Excerpt from Addresses Delivered at the Organization Meeting of the Department of Public Instruction: April 29, 1871 The Department of Public Instruction, under the recent act of the Legislature amending the city charter, now commences its career under our direction as its Commissioners. I have deemed it proper to give this brief but yet very imperfect survey of the past history and accomplishment of the cause of education in New York, in order that we may be sensibly and properly impressed with the importance of the work In which we are engaged, and with the magnitude of the trust to which we have, by the appointment of the Mayor of New York, succeeded. The change at this time wrought is not in the system of the schools, nor in their administration, nor in the course of instruction. Nothing is extended or diminished. The recent act establishes a connection between the administration of public instruction and the municipal government. The Department of Public Instruction is in name and in fact a branch and department of the city government. If instruction is the business of the State, this is as it should be. Our duties as Commissioners are no more and no less than they were as members of the Board of Education.
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