Skip to main content

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

See other formats


^0 *6345.5^ 









|ieprt of tlje Superinteitbent d public Bt\mls, 






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. 


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, 

, Secretary. 

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- 


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 

$101,800 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 

$79,227 15 

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 
about $8,000. 

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. 

H. Finney. 
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 

Ella Worth 

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 


District No. 
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 . . . 

District No. 

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 .... •' " ... 

John Turner, 

y Charles E. Daniels, 
Geo. W. Gardner. 

A. J. Bailey, 
Wm, H, Finney. 

Washington Lithgow, 
Charles F. Smith,, 
William Raymond. 

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 " 

Nahum Chapin, 
A. J. Bailey. 



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. 
S. Blanchard. 

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. 
Hamilton. . 

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 
sesthetic, value. 


[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 

16 . 

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 
the superintendent. 

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 
• avoided. 

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 
their management. 

"Respectfully submitted, on behalf of the Board. 



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 
were promoted. 

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- 
ual life. 

The characters of our friends are as distinctly 
marked, and as plainly recognized by us as their faces 
or forms. 

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 
result itself. 

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 
his pupils. 

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 
to physical. 


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- 
cessful experience.. 

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- 


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 
with others. 

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 
and spelling. 

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- 
mary School. 

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 
year older. 

What was then said of the Harvard and Winthrop. 
school-houses, is true now, and may be said with 
greater emphasis. 

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- 
scribed course. 

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 
the fruit. 


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- 
sive experience. 

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 
difficult attainment. 

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 

6 • 


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- 
tical importance. 

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 
right direction. 


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 
more interesting. 


Drawing has pushed its way into the course of 
required studies. 


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 
little ones." 

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 
all times. 

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 
is tardy. 

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." 


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 
were omitted. 

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 
two, free. 

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. 


Superintendent of Public Schools. 



D E D I C A T I N 




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 

tlie Keys. 



]>KJ)10ATI()X ODE. 

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 . 



This elegant and commodious building was dedi- 
cated by appropriate exercises on the 14:tli of De- 
cember, 1870. 

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- 
tion rooms. 

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- 

53 - 

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 
than Mars. 

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- 
ness life. 

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 
done. " 

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 : — 


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. 



The High School embraces three courses. 


Three Years, 


1. Physiology ; Physical Geography. 

2. Algebra. 

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 


3. Geometry. 

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. 



Four Years. 


1. Physiology; Physical Geography. 

2. Algebra. 

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- 


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, 


1. Science of Government ; Chemistry. 

2. Geometrj'. 

3. Second, Third, and Fourth Books of Csesar ; Cicero against 
Catiline, — Latin Division. French Grammar, and Translation, — 
French Division. 

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. 



Four Years. 

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. 


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.