Monday, May 3, 2010

Important Local Election

Tomorrow * Tuesday * May 4th
Important Local Election for West Lafayette Schools

In The Wordy Shipmates, Sarah Vowell describes the "magnitude of the Puritan devotion to higher education." In her discussion, she includes the following paragraph written by John Adams in 1778 as part of the Constitution for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Biographer David McCullough calls it "a declaration of Adams's faith in education as the bulwark of the good society."
"Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties; and as these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in various parts of the country, and among the different orders of the people, it shall be the duty of legislators and magistrates in all future periods of this commonwealth to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them, especially the university at Cambridge, public schools, and grammar schools in the towns; to encourage private societies and public institutions, rewards and immunities, for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and a natural history of the country; to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general benevolence, public and private charity, industry and frugality, honesty and punctuality in their dealings, sincerity, good humor, and all social affections, and generous sentiments among the people." [emphasis added]

John Adams, 2nd President of the United States (1797–1801)

See The Wordy Shipmates, pp. 15 - 16. You might also try the excellent John Adams mini-series: very ennobling.

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