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or should be stated to our children-e. g., at Section 418, he says, "The Southern people maintained that the Constitution was simply a compact or agreement between sovereign and independent States," etc., without saying whether they were right or wrong in so maintaining. Again, at Section 419, he says, "The South thought," etc. We think we know what the opinions of the author are on these important questions, and that our children should. have the benefit of these opinions, wherever they are based on such well-ascertained facts as are here referred to.


The volumes with this title have been brought to our attention by Capt. Carter R. Bishop, of Petersburg, a member of the committee; and at our request he has prepared the following, it would seem, well-merited criticism, which we respectfully commend to the serious consideration of the Board of Education of the State. Capt. Bishop's paper is as follows:

"This committee has hitherto confined its attention entirely to matters of history proper; but the lamented Dr. Hunter McGuire, in outlining our work, included among the subjects of our criticism such text-books of our schools as failed to do justice to the South.

"We have recently examined, critically, the series of readers in most common use, and find them far from what they should be. An intelligent child soon learns that authors may dogmatize in the statement of facts about which there may be a difference of opinion. This puts him on his guard, and he accepts the teachings in his history as truths subject to such future corrections as may be justified by a wider knowledge of the matter.

"But the most ineradicable opinions are those formed by inference, without assertions or contradiction, during the formative period of a child's mind. The error thus implanted is never suspected till it is unalterably fixed. There are poisons whose only manifestation is the inexplicable death of the victim. An antidote would have saved him, but its need was not indicated till death made it useless.

"Did the South, during the last century and a half, have no orators, poets, nor writers, whose works might be of service in the literary development of the child? Were the Southerners so enervated by the luxury of slavery as to produce nothing worthy of a place among the selections from the best writers and speakers of the language? The average child using the 'Stepping-Stones to Literature' would be forced so to conclude. For, mark you, this series of readers consists of seven grades; the majority of children in our schools never reach the last or the seventh, and in this one only is there a word from a Southern lip or pen. The selections were made, or approved, by a Boston lady, naturally, from the literature with which she was most familiar. The New England school of authors is fully represented, and biographical notes make sure that the child shall know the section to which they belong and the loving reverence in which they are held. But the information of this kind about the Southern authors is marked in its meagerness. Its extent is as follows: Patrick Henry 'lived in Virginia during the Revolutionary War;' Mrs. Preston 'was born in Philadelphia and lived in Lexington, Va.;' 'Gen. Gordon was a Confederate officer;' and 'Sidney Lanier was a Southern poet.' For the man who does not want his child to know more than this of the home and nativity of Southern authors, these books are good enough. But if there is such a man in our land, his only plea for such a wish would have to be his own unbounded ignorance.

"The South has produced orators whose impetuous eloquence has made men rush with a glad cheer into the very jaws of death; statesmen whose wise counsel has restrained the fierce heat of a hot-blooded people; preachers whose words have convinced the sinner, cheered the saint, and comforted the bereaved; writers whose sentiments have placed the wreath of undying glory on the tomb of heroes, and inspired a people of desolated homes to rehabilitate their land made sacred by the graves of such heroes; poets whose graceful fancy has gilded the mountain tops with the lights of other days and caused those in the gloom of despair to

look up and resolve to lead lives worthy of such hallowed associations.

"Must the children of the South grow up in ignorance of these authors? Such is the unconscious intent of our Board of Public Education, as evinced by their adoption of these readers for our schools.

"The seventy-eighth Psalm contains a long catalogue of God's dealings with his chosen people. It was appointed to be sung in the temple service. Was it that the elders might warm their hearts afresh and restrain their evil inclinations as they recited again and again God's mercies and his wrath? Possibly this was one result of its use, but that it was not its main object we learn from the introduction to this Psalm of instruction where we read: 'For he established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children.' There you have it. The divine plan was to lodge that which we wish to remain in the mind of the child. Can we improve upon His plan?

“If we wish the authors so dear to us, of whom we are so justly proud, to be loved in the future, or even known outside of a mere handful of dry and bloodless bookworms, we must to-day make them known to our children.

"All the criticisms so far made on the 'Stepping-Stones to Literature' are negative. We have pointed out things that are wanting. But there is one selection to which we shall call special attention. It is "The Battle Hymn of the Republic,' by Julia Ward Howe, in the Sixth Reader, which represents the invading Northern army as the coming of the Lord in vengeance. Comment on such blasphemy is unnecessary. Surely no Southerner could have taken the trouble to advise himself of the existence of such an outrage on our children."

Respectfully submitted.


Report of the History Committee of the U. C. V., Made to the Reunion of Confederate Veterans, held at Richmond, Va., May 30th-June 3d, 1907.



of Richmond, Va.


Which side was responsible for the existence of the cause or causes of the war?

II. Which side was the aggressor in provoking the conflict?


Which side had the legal right to do what was done?

IV. Which side conducted itself the better, and according to the rules of civilized warfare, pending the conflict?

V. The relations of the slaves to the Confederate cause?

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