Charles Rufus Skinner.

Manual of patriotism : for use in the public schools of the State of New York online

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With its Red for love, and its White for law,
And its Blue for the hope that our fathers saw
Of a larger liberty.


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jFor TUse in tbe public Schools
of tbe State of Mew Korft

BOition of 1904


Cbarles 1R, Skinner

State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Albany, New York, 1900


394540 A

: and
R 1928 L

Copyright 1900




Patriotism is more than a sentiment; it is a conviction based upon
a comprehension of the duties of a citizen and a determination loyally
to perform such duties. Patriotism is love of country, born of
familiarity with its history, reverence for its institutions and faith in
its possibilities, and is evidenced by obedience to its laws and respect

for its flag.

American citizenship, safeguarded by the public schools, stands
for the best that our institutions can offer to a free and happy people.
Believing that our schools should be nurseries of patriotism, it has for
many years been my constant purpose to encourage the study of
history among the youth of our commonwealth as the strongest inspi-
ration to patriotic citizenship and all that it implies. This book
represents the fulfilment of such purpose, and is offered to the teachers
of the State in the confident hope that the object sought to be
accomplished may find ready and enthusiastic supporters among all
educators who are striving for the best results of educational effort.

I have been inspired by the belief that to preserve our free insti-
tutions in all their old-time vigor and prestige, our system of public
education must more and more lay stress on those civic virtues which
develop and ennoble true and patriotic citizenship. This belief has
steadily grown under the encouraging sympathy of thoughtful citi-
zens, experienced educators, and patriotic organizations. The legis-
lature of the State has acknowledged the growth of patriotic spirit
by providing for the publication of a patriotic manual for use in the
public schools of our State, and for its free distribution among them.
The task imposed upon the State Superintendent of Public
Instruction by this enactment has not been easy. The limitations to
the broad scope of material that could legitimately be made part of
such a work were by no means easy to determine. The plan finally
adopted and followed in the compilation of this volume was to present




the choicest literature bearing upon love of country, and upon notable
events and the achievements of proud names in American history, in
the belief that love of country grows best when the youth of the land
have a lively appreciation of what our free institutions have cost in
individual sacrifice, in suffering, and in treasure.

The Manual is now submitted to the teachers and the supervising
officers of the State, and to them is intrusted the important duty of
so using the material provided as to make at least some of its noble
utterances, its vivid pictures of great deeds and patriotic sacrifices,
and its quotations from the sayings of men honored for their clear
patriotic vision, a part of the very souls of the pupils intrusted to their
care. In this way shall we secure the very result intended by
the legislature in enacting the law which authorized the publication
of this volume. This can be done successfully only by much repeti-
tion and constant reiteration. So well established is this fact that I
feel warranted in recommending that a few minutes of the opening
exercises of every public school each day be devoted to observance
based upon the material found in this Manual, or suggested thereby,
and, in addition, that more extended exercises be provided in com-
memoration of the great days and the great names in our Nation's

I would be glad to have every pupil in our public schools commit
to memory each week some patriotic selection or quotation, no matter
how brief it may be. Let school be opened by a patriotic song and
a salute to the flag. This may be followed by a short recitation or
by several brief patriotic quotations from the masterpieces which have
been arranged in this work. Let pupils choose from among their
number one or more classmates whose duty it shall be to see that the
flag is properly displayed in favorable weather, at other times exhib-
ited in the schoolroom, and all times sacredly cared for.

The task of editing this work was placed in the hands of Professor
William K. Wickes, principal of the high school of Syracuse, to whom
my acknowledgments are due for his loyal and painstaking efforts. I
also acknowledge my indebtedness to Professor Isaac H. Stout, a
veteran of the civil war associated with me in the educational work of



the State, who suggested ancV arranged that part of the Manual relat-
ing to important dates in American history. I desire especially to
acknowledge my obligations to Past-Commanders Albert D. Shaw,
Anson S. Wood and Joseph W. Kay, Col. Joseph A. Goulden, chair-'
man of the special committee on instruction in civics and patriotism,
and their comrades of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department
of New York, without number, for their constant encouragement and
earnest co-operation in all matters pertaining to patriotic education,
culminating in the publication of this volume.

This Manual is submitted to teachers, school officers, the people,
and the legislature in the confident belief that it will be so well used
in our school work as to reflect credit on the teaching force, prove the
wisdom of the legislature in authorizing its publication, and justify
the earnest efforts made in behalf of the law by patriotic citizens and

State Superintendent.

Albany, N. Y., May, 1900.


This Manual is made up from many contributing sources. To all,
so far as possible, the editor wishes to make his acknowledgments
and pay his meed of thanks. To Statesmen, Orators, Poets — the dead
and the living — whose strong and stirring utterances give fresh life
and beauty to the thought of Patriotism and its noblest symbol, The
Flag. To the following publishers and composers for the crowning
grace of music: — the Oliver Ditson Company, for selections from
their recent book, " Patriotic Songs for School and Home/' filled
with gems in an admirable musical setting, — Ginn & Co., whose
wide-ranging and inspiring "Academy Song Book" would be a
constant joy in any schoolroom, — Silver, Burdett & Co., in whose
" Songs of the Nation " may be found a fine epitome of the best
in present-day patriotic music, — Houghton, Mifflin & Co., whose
" Riverside Song Book " contains in compact form, set to music, the
finest patriotic poems of the noblest American poets, and into whose
" Riverside Literature Series " have been put illustrations of every
possible phase, as it would seem, of American history and life, — the
John Church Company for use of the song, "Our Flag," — Martha
Moses Peckham (and her publishers, Clayton F. Summy Company,
Chicago), for her unique and rousing song, " Dewey at Manila Bay,"
— Prof. Hamlin E. Cogswell for his spirit-caught interpretation of
" The Liberty Bell " and " The Camp Flag," — Miss Cornelia A. Moses
for the music of the brush in her flag-drawing and initial letters.
Above all, to Prof. Ralph W. Thomas for the music of human speech
as shown in his many and choice selections of patriotic prose and verse.

The Editor.



It is well to put in the very forefront of this book, the law in
accordance with which this " Manual of Patriotism " has been prepared:

LAWS OF NEW YORK.— By Authority.

CHAP. 481.

AN ACT to provide for the display of the United States flag on the
schoolhouses of the State, in connection with the public schools; and
to encourage patriotic exercises in such schools.

Became a law April 22, 1898, with the approval of the Governor. Passed, three-
fifths being present.

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and
Assembly, do enact as follows:

Section i. It shall be the duty of the school authorities of every
public school in the several cities and school districts of the State to
purchase a United States flag, flagstaff and the necessary appliances
therefor, and to display such flag upon or near the public school build-
ing during school hours, and at such other times as such school authori-
ties may direct.

§ 2. The said school authorities shall establish rules and regula-
tions for the proper custody, care and display of the flag, and when the
weather will not permit it to be otherwise displayed, it shall be placed
conspicuously in the principal room in the schoolhouse.

§ 3. It shall be the duty of the state superintendent of public
instruction to prepare, for the use of the public schools of the state, a
program providing for a salute to the flag at the opening of each day
of school and such other patriotic exercises as may be deemed by him
to be expedient, under such regulations and instructions as may best
meet the varied requirements of the different grades in such schools.
It shall also be his duty to make special provision for the observance
in such public schools of Lincoln's birthday, Washington's birthday,
Memorial day, and Flag day, and such other legal holidays of like
character as may be hereafter designated by law.



§ 4. The State superintendent of public instruction is hereby
authorized to provide for the necessary expenses incurred in developing
and encouraging such patriotic exercises in the public school.

§ 5. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize
military instruction or drill in the public schools during school hours.

§ 6. This act shall take effect immediately.

Reading the foregoing carefully, it will be noted that, law-like, not
a word is said as to the intent of the law. But whoever will " read
between the lines " cannot fail to see its gracious purpose, — nothing
less or other than to awaken in the minds and hearts of the young a
strong and abiding regard for the flag and intelligent appreciation of
the great men and great deeds that have made it to be, to all American
youth, the rallying-cry of patriotism. In other words, the Empire
State seeks for its countless host of boys and girls the inculcation of a
true spirit of Patriotism and a loving regard for its greatest symbol,
the Flag.

Note also in the law the constraint that is put upon the authori-
ties of every public school in the State, to furnish, display, and care
for a flag. That means that the State is interested to see that those
into whose hands are put all the great interests of the schools — with
their large corps of teachers and immense army of pupils — shall make
clear the will and mind of the State in respect to the patriotic education
of its children.

This good law was put upon the statute-book through efforts
made largely by the Department of New York, Grand Army ot the
Republic. Under " General Orders, No. 6," issued August 9, 1897, a
special Committee was appointed " to examine and report to the
Department * * * upon the best practical methods of teaching
Patriotism and Civics in our public schools." The Committee, having
previously been divided into three parts, viz.: on Civics and History;
Patriotic Exercises; Public Celebrations, — made its triple report in
November, 1897. This report, under the title, " To Promote Patriotic
Study in the Public Schools," was published in pamphlet form by the
State Superintendent of Public Instruction for general distribution
throughout the State. This action greatly influenced the patriotic
legislation embodied in the law above quoted. In " General Orders,
No. 10," we read: " The comrades feel deeply indebted to Supt.


Skinner for his most helpful and valuable co-operation in this important
patriotic work, which lies so close to all their hearts." "Which lies so
close to their hearts." — What pathos in those words! The brave men
who fought the battles of the Union from '61 to '65 are fast passing
away. Not many years hence the last heart will have ceased to beat.
But meantime, how active and strenuous they are in all right efforts to
vivify and strengthen the sentiment of true patriotism in the hearts of
the young! Everywhere they keep Memorial Day, — a constant object
lesson to the present generation. But besides this, in some cities, they
are the inspiration to a ceremony called the " Transfer of Flags." And
a special word of praise is due to Col. A. D. Shaw, Commander-in-Chief
of the G. A. R., for his untiring zeal in the sacred cause of patriotism,
and for the results he is bringing about in cementing the loyal friend-
ship of Blue and Gray. Indeed, in many ways, the veterans of War
are showing a profound interest in all that makes for lasting and
honorable Peace.

In this work of beneficent patriotism many a Women's Relief
Corps is having a large and honorable share. For there are many
matters connected with the care of the sick and needy that can be
safely and sympathetically entrusted only to women. And thus,
through their kind and most unselfish ministrations, patriotism is
exalted and made more sacred in the eyes of the young.

But G. A. R. and Women's Relief Corps, though the greatest,
are not the only organizations that are helping (each in its own way
and sphere) to strengthen the cause of patriotism. Here are a few
others: Sons of Veterans, U. S. A., Sons of the Revolution, Sons of
the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution,
Daughters of the Revolution, Colonial Dames of America, Association
of Spanish War Veterans. Let all be welcomed to a part in the work
of loyalty-building; let none be found negligent or lukewarm therein!

To no individual, scarcely to any organization, is this Manual so
greatly indebted as to Charles R. Skinner, State Superintendent of
Public Instruction. The G. A. R. Committee, in acknowledgment of
his aid, speaks most gratefully of his " fruitful counsels and sugges-
tions." And the editor of the Manual hereby wishes to give his testi-
mony to the untiring interest shown by the Superintendent, to his



unflagging enthusiasm, his constant wish for the doing of anything,
everything, which might increase in youthful hearts the love of the
Flag and of Native Land. Let the following letter attest his deep
concern for the patriotic welfare of the young:

"Albany, March i, 1900.
" To the Boys and Girls of the Empire State:

" It is spring by the calendar to-day, — but outside of my windows,
the wind is blowing hard and cold and the snow is piling up great drifts
in the streets. At such a time how pleasant it would be for me if I
could gather you all in one great schoolroom around a big, roaring
fire and talk to you about your school. But I cannot do that. There
is no room or building on earth large enough to hold you all. So I
must talk to you, if at all, with my pen.

" I hope you will all study hard, be obedient to your teachers and
kind to your schoolmates. Do not shirk any lessons, no matter how
difficult they may be, for if you master your lessons now, you will be
better able to conquer many difficulties when you grow to be men
and women.

"When you play, I hope you will play as hard as ever you
can. It will help you to get strong and keep strong in body, just
as hard study will strengthen your minds. Then, in years to come,
you will not be in danger of ' breaking down ' when you have much
work to do with hands or brain.

" I suppose you have heard it said that ' all work and no play
makes Jack a dull boy.' And I believe that all play and no work would
be just as bad. Don't you? So I want to tell you how to do something
that certainly is not all work and surely is not all play — indeed, most
of it is neither work nor play. What to call it I hardly know, — but I
am sure that no pupil who does it will be a dull boy or a dull girl.

" When you are tired of work and lessons, and tired, too, of
play, just stop your work or your play and think about the Flag of
your country. And not only think about it, but read about it, write
about it, learn what others have said about it — sing about it. You


will find plenty of things to aid you in your thinking, reading, writing
and singing, in those programs which your good friend, the editor
of the Manual, has prepared for your special use. Now will not that
be a pleasant change from work, and far more useful than mere play?
I am sure also that it will illumine your work and your play with the
' fine gold ' of Patriotism.

" Patriotism, dear children, means love of country. It is some-
thing that lives in the heart, and makes one willing to do anything that
will be for the good of his country. So you see you cannot learn it
from your books, nor get it from your play. But by using the exer-
cises of this book, I think you can find and put away in your hearts
that spirit which will make of you all good citizens — true patriots,
loving your own land and wishing all nations of the earth to possess
that freedom and happiness which you in America so much enjoy. I
hope that you will find in this book those symbols of your country
which stand for the great principles upon which our government is
founded; that you will have your imagination aroused so that you can
see, as ' with your eyes shut,' what beautiful lessons in patriotism those
symbols teach, lessons that will prove to be like pictures of pleasant
things that you may hang on the walls of Memory, never to fade; that
in the sweet and strong music of the book you may feel your young
spirits strengthened to fight, in years to come, in peace or in war, the
noble battles of Patriotism and the Flag.

" Sincerely yours,
" [Signed.]


Do not look upon this Manual as a text-book in American history.
There are many good books that give the facts, and some that attempt
the philosophy of the subject. But this does not pretend to do either.
I am of the mind that neither facts nor philosophy alone, nor both
combined, can create the sentiment of patriotism, much less foster
and strengthen it in the minds and hearts of children. Be yourselves
well grounded in the facts, and teach them as may be needful. Seek
the philosophy of events, and teach it as far as possible. But when you
take this book in your hands, let the light of sentiment and imagination
play over facts and theories — tingeing all as with the beautiful Red,
White and Blue of the Flag. Put yourselves in the place of the child.
"When your own mind is thus made responsive to the color-touch
in history, try to make your pupils see and feel the illuminating power
of great and worthy deeds. Nor of deeds alone. Teach them the
wonderful power that abides in great personalities. Hold before their
eyes a vision of the commanding figures of our own American history.
Inspire them with a sentiment of loyalty and devotion to native land.
If so profound a reasoner so wonderful an orator as Webster, con-
stantly wove into the fabric of his most enduring speeches the splendid
colors of the imagination, surely we need not hesitate, but rather,
should be eager to use as best we can, though in faint degree, that
power which he so magnificently wielded. Remember that the imagina-
tion is the very heart of all the symbols which are found in this book
and are here used to set forth the noblest principles of government, the
great underlying truths of our common humanity.

So, it was with intent that pictorial themes were largely chosen
for the programs that follow. At the same time, it should be under-
stood that the prefatory matter which caps each program is meant only
as a hint or suggestion to be amended or enlarged as any teacher may

wish. Keep the Flag ever before the mind's eye. Remember, also,



that so far as patriotism finds oral expression it is through music,
poetry and prose. They are the gateways beautiful into the mind of
the child. Teach them to sing the songs, let them learn " by heart"
the poems and prose selections, — for not a strain of music, not a
stanza, not a sentence, conveys an unworthy thought. Do not be
alarmed at any sentiment for fear it is too profound for children to
comprehend. If they learn it not in early years, they will never learn it.
But my word for it, the day of a complete understanding of its mean-
ing will come, and then they will remember, with undying thanks, the
faithful one who taught them. Do not let them lose sight of the under-
lying thought of each program, that special quality in pictorial guise,
which it is intended to set forth. Perhaps it is sympathy, or freedom
or protection — no matter what, in the wide range of patriotism. If
the central, rallying word is not given in the preliminary note, let the
teacher give it, or better still, let the pupils find it. Let them put it
in as clear and compact a " composition " form as possible, or explain
it in oral form. Have class exercises frequently; let pupils sing or
repeat in concert; borrow the music of other groups or individual
programs, if time permits; the selections, poetry or prose, of different
groups or single programs, choosing selections from any part of the
book. Put in a quotation exercise, now and then, permitting pupils
to select for themselves.

Mindful that in school as elsewhere, " time is money," I have
made the great majority of the programs so brief that any one may
be compassed in ten minutes or less, at the opening or closing of the
daily session. All told, the programs number forty, so that a daily
exercise may be given through the school year without repeating any
one program more than four or five times, just often enough to keep
the memory refreshed on the various songs and selections. The pro-
grams for Memorial Day, Washington's birthday, Lincoln's birthday,
Flag Day, have been made longer than others, as befits their great
importance. Each of these four great themes makes a group by
itself. The other programs are divided into groups according to the
relation they bear to the Flag, the central theme of all the programs.
Near the opening of the book a brief history of the flag is given,


straightway followed by exercises pertaining to the flag and by the
ceremony of " Salutes " and " Pledges of Allegiance." Thus the body
of the book has been divided into groups, each distinct and separate,
and similarly into programs closely related to " The Flag." Even the
abstract subjects, with their wisely-chosen selections, all find their
meaning and inspiration in the flag.

It was the first thought of the editor of this Manual to make
an extended list of patriotic books for the use of pupils. But that
does not fall within the province and scope of the law, and so no
such bibliography appears. It is entirely right and commendable,
however, for any teacher to point out to his pupils the sources of our
history and to give them the knowledge of its facts. For this, any
good text in United States History will suffice. Upon the sentiment
and romance of our history, the books are almost innumerable. Here
again, the teacher's discretion and opportunity must be his guide.

It may be that enthusiastic and progressive teachers will welcome
the giving, from time to time, 01 what may be called a composite pro-
gram. If so, take any program-subjects, such as liberty bell, sword,
dove, shield, flag, let a pupil or pupils tell what each symbolizes, and
then show what use any great statesman or statesmen made of these
or similar symbols and what the symbols meant to them. Thus, to
Abraham Lincoln, and through him to the people of this great nation,
the liberty bell meant freedom; the sword, union; the dove, peace with
honor; the shield, protection; the flag, loyalty. The possible combina-
tions of such a plan are many, historically interesting, patriotically


It is greatly to be desired that the ceremony of the " Transfer of
Flags " be held in as many schools of the State as possible. Choose
a national holiday for the exercise. In cities, let each school be repre-

Online LibraryCharles Rufus SkinnerManual of patriotism : for use in the public schools of the State of New York → online text (page 1 of 31)