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be a case of murder. As they can “make all laws necessary and proper for carrying their powers into execution,” they can make the protecting a murderer criminal in any part of the United States.
2. Has Congress assumed cognizance of the offence of Hardin ? We must first examine whether the act of Congress, 1790, c. 9, $ 22, takes in this offence. Then whether the laws of Kentucky, common, statute, or State law, as adopted by Congress, comprehend this offence.
3. Whether any difference of organization or other circumstance renders the law of Kentucky inapplicable to this offence, can be decided by those only who are particularly acquainted with that law.
Plan for Elementary Schools.
Poplar Forest, Sept 9th, 1817. Dear Sir,—I promised you that I would put into the form of a bill my plan of establishing the Elementary Schools, without taking a cent from the Literary fund. I have had leisure at this place, to do this, and now send you the result. If twelve or fifteen hundred schools are to be placed under one general administration, an attention so divided will amount to a dereliction of them to themselves. It is surely better, then, to place each school at once under the care of those most interested in its conduct. In this way the Literary fund is left untouched to complete at once the whole system of education, by establishing a college in every district of about eighty miles square, for the second grade of education, to wit: languages, ancient and modern, and for the third grade a single University, in which the sciences shall be taught in their highest degree.
I should apologize, perhaps, for the style of this bill. I dislike the verbose and intricate style of the English statutes, and in our revised code I endeavored to restore it to the simple one of the ancient statutes, in such original bills as I drew in that work. I suppose the reformation has not been acceptable, as it has been little followed. You, however, can easily correct this bill to the taste of my brother lawyers, by making every other word a " said " or "aforesaid," and saying everything over two or three times, so that nobody but we of the craft can untwist the diction, and find out what it means; and that, too, not so plainly but that we may conscientiously divide one half on each side. Mend it, therefore, in form and substance to the orthodox taste, and make it what it should be ; or, if you think it radically wrong, try something else, and let us make a beginning in some way. No matter how wrong, experience will amend it as we go along, and make it effectual in the end.
I shall see you of course at our stated visitation, and hope all the gentlemen will consider Monticello as the rendezvous of the preceding day or evening.
I salute you with friendship and respect.
An Act for establishing Elementary Schools.
1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia, that at the first session of the Superior Court in every county within this commonwealth, next ensuing the passage of this act, the judge thereof shall appoint three discreet and well-informed persons, residents of the county, and not being ministers of the gospel* of any denomination, to serve as visitors of the Elementary Schools in the said county ; of which appointment the sheriff shall, within fifteen days thereafter deliver a certificate, under the hand of the clerk of the said court, to each of the persons so appointed.
2. The said visitors shall meet at the court-house of
§ 1. Ministers of the Gospel are excluded to avoid jealousy from the other sects, were the public education committed to the ministers of a particular one; and with more reason than in the case of their exclusion from the legislative and executive functions.
their county on the first county court day after they shall have received notice of their appointment, and afterwards at such times and places as they, or any two of them, with reasonable notice to the third, shall have agreed ; and shall proceed to divide their county into wards,* by metes and bounds so designated as to comprehend each, about the number of militia sufficient for a company, and so also as not to divide, and throw into different wardst the lands of any one person held in one body; which division into wards shall, within six months from the date of their appointment, be completely designated, published, and reported, by their metes and bounds, to the office of the clerk of the Superior Court, there to be recorded, subject, however, to such alterations, from time to time afterwards, as changes of circumstances shall, in the opinion of the said visitors or their successors, with the approbation of the said court, render expedient.
3. The original divsion into wards being made, the visitors shall appoint days for the first meeting of every ward, at such place as they shall name within the same, of which appointment notice shall be given at least two weeks before the day of meeting, by advertisement at some public place within the ward, requiring every free, white male citizen, of full age, resident within the ward, to meet at the place, and by the hour of twelve of the day so appointed, at which meeting some one of the visitors shall also attend, and a majority of the said warders being in attendance, the
visitor present shall propose to them to decide by a majority of their votes,-1. The location of a school-house for the ward, and a dwelling-house for the teacher, (the owner of the ground consenting thereto.) 2. The size and structure of the said houses; and 3. Whether the same shall be built by the joint labor of the warders, or by their pecuniary contributions; and also 4. To elect by a plurality of their votes a warden, resident, who shall direct and superintend the said buildings, and be charged with their future care.
4. And if they decide that the said buildings * shall be erected by the joint labor of the warders, then all persons within the said ward liable to work in the highways, shall attend at the order of the warden, and, under his direction, shall labor thereon until completed, under the same penalties as provided by law to enforce labor on the highways. And if they decide on erection by pecuniary contributions, the residents and owners of property within the ward shall contribute toward the cost, each in proportion to the taxes they last paid to the State for their persons and for the same property : of which the sheriff or commissioners shall furnish a statement to the warden, who, ac cording to the ratio of that statement, shall apportion and assess the quota of contribution for each, and be authorized to demand, receive, and apply the same to the purposes of the contribution, and to render account thereof, as in all other his pecuniary transactions for the school, to the visitors; and on failure of payment by any contributor, the sheriff, on the order of the warden, shall collect and render the same under like powers and regulations as provided for the collection of the public taxes. And in every case it shall be the duty of the warden to have the buildings completed within six months from the date of his election.
§ 4. It is presumed that the wards will generally build such log-houses for the school and teacher as they now do, and will join force and build them themselves, experience proving them to be as comfortable as they are cheap. Nor would it be advisable to build expensive houses in the country wards, which, from changes in their population, will be liable to changes of their boundaries and consequent displacements of their centre, drawing with it a removal of their school-house. In towns, better houses may be more safely built, or rented for both purposes.
5. It shall be the duty of the said visitors to seek and to employ for every ward,* whenever the number and ages of its children require it, a person of good moral character, qualified to
$ 5. Estimating eight hundred militia to a county, there will be twelve captaincies or wards in a county on an average. Suppose each of these, three years in every six, to have children enough for a school, who have not yet had three years schooling ; such a county will employ six teachers, each serving two wards by alternate terms. These teachers will be taken from the laboring classes, as they are now, to wit: from that which furnishes mechanics, overseers and tillers of the earth; and they will chiefly be the cripples, the weakly and the old, of that class, who will have been qualified for these functions by the ward schools themselves. If put on a footing then, for wages and subsistence, with the young and the able of their class, they will be liberally compensated : say with one hundred and fifty dollars wages and the usual allowance of meat and bread. The subsistence will probably be contributed in kind by the warders, out of their family stock. The wages alone will be a pecuniary tax of about nine hundred dollars. To a county, this addition would be of about one-fifth of the taxes we now pay to the State, or about one-fifth of one per cent. on every man's taxable property; if tax can be called that which we give to our children in the most valuable of all forms, that of instruction. Were those schools to be established on the public funds, and to be managed by the Governor and council, or the commissioners of the Literary fund, brick houses to be built for the schools and teachers, high wages and subsistence given them, they would be badly managed, depraved by abuses, and would exhaust the whole Literary fund. While under the eye and animadversion of the wards, and the control of the wardens and visitors, economy, diligence, and correctness of conduct, will be enforced, the whole Literary fund will be spared to complete the general system of education, by colleges in every district for instruction in the languages, and an university for the whole of the higher sciences; and this, by an addition to our contributions almost insensible, and which, in fact, will not be felt as a burthen, because applied immediately and visibly to the good of our children.
A question of some doubt might be raised on the latter part of this section, as to the rights and duties of society towards its members, infant and adult. Is it a right or a duty in society to take care of their infant members in opposition to the will of the parent? How far does this right and duty extend ?-to guard the life of the infant, his property, his instruction, his morals? The Roman father was supreme in all these: we draw a line, but where ?-public sentiment does not seem to have traced it precisely. Nor is it necessary in the present case. It is better to tolerate the rare instance of a parent refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings and ideas by the forcible asportation and education of the infant against the will of the father. What is proposed here is to remove the objection of expense, by offering education gratis, and to strengthen parental excitement by the disfranchisement of his child while uneducated. Society has certainly a right to disavow him whom they offer, and are not permitted to qualify for the duties of a citizen. If we do not force in struction, let us at least strengthen the motives to receive it when offered.