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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the Colored national convention, held in Rochester, July 6th, 7th, and 8th, 1853.
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President decided in favor of Mr. Woodson, whereupon Mr. Walker appealed. The Convention sustained the chair. Mr. Woodson then proceeded to advocate the adoption of the plan of organization. Mr. T. G. Campbell moved that the word colored be erased from the preamble. Upon which the previous question was called. Motion agreed to. Mr. Downing moved to strike out certain portions of the preamble. By leave of the Convention, Mr. Langston offered a motion to suspend debate upon the subject in hand, in order to allow Prof. C. L. Reason an opportunity to present a report from the Committee on Maual Labor Schools.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MANUAL LABOR SCHOOL.
The aim and the end of a right culture, is primarily to develop power, and to turn that power into a proper channel. Educational Institutions ought therefore to be so modeled and so conducted as to draw out thought, incite useful inquiry, and give such aid and strength to the individual as will enable him to be something in the world, in addition to the mere scholar. Every person is here not merely to enjoy, but to work ; and schools are only valuable in their teachings, as they assist in making both thinker and worker. They may saturate men with the learning of every age—yet, except they strive to make them something more than literary flowers, they sin greatly against the individual and humanity also. The hungry world asks for grain, and those growths that give nutriment. Not by floral beauty is the physical being builded up. Not by mere word study do the races grow intellectually strong Not by eloquent abstract preaching, do the nations prove Christianity. The elements of truth, the principels of industrial advancement, of national greatness, that lie in questionable shapes amid the knowledge of the schools, must be separated from the useless materials that surround them ; and made as chyle to the human body, the givers of nutriment, the restorers of expended energy. And as in the human body, the richness of the digested food goes to make up bone, and muscle, and flesh, and the various tissues of vessels of the system—in like manner schools ought so to be fashioned, as to deposite here and there on the surface of society, artizan and merchant, mechanic and farmer, linguist and mathematician—mental power in every phase, and practical science in as many as may be. The truth of this view is virtually acknowledged in part already. Where men know beforehand what kind of knowledge their duties in life will require, they avail themselves of Institutions whose course of study is specific and well degested. Hence exist our Law-Schools, and Military Academies, and Medical Colleges. And these are necessarry, even amid a class of people whose position enables them to make the most of a general course of study, by the application of some of the specialities of such course, to any avocation, that, in after life, they may choose to pursue. When we are called upon to consider the subject of Education with reference to ourselves, and to ask what kind of an Institution would best befit us, the answer comes in the light of the announced doctrine, namely, one that would develop power ; and that kind of power most essential to our elevation. If after submitting to a general system of instruction, according to the provisions of the colleges of the land, we can add the store of knowledge gained to any pursuit in life we please, as so much starting capital, then we might not need to ask the establishing of Institutions different from those already erected. But this is not the case. We have, indeed, a few literary colleges accessible to those of us who can pay; two Manual Labor Colleges with the system partially
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