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elders were empowered to establish statutes and constitutions for the infant institution; and in 1650 a charter was granted, which was protected by an article in the constitution of 1780 and still remains the fundamental law of the oldest literary institution in this country.

In 1642 the attention of the General Court was turned to the subject of family instruction in the following enactment:

Forasmuch as the good education of children is of singular behoof and benefit to any commonwealth; and whereas many parents and masters are too indulgent and negligent of their duty in this kind:

It is therefore ordered by this Court and the authority thereof, That the selectmen of every town, in the several precincts and quarters where they dwell, shall have a vigilant eye over their brethren 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 tongue, and knowledge of the cap. ital 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 mas. ters, or any of the selectmen, where 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 honest lawful calling, labor, or employment, either in husbandry or some other trade profitable for themselves and the commonwealth, if they will not nor cannot train them up in learning to fit them for higher employments; and if any of the selectmen, 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, the said selectmen, with the help of two magistrates, shall take such children or apprentices from them, and place ihem with some masters for years, boys till they come to twenty-one, and girls eighteen years of age complete, which will more 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 unto it.

In the same year the following brief School Code was enacted : It being one 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 in these latter times, by persuading from the use of tongues, so that at least the true sense and meaning of the original might be clouded and corrupted with false glosses of deceivers; and to the end that learning may not be buried in the grave of our forefathers, in church and commonwealth, the Lord assisting our endeavors :

It is ther fore ordered by this Court and authority thereof, That every township within this jurisdiction, after the Lord hath increased them to the number of fifth householders, shall then forth 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 much more than they can have them taught for in other towns.

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

With various modifications as to details, but with the same objects

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steadily in view, viz., the exclusion of“ barbarism ” from every family by preventing its having even one untaught and idle child or apprentice, the maintenance of an elementary school in every neighborhood where there were children enough to constitute a school, and of a Latin school in every large town, and of a college for higher culture for the whole colony, the colonial legislature, and the people in the several towns in Massachusetts, maintained an educational system, which, although not as early or as thorough as the school code of Saxony and Wirtemburg, has expanded with the growth of the community in population, wealth, and industrial development, and stimulated and shaped the legislation of other States in behalf of universal education.

The article on education in the constitution of 1780 was one of the first ever incorporated into the organic law of a State. Section 2, making imperative on legislators and magistrates to encourage the interests of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them, was framed by John Adams, and has been retained until this day without the slightest alteration.

The University at Cambridge, and Encouragement of Literature, etc.

SECTION 1.-THE UNIVERSITY. ART. 1. Whereas our wise and pious ancestors, so early as the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-six, laid the foundation of Harvard College, in which university many persons of great eminence have, by the blessing of God, been initiated into those arts and sciences wbich qualified them for public employments, both in church and state; and whereas the encouragement of the arts and sciences, and all good literature, tends to the honor of God, the advantage of the Christian religion, and the great benefit of this and the other United States of America; it is declared that the president and fellows of Harvard College, in their corporate capacity, and their successors in that capacity, their officers and servants, shall have, hold, use, exercise, and enjoy all the powers, authorities, rights, liberties, privileges, immunities, and franchises which they now have, or are entitled to have, hold, use, exercise, and enjoy ; and the same are hereby ratified and confirmed unto them, the said president and fellows of Harvard College, and to their successors, and to their officers and servants, respectively, forever.

2. And whereas there havo been, at sundry times, by divers persons, gifts, grants, devises of houses, lands, tenements, goods, chattels, legacies, and convey. ances, heretofore made, either to Harvard College, in Cambridge, in New England, or to the president and fellows of Harvard College, or to the said college by some other description, under several charters successively-it is declared, that all the said gifts, grants, devises, legacies, and conveyances are hereby forever confirmed unto the president and fellows of Harvard College, and to their successors in the capacity aforesaid, according to the true intent and meaning of the donor or donors, grantor and graptors, devisor and devisors.

3. And whereas, by an act of the general court of the colony of Massachusetts Bay, passed in the year one thousand six hundred and forty-two, the governor and deputy governor for the time being, and all the magistrates of that jurisdiction, were, with the president and a number of the clergy in the said act described, constituted the overseers of Harvard College; and it being necessary in this now constitution of government to ascertain who shall be deemed successors to the said governor, deputy governor, and magistrates, it is declared that the governor, lieutenant governor, council, and senate of this commonwealth are and shall be deemed their successors; who, with the president of Harvard College for the time being, together with the ministers of the Congregational churches in the towns of Cambridge, Watertown, Charlestown, Boston, Roxbury, and Dorchestor, mentioned in the said act, shall be, and hereby are, vested with all the powers and authority belonging or in any way appertaining to the overseers of Harvard Col. lege: Provided, That nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the legislature of this commonwealth from making such alterations in the government of the said university as shall be conducive to its advantage, and the interest of the republic of letters, in as full a manner as might have been done by the legislature of the late province of Massachusetts Bay.


Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people, being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties, and as these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in the various parts of the country, and among the different orders of the people, it shall be the duty of the legislatures and magistrates, in all future periods of this commonwealthi

, to cherish the interest of literature and the sciences and all seminaries of them, especially the university at Cambridge, public schools, and grammar schools in the towns; to encourage private societies and public institutions, by rewards and immunities for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and a natural history of the country; to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general benevolence, public and private charity, industry and frugality, honesty and punctuality in all their dealings; sincerity, good humor, and all social affections and generous sentiments among the people.

The history of the influences that led to the introduction of section second of this article was given by Mr. Adams in 1809. (Works iv, p. 259.)

“In travelling from Boston to Philadelphia in 1774–5–6–7, I had several times amused myself at Norwalk, Connecticut, with the very curious collection of birds and insects of American production made by Mr. Arnold, a collection which he afterwards sold to Governor Tryon, who sold it to Sir Ashton Lever, in whose apartments in London I afterwards viewed it again. This collection was 80 singular a thing that it made a deep impression on me, and I could not but consider it a reproach to my country that so little was known even to herself of her natural history.

“When I was in Europe in the years 1778 and 1779, in the commission to the King of France with Dr. Franklin and Mr. Arthur Lee, I had opportunity to see the King's collection and many others, which increased my wishes that nature might be examined and studied in my own country as it was in others.

" In France, among the academicians and other men of science and letters, I was frequently entertained with inquiries concerning the Philosophical Society at Philadelphia, and with eulogiums on the wis. dom of that institution and encomiums on some publications of their transactions.

“ These conversations suggested to me the idea of such an establishment in Boston, where I knew there was as much love of science, and as many gentlemen capable of pursuing it, as in any other city of its size.

• In 1779 I returned to Boston in the French frigate, La Sensible, with the Chevalier de la Luzerne and Mr. Marbois. The corporation of Harvard College gave a public dinner in honor of the French ambassador and his suite, and did me the honor of an invitation to dine with them.

“At the table, in the philosophy chamber, I chanced to sit next to Dr. Cooper. I entertained him during the whole of the time we were together with an account of Arnold's collections I had seen in Europe, the compliments I had heard in France upon the Philosophical Society at Philadelphia, and concluded with proposing that the future legislature of Massachusetts should institute an academy of arts and sciences.

“The doctor at first hesitated, thought it would be difficult to find members who would attend to it; but his principal objection was that it would injure Harvard College by setting up a rival to it that might draw the attention and affections of the people in some degree from it. To this I answered : first, that there were certainly men of learning enough that might compose a society sufficiently numerous; and, secondly, that instead of being a rival to the university, it would be an honor and advantage to it. That the president and principal professors would undoubtedly be always members of it, and the meetings might be ordered wholly or in part at the college, and in that room. The doctor at length appeared better satisfied, and I entreated him to propagate the idea and the plan as far and as soon as his discretion would justify. The Doctor accordingly did diffuse the project so judiciously and effectually that the first legislature under the constitution adopted and established it by law.*

“ Afterwards, when attending the convention for framing the constitution, I mentioned the subject to several of the members, and when I was appointed by the sub-committee to make a draught of a project of a constitution to be laid before the convention, my mind and heart were so full of the subject I inserted chapter v, section 2.

“I was somewhat apprehensive that criticism and objection would be made to the section, and particularly that the ‘natural history' and the 'good humor' would be stricken out, but the whole was received very kindly, and passed the convention unanimously without amendment.”

* American Academy of Arts and Sciences, incorporated May 4, 1780.

The following article was ratified by the people of Massachusetts in 1357. as an amendment to the Constitution.

Art. XX. No person shall have the right to vote, or be eligible to office under the constitution of this Commonwealth, who shall not be able to read the constituie tion in the English language and write his name: provided, however, that the provisions of this amendment shall not apply to any person prevented by a physical disability from complying with its requisitions, nor to any person who now has the right to vote, nor to any persons who shall be sixty years of age or upwards at the tiine this amenduent shall take effect.

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In the towns of Hartford and New Haven, settled in 1636 and 1638, as well as in towns settled afterwards, the public school was one of the earliest subjects of municipal legislation in Hartford in 1638, and in New Haven in 1639, as much as the roads and bridges, the support of public worship, and protection against the Indians.

In the body of laws for the government of the commonwealth, known as the code of 1650, the provisions for the family instruction of chil dren, and the maintenance of schools by towns, are identically the same as in Massachusetts, and remained on the statute book, with slight modifications to give them more efficiency, for two hundred years.

In the chapter respecting schools, it is commended to “every family," which is able and willing, “ to give yearly but the fourth part of a bushel of corn, or something equivalent thereto, for the advancement of learning by the college at Cambridge;" which practice was continued until ten of the principal ministers, in 1700, brought each a number of books to found a college in Connecticut.

As early as 1701 the system of public instruction in Connecticut so far matured as to embrace the following particulars :

1. An obligation on every parent and guardian of children “not to suffer so much barbarism, in any of their families, as to have a single child or apprentice unable to read the holy word of God, and the good laws of the colony;" and also“ to bring them up to some lawful calling or employment,” under a penalty for each offence.

2. A tax of sorty shillings on every thousand pounds of the lists of estates was collected in every town with annual State tax, and payable


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