Kansas. University.

Seminary notes published by the Seminary of historical and political science online

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signs, the.- • and •. •. of.-: that-.: ing . : •
ch:-. on. - -, sh.-.. th:: wh :. - period-.,
or a blank space equal to five points in
length; comma- semi-colon, colon:, in-
terrogation •: dash :: exclamation . : paren-
thesis. - quotation:.. The punctuation
marks are preceded and followed by a
blank space equal to two points.

The literary department comprises a
course of eleven years, very similar to the
course offered in our public schools. This
is divided into four grades — primary, sec-
ond and third grade and the high school
grade.

In the primary grade the pupils are
taught to read and write by means of these
dots or points. They have our common
school readers printed in the point form,
and they soon acquire an acuteness of
touch which enables them to read -more
readily than the average seeing pupils of
the same age. This may be due to the
fact that the blind work more diligently
than seeing children, having less to attract
their attention from their books. To
write by means of these dots, they have a
device called a slate, which is, in form,
something similar to a wooden picture
frame, eight inches wide by twelve to four-
teen in length, having a solid back ; the
frame part being on hinges is made to
raise up to allow a piece of heavy paper
to be placed under it ; the frame is then
closed and fastened. Upon this frame a
brass bar, about two inches broad, per-
forated with two or three rows of holes
one-fourth of an inch square, is made to
slide up and down the frame. The points
are then made with an awl-like instrument,
the bar of brass serving to keep the lines
straight, while the square holes enable the



pupil to place the dots in the correct posi-
tions.

In the second grade the scholars are
taught grammar, geography and arithme-
tic in addition ; the latter being the most
difficult of all the common branches for
the blind to learn, as it must be entirely
mental, there being no means by which
they can use figures as seeing pupils do.

In the third grade, arithmetic and geog-
'raphy are finished and history, United
States and general, and rhetoric are taken
up. They are also taught to write as see-
ing pupils, and by the time they leave the
Institution many are able to write a very
readable hand.

The work done in the next grade cor-
responds very closely to that of our high
schools. Here they are taught algebra,
geometry, physical geography, philoso-
phy, rhetoric and composition. It is
quite wonderful to see with what degree
of accuracy the blind students solve men-
tally the most difficult problems in alge-
bra, handling with comparative ease long
equations containing two and three un-
known quantities.

In all the. literary work an unusual
amount of systematic and thorough train-
ing is evident. The blind seem to be
very competent in all studies in which the
memory is taxed to a large extent.

The music department is the most inter-
esting feature of the Institution. There
are fifty-three pupils out of the eighty-
three at the Institution in this department
and in every instance show remarkable
talent in this direction. They are taught
to play the piano, violin, cornet, viola and
similar instruments. They print their own
music, from the dictation of the instructor,
by means of the point alphabet and com-
mit it to memory as they practice it, line
at a time. They have, in the way of mu-
sical organizations, two choirs, a double
and a male quartet, and an orchestra of
six pieces. Music is about their only
means of entertainment and they seem to
appreciate it very much|;-it also] proves in
many instances to be a very useful science.



i6o



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



enabling some to gain a livelihood, while
to others it affords a means of enjoyment
to themselves and friends.

In an industrial way not a great deal
has been done. The boys are taught
broom-making, hammock and horse-net
weaving. A hard working, industrious
boy can, however, earn a very fair living
in this way. For instance, a boy can
make about two dozen brooms a day, the
material' for which cost him from $1.20 to
$1.55 a dozen, and he is then able to sell
the brooms at from ^2.00 to ^3.00 a doz-
en. It takes a boy a day to weave a ham-
mock which he sells at from ^^1.50 to
^2.00, while the material cost about 55
cents. Again, a boy can, with hard work,
weave a pair of horse-nets in a day. He
will have to pay 75 cents to ^i.oo for his
material, while his product will sell from
$2.00 to $3.00 a pair. In this depart-
ment the girls are taught but very little
except plain sewing and the care of their
rooms. There are some other ways by
which both the boys and girls could be
taught to support themselves. In many
of the Eastern institutions, 1 am told, type
writers have been introduced and it is
found that the blind[ pupils soon learn to
use them very rapidly and accurately.

I cannot help but manifest some little
surprise at the fact of there being no pro-
vision or attempt made by the state to
cure blindness in those who are attending
the Institution. It seems fitting, since the
science of medicine has reached the high
stage of perfection it now holds and since
experiments have established beyond a
question the fact that a beneficial treat-
ment of blindness is possible in nearly



every case, that there should be a law
providing for the treatment of those who
have a right to be at the Institution ; not
to turn the school into a hospital at all,
but for the purpose of restoring the sight
or at least benefiting those who are in
school. I am pleased to state, however,
that through the earnest efforts of the Su-
perintendent, an oculist comes to the Insti-
tution once a fortnight and does what he
can for the pupils without charge. This is
a step in the right direction and it should
be furthered by the aid of the state.

Amusement, which in some form seems
necessary to humanity, should also be
provided as another means of lightening
the gloom which must cast itself over
these unfortunate beings. There are many
ways by which this might be accom-
plished. Cards and games of various de-
scriptions might be devised if the state
would lend its assistance. The superin-
tendent recommends that a carpenter shop
be provided for this purpose, as the boys
all show an inclination to spend idle mo-
ments in this way.

In conclusion, I will mention that while
we are doing a noble work in the educa-
tion of our blind youth, there are in the
state of Kansas at the present day, no less
than 250 adult blind, for which we have
made no provision in any way. A very
small per cent, of these are cared for by
friends, while the remainder are forced to
shift for themselves. Some secure a liv-
ing by begging, some play the violin in
places of sin, and others are forced to
mete out a miserable existence in the
county poor-house. I will simply ask the
people of Kansas, "Ought this to be so?"
Fred E. Buch.^n.



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



i6i



EDUCATION OF THE DEAF AND DUMB IN KANSAS.



§F all the efforts of society to recon-
struct the broken-down portion of
humanity, those expended in behalf of the
deaf and dumb have been attended with
the greatest and most satisfactory results.
The reason for this is two-fold: the pecul-
iarly happy and industrious temperament
of the deaf mute, and the exceptionally
careful thought and thoroughly scientific
training which this branch of education
has received. A mere glance at our Kan-
sas institution thoroughly demonstrates
these points, and most gratefyingly shows
that we are in the front ranks of this great
charitable and educational movement.

The Kansas institution for the educa-
tion of the deaf and dumb is an institution
supported entirely by the state for the
education and training gratuitously all
deaf children who are unable to attend
the public schools. It is not, as is often
thought, a sanitarium for curing deafness.
Indeed no effort whatever is made toward
effecting cures; that, it is supposed, has
been tried before. But it is strictly an
industrial school, designed to fit deaf
mutes for citizenship and usefulness.

Since its inception, some thirty years
ago, the school has witnessed a steady
successful growth and now gives instruc-
tion to nearly three hundred pupils. ■ In
December, on the day the school was
visited, there were enrolled, however, 262
pupils. That this is the total number of
deaf children of school age within our
state, unfortunately, is not true. The
census returns last year show a deaf pop-
ulation for Kansas of about nine hundred
persons (one in every 1500 population),
while the deaf children of school age is
not far from five hundred fifty. From
this it is evident there are now within our
state some two hundred eighty-eight of
these children, who are without instruc-
tion. The great error that is being made



is at once apparent. How infinitely
better it would be if these two hundred
eighty-eight children could all be sent to
school and thus develop as intelligent
producers rather than become future bur-
dens to society.

A noticeable fact in running through
the registration book of the school is that
there are more boys enrolled than girls.
Of the two hundred sixty-tvvo pupils at-
tending, one hundred sixty of them were
boys, leaving only one hundred two girls.
This fact cannot be attributed entirely to
the greater desire of parents to educate
their sons than their daughters. It but
illustrates the ratio of deafness of the
sexes. The statistics of the deaf and
dumb in the United States show about
this same ratio. There is always more
deafness among men than women.

The school is very comfortably located
in the city of Olathe and its grounds oc-
cupy about two city blocks. Formerly
there were but two large buildings, but
within the past few years these two have
been united by a large addition, forming
one large educational building. An in-
dustrial building has also recently been
built, and everything in the way of good
sanitation has been provided.

The dormitory system is adhered to
with little or no inconvenience. The
dormitories for the boys and girls are
situated in either end of the great main
building. The larger pupils are allotted
rooms in groups t)f two and four, while
the smaller children occupy two large
upper rooms. In one of these, the small
boys' dormitory, from fifty to sixty little
fellows sleep, and never are they disturbed
by each others snoring, although there is
an occasional pillow-fight.

In the educational department the
branches of the common school are taught
by trained specialists. The method used



l62



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



is the same that has succeeded so admira-
bly both in England and in France as well
as in the United States — the sign language,
the natural means of communication of
all deaf mutes. The intellectual educa-
tion of the school carries the pupil through
a course of study similar to that of a well
advanced high school.

In addition to the regular course of
instruction, articular speech and "lip
reading" is taught as an accomplishment
to such pupils as seem capable of receiv-
ing it, either on account of their persever-
ance and quickness or of their previous
ability to use their vocal organs. Some
of the pupils attain a marked degree of
proficiency and are able to converse in-
telligibly by this means alone. One little
girl that was noted answered most prompt-
ly questions spoken to her although she
did not hear a word that was said. There
was, however, in her articulation a marked
lack of emphasis and a peculiar nasal
monotone. The articulation classes av-
eraged only about eight pupils, as that
is about the maximum number that can
profitably be instructed by one teacher.
The other classes averaged sixteen to
twenty pupils.

The most interesting and certainly the
most practical part of the school is the
industrial. Here technical training is



provided and the pupil fitted for a useful
trade. Thus far the trades introduced
are printing, cabinet making, carpentry,
shoemakingj harness-making and baking.
The girls are taught household work,
mending, and sewing of all kinds. The
object in all this industrial training is
apparent: not only are habits of industry
inculcated in the mind of the pupil but he
is given technical knowledge that fits him
for a life of usefulness.

Last vear the current expenses of this
institution amounted to- nearly $45,000,
making the average cost of maintaining
each pupil ^167.71 for the year. During
the history of this school, instruction has
been given to six hundred sixty-eight per-
sons, and from official records that have
been collected two-thirds of these students
are now respectable, intelligent citizens,
self supporting and most capably bearing
the burdens of society. They can now be
found engaged in nearly every branch of
industrial life. They are carpenters,
printers and laborers in the various de-
partments of modern industry. They
were fitted for their various occupations
by the systematic and careful training
they received at this school; without it
they would have become only burdens to
their friends and a blot upon society.

E. F. Robinson. .



SILKVILLE COMMUNE.



•gn^HE lack of practical knowledge, of
^l fortune, of length of life or of ca-
pable assistance has proven the downfall
of many attempts to put in practice fanci-
ful theories for the reformation of the
social system. Social reformers like poets
can see the end at which they aim but
seldom clearly see a road along which to
lead their followers into the happy state
which is designed for them.

Earnest Valeton De Boissiere does not
seem to have been of this class. His
efforts to found a commune at Silkville,



on the Burlington Branch of the A., T. &
S. F. Railroad, eighteen miles southwest
of Ottawa, show that he was seeking the
means by which it would be possible to
found a colon}' which should li\-e and
work in an ideal state, influencing the
state of Kansas if not the world. The
main reason he failed to accomplish
this object seems to have been that he
had not a sufficiently large following
to carry on the work which he had
planned, and that his estates in France
made it necessary for him to divide his



SEMINARY NOTES.



163



time between his native and his adopted
countries.

M. Boissiere was born of noble parent-
age near Bordeaux, France, in 181 1.
His education was such as is usual among
the noble youth of that country and he
became especially proficient in History,
Science, and the Military Arts. Upon
succeeding to the family estates he relieved
them from a load of debt and increased
the income from them by '' planning and
carrying out a regular campaign," as he
expressed it.

Early in the 50's he came to America,
founding and endowing a large Negro
school in New Orleans, Louisiana. He
became an y\merican citizen in 1856 but
returned to France before the rebellion.
The war of course, broke up his Negro
school and when he returned to the United
States it was witli an idea of planting a
colony which should experiment, at least,
with his ideas of social reform. He
visited Charles Sears at his home in New
Jersey and by him was convinced that
diversilied intlustry was the best means of
making such a communistic settlement
both successful and attractive. They
thought a large tract of arable land, well
watered, and in a pleasant climate was
necessary as a foundation. M. Boissiere
traveled all over the Mississippi valley
and in 1869 purchased a tract of three
thousand one hundred fifty-six acres of
raw land in the southwest corner of Frank-
lin county, Kansas.

Over one hundred and thirty thousand
dollars was spent in improving this prop-
erty. Forty acres were set in mulberry
trees, twenty-five in orchards, four acres
in grapes and much more in walnut and
other ornamental groves. Fifteen miles
of solid stone and twenty-five miles of wire
fence were built and also such buildings as
would be required to carry on the manu-
facture of silk, cheese, wine and other
products, care for large herds of stock
and provide a home for the attendants of
the place. These improvements were
added to from time to time as the chans^es



in management and increase of stock
demanded until last year, when M. Bois-
siere returned to France, 500 acres were
under cultivation and 640 acres in hay
land, the remainder being used for pasture
for about a thousand cattle, horses and
hogs. On the 12th of last May M. Bois-
siere deeded the entire estate, including
twelve thousand dollars in cash and notes,
all the machinery, household utensils, and
library, to the Odd Fellows of the state to
found and endow an Orphan's Home for
the order. He took with him, on leaving
for France, nothing but his clothing and
two hundred and fifty dollars to pay !he
expenses of the trip.

The community, as was said before,
was never fairly established but in 1870
two families by the names of Gonon
and Clare, came to Sil|j:ville with M. Bois-
siere, four followed soon after, and several
Americans joined the community, but
there were never more than eight families
at the home at one time. Silk was man-
ufactured from 1874 until 1888, when the
industry was abandoned because not fi-
nancially profitable. The worms were
thrifty and the quality of the silk good
but the the necessity of importing labor
made it impossible to compete with the
foreign article. After it was abandoned,
the French families gradually scattered
until now none remain on the place. They
have all become prosperous in other, more
American industries and are happy in the
land of their adoption. Several of the
American members are dead and the others
have left the farm, so that few, if any
of the colony remain at the Silkville farm.

The special interest of the student in
sociology must center then rather in what
was planned than in what was executed.
The following circular, found in the li-
brary, was sent out in 1873 and gives the
ideas which were thought to be the most
attractive to the public.

THE PRAIRIE HOME
Association and Corporation,

BASED ON
Al'i'RACTIVK INDUSTR^•.



164



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



The domain, of more than 3,000 acres,
purchased about four years ago, and then
called the ''Kansas Co-operative Farm,"
but since named ''Silkville," from the
fact that the weaving of Silk-velvet Rib-
bons is one of its branches of industry,
and Silk Culture is contemplated, for
which 10,000 mulberry trees are now
thriftily growing, having had 250 acres
subjected to cultivation and several pre-
liminary buildings erected upon it, it is
now thought expedient to inform those
who wish to take part in the Associative
Enterprise for which the purchase was
mdde, that the subscribers, as its project-
ors, will be prepared to receive persons
the ensuing spring, with a view to their
becoming associated for that purpose.

A leading feature of the enterprise is to
establish the "Combined Household" of
Fourier, that is, a single large residence
for all the associates. Its principal aim
is to Organize Labor, the source of all
wealth, first, on the basis of remuneration,
proportioned to production, and, second, in
such manner as to make it both efficient
and attractive. Guarantees of education
and subsistence to all, and of help to those
who need it, are indispensable conditions,
to be provided as soon as the organization
shall be sufficiently advanced to render
them practicable.

A spacious edifice, sufficient for the
accommodation of 80 to 100 persons, will
be erected the ensuing season, its walls
and principal partitions, which are to be of
stone, being already contracted for, to be
completed by the first of October. But
the buildings already erected will furnish
accommodations less eligible, but perfect-
ly comfortable, except in severe cold
weather, for at least an equal number.

It is not, however, expected that the
operations of the ensuing year will be any-
thing more than preparative; they will be
limited probably to collecting a few per-
sons to form a nucleus of the institution
to be gradually developed in the future.
But, from the first, facilities will be fur-
nished for industry un the principle of



remuneration proportioned to production,
by means of which, or otherwise, each
candidate will be required to provide for
his own support, and for that of such oth-
er persons as are admitted at his request
as members of his family of other depend-
ents.

The means of support at present avail-
able for those who come to reside on the
domain will be, as they may be stated in
a general way, opportunities to engage, on
liberal terms, in as many varieties as pos-
sible of productive industry ; but, more
particularly, first, an ample area of fertile
land to cultivate, and, secondly, facilities
for such mechanical work as can be exe-
cuted with hand tools, especially the mak-
ing of clothes, boots and shoes, and other
articles of universal consumption, not ex-
cluding, however, any article whatever for
which a market, either internal or exter-
nal, can be found. But, as far as income
depends upon earnings, the most reliable
resource will be agricultural and horticul-
tural industry, as most of the mechanical
work likely to be required for some time
should perhaps be reserved for weather
not suitable to out-door employments.
Emyloyment for wages at customary rates
will be furnished to some extent to those
who desire it for a part of their time, but
cannot be reliably promised. Steam pow-
er will be provided as soon as warranted
by a sufficient number of associates, and
by the prospect of being applied to profit-
able production.

Having provided the associates and
candidates with these facilities for indus-
try, and made them responsible each for
his own support, and, at first, for that of
his dependents, the projectors propose to
have them distribute themselves into or-
ganizations for industrial operations, and
select or invent their own kinds and mode
of cultivation and other practical pro-
cesses, under regulations prescribed by
themselves. They will be indulged with
the largest liberty, consistent with the pro-
tection of rights and the preservation of
order, in choosing their own employments



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



165



and their own industrial and social
companions ; in appointing, concurrent!)^
with those with whom they are immediate-
ly associated, their own hours of labor,
recreation and repose, and, generally, in
directing their activity in such manner
and to such purposes as their taste or in-
terest may induce them to prefer. We
hope thus to demonstrate that interference
with individual choice is necessary only to
restrain people from transgressing their
own proper sphere and encroaching upon
that of others, and that restraints, even
for that purpose, will seldom be required,
and not at all except during the rudimen-
tary stage of industrial organization.

No efforts, therefore, will be made to
select persons of similar views or beliefs, ,
or to mold them afterward to any uniform
pattern. That unanimity which is not
expected in regard to practical operations,
is much less expected in regard to those
subjects transcending the sphere of human
experience about which opinions are now
so irreconcilably conflicting. All that will
be required is that each shall accord to oth-
ers as much freedom of thought and action
as he enjoys himself, and shall respect the
rights and interests of others as he desires
his own to be respected by them.

The apprehension that our experiment
might be greatly embarrassed by admitting
the totally destitute to participate in it,
compels us to say that such cannot at pres-
ent be received. The means applicable to
our purpose, considerable as they are,
might become inadequate, if subjected to
the burden of maintaining objects of char-
ity ; while but few could be thus relieved,
even if all the means at command were
devoted to that single object. Our sys-
tem, if we do not misapprehend it, will, in
its maturity, provide abundantly for all.

But though we insist that the first par-
ticipators in our enterprise shall not be
pecuniarily destitute, the amount insisted
upon is not large. So much, however, as
is required must be amply secured by the
following cash advances:

First: Rent of rooms and board paid



two months in advance for each person
admitted to reside on the domain, includ-
ing each member of the applicant's family;
and at the end of the first month, pay-
ment of these items for another month, so



Online LibraryKansas. UniversitySeminary notes published by the Seminary of historical and political science → online text (page 60 of 62)