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prefer paying for the tuition of their children rather than having their children educated by the parish, as they term the national schools. The consequence is, that in every town, or village, or hamlet, you will find that there are 66 dame schools,” as they are terined, at which about one-half of the children are educated.
The subject of national education has not been warmly taken up in England until within these last twenty-five years, and has made great progress during that period. The Church of England Society for National Education was established in 1813. Two years after its formation there were only 230 schools, containing 40,484 children. By the Twenty-seventh Report of this Society, ending the year 1838, these schools had increased to 17,341, and the number of scholars to 1,003,087. But this, it must be recollected, is but a small proportion of the public education in England; the Dissenters having been equally diligent, and their schools being quite as numerous in proportion
to their numbers. We have, moreover, the workhouse schools, and the dame schools before mentioned, for the poorer classes, and for the rich and middling classes, establishments for private tuition, which, could the returns of them and of the scholars be made, would, I am convinced, amount to more than five times the number of the national and public establishments. But as Mr. Carey does not bring forward his statistical proofs, and I cannot produce mine, all that I can do is to venture my opinion from what I learnt and saw during my sojourn in the United States, or have obtained from American
and other authorities.
The State of Massachusetts is a school; it may be said that all there are educated. Mr. Reid states in his work:
“ It was lately ascertained by returns from 131 towns in Massachusetts, that the number of scholars was 12,393; that the number of persons in the towns between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one who are unable to write
was fifty-eight; and in one town there were only three persons who could not read or write, and those three were dumb.”
I readily assent to this, and I consider Connecticut equal to Massachusetts ; but as you leave these two States, you find that education gradually diminishes. * New York is the next in rank, and thus the scale descends until you arrive at absolute ignorance.
I will now give what I consider as a fair and impartial tabular analysis of the degrees of education in the different States in the Union. It may be cavilled at, but it will nevertheless be a fair approximation. It must be remembered that it is not intended to imply that there are not a certain portion of well-educated people in those States put down in Class 4, as ignorant States,
* A church-yard with its mementos of mortality is sometimes a fair criterion by which to judge of the degree of the education of those who live near it. In one of the church-yards in Vermont, there is a tomb-stone with an inscription which commences as follows :
“ Paws, reader, Paws.”
but they are included in the Northern States, where they principally receive their education.
Degrees of Education in the different States
in the Union.
* New York is superior to the other States in this list; but Ohio is not quite equal. I can draw the line no closer.