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now covered by King's Chapel. Probably from the beginning the elementary branches were taught, yet it is not a little remarkable, that as designed by the founder, it was to be a high school; that is, principally for the study of Latin and Greek.

This design was happily carried out, for it became the principal classical school not only of the Massachusetts Bay, but, according to the Rev. Dr. Prince, “of the British colonies, if not of all America.” For its support it depended partly upon the donations of liberal friends of education and partly upon the income of a tract of land. Barnard, in his life of Ezekiel Cheever,' says that a tract of 30 acres at Muddy Brook, now a part of Brookline, was given in 1635 to the first teacher, Mr. Permont; and that, besides donations and legacies, the incomo from Deer Island ? was received for the maintenance of the Boston school. For two centuries and a half this school has enrolled among its members many who were destined to occupy high places in the State and nation. Such during the first century and a half were President Leverett, of Harvard College, Dr. Cotton Mather, Judge Hutchinson, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, and others whose eminent public services form no unimportant part of New England history, As one small meetinghouse sufficed for many years for all Boston, so one school met all the needs of public instruction until 1682, when other schools for writing and arithmetic were established. Whether it was thought an unusual thing to establish a free school or a school of any kind, and whether the leading men of the colony were interested in the first Boston school, we have no certain knowledge. Governor Winthrop's journal, which gives minute accounts of nearly every circumstance affecting the welfare of the colony, makes no allusion to it, nor do we find from the same authority any reference to free-school education until some years later. At first, both in the Massachusetts and Plymouth colonies, the children were doubtless educated at their homes in the elementary branches, while a few of the brighter boys were sent to the village pastor to receive from him instruction in Latin and Greek.

In studying the origin of the first American schools a very interesting question arises, namely, whether in essentials they originated in America or were largely modeled after the schools which had long existed in England. The author of The Germanic Origin of New England Towns, tells us that one of the most curious and suggestive phenomena of American history is the reproduction under colonial conditions of the town and parish systems of Old England. These little communes “were the germs of our State and national life. They gave the colonies all the strength which they ever enjoyed. It was the towns, parishes, and counties that furnished lifeblood for church and state, for school and college, for war and peace. In New England especially, towns were the primordial cells of the body politic.” "The town and village life of New England is as truly the reproduction of old English types as those again are reproductions of the village community system of the ancient Germans.” “In the customs of the court leet and of the old English parish meeting, which is but the ecclesiastical outcome of the old

school of this kind. Had this leaf been lost “Boston would have been deprived of its best eridence to prove the honor of having preceded every settlernent of the colony in so honorable au enterprise." (Felt's Annals of Salem, Vol. I, p. 429.) In the Ninth Annual Report of the New Hampshire Board of Education, page 15, I find this reference: "The next year [1036] they attempted to maintain a free school, Mr. Daniel Maud being now also chosen thereunto as teacher. He was to receive a salary of £40, of which Governor Vane subscribed £10. They also assigned a 'garden plot to Mr. Daniel Maud, schoolmaster, upon the condition of building thereon, if need be.'” In 1638 Permont settied in Exeter, N. H., and in 1612 Maud came from his duties as schoolmaster in Boston to Dover, N. H., both being settled as pastors.

1 American Journal of Education, 1855, p. 301.

" This was in 1611. In 1649 they began to give the rents also from Long Island and Spectacle Island to the school.

3 Prof. H. B. Adams, pp. 5, 8, 21.

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Saxon self-governing assemblies, is to be found the prototype of the New England town meeting."1 Now, if this be true of the town systems, may not the same be said of the New England school system? We are told ? that the idea of popular instruction was brought to the New World by our ancestors in the seventeenth century, and has here found its appropriate home.” A free school--that is, a school for gratuitous instruction of poor children (and in that sense alone were the early schools in this country free) can be traced back to the early ages of the Christian Church. The monasteries were originally seats of learning, as well as places of religious retirement, and their cloister schools, which were free, were "the hearthstones of classical education in every country of Europe, and were the germs of the great universities.”+ In the cathedrals a master was appointed whose duty it was to give free instruction both to clerks and poor scholars.

Admitting that the first Latin school was modeled after the English, it is reasonable to suppose that the other early schools of New England were formed in a similar way, though whatever model was followed it should be remembered that the common schools of America originated among the people, and did not, as in Germany and elsewhere, owe their establishment to the forethought and liberality of some princely ruler. We know that in a few years they were established in each town about Boston and in New Haven and Hartford-the latter place having been settled by Massachusetts colonists. These schools varied in efficiency according to the sums appropriated for their support, the competency of the instructors, and the measure of public interest they awakened. The idea of these schools was compulsory education, and the liberality with which they were generally sustained shows that we have no reason to claim for ourselves a deeper interest in educational matters than was taken by our ancestors. This liberality found expression in grants of land, in gifts and bequests of individuals, and by payments of tuition or rates by parents, or in allowances made out of the common stock of the town, which were designed especially for instruction in Latin

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1 Baylies, in his History of Plymouth, Vol. I, p. 241, as quoted by Richard Frothingham, says that "the origin of town governments in New England is involved in some obscurity. The system does not prevail in England. Nothing analogous to it is known in the Southern States." Frothingliam further says that “ Baylies traces their origin to the independent churches," and that "the nearest precedents for the New England towns were those little independent nations, the free cities of the twelfth century, or the towns of the Anglo-Saxons, where every office was elective. Webster, in his Plymouth oration of 1820, says that it was the division of lands that "fixed the future frame and form of this Government."

2 Educational Progress in the First Century of the Republic, p. 279.

3 Originally in England the term free school meant not a school in which instruction was to be given without fee or reward, but a public school free froin the jurisdiction of any superior institution, open to the public of the realm, and in some instances a school of liberal education. So at first here in New England, as appears by the records of the towns and of the general court, both in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and also in the early acts of Virginia and other States, the term was used much as in Englaud, "to characterize a grammar school, unrestricted as to a class of children or scholars specified in the instruments by which it was founded, and so supported as not to depend on the fluctuating attendance and tuition of scholars for the maintenance of a master.“ (Barnard's “Ezekiel Cheever" in Amer. Jour. of Educ., 1855.) It had then not only no reference to a charity school, but meant something quite different from the common or public school as afterwards developed, particularly in Massachusetts, supported by tax and free of all charge to all scholars, rich and poor.” (Ibid.) The term "public school" also had a different meaning in those days from what prevails now. The endowed schools of Eaton and Harrow and Rugby, in England, were public schools, but this term was never intended to convey the idea that the parent patronizing it was exempt from paying tuition. It is absolutely necessary, in order to a proper tinderstanding of the schools of the early colonial days, to recognize the exact meaning of these terms. (Dr. W. A. Mowry, at the Dorchester celebration, June 22, 1889.)

4 Barnard's National Education in Europe.

New Haven was settled by a party of the most wealthy colonists, who came to New England during these early years. But Hartford, Windsor, Wethersfield, and Springfield were settled respectively by parties which went out in 1635 from Cambridge, Dorchester, Watertown, and Roxbury.-Mather's Magnalia, Book I, p. 75, ed. 18:20.

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and Greek. Thus gradually was developed a system upon which the later schools have been established, namely, “that the property of all, without distinction, shall be applied to the education of all," the successful operation of which has undoubtedly contributed more than all other causes to bring happiness and prosperity to the people of New England.


To Boston apparently belongs the honor of establishing the first school in New England, though there seems to be no sure evidence that it received the support of the town till 1641.' It was, like all the schools of that period, a boys' school, and the studies were principally the ancient languages, as the chief object in view was to train up a learned ministry. Besides the annual allowance of £50 to the master and £30 to the usher—who was to teach the children to read, write, and cipher—an excellent custom was introduced of attaching a house to the school, with a few acres of land for a garden, orchard, and for feeding a cow.

This custom became general in the early history of New England, and had a most salutary influence, as it tended to make the schoolmaster's tenure of office permanent.

Under the lead of the Apostle Eliot divers free schools were erected, as at Roxbury, for the maintenance of which “every inhabitant bound some house or land for a yearly allowance forever.” 3 The Indian children were to have free tuition, the expense to be defrayed by a yearly contribution, voluntary or by rate if any refused, and the order was confirmed by the general court.4 Besides the income from some of the islands, Thomas Bell, one of the early settlers of Roxbury, left by will, in 1671, lands and other property for the maintenance of a “free school.” This property, under the able management of a board of trustees (who, by act of incorporation, were never to number more than 13 nor less than 9), became of great value. With the large income derived from it the best teachers were employed, so that this school early acquired a foremost position among the schools of New England. Cotton Mather says, "that Roxbury has afforded more scholars, first for the college and then for the public, than any town of its bigness, or, if I mistake not, of twice its bigness, in all New England.'

Of the appearance of the Roxbury schoolroom we are told that it was fitted up with “benches and formes for the scholars to rite" on, and that in 1652 “ a desk to put the dictionary on" was provided.

The grammar school at Cambridge, in which young men were fitted for college by the famous Master Corlett “ seems to have been nearly coeval with the town, and to have been an object of great care and attention."? The precise date when



1J. G. Carter, Letters on the Free Schools of New England, p. 48.

The first free school in America was founded in 1621, through subscriptions raised by Rev. Patrick Copeland, and located in Charles City, Va. In 1633 a school was opened in New York by Adam Roelandsen, the schoolmaster, and the school which he taught, it is claimed, is still in existence in connection with the Dutch Reformed Church.

3 Winthrop's Journal, under date of 1645. All who refused to bind themselves, as above stated, were not to "have any further benefit thereby than other strangers shall have who are not inhabitants."

4 Efforts were also made by the Apostle Eliot to plant schools among the converted Indians, and some of their brightest lads he sent to the English schools to learn not only English, but also Latin and Greek.

5 Mather's Magnalia, Vol. I., book 3, p. 498, ed. 1820.

6"And by the side of the college a faire grammar school * * that still, as they are judged ripe, they may be received into the college; of this school Master Corlett is the Mr. who has been well approved himself for his abilities,” etc. (New England First Fruits.)

The expression "grammar school” was common also in England. By it was meant a school for the study of the Latin and Greek language and literature. It was so called because grammatica (the study of language and linguistic literature) formed the leading feature of the course of all liberal study." (American Jour. of Educ., 1857, p. 591.) ? Holmes' History of Cambridge, as quoted in Pierce's History of Harvard University, p. 6.

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this school was established is not known, but it must have been some years previous to 1643, as Corlett had then acquired a wide reputation as a skillful and wise teacher. It was not made a free school until 1737,' and even after this date the scholars were not wholly exempted from the payment of tuition. One-fourth the income derived from-the Edward Hopkins Fundwas given to the master of the grammar school at Cambridge, the condition in the will being that he should instruct five boys in the studies of the school, the boys to be nominated by the president and fellows of Harvard College and the minister at Cambridge. This was apparently the first beneficiary fund in America for the education of boys. Among other sources of income was the rent from Thompsons Island, which, as early as 1639, was appropriated for the benefit of this school. There has been preserved a contract, made in 1655 by President Dunster, of the college, and a certain Edward Goife, with some builders of Cambrige, for a schoolhouse to be built at the expense, as it would seem, of the former two, or at least upon their assuming the responsibility.

The school in Charlestown must have been opened at about the same time, or, at least, not long subsequent to the school in Boston, for in June, 1636, a certain Mr. Witherell 6 was agreed with to keep a school for a twelveinonth, to begin the eighth of August, and to have £10 this year.” This is evidence that a public school, and, judging from the agreement as to salary, a free school for at least a year, was thus early established, being based upon the principle of voluntary taxation, though the whole number of inhabitants who had wives and children was only seventy-two. This was eleven years before the enactment of the Massachusetts law compelling towns to maintain schools. Lovells Island, which had been granted to the town by the general court of 1636, “provided they employ it for fishing,” etc., was rented, and after a short time the income therefrom was regularly applied to the support of the school. This school continued to be maintained, though there is no mention of a schoolhouse until 1618, when one was ordered to be built on “Windmill Hill" and paid for by a “ general rate.” Oldmixon in his history calls Charlestown the mother of Boston.

We have no account of any school in Salem until after the arrival of the Rev. John Fiske in 1637, who, distinguished alike for wealth and learning, continued to teach until January, 1640. Among the pupils he prepared for Harvard College was the afterwards famous Sir George Downing, who was in high favor both with Cromwell and Charles II. In March, 1611, a town meeting was called to see about establishing “a free school," and this, according to the historian of Salem,' was " the first written intimation that we have of instruction without price among our

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1 Paige's History of Cambridge, p. 379.

2 Edward Hopkins, who had been governor of the Connecticut colony, dying in 1657, bequeathed a large sum for the furtherance of education in the colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Haven. (Seo again under "Education in Connecticut.")

3 Frothingham's History of Charlestown, p. 77. Dr. Mowry (in the address already referred to) takes the ground that the agreement with Mr. Witherell is not conclusive evidence that the school was opened in that year. He says that “so far as I know there is no evidence that the town supported the school by taxation till long after 1610."

4 Felt's Annals of Salem, Vol. I, p. 420.

6 In the History of Dorchester, published in 1859 by the Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society, it is claimed (p. 420) that the first public provision "for a free school in the world by a direct tax or assessment on the inhabitants" was made in that town on the 30th of May, 1839.

“On the 4th of March, 1635, the general court of the Massachusetts colony granted to the inhab. itants of the town of Dorchester Thompson's Island 'to enjoy to them, their heirs and succes. sors wrh shall inhabito there forever,'on condition that they pay to the treasury 12d. yearly as rent. In May, 1639, at the date above named, the town voted to lay a tax on the proprietors of said island for the maintenance of a school in Dorchester.' The writer of the History of Dorchester has the following explanation of the word 'proprietors: ' 'It is supposed that under the term “proprietors,' in this connection, was included the principal part of the adult male inhabitants of the town.' This explanation is further confirmed by the wording of a subse.

settlers." For more than a hundred years from its establishment this school was presided over by graduates of Harvard College. In 1677 the income from Bakers Island, the two Misery Islands, and from the Beverly Ferry was applied toward the support of a grammar school in Salem, and in the years 1680 and 1682 we find it recorded that the master was allowed a salary of £15. In 1699 the children who attended the grammar school, then numbering only twenty, were required to pay each an annual tuition of 12 shillings. Soon after this a writing school was provided, and a few years later a master was employed to teach mathematics. During the first half of the eighteenth century many donations were made to the grammar and writing schools, and one of “£60 to a woman's school.” Not the least among the innovations of the time was a bell which in 1723 was sent from England. In connection with the story of this bell we learn the length of the school day, for it is said that the bell rang at 7 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon from March to November, and at 8 and 4 from November to March, “the school to begin and end accordingly; ” and the afternoon session was ordered to begin “at 1 o'clock all the year round.” It is worthy of notice that the school committee was not chosen as a board separate from the selectmen until 1753. In the history of Salem we find an illustration of the difference of meaning in the expression “ free school” as applied to the earlier and later schools. The earlier idea is expressed by an order of 1614, that such as have children to be kept at school, “bring in their names and what they will give for one whole year, and also that if any poor body hath children or a child to be put to school and not able to pay for their schooling that the town will pay it by a rate;” and the later one by the enactment of 1768, that the teachers be “entirely paid by a town tax where no funds existed, and not as before, partly by a tax and partly by the pupils.”

The town of Newbury, in 1639, granted 10 acres of land to Anthony Somerby for his encouragement to keep school one year;” but the first notice of the town's intention to build a schoolhouse and support a teacher at their expense was in 1652. In 1653 it was ordered “that the town should pay £24 by the year to maintain a free school at the meetinghouse," against which vote seventeen persons “desired to have their dissents recorded."

Duxbury established a school in 1655. In the records of Ipswich we find, under date of 1636, this item: “A grammar school is set up but does not succeed.” Some years later the historian Hubbard, who was pastor of the church at Ipswich, founded and endowed the first public school, but its period of prosperity did not begin until 1650, when he introduced as its master the patriarch of New England teachers, Ezekiel Cheever. In 1651 a grant of land was inade by the town to the school, and in the January following


quent vote concerning this rental: Whereas the inhabitants of Dorchester have formally ordered, Consented and agreed that a Rente of Twentie pounds prann. shall issue & be payd by the sayd Inhabitants & their heires from & out of a Certaine porcon of land in Dorchester called Thomson's Iland for & towards the maintenance of the schoole in Dorchester aforesayd,' etc. It appears certain from this wording that this tax upon Thompson's Island was in reality a town tax or a tax upon the town. The probability would seem to be that when the island was made over by the general court to the town of Dorchester the land was apportioned among the principal inhabitants, or .freemen', of the town resident upon the mainland. At allevents, this was a tax levied by the town as a direct provision for the school." (Address by William A. Mowry, Ph. D., at the Dorchester celebration.)

But the newly created proprietors did not evidently relish the imposed tax, and they therefore soon after made a conveyance of the island to the town for the special support and estab. lishment of a free school.

Francis Adams, in The Free School System of the United States, p. 46, says that Hartford, Conn., appears to be the first town which established a free school, but there can be little doubt that Massachusetts was the first State to make laws providing for a regular system of free schools.

1 Previous to 1768 the laws of Massachusetts required that schools should be sustained by the inhabitants, but they were left free as to the manner in which tuition should be paid. 2 Felt's Annals of Salem, Vol. I, p. 429.

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