Page images

adventure, should have equal advantages in the system of public education with persons of other industrial pursuits. The commander of the merchant ship, with property to the value of many thousands of dollars under his charge, and who represents the American merchants and American industry in foreign ports, should be of equal standing as to character and capacity with the merchant who conducts the business at home.

We would, therefore, advocate the justice and propriety of adapting our school system in the city of New York to the proper instruction of adventurous youth, who will seek the sea, as well as the quieter class who are content with inland pursuits. And we invite attention to the fact that, in a city and State whose pre-eminence is so distinctly commercial, the system of public instruction has no reference to the needs of the chief department of commercial industry.

It can hardly be deemed surprising that our merchant marine is deficient in reliable, skilled navigators. The young sailor is substantially denied the opportunity for appropriate instruction, such as is provided for the landsman, and, in consequence, he is often deficient both in intelligence and morals, and from the sailor comes the officer, often equally unprepared by education, excepting in so far as natural capacity may have enabled him to gain advancement in despite of difficulties.

The resolutions of the Chamber propose that the educational authority of the commercial city of New York be authorized within reasonable bounds to supply instruction adapted to the necessities of commerce. It is desired that the Board of Education be empowered to organize a nautical school for the education of pupils in the science of navigation, and for practical training on board of ships on healthful summer cruises, which will make effective the scientific instruction.

In behalf of the Chamber, we respectfully ask the honorable the Legislature to supply the Board of Education with such increase of authority and resources as may enable them to organize and maintain such a school.

[blocks in formation]


Adopted at a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, held at their rooms in the city of New York, the 4th day of April, 1867. Reaffirmed by the Chamber January 7th, 1873.

Be it resolved, As the sense of this Chamber, that a school of instruction in practical and scientific navigation is much needed for this great center of the shipping interests and gathering place of the seamen of this country, and such a school should be organized under the authority of the State, and placed under the supervision and management of the Board of Education of this city.

Resolved, That application be made to the Legislature to so amend the school laws as to enable the Board of Education to organize and embrace in its system of education a school of this kind, properly adapted for instruction at sea, as well as on the land, and to place at the command of the board the necessary appropriation of funds or


Resolved, That in the opinion of this Chamber the Federal Government, upon proper application through State authorities, would consent to detail, for the use of such a school, vessels of the navy not required for other duty, and thus relieve the State from a portion of the expense, without substantial loss or increase of expenses to the


Resolved, That the proposed plan of instruction not only commends itself by considerations of humanity and national necessity, but fairly comes within the recognized province of public education. While the propriety of teaching the young such branches of knowledge, and such habits and principles as will facilitate success in any pursuit is sufficiently obvious, it is hardly less necessary, by united efforts, to plan and put within the reach of well-disposed young men, fair and equal opportunities of improvement and preparation for large general branches of industry, thus not only promoting their success, but securing and advancing the general good. This principle is already applied to various land pursuits, and in the city and State of New-York it is peculiarly applicable to the sea. And inasmuch as, from temperament and the nature of the service, those who engage in navigation derive little or no benefit from the present systems of education, it will be readily understood that such an adapta

tion as will attract and include them is matter of general interest and importance.

Resolved, That Ellwood Walter, George W. Blunt and George D. Morgan be a committee to act with the officers of the Chamber to make application to the Legislature, and to confer with the Board of Education for the organization and support of such school. GEORGE WILSON,

(Copy from the minutes.)


« PreviousContinue »