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DOCUMENTS ILLUSTRATIVE OF AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL
Compiled and annotated by B. A. HINSDALE, Ph. D., LL. D., Professor of the Science
and the Art of Teaching in the University of Michigan.
CONTENTS.— Introductory remarks-1. Massachusetts legislation-11. Plymouth legisla
tion---III. Connecticut legislation-IV. The common-school fund of ConnecticutV. Pennsylvania legislation—VI. Congressional land grants for common schools and universities–VII. Congressional grants of land and money for colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts, 1862-1890–VIII. The Bureau of Education--IX. Early views and plans relating to a national university-.X. Provisions of the State constitutions relating to education.
Documents are the basis of history.
Dr. E. A. Freeman has very justly remarked "that the most ingenious and eloquent of modern historical discourses can after all be nothing more than a comment on a text.” Even teachers who do not primarily deal with original materials find it necessary constantly to resort to such materials for the illustration and enforcement of historic truth, and often for its discovery.
No sooner had the compiler of this chapter begun to teach, or even to study, American educational history, than he was embarrassed by the lack of suitable documents with which to carry on his work properly. For reasons that are only too obvious, the memorials of educa tion are less accessible than the memorials of war and politics. The limited number of documents here brought together were found scattered through many volumes, even counting the older collections that have been consulted. This collection originated, therefore, in the practical needs of the compiler's own study and lecture room.
As measured by a compilation that might be made, it is meager indeed; but it is believed that students and teachers of the subject, also journalists, statesmen, and many others will find it a useful repository of materials.
While the sources from which the documents were immediately drawn are given in the pages following, it is proper to express obligations to Dr. Barnard, Dr. Wickersham, Dr. Goode, and Mr. Poore. Dr. F. B. Hough's compilation, Constitutional Provisions Relating to Education, Literature, and Science in the Several States of the American Union, etc., published by the Bureau as a Circular of Information, No. VII, 1875, has been very helpful. It has not been thought desirable, bowever, to include all of the material contained in that circular in this chapter. Still all the constitutional provisions relating to the subject ever adopted down to date will here be found. Such of Dr. Hough’s notes as have been retained are marked “H.” It is proper also to remark that the compiler has made free use of a previous compilation of his own-Topics in the Educational History of the United States--printed for private circulation.
I. MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATION, 1636-1789. 1. HARVARD COLLEGE: Grant of 1656, grant of 1637, grant of 1638-39, grant of 1640;
remarks by President Quincy; act establishing the overseers of Harrard College, 1642; character of the presiden i and fellows of Harrard College, 1650; appendix to charter, 1657; final resolre of the provincial legislature declaring the charter of 1050 not repealed, 1707; prorisions of the charter of Massachusetts Bay relating to schools
and colleges, 1691. 2. COMMON SCHOOLS: Ordinance of 104?; ordinance of 1647; quotation from Lord
Macaulay; declaration of the general court, 1652; order of the general court, 1654; order by the general court 1671; order of the general court 168.3; act of 1789; quota
tions from Dr. George B. Emerson, John Adams, and President Dright. All the legislation in relation to Harvard College down to 1780 is here brought together in chronological order. All other school legislation enacted by the general court down to 1683, or at least all that I have found, is also given. By that time the common-school system was legislatively well developed, and it was not thereafter practically changed until the act of 1789, which was based on the constitution of 1780. The educational provisions of the colonial charter of 1691 are also given, for a reason that will appear in the accompanying annotation.
1. HARVARD COLLEGE.
GRAVTS OF TIIE GENERAL COURT.
(At a court, hollen September 8, 1636, and continued by adjournment to the 28th of the 8th month
(October, 1636). ] The court agreed to givo £100 toward a school or college, whereof £200 to bo paid next year and £200 when the work is finished, and the next court to appoint where and what building.
[At a general court, holden at Newtonn, on tue 2d of the oth month (Norember 2), 1637.] The college ordered to be at Newtown.”
For the college, the governor, Mr. Winthrop, the deputy, Mr. Dudley, the treas. urer, Mr. Bellingham, Mr. Humphrey, Mr. Ilerlakeuden, Mr. Stoughten, Mr. Cotton,
1 Mass. Coll. Records, Vol. 1, p. 183.
2 Ibid., p. 208.