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The School Committee of Charlestown, in compli- 
ance with the Statutes of the Commonwealth, 
herewith present their Annual Report of the Pub- 
lic Schools of Charlestown. 

The Annual Eeports of the " Trustees of Charles- 
town Free Schools," have usually been made up to 
the first of April, and printed and distributed imme- 
diately after that date ; but the change which has 
taken place in the Municipal relations of Charles- 
town, during the past year, makes it necessary for 
the School Committee to present their Report earlier 
than has been the practice in former years : — conse- 
quently, the present Report must be understood to 
cover only a period of ten months. 

We presume the present act of the Committee 
will be justified, and that hereafter, the Annual Re- 
ports of the Schools will be made up to the period 
of the year at which this Report is closed ; espec- 
ially, as it does not conflict with the Statute of the 
Commonwealth, and as the old Committee will con- 
tinue in ofiice long enough each year, to enable them 
to make the annual return required by law, to enti- 
tle the City to its portion of the School Fund, from 
the Treasury of the Commonwealth. 

The School Committee, as has been customary for 
a long series of years, made up their estimate of the 

pecuniary wants of the Schools for the current School 
year, and instead of submitting their estimate to the 
citizens, as has been the practice of the " Board of 
Trustees " of the Public Schools, it was presented to 
the City Government, to whom the citizens have 
delegated the power of administering " the fiscal, 
prudential and municipal affairs " of the City. This 
estimate embraced the sums required for the salary of 
the Teachers, for the Fuel, Stoves, sweeping School 
Houses, and other contingent expenses of the Schools, 
— also, for sundry small repairs of buildings, and for 
instruction in Music in the Grammar Schools ; — 
amounting, in the whole, to seventeen thousand 

The Committee also asked the sum of seventeen 
hundred and twenty-five dollars, for purchasing land 
and erecting a new Primary School House above the 
Canal Bridge, — for finishing the second story of the 
Primary School House at the corner of Bartlett and 
Sullivan Streets, and for furnishing the above School 

Of the above sums, ;^1 7,000 was appropriated, 
" subject to the order of the School Committee," to 
be disbursed by them for the current expenses of the 
Schools for the municipal year. 

This sum has been expended as follows, viz : — 

For salaries of the Teachers, ;^ 14,0 8 6. 7 3 

" the contingent expenses, &c., as 
stated above, 2,750.92 

Total, ^16,837.65 

Leaving the sum of ^162.35 of the appropriation 
made for the support of Schools, unexpended. 

The above amount covers the School expenses for 
one year to the 1st of March, 1848, as it includes all 
the disbursements which have been made by the 
Committee, since the last Town Statement was pub- 
lished, and which was made up to the 1st of March, 

The balance, ^1,725.00, it was decided by the 
City Council, would be more appropriately disbursed 
by them ; to whom is delegated " the care and super- 
intendence of the City Buildings." 

They authorized the Joint Committee on Public 
Instruction, from the two branches of the City Coun- 
cil, to carry out these objects ; — consequently, the 
School Committee have been relieved from the care 
and responsibility of what has heretofore been con- 
sidered an appropriate part of their duties. 

The following table exhibits a statistical view of 
our schools on the 31st of January, 1848. 


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Primary Schools 23 






Grammar do. 4 






The number of children in this City between the 
ages of 4 and 16 years, is 3,500. 

The members of the School Committee have made 
507 visits to the Primary Schools, and 337 to the 
Grammar Schools, during the past ten months. 


The upper room of the Primary school house 
erected in 1846, on the corner of Bartlett and Sulli- 
van streets, has been finished and is now occupied. 
The school was organized and placed under the 

charge of Miss Mary J. Underwood, on the 1st of 
November last. The Primary school house which 
was located in rear of the City Hall, has been re- 
moved to a central location above the Canal bridge, 
and is occupied by a school formed from a part of 
Primary No. 1, on the 1st of November last; and is 
under the charge of Miss Sarah J. Bradbury. In 
May last. Miss M. Peabody resigned the charge of 
Primary No. 16, and Miss Abby E. Hinckley was 
appointed to her place. In August last, Miss S. E. 
Clark resigned the charge of Primary No. 15, and 
Miss C. A. Goodridge,of No. 21. Miss S. EHza F. 
Watson has the charge of No. 15, and Miss Eme- 
line Brown, 2d Assistant in the Grammar depart- 
ment of the Warren school, has been appointed to 
No. 21. 

On the 1st of November, Miss E. W. Butts was 
appointed teacher of Primary school No. 17, in 
place of Miss S. J. Bradbury, transferred to Primary 
No. 23 ; and Miss S. E. Sanborn was appointed 
teacher of Primary No. 19, in place of Miss M. E. 
Sanborn, resigned. In the same month. Miss Mar- 
tha A. Chandler was transferred from No. 4 Primary, 
to the position of Assistant in the upper division of 
the Bunker Hill school, and Miss M. H. Rice, has 
the care of Primary No. 4. Miss E. D. Pratt, having 
resigned the charge of Primary No. 5, this school is 
now in the care of Miss M. H. Farnsworth. Miss 
Mary J. Chandler was also, in November, transferred 
from Primary No. 8, to the position of 1st assistant 
in the writing department of the Warren school, and 
Miss E. A. Thorndike was appointed to fill her 

The following table gives a view of the number, 
attendance, &c., in our Primary Schools, at the last 

examination, which closed on the 31st of January, 
























Caroline Phipps, 
M. B, Skilton. 

E. M. Sweetser, 
M, H. Rice, . . 
M. JL Farns worth, 

F. A. Sawyer, 
S. L. Sawyer, 

A. E. Thorndike, 
S. F. Brown, 
Elizabeth Ernes, 
J. S. Putnam, 
J. M. Burckes, . 
M. E. Lincoln, . 
S. E. Smith, . . 
S. E. F. Watson, 
A. E. Hinckley, 
E. W. Butts, . . 
C. Brocket!, . . 
S. E. Sanborn, . 
M, A. C. Bodge, 
Emeline Brown, 
M. J. Underwood, 
S.J. Bradbury, . 

Near B. Hill School House. 
Mead street. 
Rear 187 Main street. 
Warren School House. 
Elm street. 

Rear 1G2 Main street. 

Corner Cross and Bar'lett streets, 

(( (( cc 

Common street, 

IC (( 

Bow street. 

Common street. 

Bunker Hill street, at Point. 

Moulton street. 
Winthrop street. 
{Corner Sullivan and Bartlett sts. 

Corner Kingston st. and Medford 
I road« 

52 44 
59 41 
65 57 


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Jos. F. Tufts. 
Jos. F. Tufts. 
H. K. Frothingham. 
J. W. Bemis. 
E. Thorndike. 
N. Y. Culbertson. 
E. Thorndike. 
N. Y. Culbertson. 
John Sanborn. 
G. A. Parker. 
James Adams. 
George Farrar. 
S. J. Thomas. 
S. J. Thomas. 
George Farrar. 
G. A. Parker. 
John Sanborn. 
J. Miskelly. 
J. Miskelly. 
James Adams. 
J. W. Bemis. 
H. K. Frothingham. 
H. K. Frothingham, 

The salary of the Primary School Teachers is 
;^210, each, per annum. 

The course of study in the Primary Schools, which 
now, as a general rule, is pursued by children from 
four to eight years of age, is one of no little impor- 
tance to their future success and attainments. 

The Teachers of these Schools should well under- 
stand the elements of the English language, and pos- 
sess a thorough knowledge of the vowel and conso- 
nant sounds and their combinations, and a tact in 
imparting such knowledge to their pupils. They 
should be good readers, that they may be able to 
teach those under their charge, to read naturally, in- 
telligibly, and with the proper intonations of voice ; 
that they may enter into the meaning and spirit of 
what they are reading. Much oral information can 
also be communicated to the children upon common, 


though important matters. In some of our Pri- 
mary Schools, this method of instruction is pursued 
with much tact, and awakens in the children a lively 
interest in the subjects presented to their minds. 

The bodily movements and manual exercises, as 
well as the daily practice of singing resorted to by 
most of our Primary Teachers, as a relaxation from 
the too rigorous confinement of the School Room, 
are aids, rather than hindrances to good order in 
School, and their happy influences combine to make 
the School Room a pleasant resort to the young. 

This Primary Schools are generally in a flour- 
ishing condition, and, with very few exceptions, 
under the charge of skilful and devoted Teachers, 
who labor assiduously and faithfully, to promote the 
best interests of those intrusted to their care and in- 
struction. With Teachers who have an "aptness to 
teach," and minds devoted to the responsible calling 
which they have chosen, our Primary Schools cannot 
remain stationary ; and as the character and useful- 
ness of these Schools are advanced, in like proportion 
will their influence be felt upon our higher Schools. 


The Committee have thought it advisable, that the 
vacations of our Grammar and Primary Schools should 
be permanently established ; therefore, they have ar- 
ranged them as follows, viz : — Fast day ; — the first 
day of May ; — from the last Wednesday in May to 
the first Wednesday in June, both inclusive ; — the 
seventeenth day of June ; — fourth day of July ; — the 
three weeks preceding the first Wednesday in Sep- 
tember ; — Thanksgiving day and the two following, 
and Christmas day. When either of the single days 

named above as a vacation shall occur on Sunday, 
the vacation will take place on the next following 

The semi-annual examinations of all the Schools 
will take place during the fifteen days next preceding 
the August vacation, and during the last twenty days 
of January, in each year, — and the exhibitions in the 
Grammar Schools shall be held during the last fifteen 
days of January, in each year. 

In consequence of the great interruptions to which 
^ three of our Grammar Schools have been subjected 
during the past term, and from the want of suitable 
rooms and conveniences, the Committee have thought 
it best to omit the public exhibition which has usu- 
ally taken place in these Schools after their examina- 
tions in the Spring ; — the usual examination of them 
by the Committee, however, has been as thoroughly 
made as in former years. 

With a view of securing a more uniform practice 
in promoting the children from the Primary to the 
Grammar Schools, the School Committee have adopt- 
ed the rule, that all such promotions shall be made 
on the first day of February, and the first Wednes- 
day of September, in each year. This arrangement 
will enable the Teachers of both Primary and Gram- 
mar Schools, to make up their classes for the semi- 
annual terms of our Schools, at one and the same 
time, — thereby preventing the interruption and em- 
barrassments which formerly attended the practice of 
admitting scholars to the upper Schools, for the first 
two or three weeks of each term. 


The Board have had under consideration for sev- 
eral months past, the subject of establishing one or 

8 , 

more Intermediate Schools in some central location 
in the City, to supply the wants of a class of pupils 
who are always to be met with in all populous 
places. This is a class of scholars who are too old to 
be continued in the Primary Schools, without wound* 
ing their ambition or self-esteem, or interfering with 
the arrangements and methods of discipline and in- 
struction pursued in these Schools. 

There will be found in many of our Primary 
Schools, children who have not reached those at- 
tainments and habits of study, either from irregular 
attendance in these Schools, or a want of opportu- 
nity to attend any School, which is requisite to 
qualify them to enter the classes in the Grammar 
Schools composed of children of a corresponding age, 
or even the classes younger than they. It would 
promote the interests of both the Primary and Gram- 
mar Schools, if a School of this kind were estab- 
lished for this class of scholars ; — they appear to be 
out of place in a Primary School, and they are a 
dead weight, when hung upon any class in the 
Grammar Schools. 




In August last. Miss Emeline Brown, second As- 
sistant Teacher in the Grammar department of this 
School, was appointed Teacher of Primary School 
No. 21, and Miss Augusta M. Hayes was appointed 
to fill her place ; and in November following. Miss S. 
G. Hay, first Assistant in the Writing department, 
having received an appointment in one of the Gram- 

mar Schools in Boston, was succeeded by Miss Mary 
J. Chandler. These are the only changes which 
have occurred in this School during the past year. 

" There has been evident improvement in this 
School during the past year," and it " seems to have 
been the object with the Teachers, to be thorough 
with their pupils." " There are many of them that 
seem to be well grounded in the studies they have 
gone over," and possess an intelligent view of the 
subjects they have been pursuing. " That there are 
exceptions, however, to this," may be clearly seen, 
but " these are found in almost every instance, among 
those children who are irregular in their attendance " 
at School. 

Both departments of this School appear to be 
making successful progress, and the Teachers, to be 
devoted and faithful in their endeavors to advance 
the interests of the School. 


The change of Teachers in the Grammar depart- 
ment of this School, during the past year, has been 
very frequent. In May last, Mr. Aaron Walker, Jr., 
Principal of this department, retired from the School, 
and Mr. Winslow Battles was appointed to fill the 
vacancy. In September last, Mr. Battles was elected 
sub-Master in the Mayhew School in Boston ; — he 
was succeeded by Mr. William C. Bradlee, who is 
now the Principal of this department of the School. 
In October last. Miss E. D. Moulton, having received 
an appointment as Assistant in the Mayhew School 
in Boston, resigned her place as second Assistant in 


.this school, and her place was filled by the appoint- 
ment of Miss Anna M. Bradley. In November, Miss 
M. L. Rowland was also appointed as an Assistant 
in one of the Boston Schools, and her position as 
first Assistant is now filled by Miss Rebecca T. Ames. 

In the Writing department, there has been no 
change of Teachers for the past year. 

In the first division of the School, under Messrs. 
Bradlee and Baxter, there has been " decided im- 
provement in the reading and other studies " in the 
Grammar department; and the proficiency of the 
scholars in Arithmetic and Algebra, together with 
the specimens of penmanship which were exhibited, 
were highly creditable to them, and also to the abil- 
ity and fidelity of their Teacher. " The Assistant 
Teachers are faithful," and under the circumstances in 
which the School has been placed for several months, 
as successful as we could have a right to expect. 

Many of the obstacles to the entire success of their 
labors will be removed, when the scholars are trans- 
ferred from their present inconvenient and badly ven- 
tilated rooms, (the only ones which could be obtained 
for temporary use,) to the new School House now in 
progress of erection. 



There has been but one change of Teachers in this 
School the past year. Miss H. L. S. Teel, in May 
last, resigned her office of first Assistant Teacher in 
the Writing department, and Miss Frances Holland 
was appointed to fill the vacancy. 

Taking all the interruptions and " inconveniences 
into the account," under which this School has been 


placed for several months past, the expectations of 
the Committee would be thought unreasonable, if 
they were not " satisfied with the progress made by 
the scholars." The Teachers appear assiduous and 
faithful in their endeavors to promote the interests 
of the School, and with the disadvantages under 
which the pupils have labored, they give evidence of 
unremitted devotion and industry, which is credit- 
able to themselves and those under whose charge 
they are placed. 



This School has experienced several changes dur- 
ing the last year. In October last, Miss Mary A. 
Lewis resigned her situation, having been appointed 
an Assistant in one of the Grammar Schools in Bos- 
ton, — Miss M. A. Stover was appointed second As- 
sistant to fill her place. On the 29th day of Novem- 
ber last, this School was organized by forming it into 
two divisions — a Senior and Junior division ; the 
first occupying the upper room (recently finished) in 
the Building, and under the charge of Mr. B. F. 
Tweed, as Principal, with Miss Martha A. Chandler, 
from Primary School No. 4, as Assistant ; — the sec- 
ond division, under the charge of Miss L. Foster, 
assisted by Miss M. A. Stover, occupies the lower 
room. In January last. Miss Foster resigned her 
situation, in consequence of having received an ap- 
pointment as Principal of one of the Public Schools 
in Medford ; — she was succeeded by Miss Lydia A. 
Hanson, who is now in charge of this division of the 


The " Teachers in this School are all devoted to 
their work, and with general success." The upper 
division of the School, under the charge of Mr. 
Tweed, assisted by Miss Chandler, "exhibits evi- 
dences of a judicious and thorough training, and 
both Teachers and Scholars are deserving great 
credit." The appearance and attainments of the 
Junior division were creditable to the Teachers and 
Pupils, and gave evidence of the fidelity and devo- 
tion of the Teachers in this division, to the trust 
committed to them. 

Instruction in Music has been given twice each 
week, in our Grammar Schools, for about five months, 
by Mr. John E. Gould, a skilful and efficient Teach- 
er; and the sub-Committees have been present on 
son&e of these occasions, to witness the exercises of 
the pupils in this delightful art. We cannot with- 
hold our united approbation of the practice of this 
science by the children in these Schools. " It exerts 
a wholesome influence upon the spirits of the Schol- 
ars, and the discipline " of the Schools, and we 
" have so much confidence in its beneficial results," 
both mentally and physically, that we strongly urge 
its continuance in our Schools, upon the attention 
of those who may hereafter have the care and re- 
sponsibility of managing them. 

The practice of map drawing, either on the black- 
board, slates or paper, in connection with the study 
of geography, is highly important and useful ; as 
the eye will do much by this means, in fixing upon 
the mind, the location and boundaries of countries. 
States and towns — the course of rivers, &c. &c. 
These and other means which by the eye carry knowl- 
edge to the mind, should be found among the ar- 
rangements of every well regulated school, as they 

tend to awaken early in life, a careful observation of 
objects which address the eye and mind, and create 
a spirit of self-culture, which will prove available in 
securing knowledge from reading and experience, 
after school education shall have been finished. 

At the last examination, the number of children 
in the four Grammar Schools, was as follows, viz. : 

In the Warren School, 349 
" " Winthrop, " 359 
" " Harvard, " 340 
" " Bunker Hill," 235 

Total, - 1,283. 

During the past year, the average daily absence in 
the Grammar Schools has been as follows, viz. : 






Whole number 
during the 

Whole number 
at the close of 
the year. 

« s 

fcC cS 

Per centage of 
Absences for 


Per centage of 
Absences for 


Bunker Hill, 





17 -^0 

-• 'Too 

17 50 

TQ 50 



1Q 50 

It is gratifying to find, that in all these schools, 
there has been some improvement in the attendance, 
since the last school report was made up. Yet, we 
do not think that parents ought to feel fully satis- 
fied that all has been done that is practicable, to rem- 
edy this — one of the greatest of inflictions upon 
the prosperity of our schools^ and their usefulness 
to those for whose especial benefit they are sustained. 

If a young man were placed under the charge of 
a competent person, to be taught some mechanical 
art or trade, or qualified as a ready and skilful ac- 
countant, and he should be found wasting one fifth 
of the time which ought to be devoted to gaining a 


knowledge of his trade or art, in the pursuit of friv- 
olous objects, or in absenting himself for unimpor- 
tant engagements or amusements, or in any manner 
wasting his time, all would conclude at once, that 
he would never become very proficient in the em- 
ployment for which he had undertaken to qualify 
himself ; nor would the parent of such a young man 
be very likely to feel satisfied with such a state of 
things, or with the teacher or master who would al- 
low them to exist. 

If some trifling errand or visit, or some moment- 
ary pleasure or recreation, which could, without in- 
convenience, be attended to at another time, is often 
allowed to interfere with the school obligations of 
children, is it to be wondered, that these will be con- 
sidered by them, as of paramount importance to the 
claims of school upon their attention and interest 1 — 
and is it not often the case, that the ability and de- 
votion of teachers are called in question, for a want 
of interest and progress in their scholars, when the 
principal cause of their sluggish indifference may be 
traced to their frequent absence from school, and a 
lack of proper influence at home 1 

Such a state of things is also a fruitful source of 
truancy — a pernicious and demoralizing habit ; and 
we cannot but appeal to parents, to make this a sub- 
ject of individual interest, not only for the moral and 
intellectual well-being of their children, but for their 
own happiness and peace. 

In this connection, the committee make the follow- 
ing quotation from the report of the Board of 
Trustees for the year ending April, 1841; as the 
subjects to which it refers, are of no less importance 
now to the welfare of our schools, than at the time 
that report was made. 


" The Board again advert to the great cooperation 
Parents can render in promoting the efficiency of 
our schools. Let them be arrayed against the teach- 
er, and but little hope can be entertained of prog- 
ress ; let them act with him, and it is a great step 
toward it. Many are the ways in which this co-op- 
eration can be rendered. Parents can prevent ab- 
sences ; they can enjoin confidence on the part of the 
scholars towards the teacher ; they can encourage 
pupils in their lessons ; they can promote a love of 
school duties ; they can insist for their children up- 
on the principle of entire obedience to the rules of 
the school ; they can visit the school rooms. And 
they can, at least, practise the negative duty of re- 
fraining from the injustice of judging the teacher on 
the sole testimony of their children. The Board 
have encountered many cases of the latter descrip- 
tion. Violation of well-know^n rules of the school 
subjects a scholar to discipline — to corporal punish- 
ment, or to checks, or to the loss of place in the 
class. The corrected and disappointed child becomes 
a swift witness, and finds in the parent a willing ear. 
On this partial testimony the parent forthwith con- 
demns the teacher, and this too in severe, round- 
about language — language which the excited child 
takes care shall lose none of its severity by repeti- 
tion. It is retailed among playmates and goes 
through the school. This, it may be thought, would 
be bad enough. But this is by no means all. The 
parent, in a temporary fit of excitement, sometimes 
rushes to the school room, and in the presence of the 
school, abuses the teacher in words that would do no 
discredit to a Persian Satrap lashing his subordi- 
nates. What possible effect can both these methods 
of reform produce than to weaken the moral author- 


ity of the teachers, to lay a foundation for a renewal 
of the scholar's punishment, to injure permanently 
the school ; in fine, to produce unmitigated evil 1 Be- 
sides: there is no necessity for this. The Board 
have made it a rule to investigate promptly, fully, 
every case of complaint. They have no modest re- 
serve in their intercourse v^ith the teachers. In this 
matter frankness is kindness. If complaints are 
abroad, a teacher should know them, in all their 
length and breadth ; if unreasonable, the sooner they 
are contradicted the better — if well-founded, reform 
should be applied at once. The Board, then, earn- 
estly recommend to parents the practice of suspend- 
ing their judgment in relation to cases of discipline, 
to be chary of their words of displeasure, and to 
apply directly to one of its members when they feel 
aggrieved — confident, as they are, that such a course 
would be of great advantage to our schools." 


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The Grammar Schools in Charlestown, do now, 
and have for many years, ranked high in the estima- 
tion of our citizens, as well as in the estimation of 
the Board of Trustees of our Schools. The Report 
of the Trustees for April, 1839, (our Hon. Mayor 
then being President of the Board,) says, in speaking 
of these Schools, " They have generally been termed 
Grammar Schools, but they would be better denoted 
by the name of Upper or High Schools, as in them, 
all the high branches of English study are taught to 
the first classes." These Schools are now no less 
deserving this high commendation, than they were at 
that period and as an evidence that the pupils who 
have attended them, have not been confined to the 
" elementary and a few other branches of English 
study," as has been stated, we have only to refer to 
the statistical tables of these Schools for the past 
eight years ; where we find, that in addition to 
" Reading, Spelling, Writing, Arithmetic, Grammar 
and Geography," studies which have been attended 
to by all who have been members of these Schools 
during this period, — 1,847 have pursued the prac- 
tice of writing Composition, — 985 have attended to 
Declamation, — 1,362 to History, — 1,189 to Natural 
Philosophy and History, — 217 to Chemistry, — 47 
to Astronomy, — 685 to Algebra, — 69 to Geometry, 
— 170 to Book-Keeping, — 43 to Rhetoric, — 969 
to Drawing, — 85 to Languages, and 106 have pur- 
sued a course of studies in the Political Class Book. 

There is, therefore, truth in the assertion made in 
the Report of 1839, that these Schools "would be 
better denoted by the name of Upper or High 
Schools," for they are equal to most of those which 
are termed High Schools in this Commonwealth; 
and we are gratified in being able to state as an evi- 


dence of their efficiency, that of the number who 
have graduated from them during the past eight 
years, (from 1840,) upwards of 50 have become 
Teachers ; most of them having enjoyed no other in- 
struction than that furnished to them in the Public 
Schools of Charlestown. Many of these persons are 
now engaged in teaching, and some of them have 
been called from the care of our Schools by offers of 
a higher salary than we are paying our Teachers, to 
fill responsible positions as Teachers in Boston, 
Cambridge, Medford, Somerville, Lexington, and 
other neighboring towns ; — others are engaged in 
teaching beyond the limits of this Commonwealth. 

With such facts before us, we cannot but feel, that 
our citizens have cause to be proud of what their 
Public Schools have accomplished, and that such re- 
sults will encourage them to continued efforts to sus- 
tain these Schools, and to provide for the more 
thorough education of the young in the higher 
branches of study, than have yet been attained to in 
our Public Schools; and for furnishing them the 
means of acquiring a knowledge of the ancient and 
modern languages, and the higher branches of math- 
ematics and science. 

The City Government, by the erection of a Build- 
ing for a High School, have taken one step towards 
securing to the young these advantages ; and if, after 
the experiment has been fairly tried, it should prove 
successful, (as we have no doubt it will, if judiciously 
managed,) the citizens of Charlestown will congratu- 
late themselves, that they have in their midst an In- 
stitution which furnishes, if rightfully improved, a 
thorough and complete education to the children of 
all classes of our citizens who will avail themselves 
of its privileges. 


The establishing of a High School in Charlestown, 
is a subject that has long occupied the thoughts and 
interests of its citizens. In 1831, the subject was re- 
ferred to the " Trustees of the Schools, who reported 
the cost of its establishment, and after a discussion 
of the matter in Town Meeting, it was indefinitely 
postponed." Again in 1836, the subject having been 
committed to the Trustees of the Schools to report 
upon the same, they say, " the present state of public 
education in this Town has nearly approximated to 
all we could hope or wish ; but if the Town see fit 
to add another School for the instruction of youth in 
the higher branches of knowledge, and thereby ena- 
ble them to take a more exalted part in the duties 
of life, then indeed our system and means of instruc- 
tion would be complete." 

The subject was then referred to the Trustees 
again, with instructions ; and at a meeting of the 
citizens in November 1836, they reported, "that af- 
ter a full consideration of the subject," and the fact, 
that " instruction in the higher branches" is provid- 
ed for in " one of our present excellent free schools, it 
is inexpedient and unadvisable for the present, to pro- 
vide for the establishment of an additional School." 
This report was not accepted, but the matter was 
again referred to the Trustees, with instructions to 
report at the next March meeting ; when, on the 
sixth of March, 1837, a report was made in favor of 
establishing a High School, " furnished with suitable 
apparatus, &c., for the pursuit of the higher branches 
of English study ;" — which report, after being read, 
was referred to the next annual meeting in the month 
of March, at which time, this subject does not ap- 
pear to have been acted upon by the citizens, nor do 


the Trustees make any reference to it in their print- 
ed report of May 7th, 1838. 

In the report of the Trustees of Schools, made in 
April, 1839, to which allusion has already been made, 
it is recommended that another School be established 
in addition to the three " Upper or High Schools," viz. 
the Winthrop, Harvard and Bunker Hill, in which 
the " pupils receive a thorough instruction in all the 
common and higher branches of English study," this 
recommendation was carried out in the erection of a 
building in 1840, now known as the Warren School. 
Our citizens are well aware, that the City Govern- 
ment, have, during the past year, been making per- 
manent arrangements for the establishment of a 
higher School in Charlestown, than any which has 
heretofore existed. 

The design of this High School, is not to make 
our Grammar Schools any less elevated in their char- 
acter, than they have heretofore been ; such a result 
could not but be a source of regret to all who have 
at heart the usefulness and prosperity of our schools. 
The standard of admission to the High School, 
should be placed high, and should be rigidly adhered 
to ; — not only for its own well-being and usefulness, 
but for the good of our Grammar Schools, that they 
may preserve their present high standing and con- 
tinue to be instruments of good to those, whose cir- 
cumstances in life make it necessary for them to 
withdraw from School at nearly the age when they 
become qualified for admission to the High School, 
or for those who may never be able to attain to the 
standard of admission to this School. There need 
not be any conflict of interest or usefulness between 
these two classes of our Schools. If the character 
of our High School is one of superior rank, and ad- 


mission to it is made a motive to exertion with the 
pupils of our Grammar Schools, its effect in stimulat- 
ing them to powerful effort, cannot but have an im- 
portant influence on these Schools, and greatly aid 
the teacher in his labors to qualify his pupils for pro- 
motion to the higher School ; — a result, in which 
his interest as well as that of his pupils, is at stake. 
The examination of candidates for admission to the 
Upper School, will, and always should be, free from 
all partiality, and be made to depend, not upon what 
the pupil may be able to do, but upon what he has 
already done — upon the state of his knowledge. 
This will depend somewhat upon the ability and in- 
dustry of the pupil, and as scholars are more or less 
faithful to the opportunities afforded them, under an 
able and efficient teacher, (and the general result of 
an examination may to some degree become evidence 
of the ability of the teacher) the time will be more 
or less protracted, of their making the preparation 
required for admission to the High School. Having 
reached the point of his present ambition, the pupil 
is now to be carried forward in a more comprehen- 
sive and thorough knowledge of some of the studies 
which he has been pursuing, among which, are the 
English language. Writing, History, Algebra, Draw- 
ing, Music and Geometry, with their applications, 
and with such of the following studies as the School 
Committee may hereafter determine, viz : — 

Mathematics, — Natural Philosophy, Natural His- 
tory, — Chemistry, — Astronomy, — Surveying, — 
Drafting, — Navigation, — Mental and Moral Sci- 
ence, — Natural Theology, — Physiology, — Politi- 
cal Economy, — the Constitution of the United States, 
and the Latin, Greek and French languages. The 
studies to be modified according to the sex and ad- 


vancement, and, in some degree, the future destina- 
tion of the pupils. To every young man, should be 
given a thorough English education, with high moral 
principles, preparing him for the pursuit of Agricul- 
ture, Trade, Manufactures, Commerce, or the Me- 
chanic Arts, and for College, if it may be desirable or 
advisable : — and to every young woman, the culti- 
vation of an elevated and well disciplined mind, high 
moral aims, practical views of the duties and obliga- 
tions of life, and a knowledge of those resources of 
purity of thought, manners and conversation, which 
stamp with beauty every station in life, and make 
true virtue, not only valuable to its possessor, but an 
object of loveliness wherever it is found. 

Scholars may be formed by books alone ; but yet, 
it is desirable to give them some practical knowledge 
also, and to this end, a suitable supply of apparatus 
for illustrating the study in Mathematics, Natural 
Philosophy, Chemistry, Astronomy, &c., should be 
furnished to every high school. A small appropria- 
tion annually, for the above object, would, in a few 
years, secure to our school this desirable end, and 
would not be felt in the aggregate expense of sup- 
porting the school. 


The establishing of the High School, together 
with the change made in the location of the Gram- 
mar School House in Ward 2, and the rebuilding of 
that in Ward 1, renders it necessary that an altera- 
tion be made in the limits of the School districts. 

In view of this fact, the Committee have devoted 
much time and thought to the subject of re-organi- 
zing the Grammar Schools. They are aware of the 


importance of this measure, and while they have 
availed themselves of the opinions of many whose 
practical knowledge of school organization is worthy 
of much consideration, they have not been unmind- 
ful of the opinions and wishes of the large class of 
our own citizens, who feel deeply interested in all 
matters connected with the educational interests of 
their children, and the prosperity and usefulness of 
our public schools. No subject of equal magnitude 
has been presented to the consideration of this Board, 
and there is none upon which they have bestowed so 
much careful investigation. 

Their conclusions have been deliberately formed, 
and with a full conviction that if parents generally 
will second the measures decided upon by the Com- 
mittee, these schools will be placed in a higher sphere 
of usefulness to the children, of both sexes, than 
they have heretofore sustained. 

We have in Charlestown, nearly all the varieties 
of school organization ; — the Primary Schools, for 
children of both sexes, — a Grammar School, with 
children of both sexes in the same room and under 
the same teacher, — a school for both sexes, (double 
headed) each sex occupying separate rooms, and 
alternating from one room to the other each half 
day ; — one school for boys only, and one for girls 
only, (both double headed) and alternating from one 
room to the other, in the same building each half 
day. That there has been an opportunity for wit- 
nessing the operation, and contrasting the results of 
these several systems of organization, no one will 
deny ; — their different merits have been fully dis- 
cussed in the Committee, — their claims upon the 
confidence and support of our citizens have been 
considered — the intellectual and moral influence 


exerted by them upon the young has received that 
careful deliberation which the importance of the sub- 
ject appeared to demand ; and in view of all the 
facts, as presented to your Committee, they have been 
irresistibly led to the conclusion, that our schools 
should be organized as distinct and separate schools, 
each embracing the children of both sexes, and un- 
der the charge of one Principal teacher, one sub- 
master, and two female assistants. 

The separate school system for each of the sexes 
appears to be entirely at war with the whole social 
organization of society. Where is the separation of 
the sexes tolerated, except in some of the Public or 
Private schools ? 

We do not find it in the organization of Sunday 
schools or Primary schools. In all social gatherings 
of the young, whether in the domestic circle, in par- 
ties of pleasure, or in rural and other excursions, it 
is desired and expected that both sexes will be 
brought together to participate in, and add to the 
enjoyments of the occasion. The same practice is 
almost invariably pursued by young ladies and gen- 
tlemen, and by adults, in all their social gatherings ; 
under all circumstances, and in all conditions of civ- 
ilized life, female influence is recognized, and its 
power to refine and soften the feelings of man and 
promote his welfare and happiness, is acknowledged. 

Shall, then, our schools be the only places where 
this influence is to be excluded, and school days, the 
happiest in human existence, be marked as the only 
period in life, at which the bringing together of the 
sexes, can have no agency in purifying and elevating 
the character and condition of the social compact ? 
Besides, by the proposed arrangement of our schools, 
the children of one family Avill be brought together 

in the same room, and under the influence and in- 
struction of one set of teachers, thereby avoiding the 
embarrassments, perplexities and adverse influences 
to w^hich both scholars and teachers are often sub- 
jected in double-headed schools. 

Our schools are occasionally subjected to a change 
of teachers, and w^hen this occurs, it requires much 
time for the new teacher to become familiar with his 
pupils, their temperament, habits, dispositions, and 
the best mode of governing them. This labor is at 
best, a very arduous one, and is made doubly so, un- 
der the double-headed system of organization, where 
the teacher is brought in contact with twice the num- 
ber of children ; yet he has but half the time to be- 
stow upon this work that would be allowed him 
under the system of separate or single school organ- 
ization, and as the pupils now alternate each half 
day, the influence exerted upon them one half of the 
day, in one room, may be in part or entirely coun- 
teracted the next half day in the other room ; there- 
fore, the labor is again to be gone over, and success 
in carrying out his purposes and plans for a well 
regulated school, must be much protracted, and with 
his best directed efforts, never perhaps fully realized. 

The Bunker Hill School House, and the new 
School Houses on Bunker Hill street and on Har- 
vard street, are constructed with separate entrances, 
clothes rooms and yards, for the accommodation of 
both sexes, and are provided with suitable recitation 

These conveniences are yet to be furnished for the 
Warren School, and when they are provided for this 
School, there will be a uniformity in the construc- 
tion and general arrangement of all our Grammar 
School Houses. 


The importance of furnishing recitation rooms for 
the Warren School, has been urged by former 
Boards, and your Committee have now instructed a 
Sub-Committee from their number, to ascertain the 
cost of supplying this want for the above school, 
and for providing an additional stairway in the pres- 
ent porch of the building, to admit of separate en- 
trances for both sexes to the school room in the sec- 
ond story. 

They have farther instructed this Sub-Committee 
to apply to the City Council for an appropriation to 
defray the expense thereof. 

In view of the positions herein taken, and with a 
desire to secure greater perfection and uniformity in 
our school system, the School Committee have deci- 
ded, that when the Winthrop and Harvard School 
Houses shall be completed, they shall be occupied by 
four distinct schools, each school to be composed of 
children of both sexes ; and when recitation rooms 
and an additional stairway are provided at the War- 
ren School House, it shall be occupied by two dis- 
tinct schools, each to be composed of children of 
both sexes ; the Bunker Hill School has long been 
organized and successfully conducted upon this plan. 

The number of scholars in all our schools, is quite 
too large for the force employed in teaching them. 
Teachers cannot do full justice to their pupils, espe- 
cially in the Grammar Schools, where the variety 
of studies is more numerous and difficult. While 
these schools contain so large a number of scholars, 
it is absolutely essential to their welfare and success, 
that additional assistance be furnished to all the 
Grammar Schools, by the appointment of a sub-mas- 
ter to each of them. 

There being two recitation rooms in each story of 
all the Grammar Schools except the Warren, the 


assistant teachers will be able to attend to all the 
recitations of their classes in these, while the princi- 
pal and sub-master can, at the same time, be conduct- 
ing their recitations in the main room ; and by the 
sub-master at such times, having the general care and 
oversight of the room, the principal could be reliev- 
ed from this duty while engaged with the upper 
classes in giving illustrations or explanations, upon 
the studies which these classes have been pursuing. 
The system of monitors, also, which now, at such 
times, is indispensible, (a system attended with many 
evils w^herever practiced,) could be entirely avoided ; 
a point which it will be difficult to effect with the 
present arrangement of our Schools, and the large 
number which, under the present construction of our 
School Houses, must necessarily be enrolled upon 
their lists. 

The salary of a competent, faithful, and efficient 
sub-Master, will not exceed seven hundred dollars 
per annum, a sum of money which, in promoting the 
welfare of our Schools, would be profitably expended. 

This arrangement will also give the Principal 
Teacher an opportunity of knowing the character 
and proficiency of all the Scholars of his School, and 
of suggesting to his Assistants a remedy for any de- 
fects which, upon an examination of their classes, he 
may find to exist ; thus adding to the usefulness and 
prosperity of our Grammar Schools. Our Schools 
will, therefore, in carrying out the plan now fixed 
upon for their organization, contain one Principal 
Teacher, one sub-Master, and two female Assistant 
Teachers, to each School. 

These Schools, together with the High School, 
when organized, will meet the wants of the City for 
such a class of Schools for several years. 

It will be seen by reference to the abstracts of the 

Massachusetts School Returns, for several years past, 
that Charlestown stands high in the graduated scale, 
which represents the amount of appropriations made 
by the Towns in this Commonwealth for the support 
of Public Schools. Although the sum to each child 
between the ages of four and sixteen years, for 
the School years ending in April, 1847, and Feb- 
ruary, 1848 — may be found to fall a little below 
the amount for the several years immediately preced- 
ing these ; yet, this is no evidence of a want of inter- 
est among our citizens for the cause of popular edu- 
cation. They are ever anxious that the Schools of 
Charlestown shall afford to the young equal oppor- 
tunities, to those enjoyed by the children of any other 
Town or City in the Commonwealth, and are always 
ready and willing to be liberally taxed for this object. 
We doubt not that every resident in this City feels a 
desire, that the prosperity of its Free Schools shall 
keep pace with the accumulating wealth of its citi- 
zens, its rapidly increasing business prospects, and 
the growth of its population. They well know how 
much the peaceable enjoyment of the comforts which 
prosperity affords, depends upon the moral and social 
obligations which bind a community together, and 
the mighty influence which knowledge has in pro- 
moting the general welfare of society, and the bright- 
est hopes of mankind. Therefore, they look with 
pride to their Public Schools, and strive to make 
them instrumental in disseminating knowledge 
through every rank and condition of life; thereby 
imparting to all classes a better understanding of the 
sources of true interest and happiness ; — leading all 
to a more just appreciation and a more faithful dis- 
charge of every civil, social, and domestic duty. 




In the 11th section of the Charter of the city of 
Charlestown, after prescribing the manner of elect- 
ing, and fixing the number of the School Committee, it 
says : " The persons thus chosen shall constitute the 
School Committee, and have the care and superin- 
tendence of the Public Schools." 

The Statutes of the Commonwealth provide, that 
every town shall hold an annual meeting in the 
month of March or April, and that the inhabitants 
of every Town or City, shall, at their annual meeting, 
choose by written ballot, a School Committee, who 
shall have the general charge and superintendence 
of all the public schools in such town or city. 

The Statutes provide, that the School Committee 
shall determine the number and qualifications of the 
Scholars to be admitted into the Schools kept for the 
use of the whole Town, and said School Committee 
shall direct what books shall be used in the several 
Schools, and may direct what books shall be used 
in the respective classes ; — and the scholars shall be 
supplied by their parents, masters or guardians, with 
the books prescribed for their classes. It says fur- 
ther, that in case any scholar shall not be furnished 
by his parent, master or guardian, with the requisite 
books, he shall be supplied by the School Committee 
at the expense of the Town, and the School Commit- 
tee shall give to the Assessors of the Town the names 
of the scholars so supplied with books, and they shall 
tax the parent, master, or guardian of such scholars 
for the same, and the amount shall be collected in 
the same manner as the town taxes. 

The 11th Section of the City Charter, further pro- 
vides, that the persons chosen as the School Com- 
mittee, shall have " all the powers and privileges and 


be subject to all the liabilities set forth in an act 
passed by the Legislature of Massachusetts, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and 
ninety-three, entitled ' An act to incorporate certain 
persons by the name of the Trustees of Charlestown 
Free Schools,' and all acts in addition thereto." By 
this act, the Trustees are made the " Visitors, Trus- 
tees and Governors of the Schools," and " have power 
to make and ordain such laws, rules and orders for 
the good government of said Schools, as to them the 
Trustees, Governors and Visitors and their succes- 
sors, shall from time to time seem most fit and requi- 
site ; all which shall be observed by the ofiicers and 
scholars of said Schools, upon the penalties therein 

" Said rules, law^s and orders not to be inconsist- 
ent with the laws of the Commonwealth." 

It will be seen by the above, that the act incorpor- 
ating the " Trustees, &c.," — does not give to them 
the powers which are generally given to the Trustees 
of Academies and other Schools not supported by pub- 
lic authority and at public expense ; but such as by 
the general laws of the Commonwealth, are given to 
the School Committees of each town, over the Schools 
of their respective towns. 

By the preamble of the act of March 27th, 1793, 
creating the Corporation of the Trustees of the 
Charlestown Free Schools, the object appears to 
have been, a more convenient administration of cer- 
tain real and personal property that had been be- 
queathed to the town for the use of the Public 
Schools, " and prevent it from being indiscriminately 
mixed with other property or funds of the town, and 
so lost to the specific use for which it was given." 
Traditionary account says also, that there was an ex- 
pectation, that other funds would be given, if there 


should be an assurance that they would be kept 
sacred for the above object. 

The object of the Charter, then, appears to have 
been, to provide Trustees for these funds, which were 
trust property ; and it " was thought most appropri- 
ate at that time, to make the persons whom the town 
should yearly elect to the care of its Schools, the 
Trustees of such funds ;" they and their successors, 
were, therefore, designated by the corporate name of 
" The Trustees of Charlestown Free Schools," and 
clothed with all the usual powers and liabilities of 
similar corporations, for all purposes connected with 
the care and administration of the aforesaid trust 
funds ; — but in all other respects, their powers were 
only such, as under the general laws of the Com- 
monwealth, are given to School Committees. 

It was doubtless " intended by this Charter, to keep 
the gifts of public spirited citizens, made for uses, 
which, compared with the ordinary expenditures of 
the Town for streets, drains, and the like, may well 
be called sacred, from falling into the general Treas- 
ury, to be drawn out and expended for ordinary pur- 
poses," when a momentary or imaginary w^ant, urged 
at a Town Meeting, should prove stronger than a 
strict regard for the intention of the donors. 

In 1842, the Trustees' funds consisted of 35 shares 
of the Union Bank Stock, a town note for ^1,200, 
for money loaned the town, and a town note for ^600. 
All these funds were productive, though the income 
from them was united with the appropriations of the 
town, and from the whole sum, all the expenses of 
the schools were paid; the practice at that time 
being, for the treasurer of the trustees to draw money 
from the town treasury, and pay all school bills. 
The trustees, in 1842, sold the Union Bank stock, 
collected the town note of ;^1,200, and the interest 


due on the same, also one year's interest on the town 
note of $600, These sums, together with the 
amount of Dea. Thomas Miller's legacy, with the 
interest on the same, — the whole amounting to 
^4,913.67, — were invested in the Bow Street school 
house and land ; for which, no rent or interest has 
been received since this large portion of the trust 
property was so expended, — the trustees having no 
income from the property, except the interest on the 
town note for $600, which is regularly received. 

Thus, as to the bulk of the trust funds, the very 
thing which was sought by' the act of 1793 to be 
guarded against, has come upon us. 

We see no reason why the city should not give to 
the School Committee a note, on interest, for the 
amount invested in the Bow Street school house 
estate, and receive from the committee a conveyance 
of this property ; thus restoring to the trustees the 
amount of the trust funds, which would give to them 
an annual income of about ^300, which sum " could 
be usefully expended by the School Committee," as 
the trustees of these funds, for the legitimate pur- 
poses for which it is supposed the funds were orig- 
inally bestowed. 

The fact that only the income of these funds was 
to be expended for the benefit of the schools, 
shows that they were not intended to relieve the 
citizens from taxation for the support of schools. 
" They were given for the improvement, and not the 
support of schools, not for the purpose of building 
school houses, or purchasing fuel, or paying salaries, 
but as a fund in the hands of the School Committee, 
to be expended in their discretion, in the purchase of 
books for libraries, for maps, apparatus," <&:c. ; or for 
" some convenience or ornament to make the school 
room more attractive" or useful to the children ; for 


which purposes, many are not willing to appropriate 
money, and yet would delight to see, and to feel that 
their children could enjoy as a gift. What feelings 
of " grateful remembrance towards some venerable 
father of the town, or friend of education, may be 
awakened in the young, by the daily enjoyment of 
some such luxury. No man will be thanked for 
paying the taxes of posterity, but let him leave a 
fund, the income of which shall be expended in fur- 
nishing some convenience, accomplishment, or im- 
provement, above the ordinary means afforded by the 
town, and successive generations will rise up and call 
him blessed." 


The 19th Section of the 23d Chapter of the Re- 
vised Statutes, provides, " That the School Commit- 
tees of each town may provide, at the expense of the 
town, or otherwise, a sufficient supply of such class- 
books for all the schools aforesaid, and shall give no- 
tice of the place, where such books may be obtained ; 
and the books shall be supplied to the scholars 
at such prices as merely to reimburse the expense of 
the same." 

The subject of supplying the children of our 
public schools with books and stationery, after the 
plan suggested by the above statute, has been before 
the committee for some time, and they are endeavor- 
ing to make an arrangement, by which school books 
shall be furnished to the pupils, at " such prices 
as merely to reimburse the expense of the same.'' 
If the committee can ^il upon some plan, by which 
books of an uniform quality shall be provided at 
some central location in this city, where all can 
readily obtain them, they are of opinion that the 

cost of the same may be made such as to become an 
inducement to all, to supply themselves with school- 
books and stationery in this manner, rather than in the 
way in which they have ordinarily been provided for 
the children of our schools. Due notice will be 
given when these arrangements for the supply of 
books shall have been completed, and whether the 
same are to be furnished at the expense of the city, 
or be paid for by individuals on their receiving them. 


The School Committee have had under considera- 
tion the salaries paid to our Teachers, and after fully 
deliberating upon this subject, they have decided, 
that in justice to them and the interests of our 
Schools, we should be warranted in making an addi- 
tion to the amount which has heretofore been paid 
to them ; — therefore, they have fixed the salaries of 
the Masters in the Grammar Schools at ^1,000 per 
year, each, and all the Primary School Teachers and 
Assistants in the Grammar Schools at ^^250 each, 
per year ; — this arrangement to take efiect on the 
16th day of the present month. 

Charlestown is nearly encircled by cities, in some 
of which, higher salaries are paid to both male and 
female Teachers than we pay, and while this City is 
no less prosperous than her sister cities, and has as 
deeply at heart the cause of public education, she 
must, if from no higher motive than self-defence, fix 
the rate of compensation for her School Teachers at 
something near the rate paid in other cities and large 
towns in her immediate vicinity. The number of 
Teachers who have been taken from our Schools dur- 
ing the past year, has fully proved to your Board the 
fact, that soon after Teachers have established a 


reputation in our Schools, and have become efficient 
in the positions they have been called to fill, they 
are taken from them by offers of a higher salary 
than they receive with us, — a powerful inducement 
to every one, whose merits will commend them to 
the notice of those in pursuit of competent, experi- 
enced, and successful Teachers. 

The establishing of several new Primary Schools, 
will be indispensable during the coming year. Ar- 
rangements should be immediately made for the or- 
ganizing of one or more, in the eastern section of the 
city, where some of this class of schools are so full 
that the scholars, at times, cannot be seated. There 
is also a want felt in the western part of the city for 
a new Primary School. The citizens in that section 
have already petitioned the School Committee upon 
this subject, and they have submitted the matter to 
the City Council, asking of them a suitable building 
for the purposes of such a school. It is understood 
that a lot of land has been secured for this object. 

The prosperity of our Free Schools, is of vital im- 
portance to the public good, and these noble institu- 
tions, which have come down to us as a heritage from 
the wisdom and patriotism of worthy and honored 
ancestors, should be cherished, improved and perpet- 
uated, for the general welfare of society, and for the 
advancement of mankind in all that is elevating and 
noble in his nature. 


In School Committee^ Feb. 23, 1848. 
Voted, That the foregoing Report be accepted by 
this Board. 

Voted, That twenty-five hundred copies be printed 
and distributed to the citizens. 

GEO. FAREAR, Secretary, 

Ei)t 3$earer, 

^^^ Ojj: tbnoMeS'/atci^j 

Teacher of the 

lege of the School under your charge. 

<^ • 


is hereby admitted to theprivi- 

Member of the School Coram. 



You will admit to 



the privileges of the 

ml|5^i1 School under your instruction 



;■ ."'■«5