POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
|THE CARNEGIE INSTITUTION AND THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY.|
By Professor JAMES HOWARD GORE,
THE recent gift of Mr. Carnegie for the founding 'in the city of Washington, in the spirit of Washington, an institution which, with the cooperation of institutions now or hereafter established, there or elsewhere, shall, in the broadest and most liberal manner, encourage investigation, research and discovery, encourage the application of knowledge to the improvement of mankind; provide such buildings, laboratories, books and apparatus as may be needed, and afford instruction of an advanced character to students whenever and wherever found, inside or outside of schools, properly qualified to profit thereby' has awakened unprecedented interest in the educational world.
There has been no lack of persons ready to criticize the purpose of the institution and the methods by which the avowed purpose is to be carried out. And this criticism has not always been favorable.
That it should be located in Washington, is acceptable to all; that the 'spirit of Washington' should be observed in formulating the lines of activity meets with universal approval. But there are many who feel competent to expound the 'spirit of Washington' and stand ready to measure the new institution by the standard derived from their interpretation of this spirit.
Those who have dreamed of a national university, who have looked upon education as a function of the general government and saw in such a university the culmination of a general educational system—ignoring the anomalous condition of state supervision of the schools up to the state university and in some instances only including the state university, with a higher institution over and above all—such persons declared that the directing forces of the Carnegie Institution have not caught the 'spirit of Washington.'
The workers for a national university have appealed to our patriotic affection for Washington by quoting from his will these words:
I proceed after this recital, for the more correct understanding of the case, to declare; that, as it has always been a source of serious regret with me, to see the youth of these United States sent to foreign countries for the purpose of an education, often before their minds are formed, or they had imbibed any adequate ideas of the happiness of their own; contracting too frequently, not only habits of dissipation and extravagance, but principles unfriendly to re-