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OBJECTIONS TO THEW
BY A CITIZEN OF MARYLAND.
birgil May.sy Esya
A CONSIDERABLE impression having been made upon the public mind, against the Maryland Resolutions in favour of the appropriation of public land for the promotion of education, by the adverse resolutions of Massachusetts, it was thought important by some persons, who felt an interest in the accomplishment of the object proposed by the former, that the numerous errors in point of fact, as well as argument, in the report, which led to the adoption of the latter, should be made known. It was thought expedient also, that objections from other quarters, originating either in misapprehension or misrepresentation, should be answered, and the true merits of the question discussed and explained. The writer of the following remarks, being requested to undertake the task, has consented, but has been obliged to execute it in haste, amidst other avocations, which hardly left him an hour without interruption; a circumstance, which he thinks it necessary to mention, as an excuse for the negligence of style and want of method, which will be apparent to the critical reader. He thinks it proper to mention, also, in order to avoid the imputation of plagiarism, that he has heretofore published several pieces in newspapers, in answer to objections, raised against the Maryland Resolutions, and that, to save himself time and trouble on the present occasion, he has incorporated parts of those pieces, verbatim, into the present essay.
The MARYLAND RESOLUTIONS, in relation to the appropriation of public land for the purposes of education, have attracted much attention throughout the union. The Legislatures of a majority of the states, it is believed, have passed concurrent resolutions. Some of the rest have not definitely acted upon the subject, and others have passed adverse resolutions. This diversity of proceedings might naturally have been expected in relation to a measure, novel in its character, affecting in different ways and degrees the several states of the union, and involving considerable difficulty in details, although all should concur in approving its object, the general education of the people.
Without stopping to prove, waat all the enlightened friends of freedom, of virtue, and human happiness acknowledge, the preeminent importance in a republican government of diffusing amongst those, with whom all political power originates, the means of acquiring a knowledge of their rights and a capacity to judge of the qualification of their agents, we shall proceed at once to an examination of the plan, proposed by the Legislature of Maryland, for the accomplishment of so desirable an object, and of the objections which have been raised against it.
In the prosecution of this examination, we shall endeavour to shew, First, The real meaning and extent of the MARYLAND PROPOSITION;-Secondly, That its accomplishment is not only perfectly consistent with, but demanded by justice;-and, Lastly, We shall discuss the mode of carrying it into effect. Under these several heads, we shall attempt to give a satisfactory answer to the objections, which have been made to that proposition, and