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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1856
([1856])

[Southern superintendency],   pp. 131-172 PDF (17.5 MB)


Page 141

CHEROKEE INDIANS.                      141 
that it would be an improvement of the school system, and would 
result in the greater immediate good to the country. This would 
prepare the pupils at home for useful living at once, and if they 
wished to pursue their studies, it would furnish the high schools 
with a class for matriculation much better prepared to prosecute the 
branches of a high education. For the want of this qualification the 
heavier expenditures have been involved to teach boys and girls of a 
premature age lessons they should have learned at a common school. 
Unless these schools are enabled to perform the functions of their 
department well, the system will have to continue to turn out imma-, 
ture graduates. 
I would take occasion to remark here, that it might be argued with 
much feasibility, that, in proportion to our means, and in view of the 
condition of the country, we have enough of schools. It must be clear 
to every body, that situated as this country is, it needs at this time! 
much more industry and economy than anything else. What would 
it avail if all the youths could be graduated at the highest institutions
in the land, if they have not been taught a fondness for those funda- 
mental avocations so essential to the growth and perpetuity of a na- 
tion ? If the people were all scholars, and at the same time should 
retain the inexcusable aversion to labor that is now universal among 
the schooled youth of the nation, it would furnish the country with 
an abundance of paupers, idlers, or criminals, or else they would have 
to seek a livelihood for their education in some other country. All, 
cannot live here without manual labor.  Each cannot be a professor, 
lawyer, doctor, preacher, school-master.  The means, opportunities, 
and occasions are wanting for so many. All could not find such em- 
ployment at home, and to seek it elsewhere would be to take one step 
towards the overthrow of the nation. For in that case it is clear that 
the ulterior result of our expenditures and labors would be to educate 
children for other countries. 
Why should it be considered a matter beneath or beyond the atten- 
tion or power of the national council to incorporate with the school 
system some plans, means, or motives by which we may develop the 
"bone and sinew," as well as the manners, minds, and morals of
the 
country? Our lands are uncultivated, shops are vacant or never have 
started; we must buy machinery, furniture, fixtures, produce, stock, 
and goods, all at foreign markets, or else hire them made at home by 
white men. The nation can't live without money or its equivalent. 
There is everything to take it out. There is nothing made-all is 
bought. When we take into the account that all these purchases are 
to be made, too, out of the meager currency put into circulation as 
the proceeds of our invested funds, which does not amount to more 
annually than scarcely half a share of some minor New York firm, 
the picture is still the more alarming; for it does not appear that the 
nation has attained its zenith, unless there is an increase of industry 
and love of labor. There is a great deal amongst us that is necessary, 
to perpetuity,but there is need of a great deal more. More is to be 
done than to advance simply as far as we are driven by famine or im- 
mediate want. There must be a surplus of productions. By the: 
magic of manual labor we must wring from the bosom of "mother 
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