Indiana. General Assembly.

Documentary journal of Indiana 1856, part 1 (Volume 1856, pt.1) online

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trous than the toleration of a policy that recognizes such fickle-
ness. It is no presumption to say that the text books, thus recom-
mended, are at least as good, if no better than others in the same
department, and the instructor, who understands the branches he
professes to teach, will not be dependent on a particular text-book
for ability to introduce his pupils to a thorough knowledge of the
principles of any given branch of the course. Uniformity of text-
books in the same township is not unworthy of adoption and
enforcement, even in a pecuniary point of view. The economical
character of the policy is too obvious to escape the notice of either
parents or Trustees, and its educational wisdom too manifest to
be ignored or neglected by Township Boards.

Inclination would prompt me to prolong this communication by
the introduction of new topics, as well as amplification of some
already slightly touched in passing, but I am reminded of the pro-
priety of a close, and will therefore only add, so meet the responsi-
bilities associated with your office, so discharge its incumbent du-
ties, that neither the results of time nor the disclosures of eternity
shall occasion you any feelings of regret, or mar the satisfaction of
a review of your official mission.

Yours truly,





Decision of the Supreme Court, on the Constitutionality of the
Legislative power to equalize the inequalities of the Special Funds,
by the township apportionment of the Common Funds.

Quick and Others vs. Springfield Township.

The school law of 1855 is not in contravention of the constitution.

It was competent for the people, in the exercise of sovereign power, in providing hy the
constitution for a general system of common schools, so to discriminate between that
portion of the people who were already provided with a school fund and that portion
who were not, as to place them upon an equality.

The eighth article of the constitution requires that such discrimination shall be made.

The school law does not conflict with the act of Congress granting the sixteenth section
in the several congressional townships in this State, to the inhabitants of such town-
ships respectively for the use of schools.

Monday, June 16th, 1856.

APPEAL from the Franklin Circuit Court.

Gookins, J. — Springfield Township, in Franklin county, being
also a congressional township, upon complaint against Quick, the
auditor, and Robeson, the treasurer of said county, obtained an
injunction to prevent said auditor and treasurer from distributing
the common school funds in said county, as required by the act of
March 5, 1855. From the order making said injunction perpetual,
they appeal to this Court.

The complaint shows that said township has a considerable
fund, derived from the sixteenth section therein, and the plaintiff
claims that the annual income arising from that fund shall not be
taken into account, as said act requires, in making distribution of
the revenues of the State derived from other trust funds and from

The ground upon which this claim is made, is, that the act in
question is unconstitutional, and also that it violates the act of
Congress making the grant.

The eighth article of the Constitution is as follows:

"Sec. 1. Knowledge and learning, generally diffused through-
out a community, being essential to the preservation of a free
government; it shall be the duty of the general assembly to
encourage, by all suitable means, moral, intellectual, scientific and
agricultural improvement; and to provide, by law, for a general
and uniform system of common schools, wherein tuition shall be
without charge, and equally open to all.

"Sec. 2. The common school fund shall consist of the con-
gressional township fund, and the lands belonging thereto ;


"The surplus revenue fund;

" The saline fund, and the lands belonging thereto;

" The bank tax fund, and the fund arising from the one hundred
and fourteenth section of the charter of the State Bank of Indiana,

" The fund to be derived from the sale of county seminaries, and
the moneys and property heretofore held for such seminaries; from
the fines assessed for breaches of the penal laws of the State; and
from all forfeitures which may accrue;

"All lands and other estate which shall escheat to the State for
want of heirs or kindred entitled to the inheritance;

"All lands that have been, or may hereafter be, granted to the
State, where no special purpose is expressed in the grant, and the
proceeds of the sales thereof; including the proceeds of the sales
of the swamp lands, granted to the state of Indiana by the act of
Congress of the 28th of September, 1850, after deducting the
expense of selecting and draining the same;

" Taxes on the property of corporations, that may be assessed
by the general assembly for common school purposes.

" Sec. 3. The principal of the common school fund shall
remain a perpetual fund, which may be increased, but shall never
be diminished; and the income thereof shall be inviolably appro-
priated to the support of common schools, and to no other pur-
pose whatever.

"Sec. 4. The general assembly shall invest, in some safe and
profitable manner, all such portions of the common school fund as
have not heretofore been intrusted to the several counties; and
shall make provision, by law, for the distribution, among the
several counties, of the interest thereof.

" Sec 5. If any county shall fail to demand its proportion of
such interest, for common school purposes, the same shall be re-
invested for the benefit of such county.

" Sec. 6. The several counties shall be held liable for the pres-
ervation of so much of the said fund as may be intrusted to them,
and for the payment of the annual interest thereon.

" Sec. 7. All trust funds, held by the State, shall remain invi-
olate, and be faithfully and exclusively applied to the purposes
for which the trust was created.

"Sec. 8. The general assembly shall provide for the election,
by the voters of the State, of a Superintendent of Public Instruc-
tion, who shall hold his office for two years, and whose duties and
compensation shall be prescribed by law."

The following are the two sections of the act referred to, which
prescribe the mode of distributing the funds:

"Sec. 97. The State Superintendent shall annually, by the
fourth Monday in April in each year, make out a statement show-
ing the number of scholars in each county of the State, the
amount of the income of the common school fund in each county
for distribution, and the amount of taxes collected for school pur-
poses, and shall apportion the same to the several counties of the


State, according to the enumeration of scholars therein, without
taking into consideration the congressional township fund in such

"Sec. 101. The treasurer of the several counties shall annual-
ly, on the third Monday of May, make distribution of the income
of the common school fund to which his county is entitled, (upon
the warrant of the county auditor), to the several townships, and
incorporated cities and towns of the county, which payment shall
be made to the treasurer of each township, and in making the said
distribution, the auditor shall ascertain the amount of the con-
gressional township fund belonging to each city, town, and town-
ship, and shall so apportion the income of the common school
fund, as to equalize the amount of available funds in each city,
town, and township, as near as may be, according to the number
of scholars therein : Provided, however, that in no case shall the
congressional township fund," &c, "be diminished by such distri-
bution and diverted to any other township." Acts of 1855, p. 175.

We are at a loss to see upon what ground it can be insisted
that the act in question violates any provision of the constitution.
That that instrument makes the common school fund to consist
in part of the congressional township fund and the lands belong-
ing thereto, is too plain for argument. Language could not be
more explicit. The only question that can arise at this point, is,
is this part of the constitution valid?

It has been several times decided by this Court that the six-
teenth section belongs to the inhabitants of the congressional
township in which it is situated. The State v. Newton, 5 Blackf.
455. — The State v. Springfield Township, 6 Ind. R. 83. And in
the case last referred to, it was held, that the act of 1852, which
sought to take that fund from the township, and to consolidate it
with the other funds of the State, was void. To these decisions
we adhere; but the question yet remains, had the people of the
State, while seeking by a constitution to devise a system which
should convey the means of instruction equally to every child in
the State, the power, by virtue of her sovereignty, so to discrim-
inate between those already provided with a fund, and those who
had no such provision, as to place them upon an equality? In
other words, had she any power to take notice or cognizance of
the congressional township fund in any manner whatever? We
think she had such power, and that by the eighth article of the
constitution she exercised it, by declaring that the congressional
township fund should constitute a part of the common school
fund ; and that, by the first section of that article, she expressly,
and in terms, enjoined it upon the general assembly to provide by
law that the system, with that fund included, should be made
uniform; which injunction could not have been obeyed, without
making the discrimination here provided for.

The argument for the appellee, is, that the act of 1855 does,
indirectly, what that of 1852 attempted to do directly; that it, in


effect, takes away from the congressional townships their sixteenth
section fund, and this is complained of as injustice. The argu-
ment likens it to the case of discriminating between the wealthy
and the poor in bestowing the favors of the State for the purposes
of education, by withholding from the wealthy and industrious,
and conferring upon the poor and indolent.

We do not perceive either the logic of this argument, or its con-
flict with the constitution, if well put, so far as the act professes
to go. There is certainly a material difference between taking
away what one has, and the refusal to give him more. So far as
the constitution affects the question, the power to discriminate
exists, unless it is prohibited, and the prohibition is neither pointed
out, nor have we been able to find it in that instrument. It does
not conflict with the 23rd section of the 4th article, which requires
all laws to be of uniform operation throughout the State; for the
act is not only uniform in itself, but it produces uniformity in the
subjects upon which it operates.

The example which the appellee has chosen, forcibly illustrates
the position assumed; but to our minds the operation of the law
seems much like that provision of the law of descents which dis-
tributes nothing to the heir who has received an advancement,
until the others are made equal, — a provision highly favored by
the Courts on account of its obvious justice. It is to be remem-
bered that it was not the townships which paid the price of these
lands, but the State, by exempting the lands of the general gov-
ernment from taxation for five years after their sale. Still, they
are invested with the title, and the act does not propose to divest
it; but it proposes to distribute to the other children of the State,
until the advancements are made equal.

What has been said disposes of the other point. The act does
not conflict with the act of congress making the grant, nor in any
manner attempt to interfere with it.

Stuart, J., dissented.

Per Curiam. — The judgment is reversed with costs. Cause
remanded with instructions to the Circuit Court to dismiss the

J. Morrison, for the appellants.

G. Holland and J. D. Howland, for the appellee.



Delivered by the Superintendent, in his tour of County visitation.


The motive, that prompted the preparation and delivery of the
following Address, is fully set forth in the introduction, and the
reasons for its appearance in this report will be explained by the
annexed communication from the members of the Board of Edu-

Indianapolis, Jan. 5th, 1857.
Hon. C. Mills,

Sup. Pub. Instruction :

Dear Sir: We, the undersigned, members of the State Board
of Education, take this method to express our desire that you
would append, to your forthcoming Report, the Address to Youth,
delivered in various counties during your circuit labors the past
year, believing it to be an appropriate addendum to the aforesaid
document, apprising our fellow-citizens, on the one hand, of the
character of the counsels given our Youth, and on the other,
affording many of the class for whom it was designed, the oppor-
tunity of perusing what, we would fondly hope, might be of lasting
service to them in after life.

In common with many others, who have listened to its delivery,
we will venture to suggest both the duty and propriety of giving
it to the public, through the medium already named, and thereby
reaching the eyes of many whose ears were not greeted with the
sound of its delivery.

Yours Truly,

ERASMUS B. COLLINS, Sec. of State.
H. E. TALBOTT, Auditor of State.
W. R. NOFFSINGER, Treas. of State.




My Young Friends,

I have sought this interview for the purpose of giving expres-
sion to my cordial interest and sympathy with you in the great
and momentous enterprise in which you are all engaged. 1 say
great, for surely nothing can be of such interest and importance
to each of my audience, as that result, which determines his des-
tiny for both worlds; and nothing so permanent and enduring,
as that, on which the cycles of eternity can impress no mark of
change. Surely that, which knows no change beyond the confines
of time, and whose true worth is, at the best, but partially known
and appreciated on this side of "that bourne whence no traveler
returns," may well challenge not merely the attention of a passing
moment, but claim the earnest consideration of the most favored

I retain a lively recollection of my own early years, and the im-
pressions of that period of life are still fresh and vivid. Its hopes
and fears, its aspirations and disappointments, its endeavors and
failures have lost but little of their original vividness on memory's
faithful tablet. Prized indeed would have been the counsels of
age and experience, had they come from hearts glowing in deep
and lively sympathy with youthful inexperience and aspirations.
Such, however, was not the character of the times, nor such the
type of the age in which my youthful days were spent. A deep
and cherished remembrance of the sad experience of that period,
its lack of counsel, its want of sympathy with the yearnings and
struggles of youth, has awakened in my heart the desire to con-
tribute something, however humble and unpretending, to make the
experience of the rising generation a happy contrast to the one
above indicated. You will, therefore, give me the credit, at least,
of an honest purpose and good intentions in my present endeavor,
however I may fail in the attempt to execute the good devised,
realize your expectations and meet your wants and wishes in the

The youth of a country is either its glory and strength, or it*
shame and ruin. Nothing is more certain and inevitable than this
result. It is reached by the silent operation of that great funda-
mental law, which controls and shapes the development of the
mental and moral powers. Wise and timely culture, and thorough
discipline will as certainly secure their appropriate results, as the


husbandman's seasonable labor will be followed by the waving
harvest and abundant crop. The sequence in the moral and
intellectual world is as natural, uniform and reliable as in the king-
dom of nature. " The child is the father of the man," is but an
aphoristic embodiment of an every day's experience and observa-
tion, an experience of joy or sorrow, hopes or fears, realized, to a
greater or less extent, in every family of our land. Earth's history
is but little else than a living illustration of its verity, and an
unbroken confirmation of the declaration, "train up a child in the
way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it;"
and its equally significant converse, a child trained up in the way
he should not go, when old, will be equally disinclined to break
away from the thraldom of evil habits and vicious associates.

It is this well known truth, this great fundamental and acknowl-
edged principle, underlying the structure of human character,
which invests the period of youth with so much interest, and
awakens so much solicitude on the part of those, who have trav-
eled life's rugged path and navigated her boisterous seas, in behalf
of those just leaving the quiet harbor of youth for the restless
ocean of mature life. It is no marvel, therefore, that such inex-
perienced voyagers should be objects of intense regard to those
who have encountered storms, witnessed shipwrecks, escaped from
lea shores, grazed the sunken rocks, touched the deceitful shoal
and cut the outer circle of the engulphing whirlpool.

It is a melancholy fact, which cannot be ignored, that many,
reckless of the pilot's charge, regardless of the chart's direction,
unmindful of the buoys and beacon lights, have been stranded
and irretrievably lost, even in the outer harbor of youth; and that
not a few, in spite of all these wrecks, now stripped, forsaken and
imbedded in the sands of ruin, on either side of the true channel,
may still be seen, like some graceless craft, under the impulsive
power of steam and sail, of tide and current, steering directly
across the fatal shoal of filial disobedience, dashing recklessly
athwart the sunken ledge of intemperance, skirting heedlessly along
the waveless surface of indolence, unmindful of the rocks, from
which the Sirens of pleasure send forth their bewitching strains of
voluptuous song. Such scenes and such results, are not of rare
occurrence. Would to God they were. They may be seen in the
daguerrean gallery of almost every village, town and city in the
land. Thus frequent, and forced on the notice of even the casual
observer, they should be pondered and their admonitory lessons be
regarded by both youthfand age, to the former an impressive warn-
ing, to the latter an exhaustless store-house of illustration for the
enforcement of their counsels.

The youth of our country are justly regarded as the hope of the
church, the future support of the State, the stay and comfort of
the family institution. The varied interests of this triple basis
of all human society and social progress, demand that these youth
should be wisely taught, thoroughly trained to obedience, industry


and self reliance. Such a discipline will not fail to secure the
desired result, and in the reproduction of itself, perpetuate the
blessings of like culture to the future representatives of the race.
Such a domestic training is the grand desideratum of the age, the
only reliable source of rational hope for the future. The utter
destitution of such an education is the true secret of most of the
failures that have saddened declining years and brought the grey
hairs of parents with sorrow to the grave.

If sons are not educated to obedience and industry at home,
they will be trained to indolence and disobedience in the streets.
If purity of thought and language are not cultivated around the
parental fireside, their opposites will be acquired with wonderful
facility at the fashionable saloon and oyster shop, the circus and
the theatre. Youth will be educated, either in the school of mental
and moral culture, or the university of vice and mental indolence.
The tuition charges of the latter will be far more exorbitant and
the payment more inevitable than those of the former. If school
houses are not erected, jails and penitentiaries must be built. If
teachers are not employed, judges, jurors and sheriff's will be.

It is vain to expect indolent, indulged and disobedient children
to become enterprising, energetic, law-abiding, dutiful and God-
fearing men and women. Let not those, who, in the government
of their families, sow the wind, be surprised, if they should reap
the whirlwind of filial ingratitude, obliquity and shame. These
are but the appropriate results, the legitimate fruits of their own
reckless disregard of the divine injunction to "bring up their
children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Let not
such transgressors suppose for a moment, that the great funda-
mental laws of the moral world will be suspended to save them
from the consequences of a practical contempt of God's authority
and wisdom. Their solemn verdict will be pronounced and their
righteous sentence be executed, whoever may be the culprits, and
whatever may be the hopes that will be crushed and annihilated
by their mandate.

While it maybe a matter of joyous congratulation that increas-
ing interest is taken and more liberal provision is made for the
education of the masses, it is not to be concealed that there is a
sad deficiency in the family culture, in not a few particulars, of
both sons and daughters. While youth are apprised of some of
the various methods, by which their ruin is effected, it may not be
amiss, nor indeed foreign from our general purpose, to indicate a
few parental derelictions, fraught with most disastrous results to
their offspring.

The father toiling with concentrated purpose and effort to accu-
mulate a fortune, that will more likely prove a curse than a bless-
ing to his children, often neglects many of the duties he owes to
them, leaving them to the tuition of circumstances and the train-
ing of those, who, like evil spirits, take a malignant satisfaction in
leading them astray. Thus bereft of paternal guardianship and


care, they soon learn to disregard maternal restraint, and enter the
university of vice, well prepared for a thorough course in the
dialects of perdition and the mathematics of crime and ruin. Is
it any marvel, that those, thus deeply versed in Satan's ethical
code and early trained to a thorough comprehension of the prin-
ciples and practices of street morality, should attain to high dis-
tinction in infamy? While sons are thus prematurely graduated,
and, by their habits of indolence and extravagance, recklessness
and rascality, evince their fitness for the higher degrees of crime
and villainy, the daughters are, not unfrequently, taught to regard
domestic labor as menial, household employments as degrading.
Their ambition contemplates nothing short of a profound ignor-
ance of all the mysteries of the culinary art, and an utter want of
sympathy with a mother's kitchen toils and laundry labors. —
Trained to shine in the parlor, and shudder at the very name of
"Biddy's" realm, to ignore duty, self-sacrifice and the luxury of
doing good, to cultivate the pedal powers to the neglect of the
head and the heart, and thus grace the paradise of fools, how can
they become either a comfort to their parents, an honor to their
sex, or fit companions of men of sense? While such specimens
of perverted culture may be found with melancholy frequency,
and the original materials have been spoiled, irretrievably ruined,
in the manufacture, still they are not altogether without their use
as beacon lights to those who have not yet reached the outer circle
of the maelstrom of ruin, and may be profitably employed, at least
by way of contrast, as illustrations of a more excellent way, and
the superiority of a character of more enduring fame and furniture.

The remedy of such evils must be sought in a thorough revision
of the code of family government under which they have occurred.
Let past errors be corrected and former mistakes not overlooked.
Let fathers remember that correct habits, sound principles and a
sterling character are products of slow growth, but inestimable
worth. They are of more permanent value than thousands of
gold, for millions cannot purchase them. They are in fact them-
selves the arbiters of fortune, the real, substantial founders of
permanent fame and moral excellence. Their price is above rubies
and therefore no cost of time, no subordination of business to

Online LibraryIndiana. General AssemblyDocumentary journal of Indiana 1856, part 1 (Volume 1856, pt.1) → online text (page 48 of 53)