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SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
BY JOSEPH LANCASTER,
FOUNDER OF THE LANCASTERIAN SYSTEM OF EDUCATION.
PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR, BY JACOB GIDEON, JUNIOR,
NINTH STREET, NEAR PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE.
Sold by Clement T. Coote, Pennsylvania Jr.,
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, to wit :
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the fifth day of May, in the forty-fourth year of the Independence of the United States
of America, A. D. 1820, Joseph Lancaster, of the said District, lath deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as author and proprietor, in the words following, to wit:
“Letters on National Subjects, auxiliary to universal education, and “scientific knowledge; addressed to Burwell Bassett, late a member of “ the House of Representatives, Henry Clay, Speaker of the House of “Representatives, and James Monroe, President of the United States of “ America.” By Joseph Lancaster, founder of the Lancasterian system of education.
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “ An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned ;” and also to the act, entitled “ An aet supplementary to an act, entitled An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned,' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.”
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed my seal of office, the day and year above written.
EDM. I. LEE, Clerk of the District Comt of the District of Columbia.
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« ALL nations, indeed, of which we have any account in becoming rich, have Become profligate : a torrent of depraved morality has in every opulent state, borne down with irresistable violence, these mounds and fences, by which the wisdom of legislators attempted to protect chastity, sobriety, and virtue. If any check can be given to the corruption of a state increasing in riches and declining in morals, it must be given, not by laws enacted to alter the inveterate habits of men, but by education adapted to form the hearts of children, to a proper sense of moral and religious excellence.” -The late bishop of Landaft's charge to the clergy of his diocese, 1788.
I present thee with four letters on National subjects, either auxiliary or principally connected with the great business of my life-Education. I assume not that this nation, is more in a state of ignorance than any other, but advocate the utter extinction of the very last remains of it from among you as a people. Possibly some persons over-prone to condemn whatever does not originate with themselves, may accuse me of flattery, because I dwell only on the bright side ; but such individuals may be assured that my determination is never to meddle with any fault I cannot mend. I do not say the American character is perfect, faultless or above the standard of human nature in other countries, but I do not consider it my duty, as a stranger, needlessly to notice errors common to humanity, rather would I wish to cherish the noblest feelings of the heart among a people I highly esteem.
I remain thy well wishing friend,
TO BURWELL BASSETT,
AND THE FRIENDS OF AMERICAN EDUCATION.
11th Month, 20th, 1819.
IN addressing thee, and the friends of education in their legislative capacity, I have two objects to which I wish to claim attention, and both are well known to accord with thy patriotic solicitude:- Ist. Measures essential to the extension of the Lancasterian system of education, in its most perfect shape :-and secondly, Measures by which the citizens of the United States may increase their intellectual rank as a nation, beyond all precedent in the history of the world. Measures by which a national excellence may be attained in relation to subjects truely scientific and dignifying, not only as productive of great local advantage, but as setting an example beneficial to future ages and opening to other countries the path of knowledge. The march of mind.
Near twelve months have now elapsed since I was honored with thy friendship;—thy spontaneous kindness and the con sequent honors of congress. A quick revolving year reminds me that claims which call for gratitude ought not to be neglected. I feel anxious to make such communications as may prove how deeply I have felt the open-hearted and generous reception which I experienced when lecturing before the national legislature. How can I better express my feelings than by proving