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Full text of "Annual report of the School Committee of the City of Charlestown"

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■^i 



.No * 6 345. 55 

V. I 
1801- 




R Y 



t 



3^ 




ANNUAL REPORT 



" OF THE 



SCHOOL COMMITTEE 



OF THE 



CITY OF CHARLESTOWN. 



DEGEMBEE, 1851. 




CHARLESTOWN : 

PRINTED BY CALEB RAND. 

1851. 



The School Committee of Charlestown, in comphance 
with a law of the Commonwealth, submit the following 

ANNUAL REPORT. 



At the commencement of the present year, the Board pre- 
sented to the City Council their estimate of the amount of 
appropriation that would be needed in order to carry on the 
Public Schools as they were then organized, and this amount 
(i|25.000) was granted. Later in the season, it was found 
that additional accomodations were requisite for several of 
the Primary Schools, and appropriations for these, also, were 
granted. Thus there has been harmony of action between 
the School Committee and the City Council, and this has 
not been without a favorable influence on the schools. 

No changes have been made in the organization of the 
Schools during the year. A School has been established at 
the Poor House for the children there, which has been well 
attended, and has made satisfactory progress ; and a Prima- 
ry School has been established on Bunker-Hill, which is 
already overflowing with pupils. An addition of force, con- 
sisting of female assistant teachers, has been put into the 
Grammar Schools. The school room provided in the Ward 
House of Ward Three, has been enlarged for the accommo- 
dation of Primary School Number Three, — though the policy 



of uniting School Rooms, Ward Rooms and Engine Houses 
is very questionable. These comprise the chief changes 
that have been made during the year. 

There are now three grades of Schools, the Primary 
Schools, the Grammar Schools, and the High School. These 
are under the charge of ten male teachers and forty-seven 
female teachers. At the close of the October term, there 
were 1911 pupils in the twenty-seven Primary Schools, being 
153 more than there were at the close of the same term last 
year ; 1222 pupils in the eight Grammar Schools, 15 more 
than last year ; and 76 in the High School, 10 less than last 
year. The total number of scholars in the Schools in Octo- 
ber, 1850, was 3050; in 1851, was 3209; increase, 158. 
The population of the city is about sixteen thousand — con- 
sequently one-fifth of it is composed of the pupils of 
the Schools. The total sum raised by taxation this 
year was |81,775 00 ; of this, $25,000 was raised for 
the support of public Schools ; to which is to be added the 
sum received from the Commonwealth, the City's proportion 
of the School fund, $660 ; add the amount expended for 
additional accommodations of the Primary Schools, $1000, 
and other repairs, and it will make the total expense of this 
department of the government not much short of $27,000. 
The annual appropriation for next year will be required to 
be somewhat larger, as another Primary School is urgently 
demanded at the Point, and some of the Schools in other 
parts of the City, are too much crowded. 

PRIMARY SCHOOLS. 

The following table contains the statistics of the Primary 
Schools at the close of the Winter Term and the Summer 
Term: 



o 

o 


Primary Schools. 




6 £ 




" 


i 






01 

a s; 


3.1 


is 


m 






£ u 


>> 




m u 


>^ 


"X^ 


fcts 


S c 


>• g 


t_ 




Location of Schools. 


c £ 


n 


'6 


o <u 


o 

n 


is 


>g 


£ E 


o * 


o 
d 


Teachers' Names. 




H 






5.5 










dx. 


1 


Mary J. Brown 


Near B. H. School House, 


114 


61 


53 


90 


~49 


TT 


60 


61 


17 


2 


Malvina B. Skilton 


Mead Street, 


304 


49 


55 


82 


39 


43 


56 


72 


8 


3 


Hannah H. Sampson 


Rear of 187 Main street, 


102 


48 


54 


83 


39 


44 


55 


66 


11 


4 


Charlotte M. Moore 


Warren School House, 


72 


46 


26 


62 


41 


21 


50 


55 


31 


5 


MariaH.Farnsworth 


Elm street, 


66 


37 


29 


59 


36 


23 


44 


53 


11 


6 


Rebecca Ames 


Elm street, 


110 


60 


50 


72 


40 


32 


50 


56 




7 


Susan L. Sawyer 


Main street, rear of 187, 


87 


40 


47 


71 


32 


39 


53 


64 


10 


8 


J. M. Ranstead 


Bartlett street, 


75 


42 


33 


58 


33 


25 


46 


48 


27 


9 


S. E. Woodbridge 


Bartlett street. 


62 


SO 


32 


60 


2U 


31 


46 


52 


34 


10 


Elizabeth Eames 


Common street, 


61 


35 


26 


55 


30 


25 


46 


53 


7 


11 


Joanna S. Putnam 


Common street, 


90 


43 


47 


79 


37 


42 


60 


72 


10 


12 


Catherine D. Flint 


Bow street, 


71 


37 


34 


56 


30 


26 


38 


49 


10 


13 


M. E. Lincoln 


Bow street, 


99 


48 


51 


76 


37 


39 


46 


63 


10 


14 


Sarah E. Smith 


Bow street, 


94 


43 


51 


72 


30 


42 


65 


60 


12 


15 


Jane E. Rugg 


Bow street, 


86 


40 


46 


66 


27 


39 


52 


58 


4 


16 


Abby E. Hirtckley 


Common street. 


86 


46 


40 


76 


39 


37 


52 


65 


8 


17 


Emily S. Fernald 


Bunker-Hill St., at Point, 


112 


56 


56 


91 


42 


49 


62 


82 




18 


Ellenora Butts 


Bunker-Hill st., at Point, 


158 


76 


82 


81 


40 


41 


52 


52 


18 


19 


Louisa W. Huntress 


Moulton Atreet, 


96 


48 


48 


79 


38 


41 


59 


58 


5 


20 


Elizabeth C.Hunting 


Winthrop street, 


74 


33 


41 


65 


29 


36 


42 


43 


9 


21 


Louise P. Hunting 


Bartlett street. 


80 


48 


32 


70 


41 


29 


52 


41 


12 


22 


Frances M. Laue 


Bartlett street, 


116 


49 


67 


100 


45 


55 


47 


50 


15 


23 


M. A. Osgood 


Haverhill street. 


64 


34 


30 


59 


34 


25 


37 


39 


9 


24 


C. M. Chamberlain 


Common street, 


59 


35 


24 


56 


32 


24 


41 


46 


10 


25 


HenriettaM.Sanbom 


Ward Room of Ward 2, 


85 


47 


38 


73 


43 


30 


43 


53 


5 








2223 


1131 


1092 


1792 


913 


879 


1252 


1417 





o 




1^ 

•is 






o 






V 


»j c 


oS 




o 
o 


Primary Scliools. 


o 

m 


5 


3s 

"53 

6H 


o 
pq 


5 


bo C 

> V 


0) .S 


"5 '5 

Zi 

OO 


Names of 
Sub-Committee. 


° 


Teachers' Names. 


^s 






1° 






<S 


0^ X 


d J= 




o 

Z 




^i 






3 

Z 






<J 


f^ 


2^ 




1 


Mary J. Brown 


121 


64 


57 


65 


34 


31 


55 


57 


12 


Charles D. Lincoln 


2 


Malvina B. Skilton 


118 


64 


54 


79 


40 


39 


59 


71 


9 


Charles B. Rogers 


3 


Hannah H.Sampson 


108 


52 


66 


79 


38 


41 


53 


68 


8 


11 u 


4 


Charlotte M. Moore 


80 


46 


34 


66 


37 


29 


57 


58 


12 


Andrew K. Hunt 


5 


Mary J. Chandler 


81 


47 


34 


55 


30 


25 


43 


50 


19 


(1 ti 


6 


M. L. Everett 


110 


68 


42 


73 


45 


2fe 


56 


67 


23 


E. P. Mackintire 


7 


Susan L. Sawyer 


113 


57 


56 


83 


S8 


45 


56 


78 


9 


(( i( 


8 


J. M. Ranstead 


75 


43 


32 


57 


26 


31 


42 


44 


22 


C. W. Moore 


9 


S. E. WoodbrlJge 


99 


41 


58 


68 


29 


39 


54 


55 


25 


(( u 


10 


Elizabeth Eames 


76 


38 


38 


63 


37 


26 


45 


50 


5 


J. G. Fuller 


11 


Joanna S. Putnam 


95 


44 


51 


75 


34 


41 


58 


67 


5 


It It 


12 


Catherine D. Flint 


84 


42 


42 


64 


35 


29 


42 


55 


8 


William Tufts 


13 


M. E. Lincoln 


90 


40 


50 


62 


30 


32 


49 


50 


4 


S. J. Thomas 


14 


Sarah E. Smith 


119 


54 


65 


90 


38 


52 


56 


76 


7 


William Tufts 


15 


Jane E. Rugg 


88 


48 


40 


68 


34 


34 


52 


58 


6 


S. J. Thomas 


16 


Abby E. Hinckley 


108 


53 


55 


80 


37 


43 


58 


65 


3 


James Adams 


V 


Emily S. Fernald 


136 


71 


65 


82 


38 


44 


67 


70 


5 


William Sawyer 


Ite 


Ellenora Butts. 


113 


66 


47 


95 


42 


53 


56 


77 


7 


U It 


19 


Louisa W. Huntress 


133 


67 


66 


85 


43 


42 


63 


72 


6 1 Edward Thorndike 


20 


Elizab'th C.Hunting 


75 


36 


39 


66 


31 


35 


37 


47 


4| James G. Fuller 


21 


Louise P. Hunting 


78 


43 


35 


67 


34 


33 


58 


57 


8 


John Sanborn 


22 


Frances M. Lane 


127 


59 


68 


78 


40 


38 


70 


66 


8 


It it 


23 


M. A. Osgood 


75 


40 


35 


60 


31 


29 


39 


47 


3 


C. D. Lincoln 


24 


C. A. Chamberlain 


60 


33 


27 


53 


29 


24 


39 


46 


4 


James Adams 


25 


HenriettaM.Sanbom 


119 


65 


54 


85 


45 


40 


42 


34 


8 


Edw'd Thorndike 


26 


Charlotte Poole 


49 


30 


19 


32 


21 


11 


25 


35 


11 


E. P. Mackintire 


27 


Louisa A. Pratt 


87 


36 


51 


81 


35 


46 


58 


70 


3 


James Adams 






2597 


J317 


1280 


1911 


951 


960 


1389 


1590 


248 





6 

The reports of the Sub-Committees on theser Schools rep- 
resent them generally to be in a satisfactory condition. 
They indicate an easy government, an eager interest on the 
part of the pupils, a good degree of progress in the few and 
simple studies that are required, and a commendable interest 
in them by parents. Still there is considerable difference in 
the management and condition of the Schools. Some of the 
teachers do far more to promote the education of pupils than 
others do, and this by teaching in an accurate and thorough 
manner. The most important of the studies and exercises 
in these are those connected with reading ; and if teachers 
learn the scholars to articulate well, to practice the elemen- 
tary sounds correctly, and to read without contracting a 
school tone, which is so hard to overcome, they do an im- 
portant and lasting work. But to do this it is necessary, that 
they should have given study to the subject. Have all those 
who have the charge of these interesting Schools thus thor- 
oughly prepared themselves? There are twenty-seven 
teachers daily training the voices of some two thousand 
pupils, and the Committee expect to see in the manner of 
reading, the evidence that the teachers have given proper 
attention to the study of elocution. 

GRAMMAR SCHOOLS. 

The following table comprises the statistics of the High 
and Grammar Schools : 



I 





High School, 

Bunker-Hill, No. 1. 

" No. 2. 

Warren, No. 1. 

No. 2. 

Winthrop, No. 1. 

No. 2. 

Harvard, No. 1. 

No. 2. 


SCHOOL RETURNS, 

AT THE SEMI-ANNUAL EXAMINATION. 

HIGH AND GEAMMAR SCHOOLS. 


1— ' 

i 


^5^^}Ol-l^o^^l-l|-i 
^^ococorfi.}ocicooo 

COOiOCOO^Oil-iOlCO 


Whole Number of Scholars 
for the Term. 


g 

CD 

)— '• 

B 

erg 
> 

Hi 
i-i- 
>—• 

CO 

o 
(— » 

QO 
Cn 
J-* 


00 
00 


^50l-l0}0l-lcoo5co 

OtODCiCOO^iOrfi'Oi 


Boys. 


CO 


COCOl-iOOJOOOi-^hf!' 
QOOOt^hP-CiCOCOI-iVJ 


Girls. 


1—1 


VlOO^OiOlOO^OOOi 
1— iO0*>.ODh-J— 1|— iQDhJ^ 


Number at its close. 


CO 
00 


cocooococoomtuxio 

a>050V!h-iJ>3COCfUO 


Boys. 


i 


VJcOCO-vtCOVfCiOTrf^ 

c;^^2 4^^-lcoco^^col-l 


Girls. 


1— ' 


1—1 1—1 1— 1 1—1 1—1 1—1 1— I 
oxot*>-rfi-Oic;ioccOi 

O^^OOI-iOlCOCOfcS 


Average Attendance. 


1—1 
1— 1 

CO 


1—1 1—1 1—1 1—1 1—1 1—1 
oiCiCOfi^vjatODtnai 

COOh- lOOll— lOiCOhfi^ 


Present at Examination. 


CO 


i-ico cocoes ojot-j CO 

COOlrf^H- iJOl— 1|— 'COi— 1 


Number of visits of School 
Committee. 


h-1 

1 


^^^2^3fo^^l-'l-l^-l 

rfi'COCOOCOCOCnJOOO 

^5^^5oco^^^5cooi 


Whole Number of Scholars 
for the Term. 


B 

W 

O 

o 

<r-h 
O 
C3- 

CD 
t-i 

CO 

1— ' 

CO 

h-* 

00 
Oi 
t— » 


88 

CO 


h-i 1-1 1— 1 1— 1 1— 1 1— I 

cojOH-oi-io^a)*- 

cooc«a»i-iooocoo 


Boys. 


00 


coi-i^cnii\ofc3tfi.h*i.a> 


Gu-ls. 


1—1 


1— I t-i h- 1 K-i 1— 1 h- 1 h-i 

aiV{OiO-jQ0rfs.JOCOV! 
COCOI-itf^OCOOOOOV! 


Number at its close. 




cocooooooDOooia»co 

^OiCOhf^l-il-iWCOUX 


Boys. 


i 


c?50ov{oo?oc:Oih;i^*^ 

OiCOOOOCOQOCOCniO 


Girls. 


H-l 
h-1 

1— I 
1—1 


a^iJ^COCOrfs.COCOOOO 

oi-^iocJi-'Jivjivscocn 


Average Attendance. 


1—1 

CO 


rf^oicocoiyicoooovi 


Present at Examination. 




co^oooiSco Oi 


Number of visits of School 
Committee. 



BUNKER-HILL SCHOOLS. 

The Bunker-Hill School, number One, is under the charge 
of David Atwood, Principal, and Dorcas E. Farnsworth, 
Assistant. Number Two is under A. B. Saunders, Principal, 
and Sarah J. Knight, Assistant. The sub -committee are E. 
P. Mackintire, Charles B. Rogers and C. D. Lincoln. 

In last year's Annual Report it was stated that these 
schools had been unfavorably affected by the changes that 
had been made in them. But the sub-committee of the pre- 
sent year feel justified in reporting that these unfavorable 
circumstances had mostly ceased to operate, and that these 
•schools are now doing well. The April report represents, 
" that all the teachers had been diligent and faithful to their 
trust, and that the scholars had made good progress under 
their instructors." In October, the report is still more favor- 
able. It states : " With one or two exceptions, all the classes 
in both schools appear well, thoroughly drilled, and familiar 
with the studies gone over during the last term." These 
exceptions were, chiefly, relating to the reading in the lower 
classes, where more force is needed, and to the general as- 
pect of those classes which contained the greatest per cent, 
of absences where the difficulty was beyond the reach of the 
teachers. The report says : " The teachers in both schools, 
your committee think, are competent and faithful, and with 
the exceptions specified, they are happy to report them both 
in good condition." Additional force will be required in 
these schools, and more particularly in number Two, the next 
year. 

WARREN SCHOOLS. 

Warren School, number One, is under the charge of George 
Swan, Principal, and Miss M. M. Hays, Elizabeth Upton, 
and Emily M. Moulton, Assistants, Number Two is under 
the charge of Joseph T. Swan, Principal; Sarah T. Chandler, 
Elizabeth Williams, and Mary R. Mayhew, Assistants. The 
sub-committee are Charles W. Moore, Andrew K. Hunt, 
and John Sanborn. 



9 

The Sub-Committee, in October, reported these schools to 
be in excellent condition, " accomplishing all that may. rea- 
sonably be expected, and they entertain no doubt that they 
will maintain their high standing and character under their 
present able and competent principals." They remark : 
"Since the admissions from the Primaries, these Schools are 
filled to depletion. There are more scholars than can be 
seated in number Two, and almost every seat is occupied in 
number One." "As a whole, they are very satisfactory. 
We do not say there might not be some changes which might 
be beneficial. We do not say that the teachers are models 
in every respect. We do not expect to find perfection. But 
we are opposed to change; and unless stronger reasons than 
no\y exist, are apparent, we see no cause for any." 

WINTHEOP SCHOOLS. 

Winthrop School, number One, is under the charge of 
Luther W. Anderson, Principal ; Sarah E. Russell, Rebecca 
S. Richardson and Anna Delano, Assistants. Number Two, 
Samuel S. Willson, Principal; Julia A. Bridge, Anna M. 
Gregory, Ellen A. Richardson, Assistants. The Sub-Com- 
mittee are James G. Fuller, Edward Thorndike and William 
Sawyer. 

The Sub-Committee on these schools, at the April exami- 
nation, reported that number One was in a condition entire- 
ly satisfactory — the teachers evincing great faithfulness, and 
the scholars great interest in their studies. Number Two 
had been large during the term, and the divisions under the 
Assistants had been much of the time crowded, "preventing 
that progress, which, under other circumstances, might have 
been looked for." At the October examination, these Schools 
appeared, mainly, in a good condition, the recitations being 
prompt, and the teaching thorough. "There existed," says 
the report, " through the term, the utmost harmony among 
the teachers, and between the teachers and parents." 

2 



10 



HAEVAED SCHOOLS. 

Harvard School number One is under the charge of C. S. 
Cartee, Principal, and Anna O. Robbins, Sarah J. Stockman, 
S. F. Kittredge, Assistants. Number Two, Joseph B. Morse, 
Principal ; Rebecca Drake, Adeline M. West, and Adeline E. 
Clapp, Assistants. The Sub-Committee are Seth J. Thom- 
as, James Adams, and William Tufts. 

The report of the Sub-Committee, after the examination in 
April, stated, that number One was in an unsatisfactory 
condition ; " which was attributable to insufficiency in the 
number of teachers, and also to the repeated change of 
teachers during the previous year." The Board put more 
force into the School, and the same Sub-Committee, after the 
October examination, reported that this School had much 
improved — the order being good and the recitations general- 
ly being satisfactory, while many of them were of a high 
order. The condition of number Two has long been satis- 
factory to the Board, and the October report states that the 
School maintained its previous reputation, the order being 
excellent, the teachers faithful and zealous, and the School 
generally in good condition. 

GENERAL EEMAEKS. 

These representations of the condition of the Grammar 
Schools, were made after patient and thorough examinations 
by the several Sub-Committees who have had charge of them. 
They unite in the gratifying fact, that the unfavorable influ- 
ence of the recent changes in their organization had ceased 
to operate, while the additional force of assistant teachers 
which the committee put in at the commencement of the 
year, had been attended with beneficial results. They have 
improved, and are now doing well. Their importance can 
hardly be overrated ; for all the children attend them, and 
in too many instances, owing to causes beyond the control 
of the committee or the teachers, and often even by parents 
and guardians, they furnish all the school advantages which 



11 

the majority of children enjoy. Every means, therefore, 
should be taken to keep them at as high a standard as it is 
practicable, to multiply their attractions, and to present all 
proper inducements for children to attend them ; and it is to 
be hoped that they never will be allowed to become tame 
and spiritless. Much time and attention have been given to 
them during the past year, and so encouraging are the rep- 
resentations of the Sub -Committees as to them all, that the 
apprehensions entertained at the date of the last annual re- 
port, as to the decline of some of them, no longer exist ; but, 
on the contrary, the committee feel warranted in giving the 
assurance that by judicious management, proper encourage- 
ment and patient perseverance, they will accomplish all that 
ought to be expected of them. 

HIGH SCHOOL. 

The High School is under the charge of A. M. Gay, Prin- 
cipal ; Charles F. McDonald, Sub-master ; Mrs. P. G. Bates, 
Assistant. The Sub-Committee are Charles W. Moore, 
William Sawyer, Seth J. Thomas and Ehab P. Mackintire. 

This School is organized in three divisions, called the se- 
nior, middle and junior classes. During the last term, the 
senior class of twelve girls was chiefly engaged in the study 
of Latin (Virgil,) Zoology, Chemistry, Drawing, and the 
French language ; the middle class of fourteen girls and eight 
boys, of Latin (Csezar,) Natural Philosophy, Geometry, and 
Rhetoric; the junior class, of seventeen girls and twenty 
boys, of Latin (first lessons,) Algebra and Modern History. 
A class of four boys studied Greek. The other branches at- 
tended to were Composition, Orthography, Vocal culture, De- 
clamation and Book-keeping. Weekly lectures were given 
by the teachers in Chemistry and Natural Philosophy. The 
same course of study, substantially, was pursued during the 
term ending in April. At the conclusion of both terms, the 
Sub-Committee made thorough examinations of the classes, 
reviewing the ground they had been over, and reported their 



12 

condition in detail to the Board. Of one or two classes," 
owing to circumstances for which the teachers were not re- 
sponsible, the report was not favorable ; but of most of the 
classes, both reports speak in the most gratifying manner. 
They gave evidence of thorough training and marked im- 
provement. 

Of the class of fifteen pupils who graduated last April, the 
Sub-Committee report as follows : " It is detracting nothing 
from the merits of similar institutions, to say, that in the 
opinion of your Committee, the members of it have left the 
School better,more thorough, and accomplished scholars, than 
any class of young ladies and gentlemen who have ever be- 
fore graduated within the limits of Charlestown. They have 
left it fitted, so far as elementary education and high moral 
discipHne can fit them, for all the active duties of life, qual- 
ified to become intelligent and useful men and women, an 
honor to themselves and to the community through whose 
munificence they have received the highest blessing it is in 
the power of any community to bestow upon its sons and 
daughters." 

During the past year the capacity of this school for use- 
fulness has been much increased. The Board appropriated 
a liberal sum for the purchase of chemical apparatus ; a 
handsome subscription by the friends of the School of eight 
hundred and ninety dollars, has supplied it with a well se- 
lected library, composed almost entirely of standard works 
in literature and science ; a suitable place has been provided 
for the books, and the pupils have supplied a printed cata- 
logue ; a large collection of specimens of the plants of 
Western Europe, has been presented to it by the Principal of 
the school, and a collection of specimens of the plants of 
Massachusetts has been presented by the young ladies of the 
school ; and the pupils, with others, have made a small col- 
lection of specimens for the study of Conchology. While 
these offerings indicate the sympathy and interest felt in this 
school, they will serve to render it more attractive : and if 
judiciously used, they will add to its efliciency and perma- 
neney. 



13 

With such means at hand — with the encouragement of a 
cheering pubHc opinion — with competent and faithful teach- 
ers, and a vigilant supervision — nothing seems to be in the 
way of the success of this institution. The design is to gath- 
er, by the most impartial method, capable and deserving pu- 
pils from the Grammar Schools, and give them opportunities 
for mental culture, which certainly it is not practicable for the 
Grammar Schools to afford ; and it is the aim of the Com- 
mittee, in doing this, to provide, in addition to the more 
obstruse branches of study, the means to obtain such an 
English education as shall fit these pupils for the active duties 
of life. But after all, the community, in whatever effort it 
may make, can only supply its youth with opportunities and 
encouragement : for true education consists in mental disci- 
pline, which must be the work of the pupils themselves, and 
can only come by steady, patient labor. It is only this that 
will educate them, or develope their intellectual powers ; and 
it is the teachers' highest recommendation, to call forth such 
labor. The test of success in this must be ability on the 
part of the scholars, to perform intellectual efforts ; and only 
as they exhibit this ability in the problems, or exercises, 
or themes which they think out themselves, will they show 
that they attain to that degree of mental discipline to which 
it is the object of the institution to carry them. 

The Committee believe that the High School is quietly, 
but efficiently doing its appropriate work, and gradually at- 
taining a high rank. The teachers are devoted to their 
labors, and are capable of imparting the requisite instruc- 
tion ; the fine order in it is maintained without difficulty ; 
the scholars evince an eager interest in their studies, and a 
proper appreciation of the value of their privileges ; and its 
means of usefulness are multiplying. Hence there is no 
reason why this institution should not furnish all the advan- 
tages of a well-appointed academy; and in proportion as it 
attains and maintains this character, will it be a benefit to 
the other schools, and a blessing and an ornament to our 
city. 



14 

GENERAL KEMAEKS. 

The reports of the several Sub-Committees, warrant the 
opinion that our Schools are steadily improving and will 
■ compare favorably, in each of their grades, with other pub- 
lic Schools. Still there are evils connected with them which 
the Committee would gladly see done away. One of them 
is the number of absences. It is neither just to the teach- 
ers nor scholars to affirm that truancy prevails to any great 
extent, though in all the Schools cases may exist,and in some 
to a greater extent than in others; but frivolous excuses often 
keep children away. The Sub-Committe on the Harvard 
School, remark, " There is an evil prevalent not only in these 
Schools but in all the Schools of our city, which to a great 
degree prevents a large portion of the pupils attending them 
from receiving that advantage which they ought to receive, 
and also prevents the others from making that progress 
which under other circumstances they would attain : we re- 
fer to the great amount of tardiness and absence of the pupils, 
and generally with the full or partial knowledge and consent 
of their parents; if this evil were in all cases the conse- 
quence of poverty where the older child is employed in 
caring for the younger, while the mother is earning their 
daily bread, it would be a matter of regret, but not of cen- 
sure ; but such is not usually the case : probably three- 
fourths of this evil comes from families comfortably situated, 
and from whom the most frivolous excuses are received for 
the tardiness or absence of their children. We deem this to 
be the greatest obstacle to the full success of our glorious free 
school system, inasmuch as it is practiced by so large a por- 
tion of the pupils, while truancy in most of our Schools is of 
much more rare occurrence." And the remedy suggested is 
not harsh measures, but patient efforts on the part of the 
Committee to multiply the inducements for children to attend 
the Schools, or to make them more attractive. 

The number of vagrant boys who attend no School, is a 
growing evil in our large cities ; and there is too much rea- 



J 



15 

son to believe that the number is large in this city. It is 
surprising that some parents do not exert themselves to se- 
cure a more constant attendance of their children at School : 
it is more surprising that our priceless School advantages, 
offered so freely to all, should be utterly neglected by so 
many. The lamentable consequences of such neglect are 
self-evident, and need not be dwelt upon. Hence this evil 
has lately received much attention from the friends of educa- 
tion ; and one result has been that the Legislature passed a 
stringent act in 1850, relating to truants and vagrants, which 
may be in force in any city or town that votes to adopt it. 
This Committee, in an elaborate report, recommended that 
it be put in force in this city, and the City Council accepted 
this act in an Ordinance, which is a transcript of the Boston 
Ordinance, accepting the same law. The statute requires 
that the city or town by-law be approved by a court before 
it can take effect ; but the same court that approved the 
Boston Ordinance refused to approve the Charlestown Ordi- 
nance, and hence the law is not in force here. The subject, 
in all its bearings is important, and deserves the renewed at- 
tention of future Committees. 

The subject of discipline is the most difficult and delicate 
with which the Committee have to deal ; and as often as it 
has been remarked upon, there is still need of a proper con- 
sideration of it by parents. Though the order of the Schools 
is generally maintained rather by kind words than by heavy 
blows, yet there have been cases during the last year, where 
the Committee have been obliged to meet parents, which 
were exceedingly unpleasant and trying. The Sub-Com- 
mittee on the High School remark, " The scholars and the 
teachers in all our public Schools, require the counsel, en- 
couragement, and support of those under whose immediate 
authority they act, in order to interest all, in the proper dis- 
charge of their respective duties. If these are withheld, the 
scholars become listless; and the teachers, left alone to en- 
counter the frivolous complaints of unreasonable parents, 
and the obduracy of still more unreasonable scholars, feel 
keenly and sensibly the absence of the supervisory power. 



16 

become discouraged, perhaps relax in their duties, and the 
School declines." 

The Committee consider it to be unnecessary, so sound is 
public sentiment in this City on this great subject, to enlarge 
on the importance of a thorough system of public instruc- 
tion, free alike from favoritism, sectarianism, or partizan in- 
fluences, and wisely and faithfully fulfilling the obligations 
that society is under to provide ample opportunities for the 
moral and intellectual culture of its youth. To obtain this 
culture, it is far better to rely on the quiet, steady, persever- 
ing labors of teachers of skill and capacity, than to be con- 
tinually trying what a new organization, or new text books, 
— or new studies of doubtful utility, — or some new, easy, 
and flattering method of study, might accomplish ; and the 
present organization of the Schools and course of studies, 
are commended to the public, not as being perfect, not as 
being the best that experience elsewhere may have devised, 
but on the whole, as a system, that, under existing circum- 
stances, it would be better to continue here for the present 
essentially as it is, than it would be to try the effect of radi- 
cal alterations. The Board earnestly recommend this con- 
sideration to their successors. And when there appears to be a 
falling off in a class, a division, or a school, it may be well to 
make the searching inquiry whether it is not owing to fault in 
the teaching, rather than to the need of important change. 

The Committee, on resigning their charge, commend our 
noble Schools to a generous public regard, and their teach- 
ers to the respect and confidence which their vocation de- 
serves and demands. They are designed to do a great work; 
and it will ever be to the credit of this community, that, 
from the earliest period of its history, under the smiles of 
Providence, they have here had the fostering care of suc- 
cessive generations of men who were as zealous to discharge 
their duties, as they were to maintain their rights. 

By oi'der of the Committee, 

RICHARD FROTHINGHAM, Jr. > 

ELIAB P. MACKINTIRE, \ Sub-Committee. 

CHARLES D. LINCOLN, ) 

Chai'lestovra, Dec. 1851. 



Ecport on ©rnantg. 



CITY OF CHARLESTOWN, 

IN THE BOARD OF SCHOOL COMMITTEE. 

April 5, 1851. 

— 

The undersigned, to whom was committed the subject 
of Truancy, with instructions to consider what 
means shall he taken for its remedy, have at- 
tended to the duty, and respectfully submit the 
following 

REPORT. 

It is stated in the report of the School Committee 

for the past year, which report has been printed and 

generally circulated, that " this evil (Truancy) seems 

to be increasing, and it must be evident to any one 

who is in the city during school hours, that many boys 

are in the streets who ought to be engaged in study — 

you may find scholars of this class in all the streets and 

lanes, on the wharves and bridges of the city — some 

engaged in fishing — some in sports — but more learning 

the first lessons in crime, and preparing to occupy the 

enlarged accommodations which are now in progress of 

erection by the State, in the westerly part of the city. 

It cannot be denied that the influence of these upoix 

other scholars is decidedly injurious, and, while all 



means should be, and we believe are used by our teach- 
ers to remedy this evil, they are entirely powerless, — 
the evil still exists, and while children are upheld in 
this course by their parents, and while there exists a 
disposition to corisider the matter of trifling importance, 
the evil will not be remedied." 

It is a matter of regret that our large outlay of 
money in the construction of commodious school-rooms — 
the employment of well qualified teachers — the organ- 
ization of numerous schools, constantly kept open and 
free to all, do not meet all the wants of our commu- 
nity, and that there should be so many children among 
us who do not participate in the advantages of these 
generous provisions. It is yet more to be regretted, 
that such children, growing up in ignorance and crime, 
should exercise so unhappy an influence upon those who 
do attend these schools. But most of all do we regret 
that there should exist in our community a feeling of 
popular indifference to these melancholy results. 

It is expected, and it ought to be realized, that 
our schools should provide for every child the means of 
obtaining a good education, and thereby the rising gen- 
eration be trained up in knowledge and virtue, and vice 
and crime essentially diminished. All are agreed that 
our system of popular education is the foundation on 
which to base our hopes of improvement. If then, we 
find, all around us, "in our streets and lanes, on our 
wharves and bridges," children who ought to be in our 
school houses engaged in lessons of usefulness, instead 
of misspending their time and taking lessons in crime — 



we cannot resist the conclusion that our work is not yet 
.accomplished, and that much remains to be done. 

We have no reason to doubt the extent of the evil 
of Truancy in this city, as it is above stated. We are 
obliged to admit it. It meets us on every side, and it 
is a matter of constant complaint. It is not, we think, 
peculiar to this city, but prevails wherever it is not 
made a matter for special action. Like other nuisances, 
itjias been suffered ; and its baneful influences endured 
for want of some active movement which shall bring it 
prominently before the public mind. We are therefore 
strongly impressed with the necessity of diligent and 
persevering effort on the part of the School Com- 
mittee, to awaken public attention to it. 

In many cases there is sufficient parental feeling 
and regard, which may be called into action by timely 
hints from the proper sources. There are many fathers 
and mothers who, through indolence, negligence, ox 
some other cause, are forgetful of their duties to their 
oifspring. They suffer their children to live on in 
idleness, unmindful that such a course may be prepar- 
ing many sorrows in the future, which they must share. 
Such need only to be apprised of their remissness; 
and, with a healthy public feeling, would be likely to 
bear their duties in mind and faithfully perform them. 

But there are other cases in which we find persons 
unworthy to sustain the parental relation — persons who 
have no regard for themselves nor their offspring ; and 
.unfortunately in large cities this class is not smaU. — 
In these cases advice and caution avail nothing, en- 
^eaties are in vain, and the authority of law is abso- 



lutely requisite to secure for their children the advan- 
tages of education. Such people forfeit the right of 
control of their offspring ; and the safety of the com- 
munity requires that it should be transferred to the 
civil authorities. It has been well remarked, that " a 
parent who sends his son into the world uneducated and 
without skill in any art or science, does a great injury 
to mankind, as well as to his own family, for he de- 
frauds the community of a useful citizen and bequeaths 
to it a nuisance." Such parents have no right to inflict 
such injuries, and should be debarred the opportunity. 
In Prussia, it is a criminal offence for a parent, with- 
out satisfactory excuse, to neglect the education of his 
child for the time required by law ; and upon convic- 
tion in court, a parent who does so is sentenced to prison, 
and his child taken from him and sent to school. 

Kecently the subject of compulsory attendance upon 
schools has been agitated in this State, and a law has 
been enacted concerning it. It gives authority to the 
several cities and towns to make all needful provisions 
and arrangements concerning habitual Truants, and 
children not attending school, who, without any regular 
and lawful occupation, are growing up in ignorance, 
between the ages of six and fifteen years ; also, such 
ordinances and by-laws, respecting such children, as 
shall be deemed most conducive to their welfare and 
the good order of such city or town, and to annex to 
such ordinances suit able penalties, not exceeding for any 
one breach a fine of $20. It is also made the duty of 
any city or town availing itself of the provisions of 
this law, to appoint, at the annual meeting of said tovm^ 



or annually by the mayor and aldermen of said city, 
three or more persons who alone shall be authorised 
to make the complaint in every case of violation of 
such ordinances or by-laws to a Justice of the Peace 
or other judicial officer, who, by said ordinances, shall 
have jurisdiction in the matter ; and the persons thus 
appointed shall alone have authority to carry into ex- 
ecution the judgments of said Justices of the Peace or 
other judicial officer. By a further provision, "the said 
Justices of the Peace or other judicial officer shall in 
all cases at their discretion in place of the fine aforesaid 
be authorised to order children proved before them 
to be growing up in Truancy, and without the benefit 
of education provided for them by law, to be placed for 
such periods of time as they may judge expedient, in 
such institution for instruction, or house of reformation, 
or other suitable situation, as may be assigned or pro- 
vided for the purpose by the city or town availing 
itself of the powers herein granted." 

We think the authority is ample for our purpose, 
and if judiciously used will prove efficacious, and we 
recommend that measures be adopted requisite to put 
it in force in our city. We desire the establishment of 
an institution in which truants and juvenile delinquents 
may be kept and governed, and where suitable pro- 
vision shall be made for their physical, moral, and intel- 
lectual culture. We feel very confident that such an 
institution is required; and if established will soon 
meet the approval of the public. We embrace this oc- 
casion to say, that we are better pleased with the plan 
of establishing some suitable institution of instraotion 



8 

for those amenable to the laws we recommend, than 
with a system of penalties. We doubt if any 
good is accomplished by imposing a fine for Truancy. 
A parent so lost to a sense of duty, and so heedless of 
the care of his child, as to suffer him to incur a penalty, 
will hardly be restored by an appeal to his pocket — 
and, besides, in most cases, such parents are too poor to 
pay the fine. On the other hand, if the children of such 
are placed in some proper institution, their progress 
and improvement will be likely to excite an interest 
in their behalf, which will induce their parents to exert 
themselves to do something towards their support. 

An objection might be made to the cost of such an 
establishment, but we do not think it will weigh 
much upon consideration. It costs now, no small 
amount to carry on an effective police to restrain ju- 
veniles, and a large amount is lost ahnost every day by 
persons who are unwilling to seek redress against mere 
children for petty crimes. It would be difficult to es- 
timate all its advantages in money; but still we think 
they would far outweigh any outlay that can be made. 
The character of our city — its regard for its destitute 
and suffering children — its desire to make its schools as 
perfect as practicable — its good order — its success in 
rearing up useful citizens, who shall be a benefit to so- 
ciety, rather than paupers, rogues and idiots, to be a 
burthen to it, should all come into the calculation. 

But the whole train of evils that inflict society 
may be traced to defects in early education, and if our 
city, or any other, neglects to provide for the wants of 
of its youth, and suffers them to getsuch an education, 



5 

as the streets, the nine-pin alleys, and other piacea 
equally injurious afford, it will in the end produce noth- 
ing but disasters. Society, which claims the right to 
punish men, ought certainly to exercise the right of edu- 
cating children. It is far more profitable and more 
pleasant to prevent crime than to punish it — and it needs 
no words from us to convince the reasonable, that every 
dollar expended in the prevention of evil, saves hun- 
dreds in controling it. 

In our remarks, thus far, we have referred to chil- 
dren who are neglected. But there is yet another class, 
for whom it seems proper that provision should be made. 
There are many children in this city who are kept from 
our public schools by poverty — some to provide by their 
labor, or by begging, for the support of themselves and 
their parents — others, because they have not sufiicient 
or decent clothing. In all cases of this kind, it seems 
to us, the public should interpose. A proper regard 
for such children is undoubtedly the duty of the Board 
of Overseers of the Poor ; but it seems appropriate 
that we should allude to them and recommend a more 
careful consideration of their wants. Without doubt, 
such consideration would bring many, who now suf- 
fer, within the good influences of our public schools. 

We thinkj in addition to what we have already 
proposed, that this Board may do much good, by an 
effort to call public attention to the subject, in our com- 
munity. If we can relieve ourselves from popular in- 
difference, and get the public interested so as to assist 
us, we may accomplish much in freeing our streets from 



10 

idlers and truants. If parents will feel that duty to 
their own children requires them to have an interest in 
the children of others, so far as to set them in the right 
path when they find them astray, we shall soon see the 
faces of many turned towards the school room. A word 
spoken in season by the citizen who finds a boy or girl 
in the streets during school hours, may do much good. 
We recommend that the city officers and the clergymen 
of the city, who, by a law of the Commonwealth, are 
charged with this duty, be requested to use their en- 
deavors by public addresses or otherwise to this end. 

We also recommend that this Board adopt a vote 
requiring the Teachers, in connection with the Sub- 
Committees of their schools, to make monthly reports 
of all cases of Truancy known to them, stating the 
names of the children and their parents ; also, of all 
cases where children are kept from school by poverty; 
and that such reports be presented to the Board in writ- 
ing at their monthly meetings, and so much of said re- 
ports as may be proper, be published quarterly. 



WILLIAM SAWYER, ) 

C. W. MOORE, > COMMITTEE. 

WILLLAJM TUFTS. S