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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/138

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encouragement of the industrial arts in this country. Founded in 1828, it has for half a century had a successful career. Its growth has been coincident with a most remarkable industrial development, and its exhibitions during this period have been among the most available means of bringing to the early notice of the public the most important and valuable inventions and improvements of which this country has been, perhaps, more prolific than any other.

The forty-ninth exhibition is now being held, and in point of variety and interest of exhibits compares favorably with those of preceding years. No remarkable machines or processes are shown, but in several departments there are appliances which are decided advances upon previous constructions. As a whole, the exhibition is well worth a visit, and there is much to be seen there that will repay careful examination.




President Hayes has been discussing the subject of public education; and, in his speech at Canton, Ohio, he called attention to the extent, and pointed out the main sources, of illiteracy among our heterogeneous populations. Ten years ago, he says, there were three quarters of a million of negro voters who could not read their ballots, and in this respect things have not improved much since. The Indian tribes which we must soon absorb are equally ignorant. Half the population of New Mexico can not read and write, and, of the enormous immigration from Europe, from twenty to twenty-five per cent, are to the same degree illiterate. Mr. Hayes maintains that it is the duty of the national Government to enter upon the great work of public education with the view of qualifying all these incompetent citizens, present and prospective, for the proper exercise of the right of suffrage.

In referring to these various classes of persons, Mr. Hayes uses the terms "illiteracy," "ignorance," and "unable to read and write" interchangeably or as equivalents; that is, the "ignorance" of which he speaks seems to be that grade of incapacity or illiterateness which is indicated by inability to read and write. We are left to infer that this is the ignorance which he considers dangerous to the state, and which it is therefore the duty of the national Government to remove. We assume that this is the sort of ignorance which Mr. Hayes means when he says, "In our own country, as everywhere else, it will be found that in the long run ignorant voters are powder and ball for demagogues."

Are we to conclude, then, that in the belief of President Hayes, if the negroes, Indians, immigrants, and illiterate people generally are taught to read and write, American demagogues will be deprived of their ammunition, and republican government placed upon an enduring foundation? Does Mr. Hayes think that the real danger to popular institutions in this country comes from the presence of those who are unable to read their ballots? Certainly the most dangerous class in the community is the demagogues themselves, and these can not only read and write, but they are commonly educated men. Nor is this all; they are the dangerous enemies of republican institutions by virtue of that education which gives them command of the means of mischief. And as it is by education that they are qualified for the skillful practice of their vicious arts, so it will be found that a certain amount of education on the part of their victims is necessary to bring them within the full range of demagogical influence. It is not the illiterate classes by any means that are most misled and cheated by the demagogues. It is those who can read the newspapers and campaign documents that are most openly accessible to the flatteries, de-