of records for each meeting.
4 See map.
8 Bunting, 49.
6 Min. Kennett Mo. Mtg., n 7 1715, 28.
Schools in Chester County
provision for the orphan children be fulfilled before allowing
the widow to remarry. 7 These two cases serve to point out
that an early care and interest in the affairs of children was
manifested on the part of the meeting.
Local historians have very little to offer in the way of clews
to the education of the Quakers in the last part of the
seventeenth and early eighteenth century, though they all
agree that the Quakers furnished the foundations of educa-
tion, and it was begun very early, even from the first establish-
ment in the various counties. 8 Some of the early schools
have already been discussed, in cases where it was possible to
state the earliest beginnings. 9
In 1777 those who had attended the Western Quarterly
Meeting reported they had received the recommendations of
the yearly meeting requiring the monthly meetings to have
particular charge of the education of the children, with
especial reference to the employment of schoolmasters who
were Friends. 10 The same concern being mentioned a month
later, with emphasis on the school education, a committee of
six Friends was appointed to join with a committee of the
quarterly meeting to confer on the matter. 11 In 1779, their
action appears to be just a little more definite, but from the
records it is difficult to say whether it meant very much or
not ; the minutes at that time stated :
John Way, John Marshall, James Bennett, Caleb Pierce, David
Greame, Samuel Nichols, and Thomas Carlton, Jr., are appointed to
unit together and endeavor to promote such schools as (are) recom-
From that date (1779) to 1781, there appears no comment
on the subject, save the usual periodic announcements that
the Advices of the Yearly Meeting "have been regularly
received." In 1781, however,
Caleb Pierce on behalf of the committee on schools, reports there is a
school made up by some of the members of this, Bradford, and New
7 Min. Kennett Mo. Mtg., 1231727, 188.
8 Futhey & Cope, Hist. Chester Co., 3O2f; Jordan, Hist. Del. Co., II,
'See page 42, Philadelphia 107, Abington 154, Darby.
10 Min. Kennett Mo. Mtg., 12 n 1777, 625.
u lbid., 1151778, 626.
u lbid., I 14 1779, 658.
124 Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania
Garden monthly meetings; John Parker and Caleb Pierce are appointed
to join with the Friends of those meetings in the oversight thereof, and
report to this meeting when necessary. 13
In the seventh month thereafter, in the same year, John
Parker reported that the school which he and Caleb Pierce
had been appointed to oversee was discontinued. 14 They
were released from their service in the care of schools. The
former committee on that subject, appointed in 1779, seems,
however, from the minute of the tenth month, 1781, to have
been continued as a standing committee on the subject. 15
The following extract implies that the committee of 1779
was replaced by another which, by the way, had more
specifically named duties. The implication of the minute is
that there were at least two schools, perhaps more.
The concern for the promotion of schools, under the directions of
Friends revived, Samuel Harlan, John Way, Aaron Hollingsworth,
John Swain, Amos Harvey, Samuel Pennock, and James Jackson are
appointed to have the care and oversight of schools, also promote the
establishment of schools where there is yet want of assistance, and
report to this meeting when necessary. 16
In the same year it was also recommended to the prepara-
tive meetings that each appoint a committee of their own to
represent them and act with the committee of the monthly
meeting in the concern of schools. 17 The intervening years,
from 1783 to 1 785, offer nothing beyond the usual general
reports concerning the appointment of committees and the
like. In 1 785, the committee on schools produced this report :
We have lately had a conference on the subject, and do find that there
are several schools in the compass of our monthly meeting, kept by
Friends and under the care of this committee, and may inform that they
are kept to a good degree of satisfaction, yet there are some that employ
teachers, not members of our society, without the advice of the commit-
tee or the monthly meeting. We, likewise, agree to lay before the
monthly meeting the reappointment of a committee for this service in
future as the members of this committee have been long on the appoint-
ment and desire to be released, which we submit to the meeting. Signed
John Way (and five others). 18
13 Min. Kennett Mo. Mtg., 2 15 1781, 730.
u lbid., 7 12 1781, 741. u lbid., 10 n 1781, 746.
l Ibid., 9111783, 787. "Ibid., 513 17 8 3, 795-
Ibid., 5121785, 814.
Schools in Chester County
The answer to the fifth query of the same year likewise
informs us that care has been taken in the education of the
poor children, and Friends' children "are generally placed
among Friends." 19
The request for the appointment of a new committee on
schools, made by the old committee, does not seem to have
received consideration till 1788 In the meantime we must
assume that the old committee continued to serve, since
occasional reports were sent in. The men appointed on the
new committee were: Jacob Greave, Samuel Nichols, Amos
Harvey, Samuel Harlan, Moses Pennock, Robert Lambourn,
Jr., Christopher Hollingsworth, John Way, and William
Phillips, Jr. 20 In 1790 the monthly meeting ordered a
special committee to recommend a deeper educational con-
cern to the particular meetings. 21
The desired results, in the shape of a more perfected
organization and permanent foundation to be provided for
schools, did not come until about 1792 and thereafter. In
that year, the committee reported its past activity in respect
to schools established, and made certain valuable suggestions
to guide future action, as the following extract witnesses:
The committee, appointed at last meeting, report: We, the com-
mittee appointed by the monthly meeting at the request of Kennett
Preparative Meeting, respecting the establishment of schools within the
verge thereof, agree to report, we have attended thereto, and find they
have purchased a piece of ground, with the approbation of the commit-
tee of this meeting, of Abraham Taylor, about two miles and a half
westernly from Kennett Meeting House, adjoining the public road,
leading to Nottingham, and obtained his conveyance to Jacob Pierce,
Samuel Pennock, Townsend Lambourn, Thomas Pierce, William Parker,
and David Pierce, trustees for the same, meted and bounded as men-
tioned in the said conveyance and recorded .... and as it appears
to us necessary in order for a fixed object whereon to lay a foundation for
establishing a fund agreeable to the Yearly Meeting, that the monthly
meeting should appoint some Friends as trustees to have the care of the
said school, and that it should have a name to be distinguished by; we
therefore propose it to be called by the name "Number One," within the
verge of Kennett Preparative Meeting. We have likewise agreed on
some general rules to be observed by the scholars of the said school.
19 Min. Kennett Mo. Mtg., 8 n 1785, 820.
*Ibid., 2141788, 874.
u lbid., I 14 1790, 914.
126 Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania
Signed by Caleb Pierce, Wm. Lambourn, Caleb Kirk, and Jonathan
Greave. 12 24 1790.
The above report, being read, is agreed to be further con-
sidered at our next meeting. 22 Unfortunately for the satis-
faction of our curiosity about the internal organization of the
schools, the rules which they state were drawn up were not
incorporated in the minutes of the monthly meeting. They
were probably similar, however, to those adopted by the
Horsham School Committee at a slightly earlier date. 23
In consideration of the recommendations made in the above
report, the meeting assembled in the seventh month, ap-
pointed nine of their members as trustees, to receive all
donations for the purpose of schools. 24 About a year there-
after, a report signed by Joshua Pusey and John Jones was
submitted by the monthly meeting to the quarterly meeting,
which was in substantial accord with all that had already
been done. 25 It may be well to summarize briefly their
1 . We have considered the relative situation of the mem-
bers in our compass.
2. The affairs of education have not yet received the
attention they deserve.
3. We find several school houses have been erected, but
4. The demands made by the yearly meeting are not met,
5. Friends must subscribe funds, either in monthly or
6. The funds must be available for application for meet-
ings. Friends are so scattered and few that they cannot
support a school alone and have been forced to patronize
7. Those laboring under difficulties should be taught
gratis, or at least, at low rates.
In 1795 the committee on schools produced a plan for
subscriptions to a permanent school fund, 26 which was
22 Min. Kennett Mo. Mtg., I 12 1792, 14.
M Horsham School Com. Minutes, I 27 1783.
24 Min. Kennett Mo. Mtg., 7 12 1792, 25.
K Ibid., 3 14 1 793, 39.
Ibid,, 2 12 1795, 83.
Schools in Chester County
referred to the next meeting. A report was then made, but
it was thought that since all of the committee had not
collaborated it should be, and accordingly was, postponed for
the time being. 27 In the fifth month a report was made, but
still some changes were thought to be necessary. 28
Not until the twelfth month (1785) was the report finally
produced, which is given below. There has been some refer-
ence made by local historians of Chester County, stating that
Kennett Monthly Meeting had as early as 1787 provided a
plan for subscription for the provision of permanent funds. 29
The rule "number 5," which is quoted by them, is exactly the
same rule as the fifth one which is mentioned below. The
writer has found no such reference to a plan for funds at the
earlier date (1787). It seems quite probable that the state-
ment made in Mr. Cope's work is an oversight, perhaps an
error in setting up an eight in place of a nine. The entire list
of nine rules is given.
i . A plan for raising fund for the benefit of schools within the bounds
of Kennett Monthly Meeting, whereby Friends may have an oppor-
tunity of manifesting their benevolent intentions by subscribing thereto.
1st. That each subscriber to this plan pay at the time of subscrip-
tion, or give his or her note to the treasurer or clerk of the trustees, or
their successors appointed by Kennett Monthly Meeting, to have the
care of this fund, for a sum of money payable at any time, not exceeding
three years after date, with the interest of five per cent, per annum paid
annually for the same.
2d. The treasurer shall have a book for that purpose, and keep fair
entries of all money due and received; likewise of all money expended
and his receipts shall be a sufficient discharge for any money paid to
him for the use of schools.
3rd. Whenever the treasurer may receive any new subscription or
any money for the benefit of schools, he shall report the same at the next
meeting of the trustees of the said schools.
4th. When the trustees receive any money for the use of schools,
they shall as soon as they can conveniently put the same to interest upon
good security; or they may purchase land or ground rent therewith as
shall appear best for the time being.
5th. The trustees shall, as soon as they see occasion, apply the
interest arising from this fund to securing the schooling of the children
a plan for
prior to 1795
27 Min Kennett Mo. Mtg., 4161795, 88.
Ibid., 5141 795, 91.
"Futhey & Cope, Hist. Chester Co., 302.
Care for the
128 Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania
of such poor people, whether Friends or others, as live within the verge
of the aforesaid monthly meeting, provided such children comply with
6th. We recommend it to each other as often as we find an increase
of property and openness of heart to add something to our subscription
whereby it is hoped the monthly meeting may in time be enabled more
fully to comply with the advice of the Yearly Meeting in 1778, respecting
7th. As a variety of circumstances may in future occur which the
human eye can not foresee, nor understanding conceive, therefore the
trustees shall from time to time manage this fund as shall appear to them
best, to promote the welfare of the said schools and the poor thereunto
belonging; also if the interest may be to spare, they may assist therewith
in keeping the schoolhouse in repair and in paying the salaries of school-
masters or mistresses within the verge of said meeting, provided the
principal be not thereby lessened.
8th. If at any time the trustees may not all judge alike how they
ought to proceed in such cases, they are to apply to the aforesaid
monthly meeting for assistance.
9th. The trustees shall from time to time be accountable to the
monthly meeting of Kennett for their management of this fund, as
directed in the minute of their appointment. Signed by order of Kennett
Monthly Meeting, held the I5th of the I2th month, I796. 80
The condition of the schools in Kennett Monthly Meeting
was made known in 1798 in the report presented by Robert
Lambourn for the committee. A digest of that report is as
1. They have had the subject "under care."
2. There are two schools "within their compass."
3. The town's schools are taught by Friends' members. 31
4. They are under the charge of the meeting's committee.
The New Garden Meeting in 1773 made record of having
placed 4 /i i /9 in the hands of Jacob Wright, to be applied
at the further directions of the meeting to the placing out of
poor Friends' children or the relief of indigent Friends. 32
Between that time and 1778, we learn no more of this edu-
cational philanthropic interest. In that year the usual
reminder sent out by the yearly meeting came to them, calling
30 Min. Kennett Mo. Mtg., 12 15 1796, 146.
3l lbid., 8161798, 199.
82 Min. New Garden Mo. Mtg., 3 6 1773, 174.
Schools in Chester County 129
attention to educational needs. 33 A committee was appointed
which stated in a report, 1779, "some care is taken therein,
and more appearing necessary, they are continued." 34 An
extract of a few months later is as follows :
The committee respecting schools, having the matter under care, two Two schools-
schools being under their notice, and another proposed to be established, another pro-
they are continued and desired to report when necessary, and the clerk posed
to enter the substance of the case in their report. 38
Following the report of 1779, which showed there were
two schools in charge of the meeting, there is furnished no
further information until 1785. In the third month, 1785, a
large committee of thirteen members was appointed to take
charge of the "weighty affairs" recommended. 36 This com-
mittee produced a report in the eighth month of the same
year, which is gratifying in that it is more substantial than
many others brought in. It is given herewith.
The committee in the care of schools report that they have had Report of
several conferences together since last meeting, and are of the mind that 1785
concern for the right education of our youth rather increases among
Friends, and that a new school house has been lately built near Jeremiah
Barnard's on a small piece of land conveyed by him for that purpose,
which account is satisfying to this meeting. The committee is con-
tinued for further service and desired to report as they may see occasion. 3 ?
In 1786, George Gawthrop and Thomas Richards were
added to the committee. 38 From the first to the fourth
month of that year, the committee reported they had visited
one school, 39 but their report indicates nothing performed,
more than the visit. Four months later it is reported they
had attended to the subject of schools somewhat, but that it
still required much greater attention ; and they were advised
to meet with the monthly meeting's clerk that he might pre-
pare his report on schools for the quarterly meeting. 40
Though that report and the one of the quarterly meeting
really tell us nothing, we are better rewarded in one produced
just a year later, which points plainly to some of the difficul-
ties the early school trustees had to face.
J3 Min. Kennett Mo. Mtg., 6 6 1778, 388.
"Ibid., 5 I 1779, 22. K Ibid., 8 7 1779, 34.
Ibid., 351785, 234- "Ibid., 861785, 256.
**Ibid., 171786, 275. "Ibid., 851786, 312.
**Ibid., 4 i 1786, 290.
130 Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania
ing to advice
The committee in the care of schools reported as follows: the sub-
stance whereof the clerk is directed to insert in our report of the quar-
The care of schools has been under our care and attention and on
conferring together, we agree to report under the present circumstances
of things amongst us, it is found most convenient to employ mistresses,
as the teachers in our schools most generally in the summer season,
several of which are now under the care of Friends to pretty good satis-
faction, and we hope the concern is in a reviving way amongst us, though
there are discouragements by some Friends encouraging or promoting
schools taught by persons not agreeable to the advice of the society. 41
In 1794 William Jackson deeded to Joseph Preston and
others a piece of ground for a schoolhouse, 42 which was to be
in trust for the Friends' meeting. This is the first transfer
of ground for school purposes found among the New Garden
Friends. Among the stipulations of the deed are the follow-
1. The master is to be a member of Friends.
2 . The master must teach according to the rules laid down
(presumably by the school trustees) as before mentioned in
the case of the Horsham School Rules. 43
3. The purpose stated is for the "promotion of piety and
good order" and to "propagate useful learning."
On 12 2 1701, some Friends at Goshen applied to their
quarterly meeting for the privilege of establishing a meeting
for worship, 44 but this request was not approved until the
meeting of the quarter in I703. 45 In 1707 they proposed
building a house for worship which was granted by the
quarterly meeting in the twelfth month. 46 Their monthly
meeting, as stated before, was not established until I722. 4 '
The preparative meetings in its compass were Goshen, New-
town, and Uwchlan. 48
Though starting at a much later date as a monthly meeting
the records of Goshen are in some ways far superior to many
41 Min. Kennett Mo. Mtg., 8 4 1787, 355.
^Deed No. 88, Chester Co. (the deed is deposited in a fireproof at
Orthodox Meeting House, custody of Edgar Haines, West Grove, Pa.).
"Min. Horsham Sch. Com., I 27 1783.
^Min. Chester Q. Mtg., 12 2 1701.
46 Ibid., 9 i 1703.
w lbid., 12 2 1707.
47 See page 122.
48 See first book of Goshen Mo. Mtg. Records.
Schools in Chester County
other meetings. In the first place, they devoted considerable
attention to the yearly meetings' proposals of 1746 and 17 so, 49
which by many meetings received very scant attention. The
concrete results of this attention, however, do not stand forth,
as reports on the subjects are not plentiful till the "1778 era."
In that year of all years, they received the urgent accounts
from the yearly meeting. 50 They appear to have gone to
work at once, or perhaps had already begun, as a committee
in the care of schools reported in the sixth month, 1779, that
"a piece of ground is agreed for and a schoolhouse is now
building in East Bradford." 51 This school was to be made
up from the Friends of Goshen, Bradford, and Birmingham, 52
and to be established in accord with the stipulations of the
yearly meeting aforesaid. 53 Goshen Monthly Meeting was
requested to name some Friend to receive the land in trust,
and Thomas Hoopes, Jr., was accordingly appointed for the
In 1782, the present school committee, deciding that some-
thing should be done concerning the regulation of schools,
desired an addition to their number, those added being
Abraham Pratt, William Lewis, John Mailin, and Josiah
Hibberd. 55 Two months later this committee brought forth
the following proposals, which are self-explanatory.
We have met sundry times since the last meeting on the subject and
are unanimous in judgment that it will be convenient for Friends to have
a school house built near Jesse Garrett's smith shop on the east side of
the road leading from the valley where about five acres may be pur-
chased of William Garrett and William Garrett, Jr., in order to erect
a school house on, and also a house for a school master, which we request
the monthly meeting to take under consideration; and if they approve
thereof, that it may be encouraged by a subscription amongst Friends
only, and to be established on the plan proposed by the Yearly Meeting
and subject to the direction of the monthly meeting from time to time,
to remove or alter as they may see cause, or time may show to be neces-
sary. We propose the house to be twenty-seven feet square from out to
"Advices of the Yr. Mtg., 250.
50 Min. Goshen Mo. Mtg., I 8 1779.
bl lbid., 6 ii 1779.
52 Futhey and Cope mention a school at Birmingham as early as 1753,
Hist. Chester Co., 302.
M Min. Goshen Mo. Mtg., 6 n 1779.
A school in
Land to be
K Jbid., 1111782.
Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania
out, and compute the expense of building to be 150 exclusive of the land
which will be 25, which we submit to the monthly meeting. Signed in
behalf of the committee Thomas Hoopes, Jr. 86
Their report was left for further consideration.
In 1784 a drive was organized on the preparative meetings.
The monthly meeting received a visit from the committee of
the quarterly meeting, which suggested the appointment of a
large committee and the distribution of the printed advices
of the yearly meeting of 1778, to be read before each of the
preparative meetings. 57 In conformity with this suggestion,
the former school committee was released and a new one of
ten members appointed as a standing committee, directed to
follow out the previously made suggestions. 58 In their report
issued shortly thereafter, there is an account of the beginning
of a school in Willistown, which is as the following:
The committee in the care of schools report that a school is kept in
the new house built in Willistown by a Friend, and endeavors are used
to have it conducted as near as may be to the directions of the Yearly
Meeting, and the building of a house for the master is proposed and a
considerable sum of money is subscribed towards the same, provided a
sufficiency can in like manner be raised. 59
Another report for 1785 gives the state of schools for that
There are several schools in the verge of our monthly meeting, kept by
members of our society, one of which belongs to the monthly meeting,
with several acres of land, whereon Friends are now building a house for
a master, which when completed there will be a small fund towards
schooling poor children. 60
The chief concern to which the committee now addressed
itself was the problem as to how they might establish a per-
manent fund for the schooling of poor children in their limits.
For this problem they seem to have found a satisfactory