A Visit to the United States in 1841 eBook

Joseph Sturge
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 371 pages of information about A Visit to the United States in 1841.

I disembarked at Liverpool early in the morning on the 14th of Eighth month, (August,) 1841.


The reader who has accompanied me thus far, will not need to be informed that I have designedly omitted many of those remarks on scenery, manners, and institutions, which were naturally suggested to my own mind by a retrospect of my sojourn in the United States.  On various subjects of great interest and importance, it would be difficult for me to add anything new or valuable to the information contained in other and well known works; while on those points to which my attention was chiefly directed, I have endeavored, as far as practicable, to incorporate the results of my inquiries in the preceding narrative.  There remain, however, a few observations, for which, having found no appropriate place, I would bespeak attention in a concluding chapter.

In the Northern States, education, in the common acceptation of the term, may be considered as universal; in illustration of which it may be mentioned, that on the occasion of the late census, not a single American adult in the State of Connecticut, was returned as unable to read or write.  Funds for education are raised by municipal taxation in each town or district, to such an amount as the male adults may decide.  Their public schools are universally admitted to be well conducted and efficient, and combine every requisite for affording a sound, practical, elementary education to the children of the less affluent portion of the community.  I need scarcely add that in a republican government, this important advantage being conceded, the road to wealth and distinction, or to eminence of whatever kind, is thrown open to all of every class without partiality—­the colored alone excepted.

The following extract from a letter received since my return from a respected member of the Society of Friends, residing in Worcester, Massachusetts, will give a lively idea of the general diffusion and practical character of education in the New England States.

“The public schools of the place, like those throughout the State, are supported by a tax, levied on the people by themselves, in their primary assemblies or town meetings, and they are of so excellent a character as to have driven other schools almost entirely out from among us.  They are so numerous as to accommodate amply all the children, of suitable age to attend.  They are graduated from the infant school, where the A B C is taught, up to the high school for the languages and mathematics, where boys are fitted for the University, and advanced so far, if they choose, as to enter the University one or two years ahead.  These schools are attended by the children of the whole population promiscuously; and, in the same class we find the children of the governor and ex-governor of the State, and those of their day-laborers, and of parents who are so poor that their children are provided with

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A Visit to the United States in 1841 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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