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have been done. It is with these suggestions of the latter
part of the century that we are chiefly concerned. The most
important are here stated in brief manner. 42

1. Education is to be useful in nature.

2. The minima to be attained are moral and Christian
training and an ability to read and write.

3 . The meetings are to assist each other in settling schools.

4. Members of Friends are to be employed as teachers in
the schools; good moral influence of the teachers is of first

5. A fixed income, house, and garden are necessary for
securing a better and more permanent teaching body.

6. All teachers, employed, are to be approved by the
monthly meeting.

7. Quarterly meetings are to appoint visiting committees.

8. Permanent funds recommended to be put in care of

9. Schools to be under the care of monthly meetings'
committees and reports are to be made thereon.

10. The poor children to be educated free of charge, and
also the Negroes, where they are not able to pay. Children
not Friends were not omitted, 42 as we find in the plans actually
followed by the monthly meetings.

The chief functions of the quarterly meeting were: (i) to
transmit these advices ; (2) to gather and return reports of the
accomplishments within its limits; and (3) to keep in touch
with the work by means of committees. Sufficient material has
in the writer's opinion been presented in the way of reports in
previous chapters relating to schools established in the vari-
ous counties, to make it unnecessary here. 43 To characterize

^Advices from Burlington and Philadelphia Yr. Mtg., 1746. 1750,
1753, 1755. *777i and so forth, page 250 ff. Also the yearly meeting
minutes records for those years, deposited at 304 Arch Street, Phila.
(The first reference is the more accessible.)

^The reader is referred to the account of establishing schools in Bucks,
Montgomery, Delaware Counties, etc.

School Support, Organization and Curriculum 175

it as an intermediary agent and its functions as supervisory
and directive seems to be adequate.

The monthly meeting was above all others the organizing
business unit and the welfare of schools appears to have
depended much on its activity. It is to the monthly meeting
that we are indebted for almost all of the reports on schools,
and it has been noticed that not until raised to the dignity of
being a monthly meeting, did many meetings assume any
important part in directing education. A few preparatives,
which might be considered as a little exceptional, were By-
berry, Falls, and Horsham. They appear to have handled
their schools a little more independently than did others.
Duties which were as a general rule performed by each of the
monthly meetings were these: 44

1 . To investigate the state of schools in their preparatives.

2. To appoint committees to visit, assist and report on
schools established, and recommend the establishment of
others where necessary.

3. To approve masters, retire them, and fill vacancies.

4. Through trustees or committees on funds, (a) to
finance the education of poor children, (6) to pay salaries, (c)
to build school houses, and (d) to establish permanent endow-

5. To take final reports to be sent to the yearly meeting.
These functions have all been brought to the reader's

attention by reports and minutes quoted in chapters on the
schools in various counties. This brief presentation of the
organization and direction on the part of the meetings should
be sufficient to point out: (i) that the general nature of the
organization is a hierarchy of units; (2) that the direction of
school activities comes from the higher to the lower, and is of
a general and suggestive rather than specific and mandatory
nature; (3) that the monthly meeting formed the real work-
ing unit, and that on its diligence probably depended the

"These references are, respectively, to the five points stated below:

a. Min. Westland Mo. Mtg., n n 1786, 12; 3 10 1787, 19.

b. Min. Horsham Mo. Mtg., 4 28 1784.

c. Min. Phila. Mo. Mtg., II 29 1719, 57.

d. Min. Kennett Mo. Mtg., 12 15 1796, 146.

e. Min. Chester Mo. Mtg., i 27 1800, 508; Min. Concord Mo.
Mtg., 8 9 1786, 370.

the business


Three points
the organiza-

i 7 6

Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania

welfare of the preparatives' schools. We shall now attend
for a moment to a few of the details of the school in so far as
we may judge them from the records at our disposal.

for schools

acquired by
schools and



It has already been mentioned that one of the yearly
meeting's earnest recommendations was that a lot of ground
be provided where schools might be necessary, sufficient for a
garden, orchard, grass for a cow, etc., and that a suitable
house and stables and other necessary things be arranged for
the securing of more permanent and better qualified teachers. 45
There were certainly several of the meetings where land for the
purposes of schools was possessed before these recommenda-
tions were made. Notable instances, which may be men-
tioned, were Philadelphia and Abington, and many others,
who early secured permanent lands for the meeting which
were also used for the erection of schools. Some of the early
acquisitions of school property in Philadelphia were: (i)
that purchased in 1698 of Lionell Brittain; 46 (2) another
deeded by John Goodson and Thomas Lightfoot to the over-
seers; 47 and (3) that devised by William Forrest, upon which
the overseers erected a school in I744- 48 There was also the
piece of ground left to the monthly meeting of that place by
George Fox, upon which the meeting gave permission for the
building of a school, free from ground rent. 49 The property
gained by Abington in 1696 was for the support of a school. 50
A meeting house was erected on the land between 1696 and
1700. These cases of endowment directly for schools were
very limited as to locality at the early part of the eighteenth
century. Their number increased in later years, and the
increase may have been due partly to the influence of the
yearly meeting's urgent advices.

^See the Advices, 250; or the Book of Discipline which has, under the
head of schools, a statement of the various recommendations of the
yearly meetings. See also Yearly Meeting Minute Books at 4th and
Arch Streets, Phila., for years 1746, 1753, 1755, 1777, and 1778.

46 Min. Phila. Mo. Mtg., 2291698, 229; P. C. S. M., I, 13.

47 Deed No. 33, mentioned in P. C. S. M., I, 13.

*Ibid., 40. t9 Ibid., 147.

^Friends' Intelligencer, 8 15 1896, 539; Min. Abington Mo. Mtg.,
I 26 1722, 124.

School Support, Organization and Curriculum 177

A few instances of the tendency toward the policy of pur-
chasing permanent lands may be mentioned. In 1779,
Warrington and Fairfax Quarterly reported two of their
monthly meetings had purchased grounds and erected houses
for the said purpose. 51 Another meeting had purchased six-
teen acres, built a house, but had difficulty in securing a suit-
able master. 52 All other accommodations recommended for
masters had been provided. Near the close of the century
(1794) William Jackson of New Garden deeded a lot of ground
to Friends of that meeting for the use of a school. 63 New
Garden also reported a school house built about 1795 on land
given for the purpose by Jeremiah Barnard. 54 In 1792
Kennett reported that their preparative meeting had pur-
chased of Abraham Taylor a piece of ground for a school and
were preparing to build a house on it. It was situated about
2^2 miles from Kennett. 55 Other instances of like procedure
were: Goshen, I795 56 and 1782 f Darby, i793; 88 and
Buckingham in I794. 59 Similar cases might be cited for
almost every monthly meeting in the southeastern part of
Pennsylvania, and it doubtless extended elsewhere. It is to
be noted that this general purchasing of school property did
not come until late in the eighteenth century, when the great
advancement in Quaker education had its beginning. It may
be fairly stated that by the end of the century most of the
schools were established on school property held by the
meeting for that purpose. As pointed out above, this had
been a slow development, beginning with a few in the seven-
teenth century that started with land endowments.

The earliest schoolhouses would doubtless present an
interesting picture if we could see them inside and out.
Unfortunately there is little information extant, which
throws light upon the earliest. In fact, at the very earliest

"Min. Warrington and Fairfax Q. Mtg., 9 20 1779, 73.
& *Ibid., 77; Warrington Mo. Mtg., 8 7 1779, 46.
M Deed No. 88 New Garden Township, Chester County. (The original
is in Orthodox Friends Meeting House, West Grove, Pa.)
M Min. New Garden Mo. Mtg., 8 6 1785, 256.
M Min. Kennett Mo. Mtg., I 12 1792, 14.
M Min. Goshen Mo. Mtg., 4 10 1795.
"Ibid., 381782.

68 Min. Darby Mo. Mtg., 3 28 1793, 165.
"Min. Buckingham Mo. Mtg., 4 10 1794, 314.

and Fairfax

New Garden




I 7 8

Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania


schools held
in meeting


An old
at Merion,

establishment of schools, there were no special houses built
for them. For many of them this condition prevailed till
fairly near the close of the century. Joseph Foulke, writing
in 1859, concerning his first school days, stated that he first
attended school at Gwynedd, which was held in the meeting
house, there being none other for that purpose. 60 His next
schooling, in 1795, was at a family school taught by Hannah
Lukens, who lived in a little house on the Bethlehem Road.
He then attended school in a log schoolhouse, built about
1798 by his father. 61 Other instances may be cited in con-
nection with the use of the meeting house for schoolhouse.
In 1693-4 Middletown Friends allowed a school to be held in
the meeting house, provided it should cause no disturbance, 62
and again in 1699 a similar request was granted. 63 As late
as 1740 Philadelphia Meeting proposed to erect a meeting
house with chambers over it sufficiently large for the accom-
modation of a school, 64 though, as mentioned before, they
already had some of their schools in regularly constructed
schoolhouses. 65

The writer has had the opportunity to visit one of these
little schoolrooms established in the meeting house. Not
much is known of the school at Merion, though the oldest of
Friends meetings, but it is quite certain that whenever their
school began and however pretentious it may have been, it
must have been held in the upper part of the meeting house.
The schoolroom in the present building is quite hidden away
under the eaves. The walls are bare and the rafters low
overhead. Ample light is furnished. Rude wooden benches
and tables, the latter with sloping tops, constitute the furni-
ture of the room as it now stands. One of the table tops
bears the date 1711, doubtless the telltale of some vandal
outcropping, which might tempt one to place a school at that

60 Jenkins, Historical Col. of Gwynedd, 396.

62 Min. Middletown Mo. Mtg., 12 ! 1693 -4, 64.
^Ibid., i i 1699, 114.
M Min. Phila. Mo. Mtg., 5 25 1740, 318.

M In 1701 they had begun a school house which was to be 60 by 24 feet.
Min. Phila. Mo. Mtg., 4 27 1701, 298.

School Support, Organization and Curriculum 179

early date. It is however too meagre and uncertain evidence
to justify such a conclusion. 66

From a few sources of information we gather some clews
as to the size of the schoolhouse generally. The house pro-
posed by the Goshen Meeting in 1782 was to be 27 feet square
from out to out and to cost about i5o. 67 The new one
proposed at Falls some twelve years later was to be somewhat
more pretentious being twenty-two feet by thirty and having
two stories. Its cost was estimated at 2oo. 68 We infer
from the minutes that a building was badly needed at Falls,
the old roof being "very leaky and the ceiling about to fall."
In spite of this fact it does not appear that the house was
erected until about 1799; the final dimensions decided upon
were twenty-six feet by twenty-four, one story, and a cellar
of the same dimensions. 69 It is not certain how much space
was actually devoted to the use of the school room, since the
building doubtless accommodated the master and his family
at the same time. The schoolhouse begun in Philadelphia
about 1 70 1, 70 was to be twenty-four by sixty feet. Another
one in 1744, built on the Forrest property, was to be about
sixty by thirty-five feet, two stories high, with a basement
underneath raised three feet above the surface of the
ground. 71 The cost of the last building when completed in
1746 was 794/' 2 Anthony Benezet, who apparently was
teaching in an old building, made complaint in 1744 that it
was "too hot in summer and too dark in winter" and therefore
urged that a window be put in the south side. 73 The writer
has found a single instance to indicate how the school building
was heated. Judging from such meager data we would say
that the first schools probably up to 1715 or 1720 were heated

"The schoolroom described is in Merion Meeting House, which may
be reached from Philadelphia via P.R.R. to Narberth, Pa.; from
thence a ten-minute walk.

67 Min. Goshen Mo. Mtg., 3 8 1782.

68 Min. Falls Mo. Mtg., 12-3-1794, 169; for value of money see page


9 Ibid., 9 4 1799, 283.

70 Min. Phila. Mo. Mtg., 4 27 1701, 298.

n lbid., 1 1-25-1744, 379; P. C. S. M., I, 40. Parts of the school build-
ings were at times used as tenant property thus affording a supporting
income, P. C. S. M., I, 22.

72 P. C. S. M., I, 56.

"Ibid., I, 39-

Size and

cost of






Manner of


Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania

Number of

Two classes:
the "pay"
and the

Both boys
and girls

furnished to
the "free"

by the old-fashioned brick stoves. They were at any rate
employed in some, but were beginning to lose their popularity
in that period. One was removed in 1715 and an iron stove
substituted for it. 74

The size of the schools, measured by the number of pupils,
must be judged mostly from material found relating to
Philadelphia. It was doubtless true that in the country
regions there were fewer children within reach of the school
and it was not necessary to state limits beyond which they
might not go. The yearly meeting certainly recommended
that the number of children be specified, which the master was
to teach, but this was often taken to mean that they should
promise to teach a certain number of children for the use of
the school. The schools were always composed of these two
classes, the independent or pay scholar and the poor or free
scholar. Some of the Philadelphia reports state the number
attending, of each of these classes. In that system the teach-
ers were required to keep a roll, especially of the poor children,
and turn it over for the inspection of the overseers. 78 In
country districts the school committee usually kept account
of the poor scholars, seeing that they were supplied with all
things necessary. 76 It may prove interesting to examine the
Philadelphia system a little more fully.

First, let it be noted that cases of both boys and girls were
investigated by the overseers, and if capable and in need of
assistance, they were put under the tutorage of masters or
mistresses free of any charge. 77 Not only were the children
of Friends admitted, but an effort was made to find out the
needy, of other denominations, and put them to school also. 78
All articles necessary were furnished free to the poor scholars
by the Board, the master was required to keep an account of
each item and present the bill therefor in his reports to that
body. 79 The number of poor in Anthony Benezet's school in
1743-4, about a year after he entered it, was i4. 80 There

74 Min. Phila. Mo. Mtg., 9 25 1715, 10 ff.
76 P. C. S. M., I, 95 and 37.

76 Min. Bradford Mo. Mtg., 6 181762; 4 71767;
"P. C. S. M., I, 29 and 25.

., 95.

., 37.


School Support, Organization and Curriculum 181

was very little fluctuation as to the number for many years;
in 1749 there were i;. 81 Below are given the reports of some
of the schools in I757- 82 It seldom or never occurred that a
report for all schools was made at one time.

Master .






Year Items

Pay Free
Scholars Scholars Amount

1757 Books and firing

for poor scholars 31
1 757 Teaching poor

scholars 30

Books and firewood
Clothing for poor
1757 Teaching poor


Books and firewood
Teaching poor


1757 Teaching poor

7 150/00/00

41 58/157 4

15/ 4/ 9>^
6/177 8#

14 28/187 i
3/I4/ 7

23 36/ 9/10
3/ 4/ 6

3/ 2/ 9

Immediately following the above report, another stated
there were 38 in the Latin School, 37 free scholars under
Alexander Seaton, 17 (free) under Joseph Stiles, 30 under Ann
Thornton, and 30 (free) under Rebeckah Burchall. 83 The
slight discrepancy in the figures is not explained. A later
report of 1784 shows the following schools and the enrollment
of each, (i) Proud, (Latin), number not given; Todd,
(English), 88 on the list; Isaac Weaver, 28; William Brown,
2 9 girls; Sarah Lancaster, 64 ; Mary Harry, 15 or 16; Joseph
Clarke, about 30; Mrs. Clarke, 15 or 1 6 boys and girls; Ann
Marsh, about 50 boys and girls; Mary McDonnell, 15 young
children. 84 From this it seems that the only two schools
which have increased considerably in number are the Latin
and English, both of which employed ushers or assistants. 85
The chief indication of the system's growth is the increase
from five or six schools to at least ten. The approximate

81 P. C. S. M., 72.
id., 151 ff.

Number of
poor and
pay scholars

of the sys-
growth in
the number
of schools

M Min. Phila. Mo. Mtg., I 30 1784, 123 ff.
wp. C. S. M., I, 76 and 79; also I, 198.


Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania

sent from
home to

Rules for
the govern-
ment of

number of children recorded as having attended the schools
under the overseers from 1712 to 1770 was 72o. 86

Children were frequently sent away from home to attend
school, due to a lack of adequate facilities near at hand. The
following letter, from an anxious mother, is a very interesting
commentary on the attitude taken by the less educated
toward the propriety of spending time for education. Though
impolite to read private letters, it may be pardoned in this

The 20 of December, 1702.
Dear Brother:

The few liens comes to salute thee and fore prisila which I hope are in
helth as blessed be the God of all our mersies I am at this writing. I
long to hear from you both and how prisila likes being at scool and how
the like her and whether she thinks that shee will lern anything worth
her while to be kept at cool here. I have sent her some thred to knit me
too pares of golves and herself on if there be anough for to mak so much
if not one for me and one for her. bid her be a good gerl and larn well
and then I shall love her. if Abraham Antone have brought ....
purchas me twenty pound and send it me if thou can by some oppor-
tunity in so doing thou wilt much oblige thy most affectionate sister


A fairly good mental picture of the school, and the atmos-
phere pervading it, is obtained from a perusal of the list of
rules which were adopted both for the guidance of the masters
and the observance of the pupils. We cannot gain much
from a discussion since they are self-explanatory, hence there
is submitted a concise digest of those issued for the masters
and mistresses in the several schools.

1. All pupils must be at school promptly.

2. No one shall be absent without a permit from parents.

3. Strict obedience to the monitor is demanded, but if
there is a real grievance, complaint may be made to the

4. Be orderly in coming to and leaving school.

5. Use the plain language to all persons; be civil to all.

6. To avoid, in hours of leisure, all "ranting games" and
quarrelling with one another.

M P. C. S. M., see list of scholars; number is approximate.
S7 Pemberton Mss., Vol. 3, p. 2.

School Support, Organization and Curriculum 183

7. Shall not play or keep company with rude boys of the
town, but play with own school fellows.

8. They shall come to school on 5th day prepared to go to
the regular meeting. 88

The rules above, which, if all followed, one must admit
would have made an almost model school so far as behavior
was concerned, were shortly thereafter expanded a little to
meet the needs of the Latin and English schools. Those
rules, however, were more concerned with the curriculum and
part of method, and were doubtless a guide for the instructors
more than to be followed by the pupils. They will receive
attention in the next few pages in the discussion of the
curriculum. We shall however be interested at this juncture
to read the rules adopted by Robert Proud, schoolmaster and
historian, for the government of the Latin School, in which
he was the head master for many years. They are very
similar to those already noted, though drawn up by Proud
for his school alone.

Orders and Directions
In the School

Reverentia Jehovae Caput Scientiae

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

1. Duty in attending.

Fail not to be present in school precisely at or before the time ap-
pointed for learning, being clean and decent; except sufficient reason
require thy absense; in which case, on thy first returning ....
before the master, immediately inform him thereof to his satisfaction.

2. On entering, remaining in and departing from school, having
taken thy appointed seat, with as little noise and disturbance as may
be, move not therefrom, to that of another during the time of learning
without absolute necessity and then, very seldom; nor go out of the
school without the master's leave or knowledge. And observe the same
silently and orderly behavior, in thy departing from the school, as in thy
entering it.

3. How to behave and study in the School.

Be always silent, in School or during the time of thy studies, so as to
be heard, neither in voice, nor otherwise, as little as possible; except in
writing or speaking to the Master or Teacher; and discourse not with


adopted by
Proud while
master of the
Latin School

88 P. C. S. M., I, 102 f. (Rules adopted in 1748.)

184 Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania

thy Schoolfellows during the hours of study, without the Master's per-
mission; unless in asking, or giving information relating to thine or their
learning; and even then observe to whisper, or speak as low as possible
to be heard by him, who is next thee.

4. Behavior to the Master, and during the presence of visitants, etc.
Make all thy speeches to the master with due respect; and observe

cheerfully to perform all his directions and commands, with readiness
according to thy ability. And, if a stranger or visitant speak to thee in
the school, stand up, turn thy face towards him respectfully and give a
modest and ready answer, if any answer be required or necessary;
resuming thy seat again, with a silent application to thy study; which
order and silence are more particularly and especially to be strictly
observed and kept during the presence of any stranger, or visitant, in
the School.

5. Behavior to one another.

Behave thyself always in a submissive and kind manner to thy School
fellows, never provoking, quarreling, nor complaining, especially about
frivolous matters; but use the word please, etc., or expressions of similar
signification when asking anything of them ; and observe a proper grati-
tude for every kindness received, be it ever so small; using thy utmost
to cultivate a special Friendship with them; not returning injuries, but
learning to forgive; and shew them, by thy exemplary Deportment, how
they ought to behave.

6. Not to take Another's Property, etc.

Neither take nor use anything which is the property of another or in
his custody, without first having his permission and as much as possible,

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