of Tennessee, and has addressed thousands of bodies of educators throughout the country. The Letter. The letter reads Department of the Interior Bureau of Education. Washington, Jan. 24, 1912. To the Central Committee interested in the establishment of a State College for Women at the University of Virginia: Ladies and Gentlemen, --- In reply to your recent communication permit me to say that I am greatly interested in your plans and to [illegible] of expanding in the General Assembly of Virginia for the establishment of a co-ordinate college for women at the University of Virginia. By all means you ought to succeed, and this or some similar bill should be enacted into a law by the present Legislature of the State. No State can make any just claim to real Democracy that does not offer something like equal opportunity to all its children for education and for preparation for the duties and responsibilities of life. In this consists the essence of Democracy. This must include girls as well as boys.Modern life demands as large a degree of education, even if of somewhat different kind, for women as for men. If the State provides higher education for young men, it must provide in an equally generous way for the highest education of young women. I believe no thoughtful person can or will deny this. I believe the State of Virginia makes no provision for its women in schools above the high school grade except in the State normal schools. It is hardly to be supposed that all the young women in Virginia whose fuller and more complete education would be profitable to themselves and to the State are to be teachers in the elementary schools for which the normal schools prepare, or to be teachers of schools of any kind for that matter. In hundreds of other ways may educated women serve society, and the life of Virginia must be less rich and noble then it should be if it does not make a liberal provision for the education of its young women of ability. Certainly no one will doubt this, nor can any one doubt that many young women of one ability in Virginia must go without this higher education and the fuller development of their faculties and powers if they must depend on private and denominational schools.
The only question then is whether this opportunity for the higher education of women in Virginia shall be provided in a separate institution under separate management and faculty but of equal rank with the University of Virginia, in a co-ordinate college of the university, or by coeducation in the university after the manner of Western colleges and universities. The first would be quite costly. The last would probably be quite objectionable to many thoughtful and patriotic Virginians and loyal friends of the university. Indeed it cannot be claimed that the practice is yet thoroughly established in a satisfactory way in all places where it has been tried though the tendency is growing, and this will, of course, become a fact unless some such action as is now contemplated is taken. The second plan, the plan proposed in the pending bill, is economical in many ways, as may be easily understood by any one, and it cannot be objectionable to any fairminded man or woman, however conservative. The pan has worked well in many other places and I have heard no objection to it from any source. One reason for its adoption in Virginia, as already intimated, is that it may save the State and university from what wound be still more objectionable to some people. Since young men and young women are not to be taught in the same classes or rooms, there can be no possible lowering of the high standard of classes maintained only for boys. I believe it has been intimated that the presence of large bodies of students of both sexes in the same institution and in buildings and on grounds in close proximity would be detrimental to their morals. It has not proven to be so at other places. Any intimation that it would be so in Virginia is a libel on the character and virtue of young men and women of Virginia unworthy of consideration.
I sincerely hope that the bill may pass without any amendment that would render it ineffective. Yours sincerely, P. P. CLAXTON, Commissioner.