Robert Smith.

The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

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As many of our worthy elders have been
of late years removed by death, we entreat
that an holy concern may prevail on the
minds of the rising generation to fill up their
places. First — take heed to yourselves, seek-
ing the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
that so you may be preserved through the
temptations, and from all the delusions of this
life, and may become instruments in the hand
of God to promote his honour, the good of his
church, and the universal advancement AT, THIRD MONTH, 11, 1843.

zro. 24.



Price (100 dollar t per annum,^ttyable in advat
Siibscrrptiong and Payments received by



For " The Friend."

Liberal Policy of William Penn and his Co-
adjutors relative to Schools.

In the article published in No. 21 of" The
Friend," on the subject of Education and
Schools, there is some notice of the origin of
Friends' School in this city, and an e.xtract
given from a charter granted by William
Penn to incorporate it.

The words of the extract are indeed "weigh-
ty," and set forth the concern and liberal views
of the proprietor and his fellow-members con-
cerning education. But there are other mat-
ters contained in the official instruments
relative to the establishment of the Public
School in Philadelphia, which are deserving
of being placed before the present generation,
as monuments of the labours and exertions of
the first settlers and rulersof Pennsylvania for
the education and welfare of the youth, and
the general prosperity of the inhabitants of
the province ; connected with some notice of
the inducements for leaving the land of their
nativity to settle in a then, almKt wilderness,
and the justice to the natives observed by
the proprietor. Some of these are noticed in
the following statement : —

The first charter for a Public School in
Philadelphia was granted by the Lieutenant
Governor William Markham, and the council
of the province of Pennsylvania, in the Twelfth
month, 1697, upon the petition of " Samuel
Carpenter, Edward Shippen, Anthony Morris,
James Fox, David Lloyd, William Southby,
and John Jones, on behalf of themselves, and
the rest of the People called Quakers, mem-
bers of their Monthly Meeting at Philadel-
phia," setting forth " that it was the desire of
many that a school should be set up and up-
held in the said town of Philadelphia, where
poor children might be freely maintained,
taught and educated in good literature, until
they should be fit to be put apprentices, or
capable to be masters or ushers in the said
school. Requesting the governor and council
to ordain, that at the said town of Philadel-
phia a Public School might be founded, where
all children and servants, male and female,
whose parents, guardians, or masters, might
be willing to subject them to the rules and

orders of the said school, should, with the
approbation of the overseers thereof, be re-
ceived, admitted, taught and instructed — the
rich at reasonable rates, and the poor to be
maintained and schooled for nothing."

The charter for the establishment of the
Public School was granted with all the privi-
leges and powers asked for; these, however,
not being deemed sulhcient, application was
made by such of the petitioners as were
living in the year 1701, to the proprietor,
William Penn, then in the province, for a
confirmation of the said charter, which, he
says, " being well weighed and considered by
me, I greatly favour the good inclinations,
and just and laudable desires, and conscien-
tious regard of the said petitioners and people
for the education, instruction, and literature
of their children and posterity, and more
especially their care and concern for the poor
on that behalf. Therefore," &c., — granting
the powers and privileges as requested.

This, the first charter for a Public School
granted by William Penn, bears date at Phi-
ladelphia the 25th of the Eighth month, 1701,
six days before his embarking on his last
voyage for England ; he going on board ship the
31st of the month, and departing from the
shores of his province, never to return.

The instrument commences in the follow-
ing comprehensive language : " William Penn,
true and absolute Proprietary and Governor-
in-chief of the Province of Pennsylvania and
Territories thereunto belonging : To all to
whom these presents shall come, sendeth
greeting. Whereas Charles the Second, late
King of England, &c., by his letters-patent,
bearing date the fourth day of March, in the
three and thirtieth year of his reign, did
grant unto me, my heirs and assigns, the said
province, and absolute propriety thereof, with
full power to me, by the assent of the free-
men there, to make laws for the good and
happy government of the same, with divers
other powers, preeminences, jurisdictions,
privileges, and immunities therein specified.
And, whereas, I, with a large colony of the
people of God, called Quakers, for the free
enjoyment of the liberty of our consciences in
matters of religion, and of those other privi-
leges and advantages in the said patent grant-
ed, as well to me the said proprietary and go-
vernor, as also to said people, did transport
elves into the said province, and at our
own risk, costs, pains, and charges, settled and
planted the same; the soil also of the said
province being first by me purchased of the
Indian natives; and forasmuch as by the laws
of the said province since enacted, the gover-
nor and coimcil have power to erect and order
all Public Schools of Literature and Science ;
And whereas," (Sjc, — reciting the application

to Lieutenant Governor William Markham,
and the grant by him and the council, which
is confirmed, and the Public School erected
and founded, to be kept forever in the said
town of Philadelphia, or in some convenient
place adjacent, with authority to erect conve-
nient houses for the purpose, the Monthly
Meeting to appoint the overseers, masters,
ushers, mistresses, and poor children of the
said school. The corporate name to be, " The
Overseers of the Public School, founded in
Philadelphia, at the request, costs and charges
of the people of God called Quakers :" to
have perpetual succession, and to be capable
of receiving, holding, and granting lands, tene-
ments, hereditaments, goods and chattels, for
the use of the said school.

It being deemed proper to have a charter
with more extensive powers and privileges, a
fresh application was made for the purpose,
and granted by William Penn, in an instru-
ment of writing, dated the 2Jd of the Fifth
month, 1708. The preamble of which con-
tains the words quoted in the article first no-
liced, but not being correctly printed, are
here inserted with those immediately follow-
ing. " Whereas the prosperity and welfare of
any people depends, in a great measure, upon
the good education of youth, and their early
instruction in the principles of true religion
and virtue, and qualifying them to serve their
country and themselves by breeding them in
reading, writing, and learning of languages,
and useful arts and sciences, suitable to their
sex, age, and degree, which cannot be eflected
in any manner so well as by erecting schools
for the purposes aforesaid. And whereas my
trusty and well beloved friends, Samuel Car-
penter, the elder, Edward Shippen, Grifiilh
Owen, Thomas Story, Anthony Morris, Rich-
ard Hill, Isaac Norris, John Jones, William
Southby, Nicholas Wain, James Lojian, Ca-
leb Puscy, Rowland Ellis, Samuel Preston,
d James Fox, on behalf of themselves and
other inhabitants of the said province, lia\e
represented to me, that for the honour and
service of God, and of the said province, they
desire to erect, support, and maintain a Pub-
lic School in the town of Philadelphia, where
poor children, of both sexes, may be taught
and instructed in reading, writing, working,
and other good and useful literature, and
maintained gratis; and the children and .ser-
vants of the rich may be taught and instruct-
ed at reasonable rates." The persons named,
are authorized to build, erect, found, and esta-
blish, in the town and county of Philadelphia,
"one Public School, to consist of such and so
many masters, mistresses, ushers and teach-
ers, and for the maintaining, clothing, and
sustaining such, and so many poor children,
of both sexes, in reading, writing, works,


languages, aits and sciences, as to the over-
seers, herein after named, of the said school,
or tlie overseers thereof for tiie time being,
shall seem requisite or convenient." It is
then incorporated with the name slightly
changed, placed under the care of fifteen dis-
creet and religious persons of the People called
Quakers, who are the persons before mention-
ed, who are to have a common seal, with the
motto, " Good Instruction is better than
Riches." Invested with power to receive and
hold estates for the school, and establish any
number of schools in the city and county of
Philadelphia they may judge expedient.

This charter seems to hold up the idea of a
school of arts and sciences, for the cultivation
of the physical as well as the mental powers,
and for the entire support of poor children
in every respect, embracing the education
of youth in the fullest and most compre-
hensive mode. The number of the overseers
is fixed, and their appointment, and that o(
the officers, &c., is taken from the care of
the Monthly Meeting, who found the affairs
difficult to manage. But it appears that the
powers granted were not considered yet suffi-
ciently ample, for another charter was issued
by William Penn in 1711, reciting all the
preceding ones, and stating that it was repre-
sented that by enlarging the powers and pri-
vileges, the good ends intended would be bet-
ter answered and efl'ected. It then states,
" That I being desirous to give all further due
encouragement to so pious and useful an un-
dertaking, do hereby, for me and my heirs
will and ordain, that the said Public School,
erected and founded by virtue of the former
grants, herein before recited, shall forever
hereafter be incorporated, called and known
by the name of the Overseers of the Public
School, founded by charter in the town and
county of Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania."

Fifteen discreet and religious persons are
to be the overseers of the said school.

The houses and buildings already erected
by virtue of any of the charters, to remain
and continue for the uses and purposes of the
school, according to the design. The over-
seers authorized to erect, from time to time,
as they may think convenient and requisite in
the town aiid county of Philadelphia, any num-
ber of houses and buildings for places of
instruction of the scholars, and for the dwel-
ling and abode of masters, mistresses, ushers,
teachers, scholars, officers and servants be-
longing, and to belong to said school ; and to
make all rules and regulations necessary for
the government thereof. Amnle powers are
given to receive and hold estates for the use of
the schools without limit.

The Public Schools established under these
charters have continued unto the present day.
Some of the overseers were persons eminent
for learning and virtue. Among the teach-
ers, were Charles Thomson, afterwards Sec-
retary to Congress ; Anthony Bcnezet, the
philanthropist, and Robert Proud, the histo-
rian. Thousands have been educated at these
seminaries, many of whom attained conspicu-
ous stations in civil and religious society.
Munificent gifts and legacies have been be-
stowed for the support of these schools, and a

Pictures and Sketches of Petershurgh.
It was a bold project of Peter the Great to


large number of children have freely partaken own grenadiers, when parading in front of the
of their benefits ; and although in latter times' Admiralty. Buildings, individually large, be-
this corporation does not appear as bright in come thus collectively little, assuming a look
view as formerly, yet it is silently an instru- of sameness and constraint, and at no season
nient of diffusing some good ; and perhaps the j is this more striking than in winter, when
day may come when it will again shine with streets, rivers, squares, and roofs, are all co-
its full meridian lustre. Ivered by one monotonous while, while the

misty character of the atmosphere permits
few of the distant outlines to be distinctly seen,
For " Tlie Friend." go that the whole assumes a spectral and un-
substantial air. The last place in the world
to which the lover of the picturesque ought to
direct his steps is Petershurgh, particularly in
found the metropolis of the Russian Empire ! winter. In the summer there is at least some
on a site presenting such formidable obstacles variety for the e^e to feast on. '1 he broad
to the enterprise. Situated on the river Neva, 'arms of the Neva are then dotted with ships
near the Gulf of Finland, partly upon some and boats; not crowded, lor it would indeed
islands in the mouth of the river, and partly require mighty fleets to crowd the Neva. It
upon the continent, the ground on which it i is true, they would find it difficult to get there,
now stands, was only a vast morass, occupied unless they were fiat-bottomed, for no vessel
by a few fishermen's huts, prior to 1703. In! drawing more than six or eight feet of water
that year, it is recorded, Peter built a small \ is ever able to come up to the quays of Pe-
hut for himselt, and some wretched wooden | lersburg. The houses, too, as the snow melts
hovels. From these small beginnings rose i away, lose their airy, unsubstantial look, and
the imperial city of Petershurgh, to which, in I seem to obtain a firm footing again, while the
less than nine years, the seat of empire was roofs, mostly of iron, and of a bright green
transferred from Moscow, and the population of] colour, present an agreeable contrast to the
which, at the present time, probably exceeds azure cupolas of the churches and the gilt

half a million,

The Foreign Quarterly, in one of its late
numbers, contains a review of" Pictures and
Sketches of Petersburg!)," a work of recent
publication, by J. G. Kohl. The following
abstract of the article is presented to the
readers of " The Friend," in the hope that it
may agreeably contribute to their entertain-
ment and information.

Peter the Great was resolved that the
inhabitants of his capital should not be at a
loss for elbow room ; when he laid out
Petershurgh, he destined at once a superficies
of fifty square versts for the new city, and this
allowed him to make his streets wide, his
parade places spacious, and to leave ample
room for the most advantageous display of all
his public buildings. The city has gone on
stretching ever since, but has not yet filled
out the original frame designed by its founder,
and another century will certainly elapse
before the inhabitants of Petershurgh will
experience any necessity to economise their
ground-rents by building one city upon the
top of another, as has been done in so many
of the continental capitals. The spacious-
ness, which characterizes every part of the
"Northern Palmyra," as the desert-circled
city of palaces has not unaptly been denomi-
nated, though it imparts to every thing an air
of magnificence and newness, has the efi'ect of
altogether preventing the development of the
picturesque. Petershurgh, therefore, with all
its architectural splendour, soon becomes
exceedingly monotonous to a stranger; and
even the buildings, large as they are, appear
often mean, when compared with the breadth
of the streets, and the majestic course of the
several channels through which the Neva
winds its way to the sea. The extreme flat-
ness of the ground adds to this effect. Palaces,
worthy of mountains for their pedestals, stand
grouped in endless rows, like the emperor's

spires. 'I'o see all this, however, the stranger
must be content to raise himself above the
ordinary level of those among whom he holds
his temporary residence ; fur as the city no
where presents a natural elevation, it is only
from the top of some lolly building that a
panoramic view can be obtained. For this
purpose no place is better suited than the
central tower of the Admiralty, which appears
to have been built for the purpose. It stands
in the very centre of all the most important
streets and buildings of the Russian melro-
polis, and is provided, at diflerent heights,
with circular galleries, from the highest of
which the- city may be surveyed like a map.
The Admiralty, the Winter Palace, and the
Palace of the Hermitage, are built along the
Neva, w here they occupy a space of ground of
about an English mile in length, by about
1000 feet in breadth. This, it will be admit-
ted, is a tolerably large site tor three houses.
Of course, a good deal of ground is left un-
covered, including the plas/itshad, or square
of the Admiralty, where the emperor almost
daily reviews some of his troops, and where,
during the Easter-week, the humbler classes
may be seen to most advantage, while in-
dulging in the wild but disciplined exercises of
their national diversions. From the summit
of the tower we may behold the vast store of
timber piled up in the inner yards ; the men-
of-war upon their stocks, ready to glide upon
their destined element; and carrying our
glance across the Neva, we are surprised by
the aspect of the formidable citadel, bristling
with artillery. A citadel built in the very
heart of a city announces too plainly the ob-
ject of its being. To defend the town against
a foreign invader, it would be worse than use-
less ; let us hope that it may never be des-
tined to direct against the detenceless capital
those murderous engines, which, from the
place they now occupy, must always be harm-
less to an enemy.

On looking at the map, it will be seen that
Petersburgh has been built on the delta of the
Neva, which discharges itself into the sea
through some eight or ten channels, forming
a multitude of islands of dilferent sizes. The
principal part of the city stands on the south
side of the main branch of the river ; on the
islands opposite the buildings are more scat-
tered, and some are entirely occupied by pub-
lic gardens, and by the villas of the Russian
noblesse. Towards the south of the Admi-
ralty, will be seen three principal streets radi-
ating from the central point formed by the
tower already spoken of. These streets are
called prospekts, a name given in Petersburgh
to all the more important streets ; but those
now under consideration are the prospekts
par excellence, and of these the Nevskoi
Prospect forms the great central artery
through which the life-blood of the city may
be said to be constantly circulating. It is to
Petersburgli more than Regent Street is to
London, or Broadway to New York. It
is at once a great business thoroughfare, like
Cheapside, and a fashionable lounge, like the
Italian Boulevard in Paris; and a stranger
taking up his position in front of the Admi-
ralty may look down the busy street, carry-
ing his glance along magnificent palaces and
brilliant shops, through the markets of the
suburbs, to the adjoining village of Okhta,
the only locality of older date than the great
Peter ; and beyond these the eye may lose
itself in the gloomy bottomless morasses, by
which the splendid capital is on all sides en-
compassed. Armed with a good telescope, a
man may see from the Admiralty Square
what is going on in the most remote quarters ;
and, if he can forget the tyrannical exercise'
of despotic power which was required to
make so splendid a city spring into life among
the inhospitable marshes, many objects will

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 69 of 154)