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CITY OF CHARLESTOWN,
|ieprt of tlje Superinteitbent d public Bt\mls,
FOR THE YEAR 1870.
PRINTED AT THE CHRONICLE OFFICE, 30 MAIN STREET.
WILLIAM H. KENT, Mayor, ex-officio.
JAMES ADAMS, Jr., Pres. of the Common Council, ex-officio.
WARD L — William Peirce, A. E. Cutter, James F. Hunnewell,
Geo, A. Hamilton, Wm. R. Bradford, Willard Rice.
WARD 2, — John Sanborn, Nabum Cbapin, L. P. Crown, Wm.
Raymond, Washington Lithgow, S. S, Blanchard.
WARD 3.— Geo. W. Gardner, Wm. H. Finney, Chas. F. Smith,
John Turner, Charles E. Daniels, A. J. Bailey.
WILLIAM H. KENT, Mayor, ex-officio.
JOHN B. NORTON, Pres. of the Common Council, ex-officio.
WARD 1. — William Peirce, A. E. Cutter, James F. Hunnewell,
Wm. R. Bradford, Charles E, Svveney, Henry R. Sibley.
WARD 2. — John Sanborn, Nahura Chapin, L. P. Crown, S. S.
Blanchard, Charles F. Smith, Liverus Hull.
WARD 3. — Geo. W. Gardner, Wm. H. Finney, John Turner,
Charles E. Daniels, A. J. Bailey, Geo. H. Marden.
CITY OF CHARLESTOWN.
In School Committee, September 15, 1870.
Messrs. Gardner, Finney and Cutter were appointed a Com-
mittee to prepare the Annual Report.
Attest : F. A. DOWNING,
In School Committee, December 29, 1870.
Mr. Finney submitted the Annual Report of the School Com-
mittee, which was accepted ; and it was ordered that eight hundred
copies be printed for distribution.
Attest: F. A. DOWNING,
By regulation and custom, the Annual Report of
the School Committee is required at the close of the
municipal year. As the school year commences in
September, and the financial year in March, it is im-
possible to present the complete results of the year's
work in school, or a complete record of the year's
The Committee will endeavor, however, with the
aid of the Superintendent's report, to present an
outline of what has been done during the year, what
is now doing, and what it is hoped will be accom-
ORGANIZATION OF THE BOAED.
By virtue of his 'office, the Mayor of the city is
Chairman of the Board of School Committee. The
Committee are much indebted to his Honor, William
H. Kent, for the interest he has manifested in the
subject of education, for his constant attendance at
the meetings of the Board, and for his courtesy, effi-
ciency, and impartiality as a presiding officer during
the past year.
At the first meeting of the Board in January, the
organization was completed by the choice of F. A.
Downing for. Secretary, William H. Finney for
Treasurer, and Abijah Blanchard for Messenger.
At a subsequent meeting, the various Standing
Committees were appointed as designated elsewhere.
At the close of his second year of service, Rev. J.
H. Twombly sent a communication to the Board,
declining to be a candidate for reelection, and the
office was filled by the choice of Prof. B. F. Tweed,
of Washington University, St. Louis. Mr. Twombly
had attended to the examination of the several schools
in January and February. He was the first Super-
intendent, and brought to the office ability, earnest-
ness, and a heart thoroughly alive to the importance
of the great work in which he had engaged. The
labors he performed in stimulating and systematiz-
ing the schools are worthy of high commendation.
The present incumbent of the office, Mr. Tweed,
is not a novice in education nor a stranger to Charles-
town, having been formerly master of the Bunker
Hill School. His high reputation as an educator
commands *the confidence of all. He has entered
upon his work with a quiet and practical efficiency
that insures success in this, as it has already achieved
it in other departments of the same general work.
The amount asked of the City Council for the
financial year, commencing March 1, 1870, was : —
For Salaries of Teachers, Officers and Superintendent, $88,750 CO
Support of Evening Schools 1,000 00
Incidental Expenses 1 5,050 00
This sum, in addition to the amount to be received
from the State for the city's proportion of income of
the school fund, was appropriated to be expended"
under-the direction of the School Committee.
The expenses, including the pay-roll of January 1,
1871, have been
For Salaries of Teachers, &c $69,752 81
Support of Evening Schools 67 75
Incidental Expenses 9,406 59
Leaving a balance for expenses in Jan-
uary and February, of $25,572 85
It is estimated that at the close of the financial
year, there will remain an unexpended balance of
The principal of the fund of which the School
Committee are Trustees, amounts to $5,600, invested
in two notes of the city, at six per cent interest.
The balance of income now in the hands of the
Treasurer, which can be applied towards school
expenses, is $814.77.
On Finance. — William Peirce, Charles E. Daniels, Nahum Chapin,
On Books. — • Wm. H Finney, James F. Hunnewell, George A.
On Music. — S. S. Blanchard, Washington Lithgow, John Turner.
On Printing. — William R. Bradford, Nahum Chapin, Willard
Oil Examination of Teachers. — Geo. W. Gardner, Chas. F. Smith,
Nahum Chapin, Charles E. Daniels, William Peirce, Wm.
On Fuel. — John Sanborn, William Raymond,
On Eoening Schools. — Wm. H. Finnej^, William Raymond, 4. E.
Cutter, Nahum Chapin, L. P. Crown.
oegaotzatio:n^ of the schools.
Helen G. Turner . .
Effie Q. Hazen . . .
Elizabeth B. Norton
Lilla Barnard ....
Mary H. Humphrey
Martha B. Stevens .
Sarah A. Atwood . .
S. Josephine Chase .
"M. J'osephine Smith
Elizabeth W. Teaton
Abbie P. Richardson
Melissa J. A. Conley
District No. 1.
Haverhill street "^
Cor. Charles & Bunier Hill Sts. I
Mead Street . . . .
District Wo. 3.
14 Jennie D. Smith . .
15 Frances M. Lane . .
16 Ellen Hadley . . . .
17 Mary A. Blanchard .
18 Carrie E. Osgood . .
38 Mary F. Richards . .
Sullivan Street .
19 Martha Teaton . . .
20 Mary P. Swain . . .
21 Persis M. Whittemore
22 Frances B. Butts . .
23 Louisa W. Huntress
24 Carrie C. Smith . . .
District No. 4,
Bunker Hill Street . . .
Louisa A. Pratt Common Street . •
Elizabeth A. Prichard .
Elizabeth R. Brower . .
Catherine C. Brower . .
Mary F. Kittredge . . .
Effle A. Kettell
Matilda Gilman Soley " ....
District No. Q.
Ellen M. Armstead . . . Bow Street
Elizabeth F. Doane ..." "
Sarah E. Smith " "
Charlotte M. "W. Tilden . " " ......
Caroline A. Rea Richmond Street . . .
Frances A. Foster .... •' " ...
y Charles E. Daniels,
Geo. W. Gardner.
A. J. Bailey,
Wm, H, Finney.
Charles F. Smith,,
ir li n,. i. John Sanborn,
Moulton Street l -.-. , ^, .
,j ,, f- Nahum Chapin,
.( It I S. S. Blanchard.
i James P. Hunnewell,
! Willard Rice,
I L. P. Crown.
A. E. Cutter,
Geo. A. Hamilton,
Wm. R. Bradford.
Lucy M. Small Winthrop Street ,
Anna R. Stearns .... Main "
A. J. Bailey.
BUNKER HILL SCHOOL.
Committee. — Charles E. Daaiels, John Turner, A. J. Bailey.
Teachers. — Charles G. Pope, Principal ; Henr}' F. Sears, Sub-
master ; Abby F. Crocker, Head Assistant; Mary A. Eaton,
Martha Blood, Emily M. Warren, Sarah A.. Benton, L. Edith
Howe, Georgia A. Smith, Abbie P. Josselyn, Angelia M. Knowles,
Lydia S. Jones, Mary S. Thomas, Ida 0. Hurd, Emma S. Rand-
lett, Allice M. Burt.
Committee. — Wm. H. Finney, A. E. Cutter, "Wm. Raymond,
Wm. R. Bradford.
Teachers. — George Swan, Principal ; E. B. Gay, Sub-master;
Sarah M. Chandler, Head Assistant ; Annie D. Dalton, Marga-
ret W. Veazie, Elizabeth Swords, Frances L. Dodge, V. A. M. L.
Dadley, Georgeanna Haralen, Abbie E. Holt, Ellen A. Pratt, Julia
A, Worcester, Abby C. Lewis, Maria L. Bolan, Alice Hall.
Committee. — Charles F. Smith, Washington Lithgow, Willard
Teachers. — Geo. T. Littlefield, Principal ; Frank W. Lewis,
Sub-master; Mary G. Prichard, Head Assistant; Martha M.
Kenrick, Mary C. Sawyer, Julia C. Powers, Elizabeth J. Farns-
worth, Ellen C. Dickinson, Lydia A. Sears, Georgie T. Sawyer,
Frances A. Craigen.
Committee. — Nahum Chapin, John Sanborn, L. P. Crown, S.
Teachers — Caleb Murdock, Principal ; Wm. B. Atwood, Sub-
master;. Mary A. E. Sanborn, Head Assistant. ; Bial W. Willard.
Harriet E. Frye, Mary F. Goldthwaite, Arabella P. Moultoa,
Josephine A. Lees, Abbie M. Clark, Ellen R. Stone, Elsie A.
Woodward, Jennie E. Tobey.
Committee. — "William Peirce, James F. Hunnewell, G-eo. A.
Teachers, — Warren E. Eaton, Principal ; Darius Hadley, Sub-
master ; Abbie B. Tufts, Head Assistant ; Ann E. Weston, Lois A.
Rankin, Fanny B. Hall, Fidelia L. Howland, Susan H. Williams,
Emma F. Thomas.
Committee. — Geo. W. Gardner, A. E. Cutter, Geo. A. Hamilton,
James F. Hunnewell, A. J. Bailey, S. S. Blanchard,
Teachers. — Caleb Emery, Principal ; Alfred P. Gage, Master
of English Dept, ; George W. Drew, Sub-master ; Katherine
Whitney, 1st Assistant; Dora C, Chamberlain, 2d Assistant;
Frances M. Read, Mary L. Coombs.
The reports of the sub-committees on these schools
represent them generally to be in a satisfactory con-
dition. Still there is undoubtedly a great difference
between the best and the poorest. The Superinten-
dent has given a good deal of attention to these
schools, with results already noticeable, and it is
hoped that under his judicious management the best
will become still better, and the poorest at least
approximate the best. ,
Perhaps these schools might be more appropriately
termed " Ungraded schools." They were established
for children who were too old to attend the primary
schools, and not sufficiently advanced to enter the
grammar schools. But it should not be understood
that as soon as a pupil reaches the age of nine years,
he is to be immediately transferred froih a primary
to an intermediate school. In many cases such chil-
dren can as well pursue their studies in the primary
school as in the intermediate; and in most instancen
the scholar should retain his connection with the
primary until he enters the grammar school.
The teachers of these school^ are worthy of high
commendation for faithfulness and efficiency in the
performance of their arduous duties.
These schools, to use the almost stereotyped ex-
pression of sub-committees, " are in good condition
as a whole." " As a whole " indicates, however, that
in some particulars they may- be improved. . And
when may it be expected that school committees will
have no use for such a convenient phrase in giving
commendations to schools? It is gratifying that it
can be used conscientiously. But there are some
faults, and there have been some disturbing agencies,
as will be seen by reference to the superintendent's
The new building for this school was dedicated on
the 14th December, 1870, with appropriate and in-
teresting exercises, an account of which will be found
in the Appendix to this report. With its efficient
corps of teachers, and all its added privileges, it is
confidently hoped and expected that the school will
more than ever meet the wants of the community.
In a school made up, as the High School is, of schol-
ars from all the ranks of life, and of great variety of
tastes and inclinations, it is necessary to provide a
course of study to meet all their varied wants. The
committee have therefore modified the course of study,
and have established a course of three years, or an
English Department. They believe that both valuable
mental discipline and increased knowledge can be at-
tained by pursuing this course when the scholar does
not intend to take the time for the four years' course.
This course of study is so arranged and interwoven
with the full course, that in the studies pursued in
common, there are the same advantages for each, — the
same teachers and the same thoroughness of instruc-
tion. The high prestige of the schopl is shared alike
by all. In looking for a teacher for this department,
the committee selected Mr. A. P. Gage, who for
several years had been the efl&cient and successful
principal of the Bunker Hill School, and he was
transferred to the position of master of the English
Department in the High School. This arrangement,
while leaving the head mastership of the school solely
with the principal, secures a better superintendence,
by assigning specific duties to the master of the
English Department, and giving him a special super-
vision of that department. With this arrangement,
and the additional facilities ofiered in the new build-
ing, the school starts upon its new career under the
most favorable auspices.
The evening schools for the winter of 1869-70 were
not so fully attended as during the previous winter.
The whole number belonging was, of males 150,
females 74. The average attendance was, males 52,
females 89. ISTotwithstanding the small proportion
of attendance compared with the whole number,
there is no doubt that much good was accomplished
by these schools. The pupils generally appeared to
appreciate the efforts made for their benefit, and
many of them made astonishing progress in their
studies. The schools for the present season of
1870-71 were established in the latter part of 'No-
vember — two for females and two for males; and
the attendance has thus far greatly exceeded that of
the year before.
These evening schools have already become a
part of our educational system, and as experience
is gained in their management, will, without doubt,
be more and more efficient.
In compliance with a law of the State, passed at
the session of the legislature of 1870, a school for
instruction in mechanical, or industrial drawing, has
been established under the direction of the Com-
mittee on Evening Schools. A meeting for organi-
zation was held on Friday evening, December l6th,
at the High School-house, at which 117 pupils above
the age of fifteen years presented themselves for ad-
mission; and it was found necessary to divide them
into two classes, each of which meets two evenings
a week in the High-School house. The present num-
ber of pupils is 188, there having been accessions
each evening that the school has been in session.
The committee have engaged the services of Mr.
Lucas Baker, who comes highly recommended for
his accomplishments as a teacher of drawing. It
may perhaps be necessary to establish a third class,
and it will undoubtedly become needful to engage
an assistant in this branch, as it is found that con-
siderable individual instruction is necessary for
The experience of other cities, as well as the lim-
ited experience in this city, leads the Board to believe
that this class of schools meets a decided want which
has existed in our Commonwealth, and will be pro-
ductive of the best results in all respects, though the
law requiring the establishment of such schools, no
doubt, contemplates its utilitarian, rather than its
[N^otwithstanding the many calls by the School
Committee upon the City Government, and the lib-
eral and generous responses thereto, there still
remains much to be done for better school accom-
modations. The present Harvard School building is
entirely inadequate to the wants of the district. It
is not large enough, by nearly one half, for the num-
ber of scholars, and was built originally without
proper regard to ventilation or yard conveniences.
The City Government have recently passed a vote
to buy a large lot of land a short distance only from
the present location. It is to be hoped that the work
thus begun will be continued, and that by the time
another annual report is published, a new and com-
modious building, commensurate with the needs and
standing of this school, will be ready for occupancy.
Aside from sanitary considerations, we need the re-
fining and elevating influences of good buildings and
accommodations. All the scholars in our schools
have hearts to be moved, and fancies to be wakened;
and it is during the period of youth, while the mind
is most susceptible, that every good influence possi-
ble should be brought to bear upon it.
Besides, the residents of this district have the
undoubted right to all the benefits possessed by
others in different parts of the city, where so much
has been done.
The Warren School, the Bunker Hill, the Prescott,
and the High School, have now all the accommoda-
tions and privileges we can reasonably ask for.
There only remain the Harvard and Winthrop schools
to be provided for with like generosity. The terri-
tory of the city is so small, and so almost entirely
built upon, that after these two schools are provided
for, it is not likely there will be any further call for
Grammar or High School buildings for a generation
or two to come, or until the "mill pond" is filled in
and completely built upon with dwelling houses.
The taking of the proposed lot on Bow street for
the Harvard Grammar School will necessitate tha
removal of the Primary School building now standing
upon it. It will therefore become necessary to pro-
vide accommodations for these four schools. Indeed,
there is now need for one or more school-rooms for
this district, and the Board would suggest that a new
primary school-house, to contain eight rooms, be built
on the lot of land in Richmond street, owned by the
city and now occupied by two wooden, primary school-
Increased primary school accommodations are also
needed in the vicinity of Polk and Medford streets;
and it has been found necessary to engage Harvard
Chapel for the accommodation of a large number of
surplus scholars in that vicinity. It has been sug-
gested that in the event of the erection of a new
building for the Winthrop School, it would be desir-
able to have it built upon the lot of land on Prospect
street, known as '^Rydal Mount"; and the present
building could be easily remodelled to accommodate
five or six primary schools.
It is also desired that better accommodations
should be furnished for the scholars attending the
primary schools in the two one-story wooden build-
ings on Medford street, both of which are small and
inconvenient, and one of which is wholly unfit, by its
location and surroundings, for the purpose for which
it has been used.
The subject of corporal punishment in school has
become a question of great importance in considering
the proper methods of discipline and instruction, and
it should receive the careful and candid consideration
of all interested in the maintenance and progress of
public schools. We read of a master in the olden
time " who would in winter whip his boys over for
no other purpose than to get himself a heat." Hap-
pily those times have long since passed away; but
unhappily they have left their trace behind.
The opinion of the School Committee of Charles-
town on this subject is expressed in the following
regulation : —
" The discipline in the schools shall be such as a
kind, judicious, and faithful parent would exercise in
his family, avoiding corporal punishment, especially
in the case of girls (and by corporal punishment is
understood all inflictions of bodily pain), in all cases
where good and wholesome restraint and discipline
can be secured by milder measures."
The committee require that a record shall be kept
of each case of corporal punishment, with the attend-^
ant circumstances, and a monthly report be made to
It will be observed that although the Committee do
not prohibit the use of corporal punishment, they re-
quire that it should be avoided as far as possible. In
other words, they authorize its use in certain cases,
but prohibit its abuse.
The Committee believe that the occasions for its
use are far more rare than the instances of its inflic-
tion. It is undoubtedly easier for the time, for an
incompetent teacher to dispose of a case of infraction,
or supposed infraction of the rules, by administering
two or three blows with a rattan, than by using that
form of discipline which " a kind, judicious, and faith-
ful parent would exercise in his family " ; but in many
cases the punishment works almost irreparable injury
to the child, and is subversive of good order and real
discipline in the school. It has generally been re-
marked by those who have carefully examined the
records of corporal punishment in our schools, that,
as a rule, the most incompetent teachers do the most
whipping; and it would seem that a teacher who is
unable to maintain good order without the excessive
use of the rod, should be replaced by one who can
secure "wholesome restraint and discipline" "by
milder measures. "
The Committee understand corporal punishment to
mean " all inflictions of bodily pain." But if the
monthly reports can be relied on, either the term is
understood differently by some of the teachers, or
else there has been no other form of punishment ad-
ministered in our schools.but the use of the rod, — as
there appears no record of pinching, shaking, slap-
ping, &c. Perhaps, however, some of these modes,
such as slapping on the head, might be more appro-
priately termed capital punishment. But in what-
ever sense the term may be understood, it remains as
the settled opinion of the Committee that all inflic-
tions of bodily pain should be avoided when consist-
ent with good order and discipline. By good order and
discipline the Committee would not be understood as
at all approving of that precise and tedious strictness
which is so detrimental to the proper relation be-
tween master and pupil, as also to the healthy and
hearty progress of the school in its studies. It is
absurd to require perfect uniformity in a class, thus
destroying all of the native imagination and force of
the individual scholar. All restraint not absolutely
needful, either to the mind or the body, should be
While the Committee would hesitate long before
expressing the opinion that corporal punishment
should be entirely abolished, they believe its abuse to
be far more detruuental than would be its abolition ;
and unless its administration be restricted to ex-
treme cases of insubordination, public opinion will
demand its prohibition by law.
But there are other forms of punishment as objec-
tionable as that of bodily pain. The Scriptures tell
us that a tongue can scourge. A taunting or sneer-
ing word may sting more than the tingling rattan,
and a teacher that is continually finding fault will
soon cause discouragement, and derangement of a
class of scholars, who, under judicious treatment,
might be zealous and studious.
The Committee are aware that much might be said
in excuse for a teacher in contracting the habit of
fretting, for it is frequently an unconscious habit;
they fully realize the strain to which a teacher's
patience is often subjected; but they nevertheless
desire to call the attention of teachers to the subject,
with the hope that the habit may be broken up, if
formed, or guarded against if not already contracted.
While speaking thus plainly and earnestly to
teachers, it is but just to say that, in some cases, at
least, parents are equally responsible for the exces-
sive use of the rod in our schools.
It will be seen that the Committee wish to restrict
its use to extreme cases of insubordination, and every
one conversant with our schools knows that those
cases rarely occur when the home inflaence is what
it should be.
A petulant or thoughtless word, reflecting upon
the teacher, in the presence of a child, is often the
cause of such insubordination, and renders the pun-
ishment necessary. If the pupil feels that the teacher
has the confidence of his parents, he is not apt to
place himself in an attitude of insubordination.
The Committee would not, by this, intimate that
parents should take no interest in the discipline of
the school, or submit to what they consider wrong
without complaint. On the contrary, they consider
it the duty of parents to manifest such an interest,
and afford such aid as will contribute essentially to
good order, and prevent the necessity of resorting to
harsh modes of discipline. In case of doubt of the
reasonableness of a school requirement, if the parent
will go to the teacher, and in the spirit of kindness,
make known his supposed grievance, such an inter-
view, in a vast majority of instances, will put the
teacher and the parent in harmony, and thus exert a
twofold influence on the pupil, — an influence that
will render punishment unnecessary.
111 conclusion, the Committee commend the report
of the Superintendent herewith submitted, for a more
detailed statement of the condition of the schools, and
for more comprehensive suggestions in relation to
"Respectfully submitted, on behalf of the Board.
WM. H. FINNEY,
GEO. W. GARDNER,
ABRAM E. CUTTER.
EEPOET or THE SUPEEINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS.
GeisttlemeI'I' : In conformity to the requirements
of your Rules and Orders, I present to you my first
Semi- Annual Report, — it being the eighth of the
Semi- Annual series of the Superintendent of Public
Schools in this city.
The following statistics will give a concise view of
our schools for the Term ending July 23, 1870. A
careful perusal will show their condition in point of
numbers, regularity of attendance, &c., and, perhaps,
while indicating existing evils, may suggest a remedy.
Number of children in Charlestown between five and fifteen years
of age, May 1,1870 6,081
Number of pupils in all the schools during the term ending
July 23, 1870, about 6,137
Number in High School 250
" Warren School 831
" Winthrop School 560
" Harvard School 447
" Prescott School 548
« Bunker Hill School 827
" Primary Schools •. 2,488
" Intermediate Schools 186
Average attendance in all the schools 4,582
" High School 224
" Warren School 681
" Winthrop School 450
" Harvard School 318
" Prescott School 448
« Bunker Hill School 638
" Intermediate Schools 106
" Primary " 1,717
Per centage of attendance in High School 95/jy
" " Warren Scliool 92-f
" " Winthrop School 92+
" " Harvard School 95-f
" " Prescott School 94
" " Bunker Hill School 94+
" " Intermediate Schools 79+
" " Primary Schools 85+
Number of pupils admitted to the Grammar Schools in
March, 1870 249
Number admitted to the Warren School 63
" " " Winthrop " 51
'' " " Harvard " 41
" " " Prescott " 34
" *' " Bunker Hill" 60
Number of graduates from the Grammar Schools, July
23d, 1870 146
Number of graduates from Warren 40
" " Winthrop 38
" " Harvard 9
" . " Prescott 35
" " Bunker Hill 24
Knowing that great efforts had been made by the
Board, and by my predecessor, to grade the schools
and to arrange a "course of study," I determined, in
entering upon the duties of my office, to make my-
self acquainted with the schools as at present organ-
ized, to compare them with those of other cities, and
to improve the methods of instruction and discipline
in them, rather than make hasty innovations in a
system which is the result of many years' experience.
I did not, indeed, feel that I was an entire stranger
to the schools of Charlestown. A pleasant remem-
brance of them, as they were twenty years ago, led
me to hope that I might find them in such a condi-
tion as to make my duties pleasant and profitable.
In this, I have not been disappointed ; for, though
the system is essentially the same, great improve-
ments have been made in grading, and a much great-
er degree of uniformity of attainments is secured to
pupils entering the Grammar and High Schools.
This is an important step. The pupils admitted
from different schools are able, at once, to advance
in the course prescribed, having had essentially the
same preparation in the schools from which they
There is, however, a limit to this uniformity, that
cannot be passed without interfering with the free-
dom of the teacher, and the individuality of the pu-
pils, — which must ever be respected in whatever
deserves the name of education.
There are two extremes to be equally avoided; on
the one hand, such a disregard of system as tends to
both mental and physical confusion, — and on the
other, a too rigid system of dogmatic instruction,
which checks and stifles all ingenuity in teachers and
pupils, reducing the school to a mere piece of mech-
anism, where everything goes like clock-work, and
with as little thought.
The true principle, I take to be that of nature, —
variety in uniformity. That which makes science
possible is uniformity. The naturalist finds certain
essential characteristics which determine the class;
yet within these limits, what endless variety is found.
^o two human faces are exactly alike, nor, indeed.
so nearly alike as not to be easily distinguishable.
"What a variety in trees, standing in the tables of the
naturalist in the same class.
Thus nature, while ever mindful of that uniformity
on which order is based, seems to delight in the
variety which makes all things beautiful; and the
naturalist and the artist are alike lovers of nature, —
the one for its uniformity, the other for its infinite
The same is true of character, — that which, as
teachers, we seek to develop.
There is a science of metaphysics based on essen-
tial elements, — on uniformity; but within this well-
defined sameness, and in perfect harmony with it, we
have all those various shades of character drawn by
a Shakspeare or a Dickens, or which we meet in act-
The characters of our friends are as distinctly
marked, and as plainly recognized by us as their faces
Let us, then, have in the school-room the greatest
freedom in methods of discipline and instruction con-
sistent with a general uniformity of attainment.
1^0 school committee can frame definite rules that
will secure a good school. A general course of study,
not too literally insisted on, may aid the best teachers
and stimulate the poorest; but it should be under-
stood that teachers are to secure the results indicated
in the " course," by their own ingenuity'-. Perhaps
it would be better in all cases to have a course,
or programme of subjects to be taught, independent
of text-books ; but whatever the programme, I would
have it interpreted with a freedom which would
render it so, in fact.
The text-book prescribed by the Committee, is the
only one the teacher can require the pupils to obtain.
But if he is able, from his own knowledge, or that
obtained from other authors, to improve on the text-
book prescribed, so much the better. It is not Kerl's
grammar or Greenleaf's arithmetic that we care for,
but English grammar and arithmetic; and these
books are prescribed as aids. If the teacher can fur-
nish or find better methods, as he doubtless can in
some respects, he shows himself to be a live teacher
by adopting them. The text-book should be used
by the teacher, not the teacher by the text-book.
However perfect our school system, it is but a life-
less mechanism without " the spirit of the living crea-
ture in the wheels."
In fact, the more perfect the system, the greater
the necessity of ingenuity in the teacher to prevent
settling into a formal routine, wearisome alike to
teacher and taught, and making our schools, not sem-
inaries, but cemeteries, of learning.
The object of our schools is not merely to impart
knowledge, but to quicken thought, to teach pupils
how to investigate. The process by which the pupil
arrives at a result is often more important than the
The pupil, if educated, in the proper sense of that
term, must be educated by his own activity, under
proper guidance and restraint. Hence, any system
which makes, or seeks to make, all the pupils alike,
regardless of personal idiosyncracies, is not an educa
tional institution, but a manufacturing establishment,
where "nature's journeymen make men," and, as in
Shakspeare's time, the men thus made " imitate hu-
manity most abominably. "
Here, then, is the point where the true teacher
shows himself. While the knowledge he imparts to
each is essentially the same, the methods he adopts
are as various as the capacities and dispositions of
It is not, I repeat, the amount of knowledge,
imparted in a given time, which determines the
character of the teaching. The cramming system is
no more conducive to mental vigor and health than
It cannot be denied, I think, that some of our
methods of examination tend to drive teachers to this
process of cramming. When the teacher's reputa-
tion depends wholly or chiefly on the ability of his
pupils to give a categorical answer to the questions ot
the text-book, or on the number of scholars he sends
to the High School, and the percentage of questions
answered, he is, in a manner, forced to adapt his
teaching to the examination they are to undergo.
Now, if the test questions involve the memorizing oi
unimportant dates, exact definitions in the words of
the author, or arbitrary rules, it is vain to urge the
teacher to be independent of the text-book.
Teaching follows the law of demand and supply as
truly as any article of merchandize. Teachers are
quick to notice the questions proposed by those in
authority oyer them, and their teaching is, to a great
extent, moulded by the character of those questions.
In visiting the schools, questioning the pupils, and
making suggestions to teachers, I have approved and*
encouraged every effort to go beyond the text-book,
to interest the pupils in the subjects taught, and thus
lead them to gain further information and illustration
from other sources.
' Our teachers, I am happy to say, have, with great
unanimity, expressed a decided preference for this
mode of teaching, and are disposed heartily to co-
operate in all endeavors to improve the methods of
instruction in our schools.
The whole number of pupils belonging to these
schools, on the 30th of June, was 2,082,- — an average
of about 55 pupils to a school. This, if the pupils
were equally distributed, would be a reasonable num-
ber; but, for evident reasons, they are not so distrib-
uted, and while some fall short of this number, others
are crowded. It will be remembered that the com-
mittee appointed by the Board to equalize them by
redistricting, after investigation reported, that it is
not redistricting, but more room, that is required;
and an order was passed requesting the City Gov-
ernment to furnish it.
This excess of pupils exists only in Districts I^o.
4 and Ko. 6. The six schools in ]S'o. 4, had, in
June, an aggregate of 430 pupils, — an average of
about 72 to a school. Taking the same data, the
establishment of two new schools in this district
would give 54 pupils to each school, and would
supply only the immediate wants of the district.
In District 'No. 6, the excess of pupils is chiefly in
the'lowest grade; No. 34 and No. 36, having an ag-
gregate of 142 pupils, — enough for three schools, —
while the erection of buildings in the district, con-
taing nearly thirty tenements not yet occupied, indi-
cates a large accession to the Primary Schools.
The condition of our Primary Schools, in respect
of discipline and instruction, is, as a whole, satisfac-
tory, and compares favorably with schools of a sim-
ilar grade in most cities and towns in this vicinity.
What is here stated,, however, of the whole, col-
lectively, cannot be said of each school, individually.
We have some excellent schools, and others that
are not all that could be desired, nor that we have a
right to expect. If this difference could in all cases
be accounted for by the difference in numbers or ac-
commodations, it might be easily remedied, and would
furnish an additional argument for good accommoda-
tions and limited numbers. Unfortunately, however,
our smallest and best accommodated schools are not
uniformly the best, nor are our largest the poorest.
This statement is not made as an argument in favor
of large schools or poor school-houses, but to show
that it is the teacher more than anything else that
determines the character of a school. .
Hence the necessity of great care in the selection
of teachers. Our salaries are such, that we can com-
mand the services of teachers who have had some
experience; and as that is the only sure test, I be-
lieve justice to our schools requires that v^e should
ignore all individual claims unless backed by a suc-
The idea that almost any one can keep a Primary
School has gone by.
The requirements are, in all respects, fully equal
to those in the lower grades of the Grammar Schools,
and in some respects, greater. The Grammar School
assistant may, at any time, appeal to the principal,
in matters of instruction or discipline, while the
teacher of a Primary School has no such appeal.
It may also be laid down as a general principle,
that the younger the pupils, the greater will be the
call on the teacher for ingenuity in imparting in-
DISTRIBUTION OF TEVIE IN" THE PRIMARY SCHOOLS.
It has been my object so to distribute the time de-
voted to the various exercises, as to secure to each a
recognition of its relative importance, as compared
Primary teachers have frequently told me that it
was not possible to give so much time to reading as
is desirable, on account of the number of studies re-
quired, each of which was marked on a scale of ten,
in the examination for promotion to the Grammar
I think there are some grounds for this complaint.
We certainly require more in Arithmetic than is
required in any other city with whose schools I am
acquainted. In Boston, Cambridge, &c., no written
Arithmetic is required for promotion to the Grammar
Schools, while we require a knowledge of the pro-
cesses of Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplication.
Without, however, excluding these from the course
of study, I have advised teachers to practise only the
simplest examples, and urged that special attention
should be given to Reading, Spelling, and the Tables,
and have made them tell more on promotion.
Printing, writing, drawing, &;c., in these schools,
I regard chiefly as aids in discipline, and in reading
Physical exercises, and singing, take but little
time, and are excellent safety-valves for the exuber-
ant nervous energy of childhood. But none of these
are to be regarded as, in any sense, the i^ivals of
Reading, Spelling, and the Tables in Arithmetic.
Of this grade we have two schools ; the number
of pupils in them in June was 147. ISTo. 1 has re-
spectable accommodations; but the room occupied by
'^o. 2 is quite too small for the school. K^or would
a more commodious room remedy the evils arising
from an excess of pupils in the Intermediate Schools.
The grading in these schools is necessarily much
less perfect than in our Primary Schools, the material
poorer and less tractable, and the requirements such
as to call for more personal attention and instruction.
Such being the case, it seems to me that the number
of pupils should be considerably less than in a Pri-
When onr Grammar School accommodations will
allow it, I think there should, be* a room in each
building assigned to this intermediate grade, giving
the pupils the benefit of a master's discipline.
The condition of our Intermediate Schools with re-
gard to discipline and instruction is much better than
we are entitled to expect; and, notwithstanding the
difficulties under which they have labored, our inter-
mediate teachers have proved that a good teacher can
make a good school in the face of great obstacles.
The buildings occupied by these schools remain the
same as they were last year, except that they are one
What was then said of the Harvard and Winthrop.
school-houses, is true now, and may be said with
It was found necessary, on account of the crowded
condition of some of these schools, to change the
boundaries of the districts. This, of course, gave
great dissatisfaction to many of the pupils, who were
obliged to leave teachers and classmates to whom
they had become strongly attached.
The Committee will recollect that they were flooded
with petitions to remain, and the startling fact was
revealed, that a large percentage of our Grammar
School pupils — if we take the number transferred
as reliable data — were invalids.
This change, occurring in the middle of a term,
interfered sensibly with the regular progress of the
schools; for, grade as we may, and prepare as defi-
nitely as we can the " course of study," there will be
a difference in the administration of the several
schools. Though they may reach certain objective
points, at the same time there is, and must be, if the
teachers are what they should be, a marked difference
in the ways and means by which they havfe accom-
plished the same end.
But however great the evils resulting from these
changes, they are liable to occur frequently so long
as our Grammar school-houses remain in their pres-
ent condition. The last change was made to relieve
the Harvard and Winthrop schools, by utilizing some
seats temporarily vacant in the Bunker Hill school-
house, ^liere are already indications that the Bun-
ker Hill school will need relief in March, that can
only be obtained by restoring essentially the old limits
to the district. But whatever inconveniences and
hardships have resulted or may result from these
changes, it should be understood by our community,
in justice to the School Committee, that they are in
no way responsible for them. They have not failed to
make known the wants of the schools, and have pro-
vided the best accommodations their means would
allow, with the least possible change in the district
"With the exception of the interruption caused by
re-districting, our Grammar Schools have suffered
during the term only the occasional inconvenience of
a change in assistant teachers.
The principals of these schools are all gentlemen
of experience, who, I believe, merit and possess the
confidence of the Committee and the community.
The presence of a head-assistant in the room with
the principal, affords him an opportunity to bring
himself into more immediate relation with all the pu-
pils, and 'to advise with subordinate teachers of less
The beneficial results of this arrangement are seen
in comparing our own schools, in regard to discipline
and instruction, with schools of similar size where it
does not exist, and where the supervision by the
principal is necessarily much less perfect.
The methods of instruction in our Grammar Schools,
though not in all cases up to our ideal, are, I believe,
fully equal to those of the best schools in the Com-
monwealth. They are not, of course, equally good
in all the schools. There is a tendency, in all pro-
fessions, to fall into routine, and the teacher is not
exempt from this liability.
I might, however, give many instances of improved
methods in our schools, which promise, and are
already giving better results. An exercise in com-
position, in one of our schools, written in my pres-
ence, and upon a subject named by me, gave better
evidence of the pupils' proficiency in English gram-
mar, — "the art of speaking and writing the English
language correctly," — than could possibly be ob-
tained by hearing them analyze and parse what
somebody else wrote.
Our Grammar Schools constitute what may be
called the " popular branch " of our public schools.
A large majority of the pupils who enter them from
the primary schools, finish their school education in
them, — in many cases not even completing the pre-
It seems desirable, then, that in these schools, all
the branches required in ordinary business should be
taught in a practical manner, and if possible, a gen-
eral interest awakened in some department of litera-
ture, history, or science, which will induce our
children, after leaving school, to make good use of
our public library.
For this latter object, our "course of study" makes
but imperfect provision. Yet some of our teachers,
perhaps all in greater or less degree, by familiar lec-
tures, or conversations on interesting and important
subjects not in the regular course, are sowing this
seed broadcast, some of which cannot fail to fall into
good ground; and whoever suceeds in awakening
this interest in his pupils is more than a teacher, he is
an educator. He not only gives us good specimens
of fruit, but plants and cultivates the tree that bears
COURSE OF STUDIES.
The course of studies which has been, with some
few exceptions, a growth in our ]Srew England
schools, embracing what is now required by law to
be taught in every town, has been adopted, essen-
tially, as the course of our Primary and Grammar
Schools. It includes "orthography, reading, writ-
ing, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, the
history of the United Sates, and good behavior."
This course is the result of a long and comprehen-
This fact alone is sufficient reason for caution in
disturbing it. A wise conservatism, while not allow-
ing itself to be made a slave to the past, will be
careful not to mistake mere innovation for improve-
ment; but will adhere to what commends itself to
the reason, all the more tenaciously if it has stood
the test of experience. But, while believing in a wise
conservatism, let us not fall into the error of sup-
posing that we have arrived at perfection, nor enter-
tain so poor an opinion of ourselves as to think that
we can make no improvement on the past.
Have we developed all the latent power in our
time-honored curriculum? and does not the progress
of society in the sciences and the arts, in their appli-
cation to business, require that something be added to
the list? I propose to consider these two questions
at some length.
Orthography is first named, perhaps because re-
garded as of the first importance, and the most
It runs through our whole course in the Primary
and Grammar Schools; and even then, such is the
irregularity of our composite language, that the eye
is not unfrequently pained by bad spelling. There
are certain principles of orthography which, if
taught, would prevent mistakes that often occur in
several classes of words in very common use. But
I suppose we must depend mainly on practice, in this
branch, as we have heretofore done. There is a ques-
tion among teachers of the extent to which the
spelling-book should be used, and the class of words
which should occupy the chief attention of the pupil.
My own opinion is, that while a spelling book
with words well classified may assist pupils in recog-
nizing the genei-al principles already alluded to, a
large part of the practice in spelling should be upon
words which the pupils are in the habit of using in
conversation,- or meeting with in their reading.
The orthography of words of whose meaning and
use they have no conception, will hardly be retained
for a long time, but may be easily acquired when
such words become a part of their vocabulary.
Reading stands next in the course, — an art in
itself sufficiently wonderful, if its commonness had
not made us insensible to its value.
But reading gives us a more or less perfect tran-
script of the writer's mind, according to the degree
of perfection to which the art is carried.
A merely tolerable reader will obtain the main
ideas of a writer, especially where the understand-
ing alone is addressed. But in all that constitutes
our best literature, in poetry, and in the choicest
specimens of prose, it is only a cultivated ear and a
well-trained voice, that can bring out the aesthetic el-
ement, the sentiment, and feeling, — and, atthe same
time, intimate the mental mood of the writer or
speaker. In proof of tliis, I might confidently ap-
peal to any one who has heard familiar pieces read
by experts in such a manner as to invest them with
beauties, which, with their own reading, they had
never discovered. We pay the price of an ordinary
volume to hear a good elocutionist read a few selec-
tions from Hood, Dickens, and Shakspeare, when we
have the books containing those selections unread
upon the shelves of our own library ; or, if not un-
read, yet read with greater interest after paying a
good reader for breathing into them a living soul.
It has seemed to me that we fail in our schools, to
make this exercise what it might be made.
Of all the branches taught in our Grammar Schools,
this appeals to the greatest number of faculties.
Apart, then, from its own value as an art, it is, per-
haps, of greater educational value than any other
school exercise. It calls, if rightly taught, more fac-
ulties into play than any other. Nothing but a per-
fect understanding of the author's meaning can secure
correct emphasis, force, rate, and inflection. The
sentiment, if appreciated, will manifest itself in the
quality and modulations of the voice.
As a means of general culture, it has no rival. It
opens to the pupils the richest treasures of thought
and sentiment on all conceivable subjects. A teacher
who has command of a good elocution, can give, by
reading, a more subtile analysis of a choice specimen
of prose, or a beautiful poem, than can be imparted in
any other way.
But, to make the reading exercise what is here
claimed for it, every teacher should not only be a good
reader, but should understand the principles of elocu-
tion. It may not be necessary to teach those princi-
ples abstractly, or to say anything of the technical
terms employed in the art; but the teacher should be
so possessed with those principles that they will be
unconsciously recognized by him in all his teaching;
and he should be able at all times to give a reason
for the emphasis, quality of tone, the rate, pitch, &c.,
with which he reads a passage. No one would be
considered qualified to teach music because he sang
or played well by rote, if he knew nothing of the sci-
ence of music; nor should one undertake to teach
reading without making himself acquainted with the
'priiici'ples of elocution.
Much of the early instruction in this branch is neces-
sarily mechanical and imitative. The ear must be
cultivated to an appreciation of all the elements of
ex]3ression, and the voice to their utterance.
When this is done, by systematic practice in artic-
ulation, inflection, stress, &c., in the lower classes, it
is not too much to expect that, in the higher classes,
the reading exercise may be made to convey much
information on important subjects, to create and
strengthen a literary taste, — in short, to become an
efficient means of general culture.
Writing has received much attention in our
schools recently, and though, perhaps, of less educa-
tional value than some others, is still of great prac-
This, as a mechanical exercise, is carried to a great
degree of perfection in our Grammar Schools. Of
the special merits of particular systems, I am not pre-
pared to speak. They all, doubtless, have their excel-
lences, and are all valuable in educating the powers
of exact observation, and training the hand to the
execution of exact forms.
Grammar, too, is found among the recognized stud-
ies in all our New England schools, a\id has even
given the name to what is perhaps considered the
most important grade of schools.
And yet, it may be doubted, whether, as generally
taught, it is of much practical value. If it is merely
a critical art, designed to enable one to detect errors
in what somebody else has written, perhaps the com-
mon mode of teaching it is as good as any. But if,
as the books say, it is " the art of speaking and writ-
ing correctly," then, committing the text-book to
memory, and learning to analyze and parse, and cor-
rect false syntax, do not teach the art.
In teaching any art, three things are required, — a
knowledge of principles, an examination of models,
and systematic and abundant practice. A text-book,
in the hands of a judicious teacher, may assist in
teaching a knowledge of principles.
Analysis and parsing — or the examination of
models — will show the application of these princi-
pies; but systematic and abundant practice alone
will secure the power of "speaking and writing cor-
rectly. " The groat error that we have committed in
teaching grammar is, undervaluing, or wholly omit-
ting, practice in writing.
What 2)roportion of the time now allotted to gram-
mar in our schools, is spent in composition? I think,
at least, half the time might be devoted to it without
detriment to the exercise in analysis and parsing.
How does the carpenter learn his trade? ]!^ot simply
by studying the working plan of the architect, and
cominitting to memory the names of the several parts,
and the manner in which they are put together. He
must do what he wishes to learn. " Ye shall Icnow of
the doctrine," says the great Teacher, " if ye c?o," &c.
This is true in all things. We learn to read by read-
ing; to sing by singing; to paint by using the brush.
We learn a trade by working at it, of course under
proper guidance, and subject to criticism, — that
what is done poorly at first, may be improved upon.
We laugh at the folly of the man who resolved never
to go into the water till he had learned to swim.
Let us beware lest
" Like that strange missile that the Australian throws,
Our verbal boomerang slaps us on tlie nose."
Geography seems to me to have usurped more time
in our schools than properly belongs to it.
We attempt to teach more facts than can be re-
tained in the memory, and more than would be of any
value if they were remembered.
The most accurate knowledge of the form of a
country, and one which will be the most deeply im-
pressed on the memory, is best obtained by drawing
it; and the location of the mountains and great
rivers will best indicate the character of the surface.
If any one wishes to test the value of draioing the
form, as compared with seeing it, in order to get an
accurate idea of it, let him ask a dozen adults, who
have been able to read for years, to make the printed
letters of the alphabet, and, ten to one, less than half
the number will be able to do it. Such, at least, has
been the experience of those who have taught at
the Teachers' Institutes.
With regard to topical geography, it seems proper
that we should have a fuller knowledge of our own
State and country than of others.
The descriptive part of our school geographies, if
read with a constant reference to the outline map,
and accompanied by such interesting remarks as the
teacher may be able to offer, will make a deeper im-
pression, and be longer remembered than if commit-
ted to memory, verbatim, as a task. But it may be
said, that many teachers are not competent to teach
in this way ; that their knowledge of geography is
almost wholly derived from the text-book. If this
is the case, the remedy is at hand. It is that the
teacher should study the lesson; not exclusively from
the text-book, but from a gazetteer, or some other
work, and learn some interesting fact in regard to
every important place mentioned, — something with
reference to the occupation of its inhabitants, some
curiosity it contains, or interesting historical event
connected ■ with it. It becomes then more than a
little circle on the maj:* ; it is a place aronnd which
some hnman interest clnsters, and concerning which
there is an interest to know more.
The location of places will neither be learned with
interest nor retained in the memory, unless held by
association with some interesting event or historical
fact. And this suggests the value of some historical
reading in connection with geography; the pupil, of
course, having his atlas before, him and looking out
every place of importance mentioned in the history.
In this way, I believe, more valuable geographical
knowledge would be obtained in the time now de-
voted to that study, with the additional advantage of
having acquired such a knowledge of the history of
some of the most interesting countries as would
stimulate many to more extensive reading. The
mathematical geography taught in our Grammar
Schools will, of course, be reserved for the higher
classes, who can best understand it.
Arithmetic is justly regarded as one of the most
practical of school studies, and I think it one of the
best taught. Undoubtedly there are faults, in some
instances, in teaching this branch. But the errors
which exist in our modes of teaching grammar are
avoided to a great extent, by the fact that most of the
pupils' time is occupied in the solution of problems.
That is what they wished to learn, and, as already
said, the way to learn it is to do it.
It is perhaps due to the labors of Warren Colburn
that arithmetic has been taught better than anything
else. I am not sure that there is not a tendency, ?it
the present time, to work more by rwZe and less by
analysis, than Colburn would approve. If such ten-
dency exists, I doubt yqyj much whether it is in the
The history of the United States is also a study
required by statute; and I should be glad to give the
subject of general history a p]ace in our Grammar
schools, while we make it more prominent in our
High School. That it has not held a more important
place in all our I^ew England schools is probably
owing to the fact, that it has been poorly taught.
The text-books have bristled with unimportant dates,
and facts uninteresting to children, who have been
required to commit to memory whole pages of them
which could be retained only just long enough to
answer the requirements of the recitation. The great
object of the study of history — creating a desire
to know more — is thus defeated.
It is but recently that such works as Dickens'
Child's History of England have revealed to the
young the romance of history, and shown them that
truth may be not only " stranger than fiction," but
Drawing has pushed its way into the course of
The instinct^ of childhood, which could not be
whipped out, impelling- the pupil to make pictures on
his slate, came gradually to be " endured,'' perhaps
not without a touch of pity, and is finally "em-
braced." Is this the insidious approach of vice, or,
is it not rather a proof that the instincts of childhood
may be wiser than the mature judgment of manhood?
Is it not possible that some other restless activity
of youth, which now subjects the offender to punish-
ment, may hereafter be found to be in the same cate-
gory? " Take heed that ye offend not one of these
Such being the history of the introduction of this
branch into the regular course, it would not be
strange if it were found that many of our teachers are
but poorly qualified to give instruction in it. I will,
therefore, suggest that it might be well in this respect
to follow in the footsteps of Boston and some other
cities, and employ, at least temporarily, a competent
teacher in this department, to exercise a general
supervision in all our schools.
The last, but not least, of the requirements of the
statutes is, that "instruction be given in good be-
havior." "We have no text-book in our schools
intended exclusively to teach " good behavior " ; nor
is there an hour specially set apart for recitation in
it. JJsTor is it necessary. It would be as absurd to
think of teaching good behavior in that way as to
teach to "speak and write correctly," simply by
teaching to parse.
There are, however, opportunities constantly occur-
ring for teaching good behavior. Perhaps, in some
instances, teachers are liable to limit the phrase too
much, and think of it chiefly or wholly as referring
to behavior in the school-room. This, of course, is
part of it, but by no means the whole, nor the most
important, except as it is made to extend its influence
over the whole.
It is at this point that we touch what is called the
" order " or " discipline " of a school, and the question
is, how we can secure this, and at the same time make
it contribute to "good behavior " everywhere, and at
Mere quiet or stillness in a school is not neces-
sarily good order. If secured by harsh and objec-
tionable means, — if the pupil is subjected to constant
constraint, the very stillness becomes subversive of
good order. There are so many hidden springs coiled
in children, that nature will vindicate her claims,
even in the face of severity.
How, then, shall the teacher proceed to secure
good order, and to teach " good behavior " ? In the
first place, let him ^^resi^me all scholars to be well-
disposed. To be suspected of wrong-doing is dan-
gerously near to being guilty of doing wrong.
Let the teacher frequently, and good-naturedly,
speak of the necessity of good order to the comfort
and well-being of the pupils, showing that disorder
is an offence not only against him, but each other.
Kothing but the spirit that hopeth all things can
secure order, in its best sense. The teacher must
not only be just and firm, but magnanimous and
Then, again, there will be no good order without
"Satan finds some mischief still,
For idle hands to do."
Keep the scholars at work, and relieve the tedium
by frequent changes. Change is rest.
Try every means of interesting the pupils before
resorting to punishment. But punishment will some-
times be necessary? Undoubtedly. But let it be
after all the means of persuasion which a fertile brain
and a kind heart can suggest, have failed, — and
then let it be inflicted more in sorrow than in anger.
In the minor modes of punishment, as stopping
after school, etc., it is not always the greater length
of time that is most effective. Five minutes is often
as good as half or three quarters of an hour. If the
penalty for tardiness is to pay double the time after
school, the pupil soon finds it a bad bargain to pay
ten minutes for five, and there is an inducement for
him to get into school as soon as possible even if he
For graver offences, but those which do not affect
the quiet of the school-room, as falsehood, etc., it is
doubtful whether severity is the best remedy. The
natural penalty for falsehood is loss of confidence.
Let the teacher impress this on the mind of the
pupil, and show him, in all kindness, the only method
by which he may regain his lost confidence. I do
not say that this will cure all tendencies to falsehood.
Neither will the rod. But I do say it is not by what
the pupil deserves, but by what will probably be for
his good and. that of the school, that we should
regulate our punishments. Isabella's words to An-
gelo, when pleading for the life of her brother, whom
she admits to have been justly condemned, may well
be addressed to every one entrusted with a " brief
authority " in the school-room.
" How would you be,
If He which is the top of judgment,
Should but judge you as you are ?
Oh, think on that, and mercy then
Will breathe within your lips
Like man new made."
EXAMINATIONS FOR PEOMOTION TO THE HIGH SCHOOL.
The graduates of our Grammar Schools — if the
Committee have done their duty — have passed all
the examinations in that grade, and the report of the
condition of the several schools and of the faithful-
ness and success of the teachers is made from data
obtained by those examinations.
The object of our examination for promotion to
the High School, is to ascertain whether the pupil
can join the class with profit to himself, and without
detriment to the school. There are certain studies
in which each lesson depends on principles devel-
oped in a preceding lesson, like arithmetic, where
it is necessary that the pupils shall have done essen-
tially the same work. But in geography and history,
grammar and spelling, uniformity of attainment is
much less important.
There are many pupils in our Grammar Schools,
whose primary training (in the country perhaps)
was imperfect, and who may fail to get the required
percentage for admission to the High School; but
whose habits of thought and study, — in a word,
whose mental discipline is such that they would have
no difl&culty in taking a prominent position in the
class, if admitted.
I am informed by the principal of our High School
that candidates who have failed to obtain the required
percentage, but have been admitted by the Com-
mittee on the High School, upon obtaining " satisfac-
tory evidence of their good conduct and ability to
sustain themselves," have almost uniformly taken a
respectable rank, and not unfrequently a high rank.
At Westfield, also, where a " School of Observation,"
as it is termed, under the supervision of the principal
of the I^ormal School, occupies the position of a
Grammar School, the pupils uniformly enter the High
School on a lower percentage than from the other
Grammar Schools, but they as uniformly are found
among the first scholars in the upper classes of the
High School. This is due, undoubtedly, to the fact
that the instruction in the " School of Observation,"
as its name indicates, is broader than in the
Grammar Schools, tending to develop and educate
rather than to cram for the High School; and it
suggests that the rank of pupils in the advanced
classes of the High School is a. better test of the
quality of the instruction in the Grammar Schools
than the number and percentage of those who enter.
In view of these facts, and the difficulty of deter-
mining by a single written examination, the exact
scholarship and capacity of pupils, it seems to me
that this examination should be regarded as but
one element, and that the same consideration of the
Committee on the High School which is now
given to those who fail, should be given to all the
During the term ending July 23d, this school was
separated into three parts, — its sessions being held
in three places, viz.: about one hundred of the junior
class in Harvard Hall, with Mr. Littlefield and Miss
Downesj the second middle class with Mr. Adams
and Miss Coombs, in City Hall; and the first middle
and senior classes, and about twenty of the juniors,
with Mr. Emery, Miss Whitney and Miss Chamber-
lain, in Seminary Hall.
This separation of the school was, of course, at-
tended with some disadvantages, especially in regard
to supervision and general exercises ; but most of the
classes accomplished the requirements of the pre-
scribed course, and made good proficiency in all their
The monthly written examinations of all the classes,
conducted by their respective teachers, and the oral
examinations by the Superintendent, and by the prin-
cipal as often as other duties would allow, indicated
a satisfactory degree of ability, faithfulness, and
thoroughness on the part of the teachers, — with a
single exception, — and a corresponding interest and
progress on the part of the joupils generally.
In consequence of the disintegrated condition of
the school, and the want of a suitable place for a
public exhibition, the usual graduating exercises
The class, however, met in the Seminary Hall, with
a few of their friends, where they received their di-
plomas from the acting chairman of the High School
Committee, and were addressed by the Superinten-
The graduating class consisted of twenty-nine
members, — eight boys and twenty-one girls, — being
46 per cent of its original number.
Of the four boys of the college class, three entered
Harvard, and one, Middletown, Conn., all honorably
admitted; two, with unimportant conditions, and
The changes in the course of study, and the organ-
ization of the High School, which, it is confidently
believed, will render it more efficient as a preparation,
and a means of culture for those who are to enter
upon active business pursuits, although begun during
the term of which this is a report, were not com-
pleted, and will more properly receive attention in
the next report, when we shall be able to speak of
the practical working of the system inaugurated.
With many thanks to you, gentlemen, for the kind
consideration I have received at your hands, and the
aid afforded me in the discharge of duties new to me,
and therefore, perhaps, imperfectly understood, this
Report is respectfully submitted.
B. F. TWEED,
Superintendent of Public Schools.
ORDER OF EXERCISES,
D E D I C A T I N
HIGH SCHOOL HOUSE,
i:)ii;c"£:]viBii;R i-i, isro.
1. KEADING- Selections from the Scriptures, Rev. C. E. Gbinnell.
2. PRAYEK, Rev. H. VV. Wakken.
M U IS I C.
3. STATEMENT by OKoutiE B. Neal, Ew(^, Cliairnijui of Committee on City
Property, on passing tlie Keys to the Mayor, Chairman ex-otticio of
the School Committee.
4. ADDRESS of his Honor, Mayor Kext, on receiving the Keys and jiassin^
them to tlie Chairman of the Higli School Committee.
5. ADDRESS of Rev. Dr. Gardner, Chairman of the High School Committee
on receiving the Keys and passing them to the Principal of the High
0. ADDRKSS by Calkb K.mkuy, Esq., Priiicipiil of tlio High Sclioul, on iccciviiig
7. DEDICATION ODK, l>y A. E. (JUTTKlt.
There, valor's inonuiueutiil pile,
Here, Aciideiiiie Hall ;
Fit structures for historic hill,
And worthy coronal.
Where swarthy Mars roU'd his black cloud,
Aud lighted it with tlame,
Sweet peace is found, and teiuple raised
To luild Minerva's name.
There, a& at Freedom's holy shrine,
lie pilgrim homage paid ;
Here, scholars scan the classic line,
TliB lofty Iliad.
For meet it is, in sciiolar's niiiid,
Call it not base alloy.
To mingle thouglits of Bunker Hdl
With Homer's Siege of Troy.
Then side by side thus proudly stand ;
Due honor give each one ;
This, dedicate to life's great aim,
And that, to great deeds dune.
«. SHORT ADDRESSES by the Superintendent and others.
M U b I C .
DEDICATIOiN OF THE HIGH SCIIOOL-IIOUSE.
This elegant and commodious building was dedi-
cated by appropriate exercises on the 14:tli of De-
The services were introduced by a hymn, sung by
the pupils of the High School, under the direction
of J. M. Mason, Esq., teacher of music in the Pub-
lic Schools. Selections from the Scriptures were
read by the Rey. Addison Parker. Prayer was
offered by the Pey. H. "W. "Warren.
Geo. B. l^eal, Esq., Chairman of Committee on
City property, on passing the keys to the Mayor,
made the foUowino: statement: —
Mr. Mayor ^ and Ladies and Gentlemen :
It is my agreeable duty, in behalf of the Commit-
tee on Public Property, under whose supervision this
building for the use of the Charlestown High School
has been erected and furnished, to announce to you
the completion of this noble work, and that we are
ready to surrender to the School Committee this
commodious and beautiful edifice, completely fit-
ted up and furnished, to be by them devoted to the
purposes for which it has been designed.
But before doing so, I will make the following
statement, which I trust will be of interest to you
all. The area of the lot of land on which the orig-
inal building, stood and upon which a portion of the
present structure now stands, is 8,332 square feet,
and was purchased by the city Aug. 2, 1847, for the
sum of $6,338, or at a cost of about 75 cents pei^
square foot. The corner-stone was laid with appro-
priate ceremonies, Oct. 7, 1847, and the building
dedicated on the 17th day of the month of June
following, both under the direction of our first Mayor,
the Hon. G. Washington "Warren, who had been one
of the most earnest and active friends and promoters
of the then new enterprise of establishing a High
School in our city. The cost of the building was
somewhat less than $20,000, so that the whole outlay,
including the cost of land, was only about $26,000.
The accommodations thus afforded were for a long
time considered amply sufficient for the school; but
as the city increased in population, and in conse-
quence, the number of pupils attending the school
became larger and larger from year to year, the de-
mand for a more commodious building became more
and more pressing. Great changes and improve-
ments in school architecture had been made in the
meanwhile, so that, at the end of twenty years from
the time of its erection, the building was generally
admitted to be decidedly behind the age.
In fact, it became at length so crowded with schol-
ars, owing to the large numbers promoted from the
Grammar Schools, that it was found absolutely nee-
essary to transfer a portion of the pilpils to the upper
rooms in the City Plall.
The City Council at last decided to take measures
to remedy the difficulty, and accordingly they au-
thorized the purchase of a lot of land adjoining the
original one, on the southerly side. The area of this
lot is 3,882 square feet, and cost at about |2.12i- per
foot, $8,250. Several plans for a new building, or for
an enlargement of the original structure, were pro-
posed; but finally it was decided to remodel the old
building and to add to it on the southerly side, a
very large and entirely new wing. The plans and
specifications for the same were prepared and fur-
nished by Mr. S. J. F. Thayer, of Boston, a skilful
and successful architect, under whose personal super-
intendence the work of enlargement and alteration
has been done.
The principal contractor for this work was Mr.
Amos Brown, a well-known carpenter and builder of
our city. The principal sub-contractors were as fol-
lows : —
For Masonry Robert R. Wiley.
Plaster Work Chas. P. Brooks.
Painting and .Glazing Horatio G. Waldron.
Stone Work J. F. & F. L. Gilman.
Iron Work Cook, Rymes & Co.
Gas Fitting and Plumbing F. A. Titus,
Steam Heating Apparatus Geo. W. Walker & Co.
The elegant and tasteful cases for books, minerals,
philosophical and chemical apparatus, and several of
the teachers' desks, were manufactured and furnished
by Wassenius & Whittle, the settees by W. O. Has-
kell & Son, and the new desks and chairs for the
pupils, by Joseph L. Ross. The furniture which was
taken from the old building, haying been fitted up
for use in the new, as far as practicable, the entire
outlay for new furniture did not exceed $5,500. To
sum up the whole, the present structure, with its con-
tents and the land upon which it stands, has cost the
city about $87,000, not including the furniture from
the old school-house just referred to ; but if we in-
clude that, the estimated value of the whole estab-
lishment may safely be fixed at $90,000. Desks and
chairs have been arranged in the three principal
school-rooms for 300 pupils; but whenever it may
become necessary, further accommodations for 175
more pupils, can be provided in the spacious recita-
Fears for the safety of the former building, through
supposed defects in its construction, having often been
entertained, (and I must confess that those fears
were not wholly groundless), great pains have
been taken to make the present structure per-
fectly safe ; and to that end, intermediate and cross
walls and solid masonry have been built up from the
ground to the upper flooring; the walls have been
firmly bound together by cross-ties of iron, and
massive iron girders resting on brickwork have been
placed in the floors. I can therefore with confidence
assure you that no fears need be entertained for a
moment, that the floors or the walls will settle or
yield in the least, however crowded with people the
building may be at any time.
I think it entirely unnecessary for me at this time
to enter into any description of this building or its
ajDpointments, or to speak in justly-merited terms of
commendation of the very excellent workmanship
therein displayed, or of the skill and taste of the
architect, as shown in its design and general ar-
rangement, for immediately after the close of these
dedication services, the whole building will be thrown
open to your inspection, and you will be able to see
and judge for yourselves. I think, however, that you
will agree with me in the opinion that this struc-
ture, with its furniture, in workmanship, design, and
finish, is not excelled by any of the kind in this
And now, Mr. Mayor, in placing in your hands
these keys, and thus transferring the charge of this
temple of learning, with all its appointments, to the
Board of School Committee which you represent, let
me congratulate you and all here present upon the
successful completion of this good work, which re-
flects great credit upon those who have been directly
employed in its construction, and stands a real orna-
ment and honor to the city in which it is located.
May thousands of our youth of both sexes hereafter
go forth from its spacious halls to take their respective
parts in the business and active duties of life, well
fitted by the discipline and instruction here received,
to occupy with honor and credit stations of distinc-
tion and high trust in the community, to fill accept-
ably the more humble positions in life, or to improve
and adorn the domestic circle. May no fire or any
other casualty occur to mar or destroy this noble
structure, but may it stand, for many long years to
come, an enduring evidence of the wise forethought
and liberality of our City Government in the cause of
popular education; and if in . the distant future it
must no longer exist, let it pass away only when it
has fully accomplished all the-high and holy purposes
for which it was erected.
His Honor Mayor Kent, on receiving the keys
and passing them to the Chairman of the High
School Committee, spoke as follows : —
Mr. Chairman of Committee on City Property :
It is my duty perhaps, at least my privilege,
to receive from you the keys of this completed
building. I feel it no more than just, representing
the government at this time, to add a proper appre-
ciation and commendation of, and for, the zeal,
faithfulness, and ability displayed by you and your
committee, and the contractors under you, in the
prosecution of the work. I believe the building is
conceded to be nearly perfect in its details and ap-
pointments — at least to-day. What may be demand-
ed to-morrow, in this rapid age of improvement, I
cannot say. But at the present speaking, I believe it
satisfies all. It needs no comments from me; it
speaks for itself. And now, Mr. Chairman of the
High School Committee, to you, in my turn, I trans-
fer it. I have the honor to-day to represent, as I may
be able, those whose duty it is to build and equip
school-houses. You, if you please, represent those
whose duty it is to apply them to their proper use.
The city of Charlestown has been liberal in its appro-
priations for education. It is becoming in a commu-
nity to be thus liberal, that believes in morality and
education as the corner and foundation stones of all
civil law and order, — of all progress, social and intel-
lectual. As a consequence of this liberality, our
schools rank high with those of our sister cities in
the Commonwealth. I trust that with the increase of
the means and appliances of knowledge, there may
come an increased degree of responsibility on the
part of those more immediately entrusted with the
education of the children.
A little child (so runs an allegory I have some-
where read) seated at his father's door, and gazing
at a neighboring hill bounded by the blue horizon,
became suddenly inspired with the idea of reaching
that shining belt of azure. With infinite toil and
trouble he gained the summit, when lo! another
eminence and a new horizon, and the object of his
desire as far off as ever. Nothing daunted or dis-
heartened he pressed on, pressed on, until his child-
ish desire became a manly faith; until, having met
with all the disappointments and trials of mortal
life, his head became white and he died. But travel-
ling- on the surface of the round globe, the object of
his desire he never achieved.
In matters of education, as in all the highest and
noblest aims and purposes of our lives, whether we
consider the means to be employed or the ends to be
attained, it is not likely we shall ever reach our ideal
standard. It is none the less our duty to press on-
ward towards it, without fainting or distrust— with
a child's faith and a marCs purpose.
I have the honor now, sir, to symbolically place in
your hands this beautifully-completed temple of
knowledge. Long may it stand, and long may there
continue to go from it the wisest and purest and best
influences for the good of humanity.
Rev. Dr. Gardner, Chairman of the High School
Committee, on receiving the keys, and passing them
to the Principal of the High School, made the fol-
ing remarks : —
Mr. Matoe, — I receive these keys, sir, as signifi-
cant of a trust to which the members of the sub-com-
mittee on this school hope not to prove recreant. It
will be our constant aim to make the High School, in
its inner life — the school-soul — not unworthy of
such a material habitation.
Ancient Athens, in the plain of Attica, has its his-
toric Acropolis, around whose rocky base the waves
of war have surged, and on whose summit the master-
pieces of architecture have stood for twenty-five cen-
turies. The Parthenon most fitly crowns the citadel.
Genius outlives brute force, — Minerva is mightier
Ladies and gentlemen: Bunker Hill is the historic
Acropolis of modern Athens ; and this majestic
structure, now dedicated to art, science, and all good
learning, is our Parthenon, — crowning and shedding
additional glory on our citadel. We dedicate this
temple to a divinity mightier than Minerva. Our
goddess is not an ideal wrought in marble, ivory, and
gold ; but an idea, taking on beaiitiful forms in the
living, intelligent young . images of God before us.
The old Greek mythology had no god or goddess of
popular education. The old Greeks had no such
'idea. It is essentially modern — Christian.
I seem to be standing in presence of two audiences
to-day. These living faces before me represent one;
these mute busts in their places on the wall, another.
This silent audience of the great departed suggests
to me the proper functions of our American High
School. There are Homer and Cicero, with charm-
ing verse and eloquent tongue, to plead the cause of
classical learning. Whatever else may be introduced,
the study of the old classic tongues of Greece and
Kome must not be ignored. The study of language,
in its wider relations, is the study of the world's life.
Philology is the key to history, to philosophy, to
science. Far distant be the day when the Latin and
Greek languages shall be left out of the curriculum
of what shall even look toward a liberal education.
Then there is Benjamin Franklin — his very simula-
crum seems to talk of science in its relations to prac-
tical life. And Shakespeare and Milton — have they
come here to bid us study our own strong and noble
mother tongue, in its rich literature? The High
School is not only a preparatory school for the Uni-
versity; with a far greater number it is preparatory
to the immediate work of life. One of the proper
functions of this school is to supplement and com-
plete the English studies of the Grammar School.
The father who wishes his son or daughter to pursue
an English and commercial course of study simply,
without the classic languages, has the same claim to
such advantages here as he who would have his son
"fit for college." Hence, the School Committee have
taken great pains to adapt the courses of study to
the actual wants of the people, in the direction of
higher instruction of all kinds, and have established
an English and commercial course, under the imme-
diate charge of a master, whose success in other de-
partments of instruction insures the same in this.
The study of the natural sciences will henceforth be
made more prominent, and special attention by the
master be paid to such pupils as are fitting for busi-
It is to be remembered, too, that this is a mixed
school, for the education of girls as well as boys.
The day is past when woman is content with sucking
learning through a straw, while her brother quaffs
the open bowl. The High School must be made high
enough to teach and train young ladies for the few
positions which it is allowed them to fill in the higher
and more remunerative work of life. This is a
' right ' which we purpose to concede.
Thus the function of the High School in our coun-
try is three-fold, — to furnish preparatory instruction
to those who wish to enter higher institutions of
learning; to give a good, practical business educa-
tion to those who wish . to enter immediately upon
mercantile or mechanical pursuits; and to aiford
such facilities for a complete course of study in sci-
ence and letters, as shall insure a fair measure of
discipline and culture to young ladies, who are
denied admission to the colleges.
With such a work before it, the great outlay for
such buildings and appliances as are to-day devoted
to the uses of this school, is eminently wise, and will
prove a paying investment in the best sense of the
It remains for me only to pass these keys on to
him who will hold the trust as its immediate custo-
dian, — the honored principal of the school, — who for
so many years has ably filled this position, and who
carries a key in his own bosom that has never failed
to unlock the minds and hearts of his pupils.
On receiving the keys, Mr. Emery, Principal of
the High School, replied as follows: —
It is with no ordinary pleasure that I receive this
pledge of your confidence, with the Idnd words you
have spoken. I accept it as a fit symbol of the
teacher's prerogative and duty ; as it opens to us
the halls of this beautiful temple, so is it the teach-
er's privilege to unlock the mysteries of science and
the treasuries of learning.
It is for this purpose that you have erected this
noble edifice, consecrated to the service of public
instruction and culture.
The first High School has accomplished its work
and passed away, — or rather has been developed into
the new, and incorporated with it — 1848 with 1870 —
the old with the new; the old, one of the most per-
fect in its time, but constructed upon the single idea
of artistic effect, with little reference to the comfort
or convenience of teachers or scholars; the new
embodying all that was worthy in the old, together
with the essential improvements of more than twenty
years of experience and progress.
The history of the old is already written; that of
the new commences to-day; and if its record shall
not be even brighter than that of its predecessor,
it will not surely be the fault of our liberal city
fathers, or of the gentlemen of the committee which
you represent. You have given us all the facilities
we have asked 'or desired, and I am not insensible
to the corresponding responsibilities; but, under the
wise supervision and cooperation which you have so
generously granted us hitherto, and with the able and
ef&cient teachers with whom I have the honor to be
associated, it shall be my endeavor that the just
expectations of the committee and the community
shall not be disappointed.
The following ode, written for the occasion, by
A. E. Cutter, was then sung: —
There, valor's monumental pile,
Here, Academic Hall ;
Pit structures for historic hill,
And worthy coronal.
Where swarthy Mars roll'd his black cloud,
And lighted it with flame.
Sweet peace is found, and temple raised
To mild Minerva's name.
There, as at rrecdom's holy shrine,
Be pilgrim homage paid ;
Here, scholars scan the classic line.
The lofty Iliad.
Per meet it is, in scholar's mind, —
Call it not base alloy, —
To mingle thoughts of Bunker Hill
With Homer's siege of Troy.
Then side by side thus proudly stand ;
Due honor give each one ;
This, dedicate to life's great aim.
And that, to great deeds done.
The Superintendent of Schools, Mr. B. F. Tweed,
)eing called upon by the Chairman, spoke as fol-
lows : —
Mk. Chaiemais]", — I feel some embarrassment in
rising to speak at this stage of the proceedings. The
gentlemen who have preceded me have all had a
definite duty to perform. The Chairman of the
Committee on Public Property gave the hey to their
remarks, and they certainly have rung almost all
imaginable changes upon it.
My misfortune is, — and it is one that will be
appreciated by every musician, at least, — that I have
lost the key. I may say, however, that it seems fit-
ting that Bunker Hill should be chosen as the site of
an institution, whose mission it is to perpetuate the
blessings which follow in the train of freedom.
The school-house, open alike to the sons and daugh-
ters of the rich and poor, is the logical sequence of
the monument, erected to the memory of the cit-
izen soldiery who here laid down their lives that we
might enjoy the blessings of civil liberty.
This splendid edijBce, beckoning all our children
to its embrace, and pointing our sons to the classic
halls of Harvard and Tufts, or to lucrative and hon-
orable positions in the great commercial houses of
yonder metropolis, is itself a monument of the fidel-
ity of the sons to the principles of their sires. It
is more than this. It is one of a line of fortresses,
stronger than any of a merely military character,
extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The
roll-call of the school-bell, commencing on our east-
tern borders, and following the rising sun in his
course through the heavens, is the signal for the
parade of an army that spans the continent.
De Quincey, in one of his inimitable essays, sup-
poses the inhabitants of some distant planet to have
so far excelled us in the construction of optical in-
struments as to be able to see all that we are doing;
and asks, What is the grandest sight we ever have
to ofier them?
Is it St. Peter's, with its lofty dome and long-
drawn aisles? Is it the " Field of the Cloth of Gold,"
where rival kings vie with each other in the splen-
dor of their royal retinue? "IS^o," he says; "These
are mere baubles in celestial eyes;" and curiously
enough, he gives his verdict in favor of a public ex-
ecution as the grandest and most imposing of all
human spectacles. 'Not, of course, a vulgar " hang-
ing," where the scaffold has but its due ; but a public
execution, where the victim wears the crown of mar-
tyrdom, and is perhaps a woman, who, according to
De Quincey, can die more grandly than man.
From this verdict, Mr. Chairman, I feel bound to
dissent. There is, doubtless, a tragic interest and a
moral grandeur in such a scene that may well arrest
the attention even of superior beings, and cause
them to burn with indignation at the treatment of
the world's prophets and Saviours, who " have come
to their own and their own received them not."
But, for simple beauty unalloyed by any painful
associations, for moral grandeur suggestive only of
the noble and true, it seems to me that the march of
this great procession of school-children, with its
" thousands of thousands and ten times thousands,
which no man can number," must be an object of
intenser admiration and purer delight; and the tones
of the school-bell reverberating over hill, plain,
mountain, and valley, till they are lost in the mur-
murs of the PacijB.c waves, must greet celestial ears
with a harmony not unlike the music of the spheres.
To-day, Mr. Chairman, and by these ceremonies,
we but proclaim an accomplished fact.
The High School House is already dedicated.
The ground is hallowed where it stands; its very
adaptation to the purposes for which it is intended
is its dedication.
By these ceremonies, we publicly recognize the
fact, that the city government has erected and fully
and beautifully equipped our fortress.
In behalf of the School Committee, we now man it,
and wheel our division of the grand army of the
republic into line.
To use the words of the beautiful ode we have just
sung, maj our youth, as they here pursue "life's great
aim," resolve that they too, like their ancestors, will
not leave the world without a record of " great deeds
Hon. G. "Washington Warren, the first Mayor of
Charlestown, during whose administration the High
School was established, was then called upon by the
Chairman, and responded as follows : —
REMARKS OF JUDGE WARREN.
Mr. CHAiRMAisr, — In introducing me to this as-
sembly, whose presence shows their interest in the
cause of popular education, you announce me as the
one who laid the corner-stone of the Old High School
building in 1847. I accept the distinction, though it
carries with it the imputation of age. And I am
willing to confess ten years more. For in 1837, I
was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Pub-
lic Schools under the town government, who were in-
structed to consider and report upon a plan of a High
School and of the cost thereof. The Board devolved
the duty upon me to prepare and present that report ;
and being then comparatively fresh from college, and
having previously devoted a few years to instruction
in the higher branches, I entered upon the work im-
posed upon me with proper zeal; and in due time I
presented to the town meeting a complete sketch and
outline of a High School proposed to be established,
with full estimates. But no sooner was the report
read, when, much to my surprise and disgust, a mo-
tion to indefinitely iiostpone the whole subject was
carried, upon the simple assertion of the mover, that
" of all institutions, the High School was the most
aristocratic ! "
But a good object, having firm friends, though
postponed for a time, you may be sure, will succeed
at last. In ten years — a very short period for a
community, but a momentous one to that generation
of youth who were meanwhile deprived of the means
of higher instruction which the law required should
be given them — the new city celebrated its coming
by the establishment of a High School, which, in all
its appointments, should be inferior to none then
existing. So it was, that the first city government,
within six months of its inauguration, procured this
glorious location, and laid with ceremony the corner-
stone of the former building, — the only municipal
building in Charlestown, I believe, whose corner-stone
was laid with public ceremonial.
On our following anniversary, the 17th of June,
1848, that building was publicly dedicated as a fit
commemoration of the day. In delivering it over,
sir, to the gentleman then occupying your position, I
remember to have observed, that those who should
hereafter have the management of its concerns, should
ever bear in mind, that the principal cause of the par-
tial defeat of our revolutionary fathers in the first
great national battle fought on this memorable spot,
was the want of ammunition; and they should there-
fore take care that ample means be always provided
to maintain this institution, so fortunately placed, in
order that the successive generations here instructed
should learn to prize and to perpetuate their inval-
uable heritage. And so far, we may say, this High
School has been nobly sustained. If at any time there
was any apprehension that succeeding administra-
tions of the city might overlook some of its interests
through the influence of the old prejudices of the
town, the result showed those fears to be groundless.
As we look around us, the foundation of this
school does not seem to have been so very long ago.
For here the principal, in the maturity of his man-
hood, still flourishes in full vigor, who, in his prime,
first presided over its auspices. For an interval of
a few years he strayed over to Boston; but, on a
vacancy occurring, the committee and the friends of
the High School were determined to bring him back;
and may he long continue to shed here the lustre of
his brilliant reputation and his true dignity of char-
acter, and to impart the rich fruits of his experience
and of his well-stored mind. We gladly remember
how fortunate this school has been in all its teachers
and assistants. To this the graduates of the school
will bear willing testimony. We can hardly wish
more for its future than it may have the same signal
advantages always secured to it.
We are truly sensible, sir, how short and insuf-
ficient is the longest school term for acquiring what
may and should be taught. The most that can be
hoped to accomplish is to lay a solid foundation of
the elements and rudiments of knowledge; to expand
the youthful mhicl and make it receptive and appre-
ciative, and thus deliver over the keys of the different
branches of learning, with which each one for him-
self may he able in after life to unlock and explore its
richest treasures. The great art of teaching is to
show how to study. If the mind can be trained to
master one subject thoroughly, it Avill by the same
process find out of itself how to master other sub-
jects. " Ex uno discite omnia."
The honorable secretary of the Board of Educa-
tion has told the young ladies that if they would
learn the Greek language so as to be qualified to
teach it, they would find immediate employment
But those who do not intend to be teachers would
find ample inducement and pleasure in this study, in
being able to read the New Testament in its own
vernacular; and then by comparing the ancient with
the modern Greek, as it may be read in a new^spaper
from Greece of the latest date, in curiously tracing
the resemblance between the words now spoken at
Athens and those in which Saint Paul preached there.
There is no reason why ladies, in their self-culture,
should not pursue the study of the ancient languages.
I knew a class of ladies in Hebrew who became quite
proficient in that which is the oldest and simplest of
But, sir, not to exceed my brief limit, I will come
to a practical conclusion. Alderman ^eal. Chairman
of the Building Committee, has stated that the whole
cost of the land and building provided in 18i7 was
about $26,000. That was the day of small things,
when a thousand dollars seemed as large a sum to
the tax-payer as ten thousand does now. For twenty-
four years the old building answered well its purpose.
The cost, then, to the city is about a thousand dollars
a year. The enhancement of the land would pay
even for the demolition of the building, if that had
been done. So it will be seen that the city, with its
increased population, has only done its duty in pro-
viding these superior but much-needed accommoda-
tions, whatever they may have cost, it being presumed
that the committee have been judicious in their ex-
penditures. We hail this enlargement, and auspicate
for the future as brilliant a career for the High School
as it has heretofore enjoyed. May this improvement,
sir, enliven the interest of your committee and of
their constituents, and quicken the zeal of teachers
and pupils; may every facility for study, and every
advantage of instruction be here given and improved ;
so that the High School, standing up by the monu-
ment, shall be always signalized as our favored free
University of public instruction.
Hon. J. White, secretary of the Board of Ed-
ucation; Mr. Jonathan Kimball, superintendent of
schools in Salem; and Mr. A. P. Marble, superin-
tendent of schools in Worcester, were called upon,
and responded with interesting and eloquent remarks.
The pupils then sung another hymn, after which
the exercises were closed with the benediction by
Kev. O. C. Everett.
COUKSE OF STUDY FOK HIGH SCHOOL.
The High School embraces three courses.
ENGLISH AND COMMERCIAL COURSE.
1. Physiology ; Physical Geography.
3. History of England ; English Language and Literature,
and English Composition.
Wednesday and Saturd'iy.
Book-Keeping by Double Entry, with practice in Banking, Insur-
ance, and Business Forms ; Exercises in Elocution, Readings in
Natural History ; Spelling and Defining.
1. Ancient and Modern History.
2. Arithmetic reviewed ; Natural Philosophy ; Mechanical
Wednesday and SatAirday.
French Grammar ; Rhetoric ; Reading, Spelling, and Defining.
1. Science of Government ; Chemistry.
2. Astronomy ; Botany ; Geology.
3. French Grammar and Reader.
Wednesday and Saturday.
Mental Philosophy ; English Literature and Biography.
ENGLISH AND CLASSICAL COURSE.
1. Physiology; Physical Geography.
3. Latin Grammar and Reader.
Wednesday and Saturday.
Exercises in Elocution, Readings in Natural History, Spelling
and Defining, Practice in Business Forms, and English Compo-
SECOND MIDDLE CLASS.
1. Ancient and Modern History.
2. Arithmetic reviewed ; Natural Philosophy, with practice in
Mechanical Drawing. •
3. Latin Reader, finished ; First Book of Caesar's Gallic "War.
Wednesday and Saturday.
French Grammar, Rhetoric, Reading, Spelling and Defining,
FIRST MIDDLE CLASS.
1. Science of Government ; Chemistry.
3. Second, Third, and Fourth Books of Csesar ; Cicero against
Catiline, — Latin Division. French Grammar, and Translation, —
Wednesday and Saturday.
French Grammar and Reader ; Mental Philosophy.
1. Astronomy ; Botany ; Geology.
2. French Grammar and Reader.
3. The First Six Books of Virgil, — Latin Division. Noel et
Chapsal's Grammaire Frangaise, and Translating English into
French, — French Division.
Wednesday and Saturday.
English Literature and Biography ; Moral Philosophy.
PEEPARATOEY COLLEGE COURSE.
Junior Class same as the English and Classical Course.
1. Ancient and Modem History.
2. Latin Reader, finished ; First Book of Caesar's Gallic War.
3. Greek Grammar, and Greek Lessons.
Wednesday and Saturday.
Ancient Geography, Reading, Rhetoric.
1 . Geometry.
2. Second, Third, and Fourth Books of Csesar ; Cicero against
3. Greek Grammar, continued ; Xenophon's Anabasis.
Wednesday and Saturday.
Latin and Greek Composition ; Sallust ; Cicero, finished.
1. The ^neid of Virgil.
2. The Anabasis, finished ; Three Books of Homer's Iliad.
3. Algebra and Geometry, reviewed.
Wednesday and Saturday,
Latin and Greek Composition ; General Review.
GENERAL EXERCISES BY ALL THE SCHOOL.
1. Calisthenics, by the girls, daily.
2. English Composition ; Public Reading by the girls, and
Declamation by the boys, every Saturday.
3. Instruction in Music and Drawing, twice a week.