Southern school books.
On the 8th of March, a resolution was offered in the Georgia
State Convention, requesting the Governor
to offer a premium of $500 each for a spelling book, a grammar, a geography, and two readers, to be the work of Southern authors, and prepared for the use of Southern schools.
This is a move prompted by a good motive.
Our schools are flooded with school books of New England
manufacture, and our children instructed in histories which ignore the noble deeds of their own forefathers, and lavish the most extravagant enlogies upon some Yankee Doodle
-Do militia-men of the Revolution.
In our own city of Richmond
such books may be found in every school.
We have seen a child's book in use here in which the Puritan
author speaks of Capt. John Smith
as a man who never prospered in life ‘"because he was a bad boy, and God never blesses bad boys."’ When the plastic minds of our children are to be moulded by such influences, it is time that such measures as those of the Georgia Legislature, or others having the same object in view, should be adopted by every State in the South
, commenting upon this subject, says with truth that--
"The South has never yet patronized its own educational literature, an assertion which may be easily proved by comparing the sales of two or three prominent text-books by Northern authors, with works of the same character and equal merit, the product of Southern intellect and industry.
The publishers of Smith
's Grammar send annually to the Southern States
60,000 copies of that work; Barton
's, a work written by an Alabamian, does not reach one-third that circulation; Butler
's, a Kentucky book, scarcely one-third; and that of McRoberts
, one of the best ever published, sells at the rate of perhaps 2,509 per annum.
, ham's and Fowler
's, all written and published by Northern men, circulate extensively in the South
, to the exclusion of those Southern books we have named.
Nor is this difference between the circulation of Northern and Southern books confined to Grammars.--The talented Caroline Lee Heintz
, whose labors in the field of literature have rendered her name a household word in every village, North as well as South, published a Reader second to none ever issued from the press; yet, even in her own State, Sander's, McGuffey
's, and Parker
's, have superseded it. The Arithmetics and Algebra of Col. Smith
, of the Virginia Military institute, are allowed to remain on the booksellers' shelves, while Greenleaf
, Day, Green
, or Ray
, is found in almost every school in the South and Southwest.
Any carelessly compiled History, well pushed by the active agent of a Northern house, forces Taylor
's edition of Pinnock from the Southern University and College, while Johnson
's Chemistry and Philosophy give way to Parker
We could lengthen this list, but the few examples we have given (and we speak by the card) are sufficient to show that the labors of Southern educational authors have not received that reward which even Northern critics would be glad to see bestowed."
expresses the opinion, in which we heartily concur, that the rewards proposed in the Georgia
resolutions should be extended to those who have already performed the labor and have been waiting in vain for the remuneration.