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avoid borrowing, at any time, but provide thyself with all books, instru-
ments and things necessary for thy learning and studies according to the
Master's direction; always keeping them clean and in good order.

7. The Language.

Let the common language, used in School, be Latin, as much as con-
veniently may be, according to the speaker's knowledge and ability
therein, but in all places let every one speak with as much propriety and
grammatical accuracy as he is capable in whatever language he makes
use of.

8. School transactions not to be divulged.

Be not forward to divulge any transaction, passed in school, more
especially, to the disreputation of any in it; nor mock, nor jeer any of
thy school fellows, for being reproved or corrected, lest it may sometime
happen to be thy own case; but rather be assisting, than troublesome,
to the masters or teachers by rendering thyself as agreeable, both to him
and them, as possible, in all laudable and good order and discipline, as
well as in the advancement and increase of learning and all real improve-
ment in the respective branches thereof: that, instead of introducing

School Support, Organization and Curriculum 185

any cause of punishing, severe reproof, or servile fear, the place of thy
learning may be a place of pleasure and delight. 89

Rule 9 deals with the proper attitude and behavior.

Rule 10 deals with the behavior in the religious meetings.

In spite of the most excellent rules, which, we have seen,
were drawn,* it appears the attendance problem was one
which caused some masters no little worry. Proud's manu-
scripts again inform us that on one occasion, after continuous
aggravation due to absences, he felt called upon to send a note
to the overseers concerning that serious affair. He first
mentions the ends desired to be gained by such a school, and
points out that they are being fallen short of, because of the
laxity in attendance. Moreover, the worst offenders are the
sons of the overseers. He says in particular :

But the occasion of this present observation to the Board is more
particularly that of the present day, viz. the 4th instant, when out of
six of these, vho attend the said school (the Latin School) and ought
more particularly to have been present at that time, for the example of
others and their own benefit, only one of the smallest was at the school
and two at the meeting. The rest, being grown and advanced in years,
and learning, etc., and consequently more regarded for examples, were at
that particular and important time, all absent with about the same
proportion of the rest of the school. 90

There were, it seems, the usual causes at work which pro-
duced such havoc in the attendance record, and such distress
in the minds of masters. A letter written by James Logan to
his friend John Dickinson, in 1 704, strengthens our belief that
such was the case. He wrote in part :

Dear Friend:

I shall acquaint thee that thy two rugged boys are very lusty, love
the river much better this hot weather than their masters' countenances,
and the fields and boats far before schools or books. . . .

Thy affectionate Friend,

^Robert Proud Mss. Collection, No. 20, pp. 3-7. The rules, he states,
were drawn up for his use in the school in 1780.

*The rules presented, taken fromrecordsof the Overseers of theSchools
in Philadelphia, are quite like those later drawn up by Horsham School
Committee. There is nothing additional in the later ones and they were
doubtless patterned after them. (Horsham Sch. Com. Min., I 27


90 Robert Proud Mss., No. 156, 45.

9l Logan Mss. Letter for 4th month, I2th, 1704. Vol. I, 49. (J.
Dickinson was away on a voyage of some length.)

remiss in

The atten-
tion of
board called
to the fact


Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania

Two ex-
tremes in

given to
most satis-

Length of
school day

We have not much information from which to judge the
discipline of the school. From the rules already considered
one would expect that strict discipline was observed, but of
the master's methods of enforcing it we know but little.
There were doubtless two extremes. On the one hand, we
might take Anthony Benezet as the very personification of
mildness, and who ruled by love. 92 On the other hand, there
was John Todd who would thrash a boy very severely, and
who took great delight in getting his victim to admit the pain
that he knew he felt. 93

To secure better discipline, attendance, and also to induce
striving for scholarship, it was customary to give rewards.
We noted in the items sent in to the overseers in masters'
reports that certain amounts were for "premiums." 94 This
policy of rewards was early agreed upon by the overseers who
sought in various ways to establish little funds for that pur-
pose. In 1755 it was proposed that each one pay two shil-
lings for missing a board meeting and one shilling for being
late; the accruing amount to be paid out in premiums to
encourage industry among the boys. 95 The fines were
collected and then turned over to the masters who applied
them as they saw fit. 96 The extent of the practice of giving
rewards is not exactly known, but it seems to have been
general throughout all the schools of the Board in Philadel-
phia, if we may judge from the regularity with which the bills
for "premiums" were presented. It was also true that the
school committees in other monthly meetings arranged to
give rewards on visiting day to the scholars having the best
records. 97

The early school days seem to have been long and tedious.
Attention has already been called to the letter of Pastorious'
children to their grandfather, in which they complained of the
long eight hour school day. 98 The school continued, accord-
ing to their account, six days in the week excepting Saturday

^Vaux, Memoirs of Benezet, 1 5 f .

93 Watson, Annals, I, 291-2.

94 See page 181.

95 P. C. S. M., I, 137.

96 Ibid., 150.

97 Min. Horsham Sch. Com., 3 16 1792.

98 See page 78.

School Support, Organization and Curriculum 187

afternoon." Besides this it was customary in all places to
attend meeting on fifth day (Thursday), 100 save in places
where it may have been too far distant, an exception was
made possible. 101 Evening schools were quite common, as
has been stated before in the case of Germantown, 102 and
increased in number toward the latter part of the century.
In 1750 John Wilson, usher to Robert Willian, expressed his
intention of opening an evening school which appears to have
been acceptable to the Board. 103 The prevalence of the
evening school among people not Friends is at once apparent
when one glances at the advertisements in the colonial
newspapers. A few of those private evening schools were:
one kept by William Dawson and John Gladson, teaching
writing, arithmetic, and navigation; 104 others by John
Shuppy, 105 Mr. Lyonet, 106 and Messrs. Barthelemy and
Besayde. 107

The length of the school day is better indicated, and per-
haps the source of information is more reliable, near the end
of the century. The rules issued by the Board in 1795 state
that the hours are to be from 8 to 1 2 in the morning, and from
2 to 5 in the afternoon, these hours to be observed from third
month, first to eleventh month, first; in the remaining
months the hours were 9 to 12 and 2 to s. 108 Vacations were
very scarce and very brief.* In the main, according to the
rules issued at least, they were to be: (i) at the periods of
the quarterly and yearly meetings; and (2) a vacation of
three weeks, commencing on seventh day preceding the last
sixth day of the week of the seventh month. 109 The other

"Page 78.

100 Fee list of printed rules for the school in custody of P.C.S.

101 Min. Horsham Sch. Com., I 27 1783 (also mentioned in the
monthly meeting minutes very frequently).

102 See page 78f.

1M P. C. S. M., I, 84.

104 Pa. Gazette, No. 1449, 1756.

106 Ibid., No. 824, 1744.

io6p Packet and Daily Advertiser, No. 2385, 1786.

107 Ibid., No. 2386, 1786.

108 A list of printed rules issued by the Board, found in the depository
for the P. C. S. M., in the Provident Life and Trust Building, Phila.

*Darby Meeting employed B. Clift to teach a whole year with the
exception of two weeks. (Darby Min., 7 7 1692, 54).

109 Ibid.




Length of
school day
in 1795:
seven hours


Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania

papers, and

rules issued at this date besides these mentioned relating to
holidays and length of the school day were the same as were
previously stated. 110 The hours named above appear to us
rather long for the small children ; arrangement seems to have
been made for them, though no statement of it is made in the
school regulations. There were, however, the schools of (i)
William Brown and (2) Sarah Lancaster, who taught children
for half days, 111 and also the Girls' School, in which Anthony
Benezet taught (1754), was mentioned as though it were to
be conducted only in the morning. 112 It is not to be under-
stood that the half day arrangement was always followed in
the case of younger children, for Sarah Lancaster taught
thirty-five children whole days "at 15 / per quarter." 113 It
seems that the amount of time for them to attend was
probably determined by the desires of their parents.

An interesting and instructive light is cast upon the inner
life of the school in Philadelphia, by some of the manuscript
collections of the very old Philadelphia families. For
instance, we learn that in the public school there were
published certain magazines, gazettes, chronicles, and so
forth, a few of them named as follows : The Examiner, The
Universal Magazine, 1774, Students' Gazette (about 1774 to
J 777)> The P. S. Gazette, Latonia, 1777 to 1778, the Public
School Gazetteer, containing the freshest advices, foreign and
domestic (a palpable imitation of the newspapers in the city
of that date), and The Students' Magazine. lu The contents
of all of them were no doubt very interesting to the boys and
girls at the time of their publication, and are so even now, and
at times give light on topics of importance. It may perhaps
interest the reader to see some of the entries. We find the
following which gives a clew to the book used for instruction
in grammar.

""Seepage i83f.

m Min. Phila. Mo. Mtg., I 30 1784, 123 ff.
112 P. C. S. M., I, 117.

113 Min. Phila. Mo. Mtg., I 301784, 123 ff.

114 Some copies and volumes of these illustrious news sheets are found
in the Norris Ms. Collection.

School Support, Organization and Curriculum 189

Was lost on Wednesday in The Public School Rudiman's Gram-
mar newly bound Whoever has found the same and will bring it to me
. . . . shall receive i sheet of paper reward.

S. FISHER. 1 "

Another of interest bewails the departure of Thomas Lloyd
from school to go into Lancaster County.

This worthy Gentleman, was admitted aboat a 12 month ago
into the society of freeholders, since which time he has been a very dis-
tinguished member of our community and a firm supporter of our institu-
tions. He has been twice elected Clerk of the Supreme Court and twice
raised to the dignity of President of the Honorable House of Assembly,
which offices together with Treasurer he filled with most unblemished
reputation and unshaked fidelity. His character in the literary world
is sufficiently established by many genuine productions of judgment and
humor. His affable disposition, his engaging address and behavior
endear him to all that had the happiness of his acquaintance and render
his departure a cause of great regret. 116

Another brief notice indicates that the Quaker preferment
for plain dress was also made to prevail in the schoolroom.

From a certain expression which lately drop'd from one of the over-
seers, we would have the greatest reason to believe that Mr. Webster's
gay appearance is rather disagreeable. 117

Some supervision of the work on the part of over-
seers and school committees seems to have been at all times
expected, though attention hardly needs be called to it
after the presentation of so many reports made by commit-
tees, in the chapters relating to the establishment of schools
in the several counties. From the irregularity in the reports
we judge, however, that the visitation must have likewise
been irregular in many places. In 1755 the Board in Phila-
delphia decided that for the encouragement of masters and
scholars there should be visits made each month, preceding
the usual monthly meetings. Also if "play days" were
thought necessary they were to be arranged for between the
masters and the committee of visitors. 118 The minutes indi-
cate that these monthly visits were regularly performed. The

ll *Norris Ms. Collection The Student's Magazine.
are unpaged; page references are impossible.
Norris Ms. Collection. "Ubid.

'P. C. S. M., I, 135.

The little volumes

A few items
of interest
and value


Gay cloth-
ing dis-





Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania

The curri-
cula are in
general in
with the
dations of
the yearly
and the
Frame of

Studies pur-
sued in

In Benezet's

Negro School, established in 1770, was also in charge of a
committee to visit, superintend, and advise regarding its
affairs. 119


If we go back to our references on the advices of the yearly
meetings of London and Philadelphia we shall find there the
basic reasons for the subjects which are to be mentioned as
taught regularly in the schools. We recall that there was an
emphasis placed on the moral, the useful and practical, and
the subjects first to be mentioned were: writing, reading,
and arithmetic, which constituted the necessities. 121 Fur-
thermore, the Frame of Government of 1696, the product of
Quaker minds and hands, recommended to erect and order all
public houses and encourage and reward the authors of useful
sciences and laudable inventions. 122 It is seen also from
later advices of the yearly meeting that the useful was not
limited necessarily to the four R's, religion, arithmetic, writ-
ing, and reading. In 1737, they recommended that as
opportunity could be found, children should be permitted to
learn "French, High and Low Dutch, Danish, etc." 123 The
use of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew is also justified by Crouch, 124
and it is well known and evident in all their writings that
Penn, Barclay, Fothergill, Lloyd, Proud, Pastorius, and
innumerable others were classically educated men.

The curriculum of the first school (Enoch Flower's) con-
sisted of reading, writing, and casting accounts, 125 and it seems
entirely probable that these were the chief constituents, along
with moral instruction, for many years, in all save the Latin
School. At any rate there occur no disproving factors in
that early period. In 1742, when Anthony Benezet came
from the Germantown school to Philadelphia, he was em-
ployed to teach arithmetic, writing, accounts, and French. 126

119 Phila. Mo. Min., I 25 1771, 430.

121 London Yr. Mtg. Min., 4 2to 10 1718, 160. Phila. Advices XXX,
page 250 (for years from 1746-1778). Also a copy of the Discipline
containing the digested recommendations on schools, p. 386 ff. (In
first National Bank, Newtown, Pa.).

Col. Rec., I, LXVI.

123 Extracts from London Yr. Mtg. Min., pub. 1802, 124.

124 Crouch, Collection of His Papers, 183.

12B Co/. Rec., I, 36.

126 P. C. S. M., I, 33.

School Support, Organization and Curriculum 191

John Walby, employed about ten years before him (Benezet)
was to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. 127 Alexander
Seaton was employed in 1751 to teach a school "in the upper
part of the City," the subjects being writing, arithmetic, and
parts of the mathematics. 128 In 1754, when Benezet first
began in the Girls' School (mornings), he was required to
instruct in reading, writing, arithmetic, and English gram-
mar. 129 Then, besides what we may term the English School,
in which Seaton and Benezet taught for some time, there were
others which we might term "petty schools," for example, one
kept by Debby Godfrey, 130 who taught some poor children to
learn to sew and read, and another, taught by Ann Redman
(1761), previously occupied by Rebeckah Burchall, where
were taught reading, writing, and plain sewing. 131

Since writing letters was an art much used and cultivated
in the Colonial Period, and writing was greatly emphasized in
the schools, it may be of interest to insert a letter written by a
school boy in 1735. The letter is written in a fairly regular
boyish hand, and is probably the production of a youngster
about 12 years of age.

Nov. 21, 1735.
Dear Uncle,

I think in duty, I ought to wait on you with my first letter, which I
hope will plead excuse for all faults. I remember what you told me, and
write or go to school every day I am much obliged to you for your kind
present of tickets, and hope I shall have good success. Pray give my
duty to Uncle and Aunt Penn and all my Cousins. My love to Mr.
Philaps, Mr. Jervice and Farmer Dill. With all my Friends. So

Dear Uncle

Your Affct. Nep.

Phil. d. Novbr. 21, 1735.

At later dates than those above mentioned the records of
the overseers, reports made in the monthly meetings of

IS7 P. C. S. M., 14.
Ibid., go.
Ibid., 117.
Ibid., 145.

/(*., 221.

*A letter written to John Penn, Penn Ms. Collections, I, 233.

Seaton 's




Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania

of later dates


with others

Studies pur-
sued in the
Negro School

Philadelphia, Horsham School Minutes, Darby, and others,
indicate that the curriculum consisted of reading, English,
writing, arithmetic, branches of the mathematics, sewing,
spelling, needlework, and other things suitable for girls. 132
The only one which is mentioned at this latter date, and not
at the former, is spelling. This of course does not mean,
necessarily, that spelling had just been introduced. In 1756
the visiting committee reported that spelling books and
Bibles were needed in the schools for the poor children, 133 and
since Benezet's spelling book came to a second edition in
I779, 134 and Fox's Instructions for Right Spelling was pub-
lished in Philadelphia in I702, 135 we may be certain that
spelling as a regular study began at a very early date. If we
compare this curriculum with those mentioned by private
tutors at the same time, we find them essentially the same.
There was, however, frequent mention of such subjects as
navigation, calk guaging, mensuration, bookkeeping, 136 sur-
veying, 13 ' dialling, 138 astronomy, and fortification, 139 which
are not mentioned definitely in the curriculum of the Friends'
schools. It is quite probable that those above, dealing with
higher mathematics, were included in the higher mathematics
taught in the Classical School. But one cannot imagine that
"fortification" was granted a place. Those studies of the
mathematics may be mentioned again in studying the curric-
ulum of the Latin School.

The curriculum in the Negro School (1770) consisted
approximately of the same subjects, though they may have
been modified to some extent in presentation, and restricted
more or less to the rudiments. The subjects of instruction
mentioned when the school first began were reading, writing,
and arithmetic, and were to be taught under "prudent" and
' ' competent" direction. 14

132 Min. Phila. Mo. Mtg., 7 30, 1779, 151; i 30 1784, 123 ff. Also,
Min. Horsham Sch. Com., i 27 1783; Min. Horsham Prep. Mtg.,
I 24 1783, and Min. Darby Mo. Mtg. ,2 28 1793, 165, give some of
the books which were used in the schools.

133 P. C. S. M., I, 138. "'Hildeburn, II, 332.

Ibid., I, 39. m Pa. Gaz., No. 1245, 1752.

lbid., No. 1499, 1757. 13s lbid., No. 1861, 1764.

139 Ibid., No. 1556, 1758.

140 Min. Phila. Mo. Mtg., 3 30 1770, 370.

School Support, Organization and Curriculum 193

What books were used for the instruction in this curriculum
of the English and Lower schools? We cannot state abso-
lutely in the case of all studies, but we can judge with com-
parative certainty what books were most available for their

In the case of those used for religious instruction, the meet-
ing records usually mentioned the name, which enables one to
state with absolute certainty that certain books were used.
Bibles for the use of schools were requested by the visiting
committees of the overseers in Philadelphia, for the use of
poor scholars. 141 Other books of religious and denomina-
tional character such as Penn's Reflections, Maxims, and
Advice to His Children, are mentioned definitely by Darby, 142
Horsham School Committee, 143 Sadsbury, 144 and Byberry
Preparative meetings 146 as being received for use in connection
with the schools. Byberry Preparative, 146 Radnor 147 and Sads-
bury 148 monthly meetings mention further the receipt of Bar-
clay's Apologies for school use. Besides these, which were un-
doubtedly used for school instruction, there was a long list of
journals, essays, letters, epistles, histories of Friends, etc.,
which always were in the possession of each meeting and may
have been used indirectly at least. They will be mentioned
more at length in pages following.

The spelling book prepared by Fox and published in
Philadelphia in I702, 149 must have claimed a place in the
Friends' schools, though the books are nowhere mentioned by
name. The title of this book includes reading, writing,
spelling, and other things useful and necessary, and may
easily have served for other purposes than use in spelling
instruction. Other spellers, which became available from
time to time, were Benezet's Pennsylvania Spelling Book and
The Alphabet printed by Henry Miller, i77o. 150 Among

141 P. C. S. M., 1, 138.

142 Min. Darby Mo. Mtg., 2 28 1793, 165.

14S Min. Horsham Sch. Com., i n 1793.

144 Min. Sadsbury Mo. Mtg., 2 20 1793, 118.

146 Min. Byberry Prep. Mtg., 12 26 1792.

wibid.,8 26 1789.

M7 Min. Radnor Mo. Mtg., 5 8 1789, 55.

148 Min. Sadsbury Mo. Mtg., 6 17 1789, II, 70.

149 Hildeburn, I, 39 (published in London 1697).

Ibid., II, 100.

for religious
in the schools


Apology of
Barclay, and
Maxims, and
Advice to His

used in

1 94 Early Quaker Education in Pennsylvania

likely to be

available for
use during
the century

those which were used later in the century, Prowell, in speak-
ing of the schools in York County, notes Comly's, Cobb's,
and Webster's. 151 From this array, which is no doubt incom-
plete, we may judge the schools were well supplied.

Of the primers available, and likely to be used, there were
a host. The first which should be mentioned was that
published by Fox in 1659; it is not known whether this
primer was used in Philadelphia. It seems that it was not
printed there. 152 In 1677-8, the monthly meeting authorized
the purchase of "primmers," 153 however, and the choice must
have been either Fox's or Pastorius'. No student of early
printing in Philadelphia has yet been able to determine when
the latter's was published. Hildeburn is in doubt, 154 while
Smith thinks the "primmers" ordered by the meeting 1697-8
must have been those of Pastorius. 155 The minute, however,
does not state which. In 1696 Pastorius indicated his willing-
ness to take charge of a printing press for Friends, 186 but,
since it had to be brought from England, it is not likely, though
possible, that he himself could have printed the book, before
the time of the "primmer" purchase was mentioned. Since
Pastorius lists a Fox's Primmer among the books in his
possession, 157 that book must have been known in the monthly
too meeting, and may have been the one used.* The data are
inadequate and uncertain for reaching a decision in the matter.

Other primers published and available in Philadelphia and
which may well have gotten into Friends' schools were
Franklin's, 1764; The New England Primmer Improved, 1770;
The Newest American Primer, 1779; The New England Prim-
mer Improved, 1779; and A Primmer, I779. 158 The minutes

181 Prowell, I, 540.

152 In 1689 Phila. Mo. Mtg. authorized W. Bradford to print certain of

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