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these evils by blows. No faith existed then in behalf of moral suasion, It is delightful to remember that none of my name, as boys, at least, were guilty of uttering an oath.
The only classical school in Newport, strictly speaking, during my pupilage, was kept in New Church Lane, by Mr. John Frazer, a Scotchman. He was a good teacher, especially in Greek, Latin, and mathematics. * * *
Mr. Clarke Rodman (a Friend) had, in his own house in Mary street, quite a large school, devoted to the education of a class of boys and young men living at the South End, who were styled the “roughs.” It was thought singular that a man belonging to the “Society of Friends,” a pon-resistant by profession, should have attracted to his school so many disorderly youths. But, though avowedly a non-resistant, he never suffered any act of disobedience to go unpunished. His manner of conducting the spelling was original. The word being given out, followed by a blow from a strap on his desk, the whole class, simultaneously, would bellow out the word,-say the word " multiplication,”-properly divided. His ear was so true, that he easily detected any misspelling. When this happened, he would demand the name of the scholar who had failed; if there was any hesitancy in giving the name, the whole class, instead of being dismissed, -spelling being the last exercise,-was detained, until, by repeated trials, accuracy was obtained. So many voices upon a single word, in so many keys, produced an amusing jingle, which invariably attracted to the spot all passers-by. A Mr. Knox, with remarkably long feet and an ungainly appearance, devoted most of his time to teaching very poor children their A B C, in a small building in the rear of Trinity Church.
Having given the reader a brief but accurate statement of the schools in Newport during my boyhood, I will give, in the next place, my recollections of some of the school books then used. The advanced scholars in our school studied the Greek and Latin text-books of the day. The prin. cipal English books were Murray's Grammar, Noah Webster's Spelling. book, the Columbian Orator, Woodbridge's Dictionary, Daboll's, Pike's, and Walsh's Arithmetics, and Morse's small Geography.
(Neither Mr. Channing nor Mr. Higginson make any mention of a rare spelling-book, of which we have a copy before us, printed in Newport in 1769, with the following title-page :
Instructions for Right Spelling, and Plain Directions for Reading and Writing True English. With several other Things, very useful and necessary, both for Young and Old, to read and learn. By G. Fox Newport: Printed by 8. Southwick, M.DCC, LXIX. (95 pages.]
Above we give the title of a Spelling and Reading-book, in which is a Catechism evidently composed to confirm the children of "true Christians called Quakers" in the right way, as follows:
Scholar.- Why are the true Christ ans called Quakers in this Age ?
Master:- It is in Scorn ard Derisicn that they are so called, to render them and he Truth olious to t:10 People, that so they might not receive the Truth and be saved; yet Quaking and Trembling is no new Thing; for thou mayst read of Quakers in th-Scr ptures, as in Hib. 12. 21. Moses said, I exceedingly frar nu pake. And it is said, Son of Man, eat thy Bread with Quaking, and Niink thy water with Tormiling. And when Daniel saw a Vision a great Q.ak ng fe'l upon the Men that were with him: And Habakkuk his Belly trem',ed, and his Lips quivered, Hob. 3. 16.
Se olur.- 'ure those thi' scoffingly call the true Christians Quakers, never read thise · criptures; for thcy prore rery pluin, that there were Quakers in
the primitive Times : But why do the People called Quakers say thee and thou to a single Person; is that according to the Scriptures ?
Master. -Yes, it is the proper Language to a shgle Person, and according to the Scripture ; God said thee and thou to Adam, and Adam said thou to God; and People say thee and thou in their Prayers; and it is the Pride in People's Hearts that cannot take that Language themselves which they give to God : And God said thee and thou to Moses, and Moses said thee and thou to God again : Jacob said thee and thou to Laban, and Laban said thre and thou to him again ; and Jacob and his Sons said thee and thou to each other, Gen. 43. to Chap. 49.
And Jeptha, who was a Judge in Israel, did thee and thou his Daugtter, and she did thee and thou her Father the Judge again, Judg. 11. And when Daniel and the three Children were before the King, upon Examination, they said thou to the King, and the Chaldeans did thou the King, Dan. 3.' And Faul did Thou the King Agrippa : And many other Examples there be in Scriptures, but these are sufficient : And Thee and Thou is singular Number, and to be spoken to one, You or Ye the plural Number, and to be spoken unto more than one.)
We are, finally, indebted to Mr. Channing for this tribute to one teacher of young ladies during this period:
Eloise Payne, the daughter of School-master Payne (a teacher of great colebrity in his day, in Boston, Mass.,) and sister of John Howard Payne (the renowned dramatist and poet), came to Newport about the year 1807-8, and opened one of the most noticeable schools in America; and, until her Lealth failed, she exerted a great influence for good in the moral and intellectual culture of girls, --not only the residents of Newport, but also of many from New York and Boston, who boarded in Miss Payne's family. Perhaps no young ladyteacher ever enjoyed more deserved repute than Miss Payne. Her voice was delightfully sweet and winning. Her face was the index of unusual intellectual power. Her eye, lustrous and penetrating when she spoke, awakened confi. dence and love when she was silent. Her skill in penmanship was admirable. She attracted many, and held them spell-bound by her grace in conversation. Her religious faith yielded the fruit of holy living; so that, though her life was sbort, her death was deeply lamented. I have frequently been gratified by the expression of affectionate remembrance of this faithful teacher by the few pupils who still survive to call her blessed.
[Rev. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, in his History of the Public School System of Rhode Island (1876), adds the following notes to the abore extracts:
Most of the schools mentioned by Mr. Channing appear to have been open to boys only. In 1794, however, the Newport Mercury announces that “Miss Vinal, late!y from Boston,” will open a school at the house of Mr. William Coggeshall, “and will be obliged to those ladies and gentlemen that will favor her with their custom.” In 1797, James Wallace offers a “morning school for young ladies in reading, writing, and arithmetic,” he also teaching navigation and book keeping as usual, doubtless to young men. In 1805, William Bridges offers to “teach young ladies and gentlemen. Private rooms for young ladies and board if required.” In 1807, Mrs. LaSalle and daughter advertise a school, probably for girls, at their home; and the Misses Smith announce a Female Academy at Bristol. In 1808, Mrs. Eliza C. Brenton announces instruction for girls at Washington Academy, South Kingstown, her list of studies including ‘Epistolary style," as well as “Temple Work, Paper Work, Fringing and Tufting.” And in 1811, Mr. J. Rodman offers to young ladies “the elegant art of writing," and also arithmetic.
One of the most characteristic of these school advertisements, especially in the order assigned to the studies, is the following in the United States Chronicle, of Providence:
Mrs. Hurley, from London, offers to instruct young ladies in all kinds of Needlework, Tambour, and Embroidery, with Drawing, Painting, and Music on the Piano Forte. Likewise, in Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, French and English, Grammar, Geography, and History-which will be explained by Rev. Mr. Hurley.)
JAMES MANNING, D.D., the first President of Rhode Island College (Brown University), was born in Elizabethtown, N. J., October 22, 1738, and died in Providence July 29, 1791. He graduated at Princeton in 1762, and became pastor of a Baptist church in Morristown in 1763, and before the close of the year removed to Warren, R. I., where he was settled over a Baptist church and established a Latin school which became the nucleus of the college of Rhode Island. The advanced pupils, of his school were enrolled as college students when he became 'president and professor of languages and other branches of learning, with full power to act in these capacities at Warren or elsewhere.' With Mr. David Howell (afterward Judge of the U. S. District Court) assistant, the college was inaugurated 1765, and the first class was graduated at. Warren in 1769. In 1770, the college was removed to Providence, and the president was settled as pastor of the first Baptist church. In Dec. 6, 1776, the college was disbanded, and regular duties were not resumed till May, 1778. In 1786, President Manning was appointed delegate to the Congress of the Confederation, and advocated by voice and pen the adoption by the State of the national constitution. In 1791, he entered heartily into the movement for the establishment of a system of public schools by the town—his last act was to draw up the following report :
Report of the School Committee in 1791. At a town meeting of the Freemen of the town of Providence, held by adjournment, at the State House, on Monday, the 1st day of August, 1791.
WHEREAS, the School Committee, who were, on the 6th and 13th days of June last, appointed and continued to make report respecting a petition pending before the meeting, for the erection of schools in this town, the expense whereof is to be paid out of the town treasury, presented the following report, to wit:
To the Freemen of the town of Providence, to be convened next by adjournment, the underwritten members of your School Committee, in pursuance of your resolution at your last meeting, report.
After the most deliberate and mature consideration of the subject, we are clearly of opinion that the measure proposed by the petitioners is elligible, for many reasons:
1st. — Useful knowledge generally diffused among the people is the surest means of securing the rights of man, of promoting the public prosperity, and perpetuating the liberties of a country.
2d.-As civil community is a kind of joint tenancy, in respect to the gifts and abilities of individual members thereof, it seems not improper that the disbursements necessary to qualify those individuals for usefulness should be made from common funds.
3d.--Our lives and properties, in a free State, are so much in the power of our fellow-citizens, and the reciprocal advantages of daily intercourse are so much dependent on the information and integrity of our neighbors, that no wise man can feel himself indifferent to the progress of useful learning, civilization, and the preservation of morals, in the community where he resides.
4th.-The most reasonable object of getting wealth, after our own wants are supplied, is to benefit those who need it; and it may, with great propriety, be demanded, in what way can those, whose wealth is redundant, benefit their neighbors more certainly and permanently, than by furnishing to their children the means of qualifying them to become good and useful citizens, and of acquiring an honest livelihood ?
5th.-In schools established by public authority, and whose teachers are paid by the public, there will be reason to hope for a more faithful and impartial discharge of the duties of instruction, as well as of discipline among the
scholars, than can be expected when the masters are dependent on individuals for their support.
These, among other reasons, have led your Committee to investigate the means of accomplishing an object so desirable as the establishment of a competent number of schools in this town, to be supported at the town's expense. The Brick School-house and Whipple Hall are buildings eonveniently situated for our present purpose; but, as the former is, in part, and the latter wholly, private property, it will become necessary that the individual owners should be compensated, and the entire property of those buildings vested in the town.
The large number of inhabitants on the west side of the river renders it indis pensably necessary that a suitable school-house be erected on a lot to be provided for that purpose on that side of the river. It would also be proper that a fourth school-house should be provided on a convenient lot, to be procured near the lower end of the town.
When your Committee consider that, according to the late enumeration, there are in this town twelve hundred and fifty-six white males under sixteen years of age, they can not estimate the number of scholars lower than to require, at the Brick School-house, a principal Master and Assistants; at the School-house on the west side of the river, a principal Master and Assistants; and a principal Master and Assistants at each of tlie other school-houses; to be appointed by, and amenable to, a committee to be chosen by the Freemen, annually assembled according to law, to be called the Town School Committee, for the time being; by whom also the salaries of such teachers, from time to time, shall be contracted for aud paid by orders by said Committee, drawn on the town treasury. The Assistants to be occasionally appointed, when need may require.
Your Committee are further of opinion, that all the aforesaid schools be subjected to such rules and regulations, from time to time, as may be devised and formed by the School Committee, for the time being, after the same shall have received the approbation of the Freemen of this town, in town mecting legally assembled.
And as the Society of Friends have a convenient school-room of their own, and choose to educate their children under the tuition of their own members, and the direction of committees of their own meeting, it is recommended that they receive, from time to time, of the money raised for schooling, according as the proportion which the number of scholars in their school shall bear to the whole number educated out of the town's funds, to be ascertained by their Com. mittee to the Town's Committee, who are to give orders on the town treasury for the same, as in the case of other schools, — their schools being open to the Town's Committee for their inspection and advice in regard to the moral conduct and learning of the children, pot interfering in respect to the address or manners of the Society, in relation to their religious opinions.
Finally, your Committee recommend, as new and further powers are hereby proposed to be granted to, and exercised by, the Town's future School Committee, which were not in contemplation at the time of their appointment, that they have liberty to resign their places, and that a School Committee be appointed for the Town of Providence, to remain in office till the next annual choice of Town Officers, and instructed to report the rules and regulations aforesaid to the next town meeting; that a committee be also appointed to contract, in behalf of the town, for suitable lots where to build the two new school-houses proposed to be erected, and to form plans and an estimate of the expense of such buildings, and to report the same to the next town meeting; That said Committee last mentioned, also inquire and report on what terms the proprietors of the Brick School-house and Whipple Hall will relinquish their claims to the town. Providence, July, 1791 JAMES MANNING,
JABEZ BOWEN, The Report was accepted, but no efficient action followed until John Howland and the Providence Association of Mechanics and Manufactur. ers engaged in the work.
JOHN HOWLAND AND PROVIDENCE SCHOOLS.
Joan HOWLAND, whose name is associated with the establishment of public schools in Providence, was born in Newport, R. I., in 1757 -in the fifth generation from John Howland, who signed the compact in the Mayflower in the harbor of Cape Cod on the 6th of December, 1622. His mother was descended from James Barker, whose name stands second in the Charter of King Charles as one of the proprietors of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. With these antecedents, we can readily account for his antiquarian tastes and Puritan predilections, as well as for the sterling qualities of character which illustrated his whole career. His home, and school training, although of the most rudimentary sort, gave him the ability and habit of reading, a thoughtful observance of men, and things, and the power of expressing his thoughts in clear and vigorous English. At the age of thirteen, he was sent to Providence as an apprentice to a hair-dresser. At nineteen, he served two years in Col. Lippitt's regiment, and fought under Washington at Trenton. At the age of twenty.one, he set up business for himself, in which he was an expert; and his shop was the intelligence office and congress of public affairs for town, state, and nation for thirty years.
In 1803, he was elected town auditor, to which he was annually reëlected till 1818, when he became town treasurer, and was continued from year to year till 1832, when the town of 4,000 inhabitants as he knew it in 1770 had become a city of 40,000.
In 1788, Mr. Howland adopted the views presented by Dr. Hitchcock, when he became a member of the Pennsylvania Society for the abolition of slavery, and ever after was a consistent and considerate advocate of the rights of the black man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' Without taking the extreme ground of non-resistance, he believed in the settlement of difficulties between nations by arbitration; and in 1818, was one of the founders of the Rhode Island Peace Society.
* See Life and Times of John Howland, by Edwiu M. Stone. p. 348. Providence, 1857.