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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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for assistance. An act of incorporation, under the
name of the Society for establishing a Free School

in the city of New-York, for the education of such
poor children as do not belong to, or are not provided
for by, any religious society, was obtained. The school
was soon opened, and twelve scholars admitted. From
this exertion, grew the splendid system of education
now in operation in the state of New-York. There had
been some legislative provisions previously enacted,
but the act had expired, without producing any
beneficial effects. At the commencement of the sys-
tem, the instruction was confined to the poor, who
were not otherwise provided for; at length it extend-
ed to all classes, and the reluctance that was felt, by
those in good circumstances, to sending their child-
ren to these common schools, is every day diminish-
ing, and will soon cease altogether. The first men
of New England were educated in their common
schools.* * In New England, although every man who pays a tax, has a vote not
only in general elections, but, also, in town offices, and in raising money
and expending it; yet, the wealthy and well-to-do, have to take care of
the poor; for, in many instances, they have been opposed to raising money
for their common schools. In a town in Massachusetts, of no inconsidera-
ble size, where education is under the best of regulations, a proposition was
made, in town-meeting, to establish another school. A poor man who often
admired his own eloquence in these primary assemblies, opposed the measure
on the ground of oppressive taxation and spoke so strongly that many began
to doubt the expediency of establishing another school at that time. A friend
to the proposition for another school followed the orator. He had prepared
to meet this influence. He showed, in the first place, that the speaker, who
alone opposed the measure, had been the father of ten sons, who were all edu-
cated at the common schools in town, and that these sons had, on an ave-
rage, been at school seven years each. The gentlemen who argued in favour
of the additional school, next exhibited the school tax, from the time the oppo-
ser first paid a tax, to that year, and showed that his proportion of the whole
sum, for the seven years schooling of his boys, had been 39 cents only.
They were bright boys, and often obtained prizes of books. Such is preju-
dice without calculation. EDITOR.
Professor Johnson has written a fair and
pretty full account of education in the state of New-
, which I here insert, as it is the best extant.
This system has even exceeded the calculation of
Mr. Eddy himself.