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the education of both girls and boys, in all the South, we, as a people, should not only have been infinitely better prepared for the demands and prevention of war, while raging, but for the situation after emancipation, which summoned us to self-sustenance and self-dependence.
In his zealous advocacy of a common school system of education, and for the education of teachers he was only in advance, but in ‘strict harmony, with his predecessor Governor Johnson, who, in his retiring message, urged the subject in strong terms upon the consideration of the Legislature, as well as the claims of the State University for the promotion of learning in the advanced sciences. He says,“ we need a University proper. Such its founders designed our State college to be, and the constitution, as I have shown, has made it obligatory on the General Assembly to carry that design into effect.”
He says, further quoting the Constitution :
“What has been done to carry into effect this clause of your
Constitution? How little? It has reference mainly to the State University, which had been chartered in 1875. Hence, it is obvious, that it is the sworn duty of the General Assembly to place our State University upon the footing contemplated by its wise and patriotic founders, or in other words, "give it such donations and privileges as may be necessary to secure the objects of its institution.' Indeed, the whole subject of education is confided to the General Assembly, with the positive injunction to such action as may be proper to supply the wants of the State. That contracted policy which is ever standing at the door of the Treasury, with a flaming two-edged sword, is but little better than moral treason to the Constitution, which, for more than half a century, has been pleading for conformity on the part of those who swear to obey. Education is the friend of the State. It will elevate the people. It will diminish crime and the expense of executing the laws. It will raise out the poor from the mire into which innocent poverty has sunk them, and place them on an intellectual equality with the favored sons of fortune. It will dig from the mine many an unpolished gem to glitter in the crown of cultivated society. It will stimulate enterprise, and direct its energies to profitable objects. It will dignify labor, and open new channels for capital.
It will disinter the mineral wealth of the State, and add millions to the productions of agriculture. It will bring into the field of science an array of mind that will adorn our escutcheon, and dazzle the world by its achieve. ments. In a word, Georgia must fail of her great mission without the adoption of a wise and comprehensive educational policy. Away, then, with that narrow stinginess which begrudges a dollar to such a cause, while it is often wasteful of thousands upon objects that possess little or no merit. Go forward boldly, firmly, liberally, to meet the wants of the State. Adjust your scheme to the character of our population. Apply to the task your wisest deliberations. Impart to it the element of self-vindication and self-support. Make it simple in its details, and dependent, for its success and growth, upon the voluntary support of the people."
He suggested a plan in pursuance of these views which the General Assembly did not adopt.
STATE GEOLOGIST AND CHEMIST. After two years of executive experience, Governor Brown, whose vast and extensive perception and forecast seem to have extended to every possible method of promoting the material interest of the State, and development of her internal resources, brought this subject forcibly to the attention of the Legislature, and to the people of the State. In November, 1860, he renewed the appeal in the following strong terms. His plans in this, as in other vast interests, were defeated or delayed by the intervention of war.
“I also renew my recommendation of last year, for the appointment of a State geologist and chemist. Probably few of our citizens living in other sections of the State have formed a correct estimate of the immense value of the mineral region of Georgia. It is believed that the quantity of iron ore, of the very best quality, within her borders, is sufficient to supply the demand of all the Southern States, for that most important of all metals, for centuries to come. This ore is chiefly found in a very healthy section of the State, where there is abundant water power, of the finest character, and upon never failing streams. The great grain growing section of the State embraces these iron mines. Provisions may generally be had cheap. The coal fields of Georgia and Tennessee are in close proximity, and a railroad communication is already established between the two. Lime, charcoal, and every other material necessary in the manufacture of iron, may be had in great abundance near the mines. I think I may truly say, that no State in the Union possesses superior advantages for the manufacture of iron. If this interest were fully developed, it would add millions to the wealth of Georgia, and would tend greatly to increase her population. It would afford profitable employ. ment to a large number of laboring men, retain large sums of money in the State, now sent out annually for the purchase of iron; and would make the State much more powerful and independent in her present or any future position she might be called upon to assume.
“ There are also very extensive and valuable slate quarries in this mineral region. One of these, in Polk county, is already being developed and worked to advantage by its enterprising proprietors. I commend these valuable interests to the protecting care of the Legislature. Gold, silver, copper, lead, manganese, and other valuable minerals and metals, have also been found in different sections of our State. Much money has been wasted in the search after these metals by persons lacking the necessary information to guide their labors in the right direction. If the energies of practical men engaged in the search were directed by scientific knowledge of the subject, results would no doubt be produced the most interesting and valuable to the State. To this end, the importance of a thorough geological survey of the State, by a man of eminent ability, cannot be too highly estimated. The appropriation for this purpose, if made, should be sufficient to secure the services of a man of the highest character in the profession.
"To the duty of making a geological survey of the State should be added that of making a chemical analysis of the different qualities of soil in the different sections of the State; so as to afford the planters in each section necessary information as to the kinds of productions to the raising of which each kind of soil is best adapted, and the kind of manures best suited to each different quality of soil. This, it is believed, would be of great value to the planting interest. Certainly no class of our population has stronger claims upon the liberality and bounty of the Legislature ; and none has been longer neglected. Every appropriation necessary to the advancement and encouragement of agriculture should be promptly and cheerfully made by the Legislature."
CODE OF GEORGIA. Of all the vast progress of the State under Brown there is no step to compare in public utility with the codification of her common law of force, the principles of equity, the British and State statutes, and the penal code, with all the minute regulations of all the offices and departments of the government in one methodical and concise volume. It has reclaimed the laws to which the people are subject from the waste and rubbish of the multitudinous changes and from the vagaries and uncertainties of disjointed lumber scattered through acts and digests, elementary books and judicial reports, and placed before the people and the officers charged with public duties one of the clearest and most easily to be studied and understood systems ever met with in judicial history. It places her civil on a par with her penal code, which is one of the most perfect because the most in harmony with human frailty, and the principles of man's rights to life, liberty, and property ever devised in any country.
The wisdom of the Governor is, however, only manifest in the forecast that urged the necessity of the work, and in the men selected for its execution, David Irwin, Richard H. Clark, and Thomas R. R. Cobb, to whom the code of Georgia is a monument that ages will brighten and burnish, instead of corroding and mouldering.
THE CHRISTIAN SABBATII. The moral and religious tone of the State government under Governor Brown is, to the Christian philosopher who has witnessed the depravity in high places which has been so prevalent in late years, one of the truly gratifying features of her history. At an early period of life he had adopted a sound code of morals for his own government and practices in strict accord with the code. His face had been set and his energies directed against all crimes of moral turpitude—everything that was dishonest.
These principles of moral and legal conduct he carried with full vigor and energy into the public administration as a judge, and adhered to them, without faltering, against all public clamor or private abuse and criticism. It was not in the nature of his moral constitution to be overawed or intimidated or driven from his convictions of right and wrong by any power or inluence whatever; and when inducted into the chief magistracy of the State he felt summoned by the higher and more weighty responsibilities of the position to exercise them in every department of the service.
The General Assembly, as early as 1859, acting under