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tention upon them which my small compensation would enable me to do ; nor does your chaplaiu feel that his labors have been altogether lost. While he has visited the convicts and conversed with them familiarly, in their cells and at their shops, and while he has daily led their evening devotions, and on the Sabbath, endeavored to shed upon them the light of divine truth, he is enabled confidently to report ihat good has been evidently effected. The feelings and views of inany of the prisoners have been recently changed :-- the thoughtless are led to serious reflection ; the vindictive, to miid and forgiving tempers; the stubborn and refractory, to subdued feeling and cheerful obedience; the intemperate, to a serious determination to abandon the cours · which has led them to infamy and the prison ; those who were brutis bly ignorant, are led to a thirst for instruction and knowledge ; the hard hearted and irreligious, to a discovery of their obligations to God and man; and some few, I trust, have been made the happy partakers of His Grace. Religious services are attended every evening in the prison chapel be. fore they retire to their cells, which consist in reading a chapter of the bible, or singing a hymı, and prayer. One Sabbath in three there is preaching through the day as in other chapels, and on the other two, in the forenoon only, with a reading school in the afternoon for the benefit of the unlettered part of the prisoners.
The school at present numbers :hirty-four scholars, and I am happy to report that it is in a very flourishing condition, and that five improve. ment is made by the scholars in reading and spelling. About twentytwo of them can now read very well in the New Testament, some of whoin, when they came to the prison, did not know one letter from another. I think that this school should be encouraged. Many of the prisoners express inuch gratification at having an opportunity of instruction. The Sabbath school is very interesting, and evidently in. creases in interest. The present number of scholars is thirty-eight, all of whom voluntarily attend. The gospels of St. Maithew and John have been principa ly committed to memory. Great good has grown out of the establishinent of this institution. Many, who were before strangers to the bible, are now fainiliar with the saciel volume, and have an ardent thirst for reading other good books, of which, we have not a sufficient supply. A new supply of tracts would be very desirable. Upon the whole, I would say that I have never known the tiine since my connection with the mora! department of this prison, when the prisoners listened with greater attention to religious instruction than during the past year. Their conuct in general, in times of divine service, would do honor to a more favored assembly. The number of convicts professing piety in the prison at present, is six, iwo of whom have this season professed a hope in Christ. I lieartily congratulate you, and the whole christian community, on the evident diminu. tion of crime in this state. It is a source of the highest gratification that the number of convicts is falling off instead of increasing, and that there have been so few recommitinents the past year.
I take this occasion io suggest, what I am happy to learn you concur in, the importance of erecting a chapel, which shall be more commodi. ous for schools and divine service: a place where the christian worshipper can be better distinguished from the condemned crimiual, ihan that which we now occupy, on the floor of the prison in the immediate vicinity of the cells, where an unhealthy effluvia is constantly assailing us in time
of worship. The place which we occupy is also exceedingly uncom. fortable in cold weather, and the seats of the prisoners very inconvenient, being moveable benches without backs, agaiust which to lean. These, and other inconveniences of equal magnitude, we now realize. I earnestly hope that an appropriation inay be made, for the erection of a new place of worship, and for a hospital also, for the comfort of the sick.
I here with subinit some statistical facts, obtained on the first instant, by an individual examination of 89 prisoners being the whole number then in confinemert.
Ages of Prisoners. Between 0 and 21
White persons 21 16
Colored " 30 «
who can read 80 16 90
read, write and cypher who have had pious mothers only
66 " " " fathers and mothers
& lad observed total abstinence .
6 been giumblers
. . i
“ lost wives, or husbands
In concluding this Report, I will ons 'rve that, wlien we consider the depravert vinds to be arter upon, nin the dispositions as various alınost as their conmienances; and that the invelcrate habits of sin had alınost obliterated all sense of moral obligation among thein, and that the effects of the long indulged liabits of breas:ly appretties and passions, have bar upou their inebial and physical powers, we cann. ! but regard any evi. dences of inoral iurproveinent among the convicts, as a source of encouragement, in continue with renewed assi:lity, our best exertions for their further reformation ; and while your chaplain winesses, with plens. ure, the earnest endeavors of the Superintenciunt, to promote the best good of the cuvicts, I beg you to lie assuredl, that no labor or cxeriion on liis part, shall be spared to promote this all desira' le olvieri, while he shall be permitteli tuct in the noral depa tinent of the Prisoli.
RUFUS L. HARVEY, Chaplain of Vt. Stale Prison.
REPORT OF COM’RS OF DEAF AND DUMB AND BLIND. To His Ercellency Silas H. Jenison:
SiR-In compliance with the act, entitled "An act for the benefit of the Deaf and Dumb," and "An act for the benefit of the Blind," the Commissioners respectfully report: That the Commissioners have paid to the American Asylum at Hartford, (Conn.) from the 1st of June, 1834. to the 1st of June, 1838, the sum of $7,851 89, for the board and tuition of the deaf mutes, who have been admitted by them as beneficiaries to that institution, wbich they have drawn from the treasury of this State, upon the appropriations made by this state.
For the four years ending 1st December, 1837, the average annual expense to the state amounted to $1,757 ; the number of beneficiaries has been from 14 to 20 per year.
For the last year ending 1st June, there have been 16 at the Asylum ; the board and tuition amounting to $16,00 00, and incidental expenses of clothing and nursing amounted to $136 02.
Up to Nov. 1830 the commissioners had adopted the rule, that no beneficiary would be received unless bonds should be procured to the state, to pay all expenses of the pupils besides board and tuition. This rule excluded many unfortunate mutes, who had no friends to procure for them such bonds. The Legislature in 1830 adopted a resolution requiring the cominissioners, in cases of extreme poverty, to admit them, and dispense with such bonds.
At the commencement of this year, the commissioners admitted nine beneficiaries, eight of whom have to be entirely provided for by the state.
The commissioners were obliged to receive them thus, or deny them the benefit of an appropriate education, as they had no friends in a situation to aid them; and the commissioners deemed it their duty to admit them, from what they supposed to have been the intention of the Legislature.
The number for the present year will be increased from last year, and also the expense of supporting them; yet at the present low charges of the Asylum, the commissioners believe that the annual appropriations already made will be amply sufficient.
The state have, at the New England Institution for the Blind at Boston, five beneficiaries, at the annual expense of $160 each for board and tuition, and the addition of clothing for one of them.
The expenses of the institution for the blind are much greater than at the Asylum, for the reason that the Asylum has a large fund, about $200,000, the income of which is appropriated towards the expenses ; the deficiency only is charged upon the pupils; whereas, at the Institution for the blind, the whole expense has to be made ap upon the pupils
One of the commissioners has this seasen visited the Asylum, and the Institution for the blind, and cannot speak in too high terms of commendation of both institutions. The sysłem of instruction, order and comfort to the unfortunate pupils, and the benefit of the instruction af. forded them, is all that the most sanguine expectations of the benevolent founders of these institutions could have anticipated.
The commissioners are fully antisfied that no appropriation, made hy this state, is more usefully, beneficially and humanely made, than in these cases.
E. N. BRIGGS,
LEVI B. VILAS,
REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEES ON EDUCATION.
IN SENATE, Oct. 30, 1838. The committees on Education of the Senate and House of Representatives met in joint committee, have had under consideration the memorial of Addison Brown and others, praying for an alteration of the existing law for the support of common schools ; also, a resolution relating to the appointment of a board of commissioners ; also, a resolution with regard to a Teacher's Seminary, and memorials from the trustees of Caledonia County Grammar School and of the Newbury Seminary with regard to the distribution of the school fund to colleges and academies, respectfully
REPORT: That they agree with the memorialists in considering our common schools as the great bulwarks of our free institutions. While the usurped authorities and antiquated abuses of the old world are sustained chiefly by the ignorance and degradation of the laboring classes, the sole hope of our western republics is in the intelligence and virtue of the people. The government is their government, and will derive its character from that of the individuals who constitute it. While the school master is abroad in every school district, we need no standing army to preserve us from internal commotions; we shall suffer no injury from the intrigues of the artful demagogue or the usurpations of ambitious leaders. Every citizen of this State will understand and appreciate the dignity of his position, and licentiousness on the one hand and implicit obedience on the other, will receive their merited rebuke. These are principles which have been well understood and acted upon by the people of this State. They have displayed a liberality in voting money to their common schools, wbich has done, and will continue to do them honor. But in the opinion of your committee, something is wanting besides the bestowment of money, to give that character to these schools which their importance demands. The usefulness of these institutions, depends very much on the character of the instructors. When the teacher and the pupils are assembled within the naked walls of a school house, without books or apparatus, it must be evident that the direction, shape, and character which is to be given to the plas. tic materials upon which he is to display his skill, depend entirely upon himself. To the best informed, the instruction of the youtbsul intellect, and the formation of their moral character, is a delicate task; and when we consider how many undertake this duty without any previous preparation, how little knowledge is dieseminated upon this subject, and what variety of views are entertained upon it, your eommittee are not surprised that the legislature are so earnestly and repeatedly petitioned upon this subject. Other states, which have at a later period adopted the system of common schools, have seen these evils and en. deavored to apply a remedy. Some have employed agents at a considerable expense to collect information, and all have established something like an uniform system by which qualified teachers are se. cured, uniformity in books obtained, and a method of receiving returng by which information may be obtained of the progress of education in ditferent parts of the state, and important facts made known to the whole people. In this manner a spirit of inquiry is kept up, and an interest in the success of common schools is generally felt.
The evils complained ot in the memorials referred to the committee, are a waut of a systematic course of instruction - the constan' change of books by succeeding teachers- the use of books not adapted to the age and understanding of children-the different modes of discipline adopted, frequently operating very unfavorably on their moral character-the frequent change of teachers-their incompetency-he bad location and ill construction of school houses and a want of suitable books and apparatus.
Your committee unite with the memorialists in the belicf that these evils exist, and agree also with them that it is the duty of the legislature to afford all reasonable facilities for removing them ; but your committee believe there would be insuperable dilficulties in pointing out by law, a course of studies which should be universally adopted, or in authorizing a board of commissioners to do the same. A return to the systein of commissioners in each town for the selection of school boo's and the examination of teachers, has been presented to their consideration. But although they can see many advantages which might result from such a board, they did not consider it expedient to ask the legislature to reenact a law so lately repealed. The standard of education in these schools, must, after all, depend very much on the wants and information of the parents who sustain them. If they believe that nothing is neces. sary in the teacher but good muscular developement sulficient to restrain and subdue the refractury, and a knowledge of the common ruci-, ments of education, such a one will be employed. They will not be induced to pay their money to secure the services of an accomplishid teacher who would, at the same time, cultivate the intellectual and moral faculties of i:nmorial beings committed to his charge. But the advan. tages of intellectual and moral culture have only to be known to be duly appreciated ; and if not to be obtained for himseit, no parent is so rude but that he desires them for his children).
Your committee, therefore, believe that the best method of elevating the character of common schools and removing the evils compained of, is by diffusirig information on this subject among the people, and thus exciting a spirit of enquiry. I his information canno: le diffusce until it has been collected. They have, therefore, proposer a metlodly which information with regard to the srhools in this state may be coin lected and submitted to the people. It is in this way alone, that iliey hope to produce uniformily, ind prepare the niinds of tue people to introduce such improvements as may be found necsssary. For ibis purpose, they recoinmend the adoption of the first resolution accompanying ibis report.
Your committee have also had under consideration the condition of the colleges and acadernies of this state, and have embraced them in the subject of enquiries contemplated in the bill. They regret to find that while these institutions are intimat ly connected wiil the success of cominon schools, and are as peculiarly the instillions of the people, they have by no means received equal lavor at their hands. If it were only for the influence they have up!un coinnou schools in their neiglia borhood by furoishing competent lenchers, they would he deserving of patronage and support. But this is not the only service they render to the community; they form the grand protection of the people against any possible danger from an aristocracy of wealth. If the number of these were so' limited that the sons of the rich alone could be educated