Josiah Rhinehart Sypher.

School history of Pennsylvania, from the earliest settlements to the present time online

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sluice-gates were carried away by the ice, and the Avorks
were otherwise damaged.

15. The Coal, and the Navigation Company finding their

12. How were private enterprises encouraged? What was done
under this legislation?

13. "When was the Lehigh Coal Company formed?

14. What new company was formed? What did this company do
the first year? What happened in 1820?


interests common, united, and before the" end of the year,
sent to Philadelphia 365 tons of coal, as the first fruit of
their labors.

16. In 1821, a reorganization was effected, under the name
of Lehigh Coal and Navigatipn Company; new dams were
constructed, 12 miles of canal, with substantial locks, were
completed, and 1073 tons of coal were sent to market.
During the next 3^ear, a new charter with larger privileges
was granted by the legislature; the capital was increased,
and 2240 tons of coal were shipped.

It. The descending navigation, 72 miles in length, from
Mauch Chunk to Easton, was opened in 1829. This is the*
first permanent improvement of this description on record,
and hence Pennsylvania skill and enterprise are again found
in the lead.

18. In May, 1827, a railroad, nine miles in length, was
constructed from Mauch Chunk to the coal mines. This was
at the time the longest railroad in America.*

19. In 1837, the legislature authorized this company to
construct a railroad to connect the navigation on the Lehigh
with the Pennsylvania canal on the Susquehanna, at Wilkes-

* The only railroads in America, previous to 1827, were a short
wooden railroad constructed at Leiper's stone quarry, in Delaware
county, Pennsylvania, in 1806, and a road, three miles in length,
opened at the Quincy granite quarries, in Massachusetts, in 1826.

1.5. "What companies united, and what was the result?

16. What was done in 1821, and the next year?

17. What was the length of the descending navigation in the
Lehigh, and when was it completed? What was this? In what else
were the Pennsjdvania mechanics the first?

18. "What railroad was constructed in 1827? What was this?
What other roads had been built?

19. What other roads did this company construct?


barre. This was called the Lehigh and Susquehanna rail-
road, and was completed in 1843, The road was afterward
extended to Mauch Chunk, and finally, in 1867, to Easton,
making a continuous line 91 miles long, from the Susque-
hanna to the Delaware.

20. A Board of Commissioners, sent by the State author-
ities to inspect these works, in 1834, said: ''The Lehigh
navigation is admitted to be superior in all respects to any
other work of a similar nature in the United States." The
Lehigh canal, owned by the Coal and Navigation Company,
was completed in 1838. The great freshets in 1841 and
1862, greatly damaged the canal and slackwater improve-
ments in this valley After the .reshet of 1862, 2500 men
and 500 teams were employed nearly three months in repair-
ing the works below Mauch Chunk. When the railroad was
completed the navigation on the upper division of the river
was abandoned.

21. Running by the side of the Lehigh and Susquehanna
railroad, through the entire length of the valley, is the
Lehigh Valley railroad, older than its rival, but not as old as
the Navigation Company. Both these roads and the canal
are now barely able to do the transportation for the immense
mines and manufactories in this wonderful valley. The
Lehigh Valley road was begun in 1850; the progress of the
work was slow, until 1852, when Asa Packer, a man of great
wealth, undertook the building of the road from Easton to
Mauch Chunk. The entire line was completed in three
years; in 1856, the first year the road was open, 165,740

20. When and liow were the works on the Lehigh destroyed ? How
were they repaired? What was abandoned?

21, Where is the Lehigh VaUey railroad, and what is said of it?


tons of coal passed over it. In 1862 the road was extended
to White Haven, and two years later the Beaver Meadow
railroad was merged in it, also the Lehigh and Mahoning
road, in 1866; finally, in 1867, the track was extended to
Wilkesbarre, and thence, by canal and a new railroad, the
line reached the New York State boundary, a distance of 100
miles. In 1868, the Hazleton, and the Lehigh and Luzerne
roads were merged in the Lehigh Valley Company, thus form-
ing a continuous line of transportation nearly 300 miles in
extent; the coal trade on this road, in 1867, was 2,080,156

22. In 1840, the total length of canals in the State was
1280 miles, of which 432 miles were owned by private com-
panies. The total length of railroads was 795 miles, of which
118 miles were owned by the Commonwealth.

23. In 1847, the work on the Pennsylvania Central rail-
road was begun, and after six and a half years of persistent
and energetic labor, wherein some of the most daring feats
of constructive engineering were achieved, a continuous line
of track was completed across the State from its eastern to
its western boundary; and, in February, 1854, passenger
trains were run through from Philadelphia to Pittsburg.

24. The Philadelphia and Erie railroad was built on a line
that had been pointed out by Nicholas Piddle, in 1830. The
legislature chartered the Sunbury and Erie Company, in 1837 ;
two 3^ears later a survey v/as made, but the building of the
road was not begun, until 1852. It was completed in 1864.

22. How many miles of canal and railroad were there in the State
in 1840?

23. Describe the construction and extent of the Pennsylvania

24. Describe the building of the Philadelphia and Erie railroad.


In 1861, the name was changed to Philadelphia and Erie,
and in the same year, the whole line was leased to the Penn-
sylvania Railroad Company for 999 years.

25. The main line of the public works between Philadel-
phia and Pittsburg was sold to the Pennsylvania Railroad
Company in 1857 for $7,500,000; and the canals on the Sus-
quehanna river and its branches, above the mouth of the
Juniata, together with the Delaware division, were sold to the
Sunbury and Erie Railroad Company in 1858, for $3,500,000.

2G. The transfer of the canals and railroads to private
corporations, closed the history of public improvements under
the patronage of the Commonwealth. The companies that
purchased these works, and other chartered corporations
constructed railroads that bind together the agricultural, the
mining, manufacturing and mercantile interests, and afford
easy and cheap transportation to all parts of the State.*

* See table of railroads and canals.

25. When were the pviblic works of the State sold? Who bought
them, and what was paid for them?

2G. WHiat does the transfer of the public works end? What has
been done by private corporations?






1. The third historic act of the legislature was that which
provided for the education of all the children in the Common-
wealth, at the expense of the public treasury, passed in 1834.

2. Previous to the enactment of this great law, more than
200 acts had been passed in reference to this subject ; for the
people of Pennsylvania have ever been the friends and advo-
cates of education, and at no period of their history were the
efforts relaxed to attain greater perfection in the organiza-
tion and administration of a system of public schools.

3. Among the old records of the Dutch government on the
Delaware, is found an account of the labors of Evert Pieter-

Chapter XXXYI. — 1. "Whtit was the third historic act of the

2. Was this the first legislation on the suhject of education?
What was the position of the people on this subject?


son, who held the office of "schoolmaster, comforter of the
sick, and setter of psalms." He arrived in the Colony in
April, 1657, and in August of that year was teaching twenty-
five pupils; this is the first school on the west bank of the
Delaware of which a record has been preserved. The Swedes
had schools at Upland and Tinicum, and near where Wil-
mington now stands, in the earliest years of their settlements
at these places.

4. The original "Frame of Government," and the "Great
Law," enacted in the first year of the Province, under the
authority of William Penn, provided that "schools should
be established for the education of the young." Acting upon
this provision, a school was opened in Philadelphia in 1683,
by Enoch Flowers, at which each pupil was charged a small
sum for tuition; in 1692 a school was kept at Darby, and in
1698, the Quakers opened a public school in Philadelphia,
"where all the children and servants, male and female," could
attend; the rich at reasonable rates, and the poor for nothing.
William Penn selected the motto for this school : " Good in-
struction is better than riches."

5. A classical school, called the "Log College," was estab-
lished in Bucks county in 1726, and, thirteen years later, a
similar school was opened at New London, in Chester
county. The first school exclusively for the education of
girls, was established at Bethlehem, in 1749, by the Mora-

3. When, where, and by whom was the first school opened west
of the Delaware? Where had the Swedes established schools?

4. What did the original Frame of Government and the Great
Law provide? When and where was the first school established
under Penn's authority? What other schools were established?

5. Name some of the first schools in the Province, and state where
they were opened ?


vians; in 1Y85 this was opened as a "boarding-school for
joung ladies." A boarding-school for boys, called Nazareth
Hall, was opened at Nazareth, in the latter year by the same
people. The Moravians established a seminar}^ for the educa-
tion of young ladies, at Litiz, in 1794, which, during full half
a century, was one of the most successful schools in the
State. At the close of the eighteenth century. Poor's acad-
emy for girls was a fashionable and popular institution in

6. In 1749 the germ of the University of Pennsylvania
sprang up in the form of an academy and charitable school,
supported by subscription. It was chartered and endowed
in 1753, erected into a college in 1755, and became a univer-
sity in 1779. This institution comprises three departments:
the academical, the collegiate, and the medical. The foun-
dation of the medical department, the oldest, and still one of
the most celebrated schools of medicine in the United States,
was laid by a course of lectures on anatomy, delivered by
Dr. William Shippen, to a class of ten students, in a private
house in Philadelphia, during the winter of 1762. Chemistry
was first taught in America in 1769, by Dr. Benjamin Rush,*

* Benjamin Rush, one of the most eminent men of his time, was
born near Philadelphia, in 1745. He was a noted physician, and a
man of science. During the Revolutionary war he was distinguished
for his patriotism. He was a member of the Continental Congress of
1776, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His philan-
thropic efforts in behalf of the sufferers, during the prevalence of
the yellow fever in Philadelphia, in 1793, are worthy of the highest
praise. In 1780 ho founded the Philadelphia Dispensary, and was

6. What was the origin of the University of Pennsylvania ? How
was the medical department begun ? Who first taught chemistry in
America? When was Jefferson Medical College established? Where



who was then a professor in the university. The Jefferson
Medical College, established in 1825, has also attained great
eminence. Pennsylvania was not only the foremost in the
cultivation of medical science, but was also the first to receive
the new system of cure j^racticed by Hahnemann. The first
institution in the world, established to teach Homoeopathy,
was opened at Allentown, as an "Academy of Medicine,"
in 1834, chiefly through the influence of Dr. Constantino
Hering.* The Pennsylvania Homceopathic College was the
pioneer of its class, and is now the oldest homoeopathic col-
lege in America. To Pennsylvania belongs also the honor
of having founded the first medical college in the world for
the education of women. It was established in Philadelphia,
in 1849.

also one of the founders of Dickinson College, at Carlisle; he was
president of the Abolition Society, of the Philadelphia Medical
Society, and vice-president of the Philadelphia Bible Society, and
one of the vice-presidents of the American Philosophical Society.
He was the first writer on Temperance in America, and the appear-
ance of his Essay, entitled "The Effect of Alcohol on the Human
System," was the beginning of the temperance reform in the United
States. He died in 1813.

* Constantine Hering was born January 1st, 1800, in Oschatz,
Saxony; was educated in the most celebrated schools of literature
and science in Europe; came to the United States and settled in
Pennsylvania in 1833 ; in 1834, he established an "Academy of Medi-
cine," at Allentown. He afterward became an eminent physician in
Philadelphia, was appointed a professor in the Pennsylvania Homoe-
opathic College in 1864, and in 1867 was placed at the head of the
Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia, as Dean of the Faculty
and Professor of Materia Medica.

were the first homoeopathic schools opened? What other honor be-
lomrs to Pennsylvania?


T. A company of German philanthropists, sustained by-
contributions from religious societies in Europe, established
free schools in Pennsylvania early in the eighteenth century.
In 1756 these schools were open and well sustained, in Phil
adelphia and in the counties of Bucks, Montgomery, Chester,
Northampton, Berks, Lancaster, York, and Cumberland. The
pupils were taught in the German language, and all who
applied were admitted. The Mennonists built a schoolhouse
and opened schools in Germantown as early as the year 1T08.

8. In 1733, a colony of Dunkers settled at Ephrata, in
Lancaster county, where they immediately established a
school, and employed a master to teach the primary branches
and the classics in the German language. The Lutherans,
who settled in Lancaster in 1734, erected by the side of their
church a log schoolhouse, wherein their children were taught
the elementary sciences.

9. To the German settlement at Ephrata belongs the
credit of having opened, in 1740, the first Sabbath-school in

10. The Moravians began to settle in ^Northampton -county
in 1740; they were a religious and intelligent people; where-
ever they located, the schoolhouse rose side by side with the
church, and their schools at Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Litiz
were, at an early day, favorably known throughout Pennsyl-
vania and in the neighboring provinces. The Scotch and
German settlers in Berks, York, and Cumberland, opened a

7. By whom were free schools established in Pennsylvania?
When and where were these schools opened?

8. What colony settled in Lancaster county? What schools were

9. Where and when was the first Sabbath-school opened?

10. Who established schools in Northampton county? Who in


school by the side of every church, and carefully provided for
the education of their children. The Quaker communities in
Bucks, Chester, and Delaware counties made similar provi-
sion for their families. In the year 1788, " Concord monthly
meeting" supported three schools, and an equal number had
been established within the limits of " Chester monthly meet-
ing," one at Darby, one at Havcrford, and one at Radnor,
which, though opened for Friends' children, wer^, neverthe-
less, accessible to all, and being the best then in these neigh-
borhoods, w^ere well patronized by other denominations.
The education of the children of colored people also claimed
a share of the attention of these societies, and schools were
opened for their benefit. The emigration westward carried
the work of education across the Alleghanies, and the estab-
lishment of schools, seminaries, and colleges are found among
the first public efforts put forth at Pittsburg, Meadville, Erie,
Cannonsburg, Washington, and other places.

11. Under the provision of the Constitution of 1*190, which
declares that the legislature "shall provide by law for the
establishment of schools throughout the State in such man-
ner that the poor may be taught gratis," an act was passed,
in 1802, improved and reinacted in 1804, which provided for
the opening of schools wherein all the children in the Com-
monwealth might receive elementary instruction. Those who
were able, were required to pay; but the tuition for the chil-
dren of the poor was paid by the county commissioners.

Berks, York, and Cumberland? "Who in Bucks, Chester, and Dela-
ware? How was the work of education parried west of the Alle-

11. "What did the Constitution of 1790 provide? "What was done
under this provision? How were schools supported under the acts
of 1802 and 1804?


whenever the returns of the assessors showed that the
parents were unable to incur the expense.*

12. A law was passed in 1809, which improved on that of
1804, but did not fully accomplish the object for which it had
been enacted. It was several times amended, and, finally,
in 1827, all the amendments were repealed; yet still, in its
operation it came far short of the great results the friends
of education aimed to attain. The people had labored earn-
estly, during thirty years, to devise a system of public
schools that would fulfill the constitutional requirement, by
providing education for all the youth of the Commonwealth ;
yet, in 1833, less than 24,000 children attended school at
public expense, and most of these were taught by very
incompetent teachers. The schools were called " pauper
schools," and were despised by the rich and shunned by the
poor; the children were classified as "pay" and "pauper
scholars ;" thus the law, practically, separated the poor from
the rich, and hence failed; for in a republic, no system of

* The Constitution of 1776 provided that "a school or schools shall
be established in every county;" and the Constitution of 1790 pro-
vided that "the arts and sciences shall be promoted in one or more
seminaries of learning." Comparatively, a large number of acade-
mies and public schools were opened under these requirements. In
1833, fifty-five institutions of this class had been regularly incorpo-
rated by the legislature. There were also, at that time, two uni-
versities and eight colleges in the State. The charters of many of
these required that a specified number of poor children "should be
taught gratis."

12. What other laws were passed, and what was the effect of this
legislation ? What had the people endeavored to accomplish ? How
did these efforts succeed? What were the public schools called?
Why were they unpopular? Why did the schools fail?



education, which makes a distinction on account of wealth
or birth, can have the support of the people.

13. Numerous efforts were put forth to improve the pub-
lic schools in all parts of the State ; a remarkable instance of
wise legislation, in response to the petitions of the people, is
seen in the act passed in 1831, which provided for the ap-
pointment of trustees of the public schoolhouse in the town
of Landisburg, Perry county, and gave them power to ex-
amine teachers for said school, to visit the same once a
month, and to dismiss the teachers for misconduct, want of
capacity, and negligence.

14. In 1827, a society was formed in Philadelphia for the
promotion of education in the State; a committee, appointed
for that purpose, opened correspondence with the leading
men in every county, collected statistics, and secured a union
of effort in favor of free schools, that, in 1834, culminated in
the enactment of a law which rejected the old idea that only
" pauper children " should be educated at public expense, and
provided for the establishment of schools that would be free
to all. This was the beginning of the Common School

15. The act of 1834 inaugurated a new era in education in
this State. From that time forward steady progress has been
made. At times it was slow, and to many imperceptible; but
public sentiment was never stagnant, and legislation never
went backward. With this law the foundation of the system
of common schools now in use was laid. It provided that a

13. What was done in all parts of the State? What remarkable
example is cited ? Why is this remarkable?

14. "What society was formed, and what did it do? What great
change did the law of 1834 make? What is this the beginning of?

15." What does the Act of 1834 inauijurate? What followed?

education: 259

tax should be levied on all the taxable property and inhab-
itants, that townships, boroughs, and wards should be school
districts, and that schools should be maintained at public ex-
pense. The establishment and supervision of schools in each
district were intrusted to a Board of six Directors, to be
chosen by the legal voters. The people in each township
were allowed to determine by an election, whether the new
school system should be adopted or rejected, and an election
upon this question might be held once in three years. The
secretary of the Commonwealth was made superintendent
of schools, and the legislature was authorized to appropriate
funds, annually, from the State Treasury in aid of the work
of education.

16. In 1835, a powerful effort was made to repeal this
law; but through the exertions of Thaddeus Stevens,* then

* Thaddeus Stevens was born on the 4tli of April, 1792, in Cale-
donia county, Vermont, graduated at Dartmouth College in 1814,
and in the same year removed to York, Pennsylvania, where he
became a teacher in an academy. While thus employed, he gave
his leisure to the study of law. In 1816, he removed to Gettysburg,
and was admitted to th« bar at that place, and soon rose to the head
of his profession, which position he retained through life. He was
a member of the legislature from 1833 to 1837, and again in 1841;
was a member of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention in
1836, and Canal Commissioner in 1838. In 1841, he removed to Lan-
caster, where he afterward resided. He was first elected to Congress
in 1848 ; was re-elected in 1850. After an interval of six years he
was again sent to Congress, and was kept there by the repeated votes

"What did this law provide ? How were the schools in each district
established and supervised ? How might the system be adopted or
rejected? "Who was made Superintendent of Schools?

16. "What was attempted in 1835? Who defended the school
system ?


a member of the legislature, aided by Governor Wolf,* who
promised to use the veto power if necessary, the new system
was successfully defended, and free schools were permanently
established in Pennsylvania.

of his constituents until his death. "When the Eebellion broke out,
Mr. Stevens was among the boldest and ablest statesmen who sus-
tained the government in its days of severest trial. He was an
earnest and consistent friend to the colored race, an ardent lover
of liberty, a defender of the poor, and during the lust ten years of his
life was the leading spirit in the national legislature. For nearly a
year before his death he was unable to walk to the Hall of the
House, but was daily carried to his seat, on a chair, by two men.
Notwithstanding his great services to the nation, he ever regarded
his successful defense of free schools in Pennsylvania as the greatest
achievement of his life. He died in Washington, D. C, at midnight,
between the 11th and 12th of August, 1868.

* George Wolf was born of German parents, in Northampton
county, in August, 1777; he received the best education that the
schools of the neighborhood. could afford, and that was sufficient to
raise him to the principalship of an academy in his native county.
While presiding over that institution he studied law, and was ad-
mitted to the bar at Easton; he was appointed clerk of the Orphans'
Court of Northampton, by Governor Snyder ; was subsequently elected
a member of the State legislature. In 1824, he was elected to Con-
gress, and served in that body until 1829, when he was elected Gov-
ernor of the Commonwealth, and, by a re-election, served six years.

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Online LibraryJosiah Rhinehart SypherSchool history of Pennsylvania, from the earliest settlements to the present time → online text (page 17 of 24)