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Cesis with the founding of Hartford in * rette semn are lost, but in 16to an appro Wat is die support of a school, not as a new ****** sists of the town. In April, 1643 In met



persirene quarter at the least, and for more ir


2015 the following" action was had:

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upon as conducing much to the good of the present age, and that of the future: It was agreed and consented to by the town that forty pounds shall be paid in the way of a rate to the townsmen for the time being for carrying on the said work, which being considered to fall much short of attaining the erid in building such honse as may be suit ble for the said employment.

It was agreed unto by the town that in case any other shall make such an addition to the said sum that the work may be carried on and finished, cither with timber or brick, as may be judged most convenient, that the building so to be erected shall not be liverted to any other use or employment but in a way of schooling without the consent of the parties that shall contribute.

In a subsequent meeting the following vote was passed: The town chose Mr. Talcott, Mr. Fitch, and Goodman Stebbins, Jolin Barnard, as their committee, to act for them, either in buying or building a house for a schoolhonse; and if they do agree to build, they are not to exceed the sum of money that was due to the town from Mr. Goodwin; and if they buy, they are not to exceed the sum of money due from Mr. Goodwin; and the town doth engage to stand what their committee shall clo in this business.

The other towns composing the colony followed the same mode of supporting schools. Education was partly a public and partly a private charge. For example, Weathersfield voted in March, 1958,

That Mr. Thomas Lord should be schoolmaster for the year ensuing, and to have twenty-five pounds for the year, and also the use of tho house lot, and the use of tho meadow as formerly; and the twenty-five pounds is to be raised-of the children eight shillin per head of such as come to school, and the remainder by rate of all the inhabitants made by the lists of estates.

In 1650 a codification of laws for the government of the Commonwealth was made. The titles “Children” and “Schools,” according to Dr. Barnard, with trifling modifications, and such only as were calculated to give them greater efficiency, remained on the statute book for one hundred and fifty years. It will be seen that the author of the compilation borrowed a familiar statute from Massachusetts:


Forasmuch as the good Education of Children is of singular behoofo and benefitt to any Commonwealtb; and whereas many parents and masters are too indulgent and negligent of theire duty in that kind;

It is therefore ordered by this Courte and Authority thereof, that the Select men of euery Towne in the several precincts and quarters where they dwell, shall have a vigilant eye over their brethern and neighbors, to see, first, that none of them shall suffer so much barbarism in any of their families, as not to endeavor to teach by themselves or others, their children and apprentices so much learning as may enable them perfectly to read the English tongne, and knowledge of the capital laws, upon penalty of twenty shillings for each neglect therein; also, that all masters of families, do, once a week, at least catechise their children and servants, in the grounds and principles of religion; and if any be unable to do so much, that then, at the least, they procure such children or apprentices to learn some short orthodox catechism, without book, that they may be able to answer to the questions that shall be propounded to them out of such catechisms by their parents or masters, or any selectmen, when they shall call them to a trial of what they have learned in this kind; and further, that all parents and masters do breed and bring up their children and apprentices in some bonest lawful [calling, ] labor, or employment, either in

husbandry or some other trade profitable for themselves and the commonwealth, if they will not nor can not train them up in learning, to fit them for higher employments, and if any of the seleetmen, after admonition by them given to such masters of families, shall find them still negligent of their duty, in the particulars aforementioned, whereby children and servants become rude, stubborn and unruly, tho said selectmen, with the help of two magistrates, shall take such children or apprentices from them, and place them with some masters for years, boys until they come to twenty-one, and girls to eighteen years of age complete, which will moro strictly look unto and force them to submit unto government, according to the rules of this order, if by fair means and former instructions they will not be drawn into it.

The following enactments constitute sections 14 and 15 of the capital laws:

SECTION 14. If any child or children above sixteen years old and of sufficient understanding, sball curse or smite their natural father or mother, he or they shall be put to death; unless it can be sufficiently testified, that the parents have been very unchristianly 'negligent in the education of such childrev, or so provoke them by extreme and cruel correction that they have been forced thereunto to preservo themselves from death or maiming.

SECTION 15. If any man has a stubborn, or rebellious son of sufficient understanding and years, viz, sixteen years of age, which will not obey the voice of his father, or tho voice of his mother, and that where they have chastized him, he will not hearken into them; then may his father or mother being his natural parents lay hold on him and bring bim to the magistrates assembled in court, and testify unto them that their son is stubborn, and rebellious, and will not obey their voice and chastise. ment, but lives in suudry notorious crimes, such a son shall bo put to death.


It being ono chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures, as in former times, keeping them in an unknown tongue, so iu these latter times, by persuading them from the use of tongues, so that at least, the true sense and meaning of the original might be clouded with falso glosses of saint seeming doceivers; and that learning may not be buried in the grave of our forefathers, in church and commonwealth, the Lord assisting our endeavors:

It is therefore ordered by this court and authority thereof, That every township within this jurisdiction, after the Lord hath increased them to tho number of fifty householders, shall then fortlı with appoint one within their town to teach all such, children, as shall resort to him, to write and read, whose wages shall be paid, either by the parents or masters of such children, or by the inhabitants in general, by way of supply, as the major part of those who order the prudentials of the town, shall appoint; provided, that those who send their children be not oppressed by paying more than they can have them taught for in other towns.

And it is further ordered, That where any town shall increase to the number of one hundred families, or householders, they shall set up a grammar school, the masters thereof being able to instruct youths, so far as they may be fitted, for the university, and if any town neglect the performance liereof above one year, then every such town shall pay five pounds per annum, to the next such school, till they shall perform this order.

The proposition concerning the maintenance of scholars at Cambridge, made by the commissioners, is confirmed.

And it is ordered, That two men shall be appointed in every town within this jurisdiction, who shall demand what every family will give, and the same to be gathered and brought into some room, in March; and this to continuo yearly, as it shall be considered by the commissioners.


New Haven dates from 1638, and there is evidence showing the existence of a school in the colony in the following year. On the 25th of the twelfth month, 1641, the general court adopted the following order:

Il is ordered, That a free school be set up in this town, and onr pastor, Mr. Davenport, together with the magistrates, shall consider what yearly allowance is meet to be given to it out of the common stock of the town, and also what rules and orders are mect to be observed in and about the same.

The following order relates to a public grammar school that was established in New Haven two or three years later, and placed under the charge of Ezekiel Cheever:

For the better training up of youth in this town, that through God's blessing they may bo fitted for public service hereafter in church or Commonwealth, it is ordered that a freo school be set up, and the magistrates, with the teaching elders, are entreated to consider what rules and orders are meet to be observed, and what allowance may be convenient for the schoolmaster's caro and pains, which shall be paid out of the town's stock.

General court, in November, 1644, adopted the first of a series of orders in relation to aiding such children as should show the requisite talent, but whose parents were not able to support them at the college at Cambridge:

The proposition for the relief of poor scholars at the college at Cambridge was fully approved of, and thereunto it was ordered that Joshua Atwator and William Dayis shall receive of overyone in this plantation whose heart is willing to contribute thereunto a peck of wheat, or the value of it.

The following entry, made under the date of November 8, 1652, is but one of many similar entries that could be quoted from the public records of the colony:

The governor informed the court that the cause of calling this meeting is about a schoolmaster, to let them know what lie hath done in it. He hath written a letter to one Mr. Bower, who is a schoolmaster at Plymouth, and desires to come into these parts to live, and another letter to one Rev. Mr. Landson, a scholar, who he hears will take that employment upon him. Ilow they will succeed he knows not but now Mr. Janes has come to town, and is willing to come hither again if he may have encouragement; what course had been taken to get one he was acquainteil with, and if cither of them come ho must be entertained; but he said, if another come, he sbould be willing to teach boys and girls to read and write if the town thought fit, and Mr. Janes being now present confirmed it.

The town generally was willing to encourago Mr. Janes his coming, and would allow him at least ten pou is a year out of the treasury, and the rest he might take of tho parents of the children he teachetu by the quarter, as he did before, to make up a comfortablo maintenance; and many of the town thought there would be neod of two schoolmasters-for if a Latin schoolmaster come, it is feared he will be discouraged if many English scholars come to him. Mr. Janes, seeing the town's will. ingness for his coming again, acknowledged their love, and desired them to proceed no further in it at this time, for he was sure he shall get free where he is, and if he do, he doubt it will not be before winter. Therefore no more was done at it at present.

The town was informed that there is some motion again on foot concerning the setting up of a college here at Now Haven, which, if attained, will in all likelihood

prove very beneficial to this place, but now is only propounded to know the town's mind, and whether they are willing to further the work by bearing a meet proportion of chargo if the jurisdiction upon the proposal thereof shall seo cause to carry it on. No man objected, but all seemed willing, provided that the pay which they can raise liere will do it.

Governor Eaton's code of 1655, drawn up at a time when the colony contained but seven towns, has a provision in relation to the education of children that may be prefaced with a remark or two. Dr. Barnard says that Theophilus Eaton and John Davenport have the credit of estalılishing in New Haven, before it ceased to be an independent colony, a system of public instruction at that time without a parallel in any part of the world, and not surpassed in its universal application to all classes, rich and poor, at any period in the subsequent history of the State. The main motor force that acted in producing this result, as well as in producing similar results in Massachusetts, appears upon the surface. It is the principle of religion. Says Mr. John Fiske:

Tho Puritan theory of life lay at the bottom of the whole system of popular education in New England. According to this theory, it was absolutely essential that everyone should be taught from early childhood to read and understand the Bible. So much instruction as this was assumed to be a sacred duty which the community owed to every child born within its jurisdiction.'


This is the provision in question:

Whereas too inany parents and masters, either through an over tender respect to their own occasions and business, or not duly considering the good of their children and apprentices, have too much neglected duty in their education while they are young and capable of learning;

It is ordered, That the deputies for tho particular court in each plantation within this jurisdiction for the time being, or where there are no such deputies the constable or other officer or officers in public trust, shall from time to time have a vigilant eye over their brethren and neighbors within the limits of the said plantation; that all parents and masters do duly endeavor, either by their own ability and labor, or by employing such schoolmaster or other helps and means as the plantation doth afford or the family may conveniently provide, that all their children and apprentices, as they grow capable, may through God's blessing attain at least so much as to be able duly to read the Scriptures and other good and profitablo printed books in the English tongue, being their native language, and in son

some competent measure to understand the main grounds and principles of the Christian religion necessary to salvation, and to give a duo answer to such plain and ordinary questions as may by the said deputies, officer, or oflicers, bo propounded concerning the same. And when such deputies, or officers, whether by information or examination, shall find any parent or master, ono or more, negligent, he or they shall first give warning. and if therenpon due reformation follow, if the said parents or masters shall thenceforth seriously and constantly apply themselves to their duty in manner before expressed, the former neglect may be passed by; but if not, then the said deputies and other officer or officers shall, three months after such warning, present each such negligent person or persons to the next plantation court, where such delinquent, upon proof, shall be fined ten shillings to the plantation, to bo levied as other fines. And if in any plantation thero bo no such court kept for the present, in such case

The Beginnings of New England, p. 151.

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