, at least, constant contributors and supporters ? Should not all feel a personal interest in the Journal and a pride in making it one of the best of its kind ? It seems so to us. it must be sustained ; and may we not rely upon our
friends to aid us in making it worthy of a place on every teacher's desk and in every family in the State ? And will they not make efforts, each in his own neighborhood, to increase its circulation? The matter of the Journal should be mostly original. And who of our fraternity will pledge themselves to furnish us each month, with brief and carefully written articles upon practical topics, connected with the school and the family? We do not ask this as a personal favor, but in behalf of the noble cause which we advocate-in behalf of the 89,697 children and youth in our schools, and in behalf of generations yet unborn, who are, in the distant future, to conduct the busi. ness and control the destinies of Vermont.
We have a good school law in operation; it is the business of the Journal to sustain that law against the mercenary attacks of political demagogues and the ill-judged efforts of those ignorant of its utility and importance.
The teachers of our common schools are seeking a highor standard of qualifications for their noble calling—the Journal may become an efficient agency in this great work.
The public mind must be enlightened, and how can this be better accomplished than through the agency of a periodical devoted to the educational interests of the State? We confidently rely upon all who profess to have an interest in the prosperity of our schools and the honor of our noble State, to encourage and aid us in sustaining the Vermont School Journal.
Above is Mr. Orcutt's bow and salutatory to you. May it awaken a responsive chord in your hearts that shall echo back the same earnest and devoted attachment to the cause of education in Vermont. You will see that the character of the Journal is not to be materially changed; for his views of what it should be are entirely those so often urged upon you by the committee of publication in the circulars that preceded the publication of the Journal, and in its pages since.
When the committee accepted from the State Association the responsibility of establishing an educational journal in Vermont, they did it with a full knowledge of the difficulties that surrounded the undertaking, and of the responsibilities they must meet, both pecuniarily and otherwise.
Having previously obtained about six hundred subscribers, they commenced the publication with an edition of fiftoen hundred copies. One of the committee gave up his school and devoted four months of his time wholly to canvassing for the Journal in nine counties of the State. The other continued his school by the aid of assistants, and gave the most of his time to the same interest. They found the teachers and friends of education in the State largely in favor of the enterprise, although not always ready to attest their interest by the small subscription of one dollar.
At the end of nine months they felt authorized to enlarge the Journal to thirty-two pages and the monthly edi. tion to seventeen hundred copies.
With volume second the edition was increased to two thousand copies per month. Since then, this number has been issued monthly. Many copies have been distributed gratuitously, for the purpose of extending the circulation of the Journal, and our exchange list is large. On closing up their official relation to the Journal, Sept. 22d, 1860, the committee found that the Journal was indebted to them about one hundred dollars each for money actually paid out, as no charge has ever been made for time (which was more t?ran money to them) spent in its service. They also found that there was enough due the Journal to cover the expense incurred, as above mentioned, provided it were all paid.
The committee have twice reported to the State Association, and tendered the Journal to that body. It de