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point of those Presidents who are regarded as from among the fathers of our country, some of whom sat in the Constitutional Convention and others of whom were members of the State legislatures that ratified the Constitution.
Washington, in his first annual message to Congress, said: "Nor am I less persuaded that you will agree in the opinion that there is nothing which can better deserve your patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness. In one in which the measures of government receive their impressions so immediately from the sense of the community as in ours, it is proportionably essential. To the security of a free Constitution, it contributes in various ways—by convincing those who are entructed with the public administration that every valuable end of government is best answered by the enlightened confidence of the people and by teaching the people themselves to know and to value their own rights; to discern and provide against invasion of them; to distinguish between oppression and the necessary exercise of lawful authority; between the burthens (burdens) proceeding from a disregard to their convenience and those resulting from the inevitable exigencies of society; to discriminate the spirit of liberty from that of licentiousness-cherishing the first, avoiding the last—and uniting a speedy but temperate vigilance against encroachments with an inviolable respect to the law.”
The Senate and House replied to Washington as follows:
The Senate "Literature and science are essential to the preservation of a free Constitution; the measures of government, should, therefore, be calculated to strengthen the confidence that is due that important truth.” The House"We concur with you in the sentiment
that the promotion of science and literature will contribute to the security of a free government; in the progress of our deliberations we will not lose sight of objects so worthy of our regard.”
Washington in his eighth annual message referred to the expediency of establishing a national university. Such an act would imply constitutional power of Congress to appropriate money for certain definite welfare purposes. This power has been repeatedly exercised for more than 100 years in the face of occasional opposition, based on alleged constitutional inhibitions. The words of the first President were:
"I have hitherto proposed to the Congress the expediency of establishing a national university and also a military academy, the desirableness of both these institutions has so constantly increased with every new view I have taken of the subject that I can not omit the opportunity of once for all calling your attention to them. The assembly to which I address myself is too enlightened not to be fully sensible of how much a flourishing state of arts and science contributes to the national prosperity and reputation. True it is that our country, much to its honor, contains many seminaries of learning, highly respectable and use
the more homogenous our citizens can be made in these parts the greater will be our prospects of permanent union.”
The Senate replied: "A national university may be converted to the most useful purposes. The science of legislation being so essentially dependent on the endownments of the mind, the public interests must receive effectual aid from the general diffusion of knowledge, and the United States will assume a more dignified station among the nations of the earth by the successful cultivation of the higher branches of literature.” (Signed by John Adams, President of the Senate.)
Washington in his farewell address said: “It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.
Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric? Promote, then, as an object of primary importance institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion it is essential that public opinion be enlightened.'
I quote now from the inaugural address of John Adams: “If a love of science and letters and a wish to patronize every national effort to encourage schools, colleges, universities, academies, and every institution for propagating knowledge, virtue
among all classes of people not only for their benign induence upon the happiness of life in all its stages and classes and society in all its forms, but as the only means of preserving the Constitution from its natural enemies, the spirit of sophistry, the spirit of party, the spirit of intrigue, the profligacy of corruption, the pestilence of foreign influences which is the angel of destruction to elective government, can enable me in any degree to comply
with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this injunction to the two Houses shall not be without effect.”
Addressing himself to the reduction of impost duties on luxuries consumed by the rich, Jefferson in his sixth annual message said: “Their patriotism would certainly prefer its continuance and application to the great purposes of public education. Education is here placed among the articles of public care in that it would be proposed to take its ordinary branches out of the hands of private enterprises
but a public institution can alone supply those sciences which, though rarely called for, are necessary to complete the circle, all the parts of which contribute to the movement of the country and some of them to its preservation. The present consideration of a national establishment for education particularly is rendered proper by this circumstance, also, that if Congress, approving the proposition, shall yet think it more eligible to found it on a donation of lands, they have it now in their power to endow it with those which will be among the earliest to produce the necessary income.”
And in Jefferson's eighth annual message, speaking of the surplus of revenue, he said: "Shall it lie unproductive in the public vaults? Shall the revenue be used, or shall it not rather be appropriated to the improvement of roads, canals
, rivers, education, and other great foundations of prosperity and union under the powers which Congress may already possess or such amendments to the Constitution as may be approved by the States?”
Jefferson did not express assurance of the power of the Federal Government to appropriate money for the construction of canals, roads, and the improvement of rivers for the reason that it required the Federal Government to authorize commissioners to enter the domains of the States to lay off roads and canals in all proper directions, to take the land at a valuation if necessary, to construct the works, to pass laws for suitable penalties for protection of these works, and to raise a revenue from them for keeping them in repair and making further improvement by the establishment of turnpikes and toll, with gates to be placed at proper distances. He thought that Congress, perhaps, did not have the power to make the physical improvements above described without an amendment to the Constitution, a situation which in his opinion did not obtain in the case of establishing agencies for the promotion of education.
On March 3, 1803, Jefferson signed a bill by which public lands were set apart for'a university to be established in Ohio. On the same date he signed another bill providing that a certain public domain in the State of Tennessee be appropriated for a college; and that section 16 of every township be consecrated to the support of a common school. In 1804 he signed a bill providing that section 16 of every township in the then Territory of Indiana be devoted to school purposes and that three entire townships should be reserved for a seminary of learning. On April 16, 1804, he signed a bill by which 100,000 acres of land in the State of Tennessee were set apart for the use of two colleges and another 200,000 acres for use of academies, one in each county, to be established by the State legislature thereof.
Without pausing to point all the ways in which Jefferson helped to inaugurate a policy by which the Government has aided States to promote education, it may be noticed that on March 27, 1806, a report was presented to the House of Representatives by one of its committee, an extract of which reads as follows: "Your committee are of the opinion that it ought to be a primary object with the General Government to encourage and promote education in every part of the Union so far as the same can be consistent with the general policy of the Nation and so far as it would not infringe on the municipal regulations that are or might be adapted by the respective State authorities on the subject. The National Government has by several of its acts on former occasions evinced in the strongest manner a disposition to afford means of establishing and fostering with a liberal hand such public institutions.”
We may here observe in passing that there has not been, nor is there contemplated in the Curtis-Reed bill, an infringement on the municipal school regulations of the respective States; nor have there been any municipal or State acts alleging such infringement or refusing to accept such aid as has been extended to them. On the contrary, it is interesting to note that the land grant act, introduced by Justin Morrill of Vermont and approved by Lincoln in July, 1862, was the result of a memorial from the Illinois State Legislature "suggesting a plan to provide Federal assistance for more liberal and practical education of our industrial classes and their teachers."
On April 21, 1806, about two months after the above report was made, Jefferson affixed his signature to a bill which reserved section 16 of every township for the support of the common schools in each township and also an entire township for
a seminary of learning. This land was set apart in portions of the land now known as the Louisiana purchase.
I quote the following from a work by John Cleaves Henderson entitled Thomas Jefferson's Views on Education: “During the time Jefferson was President of the United States Monsieur Dupont visited America. At Jefferson's request Dupont wrote and published a plan of national education for the United States. In the preface of his work he states that he had prepared and published the work at the instance of, or to use his polite French expression, 'at the command of Thomas Jefferson.' Dupont dwells interestingly upon the wish that the President of the United States add to his Cabinet a secretary of education.”
I quote from the second annual message of Madison: “Whilst it is admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people and while it is evident that the means of diffusing and improving useful knowledge from 80 small a proportion of the expenditures for national purposes, I can not presume it to be unseasonable to invite your attention to the advantages of superadding to the means of education provided by the several States, a seminary of learning instituted by the National Legislature within the limits of their exclusive jurisdiction, the expense of which might be defrayed or reimbursed out of the vacant grounds which have accrued to the Nation within those limits."
Madison again voiced the same sentiment in his seventh annual message to Congress.
Monroe in his first inaugural address said: "Such, then, being the highly favored condition of our country, it is the interest of every citizen to maintain it. What are the dangers which menace us? If any exist they ought to be ascertained and guarded against.
"In explaining my sentiments on this subject it may be asked, What raised us to the present happy state? How did we accomplish the Revolution? How remedy the defects of the first instrument of our Union, by infusing into the National Government sufficient power for national purposes, without impairing the just rights of the States or affecting those of individuals? How sustain and pass with glory through the late war? The Government has been in the hands of the people. To the people, therefore, and to the faithful and able depositaries of their trust is the credit due. Had the people of the United States been educated in different principles, had they been less intelligent, less independent, or less virtuous, can it be believed that we should have maintained the same steady and consistent career or been blessed with the same success? While, then, the constituent body retains its present sound and healthful state everything will be safe. They will choose competent and faithful representatives for every department. It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin. Let us, then, look to the great cause and endeavor to preserve it in full force. Let us by all-wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties.".
Having presented the views of the first five Presidents as to the position which the Federal Government should take in the promotion of education or in the words of Madison “superadding to the means of education provided by the several States,”' I will close my reply to the allegation that the Curtis-Reed bill is unconstitutional with the following observations:
Washington was a delegate to the Continental Congress. He was also President of the Constitutional Convention and took an occasion to remind the House of Representatives on March 30, 1796, in no uncertain terms that “having. been a member of the general convention he knew the principles on which the Constitution was framed."
Adams was a lawyer, a member of the Massachusetts Legislature, a member of the Continental Congress, and adviser of the Declaration of Independence, a member of the convention that framed the constitution of Massachusetts, Vice President of the United States for two terms, and President for one term. It may be fairly presumed, therefore, that he too “knew the principles upon which the Constitution was framed."
Jefferson was a lawyer, a member of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, a delegate to the Continental Congress, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, & member of the Virginia Legislature, governor of Virginia, first secretary of tate under the Constitution, Vice President for four years and President for eight years. May it not be presumed that he also "knew the principles upon which the Constitution was framed?”
Madison was a graduate of Princeton, a lawyer by profession, a member of the general assembly of Virginia, a member of the executive council of that state, a Delegate to the Continental Congress for four years, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, a member of the convention of his State which met to ratify the Federal Constitution, a member of the House of Representatives in the first Congress and throughout both of Washington's terms as President, a member of Jefferson's Cabinet as Secretary of State and for eight years President of the United States. We may safely presume that he, too, “knew the principles upon which the Constitution was framed."
Monroe studied law under the direction of Jefferson, then Governor of Virginia. He was a member of the Virginia Assembly, a member of the executive council, a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1783 to 1786, a member of the State Legislature of Virginia, a delegate to the convention to consider the Federal Constitution, Senator from Virginia for four years, Secretary of State, and for a time Secretary of War under Madison, and President of the United States for two terms. I am sure that we are perfectly safe in assuming that he too "knew the principles upon which the Constitution was framed."
Madison was the leading member of the Constitutional Convention and one of the most prolific and lucid writers on our Constitution, his papers appearing along with those of Jay and Hamilton in the Federalist. Jefferson bore the distinction of being the foremost anti-Federalist and the staunch advocate of State rights, that sound fundamental democratic doctrine. Here we find_two outstanding leaders of both schools of political philosophy of the time, the Federalist and the anti-Federalist, in agreement as to the duty of the Federal Government to encourage education, or quoting Madison, "superadding to the means of education provided by the several States."
Beginning with Jefferson's administration millions of acres of land have been granted out of the public domain for educational purposes. More than a billion dollars have been appropriated by the National Government directly to educational purposes, nearly two-thirds of which was for the rehabilitation of the World War veterans. · Federal expenditures and appropriations for educational work in 1926 were administered by the following Federal agencies: United States Veterans' Bureau, for vocational rehabilitation; Federal Board for Vocational Education; Department of Agriculture, for experiment stations, Arizona and New Mexico school funds and cooperative extension work; Department of the Interior, for the Bureau of Education, education of the natives of Alaska, colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts, public schools (Alaska fund), support of Indian schools, Columbia Institution for the Deaf, Howard University, and the civilization of the Sioux Indians; Department of Justice, for National Training School for Boys, National Training School for Girls, and Federal Industrial Institute for Women; Department of Labor, for the Childrens' Bureau, Library of Congress, Botanic Garden, and the Smithsonian Institution.
We do not take into account here the educational activities of the War and Navy Departments for the reason that these come within the enumerated grants to Congress to provide for the common defense, to raise money for the support of the Army and the Navy, etc. The constitutionality of the civic activities of the Federal Government in education have been favorably passed upon by distinguished constitutional lawyers in Congress and such noted constitutional lawyers as Lincoln, Benjamin Harrison, Cleveland, McKinley, and Woodrow Wilson, all of whom, as President, signed bills of appropriations to maintain this activity. Both Mr. Harding and Mr. Coolidge have gone farther and have respectively recommended the creation of a department of education and welfare and a department of education and relief.
Another objection frequently voiced against the Curtis-Reed bill is: “The creation of a department of education will bring the school-teachers into politics ‘up to their ears.'” An examination of this statement will reveal that it has no foundation in the experiences of the several bureaus which are carrying on educational work or out in the States where the school teachers, as citizens, take a part in the various political matters, many of them being elected to office in their profession as county superintendents and State superintendents.
Many of the city officials, county officials, State officials, have come from the ranks of the school-teaching profession. Adams, the second President of the United States, and a number of other Presidents, started their careers as teachers. Many of the candidates for other offices were school-teachers, and this fact, fortunately, will always exist. The candidacy for such places has not brought school-teachers into politics "up to their ears” in support of candidates of their profession for any public office or any group action unless it be for a department
of education. The latter of course is proper for they are in a position to know what the schools of the Nation need. It is even more groundless to assume that the appointment (not election) of a secretary of education to the President's Cabinet will bring the teachers into politics or corrupt the school-teaching profession in this country, when at most there will be hardly more than 25 secretaries appointed in a century on the basis of 4-year elective terms of the President. Of course, it is a well-known fact that nearly all of the Federal employees are under the classified service, which would be true of the department of education, and are not permitted to participate in politics.
Another of the stereotyped objections found in the studied propaganda above referred to is: “We want no more bureaucracy in government." It will be noted that this is one of the more lucid assaults on the Curtis-Reed bill. Just what is this vague, nondescript hobgoblin called “bureaucracy?” I say “hobgoblin” because of the apparent motive of the propagandist to frighten and not enlighten. I say "vague and nondescript” because the propagandist does not attempt to define its meaning.
(a) Does he mean that we already have an excessive multiplication of bureaus? If so, why does he begin reducing the excess with education, the foundation of every civilization? What profound reason in this respect has he for opposing the opinion and action of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, the great leaders in Congress, and the Presidents since Lincoln?
(6) Does our propagandist mean that there is concentration of power under the United States bureaus? If so he is probably right for two reasons: First, because bureaus, used here as a generic term, are the only means thus far evolved to administer organized government. The reverse of organized government is anarchy, and desiring to be fair to this propagandist I do not want to think of him as an anarchist, however destructive and misguiding such assertions are when not temperately defined. Second, the Federal Government has certain enumerated and certain implied powers. Of course, these powers are concentrated as they should be within the National Government because they are functions of the National Government just as the powers reserved by the States are concentrated within their respective governments. But what application has this possible meaning of our propagandist to the Curtis-Reed bill? Certainly none at all, for there is no attempt in any of the Federal education legislation to usurp the rights of the States to control and administer education. It is known to every sound reasoner on the constitutional powers of the Federal Government and those reserved to the States, that Federal control can be obtained only by an amendment to the Constitution. The most enthusiastic advocate of a department of education would not involve the National Government in any such controversy.
(c) Does the propagandist who "wants no more bueaucracy in government” mean by this term that our Federal Government is extending its powers too much in the direction of official interference with private property? If so, what has this to do with the passage of the Curtis-Reed bill? Certainly none, for there is nothing in it which interferes in the slightest degree with private schools. Is it not well known that education has been a public function generally in this country for over 100 years and in some localities for nearly 200 years?
(d) Lastly, does our propagandist mean by this omnious, sententious expression of finality, that the heads of the bureaus of our Federal Government have become corrupt, officious and arrogant, and that, therefore, the heads of a department of education would become so? If this is what he means by “bureaucracy, I can not agree with him, the Teapot Dome situation to the contrary. 'One swallow maketh not summer.' (John Heywood.) The great souls who founded our Government were scholars. They knew that no institution created by man, whether it be a religious hierarchy with a pretended vicar of God on its throne, or an absolutism by a pretention of divine right, or even a representative government founded on the consent of the governed, was free from the taint of venality and corruption. The crux of the matter which I quoted from the pens of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe was a warning against just this thing.' Their preventative against and their remedy for such social 'ills was based on education to the end that the conscience and understanding of our citizens might be kept above sordid, avaricious, and corrupt tendencies and thus maintain a clean, wholesome body politic.
In concluding my statement may I not add that if we love the vision of the fathers of our country, their broad, enlightened and magnanimous policy, their desire to protect the unborn millions which were to follow them, from such national enemies as the spirit of theocracy, the spirit of abolutism, “the spirit sophistry, the spirit of intrigue, the spirit of profligacy” and the spirit of corruption, officiousness and arrogance, which may creep into the administrative