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Full text of "The New York public school; being a history of free education in the city of New York"

I 



LIBRARY 

OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. 

ClMS 




DE WITT CLINTON 
First President of the Free School Society 



THE 

NEW YORK PUBLIC SCHOOL 

BEING A HISTORY OF FREE EDUCATION J 
IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK 

v 

BY 

A. EMERSON PALMER, M.A. 

SECRETARY OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 
Authorized by the Board of Education 

INTRODUCTION BY SETH LOW, LL.D. 




KTefo gorfe 
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD. 

1905 

All rights reserved 



COPYRIGHT, 1905, 
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. 



Set up and electrotyped. Published February, 1905. 



Typography by J. S. Cushing & Co. 
Presswork by Berwick & Smith Company. 

Binding by E. Fleming & Co. 

Binding by The J. C. Valentine Co. 

Paper by W. F. Etherington & Co. 

Photo-Engraving by The National Photo-Engraving Co. 



TO THE 

BOARD OF EDUCATION 

AND THE 

TEACHERS OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS 

OF 

THE CITY OF NEW YORK 



GENERAL 

'ftlt.C 



PREFACE 

THE celebration of the centenary of the inauguration (on 
February 19, 1805) of the movement for free public schools 
in this city was suggested to the Board of Education in the 
spring of 1904, and, later, the preparation of a history of public 
education in New York. The Board unanimously approved 
both suggestions, and granted me a leave of absence for the 
purpose ,of writing this book. Although the time has been, 
of necessity, limited, no reasonable pains have been spared to 
secure accuracy. From the literary point of view this work 
makes no claim upon the reader. It is put forth as a fairly 
complete chronicle a chronicle rather than a philosophic his- 
tory of educational events in the city during the past one 
hundred years. 

To fill out the record, a preliminary chapter, relating to 
schools on Manhattan Island prior to 1805, precedes the his- 
tory of the century now closing ; and accounts of early schools 
in other parts of the city are also given. 

No apology is needed for the amount of space devoted to 
the Public School Society a movement unique and of rare 
interest. 

That the chapters which follow are free from error I do not 
venture to hope. On pages xxi and xxii will be found a list 
of authorities consulted in the preparation of this history; but 
no mention is made therein of the written and printed minutes, 
documents, reports, manuals, etc., of the Public School Society, 
the New York Board of Education, and the Brooklyn Board of 
Education, which have been read, or of the newspaper files ex- 
amined. Every citation has been carefully verified ; and where 
conflicting statements have been made by previous writers the 
reader is put in possession of them all. 



viii Preface 

I have to acknowledge my indebtedness, first, to those who 
have already traversed the same field in part. The compre- 
hensive History of the Public School Society, by Mr. William 
Oland Bourne, has been invaluable; and use has been freely 
made of Pttblic Education in the City of New York, by Mr. 
Thomas Boese", formerly Clerk of the Board of Education. 
Thanks are due to those who have materially aided me in 
various ways; in particular, to Mr. Robert H. Kelby, Libra- 
rian of the New York Historical Society, who afforded me the 
fullest opportunity for consulting the manuscript records of 
the Public School Society; to Miss Emma Toedteberg, Libra- 
rian of the Long Island Historical Society; and to a number 
of officials and employes of the Department of Education who 
have rendered valued assistance. I wish also to record my 
appreciation of the kindness of the Board of Education in 
granting me the privilege of engaging in a work which has 
grown increasingly interesting and the result of which I trust 
will not prove unworthy. 

It is a source of peculiar gratification that Mr. Seth Low 
has consented to write the Introduction to this book. His 
eminent qualifications for doing so need not be specified here ; 
but it may, perhaps, be mentioned that his grandfather (bear- 
ing the same name) was a member of the Brooklyn Board 
of Education in 1846-1847; that, while Mayor of Brooklyn 
(1882-1885), he appointed nearly eighty members of the Board 
of Education of that city ; that, as a member of the Commis- 
sion which framed the Greater New York Charter, he was 
Chairman of the Committee which prepared the chapter on 
Education ; and that in 1902, as Mayor of The City of New 
York, he appointed the entire Board of Education of forty-six 
members provided for by the Revised Charter. 

A. E. P. 

NEW YORK, 

December 30, 1904. 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

ILLUSTRATIONS xix 

BIBLIOGRAPHY xxi 

INTRODUCTION xxiii 

CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY SCHOOLS PRIOR TO 1805 i 

Schools under the rule of the Dutch Schools during the British colonial 
regime Schools after the Revolutionary War. 

CHAPTER II 

ORIGIN OF THE FREE SCHOOL SOCIETY 16 

Beginning of the movement for the establishment of free schools Meet- 
ing of public-spirited citizens Memorial to the Legislature Act 
passed incorporating the Society The original subscription list. 

CHAPTER III 

THE FREE SCHOOL SOCIETY'S FIRST SCHOOL OPENED ... 24 
Established in Bancker (now Madison) street Some account of the 
Lancasterian system Lots presented by Colonel Rutgers Aid from 
the Legislature and the city The school removed to new quarters. 

CHAPTER IV 

THREE MORE SCHOOLS ESTABLISHED 32 

Change in the name of the Society New building for No. I Gift from 
Trinity Church Religious training Apportionment of the Common 
School Fund Important action by the Legislature Opening of schools 
Nos. 2, 3, and 4. 

ix 



Contents 



CHAPTER V 

PAGE 

A TEACHER IMPORTED FROM ENGLAND 40 

Mr. Pickton takes charge of No. 4 Another appeal to the Legislature 

Vacations granted Mr. Lancaster in this country An address to 
parents and guardians Overcrowding in No. 4 An additional tax 
proposed. 

CHAPTER VI 

CONTROVERSY WITH THE BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH .... 47 
Church schools invading the field of the Society No. 5 opened Diver- 
sion of the Common School Fund opposed Appeals to the Legislature 

The Society's course upheld by the Common Council Conditions in 
the Baptist church schools Management of the school fund transferred 
to the Common Council. 



CHAPTER VII 

PLANS FOR EXTENDING THE SOCIETY'S WORK 

Action of the Common Council on the school fund No. 6 opened at 
Bellevue The visit of General La Fayette The first evening schools 

The question of corporal punishment Rewards to pupils for writing 
and needlework. 

CHAPTER VIII 

THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SOCIETY THE PAY SYSTEM . 

New charter secured A " moderate compensation" to be paid by pupils 

Great hopes of the new regime Creation of the Executive Com- 
mittee Schools Nos. 9, 10, and 1 1 opened Hopes doomed to disap- 
pointment The pay system abolished. 

CHAPTER IX 

THE SOCIETY'S RESOURCES INCREASED 

Death of De Witt Clinton Important address outlining the plans of the 
Society and proposing an increased tax for school purposes Petitions 
to the Legislature One-fourth of the tax suggested allowed Infant 
schools and primary departments Receipts from lottery licenses 
Samuel W. Seton appointed "visitor" and "agent." 



Contents xi 



CHAPTER X 

PAGE 

ANOTHER RELIGIOUS CONTROVERSY 86 

Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum secures a share of the school fund Ap- 
plication of a Methodist school unsuccessful Plans for improving and 
multiplying the schools Many primary schools proposed The ques- 
tion of vagrancy Action by the Common Council Recommendations 
of a committee on reorganization Changes in the monitorial system 

School No. 12 opened. 

CHAPTER XI 

EVENING SCHOOLS ORGANIZED 88 

The experiment not a success Schools of the Manumission Society trans- 
ferred Normal schools started Tariff of salaries in 1836 The first 
superintendent of repairs New building for No. I Trustees' Hall 
erected Death of Joseph Lancaster Schools Nos. 13, 14, 15, and 16 
started. 

CHAPTER XII 

THE CONTROVERSY OF 1840 94 

Governor Seward's message Petition of trustees of Roman Catholic 
schools Remonstrances from the Public School Society Petitions 
denied by the Board of Assistant Aldermen Expurgation of objec- 
tionable passages in school books The application renewed Impor- 
tant hearing before the Board of Aldermen The vote in that body 
15 to I. 

CHAPTER XIII 

THE BOARD OF EDUCATION ESTABLISHED 101 

Vigorous campaign organized on behalf of the Catholics Important 
report by State Superintendent Spencer Action postponed until 1842 

A vital issue in the campaign Governor Seward's treatment of the 
subject A bill passed creating the Board of Education Apprehen- 
sions of the Public School Society Opening of School No. 17. 

CHAPTER XIV 

THE Two SYSTEMS SIDE BY SIDE 109 

Difficulties in the way of the Board Amendments to the act of 1842 
Progress in establishing district schools The monitorial system not 
employed Charges of extravagance Work of the Society continued 



xii Contents 

PAGE 

in spite of embarrassments School No. 18 established Right to 
build additional schoolhouses questioned The Society at the mercy of 
the Board. 

CHAPTER XV 
THE Two SYSTEMS CONSOLIDATED . 115 

Objections to the double system The Society's applications to the Board 
for funds Committees of conference appointed Conditions of transfer 
A bill finally enacted Value of the Society's property Fifteen 
members of the Society become members of the Board. 

CHAPTER XVI 
GREAT WORK OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SOCIETY . . . .126 

Unselfishness and devotion of its Trustees Tribute of the Board of Edu- 
cation Cordial praise by Mr. Bourne, Mr. Boese, and Mr. Randall 
Andrew S. Draper's comments on the influence of the Society. 

CHAPTER XVII 

FIRST DECADE OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 132 

How its first school was started Growth of the system Change in the ^ 
character of the buildings Establishment of evening schools FoundaV 
tion of the Free Academy Questions as to uniformity in salaries and 
supplies Learning a lesson from the Public School Society. 

CHAPTER XVIII 

BOARD OF EDUCATION 1853 TO 1860 140 

The Society's schools retain their original numbers Composition of the 
Board Statistics for 1853 The normal schools The school law of 
1851 The first City Superintendent of Schools Course of instruction 
in 1853 Attempt to provide a uniform schedule of salaries Corporal 
punishment. 

CHAPTER XIX 

BOARD OF EDUCATION 1860 TO 1870 152 

Two important laws relative to the schools Seven school districts laid 
out in 1864 Radical legislation attempted in 1867 A Board of 
twelve members, appointed by the Mayor, in 1869 Salaries increased 
during and after the war Evening schools reorganized First evening - 
high school An advanced school for girls established which became 
the Normal College. 



Contents xiii 

CHAPTER XX 

PAGE ' 

BOARD OF EDUCATION 1870 TO 1880 163 

Two more important laws The Department of Public Instruction estab- 
lished in 1871 Another change in 1873 and a Board of twenty-one 
provided Schools in the annexed district First Compulsory Educa- 
tion Law The Nautical School Corporal punishment prohibited 
Changes in the course of study. 

CHAPTER XXI 

BOARD OF EDUCATION 1880 TO 1890 174 

A peaceful decade Free lectures for working men and women provided 
Bonds issued for school buildings and sites Three more evening 
high schools Colored schools disestablished Women on the Board 
of Education More about salaries Teachers' tenure of office. 

CHAPTER XXII 

BOARD OF EDUCATION 1890 TO 1897 184 

Extensive changes in 1896 The ward trustees abolished Board of 
Superintendents, with large powers, created School inspectors High 
schools established Large bond issues authorized A new era in 
school architecture Roof playgrounds Provision for the retirement 
of teachers on pension Kindergartens organized. 

CHAPTER XXIII 

BROOKLYN 'SCHOOLS BEFORE 1843 *9 8 

The first school doubtless in Flatbush A school in Brooklyn in 1661 
Schools in Bushwick, Bedford, Flatlands, Gravesend, New Lots, and 
Williamsburgh Other schools started. 

CHAPTER XXIV 

BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION ORGANIZATION .... 207 

Members appointed by the Common Council Increased to thirty-three 
in 1850 and to forty-five in 1855 A City Superintendent appointed, 
who was also Secretary Terms of members The headquarters 
building Attempt at reorganization. 



xiv Contents 

CHAPTER XXV 

PAGE 

BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION 1843 TO 1854 . . . .213 
School statistics in the early years The first course of instruction Dis- 
trict committees Evening schools A depot for books and supplies 

Free books in Williamsburgh. 

CHAPTER XXVI 

BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION 1855 TO 1875 .220 
Consolidation of Williamsburgh and Bushwick with Brooklyn Saturday 
Normal School An Assistant Superintendent appointed A uniform 
course of study adopted in 1866 Classification of schools Evening 
school sessions Free text -books for one year. 

CHAPTER XXVII 

BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION 1876 TO 1897 .... 226 
Expansion of the system Annexation of the county towns Enforcing 
the Compulsory Education Law Attendance schools Truant School 

Free text-books adopted in 1884 Teachers' Retirement Fund A 
new course of study Kindergartens Music, drawing, and sewing. 

CHAPTER XXVIII 

BROOKLYN HIGH SCHOOLS AND TRAINING SCHOOL . . . 237 
Early efforts in the direction of secondary education Supplementary 
classes A Central Grammar School organized in 1878 Its evolution 
into the Girls' High School and the Boys' High School The Manual 
Training High School Erasmus Hall Academy taken over The 
Training School for Teachers. 

CHAPTER XXIX 

FEATURES OF THE BROOKLYN SYSTEM 243 

The local committee plan Overcrowding, and measures to prevent it 
Half-day classes Corporal punishment permitted Changes in teach- 
ers' salaries Secretary Stuart's defalcation. 



Contents xv 



CHAPTER XXX 

PAGE 

THE BOROUGH OF QUEENS 253 

The earliest schools in Newtown The "Old Fourth Ward School" A 
Board of Education for Long Island City Schools in Flushing and 
Jamaica The Rushing High School. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

THE BOROUGH OF THE BRONX 262 

Towns of Westchester County annexed to New York Schools at an early 
date in Westchester and Eastchester Work of the Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel Schools under the State government. 



CHAPTER XXXII 

THE BOROUGH OF RICHMOND 267 

Meagre records of the early schools The school at New Springville 
Reports of pioneer schoolmasters Schools under the State The 
district school system. 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

THE CONSOLIDATION OF 1898 272 

Four Borough School Boards and a Central Board of Education The 
Board of Examiners Eligible lists of teachers Limited powers of 
the City Superintendent Powers of the School Boards Amendments 
to the Charter Use of school buildings for recreation The Ahearn 
Law The Davis Law The Board of Education in control of its own 
funds. 

CHAPTER XXXIV 

THE CITY OF NEW YORK 1898 TO 1901 284 

School organizations in the several Boroughs Establishing the new sys- 
tem Funds for increasing school accommodations High school*' 
buildings Two more high schools in Brooklyn Vacation schools, 
playgrounds, and recreation centres Free lectures and other features 
New Hall of the Board Last of the colored schools. 



xvi Contents 



CHAPTER XXXV 

PAGE 

THE REVISED CHARTER OF 1901 298 

Drawbacks of the compromise system Borough School Boards abolished 

Local School Boards provided An Executive Committee of the 
Board of Education The Board of Superintendents and its powers 
District Superintendents Control of funds taken from the Board 
Children under six admitted only to kindergartens. 

CHAPTER XXXVI 

THE CITY OF NEW YORK 1902 TO 1904 . . . . . 303 

The new plan quickly put in running order Large sums for school 
buildings and sites Part-time classes A new course of study for 
elementary schools Courses for the high schools Expansion of high 
school work The training school course extended Development 
of various school activities Changes in the Compulsory Education Law 

Legal decisions. 

CHAPTER XXXVII 

THE COLLEGE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK 320 

Origin of the Free Academy The institution opposed by Horace Greeley 

Made a college in 1866 Courses of instruction A separate Board 
of Trustees provided in 1900 New buildings for the College. 

CHAPTER XXXVIII 

THE NORMAL COLLEGE 327 

Developed from the Female Normal and High School The College 
building Extending the course of study Recent changes and 
improvements. 

CHAPTER XXXIX 

SCHOOL LIBRARIES 332 

Libraries in the Free School Society's schools What was done under 
the law of 1838 Libraries in Brooklyn Classroom libraries. 

CHAPTER XL 

PERSONAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL 336 

Brief sketches of the presidents of the Public School Society, the New 
York Board of Education, the Brooklyn Board of Education, and the 
Board of Education of Greater New York. 



Contents xvii 

APPENDICES 

PAGE 

I. CONTRACT WITH A DUTCH SCHOOLMASTER, FLATBUSH, 1682 . 369 

II. COURSE OF STUDY FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS . . . 371 

III. COURSES OF STUDY FOR HIGH SCHOOLS 393 

IV. COURSE OF STUDY FOR TRAINING SCHOOLS .... 401 
V. SALARY SCHEDULES 403 

VI. ALPHABETICAL LISTS OF MEMBERS OF THE BOARDS OF EDU- 
CATION AND BOROUGH SCHOOL BOARDS . . . .419 

INDEX 435 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

De Witt Clinton Frontispiece 

FACING PAGE 

Facsimile of Page in Free School Society's Subscription Book . . 22 
Free School Society's First Schoolhouse and Model School Building of 

the Public School Society 34 

Presidents of the Public School Society 72 

Early Presidents of the New York Board of Education . . .132 
Later Presidents of the New York Board of Education . . . .164 
A Group of Presidents of the Brooklyn Board of Education . . . 206 

Two Types of Brooklyn School Buildings 244 

Evolution of a Schoolhouse Borough of Queens .... 258 

Morris High School Borough of The Bronx 266 

De Witt Clinton High School and Public School 62 Manhattan . 280 

Kindergarten on a Recreation Pier 296 

Audience at a Free Lecture Hall of the Board of Education . .312 

Scene in a Vacation Playground Manhattan 330 

Class in a Vacation School making Baskets 348 

College of the City of New York and Normal College .... 360 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



History of the Public School Society of the City of New York, William 
Oland Bourne, New York, 1873. 

Public Education in the City of New York : its History, Condition, and 
Statistics, Thomas Boese', New York, 1869. 

History of the School of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in the 
City of New York, from 1633 to the Present Time, Henry Webb Dunshee, 
New York, 1853. 

An Account of the Origin and Progress of the Free School Society, New 
York, 1814. 

A Sketch of the Rise and Progress of the Public School Society (printed 
in the Annual Report of the Society for 1842, and reprinted, with additions, 
in the Annual Report for 1848). 

History of New Netherland, Edward B. CTCallaghan, New York, 1846. 

Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York 
(Holland Documents), Albany, N.Y., 1856. 

The Records of New Amsterdam, New York, 1897. 

History of the State of New York, John Romeyn Brodhead, New York, 
1859. 

History of the State of New York, S. S. Randall, New York, 1870. 

History of the Common School System of the State of New York, S. S. 
Randall, New York, 1871. 

History of the City of New York, Mrs. Martha J. Lamb, New York, 1877- 
1881. 

The Memorial History of the City of New York, edited by James Grant 
Wilson, New York, 1893. 

History of New York City, Benson J. Lossing, New York, 1885. 

Historic New York (Half Moon Papers), New York, 1899. 

The Cyclopaedia of Education, Henry Kiddle and Alexander J. Schem, 
New York, 1877. 

Origin and Development of the New York Common School System, An- 
drew S. Draper (an address delivered before the New York State Teachers' 
Association, at Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Washington. 1890. 



xxii Bibliography 

The Public School : History of Common School Education in New York 
State from 1633 to 1904, Charles E. Fitch, Albany, N.Y., 1904. 

Annals of Public Education in the State of New York, from 1626 to 1746, 
Daniel J. Pratt, Albany, N.Y., 1872. 

Valentine's Manuals of the Corporation of the City of New York. 

Longworth's Directory, 1805. 

The Description of the City of New York, James Hardie, New York, 1827. 

A History of Education in the United States, Edwin Grant Dexter, New 
York, 1904. 

Education for Adults : The History of the Free Lecture System of the City 
of New York, Henry M. Leipziger, New York, 1904. 

The Life and Writings of De Witt Clinton, William W. Campbell, New 
York, 1849. 

The Works of William H. Seward, edited by George E. Baker, New York, 

1853. 

History of Kings County, Henry R. Stiles, New York, 1884. 

The History of the Town of Flatbush, Thomas M. Strong, New York, 1842. 

Early Settlers of Kings County, Teunis G. Bergen. 

A History of Long Island, Peter Ross, New York, 1902. 

Historical Sketch of the Public Schools and Board of Education of Brook- 
lyn, Thomas W. Field, Brooklyn, 1873. 

The History of Long Island, Benjamin F. Thompson, New York, 1843. 

Flatbush, Past and Present, Edmund D. Fisher, New York, 1901. 

History of the Early Schools in Long Island, J. H. Thiry, Long Island 
City, 1904. 

The Annals of Newtown, James Riker, Jr., New York, 1852. 

History of the Town of Flushing, Henry D. Waller, 1899. 

Flushing, Past and Present, G. Henry Mandeville, Flushing, 1860. 

History of Westchester County, J. Thomas Scharf, Philadelphia, 1886. 

History of the County of Westchester, Robert Bolton, New York, 1881. 

History of Westchester County, Frederic Shonnard and W. W. Spooner, 
New York, 1900. 

Memorial History of Staten Island, Ira K. Morris, 1900. 




INTRODUCTION 

THIS centennial History of the New York Public School is 
modestly called by its author "a chronicle," and so it is; but it 
is much more than a chronicle taken from the official records of 
the Department of Education of the City of New York. The 
author has had ready access to the records of the Free School 
Society, established in 1805, and later known as the Public 
School Society, as well as to the records of all the educational 
departments now merged under the control of the Board of 
Education of New York City. He has also read carefully all 
the monographs relating to the history of education in any part 
of the local field, as well as such local histories as throw light 
upon the subject with which he deals. The result is a very 
readable book for all who are interested in this subject, and a 
mine of information for the student. The legal development of 
the City School system is clearly traced, and also the gradual 
but steady growth in the city of a consistent system of public 
education, that, after one hundred years, begins with the kinder- 
garten and ends with the college. The many-sided service of 
the Department of Education is also pointed out, in its mainten- 
ance of evening schools, vacation schools, play centres, public 
lectures, and the like, and the origin and growth of each distinc- 
tive feature is clearly shown. Information heretofore widely 
scattered is concentrated in this single volume. 

It is interesting to observe how the cosmopolitan character 
of the City appears even in the origins of its educational system. 
In Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, the first schools are traced 
back to the Dutch ; in the Bronx, through the towns of West- 
chester and Eastchester, they go back to the English ; while in 



xxiv Introduction 

Richmond, the credit of laying foundations is due to the Wal- 
denses and Huguenots. Everywhere, at the beginning, the first 
schools were closely allied to the churches. A debt of grati- 
tude is especially due to the Society of Friends, as pioneers in 
several parts of the City in the effort to secure education for the 
neglected. 

In every Dutch settlement now included within the City of 
New York, the schoolmaster followed closely on the coming of 
the clergy man; (and the Dutch schools were essentially public 
schools. \ In the English period such a thing as a public school, 
as now conceived of, was not known ; though some of the Eng- 
lish churches maintained parish schools, and the Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts sent schoolmasters 
to one or two neighborhoods. After the Revolution, and until 
the establishment of the Free School Society, little was done in 
the City looking towards free public education. It is very note- 
worthy that the Manumission Society of New York, popularly 
so called, was founded in 1785 for the express purpose, among 
other things, of giving to negroes " the elements of education." 
A free school for colored children was opened under the auspices 
of this Society in 1787. This marked the first faint impulse 
towards free public education. It was also the beginning of 
separate schools for colored children, which thus became, later, 
a feature of the public school system of the City, from which 
they finally disappeared, only in 1900, during the administration 
of Governor Roosevelt, who signed an Act abolishing such 
schools in Queens County, the portion of the City in which they 
survived longest. This free school for colored children founded 
in 1787 was followed, in 1805, by the organization of the Free 
School Society under the presidency of De Witt Clinton, then 
Mayor of the City, whose object it was to furnish free education 
for the many children whose parents could not afford to pay for 
it, and whom the church schools, then existing, did not reach. 
This Free School Society became, in 1826, the Public School 
Society ; a change of name that marked a change in its own con- 



Introduction xxv 

ception of its mission, and that marked, also, a great advance 
in the general understanding of the obligations of the com- 
munity towards popular education. This change of ideal from 
a free school for the poor to a public school for all, was the 
beginning of the end of the Public School Society ; for public 
schools for all could manifestly be adequately carried on only by 
the community itself in its corporate capacity. In 1842 the 
first Board of Education in the old City of New York was estab- 
lished, and for several years this Board and the Public School 
Society continued to carry on their work side by side. In 1847 
the Board of Education asked for authority from the State to 
establish a free academy. This proposition was submitted to 
popular decision in June of that year, and was endorsed by a 
vote of 19,404 to 3409. Finally, in 1853, the schools of the 
Public School Society were turned over to the Board of Educa- 
tion, and the system became a public system in every respect. 
There are few chapters more interesting, or more inspiring, in 
the history of popular education, than the rapid development of 
the sentiment in favor of it in the City of New York. It took 
little more than sixty years for the free school for colored 
children, and less than fifty years for the first school of the 
Free School Society, to develop into an educational system 
headed by a free academy, maintained by taxation, and under 
popular control. Truly, here in New York and in the matter 
of education, Democracy is justified of all her children. 

Taking the entire hundred years into consideration, the 
advance in the conception of the qualifications necessary for the 
public school teacher is hardly less notable. The Free School 
Society introduced what was known as the Lancasterian system, 
a prominent feature of which was, that advanced pupils should 
be employed to give instruction to those less advanced. Start- 
ing thus with schools largely equipped with pupil teachers, the 
insistence upon some professional training gradually became so 
strong, that, at first, certain classes were started for the training 
of teachers ; then, a full year of professional training in some 



xxvi Introduction 

normal or training school was demanded ; while, at the present 
time, two full years of such professional instruction is required 
of all who wish to become teachers in the public schools. 

The development of public education is traced by the author 
in Brooklyn, also, in Queens, in the Bronx, and in Richmond ; 
and the steps taken to unify the educational system of the great 
City, after the consolidation of 1898, are carefully pointed out. 
Two things are evident from this story : first, the great difficulty 
of the task devolved upon the educational authorities by consoli- 
dation ; and second, the great progress made by the schools in 
all parts of the City, since consolidation took place. There was, 
inevitably, danger that the uniformity certain to come from con- 
solidation would involve a gradual dragging down of the better 
parts of the system to the level of the lower. It is more than 
gratifying to be able to say that this unification has been suc- 
cessfully brought about, in fact, by lifting the poorer parts to 
the level of the better. Indeed, it may be said, generally, that 
the best features of each separate system have been kept for the 
benefit of all. Undoubtedly, in an educational system compris- 
ing so many schools, there is, and there always will be, great 
variations in quality as between individual schools. But every 
Borough of the great City has a better school system to-day than 
it ever had before. There is a higher standard of qualification 
demanded of teachers and all school officers. The pay and con- 
ditions of service are better ; the character of school buildings 
constantly improves ; and the curriculum compares favorably 
with that offered anywhere in the United States. Of these 
advantages no one Borough has the monopoly, but all share 
them alike. How well the New York Public Schools, as schools, 
stand at the moment, is attested by the awards recently made at 
the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Under Group I New York 
has been granted a Grand Prize (the highest honor), and three 
gold medals; for elementary education. Under Group II New 
York City has been granted a Grand Prize, and four gold 
medals; for secondary education. This is a great distinction 



Introduction xxvii 

to secure, within seven years after consolidation, for a system on 
so vast a scale as to comprise in 1903-1904, 546 school build- 
ings ; more than 13,000 teachers and a registration of 622,000 
pupils. It may truthfully be said that consolidation has thor- 
oughly justified itself already, in this vital department of public 
activity, in that tens of thousands of children are being better 
educated every year than they could possibly have been under 
the old conditions. 

The establishment of the Free Academy in 1847, and its 
reorganization as a college in 1866, were, in themselves, great 
steps forward. Being followed, however, as they were, by the 
establishment of the Normal School for Girls as a college, in 
1871, the two institutions together had the effect of throwing 
the public school system of New York City, for many years, 
out of line with the public school development throughout the 
United States. That development ordinarily contemplated the 
high school as the top of a city public school system ; and New 
York City, for long, had no high schools. In the West, very 
generally, the State establishes and maintains a State Univer- 
sity as the crown of the public system of education ; but, in 
the East, the colleges and universities were, and are, under 
private control. In the absence of high schools it was impos- 
sible for either boy or girl to be fitted in the public schools of 
the City of New York, for entrance into any college outside 
of the City colleges ; and the long absence of high schools had 
the further unfortunate effect of keeping the teachers of New 
York City out of touch with a great body of the most pro- 
gressive teachers in the country. Happily, of recent years, 
this difficulty, also, has been remedied; and, since con- 
solidation, eleven new high school buildings have been either 
completed or begun. Concurrently with this development of 
high schools, New York has developed its two colleges until 
they also stand, or will soon stand, on a level with the better 
colleges in the country in respect of the education they give. 
New York, therefore, instead of being, as it was for many 



xxviii Introduction 

years, the city in the United States in which public educa- 
tion was least well organized, has now the proud distinction of 
being the only American city to offer, unaided, to all its chil- 
dren, an educational opportunity that begins with the kinder- 
garten and includes not only the high school but also the college. 

Speaking here of "The characteristic American Faith in 
Education," President Eliot of Harvard University said, this 
very month : " New York City has produced a system of public 
instruction which the whole country may well copy. It is de- 
veloping a public education which, far from being confined to 
the years of childhood, goes on with the adult while life lasts. 
It continues the education of adults by evening schools and 
free public lectures, and is making its school buildings constant 
day and night educational centres." Thus it is seen, that, 
while New York has been improving the structure of its school 
system at every point, it has been likewise making its school 
buildings, and school resources, more widely and more demo- 
cratically useful than ever before. The typical school build- 
ing of New York City, instead of being, as it used to be, a 
building in use for a few hours only, on five days of the week 
during nine months of the year, is now one of the busiest cen- 
tres of activity, day and evening, throughout the entire year. 

One other matter of importance calls for a word of comment. 
The public schools of New York minister to the children of a 
population that is of very mixed origin. In a single night 
class, not long ago, twenty-six different languages were the 
native languages of those in attendance. The children of such 
a population, when they first go to school, are little in touch with 
each other, and have no common speech. These wonderful 
public schools, over and above and beyond everything else, 
make them all Americans ; with a love for the flag, with a com- 
mon speech, and with a sympathy for each other born of their 
close association. The good discipline, generally maintained, is 
evidenced by the uniform good order under the supreme test 
of fire. Only a few weeks ago, the children were marched out 



Introduction xxix 

of a burning school building, in three minutes, in perfect order, 
and no one was hurt. The value of such training is not to be 
expressed in dollars, nor in words. Doubtless our schools still 
have many imperfections ; doubtless it will require constant 
watchfulness to preserve what is good in them, and constant en- 
deavor to improve them. But the results outlined are in them- 
selves notable, and call for generous recognition on the part of 
the people of the City of the long line of men and women, who, 
for a century, have labored, in season and out, in the schools 
themselves, and in the Board of Education, and in its employ- 
ment, to bring about such results. Certainly, from the point of 
view of popular education, the City of New York is " no mean 
city." 

On page 313 of this volume, the author says of the reduction 
of the tax rate of four mills for the benefit of the General 
School Fund to three mills, as an incident of the policy of full 
valuation of the real estate of the City for purposes of taxation : 
" The effect of this change was serious." This is a common 
misapprehension. As a matter of fact, the General School 
Fund has received a larger sum, each year, from the three mill 
rate on the new basis of valuation than it would have received 
from the four mill rate on the old basis of valuation. What 
has really taken place is this. The four mill rate originally pro- 
vided a larger sum than the Board of Education actually needed. 
Finding the money at command, the Board developed vacation 
schools, play centres, and the like, and so made it highly use- 
ful. But, in recent years, the very large sums appropriated for 
school buildings have necessitated an unusually rapid increase in 
the number of teachers ; while the annual increase of salaries 
provided for by the Davis Law, affecting the whole body of 
teachers, old and new alike, has created a demand for an increase 
in the salary budget, year by year, that is quite abnormal. The 
tax rate ought to be fixed at a figure that will provide what 
is really necessary, not only for teachers' salaries but also to 
enable the Board to maintain and expand the highly useful 



xxx Introduction 

functions of the public schools, represented by evening schools, 
vacation schools, recreation centres, and the like. But it can- 
not be considered a misfortune that the Board has been 
compelled to economize, at every possible point, before the deter- 
mination of the rate, proper in view of existing conditions, is 
finally reached. 

This centennial History of the New York Public School 
cannot fail to awaken a sense of pride in our citizens, and a pro- 
found sense of gratitude towards all who have taken part in 
making our public school system what it is ; and especially to 
the great army of teachers, the dead and the living, who have 
wrought, and are now working, their lives into it, year by year. 
The New York City of to-day is very largely their handiwork ; 
and the New York that is to be will be more largely indebted 
to them than to any other single factor that will influence its 
history. 

SETH LOW. 
NEW YORK, December 31, 1904. 



THE NEW YORK PUBLIC SCHOOL 



The New York Public School 

CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY SCHOOLS PRIOR TO 1805 
I. SCHOOLS UNDER THE RULE OF THE DUTCH 

IT is not a matter of surprise that the founders of New 
Amsterdam gave early attention to the education of their chil- 
dren. In their own country they were familiar with such educa- 
tion, and had learned to regard it as indispensable. The interest 
of the Dutch in this matter is well known. " Neither the perils 
of war, nor the busy pursuit of gain, nor the excitement of politi- 
cal strife, ever caused the Dutch to neglect the duty of educating 
their offspring to enjoy that freedom for which their fathers 
had fought. Schools were every where provided, at the public 
expense, with good schoolmasters, to instruct the children of all 
classes in the usual branches of education ; and the consistories 
of the churches took zealous care to have their youth thoroughly 
taught the Catechism and the Articles of Religion." 1 It was 
the custom of the Dutch, "(after the Reformation in Holland, to 
send out with emigrants going to any of its colonies, however 
few in number^ well-qualified schoolmaster, who was a member 
of the Churchjand accredited by his competence and piety to 
take charge of the instruction of children and youth." 2 

The colony on Manhattan Island was permanently estab- 
lished in 1626, although the charter of the Dutch West India 
Company was obtained in 1621, and a few settlers had taken up 

1 History of the State of New York, Brodhead, Vol. I, pp. 462, 463. 

2 Introduction (by Thomas De Witt) to History of the School of the Reformed 
Protestant Dutch Church in the City of New York, Dunshee, p. 7. 

B I 



2 The New York Public School 

their abode there as early as the winter of 1613-1614. The 
Company "promised to support and maintain good and fit 
preachers, schoolmasters, and comforters of the sick." 1 The 
establishment of schools and the appointment of schoolmasters 
were within the province of the Company and the Classis of 
Amsterdam. 

Although for several years the offices of minister and school- 
master are supposed to have been filled by the same person, 
there is nothing in the records to show that anything was done 
in the way of instruction. There was no minister in the colony 
at the beginning, the place of a clergyman being supplied to 
some extent by two " krank-besoeckers," or " comforters of the 
sick," who were required to visit and pray with sick persons. 
Ministers were in some cases called upon to look after the 
instruction of children in other things than the Catechism ; but 

" the course most commonly pursued, when a colony was to be established, 
was, to have a schoolmaster accompany the settlers, and, to a certain extent, 
conduct religious services. After habitations were erected, and the settlement 
had assumed a warrantable degree of stability, it was provided with a minister." 2 

It is not probable that many children were brought over by 
the immigrants from Holland, and those born on Manhattan 
Island would not have been ready to attend school much before 
the date of the arrival of the first schoolmaster, in 1633. In 
that year the second Director-General, Wouter Van Twiller, 
arrived at Manhattan, and with him came the Rev. Everardus 
Bogardus, the second minister of the Gospel, and Adam Roe- 
lantsen, 3 the first schoolmaster. It was several years before a 
schoolhouse was built ; in the mean time school was held in a 
room hired for the purpose, or in a room in the schoolmaster's 
house. The school was free. Roelantsen was a salaried official 
of the West India Company, receiving a compensation of 360 

1 History of New Netherland, O'Callaghan, Vol. I, p. 220. 

2 See Dunshee, pp. 25, 26, 27. 

8 The name is spelled by some historians Roelandsen ; the writer has found it in 
one or two cases Roelandson, and once Roelandsden. 



Schools under the Rule of the Dutch 3 

florins 1 ($144) per annum. There is some reason to believe 
that this pioneer in the army of schoolteachers on Manhattan 
Island took in washing, to increase his income. He was a man 
of quarrelsome disposition, and during his somewhat checkered 
career in New Amsterdam was the plaintiff or defendant in 
numerous lawsuits. In 1646 he was sentenced by the court to 
be flogged and banished forever out of the country, but this 
sentence was not carried out on account of his four motherless 
children. In the following year, it is stated, he was appointed 
Provost; and in 1653 Adam Roelantsen was a member of the 
Burgher Corps of New Amsterdam. 2 

"It is not impossible," says Valentine, "that the severe 
measures taken against Roelantsen were only adopted after 
his professional services had become no longer a necessity. 
For the year previous to his banishment, one Alien Jansen 
Van Ilpendam settled here and opened school. . . . We find, 
from various sources, that Van Ilpendam taught several chil- 
dren, who afterward became among the leading citizens in 
town. He lived in this city and taught school during many 
subsequent years, at least as late as in the year 1660" (Manual, 
1863, p. 561). Mrs. Lamb is authority for the statement that a 
new school was started by Arien Jansen Van Olfendam, who 
arrived from Holland March 3, 1645, and taught until 1660. 
" His terms of tuition were * two beavers ' per annum, beavers 
meaning dried beaver-skins." 3 

fin the year 1638 appears the record of the first tax for 
the maintenance of schools! the following law having been 
proposed : 

" Each householder and inhabitant shall bear such tax and public charge 
as shall hereafter be considered proper for the maintenance of clergymen, com- 
forters of the sick, schoolmasters, and such like necessary officers." 4 

1 The value of a florin or guilder was about forty cents. 

2 O'Callaghan, Vol. II, p. 569. 

* History of the City of New York, Vol. I, p. 123. 

* Holland Documents, Vol. I, p. 112. 



4 The New York Public School 

In Annals of Public Education in the State of New York 
Mr. Pratt states that 

"as early as 1642, it was customary, in marriage contracts, whenever the bride 
was a widow having children, for the parties to ' promise to bring up the chil- 
dren decently, according to their ability, to provide them with necessary cloth- 
ing and food, to keep them at school, to let them learn reading, writing, and a 
good trade ' ; to which was sometimes added ' as honest parents ought and are 
bound to do, and as they can answer before God and man ' " (p. 5). 

According to some authorities, Roelantsen appears to have 
been succeeded in 1643 by Jan Stevenson, called by Dominie 
Backerus a " faithful schoolmaster and reader, who has served 
the Company here for six or seven years, and is now [Sep- 
tember, 1648] going home." 1 From Mrs. Lamb we learn that 

"about that time [1648], Jan Stevenson opened a small private school which 
was tolerably well patronized. The best families had generally their own pri- 
vate tutors direct from Europe ; but there were enough to support a school 
besides, and the new teacher found himself fully occupied" (Vol. I, p. 139). 

It would appear probable that Stevenson opened his private 
school after severing his connection with the free school and 
after a visit to his native land. According to Dunshee (p. 35), 
however, Jan Cornelissen was " the second teacher mentioned in 
connection with the public school under the care of the church." 

About this time efforts were made to build a schoolhouse. 
Subscriptions were solicited for the purpose ; but in 1649 a 
remonstrance addressed to the States-General stated that 

"The. plate has been a long time passed around for a Common School 
which has been built with words ; for, as yet, the first stone is not laid ; some 
materials have only been provided. However, the money given for the pur- 
pose hath all disappeared and is mostly spent, so that it falls somewhat short ; 
and nothing permanent has as yet been effected for this purpose." 

The remonstrance further declared that " There ought to be 
also a Public school provided with at least two good teachers," etc. 2 

1 The Memorial History of the City of New York, edited by James Grant Wilson, 
Vol. IV, p. 576. 

2 See Holland Documents, Vol. I, pp. 300, 317, 423, 424. 



Schools under the Rule of the Dutch 5 

The answer to the remonstrance, made in the following year 
(1650), stated that 

"Although the new School-house, towards which the Commonalty contrib- 
uted something, has not yet been built, it is not the Director, but the Church 
wardens, who have charge of the funds. The Director is busy providing mate- 
rials. Meanwhile a place has been selected for a School, of which Jan Cornel- 
issen has charge. The other teachers keep school in hired houses, so that the 
youth are not in want of schools to the extent of the circumstances of the 
country." 

Jan Cornelissen is reputed to have been lazy and of bad 
habits. Peter Stuyvesant was now Director-General of the 
colony, and he petitioned the Classis of Amsterdam for "a 
pious, well-qualified, and diligent schoolmaster." In response 
William Verstius 1 was sent out. Little is known of him 
beyond the fact that in 1654 he petitioned the Classis of 
Amsterdam for an increase of salary; in the following year 
he withdrew from the school. Wilson says that after Steven- 
son's return to Holland, in September, 1648, his place was 
temporarily filled by Pieter van der Linde, who was appointed 
October 26th, at a salary of 150 florins ($60), "until another 
proper person can be sent from Holland" (Vol. IV, p. 5/6). 
This " proper person " apparently was Verstius. 

As one consequence of the above-mentioned remonstrance, 
made in 1649, a second school was opened in 1652, under the 
direction of Jan De La Montagne, 2 but it is uncertain how long 
it was continued. According to Dunshee (p. 40), there is a 
strong probability that its existence was of short duration. 

Verstius was superseded in 1655 by Harmanus Van Ho- 
boocken (or Hoboken), at a salary of 35 guilders per month 

1 This name is also spelled Vestius and Vestens. 

2 The Amsterdam Chamber " assented to the establishment of a public school," 
which " was opened in one of the small rooms of the great stone tavern, and Dr. La 
Montagne offered to teach until a suitable master could be obtained from Holland." 
LAMB, Vol. I, p. 158. "The City Tavern, subsequently named the Stadt Huys or 
City Hall, stood on the corner of Pearl street and Coenties alley." DUNSHEE, p. 38. 



6 The New York Public School 

and 100 guilders annual expenditures. In 1656 New Amster- 
dam contained 120 houses and about 1000 inhabitants; and 
"the number of children at the public school having greatly 
increased, further accommodation was allowed to Harman van 
Hoboken, the schoolmaster." 1 In 1656 he made application to 
the Burgomasters and Schepens for "the hall and the side 
room " of the City Hall " for the use of the school and as a 
dwelling, inasmuch as he, the petitioner, does not know how to 
manage for the proper accommodation of the children during 
winter, for they much require a place adapted for fire and to 
be warmed, for which their present tenement is wholly unfit." 
The request was denied, but an allowance of 100 guilders yearly 
was made to the master " for the present and until further order." 
The question of building a schoolhouse at the public expense 
was thereupon again agitated, but without any practical result. 

After a few years Van Hoboocken was succeeded by Evert 
Pietersen, who was at first employed as a colleague or substitute 
during the illness of the regular schoolmaster ; but a little later 
Pietersen was regularly appointed, and Van Hoboocken was 
provided for by the Director-General, and assigned to duty as 
schoolmaster and clerk on the latter's " bouwery," or farm, in 
the vicinity of what is now Third avenue and Twelfth street. 

A civil ordinance in reference to the public catechising of 
children was promulgated in 1664 by the Director-General and 
the Council, declaring that " it is highly necessary and of great 
consequence that the youth, from their childhood, is well 
instructed in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and principally 
in the principles and fundaments of the Christian religion." 2 

In 1658 steps were taken for the establishment of a Latin 
school, or academy, and in the following year Dr. Alexander 
Carolus Curtius/was sent from Lithuania to take charge of it. 
The city magistrates proposed to pay him 500 guilders annually 
from the city treasury ; he was allowed the use of a house and 

1 Brodhead, Vol. I, p. 623. 

2 See Dunshee, pp. 48, 49 ; Historic New York, II, pp. 340, 341. 



Schools during the British Colonial Regime 7 

garden, and was permitted to charge for each scholar six guilders 
per quarter. The privilege of practising medicine was also 
granted to him. Although a learned man, Dr. Curtius lacked 
power of discipline and his administration was not successful. 
Dr. ^Egidius Luyck became principal of the school in 1662, 
and, says Dunshee, "under his charge, it attained so high a 
reputation, that children were sent to it from Virginia, Fort 
Orange and the Delaware, to receive a classical education" 

(P. 53). _ 

During the period of Dutch colonization a number of private 
schools were conducted in New Amsterdam, and at the close 
of Stuyvesant's administration (1664) a dozen or more were in 
existence. The teachers of these schools were licensed by the 
civil and ecclesiastical authorities, no one being allowed to carry 
on a school without such a license. 

II. SCHOOLS DURING THE BRITISH COLONIAL REGIME 

At the close of the Dutch administration, in 1664) when 
New Netherland became a British colony, the little city on 
Manhattan Island (henceforth called New York) contained 
about 1500 inhabitants. Although Dutch rule ceased, Dutch 
influence continued, and, while the early English laws respect- 
ing the colony contained nothing on the subject of schools and 
schoolmasters, the instruction of the young was not ignored. 
Evert Pietersen remained in charge of the school conducted 
by him, but nothing can be found of record in reference to 
the school, carried on by Van Hoboocken in the vicinity of 
Stuyvesant's bouwery, which was probably discontinued. 1 

"The ecclesiastical organization of the Dutch Reformed 
Church remaining intact, she still acknowledged the jurisdiction 
of the Classis of Amsterdam. The school continued, as hereto- 
fore, under the direct supervision of the deacons ; and being 
now deprived of all aid from the treasury of the colonial gov- 

1 See Dunshee, p. 54. 



8 The New York Public School 

ernment, its support wholly devolved upon the Consistory ; and 
the institution had such strong hold on the affections of the 
Dutch people, that they could not and would not relinquish their 
jurisdiction over it." 1 

The Latin school established in 1659, an d successfully con- 
ducted by Luyck at the time of the capitulation, was continued 
under the English rule for eight years, when it was closed. 2 

On the accession of James II, instructions were sent to 
Governor Dongan (1683-1689) that no schoolmaster should be 
permitted to keep school in the Province of New York without 
a license from the Archbishop of Canterbury ; and several suc- 
ceeding Governors were instructed that no schoolmaster should 
teach without a license from the Bishop of London. 

The charter of incorporation granted by William III to the 
Reformed Dutch Church in America contained the following 
stipulation : 

" And our will and pleasure further is, and we do hereby declare that, the 
ministers of said Church, for the time being, shall and may, by and with the 
consent of the elders and deacons of the said Church, for the time being, 
nominate and appoint a schoolmaster and such other under officers as they 
shall stand in need of." 

Nevertheless some of the English Governors undertook to 
interfere with the schools maintained by the Dutch Church, and 
early in the eighteenth century Lord Cornbury, according to 
the records of the consistory, adopted "arbitrary measures," 
took " the regulation of schools into his own hands, and claimed 
the direct appointment of the schoolmaster." 3 

The first step under English rule in aid of popular education 
was the adoption, in 1702, by the General Assembly, of "An 
Act for the Encouragement of a Grammar Free School in New 

1 Dunshee, p. 54. This school is still flourishing, being the Collegiate School, 
in West Seventy-seventh street, which proudly traces its lineage back to the little 
school opened in 1633 bv Adam Roelantsen. 

2 See Dunshee, pp. 75, 76. 

3 See Dunshee, pp. 56, 57. 



Schools during the British Colonial Regime 9 

York City." The Governor (Lord Cornbury) and Council 
refused approval of the act until it was agreed that the teacher 
of the proposed school should have a license from either the 
Bishop of London or the Governor. " The mayor and common 
council were 'to elect, choose, license, authorize and appoint 
one able, skilful and orthodox person to be schoolmaster for 
the education of youth and male children of French and Dutch 
extraction as well as English. ' " * The salary was fixed at 
,50 ($125), which was to be raised by a general tax for seven 
years, when the act expired by its own terms ; and nothing was 
done to extend it. The school established in pursuance of this 
act (the first public English school in the city- was opened 
in 1705, under the care of Andrew Clarke. 2 ,'Some of the 
authorities say that the teacher of this school was George 
Muirson, who was duly licensed by Governor Cornbury. Wil- 
son (Vol. IV, pp. 592, 593) says that a license was granted 
to Muirson on April 25, 1704, the kind of instruction not being 
specified, and that Andrew Clark (sic) was licensed to keep a 
school and teach English, Latin, Greek, writing, and arithmetic. 
He also mentions other private teachers as having received 
licenses from the Governors or the municipal authorities. 

" Although the provincial government did nothing, or almost 
nothing, for popular education during the whole time of British 
sway over the colonies, such education was not wholly neglected, 
for while the Collegiate [Dutch Reformed] Church took care of 
her children, the Episcopalians also did the same." 3 In 1710 the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts sent 
out William Huddlestone as the first master of an Episcopal 
Church school. 4 This school, like that of the Dutch Reformed 
Church and other schools established later, was not, strictly 

1 Wilson, Vol. IV, p. 586. 

2 See History of the State of New York, by S. S. Randall, p. 51 ; also Dunshee, 
p. 76. 

8 Wilson, Vol. IV, p. 587. 

* This school is still in existence ; it is known as Trinity School, and is situated 
in West Ninety-first street. 



io The New York Public School 

speaking, a free school, as provision was made by the churches 
for the education only of the children of their own members. 
Free education in the modern sense was unknown for more than 
a hundred years. 1 

A law was passed in 1732 providing for a public school in 
New York, for five years, in which Latin, Greek, and mathe- 
matics were to be taught ; and the Rev. Alexander Malcolm was 
appointed as head master, with a salary of ,110. The life of 
this school expired in 1737, but it was continued by law for 
another year, with an increase in the master's salary of ^4O. 2 
Wilson says that Malcolm conducted a private school ; and that 
two years after 1738 a special law was passed to pay him a balance 
o%ealary of 111 *js. 6d. Dunshee (p. 76) speaks of the school 
conducted by Malcolm as "the first free school" "established 
by law, for teaching the Latin and Greek, and practical branches 
of mathematics," and adds that Malcolm's salary was " 4.0 
per annum " and that " he remained seven years." This school 
was free for twenty pupils, of whom New York City and County 
were entitled to ten, Albany County to two, and the counties of 
Dutchess, Kings, Orange, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, Ulster, 
and Westchester each to one. 3 

Nothing else appears to have been done, during the exist- 
ence of the British colony, in behalf of public education of either 
primary or secondary character, and children receiving instruc- 
tion were dependent on either church schools or private schools. 4 
In the schools of the Dutch Reformed Church the Dutch lan- 
guage alone was used, at least for many years, and as late as 
J 755 John Nicholas Welp was brought over from Amsterdam " as 

1 Dunshee states (p. 76) that in 1702 "a free grammar school was founded and 
built on the King's farm," and that in 1704 "William Vesey, Episcopal missionary, 
opened a catechising school for blacks." 

2 See Wilson, Vol. IV, p. 586. 

8 See Cyclopedia of Education, Kiddle and Schem, p. 637. 

4 The Burghers' and Freemen's List mentions for the period from 1695 * J 774 
the names of thirty-two schoolmasters admitted as freemen, and there were evidently 
some who did not seek the privilege. See Wilson, Vol. IV, p. 593. 



Schools after the Revolutionary War n 

chorister and reader in the Old Church, and also as school- 
master." * 

" All the English schools in the province from 1700 down to 
the time of the Declaration of Independence were maintained 
by a great religious society organized under the auspices of the 
Church of England, and, of course, with the favor of the Gov- 
ernment, called ' The society for the propagation of the gospel 
in foreign parts.' The law governing this society provided that 
no teacher should be employed until he had proved ' his affection 
to the present government,' and his conformity to the doctrine 
and discipline of the Church of England.' Schools maintained 
under such auspices and influences were in no sense free 
schools. % 

" Indeed, as humiliating as it is, no student of history can 
fail to discern the fact that the Government of Great Britain, 
during its supremacy in this territory, did, nothing to facilitate 
the extension or promote the efficiency of free elementary 
schools among the people." 2 

In 1754 King's College was incorporated by royal charter; 
after the Revolutionary War it was reorganized as Columbia 
College. 

III. SCHOOLS AFTER THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR 

During the War of the Revolution New York was under 
martial rule, and the transaction of business in the city was 
irregular; church services were intermitted, education was 
suspended, and the schools and college were closed. Very 
soon after the end of the war schools were opened (or 
reopened) by the different religions denominations, depending 
for their support upon voluntary contributions of church mem- 
bers ; and these schools soon came to be known as " charity 
schools." The term was not used in a derogatory sense, but 

1 Dunshee, p. 64. According to the same authority (p. 66), the first sermon in 
English was preached in one of the Dutch churches in 1764. 

2 Origin and Development of the New York Common School System, Draper. 



12 The New York Public School 

merely to distinguish the schools maintained by the churches 
(which were attended only by children of church members) from 
the private pay schools patronized by the well-to-do. But no 
means for general education were provided for upwards of 
twenty years, and then only on the most limited scale. 

An important act of the Legislature, passed in 1787, estab- 
lished a university in the State " to be called and known by the 
( name and style of * The Regents of the University of the State 
of New York/ " and in 1789 the Legislature set apart a portion 
of the public lands for "gospel and school purposes." Governor 
George Clinton, in his annual message to the Legislature in 
1792, said : "As the diffusion of knowledge is essential to the 
Qjromotion of virtue and the preservation of liberty, the flourish- 
ing condition of our seminaries of learning must prove highly 
satisfactory ; and they will, I am persuaded, be among the first 
objects of your care and patronage, and receive, from time to time, 
such further aid and encouragement as may be necessary for 
their increasing prosperity." In his message for 1795 he urged 
"the establishment of common schools throughout the State"; 
and on April 9th in that year a law was passed " for the pur- 
pose of encouraging and maintaining schools in the several 
cities and towns in this State, in which the children of the 
inhabitants residing in the State shall be instructed in the Eng- 
lish language, or be taught English grammar, arithmetic, mathe- 
matics, and such other branches of knowledge as are most useful 
and necessary to complete a good English education " ; and the 
annual sum of ,20,000 was appropriated for five years for their 
support. It was directed that the sum mentioned be paid to the 
several county treasurers in proportion to the population of the 
several counties and towns, which were required to raise by tax 
an amount equal to one-half of the State apportionment, and the 
entire sum was to be applied, under the direction of proper 
officers in each school district, to the payment of the wages of 
duly employed and properly qualified teachers. This was the 
origin of the common school system of the State. " The official 



Schools after the Revolutionary War 13 

returns for the year 1 798 the only year in which even partial 
detailed reports were forwarded show that in sixteen out of the 
twenty-three counties of the State, there were 1352 schools in 
successful operation, in which 59,660 children were under 
instruction for a longer or shorter period during the year." * In 
1800 a law, entitled " An act for the encouragement of litera- 
ture," was passed, directing the raising, by lotteries under the 
control of managers named in the act, of $100,000, $12,500 of 
which was to be apportioned by the Regents of the University 
among academies, and the remainder " applied in such manner, 
for the encouragement of common schools, as the Legislature 
may, from time to time, direct." 

While something was thus being done by the State for public 
instruction, the work of educating children not provided for by 
the church (charity) schools in this city was taken in hand to a 
certain extent by benevolent associations. In 1785 the Society 
for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves and for Protecting 
such of them as have been or may be Liberated (commonly 
called the Manumission Society) was organized for the purpose 
of " mitigating the evils of slavery, to defend the rights of the 
blacks, and especially to give them the elements of education." 
A number of prominent citizens were interested in this move- 
ment, among them Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, the latter 
being the first president of the Society. A free school for 
colored children, with twelve pupils, was opened by the Society 
in November, 17877 a room for the purpose being furnished by 
the teacher, 2 and m February, 1788, twenty-nine pupils were in 
attendance. Unavailing steps were taken in 1791 and succeed- 
ing years to erect a building for the school. In 1794 the school 
was incorporated as the African Free School, and two or three 
years later a small schoolhouse was built in Cliff street. In 

1 History of the Common School System of the State of New York, Randall, p. 9. 

2 Cornelius Davis, who gave up a school of white children to enter on this work. 
There were then in the city about four thousand negroes ; the census of 1805 showed 
1960 free colored persons and 2048 slaves. 



14 The New York Public School 

January, 1797, there were 122 pupils registered (63 boys and 59 
girls), with an average attendance of about 80. Small grants 
were made to the school by the Corporation of the city in 1797, 
1798, and 1800, and in 1801 the Legislature made an apportion- 
ment to it of $1565.78. In 1808 the Society itself was incor- 
porated. The location of the school in Cliff street proved in the 
course of time to be unsatisfactory, and in 1812, in response to 
an appeal from the Society, the city Corporation granted it a 
piece of property in William street, near Duane, on which a 
suitable building was erected. A second schoolhouse was built 
in Mulberry street, near Grand, in 1820, and several other 
schools were established later by the Society in hired rooms. 
All the schools of the Manumission Society were taken over by 
the Public School Society in 1834 (see Chapter XI). 

It is a somewhat curious fact that a free school for colored 
children was established in New York City before any free 
school for white children, in the true meaning of the words, 
existed. The first school for the latter was opened in 1801 by 
the Association of Women Friends for the Relief of the Poor 
(generally known as the Female Association), which had been 
organized in 1798 by a group of benevolent women connected 
with the Society of Friends. The necessity of a school was 
soon perceived, and in the year last mentioned it was decided to 
establish a school for the education of poor children " whose 
parents belong to no religious society, and who, from some 
cause or other, cannot be admitted into any of the charity 
schools of this city." The school was first attended by children 
of both sexes, but after a short trial the boys were discharged 
and only girls admitted. During the first quarter of the nine- 
teenth century a number of schools were carried on by the 
Female Association, the total attendance in 1823 being about 
750. They were permitted to share in the Common School 
Fund until the change in the law made in 1824 (see Chapter 
VI), and accommodations for some of them were furnished by 
the Free School Society, as will appear in later chapters of 



Schools after the Revolutionary War 15 

this history. When, by the operation of the law just referred 
to, further aid from the public funds was cut off, 1 the Associa- 
tion confined its efforts to a so-called infant school, which was 
conducted in the building of Public School No. 5 from 1830 to 
1845, when it was taken over by the Public School Society. 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the spirit of 
popular education was, so to speak, " in the air," and two events 
of far-reaching importance were about to take place : the enact- 
ment of a law providing the foundation for a permanent Common 
School Fund, and the establishment of the Free School Society 
in this city. These events render the year 1805 memorable in 
the educational history of the State. 

1 "The 'Female Association' was excluded at the same time [1825], though it 
received all children from every persuasion, and inculcated no particular tenets, 
because it was chiefly under the patronage of individuals connected with the Society 
of Friends." Address of the Trustees of the Public School Society, May 6, 1831. 



CHAPTER II Lr- 

ORIGIN OF THE FREE SCHOOL SOCIETY 

/* 

THE year 1805 may be considered as marking the beginning 

of the real movement for the establishment of free schools in 
New York City. In that year an association, which in a short 
time came to be known as the Free School Society, was organ- 
ized. It must not be supposed, however, that its founders 
contemplated a system of free popular education in the sense 
in which those words are now used. Far from it. They 
builded better than they knew. Their purpose at the beginning 
was merely to establish a single school for the benefit of poor 
children not provided for by the schools maintained by the 
various churches, as mentioned in the preceding chapter./ 

The population of the city, according to the census of 1805, 
was 75,770, and there were one hundred and forty-one teachers 
employed in the private and church (or charity) schools. 1 
From Longworth's Directory, 1805, we learn that 

" There are Charity Schools attached to many of the churches in the city, 
where the children of the poor members receive instruction and clothing 
gratis. The most considerable are those of Trinity, the Dutch, the Presby- 
terian, and the Roman Catholic Churches. The scholars on the Trinity 
establishment amount to 86 : those on the Dutch, to about 70 : those on the 
Presbyterian, to 50 : and those on the Roman Catholic, to 100. There is a 
free-school for black children, established by the Friends ; but of the number 
of scholars taught in this, as well as in the Methodist and other charity 
schools, though considerable, we have yet no account." 

Longworth adds in a footnote, referring to the " scholars 
on the Trinity establishment," that the boys are taught reading, 

1 "In 1805 there were in the city 141 teachers, 106 of whom were males, and 35 
females." Public Education in the City of New York, Boese, p. 24. 

16 



Origin of the Free School Society 17 

writing, arithmetic, and merchants' accounts, and the girls, 
reading, writing, arithmetic, and needlework, and further says, 
" They are annually cloathed, supplied with fuel, and furnished 
with books, paper, etc."~~ Mrs. Lamb says that in 1805 there 
were 141 teachers, and that nearly every church had a school, 
" and other charity free schools and private schools abounded " 
(Vol. II, p. 515). Nevertheless a considerable number of 
children were without any educational opportunities, and were 
growing up in absolute ignorance. 1 That these children would 
prove a source of danger to the community was recognized 
by at least a few philanthropic and far-sighted citizens, who 
resolved that something should be done for their improvement. 
The school for girls conducted by the Female Association, 
some account of which has already been given, pointed the way, 
and suggested the establishment of similar schools for other 
poor children. 

" To extend the benefits of education to the numerous class 
of poor children, who were excluded from the various charity- 
schools already established, had long been an object of anxious 
desire with several philanthropic characters in the city of New 
York. At the request of two or three individuals, whose atten- 
tion had been particularly directed to the subject, a meeting 
was called of such persons, as were likely to promote the 
accomplishment of so desirable an object." 2 

r "In the second year of the century," says Wilson, "an 
association of ladies belonging to the Society of Friends, or 
Quakers, had contributed of their private means, and estab- 
lished a free school for the education of girls. This humble 
but noble endeavor was the germ of the great metropolitan 
system of public schools to-day. . . . The free school for 
girls had been three years in operation when the idea of extend- 

1 The reports of the Free School Society a few years later, however, speak with 
gratification of the large number of children in its schools who regularly attended 
church services, and specify the denominations with which they were affiliated. 

2 An Account of the Origin and Progress of the Free School Society, 1814. 

c 



1 8 The New York Public School 

ing the principle at its foundation took practical shape. No 
doubt, as in all such cases, men had talked and deliberated. 
The necessity was so pressing, the calamity of ignorance so 
appalling, that the problem of removing the crying shame could 
not be set aside or postponed" (Vol. Ill, pp. 165, 166). 

" True it is that charity schools, entitled to eminent praise, 
were established in this city ; but they were attached to par- 
ticular sects, and did not embrace children of different persua- 
sions. Add to this that some denominations were not provided 
with these establishments, and that children the most in want 
of instruction were necessarily excluded, by the irreligion of 
their parents, from the benefit of education. 

" After a full view of the case, those persons of whom I 
have spoken agreed that the evil must be corrected at its source, 
and that education was the sovereign prescription." * 
/ Accordingly, at the request of two public-spirited citizens, 
Thomas Eddy and John Murray, Jr., a few persons known to 
be interested in the subject were called together to discuss it. 
The meeting at which was taken the initial step in the estab- 
lishment of free schools in this city was held at the house of 
Mr. Murray, in Pearl street, on Monday, the iQth of February, 
1805. It was attended by twelve persons, as" follows : Samuel 
Osgood, Brockholst Livingston, John Murray, Jr., the Rev. 
Samuel Miller, Joseph Constant, Thomas Eddy, Thomas Pear- 
sail, Thomas Franklin, General Matthew Clarkson, Leonard 
Bleecker, Samuel Russell, and William Edgar. It is noticeable 
that De Witt Clinton, at that time Mayor of the city, whose 
name was so intimately identified with the free school move- 
ment until his death, nearly a quarter of a century later, was 
not present at the original meeting. 

The persons attending appear to have been of one mind, and 
decided, without loss of time, that the right method of counter- 
acting the evils of ignorance, and the vice inseparable from it, 

1 From the address delivered by De Witt Clinton at the opening of the new 
building of Free School No. I, December n, 1809. 



Origin of the Free School Society 19 

was by the establishment of a school for the education of 
children not already provided with means of instruction. A 
committee was appointed to devise a plan for carrying this 
benevolent project into effect. With commendable promptness 
the committee presented its report at a second meeting held a 
few days later. The report recommended that a memorial be 
addressed to the Legislature, asking that body to pass an act 
incorporating an association under the name of " The Society 
for establishing a Free School in the City of New York." 

No record can be found of the date of the second meeting. 
As the memorial is dated February 25th, only six days after the 
first meeting, the second must have been held within the week. 
It is possible that the memorial was ready for presentation at 
the second meeting, and received its first signatures then and 
there. The memorial was signed by about one hundred citi- 
zens of the highest character and influence, representing the 
different religious societies and various callings and professions. 
As indicative of the pure motives underlying the movement, a 
part of the memorial may here be reproduced : 

" Your memorialists have viewed with painful anxiety the multiplied evils 
which have accrued, and are daily accruing, to this city, from the neglected 
education of the children of the poor. They allude more particularly to that 
description of children who do not belong to, or are not provided for, by any 
religious society : and who, therefore, do not partake of the advantages aris- 
ing from the different Charity Schools established by the various religious 
societies of this city. The condition of this class is deplorable indeed ; reared 
up by parents who, from a variety of concurring circumstances, are become 
either indifferent to the best interests of their offspring, or, through intemperate 
lives, are rendered unable to defray the expense of their instruction, these 
miserable and almost friendless objects are ushered upon the stage of life, 
inheriting those vices which idleness and the bad example of their parents 
naturally produce. The consequences of this neglect of education are igno- 
rance and vice, and all those manifold evils resulting from every species of 
immorality, by which public hospitals and alms-houses are filled with objects 
of disease and poverty, and society burthened with taxes for their support. 
In addition to these melancholy facts, it is to be feared that the laboring class 
in the community is becoming less industrious, less moral, and less careful to 



so The New York Public School 

lay up the fruit of their earnings. What can this alarming declension have 
arisen from, but the existence of an error which has ever been found to pro- 
duce a similar effect a want of a virtuous education, especially at that early 
period of life when the impressions that are made generally stamp the future 
character ? 

" The rich having ample means of educating their offspring, it must be 
apparent that the laboring poor a class of citizens so evidently useful have 
a superior claim to public support. . . . 

" Trusting that the necessity of providing suitable means for the preven- 
tion of the evils they have enumerated will be apparent to your honorable 
Body, your memorialists respectfully request the patronage and assistance of 
the Legislature in establishing a free school, or schools, in this city, for the 
benevolent purpose of affording education to those unfortunate children who 
have no other mode of obtaining it." 

( The signers of the memorial, besides soliciting the incor- 
poration of a society as named above, petitioned the Legis- 
lature to grant such pecuniary aid or endowment as might be 
"deemed proper for the promotion of the benevolent object" 
in view. 

So favorable was the impression made by this appeal that 
the Legislature, on the Qth of April (1805), passed an act 
entitled " An Act to incorporate the society instituted in the city 
of New York, for the establishment of a free school, for the 
education of poor children, who do not belong to or are not pro- 
vided for by any religious society." No pecuniary assistance 
was granted. Its elaborate and minutely specific title sufficiently 
indicates the purpose of the Society and the field it was intended 
to occupy. The incorporators named in the act were De Witt 
Clinton, Samuel Osgood, Brockholst Livingston, John Murray, 
Jr., Jacob Morton, Samuel Miller, Joseph Constant, Thomas 
Eddy, Thomas Pearsall, Robert Bowne, Matthew Clarkson, 
Archibald Gracie, John McVickar, Charles Wilkes, Henry Ten 
Brook, Gilbert Aspinwall, Valentine Seaman, William Johnson, 
William Coit, Matthew Franklin, Adrian Hegeman, Benjamin 
G. Minturn, Leonard Bleecker, Thomas Franklin, Samuel Rus- 
sell, Samuel Doughty, Alexander Robertson, Samuel Torbert, 
John Withington, William Edgar, George Turnbull, Daniel D. 



Origin of the Free School Society 21 

Tompkins, William Boyd, Jacob Molt, Benjamin Egbert, 
Thomas Farmer, and Samuel L. Mitchill. 

( That 1805 was a day of small things, as compared with the 
present, is shown by a provision in the act limiting the yearly 
income of the Society to ten thousand dollars. / 

The twelve men who attended the first meeting, together 
with De Witt Clinton, were named in the act as the first Board 
of Trustees, to hold office until the 1st of May following. The 
act further provided that a person contributing $8 should be a 
member of the Society; one contributing $25, a member with 
the privilege of sending one child to any school established by 
the Society; and one subscribing $40, a member with the right 
to send two children to any such school. 

In pursuance of the act of incorporation, Trustees were 
duly elected on May 6, 1805, and the Board was organized as 
follows : 

DE WITT CLINTON, President 
JOHN MURRAY, JR., Vice-President 
LEONARD BLEECKER, Treasurer 
BENJAMIN D. PERKINS, Secretary 
GILBERT ASPINWALL ADRIAN HEGEMAN 

THOMAS EDDY WILLIAM JOHNSON 

THOMAS FRANKLIN SAMUEL MILLER 

MATTHEW FRANKLIN BENJAMIN G. MINTURN 

HENRY TEN BROOK 

The Board decided to make an immediate appeal to the 
public for funds to enable it to begin its important work. 
Accordingly, an "Address to the Public" was prepared and 
widely circulated, setting forth at some length the aims of the 
originators of the movement. Only one school was contem- 
plated, specific mention being made of " the school, and the 
rules for its discipline and management." A noteworthy fea- 
ture of the address is the statement that " It is proposed, also, to 
establish, on the first day of the week, a school, called a Sunday 
School, more particularly for such children as, from peculiar 
circumstances, are unable to attend on the other days of the 



22 The New York Public School 

week. In this, as in the Common School, it will be a primary 
object, without observing the peculiar forms of any religious 
Society, to inculcate the sublime truths of religion and morality 
contained in the Holy Scriptures." * The Society distinctly dis- 
claimed any intention of interfering with any existing institution, 
and appealed to its name as a guarantee. The Trustees looked 
"with confidence for the encouragement and support of the 
afHuent and charitable of every denomination of Christians " ; 
and closed their address by stating that, " in addition to the 
respectable list of original subscriptions," a considerable fund 
would be needed to purchase or hire a piece of ground, erect 
a suitable building, pay teachers, and defray other necessary 
expenses. An appeal was, therefore, made to " the voluntary 
bounty of those who may be charitably disposed to contribute 
their aid in the promotion of an object of great and universal 
concern." 

The address, which was signed by all the Trustees, was 
printed in the newspapers of the city and distributed in the form 
of a circular. The community was slow in responding, and more 
than twelve months elapsed before a sufficient sum was collected 
to justify the Trustees in opening their school. , 

The original " Subscription Book of the New York Free 
School Society," which is preserved among the archives of the 
Society placed in the custody of the New York Historical Society, 
when the Public School Society was dissolved, in 1853, is a 
document of rare interest. [The first name on the list is that of 
De Witt Clinton, whose subscription of $200 is far larger than 
any that follow] There are a few subscriptions of $50, and 
several of $40, but the majority contributed no more than $25 
each. Many names distinguished in the history of New York 
are to be found here. Indeed, it has been said that to read this 
subscription book is like reading an elite directory of the city in 
the first decade of the last century./ At the further end of the 

1 This plan was not carried out, but the buildings of the Society were used by 
various churches for Sunday-school purposes. 




FACSIMILE OF FIRST PAGE OF FREE SCHOOL SOCIETY'S SUB- 
SCRIPTION BOOK. 1805 



Origin of the Free School Society 23 

book $8 subscriptions were entered, thirty-six in all, and one of 
$10, $298 being there recorded. Most of the $8 subscriptions 
were, presumably, to be renewed annually, but one thrifty citizen, 
John Suydam, took pains to write " Eight Dollars for the present 
year only." The total amount entered in the subscription book 
was $6501. 




CHAPTER III 
THE FREE SCHOOL SOCIETY'S FIRST SCHOOL OPENED ^ 

JUST a year after putting forth its " Address to the Public " 
the Free School Society opened its first school, on the iQth of 
May, I8O6, 1 in " a small apartment," 2 in Bancker (now Madison) 
street, near Pearl. The attendance on the opening day is not 
given, but we are told that in a few days the school contained 
forty-two scholars. 3 They were in charge of William Smith, who 
is spoken of as a well-qualified teacher. 

On May I4th the following advertisement appeared in 
several of the daily papers, and ran for two weeks: 

"FREE SCHOOL. 

" The Trustees of the Society for establishing a Free School in the city 
of New York, for the education of such poor children as do not belong to, or 
are not provided for by any religious Society, having engaged a Teacher, and 
procured a School House for the accommodation of a School, have now the 
pleasure of announcing that it is proposed to receive scholars of the descrip- 
tions alluded to without delay ; applications may be made to either of the 
subscribers, viz. 

"John Murray, }un. 

" Henry Ten Brook. 

"Garrit H. Van Wagenen." 

1 This is the date given in the Account of the Origin and Progress of the Free School 
Society, published by the Society in 1814, and also in Mr. Bourne's History. The 
I yth of May is the date named in A Sketch of the Rise and Progress of the Public 
School Society, attached to the Annual Report of the Society for 1842, and reprinted 
with additions in the Annual Report for 1848 ; May iyth is also given in Mr. Boese's 
History, and in Kiddle and Schem's Cyclopedia of Education. May 19, 1806, fell on 
Monday, and is undoubtedly the correct date. 

2 See Account, 1814. Mr. Boese (p. 29) quotes from an earlier Account the 
statement that this "apartment" was " in the old Mission House."^ A similar state- 
ment is made in Lossing's History of New York City, Vol. I, p. 303. 

3 See Account, 1814 j also Annual Report for 1831, p. 2. 

24 



Free School Society's First School Opened 25 

Careful inquiries made by the Trustees had caused them to 
be very favorably impressed by the system of instruction intro- 
duced a few years before in England by Joseph Lancaster. To 
quote the Account already mentioned more than once, " A mode 
of teaching the elementary parts of learning, as novel in its 
principles, as it is successful in its practical results, had been 
recently adopted in Great Britain. It was the discovery of 
Joseph Lancaster, who was then superintending, in London, 
a school of about one thousand children, with extraordinary 
success. Economy in expense, and facility and expedition in 
communicating instruction, were the characteristic distinctions 
of this system. It comprehended reading, writing, and arith- 
metic. The scholars themselves were made the instruments of 
their own instruction. A school was divided into classes of ten 
or fifteen scholars, who were placed under the care and direction 
of a monitor, and he was himself a scholar in a class of a superior 
grade." 

The so-called Lancasterian or monitorial system had great 
popularity for many years, and was employed by the Free School 
Society and the Public School Society, albeit with some modifi- 
cations from time to time, throughout their existence. It was 
also used in many other schools. " The Lancasterian system of 
instruction was, by the organization of this school," says Mr. 
Bourne, " transplanted to the Western world, and for many years 
was almost universally adopted in large schools of even the 
higher classes of pay schools" (p. 10). One feature which 
appealed most strongly to~ifs advocates was economy in opera- 
tion. Only one teacher was employed in a school of four or five 
hundred children, and the annual cost of instruction per capita 
was in some years less than three dollars. Mr. Randall says : 

" This system, which for a period of nearly twenty years enjoyed so great 
a share of popularity, both in England and this country, appears to have had 
its origin in the^lission Schools of Madras, in India, from whence it was trans- 
planted to England about the year T^g, by Dr. Andrew Bell, a clergyman of 
the Church of England. From his instructions and practice, Joseph Lancaster, 



26 The New York Public School 

a member of the Society of Friends, was enabled, soon afterward, to open a 
school in the Borough Road, near London, for its practical illustration, which, 
in 1805, was visited by one of the members of the New York Free School 
Society. This gentleman was so strongly impressed with its advantages, that 
on his return he at once procured its adoption in the schools of the Society. 
So successful was the experiment, that the most intelligent minds of the coun- 
try became speedily enlisted in its favor and interested in its general extension." 1 

In the fore part of the nineteenth century the Lancasterian 
system was regarded by many persons of intelligence as a uni- 
versal panacea for ignorance and a heaven-sent means of educat- 
ing poor children in cities. In 1806 Mr. Lancaster had been 
for several years conducting a school in London with great suc- 
cess, having under his direction, on the average, one thousand 
or more pupils, and his fame had become world-wide. How 
this system was viewed at that time, and later, may be judged 
from some extracts from an address made by De Witt Clinton 
in 1809 : 

" Upon this system, Lancaster superintended in person a school of one 
thousand scholars, at an annual expense of three hundred pounds sterling. 
In 1806, he proposed, by establishing twenty or thirty schools in different parts 
of the kingdom, to educate ten thousand poor children, at four shillings per 
annum each. This proposition has been carried into effect, and he has suc- 
ceeded in establishing twenty schools in different parts of the kingdom, all of 
which are under the care of teachers, educated by him, few of whom are 
more than eighteen years old. Several of the schools have each about three 
hundred scholars that at Manchester has four hundred his great school 
in Borough-Road, London, flourishes very much it has sometimes eleven 
hundred children seldom less than one thousand. 

"When I perceive that many boys in our school have been taught to 
read and write in two months, who did not before know the alphabet, and 
that even one has accomplished it in three weeks when I view all the bear- 
ings and tendencies of this system when I contemplate the habits of order 
which it forms, the spirit of emulation which it excites the rapid improve- 
ment which it produces the purity of morals which it inculcates when I 
behold the extraordinary union of celerity in instruction, and economy of ex- 
pense and when I perceive one great assembly of a thousand children, under 
the eye of a single teacher, marching with unexampled rapidity, and with per- 

1 History of the Common School System of the. State of New York, p. 28. 



Free School Society's First School Opened 27 

t 

feet discipline, to the goal of knowledge, I confess that I recognize in Lancas- 
ter the benefactor of the human race I consider his system as creating a 
new era in education, as a blessing sent down from Heaven to redeem the 
poor and distressed of this world from the power and dominion of ignorance. wl 

That Governor Clinton was of the same opinion a few years 
later is clear from the following excerpt from his message to 
the Legislature in 1818: 

" Having participated in the first establishment of the Lancasterian sys- 
tem in this country ; having carefully observed its progress and witnessed its 
benefits, I can confidently recommend it as an invaluable improvement, which, 
by wonderful combination of economy in expense and rapidity of instruction, 
has created a new era in education. The system operates with the same 
efficacy in education as labor-saving machinery" does in the useful arts." 2 

Governor Clinton in his last message, at the opening of the 
legislative session of 1828 (about one month before his death), 
recurred to the subject, and recommended " a law authorizing 
the supervisors of each county to raise a sum not exceeding 
two thousand dollars, provided the same sum is subscribed by 
individuals, for the erection of a suitable edifice for a Monitorial 
High School in the county town." 

A Manual of the Lancasterian System, issued by the Free 
School Society in 1820, contains much interesting information 
as to the methods pursued and the apparatus employed. A 
brief outline will not be without interest, and is really necessary 
for an intelligent understanding of the work of the Free School 
Society and its successor. 

For the youngest children a sand table was provided, about 
fifteen feet long and six inches wide. The table was divided 
longitudinally into two parts, one-half being set off so as to 
form a shallow tray, with an enclosing rail or ledge about an 

1 From the address delivered at the opening of the new building of Free School 
No. I, December n, 1809. 

2 In the annual report of Gideon Hawley, the State Superintendent of Common 
Schools, for this year (1818), "the Lancasterian system of instruction was fully 
indorsed, and its advantages were pointed out at great length." See History of the 
State of New York, Randall, p. 203. 



28 The New York Public School 

inch in height. The bottom of this tray was stained or painted 
black, and over it was spread a thin coating of sand. The 
table was provided with a " sand-smoother," made of sole 
leather, into the edge of which three notches were cut, so that, 
when used, the smoother left three ridges or rules the entire 
length of the table. In sand thus ruled the beginners were 
taught to form letters, each using a stick about the thickness 
of a quill and four inches long. 1 

fjn the Lancasterian system the letters were divided into 
three parts or groups the perpendicular, the triangular, and 
the circular^/ The letters were displayed on " alphabet boards," 
which were placed near the ceiling of the schoolroom. The 
little folk were not required to work at the sand table continu- 
ously, but several times a day they were called from their seats 
and formed in a circle round a lesson which was printed in large 
letters and suspended by a nail to the wall so that all could see it. 
" This exercise," the Manual quaintly says, " perfects them in 
the knowledge of their letters, and is also a pleasing relaxation." 
Besides the alphabet boards, twenty-six feet long and three 
broad, painted black, upon which were written large and small 
letters in two lines in white, and also the nine digits, there were 
lesson boards of two sizes for the older scholars; the larger 
being reading boards, on which were pasted the spelling, read- 
ing, and arithmetic lessons. These were suspended round the 
room upon round-headed nails. The smaller, or dictating, 
boards were hung "in a convenient place near the platform." 3 

1 The use of sand was continued in the schools of the Society as long as they 
existed. The later minutes of the Board of Trustees contain two interesting references 
to the matter. July 7, 1848: "On motion, the expediency of abolishing the use of 
sand in our schools was referred to the Executive Committee with power." On October 
3, 1851, a recommendation of the Committee of Supplies was adopted that the allow- 
ance of sand for the schools be one load each per annum, except in special cases. 

2 The perpendicular letters were I, H, T, L, E, F, i, and 1 ; the triangular, A, V, 
W, M, N, Z, K, Y, X, v, w, k, y, z, x ; the circular, O, U, C, J, G, D, P, B, R, 3, S, 
a, o, b, d, p, q, c, g, m, n, h, t, u, r, s, f, j. 

3 In April, 1821, a committee of two Trustees was appointed "to procure such 
new lessons for the schools as may be necessary, and to have them varnished." 



Free School Society's First School Opened 29 

The school hours were from nine to twelve in the forenoon 
and from three to five in the afternoon. Pupils distinguished 
for exemplary deportment and attention to their studies were 
selected as monitors ; and the Rules for the Government of 
Schools issued at a somewhat later period state that " the chil- 
dren are ordered to respect and obey them."f For a time moni- 
tors received weekly tickets of approbation, if their conduct 
was worthy, and once in three weeks the tickets were presented 
to the School Committee; for one ticket a monitor received 
three cents, for two tickets seven cents, for three tickets one 
shilling. But this practice was not constant or uniform. At 
one period some of the monitors received their board and 
clothing. ^_ 

This condensed account of the Lancasterian or monitorial 
system, as practised a few years afterward, conveys a sufficiently 
clear idea of the plan adopted by the founders of the Free 
School Society. In adopting it the Trustees were guided, in 
part, by the advice of one of their number, Benjamin D. Per- 
kins, the first Secretary of the Board, who had seen it in opera- * 
tion in England and had been in personal communication with 
Mr. Lancaster. 1 

Before the opening of the school, in May, 1806, it was per- 
ceived by members of the Society that other schools would be 
required if the flood of ignorance was to be stayed, and in 
April, 1806, Colonel Henry Rutgers, who, in 1828, became the 
second President of the Society, " with a liberality truly mag- 
nificent," presented it with a lot in Henry street, on which to 
build a schoolhouse, " to meet the wants of the indigent in that 
populous part of the city." 2 He afterward gave the Society an 
adjoining lot, the two being valued at $2500. 

The eleemosynary character of the Free School Society at 

1 William Smith, the first teacher employed by the Society, must have learned 
the Lancasterian system in England, as it was not employed in America before the 
opening of the Society's school. 

2 See Account, 1814; also Mr. Clinton's address on December n, 1809. 



30 The New York Public School 

the beginning of its career is illustrated by the fact that " in the 
winter of 1806" (1806-1807) contributions of cloth, stockings, 
shoes, and hats were received by the Trustees, and distributed 
among the neediest children, so that they might be able to 
remain in the school. The practice of supplying the material 
wants of those scantily clad was continued for some years, and 
the funds of the Society appear to have been used to some 
extent for the purpose. At all events, in the Rules for the 
Government of School Committees in force several years later 
we read the following : " The funds of the Society cannot, in 
any case, be appropriated for the clothing of the children." It 
is also noticeable that in 1817 the Society received a bequest 1 
of $250, "to be appropriated exclusively to clothing of the 
children." 

When their school had been in operation nearly eight months, 
in January, 1807, the Trustees presented a memorial to the 
Legislature, setting forth the work and needs of the Society 
and asking for aid. The application was successful, and on the 
27th of February an act was passed appropriating $4000 for the 
erection of a suitable building or buildings for the instruction 
of poor children, and also $1000 annually, until the Legislature 
should otherwise determine, " for the purpose of promoting the 
benevolent objects " of the Society. These sums were to be 
paid out of moneys received under the provisions of a statute 
entitled " An Act to lay a duty on strong liquors, and for regu- 
lating inns and taverns." 

At about the same time an appeal was made to the Corpora- 
tion of the city for assistance. A committee visited the school 
and was favorably impressed, and in consequence " a building 
adjacent to the Almshouse " (the Almshouse being situated on 
the south side of Chambers street, east of Broadway) was 
granted for the temporary accommodation of the school, and 
$500 was voted toward repairing it. In one of the reports this 
building is spoken of as "the workshop adjacent to the Alms- 

1 From Mary McCrea. See Minutes of May 16, 



Free School Society s First School Opened 31 

house." The Trustees agreed that fifty children belonging to 
the Almshouse should be educated by the Society, a circum- 
stance which emphasized the strictly charitable character of the 
school. 

The school was removed to its new quarters on April 28, 
1807, and before the close of the year contained 150 scholars. 
Its growth continued to be rapid. Not more than 240 pupils 
could be accommodated, and this limit was reached a few 
months later. 



CHAPTER IV 
THREE MORE SCHOOLS ESTABLISHED 

AT the session of the Legislature in 1808 an act was passed, 
at the request of the Society, abolishing its unwieldy name and 
making it simply The Free School Society of New York, and, 
at the same time, extending its powers to include " all children 
who are the proper objects of a gratuitous education." In the 
ensuing autumn another appeal was made to THe city Corpora- 
tion, which promptly responded by presenting to the Society 
" an extensive lot of ground in Chatham street, on which was 
an arsenal, on condition of their educating gratuitously the chil- 
dren of the Almshouse." The lot, with the old building on it, 
was valued at $10,000, and the Corporation subsequently con- 
tributed $1500 to aid the Society in constructing a new school 
building. The following year, 1809, was devoted to the erection 
of a brick structure, 120 by 40 feet in size, "capable of commo- 
diously accommodating in one room five hundred children." In 
the lower story were apartments for the family of the teacher, 
for the meetings of the Trustees, and for a second schoolroom, 
with a capacity of one hundred and fifty. 

The amount expended by the Trustees in " the erection 
and completion of this extensive building" exceeded $13,000. 
They received contributions of timber and other materials of 
the value of $1000, and "also negotiated with a master-mason 
and two carpenters, who generously superintended the work, 
and paid the laborers, without receiving themselves the cus- 
tomary profit." 1 

The situation of this school, long known as New York Free 

1 See Account, 1814. 
32 



Three More Schools Established 33 

School No. i, is a matter of interest. By some historians it has 
been represented as located on Chambers street. 1 The lot on 
which the arsenal stood, however, was on the corner of Chatham 
street and Tryon row, and the school building was situated on 
the westerly side of Tryon row, fronting on Chatham street. 2 
The greater portion of this site is now included in Centre street 
(the extension of which caused the removal of the schoolhouse 
in 1837), but the building, being 120 feet long, must have cov- 
ered, in part, land now included in City Hall Park. 

The transfer of the school, on December 1 1, 1809, to its new 
"spacious and permanent habitation," to quote the Account of 
1814, was an event of importance to the little city. Interesting 
exercises were held, the principal feature being an address by 
President Clinton, who reviewed the work of the Society and 
laid special emphasis on the merits of the Lancasterian system, 
as above set forth (see Chapter III). He called attention to 
the fact that the system of instruction adopted by the Society 
had received legislative sanction, and, with pardonable pride, 
quoted from the preamble of the act of February 27, 1807, the 
statement that the Society's " plan of extending the benefits of 
education to poor children, and the excellent mode of instruction 
adopted by them, are highly deserving of the encouragement of 
government." He also referred to Colonel Rutgers's gift of 
two lots in Henry street, and to the necessity of enlarging the 
work of the Society. On this point he said : 

" The law from which we derive our corporate existence does not confine 
us to one seminary, but contemplates the establishment of schools. A restric- 
tion to a single institution would greatly impair our usefulness, and would 
effectually discourage those exertions which are necessary in order to spread 
knowledge among the indigent. 

" Colonel Henry Rutgers, with his characteristic benevolence, has made a 
donation of two lots in Henry-street, worth at least twenty-five hundred dollars, 

1 See Boese, p. 30 ; Lossing, Vol. I, p. 303. 

2 " The State Arsenal was erected ... on premises now on the corner of Tryon 
row and Chatham street, at about the time of the revolutionary war. " VALENTINE'S 
Manual, 1863, p. 603. 

D 



34 The New York Public School 

to this Corporation. By a condition contained in one of the deeds, it is necessary 
that we should erect a school-house by June, 1811 ; and it is highly proper, 
without any reference to the condition, that this should be accomplished as 
soon as possible, in order to meet the wants of the indigent in that populous 
part of the city. If some charitable and public-spirited citizen would follow up 
this beneficence, and make a similar conveyance on the opposite side of the 
city, and if the liberality of the public shall dispense the means of erecting the 
necessary buildings, then the exigencies of all our poor, with respect to educa- 
tion, would be amply supplied for a number of years." * 

f In reference to the opening of the new building, the Account 
of 1814 contains the following: "A building, dedicated to the 
gratuitous instruction of five hundred children, under the care 
of a single individual, was a spectacle, which had never before 
been exhibited on the American continent.'^ 

In the erection of the new building the Society incurred 
a considerable debt, which it had no means of meeting. 
Another application was soon made to the Legislature, and in 
1810 an act was passed providing that the fee for membership 
in the Society should be $50, and also granting it an additional 
appropriation of $4000 from the excise moneys, " for the pur- 
pose of erecting suitable accommodations for the instruction of 
poor children." As the gift of Colonel Rutgers was conditioned 
on the erection of a schoolhouse on the Henry street lots by 
June, 1811, and as the funds in hand were insufficient for the 
purpose, the Trustees decided to make another appeal to the 
liberality of the community. Subscriptions were solicited in 
the various wards, and the citizens responded so handsomely that 
in a short time the sum of $13,000 was collected. 

The cornerstone of School No. 2 was laid on November 2, 
1 8 10, and the building was opened for use on the I3th of 
November, 1811. It was constructed on the same general plan 
as No. i, but on a smaller scale, being 80 by 40 feet in dimen- 
sions. The cost was about $11,000. It contained one large 

1 The manuscript diary of Clinton (preserved by the New York Historical Society) 
contains the following entry under date of December n, 1809 : "Attended removal 
of Free School to new building and delivered discourse." 




FIRS' 



'USE BUILT BY THE FREE SCHOOL SOCIETY, 1809 
Cost (without site), $13,000 




"MODEL" SCHOOL BUILDING OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SOCIETY, 1843 
Cost (with site), $17.000 



Three More Schools Established 35 

room, with accommodations for three hundred children, and in the 
lower story was a room large enough to hold one hundred and 
fifty in addition. Rooms were also provided for the teacher's 
family. 

In the mean time, the Trustees, feeling the importance of 
establishing a school in the northwestern part of the city, where 
much property in the vicinity of Greenwich street was owned 
by Trinity Church, presented a request to the vestry of that 
church, which was favorably received. The vestry placed at 
the disposal of the Society two lots at the corner of Hudson and 
Christopher streets, the estimated value of which was $1000. 
This was in the spring of 1811. An act of the Legislature 
passed in that year (March 3Oth) granted the Society a further 
sum of $4000 from the excise moneys, and an additional amount 
of $500 yearly during the pleasure of the Legislature. 

It is noteworthy that as early as(_pecember, 1810, the 
Society appropriated $100 for the purchase of books for a 
circulating library/to be attached to its school. In the same 
month it received from Charles Le Roux its first bequest, 
amounting to $250. 

While the original purpose of the founders of the Society 
was to establish a school for the education (in the ordinary 
meaning of the word) of " such poor children as do not belong 
to or are not provided for by any religious society," they were 
by no means unmindful of the importance of religious training 
for the children under their care. From the beginning it was 
the daily practice to read passages from the Bible in the schools ; 
but no direct religious instruction was given as a part of the 
regular school exercises. The Society was composed of men 
belonging to almost if not quite all of the churches, although 
the influence of the Society of Friends predominated. 1 To pro- 
vide an opportunity for religious training, the Trustees deter- 

1 Evidence of this is found in the fact that the dates of the official minutes of 
the Society were in accordance with the Quaker style ("5th month (May)," for 
example) until 1826; and this style was used at least once in the following year. 



36 The Neiv York P^lblic School 

mined, about this time, to suspend the regular studies on 
Tuesday afternoons, when an association of women took charge 
of the work of instructing the children in the catechisms of 
the different churches. To quote the Annual Report of the 
Society for 1814, " The afternoon of every Tuesday, or third day 
of the week, has been set apart for this purpose ; and the 
children have been instructed in the catechisms of the churches 
to which they respectively belong." The report mentioned 
further states the number of children educated in particular 
tenets as follows : Presbyterian, 271 ; Episcopal, 1 86; Methodist, 
172; Baptist, 119; Dutch Church, 41 ; Roman Catholic, 9. In 
the next Annual Report ( 1 8 1 5 ) we read that the children under the 
care of the Society " are said to belong to the different religious 
denominations" as follows : Presbyterian, 365; Methodist, 175; 
Episcopal, 159; Baptist, 144; Roman Catholic, 57; Dutch 
Church, 33. 

It was further arranged that the children should assemble at 
the schools on Sunday forenoon, and thence proceed to their 
chosen places of worship under the care of monitors. 

The Sketch published as a supplement to the Annual Report 
for 1842 comments thus upon this practice: 

"Assiduously pursuing an uninterrupted course of success, the trustees 
had the satisfaction of feeling that they had obtained in a very considerable 
degree the cherished objects of their foundation, and with the fullest approba- 
tion of their fellow-citizens. The Board, composed of individuals of differ- 
ent religious persuasions, had from the beginning studiously endeavored to 
avoid the inculcation of the particular tenets of any ; but impressed with the 
vast importance and salutary influence of religion on the youthful mind, they 
had from the commencement directed that the Holy Scriptures should be read 
daily, at the opening of the schools. At this period, however, on the sugges- 
tion, and to meet the wishes of numerous well-meaning individuals, the trus- 
tees readily yielded to a proposition, that an association of more than fifty 
ladies, of high respectability, and of different religious denominations, who had 
volunteered for the purpose, should meet in the school room, one afternoon in 
each week, to give instructions to the pupils, from such denominational 
catechisms as might be designated by their parents. At the same time, to 
meet their expressed wishes, monitors were appointed to lead them on the 



Three More Schools Established 37 

Sabbath to their appropriate places of worship. This measure was continued 
until obstructed by the wide extension of the schools, and superseded by the 
establishment of Sunday schools, to which excellent institutions they there- 
after commended their pupils. In furtherance of this object, the trustees have 
ever felt obligated, for the interests of the children of their charge, to grant 
the gratuitous use of their school houses, with only such restrictions as shall 
secure their property from injury. Thus a salutary and self-sustained institu- 
tion, is happily found co-operative with the benevolent designs of a Society, 
endowed by municipal and legislative liberality, in furnishing to the neglected 
and uneducated, that knowledge which is to fit them for usefulness in the con- 
cerns of after life" (pp. 19, 20). 

School No. i was attended by both boys and girls; No. 2 
was at first exclusively a boys' school. Soon after the comple- 
tion of No. 2, however, the room in the lower story was placed 
at the disposal of the Female Association (see Chapter I), which 
conducted a school for girls there. This Association was also 
allowed the use of a room in school building No. I for a girls' 
school, in spite of the fact that both girls and boys were taught 
together in the Society's first-established school. The Annual 
Report for 1814 stated that No. I was attended by 471 children 
of both sexes, and No. 2 by 327 ; and added that two rooms 
were still appropriated to the use of the Female Association, in 
which were taught with singular success the rudiments of learn- 
ing and plain needlework to upwards of 300 scholars. In the 
Annual Report for the following year mention is made that 
another unoccupied room in the building in Chatham street had 
been set apart for the use of the Association. Two years later 
(Annual Report, 1817) we read that the Female Association 
" continues to be pre-eminent in usefulness," and that arrange- 
ments had been made for it to take the girls in No. i under its 
charge. 

The year 1815 was marked by one event of importance, for 
in that year the Society received $3708.14 as its share of the 
State Common School Fund, under the first apportionment made. 1 

1 In 1805 (the year in which the Society was established) an act was passed by 
the Legislature " appropriating the net proceeds of five hundred thousand acres of 



38 The New York Public School 

In the Annual Report for the year the following reference is 
found : " In announcing to the Society the receipt of the first 
appropriation under this act, the trustees wish to express their 
deep satisfaction, at the practical commencement of a plan, 
which, in their opinion is calculated to confer lasting benefits on 
the community. Intimately acquainted with the value of exten- 
sive and permanent institutions for the instruction of the desti- 
tute, they consider this to be one of the most important laws 
recorded in the annals of our Legislature." 

In 1817 plans were considered for procuring a site and erect- 
ing a schoolhouse in the northeastern part of the city, and three 
lots in Rivington street were selected; but the purchase was 
not completed until the following year. An act of the Legisla- 
ture passed in 1817 fixed the fee for membership in the Society 
at $25, authorized an increase in the number of Trustees, and 
appropriated $2000 from the excise moneys for the erection of 
a building in the section mentioned, there being " at Manhattan 
Island, and two adjoining settlements," " a considerable popula- 
tion, embracing perhaps one thousand children, who are desti- 
tute of the means of education" (Act of April 5, 1817). This 
act contained the further important provision : 

f "That if any surplus school-monies shall remain in the hands of the said 
Trustees, after an ample compensation to the teachers employed by them, it 
shall and may be lawful for them to apply such surplus, to the instruction 
of schoolmasters on the Lancasterian plan, to the erection of buildings for 
schools, and to all the needful purposes of a common school education, and to 
no other purposes whatever." 

the public lands to the support of common schools, the interest, when amounting to 
fifty thousand dollars, to be annually apportioned to these institutions for the payment 
of teachers' wages. The foundations of a permanent school fund were thus judi- 
ciously provided." History of the State of New York, Randall, p. 163. By a law 
passed in 1812, $50,000 annually was appropriated, to be distributed among the 
counties of the State, but, as this did not apply to New York City, a supplementary 
act was passed March 12, 1813, permitting the city to share in the revenue of the 
school fund. The city was required to raise a sum equal to its share of such school 
money. See Kiddle and Schem, p. 638. 



Three More Schools Established 39 

This was not only in terms an endorsement of the Lancas- 
terian system, but the provision that the school moneys might be 
applied to the erection of schoolhouses soon proved to have an 
important bearing on the future course of the Society. 

The third school of the Society was established on May 25, 
1818, in a room in a building at the corner of Hudson and 
Christopher streets, owned by the Corporation of the city. The 
attendance increased so rapidly that application was quickly 
made for another room. The request was immediately granted. 
School No. 3 was placed in charge of Shepherd Johnson, a 
young man who had received his entire education in School 
No. i. His salary was fixed at $500 per annum, but was 
increased to $800 on the ist of November following. He was 
the pioneer of a large number of teachers trained under the 
direction of the Society, and continued in its employ until I825. 1 

Soon after the purchase of the lots in Rivington street, 
already mentioned, it was resolved to proceed with the building 
of a schoolhouse. This was hurried to completion, and was 
opened in May, 1819, being designated as No. 4. 

1 According to Boese (p. 32), Mr. Johnson " continued for many years in the 
employ of the Society, and was of great service not only in his own school, but in 
assisting and directing at the organization of other new schools intrusted to parties 
of less experience." The minutes of the Trustees record Mr. Johnson's resignation 
in 1825, when he accepted a position in the High School established (as a pay school) 
in 1824 by Dr. John Griscom and D. H. Barnes. It may be noted in passing that the 
trustees of the High School, in their first annual report, stated that "the general progress 
of both the Senior and Junior Departments affords the most conclusive evidence that 
the Monitorial System of Instruction is capable of being adapted to the higher as 
well as the lower branches of education." 



CHAPTER V 
A TEACHER IMPORTED FROM ENGLAND 

DESPITE the encomiums bestowed on the Lancasterian system 
by Mr. Clinton and others, and its formal approval by the Legis- 
lature in the law passed April 5, 1817, the Trustees were evi- 
dently not satisfied with the methods of their teachers. In 
May of that year, having decided to enlarge their work, they 
determined to procure from England a teacher " completely com- 
petent to teach on the Lancasterian plan," at a salary of $1000 
per annum ; but at a meeting held three days later the amount 
was reduced to $800, " the expences (sic) of the passage to this 
country to be borne by this Institution." Correspondence was 
entered into with the British and Foreign School Society, accord- 
ing to Mr. Boese (p. 31) "the very centre and fountain-head of 
improved Lancasterianism," and through its agency the teacher 
sought was found in a young man named Charles Pickton, 1 who 
presented himself to the Board of Trustees early in September, 
1818. He brought with him a quantity of slates, Lancasterian 
lessons, etc. In April, 1819, Mr. Pickton was appointed teacher 
of School No. 4 (in Rivington street), which was opened on 
the ist of May following. By resolution of the Trustees he 
was authorized to " conduct the school according to such plan 
and with such regulations, not involving additional expense, 
as he may think proper." In addition to his salary, the 

1 This name is spelled Picton and Pickton, the former spelling being used by 
both Mr. Bourne and Mr. Boese. In the minutes of the Trustees it first appears as 
Picton, but later is entered many times as Pickton. The weight of evidence would 
appear to be in favor of the latter form, although the former is used in the Sketch 
printed in the Annual Reports for 1842 and 1848. 

40 



A Teacher Imported from England 41 

Trustees granted him an allowance of $200 per annum for 
rent. 1 

Special importance may be attached to the words " not in- 
volving additional expense," quoted above. In January of this 
year (1819) a committee of the Board had reported an estimated 
deficit of $11,465, and recommended that an application be 
made to the Legislature in order " to meet and make up this 
enormous deficiency." In the line of economy, the committee 
further recommended that the salaries of the teachers of No. I 
and No. 2 be reduced to $800, that the monitors-general be 
informed that the Society cannot continue to board and clothe 
them, and that rigid retrenchment be exercised in all directions. 
On January igth a memorial was addressed to the Legislature 
petitioning for a grant of $10,465. The paper stated that 1169 
children were attending the schools of the Society, and that the 
whole number of children taught in them had been 7541 ; that 
during the past year a third school had been established at 
Greenwich, at an expense of about $1200; that the Society 
was erecting a " building to contain near 600 children, in the 
North Eastern part of the City, the expense of which estab- 
lishment will be about $13,000" ; and called special attention to 
the great increase of population, particularly by the influx of 
foreigners, and to the multiplying number of " poor and suffer- 
ing children, who must progress from the cradle to maturity, 
with no schools but those of profligacy and guilt, unless the 
hand of Charity be extended to reclaim their steps." 

On March 26th (1819) the Legislature granted the sum of 
$5000, which was used in completing No. 4. 

As early as August 7, 1818, a vacation of three weeks in 
No. i and No. 2 was authorized, " to commence on Monday next," 
and the question of a vacation in No. 3 (which had been in opera- 

1 Mr. Boese says (p. 33) that in the interval between his arrival and the opening 
of School No. 4 Mr. Pickton was employed " by permission of the Board [of Trus- 
tees], and at the same salary, in reorganizing, on the Lancasterian system, the 
parochial school of St. Peter's Church in Barclay Street." 



42 The New York Public School 

tion only since May 25th) was referred to the committee of that 
school, the teacher, however, " to have double pay for the term 
if no vacation takes place." 1 On August 6, 1819, the teachers 
asked for four weeks' vacation, and three weeks were allowed. 

In December, 1818, Mr. Lancaster arrived in this country. 
He received a warm welcome, especially from the Free School 
Society. The Trustees promptly granted him the use of their 
schoolrooms at such times as would not interfere with school 
hours, for the purpose of delivering lectures on " the System of 
education invented by him." His arrival seemed to give a new 
impetus to the advocates of his method of instruction, for at the 
same meeting at which the action just mentioned was taken, it 
was decided by the Trustees to print a manual of the Lancas- 
terian system. The project languished for a time, but the 
Manual referred to in Chapter III was issued in 1820. 

An important " Address to the Parents and Guardians of the 
Children belonging to the Schools under the care of the New 
York Free-School Society" was adopted on April 2, 1819. It 
was signed by thirty-four Trustees, 2 and 5000 copies of it were 
printed for distribution. Mr. Bourne says of it : " This address 
contains a very clear expression of the views and motives which 
governed the Society and its friends, and is interesting not only 
as an embodiment of those views, but as an authentic avowal of 
the nature of the religious influences which at the time prevailed 
in the Society. Whatever differences of opinion may exist as to 
the theological character of the address, it may be safely assumed 
that men acting under such high convictions could not be 
unworthy of confidence in the delicate and responsible work 
of training the young and neglected members of society " 
(P. 36). 

The address calls attention to the evils of idleness and the 

1 See minutes of August 7, 1818. Mr. Boese's statement (p. 35) that the first 
vacation was granted in August, 1820, is obviously erroneous. 

2 The number of Trustees, originally thirteen, had been enlarged by five in 1810, 
by six in 1812, and by twelve in 1817. 



A Teacher Imported from England 43 

"improper use of Spirituous Liquors," to the desirability of 
temperance, economy, and cleanliness, to the importance of 
the " due observance of the First Day of the week, commonly 
called Sunday," and to the necessity of frequent and diligent 
reading of the Bible. On the subject of cleanliness the follow- 
ing may be quoted : 

" Parents can, perhaps, scarcely give a greater proof of their care for their 
children, than by keeping them clean and decent, especially when they are sent 
to school, where it is expected they will appear with their hands, faces, and 
heads perfectly clean, and their clothing clean and in good order : the appear- 
ance of children exhibits to every observing mind the character of the mother." 

Certain rules are prescribed, some of which are of interest 
after an interval of nearly ninety years. For example : 

"Your children must be in school precisely at 9 o'clock in the morning 
and 2 o'clock in the afternoon." 

" They ought to be sent to school every day, both morning and afternoon ; 
otherwise they may forget in one day what they learned the day before ; noth- 
ing but sickness, or some unavoidable circumstance, should induce you to keep 
your children at home one day. ..." 

" It is necessary that you should see that your children go to school with 
clean faces and hands, their hair coombed (sic) and in good order, and their 
clothes as clean and whole as possible ; otherwise they are liable to be pun- 
ished for your neglect." 

" If your children behave well, and study their lessons at home, they will 
be rewarded with Tickets ; but if they behave badly, and will not study, they 
must be punished." 

" No child can be admitted under Six years of age." 

" The children of parents who are able to pay for schooling cannot be 
admitted." 

" It is expected that Parents see that their children regularly attend some 
place of worship." 

Two or three entries in the Trustees' minutes for the year 
1819 may be deserving of passing note. 

On March 5th it was resolved that " the children be taught 
once in each week to repeat some suitable passages out of Tracts 
on the subject of the destructive use of ardent spirits, and in 
order that this may not be omitted it is directed to be inserted 



44 The New York Public School 

in the By-Laws." But this action was reconsidered on April 
2d, and on June 4th the resolution was rescinded. 

On May 7th a committee on the general state of the schools 
reported in reference to the number of children attending church, 
stating that in No. I, out of 480 on register, 397 attended church 
regularly, in No. 2, 335 out of 437 on register, and in No. 3, 312 
out of 333, and then added: " Besides this unparalleled propor- 
tion of scholars in our schools, who are known to attend divine 
worship, either with their parents or with Sunday Schools, it is 
presumed that some others may attend without its being known 
to the Trustees." 

On December 3d a resolution was adopted authorizing the 
teachers to instruct " some of the higher class of children in 
English Grammar." 

So rapid was the growth of No. 4 that on June 4, 1819 (a 
little more than a month after it was opened), the attendance 
was reported as 356 200 boys and 156 girls; and the com- 
mittee recommended that the lower room be fitted up for the 
use of the girls. On August 3Oth the girls' school was opened, 
in charge of Mrs. Pickton, with an attendance of 182. A year 
later, in August, 1820, it was decided to finish and furnish the 
cellar of No. 4, as the committee reported that " many of the 
children are obliged to sit on the floor." It thus appears that 
overcrowding is not exclusively a modern evil in New York 
schools. 

It was soon found that the rooms furnished by the city for 
No. 3 were inadequate, and steps were taken toward the erection 
of a schoolhouse on the lots granted by Trinity Church ; but as 
the title to the property was not vested absolutely in the Society, 
negotiations were had with the church authorities, which resulted 
in the purchase of the lots for $1250. The new building of No. 
3, 80 by 45 feet, was promptly erected, at a cost of about $6600. 
On October 15, 1820, the boys' school was removed to it, and 
" the Female School " was opened on October 22d, in charge of 
Sarah T. Field, who was appointed teacher at a salary of $250. 



A Teacher Imported from England 45 

The fourteenth Annual Report, presented to the Society in 
1819, gives the whole number of pupils on register as 1250, and 
states that 1044 of them were known to attend public worship 
on the Sabbath. It contains the following table, made up from 
the reports of the teachers, as indicating "the employment and 
progressive improvement of the scholars for the last year " : * 

297 Children have been taught to form letters in sand. 
615 have been advanced from letters in sand, to monosyllabic reading on 
boards. 

686 from reading on boards, to Murray's First Book. 
335 from Murray's First Book, to writing on slates. 
218 from writing on slates, to writing on paper. 
341 to reading in the Bible. 
277 to addition and subtraction. 
153 to multiplication and division. 

60 to the compounds of the four first rules. 

20 to reduction. 

24 to the rule of three. 

In this report the Trustees invite all desirous of learning the 
Lancasterian system to spend six or eight weeks in their schools, 
and thus gain a " competent knowledge " of the methods em- 
ployed ; and express the hope that they will be able to multiply 
their schools until " every indigent child " is provided for. A 
similar reference to " every indigent child " is made in the report 
for the following year (1820). The sixteenth Annual Report 
(1821) states that " care is taken that no children obtain admis- 
sion to these schools who are not proper objects of a gratuitous 
education"; and from the report for 1822 we learn that "the 
pupils of this Institution are exclusively those whose parents are 
unable to defray the expenses of their education." 

In 1821 arrangements were made for dividing School No. 2, 
in Henry street, and a separate school for girls was opened on 
November 1st. 

In this year 2000 copies of the Universal Catechism were 

1 Similar tables, though differing somewhat in form, are to be found in all the 
Annual Reports of the Society. 



46 The New York Public School 

purchased for the schools, and stereotype plates were made of 
a book called Scripture Selections, which had attained consider- 
able vogue abroad, and an edition of 1000 was printed. 

Toward the close of the year a number of members of the 
Legislature visited the schools of the Society, 1 and their visit was 
followed by an application to the Legislature for sufficient funds 
to build two additional schoolhouses ; but no appropriation was 
authorized. In the following March (1822), as it was found that 
large numbers of children were without means of instruction, 
the subject was carefully canvassed, and it was decided to pro- 
pose an additional tax in order to raise $5000 a year for ten 
years, which would provide for the building of five additional 
schoolhouses at $10,000 each. The records in connection with 
this matter are of peculiar interest. The population of the city 
was 130,000, and a tax of four cents per capita would produce 
$5200, which would be only -^3 of one per cent, on the total as- 
sessed valuation of $68,285,070. The proposed tax was figured 
out as follows by the Trustees : 

A person assessed as worth $100, in addition to his tax 

would pay only f cent 

I>000> 71 cents 

" in independent circumstances, 

worth 10,000, " 75 " 
" a man of fortune, " 20,000, " " " " $1.50 

Nothing came of this proposition immediately ; but a more 
significant illustration of the difference between the third decade 
of the nineteenth century and the present time could scarcely 
be found than the grave assertion, in the tabular statement given 
above, that a man worth $10,000 was in "independent circum- 
stances," and that $20,000 was a " fortune." 

1 An item of $11 for "carriage hire" in connection with this visit is to be found 
in the minutes. 






CHAPTER VI 

CONTROVERSY WITH THE BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH 

f 

FOR nearly two decades the Free School Society carried on 

its work with no opposition and but little friction, and its pro- 
moters had the satisfaction of seeing their beneficent influence 
extend, and include a continually increasing number of chil- 
dren. Before 1820 they had four schools in operation, and a 
fifth was opened in October, 1822. The Annual Report pre- 
sented to the Society in 1820 showed an attendance at the four 
schools of 2023, and stated that the whole number admitted 
from the beginning had been 9743. But stormy times were at 
hand, and from this period onward, at nearly regularly recurring 
intervals of ten years, the Society found itself involved in serious 
controversies, leading in the end to its dissolution, after nearly 
half a century of unexampled usefulness.^ 

Soon after the beginning of the year 1822 the Society was 
confronted with what came to be known as the Bethel Baptist 
Church controversy, which resulted in extensive changes in the 
scope and operation of the free school system. } In 1812, as 
already noted in Chapter IV, a law was enacted in reference to 
common schools in the State, and provision was made for the 
distribution of the Common School Fund in accordance with 
the act of 1805 which established it. By the act passed 
March 12, 1813, it was provided that the portion of the school 
fund received by the city and county of New York should be 
apportioned and paid to the Trustees of the Free School 
Society, the trustees or treasurers of the Orphan Asylum Society, 
the Society of the Economical School in the City of New York 
(for the children of refugees from the West Indies), the African 
Free School, and " of such incorporated religious societies in 

47 



48 The New York Public School 

said city as now support or hereafter shall establish charity 
schools within the said city, who may apply for the same." 
The several societies named were prohibited from using the 
fund for any purpose other than the payment of teachers' 
salaries. As heretofore stated (see Chapter IV), the first dis- 
tribution of the Common School Fund was made in 1815. 

Under the economical operation of the Lancasterian system, 
several hundred children being instructed by one teacher, as- 
sisted by pupils acting as monitors, who received at the best 
only trifling compensation, the Free School Society soon found 
that the amount derived from the school fund was more than 
sufficient to pay its teachers; and the act passed April 5, 1817, 
already quoted (see Chapter IV), authorized it to appropriate any 
surplus for the erection of buildings, the instruction of school- 
masters on the Lancasterian plan, or any other needful purpose 
of a common school education. 

In 1820 the trustees of the Bethel Baptist Church established 
a school in the basement of their church, in Delancey street, 
and in the following year received an appropriation from the 
Common School Fund, under the provisions of the law of 1813. 
In February, I822, 1 they secured the passage of a special act 
for their relief, which, in Section 3, authorized them to use any 
surplus of the fund remaining, after the payment of the salaries 
of their teachers, for the instruction of schoolmasters, the erec- 
tion of buildings, etc. Section 3 ran : 

" And be it further enacted, That if any moneys be now remaining, or shall 
hereafter remain, in the hands of the said trustees, from the school moneys 
received by them for the support of the Bethel Free School, after a sufficient 
compensation to the teachers employed by them, it shall and may be lawful 
for them to apply such moneys to the instruction of schoolmasters, to the 
erection of buildings for schools, and to all other needful purposes of a com- 
mon school education, but to no other purposes whatever." 

" The enactment of this law," says the Sketch which forms 
a part of the Annual Report for 1842, "not only excited the 

1 De Witt Clinton, President of the Free School Society, was then Governor. 



Controversy with the Bethel Baptist Church 49 

alarm of 'The Free School Society,' but also of the Trustees 
of a number of the church schools, from apprehensions that it 
might lead to a perversion of the fund, as buildings erected by 
such means becoming church property, might also be appropri- 
ated to other purposes than (as designed by the extension of 
the bounty of the State to them) exclusively for the education 
of the poor " (p. 22). 

On March 13, 1822, the Trustees of the Free School Society 
resolved to purchase three lots in the vicinity of the new Roman 
Catholic Cathedral, in Mott street, and to erect a new school 
building for the accommodation of children living between 
Broadway and the Bowery, "and to discourage any Religious 
Society from improperly diverting the Common School Fund 
by the erection of their own school houses within the District 
or from interfering with the liberal and extensive views of the 
' Free School Society ' in the education of all the poor children 
of this Metropolis." : The lots referred to were bought with- 
out loss of time, and the putting up of a building was immedi- 
ately proceeded with. School No. 5 was opened for boys on 
October 28, 1822, and for girls three days later. The total 
cost, including the site, was $11,887.03. 

In the mean while, on April 5, 1822, the Society received a 
letter from the Bethel Baptist Church trustees, stating that they 
had made plans for a school in the neighborhood of the Cathe- 
dral, and complaining that the action of the Free School Society 
in arranging for a school there was an improper interference 
with them. The Trustees of the Society at once resolved to 
submit a remonstrance to the Legislature against the special 
privileges granted to the Bethel Church, but as the adjournment 
of that body was near at hand nothing was done at the time. 
In August, however, the Trustees declared their position by 
adopting a resolution stating that they would use all means in 
their power to secure the repeal of the objectionable section 
(Section 3) of the law passed in 1822 for the benefit of the 

1 See Minutes, March 13, 1822. 



50 The New York Public School 

church mentioned, on the ground that it " is calculated to divert 
a large portion of the common school fund from the great and 
beneficial object for which it is established, and to apply the 
same for the promotion of private and sectarian interests." 

Vigorous action followed. A committee was appointed to 
confer with the Corporation, the Commissioners of the School 
Fund, and the directors of the various institutions entitled to 
participate in the school moneys, and secure their co-operation 
in procuring the repeal of the obnoxious law. On December 6th 
(1822) a memorial addressed to the Legislature was adopted by 
the Trustees, in which they claimed that the five schoolhouses 
built by them were "the property of the public, for the per- 
petual reception of indigent children," and proceeded to say : 

"Your memorialists are fully convinced of the wisdom of that provision 
of the general law regulating the expenditures of the common school fund, 
which limits the appropriation of said fund to the payment of teachers only ; 
and they believe it inexpedient, and contrary to the original intention of the 
Legislature, that any part thereof should be applied to the erection of build- 
ings, except in case of an institution expressly incorporated for the purposes 
of educating poor children, and where real estate virtually becomes the property 
of the public." 

They deplored the fact that under the law objected to a 
portion of the surplus of the school fund might be devoted to 
the purchase of real estate or to the erection of buildings belong- 
ing, not to the public, but to the Bethel Baptist Church, which 
might sell the same and convey the fee to others. No limit, 
the memorial continued, was set to the number of children 
instructed under the direction of that church, whose share of 
the fund would thus be increased, while incompetent teachers 
might be employed at low salaries, and the moneys at the dis- 
posal of the church be still further enhanced. The memorialists 
favored "the most prudent and effectual means of educating 
the poor children" of the city, whether by the Free School 
Society or by other means, and stated that in the prosecution 
of their work they had incurred a debt of $16,000. 



Controversy with the BetJul Baptist Church 51 

The aid of the Corporation was also sought. The matter 
was pressed earnestly upon the Legislature at the session of 
1823, but without result. "In 1823, therefore, 'The Free 
School Society,' with a number of the church schools, with the 
sanction of the city Corporation, memorialized for a repeal of 
this act, but from ignorance of the facts in the case, and the 
lateness of the session, only a resolution was passed requiring 
the Superintendent of Common Schools to report in detail the 
expenditure of the school money, and the manner of its appro- 
priation by the various societies participating in it." : 

The Bethel Baptist Church soon had three schools open, 
one in Delancey street, one in Bleecker street, and a third in 
Vandam street. Their effect upon the schools of the Society 
was twofold. " In the first place," to quote Mr. Bourne, " they 
drew away pupils from the free schools, and diminished their 
revenue; and, in the second place, by absorbing so large a 
share of the school money, the balance to be distributed among 
the other institutions was materially diminished. But other 
mischiefs were in the immediate future. Several religious 
denominations, observing the special privileges thus enjoyed 
by one of their number, manifested a disposition to follow the 
example, by enlarging their schools, and adapting them to the 
wants of the public by receiving children of all denominations. 
A school of this description was opened in Grace Church ; 
another, for female children, by the Congregational Church in 
Chambers street ; and a third, by the Dutch Reformed Church, 
in large rooms in Harmony Hall, at the corner of William and 
Duane streets " (pp. 63, 64). 

The opposition of the Free School Society to the Baptist 
Church did not wane during the year 1823. It was determined 
not only to seek the repeal of the obnoxious third section of the 
law of 1822, but to secure such an amendment as would "restrict 
the religious societies to what was justly deemed the obvious 
intention of the act providing for their participation in the 

1 Sketch, 1842, p. 22. 



52 The New York Public School 

fund." J The approval and assistance of the city authorities 
were again sought. The subject was fully discussed before a 
committee of the Common Council, and early in 1824 that body 
unanimously adopted a memorial to the Legislature (which was 
endorsed by the Mayor), approving the attitude of the Free 
School Society as the principal manager of gratuitous educa- 
tion in the city of New York, and asking the Legislature 
to amend the law relative to the distribution of the school 
fund so as to prevent any religious societies entitled to par- 
ticipate therein "from drawing for any other than the poor 
children of their respective congregations." Before the memo- 
rial was forwarded to Albany a special meeting of the Common 
Council was called 2 to reconsider the matter. After a careful 
investigation by a committee, a report was adopted, without 
a dissenting voice, declaring the proposed law to be of the 
utmost importance to the preservation of the Free School 
Society and highly essential to the welfare of the community 
in general. 

The Society also prepared a memorial for presentation to the 
Legislature of 1824, reinforcing the position taken in the previous 
year, and this paper was approved by several religious societies. 
The churches which united with the Free School Society were 
the following : The trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
in the city of New York, the pastor of the Baptist Church in 
Mulberry street, the pastor of the Baptist Church in Oliver 
street, the president and secretary of the consistory of the 
Reformed Church in Market street, the president of the Board 
of Trustees of the Rutgers Street Church, the pastor and 
trustees of the Bowery Presbyterian Church, the pastor and 
the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Central Presby- 
terian Church in Broome street, the president and clerk of the 
Board of Trustees of the Brick Presbyterian Church and the 

1 Sketch, 1842, p. 23. 

2 "At the request of two highly respectable clergymen in the city of New York." 
BOURNE, p. 67. 



Controversy with the Bethel Baptist Church 53 

pastor of said church, and the trustees of the Presbyterian 
Church in Murray street. 1 

An interesting review of the proceedings may be found in 
the appendix to the Annual Report of the Society for 1824, 
which states that the Bethel Baptist Church, under the Rev. 
Johnson Chase, had deliberately entered the field of the Free 
School Society and materially interfered with its work. In the 
autumn of 1823 the church opened its school in Vandam street, 
in the vicinity of Free School No. 3, and the immediate effect 
was to draw away three hundred children from the latter, most 
of whom, however, soon after returned to the Society's school. 
One ground of complaint was that the church employed teachers 
at low salaries, and certificates to the effect that in the church 
schools there was a lack of cleanliness, order, and discipline 
were attached to the report. In the three Baptist schools, 
while 1547 pupils were registered, the attendance was but 
886 a very significant fact in view of the provision of law 
that the school fund should be apportioned in accordance, not 
with the attendance, but with the number of pupils registered. 
In one school, where there were accommodations for only 300, 
the registration was 450. Certificates of teachers employed in 
the Bethel Church schools, which are printed in the appendix 
to the report under consideration, showed that the nominal salary 
of one was recorded as $900, whereas he actually received $450, 
and that another, whose salary was $350, consented to an 
arrangement whereby his compensation was entered on the 
records as $600, with the understanding that he would return 
$200 as a "donation." The account further points out that the 
management of the Baptist Church schools tended to bring the 
Lancasterian system into disrepute. 

Although a report favorable to the Free School Society was 
submitted by a committee of the Assembly in 1824, no action 
was taken at the regular session of the Legislature. The com- 
mittee of the Society having the matter in charge prepared for 

1 See appendix to Annual Report, 1824. 



54 The New York Public School 

a renewed active campaign at the special session called in 
November of that year. 

There appears to have been very strong opposition to the 
proposed repeal on the part of other churches than the one 
most directly interested. Mr. Bourne says: "A number of 
gentlemen also appeared at the Capitol in opposition to the 
bill, among whom were Rev. Drs. Milnor and Mathews, Rev. 
Mr. Onderdonk, Rev. M. Hutton, who was connected with 
Dr. Mathews' congregation, Rev. Johnson Chase, and others " 

(PP. 73-74)- 1 

To the surprise of all concerned, the Legislature amended 
the bill before it in such a way as to place the entire matter 
of the (distribution of the school fund for New York City in 
the hands" of the Common Council,/ and in this shape it was 
enacted, on November 19, 1824. Thus ended the first of the 
religious controversies with which the career of the Society 
was checkered. In truth, only one stage of the controversy 
was ended, for the field of contest was now transferred to the 
Common Council, the proceedings of which will be outlined in 
the next chapter. 

1 A footnote in Mr. Boese's History (p. 105) says: "The minutes and committee 
reports of the Society make mention in several places of the strength and activity of 
the opposing 'lobby,' and particularly name the Rev. Messrs. Chase, Wainwright, 
Matthews, Milnor, Onderdonk, and some others, representing the Dutch, Baptist, and 
Episcopal churches, as opposed to the efforts of Rutgers, Jay, C. D. Golden, and 
S. Allen " (the latter representing the Free School Society). 



CHAPTER VII 

PLANS FOR EXTENDING THE SOCIETY'S WORK 

BY the law passed November 19, 1824, the question of deter- 
mining what societies should participate in the Common School 
Fund was placed in the hands of the Common Council, and 
a prolonged and animated discussion took place before com- 
mittees of that body in the succeeding year. In presenting the 
views of the Free School Society, the Trustees brought forward 
a plan for a change in their working basis whereby their schools, 
which hitherto had been carried on exclusively for the benefit 
of children entitled to a gratuitous education, and which suf- 
fered in consequence from the stigma that they were charity 
schools, should receive as pupils children of parents able and 
willing to pay small sums for the education of their offspring. 
They stated that many of the five hundred pay schools in the 
city were kept in small rooms, without sufficient light or ven- 
tilation, and without due regard to cleanliness ; that the objec- 
tionable features would be removed by the establishment of 
Lancasterian pay schools, conducted by well-qualified and judi- 
cious teachers, or by increasing the number of " establishments " 
of the Free School Society and opening them to pay scholars ; 
that complaints had been made by many citizens in the upper 
wards of the city, who were " too poor to send their numerous 
children to good pay schools, and yet with feelings too indepen- 
dent to send them to free schools," that, although they were 
taxed for the promotion of education, they did not derive any 
benefit from the school fund, as did citizens of all classes in 
every other county of the State. The Trustees therefore sug- 

55 



56 The New York P^lblic School 

gested the enlargement of the scope of the Society and a cor- 
responding change in its name. 

In the twentieth Annual Report (for 1825) mention was 
made of the great benefits to be derived from low-priced pay 
schools open to children of all ranks of citizens. 

The Trustees estimated that each of the schools would more 
than half support itself through payments made by pupils, and 
that in new schools to be established the children would pay 
two-thirds of the whole cost. The balance for the first year 
under the proposed system was figured at $10,500, all of which, 
it was stated, might be applied to the purchase of lots and the 
building of new schoolhouses. The event will show how widely 
astray were these calculations. 

Several religious societies maintaining schools presented 
petitions to the Common Council in favor of having their share 
in the school fund continued, and the consideration of the mat- 
ter before the Council was the occasion of animated debates in 
the year 1825. (The result was the enactment of an ordinance 
providing that the Common School Fund should not be distrib- 
uted to any religious societies, but only to the Free School 
Society, the Mechanics' Society, the Orphan Asylum Society, 
and the trustees of the African Free Schools. 

To quote again from the Sketch forming a part of the 
Annual Report for 1842: "The grounds on which the restric- 
tion was advocated were, that the intention of the law of 1813, 
granting the church schools a portion of the funds was solely 
for the education of their own poor, never contemplating an 
extension of their schools that would at all interfere with those 
of the Free School Society, the design of which was solely the 
extension of common schools, and especially for the poor. It 
was considered further that the principles that had heretofore 
guided all legislation on this subject were infringed, and a fund 
designed for civil purpose's, diverted to the support of religious 
institutions, contrary to the spirit of the acknowledged princi- 
ples of our government, which has ever left religion to be 



Plans for Extending the Society's Work 57 

sustained by voluntary contributions, and the individual effort 
and patronage of its own votaries. The Committee before 
whom the parties were heard, reported against distributing any 
portion of the fund to the schools of religious societies, and in 
1825 introduced an ordinance, which was unanimously adopted, 
directing the distribution to be made to 'The Free School 
Society/ ' Mechanics' Society,' ' The Orphan Asylum Society/ 
and the trustees of ' The African Schools.' After so full and 
mature a consideration of the subject ; and the unanimous deci- 
sion which designated these institutions as the channels of dis- 
tribution of the school fund ; the clearness of the principles on 
which such decision was founded; the Society felt that the 
result had given strength and permanency to their institution ; 
and believing, from a long practical experience of the plans of 
their schools, and of the efficiency of the system pursued, that 
they were capable of affording a good plain English education 
to a large mass of children, they resolved on increased efforts 
to extend them. They also hoped by exertion further to improve 
their condition. About this time, learning through the Com- 
mittee of Correspondence, that success had attended the estab- 
lishment of low priced schools for the poor, in England, Scotland 
and Ireland, on the system of Lancaster, they resolved on testing 
the plan " (pp. 23, 24). 

Before passing on to a consideration of the important change 
which took place in the character and work of the Society in 
the year 1826, mention must be made of a number of matters of 
considerable importance to the Society, and of others which 
cannot but have a certain interest for students of the city's 
earlier educational history. 

The Almshouse having been removed to the section known 
as Bellevue (where Bellevue Hospital now stands), the city 
authorities, in June, 1823, proposed that the Free School Society 
should take charge of the pauper children and organize a school 
there. This proposition was accepted, and School No. 6 was 
opened on October 27, 1823, in the presence of the Mayor and 



58 The New York Public School 

a number of members of the Common Council. 1 It was placed 
in charge of Dr. Charles Belden, whose brother, Joseph Belden, 
was the teacher of No. 5. Dr. Belden died, after two years' 
service, August 5, 1825. He was educated for the medical 
profession, and "in a spirit of true, self-devoting philanthropy, 
and for a trifling salary, took charge of and lived with the neg- 
lected little ones of the city's charge at Bellevue, No. 6, having 
first * learned the system ' for that purpose with Mr. Johnson in 
No. 3." Joseph Belden was a man whose " powers of organiza- 
tion and firm yet gentle character, and skill in teaching penman- 
ship, soon made him one of the most popular of teachers." 2 

On January 10, 1823, the Trustees took action in the direction 
of abolishing severe corporal punishment in their schools, in- 
structing the teachers to " dispense entirely with the use of the 
Rod or Rattan," and resolved, " in case any children should 
after suitable counsel and other means being tried still continue 
refractory and disobedient, that they may be corrected with a 
small leather strap applied to the palms of their hands, but that 
they be struck on no other part of the body, and should all 
means used for their reformation fail, that such children be 
discharged by the Visiting Committee and by proclamation." 
At the next meeting of the Board a protest was received from 
/ the teacher of No. i, who stated that the order of his school 
would suffer in consequence of the non-use of the rattan. The 
protest was laid on the table, but at this meeting it was resolved 
that hand\>t substituted for palm of hand in the instructions to 
teachers, and the Committee of Supplies was directed to " pro- 
cure suitable straps for all the schools." In June following, 
the instructions in regard to the use of straps were repealed, 
and a month later it was decided that in cases of persistent 
bad conduct and as a last resort teachers might correct such 

1 This school was transferred after a few years to Long Island Farms, and later to 
Randall's Island, and remained under the care of the Board of Education until May 
21, 1889, when it was discontinued. 

2 See Boese, pp. 37, 38. 



Plans for Extending the Society s Work 59 

children " in a moderate way with a leather strap, rod or rattan 
(but on no account to strike any scholar on any part of the 
head)," and expulsion was to be resorted to if all other means 
failed. 

The teachers were called before the Board of Trustees in 
the matter of corporal punishment on September 2, 1825, on 
which occasion the Trustees expressed their disapprobation of 
all undue severity and their strong desire that "mild moral 
government should be mostly if not exclusively used in the 
schools." 

The minutes of the meeting held on October 3, 1823, con- 
tain an interesting item on the adoption of a resolution permit- 
ting "our teachers " to hold evening schools during the pleasure 
of the Trustees, " provided they furnish their own fuel and oil " 
and make good all damage to furniture, etc. This can scarcely 
be considered the beginning of evening schools in the modern 
sense, for these schools were not free, and the teachers were to 
reap all the profits. 

Two measures were taken in this year to improve the char- 
acter of the Society's schools. One was the division of the 
Trustees (thirty-six in number) into " sections " to look after the 
interests of the several schools an arrangement which was 
continued throughout the existence of the Society. The other 
was the appointment of committees of ladies to inspect the 
schools for girls and report as to their condition, improvement, 
etc. 1 

One event in the following year served to bring the work of 
the Free School Society prominently before the people of the 
city, and aided materially in deepening the good impression 
made on the public mind by the schools already established, 
which had risen in the popular estimation from the fact that 
pauper children were no longer taught in No. i (owing to the 

1 " For some reason which does not appear in the records of the Society, the plan 
of securing the assistance and counsel of the ladies does not seem to have been 
successful." BoEst, p. 36. 



6p The New York Public School 

removal of the Almshouse to Bellevue) and from the sincerity 
and devotion of the teachers in charge. 

In September, 1 824, General La Fayette, being in New York 
during the course of his second visit to the United States, was 
invited to inspect the work of the Society. On the loth of the 
month he was escorted to School No. 3, where a certificate of 
membership in the Society was presented to him by Vice-Presi- 
dent Bleecker in the girls' room in the presence of " many of 
the Trustees, the Mayor, several Aldermen and a large assemblage 
of Ladies and Gentlemen." "A pretty little poetic address to 
the General was then spoken in concert by a number of the 
Girls." In the boys' room " an address written for the occasion 
was delivered by a small lad in behalf of his fellows." About 
five hundred boys and three hundred girls were in attendance. 1 

In the afternoon, at 2 o'clock, La Fayette reviewed some 
three thousand school children in the City Hall Park (all the 
schools except No. 6 being represented), in the presence of a 

1 The visit of La Fayette to No. 3 is to be commemorated by the erection of a 
tablet bearing the following inscription : 

ON SEPTEMBER IOTH, 1824 
MARQUIS DE LA FAYETTE 

MAJOR GENERAL IN THE AMERICAN ARMY 
DURING THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 

VISITED 

PUBLIC SCHOOL NO. 3 

WHICH WAS SELECTED AS THE BEST EXAMPLE OF THE PUBLIC 

SCHOOL SYSTEM ESTABLISHED BY THE FREE SCHOOL 

SOCIETY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK 



IN MEMORY OF THAT EVENT 

THIS TABLET 

IS ERECTED BY A FORMER PUPIL OF THE SCHOOL 

UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 

A.D. 1905 

The present Public School 3 stands on the original site of Free School No. 3 
(the site having been enlarged) ; the original building, which had been altered and 
repaired many times, was removed in 1860 and a new building erected; a new annex 
was built in 1888. 



Plans for Extending the Society's Work 61 

large and enthusiastic gathering of citizens. The report of the 
committee in charge of the reception, presented to the Trustees 
on October ist, closes as follows: 

"In conclusion, the committee have much pleasure in stating their be- 
lief that the proceedings of the day were witnessed by the General, and by 
thousands of our citizens, with peculiar interest, and that all were gratified by 
an exhibition of the state and magnitude of an institution whose moral and 
religious influence must be acknowledged, and whose political bearing is 
expressed in the motto on one of the banners used on this occasion * Educa- 
tion is the Basis of Free Government. 1 M1 

One of the plans adopted to stimulate the interest of teachers 
was to fix the salary in accordance with the attendance. The 
minutes for April 5, 1822, show that the teacher in charge of 
No. 2 was to receive $600 per annum for 200 scholars, $2 each 
for the number in excess of 200 but not more than 250, $1.50 
each for any number over 250 and not over 300, and $i each 
for the number in excess of 300. There is no evidence that 
this idea was adopted in other schools, and it does not appear 
to have become permanent. 

f On August 2, 1822, a committee was appointed to consider 
and report " on the propriety of instructing some of the oldest, 
most orderly, and meritorious of our scholars in some of the 
higher branches of an English Education, say Grammar, Geog- 
raphy, History, Mathematics, &c." 

The three following excerpts from the minutes of the Board 
of Trustees speak for themselves : * 

November 5, 1824: "An elegant specimen of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence executed by Jotham Wilson, 2 Monitor-General of No. 2, being 

1 At their meeting on October I, 1824, the Trustees expressed formal thanks for 
the loan of rope used in the Park (apparently to hold the crowd of spectators in 
check). The minutes for November 5th contain the following item in the report of 
the Treasurer : 

"Crackers and Cheese for children and carriage 

hire attending La Fayette $10.60 and 27.43 . . 38.03." 

2 Jotham Wilson was appointed teacher of No. 9 in 1827, and served as such until 
1832. 



62 The New York Public School 

designed by him to remain in the school, Joseph Grinnel {sic) was appointed 
to have it framed and also to present him with a suit of clothes not exceeding 
in cost 25 Dollars as a reward for this meritorious specimen of Penmanship." 

November 2, 1825 : "A handsome specimen of needlework executed and 
presented to the Trustees by Elizabeth Onderdonk a pupil in No. 3 was ordered 
to be framed under the direction of the Committee of Supplies and hung in the 
Session Room." x 

January 6, 1826: "A note was received from Eliza W. Windsor [appar- 
ently the wife of Lloyd D. Windsor, for twenty years teacher of No. i] pre- 
senting to the Trustees an elegant framed specimen of needlework worked by 
Mary E. Ferguson, a girl of 13 years of age and a pupil in No. i. This sample 
was accepted and it was Resolved That the Committee of Supplies present each 
of the Girls and also Elizabeth Onderdonk of School No. 3, who worked the 
La Fayette sampler with a Plaid Cloak or other suitable reward." 

1 The minutes do not state where the meetings of the Trustees were held at this 
time. On December 20, 1826, they decided to meet in No. i, fitting up the " trustees' 
room" for the purpose. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SOCIETY THE PAY SYSTEM 

i 

As the first step in the extension of the Society's work, 
foreshadowed in the preceding chapter, the Trustees bent their 
efforts towards obtaining a new charter from the Legislature. 
On the 28th of January, 1826, they secured the enactment of 
a law changing the name of the Society to The Public School 
Society of New York; increasing the number of Trustees to 
fifty (the Trustees so chosen to add fifty more to their number, 
in their discretion), the Mayor and Recorder being made ex 
officio members of the Board ; making the fee for life member- 
ship in the Society $10; and authorizing the Trustees to require 
a " moderate compensation " from pupils entering their schools, 
with a proviso that payment might be omitted whenever deemed 
advisable and that no child should be denied the benefits of 
education on the ground of inability to pay. Another important 
provision was the following : - 

" And be it further enacted, That the said Society is hereby authorized to 
convey their (sic) school edifices and other real estate to the Mayor, Aldermen 
and Commonalty of the city of New York, upon such terms and conditions, and 
in such forms as shall be agreed upon between the parties, taking back from the 
said Corporation a perpetual lease thereof, upon condition that the same shall 
be exclusively and perpetually applied to the purposes of education." 

High hopes were entertained of a great expansion of the 
Society's labors and usefulness under the new order of things. 
A committee was immediately appointed to select sites for two 
new schoolhouses. Arrangements had previously been made 
for a new school on the east side of Chrystie street, near Hester, 
and the seventh school of the Society was opened on May i, 

63 



64 The New York Public School 

1826, the day before that on which the new pay system went 
into effect. 

Preparatory to this, the Trustees, on the 2Oth of April, issued 
an address to " The Parents of the Children attending the Free 
Schools." It was ordered to be published in the newspapers, 
and 10,000 copies were printed in the form of a " broadside" 
for general distribution. The address called attention to the 
change in the name of the Society and to the fact that the 
children of the rich and poor would now be brought together 
on a common basis. The following " very low rates of charges " 
were announced : 

" For the Alphabet, Spelling and Writing on Slates as far as the 

3d Class inclusive 25 cts per Qr 

"Continuance of above, with Reading and Arithmetical 

Tables, or the 4th, 5th, and 6th Classes . . . 50 cts per Qr 

" Continuance of last, with Writing on Paper, Arithmetic, and 

Definitions, or the 7th, 8th, and gth Classes . . . I oo cts per Qr 

" The preceding, with Grammar, Geography, with the use of 
Maps and Globes, Book-keeping, History, Composition, 
Mensuration, Astronomy &c 2 oo cts per Qr 

<c No additional charge for instruction in Needlework, nor for 
Fuel, Books, or Stationery." 

A similar address "To the Parents and Guardians of Chil- 
dren belonging to the New York Public Schools " was put forth 
in the following year (1827), in which emphasis was laid on 
punctuality, clean hands, neatly combed hair, etc. This address 
contained the following : 

" 4th. Your children are required to attend some place of Public Worship 
regularly. This is one of the conditions of their admission into the school, 
and we expect a compliance with it," etc. 

The twenty-first Annual Report, presented to the Society in 
May, 1826, referred briefly to the new regime, in the following 
words : " This new system of receiving pay from those scholars 
whose parents have the ability, commenced on the second of 
this month. Although the change is an important one, giving 



The Public School Society The Pay System 65 

the Trustees and Teachers much additional labour, we hope to 
introduce it with success. This, however, will require constant 
attention for some weeks, as many of the parents who are able 
to pay, require an explanation personally from the Trustees " 
(pp. 5, 6). 

This report also made mention of an important change in 
the administration of the Society through the creation of an 
Executive Committee, composed of the President, Vice-President, 
Treasurer, and Secretary of the Board, five Trustees elected 
annually, the chairmen of the other standing committees, and 
the chairman of each of the school sections. Besides other 
powers, the Executive Committee had power to appoint teachers 
at salaries designated by the Board of Trustees. It exerted 
very large influence on the affairs of the Society. It was uni- 
formly composed of able and influential men, and its decisions 
rarely failed to be approved by the full Board. 

In pursuance of their plans of expansion, the Trustees early 
in 1826 purchased a site in Grand street, between Wooster 
and Lauren s (now West Broadway), and immediate steps were 
taken toward putting up a building, which was opened as 
No. 8 in the following November. In the mean time, negotia- 
tions had been entered into for the transfer to the Society of a 
small school at Bloomingdale noted in the minutes (May 12, 
1826) as being "about six miles from this city" which had 
been attached to St. Michael's Church, and which was to be dis- 
continued because deprived of its share in the Common School 
Fund under the new law. The Trustees of the Society felt a 
certain moral responsibility in the matter, as they had been 
chiefly responsible for the cutting off of public moneys from 
church schools ; and, although the school was small and carried 
on in an inadequate and inconvenient building, it was taken 
over in May, 1826, and became the Society's ninth school. As 
it contained no more than sixty children, of both sexes, its main- 
tenance, as stated in the Annual Report for 1827, was regarded 
as " a very considerable tax on the funds of the Society." The 



66 The New York Public School 

school was removed, in 1830, to a new building erected in 
Eighty-first street. 

In the latter part of 1826 and early in 1827 two new sites 
were obtained by the Trustees : one in Duane street, near 
Church, and the other in Wooster street, near Bleecker. 
School No. 10, on the Duane street site, was opened in Novem- 
ber, 1827, and School No. u, in Wooster street, in September, 
1828. , 

How the work of the Public School Society was regarded at 
this time may be inferred from a passage extracted from a book 
published in 1827, entitled The Description of the City of New 
York by James Hardie, A.M. Mr. Hardie said: 

"This institution [the Society established by the act of April 9, 1805] 
has, no doubt, been very beneficial to those, for whose benefit it was organized, 
and in the year 1825, instead of one Free School, the number had increased to 
six, all of which were in a flourishing condition. The teachers were indefati- 
gable, as well as intelligent ; and the progress of their pupils was highly satisfac- 
tory " (p. 234). 

Referring to the Trustees' address in which the change in 
the name of the Society is mentioned, Mr. Hardie remarked : 
" Their reasons are so satisfactory, that men of intelligence 
will readily admit that they have made a very important im- 
provement, in the mode of conducting our common schools." 
After enumerating the seven schools completed and two under 
way, he continued : 

" Of the superior excellence of the new plan, there seems to be but one opinion 
among our citizens. Crowds, delighted with the idea of getting a good educa- 
tion for their children, 'without being considered in the light of paupers, are 
pressing forward to the schools with their beloved offspring, and it is highly 
probable, that in the short space of one year, the number of these establish- 
ments will be twice as many as at present." 

The great expectations entertained by the Trustees and 
friends of the Society in 1826 were doomed to speedy disap- 
pointment. No long time was required to convince them that 
the anticipated results of the pay system were not to be realized. 



The Public School Society The Pay System 67 

An elaborate report presented to the Board on February 2, 
1827, showed that on April 30, 1826 (two days before the new 
system went into effect), the number of pupils in the public 
schools was 3457, while on November ist, six months later, the 
number had fallen to 2999, and the very significant comment 
was made that many of the parents were " too poor to pay and 
too proud to confess their poverty." 

The falling-off was attributed to the tuition fees and to the 
fact that the doors of several large church schools had been 
opened free to all. It was found that very few pupils took the 
advanced studies and paid $2 a quarter ; the number of these 
was 137 during the first quarter, dropping to 39 for the second, 
and to only 13 for the third. The committee presenting the 
report was of the opinion that the true and legitimate system 
for the public schools would be to open the doors to all classes 
of children, free of expense ; but this patriotic and far-sighted 
suggestion did not meet with favor, and the experiment was 
continued for some time longer. 

In the Annual Report for 1827 the Trustees "still cherish 
the belief " that the system of low-priced pay schools " will be 
productive of increased benefits to the poorer classes of children, 
and by opening the doors of the public schools to those in 
the middle walks of life, will greatly extend their usefulness." 
They add : 

" The Board have however to regret, that the advantages of 
this alteration to the poor themselves, have not been so fully 
appreciated by them as was anticipated that a few of their 
children have left the schools on this account, and that the 
number of free scholars continues too large. This may be 
ascribed, in great measure, to the force of their long-continued 
habits, to their not fully understanding the nature and bene- 
ficial operation of the change on themselves and children, and 
to the continuance and enlargement of many charity schools in 
various parts of the city. The Board are satisfied, however, 
that the new system will bear the test of continued experience, 



68 The New York Public School 

and believe that a little more time, and such verbal and other 
explanations as will be extended to the class in question, will 
alter their present views, and lead them to embrace with alacrity 
the offered blessing of an education for their children, for which 
they are permitted to pay a sum, sufficient to maintain those 
feelings of independence which every philanthropist must desire 
to foster, but which is too small to interfere with their comfort 
and convenience in other respects " (pp. 4, 5). 

The Treasurer's statement attached to the report shows 
receipts of $4426.04 "cash from pay scholars." 

An extract from the Sketch of 1842 (pp. 24-25) is pertinent 
here : " Under the new system now adopted, all classes were 
invited to attend the Public Schools, 1 and it was hoped that the 
commingling of the children of the poor, with those of parents 
in more affluent circumstances, would be mutually beneficial, 
and would tend to produce a good tone of feeling between the 
different classes of the people. The Trustees also thought that 
in cherishing a spirit of independence among the poor, which 
philanthropists had ever thought it desirable to foster, and 
which in this instance they might maintain at so trifling a cost, 
as in most cases not at all to interfere with their comfort or con- 
venience, they would meet with no obstacles on their part to its 
full success. During the first year of the experiment, out of 
4654 scholars, 1690 were on the free list; and the amount of 
tuition fees was $4426. During the following year, the Board 
had to regret that a measure so well calculated to elevate the 
character of the poor, and otherwise benefit them, was not by 
them duly appreciated ; many of their children left during the 
year, the free list increased, and the amount of tuition was 
reduced to $3087. Some considered the first quarterly payment 
as an initiation fee, to constitute them registered scholars, not 
expecting to be called upon again. Others were desirous of 
making a first payment, even though strictly entitled to be on 

1 This is the language used in the Sketch as reprinted in 1848 (Annual Report, 
pp. 23, 24), varying slightly from the form of 1842. 



The Public School Society The Pay System 69 

the free list; and others again made payment for the first 
quarter, thereby to enter the children as pay scholars, to avoid 
the odium, as they may have felt it to be, of coming on the free 
list. The distinction arising from this course originated deeper 
prejudices than could have been anticipated, and it was soon 
found that a plan that had operated so well abroad, under 
different circumstances, was not suited to our republican 
population, . . ." 

In 1828 the Executive Committee strongly urged that the 
schools should be made free to all children, and advanced in 
grade so as to attract to them the children of the more favored 
classes. 

On the subject of the pay system the Annual Report for 
1829 contained the following statement: "The Board are not 
prepared to say that the reasoning on which the pay system 
was introduced into the public schools was erroneous ; but they 
have no regret that in practice it has not succeeded so fully as 
they anticipated." 

The receipts continued to fall off, the report for 1830 show- 
ing that pay scholars had contributed $1923.78. A year later 
the amount had dropped to $1366.24. In this year (1831) it 
was decided to require no fee for tuition unless the payment 
was entirely voluntary on the part of parents or guardians, and 
the maximum charge was reduced from $2 to $i. The amount 
reported for the last year the system was in operation (1831-1832) 
was only $534.82,! and on February 3, 1832, the pay system 
was abolished, after having been tried for nearly six years. 
Henceforward the schools of the Public School Society were 
absolutely free. 

("Apprehending," says the Annual Report for 1832, "that 
the small sum heretofore demanded for tuition from those whose 

1 So the " Summary of the Treasurer's Account from May 5th, 1831, to May 4th, 
1832," printed in the Annual Report for 1832. The Sketch of 1842 (p. 32) says : 
"The last amount of revenue from the pay schools, $839, was paid in 1831 and '32." 
A similar statement is made by Boese (p. 59). 



70 The New York Public School 

circumstances seemed to justify it, might tend to diminish the 
number of pupils, without materially enhancing the revenues of 
the Society, and having a prospect of ample funds in future, it 
has been deemed expedient to abolish the pay system entirely, 
and open the doors of the Public Schools to all who might choose 
to avail themselves of the liberal provision now made for gen- 
eral education and efforts are making to impress the minds of 
the poor with the fact, that admission to these Schools is not a 
boon to be solicited, but a right which they may demand " (p. 4). 
In reviewing this subject Mr. Bourne says : 

" The recent enactments of the Legislature, by which the income of 
the Society was much increased, together with the fact that the pay system 
was deemed by some to be a compulsory method of making the people pay 
twice for their schools, combined with the pittance from that source, induced 
the Society to adopt the recommendation of the Treasurer, and it was 
abolished by a resolution of the board on the 3d of February, 1832, after a 
trial of five years, during which every effort had been made to remove objec- 
tion, hold out inducements, and make the system contribute to inspire self- 
respect and self-reliance in the minds of those who were chiefly benefitted by the 
schools. The numerous cases of deception, and the excuses of every kind which 
were resorted to in order to evade payment, and the expedients to obtain a place 
on the register as pay pupils, without any intention of complying with the 
rules, were very mortifying to the Society, who found so general a disregard 
of fine moral sense among the people. It was, therefore, a source of relief to 
be able to abolish the system, under the prosperous condition in which the 
institution had been placed by the liberal endowment of the Legislature " 
(pp. 626, 627). 



CHAPTER IX 

THE SOCIETY'S RESOURCES INCREASED 

WE will now return to the year 1828, in the early part of 
which (February I5th) an important address was issued to the 
public by the Society, outlining extensive plans for the future 
of the public schools. This address is deserving of more than 
casual attention. To quote the historian of the Society : 

"This address develops the germ of many of the plans and measures 
which have since that time been made a part of the system of popular educa- 
tion in the city, and is valuable as a presentation of the philanthropic and 
enlarged views which were realized years afterward in part by the Society, but 
more fully under the change of system in 1842, when the Board of Education 
was organized" (Bourne, p. no). 

The address was adopted at the meeting at which the death 
of De Witt Clinton, the honored President of the Society from 
its establishment, was announced, 1 and it is not improbable that 
this stirring document was largely the work of his hand : if so, 
it is entitled to remembrance as the last of his unremitting efforts 
for the good of his fellow-men. 

The address, in pointing out the inadequacy of the existing 
system of instruction, showed by careful estimates that upwards 

1 Clinton died suddenly, while holding the office of Governor of the State, on 
February n, 1828. The resolution adopted by the Trustees stated that "we view 
this event as a signal calamity to our country, to the cause of science and public 
improvement, and the many useful institutions of which the deceased was a dis- 
tinguished ornament and patron ; that he occupied a large place in the affection 
and respect of his countrymen, as one of the most able and successful benefactors ; 
and that, as connected with this and similar associations, the cause of literature and 
benevolence has sustained in his death an unspeakable and irreparable loss." 

71 



72 The New York Public School 

of twelve thousand children in the city between the ages of five 
and fifteen were " entirely destitute of the means of instruction," 
without taking into account the " children of tenderer years who 
ought to be introduced into infant schools." The Trustees struck 
the keynote of their future policy when they said that the " com- 
mon schools are not the proper objects of a parsimonious policy, 
but are entitled to an endowment not less munificent than the 
best of our institutions. Neither the sick nor the destitute have 
higher claims upon us than the ignorant. The want of knowl- 
edge is the most imperative of all wants, for it brings all others 
in its train." The address said, further : " We hold that there 
is no object of greater magnitude within the whole range of 
legislation, no more imperative demand for public revenue, than 
the establishment of competent schools and seminaries of learn- 
ing. We hold that, in the nature of things, nothing can be 
better entitled to a share of the public revenue than that from 
which private and public wealth derive all their value and 
security. In short, our schools are the very foundation upon 
which rest the peace, good order, and prosperity of society." 

While the recent change of the free schools into public 
schools (the address proceeded) had to a considerable extent 
removed public instruction from its degrading associations with 
poverty and charity, still the result had not been so extensive 
as was expected. The Trustees expressed the hope of seeing 
public schools so endowed and provided that they should be 
equally desirable for all classes of society, and announced the 
principle, which has since become so firmly established, that the 
schools " should be supported from the public revenue, should 
be public property, and should be open to all, not as a charity, 
but as a matter of common right." They proposed to establish 
''infant schools," for children from three to six, greatly to enlarge 
the number of schools in which " a common English educa- 
tion is taught," to establish one or more high schools, in which 
should be taught practical mathematics, natural philosophy, 
bookkeeping, etc., a classical school, and " a seminary for the 






PRESIDENTS OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SOCIETY 

1. Henry Rutgers. 2. Robert C. Cornell. 3. George T. Trimble. 

4. Peter Augustus Jay. 5. Lindley Murray 



The Society's Resources Increased 73 

education of at least such teachers as are required for common 
schools." 

In order to carry out these plans, the address recommended 
a tax of half a mill upon the dollar of assessed city property, 
and in support of this project appealed to the wealthy in these 
words : " We submit to the liberal consideration of the rich, 
whether their proportion of this money, expended for the pur- 
pose of disseminating wholesome knowledge and pure morals, 
would not be a profitable investment for their children ; and 
whether their bonds and mortgages and public stocks are alto- 
gether beyond the reach of public opinion, and of that which 
must ultimately depend upon public opinion the administra- 
tion of the laws ? " The Trustees also pleaded for the breaking 
down of the spirit of caste produced by ignorance, as a powerful 
motive for extending the means of education. 

Copies of the address were extensively circulated (5000 
being printed), and a petition to the Legislature in favor of the 
proposed tax, which was circulated during the remainder of the 
year, received upwards of 4000 signatures. 1 The work of arous- 
ing public sentiment was prosecuted with vigor throughout the 
year 1828; the aid of the Common Council was sought and 
obtained, that body presenting a memorial to the Legislature in 
favor of the tax but in reduced amount. The Legislature of 
1829 passed an act levying a tax, not of half a mill as desired 
by the Society, but of one-eightieth of one per cent. The Trus- 
tees were disappointed on receiving only one-fourth of what they 
had asked for, but nevertheless were enabled to carry into effect 
a part of the plans for the enlargement of their work. The pay 
system, fully described in the preceding chapter, was continued ; 
and the proposed high, classical, and normal schools could not 
be established. 

Some relief was afforded to the Board of Trustees by an act 
passed at the same session of the Legislature authorizing the 

1 It was " signed by nearly five thousand of our most respectable citizens, com- 
prising the names of a large portion of the tax-paying community." Sketch, 1 842, p. 28. 



74 The New York Public School 

Society to mortgage its real estate, and legalizing its action in 
raising loans by mortgages previously executed. 

While the question of the tax was before the Common 
Council, a careful inquiry was instituted, on behalf of that body, 
regarding all the schools of the city, their general character, the 
number of pupils, etc. Regarding this the Annual Report for 
1829 says: 

" Much valuable information was thus collected, and a correct and very 
interesting view of the state of education in New York was obtained. ... It 
appears that, about the ist of February, the whole number of schools, of every 
class and quality (other than Sabbath), from Columbia College down to the 
most indifferent, was 463, under the charge of 484 principals and 311 assist- 
ant teachers, and containing 24,952 pupils. Of which numbers, our institu- 
tion, in ii buildings, counted 21 schools, with 21 principals and 24 assistant 
teachers (or monitors), and 6007 children. . . . The cost of educating the 
children in our schools may be estimated at $2.75 each per annum, exclusive 
of interest on the buildings ; and including the latter, it does not exceed $4, 
or $i per quarter, . . ." 

An abstract of this school census was included in the Sketch 
of 1842, in tabular form, and is of sufficient interest to be 
reproduced (see opposite page). 

The committee of the Common Council drew " the appalling 
inference that there are 20,000 children between the ages of 5 
and 15 who attend no schools whatever." The Trustees add: 
" If one third be deducted from this number, as having prob- 
ably left school previous to the age of 15, and 3000 more for any 
possible error in the data on which the calculation is founded, 
we have still the enormous number of 10,000 who are growing 
up in entire ignorance " (Annual Report, 1829). 

In the Annual Report for 1827 reference was made to "a 
proposition for the establishment of a Central School for the 
instruction of teachers," as having engaged the attention of the 
Board ; but, it was added, " as considerable diversity of senti- 
ment relative to it was manifested, it has not been finally acted 
upon." This was the germ of the normal schools established a 



The Society's Resources Increased 



75 





u> 


4fc 

I-H vO OJ O 


NUMBER 


! 


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c^o-c^p'wp en 3- 

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> 


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PRINCIPAL TEACHERS 


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ASSISTANTS 


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Above 15 


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ATTEND SUNDAY 
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FIRST ELEMENTS 


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WHOLE NUMBER 
OF PUPILS 



76 The New York Public School 

few years later : a school of this character was one of those 
contemplated in the address of 1828. 

As already stated, the address just mentioned favored the 
establishment of "infant schools " throughout the city, to receive 
children from three to six years of age. No time was lost in 
putting this idea into partial effect. A so-called "junior depart- 
ment" had already been organized in the basement of Public 
School 8 (in Grand street), in charge of a woman principal and 
a monitress, who received salaries of $200 and $75 respectively. 
Children of three years, and some even younger, were admitted. 
Hitherto children of all grades had been taught, under the 
Lancasterian system, in one department. 

The plan of infant schools, in accordance with the ideas of 
Pestalozzi, had shortly before been taken up with much interest 
in this country, and a number of such schools had been 
opened in different cities) 1 , Early in 1827 the Infant School 
Society was established in New York, and under its direction a 
school was opened, in July of that year, in the basement of the 
Canal Street Presbyterian Church. Children from two to six 
years of age were received ; but to such extremes had the new 
idea been carried in other cities that to some schools of this 
character infants of eighteen months were admitted! 1 

In February, 1828, a committee of the Public School Society, 
after visiting this infant school and the junior department above 
mentioned, presented a comprehensive report on the subject, 
which pointed out that the system of the junior department was 
"the same as that of the public schools generally," i.e., the 
Lancasterian system, while in the infant school the system was 
" a judicious combination of instruction and amusement," " calcu- 
lated to form and elicit ideas, rather than mere literal knowledge, 
though this is by no means neglected." The committee recom- 
mended that the junior department be continued without change, 
and that an infant school be opened in the basement of No. 10 
(in Duane street). This was done in the following May, the 

1 See Bourne, p. 658 ; Boese, p. 50. 



The Society's Resources Increased 77 

school being under the management of the Infant School Soci- 
ety, but under the direct control of the Public School Society. 

The matter was further canvassed in the following year 
(1829), when a report was made in favor of the infant school 
system, in preference to the monitorial (Lancasterian) system 
employed in the junior department in No. 8 ; but, although the 
Trustees were desirous of establishing other infant schools, so 
called, they were deterred by questions of a financial and legal 
character. About the middle of the year 1830 it was decided to 
convert the junior department of No. 8 into an infant school, 
and in November of that year a resolution was adopted designat- 
ing the schools for the youngest children as " Primary Depart- 
ments." It was also decided to employ women teachers for the 
beginners. As the pay system was still in force, a tuition fee 
of two cents per week was prescribed. Thus was instituted 
the system of primary schools, and primary departments in 
the public schools, which from this time became an important 
feature of the Society's work. 

For several years the funds of the Society had been con- 
siderably augmented by money received for licenses granted to 
dealers in lottery tickets, in accordance with a law passed on 
April 19, 1819. The license tax was divided between the Free 
School Society and the Institution for the Instruction of the 
Deaf and Dumb. In August, 1819, $1000 was received by the 
Society from this source. In 1821, $1875 was reported in 
the minutes ; in 1822, $825 ; in 1824, $2625 ; in 1825, $3625 ; in 
1826, $3875. l These moneys the Trustees received with reluc- 
tance, as they keenly appreciated the evils of the lottery system. 
The Annual Report for 1826 says : 

" The principal sources of the annual revenue of the Society are, the Com- 
mon School Fund, the State Annuity, which is paid from the City Excise Fund, 

1 A curious entry is to be found in the minutes of May, 1822, when an applica- 
tion was received from a man who had retired from the lottery buisness, after suffering 
great losses therein, who requested a return of his license money for the unexpired 
part of the year ! The request was denied. 



78 The New York Public School 

and the half cost of Lottery Licences (sic). The latter has increased consider- 
ably in amount, and the Trustees would remark in relation to it, that they would 
gladly relinquish this portion of their funds, if their so doing would put an end to 
the evils of the Lottery System. The Legislature, however, having deemed it 
expedient to provide by law, that the venders of tickets in this city shall be 
licensed, and that the one half cost of each license shall be paid to this Society, 
and the other half to the Deaf and Dumb Institution, the Trustees feel it their 
duty to receive the same, and appropriate it to the furtherance of the benevo- 
lent designs of the Society." 

The matter was again referred to in the Annual Report for 
1827, which stated the amount received from this source as 
$4822.75. In 1830 the amount reported was $4000; in 1831, 
$7875; in 1832, $5125; in 1833 (year ending May 3d), $5125. 
In 1832 the Institution for the Deaf 'and Dumb applied to the 
Legislature for the appropriation to it of all the moneys received 
for lottery licenses, and secured the passage of a law to that 
effect, the Trustees of the Public School Society making no 
opposition. 

Mention has already been made of the fact that the large 
number of children in the city who did not attend school had 
attracted most serious attention from the Trustees of the Soci- 
ety. In pursuance of their plans to reach the idle and vicious, 
as far as possible, they took an important step in 1828, when 
Samuel W. Seton was employed as " visitor." 1 Mr. Seton had 
been elected a Trustee of the Society in 1823, and remained a 
Trustee until the Society was dissolved. In a spirit of genuine 
philanthropy he entered upon his duties as "visitor," devoting 
his time to visiting vagrant children and their parents and can- 
vassing among those who did not go to school. 

" At this period, with the design of extending more widely 

1 Mr. Bourne says that Mr. Seton " entered upon his duties " on the first of 
February, 1827 (p. 119) ; and that he was appointed "in the month of May, 1827'' 
(p. 615). The minutes of the Trustees show that on May 4, 1827, the Executive 
Committee was authorized " to employ a person to act as a General Inspector of the 
Schools and Visitor of the parents of the children, at a salary not exceeding $800 per 
annum." Mr. Seton's first report, presented to the Board May 16, 1828, stated that 
he entered on his duties " on the first of February." 



The Society's Resources Increased 79 

the benefits of instruction among the indigent, the trustees took 
into their employ an individual, (who, from a long course of vol- 
untary labors, in endeavoring to promote the improvement of 
this class of our population, was peculiarly fitted for the office,) 
to visit families, and by conversing with the parents, to persuade 
the indifferent and careless to send their children to school, and 
partake of the benefits offered by them ; and also to secure the 
more regular attendance of delinquent scholars. His labor, 
though not so successful as might have been hoped for, was 
nevertheless abundantly useful." l 

Mr. Seton's title was changed to that of "agent" in 1833, 
and in this capacity he served the Society throughout its exist- 
ence, acting as general business supervisor and having in charge 
the receipt and distribution of supplies. 2 

According to the Annual Report for 1830, there were in 
the eleven buildings of the Society twenty-one schools (includ- 
ing the junior department in No. 8 and the infant school in No. 
10). In all the schoolhouses, except Nos. i, 6, and 9, there were 
separate departments for boys and girls. The attendance was 
6178. 

1 Sketch, 1842, pp. 26, 27. The Society never had a Superintendent for its 
schools. 

2 After the Public School Society was united with the Board of Education, in 
1853, Mr. Seton was elected an Assistant Superintendent of Schools (in 1854), 
and assigned to the care of the primary schools. He remained in the employ of the 
Board in this capacity until his death, in 1869, at the age of eighty-two. 



CHAPTER X 
ANOTHER RELIGIOUS CONTROVERSY 

EARLY in 1831 the Public School Society was once more 
brought face to face with the question of the participation in the 
Common School Fund of schools maintained by religious soci- 
eties, which had been settled in its favor after the memorable con- 
troversy with the Bethel Baptist Church, beginning in 1822 and 
ending in 1825, as narrated in Chapter VI. By the ordinance 
adopted by the Common Council in 1825, the Orphan Asylum 
Society, which maintained an institution in the neighborhood 
known as Greenwich, was permitted to receive a share of the 
school moneys. This institution was frequently termed the 
Protestant Orphan Asylum, to distinguish it from the Orphan 
Asylum in Prince street, conducted by the Roman Catholic 
Benevolent Society. The friends of the latter, believing that 
it was unjustly discriminated against, submitted an application 
to the Common Council on March 7, 1831, for a pro rata share 
in the fund mentioned ; and very shortly afterward a like 
application was filed by the trustees of the Methodist Charity 
School. 

The Trustees and Executive Committee of the Public School 
Society were thoroughly alarmed by this new movement in op- 
position to what they deemed the best interests of the Society 
and of the community, and vigorously remonstrated against the 
granting of the privileges sought. On the 2d of May they 
submitted a written remonstrance to the Common Council, and 
this was followed on the 6th of that month by the adoption of 
an address to the public, stating in detail their reasons for op- 
posing the applications. The committee of the Council having 

So 



Another Religious Controversy 81 

the matter in charge had already decided to report favorably on 
the request of the Roman Catholic Benevolent Society. The 
Trustees in their statement claimed that the decision of the 
committee was a virtual abandonment of the " cardinal princi- 
ples" established in 1825; that the petition should be rejected 
because " contrary to the fundamental principles of liberty and 
equal rights, to the Constitution of the State, and to a recent act 
of the Legislature"; that the Roman Catholic Benevolent Society 
was to all intents a close corporation ; that " the school fund 
ought not to be diverted, in whole or part, to the purposes of 
sectarian instruction, but should be kept sacred to the great 
object, emphatically called COMMON EDUCATION " ; that the Roman 
Catholic Benevolent Society had been excluded in 1825, along 
with other worthy societies, including the Female Association, 
which received children of every persuasion and inculcated no 
particular tenets, although chiefly under the patronage of individ- 
uals connected with the Society of Friends ; that the Greenwich 
Asylum was non-sectarian and was not a close corporation ; and 
that schools which were the property of a particular corporation, 
and from which all persons who did not belong to a particular 
sect might be excluded, were not common schools within the 
meaning of the State Constitution or of the recent statute 
authorizing the raising of money by taxation "to be applied 
exclusively to the purposes of the common schools " of the city. 
On the other hand, it was contended by the friends of the 
Roman Catholic Asylum, to use the language of Mr. Boese, 
that " the right of their orphans to the advantages of the school 
moneys was in every way equal to that of the inmates of the 
New York Orphan Asylum, who had for years enjoyed the bene- 
fits which the state thus provided for her needy and helpless 
little ones, and whose claim no one had thought of disputing ; 
that if it were true that the institution whose rights they sought 
was in any sense a sectarian school, the same was practically 
and really true of the other asylum which was indeed popularly 
known and designated as the Protestant Orphan Asylum. Its 



82 The New York Public School 

school-books and its religious exercises were, in several impor- 
tant particulars, distinctively Protestant, as was also its manage- 
ment, although the membership of the Society was ostensibly 
open to all ; that the petitioners did not seek to take from these 
friendless ones the bounty which the state had so wisely and in 
such Christian spirit provided, but only to have another and 
equally necessitous gathering of homeless children admitted to 
the same privileges " (pp. 108, 109). 

"It was also contended that the children in an Orphan 
Asylum, if not provided for in that way, would become a public 
burthen, not only as regards their schooling, but for their entire 
support." * 

In spite of opposition, the petition of the Roman Catholic 
Benevolent Society was granted, whereupon the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church renewed its application, on the ground that for 
nearly forty years it had supported a school for male and female 
orphans and children of the poor and destitute. The matter 
was carried over into the following year. In March, 1832, a 
strong protest was made to the city Corporation by the Public 
School Society against the application made on behalf of the 
Methodist school, on the ground that its admission to a share in 
the school fund would be a violation of the Constitution and the 
laws and of good faith toward the public, and that a return to the 
" sectarian system " would not be tolerated. So important was 
the matter deemed that special committees were designated by 
the Society to interview the members of the Board of Aldermen 
individually. Although a report in favor of granting the appli- 
cation was made by the committee to which the matter was 
referred, the report was finally overruled and the application 
rejected by a vote of 8 to 3. 

The Annual Report for 1832 touches on this matter at some 
length, and states that " the application is still before the Board 
of Assistants, and it may therefore become necessary to oppose 
the measure before the new Common Council." It does not 

1 Annual Report, Public School Society, 1832. 



Another Religious Controversy 83 

appear, however, that the application was renewed. In the 
Annual Report just mentioned the Trustees state that "they 
freely admit that there is a difference between orphan children, 
mostly very young, forming one family, fed and lodged under 
the same roof, and the children of private families scattered over 
the city, and who must of necessity leave home for the purpose 
of education, if educated at all," and add : "The claims of an 
Institution so meritorious as the one in question [the Roman 
Catholic Orphan Asylum], might have prevented opposition, 
had it not been for the pressing conviction, that the admission 
of the Asylum would induce others, under circumstances entirely 
dissimilar, to renew their applications for a portion of School 
Money." That these fears were not without reason has already 
been shown. 

Ample funds being assured for carrying on and enlarg- 
ing the work of the Society, and the pay system having been 
abolished (on February 3, 1832), as already told, the Board of 
Trustees took active steps in the direction of improving and 
multiplying the schools under its care. ^ 

In February, 1832, the question of conveying the Society's 
real estate to the city Corporation, and taking back a perpetual 
lease of the same, as authorized by the act of January 28, 1826 
(see Chapter VIII), was again taken up, and a resolution adopted 
expressing the readiness of the Board to enter into such an 
arrangement. This was deemed advisable as making the public 
schools more truly what their name implied, and as tending to 
relieve the Society from the imputation that it was a close cor- 
poration. The proposed transfer was not effected, however, 
at that time, or later, the school buildings and other property 
remaining in the hands of the Society throughout its existence. 

In the same month a committee was appointed to consider 
" the general state of Public Education in this city, and to pre- 
pare and report an extended plan of instruction, commensurate 
with the acknowledged wants of the city, and the greatly 
enhanced means placed by existing laws at the disposal of the 



84 The New York Public School 

Society." a Two members of the committee visited Boston to 
examine the public schools in that city. They were favorably 
impressed with what they saw, and made numerous important 
recommendations as to improving the system here. The first 
of these was in favor of establishing primary schools for young 
children, on the plan of having numerous small schools in rented 
rooms, within easy reach of little children who, in many cases, 
were unable to attend the public schools on account of the dis- 
tance of the latter from their homes. A Committee on Primary 
Schools was appointed by the Board, and it was decided to 
organize ten such schools, for children from four to ten years of 
age, as speedily as possible ; each school to be under the charge 
of a female teacher, and to have accommodations for about sixty 
children of both sexes. The first was opened in Orchard street 
in September, 1832, and in November the Committee reported 
that locations for five schools had been selected. In 1833 seven 
primary schools were in operation, and according to the Annual 
Report for 1834 there were seventeen primary schools, in addi- 
tion to seven primary departments in public school buildings. 
This branch of work continued to expand, and when the Public 
School Society ceased to exist, in 1853, the number of primary 
schools had risen to fifty-four and there were fifteen primary 
departments in the public schools, besides three primary schools 
for colored children. 

The visit of the above-mentioned sub-committee to Boston 
had another effect in drawing attention to the question of 
vagrancy. On this point the Annual Report for 1832 contains 
the following : 

"The city of Boston, with a population more than two thirds less, 
expends annually nearly double the largest sum heretofore appropriated in a 
year to the purposes of public education in New York. Their system should 
of course be much more complete and effectual than ours ; and although in 
some respects it is so yet it may be stated with confidence, that the Schools 
of New York compare favorably with those of the same grade in Boston. 

1 Annual Report, 1832. The report stated that the permanent debt of the 
Society amounted to $60,000. 



Another Religious Controversy 85 

" Truantship in that city is deemed a criminal offence in children, and 
those who cannot be reclaimed, are taken from their parents by the Police, 
and placed in an Institution called the ' School of Reformation,' corresponding 
in many respects with our House of Refuge from which they are bound out 
by the competent authority, without again returning to their parents. As a 
necessary consequence, the per centage of absentees, or the difference between 
the number of children on register and the actual attendance, is less in the 
Boston Public Schools than those of New York. This subject has during the 
past, as in former years, received the attention of the Trustees, and will prob- 
ably be brought before the next Board, in connection with the general subject 
of non-attendance at any school, which exists to such an alarming extent in 
this city." 

The subject was immediately brought to the attention of the 
Common Council in a memorial representing the great apathy 
and negligence of the poor in sending their children to school, 
and resolutions were adopted by that body (approved by the 
Mayor May 10, 1832), as follows: 

" Resolved, That the Trustees of the Public School Society, and the Com- 
missioners of the Alms House, be requested to make it known to parents, 
and all persons, whether emigrants or otherwise, having children in charge, 
capable of receiving instruction, and being between the ages of five and 
twelve years, that unless said parents and persons, do or shall send such 
children to some Public or other daily School, for such time in each year as 
the Trustees of the Public School Society may from time to time designate, 
that all such persons must consider themselves without the pale of public 
charities, and not entitled, in case of misfortune, to receive public favor. 

" Resolved, that the Trustees of the Public School Society, and the 
Commissioners of the Alms House, are hereby authorized to take such steps 
as they may deem expedient, from time to time, to give the necessary publicity 
to the preceding Resolution, and the Commissioners of the Alms House are 
hereby requested to use such means as may be in their power and discretion, 
to carry the same into effect." 

These resolutions were extensively circulated by the Society 
in the form of handbills, and were posted throughout the city, 
with information as to the location of the several public schools, 
and the statement that they were at all times open for the 
reception of children of all classes. 



86 The New York Public School 

In December, 1832, the committee on the reorganization of 
the system presented a carefully elaborated report, and its 
recommendations, after full consideration and discussion, were 
adopted, providing for a variety of changes and improvements, 
which are thus summarized in the Sketch of 1842 : 

"The committee, on a revision of the system, having 
matured their views, reported, and the Board fully concurred 
in the proposed alterations, which embraced the following 
particulars, viz : a system of Primary schools under female 
teachers, for elementary classes in reading, spelling and writ- 
ing, with elements of arithmetic, and geography, to be taught 
orally, and as far as possible with visible illustrations ; the 
schools for this end to be supplied with a hemispherical map, 
a small globe, numerical frame, and black board. The course 
of studies in the upper public schools to be extended so as to 
embrace astronomy, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and book- 
keeping : salaries to be raised, assistant teachers appointed, 
and recitation rooms provided to suit these arrangements ; and 
a more extended use of maps, globes, and school apparatus ; 
the system of mutual instruction to be retained, and the school 
taught in drafts by monitors, with the modification of being 
examined and instructed by the principal and the assistants in 
large divisions alternately in the class rooms. The system of 
writing from dictation and on slates, and the general gymnastic 
exercises of Lancaster to be retained, it being thought to confer 
greater energy and efficiency on the system, and to be pro- 
motive of method and order. Evening schools to be established 
for apprentices, and others who had left school without the 
advantages now to be offered. The primary schools were to be 
located generally through the wards, providing for the younger 
children of the population lying between the more distant upper 
schools " (p. 32). 

The proposed elaboration of the system led the Trustees to 
agree upon certain changes in the monitorial system, which had 
long been their pride. In the Annual Report for 1833 they say : 



Another Religious Controversy 87 

" The Monitorial System will be continued with such modi- 
fications as may be found expedient ; and it must be evident 
that the employment of an additional Instructor, with one or 
two well qualified salaried Monitors General, will enable the 
Trustees so to arrange the duties of the Teachers, that every 
child in the school shall receive the direct instruction of the 
principals to a much greater extent than heretofore ; and so far 
as respects the higher branches, this will be almost exclusively 
the case, as the time of one of the teachers will be devoted to 
separate classes in the recitation rooms. 

" The Trustees intend to introduce this system in full, as 
soon as circumstances will warrant. Assistant Teachers will be 
forthwith appointed, and the means afforded for instruction in 
all the branches of the proposed course : but the exclusion of 
the younger children from the Public Schools will be gradually 
carried into effect, as the number of Primary Schools shall be 
increased ; and until this be done to an extent amply sufficient 
to accommodate all the junior classes, they will be received as 
heretofore into the Public Schools." 

The twelfth school of the Society was established in Seven- 
teenth street, near Eighth avenue, and the building erected 
there was opened on January 17, 1831, the total cost being 
$10,878.86. The building was destroyed by fire a few days 
afterward, but immediate steps were taken to rebuild it. The 
new building, pronounced " one of the finest school houses in 
the city," was ready for use on the 2Qth of August following. 



CHAPTER XI 
EVENING SCHOOLS ORGANIZED 

THE Annual Report of the Society for 1833 speaks of the 
intention of the Trustees to open several evening schools, for the 
benefit of apprentices in particular. It will be recalled that ten 
years previously, in 1823, the teachers employed by the Society 
were allowed to hold evening schools, " provided they furnish 
their own fuel and oil " and make good all damage to furniture, 
etc. (see Chapter VII) ; but there is no record of the success 
or failure of that arrangement. The first free evening schools 
were established in 1833, four being in operation from October 
of that year until March, 1834; they were attended by 1245 
scholars. The plan adopted was to employ the regular teachers 
and monitors of the public schools, without extra compensation ; 
and it was resolved that, in future engagements with male 
teachers, assistants, and monitors, it should be stipulated that 
they should give their services in the evening schools, if required 
by the Executive Committee, without additional pay. The 
experiment was not altogether successful. In 1835 tne Annual 
Report stated that the success of the evening schools " has not 
fully corresponded with the wishes of the Trustees." The 
teachers, having an extra burden laid on them, took little interest 
in their work; there were troublesome questions in regard to 
discipline, etc. ; and although the schools were continued for 
some time, they were quietly abandoned after three or four years, 
without formal action being taken. 

In November, 1832, a proposition was received from the 
Manumission Society (see Chapter I) for the transfer of its 
schools for colored children to the Public School Society. The 

88 



Evening Schools Organized 89 

proposition was regarded with favor, but, owing to legal 
obstacles and the necessity for legislative action, the transfer 
was not effected until 1834. The property transferred con- 
sisted of two lots and a building in Mulberry street, and a build- 
ing in William street on land leased by the city in perpetuity, 
together with furniture, etc., as well as the equipment in seven 
hired rooms; the total appraised value being $12,130.22. The 
Manumission Society enjoyed the right of participation in the 
Common School Fund, and its share was henceforth paid over 
to the Public School Society. The schools thus acquired were 
known as "African Schools," but in 1838 the name " African " 
was changed to " Colored." About 1400 pupils were registered 
in these schools at the time of the transfer, with an average 
attendance of one-half that number. 

/ Another interesting event of the year 1834 was the establish- 
ment of a special school for the instruction of the female 
monitors employed in the primary schools and departments, 
which was held on Saturdays when the other schools were 
closed. Such instruction was made necessary by the change 
in the system whereby the monitors in the lower schools 
were deprived of the opportunities of pursuing their studies 
which they had enjoyed as long as the purely Lancasterian 
system was in operation. The school was so successful 
that in the following year a similar school for the monitors 
in the boys' schools (or departments) was established, to be held 
during the winter on five evenings of each week, and for the 
remainder of the year on Saturday mornings. A school was 
also provided for monitors in the colored schools. These schools 
in a short time came to be known as " normal schools," although 
normal instruction as now understood was not given in them, 
and under that name they passed over to the Board of Educa- 
tion and were continued for many years. 
To quote from the Sketch of 1842 : 

"In 1834, the number of Primaries having greatly increased, and occa- 
sioning the employment of very many monitors, who, from the elementary 



90 The New York Public School 

character of those schools, were cut off from the opportunity of further improve- 
ment, it was suggested by the Committee on Teachers, that this deficiency might 
be supplied by establishing a school for their especial benefit, to be held on the 
last day of the week. Such a school was then organized, when it was soon 
perceived, that in its successful operations, it might prove the foundation of a 
normal school of peculiar excellence for training and supplying teachers for 
the Institution, better fitted than any others for its purposes. This plan was 
accordingly extended, and another opened for the monitors of the male school, 
which from November to March should be held five evening sessions per week ; 
and another for the improvement of the monitors of the Female Colored 
Schools, embracing several Primaries, in which were girls employed under the 
like disadvantages. A proposition was soon after carried into effect to receive 
and admit to the privileges of these schools such of the pupils of the 9th class of 
the upper schools as from peculiar intelligence, industry, and decided taste for 
the pursuits of learning, might be recommended by the teacher as solicitous of 
such advantages. These in the normal schools are denominated * cadets ' ; 
and those qualified by advancement, and desirous of such a station, are 
appointed as monitors, under pay" (p. 33). 

To furnish a standard of comparison with the salaries paid 
to teachers at the present time, it may be worth while to intro- 
duce at this point the " Tariff of Salaries " adopted by the 
Board of Trustees in November, 1836: 

PER ANNUM 

Principal Teachers of the Male Department not to exceed . . $1000 

Assistant Teachers of the Male Department not to exceed . . 700 

Passed Monitors of the Male Department not to exceed . . 400 

First Monitors of the Male Department not to exceed . . . 200 

Second Monitors of the Male Department not to exceed . . 100 

Teachers in the Female Department not to exceed . . . 450 

Assistant Teachers in the Female Department not to exceed . 300 

First Monitors in the Female Department not to exceed . . 125 

Second Monitors in the Female Department not to exceed . . 100 

Teachers in the Primary Department not to exceed . . . 275 

Assistant Teachers in the Primary Department not to exceed . 160 

First Monitors in the Primary Department not to exceed . . 100 

Second Monitors in the Primary Department not to exceed . . 75 

Teachers of the Primary Schools not to exceed .... 200 
and $2.50 per annum for each child in daily attendance over 
sixty, the additional number so allowed for not to exceed 
thirty. 

First Monitors of Primary Schools not over. .... 100 



Evening Schools Organized 91 

The number of schools had now increased to fifteen, not 
including the two schools for colored children. No. 13, in 
Madison street, was opened in May, 1833, and No. 14, in Hous- 
ton street, in November, 1833. The next school established 
was No. 15, in East Twenty-seventh street, in May, 1835. No. 
1 6, in Fifth street, near Avenue D, was opened in April, I838. 1 

In 1837 the Board of Trustees decided to employ a superin- 
tendent of repairs to look after all minor work necessary to be 
done in school buildings, such as repairs, painting, etc. A work- 
shop was established in Thompson street, and Amnon Macvey 
was appointed foreman, at a salary of $750 per annum, which 
was increased to $900 in 1845. Mr. Macvey was in the employ 
of the Public School Society and of the Board of Education for 
about thirty-five years, and was the architect of a large number 
of school buildings. From the small beginning in 1837 tne 
present Bureau of Buildings in the Board of Education has 
grown. 

In the year just mentioned an important change in Public 
School No. i was made, as the decision of the city authorities to 
extend Centre street required the demolition of the building 
dedicated by De Witt Clinton in 1809. The colored school in 
William street had been removed to a new building erected in 
1836 in Laurens street (now West Broadway), and on the lots 
in William street, near Duane, which were leased from the 
city, a new and substantial building for No. i was erected; 
it was opened on October 16, 1 838.2 Pending the completion 

1 The original numbers attached to the buildings of the Public School Society 
were retained until the summer of 1853, when, on account of the sale of No. lo, the 
higher numbers were changed, No. n becoming No. 10, etc. The schools on the 
sites above mentioned are now Public Schools 12, 13, 14, and 15. 

2 The building of School No. i, in William street, was demolished in 1860, on 
account of the opening of New Chambers street ; for a short time the school was 
carried on in rented premises at No. 33 Rose street; but in 1863 a schoolhouse was 
built in Vandewater street, near Pearl, which was known as No. I until 1897, wnen 
present Public School I, at Henry, Catherine, and Oliver streets, was erected. The 
school in Vandewater street has since been known as Public School 180. 



92 The New York Public School 

of the new schoolhouse, the two departments of No. I were 
quartered in neighboring churches. 

( " As the want of adequate means prevented the Trustees from 
establishing, as a part of the system contemplated in their im- 
provements, a High school for the further instruction of those 
scholars, who had advanced to the limit of the branches taught 
in the public schools, the Board were the more gratified by the 
advantages held out by Columbia College, and the University, 
with their preparatory schools, in offering for their use a suffi- 
cient number of scholarships for the then condition of the 
schools ; for it was found that the committee having charge of 
this subject have few applicants for the privilege, owing to the 
constant desire of parents to remove their children from school 
even before they have received all the benefits offered by them. 
A number, however, have availed themselves of these benefices, 
and with great credit" (Sketch, 1842, p. 34). 1 

About this time the Trustees took up the question of erecting 
a special building for their headquarters, to provide a place for 
their meetings, a depository for school supplies, etc., and in 
1839 it was decided to purchase property on the northwest 
corner of Grand and Elm streets for $19,500. There the 
building known for a number of years as Trustees' Hall was 
built. It was completed in 1840. It was used not only for the 
offices and depository of the Society, but normal and primary 
schools were held in it, and for a number of years two stores in 
the building were rented. 2 The building was enlarged by the 
Board of Education in 1854 by the addition of a fourth story. 
It was occupied as the Hall of the Board of Education from 
1853 to 1900. Since 1900 it has been used as a high school annex. 

1 In this connection the following extract from a report of the Society's Com- 
mittee on Free Scholarships in Columbia College, which appears in the minutes of the 
Board of Trustees under date of February 5, 1836, is of interest: 

" In No. 10 Abraham S. Hewitt. He is described as one of the best scholars 
in the school and has (sic) having some knowledge of Latin. He is in his I4th year." 

2 In the Annual Report of William L. Stone, County Superintendent of Schools, 
for 1843, this building is mentioned as a "spacious and substantial edifice." 



Evening Schools Organized 93 

In October, 1838, the members of the Public School Society 
and the friends of education in New York were called upon to 
mourn the death of Joseph Lancaster, whose system of instruc- 
tion was so vitally identified with the work of the Society. After 
visiting School No. 7, in Chrystie street, he was knocked down 
by a horse and carriage while crossing Grand street, and so 
seriously injured that he died two days later. His death 
occurred in Williamsburgh. The minute adopted by the Society 
in reference to Mr. Lancaster stated that he " travelled exten- 
sively in both hemispheres, for the purpose of introducing and 
promoting his admirable system of education : a system which 
is rapidly ameliorating the condition of man, and extending the 
blessings of education to millions who might otherwise have 
lived and died in the darkness of ignorance." 

After referring to Lancaster's visit to New York in 1818, 
Mr. Randall says : 

" Twenty years afterward, in 1838, he again visited the city, and ineffect- 
ually endeavored to re-establish his system. The lapse of nearly an entire 
generation had thrown it into the shade educational science, in its rapid 
progress, had superseded it by new methods and more modern ideas his 
proposals were respectfully declined ; and a few days subsequently a fatal 
street accident terminated his life. All honor to his memory ! As the pioneer 
of elementary public instruction, he accomplished a vast amount of good in both 
hemispheres ; obtained the confidence and regard of many of the greatest, 
wisest, and best statesmen and philanthropists of the age ; and left the 
impress of his genius strongly marked upon the earliest developments of our 
great system of public instruction." * 

1 History of the Common School System of the State of New York, p. 32. 



CHAPTER XII 
THE CONTROVERSY OF 1840 

THE year 1840 witnessed the beginning of another contro- 
versy on the question of applying public school moneys to the 
support of schools under the control of religious societies. 
This controversy was destined to have very far-reaching effects 
upon the system of public education in the city of New York, 
leading to the establishment of the Board of Education and, a 
few years later, to the dissolution of the Public School Society. 
While the leading spirits of the Society felt that nothing in their 
previous history had affected their vital interests so closely, no 
one was far-sighted enough to perceive what momentous results 
were to follow. 

In his annual message for the year mentioned, Governor 
William H. Seward made the following statement, which was 
considered by many to have a bearing upon a question that had 
not been settled in this city : 

" The children of foreigners, found in great numbers in our 
populous cities and towns, and in the vicinity of our public works, 
are too often deprived of the advantages of our system of public 
education, in consequence of prejudices arising from difference 
of language or religion. It ought never to be forgotten that 
the public welfare is as deeply concerned in their education as 
in that of our own children. I do not hesitate, therefore, to 
recommend the establishment of schools in which they may be in- 
structed by teachers speaking the same language with themselves 
and professing the same faith. There would be no inequality in 
such a measure, since it happens from the force of circumstances, 
if not from choice, that the responsibilities of education are in 

94 



The Controversy of 1840 95 

most instances confided by us to native citizens, and occasions 
seldom offer for a trial of our magnanimity by committing 
that trust to persons differing from ourselves in language or 
religion." 

In February, 1840, trustees and members of the Roman 
Catholic churches in the city, seven or eight in number, which 
maintained free schools, submitted to the Common Council an 
application for a share of the school moneys. A large number 
of influential citizens were interested in this movement, who 
claimed that they had good reason to be dissatisfied with the 
management of the Public School Society. It was " alleged 
that although the society belonged to no particular religious 
denomination, and although it did not teach directly the creed 
of any particular sect, that still its schools were practically 
sectarian, and that its books and instruction had so strong a bias 
in favor of Protestantism that Roman Catholics, who were a 
large class of our citizens, and by universal consent entitled to a 
perfect equality of rights, could not conscientiously send their 
children to the schools." 1 

The Trustees and Executive Committee of the Society took 
immediate steps actively to oppose the application as " unconsti- 
tutional and inexpedient." Before the end of February two 
remonstrances were submitted, in the second of which the 
history of the distribution of the Common School Fund was 
reviewed. Attention was called to the fact that ninety-seven 
schools of various grades 2 were conducted by the Society, in 
which upwards of twenty thousand children received instruction 
during the previous year. It was asserted that these were em- 
phatically common schools within the meaning of the statute ; 
that in selecting teachers no regard was paid to the sectarian 
views of candidates ; and it had, in fact, been ascertained, since 
the application above mentioned was filed, that at least six of the 

1 Annual Report, Board of Education, 1853, p. 38. 

2 There were now forty-six primary schools and twelve primary departments, be- 
sides one primary department and five primary schools for colored children. 



96 The New Ycrk Public School 

teachers in the public schools belonged to the Roman Catholic 
Church. 

This remonstrance was printed and circulated freely, in order 
to arouse and concentrate public opinion in opposition to the 
pending application. It was accompanied by resolutions adopted 
by the Commissioners of School Money, 1 to the effect that 
"Schools created and directed by any particular Religious 
Society, should derive no aid from a fund designed for the 
common benefit of all the youth of this city, without religious 
distinction or preference." 

Petitions similar to that received from the trustees of the 
Catholic schools were also presented by the Hebrew Congrega- 
tion in Crosby street and by the Scotch Presbyterian Church ; 
and remonstrances against the diversion of the public funds 
were filed by a number of individuals and churches, in addition 
to those of the Public School Society. 

All these papers were referred by the Board of Assistant 
Aldermen to its Committee on Arts, Sciences, and Schools, 
which gave a public hearing on the I2th of March, 1840. The 
entire question was reviewed in the elaborate report of the 
Committee, the conclusion of which was that the petitioners had 
not made out a valid claim to participate in the school fund. 
This report was adopted by the Board of Assistants, on April 
27th, by a unanimous vote. 

While the matter was pending before the Board of Assistant 
Aldermen, the question of the sectarian character of sundry 
passages in certain books used in the public schools was raised. 
This was not an entirely new question. In 1834 the Roman 
Catholic Bishop of New York had submitted to the Public 
School Society a proposition that a Roman Catholic teacher 

1 The Commissioners of School Money were a board of seventeen citizens ap- 
pointed by the Common Council; it was their duty "to visit all Schools that participate 
in the School Fund, and report their condition to the Corporation of this City, and 
to the Superintendent of Common Schools at Albany" (see Annual Report, 1840, 
p. 27). The remonstrance summarized above and the resolutions of the Commis- 
sioners of School Money were printed in full in the Annual Report for 1840. 



The Controversy of 1840 97 

should be appointed in one of its schools, and that the books 
used should be submitted to him and such passages expunged 
as might be found objectionable, in order that Catholic children 
might attend the school without restriction. A committee was 
appointed by the Society to confer with the Bishop, and a com- 
munication was subsequently sent to him, expressing the strong 
desire of the Trustees that the children of Catholics should 
attend the public schools, and suggesting that Catholics desiring 
to take an active part in the management of the same should 
become members of the Society or of its Board of Trustees. 
The communication added : " The board have always desired, 
and do now decidedly wish, so to conduct the schools under 
their charge, as that all Christian sects shall feel entire freedom 
in pending their children to them. And if there be in the sys- 
tem of the schools, or in the books used in them, any matter 
which can reasonably be objected to by any denomination, they 
would gladly remove the same." No reply was received, and 
nothing was done at that time towards expunging offensive 
passages from school books. 

The question was brought forward again in March, 1840, in 
a letter addressed to the Public School Society by a Roman 
Catholic clergyman, the Rev. Felix Varela, who asked to be 
furnished with a set of the reading books used in the public 
schools. The request was complied with, and a resolution was 
adopted stating the desire of the Trustees to "remove every 
objection which the members of the Catholic Church may have- 
to the books used or the studies pursued in the public schools." 
A committee was appointed to examine the books used in the 
schools, and correspondence was carried on for some time with 
the Rev. Mr. Varela, Vicar-General Power, and Bishop Hughes,- 
whose co-operation in pointing out the matters objected to was 
sought, in order to divest the schools of any sectarian character 
or bias. This co-operation was not granted, as the Catholics felt 
that the mere expurgation of school books would not remove 
what they regarded as objectionable in the public schools. The 



98 The New York Public School 

Society, however, decided to erase sundry articles and para- 
graphs, to paste leaves together in some places, and to take 
other like measures, in order to do away with whatever might 
be considered offensive. 1 

But the result sought was not attained. " The revision and 
expurgation of the books was continued under the direction of 
the board, and all the objectionable passages were either stamped 
with ink from a wooden block, or the leaves pasted together or 
removed, or a volume discontinued as a text-book or a library- 
book. This course, however, on the part of the trustees, was 
not satisfactory, and did not in the least abate the demands of 
the applicants for a separate provision to be made for their 
schools from the school fund, and the controversy subsequently 
became more animated than ever before. The mutilated vol- 
umes were gradually worn out and rendered unfit for use, and 
were replaced by new books, which were permitted to go into 
the schools without change or expurgation, and the discussion 
in reference to the text-books subsided." 2 

The Annual Report for 1841 makes the following mention 
of the subject : " The Board of Trustees, being sincerely 
desirous of removing every possible objection to the course of 
instruction in their schools, to which the most conscientious 
could with propriety object, resolved upon the expurgation of 
the books used in them, of every passage casting imputations 
upon the doctrines, practices, or characters, as such, of the 
Roman Catholic Church or its members, in the vain hope, as it 
proved, of putting an end to the difficulties. They lament that 
their efforts have thus far failed of accomplishing the end so 
earnestly desired by every philanthropic mind." 

1 Among the passages it was decided to erase was the article " John Huss " in 
Putnam's Sequel. It contained the following sentence : " Huss, John, a zealous 
reformer from popery, who' lived in Bohemia toward the close of the fourteenth, and 
the beginning of the fifteenth centuries. He was bold and persevering ; but at 
length, trusting to the deceitful Catholics, he was by them brought to trial, condemned 
as a heretic, and burnt at the stake." 

2 Bourne, pp. 348, 349. 



The Controversy of 1840 99 

The following declaration of the position of the Society was 
submitted to the Board of Trustees on November 6, 1840, but 
was laid on the table : 

"In consequence of unfounded rumors prevalent in the city, the Trustees 
of the New York Public School Society deem it proper to state that the 
obliterations in the books used in the public schools have been made under 
their direction, from an earnest desire to remove, as far as possible, all obsta- 
cles to the co-operation of every portion of the community with them in the 
business of public education. They further deem it proper to state, that this 
matter of expurgation has been long a subject of consideration with them, and 
has only been delayed for the reasons set forth in their address now before 
the public." l 

Meanwhile the Catholics, undeterred by the action of the 
Board of Assistant Aldermen, had decided to renew their appli- 
cation, and several meetings had been held. A strong petition 
to the Board of Aldermen was adopted on September 2ist 
(1840), the schools named therein being St. Patrick's school, St. 
Peter's school, St. Mary's school, St. Joseph's school, St. James' 
school, St. Nicholas' school, Transfiguration Church school, and 
St. John's school ; and this was promptly followed by protests 
and remonstrances from the Public School Society and from 
representatives of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 2 A special 
meeting of the Board of Aldermen was held on October 29th, 
and continued on the 3Oth, at which the subject was discussed 
exhaustively by Bishop Hughes for the Catholics, Theodore 
Sedgwick and Hiram Ketchum for the Public School Society, 
the Rev. Dr. Thomas E. Bond, the. Rev. Dr. Nathan Bangs, 
and Dr. David M. Reese for the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
the Rev. Dr. Knox for the Dutch Reformed Church, and the Rev. 
Dr. Gardner Spring for the Presbyterian Church. The debate 
was carried on with great spirit, in the presence of a very large 
assembly of deeply interested listeners. 

1 The "address" referred to was doubtless one of the several memorials pre- 
sented on behalf of the Society to the Common Council during this year. 

2 It is interesting to note the change in the attitude of this church from that 
taken in 1831-1832 (see Chapter X). 



ioo The New Y.ork Public School 

The special committee to which the matter had been referred 
spent some time in visiting the schools of the Public School 
Society, and also the schools of the petitioners, and made 
ineffectual attempts to bring about a compromise. Finally, on 
January n, 1841, it presented a report adverse to the granting 
of the petitions, and this was adopted by the Board of Aldermen 
by a vote of 1 5 to i . 

Having been defeated by a unanimous vote in one branch of 
the Common Council, and by a vote all but unanimous in the 
other, the Catholics decided to carry the question to the Legisla- 
ture for settlement. 



CHAPTER XIII 
THE BOARD OF EDUCATION ESTABLISHED ^ 

A STRENUOUS and well-directed campaign was at once 
organized by the Catholics, who were undaunted by their over- 
whelming defeat in the Common Council, described in the pre- 
ceding chapter. Early in 1841 meetings were held in every 
ward and petitions were widely circulated, about seven thou- 
sand signatures being obtained. It was deemed inexpedient, 
however, to present the petitions at Albany as emanating from 
the Roman Catholics as a religious body, and when laid before 
the Legislature they appeared as petitions from citizens of New 
York City. Petitions from citizens, protesting against any 
diversion of the school moneys from their lawful objects, 
were also forwarded to the Legislature. All these memorials 
were referred to the Hon. John C. Spencer, Secretary of State 
and ex officio Superintendent of Common Schools. 

On the 26th of April Mr. Spencer presented a long and impor- 
tant report, in which he reviewed at considerable length the 
work of the Public School Society in providing means of educa- 
tion in this city. While on the whole commending it, he pointed 
out that, in spite of " the commendable and vigorous efforts " of 
the Trustees, less than half of the children in New York between* 
four and sixteen years of age were receiving the benefits of 
education. He referred to the anomaly that a " private corpora- 
tion, existing independently, not amenable in any form to the 
laws or to the Legislature," should perform an important function 
of government, and stated that education could not be consid- 
ered a subject of local interest in the city of New York more 
than in any other part of the State ; that " however acceptable 

101 



IO2 The New York Public School 

the services of such a Society may have been in the first imper- 
fect effort to establish common schools, however willing the 
people may have been to submit to an institution which promised 
immediate benefit, and however praiseworthy and successful 
may have been its efforts, yet it involves a principle so hostile 
to the whole spirit of our institutions, that it is impossible it 
should be long sustained amid the increased intelligence which 
its own exertions have contributed to produce, especially when 
other and more congenial means of attaining the same objects 
have been pointed out, and when, therefore, the necessity which 
called it into existence has ceased " ; that in Boston, with schools 
" equal, if not superior, to any others in our country," the mana- 
gers of the schools had for years been elected by the people 
in the several wards; that "it must be admitted that the Public 
School Society has not accomplished the principal purpose of 
its organization, and for which the public funds have been so 
freely bestowed upon it the education of the great body of 
the children of the city." 

Mr. Spencer therefore outlined a plan of education in New 
York City, which provided for the election of a commissioner 
of common schools in each ward ; the extension of the general 
school laws of the State to the city, with certain modifications ; 
the transfer to such commissioners of " the schools of the Public 
School Society, and the schools of the other associations and 
asylums now receiving the public money, as schools under their 
general jurisdiction, leaving the immediate government and man- 
agement of them to their respective trustees and directors " ; the 
establishment, by the commissioners, of schools in other parts of 
the city, as district schools ; and the payment of the public school 
money by the Chamberlain directly to the commissioners. 

Governor Seward and Commissioner Spencer visited New 
York and held personal consultations with the Trustees of the 
Public School Society and their opponents ; and a full hearing 
was given by the Senate Committee on Literature. In answer 
to Mr. Spencer's report, the Trustees of the Society presented 



The Board of Education Established 103 

an elaborate memorial and remonstrance. They devoted con- 
siderable space to refuting his statement regarding the number 
of children unprovided for, and offered three objections to the 
scheme proposed, viz. : ( i ) its tendency to associate itself with 
party politics, (2) its want of uniformity, and (3) its incapacity 
to remove the difficulties alleged to be inherent in the present 
system. 

The bill introduced by the Committee on Literature differed 
in many points from the recommendations made by Mr. Spencer ; 
but as, after considerable debate, it was decided to postpone 
action until January, 1842, it need not detain us longer. The 
decision of the Senate to postpone action was made by the 
narrow vote of n to 10. 

The school question became an important issue in the suc- 
ceeding campaign in this city, and every effort was made by 
both parties to the controversy to influence the election of 
Senators and Assemblymen. Letters were written to all the 
candidates, asking them to answer the question whether or not 
they favored the Public School Society. The result of the 
election was not decisive, and the battleground was again 
shifted to Albany. 

In his annual message for 1842 Governor Seward treated 
of the subject at some length. After stating that there were 
twenty thousand children in New York, of suitable age, who 
were " not at all instructed in any of the public schools, while 
the whole number in all the residue of the state, not taught 
in common schools, does not exceed nine thousand," he 
proceeded : ^u^C-^ $*& 

" Happily in this, as in other instances, the evil is discovered 
to have had its origin no deeper than in a departure from the 
equality of general laws. In our general system of common 
schools, trustees chosen by tax-paying citizens, levy taxes, build 
school-houses, employ and pay teachers, and govern schools 
which are subject to visitation by similarly elected inspectors, 
who certify the qualifications of teachers ; and all schools thus 



IO4 The New York Public School 

constituted participate in just proportion in the public moneys, 
which are conveyed to them by commissioners also elected by 
the people. ... In the public school system of the city, one 
hundred persons are trustees and inspectors, and, by continued 
consent of the Common Council, are the dispensers of an annual 
average sum of $35,000, received from the Common School 
Fund of the state, and also of a sum equal to $95,000, derived 
from an undiscriminating tax upon the real and personal es- 
tates of the city. They build school-houses chiefly with public 
funds, and appoint and remove teachers, fix their compensation, 
and prescribe the moral, intellectual, and religious instruction 
which one eighth of the rising generation of the State shall be 
required to receive. Their powers, more effective and far-reach- 
ing than are exercised by the municipality of the city, are not 
derived from the community whose children are educated and 
whose property is taxed, nor even from the state, which is so 
great an almoner, and whose welfare is so deeply concerned, 
but from an incorporated and perpetual association, which 
grants, upon pecuniary subscription, the privileges even of life- 
membership, and yet holds in fee simple the public-school 
edifices, valued at eight hundred thousand dollars. Lest there 
might be too much responsibility, even to the association, that 
body can elect only one-half of the trustees, and those thus 
selected appoint their fifty associates. The philanthropy and 
patriotism of the present managers of the public schools, and 
their efficiency in imparting instruction, are cheerfully and grate- 
fully admitted. Nor is it necessary to maintain that agents thus 
selected will become unfaithful, or that a system that so jealously 
excludes popular interference must necessarily be unequal in its 
operation. It is only insisted that the institution, after a fair 
and sufficient trial, has failed to gain that broad confidence 
reposed in the general system of the state, and indispensable 
to every scheme of universal education. ... I submit, there- 
fore, with entire willingness to approve whatever adequate 
remedy you may propose, the expediency of restoring to the 



The Board of Education Established 105 

people of the city of New York what I am sure the people 
of no other part of the state would, upon any consideration, 
relinquish the education of their children. For this purpose, 
it is only necessary to vest the control of the common schools 
in a board to be composed of commissioners elected by the 
people ; which board shall apportion the school moneys among 
all the schools, including those now existing, which shall be 
organized and conducted in conformity to its general regulations 
and the laws of the state, in the proportion of the number of 
pupils instructed. It is not left doubtful that the restoration, 
to the common schools of the city, of this simple and equal 
feature of the common schools of the state, would remove every 
complaint, . . . 

" This proposition, to gather the young from the streets and 
wharves into the nurseries which the state, solicitous for her 
security against ignorance, has prepared for them, has some- 
times been treated as a device to appropriate the school fund 
to the endowment of seminaries for teaching languages and 
faiths, thus to perpetuate the prejudices it seeks to remove; 
sometimes as a scheme for dividing that precious fund among 
a hundred jarring sects, and thus increasing the religious ani- 
mosities it strives to heal ; and sometimes as a plan to subvert 
the prevailing religion and introduce one repugnant to the 
consciences of our fellow-citizens ; while in truth, it simply 
proposes, by enlightening equally the minds of all, to enable 
them to detect error wherever it may exist, and to reduce 
uncongenial masses into one intelligent, virtuous, harmonious 
and happy people." 

The committee to which this part of the Governor's message 
was referred reported a bill providing for the election of com- 
missioners and inspectors of common schools in each ward and 
extending to the city the general laws of the State relating to 
such officers. After an animated debate, the bill was passed, 
with some amendments, and was signed by the Governor April 
11, 1842. This law established the first Board of Educa- 



io6 The New York Public School 

tion in New York City, composed of two Commissioners of 
Common Schools for each ward, to be chosen at a special 
election in June, at which two Inspectors and five Trustees 
for each ward were also to be elected. The provisions of 
the general school law of the State were extended to the city, 
and each ward was to be considered as a separate town. The 
schools of the Public School Society and those of other incorpo- 
rated societies were continued under the management of their 
respective trustees, and it was distinctly provided that no school 
/in which "any religious sectarian doctrine or tenet shall be 
taught, inculcated, or practised" should receive any portion of 
the school moneys. 

The important change thus effected was summarized in the 
Annual Report of the Board of Education for 1853 (the year in 
which the union of the Public School Society with the Board 
occurred) in these words : " The subject was brought before 
the Common Council again, in 1840, and discussed with extraor- 
dinary ability on all sides. It was thence transferred to the 
legislature of the State in 1841, and became so important a 
question of state policy that at the opening of the session of 
1842, the Governor, in his Annual Message, after stating that 
under existing circumstances twenty thousand children in the 
city were practically unprovided with instruction, proceeded as 
follows " : 

The Report then recites a portion of the language already 
quoted from the message, and continues : 

" This recommendation of the Governor was extremely unac- 
ceptable to a large portion of the people of the city, and had it 
not proposed to preserve the schools of the Public School Soci- 
ety which had, deservedly, the confidence and affection of so 
large a number of the citizens, it is doubtful whether the popular 
will would have allowed the recommendation of the Governor 
to go into useful effect. As it was, however, the Legislature 
adopted the views of the Executive and by law introduced into 
this city the Common School System which had prevailed for 



T/te Board of Education Established 107 

thirty years in the residue of the State, placing the management 
of the schools in the hands of Inspectors, Trustees, and Com- 
missioners elected by the people still allowing the Public 
School Society and other corporations to continue their existing 
schools and participate in the public funds according to the 
number of their scholars but prohibiting such participation to 
any school ' in which any religious sectarian doctrine or tenet 
shall be taught, inculcated or practised ' " (pp. 38, 39). 

The result of the prolonged contest was naturally viewed by 
the Public School Society, which had so stoutly opposed any 
change in the existing system, with grave apprehension. The 
Annual Report for 1842 touches on the subject briefly: 

" After a successful career of thirty-seven years, ... it has 
pleased the Legislature of our State to enact a statute which 
the Trustees fear will result in subjecting their noble Institution 
to the blighting influence of party strife and sectarian animosity. 
The glory of their system, its uniformity, its equality of privilege 
and action, its freedom from all that could justly offend, its pecul- 
iar adaptation to a floating population embracing an immense 
operative mass, unable from their circumstances to devote many 
years to educational pursuits is dimmed, they fear, forever. . . . 

" How far and how long the Board may be able to continue 
their schools under the intricate provisions of the 'Act/ they 
are at this time [May 6, 1842] unable to ascertain. It may be 
sufficient to say, that the simple, comprehensive and compact 
system matured through so many years assiduous examination 
and careful adaptation to its object, is about to be impaired if 
not destroyed by the introduction of another of complex char- 
acter, a system, which if not impracticable, is in their judgment 
ill suited to a city population." 

The Society was now burdened with a debt of $103,000, and 
the Trustees felt under the necessity of being guided by extreme 
prudence in their future work. Nevertheless they proceeded 
with the erection of the building intended for their seventeenth 
school, which was built on property previously purchased in 



io8 The New York Public School 

Thirteenth street, near Eighth avenue. The school was opened 
early in January, 1844. This building is, perhaps, deserving of 
more than passing notice, since at the time it was regarded as 
a model schoolhouse. The thirty-ninth Annual Report of the 
Society (for 1845) contained a cut of the building, with a descrip- 
tion, plans, etc., accompanied with a statement that the building 
" embraces some important improvements in this department of 
architecture." A woodcut of No. 17 was printed on the cover 
page of the annual reports for several years following. Although 
a plain brick structure, three stories in height, without any archi- 
tectural features of note, this building was the subject of special 
remark among educators. County Superintendent Stone, in his 
annual report for 1843, after speaking of the "noble edifices" 
of the Public School Society, said : " The largest and most com- 
manding school edifice of the society, No. 17, is now just being 
completed. It is situated in the upper part of the city, upon 
Thirteenth street, near the Eighth avenue. In this building are 
united all the improvements of "more than thirty years experience, 
and it appears to me to be the perfection of what a school house, 
for such large schools as we have in New York, should be." 
The annual report of County Superintendent D. Meredith Reese 
for the year 1844 refers to No. 17 as a "model building," and 
says that it "is every way superior to any other." Dr. Reese 
states the cost of the building as follows : 

Cost of ground " $ 6000 

Cost of building 8400 

Cost of fitting up, furniture, &c. ....... 1450 

Cost of supplies 800 

Cost of stoves, &c. f . 350 

Total cost of No. 17, opened in January, 1844 .... $17,000 



CHAPTER XIV 
THE TWO SYSTEMS SIDE BY SIDE 

THE newly created Board of Education (consisting of thirty- 
four members two for each of the seventeen wards) found its 
course beset with many difficulties. Mr. Boese sums up the 
situation thus : 

" The outgrowth of intense excitement and bitter contro- 
versy, the subject of misconception and misrepresentation, with 
the prejudices, animosities, and fears of a large and influential 
portion of the citizens arrayed against it, the new system had to 
contend with difficulties that seemed well-nigh insuperable. A 
powerful and compact organization, strong in the character and 
influence of its individual members and the justly-earned appro- 
bation and sympathy of hundreds of thousands, already occupied 
a large portion of the field. The one thoroughly centralized, 
from its origin, and disciplined by long experience, both as an 
organization and from the continuance of its individual mem- 
bers, with subordinate committees and local sections, all of its 
own erection, and responsible to the central power; the other, 
discrete, apparently incoherent, with as many independent boards 
as there were wards in the city a complex machinery of trus- 
tees, inspectors, and commissioners from all classes of society, 
and with powers and duties not so sharply defined as to prevent 
injurious disputes with the central Board of Education virtu- 
ally dependent upon the dictum of the local ones, with officers 
of every grade without experience, it would seem a wonder that 
the new system had not died at its very birth. But it contained 
a vital element more than sufficient to overcome all these difficul- 
ties, more than enough to overbalance the advantages possessed 

109 



no The New York Public School 

by its powerful rival. It was based on a DIRECT and IMMEDIATE 
APPEAL TO THE PEOPLE. No body of men, no matter what their 
character or social standing, were placed, without or against the 
will of the people, between them and their children. If they 
have one interest which, in this land of self-government, they 
should jealously guard, and keep as closely as possible under 
their control, surely it is the selection of those into whose hands 
is committed that most sacred and responsible trust, the educa- 
tion of their offspring " (pp. 68, 69). 

Owing to the peculiar provisions of the act of 1842, the 
Board of Education was unable to open any schools during the 
year in which it came into existence. The first school estab- 
lished was opened on January 16, 1843, in the Twelfth Ward, 
and was designated as District School No. I. 1 The first An- 
nual Report of the Board, adopted May 30, 1843, showed that 
five district schools, one district primary school, and one district 
colored school had been organized. In 1844 there were sixteen 
district schools (including one primary and one colored) ; in 1845, 
eighteen ward schools, two primary schools, and one colored 
school ; in 1848 the number of ward schools was twenty, besides 
two ward primary schools and two colored ward schools. 

The act of 1842 was soon found to be very inadequate 
for the purposes intended. How it was regarded by those 
appointed to execute it may be judged by the following 
excerpt from the Annual Report of the Board of Education 
for 1843 : 

" If the design of the act of April nth, 1842, was to destroy 
that system [the system established by the Public School Soci- 
ety], and to substitute in place of it, the defective and imperfect 
system which prevails throughout the State, then it exhibits a 
lamentable want of practical acquaintance with the subject, and 

1 The term " district school " was used in the Annual Reports of the Board of 
Education for 1843 and ^44- In 1845 the schools were termed "ward schools," 
which designation was used for a number of years. The law of 1844 prescribed 
" ward school " as the appropriate term. 



The Two Systems Side by Side 1 1 1 

an ignorance of the wants of this community, such as would be 
manifested by an attempt to extend the laws and customs of 
savage life over civilized society." 

Fortunately, amendments were made in 1843 an d 1844 which 
rendered the new law more workable. One of the most serious 
defects remedied by the "Act more effectually to provide for 
common school education in the city and county of New York," 
passed May 7, 1844, was the provision in the earlier law giving 
discretionary power to the school officers of the wards in the 
matter of erecting new schoolhouses and opening new schools. 
By the act last mentioned this power was vested in the Board of 
Education. 1 

" The locations [for new schoolhouses] selected by the ward 
officers," says Mr. Boese", "had little or no reference toward 
lines. By the provisions of the law, any pupil residing in the 
county was entitled, as in the case of the Public Schools, to 
attend any school. Availing themselves of this, officers often 
chose sites close to the ward lines, sometimes not far from the 
junction of several wards, so as to draw pupils from other wards, 
while secure that no other school could be built in their own. 
Some of the Public Schools suffered greatly from having new 
schools erected within a very short distance. The buildings were 
mostly small, and injudiciously constructed. In all matters in- 
volving expenditure, the trustees and the Board of Education 
were practically held in check by the rigid economy of the Pub- 
lic School Society, now more rigid than ever, it being highly 
important to either party that there should be no unfavorable 
comparative statement as to cost" (pp. 69, 70). 

The buildings erected up to 1850, including sites and 
fitting up, ranged in cost from $10,752.54 (for Ward School 

1 By this change a " salutary check " was " imposed upon the proceedings which 
had plunged the city already into so fearful an amount of debt." See annual report 
of County Superintendent Reese, dated December 31, 1844. Dr. Reese pointed 
out that the total amount of taxes levied for school purposes in the city and county 
of New York since the passage of the law of 1842 was $625,462.15. 



1 1 2 The New York Public School 

No. i, the site for which was granted by the Corporation) to 
$30,66 i. 26 (for Ward School No. lo). 1 

Most of the ward schools were organized with three depart- 
ments, on the same plan as that adopted in the public schools. 
Each ward was practically a school district, and in each district 
the Trustees were the most important officers. They had exclu- 
sive authority to employ teachers, and to pay their wages by 
drafts on the Commissioners of the wards, and they also had 
the safe keeping of all property belonging to the schools. No 
teacher could be employed unless two Inspectors certified as to 
the candidate's moral character, learning, and ability. In the 
matter of text-books there was no uniformity. In some schools 
the Trustees selected the books, in others the Inspectors claimed 
this as their prerogative, while in still others the teachers were 
vested with discretionary power over the books. 2 In these mat- 
ters the Board of Education had no authority. 

The monitorial system, which had been very considerably 
modified by the Public School Society in the course of years, 
was not adopted in the ward schools ; a larger number of 
teachers were employed, and more numerous classrooms were 
provided. The Trustees for each ward purchased their own 
supplies, the bills for which were paid by the Board of Education. 
The character and ability of the teachers employed varied widely. 
Many of them were drawn from the Public School Society, offers 
of higher salaries being potent in not a few cases. The report 
of County Superintendent Reese for 1844 alleges that "teachers 
have been bought off from the service of the Public School 
Society, by an advance of wages, in some instances 200 per 
cent, which extravagance was as culpable as it was needless, for 
they could as readily have been secured by half the annual 
stipend voluntarily proffered them." 

Under the circumstances, it was out of the question to secure 
uniformity in the school system, and it is not surprising that 

1 See report of the Finance Committee, January 16, 1850. 

2 See annual report of County Superintendent Reese for 1844. 



The Two Systems Side by Side 113 

charges of extravagance, similar to that already cited, were 
freely made. As early as 1843, County Superintendent Stone, 
in his annual report, stated that more than $75,000 had been 
paid from the city treasury under the new laws, and declared 
that this was a vast and for the most part unnecessary expense ; 
and in the above-mentioned report for 1844 Superintendent 
Reese referred to the purchase of sites and the erection of 
schoolhouses for which there was neither necessity nor use. 

In spite of the friction between the two systems, the Trustees 
of the Public School Society took a hopeful view of the situation. 
In their Annual Report for 1845 they referred to the diminished 
attendance in their schools on account of the schools organized 
under the new law, and to the lack of uniformity in the books and 
the course of instruction in the latter. In the Report for the fol- 
lowing year they said : " Although the competition between the 
existing Ward Schools and those of this Society must neces- 
sarily create some collision in the operation of the two institu- 
tions, the Trustees are gratified in being able to state their 
belief, that many of the schools under the New Law are judi- 
ciously conducted, and present a prospect of public advantage in 
their respective locations. Some modifications of this Law are 
certainly very desirable, but the Trustees of the * Public School 
Society ' are desirous of regarding the members of the ' Board 
of Education ' and of its branches, rather as coadjutors than as 
competitors in the interesting work in which they are engaged. 
In this spirit, they have granted to the 'Teacher's Institute/ 
an association composed of the teachers of the ward, public and 
corporate schools, the use of the Trustees Hall for their 
meetings." 

In the mean time they continued their work on its well-estab- 
lished lines. One special feature is deserving of mention : 

"From 1844 to 1850, the venerable Josiah Holbrook, the founder of the 
lyceum system in Massachusetts, exerted a highly favorable influence over 
the schools by his lectures and practical instructions in map drawing, min- 
eralogy, and elementary geology, and the promotion of a system of interchange 



H4 The New York Public School 

of specimens of minerals, maps, drawings, penmanship, &c., between the 
schools of the city and those of the State, and other States and countries. 
This method of domestic and international exchange was encouraged and 
supported by the highest officers of the several States and the General Govern- 
ment, and by the principal representatives of foreign powers. 1 ' 1 

The Society, however, was soon confronted with a contest as 
to its right to erect additional buildings under the new laws. 
As stated in the preceding chapter, Public School No. 17 was 
opened in January, 1844, and in the same year No. 18 was 
established in hired apartments. A site for a new schoolhouse 
was purchased, in Forty-seventh street near Eighth avenue, and 
in 1846 the new building for No. 18, the last erected by the 
Public School Society, was opened. A number of small build- 
ings for primary schools were also erected, and other primary 
schools were established in rented premises. 

The Board of Education questioned the right of the Society 
to build additional schoolhouses, and in February, 1846, called 
upon the Society for full particulars as to buildings erected since 
May 7, 1844. The request was complied with. Subsequently 
the Board granted the Society a hearing, and the subject was 
fully discussed in all its bearings. The outcome was the adoption 
of a resolution by the Board to the effect that the Society had no 
right, after the passage of the act of May 7, 1844, to establish 
any new schools entitled to participate in the apportionment 
of the school moneys. The Society thereupon appealed to 
the Legislature, which in 1848 passed a law legalizing such 
schools as the Society had established after the date above 
given, but providing that it should not establish any new school 
without the consent of the Board of Education. This law also 
empowered the Society to purchase, erect, or hire other build- 
ings in place of those occupied by its schools, when necessary 
for the purpose of existing schools. 

The Society was. thus placed at the mercy of the Board of 
Education. The law of 1848 was the beginning of the end. 

1 History of the Common School System of the State of New York, p. 315. 



CHAPTER XV 
THE TWO SYSTEMS CONSOLIDATED 

ALREADY it had been perceived by not a few observers that 
the two school systems could not exist side by side indefinitely. 
Before the Board of Education had really entered on its work, 
County Superintendent Stone, in his report for the year 1842, 
said : " I cannot but hope that the existing law will be so modi- 
fied as to prevent the formation of this double system of com- 
mon schools for the city of New York. . . . One proposition 
that has been discussed, and so far as I know, received the 
universal favor, is to unite with the Public School Society the 
Board of Education, as created under the new law, as a super- 
vising legislative board, dispensing altogether with the array of 
ward trustees and inspectors, brought into existence by the 
recent act. The efficient members of the Public School Society 
would form the best possible substitute for the last-mentioned 
legion of officers." 

In his report for 1843 Mr. Stone suggested placing all the 
schools under the immediate care and management of the 
Public School Society, subject to the Board of Education, 
the latter to be elected by the people, to have a voice in 
opening new schools and erecting new buildings, and to have 
entire control of the school revenues. In the following year 
Dr. D. Meredith Reese, County Superintendent, repeated his 
" lamented predecessor's " remonstrance against " two lines of 
schools" as disastrous to the cause of popular education, 
quoted Mr. Stone's words, and added : " Nor can it be doubted, 
that for the purpose of advancing the great cause of universal 
education, the trustees of the public school society would be 

"5 



n6 The New York Public School 

ready to transfer all the property held in their name, to the 
corporation of the city, or conform to such other modification 
of their charter, as would better serve the public interest." 

As time went on, the objections to the double system became 
clearer, and by 1848 it was evident to many that the Society 
would soon have to yield. In that year County Superinten- 
dent Joseph McKeen, in his report to the State Superintendent 
of Common Schools, said : " Two of my predecessors in office 
have recommended, on observing the necessity of having the 
Common Schools of the City under one management, 'that 
the enactment of such laws be procured, as shall place all the 
Public and Ward Schools under the immediate charge of the 
Public School Society, subject to the Board of Education, 
through the hands of which alone its funds could be received.' 

"This reiterated recommendation, first made in 1844, and 
again in 1845, nas not been heeded, and probably it never will 
be. I would venture, therefore, the suggestion, that by a spirit 
of compromise on the part of both the elected Ward Officers 
and the Trustees of the Pub lie. School Society, the School laws 
might be so modified and altered, as to merge the two in one 
system, under the charge of the officers elected by the people." 

The resources of the Society became so straitened that it 
was obliged to apply repeatedly to the Board of Education for 
funds to make up deficiencies. An application for $10,000 was 
made in 1848, and $8000 was granted. In 1849 tne sum f 
$26,103.48 was asked; $22,932.62 was allowed. In 1850 the 
deficit was $50,140.10. When the Board of Education reduced 
this amount by $15,000, the Society laid the matter before the 
Legislature, and secured the passage of an amendment to the 
school bill then pending, 1 authorizing the Board of Education 
to provide the Society "with all necessary moneys to make all 
proper repairs, alterations and improvements in the various 
school premises occupied by them." It was confidently but 
vainly hoped by the Trustees that this would end the troubles 

1 The act passed July 3, 1851. 



The Two Systems Consolidated 117 

of the Society. The Board of Education still refused to furnish 
all the money asked for, and the Society was forced to raise 
funds by mortgaging its property still further. 

The sentiment in favor of one uniform system of education 
for the city was continually growing stronger. The forty-fourth 
Annual Report of the Society, covering the year 1849, recog- 
nized the existence of this sentiment in the following words: 
" The existing competition (if it may be called such) between 
the Ward Schools and those of the Society, may be made to be, 
and is believed by your Trustees already to have been advanta- 
geous to the public. The consolidation of all the Common 
Schools under one system, advocated perhaps unthinkingly by 
some, should be well examined, especially by tax payers, before 
it is adopted." 

The reports for the two following years are significantly 
silent on the subject. 

The first positive step toward union was taken by the Board 
of Education on January 21, 1852, when a resolution was 
adopted providing for the appointment of a committee of three 
to confer with a committee of the Trustees of the Public School 
Society "for the purpose of effecting a union of the two 
systems." Dr. William Hibbard, Samuel A. Crapo, and Edward 
L. Beadle were appointed as the committee, and a communica- 
tion from the chairman, asking that the matter be taken into 
consideration, was laid before the Trustees of the Society on 
January 26th. A committee of conference was duly appointed, 
consisting of Messrs. George T. Trimble (President of the 
Society), Peter Cooper, and Joseph B. Collins. 1 Numerous 
conferences followed. On September i/th the Board of 
Trustees adopted a resolution "in favor of a union with the 
Ward School System, provided they can be equitably repre- 

1 This committee was subsequently enlarged by adding to it Dr. Charles E. Pierson 
and James F. De Peyster. The Board of Education committee was increased by the 
appointment of Jeremiah E. Gary, Luther C. Carter, and Nelson J. Waterbury, Mr. 
Crapo dropping out. 



n8 The New York Public School 

sented in the management of the common schools of our city." 
The committees at length agreed upon a plan of union, and on 
the 1 5th of October sundry propositions were laid before the 
Society's Trustees, which, in brief, were as follows : 

The Society to transfer to the city all the real and personal 
estate held by it, subject to all the debts, liens, and encum- 
brances thereon, the payment thereof to be assumed by the 
city, the property so conveyed to be forever devoted to the pur- 
poses of public education ; the Society to surrender and discon- 
tinue its organization and existence ; the Society, previous to its 
dissolution, to select and appoint fifteen of its Trustees to be 
Commissioners at large of common schools and members of the 
Board of Education, and to serve as such during the terms of 
the then members of said Board ; and also to appoint three of 
its members to be Trustees of common schools for each of the 
wards in which one or more schools of the Society were estab- 
lished, such Trustees to hold office until January i, 1855, 1856, 
and 1857, respectively. 

These propositions were adopted by the Trustees by a vote 
of 21 to 7, 1 and arrangements were made by the two bodies for 
drafting a bill to be submitted to the Legislature. The bill was 
agreed to in January following ( 1 85 3) by both the Board of Educa- 
tion and the Trustees of the Society, and on the i/th of that 
month a general meeting of the Society was called to consider it. 
The plan was approved, and the Trustees were authorized to 
do all that was necessary to procure the enactment of the bill. 

In the preamble accompanying the resolutions adopted at this 
meeting, the motives impelling the Society to the course taken 

1 The vote was as follows : 

Yeas George T. Trimble, Peter Cooper, Joseph B. Collins, H. H. Barrow, 
F. W. Downer, James F. De Peyster, John Davenport, Benjamin Ellis, William Man- 
deville, Almon Merwin, William H. Neilson, R. G. Perkins, M.D., Charles E. Pier- 
son, M.D., Israel Russell, Henry M. Schieffelin, Samuel W. Seton, Linus W. Stevens, 
James W. Underbill, Walter Underbill, J. B. Varnum, L. B. Ward 21. 

Nays John T. Adams, James B. Brinsmade, W. P. Cooledge, John R. Kurd, 
J. W. C. Leveridge, Joshua S. Underbill, Washington R. Vermilye 7. 



The Two Systems Consolidated 119 

were set forth with great solemnity and force. The principal 
statements may be summarized thus : that, in consequence of 
the construction put by the Board of Education on the act of 
1842, the Trustees, in order to avoid a clashing of jurisdiction, 
surrendered their independent right to establish new schools; 
that in 1851 they procured an amendment to the school act 
which, in the judgment expressed by members of the Board of 
Education, would enable them (the Trustees) to obtain all neces- 
sary funds for carrying on and improving the schools under 
their charge, but said Board refused to furnish the Society with 
the necessary funds when solicited to do so ; and that " notwith- 
standing the Public School Society have, during a period of 
nearly half a century, conducted, with eminent success, energy, 
and economy, a great educational institution, in which hundreds 
of thousands of children have received instruction," they yield 
" to the necessity of the case as above stated, and not from a 
conviction of their best judgment, and also hoping that a 
weighty sense of its importance will lead to the management of 
our common schools being committed to the hands of worthy 
citizens who will consult the public weal exclusively." 

In their forty-seventh (and last) Annual Report, presented 
to the Society in January, 1853, the Trustees, after referring 
briefly to the proposed union, gave added proof of their un- 
selfish, public-spirited, and devout attitude in the following 
statement : 

"The subject was one of no ordinary solicitude to the 
Trustees, who could not consent to surrender any of their 
chartered rights, unless for subserving the best interests of 
Common School Education for the City, to which they had so 
long devoted and pledged themselves. This Union offering a 
better hope for realizing their views and intentions than any 
other course, and a prospect that their influence, and the experi- 
ence of both might thus be brought to bear on the valued 
cause, they consented to the preparation of a bill, to be enacted, 
to effect this purpose. . . . 



I2O The New York Public School 

" While the matter is thus pending, we cannot but express 
our earnest desires that its results may prove it to have been the 
best measure that could be adopted under existing circumstances, 
for carrying out the all-important purposes for which this Soci- 
ety has so long and patiently toiled : they reverently implore 
the aid of a watchful and over-ruling Providence in effecting 
these important ends. 

"The Board also indulge an earnest hope that all regrets 
arising from the termination of the separate labors of this noble 
Institution, may be obliterated by the successful action of the 
united bodies, and that their influence and experience may be 
recognized in the increased zeal and activity of all to whom the 
great trust in view may be confided, as well in the promotion of 
a sound economy, as in perfecting the detailed operations of the 
Schools." 

Mr. Bourne's comment on the situation at this time is in- 
teresting. He says : 

" The most liberal and enlightened friends of education in the city could 
not remain insensible to the fact, that the prejudices which had been aroused 
[against the Society] could not be overcome, and that, however perfect a 
corporate system of public instruction might be made, were its resources 
sufficient, the day had passed for a full development of the scheme of the 
Public School Society. It became apparent that the interests of public educa- 
tion in the city demanded a uniform system, under the care of one Central 
Board, which should combine, if possible, a conservative character with that of 
the popular prestige. The decision of this proposition left no alternative 
the Public School Society must become a part of the new system, and sur- 
render its independent trust. How far these considerations may have induced 
members of the Board of Education to restrict the revenue of the Society in 
order to expedite the consummation, is a fair ground of conjecture, and is left 
for the judgment of the reader" (pp. 578, 579). 

It may be noted that in their last report the Trustees state 
that their schools, "which embrace nearly one-half of those 
under common school instruction in this city, still have a 
register and average attendance equal to years past, and are 
now as efficient and successful in their operations, as at any 



The Two Systems Consolidated 



121 



period since the passage of the Act in 1842, establishing the 
Ward Schools." 1 

The bill agreed upon by the Public School Society and the 
Board of Education gave rise to considerable controversy in the 
Legislature, and failed of passage at the regular session, in spite 
of " compromises and concessions " made " by all parties, in 
order to consummate the plan of union. Its failure would have 
resulted in a loss of strength on the part of the Society from 
the fact of such steps having been taken, and a virtual surrender 
of its independence in all that pertains to the dignity and im- 
munities of an establishment of high character would have been 
almost inevitable. It would, moreover, have placed the Board 
of Education in a position of delicacy and responsibility which 
would have been irksome to every man of fine feeling, while it 
would have given the antagonists of the Society a position of 
power to embarrass it which would have been full of unpleasant 
reminiscences." 2 A special session of the Legislature was, 
however, convened, and the bill became a law June 4, 1853. 

The law provided that all the property of the Public School 
Society should be turned over to the city on or before Septem- 
ber i, 1853, that the Society should appoint from its Trustees 

1 The fifteenth Annual Report of the Board of Education, for the year 1856, 
contained a table showing the average attendance at the schools of the city for each 
year since the organization of the Board of Education, from which the following 
figures are taken ; they indicate the rapid advance of the ward schools and also the 
comparative stability in the attendance at the public schools : 



YEAR 


WARD 
SCHOOLS 


PUBLIC 
SCHOOLS 


YEAR 


WARD 
SCHOOLS 


PUBLIC 
SCHOOLS 


1842 


o 


15,420 


1848 


14,652 


18,587 


1843 


2,079 


15,938 


1849 


15,805 


18,153 


1844 


6,806 


15,978 


1850 


18,717 


19,292 


1845 


7,522 


16,602 


1851 


21,212 


i97 J 7 


1846 


8,793 


17,698 


1852 


23,273 


93 I 5 


I8 47 


n,598 


18,646 









2 Bourne, p. 583. 



122 The New York Public School 

fifteen Commissioners of Common Schools, to hold office until 
January I, 1855, and also from its Trustees three Trustees of 
Common Schools " for each ward of said city in which one 
or more of the schools of said society are now established," to 
serve until the 1st of January, 1855, 1856, and 1857, respec- 
tively ; that its schools should be merged into the system of com- 
mon schools established by law, and that "the common schools 
in the city " should (( be numbered consecutively by the Board 
of Education." 

The Society decided to make the transfer on the ist of 
August. At a meeting held on the ist of July the Commissioners 
and Trustees of Common Schools provided for by the act were 
elected. The final meeting of the Board of Trustees was held 
on July 22d, when, after transacting the business incidental to 
winding up its affairs, the significant entry was made in the 
minutes that the Board adjourned "sine die and forever." 

On July 29th the last meeting of the Public School Society 
took place, and the Committee on Transfer presented its final 
report. The sentiment of the Society on surrendering the 
privileges which it had so long enjoyed may be accurately 
estimated from the following paragraph in the report of the 
committee : 

" It may not be deemed out of place for them to allude to the 
fact, that they ha?e acted in all that pertains hereto from a sense of 
duty, and not from choice. They have fully felt the ungracious 
nature of the task allotted to them, but their best services have 
been held hitherto subject to the behest of the Public School 
Society in its days of noble usefulness, and hence it was not for 
them to shrink, when, in a grave posture of its affairs, it has 
become necessary to bring its concerns to a close, and expunge 
its name from among active and benevolent public institutions." J 

The affairs of the Society had always been very systemati- 

1 The committee appointed to arrange for the transfer consisted of Linus W. 
Stevens, Chairman, Joseph Curtis, William P. Cooledge, John Davenport, and 
J. W. C. Leveridge. 



The Two Systems Consolidated 123 

cally conducted, and on turning over its property it presented 
a schedule stating the value in detail, with exhibits, inventories, 
etc. The figures following are taken from the report of the 
committee mentioned : 

Value of real estate $495,300.00 

Value of personal property 109,520.46 

$604,820. 46 1 

But upon the real estate were mortgages amounting to . . 150,800.00 
Leaving the value of the property unencumbered . . . $ 454,020.46 
To which should be added the balance of the Treasurer's account 

(cash on hand) 401.39 

Making the value of the property transferred to the city . . $454,421.85 

In connection with the estimate placed upon the Society's 
real estate in the schedule just quoted, reference may be made 
to a report submitted by a committee of the Board of Educa- 
tion November 15, 1848 (and printed in the forty-third Annual 
Report of the Society), which stated that the total value of " the 
real estate held in fee by the Society" was "about $310,295," 
and that if the permanent debt, amounting to $120,800, be 
deducted, " there will still remain property at the disposal of the 
Society, valued at $189,495, which it may either mortgage or 
sell, under certain regulations, when it shall so will it." This 
amount, $189,495, is set down as the value of the Society's 
property in the annual reports of the Board of Education for 
1849 (P- ir ) an d 1850 (p. 8). In contrast with this estimate, 
and with the amount stated in the report of the committee as 
given above, we may place the statement in Governor Seward's 
message for 1842 that the Society "holds in fee simple the 
public school edifices, valued at eight hundred thousand dollars " ! 

The personal property mentioned in the schedule consisted 
of furniture ($75,264) and supplies ($34,256.46). The value 
placed upon the supplies may be compared with the figures 

1 The detailed schedule will be found on pages 135-137 of the Annual Report 
of the Board of Education for 1853. 



124 The New York Public School 

contained in the forty-sixth Annual Report of the Society (for 
1852): 

" As very great ignorance exists in some quarters relative to the personal 
property held by the Trustees of the Public School Society, the Board have 
deemed it proper to state, that the whole value including all the books, slates, 
etc., in daily use in their 115 schools, new and partly worn, as well as that in 
the General Depository, does not exceed $20,000 not $200 for each school." 

The reader may draw his own inference. 

In reference to the property transferred, the report of the 
committee said : " The striking fact that the Public School 
Society is about to close its existence, and transfer so large 
an amount of unencumbered estate to the city of New York, 
excites in the minds of the committee an honest exultation, as 
it must in those of all the well-wishers of the Society ; because 
upon grave occasions, and in public bodies, those who should 
have been and who might have been better informed, have 
declared it an insolvent and rotten concern, which was seeking 
to conceal its real condition by urging a union with a healthy 
and living institution. This calumny, at least, is now forever 
silenced. In this connection it may be added, that, in its dis- 
bursements of public money to the amount of millions of dol- 
lars, the first instance is yet to be shown where it has diverted 
a single dollar from its legitimate channel of service." 

The committee further stated in its report that there was 
little doubt that the whole number of children educated in the 
schools of the Society from its organization, in 1805, was six 
hundred thousand, and called special attention to the fact that 
in its normal schools more than twelve hundred teachers had 
been trained. 

The final resolution presented by the committee, and adopted 
by the Society, was as follows : 

" Resolved, That the books of minutes of the Society, of the Board of Trus- 
tees, of the Executive Committee, and of other standing committees, together 
with all the reports, documents, and treasurer's vouchers, and a copy of the 
inventory of personal property, &c., be deposited with the New York Histori- 
cal Society." 



The Two Systems Consolidated 125 

This behest was carried out, and the records of the Public 
School Society are now in the building of the Historical Society, 
at Second avenue and Eleventh street. Unfortunately, the 
first book of minutes of the Board of Trustees cannot be found. 

Some time previously the Society had invited the Board of 
Education to hold its meetings in Trustees' Hall, and the Board 
was in session in another room at the time the Society was 
holding its closing meeting, which was ended with a brief 
address by Vice-President Peter Cooper. At the proper time 
the members duly elected to represent the Society in the Board 
of Education were welcomed to their seats in that Board, and 
resolutions were adopted as follows : 

" Resolved, That the Public School Society is entitled to the lasting 
gratitude of the people of this city, and of the friends of education generally, 
for their unremitted and successful efforts, continued through nearly half a 
century, in disseminating the blessings of education and virtue among thou- 
sands who otherwise would have been allowed to grow up in ignorance and 
vice. 

"Resolved, That we cordially welcome to their seats in this Board, 
Thomas B. Stillman, Linus W. Stevens, Peter Cooper, William H. Neilson, 
John T. Adams, Israel Russell, Joseph B. Collins, John Davenport, James F. 
De Peyster. Benjamin R. Winthrop, Charles E. Pierson, M.D., William P. 
Cooledge, Henry H. Barrow, Joseph Curtis, and John W. C. Leveridge, who 
have been so selected as members thereof, and that we rejoice in the confident 
hope that the cause of public education will be strengthened by the union now 
completed, and will receive at their hands the same faithful, intelligent, and 
disinterested service which it has hitherto received from their enlightened 
philanthropy and patriotism." 

The adoption of these resolutions, with appropriate remarks 
from old and new members of the Board, completed the act of 
transfer. 



CHAPTER XVI 
GREAT WORK OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SOCIETY 

No record of the history of the Public School Society would 
be complete without special and honorable mention of the very 
great work which it accomplished for the city during a period 
covering forty-eight years. The unselfishness and devotion of 
its Trustees in their efforts to establish a general system of 
education, after they had grown up to the idea of free public 
education as a right, from the wholly different idea with which 
they started in 1805, have few parallels in the records of philan- 
thropy. The personal attention which they gave to the schools 
under their care was extraordinary. The Annual Report for 
1840 contains the following note: " During the past year 11,844 
visits have been made by the Trustees to the Public and Pri- 
mary Schools under their care " ; and a similar note in the 
Report for the following year states the number of visits as 

I4JII2. 1 

The opinion of the Board of Education on the work of the 
Society is indicated by the resolutions quoted in the preceding 
chapter and by the following extract from the Annual Report 
for 1853 : 

" Thus by voluntary surrender terminated the separate 
corporate existence of a Society that, during nearly half a 
century of unremitted and unrequited philanthropic labor in the 
noblest of causes, imposed upon this city a debt of gratitude 
that can never be fitly estimated, much less repaid. During 
that period it has conferred the blessing of instruction on 

1 The number of Trustees in these years was eighty-seven and eighty-nine, respec- 
tively, not including the ex officio members of the Board. 

126 



Great Work of the Public School Society 127 

600,000 children, and more than twelve hundred teachers. So 
long as the influence of those children and their teachers shall 
be felt, and when will it cease ? so long shall the usefulness 
of the Public School Society continue. Its inventories, vouchers, 
documents and reports, and records of its routine of business 
have been properly deposited with the New York Historical 
Society ; but history can never tell how much those unostenta- 
tious details have contributed to the safety, prosperity and 
glory of this great metropolitan city" (p. 41). 

That these sentiments were not occasioned by the union 
lately consummated is plainly seen if we refer to the first 
Annual Report made by the Board of Education, in 1843, where 
this statement is found : 

" No part of the United States has ever enjoyed in greater 
perfection, the advantages of common school education, than 
has the city of New York. Under the fostering care of unob- 
trusive and unostentatious benevolence, a system of education 
has been maturing, which combines the advantages of voluntary 
association with those of public supervision, and extends the 
benefits of education more generally, perfectly and economi- 
cally, than any other known system in the world." 

The historian of the Public School Society, William Oland 
Bourne, pays the following tribute to the devoted men who 
served it as Trustees : 

" The controlling principle in the minds of these faithful 
officers, next to a sense of their duty as ' men who must give 
an account,' was a consciousness that they were invested with 
a grave and momentous trust, which made them responsible 
to their fellow-citizens for the performance of an honorable 
stewardship. The men who composed the Society, with few, if 
any, exceptions, were not those who would abandon their post 
of duty for trifling considerations, or yield passively to the 
storms of prejudice or of opposition which might be raised 
around them for the overthrow of their institution. With a 
high appreciation of the position they held as the founders of 



128 The New York Public School 

a system of popular instruction designed for the tens of thou- 
sands of youth of a great metropolis, their endeavor was, with 
a single purpose, to extend, advance, and ennoble it with each 
passing year, in the hope that it would be rendered more 
massive and more enduring by successive labors, until it should 
rest upon a basis as broad as humanity and as lasting as time " 



Mr. Bourne says, in another place, that the Society was 
"intimately associated with the advancement of all the great 
institutions of learning and of benevolence which were con- 
temporaneous with its own existence, not less than of the city 
of 1 which it was an ornament, and upon which it conferred 
benefits as great as they were invaluable and enduring" 

(P- 599)- 

In the Introduction to his comprehensive History of the 
Society, Mr. Bourne calls attention to the long terms of service 
of many of the Trustees, and points out that thirty of them 
"gave seven hundred and seventy-six years of service to the 
public schools, being an average of nearly twenty-five years" 
while " twenty-five other gentlemen served an average of fifteen 
years " (p. xvi). 1 

1 Mr. Bourne's roll of honor contains the following names, the figures indicating 
the years of service in each case : 

Stephen Allen ....... 28 Lewis Halleck ....... 22 

Leonard Bleecker ...... 25 Hiram Ketchum ....... 26 

Micah Baldwin ....... 1 8 Abraham R. Lawrence ..... 19 

James B. Brinsmade ..... 26 Lindley Murray ....... 29 

De Witt Clinton ....... 23 Samuel F. Mott ....... 20 

Benjamin Clark ....... 25 James McBrair ....... 21 

Robert C. Cornell ...... 25 William Mandeville ...... 18 

William W. Chester ...... 24 Charles Oakley ....... 19 

Joseph B. Collins ...... 25 James Palmer ........ 29 

Lyman Cobb ........ 19 George Pardow ....... 18 

James F. De Peyster ...... 29 Samuel W. Seton . ...... 29 

Mahlon Day ........ 24 Najah Taylor ........ 37 

John Groshon, Jr ....... 23 George T. Trimble ...... 35 

John R. Hurd ........ 32 Samuel Wood ........ 20 

Timothy Hedges ....... 25 A. V. Williams ....... 23 



Great Work of the Public School Society 129 

Mr. Boese, in his History, sums up the work of the Public 
School Society in these words : 

" When we reflect upon the amount of labor which nearly 
half a century of vigilance and activity involved, the skill and 
prudence with which they conducted an enterprise involving 
questions of such magnitude, responsibility, and delicacy the 
valuable time given through so long a series of years by men 
whose business relations made time precious, with no recom- 
pense other than the consciousness of duty performed, and the 
gratifying evidences that their labor was not in vain when we 
remember that millions of the public money passed through 
their hands, and not one dollar had ever been diverted from its 
legitimate service, and that at the close of their long service, 
and notwithstanding their embarrassments, they transferred to 
the control of the Board of Education property valued at over 
$600,000, and which, when every liability was discharged, still 
amounted to nearly half a million when we consider that 
through their instrumentality not less than 600,000 youth had 
been instructed, and over one thousand two hundred teachers 
educated and trained to service, we cannot but feel that every 
friend of popular instruction and every lover of his race 
must hold this remarkable Society in grateful remembrance " 
(pp. 82, 83). 

"We cannot," says Mr. Randall, "take leave of this Society, 
which had thus for nearly half a century assumed the charge 
of the free education of the children of the city, the members 
of which, consisting of men of the highest character and stand- 
ing in the community, had for that long period gratuitously 
devoted their time and services to the promotion and advance- 
ment of popular education, without the tribute of our highest 
regard and esteem for their disinterested exertions, and the in- 
calculable amount of good which their untiring zeal and devotion 
were enabled to accomplish in behalf of the rising generation." 1 

These tributes to the Public School Society may be brought 

1 History of the Common School System of the State of New York, p. 313. 



130 The New York Public School 

to a fitting close with an extract from an address made in 1890 
by the Hon. Andrew S. Draper, then Superintendent of Public 
Instruction for the State of New York, and now the New York 
State Commissioner of Education : 

"Even the briefest narration of the development of the 
State school system would be unfaithful which failed to make 
mention of a great organization known as the ' Public School 
Society of the City of New York.' It was chartered by the 
Legislature in 1805, and was composed of the foremost citizens 
of the metropolis. Its object, as stated in its charter, was to 
establish ' a free school in the city of New York for the educa- 
tion of such poor children as do not belong to or are not pro- 
vided for by any religious society.' This illustrates the prevailing 
sentiment of the time concerning the relation which society 
should sustain to common education better than any language 
of mine can do it. In acting up to the spirit of the times, and 
in carrying out the beneficent objects for which it was created, 
this society won the gratitude of the ages. It received public 
and private contributions and tuition fees for the support of its 
work, it controlled all the public schools in the city for nearly 
fifty years, and exerted a strong influence upon the educational 
opinion of the country. At its dissolution in 1853 it had super- 
vised the instruction of 600,000 children, and it turned over 
to the Board of Education of the city of New York property 
worth more than $450,000." 1 

The citations given leave little to be added in regard to the 
work of this unique Society. That work certainly has had no 
parallel in any other city in this country. Too high praise can- 
not be given to the noble men who founded the Society, watched 
its expansion, and scrutinized its work so carefully. Their 
service to the public was of the kind that cannot be purchased. 
As Mr. Bourne well says, they were a "rare collection of men 
distinguished alike for their moral and intellectual character, 
their philanthropy, their positions as business and professional 

1 Origin and Development of the New York Common School System. 



Great Work of the Public School Society 131 

men, and the stations which some of them have held in the 
State" (Introduction, p. xvii). As nearly as maybe, they were 
without bias, political or religious, and were uninfluenced by 
partisan considerations of any kind. While religious men and 
firm believers in moral and religious training, they strove dili- 
gently to keep their schools free from sectarianism and accessible 
to children of all faiths. 

Great and zealous as was the work of the Society during 
its existence of nearly half a century, however,, the impartial 
student of local history cannot deem its dissolution a calamity 
to the city. In a sense, it had outlived its usefulness. At the 
middle of the last century the time had come for the people to 
take into their own hands the important matter of common school 
education. Although the members of the Society surrendered 
reluctantly, they recognized the force of public sentiment, and 
saw that it was useless to continue the struggle longer against 
hopeless odds. Had the union effected in 1853 been postponed 
a few years, the Society, with its restricted resources, its burden 
of debt, its more or less dilapidated buildings, and its outgrown 
system of instruction, would inevitably have declined in influ- 
ence and prestige. As it was, fairly satisfactory terms were 
made, and a large group of experienced and influential men 
became members of the Board of Education and were able to 
exert a commanding influence in the councils of that body for 
several years. 



CHAPTER XVII 
FIRST DECADE OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 

As has already been stated (see Chapter XIV), the Board 
of Education was not able to open any schools during the 
first year of its existence. After that, owing to greatly needed 
amendments in the law and to other circumstances, its growth 
and development were rapid, so that by 1851 the attendance at 
its schools was larger than that at the schools of the Public 
School Society. The law of 1842, creating the Board, was so 
defective that it gave the Board of Education no control over 
the amount or object for which any expenditure might be made, 
and there was no provision which placed money when raised at 
the disposal of the Board. The first Annual Report (adopted 
May 30, 1843) contains this pathetic statement: "The board 
have therefore not applied any funds to erect, purchase, or lease 
school houses, or to procure the sites therefor, or the fitting up 
thereof, simply because no funds have come into their hands 
for that purpose." Oddly enough, the funds for opening the 
first of the district schools (as they were originally called) were 
provided from private sources. 

" Impatient of the delays that have intervened since the enactment of the 
new law, a public spirited gentleman, with a few associates in the Twelfth 
Ward, has determined to assume the pecuniary responsibility of opening a 
school forthwith, on the Third Avenue, near the intersection of Forty-ninth 
Street. The necessity of having a school opened in that neighborhood has 
been admitted, and the undertaking sanctioned by the Trustees and Commis- 
sioners of that Ward. It is believed that there are nearly three hundred 
children in that neighborhood unprovided with a school. Trusting for reim- 
bursement from the school revenues to accrue in May next, the gentlemen 

132 




EARLY PRESIDENTS OF THE NEW YORK BOARD OF EDUCATION 
1. George W. Strong. 3. William E. Curtis. 5. Townsend Harris. 



2. Thomas Jeremiah. 



4. Robert Kelly. 



6. Erastus C. Benedict. 



First Decade of the Board of Education 133 



before referred to, with the sanction of the Trustees and Commissioners of the 
Ward, have taken the best building to be found in the neighborhood for a 
school house, and a carpenter is now preparing the necessary fixtures. Teach- 
ers of excellent character and qualifications have been engaged and licensed ; 
and it is intended to open the school on Monday of the ensuing week. The 
house, however, is not by far large enough to accommodate the children 
now waiting for admission ; and it is hoped that a new edifice, constructed 
expressly for school purposes, will be erected without unnecessary delay." l 

The first Annual Report showed five district schools, one 
district primary school, and one district colored school. The 
expansion of the system during the next few years may be seen 
from the following tabular statement : 



YEAR 


SCHOOLS 
FOR BOYS 


WARD 
SCHOOLS 


SCHOOLS 
FOR GIRLS 


PRIMARY 
DEPTS. 


PRIMARY 
SCHOOLS 


COLORED 
SCHOOLS 


1844 


II 




14 


2 


3 


I 


1845 


13 




16 


10 


2 


I 


1846 


13 




17 


II 


2 


I 


1847 


13 




17 


12 


2 


I 


1848 




47 






2 


2 


1849 




59 






3 


2 


1850 




65 






2 


2 


1851 




7i 






2 


2 


1852 




75 






2 


3 



The Annual Report for 1849 stated the cost of the buildings 
and lots occupied by the ward schools as $337,010.52. 

According to the same report, the cost of supporting the 
common schools of the city, including the schools of the Public 
School Society and the corporate schools, but not including the 

1 Report of William L. Stone, Deputy Superintendent of Common Schools, to 
the Board of Education, January 9, 1843. A building for Ward School No. I was 
erected in 1844 at Lexington avenue and Fifty-first street, on land granted by the 
Corporation. A new building, in Fifty-first street, between Lexington and Fourth 
avenues, was built in 1855 ; it was extensively altered and repaired in 1866, and 
wings were added in 1892. Since 1853 this school has borne the number 18. 



134 The New York Public School 

amount expended for new school buildings, for the years given 
below, was as follows : 

Year ending May i, 1843 $129,809.42 

Year ending May i, 1844 185,420.00 

Year ending May i, 1845 200,973.66 

Year ending May i, 1846 189,107.17 

Year ending May i, 1847 194,034.17 

Year ending May i, 1848 211,802.94 

Year ending May i, 1849 230,585.74 

The character of the buildings erected by the Board of 
Education improved as time went on. Mr. Boese states that 
"in 1849, three additional school buildings were opened, and at 
the same time introduced a new order of school structures. 
They were of much greater size, so that nearly two thousand 
children could be accommodated in a single building, while 
their attractive and conspicuous appearance at once arrested the 
attention of the passer-by " (p. 76). 

In an address to the Board of Education on June 16, 1851, 
Mr. E. C. Benedict, the President, said : " The effect of the 
opposition which the present school system encountered, when 
first adopted, was to induce the Ward Officers of that period to 
adopt the course which had been previously pursued by those 
having charge of the Public Schools, of placing the schools in 
neighborhoods where various circumstances combined to make 
land cheap and to cause it to be occupied by large numbers of 
the poorer citizens. The schools were considered as schools 
for the poor, and the whole system was looked upon as a sort 
of public charity. The Commissioners and Inspectors had no 
experience in building school houses and no examples but those 
of the Public School Society, which had been located and con- 
structed under similar influences. The result could not fail to 
be as it has been. Many of the earlier schools were placed in 
unwholesome or otherwise disagreeable situations the build- 
ings were ill-contrived, badly ventilated and over crowded. The 
power to discontinue such schools, now that better notions on 



First Decade of the Board of Education 135 

the subject prevail, is an important power, which is by this Act 
[the law passed July 3, 1851] first created, specifically, and 
regulated." 

Some years prior to the absorption of the Public School 
Society, the Board of Education had taken two very important 
steps in the expansion of its work. One was the establishment 
of evening schools ; the other was the foundation of the Free 
Academy. 

It has already been told (see Chapter XI), how the Public 
School Society in the fourth decade of the century felt the im~ 
portance of evening schools for the benefit of apprentices and 
others unable to attend day schools, and how the experiment 
made in 1833, and for a few years following, failed because of 
the attempt to require the regular teachers to give instruction 
in the evening schools without additional compensation. The 
Board of Education was wise enough to avoid that mistake., and, 
indeed, did not enter on this work until specially empowered by 
law to do so. The Board had not been in existence long before 
the necessity of evening schools was impressed upon the minds 
of its members. In June, 1846, resolutions were adopted call- 
ing upon the County Superintendent of Schools, William A. 
Walker, for his views on the propriety, practicability, and utility 
of establishing such schools, and in July a favorable report was 
presented by him. In January following a select committee, 
consisting of Edward B. Fellows, John L. Mason, James W. 
Bleecker, and George Paulding, submitted a unanimous report 
in favor of such schools, and recommended the enactment of a 
law to provide for their establishment and support. 

An act was passed by the Legislature in that year (1847), 
authorizing the expenditure of $6000 per annum for the purpose. 
In November, 1847, six schools were opened for a term of 
seventeen weeks. Unlike the ward schools, which were under 
the control of the ward Trustees, the evening schools were 
placed in charge of a standing committee of the Board of Edu- 
cation. The result of the new departure was most gratifying 



136 The New York Public School 

to all interested. The number of pupils registered was 3224, 
and the average attendance 1224. Admission was refused to 
hundreds. Thirty-one teachers were employed, and the total ex- 
pense amounted to $6089.46, a sum, according to the first report 
of the Committee on Evening Schools, " truly insignificant when 
compared with the great good that has been accomplished." 

It is significant that the first set of rules and regulations 
adopted for these schools contained a provision that " no cor- 
poreal (sic) punishment shall be allowed in any of the evening 
schools." The rules also provided that the salary of a principal 
teacher should be $175 per term, and that of an assistant from 
$80 to $125. 

The first evening schools were for men and boys only, but, 
at the solicitation of the Board of Education, a law was enacted in 
1848 authorizing schools for women and girls and increasing the 
expenditure to $15,000. The report of the committee in charge 
for 1849 showed fifteen schools in existence (eleven for men and 
boys and four for women and girls), attended by 6976 pupils and 
employing seventy-two teachers, the cost being $14,289.78. 
f The establishment of the Free Academy was the first 
movement in New York toward supplying secondary education. 
The genesis of this institution, which will form the subject of a 
later chapter, cannot be better told than in the language of the 
fifteenth Annual Report of the Board of Education : 

" The germ of its existence was the appointment of a com- 
mittee by the Board of Education to inquire into the expediency 
of applying to the Legislature ' for the passage of a law author- 
izing the establishment of a High School or College for the 
benefit of pupils who have been educated in the Public Schools 
of the city and county.' On the 2Oth of January, 1847, the 
majority of the committee presented a report, in which they 
'recommend that the Board should take the necessary steps 
to establish a Free College or Academy/ and provide for the 
appointment of a committee to draft a memorial to the Legis- 
lature in accordance therewith. This report was adopted, and 



First Decade of the Board of Education 137 

the committee thereupon appointed, presented a memorial, 
which was approved by the Board, and forwarded in its name to 
the Legislature. This memorial states that ' one object of the 
proposed free institution, is to create an additional interest in, 
and more completely popularize the common schools. It is 
believed that they will be regarded with additional favor and 
attended with increased satisfaction, when the pupils and their 
parents feel that the children who have received their primary 
education in these schools can be admitted to all the benefits 
and advantages furnished by the best endowed college in the 
State, without any expense whatever.' 'The Legislature re- 
sponded to this memorial by the passage of a law authorizing 
the Free Academy, giving the Board of Education absolute 
power 'to direct the course of studies therein,' and providing 
that the question of establishing the same should be submitted 
to the vote of the people. The question was so submitted, and 
the result was 19,404 in favor of the Free. Academy to 3409 
against it" (pp. 71, 72). 

The Free Academy was opened on January 27, 1849. ^- n 
1866 it became the College of the City of New York, and 
passed under the control of a Board of Trustees consisting of 
the members of the Board of Education and the President of 
the institution. In 1900 a Board of Trustees separate from the 
Board of Education was appointed for it, the President of the 
latter Board being ex officio a trustee of the College. 

" The anticipated influence of the new institution was fully 
realized. Thousands who had heretofore held aloof from all 
public schools now sent their children, and, in consequence, 
took direct and active interest in school affairs, and in the 
selection of proper parties for their management." 1 

The lack of uniformity in the salaries paid to teachers and 
the prices paid for supplies was greatly deplored by the Board 
of Education in its earlier years. The Annual Report for 1850 
(p. 19) commented on the " eighteen distinct organizations, con- 

1 Boese, p. 75. 



138 The New York Public School 

sisting of the trustees of the several Wards," which had " full 
power to employ teachers, select and purchase books, and to 
furnish supplies for the Ward Schools of their respective 
Wards," and regretted that under conditions as they existed the 
officials in one ward were unable to benefit by the experience 
of others. A " wise uniformity " in the matter of supplies was 
suggested as a means of reducing expenses. Reference was 
also made to the disproportion in salaries, and it was pointed 
out that the lowest average cost per scholar in any ward on 
account of teachers' salaries alone was $4.00 and the highest 
$7.15. The salary problem proved the more difficult, and was 
not solved for many years. In the matter of supplies, however, 
the Board wisely followed the plan worked out by the Public 
School Society as the result of long experience. In the ward 
schools all books and other supplies were furnished to the pupils 
without cost, as had been done by the Society from the beginning, 
but the result of buying them by officials in the several wards 
was soon seen to be wasteful and extravagant. A strong report 
in favor of a uniform system was presented by the Committee 
on Supplies in December, 1851, and in May, 1852, the new 
system was adopted. 

" The Society had great advantages in the economy of supplies, as all were 
purchased by a special committee, and upon requisition made at the general 
Depository, distributed at stated times, and under stringent regulations, to the 
several departments. The same system was now [after the union effected in 
1853] made general. The old Depository in the Trustees' Hall, now the Hall 
of the Board, was enlarged and stocked, pass-books for the monthly requisitions 
furnished, each order to be signed by the principal of the department, and 
approved by the proper ward officers, and an exact account kept of the 
supplies furnished, and the cost thereof to each school the amount to be 
limited by a ' tariff of supplies ' annually furnished as a part of the by-laws, 
and based upon the annual average attendance and the general experience as 
to the quantity of each of the several articles required. The order being sent to 
the Depository-clerk, the supplies were delivered at the several schools on a day 
fixed in the by-laws, the city being divided into convenient districts for the 
purpose." 1 

1 Boese, p. 86. 



First Decade of tJie Board of Education 1 39 

OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 1842 TO 1853 

President 

George W. Strong * .... 1842,1843 
Thomas Jeremiah 1 .... 1843,1844 
Gerardus Clark * .... 1844,1845 
Isaac A. Johnson * .... 1845,1846 
Townsend Harris * .... 1846,1847 

Robert Kelly 1 1848-1850 

Erastus C. Benedict x . . . . 1850-1853 

Clerk 

John A. Stewart .... 1842-1850 (to March 2oth) 
Edward B. Fellows 1 . . . . 1850 (from March 3oth to June 1 9th) 
Albert Gilbert ! 1850 (from June 19^-1853 

City Superintendent of Schools 
Joseph McKeen, 1 .... 1851-1853 

1 Deceased. 



CHAPTER XVIII 
BOARD OF EDUCATION 1853 TO 1860 

THE Public School Society turned over to the Board of 
Education at the union consummated on August i, 1853, seven- 
teen public school buildings (No. 10 had been sold a few weeks 
before the union, owing to the proposed widening of Duane 
street, changes in the neighborhood, and the erection of a large 
ward school in the vicinity 1 ) and fifty-three primary schools 
(many of them in leased rooms), besides two public schools and 
three primary schools for colored children. The law establish- 
ing the Board of Education, as amended soon after 1842, pro- 
vided that the schools of the Board should be "numbered 
consecutively, according to the time of their organization." 
The act of June 4, 1853, prescribed that, after the dissolution 
of the Public School Society, " then and from thenceforth the 
common schools in the city of New York shall be numbered 
consecutively by the Board of .Education." It has already 
appeared that the schools of the Society were designated by 
numbers from the beginning. These schools were allowed to 
retain their original numbers, thus maintaining their identity 
and preserving historic continuity, except as a change was nec- 
essary on account of the dropping out of No. 10; and the 
schools established by the Board, both ward and primary, were 
renumbered accordingly, the new numbers following those of 
the public .schools consecutively. The primary schools of the 

1 This building would not have been sold if the bill providing for the dissolution 
of the Society had been passed at the regular session of the Legislature. (See Bourne, 
pp. 575 and 702.) The school was closed on the 3Oth of June, 1853. 

140 



Board of Education /^5J to 1860 141 

city were numbered separately until 1897. The system of desig- 
nating the schools of New York by numbers, besides having 
the sanction of a century's use, has the great merit of conven- 
ience, and is comparable in this respect with the scheme of 
numerically designated streets. 

Henceforth the schools of the Public School Society were 
designated as ward schools. Most of the schools, both public 
and ward, consisted of three departments, so that the total num- 
ber of schools under the jurisdiction of the Board of Education 
at the time it assumed complete control of common school edu- 
cation in the city was 214, not including ten so-called corporate 
schools, which were entitled to share in the school moneys. 
The corporate schools were : New York Orphan Asylum, Ro- 
man Catholic Orphan Asylum, Roman Catholic Half-Orphan 
Asylum, Protestant Half-Orphan Asylum, Mechanics' Society 
School, Society for Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents, Ham- 
ilton Free School, Leake and Watts Orphan House, American 
Female Guardian Society, New York Juvenile Asylum, and 
Colored Orphan Asylum. Twenty-one of the 214 schools were 
specially devoted to colored children, and separate schools 1 
for such children were maintained in the city until 1884 (see 
Chapter XXI). 

The Board of Education now consisted of two Commis- 
sioners for each of the twenty-two wards 2 and the fifteen repre- 
sentatives of the Public School Society, making fifty-nine in all. 
The members selected by the Society remained in office until 
January i, 1855, and for ten years thereafter the Board consisted 
of forty-four members. 

The total amount raised by the Board of Supervisors for 
school purposes for the year 1853 was $288,764.66, and the 

1 All the laws relating to public education in New York, up to the time of the 
enactment of the Revised Charter, in 1901, required special mention to be made of 
schools for colored children in the reports of the Board of Education. 

2 The Eighteenth Ward was erected in 1846, the Nineteenth in 1850, the 
Twentieth in 1851, and the Twenty-first and Twenty-second in 1853. 



142 The New York Public School 

whole amount drawn for educational purposes, including the 
erection of buildings, was $513,902.17. The whole number of 
pupils taught (corporate schools not included) was 119,059, and 
the average attendance, 41,061. If we count in the corporate 
schools, the figures were 123,530 and 43,740, respectively. The 
amount expended during the year for current expenses, includ- 
ing instruction, books, stationery and other supplies, repairs, 
janitors' salaries, and all other expenses, except sites and new 
buildings, was $381,327.07, or $3.08 per pupil, on the basis of 
total attendance. 1 On the basis of average attendance for a 
period of forty-six weeks, the cost per capita was $8.68. Dur- 
ing the year twenty-five evening schools were in operation, the 
registration being 9313 and the average attendance 3319; the 
cost was $17,563.77. In 1853 male principals of evening schools 
received $ 1 80, female principals $135, and teachers from $70 to 
$130 for the season. 

Mention must also be made of the normal schools, which 
had been established, as heretofore narrated, by the Public 
School Society, and now passed over to the Board of Education. 
There were three of these, known as the Male Normal School, 
the Female Normal School, and the Colored Normal School. 
All held their sessions at the Hall of the Board, the school for 
men teachers in the evening (ten hours per week), and that for 
women on Saturday (five hours per week). Under the Society, 
these schools had been open to the teachers of the ward 
schools, but comparatively few availed themselves of the oppor- 
tunity of attending, whereas all the junior teachers in the 
Society's schools had been required to attend or forfeit their 
positions. 

The Board of Education placed these schools in charge of an 
able Executive Committee on Normal Schools, which included 
two former Trustees of the Society (who had served as mem- 
bers of the Society's Committee on Normal Schools), and the 

1 So on p. 26, Annual Report, 1853. Somewhat different figures are to be found 
on p. 87. 



Board of Education 1$53 to 1860 143 

new Committee was earnestly supported by the Board in the 
measures which it suggested, requiring the attendance of all 
teachers below the grade of principal, unless duly excused. 
The Annual Report for the year under review speaks of the 
normal school established by the Public School Society as " more 
properly, a training school for those actually occupied in teach- 
ing " ; and the first report of the Executive Committee contained 
the following : " The Normal Schools of the Board of Educa- 
tion are in their character different from most other normal 
institutions known to the Committee. They are more practical 
in their nature for the reason that the pupils are teachers in 
fact and are acquiring a knowledge of the art of teaching from 
the pursuit of that business which they have actually entered 
upon as the profession of their choice, and from which they are 
obtaining their support." 

"Another important measure," says Mr. Boes6, "was the 
enlargement of the Normal School accommodations and the 
passage of by-laws establishing a Normal School Committee, 
and enforcing the attendance of teachers under conditions analo- 
gous, as far as the difference of circumstance would admit, to 
those which had previously applied to the Public Schools only. 
Provision was also made for an annual graduation of qualified 
pupils, based upon an examination of the school, conducted by 
the City Superintendent and under the supervision of the com- 
mittee. The attendance soon rose in the Female Saturday 
Normal School from about two hundred to nearly six hundred, 
the Male Normal School and the School for Colored Teachers 
receiving proportionate accessions. The term normal, which 
early attached to these institutions, was not well chosen, as no 
normal instruction was given. They were really supplementary 
schools for teachers who did not hold the highest grade of 
certificates as to scholarship " (p. 87). 

Fourteen teachers were employed in the normal schools. 
A Daily Normal School was established in the early part of 
1856, and was continued until February, 1859. 



144 The New York Public School 

The highest salary paid to the principal of a boys' department 1 
was $1500, and the lowest $600; the salaries of principals of 
girls' departments ranged from $800 (in a single instance) to 
$300; in the primary departments from $500 to $250; in the 
primary schools from $400 to $200. Many teachers received 
no more than $100, and in the primary schools salaries as low 
as $75 and $50 per annum were paid. There was no established 
tenure of office for teachers, they being " subject to the caprice 
of those who have power to remove them " (i.e., the ward Trus- 
tees), to quote from an address of President Benedict to the 
Board of Education on June 16, 1851. Mr. Benedict added: 

" On a change of Ward Officers, all the Teachers in a school have been 
dismissed together, with certificates of good character and conduct ! While 
there should be a proper power to remove Teachers, it is very desirable that 
Teachers should have that reasonable security which shall induce them to 
adopt teaching as a profession, in which ability and zeal shall be sure of 
success." 

The law enacted July 3, 1851, entitled "An Act to amend, 
consolidate, and reduce to one act, the various acts relative to 
the Common Schools of the City of New York," contained 
numerous important provisions enlarging the powers of the 
Board of Education. Under the educational laws passed early 
in the '40*5, school officers (Commissioners, Inspectors, and Trus- 
tees) were elected at special elections held in June. Experi- 
ence soon proved that these elections aroused little public 
interest, and after a few years the law was amended so that 
school officers were chosen at the general elections ; but the per- 
sons elected did not enter on their duties until some nine months 
afterward. This was changed in 1851, the fiscal and official 
year being made to begin on the 1st of January. The financial 
system, which under the old law was "cumbrous, complicated 
and expensive," was also changed. Instead of being paid to 

1 The terms " Male Department " and " Female Department," with the contrac- 
tions " M.D." and " F.D.," were used officially by the Board of Education for many 
years. 



Board of Education /<?5J to 1860 145 

the different Commissioners, by whom separate accounts were 
kept, the Board having no real control of the funds or the 
accounts, 1 all school moneys were paid into the city treasury, 
and upon the funds there deposited the Board drew directly for 
all school purposes. By the new law, the Free Academy and 
the evening schools were made parts of the common school 
system. Augmented powers were given to the local officers of 
the wards. On this point a further quotation from the address 
of Mr. Benedict, above referred to, is apposite : 

" Upon the local officers must always depend the character and respectabil- 
ity of the schools. The present system could never have existed, nor could 
it now be maintained if it did not properly respect the many and various 
shades of political, religious and social opinions and practices which prevail 
in particular localities. . . . Under the Act now to go into operation, the 
School Officers of each ward are a single Board for many important purposes, 
while each class of officers has, also, its appropriate function. The Trustees 
of the wards seem to have been always intended by the law to be the respon- 
sible and controlling power in the management of the schools. For obvious 
reasons, this should be so, and the new law has been careful rather to increase 
than to diminish the breadth and scope of their powers, and the respectability 
and influence of their position. The elected Trustees constitute a clear 
majority of the whole Board of School Officers, and may, therefore, be properly 
said to be clothed with the powers of that Board, which are numerous and 
important." 

The law further provided that the Board should make rules 
and regulations " to secure proper economy and accountability 
in the expenditure of the school moneys." This was construed 
to mean the power to adopt a uniform system of purchasing 
supplies, and such a system was adopted and put in force in 
1852, as described in the preceding chapter. 

A very important provision of the act gave the Board power 
to appoint a City Superintendent of Schools and one or more 

1 See Mr. Benedict's address, mentioned above. He remarked, as an illustration 
of the carelessness with which business was transacted under the old system, that he 
had received notices from the bank to the effect that " the account of the Board was 
overdrawn to very large amounts at one time $80,000 with no means of correcting 
the evil." 



146 The New York Public School 

Assistant Superintendents, and also a Superintendent of School 
Buildings. For a number of years (from 1841) there had been 
a County Superintendent of Schools, elected by the Board of 
Supervisors, and not directly amenable to the Board of Educa- 
tion. The City Superintendent was empowered to visit schools, 
to inquire into all matters relating to the government, course of 
instruction, books, studies, discipline, and conduct of the schools, 
and the condition of the schoolhouses, to advise and counsel 
with the Trustees regarding these matters, to ascertain whether 
the provisions of law relative to sectarian religious teaching and 
books had been violated, etc. ; and also to examine candidates 
for teacherships and grant certificates to those entitled thereto, 
to annul such licenses under certain conditions, etc. The first 
incumbent of this office was Joseph McKeen, who had been 
County Superintendent from 1848. In 1854 Samuel S. Ran- 
dall, who had been Deputy State Superintendent of Common 
Schools, was elected City Superintendent, and Mr. McKeen 
became an Assistant Superintendent, serving as such until his 
death, in I856. 1 

The first Superintendent of School Buildings was Amnon 
Macvey, who had been for many years superintendent of the 
workshop of the Public School Society. Mr. Macvey's first 
title under the Board of Education was superintendent of the 
repairing shop, and the salary proposed for that position was 
$1500. 

The growth of the school system for the first ten years of 
the existence of the Board is shown by the following excerpt 
from the report of Superintendent McKeen, presented to the 
Board on December 23, 1853: "Comparing the present year 
with ten years ago, we bring out this remarkable fact : that 
while the city has had the enormous increase of 60 per cent, the 
school attendance has increased 120 per cent." 

While the courses of instruction in the schools in 1853 

1 The salary of the City Superintendent was originally $1500, "including the 
expenses of his office." 



Board of Education 1853 to 1860 147 

varied in some particulars, as different teachers and boards of 
school officers arranged the details differently, the following 
" full synopsis of them as they substantially exist," taken from 
the Annual Report for 1853 (pp. 15, 16), may be of interest: 

PRIMARY DEPARTMENT 

ist Class. Alphabetical Cards. 

2.d Class. Spell and read monosyllables. 

^d Class. Kay's Reader, No. 2, and Sanders' Spellers ; Tables of Addition. 

tfh Class. Same as 3d, with ciphering through Addition. 

$th Class. Webb's Reader, No. 2, Swan's Speller, Price's Table-book, 
and ciphering through Multiplication. 

6th Class. Webb's Reader, No. 3, Pierson's Speller and Tables, Mon- 
teith's Geography, and ciphering through Division. 

From the last-named Class the promotions are made to the Upper Depart- 
ments. 

UPPER DEPARTMENTS 

MALE DEPARTMENTS 

Class 1st. Receives the promotions from the Primary Department; and 
reviews the simple rules, and becomes thoroughly acquainted with the Tables 
of Weights and Measures ; also studies Geography. 

Class id. Federal Money and Denominate Numbers as far as Compound 
Multiplication ; pursues the study of Geography also ; Spelling from Dictation 
thoroughly taught. 

Class ^d. Denominate Numbers and Reduction ; commences the study 
of Grammar, and becomes proficient in Geography. 

Class 4//J. Rule of Three and Fractions, History of the United States, 
English Grammar and Composition, Geography, Spelling, 

Class $th. As far as the Square and Cube Roots ; thorough course of 
Historical and Grammatical Instruction; and commences the study of 
Algebra.^ 

C fas s 6th. Is subdivided into two classes; the pupils of which are pre- 
paring for admission into the Free Academy, by pursuing the course of study 
requisite to the accomplishment of that end. 

All the Classes are taught Penmanship, Declamation and Drawing. 

FEMALE DEPARTMENT 

1st Class. Sanders' Spelling Book, Underhill's Table-book, Parley's 
Geography, Sanders' Third Reader, Davies' Arithmetic Numeration, Addi- 
tion and Subtraction. 



148 The New York Piiblic School 

id Class. Sanders' Spelling Book, Underbill's Table-book, Parley's Geog- 
raphy, Angell's Fourth Reader, Davies' Arithmetic Multiplication and Sub- 
traction. 

3^ Class. Swan's Speller, Price's Table-book, Hazen's First Grammar, 
Fitch's Geography, Angell's Fifth Reader, Davies' Arithmetic Division, 
Short and Long. 

Afh Class. Hazen's Definer, Price's Table-book, Hazen's First Grammar, 
Clark's Astronomy, Goodrich's Geography Reading Books: Willard's His- 
tory of the United States, Webb's Fourth Reader Davies' Arithmetic, 
through Reduction, and Federal Money. 

$th Class. Gummere's Spelling-book, Price's Table-book, Wells' Gram- 
mar, Davenport's History of the United States, Clark's Astronomy, Goodrich's 
Geography Reading Books : Robbins' Outlines of History, Tower's Fourth 
Reader Davies' Arithmetic, through the Compound Rules. 

6th Class. Lynd's Etymology, Colburn's Mental Arithmetic, Hazen's 
Second Grammar, Scott's United States History, Mattison's Primary 
Astronomy, Goodrich's Geography Reading Books, Tower's Fifth Reader, 
Robbins' Outlines of History, Ackerman's Natural History Davies' Arith- 
metic, Fractions Vulgar and Decimal. 

7th Class. Thomas' Etymology, Colburn's Mental Arithmetic, Hazen's 
Second Grammar, Scott's United States, Bern's Chronology, Smith's Astron- 
omy, Mitchell's Geography, Pinneo's Hemans Reader, Davies' University 
Arithmetic, and Greenleaf's, from Decimal Fractions through the remainder 
of the book. 

The holidays, as fixed by the by-laws, were as follows : 
Every Saturday throughout the year ; the day celebrated as the 
anniversary of American Independence; Thanksgiving Day; 
the week commencing with the twenty-fifth of December and 
ending with New Year's Day, both inclusive; the Commence- 
ment Day of the Free Academy ; and the interval between the 
last Friday of July and the first Monday of September. 

In 1854 the course of studies was revised, enlarged, and 
simplified, and it was provided that vocal music should be taught 
and practised in the schools to as great an extent as possible. 
Singing had been a feature in the school exercises for several 
years and pianofortes had been used in many schools, having 
been hired or purchased by the school officers, or presented 
through the liberality of school officials or friends. Mr. Boese 



Board of Education 1853 to 1860 149 

says (p. 89) that in 1855 pianos were introduced into the boys' 
and primary departments and the primary schools, having pre- 
viously been " provided in part only for the female depart- 
ments." He adds: "This step has greatly influenced the 
discipline of the schools, and rendered them pleasant, cheerful, 
and attractive, besides introducing a beneficial vocal training." 
The revised course of study included drawing on slates and 
blackboards, in the primary grades, and elementary lessons on 
natural objects and in the elementary principles of mineralogy, 
geology, chemistry, and physiology, in the grammar grades. 
In November, 1854, by-laws were adopted providing that 

"the Ward Schools shall consist of Primary and Grammar Schools; the 
present Upper Departments shall be designated as Grammar Schools for Boys 
and Grammar Schools for Girls, respectively. Each School shall be divided 
into five classes, with as many subdivisions as may be necessary ; the highest 
or the most advanced class to be designated as No. i, and the lowest as No. 5. 
The subdivisions of classes shall be called Sections A, B, C, &c." 

The first attempt to provide a uniform schedule of salaries 
was made in 1854, when, after long deliberation, the Board 
adopted by-laws limiting the number and prescribing the posi- 
tions of the teachers to be employed in the several schools, and 
fixing a maximum salary for each position. By the schedule 
adopted the salaries of principals in the grammar schools ranged 
from $1500 (men) to $480 (women), and in the primary schools 
from $480 to $300, the rate depending in part on the attend- 
ance; vice-principals received from $1000 to $200; and assis- 
tant teachers from $600 to $100. The plan failed to produce 
the expected results, and the by-laws mentioned were repealed 
on March 21, 1855. The Annual Report for 1856, reviewing 
the subject, states that they were found "impracticable and 
injurious," and adds: 

" The endeavor to prescribe a uniform arrangement of the classes, without 
previously securing some degree of uniformity in the size and character of the 
schools, only resulted in an increase in the number of the teachers necessarily 
employed; and the attempt to limit the salaries by maximum rates, was 



150 The New York Public School 

effective to accomplish a systematic raise to the highest points. While in 
many cases the best teachers, being at the highest notch, could receive no 
increase, the poorer ones seldom failed to reach the maximum. It would be 
difficult to show that these by-laws in any case saved a single dollar ; while 
it is certain that they swelled the aggregate increase of salaries beyond what it 
would otherwise have been" (p. 44). 

The Hall of the Board was enlarged in 1854, at a cost of 
about $20,000, a fourth story being added ; and about the same 
time several schoolhouses were rebuilt, including two (Nos. 4 
and n) of those erected in the early part of the century by the 
Public School Society. In 1857 Grammar School 33 (Twenty- 
eighth street, near Ninth avenue) was built at a total cost 
(including the site) of $61,666.59. This was the most expensive 
building erected up to that time. The Annual Report for that 
year speaks of it as "an ornament to the city," and says that 
"in its architectural designs and internal arrangements" it is 
"justly regarded as the most beautiful and perfect Common 
School edifice in this or any other country." Some space in 
this report is devoted to answering criticisms levelled at the 
Board on account of the costliness of school buildings, the con- 
clusion being : " An examination of the subject will show that 
the largest, best situated, and most expensive school houses are 
the most economical, the educational results alone being con- 
sidered " (p. 24). 

The question of corporal punishment attracted attention as 
early as 1850, in which year a special committee was appointed 
to inquire and report on the " expediency of abolishing corporal 
punishment in every department of the Ward and Public Schools 
of the city of New York." The committee reported strong rea- 
sons against the use of the rod, and concluded with the following 
resolution : 

" Resolved, That the Board of Education earnestly recommend the In- 
spectors and Trustees of the several Ward and Public Schools to exert their 
united influence to abolish corporal punishment in every department of the 
Schools under their control." 



Board of Education 1853 to 1860 1 5 1 

The members of the committee signing the report were 
Dr. William A. Walters, Samuel A. Crapo, John McLean, and 
Wm. S. Duke. The report was presented on May 15, 1850, 
and lay on the table until October i6th, when it was taken 
up and the Clerk was ordered to send "copies to each of the 
Inspectors and Trustees of the several Ward and Public Schools 
to be distributed among the teachers." 

OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 1853 TO 1860 
President 

Erastus C. Benedict 1 1853,1854 

William H. Neilson 1 1855 and 1858-1859 

Andrew H. Green 1 1856,1857 

Richard Warren l 1859 

William E. Curtis 1 1860 

Clerk 

Albert Gilbert l 1853-1858 

Thomas Boesd 1 1858 (from June I3th)-i86o 

Superintendent of School Buildings 

Amnon Macvey l 1854-1860 

City Superintendent of Schools 

Joseph McKeen 1 1853,1854 

Samuel S. Randall * 1854 (from June 7th)-i86o 

Assistant Superintendents of Schools 

Joseph McKeen ! . . . . . . 1854 (from July 5th)-i856 

Samuel W. Seton l 1854 (from July 5th)-i 860 

Henry Kiddle l 1856-1860 

William Jones 1 1856-1860 

1 Deceased. 



CHAPTER XIX 
BOARD OF EDUCATION 1860 TO 1870 

DURING the decade from 1860 to 1870, two changes of im- 
portance were made in the laws relating to public education 
in New York City. The first occurred in 1864, when an act 
was passed (April 25th) establishing seven school districts; 
reducing the Board of Education from forty-four members, 
elected by wards, to twenty-one members, to be elected by dis- 
tricts, each district to elect one member each year (the title 
Commissioner of Common Schools being retained) l ; reducing 
the number of Trustees elected in each ward from eight to five, 
and providing for three Inspectors in each of the seven districts, 
to be nominated by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the 
Board of Education. 

The school districts were as follows : 

First First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Wards. 

Second Seventh, Tenth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Wards. 

Third Ninth and Sixteenth Wards. 

Fourth Eleventh and Seventeenth Wards. 

Fifth Fifteenth and Eighteenth Wards. 

Sixth Twentieth and Twenty-first Wards. 

Seventh Twelfth, Nineteenth, and Twenty-second Wards. 

The power of appointing teachers and janitors was retained 
in the hands of the Trustees, but nominations of principals and 
vice-principals, made by the Trustees, were subject to approval 
by the Board of Education, to which authority was also given in 
the matter of the removal of teachers. The new law provided 

1 It continued to be used in the statutes until the first Greater New York Charter 
was enacted, in 1897, taking effect in the succeeding year. 

152 



Board of Education 1860 to 1870 153 

that licenses to teach should be granted by the City Superin- 
tendent, or one of his assistants, in the presence of at least two 
Inspectors designated by the Board. The Board was authorized 
to discontinue any school with the consent of a majority of the 
Trustees of the ward, or by a two-thirds vote in the absence of 
such consent. Local boards of school officers (the school offi- 
cers were the Commissioners, Inspectors, and Trustees of the 
ward, and for certain purposes they constituted a local board) 
were abolished by the act, and it was provided that repairs 
should be made by the Trustees under rules and regulations to 
be established by the Board of Education. 

The Commissioners elected by the several wards were not 
legislated out of office ; hence the Board for 1865 consisted of 
twenty-two members elected by wards in 1863, and seven mem- 
bers elected by districts in 1864. The terms of the members 
elected by wards expired on December 31, 1865, at which time 
only fourteen members had been elected by districts (one in 
each district in 1864 and one in 1865). In order to make up 
the full number, twenty-one, seven Commissioners were nomi- 
nated by the Mayor in January, 1866, and confirmed by the 
Board, there being a provision in the law of 1864 to that effect. 

The reason for the establishment of school districts is thus 
given in the Annual Report for 1878: "The gradual removal 
of population from the southern to the northern part of Man- 
hattan Island produced great inequalities in the population of 
the several wards, and gave to the more southerly wards an 
undue predominance in the Board of Education " (p. 26). 

Mr. Boese", writing in 1867, said of the new law: "On the 
25th of April, 1864, the Legislature passed an act which has 
already done very much to bring the entire system into full 
harmony and unity, and to remove nearly all, and certainly the 
chief sources of difficulty. The lower business wards, having 
a few small schools, with a limited number of pupils, had here- 
tofore been equally represented in the Board of Education with 
the wards that educated several thousands of children. This 



154 The New York Public School 

inequality, as well as the injurious identification of the members 
of the Board with the several boards of trustees, was removed 
by dividing the city into seven school districts of nearly equal 
school population, each of which sends three commissioners to 
the Board of Education. These commissioners hold office for 
three years, one going out of office and his successor being 
elected each year. The Board, therefore, consists of twenty-one 
members, instead of the previous number of forty-four, or two 
from each ward. This smaller number is a decided gain, in the 
efficiency of its working, while at the same time the members 
being no longer ex officio members of the local boards, are not 
so closely identified with narrow local interests. The extension 
of the term of office from two years to three, and the loss of 
only one-third of the Board at the end of each year, insures 
an experienced majority in all its deliberations. 

" The local boards of trustees were in the same manner im- 
proved by being reduced from eight members ten, with the two 
commissioners to five, one elected each year and holding office 
for five years. 

" The inspectors, clothed with new and enlarged powers and 
made equal in number to the commissioners, hold office for the 
same time, and represent corresponding districts ; but in place 
of being elected by the people, are nominated by the mayor, and 
elected by the Board of Education " (pp. 94, Q5). 1 

A most radical measure was introduced in the Legislature 
in 1867. It provided for a complete change in the man- 
agement of the school system of the city. The bill abolished 
the Board of Education, the Trustees, and the Inspectors, 
and provided for a commission of seven, termed the Metro- 
politan Board of Instruction, to be appointed by the Governor 

1 The office 6f Inspector was continued until 1902. In point of fact, Inspectors 
never had more than inspectorial and advisory powers or very little more. Their 
duties, as set forth in the statute, appeared important, but, beyond making recom- 
mendations, they performed no actual duty except that of auditing bills passed by 
the Trustees. For many years two Inspectors were designated to act with the City 
Superintendent in licensing teachers. 



Board of Education 1860 to 1870 155 

and Senate. The members of this board were to hold office 
for eight years, and were to receive salaries of $5000 per 
annum each. It was claimed by the advocates of this bill that 
under the existing system the schools were too expensive and 
that the Board of Education did not furnish sufficient school 
facilities. The bill was strongly opposed as an attempt to 
deprive the people of the city of their rights in the matter of 
the education of their children, and failed of passage. The 
introduction of it, however, had one excellent effect, viz., the 
enactment of a law in that year (1867) providing for raising by 
taxation an increased amount for sites and schoolhouses, in 
consequence of which the Board lost no time in arranging 
for enlarged school accommodations. 

While the bill referred to was pending, several members of 
the Assembly committee to which it had been referred visited 
New York, and spent three days in inspecting schools. "At 
the close of their visit," says City Superintendent Randall in his 
report for 1867, "they unanimously expressed their perfect and 
entire satisfaction with the ability and integrity which character- 
ized every portion of its [the school system's] administration, 
and especially with the scholarship and discipline of the Schools, 
which they pronounced to be far superior to anything of which 
they had previously conceived" (p. 12). 

Another, and a successful, attempt to do away with the 
district system was made in 1869, when an act was passed 
(April 3Oth) effecting what the Annual Report for the year just 
mentioned termed " a complete revolution " in the constitution 
of the Board. This act provided for a Board of Education con- 
sisting of twelve members, to be appointed by the Mayor within 
five days from the passage of the act, and to serve until Decem- 
ber 31, 1871, and further provided that in the last-named year 
twelve Commissioners of Common Schools should be voted for 
on a general ticket. The principle of minority representation 
was introduced by a requirement that no voter should vote for 
more than seven candidates ; the seven receiving the highest 



156 The New York Public School 

number of votes were to be declared elected, and the five receiv- 
ing the next highest number were to be appointed by the Mayor 
as members of the Board of Education. In making the first 
appointments, the Mayor was required to observe the principle 
of minority representation. The act provided that the Board 
should not have power to provide additional sites or buildings, 
or to remove any teacher, except by a vote of three-fourths of 
all its members. 

The first appointments by the Mayor were promptly made, 
and the new Board of twelve members entered upon its duties 
on the 1 2th of May, 1869. No election of Commissioners, how- 
ever, was ever held under the law passed in that year, as it was 
repealed by the Legislature in 1870. 

In 1 86 1 by-laws were adopted fixing the maximum salaries 
of principals and vice-principals as follows : 

Principals of male grammar schools $1500 

Principals of female grammar schools ...... 750 

Principals of primary schools or departments ..... 600 

Vice-principals of male grammar schools noo 

Vice-principals of female grammar schools 550 

Vice-principals of primary schools or departments .... 450 

and providing that 

" the aggregate salaries of Teachers in any Ward shall not exceed a fund equal 
to a maximum annual salary for each Principal and Vice-Principal in said Ward, 
at the rates fixed in the preceding Section, and an allowance of $13 per pupil 
for male grammar scholars, in Departments where the annual average attend- 
ance exceeds two hundred pupils, and $15 per pupil, where the annual average 
attendance is less than two hundred pupils ; $10 per pupil for female grammar 
scholars, and $6 per pupil for primary scholars, of the sworn average of the 
School in said Ward for the previous year ; . . . " * 

Notwithstanding the greatly increased cost of all the neces- 
saries of life caused by the Civil War, the salaries of teachers 
in New York remained unchanged until January i, 1864, when 
a uniform increase of twenty per cent, went into effect. In the 
next few years further advances were made, so that in 1867 male 

1 Annual Report, 1861, pp. 43, 44. 



Board of Education 1860 to 1870 157 

principals received from $2250 to $3000, male vice-principals 
from $1400 to $2000, and women assistants in boys' departments 
an average not exceeding $725 ; principals of girls' departments 
from $1200 to $1700, vice-principals $1100, and assistants an 
average of $650 ; principals of primary departments from $1000 
to $1500, vice-principals $900 to $1000, and assistants an 
average of $500. The by-laws provided that " the minimum 
salary paid to any teacher employed in the schools under the 
control of this Board shall be four hundred dollars." 

In 1860 there were forty-four evening schools, twenty- 
three for men and boys, nineteen for women and girls, and two 
for colored pupils of both sexes. The average attendance was 
14,449. I n tne Y ear mentioned a change of some importance 
was made through the transfer of the immediate control and 
supervision of these schools from an Executive Committee 
appointed by the Board of Education to the school officers of 
the several wards, who from this time nominated the teachers 
and cared for the colored schools in the same way as for the 
grammar and primary schools. The annual report of City 
Superintendent Randall for 1861 said: 

" The transfer of the control of these institutions, from an Executive Com- 
mittee' of the Board of Education to the Trustees of the several Wards in 
which they are or may be located, has thus far been attended with very satis- 
factory results. The visits of the officers are more frequent, and a more com- 
plete supervision over the affairs and appointments of each of these schools is 
effected" (pp. 16, 17). 

In 1866 the evening school system was remodelled, the 
number of schools being reduced from forty-eight to twenty-five 
thirteen for men and boys, and twelve for women and girls. 
In his report for that year Mr. Randall said : 

" This reduction has been accomplished by excluding from admission all 
applicants not accompanied or vouched for by some responsible person, all 
male pupils under fourteen, and female pupils under twelve years of age, and 
all those whose ages and avocations will admit of their attendance in the 
day-schools" (pp. 18, 19). 



158 The New York Public School 

During this year (1866) an important step was taken in the 
establishment of the first evening high school in this city. It 
was also the first evening high school in the country. The 
school was opened in Grammar School No. 35, and was the only 
evening high school in New York for more than twenty years. 
This school is still in existence, being known as the New York 
Evening High School. 1 -^ 

The normal schools inherited by the Board of Education 
from the Public School Society were, as has been said in an 
earlier chapter, not truly normal in their character, and in 1861 
they were discontinued by the Board, with the exception of the 
Colored Normal School. According to the Annual Report for 
1863, 

"The Normal Schools, established by the Public School Society, were 
continued for some years subsequent to the dissolution of the society, owing 
to their excellence as supplementary schools; but as the common schools 
advanced in grade, and became able to impart a similar kind and degree of 
scholarship, it was deemed by the Board unnecessary to continue them, and 
they were accordingly closed to give place to others more truly normal in their 
character, and better adapted to instruct their pupils in the theory and art of 
teaching" (pp. 22,23). 

In 1864, however, it was decided to re-establish the Saturday 
Normal School for women, and it was started with good pros- 
pects. " Classes have been organized with the view to afford an 
opportunity for instruction in all the branches of study prescribed 
for the several grades of certificates conferred by the City Super- 
intendent, as well as for instruction in the principles and methods 
of teaching, so as to impart a knowledge of the proper modes 
of presenting, analyzing, and explaining the several branches 
required to be taught in the Primary and Grammar Schools." 2 

The need of a regular institution for the education of girls 

1 In his report for 1867 the City Superintendent stated that the evening high 
school had "proved eminently successful in accomplishing the objects for which it 
was designed" (p. 26). The report of the principal of this school formed a feature 
in the Annual Reports of the Board for many years. 

2 Annual Report, 1864, p. 26. 



Board of Education 1860 to 1870 159 

and for the proper training of teachers had long been recognized. 
In the same year in which the Free Academy was opened, a 
select committee, appointed to inquire "into the propriety and 
expediency of establishing a Female Free Academy," presented 
to the Board an elaborate report strongly favoring the project, 1 
and the Annual Report for 1854 devoted several pages to a 
plea for " affording the opportunity of a liberal education to the 
pupils of our Female Grammar Schools" (see pp. 5O-58). 2 The 
project languished for financial and other reasons. The situa- 
tion in 1867 may be estimated from the annual report of the 
City Superintendent, who, under the heading " Normal and 
High School for Girls," says : " Such institutions have long 
been in existence in nearly all our leading cities, and they are 
specially and peculiarly needed here. To supply their want, 
we have only a Saturday Normal School, for those who are 
already engaged in teaching, and supplementary classes of from 
fifteen to thirty pupils in as many of our Grammar Schools as 
can obtain the requisite number. As no such class can, under 
the by-law of the Board, be formed at all, in any school, with a 
less number of pupils than twenty-five, or continued without an 
average attendance of twenty, a large number of female pupils 
in schools where this average cannot be obtained or kept up, 
are virtually excluded from advancement beyond the Grammar 
School course " (p. 24). The Superintendent estimated that 
probably a thousand girls who had completed the highest gram- 
mar course would be glad to attend such an institution as he 
favored. 

1 The committee consisted of Robert Kelly (then President of the Board), 
Edward B. Fellows, Erastus C. Benedict (President 1850-1854), James Cruikshank, 
and Timothy Daly. 

2 It is an interesting circumstance that in a report to the Board, dated November 
21, 1855, City Superintendent Randall recommended "the designation, by the Board 
of Education, of the building recently erected in the Fifteenth Ward, in Twelfth 
street, near University Place, as a Free Academy for Girls." The building referred 
to was Grammar School No. 47, in which the Girls' High School, now the Wadleigh 
High School, was established in 1897. 



160 The New York Public School 

The school law as amended in 1854 authorized the Board of 
Education " to continue the existing Free Academy and organize 
a similar institution for females." Nothing, however, was actu- 
ally done until 1869, when the Board decided to establish a 
Daily Female Normal and High School. This school was 
opened, in rented quarters at the southeast corner of Broadway 
and Fourth street, on February 14, 1870, and in the following 
year it became the Normal College, which will form the subject 
of a later chapter. 

In 1866, by an act of the Legislature, the Free Academy 
became the College of the City of New York, and was placed 
under the control of a Board of Trustees consisting of the 
members of the Board of Education and the President of the 
College. 

The schools for colored children (then ten in number), which 
had been in charge of the local boards of the different wards, 
by which in some cases they " were either wholly or in part 
neglected," 1 were in 1866 brought under the control and direc- 
tion of the Board of Education. 

Light upon the methods that prevailed in this era is furnished 
by the following resolution adopted by the Board on May 12, 
1869: 

" On motion of Commissioner Gross, 

" Resolved, That the Tearoom in the Hall of the Board of Education, and 
the practice of furnishing suppers and refreshments to the members of the 
Board at the expense of the School Fund, be and the same are hereby 
abolished." 

In 1860 Grammar School No. 14 (originally No. 15 of the 
Public School Society), in East Twenty-seventh street, was 
razed, and a new schoolhouse erected in its place, at a cost of 
about $70,000, making (with the site, estimated at $30,000) by 
far the most costly school establishment in the city up to that 
time. 

1 Annual Report, 1866, p. 12. 



Board of Education 1860 to 1870 161 

COMPARISON BETWEEN 1860 AND 1870 





I860 


1870 


Grammar schools for boys . . . . . 


4.7 


4.2 


Grammar schools for girls . .... 


4.7 


4.3 


Grammar schools, mixed (boys and girls) . . 
Primary schools and departments .... 




8? 
II 


T-J 

5 
94 
6 


Total . 


IQ2 


IQO 


Whole number of pupils taught 
Average attendance 


iy.fi, 

145,870 

cc,oco 


iyv/ 

194,539 
8C.3O7 


Number of teachers 


I.S4.8 


2,4.07 


Salaries of teachers . . . . 


$660,^80 QQ 


$1,670,620.71 


Total expenditures 


$1,222, 66?. 34. 


$2,733,CQI.c8 


Cost of books and supplies through the Depos- 


$6'?,OQ4..'?'; 


$131,747. CC 


Value of school sites and buildings .... 




$8,596,000.00 



OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 1860 TO 1870 
President 

William E. Curtis l 
James M. McLean 1 
Richard L. Larremore l . 



Thomas Boesd 1 . 
John Davenport 1 . 
William Hitchman 1 
Lawrence D. Kiernan l 



1860-1863 
1864-1867 
1868-1870 (to July ist) 

Clerk 

1860-1869 (to April 7th) 

1869 (from April 7th to May I2th) 

1869 (from May I2th), 1870 (to May 4th) 

1870 (from May 4th) 



Superintendent of School Buildings 

AmnonMacvey 1 .... 1860-1867,1869,1870 
James L. Miller x .... 1867,1868 

Auditor 
John Davenport 1 .... 1 866-1 870 2 

1 Deceased. 2 Mr. Davenport acted as Clerk from April 7 to May 12, 1869. 



1 62 The New York Public School 

City Superintendent of Schools 

Samuel S. Randall x . . . 1860-1870 (to June ist) 
Henry Kiddle 1 .... 1870 (from June ist) 

Assistant Superintendents of Schools 

Henry Kiddle 1 .... 1860-1870 (to June ist) 

Samuel W. Seton * . . . 1860-1869 (to November 2oth) 

William Jones * .... 1860-1870 

Norman A. Calkins * . . . 1863-1870 

Thomas F. Harrison * . . . 1866-1870 

John H. Fanning * . . . 1870 

1 Deceased. 



CHAPTER XX 

BOARD OF EDUCATION 1870 TO 1880 

As in the previous decade, so in the period between 1870 
and 1880 there were two important changes in the laws relating 
to the school system of New York City. In 1871 (April i8th) 
the " act to reorganize the local government of the city of New 
York," passed in the previous year, was amended by the passage 
of a law (Chapter 574) creating(a Department of Public Instruc- 
tion as one of the departments of the city government and 
turning over to it all the powers and duties of the Board of 
Education. This law unseated the existing Board of Education, 
and provided for the appointment, by the Mayor, of twelve 
Commissioners of the Department mentioned, for terms of five 
years each. The Mayor in his appointments was required to 
recognize the principle of minority representation provided for 
by the law of 1869. The Mayor was also authorized to appoint 
the School Trustees and Inspectors. ) 

The Commissioners of Public Instruction provided for by the 
new law, were appointed without delay by Mayor A. Oakey Hall, 
and entered on their duties on April 29th. This law was 
diametrically opposed to the principles of ward and district 
representation which had prevailed from the establishment of 
the Board of Education until 1869. (It provided for a cen- 
tralized system, all the appointments of school officials being 
placed in the hands of the city's executive officer. It was not 
allowed to remain in force long. / 

By Chapter 112 of the laws of 1873 (passed March 2ist), the 
seven school districts set up by the act of 1864 were re-estab- 

163 



164 The New York Public School 

lished, and provision was made for the appointment, by the 
Mayor, of twenty-one Commissioners of Common Schools, to 
hold office for three years, and to constitute the Board of Educa- 
tion. The Commissioners were appointed in classes of seven, 
the terms of one class expiring each year. The Trustees were 
originally elective officers, and then for two years were appointed 
by the Mayor; now for the first time the power of designat- 
ing them was given to the Board of Education, which was 
authorized to appoint five for each ward, for five-year terms. 
The Mayor was directed by the act to appoint three Inspectors 
for each district, or twenty-one in all, for terms of three years 
each. The power to appoint principals and vice-principals of 
schools, on the nomination of the ward Trustees, was retained by 
the Board of Education, and was for all practical purposes an 
original function of that body, through a provision of the newly 
enacted law that if a nomination made by the Trustees was not 
confirmed within twenty days, then the Board of Education had 
the sole power of appointment. 

The system established in 1873 remained substantially 
unchanged until 1896. The changes effected in the former 
year were discussed at some length in the Annual Report for 
1878, from which the following excerpts are made: 

"The controlling principle in this return to the former 
system was to remove the schools from political supervision. 
The erection of the Board of Education into a department of 
the City government brought it necessarily into so close a con- 
tact with the influences almost inseparable from the municipal 
administration, that it could not fail, sooner or later, to become 
an instrument of partisan aggrandizement and power. 

" Indeed, the advocates of the Public School Society, years 
before, used this same argument of the danger of partisan 
tendencies, to resist the demand for an elective school system. 
When, after thirty years of existence, the system of elective 
school officers had been willingly resigned by the people, it 
became an exaggeration of conservatism to place the whole 





LATER PRESIDENTS OF THE NEW YORK BOARD OF EDUCATION 

1. Andrew H. Green. 2. Richard L. Larremore. 3. James M. McLean. 

4. William Wood. 5. Stephen A. Walker 



Board of Education 1870 to 1880 165 

organization in the hands of a single individual. The via 
media was found to be in the discriminating selection of a 
board of twenty-one members, representing the whole city, who 
should have power to select and appoint the members of the 
local boards, and thus insure, as far as could be practicable, 
a just representation of the character, nationality and interests 
of the people and of the different sections of the city. This 
organization still continues, and the experience of six years 
shows its adaptation to the educational needs of our city. . . . 

" The immediate supervision of the schools in the respective 
wards is given to the Trustees, who appoint teachers, nominate 
principals to the Board of Education for approval, and subject 
to general rules prescribed by that Board, provide books, fuel, 
and all other supplies, select and recommend school sites, and 
under the authority of the Central Board, secure proposals, 
award contracts, and audit and certify bills for the payment of 
the cost of repairs, etc., as provided by law. Their power of 
the expenditure of money, although limited, gives them a fund 
for the incidental expenses of the wards, beyond which an 
appeal to the Board almost invariably insures an appropriation 
for every reasonable demand. Cases of embarrassment have 
sometimes arisen where Trustees have exceeded their proper 
limits, but they have been infrequent. 

"The Inspectors have the general oversight of the schools 
in their districts. They must approve the removal of teachers 
before the same can take effect, and countersign all bills and 
pay rolls. They serve as an advisory branch of the local 
Boards. The Board of Education is the legislative body which 
regulates and supervises the whole. 

" The advantages of this system can be easily appreciated 
by a momentary consideration of the consequences that would 
follow to our schools, if it should be abolished, and the local 
Boards of each ward or district should become the sole admin- 
istrators. The attempt to establish such a scheme would be a 
premonition of swift disorganization and decay. . . . 



1 66 The New York Public School 

"The distribution of powers, duties and responsibilities 
among the Trustees and Inspectors numbering in all about 
one hundred and fifty prevents the tendency to too great 
power in a Central Board, while the revisory and executive 
duties of the Board of Education, especially in its financial 
administration, must act as a check to the too lavish expendi- 
ture of money by the local Boards. . . . 

" While the rapid growth of the City of New York and the 
cosmopolitan character of the population have rendered impera- 
tive certain changes in the system, the most important of which 
have been in the direction of development and expansion, several 
experiments have been made which were dictated less by a true 
spirit of devotion to the public interests than by personal or 
party considerations. The change in the method of choosing 
the school officers was the result of experience. . . . 

" A return to the system of district representation in the 
Board of Education, instead of the representation of the whole 
city by the twenty-one Commissioners chosen at large, is specially 
to be deprecated " (pp. 27-31). 

The Board of twenty-one members appointed by Mayor 
William F. Havemeyer entered upon its duties on April 5, 

1873- 

During the decade now under review several other laws 
of considerable moment to the public school system were 
enacted. 

The region north of the Harlem River, long known as the 
Annexed District, was added to the city at the beginning of 1874, 
becoming the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Wards, and the 
schools in this territory passed under the control of the Board 
of Education, but without increasing the number of its mem- 
bers. The New York school system was thus enlarged by the 
addition of eight grammar schools (all being mixed, or composed 
of both boys and girls), raising the number of grammar schools 
to sixty-seven, and six primary schools, making the total number 
forty-eight. The average attendance at these schools in 1874 



Board of Education i8jo to 1880 167 

was 4130. The value of the school property thus acquired was 
$294,500. 

The first law providing for the erection and furnishing of 
schoolhouses by the issue of city bonds was passed in 1871. I 
Chapter 692 of the laws of that year authorized the expenditure 
of $680,000 for this purpose, and provided for the issue of 
" Public School Building Fund Stock of the City of New York " 
to that amount. 1 The eminently sound principle was thus intro- \ 
duced that schoolhouses should not be built with moneys raised j 
by taxation, but should be paid for out of bond issues, so that 
subsequent generations, which enjoy their use, may pay for 
them in part. 

The first Compulsory Education Law was passed in 1874, lj 
to take effect January i, 1875, entitled "An act to secure to 
children the benefits of elementary education." 2 In pursuance 
of this enactment, rules and regulations were adopted by the 
Board of Education, and duly approved by a Justice of the 
Supreme Court. A Supervisor of Truancy and eleven truancy 
agents were appointed, at an expense, according to the Annual 
Report of 1875, of $17,350. The law proved to be defective in 
many respects, and, although amended in 1876, City Super- 
intendent Kiddle, in his report for that year, declared that 
the results were not "at all commensurate with the expense 
incurred " (p. 169); and in 1877 he reported that " as a compul- 
sory attendance law the amount of good it has accomplished is 
of very little importance" (p. 178). The first Supervisor of 
Truancy, Alexander M. Stanton, in his first annual report, 
recommended the establishment of a truant school and home ; 

1 The same act provided for the issue of " Normal School Fund Stock of the 
City of New York," to the amount of $200,000, for the erection of a building for the 
Normal College. 

2 The record would be incomplete without mention of the "act to provide for the 
care and instruction of idle and truant children" passed April 23, 1853, of which the 
Annual Report of the Board of Education for 1857 said: "The law of 1853 was one 
of the most beneficent and philanthropic acts ever passed, but our city authorities 
have allowed it to lie dead on the Statute Book " (pp. 28, 29). 



1 68 The New York Public School 

repeated recommendations of the same nature were made, but 
the suggestion was not put into practical effect for more than 
twenty years. 

A law enacted in 1873 provided for the establishment and 
maintenance by the Board of Education of a Nautical School 
" for the education and training of pupils in the service and 
practice of navigation." Authority having been given to the 
Secretary of the Navy, by an act passed by Congress June 20, 
1874, to loan a ship for the use of such a school, application 
was made to the Navy Department by Governor John A. Dix, 
and the sloop-of-war St. Mary's was assigned for the purpose. 
The St. Mary's was delivered to the Board of Education Decem- 
ber 10, 1874, and the first pupils were received January n, 1875. 
The first Superintendent of the Nautical School was Comman- 1 
der Robert L. Phythian, U.S.N. The St. Mary's has been 
used continuously since 1875 for Nautical School purposes, and, 
as a rule, makes a summer cruise across the Atlantic Ocean 
with a hundred or more boys on board. 

A step of great importance in the internal management of 
the schools was taken in 1869, when a by-law was adopted pro- 
hibiting corporal punishment in all the schools after the begin- 
ning of the year 1870. Punishment of this character had 
previously been forbidden in all girls' and primary schools and 
departments, and the by-laws provided that in the boys' gram- 
mar departments it should be inflicted only by the principal, or 
in his absence by the vice-principal, " on proof of flagrant and 
persistent misconduct, after all reasonable efforts to reform the 
offender shall have been made." Many principals who might 
have acted under this provision declined to do so ; and City 
Superintendent Randall, as early as 1867, favored the entire 
abolition of the rod. After the new rule went into effect, how- 
ever, Superintendent Kiddle, in his report for 1872, urged that 
principals be reinvested " with the right to inflict, under proper 
regulations and restrictions, corporal punishment upon those 
pupils who show themselves amenable to no other influence" 



Board of Education 1870 to 1880 169 

(p. 192). He repeated this recommendation in 1873, and was 
supported by a committee of the Board of Education which, in 
that year, investigated the matter and submitted a unanimous 
report in favor of restoring corporal punishment. The com- 
mittee's report was not adopted, and the Board has never re- 
treated from the position which it took in 1869. The Annual 
Report for 1878, in referring to this subject, said: "The aboli- 
tion of corporal punishment, about eight years ago, introduced 
several changes in the modes of coercion employed by the 
teachers ; and many feared that the schools would soon show a 
deterioration in that excellence of order for which at that time 
they were distinguished. As far as can be ascertained, they 
show, however, at the present time, a still greater degree of 
excellence, at any rate in all the external indications of efficiency 
in this respect " (p. 45). 

An increase of about twenty per cent, in 'the salaries of 
teachers was made in 1872. Says the Annual Report of the 
Board for that year: 

" Acting, however, upon what they deemed a just and wise policy, en- 
forced by the repeated application of the several grades of teachers, the Board 
in April increased the salaries, by fixing a maximum of $3000 for all male 
Principals, and $2500 for all male Vice-Principals ; and for female Principals 
of Grammar Schools a maximum advance, depending on the average attend- 
ance of pupils, to $2006, and Vice-Principals of the same a maximum advance 
to $1298 ; Principals of Primaries an advance to a maximum of $1800, and 
Vice-Principals of the same $1200. The average of the salaries of Assistants 
was for the males advanced to $1652, for the females in Male Departments to 
$850, for the Assistants in the female Grammar Departments to $767, and for 
the Assistants in the Primaries $600 a general advance of about twenty per 
cent, upon the salaries of the previous year" (pp. 29, 30). 

Owing to the hard times prevailing in 1877, the Board of 
Education reduced the salaries of all its employees about three 
and one-half per cent. 

The salary schedule in force in 1880 may be summarized as 
follows : 



170 The New York Public School 

Boys' departments Principals, from $2250 to $3000 ; vice-principals, 
1800 to $2000 ; men assistants, $1500 to $1700 ; women assistants, an 
average not exceeding $800. 

Girls 1 departments Principals, from $1200 to $1700 ; vice-principals, 
$1000 to $1200 ; assistants, an average of $725. 

Primary departments and schools Principals, $1000 to $1700; vice- 
principals, $850 to $1200 ; assistants, an average of $600. 

Mixed grammar schools Women first assistants teaching the first gram- 
mar grade alone or in connection with other grades, boys and girls; being 
instructed in the same class, and no male assistant being employed, $1200. 

Principals of fourteen years' standing, if approved by a majority vote of all 
the members of the Board of Education, received salaries as follows ; 

Boys' departments, $2500 ; girls' departments, $1900 ; primary depart^" 
ments and schools, $1750. 

Special teachers Drawing, $2 per hour ; music, German, and French, 
$1.50 per hour. 

Evening schools (per night) Men principals, $4 ; men assistants, $2.50 ; 
women teachers, $3 ; women assistants, $2 ; principal of the evening high 
school, $8.50 ; teachers in the evening high school, $5. - ^ 

r 

The various local boards of Trustees designated the salaries 
paid to the several teachers employed in the schools of their 
wards in such manner that there should not be a greater differ- 
ence than $100 between the salaries of any two successive 
grades of women assistant teachers, or more than $300 between 
any two successive grades taught by men. 

The course of study in the schools was extensively revised 
in 1871, and again in 1876. In 1871 special attention was given 
to the methods of object teaching in the primary grades, and 
penmanship was introduced in the primary grades for the first 
time ; in the grammar grades provision was made for giving 
more attention to physical -science, and instruction iiu the Con- 
stitution of the United States was introduced. In September, 
1876, a new course of study was put into effect, the Board hav- 
ing been criticised for giving too much attention to so-called 
" ornamental branches " ; the time given to object lessons was 
reduced, and a change was made in the method of teaching 
history. In this year a great reduction was made in the time 
\ 



Board of Education 1870 to 1880 171 

allowed for instruction in German and French. German was 
introduced in the schools as an ordinary branch of study in 
1870; previously both German and French had been elective 
studies in the highest grammar grades. 

By a law passed in 1875 (Chapter 322) industrial or free- 
hand drawing was required to be taught in all the schools. 

The experiment was made in 1871 of appointing a visiting 
physician for the public schools ; his duties were " to inspect 
the sanitary condition of the school houses, yards, class-rooms 
and appurtenances; to prevent, by proper precautions, the 
spread of epidemic diseases ; and, to visit all teachers who 
have been absent from class duty for five days or upward." 
Under his supervision special attention was given to ventila- 
tion, and great care was taken to secure cleanliness in all school 
buildings. 

In 1879 a by-law was adopted requiring that no license 
to teach should be issued unless the candidate presented a 
certificate of sound bodily health from a physician in good 
standing. 

The following table in reference to the cost of supplies is 
taken from the Annual Report of 1878; it is preceded by this 
statement: "The expenditure for supplies, delivered through 
the Depository, to the various schools, janitors, etc., owing to 
the united efforts of the Committee on Supplies and the princi- 
pals of the schools, has been materially diminished during the 
past seven years " (p. 39) : 

Amount expended for supplies in 1872 $187,778.62 

Amount expended for supplies in 1873 179,207.89 

Amount expended for supplies in 1874 171,78442 

Amount expended for supplies in 1875 J 62,843. 77 

Amount expended for supplies in 1876 ..... 163.514.58 

Amount expended for supplies in 1877 155,221.74 

Amount expended for supplies in 1878 120,204.18 

The Annual Report for 1875 stated that the total amount 
paid for sites during the previous nine years was $408,700. 



172 



The New York Public School 
COMPARISON BETWEEN 1870 AND 1880 





1870 


1880 


Grammar schools for boys 
Grammar schools for girls 
Grammar schools mixed (boys and girls) 
Primary schools and departments . 
Colored schools 


42 

43 
5 
94 
6 


4 6 

45 

12 
114 


Total 


TQO 


22^ 


Whole number of pupils taught .... 
Average attendance 


iy\_i 
194,539 

81,307 


220,331 
1 12,627 


Number of teachers 


2,4.07 


3,2Q2 


Salaries of teachers .... 


$1.670,620.71 


$2.34.6 I4.I 31 


Total expenditures ... . 


2 733. SQI c;8 


3 223 Q4.8 72 


Cost of books and supplies through the 
Depository . 


*">i jjoy^o" 

131 74.7 C C 


12 C 337 3Q 


Value of school sites and buildings . 


1 J 1 >/'+/ 33 

8,596,000.00 


i^jijj/ 'Jy 
10,365,800.00 



OFFICERS OF THE BOARD 1870 TO 1880 

President 

Richard L. Larremore * 1870 (to July ist) 

Bernard Smyth * 1870 (from July ist)-i 872 

Josiah G. Holland * 1873 (to April 5th) 

William H. Neilson * 1873 (from April 7th)-i 875 

William Wood 1 1876-1879 

Stephen A. Walker 1 1880 



Clerk 



William Hitchman 1 
Lawrence D. Kiernan 1 . 



. 1870 (to May 4th) 

. 1870 (from May 4th)-i88o 



Superintendent of School Buildings 

AmnonMacvey 1 1870,1871 

David I. Stagg 1 . . . . . . 1872-1880 

Auditor 
John Davenport x 1870-1880 

1 Deceased. 



Board of Education 1870 to 1880 173 

City Superintendent of Schools 

Samuel S. Randall x ..... 1870 (to June 1st) 

Henry Kiddle 1 ...... 1870 (from June ist)-i 879 

(to October ist) 
John Jasper ....... 1879 (from October ist), 1880 

Assistant Superintendents of Schools 

Thomas F. Harrison * ..... 1870-1880 

John H. Fanning 1 ...... 1870-1880 

Norman A. Calkins x ..... 1870-1880 

William Jones x ...... 1870-1880 

Arthur McMullin ...... 1872-1880 

John Jasper ....... 1872-1879 (to October 1st) 

Alexander J. Schem 1 ..... 1874-1880 

James Godwin ...... 1879, 



Superintendent of Truancy 

Alexander M. Stanton ..... 1875, l8 7 6 
William Kemeys ...... 1877-1880 

1 Deceased. 



CHAPTER XXI 
BOARD OF EDUCATION 1880 TO 1890 

(j.T is a curious fact that the ninth decade of the last century 
was the only one, after the organization of the Board of Educa- 
tion in 1842, in which no legislation was enacted effecting 
sweeping changes in the school system or its management. In 
1851 an important law was passed, which provided for the 
school system substantially as it has existed for more than half 
a, century ; and in 1853 the Public School Society was by an act 
of the Legislature merged into the Board of Education. In 
1864 the district system was established, and the Board of 
forty-four members reduced to twenty-one. The district system 
was overthrown in 1869, and a Board of twelve members, ap- 
pointed by the Mayor, placed in charge ; but the law providing 
for the election of twelve Commissioners was repealed before 
any election was held. In 1871 the Board of Public Instruc- 
tion was established, consisting of twelve members named by 
the Mayor, who was also authorized to appoint both Inspectors 
and Trustees. Finally, a Board of twenty-one Commissioners, 
appointed by the Mayor, was created in 1873, and the appoint- 
ment of Trustees was placed in the hands of the Board. There 
was no further legislation affecting the composition of the Board 
of Education for nearly twenty-five years. \ 

The years from 1880 to 1890 were peaceful, and were 
marked by the steady expansion of the school system, without 
violent changes or transitions. A number of laws were passed, 
however, which enabled the school authorities to do their work 
more efficiently, and some of which marked important stages in 
the development of popular education in the city of New York. 

174 



Board of Education 1880 to 1890 1 75 

Viewed by results, the first place should doubtless be given 
to a brief [ law passed in 1888 authorizing the Board of Edu- 
cation to establish and maintain free lectures for working 
men and working women. ) The first steps were taken by the 
Board in that year, and an appropriation of $15,000 to carry on 
the work during the following year was obtained/ In 1889 
lectures were given in seven school buildings, the principal 
subjects treated being elementary chemistry, electricity, physi- 
ology, hygiene, chemistry and analysis of food and drink, sani- 
tation, elocution, poetry, astronomy, American history, and 
elementary principles of law] "It is the object of these lec- 
tures," said the Annual Report for the year mentioned, "to 
disseminate useful knowledge among people, who, but for this 
means of instruction, would never become familiar with or even 
aware of some of the most important, yet simple scientific princi- 
ples and facts bearing upon actual daily life, health and happi- 
ness. . . . The lectures have been fairly well received and 
attended by the public, and much interest has been shown by 
the audiences. When the lectures become more widely known, 
their usefulness more fully realized, and the various small diffi- 
culties which have appeared shall have been removed, it is 
anticipated that much greater results will be obtained " (pp. 
46, 47)- 1 

In 1890 two courses of lectures were delivered the first in 
February and March, the second in November and December. 
In the first course there were 182 lectures in seven schoolhouses, 
and the total attendance was i6,o85. 2 In the second course 
there were but 54 lectures in six school buildings ; the total 
attendance was 23,995, and the average for each lecture 445. 
The Annual Report for 1890, referring to this marked change 
and to the appointment of a Superintendent to take charge of 

1 No statistics regarding the lectures in 1889 are given in the report. 

2 The Annual Report for 1890 (p. 37) gives the average attendance at each 
lecture as 78. It is noticeable that the first lecture delivered in Grammar School 
67 was attended by seven persons. 



1 76 The New York Public School 

the work, said : " The lectures in November and December 
were delivered under the direction of Dr. Henry M. Leipziger. 
The attendance at these lectures for the months of February 
and March was not satisfactory, the lack of success being, no 
doubt, due to the fact that a special superintendent of the same 
had not been appointed " (p. 36). 

In 1884 an act was passed by the Legislature (Chapter 458) 
providing for the issue of schoolhouse bonds to the amount of 
$2,000,000 for new school sites and buildings ; but the consti- 
tutional amendment adopted in that year, limiting the amount 
of indebtedness to be incurred by cities, prevented the Board of 
Education from realizing the full benefit of the act, only $332,000 
having been issued before January i, 1885, when the amend- 
ment went into effect. No provision having been made for 
funds for building purposes from any other source, the Board 
had no resources available during 1885, and no new buildings 
were begun in that year. In 1886, in consequence of a decision 
by the Court of Appeals and another act of the Legislature, 
bonds to the amount of $484,584.74 were issued. Chapter 458 
of the laws of 1884 was amended in 1885, and again in 1886, 
and the balance of the bond issue authorized was sold in the 
three years following. In 1888 a second bond issue of $2,000,000 
was authorized by law (Chapter 136), and a third issue to the 
same amount was authorized by Chapter 252 of the laws of 
1889. The resources thus provided enabled the Board of Edu- 
cation to build many schoolhouses in the hope of meeting the 
demands of the rapidly increasing school population. 

The difficulty of securing sites promptly when needed, at 
reasonable prices, had been a source of embarrassment for some 
time, and in 1887 the Board applied to the Legislature for aid, 
and obtained the passage of a law enabling it to acquire sites 
through condemnation proceedings. 

During the period under review the number of evening high 
schools was increased to four. The original school of this char- 
acter, established in 1866, became known as the New York 



Board of Education 1880 to 1890 177 

Evening High School ; the East Side School was opened in 
1887, the Harlem in 1888, and the Central in 1890. 

The system of evening elementary schools was modified in 
1880, when schools for juniors and schools for seniors were 
provided, the former for pupils between the ages of thirteen and 
eighteen, while to the latter no one under sixteen was admitted. 

As early as 1880 attention was called to the decreasing 
attendance at the schools for colored children. At this time 
there were three schools for negroes, containing both grammar 
and primary departments. The Annual Report for 1880 fore- 
shadowed the " gradual absorption " by the public schools gen- 
erally of this separate class of schools, owing to the fact that, 
by law, all the public schools were now open to pupils without 
distinction of color. 1 The average attendance at the so-called 
colored schools in this year was 571 104 less than in 1879 an d 
287 less than in 1878. In 1883 the average attendance was 443, 
and in that year the Board of Education decided to disestablish 
the three separate colored schools ; the date first fixed, Septem- 
ber i, 1883, was subsequently changed to September i, 1884. 
One of the schools, however, was closed on the first-mentioned 
date. In the mean time, in response to an appeal made by 
colored citizens, an act was passed by the Legislature (May 5, 
1884) prohibiting the abolition of the two remaining schools, 
turning them over to the control of the Trustees of the wards 
in which they were situated, and providing that they should be 
" open for the education of pupils for whom admission is sought, 
without regard to race or color." The two schools were 
thenceforth designated as Grammar Schools 80 and 81. On 
this subject a passage from the Annual Report for 1884 is 
pertinent : 

" After an existence of over ninety-seven years, the colored schools of this 
city, as a distinct and peculiar feature of our system, have at length been dis- 
established. They were founded by the Manumission Society, and were con- 
veyed to the late Public School Society in 1834, and by the latter conveyed to 

1 See Chapter 186, Laws of 1873. 



1 78 The New York Public School 

this Board at the time of the consolidation in 1853. . . . The causes which 
led to the establishment of colored schools having ceased to exist, except as a 
matter of history, all legislation with reference to the establishment and main- 
tenance of such schools has thus at last been repealed, and the color line has 
finally and happily disappeared from our schools, except so far as it may be 
said to remain in the case of the two schools referred to [Nos. 80 and 81]. 
The colored children who are in attendance upon Nos. 80 and 81 are but a 
small minority of the whole number of colored children who avail themselves 
of our system and attend the schools throughout the city in common with 
whites, between whom and the colored children no distinction whatever is 
made ; and in the opinion of this Board it will be to the advantage of the sys- 
tem, and of the colored scholars themselves, to assimilate Nos. 80 and 81, in 
practice as well as in theory, to the other Grammar Schools, at the earliest 
practicable date" (pp. 52, 53). 

The last part of the decade was marked by an innovation of 
some significance, viz., the appointment, for the first time, of 
women as members of the Board of Education. Two women 
were appointed in 1886, taking office January i, 1887 (one of 
whom was reappointed three years later), one was appointed in 
1888, and two appointments were made in 1889, so that for six 
years, from 1887 to 1892, women sat in the Board and served 
on its committees. 1 

Much attention was given to the course of study throughout 
the period with which we are dealing, and for several years, 
beginning with 1884, the question of industrial or manual train- 
ing was a prominent topic before the Board of Education. In 
1885, 1886, and 1887 a thorough investigation was made by 
committees of the Board, assisted by the City Superintendent 
of Schools. In the last-named year it was decided by a unani- 
mous vote of the Board to make the experiment of introducing 
modelling in clay, construction work in paper, pasteboard, and 
other suitable materials, and drawing to scale for boys and girls, 

1 The first appointments were made by Mayor William R. Grace. The women 
who served on the Board of Education were Mrs. Mary N. Agnew, Miss Grace H. 
Dodge, Mrs. Sarah H. Powell, and Mrs. Clara M. Williams. It may be noted here 
that in 1895 fourteen women and in 1896 forty -five women were appointed as School 
Inspectors by Mayor Strong. 



Board of Education 1880 to 1890 1 79 

carpenter work or the use of wood-working tools for boys, and 
sewing and cooking for girls ; and in 1888 a manual training 
course of study was adopted in four boys' departments, five girls' 
departments, and eleven primary departments and schools. On 
December 31, 1890, there were 19,476 pupils pursuing the 
manual training course of study, in seven boys' grammar de- 
partments, eight girls' grammar departments, one mixed gram- 
mar department, thirteen primary departments, and eight 
primary schools. 

On February i, 1890, a new general course of study was 
put into effect, being based on the manual training course, with 
the omission of wood-working, of instruction in clay modelling, 
of cooking, and of obligatory instruction in sewing in the gram- 
mar schools for girls, sewing being made permissible in those 
schools. 

In accordance with the requirements of the State law, provi- 
sion was made in 1885 for instruction in physiology and hygiene, 
" with special reference to the effects of alcoholic drinks, stimu- 
lants and narcotics upon the human system." 1 

For a number of years prior to 1885 the salaries of teachers 
were apportioned by the Trustees upon a basis fixed by the 
Board of Education, but without anything approaching uni- 
formity in the twenty-four wards. The unequal distribution 
caused dissatisfaction and led to numerous appeals and pro- 
tests. The salary question became the subject of serious and 
prolonged investigation beginning in 1883, resulting in 1885 in 
the adoption for the first time of a uniform schedule, which 
went into effect on January i, 1886; salaries were based on the 
position or numerical rank of each teacher in his or her school, 
recognition being given only to length of service and merit. 
The incidental result was a very small average advance in the 
pay of grammar school teachers, and an increase somewhat 

1 The financial statement of the Board for 1896 shows the expenditure of 
$24,285.16 for the purchase during that year of text-books treating of alcoholic 
drinks, etc. 



i8o The New York Public School 

larger for teachers in the primary grades. The maximum and 
minimum salaries as fixed by the schedule adopted were as 
follows : 

Boys' and mixed grammar schools Principals, $2250 to $3000; vice- 
principals, $1800 to $2000. 

Girls' grammar schools Principals, $1200 to $1700; vice-principals, 
$1000 to $1200. 

Primary schools and departments Principals, $1000 to $1700; vice- 
principals, $850 to $1200. 

Men assistant teachers $1080 to $2016. 

Women assistant teachers Boys' grammar schools, $633 to $1116; 
mixed grammar schools, $603 to $1086; girls' grammar schools, $573 to 
$1056; primary departments and schools, $504 to $900. 

The tenure of office of teachers in New York had in the 
course of years become substantially stable, once a permanent 
license was secured from the City Superintendent of Schools 
(and this was granted after six months' satisfactory experience 
in actual teaching), although a license might be revoked for 
cause affecting the morality or competency of a teacher. A 
teacher could be removed by the Board of Education upon the 
recommendation of the City Superintendent, or of a majority of 
the Trustees of the ward, or of a majority of the Inspectors of 
the district, but only by a vote of three-fourths of all the members 
of the Board. The Trustees also had power to remove teachers 
other than principals and vice-principals, by a majority vote, with 
the approval of the Inspectors of the district, but a teacher so 
removed had the right of appeal to the Board of Education. 1 

About the beginning of 1880 by-laws were adopted regu- 
lating the absences of teachers and prescribing the conditions 
requisite for excusing absence with pay. This was a reform of 
importance, as theretofore " excuses for absence with full pay 
were entirely in the discretion of the Board, without any condi- 
tions as to time or cause, and, as a consequence, a sort of pen- 
sion system was established, not at all contemplated by law." 2 

1 See New York City Consolidation Act of 1882, sections 1042 and 1038. 

2 Annual Report, 1880, p. 38. 



Board of Education 1880 to 1890 1 8 1 

The enforcement of the Compulsory Education Law was 
placed in the hands of the City Superintendent at the begin- 
ning of 1 88 1, the position of Superintendent of Truancy being 
discontinued. At that time eleven agents of truancy were 
employed ; in 1890 the number of such agents was twelve. 

A stringent by-law on the subject of contagious diseases 
was adopted early in 1881, providing that children residing in \ 
premises where a contagious disease existed must absent them- 
selves from school while the contagion continued, and could be 
readmitted only after the premises had been thoroughly dis- 
infected. 

The Saturday Normal School was discontinued in 1880, it 
being no longer deemed necessary on account of the extension 
of the Normal College course to include a fourth year. In 
1888 the Normal College was regularly incorporated by an act 
of the Legislature, and placed under the control of a Board of 
Trustees consisting of the members of the Board of Education 
and the President of the College, and having substantially the 
same powers as the Board of Trustees of the College of the 
City of New York. 

An interesting incident of the year 1889 was the participa- 
tion of the children attending the public schools in the exercises 
marking the centenary of the inauguration of the first President 
of the United States. On the morning of April 29th each 
school and department was thrown open to the pupils' parents 
and friends, so that they might attend the exercises appropriate 
to the day. On the afternoon of that day two representatives 
from each girls' grammar department assisted in the reception 
of the President of the United States at the City Hall, in which 
a delegation of students from the Normal College also took 
part. The chief event was the appearance of four thousand 
boys from the grammar schools in the Civic and Industrial 
Parade on the 1st of May, each department having a represen- 
tation proportionate to the number of pupils registered. The 
boys conducted themselves with great credit, and, by the unani- 



182 



The New York Public School 



mous decision of fifty skilled judges, the gold medal for fine 
bearing and compliance with orders was awarded to the public 
schools. 

COMPARISON BETWEEN 1880 AND 1890 





1880 


1890 


Grammar schools for boys 
Grammar schools for girls 


46 

4.C 


4 6 
48 


Grammar schools, mixed (boys and girls) . 
Primary schools and departments .... 
Colored schools 


12 
114 


14 
1 2O 

o 


Total 


222 


228 


Whole number of pupils taught .... 


220,331 
112,627 


257,561 
136 670 




3.2Q2 


3r T7 




$2,346, 1 41. 3 1 


O 1 / 

$2,037,246.61; 




3,223,048.72 


4,060,1; 80. 27 1 


Cost of books and supplies through the 
Depository . . .... 


I2C 737 3Q 


l67 1 14 37 


Value of school sites and buildings . . . 


^iOj/'jy 
10,365,800.00 


15,524,000.00 



OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 1880 TO 1890 

President 

Stephen A. Walker 2 1880-1886 (to March 4th) 

J. Edward Simmons 1886 (from March I7th)-i8cp 

(to July 2d) 
John L. N. Hunt 1890 (from July 2d) 

Clerk 

Lawrence D. Kiernan 2 1880-1886 (to June 23d) 

Arthur McMullin 1886 (from October 6th)-i89O 

Superintendent of School Buildings 

David I. Stagg 2 1880-1886 (to May nth) 

George W. Debevoise 1886 (from June 9th) -1890 



1 Not including expenditures on bond account, which amounted to $1,653, 520.13. 

2 Deceased. 



Board of Education 1880 to 1890 183 

Auditor 

John Davenport 1 1880-1889 (to March 6th) 

George T. Balch 1 1889, 1890 

City Superintendent of Schools 
John Jasper 1880-1890 

Assistant Superintendents of Schools 

Thomas F. Harrison 1 . . . . 1880-1888 (to March 1st) 

John H. Fanning 1 1880-1890 (to June 26th) 

Norman A. Calkins J 1880-1890 

William Jones x ...... 1880-1890 

Arthur McMullin 1880-1886 (to October 6th) 

Alexander J. Schem J 1880, 1 88 1 (to May 21 st) 

James Godwin 1880-1890 

Paul Hoffman 1 1881-1890 

Anthony A. Griffin 1 1886-1889 (to September 21 st) 

George S. Davis 1888 (from March 215^-1890 

Henry W. Jameson 1890 

Counsel to the Board 
Rufus G. Beardslee 1 1888-1890 

1 Deceased. 



CHAPTER XXII 
BOARD OF EDUCATION 1890 TO 1897 

THE present chapter covers only the period from 1890 to 
C 1 897, for the reason that in the last-named year the act establish- 
ing Greater New York was passed, in consequence of which 
extensive changes in the school system took place at the begin- 
ning of iSg8 } )oT y to be exact, on the ist of February. Although 
the period to be reviewed is less than a decade, several far- 
reaching laws in reference to the schools were enacted and 
numerous improvements in the system introduced. 

\ It has already appeared in the course of this history from 
1842, the year of the organization of the Board of Education, 
that the ward Trustees were very important school officers, hav- 
ing charge of the appointment of teachers (excepting principals 
and vice-principals), the erection and repair of buildings, the 
custody and management of school property, etc. Elected by 
the people for many years, the Trustees were, under the short- 
lived act of 1871, appointed by the Mayor; but after the pas- 
sage of the law of 1873 the appointments of Trustees were made 
by the Board of Education, which was, of course, responsible 
for the character of the men selected. The official reports of 
the Board of Education repeatedly speak in warm terms of the 
work of the Trustees!: and the following extract from the Annual 
Report for 1884 may, perhaps, be accepted as expressing the 
views of most of the people connected with the school system 
at that time and for the ensuing dozen years : 

" Subordinate to this Board there are twenty-four Boards of 
School Trustees, consisting each of five members, whose term 
of office is five years, one member of each Board going out of 



ry 




Board of Education 1890 to 1897 185 



office annually, the vacancy thus created being filled by appoint- 
ments made by the Board of Education. The primary responsi- 
bility of the condition of the management of the schools in the 
several Wards rests upon these Boards of Trustees, who have 
immediate management and control of all school property, and 
who appoint all teachers not principals, and who apportion the 
moneys appropriated to their several wards among the schools 
in such wards, and among the teachers in each school. It may 
be said that the administrative character of the system depends 
more largely upon the character of the Boards of Trustees than 
upon any other single fact. In order that the men most thor- 
oughly qualified, most perfectly acquainted with the system, and 
most likely to devote their time and attention to the work re- 
quired by these offices should be obtained for service of School 
Trustees, this Board has spared no pains and has left nothing 
undone to secure the appointment of the fittest persons whom 
they can find able and willing to perform the very responsible 
duties of these positions. We feel justified in claiming for the 
several Boards of Trustees in this city the highest confidence 
of the people of their several wards, and feel called upon to 
acknowledge the eminent value of their service, and the most 
excellent help which they have continuously rendered to this 
Board in the performance of its duties and in the perfection of 
the details of the school system" (pp. 56, 57). 

Nevertheless this feature of the system was, a few years 
later, mercilessly criticised by many persons deeply interested 
in the welfare of the schools.) They denounced the Trustees 
as an incubus that prevented New York from taking its rightful 
position in the educational world. They affirmed that some 
perhaps many of the Trustees were illiterate men, who se- 
cured their places through political influence ; that they consid- 
ered the appointment of teachers as so much " patronage," 
which they dealt out in turn ; that they displayed marked favor- 
itism in the promotion of teachers, and " pulled wires " in the 
interest of their favorites ; and that in the matter of repairs 



1 86 The New York Public School 

to school buildings, etc., they assigned the work to favored 
mechanics, for the purpose of strengthening their position with 
an eye to political preferment, and the like. 

Another ground of criticism, and plainly a legitimate one, 
was that the appointment of school officers by wards was an 
absurdity, as each ward had five Trustees, although in the 
downtown section of the city the number of schools was very 
small. Thus, in 1888 there was in the Second Ward one school 
with two teachers, and an average attendance for that year of 
66 ; in the Third Ward, one school with three teachers and an 
average attendance of only 55. In the first six wards, at that 
time, the number of teachers was 170, and the average attend- 
ance 5547; whereas in the Twelfth Ward there were 499 
teachers and an average attendance of 21,121, and in the Nine- 
teenth Ward 450 teachers and an average attendance of I9,435- 1 

The result of this agitation was the passage of a law by the 
Legislature of 1893 (Chapter 532) providing that the Mayor of 
the city of New York should appoint a Commission to prepare 
and report to the Legislature, at its next session, a comprehensive 
revision of the laws affecting common schools and public edu- 
cation in the city, including such alterations in then existing laws 
and such new enactments as might be deemed necessary and of 
advantage to the schools. The Commission 2 made a thorough 
investigation, studied the school laws of other cities, and held 
public meetings. Its report was presented in March, 1894, 
accompanied by a bill which abolished the Inspectors and de- 
prived the Trustees of all powers except that of visiting schools 
and reporting on their condition. The bill made no change in 
the Board of Education, beyond vesting in it some of the powers 
exercised by the Trustees, while others of those powers were 
transferred to a Board of Superintendents, to consist of a City 
Superintendent and twenty Division Superintendents. A Super- 

1 See Annual Report, 1888, p. 153. 

2 It consisted of E. Ellery Anderson, David McClure, Oscar S. Straus, Stephen 
H. Olin, and Thomas Hunter. They were appointed by Mayor Thomas F. Gilroy. 



Board of Education 1890 to 1897 187 

intendent of School Buildings and Supplies was also provided for. 
All these officials were to have five-year terms. Large powers 
were given to the Board of Superintendents, which was to have 
full jurisdiction over courses of study, to examine applicants 
for licenses, and to nominate principals and teachers to the 
Board of Education. 

The bill was duly introduced in both branches of the Legis- 
lature, and its passage was unanimously favored by the Board 
of Education ; but it was not reported from committee. In 
1895 the bill was again brought forward, with some small 
changes. It passed the Assembly, but was defeated in the 
Senate, its defeat being secured by the combined efforts of the 
Trustees, Inspectors, and teachers of the city. At the session 
of 1896 the bill was once more introduced. As an offset, 
another bill was proposed which retained the Trustees with 
substantially unimpaired powers, and this bill was favored by 
the Board of Education. 

The trustee system was the centre around which the battle 
was waged with ardor by the friends of the existing order, on 
the one hand, and the so-called reform element, on the other. 
So objectionable was the very name "trustee" that the advo- 
cates of reform succeeded in having the bill amended so as to 
do away with the Trustees entirely, and in that form it was 
finally passed. School Inspectors, however, were retained, with 
powers of visitation, etc. 

While there were elements of truth in the charges made 
against the Trustees, and while there were undeniably bad fea- 
tures connected with the trustee system, it must be admitted 
that many of the Trustees were earnest and public-spirited citi- 
zens, who gave much time to the schools and rendered excellent 
service to the community. Not a few men appointed as mem- 
bers of the Board of Education served previously for extended 
periods as trustees, thus gaining valuable experience, which 
greatly increased their usefulness when promoted to be Com- 
missioners. Although the trustee system was by no means an 



1 88 The New York Public School 

unmitigated evil, but possessed good features as well as bad, 
doubtless few will deny, in the light of recent educational history 
in this city, that its abolition in 1896 was a step forward. 

The bill abolishing the Trustees became Chapter 387 of the 
laws of 1896. Its most important feature, after that just men- 
tioned, was the creation of a Board of Superintendents, consisting 
of the City Superintendent and as many Assistant Superintend- 
ents as the Board of Education might deem necessary ; and the 
Board of Superintendents was empowered to nominate principals 
and teachers, subject to the approval of the Board of Education, 
to recommend changes in the course of study, etc. To the 
Board of Superintendents was intrusted the practical manage- 
ment of the schools in general, only a veto power being vested 
in the Board of Education ; on the theory that work of the char- 
acter mentioned should be performed by experts trained in peda- 
gogy and school methods, while the Board of Education should 
act, substantially, in the same capacity as the Board of Trustees 
of a college. The power of examining and licensing candidates 
for teacherships was lodged in the Board of Superintendents. 
It was authorized to promote teachers, subject to rules and 
regulations adopted by the Board of Education, and could also 
remove teachers other than principals and vice-principals, pro- 
vided such removal was approved in writing by a majority of 
the Inspectors of the district ; but any teacher so removed had 
the right of appeal to the Board of Education. The latter 
Board was authorized to remove any principal, vice-principal, or 
other teacher by a three-fourths vote, upon the recommendation 
of a majority of the Inspectors of the district or upon the recom- 
mendation of the Board of Superintendents. All nominations of 
teachers were required to be made from an eligible list of those 
who had successfully passed examination. 

No change was made in the number of members of the 
Board of Education or in the manner of their appointment. 
The Board was authorized to divide the city into not less than 
fifteen school inspection districts, and to the Mayor was given 



Board of Education 1890 to 1897 189 

power to appoint in each district five Inspectors, whose duty it 
was to visit schools and report on their condition, the efficiency 
of teachers, etc. 

Acting under the provisions of the new law, the Board 
of Education appointed fifteen Assistant Superintendents of 
Schools, in addition to a City Superintendent, and also several 
supervisors of special branches, viz., Supervisors of Free Lec- 
tures, Manual Training, Music, Physical Education, Kinder- 
gartens, Cooking, and Sewing. 

Sweeping changes were made in the Board of Education 
in 1895, when Mayor William L. Strong, acting in pursu- 
ance of the provisions of a special act of the Legislature, 
removed not less than twelve members of the Board, and ap- 
pointed others in their places. The Mayor's right to do this 
was questioned by some, but no test of the question was made. 
f A long stride in advance occurred in 1897, when the Board 
took positive action towards establishing high schools, a subject 
which had been agitated for a number of years.; In September 
of that year three high schools were opened : one for boys, one 
for girls, and a thircT, in the territory north of the Harlem River, 
for both boys and girls. The Boys' High School (now the De 
Witt Clinton) was opened in Public School 35, in West Thirteenth 
street ; the Girls' High School (now the Wadleigh 1 ), in Public 
School 47, in East Twelfth street ; and the Mixed High School 
(now the Morris 2 ), at One hundred and fifty-seventh street and 
Third avenue. In the selection of principals for these schools 
every effort was made by the Board of Education to obtain the 
best available men, and the entire country was canvassed to 
secure experts of the highest standing in matters appertaining 
to secondary education. 

1 So named in honor of Miss Lydia F. Wadleigh, who had been a successful 
principal of a girls' department for several years before her appointment, in 1870, to 
a position in the Normal College, where she filled the position of Lady Superintendent 
for many years. 

2 Named in honor of Gouverneur Morris. 



190 The New York Public School 

In this year (1897) the Board was successful in its efforts 
to secure the passage of a bill by the Legislature authorizing 
the issue of city bonds to the amount of $2,500,000 for high 
school purposes, and four sites for high schools were speedily 
selected. 1 The success of the high schools was immediate, and 
it soon became necessary to open annexes, either in other school 
buildings or in leased premises. 

The lack of school accommodations, resulting in serious 
overcrowding and in the exclusion of a large number of children 
desiring to attend school, had caused much complaint on the 
part of citizens for several years, but, in spite of all endeavors, 
the Board found itself powerless to meet the demands of the 
steadily increasing school population. "The unprecedented 
growth of the city," said the Annual Report for 1896, "together 
with unexpected movements of population, rendered it almost 
impossible to keep pace with the demands in given localities 
or to anticipate the needs of certain sections of the city that 
speedily outgrew the accommodations that were provided " 
(p. 53). In 1896 the sum of $2,564,832 was expended for sites 
and buildings ($866,643 f r buildings, etc., and $1,698,188 for 
sites) an amount $911,312 larger than "the amount expended 
for like purposes in any previous year in the history of the 
Board." In the following year extraordinary efforts were put 
forth to secure additional funds, and a law was enacted author- 
izing bonds to the amount of $10,000,000 for sites and school- 
houses. A large number of sites were at once selected and 
proceedings taken for their acquisition. 

To facilitate the process of acquiring sites, which was very 
tedious in many cases, owing to long-drawn-out condemnation 

1 One at Tenth avenue, Fifty-eighth and Fifty-ninth streets, on which the De Witt 
Clinton School is now being built ; one in One hundred and fourteenth and One 
hundred and fifteenth streets, near Eighth avenue, for the Wadleigh School, which 
was opened for use in 1902 ; one at One hundred and sixty-sixth street and Boston 
road, for the Morris School, which was opened in 1904; and a fourth, for a manual 
training school, in East Fifteenth and Sixteenth streets, near First avenue, on which 
the Stuyvesant High School is being erected. 



Board of Education 1890 to 1897 191 

proceedings, a law was obtained in 1897 giving the Board of 
Education power to determine that title to any property selected 
for school purposes should vest in the city four months after 
the filing of the oaths of the commissioners appointed by the 
court to conduct condemnation proceedings. 

In addition to the bond issues mentioned above and those 
referred to in the preceding chapter, schoolhouse bonds were 
authorized by acts of the Legislature passed in 1891 (Chapter 
264), 1893 (Chapter 282), 1894 (Chapter 459), and 1895 
(Chapter 88). 

In 1893 an act was passed (Chapter 432) authorizing the issue 
of bonds to the amount of $250,000 for improving the sanitary 
condition of school buildings in the city by alterations in and 
additions to the heating and ventilating apparatus, and much 
good work was thus accomplished. 

During the period now under consideration great improve- 
ments in the designing and erection of school buildings were 
made. The steel skeleton system of construction was employed, 
saving time in the erection and, by reducing the thickness of 
the enclosing walls, securing more light and air; five-story 
buildings were built, the fifth story furnishing accommodation 
for physical and manual training ; more ornate structures were 
planned, with more artistic treatment of materials ; the so-called 
" H " style of building, giving abundant light to all classrooms, 
with no possibility of its being cut off by the erection of adjacent 
buildings, was adopted for sections of the city where sites were 
very costly; mechanical ventilation for classrooms and adjustable 
seats and desks were introduced ; (jn fact, a new era in school 
architecture may truthfully be said to have been inaugurated. 

By a law passed in 1892 it was provided that all school 
buildings of a height exceeding thirty-five feet must be con- 
structed of fireproof materials. 

A noteworthy innovation occurred in 1896, in the introduc- 
tion of roof playgrounds for schoolchildren. A small experiment 
was first made at Grammar School 75, in Norfolk street ; a lot 



1 92 The New York Public School 

was purchased adjoining the school property, but not large 
enough for both indoor and outdoor playgrounds, and it was 
decided to erect a one-story building to form an indoor play- 
room, and to pave the roof with asphalt and put up a railing to 
form an outside playground. The plan worked admirably ; and 
the large new building of Public School i, at Henry, Oliver, and 
Catherine streets, was planned for a big playground on the roof, 
which was paved with tiles and made secure with walls, railings, 
wire nettings, etc., so as to prevent injury to the children using 
it or to persons on the streets or roofs below. The same idea 
has been carried out in buildings more recently erected. 

An important piece of legislation was enacted in 1894, 
namely, the law creating the Public School Teachers' Retire- 
ment Fund, which authorized the Board of Education, on the 
recommendation of the City Superintendent, to retire on half 
pay any teacher mentally or physically incapable of performing 
duty, after a period of teaching, in the case of a man, of thirty- 
five years, and in the case of a woman, of thirty years. The 
Retirement Fund was to be made up of moneys deducted from 
teachers' salaries for unexcused absences. The annuity was 
limited to $1000 in all cases. No retirements were made in 
1894, but in the following year thirty-six principals and teachers 
were retired, and at the close of 1896 there were eighty-five 
names on the payroll of retired teachers, the amount to which 
they were entitled being $51,113.50 per annum. \^New York 
was the first_city in the country to make provision for the retire- 
ment on pension of faithful teachers who have devoted the major 
part of their lives to the instruction of the young, and who in 
old age are incapacitated for work. ^ 

The school system of New York was enlarged in 1895 by 
the addition of nine schools (six grammar and three primary) 
located in towns in Westchester County which were annexed to 
the city in that year. 

There was a strong tendency during the period under review, 
and for several years previously, in favor of consolidating 



Board of Education 1890 to 1897 193 

schools and departments, where practicable, in the interest of 
efficiency and economy, and repeated recommendations on this 
head are to be found in the annual reports of the City Super- 
intendent. The Board adopted many of these. Consolidations 
were rendered easier by the abolition, in 1897, of the separation 
between grammar and primary schools. The primary schools 
(forty-eight in all), which had been numbered by themselves, 
were thereupon renumbered, to follow in consecutive order 
the grammar schools, and since that time all the schools, 
without reference to the grades taught in them, have been 
designated simply as public schools. 

The annual report of the City Superintendent for 1895 
records the fact that 24,000 children were refused admission to 
the schools during that year for lack of room, while for 1896 
that official reported 28,825 non-admissions, adding: "There is 
no doubt that some of these were reports by different Principals 
of the refusal of the same pupil, especially in cases of removal 
from one part of the city to another." In his report for the 
last-mentioned year the Superintendent said : " Another indica- 
tion of the necessity for additional school accommodations is to 
be seen in the number of pupils taught in half-day classes ; 
on December 3ist, 1896, there were 10,381 pupils on register in 
such classes in the schools of the city " (p. 142). 

An interesting experiment was made in 1893, when the 
Board was enabled to establish seven kindergarten classes, a 
special appropriation of $5000 having been granted by the 
Board of Estimate and Apportionment for the purpose. Lack of 
funds prevented the extension of kindergarten instruction in the 
ensuing year, but at the close of 1895 there were ten classes, 
with a registration of 268, and a year later fifteen classes, with 
a registration of 420. The interest in this work was greatly 
stimulated in the latter part of 1896 by the action of the Board 
of Education in appointing a Supervisor of Kindergartens. 

A new Compulsory Education Law was enacted in 1894, more 
stringent in its character than the law passed twenty years 



194 The New York Public School 

earlier. Under its provisions sixteen attendance officers were 
appointed. In 1897 a Truant School, for the detention 
of children habitually absenting themselves from school, was 
established in East Twenty-first street. 

A change of some consequence in the course of study was 
made in 1893, in the provision of a supplementary year in the 
grammar schools for the special benefit of pupils not desiring 
to enter either the College of the City of New York or the 
Normal College. In 1897 a number of changes and modifica- 
tions were made in the course of study. 

After careful consideration a new graded system of salaries 
was adopted in 1896, which may be given, in synopsis, as follows : 

Boys' and mixed grammar schools Principals, from $2250 to $3000 ; 
vice-principals, $1800 to $2016. 

Girls' grammar schools Principals, $1200 to $1700; vice-principals, 
$1000 to $1200. 

Primary departments Principals, $1000 to $1700; vice-principals, $850 
to $1200. 

Men assistant teachers, $1080 to $2016. 

Women assistant teachers Boys' grammar schools, $633 to $1116; 
mixed grammar schools, $603 to $1086; girls' grammar schools, $573 to 
$1056; primary departments and schools, $504 to $900. 

The free lectures were continued with increasing success 
from year to year. In 1896, 1007 lectures were delivered, in 
twenty-four school buildings and six other halls ; the attendance 
was 388,399, being an increase over 1895 of 100,234. 

In 1895 the biennial school census required by statute was 
taken for the first time, the work being done largely by the 
attendance officers. In 1897 a school census was taken by the 
police force. The census of 1895 showed the following results: 
Children between five and sixteen years of age boys, 168,020; 
girls, 171,736; attending public schools boys, 99,945; girls, 
98,834; attending other schools boys, 30,249; girls, 32,207; 
out of school, employed boys, 13,888; girls, 14,564; truants 
from school boys, 23,988; girls, 26,131. 

Arbor Day exercises were introduced in the schools in 1891. 



Board of Education 1890 to 1897 195 



On October 10, 1892, 10,220 boys attending the public 
schools, representing every grammar department containing 
boys, marched in the School and College Parade in connection 
with the celebration of the four hundredth anniversary of the 
discovery of America. They were marshalled in twenty regi- 
ments, and made a most creditable showing. On the same day 
1680 girls from the grammar departments sang a number of 
patriotic songs from a stand erected at Reservoir square, form- 
ing, by means of appropriate caps and capes, a representation 
of an American shield and six American flags. 

Several thousand dollars were expended in 1896 in equipping 
the schools with flagstaffs and flags, in pursuance of the statute 
requiring a United States flag to be displayed upon or near all 
school buildings during school sessions. The appropriation for 
this purpose was $7500. 

The Central Evening High School, established in 1890, was 
discontinued in 1896. 

COMPARISON BETWEEN 1890 AND I896 1 





1890 


189C 


Grammar schools for bovs 


4 6 


4Q 


Grammar schools for girls 


48 




Grammar schools, mixed (boys and girls) . 
Primary schools and departments .... 
Total 


14 
120 
228 


24 
132 

2CC 


Whole number of pupils taught .... 
Average attendance . 


257,561 


318,545 
1 74. QJ.2 


Number of teachers . 


j r 17 


A A%A 


Salaries of teachers 


&2.Q37.24.6 6? 


$3 Co8 OOI Q7 


Total expenditures 


4. 060 ?8o 27 2 


50Q-J 8^7 CO^ 


Cost of books and supplies through the 
Depository 


167,114.. 77 


245,855 56 


Value of school sites and buildings . . . 


15,524,600.00 


20,775,286.00 



1 No Annual Report was issued for the year 1897. 

2 Not including expenditures on bond account, which amounted in 1890 to 
$1,653,520.13, and in 1896 to $2,564,832.84. 



196 The New York Public School 

OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 1890 TO 1897 

President 
J. Edward Simmons . . . 1890 (to July 2d) 

John L. N. Hunt 1890 (from July 2d)-i892 

Adolph L. Sanger 1 .... 1893 

Charles H. Knox 1894, 1895 (to June 24th) 

Robert Maclay 1 1895 (from July ist), 1896 

Charles Bulkley Hubbell . . 1897 

Clerk 
Arthur McMullin .... 1890-1897 

Superintendent of School Buildings 
George W. Debevoise . . . 1890, 1891 
C. B. J. Snyder 1891 (from July 8th)-i897 

Auditor 
George T. Balch 1 1890-1893 (position abolished May 3d) 

City Superintendent of Schools 
John Jasper 1890-1897 

Assistant Superintendents of Schools 

Norman A. Calkins 1 . . . 1890-1895 (to December 22d) 

John H. Fanning 1 .... 1890 (to June 26th) 

William Jones x 1890-1892 (to February 3d) 

James Godwin 1890-1897 

Paul Hoffman 1 1890-1893 (to December 2d) 

Henry W. Jameson .... 1890-1897 

George S. Davis 1890-1897 

Edward D. Farrell .... 1890 (from January I5th)-i 897 

Henry M. Leipziger . . . . 1891 (from May 2oth)-i896 (to July 1st) 

James Lee 1892 (from April 6th)-i897 

Eugene D. Bagen .... 1894 (from January ist)- 1896 

Alfred T. Schauffler . . . 1894 (from January roth)- 1897 

Gustave StraubenmUller . . 1895 (from January 9^-1897 

John L. N. Hunt .... 1896 (from July 8th), 1897 

Addison D. Poland .... 1896 (from February I9th), 1897 (to Febru- 
ary 1 7th) 
1 Deceased. 



Board of Education 1890 to 1897 197 

Thomas S. O'Brien .... 1896 (from March i8th), 1897 

Matthew J. Elgas .... 1896 (from July 8th), 1897 

Albert P. Marble 1896 (from July 1st), 1897 

Clarence E. Meleney . . . 1896 (from July 1st), 1897 

Seth T. Stewart 1896 (from July 1st), 1897 

Edgar Dubs Shimer . . . 1896 (from September i6th), 1897 

Walter B. Gunnison . . . 1896 (from July ist to September gth) 

Supervisors of Special Subjects 

Henry M. Leipziger Free Lectures . . . 1896 (from July ist), 1897 

Frank Damrosch Music 1897 (from September) 

James P. Haney Manual Training . . . 1896 (from September I4th), 

1897 
Miss M. Augusta Requa Physical Education 1896 (from September I4th), 

1897 
Miss Sophie J. Nicolai Physical Education 1896 (from September I4th), 

1897 

Miss Jenny B. Merrill Kindergartens . . 1896 (from October 2 ist), 1897 
Mrs. Mary E. Williams Cooking. . . . 1896 (from October 2 ist), 1897 
Mrs. Annie L. Jessup Sewing 1896 (from September I4th), 

1897 



CHAPTER XXIII 
BROOKLYN SCHOOLS BEFORE 1843 

I THE history of education in Brooklyn and the other 
Boroughs is quite unlike the history of the development of 
schools in the former city of New York, at all events in that 
most interesting period during which the Public School Society, 
a singular anomaly in educational annals, flourished. Nowhere 
else were the schools and the school moneys, during a long 
course of years, placed under the control of a private corpora- 
tion, having no direct responsibility to the people ; nowhere 
else were witnessed such memorable religious controversies as 
those marking the career of the Society, which have been 
recounted in previous chapters ; nowhere else was a Board of 
Education confronted for a decade by a rival organization, 
which it at length succeeded in absorbing.^ 

In the earlier periods, however, a striking similarity is to 
be noted in nearly all parts of the present city. This is what 
might be expected, seeing that almost every section was settled 
by people of similar character, and naturally developed along 
lines substantially alike. In Brooklyn (Breuckelen), as in New 
Amsterdam, the minister appears to have preceded the school- 
master. As nearly as can be determined, the first church on 
Long Island was established at Flatbush (Midwout) in 1654; 
and the residents of Brooklyn were obliged for some time to 
travel to Flatbush to attend public worship. In 1660 a minister 
was appointed for Brooklyn ; and in the following year Carel 
de Beauvois (or Debevoise) was engaged as schoolmaster. l 

1 "As far back as 1661 the records of the schools in this town [Brooklyn] can 
be traced. In May of that year Governor Stuyvesant recommended Charles Dube- 

198 



Brooklyn Schools before 1843 199 

There is every probability that there was a school in Flat- 
bush a year or two earlier, and very likely as early as 1653. 
In his History of Flatbu s/i, Dr. Strong stated that Adriaen Hege- 
man, clerk and schout, was the first schoolmaster, 1659-1671, 
while, in Early Settlers of Kings County, Mr. Teunis G. Bergen 
gave the place of honor to Reynier Bastiaensen Van Giesen, 
with whom an agreement was made in June, 1660, to teach the 
school, perform the duties of court messenger, etc. Dr. Stiles, 
in his compendious History of Kings Cotinty, endeavors to rec- 
oncile the difference between the two investigators. " It will 
be seen," he says, " that it is quite possible that Hegeman 
acted in this capacity, from 1653 or '54, the date of his first 
coming to Flatbush, until 1660, in 5th June, of which year 
(according to Bergen's translation of the first records) the con- 
sistory made an agreement with Van Giesen to become school- 
master. He served until October 26, 1663, when Pilgrom Cloeq 
was engaged, and probably served until 1671. This covers the 
period for which Dr. Strong could find no other schoolmaster 
than Hegeman, and places the date of the employment of a 
schoolmaster at a much earlier point. It is also in accordance 
with Dutch custom ; for it cannot be supposed that the first 
settlers were here for nearly fifteen years without a school- 
master and krank-besoecker" (p. 249). 

Writing at a later period, Dr. Ross, in his History of Long 
Island?- asserts that " Hegeman, the common ancestor of that 
now numerous family, came here from Amsterdam about 1650 
and took up his residence at first in New Amsterdam. In 1654 
he was a magistrate of Flatbush, and in 1661 schout fiscal of the 
five Dutch towns; and he held other public offices, besides 
being described as an auctioneer. . . . Hegeman appears to 
have been a man of wealth, and it is impossible to conceive of 

roice (sic) as a suitable person to be employed as teacher, and also for clerk and 
sexton of the church." Report of Theodore F. King, Deputy Superintendent of 
Schools for Kings County, to the State Superintendent of Common Schools, 1842. 
1 Vol. I, pp. 266, 267. 



2oo The New York Public School 

his performing the full duties of schoolmaster, which, as we 
shall see, included much that were rather servile in their 
nature. ... It is possible, therefore, that he simply per- 
formed a part of the duties which fell to the lot of a school- 
master until a regular and full appointment was made. This 
was in 1660, when Reynier Van Giesen was installed. . . . Van 
Giesen held the office until 1663, when he removed to Bergen 
county, New Jersey, and Pilgrom Clocq was appointed school- 
master in his stead, continuing as such until 1671." 

The first school in Flatbush, which was doubtless the earliest 
school on Long Island, is reputed to have been located not far 
from the present site of Erasmus Hall High School. " What is 
supposed to have been the first village school house stood on a 
plot to the north of Erasmus Hall campus, and remained in use 
over a century and a half. Additions were made as needed, so, 
when it was sold, in 1803, for use as a village store, and the 
school moved to the Academy, it was composed of three small 
buildings joined together." * 

A definite date is fixed for the commencement of the school 
under Carel de Beauvois in Brooklyn, namely, the 4th of July, 
1 66 1. The first school tax of 150 guilders was levied by order 
of Director-General Stuyvesant, and the government added 50 
guilders from its treasury. Dr. Stiles adds that " The names of 
the earliest settlers of Breucklyn who were assessed to establish 
public education are still to be found in the archives of the 
city " (p. 609). The salary fixed for the first teacher was the 
whole amount raised for school purposes, and he was also 
furnished with a dwelling house. The school is believed to 
have been opened in a little church edifice, octagonal in form, 
which stood near the point where Bridge street now joins Ful- 

1 Flatbush, Past and Present, Fisher, p. 53. Mr. Fisher adds that in 1844 the 
trustees of the Academy requested that other accommodations be provided for the 
school, and a large frame building, the upper part of which was used as a court room, 
was erected near the present site of Public School 90 ; and that a new brick school- 
house was built in 1878, at a cost of $19,000. 



Brooklyn Schools before 1843 201 

ton street. The schoolmaster was a learned man, of Huguenot 
extraction. J 

The next school (the third) within the present limits of Brook- 
lyn was established in Bushwick(Boswyck), about the beginning 
of 1663, by Boudewyn Manout, who also acted as court clerk. 
In Stiles's History appears a quotation from the ancient records 
(here given verbatim), stating that on December 28, 1662, 

" the magistrates of the village of Boswyck, appeared before the council, repre- 
senting that they in their village, were in great need of a person who would 
act as clerk and schoolmaster to instruct the youth ; and, that, as one had been 
proposed to them, viz. : Boudewyn Manout, from Crimpen op de Lecq [a 
village in Holland] they had agreed with him, that he should officiate as voorleser 
or clerk, and keep school for the instruction of the youth. For his [services] as 
clerk he was to receive 400 guilders in [wampum] annually ; and, as school- 
master, free house rent and firewood. They therefore solicited, that their 
action in the matter might meet the approval of the Director General and 
Council in Nieuw Netherland, and that the Council would also contribute 
something annually to facilitate the payment of the said salary "(p. 276). 

The historian adds : " The Council assented, and promised, 
that, after he had been duly examined and approved by the 
reverend ministers of the city, they would lighten the annual 
burden of the village by contributing annually /25, heavy 
money." 

Indeed, the duties of a schoolmaster in the days of Dutch 
supremacy, and for some years afterward, were multifarious and 
confusing. On this point interesting light is shed by an agree- 
ment made with Johannes Cornelius Van Eckkelen, who was 
appointed schoolmaster at Flatbush in 1682. The agreement in 
full is given in Appendix I. 

1 "After the settled pastor came the schoolmaster. He, too, was a learned and 
distinguished man Carel de Beauvois, an educated French Protestant from Leyden, 
who was appointed in Breuckelen in 1661, and was also required to perform the 
offices of court messenger, precentor (voorsanger) , ring the bell, and do whatever else 
is required." Historic New York, II, p. 401. In his History of the Early Schools 
in Long Island, Thiry says that " In 1661 Brooklyn received its first school-master in 
the person of Carl De Bevoise, who emigrated from Leyden in 1659. He was the 
common ancestor of the now widespread and influential De Bevoise family" (p. 12). 



2O2 The New York Public School 

The Bushwick school was conducted in the church edifice at 
that settlement, which, like the one in Brooklyn, appears to have 
been of octagonal shape. It stood near what is now the inter- 
section of Bushwick avenue and Skillman street. " It is," says 
Dr. Stiles, "an interesting, and, perhaps, to most of the people 
of Brooklyn, an astonishing fact, that when, about two centuries 
later, the Board of Education assumed jurisdiction of the public 
schools of Bushwick, at the time of the consolidation of that town 
with the city of Brooklyn, in the year 1855, it found the district 
school still kept on the same site on which it was founded in 1662, 
and surrounded by the same walls of houses which had guarded 
it for two centuries " (p. 610). This school became No. 23 after 
the consolidation of Williamsburgh and Bushwick with Brooklyn. 

The fourth school within what is now Brooklyn was organ- 
ized in the village of Bedford, at the junction of Clove, Cripple- 
bush, and Jamaica lanes, 1 probably in the same year (1663). 
"This school," we learn from Dr. Stiles, "is memorable for 
many incidents connected with the history of Brooklyn. Here 
John Vandervoort taught for sixty years. . . . John Vander- 
voort took charge of this school about 1748 or '50, and is 
supposed to have been its second teacher. His long service 
of sixty years was uninterrupted, except for a while during the 
Revolution, when he was imprisoned by the British. The old 
school-house had two rooms, with a large chimney between ; one 
room being the school room proper, the other used as a residence 
for the teacher; and, about 1775, an addition was made, some 
fourteen feet square, which the teacher was permitted to use as 
a grocery store, by means of which he eked out his slender 
salary" (p. 610). The modern successor of this school has 
been known as No. 3 since the organization of the Board of 
Education, in 1843. 

1 The Clove road (as it was known later) led from Bedford to Flatbush ; the 
Cripplebush road from Bedford to Newtown ; and Jamaica lane became the Brook- 
lyn and Jamaica turnpike. The school probably stood near the junction of Bedford 
avenue or Nostrand avenue and Fulton street. 



Brooklyn Schools before 1843 203 

The earliest mention of a common school in Flatlands ap- 
pears in the year 1675, when, according to Stiles, "it was evi- 
dently in a mature and vigorous career, under the care of the 
church elders and was called 'The School of the Town.' The 
first notice we have of it is in regard to a supply of books by 
the deacons ; and entries and bills, of elementary and religious 
books paid for, appear in their accounts from 1675 for a long 
period of years, along with every variety and order of expenses " 
(PP- 75 76). If the well-established custom was followed in 
this town, and the schoolmaster was also chorister, reader, and 
sexton, the name of Wellem Gerretse is deserving of honorable 
mention. 

The records of the town of Gravesend show that a school 
was established in 1728; it stood on the site occupied by the 
town hall at the time of the annexation of the town to Brooklyn, 
in 1894, and was used until 1778, when a larger building took 
its place. This was in use for about fifty years, when it was 
converted into a town hall ; a new site was then purchased and 
a more roomy schoolhouse built. A second school was started 
in the town in 1811, and several others were organized before 
annexation took place. 

The town of New Lots was not set off from Flatbush until 
1852. A school was opened in that section as early as 1740. 
A more commodious building took the place of the first one 
about 1810. 

/ The Dutch, as was shown in an earlier chapter, took pride 
in maintaining free schools ; but during the British regime little 
or no attention was paid to public education, and the govern- 
ment did nothing toward the support of schools. The schools 
previously established seem to have been maintained by their 
patrons. 

Two other schools are supposed to have been organized 
before the Revolutionary War. One was in the vicinity of the 
Wallabout Creek ; after some years it was removed to what is now 
Bedford and Flushing avenues, and later it became Brooklyn 



204 The New York Public School 

School No. 4. The other was started in Gowanus, on one of 
the Bergen farms, principally for the benefit of the families 
of that name. It was opened in a dwelling-house ; after the 
Revolution a schoolhouse was built near the corner of the 
present Third avenue and Fortieth street. This school became 
No. 2 under the Brooklyn Board of Education. 1 

" In all the schools mentioned above," says Dr. Stiles, " the 
Dutch language was at first the only one used. But, from 
about the year 1758 to the year 1800, both the Dutch and Eng- 
lish languages were taught. In the Bushwick and Gowanus 
schools, the use of the Dutch tongue was continued much later, 
and even down to the Revolution. In the Bushwick school 
studies in Dutch were not abandoned until about fifty years 
ago "(p. 6ii). 2 

"In 1770 the town [Brooklyn] contained only one school of 
19 scholars. ... In 1770, a school house was built by subscrip- 
tion, for the accommodation of the town. The subscribers 
chose the trustees, who managed the financial affairs, and ad- 
mitted free all who were unable to pay. . . . This appears to 
be the earliest attempt at anything like a district or common 
school system." 3 

The claim is made on behalf of the school in Gowanus that 
in 1810 that district took advantage of the State law passed in 
1805 and elected trustees. If this claim could be substantiated, 
School No. 2 would have the credit of being the first school 
organized under the new law in the territory now Brooklyn. 

1 "The first documentary evidence we possess of this school is dated 1792, at 
which date it is known to have been in existence in a log house, situated on a farm 
lane near Forty-fourth Street and Third Avenue. It was removed to a frame build- 
ing in 1797, and in 1820 experienced another removal to a building on Martense 
Lane." Historical Sketch of the Public Schools of Brooklyn, Field, pp. xxxii, xxxiii. 

2 This paragraph was written prior to 1884. The schools referred to did not 
include those in New Lots, Flatbush, Flatlands, and Gravesend, which were not 
united with Brooklyn until 1886, 1894, and 1895. 

8 Report of Deputy Superintendent King to the State Superintendent of 
Common Schools, 1842. 



Brooklyn Schools before 184.3 205 

Mr. Tunis G. Bergen, President of the Brooklyn Board of 
Education from 1882 to 1886, who wrote a part of the chapter 
on " The Department of Public Education" in Stiles's History, 
makes the positive assertion that this was done, and names as 
the first trustees Garret Bergen, Stephen Hendrickson, and 
Cornelius Van Brunt. 

The first distribution of the Common School Fund created 
by the act of 1805 took place in 1815. In 1816 a tax of 
$2000 was levied upon the village of Brooklyn, and a common 
school was opened on the 6th of May in that year, in the lower 
part of a building in Adams street, near Sands. 1 There were 
then 552 children within the village limits who did not attend 
private schools. 

A schoolhouse in District No. 3, town of Bushwick, was built 
in 1826, in the vicinity of North First street. In the mean 
time the original Bushwick school had been organized as 
District School No. i, and a second school had been started at 
Bushwick Crossroads. The school in District No. I was the 
first in what later became the village and city of Williamsburgh. 
An account of this school was written a few years ago by Mr. 
James Murphy, 2 and from it the following is taken : 

" Williamsburgh's first schoolhouse was located on the block of ground now 
bounded by Berry street and Bedford avenue, Grand and North First streets. 
The land for the school site, history tells us, was donated by Mr. David 
Dunham, a New York merchant, in the year 1820. A schoolhouse was 
erected thereon by the people of the neighborhood, and was known as 
District School No. 3 of the town of Bushwick. The earliest schoolmaster of 
whom we have recollection was a Mr. Beverly, an English gentleman. He 

1 The first principal of the school was John Dikeman, afterwards Judge of the 
Court of Common Pleas and County Judge. It may be remarked that no connection 
is traceable between the school established in 1661 and the school opened in 1816, 
although Mr. Field says that the former " is shown, by various documents, to have 
been in existence at different periods, under one form or another, for more than two 
centuries," and adds that "it was opened as a district school" on May 6, 1816. 
Historical Sketchy p. xxxi. 

2 Mr. Murphy was a member of the Brooklyn Board of Education for more than 
twenty years, beginning with 1861, and was its Vice-President for several years. 



206 The New York Public School 

was in charge of the school in 1830, and for several years afterward ; how long 
before that date we have not been able to learn. . . . The old schoolhouse 
was removed to Sixth (now Roebling) street in the year 1849, and fitted up 
for a dwelling house, and is still so used. School sessions were held from 
9 A.M. to 12 M. the year round, and from i to 4 P.M. in winter, 2 to 5 P.M. in 
summer, except Wednesdays and Saturdays, when there were no afternoon 
sessions." 

Within the present boundaries of Brooklyn several other 
schools were established before the passage of the act provid- 
ing a Board of Education for the city: one in 1827 in the 
neighborhood of what is now the corner of Court and Degraw 
streets, which in course of time became No. 6 ; another in the 
same year at the northwest corner of Adams and Prospect 
streets (the second in the village of Brooklyn), now No. 7 ; 
another about the same time in a small frame building in Gold 
street, between Myrtle and Willoughby avenues, which devel- 
oped into No. 5 ; a fourth in 1830 in Middagh street, between 
Henry and Hicks, which became No. 8 ; a fifth a year or two 
later near the present site of the Mount Prospect Reservoir, 
which afterward was known as No. 9. About the same time a 
school was started in the vicinity of what was later Fourth 
avenue and Macomb street; this became No. 10. 

Mention is made by Dr. Stiles (p. 413) of a school established 
in 1813 by an association of charitable women "for the free 
instruction of poor children in reading, writing, arithmetic, knit- 
ting and sewing," which " ultimately resulted in the establish- 
ment of the first public school." It was governed by a board of 
five trustees, who solicited donations of books as well as of cash 
for rent and other expenses. The instruction was given by 
young women of the village who volunteered for the purpose. 1 

1 This school was modelled apparently after the school started by the Female 
Association in New York in 1802 (see Chapter I). Its location is not stated by Dr. 
Stiles, and it is impossible to identify it with any of the district schools of the village 
of Brooklyn. 



8 VEVKS A MKM 

nOA/RP 
\\D K<>i; ! I N -.' 

; 

1> 1 KP -'I I \K SOT 1 . 1 1^ 



BY THE TE ACHERS OF THE PUBLIC SG! 
OF BROOKLYN, 



A GROUP OF PRESIDENTS OF THE BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION 
1. Cyrus P. Smith. 2. J. Sullivan Thorne, M.D. 3. Ephraim J. Whitlock 



CHAPTER XXIV 
BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION ORGANIZATION 

PRIOR to the year 1843 all the schools of Brooklyn, which 
had been incorporated as a city nine years before, were organ- 
ized as separate district schools. An act passed in 1835 (Chap- 
ter 129) provided that the Common Council should appoint in 
each district three trustees of common schools, and for the 
whole city three inspectors and three commissioners of such 
schools. On March 23, 1843, the law was passed creating a 
governing body for all the schools of the city. This law (Chap- 
ter 63) provided that the members of the Common Council should 
be commissioners of common schools in and for the city, and 
that on the first Monday in April, 1843, they should "appoint 
two or more discreet and suitable persons, to represent each of 
the school districts," who should constitute the Board of Edu- 
cation. 1 The full term of membership was fixed at three years. 
The Mayor and the Deputy Superintendent of Common Schools 
for the county were made ex officio members. 

Under the terms of the act, the Common Council was 
empowered to make " such provision for the regulation of the 
Board of Education " as might be deemed " necessary to effect 
a complete and efficient organization for common school educa- 
tion." In April, accordingly, the Common Council adopted an 
ordinance to the effect that the Board of Education should hold 
its first meeting on the first Tuesday in May and stated meet- 
ings at least once a month ; and that its officers should be a 

1 The Board of Education for Brooklyn was established one year after that in 
New York ; its members were never elected by the people, by wards or districts, as 
was done on Manhattan Island for more than twenty-five years. 

207 



208 The New York Public School 

President, a Vice-President, and a Secretary, elected from its 
own members. This ordinance contained the odd provision 
that "The said Board shall make its own by-laws, subject to 
the approval of the Common Council." 

The Board was organized on May 2d, with twenty-eight mem- 
bers (not counting the ex officio members), as in two districts the 
full number of " discreet and suitable persons " had not been 
appointed. Dr. Theodore F. King, the Deputy County Super- 
intendent, was elected President, Stephen Haynes, of District 
No. 5, Vice-President, and Alfred G. Stevens, of District No. i, 
Secretary. 1 By an act passed in the same year (1843) the title 
of Deputy County Superintendent was changed to County Super- 
intendent. 2 The office of County Superintendent of Schools 
was abolished throughout the State (except in New York 
County) by an act passed November 13, 1847. In the suc- 
ceeding January the Board of Education was authorized to 
appoint a City Superintendent of Common Schools. A mem- 
ber of the Board, Dr. J. Sullivan Thorne, was elected to that 
office in March and served for two months. In May Samuel 
L. Holmes was elected. 3 

1 An amusing "heterophemy " appears in the minutes of the meeting of the 
Board held on December 5, 1843, namely, that "Mr. Addoms called the attention 
of the Lodge to the subject of the annual report," etc. 

2 Dr. King ceased to be County Superintendent at the close of the year 1843, 
and in January following Dr. J. Sullivan Thorne, representing District No. 7, was 
elected President. The salary of County Superintendent was $500 per annum. 

-"t^ 8 Brooklyn had a City Superintendent three years before New YorkjT^Mr. Holmes 
was a well-known teacher. In his report for the year 1852 he speaks of "having had 
the honor in 1843, * participate somewhat effectually, in the original establishment 
of this Board," evidently referring to the fact that in the year mentioned he was a 
member of the Assembly, from West Chester County. Just before going to Brooklyn 
he had been General Deputy Superintendent of Common Schools for the State. In 
that office he succeeded Samuel S. Randall, who, by a strange turn of fortune, became 
City Superintendent in Brooklyn in 1853, after the death of Mr. Holmes. Mr. 
Randall, after serving only a few weeks, resigned at the end of 1853, to become 
Deputy State Superintendent again ; and in June, 1854, he was chosen City Super- 
intendent of New York, in which office he served for sixteen years. The act of 1848, 
providing for a Brooklyn City Superintendent, limited the salary to $1000, and the 



Brooklyn Board of Education Organization 209 

An act passed in 1850 (Chapter 143) provided for a Board 
of Education of thirty-three members, appointed by the Com- 
mon Council; at least one member, it was prescribed, should 
reside in each school district. The full term of membership 
continued to be three years. A change of importance was 
made in 1854, when the law consolidating the city of Williams- 
burgh and the town of Bushwick with Brooklyn (Chapter 384) 
was enacted. This required the Common Council to appoint 
additional members for the new part of the city, and that body 
fixed the number of members at forty-five (thirteen of whom 
were to reside in the Eastern District, as the annexed territory 
was for many years, and is still to some extent, known). The 
number remained unchanged throughout the Board's existence. 
By an act which became a law in 1862 it was provided that the 
Mayor should nominate members of the Board of Education, 
subject to the confirmation of the Common Council; and under 
the amended charter which went into effect at the beginning of 
1882 the sole power of appointment was given to the Mayor. 

The amended charter (passed May 25, 1880) provided that 
any vacancy occurring in the Board during the remainder of 
that year should be filled by the Mayor and Comptroller, and any 
vacancy occurring during 1881 by the Mayor alone; and an act 
passed June 16, 1880 (Chapter 564), provided that, in case the 
Mayor and Comptroller failed to agree, then the Auditor of the 
city should become one of the appointing powers. 

From 1848 to 1857 the duties of Secretary of the Board were 
performed by the City Superintendent ; in the year last named 
the Board was authorized by law to appoint a Secretary. In 
1866 it was given power to appoint an Assistant Superintend- 
ent of Schools. 

By an amendment to the charter, adopted in 1873, it was 
provided that there should be a Department of Public Instruc- 

by-laws of the Board fixed it at that amount for Mr. Holmes, with " travelling 
expenses not exceeding $25." When Mr. Randall was appointed, the salary was 
fixed at SHOO. 
p 



2io The New York Public School 

tion in Brooklyn, under the control of the Board of Education ; 
in the same year the title of City Superintendent of Schools was 
changed to Superintendent of Public Instruction, and his term 
extended from one year to three, and the Board was empowered 
to appoint not more than two Associate Superintendents, also 
for terms of three years. 

A singular question arose in 1876 as to the terms of members 
of the Board. The amended charter of Brooklyn (Chapter 377, 
laws of 1880), by a general provision, fixed the terms of office of 
all heads of departments at two years. There was no specific 
mention of the Board of Education, and in 1882 Mayor Seth 
Low, taking it for granted "that the Legislature intended 
no change in the term of office of the members of the Board," 
announced that he should make all appointments for three years. 
" It is not to be lightly assumed," he said, " that the Legislature 
intended in an inferential way to change the whole structure of 
the Board." But in 1886 his successor (Daniel D. Whitney) 
took another view of the law, decided that the terms of the 
members appointed two years before had expired, and appointed 
their successors for two-year terms. Some confusion resulted, 
and doubt was thrown upon the legality of acts of the Board. 
To settle the question the Legislature was appealed to, and a 
law was passed in 1887 definitely fixing the term at three years 
and extending the terms of the members appointed in 1885 
and 1886. 

An innovation deserving of mention was made in 1895, when 
five women were appointed members of the Board. 1 They 
served for three years, for the last few months of their terms as 
members of the School Board for the Borough of Brooklyn. 

The offices and " depot " of the Board for the first few years 
were in the City Hall, and for a time in School No. i, but in 
1854 the Board took possession of an old residence on the 

1 The appointments were made by Mayor Charles A. Schieren. The women 
were Miss Isabel M. Chapman, Mrs. Mary E. Jacobs, Mrs. Ellen F. Pettengill, Miss 
Elizabeth H. Perry, and Mrs. Julia M. Powell. 



Brooklyn Board of Education Organization 2 1 1 

easterly side of Red Hook lane, between Fulton and Living- 
ston streets, which had been built just outside of the village 
limits by James E. Underbill, about 1830. 

" As late as 1830, Fulton street and Red Hook lane remained the principal 
thoroughfares of the village of Brooklyn. The corporate limits of the village 
on the east was (sic} the lane, and upon it, just outside of the embryo city, 
James E. Underhill, a successful builder, erected the pretentious and, what was 
then considered, splendid structure now [1884] occupied by the Board of 
Education. Red Hook lane was then a thronged and busy thoroughfare, 
affording the only means of access to the numerous mills and farms of South 
Brooklyn and the Hook. The farm of Tunis Johnson, covering nearly one 
hundred acres, was bounded by the lane, and was the nearest estate to the 
little corporation of the village of Brooklyn. On this prominent corner Mr. 
Underhill built his residence, and only a few of the citizens of Brooklyn 
remember that this narrow, secluded lane was, not many years ago, one of 
the busiest of her streets." 1 

This building was used, with some additions, for the head- 
quarters of the Board and as a depot for school supplies until 
1888, when it was replaced with a three-story brick structure, 
connected with a new building erected on a lot purchased in 
Livingston street. The cost of the improvements was about 
$56,000, and they were paid for from the interest on bank 
deposits which had been allowed to accumulate for a series of 
years. In 1891 the premises Nos. 133 and 135 Livingston street 
were purchased for the enlargement of the headquarters building. 

Under the act of 1850 the Board of Education was prohibited 
from purchasing sites for school buildings without the approval 
of the Common Council, and it was provided that the title to all 
property acquired or to be acquired for school purposes should 
be vested in the Board of Education. Another section stated 

1 Stiles, p. 615. The account in Mr. Field's Historical Sketch (pp. xviii, xix) is 
in substantially the same words. After the Board bought the Red Hook lane build- 
ing, plans were partly matured for organizing there a school in the nature of a 
high school, and definite action was taken to the extent of deciding to set aside 
$1600 for the purpose. It was believed that the building was large enough for de- 
pot purposes and for the proposed school. Dr. Stiles and Mr. Field were in error in 
saying that the Board of Education took possession of the building in 1850. 



212 The New York Piiblic School 

that the money raised for sites and for building, repairing, and 
furnishing schoolhouses should be known as the Special School 
Fund, and all other moneys as the General School Fund. 1 

The minutes of the Brooklyn Board of Education were first 
printed in 1867. 

The size of the Board became the subject of criticism after 
it had been in existence thirty or forty years, and, as it was 
considered by some to be cumbrous and unwieldy, numerous 
suggestions were offered from time to time in reference to re- 
organizing it. The most noteworthy effort in that direction 
occurred in 1894-1895, when an "Advisory Committee" was 
appointed by Mayor Schieren to investigate and report. 2 The 
committee pursued its inquiries for several months, and at length 
presented a unanimous report, accompanied by a draft of a bill. 
It was proposed to have a Board of Education of fifteen members, 
appointed by the Mayor, with a salaried Commissioner of Edu- 
cation as presiding officer, who should have a veto power upon 
certain acts of the Board, and be in general the executive 
head of the department. The Superintendent of Public Instruc- 
tion was to be nominated by the Commissioner and appointed 
by the Board; five Associate Superintendents were provided 
for, at least two of them to be women. Teachers were to be 
appointed from an eligible list, and no one was to be licensed to 
teach who had not had a four years' high school course, or its 
equivalent, and a year of professional training. The Committee 
urged the establishment of kindergartens. The bill, as prepared, 
was introduced in the Legislature, but strong opposition was 
made to it by the Board of Education as a whole and by the 
teaching force, and it was never reported out of committee. 

1 A very similar provision was included in the Greater New York Charter of 
1897, an d retained, in amended form, in the Revised Charter. 

2 The members of the Committee were John K. Creevey, William Harkness, John 
C. Kelley, J. Edward Swanstrom (then President of the Board of Education), Truman 
J. Backus, David H. Cochran, and Charles H. Levermore. 



CHAPTER XXV 



BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION 1843 TO 1854 

AT the organization of the Board of Education, in 1843, 
there were ten district schools, " besides two colored schools, 
aided and encouraged by the Board, but not yet under its full 
control." 1 In the ten schools for white children twenty-nine 
teachers were employed, and their salaries for 1843 amounted 
to $9510, an average of $328. The average attendance for that 
year (including 123 in the colored schools) was 1865. The fol- 
lowing table, taken from the fifth annual report 2 of the first City 
Superintendent (for the year 1852), is interesting as showing the 
growth of the system in its early years : 





1843 


1844 


1845 


184G 


1847 


No. of School Districts . . . 


10 


10 


10 


12 


12 


" " District Schools . . . 


10 


10 


10 


10 


12 


" Colored " ... 


2 


2 


2 


2 


2 


Ann. average attendance . . 
Number of Teachers .... 
Am't of Teachers' salaries as 
appointed (sic) 


1865 
29 

jtnr jo 


2098 

34 

$IO SCO 


2194 
41 

$12 77C 


2745 

66 

JU r 6? C 


3247 
78 

&IQ ' 7 ' 7 C 




#>y^iw 


#' i< -'O3 w 









1 City Superintendent's annual report, 1852, p. 7. An act of the Legislature 
passed in 1845 authorized the Mayor and Common Council, as commissioners of 
common schools, to lay out one or more school districts for colored children. 

2 Superintendent Holmes's first annual report (for 1848) was not printed. His 
report for 1849 was ordered to be printed in 1850. It is a pamphlet of seventeen 
pages, with a brown paper cover. Copies are very scarce. It is noticeable that Mr. 
Holmes in this report argued in favor of free text-books for all pupils. 

213 



214 



The New York Public School 



The same report contains a table of statistics for the ensuing 
four years, from which the following figures are taken : 





1848 


1849 


1850 


1851 


No of School Districts 


M 


1 1 


11 


11 


" " District Schools . ... 


12 


I ^ 


11 


n 


u u Branch Primaries .... 








i 


" " Colored Schools . . 


2 


2 


2 


2 


Average attendance during year . 
Amount expended for School sites, 
Buildings, &c 
No. of Teachers employed 


3767 
$11,140 

8c 


4326 

$2 1, 68 1 

Q4. 


5220 

$15,910 

122 


5773 

$15*755 
136 


Amount of Teachers' salaries, as appor- 
tioned 


$2O O7C 


$2C.^?O 


&28.2CC 


$^O,732 













The report also pointed out that by a census taken on De- 
cember 31, 1850, there were 24,422 children between the ages 
of five and sixteen in the city, including 556 colored children; 
and that on August i, 1851, there were 35,401 children between 
the ages of four and twenty-one, including 675 colored. 

The original rules and regulations for the government of 
schools, adopted May 16, 1843, have a curious interest after the 
lapse of sixty years. There were two school sessions daily for 
five days per week from April to October (inclusive), from 9 
to 12 o'clock and from 2 to 5 o'clock, while from November to 
March there was one session from 9 to 3 o'clock, with half an 
hour's intermission at noon. The summer vacation consisted 
of the three weeks preceding the first Monday in September ; 
the other holidays were January ist, May 1st, July 4th, Decem- 
ber 25th, and "all days appointed by the public authorities for 
religious observances." 1 

Provision was made in the rules for " a depot of all necessary 

1 Five or six years later Christmas week was added to the holidays, and the 
summer vacation was extended to include all of August ; May ist was dropped and 
February 22d added. 



Brooklyn Board of Education 1843 to 1854 2 1 5 

articles for the schools." A reminiscence of the Lancasterian 
system of instruction is to be found in the rule that " The Board 
of Education shall decide as to the number of teachers and 
monitors required for each school " ; another in the provision 
that " each primary school shall be furnished with a sand desk, 
desks, lesson boards," etc. The word " monitors " is to be found 
in the by-laws as late as 1850. 

The schools were graded from the beginning. The rules pre- 
scribed that there should be three departments in each school 
as far as practicable " Male," " Female," and " Primary." 
The course of instruction in the two former embraced " Spelling, 
Reading, Writing, Definitions, Grammar, Composition, Declama- 
tion, Geography, History, Arithmetic and Algebra ; and as far 
as practicable, the use of the globes, drawing of maps, Geometry, 
Trigonometry, Natural Philosophy and Astronomy." Before 
1850 vocal music 1 was inserted in the course of instruction in 
place of algebra, the latter being transferred to the subjects to 
be pursued ^s far as practicable," and in place of " drawing of 
maps," appeared " Drawing, (especially the Drawing of Maps)." 
By this time, too, sand desks were omitted from the equipment 
of primary schools. The original rule provided that in the 
higher schools " the girls may be taught plain sewing and draw- 
ing " on Friday afternoons. Another rule was the following : 
" The several teachers, whether principals, assistants or moni- 
tors, shall hold their positions during the pleasure of the Board." 

Very early in its history the Board took up the question of 
organizing a Saturday Normal School, and such a school was 
opened in October, 1843, in the building of School No. 7, all 
the teachers in the primary departments being required to at- 
tend it. Because of doubt as to the legality of using educational 
moneys for maintaining a school of this character, the school 
was closed after a few months. 

1 At the fourth meeting of the Board (May 23, 1843) * ne question of appointing 
a music teacher was brought forward ; in September the salary was fixed at $500, and 
in October two teachers of music were appointed. 



216 The New York Public School 

The by-laws of 1843 provided for district committees, con- 
sisting of the members for each school district, to whose charge 
the schools of the district were specially committed ; but as 
early as 1851 a school committee of three members was ap- 
pointed for each school. This was the origin of the " local 
committee system," to which reference will be made in a later 
chapter (see Chapter XXIX). 

In 1852 seventeen buildings were used for public school pur- 
poses, two being hired for branch primary schools. Of the 
fifteen schoolhouses owned by the Board, thirteen had been 
erected since 1843. The average attendance of pupils for the 
year was 6338 (including 220 colored children). There were 157 
teachers 18 men (15 principals, I assistant, and 2 music 
teachers) and 139 women (29 first teachers and no assistants). 
The salaries paid to them amounted to $3 5, 063. * The appropria- 
tion for the support of the schools for the year was $48,403.74, 
of which $23,403.74 was received from the State and $25,000 
was raised by taxation. During the year the Board also " ad- 
vanced for the purchase of school sites, and for the erection, 
enlarging, and repairing of school houses, the sum of $33,861;" 
making a total expenditure for the year of $82,264.74. For 
1853 the school appropriation was $48,792.65. 

One of the functions of the City Superintendent was to 
license teachers ; during 1852 the number of persons licensed 
was 147. 

The first evening school in Brooklyn was opened on Octo- 
ber 20, 1 85 1, 2 in Schoolhouse No. I, with departments for both 
sexes. At first pupils in evening schools were furnished with 
free text-books, but the practice was not continued. 

1 The " salaries of Superintendent, Secretary, Clerk, and Messenger " for 1852 
amounted to $1500, as stated in the Superintendent's report. 

2 This date is taken from Superintendent Holmes's report for 1851, p. 5. That it 
is the correct date is evident from the minutes of the Board. The report made by 
President Tunis G. Bergen to the Mayor under date of December 18, 1884, stated 
(p. 34) that "The evening schools have been established for about forty years"! 
The evening schools were organized under a provision of the act passed in 1850. 



Brooklyn Board of Education 1843 to 1854 2 1 7 

Until 1849 the children attending the public schools pur- 
chased their books at bookstores, paying, of course, regular 
retail prices. About that time the Board of Education decided 
to buy school books in quantities and to establish a " depot " 
from which they could be furnished to the pupils at cost price. 
Referring to this plan, President Smith, in a report to the Com- 
mon Council, dated August i, 1854, said that "the Board not 
having means at its command to furnish these books to the 
pupils gratis, determined to cheapen their cost, and now pur- 
chase them in large quantities, so as to obtain (and does obtain 
them) at the lowest cash prices. Placed in the ' Depot,' they 
are thence furnished daily by the Clerk, on requisition of the 
Principals, who are required by the rules of the Board, to sell 
them to the pupils at cost." a 

This was a step in the right direction ; but more than 
thirty years were to elapse before the Board of Education 
arranged to furnish all pupils with free text-books, on the plan 
followed in New York from the time of the foundation of the 
Free School Society. Books were furnished free, under the 
" rules to be observed in transactions with depot," "to destitute 
scholars upon the written order of the Principal thereof, 
endorsed by one or more of the School Committee with name 
and residence of Pupil and Parents, stating their known inability 
to pay for the same " ; and the following articles were pro- 
vided for all without charge : " Pens and Pen-holders, Writing 
Paper, Copy Slips, and Slate Pencils, Pails, Dippers, Brooms, 
Mats, Brushes, Towels, Chalk or Crayons and Sponge." 

The earliest attempt to supply free books in the present 
territory of Brooklyn appears to have been made in the village 
of Williamsburgh in 1844. It is thus described by Samuel E. 
Johnson, County Superintendent of Kings County, in a report 
to the State Superintendent of Common Schools, October I, 
1844: "The greatest difficulty the teachers have to contend 

1 The report mentioned contains the following item : 

"Stage fare sending to Depot for books . . . $12.63." 



218 The New York Public School 

with is the neglect of parents to provide their children with text- 
books. Many come to the school, week after week, without them, 
and for all the knowledge they acquire, they might as well be at 
home. The only remedy that I can suggest, is the one that the 
citizens of the village of Williamsburgh have adopted. Last 
winter they applied to and obtained from the Legislature of this 
State permission to tax themselves for almost any school pur- 
pose they pleased ; they have accordingly taxed themselves to 
purchase school books for the schools, which are the property 
of the district, and are loaned to the scholars. This has 
remedied the evil wholly in that town, and the plan is certainly 
worthy of the attention of the department." 

Williamsburgh became a city in 1852, and at the time it was 
united with Brooklyn (January i, 1855) its schools were fur- 
nished with free books by the Board of Education. 1 

To complete the record on this subject it may be added that 
in his report for 1850 Superintendent Holmes recommended 
that spelling, reading, and writing books, at least, be furnished 
free. 

A singular entry occurs in the minutes of the Board for 
January 6, 1852, when it was decided to appoint a "floating 
teacher in the Male Department of No. 13 at $18 per month for 
the present; salary to commence from ist of Dec."; which is 
followed by this explanation : " last intended mainly to assist 
the Principal and take charge of his classes while he is inspect- 
ing the other Departments and classes." 



OFFICERS OF BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION 1843 TO 

President 

Dr. Theodore F. King 2 . 1843 (from May 2d to December 3ist) 
Dr. J. Sullivan Thome' 2 . 1844 (from January 2d), 1845 (to March 4th) 
Theodore Eames 2 . . . 1845 (from March 4th) , 1846 (to February 3d) 
Stephen Haynes 2 . . . 1846 (from February 3d), 1847 ( to February 2d) 
Cyrus P. Smith 2 . . . 1847 (from February 2d)-i 854 

- ! See report of City Superintendent Bulkley covering the year 1859, p. 7. 
2 Deceased. 



Brooklyn Board of Education 1843 to 1854 2 1 9 

Vice-President 

Stephen Haynes x 1843-1846 

James E. Underbill x . . . - . 1846,1847 

Dr. John W. Moriarty ! . . . 1847,1848 

Peter G. Bergen ! .... 1848,1849 

Alfred G. Stevens 1 .... 1849-1851 

Dr. J. Sullivan Thome 1 . . . 1851-1854 

Edward W. Dunham 1 .... 1854 

City Superintendent of Schools 

Dr. J. Sullivan Thome 1 . . . 1848 (from March 7th to May gth) 

Samuel L. Holmes * .... 1848 (from May 9^-1853 (May) 

Samuel S. Randall 1 . . . 1853 (from October 4th) 

J. D. Giddings x 1854 (from February 21 st) 

1 Deceased. 



CHAPTER XXVI 
BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION 1855 TO 1875 

UPON the consolidation of the city of Williamsburgh and 
the village of Bush wick with Brooklyn, at the beginning of 1855, 
three dissimilar educational systems were brought together. 
Brooklyn had a Board of Education consisting of thirty-three 
members, under whose control were sixteen schoolhouses (two of 
them for colored children), besides two rented buildings used 
for primary schools. There were 174 teachers and 11,500 
pupils. In Williamsburgh there was a Board of Education of 
eighteen members, nine Trustees and nine Commissioners, 
with seven schools for white and one for colored children, and 
three hired houses for primary schools ; there were 100 teachers 
and 5787 pupils. The three schools in Bush wick, having six- 
teen teachers and 1050 pupils, were conducted under the State 
school laws. There were at this time two music teachers in 
Brooklyn and one in Williamsburgh. 

Early in 1855 John W. Bulkley l was elected City Superin- 
tendent and Secretary ex officio. He acted in the latter capacity 
until 1857, when a salaried Secretary was first appointed. In 
his first report he stated that there were in the city forty gram- 
mar schools for boys and the same number for girls, twenty- 
nine primary schools for both boys and girls, and six grammar 
and three primary schools for colored children in all seventy- 

1 It is significant that a Williamsburgh man was elevated to this office. Mr. 
Bulkley at the time of his election was principal of the school that, under consolida- 
tion, became No. 19. The election was a close one, Mr. Bulkley on the decisive 
ballot receiving 20 votes, against 19 cast for his principal rival, J. D. Giddings, who 
had been Superintendent in Brooklyn during the preceding year. 

220 



Brooklyn Board of Education /#55 to 1875 221 

eight schools, housed in thirty buildings, twenty-seven of which 
were the property of the Board and three leased. 1 

The brief experiment with a Saturday Normal School in 
Brooklyn has been mentioned. Before its union with Brooklyn 
there had been in Williamsburgh a similar Normal School for 
the training of inexperienced teachers, which was established 
about 1853. It was closed after the consolidation of the cities, 
and a little later the Board of Education decided to establish a 
school of this kind in a more central locality. The plan was 
carried out, and the school organized in new school building 
No. 14, in February, 1856. All the women teachers in the 
schools were required to attend its sessions, and there were a 
few other pupils. The graduation exercises were important 
public affairs in the Brooklyn of that day, at least one of them 
being held in the Academy of Music, and were attended by 
enthusiastic throngs of people. How they were regarded is 
shown by an excerpt from the account published in one of the 
local papers on February 15, 1861 : 

" Last evening the Commencement Exercises of the Brooklyn Normal 
School took place in the Academy of Music, before one of the largest and 
most brilliant audiences that has ever been assembled within its walls. Here 
were concentrated the learning, fashion, and beauty of the city. It would be 
invidious to mention the names of any of the distinguished persons present, 
as almost every person of any note in the city was in the audience." 

Nevertheless, the Normal School was closed in June, 1861, 

1 The locations of some of the schools as set down fifty years ago may be worthy 
of casual notice. For instance : 

No. 2 Gowanus 

No. 9 Prospect Hill 

No. 22 Green Point 

(In the reports for 1859 and 1860 this school was located in J street) 

No. 23 Bushwick Centre 

No. 24 Bushwick Cross-Roads 

Colored School No. 2 Weeksville (in the vicinity of Troy avenue and Pacific 
street) 

In the report for 1857 and several succeeding years No. 26 was stated to be at 
Bowronville. (This was east of Broadway and near the present Flushing avenue.) 



222 The New York Public School 

not to be reopened. 1 The subject was revived again a dozen 
years later. 

The City Superintendent was the sole supervising official 
until 1866, when a special act of the Legislature authorized 
the Board of Education to appoint an Assistant Superinten- 
dent. In June of that year James Cruikshank 2 was elected to 
the office. Increased provision for supervision gave a new 
impulse to pedagogical work, the results of which were soon seen 
in a course of study, uniform for all schools, which was adopted 
in November, 1866, and also in arrangements for systematic 
instruction of the primary teachers in principles and methods. 
Under the direction of the Assistant Superintendent, two train- 
ing or normal classes for these teachers were organized in 
December of that year, and continued until the close of the 
schools in the following summer. They were then suspended 
by order of the Normal School Committee, which hoped 
to supersede them with a regularly organized normal school. 
Repeated recommendations in reference to this matter are 
to be found in the records of the Board and the reports of 
the Superintendent ; but no decisive action was taken until 
1884. 

The simple course of studies prescribed for the schools in the 
earlier period has been set forth in the preceding chapter, and 
no change was made in it for many years. In his first report 
(for 1855) Superintendent Bulkley presented an " outline of a 
graded course of study for the primary and grammar depart- 
ments of the schools, and their several classes," and this was 
revised in 1862. It served as a guide, or series of suggestions, 
for principals and teachers. A regular and uniform course of 
study was not adopted by the Board of Education until Novem- 

1 Note that the similar schools in New York were discontinued in the same year 
(see Chapter XIX). 

2 He had been for some years connected with the State Department of Public 
Instruction, giving special attention to teachers' institutes. He served as Assistant 
Superintendent for about six years. In 1875 he assumed the principalship of School 
No. 12, which he still holds. 



Brooklyn Board of Education /<?55 to 1875 223 

ber, 1866. The course then agreed upon prescribed the studies 
to be pursued in the six primary and six grammar grades (the 
sixth being the lowest and the first the highest), the course 
covering six school years. Great prominence was given to oral 
instruction or object teaching. In the highest grammar grade 
the studies were as follows : Reading, spelling, penmanship, 
drawing in general, arithmetic, algebra (through simple equa- 
tions), geography (including outlines of physical geography, 
with general history and historical essays), grammar (structure 
and classification of sentences, idiomatic structure, analysis and 
parsing, composition, elements of rhetoric), formal essays, nat- 
ural philosophy and astronomy, bookkeeping, physiology, Con- 
stitution of the United States, and oral instruction in elements 
of geometry, construction of problems, geology, and the use of 
globes. Vocal music was required to be taught in all the 
grades. 

Provision was also made for a supplementary course, to 
" occupy a period of one year or more, as may be necessary," 
including the following branches of study : Arithmetic (written 
and mental, reviewed, higher arithmetic), algebra, geometry 
(first four books of Legendre), English grammaT'(critical study 
of its principles), compositions and written reviews, rhetoric 
and general literature, ancient and modern history, physical 
geography, reading in prose and poetry, natural philosophy, 
astronomy, physiology, chemistry, bookkeeping and business 
correspondence, drawing (including mechanical and architec- 
tural), and mensuration. A supplementary class was to be 
formed in any grammar school when, on examination, fifteen 
pupils were found qualified to pursue the higher studies. At 
the beginning of the next year supplementary classes had been 
formed in five schools. 

At this time the schools were classified as grammar, inter- 
mediate, and primary, an intermediate school being one in 
which all the primary grades and several of the lower grammar 
grades were taught. In 1866 a single and uniform series of 



224 The New York Public School 

text-books was also adopted. In 1869, when a change of books 
was made, the course of study was slightly modified to conform 
therewith, and similar modifications took place later. 

In 1874 a rule was adopted providing for a uniform and 
simultaneous examination of all the graduates of the grammar 
schools; before that time each school had been a distinct 
organization, maintained with but little relation to the other 
schools in the system. 

During the period under review the evening schools were 
continued every winter, with a single exception in 1862-1863, 
when, on account of the excitement occasioned by the Civil 
War, and the supposed absence from the city of a large num- 
ber of young men who would be likely to attend them, they 
were omitted. For the first few years after the establishment 
of these schools they were open only in the autumn and early 
winter, but in 1857 there was a short term after the Christmas 
holidays. The practice in this respect, however, was not uni- 
form. The season usually covered twelve or sixteen weeks, but 
in January, 1875, it was extended to eighteen. A step of im- 
portance was taken in September, 1874, when the first evening 
high school was organized, in School No. 4. In this matter 
Brooklyn followed rather tardily after New York, where an 
evening high school was established in 1866. 

The question of free text-books was agitated in the Board in 
1868, and an appropriation of $40,000 for putting the plan into 
effect was secured for that year. It could not be continued 
longer, as the necessary funds were not provided. 

OFFICERS OF BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION 1855 TO 1875 

President 

Cyrus P. Smith * ..... 1855-1868 (to March loth) 

Dr. J. Sullivan Thorne 1 . . . 1868 (from March ioth)-i87o (to July I2th) 

Ephraim J. Whitlock 1 . . . 1870 (from July I2th)-i 875 

1 Deceased. 



Brooklyn Board of Education /#55 to 1875 225 



Vice-president 

Edward W. Dunham * . . . 1855-1857 

Abraham B. Baylis 1 . . . . 1857,1858 

John G. Bergen * ..... 1859,1860 

D. L. Northup 1 ..... 1861,1862 

Dr. J. Sullivan Thorne 1 . . . 1863-1867 

Henry R. Pierson * .... 1868 

Ephraim J. Whitlock J . . . 1869-1870 

John W. Hunter 1 ..... 1870-1871 

James Murphy ...... 1871-1875 

Secretary 
George A. W. Stuart . . . 1857-1875 

City Superintendent of Schools* 

J. D. Giddings 1 ..... 1855 (to February 2oth) 

John W. Bulkley 1 .... 1855 (from February 2oth)-i 873 (to July 8th) 

Thomas W. Field ! .... 1873 (from July 8th)-i 875 

Assistant Superintendents of Schools 

James Cruikshank .... 1866-1872 (to August 6th) 

Thomas W. Field 1 .... 1873 (from February 4th to July 8th) 

John W. Bulkley J .... 1873 (from July 8th)-i 875 

Superintendent of Repairs 
Samuel B. Leonard l . . . 1856-1875 

1 Deceased. 

2 Title changed to Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1873. 



CHAPTER XXVII 
BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION 1876 TO 1897 

THE most marked features of the period we are now enter- 
ing upon were the establishment of the Training School for 
Teachers and the development of the high schools. \ These 
topics will be treated in a separate chapter (see Chapter XXVIII). 

The expansion of the school system was steady from the 
time Williamsburgh was united with Brooklyn, in 1855. In 
1886 the town of New Lots (containing East New York) was 
annexed to the city, adding six to the number of schools and 
raising the total (including the Training School, Central Schools, 
colored schools, and attendance schools) to seventy. The ele- 
mentary schools were now classified as grammar, intermediate 
and primary, and branch primary; after 1890 the classifica- 
tion was as follows : Grammar schools, independent intermedi- 
ate schools, independent primary schools, branch intermediate 
schools, and branch primary schools. There were no colored 
schools, as such, after 1890. 

Many of the grammar schools had three departments (gram- 
mar, intermediate, and primary) ; others had two. The depart- 
ments, however, were not counted as separate schools, as was 
done in New York and some other cities ; there was only one 
principal, who had special charge of the grammar department ; 
under his direction other departments were in charge of teach- 
ers known as heads of departments, 1 and a branch principal 

1 In the course of time the heads of departments (who were practically assistant 
principals) became very numerous ; and complaints about the excessive and expensive 
amount of supervision in the schools were frequent in the Superintendent's reports 
during the later years of Brooklyn's existence as an independent city. 

226 



Brooklyn Board of Education 1876 to 1897 227 

was placed over a branch school, being responsible to the prin- 
cipal of the main school. In the grammar schools all grades 
were taught, both grammar and primary; in the intermediate 
schools, several lower grammar grades and all the primary 
grades. 1 

There was an addition to the system of seventeen schools in 
1894, when the towns of Flatbush, Gravesend, and New Utrecht 
were taken into the city, and five more were added in the fol- 
lowing year by the annexation of Flatlands, bringing the total 
up to 1 14. Many of the schools in the so-called county towns 
were small and poorly housed. One of the New Lots school- 
houses was so inadequate that it was closed soon after coming 
under the jurisdiction of the Board, and the classes were trans- 
ferred to other schools. 

To secure the enforcement of the Compulsory Education 
Law, enacted in 1874, the Board of Education in 1876 appointed 
a Superintendent of Truancy and five attendance agents. There 
was an institution on the eastern boundary of the city, known 
as the Truant Home, of unsavory reputation, which was under 
the control of the Board of Aldermen, and was used for the con- 
finement of youthful criminals. The Truant Home had been 
established by the Common Council in 1857, under the law of 
1853 entitled " An act to provide for the care and instruction of 
idle and truant children," of which mention was made in Chap- 
ter XX. A superintendent and teachers were appointed, and 
three truant officers were employed for a number of years, until 
the Mayor, in 1862, taking exception to some provisions of the 
law, refused to pay their salaries. In 1865 several members of 
the " Sanitary Police " were detailed to act as truant officers. 
Superintendent Bulkley thought well of the Truant Home, but 
repeatedly recommended that it be placed under the care of the 
Board of Education (see his reports for 1860, 1862, and 1863). 

This " Home " was turned over by the Board of Aldermen, 

1 In the earlier years the primary schools and the colored schools were numbered 
separately from the others ; after 1887 all the schools were numbered consecutively. 



228 The New York Public School 

in June, 1876, to the Board of Education. After a number of 
truants had been sent there, a conflict of authority arose, and for 
some months no truants were committed to the institution. In 
January, 1878, the Board of Aldermen resumed control. The 
experiment had been a costly one for the Board of Education, 
as during the time it was in charge of the Truant Home the 
average cost of the maintenance and tuition of a truant pupil 
was nearly $300 per annum. After the second change in 
management, incorrigible truants were still committed to the 
institution, against the protest of the educational authorities, who 
repeatedly expressed the belief that truant boys should not con- 
sort with youthful criminals. 

In 1878 two so-called attendance schools were established by 
the Board of Education (one in the Eastern and one in the West- 
ern District) for the instruction of truants who had not become 
incorrigible, but who could not be induced to attend the regular 
schools. They were an intermediate step between the public 
schools and the Truant Home. These schools were fairly suc- 
cessful, and were maintained until 1893. 

The office of Superintendent of Truancy was abolished in 
1887, and the enforcement of the law placed under the direc- 
tion of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the number of 
attendance officers being reduced from nine to seven. In 1894 
the Legislature finally passed a law transferring the Truant 
Home to the Board of Education, and in 1895 it was reorganized 
as the Truant School and placed in charge of a principal. 

After the experiment made in 1868, the question of free 
books lay dormant for a number of years. In 1881 the subject 
was reopened and a bill was passed by both houses of the Legis- 
lature providing for free text-books in Brooklyn ; but it was 
vetoed by the Governor, Alonzo B. Cornell, on the ground that 
the Board of Education possessed all needful power in the matter. 
It was not^ntil 1884 that thd^free book system was instituted, 
an appropriation of $75,000 for the purpose having been allowed 
in the preceding year. It was successful from the start. The 



Brooklyn Board of Education 1876 to 1897 229 

following reference to the matter in the annual report of the 
President for 1886 is pertinent: "The proposition to furnish 
books free encountered much opposition at first, both in the 
Board and out of it, but the system has been so successfully put 
into operation, a result largely due to the united and zealous 
labors of the Committee having the matter in hand, that it 
is believed that many former enemies of the measure have 
become its friends, and that far more strenuous opposition 
would now be exerted against the abolition of the system than 
was manifested three years ago against its establishment" 

(p. 22). 

A second evening high school was organized in the Eastern 
District in 1880 ; it was opened to both sexes, whereas only boys 
and men were admitted to Evening High School No. i for the 
first two or three years after it was started. In 1884 instruction 
in German and Spanish was introduced in the evening high 
schools. Throughout the period under review the regular even- 
ing schools were continued as before, although in 1895-1896 the 
appropriation allowed for them was so meagre that the schools 
were in session only twenty-five nights, distributed through a 
term of nine weeks. The Superintendent in his report for 1878 
referred to the evening schools as having " practically free text- 
books and apparatus." From and after 1882 a more stable 
character was given to these schools by new rules, which made 
practically permanent the positions of teachers in them who were 
successful in disciplining and governing their classes, whereas 
before that time teachers were appointed at the beginning of 
each term. 

An important law was passed in 1895 (Chapter 656) provid- 
ing for a Teachers' Retirement Fund, to be made up by deduct- 
ing one per cent, per annum from the salaries of teachers then 
in the system who should elect to come under the provisions of 
the act, and also from the salaries of all teachers appointed after 
January i, 1896. The law provided that the Board of Educa- 
tion might "retire from active service any male teacher not 



230 The New York Public School 

under sixty years of age, or any female teacher not under fifty- 
five years of age in its employ who has elected to come under 
the provisions of this act, or who shall be appointed on and 
after January one, eighteen hundred and ninety-six, and who 
has taught not less than thirty years, of which twenty immedi- 
ately preceding the proposed retirement shall have been in the 
public schools of Brooklyn." The annuity was fixed at one-half 
the salary received at the time of retirement, and was in no case 
to exceed $1200. The act also provided that "no teacher shall 
be retired until he or she shall have paid into the retirement 
fund an amount equal to twenty per centum of his or her annual 
salary at the time of retirement." The fund at the close of 1896 
amounted to $18,869.34. During that year sixteen teachers 
were retired, their annuities amounting to $8800; under the 
provision last quoted, they contributed $2598.05 to the fund. 

* The course of study adopted in 1866 was retained with but 
little change for upwards of twenty years. In November, 1882, 
the matter of revising it was referred to""3[ committee, and 
the subject received most careful consideration during several 
years following. The new course was finally put into effect in 
September, 1887. The topic was treated at some length in 
the President's report for that year, from which the following 
extract is taken : 

" The most important event of the year was the adoption 
of the New Course of Study, which went into effect with the 
opening of the schools in September. . . . The New Course 
requires seven and one-half years in the Primary and Grammar 
grades. There has been a careful grading of the work which 
each pupil is expected to compass. . . . The evil of cramming 
should be cured by the changes, especially in the subjects of 
geography and history. The study of the former is sought to 
be made more fruitful by specifying salient features which are 
to be emphasized, and that of History, by the study of topics 
and by collateral reading. . . . The new course of study also 
seeks to connect and unite the work so that related topics are 



Brooklyn Board of Education 1876 to 1897 231 

intertwined in a way which gives strength to one through the 
other. Thus Language is sustained by Reading, and Grammar 
is supported by Composition. The Observation Lessons, which 
have been freely introduced, have aroused much interest and 
excited some comment. By defining more accurately require- 
ments in other branches, time for this new feature has been 
gained. The test so far given indicates that these lessons will 
be influential. Their object is to cultivate the perceptive facul- 
ties, and at the same time to develop language. These lessons 
carry with them instruction in Natural Science in which our 
school system has been most imperfect, but they do not involve 
technical differentiation. They awaken the pupil's curiosity and 
give practice in close and accurate observation, which must be 
fruitful in practical life. The plan of the course is to symmet- 
rically develop the perceptive, reproductive and reasoning facul- 
ties of the mind. The fact that a large majority of the pupils 
leave the schools before completing the grades is kept constantly 
in view. There is, accordingly, a systematic training provided 
through the course, in Business Forms and Commerical Corre- 
spondence, and also in Drawing. Moreover the outlines of our 
country's history are now studied in grades in which the pupils 
are much younger than where the subject was formerly intro- 
duced so that those who leave school early have learned some- 
thing of the struggle for liberty" (pp. 17,18). 
f Under this course of study provision was made for seven 
primary grades and eight grammar grades, the entire course 
covering seven and one-half years. The lowest grade was the 
seventh primary ; the highest was the first grammar. 

The new course of study was amended somewhat in 1892, 
and a general revision was undertaken some two years later, 
as it was believed by many that too much was attempted in 
the schools. In 1895 the revised course was adopted. It was 
described in the President's report for that year as, perhaps, 
" the most important work of the year on the strictly scholastic 
side"; and the report said further: "The new course of study 



232 The New York Public School 

is certainly a great improvement on the old. Much useless 
detail that had accumulated around the study of Geography, 
History, and Grammar, has been swept away. What is left, it 
is important that all should know. The time thus gained, has 
been utilized for the purpose of introducing our children to 
good reading matter and to all-important, but very elementary, 
facts of science. The most conspicuous feature, indeed, of the 
present course is the amount of reading matter required or 
recommended. From almost the lowest grade to the highest, 
four distinct lines of reading matter are mapped out: history, 
science, geography, and pure literature. This course in read- 
ing, if industriously pursued by the pupil and skilfully directed 
by the teacher, is in itself no mean education" (p. 25). 

{ The course in mathematics was left substantially unchanged. y 
The changes in other subjects, condensed from the report of 
the Superintendent, may be summed up thus : Reading from 
regular reading books diminished, and reading from supplement- 
ary readers, covering literature, history, geography, and science, 
increased ; technical grammar begun in the sixth grammar 
grade, instead of the eighth, and the time devoted to this sub- 
ject in the last two years of the course greatly reduced ; United 
States history made a subject of interesting reading below the 
second grammar grade (the last year of the course), instead of 
being taught for two and one-half years from text-books ; 
geography and science closely connected in the grammar 
school course ; supplementary reading matter, wherever possi- 
ble, closely correlated with other subjects of study; a period of 
study required each day (a matter previously left to the discre- 
tion of principals and teachers); about two hours a week left 
free to be devoted by teachers, under the direction of the 
principals, to the strengthening of those studies in which pupils 
were found particularly weak ; civil government made a part of 
the work in history in the last year of the course. 

The number of primary grades was now increased by one, 
raising the total to sixteen, the full course covering eight years. 



Brooklyn Board of Education 1876 to 1897 233 

Music was taught in the schools, as previously noted, soon 
after the organization of the Board; in 1880 a Director of 
Music was appointed, and from that time particular attention 
was given to this subject ; a special course of study in music 
was adopted, and music teachers were required to be examined 
and licensed. 

Shortly afterward additional importance was attached to the 
subject of drawing, and in 1883 a head drawing teacher was 
appointed to oversee this work. A Supervisor of Drawing was 
appointed in 1890. 

In 1889 an attempt to establish Saturday sewing classes in 
the schools was defeated in the Board of Education by a small 
majority. The sentiment in favor of introducing the subject 
(which was made permissible by the rules of 1843) grew 
stronger, and in 1895 an appropriation of $5000 was made, 
which enabled the Board in the succeeding year to appoint 
a Director of Sewing and four teachers. 

As far back as 1881 the importance of kindergartens was 
appreciated by at least some members of the Board, and in that 
year the Committee on Teachers unanimously voted to ask for 
an appropriation of $5000 to permit the introduction of this 
feature. The seed then sown bore no substantial fruit for more 
than ten years; but in 1892 the formation of a model kinder- 
garten class in the Training School was authorized. Nothing 
else was done in this direction, beyond permitting kindergarten 
classes to be maintained by outside organizations in two school 
buildings, until the Board of Estimate in 1896 allowed, for the 
following year, $12,000 for "kindergarten classes establish- 
ment and maintenance." Kindergartens were opened in 1 897, and 
a Director of Kindergartens was appointed to supervise the work. 

A feature of the year 1892 was the participation of 10,070 
boys from the public schools in the Military and Civic Parade 
which took place on October 2ist, when the four-hundredth 
anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus was cele- 
brated. The boys were organized in regiments and companies 



234 The New York Public School 

and won high praise for their excellent behavior, and, in the 
words of the Grand Marshal, General Isaac S. Catlin, for " their 
picturesque and imposing contribution to the grand parade 
column." 

Under the law passed in 1895 requiring a biennial school 
census, such a census was taken in November, 1895, and 
another in 1 897. The results, in brief, were as follows : 

SCHOOL CENSUS OF 1895 

Number of persons between 4 and 21 years of age, 272,447 

Number of children attending public schools, 117,581 ; other schools, 
38,454 ; total, 156,035 

Number of children between 8 and 16 employed, 17,370 

Number of children not attending school from 4 to 8, 41,486 (estimated) 
from 16 to 21, 54,743 

SCHOOL CENSUS OF 1897 

Number of persons between 4 and 18, 250,565 

Number of children between 4 and 16, 234,938 

Number of children between 5 and 16 attending public schools, 132,599 ; 
other schools, 37,699; total, 170,298 

Number of children from 4 to 8 not attending school (approximated), 
42,221 (including 31.665 between 4 and 5) 

Number of children between 8 and 16 at work, 20,839 

OFFICERS OF BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION 1876 TO 1897 

President 

Ephraim J. Whitlock * . 1876-1881 (to June 3Oth) 
Daniel Maujer 1 . . . 1881 (from July I2th to December 3ist) 
Tunis G. Bergen . . 1882 (from January loth) -1886 (to July 6th) 
Robert Payne . . . 1886 (from July 6th), 1887 (to July I2th) 
Joseph C. Hsndrix 1 . . 1887 (from July I2th)-i893 (to March 8th) 
James B. Bouck . . 1893 (from July nth), 1894 (to July 3d) 
J. Edward Swanstrom . 1894 (from July 3d)-i897 

Vice-President 

James Murphy . . . 1876-1880 
Daniel Maujer !. . . 1880,1881 

1 Deceased. 



Brooklyn Board of Education 1876 to 1897 235 

Charles R. Doane 1 . . . 1882-1884 

Robert Payne .... 1884-1886 

John C. Kelley .... 1886, 1887 

Erskine H. Dickey . . . 1887, 1888 

John Cottier .... 1888-1891 

James B. Bouck . . . 1891, 1892 

John R. Thompson . . . 1892-1894 

Dr. John Harrigan . . . 1894-1896 

George H . Fisher . . . 1897 

Secretary 

George A. W. Stuart . . . 1876-1881 (to July I2th) 

Daniel W. Tallmadge 1 . . 1881 (from July I2th)-i887 (to July I2th) 

George G. Brown . . .1887 (from July I2th)-i897 

Superintendent of Public Instruction 

Thomas W. Field ! . . . 1876-1881 (to November 25th) 
Calvin Patterson 1 . . . 1882 (from February 7th)-i887 (to Sep- 
tember 6th) 
William H. Maxwell . . .1887 (from September 6th)-i897 

Associate Superintendents 

JohnW. Bulkley 1 . . . 1876-1885 (to July 7th) 

William H. Maxwell . . .1882 (from October 3d)-i887 (to Septem- 
ber 6th) 

Edward G. Ward * . . . 1885 (from July 7th)-i 897 

Christopher P. Cunningham * . 1887 (from September 6th), 1888 (to De- 
cember 3 ist) 

John H. Walsh . . . .1889 (from January 15^-1897 

Superintendent of Buildings 

Samuel B. Leonard x . . . 1876-1879 

James W. Naughton * . . 1879 (from December 2d)-i 897 

Superintendent of Heating and Ventilating 
W.F.Cunningham 1 . . . 1876-1897 

Superintendent of Attendance 
Joseph B. Jones, M.D. . . 1876-1887 

1 Deceased. 



236 The New York Public School 

Director of Music 
Albert S. Caswell 1880 (from March 25th)-i897 

Supervisor of Drawing 
Walter S. Goodnough .... 1890 (from December 2d)-i897 

Director of Physical Culture 
Miss Jessie H. Bancroft .... 1893 (from September ist)-i897 

Director of Sewing 
Miss Minnie L. Hutchinson . . . 1896 (from January 2d), 1897 

Director of Kindergartens 
Miss Fanniebelle Curtis .... 1897 (from September 1st) 



CHAPTER XXVIII 
BROOKLYN HIGH SCHOOLS AND TRAINING SCHOOL 

\A MOST interesting chapter in the educational development 
of Brooklyn is that relating to the evolution of the high school, 
which was the product of very slow growth. Apparently stimu- 
lated thereto by the establishment of the Free Academy in 
New York, which was opened in January, 1849, tne Brook- 
lyn Common Council, in February of that year, passed a reso- 
lution in reference to the practicability of establishing a free 
academy and free evening schools in Brooklyn, asking the 
Board of Education for " suggestions and plans." This resolu- 
tion was laid before the Board at its meeting on February isth 
and referred to a select committee of three members. The 
committee reported promptly in favor of opening two evening 
schools, but held over the other subject until December 4th, 
when resolutions were adopted providing for a Committee on 
High School and calling upon the Common Council for its aid 
in procuring the passage of a law to raise by tax the sum of 
$15,000 per annum for two consecutive years for a site and 
building for such a school. On January 2d following, however, 
this action was reconsidered, and on the 1 5th of the same month 
the resolutions were defeated by a vote of 8 to 21. 

The matter was not allowed to rest, and early in February 
the City Superintendent was directed to report " whether any, 
and if so, what improvement can be introduced into the public 
schools of this city, by which instruction in the higher branches 
of useful knowledge can be given to such of the scholars as 
may desire and be qualified to receive it." At the meeting in 

237 



238 The New York Public School 

the following month Superintendent Holmes presented his 
report, in which he recommended the addition of a " scientific 
department," in which the higher branches of study should be 
pursued, to as many of the schools as might be selected. In 
his annual report for 1851 he stated that two hundred pupils 
were ready to enter such a department. In this connection it 
may be observed that in his report for the next year he advised 
the erection near the City Hall of a large building, designed 
not only for a public school, but also for the accommodation of 
the Board, its committees, its officers, the depot, the monthly 
meetings of the teachers, and a " scientific department." When 
the building in Red Hook lane, long used as the headquarters 
of the Board, was purchased, in 1854, it was the intention 
to establish there a "central public school," in which should 
be taught geometry, trigonometry, natural philosophy, chemis- 
try, architecture and drawing, geology, etc. Superintendent Ran- 
dall, in the report for 1853, spoke of "the ultimate organization 
of a Central High School or Free Academy " as most desirable. 
In 1855 Superintendent Bulkley, in his first report, urged the 
establishment of a " Free Academy or High School," calling 
attention to the fact that the question of organizing such an 
institution had been agitated in Williamsburgh before the con- 
solidation. He added : " From all sections of the cify we find 
the friends and patrons of our Public Schools calling for an 
institution of this kind." In the following year he said: "An 
institution of this kind is indispensable to the perfection of our 
system." ^ 

As stared heretofore, the course of study adopted in 1866 
provided for a supplementary class, in addition to the six regular 
grades, and in many of the schools supplementary or academic 
classes were organized within the next few years. It was not 
until September, 1878, that the Central Grammar School was 
opened, the academic classes in the grammar schools being 
then abolished. The Central School was conducted until 1886 
in a rented building at Court and Livingston streets, which has 



Brooklyn High Schools and Training School 239 

been leased for school purposes almost continuously since the 
organization of that school. On the opening day over six hun- 
dred boys and girls were in attendance, in the care of a princi- 
pal and fourteen instructors. The first course of study covered 
only two years. In 1880 the first class, of over one hundred, 
was graduated. The average attendance during that year 
was 528. _~ 

The first mention of this school as a " high school " appears 
in the Superintendent's report for 1884; but it was known as 
the Central School for several years longer, the word " Gram- 
mar " being dropped. About this time it was decided to erect 
a building for the Central School, and a site was selected at 
Nostrand avenue, Macon and Halsey streets. The new build- 
ing was completed by November, 1886, having a seating capac- 
ity of about 1200. Before it was occupied it became apparent 
that the building would not be large enough to accommodate all 
the pupils, and the Board decided to transfer only the girls to 
Nostrand avenue, leaving the boys in the Court street building. 
In the following year the course of study was revised so as to 
include really three courses an English course of two years, 
a language course of three years, and a commercial course of 
two years. 

Although referred to in the Superintendent's report for 1887 
as " the Central School, or High School, as it is sometimes 
called," the institution continued to be designated by the former 
name until 1891, when one division was termed the Girls' High 
School and the other became the Boys' High School. 1 In the 
mean time a site had been selected for the Boys' High School, 
at Marcy and Putnam avenues and Madison street. As early 
as 1890 the Board resolved upon the establishment of a Manual 
Training High School, but the requisite funds were not supplied 
until several years later. 

By this time there had been provided for the Boys' High 

1 The name " Central Grammar School " still remains over the main entrance of 
the Nostrand avenue building. 



240 The New York Public School 

School a commercial course of two years, a scientific course of 
three years, and a language course of four years, while in the 
corresponding school for girls there were a commercial course 
of two years, an English course of three years, and a language 
course of four years, f " For the first time in its history," said the 
Superintendent in his report for 1890, "it may be truly said that 
Brooklyn has a High School ; that is, a school which will prepare 
its pupils for any university in the country, as well as give a 
good working education to those who do not desire a university 
course" (p. 70). 

In 1891 the erection of the new Boys' High School was 
begun, and so rapid had been the growth of the Girls' High 
School that in the same year a contract was entered into for a 
spacious addition to the building of the latter, which thus became 
the largest high school building in the country. The average 
attendance in 1892 was 1284; in 1893, 1396; in 1894, 1633. 
The addition, containing twenty-four class-rooms and a hand- 
some assembly room, and the new building for the Boys' High 
School, were both completed in 1892. 

The Manual Training High School was finally organized in 
1894 in the Court street building, starting with about 150 
students. Only boys were admitted at first, but in the next year 
it was decided to admit both sexes. This relieved somewhat the 
growing pressure on the Girls' High School ; nevertheless it 
became necessary, in 1895, to use the old building of School 
No. 3 as an annex, and three classes of girls were organized 
there. In the Manual Training School a three years' course 
was provided, including, in addition to the regular high school 
studies, mechanical and architectural drawing and manual work, 
the latter consisting of joining, turning, forging, pattern-making, 
sewing, knife- work, Venetian iron-work, etc. About 1896 it 
was decided to purchase the old Thirteenth Regiment Armory, 
in Hanson place, as a site for the Manual Training High School, 
but the plan of erecting a building there was abandoned, and a 
site at Seventh avenue, Fourth and Fifth streets, was selected. 



Brooklyn High Schools and Training School 241 

The new building constructed on this site was completed in 
December, 1904. 

The next step in the development of the high school idea in 
Brooklyn is of special interest. So rapid had been the growth 
of public sentiment in favor of secondary education that by 1895 
there was an emphatic demand for another high school ; and in 
July of that year the way was opened for the Board of Educa- 
tion to meet the demand, through the offer of the trustees of 
Erasmus Hall Academy, in the former town of Flatbush, to 
convey their property to the Board of Education on the con- 
dition that a high school equal in grade and equipment to the 
other high schools of Brooklyn should be maintained thereon. 
The Academy was one of the oldest in the State, having been 
founded in 1787 and having had a notable career. The gift 
was gladly accepted, and Erasmus Hall High School was 
opened in September, 1896. The school has grown steadily; 
additional buildings of a temjJoTary character have been put up 
to accommodate the large number of students, and in August, 
1904, a contract was awarded for a large and handsome per- 
manent building. 

Mention has already been made of the Saturday Normal 
Schools established in 1843 and 1856 for the benefit of inex- 
perienced teachers, and of the attempt made in 1866-1867 to 
instruct primary teachers in the principles of pedagogy. The 
importance of having properly trained teachers was insisted 
upon many times in the reports of the Superintendents. A 
definite -proposition was brought forward in 1873 for the 
establishment of a normal school in a building owned by the 
Board in Prospect street; and in 1879 the re-establishment of 
the Saturday Normal School was urged, with the suggestion 
that it be held on alternate Saturdays in the Central Grammar 
School and the Eastern District Library building. It was also 
recommended that all inexperienced teachers be required to 
attend at least two sessions each month. 

The first mention of training schools appears in the report 



242 The New York Public School 

for 1 88 1, 1 when two professional schools, one for the Western 
District and one for the Eastern District, were proposed. This 
recommendation was repeated in the following year, and led to 
action by the Board of Education in 1884, when it was decided 
that the new school building about to be built in Berkeley place 
should be used as a model primary school in connection with a 
training school for teachers. The Training School was opened 
in May, 1885, with a department of theory and a department of 
practice. The course of study was one year. Brooklyn thus 
anticipated by ten years the enactment of the State law (Chapter 
1031, laws of 1895) "to encourage and promote the professional 
training of teachers." The attendance at the school for the 
first year was 123, and there were forty -eight graduates in 1886. 
For some years the idea was entertained of organizing a 
second training school in the eastern part of the city ; but in 
1892 the school was removed to the building of Public School 4, 
in Ryerson street, near Myrtle avenue, and No. 4 was trans- 
ferred to the building in Berkeley place. The new location of 
the Training School was more central for the city as a whole, 
and the building was more commodious. The Ryerson street 
building was occupied until 1903, when the Training School 
took possession of new public school building No. 138, in 
Prospect place, between Bedford and Nostrand avenues. 

1 There was a chapter on " Training School " in Superintendent Bulkley's report 
for 1864. The report for 1881 was prepared by Calvin Patterson, who was elected 
Superintendent February 7, 1882, after the death of Mr. Field, 



CHAPTER XXIX 
FEATURES OF THE BROOKLYN SYSTEM 

ONE of the characteristic features of the Brooklyn Board of 
Education, almost from the beginning, was that which has been 
already mentioned under the name of the " local committee 
system " (see Chapter XXV). The original plan of a district 
committee to have special oversight of the schools in each dis- 
trict was continued only a few years. Very shortly after the 
reorganization resulting from the change made in the law in 
1850, the by-laws were amended so as to provide for a school 
committee of three members for each of the schools. 1 This was 
the beginning of the local committee system, although the 
name "local committee" was not used officially until about 
1875. These committees in the course of time acquired large 
powers in the appointment and promotion of teachers, 2 the 
making of repairs, etc. ; in fact, regarding any particular 
school the local committee was practically supreme. When 
the Training School and the high schools were established a 
local committee was appointed for each. J 

This peculiar feature of the Brooklyn public school system 
was continued until the abolition of the Brooklyn School 
Board, in 1902, being retained in the first Greater New York 
Charter by a special provision in its favor (Section 1103). It 
was often the subject of severe criticism by many persons, 
including some members of the Board of Education. The 
friends of the system claimed that it had much merit in keeping 
the schools " close to the people," and as each member of the 

1 Thirteen school committees were appointed on March 12, 1851. 

2 Except teachers of music, drawing, etc. 

243 



244 The New York Public School 

Board was the chairman of one or more local committees it was 
possible to bring the welfare of any school directly to the atten- 
tion of the Board. 

As a sample of criticism of the local committee system 
from within, an extract may be made from the annual report 
of the President of the Board of Education (Mr. J. Edward 
Swanstrom) for 1896. Referring to the preparation of the 
Charter for Greater New York, then under way, he said : " It is 
to be hoped, however, that this opportunity will be taken to 
secure the enactment of some much-needed reforms which have 
long been sought by the best friends of public education in this 
city. Chief among these is the abolition of the appointing 
power now vested in the local committees. Almost all the 
abuses that have crept into our system are attributable to this 
wrong method of making appointments and promotions among 
teachers. Appointments should be made from an eligible list, 
and promotions should be determined solely by merit" (p. 37). 
But not until four years after Brooklyn ceased to be a city was 
the merit system introduced into its public schools. 

In connection with the appointment of teachers by local 
committees, a fact sometimes lost sight of is that no person 
could be appointed to teach who had not been regularly licensed 
by the City Superintendent or the Superintendent of Public 
Instruction. The duty of examining candidates for teacher- 
ships and certifying to their qualifications was one of the 
duties of that official from the time the office was created. 

In his first annual report after consolidation (for the school 
year 1898-1899) the City Superintendent of Schools indulged in 
a number of strictures on the local committee system, alleging 
that it had "retarded progress ever since the Brooklyn city 
school system was established," that " unseemly and unprofes- 
sional devices " were employed by teachers to secure appoint- 
ment and promotion, that the system had " driven many of the 
best men that ever sat in the Brooklyn Board to resign or 
refuse reappointment," and that under this system " it is almost 




TWO TYPES OF BROOKLYN SCHOOL BUILDINGS 
1. Public School 146. 2. Public School 127 



Features of the Brooklyn System 245 

impossible to bring about the transfer of principals and 
teachers from school to school when such transfer is nec- 
essary for the good of the system, because each local committee 
has supreme control of its own school and there is no central 
power clothed with authority to transfer a teacher from one 
school to another" (pp. 86-88). On the presentation of this 
report, the Board of Education (then commonly called the Cen- 
tral Board), before ordering it printed, referred it to a committee, 
which reported in favor of placing it " on file." Afterward a 
resolution was adopted by the Board approving of the printing 
of one thousand copies, provided there was prefixed the report 
of the committee above mentioned, which stated that the City 
Superintendent had been called on to substantiate his statements, 
and had evaded the issue. 1 

From an early period in the history of Brooklyn's public 
schools there was difficulty in supplying sufficient accommoda- 
tions to meet the demand. The growth of the city was very 
rapid, especially at certain periods, as, for instance, after the 
opening of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, in 1883, and the 
building of elevated railroads two or three years later. Funds 
for building schoolhouses were raised by taxation for many 
years, and, owing to the pressure for economy in the city's 
finances, the Board of Estimate granted appropriations on a 
scale not liberal. In some years no money was allowed for 
school sites and buildings. It was not until 1888 that the first 
law was enacted providing for the issue of bonds for this pur- 
pose. The first bond issue was $400,000; in the two years 
following bonds to the amount of $1,200,000 were authorized. 
From the President's report for 1889 we learn that "The Board 
of Education finds itself now for the first time in ample funds to 
cope with the problem of school accommodation. It desires to 

1 It should be added that the City Superintendent of Schools (William H. Max- 
well) was connected with the Brooklyn city school system during the last fifteen years 
of its existence, for ten years as Superintendent of Public Instruction and for five 
years previously as Associate Superintendent. 



246 The New York Public School 

return thanks for the liberal spirit in which its demands for more 
money for school buildings have been met, and to express its grati- 
tude for its ability now to confront the question with a confidence 
it has never before possessed " (p. 7). The Board did not " find 
it necessary," says the similar report for 1890, " to ask for any 
further funds for 1891 " (p. 7). For 1892 an appropriation of 
$100,000 for sites was included in the tax budget, and for the 
following year one of $50,000; in those years bonds to the 
amount of $500,000 were available for building purposes. 

Nevertheless, the Board, while doing the best it could with 
the resources at its command, was never able to furnish 
enough school room for all the children wishing to attend. 
Even in September and October, 1889, there were 1039 pupils 
excluded for lack of room ; in the corresponding months of the 
following year, 3168, and in the same months in 1891, 2715. 
From that time the situation steadily grew worse. Large build- 
ings were erected, and there were never any charges of extrava- 
gance ; the buildings were plain and simple, mostly of red brick, 
without claims to architectural beauty. Buildings unfit for use 
were retained for years in not a few cases when they should 
have been abandoned, and rooms not intended for classrooms, 
in basements, sometimes even in cellars, were used for school 
purposes. "Year after year," said the President in his annual 
report for 1885, "the same story is told. The same unpleasant 
spectacle of shameful overcrowding in many class rooms is 
presented. The same disregard of health and of proper facilities 
for imparting instruction appears, and no adequate means for 
relief is afforded. The only refuge the Board has is in direct- 
ing that many of the classes shall hold their pupils only half a 
day "(p. 11). 

A dozen years earlier the Superintendent had called atten- 
tion to a condition of overcrowding in many classrooms that 
was little short of scandalous. " More than thirty young girls," 
he said in his annual report for 1873, "have one hundred and 
twenty to one hundred and eighty pupils committed solely to 



Features of the Brooklyn System 247 

their inexperience for tuition. Ninety teachers have eighty to 
one hundred and twenty scholars each, and forty-one classes are 
crowded into dark and, in some instances, damp basements " 
(p. 39). The report of the President for 1885, mentioned above, 
stated that there were then three classes exceeding 180 pupils 
each, eleven classes with more than 150 pupils each, seventy- 
three classes having upwards of 100 pupils each, and two hun- 
dred classes containing more than 70 pupils each. This report 
further stated that " In at least eleven of our schools we have 
rooms unfit to be used, and never intended for class rooms, 
which are crowded with children at the present time, and at 
least two of our school buildings should be condemned and 
sold" (p. 15). 

At that time the Board had adopted this rule : 

" The maximum number of sittings to be placed in a primary class room 
in any school building to be erected, shall be fifty-six, in grammar class rooms 
below the third grade, forty-eight, and in grammar class rooms above the 
fourth grade, forty." 

/ ^n 1889 the Board passed a resolution providing that after 
February i, 1890, no principal should place on register more 
than seventy pupils in any class. This was pronounced by the 
Superintendent, in his report for 1889 (p. 58), "a long step 
toward remedying " the evils of overcrowding ; but it may be 
noted that in the very same paragraph he recommended that 
the maximum should be reduced to sixty. Notwithstanding this 
rule, nearly four years later, in October, 1893, there were 146 
classes with more than seventy pupils on register ; forty teachers 
had registered between 100 and 150 pupils each, and one class 
had a registry of no less than 158 ! A state of things almost as 
bad existed in the following year, and was properly characterized 
by the Superintendent as "a disgrace to Brooklyn." 

The only remedy applied, as stated in a citation already 
given from the President's report for 1885, was the " half -day 
class " in the lower primary grades, to which numerous refer- 
ences are found in the reports and minutes. By this plan a big 



248 



The New York Public School 



class was divided into two sections, one attending school in the 
forenoon and the other in the afternoon, one teacher caring for 
both. In 1887 there were seventy-five half-day classes, con- 
taining 7969 pupils ; in his report for that year the Superin- 
tendent recommended the exclusion from school of children 
under six years, and said that if this were done there " need 
be no difficulty in doing away, after a reasonable time, with the 
half-day classes and reducing the classes in the lower Primary 
grades to working dimensions." 

The following table, taken from the President's report for 
1896 (p. n), shows the number of children refused admission 
and the number on half-time, and also indicates what the Board 
was doing in the way of furnishing accommodations, for a series 
of years : 



YEAR 


REFUSED ADMISSION 
DURING SEPT. AND 
OCT. 


ON HALF-TIME 
OCT. 31 


TOTAL 


SITTINGS IN NEW 
BUILDINGS 


1887 


1354 


8069 


9423 


5008 


1888 


1201 


9024 


10225 


4922 


1889 


I0 39 


7545 


8584 


7753 


1890 


3168 


5618 


9786 


4142 


1891 


2715 


8589 


II30I 


5021 


1892 


3481 


6868 


10349 


7255 


1893 


4635 


8305 


12940 


6048 


1894 


5826 


9412 


15238 


1938 


1895 


4977 


9500 


14477 


10484 


1896 


5305 


12044 


17349 


7556 



In 1897 the plan was adopted of extending the school day 
to 5 o'clock and allowing two classes to occupy the same room, 
one class from 9 to I o'clock, the other from I to 5, under the 
care of two teachers; and 119 such classes were organized, with 
6197 pupils. 1 



1 This was the introduction of the part-time plan, which was extensively used 
after consolidation in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. 



Features of the Brooklyn System 249 

The rules adopted by the Board in 1843 provided that "The 
discipline to be maintained in the schools shall be of a mild and 
parental character, and corporal punishment is to be avoided 
except when absolutely necessary." After a few years the rule 
was amended by the addition of the following words : " of 
which necessity the Principal must be the judge but, children 
or parents may complain to the Trustees of unnecessary severity, 
and the complaint shall be heard and adjudged by them." Still 
later the rule took this form : 

" The discipline to be maintained in the schools shall be of a mild and 
parental character, and corporal punishment shall be resorted to only in cases 
of persistent misconduct, and after the failure of all other reasonable efforts at 
reformation. The Principal alone shall be authorized to inflict corporal pun- 
ishment ; of the necessity of which he shall in every case be the judge. He 
shall keep a record of such punishments, stating the nature of each offence 
and the name of the teacher complainant. Children or parents may complain 
to the School Committee of unnecessary severity, and the complaint shall be 
heard and adjudged by them." 

In substantially these words it remained in force for more 
than thirty years, and until the dissolution of the Brooklyn 
School Board. 

It would be a tedious and useless task to attempt to outline 
the numerous changes in the salary system in the Brooklyn 
schools, if, indeed, there was for many years any system worthy 
of the name. The records for nearly forty years will be searched 
in vain to ascertain what system was employed. The by-laws 
of the Board were silent on the subject until 1882, there being 
no mention even of any power to fix salaries. At the organiza- 
tion of the Board the schools in the several districts were found 
supplied with teachers, who were serving under contracts previ- 
ously made. The number of teachers in the city in 1843 was 
twenty-nine, and their salaries ranged from $75 to $800, the pay- 
roll for the year amounting to $95 IO. 1 In 1851 the highest 

1 There was one teacher at $800, two at $700, one at $600, two at $500, one at 
$460, one at $450, one at $400, three at $350, one at $300, one at $275, three at 250, 



250 The New York Public School 

salary paid was still $800, and the lowest $100. For years 
when appointments were reported by the Committee on Teach- 
ers the salary was specified in each instance, but the basis on 
which it was fixed is not shown. 

In 1876 principals of grammar schools received $3000 per 
annum ; in the primary grades the minimum salary was $400 
and the maximum $475 ; in the grammar grades the minimum 
was $500 and the maximum $800. Owing to the depression in 
business and the resulting hard times, a general reduction in 
salaries was made in 1877. Principals were put back to $2700, 
and there was a cut varying from three to ten per cent, in the 
pay of other teachers. In 1879, f r a similar reason, there was 
a further reduction ; the salary of a principal was placed at 
$2400, and the compensation of the other members of the teach- 
ing staff likewise diminished. Two years later the salaries of 
all the teachers, except principals, were restored ; but the prin- 
cipals were continued at the reduced rate until 1886, when they 
were again raised to the rate prevailing before 1878. 

A special committee was appointed by the Board in 1882 to 
"consider and devise an equitable basis for the fixing of the 
salaries of teachers," and in the ensuing year a regular salary 
schedule was adopted and made a part of the by-laws. This 
schedule provided for salaries in the primary grades from $300 
to $490, with an annual increment of $50 up to the fourth year ; 
in the grammar grades the range was from $450 to $900, with a 
small increment for two or three years. A " bonus " was pro- 
vided for teachers of boys' classes, being $15 per annum in the 
primary and $25 in the grammar grades. An increase in salaries 
of about twelve per cent, on the average was made in 1886, to 
take effect at the beginning of the following year; the bonus for 
teaching boys was increased to $25 for primary teachers and to 
$50 for grammar teachers ; and the period of the annual incre- 

six at $200, two at $175, two at $150, one at $100, and one at $75. The first salary 
increase recorded was made on November 14, 1843, when a teacher was advanced 
from $350 to $400. 



Features of the Brooklyn System 



251 



ments was lengthened. The initial salary of a beginner with- 
out experience was continued at $300 ($325 for boys), but those 
who had pursued the Training School course were started at 
$400 ($425 for boys). With the beginning of 1892 there was 
a further increase, amounting to about fifteen per cent, in the 
salaries of all teachers below the third grammar grade. The 
initial salary was raised to $350, and the maximum in the pri- 
mary grades was fixed at $700; in the grammar grades the 
salaries ranged from $550 to $1200. The bonus for teaching 
boys' classes was now made $50 in all grades. 

The following tabular statement will show the changes in 
salaries of the teaching staff from 1876 to 1892: 





PRIMARY GRADES 


GRAMMAR GRADES 


YEAR 








Minimum 


Maximum 


Minimum 


Maximum 


1876 


$400 


$475 


$500 


$ 800 


1882 


300 


515 


450 


900 


1887 


300 


600 


500 


1200 


I8 9 2 


350 


700 


550 


1200 



In 1892 the salaries of principals of grammar schools ranged 
from $2500 to $3000, of principals of intermediate schools from 
$1500 to $2200, of principals of primary schools from $1500 to 
$240x3, of heads of departments from $930 to $1250. In high 
schools principals received $5000 and teachers from $1000 to 
$3000; in the Training School the principal received $4000 and 
teachers $1750. 

Before 1857, as already noted, the duties of Secretary were 
performed by the City Superintendent ; in the year named the 
first Secretary, George A. W. Stuart, was elected. He held the 
office until 1881. In that year it was discovered that a number 
of valuable books and records of the Board had been lost, and 
shortly afterward Stuart disappeared. To the intense surprise 
of the members, it was found, after a careful examination, that 



252 



Tke New York Public School 



he had been systematically robbing the Board for a dozen years, 
his total stealings amounting to $250,508.55. The method 
used by him was that of putting in false bills and of "raising " 
checks, and as the Board handled its own funds, the City 
Treasurer acting as Treasurer of the Board, the opportunity to 
be dishonest had been open to him. The moneys stolen were 
largely those received in payment for text-books. Stuart was 
indicted, but he covered his movements so effectually that he 
was never traced. No member of the Board was ever under 
suspicion of being implicated with him. The defalcation caused 
the adoption of more businesslike methods in the office of the 
Board, with systematic examination of the accounts, and was, 
no doubt, one of the reasons which led to the adoption of the 
free book system in 1884. Previous to that time teachers and 
others received their salaries in cash at the office of the Secre- 
tary. After January i, 1884, all salaries were paid by check 
drawn to the order of each teacher or other employe". 

COMPARISON 





1855 


1865 


1875 


1885 


1895 


Number of schools 


30 


38 


48 


61 


109 


Number of teachers 


312 


554 


1077 


HS 2 


2479 


Average register 





31,160 


48,115 


70,273 


113,810 


Average attendance 


13,380 


22,610 


43,292 


62,835 


103.858 


Teachers' salaries 


593.330-5S 


#270,091.30 


$659,461.62 


#871,470.61 


#2,101,959.71 


Total expenditures 


150,895.02 


414,666.12 


1,147,647.41 


1,607,886.09 


3,489,768.19 



Value of School Property 



1889 
1896 



$5,831,198 
10,281,138 



CHAPTER XXX 
THE BOROUGH OF QUEENS 

THE Borough of Queens comprises the former towns of 
Newtown (out of which Long Island City was formed), Flush- 
ing, and Jamaica, and a part of the town of Hempstead, all of 
which were in the County of Queens. 1 The earliest settlement 
recorded in this territory was made in Newtown, the original 
name of which was Middleburgh, in the year 1638. The first 
mention of a schoolmaster occurs in 1661 (the same year in 
which the first schoolmaster was appointed in Brooklyn), when 
the so-called town-house was placed at his disposal. This town- 
house had previously been occupied by the minister of the town, 
the Rev. John Moore, and in 1657 ti^ 6 to the house, which had 
been built by the little settlement, was given to Mr. Moore, under 
the hands of the clerk and one of the magistrates, against the 
protest of some members of the community. Moore died shortly 
afterward ; his widow continued to occupy the house for several 
years, and while living there became the wife of the Rev. Francis 
Doughty. A protest against the surrender of the town-house 
was filed by the opposition with Director-General Stuyvesant, 
in 1 66 1, on behalf of Richard Mills, schoolmaster, who was 
spoken of as " a help meet for the discipline and education of 
our children." Stuyvesant on February i8th decided in favor 
of the remonstrants, and ordered Mr. Doughty to give Mills 
possession. 

1 Queens County is now coterminous with the Borough of that name ; the portion 
of the former county not consolidated with New York City was set off and erected 
into Nassau County in 1898, when the boundary line of the city was slightly altered. 

253 



254 The New York Public School 

The first schoolmaster of Middleburgh did not long pursue 
his vocation there. Soon there was another change in the 
occupant of the town-house. In September, 1662, the building 
was ordered to be put in repair, in view of the prospective settle- 
ment of a new minister. Mills is next heard of in Westchester, 
where he is recorded as a leading resident and magistrate, and 
where he took an active part in a revolt against Governor Stuy- 
vesant. By the orders of the latter he was arrested and im- 
prisoned for more than a month, and shortly afterward left the 
country. 

For some time after English supremacy in the colony no 
mention is found of any person as carrying on a school ; and the 
legal code introduced, as summarized by Riker, 1 contains no 
reference to a schoolmaster. In the military system adopted, 
however, " All male persons above the age of sixteen, except 
certain judicial and professional characters, including the minis- 
ter, constable, and schoolmaster, were required to do military 
duty." 2 

The next schoolmaster recorded after Richard Mills appears 
in 1695, in the person of Ezekiel Lewis, a graduate of Harvard, 
who afterward rose to prominence as a lawyer in Boston. For 
his accommodation the town-house (which had reverted to Mrs. 
Doughty in 1665, when there was no further fear of interference 
by Stuyvesant) was ordered to be put in good condition. Lewis's 
stay, like that of Mills, was short ; he kept the school for only a 
year. 

In 1720 the school was in charge of George Reynolds, and 
the town-house again becomes a feature of the narrative, as in 
that year it was voted to rent the premises to him. " The sub- 
ject of education was also exciting more attention [about 1720], 
but by education must be understood those few and simple 
attainments which the mass of the people were wont to regard as 
a competency ; in most instances not extending beyond the ability 
to read, write and cast plain accounts, and, in the case of girls, no 

1 Annals of Newtown, pp. 68-70. 2 Ibid., p. 77. 



The Borough of Queens 255 

further than ' to read English in the Bible.' . . . The village had 
occasionally enjoyed the services of a schoolmaster." l 

About this period the residents of Dutch Kills, Hallett's 
Cove, and other settlements within the later limits of Long 
Island City found the school at Newtown too remote for their 
children to attend comfortably, and a second school was estab- 
lished nearer their homes. A plot of ground, "thirty foot 
long and twenty foot broad," was given by Joseph Hallett " for 
the use and benefit of a school house, now erected and standing 
thereon by the roadside from Hallett's Cove to Newtown." On 
May 20, 1721, Hallett executed a deed, admitting five others "as 
joint owners with himself of the said premises," "to be equally 
enjoyed by them and their heirs severally, and by me and my 
heirs, for ever, having, all and every of us, our heirs, and every 
of them, the same equal share, right and title to the above said 
land and school-house, and full power and authority, to send 
what number of children we shall think fit." After quoting the 
foregoing, Riker continues : " This was looked upon as a haz- 
ardous undertaking, and one which none, for many years, was 
found ready to incur the expense of imitating." 

A dozen years later, in 1734, several persons living at Hell 
Gate Neck united their efforts and built " a small house for a 
school to be kept in for the education of their children." This 
schoolhouse was on the river near Berrien's Point, where John 
Lawrence had presented " one square rod of land " as a site. 
Of this land he gave a deed in 1735 to his five associates in the 
undertaking. 

Similar movements soon occurred elsewhere. In 1739 the 
residents south of Newtown village took steps to build a school- 
house a little west of White Pot on a plot of ground, " twenty 
foot square," given by Jacobus Springsteen, who executed a 
deed to fourteen farmers of the neighborhood, his " loving 

1 Riker, p. 154. "The situation was now filled," he proceeds, "by Mr. George 
Reynolds, who appears to have occupied the town-house, as a vote was passed April 
5th, 1720, to rent him these premises." 



256 The New York Public School 

friends." A stone schoolhouse was built, which was in time 
replaced by a wooden one ; the present schoolhouse is the third 
built on the same site. In 1739, also, the people living in the 
vicinity of the English Kills (a name given to a settlement at 
the western end of Maspeth, to distinguish it from Dutch Kills) 
built a schoolhouse near the residence of Richard Betts. This 
was known as the "old Brook School," as it stood near a small 
brook flowing into the Newtown Creek. A part of the building 
is said to be still standing. "Jacob Reeder was the preceptor 
here for a long period ; a useful man in his day, and the town 
clerk for above thirty years." J A schoolhouse was built in 1740 
" near the bridge at Newtown," the people of the village receiving 
assistance from those living in other parts of the town. 

There were now five schools in Newtown. There is no evi- 
dence that any of them were free, nor was any provision made 
by the government for their maintenance. 

An interesting bit of educational history is recorded in con- 
nection with an English and classical school which was in opera- 
tion at Hallett's Cove in 1762, under the patronage of the leading 
residents. It was conducted by William Rudge, who, in a 
" card " published in the New York Mercury, describes him- 
self as "late of the city of Gloucester in Old England," and 
announces that he " still continues his school " and " teaches 
Writing in the different hands, Arithmetic in its different 
branches, the Italian method of Book-keeping by way of Double 
Entry, Latin, and Greek." This " card" bore the signatures of 
thirteen persons (seven of them Halletts), who recommended 
the master in these words : " We, who have subscribed our 
names, being willing to continue the school-master, as we have 
hitherto found him a man of close application, sobriety, and 
capable of his office, are ready to take in boarders at 18 per 
annum." 

The educational history of the town is now a blank until, in 
1814, it was' divided into school districts under the law provid- 

1 Riker, p. 159. 



The Borough of Queens 257 

ing a general school system for the State. The before-men- 
tioned school at Hallett's Cove (this name was dropped in 1839 
and that of Astoria substituted) became District School No. 3, 
and has a very interesting history. By an act of the Legisla- 
ture passed in 1850 this district was declared to be "a perma- 
nent school district," under the direction of a Board of Education 
consisting of five members ; and in the following year the Board 
secured the passage of a law authorizing the sale of the old 
schoolhouse and site ("which is situated adjoining St. George's 
Church "), and the erection on another site, given by Mr. 
Stephen A. Halsey, of what was known for many years as the 
" Old Fourth Ward School." l In an interesting monograph 
relating to this school the present principal (Matthew D. Quinn) 
writes : 

" The citizens of the district ever jealously guarded their right to manage 
the affairs of the school without any interference from the officials of the State 
system. 

"This is further illustrated by the acts of 1863 and 1867, exempting the 
schools under our Board of Education from the operation of the general laws 
relating to the powers of the School Commissioners. 

" The power to examine and license teachers and the exclusive right of 
supervision were reserved to the Board, and the School Commissioner of this 
Commissioner district was enjoined from dividing or altering the district in any 
respect." 

In 1870 the law was passed providing for the incorporation 
of Long Island City, cutting off a portion of Newtown contain- 
ing Hunter's Point, Astoria, Ravenswood, Dutch Kills, Bliss- 
ville, and some other settlements, and under the city government 
the schools were in charge of a Board of Education consisting 
of five members, appointed by the Mayor. At that time there 
were three public schools in the city, located in what had been 
three school districts under the town government. In District 
No. 3 was the school already described ; the school for Bliss- 

1 This became Public School 5, Long Island City, in 1870, and in 1898 Public 
School 5, Borough of Queens. It was demolished in 1901, to make room for a new 
building, completed in 1904. 
s 



258 The New York Public School 

ville and Dutch Kills was in District No. 4 ; District No. 1 1 
was in Hunter's Point. A school was provided for the Ravens- 
wood section in 1873, and a few years later three additional 
schools were established. The Long Island City High School 
was organized in 1889, at first with a two years' course, which 
was later extended to three years, and in 1897 to four years. 
This school was housed in several different buildings in its 
earlier years. Some time before consolidation high school 
departments were established in the schools at Newtown 
village and Woodside. 

The first settlers of Flushing, English folk, went there as 
early as 1643, an d in 1657 a company of Quakers arrived. The 
early records of the town were destroyed by fire many years 
ago, and definite information regarding schools in the early 
period cannot be supplied. The first teacher, it is supposed, 
was John Houlden, who taught a private school from 1660 to 
1670. Elizabeth Coperthwaite, a daughter of a well-known 
Quaker preacher, is spoken of as having taught a school from 
1675 to 1 68 1 ; and John Urquhart is mentioned in 1690 as 
a man of family and as keeping boarding scholars to some 
extent. In 1703 the Friends' meeting decided that a school- 
master was necessary for the town, and appointed Samuel 
Hoyt and Francis Doughty to " seek out for a convenient 
piece of ground, to purchase it and build a school-house thereon 
for the use of Friends, about Richard Griffin's lot upon the 
cross way, which is near the centre of the town." There is no 
positive evidence that the proposed schoolhouse was built ; but 
six years afterward it is recorded that " Thomas Makins, school- 
master hath signified to this meeting his willingness to sit with 
his scholars in the meeting and take care of them." Inci- 
dental mention of a teacher is also found under date of August 
12, 1715, when " Anthony Gleane, of Flushing, blacksmith, 
asks for letters of administration on the estate of Jas. Bettersby, 
schoolmaster of the same place." 

What was done in Flushing during the century following is 




EVOLUTION OF A SCHOOLHOUSE BOROUGH OF QUEENS 

1. Original Astoria Schoolhouse used until 1851. 2. Old Fourth Ward School, 

used 1851 to 1901. 3. Public School 5, built 1901-04 



The Borough of Queens 259 

matter of surmise. The first free school in the town resulted 
from the efforts of the Flushing Female Association, com- 
posed chiefly of members of the Society of Friends, which was 
organized in I8I4. 1 On April 6th it opened a small school in 
Liberty street, the members of the Association acting for a 
time as teachers. Both white and black children were received 
free, except in the case of a few whose parents were able and 
willing to pay. The first paid teacher received a salary of 
$15 per quarter, with an allowance of $26 per quarter for 
board. 2 For a time the school received a share of the public 
school funds, but after 1844 this was cut off. 

Flushing village was incorporated in 1837. About 1843 a 
new schoolhouse was built for $500 by District No. 5 (com- 
prising all the village and some of the adjacent territory) at 
Garden and Church streets. By 1847 a larger building was 
required, but strenuous opposition to building it was made by 
some citizens, and many stormy meetings were held. It was 
finally decided, by a vote of 37 to 5, to raise $3000 by tax and 
to authorize the trustees to sell the old building, to contract 
for a new one " on the plan of the New York public schools," 
and to propose a suitable site. In the following year there 
was much discussion regarding a site, and the Legislature 
authorized the trustees to raise $6000 by tax or mortgage for 
the erection of a building. A lot in Union street was pur- 
chased, and the schoolhouse built thereon was used until 1897. 
The school was opened in November, 1848, with seven teachers 
and 381 pupils. 3 

1 Mark the similarity between the work of this Association and that done by 
societies of philanthropic women in New York and Brooklyn in 1802 and 1813 (see 
Chapters I and XXIII). 

2 This is the'statement of Waller in his History of the Town of Flushing (1899), 
p. 175. In Mandeville's Flushing, Past and Present (1860) it is put in a slightly 
different way : "In the report of July 1st, 1814, it is stated a teacher had been 
engaged at a salary of sixty dollars per annum, with two dollars a week for board " 
(p. 127). 

8 The principal was Thomas F. Harrison, afterward Assistant Superintendent in 



260 The New York Public School 

By a law enacted in 1848 the village of Flushing was pro- 
vided with a Board of Education of five members, elected by the 
people. There were two schools in the village and eight in the 
remainder of the town at the time of consolidation with New 
York, and also a high school in the village. The high school 
was established in 1875. In 1873 the village decided to issue 
bonds to the amount of $40,000 for the erection of a high school 
building, which was used in part for elementary school purposes. 

Common schools were organized in Whitestone in 1857, m 
College Point in 1859, and in Bayside in 1864. In Whitestone, 
John McDermott is reputed to have been the first teacher, about 
the beginning of the nineteenth century. In 1818 a lot was 
leased for $3, and a schoolhouse put up at a cost of $250. This 
was used for twenty years, but, being found too small, was 
replaced in 1838 by one costing $800, located in what was 
then the central part of the town. 

The year 1656 marks the beginning of the settlement of 
Jamaica, and the first record of a school in the town is found 
just twenty years later. In that year Richard Jones was 
allowed to use the little stone church " for to teach scoule in 
for y e yere ensuing, provided he keep y e windowes from break- 
ing and keep it deasent and cleane on Saturday nights against 
y e Lord's Day and seats to be placed in order." Mention is 
made of a school kept by one " Goody " Davis some years after- 
ward. In 1705 Henry Lindley received from Governor Corn- 
bury a license to teach school in Jamaica, and about the same 
time a similar privilege was granted to Thomas Huddleston. 
The Rev. Thomas Poyer, in 1724, complainingly referred to 
the fact that the schools in Jamaica, Newtown, and Flushing 
were taught by Quakers or Presbyterians. Two years later a 
public meeting was held to consider the question of establishing 
a free school, but nothing was accomplished in that direction. 

New York for many years. Mandeville says that previous to the opening of this 
school there were only 213 children attending all the schools in the village. He 
remarks that "an evening school was started in the winter of 1859" (p. 130). 



The Borough of Queens 261 

" Still the educational facilities of Jamaica seem to have been 
ample at all times, and several of the teachers, such as James 
Lockhart, Thomas Temple and John Moore, all pre-Revolution- 
ary schoolmasters, were men of more than ordinary education. 
In 1777 Andrew Wilson opened a grammar school, and in 1784 
the Rev. Matthias Burnet, the Presbyterian minister, opened a 
private school, in which he proposed to teach Latin and Greek, 
and for which he had engaged ' a person ' to teach the common 
branches, writing, bookkeeping, vulgar arithmetic and the like. 
The opening, in 1791, of Union Hall Academy led the way to 
other schemes of higher education. ... In 1812 the common- 
school system of the state superseded all private enterprises to 
a great extent and put all the primary schools in the common- 
wealth within a short time on a standard basis." l 

One of the historians records that in 1813 Jamaica voted to 
receive its quota of the State school fund and to raise $125 the 
next year, while in the following year it was "voted that the 
town do not receive their quota of money from the State as 
regards common schools, and agreed that the town give the 
money to the poor that was raised as the quota for common 
schools." 

There were twenty-three schools in the town of Jamaica at 
the time of consolidation, in 1898, including two high school 
departments, one in Jamaica village and one in Richmond Hill. 

The part of the town of Hempstead which came into Greater 
New York upon consolidation contained three school districts 
and six schools : in the school at Far Rockaway there was a 
high school department. 

1 A History of Long Island, Ross, Vol. I, p. 563. The above-mentioned school 
of Andrew Wilson was advertised on January 13, 1777, thus : "Andrew Wilson is 
now opening a grammar school. Board may be procured at Jamaica." 



CHAPTER XXXI 
THE BOROUGH OF THE BRONX 

^ FOUR former towns of Westchester County and parts of two 
others make up the Borough of The Bronx. Only two of the 
towns, Westchester and Eastchester, antedate the Revolution ; 
the others were created by division and separation. Pelham 
came into existence in 1788 (at the time when, under the State 
government, Westchester and Eastchester were constituted 
towns of Westchester County); West Farms dates from 1846, 
Morrisania from 1855, an( i Kingsbridge from 1872, the latter 
having been set off as a separate town only two years before its 
annexation to New York. Besides Kingsbridge, Morrisania 
and West Farms were taken into the city at the beginning of 
1874; Westchester and parts of Eastchester and Pelham were 
annexed in 1895. Through the earlier annexation eight gram- 
mar and six primary schools, and through the later six grammar 
and three primary schools were added to the New York system. 
Westchester and Eastchester were not settled by the Dutch, 
and, so far as the early records can be traced, there was not, in 
the former at least, the same zeal for the school and the school- 
master in the early days as we have found in the Dutch settle- 
ments on Manhattan Island and Long Island. The early 
schools were church schools, and it is not easy to determine 
how deeply the idea of the free school had taken root. In one 
case it is stated that the schoolmaster received what the parents 
of the pupils paid ; the probabilities are that the children of the 
poor received free instruction. 

In Westchester the earliest reference to a school is found 
after the year 1700. In Eastchester there was an earlier begin- 

262 



The Borough of The Bronx 263 

ning. The " agreement " made by the settlers of that town 
soon after they took up their abode there, in 1664, contained an 
article to the effect " That provision be endeavored for educa- 
tion of children, and then encouragement be given unto any 
that shall take pains according to our former way of rating." 
According to Scharf's History of Westchester County} the refer- 
ence in the last clause quoted was to the collective education of 
children to which they had been accustomed in Connecticut. 

Bolton states, in his History of the County of Westchester, 
that "The first school-house [in Eastchester] was erected in 
1683, for at a public meeting of the inhabitants, held on the I5th 
of October of that year, it was ordered ' that a school-house be 
erected upon a site between the property of Richard Shute and 
William Haiden, and encouragement given to Mr. Morgan 
Jones to become the school-master.' ' He adds that " the build- 
ing occupied the site of the present village school-house." 2 
Mr. Jones, who in 1680 was officiating as minister in the village 
of Westchester, does not appear to have yielded to the " en- 
couragement." On this point Scharf says : " The encourage- 
ment then given to Mr. Morgan to be their school-master did 
not, it would seem, add any more to his haste to comply with 
their wishes than the call, three years previous, to be their min- 
ister." This historian states that the erection of a schoolhouse 
was not determined upon until 1683, and intimates a doubt as 
to whether it had actually been built in 1697. However that 
may be, in 1696 Benjamin Collier is recorded as serving in the 
office of schoolmaster. 

A few years later a schoolhouse must have been provided, for 
in 1713 " two overseers of y e school in y e town " were appointed. 
That it did not meet the wants of the town indefinitely is evident 
from action taken in 1726, when it was agreed to vote at a 
public town meeting that a lot of land be laid out " for to build 
a school-house thereon," " out of the comon," and that the 
schoolhouse be built " twenty foot long and fourteen foot wide, 

1 Vol. II, p. 730. 2 Vol. I, p. 214. 



264 The New York Public School 

and seven foot between joyntts in height." In this spacious 
edifice Mr. Delpech was carrying on the work of a teacher in 
1728, and he was spoken of by the minister as "very well 
adapted and fitted for that business, and as well spoken of as 
being diligent in it." His income was "what the parents of the 
children taught do give." 

From this time until after the Revolutionary period the 
records are missing. In 1797 there were four schools in the 
entire town. 

In Westchester, where the first settlement was made in 1654, 
the establishment of a school appears to have been due to the 
famous British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 
Foreign Parts. In 1702 the Rev. John Bartow was sent by this 
Society as a missionary to Westchester, and on October 30, 
1709, we find him writing to the Society, " We want very much 
a fixed school at Westchester," and recommending Daniel 
Clark as a person worthy of employment, " being of good report, 
a constant communicant, and being a clergyman's son, has had 
a pious and learned education." Clark (the name is also spelled 
Clarke) was engaged, and was the teacher from 1710 to 1713. 
He was .preceded, in 1709, by Edward Fitzgerald, and followed 
by Charles Glover. Each of these three schoolmasters received 
a salary of iS per annum. 

The Society's abstracts for 1713 contain the following with 
reference to the last-named : " Mr. Charles Glover is appointed 
schoolmaster at Westchester, with a salary of iS per annum, 
as he is recommended under the character of a person sober 
and diligent, well affected toward the Church of England, and 
competently skilled in reading, writing, arithmetic, psalmody 
and the Latin tongue." Glover remained until 1719, when he 
was succeeded by William Forster, who is mentioned repeatedly 
in the records of the Society. The first reference to him, in 
1719, is as follows: "To Mr. William Forster, schoolmaster 
at Westchester, who has been recommended as a person very 
well qualified to instruct the youth in the principles of religion 



The Borough of The Bronx 265 

and virtue, ten pounds per annum is allowed ; and a gratuity of 
10 has been given him, in consideration of his past services and 
his present circumstances." 1 

As might be expected, a schoolmaster in the employ of the 
venerable Society above mentioned had many religious duties 
to perform, though he does not appear to have been undertaker, 
sexton, and gravedigger, as was the schoolmaster in the Dutch 
communities. For instance, in 1/19, Mr. Forster reported that 
" he has at present thirty-five scholars, whom he catechises 
every Saturday, and also every Sunday that Mr. Bartow goes to 
another part of the parish, together with all others who will 
attend, and has good success ; which is also attested by the 
minister and chief inhabitants of Westchester." A later entry 
is to the effect that Mr. Forster " takes all the care he can of 
the children which are sent to him, and has upwards of thirty 
scholars, which he instructs in the Church Catechism." 

An entry somewhat more interesting is found in the year 
1723, when Mr. Forster announces that "the number of his 
scholars is as usual, and that he has very good success in his 
teaching, and that they are this summer building a new school- 
house ; and he is raising an annual subscription for repairing and 
furnishing the church." 

No other schoolmaster's name is found until I743. 2 Begin- 
ning with that year, they were as follows: 1743, Basil Bartow; 
1764, Nathaniel Seabury; 1768, George Youngs; 1774, Mr. 
Gott. The salary is put down as 10 in each case. 

Under the State government, after the Revolutionary War, 
the towns of Westchester County, as a whole, manifested a good 
degree of interest in educational matters. By the " Act for the 
encouragement of schools," adopted in 1795, as stated in an 

1 In Holland Documents (Vol. V, p. 978), a note states that " William Forster 
was schoolmaster in the town of Westchester, under the Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, as early as 1719." 

2 Bolton (Vol. II, p. 399) gives a list of the schoolmasters at Westchester from 
1709 to 1774. If complete, it would indicate that Mr. Forster's term of service 
extended from 1719 to 1743. 



266 The New York Public School 

earlier chapter, the State appropriated .20,000 each year for 
five years for school purposes, and Westchester County received 
as its quota ^"1192. The several towns promptly voted an 
appropriation equal to one-half of the amount received from the 
State, and School Commissioners were appointed to look after 
the details. An interesting paper formerly on file in the office 
of the Town Clerk of Eastchester had reference to this money. 
It bore the date June 19, 1795, and read : " We the Supervisors 
of the County of Westchester, ... do certify to the Town of 
Eastchester that the apportionment of money by us allotted to 
the said Town by virtue of the act aforesaid [the act of 1795], 
is thirty-seven pounds twelve shillings and seven pence." * 

"Just as readily, in 1812, when an equal sum to the appropri- 
ation by the State was in a new Act asked of each town, the 
vote was readily given, and the proper officials named. During 
this period, throughout the county, school-houses were being 
restored or re-erected." 2 

The territory annexed to the former city of New York in 
1874 became the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Wards, and 
was long known as the Annexed District. Its schools passed 
directly under the control of the Board of Education, without 
any change in the membership of that body ; the new wards 
formed an additional school district, for which Inspectors were 
appointed by the Mayor, and Trustees by the Board of Edu- 
cation. Before the annexation there were four local Boards of 
Education in what became the Annexed District : one for Mor- 
risania and one for Kingsbridge, while in West Farms there 
were two Boards, one for each of the school districts. The 
annexation in 1895 caused no change in the school officers of 
the Twenty-fourth Ward. 

1 A facsimile of this document is given by Scharf (Vol. I, p. 474). 

2 Scharf, Vol. I, p. 474. 



CHAPTER XXXII 
THE BOROUGH OF RICHMOND 

THE early records of Staten Island are very meagre in the 
matter of schools and schoolmasters. According to tradition, 
the first school was located at or near Stony Brook, " and was 
probably in the same little structure that stood near the Moravian 
Church that location being considered in the Stony Brook 
neighborhood at that time. It is perfectly natural that it 
should have been located near the Court House and Church." 1 
To the Waldenses and Huguenots must be given the credit of 
founding the first school in what is now the Borough of 
Richmond. The number of inhabitants at that time is believed 
not to have exceeded three hundred. 

The first school of which there is any authentic history was 
established at what is now called New Springville, between 1690 
and 1700. This schoolhouse was enlarged in the early part of the 
nineteenth century, but the walls of the original building stood 
until 1888, when the whole structure was razed to the ground 
in order to make room for a new building. 

" The writer attended the meeting when it was decided to demolish the old 
building. There were the great, thick stone walls, crumbling and damp and 
mouldy. There were the rude desks, where time and the boys had evidently 
carried on a spirited competition in their efforts at destruction. Great holes 
were in the floor; the plaster had fallen from the ceiling ; the little, old- 
fashioned stove was almost devoured by rust; the well-worn black-board 
resembled a mutilated target, and in every nook and corner there was devas- 
tation and ruin. And yet, there were those present who declared that the old 

1 Memorial History of Staten Island, Morris, Vol. II, p. 361. In the prepara- 
Jon of this chapter Mr. Morris's work has been freely drawn upon. He gives no 
date for the establishment of the above-mentioned school. 

267 



268 The New York Public School 

school-house was good enough! It was not until after the Commissioner had 
told his audience what power he had in the premises, that the fate of the 
oldest school-house on the Island was sealed. All that remains to-day of the 
venerable structure is the foundation of a modern building which is composed 
of the material taken from the time-honored walls." x 

In the early years of the eighteenth century not a little was 
done in the direction of education by the Society for the Propa- 
gation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, which has already been 
mentioned more than once in these pages. The missionary of 
this Society in Staten Island, Mr. Mackenzy, in 1710 called the 
Society's attention to the importance of having schoolmasters to 
instruct the children in English, Dutch, and French, and recom- 
mended as teachers Adam Brown and Benjamin Drewit, who 
were selected for the purpose. In 1712 Francis Williamson and 
John DuPuy were employed by the Society in a similar capacity, 
each at a salary of .10 a year ; and apparently Mr. Brown was 
retained in the Society's employ. A report made by Mr. Brown, 
of Richmond, dated April 10, 1713, is still preserved. 2 It states 
that he had continued to keep school in the south precinct of 
the county; that he had taught during the preceding year 
thirty-five children to "read, write, and cypher," and the cate- 
chism of the church, with the explanations thereof, to such as 
were capable ; that twenty-four of his scholars had been publicly 
catechized in the church, and the readiness with which they 
answered all the questions asked was admired by all who heard 
them ; that he taught them the use of the " common prayer," so 
that the children could join with the congregation in divine ser- 

1 Morris, Vol. II, p. 363. 

2 Mr. Morris's narrative is not entirely clear on this point. After mentioning 
Brown and Drewit as having been appointed in 1710, he says that they " seem to have 
been continued during the two following years," and notes the appointment of 
Williamson and DuPuy in 1712; then he proceeds: " So beneficial to the people did 
the work of these early schoolmasters appear to be, that the Society determined, in 
1713, to employ three more. The report of Mr. Brown, of Richmond, one of these 
teachers, is preserved." In the report mentioned, however, Mr. Brown speaks of 
having continued to keep school ; which would make it appear probable that he was 
one of those appointed in 1710. 



The Borough of Richmond 269 

vice. Mr. Brown's report was certified by the minister and the 
Board of Justices of the county. 

In 1717 Charles Taylor is recorded as the schoolmaster of 
the Society, his salary being .15 per annum, and he carried on 
the work for many years. In 1722 and 1723 he was teaching 
forty-three and forty-two pupils, respectively, at Richmond. 
In addition to the regular day school which he conducted, he 
also carried on a night school for the instruction of negroes and 
of white children who were obliged to work in the daytime. 
He remained in the service until his death, in 1742, when he 
was succeeded by Andrew Wright, who was certified as " a 
Person of Good Morals, and a constant Communicant, and well 
qualified to teach," and who was appointed as schoolmaster " to 
instruct the poor white, and Black Children also, if any such are 
brought to him, gratis, in the Principles of Christianity, and to 
read the Bible and the Common-prayer Book." 

A certificate to be found among the county records shows 
that in 1769 James Forest had been acting as schoolteacher in 
the western part of Staten Island for two years and a half. 
It was signed by twenty-four persons, who stated that " we 
know nothing of him but what is Just and honest, Teaching 
and Instructing of Pupils in such parts of Literature as their 
Capacity Could Contain ; with great Fidelity and Justice, Giving 
due and Regular Attendance in said school to our Mutual & 
Intire Satisfaction and likewise Instructed them in their Parts 
and Honours to our great Fidelity, and now to part at his own 
Request." 

There is ground for believing that there was, in 1784, a 
traditional " old red schoolhouse " near the site of the one now 
in use at Castleton Corners, located on what was then known as 
the Dawson estate. 

As Governor Daniel D. Tompkins was instrumental in secur- 
ing the passage of the law of 1812, providing for the distribution 
of the Common School Fund, it was natural that Tompkinsville 
(which received its name from him) should organize a school 



270 The New York Public School 

under the new law at an early date. The school established 
there was in a flourishing condition in 1815. "It is said," 
writes Mr. Morris, " that Governor Tompkins used to visit the 
school at least once a week, and not only gave prizes to the 
bright scholars, but paid a part of the teacher's salary out of his 
own pocket." 

Mr. Morris is authority for the following statement : 1 

" It is an interesting fact, although a sad commentary upon our forefathers, 
that not only on Staten Island but throughout America the public schools 
were not open to girls until 1790, and then for only two or three hours a day 
during the summer months, when there were not enough boys in attendance 
to keep the school going. They were regularly admitted by law in New York 
State in 1822." 

The present writer, in his researches, has found no evidence 
justifying Mr. Morris's assertion that girls were excluded from 
"the public schools " before 1790; in point of fact, there were 
no public schools, in the modern meaning of the words, until 
after that date. 

" The law which created separate districts and elected three 
trustees one of whom was elected each year vesting them 
with almost absolute power, worked to the serious detriment of 
the public schools. While in some of the districts fair-minded 
and intelligent men were selected, it often happened that illit- 
erate and narrow-minded individuals were given the power to 
rule, and often to ruin. We have witnessed the engagement 
of teachers solely because they would accept meagre salaries - 
the question of ability not being taken into consideration. A 
miserly policy, too, was manifested in the shabby structures that 
served as school-houses. Some of them were unfit for barns or 
cattle-sheds, much less for the day homes of the boys and girls 
who were seeking an education. 

" About twenty years ago [this was written about 1900] one 
of the local newspapers took the matter in hand. The disgrace 
to the Island which such school-houses caused, was plainly 

1 Vol. II, p. 366. 



The Borough of Richmond 271 

portrayed, and finally public opinion was moulded in favor of 
better buildings. One by one the districts began to wake up to 
the necessities of the hour, and soon modern structures stood 
where the antiquated barracks had formerly disgraced the 
ground." 1 

At the date of consolidation the number of schools on Staten 
Island was twenty-nine, of which seven were union free schools 
and the remainder common schools. There were three high 
school departments, located in the schools at Tottenville, Staple- 
ton, and Port Richmond. 

1 Morris, Vol. II, p. 367. 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

THE CONSOLIDATION OF 1898 

THE Greater New York Charter (Chapter 387 of the laws of 
1897), providing for the consolidation of the city of New York, 
the city of Brooklyn, a part of Queens County (as it then existed), 
and the whole of Richmond County, effected important changes 
in the management of the schools in the consolidated territory 
as a whole, although as respects the greater part of the enlarged 
city the existing systems were retained, with only such modifi- 
cations as were made necessary by the new order of things. 

For school purposes the Borough of Manhattan and the 
Borough of The Bronx were treated as a unit, and the Board of 
Education of the former city of New York (without change in 
membership) became the School Board for the Boroughs of 
Manhattan and The Bronx. The Board of Education of the 
city of Brooklyn, likewise, became the School Board for the 
Borough of Brooklyn. In the Boroughs of Queens and Rich- 
mond, where a large number of independent school organizations, 
mostly limited by district lines, existed at the time of consolida- 
tion, provision was made in the Charter for the appointment by 
the Mayor of School Boards, consisting of nine members for 
each Borough. 

The members of the two Boards of Education mentioned 
above were, by the provisions of the Charter, to serve out the 
terms for which they had been appointed, and their successors 
were to be appointed by the Mayor for terms of three years. The 
titles of the City Superintendent of Schools in New York and the 
Superintendent of Public Instruction in Brooklyn were changed 
to that of Borough Superintendent, and all the Assistant Super- 

272 



The Consolidation of 1898 273 

intendents became Associate Borough Superintendents. In 
Queens, and also in Richmond, it was provided that the School 
Board should appoint a Borough Superintendent and at least two 
Associate Borough Superintendents. In each Borough the 
Borough Superintendent and the Associate Borough Superin- 
tendents constituted the Borough Board of Superintendents. 

A Board of Education for the consolidated city was also 
provided for, made up of delegates or representatives from the 
several School Boards. This Board (which soon came to be 
known in common speech as the " Central Board ") was com- 
posed of eleven delegates from the School Board for Manhat- 
tan and The Bronx (including the President); six delegates 
from the School Board for the Borough of Brooklyn (including 
the President), and the Presidents of the School Boards for 
Queens and Richmond nineteen members in all. The Central 
Board was authorized to appoint a Secretary, a Superintendent 
of School Buildings, a Superintendent of School Supplies, a City 
Superintendent of Schools, one or more Auditors, a Chief Clerk, 
four Examiners, and other officers ; and each of the School 
Boards was authorized to appoint a Secretary, an Assistant 
Secretary (or Chief Clerk), a Borough Superintendent of 
Schools, and sundry Associate Borough Superintendents. 
Terms of six years were fixed for the Superintendent of School 
Buildings, the Superintendent of School Supplies, the City 
Superintendent of Schools, the several Borough Superintend- 
ents, and all Associate Superintendents, and terms of four years 
for the Examiners. 

A novel feature of the new system was the creation of a 
Board of Examiners, consisting of the City Superintendent and 
the four Examiners just referred to, the latter being appointed 
by the Board of Education on the nomination of the City 
Superintendent. The Board of Examiners was entrusted with 
the duty of examining all candidates for teacherships in the city 
and the preparation of eligible lists of those passing examinations, 
and the City Superintendent was required to transmit to each 



274 The New York Public School 

School Board the lists available within its jurisdiction. All 
licenses were issued in the name of the City Superintendent. 
It was made the duty of the Board of Education, on the 
recommendation of the City Superintendent, to designate the 
" minimum requirements to prevail throughout the city for all 
officers to be appointed to any supervising or teaching position 
under any school board " ; and each School Board was author- 
ized, on the recommendation of the Borough Board of Superin- 
tendents, to designate " the kinds or grades of licenses to teach 
which mayor shall be used in the borough or boroughs under its 
charge," and also the " academical and professional qualifications 
required for service in the boroughs under its charge of prin- 
cipals, branch principals, supervisors, heads of departments, 
assistants and all other members of the teaching staff." 

The Charter provided that, " except as superintendent or 
associate superintendent, as supervisor or director of a special 
branch, as principal of or teacher in a training school or high 
school, no person shall be appointed to any educational position 
whose name does not appear upon the proper list " ; that no 
person without a license should teach in the schools of the city ; 
and that no unlicensed teacher should have any claim for salary. 
All licenses were required to be issued for one year only, and 
were renewable by the City Superintendent for two successive 
years : at the end of three years of continuous successful service 
that official might make them permanent. 

As licenses were granted by the Board of Examiners and 
appointments made by the Borough School Boards, a complete 
separation was made between the examining power and the 
appointing power. 

The City Superintendent, under the Charter of 1897, had 
the right of visitation and inquiry in all the schools of the city, 
and the right to report to the Board of Education on the educa- 
tional system ; but it was distinctly provided that " he shall have 
no right of interference with the actual conduct of any school in 
the city of New York." He was given a seat in the Board of 



The Consolidation of 1898 275 

Education, with the right to speak on all matters before the 
Board, but not to vote. In like manner, the Borough Superin- 
tendents had seats in the School Boards, and could speak but 
not vote. The City Superintendent was empowered to visit the 
schools and inquire into their courses of instruction, manage- 
ment, and discipline ; to call together the Borough Superintend- 
ents and Associate Superintendents for consultation ; to report 
any case of gross misconduct, insubordination, neglect of duty, 
or general inefficiency on the part of any Borough Superintend- 
ent or Associate Superintendent ; and to make an annual report 
to the Board of Education. The Borough Boards of Superin- 
tendents were charged with the duty of nominating to the 
School Boards principals and teachers for appointment, transfer, 
and promotion (except in the Borough of Brooklyn) ; of recom- 
mending courses of study and modifications of the same ; of 
recommending text-books, etc. 

While all appointments of members of the teaching staff, 
except as noted above, were required to be made from eligible 
lists prepared by the Board of Examiners, there was no provision 
of law that the names should be taken in any particular order 
from such lists ; hence the appointing power was at liberty to 
select for appointment a person standing anywhere on the 
appropriate list. The Charter provided that principals and all 
other members of the teaching staff should be appointed by the 
School Board, on the nomination of the Borough Board of 
Superintendents, and that "for all purposes affecting the ap- 
pointment, promotion, or transfer of the teachers in any school, 
the principal of such school shall have a seat in the borough 
board of superintendents, with a vote on all propositions affect- 
ing his school." But in the matter of appointments an excep- 
tion was made in favor of Brooklyn by the following provision, 
found in Section 1103 : 

" The system or mode of nomination in this section provided for shall not 
be held to deprive any school board that has been a board of education, of the 
right to appoint, to promote, and to transfer principals, teachers and other 



276 The New York Public School 

members of the teaching staff without such nomination [/.*., by the Borough 
Board of Superintendents], in any borough in which, at the time this act takes 
effect, said board of education enjoys such right of appointment without nomi- 
nation by superintendents, until the same shall have been adopted by the school 
board of such borough." 

This provision permitted the local committee system (which 
has been described in Chapter XXIX) to be continued in 
Brooklyn. 

The School Boards were authorized to choose and determine 
sites for school buildings ; whatever action was necessary for the 
acquisition of the same was then taken by the Board of Educa- 
tion. The erection and repairing of school buildings, etc., were 
entrusted to the latter Board. The Superintendent of School 
Buildings was the official in immediate charge of this branch of 
work, the preparation of plans, supervision of construction, and 
the like. 

A new officer created by the Charter was the Superintendent 
of School Supplies, whose duty it was to look after the purchase 
of school books, fuel, and all other supplies, and the distribu- 
tion of the same to the schools in all parts of the city. It was 
provided that all supplies, as far as possible, should be procured 
by contract. 

The provision of the Charter in reference to the salaries of 
teachers was as follows : 

" Each school board shall have power to adopt by-laws fixing the salaries 
of the borough and associate superintendents, of principals and branch princi- 
pals, and of all other members of the supervising and teaching staff, and such 
salaries shall be regulated by merit, by the grade of class taught, by the length 
of service, or by the experience in teaching of the incumbent in charge, or by 
such a combination of these considerations as the school board may deem 
proper. Said salaries need not be uniform throughout all the several boroughs, 
nor in any two of them, nor throughout any one borough." 

The School Boards were empowered to establish kinder- 
gartens, manual training schools, trades schools, truant schools, 
evening schools and schools for colored pupils, high schools and 



The Consolidation of 1898 277 

training schools, and special classes for instruction in the Eng- 
lish language ; and also to maintain free lectures for working 
men and working women. 

The Charter provided for two educational funds : the Special 
School Fund, to consist of all moneys raised for the purchase 
of school sites, for the erection and repair of buildings, for the 
purchase and leasing of educational and school buildings, for 
the purchase of all school supplies, for the maintenance of the 
Nautical School, and for the administrative purposes of the 
Board of Education ; and the General School Fund, to contain 
and embrace all items not comprised in the Special School 
Fund. The Special School Fund was administered by the 
Board of Education. The General School Fund was adminis- 
tered by the School Boards, and was apportioned among them 
by the Board of Education on the basis (i) of one hundred 
dollars for every qualified teacher engaged in teaching and (2) of 
the number of teachers employed and the aggregate number 
of days of attendance of pupils. The Charter thus gave the 
School Boards control over the General School Fund, but this 
control was hardly more than nominal, as another section pro- 
vided that charges against both funds should be paid only on 
the certificate of the Auditor of the Board of Education. The 
Board of Education also had power to revise the estimates of 
moneys required for school purposes, as prepared by the School 
Boards, and made up the departmental estimate to be submitted 
to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. 

The power of removing teachers on charges, and after trial, 
was lodged with the School Boards. The Borough Superintend- 
ents were authorized to enforce the Compulsory Education 
Law, and to nominate attendance officers to the respective 
School Boards. 

Power was given to the School Boards to create school 
inspection districts, for each of which the Mayor was authorized 
to appoint five Inspectors, who were charged with the duty of 
visiting and inspecting schools and reporting thereon to the 



278 The New York Public School 

School Board. This power was exercised only by the School 
Board for Manhattan and The Bronx : the Inspectors proved 
to have little actual authority, as they could only make recom- 
mendations, but had no power to enforce them. 

The law in reference to the retirement of teachers in force 
in the former city of New York was re-enacted by the Charter, 
and extended to the Boroughs of Queens and Richmond, while 
the Retirement Fund in Brooklyn, created by Chapter 656 
of the laws of 1895 (see Chapter XXVII), was continued under 
the control of the Brooklyn School Board. The Nautical 
School was placed in charge of the Board of Education, and 
was the only school in the city under its immediate jurisdiction. 
The provisions of various statutes in reference to the corporate 
schools were re-enacted. The Board of Education was given 
control over the College of The City of New York and the 
Normal College, and was made a Board of Trustees for each, 
in conjunction with the President of the college in each case. 

The purpose of the framers of the Charter in planning their 
educational scheme can be best set forth in their own words : 
" In the matter of education, the Committee have adopted a 
plan which centralizes in a Board of Education, representing 
the whole city, the physical conduct of the schools, and which 
devolves upon School Boards appointed by the Mayor in every 
Borough the educational conduct of the schools. This will 
enable each Borough to express in the conduct of its schools 
what is natural and best in its own life, while it secures for the 
city as a whole the benefits of administration from the centre as 
to all work which can be best done in that way. Powers are 
given to the Board of Education which are believed to be suffi- 
cient to secure a uniform financial system throughout the 
Boroughs and a system of efficient educational oversight. In 
the mean while, both the central Board of Education and the 
School Boards of the Boroughs are each supreme in the field 
actually committed to their care." 

Several important amendments were made to the Charter 



The Consolidation of 1898 279 

in 1898, 1899, and 1900. During the first year it was in opera- 
tion two amendatory acts were passed. The first (Chapter 91 
of the laws of 1898) provided that five per cent, of the excise 
moneys collected in the city should be paid into the Teachers' 
Retirement Fund, and apportioned by the Board of Education 
among the Boroughs in proportion to the number of teachers 
employed in each and the amount of salaries paid to them. 
The Retirement Fund theretofore had been made up exclu- 
sively of sums deducted from teachers' salaries (except in 
Brooklyn); this enactment increased the fund very largely, 1 
and permitted the retirement of many incapacitated teachers in 
that and following years. 

The second of the amendments just mentioned was contained 
in Chapter 652 of the laws of 1898 ; it provided that school build- 
ings in the city might be used not only for educational purposes, 
but also for " recreation and other public uses." This opened 
the way for the vacation schools, etc., which soon became a 
notable feature of the educational work. 

The Legislature of 1899 enacted a law (Chapter 417), known 
as the Ahearn Law, in reference to the salaries of teachers, which 
is noteworthy as the first attempt to regulate teachers' salaries in 
New York City by statute. While retaining in the School Boards 
the power to fix salaries, it provided that no regular teacher should 
receive less than $600 per annum ; that no teacher after ten years' 
service should receive less than $900, nor after fifteen years' ser- 
vice less than $1200; that no vice-principal, head of department, 
or first assistant should receive less than $1400 ; and that no male 
teacher after twelve years of service should receive less than 
$2160. These salaries were made conditional upon the approval 
of the service of the teacher as " fit and meritorious " by a 
majority of the appropriate Borough Board of School Superin- 
tendents. It was also provided that the salaries of principals 
should be increased $250 each year until a maximum of $2500 

1 The excise moneys for 1898 amounted to $269,094.83; for 1899 to #266,859.37; 
for 1900 to $265,853.17. 



280 The New York Public School 

was reached in the case of women, and of $3500 in the case of 
men, and that a woman principal after ten years' service should 
receive not less than $2500, and a male principal after like ser- 
vice not less than $3500: these provisions were not to apply to 
principals of schools containing less than twelve classes. The 
Ahearn Law was passed April 25, 1899, and took effect at once, 
the Board of Estimate and Apportionment being authorized 
and required to issue special revenue bonds to provide for the 
increased salaries. 

The Ahearn Law paved the way for a more important enact- 
ment in the following year, when the Davis Law (Chapter 751 
of the laws of 1900) was passed. This law authorized the Board 
of Education to adopt by-laws providing for uniform schedules of 
salaries for all members of the teaching and supervising staff 
throughout all Boroughs ; fixed the minimum rates to be paid 
to teachers in elementary, high, and training schools at various 
stages of experience, and provided for the ascertainment of the 
fitness and merit of teachers at specified intervals of time. 1 It 
provided a more equitable plan for distributing the General 
School Fund among the Boroughs than was contained in the 
original Charter, the quota for each qualified teacher being made 
$600 instead of $100. It further provided that the Board of Esti- 
mate and Apportionment should appropriate annually for the 
General School Fund (consisting "of all moneys raised for the 
payment of salaries of the borough and associate superintendents 
and all members of the supervising and teaching staff, throughout 
all boroughs ") " an amount equivalent to not less than four mills 
on every dollar of assessed valuation of the real and personal 
estate in The City of New York, liable to taxation, inclusive of 
so much of the state school moneys apportioned by the superin- 
tendent of public instruction for the payment of teachers' wages 
as is actually paid into the said general school fund." The Davis 

1 The salary provisions of the Davis Law were embodied in the Revised Charter 
passed in 1901. The salary schedules adopted in pursuance thereof, as since 
amended and now in force, will be found in Appendix V. 




DE WITT CLINTON HIGH SCHOOL BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN 




PUBLIC SCHOOL 62 BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN 
Cost (including site), nearly $1,300,000 



The Consolidation of 1898 281 

Law made another radical change in the Charter, giving the 
Board of Education full control over its own finances, by the 
following provision, the words italicized being added : 

" The board of education shall have power to take and receive, and shall 
take and receive, all moneys appropriated or available for educational purposes 
in The City of New York, which moneys shall be paid over to said board by the 
comptroller on the request of said board from time to time in such sums as 
shall be required, and the auditor of said board shall transmit to the depart- 
ment of finance each month duplicate vouchers for the payment of all sums of 
money made on account of the department of education each month? 

The so-called Davis Bill was opposed by the Board of Educa- 
tion, while pending in the Legislature and when the statutory 
hearing was given by the Mayor (Robert A. Van Wyck). It 
was vetoed by him, but, nevertheless, became a law, thus impos- 
ing a large burden of responsibility upon the Board of Education 
in the disbursement of moneys amounting to upwards of twenty 
million dollars annually. The bill was signed by the Governor 
May 3d (1900), and it became the duty of the Board immediately 
to establish a treasurer's office, in order that teachers' salaries and 
other claims might be promptly paid. A Treasurer was elected 
and a disbursing bureau opened on the I2th of May, and little 
delay in payments occurred. As quickly as possible, salary 
schedules based on the new law were adopted by the Board of 
Education. The law required that the Board of Estimate and 
Apportionment should provide, by means of special revenue 
bonds, the money necessary for the payment of the increased 
salaries. 

" No measure regarding teachers 1 salaries, so sweeping and so liberal in 
its provisions, was ever before passed by any Legislature. Not unnaturally, 
therefore, it may be inferred that there must have been something extraordi- 
nary in the local conditions to call for the enactment of this statute by the 
Legislature and the Governor in spite of the veto of the Mayor and the 
strenuous opposition of the Comptroller, and in opposition to the majority of 
the members of the School Boards of Manhattan and The Bronx, and of 
Brooklyn. Such indeed was the case. Stated briefly, the most obvious reason 
why the teachers bad the support of the press and the public and the sympa- 



282 The New York Public School 

thy and co-operation of the Governor was that the Board of Estimate and 
Apportionment had failed to provide the funds necessary to carry into full 
effect a comparatively mild measure regarding teachers' salaries which the 
Legislature had passed in 1899 [the AhearnLaw] . This statement is the exact 
truth, and it was this truth that appealed so strongly to the press, the public, 
and the legislative authorities. But there was much more than this immediate 
cause that had a profound influence in urging the teachers to action and in 
determining the trend of public opinion. A brief history of teachers' salaries 
in the several boroughs will not, therefore, be out of place. 

"In, the City of New York, prior to consolidation, a schedule of salaries, 
complex in its arrangements almost beyond description, had been in force. 
Under this schedule, a teacher's salary depended partly on the grade of the 
school, partly on the grade of class taught, and partly on order of appointment. 
The following statement presents a general view of the extremes of salaries 
paid to women in various grades of schools : 

LOWEST CLASS HIGHEST CLASS 

Male grammar schools, from .... $633 to $1116 
Mixed " " " .... 603 " 1086 

Female " " . . . . 573 1056 

Primary schools and Departments from 504 " 900 

" As a general rule it may be said that a teacher, no matter what the 
character of her work, could obtain an advance in salary only in two ways 
by transfer from a primary school to a grammar school, or through the death, 
resignation, or transfer of a teacher who had been appointed at an earlier 
date. . . . 

"In 1897 the New York Board of Education came to realize the absurdi- 
ties and injustices of the system of paying teachers, and made many honest 
and strenuous efforts to remedy abuses by adopting new salary schedules. 
Every one of these efforts was rendered abortive by the failure of the Board of 
Estimate and Apportionment to provide the funds necessary to carry the re- 
vised schedules into effect. Even the attempt of the Legislature in 1899, 
known as the Ahearn Law, to cut the Gordian knot was nullified in the same 
way the Board of Estimate and Apportionment . did not supply sufficient 
money. Indeed, that statute rather aggravated than allayed the unrest among 
the teachers, because, while it gave increased salaries to a few teachers, that 
very fact prevented any increase in the case of the majority, while in hundreds 
of instances it was the direct cause of reducing salaries. 

" In Queens and Richmond, the salary question at the time of consolida- 
tion appeared to be in an almost hopeless muddle. In the territory now em- 
braced in the Borough of Queens there were before consolidation as many as 
sixty-seven separate and independent school boards or boards of trustees. In 



The Consolidation of 1898 283 

the Borough of Richmond there were nineteen. All of these different boards 
paid different rates of salary to their teachers. . . . Even after consolidation 
no attempt was immediately made to adopt uniform salary schedules in these 
two boroughs, except to raise the minimum salary to $600 per annum and to 
correct some of the more flagrant cases of inequality. Then came the Ahearn 
Law in 1899, ... To the great body of the teachers in Queens and Richmond 
this measure was most disastrous, because, with the limited amount of money 
at the disposal of the school boards, they were obliged to cut down the sala- 
ries of those teachers who were not protected by law in order to pay the 
salaries of those teachers who were so protected. . . . 

" In Brooklyn the situation was somewhat different from that found in the 
other boroughs, but the feeling of discontent among the teachers, arising from 
similar causes, was equally profound. 

" For many years prior to the agitation that commenced in 1897 for a re- 
vision of the salary schedules, there had been gradually taking shape in the 
minds of the teachers certain notions that were the direct result of the condi- 
tions and events just described. 

" In a word, the teachers felt that the old salary system was one under 
which they could not do their best work, that it was retarding the progress of 
the school system, and that the first condition of a genuine educational revival 
is to place salaries not merely on a liberal, but on a rational basis." * 

1 Annual Report of City Superintendent of Schools, 1900, pp. 59-66. 



CHAPTER XXXIV 



THE CITY OF NEW YORK 1898 TO 1901 

AT the date of consolidation, in 1898, the school organiza- 
tions in the several Boroughs were as follows : 

MANHATTAN AND THE BRONX: High schools, 3; grammar 
departments for boys, 36; for girls, 38; for boys and girls, 
1 1 ; f ourteen-grade schools (grammar and primary grades) 
with grammar grades for boys only, 13; for girls only, 11 ; for 
boys and girls, 16; primary departments, 66; primary schools 
(separate), 49 making a total of 243. There was also a 
truant school. Thirty-four evening schools (including four 
evening high schools) were maintained. There were forty- 
eight so-called corporate schools (industrial schools, reforma- 
tories, orphan asylums, and the like), receiving a share of the 
public school funds and subject to the supervision of the public 
school authorities. The number of school buildings was 1 70, there 
being in many cases two or even three distinct school organi- 
zations, or departments, each having its own principal, in one 
building. 

BROOKLYN : Training school for teachers, i ; high schools, 
4 (including one Manual Training High School); grammar 
schools, 43 ; independent intermediate schools, 22 ; independent 
primary schools, 2; branch intermediate schools, 16 ; branch 
primary schools, 27; annexes, 4 a total of 119, besides a 
truant school. Each of the schools enumerated had a separate 
building. An intermediate school covered six years of the 
elementary course of eight years. A branch school was under 
the supervision of the principal of a neighboring grammar 
school. In this Borough there were eleven corporate schools. 

284 



The City of New York 1898 to 1901 285 

QUEENS : In Long Island City there were ten schools, in- 
cluding one high school; in the town of Newtown fourteen 
school districts, with seventeen schools, in two of which high 
school departments were conducted ; in the town of Flushing 
seven school districts and thirteen schools, with one high school 
department ; in the town of Jamaica eleven school districts and 
twenty-three schools, with two high school departments ; in the 
town of Hempstead three school districts and six schools, with 
one high school department. 

RICHMOND : In the Borough of Richmond there were 
twenty-nine school districts, each containing one school, 
eighteen of the schools being graded and eleven ungraded. 
There were three high school departments one at Totten- 
ville, in the town of Westfield ; one at Stapleton, in the town 
of Middletown; and one at Port Richmond, in the town of 
Northfield. 

The Boards of Education for New York and Brooklyn, as 
such, ceased to exist, in accordance with the provisions of the 
Charter, on February i, 1898, and became, respectively, the 
School Board for the Boroughs of Manhattan and The Bronx 
and the School Board for the Borough of Brooklyn. In the 
month of January School Boards for Queens and Richmond, 
each consisting of nine members, were appointed by the Mayor. 
Delegates to the Board of Education were elected on February 
9th by the School Boards for Manhattan and The Bronx and 
Brooklyn, and on February 2ist the new "Central Board," 
consisting of nineteen members (eleven for Manhattan and 
The Bronx, six for Brooklyn, and one each for the two re- 
maining Boroughs), was organized. Some confusion was 
caused at the outset by a provision of the Charter that the 
" new system for the administration of the public schools of the 
city" should "go into full effect on July first, 1898." How- 
ever, a reasonable construction of this provision was allowed, 
and the new Board entered on its work promptly, electing its 
staff of officials, making necessary financial arrangements, etc. 



286 The New York Public School 

Owing to the straitened condition of the city treasury 
immediately after consolidation, no funds were available for 
school sites and new buildings, and work in this direction was 
at a standstill for more than a year, except such as was required 
in connection with contracts entered into before February i, 
1898. In some parts of the Borough of Queens contracts for 
school buildings had been freely, not to say recklessly, made 
by the school officials shortly before the local governments came 
to an end, and the Board of Education was involved in serious 
trouble, extending through two or three years, in securing the 
completion of these contracts. Some of the schoolhouses built in 
this way were unnecessary, and were not used for several years. 

The first contract for a new school building after consolida- 
tion was awarded on the 2Oth of February, 1899. During that 
year bonds to the amount of $7,673,640 were authorized for 
school buildings and sites; for 1900 the bond issues amounted 
to $3,500,000, and for 1901 to $3,700,000, making a total for 
four years (counting 1898, in which no bonds were authorized) 
of $14,873,640. This amount, it may be noted, was much 
smaller than the sums asked for by the Board of Education 
during this period. 

With the resources provided, the work of increasing school 
accommodations proceeded as rapidly as possible. During the 
school year ended July 31, 1899, nineteen new schoolhouses 
were opened, containing 388 classrooms and seats for 18,077 
pupils. In the following school year fifteen new buildings and 
a number of additions were made ready for use, adding 456 
classrooms and 20,220 sittings. In 1900-1901 nineteen new 
buildings and eight additions furnished 596 classrooms, contain- 
ing 27,491 seats. Nevertheless, the accommodations provided 
by no means kept abreast of the demand, and in the most 
crowded neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and to 
some extent in Queens, resort was had to part-time and half- 
time classes. In 1899-1900 the number of children on part- 
time was: Manhattan, 12,852; Brooklyn, 32,116; Queens, 



The City of New York 1898 to 1901 287 

3312. In 1900-1901: Manhattan, 13,749; Brooklyn, 36,216; 
Queens, 2356. In Brooklyn it became necessary to employ the 
part-time plan in the high schools, and 1150 children were so 
instructed in the school year 1900-1901. 

A step of unusual importance was taken in 1898, when the 
Manhattan-Bronx School Board decided to establish the New 
York Training School for Teachers. It was opened in Septem- 
ber of that year, in Public School 159, with a course of study 
covering two years. 

While there was no increase in the number of high schools 
in Manhattan and The Bronx from 1898 to 1901, the high school 
attendance increased very rapidly, and provision had to be made 
for each of the schools in several different buildings. Contracts 
were entered into for buildings for the Wadleigh and Morris 
High Schools (the latter called the Peter Cooper up to 1902) on 
sites selected in 1897 ; they were not completed until after the 
change in the educational system which occurred early in 1902. 
A building was also begun in West Sixty-fifth street for a High 
School of Commerce, but this school was not organized until 
September, 1902. In Brooklyn two additional high schools were 
established in 1899: the commercial department of the Boys' 
High School was converted into the Commercial High School, 
which was housed in the old building of Public School 3 ; and 
the Eastern District High School was organized in the building 
long used for the Eastern District Library. 

A most interesting feature of the period we are now con- 
sidering was the enlarged use of school buildings which began 
under the direction of the school authorities with the establish- 
ment of vacation schools and vacation playgrounds in 1898. 
For four years preceding the New York Association for Im- 
proving the Condition of the Poor had maintained a number of 
vacation schools in public school buildings. The establishment 
of such schools as a part of the city's educational system was 
brought to the attention of the Board of Education of the 
former city of New York in May, 1897, by the Board of 



288 The New York Public School 

Superintendents, but no funds were available for the purpose 
until the following year. In July, 1898, ten vacation schools 
and twenty-four vacation playgrounds were opened, the former 
remaining in operation for six weeks and some of the latter for 
eight weeks. In the vacation schools kindergarten classes were 
conducted for the little ones, and older children were taught 
nature study, drawing, painting, music, toy-making, joinery, 
wood-carving, cane-weaving, bent-iron work, cooking, millinery, 
knitting, crocheting, sewing, woodwork, etc., etc. Each of the 
playgrounds was provided with a kindergartner to direct the 
play of the smaller children, and with gymnasium and other 
instructors for the older. Open-air and roof playgrounds were 
also established, and similar work was carried on at recreation 
piers and swimming baths. In connection with the summer 
work the pupils were taken on a number of excursions by land 
and water. 

The vacation schools and playgrounds were followed the 
next year by the recreation centres (at first called play centres), 
which were maintained throughout the year, from 7 to 10 P.M., 
the principal object being play and healthful recreation for boys 
and girls obliged to work during the day. The general plan 
was to divide the playground floor of a school building by slid- 
ing doors, setting aside one part for gymnasium work, basket 
ball, and other games of that character, and reserving a room 
for quiet games, reading, etc. The formation of boys' and girls' 
clubs was encouraged, and also clubs composed of adults, moth- 
ers' clubs, and the like. 

The success of these new educational activities was at once 
assured. The total average attendance at the vacation schools 
in 1898 was 4072, and it was estimated that at least 30,000 
children made use of the playgrounds. The cost of the work 
in 1898 was $27,598.68; in 1899, $47,110.70. In 1899 vacation 
schools and playgrounds were established in Brooklyn. The 
following table gives statistics of the vacation schools for three 
years : 



The City of New York 1898 to 1901 289 



MANHATTAN 





NUMBER OF SCHOOLS 


TOTAL ENROLLMENT 


AVERAGE ATTENDANCE 


1899 


10 


9243 


4434 


1900 
1901 


10 

16 


11,120 
IS4I3 


4921 
5884 



BROOKLYN 



1899 


5 


4406 


1609 


1900 


ii 


6712 


3210 


1901 


12 


7892 


4180 



The City Superintendent's report for 1901 showed that 
there were in operation in Manhattan twenty-seven all-day 
playgrounds in school buildings, fifteen afternoon playgrounds 
in buildings occupied by vacation schools in the forenoon, eight 
evening play centres, four outdoor gymnasiums, eight open-air 
playgrounds, six recreation piers, three Central Park play- 
grounds, two roof kindergartens, and thirteen swimming baths. 
The average attendance was as follows : 

All-day playgrounds 20,350 

Afternoon playgrounds 12,150 

Evening play centres ....... 675 

Outdoor gymnasiums 3,600 

Recreation piers I ?3 I 5 

Open-air playgrounds 2,605 

Roof kindergartens ..... 2,565 

Swimming baths 880 

44,140 

In Brooklyn the average attendance at eighteen playgrounds 
for the same season was 10,367. 

The free lectures instituted by the New York Board of Edu- 
cation in 1889 were continued with a constantly increasing 
attendance, a larger number of lectures, and more lecture centres 
from year to year. Under the new regime the system was ex- 
tended to Queens and Richmond in 1899; and finally, in Jan- 
uary, 1901, lectures were given in Brooklyn for the first time. 



290 



The New York Public School 
FREE LECTURES, 1900-1901 





NUMBER OF 
CENTRES 


NUMBER OF 
LECTURES 


TOTAL 
ATTENDANCE 


Manhattan and The Bronx .... 
Brooklyn .......... 


5 2 

16 


1963 

222 


553^58 
112 AAA 


Queens 


17 


121 


37 272 


Richmond. . 






10 681 











Evening schools were conducted by all the Borough School 
Boards for terms of varying length. By 1901 the number of 
evening high schools in Manhattan and The Bronx had risen to 
six ; in Brooklyn the two previously mentioned were continued. 
The number of evening schools and the average attendance 
(including evening high schools) for 1900-1901 was as follows: 





SCHOOLS 


TOTAL 
ENROLLMENT 


AVERAGE 
ATTENDANCE 


Manhattan and The Bronx . . 


39 ( 6 hi g h ) 
1 6 (2 high) 


50.747 
12 Q^6 


16,380 
A2QI 


Queens 


i" 2 . 


I CQQ 


q-frv^* 

6co 


Richmond . . 




^jyy 
21Q 


*oy 

IOQ 






*"jry 


ivy 



Kindergarten classes, which had been started in a tentative 
way in New York and Brooklyn a few years before consolida- 
tion, had now become a recognized and indispensable part of 
the educational work, and were carried on in all the Boroughs 
from the time Greater New York came into existence. Special 
supervisors or directors of kindergarten work were employed 
by all the Borough School Boards, except in Richmond. In 
1901 the number of kindergarten classes in the city was 169. 

Immediately after the new educational system was established 
it became necessary for the School Boards in Queens and Rich- 
mond to adopt uniform courses of study for the schools under 
their care. In doing so they both took as their pattern the 
course prevailing in Brooklyn, covering eight years. The course 



The City of New York 1898 to 1901 291 

of study in Manhattan and The Bronx, embracing seven years of 
work, was continued in those Boroughs. 

The Charter empowered the School Boards to appoint one 
Associate Borough Superintendent for the first seven hundred 
teachers in the schools under their charge, and one additional 
Associate for every additional three hundred and fifty teachers. 
In Manhattan and The Bronx there were already fifteen Associ- 
ate Superintendents ; this number was increased by one in 1899. 
In Brooklyn, where there were only two Associates in 1897, 
a very great increase occurred, there being no less than ten 
by 1901. In Queens, and also in Richmond, two Associate 
Superintendents were appointed, as provided by the Charter. 

In 1899 an important by-law was passed by the Manhattan- 
Bronx School Board, requiring the Borough Board of Superin- 
tendents to nominate teachers in the order of their standing on 
the eligible lists, and to exhaust one eligible list before proceed- 
ing to the next in chronological order. This was hailed by the 
City Superintendent in his annual report for 1900 as having 
taken the appointment and promotion of teachers " out of poli- 
tics," placing them "on a merit basis." 

The Nautical School, which, as has been told, was the only 
school under the immediate control of the Board of Education, 
was continued in the usual manner, with the exception that in 
1898 the customary summer cruise to European ports was 
omitted. In that year the naval officers assigned to duty as 
Superintendent and instructors were detached, owing to the war 
with Spain, and other arrangements were made by the Board of 
Education to meet the emergency. 

The year 1900 witnessed the completion of the commodious 
new Hall of the Board of Education, at the southwest corner of 
Park avenue and Fifty-ninth street. This replaced the old Hall, 
erected by the Public School Society in 1839-1840, which had 
long been inadequate for the purposes of the Department. 
Means for the building of the new Hall were provided by Chapter 
252 of the laws of 1889. The site was purchased in 1890, and 



292 The New York P^tbl^c School 

plans for the building were accepted in 1892. Then a prolonged 
delay occurred, owing to lack of funds. The contract for the 
building was at length awarded in 1897, in the sum of $244,900, 
and a contract for the completion and fitting up of the building 
was awarded in 1899, in the amount of $153,302.50. The 
Grand street building was abandoned in February, 1900, and on 
the 22d of that month formal opening exercises were held in 
the assembly room in the new Hall. Addresses were delivered 
by Dr. William T. Harris, United States Commissioner of 
Education ; Mr. Charles R. Skinner, State Superintendent of 
Public Instruction ; Mr. Charles H. Knox, a former President 
of the Board of Education ; and City Superintendent William H. 
Maxwell. The building was transferred to the Board of Educa- 
tion by Mr. Richard H. Adams, Chairman of the Committee on 
Buildings, and accepted, on behalf of the Board, by President 
Joseph J. Little. It was accepted on behalf of the City by Mr. 
Randolph Guggenheimer, President of the Municipal Council. 

An incident of interest in connection with schools for colored 
children occurred in 1898 and 1899 in the Borough of Queens. 
When the School Board for that Borough was established, two 
colored schools were in existence, one in Flushing and one in 
Jamaica. In the latter village there had been trouble for some 
time, a man named Cisco having refused to send his children to 
the colored school. Other colored men followed his example, 
and it became impossible to enforce the Compulsory Education 
Law in the case of fifteen or sixteen colored children. Mrs. Cisco 
then sought a writ of mandamus compelling the school authorities 
to admit her children to one of the schools for white children. 
All the courts, including the Court of Appeals, upheld the 
establishment of colored schools and sustained the school officials 
in assigning the children mentioned to such a school. The con- 
troversy at Jamaica led, in 1900, to the passage of a law, upon 
the initiative of Governor Roosevelt, amending the Consolidated 
School Law of the State and abolishing colored schools. The 
two schools here referred to, it is believed, were the last colored 



Tlie City of New York 1898 to 1901 293 



schools maintained in the State, with the exception of one at 
Hempstead, L. I. 

COMPARISON, SCHOOL YEAR 1898-1899 T SCHOOL YEAR 1900-1901 





MANHATTAN AND THE BRONX 


BROOKLYN 




1899 

251 

181 
5162 

232,931 
225,189 
207,470 

$29,100,000 


1901 

259 
200 
6077 
264,563 
251,548 
230,800 

$36 ? 304>769 


1899 

128 
131 
3215 
140,520 
141,901 
124,200 

$11,592,973 


1901 

131 

142 

3684 
149,678 
152,787 
135,668 

$13,838,024 


No. of school buildings . . 
No. of teachers .... 
No of sittings 


Average register .... 
Average attendance . . . 
Value of school sites and 






QUEENS 


RICHMOND 


No of schools ..... 


78 
8 4 
698 
24,654 
22,413 
19,895 

$2,894,400 


86 

92 

734 

27,963 
25,880 
23,004 

$2,646,750 


31 
29 
230 
93 l8 
8730 
7332 

$754,775 


32 
32 
240 

10,686 
9596 
8456 

$945,629 


No. of school buildings . . 
No. of teachers .... 
No of sittings . 


Average register .... 
Average attendance . . . 
Value of school sites and 
buildings 





TOTAL 



No. of schools 

No. of school buildings .... 

No. of teachers 

No. of sittings 

Average register 

Average attendance 

Value of school sites and buildings 



488 
425 
9305 
407,423 
398,233 
358,897 
$44,342,148 



508 
466 

io,735 
452,890 
439,811 
397,928 

$53,735^72 



Teachers' salaries 
Total expenditures 



1899 

$ 8,127,066.69 
15,316,865.48 



1901 

$12,587,011.50 
22,845,358.66 



1 No complete statistics for the school year 1897-1898 were available, for 
obvious reasons. 



294 The New York Public School 

OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 1898 TO 1902 

President 

Charles Bulkley Hubbell . . 1898 (from February 21 st to December 

3ist) 
J. Edward Swans trom . . . 1899 (from January nth to February 

20th) 

Joseph J. Little .... 1899 (from February 2oth), 1900 (to 

May i ;th) 
Miles M. O'Brien .... 1900 (from May 23d)-i9O2 

Vice-President 

J. Edward Swanstrom . . . 1898 
Horace E. Dresser . . . 1899 
Charles E. Robertson . . . 1900-1902 

Secretary 
A. Emerson Palmer . . . 1898 (from February 2ist)-i9O2 

City Superintendent of Schools 
William H. Maxwell . . . 1898 (from March 15^-1902 

Superintendent of School Buildings 
C. B. J. Snyder .... i898(from February 2ist)-i9O2 

Superintendent of School Siipplies 
Parker P. Simmons ... 1898 (from March 7th)-i902 

Auditor 
Henry R. M. Cook . . . 1898 (from March 7^-1902 

Chief Clerk 

John Wallace .... 1898-1900 
Thomas A. Dillon . . . 1900-1902 

Examiners 

James C. Byrnes . . . . 1898 (from September 28th)-i9O2 

Walter L. Hervey .... 1898 (from September 28^-1902 

Jerome A. O'Connell . . . 1898 (from September 28th)-i902 

George J. Smith .... 1898 (from September 28th)-iox)2 



The City of New York 1898 to 1901 295 

OFFICERS OF THE SCHOOL BOARDS 1898 TO 1902 

MANHATTAN AND THE BRONX 

President 

Charles Bulkley Hubbell . . 1898 
Joseph J. Little .... 1899, 1900 
Miles M. O'Brien .... 1900-1902 

Secretary 

Arthur McMullin .... 1898, 1899 (to July 1st) 
William J. Ellis . . . . 1900 (from February i4th)-i9O2 

Borough Superintendent of Schools 

John Jasper 1898-1902 

Associate Superintendents 
George S. Davis .... 1898-1902 



Andrew W. Edson 
Matthew J. Elgas . 



Edward D. Farrell . . . 898-1902 



James Godwin 
John L. N. Hunt . 
Henry W. Jameson 



5-1902 
5-1902 



898-1902 
898-1902 
898-1902 



James Lee 1898-1902 

Arthur McMullin . . . . 1899 (From July ist)-i9O2 

Albert P. Marble .... 1898-1902 

Clarence E. Meleney . . . 1898-1902 

Thomas S. O'Brien . . . 1898-1902 

Alfred T. Schauffler . . . 1898-1902 

Edgar Dubs Shimer . . . 1898-1902 

Seth T. Stewart .... 1898-1902 

Gustave Straubenmiiller . . 1898-1902 

Supervisors of Special Branches 

Free Lectures Henry M. Leipziger 1898-1902 

Music Frank Damrosch 1898-1902 

Manual Training James P. Haney 1898-1902 

Physical Education Miss M. Augusta Requa . . . . 1898-1902 

Physical Education Miss Sophie J. Nicolai .... 1898-1900 

Cooking Mrs. Mary E. Williams 1898-1902 

Sewing Mrs. Annie L. Jessup 1898-1902 

Kindergartens Miss Jenny B. Merrill 1898-1902 



296 The New York Public School 

BROOKLYN 

President 

J. Edward Swanstrom . . . 1898, 1899 
Charles E. Robertson . . . 1899-1902 

Vice-President 

George H. Fisher .... 1898, 1899 
James F. Bendernagel . . . 1899-1902 

Secretary 
George G. Brown .... 1898-1902 

Borough Superintendent of Schools 

William H. Maxwell . . . 1898 (to March I5th) 
Edward G. Ward 1 . . . . 1898 (from April 5^-1901 (to Sep- 
tember I4th) 
John H. Walsh .... 1901 (from October ist), 1902 

Associate Superintendents 

William A. Campbell . . . 1898 (from June 7th)-i902 

James M. Edsall .... 1901 (from February 15th), 1902 

William L. Felter . . . . 1898 (from February 9th), 1901 (to 

February i$th) 

John Griffin, M.D. . . . 1900 (from September ist)-i9O2 

John H. Haaren .... 1899 (from January ist) -1902 

A. S. Higgins .... 1899 (from January ist)-i9O2 

Charles W. Lyon, Jr. ... 1900 (from September ist)-i9O2 

James J. McCabe .... 1901 (from December 3d), 1902 

Edward B. Shallow . . . 1899 (from January ist)-i9O2 

Miss Grace C. Strachan . . . 1900 (from July 3d)-i9O2 

William T. Vlymen . . . 1898 (from April 5th)-i9oo (to July) 

John H. Walsh .... 1898-1901 (to October ist) 

Edward G. Ward 1 . . . . 1898 (to April 5th) 

Miss Evangeline E. Whitney . . 1898 (from June 7th)-i9O2 

Directors of Special Branches 

Music Albert S. Caswell 1898-1902 

Drawing Walter S. Goodnough 1898-1902 

Physical Culture Miss Jessie H. Bancroft .... 1898-1902 

Sewing Miss Minnie L. Hutchinson 1898-1902 

Kindergartens Miss Fanniebelle Curtis 1898-1902 

1 Deceased. 



The City of New York 1898 to 1901 297 

QUEENS 

President 

G. Rowland Leavitt . . . 1898 
F. De Haas Simonson . . . 1899 
Patrick J. White .... 1900-1902 

Secretary 

Wilson Palmer . . . . 1898 (to May gth) 
Joseph H. Fitzpatrick . . . 1898 (from May 19^-1902 

Borough Siiperintendent of Schools 
Edward L. Stevens . . . 1898-1902 

Associate Borough Superintendents 
John Jameson Chickering . . 1898-1902 
Edward F. Fagan 1 . . . . 1898-1901 (to December 7th) 
Cornelius E. Franklin . . . 1901 (from December 24th), 1902 

Supervisors of Special Branches 

Physical Culture W. J. Ballard . . 1898 (from June 3oth)-i9O2 
Drawing Frank H. Collins . . . 1898 (from October 26th) -1902 
Kindergartens Miss Frances C. Hayes . 1898 (from June 3Oth)-i9O2 
Music Frank R. Rix .... 1898-1902 

RICHMOND 

President 

Frank Perlet 1898 

John T. Burke . . . . 1899 
William J. Cole .... 1900-1902 

Secretary 

Franklin C. Vitt .... 1898-1900 (to December 3ist) 
Robert Brown . . . . 1901 (from January 8th), 1902 

Borough Superintendent of Schools 
Hubbard R. Yetman . . . 1898-1902 

Associate Borough Superintendents 
Mrs. Anna M. Gordon 1 . . . 1898-1902 
George Hogan .... 1898-1902 

Supervisor of Drawing 
Alexander J. Driscoll . . . 1898 (from August ist)-i9oo (to 

January ist) 
1 Deceased. 



CHAPTER XXXV 
THE REVISED CHARTER OF 1901 

| THE method of school administration with four Borough 
School Boards and a Central Board of Education was on trial 
almost exactly four years. While certain merits were claimed 
for it, they were unquestionably outweighed by its disadvantages. 
The four school systems had a number of features in common, 
but there was no requirement of uniformity. A general scheme 
was provided for the city at large in financial matters, in the 
holding of examinations for would-be teachers and the making 
of eligible lists, in selecting sites and erecting buildings, in re- 
pairing schoolhouses, and in the purchase and distribution of 
supplies. In educational matters each School Board was, within 
the limitations of the statute, a law unto itself. The School 
Boards appointed and promoted teachers (in accordance, of 
course, with the licenses issued by the Board of Examiners), 
determined courses of study, selected text-books. Nominally, 
the School Boards administered the General School Fund as 
apportioned to them by the Board of Education, but in practice 
such administration was a nullity. After May 3, 1900, teachers' 
salaries were fixed by the Board of Education, and from that 
date until the close of 1901 the moneys of the Department 
were handled and paid out by the Treasurer appointed by the 
same Board. 

The system adopted in 1898 was a compromise, and, like 
many compromises, failed to work satisfactorily. Under it there 
was difficulty in fixing responsibility ; there was more or less 
duplication of labor ; there was a lack of uniformity in educa- 
tional work ; conflicts of authority between the Central Board 

298 



The Revised Charter of 1901 299 

and the School Boards occurred. Especially was there a lack 
of harmony between the Brooklyn School Board and the Board 
of Education, which the Manhattan-Bronx School Board, by 
virtue of selecting eleven of the nineteen members, practically 
controlled. The peculiar "Brooklyn idea,"- the local com- 
mittee system, which differentiated that Borough absolutely 
from the rest of the City in the appointment and promotion of 
teachers, was a potent cause of friction. The strong demand 
for unity in educational administration was heeded by the 
Commission appointed to revise the Charter ; and the amended 
Charter passed by the Legislature in 1901 radically changed the 
administrative machinery and introduced a new system. 

The Borough School Boards were abolished, and a Board of 
Education established for the entire city, consisting of forty-six 
members, appointed by the Mayor twenty-two for the Borough 
of Manhattan, fourteen for the Borough of Brooklyn, four for the 
Borough of The Bronx, four for the Borough of Queens, and two 
for the Borough of Richmond. 1 The office of Inspector of 
Common Schools (which existed only in the Boroughs of Man- 
hattan and The Bronx, the other Boroughs not having chosen to 
provide for Inspectors under the permissive clause of the first 
Charter) was abolished, and the Board of Education was re- 
quired to divide the City into forty-six Local School Board 
Districts twenty-two in Manhattan, fourteen in Brooklyn, four 
in The Bronx, four in Queens, and two in Richmond ; and for 
each of these districts the Revised Charter provided a Local 
School Board consisting of seven members : five appointed by 
the President of the Borough, a member of the Board of Educa- 
tion designated by the President of that Board, and the District 
Superintendent assigned to the district by the City Superintend- 
ent of Schools. To the Local School Boards were given powers 
more considerable than the Inspectors had enjoyed ; but this 

1 It will be observed that The Bronx was no longer associated with Manhattan 
in school affairs, and that the number of Manhattan members was two less than a 
majority of the Board. 



300 The New York Public School 

feature was in no sense a return to the trustee system expunged 
in 1896 in the former city of New York. 

These Boards have nothing to do with the appointment of 
teachers. They have power to transfer teachers within their 
own districts, subject, however, to the approval of the Board 
of Superintendents. Their other duties are to inspect and 
report upon schools and school work ; to recommend additional 
school accommodations when needed ; to select premises suitable 
to be hired for school purposes ; to report any dereliction of 
duty on the part of officials of the Board of Education ; to try 
and determine matters relating to discipline, corporal punish- 
ment, etc. ; to try charges against teachers, subject to action 
by the Board of Education; to look after janitors and prefer 
charges against delinquent ones ; to report all vacancies in the 
teaching staff as they occur ; and to procure the enforcement of 
the law and the by-laws relating to the sanitary condition of the 
schools and the health of the pupils. The Local School Boards 
are also authorized to excuse the absences of teachers, subject to 
the approval of the Board of Superintendents where teachers 
are excused with pay. Each of these Boards is empowered to 
adopt by-laws, and presents a semi-annual report to the Board 
of Education. Members of Local School Boards are required 
to reside in the districts for which they are appointed. By the 
assignment of members of the Board of Education to the several 
Local School Boards, each of the latter is given a direct voice in 
the central body governing the schools. 

Lest a Board of Education of forty-six members should prove 
unwieldy, provision was made for an Executive Committee of 
fifteen " for the care, government and management of the public 
school system of the city," in which each Borough should be 
represented. To this Committee the Board was authorized to 
depute any of its administrative powers. 

The office of City Superintendent of Schools was retained, 
but with greatly enlarged powers. The provision of the earlier 
Charter that he should " have no right of interference with the 



The Revised Charter of 1901 301 

actual conduct of any school " was unconditionally repealed, and 
the City Superintendent became, the real rather than the nomi- 
nal head of the school system. The offices of Borough Superin- 
tendent and Associate Borough Superintendent were abolished. 
A Board of Superintendents was provided for, consisting of the 
City Superintendent and eight Associate City Superintendents. 
To this Board extensive powers were given. The practical 
initiative in all matters purely educational was committed to it. 
It was authorized to recommend to the Board of Education 
grades and kinds of licenses and the qualifications therefor ; to 
establish, subject to the approval of the Board of Education, 
rules for the graduation, promotion, and transfer of pupils; to 
recommend text-books, apparatus, and other scholastic supplies; 
to recommend courses of study ; to prescribe regulations 
relative to methods of teaching and make syllabuses of topics 
in the various subjects taught ; and to nominate to the Board of 
Education persons to fill all vacancies in the teaching force. 
Nominations were required to be made from eligible lists 
(except principals of high schools and principals and teachers of 
training schools), the Board of Superintendents having liberty 
to select from the three highest names on the list. Teachers 
were to be appointed, as far as practicable, for districts within 
the Boroughs in which they reside. 

All the Borough and Associate Borough Superintendents 
were continued in office, either as Associate City Superin- 
tendents or District Superintendents, there being twenty-six of 
the latter. The Charter provided that successors to the District 
Superintendents should be appointed by the Board of Educa- 
tion, on the nomination of the Board of Superintendents. 

The Board of Examiners was retained, the terms of the 
members being extended to six years, and the other officers of 
the Board of Education were continued without change. 

Provision was made for unifying the lecture system by giv- 
ing the Board of Education power to appoint a Supervisor of 
Lectures for the city at large, for a term of six years. 



302 The New York Public School 

The provisions of Chapter 751 of the laws of 1900 (com- 
monly known as the Davis Law) in reference to the salaries of 
members of the teaching and supervising staff were made a part 
of the Revised Charter, and the four-mill clause was also re- 
tained. The provision of the Davis Law under which the 
Board of Education appointed a Treasurer and disbursed its 
own funds was repealed, and after January i, 1902, all pay- 
ments were made through the Department of Finance. 

Important changes were made in the Teachers' Retirement 
Fund. The separate Retirement Fund for Brooklyn was done 
away with, and also the requirement for the retention of one 
per cent, from the salaries of teachers in that Borough. All 
pension moneys were combined in one fund, and the benefits of 
the same were extended to members of the supervising staff J 
and members of the Board of Examiners. The amended law 
provided that the annuity should not exceed in the case of a 
teacher $1000 per annum, in the case of a principal $1500, 
and in the case of a supervising official $2000. The annuity of 
any teacher retired or to be retired, it was prescribed, should 
be not less than $600. 

A change of no little significance was the provision that 
children under six years of age should not be admitted to the 
schools of the city except in kindergarten classes. 

Another section provided for uniform requirements for 
teachers' licenses in all parts of the city, thus eliminating the 
confusion which arose under the Borough system, whereby a 
license valid in one Borough was not necessarily so in another. 

The administration of the Compulsory Education Law was 
placed in the hands of the City Superintendent of Schools, and 
he was empowered to nominate attendance officers. 

vjn general, the powers, duties, and functions of the Borough 
School Boards were devolved upon the Board of Education.) 

1 Under this provision District Superintendent James Godwin and Associate City 
Superintendent John Jasper were retired in 1902. 



CHAPTER XXXVI 

w 

THE CITY OF NEW YORK 1902 TO 1904 

THE forty-six members of the Board of Education were 
appointed in January, 1902 (by Mayor Seth Low), and the 
Board entered upon its work on the 3d of February. The 
Executive Committee was elected, consisting of fifteen members 
besides the President of the Board, and to it was given power 
to take final action on numerous administrative matters, such as 
the awarding of contracts for buildings, supplies, etc., leases, 
the appointment and promotion of clerks and other subordi- 
nates, lectures, evening schools, vacation schools, libraries, plans 
for buildings, and the like. By this arrangement the Board 
itself was relieved of the necessity of passing upon many 
matters of a more or less routine nature. The Board of Super- 
intendents was promptly completed, 1 and, as the heads of the 
various bureaus were continued in office under the Revised 
Charter, the entire system was quickly put in running order. 

One of the first duties of the Board of Education was to 
divide the city into forty-six Local School Board Districts. As 
soon as this was done (care being taken to make the districts 
"compact in form, and, as near as may be, of equal school 
attendance in the public schools therein"), the maps of the 
districts were filed, after which the members of the Local 
School Boards were appointed by the Borough Presidents 
one hundred and ten for Manhattan, seventy for Brooklyn, 
twenty for The Bronx, twenty for Queens, and ten for Rich- 

1 It was composed of the City Superintendent, the four former Borough Super- 
intendents, and four persons selected by the Board of Education from the former 
Associate Borough Superintendents. 

303 



304 



The New York Public School 



mond. The Charter required that members of these boards 
should be residents of the districts for which they were ap- 
pointed. In all the Boroughs except The Bronx and Queens 
a number of women were selected as members of the Local 
Boards. 

As soon as possible after its organization, the Board of 
Education entered most energetically upon the work of provid- 
ing for the ever-increasing demand for more schools. There 
were some unavoidable delays at the outset, on account of 
changes in the form of contract for school buildings. In the 
important work mentioned the Board was aided by the hearty 
co-operation of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, which 
in the three following years authorized bond issues for school 
sites and school buildings on a scale quite unprecedented. The 
figures for the three years are as follows : 

BONDS AUTHORIZED 
$8,000,000 



1902 

1903 
1904 



Total 



9,788,430 

8,500,000 

$26,288,430 



During the first year of the new Board's administration 
(covering a trifle less than eleven months) contracts were 
awarded for new buildings and additions to old ones providing 
accommodations for 48,875 children ; in the year 1903, 26,203 
sittings were contracted for, and in 1904 (to December ist), 
49,550 sittings. The new buildings, etc., actually opened in 
these years were as follows : 





BUILDINGS 


ADDITIONS 


No. OF CLASSROOMS 


No. OF SITTINGS 


1902 


II 


6 


337 


20,789 


1903 


II 


ii 


394 


21,610 


1904 * 


27 


13 


1140 


57,025 



1 Up to December ist. 



The City of New York 1902 to 1904 305 

Yet, in spite of all endeavors, it was impossible to provide 
room for the children clamoring for instruction in the public 
schools. A large increase in the number of part-time pupils 
occurred in the autumn of 1902, as, under the new policy then 
adopted for the first time, all children over six who presented 
themselves at the schools were admitted. As a result of this 
policy, the number on part time on October 3ist in that year 
was 69,063, as against 35,347 on the 3<Dth of June preceding; 
whereas on June 30, 1901, the total number had been 52,321. 
In the ensuing year the conditions did not improve materi- 
ally. While the number of part-time pupils fell to 55,809 on 
June 30, 1903, it rose to 91,365 on October 3ist. During the 
next year some progress was made : on June 30, 1904, the 
number on part time was 66,579, an ^ on October 3ist follow- 
ing, 72,187.! 

As one means of aiding in the solution of the problem of 
overcrowding, the Board of Education, in the autumn of 1904, 
decided to establish two schools in the Borough of Manhattan 
for the higher grades only, 2 transferring thereto from elemen- 
tary schools in the vicinity the classes of the last two years of 
the course. 

On the scholastic side, the most important work of the period 
1902-1904 was the adoption of a new and uniform course of 
study for the elementary schools, which went into effect in 
September, 1903. Previously the course had embraced seven 
years of work in Manhattan and The Bronx and eight years in 
the other Boroughs. The new course was made eight years in 
length for all schools throughout the city. The chief problem 

1 The half-time arrangement, under which one teacher took charge of one class 
in the forenoon and of another class in the same room in the afternoon, has been 
done away with. By the part-time plan one set of pupils is in school from 8.30 A.M. 
to 12.15 p - M ' an d another set in the same room, under another teacher, from 12.30 
to 4.15 P.M. The morning teacher assists in the afternoon for an hour and a quarter, 
and the afternoon teacher assists in the forenoon for a like period. 

2 No special name for these schools has been adopted : the designation " pre- 
academic " or " intermediate " has been suggested. 

X 



306 The New York Public School 

was to harmonize the Manhattan-Bronx course with that of 
Brooklyn (after which those in Queens and Richmond had 
been modelled), and this was solved by the extension of the 
seven years' course, which had long prevailed in the former 
city of New York, by one year. It was claimed, according to 
the annual report of the City Superintendent for 1903, that 
there was too much pressure on children in Manhattan and 
The Bronx; that the graduates of high schools in those Bor- 
oughs were at a disadvantage as compared with graduates of 
high schools in other Boroughs and of other cities and villages 
in the State ; that, as the age of children required to attend school 
had been extended to fourteen years by the Compulsory Educa- 
tion Law, as amended, a child entering the first-year grade at six 
would, if of average ability, in eight years just complete the 
course at the time he left school to go to work ; and that the 
change could be made "without shutting out children from 
the first year and without serious derangement of the work of 
the schools." The report added, by way of explanation : 

" The reason is that while the course [in Manhattan and The Bronx] was 
nominally one of seven years it was really a course of eight years. In other 
words it took the majority of the children eight or even nine years to do the 
work laid down for seven years. The proof of this statement lies in the facts, 
first, that the children completing the seven-year course in Manhattan and The 
Bronx were as old as the children completing the eight-year course in Brooklyn 
and older than those completing the courses of that length in Queens and 
Richmond ; and, second, that in nearly every school duplicate grades existed 
in some part of the school by which the majority of the children were required 
to spend a year in doing the work laid down for half a year" (p. 64). 

In Manhattan and The Bronx cooking had been taught to 
girls and workshop practice (carpentry) to boys of the upper 
grades; in Brooklyn these subjects were not taught. The new 
course provided that cooking might be taught to all girls in the 
last two years and workshop practice to all boys throughout the 
city. In the two Boroughs first mentioned pupils were allowed 
in certain grades to take up the study of German or French, 



The City of New York 1902 to 1904. 307 

but this was not done in Brooklyn and the other Boroughs. 
To solve that difficulty, it was decided to introduce German, 
French, Latin, and stenography as elective studies in the last 
year of the course. Another point of difference was that in- 
ventional geometry and elementary algebra had been taught to 
some extent in the higher grades in Brooklyn, but were not 
included in the Manhattan-Bronx course. This difference was 
adjusted by adopting the Brooklyn plan of introducing inven- 
tional geometry in the seventh year and using algebra as an aid 
to arithmetic. 1 

A new course of study for all high schools except manual 
training, commercial, and technical high schools was adopted 
in 1902. 

" This was a task of no little difficulty owing, first, to the very marked 
differences that have existed in the several boroughs, and, second, to the 
great difference of opinion that now prevails among educators as to the respec- 
tive advantages of fixed courses and elective courses. Both of these difficulties 
have, I believe, been successfully met by the adoption of a course which pro- 
vides twenty periods of required work the first year ; fifteen periods the second 
year ; eighteen periods the third year ; and fifteen periods the fourth year. 
After this required work is accomplished, the student is allowed to select from 
a large number of electives, but in no case is he permitted to take more than 
twenty-one periods per week of work requiring preparation. These periods 
are in addition to periods devoted to work that does not require preparation, 
such as drawing, physical training and vocal music." 2 

From 1902 to 1904 there was a marked expansion of high 
school activity in New York City. The High School of Com- 
merce, in Manhattan, was organized in September, 1902 ; and 
one year later the school took possession of its new building. 
In September, 1902, also, the Girls' Technical High School, in 
Manhattan (having, in addition to the regular high school course, 
a two-year course to prepare pupils for occupations in which 

1 The new course of study is given in full in Appendix II. 

2 Annual report of City Superintendent, 1902, p. 69. The courses of study for 
high schools will be found in Appendix III. 



308 The New York Public School 

women easily secure employment), was opened in the building 
formerly used as the headquarters of the Wadleigh High School, 
which in that month moved into its fine new building, having 
accommodations for 2500 pupils. 1 In September, 1904, the Stuy- 
vesant High School (the long-desired manual training school) was 
organized in Manhattan, and quartered temporarily in a build- 
ing in East Twenty-third street previously used for one of 
the numerous branches of the De Witt Clinton High School. 
Definite action in reference to the latter was taken in 1903, 
when a contract was made for a building at Tenth avenue, 
Fifty-eighth and Fifty-ninth streets, on the site selected for 
the purpose in 1 897.2 The exceptionally handsome and im- 
posing new building for the Morris High School, in The 
Bronx, was completed and occupied in 1904. In that year new 
buildings were completed for the Manual Training High School 
in Brooklyn and the Long Island City High School (now called 
the Bryant) ; the first high school building in Richmond, known 
as the Curtis High School, was also finished and occupied. 
Contracts were made in 1904 for new buildings for the Stuy- 
vesant High School, the Commercial High School (Brooklyn), 
and Erasmus Hall High School ; and a site was secured for a 
commodious building for the Eastern District High School. 
Upon the completion of the Curtis School, the remaining high 
school departments in Richmond were abolished, and the simi- 
lar department in Public School n, Queens, was terminated 
after the Bryant School entered its new building. 

Truly, the development of high schools in the territory of 
Greater New York within a period covering little more than 
seven years has been extraordinary. ^ 

The Brooklyn Training School took possession of its new 

1 It was found necessary to open an annex to the Wadleigh High School in 
Public School 1 86 in September, 1903. 

2 In 1901 it had been decided by the Manhattan-Bronx School Board to place 
the De Witt Clinton School on the site in East Fifteenth and East Sixteenth streets, 
which was chosen in 1897 f r tne manual training high school then held in contem- 
plation. 



The City of New York 1902 to 1904 309 



building (Public School 138) in 1903. In 1902 a new era in the 
history of the institution was marked by the extension of the 
course of study to two years, making it uniform with that of 
the New York Training School. 1 

By reason of the requirement of the Revised Charter that 
children under six should be admitted only to kindergarten 
classes, there was a decided increase in the number of kinder- 
gartens beginning with 1902. The number of kindergarten 
classes in June, 1901, was 144 ; in December, 1902, it was 
326 (with 11,344 pupils); in October, 1903, there were 420 
classes, and 14,357 pupils; in October, 1904, the number of 
classes was 478, containing 16,008 children. In order to estab- 
lish kindergartens, many rooms were rented by the Board of 
Education. 

The vacation schools (begun in 1898) and similar activities 
were continued with increasing success and enlarged usefulness. 
In 1902 this work was placed in charge of one District Superin- 
tendent. In that year a special sum of $25,000 was allowed by 
the financial authorities of the city for the summer work. This 
enabled bands of music to be engaged for a number of roof 
playgrounds, which greatly increased the public interest. An- 
other new feature introduced was the cultivation of small gar- 
dens by children in several of the open-air playgrounds. In 
connection with the vacation schools excursions were made, with 
profit and pleasure, to various points of interest in remoter parts 
of the city. The evening recreation centres, which after 1902 
were not opened in July and August, furnished occupation and 
amusement to many thousands. In 1902, at twelve of these 
centres the aggregate attendance was 722,653 ; from September, 
1902, to June 15, 1903, there were twenty-three centres and the 
aggregate attendance reached 1,154,829. The extent of these 
branches of work is shown by the following statement : 

1 The course of study for training schools may be found in Appendix IV. 



3 io 



The New York Public School 



VACATION SCHOOLS 





NUMBER 


AVERAGE ATTENDANCE 


COST 


1902 

1903 
1904 


32 

54 
39 


12,916 
18,927 
17,446 


$ 42,7SI-44 
122,121.30 

73,847-77 



VACATION PLAYGROUNDS, ETC. 



1902 


1 02 


55.948 


$ 59,065.73 


1903 


no 


68,598 


106,830.32 


1904 


88 


69,497 


57,394.74 



RECREATION CENTRES 



1902 


12 


2657 


$25.607.69 


1903 


18 


6154 


56,834.00 


1904 


23 


6191 


54,763.08 



The work of the evening schools was also made uniform by 
the appointment of one District Superintendent to oversee them. 
Several changes in administration were made in 1902-1903. The ' 
number of sessions in the elementary schools was reduced from 
five to four per week ; in Brooklyn the sexes were segregated in 
different buildings, as had been done for many years on Man- 
hattan Island ; and an outline course of study for the teaching 
of English to foreigners was adopted by the Board of Superin- 
tendents. In that year there were eleven evening high schools 
and sixty-nine evening elementary schools. In the autumn of 
1904 there were ten evening high schools (five for women) and 
seventy-two evening elementary schools. 

Before the revision of the Charter in 1901 the educational 
authorities had power to " maintain free lectures for working 
men and working women." The amended Charter authorized 
the Board of Education to " maintain free lectures and courses 



The City of New York 1902 to 1904 311 



of instruction for the people of The City of New York." This 
change and the appointment of a Supervisor of Lectures for the 
city at large resulted not only in the unifying of the lecture 
work in all the Boroughs, but in the expansion of this educa- 
tional activity by the establishment of courses of lectures by 
specialists on scientific and other subjects. The lecture system 
as it has been developed now forms an organized system of 
adult education. That it is appreciated by the people of New 
York City is attested by the popular interest, indicated not only 
by the attendance, but by the reading and study to which the 
auditors are incited after hearing the lecturers. It is further 
evidenced by the increase in good reading through co-operation 
with the public libraries, and by the circulation by the Board of 
Education of books relating to the subjects of the lectures. No 
further comment upon the usefulness of this work is called for. 
The figures of attendance have an eloquence of their own : 





NUMBER OF CENTRES 


NUMBER OF LECTURES 


ATTENDANCE 


1901-02 


100 


3172 


928,251 


1902-03 


128 


4221 


1,204,126 


1903-04 


137 


4665 


1,134,005 



The magnitude of this branch of the work of the educational 
department is indicated by the fact that in the sixteen years 
since free lectures were established the aggregate attendance 
has been upwards of eight millions ! 

" Summing up the results of the free lectures, it may be said : 

" First That adult education is established as a permanent part of our 
educational scheme. 

" Second That reading and study have been encouraged, a deeper in- 
terest in school life developed, and a refining influence spread. 

" Third That co-operation has been brought about between the lecture, 
the library and the museum. 

" Fourth That the best teachers in our universities have come in con- 
tact with the people. 



312 The New York Public School 

" Fifth That the school is becoming the social centre of the community. 

''Sixth That the school of the future must be constructed with a view to 
its use for various educative influences, so that it may become not alone a 
nursery for children but a place of intelligent resort for men." 1 

In 1902 a new license, known as the " License for Promo- 
tion," was established by the Board of Education, providing for 
the creation of an eligible list from which teachers might be 
nominated from the first six grades of the elementary schools 
to the two highest grades. By an amendment to the by-laws 
adopted in the following year it was provided that teachers in 
evening schools, vacation schools, etc., should be nominated from 
eligible lists prepared by the Board of Examiners. 

With the change of administration, in 1902, the policy of 
consolidating departments in the Manhattan-Bronx schools, 
which had been adopted to some extent before 1898, was pressed 
more urgently, in the interest of economy and efficiency, and 
also to make as full use as possible of school accommodations, 
and to increase the safety of children, in the event of fire, by 
having one person in sole charge of a school building. 

Amendments of considerable moment were made to the 
Compulsory Education Law by Chapter 459 of the laws of 1903. 
The amended law provided that no child under fourteen years 
of age should be employed, and that no child between fourteen 
and sixteen should be employed who had not obtained from the 
Board of Health an employment certificate based upon an actual 
school attendance of one hundred and thirty days after his 
thirteenth birthday. It was further provided that all boys be- 
tween fourteen and sixteen who had not completed the course 
of study for the elementary schools should attend evening 
schools four evenings each week for a period of sixteen weeks 
in each year. Another provision of the law was that an habitual 
and incorrigible truant might be committed to a truant school 
for two years : the effect of this provision was to keep the truant 

1 From The History of the Free Lecture System of The City of New York, 
Leipziger, pp. 22-25. 



The City of New York 1902 to 1904 313 

schools open continuously, whereas they had previously been 
closed at the end of the school year. The changes in this 
law required the appointment of an increased number of attend- 
ance officers. 

In 1904 a site for a truant school, comprising one hundred 
and seven acres, was purchased in the Borough of Queens, and 
plans are being prepared for an institution, to be conducted 
on the cottage plan, for the accommodation of one thousand 
truants. 

Owing to the change adopted in 1903 in assessing real estate 
at its supposed actual value, and the consequent increase in the 
assessed valuation of property in the city, the Board of Education 
consented to a change in that section of the Charter providing 
that there should be appropriated annually for the General 
School Fund " an amount equivalent to not less than four mills 
on every dollar of assessed valuation of the real and personal 
estate in the city of New York, liable to taxation," and by 
Chapter 43 of the laws of 1903 the amount was reduced from 
four to three mills. The effect of this change was serious. 
Three mills did not produce a sufficient sum for the purposes of 
the General School Fund, and the Board of Estimate and 
Apportionment refused to appropriate for 1904 the amount 
deemed necessary by the Board of Education, the estimate of 
the latter Board for teachers' salaries and allied purposes being 
reduced by $964,091.06. The Board of Education was accord- 
ingly obliged to introduce economies in sundry directions, and 
in the early part of 1904 it was doubtful for a time whether the 
vacation schools, etc., could be opened. Some additional means 
were provided, however, and these activities were continued, but 
not on so extensive a scale as had been hoped. The effect of 
the reduced appropriation was also felt on the evening schools 
and the lecture work. 

A condition of affairs almost as serious existed near the close 
of 1904, in consequence of a reduction made by the Board of 
Estimate and Apportionment in the General School Fund 



314 The New York Public School 

for 1905 from $18,728,487.47 (the amount asked by the Board 
of Education) to $17,783,868.74. 

To promote efficiency in administration, the Board of 
Education in 1902 and 1903 provided for a Superintendent of 
Libraries, a general Director of Physical Culture, and a Super- 
visor of Janitors. The duties of these officials are indicated with 
sufficient clearness by their titles. 

For purposes of organization and supervision the elementary 
schools were, in 1902, divided into five orders, as follows : First 
order, schools having forty-eight or more classes ; second order, 
schools having from twenty-eight to forty-seven classes; third 
order, schools having from twelve to twenty-seven classes ; 
fourth order, schools having from six to eleven classes; fifth 
order, schools having less than six classes. 

In the month of December, 1904, the list of retired teachers 
contained six hundred and eighty-eight names, and the amount 
of the payroll for that month was $43,329.85. 

A number of court decisions have been rendered, having 
such a bearing upon the status, rights, and privileges of the Board 
of Education that the most important of them deserve to be 
summarized. 

In the case of Gunnison vs. the Board of Education, the 
Court of Appeals held that " the policy of this State for more 
than half a century has been to separate public education from all 
other municipal functions, and entrust it to independent corporate 
agencies of its own creation, such as school districts and boards 
of education, with capacity to sue and be sued in all matters 
involved in the exercise of their corporate powers " ; that the 
Board of Education of New York City is a separate and distinct 
corporation ; that, while the city has the custody of the public 
money for the support and conduct of the schools, " the Board 
must administer and expend all school funds as the representa- 
tive of the school system, and the financial officer of the city 
cannot pay out any part of those funds except upon the order 
and audit of the Board " ; that the management of the schools 



The City of New York 1902 to 1904 315 

is not a city function like the care of the streets or the employ- 
ment of the police ; and that " the only relation that the city 
has to the subject of public education is as the custodian and 
depositary of the school fund and its only duty with respect to 
that fund is to keep it safely and disburse the same according 
to the instructions of the Board of Education." 

In the case of the People ex rel. Murphy vs. Maxwell, the 
same court passed upon the validity of a by-law adopted by the 
Brooklyn School Board providing that if a woman teacher 
should marry her place thereupon became vacant. The court 
held that the School Board " had no power either to pass a by- 
law on the subject or to provide for the compulsory termination 
of the employment of the teacher except in the manner pointed 
out by the statute " ; that the by-law was in conflict with the 
section of the Charter providing for removal for cause and 
specifying gross misconduct, insubordination, neglect of duty, 
and general inefficiency as the grounds of removal. In view of 
this decision, the Board of Education in April, 1904, rescinded 
its by-law providing that if a woman teacher should marry 
charges might be preferred against her by reason of such 
marriage. A large number of women teachers were married in 
the next few months and continued to teach. 

In the People ex rel. Callahan vs. Board of Education, the 
court held that a teacher who has been regularly appointed or 
promoted to a position having a definite rank and salary cannot 
be reduced in rank except in the manner provided by law for 
removals ; that such a reduction is, in effect, a removal and an 
appointment to a lower position. 

The decision in the " Goldey case " was to the effect that a 
permanent license formerly granted in any part of the consoli- 
dated city has the same validity and value as at the time it 
was granted, and that the holders of such licenses, if in the 
system, are eligible to appointment or promotion to the same 
ranks or grades of positions as at the time their licenses were 
granted. 



316 The New York Public School 

COMPARISON, SCHOOL YEAR 1901-1902 SCHOOL YEAR 1903-1904 





1901-1903 


1903-1904 


Number of schools 


C 1 2 


COI 




5 1Z 
4.64. 


>)W1. 

C4.6 




11.776 


9^** 

11 III 




cgc 822 


A J' 1 ^ 1 
622 2OI 




A.2Q J.8o 


/i 66 C7i 




$T7 876 7C2 l8 


$IC COQ 767 60 




23 OI 3 CQQ 77 


27 848 8c"? 1 6 




6 jj <M>i joyy'// 





OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 1902 TO 1904 
President 

Charles C. Burlingham . 1902 (from February 3d), 1903 (to February 2d) 
. . 1903 (from February 2d), 1904 (to June 25th) 
. . 1904 (from November 23d) 

Vice-President 
. . 1902 (from February 3d)-i9O4 

Secretary 
. . 1902-1904 

Assistant Secretary 
. . 1902-1904 

Chief Clerk 
. . 1902-1904 

Superintendent of School Buildings 
. . 1902-1904 



Henry A. Rogers 1 
Henry N. Tifft . 



Frank L. Babbott 



A. Emerson Palmer 



Fred H. Johnson 



Thomas A. Dillon 



C. B. J. Snyder . . . 

Superintendent of School Supplies 
Parker P. Simmons . . 1902, 1903 (to December ist) 
Patrick Jones .... 1903 (from December 23d), 1904 



Henry R. M. Cook 



Auditor 
1902-1904 

1 Deceased, 



The City of New York 1902 to 1904 317 



City Superintendent of Schools 
William H. Maxwell .... 1902-1904 



Associate City Superintendents 



George S. Davis . 
Andrew W. Edson 
Algernon S. Higgins 
John Jasper 1 
Albert P. Marble . 
Clarence E. Meleney 
Thomas S. O'Brien 
Edward L. Stevens 
John H. Walsh . 
Hubbard R. Yetman 



Darwin L. Bardwell 
William A. Campbell . 
John J. Chickering 
John Dwyer . . . 
James M. Edsall . 
Andrew W. Edson 
Matthew J. Elgas . 
Edward D. Farrell 
Cornelius E. Franklin . 
James Godwin 1 . 
Mrs. Anna M. Gordon 2 
John Griffin, M.D. 
John H. Haaren . 
Charles S. Haskell 2 



1902-1904 

1902 (from September 24th)-i9O4 

1902-1904 

1902 (to September ist) 
1902-1904 

1903 (from January I4th), 1904 
1902-1904 

1902-1904 
1902-1904 
1902, 1903 (to January ist) 



District Superintendents 



George Hogan 
John L. N. Hunt . 
Henry W. Jameson 
James Lee . 
Charles W. Lyon, Jr. 
James J. McCabe . 
Arthur McMullin . 
Clarence E. Meleney 



1 Retired. 



1902 (from September 24^-1904 

1902-1904 

1902-1904 

1902 (from May 28th)-i9O4 

1902-1904 

1902 (to September 24th) 

1902-1904 

1902-1904 

1902-1904 

1902 (to February 26th) 

1902 (to March 26th) 

1902-1904 

1902-1904 

1902 (from October 22d), 1903 (to 

July 1 2th) 
1902 (to April 23d) 
1902-1904 
1902-1904 
1902-1904 
1902-1904 
1902-1904 
1902-1904 
1902, 1903 (to January I4th) 

2 Deceased. 



318 The New York Public School 

Miss Julia Richman .... 1903 (from September 23d), 1904 

Alfred T. Schauffler .... 1902-1904 

Edward B. Shallow .... 1902-1904 

Edgar Dubs Shimer .... 1902-1904 

Seth T. Stewart 1902-1904 

Edward W. Stitt 1903 (from February 2d), 1904 

Miss Grace C. Strachan . . . 1902-1904 

Gustave Straubenmiiller . . . 1902-1904 

Joseph S. Taylor 1902 (from July nth) -1904 

Miss Evangeline E. Whitney . . 1902-1904 

Examiners 

James C. Byrnes 1902-1904 

Walter L. Hervey 1902-1904 

Jerome A. O'Connell . . . . 1902-1904 

George J. Smith 1902-1904 

Supervisor of Free Lectures 
Henry M. Leipziger .... 1902-1904 

Directors of Special Branches 

THE CITY OF NEW YORK 

Physical Training Luther H. Gulick . 1903 (from February ist), 1904 

MANHATTAN AND THE BRONX 

Music Frank Damrosch . . . 1902-1904 

Manual Training James P. Haney . 1902-1904 

Sewing Mrs. Annie L. Jessup . . 1902-1904 

Kindergartens Miss Jenny B. Merrill . 1902-1904 

Cooking Mrs. Mary E. Williams . . 1902-1904 
Physical Training Miss M. Augusta 

Requa 1902, 1903 

BROOKLYN 

Music Albert S. Caswell . . . . 1902-1904 

Drawing Walter S. Goodnough . . . 1902-1904 

Sewing Miss Minnie L. Hutchinson . . 1902-1904 

Kindergartens Miss Fanniebelle Curtis . 1902-1904 

Physical Training Miss Jessie H. Bancroft 1902, 1903 



The City of New York 1902 to 1904. 319 

QUEENS AND RICHMOND 

Drawing Frank H. Collins . . . . 1902-1904 

Music Frank R. Rix 1902-1904 

Kindergartens Miss Frances C. Hayes . 1902-1904 (to September) 

Physical Training W. J. Ballard . . 1902,1903 

Assistant Directors of Special Branches 

Physical Training Miss M. Augusta Requa 1903, 1904 (to May 25th) 
Physical Training Miss Jessie H. Bancroft 1903, 1904 
Physical Training W. J. Ballard . . 1903,1904 

Supervisor of Janitors 
Harry M. Devoe 1902 (from October 13^-1904 

Superintendent of Libraries 
Claude G. Leland 1903 (from February 15 th), 1904 



CHAPTER XXXVII 
THE COLLEGE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK 

THE Free Academy, out of which the College of the City 
of New York was evolved, was established in pursuance of an 
act passed by the Legislature on May 7, 1847. The first offi- 
cial action in reference to it was taken onTfuly 27, 1846, when 
a resolution was introduced in the Board of Education by 
Mr. Townsend Harris, then President of the Board, proposing 
the appointment of a committee to " enquire into the applica- 
tion of that part of the Literature Fund which is apportioned 
by the Regents of the University to the City and County of New 
York," and also as to the expediency of applying " to the Legis- 
lature for such an alteration of the law as will permit the monies 
referred to, to be applied to the support of a high school or 
college for the benefit of pupils who have been educated in the 
public schools of the City and County." 

The report of the committee, consisting of Mr. Harris and 
Mr. J. S. Bosworth, was laid before the Board on January 20, 
1847, and on the loth of the succeeding month it was decided 
to present a memorial to the Legislature. This led to the pas- 
sage of the above-mentioned act. The act authorized the Board 
of Education to establish a Free Academy " for the purpose of 
extending the benefits of education gratuitously to persons who 
have been pupils in the common schools " of the city and county 
of New York, and provided that at the election of school offi- 
cers to be held in the following June the question of establishing 
the Academy should be submitted to the people. This was 
done, with the gratifying result that 19,404 votes were cast in 
favor of the plan, to 3409 against it. Having secured so flatter- 

320 



The College of the City of New York 321 

ing a popular verdict in its favor, the Board of Education 
promptly proceeded to carry the project into effect 

The act limited the amount to be expended on the building 
to $50,000, and fixed the sum to be applied to the support of 
the Academy at $20,000 a year. A site was procured on the 
southeast corner of Lexington avenue and Twenty-third street, 
at a cost of $25,000, and work on the building was begun in 
November, 1847. The building, in the style of the Gothic town 
halls of the Netherlands, was erected within the limit of cost 
fixed by the statute ; in fact, at the opening of the Academy it 
was proudly stated that the cost had been but $48,000. For 
fixtures, furniture, etc., text-books, and supplies, about $14,000 
was expended. In January, 1850, when the Academy had been 
in operation a year, the total expenditure was officially reported 
as $90,049.71. 

So expeditiously were the building operations carried on 
that the Academy was opened for the examination of pupils on 
the 1 5th of January, 1849, and the formal opening exercises 
were held on the 27th of that month, exactly two years and six 
months from the day on which Mr. Harris presented the orig- 
inal resolution on the subject. Dr. Horace Webster, who had 
been educated at West Point, and who at this time was pro- 
fessor of natural philosophy in Hobart College, was chosen as 
principal and professor of moral and intellectual philosophy. 
The following departments of instruction were established : 
Mathematics and natural philosophy ; history and belles-lettres ; 
Latin Imd Greek languages and literatures ; chemistry and 
physics ; French language and literature ; Spanish language 
and literature ; German language and literature ; drawing and 
arts of design. 

Semi-annual examinations for admission were provided for : 
at the first examination 272 candidates from the public and 
ward schools were examined and 143 admitted; at the second 
136 were examined and 59 admitted. The rules at first pro- 
vided that no person under twelve years of age should be 



322 The New York Public School 

allowed to enter ; but the age limit was quickly raised to 
thirteen. To secure admission it was necessary to pass an 
examination in spelling, reading, writing, English grammar, 
geography, all the rules of arithmetic, and history of the United 
States. In a short time these requirements were increased. 
The first class was graduated in 1853. 

The annual report for the year 1849-1850, presented to the 
Board on May 15, 1850, was prepared by a committee one 
member of which was Mr. Horace Greeley. It is significant 
that Mr. Greeley, while approving the report generally, dis- 
sented from that part of it commending the foundation, objects, 
and management of the Free Academy. He pronounced the 
course of instruction "radically defective and vicious" on 
account of the time devoted to the study of dead languages, 
"to the necessary exclusion and neglect of sciences and arts." 
"I distrust and challenge," he continued, "the policy of giving 
a part of the children of our City a far more costly education, 
at the public expense, than is provided for and freely proffered 
to all children, without reserve or exception." He denied "the 
right of a community to give a superior education to its most 
intellectual and cultivated youth," and said further : 

" The cost of this Free Academy, judiciously expended, would suffice to 
rescue, annually, at least one thousand destitute and sorely afflicted children 
from our City's lanes, courts and cellars, where they are daily sinking deeper 
and deeper into the bottomless gulf of vagrancy, want, beggary, theft, prosti- 
tution, disease and death, and place them in virtuous and happy, though 
humble homes, where the blessings of wise guardianship, assured plenty, 
education, industry and proficiency in the useful arts, would be secured to 
them. For these and kindred reasons which I will not here require shall be 
set forth, I protest against the existence of the Free Academy, and demand 
its termination." 

In 1854 collegiate powers and privileges were granted to 
the Academy by the Legislature, thus enabling it to confer on 
its graduates the usual degrees in arts and sciences. \ On the 
recommendation of the Board of Education, the Academy was, 
in 1866, by act of the Legislature, erected into the College of 



The College of tJie City of New York 323 

the City of New York, and the Board of Education became the 
Board of Trustees of the College.") By an act passed in 1872 
the President of the College was made, ex officio, a member 
of the Board of Trustees, and also of the Executive Committee 
for the care, government, and management of the institution. 

^/The course of studies in the early years of the Academy 
covered five years, and included much that is now included in 
the regular course in the city high schools.; In 1854 a full 
collegiate course of four years, with the usual designation of 
freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes, was introduced, 
together with a sub-freshman or preparatory course of one year. 
In 1899, on the recommendation of the faculty, the sub-freshman 
class was expanded into a sub-freshman course of three years, 
owing to the raising of the standard of admission to certain of 
the professions. The full course, therefore, includes three 
years of preparatory work and four years of collegiate work. 
To the sub-freshman course graduates of the public schools are 
admitted without examination. 

In the collegiate department five courses may be pursued : 
language course, classical ; language course, Latin and French ; 
language course, modern; scientific course; scientific course, 
mechanical. The faculty includes a professor of German lan- 
guage and literature, a professor of physics, a professor of 
Latin language and literature, a professor of Greek language 
and literature, a professor of history, a professor of natural 
history, a professor of French language and literature, a pro- 
fessor of moral and intellectual philosophy, a professor of 
English language and literature, a professor of descriptive 
geometry and drawing, a professor of chemistry, a professor 
of mathematics, and twelve assistant professors. There are in 
the College some forty instructors and about seventy tutors. 

An act passed in 1882 opened the college to all male persons 
residing in the city of New York who should pass the pre- 
scribed examination for admission, thus doing away with the 
requirement of one year's attendance in the common schools. 



324 The New York Public School 

A change of considerable importance in the government of 
the College was made in 1900, when it was removed from the 
control of the Board of Education and placed under a separate 
Board of Trustees, consisting of nine members, appointed by 
the Mayor. The full term of membership is nine years. The 
new Board of Trustees entered upon its duties on July i, 1900. 
An official connection between the College and the Board of 
Education is found in the statutory provision that the President 
of that Board shall be, ex officio, a Trustee of the College. 
Until 1903 the President of the College remained a member of 
the Board of Trustees by virtue of his office. 

In 1902 an act was passed providing for the retirement on 
pension of the President, professors, assistant professors, and 
instructors of the College, after a specified term of service and 
on other prescribed conditions. The retirement fund consists 
of a percentage of the excise moneys allotted for the purpose. 
Five members of the faculty have since been retired. 

In the fifty-six years since the institution was established, 
nearly 30,000 students have been admitted to it. The number 
of graduates has been 2730. 

The library of the College includes nearly 40,000 volumes. 
The books have been purchased with the money apportioned to 
the College, while known as the Free Academy, as its share of 
the Literature Fund of the State ; with the income of a fund of 
$5000 bequeathed by Mr. Ephraim Holbrook; with the income 
of $30,000 bequeathed by Mr. Seth M. Grosvenor, and with 
money appropriated from time to time by the Board of Trus- 
tees. Many books have been presented by members of the 
faculty, alumni, and other friends. A number of prizes and 
medals are awarded annually to incite the students to do their 
best work. 

Dr. Webster remained at the head of the institution until 
1869, when he resigned. His successor was General Alexander 
S. Webb, who, like Dr. Webster, was a graduate of West Point. 
General Webb was retired on a pension in 1902, and, pend- 



The College of the City of New York 325 

ing the election of his successor, Professor Alfred G. Compton, 
who was a member of the first class graduated from the Free 
Academy, and who has ever since been connected with the 
institution as instructor and professor, served as Acting Presi- 
dent. In 1903, Dr. John H. Finley, professor of politics in 
Princeton University, was made President. 

In 1899 the College building became so crowded that apart- 
ments in the neighborhood were rented to provide more room, 
and two annexes are now leased. Many years before the date 
just given, however, a movement to secure a larger site and 
more adequate buildings was started. In 1866 it was deter- 
mined to obtain a new site north of Fortieth street, and, in 
accordance with an act of the Legislature passed in that 
year, the Board of Trustees designated as a site the block 'on 
which the Seventh Regiment armory now stands. The Com- 
missioners of the Sinking Fund disapproved the selection, on 
the ground that the site was too small, and recommended Res- 
ervoir (now Bryant) Square or Mount Morris Square. The 
Trustees then chose Reservoir Square, but opposition was 
aroused to its use for the purpose proposed, and in 1871 an 
act of the Legislature released that square " from any claims of 
the Board of Education for the Free College of said city, so 
that said square shall only be used for a public square or park." 
A little relief was given by the erection of an addition to the 
College building in 1870, and another small addition was made 
some years later. 

The Associate Alumni, in 1892, addressed a memorial to the 
Board of Trustees, calling attention to the pressing need of a 
more convenient and spacious site and suitable buildings. The 
interest of the Trustees was enlisted, and with their aid a law 
was finally enacted, in 1895, authorizing the acquisition of a 
site and the erection of new buildings. A most eligible site 
was selected on St. Nicholas Heights, extending from One 
hundred and thirty-eighth to One hundred and fortieth street, 
and after prolonged condemnation proceedings the property 



326 The New York Public School 

was at length secured. Plans for the buildings were in the 
mean time prepared, and in 1903 funds were granted which 
enabled building operations to be begun. On September 2Qth 
the corner-stone was laid, and two of the buildings are now so 
well advanced that, according to present expectations, the colle- 
giate department will be removed from the old building within 
a few months. Several million dollars have been appropriated 
by the municipality for the new buildings, which promise to be 
a notable addition to the city's architecture, and which will fit- 
tingly house the students that overcrowd the present edifice. 
It is a striking testimony to the excellence of the institution 
that, notwithstanding inadequate accommodations in the past, 
it has educated so large a number of men who have become 
prominent in civil and military life, in commerce, in the learned 
professions, in science, letters, and education. Were it not in- 
vidious to name individuals, the list of distinguished alumni 
which might be given would be a long one. The College was 
modelled in large part on the lines of the United States Military 
Academy, and its graduates have been aptly termed by a high 
authority "the West Pointers of American college men." 



CHAPTER XXXVIII 
THE NORMAL COLLEGE 

IN Chapter XIX a brief account was given of the genesis of 
the Normal College. In 1869, after several years of discussion 
and delay on account of the financial condition of the Board of 
Education, it was determined to take advantage of the provision 
of the law enacted in 1854 authorizing the Board of Education 
"to continue the existing Free Academy and to organize a 
similar institution for females." At this time the only oppor- 
tunity for girls to pursue any studies beyond the regular 
grammar school course was afforded by the supplementary 
classes which had been established in a number of schools by 
authority of the ward Trustees. In visiting the schools certain 
members of the Board saw that not a few teachers were poorly 
qualified for the work of instruction, and at once perceived the 
necessity for a special institution for the education and training 
of teachers. 

It was therefore decided to establish a Female Normal and 
High School, and the school was opened in February, 1870, in 
rented quarters at the southeast corner of Broadway and Fourth 
street. In the following year it became the Normal College. 
It then became necessary to secure land and erect a building. 
The first intention was to place the building on property owned 
by the city adjoining the Forty-second street reservoir (now 
Bryant Square), but opposition to this plan was manifested by 
some of the city officials, and it was vetoed by the Legislature. 
The Legislature in 1871, however, authorized the issue of 
Normal School Fund Stock of the City of New York " to an 

327 



328 The New York Public School 

amount not exceeding two hundred thousand dollars, to be 
expended by the said Board of Education in the erection of 
a suitable building in the city of New York for the Normal 
College." 

As a site for the College building, the city set aside Hamilton 
Square, 200 X 400 feet in dimensions, bounded by Park and Lex- 
ington avenues, Sixty-eighth and Sixty-ninth streets. The build- 
ing was completed in 1874, at a cost of $350,000, the original 
appropriation of $200,000 not being sufficient. 

When the Normal College was started, a course of study 
extending over three years, the usual normal course at that 
time, was established, and a President, Vice-President, and 
staff of instructors were appointed. In order that the best 
methods might be introduced, the President and Vice-President 
were deputed by the Board of Education to visit other cities 
and examine into the systems of normal training in New York 
and neighboring States, and several months were spent in this 
way before the school was opened. In point of numbers the 
institution was a success from the beginning. All the supple- 
mentary classes of girls were transferred from the grammar 
schools to the Normal College, and the preparation of women 
teachers for the schools was confined to the new institution. 
As a result, the schools of the city were quickly supplied with 
a large number of better equipped teachers than they had had 
before ; in fact, in a few years the supply exceeded the 
demand. 

In 1879, in spite of much opposition on the part of parents 
and others, the course of study was extended to four years. 
Before this time, the Training Department Building, at the 
Lexington avenue end of the plot on which the College building 
stood, had been erected for practice work in teaching, and a 
school containing several hundred children was conducted 
there. The new course embraced three years of academic 
work and one year of practice. 

The year 1888 marked the beginning of a new era in the 



The Normal College 329 

history of the College, for in that year it was made a separate 
and distinct corporation, under the control of a Board of 
Trustees, consisting of the members of the Board of Education 
and the President of the College, with power to confer col- 
legiate degrees and to exercise all the rights and privileges of 
a college. This method of administration has continued to the 
present time, although several attempts have been made to 
dissociate the College from the Board of Education and provide 
for it a separate Board of Trustees. The general control of 
the institution is, under the statute, in the hands of an Execu- 
tive Committee for the care, government, and management of 
the College, which is for all practical purposes the governing 
body, its decisions rarely, if ever, failing of ratification by the 
Board of Trustees. 

About the time the change last mentioned was made the 
course of study in the College was raised from four to five 
years ; but the degrees granted by the College on the comple- 
tion of the course of that length were not recognized by the 
Regents of the University of the State of New York. 

After the reorganization of the Board of Education in 1902, 
the Executive Committee appointed for the Normal College, 
believing the five-year course of study, the first four years of 
which were of similar grade to the four-year courses pursued in 
the high schools, to be inadequate, took prompt action to raise the 
standard of the College. In September, 1902, there was estab- 
lished a collegiate course occupying seven years, leading to the 
regular bachelor's degree (recognized, of course, by the Regents), 
and also a professional course of six years of high school and colle- 
giate work and preparation for the teaching profession. By spe- 
cial arrangement with the Board of Regents, a supplementary or 
sixth-year class was established at that time, to be continued 
until the first class pursuing the regular course reaches senior 
grade. Students who had entered upon the old five-year 
course were given the option of taking the supplementary 
year, and a large number availed themselves of the privilege 



330 The New York Public School 

in 1903 and 1904, and thus received a bachelor's degree recog- 
nized by the Regents. This degree is also registered by the 
Regents as complying with the requirements of the Court of 
Appeals relating to collegiate degrees, and secures to these 
graduates all the immunities which the holders of degrees are 
entitled to in preparing for various professions. 

In 1903 the Normal College High School was established as 
a separate department (although conducted in the same build- 
ing), and admitted to the University of the State as a regular 
high school, thus becoming entitled to receive a quota of the 
Regents' Academic Fund. 

A law was enacted in 1903 allowing the professors and 
teachers in the Normal College, under certain conditions, to 
share in the Public School Teachers' Retirement Fund, and 
several teachers have since been retired on pension. 

A sketch of the Normal College would be incomplete with- 
out some mention of the two men who more than any others 
were instrumental in its establishment and responsible for its 
success, namely, Mr. William Wood and Dr. Thomas Hunter. 
Mr. Wood was appointed a member of the Board of Education 
when the " revolution " of 1869 occurred ; he served as a mem- 
ber for eighteen years, and from 1876 to 1879 held the office of 
President. As a member of the Committee on Normal, Even- 
ing, and Colored Schools in his early days in the Board, he took 
a most eager interest in the establishment of the school which 
quickly developed into the Normal College. He aided largely in 
securing the College building, and his active interest in the 
institution and his efforts to secure its advancement never 
ceased. Dr. Hunter has been identified with every step in the 
history of the College, having been its President from its founda- 
tion. He went to the Normal and High School from the princi- 
palship of Grammar School 35. He was also the principal of the 
first evening high school established in New York. He came to 
this country from Ireland in 1850, and immediately entered upon 
the work of teaching, receiving at the beginning the modest 



The Normal College 331 

compensation of $300 per annum. His connection with public 
education in this city extends over nearly fifty-five years. 

The faculty of the Normal College consists of a President, 
who is professor of psychology and pedagogy, and of professors 
of mathematics and physical science, French language and litera- 
ture, German language and literature, natural science, Latin and 
Greek, music, ethics, English literature, and pedagogy. There are 
seven associate professors and upwards of sixty instructors. In 
the Training Department, besides the Superintendent, there are 
nearly thirty instructors. 



CHAPTER XXXIX 
SCHOOL LIBRARIES 

THE Free School Society had not been in existence long, 
and had opened only its first school, when, in December, 1810, 
it appropriated $ i oo to establish a circulating library for the 
benefit of the pupils. In 1818, when four schools were in 
operation, it was decided to place books to the value of $50 in 
each school, the libraries to consist of " suitable books of 
voyages, travels, history, &c." ; but only pupils showing good 
progress and behaving well (constituting a " class of merit " ) 
were to be admitted as members of the library. It was provided 
that religious books containing sectarian principles should be 
excluded, but other religious books approved by the Board of 
Trustees were to be admitted. The schools established later 
by the Society were also equipped with libraries on a small 
scale. In 1835 an attempt was made to establish a library for 
the use of the Trustees and teachers, but sufficient interest was 
not aroused to assure its success. 

In 1838 an act of the Legislature was passed, providing for 
the expenditure of $55,000 annually for three years for establish- 
ing district school libraries throughout the State. The first step 
toward this end had been taken ten years earlier, when Gov- 
ernor De Witt Clinton, in his last message as Governor, advocated 
the establishment of school libraries. New York State was the 
pioneer in the movement, which was effectively forwarded by 
John A. Dix, Secretary of State and ex officio Superintendent of 
Common Schools from 1833 to l8 39- The law of 1838 was 
extended by subsequent enactments. The appropriation was at 
first used only for books, but about 1843 permission was granted 

332 



School Libraries 333 

by the State to apply it either for school libraries or for the 
payment of teachers' salaries. As a result, the money was 
expended largely thereafter for salary purposes, and the libraries 
were neglected until about the year 1860, when the State pro- 
hibited the use of moneys drawn from this fund for any other 
purpose than the purchase of books. 

In 1875 the bequest of Mr. Ephraim Holbrook of the sum 
of $250 to be " applied to the purchase of books for the establish- 
ment or increase of a suitable school library " for each of the 
ward schools in New York City became available. Thereupon 
the so-called Holbrook libraries were provided in the schools 
then in existence. 

By a change in the Library Law made in 1892, increased 
funds for library purposes were granted by the State, on con- 
dition that an equal sum should be raised by the local authorities 
for the purchase of library books. New York City's first ap- 
propriation from the State under this enactment was received 
in 1894. 

In Brooklyn there were libraries in the district schools at the 
time of the organization of the Board of Education, in 1843. 
The earliest printed report (so far as known) of the City Super- 
intendent of Schools, for July, 1848, stated that there were 
libraries in twelve schools, containing 12,967 volumes, and 
called attention to the fact that the libraries were " designed not 
only for the children of the city indiscriminately, but for all 
other persons of their respective districts capable of perusing 
them." The annual report of the same official for 1850 referred 
to the provision of the law under which the Board of Education 
was permitted to apply moneys received for libraries to the pay- 
ment of teachers' wages or to the purchase of school books for 
gratuitous use by pupils in the public schools. The number of 
volumes in the school libraries at the end of 1853 was upwards 
of 20,000, and by 1855 (the year in which William sburgh and 
Bushwick were consolidated with Brooklyn) it had increased to 
about 30,000. 



334 The A r eic York Public School 

An interesting movement took place in 1866, when, with 
the approval of the Brooklyn Board of Education, the " local 
committees " of five schools in the Eastern District decided to 
consolidate the libraries of those schools and form one general 
library for the use of the school children and the people in that 
section of the city. The building previously used by Public 
School 1 6, at South Third and Fifth streets (the latter being 
now known as Driggs avenue), was fitted up for library pur- 
poses, and the library was opened with 7200 volumes. The 
Eastern District Library, as it was called, was maintained by the 
school authorities until 1897, when, with some 18,000 volumes, 
it was taken over by the Brooklyn Public Library ; the building 
was then refitted for school purposes, and in it the Eastern Dis- 
trict High School was opened in 1899. In the mean time the 
school libraries in the remainder of Brooklyn fell into " a sad 
state of dilapidation and decay." 1 

The matter of establishing class libraries was taken up in 
New York City in 1897, and at the end of the school year in 
July, 1898, there were 2742 class libraries, containing 87,660 
volumes. About this time sundry public libraries in the city 
began to supply so-called travelling libraries to many schools in 
Manhattan and The Bronx. Among those especially active in 
supplying reading for children and reference books for teachers 
were the Aguilar Library, the Cathedral Library, and the 
Webster Free Library. The books were selected from lists 
authorized by the Board of Education. In 1900 an attempt was 
made to bring about co-operation between the New York Public 
Library and the Manhattan-Bronx School Board, and for a 
short time reading rooms and circulating libraries were con- 
ducted in a number of school buildings. The books were 
furnished by the Public Library, and the care and distribution 
of them assumed by the School Board. 

Soon after the reorganization of the school system in 1902, 
it was determined to establish classroom libraries for the 

1 Annual report of the President of the Brooklyn Board of Education, 1892 (p. 35). 



ITY 




335 

elementary schools of the entire city, and in July of that 
year a Bureau of Libraries was organized for this purpose. 
In the following February a Superintendent of Libraries was 
appointed. The plan adopted by the Board of Education was 
to place in each classroom from thirty to fifty books suited 
to the intellectual capacity of the pupils, in order to give them 
a taste for good reading while still in school and to enable 
them to make intelligent use of the public libraries. The 
library moneys had accumulated for several years, and there 
was a considerable fund in hand; and as the result of its 
expenditure there are now in the elementary schools of New 
York City 7981 class libraries, containing 246,148 books, or an 
average of thirty per class. Each of the schools (or depart- 
ments) is also provided with a reference or teachers' library, the 
total number of volumes being 113,412. The entire number of 
books in the public school libraries of the city is therefore 
359,560. During the school year 1903-1904 the number of 
books issued from the class libraries for home use was 2,308,601. 
These books are used by the parents as well as the children, and 
in neighborhoods where many parents are foreign-born teachers 
report that the books are a valuable medium for the teaching of 
English, as the children are encouraged to read them aloud to 
their fathers and mothers. 

The Bureau of Libraries has issued a graded and annotated 
catalogue of books approved for use in the public school 
libraries, which is valuable as a guide to teachers in making 
then- selections. 



CHAPTER XL 

PERSONAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL 

I PRESIDENTS OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SOCIETY 

i 

DE WITT CLINTON 
May 6, 1805, to February n, 1828 

DE WITT CLINTON was born at Little Britain, Orange 
County, N. Y., March 2, 1769, and died at Albany, Feb- 
ruary 11, 1828. He was graduated from Columbia College in 
1786, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1788. In 
1790 he became private secretary to his uncle, George Clinton, 
then Governor of New York ; he was also made one of the 
secretaries of the Board of Regents, and secretary of the Board 
of Commissioners of State Fortifications. He was chosen a 
member of the Assembly in 1797, and from 1798 to 1802 was 
a member of the State Senate. In 1802 he was elected to the 
United States Senate, but resigned in the same year to take 
the office of Mayor of New York City, to which his uncle, then 
Governor for the second time, appointed him. The Mayor at 
that time was a very important officer, being also President of 
the Council and Chief Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. 
Mr. Clinton held the office of Mayor until 1815, with the excep- 
tion of the years 1807-1809 and 1810-1811. He was also State 
Senator from 1805 to 1811, and Lieutenant-Governor from 1811 
to 1813. In 1805 he became interested in the movement which 
led to the establishment of the Free School Society. He was 
elected President of the Society, and held the office throughout 
his life. In other movements for the good of the city and the 

336 



Personal and Biographical 337 

community he took an active part, as in the amelioration of 
the criminal laws, the relief of suffering, the encouragement 
of agriculture, and the correction of vice. In 1809 he was 
appointed one of seven Commissioners to select a route for a 
canal from the Lakes to the Hudson. In January, 1815, he 
was removed from the Mayoralty, and immediately devoted his 
energies to the canal project. A bill providing for the Erie 
Canal was passed in 1817, and in that year Clinton was elected 
Governor. He was re-elected in 1819, but in 1822 declined to 
be a candidate. In 1824 his opponents secured his removal 
from the office of Canal Commissioner. This created a storm 
of popular indignation, and in 1825 he was elected Governor by 
an unprecedented majority. He held the office at the time of 
his death. The Erie Canal, which was opened on October 25, 
1825, is considered the greatest of his achievements. Mr. 
Clinton was a profound believer in the Lancasterian system 
of instruction. His connection with public education in New 
York is perpetuated in the name of the De Witt Clinton High 
School. Two portraits of Mr. Clinton hang in the meeting 
room of the Board of Education. 

ii 

HENRY RUTGERS 
May 12, 1828, to February 17, 1830 

Henry Rutgers was born in New York City, October 7, 
1745, and died February 17, 1830. He was graduated from 
Kings (afterwards Columbia) College in 1766. During the Revo- 
lutionary War he entered the army, and served as Captain at 
the battle of White Plains. Subsequently he attained the rank 
of Colonel in the State militia. He was elected to the State 
Legislature in 1784, and served in that capacity for several 
years. He was a Regent of the University of the State of New 
York from 1802 to 1826. In 1806 he gave to the Free School 
Society two lots in Henry street, on which the second school- 



338 The New York Public School 

house of the Society was erected in 1811. Colonel Rutgers 
became a Trustee of the Society in 1810. He was liberal in his 
contributions of land for churches, charitable institutions, etc. 
Rutgers street was named for him. He was a benefactor of 
Queens College, at New Brunswick, N. J. This institution was 
established in 1 766 ; during the Revolutionary War it was closed, 
and afterward it was suspended twice for lack of funds. In 
1825 Colonel Rutgers gave the College $5000. In recognition 
of his liberality the institution took his name. 

m 

PETER AUGUSTUS JAY 
May 10, 1830, to May 8, 1837 

Peter Augustus Jay was born at Elizabethtown, N. J., 
January 24, 1776, and died in New York City, February 20, 
1843. After being graduated from Columbia College, he studied 
law, and soon attained distinction in his profession. He was a 
member of the Assembly in 1816, Recorder of New York City 
in 1819-1821, and a member of the State Constitutional Con- 
vention in 1821. He was a Trustee of Columbia College in 
1812-1817 and 1823-1843, and served as Chairman of its Board 
of Trustees in 1832. His official connection with the Public 
School Society extended only over the period of his Presidency. 
Mr. Jay was President of the New York Historical Society from 
1840 to 1843. He received the degree of LL.D. from Harvard 
College in 1831 and from Columbia in 1835. 

rv 

ROBERT C. CORNELL 
May 8, 1837, to May 20, 1845 

Robert Comfort Cornell died in New York City, May 20, 
1845, at the age of sixty-three. He was a member of the Society 
of Friends and a public-spirited citizen. He filled several places 



Personal and Biographical 339 

of trust, among them that of Receiver-General under the Sub- 
Treasury Law. For several years he served as Alderman of the 
Fifth Ward. At the time of his death he was President of the 
Farmers' Loan and Trust Company, of the Public School 
Society, and of the Deaf and Dumb Institution. He also held 
prominent offices in the New York Hospital and the House of 
Refuge. He was a Trustee of the Public School Society from 
1820 to his death, and Vice-President from 1830 to 1837. 



LINDLEY MURRAY 
January 12, 1846, to January u, 1847 

Lindley Murray was born in New York City January 5, 1790, 
and died at St. Thomas, W. I., May 16, 1847. He was a son of 
John Murray, Jr., at whose house in Pearl street was held, on 
February 19, 1805, the meeting which led to the formation of 
the Free School Society, and a nephew of Lindley Murray, the 
grammarian. Mr. Murray's grandfather, Robert Murray, was a 
prominent merchant in New York, and Murray Hill, where he 
had his country residence, about three miles from the city, was 
named for him. Mr. Murray was engaged in the wholesale 
drug business in New York. He was elected a Trustee of the 
Public School (Free School) Society in 1816 and remained as 
such until his death. He was Secretary of the Board of Trustees 
from 1818 to 1837. 

VI 

GEORGE T. TRIMBLE 
January II, 1847, to August I, 1853 

George T. Trimble died in New York City, May 17, 1872, in 
his seventy-ninth year. He was attached to the Society of 
Friends, and acquired ample means through successful mercan- 
tile pursuits. He was a trustee of the Public School (Free 



34O The New York Public School 

School) Society from i8i8to 185 3, Treasurer from 1820 to 1830, 
and Vice-President in 1846-1847. He was connected with a 
number of financial institutions, and was one of the Governors of 
the New York Hospital. A large oil painting of Mr. Trimble 
is conspicuous in the Board of Education meeting room. 

II PRESIDENTS OF THE NEW YORK BOARD OF EDUCATION 



GEORGE W. STRONG 
June 23, 1842, to May 31, 1843 

George Washington Strong was born in New York City, 
January 20, 1783, and died June 27, 1855. He was graduated 
from Yale College in 1803, studied law, and was admitted to the 
New York bar. In the legal profession he attained an eminent 
rank. He was well acquainted with all adjudged cases in Eng- 
land and this country, and was a master of legal practice in all 
departments. In 1842 he was elected a Commissioner of Com- 
mon Schools from the First Ward for the term of one year, and 
upon the organization of the Board of Education was elected 
President. In 1841 he was Secretary of the Board of Commis- 
sioners of School Money. 

n 

THOMAS JEREMIAH 
June 20, 1843, to Ma Y 3 T > l8 44 



Thomas Jeremiah was born in New York City, April 27, 
1793, and died December 2, 1872. He was an energetic busi- 
ness man and early in life accumulated a handsome fortune. 
He was a member of the Board of Aldermen in 1828-1831 and 
1838. He was elected County Clerk in 1834, and served as a 
member of the State Assembly in 1844. For many years he 



Personal and Biographical 341 

was President of the Bowery Savings Bank, of which he was 
one of the incorporators. He was also an incorporator of the 
Pacific Fire Insurance Company of New York, and served as 
its President. He was a member of the New York Historical 
Society. He was elected a Commissioner of Common Schools 
at the first election for school officers held after the passage 
of the law providing for the Board of Education, and served 
as a member of the Board in 1842-1844. The Board of Edu- 
cation possesses an oil painting of Mr. Jeremiah, which is in 
the Board Room. 

in 

GERARDUS CLARK 
June 12, 1844, to May 31, 1845 

Gerardus Clark was born at New Milford, Conn., in 1786, 
and died in New York City in 1860. He was a lawyer by pro- 
fession and for many years was attorney for the Trinity Church 
Corporation. He served as a vestryman of Trinity Church and 
as a warden of St. Mark's Church. He was one of the original 
members of the Board of Education, having been elected a 
Commissioner of Common Schools from the Fifteenth Ward in 
1842, and was a member until May, 1845. 

rv 

ISAAC A. JOHNSON 
June 1 8, 1845, to Ma y 3 T > l8 4 6 

Isaac A. Johnson, like two of his predecessors, Mr. Strong 
and Mr. Clark, was a lawyer. He was successful in his profes- 
sion and highly respected by his associates. He was elected a 
Commissioner of Common Schools in 1842, serving as a member 
of the Board of Education at its organization, and was re-elected 
by his fellow-citizens of the Third Ward two years later. 



342 The New York Public School 



TOWNSEND HARRIS 
June, 1846, to January 26, 1848 

Townsend Harris was born at Sandy Hill, Washington 
County, N. Y., October 3, 1803, and died in New York City, 
February 25, 1878. He came to New York at the age of 
fourteen and engaged in business. He served as a member of 
the Board of Education in 1842-1844 and 1846-1848. While 
in the Board of Education he took a leading part in the establish- 
ment of the Free Academy (now the College of the City of New 
York). In July, 1846, he introduced the first resolution on the 
subject and was made chairman of the Committee of Inquiry. 
He was also chairman of the committee appointed in the fol- 
lowing year to present a memorial to the Legislature, which 
resulted in the passage of the law authorizing the Academy. 
In 1854 he was appointed United States Consul at Ning-Po, 
China. He was subsequently appointed the first United States 
Minister to Japan, and in 1858 induced the Emperor of Japan 
to conclude a treaty with the United States. Mr. Harris was 
also instrumental in negotiating, in 1856, a new treaty between 
the United States and Siam. He was a man of wide culture, 
sterling integrity, and singularly upright character. He was 
one of the founders of the New York Society for the Prevention 
of Cruelty to Animals. Among the paintings in the Board 
Room is one of Mr. Harris. 

VI 

ROBERT KELLY 
January 26, 1848, to May 31, 1850 

Robert Kelly died in New York City, April 27, 1856, at 
the age of forty-seven. He was graduated from Columbia 
College in 1827, and immediately engaged in commercial busi- 
ness, to which he devoted himself until 1836, when he retired 



Personal and Biographical 343 

with a large fortune. During this period he made himself the 
master of eight languages. He was at different times a Regent 
of the University of the State of New York, Chamberlain of 
New York City, President of the House of Refuge, Vice-Presi- 
dent of the Merchants' Clerks' Savings Bank, director of the 
Mechanics' Bank, director of the United States Trust Company, 
trustee of the Clinton Hall Association, trustee of the New 
York Society Library, Chairman of the Democratic General 
City Committee, Democratic State Committeeman, trustee of 
New York University and of Madison and Rochester Univer- 
sities, from the last named of which he received the degree 
of LL.D. in 1853. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the 
office of State Comptroller. He was a member of the Board 
of Education from 1847 to l8 5 and was especially interested 
in the establishment of the Free Academy. At the opening 
of the Academy he presided and delivered an address. Mr. 
Kelly's portrait ornaments the room in which the Board of 
Education holds its meetings. 

vn 

ERASTUS C. BENEDICT 
June 3, 1850, to December 31, 1854 

Erastus Cornelius Benedict was born at Bradford, Conn., 
March 19, 1800, and died in New York City, October 22, 1880. 
He was a district school teacher at the age of sixteen. He 
was graduated from Williams College in 1821, and became 
a principal and tutor. In 1824 he was admitted to the bar and 
removed to New York City, where he acquired a high reputation 
in admiralty practice. He was elected a School Trustee in 1842, 
at the time of the organization of the Board of Education. He 
was a member of the Board in 1849-1854 and in 1857-1863. 
He became a Regent of the University of the State of New York 
in 1855, and in 1878 was made Chancellor, holding that office until 
his death. He was prominent in various charitable organiza- 



344 The New York Public School 

tions, and a Governor of the New York State Woman's Hospital 
from its organization. He was a member of the New York 
Historical Society, and delivered numerous addresses before 
historical and scientific societies, many of which were printed. 
He published American Admiralty (1850), A Run through 
Europe (1860), and The Mediceval Hymns (1861). He was a 
member of the Assembly in 1844 and 1864. A portrait of Mr. 
Benedict occupies a place of honor in the Board Room. 

VIII 
WILLIAM H. NEILSON 

January 10, 1855,10 January 16, 1856 

January 13, 1858, to December 31, 1858 

April 7, 1873, to January 12, 1876 

William Hude Neilson died at Far Rockaway, L. I., Decem- 
ber 30, 1887, at the age of seventy-two. All his life was spent 
in and around New York City. He was President of the New 
York Stock Exchange, President of the Hannibal and St. Joseph 
Railroad Company, a trustee of the Public School Society from 
1850 to 1853, and a member of the Board of Education from 
1853 to 1858, 1864-1865, 1867 to 1869, and 1873 to 1876. He 
had the unique distinction of having served as President of the 
Board at three separate times. 

IX 

ANDREW H. GREEN 
January 16, 1856, to January 13, 1858 

Andrew Haswell Green was born at Worcester, Mass., October 
6, 1820, and died in New York City, November 13, 1903. He 
attended the Worcester Academy and was ready to go to West 
Point, when his plan was changed and he entered a commercial 
house in this city in 1840. Afterward he studied law, and was a 
partner of Samuel J. Tilden until Mr. Tilden's death. In 1856 



Personal and Biographical 345 

he was appointed Commissioner of Central Park, in the creation 
of which he was very deeply concerned. Upon the organization 
of the Department of Public Parks he became a Park Commis- 
sioner, and soon afterward was made President. That office he 
resigned to become Comptroller of Central Park, an office 
created especially for him. On the downfall of the Tweed Ring 
he was elected Comptroller of the city. He held that office 
from 1871 to 1877 and was conspicuous for his efforts in the 
direction of economy. He was nominated for Mayor on an 
Independent Citizens' ticket in 1876, but withdrew from the 
contest. In 1880 he was again appointed a Park Commissioner; 
in 1 88 1 he was made a Commissioner on the Revision of the 
State Tax Law; in 1883 he was appointed a member of the 
Niagara Park Commission, became its President, and on 
the expiration of his term was reappointed. From 1890 Mr. 
Green was especially active in his efforts to secure the consolida- 
tion of New York, Brooklyn, and adjacent territory, and he may 
truthfully be described as " The Father of Greater New York." 
He first conceived the idea of an expanded city as long ago as 
1866. He was a director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
the Juvenile Asylum Society, the Society for the Prevention of 
Cruelty to Children, the New York Historical Society, the 
American Geographical Society, the American Association for 
the Advancement of Science, the State Bar Association, the 
Worcester Antiquarian Society, the Museum of Natural History; 
President of the Board of Trustees of the Zoological Garden ; 
a member of the Scientific Alliance, Municipal Art Society, 
Sons of the American Revolution, and the Colonial Order ; 
and a director and trustee in a number of railroads, banking 
institutions, etc. He was largely instrumental in perfecting 
the plans by which the New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, 
and Tilden Foundations, was established on its present basis. 
Mr. Green may be said to have begun his public career as a 
promoter of the cause of popular education, serving as a member 
of the Board of Education from 1855 to 1860, inclusive, and as 



346 The New York Public School 

its President in 1856 and 1857. In the Board he was particu- 
larly interested in the important questions of finance and 
taxation. 

x 

WILLIAM H. NEILSON 

January 13 to December 31, 1858 

(See WILLIAM H. NEILSON, under vm) 

XI 

RICHARD WARREN 
January 12, 1859, to January n, 1860 

Richard Warren was born at Plymouth, Mass. As a 
boy he went to Boston and received a practical business 
training. He came to New York when about forty years of 
age, and acquired prominence as a successful auctioneer. He 
served as a member of the Board of Education from 1858 to 
1 86 1 and from 1866 to 1869. 

XII 

WILLIAM E. CURTIS 
January 11, 1860, to December 31, 1863 

William Edmond Curtis was born in Litchfield County, 
Conn., about 1822, and died at Watertown, Conn., July 
6, 1880. He came to New York City early in life, and 
rose rapidly in the legal profession. In 1871 he was President 
of the New York Bar Association. A Democrat in politics, he 
was in 1871 the nominee of the Anti-Tammany Democrats, the 
Republicans, and the Committee of Seventy for a seat on the 
Superior Court Bench. He was elected by a majority of over 
22,000, and at the time of his death was Chief Justice of that 
Court. He served as a member of the Board of Education 
from 1858 to 1863. His portrait hangs in the Board Room. 



Personal and Biographical 347 

XIII 

JAMES M. MCLEAN 

January 13, 1864, to December 31, 1867 

James M. McLean was born in New York City in 1818 and 
died May 13, 1890, at his home in West Fifty-seventh street. 
He was in the employ of the Guardian Insurance Company 
from 1838 to 1845. He then accepted a position as Secretary 
in the old Williamsburgh Fire Insurance Company. Soon 
afterward the name was changed to the Citizens' Fire Insurance 
Company, and he was made President. A few years before 
his death he retired from that Company and became President 
of the Manhattan Life Insurance Company. He was Vice- 
President of the Union Trust Company and of the Manhattan 
Savings Institution, and a director of the Citizens' Bank and 
the Citizens' Insurance Company. He was a member of the 
Board of Education from 1863 to 1867. In the Board Room a 
portrait of Mr, McLean may be seen. 

xrv 

RICHARD L. LARREMORE 
January 8, 1868, to July i, 1870 

Richard Ludlow Larremore was born at Astoria, L. I., 
September 6, 1830, and died in New York City, September 
11, 1893. After graduating from Rutgers College in 1850, 
he was admitted to the bar in 1852. He was a School Trustee 
for the Eleventh and Nineteenth Wards, and was a member of 
the Board of Education in 1862-1863 and 1867-1870. He was 
a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1867. In 1870 
he received the degree of LL.D. from the University of the 
City of New York. He was elected a Judge of the Court of 
Common Pleas on the Democratic ticket in 1870, and in 1876 
Governor Tilden assigned him to duty as a Judge of the Su- 



348 The New York Public School 

preme Court in place of Judge Van Brunt. In 1884 he was 
re-elected for another fourteen-year term, but resigned in 1891 
on account of ill health. For two or three years before resign- 
ing he was Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. At 
the time of his death he was a member of the University Club 
and the Bar Association. A portrait of Judge Larremore was 
hung in the Board Room some years ago. 

xv 

BERNARD SMYTH 
July I, 1870, to January 8, 1873 

Bernard Smyth was born in New York City in 1820 and 
died March 7, 1900. He left school when thirteen years old, 
and at the age of nineteen was at the head of a mercantile 
establishment of his own. His business, which was mostly with 
the South, was practically ruined on the outbreak of the Rebel- 
lion. During the war he turned his attention to finance and 
was director and trustee of several banks and insurance com- 
panies. He held the office of Receiver of Taxes about this 
time. After the war he engaged in the real estate business. 
He became closely identified with the public schools in 1856, 
when he was elected a Trustee in his native Ward (the Seventh). 
He was a member of the Board of Education in 1862-1863 and 
1869-1873. His portrait is displayed in its meeting room. 

XVI 

JOSIAH G. HOLLAND 

/ 

January 8, 1873, to A P ri l 5> l8 73 



Josiah Gilbert Holland was born at Belchertown, Hamp- 
shire County, Mass., July 24, 1819, and died in New York 
City, October 12, 1881. He was graduated from the Berkshire 
Medical College in 1844, and entered on the practice of his pro- 
fession with a classmate at Springfield, Mass. In 1847 ne 



Personal and Biographical 349 

started a weekly, The Bay State Courier, which lasted about 
six months. He then went to Richmond, Va., as a teacher 
in a private school, and while there accepted a call to act 
as Superintendent of Public Schools at Vicksburg, Miss. He 
returned to Massachusetts in 1850 and formed an editorial con- 
nection with the Springfield Republican, remaining there until 
1866. His pseudonym, "Timothy Titcomb," became famous, 
and he was in demand as a lecturer and public speaker. In 
1870 he assisted in founding Scribner's Monthly (afterward 
The Century), and was its principal editor until his death. He 
published several poems, including Bitter-Sweet (1858) and 
Kathrina (1868), and a number of novels, Arthur Bonnicastle 
(1873), Sevenoaks (1876), Nicholas Minturn (1877), et c. He was 
a member of the Board of Education in 1872-1873. 

XVII 

WILLIAM H. NEILSON 

April 7, 1873, to January 12, 1876 

(See WILLIAM H. NEILSON, under vni) 

XVIII 

WILLIAM WOOD 
January 12, 1876, to December 31, 1879 

William Wood was born in Glasgow in 1808 and died in 
New York City, in October, 1894. After entering Glasgow 
College, he went, at the age of sixteen, to St. Andrew's and 
attended classes in moral philosophy and mathematics. Sub- 
sequently he returned to Glasgow and re-entered the College 
there. He also attended a class in surgery. After completing 
his studies, he entered on business pursuits in Glasgow, and 
later in Liverpool. In 1844 he engaged in business in New 
York City. On the formation of the British and American 
Bank he assumed the management of that institution, and 



350 The New York Public School 

retained it until 1867, when he retired. In May, 1870, he was 
made a Commissioner of Docks, and in the following June 
became a member of the Commission on the widening of 
Broadway. He was for many years a member of the St. 
Andrew's Society, and its President in 1865 and 1866. He was 
a member of the Board of Education in 1869-1873, 1875-1879, 
and 1881-1888, and he was especially interested in the founda- 
tion and development of the Normal College. 

XIX 

STEPHEN A. WALKER 
January 14, 1880, to March 4, 1886 

Stephen Ambrose Walker was born at Brattleboro, 
Vt, November 2, 1835, an d died in New York City, Feb- 
ruary 5, 1893. He was graduated from Middlebury College 
in 1858, and later from the Albany State Normal School. 
After teaching school in Ohio and in Binghamton, N. Y., 
he studied law in the office of Daniel S. Dickinson, and was 
admitted to the bar in 1861. During the Civil War he served as 
Paymaster of Volunteers and was brevetted Lieutenant-Colonel. 
Afterward he resumed the practice of his profession. He was 
a member of the Board of Education from 1876 until March 4, 
1886, when he resigned to accept an appointment as United 
States District Attorney for the Southern District of New York. 
Mr. Walker was a member of the Board of Trustees of the 
Tilden Trust, of the University and Lawyers' Clubs, of the Bar 
Association, and of the National League for the Protection of 
American Institutions. 

xx 

J. EDWARD SIMMONS 
March 17, 1886, to July 2, 1890 

J. Edward Simmons was born at Troy, N. Y., September 8, 
1841. He received his education at Williams College, and 



Personal and Biographical 351 

was graduated from the Albany Law School in 1863. For four 
or five years he practised law in Troy, and then came to New 
York and engaged in business. He became a prominent mem- 
ber of the Stock Exchange, and was elected its President at the 
time of the panic in 1884; after holding the office for three 
terms he refused to accept another nomination. Among the 
positions held by him at various times are the following : Presi- 
dent of the New York Clearing House, President of the Fourth 
National Bank, Grand Master of the Masonic Order of New 
York State, Treasurer of the Johnstown Relief Fund, Treasurer 
of the Finance Committee, World's Fair, 1893, trustee of the 
New York Hospital, manager of the New York Infant Asylum, 
and trustee of Williams College. He is a member of the 
Metropolitan and University Clubs, the Holland Society, and 
the New England Society. He received the degree of LL.D. 
from the University of Vermont. Mr. Simmons was a member 
of the Board of Education from 1882 to 1890, and strongly 
advocated the holding of patriotic exercises in the public 
schools. He was especially interested in the Normal College, 
and was largely instrumental in securing the passage of the act 
of 1888 giving the institution collegiate rank and providing for 
it a Board of Trustees distinct from the Board of Education. 
Mr. Simmons's portrait is one of the dozen oil paintings in the 
Board Room. 

XXI 

JOHN L. N. HUNT 
July 2, 1890, to January 11, 1893 

John L. N. Hunt was born at Lancaster Court House, 
Va., September 9, 1838, and removed to Ohio when six years 
of age. He was graduated from the Commercial College 
at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1856; the McNeely Normal School of 
Ohio in 1858; Bethany College, Va., in 1862, and the Law 
School of the University of the City of New York in 1869, 



352 The New York Public School 

receiving the degree of LL.B. He was admitted to the bar in 
1869. He served as tutor and professor in Bethany College, 
1862-1864 ; Vice-President and professor in the McNeely Normal 
School of Ohio, 1864-1866; Superintendent of Packard's Busi- 
ness College, New York City, 1866-1872, and was proprietor of 
the Collegiate Training School, New York City, 1872-1879. 
From 1879 to 1896 he was engaged in the practice of law in 
New York City. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Member 
of Congress from the Fourteenth Congressional District in 1880. 
Mr. Hunt was a member of the Board of Education from 1889 
to 1896. In July, 1896, he was elected an Associate Superinten- 
dent of Schools, and served in that position until the reorganiza- 
tion of the Board of Education in 1902, when he became a 
District Superintendent of Schools. He was re-elected to this 
office in 1902 for a term of six years. 



XXII 



ADOLPH L. SANGER 
January u, 1893, to January 3, 1894 

Adolph L. Sanger was born at Baton Rouge, La., in October, 
1842, and died in New York City, January 3, 1894. He was 
graduated from the College of The City of New York in 1862, 
and completed a course in the Columbia College Law School in 
1864. He was Commissioner of the United States Deposit 
Fund in 1870. In 1885 he was elected President of the Board 
of Aldermen, being the first President chosen by popular vote. 
He was Chairman of the Committee to receive the French 
officers who brought the Bartholdi Statue of Liberty to this 
country in 1885, and a Presidential Elector in 1884. He was 
a member of several social clubs and Hebrew organizations, a 
linguist, and an amateur musician. He was a member of the 
Board of Education from 1889 to 1894. 



Personal and Biographical 353 

XXIII 

CHARLES H. KNOX 
January 10, 1894, to June 24, 1895 

Charles H. Knox was born in New York City in 1852. He 
was graduated from Columbia College in 1872, and, after taking 
the course at the Law School of New York University, at once 
entered on the active practice of his profession. In 1884 he was 
a candidate on the Republican ticket for Judge of the Court of 
Common Pleas, but afterward withdrew from the Republican 
party. He was President of the Municipal Civil Service Com- 
mission during the administration of Mayor Van Wyck (1898- 
1901), and in 1901 he was an unsuccessful candidate on the 
Democratic ticket for Justice of the Supreme Court. He was 
a member of the Board of Education from 1892 to 1895, and 
strongly advocated the establishment of the fund for retired 
teachers. Mr. Knox is a member of the Manhattan and the 
Lawyers' Clubs and of the Downtown Association. For several 
years he has been Chairman of the Law Committee of the local 
Democratic party. 

XXIV 

ROBERT MACLAY 
July I, 1895, to January 13, 1897 

Robert Maclay was born in New York City, June n, 1834, 
and died at Elberon, N. J., July 28, 1898. He was a graduate 
from Judson College, Mount Palatine, 111. He engaged in the 
real estate and banking business in New York, and became 
President of the Knickerbocker Ice Company in 1875. He was 
a director of the Bowery Savings Bank, a trustee of the Northern 
Dispensary and the Madison Avenue Baptist Church, a governor 
of the Manhattan Club, one of the incorporators of the Botanical 
Garden, a member of the New York Historical Society, the 
New York Athletic, Metropolitan, and Grolier Clubs, the Down- 

2 A 



354 The New York Public School 

town Association, the Brown Society of Glasgow, and the 
Advisory Committee of New York University. On April 14, 
1892, he was appointed a member of the Rapid Transit Com- 
mission. He was a member of the Board of Education from 
1891 to 1898. 

XXV 

CHARLES BULKLEY HUBBELL 
January 13, 1897, to January 31, 1898 

Charles Bulkley Hubbell was born in Williamstown, Mass., 
in July, 1853. He was prepared for college in the schools of 
Troy, N. Y., where his father was a physician and surgeon, and 
was graduated from Williams College in 1874. Afterward he 
studied law, and he has had an active practice for many years 
in the State and Federal courts in this city. His first public 
service was as a member of the Board of Aldermen in Troy in 
1876. He was appointed a Commissioner of Common Schools 
in 1889, and served as a member of the Board of Education for 
the succeeding nine years. In 1897 he was elected President of 
the Board of Education, and also served as President in 1898, 
when that Board became the School Board for the Boroughs 
of Manhattan and The Bronx. He was the first President of 
the Board of Education of Greater New York, serving during 
1898. While a member of the Board of Education Mr. Hubbell 
was instrumental in establishing the Anti-Cigarette League, 
which now claims a membership of a million boys. He took a 
deep interest in the establishment of kindergartens and high 
schools, as well as in physical culture and manual training. He 
has been a trustee of Williams College and President of the 
Williams Alumni Association of New York City ; is a member 
of the University, Downtown and Republican Clubs, of the Sons 
of the Revolution, Society of the Colonial Wars, and the New 
York Bar Association, and is Director of the Department of 
Jurisprudence of the American Social Science Association. 



Personal and Biographical 355 

III PRESIDENTS OF THE BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION 

i 

THEODORE F. KING, M.D. 
May 2, 1843, to December 31, 1843 

Dr. Theodore F. King died in Brooklyn, September 2, 1865, 
at the age of sixty-four years. He was graduated from Colum- 
bia College with the degree of B.A. in 1822, and in 1827 from 
the College of Physicians and Surgeons with the degree of 
M.D. After spending three years in post-graduate study in 
Europe and a year in Bellevue Hospital, he began the practice 
of his profession in New Rochelle, N. Y., in 1831. In 1834 
he removed to Brooklyn. He became a member of the 
Medical Society of Kings County in 1835, an d was one of the 
founders and visiting surgeon of the Brooklyn City Hospital. 
Shortly afterward he was appointed Deputy County Superin- 
tendent of Schools ; in that capacity he became an ex officio mem- 
ber of the Board of Education, and on its organization in 1843 
was elected President. Dr. King's title was changed to County 
Superintendent during 1843. His connection with the Board of 
Education terminated at the close of that year, when he ceased 
to be County Superintendent. Subsequently he took up his 
residence in Perth Amboy, N. J., and became Superintendent 
of Public Schools for New Jersey. 

ii 

J. SULLIVAN THORNE, M.D. 

January 2, 1844, to March 4, 1845 
March 10, 1868, to July 12, 1870 

John Sullivan Thorne was born in New York City, April 
19, 1807, and died in Brooklyn, September I, 1880. He was 
graduated from Union College in 1826, and two years later 



356 The New York Public School 

received his diploma as Doctor of Medicine from the College of 
Physicians and Surgeons, New York. He established his office 
at No. 51 Sands street, Brooklyn, and resided there during the 
remainder of his life. He assisted in organizing the first 
dispensary in Brooklyn in 1830. He also helped to organize 
the City Hospital, and was its President in 1844-1845. He was 
connected with the Medical Society of Kings County from 1834; 
in 1844 he was elected Vice-President, in 1846 President, and 
in 1851 Censor. In 1876 he became Counsellor of the Long 
Island College Hospital, and in 1879 a Regent of that institu- 
tion. He became a member of the Board of Education at its 
organization in 1843, and served continuously until 1871, when 
he resigned. His interest in educational affairs was very great. 
He was a trustee of the old Brooklyn Female Academy and 
also of the Packer Collegiate Institute. He was a life member 
of the Long Island Historical Society and a member of the 
Society of Old Brooklynites. 



m 

THEODORE EAMES 
March 4, 1845, to February 3, 1846 

Theodore Eames was born in Haverhill, Mass., and died in 
Brooklyn, February 5, 1847. He was graduated from Yale 
College in 1809. He studied law with the Hon. Leverett 
Saltonstall, of Salem, Mass., and practised his profession in 
Salem. Afterward, for several years, he was principal of the 
Salem Grammar School. About 1829 he came to Brooklyn and 
took charge of a classical school, which he conducted successfully 
for some time, after which he resumed the practice of law and 
held the office of Police Justice. In 1843 he was appointed one 
of the first members of the Board of Education, and held that 
office until 1846. 



Personal and Biographical 357 

IV 

STEPHEN HAYNES 
February 3, 1846, to February 2, 1847 

Stephen Haynes was one of the original members of the 
Board of Education, and served in that capacity from 1843 to 
1856. He was President of the Board for one year, and was 
Vice-President in 1843-1846. Mr. Haynes was a successful 
builder. He served for a time as a member of the Board of 
Supervisors of Kings County. 



CYRUS P. SMITH 
February 2, 1847, to March 10, 1868 

Cyrus P. Smith was born in Hanover, N. H., April 5, 1800, 
and died in Brooklyn, February 22, 1877. He was graduated 
from Dartmouth College in 1 824. Pursuing the study of law in 
the office of Chief Justice Williams, in Hartford, Conn., he was 
admitted to the bar in 1827. Soon afterward he removed to 
Brooklyn, where he took an active part in public affairs for 
nearly half a century. In 1833 he was appointed Clerk of the 
Village Board of Trustees, and when Brooklyn was incorporated 
as a city, in 1834, ne became its first Corporation Counsel. In 
1836 and 1837 he was a member of the County Board of Super- 
visors. He was chosen as the fourth Mayor of Brooklyn (by 
the Common Council) in 1839, was elected by the people in 1840, 
and held the office until 1842. In 1843 ne was appointed by 
the Common Council a member of the Board of Education, and 
in that body he served continuously until 1871, holding the 
office of President for twenty-one years. He served as an 
Alderman in 1848. In 1856 and 1857 he was a member of the 
State Senate. Mr. Smith became actively connected with the 
Union Ferry Company in the '40*3, and was its managing director 



358 The New York Public School 

from 1855 until his death. In 1839 he aided in establishing the 
Brooklyn City Hospital. 

VI 

J. SULLIVAN THORNE, M.D. 

March 10, 1868, to July 12, 1870 

(See J. SULLIVAN THORNE, under n) 

VII 

EPHRAIM J. WHITLOCK 
July 12, 1870, to June 30, 1881 

Ephraim James Whitlock was born in Brooklyn, in 1821, and 
died in that city, June 30, 1881. He was engaged in the 
stationery business in New York for many years, and, having 
acquired a competency, retired from active pursuits. Subse- 
quently he became interested in the Pioneer Tobacco Company 
of New York, a concern which was not successful. He was 
appointed a member of the Board of Education in 1858 and 
served in that capacity for twenty-three years. He was Vice- 
President of the Board in 1869-1870, and held the office of 
President for the succeeding eleven years. A memorial tablet 
containing a medallion likeness of Mr. Whitlock was erected by 
the public school teachers of Brooklyn in the headquarters 
building, in Livingston street, a few years after his death. 

VIII 

DANIEL MAUJER 
July 12, 1 88 1, to December 31, 1881 

Daniel Maujer was born on the island of Guernsey, in the 
British Channel, in 1810, and died in Brooklyn, July n, 1882. 
He came to America in 1828 and obtained work as a painter. 



Personal and Biographical 359 

After living for a time in New York, he removed to Williams- 
burgh in 1838. There he opened a paint store, and carried 
on business for about thirty years, when he retired. He was 
elected to the Board of Aldermen from the Fifteenth Ward 
and served for one term ; he also represented the same Ward in 
the Board of Supervisors. He was a director of the Williams- 
burgh City Bank (afterwards the First National Bank of 
Brooklyn ); a director of the Williamsburgh City Fire Insurance 
Company ; a trustee of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, of the 
Brooklyn Life Insurance Company, and of the Plate Glass 
Insurance Company of New York; Chairman of the Grand 
Street Railroad Company, and a trustee of the Eastern District 
Dispensary and Hospital. He was at one time connected with 
the Exchange Fire Insurance Company, and was interested in 
the Eastern District Library. He was a member of the Board 
of Education from 1864 to 1881. 

IX 

TUNIS G. BERGEN 
January 10, 1882, to July 6, 1886 

Tunis G. Bergen was born at the old Bergen Homestead in 
Brooklyn, May 17, 1847. He studied at the Polytechnic Institute 
and was graduated from Rutgers College in 1867. He then 
entered the University of Heidelberg, and was made Doctor of 
Public and International Law by that University in 1871. 
Afterward he studied at the University of Paris, attended lectures 
at the Sorbonne and the University of Oxford, and later took his 
degree as Bachelor of Law at Columbia University. He has 
practised his profession in this city ever since. He never 
accepted a nomination for public office except once, when he was 
an unsuccessful candidate for the Assembly. For four years he 
held the office of State Commissioner of Charities. He is a 
trustee of sundry educational institutions and is connected with 
various railroads, corporations, etc. Mr. Bergen was a member 



360 The New York Public School 

of the Board of Education for eighteen years, from 1875 to 1893. 
He was deeply interested in the establishment of the Training 
School for Teachers and the Girls' High School. Until the 
retirement of Mr. Bergen from the Board of Education, the 
family of which he was a member was represented in the Board 
from its organization, and for a number of years three Bergens 
served on the Board simultaneously. While at Heidelberg Mr. 
Bergen was attached to the staff of Crown Prince Frederick 
during the Franco-Prussian War, as a neutral American. 



ROBERT PAYNE 
July 6, 1886, to July 12, 1887 

Robert Payne was born at Fort Miller, Washington County, 
N. Y., July 10, 1845. He entered Union College in 1861, but 
at the end of his sophomore year enlisted in the Fifteenth New 
York Cavalry and served in the army until the close of the war. 
Then he returned to college and was graduated in 1867. He 
began the study of law in Schenectady, but became interested 
in newspaper work and served as editor of the Daily Union in 
that city for several years. He then came to New York and 
re-entered the legal profession, later establishing his office in 
Brooklyn. He was appointed a member of the Board of Educa- 
tion in 1 88 1 and served for two terms of three years each. He 
was Vice-President of the Board in 1884-1886, and in the latter 
year was elected President 

XI 

JOSEPH C. HENDRIX 
July 12, 1887, to March 8, 1893 

Joseph C. Hendrix was born at Fayette, Howard County, 
Mo., May 25, 1853, and died in Brooklyn, November 9, 1904. 




THE COLLEGE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK 




THE NORMAL COLLEGE 



Personal and Biographical 361 

He was graduated from Central College, in Fayette, and after- 
ward took a course at Cornell University, graduating in 1873. 
He came to New York and became a member of the staff of the 
New York Sun, and a few years later took an active interest in 
political affairs in Brooklyn. In 1881 he was appointed a mem- 
ber of the Board of Education. In 1883 he was an unsuccess- 
ful candidate for the office of Mayor. Shortly afterward he was 
appointed a Trustee of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, and 
in 1885 became Secretary of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Hen- 
drix was Postmaster of Brooklyn from 1886 to 1890. In 1889 
he organized the Kings County Trust Company and became its 
President, holding that office until he accepted the Presidency 
of the National Union Bank in New York, which was later 
merged with the Bank of Commerce. In 1892 he was elected a 
member of Congress. He declined a renomination in order to 
devote himself exclusively to financial matters. In 1895 he was 
elected a member of the Executive Council of the American 
Bankers' Association, and afterward served as President of the 
Association. 

xn 

JAMES B. BOUCK 
July 11, 1893, to July 3, 1894 

James Barnes Bouck was born in New York City, February 
1 6, 1840. He was educated at the Utica French Academy, 
1850-1852; at the Poughkeepsie Collegiate School, 1852-1855 ; 
at the Pensionnat Haccius in Geneva, Switzerland, 1855-1857, 
and in the fall of 1857 entered the junior class at Union 
College, from which he was graduated in 1859. After gradua- 
tion he was employed in the Merchants' Exchange Bank, New 
York, and later in a grain commission house in South street. 
In 1864 he formed the cotton and tobacco commission house of 
Rawson, Bridgland & Co., which went out of existence in 1867, 



362 The New York Public School 

since which time Mr. Bouck has been engaged in the brokerage 
and export business, being a member of the New York Produce 
Exchange. He was appointed a member of the Board of Educa- 
tion in 1887, and served continuously until 1898, when he 
resigned to accept the position of Deputy Receiver of Taxes for 
the Borough of Brooklyn, which he held until 1902. In 1904 
he was appointed a Commissioner of Taxes and Assessments. 

XIII 

J. EDWARD SWANSTROM 
July 3, 1894, to January 31, 1898 

J. Edward Swanstrom was born in Brooklyn, July 26, 1853, 
being the son of a well-known clergyman, a native of Sweden, 
who came to Brooklyn in 1840. He was graduated from 
New York University in 1878, studied law, and was admitted to 
the bar. He has since been engaged in active practice. He 
became a member of the Board of Education in 1888 and was 
officially connected with the public school system until July, 
1900. He was elected President of the Board of Education on 
July 3, 1894, and held that office until one year after the Board 
of Education became the School Board for the Borough of 
Brooklyn. As President of the School Board, he was ex officio 
a member of the Board of Education of Greater New York, and 
was elected its Vice-President. On January n, 1899, ne was 
elected to fill the vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of 
President Hubbell, and held the office of President until February 
2Oth following. In 1901 Mr. Swanstrom was elected President 
of the Borough of Brooklyn for a term of two years. His 
administration of that office was eminently successful. 



Personal and Biographical 363 

IV PRESIDENTS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF GREATER 
NEW YORK, 1898 TO 1904 

i 

CHARLES BULKLEY HUBBELL 
February 21 to December 31, 1898 

(See CHARLES BULKLEY HUBBELL, under xxv, Presidents of 
the New York Board of Education) 

ii 

J. EDWARD SWANSTROM 
January 11 to February 20, 1899 

(See J. EDWARD SWANSTROM, under xm, Presidents of the 
Brooklyn Board of Education) 

in 

JOSEPH J. LITTLE 
February 20, 1899, to May 17, 1900 

Joseph). Little was born in England, June 5, 1841, and came 
to this country with his family in 1847. He was educated in 
public schools and learned the printer's trade in a country 
printing-office. He came to New York in 1859 and found work 
as a printer. During the Civil War he enlisted, and rose to the 
rank of First Lieutenant. In 1867 he founded the printing and 
bookbinding establishment now known as J. J. Little & Co. 
In 1890 he was elected a member of Congress and served for 
one term. He has been Commander of Lafayette Post No. 140, 
G.A.R., President of the American Institute, President of the 
General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of 
New York, and Master of Kane Lodge, 454, F. & A.M. He is a 



364 The New York Public School 

director of the Astor place branch of the Corn Exchange Bank, 
a trustee of the Excelsior Savings Bank, a trustee of the New 
York Infant Asylum, representative in this city of the Grand 
Lodge of Masons in England, treasurer of the Pierson Publish- 
ing Company, etc. Mr. Little became a member of the Board 
of Education in 1891, and after a few months was made Chair- 
man of the Committee on Buildings. In that capacity he began 
an investigation of the Building Bureau, which resulted in the 
resignation of the then Superintendent of Buildings and the 
reorganization of the Bureau. Mr. Little resigned in 1891 to 
take his seat in Congress. In 1895 he was reappointed and re- 
mained a member of the Board until his resignation on May 17, 
1900. In 1895 and 1896 he was Chairman of the Committee 
on Buildings and in 1897 and 1898 Chairman of the Finance 
Committee. In 1899 he was elected President of the Manhat- 
tan-Bronx School Board, and thus became a member of the 
Board of Education, which elected him as its President. In 
1900 he was re-elected to both these offices. 

IV 

MILES M. O'BRIEN 
May 23, 1900, to February 3, 1902 

Miles M. O'Brien was born at Newcastle West, County 
Limerick, Ireland, in 1845. He came to New York City in 1864, 
and afterward went to Baltimore, where he secured a position in 
a dry-goods store owned by his uncle. In 1865 he returned to 
New York City and entered the service of H. B. Claflin & 
Co., where he remained for many years, at length becoming 
a partner. He resigned to become President of the Broadway 
National Bank, which position he held until the bank was con- 
solidated into the Mercantile National Bank, in which he now 
holds the position of Vice-President. Mr. O'Brien was a member 
of the Board of Education in 1886-1895 and of the Manhattan- 



Personal and Biographical 365 

Bronx School Board 1899-1902. He took a prominent part in 
establishing the system of free lectures, and was closely identified 
with the movements for the establishment of the High School of 
Commerce and for the extension of the vacation schools, etc. 
He has acted as receiver of the Madison Square Bank, the 
Umbrella Trust, and Downs & Finch. He is a member of the 
Lotos, Suburban, Democratic, Wool, and Catholic Clubs, and of 
the West End Association. 



CHARLES C. BURLINGHAM 
February 3, 1902, to February 2, 1903 

Charles C. Burlingham was born at Plainfield, N. J., August 
31, 1858. He was the son of the Rev. A. H. Burlingham, D.D., 
a Baptist minister. He was graduated from Harvard University 
in 1879, with the degree of A.B., and studied law at the Uni- 
versity Law School, receiving the degree of LL.B. in 1881. 
He entered on the practice of his profession immediately, mak- 
ing a specialty of admiralty law. For many years he has been 
a member of the firm of Wing, Putnam & Burlingham. In 
1897 he was appointed a member of the Board of Education, 
having previously served as a School Trustee and School 
Inspector, and was reappointed in 1900, the Board of Education 
having in the mean time become the School Board for the 
Boroughs of Manhattan and The Bronx. He resigned from 
the School Board in 1901. In 1902, however, upon the 
reorganization of the Board of Education, he accepted an 
appointment to that Board, and was unanimously chosen to 
the office of President. At the expiration of the year for which 
he was elected, he resigned from the Board. During his con- 
nection with the Board Mr. Burlingham was especially interested 
in vacation school work, etc., and aided actively in securing the 
amendment to the Charter permitting the use of school buildings 
" for recreation and other public uses." 



366 The New York Public School 

VI 

HENRY A. ROGERS 
February 2, 1903, to June 25, 1904 

Henry Allen Rogers was born in New York City, on 
August 12, 1842, and died June 25, 1904. He was educated 
in the public schools and the Free Academy (now the College 
of The City of New York). He was engaged for many years 
in the business of furnishing railway supplies, etc., in this city. 
In May, 1883, he was appointed a School Trustee for the 
Twenty-second Ward, and served in that capacity until Novem- 
ber 8, 1893, when he was appointed a Commissioner of Common 
Schools. He acted continuously as a member of the Board of 
Education and of the School Board for the Boroughs of Man- 
hattan and The Bronx until February, 1902, when he became a 
member of the Board of Education of Greater New York. Dur- 
ing 1898 he was a delegate from the School Board for the 
Boroughs of Manhattan and The Bronx to the Board of Edu- 
cation (Central Board). On February 2, 1903, he was elected 
President of the Board of Education, and was re-elected on 
February i, 1904. 

VII 

HENRY N. TIFFT 
November 23, 1904, 

Henry N. Tifft was born at Geneva, N. Y., in 1854, his 
parents being residents of New York City. After graduating 
from Public School 14, in East Twenty-seventh street, in 1868, 
he entered the College of The City of New York, from which 
he was graduated in 1873. He was graduated from the Law 
School of Columbia University in 1876. While attending the 
Law School he was a teacher in Public School 26, in West 
Thirtieth street, for four years ; he also taught for a time in the 



Personal and Biographical 367 

evening schools. After being admitted to the bar in 1877, he 
entered the law office of Elihu Root and Willard Bartlett (now 
a Justice of the Supreme Court), and has been engaged in the 
practice of his profession ever since. From 1883 to 1886 he 
was Assistant United States District Attorney for this Dis- 
trict. In 1897 he was appointed a School Inspector in the 
Twenty-first District, and he was reappointed in 1899. In 1902 
he was appointed a member of the Local School Board of Dis- 
trict No. 14, and served as its Chairman until his appointment 
to the Board of Education in May, 1903. He became a director 
of the New York Juvenile Asylum in 1891, and has served as 
Secretary of the Board of Directors since 1893. Mr. Tifft is a 
member of the University Club, the Metropolitan Museum of 
Art, the Municipal Art Society, the Association for the Protec- 
tion of the Adirondacks, and the Downtown Association, and 
an officer in several charitable and social organizations. 



APPENDIX I 

CONTRACT WITH A DUTCH SCHOOLMASTER, FLATBUSH, 1682 
(STRONG'S HISTORY OF FLATBUSH, pp. 111-114) 

SCHOOL SERVICE. I. The school shall begin at eight o'clock, and go 
out at eleven ; and in the afternoon shall begin at one o'clock and end at four. 
The bell shall be rung when the school commences. 

II. When the school begins, one of the children shall read the morning 
prayer, as it stands in the catechism, and close with the prayer before dinner ; 
in the afternoon it shall begin with the prayer after dinner, and end with the 
evening prayer. The evening school shall begin with the Lord's prayer, and 
close by singing a psalm. 

III. He shall instruct the children on every Wednesday and Saturday, in 
the common prayers, and the questions and answers in the catechism, to 
enable them to repeat them the better on Sunday before the afternoon service, 
or on Monday, when they shall be catechised before the congregation. Upon 
all such occasions, the schoolmaster shall be present, and shall require the 
children to be friendly in their appearance and encourage them to answer 
freely and distinctly. 

IV. He shall be required to keep his school nine months in succession, 
from September to June, in each year, in case it should be concluded upon to 
retain his services for a year or more, or without limitation ; and he shall then 
be required to be regulated by these articles, and to perform the same duties 
which his predecessor, Jan Thibaud, above named, was required to perform. 
In every particular therefore, he shall be required to keep school, according to 
this seven months agreement, and shall always be present himself. 

CHURCH SERVICE. I. He shall keep the church clean, and ring the bell 
three times before the people assemble to attend the preaching and catechism. 
Also before the sermon is commenced, he shall read a chapter out of the Holy 
Scriptures, and that, between the second and third ringing of the bell. After 
the third ringing he shall read the ten commandments, and the twelve articles 
of our faith, and then take the lead in singing. In the afternoon after the 
third ringing of the bell, he shall read a short chapter, or one of the Psalms 
of David, as the congregation are assembling ; and before divine service com- 
mences, shall introduce it, by the singing of a Psalm or Hymn. 

II. When the minister shall preach at Brooklyn, or New-Utrecht, he shall 
be required to read twice before the congregation, from the book commonly 
used for that purpose. In the afternoon he shall also read a sermon on the 
2B 369 



370 The New York Public School 

explanation of the catechism, according to the usage and practice approved of 
by the minister. The children as usual, shall recite their questions and an- 
swers out of the catechism, on Sunday, and he shall instruct them therein. 
He, as chorister, shall not be required to perform these duties, whenever 
divine service shall be performed in Flatlands, as it would be unsuitable, and 
prevent many from attending there. 

III. For the administration of Holy Baptism, he shall provide a basin with 
water, for which he shall be entitled to receive from the parents, or witnesses, 
twelve styvers. 1 He shall, at the expense of the church, provide bread and 
wine, for the celebration of the Holy Supper ; He shall be in duty bound 
promptly to furnish the minister with the name of the child to be baptized, 
and with the names of the parents and witnesses. And he shall also serve as 
messenger for the consistory. 

IV. He shall give the funeral invitations, dig the grave, and toll the bell, 
for which service he shall receive for a person of fifteen years and upwards, 
twelve guilders, and for one under that age, eight guilders. If he should be 
required to give invitations beyond the limits of the town, he shall be entitled 
to three additional guilders, for the invitation of every other town, and if he 
should be required to cross the river, and go to New York, he shall receive 
four guilders. 

SCHOOL MONEY. He shall receive from those who attend the day school, 
for a speller or reader, three guilders a quarter, and for a writer four guilders. 
From those who attend evening school, for a speller or reader, four guilders, 
and for a writer, six guilders shall be given. 

SALARY. In addition to the above, his salary shall consist of four hun- 
dred guilders, in grain, valued in Seewant, to be delivered at Brooklyn Ferry, 
and for his services from October to May, as above stated, a sum of two hun- 
dred and thirty-four guilders, in the same kind, with the dwelling-house, barn, 
pasture lot and meadows, to the school appertaining. The same to take effect 
from the first day of October, instant. 

Done and agreed upon in Consistory, under the inspection of the Honor- 
able Constable and Overseers, the 8th, of October, 1682. 

Constable and Overseers The Consistory 

CORNELIUS BARRIAN, CASPARUS VAN ZUREN, Minister, 

RYNIER AERTSEN, ADRIAEN REVERSE, 

JAN REMSEN, CORNELIS BARENT VANDWYCK. 

I agree to the above articles, and promise to perform them according to the 
best of my ability. 

JOHANNES VAN ECKKELEN. 

1 A styver was equal to about two cents. 



APPENDIX II 

COURSE OF STUDY FOR THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS OF THE 
CITY OF NEW YORK 

GRADE 1 A 
ENGLISH 

Composition. Conversation and oral reproduction. 
Penmanship. Free-arm movements ; copying. 

Reading. Short sentences and paragraphs. Reading to the pupils. Eth- 
ical lessons. Sounds of letters. Use of library books. 
Memorizing. Prose and Poetry. 

NATURE STUDY 

Animals. Common animals. 

Plants. Flowering plants ; fruits and vegetables. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Physical Training. Gymnastic exercises and games. 
Hygiene. Simple talks on cleanliness and on correct habits. Effects of 
alcohol and narcotics. 

MATHEMATICS 

Oral. Reading to one hundred. Counting. Addition tables, I's, 2's. 
Measurements and comparisons. Problems. 
Written. Integers of one order. 

DRAWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 

Freehand representation of objects; simple illustrative drawings. Con- 
structive work with applications of decorative design. Color. Study of 
pictures. 

SEWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 

Cord Work : simple knotting ; applications. 

37* 



372 Tfu New York Public School 

GRADE 1 B 

ENGLISH 

Composition. Conversation and oral reproduction. 

Penmanship. Free-arm movements ; copying ; practice by pupils in writ- 
ing their own names. 

Reading. Phonic exercises ; sentences and paragraphs read from the 
blackboard and readers. Reading to the pupils. Ethical lessons. Use of 
library books. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry. 

NATURE STUDY 

Animals. Common animals. 

Plants. Flowering plants ; fruits and vegetables. 

Natural Phenomena. The weather. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic habits. 

MATHEMATICS 

Oral. Reading to one hundred. Counting. Addition tables, 3% 4 1 s. 
Subtraction within the tables. Increasing and decreasing integers of two 
orders by i, by 2, by 3, by 4. Measurements and comparisons. Problems. 

Written. Integers of two orders. Addition and subtraction. 

DRAWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 

Freehand representation of objects; simple illustrative drawings. Con- 
structive work with applications of decorative design. Color. Study of 
pictures. 

SEWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 

Cord Work : double knotting and looping ; applications. 

MUSIC 

Rote songs ; exercises in tone relationship by oral and visible methods of 
dictation ; tone relations and accent developed from songs ; recognition of tone 
relations by the ear ; development of rhythmic sense through the medium of 
song. 



Appendix II 373 



GRADE 2 A 
ENGLISH 

Composition. Conversation and oral reproduction; sentences written 
from copy. 

Penmanship. Free-arm movements ; writing from copy. 

Reading. Phonic exercises. Reading from the blackboard and readers. 
Reading to the pupils. Ethical lessons. Use of library books. 

Spelling. Familiar words. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry. 

NATURE STUDY 

Animals. Common animals ; including insects. 

Plants. Flowering plants ; fruits and vegetables ; common trees. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Physical Training. Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic 
habits. 

Hygiene. Dietetics. Care of teeth. Effects of alcohol and narcotics. 

MATHEMATICS 

Oral. Reading to one thousand. Roman numerals to XII. Counting. 
Addition tables to g*s. Subtraction within the tables. Increasing and de- 
creasing integers of two orders by integers of one order. Measurements and 
comparisons. Fractions. Problems. 

Written. Integers of three orders. Addition and subtraction. Problems. 

DRAWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 

Freehand representation of objects; simple illustrative drawings. Con- 
structive work with application of decorative design. Color. Study of 
pictures. 

SEWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 

Cord, Raffia, and Sewing; buttonhole looping; fancy knotting; coarse 
stitches on canvas ; applications. 

MUSIC 

Rote songs ; tone relations and accent development from songs as in I A 
and i B ; exercises in tone relationship by oral and visible methods of dic- 
tation, and recognition of tone relations by the ear; rudiments of staff nota- 
tion ; recognition of two-part and three-part measure, applying measure words, 
" loud, soft, loud, soft," with the use of quarter-note, half-note and correspond- 
ing rests ; simple exercises in two voice-parts. 



374 The New York Public School 

GRADE 2 B 

ENGLISH 

Composition. Conversation and oral reproduction ; sentences from copy 
and dictation. 

Penmanship. Movement exercises ; writing from copy. 

Reading. Phonic exercises. Reading from readers and other books. 
Reading to the pupils. Ethical lessons. Use of library books. 

Spelling. Words from the lessons of the grade. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry. 

NATURE STUDY 

Animals. Common animals, including insects. 
Plants. Flowering plants ; fruits and vegetables ; common trees. 
Natural Phenomena. Water and its forms ; states of the air ; the rain- 
bow ; the sun, stars, and moon ; winds, clouds, and storms. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic habits. 

MATHEMATICS 

Oral. Reading to one thousand. Roman numerals to XX. Counting. 
Addition and subtraction. Multiplication tables to 5x9; division within the 
tables. Measurements and comparisons. Fractions. Problems. 

Written. Integers of three orders. Addition and subtraction. Multi- 
plication and division by 2, by 3, by 4, by 5 ; no remainders in division. 
Problems. 

DRAWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 

Freehand representation of objects ; simple illustrative drawings. Con- 
structive work with application of decorative design. Color. Study of 
pictures. 

SEWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 

Cord, Raffia, and Sewing; advanced knotting and tying; elementary 
stitches on canvas; applications. 

MUSIC 

Rote songs ; exercises in tone relationship as in previous grades ; rudi- 
ments of staff notation ; recognition of four-part measure, applying measure 
words ; exercises in two voice-parts, with independent melodic and rhythmic 
progressions ; singing of simple melodies at sight. 



Appendix II 375 

GRADE 3 A 

ENGLISH 

Composition. Oral reproduction. Sentences and paragraphs constructed ; 
paragraphs and stanzas from copy and dictation. 

Penmanship. Movement exercises ; writing from copy. 

Reading. Phonic exercises. Reading from readers and other books. 
Reading to the pupils. Ethical lessons. Use of library books. 

Spelling. Words from lessons of the grade; abbreviations. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry. 

NATURE STUDY 

Animals. Various types of animals, including cold-blooded animals, 
birds, and insects. 

Plants. Flowers, fruits, vegetables, and trees. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Physical Training. Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic 
habits. 

Hygiene. Clothing; play; posture. Effects of alcohol and narcotics. 

MATHEMATICS 

Oral. Reading to ten thousand; Roman numerals to C; ordinals. 
Counting. Addition and subtraction. Multiplication tables to 9x9; divi- 
sion within the tables. One-half to four-fifths of numbers within the tables. 
Measurements and comparisons. Problems. 

Written. Integers of four orders; dollars and cents. Addition and 
subtraction. Multiplication and division by integers of one order. Problems. 

DRAWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 

Freehand representation of objects ; exercises illustrative of other branches 
of study. Simple constructive work from drawings ; decorative design and 
its application. Color. Study of pictures. 

SEWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 

Cord, Raffia, and Sewing ; simple braiding ; sewing of seams ; applications. 

MUSIC 

Rote songs appropriate to the grade ; more advanced exercises in voice 
training ; tone relationship ; study of the keys of E flat, D, and C, with their 
signatures, introducing pitch names ; sight-singing from the book, avoiding 
the use of singing names as far as possible ; singing in two voice-parts with 
equal range ; rounds and canons ; writing of symbols used in notation. 



376 The New York Public School 

GRADE 3 B 

ENGLISH 

Composition. Oral reproduction. Sentences and paragraphs constructed ; 
-paragraphs and stanzas from memory or dictation. 

Penmanship. Movement exercises ; writing from copy. 
Reading. Phonic exercises. Reading from readers and other books. 
Reading to the pupils. Ethical lessons. Use of library books. 
Spelling. Words from lessons of the grade ; abbreviations. 
Memorizing. Prose and poetry. 

NATURE STUDY 

Animals. Various types of animals, including cold-blooded animals, 
birds, and insects. 

Plants. Flowers, fruits, vegetables, and trees. 

Earth Study. Land and water forms in the vicinity. Soil ; metals and 
minerals. Direction and distance; points of the compass. 

Natural Phenomena. The sun ; effects of heat and cold on water, on the 
soil, on plant and animal life ; changes of season. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic habits. 

MATHEMATICS 

Oral. Reading to ten thousand; Roman numerals to M. Counting. 
The four operations. Multiplication tables. One-half to five-sixths of 
numbers within the tables. Changing fractions to equivalents. Measure- 
ments and comparisons. Problems. 

Written. Integers of four orders. The four operations. One-half to 
five-sixths of integers. Changing fractions to equivalents. Addition and 
subtraction of fractions. Problems. 

DRAWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 

Freehand representation of objects ; exercises illustrative of other branches 
of study. Simple constructive work from drawings; decorative design and 
its application. Color. Study of pictures. 

SEWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 

Weaving and Sewing ; instruction on fibres and textiles ; applications. 



Appendix II 377 

MUSIC 

Rote songs appropriate to the grade ; sight singing applied to easy songs 
in place of exercises ; study of the keys of F, G, and B flat, with their sig- 
natures ; six-part measure in slow tempo ; study of the divided beat ; intro- 
duction of sharp-four ; writing from dictation melodic scale progressions in 
short phrases. 

GRADE 4 A 

ENGLISH 

Composition. Oral and written reproduction. Model compositions 
studied and imitated; paragraphs and stanzas from memory or dictation. 
Study of simple declarative sentences; construction of typical sentences. 
Rules for the use of capital letters and marks of punctuation. 

Penmanship. Movement exercises ; writing from copy. 

Reading. From readers and other books ; the meaning of words. Read- 
ing to the pupils. Ethical lessons. Use of library books. 

Spelling. Words from lessons of the grade. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry. 

GEOGRAPHY 

Home Geography. Topography of the City of New York and vicinity ; 
the people and their occupations. 

Local History. Stories connected with the early history of New York. 
The Earth. Form, motions, and grand divisions of the earth. 

NATURE STUDY 

Animals. Various types of animals, including cold-blooded animals, 
birds, and insects. Animal products ; uses of animals. 
Earth Study. Elementary study of metals and minerals. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Physical Training. Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic 
habits. 

Hygiene. Need of pure air; ventilation; rest and sleep. General 
structure of the body; care of eyes, ears, nails, and hair. Effects of 
alcohol and narcotics. 

MATHEMATICS 

Oral. Reading numbers to one hundred thousand. Counting. The 
four operations. Multiplication tables to 12 x 12. One-half to seven-eighths 
of numbers within the tables. Changing fractions to equivalents; addition 
and subtraction. Measurements and comparisons. Problems. 



378 The New York Public School 

Written. Integers of five orders ; the four operations. One-half to seven- 
eighths of integers. Addition and subtraction of fractions. Problems. 

DRAWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 1 

Freehand representation of objects ; exercises illustrative of other branches 
of study. Constructive work from drawings ; decorative design and its appli- 
cation. Color. Study of pictures and other works of art. 

SEWING ! 
Advanced stitches applied to small garments ; mending. 

MUSIC 

Thorough review of the preceding work ; study of the keys of A, A flat, 
and E, with their signatures; introduction of flat seven; song singing at 
sight from books. 

GRADE 4 B 

ENGLISH 

Composition. Oral and written reproduction. Model compositions stud- 
ied and imitated ; similar compositions from outlines ; paragraphs and stanzas 
from memory or dictation. Study of simple declarative sentences. Rules for 
the use of capitals and marks of punctuation. 

Penmanship. Movement exercises ; writing from copy. 

Reading. From readers and other books ; the meaning of words. Read- 
ing to the pupils. Ethical lessons. Use of library books. 

Spelling. Words from lessons of the grade. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry. 

GEOGRAPHY 

Western Hemisphere. North America and South America. Location; 
bordering oceans ; physical and life features ; chief countries ; peoples, indus- 
tries, and products. Atlantic coast states. Historical stories. 

NATURE STUDY 

Plants. Flowerless plants ; cultivation of plants ; elementary classification. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic habits. 

1 While girls are engaged in Sewing, boys will receive instruction in Constructive 
Work. 



Appendix II 379 



MATHEMATICS 

Oral and Written. Notation and numeration, including decimals of 
three orders. Counting. The four operations ; multiplication tables. Tables 
of weights and measures. Reduction of fractions, of mixed numbers, and of 
integral denominate numbers ; addition and subtraction. Measurements and 
comparisons. Problems. 

DRAWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 1 

Freehand representation of objects ; exercises illustrative of other branches 
of study. Constructive work from drawings ; decorative design and its appli- 
cation. Color. Study of pictures and other works of art. 

SEWING 1 

Decorative stitches applied to small garments ; repairing garments. 

MUSIC 

Development of chromatic tones as they occur in songs and melodic 
exercises ; continuation of the study of the nine ordinary keys with their 
signatures; the dotted quarter-note in two-part, three-part, and four-part 
measure; explanation of the meaning and use of all signs of expression 
and of phrasing as they occur ; writing easy melodic phrases from hearing. 

GRADE 5 A 
ENGLISH 

Composition. Oral and written reproduction ; simple exercises in inven- 
tion. Model compositions studied and imitated ; topical outlines ; paragraphs 
and stanzas from memory or dictation. Study of simple declarative sentences. 

Penmanship. Movement exercises ; writing from copy. 

Reading. From readers and other books ; the meaning of new words. 
Ethical lessons. Use of library books. 

Spelling. Words from lessons of the grade ; rules for spelling. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry. 

GEOGRAPHY 

Eastern Hemisphere. Europe, Asia, and Africa. Location; bordering 
waters ; physical and life features ; chief countries ; peoples, industries, and 
products. 

1 While girls are engaged in Sewing, boys will receive instruction in Constructive 
Work. 



380 The New York Public School 

HISTORY 

Historical and biographical narratives. Ethical lessons. 

NATURE STUDY 

Animals. Adaptation of animals to environment; elementary classifi- 
cation. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Physical Training. Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic 
habits. 

Hygiene. Avoidance of dangers ; first treatment of cuts, contusions, 
bruises, burns, scalds, and fainting. Effects of alcohol and narcotics. 

MATHEMATICS 

Oral and Written. The four operations in common fractions. Addition 
and subtraction of decimals ; multiplication and division of decimals by 
integers. Reductions. Cancellation. Tables of weights and measures; 
denominate numbers. Measurements and comparisons. Problems. 

DRAWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 1 

Freehand representation of objects ; simple composition. Constructive 
work from drawings ; decorative design and its application. Color. Study 
of pictures and other works of art. 

SEWING * 

Applied design ; repairing garments. 

MUSIC 

Development of rhythm, including syncopations and subdivisions of the 
metrical unit into three parts (triplets) and four parts in various forms; 
writing of scales with their signatures, employing different rhythms; song 
interpretation. 

GRADE 5 B 

ENGLISH 

Composition. Oral and written reproduction; exercises in invention. 
Model compositions studied and imitated ; topical outlines ; paragraphs and 

1 While girls are engaged in Sewing, boys will receive instruction in Constructive 
Work. 



Appendix II 381 

stanzas from memory or dictation. Study of simple sentences with compound 
parts ; chief words distinguished. 

Penmanship. Movement exercises ; writing from copy. 

Reading. From readers and other books; the meaning of new words. 
Ethical lessons. Use of library books. 

Spelling. Words from lessons of the grade ; stems, prefixes, and suffixes. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry. 

GEOGRAPHY 

United States and other countries of North America ; the United States 
in sections ; Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies. Loca- 
tion, surface, climate ; resources ; industries and occupations ; products ; com- 
merce ; chief cities ; status of the peoples. New York and the City of New 
York. 

HISTORY 

American History. Historical and biographical narratives. Stories of 
New York under the Dutch and the English ; historic places, buildings, and 
monuments in and about the City of New York. Ethical lessons. 

NATURE STUDY 

Plants. Woody plants ; industries dependent on forests ; plants without 
wood ; useful plant products ; protection of trees in cities. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic habits. 

MATHEMATICS 

Oral and Written. Common and decimal fractions and denominate num- 
bers ; reductions ; the four operations. The per cent, equivalents of common 
and decimal fractions. Percentage. Measurements and comparisons. Problems. 

DRAWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 1 

Freehand representation of objects; simple composition. Constructive 
work from drawings ; decorative design and its application. Color. Study 
of pictures and other works of art. 

SEWING * 
Drafting and Sewing ; cutting and making small garments. 

1 While girls are engaged in Sewing, boys will receive instruction in Constructive 

Work. 



382 The New York Public School 



MUSIC 

Development of the minor scale ; songs for two voice-parts ; writing of 
easy melodies with words from hearing. 

GRADE 6 A 

ENGLISH 

Composition. Oral and written reproduction; reports, descriptions, and 
invention. Model compositions studied and imitated; topical outlines; 
paragraphing. 

Grammar. Technical grammar with text-book. Sentences classified; 
definitions of the parts of speech. 

Penmanship. Exercises to secure speed and legibility; business forms 
from copy. 

Reading. From readers and other books. Ethical lessons. Use of 
library books. 

Spelling. Selected words ; stems, prefixes, and suffixes ; use of dictionary. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry. 

GEOGRAPHY 

South America and Europe. Physical features. Leading countries; 
location, surface, climate ; resources ; industries and occupations ; products ; 
commerce; chief cities; status of the peoples. 

HISTORY AND CIVICS 

American History. From 1492 to 1789. Discoveries, settlements, and 
colonies ; introduction of slavery ; the French and Indian War and its results ; 
the Revolutionary War; its causes, chief events, and results ; ordinance of 
1787; the adoption of the Constitution. Ethical lessons. 

Local History. New York in the struggle for independence; English 
occupation and evacuation. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Physical Training. Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic 
habits. 

Hygiene. Board of Health ; protection against common and contagious 
diseases. Effects of alcohol and narcotics. 

MATHEMATICS 

Oral and Written. Percentage and its applications. Simple interest. 
Measurements. Problems. 



Appendix II 383 

DRAWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 1 

Freehand representation of objects; memory or imaginative drawings; 
simple composition. Principles of construction drawing ; constructive work 
from patterns or working drawings; decorative design and its application. 
Color. Study of pictures and other works of art. 

SEWING l 

Drafting and Sewing ; estimating quantity of material ; drafting to scale ; 
applied design. 

MUSIC 

Sight singing in unison and in two voice-parts, also in three parts where 
possible, with voices classified if changing ; chromatic tones approached by 
skips ; writing of melodies with words from hearing, introducing chromatic 
tones by step wise progressions. 

GRADE 6 B 
ENGLISH 

Composition. Oral and written reproduction of lessons of the grade; 
reports, descriptions, and invention. Model compositions studied and imi- 
tated ; topical outlines ; paragraphing. 

Grammar. Subdivision, inflection, and syntax of the parts of speech ; 
phrases classified ; analysis and synthesis. 

Penmanship. Exercises to secure speed and legibility. 

Reading. From readers and other books; appreciative reading of selec- 
tions from literature. Ethical lessons. Use of library books. 

Spelling. Selected words ; stems, prefixes, and suffixes ; use of dictionary. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry. 

GEOGRAPHY 

Asia, Africa, and Oceanica. Physical features. Leading countries: loca- 
tion, surface, climate ; resources, industries, and occupations ; products ; com- 
merce ; chief cities ; status of the peoples. 

HISTORY AND CIVICS 

American History. From 1789 to the present time. The administra- 
tions ; contest over slavery ; causes, chief events, and results of the War of 

1 While girls are engaged in Sewing, boys will receive instruction in Constructive 
Work. 



384 The New York Public School 

1812, the Mexican, the Civil, and the Spanish wars; territorial expansion; 
great inventions and discoveries, and their results. Ethical lessons. 
Local History. Growth and development of the City of New York. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic habits. 

MATHEMATICS 

Oral and Written. Simple interest. Ratio and simple proportion. 
Measurements. Problems. 

DRAWING AND CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 1 

Freehand representation of objects ; principles of perspective ; memory or 
imaginative drawings ; simple composition. Principles of construction draw- 
ing ; constructive work from patterns or working drawings ; decorative design 
and its application. Color. Study of pictures and other works of art. 

SEWING 1 

Drafting and Sewing ; study of color harmony in connection with textiles ; 
drafting to scale ; garment making ; applied design. 

MUSIC 

Study of diatonic intervals as such ; the construction of the major scale ; 
general review of all preceding work. 

GRADE 7 A 

ENGLISH 

Composition. Study of specimens of narration, description, exposition, 
and familiar letters, selected from literature ; similar compositions from topical 
outlines ; reports on home reading ; paragraphing. Attention to clearness 
and accuracy. 

Grammar. Subdivision, inflection, and syntax of the parts of speech ; 
phrases and clauses classified ; analysis and synthesis. 

Reading. Appreciative reading of at least one masterpiece of prose and 
one of poetry. Ethical lessons. Use of library books. 

Spelling. Selected words ; synonyms; use of dictionary. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry, including extracts from the literature 
used for appreciative reading. 

1 While girls are engaged in Sewing, boys will receive instruction in Constructive 
Work. 



Appendix II 385 



GEOGRAPHY 

Mathematical and Physical Geography. The solar system; relations of 
the sun, moon, and earth ; motions of the earth ; latitude and longitude ; heat 
belts and wind belts : ocean movements ; influence of climatic conditions and 
topographical features on plant and animal life, and on the characteristics and 
activities of the people. 

North America and Europe. Study of North America and Europe with 
reference to the physical features above mentioned. 

HISTORY AND CIVICS 

History. English history to 1603, with related European and American 
history. Ethical lessons. 

Civics. Rise of representative government. 

ELEMENTARY SCIENCE 

The general properties of matter ; the mechanical powers. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Physical Training. Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic 
habits. 

Hygiene. Study of the body ; skin and special senses; muscles; bones; 
digestion ; respiration ; circulation : clothing ; general principles of physical 
training; development of strength. Effects of alcohol and narcotics. 

MATHEMATICS 

Algebra. Problems involving equations of one unknown quantity. Appli- 
cation of the equation to the solution of arithmetical problems. Fundamental 
operations. Factoring ; fractions. 

Geometry. Constructive exercises. Problems. 
*** 

DRAWING, CONSTRUCTIVE WORK, AND SHOP WORK 

Freehand representation of objects ; principles of perspective ; memory or 
imaginative drawings ; simple composition. Construction drawing ; principles 
of constructive design. Ornament; decorative design and its application. 
Color. Study of pictures and other works of art. 

Shop Work (Boys). Use and care of back-saw, plane, chisel, brace, and 
bit ; use of nails and screws. Application of stains. Making of simple useful 
articles from individual plans : application of appropriate decorations. 

Or, in schools in which shops are not provided, constructive work from 
patterns, working drawings, or designs. 
2 c 



386 The New York Public School 

SEWING * 

Drafting and making full-sized garments ; applied design ; use of patterns. 

COOKING 1 

The equipment and care of the kitchen. Cooking of potatoes, cereals, 
fruits, quick breads, eggs, and milk ; cream soups and flour pastes. 

MUSIC 

Songs in unison, two voice-part and three voice-part singing with classified 
voices ; exercises in singing, using bass clef; writing of diatonic intervals from 
hearing; construction of the minor scale. 

GRADE 7 B 
ENGLISH 

Composition. Study of specimens of narration, description, and exposi- 
tion, selected from literature ; similar compositions from outlines ; social and 
business correspondence; reports on home reading. Attention to clearness 
and accuracy. Application of the rules of syntax in the criticism and correc- 
tion of compositions. 

Grammar. Systematic review ; analysis and classification of sentences ; 
functions of word, phrase, and clause elements ; subdivision, inflection, and 
syntax of the parts of speech. 

Reading. Appreciative reading of at least one masterpiece of prose and 
one of poetry of at least five hundred lines. Ethical lessons. Use of library 
books. 

Spelling. Selected words ; synonyms ; use of dictionary. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry, including extracts from the literature 
used for appreciative reading. 

GEOGRAPHY 

Commercial Geography. The United States and its colonial possessions 
compared with other great commercial countries : location, surface, climate ; 
resources ; industries and occupations, products ; commerce ; chief cities : 
status of the peoples. 

HISTORY AND CIVICS 

History. English history from 1603, with related European and American 
history. Ethical lessons. 

1 Advanced Sewing will be pursued by girls in schools not provided with kitchens. 



Appendix II 387 

Civics. Comparison of the powers and duties of the King, Cabinet, and 
Parliament of Great Britain, with those of the President, Cabinet, and Congress 
of the United States. 

ELEMENTARY SCIENCE 

The mechanics of liquids and gases. Heat, its phenomena and uses. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic habits. 

MATHEMATICS 

Algebra. Factoring and fractions ; equations of two unknown quantities ; 
pure quadratics ; ratio and proportion ; arithmetical applications. 

Geometry. Constructive exercises. Inventional exercises. Problems. 

DRAWING, CONSTRUCTIVE WORK, AND SHOP WORK 

Freehand representation of objects ; principles of perspective ; memory or 
imaginative drawings ; simple composition. Construction drawing ; principles 
of constructive design. Ornament ; decorative design and its application. 
Color. Study of pictures and other works of art. 

Shop Work (Boys). Use and care of rip and cross-cut saws. Advanced 
exercises in nailing, sawing, planing, and chiseling. Structure of woods em- 
ployed pine, tulip, etc. Exercise in joining and in making useful articles 
from individual plans ; application of appropriate decorations. 

Or, in schools in which shops are not provided, constructive work from 
patterns, working drawings, or designs. 

SEWING 1 

Drafting and making full-sized garments ; applied design ; use of patterns. 

COOKING l 

Making bread. Cooking eggs, meat, and vegetables. Tea, coffee, cocoa ; 
simple desserts. Cooking for invalids. 
Equipment and care of a dining room. 

MUSIC 

Study and writing of tonic, dominant and subdominant triads in major 
keys ; sight singing of songs in unison, and in two voice-parts and three voice- 
parts with words. 

1 Advanced Sewing will be pursued by girls in schools not provided with kitchens. 



388 The New York Public School 

GRADE 8 A 

ENGLISH 

Composition. Study of single and related paragraphs of narration, descrip- 
tion, and exposition, selected from literature ; writing similar paragraphs from 
topics ; compositions from outlines ; reports on home reading. Attention to 
clearness and accuracy. 

Grammar. Text-book used chiefly as a book of reference. Analysis used 
to elucidate obscure or complex constructions ; correction of common errors 
through the discovery of good usage and the application of the rules of 
grammar. 

Reading. Appreciative study of at least one masterpiece of prose and 
one of poetry of at least 1000 lines. Ethical lessons. Use of library books. 

Spelling. Selected words ; synonyms ; use of dictionary. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry, including extracts from the literature 
used for appreciative study. 

ELECTIVES * 

French, German, Latin, or Stenography. 

HISTORY AND CIVICS 

American History. From the earliest discoveries to the adoption of the 
Constitution of the United States, with related European history. Ethical 
lessons. 

Civics. Forms of colonial government ; the Articles of Confederation ; 
the Constitution of the United States. 

ELEMENTARY SCIENCE 

Sound, its phenomena ; the ear. Light, its phenomena ; the eye. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Physical Training. Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic 
habits. 



1 Electives. The study to be pursued in any one school shall be determined by 
the Board of Superintendents. In no school shall more than one of these subjects 
be introduced unless at least thirty additional pupils of such school elect it. A differ- 
ent subject may be substituted for any one of the above at the discretion of the 
Board of Superintendents. 



Appendix II 389 

Hygiene. Nervous system; brain, spinal cord, nerves and sympathetic 
nervous systems ; special senses, organs, and functions, and their care ; forma- 
tion of habits. Effects of alcohol and narcotics. 



MATHEMATICS 

Integers, common and decimal fractions ; underlying principles considered ; 
short methods. 

Denominate numbers. Measurements and comparisons. 

Percentage and interest. Ratio and simple proportion. Application of 
algebra and geometry to the solution of problems. 

X 3*"~ VH* 

DRAWING, CONSTRUCTIVE WORK, AND SHOP WORK 

Freehand representation of objects ; memory or imaginative drawings ; 
simple composition. Construction drawing ; constructive design. Ornament ; 
decorative design and its application. Color. Study of pictures and other 
works of art. 

Shop Work (Boys). Advanced exercises in chiseling and joinery. Use 
of hand-screws. Causes of checking and warping. Qualities of hard woods 
oak, ash, etc. Making useful articles from individual plans. Application of 
appropriate decoration. 

Or, in schools in which shops are not provided, constructive work from 
patterns, working drawings, or designs. 

SEWING * 

Drafting and making garments ; applied design. 



COOKING 



Cooking of beef, mutton, poultry, fish, and shell-fish. Jellies, cakes, and 
ices. Salads. Canning fruits and vegetables. Cooking for infants and 
invalids. Table service and dining room customs. Fittings and care of the 
sick room. 



MUSIC 



Study and writing of tonic, dominant and subdominant triads in minor 
keys, and of the diminished triad on the leading tone in major and minor, with 
its resolution ; sight-singing continued ; special attention to changed voices. 

1 Advanced Sewing will be pursued by girls in schools not provided with kitchens. 



390 The New York Pitblic School 

GRADE 8 B 

ENGLISH 

Composition. Study of specimens of narration, description, and exposi- 
tion; similar compositions written from outlines: reports on home reading. 
Attention to clearness and accuracy. 

Grammar. Text-books in grammar used chiefly as books of reference. 
Analysis and syntax. 

Reading. Appreciative study of at least one masterpiece of prose and one 
of poetry of at least 1000 lines ; attention to the more familiar figures of speech. 
Ethical lessons. Use of library books. 

Spelling. Selected words ; synonyms ; use of dictionary. 

Memorizing. Prose and poetry, including extracts from the literature 
used for appreciative study. 

ELECTIVES * 
French, German, Latin, or Stenography. 

HISTORY AND CIVICS 

United States History. From the adoption of the Constitution of the 
United States to the present time, with related European history. Ethical 
lessons. 

Civics. Amendments to the Constitution ; governments of the State and 
of the City of New York. 

ELEMENTARY SCIENCE 

Electricity and magnetism ; simple applications. Chemistry of combustion. 

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND HYGIENE 

Gymnastic exercises and games, and correct hygienic habits. 



1 Electives. The study to be pursued in any one school shall be determined by 
the Board of Superintendents. In no school shall more than one of these subjects 
be introduced unless at least thirty additional pupils of such school elect it. A differ- 
ent subject may be substituted for any one of the above at the discretion of the Board 
of Superintendents. 



Appendix II 391 



MATHEMATICS 

Square root and its applications. Mensuration and its applications. 

Illustrative explanations governing business operations, accounts, and 
commercial paper. 

Metric system ; common units and their equivalents ; reduction. Applica- 
tion of algebra and geometry to the solution of problems. 

DRAWING, CONSTRUCTIVE WORK, AND SHOP WORK 

Freehand representation of objects ; memory or imaginative drawings ; 
simple composition. Construction drawing ; constructive design. Ornament ; 
decorative design and its application. Color. Study of pictures and other 
works of art. 

Shop Work (Boys). Nature and application of mortise and dovetail 
joint. Characteristics of common woods. The construction of useful articles 
from individual plans. Application of appropriate decorations. Communal 
exercises related to interests of school. 

Or, in schools in which shops are not provided, constructive work from 
patterns, working drawings, or designs. 

SEWING l 
Drafting and making garments ; applied design. 

COOKING l 

The preparation of simple breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners. Compara- 
tive values of foods. Dietaries. Nursing. Marketing. Laundering. Re- 
moval of stains. Home sanitation. 



MUSIC 

Study and writing of triads on the second, third, and sixth degrees, and of 
the dominant chord of the seventh with its resolution ; choral singing. 



1 Advanced Sewing will be pursued by girls in schools not provided with 
kitchens. 



39 2 The New York Public School 

TIME SCHEDULE ON THE BASIS OF 1500 MINUTES PER WEEK 



YEARS 


I 


II 


in 


IV 


V 


VI 


VII 


VIII 


Opening exercises . . 


75 


75 


75 


75 


75 


75 


75 


75 


Physical Training, 


















Physiology and Hy- 


















giene, Recesses and 


















Organized Games . 


200 


165 


. 165 


165 


90 


90 


90 


90 


English 


45 


510 


450 


375 


375 


375 


(9)36o 


(8)320 


Penmanship .... 


100 


125 


125 


75 


75 


75 








Electives (German, 


















French, Latin, Ste- 


















nography) . . . 























(5)200 


Geography .... 











J 35 


120 


120 


(2)80 





History 










QO 




s \ 


f \ 












yu 


1 2O 


\j) 


\j) *^O 


Mathematics . . . 


120 


150 


150 


150 


I 5 


200 


(5)200 


(4)160 


Nature Study . . . 


9 


90 


90 


90 


75 











Drawing and Con- 














(2)8C 


(2)80 


structive Work . . 


1 60 


1 60 


1 60 


120 


120 


120 


(2)80 


(2)80 


Shop Work, Cooking 


















or Advanced Sewing 




















(2)80 


(2)80 


Sewing and Construc- 


















tive Work .... 


60 


60 


60 


60 


60 


60 








Music 


60 


60 


60 


60 


60 


60 


60 


60 


Study 






90 


135 


150 


150 


(5)200 


(4)160 


Unassigned Time . . 


I8 5 


105 


75 


60 


60 


55 


75 


75 




1500 


1500 


1500 


1500 


1500 


1500 


1500 


1500 



NOTE. Both boys and girls are to take the work outlined under Sewing and Con- 
structive Work in the first three years. 

Electives. The study to be pursued in any one school shall be determined by the Board 
of Superintendents. In no school shall more than one of these subjects be introduced unless 
at least thirty additional pupils of such school elect it. A different subject may be substi- 
tuted for any one of the above at the discretion of the Board of Superintendents. 

The figures in parentheses in the seventh and eighth years represent the number of 
forty-minute periods per week. 



APPENDIX III 

HIGH SCHOOL COURSES OF STUDY 
COURSE FOR ALL EXCEPT COMMERCIAL HIGH SCHOOLS 

BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN 

De Witt Clinton High School Wadleigh High School 

Girls' Technical High School 

BOROUGH OF THE BRONX 

The Morris High School 

BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN 

Boys' High School Eastern District High School 

Girls' High School Erasmus Hall High School 

Manual Training High School 

BOROUGH OF QUEENS 

Bryant High School Far Rockaway High School 

Newtown High School Jamaica High School 

Flushing High School Richmond Hill High School 

BOROUGH OF RICHMOND 

Curtis High School 

FIRST YEAR SECOND YEAR 

Reqitired Required 

Periods Periods 

English 5 English 3 

Latin or German or French . . 5 Latin or German or French . . 5 

Algebra 5 Plane Geometry 4 

Biology, including Physiology, Greek and Roman History ... 3 

Botany and Zoology, in differ- 15 

ent parts of the year ... 5 

20 
393 



394 



The New York Public School 



Electives 

Periods 

Greek 5 

German 5 

French 5 

Spanish 5 

Chemistry 5 

THIRD YEAR 

Required 

English 3 

Latin or German or French . . 5 

English History 2 

Physics 1 5 

Geometry and Algebra (second 

course) 2 3 

^8 
Electives 

Greek 4 

German 4 

French 4 

Spanish 4 

Stenography and Typewriting . 4 

Bookkeeping 3 

Economics 3 

Botany or Zoology 4 



FOURTH YEAR 

Required 

Periods 

English 3 

A Foreign Language .... 4 
Chemistry or Physiography or 

Biology 3 4 

English and American History 

and Civics 4 

Electives 

Physics, as in third year ... 5 

Greek 4 

Latin 4 

German 4 

French 4 

Spanish 4 

Mathematics 4 

Stenography and Typewriting . 3 

Economics 3 

Domestic Science (sewing, cook- 
ing, and household economy) . 3 
Commercial Law and Commercial 

Geography 3 

Additional Latin or Greek or Eng- 
lish 3 

Mediaeval and Modern History . 3 



GENERAL PROVISIONS 

1 . A period shall not exceed fifty minutes. 

2. Drawing and art study shall be required two periods per week and vocal 
music one period per week throughout the first two years. Drawing and art 
study shall be optional one period a week throughout the third and fourth 
years. Those who intend to enter a training school should take this course 
throughout the third and fourth years. 

1 A student preparing for college, who has already taken two foreign languages, 
may substitute a third foreign language for science specified. At least one period 
a week of Physics shall be devoted to unprepared work. 

2 Bookkeeping may be substituted for Geometry and Algebra. 

3 A student preparing for college, who has already taken two foreign languages, 
may substitute a third foreign language for science specified. 



Appendix III 395 

3. The equivalent of two periods per week shall be devoted to physical 
training throughout the course. 

4. Drawing and art study, physical training and vocal music shall not be 
considered as subjects requiring preparation. 

5. Of subjects requiring preparation, no student shall be required to take 
more than twenty-one periods per week. 

6. No new class in an elective subject need be formed in the second year 
for less than 25 pupils ; in the third year for less than 20 pupils ; in the fourth 
year for less than 15 pupils. 

7. Exercises in voice training and declamation shall be given at least once 
a week during the first year, and may be continued throughout the course. 

8. In order to graduate from a high school a student must have studied at 
least one foreign language for at least three years, have accomplished satis- 
factorily all the other required work, and have taken a sufficient number of 
elective studies, so that the total amount of required and elective studies shall 
equal 3000 periods of work requiring preparation, and shall extend over not 
less than three years and not more than six years. Due credit shall be given 
by the principal of a high school for work done by a pupil in other high 
schools. 

9. After July 31, 1902, a student's proficiency in each subject presented for 
graduation shall be determined, in accordance with rules to be prescribed by 
the Board of Superintendents, by the examination conducted by the College 
Entrance Examination Board. A diploma of graduation shall be issued to 
each student who successfully passes this examination and who complies with 
the foregoing conditions. A certificate of having successfully completed the 
course of study for high schools shall be issued to each student who has 
complied with the foregoing conditions, but who does not take the above-men- 
tioned examination. 

TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL COURSE OF THREE YEARS 
AUTHORIZED IN THE FOLLOWING SCHOOLS: 

BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN 
Girls' Technical High School 

BOROUGH OF QUEENS 

Bryant High School Flushing High School 

Jamaica High School 

BOROUGH OF RICHMOND 

Curtis High School 



396 



The New York Public School 



FIRST YEAR 

Required 

Periods 

English 5 

Commercial Arithmetic .... 3 

Biology 5 

Drawing (freehand and mechani- 
cal) 4 

Optional 

Algebra &' 5 

German, French or Spanish . . 5 

Domestic Science 5 

Sewing and Constructive Work . 5 

One elective required during the 
first year. All pupils must take phy- 
siology and hygiene the equivalent 
of 4 periods per week for 10 weeks. 

SECOND YEAR 

Required 

English 3 

History of Greece and Rome (first 
term) and England (second 

term) 5 

Chemistry 5 

Geometry or a modern language . 4 



Electives 
One of the following groups : 

Group I 

Periods 

Manual Training 6 

Drawing 3 

~9 

6 
_3 

9 

Group III 

Dressmaking 6 



Group II 

Stenography and Typewriting 
Bookkeeping and Office Economy 



Drawing 



Millinery 
Drawing 



Group IV 



THIRD YEAR 

Required 

English 

History of United States and Civics 
Physics or a Modern Language . 
Commercial Geography .... 

Electives 
(As in Second Year) 



The general provisions of the regular four years' course shall apply to this 
course except in reference to graduation. 

Certificates will be awarded to those who satisfactorily complete this course. 

Diplomas will be awarded to those students who satisfactorily complete 
this course, and who, in addition, take a sufficient number of electives so that 
the total amount of required and elective studies shall equal 3000 periods of 
work requiring preparation and who meet the requirements of the examination 
for graduation from high schools. 

MANUAL TRAINING COURSE FOR BOYS 

BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN 

Stuyvesant High School 

BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN BOROUGH OF QUEENS 

Manual Training High School Bryant High School 



Appendix III 



397 



FIRST YEAR 



Required l 

Periods 
English (Grammar, Rhetoric and 

Composition) 5 

German or French or Latin . . 5 

Algebra^ 5 

Freehand and Mechanical Draw- 
ing 4 

Joinery 6 

25 

SECOND YEAR 

Required 

English 3 

German or French or Latin . . 5 

Plane Geometry 4 

Freehand and Mechanical Draw- 
ing 4 

Wood Turning, Pattern Making, 
Moulding, and Sheet Metal 
Work 6 

22 

Alternatives 

German or French or Chemistry 5 



THIRD YEAR 

Required 

Periods 

English 3 

German or French or Latin . . 5 
Physics (only four lessons pre- 
pared) 5 

Advanced Algebra and Plane 

Trigonometi y"J* 3 

Mechanical Drawing 2 

Forging 6 

24 

Alternatives 

German or French or Chemistry . 4 

FOURTH YEAR 

Required 

English 3 

A Foreign Language .... 4 
English and American History 

and Civics 4 

Mechanical Drawing 2 

Machine-shop practice 2 ... 6 

i~9 

Alternatives 

Any two of the following : 

A Second Language 4 

Chemistry 4 

Physics 4 

Spherical Trigonometry and Solid 

Geometry 4 



GENERAL PROVISIONS 



1 . A period shall not exceed fifty minutes. 

2. Vocal music shall be required one period per week throughout the first 
two years. 



1 Physiology and hygiene, as required by law, shall be taught the equivalent 
of four lessons a week for ten weeks. 

2 With the approval of the principal, a pupil preparing for a technical college 
course may substitute an academic subject for machine-shop practice. 



398 



The New York Public School 



3. The equivalent of two periods per week shall be devoted to physical 
training throughout the course. 

4. Drawing and art study, physical training, shop work and vocal music 
shall not be considered as subjects requiring preparation. 

5. Of subjects requiring preparation, no student shall be required to take 
more than nineteen periods per week. 

6. No new class in an elective subject need be formed in the second year 
for less than 25 pupils ; in the third year for less than 20 pupils ; in the fourth 
year for less than 1 5 pupils. 

7. Exercises in voice training and declamation shall be given at least once 
a week during the first year, and may be continued throughout the course. 

8. In order to be graduated from this course, a student must have studied 
at least one foreign language for at least three years, have accomplished satis- 
factorily all the other required work, and have taken a sufficient number of 
elective studies so that the total amount of required and elective studies shall 
equal 2500 periods of work requiring preparation and 1000 periods of drawing 
and shop work, and shall extend over not less than three years nor more than 
six years. Due credit shall be given by the principal for work done by the 
pupil in other high schools. 

COURSE FOR HIGH SCHOOL OF COMMERCE, MANHATTAN 



FIRST YEAR 

Required 

Periods 

English 4 

German, French or Spanish . . 4 

Algebra 4 

Biology x (with especial reference 

to materials of commerce) . . 4 
Greek and Roman History . . 2 

Business Writing 2 4 

Stenography 3 2 

Drawing 8 2 

Physical Training 1 2 

Music ... i 



Electives 

Business Arithmetic . . 
Commercial Geography . 



25 

i 

i 



SECOND YEAR 

Required 

Periods 

English 3 

German, French or Spanish . . 4 

Plane Geometry 3 

Chemistry (with especial reference 

to materials of commerce) . . 4 
Mediaeval and Modern History 
(with especial reference to eco- 
nomic history arid geography) . 3 

Drawing 2 

Stenography 2 

Physical Training 2 

23 
Electives 

German, French or Spanish . . 4 

Business Forms and Bookkeeping 3 

Business Arithmetic i 

Commercial Geography . . . . i 



Including Physiology. 



2 First half year. 



3 Second half year. 



Appendix III 



399 



THIRD YEAR 

Required 



Periods 

3 

4 



English 

German, French or Spanish . . 

Algebra and Geometry .... 

Physics r"" 

English History (with especial 
reference to economic history 
and geography) 

Physical Training 

Elective* 

German, French or Spanish . . 4 
Bookkeeping and Commercial 

Arithmetic 4 

Stenography and Typewriting . 3 

Drawing 2 



3 

2 
2O 



FOURTH YEAR 

Required 

English 3 

German, French or Spanish . . 4 
Economics and Economic Geogra- 
phy 4 

History of the United States (with 
especial reference to industrial 
and constitutional aspects) . . 4 
Physical Training 2 

17 

Electives 

German, French or Spanish . . 4 

A Third Language 4 

Advanced Chemistry .... 4 

Trigonometry and Solid Geometry 4 



Periods 
Elementary Law and Commercial 

Law * 4 

Advanced Bookkeeping, Business 
Correspondence and Office 

Practice 4 

Stenography and Typewriting . 4 
Drawing 2 

FIFTH YEAR 

Required 

English 3 

Logic, Inductive and Deductive . 3 

Physical Training 2 

~8 
Elective* 

A foreign language 4 

Advanced Mathematics .... 4 

Advanced Physics 4 

Industrial Chemistry 4 

Economic Geography .... 4 
(iQth Century History, Europe 
and Orient; Diplomatic History, 
United States and Modern Eu- 
rope) 4 

Banking and Finance, Transporta- 
tion and Communication . . 4 
Administrative Law and Interna- 
tional Law 4 

Accounting and Auditing ... 4 
Business Organization and Man- 
agement 4 

Drawing 4 

Advanced Economics .... 3 



1 Students who do not elect law in the fourth year may receive instruction in 
Commercial Law in connection with Advanced Bookkeeping. 



400 The New York Public School 

GENERAL PROVISIONS 

1. A period shall not exceed fifty minutes. 

2. Drawing and art study, physical training and vocal music shall not be 
considered as subjects requiring preparation. 

3. Of subjects requiring preparation, no student shall be required to take 
more than twenty-one periods per week. 

4. No new class in an elective subject need be formed in the second year 
for less than 25 pupils ; in the third year for less than 20 pupils ; in the fourth 
year for less than 15 pupils. 

5. Exercises in voice training and declamation shall be given at least once 
a week during the first year, and they may be continued throughout the course. 

6. In order to graduate from the High School of Commerce a student 
must have studied at least one foreign language for at least three years, have 
accomplished satisfactorily all the other required work, and have taken a suffi- 
cient number of elective studies so that the total amount of required and 
elective studies shall equal 3000 periods of work requiring preparation, and 
shall extend over not less than three years, and not more than six years. Due 
credit shall be given by the principal for work done by a pupil in other high 
schools. 

7. A certificate of graduation shall be awarded at the close of the fourth 
year to each student who satisfactorily completes the work up to that point. 
The fifth year shall be regarded as supplementary to the regular course, and 
shall be open to all students who have graduated from a high school course of 
four years. 



APPENDIX IV 

COURSES OF STUDY FOR TRAINING SCHOOLS FOR TEACHERS 

NEW YORK TRAINING SCHOOL FOR TEACHERS 

245 East ngth Street, Borough of Manhattan 

BROOKLYN TRAINING SCHOOL FOR TEACHERS 
Prospect Place, west of Nostrand Avenue, Borough of Brooklyn 

FIRST YEAR FIRST TERM FIRST YEAR SECOND TERM 

Periods Periods 

Logic: Science and art of thinking 4 Psychology 5 

English : Reading, spelling, phon- English : Language, composition 

ics, voice training 4 and grammar 4 

Science : Nature study .... 5 Mathematics : Arithmetic, elemen- 

Art : Drawing and constructive tary geometry and algebra . . 4 

work 3 Geography . 3 

Penmanship and blackboard writ- Art : Drawing and constructive 

ing 2 work 3 

Sewing 2 Sewing I 

Physical culture 2 Physical culture 2 

Singing 2 Singing 2 

24 24 

SECOND YEAR FIRST TERM 

Periods 

Principles and history of education 5 

English : Composition, teaching of literature, children's literature, story- 
telling 3 

History and civics 4 

Science : Method of teaching elementary science . 2 

Mathematics : Methods 2 

School management 2 

Art : Drawing, constructive work, blackboard sketching 2 

Physical culture 2 

Singing _2 

24 

SECOND YEAR SECOND TERM 

Practice teaching as substitutes 
2 D 401 



402 The New York Public School 

GENERAL DIRECTIONS 

1 . The time devoted to physical training, two periods per week, may be 
distributed throughout the week at the discretion of the principal. 

2. Not less than sixty minutes per week during the first, second and third 
terms shall be devoted to the observation of work in the model school. 

3. Part of the time set apart for the study of methods of teaching a 
branch of study may be devoted to giving lessons in that branch to a group 
of pupils selected from the model school. 

KINDERGARTEN COURSE FOR TRAINING SCHOOLS FOR TEACHERS 
Length of Course Two Years 

FIRST YEAR FIRST TERM FIRST YEAR SECOND TERM 

(Same as in regular course) Periods 

Periods Psychology and principles of edu- 

Logic: Science and art of thinking 4 cation 5 

English : Reading, spelling, phon- English : Voice training, compo- 

ics, voice training 4 sition, including story-telling . 3 

Science : Nature study .... 5 Nature study 3 

Art : Drawing and constructive work 3 Drawing 2 

Penmanship and blackboard writing 2 Music : Songs and games ... 3 

Sewing 2 Mother play I 

Physical culture 2 Physical culture 2 

Singing 2 Gifts and occupations .... 5 

Observation i Observation I 

25 25 

SECOND YEAR FIRST TERM 

Periods 
History of Education 3 

Principles of education with special reference to the kindergarten ... 3 
English : Voice training, children's literature, composition, including 

story-telling 3 

Nature study 2 

Drawing 2 

Physical culture 2 

Music : Songs and games 3 

Gifts and occupations 3 

Program : Kindergarten procedure 3 

Observation i 

25 

SECOND YEAR SECOND TERM 

Practice teaching as substitutes 



APPENDIX V 

(SECTION 64 OF THE BY-LAWS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION) 
SALARY SCHEDULES 

SALARIES GENERAL REGULATIONS 

I. The term "teacher of a graduating class," as used in Section 1091 of 
the Revised Charter, shall be understood to mean the teacher of the highest 
class in an elementary school, namely, the grade known as the 8 B Grade, 
provided such class is composed exclusively of pupils of that grade. The 
terms " first assistant " and " vice-principal " in elementary schools, as used in 
the Revised Charter, shall be understood to refer exclusively to teachers regu- 
larly appointed to such position or such rank in the public schools of the 
former City of New York prior to February I, 1898. The expression " grades 
of the last two years in the elementary schools," as used in the Revised 
Charter, shall be understood to mean the grades of the last two years of work 
prescribed by the course of study for elementary schools. The term " model 
teacher," as used in the Revised Charter, shall be understood to refer to a 
class teacher in a model school that forms a constituent part of a training 
school for teachers and that is under the control and direction of the principal 
of such training school, and shall not include the teachers of classes in other 
schools in which teachers-in-training practice teaching. The terms "head 
teacher," " assistant to the principal," " first assistant," and " vice-principal," 
as used in said Revised Charter, with reference to high schools and training 
schools for teachers, shall be understood to include all persons appointed or 
promoted to such positions, provided they hold first assistant teachers' licenses 
for high schools or for training schools for teachers, as the case may be. The 
terms ** male teacher " and " female teacher," as used in said Revised Charter, 
shall be understood to refer in an elementary school to a teacher holding 
license No. i or a license of higher grade, appointed to a school in accordance 
with law for a term of not less than five school months, and shall not include 
substitute teachers, kindergarten helpers, teachers of special branches, nor 
teachers appointed for a specified time less than five school months. The 
term " mixed class." 1 as used in said Revised Charter, shall be understood to 
mean a class, above the kindergarten, composed of both boys and girls, in 

403 



404 The New York Public School 

which the aggregate number of days of attendance of the boys in such class for 
the month immediately preceding the preparation of the regular payroll shall 
have been not less than forty per cent. 

2. No salary of a member of the supervising or teaching force, including 
the City Superintendent, Associate City Superintendents and District Super- 
intendents, shall be reduced by reason of the operation of the schedule of 
salaries set forth in these by-laws. A member of the supervising or teaching 
force transferred from one position to another shall not lose, because of such 
transfer, any of the rights as to salary acquired in the position he or she held 
at the time Chapter 751 of the Laws of 1900 went into effect, unless the 
transfer is made from a higher position to a lower position, because of ineffi- 
cient service or other sufficient reason. 

3. Teachers' annual salaries shall be paid in twelve equal installments, one 
installment for each month in the calendar year. The installment for July 
shall be paid, as nearly as may be, on or before the 3oth of June of each year. 
The installment for August shall be paid, as nearly as may be, on or before 
the fifteenth day of the following September. In case of a teacher who is 
dismissed from the service for cause, salary shall cease from the day of sus- 
pension from service. In case a teacher's license is not renewed, salary shall 
cease with the termination of actual service. 

4. One-thirtieth of a month's salary shall be deducted for every day of 
absence on the part of a principal, supervisor or teacher, unless such prin- 
cipal, supervisor or teacher is excused for adequate cause, in accordance with 
these by-laws; but the aggregate deductions in any one month shall not 
exceed the salary for that month. 

5. Salaries of newly appointed teachers shall begin with the beginning of 
actual and personal service ; and all increase in the pay of teachers shall begin 
on the first day of the month immediately succeeding the month during which 
the teacher shall become entitled thereto by reason of promotion, experience 
or otherwise, unless the teacher shall become entitled to the increase of salary 
on the first day of the month. 

6. The certificate of the Board of Examiners that a principal or a teacher 
has had a certain number. of years of experience in schools other than the 
public schools of The City of New York, signed by the City Superintendent of 
Schools, and the certificate of the Board of Superintendents, signed by the 
City Superintendent of Schools, that a principal or a teacher has had any 
number of years of experience in any part of what is now The City of New 
York, shall entitle such principal or teacher to the salary prescribed for the 
stated year of service by these by-laws, provided the work of such principal or 
teacher has been approved as fit and meritorious by the Board of Superinten- 
dents, as prescribed by the Revised Charter. The certificate described above 
shall state (#) the years of outside experience with which the teacher is 



Appendix V 405 

credited ; (d) the years of experience the teacher has had in the public schools 
of The City of New York ; (c) the salary year ; and (d) the month during 
which an annual increase of salary shall become due. In reckoning service 
in the public schools of The City of New York, service as a substitute teacher 
or as a teacher or principal in evening schools, vacation schools or playgrounds, 
or years of service formerly allowed in any Borough in consideration of gradu- 
ation from any training school, normal school or college, shall not be counted. 

SALARIES OF CITY SUPERINTENDENT, ASSOCIATE CITY SUPERINTENDENTS, 
DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS AND EXAMINERS 

7. The salary of the City Superintendent of Schools shall be $8000 per 
annum. 

The salary of an Associate City Superintendent shall be $5500 per annum, 
provided that Associate City Superintendents who as Borough Superintendents 
received, prior to February 3, 1902, more than $5500 per annum shall continue 
to receive the salaries paid to them as Borough Superintendents until the 
expiration of the terms for which they were appointed as such Borough Super- 
intendents. 

The salary of a District Superintendent hereafter appointed shall be $5000. 
District Superintendents now in office shall continue to receive the salaries 
paid to them as Associate Borough Superintendents prior to February 3, 1902, 
until December 31. 1902, after which date the salaries of all District Super- 
intendents shall be $5000 per annum each. 

The salary of a member of the Board of Examiners, other than the City 
Superintendent, shall be $5000 per annum. 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS PRINCIPALS AND HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS 

8. Principals and branch principals of schools of not less then twelve (12) 
classes, including schools having high school departments, shall be paid in 
accordance with the following schedule : 

SCHEDULE I 

() (*) 

Years Women Men 

1 $1750 $ 2 75 

2 2000 3000 

3 2250 3250 

4 2500 3500 

The minimum salary for women shall be $1750; the maximum salary for 
women shall be $2500 ; the rate of annual increase shall be $250. The mini- 



406 The New York Public School 

mum salary for men shall be $2750 ; the maximum salary for men shall be 
$3500; the rate of annual increase shall be $250. No increase for any year, 
however, shall be made unless the service of the principal or branch principal 
shall have been approved after inspection and investigation as fit and merito- 
rious by a majority of the Board of Superintendents. 

9. Principals of schools of less than twelve (12) classes, but not less than 
five (5) classes, heads of departments and assistants to principals, shall be 
paid in accordance with the following schedule : 

SCHEDULE II 

(a) 0) 

Years Women Men 

1 $1400 $2IOO 

2 I50O 2250 

3 1600 2400 

The minimum salary for women shall be $1400; the maximum salary shall 
be $1600; the rate of annual increase shall be $100. The minimum salary 
for men shall be $2100 ; the maximum salary for men shall be $2400 ; the rate 
of annual increase shall be $150. No increase for any year, however, shall be 
made unless the service of such principal, etc., shall have been approved after 
inspection and investigation as fit and meritorious by a majority of the Board 
of Superintendents. 

No head of department or assistant to principal shall receive a salary 
greater than that fixed for the seventh year of service nor a salary greater 
than that fixed for the twelfth year of service, unless and until the ser- 
vice of such head of department or assistant to principal shall have been 
approved, after inspection and investigation, as fit and meritorious by a 
majority of the Board of Superintendents. A head of department, or assistant 
to principal, however, who is credited by the Board of Examiners with having 
had, prior to his or her appointment in the public schools of The City of New 
York, more than seven years of service in schools other than the public 
schools of The City of New York, shall receive the regular annual increase up 
to the twelfth year of service, when his or her work shall be passed upon, in 
accordance with law, by the Board of Superintendents. 

In a school of the fifth order the teacher acting as senior teacher in charge 
of the school shall receive, in addition to the regular salary, $100 per annum. 

TEACHERS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS WOMEN 

10. Female teachers in elementary schools appointed to grades from the 
kindergarten to the 6 B, inclusive, shall receive salaries in accordance with the 
following schedule : 



Appendix V 407 

SCHEDULE III 



Years 



2 . 




3 


680 


4 


720 


5 


76o 


6 . 


800 


7 


840 


8 . 


880 


9 


920 


IO . 


960 


ii 


1000 


12 . 


1040 


13 


1080 


14 . 


1 120 


15 


1160 


16 . 


1200 


17 


1240 



Under this schedule the minimum salary shall be $600 per annum ; the 
maximum, $1240 per annum; and the rate of annual increase, $40. 

Female teachers of shopwork and of constructive work shall be paid in 
accordance with the salaries provided in Schedule III. 

Female teachers in elementary schools appointed to grades from the 7 A 
to the 8 A, inclusive, shall receive salaries in accordance with the following 
schedule : 

Years SCHEDULE IV 

I $600 

2 648 

3 696 

4 744 

5 792 

6 840 

7 888 

8 936 

9 ... 984 

10 1032 

ii 1080 

12 1128 

13 IJ 76 

14 J224 

15 '272 

16 1320 



408 The New York Public School 

Under this schedule the minimum salary shall be $600 per annum ; the 
maximum, $1320 per annum; and the rate of annual increase, $48. 

Female teachers in elementary schools appointed to classes in the 8 B 
grade shall receive salaries in accordance with the following schedule : 

Years SCHEDULE V 

I $936 

2.o I02O 

3 "04 

4 1188 

5 1272 

6 1356 

7 1440 

Under this schedule the minimum salary shall be $936 per annum ; the 
maximum salary shall be $1440 per annum; and the rate of annual increase, 
$84. 

Female vice-principals and first assistants shall receive pay under this 
schedule. 

No female teacher in the elementary schools shall receive a salary greater 
than that fixed for the seventh year of service, nor a salary greater than that 
fixed for the twelfth year of service, unless and until the service of such 
teacher shall have been approved after inspection and investigation as fit and 
meritorious by a majority of the Board of Superintendents. A teacher, how- 
ever, who is credited by the Board of Examiners with having had, prior to 
her appointment in the public schools of The City of New York, more than 
seven years of service in the schools other than the public schools of The City 
of New York, shall receive the regular annual increase up to the twelfth year 
of service, when her work shall be passed upon, in accordance with law, by 
the Board of Superintendents. 

FEMALE TEACHERS OF BOYS' AND MIXED CLASSES 

ii. A female teacher of a boys 1 class, or of a mixed class as defined in 
subdivision i of this section, shall receive the sum of $60 per annum in addi- 
tion to the schedule rate of pay to which she may be entitled by reason of 
length of service or grade of class taught, said sum to be paid in monthly 
installments and included in the amount due on the payroll, but only as long 
as said female teacher shall remain in charge of a boys 1 class or a mixed class, 
as defined in subdivision i of this section. The principal of the school in 
which said teacher is employed shall indicate in writing on the monthly pay- 
roll, against the name of such teacher, the fact that such teacher is entitled to 
the additional compensation. 



Appendix V 409 

TEACHERS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS MEN 

12. Male teachers teaching in any grade below the highest, and in the 
highest when that grade is taught in the same class with a lower grade, shall 
receive salaries in accordance with the following schedule : 

Years SCHEDULE VI 

I $9 

2 1005 

3 1 1 10 

4 1215 

5 1320 

6 1425 

7 1530 

8 1635 

9 1740 

10 1845 

ii 1950 

12 .. 2055 

13 2l6o 

Under this schedule the minimum salary shall be $900; the maximum, 
$2160; and the rate of annual increase, $105. 

Male teachers of shopwork shall be paid in accordance with the schedule 
for male teachers below the highest grade. 

Male teachers in elementary schools appointed to classes in the 8 B grade 
shall receive salaries in accordance with the following schedule : 

Years SCHEDULE VII 

I $1500 

2 1650 

3 1800 

4 1950 

5 2100 

6 2250 

7 2400 

Under this schedule the minimum salary shall be $1500 per annum; the 
maximum, $2400; and the rate of annual increase, $150. 

Male vice-principals and first assistants shall receive pay under this schedule. 
No male teacher in the elementary schools shall receive a salary greater 
than that fixed for the seventh year of service, nor a salary greater than that 
fixed for the twelfth year of service, unless and until the service of such teacher 
shall have been approved after inspection and investigation as fit and meri- 
torious by a majority of the Board of Superintendents. A teacher, however, 
who is credited by the Board of Examiners with having had, prior to his ap- 
pointment in the elementary schools of The City of New York, more than 



The New York Public School 



seven years of experience in schools other than the public schools of The City 
of New York, shall receive the regular annual increase up to the twelfth year 
of service, when his work shall be passed upon, in accordance with law, by the 
Board of Superintendents. 

SUBSTITUTES IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

13. Male substitutes shall receive $3 and female substitutes $2.50 per day 
of actual service, except as provided in subdivision 3 of Section 52 and except 
normal school students licensed under clause (/) of Section 68, who shall be 
paid at the rate of $1.50 per day of actual service. 

Teachers appointed for a specified time, if such time is less than five school 
months, shall receive the pay of substitutes. 

Kindergarten helpers shall receive $2.50 per day of actual service. 

Substitutes for teachers of special branches shall receive $2.50 per day of 
actual service. 

HIGH SCHOOLS SALARIES OF PRINCIPALS 
SCHEDULE VIII 

14. (a) A principal of a high school having supervision of not less than 
twenty-five teachers therein shall receive a salary of five thousand dollars per 
annum. 

(b) A principal of a high school having supervision of less than twenty- 
five teachers shall receive three thousand five hundred dollars per annum. 

TEACHERS IN HIGH SCHOOLS 

15. Teachers in high schools shall receive salaries in accordance with the 
following schedule : 

SCHEDULE IX 



YEARS 


JUNIOR TEACHERS et al. 


ASSISTANT (REG.) TEACHER 


FIRST ASSISTANT 


to 

Women 


pj 

Men 


w 

Women 


(rf) 

Men 


w 

Women 


(/) 
Men 


I 


$700 


$900 


$1100 


$1300 


$2OOO 


$2500 


2 


750 


950 


1180 


1410 


2100 


2600 


3 


800 


1000 


1200 


1520 


2200 


2700 


4 


850 


1050 


1340 


1630 


2300 


2800 


5 


9 00 


1 100 


1420 


1740 


2400 


2900 


6 


950 


1150 


1500 


1850 


2500 


3000 


7 


1000 


1200 


1580 


I 9 60 








8 







1660 


2070 










9 








1740 


2180 








10 







1820 


2290 










ii 








1900 


2400 










Appendix V 411 

The minimum salary for a female junior or substitute teacher, female labo- 
ratory or library assistant, or female clerk, shall be $700 per annum; the 
maximum salary shall be $1000 per annum ; and the rate of annual increase 
shall be $50. 

The minimum salary for a male junior or substitute teacher, or male labo- 
ratory or library assistant, or male clerk, shall be $900 per annum ; the maxi- 
mum, $1200 per annum ; and the rate of annual increase shall be $50. 

The minimum salary for a female regular teacher in a high school shall be 
$1100 per annum; the maximum, $1900 per annum; and the rate of annual 
increase shall be $80. 

The minimum salary for a male regular teacher in a high school shall be 
$1300 per annum; the maximum, $2400 per annum; and the rate of annual 
increase, $110. 

The minimum salary for a female first assistant (head teacher, assistant to 
principal, or vice-principal) in a high school shall be $2000 per annum ; the 
maximum, $2500 per annum ; and the rate of annual increase, $100. 

The minimum salary for a male first assistant (head teacher, assistant to 
principal, or vice-principal) shall be $2500 per annum ; the maximum, $3000 
per annum ; and the rate of annual increase shall be $100. 

No teacher in a high school shall receive a salary greater than that fixed 
for the fourth year of service, nor a salary greater than that fixed for the ninth 
year of service, unless and until the service of such teacher shall have been 
approved after inspection and investigation as fit and meritorious by a majority 
of the Board of Superintendents. A teacher, however, who is credited by the 
Board of Examiners with having had, prior to his appointment in the high 
schools of The City of New York, more than four years of experience in 
schools other than the public schools of The City of New York, shall receive 
the regular annual increase up to the ninth year of service, when his work 
shall be passed upon, in accordance with law, by the Board of Superintendents. 

The salary of a teacher transferred from an elementary school to a high 
school shall not be diminished by reason of such transfer. 

The sum of five hundred dollars per annum shall be paid to any regular 
high school teacher assigned to take charge of a high school annex containing 
ten or more classes, in addition to the salary to which such teacher is entitled 
by reason of experience. No part of said sum of five hundred dollars shall be 
paid to any high school teacher after he or she ceases to have charge of a high 
school annex. 

TRAINING SCHOOLS FOR TEACHERS SALARIES OF PRINCIPALS 
SCHEDULE X 

16. A principal of a training school for teachers, having supervision of not 
less than twenty-five teachers therein, shall receive a salary of $5000 per 



412 



The New York Public School 



annum. In the number of teachers shall be reckoned model teachers, critic 
teachers, regular teachers and first assistants. 

SALARIES OF TEACHERS IN TRAINING SCHOOLS 

17. Teachers in training schools for teachers shall receive salaries in 
accordance with the following schedule : 

SCHEDULE XI 





LIBRARY ASSISTANT 


w 


ASSISTANT (REG.) 
TEACHER 


FIRST ASSISTANT 


YEARS 






MODEL 












() 


(*) 




(d) 


W 


CO 


Cr) 








TEACHER 












Women 


Men 




Women 


Men 


Women 


Men 


I 


$700 


$900 


$1000 


$1100 


$1300 


$2000 


$2500 


2 


75 


95 


1 100 


1180 


1410 


2100 


2600 


3 


800 


IOOO 


1200 


1260 


1520 


2200 


2700 


4 


850 


1050 


I3OO 


1340 


1630 


2300 


2800 


5 


QOO 


IIOO 


1400 


1420 


1740 


2400 


2900 


6 


950 


1150 


1500 


1500 


1850 


2500 


3000 


7 


1000 


1200 





1580 


1960 









8 











1660 


2070 








9 











1740 


2180 








10 











1820 


2290 








ii 











1900 


2400 









The minimum salary for a female laboratory or library assistant, or female 
clerk, shall be $700 per annum; the maximum salary shall be $1000 per 
annum ; and the rate of annual increase, $50. 

The minimum salary for a male laboratory or library assistant or clerk 
shall be $900 per annum; the maximum salary shall be $1200 per annum; 
and the rate of annual increase shall be $50. 

The minimum salary for a model teacher shall be $1000 per annum; the 
maximum salary shall be $1500 per annum; and the rate of annual increase 
shall be $100. The critic teachers shall receive the same salaries as model 
teachers. 

The minimum salary for a female regular teacher in a training school shall 
be $1100 per annum; the maximum salary shall be $1900; and the rate of 
annual increase shall be $80. 

The minimum salary for a male regular teacher in a training school shall 
be $1300 per annum; the maximum salary shall be $2400 per annum; and 
the rate of annual increase, $110. 



Appendix V 413 

The minimum salary for a female first assistant (head teacher, assistant to 
principal, or vice-principal) in a training school shall be $2000 per annum ; the 
maximum salary shall be $2500; and the rate of annual increase, $100. 

The minimum salary for a male first assistant (head teacher, assistant to 
principal, or vice-principal) shall be $2500 per annum ; the maximum salary 
shall be $3000 per annum ; and the rate of annual increase, $100. 

No teacher in a training school shall receive a salary greater than that 
fixed for the fourth year of service, nor a salary greater than that fixed for the 
ninth year of service, unless and until the service of such teacher shall have 
been approved after inspection and investigation as fit and meritorious by a 
majority of the Board of Superintendents. A teacher, however, who is 
credited by the Board of Examiners with having had, prior to his appointment 
in the training schools of The City of New York, more than four years' ex- 
perience in schools other than the public schools of The City of New York, 
shall receive the regular increase up to the ninth year of service, when his 
work shall be passed upon, in accordance with law, by the Board of Super- 
intendents. 

The salary of a teacher transferred from an elementary school to a training 
school shall not be diminished by reason of such transfer. 

SPECIAL BRANCHES DIRECTORS AND ASSISTANT DIRECTORS 
SCHEDULE XII 

1 8. (a) Male directors of music, manual training and drawing, and physi- 
cal training, elected or appointed for the City at large, shall receive $3500 for 
the first year of service, and an annual increase of $100 until the maximum of 
$4000 is reached, which shall be the salary for the sixth year and for succeed- 
ing years. 

() Female directors of music, manual training and drawing, and physical 
training, elected or appointed for the City at large, shall receive $2000 for the 
first year of service, and an annual increase of $100 until the maximum of 
$2500 is reached, which shall be the salary for the sixth year and for suc- 
ceeding years. 

SCHEDULE XIII 

(a) Male assistant directors of music, manual training and drawing, and 
physical training, shall receive $2500 for the first year of service, and an 
annual increase of $100 until the maximum of $3000 is reached, which shall 
be the salary for the sixth year and for succeeding years. 

(b} Female assistant directors of music, manual training and drawing, and 
physical training, shall receive $2000 for the first year of service, and an 
annual increase of $100 until the maximum of $2500 is reached, which shall be 
the salary for the sixth year and for succeeding years. 



414 The New York Public School 



SCHEDULE XIV 

Directors of kindergartens shall receive $2000 for the first year of service, 
and an annual increase of $100 until the maximum of $2700 is reached, which 
shall be the salary for the eighth year and for succeeding years. 

SCHEDULE XV 

Directors of cooking and sewing shall receive $2000 for the first year of 
service and an annual increase of $100 until the maximum of $2500 is reached, 
which shall be the salary for the sixth year and succeeding years. 

No increase for any year shall be made in the salary of any director, 
assistant director or teacher of a special branch, unless the service of such 
director, assistant director or teacher of a special branch shall have been 
approved after inspection and investigation as fit and meritorious by a majority 
of the Board of Superintendents. 

TEACHERS AND ASSISTANT SUPERVISORS OF SPECIAL BRANCHES 

19. Teachers and assistant supervisors of special branches in the elemen- 
tary schools shall receive salaries in accordance with the following schedules : 

SCHEDULE XVI 
TEACHERS OF MUSIC AND DRAWING 

(a) (*) 

Years Women Men 

I $IOOO $1200 

2 IIOO 1300 

3 ........ i 200 1400 

4 1300 1500 

5 1400 1600 

SCHEDULE XVII 
TEACHERS OF PHYSICAL TRAINING 

O) (*) 

Years Women Men 

I $900 $I2OO 

2 IOOO 1300 

3 1100 1400 

4 1200 1500 

5 1600 

Men substitute teachers of physical training shall be paid at the rate of $4 
per day. 



Appendix V 415 

SCHEDULE XVIII 

TEACHERS OF COOKING AND SEWING 
Years Salary 

I $900 

2 1000 

3 IIOO 

4 1200 

SCHEDULE XIX 
TEACHERS OF FRENCH AND GERMAN 

00 (*) 

Years Women Men 

I $1000 $1200 

2 ......... IIOO I3OO 

3 1200 1400 

4 1300 1500 

5 1400 1600 

20. Principals, general assistants, heads of departments, and assistants in 
evening high and elementary schools shall be paid in accordance with the fol- 
lowing schedule for each evening of actual service : 

SCHEDULE XX 

EVENING SCHOOLS 

Per evening 

Principals of evening high schools . . . . $7 oo 

Assistants in evening high schools . . . 5 oo 

Principals of evening elementary schools . . 5 oo 

Assistants in evening elementary schools . . 3 oo 
General assistants and heads of departments in evening 

schools 3 oo 

Teachers in charge of evening elementary schools having 

no principals 4 oo 

2 1 . Supervisors, assistant supervisors, principals, teachers, kindergartners, 
kindergarten helpers, substitutes, and clerks in the vacation schools shall be 
paid in accordance with the following schedule for each day of actual service : 

SCHEDULE XXI 

Per day 

Supervisors $6 oo 

Assistant supervisors 4 50 

Principals 4 50 

Teachers 3 oo 

Kindergartners 3 oo 

Kindergarten helpers i 50 

Substitutes and clerks i 50 



4i 6 The New York Public School 

Supervisors, assistant supervisors, principals, teachers, assistant teachers, 
librarians, and pianists in the vacation playgrounds shall be paid in accord- 
ance with the following schedule for each day of actual service : 

SCHEDULE XXII 

Per day 

Supervisors . . . . . . . . . $6 oo 

Assistant supervisors 4 50 

Principals 4 oo 

Teachers 2 50 

Assistant teachers . . . . . I 75 

Librarians ......... I 50 

Pianists i 75 

Supervisors and teachers in the swimming schools shall be paid in accord- 
ance with the following schedule for each day of actual service : 

SCHEDULE XXIII 

Per day 

Supervisors . . . . . . . . $5 oo 

Teachers 2 oo 

Principals, teachers, assistant teachers, librarians, pianists, bath teachers, 
and junior assistants in the recreation centres shall be paid in accordance with 
the following schedule for each session of actual service : 

SCHEDULE XXIV 

Per session 

Principals $4 oo 

Teachers 2 50 

Assistant teachers ....... '5 

Librarians 2 50 

Pianists 2 oo 

Bath teachers 2 oo 

Junior assistants I oo 

SCHEDULE XXV 

An inspector of playgrounds and recreation centres shall be paid an annual 
salary of $1500. 

22. Principals and teachers in truant schools shall be paid in accordance 
with the following schedules : 



Appendix V 417 

TRUANT SCHOOLS 
SCHEDULE XXVI 

PRINCIPAL OR HEAD MASTER, IF BOARDED AND LODGED 

Years 

I $1800 

2 IQOO 

3 2000 

4 2100 

SCHEDULE XXVH 

PRINCIPAL OR HEAD MASTER, IF NOT BOARDED AND LODGED 
Years 

I $2200 

2 2300 

3 2400 

4 2500 

No increase for any year shall be made unless the service of the principal 
or head master shall have been approved after inspection and investigation as 
fit and meritorious by a majority of the Board of Superintendents. 

Male teachers in truant schools, and male teachers of ungraded classes 
who hold regular elementary school licenses, shall be paid in accordance with 
Schedule VI. 

Male teachers holding special truant school licenses shall be paid in 
accordance with the following schedule : 

SCHEDULE XXVin 

Years 

I $90 

2 975 

3 1050 

4 1125 

5 1200 

6 1275 

7 1350 

8 1425 

9 1500 

10 1575 

ii 1650 

12 1725 

13 I800 

2 E 



418 The New York Public School 

The minimum salary shall be $900, the maximum $1800, and the rate of 
annual increase $75. 

No male teacher in a truant school shall receive a salary greater than that 
fixed for the seventh year of service, nor a salary greater than that fixed for 
the twelfth year of service, unless and until the service of such teacher shall 
have been approved after inspection and investigation as fit and meritorious 
by a majority of the Board of Superintendents. 

Women teachers in truant schools and teachers of ungraded classes who 
hold regular elementary school licenses shall be paid in accordance with 
Schedule IV. 

Women teachers holding special truant school licenses shall be paid in 
accordance with Schedule III. 

No woman teacher in a truant school shall receive a salary greater than 
that fixed for the seventh year of service, nor a salary greater than that fixed 
for the twelfth year of service, unless and until the service of such teacher shall 
have been approved, after inspection and investigation, as fit and meritorious 
by a majority of the Board of Superintendents. 

Regularly appointed teachers assigned as additional teachers shall be paid 
in accordance with Schedule III. Other persons assigned as additional teach- 
ers shall be paid at the rate of $3 per day of actual service. 



APPENDIX VI 



MEMBERS OF THE NEW YORK BOARD OF EDUCATION 



1842-1898 



Adams, John T. . . 


i8s3 S4 


Begg, Michael 


10 ^-y-5J 
18^960 


Adams, Richard H. 


igoc-qg 


Belden William 


1882 84 




f 1855-56 


Bell, Abraham 


f 1842-47 


Adams, Walter W. . 


'11858-59 
. . . 1862-65 


Bell, Edward 


\ 1849-50 
1803 








f i860 7O 






Bell, Isaac 


i louy f\j 


Agnew, Mrs. Mary N. 


. . . 1887-90 


Benedict, Erastus C. . . . 


\ 1877-87 
f 1849-54 

' 1 i8s7 61 


Albertson, Joseph C. . 


. . 1846-47 


Beneville, Emile .... 


\. xo^j/ uj 

1 80, ? 06 


Aldis, William H. . . 


i8ci cj. 


Blackburn Joseph 


i8ci HA 


Allason, William . . 


I8SS-S6 


Blackston, Wyllis . . . 


l 5 l 54 
i8cc 




f 1844-46 


Bleecker, James W. . . . 


. 1845-49 


Amend, Bernard 


'U866-68 
. . . 1880-82 


Bloomfield, Smith. . . . 
Bloomfield William 


. 1866 
i8c8 co 






Boese, Thomas 


10JJO ^y 

1 8* 6-iJ 7 


Anderson, E. Ellery . 


. . . 1897-98 


Bogert, Jacob C 


. 1862-65 


Anderson, William T. 


. . , 1 841: -47 




. 1862-64 


Andrews, Walter E. . 
Andrews, William D. 
Auld, Samuel 


. . . 1896-98 
. . . 1859-60 
i8c7-c8 


Bonnel, Hezekiah W. . . 
Bootman, Eliphalet . . . 


. 1842-43 
. 1856-57 

ft 8/1 7 AA 


Avery, William H . 


I8C6-S7 


Bosworth, Joseph S. . . . 


10< to 44 






Boyce, Gerardus .... 


f 1843-45 


Baker, David F. . . 






\ 184850 


Baldwin, Simeon . . 


i8s6-S7 


Boyd John 


i8co C2 


Bannard, Otto T. . . 


1807-08 


Bradford Nathaniel G 


i8co si 


Barnes, Joseph N. . . 


. . . I84S-47 




1848-40 


Barrow, Henry H. 


. . . I8S3-S4 








i8s8-SQ 


Brennan Timothy 


1860-77 


Beadle, Edward L. . 


. . . 1852-55 


Brooker, Stephen .... 


i8s6-S7 


Beardslee, Rufus G. 


1872-8? 


Brown. John Crosbv . 


I877-7A 



419 



420 



The New York Public School 



Brown, Josiah W 1856-57 

f 1861-62 

Brown, Thomas < , , 

1. 100405 

Brummell, Adonijah H. . . . 1858-59 

Buck, Leander 1869 

Buckley, William 1861-62 

Burlew, Richard 1856-57 

Burlingham, Charles C. . . . 1897-98 

Burr ill, John E 1866 

Bush, James W 1854 

Byrne, Andrew L 1858-61 

Cantrell, Samuel 1859-60 

Carey, Edward L 1863-64 

Carrigan, Andrew 1843-48 

Carter, Luther C 1853 

Gary, Jeremiah E { ' 49 ' 51 



Case, Andrew J 1855-56 

Castle, William 1843-45 

Cavanagh, James 1 860-61 

Caylus, Ernest 1876 

Chardavoyne, Thomas C. . . 1844-46 

Chipp, Charles J 1 866 

Cisco, John J 1843-44 

Clark, George H 1857-58 

Clark, Gerardus 1842-45 

Coger, Daniel 1858-61 

Cohen, Bernard 1 877-79 

Cole, William A 1886-89 

Coleman, James S 1 893-95 

Collins, John H 1861-62 

Collins, Joseph B 1853-54 

Collins, Philip 1848-50 

Colon, John R 1843-45 

Conely, William S 1843-49 

Conger, John 1843-44 

Connelly, Edmond .... 1863-64 

Cook, James H 1847-49 

Cooledge, William P. ... 1853-54 

Coop, Otto H 1867-69 

Cooper, Peter 1 853-54 

Cornell, George J 1848-50 

Coudert, Frederic R 1881-83 



Covert, George H. 


. . . 1850-52 


Crapo, Samuel A. . . 


( 1845-50 
t 1852-53 




. . . 1885 88 


Crawford, Gilbert H. . 


. . . 1881-86 


Crosby, John Schuyler 


. . . 1892-93 




. . . 1845-47 


Crozier, Hugh G. . . 


. . . 1858-61 


Cruikshank, James 


. . . 1848-50 


Curtis, Benjamin F. . 


. . . 1851-52 




. . . 1853-54 


Curtis, William E. ' . 


. . . 1858-63 




. . . 1858-59 


Daly, Timothy . . . 


. . . 1848-51 




. . . 1853-61 




. . . 1847-49 


Davis, Abraham B. 


f 1847-49 
'^-1851-53 


Davison, William S. . 


1854 




. . . 1855 


De Lamater, John 


c 1842-43 
'1 1853-55 




. . . 1843-44 


Denike, Abraham . . 


. . . 1854-57 


Denny, Thomas . . 


. . . 1845-52 


De Peyster, James F. 


. . . 1853-54 




r 1881-86 


Devoe, Frederick W. 


' ' 'U888-9I 


Dodge, Charles J. . . 


. . . 1846-53 


Dodge, Miss Grace H. 


. . . 1887-89 


Donnelly, Edward C. 


. . . 1878-81 


Doremus, Thomas C. 


. . . 1844-45 


Dougherty, Charles J. 


. . . 1859-60 


Dowd, William . . 


. . 1873-83 


Drexel, Joseph W. 


. . . 1881-82 




. . . 1845-46 


Duke, William S. 


. . . 1849-51 




. . . 1846-48 


Dunning, William 


. . . 1852-53 


Dupignac, James B 


. . . 1861-69 


Duryea, William E. . 


. . . 1868-73 


Eager, William B., Jr. 


. . . 1857-60 



Appendix VI 



421 



Ebling, Joseph E. . . 
Edgerton, Abel T. . . 


1852-53 
. . 1848-50 
1856-57 


Gilmartin, Thomas . . . 
Glover, Robert O. ... 
Goodenough, Samuel J. . . 


. 1849-51 
. 1859-60 
185253 


Elias Albert J ... 


1 804-Q 5 


Gould, Robert S 


1850-62 


Elting William H . . 


I85I52 


Goulden, Joseph A. . . . 


I 80 3 Q 5 


Ely, Elias H 




Goulding, Lawrence G. . . 


1876-78 


Ely, Smith, Jr 


l872-7T 


Gray, John F., M.D. . . . 


1846-4.8 


Emmet Thomas Addis . 


184^47 


Gray, Richard S 


1856-57 


England I W 


I87I72 




f I 868-60 






Gray, William H 




Engs, Philip W. ... 


f 1842-45 




1 1890-93 


Euring, Francis V. . . 
Eustis John E . . 


I 1847-49 
. . 1868-69 
1807-08 


Green, Andrew H. ... 
Green John ...... 


. 1855-60 

1855-56 






Greenough, William . 


1807-08 






Gregory, Harvey H. . 


. 1860-61 


Fairchild Benjamin P 


I 864-6 c 


Gross, Magnus ..... 


1860^73 




1850-60 


Guggenheimer, Randolph . 


1887-95 


Fancher, Enoch L. . . 
Farley. Terence ... 


. . 1871-72 
1857-60 


Gunther, C. Godfrey . . . 


. 1861-62 




f l85Q 6? 


Haines Provost S. . . . 


1857-58 


Farr, James \V. ... 










\ 1873 75 


Hall, Francis 


1842-45 


Fell, J. Weldon . . . 


185254. 


Hall, Thomas J 


. 1868-69 




f 1846-50 


Hall, William 




Fellows, Edward B. . . 

Fellows, Richard C. . . 
Field Charles D . . 


\i854-55 
. . 1857-58 
185253 


Halsted, James M. . . . 
Halsted, Schureman . . . 


. 1873-79 
. 1842-43 
1842-43 


Fitzgerald Thomas 


1858-50 




184.2-43 


Fitzpatrick, Jeremiah 
Flagg, William . . 


. . 1861-62 
1850-51 


Harris, R. Duncan . . . 


. 1891-95 

f I^Af-AA 


Flynn James . . 


. . 1880-82 


Harris, Townsend .... 


'\l846-48 


Foote John . . 


1853 






Ford, Patrick .... 


. . 1861-63 


Haskett, William Jay . . 


1857-58 


Fowler Boltis M. . . . 


1855-56 




. 1864-65 


Fraser, Edward A. . . 
Fuller, Lawson N. . . 

Gale William . . . 


f 1844-46 
'I 1851-53 
. . 1874-76 


Hatfield, Abraham . . . 
Havemeyer, George L. . . 
Hawks, Thomas E. B. . . 
Haws, J. H. Hobart . . . 


. 1842-45 

. 1846-47 
. 1869 
. 1849-51 
. 1863-67 


Gallaway Robert M . . 


1885-00 




1863-64 




. . 1861-62 


Hazeltine, Leonard . . 


. 1875-78 




i SQO-Q 5 


Healy Owen .... 


1867-60 


Getty Robert P. ... 




Heath, Edward B. ... 


. 1862-65 


Gildersleeve David H 


1860-61 


Henry Tames F ... 


1856-57 


Gildersleve. Charles E. 


1858-61 


Herrick, John L 


1850-51 



422 



The New York Public School 



Herring, William 1875 

Hibbard, William l8 5 2 -55 

Hills, Samuel A 1854 

Hilton, Joseph 1852-53 

Hitchman, William .... 1863-67 

Hoe, Robert 1873 

Holden, Horace 1842-43 

Holland, Josiah G 1872-73 

Holt, Charles L 1885-96 

Hooper, John 1854-57 

Hopper, Isaac A 1891-93 

Horan, James F 1862-65 

Hubbell, Charles Bulkley . . 1890-98 

Huggins, John P 1863-64 

Hull, John C 1855-56 

Hunt, John L. N 1889-96 

Hunt, Wilson G 1847-49 

Hurlbut, William H 1895-98 

Hurry, Edmond 1849-51 

Ingersoll, Lorin 1869-72 

Irwin, James H ^54 

Ivins, William M 1883-85 



Jackson, David S., Jr. 
Jackson, Peter H. . . 

Jarvis, Jay .... 

Jarvis, Nathaniel, Jr. . 
Jasper, John .... 

Jelliffe, Samuel G. . . 

Jenkins, Edward O. . 

Jennett, William . . 

Jeremiah, Thomas . . 

Johnson, Isaac A. . . 

Johnson, Leonard L. . 

Jones, Alanson S. . . 

Jones, William, Jr. . 



1863-64 

1867-69 

1846-50 

1854 

1870-73 

1868-69 

1877-79 

1872-75 

1863-64 

1842-44 

1842-46 

^54-55 

^52-55 

1853 

1855-56 



Kaiser, John, Jr 1869 

Kane, J. Grenville 1876-77 

Kasmire, Andrew J 1864 



Katzenberg, Julius .... 1877-81 

Kelly, Eugene 1873-85 

Kelly, Hugh 1895-98 

Kelly, Patrick 1846-48 

Kelly, Robert 1847-50 

Kennedy, Thomas 1861-62 

Kerr, David B 1857 

Ketchum, Alexander P. ... 1895-98 

Ketch um, Edgar 1853 

King, David H., Jr 1890-91 

King, James G., Jr 1846-51 

Kinney, Owen 1863-64 

Kirby, Spencer 1851 

Klamroth, Albert 1873-76 

Knox, Charles H 1892-95 

Koster, Charles 1864 

Kuhne, Frederick 1889-90 

Kuster, George 1866 



Landon, Thomas H. . . . 
Langdon, James .... 

Larremore, Richard L. . . 

Lawlor, Robert T. ... 
Lawrence, Richard . . . 
Lawrence, S. Sterry, M.D. . 

Lawton, Cyrus 

Lecomte, Vincent M. . . 

Lee, James P 

Lee, Oliver H 

Leggett, Thomas H. . . . 
Leggett, William F. . . . 
Leveridge, John W. C. . . 

Lewis, Charles V 

Lewis, Samuel A 

Lewis, Tayler 

Lieber, Francis 



Little, Joseph J. . 
Livingston, George 
Lummis, William . 



Lydecker, John R. 



1866 
1861-62 
1862-63 
1867-70 

1854-55 

1849-51 

1844-46 

1851-53 

1857-5* 

1897-98 

1858-59 

1844-48 

1842-43 

1853-54 

1873-75 

1869-73 

1847-49 

1864-65 

1891 

1895-98 

1892-95 

1886-88 

1890-93 

1857-58 

i 860-6 I 



Appendix VI 



423 



Mack, Jacob W ...... 1895-98 

MacKean, James . . { .? ? 

\ 1861-62 

Maclay, Robert ..... 1891-98 

Maher, Patrick ...... 1864-65 

Man, Albon P ....... 1 873-75 

Mandeville, William .... 1842-43 

Manierre, Benjamin F. . . . 1878-80 

Marriner, James ..... 1858-62 



Mason, John L ...... 1845-47 

Matthewson, A. J ...... 1873-76 

McBarron, James W ..... 1890-95 

McCabe, Hugh ...... 1858-59 

McCarthy, Denis " ..... 1860-62 

McCarthy, Florence .... 1855-56 

McCay, Charles ..... 1859-60 

McCloskey, D. W. C. . . . 1854-55 

McGuire, Joseph ..... 1 860-61 

McLaughlin, John A. ... 1863-64 

McLean, James M ..... 1863-67 

McLean, John ...... 1848-52 

McMahon, John ..... 1844-46 

McSpedon, Thomas . . . . 

McSweeny, Daniel E., M.D. . 1895-98 

Meade, Peter ...... 1862-63 

Meakim, Alexander .... 1850-52 

Meeks, Joseph W ..... 1851-53 

Meirowitz, Philip, M.D. . . . 1895-96 

Merrill, Benjamin B ..... 1867-69 

Metzgar, Christian ..... 1859-62 

Miller, David ...... 1861-62 

Miller, Jacob ...... 1843-44 

Miller, James L ...... 1862-67 

Miller, Jedediah ..... 1854-56 

Miller, Nehemiah ..... 1849-51 

Montant, Auguste P. ... 1895-97 

Monteith, William . . . 



Montgomery, Samuel J. 
Moore, James 
Morand, Augustus . 



1863-64 
1862-63 
1853-55 



Moriarty, Thaddeus 



( 1879-81 
* '1 1889-95 

Morrill, Elisha 1851-53 

Morris, Orin W. 1851-52 

Mosher, Joseph F. .... 1890-91 

Moss, William P 1846-47 

Mullen, John 1843-44 

Murphy, Felix 1863-64 

Murphy, Thomas 1869-70 

Murphy, William D 1848-53 

Murray, Washington .... 1864-66 



Neilson, William H. . 



Nehrbas, Charles J. .... 1880 

f 1853-58 
J 1864-65 
' 1867-69 
I 1873-76 

Nelson, George P 1855 

Newhouse, John 1844-46 

Nicoll, 



Niven, George '857-58 

Nott, JoelB 1853 

Oakley, Jacob F 1854 

O'Brien, Miles M 1886-95 

O'Connor, William J. ... 1863-64 

O'Donnell, Arthur .... 1864-65 

O'Donnell, William .... 1850-53 

O'Grady, John 1858-59 

O'Keefe, John 1858-61 

O'Leary, John D 1854 

Ostrander, Gideon .... 1842-43 

Palmer, Francis A. .... 1870-71 

Parker, Shivers 1842-43 

Patten, John 1863-64 

Patterson, Edward .... 1882-84 

Patterson, Samuel P. . . .{'f 7 " 69 

I i 873-75 

Pattison, Robert 1846-48 

Paulding, George 1846-48 

Peaslee, Edward H., M.D. . . 1 1 ^ 9 ~ 91 



424 



The New York Public School 



Pellew, Henry E 


iv OJ 

I 880-8 i 


Schell, Edward . . 


10 ^~iJ 

l87C 77 


Pentz, Adam P 


I SAC 47 


Schiff, Jacob H 


l882 84 


Perine, Benjamin, Jr. 


1844-46 




. . . 1884-89 


Perkins, Hosea B 


1884-86 


Schwab, Gustav . . 


. . . 1884 86 


Perley, Charles, Jr 
Perry, Andrew J 


1864-65 
i8cc-c6 


Scofield, Jonathan L. 
Scribner, Abraham S 


. . . 1857-58 

l8C4 C C 


Peters, De Witt C 


1860 


Seaman, John M. . 


10 j*r 33 
1846 CO 




i8c.4 








i8cA c6 


Sedgwick, Theodore . 


l84C 4.8 


Pierson, Charles E 


l8C3 CA 


See, William S . . 


i8c4 c6 


Pinkney, William T 


1847-53 
1876-81 


Seligman, De Witt J. 


. . . 1884-89 


Pomeroy, Eugene II. ... 
Post, James M . . . . 


1883-85 
1866-68 


Shannon, Robert H. . 
Shaver, Charles G. 


. . . 1855-56 
1863 


Powell, Mrs. Sarah H. . . . 


1880-01 






Prentiss, Nathaniel A. ... 


1 8Qc-q8 






Purdy, Samuel M 


1887-92 




f i8c7-c8 










Purser, George H 


1849-52 


Shortell, William . . 


' 1 1860-61 




l8A7 AC 


Simmons T Edward 


1882 90 


Quackenboss, James, M.D. 


I84C-47 


Sinclair, William . 


i8cc c8 










Ranney, Lafayette .... 


i8c,6-co 






Ransom, Jonathan H. . . . 


i8c.i-c4 


Slote, Daniel . . . 


181:6-63 


Redfield,J. S 


1848-^ 


Small, Wilson . . . 


1864-60 


Reynolds, Alonzo G 


i8c.9-6o 


Smith, Albert . . . 


i8c6-C7 


Rhoads, Benjamin T. ... 


i 860-6 i 






Rice, Henry . 


1898 


Smith Bartlett . . . 


l843 AC 


Rich, Josiah 


184.246 


Smith, Charles H 


l8C2 C C 


Robinson, Edward, Jr. ... 


1862-63 


Smith, Isaac W. . . 


. . . 105^5 55 
i8c6-C7 


Roche, Walter 


i8c6-c.7 


Smith, Orlando P. . . 


. . 1861 64 


Rockwell, William .... 
Rogers, Henry A 


1854 
1803-08 


Smith, Thomas E. 
Smith, William 


. . . 1850-53 

l8A2 A 1 


Rollins, Aaron B 


i8c7 c8 




f TRfio 62 










Roosevelt, S. Weir .... 
Rowland, William Z 


1864-67 
1854-55 




1 1869-73 
1863-64 


Rumsey, John W 


l8C 2-C3 


Spencer, Mark 


1 8 A 3 AC 


Russ, John D., M.D 


i 848-^2 


Speyer Tames 


180*7 


Russell, Israel 


i8c3 C4 




T QQ Q n 


Rutherford, James C. ... 


^54-55 


Stafford, William R. . 
Steers, Edward P. . . 


. . . 1859-60 

1 804 o c 


Sands, Nathaniel 


1869-73 


Stevens, Linus \V 


i8c3 CA 


Sanger, Adolph L 


1889-94 


Stewart, Thomas E. . 


. 1854 



Appendix VI 



425 



St John, Samuel S. . . . 


1847-40 


Vanderpool, Jacob .... 
Van Vorst, Hooper C. . . . 


1877 
1871-72 
1842-43 
\ 1873-81 
L 1883-90 
1851-53 

1861-62 
1876-86 
1854 
1883-85 
1845-47 
1846-50 
1856-57 
f 1858-61 
L 1866-69 
[1852-54 
1856-57 
1859-62 
1876-80 
1859-60 
1855-56 
1887-89 
1842-43 
1892-96 
1843-47 
1851-52 
1863-64 
1882-88 
1851-53 
' 1854-55 
1864-66 
1868-69 
.1873-83 

r 1842-43 

L 1846-47 
1873-86 

1854 
1844-46 
1877-79 
1856-59 

1850-51 

1854 

1877-81 


Stillman, Thomas B. . . . 


i8; 3-S4 


Stone, Hubbard G. . . . 


f 1860-61 


Vermilye, Jacob D. . . . 


Stone William L . . 


' \ 1880-82 
184241; 


Vulte, Frederick L 


Stout Andrew V ... 


f 1852-53 


Wade, Patrick 


Strauss Charles .... 


11860-63 
1801-06 


Strong George ^V . . 


184243 


Walker, Stephen A 
Wallace, Thomas . . 


Stuart Charles . 


ige? 


Sweeney, Hugh, M.D. . . 
Taft, Henry W. 


. 1842-54 
1806-0,8 


Wallace, William B 
W 7 alsh, James 


Walters, William A., M.D. . . 
Ware, John J 


Tamsen, Edward J. H. . . 
Tappen, Charles S. . . . 


( 1883-88 
'11890-91 

1855-56 
1 840-1; 3 




Waterbury, Nelson J - 

Watson, Benjamin F 
\Vatson, James 


Thompson, Robert, Jr. . . 
Tiemann, Daniel F. . . . 


. 1847-51 
184243 


Timpson Jared A . . 


. 1858-61 


Todd William W 


1842-43 


Tooker, Theodore .... 


. 1868 


Webb, David 






Webb, H. Walter 


Townsend, Isaac .... 


I 84 7-4 C 


Weed, Nathaniel 


Townsend, Randolph W. . 

Townsend, Solomon . . . 
Townsend, Walter W. . . 
Tracy, Charles 


f ^54-55 

'11*73-75 

. 1847-48 

. 1854 
181:4 


W^ehrum, Charles C 


\Veir George . 


Weismann, Augustus .... 


Welch, William J 
Wells, Ovid P 


Trapp John H 


1862 63 


Traud, Ferdinand .... 
Tucker William 


f 1873-83 
'(.1885-90 
181:0-62 


West, Henry P 


Westervelt, Jacob A < 
Wetmore, David 


Turner John F 


I 86^-67 


Tuthill, James M 


1 81; 6-61; 


Tweed William M. . . . 


I8S7-S8 


Underhill Adna H . . 


. 1862-63 


Wheeler, Clark B 


Underbill, James W. . . . 
Underwood, John A. ... 

Van Arsdale, William J. . . 
Van Buskirk, William J. . . 
Vance, Samuel B. H. . . . 


1855-56 
. 1843-44 

. 1892-97 
. 1843-44 
. 1861-68 


Wheeler, David E 
Wheeler, Everett P 


White, George 
White, John H 


Whitmore, John H 


Wickham, William H. . . . 



426 



The New York Public School 



Wilhelm, William S. . . 

Wilkins, Morris . . . 

Willet, James C. . . . 

Williams, Abraham V. . 
Williams, Mrs. Clara M. 

Williams, Richard S. . . 

Williamson, Amor J. . . 

Wilson, Abraham D. . . 



1862-63 

1875-77 

1851-53 

1852-59 

1890-92 

1842-43 

1853 

1854-55 



Winslow, Robert F 1845-47 

Winthrop, Benjamin R. . . . 1853-56 

f 1869-73 
Wood, William \ 1875-79 

1 1881-88 

Woods, James 1862-63 

Wright, Charles S 1852-53 



MEMBERS OF THE BROOKLYN BOARD OF EDUCATION 



1843-1898 



Aechternacht, H. A. . . 


. . 1877-80 




" w / /j 
J 1844-47 


Alexander, George R. . 
Ammerman, Albert . . 


. . 1879-82 
1870-78 




' 1 1851-61 






Bergen Peter G. . . 


. . . 1843-66 


Anthony, Edward . . . 


J T" *T 








I 1851-61 




f 1875-77 


Arnold, S. G 
Aubery, Albert C. . . . 


. . 1849-55 
. . 1888-94 




. . . 1880-87 




. . 1880-83 


Betts Charles C. . 


1 84. c c i 






Black, Robert A. . . 


1800 07 


Babbott, Frank L. . . 


l8q<5-Q8 


Booth, Samuel . . 


igcc 6j 


Backhouse, Edward T. . 


. . 1849-151 




1887-07 


Badeau, I 


1864. 67 


Brainard R C 


i8c8 fii 


Bamberger, Ira Leo . . 
Barnes, Demas . . . 


1895-98 
l8?O 72 


Brevoort, J. Carson . 


. . . 1848-55 






Brill, Max .... 


j i"*5 7 


Barthman, William . . 
Bates, J. A 


. . 1887-91 
. . 1848-51 


Brinkerhoff, Isaac . . 


' 1 1894-96 
1844. 68 




f 1848-^2 




. . . 1880 88 


Baylis, Abraham B. . . 


1 

. J 1855-67 








I 1869-76 






Beard, William .... 


I 840 I 






Beard, William H. . . 


. . 1880-83 


Bull, Thomas, Jr. . . 




Bell, A. N 


1876-77 


Burbank William 




Bellingham, John . . . 


l8i;2-7O 


Burger, Joseph . . . 


. . . 1044 4!) 
1872-82 


Bendernagel, James F. . 
Bennett, Cornelius . . 


. . l8 9 7- 9 8 
. . 1851-52 
I87O-78 


Burke, F. J 
Burnham, H. G. . . 
Burr Jonathan S 


. . . 1875-81 
. . . 1855-70 
18155 80 


Bergen, Cornelius . 


184.7-4.6 




f 1882 91 






Buttrick Charles A. 




Bergen, De Hart . . . 


igcc 7C 




1 I8Q7 Q7 


Bergen, Garrett G. 


<J JJ /J 

1 847- <a 




* 10 yj if/ 
188^-88 



Appendix VI 



427 



Cadley, Edward B. . . 


'11896-98 
, . 1867-76 


Davids, Charles H. . . . 


. 1888-90 


Caldwell, Wallace E. . . 


- 1855-57 
. . 1870-81 


Davis, William M. ... 
Dayton, John A. .... 


. 1889-95 
I 84640 


C-11 A T> 


/ l8 S4-55 


De Nyse, William .... 


. 1880-83 




1 18157-70 


Dever, C. 


. 1861 64 




. . 1861-80 


De Witt, Moses E. . . . 


i 84640 


Carter, O. G 


. . 1870-72 


Dickey, Erskine H. . . . 


. 1886-92 


Gary, E 


1864-70 


Dillingham, William S 


184^ c8 


Cashman, John J. . 


l80I04. 


Doane, Charles R 


188084 


Chadwick, Charles N. 


. . 1896-98 






Chapman, Miss Isabel M. 
Church, E. Dwight . . 


. . 1895-98 
. . 1881-86 
. . 1882-85 


Dresser, Horace E. . . . 
Dreyer John . 


f 1882-91 
'(.1894-98 

l86*7 72 


Clark, George P. ... 


1807-08 




1888-96 




. . 1884 86 




I 84062 






Duryea, H. B. . . . . . 


. 1850-55 






Dutcher, Silas B 


1871; 80 


Cocheau, Theodore . . 
Cocks, John D. ... 


. . 1873-76 


Eames, Theodore .... 


184746 


Cole, William M. . . . 


. . 1872-81 






Colgan, John J., M.D. 


1891-98 


Everdell, William .... 


. 1866-67 


Collier Edward L. . . 


1806-0.8 


Evert z, Carl A 


180.6-08 


Condon John ... 


. . 1884-86 






Conkling, J T 


. . 1864-70 




1898 












f 1847-49 


Ferguson, William P. ... 


. 1888-91 




" '\i8si-s8 


Ferris ^Villiam ..... 


180004 


Cortelyou Adrian V 


I 844 1 1 


Fey John ....... 


1886-89 


Cothren, Nathaniel . 


. . 1884-86 




i8c;q-6i: 




. . 1886-91 


Field, Thomas W 




Crandall Eben V. . . 


. . 1884-86 






Crane William W. . . 


i8cc-6i 


Fischer, Ernest W. . . . 


1871: 87 




. . 1888-91 




f l87I 77 








J i "/ 1 /J 




184^-46 




' I l8Q4-q8 












i8cc-6i 


Fiske, E. W 


. 1861-64 


Cullen Edgar M. . . . 


187177 


Fitzgibbon, J. J. .... 


l872 71 




( 1872-81 


Flaherty, John W 


I87I-77 


Culyer, John Y. ... 


1 1886-98 




I876-Q2 


Cunningham, John . . 


. . 1872-82 


Forman, Alexander . . . 


. 1872-79 
l8q6-q8 


Dallon. Francis L. 


1881-84 


Frisbie, Oscar , 


1876-78 



428 



The New York P lib lie School 



Frothingham, J. H ..... 1864-70 

Furey, William A ...... 1 873-75 

Gardiner, David ..... 1843-50 

Gardner, Robert B ..... 1880-87 

' OS 

Getting, Adolph H ..... 1887-89 

Gill, William L ...... 1867-72 

Glasser, Henry ...... 1879-82 

Goodrich, W. W. ..... 1867-70 

Goodstein, Samuel ..... 1886-95 

Graham, S ........ 1861-64 

Graves, Horace ...... 1883-89 

Greenwood, John. . . . . 



Griffin, John, M.D 



Griffiths, Edgar E 1883-87 

Guilfoyle, John 1886-93 

Hall, James 1856-80 

Hallam, A. C 1881-82 

Halsey, Harlan P. 1885-94 

Halsey, John 1847-57 

Hamlin, George D., M.D. . . 1894-98 

Hardenbergh, L.V.D. ... 1869-80 

Harkness, William .... 1879-93 

Harrigan, John, M.D. ... 1883-98 

Harris, William M 1851-61 

Hart, Daniel 1864-72 

Hart, James H 1870-73 

Hart, Levi 1843-48 

Harteau, Henry -T 

1 1854-59 

Hatfield, A. F 1861-64 

Haviland, Abijah ...... 1882-84 

Hawxhurst, L. B. ... . . 1851-52 

Haynes, Stephen . . . . . 1843-57 

Hazlett, James 1851-54 

Healy, A. Augustus .... 1891-93 

Henderson, Robert, Jr. . . . 1881-84 

Hendrix, Joseph C 1882-93 

Hennessy, John F 1870-73 



Henry, J. W 


. . 1850-51 


Hentscher, Robert . . 


. . 1884-86 


Hibson, James .... 


. . 1858-61 


Higgins, Algernon S. 


. . 1892-98 


Hinrichs, Frederick W. . 


. . 1881-84 


Hoile, James T. . . . 


. . 1879-82 


Hollis, W. H. . . . . 


. . 1864 67 


Hooper, Franklin W. 


. . 1891-98 


Hope, John 


. . 1877-83 


Houghton, Thomas F. . 


. . 1881-86 


How, James 


. . 1851-64 


Howard, Joseph . . . 


. . 1847-51 




. . 1843-44 


Hubbs, Courtes T. . . 


. . 1891-95 


Hull, A. Cooke . . . 


. . 1867 69 


Hull, Charles A. . . . 


. . 1882 84 




r 1843-44 


Hunter, John W. . . . 


. J 1846-73 




1 1876-77 


Huntley, R. H 


. . 1875-80 


Hurlbut, George . , . 


. . 1845-46 


Hurlbut, William W. . 


. . 1864-77 


Husted, Seymour L. . . 


. . 1846-48 


Hynes, T. W 


. . 1878-81 


Jacobs, Mrs. Mary E. 


. . 1895-98 


Jarrett, Arthur R. . . . 


. . 1888-94 


Jewell, Ditmas .... 


. . 1896-98 


Johnson, Barnet . . . 


. . 1843-51 


Johnson, Jeremiah . . 


. . 1857-64 


Johnson, Teunis . . . 


. . 1843-44 


Jurgens, J. R 


. . 1861-73 


Kelley, John C. . . . 


. . 1884 87 


Kelsey, Charles . . . 


. . 1859-64 


Kelsey, G. W 


. . 1855-56 


Kerr, Anthony .... 


. . 1843-50 




1895-98 


Kimball, John W. . . . 


. . 1892-95 




, , 1884-94 




. . 1868-75 




. . 1895-97 


Lamar, G. B 


. . 1849-51 



Appendix VI 



429 



Lane, F. A 


* 1 1858-68 
1857-61 


Millard, A. Orville . . . 
Miller, Eben .... 


. . 1843-44 
1880-05 


Lavelle Hugh P. ... 


1887-00 


Moore, E. B .... 


i 8707 i 




1855-59 


Moran, Thomas F. 


1802 05 


Libby, William P 


1872-76 


Morgan, G. D 


185157 


Liebmann, Joseph .... 


. 1882-85 


Moriarty, John M. . 


1841-48 




. 1886-89 


Morris, Frederick R. . 


1854-56 


Lloyd, T. . 


. 1861-64 




1846-51 




. 1864-66 


Moulton, George E. . 


188^-87 




. 1881-84 


Murdock, James J. . . 


1848-57 


Low, Seth 


1846-47 


Murphy James . . 


1 CMJ.U ^ / 
l86l-82 


Lowell, S. V 


1875-81 




! 880-04. 


Lynch William J . . . 


1800-08 


Murtha William H 


187072 




. 1884-86 










Nash, William A. ... 


1883-84 


Mackellar, R. F 


. 1877-80 




T 00x, 0- 


Macomber, Edward . . . 


. 1843-45 
. 1847-51 


Northup, Daniel L. . . 


. . 1857-71 


Marcellus, J. L 

Martin, Andrew B. ... 


. 1873-80 
187175 


Nostrand, George E. . . 


. . 1887-93 
. . l8 94 -98 


Martin, T. Henry .... 


1880-86 






Martin, William .... 


187075 


O'Brien, T., Jr 


. . 1873-76 






CFKeeffe, M 


. . 1877-80 


Marvin, Tasker H. . . . 


. 1843-49 
. 1881-82 
1864 81 


Parsons, George W. . . 


1856-67 




jCQ.1 O- 


Paulding, John .... 


l857-6l 


Maxwell Henry W 


1 8O/1 Q8 


Payne, Robert .... 


. . 1881-87 


McCabe D 


I86I-64 


Peer, William H. . . . 


1855-57 


McCloskey H 


1861 67 




. . 1857-64 


McDermott, W 


. 1861-67 


Perry, Miss Elizabeth H. 


. . 1895-98 




f 1867-72 


Perry, Timothy .... 


f 1864-70 


McGrath, Thomas H. . . 
McGuire, J. C 


1 1874-75 
1874-75 
. 1875-76 


Pettigrew, William R. . 
Pettingill, Mrs. Emma F. 


* I 1881-83 
. . 1879-82 
. . 1895-98 




1884 86 


Phelps, J. M 


I85V-73 


McKinney M . . . . 


. 1861-64 


Pierrepont, Henry E. 


. . 1844-45 


McLean, Henry C., M.D. . 


. 1886-98 




f 1855-57 


McMahon Tames . . 


. 1881-83 




* 11861-69 


McNamee John 


1870-08 


Piper, Elwin S 


1896-98 


McNulty, Peter H. ... 
Mead George W 


. 1887-95 
1881-84 


Polhemus, Theodorus 
Policy Grahams ... 


. . 1843-56 
1855-61 


Mead, P. B 


1852-54 


Pool, George W. . . . 


. . 1884-86 


Meehan. P. T. 


i 861-64 


Poole. William . 


1853-50 



430 



The New York Public School 



Powell, John K., D.D.S. . 

Powell, Mrs. Julia M. . . 
Prosser, Thomas .... 


f 1887-96 
' 1 1898 
. 1895-98 
. 1874 80 


Smith, William C. ... 
Sneider, Robert . . . . 


. 1843-49 


Somers, Arthur S 




Spader, John L 


fXfifi-fiT 


Provost, A. J 


. 1864-67 


Sparks, Jared 


i8c7 fii 


Raymond, Joseph H., M.D. 
Rhodes, John H 


. 1893-96 
. 1867-76 


Sparrow, J. R 
Spear, Calvin F 


. 1875-81 


Sperry, C. S 




Rice, Tohn , 


I8CI-C2 


Sprague, Cornelius J. . . 
Sprague, William E. . . . 

Stanton, Amos P 


. 1859-68 
. 1870-81 
f 1843-44 


Richards, James B. . . . 


1867 70 


Richardson, Asa B. . . . 


. 1872 81 


Riaac T W 




Riggs, M. C 


. 1570-73 


Stearns John N 


1 1846-47 


Robertson, Charles E. . . 
Robinson, James L. . . . 

Rodman, Thomas H. . . 

Rosman, J. G., M.D. . . . 
Rowe, Edward 


. 1893-98 
. 1882-83 
r 1851-54 
' \ 1856-65 
. 1873-76 

. 1865 97 


Stevens, Alfred G. . . . 


( 1843-51 
'1 1853-54 


Stewart, T. McCants . . . 
Straub, George .... 


. 1890-94 
1880-0.6 






Rushman, W. C 

Sanger, William Gary . . 
Schaedle, George W. . . 
Schapps, Cornelius H. . . 
Scharmann, H. B. ... 
Schimmel Anton 


. 1867-70 

. 1881-84 
. 1894-98 

. 1864-77 
. 1876-86 
1891 94 




l867 7O 


Suydam, Moses . . . 


1847 48 


Swanstrom, J. Edward . . 
Sweeny, James . 


. 1888-98 
I887-QI 


Taylor, Fitch 




Taylor, Peter G 


igc4-c8 


Schmidt, Henry P. ... 
Schultz, J. S 


. 1894-98 

jR/tAAfl 


Teale, Charles E 


1877-06 


Theall, E 


1876-70 


Schwarzwaelder, "W 


1874 81 




. 1882 88 


Scott, Rufus L 


. 1886-89 


Thomas, William M. . . . 
Thompson, John R. . . . 


. 1867-80 
. 1886-98 


Scottron, Samuel R. . . . 


1804-08 


Scranton, K. E 
Seabury, James M. . . . 

Shanahan, James M. . . . 
Shapter, John S 


. i 880-8 i 
( 1846-56 
't 1859-70 
. 1879-82 
1840 c i 


Thorne, John Sullivan, M.D. 
Thome, Richard A. ... 


. 1843-71 
i 84840 


Thursby, Robert G. . . . 


l8cc rg 


Tompkins, George V. ... 
Tonjes, C. F 


. 1884-86 
. 1878-81 


Shepard, A. W., M.D. . . 
Simis, C 


. 1871-80 

r 1886-89 




184.0 cc 


Turner, Peter 


1847 46 






Simmons, Parker P. ... 


1 1891-94 
. 1886-91 


Jnderhill, James E. . . . 
Van Sinderen, Adrian . . 
Walsh, John D. . 


l8 55-59 
. 1844-47 
. 1864-67 
1802-0.1; 


Simonson, Jacob A. S. . . 
Smith, Alfred S 


. i 88 1-86 
i 840 c i 


Smith, Cyrus P 


1 84 "? 71 


Smith, George W. . . . 


1873-75 



Appendix VI 



Weber John W ... 


. 1888-96 


Wilson, Christopher W. . 
Winant, D. D 
Winter, Henry M. . . 
Woodworth, George H. . 
Wreaks, Charles F. . . 
Wright, James .... 


. . 1883-86 
. . 1861-71 
. . 1886-92 
. . 1894-98 
. . 1881-86 
1807-08 


"Weir James Jr ... 


. 1886-98 


\Vheeden, Thomas J. . . . 
Wheeler, Hayden W. . . 
White Philip A . . 


. 1877-82 
f 1876-79 
'\ 1881-84 
. 1882-90 


White, T. J 
Whiting, R. M 
Whitlock, Ephraim J. . . 
Whitmore, Stephen . . . 
Wiggins, J. W., Jr. . . . 
Willets, C. W 


. 1880-81 
. 1856-67 
. 1858-81 
. 1844-45 
. 1886-90 
. 1868-69 


Wyckoff, Peter .... 


f 1843-44 


Young, Richard . . . 


11846-51 
18015-08 


Zabriskie, T L . . 


iSod. QC 


Williams, John 


. 1869-81 


Zumbrod, F W . . 


i8co-6i 


MEMBERS OF THE 
Adams, Richard H. . . . 


BOARD C 
NEW 

1898 

1898-1904 
1898-1899 
1904 
1898-1899 
1902-1904 
1903-1904 
1898-1899 
1902-1904 
1902-1904 
1902-1903 
1899-1900 
f 1898-1899 
1 1902-1903 
1900-1902 
1900-1902 
1898-1899 
1902-1904 
1902-1903 
1902-1904 
1899-1902 
1902-1904 
1902-1904 
1898-1902 
1 004 


)F EDUCATION OF 
YORK 

-1904 

Eustis, John E 


GREATER 

1808-1800 


Everett, A. Leo . . . 
Fagan, John J. P. . . . 
Farrell, Edward F. . . 
Field, Frank Harvey . . 
Francolini, Joseph Nicola 
Frissell, Algernon S. . . 
Greene, John . 


. 1902-1904 
. 1904 
. 1899-1902 
. 1902-1904 
. 1902-1904 
. 1902-1904 

IQOO IQOd 


Aldcroftt, Richard B., Jr. 
Anderson, E. Ellery . . . 
Babbott, Frank L 
Backus, Grosvernor H. . . 
Banuard Otto T 


Barrett, Nicholas J. . . . 


Greenough, William . . 
Griffin, John, M.D. . . 
Guy Charles L 


. 1898-1899 
. 1899-1900 
I OO2 I QO 1 


Brunner, Arnold W. . . . 
Burke, John T 


Burlingham, Charles C. . . 
Cashman, John J 


Hamlin, George D., M.D. 
Harkness, William . . . 
Harrison, Robert L. . . 
Haupt, Louis, M.D. . . 
Higgins, Thomas J. . . 
Higginson, Thomas J. 
Hubbell, Charles Bulkley 
Ingalls, Charles H. . . 
Jackson, Frederic W. . . 
Jay, Pierre . 


. 1902-1904 
. 1902-1904 
. 1902-1904 
. I9O2-I9O4 
. 1904 
. 1903-1904 
. I8 9 8 
. 1902-1904 
. I9O2-I9O4 
IQO2 IQO3 


Cole, William J 
Collier, Edward L. . . . 
Collier, M. Dwight . . . 
Connery, Thomas B. . . . 
Cunnion, Francis P. . . . 
Davis, Vernon M 


Dix, Samuel M. . . . . 


Donnelly, Samuel B. . . . 
Dresser, Horace E. . . . 
Eppig, Theodore 






Kelley, John C 




Kelly, Hugh . 


1808 



432 



The New York Public School 



Kelly, John P. . . . 


. . 1902-1904 


Robertson, Charles E. . . 


18001002 


Kennedy, Michael J. . 
Kiendl Adolph 


. . 1902-1903 

IQO2 IQO4. 


Rodenstein, Louis A., M.D. 


1902-1904 
f 18081800 


Kittel, Joseph J. . . 
Leavitt, G. Rowland . 
Little, Joseph J. . . 
Livingston, George . 


. . 1899-1902 
. . 1898-1899 
. . 1899-1900 
. . 1899-1900 


Rogers, Henry A 

Rossiter, Edward V. W. . . 
Schaedle, George W. . . . 


j ioyo ioyy 
\ 1902-1904 
1902-1903 
1902-1904 
IQO4 


Mack, Jacob W. . . 
Man, Alrick H. . . . 


f I898-I 8 99 
' I 1902-1904 
IQO2 IQOA 


Simonson, F. De Hass . . 
Somers, Arthur S 
Stern, Abraham . . 


1899-1900 
1900-1902 
IQOO IQOA 


Marks, Frederick W. . 
Maxwell, Henry W. . 
McDonald, Albert G. . 
McGowan, Patrick F. . 


. . 1903-1904 
. . 1898-1900 
. . 1902-1903 
IOOA 


Stern, M. Samuel . . . . 
Sterne, Morris E 
Swanstrom, J. Edward . . 
Taft, Henry W . . . 


1904 
1899-1902 
1898-1900 
1898-1899 


McNamee, John . . 
Metz Herman A 


. . 1898-1899 
I9OII9O2 


Thompson, John R. . . . 
Thomson Theodore E 


1898-1902 
I QO2 I QO4. 


Moriarty, Thaddeus 


l80Q IQO2 


Tifft, Henry N. . . . , 


IQO'? IQO4. 


Morris, Alfred Hennen 
O'Brien, Edward D. . 
O'Brien, Miles M. . . 
O'Keeffe, John G. . . 
Partridge, Frank H. . 


. . 1900-1902 
. . 1903-1904 
. . 1899-1902 
. . 1900-1902 
IQO7 IQOA 


Vandenhoff, George A. . . 
Van Hoesen, George M. . . 
Van Ingen, Edward . . . 
Warburg, Felix M. . . . . 
'Weir, James, Jr 


1902-1904 
1899-1900 
1902 
1902-1904 
I QO2 I QOA 


Payne George E . 


IQO2 IQO4. 


White Patrick J 


I9OOIQO2 




. . 1898-1899 


Wilsey, Frank D 


IQO2 IQO4. 


Prentiss, Nathaniel A. 
Renwick, James A. 
Richardson, Waldo H., 


. . 1898 
. . 1903-1904 

M.D. 1899-1902 


Wingate, George W. . . . 
Winthrop, Egerton L., Jr. . 


1902-1904 
1904 



MEMBERS OF THE SCHOOL BOARD FOR THE BOROUGHS 
OF MANHATTAN AND THE BRONX 



1898-1902 



Adams, Richard H. . . 1898-1902 

Agar, John G 1898-1899 

Anderson, E. Ellery . . . 1898 

Andrews, Walter E. . . . 1898 

Bannard, Otto T 1898-1899 

Barry, John J 1901-1902 

Burlingham, Charles C. . . 1898-1901 

Davis, Vernon M. . . . 1899-1902 

Emmet, William Temple . . 1900-1901 

Eustis, John E. . . . . . 1898-1899 

Farrell, Edward F 1899-1902 



Greenough, William . 

Groehl, Henry M., M.D. 

Harrison, John B. . . 

Hubbell, Charles Bulkley 

Hurlbut, William H. . 

Kelly, Hugh .... 

Ketchum, Alexander P. 

Kittel, Joseph J. . . 

Lee, James P. . . . . 1898-1900 

Linck, John M 1899-1902 

Little, Joseph J 1898-1900 



1898-1899 

1901-1902 

1899-1902 

1898 

1898 

1898 

1898 

1899-1902 



Appendix VI 



433 



Livingston, George 
Mack, Jacob \V. 
Maclay, Robert 
McGowan, Patri 
McSweeny, Dan 
Meehan, John T, 
Moriarty, Thaddeus 
Morris, Alfred H< 
Muth, George H., 
O'Brien, Miles M 
O'Keeffe, John G 



rge ... 


1899-1901 
1808 


Prentiss, Nathaniel A. . . 
Rice, Henry 


1898 
1808-180,0 




1898 


Richardson, Waldo H., M.D. 


1809-1002 


ck F. . . . 


IQOO 




1808-1002 


iel E , M.D. 


1898 




l8QQIQO2 




1901-1902 


Sterne, Morris E 


1899-1902 


leus . . 


iSoQ ICKD2 


Taft, Henry W 


18981900 


lennen . , 
[., D.D.S. . 
1 


I900-I902 
I9OO-I9O2 
1800 IQO2 


Timpson, Thomas W. . . . 
Van Hoesen, George M. . . 
Whitaker, E. G 


1900 
1899-1900 

iqOO IQO2 


~\ 


IQOO-IQ02 







MEMBERS OF THE SCHOOL BOARD FOR THE BOROUGH 
OF BROOKLYN 



1898-1902 



Babbott, Frank L. . . . 


1898-1902 


Bamberger, Ira Leo . . 


1898-1902 


Bassett, Edward M. . . . 


1899-1902 


Bendernagel, James F. . . 


1898-1902 


Blandy, Graham F. . . . 


1899-1901 




1901-1902 


Cacciola, Thomas .... 


1898-1902 




1898-1902 


Chadwick, Charles N. . . 


1898-1899 


Chapman, Miss Isabel M. . 


1898 


Clark, George P e .... 


1898-1902 


Colgan, John J., M.D. . . 


1898-1902 


Collier, Edward L 


1898-1902 


Culyer, John Y 


1898 


Donohue, George W. . . . 


1899-1902 


Dorman, Joseph R. . . . 


1900-1902 


Dower, A. J., M.D. . . . 


1898-1902 


Dresser, Horace E. = . . 


1898-1902 


Evertz, Carl A. . . . . . 


1898-1900 


Fagan, John F. . . . . . 


1900-1902 




1898-1902 


Farley, Thomas M. . . 


1898-1901 


Farrell, Thomas J 


1898-1902 


Fisher, George H. . , ., . 


1898 


Freifeld, George .... 


1898-1902 


Gates, Nelson J. ..... 


1898 




1898-1901 


2F 





Griffin, John, M.D. . 
Hamlin, George D., M.D. . 
Harrigan, John, M.D. . . . 
Hettesheimer, Charles J., M.D. 
Higgins, Algernon S. . . . 
Hill, John O. F., M.D. . . 
Hollmann, H. A. D. . . . 
Hooper, Franklin W. . . . 
Hunt, Joseph H., M.D. . . 
Hurley, William S. . . . 

Hutt, James W 

Ihnken, George 

Jacobs, Mrs. Mary E. . . . 

Jewell, Ditmas 

Kevin, J. Richard, M.D. . . 

Kiendl, Adolph 

Levy, Max, M.D 

Leyh, George F., M.D. . . 
Maxwell, Henry W. . . . 

McElroy, John 

McLean, Henry C., M.D. . 
McNamee, John .... 

Metz, Herman A 

Murphy, Michael .... 
Nostrand, George E. . . 
Perry, Miss Elizabeth H. 
Pettingill, Mrs. Emma F. . . 



1898-1900 

1898-1900 

1898-1902 

1900-1902 

1898-1899 

1901-1902 

1898-1900 

1898-1899 

1899-1902 

1901-1902 

1900-1902 

1901-1902 

1898 

1898-1899 

1900-1902 

1898-1902 

1899-1902 

1901-1902 

1898-1900 

1900-1902 

1898-1902 

1898-1900 

1899-1902 

1898-1902 

1898-1902 

1898 



434 



The New York Public School 



Piper, Elwin S 1898-1899 

Powell, John K., D.D.S. . . 1898-1902 

Powell, Mrs. Julia M. . . . 1898 

Radecke, Julius L 1899-1901 

Robertson, Charles E. . . 1898-1902 

Schaedle, George W. . . . 1898-1900 

Schmidt, Henry P 1898-1899 

Schmidt, Isidor B 1900-1902 

Scottron, Samuel R. . . . 1898-1902 

Shevlin, M. J 1899-1902 

Somers, Arthur S 1898-1902 



Sullivan, Andrew T. . . . 1898-1902 

Swanstrom, J. Edward . . 1898-1899 

Thompson, John R. . . . 1898-1902 

Totten, Joseph 1900-1902 

Weir, James, Jr 1898 

Williams, John J 1898-1899 

Wise, Charles C 1899-1902 

Woodworth, George H. . . 1898-1900 

Wright, James 1898-1901 

Young, Richard 1898-1902 



MEMBERS OF THE SCHOOL BOARD FOR THE BOROUGH 

OF QUEENS 

1898-1902 



Applegate, Jacob A. ... 1901-1902 

Cahill, William J 1900-1902 

Callahan, Daniel .... 1898-1899 

Chapman, Theodore . . . 1898-1900 

Kelly, John J 1899-1902 

Leavitt, G. Howland . . . 1898-1899 

Maure, George 1898-1902 

Pauly, Frederick G. . . . 1898-1900 

Power, John S 1898-1902 



Rath, Henry C. . . . . . 1899-1901 

Schultheis, Anton .... 1900-1902 

Simonson, F. De Hass . . 1898-1900 

Spaeth, George F 1898-1899 

Thornbury, W. H 1900-1902 

Vandenhoff, George A. . . 1899-1902 

Wainwright, William G. . . 1898-1899 

White, Patrick J 1899-1902 



MEMBERS OF THE SCHOOL BOARD FOR THE BOROUGH 
OF RICHMOND 



1898-1902 



Anderson, Samuel . 
Barton, Willis . . 
Bottger, Emil . . 
Burke, John T. . . 
Cole, William J. . 
Egbert, George T. . 



1898-1902 
1900-1902 
1898-1902 
1898-1902 
1898-1902 
1898-1902 



Flannigan, Thomas J. . 
Heymann, Louis . . 
Kinkel, Robert A. . . 
Perlet, Frank . . . 
Vaughan, Thomas . . 



1898-1900 
1898-1900 
1901-1902 
1898-1902 
1898-1902 




INDEX 



African Free School, 13, 47, 56, 57, 89. 
African schools. See Colored schools. 
Ahearn law, 279, 282-283. 
Alphabet, Lancasterian method of teaching, 

28. 

American Female Guardian Society, 141. 
Arbor day, 194. 

Architecture. See Schoolhouses. 
Association of Women Friends for Relief of 

the Poor. See Female Association. 

Benedict, President : address of, 144, 145. 

Bethel Baptist Church, controversy with 
Free School Society, 47-54. 

Board of Examiners, creation of, 273; pro- 
vision for, by Charter of 1901, 301 ; nomi- 
nation by, 312. 

Board of Superintendents, creation of, 186, 
188 ; powers, 301. 

Board of Public Instruction, 174. 

Borough boards, 272, 273, 275-278. 

Borough superintendents, 273, 277, 279, 301. 

Boston, study of public schools in, 84. 

British and Foreign School Society, 40. 

British colonial regime, 7-11; Dutch influ- 
ence during, 7. 

British Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel in Foreign Parts, 264. 

Bronx, Borough of the : early schools, 262 ; 
at Westchester, 262-264 '. at East Chester, 
263; at West Farms, Morrisania and 
Kingsbridge, 262, 266; annexed by New 
York (Manhattan) Board of Education, 
266 ; under Greater New York consolida- 
tion, 272. 

Brooklyn Board of Education, 207; organi- 
zation, 207-212 ; membership, 208 ; elec- 
tion, 209; terms of office, 210; women 
appointed, 210; headquarters, 211; finan- 
cial regulations, 211 ; officers (1843-1854), 
218; officers (1855-1875), 224; under 
Greater New York consolidation, 272, 284, 
285. 



Brooklyn, borough of : early schools, 198 ; 
at Flatbush, 198, 200; at Bushwick, 201; 
at Bedford, 202; at Flatlands, 203; at 
Gravesend, 203 ; at New Lots, 203 ; at 
Wallabout Creek, 203 ; at Gowanus, 204 ; 
at Bushwick Crossroads and Williams- 
burgh, 205 ; first distribution of Common 
School Fund, 205; charitable origin of 
schools, 206; officers, 206; period 1843- 
1854, 213 ; early statistics, 214 ; Lancas- 
terian system adopted, 215; courses of 
study, 215, 223 ; Saturday Normal School, 
215; local committee system, 216, 243; 
licenses, 216; first evening schools, 217, 
224; period 1855-1875, 220; normal 
schools, 221 ; classification of schools, 226 ; 
annexations, 226, 227 ; schoolhouses, 245 ; 
overcrowding and half-day classes, 247; 
corporal punishment, 249; salaries, 249; 
vacation schools and playgrounds, 289, 
310. -, 

Brooklyn Department of Public Instruction, 
209. 

Brooklyn High Schools, 237 ; Central Gram- 
mar School, 238; Girls', Boys', 239; Man- 
ual Training, 240; Erasmus Hall, 241; 
Commercial, 287 ; East District, 287. 

Brooklyn Training School, 241, 308. 

Bryant High School (Long Island), 308. 

Bureau of Buildings, 91. 

Bureau of Libraries, 335. 

Cadets, 90. 

Census (1805) 16; (1826) 67; (1829) 74; 
(1830) 79; (1842-52) 121 ; (1853) 142; 
(1860-70) 161; (1870-80) 172; (1880-90) 
182; (1895, 1897) 194; (1890-96) 195; 
(1899-1900) 286; (1898-1901) 293; (1901- 
04) 316. 

Central Board of Education: organization, 
273, 285, 303; administration of Special 
School Fund, 277 ; control of subordinate 
schools, 278 ; financial responsibilities. 



435 



436 



Index 



281; contracts for school buildings, 286; 
officers (1898-1902), 294; reorganization, 
299; appointment of members, 303; 
powers, 303, 314; Local School Boards, 
303; appropriations, 304, 313; work on 
elementary schools, 305 ; consolidation of 
departments, 312 ; officers (1902-04), 316. 

Central Evening High School, 177, 195. 

Central Grammar School. See Brooklyn 
High Schools. 

Charity schools, n, 16, 18. 

Churches. See Religious Denominations. 

City Superintendent, 145, 186, 188, 273-275, 
300. 

Coeducation, 37. 

College of the City of New York, 137, 278, 
320-326; admission requirements, 321, 
323; criticism by Horace Greeley, 322; 
collegiate powers conferred, 322 ; courses 
of study, 323 ; government, 324 ; library, 
324; changes of site, 325, 326. See also 
Free Academy. 

Collegiate School, 8 (note). 

Colored Normal School, 158. 

Colored Orphan Asylum, 141. 

Colored schools ; taken over by Free School 
Society, 89 ; maintained in New York until 
1884, 141 ; controlled by ward officers, 
157, 160 ; absorbed by other schools, 177 ; 
abolished in Brooklyn, 226 ; under Greater 
New York Consolidation, 276; Consoli- 
dated School Law and colored schools, 292. 

Columbia College, as King's College, n; 
connection with public schools, 92. 

Commercial High School. See Brooklyn 
High School. 

Common School Fund, 14, 15, 48; first 
apportionment, 37; action of Legislature 
upon, 54 ; controlled by Common Council, 
55 ; distribution restricted, 56 ; attempts 
upon, by religious denominations, 47-54, 
80-83. 

Common school system, 12, 106. 

Compulsory Education Law, 167, 181, 193, 
217, 302, 312. See also Truancy. 

Congregational church, 51. 

Consolidated school law, 292. 

Consolidation, of grammar and primary 
schools, 193. 

Cooper, Peter, address of, 125. 

Corporal punishment : restriction of, 58, 136 ; 
steps toward abolishment, 150; total sup- 
pression, 168. 

Corporate schools, 141. 



Curtis High School. See Richmond, Bor- 
ough of. 

Davis law, 280, 283, 302. 
Department of Public Instruction, 163. 
De Witt Clinton High School, 308. 
Draper, Hon. Andrew S., address of, 130. 
District schools. See Ward schools. 
District system, 152; legislation against, 

ISS- 
Dutch, New York schools under rule of. 

1-7 ; influence under British regime, 7. 
Dutch Reformed church, 7-10, 51. 
Dutch West India Company, i. 

Eastern District High School. See Brooklyn 
High Schools. 

Elections, special and general, for school 
officers, 144. 

Elementary schools, 305, 314. 

Episcopalian church, 9. 

Erasmus Hall Academy. See Brooklyn High 
Schools. 

Evening high schools, 158 ; New York, 176 ; 
East Side, 177 ; Harlem, 177 ; Central, 177, 
195. See also Evening schools. 

Evening schools, 59; for apprentices, 86; 
first free evening school, 88 ; established 
by Board of Education, 135; legislation 
in regard to, 135; corporal punishment 
in, 136; admission of women students, 
136; incorporation in common school 
system, 145; period of 1860 and organi- 
zation remodelled, 157 ; elementary even- 
ing schools, 177; in Brooklyn, 217, 229, 
294; in Greater New York, 276; period 
1900-01, 290; changes in administration, 
310. 

Exchanges, domestic and international, 113. 

Expurgation. See School books. 

Female Association, work in founding free 
schools, 14, 17, 37- 

Female Normal School, 142, 143. 

Female School, 44. 

Flags for public schools, 195. 

Flatbush, first school in, 199. 

Flushing Female Association, 259. 

Free Academy, opening of, 135 ; authoriza- 
tion of legislature, 137 ; changed to College 
of the City of New York, 137; incorpo- 
rated in common school system, 145, 160. 

Free College. See Free Academy. 

Freehand drawing. See Industrial drawing. 



Index 



437 



Free lectures, 175, 194, 277, 290 ; supervisors, 
189. 

Free school, first established by law, 10; 
first for white children, 14. 

Free School Society, 14-16; first meeting, 
18 ; motives and principles, 19, 29-31, 56 ; 
act of incorporation, 20 ; income, 21 ; 
Board of Trustees, 21 ; religious attitude, 
21, 35; first school, 24; Lancasterian sys- 
tem adopted, 25; appropriations for, 30, 
34. 35. 38, 41 1 salaries, 39, 40, 41, 44, 61 ; 
Address to Parents and Guardians, 42-44 ; 
opposition to attempts on the Common 
School Fund, 47-54, 80-83 ; name changed 
to Public School Society, 63. See also 
Public School Society. 

Free text-books, 138, 228. 

Friends, Society of : Association of Women 
Friends, 14 ; free school for girls opened, 
17 ; influence in Free School Society, 35 ; 
in Borough of Queens, 258. 

General school fund, 277, 280, 313. 

Girls' Technical High School, 307. 

Grace Church, 51. 

Grammar Schools, 149, 166, 193. 

Greater New York Board of Education. See 
Central Board. 

Greater New York High Schools, 189, 307. 

Greater New York schools : plan, 272-283 ; 
Central Board and School Boards (Bor- 
ough Boards) , 273 ; Board of Examiners, 
273; licenses, 274; teachers' appoint- 
ments, 275 ; salaries, 276, 279-283, 293, 
316; inspection, supplies, and building, 
277 ; funds, 277-279 ; retirement of teach- 
ers, 277, 278 ; borough organization, 284 ; 
outdoor gymnasiums, 288-289 " courses of 
study, 290, 306, 307; 1898-99 compared 
with 7900-07 (table), 293 ; Charter revision 
of 7907, 298-302 ; appropriations, 313. 

Half-day classes, 193. 

Hall of Board of Education, 291, 292. 

Hamilton Free School, 141. 

High Schools. See New York, Brooklyn, etc. 

Holbrook libraries. See School libraries. 

Holidays, 148. See also Vacations. 

Hygiene, introduction of, 179. 

Industrial drawing, 171. 
Infant schools, 72, 76, 77. See also Kinder- 
gartens. 
Infant School Society, 10, 76. 



Inspection districts, 188. 

Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf 

and Dumb, 77. 

Instruction. See Courses of study. 
Intermediate schools, 305. 

Kindergartens: Supervisor appointed, 189, 
193, 290, 309 ; in Brooklyn, 233 ; in Greater 
New York, 277 ; age restriction, 302, 309. 

Kindergartens, roof, 289. 

King's College: incorporation, n; change 
to Columbia College, n. 

La Fayette, General: Review of school 
children by, 60 ; tablet erected, 60. 

Lancaster, Joseph, 25, 26, 42, 93. 

Lancasterian System: origin of, 25; outline, 
27 ; advantages, 25 ; De Witt Clinton on, 
26, 27, 33; alphabet taught by, 28; en- 
dorsement by legislature, 39, 40; impetus 
given by visit of Lancaster, 42; manual 
issued, 42 ; modification of, 86 ; discarded 
in ward schools, 112 ; in Brooklyn, 215. 

Latin School: established, 6; under Dr. 
Alexander Carolus Curtius, 6 ; closed, 8. 

Leake and Watts Orphan House, 141. 

Libraries. See School libraries. 

Library Law, 333. 

Licenses : first required, 8 ; in district schools, 
153 ; in Brooklyn schools, 216 ; in Greater 
New York, 274; uniform requirements, 
302; for promotion, 312; permanent, 315. 

License tax (on lotteries) , 77, 78. 

Local Committee System, 216, 243, *^\\, 

Local School Boards, powers of, 300; dis- 
tricts, 303; appointments, 303; women 
members, 304. 

Long Island City High School, 308. 

Lotteries. See License tax. 

Male Normal School, 142, 143. 

Manhattan. See New York. 

Manhattan and Bronx School Board: es- 
tablished, 285 ; New York Training School 
for Teachers, 287 ; Wadleigh High School, 
287; Morris High School, 287; High 
School of Commerce, 287; vacation 
schools and playgrounds, 287, 310 ; open- 
air and roof playgrounds, 288 ; recreation 
piers, swimming baths, 288. 

Manual training: adoption, 178; super- 
visor, 189; in Greater New York, 276; 
in vacation schools, 288 ; in upper grades, 
306. 



433 



Index 



Manual Training High Schools. See Brook- 
lyn High Schools. 

Manumission Society, 13, 14, 88, 89. See 
also Colored Schools. 

Marriage of Women Teachers, 315. 

Mechanics' Society, 56, 57. 

Mechanics' Society School, 141. 

Methodist Charity School, 80, 82. 

Ministers officiating as schoolmasters, 2. 

Monitorial system. See Lancasterian Sys- 
tem. 

Monitors, Lancasterian system of, 29. 

Morris High School, 287, 308. 

Music, 148 ; supervisor, 189. 

Nautical School, 291 ; opening, 168 ; under 
Greater New York, 278. 

Negro education : first free school, 13. See 
also Colored schools. 

New York Association for the Improvement 
of the Condition of the Poor : vacation 
schools and playgrounds, 287, 310. 

New York Board of Education : established, 
101, 105 ; organization, 106 ; early obstacles 
of, 109 ; democratic appeal, no ; rivalry 
with Public School Society, 111-114; first 
decade, 132-139 ; expansion of ward 
system, 133 ; establishment of evening 
schools and Free Academy, 135, 136 ; 
salaries, 136, 142, 144, 149, 156, 194 ; 
officers (1842-53), 139 ; appropriations, 
141, 175, 190 ; membership, 141, 152 ; 
normal schools, 142, 143 ; officers (1853- 
60) , 151 ; powers, 152 ; bill for abolishment 
introduced, 154 ; officers (1860-70), 161 ; 
(1870-80) , 172 ; (1880-90), 182; (1890-97), 
196 ; under Greater New York consolida- 
tion, 272 ; changed to School Board for 
Borough of Manhattan, 285. 

New York Evening High School, 158. 

New York Free School Society. See Free 
School Society. 

New York High Schools : Boys' High School, 
Girls' High School, Mixed High School, 
189 ; High School of Commerce, 287, 307 ; 
Girls' Technical, 307 ; Wadleigh, 308 ; 
Stuyvesant, 308 ; De Witt Clinton, 308 ; 
Evening, 158. 

New York Juvenile Asylum, 141. 

New York Orphan Asylum, 141. 

New York schools : first English, 9 ; manual 
training, 178. See also New York Board 
of Education. 

New York Training School for Teachers, 287 



Normal College : established, 160 ; incorpo- 
rated, 181 ; government, 181 ; control by 
Board of Education, 278 ; history, 327 ; 
location, 328 ; government, 329 ; status, 
329 ; degrees, 329 ; Normal College High 
School, 330; participation in Public School 
Teachers' Retirement Fund, 330 ; officials, 

330. 

Normal College High School, 330. 

Normal schools : origin, 74 ; for instruction 
of monitors, 89 ; requirements, 142 ; 
Female Normal School, 142, 143 ; Male 
Normal School, 142, 143 ; discontinuance 
of those established by Public School 
Society, 158; Colored Normal School, 142, 

158 ; Saturday Normal School for women, 
158, 181, 215 ; report on school for women, 

159 ; Normal College, 160 ; in Brooklyn, 
221. 

Orphan Asylum Society, 47, 56, 57. 
Overcrowding, 190, 193, 246. 

Part-time system, 305. 

Pay schools, 55, 63-70, 83. 

Pay system. See Pay school. 

Pensions. See Retirement Fund. 

Permanent licenses, 315. 

Pestalozzi, 76. 

Play centres. See Recreation centres. 

Playgrounds, open-air and roof, 287, 288. 

Political corruption, 164. 

Presidents of Public School Society, 336- 

367. 

Primary schools, 77, 84, 86, 166, 190, 193. 

Protestant Half-Orphan Asylum, 141. 

Protestant Orphan Asylum, 80. 

Public School Society : Lancasterian system 
used by, 25, 89 ; evolution from Free School 
Society, 63; organization, 63; appropria- 
tions, 63, 77, 78, 103; address to parents, 
64; administration, 65 ; pay system, 63, 67, 
69; proposed establishment of infant 
schools, classical schools, high schools, 
seminary, 72 ; policy, 72 ; petition to legis- 
lature, 73; salaries, 76, 90 ; junior depart- 
ment, 76 ; courses of study, 86 ; opposition 
to Roman Catholic Benevolent Society 
and Methodist Charity School, 80, 95; 
assimilation of colored schools, 89 ; rivalry 
with Board of Education, 111-114; presi- 
dents of, 336-367 ; union with Board of 
Education, 106, 115, 118-125; last meeting, 
122; financial statement, 123; statistics, 



Index 



439 



124 ; history, 126 ; tribute of Board of Edu- 
cation, 126; address by Hon. Andrew S. 
Draper, 130. See also Report of Hon. 
John C. Spencer. 

Public school system, bill providing for, 
105. 

Public School Teachers' Retirement Fund. 
See Retirement Fund. 

Quakers. See Friends. 

Queens Board of Education, appointment of, 

257- 

Queens, Borough of: early history, 253-261 ; 
first schoolmaster, 253; division into 
school districts, 256 ; under Greater New 
York Consolidation, 272, 285. 

Rank of teachers, 315. 

Recreation centres, 288, 310. 

Recreation piers, 288. 

Regents of the University of the State of 
New York, 12. 

Religious controversy of 1840, 94-100 ; Ro- 
man Catholic application for share of 
school money, 95, 99; remonstrance of 
Public School Society, 95 ; Roman Catho- 
lic petition defeated, 96, 99; appeal to 
legislature, 100. 

Religious denominations : proportionate at- 
tendance (1814), 36; compete with public 
schools, 51 ; participation of Common 
School Fund discontinued, 56; debarred 
from receiving school money, 106. 

Religious training, provided by Free School 
Society, 35. 

Retirement Fund, 192, 278, 279, 302; in 
Brooklyn, 229. 

Revolutionary War, education after, 11-15. 

Richmond, Borough of: early schools: 
Stony Brook, 267 ; New Springville, 267 ; 
Waldenses and Huguenots, 267; Society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel in For- 
eign Parts, 268; Tompkinsville, 269 ; first 
public school, 270; schoolhouses, 270; 
Tottenville, Stapleton, Port Richmond, 
271 ; under Greater New York consolida- 
tion, 272, 285; appointment of School 
Board, 285 ; Curtis High School, 308. 

Roman Catholic Asylum. See Roman Cath- 
olic Benevolent Society. 

Roman Catholic Benevolent Society : appli- 
cation for school moneys, 80; claims of, 
81 ; petition granted, 82. 

Roman Catholic Half-Orphan Asylum, 141. 



Roman Catholic opposition to Public School 

Society, 95. 

Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum, 141. 
Roman Catholic petition to legislature, 

101. 
Roof playgrounds, 191, 309. 

St. Mary's (sloop of war) : assignment to 
Board of Education, 168. 

St. Peter's Church, 41 (note). 

Sand tables, 27. 

Sanitary provisions, 171. 

Saturday Normal School: in New York, 
181 ; in Brooklyn, 215. 

School Boards, organization by boroughs, 
272 ; representation in Central Board, 273 ; 
appointment of teachers, 275 ; determina- 
tion of school sites, 275 ; establishment of 
subordinate schools, 276 ; creation of in- 
spection districts, 277; administration of 
general school fund, 277; removal of 
teachers, 277 ; friction with Central Board, 
298 ; abolishment of, 299. 

School books, expurgation of, 96-99. 

School districts, 152. 

School Fund: special, 277; general, 277, 280, 
313- 

School funds, act for distribution of, 47. 

Schoolhouse bonds. See Schoolhouse. 

Schoolhouses: first in Manhattan, 2, 4, 6; 
erection of Free School No. i, 32 ; archi- 
tecture, 91, 134, 191 ; defect in erection, 
in; numbering, 140; Grammar School 
No. 33, 150; provision for, by city bond 
issue, 167, 176, 190, 191, 286, 304; sites, 
176; under Central Board of Education, 
286 ; high school, 308. 

School libraries : first opened by Free School 
Society, 332; legislation, 332; Holbrook 
libraries, 333; library law, 333 ; in Brook- 
lyn. 333 5 class libraries, 334, 335 ; trav- 
elling libraries, 334; Aguilar Library, 
Cathedral Library, Webster Free Library, 
334; co-operation with New York Public 
Library, 334; Bureau of Libraries, 335; 
reference or teachers' libraries, 335. 

Schoolmasters, early. See early history of 
Manhattan, etc. 

Schoolship. See St. Mary's. 

Sectarian schools. See Religious denomina- 
tions. 

Seward, Gov. William H. : on problem of 
religious and race differences, 94 ; message 
recommending public school system, 103. 



440 



Index 



Sewing classes, 233 ; supervisor, 189. 

Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 
Foreign Parts, 9, 268. 

Society for the Reformation of Juvenile De- 
linquents, 141. 

Society of the Economical School in the 
City of New York, 47. 

Special school fund, 277. 

Spencer, Hon. John C. : report on contro- 
versy of 1840, 101; outline of proposed 
public school system, 102 ; reply of Public 
School Society, 102. 

Staten Island. See Richmond, Borough of. 

Stuyvesant High School, 308. 

Superintendent of school buildings, 146, 186, 
276. 

Superintendent of school supplies, 276. 

Superintendent of truancy, 181. 

Supervisor, 167. 

Supplies: free, in ward schools, 138; uni- 
form purchase of, 145 ; table of cost, 171 ; 
superintendent of, 276. 

Swimming baths, 288. 

Taxation, 3, 46, in. 

Teachers' Retirement Fund. See Retire- 
ment Fund. 

Tenure of office by teachers, 180. 

Trinity schools, 9 (note), 16. 

Truancy: comparison of New York and 
Boston, 84 ; measures for suppression, 
85 ; Supervisor, 167 ; Superintendent of, 



in New York, 181 ; in Brooklyn, 227. 

See also Compulsory Education Law. 
Truant agents, 78, 167, 181. 
Truant Home in Brooklyn, 227. 
Truant schools, 167, 194, 313. 
Trustees' Hall, 92. 
Trustee System. See Ward Trustees. 

Vacations, in first public schools, 41. 

Vacation playgrounds : started by New York 
Association for the Improvement of the 
Condition of the Poor, 287 ; New York 
Board of Education, 287 ; plan, 288 ; 
statistics, 288, 310 ; in Brooklyn, 289 ; 
extension, 289. 

Vacation schools, 287, 309-310. 

Vagrancy. See Truancy. 

Wadleigh High School, 287, 308. 

Ward officers, 134. 

Ward Schools, no, 116 ; plan of, 112 ; 

salaries, 137, 144 ; licenses, 153. See also 

Ward School System. 
Ward School System : agitation in favor of 

union with Public School Society, 117, 

118 ; consolidation with the Public School 

System, 118-125. 
Ward Trustees, 145 ; powers, 152, 164, 

165, 166, 174, 180, 184 ; election, 184; 

responsibilities, 185 ; criticism of, 185 ; 

agitation against, 186 ; abolishment of, 

187. 




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