« AnteriorContinuar »
mittee that negotiated the sale; but in 1800 the management was intrusted to a committee or board of managers, 4 in number. In the course of thirteen years the interest divided and paid out to the societies amounted to $456,757.44, being an average of $35,135.18 per annum.
In 1809, at the October session, it appeared from the report of the managers that a large amount of interest was unpaid, and that the collateral securities of the original debts were not safe. In view of these facts a committee of the legislature recommended that the management of the fund should be intrusted to one person, and that efficient measures should be adopted to save the capital as well as interest from loss. In 1810, at the May session, the Hon. James Hillhouse, then a member of the United States Senate, was appointed sole commissioner of the school fund. Mr. IIilllouse immediately resigned his post in the Senate and entered on the duties of his new office. He found that the capital consisted chiefly of the debts due from the original purchasers of the Western Reserve and the substituted securities which had been accepted in their stead. These securities had in the course of fifteen years, by death, insolvency, and otherwise, become involved in complicated difficulties. The interest had fallen greatly in arrears, and in many cases nearly equaled the principal. The debtors were dispersed in different States. Without a single litigated suit, or a dollar paid for counsel, he reduced the disordered management to an efficient system, disentangled its affairs from loose and embarrassed connections with personal securities and indebted estates, rendered it productive of a large, regular, and increasing dividend, and converted its doubtful claims into well-secured and solid capital. During the fifteen years o! bis administration the annual dividend averaged $52,061.35, and the capital was augmented to $1,719,434.24. The amount of the interest that he divided was $780,920.24, which, added to the sum of $456,757.44, previously divided, made an aggregate of $1,237,677.68. The policy thus inaugurated by Mr. Hillhouse was continued by his successor, Hon. Seth P. Beers, who was appointed commissioner in 1825, and held the office till May, 1819, when he resigned. During his administration, by judicious sales and management of lands which came into his possession as forfeited securities, the capital of the fund was increased from $1,719,434.24 to $2,049,482.32; and the income from $72,418.30 to $133,366.50, being an average of $97,815,15 per annum. From 1819 to 1859 there were six different commissioners, but no change followed in the management or prosperity of the fund—the productive capital of which, according to the report of Hon. Albert Sedgwick, dated April 16, 1859, amounted to $2,043,372.01, yielding an income for the year of $142,303.42, or $1.30 for the benefit of each child in the State between the ages of 4 and 16. The entire income of the fund from 1799 to 1859 amounted to $4,940,988.29, besides paying the expense of its management. “ We know not in the whole history of public funds or trust estates," says Dr. Barnard, " another instance so creditable to the economy, fidelity, and practical judgment of the persons intrusted with its management for a period of sixty years." The Connecticut State Report for 1890 gave the fund as $2,023,753.83.
AUTHORITIES.-H. B. Adams: Maryland's Influence upon Western Lands Cessions, Baltimore, 1885. This monograph treats the subject from a new and interesting point of view. B. A. Hinsdale: The Old Northwest, New York, 1888. (See Chaps. XI., The North western Land Claims; XII., XIII. The Northwestern Cessions; XIX. The Connecticut Western Reserve.) G. W. Knight touches the subject of this section in his History and Management of Lands Grants for Education in the Northwest Territory, Part 1, 1. A. (See Papers of the American Historical Association, Vol. 1, No. 3.) Dr. Henry Barnard's History of the School Fund of Connecticut, originally published as a separate document, but now found in the American Journal of Education, Vol. VI., pp. 367-425, is marked by the author's usual thoroughness. The acts of 1793 and 1795 are transcribed from this source. (See pp. 376, 412, 413.) The Annual Report of the Board of Education of the State of Connecticut for the year 1876 contains valuable material, particularly The History of Public Education in the State.
V. PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATION.
I. Pens's COLONY: The frame of government, 1682; the law of 1682; educational
chapter of the “great law," 1682; frame of government, 1683; educational chapter of the laws of 1683; entry in records in court of quarter sessions held at Chester, 1702-3; extract from Governor Markhum's frame of government; extract from records of a council held at Philadelphia, 1683; records relating to the Friends' public school,
1693, 1705; petition for a charter for said school, 1697. II. Notes on the history of education in the Connecticut settlements in the Wyoming Valley, with records.
I. PENN'S COLONY.
Next to Massachusetts and Connecticut there was more educational activity of the kind that leaves traces in the statute book in Pennsylvania than in any other State. No other State had such a diversified and incongruous population; this may be divided in general into three groups-the Quakers, the German colonists, and the Connecticut settlers in Wyoming. Dr. J.P. Wickersham deals with these groups and with the whole subject very comprehensively in his History of Education in Pennsylvania, Private and Public, Elementary and Higher, from the time the Swedes Settled on the Delaware to the Present Day. (See Chaps. II, III, IV.)
The Quakers and the Conneciicut men alone furnish material for our inquiry.
The characteristic religious tenet of the Quakers, who founded the Commonwealth, is faith in individual inspiration, or the doctrine of the inner light. “ The mystery of the incarnation does not puzzle the Quaker," says the author just mentioned; “ as he believes that God is in some measure incarnate in every soul that breathes, he readily rises to the conception of a soul completely filled with the divine influence, the God-man."
Evidently such a faith as this may affect education in either one of two ways. It is likely to fill narrow and ignorant minds with such a sense of their present sufficiency as will prove a serious bar to schools, to study, and to mental cultivation; while it is likely to inspire the broad-minded and the intelligent with high ideals and to energize them to make strenuous efforts. Fortunately the Quakers, for the most part, have illustrated the second of these tendencies. With his “view of the possibilities of human nature,” says Dr. Wickersham, the Quaker “deems it his duty to make himself, body and mind, a fit temple for the indwelling of the Divine Spirit. Hence, to be consistent with himself, he must be a friend to all art that purifies and ennobles, to all science that broadens and enriches, and to all education that instructs, develops, and perfects. If at any time the Society of Friends, or its individual members, have seemed to discourage educa. tion, it was either because the logic of their religious doctrines was not fully understood, or because they feared the effect of that abuse of learning which 'puffeth up,' magnifies self, and in its self-importance refuses to give heed to the humble teachings of the still small voice' in the soul." (Pp. 21-23.)
William Penn was a liberally educated as well as a broad-minded man. He shared to the full the most enlightened sentiments of tho society to which he belonged. Liberal extracts could be made from his writings showing that in respect to education he was far in advance of his time. Just before leaving England for America Penn wrote to his wife as follows about the education of his own children:
For their learning bo liberal; spare no cost; for by such parsimony all is lost that is saved; but let it be useful knowledge, such as is consistent with truth and godliness, not cherishing a vain conversation or idle mind; but ingenuity mixed with industry is good for the body and mind too. I recommend the useful parts of mathematics, as building houses or ships, measuring, surveying, dialling, navigation; but agriculture is especially in my eye. Let my children be husbandmen and housewives; it is industrious, healthy, honest, and of good example.
At a later day he wrote concerning his American province:
Upon the whole matter I undertake to say that if we would preserve our Government we must endear it to the poople. To do this, besides the necessity of presenting just and wise things, we must secure the youth; this is not to be done but by the amendment of the way of education, and that with all convenient speed and diligence. I say the Government is highly obliged; it is a sort of trustee for the youth of the Kingdom, who, though minors, yet will have the Government when we are gone. Therefore, depress vice and cherish virtue, that through good education they may become good, which will truly render them happy in this world and a good way fitted for that which is to come. If this is done, they will owe more to your memories for their education than for their estates.
Naturally, therefore, in the frame of government or charter that he drew up for his colony, written in England early in 1682, he made provision for education as follows:
Twelfth. That the governor and provincial council shall erect and order all public schools and encourage and reward the authors of useful sciences and laudable inventions in the said province.
And, fourthly, a committee of manners, education, and arts, that all wicked and scandalous living may be prevented, and that youth may be successively trained up in virtne and useful knowledge and arts.
The following also was one of the laws agreed upon in England: Twenty-eighth. That all children within this province of the age of twelve years shall be taught some useful trade or skill, to tho end none may be idle; but the poor may work to live, and the rich, if they become poor, may not want.
These provisions were duly accepted by the colony. Moreover on December 4, 1682, the first general assembly of the colony sat at Chester. Chapter LX of the “Great Law” that it enacted contained this provision with respect to education:
That the laws of this province from time to time shall be published and printed, that every person may have the knowledge thereof; and they shall be one of the books tanght in the schools of this province and territories thereof.
The frame granted to the colony in 1683 contained a provision relating to education not found in that of the previous year. After stipulating that the governor and provincial council shall erect and order all public schools it proceeds—
That one-third part of the provincial council, residing with the governor, from time to time shall, with the governor, have the care of the management of public affairs relating to the peace, justice, treasury, and improvement of the province and territories, and to the good education of youth, and sobriety of the manners of the inhabitants therein as aforesaid.
Chapter CXII of the laws enacted by the second assembly, which sat in Philadelphia March 10 of the same year, reads as follows:
And to the end that poor as well as rich may be instructed in good and commendable learning, which is to be preferred before wealth
Be it enacted, eto., That all persons in this province and territories thereof, having children, and all tlie guardians and trustees of orphans, shall cause such to be instructed in reading and writing, so that they may be able to read the Scriptures and to write by the time they attain to twelve years of age; and that then they be taught some useful trade or skill, that tho poor may work to live, and the rich, if they become poor, may not want; of which every county court shall take care. And in case such parents, guardians, or overseers shall be found deficient in this respect, every such parent, guardian, or overseer shall pay for every such child five pounds, except there should appear an incapacity in body or understanding to hinder it.
This was providing (1) that all children should be taught to read and write by the time that they were 12 years of age; (2) that they should be taught some useful trade or skill; and (3) that compulsion should be resorted to if necessary in order to accomplish universal education. For some reason this law, so far in advance of the ideas then current, was disapproved of by William and Mary, but it was reeracted by the governor and assembly in 1793. Dr. Wickersham thinks that it became a dead letter, because it was omitted from subsequent frames of government. He supposes, however, that it was enforced for a time, and refers to the records of the early courts for proof. The following entry is one of many that might be quoted:
At a couri of quarter sessions held at Chester, for said county, on the twenty-third day of the 12th mo., 1702–3, Robert Sinkler petitioned this court that his present master John Crosby was to teach him to read and write, which he hath not freely performed, ordered that John Crosby put the said servant to school one month, and to instruct his said servant another month.
The frame of government granted by Governor Markham, 1696, contained the following provisions:
That the governor and council shall erect and order all public schools and encourage and reward the authors of useful sciences and laudable inventions in the said province and territories.
That the governor and council shall from time to time have the care of, the management of, all public affairs relating to the peace, safety, justice, treasury, trade, and improvement of the province and territories, and to the good education of youth, and sobriety of the manners of the inhabitants therein as aforesaid.
That the provincial authorities were not slow to take practical action is shown by these records:
At a Council held at Philadelphia, ye 26th of ye 10th month, 1683. Present: Wm. Penn, Propor & Govr., Theo. Holmes, Wm. Haigue, Lasse Cock, Wm. Clayton.
The Govr and Provll Councill having taken into their Serious Consideration the great Necessity there is of a School Master for ye instruction & Sober Education of youth in the towne of Philadelphia, Sent for Enock flower, an Inhabitant of the said towne, who for twenty Year past hath been exercised in that care and Imployment in England, to whom haveing Communicated their Minds, he Embraced it upon the following Terms: to Learne to read English 4s by the Quarter, to Learne to read and write 6s by ye Quarter, to learne to read, Write and Cast accot 8s by ye Quarter; for Boarding a Scholler, that is to say, dyet, Washing, Lodging, & Scooling, Tenn pounds for one whole year.
The Friends' Public School of Philadelphia, now known as the William Penn Charter School, dates from 1689. The original name bore the current English sense of the name public sehool. The following records relate to the master of this school:
August 1, 1693: Thomas Meaking, keoper of the free school in the town of Philadelphia, being called before the licutenant governor and council, and told that he must not keep school without a license. Answered that he was willing to comply, and to take a license. Was therefore ordered to procure a certificate of his ability, learning, and diligence from the inhabitants of note in this town by the sixteenth instant, in order to the obtaining a license, which lie promised to do.
December, 1699: Thomas Makin voted to be clerk of this assembly, at 4s per day.
1705, November 30: The petition of Thomas Makin, complaining of damage accruing to him by the loss of several of his scholars by reason of the assembly's using the school house so long-the weather being very cold-ordered that he be allowed the sum of three pounds over and above the sum of twenty shillings this house formerly allowed him for the same consideration,