Compulsory Education

Dispatch from Secretary of State for the Colonies to the Governor of Jamaica:

Whatever objections may exist in more advanced societies, to the principle of compulsory education they can have no place or reference to a colony in which the great mass of the people have just emerged from slavery. But have not yet generally acquired any acquaintance with the principles and precepts of Christianity and are, for the most part destitute of the first elements of learning. In such case it would be a substitution of the name, for the substance of liberty, if we should hold ourselves bound to acknowledge and respect amongst the Negroes the freedom to choose between knowledge and ignorance.[1]

[1] Jamaica Archives, IB/5/4/25,  Journals of the Jamaica Council, Dispatch from Secretary of State for the Colonies (15 October 1835).

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