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

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ANNUAL REPORT 



OF THE 



SCHOOL COMMITTEE 



OF THE 



CITY OF CHARLESTOWN. 



DECEMBER, 1857. 






CHARLESTOWN : 
PRINTED BY WILLIAM W. WHEILDON. 

1858. 



SCHOOL EEPORT. 



The School Committee have prepared the following 
summary of their proceedings during the year, and of 
the condition of the Schools under their direction, and 
they respectfully submit the same as their 

ANNUAL EEPORT. 

In the month of January, an estimate of the amount 
of money necessary to be expended for the Schools was 
prepared by the Board, and presented to the Committee 
on Finance of the City Council. Before the Annual 
Appropriation Bill had been passed by the City Coun- 
cil, a petition was received by this Board from the Pri- 
mary School teachers, asking for an increase of pay, 
which petition, after a careful consideration of all the 
circumstances in the case, it was deemed proper to 
grant ; and at the same time the salaries of the other 
female teachers were increased, and the Secretary was 
instructed to give notice to the City Council that such 
action had taken place. The notice was given, but no ad- 
dition was made to the amount of the appropriation "For 



support of Schools," which had been fixed at $38,000. 
Having decided upon the salaries of the teachers .and 
caused notice to be given to them, we could see no way 
in which we could honorably be relieved from our obli- 
gation to pay the same, and the pay-roll has been made 
up in accordance with our vote. For this reason, the 
whole expenses of the Schools will overrun the appro- 
priation, and some additional provision will have to be 
made for them before the close of the financial year 
(Feb. 28). In the opinion of the Committee the salaries 
of the teachers are not too high — certainly not if com- 
pared with the salaries in the neighboring cities and 
towns — and we cannot but feel that for the labor per- 
formed and the influence exerted by them, the city re- 
ceives a full equivalent for the amount of compensation 
paid to the teachers. 

The repairs on and about the school-houses during 
the past year, have been very considerable, and the 
Committee on Public Property of the City Council 
have shown great liberality in their expenditures for 
this purpose. The High, all the Grammar, and most 
of the Primary school buildings, have received atten- 
tion : and in the a2:o"re":ate the sum of three thousand 
and fourteen 21-100 dollars has been expended in this 
way. This amount is not included in the $38,000 
appropriated "For support of Schools," but is in addi- 
tion to it, and has been paid out of the appropriation 
by the city "For Contingencies." A new school-house 
has also been erected by the City Council, calculated 
to accommodate nearly seven hundred scholars. The 
building is 84 by 60 feet, of brick, walls vaulted, three 
stories high above the basement. The basement con- 



tains three play-rooms to be used in stormy and cold 
weather, closed with doors when desired ; also a room 
for a Primary School, four furnaces for warming the 
building, fuel rooms, &c. One of the two principal 
entrances is to the basement, from which is an ascent 
to the stories above by a stairway. The first story 
above the basement contains four large Grammar 
School rooms, clothes rooms and hall. The other prin- 
cipal entrance is to this story upon the side facing the 
burial-ground. The second story also contains four 
large school rooms, clothes rooms, and hall. The third 
story contains two large school rooms, clothes rooms, 
a large hall or exhibition room, and an apparatus 
room. There is an attic over all, which is unfin- 
ished. The school rooms are placed at either end 
of the building, entrance halls in the centre between 
them. The stairways are spacious, and located upon 
the front and rear of the entrance halls. The floors 
and stairs are of hard southern pine; the doors and 
finish of chestnut, oiled and varnished. The rooms 
are all warmed with heated air from the furna- 
ces, and they are thoroughly ventilated. The chim- 
neys are cast iron instead of brick. The plastering is 
applied to the walls without furring or laths. The roof 
is slated and tinned, the gutters are of copper, and iron 
guards are put upon the outside of all the windows. — 
The yards are enclosed with appropriate fences, and 
paved with bricks, and provided with everything con- 
ducing to the comfort and convenience of the scholars. 
In addition to the expenses of the Schools this year, 
the sum of $1,869 12, has recently been paid for new 
furniture for the High and Warren Schools. 



6 

By votes of this Committee and the City Council, 
the name of Prescott has been given to the building. 
On the 16th of the present month it was dedicated, 
and at the end of our Report we append an account of 
the proceedings on the occasion. This building, which 
was opened on the 21st inst., is calculated to accommo- 
date all the scholars who are fitted for the Grammar 
Schools, and who cannot be conveniently accommodated 
in the other Grammar School buildings. The Tempo- 
rary Grammar Schools have therefore been given up, 
and the scholars transferred to their proper districts, 
while the school-house on the corner of Cross and Bart- 
lett streets has been re-appropriated to the use of Pri- 
mary Schools, Nos. 8 and 9. The city has been divided 
into five Grammar School districts, and during the last 
week with the confusion and perplexity which such 
changes always occasion, an effort has been made to 
arrange the schools according to these new districts. 
Sufl&cient progress has been made to make it evident 
that all the rooms in the Prescott school-house will 
have to be fitted up and occupied, and that the lines 
of the district will require some alteration. 

At the close of the term ending October 31, the num- 
ber of schools, teachers and scholars were as follows : 

27 Primaries, with 27 teachers, 1901 scholars. 

1 Intermediate, 1 " 64 " 

2 Temp. Grammar, 2 " 78 " 
H Grammar, 35 '« 1720 " 
1 High, 5 " 170 



39 schools, 70 teachers, 3933 scholars. 

We present herewith statistical tables concerning 
them, with such remarks as seem to us to be called 
for in this report. 



Primary Schools. 



| Wint.Term,cn ding Ap ril 185 7 



Teachers Names- s t! 



i LOIizabetli M. Lane, 
M. B Skilton, 
Hanniih H. Sampson, 
Elizabeh Deblois, 
Frances Hichborn, 
Susan L. Sawyer, 
Alice S. Wiley, 
Mary J. Emerson, 
Louisa A. Pratt, 
Joanna S. Putnam, 
Pauline B. Neale, 
C. W. Trowbridge, 
Sarah E. Smith, 
Ellen M. Rugg, 
Abby E. Hinckley, 

E. H. Rodenburgh, 
Elenora Butts, 
Louisa W. Huntress 
Matilda Gilman, 

F. E. Kverett, 
Frances M. Lane, 
Helen G. Turner, 
Susan T. Croswell, | 
Adaline M. Smith, 
Catharine Kimball, 
Jane B. Loring, 
Mary J. Underwood 



90 



^ "z, -^ 



^ . ^ S « o 



Names op 

Sub-Committees. 



226l| 1116 1144 1 1818 1 928 890 1257 1475 235 



'i 



ti. K. Bowers. 
Uavid Foster. 

George B. Neal. 
William N. Lane. 

A. J. Locke. 

J. W. Bemis. 

W. W. Wheildon, 

Abram B. Cutter. 



10 



S.'George E.Ellis. 



Abram E. Cutter. 
John Sanborn. 



Abram E. Cutter. 

F. E. Bradshaw. 

L. K. Bowers. 
George B. Neal. 

G. W. Warren. 

F. E. Bradshaw. 

G. W. Warren. 
David Foster. 



I Primary Schools , 



Teachers Names- 



Location. 



Sum. 


Term, ending Oct. 


1857. 






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CD ° 


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Elizabeth N. Lane, 
M. B. Skilton, 
Hannah H. Sampson, 
Elizabeth Deblois, 
Frances Hichborn, 
Susan L. Sawyer, 
Alice S. Wiley, 
Helen R. Chalk, 
Louisa A. Pratt, 
Joanna S. Putnam 
Pauline B. Neale, 
C. W. Trowbridge, 
Sarah E. Smith, 
Ellen M. Rugsr, 



Abby E. Hinckley, 

E. H. Rodenburgh, 
Elenora Butts, 

J19 Louisa W. Huntress, 
520I Matilda Gilman, 

F. E. Everett, 
Frances M. Lane, 
Helen G. Turner, 
Susan T. Crosvi'ell, 
Adaline M. Smith, 
Catharine Kimball, 
Jane B. Loring,-.' 
Pamelia E. Delano, 



Near B.H. S. House 
Mead street. 
Ward Room No. 3, 
Elm street, 
Medford street, 
Boylston Chapel, 
Cross street. 

Common street. 

Bow street. 



Common street, 

B. H. street at Point. 

Moulton street, 
Soley street, 
Sullivan street, 

Haverhill street. 
Common street, 
Ward Boom, No. 2, 
Bunker-Hill, 
Edgeworth Chapel, 
Ward Room No. 3 



105 
71 

102 

102 
99 1 
78 
81 
83 
87 
88 
63 
87 

103 
78 
99 
82 

126 
92 
84 
76 
80 
82 
91 
70 



62 
39 
60 
.'iO 
48 
41 
33 
42 
52 
43 
28 
41 
55 
33 
43 
34 
54 
45 
36 
311 45 
43 3 
40 42 
37 54 



44 

47 1 

6 

59 

40 

45 

64 

46 

56 

40 

55 

60 

48 

48 

58 

51 

tl 
42 

45 
41 
47 
45 
52 
47 
50 



66 
.'3 


5 


49 


12 


66 


5 


75 


9 


46 


8 


57 


fi 


60 


22 


68 


6 


65 


11 




6 


65 


5 


65 


4^ 


38 


8 ' 


32 


7 


60 


9 ' 





High School, 
Banker Hill, 
Warren Schoo 

Winthrop Sch( 

Harvard Scho( 

Temp. Gramn 

Intermediate i 


SCHOOL EETURNS, 

AT THE SEMI-ANNUAL EXAMINATIONS. 1 


O - 1 1 1 , ' 

• o o p p p o p p 


High, Grammar, and Intermediate Schools. 

i 




00 en en H- ^. 00 0< en to W lO 
^ooO'OO'OOocrioooo^H- 


Whole Number ot Schoiarii 
for the Te m. 


. 1 


to 

00 


!_. ^ l-» 1— 1— ►- »o 

cnroi-'enoooccoco — ^"P' 


Boys. 


1-^ 

B 

CD 
P 

> 


to 


H-i _ (O 1- — I-- to , 

to ^^ to cr. H^ o — ro ^ lO o 
i-itocsfom"— ^Jtooc. to^ 


Girls. 




^^ ^2 h3 ^^ to ^^ to •— 

tnj:i..E»*».--.O^tooo>-* 
c CO <o ^ -o e/1 (o -o — o o 


Number at its close. 


o 

o 

CI 


t3 1-1 i-i JO ^^ .i^ c lo o 00 *» 
00 00 -} to lO ►- ^ o ^-o ^ — 


Boys. 


3 


^1^oto^3<otJ10 — o-JO 
^oen^^lC>.^>uOlOto«oto 


Girls. 


VJ 




to _ to ^ »o — to ^ 

.CktOtOOtO-l-'^— ^►-i— 
O ^) ^1 to *>■ (i — to '_-' C5 — 


Average attendance. 


1—' 1 
CO 1 

Crt 1 


00 

o 
o 


to to to i-* to ^ to — 

>fc>t0it>.OO>ti00tJCOH-O 

oooo^2a5eniotocotJOOo 


Present at Examination. 


■ : 


o 


i_i H-tOi-'lOi->>*^C0tO.t» 

4^«50toto*.ci^ioaioo 


Number of visits of School 
Committee. 


i 


ts3 

00 
00 


to fi to to to (2 *> H- 
00 Ji. tT" O 1." ^ Oi to -' O 00 
OOOl—^O^en^— ooco 


Whole number of Scholais 
for the Term. 


1 
I 


»o 


H- 1— t- ^ ^ .- to 
tn to I— O' t: ^ to en to o --J 

tOtOOOtO^J^-C^ — O'COO 


Boys. 


S i 


lO 


t-t-^^-l-ii-.tOi-' 
COtOCOOT — ^tOrf^tOO- 
Cl J- to Oi CO CI ^1 05 ~ en 00 


Girls. 


1-5 

B : 


hS 


tOtOtOtOtOl-'COH- 
<J5 to .U to I— 00 _ to to C-. ^ 

*>. o to fc- to 4^ — en en 4^ o 


Number at its close. 


o , 
I-" 

o 

o ': 

o 

f— 1 
00 
or 


o 
o 


oa^^tototootoo--}05 

?ooocooooencotoi-'0 


Boys. 


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1 ^^ 
1 '^ 


hSi-'tOi— tO^i-OOtOO — 

enootow-tooo4^(otocoo 


Girls. 


00 


l_iv-tOi-'fO>-'tO>- 
iU»OtOtOCO4i00i— ^ttOOi 
0^^4i.en000toto^^ 


Average attendance. 


CO 
00 


H-'i-'IOfOlOl-'tOl-' 

o> tOCOenOK--vttO^ 
05 OM^-14i.00tJ'O 


Present at Examination. 


to 


k- to l-» 4i. KS to to 
OOi'^00t^—»ent3OC0O 


Number of visits of School 
Committee. 



PKIMARY SCHOOLS. 

During the past year but few changes have taken 
place in these Schools. Teachers have resigned in Nos. 
9, 20, and 29, and others have been appointed in their 
places, of whom the Sub- Committees say, they have 
given evidence of interest and fitness for their employ- 
ment. The rooms occupied by Schools Nos. 1, 5, 27, 
and 29, are severally represented to be cheerless and 
uncomfortable, ill ventilated, inconvenient and unsuita- 
ble ; and room No. 6, is complained of as inaccessible 
in wet weather. Of the teachers, the Sub- Committees 
give the usual report. Among them, are those highly 
efficient, thorough, systematic, assiduous, diligent and 
affectionate. And there are others, who need to be 
reminded of the seriousness of their calling, and the 
necessity of greater diligence and interest. Parents 
are earnestly entreated not to withhold their encourage- 
ment from the teachers, or to forget how vain will be 
their ejQforts if neglect or heedlessness characterize the 
influence of home. The whole community is called 
upon to realize the importance of care in the early de- 
velopment of the physical as well as the mental powers 
of young children. Early attention to the manners of 
the children is believed by the Committee to be highly 
important, and great care on the part of parents and 
teachers in this direction, is recommended and urged. 
Frequent visits from the parents, it is believed, would 
aid the teachers in impressing this lesson upon the chil- 
dren, and at the same time accomplish that other im- 
portant object, viz. to cheer the heart and strengthen 
the courage of the zealous and devoted conductors of 



10 

the school-room. The assurance of the parents' sat- 
isfaction no less than the quarter's pay, is due to the 
faithful teacher, and the teacher who does not fairly earn 
the first cannot fairly earn the last. Children from five 
to eight years of age attend our Primary Schools : and 
when we reflect upon the impressibility of their minds, 
and the amount of good or evil influence which they 
will surely receive during this period of their lives, how 
important become these Primary Schools, of how much 
consequence the Primary School teachers. 



INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL. 

TEACHER, 

MISS ANN NOWELL, 

SUB-COMMITTEE, 

JOHN SANBORN, 
GEORGE B. NEAL, 
DAVID FOSTER. 

The Sub-Committee in their report on this School, 
speak of the teacher as deserving great credit for the 
patience and skill which she has manifested in the dis- 
charge of her very arduous duties. The school under 
her direction, continues to maintain the high rank 
which it has heretofore occupied. Many of the scholars, 
whose education had been almost entirely neglected 
before entering this school, have in a very short time, 
made surprising improvement, and some who were far 
behind others of their own age in the Grammar Schools, 
have recovered their lost ground, and have very soon 
shown such proficiency as fitted them for promotion to 
their proper places in the higher schools. At the exam- 



11 

ination, the Committee were particularly pleased with 
the manner in which the pupils acquitted themselves in 
reading, spelling and arithmetic. Indeed the whole 
appearance of the school was such as to reflect the 
highest credit upon the teacher for successful disci- 
pline, thorough training, and earnestness and fidelity in 
all her labors. The Committee express a hope that all 
the members of the Board will visit this school, and take 
a greater interest in its welfare and progress ; as chil- 
dren from all parts of the city are sent to it, and they 
are of such a class as to be greatly benefitted by such 
visits. The school-room has been very much crowded ; 
but this,' — now that the new school house is finished, — 
will be obviated, as twenty of the scholars are fitted to 
enter the Grammar Schools. 



TEMPORARY GRAMMAR SCHOOLS. 

TEACHERS, 

MISS SARAH E. ARCHER, MISS JULIA A. WORCESTER, 

COMMITTEE. 

WM. W. WHEILDON, 

G. WASHINGTON WARREN, 

JOHN SANBORN. 

In their May report, the Committee say: "The cir- 
cumstances of these schools is not supposed to be par- 
ticularly favorable to their rapid progress, although the 
teachers are ambitious and desirous of accomplishing 
their tasks with success and good results. These 
schools were formed at the close of the last year, to 
accommodate the surplus scholars in the Grammar 
Schools until the new Grammar school-house should be 
completed. They have occupied the Primary School 



12 



building on the corner of Cross and Bartlett streets, 
while other rooms have been provided for the tempo- 
rary accommodation of the Primary Schools. They 
were discontinued when the Prescott school-house was 
opened, and the scholars are distributed into their 
proper districts. 



BUNKER HILL SCHOOL. 

WILLIAM H. SANDERS, PrincipaL 



PHCEBE A. KNIGHTS, 4th Assl. 
MEHITABLE FOSTER, 5th do. 
CAROLINE E. BIGELOW, 6lhdo. 



ANNIE M. LUND, 1st Assistant. 
CAROLINE PHIPPS, 2d do. 
MARTHA A. BIGELOW, 3d do. 

Sub-Committee— DAYW FOSTER, 

F. E. BRADSHAW, 
L. K. BOVVERS. 

The Sub-Committee report in May, as follows : — 
" For several weeks past this School has constantly 
been deprived of the presence of Mr. Sanders, the able 
and successful Principal, in consequence of severe and 
protracted sickness, but under the care of the efficient 
Assistants, (Miss M. A. Bigelow having charge of the 
Principal's division, while her own classes have been 
taught by a substitute,) good order has been main- 
tained and commendable progress made. The exam- 
ination of the school affords gratifying evidence of 
skill, tact and good judgment in the teachers and inter- 
est and studiousness on the part of the pupils. The 
reading and spelling evidenced that careful attention 
had been paid to those important branches. Questions 
from the text -book were readily and correctly answered, 
and in cases where the text- books were not referred to. 



13 

a clear understanding of the subjects studied, was fully 
evinced. Thoroughness is evidently a prominent ob- 
ject with the teachers, and while the memory is being 
stored, discipline of the mind is not forgotten ; and 
care is taken to develope its faculties, to increase its 
capacity for acquisition and for independence of thought 
and judgment." The Committee say of the change 
made by the last Board in uniting the two Schools 
under one Principal, that notwithstanding the labor 
attending the new classification, it has proved very sat- 
isfactory to the teachers and has sp far worked well. — 
The construction of the rooms is unsuited for a fair 
experiment of the new system, and the teachers have 
labored under several disadvantages in consequence. — 
Such alteration should be made in the building as will 
give each division a room by itself. The population 
of that part of the city is rapidly increasing, and all 
the room that can be made in the building will soon be 
needed, and besides the advantage to the school, a con- 
siderable addition to the seats can be made by a suita- 
ble division of the rooms. 

In November, the Committee say, "the pupils by 
their correct deportment, their promptness and accuracy 
give evidence that they are well governed and well 
taught." They refer again to the necessity for such 
alterations in the school-rooms as will adapt them to 
the system which has been in operation for the past 
year, and which they are fully confident is an improve- 
ment upon the old system, and they urge attention to 
this want upon the new City Council and School Com- 
mittee. 



14 



HARVARD SCHOOLS. 



No. 2. 
JOSEPH B. MORSE, Principal. 
ELIZABETH SWORDS, Ist Assf. 
CAROLINE S. CROZIER, 2d do. 
HANNAH E. KNIGHTS, 3d do. 



No. 1 
C. SOULE CAR TEE, Principal. 
ANN E. WESTON, 1st Assistant. 
S. M. CHANDLER, 2d do. 
MARTHA BLOOD, 3d do. 
JOSEPHINE E. MISKELLY, 4tli. 

Sub-Committee— J. W. BEMIS, 

GEORGE E. ELLIS, 
ABRAM E. CUTTER. 

At the examination of these Schools in April, bat 
one of the Committee was able to be present, the others 
having unavoidable engagements elsewhere. He de- 
voted one week to the work, and heard every scholar 
in all the different lessons from the highest to the low- 
est division. The scholars appeared to be under good 
discipline, and exhibited a proficiency in their studies 
creditable to all their" teachers. In consequence of a 
previous illness of the Principal of Harvard No. 2, the 
annual exhibition of that school was dispensed with. 

The exhibition of No. 1 was creditable to the school, 
and evidently very gratifying to the large number of 
parents and friends who were present on the occasion. 
The Committtee are of opinion that the influence of 
these exhibitions upon the schools is good — that it 
incites the pupils to application and study while it 
encourages and stimulates the teachers and affords them 
a proper satisfaction which they can derive from no 
other source. They also express an opinion that there 
may be danger that the inflaence of the principal teach- 
ers is not sufi&ciently diffused through all the divisions 
in the Grammar Schools, — that too much care is be- 
stowed relatively upon the higher divisions and upon 
the best scholars. 



16 

In November, the Committee say: *'We feel pleased 
to be able to report the condition of both departments 
of this school as quite satisfactory. The studies which 
had occupied the time of the different classes were re- 
viewed at the examinations, and the Committee were 
thus enabled to judge of the degree of thoroughness 
with which they had pursued them. They feel satisfied 
that the main object with the teacher has been to have 
them understand what they recite rather than to be 
able to repeat the answers as given in the text-books. 
In geography and arithmetic, it was particularly no- 
ticed that they answered fluently, and worked out 
readily the examples given them which were not con- 
tained in the text-books, evidently understanding the 
principles involved. In reading and spelling, those 
important exercises which are often heedlessly passed 
over as of but little importance when compared with 
other studies, they gave evidence of attention and care. 

"The Committee take occasion to impress upon pa- 
rents the great injury the schools sustain by the irregu- 
lar attendance of any of the pupils, and to urge them 
to discountenance the custom of allowing their children 
to remain away for slight reasons. A proper degree of 
order prevails in the schools, and the Committee are of 
opinion that the teachers, principals and assistants are 
faithful in the discharge of their duties." 



16 



WINTHROP SCHOOLS. 



No. 1. 
B. F. S. GRIFFIN, Principal. 
SOPHIA W. PAGE. 1st Assistant 
H. AUGUSTA ADAMS, 2d do. 
SARAH A. ODELL, 3d do. 



No. 2. 

SAMUEL S. WILSON, PrincipaL 

JULIA A. BRIDGES, 1st Assistant. 

MARY M. CASWELL, 2d do. 

E. A. RICHARDSON, 3d do. 

R. M. PERKINS, 4th do. 

FRANCES M. CLARK, 5th do. 
Sub-Committee— WILLIAM W. WHEILDON, 
G. WASHINGTON WARREN, 
JOHN SANBORN. 

The Committee in their May report, remark as fol- 
lows : — "By a necessary division of labor among our- 
selves, we were able to give these schools a close and 
careful examination in the various branches of study, 
and we are gratified to be able to say the examination 
was wholly satisfactory. The schools were evidently 
under good discipline, mostly of that kind which com- 
mends itself to any discerning Committee man. It was 
quiet and efficient. The reading of the pupils was 
good, so also the spelling, geography and grammar, 
and in history the first classes were uncommonly well 
informed." The Committee recommend that more at- 
tention be paid to the study and practice of arithmetic, 
in both schools ; a necessity shown by the examination 
of candidates for the High School, to exist in all the 
schools in the city. 

At the Fall Term, the Committee report the con- 
tinued good condition of these schools, and expressed 
the satisfaction they felt on having so few causes of 
complaint against the pupils, either from teachers or 
others. Two cases of truancy were reported, in one 
of which the offender was very properly held answer- 
able to the law of the State against truancy, and but 



17 

for the leniency of the Committee would have been 
sent to the appointed place of restraint. It was 
hoped that both the arrest of the delinquent and the 
desire of the Committee for his reform without a re- 
sort to the punishment prescribed by the law, would 
have a favorable effect upon the schools in which the 
circumstances were known. The principals and teach- 
ers of these schools have earnestly devoted themselves 
to their duties during the year, patiently endeavoring to 
encourage and improve the pupils under their charge, 
and the Committee confidently believe they have been 
as successful as they had reason to expect from ener- 
getic and well-directed efforts. 



WAREEN SCHOOLS. 



No. 1. 
GEORGE SWAN, Principal. 
MARY A. OSGOOD, 1st Assistant 
MARGARET VEAZIE, 2d do, 
MARIA BROV/N, 3d do. 



No. 2. 
JOSEPH T. SWAN, Principal. 
ELLEN FOSTER, 1st Assistant. 
MARY M. MAYHEW, 2d do. 
ANN J, CHANDLER, 3d do. 
H. A. T. DADLEY, ' 4lh do. 

Sub- Committee— GEOUGE B. NRAL, 

ANDREW J. LOCKE, 
WILLIAM N. LANE. 

In their May report, the Sub-Committee say of these 
schools, that they occupied a week in their examina- 
tion. The divisions were taken into the recitation 
rooms, and there the scholars were exercised in the 
various studies they had pursued. They report a 
marked improvement in the schools within the past 
year. In arithmetic a very good degree of proficiency 
was manifest, and the younger as well as the more 
advanced pupils performed sums not in their books with 



18 

a readiness and accuracy that could only be the result 
of thorough teaching and application. The writing in 
both schools was excellent. The good order and disci- 
pline so apparent to all who visit these schools can be 
attributed in a good degree to the systematic habits of 
the principals. The Committee heartily endorse the 
sentiments expressed by the other members of the 
Board, that the influence of the principals of all the 
Grammar Schools should be diffused as much as possi- 
ble over all the pupils, and not confined too much to 
the graduate classes. They recommend that modern 
desks and chairs be substituted for the present old- 
fashioned, inconvenient, and dilapidated forms and seats. 
And they close their report by referring to the excel- 
lent condition in which the school rooms and every thing 
in and around the buildings are required to be kept by 
the principals, who do not forget that part of their duty 
which is so apt to be forgotten or neglected by others. 
In November, they say the same course was pursued as 
in the spring, and the result was equally satisfactory. 



19 



HIGH SCHOOL. 

Principal, A. M. GAY. 

1st Asisistaat, C. E. STETSON. 

1st Female Assistant, Mrs P. G. BATES. 

2d do. do. Miss GRIFFIN. 

SUB-COMMITTEE. 

GEORGE E. ELLIS, 
WILLIAM W. WHEILDON, 
G. WASHINGTON WARREN, 
GEORGE B. NEAL. 

The Sub- Committee in presenting their semi-annual 
Report in May, remark "That the semi-annual Exami- 
nation of the school was pursued by them patiently and 
thoroughly, on the 8th, 9th and 10th days of April. 
Frequent visits made by us in the course of the term 
then closing had kept up our knowledge of the method 
of study there pursued. Indeed we may say that the 
school is under a continuous and constant examination 
by one or more of us during every week of the year, 
as we seldom go into it without listening to a recitation 
from one or more of the classes. We would be under- 
stood, therefore, as speaking not only of the evidence 
afforded by the formal examination on the days speci- 
fied, but of the results of all our visits, when we ex- 
press our entire satisfaction that the school is in good 
hands, and is answering the purposes for which it has 
been so generously provided. The Principal and his 
three assistants identify their pride and their reputation 
with the school. They are conscientiously engaged in 
promoting its efficiency. They are ready to receive 
and act upon any suggestions from its friends or the 
parents of its pupils in studying after improvements 
upon their methods, and in adapting their tasks to the 
capacities and interest of the scholars. It is particu- 



20 

laiiy gratifying to the Committee to observe that a very 
great use is made of oral instruction, by which book- 
learning is simplified, rendered m.ore lively and engag- 
ing, and better suited to the capacities of the young. 
The Committee also observe Avith pleasure that the 
school is becoming more and more an object of universal 
interest among the citizens. So far as the necessary 
arrangements of the classes and the course of studies 
will admit, it is desirable that the wishes of parents 
shall be indulged in allowing a selection among the 
branches of learning there taught suited to the capaci- 
ties of their children and the plans which the parents 
have in view for them. It is, however, obvious, that 
the school cannot be made to serve the tastes and wishes 
of all to the sacrifice of a regular course of prescribed 
studies. One of the highest objects of the school is to 
initiate its pupils into the elements of all the higher 
branches of knowledge. As the majority of the pa- 
rents wish to secure this privilege for their children, the 
studies must be regulated accordingly. 

"The delivery of a course of familiar lectures once a 
fortnight, during the last term, was found to afford 
pleasure and profitable excitement to the pupils. So 
successful was the measure that the Committee will 
endeavor to continue it during the ensuing season. 

"The recent examination proved the fidelity of the 
teachers and the interest and improvement of the larger 
number of the pupils. The use of the philosophical 
apparatus, in testing their knowledge of some philosoph- 
ical facts and laws which they had learned from their 
books, aided very much in giving them clear and prac- 
tical knowledge." 



21 

In November, the Committee Report as follows : — 
"'That they devoted the school hours of four days in the 
last week of October, to the Examination of the schol- 
ars in the various branches of study there pursued. — 
These studies, as apportioned among the pupils of both 
sexes, demand a distribution of the scholars into forty- 
nine classes, the hearing and instruction of which on 
the hours assigned to them require a very diligent use 
of time from the teachers. 

"Ihe Committee need only repeat here in substance 
the judgment pronounced by them before the whole 
school at the close of the Examination : That it was in the 
main quite satisfactory — giving proof of a very hearty 
interest in the teachers in the faithful performance of 
their duty, and of a full appreciation of their great priv- 
ileges by the scholars — so that nearly all of the latter 
showed as much proficiency in their studies as could 
reasonably be expected from their years. 

It is hardly to be expected that all the members of 
the successive classes admitted annually to this school 
should show such a natural taste and aptitude for its 
various studies as will insure to them its full benefit. 
The Committee wish, again and again, to lay stress 
upon the absolute necessity of much oral instruction 
from the teachers. Pupils on commencing a new study 
are often prejudiced against it, and led to give over the 
hope of mastering it by the technical terms and the un- 
familiar sounds in which it first addresses them. These 
disagreeable impressions go on with them through all 
their subsequent study of the same subject. They 
might be very much relieved, if not wholly removed, if 
the teachers would impart a few lessons upon such sub- 



22 

jects without any use of a text-book, and by simple 
oral instruction. Parents complain to us of excessive 
and difficult lessons, and of abstruse studies imposed 
upon their children, either to the injury of their health, 
or at the sacrifice of their desire to go on and complete 
the regular course of the school. Some pupils are with- 
drawn from this cause, and others ask to be excused 
from studies which are rightly considered essential to 
an advanced education. Under these circumstances 
the Committee feel bound continually to prompt the 
teachers to do everything in their power to simplify 
these difficult lessons, and to make the repulsive ones 
attractive. It is admitted that the school is intended 
not only for a few geniuses and easy scholars, but for 
the cultivation of the ordinary intellectual faculties in 
the mass of common pupils of average abilities. There 
are a few very brilliant scholars in the school, and about 
as few very dull ones. The larger number of them 
reach a standard that requires considerable industry on 
their part, and a good degree of patience and assiduity 
on the part of their teachers. Where there is a natural 
fondness and aptitude for study, and a cheerful applica- 
tion during the hours assigned for it, study will not 
impair the health. But where the mental power is 
small or sluggish and the nerves are worried by fretful 
effort, the health is injured by the necessary labor, and 
the labor is apt to be vain. 

Parents are apt to form their opinions upon the utility 
of the course of study pursued in this school, as well as 
upon the skill and fidelity with which it is conducted, 
from the interest felt in it and the success attained in 
it by their own children. Unless such allowances as a 



23 

fair- minded person will always be prepared to yield are 
made on this score, unreasonable complaints will some- 
times be heard. When a pupil is backward, and finds 
it impossible to keep up with the studies of the class, 
justice to the other pupils requires that the deficient 
one should be put into a lower division of the school. 
And again, parents must be willing so far to concede 
their natural partialities for their own children as to 
admit in some cases a lack of the capacity for receiving 
or of being much benefitted by many of the branches of 
study pursued in the school. If our citizens will on 
occasions of peculiar interest to one or another of them 
personally, recall these suggestions, they may think bet- 
ter of the school than they otherwise would. 

We have continued the course which a year's expe- 
rience has proved to be most agreeable and profitable 
for all concerned, of having only a single daily session. 

The repairs upon the building during the summer 
vacation, the renewal of the fresco work upon the 
walls and ceilings, and the change of desks and seats, 
have resulted in rendering the school-rooms very attrac- 
tive, and have been regarded by the scholars with grat- 
itude as an appreciation of the public generosity spent 
for their good. 

As appears by the Semi- Annual Keport of the Prin- 
cipal, the school is very fully attended, and the two 
rooms appropriated to desks are occupied by as many 
as they will comfortably accommodate. In conformity 
with the vote of this Board granting liberty to the Sub- 
Committee to employ another temporary assistant teach- 
er, if the necessities of the school should seem to them 
to require it, an engagement has been made first with 



24 

Miss Pelgrom, and now with Miss Griffin, to serve us 
in that capacity. We are highly pleased with her 
method of discharging the duties assigned to her. 

We regret that our much esteemed assistant teacher, 
Miss Reed, has found her health so impaired as to make 
it necessary to devolve her labors for the present upon 
a substitute. Miss Whitney is now filling her place. 

Our other teachers, Messrs. Gay and Stetson, and 
Mrs. Bates, steadily approve themselves to the Com- 
mittee, and, we may add, to the scholars and to their 
parents, as able, faithful and successful instructors, 
and as wise and kind disciplinarians. 

It gives us pleasure to add that several of the mem- 
bers of the last graduated class resort to the school daily 
to receive advanced instruction, there kindly offered to 
them, in French and Italian, and in general literature. 



EXAMINATIONS AND EXHIBITIONS. 

None of our Schools have ever had recourse to or 
made a trial of the experiments by which the pupils in 
so many public and private seminaries have been stim- 
ulated to emulation, by the offer of prizes. It is not 
within our knowledge that our predecessors in this 
Board ever proposed to institute prizes from our public 
funds ; nor has any citizen or friend of our schools ever 
bestowed a gift for such a purpose. We are not called 
upon to pronounce an opinion here on the good or bad 
influences wrought upon the pupils of a school by the 
stimulation of prizes. While we should be obliged to 
say, in general terms, that our own judgment would lead 



25 

us to disapprove of that method of exciting the spirit of 
emulation, we can also conceive of ways in which any 
friend of our schools might contrive an ingenious plan 
for quickening some pupils to interest or diligence, by 
providing for something which should reward the indus- 
trious and not dishearten the dall. But as the case 
stands with us, our schools depend wholly for the ex- 
citements which they furnish upon the objects to which 
they are devoted. The semi-annual Examinations sub- 
ject their condition and the proficiency of the schol- 
ars to the notice of the Sab -Committees, and the 
annual Exhibitions afford to the parents and the citi- 
zens generally some means for estimating the work 
accomplished. 

It is intended that the Examinations shall be con- 
ducted with thoroughness and strict impartiality. The 
scholars and the teachers have them in view during 
each half year, and know what is expected from them. 
The condition of each of the Primary Schools is in this 
way enquired into by a single member of the Commit- 
tee. He begins with the class of the little ones who 
are mastering the symbolic mysteries of the language in 
the shapes and sounds of the letters ; and he has occa- 
sion to respect the patient qualities exhibited by every 
well-qualified teacher in thus opening and smoothing 
the way to the repositories of all wisdom. Following 
up the process which the teacher has been pursuing, 
the Committee man listens next to the classes that can 
put letters together into one or two syllables, or more, 
and can spell and read, and rehearse the multiplication 
table — backwards, forwards, lengthwise, breadthwise 
and crosswise. Ttj-e glory of this Primary examination 



26 

is tlie loud utterance and explanation of the " Abbrevi- 
ations," viz. the cabalistic capital letters, the truncated 
Latin syllables, italicised characters, and marks of 
punctuation, the mastery of ^Yhich qualifies the boy or 
girl of eight years to take the first degree in the humane 
arts, and to be sent up to the Grammar Schools. 

The Examinations of the Grammar Schools are con- 
ducted by a Sub- Committee of three members. The 
engagements of these officials will not always allow 
them all to be present in one room to listen to the exer- 
cises of all the divisions and classes in course. They 
generally have to divide their labors and to compare 
the results. 

The Examination of the High School is conducted by a 
Sub- Committee of four members. The courses of study 
pursued here make that service more laborious, while it 
is naturally more interesting to a mature minrl. We 
believe that a healthy stimulus is afforded to pupils of 
every grade in the expectation of and the preparation 
for these half-yearly trials of their proficiency. Proba- 
bly they involve as much of the principle of emulation 
as is free from all theoretical and practical objections. 

The Exhibitions to which each and all of our schools 
invite parents and the Committee once a year, require 
much extra labor from the teachers. A considerable 
outlay of time and much of exciting interest are spent 
upon them by the scholars. We know that they afford 
much gratification, and we hope they are profitable to 
those who take part in them. Many of our citizens 
look forward to these occasions as means of much plea- 
sure to them. These occasions are in fact the only 
opportunities open to the general body of those who 



27 

support our schools for acquainting themselves with 
their objects and results. 

The Committee will venture to suggest, that among 
the various uses for which a more spacious and conve- 
nient public hall is needed, in this city, not the least 
pressing sense of this want is felt on occasions of inter- 
est to our Schools. On all these occasions the crowd is 
uncomfortable, and multitudes who obtain entrance com- 
plain almost as sharply as do those who are excluded. 



RELATION BETWEEN THE GRAMMAR AND 
HIGH SCHOOLS. 

When the High School was established in this city, 
the fear was expressed by some persons that it might 
have an injurious effect upon the Grammar Schools. 
The fear was a vague one in the minds of most of those 
who felt it. When it spoke itself in distinct terms, it 
conveyed an apprehension, either that the course of stu- 
dies pursued, or the grade of instruction offered in the 
Grammar Schools might be reduced, that some of the 
most important branches of common education might 
be committed wholly to the High School, or that the 
sterling democratic institutions where all may enjoy 
equal privileges, might be subordinated to an institu- 
tion for the favored few. It would be unnecessary to 
deal with these apprehensions now, for the event has 
shown they have proved wholly groundless. 

The only reduction made from the studies fornierly 
pursued in the Grammar Schools, which has followed 
upon the establishment of the High School, is that of a 



28 

branch vaguely called "Philosophy," — being those de- 
partments of the great science which relate to Nature 
and Mechanics. We believe we speak the conviction 
of most Committees who have listened to the attempts 
at recitation in this study in Grammar Schools by 
young pupils, when we say, that they were for the 
most part utter failures. That study requires more 
maturity of mind in scholars, and can be pursued to 
advantage only with the help of an illustrative appara- 
tus. These two conditions are combined for the scholars 
of the High School, and all who are qualified to im- 
prove the opportunities there enjoyed have the freest 
possible access to a good apparatus. 

We believe that so far from having had any prejudi- 
cial effect on the Grammar Schools, the High School 
has been of very great service and has accomplished a 
great good in reference to the institutions which are 
now regarded as preparatory to it. Heretofore the 
course pursued in the Grammar Schools closed when 
the scholars had gone through the classes without any 
test, other than the general examination and exhibi- 
tion, being applied to them as they were about to be 
dismissed. Now, the large majority of these scholars 
are subjected to what many regard as a very severe 
and searching test of their attainments as they offer 
themselves as candidates for admission to the High 
School. Their teachers also are tested. 

As there appears at times to be some misunderstand- 
ing among a portion of the parents of these candidates, 
we may here say a few words in explanation of the 
method by which this test is applied. In the spring, 
at the close of the fall and winter term, the members of 



29 

the first classes in all the Grammar Schools who seek 
admission to the High School are notified to come to- 
gether with pen, ink, slate and pencil, but without 
books, and when they are assembled, cards with a num- 
ber printed on each are promiscuously distributed among 
them. Four sets of papers have been previously pre- 
pared by the Sub- Committee on the High School, con- 
taining, respectively, each ten printed questions, or 
classes of questions, in Arithmetic, Geography, History, 
and Grammar. The contents of these papers are care- 
fully guarded by seals from the observation of any one 
when they come from the printing office. The ques- 
tions upon them are prepared from the very books and 
from the very studies and lessons in which the candi- 
dates have been drilled for at least four years. They 
may seem too difficult to some parents or friends who 
have ceased to be learners in technical or abstract ways, 
or from school books. But when it is remembered that 
the scholars are or ought to be all fresh and flourishing 
in these matters, sympathy with their task can hardly 
urge that they are severely dealt by. One of these 
papers, with spaces left for writing the answers — an 
incidental test of the skill of the scholars in spelling, 
writing and punctuation — is put into the hands of each 
pupil, an hour and a half being allowed for answering 
the ten questions, no help or communication being per- 
mitted. The papers are inscribed by each boy or girl 
with the number on the card given to each of them, and 
they are instructed to keep that number privately, to be 
produced when called for. After recess another set of 
papers is distributed, and so on till the process is com- 
pleted. Each set of papers is carefully gathered up 



30 

and laid aside ; the four corresponding ones belonging 
to each pupil, by number, are brought together ; they 
are then subjected to the examination of the Sub- 
Committee, and the result is set down by crediting and 
charging the correct or incorrect answers on each set of 
papers to the number borne by each. At a meeting of 
the whole School Board a statement is made of the 
number of new scholars for whom there are vacant desks 
in the High School rooms, and then a standard is fixed 
requiring so many correct answers to the questions as 
will admit enough new candidates for existing accommo- 
dations. The successful numbers are then announced in 
presence of those who produce the corresponding cards, 
and the Committee for the first time have opportunity 
to know personally and by name those whose written 
answers they have been examining. 

It may be that some improved method may be sug- 
gested for conducting this examination. If a more easy 
and simple one can be found it would be a great relief 
to the Committee. If a less nervous and exciting one 
can be found, it might be more satisfactory with timid 
and bewildered scholars. But we can conceive of noth- 
ing better saited than some such test as this for fairly 
settling the relations between the Grammar and the High 
Schools, and for making them mutually serviceable. 



31 



ENLARGEMENT OF THE SCELOOL COM- 
MITTEE. 

The Committee regard with favor the measure pro- 
vided for by a Statute of the Commonwealth, ratified by 
the acceptance of the City C ouncil, and just acted upoii 
in our late Municipal election by which eighteen instead 
of twelve members are made to constitute the School 
Board. If this measure could be regarded by any persons 
as one of doubtful expediency, it would be only in its 
bearings upon the discussions and the business transac- 
tions at the meetings of the Board. It might be argued 
that the number of which it Avas previously composed 
was large enough to plan and execute all the v/ork done 
in the Committee room ; such as preparing an estimate 
of the expense of supporting the schools and regulating 
their discipline, electing the teachers, choosing the text- 
books, and criticising the semi-annual Reports, &c. 
Any excess of numbers in a deliberative Board beyond 
the moderate limit of convenience and necessity is gen- 
erally found to be wasteful of time in the despatch of 
business, and unfavorable to harmony, unanimity or 
consistency in the work planned or done. 

The Committee themselves would be likely to accord 
in this view as an objection to the enlargement of the 
Board if they felt that all the most important and labo- 
rious part of their work is that which is done when they 
meet together in their own room. A small and com- 
pact body is for many purposes preferable to a large 
one in the transaction of suclr business as comes before 
our meetings. Additional members often multiply dif- 



32 

ferences of judgment without increasing the wisdom of 
the decisions reached. The records of the Board will 
show that many important measures were carried by 
the vote of a bare majority of a quorum of the dozen 
members heretofore comprising it. We do not appre- 
hend, however, that any inconvenience or impediment 
will really be found to attend upon the enlargement of 
the Board, in connection with the discussions and the 
business of its meetings. But these meetings are by 
no means the most exacting part of the functions of the 
School Committee. The constant oversight of the 
schools, and their two annual examinations, require a 
great deal of time and attention. These tasks are 
necessarily parted out to Sub- Committees, -and from the 
smallness of these Sub -Committees, the work assigned 
to each of them is virtually put upon the Chairman of 
each of them. Those whom the city has entrusted with 
the care of schools serve wholly without remuneration, 
and generally have to snatch the needful time from 
their own business or leisure. As we have said in 
another connection, we believe that the efficiency of our 
schools, the fidelity and energy of the teachers, and the 
interest of the pupils, are all greatly increased by a 
careful and constant oversight. It is desirable, there- 
fore, to make this oversight more close and intimate, 
and at the same time to relieve the burden which it casts 
upon gentlemen who can give to it only a limited 
amount of time. We think that the addition made to 
the number of the School Committee will be found a 
great relief. It comes very opportunely just as a new 
and very large edifice, which at this time of writing, 
bids fair to be thronged with scholars, has been added 



53 

to our schools. We have now twenty-seven Primary, 
seven Grammar Schools, a High School, and an Inter- 
mediate School. The districts have been re-arranged. 
There is a constant change going on among the inhabi- 
tants, bringing new applicants for the privileges of the 
schools ; the Committee have many calls to answer at 
their dwellings, with many interruptions of visitors. 
We have felt the need of more associates, among whom 
to divide our labors, and we are therefore gratified at 
knowing that those who are next year to administer 
the great trust we have held, are to be more in num- 
ber for mutual counsel and help. We commit to them 
our charge, reminding them that ours is a service in 
which it is no reflection on us if our successors do bet- 
ter than we have done, while it will be a reflection on 
them if they do not. 

By order of the Committee. 

TIMOTHY T. SAWYER, President. 
Charlestown, Dec. 20, 1857. 



34 



GEO. B. NEAL, TREASUREK, IN ACCOUNT WITH 
TRUSTEES OF CHARLESTOWN FREE SCHOOLS. 

Dr. 

1857. Jan. 1. To Balance from former account, 155 85 

" 16. Interest, 6 m. on $5000 note, 150 00 305 85 

April 14. Cash of City Treasurer, for 

sundry disbursements, 8 00 

May 13. Interest 1 yr. on $600 note, 36 00 

June 27. Cash of B. F. S. Griffin, 10 00 

Nov. 28. Interest, 6 m. on $5000 note, 150 00 204 00 



$509 85 



Cr. 

1857. April 30, By paid E. S. Ritchie balance of 
bill for apparatus, &c. 
for High School, 44 25 

July 20. Smith, Knight & Tappan's 

bill for Diplomas, plate, 
&c., 73 20 

Dec, 20. Hallett & Cumston for rent of 

Piano for High School, 25 75 143 20 
" SO. Balance carried forward, 366 65 



$509 85 



GEO. B. NEAL, Treasurer. 
Charlestown, Dec. 30, 1857. 



In School Committee. On motion of Mr. Warren, it was Voted, 
That this account be printed with the School Report, 

Attest: A. J. LOCKE, Secretary. 

December 31, 1857. 



BEDIGATIOM 



OE THE 



PRESCOTT SCHOOL HOUSE. 



At a meeting of the School Committee, 17th of December, 1857, 
it was 

Voted, That an account of the proceedings at the dedication of 
the Prescott School House, with the Addresses of the Mayor and 
Rev. Mr. Ellis, be printed with the Annual Report. 



The dedication took place on Tuesday afternoon, December 15th. 
A large number of citizens were present, and the occasion was one of 
much interest. It was honored with the presence of William H. 
Prescott, the historian ; the Secretary of the Board of Education, 
Hon. George S. Boutwell ; and His Honor Mayor Rice, of Boston. 
The exercises consisted of a Prayer by Rev. J. B. Miles, Singing by 
a choir of children from the Warren School, Addresses by the Mayor, 
Rev. G. E. Ellis, Hon. G. S. Boutwell, and Hon. R. Frothing- 
ham, Jr., and a Benediction by Rev. A. G. Laurie. 



37 



ADDRESS OE MAYOR SAWYER, 



We have invited you here, ladies and gentlemen, 
to examine an edifice which has been erected by the 
city for a Grrammar School House, and as Chairman of 
the building committee, I shall make a brief statement 
of what has taken place since it was determined that 
the necessity for further school accommodation existed, 
and then ask you to assist in the dedication of the 
building, and witness its delivery to the School 
Committee. 

The growth and prosperity of our city is fairly told 
by the records of our schools — our community being 
such that few children attend private schools. The in- 
terest in public schools is general, and the determina- 
tion that they shall be good is unmistakable. Our 
population is a stable one. Our citizens are order- 
loving and thoughtful ; and every new project, to re- 
ceive their encouragement and support, must be reason- 
able and practicable. One of the peculiarities of our 
people — which in this age of the world we may proud- 



38 

ly point to — -is their freedom from undue elation or de- 
pression ; their steady demand for things honest and 
appropriate — for substance instead of show. 

Fally impressed with the belief that such was the true 
character of those who were to pay for, and use it, the 
City Council planned and have erected a building which 
they believe to be in keeping with that character, a 
plain, substantial, convenient school-house, where the 
children can be assembled, in which they can be com- 
fortable and secure, and about which shall be the cer- 
tain evidences of thoroughness and usefulness — two of 
the most important lessons of life. We hope we have 
succeeded in the accomplishment of our aim, and that 
your inspection of what has been done, may result in 
the approval of our labors. 

The building is for the accommodation of a Grammar 
School. Not a college, not a hall of art or amusement, 
but a place where a foundation can be laid for things 
useful, ornamental and agreeable ; where care of the 
character and of the intellect of our children shall be 
the grand aim ; the security of valuable institutions 
and the reahzation of cherished hopes, the undoubted 
result. 

It is a common custom to give to public buildings 
names which shall express some idea of goodness, of 
usefulness, or of honor, or which shall connect the 
memory of some good or great man, or thing, with the 
edifice, and keep fresh in the mind the lesson which the 
name may convey. To this building we have attached 
the name of "Prescott." Ifc will be suggestive of 
manliness, of faithfulness, and of learning. It has 
character and accomplishment to recommend it ; tried 



39 

merit, rather than ephemeral greatness, for the basis 
on which it rests ; and we have confidently adopted it 
for its appropriateness and value. We are on the soil 
of Bunker Hill, and we are in the presence of one of 
Massachusetts' noblest sons; and if we may appropriate 
the influence of both, and there is any value in a 
name, we can commit no error in adopting that of 
" Prescott." 

In their report of Dec, 1853, the School Commit- 
tee say of the Warren and Winthrop Schools, that 
they are " overrun with scholars," and in the appro- 
priation bill for 1854, the Finance Committee reported 
an item of $2500, for the enlargement of the Win- 
throp School-House. This sum was granted by the 
City Council, and placed at the disposal of the School 
Committee, but, for good reasons, no doubt, nothing 
was done about it, and at the end of the year, the 
amount was transferred to another appropriation. In 
1855, the sum of $3000 was appropriated by the City 
Council for the same purpose ; but after an examina- 
tion of the building, and a careful consideration of the 
condition of all the Grammar Schools, and the increas- 
ing population of the city, the School Committee and 
the Committee of the City Council were agreed in the 
opinion that the enlargement of that building would 
not meet the demand for room, and that a new School 
House should be built. A Sub- Committee of the 
School Board was appointed to obtain the requisite in- 
formation, to determine in what part of the city the 
building should be located ; and in May, 1856, they re- 
ported that they had decided upon a location between 
Trenton street and Jefferson Avenue, and that a lot of 



40 

land could be obtained for the purpose ; and on the 
20th of May, by authority of the Board, the Committee 
petitioned the City Council to purchase the lot, and 
appropriate the sum of f 25,000 to pay for it and 
build the School House. The Committee had previous- 
ly examined the lot on which this building stands, 
which belonged to the city ; but on account of the dif- 
ficulty of access, which they supposed could not be 
remedied, except at great expense, they had concluded 
that the other lot would answer a better purpose. The 
petition from the School Committee was referred by the 
City Council to the Committee on Public Property, and 
on the 30th of June, they reported that a suitable pas- 
sage-way could be obtained to the city land, and they 
recommended the adoption of an order authorizing its 
purchase, and appropriating so much of the lot of land 
as would be necessary for the purpose of building a 
grammar school house. The order passed the Council 
by an unanimous vote, and a committee was appointed 
to confer with the School Committee to make the ne- 
cessary examinations and inquiries, and to procure a 
plan for a building such as the character of the city and 
its increasing population seemed to require should be 
built. 

In pursuance of this order, the committees examined 
several of the most recently constructed grammar 
school houses in the vicinity, and unanimously prefer- 
ring the Dwight school house, in the city of Boston — 
convenience, ecomomy, and stability, being the points to 
be gained — they gave directions for a plan to be drawn 
as nearly like that as could be done with due regard to 
the dimensions of the lot on which the building was to be 



41 



placed ; and on the 16th of March, 1857, the plan was 
reported to the City Council, by it adopted, and an order 
passed, which by its liberality, indicates both interest in 
our schools and great confidence in the committee en- 
trusted with carrying it out. 

The plan of the building was drawn by Mr. Towle, 
a well known architect of Boston, who has inspected 
the work as it progressed, and who reports it con- 
formable to the specifications. 

On the 4th of April last, the proposals for the build- 
ing were opened by the Committee, and the successful 
parties were found to be for the mason- work, Mr, W. 
W. Bray ; for the frame and finish, Mr. Amos Brown. 
Contracts were at once drawn up and signed, and on 
the 22d of April, — unfavorable weather having caused 
some delay, — the excavation was commenced. On the 
6th of June the corner-stone was laid, and from that 
time the work steadily progressed to completion. Of 
the contractors, the Committee feel bound by a sense 
of duty, as well as by the real pleasure it will afford 
them, to make the following notice. Mr. Bray was a 
stranger to them, and his application for the plans, and 
an opportunity to bid for the contract, was received but 
one day before the decision was to be made. He was 
successful, and he commenced his work. The first load 
of granite dropped upon the ground, seemed to indicate 
the character of the mechanic. The foundation of the 
building was laid, approved by the Committee, and 
highly praised by experienced parties who examined 
it ; and quietly and systematically from the first to the 
last, with uniform courtesy and frankness to the Com- 
mittee, did his work progress, until the requirements of 



42 

his contract were fully complied with, and his reputation 
as a skilful artisan, and an honorable man, was most 
decidedly established. 

Mr. Brown has been long a resident of the city, and 
is too well known to be benefitted by a word of com- 
mendation. His work has all been accepted by the 
Committee, and it will tell its own story to those who 
choose to examine it. 

The furniture is from the manufactory of Mr. Joseph 
L. Ross, and it is believed to be of the most approved 
pattern and finish. 

The cost of the building, with the lot of land, 
13,500 feet, the passage-way purchased at $500, and 
the furniture, will not vary much from $36,500. 

In the progress of the work, uniform good feeling 
seems to have existed among all the parties engaged in 
it ; and so fir as the Committee have been able to 
judge, tlie work itself has been marked by unusual 
success. Connected with it, however, we have a sad 
record to make — a record which will remind us of the 
uncertainty of human life, and the value of human 
sympathy 

On the 18th of August, Joseph Pedrick, Jr., a 
carpenter, employed by Mr. Brown, a young man 19 
years old, — upright, amiable, and intelligent, the hope 
of his relatives, and the pride of his associates, — by a 
misstep and a fall from the second story to the cellar 
floor, was instantly killed. And on the 8th of November, 
Thomas Hodgdon, a painter, by the breaking of an 
iron hook which held one end of the stage on which he 
was standing, on the outside of the building, was 
thrown with such force to the pavement below, as to 



43 

cause his immediate death. Mysterious dispensations ! 
How they startle us into thoughtfulness, and touch our 
hearts with the tenderest sympathy ! 

The building is finished ; its plan, its proportion, its 
workmanship, seem to be very good ; and to its proper 
use let us now dedicate it ; to the development of the 
human intellect and the good emotions of the human 
heart ; to honesty and truth, the foundation, and in- 
telligence and taste, the finish of sound character ; to 
culture — culture of the intellect, and culture of the 
affections ; — to remembrance of the Fathers, the 
thoughtful founders of the common school system ; — 
to the honor of God and the good of mankind, let 
us dedicate all our public buildings, and when we send 
our children to this school, and entrust them to teachers 
selected to conduct the affairs of this house which we 
have erected for their advantage, let us show our own 
faithfulness to the idea which we have now advanced, 
in the strictness of our charge that no lower considera- 
tion shall influence their example or instruction. 

And now, gentlemen of the School Committee, in 
behalf of the Building Committee, whose labors are at 
an end, and in compliance with an order of the City 
Council, I turn this building over to you, that you may 
carry out the purposes for which it has been erected. 
Take it, and appropriate it to the real advantage of the 
children whose guardians, in the important matter of 
education, for the time being, you are. Take it, and 
with it the great responsibility which its charge will im- 
pose upon you. Ours has been the duty of preparing a 
place for the education of children : yours is the 
higher duty of providing the education itself — an 



44 

education that will fit them to perform justly, skilfully, 
and magnanimously, all their duties as citizens ; which 
will determine their characters and their destiny. I 
have heard of an old Roman superstition, that the 
prayer of the first person who should appear at the 
shrine of the god to whom any Temple was to be 
dedicated, would be surely granted. It so happens 
that the duty of saying the first official word, at this 
dedication, devolves upon me, and not superstitious- 
ly, I trust, but with a confidence equal to those of old, 
I earnestly pray to the God of Learning and Love, to 
whom we dedicate this building, that it may be a 
place where discerning and faithful teachers may, for 
years to come, be successful in moulding and de- 
veloping the character and the intellect of the children 
who may occupy it ; and from whence may continually 
flow, an influence of good upon our community. 



RESPONSE OE REV. DR. ELLIS. 



Mr. Mayor: — 

In the name and in behalf of the School Committee, 
I accept at your hands the charge of this edifice, and 
promise in their name, as I think I may safely do, to 
dedicate it to those uses of which you have spoken in 
such befitting words. The strong and earnest terms in 
which you have expressed yourself on this occasion, 
as well as all the words which I have heard from you 
in your ofi&cial capacity as head of this body, testify 
how faithful and worthy a guardian these our noble 
institutions have found in you, one of their pupils, and, 
I will venture to say, one of their best and most 
proficient pupils. 

As by your own positive determination. Sir, in 
opposition to the earnest wish of your fellow citizens, 
you have insisted that you will no longer be our 
Mayor, nor as such, the head of our School Board, 
allow me here, in the name of these my colleagues, to 
express the sincere and hearty confidence which you 
have won from us in that relation. Your own presidency 
over it. Sir, always courteous, impartial and admirably 



46 

patient, when its members have been most impatient, 
has certainly aided the dispatch of business, and has 
left its mark on the business itself. For one, therefore, 
I must express my high gratification, that the term of 
your official headship of these schools is connected with 
the building and completion of this grand edifice, and 
that it has fallen to you, to speak so fittingly the words 
of its Inauguration. May the sight of it. Sir, the good 
uses of it, the good fruits of it, be to you, so long as 
you live, the symbol for pleasant memories and sure 
hopes ! May you always find pleasure in looking at it, 
and in recalling the thought of that part in it, which 
belongs to you ! 

You have referred. Sir, to the name under which 
this school edifice is henceforward to be known among 
us — the honored name of " Prescott : " — nor have 
you one whit exaggerated the importance of a name 
for such a thing as a school. A name that is to be so 
often spoken, and in so many moods of mind and feel- 
ing, by hundreds in each rising generation ; that is to 
be made so familiar in fireside tasks and talks, by 
highways and in public documents, may well claim to 
be selected with pains, and to be bestowed only for the 
best of reasons. 

Happily for me, this very suggestion about names 
leads my thoughts in a direction from which I catch 
hints that shall help me to turn this perfunctory service 
of mine into a labor of love. The names — the honored 
and revered names — my fellow citizens, which are 
attached to our school edifices, would give me the bone 
and sinew, and I might even say, the spirit, of a strong 
discourse upon this occasion, if I had the skill to 



47 

clothe them with the imagery of fitting words. To 
the pupils of our schools who will stop to think and 
be patient to inquire, there will start up a charm, a 
romance, an inspiration, in the names which they 
bear, and a spell of power will go forth from 
them. Though we are the smallest in territory, 
we are favored above all the municipalities of the 
Commonwealth in this respect. By a singularly felici- 
tous selection and succession of these names, our school 
edifices open all our history to the scholars, and 
commemorate with an honor that may be coveted, our 
men of pure fame, and signal events which we love to 
hold in cherished remembrance. Observe, Sir, what 
an epitome of that history, — catching its gleaming 
points and perpetuating its providential oversight 
through the lives of great and good men, — may be 
found in these familiar names ! Wintiirop and 
Harvard are the pride of our colonial annals; Bunker 
Hill and Warren the symbols to us of noble patriot- 
ism, when the B evolution turned iis from a little colony 
into a noble State ; and Prescott gathers up the 
high honors for good services in that struggle, and 
passes them over to this, our peaceful age of literature, 
enhanced in fame and power by the living historian 
who bears the name. I would say to the teachers of 
our public schools, that a good part of their work, at 
least in interesting their pupils in our history, is done 
for them, if they will skilfully improve the quickening 
power of the titles borne by the buildings within whose 
walls they fulfil their hard but generous duties. 

We commemorate first of all the ever-honored John 
WiNTHROP, first Grovernor of Massachusetts, whose first 



48 

dwelling, a poor and rude hut, was on the soil of this 
peninsula. Winthrop ! — a name that his own con- 
temporaries always spoke with reverent affection ; a 
name that has never been sullied by descendant, 
whether in State or Church, in politics, in social or 
business affairs. Well may that name be honored ! 
I know not one in all our annals more worthy of love 
and respect. That first Governor was the directing 
mind, he was the wise and prudent guardian, he was 
the most valuable instrument of our colonial enterprise. 
He staked more than any other ; he staked all that he 
had and all of himself, body and goods, heart and soul, 
in it, — a most pure, devout, and faithful man, giving 
through his life new charms and demonstrations to 
virtue. In his character, there was an amazing sim- 
plicity and ingenuousness. Some of the most winning 
traits of childhood passed into and adorned his beau- 
tiful manhood of lofty integrity. He had the firmness 
of the soldier, the charity, the meekness, the piety 
of the true christian. 

We commemorate next, blessed John PIarvard — 
the founder of the College. And every city in this. 
State ought to have a school — I had almost said, ought 
to have a church — bearing that revered name ; for the 
whole personal history of that good man, — the 
first saint in our calendar, — is a blank to us, saving 
only his good deed. He comes out of the shadows of 
the past like another Melchisedek, — "without father, 
without mother, without descent," without pedigree, 
without posterity, — unknown in birth-place and in 
burial place, and so without any "beginning of days." 
Yet we do know the " end of his life," because, when 



49 

the grain of wheat fell into the ground, it bore much 
fruit ; and we know, too, that Harvard, like Melchis- 
edek, was a " priest of the most high God," — a true 
King of Salem, City of Peace. But all his history is 
vague to us ; and not the least wonderful fact is, that 
a Puritan minister should have had so much money to 
give ! Our most diligent antiquarian, Hon. James 
Savage — who has already found out a great many 
things which Time had forgotten, — has said that he 
would cover with gold coins heaped up, every letter 
and line that would tell us anything about John 
Harvard. He even crossed the ocean to search for 
memorials of that good man ; but he found only on the 
books of Emanuel College, in Old Cambridge, the dates 
of Harvard's matriculation and of his subscriptions for 
the two degrees of Arts, in 1631 and 1635. An entry 
in an almanac, made by one of our ministers, his con- 
temporary, has happened to record his death, in seventh 
month, 14th day, 1638. An entry in our Court Records, 
in the State House, tells us that he became a freeman 
only ten months before his death, — and that is all. 
That the good man preached for a season in Charles - 
town church, of which he and his wife became members 
in 1637 ; that he had here a house and land, and was 
one of a committee in the matter of colony laws ; that 
he died here of consumption, doubtless in the flower of 
his youth ; that he was buried somewhere beneath our 
soil,— these are all the other scanty memorials of Jiini 
who, time and circumstances considered, made the 
largest and the most useful bequest ever bestowed, even 
in this region of splendid and munificent charities. He 
has a monument in our old burial-ground, but the date 



60 

of his death on that marble slab is erroneous ; and it 
is probable that his remains rest beneath the old Town 
Hill, or are trampled over by the busy feet that course our 
City Square. He has a more congenial monument in 
the school which bears his name. There may children 
to the latest generation learn the elements of that 
wisdom and piety, whose fruits are growing around his 
unknown grave ! 

And again, in the next school house, we commemo- 
rate, I might almost say, our own citizens, — though 
we do it for the Fathers' sake, — in giving the name of 
Bunker Hill to one of our school edifices. Mr. Mayor, 
I do not wish to add another line or epithet to that 
often turgid and overwrought rhetoric which has worried 
the memory of that hill. The world will tire of it, 
if we crowd it with a surfeit even of patriotism. We 
have cut down the hill, but we have spread the soil 
from its summit and brow over the surface of our whole 
territory, until we are all Bunker Hill. (Laughter.) 
This edifice stands as a sort of peaceful mediator be- 
tween the two hills — the real and the usurping one — 
on the former of which was the great fight, while on 
the latter were the lookers-on. Indeed, Sir, the famous 
rail fence, that serviceable barrier of " split-stuff and 
new hay," could not have been fiir from where we are 
now. But let these storied summits, my young friends 
and older ones, echo less of the boasts and parade, and 
more of the substance of true patriotism. Our freeborn 
boys are here to be taught to obey, to learn the laws of 
order, and receive the culture of Christian Scholarship, 
the discipline of virtuous self-control, and so to become 
citizens worthy of their sires and of their soil. 



51 

I have just said that the site of this edifice makes it a 
sort of mediator between two rival summits, whose fame 
has been a little blended and confounded. The name 
given to this edifice will help, at least, to rectify an 
error which had been creeping into the popular rehear- 
sals of our great battle. We have a school edifice 
which bears the honored and cherished name of War- 
ren, a volunteer in the fight on that hill, and its most 
distinguished and lamented martyr. Patriotism is 
generous, free, outspoken, and grudges no honors to 
those whom it enshrines. Patriotism intends also to 
be just — just. The splendid qualities and whole- 
hearted devotion of Warren secured to him his tribute 
of glory when he fell ; the zealous care for his memory 
and honor felt by his nephew, the late Dr. WarreNj 
has renewed, almost annually, the laurels on his name 
and monument. Warren's statue now crowns the hill 
where he fell ; and if there should be any statue there, 
it surely ought to be his. He, too, has a school for his 
memory, and has left noble lessons for its pupils. 

And now, for the first time, we have a school edifice 
bearing the name of the commander of the American 
forces in the great battle. It was Col. Prescott, 
of Pepperell, to whom the General of the New 
England army, then encamped at Cambridge, gave 
the order to lead a body of soldiers to Charlestown, 
and entrench and defend its summits. The order 
was faithfully obeyed — as far as circumstances would 
admit. Col. Prescott was the hero of that day. 
He was a yeoman of our own soil, and had done 
and seen service before, and did and saw service after- 
wards. We honor him this day for his manly qualities, 



52 

and for his patriot services. From him. his name 
passed to his son, the late Judge William Prescott, 
of Boston — a lawyer of distinguished ability ; one of 
the wisest of councillors ; a man of rare modesty, of 
most winning and gracious old-school manners, of the 
noblest Christian integrity; His image, stamped deeply 
on my memory in youth, rises before me as he walked 
the streets, as he sat gravely in his place at church, 
and as he brightened and beautified his happy dwelling. 
And as girls as well as boys are to be pupils of this 
" Prescott" School, I may yield to the impulse which 
prompts me to a word of respectful commemoration of 
that Christian woman, the other head of Judge Prescott's 
dwellingj-— a woman who filled out our ideal of all that 
is lovely and engaging in the female character, — useful, 
meek and saintly ; who to extreme old age was young 
in heart and in the heart's joys, and whose family cares 
began first in her own household, and then extended, 
over half a century, to the daily oversight of a large 
asylum of poor orphan girls. Who that remembers her 
venerable form, as, almost to the day of her death, she 
went on her blessed errand, does not respect her ? 

Charlestown might have found sufficient reason for 
attaching the name of "Prescott" to one of its 
schools, in honor of those who had borne it, even if 
there was not one among the living to add to its honors. 
Without intending any mathematical apportionment of 
our designed compliment to the men of three genera- 
tions, we do propose, in the bestowment of this title, 
to render respectful tribute to Mr. Prescott, the 
historian. He certainly is not one of those who lacks 
honor in his own country and age, among the enviable 



63 

honors he has received from abroad. As individuals 
and as a community, we feel proud of his fame, and 
grateful for the wisdom, the refined pleasure, and the 
precious instruction, he has afforded us by his pen. 
Your presence, honored sir, (turning to Wm. II. Pres- 
COTT, Esq., who sat upon the platform,) forbids me to 
say more. It requires that I be considerate in the 
language of encomium, lest it should pass into that 
wasteful overflow of praise which is flattery. If you 
were not here, I should say more. I must also respect 
the contract on which you came, — that the reserve 
which, in spite of your busy skill with your pen, has 
kept your lips closed upon all public occasions, shall 
not be rudely broken in upon here by the necessity of 
a speech. Your presence in silence is a speech to us. 
I know you will not esteem it among the least of 
the encomiums lavished upon you by royal courts, elect 
acadamies, and the great Republic of Letters, that a 
school in which thousands are to be trained in wisdom 
bears your name, and that of your father, mother, and 
grandfather. 

Mr. Prescott. — " There is no greater honor." 
The interests of education engage more and more, 
from year to year, the intelligent zeal of our com- 
munities. Gratitude for the sacrifices made by our 
fathers when they first legislated so exactingly for 
common schools in a yet unsubdued wilderness, com- 
pels us always to refer back to them, and to give them 
the high praise of good beginnings. But improvement 
upon their methods and their works has been the no less 
exacting duty of every generation between them and 
ourselves. We feel the need of improvement still, in 



54 

the purposes and methods of education. Indeed, we 
could have no better evidence of the general admission 
of deficiency and inefficiency as compared with our 
standard, than the fact that the wisest minds and most 
generous hearts among us are engaged upon inquiries 
and plans for the advancing of this great work. Our 
community seems sometimes to resolve itself into a 
committee of the whole on education. We have many 
excellent journals, conducted with ability, and wholly 
devoted to that cause. Lectures, conventions, prize 
essays, debates. County and State Institutes, present 
its interests in every form. Every professional man, 
however high his range, loves to be a helper in this 
cause, nor feels that he has to go down below his mark 
to engage in it. Scholars of finished literary taste, 
lawyers and statesmen, are glad if they can win the 
coveted honor of preparing good school-books. I think 
it would rejoice the hearts of the Fathers, if they 
could come back here now, and see that one of our 
guests who, having filled with true fidelity and dignity 
the office of Governor of this whole Commonwealth, is 
now the diligent and devoted head of its common school 
system, journeying from the Capes to the Mountains to 
inquire after the urchins on its benches, and to teach 
their teachers. 

And now, if it be asked what good will come of all 
this inquiry and effort, we answer by pointing to the 
good which has come, the full reward of all past 
and present zeal in this great cause. If we could get 
the oldest living graduate of our schools, one of our 
grey heads, like some two or three I see before me, to 
stand up and draw the contrast between their experience 



56 

of the methods of education in the days of their pupil- 
age and our own, we might understand how and where 
and to what extent there has been improvement. Pure 
air in the school-room (you see the ventilators !) — wise 
discipline — simplifie'd text -books in the hands of every 
pupil, instead of one old dictionary in the hands of the 
master — more oral instruction — better classifications — 
valuable illustrative helps — mechanical facilities — these 
are some of the more obvious tokens of progress. Far 
higher qualifications are required of teachers, and their 
labors are rewarded more adequately, and their social 
position has risen, so that they rank with the classes of 
highest conventional esteem in our community. If we 
take the most comprehensive view of what is included 
virtually in education, we shall find that more persons 
are engaged in this service than in any other single 
labor or profession. Even the dancing master feels he 
has won a new dignity when he can claim the title of 
"Professor" of the art. The distinction between his 
science and that of education may be as great as that 
between the heels and the head of a human being ; but 
we have all of us, my friends, learned too well the fable 
of "The Body and its Members" — rather, I should 
say, the noble christian lesson into which the Apostle 
expanded that fable — to deny the connection between 
the heels and the head, or to wish to sever the relation 
between innocent and graceful accomplishments and 
sterling acquisitions. I rejoice that education does now 
take to itself the charge of the whole human being, of 
all his parts and members, from the foot up to the head, 
not forgetting on its way the heart, nor even the 
stomach — while it teaches the hand the cunning skill 
of painting and drawing, and trains the voice and ear 



56 

to harmony, and magnifies the marvellous lenses in our 
foreheads, with the help of other lenses, into quickened 
vision, for studying some of the minuter forms or 
stupendous marvels of the great and wise God. It 
is education which draws out all the gifts of power 
which God has bestowed, and furnishes new helps for 
the knowledge and obedience of the Divine will. 
Education multiplies by refining and strengthening the 
faculties of man. It gives a new charm to the par- 
poses of human life ; it connects youth with age by a 
thread on which are strung the great lessons of every 
fleeting hour. Education is the only influence which 
will realize the problem of equalizing the sexes, bring 
them to the same level of opportunity and divide rightly 
between them the functions of society. We never 
hear a well-educated woman demand her social rights 
— she feels that she has got them. • 

But while we gratefully recognize our gains and 
progress in this high cause, we would neither conceal 
nor underestimate our deficiencies. With each increase 
of the burden of taxation, we hear complaints from 
some about the expense of our schools. The common 
reply — rather an ungracious and contemptuous one, — 
which is made to these complainants, or oftener behind 
their backs, is, that if they only had had more labor and 
money spent on their education, they would not grudge 
the outlay for others. This smart reply, which human 
nature, I know, is prompt to utter, — not, however, 
coming from the best part of that nature, — does not 
conciliate the objectors, nor does it really meet their 
objections. We may trust the inherent and self- assert- 
ing claims of education as far as this, that they will 
win the confidence even of those not favored by it, if it 



57 

really shows fruits proportioned to its cost, and it ought 
to do that. Therefore it is better to regard the 
complaints at the burden of these costs as gentle 
reminders to us of the defects and short-comings of our 
methods, rousing us to new interest, closer watchful- 
ness, more patient effort, and wiser measures for making 
our schools what they ought to be. The murmurs of 
the uneducated ought to engage the zeal of the educated 
to take from them the reason and occasion for their 
utterance. The race of croakers, I think, never out- 
numbers the race of lazy and ease-loving persons, amid 
the rich fields that require careful tillage and abound 
in weeds. 

Two simple and comprehensive aims ought to direct 
the cause of Education : First, to make knowledge 
more important and more profitable to those who acquire 
it easily ; and, secondly, to make knowledge more easy 
of acquisition and more attractive to those who are dull 
or difi&cult, or distrustful pupils. A ready pupil is a 
snare, a dull pupil is a goad, to the conscience of the 
teacher. Though the teacher enjoys his service for the 
easy pupils and dreads his task for the dull pupils, he 
must remember that God mingles in the pleasant part 
that he may perform well the task part of all duty. 
Let us do all we may, my friends, to honor and to aid 
our school teachers, but let them remember that they 
are teachers. 

And now, Mr. Mayor, we will put this school "in 
commission," as is said of the great ships on our waters. 
It is to be a receiving vessel, a store vessel, and a dis- 
pensing vessel. We have moored it strongly; we 
mean that it shall be well officered. May heaven smile 
over it, as it guards our " shore station ! " 



citizens 



The attention of the undersigned, members of tHe 
SCHOOL COMMITTEE, has been called to an anon- 
ymous Handbill, headed " Voters of Char lest own.'" 
Considerations higher than those tiiat are personal to 
the Teacher alluded to, or to the Committee, in- 
duce us to notice it. We believe that the discipline 
and general welfare of our Schools arc to a consid- 
erable extent involved in the question of sustaining 
this teacher. We fear that an atta'ck has been 
and is made upon him as the Representative for the * 
tiriie being of that healthful authority, without which 
our Schools will be lawless artd uncontrolable. 
Mr. C. S. Pennell, the teacher alluded lo, gradua- 
ted at Waterville College in ISl-O, and was imme- 
diately employed in the place of iiis residence, 
(Wrentham, Mass,) for about two years, a part of 
the time as Principal of Day's Academy, to 
the entire acceptance of tlic School Committee, 
the Trustees of the Academy, and the pjirents of 
the children entrusted to his care. From this place 
he was called to the charge of the High School in 
Cabotville, \Vhich position he occupied about five, 
years. With great credit to himself, and, as his testi- 
monials show, to the satisfaction of the School Com- 
mittee, and the citizens of this town. There is no 
foundation for the assertion made in the handbill 
that he " unrflercifuliy whipped a child nt Cabot- 
ville." We refer to the following certificates of 
Hon. W. B. CALHooNi Secretary of State, ^ 
and A. W. Stockwell, Esq., the Postmaster at 
Cabotville, gentlemen very well known thiougli the 
CommonweaUh : ^ 

I have seen a Handbill addressed " To ihe VatCTs 'of Charles- 
^OwTi, " ill which rfllQSKm is made to a 'IVirelitT of n School in lliat 
City, who was ftfrmerly employed iti tlie s&me capiicuy a1 Cabffb- 
y\\\^, one bf the villages OfSprtngficld. If the VeferMice be lo Mr. 
Pemicll, I ^taie Very cheerfully rhat Mr. Piimeli was UiwWn lo tne" 
several yeats as a Teacher at SfifingRi'ld, I having been itt the 
lime one Of the School Cdminittee of (he Totvn, 

Mr. Penrtell was otic of ihfe beit dhU'mosi successful Tenchers 
employed at SpVingfield ; nnil "uve eiiiii'e saiisfaction to 'tlie School 
Committee. I always regarded liim a'S a rtry faifltful and nccom- 
plislied instrucler; artd'thfe CotftmHttie iparted wiih hJni with greaft 
regret. W. B. CAi.HOUN. 

Boston, Sabbath eve'g» Miifch IQ.JlSiS. 

I hive seen the Handbill ref^rYeS 'ro 'by Mr. rBlhoim, and can 
say. llint llie slatetnenls therein, Telarive to the Tencher from Cnh- 
oui'lle, (if reference IS had to Mr. 'Pennell.) are enlirely wilhout 
fomilation or (he sc-ml,lance of tru^h, In.<lead of being svffvrtd in 
I'efive Uabolvillc, " as the most charitable way to he rid of him," 
nineteen-iweiilietha of llie whole village were exceedingly sorry lo 
part with him The storj about his ■• whipping a boy unmerci- 
fully," I rc^»ard as imlroe. His punishments were always regarded 
as mild and never excessive. 

I concur most heartily in the statements of the Hon. ftlr. Cal- 
houn ; and have added the above statements, as 1 am n citizen of 
Cabotville, and for a part of the time that .'^Ir. Pennell wae a teach- 
er there, 1 was a member of the School Conimiliee (or ibiit Dis- 
trict. I never knew 9 jleachcr more tnWii Uld reaMiiable id his 
disciplinary measures i^m Mr- Pejinel). 

A. W. RTOCKWELL. 
Formerly School Com. ol Cabotville. 
Boston, March 12, 1848. 

Xll.Rs situation, much to the regret of the citizens 
of Cabotville. he resigned, to take charge of the 
Warrei) Sc)iool in this city, to which office he was 
unnni!)[}<>u^ly .ejeptcd in Feb. 184-7. 

Tlfe ropt p(' ilip \y|)ole matter of complaint against 
Mr. Ppnnell, is a case of discipline, in Sept. last. 
That n^i^ttcr >vas fully investigated by the Hoard at 
the time, wl|q, after devoting two evenings to it, 
passed the foUq^ving resulution as the result: "That 
while tills Board regret the necessity for the inflic- 
tion of so sicverp a punishment as was administered 
to the son of Mr.Wm.Far"e, by the Grammer Mas- 
ter of the \Varren School, Sept. 22, the Board fully 
sustain the course of the teacher in this case of dis- 
cipline, as necessary to the subordination and good 
government of that school." In Dec- the subject 
was again brought to the attention of the Commit- 
tee, and all persons whQ _^wished, were fully heard 
by, themselves, and H. D. Austin, Esq., who ap- 
peared in their behalf in an open meeting of the 
Board. After devoting two whole evenings to the 
hearing and the subsequent deliberation, the Com- 
mittee, by a vote of eight to three, saw no cause la 
change their former conclusion. 

The charges against Mr. Pennell, other than 
that alluded to in the resolution, are such as all 
faithful teachers are exposed to. That was the or- 










esiown 



igin, and is the center around which all the others 
cluster ; having theii? foundation, so far as the 
Committee were able to learn, in the strangest 
fabrications, exaggerated second-hand statements, 
and the avowed confidence of parents in the asser- 
tions of their children, rather than those of any 
teacher, when tl>e two should be in conflict. 

The facts in relation to the son of Mr. Farrie, as 
they appeared to the Board, are briefly these : He, 
with other boys, had been throwing missiles at a 
market man in the street, during recess, for which, 
each Was to receive five blows with a ratan, on the 
open hand ; this hoy, after receiving one or two 
blows, refused to hold out !iis hand ; and for this 
act of insubordination, Vfter e.xposttilation, a severp 
punishment was inflicted upon the filcshy parts of 
his back and legs by a ratan. 

Mr. Pennell, during the time, by the testimony 
of the assistant teacher, being perfectly free from 
passion, and stopping five or six times to appeal to 
him to submit to authority. The boy did submit, 
and received the remainder of the punishment 
for the original oflence. Marks were left on the 
boy's thighs and legs, but by the father's state- 
ment he was not permanently injured. He was 
about his play the same and the next day, eat and 
slept as well as usual ; and the opinion of a physi- 
cian was given, that the injury was merely upon the 
fleshy part of the legs, and was temporary. 

The Committee, although iliey regretted the ne- 
cessity for so severe a punishment, did not see where 
the Teacher could have stopped without surrender- 
mg all authority. Under these circumstances, the 
Committee, consulting the good of this and other 
schools, aside from any regard to the interests of 
Mr. P., saw no otiier course to pursue than to sus- 
tain him in his position. Since then, notwithstand- 
ing the influeitcc of a few parents is joined with their 
'children ■ag-ainst ttie teacher, good order has been 
mamtaiited, ami the school is in a healthful condi- 
tion. " In no case has any girt been punished corpo- 
really, except on the open hand -, and the cases of 
such punishment have been very rai-e,& never severe. 
The changes in the Grammar School Districts, 
rendered necessary by tl>e erection of new houses, 
will bring nearly all the disJiiTected persons into the 
Winthrop School District, and thus will be taken 
away even tlie argument of expediency for his re- 
moval. ^ ' 

The upholding of Mr. Pennell as an individual, 
is of no consequence, though we believe him to be 
a good teacher, humane in his discipline and efficient 
in his instruction ; but we regard this, to a certain 
extent, as a lest question of the maintainance of all 
law and all subjection to authority in school and out 
of it. We believe there is a fearful responsibility 
resting upon parents who instruct their children to 
resist the authority of the teacher, to refuse to sub- 
mit to punishment and run out of school to avoid it; 
in short, who, by their intemperate language and 
their own example, encourage rather than check that 
restlessness and impatience of control whicii is nat- 
ural to children. Tlie evil rests not alone with the 
.children who are the subjects of such instruction and 
example, but is social, and we fear is increasing. 
Kespect for law [and school and parental authority 
are the only law to the chiidj is our only safeguard. 
We appeal to you, citizens of Charlestown,lo see 
lo it that nothing be done to weaken that reverence 
for law, that respect for parental authority and the 
wholesome restraints of school discipline, which are 
essential for those to whom will soon be entrusted 
the peace, good order and general welfare of society. 
IIENUY K. FROTIllNGltAM, 
JOSEPH F. TUFTS, 
JA.VES ADA/US, 
JOHN SANBOHN, 
J. W. BEIttlS. ~ ' 
N. ¥. CULBERTSOy, 
GEO. A. PARKER, 
GEORGE FARRAR. 

Charlestown, Sunday ev.ening, \ 
March 12, 184^.' S 



TRUSTEES OF THE SCHOOLS. 



1S5§. 



1847. 
Henry K. Frothingham, Joseph F. Tufts, N. Y. Culbertson, 
Jolm Sanborn, James Miskelly, Edward Thorndike, G-eorge A. Par- 
ker, Seth J. Thomas, Greorge Farrar, J. W. Bemis, Thomas Grreen- 

leaf. 

1848. 

James Adams, George A, Parker, Lemuel Gulliver, Henry K> 
Frothingham, Seth J. Thomas, George P. Sanger, Joseph F. TuffcS) 
Edward Thorndike, Charles W. Moore, James Miskelly, N. Y. Cul- 
bertson. 

1849. 

James AdamSj Henry K. Frothingham, Lemuel Gulliver, Charles 
W. Moore, George P. Sanger, Joseph F. Tufts, William Tufts, 
Edward Thorndike, N. Y. Culbertson, James Miskelly. 

1850. 

Henry K. Frothingham, George P. Sanger, Henry Lyon, William 
Tufts, George Cutler, James G. Fuller, Andrew K, Hunt, C. Soule 
Cartee, Charles W. Moore, Isaac W. Blanchard, William Sawyer. 

1851. 

EicHARD Frothingham, Jr., ex officio, President; Eliab P. 
Maekintire, Seth J. Thomas, James Adams, William Tufts, James 
G. Fuller, William Sawyer, Edward Thorndike, John Sanborn, 
Charles W. Moore, Andrew K. Hunt, Charles D. Lincoln, Charles 
B. Rogers. 

1852. 

Richard Frothingham, Jr., ex officio, President ,• James Adams, 
Nathan Merrill, William Tufts, Oliver C. Everett, James G. Fuller, 
John Sanborn, Edward Thorndike, William Williams, Andrew K. 
Hunt, Lemuel Gulliver, George Bradford, Charles D. Lincoln. 



60 

1853. 
KiCHAKD Frothingham, Jr., ex officio, President ; Nathan Mer- 
rill, Oliver C. Everett, James Fogg, James G. Fuller, Edward 
Thorndike, Warren Rand, Isaac W. Blanchard, Abraham B. Shedd, 
Solomon Hovey, James Adams,. William Williams, John Sanborn. 

1854. 

James Adams, ex officio. President; James Fogg, William Flint, 
Oliver C. Everett, William I. Budington, Hiram Hutchins, Greorge 
Bartlett, George Cutler, Isaac W. Blanchard, Hiram P. Remick, 
Freeman C. Sewall, Reuben Curtis, Nathan A. Tufts. 

1855. 

Timothy T. Sawyer, .ex officio, President , James Adams, George 
E. Ellis, Oliver C. Everett, James G. Fuller, John Sanborn, Calvin 
C. Sampson, Abraham B. Shedd, Isaac W. Blanchard, William 
Flint, Nathan A. Tufts, Henry K. Frothingham. 
■ , 1856. 

Timothy T. Sawyer, ex officio. President; William B. Morris, 
Anthony S. Morss, Oliver C. Everett, James G. Fuller, John San- 
born, George B. Neal, David Foster, George P. Kettell, Isaac W. 
Blanchard, Edwin F. Adams, George E. Ellis, Franklin A. Hall. 

1857. 
Timothy T. Sawyer, ex offivcio. President ; George E. Ellis, Wil- 
liam W. Wheildon, Abram E. Cutter, J. W. Bemis; John San- 
born, George B. Neal, G. Washington Warren, Andrew J. Locke ; 
David Foster, Luke K. Bowers, William N. Lane, Franklin E. 

Bradshaw. 

1858. 

Timothy T. Sawyer, President; George E. Ellis, William W. 

Wheildon, Abram E. Cutter, Edwin F. Adams, Henry B. Metcalf ; 

James G. Foster, George B. Neal, John Sanborn, G. Washington 

Warren, Calvin C. Sampson, James B. Miles; Charles D. Lincoln, 

Henry K. Frothingham, William Fosdick, William N. Lane, Samuel 

T. Tapley, Franklin E. Bradshaw.