Cameron's annual message to the Virginia General Assembly * 1883
The condition of the public free school system should engage the active interest of every citizen of this commonwealth. There is no individual and no element of our population but should rejoice to know that the state in the past two years has been able almost to double the facilities for free education... The executive of the commonwealth knows no higher duty than to contribute all in his power to furnish the means for teaching all the people to understand their rights, to know the limits of their privileges, and to feel and perform the full measure of their duties. To those whom we have armed with the powers and responsibilities of citizenship, present and future, a high obligation exists. To call human beings into the front of the battle of life and deny them or obstruct them in the means which are essential to their intelligent use of freedom would be as gross an abuse as to call men into real war and fail to put into their hands the weapons with which to make them soldiers. It is to be hoped that these views will meet with no opposition in Virginia, and that all persons of all classes will agree that our best policy, as our highest duty, dictates the free education of all the children of all classes of our people.