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Appendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) online

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"Things Taught" Grammar

Language Lessons American Literature


Seventh Year.

Practical Arithmetic Practical Arithmetic

Geometry for Beginners Chemistry

Chemistry Grammar

English Grammar Algebra

Science of Government Geometry

History of the World English Literature

Rhetoric Science of Government

Ethics Ethics

This schedule represents grades rather than divisions of time, and
the whole requires the faithful work of about ten years.

In the absence of the completed balance sheet of the Treasurer, it
is possible to give in this report only a statement of account with
the State Treasurer, and the cost to the State per capita of the pupils'
care and education :

state appropriation for year ending June 30, 188.> . .$40,000 00

state appropriation for year ending June .30, 1884 . 44,000 00

Total for two years $8 4,000 00

Average appropriation per annum $42,000 00

Average attendance 155

Cost per capita per annum .$270 90

This sum includes board, tuition, books, medical attendance, in-
struction in music, drawing, and the trade schools, and the clothing
of about ten per cent of the pupils.

T\iQ personnel of the institution is as follows:



A. K. P. Harmon - — Oakland

E. H. WooLSEY Oakland

Geo. D. DoRsiJf Berkeley

R. A.Redman Oakland

Geo. H. Rogers San Francisco

W. L. Prather ' Secretary and Treasurer


Principal — Warring Wilkinson.


1. George B. Goodall.

2. Charles T. Wilkinson.
'). Henry Frank.

4. Douglas Tilden.

5. Miss Anna B. Carter.

6. Miss Annie Warren.

7. Miss Mary A. Dutch.

8. Mrs. A. B. Wilkinson.

9. Mrs. A. R. Goodall.

10. Miss K. A. Crandall.

11. Theophilus D'Estrella.

I have had a slight personal knowledge of this institution, extend-
ing over many years; this, added to the limited opportunities of
examination which I have had during my term of office up to this
time, lead me to speak in terras of high praise of the manner in which
the pupils are taught and cared for. Of course the system of teach-
ing is entirely technical and peculiar, and therefore difficult for the
ordinary teacher to judge of; and yet it is easy to be seen that its
methods are founded on reason, and the evident results extremely
gratifying. There is everywhere evident great care for the health,
comfort, and decency of the pupils ; and there exists the most kindly
relations between the pupils and the teachers. I think that, in an
unusual degree, the teachers are looked up to by their charges with
respect mingled with affection. So far as I had the means of finding
out, I should say that the morals of the inmates were carefully''
guarded, and the building up of characters among those unfortunate
young people well attended to.

It appears that the deaf and dumb and the blind finish about the
same course of study in the same time as the pupils in the public
schools! The result is highly creditable to the teachers, and is a
matter of surprise when we think of the disadvantages under which
the pupils labor.

The industrial department, a feature now undergoing develop-
ment, is one of peculiar interest. If the deaf and dumb and the
blind can be taught trades and callings whereby independent livings
may be secured, it would be a great boon to those who do not join in
the race of life upon equal terms. Not merely would the public be
relieved from carrying them as objects of charity, but they would
escape the degradation and misery of being such.

The new measure of teaching trades to the deaf, dumb, and blind,
which is as yet merely a beginning, promises very fairlj^ indeed.
Complete success in this direction is a result devoutly to be wished
for: to make these unfortunates independent and able to support
themselves. As yet only two shops have been opened : the wood-
work shop and the printing office. In the latter there are ten pupils
who have learned with surprising rapidity, exceeding the average in
ordinary life. Specimens of their typesetting and printing have
been pronounced by good judges creditable to any job office.

In the wood-working shop the sj'stem of instruction is the Rus-
sian, i. e., the fundamental principles and typical problems to be met

in the particular trade are taught so that a pupil shall be thoroughly
familiar and master of them, and in case of any practical job will
have simpl}^ to make the necessary combinations thereof. In the
shop there are eleven pupils, specimens of whose work were exam-
ined in my presence by experts and highly praised. The deaf and
dumb boy whose work took the prize had been under instruction
only two hundred and sixteen hours, scattered over about eight
months. There is good reason to hope that in these and other trades,
such as blacksmithing, watch-making, etc., the deaf and dumb can be
taught to support themselves in comfort, thereby not only relieving
society of their care, but increasing their happiness by elevating their
self resi^ect.


The ninth subdivision of Section 1532 of the Political Code makes
it the duty of the Superintendent of Public Instruction "to visit
the several orphan asylums to which State appropriations are made,
and examine into the course of instruction therein." All of these
have been officially inspected by m^^self or by the Deputy Superin-
tendent of Public Instruction. The list is as follows:

Sacramento Protestant Orphan Asylum Sacramento

Pacific Hebrew Orjshan Asylum San Francisco

San Francisco Almshouse San Francisco

St. Boniface Orphan Asylum San Francisco

San Francisco Female R. C San Francisco

St. Joseph Infant Orphan Asylum San Francisco

Ladies' Protection and Relief Society San Francisco

San Francisco Protestant Orphan Asylum San Francisco

Good Templars' Home for Orphans Vallejo

Pajaro Vale Male Orphan Asylum Watsonville

St. John's Orphan Asylum San Juan, San Benito County

Female Orphan Asj^lum Santa Cruz

Los Angeles Orphan Asylum Los Angeles^

Los Angeles Orphans' Home Los AngeleR

St. Vincent's Female Orphan Asylum Petaluma

Ladies' Relief Society Oakland

St. Vincent's Male Orphan Asylum San Rafael

Home of Benevolence San Jose

St. Vincent's Orphan Asylum Santa Barbara

Grass Valley Orphan Asj'lum Grass Valley

In the main, these institutions were found to be well managed, the
children well cared for in respect of their health and morals. In
general, there is a zealous and successful effort being made to give
the children the fundamentals of a good plain education.

In quite a number the children are sent to some convenient public
school, and of course the degree and kind of instruction are that of
those public schools. In many also something of industrial instruction
is given: the girls being taught cooking, the care of bedrooms, and
other branches of housekeeping, while the boys are taught such labors
as the establishments and the grounds call for. Not as much is done
in this direction as might and ought to be done. Great care should
be taken to give the children such knowledge of and respect for labor
that on leaving the institution they will be able and willing to earn
a living in some direction. They should all along be taught that the


assistance of the institution is but temporary, lasting only during
their period of helplessness, and because of that helplessness; and
tliat to expect or to wish for help, after they shall be able to help
tliemselves, and to live upon the means of the productive members
of society, would be immoral and render themselves degraded and

Needlework and, above all, plain sewing, and the cutting, fitting,
and making of clothing is taught to the girls in some institutions.

The Saint Boniface Orphan Asylum of San Francisco was found
to have been broken up, and the children transferred to two other
asylums under the control of the Roman Catholic Church.

'While it is true that the general run of instruction is good in most
of these institutions, it must be admitted that the system of teaching
might be improved in many instances. In several of the institu-
tions the instruction is carried to a nominally high standard, includ-
ing chemistry and algebra, which are, however, not taught as well as
might be done. The memory is overburdened and the reasoning
faculty not sufficiently developed. The excellent custom of using
the blackboard, and the pupil demonstrating or explaining and com-
menting upon his exaction, is not sufficiently observed. There is a
tendency, not, however, peculiar to these institutions, to run over
many books of high sounding names, rather than to get some knowl-
edge thoroughly and to go through the beneficial process of getting
and digesting that knowledge.

The Sacramento asylum, where there are one hundred and sixty-
five children, is in an unfortunate condition with respect to sewerage.
The pipes discharge into a cesspool. The old cesspool having been
filled, the pipes have been transferred to a new one. There are at
present no means of connecting them with the city system of sewer-
age. The unhealthy exhalations are perceptible in the dormitories
on calm nights. The wash-rooms are kept in a neat condition, but
connected with two of them are water-closets, and the odor from one
of them was perceptible at the time of the investigation. The rooms,
stairs, halls, and the buildings generally are kept clean, well venti-
lated, and in as good condition for health as care and zeal can eff'ect.
But some remedy should be applied at once to the defective sewerage.

It is with regret that I am compelled to report that the instruction
at the Pajaro Vale Male Orphan Asylum, near Watsonville, is very
poor indeed. Here there are ninety children, of ivhom only fourteen
are fully orphans ; that is, having neither parent. About two thirds
of the whole number are of Mexican descent. The school is divided
into two classes. The upper class had less than one half of the whole
number; their room is poorly provided with desks, which are of the
roughest sort. In this class the scholars are taught reading, spelling,
and arithmetic. The boys were supposed to have gone through mul-
tiplication and division. They had scarcely any knowledge of the
subject. They were unable to explain the little work which they
performed correctlJ^ As none of them could tell how many yards of
cloth could be purchased with eighty dollars at twelve and a half
cents a yard, they were asked how many could be purchased at
twenty-five cents a yard, but could not tell. No geography, no his-
torj' , and no grammar is taught in the institution. It was stated that
boys had been in the institution who had studied the historj^ of the
United States, but they were all gone.


Of the pupils found in the next room about one half were reading
in the First Reader, and the others in the Second Reader, and study-
ing none of the other branches of a common school course. By way
of explanation it was stated that most of the children were of Spanish
or Mexican descent, and yet it was observed that they spoke English
fluently. Nor would this seem to excuse the total neglect of gram-
mar, history, and geograph3^

The result of the inspections of these eleemosynary institutions
seems to indicate that more attention is paid to the instruction of the
girls than of the boys, not in all instances, but upon the average.


An orphan, a child without parents, of tender years, helpless, with-
out kindred or friends able and willing to protect and provide for it,
is an object which at once and irresistibly appeals to every heart
having the least spark of generosity or charity. But the case of chil-
dren called half-orphans is widelj'' different; where either parent is
living the iwiina facie idea would seem to be that the surviving parent
should care for and provide for his or her offspring. This plain voice
of nature is heeded by the virtuous and good, by even those who can
be said to have only natural feeling, to such an extent that any prop-
osition by a living parent to put a child upon the charity of the
community should at once excite suspicion, and inaugurate a close
scrutiny and search for those extraordinary circumstances which
alone could excuse such an intent.

If such be the case with half-orphans- how much worse with aban-
doned children. To abandon a child is a crime just short of infanti-
cide. The circumstances which would justify such a thing must be
extraordinary indeed. To freely accept such children and foist them
upon the charity of those who toil and accumulate, is to encourage, to
put a premium on immorality and laziness. Doubtless there may be
circumstances which would properly lead the authorities of these
institutions to accept such children, but they certainly must be rare.

The total number of real orphans, or whole orphans as they are
called, assisted by the State, is 678; each of these receives $100; and
the number of half-orphans is (2,125), two thousand one hundred and
hventy-five, for whose support the State gives $75 apiece. And there
have been 325 children abandoned by their 'parents! These receive
$75 a year each. The State gives more than a quarter of a million
annually to these charitable institutions. In one of these orphan
asylums there are 38 half-orphans and but one orphan. In another
where there is but a single orphan, there are 17 half-orphans, while
there are 10 children who have been abandoned by their parents.
It is pleasing to note that at the Grass Valley Asylum while there
are 168 orphans, there are but 19 half-orphans and only 3 children
who have been abandoned by their parents.

work schools.

The subject of industrial education is one that is exciting great
and increasing interest all over the country; in fact, all over the civ-
ilized world. There is a belief that the system of public instruction
is defective, in that it does not teach a use of the ordinary tools of
the handicrafts and a knowledge of the fundamental principles of
mechanics. It is certain that, owing to certain causes, nearly the
whole time of childhood and youth is taken up in the schools, and
there is not time, even if there were opportunity, to learn the use of
tools and the habit of labor.

Most parents are in a great hurry to get their children into the
public schools, frequently, it is to be feared, to get rid of the trouble
of taking care of them. Besides, there is a great concentration of
the people in cities and large towns, and children are thereby de-
prived of many of the opportunities and advantages of a rural life.
On a farm there is a necessity for every one understanding and prac-
ticing the simpler operations of the mechanical arts.

The consequence is that there is a complaint that our young peo-
ple, upon quitting the public schools, are helpless, and not fitted in
any degree whatever for work.

Then comes the demand that they shall be taught how to work in
the public schools. Every man who has an idea which he thinks to
be for the general good wants it taught in the public schools. The
system of public instruction seems to be regarded as an omnibus
which is never full, but can always take on one more! The truth is,
that the public schools are now doing their work well, better, in fact,
than might be expected, when we remember how they are overloaded.

The proposition to teach industrial education in all the public
schools is clearly impracticable. We have a vast corps of instructors
fitted, by long and costly training and by experience, to serve the
public; most of them — the large majority — are ladies, and are in
charge of district schools, where they are alone without assistance.
They have all they can do. Does any one expect these hard-worked
ladies to teach carpentry, blacksmithing, agriculture ?

No; if this demand is to be met, it must be by special schools, which
might be called Work Schools, which would have in charge to give
instruction in work which, however elementary in kind and limited
in extent, would be good and sound.

To this end I would suggest that a sufficient appropriation be made
to set up the necessary buildings and plant, and to purchase the nec-
essary land at some one place at or near the county seat of every
county. This to be done by the State; and the money distributed
to the counties in proportion to the number of school census children
of the county.

Then let the fund for paying the salaries of the instructors be
raised by a county tax. The appointment of the teachers in the
Work School, their government, the disbursement of the fund of the
school, and the entire control and management, subject to the laws
of the State, to be vested in a Board of Trustees, of which the Super-
intendent of Schools of the county should be ex officio Chairman.
The other members of the Board might be the presiding Judge of the
Superior Court, the President or Chairman of the Board of Super-
visors, the County Clerk, and the County Surveyor.

40 b

There should be land enough upon which to teach practical agri-
culture, including orchards, vineyards, and silk culture, at least to
the extent of the production of cocoons.

In the buildings — which may be inexpensive structures of wood —
there should be a wood-work department, where should be taught the
use of carpenters' and builders' tools, the turning lathe, the simple
principles of house and bridge building, and, if possible, those of the
wheelwright and cabinetmaker.

There should be a metal-iuork department, equipped with a forge,
anvil, vise, and blacksmiths' tools, machinists' tools, tinners' tools,
and, when practicable, the means for turning iron, brass, and other

There should be a leather department, for teaching the trades of
shoemaker, harness-maker, saddler, and glovemaker.

There should be a sewing department, in which the cutting and
making of clothing should be taught, and all sewing of a plain and
utilitarian kind.

There should be a cooking and housekeeping department, including

There should be a book-keeping department, where practical book-
keeping and mechanical drawing should be taught. All the accounts
of the several departments and of the entire Work School should
be kept by the teacher of that department, who should also be the
recorder of the Board of Trustees. The keeping of the accounts of
the school should form a part of the instruction in this department.

The Board of Trustees should make regular reports, and also all
special reports that might be required of them, to the Superintend-
ent of Public Instruction, and through him to the Legislature and
people, as to the workings, condition, and prospects of the school.
All produce and manufactures of the school should be sold and the
proceeds added to the fund of the school. The apportionment due
to any county might remain in the State Treasury until the Trustees
of the Work School should report to the Superintendent of Public
Instruction that the county fund for paying the salaries of the in-
structors was in hand or guaranteed to be ready by the time the land
should be purchased and the buildings erected and ready for use.
Then, upon the warrant, or requisition on the Controller, of the
Superintendent of Public Instruction, the money might be turned
over to the County Treasurer.

Thus there would be one place in each county where the use of
tools might be learned, and even a useful, self-supporting trade
acquired, and also the great moral results achieved of self-reliance
and a respect for labor.

Since these Work Schools would form a part of the public schools,
the pupils would see that labor, the continued practice of labor, was
necessary, desirable, and honorable, and was held so to be by the
body politic.

If the schools were situated near the centers of population in the
county they could be availed of immediately by a large number with-
out inconvenience or expense. And they would be open to all the
children of the county, of suitable age, and so desiring, with the sole
inconvenience and expense of taking up their board near the school
when their homes were too remote.

Pupils might be admitted at the age of, say, fourteen years. They
should be able to read, to write, and understand well the four ground

40 c

rules of arithmetic, fractions (common and decimal), the principles
of percentage, and the ordinary calculations of interest. This much,
at least, they should understand. If they had been reasonably dili-
gent at school before coming to the Work School they would know
much more, such as United States history, geography, etc.

During the first year the pupils should be instructed in all the
departments where it should be practicable; the boys in all, even to
cooking, and the girls in the sewing department, the cooking and
housekeeping department, the leather department (sewing and glove-
making), the agricultural department, where they could well do
much work in the orchards, vineyards, and, above all, in the care,
preservation, and feeding of silkworms and the production of cocoons,
and even in the work of the turning lathe they might be profitably
and healthfully employed.

At the end of this time (or a longer period if found to be neces-
sary), the pupils might begin to specialize. They would have dis-
played a greater ability or adaptability or taste for some one trade or
line of work, and thereafter give their whole time and energies to it;
and thus, at the end of three years, or whatever should be the neces-
sary period, they would be equipped with a good trade and ready
to make their own livings and become respectable and valuable
citizens. In these county Work Schools constant and prolonged in-
struction should be given in drawing, right line drawing, sketching,
pattern making, designing of figures for prints, etc.

Near the great cities, where there are more people and wealth,
doubtless these schools would be developed so as to include many
pursuits not here mentioned, like dyeing, calico printing, wool man-
ufactures, and others too numerous to mention.

No doubt the project here sketched would need to be modified in
many particulars when the Legislature should go to work to put it
into operation, and examine into details. Nothing is insisted on
save that all attempts to make any serious and profitable use of the
public schools, as they exist, would prove failures and even melan-
choly farces.


Under this head I beg leave to call the attention of the Legislature
to the fact that the appropriations for the traveling expenses of the
Superintendent of Public Instruction have, for several years past,
been only one thousand dollars a year. This sum is totally inade-
quate to a proper discharge of the duties required by the law. The
consequence was, that my predecessor was compelled to put in sev-
eral deficiency bills to reimburse his outlays in the discharge of his
duties. On taking office, I determined not to overrun the appropria-
tion, but to stop whenever it should be exhausted, and allow the
responsibility of leaving necessary work undone fall where it should
fall. In the year ending June 30, 1883, I did so; but not exactly in
the ensuing year, because a loud demand was made at the close of
the year for my presence and services in a distant county, and the
result was that the appropriation was exceeded by a small sum.
Meanwhile, in both years, I failed to make many visits and inspec-
tions which the good of the public service demanded.

Section 1532 of the Political Code fixes the limit of these traveling
expenses at $1,500 per annum, although the Legislature, since 1880,
as intimated before, has appropriated only $1,000 per annum. The

40 D

limit of $1,500 a year was fixed in 1872, when the number of census
children was about one hundred thousand less than at present, and
the work about one half of that at present to be done; $1,500 was
then allowed, and now, with double as much to do, $1,000 is allowed,
and the same amount ($1,000) was allowed as far back as 1863, when
the total number of children enrolled in the public schools was only
thirty-six thousand five hundred and forty. The proper limit for
the present needs of the public service would be $2,000 a year. Then
the general superintendent of the instruction of the State could make
occasional visits to outlying schools and districts off the seaboards
and main lines of travel, and know for himself, and be able to report
to the people through the Legislature, the actual workings of the
school machiner^^ to keep it homogeneous and progressing equally

Online LibraryCalifornia. LegislatureAppendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) → online text (page 55 of 83)