The Builder Magazine
August 1922 - Volume VIII - Number
Federal Aid to Education,
Its Justification, Degree and Method
BROTHER HORACE M. TOWNER, IOWA
Brother Horace M. Towner, Representative from Iowa, is Chairman of the
Committee on Insular Affairs of the House of Representatives at Washington,
D.C., and is sponsor in the House for the Towner-Sterling Bill. This address
was delivered before the University of Illinois at the recent inauguration of
NOT quite sure that President Kinley expected me to discuss the creation of a
Department of Education in connection with the subject of Federal Aid to
Education. But as the subjects are both included in the legislation to which I
am committed, and as they are so closely connected in creation and
application, I shall venture to consider them both in my remarks.
Cabinet was not created by the Constitution. It is an institution of
government created solely by legislative enactment. New executive departments
are created and new members of the Cabinet added whenever Congress considers
it wise that such action should be taken. The first three of the ten now in
existence were established in Washington's administration; the last one was
created in 1913.
Departments are not created nor members of the Cabinet appointed to control
the subjects assigned them. If the general government has the Constitutional
power to control the subject, such measure of control may be given the
Secretary as Congress deems advisable. For example, the general government is
given control of military affairs and the Secretary of War is granted certain
powers of control. The general government is given control of postal affairs,
and the Postmaster General is given large powers over such matters. The
Constitution wives no power to the general government to control agriculture
or labor. Hence, the Secretary of Agriculture is charged with the duty of
"promoting agriculture." He is not given power to control agriculture. The
Secretary of Labor is charged with the duty of "fostering, promoting, and
developing the welfare of the wage earners of the United States." He is given
no power in any manner to control labor. In like manner, if a Department of
Education is created, its Secretary will be given no power to control
education, but he may be charged with the duty of conducting studies and
investigation in the field of education, he may call educational conferences,
and encourage and aid the States in their educational work without exercising
any measure of control.
justification for creating a Department of Education lies primarily in the
fact that education is of supreme importance under our system of government,
and should receive the recognition its importance merits. It has been a source
of wonder to foreign observers of our institutions that the United States has
so far failed to give education such recognition. It is almost alone among the
nations in that respect. As reported by the Bureau of Efficiency, the National
Government expended over $65,000,000 during the year 1920 for educational
purposes. The educational activities thus carried on are scattered among the
numerous bureaus, divisions, and commissions without any coordination and with
numerous duplications of work. The Bureau of Education occupying a subordinate
place in the Department of the Interior, and supported by only a small
appropriation, has no control or even knowledge of these various activities.
It is apparent that in order to secure efficiency and economy in the work
already assumed of this character a directing and coordinating head is
Department is needed to coordinate and integrate the scattered educational
forces among the States. It is proposed to create and organize a National
Council of Education to consult and advise with the Secretary of Education on
subjects relating to the promotion and development of education throughout the
nation. This Council is to consist of the chief educational authority of each
State, twenty-five educators, representing different interests in education,
and twenty-five eminent persons, not educators, interested in education from
the standpoint of the public. Annual conferences are to be called, at which
the entire scope of the educational interests of the nation will be
manifest that in order to carry on such work a Secretary of Education is
required. Both in the councils of the Cabinet and in leadership and influence
with the educational forces throughout the land, such an educational head is
necessary to dignify and unify the educational work of the nation. This does
not imply nor is it desired if it were possible to take from the States the
control of their educational systems, nor does it mean the adoption of a
national system of education. It is only to aid and encourage the States to
greater educational endeavor, and by mutual conference and discussion to bring
to the States most backward the stimulus that will raise their standards to
the level of the more forward and advanced.
believed that the creation of a Department of Education with its chief a
Secretary in the President's Cabinet, will express for the first time in our
history the nation's real interest in education; that it will promote by
research, investigation, and reports the practical operation of our public
school system throughout the United States; that it will by leadership and
service stir the States and the people to a greater interest in educational
work and to a more comprehensive knowledge of educational needs; and that it
will mark the commencement of a new era of educational progress throughout the
further proposed that provisions shall be made to authorize appropriations
from the National Treasury to encourage the States in the promotion and
support of education. In order to do this effectively certain specific
educational needs are considered as being the most important and pressing.
Thus, appropriations are to be authorized to encourage the States for the
removal of illiteracy, for the Americanization of immigrants, for the
preparation of teachers, to promote physical education, and to equalize
educational opportunities. It is believed that this selection of objects
covers in large measures the most pressing educational needs in which there is
an immediate national interest. A State may accept the provisions of any one
or more of the respective apportionments by meeting the prescribed
requirements and by providing for the expenditures from State or local funds
of a sum at least equally as large as the national grant for the particular
provided that these grants from the National Treasury are not dependent upon
executive discretion or favor, but are compulsory when the States meet the
conditions specifically stated in the Act.
requirements are minimum requirements, and there can be no reasonable dissent
as to their necessity and fairness. The National Government cannot make a
grant without stating the purpose for which the grant is made, and in making a
contingent grant it must state specifically the conditions necessary to be met
in order to secure the grant. On the other hand, the State is entitled to know
just what the requirements necessary to receive its part of the apportionment
are, so that it can be assured that if it meets those requirements, and those
only, it will not have to appeal for executive favor in order to receive its
grant, and will not be required to surrender control of its educational system
to a centralized authority.
presume that these propositions are familiar to you. I presume, also, that
most of you are familiar with the arguments that have been advanced in its
favor. Let us consider briefly some of the objections that are urged against
this proposed legislation.
said that the legislation is unnecessary. This objection is urged both against
the creation of a Department of Education, and against the proposal to aid the
States by subventions from the National Treasury. There is always reluctance
about creating a new department. Originally there were but three, State,
Treasury, and War. An advisory attorney was selected, and afterward he became
a member of the Cabinet. Then came at intervals, Navy, Post Office, Interior,
Agriculture, Commerce and Labor, and then, separately, Labor. Now we have ten
departments, and our Cabinet is one of the smallest among the nations. The
purpose of the creation of all of these executive departments was to give
recognition to and secure a more effective realization of our primary and
essential National interests. Because the National Government was not given
control of education, and because the States have exercised that power does
not disparage the fact that education has been throughout our history a
primary, almost a paramount interest, of the Nation. In 1785 the National
Government made grants of its public lands for the "maintenance of public
schools." The Ordinance of 1787 creating the Northwest Territory provided that
"Schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged." From that
time down to the present the National Government has recognized education as
an important interest of the Nation, and has aided it with grants both of
lands and money. If it has been and is a primary interest of the Nation, why
should not full recognition be given it by the National Government? It
certainly is of equal importance with Commerce, or Agriculture, or Labor.
NATIONAL CONTROL OF SCHOOLS
asserted by some objectors that merely to create a Department of Education and
select a Secretary will transfer the control of the schools from the States to
the Nation; that in some mysterious manner there will thus be created an
autocracy that will reach out and absorb all the educational activities of the
Nation; that for some undisclosed and malevolent purpose a conspiracy has been
formed of the educators of the country to subvert the Constitution and destroy
the liberties of the people. It is unnecessary to say in this presence that
there is no effort being made anywhere or by anybody to transfer the control
of the schools from the States to the Nation. On the contrary, and in most
explicit terms the Secretary is forbidden to exercise any control over the
schools within the States, and that power is expressly reserved to the States.
objection is also urged that merely to grant appropriations from the National
Treasury contingent upon conditions, in and of itself transfers control from
the States to the Nation; that the States in order to secure the funds from
the National Government will surrender their Constitutional rights; in short,
that the Nation offers to buy from the States the control of the schools and
assume the power of directing and managing the education of the people.
objection, strange as it may appear, is the argument most strongly urged by
the opponents of the legislation for National aid. It must appear indeed
remarkable that such a purpose could have actuated the educators of the
country in the formation of their bill. It has not generally been supposed
that the school men of the Nation were engaged in a conspiracy to subvert the
Constitution and secure control of the Government. It must appear to every
reasonable man that there is no desire nor can there be any purpose on the
part of the representatives of the Government to take over the control of the
schools. It must also be apparent that the people of the States are not so
stupid and submissive as to sell their right to control the education of their
children for a money bribe.
legislation is advocated because conditions are urgent and demand action, and
because the States are in some cases unable, and in others unwilling, to meet
the emergency without help. It is to stimulate the States to greater activity
in the education of their own people; it is to aid them in reducing the burden
and danger because of the ignorance of their people, that this legislation is
urged. The Government has an equal interest with the States in the character
of its citizens. The Government has no citizens nor interests within its
territory outside the States. Their people are its people, and their citizens
are its citizens. If the people of the States are ignorant, so are the people
of the Nation. If the peace, prosperity and security of the States must depend
upon the intelligence of its citizens, so is it with the Nation. With this
community of interest there is a common obligation. So it is proposed to aid
the States by granting them funds from the National Treasury, and in effect to
say to the States: "The National Government will help you to remove this
burden and danger from your people, because your people are my people, and
your interests are my interests." In effect, also, the Government declares to
the States by this proposed legislation: "This aid is granted you upon the
condition that you use it only for the purpose stated in the grant, and that
you use it in your own way without dictation or control by the Government."
may be again stated that all the conditions upon which aid is granted are
statutory, and are specifically stated in the Act. These requirements may be
changed by Congress, but they cannot be changed by the Secretary or any other
executive officer. No additional requirements can be added, and no autocratic,
bureaucratic, or centralized control imposed.
should be further stated that before any State can receive the benefits of the
Act such State must by legislative enactment accept its provisions. So that
there must be an agreement of the representatives of the people of the Nation
with the representatives of the people of the State before the legislation can
become effective. Under such circumstances it is not probable, it is not
possible, that the State will surrender its rights, or that the Nation will
transcend its powers.
Attention is called to the fact that by the provisions of the bill the
administration, the application and distribution of the funds within the State
are exclusively committed to the State authorities. I think I am justified in
saying that in no other legislation of this character ever enacted have the
rights of the States been so carefully guarded. Let me call your attention to
this provision of the bill, found in Section 13:
"PROVIDED, That courses of study, plans and methods for carrying out the
purposes and provisions of this Act within a State, shall be determined by the
State and local educational authorities of said State, and this Act shall not
be construed to require uniformity of courses of study, plans, and methods in
the several States in order to secure the benefits herein provided: AND
PROVIDED FURTHER, That all the educational facilities encouraged by the
provisions of this Act and accepted by a State shall be organized, supervised,
and administered exclusively by the legally constituted State and local
educational authorities of said State, and the Secretary of Education shall
exercise no authority in relation thereto except as herein provided to insure
that all funds apportioned to said State shall be used for the purposes for
which they are appropriated by Congress."
any stronger or more explicit statement can be made to save to the States
their right to control their own schools in their own way and to prohibit any
interference on the part of the General Government, the friends of the measure
would be glad to accent it.
said that contributions from the National Treasury are unnecessary, for the
States will meet the emergency and provide the necessary means. If that were
true, the objection would be good. But is it true?
illiteracy, as an example, and consider conditions. The census of 1910 showed
that in the United States there were 5,500,000 over ten years of age who could
not read or write any language. In addition there were 3,500,00 who could not
speak, or read, or write English. This placed us below the standard of most of
the civilized nations of the world. But that was not the worst. The
examination of the draft registrants for service in the late war showed that
of the men called between the ages of 21 and 31, nearly 25 per cent could not
read a newspaper, could not write a letter home, and could not read the posted
orders about the camps.
Nation's defense is thus doubly impaired; first, because one-fourth of the
sons of America called to the colors are incapacitated for efficient service
because of their ignorance; and, second, because the safety of a free country
is jeopardized when a determining portion of its voters cannot read the
ballots they cast and can only vote as they are told.
Consider the economic loss which Secretary Lane estimates as at least
$825,000,000 each year! The Director of the Bureau of Mines states that of the
1,000,000 men engaged in mining in the United States 620,000 are foreigners,
and that of these 460,000 cannot speak English. He states that the removal of
illiteracy among the miners would save annually 1,000 lives and 150,000
injuries. Investigation has shown that one-half the industrial accidents are
the result of ignorance, because the workers cannot read the danger warnings
or understand the orders given.
has been said that illiteracy is a Southern problem. The facts do not warrant
that conclusion. Georgia has 389,000 illiterates, but New York has 406,000.
Alabama has 352,000, while Pennsylvania has 354,000. Louisiana has 352,000,
Mississippi 290,000, and Texas 282,000; but Illinois has 168,000, Ohio
124,000, and even Massachusetts has 141,000.
thought that illiteracy is a race problem. But it is much more than that.
There are over 1,000,000 more white illiterates in the United States than
not this clearly a National problem? If the Nation's safety is imperilled, if
the lives of its citizens are being lost, and if the States are not able or
not willing without help to remove this reproach and danger, is not National
aid justified and imperative?
Consider the condition of our immigrant population. We now have over
15,000,000 foreign born people in the United States. More than 5,000,000
cannot speak, read, or write English. More than 2,000,000 cannot read or write
any language. Unfortunately, these foreigners often group themselves into
alien settlements or colonies, where our language is not spoken, where our
journals are not read, and where the whole environment is alien and
non-American. These masses of alien ignorance constitute a rich soil for
sowing the seeds of unrest and revolt. Revolutionary agitators who come to
this country to advocate the destruction of our Government find here their
make the immigrant understand America is the only way to make him love
America. He cannot love a country he does not understand. Education is the
first requisite of Americanization. Education, first in our language, and then
in the nature of our institutions is the best defense against the bolshevik
and the anarchist.
demand is not being met. When great States like Massachusetts and New York and
Ohio have actually increased both their percentage and total of illiteracy
within the decade from 1900 to 1910 because of their failure to educate their
foreign born, we realize that even these enlightened commonwealths need
stimulation and aid.
Perhaps no disclosure of the draft examinations carries more reproach to our
intelligence than the fact that out of about 2,400,000 young men examined for
service 700,000, or nearly one-third, were found disqualified because of
physical disability. Ninety per cent of these disabilities could have been
prevented by a knowledge of the simplest rules of hygiene and health. It was
ignorance, gross ignorance, that in the vast majority of cases was the cause
of their incompetence.
is but one adequate remedy for this disgraceful and distressing condition, -
to put into all our schools a system of physical education. Unfortunately,
this has not been done. The additional cost deprives thousands of schools and
tens of thousands of children of this essential element of education. Here
again is the stimulation and help of the Nation needed to remedy the existing
EQUALIZING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
gross inequalities in educational opportunities exist within and among the
States is well known. In the South almost one-half of the negro children never
see the inside of a school room. In the North there is hardly a city that has
adequate facilities for all its children. In some rural communities and
factory districts the value of the property is so small that local taxation
cannot support the schools. On an average the country boy has two months less
school than the city boy.
Unfortunately, it is found that where the educational needs are greatest the
schools are most inadequate. All over our land the poorest schools are in the
poorest communities - just where the best schools are most needed. To equalize
educational opportunities is a task that the Nation is especially qualified to
undertake. To encourage and aid the backward States to bring their
deficiencies up to a reasonable measure of efficiency and service is
apparently a National duty. By such stimulation and cooperation we may be able
to give to every child in America the advantage of at a least a common school
PREPARATION AND PAY OF TEACHERS
most pressing educational problem confronting the people of the United States
at the present time is to obtain competent teachers for our schools. Thousands
of schools have been closed because teachers of any kind could not be secured.
Tens of thousands of schools are now being taught by incompetent teachers.
Three hundred thousand are teaching who have no professional training
equally imperative duty is that of providing means for the better preparation
of teachers. We need about 700,000 teachers to teach our schools, and this
requires about 120,000 new teachers each year to keep the quota full. Our
schools and colleges preparing for teaching are turning out but 24,000 each
year. Nearly 100,000 must enter the profession each year inadequately
prepared. This condition is alarming and must be remedied. In some way we must
bring States and the people to a realization of this danger. Unless conditions
can be bettered we will have in the present decade even a larger proportion of
near-illiterates than was disclosed by the war registration. Indifference as
to the character of our schools and their teachers will inevitably lead to a
deterioration of our citizenship. We must see to it that every school in the
land is taught by a competent teacher. Nothing less than that is safe for
either State or Nation.
illiteracy is a National peril, if ignorance of our language and institutions
is a source of danger, if unjustifiable inequalities exist in educational
opportunities in our land, if our young men called to the service of their
country are incapacitated because of ignorance of the ordinary rules of
health, if schools are being closed for want of teachers, and almost one-half
are being taught by incompetent teachers, then it can fairly be claimed that
National aid for education is justified and necessary.
urged as an objection that it is unjust to call upon the stronger States to
aid the weaker to educate their children; that the money derived from the
general taxation which would fall heaviest on the richer States should not be
used to help the poorer States; that each State should bear the burden and
responsibility of educating its own people.
objection was urged from the beginning against the whole system of public
schools. It was argued that parents should have the burden of educating their
own children and that taxation to support common schools was unconstitutional
and unjust. It was said the rich man was under no obligation to help educate
the children of the poor. It was especially urged that those having no
children to educate must not be taxed to help educate the children of others.
It was still more strenuously insisted that it was especially iniquitous to
tax the properly of a bachelor to carry on schools for others' children.
all those objections were disregarded, and now no one claims that it is unjust
to tax the rich man to educate the poor man's children, and the bachelor must
pay his taxes to support the schools, whether he wants to or not. It is
recognized that the welfare of a community or State depends upon the character
of its citizens; that the city or State is concerned for its own safety and
peace in the intelligence of all its citizens, and that each must contribute
his share to the common good.
with the Nation. We have seen how its safety may be jeopardized because of the
illiteracy and physical incapacity of so many of its young men. We have seen
how in a free Government its security and prosperity depend on the
intelligence of its entire electorate. Neither illiterates nor alien
malcontents can be confined to any one State. And so it is a National problem
as well as a State and local problem. Manifestly, it needs the cooperation of
all these to find and apply the remedy.
NATION CANNOT AFFORD IT
cost to the Government is urged as an objection to the legislation. To place
this additional burden on the Government at this time of extraordinary
expenditures would be unwise, it is said. Our people already groaning under
the weight of Federal taxes will not approve this addition to the load, it is
argued. Granting the full weight of this objection, it must be admitted that
the Nation must make choice as to its expenditures. Wise action depends on
selecting those objects for National appropriations which are most needed and
most important. There is nothing in our scheme of Government more important
than the education of the people. Whatever else may be left out, education
cannot safely be excluded. And this may be said to the credit of our people,
that the one thing that justifies a tax in their judgment is that which
strengthens and supports our public schools. There are many millions annually
appropriated which in their opinion have much less justification than the
appropriations authorized by this bill. We might cut off a hundred million
from either the Army or the Navy bills with less danger and more profit than
to omit this appropriation. We gave seventy-five millions the other day to the
States for good roads. Are good roads of more importance than good schools? We
are still spending millions to remove rocks from our harbors and snags from
our rivers; to remove hog cholera in Iowa, and cattle ticks in Texas; to
remove boll weevil in Alabama, and wheat rust in North Dakota, - are we
justified in refusing to spend anything to remove illiteracy from our own
American citizens? It is not that the things mentioned are not worthy of
consideration, but certainly they are not more worthy of consideration than is
the education of our children. Those things are after all but economic ills,
while ignorance imperils the safety and endangers the perpetuity of the Nation
are some outstanding facts regarding the relations of the Nation and the
States toward education which it is wise to recognize. There has never been
proposed in Congress any legislation which has even suggested that the Nation
should take from the States the control of education. No one has ever
advocated it, no one now proposes it, no one in or out of Congress desires it.
The proposition has no support anywhere by anyone. There is no legal authority
for such legislation if anyone did propose it. If a bill carrying such a
proposal were introduced, it would immediately be recognized as without
Constitutional warrant, and would never even reach the calendar of either
Senate or House.
claim that anyone, sponsor or supporter of the pending educational bill,
desires or expects National control of education to follow the enactment of
the legislation under consideration is without the slightest sanction. To
state that the emphatic and repeated negations expressed in the strongest
language that can be used which are incorporated in the very terms of the
proposed law mean nothing and will not be effective, is to say that no law can
be made effective by its terms.
while Congress has no desire nor purpose nor Constitutional power to take from
the States the control of education, the General Government has the right to
aid and encourage the States in the education of their and its citizens, and
this right it has exercised repeatedly from the beginning of our history to
the passage of the last Appropriation Act. It granted sections of the public
lands to the States for schools. It granted townships of land for the creation
and support of universities. Lands were given as long as they lasted, and then
money was given. Congress gives annually over two and a half million dollars
from the National Treasury for the "support and further endowment of colleges
of agriculture and mechanic arts." Every year we give tens of millions of
dollars from the National Treasury in support of almost every form of
education. Why is it that these grants are not opposed? Why is it that where
education is so much needed, at the very bottom of our political and social
structure, where it enters into the very texture of the fabric of our American
citizenship - in form about which there is no controversy and in substance the
acknowledged essential - why is it that when it is proposed to strengthen our
common school system the proposition is condemned and opposed?
must be that such opposition is based upon a misconception of the proposed
legislation. To think otherwise would be to believe that there were in our
country those who really desired the destruction of our common school system.
Such a belief no loyal American would desire to entertain.
characteristic of the American people to be intensely interested and
enthusiastic in the formation and establishment of a particular public
service, and then when they have succeeded and have placed it in what they
believe competent hands, to go off and forget about it. In a degree that has
been true of our common school system. We have been so absorbed in building
cities, making railways, plowing prairies, redeeming wildernesses and subduing
a continent that we have had little time to give to the humdrum work of the
district school. Lately all our minds and hearts, all our energy and
activities have been given to save our country and the world from a savage
onslaught of outlaw nations. And as a consequence we have allowed twenty-five
out of every one hundred of our sons and daughters to sink into deplorable
depths of illiteracy and ignorance. We must rescue them. We must see that
their successors shall not suffer like neglect and misfortune. We are
compelled to realize that an intolerable condition exists which must not be
allowed longer to continue. This calls for each of us to bear a part in the
work set before us. By the memory of those who throughout all the years of our
National life have given so much of thought and service to the upbuilding of
the Republic; by the memory of the thousands who by the sacrifice of life
itself have rescued the Nation from dishonor and destruction, we are called to
meet and will fulfill the responsibilities which now are ours!
EDUCATION MUST BE CONTINUED INTO ADULT LIFE
necessity for continuing education from the schoolroom into daily life is
being more and more emphasized in New South Wales and Labor idealists are
laying stress on the value of a thorough training which will fit the workers
for a bigger part in the control and direction of industry. New South Wales is
doubling its facilities for technical education....
East Sydney College, which will cover more than four acres and be practically
a series of separate colleges, will accommodate the students in drawing, art
metal work (including the making of jewelry and watch making) modeling,
sculpture, pottery, sanitary engineering and plumbing. One building will be
devoted to bread making and pastry with a special laboratory and with costly
ovens and machinery. In another building instruction will be given in
everything relating to transit by road, rail, sea and air, including the
building of aeroplanes and the construction of motor cars and motors. Special
attention will be given to the sheep and wool trade. An important portion of
the college will be utilized for women's handicrafts, including dressmaking,
millinery and costume designing.
the conference on the control of industry, Prof. R.F. Irvine of Sydney
University declared that the whole educational program would have to be
modified if men were to be fitted for making wise choices and initiating great
changes, and adult men and women would have to be made to realize that
education did not end with school or college, but was a life process. Two
things seemed to him to be necessary to fit men for increasing their part in
the control of industry and for making wise choices: (1) A revised program of
education for young people and adults of all classes; (2) An institution for
the collection of data relating to experiments in control, and for the
stimulation of such experiments.
"While the bursary system of the state is giving a university training every
year to a large number of working class boys, Mr. W. Davies, a member of the
Legislative Assembly, declared at the conference that the boys were being made
over into 'snobs,' this showing the necessity for a new atmosphere in that
institution. He favored the compelling of every boy to attend continuation
classes in order that he might be trained for the control of industry and that
a spirit of responsibility might be inculcated in him. The necessity for the
latter was shown by the large number of disputes in the mining industry caused
by irresponsible boys who had never been made conscious of their duty to the
rest of the community." - The Christian Science Monitor, 1921 - M.S.A.
Bulletin No. 8.
FREEMASONRY AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ‑ A GRAND MASTERS' SYMPOSIUM
is it that Freemasons have ever been so interested in the public schools? The
answer is not far to seek. Free masonry itself is chiefly in existence to
foster the growth of democracy and equality among men: other aims it has, but
none more paramount than this, or more vital to itself and to the world. If
this ideal is ever to be realized in this land it will be realized very
largely through the public school system, because the wit of man has never
devised, nor could devise, an institution more ideally fitted to organize the
lives of men according to the spirit and principles of democracy and equality.
Moreover, our Fraternity has very much at stake in the American government,
and this government, as everybody knows, has in the public school system one
of its principal bulwarks. There are other reasons why Masons, as Masons, are
always eager to foster and protect general education but these reasons are
sufficient here. In order to do its bit in this worthful cause the National
Masonic Research Society has prepared this special public school number of THE
BUILDER, and to the end that its account of Freemasonry and the public schools
be as representative as possible it has asked the Grand Masters of the country
to speak each one for his own jurisdiction, a thing they have done with prompt
courtesy, and to good effect, as these communications show.
Schools Teach Love of Country.
can be no grander theme to engross the attention of the Master Mason than that
subject which has to do with the public school education of the children of
our nation. This is a subject of deepest interest to every citizen, inasmuch
as the happiness of all classes is bound up in the common interest of
have come to regard our public schools as the very backbone of our
youth who believes it is impossible for him to obtain an education is deemed
deficient in courage and energy in this enlightened age, and ignorance is
considered a voluntary misfortune.
public schools offer to our boys and girls the training that is necessary to
prepare them for the common duties of life, and, if they wish, they may delve
into the fields of classic lore and polite literature.
the most humble has within his reach the opportunity to obtain sufficient
education to enable him to appear advantageously in the theatre of life.
public schools have made rapid strides in the years that have passed but there
is yet much that could be done that would add to their usefulness and
efficiency if we are to keep pace with modern civilization.
our duty as Masons and citizens to keep in close touch with school affairs in
our own community, as well as to inform ourselves on educational matters in
general. We should consider it a privilege to aid in any possible way the
cause of public education to the end that our schools may be brought up to the
highest possible degree of efficiency, and the standard of the teaching
profession be upheld upon a higher plane, realizing that there is no interest
above that of the children themselves.
our educational plan we must insist upon the education of the whole man, the
body, the mind and the heart, that he may be a complete creature of his kind.
Classic lore has its place in education, but is valuable only when linked with
a vast amount of practical intelligence that can be fitted for every-day use.
Our public schools are valuable only insofar as they train all the faculties
in the right direction.
Besides the teaching of the proverbial three R's we must not forget the many
important lessons in Patriotism; love of country, respect for all the laws of
our land, reverence for things holy and kindred subjects. It is in our public
schools that we must depend largely for the study of the psychology of our
foreigner, consider his needs and win his loyalty if he is to become a citizen
in any real sense.
not this work of public education one of inestimable importance, and one which
is worth the careful and thoughtful consideration of every Master Mason ?
us not neglect our duty in so important a matter.
C. Smith, Grand Master, Montana.
* * *
as Well as Poor Should be Educated in Public Schools.
progress of civilization has been marked by the progress of education. The
height to which any people have been able to attain has been in direct
proportion to the dissemination of learning among them. Every means of
teaching the young the principles of sterling worth and the knowledge that
gives an understanding of the problems of life should be fostered among all
right thinking people.
public schools of America afford the one great channel through which men can
effectively aid in preparing the young for useful, patriotic citizenship.
Other means of teaching will not reach the masses and, therefore, cannot
render the great service that comes through the public schools.
Federal Bureau of Education provides the following figures: Of 31,981
distinguished Americans only 31 were limited to an elementary education and
only 3,110 received merely a high school education; whereas, 28,840 were
college graduates. There can be no college graduates without training in
grades. Consequently, all of these received lower academic teaching. If we
would raise the standard of our citizenship, and produce Americans of real
distinction, we must place before the masses of the people educational
opportunities. Every man who is committed to this high purpose must favor
every move that will lend broader extension and greater efficiency to our
public school system.
from the question of providing educational advantages to the young of limited
means, I am impressed with the belief that children of wealthier families
should also be given training in public schools. It is here that they are
brought into contact with the representatives of homes of all classes and are
given that association with others of strange environment which will develop
the characteristics that have made Americans democratic. Other countries may
support the private schools where the so-called aristocracy are trained in
manners, culture, dress and snobbishness, but practical America must maintain
and develop to the uttermost that school system which, by teaching and
association, will best cultivate in the Americans of tomorrow the democratic
principles of justice, fairness and tolerance.
Julian F. Spearman, Grand Master, Alabama.
* * *
Competent Teachers Essential to Good Citizenship
late Brother Theodore Roosevelt, while addressing a vast assemblage of school
teachers at Ocean Grove, N. J., once said: "Teachers, in your hands lies the
destiny of our nation!" How clearly he saw the truth!
stability of our government and the welfare of our free institutions developed
under it depend entirely upon the character of our citizenship. Our schools
impress character upon the youth of the land. This work is in large part
actually in the hands of our public school teachers. If they do their work
well, the future of the nation is assured! If they are unable to do it well,
the nation is in danger.
a purely patriotic standpoint, therefore, it is clearly our duty to see to it
that we have the best school teachers we can obtain, and place at their
disposal the necessary equipment to enable them to do their work well. To do
this more money must be appropriated for the maintenance of our public schools
than is now available. This money will not be forthcoming unless there is an
irresistible public demand for it. The public will demand it when it becomes
clearly conscious of the necessity for it. This public consciousness can only
be aroused by a proper presentation of facts and figures and by intelligent
effort on the part of those who are entirely familiar with the various aspects
of the problem.
Masonry stands for good citizenship. Every Mason is under an obligation to
consider the welfare of his country at all times.
Masonry as an institution should undertake to bring its individual members to
a proper realization of the necessities confronting our various public school
systems, and thoroughly familiarize them with the facts, it would furnish the
country a group of representative men who can and will arouse public opinion.
Shall Masonry undertake this task?
Charles C. Coombs, Grand Master, Dist. of Columbia.
* * *
Freemasons were Active in Founding Iowa Public Schools
public school system of education has ever had the full interest and support
of the Masonic fraternity in this commonwealth. The settlement of Iowa and the
development of its educational facilities (even during its pioneer days) are a
story of absorbing interest; and in the annals of that time we find the
leaders of our Craft in the forefront of the movement for general education
through public schools maintained at public expense.
reputation of Iowa schools proves the extent and success of those efforts.
have no doubt that I speak for all Masons of Iowa as well as for myself when I
say that we are emphatically in favor of a state and national system that
shall require every child in each commonwealth to have at least an elementary
and secondary education in free public schools maintained by general taxation
and affording an equal opportunity to all.
Furthermore, that it be mandatory that the English language be used with a
uniform course of instruction in these grades; that the ideals and principles
of representative American government be taught throughout all the grades; and
that training in our public schools be made a necessary qualification for
teachers in the same. Furthermore, that the hygienic, physical and moral
welfare of the child should have attention as the intellectual development, so
that the future citizens of our country may be fully equal to their
Alberson, Grand Master, Iowa.
* * *
Masons Must Support the Public School System in its Present Crisis
past two years of reaction from the emotional intensity of the World War have
given us a breathing space in which to appraise, in some measure, the
magnitude of the task of adjusting ourselves to new world conditions.
summons of peace is not to complacent repose, but to still more strenuous
endeavor for enduring good. The task that now confronts us is the conquest of
the allied forces of ignorance, selfishness and prejudice. For victory we must
look to the armies of peace, the teachers and pupils of the public schools.
The forces of the whole nation must be mobilized in their support. Everywhere
the Craft is seeking opportunities for service and everywhere instances are
multiplying which point to the existing public school crisis as the logical
field for Masonic devotion and endeavor.
subject of public education has ever been close to the hearts of our greatest
men and Masons. Our Brother Washington founded at Alexandria and endowed one
of the first free schools in Virginia. Our Brother Franklin founded the first
free public school at Philadelphia. Indeed, one of Franklin's opponents there
has left on record the complaint that "the people who are promoting the free
schools are the Grand Masters and Wardens among the Freemasons, their very
pillars." Our Brother Dewitt Clinton founded the free public school system of
our own great Commonwealth, and our Grand Lodge gave the first New York free
school generous patronage and support.
mingling of children of every race, creed and degree in common schools,
publicly supported, tends to bind together the whole population with the
strong ties of common customs and a common tongue and to make this a
thoroughly united nation. In the language of Brother Washington "the more
homogenous our citizens can be made in principles, opinions and manners, the
greater will be our prospects of permanent union." These ideas are truly
Masonic. The public schools are the only means whereby the prosperity, nay,
the very survival, of our beloved Fraternity can be safeguarded, and the
perpetuity of the institutions that underlie our civil and religious liberties
Freemasons everywhere rally unitedly to their support.
Robert H. Robinson, Grand Master, New York.
* * *
Education Must be Represented in the President's Cabinet
all the important public questions of interest to the people of the United
States, there is none more vital to the future welfare of our country than
that of the public schools. It is imperatively necessary that the boys and
girls of today, who are to be the citizens of tomorrow, shall acquire in the
public schools such a common stock of ideas and ideals that the stability of
our government and the perpetuity of our institutions will be assured.
real democracy can exist with success only if there is true democracy in
education, that is, equal educational opportunity for all. It has been clearly
demonstrated by the experience of the past that if this equality of
educational opportunity is to exist, since the states by themselves are unable
to provide this, financial aid from the national government is necessary. If a
reasonable amount of financial assistance is given to the several states, each
child in the entire country can be assured the minimum amount of education;
illiteracy will gradually disappear, and the great work of Americanization can
be more vigorously carried on. It will be possible to conduct with greater
success other educational activities, such as health education.
importance and dignity of education in this country demand that this important
work be represented in our national government, not by a subordinate bureau
but by one of the great departments, with a Secretary at its head, who should
be a member of the Cabinet of the President. If all these measures outlined
above be adopted, great care should be taken that each state of our Union
retain complete control of its educational policy and procedure. All of these
provisions are, I understand, carefully included in the Towner-Sterling bill
which is now before Congress; if this bill is enacted into law, the beneficial
effect upon education in this country will be quickly realized.
Warren S. Seipp, Grand Master, Maryland.
* * *
Shalt Exalt the Public School
viewing the question of public schools, there are certain facts that stand out
Public schools are consistent with and necessary to the maintenance of that
liberty and pursuit of happiness guaranteed in the fundamental utterances of
our laws. The untutored mind may know license but it cannot have the highest
sense of real liberty.
Public schools are necessary to perpetuate the principles and verify the
eternal truth proclaimed in the American Declaration of Independence "that all
men are created equal" (as to privileges and immunities under the law); and
without a system of free schooling supported by the state and so regulated as
to perform the most efficient service, the great mass of the people born
unequal as to environments, wealth and opportunity would remain in ignorance
and thus become a prey to the unscrupulous and the charlatan.
Without an efficient system of free schools, higher education can never become
at all general. The free schools must feed the colleges and universities if,
indeed, they are to be fed - a necessary nourishment for their growth and
following, constituting the fourth of ten "Home Town Commandments" which
appeared in The University of North Carolina News Letter of April 19, 1922, is
to be commended:
shalt exalt thy public school and honor it all the days of thy life with the
best of teachers, buildings and equipments, for the school is the cradle of
the future. Thy children are here and they shall be the leaders of tomorrow.
No training is too good for them and no preparation superfluous."
H. Webb, Grand Master, North Carolina.
* * *
Public School Serves No Scheming Interest at Home or Abroad.
assertion that the public school is the cornerstone of American liberty has
become a truism. We reiterate the declaration at frequent intervals, but many
of us fail to realize wherein lies the greatness of this typical American
public school is remarkable and successful for several reasons. It is the
natural outgrowth of American ideals and life and development, a concrete
expression of the American spirit and of what we term Americanism. It is
democracy in education, and bears much the same position with regard to the
other educational systems of the world as does the American theory and system
of government to those of the various other nations.
public school in the United States is great because it is the school of all
the people. It is confined to no region, sect, race, color or narrow selfish
interest. It is the same in Maine, California, Louisiana or North Dakota. It
places one stamp upon the boys and girls who pass through its courses and that
mark is the shaping touch that makes an American from whatever state he comes.
Unlike many another hallmark, the stamp of the American public school is an
evidence of broadening instead of narrowing; of stimulus to thought and
initiative and achievement, not stultifying; of personal independence of
thought and soul, not attachment to an imposed creed or system; of upward
impulsion toward everything clean and wholesome and pure and helpful.
power of the public school lies largely in the fact that it is pure and single
in its purpose. Its sole aims are to train the minds, develop the bodies, make
skillful the hands, quicken the hearts and ennoble the souls of the youth it
touches. Its one purpose is to make splendid men and women, ideal Americans
and exemplary citizens. It has no other purpose and it serves no selfish
scheming interest at home or abroad.
E. Byorum, Grand Master, North Dakota.
* * *
Schools Make for Democracy
is no agency in our American life that is capable of doing more for the
advancement of the common welfare of our people than our public school. In
that fortress of democracy our children of all classes meet, day after day,
from the age of six or seven years, up to the age of from fifteen to eighteen
that most impressionable age when character is formed and when the men and
women of the tomorrows are shaping their opinions of life, and determining the
course they will take.
highly important in a country like ours that every man and woman shall
understand and appreciate every other man and woman, and recognize the fact
that each of us is the "architect of his own fortune." In America opportunity
smiles upon all. The names of the men and women prominent in American life
today reveal the fact that it is integrity and efficiency that count and not
the accident of one's birth. The public school brings the children of all
races, of all creeds, of all political beliefs together, and makes Americans
of them all; and as American citizens they each and all see the value in
others, and come to appreciate that value.
public school system of America is not perfect. It has perfection for its
ideal however, and is moving rapidly in that direction; and therefore its
permanency is assured. As the objective of this great American institution is
better understood, it will be more loyally supported by all good and true
American people. Long live the American public school.
George C. Williams, Grand Master, Delaware.
* * *
Dakota is Heartily In Favor of the Towner‑Sterling Bill.
want to say that I am heartily in accord with the movement that is under way
to improve the educational system in the United States. I believe that nearly
all the Masons of this jurisdiction are of the same mind. It would be a long
step for good if we would have a law in every state requiring every child
between the ages of six and sixteen inclusive to attend the public school. Of
course, those who are physically deficient or who are backward should have
special attention and assistance, that all may have an equal chance to gain an
education which will fit them for the duties of future citizenship.
improvement in our public school system will come a higher standard of living,
better morals and cleaner lives. As some one has pointed out, every child
should have the right to be cleanly bred, rightly fed, and clearly taught.
this state we have a very good set of school laws and with but little change
we could receive the benefits provided for in the Towner-Sterling Bill should
it pass our national legislative body. Some objection has been made to this
bill on account of the appropriation it carries. I do not know of a better use
to which we can apply our funds, and certainly it is better to improve our
children and make better citizens, stronger men and women, than to spend all
in the improvement of hogs, cattle, etc.
Whorton, Grand Master, South Dakota.
* * *
Masons Should Interest Themselves in School Elections
believe in the American public school - first, last, and all the time. I
believe that the greatest influence in our American life today is the public
school, and therefore it should be carefully guarded, continually improved and
realize now that we have lacked the vision the founders of our government had
when they wrote the constitution of this country, and that we have not
consistently used our energies to improve future generations. We have
concerned ourselves about the educational system only insofar as it affected
our immediate needs.
are to remain united as a nation, it is necessary that American ideals be
implanted in the youth of the land. The public school is the only agency that
can successfully accomplish this. Make elementary education compulsory in the
public school and teach the American language only. Compel the child to read,
write and think in the American language. Only in proportion as he can think
in this language can he appreciate the American spirit, and the American
government. The parochial school draws a line of division across the
community, and should therefore be eliminated.
men and women of the highest ideals can impart the spirit of the country and
the teaching profession must be made attractive - better salaries, better
teachers, better schools.
Masons everywhere should interest themselves in school elections, placing men
on school boards who believe in the American public school system.
Minnesota we hope that before another year has passed, we shall have had the
opportunity to preach the gospel of the public school in every lodge room in
the state. Competent speakers, with motion picture outfits, will be sent into
every part of the state, and the needs and advantages of the public school
will be demonstrated. The Towner-Sterling Bill will be explained and
believe that physical education, and instruction in the principles of health
and sanitation, should be taught to all children and through the public
schools. The future of our country, mentally, morally and spiritually, will
depend on the physical condition of the coming generations.
Herman Held, Grand Master, Minnesota.
* * *
Schools Should be Bulwarks Against Bolshevism
it is the duty of every Mason to be interested in the public schools, it is
especially the duty of those of our eastern states to be particularly
vigilant, for it is in the east that the obnoxious red doctrines of
continental Europe are being secretly, and in some places, publicly taught.
Even in some of our standard colleges there have been instances where
professors, aided and abetted by parlor radicals living on inherited wealth,
have been making covert attacks on American institutions. History teaches us
that the school and the lodge were the pioneers and outposts of our
civilization, and that our present public school system originated with and
was flowered and protected by Masons. Therefore, each of us should constitute
himself a committee of one to see that the schools of his town are the best,
or at least the equal of any, in the land; and that support and reverence for
law and order, and love for the flag, are taught free from any foreign taint
or continental influence of any sort.
L. Wilder, Grand Master, Connecticut.
* * *
Tennessee Stands for the Development of Primary Schools.
public school number of THE BUILDER just at this time is very essential and
timely! Let's make it unanimous! Especially so far as Masons are concerned.
Every Grand Master at least should be closely in touch with the educational
movement as to be heartily in favor of public schools, and I am sure the only
reason that every Mason is not in full sympathy with the course of education
is due to the fact that he has not given much thought to this subject.
happy to say that the Grand Jurisdiction of Tennessee is squarely behind the
idea of developing the primary public schools to the end that every child may
have equal opportunity to secure an education. I am of the opinion that no
greater movement for good has ever been launched by the Masonic Fraternity and
wonderful progress has been made; many rural districts report decided
idea carries with it not only the endorsement of public schools, but the
education of our own members - nay more - the enlightenment of our members as
to what they owe the world and humanity.
believe the success of the Masonic educational movement is assured in
Tennessee as Brother Joseph A. Fowler, our State Chairman, is very earnest in
his efforts. He is thoroughly capable and a Mason of splendid ability.
public schools! By all means - that great democratic institution where
children, rich and poor, may mingle together and learn the fact that they are
Walker M. Taylor, Grand Master, Tennessee.
* * *
Institutions Cannot Exist Without Schools
can be no question of the vital importance to any free government of a
comprehensive and effective system of free, public education. It is absolutely
impossible that free institutions should exist without the basis of an
intelligent electorate. Every citizen should be capable of reading as well as
hearing the views and opinions which may be set forth for or against proposed
legislation or candidates for office. So far as possible he should be
sufficiently educated to understand what he hears and reads, and to weigh and
compare conflicting statements. This is a large requirement, but all history
shows that it is an irreducible minimum.
Freemasonry is the foe of ignorance, tyranny, and superstition. Education is
the only weapon by which these great foes of mankind can be conquered. It is
the Masonic duty of every member of our Fraternity to do his best to forge
this weapon and strengthen the arms of those who wield it.
Freemasons are bound by their obligations, and by loyalty to the principles of
our order, to be good citizens. It is, therefore, their duty to do everything
in their power for the promotion of good citizenship. Nothing is more
essential to good citizenship than education.
experience of the great war has shown conclusively that our educational system
is not functioning as well as we expected. Discoveries which were made with
regard to the illiteracy of the young men in our drafted army were not only
surprising but extremely disconcerting. The immediate need of the time is the
strengthening of our educational system sufficiently to enable it to do what
it should do, and what until 1917 we all thought it was doing.
the duty of every Freemason to do everything that he can to help the cause of
education in his community, in the state, and in the nation. He should labor
in every possible way to exert all the influence he has in all ways in which
such influence may be exerted in this good work.
does not mean that the Masonic Fraternity, as an organization, should put
itself behind any specific legislation, or attempt to adopt an educational
legislative program. Such a course would do more harm than good both to
education and to Freemasonry. It would distinctly lower the plane of
discussion and bring into it considerations and antagonisms which would be
harmful in the extreme.
all the members of our great Fraternity can be roused to the sense of personal
responsibility and made to feel that each one of them has a sacred duty to
perform and that he cannot rest until he has performed it, we need not worry
as his right choice of methods and measures.
Frederick Hamilton, Grand Secretary, Massachusetts.
* * *
Nevada Masonry is Strong for the Public Schools
the dawn when man first realized that light and more light would make his
world larger, his life broader and his heart happier, he has as with tenacles
reached out for truth and more truth. Our present-day public school system has
been evolved from that hungering for knowledge. Susceptible of improvement
though it be, our public school system is the best on God's footstool and
every man and woman, of whatever affiliation or creed, if he or she desires to
realize a dream of yet higher civilization should be back of, and ready with
instant support for, the public school.
the forbears of Masonry were entrusted the arts and sciences of their day.
Upon them devolved the duty of pointing the way to larger intellectual life.
Such through the generations has been the big objective, the star that held
the compass by which the fathers of present-day Masonry sailed through the
storms that would surely have wrecked them long years ago had their purpose
been selfish and the ends of their existence small.
all the impetus that comes from Masonic traditions and history, teaching as
they do that Masons of the past have been the pathfinders, the pioneers in
intellectual development, surely Masonry of today is recreant to its trust
unless every Mason is alert to defend and support the public schools.
Masonry must be aligned with the forces that seek the us up-building of our
educational system, for Masonry can only prosper in the sunlight of education:
its enemies prosper only when the black hoodwink of ignorance clouds the
vision of men and women. In this jurisdiction Masonry is strong for the public
G. Campbell, Grand Master, Nevada.
* * *
Selection of Teachers Is of Greatest Importance
public school question in this country is a live one and every red-blooded
American should be vitally interested in it. But the public school is
absolutely in no danger from its friends or its enemies. It is the basis upon
which are founded our free institutions and it will survive all opposition.
True, the system occasionally needs revising, improving and directing. Of this
there can be no doubt. In the present day the tendency to drift away from
fundamentals is the result of over anxiety on the part of its friends. This,
however, is only temporary. As a system it will soon regain its equilibrium
and it will continue to go forward in its chosen field.
additional legislation for the benefit of the public schools should be
undertaken with the greatest care, and its only aim should be to improve the
personnel of the teaching force. After all is said and done the teacher is the
school and stands for more than expensive equipment and fine buildings. Guard
well the entrance to the teacher's ranks, and you will accomplish a work of
the utmost importance.
law making bodies everywhere are opened with prayer. How much more important
it is that our public schools should open each morning with a proper
recognition of the Supreme Being. The reading of the Bible should not be
denied to the teacher who feels its worth and its usefulness in impressing
upon pupils the highest standard of moral and upright living.
Jeter, Grand Master, Idaho.
* * *
Religion Cannot be Taught in the Public Schools.
is a gregarious animal. For self preservation gregarious creatures have
leaders. With the lower animals these leaders occupy their position by
physical force: the leadership with man is on a different plane to that of the
unthinking creature governed by instinct; his leadership is, or should be,
based upon reason. The activities growing out of reason are so varied and
numerous that it becomes necessary in order to bring about the greatest
success that not a few but all of society must in as great a measure as
possible be qualified to become leaders of at least one of these activities.
quite a time it was mainly the Church that took charge of preparing or
educating people for leadership. That a sufficient number of people were not
educated under this system to carry on these activities past and present
history confirms. The state then for self preservation instituted public
schools. Individuals or organizations are loath to surrender what power they
may possess, hence the antagonism of the Church to the public schools.
Individuals recognizing their interest in humanity have as of yore aided in
the work of educating. Since nations that foster the public schools are the
most prosperous and efficient we must conclude such schools are beneficial and
should be preserved.
"Knowledge is power." The best safeguard against the improper use of that
power is moral force. Some religions do not separate morals from religion. Our
national Constitution grants no preference to any religion; therefore we can
not teach religion in the public schools. The morals of our country are as
good as those of any other country. We therefore conclude the public schools
are not destructive of morals.
Kirby, Grand Master, Arkansas.
* * *
Public School is Confronted by Three Ruffians.
needless to affirm the statement that all Freemasons must of necessity do
everything in their power to support and uphold the public school system.
However, just at the present time, our public school system is passing through
the most serious condition that it has ever had to face. The present
widespread complaint in regard to taxes has brought this subject squarely
before every right-thinking citizen.
are three classes of people who are fighting the public school system; the
vicious, the penurious, and the ignorant. In our state, the Lutheran and the
Roman Catholic churches have joined hands, after fighting each other for 400
years, and are carrying a case to the Supreme Court of the United States in an
endeavor to invalidate our language law. The second class, almost as dangerous
as the first, does not want to furnish adequate school buildings and equipment
and fight every move to improve the schools. They, together with the third
class, who have very little if any education themselves, and do not care
whether their children have an equal chance in the world with others or not,
continually object to the payment of reasonable salaries to teachers, to
proper medical supervision of the children, and to all forms of sanitation.
The whole question resolves itself, as I see it, as to whether we are "our
brother's keeper" or not. Are we willing that our brother's children shall
have the same advantage and opportunity in the world as ours? Who can measure
the worth of a child in dollars and cents? It is a time, in my judgment, for
every red-blooded American-loving Mason to endeavor to see that the public
school system is supported in every manner in his community, keeping
distinctly in mind the thought that we ought to be for America first and not
E. Smith, Grand Master, Nebraska.
* * *
Masonry at Work in Oregon.
thoughts on the public school question are embodied in the following Official
Circular which I issued to the constituent lodges of this Grand Jurisdiction
under date of February 1, 1922:
promotion and extension of our free public school system is a logical field
for Masonic activity. The progress of every initiate in Masonry is one of
advancement from darkness to light. Light and knowledge are synonymous terms
history of public school education is closely interwoven with the history of
Masonic progress, and to these we owe in a great measure the wonderful
progress of our country. Brother George Washington, among his many other great
achievements, founded one of the first free schools in Virginia; Brother
Franklin, the first free school in Philadelphia; and Brother Dewitt Clinton,
the free public school system in the great state of New York. All of these
were and are revered as leaders in Ancient Craft Masonry.
have a strong and united nation every one must assist in the promotion of
public education. This means the bringing of all children into the public
school where equality and fraternity will give us men and women who will
maintain and defend a united nation.
Grand Lodge, at its 70th Annual Communication, unanimously proclaimed this
principle in the following unmistakable terms:
we recognize and proclaim our belief in the free and compulsory education of
the children of our nation in public primary schools supported by public
taxation, upon which all children shall attend and shall be instructed in the
English language only without regard to race or creed as the only sure
foundation for the perpetuation and preservation of our free institutions,
guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and we pledge the efforts
of the membership of this body to promote by all lawful means the
organization, extension and development to the highest degree of such schools,
and to oppose any and all efforts of any and all who seek to limit, curtail,
hinder or destroy the public school system of our land.
the 71st Annual Communication the Grand Lodge, by resolution, recommended your
Grand Master to use his influence and authority in support of our free and
non-sectarian educational system, and unanimously approved the Towner-Sterling
Bill (successor to the Smith-Towner Bill) providing for a Department of
Education. Our nation today stands alone among the world's great nations as
having no separate educational department in its national government.
Believing that I am only expressing the views of every thoughtful Mason, I
invite and request each lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction to set apart and
devote one special meeting during the month of February as a Public School
Night. I suggest that competent speakers be secured to present to the lodges
the great importance of this subject, the qualifications of those who may be
called to administer our school system, and also the merits of the
Towner-Sterling Bill as a national program for public education. This should
also include an opportunity for a discussion by the brethren, of all matters
affecting our educational system in open lodge. I furthermore recommend that
each lodge appoint a committee to investigate and report upon the condition
and needs of the schools in its particular district and also to serve as a
means of communication between school authorities and the lodges.
compliance with the recommendations of the Grand Lodge your attention is
called to this most important matter, and you are directed to read this
official circular at the first communication following its receipt and to file
a report of the action taken with your District Deputy Grand Master.
S. Baillie, Grand Master, Oregon.
* * *
Believes that the V. S. L. Should be Taught in Every School.
public school system of the different states in the Union is of the gravest
importance to the whole country. It is the place where, in large measure, the
character, hopes and plans of our children are moulded. If America is to
remain a free country the rising generation must be properly taught. When we
look about us and realize the inroads that have been made by an insidious foe
against the freedom of our country it should arouse every man, woman and child
to an earnest purpose to do his or her part to throttle this beast.
believe in the free and compulsory education of the children of the nation,
and that the public schools should be supported by taxation. I believe that
the Towner-Sterling Educational Bill should have the hearty support of every
right thinking man and woman in this country. I believe that the Holy Bible,
that great light in Masonry, should be taught in every public school in the
whole nation, especially in the state colleges and universities. I believe
that every public school teacher should be required by law to qualify to teach
the Bible. I believe that the English language should be the only language
taught in our public schools.
those who seek our shores from foreign parts are not willing to adopt our
language then send them back from whence they came or let them go where they
can find a more congenial people. We want one language, one people!
irrevocably in favor of the separation of church and state.
Murphy, Grand Master, Mississippi.
* * *
State Should Adjust its School System to its Own Resources
the public school is of supreme importance throughout our country is, I take
it, generally conceded. In a republic where government derives its powers from
the governed, where policies are determined and laws enacted by the
representatives of the people, it is vitally important that the electorate
should be educated. But just how far the state should go, how wide in scope
the curriculum of the schools should be, must, it appear to me, be left to the
people in the several states to determine. A populous state with ample means
at its command would naturally be expected to spend more on its school
buildings, pay better salaries to its teachers, and provide for a greater
number of schools of the higher grades than could a state sparsely populated
and with less means. The question then of the "public school" is one to be
determined primarily by the ability of the community to pay.
our state we have a splendid school system. In the city in which I live the
School Board has the taxing power and I believe that both the state and the
city are, considering the enormous burdens of taxation we are all bearing,
doing all that should be done in the way of giving education to the masses. I
do not believe that the time has yet come when the state ought to attempt to
give university education to all the boys and girls. A high school education
is ample equipment for the intelligent discharge of the duties of citizenship
and I think the every‑day happenings of life demonstrate that high school boys
make as good a showing in business and in the professions as do university
Abraham M. Beitler, Grand Master, Pennsylvania.
* * *
Sectarian Schools are a Thing of the Past
tolerant is a cardinal principle of Masonry and one of the most blessed
virtues of mankind, especially in the matter of being considerate of the
opinions of others, but it ceases to be a virtue the moment it fails to hold
to principles that will be of the most benefit to the majority.
Viewing the situation as we do, it seems incredible that the public school
system, such as we have in the United States and parts of Central Europe,
should have an adversary, but the fact remains nevertheless that educational
legislation, both state and national, meets with its share of opposition.
this condition is attributed partly to the matter of economy, we believe this
feature is negligible in comparison with other potent factors. The burden of
taxation falls on those most able to pay, except in a minority of cases, which
is a natural law and could not be otherwise; and while most tax payers believe
it to be a special prerogative to complain about the payment of taxes, it is
the ignorant or miserly who find fault with judicious expenditure of public
funds for educational purposes.
gratifying to know that those at the head of corporations employing large
numbers of men are rapidly learning that the best results are not obtained by
employing the lowly and ignorant from Southern Europe and the Orient, because
it is through this class of workmen that the unscrupulous agitator gets his
living and creates strife and dissension between the employer and employee and
is detrimental to both. This cannot be accomplished among the more enlightened
classes of workmen because they do their own thinking. When the thinking is
done by the masses, peace and harmony usually prevail and employer and
employee are benefited thereby.
parochial or sectarian schools should be given great credit for the excellent
work they have done in the past. They made education possible at times when it
could not have otherwise been obscure when there were no others. They
pioneered in advance of the public school, but we believe their period of
usefulness is at an end, particularly in our country. Humanity has always been
benefited with conveniences suitable to the particular period, but
conveniences of one period are often found to be detrimental to another.
Gibson, Grand Master, Utah.
* * *
American Public School is the Greatest of all Educational Institutions.
republic such as ours where the people are under a Constitution that is the
source of all power, and where it was intended that through their chosen
representatives they should enact and administer all laws governing our civic
relations both intellect and information in the masses are essential to our
prosperity and to our perpetuity as a national entity.
Equality of intellect is a natural impossibility, but through education all
persons above the class of feeble-mindedness may be brought to a point where
they can reasonably exercise the rights of citizens.
American public school system was evolved for the purpose of giving to the
youth of our land the opportunity to acquire the foundation at least for a
superstructure of information that would enable them to intelligently perform
their duties as citizens.
has been improved by time and experience until it has reached the point where
it stands at the head of all the basic educational systems in the world and it
is continually being bettered.
one claims that it is perfect - being a human institution no one expects
perfection - but those who rail against it offer nothing in its stead that can
compare with it in the results accomplished or in promises for the future.
American public school system has been charged in some quarters with
inflexibility, and with measuring all growing intellects with the same
yardstick; but the products of our grammar and high schools have shown an
adaptability to conditions, and a versatility of talents, that compare most
favorably with those from private and parochial institutions.
has also been charged with being Godless in that neither the catechism nor the
calendar of saints are chanted as an opening exercise for the day; but here
again the records of our criminal courts show that the pupils and the
graduates of the American public school are less addicted to infractions of
the decalogue than are those of some opposition agencies which are loudest in
the many charges against the public school system, one is conspicuous by its
absence. It has never been accused of inculcating disloyalty to our
government, disrespect to the emblem of our nationality, nor a divided
allegiance between the land in which we live and any other government, power
Lucius Dills, Grand Master, New Mexico.
* * *
Masonry Should Take an Active Interest in the Public Schools.
subject of "Freemasonry's Attitude Toward the Public School System" might be
divided into two parts - one being what the attitude actually is, and the
other what it should be.
think that Freemasonry's attitude toward our schools is in most ways quite
similar to the attitude of the general public. It is to be hoped that Masons
take a little more interest in our schools than other people do, but neither
Masons nor those who are not Masons, take the interest they should take.
Masons have taken a special interest in our schools, and have carefully
studied our public school system. Their attitude might be considered the
attitude that Freemasonry should take. In this probably the first point would
be that Masons should take a more active interest in our school system, for
the work our schools are doing is in accord with the ideas of Masonry. The
schools spread knowledge, truth and light. The schools teach our children to
be moral and upright, and to be good citizens. Masonry teaches the higher
things of life, and so do our public schools. They help fit our children for
business, trades, and professions, but the right kind of education is also an
education for better living and for culture.
special teaching that is being done in our schools by giving extra help to
those who do not learn readily should be commended by Masonry. This helps give
an equal opportunity in later life to those who would otherwise be under a
put it briefly I would say that Freemasonry should take an active and keen
interest in our public schools. If we take this interest, we will learn what
the problems of our schools are, and we will be able to help lead the way in
Holliday, Grand Master, Wyoming.
* * *
Schools Should not be Used for Propaganda Purposes.
have been a teacher in secondary schools for twenty-seven years. My opinion
regarding the way in which the public school system is functioning in this
country will, therefore, differ in viewpoint from most patrons of the public
public seems to have been gradually putting on the schools, or requiring of
them, the performance of functions which a generation ago were well performed
in the home. It seems to me that it is putting too heavy a task on the teacher
to expect her to give the child not only mental training but also moral and
spiritual training as well. I omit physical training, which the school needs
to give in order that the child may be trained mentally, in naming those
activities the parent has relegated to the teacher. Personally I would hold
the teacher to her task of providing mental development, and a broad outlook
on life - a means of orientation by which the boy or girl may find himself
when he enters his life work. And I would not consider it her task to provide
him with a code of good morals or with a practical religion, but would expect
the home to be responsible for these most necessary elements of a stood
a word regarding the use of the schools to promote this or that desirable end,
a use which was very extensive during the great war and has not entirely
ceased even yet, and which remains in the form of the various "weeks" that
schools are depended on to advertise. All this activity intrudes upon the real
object of education in school, and in addition to hindering this aim, it is
most insidious in its appeal, for no teacher wishes to appear uninterested in
these worthy movements. I wish to register a firm protest against using the
school for propaganda purposes.
Masons as citizens are of course deeply interested in the progress of the
public schools. They can do much to help this progress. They can insist on
generous appropriations for school purposes. No school unit in the country,
probably, is at present contributing liberally enough to its public school
system. Masons can make it their continuing business to see that the school
administration is efficient and that the funds are wisely expended. They can
visit the schools and learn at first hand how the teachers are doing their
work, the work for which all the citizens are paying. Why not have a private
committee of Masons who shall make it their business, as citizens of course,
to see that the school system is what it ought to be ?
you have a statement. And I have relieved my mind for once of a few of the
complaints it harbors.
Harriman, Grand Master, Vermont.
* * *
us to Heed President Harding's Warning.
public school question should be paramount in the minds of the American
people. It has been truly said that "Education is a better safeguard to our
liberties than a standing army."
we are living in a commercial age. Everything seems to be weighed and measured
by the "Gold Standard." We are prone to forget that the strength, support and
supremacy of our Democracy depends on the virtue, intelligence, and prosperity
of its people. Governments may rise and flourish but will surely decay if they
do not recognize this fact. Vice, crime, prejudice, ignorance and superstition
are the handmaids to anarchy and bolshevism.
public school is the foundation stone of the liberties and the bulwark of our
President Harding is quoted as saying, "The Education of the American child
has fallen below the standard necessary for the protection of our future." If
this be true, it is high time that we arouse ourselves from our lethargy and
indifference to the needs of our educational system.
* * *
order to maintain our high ideals as a nation, this government must take as
one of its most pressing and serious problems the question of education. Our
Government shall not have done its full duty until every child in the United
States shall be guaranteed not only Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of
Happiness but an equal opportunity to develop mentally and physically to the
highest possible degree.
us give more freely of our thought, service, and substance in developing and
maintaining a higher, broader, better and more practical system of education.
Weiler, Grand Master, Wisconsin.
* * *
Freemasonry is the Uncompromising Foe of Ignorance and Superstition.
Standing as the uncompromising foe of ignorance and superstition Masonry has
ever been a consistent advocate of education and religious tolerance.
Combatting the forces of darkness and bigotry with enlightened reason she
early became the champion of schools for the diffusion of light and knowledge,
and in the growth and development of these schools the resultant public school
system of America today stands as a monument to Masonic patronage and
influence. Our schools are, and must be, a source of pride to every Mason; but
proud as we are of our schools, we cannot complacently sit back and view the
work accomplished with a feeling of satisfaction and let it end there. Having
made education possible to the humblest child in our land we must see to it
that the opportunity is not wasted or the child robbed of its birthright.
While the doors of the schools are thrown open to rich and poor alike, some
there are who by reason of ill health, limited means, or living at a distance
are unable to avail themselves of their educational opportunities. These
disadvantages, where possible, must be removed and the child of the poor given
every facility to pursue his studies on an equal footing with his more
fortunate neighbor. If text books are lacking let us supply them; if clothing
is needed have the child comfortably clad; and if undernourished provide good,
wholesome food. Medical attention should also be maintained by the schools to
keep the children physically fit for their studies. Those living at a distance
should have free transportation to and from school, and for the sickly and
crippled home study given commensurate faith their strength and ability. Where
assistance from the child is required for the support of the family pensions
for the mothers, especially those who are widowed, must remove this burden.
future citizenship of our country is now in the making in our public schools
and if the highest type is to be developed equality of opportunity must become
an accomplished fact and not a theory. In short, until the state is prepared
to take the advanced stand that the child not only belongs to the state but is
its chief asset and is therefore entitled to be clothed and fed, if need be,
as well as educated at the expense of the state, we must, as Masons, see to it
that facilities for an education are made available to every child in our land
and that our schools are maintained at the highest efficiency, under the
control and domination of the state alone and uninfluenced by sectarian or
this end we must scruntinize closely the personnel of the school board and
elect only such members as are in sympathy with these ideals; pay salaries
adequate to the work required in order to attract men and women of education,
refinement and ability to the teaching profession; and encourage intelligent
cooperation between the citizens, school board and teachers.
are some of the essential requirements if equality of opportunity is to be
maintained in our public school system. To be sure it means greater expense
and increased taxation, but what Mason worthy the name will object to bearing
his part of the burden when the money is intelligently spent for the welfare
and development of our children.
G. Moyers, Grand Master, Arizona.
* * *
Freemasonry is Pledged to Active Co-operation with Public Schools
evidence of the sympathetic feeling, and indeed active co-operation, of the
Masonic fraternity with the public schools of our country is evidenced by the
physical monuments thereof appearing in the cornerstones laid for practically
every substantial school building throughout the country.
from buildings used for Masonic purposes, all classes of buildings for which
Masons lay cornerstones may be grouped under buildings pertaining to the
church, the government and the public schools. The engraved emblem of our
Fraternity appearing on the public school buildings and the public ceremony in
connection therewith, ought to be convincing evidence to all people of the
interest and concern which our Fraternity has for that great institution.
However, those who are not members of the Order may be assured that the
ceremony and emblem is but the outward expression of the genuine inner
feelings and conceptions, desires and wishes, of our Order toward the building
up and maintaining of our great public school system.
of the fundamental principles of our Order is education, and throughout our
ritual, by words and impressive emblems, we strive to impress upon the
candidates the importance of striving to acquire useful knowledge. It
therefore may be confidently said that so long as our great Order continues,
with the vigorous and fair-minded membership of which it is now composed, the
public schools of our land will not only have a friend and defender, but will
have back of it a force which will overcome all obstructions, and insure the
perpetuity and efficiency of our public schools.
Samuel T. Spears. Grand Master, West Virginia.
* * *
Carolina is Solidly Behind the Public Schools.
Grand Lodge of South Carolina, Ancient Free Masons, recognizes and proclaims
its belief in the free and compulsory education of the children of our nation,
in public primary schools, supported by public taxation, upon which all
children shall attend and be instructed in the English language only, without
respect to race or creed, as the only sure agency for the perpetuation and
preservation of the free institutions guaranteed by the Constitution of this
feel that all Masons are ready to pledge their efforts to promote by all
lawful means the organization, extension and development of such schools, and
to oppose the efforts of any and all who seek to limit, curtail, hinder or
destroy the public school system of our land.
feel that the sentiments above are shared by every Mason.
Campbell Bissell, Grand Master, South Carolina.
* * *
Enemies of the Public Schools are the Enemies of the Nation.
opinion Freemasonry has no attitude toward the public schools. Instead, we
have a distinct relationship with the public schools. An attitude is a state
of mind, while a relationship implies more.
relationship implies duties. Freemasonry has the duty of protecting and
preserving these bedrocks of our government.
Freemasonry from time immemorial has laid stress upon the fact that Masons are
always patriots. Masons everywhere are pointed to with pride mainly because of
their interest in their country's welfare.
opinion there is no greater patriotic duty incumbent upon Masons of today than
to see that our public schools are preserved, increased, strengthened and
education of its citizens is the paramount duty of the government of a
republic or a democracy. Each citizen is an integral part of the government
itself, and as such we must enlighten and educate him so that he will be
worthy of exercising those powers and prerogatives which are the birthright of
Education is the greatest bulwark the country possesses against radicalism,
church influence in government, and the other great dangers that at this time
are threatening our institutions and our national unity.
consideration of these facts it comes to my mind that there can be no greater
field of activity to which the Masonic fraternity can lay its hand, than that
great work known as education.
Americans and Masons who have been asleep for the last quarter of a century,
as far as public school matters are concerned, should be now awake. The
enemies of the public school system have thrown off the cowardly cloak of
darkness under which they have worked for so many years, and now, confident in
the strength of their adherents, are openly attacking the cause of free
schools and free education in the halls of our state legislatures, and, sorry
to say, also in the halls of the United States Congress and the Senate.
the Doubting Thomas read records of petitions and speeches made and presented
to the Congress in relation to the Towner-Sterling Bill.
it is time for each and every member of the Fraternity worthy of the name to
lay his hand to the plow and dedicate his time and energies to the cause of
education, so that the cardinal principles of free speech, free press, and
separation of church and state, which are the bedrock of our liberties, may be
forever guaranteed to our posterity.
enemy of the public schools is an enemy of this nation. An enemy of this
nation is my enemy and yours. We have evaded the issue long enough. Let us now
take up the fight.
Charles H. Ketchum, Grand Master, Florida.
* * *
Americanization Program Our One Hope.
Freemasonry must always champion the public schools of America. As true
American citizens, successors to the Washingtons and McKinleys, we are bound
to encourage that vital institution peculiar to our country.
discovered during the war that in spite of our boasted free schools there was
far too much illiteracy - too many people not properly equipped for
citizenship - too many people not acquainted with the literature that makes
patriots. How can the man who has not read for himself the history of our land
have his heart thrill at the sight of our glorious emblem? True, he may have
heard through spoken word and song much to help, but this is not enough. We
must try to have all our people intelligent, and the only available way is to
see to it that our schools are more and more better equipped with proper
buildings and well trained teachers. To this end we must insist that funds
shall not be appropriated for educational institutions not free to all; and
furthermore, these schools, our schools, should be open alike, as always, to
accommodate the children of all without menacing in any way the religious bent
of the individual.
consideration of the thousands who come to our shores ignorant of "The
American Idea," ignorant of our language and our law, our only hope is in the
fact that our youth must go to school. Every foreign born person ought to go
to our schools for a greater or less length of time. This refers not only to
children, but to adults who should attend schools for citizenship. Our only
hope in a real Americanization program is that Freemasonry and other like
institutions shall stand firmly by a program that shall reach every
Furthermore, Freemasonry must insist on a high standard for teachers. We must
have men and women in our schools of such high character - character that is
culture, honor and high ideals - that they can inspire a manhood and womanhood
of which America shall be proud.
us as Freemasons always remember that we are at all times to be true to the
great American ideals that are destined to bless mankind forever.
Ransbottom, Grand Master, Ohio.
BALSAMS OF GOD
BRO. H. L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
I go down into the house
pain sits sullen in the dark,
near him, bent and dread and stark,
misery sits, which is his spouse;
these two tie me round with bands,
wrap me round and round with pains,
pour their poison through my veins,
ashes throw on brows and hands;
there I lie, alone and drear,
many-hampered slave of ill,
then there comes that inward thrill
telleth me that Thou art near:
o'er me fall, around, above,
many balsams of Thy love.
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS ‑ GENERAL THOMAS NELSON
BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
INTERESTING figure, an unselfish man, and a patriot in the days of the
Colonies was General Thomas Nelson, a signer of the Declaration, the friend of
Washington and companion of John Marshall, La Fayette and the Randolphs.
General Nelson was born in York County, Virginia, in 1738, and died there in
1789; and his grave is still unmarked!
Thomas Nelson's father was, for many years, president of the colonial council,
and was in comfortable circumstances. Nelson was sent to England in his 14th
year, and was educated in Trinity College, Cambridge. He was married at the
age of twenty-four, and made his home at Yorktown, where he spent a good deal
of his time in pleasure. He was a member of the provincial council in 1774-5-6
and was in the council which framed the constitution of Virginia; and it was
Thomas Nelson who offered the resolution instructing the Virginia delegates in
Congress to propose a Declaration of Independence.
was elected a delegate to Congress, and he signed the Declaration of
Independence on the 4th of July, 1776.
feeble health obliged him to resign his seat in Congress in 1777. In the
following August, however, when Admiral Howe of the Royal Navy came inside the
capes of Virginia, Thomas Nelson was commissioned a general officer and was
ordered to command the Virginia forces. Later he raised a troop of cavalry
which he took to Philadelphia. But still later he resumed his seat in the
Nelson was much opposed to the sequestration of the property of the British on
the ground that it would be unjust retaliation of public wrongs on private
1779 he again took his seat in Congress, but soon broke down in health and had
again to resign. The following May he was suddenly called into active service
again, when he organized a militia to repel the ravages occurring on the
Congress called for contributions to provide for the French fleet and
armament, for which the Virginia Legislature borrowed $2,000,000; and to help
meet this demand General Nelson pledged his fortune, as did others at the
time. He never recovered from the losses he met then, and died poor.
succeeded Jefferson as Governor of the State in 1781, during which incumbency
he was obliged to assume dictatorial powers in order to repel the British
invasion: but he had the satisfaction of living to see his drastic acts
approved by the legislature.
participated in the siege of Yorktown as commander of militia, and directed
that his own house, the largest in Yorktown, be bombarded.
November, 1781, he resigned, and passed the rest of his life in retirement.
the cornerstone of the Washington monument was laid in Richmond about the year
1830, the then Grand Master of Masons, Robert G. Scott, said:
campaign of this year is ever memorable for the capture of Cornwallis at
Yorktown. In that village was lodge No. 9, where, after the siege was ended,
Washington, La Fayette, Marshall and Nelson came together and by their union
bore abiding testimony to the beautiful tenets of Masonry."
are no other records of the visit of Nelson to lodge No. 9 on that occasion,
but as Grand Master Scott and hosts of other Masons were living at that time
who enjoyed a personal and intimate acquaintance with Nelson, there can be no
question of the accuracy of the information.
splendid statue was modeled by the great Crawford, and though it is called the
Washington Statue, it is a memorial to Nelson, Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Mason
and Lewis as well.
mortifying to think that the grave of Nelson is still unmarked. Two other
signers lie in unmarked graves in Christ Church Yard, at Philadelphia; and
they were Masons.
Freedom all winged expands,
perches in a narrow place;
broad van seeks unplanted lands;
loves a poor and virtuous race.
Clinging to a colder zone
dark sky sheds the snow-flake down,
snow-flake is her banner's star,
stripes the boreal streamers are.
she loved the Northman well;
the iron age is done,
will not refuse to dwell
the offspring of the Sun.
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM
BRO. SAMUEL GOMPERS, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR
present issue has been transformed into a forum of free opinion concerning the
Public School to the end that readers may be enabled to view from many angles
a subject in which Masons are peculiarly interested. In consonance with this
aim we requested Brother Samuel Gompers, for many years now an active member
of the Fraternity, to contribute a statement from the point of view of
organized labor. Brethren who may in any way wish to respond to any of his
arguments, so refreshingly worded, may do so in these pages: if private
correspondence is preferred letters may be forwarded through THE BUILDER.
is well known and generally accepted that the public school system of the
United States was created because of the insistent demands of our pioneer
trade unionists in the early part of last century."
QUOTATION from the report of the Executive Council of the St. Paul Convention
in 1918 reflects the interest and the feeling of responsibility of American
labor in the public school system of the United States. Practically every
convention of the American Federation of Labor contains some resolution
supporting extension of our educational system. The pace was set in the first
convention in 1881 with the following declaration:
are in favor of the passage of such legislative enactments as will enforce, by
compulsion, the education of children; that if the state has the right to
exact certain compliance with its demands then it is also the right of the
state to educate its people to the proper understanding of such demands."
Illiteracy among the workers of this country will be found almost exclusively
in sections where they have found no adequate means of expression because they
have not been able to effect economic organization. Wherever and whenever they
become articulate through organization, the workers have demanded and
forwarded their hope for a better opportunity for the coming generations
through access to educational facilities for all the children of the country,
as well as for adults who have been denied them in their youth.
Whoever will read the proceedings of the American Federation of Labor from
year to year will find in them most interesting and conclusive evidence that
the American labor movement is abreast or perhaps in advance of similar
efforts made by the working people of any other country. I have on my desk now
a pamphlet just compiled entitled "Education for All," which is an official
record of the American Federation of Labor in the struggle to bring knowledge
to the masses.
headings under which convention proceedings are grouped indicate the progress
of our thought in education, a step in advance following each accomplishment.
This arrangement was not intentional, merely following chronological order, as
follows: Compulsory Education, Free Textbooks, Character of Textbooks, Size of
Classes, Teachers' Salaries, Tenure of Position, Democracy in Education,
Training for Citizenship, Illiteracy, Teaching of English, Special Classes,
Adaptation to Modern Conditions, Physical Education, Wider Use of School
Plant, Housing, A Department of Education and Federal Aid, Teachers as
Citizens, Night Schools, Continuation Schools, Industrial Education,
Vocational Guidance, Labor Representation on Board of Education, Organization
of Teachers, Reorganization of the Schools, School Revenues, Technical
Education Offered by Unions, Labor Colleges.
all this accomplishment I feel that we are, after all, only at the threshold
of education. A great part of my life and energy has been devoted to
combatting wrongheaded notions about the attitude of organized labor with
reference to every sort of social and economic questions. These questions have
increased in number and in variety with the development of industrial
civilization. The need for efficient industrial education for our boys and
girls is now more urgent than ever before. Nor is the need of educational
training for greater efficiency confined to the factory or the shops; it is
manifest in home life and in demands for instruction in domestic economy.
may be helpful here to give expression to my personal philosophy of education:
Education runs along with the current of life. The goal of education may be
expressed something like this - to make the individual conscious of his own
resources, that he may be able to release and control the force that is his
above text does not mean that education of those who earn wages is a problem
to be considered separately from the general field of education of other
groups of citizens, but rather to get the complete scope of the whole from the
point of view of those who work in industry. Education ought not to separate
the individual from his fellows, his neighborhood, or his nation, but ought to
enable him to contribute to life as it goes on around him, to give him the
feeling of "belonging" that distinguishes the alien from the associate.
school, or the period of formal education, seeks to give the individual the
tools or the technique of finding and using himself. All too generally our
schools have been organized on the wholesale basis with wholesale results.
They have produced types, not individuals. Similar mechanistic methods prevail
in shops or factories where the domination of machinery means the submergence
and dwarfing of personality, killing the joy and purpose of work and life.
This is all wrong, as we in the labor movement know, and to correct these
conditions is one of the objectives of our movement. The labor movement stands
for opportunity for natural development of the individual. It is not our
function to work out the detailed plans to get that result, but we have an
understanding of the fundamentals that must underlie any plan. Our experience
has taught us that through mutual associations we find opportunity to develop
and utilize individuality. Association does not limit rights and opportunities
for individuals, but establishes and assures them. Association develops
responsibility. This experience of ours in life and work ought to find a place
in the momds of those who direct school education, if that education is to
help students to more effective living.
MUST MAKE LABOR AN EDUCATIVE EXPERIENCE
part of education upon which the labor movement can speak authoritatively and
specifically is that which comes through productive processes. Present day
production has come under the mechanistic influences of the repetitive process
and machine domination. Such influences do not lead to education. The
management must devise methods that enable even those doing repetitive work to
use their brains. Such production management becomes an educational force. It
brings opportunity and new desire into daily work. Use of brains means skill -
creative activity, better quality of work. Fortunately this result which from
one point of view is altruistic, is also sound from the business point of
view. Management which releases human creative force, has augmented the most
important single factor in production. It brings the individual into the
production purpose - gives him the feeling of "belonging."
individual worker can not secure for himself this educational work
opportunity. That can come only through the understanding cooperation of
management and the work group. The human side of production is only now being
appreciated. Some of the institutions which are for the technical training of
those who become managers in industry have included consideration of what is
called "human engineering." Labor hopes that the day is not far distant when
no technical man will assume responsibility of directing work who is ignorant
of the problems of cooperation with the human beings who furnish the necessary
labor power. Unfortunately, the great majority of the experts with whom we
come in contact know only machines and physical forces - they do not know
everything we do and have is ultimately for the service of humans. Service is
the justification for existence. If educational institutions will help to
establish this ultimate purpose as the directing control in every activity, it
will open the way for immeasurable increase in the power of every individual.
this work I have sometimes felt that the presumption is always against labor -
that it is always assumed as a matter of course that labor is by a sort of
"natural depravity" and strange blindness opposed to everything, including
everything that is for its own best interests. Sometimes it is assumed that
this opposition is due to a pernicious temperament on the part of labor
leaders and sometimes that it is due simply to ignorance and incapacity to
understand complex social conditions. The workers are essentially honest and
sincere, and permit me to assure you that the degree of their ignorance is not
so great as the presumptuous and supercilious often assume it to be.
should know that organized labor does not oppose the development of industrial
education in the public schools. Indeed, that would not at all fairly indicate
the attitude of organized labor.
organizations constituting the American Federation of Labor have been for
years engaged in the work of systematically providing industrial education to
their members. This instruction has been given through the medium of the trade
union journals and schools established and maintained by them.
Organized labor has opposed and will continue to oppose some enterprises which
have been undertaken in the name of industrial education. It has opposed and
will continue to oppose the exploitation of the laborer even when that
exploitation is done under the name of industrial education. It may continue
to regard with indifference, if not with suspicion, some private schemes of
industrial education. With regard to such enterprises where they are
instituted by employers, with a single eye to the profit of such employers,
organized labor is from Missouri - it will have to be shown that the given
enterprise is not a means of exploiting labor - a means of depressing wages by
creating an over supply of labor in certain narrow fields of employment.
ORGANIZED LABOR IS OPPOSED TO LOPSIDED EDUCATION
Organized labor cannot favor any scheme of industrial education which is
lopsided - any scheme, that is to say, which will bring trained men into any
given trade without regard to the demand for labor in that trade. Industrial
education must maintain a fair and proper apportionment of the supply of labor
power to the demand for labor power in every line of work. Otherwise, its
advantages will be entirely neutralized. If, for example, the result of
industrial education is to produce in any community a greater number of
trained machinists than are needed in the community, those machinists which
have been trained cannot derive any benefit from their training since they
will not be able to find employment except at economic disadvantage. Under
these conditions industrial education is of no advantage to those who have
received it, and it is a distinct injury to the journeymen working at the
trade who are subjected to a keen competition artificially produced.
Industrial education must meet the needs of the workers as well as the
requirements of the employer.
see that in some respects the most difficult task before industrial education
is that of maintaining an equilibrium of supply and demand of efficient
artizans, an equilibrium as nearly perfect as physically possible. How shall
this most difficult problem be solved? How shall such an equilibrium of labor
supply and demand be maintained and industrial education entirely freed from
any suspicion of working injury to labor by causing a maladjustment of supply
to demand ?
answer to these questions seems obvious. There is in my opinion only one way
in which to avoid this difficulty - only one way in which to avoid the danger
of working serious injury to labor - working injury in spite of the very best
intentions to benefit labor.
only way to avoid working an injury to labor under the name of industrial
education is to find out what is the demand for labor. Industrial education
should be in every instance based upon the survey of the industries - upon an
accumulation of facts regarding the employments. Upon such a basis the public
schools may properly proceed to provide for the particular industrial needs
and with such an accumulation of data in hand there can be no excuse if
industrial education does not prove to be of undoubted benefit to labor and to
not wish to compete with Europe as the Chinese compete with the whole world.
We could not do that and retain our standards and our self-respect. We could
not do that without adopting Chinese methods of work which would mean a
minimum of rest, food, no recreation and a maximum of hours of labor. If we
are not willing to adopt Chinese methods, we must adopt the weapon of
industrial progress which has enabled European nations to advance in material
welfare in competition not only with the Orient, but more specially in
competition with the United States and with other countries which have had
available as a basis of industrial development vast natural resources. The
period is almost past where the United States can depend upon cheap raw
materials obtained with comparatively little labor from its mines and virgin
fields. It is entering upon a period when it must depend upon the qualities of
human labor. Under these conditions industrial decline is the only alternative
to industrial education. Do you think that organized labor is going to
advocate a policy of industrial decline - a policy of competing on a basis of
cheap labor, instead of trained and efficient labor? Do you think it is going
to advocate the adoption of Chinese methods in its competition with Europe?
Let me assure you that the American workingman will not accept any such
solution of the problem. He will insist that competition shall be upon the
basis not of cheap men but of intelligent, efficient, skilled, virile manhood,
which means that he will in the future, as he has done in the past, insist
that instruction in our public schools be made democratic. In a word that the
public schools generally shall institute industrial education, and that that
education shall be based upon an exhaustive study of industries to determine
what sort of industrial training is required, and is most conducive to the
physical, mental, material and social welfare of the workers, her citizenship,
the perpetuity of our republic and the fulfillment of its mission as the
leader in the humanitarianism of the world.
"FRIDAY NIGHT IS 'MOVIE' NIGHT" AT LOGAN, UTAH, HIGH SCHOOL
'Our aim in these weekly shows,' says Norman Hamilton, principal, 'is to
furnish to the public good, clean motion pictures at a minimum cost; and to
educate our audiences to demand better films by teaching them visually what is
good.' For the price of a dime the visitor will be directed by a student-usher
to a seat in an absolutely up‑to-date auditorium with a seating capacity of
700. First comes an educational reel, then a comedy, and then the feature,
often based on some well-known book or some historical period. The difference
between this entertainment and that of any other 'movie' theatre lies in the
attitude of the audience and the character of the program. The financial side
has been entirely successful. The students are prepared in the classroom for
any film of the evening program that needs preliminary discussion, such as a
film based on a classic or having historical background."- Journal of
Education, January 19, 1922, p. 61. - M.S.A. Bulletin No. 8.
THE MASONIC IDEAL OF EQUALITY MAY BE REALIZED IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
BRO. WILLIAM F. RUSSELL, DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION. UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
THE earliest times it has been the hope of all good Masons that the time would
soon come when all men would have an unfettered start and a free field in the
race of life; when the station arrived at, the honors and dignities won, and
the responsibilities shouldered by man would be proportionate to the honest
labor, the earnest efforts and tried capabilities of the man himself, rather
than to accidents of birth or wealth. Thus we look back with respect to the
time when our three chief officers were the great and wise King of Israel, the
powerful and wealthy King of Tyre, and the humble son of a poor Phoenician
widow who had won his high station through his own great abilities, his high
character, and his faithful breast. These three, coordinate in power at the
building of the temple, indicate the hopes and ambitions of our Fraternity: -
more light for the common man; relief for the poor distressed worthy brother,
his widow and orphans; downfall to the oppressor of whatever kind; and
liberty, equality and fraternity for all. We meet on the level. In advancing,
all travel the same path. No royal roads lead the way, nor are favors granted
to the powerful or prosperous. One must be a man, free-born, of lawful age and
well recommended, and a believer in a Supreme Being.
has Masonry ever rested content only with its hopes. It is and has been a
working institution, striving not only to teach its beliefs, but to put them
into practice. A man who does not practice his Masonry deserves no reward.
Albert Pike, in referring to this says: "It is because Masonry imposes upon us
these duties that it is properly and significantly styled work; and he who
imagines that he becomes a Mason, by merely taking the first two or three
degrees, and that he may, having leisurely steeped upon that small elevation,
thenceforward worthily wear the honors of Masonry, without labor or exertion,
or self-denial or sacrifice, and that there is nothing to be done in Masonry,
is strangely deceived." (1)
Fathers of our Country, most of them Masons, worked and acted as such. Thus
John Hancock and the framers of the Declaration of Independence re-affirmed
their belief in the self-evident fact that all men are created free and equal,
and that all have equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
John Mason wrote the Virginia Bill of Rights, specifying and qualifying the
equality of man before the law, the incorporation of which in our Constitution
at a later date became a conditioning factor in the ratification of that
document by the various states. Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, George
Washington, and John Marshall in their acts and deeds illustrated the work of
a Mason, striving to make our country a place where men were to be equal,
where they were to have equal opportunities and equal justice, where the
common man should hold the reins of power, where our leaders should rise from
all ranks of life alike "whose genius and not their ancestry should ennoble
them." It was the work of men like these that kept our country from being one
"where virtue is persecuted and vice rewarded; where the righteous starve for
bread, and the wicked live sumptuously and dress in purple and fine linen;
where insolent ignorance rules, and learning and genius serve; where King and
Priest trample on liberty and the rights of conscience; where freedom hides in
caves and mountains, and sycophancy and servility fawn and thrive; where the
cry of the widow and the orphan starving for want of food, and shivering with
cold, rises ever to heaven from a million miserable hovels; where men willing
to labor and starving, they and their children and the wives of their bosoms,
beg plaintively for work when the pampered capitalist stops his mills; where
the law punishes her who, starving, steals a loaf, and lets the seducer go
free; where the success of a party justifies murder, and violence and rapine
go unpunished; and where he who with many years cheating and grinding the
faces of the poor grows rich, receives office and honor in life, and after
death, brave funeral and a splendid mausoleum." (2)
MUST EARN OUR OWN PROGRESS
Another tenet of our Order is the conviction that no matter how bad things
are, they are not all bad; and conversely, no matter how good they are, they
are not all good; that we hope there is a gentle progression from the bad
toward the good, that more light is in prospect, but only by our own
endeavors. We may not rest. We may never hope for complete satisfaction. We
must strive onward and upward.
also true that as time goes on, new opportunities for work present themselves,
and the consummation of old ideals may take a new direction. Consider the
matter of education and schooling. We Masons have long believed that men
should have an equal chance, that positions of influence should be awarded on
account of merit and effort, and not on account of heredity or wealth. As was
well said: "To diffuse useful information, to further intellectual refinement,
sure forerunner of moral improvement, to hasten the coming of the great day,
when the dawn of general knowledge shall chase away the lazy, lingering mists
of ignorance and error, even from the base of the great social pyramid, is
indeed a high calling, in which the most splendid talents and consummate
virtue may well press onward, eager to bear a part. From the Masonic ranks
ought to go forth those whose genius and not their ancestry ennoble them, to
open to all ranks the temple of science, and by their own example to make the
humblest men emulous to climb steps no longer inaccessible, and enter the
unfolded gates burning in the sun." (3)
a half century ago this idea was brought forth and urged on all good Masons as
a part of their work. In Chapter Ten of his Morals and Dogma, Albert Pike
urges upon us the need of giving education and the opportunities for education
to all, to suppress ignorance, to break down superstition, to quiet
turbulence, to bring more light to the common man. This is in accord with our
belief. That is what we wish for today. "One should take the lead," he says,
"in the truly noble task of enlightening his countrymen, and leaving his own
name encircled, not with barbaric splendor, or attached to courtly gewgaws,
but illustrated by the honors most worthy of our rational nature; coupled with
the diffusion of knowledge, and gratefully pronounced by a few, at least, whom
his wise benefict has rescued from ignorance and vice." This being the case,
we are told, "if a lodge cannot aid in founding a school or academy it can
still do something. It can educate one boy or girl, at least, the child of
some poor departed brother. And it never should be forgotten, that in the
poorest unregarded child that seems abandoned to ignorance and vice may
slumber the virtues of a Socrates, the intellect of a Bacon or a Bossuet, the
genius of a Shakespeare, the capacity to benefit mankind of a Washington; and
that in rescuing him from the mire in which he is plunged, and giving him the
means of education and development, the lodge that does it may be the direct
and immediate means of conferring upon the world as great a boon as that given
it by John Faust the boy of Mentz; may perpetuate the liberties of a country
and change the destinies of nations, and write a new chapter in the history of
the world. For we never know the importance of the act we do. The daughter of
Pharaoh little thought what she was doing for the human race, and the vast
unimaginable consequences that depended upon her charitable act, when she drew
the child of the Hebrew woman from among the rushes that grew along the bank
of the Nile, and determined to rear it as if it were her own."
idea in the time of Albert Pike was merely to try to add a drop or two to the
empty bucket by private enterprise or lodge initiative; to make in some small
way certain compensations for differences in the prospects of children that
were so prevalent. At that time the public school system had not gotten a good
start. Compulsory education had not been fully adopted. School terms were
short. There were fewer that 100,000 pupils in the public high schools. To
secure a real chance for an education and advancement, a child had to be born
of well-to-do parents who would help him out. Individual help was about the
only means of assistance open to the man or Mason interested in the welfare of
all the People.
times have changed. Today we have a well worked out system of schools,
enrolling more than twenty-two million pupils. Nearly two million are in high
school. We have nearly two hundred state supported normal schools. Nearly all
the states, with the exception of a few in the East, have state universities.
We have an educational ladder free and open equally to all from the primary
grades to the university. We have a system of education supported at public
expense for the benefit of the children of our country, designed not for the
wealthy, not for the privileged, but for all of us in proportion to our
efforts and abilities.
one considers that American public school system he is inclined to believe
that here at last one of Masonry's ideals has been achieved. The poor and rich
meet on equal grounds. Everyone has a chance. All he needs is the ambition and
the courage to stick to his task. He is apt to think that the promised day has
come, that the Word hat been found, and that at last the king's child and the
widow's son are on equal terms.
is not true. While we in America have made large strides toward a state of
affairs in which all met are equal, where all children will have a free field
and an unfettered start in the race of life, certain grave inequalities still
remain, many of which by public effort and community interest we can
Educational opportunities are not equal from state to state. More than $59.00
was spent per pupil in Montana in 1918, while less than $8.00 was spent it
Mississippi. One state for the support of schools raises more than $5.00 for
every $1,000 of estimated market value of its wealth that was taxed, while
another raises less than $1.50. If New York were to tax itself for schools as
heavily in proportion to its real wealth as Tennessee it would raise five
times as much per pupil and Nevada would raise ten times as much. Some states
have twenty times as much invested in school property per pupil as others;
some pay their teachers five times as much as others; some have school terms
three times as long; some care for the health of the pupil, some do not; some
require regularly qualified teachers, others do not; some have only one-room
schools in rural districts, others consolidated schools; and so on through a
long list of items. It remains a fact that today in the United States of
America many children are handicapped by being born in certain states, while
others are favored. Some states remain poor educationally. No Mason should
allow this condition to continue. No community should be allowed to give as
poor an education as some school boards would desire. Some communities should
not be allowed to offer as limited an education as the community can actually
afford. Just as in most of our states we have come to a system of state
subsidy for poor districts, and certain standardized state minimal
requirements below which no community may go; so we should have national
subsidy of education and certain national standards up to which all must come.
This is not a matter of politics. It is not a matter of pride. It is merely a
guarantee by the nation that no child, on account of accidents of birth, shall
be deprived of his opportunity to serve his country and his brother man in the
highest way of which he is capable. For this reason, every man should stand
firmly for federal subsidy of education and federal control of education up to
the point of aiding weaker sections of they country and setting certain
minimum standards for all. We should agree to necessary amendment of the
Towner‑Sterling Bill, so long as the fundamental principles remain the same.
But some form of national aid and resultant control should be secured. Here is
work for all good citizens.
can we justly say that the American public school system entirely compensates
for differences in wealth. The school is free, it is open to all; but so are
the mountains of Alaska or the wonders of Honolulu. All we need is the money
for transportation, and food, clothing and shelter after we get there. There
are many children who, because of poverty at home, are deprived of an
education. Their parents cannot afford to purchase books; the work that they
can do, especially those of high school age, may be needed at home. If the
school is at some distance, transportation may be beyond their means. It costs
a good deal to attend high school or college. A school system free to all may
not be truly open equally to all. Here and there in our country we see efforts
toward the remedying of this condition. Many cities and a few rural districts
supply free text books. Payment of transportation is gradually being extended.
Tennessee remits carfare to all state university students to and from school
once each year. Scholarships are being provided. Correspondence courses are
offered in some states at nominal rates of tuition. Mother's pensions, widow's
pensions and the like are found occasionally. Some schools give free lunches.
Some require simple dress, and inexpensive social events, so that poorer
pupils may remain on even terms. Loan funds, scholarships, and prizes are
offered. Here is work for the good citizen, man or Mason. We should use all
our influence to see to it that no child, however poor, is deprived of a
chance for schooling, of any grade to which his intelligence and perseverence
may entitle him. Encourage all efforts to compensate for inequalities of
wealth at home. It may cost money, it may seem to be a fad or frill, but
remember it may open the door of opportunity to some deserving soul, as Albert
Pike so eloquently described.
COURSES FOR ALL
similar way, we may say that the American school does not compensate for
differences in the ambition of pupils. Just a few years ago, the boy or girl
who could work well with his hands was handicapped by being offered
opportunity only to study foreign languages or higher mathematics. Too often
these pupils were condemned to leave the school that offered them no chance to
display their talents or to perfect in them the abilities that God had given.
Today we find that most of our schools are offering wider opportunities,
teaching homemaking and manual training, agriculture, music, art, commerce,
and other vocational subjects. Students likely to leave school early are given
special courses in the high school, far different from the traditional college
preparatory work. These subjects are being criticized. They cost too much
money, say the critics. They are not well organized. Let us return to the good
old days. Here is work for the good citizen, man or Mason. Keep a broad
course. People are different. Pupils are not alike. You cannot give different
people an equal chance if they are all treated alike. Only in differing
courses can there be equality of opportunity.
differences in the original circumstances of pupils are being compensated for
in certain school systems. We differ in ability. Some work quickly; others
slowly. Why have all kinds in the same class, the bright develop habits of
indolence and the dull become discouraged? Thus we find varied systems of
promotion, parallel classes, special teachers, intelligence tests. Fad and
frills they appear to some. Sources of expense they seem to the over-burdened
taxpayer. In reality they are efforts to adjust educational opportunities
equally, and as such they deserve our support.
are also differences in health. Pupils go rapidly or slowly, progress or fail,
too often as they are nourished or undernourished, as they can see or not,
hear or not, breathe properly or not. Hookworm and trachoma in the mountain
schools of the South have closed the door of opportunity to many a noble soul.
So we find medical and dental inspection and care in many school systems, all
to give opportunity where before it was denied.
history of the public school system in the United States is a long story of
progress from a condition where only the favored were given a chance toward an
ideal where all equally will have their chance. We are only part way on our
way. Most of the plan is on the trestleboard. The masters are at work. The
foundation has been laid and the superstructure is gradually taking form. But
many columns and pillars still lie about us. Many of the stones have not yet
been taken from the quarry. It is for us to take up the unfinished work lying
before us. It is for us to complete the structure. If we will but weigh
carefully our local situation, consider the advantages and disadvantages of
proposals before our boards of education, we may at last achieve that which by
our own endeavors and their assistance we were in hopes to find.
to the true Mason, the American public school system offers a tremendous field
of work. It is one of the foundation stones of our liberty; it is dear to the
heart of the American people. Today, while representing a distinct advance on
our system of former years, and far in the lead of systems of other countries,
nevertheless it is only partly doing its work. It is set about with
indifferent patrons, with boards of control too often uneducated and
unambitious, with short-sighted watch-dogs of the treasury. The advice given
by Albert Pike half a century ago to support individuals and to assist in the
foundation of schools and academies was splendid in its day. Our schools were
then in the making. It had not then been determined whether or not a public
high school could be a legal charge upon public funds. It is for us today
rather to bend our efforts to assure these opportunities to all the children
of all the people, through the betterment of the American public school along
the lines suggested above.
is work for all. Here is an opportunity for every good Mason. The organization
of our schools is perfected. Few communities are without educational
facilities. What we need is a guarantee that every boy or girl in our land
shall have a chance to secure the education justified by his ability, his
character, and his perseverence regardless of the state in which he lives, the
financial circumstances of his family, the type of ability he has, whether he
wants to work with his hands or head, whether he is quick or slow, sick or
well. Let us assist the individual cases that come to our attention. Encourage
our lodges to support pupils here and there. But let us by our public interest
stand by our public schools so that in some future period an education will be
given that in a true sense will be open equally to all. Then only shall we be
on the level. Then only in every instance will there be help for the widow's
son. Thus by the "labor and exertion, selfdenial and sacrifice" of two and
one-half million of us, may we worthily wear the honors of Freemasonry.
"Morals and Dogma," p. 185.
Idem, p. 288.
Idem, p. 170.
SCHOOLS MUST EQUIP PUPILS FOR LIFE IN THE COMMUNITY
modern manner of life is due to the 'industrial revolution,' or in other words
the establishment of human society on a basis of machine production, has
affected the thought and habit of man more profoundly and universally than any
material change in his history since he first learned to use fire and make
tools. The main problem of the continuation school is that of building up a
type of education adapted to the needs of the citizens in such an industrial
democracy.... For the first time in history, a schism has arisen between
culture and the crafts, with the result that modern culture tends to be
trivial, esoteric, dilettante, while the crafts, from which poet and artist
turn away in disgust, are left mean, ugly and formless. In the continuation
schools of the future there is an opportunity of doing something to bring
these natural allies together once more, and so of furthering the
reestablishment of modern civilization upon a sound basis....
"Humanism is as broad as the sum of human thought, interests and endeavor. In
education, it means the awakening and liberation of the individual child by
cleansing the channels and increasing the flow of his self-expression, by
making him conscious of his heritage and of his true function in society, and
lastly, by teaching him to take purposeful flight upon the wings of
imagination. It embraces, in other words, all those subjects which deal with
man as dedicated to the pursuit of beauty, truth and goodness, and as a social
being with obligations to his immediate society, his nation, and the whole
. The first duty of the continuation school teacher is to make his pupils
realize that the world he is dealing with is their world, the actual world in
which they live. To do this it is necessary to set out on the journey from the
right spot, the spot from which all journeys start - home. And this point of
departure will determine the whole character of the course, since it lends it
purpose and direction. 'The students set out from home in order to understand
home better, and it is the search for that larger comprehension of their own
lives and work which directs their footsteps. Moreover, when the journey is
over they will return home once more to see what the old place looks like in
the light of their accumulated experience. The humanistic course will be
something in the nature of a grand tour.' With this underlying intention
history and geography based on local lore but extending to remote times and
places may be studied, and associated with this course will be a study of
modern social and economic problems. Literature is included with the aim of
developing a right emotional attitude toward life as a whole.... By working at
the problem in the manner above indicated, the industrial activities of the
modern world may be made at once significant and joyous, and thus will be laid
the foundations of a right culture." - J. Dover Wilson - His Majesty's
Inspector of Schools. - M.S.A. Bulletin No. 8.
NEEDS OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
BULLETIN NO. 8, MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION
owe it to the childhood of the Nation and the childhood of the agricultural
districts of our land to place at its disposal the utmost in educational
facilities." - Warren G. Harding.
supreme task of our democracy is the right training of its future citizens. On
our success, in this great and complex undertaking depends the future of
American civilization." - Henry Louis Smith.
public school is the cornerstone of all American institutions." - Los Angeles
FELLOW STOCKHOLDERS: We are going to discuss, for a few moments, the greatest
business enterprise in which you and I are jointly engaged. It is practically
a new business, having been in existence, in a nation-wide way, only about
seventy-five years. The world knew nothing about this business a hundred years
ago, and some of our colonial fathers scoffed at it as something which, if it
could be attained, was not worth the having. As a business, let us analyze it
for ourselves, carefully.
careful analysis is justified. For this business is one which has a greater
capital invested than any other enterprise in America. Tremendous amounts of
real estate are owned. Great buildings house the shops. There are officers in
every city and town in the country. An army of directors and workers is
employed. Upon this business is spent the majority of our peace-time taxes.
Into its factories goes the most precious material that our nation yields. Out
of it comes a product, the value of which far exceeds our production of
foodstuffs and manufactures combined.
business, fellow stockholders, is the American public school system.
product of this "factory" is the education of our children - your boys and
girls, and mine. Upon this product depends the future of America. We, as a
people, invest more money in it than in anything else in which we are
interested. The system is a corporation - and you and I own and operate it.
When we consider that the high school enrollment jumped from 915,000 to
1,645,000 in eight years, and that only a little more than seventy-five years
ago there were no high schools in this entire world, we begin to understand
how gigantic an enterprise it is, and how rapidly it is growing.
analysis that we are to make is not based upon sentiment in any way whatever.
Let us think in l terms of invested capital, and dividends; yes, and wear and
tear, and operating expense.
from these points of view that we want to discuss the public school system.
Your child enters the public school - how does he come out? You pay in more
actual dollars and cents for the maintenance and upbuilding of the public
school than you do for any other peace work that you are interested in as a
taxpayer - what dividends do you get back? Your child is graduated from your
high school - and what sort of a job does he get? More important still, what
kind of a job does he hunt for?
have the light of any stockholder to see what we are getting for our money. We
are going to give credit for every bit of constructive work that enters into
the product. We are going to charge every item which properly belongs on the
debit side of the ledger. We are not going to admit that our efforts have been
in vain, these seventy-five years. We are not going to indict the management,
except as we shall find ourselves wanting.
us begin our survey.
community in which we live has invested thousands, hundreds of thousands,
perhaps millions of dollars, in our "plant." Yet that plant is idle more than
three-fourths of the time. We admit that it should be idle a part of the time,
perhaps a little more than half. But when the plant operates on a thirty hour
a week schedule for only thirty-six weeks, is it not just to say - as
stockholders - that the idle time is out of all proportion to the working
are not saying that the children and their teachers should put in eight hours
a day, twelve months in the year. We are talking about our "plant" - the
buildings. Are we using them efficiently? Someone may say that they are
specially constructed, that they are not adaptable to the production of other
things. Are we so sure? Could they not be so adapted?
let us consider the managers, superintendents and foremen. They are the
faculty. Assuming that they are efficient, how about the way we handle them?
Would you permit half or more of your foremen and responsible officers to
shift from one plant to another every year? Would you expect them to be
satisfied and happy in an environment in which they were unable to become
acquainted with their neighbors until the year was up, or practically so?
Would you care to have a business in which all your skilled operatives were
changing every three years? Yet this is what happens to your teachers. A large
percentage of them shift from place to place at the end of the school year;
they know little of the community in which they teach until the school year is
ended. Does this kind of organization develop efficiency?
recent war brought out the awful lack of even the most elementary education in
the young men of draft age. The percentage of illiteracy was found to be
disgracefully high. Our government had to spend billions in training young men
to understand and obey orders. We paid an awful price to give elementary
education to these adults. Is it sound business sense to allow the next
generation to come out of the schools as ignorant as these adults?
as our public school system is, we find that there is a tremendous economic
waste in its administration. Viewed from a business standpoint, can we afford
to let this go on? The public school system ought in any balanced scheme of
things to link up very definitely, not only with "higher education" but with
the home, business, and community life. Failing in this, there is an economic
waste. The percentage of business and professional failures is an index of our
school system. The percentage of failures is too high.
self-respecting citizen, no stockholder in this great corporation of ours,
needs to be told that the ideals of educated men and women must more and more
be made the ideals of all our people. This is what we ought to mean when we
speak of "Americanism." No thinking man or woman owning a share in this
"Company" can fail to realize that the cost of education is a productive
expenditure of money, that it will pay enormous dividends, and that in no
sense of the word is it a charity !
needs no argument to prove that the public school is not a place where
political, religious or educational "axes" are to be ground! There should be
no argument to prove that every one of us must understand and appreciate the
value of the public service rendered by teachers. They should know us, and mix
with us, and acquire a practical knowledge of the problems of life we face,
and which our children must face. And it is infinitely more important that we
know the teachers into whose care we intrust the minds of our children. It is
worth while, from a dollar and cents standpoint, for us to cultivate them,
entertain them in our homes and make them feel that they are being relied
upon, and that they can rely upon us!
have spoken of "Americanism." What does it mean? What should it mean to our
children? From this standpoint, what are the real needs of the public school ?
"Americanism" means "Equality of Opportunity." We live in no feudal age. There
are no barons or lords of the manor who hold us as chattels. Each man and
woman is a human soul, entitled to a fair chance. Inevitably we are bound to
each other by the ties of brotherhood, and the future of our America depends
upon every boy and girl growing into a healthy, happy, competent manhood and
womanhood, able to cope with the conditions that a citizen must face. Our
public school system should fit children to take advantage of their
opportunities, and so make of themselves all that ambition and thrift and
character may hope to attain.
Universal education, more than anything else, must be the goal of our
Republic. Upon this rest the foundations of government, for only through
intelligent citizens can our government continue in the years to come.
bane of factory production is returned goods - goods which have been
improperly manufactured and are sent back to be worked over. Do we realize
that there can be returned goods in our schools ? Have we ever stopped to
think that it costs as much to put a child through the same grade twice as it
does to put two children through once? Everything which helps the child to
learn quickly is real economy. Only if a child is healthy will he do the
required work. Otherwise he will hold back his classmates as well as himself.
Health becomes the greatest possible economy and if there were no other
grounds for asking that supervision of health be exercised over all children,
this would be enough.
public schools can succeed only in proportion to the co-operation which they
receive from the community. We have spoken of effective organization. If this
is demanded by the community, we shall get the worth of our money. If a
community demands teachers who believe in public education at state expense,
the demand will be supplied. If the people of a community are determined that
American ideals shall be instilled into the minds of their children, rather
than the vaporings of foreign agitators, the schools in that community will
have 100% American teachers.
return for all this the community must do its part. We must give the teacher a
place among us. He must feel at home with us because he has come into our
homes. It is necessary for the teacher to know the home background of the
child if intelligent direction is to be given. We cannot expect wholehearted
work without some measure of appreciation.
individuals we have three ways in which we can become a constructive force for
the betterment of the public schools. We can do it as voters, supporting those
measures which benefit the public schools, and voting against the measures
that are opposed to their welfare.
can do it by making our lives touch the lives of those directly connected with
the schools. This does not mean working through a committee or an association.
It means finding out for ourselves what the schools are doing. It means
becoming acquainted with, and learning to know, the aspirations and the
abilities of the teacher who guides the destinies of our child during school
Finally, we can give our support as parents. The child is a healthy animal as
a rule, and has very little natural desire for an education. We must show him
that the way to success in the world lies down the long road of education. We
must make this road reasonably attractive. We must show him that education is
his greatest asset.
public school which brings the children of the rich and of the poor together
is the one great agency which makes for a responsible citizenship. Our
children must know that the right to go to a public school has been fought
for. They must know what it costs in terms of money and sacrifice. Do we
realize that on the organization and influence of the public school system
depends the perpetuity of our Republic?
art of using modern abilities to advantage wins praise, and often acquires
more reputation than actual brilliancy. - La
PEOPLE IN A STATE OF CIVILIZATION CAN STAY IGNORANT AND FREE"
shalt teach them (your children) the words of the law, speaking of them when
thou sittest in thine house and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest
down and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the doorposts of
thine house and upon thy gates."
SOCIETIES that choose to remain stationary and fear change or progress deliver
their young over, bound hand and foot, into the control of tradition. Boys and
girls are made to learn verses from the Analects, Vedas, or the Koran with the
assiduity of young animals set to a task for the understanding of which they
have neither interest nor capacity: it is deemed sufficient that they grow to
maturity with mind and habit glued to the past, - timid, fearful,
conventional, inert, and with a veritable horror of change. The early peoples
of the world were not wild and free, as fancy has so often ignorantly pictured
them, but tame as horses in a treadmill: the great god Taboo held them in
charge for thousands of years, and they were as much afraid of climbing out of
the smooth grooves of custom as so many processionary caterpillars. Their
conception of education was based on a reverence for the past that stereotyped
and rendered sacred its most trivial accidents as well as its most fruitful
probable that the gleaming-eyed Greeks, with their vivid sense of originality
and their love for the rich surprises of personality, were the first people in
the world to discover in education a power for progress, albeit the Spartans
were an exception and made use of schooling merely as a means of Prussianizing
the citizenship. But the Greeks - glorious as were their powers over the arts
- fell short in that they conceived of education solely in terms of the
individual: it had its beginning, its end, and its justification in him.
Education for the purpose of social control, education for the development of
the nation as a nation, - such an ideal never took roots in the Greek genius.
For this reason is it that this same Greek genius, while it continues to
inspire and shape a few personalities, is helpless to shape peoples and
nations: it has neither ideas nor disciplines for this purpose, consequently
Greek culture is being absorbed into a larger synthesis by the all-dominant
forces of present-day democratic education.
Roman people never discovered the potency in education as a means of managing
great masses of people, else they would have trusted the soldier less, and the
pedagogue more. As it was, they put their faith in force rather than in
culture, so they built many armies and few schools. Such education as they had
was for the few and not the many, and it was imitative, timid, and fruitless,
save in the genius of language, and for that one cannot say very much.
* * *
Beginning in the days of Charlemagne, the Middle Ages made feeble attempts at
the development of schools and curricula. But everything was against
education. There were no nations and consequently all political stability was
lost amid the greed of ruling families and the furor of factions. Such
education as the Middle Ages did attempt from Alcuin down fell foul of the
division that ran like a bridgeless cleft through the Europe of those times,
with the Church on the one side and the State on the other always at
loggerheads with each other as to which was to rule. At last the Great
Compromise was made: since neither was able to overthrow the other, both made
terms by dividing human life into two parts - soul and body - the former of
which was made over to the Church, the latter to the State. This nonsensical
arrangement crystallized itself into the school systems, so that there were
many institutions where a person could become a monk, and many others where he
could become an artisan, but none in which he could become a man. The control
of education gradually fell to pieces so that at last even the trade guilds,
down to their small subdivisions, undertook the education of youths, as
witness the guild school at Stratford-on-Avon, where William Shakespeare, the
butcher lad of that village, got his "little Latin and less Greek."
Reformation was the starting point of a new educational movement, and that for
a most peculiar reason. Until the sixteenth century the Church was the rule
and guide of faith for nearly all men, and few had to look elsewhere for a
chart of eternity or a guarantee of safety in that mysterious region: with the
coming of Luther a change in basis was affected, so that the faith of man was
transferred from a complicated but quite commonplace institution to a
littleknown and very fearful Book. Men had to believe in order to be saved;
they had to read the Bible to know what to believe; and they couldn't read the
Bible unless they were taught, so schools came everywhere into existence for
the Reformation brought blessings far beyond itself. By smashing the authority
of both Church and State over the minds of men it made possible that which
would have come centuries earlier had it not been for the paralyzing effects
of the old Roman Catholic dogmas - science arrived. There was nothing
supernatural or mysterious in its advent, because science is at bottom nothing
other than common sense every day methods of doing things. It technologizes
human labor and thereby increases to untold degrees the wealth of the world.
It needed no other passport to the hearty acceptation of men than that. But
science makes it necessary that men rely on reason and experience rather than
on myth and magic, consequently it has, in the unconscious unfolding of its
own inner nature, trained men altogether away from the close supernaturalistic
monkish atmosphere of the Middle Ages. In passing from Roger Bacon to Francis
Bacon, the world became a new world and made inevitable the coming of a new
with science, and by virtue of the same logic of development, there arose out
of the matrix period of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries
that discovery of mankind by man which we call democracy, and which shares
with science responsibility for re-shaping a new civilization out of the old.
When St. Bernard passed along Lake Lucerne, he pulled his hood over his eyes
in order that the bewitching beauty of his surroundings might not tempt him
away from his meditations upon eternity. The act was a significant gesture of
the whole genius of the Middle Ages: during that vast period of time men stood
gazing into the heavens - their eyes up, their hands folded, their heads
empty. Democracy and science together completely destroyed this fruitless
otherworldliness, and taught man to turn his eyes, his attention, and his
hands to realities.
* * *
was in keeping with the nature of things that education in this country began
with a timid and halfhearted imitation of school methods of the Old World. In
Virginia, where Anglicanism held sway, society was graded upwards from the
slave and the apprentice to the landlord and his lady, and schools were
accordingly designed for the children of the well-to-do. In the New
Netherlands, where religion was split into many parties, the parochial system
was devised. In Massachusetts, where Calvinism had its own way, and later
throughout New England, universal education under public control was
attempted. In the beginning schools were for clergymen and gentlemen: after a
while lawyers and doctors made their way in: then came the merchants: the way
was not opened for everybody until a group of heroic leaders and martyrs
compelled the nation to see in education the most powerful of all means of
national self-development. James G. Carter, "father of the normal schools";
Horace Mann, "father of the public free school system"; and Henry Barnard, the
first Commissioner of Education, are names to be held in everlasting
remembrance. The time may possibly come - let us hope it will come soon - when
these little-known Makers of America will be given their rightful place in the
pantheons along with Lincoln, Grant, Washington, and Jefferson. They were
builders of the public mind. They were statesmen of education, and education
will continue to thrive and to increase long after our present political
fabrics are completely forgotten. As the schools are, so are a people.
people in a state of civilization can stay ignorant and free." Of all the wise
things said by Thomas Jefferson, this was one of the wisest. Ignorance means
superstition: if people are superstitious the priests will rule. Ignorance
means poverty: if people are poor, the rich will rule. Ignorance means
weakness: if the people are weak, the strong will rule. Ignorance means
helplessness: a helpless people are as clay in the hands of a potter, to be
thumped, moulded, or discarded as the astute may will. Unless all the people
are educated, a few of the people must run things, because it is only the
educated who CAN run things. Democracy and education belong to each other like
the roots and the branches of a tree: without the one the other cannot
survive. If there is no free public school system, democratic institutions
will go by the board. if there is no democracy, public schools will be
abolished by whatever groups may chance to secure control of things.
* * *
free people organizing itself through a free public school, that is the ideal
to which Freemasonry is committed. Our Fraternity has no educational program
whatsoever, so far as pedagogical methods, theories, or experiments are
concerned; neither is it exercised over-much about the particular form into
which the public school may at any time be cast. It is concerned, and
concerned very much, to see that the whole educational institution is not
quietly undermined by a swarm of separatist groups every one of which knows
that it can never capture control of the nation so long as it leaves the
schools free. The schools must never be permitted to fall under the control of
the church, the politicians, the rich, the bolshevists, or any other devisive
and sectarian party, else the nation will awaken one day to discover that it
has of its great public school system nothing left save an empty shell.
America does not put her trust in armies, navies, in diplomats, or in gold:
her faith is in education because she knows that "no people in a state of
civilization can stay ignorant and free."
the coming of a national Department of Education - it will come sooner or
later with the certainty of fate, whatever befall the Towner-Sterling Bill,
the dream of the fathers will at last become true. Over and above all, the
more visible and material advantages of that great political departure will
stand its moral and symbolical value for all time to come, for the seating of
a Secretary of Education in the Cabinet of the President will signify to all
people the fact that in this land education is nationalized forever, and that
private parties everywhere had best keep hands off.
statue lies hid in a block of marble, and the art of the statuary only clears
away the superfluous matter and removes the rubbish. The figure is in the
stone; the sculptor only finds it. What sculpture is to a block of marble,
education is to a human soul. The philosopher, the saint, or the hero, - the
wise, the good, or the great man very often lies hid and concealed in a
plebian, which a proper education might have disinterred, and have brought to
light. - Addison.
who undertake considerable things, even in a regular way, ought to give us
ground to presume ability. - Burke.
MANHOOD OF HUMANITY" - A MIGHTY BOOK
Manhood of Humanity" by Count Alfred Korzybski; published in 1921 by E. P.
Dutton & Co., 681 Fifth Ave., New York, N. Y. Price $3.00.
WHAT Cassius J. Keyser, Adrain Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University,
and a name somewhat familiar to the readers of these pages, has to say about
this extraordinary book:
"Count Korzybski's book, 'Manhood of Humanity,' is a momentous contribution to
the best thought of these troubled years. It is momentous in what it contains,
even more so in what it suggests, and most of all, I dare say, in the
excellent things it will eventually help men and women to say and do. Its core
is a great conception of man in terms of Time. Like all really great ideas, it
is intelligible and is universal in its interest and appeal. It is, I believe,
destined to light the way in all the cardinal concerns of our humankind."
present writer happens to know of a certainty that this letter, and one that
will be quoted later, are genuine expressions and not mere bookselling puffs
done to order for a consideration.
most potent of all present-day schools of thought is composed of a group of
mathematical philosophers of whom Professor Keyser is himself a distinguished
member, and to which Count Korzybski's book immediately admitted him. Bertrand
Russell, Alfred N. Whitehead, Henri Poincare, Jacques Loeb, Charles P.
Steinmetz, Robert B. Wolf, H. L. Gantt, Walter A. Polakov, etc., are among the
other names notable, or becoming notable, through their connection with this
crusade of rigorous thinking in behalf of a more substantial civilization than
that on the wreckage of which we are now floundering about. If the reader is
curious to learn something about this new method of thinking let him read
"Principia Mathematica" by Whitehead and Russell which is so "noble a monument
to the critical spirit of science and to the idealism of our time," and which
Count Korzybski himself describes as a "monumental work" that "stands alone."
idea at the core of this new school of thought is mathematical; so also with
"The Manhood of Humanity," albeit in the latter case it is couched in what may
appear at first to be non-mathematical language. "Time-binding" is the name
given to it by the author, a new and a striking term that becomes luminous
with meaning as one peruses the book.
is meant by "time-binding"? Let us ask first what is meant by time. Since I
began writing this review, some fifteen minutes, let us say, have elapsed.
What do we mean by this phrase "fifteen minutes"? Since I began using this
typewriter I have been conscious of a series of sensations in my eyes and
muscles; I have had a feeling of the pressure of the chair in which I have
been sitting, and this feeling has continued. The crooked marks made on the
page by the type have been multiplying and so have the pages on which I have
been making them. My three-year old son has twice run up and down the hall
outside the door. I have been hearing the while the chug‑a-chug of an electric
washing machine somewhere in the rear of the house. Outside my window birds
have been fluttering about among the rose bushes, and a great palm, farther
toward the front of the yard, has been weaving up and down in the wind, and I
have been noting it half-consciously out of the tail of my eye. Also I have
been aware of certain bodily sensations attendant upon breathing and the like,
and when I look about me I can see that the furniture of the room continues to
exist. This whole little world in the midst of which I have been sitting is
not something apart from me, nor am I something apart from it; I and it are a
part of one whole, and I and it, and all in it or in myself, have been
changing and continuing. It has all been going on, and my own experience of
that going-on is what I call time. The "fifteen minutes" of which I spoke is a
familiar and easy way of denoting a certain quantum of that experience I have
been having of the going‑on of things. Clocks, watches, calendars, and our
habits of marking time by daylight and dark are not in themselves time at all,
but merely our way of managing this endless stream of our experience of the
going-on of things. Time is not something empty and remote, but something full
and immediate; it is the very stuff of life itself.
appears that an animal makes very little use of this on-going of things and
experiences, for it apparently remains about the same, save for organic
changes, from one "moment" of time to another. With man, however, - and this
is the point important to remember - it is different, for his very nature is
so constructed this his life itself is an adjustment to this process, and
therefore he is able to gather it up and preserve it as it goes along, and
anticipate it as it is yet to come. That is to say, he binds it up in himself,
and that is why Korzybski calls man a "time-binder." Our family cat, who has
just excited the children by a gift of two kittens, has been eating her meals
in exactly the same manner since she was born; all the "times" of her eating
have left her apparently unchanged. Not so myself - I have learned by
"experience," which is another name for time, how better and better to eat,
until now, when I sit at a table, I eat by means of the stored-up time that is
in my nature. To be able to bind up time this way is that which, according to
Korzybski, most differentiates myself from the cat, for, - and this is the
formula of the Korzybski philosophy, - man is by essence (he will forgive me
for using this abused term here) a time-binding being. Korzybski, it may be
noted in passing, stands up and fights when anyone calls man an animal: one
may be glad that at last our thinkers are beginning to recover from the silly
superstition that so laid hold of nineteenth century thinkers! To call man an
animal is to talk nonsense.
advantage of the time-binding conception is that it offers an understanding of
human nature which is rigorously scientific and accurate and which may be
dealt with by the precise methods of mathematical science. Therein lies its
importance, for it makes it possible hereafter to deal with man in the
accurate way in which science deals with anything, and not in the botched and
childish way in which - let us say - politics deals with anything.
exact sciences such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, etc.,
have been progressing by rapid strides in geometric ratio, but not so politics
and those kindred organized efforts which are beginning to be called the
"human" or "social" sciences. These latter are all in a snarl and don't know
which way to turn, and that is what is wrong with the world at the present
moment. Why is this ? It is because the exact sciences are what the name
implies, they are exact and precise, - mathematical by their nature, - whereas
the so-called social sciences are as yet congeries of passions, prejudices,
ignorances, party shibboleths, and superstitions. The only hope out of the
muddle of which the Great War was the horrible outcome is by Human
Engineering. The social sciences must become exact and passionless like
mathematics, not in order that man's own life may become hard and dry but for
the exactly opposite reason that human life may become joyous and spontaneous.
The Great War is the reply to those who would say, Let us go on by the old
methods of party politics and all that: Human Engineering - the phrase
explains itself - is the reply of those who say, Let us not, in the name of
God, go on in the old way. It is neither revolution nor reaction but science,
as benign as it is sure !
the name of all you hold dear you must read this book; and then you must
reread it, and after that read it again and again, for it is not brewed in the
vat of the soft best-sellers to be gulped down and forgotten, but it is hewn
out of the granite, for the building of new eras. Robert B. Wolf,
Vice-President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, spoke soberly
in a letter to the Vice President of E. P. Dutton & Co., when he wrote these
consider Count Korzybski's discovery of man's place in the great life movement
as even more epoch making than Newton's discovery of the law of gravitation.
It will have a far greater effect upon the development of the human race.
book, 'Manhood of Humanity, The Science and Art of Human Engineering,' is one
of great power and originality, and I believe that no thinking man or woman
can afford not to be familiar with it. It opens up an entirely new field of
thought, and my own keen interest comes, not only from the fact that Count
Korzybski proves his theory mathematically, but also, because my own years of
practical experience as an industrial manager have proven beyond a question of
a doubt, that his theory of man's relationship to Time is absolutely correct."
Korzybski is the head of one of the oldest families in Poland. He was a
General Staff officer during the Great War, and he knows Europe as do few. He
is a man apparently in his fifties, with a closecropped head, a square jaw,
deep-set gray eyes, and walks with a cane; when he talks he does it with his
whole nature. Words cannot say how much in earnest he is in helping pull the
world out of the mudhole in which it now finds itself. He is not a Mason
himself (as yet) but his family have been for many generations. H. L. Haywood.
PUBLICATIONS WANTED, FOR SALE, AND EXCHANGE
are constantly receiving inquiries from readers as to where they may obtain
publications on Freemasonry and kindred subjects not offered in our Monthly
Book List. Most of the books thus sought are out of print, but it may happen
that other readers, owning copies, may be willing to dispose of the same.
Therefore this column is set aside each month for such a service. And it is
also hoped - and expected - that readers possessing very old or rare Masonic
works will communicate the fact to THE BUILDER in behalf of general
Postoffice addresses are here given in order that those buying and selling may
communicate directly with each other. Brethren are asked to cancel notices as
soon as their wants are supplied.
case does THE BUILDER assume any responsibility whatsoever for publications
thus bought, sold, exchanged or borrowed.
Bro. D. D. Berolzheimer, 1 Madison Ave., New York, N. Y.: "Realities of
Masonry," Blake, 1879; "Records of the Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masons,"
Condor, 1894; "Masonic Bibliography," Carson, 1873; "Origin of Freemasonry,"
Bro. G. Alfred Lawrence, 142 West 86th St., New York, N. Y.: Proceedings of
the Scottish Rite Body founded by Joseph Cerneau in New York City in 1808, of
which De Witt Clinton was the first Grand Commander, and which body became
united, in 1867, with the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic
Jurisdiction, A. & A. S. R. Also Proceedings of the Supreme Council founded in
New York by De La Motta, in 1813, by authority of the Southern Supreme
Council, of which he was Grand Treasurer-General, these Proceedings from 1813
Bro. Frank R. Johnson, 306 East 10th St., Kansas City, Mo.: "The Year Book,"
published by the Masonic Constellations, containing the History of the Grand
Council, R. & S. M., of Missouri.
Brother Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin: "Catalogue of the Masonic
Library of Samuel Lawrence"; "Second Edition of Preston's Illustrations of
Masonry"; "The Source of Measures," by J. Ralston Skinner 1875, or second
edition 1894; "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum," volumes I to XI, inclusive; "Masonic
Facts and Fictions," by Henry Sadler; "The Kabbalah Unveiled," by S. L.
Bro. Ernest E. Ford, 305 South Wilson Avenue, Alhambra, California: Ars
Quatuor Coronatorum, volumes 3, 6 and 7, with St. John's Cards, also St.
John's Cards for volumes 4 and 5; "Masonic Review," early volumes; "Voice of
Masonry," early volumes; Transactions Supreme Council Southern Jurisdiction
for the years 1882 and 1886; Original Proceedings of The General Grand
Encampment Knights Templar for the years 1826 and 1835.
Bro. George A. Lanzarotti, Casilla 126, Rancagua, Chile: All kinds of Masonic
literature in Spanish. Write first quoting prices.
Brother L. Rask, 14 Alvey St., Schenectady, N. Y.: "Remarks upon Alchemy and
the Alchemists," by E. A. Hitchcock, Janesville, N. Y., about 186S; "Secret
Societies of all Ages," Heckethorn; "Lost Language of Symbology," by Harold
Bayley, published by Lippincott; "Sacred Hermeneutics," by Davidson,
Edinburgh, 1843; "Solar System of the Ancients Discovered," by J. Wilson,
published by Longmans Co., London, 18S6; "The Alphabet," by Isaac Taylor,
Kegan, Paul, Trench & Co., 1883, or the edition of 1899 published by
Scribners, New York; "Anacalypsis," by Geodfrey Higgins, 1836, published by
Green & Longmans, London; "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum," any volume or volumes.
Bro. J. H. Tatsch, Union Bank & Trust Co., Los Angeles, Calif.: Fascilus 2,
"Cementaria Hibernica," by Chetwode Crawley; Volumes 1, 2, 5 and 8, Quatuor
Coronati Antigrapha; "Some Memorials of Globe Lodge No. 23," Henry Sadler;
"Constitutions of the Freemasons," Hughan, 1869; "Numerical and Medallic
Register of Lodges," Hughan, 1878; "History of the Appolo Lodge and the R. A.,
York," Hughan, 1894; any items on Anti-Masonry, especially tracts, handbills,
posters, old newspapers, almanacs, etc., relating to Morgan incident,
1826-1840, and recurrence of same from 1870 to 1885.
Bro. J.H. Tatsch, Union Bank & Trust Co., Los Angeles, Calif.: Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum, volumes 6 to 26, in parts as issued, with St. John Cards;
"Masonic Reprints and Revelations," Sadler; "The Natural History of
Staffordshire," Dr. Robert Plot, 1686, folio; "The History of Freemasonry,"
Robert Freke Gould, Yorston edition, 4 volumes; "History of Freemasonry in
Europe," Emmanuel Rebold, 1867; "Bibliographie der Freimaurerischen
Literatur," August Wolfsteig, 1911-13, two volumes and register, paper, as
issued; "History of Freemasonry," Mackey, 7 volumes; "History of Freemasonry
and Concordant Orders," Hughan and Stillson; facsimile engraving Picard's "Les
Francmassons," 1735, fine copy.
Brother A. A. Burnand, 690 South Bronson Ave., Los Angeles, California:
Various Masonic publications including such as a complete set of "Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum"; "History of Freemasonry in Scotland," by D. Murray Lyon,
(original edition); Thomas Dunckerley, Laurence Dermott, etc.
Brother Frank R. Johnson, 306 East 10th St., Kansas City, Mo.: "History of
Freemasonry," Mitchell, 2 volumes, sheep; "History of Freemasonry," Robert
Freke Gould, 4 volumes, cloth, in good condition; "History of Freemasonry,"
Albert G. Mackey, 7 volumes, linen cloth, new; Addison's "Knights Templar,"
Macoy, 1 volume, cloth; "Museum of Antiquity," Yaggy, 1 volume, morocco;
"History and Cyclopaedia of Freemasonry," Macoy and Oliver, new, full morocco.
Also miscellaneous books.
BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its
contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own
opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of
opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of
Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all alike a medium for
fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society
at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly
invited from our members, particularly those connected with lodges or study
clubs which are following our Study Club course. When requested, questions
will be answered promptly by mail before publication in this department.
REMISSNESS OF THE MASONIC PRESS
of all the Ancient Mysteries none, perhaps, is of more interest to the Masonic
"browser" than those of Mithras, the "find" referred to in the enclosed
clipping from Littell's Living Age may be of general interest to the Craft.
intended simply to mail you this clipping, but the spirit at present moving me
to the carrying out of a resolution of long standing causes me to ask, through
you, a question of the Masonic press.
at all infrequently are references, like this Mithraic one, met with in
current periodicals and newspapers, but very rarely is there a follow up, much
less a bare reference to them, in the Masonic press. This possibly is not so
surprising regarding a subject like the Mysteries of Mithras; or, to cite
another instance which now occurs to me, the semi-official pronouncement of
Austria that Masonry was solely responsible for the Great War, then in
progress. Not of general interest! Propaganda! Possibly. But how do you
account for the following neglect by the American Masonic Press ?
pictorial section of the New York Times for Sunday, May 22, 1921, carried two
rotogravures entitled "Screen Version of Laying of Cornerstone of University
of Virginia. Reproduced as described in the Minutes of the Charlottesville
Lodge of Masons" and "Motion Pictures of the Founding of the University of
Virginia which are to be used in connection with the Celebration of the
University's Centennial." The first of these shows the white gloves and
aprons, the jewels of the three principal officers, the Master "trying" the
stone, etc., also, among others, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe.
not pretend to possess a news-nose but certainly here the nose knows, yet of
the four Masonic publications, regularly read by me, not one carried even a
bare mention of this historic event and its modern reproduction, an account of
which could not fail to have been of absorbing interest to every American
Mason. And now the question: Why?
S. Baker. New York.
clipping mentioned by Brother Baker is brief, but interesting; it is taken
from "The Living Age" for May 28, 1921 and is as follows:
important archeological discoveries have recently been made on the Continent,
one relating to the Mithraic Mysteries, the religious cult which during the
first four centuries after Christ was the chief rival of Christianity in all
parts of the ancient world. While working on the foundations of a ruined house
at Arlon, Belgium, workmen uncovered vast bas-reliefs, representing a huge
figure followed by a dog and carrying a bull on his shoulders, and a
the silence of the Masonic press on such subjects and incidents, Brother
Baker, the reply can be immediately given. Masonic journals do not (because
they cannot) employ staffs of representatives or news services as daily papers
and profane periodicals do. A great majority of Masonic magazines and papers
are either subsidized by Grand Lodges and edited and managed by one or two
men, or they are constantly fighting bankruptcy. Under such conditions it is
quite out of the question for them to carry a news service, and the only
"news" they can publish is such as the editor may himself chance upon or his
readers may send in. THE BUILDER is a unique exception. It is not a magazine
in the strict sense of the word, but a journal, edited by and published by and
in the interests of The National Masonic Research Society. It has its editor,
its business manager, and its editorial staffs, but for the most part it is
dependent for its contributions and its knowledge of current events of Masonic
interest on the members of the Society. Experience has proved this to be
workable and satisfactory as is proved by an ever growing circulation. You
yourself, Brother Baker, are one of the editors of THE BUILDER, as is every
member of the Society. Whenever your "news-nose" leads you to an item of
Masonic importance, let it be on your conscience to send it in. As for the
Mysteries of Mithras, they are receiving an ever growing attention from
Masonic students, and articles are now in preparation for THE BUILDER on that
subject. The Open Court Publishing Company of Chicago has published the best
works on the subject; a little book by Pythian Adams, and the complete works
by the greatest authority of all, Dr. Franz Cumont, who was in this country
* * *
CONCERNING THE COMACINI
Brother A. E. Waite in his "Secret Tradition in Freemasonry," chapter II, page
80, mentions a "trading association of architects" which appeared during the
dark ages under the special authority of the Holy See. He suggests that they
were the operative descendants of the architects of Byzantium, but I do not
find any other reference to them. Are these to be considered as identical with
that other body known as the "Comacine Masters"? If not, who were they?
N.W.J. Haydon, Ontario.
question was referred to Brother Waite himself who very kindly replied after
the following fashion:
you will look at my Secret Tradition in Freemasonry, vol. II, pp. 76-80, you
will see that I am dealing with various speculations which, in my opinion,
have nothing to support them, or shall I say, little at least? They are those
of L'Etoile Flamboyante and things analogous thereto. My reference to 'a
leading association of architects' under the authority of the Holy See is
quoted from one of these sources, and the association in question is not named
definitely, that is to say, in the original work. I take it to have meant The
Comacini, but it is not easy to determine always what may have been in the
minds of some eighteenth century dreamers."
* * *
ON CHURCH HISTORY
book or set of books would you recommend to give an impartial and unbiased
history of religion or church history? What I want is a fairly complete
reference work for my library. G.W.H., Nebraska.
History of the Christian Church," by George Park Fisher, published by
Scribner's, contains all the cold facts - often they are pretty cold, too -
about the subject, and the book is written, as far as I can see, in a fair and
impartial spirit throughout. A more complete account, slightly from a Baptist
angle, is found in the two volumes of "A Manual of Church History," by A. H.
Newman, published by the American Baptist Publication Society. I have studied
this work thoroughly and know it to be good. Neander's Church History,
Milman's Latin Christianity, Gieseler's Church History, Hagenbach's History of
the Church, and Robertson's History of the Church, are all standard. The best
thing on the doctrines involved is, of course, Harnack's History of Dogma in
seven volumes. Fisher is as good a one-volume work as you will find.
Masonic Journal, of Johannesburg, South Africa, has recently exhumed a most
interesting item from an old Masonic periodical. The Masonic Journal,
published at Haverhill, Mass., which, in one of its issues in 1858, included
this interesting bit of history:
cognomen of "Brother Jonathan" is of Masonic origin. George Washington,
commander-in-chief of the American army in the Revolution, was a Mason, as
well as all the other generals, not even excepting Benedict Arnold, the
traitor, who attempted to deliver West Point into the hands of the enemy. On
one occasion, when the American army had met with some serious reverses,
General Washington called his brother officers together to consult in what
manner their efforts could be counteracted. Differing as they did in opinion,
the commander-in-chief postponed any action on the subject by remarking: "Let
us consult 'Brother Jonathan'," referring to Jonathan Trumbull, who was a
well-known Mason, and particularly distinguished for "his sound judgment,
strict morals, and having the tongue of a good report."
* * *
NOTES ON SOUTH AFRICAN FREEMASONRY
page 31 of THE BUILDER for January was printed a valuable communication from
Brother William Moister, Editor of The Masonic Journal of South Africa, 55
Meischke's Buildings, Johannesburg. Since that letter was printed Brother
Moister has written again a letter which contains these notes that may be
added to his original contribution.
Rhodesia. There is now an Irish Lodge at Salisbury, which was consecrated a
few months ago as you may have seen in the M.J. (under the Prov. Grand Lodge
of South Africa.)
Excellent Master and Royal Arch. Since writing you we have a ruling from the
Supreme Grand Chapter of Scotland on a point raised by my Chapter
(Commonwealth 398 S.C.). It seems that another Scottish Chapter had allowed
Irish R. A. Masons to see the whole working including the E.M., while my
Chapter had insisted upon their taking the degree and charging them for it. It
has been ruled that while English R. A. Masons who have not taken the degree
of E.M. must still join a Chapter and have that conferred on them if they wish
to see the E.M. work, in the Irish, their ceremony with the veils so closely
approximates to the Scottish E.M. degree that a brief affirmation or
obligation that whatever may be new to them in the E.M. degree shall be
treated as a Masonic secret, will satisfy our requirements, and so we had to
return (or offer to) the fees charged. Of course, the brethren concerned
promptly told us to apply the amount to benevolence.
the other note. I don't think I specifically stated that Dr. Jameson was not a
Mason, but that I did not know him to be one.
almost sure about John Hays Hammond, the Columbia Lodge umder the English
banner being almost entirely composed of Americans at first, although it has
now almost entirely lost that national characteristic.
Moister. Editor. The Masonic Journal of South Africa.
* * *
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CRAFTSMEN MOVEMENT
the March, 1922, issue of THE BUILDER appeared an article by Brother O.N.
Pomeroy of Ohio, entitled "The Cleveland Federation of Craftsmen." The
formation of organizations of various crafts whose members were composed of
Master Masons was briefly described.
wonder how many of the readers of this magazine realize what an important step
this movement is in the productive as well as the social world?
it would seem to me, is the beginning of a renaissance, which I hope may
eventually bring about a return to brotherhoods of craftsmen resembling, in
spirit at least, the Middle Age guilds.
lecture delivered at the Lowell Institute in Boston, Mass., on Nov. 26th,
1919, by Mr. Thomas M. Legge, the Medical Inspector of Factories and Workshops
for the British Crown, an urgent plea was offered for a return to just such
conditions as had existed during the high-day of the Masonic guilds. He said,
"Trade-unions are the inheritors of the traditions of the trade guilds. Let
them carry on the tradition of what was best in their great predecessor. A
great future lies before them. Let them, then, feel their responsibility.
Wages and creature comforts of their members - these, I grant you, must come
first, but these happily are now in sight of attainment. Let them look into
this should transpire I believe astonishing results would ultimately be
obtained, both for employee and employer. An interest and pride in output,
which is so lacking today, would elevate the quality of the work produced, and
establish a premium for better workmanship.
Master Mason mechanics have this laudable end well within their power to
achieve if they continue to organize for the betterment of their craft, as is
being done by this Cleveland Federation. Let us hope that it may become
national in scope and a return be made to the great brotherhoods of the past!
Bragdon, New York.
* * *
REGARDING GOETHE - INVESTIGATING COMMITTEES
article referred to in The London Daily News about which you requested
information in the Correspondence Column of the February THE BUILDER, page 64,
was read at the 100th anniversary celebration of the raising of Goethe to
Masonry, and was published in Leipzig in 1880 under the title:
"Johann Wolfgang Goethe als Freimaurer. Festschrift zum 23. Juni, 1880, dem
100-jaehrigen Freimaurer Jubilaeum Goethes." The author was J. Pietsch. The
pamphlet was an octavo of 63 pages and was sold at about fifty cents.
F.J.K., South Carolina (p. 61, same issue), will write to me he can obtain
information about lodge investigating committees. Hanselmann Lodge, 208,
Cincinnati, Ohio, of which the writer is a member has for several years had a
permanent investigating comnnittee and also a formal printed questionnaire and
the lodge has found its methods of great value in the examination of the
qualifications of candidates.
E. Wilde, Ohio.
* * *
ENTERED APPRENTICE'S SONG" NOW IN USE
may interest you and your correspondent "T.F.W., Alabama," in the December
issue of THE BUILDER to hear that a revised version of "The Entered
Apprentice's Song" is in use in several of the English lodges. The words as
used I give below. It will be noted the chief difference is in the first
verse. It was thought that "peasant" was a more suitable word than "beggar" as
the first section of the first lecture in English lodges reads, "brother to a
King, fellow to a prince, and companion to a peasant, if a Freemason and found
worthy." Another version gives, "Our wine has a spring." This also has been
altered as also the line, "Let's drink, laugh, and sing" as such was
considered to have too much of a bacchanalian flavor about it:
Come, let us prepare, we brothers that are
met on this happy occasion
quaff and we'll sing; be he peasant or king,
Here's a health to an Accepted Mason.
The world tries in vain our secrets to gain,
still let them wonder and guess on;
ne'er can divine a word or a sign,
Free and an Accepted Mason.
Great Kings, Dukes, and Lords have laid by their swords,
Myst'ries to put a good grace on;
have not been ashamed to hear themselves named,
Free and an Accepted Mason.
Antiquity's pride we have on our side,
we keep up our old reputation;
There's nought but what's good to be understood,
Free and an Accepted Mason.
We're true and sincere, We're just to the fair;
They'll trust on any occasion;
mortal can more the ladies adore,
a Free and an Accepted Mason.
rise and join hands.)
Then join hand in hand, To each other firm stand,
be merry and put a bright face on;
Order can boast so noble a toast,
Free and an Accepted Mason.
the English lodges previous to opening it is customary to sing a hymn, "Hail
Eternal." Another hymn, "Now the Evening Shadows Falling," is sung after the
the November issue of THE BUILDER Brother Francis E. White gives some very
interesting notes of English Freemasonry. He states there are no official
rituals. It is true that there are none which are officially recognized but
two are issued which by a long period of use extending to over 100 years have
come to be recognized as semi-official. The chief is known as the "Emulation"
as practiced and taught by the Emulation Lodge in London while the other is
known as the "Standard, or Stability or Muggeridge" and is taught by the
Stability Lodge of Instruction, London. No printed ritual or paper is
permitted to be used while the lodge is at work. All is performed from memory.
Some lodges, one of which is held in the city of Leeds, works an old ritual
known as the "York." This is entirely done from memory, no printed ritual
existing. There are no lectures attached to the latter working. J.B. Ward,
* * *
IRlSH MASONIC MEDALLION, AND BULL-ISSUING POPES
are a couple of the queries in the April issue of THE BUILDER to which I will
essay a reply.
First, regarding the Masonic Medallion, on p. 107. In cut A, the figure above
the Sun and Moon I take to be the All-Seeing Eye. The numbers 15, and 16, are
simply the date, 1516. I should think that it is really a Coffin represented
at the foot of the steps. In cut B. perhaps the winged figure is a Phoenix.
would be glad if some Brother would interpret the initials in cut B.
as to the Bull-issuing popes on p. 126, I would add these:
Pius VII renewed by Edict the Bull of Clement XII.
Leo XII issued the Bull "Quo graviora," concerning which Waite, in the second
volume of his New Masonic Encyclopedia, on p. 266, gives seven different
condemnations of Freemasonry. Waite errs, however, in his next paragraph,
where he attributes the Bull in 1838 to Gregory XII, instead of Gregory XVI.
A. Parsell, New York.
* * *
ANOTHER DEFINITION OF FREEMASONRY
Reading Dr. K. Bein's "Vertaro de Esperanto," I note this definition of
member of that religious and mystical society whose aim is moral perfection on
the basis of general equality and fraternity."
will probably be of some degree of interest and may also be worth the
permanence of print in the columns of THE BUILDER. Robt. I. Clegg, Illinois.
* * *
ABOUT QUAKERS IN FREEMASONRY
church the Quaker, or Friend, organization is opposed to secret societies and
especially the Masonic Fraternity, but this feeling of opposition seems to be
passing, especially this is true of this community, as we have in our lodge
here quite a number of enthusiastic Masons who are also prominent members of
the Friends' church.
party Brother Sadilek refers to is one C.B. Johnson who is now cashier of a
bank in Whittier, California. At that time there was quite a little opposition
in the church to his move toward Masonry. The writer had the pleasure of
raising Brother J. and can say truthfully that he is a first-class man and
would suggest that you write or call on him and get his version of the matter.
* * *
DIVISIONS OF THE DAY
the March issue of THE BUILDER, page 95, Brother V. M. Irick asks for
information as to jurisdictions that do not class the day into three "equal"
Quoting from the monitor approved by the Grand Lodge of Idaho in 1903: "It
being divided into twenty-four equal parts is emblematical of the twenty-four
hours of the day; which we are taught to divide into three parts...."