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§Uqit£st of % Stljool Committee 



" Trustees of the Grammar School in the Easterly part of Eoxhury." 



18 6 0. 


In Common Council, July 23, 1860. 

Report read and accepted, and Order adopted ; and that two thousand 
copies of the same be printed and distributed to the inhabitants of the 

Sent up for concurrence. 


In Board of Aldermen, July 23, 1860. 


JOSEPH W. TUCKER, City Clerk. 

Cifg of lUsbnrs. 

In Common Council, July 23d, 1860. 

The Joint Standing Committee on Fublic Instruction, to 
whom was referred a communication from the School 
Committee, dated May 9th, 1860, "requesting the City 
Council to cause all payments made from the City Treas- 
ury, for the support of the School or Schools under the 
care of the l Trustees of the Grammar School in the 
Easterly part of Roxbury,' to be discontinued on and 
after the first day of August next, except the annual 
sum of $500, that being the amount paid to the Trustees, 
annually, previously to 1852;" have attended to that 
duty, and submit the following 


The subject of a separation between the " Trustees of the 
Grammar School in the Easterly part of Roxbury " and 
the City Government, has occupied the attention of the 
City Council in previous years, and definite action on the 
part of the Board of School Committee was effected in 
1857, by their giving notice to the Board of Trustees " that 
the arrangement made on the 28th of June, 1852, between 
the School Committee and the ' Trustees of the Grammar 
School in the Easterly part of Roxbury,' in reference to 
the English department of said school, be terminated on 
the 31st day of October next." The School Committee at 
the same time gave notice to the City Government of their 
action in this matter, and " requested the City Council 
to make provision for an English High School for Boys." 

In order that the City Council may have a right under- 

standing of the matter now presented for their considera- 
tion, it is necessary to give an outline of the history of the 
Trustee Fund, and its connection with the City Govern- 
ment; and this will be presented in as brief a manner 
as is consistent with a clear understanding of the matter 
now before them : and for a more full history of the Trus- 
tee Fund, and the previous action of the School Committee 
and City Government, reference may be had to City Doc- 
uments Nos. 14 and 15, for the year 1857. 

In 1675, Mr. Thomas Bell bequeathed a large amount 
of property for the maintenance of a free school in Rox- 
bury, which fund, in 1677, was added to the funds of the 
Free School then already established, and the whole 
were placed under the direction of two Boards — the 
Trustees and Feoffees — the former having charge of the 
Bell legacy, and the latter of the School and residue of 
the property. This arrangement continued till 1789, when 
an act was passed incorporating "the Trustees of the Gram- 
mar School of the Easterly part of Roxbury." The two 
Boards who had managed its affairs were abolished, and 
its guidance and control was then placed exclusively under 
the care of a Board of Trustees, consisting of not less 
than nine nor more than thirteen persons. The members 
composing the Board of Trustees Avere, until quite re- 
cently, always chosen from the members of the Church 
now under the pastoral charge of Rev. Dr. Putnam, and 
were self-constituted ; they have ever since had exclusive 
control over its funds, and over all the arrangements con- 
nected with the Grammar and English High School for 
Boys ; though it would seem that for quite a length of 
time, viz., from 1677 to 1789, when the two Boards man- 
aged its affairs, that they must have relinquished the power, 
formerly and since exercised, and that they did not, for 
the period of one hundred and twelve years, have that 
control over the management of the School that is now 
exercised by them ; and had it not been for the act of 1789, 
they would never have been able to exercise it, at a later 

period. The power thus derived by them, comes not 
so much from the will of Mr. Bell, as from an Act of the 
Legislature ; and this power may be modified by the Gen- 
eral Court, should the Trustees deem it advisable, in order 
that the funds may exert the greatest good for the greatest 
number of those for whose benefit it was intended. 

In 1836, the Revised Statutes required every town con- 
taining 500 families to maintain a School where the higher 
branches of study should be taught, and as the Town of 
Roxbury did not contain such a school, an arrangement 
was made with the Trustees to vary the character of their 
school, so as to meet the requirements of the law of the 
Commonwealth, and thus have the advantage of the instruc- 
tion contemplated by the Legislature; an arrangement de- 
sirable to be made, as it would lessen the expense to the 
town. In 1839, an Act was obtained giving sanction to this 
plan, and also recognizing this school as being such as the 
town is required to maintain by the fifth section of the 23d 
chapter of the Revised Statutes. Upon the acceptance of 
this Act, the Town agreed to pay to the Trustees $500 
per annum, toward the maintenance of said school. The 
Trustees were to have full and absolute power over the 
school or schools thus organized, and the Act to remain 
in full force during the pleasure of the Trustees, and no 
longer. But your Committee have no doubt that upon ap- 
plication to the Trustees for the termination of this Act, 
they will promptly and cheerfully act in concert with the 
wishes of the City Government. 

In 1852, the wants of the city required additional in- 
struction in the higher branches, and though the school 
thus established had met with the legal requirements of 
the law, yet it failed to give the necessary instruction de- 
manded by the rapid growth of the city, and the ad- 
vancing strides made in science and literature ; and, in 
order to meet this want, which the School Committee 
felt was pressing upon them day by clay, they entered 
into an agreement with the Board of Trustees to supply 


the deficiency existing, and a mutual agreement was 
then entered into, which for the time was beneficial to the 
city : and although the Trustees still held on to the 
power or authority over the school, and only granted to 
the Board of School Committee an advisory or suggestive 
power (if power it maybe called), yet it had an advantage 
over the Act granted by the Legislature, in that it could 
be terminated by either of the parties, whilst that of 1839 
could only be annulled by the Trustees. 

Under this last arrangement has the School been con- 
ducted by the Trustees, in consultation with the Local 
Committee of the Board of School Committee; and in 
order to carry out this new arrangement, the city has 
appropriated towards its support an average of $2700 per 
annum, which amount has been paid to the Trustees, and 
by them expended, without any control on the part of the 
City Council or the Board of School Committee. 

In 1857, it became apparent to the School Committee 
that the growth of ' the city required, and demanded, that 
new arrangements should be made for the accommodation 
of an English High School for Boys under their exclusive 
control, an event not altogether unanticipated by the 
Trustees in the agreement of 1852. The School Commit- 
tee took the necessary measures on its part, and gave the 
required notice to the Board of Trustees, in 1857, since 
which time they have had no consultation with them ; and 
thus has terminated, on their part, the agreement of 1852. 

The City Government was then requested by the School 
Committee to make provision for an English High School 
for Boys. The City Council of that year reported ad- 
versely to the request, but continued to the present year 
in making an annual appropriation of $3000, which amount 
has been expended for the High School under the sole 
charge of the Trustees. 

As in 1839, '52 and '57, so now, in 1860, do the School 
Committee find that the rapid growth of our city, and the 
advancement of the age demand a different course, and a 

higher order of education, for the youth of our city ; and, 
in order to meet this want, have taken action, in coming 
before the City Council, and notifying them that they are 
about to establish an English High School for Boys. 
And since the Principal and Assistant of the School 
now under the charge of the Trustees have resigned their 
situations, and the School Committee have elected them 
as Teachers of the English High School now about to be 
established, it seems to be an appropriate time to request 
of the Trustees a termination of the Act of 1839, and that 
notice be given to them that the city will discontinue any 
further appropriation for the support of the Trustee School, 
with the exception of $500 per annum. The School Com- 
mittee, in previous years, urged this course of action on the 
City Government, and now, after a lapse of three years, 
come forward and recommend the same measure ; showing 
clearly that time has proven they acted wisely then, and 
we doubt not that the future will show that they are acting 
wisely now, and for the best interest of the community. 

The Board of School Committee is mostly composed of 
gentlemen of long experience in school matters, and who 
bring to their duties much knowledge and scientific attain- 
ments, derived from practical experience, and from an 
intimate connection with the best methods of instruction in 
our public schools, and are quick to discern the wants 
necessary for a full development of the human mind as 
taught in our institutions of learning. And when such 
gentlemen repeatedly urge the City Council to take action 
on a matter over which they are appointed its watchful 
guardians, it would seem to be the part of wisdom not 
only to give a listening ear to their suggestions, but to 
cooperate with them in carrying out their request. 

Your Committee would therefore recommend the adop- 
tion of the ■folio wins; order. 

For the Committee, 


Cifj of |& ^ b n r jt» 

In Common Council, July 23, 1860. 

Ordered, That the Committee on Public Instruction be instructed to 
communicate to the Board of ' ' Trustees of the Grammar School in the 
Easterly part of Eoxbury," that the City is about to establish an Eng- 
lish High School for Boys, and that the appropriation heretofore granted 
to the Trustees will be discontinued on and after the 1st of August next, 
except the annual amount of §500, that being the amount paid previous 
to 1852 ; and also to request the Trustees to send the boys now under 
their charge in the English department, to the English High School 
established by the City.