Another Important Point

June 2, 1869


It is imperative that the white Virginians have control over their school systems. They need to select their own textbooks and teachers, and the textbooks and teachers should both be from Virginia (rather than the North) to keep the integrity of Virginia intact. They do not want the "teaching [to] our children [to] insult the memory of their fathers."


Another Important Point. It is provided in the constitution that the Governor and Attorney-General, together with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, shall constitute the Board of Education, which Board is empowered, with the approval of the Senate, to appoint county superintendents of free schools; also, to remove them and to provide for uniformity of text-books and the furnishing of schoolhouses with such apparatus and library as may be provided by law. The Board also is given power, under the direction of law, over the management and investment of the school fund and supervision of higher schools. Thus we see that the Governor and Attorney-General are to have the control of the system of education, and in the matters of teachers and text-books will hold a most important power. The text-books are sufficiently the objects of public concern ; but the teachers are yet more so. We do not want books used in teaching our children that will insult the memory of their fathers, neither do we want teachers imported as long as our own are equal in number and capacity to our wants. We do not believe that this nation can produce superior and more accomplished teachers than those who graduate at our institutions. We will have made but little if after we have stricken the test-oath out of the constitution there shall be those at the head of the Government who will practically continue its operation by denying employment to our own people. Fellow-citizens, the constitution will be adopted. It is full of provisions which make it in the last degree important, for the prosperity, dignity, and peace of the State, that the government should be in the hands of Conservatives. Rightly administered, we can get along under this constitution very well; but since a good constitution is no certain protection against the maladministration of unprincipled men, we may well anticipate evils untold should the one now offered to us be entrusted to such men ! Nothing can save us from such a fate hut a grand and united effort by the people.
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Ali O'Hara




“Another Important Point,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 18, 2022,