The Legislative and Executive Appropriation Bill

May 12, 1870


A bill allocating funds for education and the Educational Bureau is being negotiated in the Senate and a discussion is taking place regarding whether education should be a state or national issue.


In the Senate to-day the legislative and executive appropriation bill was again proceeded with, and all went smoothly until the appropriation for educational purposes was reached. It was proposed to so amend the House bill as to reduce the appropriation for the Bureau of Education from fourteen thousand five hundred dollars to five thousand four hundred dollars. This matter had twice before caused considerable discussion, and again to-day gave to several senators an opportunity to make some pretty little speeches. Mr. Drake led off, but having almost exhausted himself on previous occasions, very graciously yielded to Mr. Howell, who bellowed away at a great rate some twenty minutes. Then came Mr. Patterson with warm support of the House recommendation; stating that education is the pride of New England ; insisted that agriculture is not to be compared in importance to education; and he was sorry the appropriation asked was not ten-fold that proposed. Mr. Ferry was in favor of the committee's amendment, and hoped it would be concurred in. He said no worse precedent could be set up in the States than to allow them to look up to the Federal Government tor support in such matters. Mr. Howard also favored the amendment, and asserted that the Educational Bureau, and in fact the Bureau of Statistics, might be entirely abolished. After remarks by other senators a vote was taken, Mr. Sumner suggesting that the friends of education would vote against the amendment. The amendment was defeat-ed-19 to 38. Notwithstanding it was shown from data that the Bureau of Education is a worthless, institution, several Republican senators agreed with Democrats that the , matter of education should be left to the States, and that the Federal Government, cannot rightfully meddle in it.
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Bryce Smith


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“The Legislative and Executive Appropriation Bill,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed March 29, 2023,