December 15, 1860

No Representative

It seems pretty well settled now that the people of McDonough county are to have no representative in the next Legislature of the State.  Dr. Walker, who received a majority of the votes of the bona fide citizens of this county, and to whom the certificate of election, as representative, was issued, resigned the post conferred.  It was the duty of the Governor, on learning this fact, to order a new election.  His oath of office, to maintain and enforce the Constitution and laws, made this obligatory upon him.  But so far the Governor has failed to order a new election, and it is asserted, by those of the same politics with the Governor, that he will not order a new election.  The people of McDonough county will thus be unrepresented in the Legislature.  Why is this?  Why does this republican Governor neglect or refuse to give our people the right to be heard, through their representative, in the legislation of the State?  Why does he violate his oath of office and stand before the world a perjured official?  The question, to one acquainted with the facts, is of easy solution.  The majority of the people of this county are Democrats, and at an election they would [ . . . ] enough, in the eyes of a republican Governor, to induce him to disfranchise us.  Another Democrat in the Legislature might be troublesome to the Governor and his friends; and this is sufficient reason to refuse a new election.  What do the people think of this “republican interpretation of the law?”  Get your statute book and see what the duty of the Governor is, and then remember that the Governor’s political friends in Macomb endorse his conduct, and you will become satisfied that no corruption is too gross – no outrage too great – to be unemployed by republicans for the attainment of a political object.

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–          Fred. Helle, next door east of the post office, has on hand any quantity of fine things for the holidays, for sale at his establishment.  Read his advertisement in another column.  He promises to do well by those who patronize him.  Give him a call when making your purchases of Christmas and New Years gifts.

–          A western paper lately contained an apology for appearing several days behind its published time, stating that one of the editors had been drunk all the week and the other was gone to Chicago to hear a temperance lecture.

–          Brown’s Hotel still maintains its reputation as a first class hotel and sojourners will find it to be the place where they can obtain the best the markets afford in the way of edibles.  Stop at the Brown house.

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Graded Schools

To the Editor of the Macomb Eagle:

When we look over our country, we find that the common school system, since its introduction, has been steadily spreading its beneficial influence.  In whatever direction we turn our eyes, we are cheered with the sight of an improving community, by establishing an efficient system of Free Graded Schools.

The work that our common schools have accomplished in the cause of education has been a glorious work; yet, notwithstanding all they have done, they are but the groundwork – the foundation – of a much greater superstructure.  When a system of graded schools can be found from one end of our country to the other, then, and not till then, will the superstructure be reared and the great educational building completed.

We have only to pause a moment and take a view of educational matters, as they exist at the present time, to see that such a system is greatly needed here.  The children of the wealthy may finish the invaluable work commenced in our common schools at some college.  While this is the case with a few, the majority – the children of masses – those to whom at some future time will be entrusted the safe-keeping of that “Free Government” for which our Fathers died – these are denied the privilege of finishing an education already commenced – denied that great boon which makes man a man!  And for what?  Simply because we have not established schools, to cause those seeds we have already planted to germinate, spring up, and blossom to the honor of our country.

If we had an efficient system of graded schools, all these objections would vanish – and the children of all classes enjoy alike the privileges of a thorough education.

The utility of these schools cannot be questioned; but if it were, all that would be necessary would be to point to those cities and towns in which they have been established for years.  Chicago, Peoria, Dixon, Rockford, Moline, Rock Island, Belleville, and many others, have long since moved in the right direction, and have succeeded even beyond the expectation of the most ardent friends of the graded system.  And even Galesburg, with all her educational advantages, has adopted the free graded system.  If we examine their schools, we will find that they have exerted a salutary influence on the surrounding country.  With all these facts before us, why should there be such apathy in our city? – With as much wealth, population, and enterprise as many of our sister towns, we have suffered ourselves to be surpassed by almost all of them, in educational matters.

Under our present system we rarely find less than sixty or seventy pupils under the care of each teacher, and that too, in rooms not calculated for more than half that number, if their health were consulted: and these pupils, ranging in age from five to twenty-one years, and in studies from the a, b, c scholar, scarcely able to articulate, to the young man or young woman studying the higher branches of an English education.

I might appeal to every teacher if this is not a true picture.  Teachers thus situated can neither do justice to the scholars nor themselves; but let us have graded schools and this evil will be removed.

Nor can we remedy the evil by sending to private schools unless they too are graded. – The want of proper grades and classification in private schools is as severely felt as when in public schools, and a thorough graduation is more easily effected in the latter than in the former.

Having these facts constantly before us, we are urged on by the most powerful incentives, not only as citizens but as scholars in the great school of nature, to make those efforts which our country demands of all her children, for the accomplishment of this great improvement, wherein the poor as well as the rich are permitted to drink deep at the perennial spring.  Why then should we stand with folded arms, and keep those flood-gates of learning closed on the rising generation?

[signed] Third Ward.

December 3rd, 1860.

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