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The true end of education, is to unfold and direct aright our whole nature. Its office is to call forth power of every kind—power of thought, affection, will, and outward action; power to observe, to reason, to judge, to contrive; power to adopt good ends firmly, and to pursue them efficiently; power to govern ourselves, and to influence others; power to gain and tc spread happiness. Reading is but an instrument; education is to teach its best use. The intellect was created, not to receive passively a few words, dates, facts, but to be active for the acquisition of truth. Accordingly, education should labor to inspire a profound love of truth, and to teach the processes of investigation. A sound logic, by which we mean the science or art which instructs us in the laws of reasoning and evidence, in the true methods of inquiry, and in the sources of false judgments, is an essential part of a good education. And yet, how little is done to teach the right use of the intellect, in the common modes of training cither rich or poor. As a general rule, the young are to be made, as far as possible, their own teachers—the discoverers of truth—the interpreters of nature—the framers of science. They arc to be helped to help themselves. They should be taught to observe and study the world in which they live, to trace the connections of events, to rise from particular facts to general principles, and then to apply these in explaining new phenomena. Such is a rapid outline of the intellectual education, which, as far as possib'e, should be given to all human beings; and with this, moral education bhoulu go hand in hand. In proportion as the child gains knowledge, he should be taught how to use it well— how to turn it to tho good of mankind. He should study the world as God's world, and as the sphere in which he is to form interesting connections with his fellow-creatures. A spirit of humanity should be breathed into him from all his studies. In teaching geography, the physical and moral condition, the wants, advantages, and striking peculiarities of different nations, and the relations of climate, seas, rivers, mountains, to their characters and pursuits, should be pointed out, so as to awaken an interest in man wherever he dwells. History should be constantly used to exercise the moral judgment of the young, to call forth sympathy with the fortunes of the human race, and to expose to indignation and abhorrence that selfish ambition, that passion for dominion, which has so long deluged the earth with blood and woe. And not only should the excitement of just moral feeling be proposed in every study, the science of morals should form an important part of every child's instruction. One branch of ethics should be particularly insisted on by the government. Every school, established by law, should be specially bound to teach the duties of the citizen to the state, to unfold the principles of free institutions, and to train the young to an enlightened patriotism.
W. E. Channinq. Christian Examiner, Nov., 1838.
The object of the science of education is to render the mind the fittest possible instrument for discovering, applying, or obeying the laws under which God has placed the universe. Wayland.
We regard education as the formation of the character, physical, intellectual, and moral; as the process by which our faculties are developed, cultivated, and directed, and by which we are prepared for our station and employment, for usefulness and happiness, for time and eternity. W. C. Woodbkidqe.
All intelligent thinkers upon the subject now utterly discard and repudiate the idea that reading and writing, with a knowledge of accounts, constitute education. The lowest claim which any intelligent man now prefers in its behalf is, that its domain extends over the threefold nature of man; over his body, training it by the systematic and intelligent observance of those benign laws which secure health, impart strength and prolong life; over his intellect, invigorating the mind, replenishing it with knowledge, and cultivating all these tastes, which are allied to virtue; and over his moral and religious susceptibilities also, dethroning selfishness, enthroning conscience, leading the affections outwardly in good-will towards man, and upward in gratitude, and reverence to God.
Far above and beyond all special qualifications for special pursuits, is the importance of forming to usefulness and honor the capacities which are common to all mankind. The endowments that belong to all, are of far greater consequences than the peculiarities of any. The practical farmer, the ingenious mechanic, the talented artist, the upright legislator or judge, the accomplished teacher, are only modifications or varieties of the original man. The man is the trunk; occupations and professions are only different qualities of the fruit it yields. The development of the common nature; the cultivation of the genus of intelligence, uprightness, benevolence, truth that belong to all; these are the principal, the aim, the end,—while special preparations for the field or the shop, for the forum or the desk, for the land or the sea, are but incidents.
The great necessities of a race like ours, in a world like ours, arc: a Body, grown from its elemental beginning, in health; compacted with strength and vital with activity in every part; impassive to heat and cold, and victorious over the vicissitudes of seasons and zones; not crippled by disease nor stricken down by early death; not shrinking from bravest effort, but panting, like fleetest runner, less for the prize than for the joy of the race; and rejuvenant amid the frosts of age. A Mind, as strong for the immortal as is the body for the mortal life; alike enlightened by the wisdom and beaconed by the errors of the past; through intelligence of the laws of nature, guiding her elemental forces, as it directs the limbs of its own body through the nerves of motion, thus making alliance with the exhaustless forces of nature for its strength and clothing itself with her endless charms for its beauty, and, wherever it goes, carrying a sun in its hand with which to explore the realms of nature, and reveal her yet hidden truths. And then a Moral Nature, presiding like a divinity over the whole, banishing sorrow and pain, gathering in earthly joys and immortal hopes, and transfigured and rapt by the sovereign and sublime aspiration To Know And Do The Will Of God.
THE MILITARY ACADEMY AT WEST POINT.
L ORIGIN AND HISTORY. PERIOD I.—1802-1812.
Thk influence of the United States Military Academy upon education, as well as its wide reputation as a school of science, render an inquiry into its rise and progress, a subject both of interest and profit. Since it is mind, rather than any system of forms and studies, which gives power to such institutions, a mere statement of dates and facts is insufficient to give us a just view of its character. We must, if possible, trace the spirit of the men who guided, and the principles impressed upon it. To do this, we shall resort, not merely to the record of events, but to our memory of men and acts, with which we were for years familiar.
It was not to be expected, that schools of refined, scientific art should be founded by small colonies in the wilderness of the new world. When even their clergymen must resort to Europe for education, and their lawyers for license, it was in vain to expect their soldiers to be accomplished engineers. When the revolutionary war came on, this fact became a painful experience. No man felt it more than Washington. With a people, whose patriotism was unquenchable; with soldiers, who rivaled the warriors of Leonidas, he found the best and truest of men, with the smallest possible share of military science. He was obliged to depend on European engineers for a skill which his countrymen did not possess; while their European ideas, and artificial habits were displeasing to his American principles.* He felt military instruction to be a primary want in the country. Accordingly, he was the real founder of the Military Academy; that is, he put forth the germinal idea. What the plan of it was to be, and what shape it should ultimately take, he did not state, and probably had not thought of; for Washington in the office of president, seldom meddled with the details of public affairs. What he meant to obtain, however, he distinctly stated, in his message, dated December 3rd, 1793; in referring to measures of national defense, he says an inquiry may be made: "whether
* Prepared by Major E. D. Mansfield, a graduate of West Point in 1819, for Barnard's Amen can Journal or Education, March, 1862.
your own experience, in the several states has not detected some imperfection in the scheme; and whether a material feature in the _ improvement of it ought not to be to afford an opportunity for the study of those branches of the military art which can scarcely ever be obtained by practice alone."
In his message of December 7th, 1796, he said: "Whatever, argument may be drawn from particular examples, superficially viewed, a thorough examination of the subject will evince that the art of war is at once comprehensive and complicated; that it demands much previous study, and that the profession of it in its most improved and perfect state, is always of great moment to the security of a nation. This, therefore, ought to be a serious care' of every government; and for this purpose an academy, where a regular course of instruction is given, is an obvious expedient, which different nations have employed."*
The views, always entertained, and repeatedly expressed by General Washington, were adopted by Mr. Adams, and Mr. McHenry, secretary ot war, in his administration, made an elaborate report on this subject, which was transmitted to congress, on 10th of December, 1800. It is due to Mr. McHenry, to say that his ideas of what ought to be a course of military instruction, were far in advance of what were actually provided, till after the war of 1812—'15 proved his ideas to be correct. In 1794, prior to the last message of Washington, congress attempted to supply the want of a military academy, by attaching cadets to tly3 corps of artillerists, and engineers. This corps consisted of four battalions, to each of which eight cadets were to be attached. This made the whole number of cadets thirty-two; and for this corps of artillerists, engineers and cadets, the secretary of war was directed to procure books, instruments and apparatus. The term cadet signifying in French, the youngest brother of a family, and in Spanish, a young volunteer officer, became naturally applied to young men, who were junior, volunteer officers. In England, the cadet of a family was a young son, who volunteered for the India service; and in the United States has been properly applied to the youth, who enter the military academy.
It seems from the message of Washington, in 1796, that the attempt at military instruction, was a failure. No place, no teachers, no studies, were appointed. It was on the 16th of March, 1802, in
* It is not meant to say that this subject was not mentioned before. It was by Col. Pickering, In 1783. But whoever reads the letters and memoirs of Washington, will see, that alt the early ideas on the subject of military education and military science were derived from the experience of Washington.
the early administration of Mr. Jefferson, that congress established, by that name, the Military Academy. It was still made part of an army corps; the idea of making a separate institution for scientific studies not being yet matured. The artillerists and engineers were made two distinct corps, of which there were forty cadets of artillery and ten of engineers. The corps of engineers consisted of a major, two captains, four lieutenants, and ten cadets, making seventeen in all. The corps constituted the military academy, established at West Point, in the State of New York. So little idea was then entertained of the true objects and mode of scientific instruction, that the law required the cadet, as well as officer, to do duty in any part of the United States. In other words, the only idea of the military academy, at that time, was a place appointed where the officers of engineers might give or receive instruction, when not on other duty. The actual academy, such as it was, conformed to that idea. The major of engineers was the commander, or superintendent. The two captains were instructors, and the cadets were pupils. It was, as a school, an inchoate existence, without regular teachers, or limited studies, or proper discipline. Yet, even in this imperfect condition, it did, as we shall see, some service which ought to be gratefully remembered.
In the meanwhile, let us turn for a moment, to the place which is so memorable in the annals of this country, and is now so intimately associated with science. If Dr. Bcattie is correct in saying that the character of the mind is much associated with natural scenery, no place in America could have been more wisely selected, as the site of a national institution. World renowned, as West Point justly is, there is that in its scenery and associations, more interesting to a poetic or a patriotic mind, than its famed Academy. Its green plain, hidden amidst its mountains; its craggy summits; its rocky barriers; its dark evergreens; its darker waters, flowing on forever; th;it beautiful view of town and country, seen through the frowning brows of Crow Nest and the Beacon; that quiet vale, where Washington oft bent his steps; those lonely little mounds, where the soldiers of the Revolution repose; these forts and ramparts now indistinctly seen, which once guarded these mountain passes; yon ledge of rocks, where Kosciusko once made his little garden; all these and other memorable things, call up whatever is sublime in nature, or noble in history. It is impossible to forget them. It is impossible for the dullest mind, not to have its sensibilities excited, or its character elevated by the contemplation of such sublime scenes, or such interesting events. When such a spot