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In the Connecticut code of 1650 the provision for the care and instruction of children was, as already stated, like that of Massachusetts. In this it was made the duty of selectmen to watch over the children and apprentices and see that they were taught to read and also well instructed in the capital laws of the colony. For every neglect therein a fine of 20 shillings was laid, and masters of families were required to "catechise their children and servants in the grounds and principles of religion," and also bring them up to "honest, lawful calling, labor, or employment." In case of failure to comply with the law in any of these particulars, the selectmen, with the help of the magistrates, were required to take such children away and place them with masters who should agree to instruct them in conformity with the law.

In 1677 it was ordered that "if any county town shall neglect to keep a Latin school according to order,' there shall be paid a fine of £10 by the said county towns to the next town in that county that will engage and keep a Latin school in it," and this fine was to be paid annually until they should comply with the law. In 1701, after a full revision of the school laws of Connecticut, we have the following legal provisions for the education of children:3

First. An obligation on the part of every parent and guardian to teach children to read, and, besides, "bring them up to some lawful calling or employment,” under a penalty for each offense.

Second. A tax of 40 shillings on every £1,000 on the lists of estates, to be collected in every town with the annual State tax and payable proportionately only to those towns which should keep their schools according to law. If, however, this levy proved insufficient to maintain a suitable schoolmaster, the inhabitants were to pay half and the parents or masters of the children the other half, "unless any town agree otherwise."

Third. A common school in every town having over 70+ families to be kept for eleven months of the year, and in towns of less than 70 families to be kept for at least half the year.

Fourth. A grammar school in each of the four head county towns to fit youth for college, two of which grammar schools must be free.

Fifth. A collegiate school, toward which the general court shall make an annual appropriation of £120.

Sixth. "Provision for the religious instruction of the Indians."

We see, then, that in the early legislation, more especially of the New Haven, Connecticut, and Massachusetts colonies, provision was made for the "honorable employment of children as well as for their intellectual training. This was a most wise provision, and had it continued in force, the criminal and pauper record of New England would have been radically different from what it is to-day. If we look closely into these laws, and especially into the provisions for the protection of children and apprentices from the cupidity of parents and masters, we shall doubtless see the first manifestation of that republican sentiment which afterwards spread through the land and proclaimed it free.


We can scarcely place too high an estimate upon the service rendered to New England by her early teachers. Among these we must include many of her best educated clergymen who, in towns where there were no free or grammar schools, "fitted young men of piety and talent for college and for higher usefulness in

1 This refers to the revised laws 1671, creating county grammar schools in place of grammar schools for every town having 100 families. p. 657.

American Journal of Education, 1857, vol. iv.,

3 Ibid., p. 695.

4 Originally 50 families, but in 1678 a law had been passed that every town of 30 families should maintain a school and teach the children to read and write.

church and state."1 They were chiefly instrumental in keeping alive "the fires of classical learning brought here from the public schools and universiries of England." Even with all their sympathy and help and the faithful labors of the pioneer teachers, the second, third, and fourth generations of the New England colonists, where schools were not specially encouraged, "seemed destined to fall into barbarism."2

Among the most noted of these early schoolmasters were Ezekiel Cheever and Elijah Corlett, of whom Cotton Mather wrote:


"Tis Corlett's pains and Cheever's we must own,
That thou, New England, art not Scythia grown."




Master Corlett died February 25, 1686-7, at the age of 78, after having been for nearly half a century a notable figure in Cambridge. He was, to quote Dr. Mather again, "that memorable old schoolmaster in Cambridge from whose education our college and country have received so many of its worthy men that he is himself worthy to have his name celebrated in our church history."4 Still, though he was able to teach both the English and Indian children, his school seems never to have been large-numbering in 1680 but nine pupils-nor were the fees he received for tuition at all adequate to his support. To enable him to gain a bare subsistence occasional special grants were made by the town and colony, and an annual appropriation of about £7 10s. from the Hopkins charity fund. For a century or more following his time, his successers at Cambridge fared, it is said, but little better.

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Ezekiel Cheever gained a much wider and more enduring reputation. Born in England in 1614 and landing at Boston in 1637, he was for the long period of seventy years schoolmaster without an equal at New Haven, Ipswich, Charlestown, and Boston. He is described as "a scholar, learned, accurate, judicious, a severe and unsparing master, tall, dignified, and stern. Dr. Mather says of him, "we generally concur in acknowledging that New England has never known a better teacher. I am sure I have as much reason to appear for him as ever Crito for his master Socrates."" The early excellence of the Latin school at Boston, over which he presided for thirty-eight years, was due to his care. He was evidently a master whom the pupils "delighted to honor,” for he is spoken of by them with great affection, though one of them, the Rev. John Barnard, of Marblehead, tells us that he did not spare the rod, and cites his own experience, how, on one occasion, the old master said to him, "You, Barnard, I know that you can do well enough if you will; but you are so full of play that you hinder your classmates from getting their lessons, and, therefore, if any of them can not perform their duty I shall correct you for it." One of his classmates, he adds, taking advantage of this, continued for some days to fail in his recitations, until he, Barnard, concluded that there was no way to escape from his daily punishment except by flogging his tormentor.

Mr. Cheever was the author of the Accidence, "A short introduction to the Latin_tongue,” which passed through more than twenty editions, and continued for over a century and a half the text-book of most of the Latin scholars of New

1 American Journal of Education, 1855, p. 296.

2 Ibid., p. 296.

Also Richard Norris, of Salem, 1640 to 1670; and later Noah Clap, of Dorchester, who "taught the school at various times between 1735 and 1769, eighteen or twenty years in all."

4 Mather's Magnalia, vol. i., book 3, p. 318.

First Century of the Republic, p. 280.

6 Quoted from Dillaway's History of the Grammar School in Roxbury, p. 177.

In his autobiography Mr. Barnard throws some light upon the conduct of schools at that early day-one noteworthy fact being that in his sixth year the schoolmistress made him an usher or monitor, and appointed him to teach children both older and younger than himself. This was more than a hundred years before Bell or Lancaster introduced their newly discovered monitorial system.

England. Dr. Samuel Bentley, of Salem, an antiquarian and collector of schoolbooks, says of this Accidence, that it was "the wonder of the age." Eminent teachers during the present century, and among them President Quincy, of Harvard College, have highly commended Cheever's Accidence, and expressed the hope that it might be restored to its former place in the schools. Besides several Latin dissertations and poems, he was also the author of a small treatise upon "Scripture prophecies explained," in three short essays. This patriarch of New England schoolmasters continued his work with almost youthful vigor up to the time of his death, which occurred in Boston in August, 1708.1

From the very first, the founders of the young commonwealth thought it necessary to guard most jealously against the employment of unworthy teachers. In the records of the court, May 3, 1654, we find that it was made the special care of the officers of Harvard College and the selectmen of the several towns not to suffer any to instruct the youth or children who "have manifested themselves unsound in the faith or scandalous in their lives."

Much in every way was expected of the grammar-school teachers, and the candidate for this office must be a man of cultivation and refinement, which, as it was then supposed, could only be obtained by an acquaintance with the learned languages. The schoolmaster was an important personage in the eyes of the community, being treated with the respect that was accorded to the minister and magistrates. As an illustration of this, it is recorded that "his wife was to be accommodated with a pew next the wives of the magistrates."


In the eighteenth century there seems to have been a lack of teachers who were capable of fitting young men for college, and thus the necessity arose of establishing what were afterwards called academies. Governor Dummer, who died in 1761, having founded a flourishing academy at Byfield, Mass., was the pioneer in this enterprise. His example stimulated the Phillipses-uncle and nephewto found the two noble academies at Andover and Exeter, which still bear their



In those early days there were no spelling books nor English grammars. The letters were learned from the Bible, and this book and the Testament and Psalter were the only reading books. The catechism, as in the parochial schools of the present time, which they resembled, received great attention. Besides this, reading, writing, and arithmetic were the chief, if not the only branches taught. For a century still there were no printed copy books and no slates in use, the ciphering and writing being done on paper. In 1691 there appears in the Boston Almanac an interesting notice of the New England Primer, the second edition being then in press. This new and enlarged edition had fuller directions for spelling, also the Prayer of Edward VI, and the verses said to have been written by the martyred John Rogers. This primer contained the catechism of John Cotton, printed in 1656, and also that of the Westminster Assembly. It probably resembled the primer of Great Britain which existed before the Puritans came to America. Locke, the philosopher, mentions a book of this name, and in 1759 one called the Royal Primer was common in New England. This, or one similar to it, continued in use until about the beginning of the present century. 3

There was a little book called the "Horn-book" (named from the horn covers), which seems to have been of simpler plan than the Primer, and of which Shakespeare speaks as "the teacher of boys" in his day. It was so used also in Massachusetts at the first, and even up to a century ago, and out of its supposed indispensa

1 For further particulars of the life of Ezekiel Cheever, see Journal of Education for December, 1883, pp. 391, 405-6.

2 Emerson, Education in Massachusetts, p. 22.

See Felt's Annals of Salem, p. 436.

bleness grew the expression, "He does not know his horn-book," which we have since changed to "He doesn't know his letters." Another important book was The English Schoole Master, the fifteenth edition of which was printed in London in 1624. “Its main object," as stated in the preface, "was to teach correct reading." The New England Psalter1 was used in a similar way.

Among the earliest arithmetics was that of James Hodder, which in 1719 reached its twenty-eighth London edition. The most popular of the early geographies appear to have been Meriton's, which was printed in London in 1679, and Laurence Eachard's, of nearly the same date. Of the dictionaries used in New England, Coles's, published in London in 1692, and Bollocker's, the ninth edition of which was printed in 1695, were, at the close of the seventeenth century, the standards. In Latin, before the publication of Cheever's Accidence, Brinsley's, first issued in 1611-12, was in use; also another printed in London in 1639, called Directions for Young Latinists. A still later one was Hoole's Accidence, published in 1681. In Greek there was the Westminster Grammar of 1671, and in Hebrew the grammar of Schickard, issued in 1623, and Buxtorf's, which was printed before 1629.9

The books we have named give some idea of the studies pursued in the common, grammar, and private schools of New England during the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth century, or during the first century of colonial life. The choice of books appears to have been made as "convenience and preference dictated." With the exception of those for reading, spelling,3 and ciphering, none of the earlier ones was retained as late as 1813.

During the eighteenth century schoolbooks of all kinds multiplied rapidly. These included works upon arithmetic, bookkeeping, navigation, geography, English and Latin grammars and dictionaries, Greek grammars and lexicons, books upon belles-lettres, and many others which are named in Felt's Annals of Salem, and in Barnard's Catalogue of American Text-books.

In reviewing the history of this early period one becomes more and more impressed with a sense of the obligation we are under to the Puritans and Pilgrim Fathers for the interest they took in education. Unfortunately their descendants of the third and fourth generations did not follow their example. So greatly did the interest in education decline that during a large part of the eighteenth century prior to the Revolutionary war it is said to have been true of men and women of respectability and influence that they could not so much as write their names, and that this state of things applied not only to New England, but to the whole country.

Previous to 1769 girls were taught only by schoolmistresses; and to learn to read and sew "was for the most part the height of their ambition." But near the close of the century public and private schools accumulated rapidly, and much attention was given to female instruction. Still it was some time after the beginning of the nineteenth century before arithmetic was studied to any extent by girls, though as early as 1789 it was ordered that both sexes should be taught writing and arithmetic, so as to include vulgar and decimal fractions. Not until 1784 were they permitted to attend a grammar school, and not before 1828, when they were placed on an equal footing with the boys, could they be admitted to any public schools for more than half the year, namely, from April to October. In short, as Mr. Waterston says, a hundred and fifty years elapsed from the opening of the first public school before any girls were admitted; a hundred and ninety-three years before they enjoyed equal privileges with the boys.

This, in the edition of 1784, "has the Psalms of David, the Proverbs of Solomon, the Sermon of Christ on the Mount, and the Nicene Creed."

2 See Felt's Annals of Salem, pp. 437, 438.

Of the spelling books, Dilworth's, which was in use in 1750, continued to be a favorite until after 1800. A rival in popular favor was Dyche's.

See Dr. Wm. Bentley, A Descriptive History of Salem, Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. vi., pp. 239–241. Mass. Hist. Soc. Proceedings, February, 1873, p. 387.

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It may then be said that "with various modifications as to details, but with the same objects steadily in view, viz, the exclusion of barbarism from every family," the Puritans were able to carry to a successful issue their nobly-conceived idea of 'maintaining an elementary school in every neighborhood where there were children enough to constitute a school, and of a Latin school in every large town, and a college for higher culture for the whole colony;" and, moreover, that this system which they established has continued to expand with the growth and development of the country until it has become the basis for school systems in nearly all the States of the Union, besides having had great influence upon education in other countries.


By President S. C. BARTLETT, D. D., LL. D., of Dartmouth College. The grammar school, somewhat modified, was brought by our fathers from England, established by law in Massachusetts in 1647, and maintained by taxation. It spread thence through the other New England States, and did good service for the cause of general education. But after a century or more there arose a desire for institutions of a higher and more specialized character, pointing more directly in the line of a liberal education. It gradually enlisted the most intelligent and enterprising men of the various communities and embodied aims and aspirations which were indicated by the name they chose for the institution. The name "academy" was an ambitious name. Not to speak of its early classic application, after the revival of learning it designated an association of learned men, authors, or artists for the promotion of science, literature, or art. Hundreds of these organizations, greater or smaller, were formed in Europe, each with its own specific field of study or culture. It showed the high ideal of our forefathers and the spirit that prompted them when they chose this name to designate their institution for the instruction of youth.

The New England academy was an incorporated institution, founded and maintained by private beneficence, and managed by a selected board of trustees. It was, with few exceptions, open to both sexes. The oldest of these institutions was the Dummer Academy, at Byfield, Mass. In 1761 Lieutenant-Governor Dummer bequeathed his mansion and his farm of 330 acres for this purpose; and in two years it was opened under the famous Master Moody, though not incorporated till 1782. The character and working of the system disclosed itself in this its earliest specimen. The roll of trustees of Dummer Academy has included four or five presidents of Harvard College, Judges Parsons and Wilde, Edward Everett, Jared Sparks, Professor Felton, Timothy Pickering, Elijah Parish, Leonard Withington, numerous Members of Congress, and a long list of other men of mark. Its privileges attracted and before the end of the century sent forth such men as Rufus King, Chief Justices Parsons and Samuel Sewall, Professors Webber and Tappan, of Harvard; Smith, of Dartmouth; Cleveland, of Bowdoin, a dozen Members of Congress, and more than 200 candidates for college. This institution was the germ of the whole movement.

Samuel Phillips had fitted for college at this academy, and apparently had boarded in the family of Master Moody. In 1780 he founded Phillips Andover Academy, endowing it at first with $20,000, although at his death his property was inventoried at but $15,000. In so doing he recorded the hope "that its usefulness might be made so manifest as to lead other establishments on the same principles." The hope began to be realized the next year, when his uncle, John Phillips, founded the Exeter Academy, first endowing it with $50,000, and at his death with two-thirds of his estate. The impulse was soon communicated to nearly all

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