Correspondence (incoming) - N-P

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Noble, H. A.; Otis, Mrs. N. Whittier; Park, Carl H.; Patterson, Mrs. D.; Pereau, J. L.; Pomeroy, John N.:1/24/1885: urges Stanford to includes a department of political science in the university



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up the Science of Politics, - using that word in the highest and truest sense; - Everything which belongs to the powers, rights, and duties of hte American citizen as a citizen, - including not only the science of government in general, but also the constitutional law of our own country, national and state, in the broadest manner, and the science of legislation, are those topics which directly affect the citizen as a member of the body politic, as a voter, and as a possible legislator or executive officer. My suggestion is not less than that this subject should be made one of hte distinctive, important, and special features of your proposed institution.

I will not at present intrude upon your time by going into much detail in explaining this proposition, or in giving reasons for it. To do so fully would require a letter too long to be conveniently read. Should this suggestion seem to you worthy of consideration, I should deem it a privilege to be allowed to confer with you upon it, either personally or by letter, at your convenience. Permit me, however, to add a very few facts bearing upon the matter.

This is a subject to which I have given a great

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deal of thought, attention, and study for several years past. I have found, by a personal examination and comparison of nearly all the college catalogues and similar publications in the United States, that there is not, in fact, so much time and attention devoted to the Science of Government - or Politics - in our American colleges at present, as there was forty (40) years ago. Other subjects of study have gradually displaced them. In quite a number of colleges there is some little instruction upon U. S. constitutional law; but it is generally confined to a short course of lecture to the senior class, - seldom extending even through a single term. Not nearly so much time is devoted to this grand subject as is given to botany, or to mineralogy, and the like. In a few colleges, especially Eastern ones, there is some instruction in Political Economy; but the instruction is almost exclusively given in accordance with the extreme, radical free lunch theory - the school of Bastiot in France, and of Cobeteau, John Stuart ills, etc., in England. In no college or university of the country is this grand, and for our young men most important Science of Politics put upon anything like an equality

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in time and amount of study with chemistty or geology any single similar science; and as compared with language mathematics and ^natural science in general this [?] really treated as of trivial importance The consequences are becoming most masked examples even in the abled newspapers such as the York dailies which exert a wide influence we [?] find a complete ignorance of the most familiar settled and elementary doctrines of our constitution re illustration I may mention the newspaper comm[?] upon the meaning obevation and effort of the Fourth Amendment treating it as though adopted for the sole [?] exclusive protection of the negro race Such mistakes [?] are trivial as compa[?] the deep seated ignorance upon the subject of legis[?] His I cope of legislation which matters are the objects of legislation His effects of legislative finance with the natural laws of business of commence etc etc There is hardly a state system taxation which does not interfere to a greater degree with the laws of trade and congress see be entirely incapable of passing a statute which did with business other than in an injurious witness its attempts to[?] a Bookraft Law

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(2)

law regulating rail way traffic.

Upon these and kindred topics the popular mind needs to be instructed more, it would seem, than upon any other subjects. And upon these topics, our colleges and universities are doing virtually nothing to supply the needed instruction.

A few years ago I had a correspondence with my friend President Andrew D. White of Cornell University, urging upon him to make Politics a most prominent subject of instruction at Cornell. President White agreed with all my views; but gave as reasons for not adopting them, a lack of funds, and the necessity of providing first for instruction in all kind of natural science. The result is that nothing of any importance has been done at Cornell University with reference to the matter, although Pres. White has since become a zealous public advocate of education in Politics. I afterwards had a similar correspondence with the President of the Johns Hokpins University at Baltimore. He fully agreed with me in theory, but urged the same difficulties.

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