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Proceedings of the Colored national convention, held in Rochester, July 6th, 7th, and 8th, 1853.
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wheel-wrighting and cabinet-making ; and a general work-shop in which may be combined such application of skill in wood, iron, and other material as to produce a variety of saleable articles,* with suitable buildings and machinery for producing the same. These superintended by competent workmen, under pay precisely as other teachers would give students a foundation for after self-support in life, and break down the distinctions that never ought to exist between the study and the work-shop. The above industrial pursuits are named, not because others more desirable perhaps, or more difficult to secure, might not have had a place given them in this imperfect report; but, because it seemed wise to choose some which are primary to most others in general usefulness, and at the same time, such as whose products have an extensive marketable demand. In establishing work-shops, it must be remembered that the introducing of any large part of the very useful or lucrative branches is an utter impossibility. All that can be aimed at in the beginning, is to elevate labor to its own true standard—vindicate the laws of physical health, and at the same time, as a repaying benefit, make the work done as intrinsic and profitable, a part of education as a proficiency in Latin, mathematics or medicine.
As to the means by which such an Institution may be erected and carried on; we advise the issuing of joint stock under proper Directors, to the amount of $50,000 in shares of 10 each, or a less number of a larger amount, if considered advisable. The Committee are of opinion that $50,000 used in the purchase of land and the erecting and fitting up of buildings, will be fully enough, to warrant the beginning of a thorough Manual Labor School, on the plan suggested.
The sale of scholarships, at judicious rates, and the contributions of the liberal and the philanthropic, ought to give an additional $100,000 as an endowment, which sum properly invested, would be a guarantee, that the liabilities and expense of the Institution would be faithfully met.
The Department of Industry for Females, the Committee cannot, in the short time given them, intelligently settle upon, except in outline. We are of opinion, that looms could be erected for the weaving of carriage and other trimmings; for bindings of various kinds ; that the straw hat business in some of its branches, paper box making, and similar occupations, might from time to time be connected.
The shareholders, if such a plan be approved, would compose the college association, and would have a right to appoint the Trustees of the School, said Trustees being citizens of the State wherein such Institution shall be located.
Such is the rough outline of a plan which we think would be in judicious hands, and so modified as to conform to the proper school laws, feasible and fraught with unbounding good.
In the past, the misfortune has been that our knowledge has been much distributed. We have had educated heads in one large division among us, and educated hands in another. We do not concede in this remark, that the mind worker is not a benefactor and a creator. The inventing, the directing intellect, produces the demand for mechanical labor; but we believe, that, the instances of the marriage, so to speak, of thoroughly educated mind with manual labor, are lamentably rare among us. All over the land, our earnest youth have gone asking to be cared for by the work-shops of the country, but no acknowledgement has been made of their human relationship; their mental, and bodily fitness, have had the same contumely heaped upon them, as is received by those unfortunate beings who in social life bear upon their persons the brand of illegitimacy. As a consequence, we have grown up to too large an extent—mere scholars on one side and muscular giants on the other. We would equalize those discrepancies. We would produce a harmonious development of character. In the sweat of their brows, we would have our scholars grow powerful, and their sympathies run out for humanity everywhere. On the altar of labor, we would have every mother dedicate her child to the cause of freedom ; and then, in the breeze wafted over the newly plowed field, there will come encouragement and hope ; and the ringing blows of the anvil and the axe, and the keen cutting edge of the chisel and the plane,
- A workshop of this kind is, we believe, now in operation in Ohio, connected with the State Penitentiary. It produces stirrups, buckles, harness-frames saw-handles, &c., &c.
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