Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Message to the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, Nov. 26, 1844 >> Page 88

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Page 88

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 88
I transmit to you a report made to me by our very
efficient Adjutant General, whose recommendations are
entitled to your serious attention ; and also interesting
Reports from the military schools.
Permit me to renew to you a recommendation which
I made to your predecessors, to establish a central
academy at some suitable point in every District in
the State, with an endowment of a thousand dollars a
year to each. If you are unwilling to abandon the
free-school system, and appropriate the funds to this
object, I see no reason why twenty-eight thousand
dollars additional might not be annually devoted to
this important purpose. Our expenditure would then
be far short of that made by many of the States in
this Union, and in none of them is a more liberal one
required than in ours. We have but a few well-con-
ducted academies, and these, as soon as they acquire
any reputation, are inconveniently crowded ; and de-
pending as they do for their success upon the acci-
dental circumstance of having a competent Principal,
properly appreciated, they seldom dispense their ad-
vantages to the same degree, for a length of time.
Our common schools are, for the most part, a disgrace
to an enlightened people. A system of permanent
academies, liberally endowed, one of which would be
within the reach of every citizen, conducted by such
men as your appropriation, and the tuition funds would
attract, and teaching uniformly a course prescribed by
the Trustees of the College, would produce a revolu-
tion in the education of the State in a few years. The
annual expenditure would not equal that now incurred
for military purposes. While I am far from censuring
that expenditure, and trust that the apathy of a long