Their request was not acted upon until the next meeting
when it was referred to a committee of eleven men, who were
112 Min. Sadsbury Mo. Mtg., 6 19 1782, 337.
lu lbid., 3 21 1787, 39f.
n& Ibid., 6 17 1789, 70.
117 Futhey and Cope, Hist. Chester Co., 239.
118 Min. Sadsbury Mo. Mtg., 2 22 1792, 106.
Schools in Chester County
to consider the proposals and report their judgment to the
monthly meeting when convenient. 119 It appears from the
following extract of the monthly meeting that they were
The committee appointed to consider the proposals of Lampeter
Preparative Meeting for building a school house made a report in
writing, which not meeting the approbation of this meeting, is returned
and Joseph Brinton, Abraham Gibbons, William Brinton, James Smith,
John Ferris, James Cooper, and Levi Powell are added to the former
committee and William Webb is requested to consider the matter and
report to the next meeting. 120
At the session of the monthly meeting held two months later,
the newly appointed committee was successful in getting a
satisfactory hearing for their decision in regard to the Lampe-
ter Boarding School.
The proposal of Lampeter Preparative Meeting comes again under
consideration and the following report being produced and divers times
read, is concurred with.
To Sadsbury Monthly Meeting
We, the committee appointed to consider Lampeter's proposals for
building a school house and having again met and had a solid conference
together unite in jiidgment that the proposals are nearly agreeable to the
advices of the Yearly Meeting and under the present circumstances are
of the mind the monthly meeting may be safe in leaving that meeting at
liberty to erect a building proportioned in size to their Friends and the
probabilities of what may be obtained by subscription (which is sub-
mitted to the meeting by James Miller and signed by fourteen others).
6 25 I792. m
In 1793, the school committee recommended in the follow-
ing report that more definite steps be taken to meet the
demand of the yearly meeting in regard to (i) the accommo-
dations for a master and (2) the establishment of a permanent
The committee in the care of schools made the following report in
writing which, after being solidly considered, is adopted and the clerk
is directed to furnish each preparative meeting with a copy of this
minute together with the report of the committee (which follows).
Most of the committee appointed in the care of establishing well regu-
lated schools for the instruction of our youth report they met twice on
119 Min. Sadsbury Mo. Mtg., 3 21 1792,^107.
no lbid., 5 23 1792, 109.
ltl lbid., 7 10 1792, 112.
Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania
Funds to be
the subject and solidly considering the same, believe it would be right
for the monthly meeting to recommend to Sadsbury Preparative Meet-
ing the making of such suitable provisions for the accommodation of a
school master as is recommended by the Yearly Meeting Minute of
1778 That Sadsbury and Lampeter Preparative Meetings be stirred up
to use their endeavors to raise such funds for their respective meetings
by subscription as is recommended as well as in a minute of our last
quarterly meeting, by William Webb (and five others). 122
By a later minute we are informed that an instrument of
writing (subscription plan) has been drawn up for the purpose
of raising funds, 123 which, however, did not prove wholly
satisfactory, 124 and was postponed for further consideration.
As presented finally and accepted on twelfth month, loth,
1793, the plan for raising permanent funds was as follows:
Whereas the Yearly Meeting is impressed with a sense of the advan-
tages that would arise from a religious education of our youth, has fre-
quently recommended the establishment of schools under the care of a
standing committee of monthly or particular meetings and especially in
1778, recommended the promoting a subscription towards a fund, the
increase whereof rrfight be employed in paying the master's salary, if
necessary, and promoting the education of poor Friends' children. This
provision may be made to take in poor children of Friends or others
taught gratis or at such moderate rates as their parents or guardians can
afford to pay at the discretion of the trustees, etc.
And we, the subscribers, writing with the above recommendations and
willing to part with a portion of the substance, we as stewards are blessed
with, in order to carry the same into effect (provided always, neverthe-
less, that no part of the fund shall ever be applied towards paying the
master's salary so as to reduce the schooling of children who are in
affluent circumstances, lower than 40 shillings per annum, and may be
raised at the discretion of the trustees), do hereby promise for ourselves,
our heirs, and executors, or administrators to pay, or cause to be paid,
the several sums to our names annexed, to the trustees for ....
school. Otherwise, five per cent, interest from the dates respectively to
our names prefixed until paid or till such other persons as may be
appointed by the monthly meeting to receive the same. In witness
The situation of schools near the close of the century is
shown in a report of 1 797 to be as stated below. Though this
report states no fund is established, a later report of 1798
states that some progress has been made in that respect. 126
122 Min. Sadsbury Mo. Mtg., 4 17 1793, 120.
Ibid., 5131793, 121. Ibid., 12101793, 128.
Ibid., 9181793, 125. Ibid., 171798. 175.
Schools in Chester County
The report for 1797 is as follows:
The committee in the care of schools report that there is no fund
established for this purpose, yet there are three schools within the com-
pass of our monthly meeting taught by masters who are Friends and
are under the especial care of a committee of this meeting. 127
At the very close of the century Sadsbury Friends were
interested in raising a fund to help in the establishment of the
Yearly Meeting's boarding school at Westtown, Penn-
This chapter considers the establishment of schools in
Kennett, New Garden, Goshen, Bradford, Uwchlan, London
Grove and Sadsbury monthly meetings.
No early definite reference is made to education, though
the careful interest in children's welfare is at all times evident.
Not until the "1777 era" do the reports give any considerable
information concerning schools. Committees were there-
after always in attendance upon the problems of the schools.
In 1781 a "union school" was reported between Kennett,
Bradford and New Garden, which was afterwards discon-
tinued. In 1785 they report "several schools," in partial
accord with demands of the yearly meeting. Land for
Kennett school "number one" was purchased in 1792, and
rules drawn up for its control. Their scheme for raising
permanent funds was not completed until 1795. Two
schools, taught by members of the society, were under the
care of the meeting's committee in 1798.
Two schools were reported at New Garden in 1779 and
another was 'at that time proposed. Some land was con-
veyed to the meeting in 1785 for the use of a school, and a
house built upon it. Another piece of land was deeded by
William Jackson in 1794 for a similar purpose. Certain
stipulations were made concerning the school to be established
there. It was found more consistent in summer to employ
mistresses rather than masters.
Though established at a late date, Goshen was very active
educationally. Land was purchased and a house was being
127 Min. Sadsbury Mo. Mtg., 7 19-
U8 Ibid., 4 24 1799, 187.
Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania
built for a union school between Goshen, Bradford and
Birmingham, in 1779. Committees were appointed, which
gave reports better than those usually returned. A plan for
funds was adopted in 1786. No further mention is found in
regard to the union schools after the establishment of the
schools at Goshen and Willistown.
Bradford's first educational activity was in connection
with the apprenticing of children. A single case in which a
boy was put to school by the meeting occurred in 1767; the
expense therefore was defrayed by the preparative meetings.
Educational activity increased in 1778; three schools were
reported in 1780 and a committee appointed to assist in
establishing others. They appear to have been successful;
five schools were reported in 1792, though one was about to
be discontinued. Not all of the masters were Friends.
The statement that Negroes were being educated in 1765,
induces one to believe that Friends' children were provided
for. Three schools were mentioned in 1779, in which the
masters and many of the employers were Friends. In 1789
a school was established at Nantmeal under a special com-
mittee of Uwchlan Meeting; it was reported discontinued in
1787. The meeting at London Grove, established (1792),
reported no schools in its compass before the end of the
century; although an elaborate plan was drawn up for the
establishment of school funds.
Youths' meetings were established by Sadsbury as early as
1739 and instances in which poor children were educated are
cited for 1769. The first committee seems to have been
appointed for schools in 1779. A school was- reported for
Sadsbury in 1782, but was later discontinued for a brief time,
which cannot be definitely determined. In 1792 it was
agreed that Lampeter Preparative might have permission to
establish a boarding school. A plan for funds was drawn up,
but no success reported in raising them until 1798. Three
schools are reported established, and under the care of
Quaker masters in 1797.
The entire number of schools set up by the above named
meetings was eighteen or nineteen.
SCHOOLS OF DELAWARE COUNTY
The activity of the several monthly meetings in Delaware
County in the establishment of schools will be considered
under the heads of the respective meetings in the following
order, Chester, Darby, Radnor, and Concord. These are
four of the earliest monthly meetings established in Penn-
sylvania, the dates of their establishment being: Chester,
1681; and Darby, Radnor, and Concord in I684. 1 The aim
of this chapter, as of the others dealing with the several coun-
ties, is to present, first the source material which has been
found to have any bearing on the establishment of schools and
the attitude of the monthly meetings toward them.
Penn having come to New Castle on October 27,
1682, and performed the ceremonies of taking possession of
the province, 2 appears to have gone thence to Upland, from
whence he sent a letter to Ephriam Harman (dated October
29, 1682) regarding summoning a court to be held at New
Castle (November 2, 1682). 3 But Upland was not destined
to remain the name of the city, as Perm's biographers tell us.
It is stated that Penn, having arrived and being filled with
emotion at having had a successful journey, turned to a friend
and said, "What wilt thou that I should call this place?"
He replied, "Chester." 4
In passing it should be mentioned that an interest in educa-
tion does not date entirely from the coming of the Quakers
and the establishment of Perm's colony. The records of the
court of Upland inform us (1679) that, without a doubt, some
children received the advantages of an education. It may
hunting, 40, 39, 19 and 42, respectively; also first vols. of each
respective meeting's records.
2 Smith, Hist. Del. Co., 138; see also page 41, chapter on Philadelphia.
3 Ibid., 139.
KTlarkson's Penn, I, 259; Hazard's Annals, 695.
Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania
have been very restricted, we cannot determine that. The
records of that date state, however, that : "The Pit demands
of this Deft 200 Gilders for teaching this Defts children to
read one yeare." 5 There is no doubt that Friends were not
concerned with education in this case. 6
The first meetings of Chester Monthly Meeting were held
in the Court House 7 at Chester, and meetings for worship
usually among the members at their homes, previously
designated. 8 In March, 1686, Urin Keen conveyed in trust
to John Simcock, Thomas Brassey, John Brinton, Caleb
Pusey, Randall Vernon, Thomas Vernon, Joshua Hastings,
Mordecai Maddock, Thomas Martin, Richard Few, Walter
Faucet and Edward Carter, a piece of ground in Chester
beginning at said Urin's lot or Garding, and so running, 60 feet along
and fronting the street towards the prison house, thence down the lower
edge in Chester Creek thence along the Creek 60 feet thence to the
place of beginning ... .to the use and behoof of the said Ches-
ter the people of God called Quakers and their successors forever. 9
In the year following, it was urged by the monthly meeting
that Friends agree with workmen to build a meeting house at
Chester 24 feet square by 16 feet in height. 10 The first meet-
ing house, built on the ground above mentioned, was com-
pleted about I7Q3- 11
The earliest record of schools established by Friends dates
back to about 1770. Though this is the first record of a
device of property for the purpose, and the minutes of the
meeting are also negligent of educational affairs, it does not
seem probable to the writer that the locality was without
schools. There were probably neighborhood schools, not
subject to any organization on the part of the meeting. On
December 31, 1769, Joseph Hoskins, a Friend, willed a lot
of ground for the use of schools, 12 and though his death did
8 Rec. Upland Court, 121; Smith, Hist. Del. Co., 121; Hazard,
6 Would not likely take the case to court.
7 It appears from a record of sale that the court house was sold to
Robert Wade, 1686. (Record of sale quoted in Jordan, Hist. Del.
Co., I, 112.)
"Jordan, Hist. Del. Co., I, 104; Smith, Hist. Del. Co., 137.
'Smith, Hist. Del. Co., 166.
10 Rec. of Chester Mo. Mtg., 1687, I.; Smith, 166.
"Smith, 188. "Jordan, II, 441.
Schools of Delaware County
not occur till some years later, the meeting appears to have
known of the intended bequest and to have built a school
house in i77o. 13 It was further ordered by the will that the
sum of thirty pounds be paid to John Eyre and James
Barton for the schooling and education of such poor children
of the inhabitants of the borough of said Chester as the
preparative meeting shall for the time being think fit to order
and direct. 14 Mr. Jordan in his history of the county,
describes the schoolhouse:
The schoolhouse was built of bricks, laid in Flemish bond, the ends
of the headers being burnt black, a style much in vogue at that time.
In the south gable large numerals, 1770, were inserted in the wall, the
figures being formed by the black ends of the headers. 15
The school mentioned in the committee's report on schools
situated at Middletown, 16 was established by Friends in 1783,
but an earlier school existed (1740), according to Mr. Jordan, 17
the buildings for the same having been donated by Thomas
Yarnall and Thomas Minshall, whose names are very
prominently mentioned in Quaker records. The meeting
minutes make no mention of such a school being established,
however, and it must be understood to have been entirely on
individual initiative. In 1791, Enock Taylor and wife,
Quakers, conveyed a quarter acre of land to the use of Chester
Monthly Meeting of Friends for the use of a school. 18 Judg-
ing, however, from the later reports of the monthly meeting
we would be led to believe that no school was established at
that time. 19 On December 20, 1791, David Hall conveyed
adjoining property for the same use. 20
About 1778 the monthly meeting became more active in
regard to its interest in schools, appointing committees to
investigate conditions and report the state to its sessions. 21
In 1 7 79 and 1781, there appeared two reports on the condition
13 Jordan, II, 441.
16 Min. Chester Mo. Mtg., I 27 1800.
"Jordan, II, 43 45.
19 The absence of any mention of it in the meeting records.
20 The writer was unable to find a record of this deed.
M No committee reports were noted before that date.
Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania
tions to be
of the Negroes and their education which are presented in
another chapter. 22 In 1782 there likewise appeared a report
of the committee on schools in general. 23 This committee,
appointed in accord with the suggestions of the yearly meet-
ing, agreed substantially that the best way to the establish-
ment of schools systematically, was to arrange for a subscrip-
tion which might be applied to that use at the discretion of
the monthly meeting. This was to be used for paying the
master's salary, and to educate poor Friends' children, where
it mght appear to be of advantage to do so. 24 These sugges-
tions were directed to be copied and put into the hands of the
members in each of the preparative meetings. 25 Three
months thereafter, the meeting appointed a treasurer for
funds and a committee for the oversight of schools, who were
to act in general accord with the suggestions made in the first
report. 26 The minute of the meeting of that date runs as
A form of subscription was proposed which might be entered into by
those who desired, and was approved by the meeting and all urged to
forward the signing of it. 27
The work thus started was not entirely satisfactory to the
committee, however. They report that "the work goes very
slowly "and name, as one cause, the great difficulty of getting
suitable teachers. 28 Provision seems to have been made for
the schooling of poor children, "such as can conveniently be
sent. ' >29 This reference may mean that all such were schooled
who were within reach of a school, or that they sent all for
whom they had a sufficient fund. In 1 783 they acknowledged
the receipt of the most recent advices of the yearly meeting
which again recommended the serious subject of schools to
their attention. Again in 1792 we find this minute:
The subject of schools being now resumed and the several paragraphs
contained in the extracts of 1778, 1779 arid 1789 being read relative
thereto, Friends, of the several preparative meetings are desired to pay
chapter on Negroes, page 228.
in. Chester Mo. Mtg., 1281782, 87.
id., 7281783, 130.
Schools of Delaware County
close attention to the several repeated advises of the yearly meeting no
this important subject. 30
In 1796 the concern of a boarding school, which we have
found was also interesting all of the other monthly meetings,
in the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, came also to the atten-
tion of Chester. They indicated their willingness to cooperate
in the scheme by the appointment of a committee, which
appears from a minute made in the meeting in 1793.
William Worrall, Daniel Sharpless, Josiah Rhoads, Edward Fell,
Mahlon Parsons, Roger Dirks, Thomas Sharpless and Jacob Minshall
are appointed to prepare a subscription paper and promote Friends'
subscriptions towards the establishment and support of the boarding
school agreeable to the recommendations of our last Yearly Meeting,
and report of their care to next or a future meeting. 31
The general state of schools under the meeting's jurisdic-
tion is made known by the following report sent in by the
school committee to the monthly meeting held on 127-1800.
The committee appointed to the care of schools report there are three
kept within the verge of this meeting under Friends care, viz. :
i. One at Springfield taught by a Friend.
i . One at Middletown, taught by a person not in membership.
3 . One at Blue Hill under similar circumstances, all of which we trust
are conducted in a good degree orderly, but that there has been little or
no addition to our fund since last year, except what it has increased by
use. The school committee also informs that the Friends who were by
the last will of our Friend George Miller and James Turner, left trustees
to the lots at Blue Hill have conveyed the same by instruments of writing
duly executed as follows, to wit: the dwelling house and lot to Jacob
Minshall, Edward Fell, Ambrose Smedley, Isaac Sharpless, John Hill,
Jr., and Joseph Pennell, Jr., and the schoolhouse and lot to George
Miller, Edward Fell, Ambrose Smedley, James Smedley, Isaac Sharpless,
John Hill, Jr., and Joseph Jonnell, Jr., which said conveyances have
since been recorded and are lodged with the other writings relating
thereto, in the hands of the treasurer of the school fund which is satisfac-
tory to the meeting. 32
The Blue Hill School, mentioned in the above report of the
committee, no doubt dated back to a few years following
1791, in which James Turner bequeathed his "Blue Hill
Estate" to George Miller for the use of schools established at
the direction of Chester Monthly Meeting. 33
30 Min. Chester Mo. Mtg., 4 30 1792, 347.
31 Ibid., 12 26 1796, 447.
id., i 27 1800, 508. **Ibid., 5 30 1791, 319.
Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania
I give, devise and bequeath to George Miller, the son of my cousin
George Miller, my house and lot of Ground situated in the Province
aforesaid (commonly called Blue Hill) with the appurtenances to hold
by him and his heirs and assigns forever.
Upon special trust and confidence, nevertheless and to and for the use,
intent and purpose hereinafter expressed, mentioned and declared, and
moreover for the use of the society of Protestants, commonly called
Quakers, of and belonging to the Monthly Meeting of Chester for the
erecting one or more houses for the teaching and instructing youth
therein, and all necessary conveniences thereto belonging under and
subject to the rules and regulations and orders of the said meeting for the
time being forever.
Item, I give and bequeath to my Friend Jacob Minshall, all the rest
and residue of my estate in trust for the use of a school which may at
times be kept at or near my lot of ground above mentioned, subject to
the direction of the Chester Monthly Meeting. 34
The meeting's schools also received a considerable assist-
ance through a legacy of 50 left by Thomas Evans for the
establishment and support of a school within the verge of
Chester Monthly. 35 He makes it clear in his bequest that he
has been influenced to do this by the recommendations of the
yearly meeting, the influence of which has been instanced in
many cases before this one.
Not only to the advancement of education and enlighten-
ment by means of schools alone did Friends of the Chester
Meeting lend their encouragement. In a minute of 1689 we
find an interesting reference to assistance proposed for the
encouragement of printing in Philadelphia.
The business proposed to the Friends of Philadelphia concerning
allowing William Bradford, the printer, 40 by the year to encourage
him to continue in the art and practise of Printing. This meeting
approving the said proposal, orders for Darby Monthly Meeting John
Blunston and Joshua Fearne and for Chester Monthly Meeting Caleb
Pusey, Randall Vernon and for Chichester Monthly Jacob Chandler and
John Mendenhall to take subscription according to proposal. 36
We have noticed that there appeared to be very little in the
records of the monthly meeting until about 1 770 and that they