Ezra S. (Ezra Slocum) Carr.

The University of California and its relations to industrial education : as shown by Prof. Carr's reply to the grangers and mechanics; Prof. Swinton's testimony before the Legislature; the new education, by Columella; memorial to the Legislature by joint committee of the state grange and mechanics online

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Online LibraryEzra S. (Ezra Slocum) CarrThe University of California and its relations to industrial education : as shown by Prof. Carr's reply to the grangers and mechanics; Prof. Swinton's testimony before the Legislature; the new education, by Columella; memorial to the Legislature by joint committee of the state grange and mechanics → online text (page 9 of 13)
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Attest : MARTIN KELLOGG, Dean.


Whereas, Necessities have required Professor William Swinton to resign the
Chair of English Literature and History in the University of California ; there-

Resolved, That we, students of this University, hereby express our sense of
a great loss and our utmost regret in losing him, at once the profound scholar
and the genial friend.

Resolved, That, in him, we recognize the wise counselor and abiding friend ;
that to his learning we bow in respect, for his friendship we give him ours, and
that in the future we wish him all happiness. Our friendship and best regard
will make their journey with him across the continent and take up their home
in his.





With this statement of facts and opinions, I have the honor to
remain, Your obedient servant.

Sacramento, March 20th, 1874.






" The modern world is full of artillery : and we torn out onr children to do battle in it
•quipped with the shield and sword of an ancient gladiator. Posterity will cry Bhame on us
if we do not remedy this deplorable state of things. Nay, if we live twenty years longer.
v«r own oonsciencies will <vry shame on us. Modern civilization rest* upon physical
science." — Huxly.

San Francisco, October 2, 1874.
HON. Gk W. PINNEY, Oakland,

Dear Sir : — Learning that you are the author of a pamphlet entitled the
"New Education " published over the signature " Columella,"' I request your
consent to its publication in connection with Professor Carr's communication to
the Joint Committee of Grangers and Mechanics, Professor Swinton's Testi-
mony before the Legislature, and other documents relative to the Universty.

Respectfully yours,


Chairman Committee.

San Francisco, October 7, 1874.
W. H. BAXTER Esq., Chairman, etc.

Dear Sir : — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the
2d inst. attributing to rne, the authorship of the " New Education," and re-
questing my consent to its publication with other documents relating to the same

My pamphlet is protected by no copyright. I wrote and published it, with
the hope that it might direct the attention of our agriculturists and mechanics
to the subjects of which it treats, and to the manner in which those subjects were
treated by the California University. These classes, which perform so important
an office in all the industrial enterprises of our State and country, cannot dis-
charge a higher or holier duty for humanity in this age, than to see that the
object of Congress in the " New Education " is accomplished. They alone, can
do it. The reform is in their hands. If it fails to realize all that is promised for
it — all the most sanguine expectations of its founders, the blame will be theirs.
It is emphatically a trust confided to their intelligence and energy.

Make any use of the pamphlet that will aid the cause of the " New Educa-
iton." My only care concerning it is, that it does not more fully and clearly
express the lively interest, which as a citizen I feel in that most important of
all subjects. Wishing you and the associations you represent great success,
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

G. W. P.


" To-day," says Hoyt in his review of the Schools of Agri-
culture, " no educational question occupies more of the attention
of the educators and statesmen of civilized nations, than how to
organize and operate institutions and other agencies for the de-
velopment of agricultural science, and the diffusion of its light
among the groping millions who cultivate the soil." In the
entire history of educational enterprise, no other subject possess-
es equal practical interest. Agriculture, the first of human
pursuits, is the last to receive the aid of science. This is the
single unexplored field, which is yet to witness the most impor-
tant achievements of civilization. And how much there is of it
to explore ! From the remotest antiquity, down through all the
nations, agriculture has been the elementary pursuit, and yet, as
compared with other occupations, how little of improvement has
it known. Wherever and whenever experiments have been tried,
results have been wonderful, but the earth has been too generous
a mother to encourage experiment. Agriculture has crept stead-
ily through the ages, enriching nations and subduing nature,
encouraging commerce and the arts, and at all times, either of
prosperity or adversity, proving itself the surest, safest, most
reliable friend of the human family.

The various processes by which agriculture has grown into an
educational question, have been of slow accumulation, and owe
their origin to such necessities as from time to time have ap-
peared and been supplied in all parts of the civilized world
The experiments of half a century in soils, in crops, in farming
implements, in horticulture and in stock raising, have demon-
strated the value of science in its application to every branch of
agriculture. Papers and periodicals have been established to
publish these discoveries. Societies have been organized to en-
large the field of investigation. Geological surveys have been
made at vast expense to reveal the riches of the soil. Agricul-
tural reports have been published and circulated, together with
seeds and plants, in great variety throughout the country. A de-
partment of agriculture has been organized by the government
in aid of the pursuit. County and State Fairs have been in-
troduced to encourage farmers. Great, various and multipli-


ed have been the means employed to develope and dignify the
pursuit of agriculture, and to give to it a prominence and rank
among other pursuits, to which its importance and respectability
entitle it. The results have everywhere been attended with
success — and not only has agriculture, but all other occupations
been improved and enlarged by the enterprise. But every ad-
vance made has only demonstrated more clearly, that any efforts
less than those which contemplate a thorough fundamental
course of instruction, that shall train and educate the agricultu-
rist in various branches of his occupation, must fail to attain the
high standard, which as the leading pursuit in America, agricul-
ture should maintain. Our country with its immense agricultu-
ral domain, fresh from the hands of the creator, has never fully
realized the importance of agricultural education. The soil has
always supplied our home wants, and steadily increased our
commerece with other nations — and until our population, like
that of Europe, becomes so great that every acre is needed to
afford t$e means of subsistence, it will continue to do so. We
might go on prosperously for a century or more, without any
failure of ugricultural increase or wealth, and make no greater
efforts than we have made to improve and elevate that pursuit,
but with what result ? At the close of the period, we would
have an ignorant, stationary population of farmers — a half cul-
tivated, worn out soil, and all efforts at improvoments would then
prove hopeless.

The political considerations which dictate a course of thor-
ough education for our agriculturists, are quite as important as
any which are connected with the subject as a pursuit. Our
farmers should understand our government as well as our soil.
They should be as capable of comprehending human as natural
laws, and should know how the evils of state are to be remedied,
as well as the evils of their crops. It is this sort of an educa-
tion that our government is seeking to introduce through the
various colleges which have been established by its munficence.

The question of establishing State Colleges of Agriculture
was first agitated in America, by prominent agriculturists, in
1837. To Michigan belongs the honor of establishing the first
agricultural college, as long ago as 1855. Never since have the
objects of such an institution been more fully comprehended.
" They are, " the Act says — " firstly, to impart a knowledge of
science and its applications to the arts of life — secondly to af-
ford to its students the privilege of daily manual labor, that
neither health nor inclination to labor may be lost, and that the
principles taught in the schools may be more firmly fixed in the


mind — thirdly, to porsecute experiments for the promotion of
agriculture — fourthly, to offer the means of a general education
to the farming classes."

Similar institutions were soon chartered by the legislature of
New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Then came the na-
tional endowment of 1862, announcing that its object, "with-
out excluding other scientific and classical studies, and includ-
ing military tactics, was to teach such branches of learning a8
are related to agricultre and the mechanic arts, in order to pro-
mote the liberal and practical education of the industrial class-
es in the several pusuits and professions of life."

The donation was made for the industrial classes — mechanics,
farmers, laborers. It made instruction in their pursuits a speci-
alty, without excluding other scientific and classical studies.
The chief purpose of the grant was to introduce a thorough
course of instruction in all the States, in all branches relating to
agriculture and mechanics. Its object was to educate that class
of our citizens who were engaged or about to engage in these
pursuits for a livelihood, whether as teachers or operatives — not
those who made choice of the professions. Other institutions
for instruction in the " higher education," as it is called, were
numerous and well endowed. These were neglected branches
and could not be introduced without this aid. As a consequence,
a very large portion of our population, embracing that class en-
gaged in the most productive pursuits of the nation, were
deprived of the means of education in those branches pertaining
to their occupation.

Any other interpretation than this of the object of Congress, is
a perversion of its meaning and intention. Any appropriation
of the revenues derivable from the endowment, not made spe-
cifically for the promotion of the liberal and practical education
of the industiral classes, is a violation of good faith by the
States which accepted it.

Congress judged, that if properly conducted, this "new edu-
cation " would work a long desired revolution in the leading
pursuits of the nation, and establish their claims to a just and
equal rank with the learned profession. Many of the best and
strongest minds in the nation would be devoted to agriculture
and mechanics. The results would be seen in a steady improve-
ment of the mehanical and inventive genius of the people, and
a triumph over nature in the reclamation of worn out soils in
the culture of unproductive lands and in the thorough develope-
ment of our agricultural resources.

The gift was strictly guarded. The States were to pay all ex-


penses. No part of the fund, either directly or indiredtly should
be used to purchase, erect, repair or preserve any building. The
acceptance of the land was a guarantee by the State that the capi-
tal should be kept intact. If it became diminished or lost, the
State should replace it.

The effect of the endowment was inspirational. Most of the
States responded immediately to the grand design. Less than
twelve years have elapsed since the law was passed. At that
time there were three agricultural colleges in the Union. Now
there are thirty-eight.

How did they understand the object of Congress ? We learn
from their action. Of thirty-eight colleges that have been Or-
ganized, thirty-two besides providing all means for scientific
instruction, are furnished with experimental farms, and twenty-
one make satisfactory reports of progress, in raising crops, rota-
tion, fertilizing, selection of different varieties of stock cattle,
horses, sheep, culture of fruit, and instruction in veterinary
science, horticulture, &c. Appended to the report of the Presi-
dent of Pennsylvania College for the year 1873, are tables show-
ing what experiments have been made in rotation of crops, and
in the use and variety of fertilizers for a period of five years - ,
commencing with 1869. Similar tables accompany the Virgin-
ia report. Many of the reports of other States contain impor-
tant hints on a great number of subjects connected with the
practical cultivation, the qualities of different breeds of domestic
animals, and comparative utility of various farming implements.
The course of instruction, the mode in which chemical and
other scientific experiments are practically illustrated in-door
and out-door exercises, are set forth in many of the reports with
distinctiveness and precsion. They express a determination to
supply their institutions with all needful facilities for carrying
out the purposes of the grant; and the fullest confidence in
their power to accomplish the most sanguine hopes of their
friends. A feeling of regret is expressed by some, that the
grant is not large enough to justify many important expendi-
tures. Those States that have been delayed in their organiza-
tions, avow a determination to make up for loss of time by giving
the subject immediate attention.

The aggregate number of students in attendance upon these
institutions, and the Universities with which many of them are
connected, for the collegiate year of 1872, as we learn from the
report of the department of agriculture, was 5373. Of this
number, 2604 were in the Agricultural and Mechanical Coll-
eges. A gratifying feature in these reports, is that they generally


show an increased list of students year after year. The Presi-
dent of the Pennsylvania College, says : — farming is not an ad
captandum branch in the catalogue, but a regular and produc-
tive pursuit. Chemistry is practical analysis in laboratory, the
text book being only a basis ; botany is work in the fields, and
not a study of pictures only ; mathematics is carried also into
the fields, and practical surveyors and engineers are made."

We learn from the general outline of the character of these
institutions, that the people understand the great design of this
new system of education, to be an enlargement upon all former
systems, by the introduction of practical branches, which shall
so unite the theories of learning and science with technical ex-
emplifications, that they can be utilized in all the great pursuits
of life. Opposed at first by a few of our leading educators, the
system has already proved the fallacy of their strongest objec-
tions. And such men as the lamented Agassiz, who for years
after its introduction, was skeptical in regard to its possible
utility, now unite with him, in the confession, that it has proven
a complete success and is entitled to rank with other scientific

Other educators have spoken of the system in terms of the
highest commendation. President White of the Cornell Uni-
versity, says :

"It is to proyide fully for an industrial, scientific, and general education
suited to our land and time — an education in which scientific and industral
studies should knit into its very core, while other studies should also be provid-
ed for. And, besides this, as it has been seen that the States in rebellion had
gained great advantage from the military education of students, it was declared
that intsruction in military tactics shall also be included. ~,.~

"This act of 1862 was, then, a noble, comprehensive scheme, looking, as you
see, first of all at the industries of tlie nation, but at the same time insisting on
provision for the broadest scientific and general culture."

President Clark of the Massachusetts Agricultural College,
says of it :

" The opportunity for acquiring a valuable education is offered to all Jthe
young men of the country, and if the farmers desire to have their sons trained
in the best manner to pursue intelligently the profession of their fathers, let
them patronize the College. If however there are others who wish to have their
sons enjoy the advantages of scientific and literary culture, under circumstances
calculated to interest them in practical affairs, and to prepare them for a life of
industry and usefulness, they have equal rights with the farmers, and shall have
eqally cordial welcome."

President Read of the University of the State of Missouri,

" This school is to be a school both of science and its applications; its pur-
pose to teach knowledge and art — first to know, and then to do, and to do it in
the best manner. The popular objection to our Colleges takes this form, ' too
much theory — too little practice. ' As an educator, I have long been convinced
that, even as a part of discipline itself, the practical should follow the theoretic,


as its natural compliment and sequel, and without this, all discipline is defective
and insufficient.

"There has been a great struggle on this question, what shall the education
of our higher institutions be? Nor is the question yet settled. There is perhaps
no subject upon which it is more difficult to break away from our natural con-
servatism — perhaps I had better say our old prejudices — than education. We
cling not only to the subjects and methods in which we have been taught, but
even tolerate usages connected with our institutions which almost outrage hu-

* * * * * * * *

" The prejudices of early education, natural taste, the pursuits of Professorial
life, a fondness for classical criticism, caused me to over value what I best un-
stood, and upon which I had spent years of study. Thus much I may be per-
mitted to say as to myself. I do not now undervalue any part of my education —
whether that of science or letters. But this I do say, in the shortness of human
life, after proper rudimentary training, we must resort to special courses. This
is the tendency of our great Universitie, and with this freedom of courses there
is no reason to keep up controversy. Time will solve problems which now dis-
turb the minds of men, and doubtless will sweep away many of our most cher-
ished opinions. But on the subject of an adapted or special education, there
cannot be longer dispute among thinking men."

Professor Swinton late of the University of California, and
whose capabilities as a teacher are well known to all our readers,

says :

" The progress, success and benefits of the industrial Universities and Col-
leges founded by Congress to promote agriculture and the mechanic arts, con-
sidering the means employed, the recentness of their establishment, and the ob-
struction put in their way by the caste prejudice of the classicists and scientific
schoolmen, have been far beyond that of any other higher institutions of learn-
ing in the country, and form indeed the most inspiring educational fact of the
nineteenth century."

Opinions of similar character, uttered by the leading educa-
tors of this country and Europe, might be quoted to fill a vol-
ume, but let these suffice to correct any impression unfavorable
to the system, which may have gained currency through local
opposition, or "caste prejudice." It is certain, that to day, the
new system of education is rapidly growing in favor with those
who, on its first appearance, regraded it with great distrust.

We have not considered in this opposition of the classicist,
the opposition of those who fear the developements of science,
and distrust that sort of mental training which looks beyond
theory for a confirmation of its assumptions. Their number is
diminishing daily, by natural causes ; some still remain to dis-
pute even the truths of geology, because they overturn the theo-
ry of the six days creation, and destroy their hopes of future
salvation. They never will be persuaded that a union of theory
with practice, which bases truth upon experiment, can fail to
produce a nation of infidels. There is no such God as they
have worshiped, and no such Heaven as they hope to attain in
such a system. To all such, we have no other reply, than that


there is no truth in the universe too sacred for investigation.
We have a little respect for the opinions of those who fear the
eifects a of thorough scientific training, as for those who, after
searching nature through all her works, cannot look up through
them to " Nature's God."

We need be at no loss to comprehend the views entertained
of the " new education," by its most munificent patrons. Ezra
Cornell inspired to the act by the Congressional donation, gave
nearly a million dollars to create a University where, in his own
sententious language, "any person can find instruction in any
study." Agriculture and mechanics illustrated by experiments
in the field and in the workshop, and embracing all practical
details of the manner in which those pursuits should be con-
ducted, are among the most prominent branches taught in that
institution. No distinction is recognized between professional
and industrial students. No student can pass through his four
years course, without receiving as a condition for graduation a
course of lectures on general agriculture.

What but the increasing confidence of educators in the sys-
tem, could have induced old Harvard, our model University, to
take under its protection the institution established in execu-
tion of the trust created by the will of Benjamin Bussy ? This
school is intended for the following class of persons :

"1. Young men who intend to become practical farmers, gardeners, florists,
or landscape gardeners.

2. Young men who will naturally be called upon to manage large estates —
such as the sons of large farmers and of city men who own country places.

3. Young men of character, good judgment and native force, who have
neither taste nor aptitude for literary studies, but being fond of country life
and observant of natural objects, would make when thoroughly trained, good
stewards or overseers of gentlemen's estates.

4. Teachers, or young men preparing to be teachers, who expect to be called
upon to teach some of the subjects taught in this schools.

5. Persons who wish to familiarize themselves with some special branch of
Agriculture, Horticulture or applied Zoology.

A year's study in the Lawrence Scientific School also con-
nected with the University, is required as preparatory to entry
into the Bussy institution. In these two institutions, the student
has the instruction of thirty-five different teachers on special
branches of the science of agriculture. The instruction is il-
lustrated by the rich scientific collections of Harvard Universi-
ty ; a botanic garden, a large and profitable farm, green houses,
propagating houses and field experiments.

To come nearer home. Among the munificent donations of
our fellow citizen ; James Lick, none will benefit a larger or
more deserving class, than the $300,000 appropriated to the
erection and endowment of a school for the mechanics in San


Francisco. And yet, without the confidence inspired by the
public estimation, in which that branch of instruction is held,
the donation wo aid never have been made.

Such benefactions as these show how strong a hold the new
education has taken on the public mind. The object of Peter
Cooper in establishing his institute in New York City, was to
furnish a kind of practical instruction, which could not be ob-
tained in the higher institutions. He could have endowed sev-
eral professorships in Yale or Harvard with the same money
but as the result of his experiment has proved, he would never
have been regarded as a benefactor, by thousands who have
been rescued from the hard life by city drudgery, for more
profitable and congenial occupation. He might have aided the
" higher education," but he would not have aided the education
of the poor and lowly.

The Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges bridge over the
gulf in educational facilities, that has hertofore existed between
the professional and industrial classes. They break down the
royal road to learning, and give dignity to the most useful pur-
suits of life, equal to that claimed for the most learned. They
educate alike the head and the hand, and train the muscles and
sinews to obey the thought. They make the soil and its pro-
ducts a study which will contribute more to the greatness and

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Online LibraryEzra S. (Ezra Slocum) CarrThe University of California and its relations to industrial education : as shown by Prof. Carr's reply to the grangers and mechanics; Prof. Swinton's testimony before the Legislature; the new education, by Columella; memorial to the Legislature by joint committee of the state grange and mechanics → online text (page 9 of 13)