Documenting the American South Logo
Loading

Address to the People of North Carolina:
Electronic Edition.

Conference of Teachers and Friends of Education
(1861: Raleigh, N. C.)
C. H. Wiley


Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services
supported the electronic publication of this title.


Text transcribed by Apex Data Services, Inc.
Text encoded by Lee Ann Morawski and Natalia Smith
First edition, 2000
ca. 50K
Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
2000.

        © This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Source Description:
(caption) Address to the People of North Carolina

Conference of Teachers and Friends of Education (1861: Raleigh, N. C.)
C. H. Wiley
15 p.

Call number Vcp370.6 C74c (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)


        The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South.
        The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
        Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved. Encountered typographical errors have been preserved, and appear in red type.
        Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
        All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
        All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as " and " respectively.
        All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as ' and ' respectively.
        All em dashes are encoded as --
        Indentation in lines has not been preserved.
        Running titles have not been preserved.
        Spell-check and verification made against printed text using Author/Editor (SoftQuad) and Microsoft Word spell check programs.


Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998

Languages Used:

LC Subject Headings:


Revision History:


Page 1

ADDRESS
TO THE PEOPLE OF
NORTH CAROLINA

        At a conference of teachers and other friends of education, held in Raleigh on the 9th and 10th of this month, and representing a large number and all classes of the schools of our State, the following resolutions, offered by the Principal of Floral College, were unanimously adopted:

        Resolved, That in the opinion of this Assembly representing a large number of the colleges and seminaries, male and female, of North-Carolina, the contest now going on for Southern Independence, should commend itself to the hearts and consciences of all the people of the Confederate States.

        Resolved, That as this is a struggle for national existence and independence, it is to be maintained and carried on, under Providence, to a successful issue, not only by legislative acts and by force of arms in the field, but, also, in the school room, at the fireside, and by all those moral agencies which preserve society, and which prepare a people to be a free and self-governing nationality; and that, considering our former dependence for books, for teachers and for manufactures on those who now seek our subjugation, it is especially incumbent on us to encourage and foster a spirit of home enterprise and self-reliance.

        Resolved, That the recent unexampled progress of our beloved State towards a leading position among her Southern sisters, is, under God, mainly due to her great and noble educational system.

        Resolved, That in this time of peril and trial it is of the first importance that this system, constituting the greatness of the present, and the hope of the future, should be maintained with energy for the sake both of its beneficent results to us and to our posterity, and as an illustration to the world of the civilization of the people of the Confederate States, and of their right and ability to assert and maintain their freedom and independence.

        Resolved, That we recognize in the Common Schools of North-Carolina the broad, sure, and permanent foundation of her whole educational system, and that we would respectfully and earnestly


Page 2

commend to the authorities and people of the State the primary necessity, and the vital importance of preventing even a temporary suspension of this nursery of popular intelligence and patriotism, and of State independence.

        Resolved, That a committee of twelve of whom Rev. C. H. Wiley, Superintendent of Common Schools, shall be chairman, be appointed to prepare an address to the people of North-Carolina on the subjects embodied in these resolutions.

        These resolutions embody, in a brief form, sentiments earnestly uttered by the members of the Conference, and by a large number of teachers who were unable to attend, but who, by letters, cordially commended the purposes of the meeting.

        It was felt to be a duty to endeavor to impress on the mind of the public these views of those who have been laboring for the moral advancement of the State; and in obedience to this imperious call we were appointed a committee to address you on the subject.

        We confess that we, and those whom we represent, having an official connection with our schools, resolved on this course at the expense of considerable delicacy of feeling; but, in the Providence of God, we are placed as watchers over an interest of vital importance to the welfare of our beloved country, and the plain and paramount obligations springing out of this relation over-ride all other considerations.

        The crisis which is now upon us is the most solemn and the most important which can happen in the political history of a people.

        The contest in which the Confederate States of America are engaged is not a war growing out of questions of commerce or political complications--it is a struggle for national existence and independence, and involving in the issue all that can affect the life of a civilized people.

        It requires, therefore, for its successful prosecution, the enlistment of the mind and heart of all ages, of both sexes, of every class of the people--and the continual aid, in their proper places, of all those energies and appliances, moral and physical, which, under God, constitute and preserve the vitality and power of a nation.

        We rejoice to believe that the valor and patriotism of our citizens, and that enthusiasm which springs from a firm conviction of the justice of their cause will render them invincible in the open field; but when we remember our former position with respect to our adversaries and the purposes and feelings which now actuate them, we have reason to fear that the result of battles, unless overwhelmingly disastrous to them, will not for some time to come, drive them from their deliberate and most selfish aims.


Page 3

        These two hostile nations were formerly one political community, living under a common Constitution, which, in words, guaranteed equal rights to all; and the people of the slaveholding States being mostly engaged in agricultural pursuits, and looking upon their whole country as one in interest, and reposing confidence in the good faith and loyalty of each member to the Federal Compact, were not afraid to rely on the Northern section for many of those things which, by a little temporary sacrifice, they could furnish among themselves.

        They felt a pride in the prosperity of every portion of their country, and justly believing that all honest interests are identified with each other, they had no desire to force their pursuits and customs on others, and were willing to encourage in other States useful arts and vocations not common to themselves.

        The result was that the South became almost wholly a producing people, and the business of exchanging and manufacturing was left to the North.

        From this it naturally followed that the commercial centres were in the Northern section, and there were printed the newspapers in most extensive circulations, and there our books were generally manufactured.

        Still fearing no evil, and feeling no inferiority, we were inclined to patronize the schools and the teachers of the Northern States--and in time we began to look to the people of these States for supplies of everything except the raw produce of the soil.

        From this state of things, those who now seek our subjugation by force of arms were led to believe that we were an inferior race; and as they furnished to us teachers, books, and all the productions of art, they became more and more arrogant and exacting, and at last assumed to themselves the exclusive right to determine the political relations of the whole country, at the same time giving us distinctly to understand that they would do it in a way utterly subversive of our dearest rights and interests.

        We had been almost wholly dependent on the North for many of our supplies, but conscious of our political and intellectual equality, we felt no disgrace until it was solemnly asserted that what we regarded as the natural interests of trade, involved and ought to involve our moral degradation; and the consequence is an unalterable resolution on the part of nearly all the slave-holding states to organize themselves into a new and separate nationality.

        This step, successfully maintained, entails upon the United States not merely the loss of a large portion of its territory and of its people;


Page 4

but it implies that those who constitute the new nationality must, if they become a free people and a separate and independent power, assume to themselves functions which will despoil their present enemies of important sources of wealth and of an apparently intellectual pre-eminence.

        It is this consideration which will nerve our proud and exasperated assailants to great sacrifices for the present, with the hope of ultimate remuneration, if they can prevent our emancipation from dependence on them; and it is easy to understand from this brief view of the issues involved in our present struggle that what our enemies most dread is not a reverse of arms which, they vainly suppose, will be temporay in its influence.

        They justly regard this as a struggle on our part not for a merely nominal existence as a political organism, or for the supremacy of arms; but they know that the real principle at stake is that of moral, social, intellectual and industrial equality, and they conceive that its maintenance will be to them an irretrievable disaster.

        It is, therefore, perfectly obvious that they would hail the demoralization of society here as a surer omen of their ultimate success than a hundred victories on the battle field over the arms of a still united, determined and self-relying people; and this consideration alone would admonish us of the necessity of nourishing the sources of our domestic life, and of preserving in its integrity the whole frame work of our social and moral organization.

        Besides, our recognition as an independent nationality by the great Powers of Europe, would hasten the termination of this coflict; and while the necessity for our agricultural staples must have a decided influence in securing a favorable consideration of our cause abroad, a false impression as to our moral condition will operate, in the same sections, adversely to our interests.

        We all know the fact that the whole civilized world entertains erroneous opinions in regard to the state of society in the slave-holding states of America; and we may expect that the agents and emissaries of our adversary will not be slow to avail themselves of their opportunities to increase and confirm these prejudices.

        By means of their newspapers, books and commerce, their thoughts circulate through the nations, while the Southern mind and heart are, to a great extent, cut off from the opportunity of giving themselves utterance abroad; and we must, therefore, expect that the erroneous and injurious opinions formed of us while we were a part of the United States will be rectified only by the actual and close inspection of those who need the productions of our soil.


Page 5

        The nations to whom these productions are a paramount necessity, are now compelled to examine for themselves the foundations of our national strength--for if they are satisfied that we cannot be speedily reduced to subjection to the United States, they will be forced, by the exigencies of their position to open commercial intercourse with us as an independent power.

        Their eyes are, therefore, intently fixed on all our movements; and it cannot be doubted that they will judge of our self-sustaining ability by that moral courage which triumphs over present difficulties by grasping with a tenacious hold the hopes of the future.

        They are doing now what we have long asked the civilized world to do: they are examining for themselves the state of our civilization, and endeavoring thus to form a just conclusion as to what is to be our future destiny.

        Their present interests demand that they should pursue such a course; and we may, therefore, be assured that every movement here which indicates confidence, or the want of confidence in our own resources, or which is calculated to derange the machinery of society or to add to its strength, harmony, and compactness, is fraught with the most tremendous consequences to us and to our posterity.

        The institutions of no people have ever been more misrepresented; and no people ever had a more glorious opportunity of acting out their true character before the fixed and interested gaze of all mankind.

        In view of these facts we would appeal to the people of this great State by every consideration which can address itself to their christian sentiment, to their patriotism and to their manhood, to rise to the dignity of the trying but grand emergency in which they are placed; and under the blessing of Divine Providence, to act with that foresight, firmness and heroism which will dissipate forever the slanderous impressions as to the moral character of slaveholding society, and which will render illustrious for all time the history of the present, and fix on solid and enduring foundations the security, prosperity and happiness of the future.

        We would remind them that in every hard and protracted struggle it is moral courage that always conquers; and that the victories won on the battlefield by the endurance and valor of our heroic troops, will be comparatively barren if we suffer society to become disorganized, our institutions of beneficence to languish and perish, and the light of religion and virtue which now irradiates our homes and sanctifies our hearths, to be extinguished.

        And in this connection we would call attention to the example of


Page 6

our fathers in a time which tried the souls of men, and call upon the men of this generation to come up to this standard of the patriots and heroes of '76.

        The Constitution of the State of North-Carolina was formed at Halifax, in the year 1776, and soon after the Declaration of Independence had been adopted by the Continental Congress.

        The people of the Colonies which united in that Declaration, were fewer in numbers, and poorer in resources, than the people of the Confederate States of America; they had just entered upon a contest for independent national existence with the bravest and most powerful nation on earth, the armies of this power were on their soil, and their armed and treacherous adherents were scattered through every community.

        Our own colony, then assuming the dignity of a free and independent State, was without commerce, manufactures, money or credit; its population was comparatively small, and scattered, much of its territory unsettled, and the difficulties of inter-communication great and forbidding.

        The statesmen who, just as the thickest gloom of this crisis had settled on the country, met at Halifax to lay the foundations of a great commonwealth, adopted as part of its fundamental law, the following clause: "That a school or schools shall be established by the Legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters, paid by the public, as may enable them to instruct at low prices; and all useful learning shall be duly encouraged by one or more Universities."--Constitution of North-Carolina, Section 41.

        This illustrious action, the first movement of the kind on the continent, was worthy of the men who were, also, first to utter their voice in favor of independence; and now, while we are surrounded with the glorious fruits of religion, knowledge and freedom, powerful in numbers and in the strength and compactness of society, great in resources yet undeveloped, but now within our reach, rich in works of internal improvement, in agricultural staples, and in pecuniary means, blessed with a vast, prosperous and growing system of moral and educational agencies, united among ourselves, and confederate with a people more numerous than they who carried on the war of the first revolution, producing nearly all of the staple most important to the manufactures of the world, abounding in every other national resource, and as brave and enthusiastic as any the sun ever shone upon, shall we be frightened from our propriety by the pompous threats of our inferior and mercenary foe, and be driven to those


Page 7

acts of desperation which will but feed his vanity, or stimulate his malignant hopes?

        Shall we, for one moment, give countenance to the charges slanderously preferred against the slaveholding States of America, of being inferior in moral and intellectual resources, and necessarily dependent on other communities for teachers, for schools, for literature, for thought, for mental and religious light? Shall we permit the fear of those who insolently assume to be our masters, and whom we would not have for our fellow-citizens, to paralyze all the moral and intellectual agencies of this great and heroic people, and shut them up in the gloom and desolation of utter darkness? Shall we allow it to be said that the blockade of our ports was but a type of the stagnation in the inner life of the Southern mind and heart as soon as it was cut off from the moral resources of other nations? Shall we so act in this time suited to test our inherent strength and vitality as to permit our enemy, grown and arrogant from our former apparent dependence, to charge that our institutions were sickly for want of depth of soil, and as soon as the sun of trial was up, they were scorched and withered away?

        Shall we, at the beginning of our new history, undo the very acts which have constituted the most honorable boast of the past?

        Shall we permit the impartial judgment of future ages to make unfavorable comparisons between the men of the first and of the second revolution?

        If, fellow-citizens, we speak plainly in this matter, it is because we are profoundly impressed with the importance of the subject, are sensitively jealous for the honor of our country and of our generation, and are firmly convinced that if we will be but true to ourselves, the trials through which we are passing will prove a beneficent Providence for the development of energies and resources which will render the Southern Confederacy one of the most happy, prosperous and powerful nationalities of the earth.

        Let us be as courageous in the cabinet as in the field, committing ourselves and our cause to God, let us cherish the same confidence in our moral that we manifest in our physical power, and independence, in every sense, is within our reach. There can be no lasting danger from an external and foreign power, when the sources of life within the body politic are in a healthy condition: a blow from without, however serious, can only wound, while disease in the heart is inevitable death.

        But there are other, and, as we conceive, paramount considerations, which should induce us to keep up our educational system,


Page 8

and to exert every other agency calculated to preserve society, and to develop our moral and intellectual resources; and to some of these we would respectfully and earnestly call your attention.

        In the present condition of things in this world, wars are often necessary and justifiable; and such is the contest in which the people of the Confederate States are now engaged.

        Nevertheless, every war is attended with temporary evils--and it remains with those who conduct it to diminish or neutralize them by means and appliances which God puts within their reach. No such struggle could be just if it entailed evils which could not be prevented, and which, in a moral sense, would overbalance the benefits; but we are not of those who believe that a war for the defence of our homes, and for such institutions, religious and political, as those with which we are blessed, is in itself of such a character. Its hazards to the moral condition of things are undoubtedly great; but for this very reason it ought to prove an advantage to society, by giving vigorous and healthful exercise to all the moral faculties of the community. If we are equal to this occasion, we will feel that there are now devolved upon us the greatest responsibilities which a christian people are ever called upon to discharge; and if we be endowed with the sentiments which ought to animate us, we will carry on this war in the pulpit, in the school-room, at the fireside, and at every other point where we are assailed by the great enemy of human progress.

        The minister, the parent, the teacher, and every other laborer in the moral vineyard, will find this foe encroaching upon the very grounds where he has been stationed for defence; and in the minds and hearts of our younger children there is a citadel, whose possession, by good or bad principles, is to be decisive of our future fate. Upon this strong-hold the enemy will bring to bear all the subtle devises of his infernal genius--and while our eyes are wholly fixed on a distant field, an encampment of evil principles may be fixed and fortified in the very heart of our hopes. It cannot be expected that the understandings of the very young will grasp the great principles at stake in our controversy with the North; and while they are in the midst of the more entertaining excitements of war, and out of view of its sterner realities, there is great danger that their minds will become dissipated, and that they will acquire habits which it will be difficult to eradicate, and which may unfit them for those great and solemn trusts which will soon be devolved upon them.

        We say, without hesitation, that all the young men who can serve their country in the field, and who are there needed, should be encouraged


Page 9

to take up arms in defence of our common rights; but after these have all left our schools, there will still remain a vast number who are old enough to learn, and who will be learning something, whether we take pains to instruct them in right ways or not.

        We know that it is natural for the parent, whose heart is absorbed with the issues at stake in our great contest for freedom and independence, to imagine that the restlessness of his children originates in feelings and thoughts kindred to his own; but we would kindly and respectfully submit, whether the natural indisposition of the very young to judicious restraints does not instinctively avail itself of the confusion of the times, and whether the excitement of this class, fed by sights and sounds, only exhilarating to them, can be long encouraged without serious injury to their future welfare, and to the success and safety of the country of whose rights and liberties we are, under God, to be the guardians?

        It would be lamentable to think that the glorious fruits won by the valor, patriotism, and christian manhood, by the toil, endurance, and sacrifices of this generation, should be lost by being committed to the hands of those who would have no conception of the dignity and solemnity of their trusts; and permit us to ask, in all candor, if idleness and animal excitement, reigning unchecked among the the very young, may not tend to such a result?

        It is no sacrifice to children to release them from moral restraints and from study; and thus, if they are to be free from proper educational influences, this day of trial and discipline to the parent will be a day of jubilee and levity to his off-spring; and while the crisis will be developing the moral manhood of the former, and fitting him for his task of achieving, it will be debilitating and dwarfing the mind and energies of the other, and rendering him incapable of the equally important task of preserving freedom.

        Another consideration which we would, with deference, submit to the people of North Carolina, is the promising condition of their educational system, and the very intimate relations which it sustains towards the material progress of the State.

        Many of the States of the Southern Confederacy produce some leading agricultural staple in such quantities as to insure to them wealth and power; but the greatness in North Carolina consists in her diversified interests, and in the energy and skill necessary to render them available. For the want of such energy and skill, those interests were, for a long time, neglected, and our State was held back and enfeebled by the constant stream of emigration; but


Page 10

since our educational influences have reached the minds and hearts of the masses, and our school literature has been tinctured with sentiments honorable to North Carolina, the whole state of things has been completely changed, and we have advanced with more rapidity than any community on the continent. Behold, to-day, the glorious generation of young men who have, with one heart and with many thousands of strong arms, sprung into instant heroes at the call of their country, and who, with the chivalry of the world for generous rivals have, in the very outset of this contest, emblazoned the fame of North Carolina high and illustrious above those of all her distinguished compeers.

        How is the world, unfamiliar with what has been going on in the heart of society here, astonished at the spectacle which we now present!

        Let us not forget the sources of this now healthy, and vigorous life in the body politic, let us wisely remember that the schools and the school literature of the State have been the great nurseries of the popular energy and patriotism which now enable her to take such a proud position in the struggle for Southern independence.

        The present war found this educational system, in all its departments, from the University to the Common Schools, just entering upon a prosperous and most hopeful condition, becoming a source of immediate pecuniary profit to the state from foreign patronage, filling it with persons, male and female, prepared for usefulness in all the walks of life, greatly enhancing the amenities of existence, rapidly elevating the tone of society among the ruling race, creating and fostering a love of home, and an interest in its resources and institutions, and infusing new life and energy into all the industrial pursuits of the people: and now, shall these lights that were brightly burning from the Atlantic to the Alleghanies, throwing a cheerful radiance over the whole face of Society, and exposing to our gaze the diversified wealth and attractions of the goodly land which God has given us, be suddenly extinguished at the very time when darkness and consequent confusion and mental depression will be our worst enemies?

        But again: it may be said that intellectual must precede or sustain political independence--and we certainly know that a people who act on the thoughts of others, are not likely always to act for their own interests.

        We all feel that the time has come when we must think for ourselves; but if our schools are stopped during the war, and all our teachers compelled to betake themselves to other employments, what will be the inevitable result?


Page 11

        A moral agency cannot be arrested and started at pleasure like a material machine; and an educational system which cannot work successfully for to-day, without, also, planning for and drawing on the future, if once entirely suspended will be destroyed. To start afresh will be to build up a new system--and this will be a labor of many years, and what, in the mean time, will be the result?

        Many, as in former times, will send their children abroad to be instructed--many will have to employ teachers coming from abroad, and the very enemy whom we are now fighting, and from whose political association, as unworthy and disastrous, we have withdrawn, will aim, practically, to do our thinking for us, by pouring upon us his school books and his other literature, by planning school houses and school systems, and by availing himsely of our immediate and pressing wants to thrust himself insidiously into our midst, and occupy the responsible places of tutors and mistreses in family Schools.

        The stoppage of trade with the North during the war, will make it a matter of comparative profit to the enemy as soon as peace is concluded, to flood us with his books at even half their usual cost--and thus it will then be almost impossible for us to establish and keep up our own publishing houses.

        Now, there is a large class of text-books which every independent nation, if it would maintain its independence, must have written and published by its own citizens; and the Southern States of America, distinguished by a peculiar social system, and one obnoxious to the phariseeism of the world, are especially called on to think in such things for themselves, and to see that their children are instructed out of their own writings.

        But we go farther than this. Conscious that we are not, in any sense, an inferior people, and firmly convinced that our own position on the subject of slavery is the right one, we contend that it is but strict justice to ourselves to think and write on some subjects for other nations.

        Truth is eternal, and for all places; and whenever its conclusions are taught and enforced by our people, whether in physical or moral science, we would not circumscribe its influence by the prefix of a name implying only a sectional use or importance.

        The just defence of our society implies a condemnation of that of many other nations; and it is time that we cease to occupy the attitude of criminals arraigned before the bar of civilization, and assume our true position of teachers of the unalterable truths of Revelation.

        To explain what we mean, we would remark that two opinions in regard to slavery are generally illustrated in the habits of nations,


Page 12

and that in the present condition of the world, almost every leading power holds some race of fellow-creatures in subjection, enjoying the fruits of their labor as remuneration for protection, and the administration of justice among them.

        The theory of our practice is that the superior should adopt the inferior as a member of his household, placing him under his own immediate supervision, and that of his wife and children, where the sympathies between man and man are brought into active play, where every want is seen and felt for, where every crime is discovered and punished, and where the influences of religion and of a constant observation of the habits of a higher civilization are allowed to exert their educational and disciplinary power.

        We hold, that if we are to have others in subjection to us at all, it must be in this way; and that a system of personal servitude of this kind, and for whose origin we are not responsible, is justifiable, and the only kind of paramount domination of race over race that is justifiable by the light of God's revealed Truth.

        In our moral science we are to teach this doctrine not merely for our own defence, but for the general promotion of justice among men; and as our political and social system is put beyond the pale of its sympathy by all modern literature, and can appeal to nothing that is written but the infallible Word of God, so would we have all our institutions to dip their roots in this Fountain of Living Waters.

        It is a remarkable and anomalous fact that the people of the Confederate States are compelled to cut loose from human teachings in defence of their social condition, and are shut up to the Holy Scriptures; and in singular keeping with this state of things in the political world, is the present position of our schools. We are now nearly out of text-books, and are cut off from the publications of other countries; and this we hail as a merciful Providence, for a miserably diluted morality, a subtle semi-infidelity had crept into almost every modern system of morals, and in fact diffused its poison into nearly all the teeming productions of the press.

        As then, we have to begin to construct and defend political theories from the simple Word of God, let us at once fill our schools with books which draw all their ethical doctrines from this Divine source, and which make the incarnate Son of God the centre and sun of every moral system.

        The want of books is now an immediate, practical and pressing one; and to devise some means of obviating this, was one of the objects of the Conference which appointed us a committee to prepare this address.


Page 13

        At a superficial glance this want would seem to be an additional discouragement to our schools; but it is obvious to us, and must be to every reflecting mind, that if we meet it with the proper spirit, nothing could be more fortunate for us.

        If we are ever emancipated from thraldom to foreign influences, we must have our own authors and our own publishers; and when, we ask, could be a better time to begin the experiment of independent thought and action?

        If our schools are kept up, they must be supplied with books printed at the South--and thus, on the existence of these schools depends the immediate establishment of houses of publication. The first literature that pays, in any country, is that for educational purposes, as this is a prime necessity wherever there are schools; and hence our school system is to be the patron which is to call into life a new and essential business at the South. Bounties will not stimulate a healthy production; this always has and always will depend on consumption.

        In this respect our own beloved State enjoys a great and inestimable advantage; one hundred and fifty thousand pupils attend her common schools alone, and the works used in these schools are exactly such as the South, in defence of her rights and honor, must produce for herself.

        If then this system be preserved unimpaired, here is at once a market, whose demands will call out enterprise and capital for the publication of books; and the simple question in regard to textbooks with teachers in our late Conference was, whether we would encourage the reprinting of books already in use, or encourage the production of original ones. It was, after full debate, unanimously resolved to pursue the latter course; that now, RIGHT NOW is the time to begin the work of Southern independence in fact as well as theory.

        It was determined to give the ordinance of secession immediate and practical force, by immediate emancipation from actual dependence on the North; and it was thought that there were enough classical books in the country to supply the schools for a year or more, and of English ones to last until others, known to be on the way, were ready for use.

        It was felt by the teachers, and we are authorized to say for them, that if the people and authorities of the State would endeavor to keep up its schools, the teachers would answer for it, that before this war is concluded, unless it come to a speedy termination, the South will be writing and printing her own books, and to North-Carolina will belong the honor of taking the lead in this glorious work.


Page 14

        What a field of future promise is here opened up to our contemplation! Who cannot see at a glance that one step now in the right direction, will, by the blessing of Providence, inevitably lead to the most brilliant future for a State, whose name in the past, has excited unjust taunts that have often and keenly stung the souls of all her true and generous sons.

        There is a tide now before us, which, taken at the flood, will lead us on to fortune; and by this, and the considerations before suggested, we would most earnestly appeal to you to make a sacred and solemn resolution to preserve and maintain at all hazards those domestic springs on which so much of the life of the present and future depends.

        We know that the pecuniary resources of the community are greatly diminished by the exigencies of the times; but we know, also, that by the mercy of God, we are free from want, and that the hardships of the times are always diminished by the generous confidence of the people in their own resources, by keeping those dependent on useful occupations from being thrown out of employment, and by a firm and heroic faith in the ultimate success of our cause.

        Confidence is public wealth, and all that tends to impair this leads directly to pecuniary disaster.

        The destruction of our religious, benevolent and educational interests would be a terrible blow to public and private credit. Society would be greatly disorganized, and a reign of selfishness, mistrust and despondency begin, from which may we be forever delivered. The dreadful exigencies of some of our sister States, now covered by the hordes of the malignant invader, may compel action which is no precedent for those situated as we are; and we rejoice to believe from the enlightened, firm and honorable action of our authorities since the war began, and from what we know of the sentiments of our fellow-citizens of all classes, that the views of this address will be justly appreciated by the people of North Carolina.

        The public funds devoted to educational purposes would be barely sufficient to keep two regiments in the field for a single year; as they are now used they are providing, fortifying, and drilling in the heart of society, an encampment of one hundred and fifty thousand souls for the honor and prosperity of the State.

        We cannot expect individuals to contribute as in times of peace; and all that we now look for is that our most hopeful educational System be kept alive, and in a healthy condition.

        On its life depends the existence of a home literature, and of a great number of useful enterprises now needed, and always important to the


Page 15

independence of a civilized people; and with a firm conviction of the truth of these views, and of our duty to lay them before you, we respectfully commend them to your earnest consideration.

C. H. WILEY, Sup. Common Schools.

F. M. HUBBARD, University of N. C.

W. M. WINGATE, Wake Forest College.

B. CRAVEN, Trinity College.

V. C. BARRINGER, Davidson College.

D. H. BITTLE, N. C. College.

R. DESCHWEINITZ, Salem Female Academy.

L. F. SILER, Macon County.

T. M. JONES, Greensboro Fem. College.

A. MCDOWELL, Chowan Bap. Fem. Sem.

A. WILSON, Melville Classical School.

DANIEL JOHNSON, Floral College.