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Doc. No. 11. 











Doc. No. 11. 21 


BELMEAD, February 1859. 

To His Excellency Henry A. Wise, 

Governor of Virginia. 


By order of the board of visitors of the Virginia 
ailitary institute, I have the honor to communicate herewith a re- 
>ort of more than usual interest, from the superintendent. 

The board of visitors were induced to grant a leave of absence, 
uring the last year, to Col. Smith, the superintendent, to enable 
iim to travel in Europe, for the double purpose of recruiting his 
lealth and strength, materially impaired by protracted official labors, 
rid of examining the various institutions of learning as well as the 
ystems of education in Europe, with the view of enabling the 
oard, in co-operation with the enlightened observation and extended 
Experience of the superintendent, to give such direction and develop- 
nent to the system of education peculiar to the institute, as should 
>est adapt that system to the growing wants and requirements of 
he times and of the country, and thereby insure, as the results of 
t, the highest degree of efficiency and of public usefulness. 

Col. Smith also bore with him to Europe, and in this connection, 
credentials from your excellency, of his official position and public 

Col. Smith visited the universities of Oxford and of Cambridge in 
England, besides many secondary educational institutions in Great 

At Paris, he examined the polytechnic school, and through the 
ipecial influence of our minister to France, he obtained what is but 

22 Doc. No. 11. 

rarely granted to foreigners, access to the great military school || 
St. Cyr. 

In Germany and Italy, numerous military, agricultural and oth«i 
schools were visited, the organizations and systems of which wen 
carefully examined. 

The experience of the superintendent, as the head of one of tr| 
principal institutions of learning in our state, and his recent obse 
vations of European systems of education, constitute the foundatioj 
and furnish the interesting materials of the present report. 

The author of the report recognizes the fact of the growing wan 
both in Europe and in this country, of a system of education diflffi 
rent from that which grew up under monastic and ecclesiastical hi 
fluences, upon the revival of learning in Europe, and which, froii 
that time to this, has given form and direction to collegiate and un 
versity education both in England and America. 

Physical science, with its applications to the arts, has come I 
change the face of society and the world. The Newtons, tfcj 
Franklins, the Davys, the Wattses, the Whitneys, the Fultons an 1 ] 
the Morses have come to seize and wield the hitherto secret laws ani 
unknown powers of nature, and to become demi-gods of knowledge 
of power and of progress. 

In England, this progress # of physical science and of the arts hi 
caused to arise by the side of the landed aristocracy and that of thi; 
established church, an aristocracy of commerce and of manufat' 
tures, whilst in America, the members of what are called the learner 
professions find themselves surrounded by an ever growing and it 
fluential class of agriculturists, of merchants and of manufacturers; 

In England, the church and the landed aristocracy have built u 
and supported the universities of Oxford and of Cambridge; an? 
in this country, the influence of the learned professions has modele* 
our colleges and universities after those two great English protc 
types. But neither in this country nor in England has any adequatj 
provision been made for the thorough and special education of th 
agriculturist, the merchant, the manufacturer, the engineer, or th 

Doc. No. 11. 23 

cist. These classes now loudly demand in both countries the es- 
i3lishment of institutions of learning, in which the mathematics 
|d the physical sciences shall be thoroughly taught, together with 
£ir applications to the useful arts — so that whilst the universities 
all be left to fill the sphere appropriate to them, the polytechnic 
hools may educate the future astronomer, the chemist, the soldier, 
e navigator, the agriculturist, the engineer, the merchant, the 
mufacturer, and the artist. 

The course of instruction in the Virginia military institute being 
ainly mathematical and physico-scientific, may be readily extended 
id developed so as to comprehend the full course of a great poly- 
clinic school, in which science would find its application to all 
1 useful arts. 

With our Virginia university occupying as it does the highest 
>sition amongst the collegiate institutions of the country, and 
ir military institute developed into a polytechnic school of the 
ghest order, the educational institutions of our state would,, be 
ndered pre-eminently comprehensive and controlling. 

Commending the report, sir, to your favorable consideration, 

I remain, very respectfully, 

Your most obedient, 


Pres. Board Visitors, V. M. I. 

Dec. No. 11. 25 


^t a meeting of the board of visitors of the military institute of 
state of Virginia, held at the capitol in the city of Richmond, 
Monday the 8th day of April 1858 : 

The president called the attention of the board to the fact, that 
. Francis H. Smith, superintendent of the institute, is about to 
ft Europe, with the full assent and approbation of the board : 

Resolved, that Colonel Smith be and he is hereby authorized and 
uested to visit the various seminaries of learning and other insti- 
ions of education in Europe, with a view to ascertain the opera- 
qs and success of the various systems of education which exist 
ire, and to enquire into the interests which are covered in the 
orations of the military institute of the state of Virginia — and 
jt he report to this board, through the president, from time to 
le, if he shall deem it necessary, such information as he may ob- 
a, or fully and finally, upon his return home. 

knd the board cordially tender to Col. Smith the expression of 
esteem and confidence, with their best wishes for a prosperous 
fage and safe return. 

Signed on behalf of the board of visitors. 


Pres. B. of V., V. M. L 

rhe above is a true copy from the minutes of the board of visitors. 


Sec. B. V. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis Members and Sloan Foundation 

Doc. No. 11. 27 


It is hereby certified, that Col. Francis H. Smith, the bearer of 
is credential, is superintendent of the Virginia military institute ; 
at James L. Kemper is president, and R. H. Catlett is secretary 
the board of visitors of that institute, and that the foregoing ab- 
act is duly certified, and that Col. Smith is duly authorized and 
guested as the said certificate purports. And the secretary of 
tte of the United States is hereby requested to certify the seal of 
b state of Virginia, hereto annexed, to all foreign governments 
people ; and the ministers, charges, consuls and commercial 
ents of the United States abroad, and all persons whomsoever, are 
reby requested to give full faith and credit to Col. Francis H. 
pith, in his character of superintendent and agent hereby attested. 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand as governor 
the commonwealth of Virginia, and caused the seal of the state 
be affixed this 19th day of April A. D. 1S58. 




Doc. No. 11. 29 



February 1859. 

3ol. Philip St. Geo. Cocke, 

Pres. B'd Visitors, V. M. Institute. 


Availing myself of the kind indulgence of the board of 
visitors, I transferred the duties of my office to the senior professor, 
Major J. T. L. Preston, on the 1st of June last, and sailed for Eu- 
rope in the steamer Africa, on the 9th of the same month. After 
spending six months abroad, I returned and resumed my duties on 
[the 20th of December last. 

In obedience to the instructions of the board of visitors, I beg 
leave to lay before you a special report, founded upon the results of 
my observations while abroad. 

Besides the credentials contained in the resolutions of the board, 
I was honored by a special authentication of my official relations to 
[the interests of the state, from His Excellency Henry A. Wise, go- 
vernor of Virginia, which I found of great service to me, and for 
which I am under great obligations to him. These testimonials 
i were most kindly received by the United States ministers and con- 
suls abroad ; and I would particularly acknowledge my mdebted- 
| ness to His Excellency Geo. M. Dallas, U. S. minister at London ; 
His Excellency John Y. Mason, U. S. minister at Paris; His Excel- 
lency J. A. Wright, U. S. minister at Berlin, and His Excellency 
John M. Daniel, U. S. minister at Turin ; and also to Beverly Tucker, 
Esq., U. S. consul at Liverpool, and E. C. Stiles, Esq., U. S. consul at 
Vienna. From each of these gentlemen I received every attention ; 
and but for their personal and official kindness, I should have failed 
in much that I hope to make serviceable to the general interests ot 
this institution. 

30 Doc. No. 11. 

Judge Mason was unwilling to put my credentials upon the foo 
ing of mere formal letters of recommendation in my application f< 
admission into the military schools of France. He insisted upc 
taking me in person to the minister of war ; and by his kind inte 
position, I received at once, from Marshal Vaillant, letters of authc! 
rity to visit the polytechnic school at Paris, the general militar 
school at St. Cyr, and the artillery and engineer school of applici 
tion at Metz. 

It was not possible for me, in the brief time allotted to my trijj 
to make more than a cursory survey of those interests, which ar I 
embraced within the operations of this institution. Extending a 
my tour did through England, Scotland and Ireland, France, Bel 
gium, the German states, including Prussia, Austria, Bavaria ant.) 
Wurtemburg, as well as Switzerland and Italy, I was necessarilii 
limited to an examination of some only of the chief establishment; 
of Europe; and even with regard to these, must refer, for much o< 
my details, to the official reports and other documents which I havt 
been able to obtain with reference to them. 

In England, I visited Oxford university (then in recess), Cam- 
bridge university and the military school at Addiscombe ; in Frances 
the polytechnic school, the military school at St. Cyr, and the con- 
servatoire des arts et metiers; in Prussia, the military stables at Berlin ji 
in Wurtemburg, the celebrated agricultural school at Hohenheim; 
and in Sardinia, the military school at Turin. In each of these es-* 
tablishments I was received with the most marked courtesy, everyi 
facility having been afforded me for a careful examination of every 1 
thing that would be of interest to me in my enquiries. I would, 
desire specially to acknowledge my indebtedness to Major General 
Sir Frederick Abbott, K. C. B., commandant of the military school 
at Addiscombe; General EbU, commandant, and Colonel Riffault, di-i 
rector of studies of the polytechnic school ; General Count de Monnet,' 
commandant of the military school at St. Cyr ; Prince Radziwill of 
the Prussian artillery at Berlin, and General Pettinengo, commandant I 
of the military school at Turin. 

I reserve for a subsequent part of this report a reference to the 
universities of Oxford and Cambridge,^desiring to direct special at- 
tention to a movement now in progress, in the modification of the 

Doc. No. 11. 31 

lucational system of Great Britain, in which these renowned insti- 
jtions are bearing a leading part. As these modifications have a 
jst intimate connection with the past operations and future de- 
lopment of this institution, I shall deem it proper to dwell with 
die particularity upon the causes and results of this movement, 
lieving that a correct view of them will be of immense value to 
:>se who may be charged with the direction of this institution. 

The military school at Addiscombe belonged until recently to the 
st India company, and was designed to supply officers for the 
lifcary service of that company in India. Under its existing or- 
nization, it is rendering to her majesty's government in India the 
fvice formerly discharged for the East India company. It num- 
rs about 150 cadets, who are admitted without competition, upon 
mination, and who serve two years. Those designed for the en- 
leer service are transferred, on the completion of their course at 
Idiscombe, to the royal engineer establishment at Chatham, for 
ictical instruction in engineering, where they remain 18 months. 
ose who enter the artillery or infantry services, pass at once into 
i public service in India, with a rank as lieutenants, corresponding 
fch their respective class grades. I was very much struck with 
sand models connected w T ith the course of engineering in this 
lool. Models in engineering as well as in all practical sciences, 
j of great value to the right conception of the application of the 
nciples taught, and their general use has been much restricted by 
b great expense of those usually made in wood or plaster. The pro- 
sor of engineering at Addiscombe uses common sand, with great 
Vantage, for all models required in his department, and by its ad- 
sive property when slightly moistened with water, all the neces- 
•y models can be readily made from designs prepared by the pro- 
sor. I saw, in the model room, models of three different plans of 
ts used in India, which were as perfect as if made with the best 
went, and which had been formed by a common soldier in a few 
^s' labor. Forty loads of sand had served for these uses for a 
riod of 1-5 years, without perceptible diminution from wastage. 

The English military schools are also devoting much attention to 
art of photography. The engineering drawings required for the 
litary and civil services of so extensive an empire, involve great 
)or and expense, and it has been found that the photographic art 

32 Doc. No. 11. 

may be most readily applied in most of those drawings which s 
quire so much repetition, and thus copies to an indefinite extent, 
plans of forts, buildings, &c. may be multiplied, at comparative 
small expense of time or labor, The cadets at the military schc 
at Addiscombe are taught this useful art. * 

The polytechnic school at Paris (VEcole imperiale yolytechniqu" 
known at first under the name of Central school of public works (Ec 
centrale des travaux publies), was established in 1794. 


By a decree of the French convention of 11th March 1794,1 
commission was appointed for the purpose of establishing a cent? 
school of public works. The decree specified 22 of the princir. 
cities of France as centres of examination, at which candidates i 
admission were to report themselves, and furnish proofs of th< 
qualifications, by examination in arithmetic, algebra and geometr 
and the school was opened on the 21st of December 1794. Und* 
this organization, the course of studies was divided into two prinJ 
pal branches, viz : Mathematics and physical sciences, the first divisii 
embracing analysis, with its applications to geometry and mechanic 1 
and descriptive geometry, including architecture, fortification I 
drawing — while under the head of physics, were embraced genei ! 
physics and chemistry. Thus organized, the school was conduct*! 
until the 1st September 179-5, when, by a new decree, its name w 
changed to that of Ecole polytechnique. This new organization d 
fered but little from the first, and simply determined the mode 
admission of its eleves into the public services. 

By a law of 22d October 1795 schools of application were esta 
lished, the course of study in the polytechnic school was limited 
two years, and its relations to the special schools of application (I 
fined. To accommodate the school to these new relations, a r 
organization was made 16th December 1799, by which importa 
changes were made in the classification of studies, and a board 
improvement \conseil de yerfectioiuiement) established ; and finally, \ 
a decree of 16th July 1804, the military organization of the scho 
was fully effected. 

" The origin of the polytechnic school [I quote from the repo 
of the commissioners appointed by the British government to co. 

Doc. No. 11. 33 

er the best mode of training officers for scientific corps] dates 
m a period of disorder and distress in the history of France, 
uch seem alien to all intellectual pursuits, if we did not remem- 
r that the general stimulus of a revolutionary period often acts 
werfully upon thought and education. * * * * It was in- 
lded at first to give a complete education for some of the public 
•vices, but it was soon changed into a preparatory school, to be 
3ceeded by special schools of application. 

" When the school was first started, there was scarcely another of 
y description in the country. # # # ^11 schools from the 
iversity downwards, were destroyed; the large exhibitions or 
krses, numbering nearly 40,000, were confiscated or plundered by 
lividuals, and even the military schools and those for public 
^rks (which were absolutely necessary for the very roads and the 
fence of the country), were suppressed or disorganized. The 
jiool of engineers at Mezieres (an excellent one, where Monge had 
pn a professor), and that of the artillery at La Fere, were both 
pken up, whilst the murder of Lavoisier, and the well known 
ping with respect to it, that the republic had no need of chemists, 
ve currency to a belief, which Fourcroy expressed in proposing 
3 polytechnic, that the late conspirators had formed a deliberate 
jin to destroy the arts and sciences, and to establish their tyranny 
the ruins of human reason. 

' Thus it was on the ruin of all the old teaching, that the new in- 

tution was erected — a truly revolutionary school, as its founders 

lighted to call it, using the term as it was commonly used, as a 

aonym for all that was excellent. And then for the first time 

owing the principle of public competition, its founders, Monge and 

mrcroy, began their work with an energy and enthusiasm which 

ij seem to have left as a traditional inheritance to their school. 

is curious to see the difficulties which the bankruptcy of the 

untry threw in their way, and the vigor with which, assisted by 

3 summary powers of the republican government, they overcame 

:m. They begged the old Palais Bourbon for their building — 

re supplied with pictures from the Louvre — the fortunate capture 

an English ship gave them some uncut diamonds for their first 

periments — presents of military instruments were sent from the 

senals of Havre — and even the hospitals contributed some chemi- 

34 Doc. No. II. 

cal substances. In fine, having set their school in motion, the gc 
vernment and its professors worked at it with such zeal and effecl 
that within five months after their project was announced, they ha 
held their first entrance examination, open to the competition of al 
France, and started with 379 pupils." 

The polytechnic school thus came into being a " revolutionar; 
school." Its subsequent career was unprecedented. Its high repu 
tation was built up by the unwearied labors of men, whose name 
are as household words wherever science has a votary. La Grange 
Lacroix and Poisson laid the basis of its course of analytical mathe 
matics ; La Place, Labey, Proney, Franccsur and Ampere, that o 
analytical mechanics and astronomy. Descriptive geometry and it 
applications had for their first teachers the illustrious founder o 
the science, Gaspard Monge, and his pupils, Hachetle and Arago 
Chemistry and mineralogy were taught by the great masters, Ber 
thollet, Fourcroy, Gay-Lussac and Tkenard ; while fortification, archi 
tecture and public works were entrusted to Guy-Vemon, Duraru 
and Sganzin. 

To these great masters was added a corps of repetiteurs (repeaters' 
of lectures, or assistant professors), chosen from the most distin 
guished of its pupils, among whom we find the distinguished nam< 
of M. Blot. It was my high privilege to have several interview! 
with this nestor of science, in his rooms at the College de France 
and it was with sadness he referred to the great changes which th< 
revolutionary struggles of his country had brought upon the cha 
racter of the institution; adding, "the polytechnic school is not nov\ 
what it once was." True, its great masters had passed away. It haol 
no longer the ardent enthusiasm of a Monge and Fourcroy, of Ber- 
thollet and La Place and La Grange, but the traditional lustre o: 
their great names still shed light over the school which their genius 
and labors had built up. True, disputes had arisen between the 
exclusive study of abstract science on the one hand, and their earlj 
application on the other, which legislative authority had attempted 
to solve by an accommodation to the spirit of Young France ; but 
the traditional teaching of the school will be too strong for legisla 
tive interference ; and " early and deep scientific study" will carry 
off" the victory against early practical applications," so that the opi- 
nion of the English commission is distinctly given in pronouncing 

Doc. No. II. 35 

;he polytechnic school at this time, "perhaps without exaggeration, the 
greatest mathematical school in the world.'''' 

With such illustrious men to conduct the educational development 
)f the polytechnic school, sustained as they were by the genius, 
wisdom and authority of Napoleon I, it was to be expected that it 
.would exercise a commanding influence in the progress of scientific 
3ducation throughout Europe, and in the organization of those spe- 
ial schools which have added so much to the power of the French 
nation. And such has been the result. No intelligent traveler can 
visit Europe, without seeing the impress of the polytechnic school 
upon the progress of education, in all the forms of its development. 
And when the American contrasts the character of education in 
his own country, at the beginning of the war of 1812, with that at 
3resent, he will not fail to recognize the important agency of the 
U. S. military academy at West Point, itself a germ from the poly- 
;echnic school, with one of the polytechnic eleves (Claude Crozet) 
as one of its earliest professors, not only in the specific work of 
preparing officers for the military defences of the country, but in 
elevating the character and grade of its scientific education. Nay 
more — may we not trace in the history of the Virginia military in- 
stitute, itself an offshoot from the West Point academy, a still further 
development of a system of education, originating in the troubles 
of a revolution, which, in its weariness of every thing then existing, 
threw off the restraints of the scholastic teaching, and gave birth to 
the polytechnic school? 

Still, it would be absurd to trace such astonishing results to the 
influence of any one institution, however renowned the men charged 
with its teachings, or mighty the authority brought to their aid in 
its operations. There must have been a want existing, whether felt 
or not, for the class of education which the polytechnic school first 
met and supplied. How could the education which was originally 
designed for the ecclesiastic, and which was made by the system of 
the schools the education of all, meet the wants of a great nation 
in the development of its resources, the application of its material, 
the adaptation of machinery, the success of its manufactures, the pro- 
gress of the arts, or the success of its trade? The education which 
had been provided was actually worthless to most of those who held 
the wealth and directed the destinies of the nation. And thus, 

36 Doc. No. 11. 

just in proportion to the adaptation of the system of education t 
meet the demands of the age, must be the influence which it wii 
exert in the promotion of sound learning in the world. That thi 
requirement was fulfilled in the establishment of the polytechni 
and other special schools connected with it, there can be no rational 
doubt. This has long since been admitted throughout the continen 
of Europe. It is about to have a remarkable confirmation in th 
judgment of the great educational establishments of England, as 
will more fully show in the sequel of this report ; and I call atten' 
tion to this point here, because it illustrates and confirms an impor 
tant principle which has marked the history and seems to fix th< 
destiny of the Virginia military institute. 

The immediate and pressing wants which led to the establish 1 
ment of the polytechnic school, controlled also its plan. It wa 
partly military and partly civil, for military as well as civil educa 1 
tion had been destroyed by the revolutionists. At first it only in 
eluded those who were designed for the engineer service, but th< 
artillery service was added within a year. The preparation whiclj 
it gave for the military service, was in its thorough scientific ra 
ther than its practical training ; and those of its eleves who an 
destined for the army, are transferred to the practical school foi 
engineers and artillery at Metz. For many years past, it has beer 
more a civil than a military school, its best pupils selecting th< 
civil in preference to the military services, because they open widei 
fields for distinction and advancement. To such an extent hav* 
the civil departments monopolized the best talent of the school 
that the directors of the school at Metz have complained that the 
material sent to that institution, constituted as it is of the lowest 
members of the classes of the polytechnic, is not qualified, by talent 
or preparation, for those arms of the service provided for at Metz 
These remonstrances have not operated to remove from the poly- 
technic students the free choice which they continue to give for 
the civil services. 

It will thus be seen, that the polytechnic is a preparatory and 
general scientific school, in which the studies are not exclusively 
adapted for any one of the departments to which, at the close of its 
course, its scholars will find themselves assigned. Before entering 
upon the actual discharge of their specific duties, they pass through; 

Doc. No. 11. 37 

further term of instruction in some one of the schools of appli- 
ation specially devoted to particular professions. 

The public services for which it thus gives a general preparation, 
re the following, in the order of their selection by the preference 
f the eleves : 

?he department of roads and bridges (ponts et chaussees). 
?he department of mines (mines). 

he department of powder and saltpetre (poudres et salpctre). 
Javal architects (genie maritime). 
Engineers (genie militaire). 
?he artillery (artillerie de terre). 
5tafF corps (etat major). 

Che hydrographical corps (ingenieurs hydrographiques). 
?he department of tobacco (administration des tabacs). 
Che department of telegraph (lignes telegraphiques). 
^avy (marine). 
Marine artillery (artillerie de mer). 

And finally, to all other departments which involve a knowledge 
)f mathematics, physics or chemistry. 

The course of study at the polytechnic embraces two years, and 
;he institution is open to all Frenchmen by competition. It usually 
lumbers about 400 students, about one-third of whom pass out each 
/ear to the various schools of application. Besides a full corps of 
professors, the lectures given by these are carefully drilled into the 
Dupils by the repetiteurs, who pass through the halls of study (salles 
V etude), ask questions, repeat the lectures when necessary, and 
give such additional instruction as may be required ; so that the 
ullest scope is given to the genius and diligence of the pupil on 
;he one hand, and facility for necessary aid from the instructors, on 
:he other. This care in instruction involves the expense of a large 
:orps of professors and assistant professors, but the advantages re- 
sulting from it fully compensate for the expense attending it. And 
f the distinguished career of its eleves be a fair test of the value 
)f its system of instruction, few institutions in the world can pre- 

38 Doc. No. 1!. 

sent a fairer record in the same space of time than the polytechnh 

Among those who have been most distinguished, I note the fol 

Arago, savan, professor at the school: 

Bachasson de Montalivet, minister of interior. 

De Barante, ambassador. 

Bernard, minister of war. 

Biot, savan, professor College de France. 

Binet, professor at College de France. 

Bourdon, inspector general of university. 

Cauehy, professor at the school. 

Cavaignac, minister of war. 

Chasles, professor at the school. 

Chevalier, professor at College de France, 

Comte, repetiteur at the school. 

Delauny, professor at the school. 

Doalat de Pontecoulant. 

Bucos de la Hette, minister of foreign affairs. 

Dulong, professor at the school. 

DubameT, professor at the school. 

Dupin, professor at the school v and minister of marine. 

Francoeur, professor in faculty of sciences. 

Gay-Lussac, professor at the school. 

Le Chevalier, professor at the school. 

Le Verrier, member of the institute. 

Lionville, professor at the school. 

Malus, member of the institute. 

Mathieu, professor at the school. 

Poinsot, professor at the school. 

Poesson, professor at the school. 

Poncelet, commandant of the school. 

Regnault, professor at the school. 

Vaillant, minister of war and marshal of France- 

Doc. No. II. 39 

I close ray notice of the polytechnic school, by quoting the coll- 
usions of the intelligent commission of the British government, 
sfore referred to : 

" Regarded simply as a great mathematical and scientific school, 
s results, in producing eminent men of science, have been extraor- 
inary. It has been the great (and a truly great) mathematical uni- 
ersity of France. 

"Regarded again as a preparatory school for the public works, it 
as given a very high scientific education to civil engineers, whose 
cientific education in other countries (and amongst ourselves) is be- 
ieved to be much slighter and more accidental. 

' Regarded as a school for the scientific corps of the army, its pe- 
uliar mode of uniting in one course of competition for civil and 
military services, has probably raised scientific thought to a higher 
k)int in the French than in any other army. 

" Regarded as a system of teaching, the method it pursues in de- 
eloping the talents of its pupils, appears to us the best we have 
jver studied. 

; < It is, in its studies and some of its main principles, that the ex- 
imple of the polytechnic school may be of most value. In forming 
ir improving any military school, we cannot shut our eyes to the 
uccessful working at the polytechnic of the principle, which it was 
:he first of all schools to initiate, the making great public prizes the 
reward and stimulus of the pupil's exertions. We may observe how 
he state has here encouraged talent, by bestowing so largely assis- 
tance upon all successful but poor pupils, during their school career. 
We may derive some lessons from its method of teaching, though 
the attempt to imitate it might be unwise. Meanwhile, without 
emulating the long established scientific prestige of the polytechnic, 
we have probably amongst ourselves abundant materials for a mili- 
tary scientific education, at least as sound as that given at this great 

The special military school at St. Cyr is the same that was origi- 
nally established at Fontainebleau "in 1S03, and was transferred to 

40 Doc. No. 11. 

St. Cyr in 1808. The buildings occupied by the school are thosi 
formerly used by Madame de Maintenon, and the school which shi 
superintended, near the village of St. Cyr. To enter the infantry^ 
cavalry or marine services, a young man may either rise from thq 1 ! 
ranks, or successfully pass through the course of study prescribed al 1( 
the military school at St. Cyr. It is possible, in time of war, thai & 
a private may rise to be an officer of engineers or artillery, but the 
number thus promoted is limited ; and as a general thing, they are 
afterwards required to take a modified course at the special school 
for engineers and artillery at Metz. Besides furnishing officers foi 
the infantry, cavalry and marine, about 25 of the most distinguished! 
of each class are, at the close of their term at St. Cyr, brought intc 
competition for admission into the staff school (Etat Major) at Paris, 
the superior advantages of this department thus aifording a strong 
stimulus to exertion. 

The course of study at St. Cyr is 2 years, and the institution usu- 
ally numbers about 5 or 600 cadets, who are admitted by competi- 
tive examination. The buildings from several courts or quadrangles, 
named after the battles of Napoleon, as the court of Rivoli, the 
court of Austerlitz, &c. The ground floor forming the courts of 
Marengo, Austerlitz and Wagram, appeared to be occupied by two 
refectories, by lecture and other public rooms. On the 1st floor are 
the salles d' etude, and the public rooms containing models, &c. On 
the second floor are the dormitories. 

The salles d' 'etude accommodate about 200 pupils, arranged om 
parallel seats, with' a narrow passage between, and are used as gene- 
ral study rooms, in which the pupils prosecute their studies, in the 
presence of one or more officers of the institution. 

The refectories were arranged with two rows of small tables, each 
table accommodating 12 cadets, and a long narrow passage separating 
the parallel rows of tables. 

The dormitories, containing about 100 each, named after the Cri- 
mean battles, Alma, Inkermann, &c, were occupied by rows of small 
iron bedsteads each with a sh^lf over it and a box by its side. The 
cadets make up their own beds, clean their own shoes, and attend 
to the police of their dormitories. 

Doc. No. 11. 41 

I did not see the infantry drills, as they take place shortly after 
unrise, but I witnessed, on two occasions, the exercises for the 
avalry service. The stables contain about 350 horses, attended to 
y 200 cavalry soldiers. The cadets for the cavalry service ride 3 
jours a day, and the exhibition which they made was very creditable 
o the school. 

I was much interested in the models connected with the engineer- 
ig and mathematical departments of the school, and was induced, 
rom the great value of some of them, as aids in our own course of 
tudy, to order a few of the most important for this institution. I 
m sure that nothing could contribute more to an improvement of 
hese departments at the institute, than a full collection of these 
podels ; and I hope that the means to purchase them may be given 
t no distant day. 

The competitive examinations upon which cadets are admitted into 
he military schools of France, besides elevating the character of 
he material introduced into the public services, exercise a most 
owerful influence upon the civil common schools of the country. 
Jpon this point, I quote again from the English commissioners' 
eport : 

' This is one piece of advice [said a distinguished French general, 
7ell known as a man of science, in conversation with us]. Fix 
our programme for admission at a high point ; keep rigidly and uncom- 
romisingly to it ; reject all who do not reach it ; and raise it gradually ; 
reparation will be made accordingly ; the pupils will say to their masters, 
This is required — teach us this ;' and you will gradually raise the stan- 
ards of all the preparatory schools in the country. So at least it has 
een in France.'''' 

And the commissioners add, " So certainly it does seem to have 
•een. The standard in certain studies has been steadily elevated, 
phile the importance of others has been gradually reduced; and in 
act, a complete revolution in the whole system has been effected." 

These remarks are fully confirmed by the observation made to me 
y Sir Frederick Abbott, of the military school at Addiscombe, who 
ecommended an open and competitive examination for Addiscombe, 
ot only from the advantages likely to accrue to the institution 

42 Doc. No. 11. 

itself, but as inevitably tending to elevate the grade of all thos; 
schools which would be looked to as preparatory to the militar 
schools of England. 

I have dwelt so much at large upon the character and operatioi 
of the military schools of France, that it may not be necessary t 
go into the same detail with regard to the other establishments << 
the kind which I was permitted to examine in Europe. 

I was very much pleased with a visit made to the Royal milita) 
academy of Sardinia. The establishment of a more liberal goveri 
ment in Sardinia since the revolution of 1S49, has infused ne 
energy into the operations of the government, and no interest hi| 
more sensibly felt this than that connected with military educatioi 
The buildings used for the purposes of the Royal military academ 
are contiguous to the royal palace, and are in many respects admj 
rably arranged for the purposes of a military school. The governs 
of the academy, General Pettinengo, accompanied by members ■ 
his staff, very kindly took me through every part of the establisl 
ment — the refectories, the dormitories, lecture rooms, and examin.'i 
tion halls, hospital, &c. — all of which seemed to be admirably suite 
for the uses to which they were applied. 

I was particularly interested in the drawing department, to whic 
I found great attention paid in this school. As tests of the qualii 
cations of the cadets, examinations in drawing were required at ■ 
close of each term, at which the merits of the pupils were detei 
mined by the quality and dispatch exhibited in the drawings exti 
cuted in an allotted time. 

The military academy at Turin also attaches great value to th 
preparation of original memoirs, which are required of all the senui 
cadets. Musket and rifle target practice receives also much attei] 
tion there. In a word, I was very much pleased with all that j 
saw in this institution, and left it with the impression that it muis 
exert a commanding influence upon the cause of general as well i\ 
military education in Sardinia. 

In all the military schools of Europe, great attention is paid t 
gymnastic exercises. These are not only practiced for the purpos 

Doc. No. 11. 43 

f developing the manly vigor of the pupils, but as essential ele- 
lents in the discipline and instruction of troops for light service, 
'hey are generally conducted under the direction of an officer who 
cts as instructor, and are regarded as a part of the regular system 
f instruction. At Vincennes, St. Cyr, as well as at Turin, the 
rrangements for these exercises were very perfect, and the system 
well worthy of the consideration of this school. 

The great agricultural school of Germany is at Hohejiheim, in Wur- 
i3mburg, six miles south of Stuttgard. Hohenheim (High-Home) 
f7as originally a ducal palace, which was transferred, on the corona- 
!.on of the present king of Wurtemburg, to the uses of an agricul- 
bral school. The extensive ranges of court rooms, servants' rooms, 
alls, stables, &c. which constituted the arrangements of the royal 
3sidence, came in most admirably for the new uses to which they 
veve applied. The public halls answered very well for the exhibi- 
tion and instrumental rooms; the stables, for the cattle and sheep — 
i^hile dormitories for 130 students were easily provided in the long 
inges of the second floor. The school was unfortunately in vaca- 
lon when I visited it, but I found one of the sub-officers there, 
\7ho spoke French, and he, together with an intelligent student 
•om Belgium, showed me every attention, and seemed pleased to 
!fford me all the information at their command. 

This school is a great scientific and practical school of agriculture. 

tis not a manual labor school, although any student is at liberty 
labor if he choose. The basis of the school is careful instruction 
q scientific agriculture, embracing chemistry, geology, mineralogy, 
Qechanics, physiology, animal as well as vegetable, and every thing 
•elonging to the diseases of animals and stock. The principles thus 
aught in the class room are made the basis of the experimental in- 
truction on the farm, for 1,000 acres of good arable land are at- 
ached to the school. Does science show that the application of a 
•articular manure will be judicious — =the experiment is made, and 
he results carefully noted, and this not slightly, but with patient 
md laborious care. When the result is fully established, it is pro- 
laimed, and becomes the established rule for the farmer every 
vmere. Is the manufacture of cheese the subject before the class — 
he professor will deliver his lecture, explain the rationale of the 
process, and also the manipulations necessary ; and while the lec- 

44 Doc. No. 11. 

ture is in progress, the milk will have passed from its liquid state tt 
that of pressed cheese. So that theoretic and applied science is si 
joined in the instruction here, that Hohenhcim is regarded through 
out Germany as the authority on agricultural matters, which deter 
mines all questions of policy in this branch of industry; and i 
knowledge of this fact makes the professors slow to express an opi 
nion on any point, until conclusive evidence satisfies them which i 
the true answer. Thus, an enquiry was presented as to the relativi 
economy in feeding 100 weight of hay to cattle or sheep, and th< 
result was favorable to the latter in the proportion of some 20 pe 

All new implements of agriculture are sent to Hohenheim fo< 
testing. The 'professor will explain to his class, before they an 
tried, the mechanical principles involved, their effect upon thi 
draught of the animal, as founded upon his physiological structure 
and then the test is made. 

In Germany, oxen pull by the horns, the band passing in front o 
the head just below the roots of the horns. This is not an acci 
dental arrangement, but reasons are given for it, founded upon thi 
form and strength and durability of the animal. 

The model rooms contained every variety of agricultural imple 
ments, among which I noticed with pride the reaper of our owr 
countryman, McCormiclc. The implements which were not on hanc 
for use in the field, were exhibited by most carefully constructec 
models. In the seed-xoom, every variety of seed and root was taste 
fully arranged ; and these specimens are not exhibited merely to be 
looked at. Their peculiar properties are carefully unfolded by thi 
lecturer, as he presents them to his class. My eye rested upon { 
fine specimen of a common potato. I took it up, and finding hi 
much lighter in weight than a potato of its size should be, I enquirec 
how it had been so carefully preserved. My guide laughed heartilj 
at my question, and replied, that the specimen I held was a model it 
wood. And models in wood were shown, in like manner, of apples 
cherries, &c. all of which would have equally deceived me, had no! 
my attention been drawn to the model potato. In the same rooir 
were specimens of wool of every variety, carefully arranged bjjii 

Doc. No. 11. 45 

I was particularly interested in the hall of forestry. Here every 
variety of wood was seen in choice specimens, and classified, each 
lass embracing those timbers which possessed distinct peculiarities : 
bus, timbers which would bore without splitting; then those that 
night be turned ; and also'those that could be reduced to thin la- 
ninae — all of which was very suggestive to me as presenting one 
important defect in our American education. With every variety 
f the noblest forest trees upon earth, so little attention is paid to 
heir study, that our young men scarcely know the names of the 
rees as they pass them in the woods, much less their qualities and 
>roperties; and yet is there any part of agriculture so well de- 
erving of attention as the culture, preservation and properties of 
»ur forest timber. 

The cattle stables contained some 70 or 80 very fine cows of the 
Swiss breed, the calves from which were raised and sold for labor. 
/hey are never removed from their stalls except to water, twice 
iach day; and their food is regulated by carefully tested experiments. 

Some twenty-five mechanics are employed constantly at the school 
n making implements and models, which are sold. 

The school is composed of the academy proper, and institute, or 
school of application. The charges of the first are about 30,000 
lorins (say $ 12,000) annually, and these are met by the tuition fees 
)f the students. The expenses of the institute amount to 40,000 
3orins (-316,000), and the sales of stock, produce from the farm, and 
models, about equal the expenditure — so that, as nearly as I could 
iscertain, the school is self-sustaining. 

The expenses to each student amount to about S 300 a year, and 
this sum may be reduced by the student availing himself of the fa- 
cilities for cheap boarding in the neighborhood. I found the school 
deficient in public documents. They had nothing except in German; 
and I was only able to get a couple of pamphlets in this language, 
giving a programme of the course of studies and discipline. 

It is well known to you, sir, that peculiar circumstances have 
directed the policy, and seem still to fix the destiny of this institu- 
tion. Called into being as a substitute for what was considered 
an evil in the established guard then attached to the Lexington 

46 Doc. No. 11. 


arsenal, without any distinct or definite sphere of operations before 
it as an educational establishment, in the minds of its original 
founders, it has been developed, from year to year, partly under the 
influence of controlling causes within the institution itself, and 
partly from what has seemed to be an imperative call of duty from 
without. As it has progressed, its destiny has seemed to mark it 
out more and more distinctively to be to Virginia and the South, 
what the polytechnic school and the special schools connected 
with it, have been to Paris and to France — a general scientific school. 
Its military character as a part of the public guard of the state; 
its distinctive organization upon the basis of the United States mili- 
tary academy at West Point; its normal character as a school fromi 
which the state might be supplied with a corps of competent native. 
teachers ; the demand for its graduates in the important interest oii 
civil engineering — and in general, the felt necessity for a school oi 
physical sciences, where, to use your own language, " our young 
men will study nature in all her infinite and immutable laws, and* 
whence they will come out, learned in science, skillful in practice, 
with powers to wield all the laws of nature in behalf of the physi- 
cal, intellectual and moral progress of their country" — these are 
the circumstances which have shaped the destiny of the institution, 
and which have brought the board of visitors to the conviction that 
it is their duty to make it a great school of physical sciences for 
the south. 

The gradual steps in this development have not been taken with- 
out careful consideration on the part of its friends, and without 
awakening some apprehension lest in the tendency to what might 
be called a practical education, the directors of the school might 
lose sight of the true object of education as designed rather to de- 
velop the mental and moral faculties, than to qualify the student 
for the active duties of life — lest the too exclusive prosecution of 
scientific studies might lead to a narrow, contracted, one-sided and 
sometimes skeptical state of the mind — and finally, lest the influence 
of the example founded upon the experience of the great educational 
establishments of this and our mother country, England, might be 
lost sight of in the swelling tide of progress which marks the cha- 
racter of the age. 

These suggestions have been met by the facts, that it was still 
an unsettled point what class of studies was best adapted to de- 

Doc. No. II. 47 

elop the powers .of the human mind, inasmuch as the results, 
mnded upon experience, were too much influenced by natural or 
ontingent causes, to be made the basis of any dogmatic conclu- 
10ns on the subject — that education, to be worth any thing, must 
ave respect to the duties of life, and that the education which 
kas useful to some, was not necessarily useful to all — that truth, 
■vine truth alone could put straight the perverted and perverting 
ondition and tendency of the human mind, and was equally appli- 
kble under one as under another system of mental training — and 
nally, that the established institutions which had come down to 
! from the past, would either have to adapt themselves to the gene- 
ation upon, which they were to act, and to the felt necessities of 
le world, under the existing circumstances of society, or they 
'ould be useless for the purposes for which they were established. 

! I had little expected that my observations abroad would furnish 
^e with such conclusive demonstration of the correctness of these 
iews. I had expected to find on the continent of Europe much 
fiat was in sympathy with the general tendency of the operations 
f this school; but I had not imagined, for no sufficient data had 
reviously existed to enable me to see, to what an extent the mind 
f the British nation had been awakened on these various ques- 
.ons, and how fully the response had been in harmony with the 
iews here expressed, and with the developments which have marked 
le progress of this institution. 

Let it not be supposed that this awakening has involved any de- 
reciation of the value or importance of the old systems of educa- 
on, as they had come down from the past, for the peculiar objects 
nd purposes for which they were in many respects admirably suited, 
r that the views now extensively gaining ground, are intended to 
apersede these old teachings ; but that the public mind is becom- 
lg more and more satisfied that the education which was useful to 
me, was not necessarily useful to all — that there is now a more de- 
ided acknowledgment of the fact that the wants of the largest and 
lost influential part of society, embracing the middle ranks, with 
>me mixture from the upper and lower classes, and comprising the 
griculturist, the merchant, the manufacturer, the artist, the civil 
ngineer, the artisan, and to some extent, the professions of law and 
ledicine, are not provided for by the existing systems of the schools; 

48 Doc. No. II. 

and that measures are now in progress to supply these wants, t 
which the universities of England are prominently lending their in 
fluence, and by which provision will be made to give an educatio 
at least as liberal as that supplied by the " schools." 

When I reached England, I found the public papers much inte 
rested in what was termed "the middle class examinations'''' of Oxfon 
and Cambridge. At first I had supposed that these examination 
had reference to the candidates of these universities for honors, ©' 
certificates of distinction ; on discovering my error in this conjee 
ture and seeing that the examinations referred to were of the pupil 
of schools not connected with the universities, I had supposed tha 
the term "middle class" defined the class of boys who were the sub 
jects of these examinations, as coming from the middle walks of life 
I was equally in error here. The term "middle class" is understooi 
to apply not so much to the individual educated, as to the cducatio\ 
itself, as one lying between the high culture attainable at a univer 
sity and the humble rudiments required at a parish school. And i 
was in reference to this class of education that these examination: 

were then in progress. 


On the ISth of June 1857 the university of Oxford passed a sta 
tute establishing two examinations for those not members of the uni 
versity — one for youths under 18, another for boys under 15. Bj 
this statute a commission was organized, with legislative and execu 
tive powers for the several purposes defined by the statute, these 
powers to expire in three years. 

This commission was authorized to frame a scheme of examina- 
tion, appoint examiners, to fix a scale of fees, and arrange all the 
details of the examinations. 

The examinations were to be held at various centres, chiefly the 
large towns, selected as the commission should deem most expedient 

The "middle class" examinations thus appointed, were to be free 
to all persons of whatever social rank or religious denomination, age. 
and non-matriculation being the only limit. 

All candidates must satisfy the examiners that they have mastered 

Doc. No. 11. 49 

ie elements of a plain English education, after which they are al- 
iwed a wide latitude in the selection of subjects of study. 

Boys under 15, who succeed in the lower examination, obtain a 
irtificate. Youths under 18, who pass the higher, receive the title 
l associate of a?'ts. 

The university of Cambridge has followed the example of the 
Diversity of Oxford, and passed a similar statute for middle class 
laminations. The details of this statute differ in some of its ele- 

ents from those of Oxford, the chief difference being in reference 
> the title of associate of arts to the successful seniors. 

The motives which have led these renowned universities to inau- 
,urate so important a system as is embraced in these middle class 
xaminations, are fully set forth in the memorials which have been 
resented to them from the various interests connected with them ; 
ji communications from masters of schools who have recommended 
pern ; and in an elaborated argument of one of the Oxford examiners, 
I D. Acland, Esq., himself late a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, 
l an account of the " Origin and Objects of the New Oxford Examina- 
ms" published in 1858. 

The memorial of the medical profession of London states, "We be- 
eve that the adoption of such a system (middle class examination) 
lay be most beneficial, by supplying a means primarily for testing, 
nd secondarily for increasing and guiding the preliminary know- 
3dge of many who are destined for the study and practice of medi- 
ine, thus meeting a want which has been long and deeply felt." 

The architects of London join in the memorial, because they " think 
bat if some knowledge of the history and principles of the arts, 
nd of the physical sciences connected with them, were encouraged 
s a part of the general education of the middle ranks, much na- 
ional benefit would result from the more just appreciation of the 
forks of professional men." 

At a meeting of the committee of the metropolitan and provin- 
ial law association, held on the 19th January 1S58, it was " Re- 
olved, that this committee has seen with great satisfaction the regu- 

50 Doc. No. 11. 

lations which the university of Oxford has made to encourage 
higher standard of education among that part of the youth of th 
kingdom hitherto unconnected with the universities." 

The Rev. Harvey Goodwin, late Hulsean lecturer, Cambridge, re 
cently appointed dean of Ely, writes, " For my own part, I hav ( 
long reflected upon the condition of middle school education i 
England, and the necessity of bringing it to a higher standard. * 
# * # # j apprehend that what is called middle education mighi 
be benefited by a system of university examination. In so saying i 
would especially guard myself against being supposed to imply tha] 
by such means it would be possible to communicate to the middl 
classes the peculiar advantages of Oxford or Cambridge. No ex 
aminations can be a substitute for residence; and those features o 
university life, which chiefly make Oxford and Cambridge whaj 
they are, and to which you and I probably look back as amongs 
the most blessed influences ever brought to bear upon us, mus 
Btill be reserved for those who are able and willing to give seve 
ral years to unbroken university study. But because we canno 
give all, we need not hesitate to give what we can ; and whil« 
residence must be confined to comparatively few, the benefits o 
examination may be conferred upon a multitude. * * 
But what will the universities themselves say? or rather what wil 
Cambridge say? for that is the question to which you expect me t« 
give an answer, and to ask which you took the trouble of pay in* 
our university a visit the other day. * * * Judging 
from the general spirit of the place, I believe that the propositioi 
for carrying out some such plan as that which you have brough 
before us, would meet with great favor. * * * W< 
want something which shall endear us to the middle classes ; w< 
want something that shall make Oxford and Cambridge more thai 
mere names in the minds of those classes, and prevent them fron 
being regarded as merely clerical seminaries ; we want a wider fieh 
of action, in order to make even the work that we are doing a 
present more effective and influential." 

Rev. Alfred Barry, M. A., late fellow of Trinity college, Cam 
bridge, and now head master of Leeds grammar school, thus writes 
to Mr. Acland : 

" It is with the greatest pleasure that I see the attempt to estab 

Doc. No. 11. 5L 


ish a system of examinations for middle schools, under the sane- 
ion of the universities. We have drawn up a petition from Leeds, 
tating our views on the subject. It has been signed by many inte- 
ested in middle class education, and the number of signatures might 
ery easily have been increased. I have not the slightest doubt that 
uch a movement would be welcomed all over the country by all 
pram mar schools, commercial schools, &c. as one of the greatest 
toons they could receive. * * * For the class attending these 
chools is most important, drawn as it is from the middle ranks of 
ociety, with a slight admixture of the classes above and below ; 
,nd the schools themselves play a most prominent part in that fusion 
if classes which is the stability of English society. * * * Now 
he universities at present guide us very little. I have 200 boys, 
.nd yet do not send on an average more than three every year to 
he universities; nor do I think it likely this number will increase 
o more than six or seven, at the outside. The mass of boys go else- 
vhere, to w 7 hat is called 'business' chiefly; and we have no means 
»f showing whether they are well taught or not. Nothing could 
>ossibly help us more than the power of referring to ' honors' 
rained in examination." 

Mr. Templeton, M. A. of the university of Aberdeen, and prinei- 
>al of a classical and commercial school in Exeter, writes : 

"If the universities would sanction the scheme, and grant some 
lonorary title to those who fairly come up to a fixed standard, a 
asting benefit would be conferred on that class of the country 
vhich forms the backbone of English society, and on which the 
veil being of the state mainly depends ; from which the higher 
ilasses are often recruited, and on which the laboring population 
miefly depend for their subsistence." 

I have quoted freely from the account of the " Origin and Objects 
)f the New Oxford Examinations," given by Mr. Acland, to show 
mat the systems of education existing in England did not meet the 
vvants of the large and influential class of its population which, 
lolds its wealth, and in a great measure controls the destinies of the 
lation. Of 200 boys in Mr. Adams' grammar school in Leeds, only 
hrec on an average go every year to the universities. The others go 
,rom the grammar school at once to "business." Now, can it be 

52 Doc. No. II. 

supposed that if the universities supplied the education that wa 
wanted, this state of things could exist? No adequate provisio 
had been made by the universities for the necessities of this larg 
class of society, and hence they did not go there. No institution 
existed of a character suited to their wants, and hence those consti 
tuting the " backbone" of English society pass from the gramma 
school to business — and therefore these head masters pray that be 
fore they enter upon the practical business of life, the universitie 
may take care, by examinations under their appointment, and ac 
companied by their honors to successful candidates, that they go t 
their work with the education suited for it. If the boys will no 
go up to the universities, let the universities come down to the boyj 
and thus provide and regulate the education which is demanded fo 

But I quote the pertinent language of the Oxford examiner, Mi 
Acland, on this point: 

" Time was when Oxford and Cambridge possessed a virtual monopol 
of the higher branches of education, and commanded the entrance to th 
chief posts, not only in the church, but also at the bar and in medichu 
This is no longer the case. To the causes of the change, whether within 
or without the universities, I need not refer in detail ; one, however, is gei 
mane to the matter in hand — the growth of physical science in manufac 
tures and locomotion. 

" This has told both on the universities and on the nation. 

"The first consequence has been, that the comfortable mainte 
nance, inaccessible within the universities, has been often supplie 
to scientific men by boards of directors and trading companies. 

" The second, that a new form of social influences has sprung u j 
in the metropolis and elsewhere. Science has supplied the commo 
ground on which the noble, the divine, the philosopher and th 
engineer have been glad to meet, whether at the soirees of th 
aristocracy, at scientific societies, or in social clubs. 

" Concurrently with the spread of new intellectual and socia 
influences, the world has been gradually finding out one deficiency 

Doc. No. 11. 53 

which not only prevails in the ranks of practical men, but even 
affects some grades of the professions. I refer to the want of a 
good general education as a preparation for scientific and commercial 

1 "In proportion as Oxford and Cambridge have seen the necessity 
of giving a more prominent place to natural science in the complete 
education of an English gentleman, practical men have been learning 
the value of classics and mathematics. The world knocks at the 
door of the schools and of the senate-house, and asks for help to 
guide its children in general education. * * * * 

" The recognition of this actual state of facts is a great part of 
what is asked for at the hands of the universities. I contend that 
Oxford has acted wisely in granting the request with a good grace, 
and in putting itself in harmony with the generation on which it is bound 
to act; and that it may reasonably hope to strengthen thereby its 
pow T er of doing good." 

The tendency of this great movement, and the character of the 
existing educational want, may be still more fully seen in the wide 
range given to the subjects of the middle class examinations, and in 
the arrangements presented for the great prominence assigned to art 
as an important branch of liberal education. 

Examination of Senior Candidates, 
(For the Title of Associate of Arts.) 
I. All candidates will be required to satisfy the examiners in 

1. Analysis of English sentences and parsing, and correction of 
faulty sentences. 

2. A short English composition. , 

3. Arithmetic. 

4. Geography. Every candidate will be required to draw from 
memory an outline map of some country in Europe, to be named by 

54 Doc. No. 11. 

the examiners, showing the boundary lines, the chief ranges c 
mountains, the chief rivers, and the chief towns. 

5. The outlines of English history — that is, the succession c 
sovereigns, the chief events, and the characters of the leading me 
in each reign. 

II. The examination in rudiments of faith and religion is not re 
quired of any candidate whose parents or guardians shall have de 
clined it on his behalf. 

III. Every candidate will also be required to satisfy the exam 
iners in two at least of the sections marked A, B, C, D ; or in on 
of those four, and in one of those marked E and F. 

Section A — English. 
This will include questions in 

1. English history, from the battle of Bosworth' field to the res 
toration ; and the outlines of the history of English literatur 
during the same period. 

2. Shakspeare's King Lear and Bacon's Essays. 

3. The outlines of political economy and English law. The ex 
amination will extend beyond the subjects treated of in the firs 
book of Smith's Wealth of Nations, and the first volume of Black 
stone's Commentaries. 

4. Physical, political and commercial geography. A fair know 
ledge of one of these four classes of subjects will enable a candi| 
date to pass in this section. 

Section B — Languages. 
1. Latin. 2. Greek. 3. French. 4. German. 

A fair knowledge of one of these languages will enable the can; 
didate to pass in this section. 

Doc. No. 11. 55 

Section C — Mathematics. 

1. Pure mathematics. 

2. Practical mechanics (including mechanism) and hydrostatics, 
nathematically treated, surveying and navigation. 

Algebra to the end of quadratic equations and four books of 
Euclid, will enable a candidate to pass in this section. 

Section D — Physics. 

1. Natural philosophy. Great importance will be attached to 
!*ood mechanical drawing. 

2. Chemistry. Questions will be set on the facts and general 
principles of chemical science. There will be a practical examina- 
tion in the elements of analysis. 

3. Vegetable and animal physiology. Questions will be set on 
vegetable physiology in general, and on the functions of vertebrata 
in animal physiology. Parts of plants and bones of vertebrata will 
be given for description. Great importance will be attached to 
?ood botanical and anatomical drawing. 

A fair knowledge of one of these classes of subjects will enable 
a candidate to pass in this section ; but in all cases, a practical ac- 
quaintance with the subject matter will be indispensable. 

Section E — Drawing. 

1. Drawing from the flat, from models, from memory, and in per- 
spective, and drawing of plans, sections and elevations. 

2. Design in pen and ink, and in colors. 

3. The history and principles of the arts of design. 

A fair degree of skill in free hand drawing will be required, in 
order that a candidate may pass in this section. 

56 Doc. No. 11. 

Section F — Music. 

1. The grammar of music. 

2. The history and principles of musical composition. 

The elements of thorough bass will be required in order that 
candidate may pass in this section. 

In the above programme, it will be seen that much prominence i 
assigned to the position of art. The views of Mr. Acland are so im 
portant in this connection, that I am sure no apology is necessar 
for presenting them in full. 

" In every country which has reached an advanced state of civili 
zation, the right mode of cultivating the arts, and of educating th 
designer and the workman, must sooner or later engage attentior 
We appear to be arrived in England at a crisis on this subject* froc 
which we must go forward or backward. 

" I understand by the term art, not merely the fine arts, but wha 
are commonly called useful and ornamental arts, especially thos> 
which are in any way connected with beauty, form, color or sound 
If we set aside those arts which relate to the provision of food, hov 
large a proportion of the middle classes are concerned in making 
buying or selling what may minister to the sense of beauty or th< 
reverse? House building, with all that it involves in the way o 
decoration, exterior or interior, and furniture, and the supply o 
clothing, must ever occupy a large portion of our population, to saj 
nothing of the minor arts which minister to personal ornament, 0.1 
to the multiplication of the works of the artist. On merely utilita* 
rian grounds, it is of the utmost importance to the commercial posi 
tion of England, that she should not be outdone by foreigners it 
matters of such general demand. But in order to this end, art musii 
find its place in national education, by the side of literature and science 
If the artist is to design and the workmen is to execute, there musu 
be a discerning public to appreciate the good and discourage the* 
bad." ***** 

Doc. No. 11. 57 

Mr. Acland then proposes : 

" First — To recognize art as one branch of a liberal education, by 
he side of literature and science. 

" Secondly — To give the artist facilities and encouragement for 
he general cultivation of his own mind. * * * * 

" The practical difficulty seems to be of two kinds : 1st — that 
he principles of art are so vague that they are difficult to state, and 
till more difficult to learn except by practice; and, 2dly — that few 
iave time both for art and for general education. 

"These difficulties are not to be lightly disregarded ; neverthe- 
ess, it may still be true — 1st, that a system of education which 
smores the principles of art, is incomplete ; 2dly, that an artist, 
pho is a mere self-taught worker, would in all ordinary cases be 
he better for a knowledge of what others have done before him, 
ind for instruction in the facts with which he has to deal — in other 
vords, that he needs literature and science for the full development 
•f the gift which nature has implanted in him. 

"As to the first point — It may be taken as now generally admit- 
ed, that literature, especially poetry, is of the first importance in 
ihe early stages of a liberal education — that it awakens power, 
jives vitality, and freedom and versatility -to the mind, for the ab- 
lence of which, especially in those who are to act on the minds of 
>ther human beings, nothing can compensate. Secondly — That an 
exclusive cultivation of a literary taste, with a neglect of science, 
lends to a narrow fastidiousness, and robs a man of innumerable 
opportunities of interest in the laws of the world in which he lives, 
md in the work of his fellow-creatures. The value of science, both 
oathematical and physical, as a means of giving strength to the 
reasoning powers, accuracy and concentration of thought, and scru- 
)ulousness in the examination of evidence, will not be denied at 
he present day by any one who, with a desire to hand down unim- 
paired the work of our forefathers to future generations, has taken 
in interest in the expansion of the educational system of England. 
3ut while literature fosters vitality, and science, accuracy — the one, 
tubmission to great laws, the other, a freedom which rises above 

58 Doc No. II. 

slavery to system — it would seem that art occupies a position b 
tween the two, and preserves, like poetry, the vital union of tr j 
imagination and reason; and as art manifests itself not in hook 
nor in systems of thought, but in works, the study of the worr 
which great men have produced must bring a valuable contributic 
to a complete education. In one sense, art finds its expression i 
the constructive tendencies of children and in the games of boys 
and so nature calls into play invention, judgment, experience, ar 
puts knowledge into practice ; and some youths thus gain educatic 
from what they do as sailors or soldiers, or even from the activit 
or failures of the cricket-field or the hunting-field, which they nev« 
gain from books or lectures. It may be a question whether an 
system of education which does not provide for spontaneous activit; 
except as an excrescence or irregularity, can be right. Whethi 
and in what way the practical arts can be made to bear their pa 
in a liberal education, is another question ; but clearly they mu 
be taken into account in some form in dealing with middle cla: 
examination, and therefore must not be neglected by those who ui 
dertake the responsibility of guiding it." 

These views are enforced by arguments from Rev. F. Tempi 
late fellow of Balliol college, Oxford, and one of the inspectors 
public schools, Dr. Acland, reader in anatomy in Oxford, and froi 
John Ruskin, Esq. and other artists of England, in communicatior 
which Mr. T. D. Acland has introduced into his "Account of th 
Origin and Objects of the New Oxford Examinations." They ai 
in a high degree suggestive, as showing the tendency of the p'ubl 
mind in England- as to what constitutes a liberal education. 

The middle class examinations, thus established by the two leac 1 
ing universities of England, were commenced for the first time jus( 
as I reached England. To judge of the manner in which this irri 
portant movement was received by the public, I copy from th 
London Times extracts from the proceedings of the public author, 
ties at two of -the principal centres of examinations. 

The city of Bath was selected as one of the places for conducl 
ing the examinations under the Oxford statute. A large meetin 
was held in Guildhall in that city, under the presidency of th 
mayor, to receive the examiners for that district. The mayor ha via 
stated the object of the meeting, and expressed the satisfaction h 

Doc. No. 11. 59 

bit at the number of candidates who had presented themselves 
rom the schools of Bath, one of the magistrates of the county 
noved a resolution tendering "most cordial and respectful greeting 
o Mr. T. D. Acland, D. C. L., and Rev. S. G. Ward, on their visit 
o Bath as representatives of the University of Oxford, on this occa- 
sion of the first New Oxford examinations in that city." Before put- 
;ing the resolution, the mayor said, that "the term middle class 
xamination had been used very extensively in reference to the pro- 
posed Examinations, and had been very prejudicial to the movement. 
(The examinations were not intended for any particular class, but to 
pe applicable to all young men who were not members of the uni- 
versity." The resolution was carried by acclamation. Mr. Acland 
then addressed the meeting at considerable length. After acknow- 
ledging the greetings with which the delegation had been received, 
he said: "Their appearance in the garb in which they presented 
themselves (the Oxford gown), and the ceremony with which they 
commenced this first examination, showed that it was not regarded 
by them as an affair of to-day, but as a great national .proceeding, 
which was not to terminate with their individual action. The his- 
tory of the progress of the human mind in England was associated 
Very closely with the history of the universities ; and if they went 
back to the origin of the universities, they would find certain great 
practical influences always going side by side with the training in 
learning therein obtained. The two great professions which took 
care of the health and property of men, were proofs of this. In 
tins age, it had become evident that the ancient universities, so long as they 
continued to abide on the 'primary education of language and the abstruse 
sciences, would be unable to grasp the requirements of these two great pro- 
fessions. In our day also, there were other callings fast rising into 
the importance of professions, and it also became of vital interest 
to England that our ordinary retail shops should be united with the 
higher intellectual attainments, especially in the decorative depart- 
ments of art. Agriculture, too, was daily becoming more closely 
connected with science. It became of great importance that these 
interests should not grow up without connection with the old in- 
stitutions of the country and sound learning. He was not going to 
, enter into a controversy as to what were the elements of sound 
learning. They lived in peculiar times ; and though he was far 
I from considering forms unessential, yet the university of Oxford in 
this movement considered that it was possible for ancient forms to 

60 Doc. No. 11. 

be abolished, and for the reality to become stronger by the change.. 
In these examinations the university proposed to test the success oi 
the education any young man had received, who was not likely to 
pursue a university training. The system was therefore particularly 
designed to meet the wants of those who were likely to enter upon; 
the practical business of life as young men." 

At Leeds a similar meeting was held, at which Professor Owen,\ 
president of the British association, proposed the following fesolu-' 
tion — " That the thanks of this meeting be given to the delegate; 
(Rev. Dr. Hook), and to the examiner (Rev. C. P. Chretren), who; 
presided over the late Oxford examination." After taking the op- 
portunity of expressing, on behalf of the British association, their 
great satisfaction at all the arrangements which had been made for 
their meeting (the British association held its annual meeting in 
Leeds), this learned professor said, " that he had peculiar pleasure in 
proposing that vote of thanks to the Oxford delegate and examiner, 
because of the recent addition to the Oxford system of education,! 
which had brought natural history, physiology, and indeed the 
whole range of inductive sciences, within the scope of the teaching 
of that ancient and honored university. Prior to that addition, the 
chief characteristic of the teachings of Oxford was the high degree 
in which the dead languages were taught, and the perfection to 
which the thinking faculties were brought by the dialetics taught 
in the universities. And, no doubt, to give to man the faculty of 
clear and profound thought, and the elegant patterns of ancient lan- 
srua^e in which to express the result of that thought, was one of 
the most important branches of education. It was only the exclu- 
sive direction of the aims of the university to that line of perfecting 
man's intellectual nature, to which any objection could be made. 
There was, if he might so speak, something of the element of 
selfishness in it, because it regarded man as too much insulated and 
distinct from the nature around him, with which he had really anl 
indissoluble relation and dependence, that never could be ignored 
without some evil following. It was a feature, and had exclusively 
been the feature of the universities — Germany, for example — to con- 
sider man not only in relation to his own intellectual faculties and 
power, but in relation to the nature in which he was placed. Hence-' 
forth there would be no longer a distinction between the teachings 
on the continent and in England. He knew that a knowledge of 

Doc. No. 11. 61 

nany branches of natural history, which the prince consort derived 
t the university of Bonn, had enabled him to sympathize with and 
inter into the views of Englishmen desirous of promoting science in 
i way he otherwise could not have done. If the peculiar character 
f England in relation to the rest of the world were considered — if, 
or example, there were a marked distinction between England and 
xermany, it was that one country had no colonies, and the other 
tad an enormous amount of the surface of the earth in that relation 
nth her ; and, therefore, what country in the world was more con- 
erned in giving her children a knowledge of the riches of the earth — 
i the character of the vegetation which grew upon that earth — 
heir qualities in relation to food — in relation to the blood, and in 
elation to medicine — a knowledge of the properties of the whole 
porld, and the characteristics of the external nature about them — 
phat country, he asked, was more concerned in, or could get a 
reater and a quicker reward for such teachings, than Great Britian? 
* * * If he took, for example, our great colony of Australia — 
ow long was it before its mineral wealth was even suspected by 
he number of intelligent, active, energetic Englishmen who were 
□ habiting it? The discovery of copper ore at Burra-Burra was a 
lere accident — the abundance and richness in which the copper was 
eposited fairly forcing itself upon the attention of one individual, 
t was entirely an accidental discovery : and much of the advantage 
f that productive mine of mineral wealth had really been lost to 
be state, because there was not one young geologist ever sent out 
3 study scientifically and rationally the mineral qualities of the 
olony, and the existence of the metal was long overlooked. Some 
ears afterwards, a still more valuable metal was discovered in Aus- 
ralia, not by sending out any young person acquainted with the 
udiments of mineralogy, which would have led him at once to see 
vidences of the highly probable existence of gold beneath the sur- 
ice, but by an active, energetic gold-seeker, who after being in 
Lustralia, had gone to California, but not succeeding there as well 
s he expected, he returned to Australia, and in traveling through 
;, he was struck with how much many of the features of the country 
7ere analogous to those of California, where he had sought for gold, 
t was thus that Mr. Hargreaves made the first practical discovery 
f gold which had since so extensively developed itself in Australia. 
# # Another instance bearing on. this point he could not help 
lentioning. The universities of Scotland had preceded the English 

62 Doc. No. 11. 

universities in that more extended curriculum of instruction ; and i 
was just because Livingstone had attended the classes of differen 
natural sciences in Glasgow, and because during the brief period h 
tarried in London, 18 years ago, before going out to his high mis si 
sion in South Africa, he availed himself of the museums in Londol 
to improve his natural knowledge, that he had been enabled t i 
make his wonderful journey in Africa so truly profitable to scienc 
and to mankind. He stood almost alone as an example of a scien 
tific traveler in Africa, by reason of that preliminary knowledge c 
nature which he carried with him." 

The views of Professor Owen are strikingly applicable to ou 
own state. What an immense undeveloped territory does Virgini 
present, with stores of mineral wealth waiting for the explorin 
hand of the man of science ! And how much has been lost to he 
and to the whole country, for the want of just such a kind of edu 
cational training as he points out! Our mines of coal, salt, iror. 
lead and gypsum have really forced themselves upon the attentio 
of those who scarcely knew their presence or their extent ; and th 
practical skill of Edmund Ruffin alone unlocked the riches of ou 
marl beds, while science in our educated men was fast asleep. 

In tracing the rise and progress of this great movement in Eng 
land, the results of these middle class examinations must not be over 
looked, for they have much significance, and are worthy of atten 
tive consideration. 

It appears that -out of eleven hundred of the middle class scholar 
of England, who were candidates for honors under the New Oxfon 
statute, upwards of seven hundred were rejected. But this is a par 
only, and a very small part, of the truth. These eleven hundred weri 
of course the elite of the various schools which they represented 
With such a result in the case of the candidates for honors, what, o 
necessity, must be the state of those who have been passed by am 
not examined? The former count by hundreds; the latter may b> 
enumerated by thousands — and these belonging to a class forming 
the very " backbone of English society." And on what account wen 
these candidates for honors rejected ? The Right Hon. M. T. Barnes 
in his speech at the public meeting at Leeds, just noticed, show, 

Doc. No. II. 63 

i " When it was remembered that the great want of success had 
>een caused by failing in such matters as orthography, writing, the 
Irst four rules of arithmetic, geography, and English history, which 
night be properly considered as the most rudimentary parts of an 
English education, there was too much reason to fear that there 
vas in certain schools a tendency, which it was to be hoped the 
sffect of these examinations would be to diminish, year by year, to 
lubstitute for true, sound, practical knowledge, that which was only 
.howy and superficial." 

A writer in the London Times puts some pertinent questions on 
Ihese results — " If the middle class schools have thus been found 
wanting, what, for any thing we know, is the condition of the 
treat mass of those for the humbler classes? What even of those 
"or the upper, both male and female, in the latter of which espe-, 
bally, mere fashion and frivolity so often set at nought nearly every 
thing that is either rational, elevating or useful?" 

If the same tests were applied to the same class of schools in 
Virginia, would not the results be still more deplorable? There 
.s much connected with this result that is not peculiar to England — 
such as " the tendency to make a traffic of education, and the negli- 
gence of parents in seeing that the means of instruction are actu- 
ally possessed by the so-called schools, to which they send their 
children." The essential defects of the English school system, viz : 
Inefficient teachers and worthless text-hooks, exist with us in Virginia, 
also. " Moderately educated young men, without professional ex- 
perience, even graduates of whatever degree, fresh from the uni- 
versities, are not necessarily qualified to act as teachers, any more 
than they are thereby qualified to perform a surgical operation, or 
to undertake the command of a brigade." The necessary conse- 
quence of such a system is the use of text-booJcs suited to the quali- 
fications of the teacher. Hence arises the class of " Manuals"— 
equally current in this country as in England — such as " Conversa- 
tions in Grammar," "Conversations in Chemistry," &c. which, 
iwhile they make a show of educating, they are only successful in 
obstructing. % 

I conclude my reference to the New Oxford middle class exami- 
nations, by quoting a passage from a public speech delivered by 

64 Doc. No. 11. 

Professor Max Miiller of Oxford, at a meeting held in Exeter, 01 
the 18th of June 1S57 : 

"The university of Oxford, has this day sanctioned the degree of asso 
date of arts. It has broken down the ancient barriers which divided clas 
sical from practical learning. This is a. revolution at which the mod 
revolutionary professors of Germany and France will stand aghast. Am 
if you look back to the history of the universities in Europe, you will admi 
that it is a revolution, that it is a great change, and, we may add, a sigt 
of life and health." 

Simultaneously with this important movement in behalf of th< 
middle class education of England, measures have been taken to pro 
vide increased facilities for the instruction of more advanced youths 
in those departments of study now claiming more particular atten- 
tion. Besides the addition made to the scientific branches taugtr 
in the university of Oxford, a national college has just been organ- 
ized in South Wales, with special reference to the wants of the na- 
tion and of the age. This institution has unfolded its system o 
education in a neat little volume, in which the " Principles of Colle- 
giate Education are discussed and elucidated in a description of Gnol 
College." I quote from this volume : 

" The chief continental states, wisely alive to the value of science. 
in the development of national resources * * * &c, have 
already derived great benefit from institutions established for the 
purpose of qualifying young men, by systematic instruction, to dis- 
tinguish themselves in professions, agriculture, mathematics, and in 
other operations connected with national enterprise. 


"Public attention in the United Kingdom has been frequently] 
directed to this subject, especially since the great exhibition, andj 
some attempts have been made to meet the demand already elicited.; 
No design, however, of a sufficiently complete character, has hitherto 
been proposed, and the ground remains clear for the foundation of a* 
college adapted to the wants of the age. 


" The objects of Gnoll college are the comprehensive elucidation 
of scientific principles, and the practical application of science to 
the public service and to the chief branches of national industry. 

Doc. No. 11. 05 

" The instruction of youths who will have to direct the manu- 
icturing, mercantile, professional and agricultural operations of the 
ountry, and who are the heirs of its property and capital, has risen 
a few instances beyond the inadequate routine of the old grammar 
chools and universities, now rendered comparatively inefficient by 

e rapid progress of education among the lower classes. 

; ' The fact has also been publicly recognized by legislative au- 
hority, that a ' manufacturing and mercantile, has arisen by the side of a 
mded aristocracy, and is exercising great influence on the public councils ;' 
nd it may be doubted, on the same high authority, whether the intellectual 
mnts of either of those elevated ranks are met by the -patented and almost 
worn out* routine of the old systems ; indeed, it may be safely asserted, that 
uch is not the case, and, if need be, abundant -proof will be cited to sup- 
ort this assertion. 

" Coming events are at length sufficiently foreshadowed to con- 
ince the majority of thoughtless men of the immediate and press- 
ng necessity for sustaining the influences of superior wealth by 
uperior intelligence ; and on this account alone, if other motives 
vere wanting, inducement enough is to be found for the prompt 
istablishment of a vigorous system of scientific and practical edu- 
ction for the wealthier classes. 

"A main cause of the misapprehension that has recently confused 
he public mind, in its laudable endeavors to grasp this question, 
nay be traced to the neglectful and inefficient state of the uni- 

"The associated colleges which constitute these still great and 
amous corporations, having, according to the highest authorities, 
ailed to satisfy the wants of the age, the energy of the nation, un- 
clenched by stubborn resistance, has in many ways undertaken to 
eshape itself. The great efforts of the society of arts afford a long 
series of successful instances. 

"The originators of the present scheme believe that colleges for 
completing the education of youth, and fitting young men for the 
pursuits of mature age, should be distinguished from the seats of 
;he special professions. 


Doc. No. 11. 

" That which the inns of courts might be for lawyers ; the co 
leges of physicians and surgeons, the apothecaries' hall and th 
hospitals for the medical profession, the universities might become fc\ 
theologians and philosophers. 

"To this point indeed the universities are rapidly tending; an 
the greatest benefits might be expected from an adaptation of thes! 
famous establishments to objects of this lofty character. At pn 1 
sent, according to the report of the Oxford university commission 
4 The education imparted there is not such as to conduce to the advanc 
ment in life of many, persons, except those intended for the ministry of w 
established church." 1 " 

With these views of the national importance of their enterpris 
the originators of Gnoll college, encouraged by the support of sorr' 
of the most learned men of the kingdom, among whom may I 
mentioned Bishop Thirwall and Rev. W. A. Conybearc, present I 
following scheme of instruction : 

Introductory Course. 

Examples of Intermediate Courses. 

Examples of Final Courses. 



Natural History, 
Human History, 

Descriptive Geometry; Higher 

Materials of Machinery. 
Investigation of Natural Forces. 

Chemical Analysis ; Mineral Che- 
mistry ; Organic Chemistry. 

Geology; Vegetable and Animal 

Languages and Music; Psycho- 
logy and Logic; Sacred and 
Civil History. 

Optical and Photographical Re- 
presentations; Drawing and 
Painting; Lithography; En- 
graving; Carving; Modeling; 

Astronomical Observat'ns; Trj 

onometrical Surveying. 
Mechanical Arts. 
Steam; Projectiles; Tractioi 

Navigation. . 
Chemical Manufactures; A.% 

cultural Chemistry; Sanits 

Mining and Metallic Manufi; 

tures; Vegetable and Anhi 

Growth, and Manufacture, j 
Jurisprudence ; Administrate 

Diplomacy; Commerce; ! 

tory.; Letters. 
Constructive Arts; Forinati 

Arts; Delineative Arts. 

It is intended that the student shall pass through all the sev< 
introductory courses. The special pursuits which each student h 
in view will govern the selection of the intermediate subjects ; for 
is not contemplated that any mind can perfectly grasp the who] 
although the influence of the entire range of studies will doubtle 

Doc. No. 11. 67 

e generally felt. The speciality of each student will engross his 
ittention in the final series. 

That there is good ground for anticipating success in such an en- 
erprise, the friends of the scheme quote the following language 
om the report of the Oxford university commission : 

"Many persons expect that such a school, when once recognized 
s an independent branch of academical instruction, and supported 
»y eminent professors in all its departments, will, from the tendency 
f the age towards the pursuit of material knowledge, be likely to 
ssert its own importance, and they (the commissioners) think there- 
ore that to insure success, no more will be needed than to give it 
tidependent existence, and full scope for action, without making it 

The Oxford commissioners signing this report, embraced, among 
ithers, the present Bishop of London, the Bishop of Norwich, and 
lev. Baden Powell. 

These opinions are impressed as convictions on the minds of the 
originators of Gnoll college. And when it is considered through 
what difficulties men of genius in Great Britain have had to strug- 
;le, without the aid which a suitable education would have afforded 
hem; that her best engineers have received no other education 
han that which results from habitual encounter with difficulties; 
hat Brindley was first a day laborer, afterwards a working mill- 
wright ; Telford, a working mason ; John liennie, a farmer's son ap- 
prenticed to a millwright ; and George Stephenson, a brakesman and 
ngineman, — can any one doubt the success of an enterprise which 
ooks to the wants of this large and influential class of the working- 
tart of a great nation. 

This sketch of the present movements in Great Britain for the 
oodification of its educational system, is not without special inte- 
est to this school. It confirms, by the experience of a great na- 
ion, now arousing itself to some adequate provision in education 
o meet the demands of its people, the policy which has marked 
he past history of this institution, and is of sufficient significance 
o give the fullest encouragement to it, in its future development. 

68 Doc. No. 11. 

It shows that the education demanded by the agriculturist, the mer 
chant, the manufacturer, the engineer, and, in general, by thosii 
whose position, whether as large landed proprietors or moniec 
men, exercises a commanding influence in the destinies of the coun 
try, is not met by the " worn out routine of the old systems" 01 
the one hand, nor by a restricted technical course on the other, buj 
must be at least as liberal, although of a different kind, as that pro 
vided for the so-called learned professions; and finally, that art 1 
pressing its claims to public attention, as an essential element ii: 
liberal education ; not only from its intimate connection with trad<; 
and commerce, but from the important office it discharges in de, 
veloping in their true harmony the faculties of the human mind. 

If these views be correct, and I have no doubt that they are, i 
follows, that special schools of application like that for the agricul 
turist at Hohenheim, or for the civil engineer at the " Ecole dei 
ponts et chaussees," Paris, would not meet the wants of these grea? 
interests either in Great Britain or this country, unless the youtl 
entering them had first received the advantages of a preparatory 
course of liberal general education. Nor would such a preparatorji 
course as that given at the polytechnic school, Paris, be sufficientl) 
liberal or general for these purposes. The wants of this country &i 
well as of England (for the free institutions of both countries place 
them in circumstances to make the same principles applicable t( 
both), include, as essential parts of such a liberal education, those 
branches which instruct young men in the performance of thei; 
duty as citizens, and which cultivate a knowledge of those principle; 
which concern the* rights and privileges of a, free people ; and there- 
fore, any preparatory course which did not keep the student in ful 
harmony with the sympathies of the country to which he belongs 
and upon which he is bound to act, would seem to be defective. 

There are cogent reasons too, why the preparatory and specia 
schools should be united in one establishment, as in the U. S. mili- 
tary academy at West Point, and as they are proposed to be iril 
Gnoll college. 

Economy of time and money is promoted by their union, while 
there is a great advantage in having the influence of the entire 
range of studies generally felt in the institution. 

Doc. No. II. 69 

With the accumulated experience, then, of twenty years in the 
ractical operations of this institution, and with the advantages de- 
ived from the experience of other countries, I think we may very 
atisfactorily define its future policy, so as to prepare it, in a pre- 
minent degree, for the sphere of usefulness already marked out for 
i as a general scientific school. 

Its preparatory course of studies is general and liberal for any of 
he specialities embraced within its range. It comprises Mathematics, 
'^ano-uages, including English, Latin and French, Chemistry, Physics, 
drawing and Geography. 

For some of the special schools comprehended in a general scientific 
nstitution, it has already in operation a well defined course of 
tudies. For the soldier, there is provided a liberal course of mili- 
ary instruction, theoretic as well as practical. For the civil engi- 
.eer, architect and draughtsman, the course of civil engineering, draw- 
ng, mineralogy and geology and mechanics, supplies a basis upon 
vhich this special school can with ease be indefinitely extended and 
perfected. For the agriculturist, the accompanying report of Major 
Wm. Grilham, prepared during my absence, and at the suggestion of 
ome of the leading agriculturists of the state, and which most fully 
>armonizes with the general scheme herein developed, presents a 
letailed outline. 

And, in like manner, there is not a specific demand that can pro- 
>erly be made upon this school, whether from the manufacturer, 
he miner, or the mechanician, that cannot readily be supplied by 
in accommodation of its instruction upon the basis already existing 
or the special necessities of these interests — while the general range 
)f the whole system of studies will be just such as is required for 
til those who expect to become practical men or men of business. 

Nor should I omit to mention the special preparation which a 
school thus organized necessarily gives to the professional teacher. 

Independently of the peculiar fitness of those for teachers who are 
trained under its peculiar system of discipline, and who are daily 
Irilled in their studies, in small sections, by laborious catechetical 
nstruction, the practical elements of the school, in its extensive 

70 Doc. No. Jl. 

laboratories, museums, and model rooms, would present special ad van 
tages for this important profession. 

And finally, could the artist seek a more desirable field for prepa| 
ratory or special study than could be provided for him here? jnV 
ture lends her inspiration to him in all the beauty and grandeur o 
the scenery around him, and he only needs the opportunity t 
study the models of the great artists of ancient and modern times 1 
to enable him to develop the gift with which he may be blessed. 

What, then, is there to prevent this institution from becoming ; 
great school of applied science for our state and for the whole counl 
try? The line of duty seems plainly marked out before it; 1m 
field is open and unoccupied; and the command comes with signi 
ficance at this time — Go forward. 

I would not be understood to intimate by any thing that I hav^ 
said, that this institution should at once occupy the expanded sphen 
thus sketched out for it, or that it was prepared to do so, or tha 
many years may not elapse before it shall have reached its fulles 
usefulness in all of these various lines of duty. But I do say, tha 
so far as its means may allow, its course of instruction and its genera 
arrangements should be at once placed in harmony with the grea 
mission before it — that it should perfect itself more and more ii 
those branches of study now embraced within its programme, an< 
thus be in a state of preparation gradually to unfold itself to thu 
wants of the age and of the country. . 

I would take the liberty of specifying some of the ways in whicl 
this preparation may be made : 

1. Its standard of scientific instruction should be elevated. Thfl 
academies and high schools of the state are now giving a bette 
scientific education than the colleges did twenty years ago. Tin 
material coming into this institution is better prepared than it fori 
merly was, and our graduates are pressing upon our steps, and de- 
manding: higher and higher standards. We* see thus the doubh 
influence upon education. The elevated grade of instruction in tha 
lower schools now reflected back upon the higher with the materia 
supplied for still upward progress. 

Doc. No. II. 71 

2. The course of experimental philosophy should be extended, 
id the course of engineering and mechanics specially adapted to 

3. Model rooms should be provided for implements, machines, 
odels, and works of art ; and museums established, in which, among 
bher things, should be exhibited for instruction, specimens of forest 
mber, soil, seed, wool, cotton, tobacco, and other natural produc- 

4. A large hall should be provided for public and popular lec- 
ires; and it should be made the duty of the professors to deliver 

stated periods, and in a prescribed order, a course of popular lec- 
jres on those branches of science embraced in the programme of 
le school, especially on those which relate to agriculture and the 

5. I think *the range of studies in modem languages should be ex- 
ended, so as to embrace Spanish and perhaps Italian. 

I 6. The course of moral philosophy, constitutional and national 
%w, should be extended, and instruction given in political economy. 

7. More attention to be paid to English studies. Our free institu- 

ions open ways of usefulness to an educated man as a public 

3eaker and writer, that ought not to be forgotten nor neglected. 

have shown, too, what attention is paid in the scientific institu- 

tons of Europe to the preparation of memoirs. The engineer would 
je but poorly fitted for his work, who could not prepare an intelli- 
ible report. 

8. A digest of modern history should be taught. 

9. And finally, facilities should be at once provided for the ad- 
mission of young men from other states. 

To secure these important objects, three additional professors and 
building fund will be required. 

By thus placing the institution distinctly upon its specific field of 

72 Doc. No. 11. 

labor, it would become an important auxiliary to the other instit 
tions of the state, and would receive from them, I have no doubt, 
hearty support, while it would be building up within our. own cor 
mon wealth a special school of general applied science, the influeni 
of which would be felt upon the state and upon the country. 

I cannot doubt the ultimate success of such a scheme. It mi 
be delayed for want of means; but the onward and upward sph 
which has placed it in its present position, will still press it forwai 
to higher and higher fields of usefulness, until it has reached tl 
summit of the proud destiny that awaits it. Let us do our par|[ 
now, and the generations following will reap where we have sow. 

I cannot close this report without expressing my great obligatioi 
to the acting superintendent, Major J. T. L. Preston, who, at muc 
personal discomfort and sacrifice, assumed the duties of my office El 
my absence. The laborious fidelity with which he has discharge 
these new and trying duties, left me nothing to do on any return bv 
to continue the operations of the school just as I found them in h 

I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, 

Your ob't serv't, 


Super intendm 

Doc. No. Jl. • 73 


January 8, 1859. 
)l. F. H. Smith, Sup. V. M. I. 


The course of instruction in this institution is mainly 
a scientific and practical character, wisely designed by the board 
visitors to fit young men for the practical pursuits of life. Agri- 
lture is the leading occupation of the people of Virginia, and of 
e south ; that one upon which depend all other pursuits, and 
rich affects the prosperity of even the state itself. A large majo- 
;y of the young men committed to our care, are the sons of farm- 
s, many of whom leave our walls to take charge of farms, while 
any others sooner or later become tillers of the soil ; therefore, it 
pears reasonable that provision should be made for agricultural 
struction. Having given not a little time to the consideration of 
ricultural education, and having satisfied myself of its great im- 
rtance, and of the practicability of introducing a thorough course 
this institution, I beg leave to submit my views upon the sub- 
pt, and to request that you lay this communication before the 
lard of visitors at its next meeting. 

Almost every where, at the present time, the prevailing senti- 
ent is in favor of agricultural colleges and schools, and such a 
htiment is quite prevalent in Virginia and the other southern 
ates. There are those, however, who, decrying every thing which 
not "practical," cry out against " book farming," without think- 
g that perhaps the young farmer might derive something of the 
me sort of benefit from a professional education suited to his wants, 
the lawyer, the divine or the medical man does from his. There 
,n, I think, be no reasonable doubt that agricultural schools, if 
operly organized, would accomplish great good; and I shall take 

74 Doc. No. II. 

but little time in any argument to demonstrate this. Engineer!! 
is eminently a practical pursuit. The engineer may and general 
does commence as an humble assistant, and gradually works i 
into the higher walks of the profession; and yet it is universal 
assumed that the engineer, if he hopes to master his profession 
all its details, must, before entering upon it, be thoroughly ground 
in all the arts and sciences upon which engineering depends, 
other words, his education must be more or less special — proft 
sional. Agriculture, while a practical pursuit, is not a whit mo 
so than engineering. Schools for engineers are considered neces 
ties, and are patronized. Why, it may be asked, are agricultui 
schools less necessary, or less likely to be sustained? If the farm 
is to dignify and adorn his occupation, and at the same time ket 
pace with the age, should not his education have as much of a sp 
cial bearing as that of the engineer ? 

The best argument in favor of the utility of agricultural schoo 
is to be found in the fact that but few years have elapsed sin/ 
schools of this kind were very rare, almost untried. Now, thi 
may be counted by the hundred, and their numbers are still i 
creasing. In Europe, the agricultural school is no longer an expe: 
ment. It is, if we are to believe the reports wh.ich reach us, a 
complishing great good. The most renowned and probably 1 
model school, is that of Hohenheim, for an interesting account 
which I am your debtor. The others most noted are at Cirencest 
in England, Grignon in France, Moglin in Prussia, and Gorey Gorei 
in Russia. In 1S50 President Hitchcock of Amherst, Mass. enumi 
rated 350 agricultural institutions in Europe. Since that time thii 
have greatly multiplied, so that it is estimated that at the prese. 
time their number is not far from 500 ; and by far the greater nut I 
ber of them are the creations of the last twenty years. 

The agricultural college of -Cirencester, England, is probab 
more nearly suited to our wants than any other. This institute 
has been in operation but a very few years, and is already doii 
efficient service, if we may be allowed to judge from the valuab 
contributions to scientific and practical agriculture which emana; 
from its faculty, and which are coming to us in almost every nur 
ber of the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of Englan 

In our country, while very much has been said upon the subjeci^ 

Doc. No. 11. 75 

ery little has yet been done towards the organization of agricul- 
ural colleges and schools. A commencement has been made, how- 
ver; several agricultural colleges have been organized; and we 
lay hope that schools of this kind, suited to our wants, will mul- 
iply with the same rapidity that they have in Europe. 

While there appears to be but little diversity of opinion in rela- 
ion to the utility of agricultural schools, there seems to be no little 
ifference of sentiment as to what range of subjects a course of agri- 
ultural instruction should embrace, and the manner in which in- 
truction should be imparted. Almost all of the institutions yet 
rganized are located on farms provided for the purpose. Very 
nuch of the instruction is of a purely practical nature — the field 
aking the place of the lecture room, and the students being re- 
uired to take part, not so much in the management as in the 
nanual labors of the farm. Such a system may be very efficient in 
he education of young men for managers, stewards, &c. as most of 
he agricultural schools are designed for, but I cannot think that it 
vould meet with favor in Virginia or the other southern states, or 
hat it is desirable it should. 

The young men of the south who would seek the benefits of an 
gricultural education, belong for the most part to that class who 
iiave means, who would, if not taking a special course, take the 
Ordinary collegiate course of the country, and so soon as their edu- 
ation was completed, enter into the possession of their estates, to 
direct all farm operations, establish rules for the government of ser- 
vants, &c. for themselves. Our first e^brts, therefore, should be to 
stablish such schools as would be required for the education of the 
proprietors of the landed estates of the country — men who stand in 
the same position, socially and politically, as the members of the bar 
or of the medical profession. This being the case, it is not to be ex- 
pected that we can find in any existing school a model for our 
guidance ; nor indeed is such a model necessary. We live under 

Peculiar conditions and must organize schools suited to our peculiar 

Our agricultural system is peculiar, and must be so, as it is modi- 
fied in very many of its details by the institution of domestic slavery. 
All or nearly all farm labor is performed by the slave. The master 

76 I>oc. No. 11. 

must direct him, or have him directed in nearly all that he does 
Law and the common dictates of humanity impose important dutie 
upon the master — at the same time that his own interests deman< 
that the labors of the slave, while they are not too severe, shouh 
be constant and productive. The farmer in a free state, who require 
labor, hires it when he wants it, and of such a character as he ma; 
most need. When no longer needed, or when not suited to hi 
wants, his hands are discharged, and he obtains a new supply, o 
waits until the changing seasons bring around the period for mor- 
active labors. The southern farmer, however, having the slave fron 
the cradle to the grave, must support him in unproductive youth 
and in advanced age, and must so direct his labors when he is a) 
efficient laborer, that no time shall be lost. In season and out o 
season, the master must find profitable employment for him. Adde< 
to this, there are moral responsibilities resting upon the master 
which cannot be shaken of}*, or transferred to another — responsibili 
ties which are unknown in free society. 

Again: The productions of our climate differ in many respect; 
from those of Europe, or even our own northern states ; and conse 
quently, while the great principles of agriculture are the sami 
every where, our system is materially modified on this account, anc 
our instructions should be in accordance with this modified system 

We need, in the first place, a school of the highest order — one ir 
which the young farmer may acquire as complete an education 
suited to his wants as a professional man, as the lawyer and physi- 
cian do in theirs, respectively If we are to advance in agriculture 
we must put it upon the same ground, educationally, that the pro- 
fessions, or I may say, the other professions occupy. Our younc 
men must be taught to feel that there is in agriculture as much tc 
call forth all the energies of the mind, as in any other pursuit what- 
soever ; and in educating them for it, the course of instruction 
should be so framed as to give the mind full expansion in that 

But while the farmer's education should be for a special object, 
and consequently take a special or professional turn, it should not 
be too technical. He is in a position to exert a commanding in- 
fluence, and owes certain duties to society, which can be better dis- 

Doc. No. II. 77 


charged by his having a knowledge of many of the more important 
branches which constitute a part of the ordinary collegiate course. 
We may give young men the college course, to be followed by one 
purely professional, or we may so arrange a course of instruction 
for four years, as to include the special in the general one. By the 
latter arrangement, the student would master the principles of his 
profession, while he was also acquiring those branches which are 
deemed necessary to every educated man. In the existing state of 
public sentiment in our country, there can be no doubt that the 
latter plan is the one best calculated to insure the desired object. 
The benefits likely to result from the introduction of agricultural 
schools, must be more apparent to the great mass of our people, 
before parents will be willing to give their sons a complete colle- 
giate course, to be followed by an agricultural one. To secure the 
atter, the two must be combined, and this I propose sliall be done 
)y the organization of an agricultural department in this institution. 

Our young farmers should be so educated, that they may with 
efficiency and skill direct the labors of others, rather than for the 
performance of manual labor themselves. We want scientific far- 
mers — not mere laborers. We should aim to teach the principles 
(upon which the plough is constructed — its various forms, uses, &c, 
rather than to make ploughmen. Not that I would entirely ignore 
practical instruction. On the contrary, I would make that a promi- 
nent feature. It is the very best means by which to illustrate im- 
portant principles, and fix them in the mind. The agricultural stu- 
dent should have opportunities for becoming familiar with all of 
the operations of the farm ; but it does not follow from that, that 
he should take any part in its actual labors. His office should be 
to observe, and receive instruction from those competent to give it, 
while the labors are going on, and not waste his time in the acqui- 
sition of a species of practical knowledge, that never could be of- 
much service to him. 

Again — While the student is acquiring those principles which are 
to guide him in his pursuit, he should be thoroughly imbued with 
the necessity for system, order and good government on the farm ; 
to accomplish this, he should, in the efficient discipline of the 
school, have always before him an example at once of the necessity 
for, and the beneficial effects of good government. If he is edu- 

78 Doc. No. 11. 

cated to habits of order and subordination, we have the sures 
guarantee that he will, in after life, fully appreciate their impoi 
tance, and be governed by their principles. 

We come now to consider the special branches which shoul 
claim our attention in the education of young men for professiona 
agriculturists. Our first aim should be to educate them in sue 
manner that, when in the pursuit of their profession, they may b 
fully alive to the importance of observing accurately the phenomen 
of nature ; and that they should be capable of classifying the ob 
served phenomena, referring them to the principles upon which the; 
depend, and of so reasoning upon them as to turn them to practica 
account. This can only be done by thoroughly grounding agricul 
tural students in the principles of all the sciences which investigat 
the phenomena of agriculture, and by which its processes are con 

For example — the farmer meets with a great diversity of soil 
upon his farm, or he sees the soils of the region in which he live 
are unlike those of another region. If he is familiar with the prin 
ciples of chemistry and geology, he will not only know that thes* 
various soils had their origin in the rocks underlying them, but wil 
be able to trace out the changes that have taken place in the rock 
to produce them, and by simple observation may learn much, ver 
much of their composition, physical condition, probable require 
ments, &c. But if he is not familiar with the application of scienc* 
to the explanation of agricultural phenomena, he may not knov 
that the soil is formed from the rock which underlies it, or if hi 
observation has taught him this important truth, it will be of n< 
practical utility to him, for the reason that a knowledge of princi! 
pies is necessary to correct reasoning upon the subject. 

Again — By familiarity with the principles of science, the farme 
will become an observer of, and turn to practical account, phenoj 
mena that might otherwise have entirely escaped his notice, ever 
supposing him to be desirous of noting every thing worthy of at 
tention. To use the example just cited, how many educated ancj 
enlightened farmers are there who have seen the rocks underlying 
their soils from their youth, without for once taking any account Oj 
the influence the former must have had in the formation of the lat- 

Doc. No. II. 79 

er, and simply because they know nothing of the application of 
eology to agriculture. 

While the student was acquiring the principles of science appli- 
able to his profession, the numerous details of practical agriculture 
hould not be overlooked. This branch of the subject I leave to be 
discussed in another place. I do not wish it to be understood that 
>y practical instruction I mean that any young man could be a 
horoughly scientific and practical farmer, on the receipt of his di- 
ploma from the agricultural school. To promise any such thing 
;vould be preposterous. I would expect the professional education 
CO do for the farmer what the medical school does for the physician, 
the law school does for the lawyer, or our national military school 
loes for our officers. 

The medical student is taught the principles of science upon 
which successful practice depends ; he is taught what is regarded 
by the profession as the proper way to treat disease in all its forms ; 
he is allowed to accompany his professors in their visitations to the 
hospitals, &c, in all of which he receives a large amount of practi- 
cal instruction — and yet no one presumes him to be a finished me- 
dical practitioner when he receives his diploma. He has, however, 
such a foundation of scientific and practical knowledge, that when 
aided by diligence, experience and judgment, he may take a high 
stand in his profession. So in the agricultural school — we should 
expect to give the student such a course of theoretical and practical 
instruction, that when he enters upon the practice of his profession, 
his education may be of great assistance to him, enabling him to 
conduct his farm operations with greater skill, and consequently 
with greater profit to himself, at the same time that he would be 
setting a useful example to others, provided he, with diligence, 
energy and judgment, makes use of the knowledge acquired in the 
[school, and of that which he acquires in the practice of his profes- 
sion. His scientific and practical attainments can only be useful to 
himself and to others, if used aright. 

I proceed now to enumerate the subjects which it seems to me 
lit is more specially important to embrace in a complete course of 
agricultural instruction, without referring to those branches which 
belong in common to all liberal education. 

80 Doc. No. 11. 

1st. Mathematics. — It needs no argument to show the necessit 
for as complete a course of mathematics as is ordinarily taught i 
collegiate institutions. Besides the training of the mind to habilj 
of correct reasoning, the student of scientific agriculture requires i 
knowledge of mathematics in the prosecution of his other studies 
and in the practice of his profession will almost daily stand in neei 
of more or less mathematical knowledge. 

Surveying, which is properly an application of mathematics 
principles, should be taught practically. The student should learj 
how to survey fields and farms accurately, &c. He should be abl 
to use the level and the theodolite, and be familiar with leveling i 
all its details. 

2d. Natural Philosophy. — This should embrace, 1st, a full cours 
of mechanics; the laws of equilibrium, and motion of solids, th 
equilibrium and motion of fluids, &c. ; the available power of steattj 
water, wind, the horse, and man ; the application of principles t ; 
the various farm implements, machines, &c. should all be fully di&j 
cussed. 2d. A less extensive one on meteorology. Under this heatj 
the importance of regular observations of atmospheric phenomen 
to the agriculturist should be shown ; the instruments in use shoul 
be explained ; the formation of clouds, rain, snow, dew, frost, &C4 
the local and general causes which affect climate, the fall of rainsj 
&c. should also be discussed. 3d. The effects of heat, light ani 
electricity, as mechanical agents, should also receive attention. 

3d. Chemistry. — So much has been said and written about th 
benefits to be conferred by chemistry upon agriculture, or by " agrii 
cultural" and analytical chemistry, that many persons have sup 
posed, and not a few have taught that scientific agriculture was nO| 
thing but -an application of chemistry. That chemistry has con, 
ferred, and will continue to confer important and lasting benefit; 
upon agriculture, there is no doubt; but no one who is familia; 
with its principles, and has a proper appreciation of the require: 
ments of scientific agriculture, could regard it in any other light 
after all, than as one of a circle of sciences, all of which are neces ; 
sary to agriculture as a whole. 

The undue prominence which but a short while since was givei 

Doc. No. 11. 81 

o chemistry as the one science which could throw light upon the 
irmer's path, taken in connection with the fact that designing men 
ave been systematically practicing upon the credulity of the pub- 
c, and coupled with the additional fact that there are agricultural 
■henomena which chemistry has yet failed to elucidate, has led 
lany at the present time to deny the utility of chemistry alto- 
ether, or to place too low an estimate upon its value to the farmer. 
Vhen we reflect that in nearly all the processes of improvement of 
he soil, such as manuring, &c. in the germination of the seed, the 
jrowth of the plant, the formation of fruit, and the after conversion 
f vegetable into animal matter, although influenced by heat and 
lent, the changes are all chemical, no one it seems to me could 
oubt the propriety of, or the necessity for the scientific farmer 
eing familiar with the principles of chemistry, and its applications 
d the explanation of the phenomena which come under his obser- 

This course should be taught by recitations from some well di- 
ested text-book, with occasional lectures from the professor. A 
iboratory should be fitted up for manipulation, in which the stu- 
ents should be required, under the direction of the professor, to 
Manipulate for themselves ; to prepare, study the properties, and 
est the various substances embraced in their course. Having had 
ome experience in this method of teaching chemistry, I unhesitat- 
agly recommend it over the old method of lectures and illustration 
y the professor. 

But while I would thus render the chemical instruction practical, 
wish it to be distinctly understood that I have no desire to make 
t appear that by this method I would expect to turn out "analyti- 
al chemists." The time given to the study of chemistry in any 
istitution in our country, is, with a very few exceptions, too short 
6 admit of a complete course of instruction in this branch of 
hemistry. Such instruction is not at all necessary. The farmer 
.as to deal with principles. If, in the elucidation of these princi- 
ples, he has occasion to call in the aid of analysis, let him go to the 
Professional chemist ; and if he is familiar with his subject, he can 
eason upon the results obtained by the chemist, as well as if he 
ad obtained them for himself. 

82 Doc. No. 11. 

4th. Mineralogy and Geology. — The first of these sciences giv 
us a knowledge of the composition and properties of the individu 
minerals which are found in the soil, and in the rocks which unde 
lie it, and if properly taught, the student will be enabled to r 1 
organize all the more commonly occurring ones himself. The si 
cond, treating of the formation and history of mineral masses, 
aggregated minerals, the origin of soils, the component parts of tl 
various formations, the changes to which they have been subjecte 
&c. opens up a wide field of useful enquiry to the farmer. 

These sciences, to be practically useful, should be taught praci 
cally, as in the case of chemistry. In mineralogy there is no dif 
culty, as the student might be required to examine and test ea« 
mineral until familiar with it in all its varieties. In geology, to* 
much can be done in the lecture room, by making the student f 
miliar with the various rocks which compose the different form 
tions, by causing him to study the characters of characteristic foi 
sils, &c. But in order to make the instruction really practical, tli 
student should have opportunities for studying the geology of til 
country around the institution, and of visiting interesting and i 
structive localities. 

5th. Natural History — embracing botany and zoology. Under tl 
head of botany, the course of instruction should include a comple 
outline of vegetable physiology, in wmieh the offices performed \ 
the roots, stem, bark, leaves, &c. should all be fully explained, ai 
one of systematic botany, including separate descriptions of the v 
rious agricultural plants, and of the " blight," fungi, &c. which a: 
hurtful to cultivated crops. 

The course of instruction in zoology should embrace a comple 
outline of animal physiology, the division of the animal kingdo 
into four great groups, the subdivisions of the vertebrated, with 
more particular account of the mammalia, including particular d 
scriptions of the domestic animals, as the horse, the cow, the shee 
&c. Under the head of invertebrated animals, the habits, transfo 
mations, &c. of insects injurious to vegetation should be discusse< 
with the particular descriptions of those which more common 
prey upon the various crops of our country. 

Doc. No. 11. 83 

6th. Engineering and Architecture.— The first I would limit to 
he consideration of the various building materials, their relative 
trength, durability, value, &c. and the various processes of cutting 
md felling, making embankments, draining, the construction of 
;ommon roads, farm bridges, &c. The course of architecture should 
unbrace its principles, together with its application to the con- 
duction of the various buildings required upon the farm, from the 
nansion of the proprietor to the most unimportant structure. Eco- 
lomy, health, comfort and utility should be consulted in all cases, 
i would not expect the farmer, however, to take the place of the 
professional architect. On the contrary, the insight which he would 
;et of the subject would be sufficient to show him the necessity for 
jonsulting the professional man in all important improvements. 

Rural architecture has not received the attention in our country 
;hat it deserves. Our people need to have their natural tastes edu- 
zated to a proper appreciation of its importance to a cultivated peo- 
ple ; and I can conceive of no better plan for effecting this, than by 
securing a general diffusion of correct principles in the way pro- 

7th. Right-lined and Topographical Drawing.— This instruction 
becomes necessary in connection with surveying, engineering and 

8th. Medical and Veterinary Practice. — The application of science 
to the investigation of the causes of, and the means of cure of the 
diseases of domestic animals, is justly regarded as a necessary part 
of the education of the scientific farmer ; and we accordingly find 
that in the best agricultural schools provision is made for instruc- 
tion in veterinary medicine. A course of scientific agriculture would 
not be complete without it. The instruction in this subject should 
embrace the structure and anatomy of the domestic animals, their 
diseases, mode of treatment, &c. 

If such instruction is necessary to the educated farmer, in order 
that he may take proper care of the various animals on his farm, 
how much more necessary is it that the southern farmer should have 
some knowledge of the human frame, the prevailing diseases of the 
region of country in which he lives, and the ordinary modes of 

84 Doc. No. 11. 

treating them. He not only has the health of his immediate fami 
to look to, but that of all his servants. On a large farm there mu 
always be more or less sickness ; and if no physician is on tl 
place, there must be almost daily calls upon the master for medic 
advice. He must be something of a physician, in spite of himse 

In the education of the farmer, I would provide for instructic 
in human physiology and anatomy ; the symptoms, &c. by whic 
he may know various diseases — how to treat them ; how the sk 
should be nursed, &c. 

I would have it understood, however, that in proposing such 
course of instruction, I have no idea of making a physician of tl 
farmer. I would simply expect to qualify him for the better pe 
formance of the various duties which a proper care for his own ii 
terests and a due regard for the welfare of his servants, impot 
upon him. He would be competent to the skillful treatment of a 
simple diseases — would know how the sick should be cared fo 
and would be sufficiently familiar with symptoms to know when | 
ought to call in the physician. 

9th. Science and Practice of Agriculture. — This course should en 
brace, 1st, the history of agriculture; the general objects of agr 
culture ; and the application of the sciences of chemistry, geology 
botany, &c. to agriculture. Under this head, the origin, nature an 
composition of soils ; manures, their composition and value, source 
of supply, application, &c. ; the characters of the various agricu' 
tural plants, kitchen vegetables, fruit and forest trees, &c. ,* fan 
implements and machinery; the general effects of heat, light an 
electricity on vegetable growth, &c. &c. should all be fully dis 

The course of practical agriculture should embrace all farm ope 
rations — such as ploughing, harrowing, seeding, draining, harvest 
ing, irrigation, rotation of erops y &c. &c. ; the cultivation of th 
various crops ; the management of land in pasture and meadow 
soiling, &c. ; the economy and management of slave labor ; the dif 
ferent kinds and characters of live stock ; principles of breeding 
rearing, feeding and fattening of stock ; the dairy, milk, butter anc 
cheese ; general principles to be observed in the erection of farn 

Doc. No. II. 85 

mildings, &c. The whole to conclude with instruction in keeping 
arm accounts, the laws of enclosure, laws of tenure, and the laws 
■elating to the owning and hiring of slaves. 

In order to give greater efficiency to the instruction in practical 
igriculture, a farm should be purchased, and provided with a dairy, 
lecessary farm buildings, implements, machinery, &c. Horses, cat- 
,le, &c. should be reared upon it, and it should be systematically 

A small portion of the farm, say a few acres, should be set aside 
br experimental purposes, to test new processes before applying 
:hem on a larger scale, or recommending them to the public. An- 
)ther portion should be set apart for a fruit and vegetable garden, 
tvhere the student would have opportunities for the study of horti- 
julture, and where he could learn practically the various processes 
5f grafting, budding, pruning, &c. ; and another for a botanical gar- 
Jen, so as to enable the professor to illustrate the botany of agricul- 
ture to the fullest extent. 

The students should have frequent opportunities for making them- 
selves acquainted with the various operations of husbandry, and of 
becoming practically acquainted with the uses of the different im- 
plements. They should also in turn be put in charge of the different 
departments of the farm, such as the stables, reaping, threshing, &c. 

Finally — In order to enable the professors in all the departments 
to illustrate the numerous applications of science to agriculture, an 
agricultural museum should be attached to the institution, in which 
should be found models of all approved agricultural implements and 
machines, and every kind of agricultural product, such as the dif- 
ferent grains and grasses, every quality of tobacco, wool of every 
degree of fineness, models of fruit, vegetables, &c. &c, together 
with specimens of the various kinds of wood used for building, or- 
namental, and other purposes. 

With this communication I transmit copies of the courses of in- 
struction in the royal agricultural college of England, at Cirencester, 
and of the great school of Hohenheim in Prussia, from which it will 
be seen that the plan proposed agrees in its main features with that 

86 Doc. No. 11. 

adopted in these schools. As you, sir, have lately visited and crit fl 
cally examined into the practical working of the Hohenheim schoo 
I hope you will favor me, by transmitting to the board of visitor, 1 
with this report, some account of your observations, together wit 
such suggestions as your visit to that school may have led you t 
believe would be valuable in this connection. 

It only remains for me to show how we may engraft this cours 
of instruction upon the institute course, so that any cadet who ma< 
desire it can avail himself of its advantages. 

By reference to the course of instruction of the institute, as a 
present organized, it will be seen that provision is made for mathe 
matics, natural philosophy, chemistry, mineralogy, geology, engi 
neering, architecture and drawing ; and that the time given to eac] 
of these subjects is sufficient, and in some cases more than sufficien 
for all the requirements of the agricultural student. The only sub 
jects, therefore, for which provision must be made, are natural his 
Cory, medical and veterinary practice, and scientific and practical agri 

The course of instruction of the institute is completed in fou 
years, and is so arranged as to fill up the time completely, leaving 
no room for the introduction of new subjects. In order to obviat 
this difficulty, so as to secure ample time for the acquisition of th 
three branches mentioned above, I propose that at a given poin 
in the course every cadet shall have the right of choosing whethe 
he will take the agricultural course or the regular course. If h« 
takes the former, his course from that time becomes modified ; cer 
tain subjects, which to him as an agriculturist would be unimportant 
should be omitted entirely, while others should be abridged or othen 
wise modified. 

Thus the course of natural philosophy embraces, besides the me- 
chanics, which is of great importance to the agricultural student, i 
full course of optics and astronomy. The whole of the optics 
might be omitted, as in no way necessary, while that of astronomj 
might be made more elementary. The instruction required in en- 
gineering would, as I have already shown, be very limited. The 
eourse of engineering, as now taught, is far more extensive than 

Doc. No. 11. 87 

fould be required, while that of architecture would want conside- 
ible alteration, and some extension. A portion of time might be 
&ved in the department of drawing, and in some others. After a 
ireful consideration of the subject, I feel assured that ample time 
light be secured for the agricultural course in all its details. 

In order to provide full instruction for an agricultural class in the 
Ltitute, it would be necessary to have at least one additional pro- 
gssor, a professor of agriculture, and to secure a farm in its imme- 
diate vicinity. To the professor of agriculture I would assign the 
lepartments of natural history, and scientific and practical agricul- 
ure, while the instruction in human physiology and anatomy, &c. 
k nd in veterinary medicine, might very well be entrusted to the 
urgeon of the institute. 

In order that the board of visitors may see at a glance what the 
mtire agricultural course would be, if the above recommendations 
were adopted, I present it in tabular form, giving the studies of each 
pear, and the time devoted to every subject. 

First Year. 

Mathematics, daily, the entire session. 
Geography, daily, from 1st September to 1st January. 
English grammar, daily, from 1st September to 1st January. 
French, daily, from 15th January to 1st July. 

Latin, every other day, from 15th January to 1st July— alternating 
with drawing. 

Second Year. 

Mathematics, daily, the entire session. 

French, the same. 

Latin, every other day— alternating with drawing. 

Third Year. 

Mathematics, daily, to 1st January. 

Natural philosophy, daily, from 15th January to 1st July. 

88 Doc. No. 11. 

Chemistry, daily, from 1st September to 1st January, and from 15 
January to 1st July, every other day — alternating with miner 
logy and natural history* 

Latin, daily. 

Fourth Year. 

Scientific and practical agriculture, daily, the entire session. 
Rhetoric, logic, English literature and constitutional law, daib 

throughout the session. 
Geology, every other day, from 1st September to 1st January — a 

ternating with engineering and architecture. 
Infantry and artillery tactics, every other day, from 15th January t 

1st July — alternating with human physiology, &c. and veterinar 

Moral philosophy. 

Thus it will be perceived that we have full time for the prosecu 
tion of all those studies which I have mentioned as necessary to th 
professional education of the farmer, without encroaching upon th> 
time heretofore given to English, French, Latin, Rhetoric, Englisl 
Literature, Constitutional Law, &c. — all of which are as necessary t< 
the general education of the farmer as that of any other professiona 
man ; and by comparing this proposed course of instruction, an( 
the time devoted to its acquisition, with that actually taught a 
Cirencester, or Hohenheim, it will be found to compare most favo> 
rably with either. . 

I am, colonel, 

Very respectfully, 

Your most ob't serv't,