D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

Catalogue of the Bingham School
[is part of the
Frank Coxe Collection M83.3.12.6]

Catalogue of the Bingham School [Cover]
D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNC at Asheville
Title Catalogue of the Bingham School
Identifier http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/books/booklets/bingham_school/bingham_school.htm
Creator Frank Coxe Collection
Alt. Creator Colonel Robert Bingham
Subject Keyword Asheville, NC ; Bingham School ; Colonel Bingham ; R. Bingham ; Robert Bingham ; Major R. T. Grinnan ; M.C. Millender ;  Charles S. Fowler ; Charles Fowler ;  William F. Bryan ;  Robert R. Williams ;  Wilfred L. Brooker ; James R. Crouch ; W. M. Pinckney Herbert
Subject LCSH
Bingham School
Bingham, Robert, Col.
Bingham, Robert 1838-1927
Date digital 2003-11-04
Publisher Bingham School ; [Digital Publisher] D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804


Type Source type: Photographs ; Text 
Format image/jpeg/text
Source UNCA Special Collections Frank Coxe Collection M83.3.12.6
Language English
Relation Is part of the Frank Coxe Collection, UNCA Special Collections ; The Breaker: Snyder Outdoor School for Boys, 1920 ;
Coverage temporal 1903-1904
Rights Any display, publication or public use must credit D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Copyright retained by the authors of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Donor Frank Coxe 
Description This is the official catalog of the Bingham Military School covering the 110th school year from September 3, 1903 to May 26, 1904. The school was established in Ashville, North Carolina in 1793. The catalog includes photos of the students from various classes, photos, descriptions, and maps of the school grounds, and numerous essays detailing the benefits of a Bingham education. The motto on the cover of the booklet reads "Mens Sana in Corpore Sano," and is the motto of the school.
Acquisition Frank Coxe Collection
Citation  Catalog of the Bingham School, D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804
Processed by  Staff, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, 2005 and 2006
Last update 2005-06-01 ; 2006-10-10
Page no. Image no. Description Thumbnail
Cover, front bs_cover_r [Cover]  Catalogue of the Bingham School Established 1793.  Located on the Asheville Plateau since 1891. 


[Frontispiece] Catalogue of the Bingham School

To insure prompt delivery, all mail matter, all telegrams for Cadets, and all express matter for the School, should be directed to the BINGHAM SCHOOL, Post Office, ASHEVILLE, N. C. The weight of Express packages should always be marked distinctly, they should be securly-wired and sealed, and tbey should always be PREPAID in full.


Colonel ROBERT BINGHAM, A. M.. LL. D., superintend (The Bingham School, University o£ North Carolina.)

Major R. T. GRINNAN, Vice-Superintendent. (University of Virginia.)

M. C. MILLENDER, M. D., (The Bingham School, University of North Carolina, University of New York Postgraduate School,) Surgeon.

Captain WILLIAM F. BRYAN, Ph. D. (University of North Carolina.)

Captain ROBERT R. WILLIAMS, A. B. Catawba College, University of North Carolina.)

Captain WILFRED L. BROOKER, A. M. (South Carolina College.)

Captain JAMES R. CROUCH, B. S. (South Carolina Military Academy.)

Captain WM. PJNCKNEY HERBERT, A. B., B, S. (South Carolina'College.)

CALENDAR FOR 1903-1904.

The Term of 1903-1904, being the Hundred and Eleventh year, begins September 3,1903, and continues till May 36,1901. The Term is divided into " Half Terms " or "Sessions." the Two-Hundred and Twenty-First (the Tall Session) beginning September 3, and ending December 33, 1903, and the Two-Hundred and Twenty-Second (the Spring Session) beginning January 1st, 1901, and ending May 36, 1904.

M. B.-The Scholastic year begins with each Fall Half-Term.


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page 1 bs001 For Calendar, see second page of Cover.

For Table of Contents, see third page of Cover.

1. The Bingham School was founded in 1793 by Rev. Wm. Bingham (grandfather of its present headmaster and owner), and was conducted by him till 1825. His son, W. J. Bingham, succeeded him and conducted it from 1825 till 1865, when he was succeeded by his sons William and Robert, who conducted it in partnership from 1865 till 1873, since which time Robert Bingham has owned and conducted it. The school was in middle North Carolina till 1891, when it sought a better climate and erected safer and more sanitary buildings on the ASHEVILLE PLATEAU, in Western North Carolina.

It is the oldest school for boys in the Southern States and is older than any other Southern Institution of learning of any grade south of Virginia.

United States which has been administered continuously from grandfather to grandson so as to teach THREE CENTURIES, having been founded in the eighteenth, having been in continuous operation during the nineteenth, and having touched the twentieth century with the opening of the Spring session of 1901; and during all these years there has been no break in the continuity of it superintendence, methods, discipline, and instruction.

2. The Location.—Since 1891 the School has been located on the Asheville Plateau, three miles northwest of the City of Asheville. Our present location was selected from about fifty (50) sites offered to us in an area including almost every Southern State and one State in the Central West and in one case at least with a 30,000 cash inducement; and the longer we stay here, the more certain we are that out selection was wise.

From the salubrity of its climate this Plateau, which averages 2,500 feet above the sea-level, is the most frequented all-the-year-round-Pleasure-and-Health-Resort in America, having attracted by its winter climate sixty thousand (60,000) visitors from the North in a single Winter (whereas other mountain regions, the Adirondacks, the Catskills, the Virginia mountains, for instance, repel visitors entirely in the Winter), and forty thousand (40,000) visitors from the South in a single summer by its summer climate; and it has been chosen

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page 2 bs002 as a place of permanent residence by a number of multi-millionaires

For the same reason this famous Plateau is becoming a great  EDUCATIONAL CENTRE, six institutions of learning of high character, three from the South and three from the North, having located on it within the last ten years; and its prospects of becoming one of the greatest educational centres in the country are enhanced by the fact that this Plateau, which is so famous climatically, is the actual geographical centre of a circle touching Lake Erie on the North, the Atlantic on the East, the Gulf of Mexico on the South, and the Mississippi on the West, thus including or touching nearly half the States in the Union, and it is within three hundred and fifty (350) miles of the centre of population in the United States.

This effective geographical position is made much more effective educationally by the fact that MALARIA, which so cripples the physical and the mental development of the young in schools in so many localities, is absolutely UNKNOWN here; and that PNEUMONIA, which has proved so dangerous to the pupils of schools in some localities, is an almost UNKNOWN DISEASE on this most highly favored Plateau.

3. The Site.—The Site of the School is three miles from Asheville, on a bluff 250 feet above the French Broad River and beyond it; so that the advantages of both Country and City are secured.

The purest water is supplied by a hydraulic dam from bold springs at the foot of the hill and 75 feet above the level of the river.

The School grounds contain nearly sixty (60) acres, affording ample space for military and athletic exercises, for the kitchen garden supplying the table with fresh vegetables, and for pasturage for the cows supplying fresh milk.

4. (i) The Buildings.—The Buildings, which are the result of the study of School Buildings for thirty years, in some twenty-five States of the Union and abroad, with a view to ventilation, sanitation, discipline, instruction, and safety against fire, are an entirely new departure from the typical three- or four-story school buildings, erected in many cases by some town or corporation for show rather than for utility, arranged as if to supply the pupils with vitiated rather than with pure air, and to propagate rather than to destroy the germs of disease, and often occupied by teachers who had no share in planning them. In planning The Bingham School buildings to accommodate 128 pupils, two (2) in a room and one (1) in a bed, Cost and mere show were entirely subordinated to HEALTH and SAFETY. As a matter

page 3 bs003 of fact much more showy buildings on the usual plan could have been erected at two-thirds of the cost.

4-  As a provision for HEALTH the Buildings are on the so-called " cottage plan," which has been adopted of late years on sanitary grounds by all civilized governments for Barracks and Hospitals, although it is much more expensive than a high and showy building would have been. The dormitories and classrooms are all of brick, in eight sections, and placed on both sides of a street 75 feet wide. (See ground plan, drawn to scale 60 feet to the inch.) They are but one story high and one story deep, so that each pupil gets air and light in his quarters from two opposite directions.  The Class-rooms are kept free from vitiated air by having no communication with the dormitories or with each other. They get fresh air automatically by a system so simple and so efficient as to be most highly approved by everyone who inspected it, as hundreds have done.

If food, to be taken into the stomach three times a day, should be carefully guarded against impurities, how much more should the air, taken into the lungs 25,000 times a day, he kept pure?

DAMPNESS is prevented by a course of slate and cement on every wall about one foot above ground. Instead of a less expensive but less healthful system of steam-heating, each room has an open fireplace and the comfort and ventilation which nothing affords so well as an open fireplace. Each dormitory has two single beds, with spring mattresses; and one rarely finds a room anywhere better heated, lighted and ventilated and more wholesome and comfortable in all respects.

• 4. (3) Safety Against Fire.—Having had three experiences with fire in the one- and two-story wooden buildings occupied by the School in middle North Carolina and abandoned in 1891, our present buildings, as has already been stated, are of brick, in eight sections, with nothing that can burn but the floor, ceiling and sheeting, and are only ONE STORY HIGH, so that each pupil can step from his door, or get from his window if need be, to the ground. The sections are separated by parapet fire-walls, so that a fire could hardly pass from section to section. EACH PAIR of ROOMS is separated by a brick partition wall, so that it would take some time for a fire to pass from room to room. Water can be thrown over the top of every building from fire-by fire almost impossible. And the wisdom of a parent's securing this 

page 4   fire protection for his son while at school is remarkably vindicated by the fact that since our buildings were put under contract in 1891, more than THREE HUNDRED pupils ARE KNOWN to have been burnt to death in school fires in the United States, or to have been injured by jumping from up stairs windows, and many more cases of death or injury have not been reported at all, or have not been recorded.

**"The most practical test of the HEALTHFULNESS of the climate, of the buildings, of the food furnished, of the water used and-of the air breathed is that the average gain of our pupils in WEIGHT in a single School year has been as much as NINETEEN pounds, and that every one, without a single exception, who has inspected the School (as hundreds from all parts of the country have done) is pronounced in the opinion that for health, for safety against fire, for convenience, for comfort, for discipline, and for instruction, our location and buildings are unsurpassed in the United States, and many say freely that they are unequaled."®*

5. Means of Access.—The Asheville Plateau is accessible in all directions, and has the advantage of round trip rates from all leading points in the South during the Summer, and from many leading points in the North during the Winter.

The School may be reached from the hotels, or directly from the Station in carriages which enter the School grounds; or it may be reached for one five cent fare by the street cars, which leave the Station every fifteen minutes, and stop at the foot of our hill, whence a ten minutes' walk up the hill takes one to the buildings.

Baggage is delivered by the Transfer Company, whose agent meets every train.

**Those arriving on night trains must needs spend the night in the City.

** There are no accommodations for visitors on the school grounds, the nearest hotel or boarding-house being in the City.

6. (i) Religious Character.—The opinion which obtains in some quarters that military schools are defective In the matter of moral training is due to the fact that most military schools are State schools, and that the State school, like the public school, though not necessarily irreligious, as some claim, is non-religious in theory; and therefore in practice it does not, as a rule, make religious instruction a part of its routine.

But the Bingham School, though undenominational, has always stood for Christian education, has always made religious instruction a part of its routine, and has always pressed on its pupils that the

page 5   Christian gentleman is the highest type of manhood. The Superintendent is a member of the Presbyterian Church; but the School is non-sectarian and is patronized by representatives of most of the systems of religious belief in the United States, having pupils from Catholic and Jewish families as well as from the several Protestant denominations; and four religious denominations—the Presbyterian, the Episcopal, the Baptist, and the Methodist—have been represented in the Faculty since 1875.

Cadets are required to attend the church of their parents' choice at 11 o'clock on Sunday, unless prevented by stress of weather or other untoward circumstances, and the city pastors are asked to consider the Cadets their parishioners.

On Sunday afternoon the Superintendent, or occasionally some one else of his selection, conducts a Bible-study class or lectures to the Cadets on subjects suitable to their special needs, attendance being obligatory. Attendance at the daily Scripture reading and prayer at the opening of the School is also obligatory.

There has been a Young Men's Christian Association in the School for more than twenty-five years, attendance on Sunday night being voluntary.

6. (2.) Only Sons.—One of the most noteworthy indications of the status of The Bingham School is the fact that during the noth year FORTY-EIGHT (48) of its total enrollment were ONLY SONS, just one-third of its patrons having chosen this School for only sons after the most careful inquiry into the claims, in some instances at least, of as many as fifty (50) schools for boys.

7. (i) Co-education.— Co-education is not a living issue with us. Our military organization and the form and the isolated position of our buildings confine our work to boys.

But as we are often asked for our opinion on this subject, we say that we deem it is a great injustice to mature young women to exclude them from the instruction provided for young men at higher institutions of learning supported by taxation. It would be a still greater Injustice to the young and immature daughters of the many not to let them share with their brothers in what is offered to the Nation's children in the Nation's Public Schools.

But when boys and girls are no longer children, and are as yet not men and women, we deem it wiser to follow the ordination of God, which places the sexes together under the same roof in only three relations, to-wit, that of husband and wife, that of father and daughter, and that of sister and brother.

page 6   7. (2) The Special Advantages of Boarding-school Discipline for Boys if Quartered on the School Grounds.—Every man who has achieved success in life is conscious that his success is the result of his individual efforts. An infant must have nursing, a cripple must have support; but however tenderly he is loved and provided for, the sooner the boy is caused to realize that he must depend on himself and '' work out his own salvation," and that " there are no supports behind him" by which he may avoid duty and dodge accountability, the sooner does his preparation for true manhood begin. For this reason the average boy cannot do his parents, or his teacher, or himself justice


The father is rarely so situated that he can attend to his boy and his business. The mother often finds it very difficult to control her son's associations after he gets to be thirteen or fourteen. The horse, the dog, the gun, the fishing rod, oftentimes the girl and the consequent social entertainments, all of which things are more important in the boy's eyes than his school work, the unavoidable interruptions, the inexhaustible supply of excuses for failures in duty, the chances of avoiding penalties for negligence or wrong-doing through the natural but too often indiscreet tenderness of parents, in many cases  the number and character of associates—each singly, and often all combined, produce in too many instances, just in the formative period of life, a habit of carelessness, of neglect of duty, of irresponsibilty, which habit, once formed, is always damaging and often fatal.

All this is changed in a properly conducted boarding-school, and especially in a boarding-school as completely isolated as The Bingham School is, and as free from all extraneous influences. Such a school is a physical, mental and moral gymnasium in the best sense, where the many distractions of the home are excluded by the changed conditions or by the regulations; where legitimate amusements are confined to recreation hours, where the teacher has sole charge of the pupil for twenty-four hours every day; where duty-doing for duty's sake is constantly impressed on the mind; where the pupil is not sustained in failures to do duty by supposed but really false friends on the outside; where well-doing is rewarded; where wrong-doing is punished without regard to persons, and where each pupil occupies, in the estimation of teachers and comrades, the place, not into which he was born, as in the family, hut the place which he makes for himself, as in the world, for whose duties and responsibilities he is preparing. Besides the discipline which teachers exercise when a boy is under their immediate and constant

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page 7   supervision, the attrition of a body of boys at a boarding-school on each other is of the greatest value in reducing self-conceit, in wearing off rough edges, in correcting peculiarities, in cultivating habits of courtesy, mutual forbearance and deference to the rights and opinions of others; and this gives to many a boy an ample equivalent for the money expended, even if he should learn but little from his text-books. Furthermore, parents must be separated at length from their children in the course of nature, and children are usually separated from their parents in the course of business, and so one of the principal purposes of education should be to prepare a boy to leave his father's house and set up for himself; and we think that the best preparation for this inevitable result is to send him, as soon as he ceases to be a child, to a well-regulated Boarding-School of high grade, to associate with and be assimilated to the sons of the best people during the session, his home instincts being cultivated in vacations. In confirmation of this, our experience is very clear in favor of the boarding pupil as compared with the boy coming to us even from his own home as a day pupil. We succeed moderately to well with about 90 per cent, of our boarding pupils, and with only about 15 to 20 per cent, of our day pupils, though they have the same instructors and are subjected to exactly the same discipline as the boarders during the five or six hours which they spend with us daily, insomuch that we have often advised the parents of a day pupil to take him away from us and send him to a distant boarding school, where he could be isolated and controlled; and whenever a pupil from a distance has made it a condition of remaining with us that he should board in Asheville and come as a day pupil, we have always declined to receive him.

7. (3) The Disadvantage of Quartering Boys in Private Families.

Our experience is very clear against quartering boys in private families if the best results are expected and desired. The first headmaster of The Bingham School had his pupils boarded in private families from 1793 to about 1803; but from that time to the end of his life in 1825 he declined to take a pupil who did not eat at his table and sleep on his premises.

The second headmaster was unwilling to burden his wife with "serving tables," as he had seen his mother burdened, and from 1825 to 1845 he boarded his pupils in private families in a country town. The results being very unsatisfactory, he abandoned the town, and from 1845 to 1865 he boarded his pupils in private families in the country, hoping for better things; and from 1857 to 1863 the 3rd

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page 8   and 4th headmasters of the School were his partners. But the actual experience of the 2d, 3rd and 4th headmasters condemning this method entirely, as that of the first headmaster had done. And so the 3rd headmaster, from 1865 to 1873, declined to become responsible for pupils who lived off the school grounds; and the 4th headmaster has pursued the same policy from 1873 to the present.

The concurrent experience of the four headmasters of the School, from 1793 to 1903, has been very clear that, with a few exceptions, association with private families that will board school boys at the rates usually paid is harmful rather than helpful to them, and that it is damaging to discipline, to good order and to morals.

We found that almost always the landlord, or landlady, or both, formed a party with the boarder against the teacher in order to be popular with the boarder. Such collusion against the school cannot be otherwise than damaging to the pupil; and yet this " running with the hare and hunting with the hound" is unavoidable under that system as long as human nature remains as it is.

A parent sometimes sends a boy away from home to break up undesirable associations;  and yet, he often subjects himself to equally undersireable associations at a boarding-school conducted on this plan.

We found, too, that the distractions for boys which seem inseparable from co-educational schools are perhaps worse in a school for boys only, where pupils are quartered in private families adjacent to the school; for in the co-educational school the teachers have some jurisdiction over the female pupils; while the teachers of a boys' school have no control over the young ladies in the private families where their pupils board, nor have they any control over the female visitors of these young ladies.

We sum up the personal experience of the four headmasters of this school, covering a period of more than a century, with the statement that except in a few cases the disadvantages of this system to boys at a boarding-school are definite and positive and that its proprietors, who by this system are relieved of much expense for buildings and equipment.

8. (i) Homesickness.—Before a boy becomes accustomed to Boarding-School life, he often has a more or less serious attack of HOMESICKNESS, a painful but not dangerous disease, which

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page 9   weakens the will, distorts the judgment, and produces acute unhappiness for a time. A parent, therefore, should not be unduly disturbed by the accounts which his son may give of the School and it management at first, and sometimes under the same influence afterwards; and, before he takes any action based on such accounts, we beg him to come in person and inspect the School in every department and detail, or send an agent to do it.

8. (2) Writing Home.—Sometimes parents complain that their sons do not write to them regularly. This duty is constantly impressed on the Cadets by the Superintendent, who will see that it is performed whenever he is notified of its having been neglected, and he suggests that in such a case paper and a properly directed stamped envelope be sent through him to the delinquent, as the lack of writing materials and stamps is made an excuse from time to time for not writing home.

9. Organization.—After a successful non-corporate and merely civil existence of more than seventy years, the School was incorporated by act of Assembly, December, 1864, as a "MILITARY ACADEMY," and was empowered to confer such degrees and marks of distinction as are usually conferred by literary institutions. The School officers are commissioned by the State, the Superintendent as Colonel, and the other teachers " with a rank not higher than that of Major."

From 1861 to 1882, the Superintendent of the School was the Instructor in Tactics; but since 1882 the military instruction has been committed to an officer detailed from the United States Army, the School being among the hundred in the Union entitled by numbers and organization to such detail.

The military organization, which was introduced in 1861, was found so conducive to discipline, health and scholarship, that it has been retained, the Military Department being co-ordinate with the other Departments of the School; and though it is kept up to a high standard of excellence, it is so adjusted that not only if no military exercise permitted to interfere with the prosecution of study, but through the very efficient aid of the military discipline, better results are secured in every department than could be secured without the military feature.

Being often asked what the special advantages of a military organization in a boys' school are, the present Superintendent, having been a partner in The Bingham School before the military feature was introduced, and having administered it since 1873, feels that he may speak with some assurance about the utility of a Military

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page 10   Organization: and before speaking of its great advantages he will show the mode of its operation.

The commanding officer calls his battalion into line at an appointed time, with an appointed signal, and every member must obey the signal promptly, in the prescribed uniform and with the required equipment, which must be kept in the required condition. The first order is "Attention!" which reduced the whole battalion to silence and to the required and enforced " Position of a Soldier." He gives any prescribed military order, say, " Right Shoulder, Arms!" and it is obeyed by the whole battalion immediately, simultaneously, and without the slightest question as to the commanding officer's right to issue the order, or as to the duty of every man in the battalion to obey it to the very best of his ability. And if any one fails to obey it, he subjects the whole battalion to criticism, and the whole battalion resents his   "spoiling the drill."

Now if any one can suggest any other method by which immediate, simultaneous, unquestioning obedience is secured, which obedience is secured not so much by the authority issuing the order as by the weight of the body receiving the order on itself, we will abandon the military method and try the other. We do not claim that every order of every teacher is obeyed promptly and cordially; but we do claim that by prompt obedience to ANY order or set of orders the boy is faced toward promptness, obedience and duty-doing, learns them unconsciously and practices them automatically, so to speak, very much as he learned his mother tongue unconsciously and as he uses it automatically. In these days when God's command, " Children, obey your parents" has been so largely super-children," the value of a system which tends toward prompt and unquestioning obedience is obvious.

And so after a long personal and hereditary experience in dealing with boys under a purely civil, and under a combined civil and military organization, the Superintendent is sure that a military organization gives very valuable aid in the work of training boys to be men in the best sense, for the following reasons:

(1) We get our pupils TO LEARN MORE from books with than we could without the Miltary Organization.

(2) We get our boys TO BEHAVE DECIDEDLY BETTER with than we could without theMilitaryOrganization.

(3) A Military Organization cultivates more than any other

page 11   method known to us the habit of immediate, implicit, and unquestioning OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS.

(4) A Military Organization cultivates beyond any other method known to us habits of PROMPTNESS, ORDER, NEAT-NESS, and SYSTEM in everything, and makes duty-doing more a matter of course.

(5) A Military Organization furnishes regular, systematic and affective PHYSICAL TRAINING without any undue strain, and it enforces a standard of ERECT CARRIAGE and bearing not otherwise obtainable.

(6) Frequent INSPECTIONS belong as much to a Military Organization as wings to a bird or fins to a fish: but because these inspections are a matter of established and traditional routine, affecting all alike, every day alike, they are accepted as a mere matter of course, exciting no more opposition, friction or complaint than the calls to meals. If a soldier in an army or a boy in a Cadet School is in his place, he does not object to being found there by the official inspector. If

And so, beginning at 6 in the morning, every Cadet in our Barracks is accounted for at " Reveille " and at " Drill Call " 15 minutes later; at "School Call" at 8.15; at as many as three class roll-calls and five scholastic Inspections during School Hours between 9 and 3; and if he misses his lessons, at the 3 p. m. Study-Hall Call. At night every Cadet is accounted for at " Retreat " at the 8.15 Inspection ; at "Tattoo" at 9.30; at the 10.15 "Silence Signal" Inspection, and at the Inspection made by the teachers in turn every night between 12 and 4. In this way every Cadet is accounted for about twelve (12) times at intervals during School Hours throughout the day, and five (5) times at intervals throughout the night. No traveler thinks that the railroad company suspects any car wheel of being cracked because, at certain stations, the soundness of every car-wheel is tested by blow of the hammer. On the same principle our Cadets do not feel that we exercise any undue espionage because we test their soundness by knowing that they are in their places at stated times. But The Bingham School, when conducted under a purely civil organization, could not exercise the supervision attained now; nor can any father see what his son is about in his own house twelve times at intervals every day and five times at night without the boy's feeling that he is being treated with injustice and suspicion.

(7) PENALTIES are necessary under any system of law, divine or human; and a Military Organization furnishes a series of penalties

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