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Gibbon, at the close of his great work, informs the reader thereof that it was first conceived “ among the ruins of the capital.” Although it may appear presumptuous, yet we would fain shelter ourself under his great esample for stating that the idea of these articles was first conceived “among the ruins of our capital." It chanced that we counted the cost of living, the other day, for the ensuing year, being surprised at the limited stock of “the ready" on hand as the result of the present; and having carefully concluded every probable expense to which we shall be subjected, and having subtracted the sum from the salary we expect in due time to give our receipt for, we were overjoyed to find a balance in our favor of_$6.81. Determined on securing such an unprecedented result, we also proceeded to strengthen our position by writing an article on the propriety of economy in all teachers, hoping thereby to induce sundry others of our cloth” to commence getting rich at the same time. Brothers, let's try it three years and see what comes of it!
DISTRIBUTION OF DICTIONARIES.
For a few months past, I have been subjected to harsh and severe criticism from certain sources, for what has been termed official neglect and delinquency, with respect to the distribution of Dictionaries, purchased by the State. At one time, report even went so far as to say, that in some strange manner five or six hundred of said Dictionaries had disappeared, which would account for non-distribution to certain localities.
The following correspondence is respectfully submitted as furnishing all the explanation that is required :
Milwaukee, May 11, 1857. S. M. Booth, Esq. :
Dear Sir :-On arriving in your city this evening, my attention was called to an editorial in your daily issue of this date, reflecting upon my fidelity, if not my integrity, as a public officer. I grant that the work of distribution of Dictionaries, to which your article refers, may have seemed tardy-unreasonably 80; but a simple statement of facts will show that my duty has been faithfully performed so far as circumstances would permit.
Immediately on the arrival of the Dictionaries in Milwankoe, the distribution of thern was commenced through Messrs. Gardiner & Hibbard, who promptly forwarded as fast and as far as they could find conveyance. This done, they addressed letters to the Registers of counties not supplied, requesting information as to the manner in which the Dictionaries should be sent them; and in every case an order in reply received immediate attention.
This was done, and charges pre-paid, though the Legislature had noglected to make provision for such parpose.
In relation to the balance of Dictionaries, remaining on band in one of the Warebouses of this city—they were promptly ordered to be forwarded to Madison on the receipt of the Resolution of request from the Senate. And I am assured by Messrs. Elmore Bro. & Co., that they were sent forward at the earliest practicable period after receiving my order.
One other explanation, the order to the warehouseman in Madison was, not to deliver two certain boxes of Dictionaries—the only ones then in store at that placeas the county for which they were sought to be obtained by an upgentlemanly demand, had already been supplied.
My long absence from the State by reason of the protracted and dangerous illness of my wife, must be my excuse for not correcting the misapprehension above alluded to, and availing myself of the presence of members of the Legislature for further distribution,
A. CONSTANTINE BARRY.
Milicaukee, May 11, 1857. Hos. A, C, ERRY
Dear Sir:-My attention has been called to an article in the Free Democrat of yesterday's date, reflecting somewhat upon your fidelity and promptness in the distribution of Dictionaries for the several districts throughout the State. In justice to yourself, I will state that the Dictionaries were received by Gardiner & Hibbard, from Messrs. Merriam, of Massachusetts, some time during the early fall of 1855. Previous to the receipt of them, we had mado arrangements with you for their distribution. On their arrival, wo it once commenced distributing them to the several counties so far as we were able. Many of the counties were so far removed from any steamboat or railroad communication, that we were unable to forward to them. In every instance where this was the case, we wrote to the Register of the County, requesting him to advise us as to the best method of sending the books, or to send an order by some team that might be coming to Milwaukee, and we would forward them at once. So far as your duty was concerned in the distribution, I believe it to have been faithfully performed, and that no blame whatever can be attached to you, as all was done that could be, and the Dictionaries were sent forward as fast as was possible. Respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. L. H. GARDINER.
It may be well to state here, by way of further explanation, that of the nearly three thousand districts reported to the Department, all, save two hundred and twenty-six, had Dictionaries forwarded them between the first days of October, 1855, and of February, 1856. Why these were not furnished has been explained.
A second distribution will be made, and all unsupplied districts furnished with Dictionaries as soon as full returns have been received from the several counties.
A. CONSTANTINE BARRY,
Supt. of Public Instruction.
Build goout school houses, employ competent teachers, and we may in- . scribe on oar prisod doors, "For rent."
After an interval of nearly four months, the Wisconsin Journal OP EDUCATION again inakes its appearance. The delay in commencing the second volume of the JOURNAL was occasioned by a number of circumstances, the most prominent of which was, the difficulty in effecting an arrangement with any one to take charge of the editorial department. It was expected, at the close of the last rolume, to issue the first number of the second volume on the 15th of March last. Unforeseen events prevented the plan then contemplated from being carried into effect as soon as expected. The resident editor did not enter upon his duties with the understanding, nor with the expectation, to continue connected with the JOURNAL as chief editor, longer than until such time as other arrangements could be effected, relieving him from such responsibility. On this point, we take the liberty to repeat what was said in the closing number of the first volume; .
* At a meeting of the State Teachers' Association, in August last, the resident editor of this Joursal distinctly stated his disinclination to assume the responsibilities of the cditorial department, and only consented to accept the position with the nnderstanding that he was to be relieved as soon as other arrangements could be perfected. No provision was subsequently made for supplying the place, and he has been compelled, contrary to his wishes, to discharge the duties of the office."
The pressure of other duties, demanding a very large share of the time of the resident editor, rendered it impossible for him to attend to the editorial departinent and supervision of the Journal, without taxing himself with too large an amount of labor. By the present arrangement, be will be relieved, to a great extent, from the duties which he has hitherto been obliged to discharge. This arrangement will last until the next annual meeting of the State Teachers' Association, when that body will review what has been done, and give such directions as may be deemed most condụcive to the interests of the Journal, and the cause of education generally.
The fourth annual meeting of the WISCONSIN STATE TEACHERS' AssociaTION will be held at Waukesha, on Wednesday, August 12th. Every teacher should begin early to make such arrangements as to attend the mecting.
School officers, and friends of education generally, should also endeavor to be there. Business of much importance to our educational interests will doubtless come before the Association. The Waukesha Republican says: “The citizens are expected to open their houses, and extend hospitality to the large number of teachers who will be present."
OUR SUBSCRIPTION LIST.
We commence the second volume of the Journal with but few subscribers, aside from the State subscription. Our terms contemplate advance payments, consequently those whose names appear on our books as subscribers to the first volume, will not be considered as subscribers to the second volume, unless their subscriptions be promptly renewed, and the money remitted to us in compliance with our terms. We have no traveling agents, and must therefore depend on the efforts of the friends of education to send us subscribers. We must have a good subscription list, to make the paper a paying one. The number of subscribers to the first volume was not as large as it should have been, but we hope soon to be able to report five thousand. If each school officer and teacher would take a little pains, the JOURNAL might easily be placed on a desirable footing. It is trne the circulation of the Journal in the State is large — larger, perhaps, than that of most Educational Journals in other States. The State subscription is 3,400 copies. But it must be borne in mind that the price paid per copy by the State scarcely covers the cost of paper, printing, and binding. The chief pecuniary advantage which the Journal derives from the State subscription is, it affords an inviting medium for advertisers; advertisements in the JOURNAL find their way into every town and organized school district in the State. But the patronnge derived from this source alone is altogether inadequate to the support of the JOURNAL.
HOW SHALL INDIFFERENCE BE REMEDIED ?
One of the most prominent complaints of teachers from every quarter, is the lack of interest on the part of parents. With only an occasional exception, every letter we receive, speaks of the indifference of the people as one of the great hindrances to the teacher's success. This prevailing apathy on the part of parents and guardians, is not because public attention has not been often called to the subject; teachers, and friends of education have repeatedly and earnestly sought to impress the public through the press, by lectures, and in every other possible way, of the necessity of
exhibiting a lively interest in the affairs of the school-room. The best talent of the country has been directed to the enforcement of the truth, that it is a paramount duty of every patriot and christian to manifest a personal and active interest in our common schools. But all appeals thus far, however earnest, eloquent or convincing, have failed to bring the inhabitants of school districts to a proper sense of obligation and duty. It would seem, therefore, that no amount of writing or talking on the duty of parents and others to make frequent visitations to the school-room, will alone be likely to bring about such a condition of things as is desirable. Some other incentives to action besides appeals to duty, will probably yet be found. By what methods public sentiment on this subject is to be revolutionized and indifference overcome, is an inquiry worthy of the earnest attention of every teacher. Whoever shall originate a practical expedient for removing the apathy and negligence of school districts, and for turning the channels of thought to the places where children and youth are daily receiving those impressions of character, which are to shape their future destiny ;-whoever shall devise a plan for rendering the school-room a place of attractive resort, where the people sball delight to congregate to spend a leisure hour, will deserve the gratitude of his country, as much as the contriver of the application of steam as a propelling power, or the inventor of machinery for the transmission of thought by electricity.
Staid conservatisin may be disturbed at the mention of contrivances, expedients, or plans, to increase school attractions in order to the furtherance of the cause of education. Solid sense, invincible truth, say some, are the only legitimate appliances for arousing the people to a proper appreciation of their educational interests. These, it is true, are essential elements in all properly directed movements, but the fact must not be forgotten that mankind have passions, desires and tastes, and that for these there are a proper treatment and training—instead of attempts to lop off, or expurgate parts of man's nature. There may be pleasures, amusements, and recreations, congenial with cultivated taste, and which, instead of being hindrances, may add vigor in the pursuit of science. No inventions or discoveries, it is true, will ever enable the student to dispense with earnest thought and laborious application to study, in the acquirement of a thorough education, but the facilities for gaining knowledge are continually being improved and multiplied. The progress which has been made is not more ascribable to an increased sense of duty among the people to educate, than to new plans, methods, and expedients. Every improved text-book ; every method which makes the attainment of any science less laborious; all improvements in the construction and furnishment of school-houses; all plans which render the exercises of the school-room more pleasing and attractive, are but so many inventions and contrivances to aid teachers and learners. Every branch of study has been rendered less tedious and monotonous by modern improvement. There has been much labor-saving in the various departments of learning, during the past quarter of a century, and this progress will not stop here, it will continue to go on. So too, plans for