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Proceedings of the Convention of Teachers of the Confederate States,
Assembled at Columbia, South Carolina, April 28th, 1863:

Electronic Edition.

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First edition, 1999
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Source Description:
(title page) Proceedings of the Convention of Teachers of the Confederate States, Assembled at Columbia, South Carolina, April 28th, 1863.
19 p.
Macon, Ga.
Burke, Boykin & Co., Steam Book and Job Printers

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Title Page

Confederate States,
Assembled at Columbia, South Carolina, April 28th, 1863.

Macon, GA.:

Page 1


        The Convention met according to previous notice, at 10, A. M., in the City Hall, and was organized temporarily, by calling Dr. R. W. Gibbes, of Columbia, S. C., to the Chair, and requesting Lieut. Patrick of the same place, to act as Secretary.

        The meeting was opened with prayer by Rev. Dr. Reynolds, of Columbia, S. C.

        The Chairman then read the following resolution, adopted by the State Educational Association of North Carolina, at their meeting, October, 1862.

        Resolved, That this Association recommend a general convention of the teachers of the Confederate States, to be held at ----on----1863, to take into consideration the best means for supplying the necessary text-books for schools and colleges, and for uniting their efforts for the advancement of education in the Confederacy; and that the Executive Committee of the Association be directed to correspond with teachers in the various States on the subject.

        Under which resolution the Committee selected Columbia, S. C., as the place of meeting.

        On motion of Mr. Smythe, of N. C., it was--

        Resolved, unanimously, That the Chairman be requested to invite all gentlemen interested in the objects of the Convention, to unite with us and take part in our deliberations.

        On motion of Mr. Sterling, of N. C., the delegates then proceeded to enroll their names.

        It was resolved, on motion, that the ladies be invited to attend our sessions.

        The Convention, on motion of Mr. Palmer, of N. C., then adjourned to meet at 8 o'clock, P. M.

R. W. GIBBES, Chairman.

JNO. B. PATRICK, Secretary.

Page 2

APRIL 28TH, 1863.

        The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, at 8 o'clock P. M., and was opened with prayer by Rev. H. M. Mood.

        The delegates not present at last meeting, then proceeded to enroll their names.

        On motion of Mr. Sterling, of N. C., it was--

        Resolved, unanimously, That the teachers and friends of education here assembled, do organize themselves into a permanent Educational Association for the Confederate States of America.

        On motion of Rev. C. H. Wiley, of N. C.,--

        Resolved, unanimously, That a Committee of one from each State represented, be appointed by the Chairman to report a permanent Constitution and By-Laws for the government of the Association.

        The Chair announced the following as the Committee:

        The Committee having withdrawn for consultation, Mr. Sterling of N. C., offered the following resolution, which was adopted:

        Resolved, That a Committee of one from each State represented in this Association, be appointed to take into consideration the general interests of education in the Confederate States, and the supply of our schools with text-books, and to report by resolution or otherwise.

        The following were appointed the Committee:

        Letters from President Davis and Governor Vance, of N. C., were read and ordered to be published with the proceedings of this body. Letters were also received from the following gentlemen, regretting that they could not be present.

        L. P. Orr, Martin Institute, Jefferson, Georgia.

        Rev. S. R. Talmadge, D. D., President Oglethorpe University, Georgia.

Page 3

        Rev. A. C. Dayton, President Dayton High School, Lafayette, Georgia.

        A. Preot, President Farmville Female College, Virginia.

        Charles Campbell, Principal Anderson Seminary, Petersburg, Virginia.

        Rev. T. W. Tobery, Prof. Judson Female Institute, Marion, Alabama.

        The Chairman then read a memorial from the ladies of Atlanta, Ga., in reference to the "Home for Invalid Ladies," and called attention to the circulars accompanying it--all of which was, on motion, ordered to be placed on the table for the consideration of the members.

        The Committee on Constitution and By-Laws, reported through their Chairman, that they have drawn up a Constitution but that they had not deemed it expedient to frame by-laws at the present stage of the proceedings, which report was, on motion, received.

        On motion, the Constitution was then taken up, article by article, and adopted.


        ARTICLE 1. This Association shall be called "The Educational Association of the Confederate States of America," and its object shall be, to promote the educational interest of the country.

        ART. 2. The officers of the Association shall consist of a President, one Vice-President from each State, a Recording and a Corresponding Secretary, and a Treasurer; and these officers shall be elected by the Association, for one year or until their successors are chosen.

        ART. 3. It shall be the duty of the President of the Association to preside at its meetings, and to discharge such other duties as shall appertain to his office; and he shall, at the expiration of his term deliver an address before the Association.

        ART. 4. It shall be the duty of the Vice-Presidents to preside, in the order they are named, in the absence of the President.

        ART. 5. The Recording Secretary shall keep a permanent

Page 4

record of its proceedings, and list of its members, and shall perform such other duties as are incident to his office.

        ART. 6. The Corresponding Secretary shall assist the Recording Secretary in keeping the minutes of the Association, and shall conduct such correspondence as the body or its President may direct.

        ART. 7. The Treasurer shall receive and keep the funds of the Association, subject to its orders, and make no disbursements except on the order of the President, countersigned by the Recording Secretary; and he shall, at the end of his term, make a report of all moneys received and paid out by him, and deliver to his successor the funds in his hands.

        ART. 8. Any male citizen of the Confederate States, who may be engaged in the profession of teaching, or who has, in any way, identified himself with the educational interests of the country, may become a member of this Association, in the following manner, to wit: He must be nominated at an annual meeting by a member of this body, elected by a majority of the votes then present, and sign this Constitution.

        ART. 9. Each member of this Association shall annually pay to its Treasurer such a sum as shall be determined by the By-Laws.

        ART. 10. The Association shall hold an annual meeting at such times and places as it may designate.

        ART. 11. This Constitution may be amended at any annual meeting by a vote of two-thirds of the members present; and a quorum to do business, shall consist of any ten members representing not less than three States.

        On motion of Mr. S. H. Wiley, of N. C., it was--

        Resolved, That a Committee of one from each State represented, be appointed to nominate permanent officers for the Association.

        The President appointed the following committee:

Page 5

        On motion, the Association adjourned to meet to-morrow at 9 A. M.

R. W. GIBBES, Chairman.

JNO. B. PATRICK, Secretary.

APRIL 29TH, 1863.

        The Association met pursuant to adjournment, at 9 o'clock, A. M., and was opened with prayer by Rev. Dr. Curtis, of South Carolina.

        The minutes of the last meetings were read and approved.

        The Committee on permanent organization, reported the following nominations for officers, who were elected unanimously, by acclamation:

        Dr. Reynolds having, in appropriate terms, expressed to the Association his full appreciation of the honor conferred, assumed the duties of the office to which he was elected.

        The Committee on General Interests of Education and Text Books, made a report which, being received, after some discussion, was recommitted.

        The following resolution was offered by Dr. J. H. Gibbons, of North Carolina:

        Resolved, That it be recommended by this Convention, to introduce the Constitution of the Confederate States as a text-book in all public schools.

        The report was referred to the Committee on General Interests of Education, &c.

        Letters were then read by Dr. Gibbes, from Prof. C. Martin, of Hampden Sidney College, Va., which were referred to same committee.

        A call being made on the members of the Assciation for information as to the efforts being made, and the facilities for

Page 6

obtaining a supply of Southern text-books, the remainder of the morning was consumed by the Delegates from Virginia and N. Carolina, in giving to the Association much interesting information.

        Eight additional names were registered this morning.

        On motion, the Association adjourned until 3 1/2 P. M.


        The Association resumed business at the time designated.

        The call upon the States for information in regard to textbooks, was continued. After the reception of interesting reports from Delegates of South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, there arose an irregular discussion on text-books and systems of instruction, which continued until the re-appearance of the Committee on Educational Interests. The remainder of the afternoon was consumed in a discussion of the resolutions contained in the report of said committee. At a late hour the Association adjouned to meet at 8 P. M.

APRIL 29TH, 8 P. M.

        The resolutions reported by the Committee being still under consideration, a motion was made by Dr. Curtis; that the subject-matter of debate be committed to Messrs. Woodrow, Wiley and Sterling. The resolution was adopted. The Committee having retired for business, during their absence the following resolutions were passed.

        By Mr. S. H. Wiley, of N. C.--

        Resolved, 1st. That one representative from each State be appointed to make arrangements with officers of railroads, and other companies, for the transportation of members to and from the meetings of this association.

        2d. That the same members give to the Corresponding Secretary and other officers of this Association such information as may be desired.

        By the Committee on General Interests of Education, &c.--

        Resolved, That this Association learns with high gratification the fact that so many persons are engaged in preparing and publishing books suited to the welfare and demands of this Confederacy.

        Resolved, That the authorities of the several States be earnestly requested by this Association to give their attention to the importance of educating for teachers

Page 7

in our schools, worthy young men, who, by the misfortunes of war, are rendered unfit for manual labor.

        Resolved, That the Delegates from those States which have no system of public education, be requested to urge upon the Executives and Legislatures of their respective States, the organization of such a system, and the appointment of a Superintendent of Common Schools.

        By Mr. Wells, of S. C.--

        Resolved, That to strengthen the influence of this Association, and further the cause of education, we do earnestly recommend the organization of a Teacher's Association in each State of the Confederacy.

        By Mr. Cann, of Georgia--

        Resolved, That a committee of three shall be appointed, of which the President shall be Chairman, to select subjects for discussion at the next annual meeting, and to announce the same in the public call for the meeting of the Association, and the order in which they shall be brought up--which shall be given at least two months prior to said meeting. Whereupon, the President appointed T. J. Wells, of South Carolina, and R. Sterling, of North Carolina.

        By Mr. Mallon, of Georgia--

        Resolved, That the Vice-Presidents of the Association shall constitute a committee, whose duty shall be, to procure the services of two persons to deliver addresses on educational subjects before the Association at its next annual meeting.

        The Committee on Educational Interests and Text-Books, reported through their Chairman the following preamble and resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:

        The Committee appointed on the General Interests of Education in the Confederate States of America, and on the subject of supplying our schools with text-books, respectfully offer the following report:

        The Educational Association of the Confederate States of America, assembled at Columbia, S. C., being ardently attached to the rights, interests and honor of each State and of the Confederate States, and profoundly sympathizing with the country in its righteous efforts to maintain its independence, would remind all the teachers and friends of education in the Confederacy, that the war in which we are engaged requires for its successful prosecution active and competent laborers in all those departments which, under God, constitute the wealth and strength of a nation; not the least important of which is the school-room.

        Whatever our circumstances may be, there will be children

Page 8

at home who can be usefully employed only in study; and while the casualties of war are carrying off the present adult generation, which, under any circumstances, would not be long on the stage of action, it is of the utmost importance that those who are to succeed them should be able to appreciate the greatness of the trusts committed to their hands. And, while this is so, it should also be remembered that it is in the school-room that the mind of the State is prepared for the development of its material and moral resources, and for the skillful application of them to its support and defence. This Association, animated with unconquerable faith in the resources of the Confederate States, cannot doubt the ability of the people to maintain their intellectual, industrial, commercial and political independence, if each class of the community, with an humble trust in God, and a sincere desire to walk in the ways of that righteousness which exalteth a nation, will diligently devote itself to those means which can be employed with most effect for such a result. The Association, therefore, adopts the following resolutions:

        Resolved, That, considering our former dependence for books, for teachers and for manufacturers on those who now seek our subjugation, it is especially incumbent on this Association to encourage and foster a spirit of home enterprise and self-reliance.

        Resolved, That in this time of peril and trial, we recognize in our educational systems an important interest of the country, which, next to a pure religious faith, contributes most to the greatness of the present and the hope of the future; and that they should be maintained with energy, for the sake, both of the beneficial results to us and to our posterity, and as an illustration to the world of the civilization of the people of the Confederate States.

        Resolved, That the unexampled heroism and devotion of our soldiers, imperatively demand of those to whom is committed the mental and moral development of our infant Republic, corresponding exertions in their appropriate sphere. And the more effectually to carry out the spirit of these resolutions, this Association, collectively, and individually, pledge themselves to the following action: 1st. To endeaver to lead the public mind by means consistent with the purposes of this body, to just views in regard to the true elements of national strength. 2d. To regard all classes of schools as identified in their general interests; and to watch over our State educational systems with sleepless solicitude. 3d. To encourage our own citizens by every means in our power, to prepare and publish suitable text-books for our schools; and in all cases where such books are of equal merit with foreign works, to give them the decided preference.

Page 9

        The following by-law was offered by Mr. S. Lander, and passed:

        Each member shall annually pay two dollars to the Treasurer, on the payment of which, the President shall issue to him, if desired, a certificate of his membership.

        On motion, the Association adjourned until 10 A. M., of the following day.

J. L. REYNOLDS, D. D., President.


APRIL, 30TH, 1863.

        The Association was opened with prayer by Rev. Mr. Lander, of N. Carolina.

        The minutes of the previous day were read and confirmed.

        Mr. Sterling, Chairman of committee, presented the following, which unanimously passed.

        The committee to whom was refered a resolution in regard to the use of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America as a school-book, beg leave to submit the following resolution:

        Resolved, That authors and publishers of School Readers be requested to insert in their publications, the Constitution of the Confederate States of America.

        The following resolution, by same committee, was also passed:

        Resolved, That it is inexpedient and impracticable at present, for this Association to examine a report upon text-books for schools, either by committee or otherwise.

        The following resolutions were passed:

        By Rev. S. H. Wiley, N. C.--

        Resolved, That all authors and Publisher of books in the Confederate States of America be requested to send to the Corresponding Secretary, a copy of such works, and that the Secretary report the same to the annual meetings of the Association.

        Resolved, That a committee of one from each State represented, be appointed by the President to prepare for publication in the newspapers, a summary of our proceedings, and to invite the co-operation of the teachers and friends of education in the Confederacy, in the action of this Association.

Page 10

        By Mr. Lancaster, of Ga.--

        Resolved, That a Committee of Three be appointed to prepare an address to the teachers and friends of education throughout the Confederacy, which shall express the views of this Association, in reference to the educational interests of the country.

        By Rev. H. M. Mood, S. C.--

        Resolved, That the members of this Convention are gratified to know that the North Carolina Journal of Education, published in Greensboro, N. C., successfully struggled through the difficulties of seven years, survives in a flourishing condition, and that we cordially recommend it to the attention of the people of this Confederacy.

        By Dr. Wm. Curtis, S. C.--

        Resolved, That it be referred to a Special Committee consisting of one from each State represented in this Association, to consider maturely, and after conferring with the schools and teachers of the Confederacy, to report at the next meeting of this body, a general course of studies for male schools and for female schools and colleges, to be recommended by them throughout this Confederacy.

        By Rev. A. G. Stacy, N. C.--

        Resolved, That a Committee of Three be appointed by the Chair, to report to the next annual meeting of the Association, as to how far the Bible should be introduced as a text-book into schools and colleges.

        By request, Rev. C. H. Wiley, Superintendent Common Schools North Carolina, made an interesting statement, giving his experience in relation to the formation of State Educational Associations, and the manner of conducting them.

        In compliance with a resolution offered yesterday, the following members were appointed on the committee to aid the Corresponding Secretary.

Page 11

        A communication was read from E. T. Joynes, Prof. Greek Literature, William and Mary's College, Virginia, containing some valuable suggestions in relation to the object and aims of the Association, and the best method of accomplishing them.

        On motion of Mr. T. J. Wells, of S. C., it was

        Resolved, That we have heard with patriotic pride the reports of gentlemen from the several States, on the subject of Southern School Books.

        Resolved, That the Chair appoint one representative from each State to obtain a list of such books as have been stated to be published by Southern houses, as, also, a list of such as are prepared or being prepared for the press, and that said lists be handed to the Secretary to be spread upon the minutes of this Association.

        Under the second resolution, the Chair appointed the following gentlemen:

        The list given below, may not include all the works published in the different States, as only those are mentioned which were brought to the immediate notice of the Association.


        Prof. Charles Martin, of Hampden Sidney College, reports that he has on hand, and will publish as soon as possible:

        These he intends to follow with a Reader in each.

        Rev. Geo. B. Taylor, of Staunton, has projected a Child's History of the War, and a Series of Historical and Descriptive Sketches of the Southern States for the young.

        Other works are in course of preparation by teachers whose names we are not authorized to mention, viz:

Page 12

        Crozet's Arithmetic, a work of great merit, is published by a Richmond firm, and an Elementary Spelling Book, by Geo. L. Bidgood, Richmond.


        Sterling, Campbell & Albright, of Greensboro', report as already published,

        They have now in press,

        There are also in preparation for them,

        From North Carolina a list of writing books is also announced as in preparation.

        The Dixie Primer, and a First Book in Composition are now out.

        There is now ready for the press,

        In preparation by the same,


        There are in preparation by J. L. Reynolds, D. D., of S. C. College:

        In preparation by Rev. B. W. Whilden,

        In preparation by Prof. J. L. Holmes, of Laurens,

        Rev. C. E. Leverett has in preparation,

        The same gentleman has ready for publication,

        Many of the lessons in these readers are original, and on Southern subjects.

        Wm. P. Jacobs, of Columbia, is preparing

        J. D. Geddings, of Charleston, has a Spelling Book ready for the press.

        H. M. Bruns, L. L. D., of Charleston, has ready for the press,

Page 14

        The stereotype plates of Carpenter's Speller and Definer are in the hands of a Columbia firm, but they have been able to make no arrangements for publishing it.


        Rice's Intermediate Geography--published by J. J. Toon, Atlanta.

        J. S. E. Lancaster, of Savannah, has in course of preparation,

        B. Mallon, of Bethany, Ga., has in course of preparation,

        J. F. Cann, of Savannah,

        J. J. Judge of LaGrange, has a Speaker also on hand.


        No list yet reported.


        No list yet reported.

        On motion of J. F. Cann, Ga., it was decided that the first annual meeting of the Association be held on the first Wednesday of September, 1863.

        The following invitations were extended to the Association:

        Mr. Sterling, of North Carolina, in behalf of the citizens of Greensboro', invited the Association to hold their next session in that town. Mr. Mayson, of Atlanta, Ga., invited the Association to meet in that city.

        It was decided that the next meeting of the Association be held in Atlanta, Ga.

        The following resolutions, offered by R. Sterling, of N. C., were adopted:

        Resolved, That the thanks of the Association are due, and are hereby tendered to the officers of this body, for the fidelity and ability with which they have discharged the duties of their several offices.

        Resolved, That we hereby tender our thanks to Dr. R. W. Gibbes, Sr., who presided at our preliminary meeting, and so materially aided in the organization of this Association; and, also, for furnishing, without charge, printed blanks for the use of the Secretary.

        The following resolutions were adopted:

Page 15

        By T. J. Wells, S. C.--

        Resolved, That a committee, consisting of one from each State represented, be appointed to solicit funds for the use of the Association; and that said committee report at annual meeting.

        By S. H. Wiley, of N. C.--

        Resolved, That the thanks of this Association be, and they are hereby tendered, to those railroads which have transported delegates at reduced fare.

        On motion of Mr. Sterling, of N. C., the Recording Secretary was directed to have 500 copies of the proceedings of this Association printed in permanent form and distributed to the members of the Association.

        Lieut. Patrick, of the State Military Academy, extended an invitation to the members of the Association, to visit the Institution and witness the drill and dress-parade at 4 o'clock, P. M.

        On motion, a committee, consisting of Messrs. S. H. Wiley, R. Sterling and S. Lander, was appointed to draft by-laws for this Association and report at next meeting.

        After a brief and appropriate valedictory address by the President, the Association adjourned to meet in Atlanta, Ga., on the first Wednesday in September, 1863.

J. L. REYNOLDS, D. D., President.


Page 16



Names. Institution. Post Office.


Names. Institution. Post Office.


Names. Institution. Post Office.


Names. Institution. Post Office.


Names. Iustitution. Post Office.


Page 18

Letter from President Davis.]


Messrs. C. A. Wiley, J. O. Campbell, and W. J. Palmer:

        GENTLEMEN: I have the honor to acknowledge your invitation to attend a meeting to be held in Columbia, S. C., to deliberate upon the best method of supplying text books for schools and colleges, and promoting the progress of education in the Confederate States. The object commands my fullest sympathy, and has, for many years, attracted my earnest consideration.

        It would be difficult to overestimate the influence of primary books in the promotion of character and the development of mind. Our form of Government is only adapted to a virtuous and intelligent people, and there can be more imperative duty of the generation which is passing away, than that of providing for the moral, intellectual and religious culture of those who are to succeed them. As a general proposition, it may, I think, be safely asserted, that all true greatness rests upon virtue, and that religion is, in a people, the source and support of virtue. The first impressions on the youthful mind are to its subsequent current of thought, what the springs are to the river they form; and I rejoice to know that the task of preserving these educational springs in purity, has been devolved on men so well qualified to secure the desired result. I have only to regret my inability to meet you, because it deprives me of the pleasure your Association would have given.

With my best wishes, I am, very respectfully,
Your fellow citizen,


Letter from Gov. Vance, of North Carolina.]

EXECUTIVE DEP'TM'T, Raleigh, April 22, 1863.

Mr. W. J. Palmer, Principal N. C. Institute for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind:

        DEAR SIR: The circular of the Executive Committee of

Page 19

the Educational Association of N. C., of which you are a member, has been received, informing me of the design to hold a general convention of the Teachers of the South, for the purpose of considering the best means of supplying text books for schools and colleges, and for promoting the cause of education generally, at Columbia, S. C., on the 28th instant, and inviting me to attend.

        While expressing my regret at being unable to accept your invitation, I beg leave to say that it affords me very great pleasure to see that the desolation of war does not prevent the good men of the country from looking after this great and important matter. This is certainly the time to inaugurate the system of supplying our schools with our own books, and of impressing the minds of our children with the effusions of Southern genius.

        May God bless and prosper your efforts in a cause so patriotic and so greatly to be commended by every true Southern heart.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,