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These citations are sufficient to show the importance attached to education at this early period, and to indicate that the church and education were considered together. *
The Dutch and Swedes continued their private schools long after the accession of the English to the province.
The Charter and Frame of Government granted by William Penn seemed to promise more vigorous measures in regard to education; especially as it was placed under the control of the Assembly. Yet the Assembly was slow to give any direct support to education. The twelfth article of the Frame of Government grants: “That the governor and provincial council shall erect and order all public schools and encourage and reward the authors of useful sciences and laudable inventions in the said province.” Although there is much in this for the encouragement of public education, there is no provision for its support. The General Assembly interpreted it accordingly, and in the second General Assembly, convened in 1683, a general law was passed making it obligatory for parents and guardians to educate the children in their charge.” But the first school established by the Provincial Council was opened in the same year by Mr. Enoch Flower as a legally established private school. The act passed on the 26th of October, 1683, is as follows: “The Governor and Provincial Council having taken into their serious consideration the great necessity there is of a School Master for ye instruction & Sober Education of youth in the towne of Philadelphia, sent for Enoch Flower an inhabitant of the said town who for twenty year past hath been exercised in that care and employment in England, to whom having communicated their minds, he embraced it upon the following terms: to learn to read English 4s by the Quarter, to learn to read and write 6s by the Quarter; to learn to read & write and cast accounts 8s by the Quarter; for boarding a scholar that is to say diet, washing, lodging and schooling ten pounds for one whole year.” By William Penn's instruction a public grammar school was opened in 1689, and formally chartered in 1697." This was a school of high order, in which the classical languages were taught, and corresponded to the New England grammar school of the early period. It was not “free” in the modern sense, but open to all persons, and granted special privileges to the poor. This is said to be the origin of the famous “Friends' Public School,” which was char. tered in 1697, rechartered in 1701, and again in 1711. In the petition for this school, directed to the Governor and Council, the petitioners stipulate to instruct the “rich at reasonable rates, and the poor to be maintained and schooled for nothing.”" The charter of 1711 granted to this school is among the important early documents. The preamble begins as follows:” “Whereas, The prosperity and welfare of any people depend, in a great measure, upon the good education of youth and their early instruction in the principles of true religion and virtue, and qualifying them to serve their country and themselves by breeding them in reading, writing, and learning of languages and useful arts and sciences suitable to their sex, age, and degree, which can not be effected in any manner so well as by erecting public schools for the purposes aforesaid.” Although this approached the nearest to our present conception of a public school of all early institutions in Pennsylvania, yet it was in reality a private school, with certain agreements on the part of the corporate body to educate free of charge the children of the poor. As a monument of early education it stands pre-eminent above other schools, and no other for the next fifty years following its establishment approached so near to the position of a state school. As a fact, the provincial authorities did very little in providing for the education of the people prior to the Revolution. Their work was principally legalizing the actions of the church organizations and private bodies into whose care it intrusted the education of the youth of the province. The school established by Benjamin Franklin in 1753 may be considered a legitimate outcome of the ideas of Penn and of the Friends' Public School, and to this period must we go for the real beginning of state education.
* Colonial Records, I, 26, introduction. * Col. Rec. I, 36. * Chap. 112, Duke of York's Laws, p. 142. “Ibid., 499.
Aside from the establishment of the academy and charitable school of the province of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia it may be stated that the first legislation in favor of state education began with the beginning of the Commonwealth.
The Constitution adopted in 1776 is the earliest constitutional provision on record among the States for the maintenance of a university, although other States through legislative enactment were far in advance in the support of higher education; North Carolina followed in the same year with a similar section in its first Constitution.
Article 44 of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 declares as follows: “A school or schools shall be established in each county by the legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters paid by the public, as may enable them to instruct youth at low prices. And all useful learning shall be duly encouraged and promoted in one or more universities.” "
1 Wickersham, 43. *Poore, Charters and Constitutions, 1547. *Ibid., 44.
SCHOOL LEGISLATION. 153
The law was modified in the Constitution of 1790 so as to read: (1) “The Legislature shall, as soon as conveniently maybe, provide, by law, for the establishment of schools throughout the State in such manner that the poor may be taught gratis. (2) “The arts and sciences shall be promoted in one or more seminaries of learning.”" These two sections were repeated word for word in the Constitution adopted in 1838. These principles, formulated in the Constitutions of the Common. wealth, have led to a distinctive policy in state education. The early colleges were endowed with a view to furnish teachers for the lower grade of schools. In a general sense this was the right view to take, for the higher educational institutions do determine the char. acter of the lower; but in a special sense the higher institutions may not fit a person for the profession of teaching. Moreover, if the higher institutions react upon the lower, it is also true that the latter are necessary for efficient work in the former. The circle of education must be complete to ensure success. As Mr. Stevens well says, in his plea for free schools before the General Assembly in 1838, “Nor does it seem possible to separate the higher from the lower branches of education without injuring, if not paralyzing, the prosperity of both. They are as mutually dependent and necessary to each other's existence and prosperity as are the ocean and the streams by which it is supplied. For while the ocean supplies the quickening principles of the springs, they in turn pour their united tribute to the common reservoir, thus mutually replenishing each other.”” The bill that Mr. Stevens' advocated at this session was passed in 1838, and was to remain in force for ten years. The clause pertaining to higher education is as follows: “To each university and college now incorporated, or which may be incorporated by the legislature, and maintaining at least four professors, and instructing constantly at least one hundred students, one thousand dollars; to each Academy and Female Seminary, now incorporated, or which may be incorporated by the legislature, maintaining one or more teachers, capable of giving instruction in the Greek and Roman classics, mathematics, and English, or English and German literature, and in which fifteen pupils shall constantly be taught in either or all of the branches aforesaid, three hundred dollars; to each of said Academies and Female Seminaries, where at least twenty-five pupils are taught as aforesaid, four hundred dollars; and each of said Academies and Female Seminaries, having at least two teachers and in which forty or more pupils are constantly taught as aforesaid, five hundred dollars.” The establishment of academies and seminaries was the direct result of the ideas entertained by Penn in his Frame of Government for the colonies. There was an attempt after the law of 1776, and especially after the law of 1790, to create a high school in every county in the State. This effort was continued in the law of 1838 to build a system of higher education throughout the Commonwealth. These efforts failed to accomplish the desired end, probably because there was no basis of common school education. Each institution granted aid by the State obligated itself to instruct a certain number of poor children gratis, and this was the extent of the preparation for higher work. Moreover, many of the institutions were called into existence without sufficient support and their life was evanescent. There was no central power to control the location of schools, except the Legislature, and this was controlled by sectional interests. The law of 1838 held in full force for six years, and then reduced the amount to one-half; but it was finally abandoned altogether, and thus ended the general legislation for colleges, academies, and universities. Special legislation afterwards aided individual institutions, but the great work of the State was now directed to the establishment of a common School system, and subsequently a normal school system. The normal schools have performed in part what it was designed that the academies, colleges, and seminaries of early endowment should accomplish. THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA.
*Constitution of 1790, Art. VII, secs. 1 and 2. * Laws of 1837–38,333. * Quoted in Wickersham, 337.
It is interesting to know that the school which was established through the efforts of Benjamin Franklin finally developed into the University of Pennsylvania, and that the school itself was a fitting survival of the “grammar school instituted by William Penn in 1697.” "
There is a direct continuity of development of the idea of higher education, and whereas these institutions were different in organization, Penn's Grammar School, the Friends' Public School, Franklin's Academy, and the University of Pennsylvania represent one institution in its different phases of development. As early as 1743,” Benjamin Franklin drew up an elaborate plan for an academy, but the excitement of the provincial war immediately following prevented its maturity. But in 1749° Franklin again took up the subject, and to interest the public published an essay on “Proposals relative to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania.” His plans were complete, and provided for an academy with elementary schools attached. Among other subjects proposed to be taught we find history, politics, ancient customs, and English. Greek, Latin, and modern languages were, to use a modern term, to be elective. -
As a result of Franklin's efforts, a board of trustees was formed, of which he was president. The members of the board contributed the sum of two thousand pounds, or about $5,333.334. This subscription was increased by citizens of the town.”
| Wickersham, 375. 3 Ibid. *Ibid., 58. - “Ibid., 60.
THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA. 155
In 1750 Franklin set forth his views as to the objects to be obtained, which are, in brief, as follows: (1) That youth may receive a “good education at home, and be under no necessity of going abroad for it;” (2) that persons may be prepared for civil offices; (3) that persons may be prepared to teach country schools; and (4) that it would be an advantage to trade to have such a school in Philadelphia.” These views were embodied in a petition to the Common Council for aid. The council responded favorably and voted three hundred pounds (eight hundred dollars), and fifty pounds ($133.33) per annum for five years, and fifty pounds for each pupil sent to the academy from the charity school. A charter was granted by the Provincial Assembly in 1753 under the -title of the “Trustees of the Academy and Charitable School of the Province of Pennsylvania; ” two years later the second act of incorporation changed the academy into a college. There was a charity school formed under the same board of control as that of the academy. A boarding-house was erected in 1762 with the sum of two thousand pounds raised by means of a lottery. Subsequently several lotteries were formed, which yielded the school about six thousand pounds in all.” Perhaps it ought to be mentioned that the institution received with its first charter a donation of seven hundred pounds, and afterwards one of five hundred pounds, and that Thomas Penn gave it four thousand five hundred pounds, and seven thousand five hundred acres of land in Bucks County.” . The college continued to thrive, and, in 1765, what is now known as the medical department of the university was added, said to be the oldest of its kind in America. In this connection it is, perhaps, well to mention that the first course of law lectures was given in 1790–91. This was the beginning of the first law school in the United States. During the Revolution the college was greatly disturbed. In 1777 a body of American soldiers occupied the building, and in the latter part of the same year the institution was closed. As certain officers of the college had been under suspicion of disloyalty for some time an investigation was made, and the institution was deprived of its charter and property by an act of the Legislature passed in 1779. Almost immediately a new charter was granted under the name of the University of Pennsylvania, and with it an annual appropriation of one thousand five hundred pounds” from the proceeds of certain confiscated estates. The university was formed under the act of the Constitution of 1776, which provided for “one or more universities.”" In order to right the wrong that had been committed in depriving the old corporation of its charter it was re-instated in 1789, and subsequently the old college and the new university were united into one institution under the name of the “University of Pennsylvania.”