The Saint Louis directory for the years 1854-5 :
To the mercantile community.

An Outline of the Plan of Instruction in the Art of
Double Entrg Book Keeping, Commercial Law.
Commercial Calculations and Penmanship.

There has been, in the mercantile community, a uni-
ve sal prejudke of long standing, touching the art of
Double-Entry Book-Keeping, as ordinarily taught it
he “literary and Scientific Institutions” of out day
wbieh the inoompetency of many who have attempted
o te.ieh Book-Keeping theoretically, as well as the ue
fecta peculiar to th ir systems, have naturally enough
e ited. This prejudice is both well founded and jusl ,
bu: if tho e hwi in ions h >ve mi-take > l;oiu 1—i i:trv
Book-Keeping (a practical art) for an abstruse, compl x
and difficult science, and delivered long printed lec-
tures upou its “Speculative Ihcory,” or lequiied she
student to memorize arbitrary rules, and finally f. iled in
the end to ac*omi>lish their object, doea it hence folLm
that we are to have no improvement in the art of teach-
ing ? or, are systems founded upon enii ely different
principles—principles diametrically opioodto tho-e in
their Learing and practical application—subject to the
samefite, and that, too, without a fiir trial? This
conclusion is disingenuous, illogical and unjust. It is
obvious to every intelligent practical accountant that
Book-Ktej.ing his a thejry as well as a practice to be
acquired, and to that young gentleman aspiring to the
highest rank as a scientific and practical accountant,
much will depend upon the demonstrator of tho>e prim i-
plfli which aro to govern him in the performance of hi;
duties, ’ihe utility of Double-Entry Book-Keeping, in
the management of accounts, is no longer questi ned.
Its perfect adaptation (with proper forms; to mercan-
tile, steamboat, manufacturing, and joint stock opera-
tions, has been so fully tested, that but few business
men now consider thjir capital safe, where the books of
the company aro not kept by double-eutry.

The only question is, how are young gentlemen, inex-
perienced in the management of accounts, by double-
entrw—though familiarized with the general routine of
business—writing legible hands, and competent to per-
form the ordinary calculations of accountants, to be
qui lifted as practical book-keepers for the pe formance
of their duties in the counting-lum.-e ? Or, in o he
words, where is a supply of practical aoeonntanl
to the demand, to be obtained? To this we unhe i ai
ingly reply, They can only be taught, trained and
qualified by practical accountants, who understand the
entire routine of the counting-house, its duties and re-
quirements. Hence, no literary institution, scho 1 or
college, ever did produce a single practical accountant,
oompe ent to assume the charge of a sot of books, upon
the ordinary class and text book plan of instruction.

But if inexperienced theoretical teachers fail to supply
the counting-house with practical book-keeper, and ihe
demand for such services induce experienced practical
accountants to adopt teaching as a profession—if they
organize an institution, with all the facilities known in