Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

of their pupils ideas in relation to public affairs hich will be equally consistent with true patriotism and sound morality: therefore be it

Resolved, that the teachers of the public schools be instructed, henceforth, to make the singing of patriotic songs, and the reading of appropriate passages from the addresses of patriotic men, a part of the business of cach day, in the several departments of their respective schools."

A few days after these resolutions were passed by the Board of Education, an invitation was given to the public to assemble at the Madison School (where a few months previous the “black flag" had been displayed) to witness the interesting ceremony of presenting a beautiful United States flag to the school. Upon that occasion, hundreds of childish voices greeted their friends with the national air, “Star-Spangled Banner,” after which, seven little girls stepped upon a platform and presented their flag to their school with the following address :“We dedicate to the Madison School this “ Star-Spangled Banner," the emblem of our own dear native land, as a tribute to patriotism. Long, long may it wave over our school dedicated to union, science and liberty!"

Dr. Dostie, on behalf of the Directors, addressed the school as follows: “Miss WHITBY, Principal ; Ladies, Teachers; and you,

Pupils of Madison School : “The scene witnessed by the friends of thorough and correct education to-day is destined to be long remembered. There can be no occasion of deeper interest to the lovers of the human race, its progress in education and advancement in true loyal patriotic sentiments, than now appears in the brilliant and most encouraging spectacle you have, by your noble and indefatigable cxcrtions,

wrought for the hopes of the liberty and freedom of our land.

“Here the youths of our city have gathered for the culture and proper education of their minds and hearts in a correct knowledge of the various duties belonging to good and virtuous members of society.

As we cast our eyes over this great Republic, bequeathed us by 'him whom envy dared not hate,' and behold the causeless and furious civil war now desolating our once peaceful, happy and glorious land, filling, as it does, the patriot's heart with terrible apprehensions for the future of this most sacred of gifts-self-governmentto whom are we to look for hope of salvation, but to you of this rising generation, educated as, we pray the Father of Nations you may b2, in the just and beneficent principles of Republicanism, of unity, peace and fraternity. Then our dear country will not know the Arnolds, Burrs, Calhouns, or Davises any more.

“Be therefore zealous in the acquisition of useful knowledge that you may distinguish truth from error, virtue from vice, and labor assiduously in disseminating these virtues, these duties, and God will bless and roward you with felicity here and heaven in the hereafter.

Trace thoughtfully the history of our immortal Washington's school days-remember he could not lie—that he lived and practiced all the pure and exalted virtues, thereby compelling the high eulogium from mankind of being 'first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.'

“The public schools of our nation should be the avenue to the education of all the various and manifold duties devolved upon the citizens of our great Commonwealth.

our

They should be treasured as thc corner-stone of the Republic—they were designed for the education and enlightenment of the masses, in their duties to God, their country, and themselves; and where they prevail and are encouraged, treason, rebellion, and their atrocious attendants are not known.

“Had the youths of the rebellious portions of our country been the recipients of the blessings of this munificent institution, 'grim-visaged war,' with its concomitants famine, pestilence and death, would not now be blighting

once happy and homogeneous people—the land had not been pierced by the murderous stabs of our brethren.

“Let us, citizens, be in future thc carcful and untiring guardians of this institution, pregnant with such vast promises of good; then the hydra-headed, execrable monster-Treason—will not again make parricidal thrusts at our dearest mother, who for eighty years has nourished us with the delicious milk of Liberty, Freedom and Fraternity.

“Now, in behalf of loyal Louisiana and of the loyal United States, permit me to introduce little Mary Murray, and through this pure patriot, her four hundred associates, in behalf of loyal Americans everywhere, to thank them for the gift of that' gorgeous ensign of our Liberty Land.' That beautiful emblem of our glory and power! that a Washington triumphantly bore through the revolutionary struggles; that a Jackson won a halo of undying glory upon the Plains of Chalmette; that a Taylor so heroically bore aloft at Buena Vista; that a Scott reveled within the halls of the Montezumas; that a Farragut carried by Forts Jackson and St. Phillip in a

flame of lightning; that Butler, the indomitable, unfurled from the ramparts of our treason-bound emporium; that will victoriously float over Liberty's Dominions, when the 'Stars and Bars' will be buried in oblivion.”

This was the inauguration ceremony of a brilliant series of flag presentations, which ended in placing an American flag over every public school in New Orleans. The sight of the National emblem waving from the public institutions infuriated its enemies, who in their madness declared, “That their children should not be taught to love the United States Government.'

Dr. Dostie, the chairman of that committee which had drawn up the resolutions requiring the introduction of national airs and patriotic sentiments in the schools, says, in his report to the Board of Education, "I have received communications from the principals of some of the schools, informing me that many of their pupils have risen in rebellion and refused to sing national airs as requested by their teachers. I am urged to use my influence in quelling this insubordination instigated by rebellious parents. Upon consultation with several members of the Board of Education, and finding that their views coincided with mine—that it was our duty to enforce the laws governing the institutions under our charge - I have informed the disobedient that the requirements were just, and therefore, irrevocable, and that if they persisted in their rebellion they must be expelled from the schools. Only three hundred of the eight thousand in attendance refused, and were expelled or withdrawn from the schools."

The following testimony relating to the noble labors

[ocr errors]

of Dostie in the cause of republican education, is worthy to be placed among the historical records of those eventful times when, in the hands of loyal educators, science, poctry, music, and flowers, combine to make Unionisin and the United States flag popular in the halls of education in New Orleans. The True Delta, through a correspondent says:

“Messrs. EDITORS: I ask the use of your columns to publish the following well deserved and highly flattering testimonial to the zeal and efficiency with which that pre-eminently earnest Union man, Dr. A. P. Dostie, discharged his duties while a member of the Board of Visitors of the First District Schools. The public generally, in common with the School Board, feel keenly the retirement of so earnest a votary of true cducation. They indulge the hope, though, that the work of regenerating the public schools from the moral leprosy of treason, so happily inaugurated by the Doctor during the past year, may be continued until there shall remain no youthful mind capable of retaining and receiving so unseemly a taint.

BOARD OF VISITORS OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF THE FIRST

DISTRICT.

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 15, 1863. “At a regular meeting of the Board of Visitors of the First District Public Schools, held on the 14th inst., on motion of Mr. J. A. Noble, seconded by Messrs. Hahn and Graham, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted :

Resolved, That the thanks of this Board be tendered to Dr. A. P. Dostic for his constant and well directed exertions in the cause of education, while a member of the Board of Visitors during the past year.

Resolved, That the labors of Dr. Dostie have, in the

« AnteriorContinuar »