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reason, teachers of every denomination are engaged. Beyond all doubt the one thing necessary, i. 6., religious and moral education according to Catholic principles, is not to be treated either lightly or with delay, but on the contrary with all carnestness and energy.

The adoption of one of thrco plans is recommended, the choice to be made according to local circumstances in the different States and various personal relations.

The first consists in an agreement between the bishop and the members of the school board, whereby they, in a spirit of fairness and good will, allow the Catholic children to be assembled during free time and taught the catechism; it would also be of the greatest advantage if this plan were not confined to the primary schools, but were extended likewise to the high schools and colleges, in the form of a free lecture.

The second: To have a catechism class outside the public-school building, and also classes of higher Christian doctrine, where, at fixed times, the Catholic children would assemble with diligence and pleasure, induced thereto by the authority of their parents, tho persuasion of their pastors, and the hope of praise and rewards.

The third plan does not seem at first sight so suitable, but is bound up more intimately with the duty of both parents and pastors. Pastors should unceasingly urgo upon parents that most important duty, imposed both by natural and by divine law, of bringing up their children in sound morality and Catholic faith. Besides, the instruction of children appertains to tho very essence of tho pastoral chargo; let the pastor of souls say to them with the Apostle: “My little children, of whom I am in labor again until Christ be formed in you.” (Gal., iv., 19.) Let him have classes of children in the parish such as have been established in Rome and many other places, and over in churches in this country, with very happy results.

Nor let him, with little prudence, show less love for the children that attend the public schools than for those that attend the parochial; on the contrary, stronger marks of loving solicitude are to be shown them; tho Sunday school and the hour for catechism should be devoted to them in a special manner. And to cultivato this field, let the pastor call to his aid other priests, religious, and even suitablo members of the laity, in order that what is supremely necessary be wanting to no child.

XIII. For the standing and growth of Catholic schools, it seems that care should be taken that the teachers prove themselves qualified, not only by previous examination before the diocesan board and by certificate or diploma received from it, but also by having a teacher's diploma from the school board of the State, awarded after successful examination. This is urged, first, so as not to appear regardless, without reason, of what public authority requires for teaching. Secondly, a better opinion of Catholic schools will be created. Thirdly, greater assurance' will be en to parents that in Catholic schools there is no deficiency to render them inferior to public schools; that, on the contrary, everything is done to make Catholic schools equal to public schools, or even superior. Fourthly, and lastly, we think that this plan would prepare the way for the State to see, along with the recognized and tested fitness of the teachers, that the laws are observed in all matters pertaining to the arts and sciences, to method and pedagogies, and to whatever is ordinarily required to promote the stability and usefulness of the schools.

XIV. It is necessary that what are called normal schools should reach such efficiency in preparing teachers of letters, arts, and sciences, that their graduates shall not fail to obtain the diploma of the State. For the sake of the Catholic cause, let there be among laymen a growing rivalry to take the diploma and doctorate, so that, possessed of the knowledge and qualifications requisite for teaching, they may compete for and honorably obtain positions in the public gymnasia, lyceums, and scientific institutions.

The knowledge of truth of every kind, straightforward justice united with charity, the effulgence and appreciation of the liberal arts—these are the bulwarks of the church.

All the abore was read and considered in the meeting of the archbishops, the difficulties answcred, and the requisile alterations made, Norember 17, 1892.


The people of the United States have sought models for teaching in Germany and Scandinavia. Lutheran and Evangelical Germans and Scandinavians, interested in religious instruction, which we have dropped from public institutions, have established here a number of teachers' seminaries, besides nearly 30 theological seminaries, and about 15 colleges. This indicates their purpose to maintain a high standard of teaching.

The Roman Catholics have a great range of institutions from university to primary school, including teachers’ seminaries. There are several brotherhoods and sisterlood's devoted to teaching, best known of which is probably the Brothers of the Christian Schools, with a long established professional reputation. As indicated in the document just cited, those in control expect the teachers to be capable of passing the examinations required of teachers in the public schools, that no comparisons of scholarly and professional equipment may be to the disadvantage of schools estab. lished with the religious inotive.



INGTON_1805 TO 1885, 1

Formerly Superintendent of Public Schools, District of Columbia.

The limits of a paper to be read before this society will allow me to present to you only an outline sketch of the origin and development of the public school system of this city, including some important references and statements that may be of use to the future historian. As a matter of convenience, I have to some extent used the term “Washington" as synonymous with “District of Columbia,” and in doing so have only anticipated the near future when they will become identical. Of the four independent systems of public schools originally established in the District of Columbia, that for the white schools of the city of Washington was the oldest and always the leading one; the others starting later copied it as closely as circumstances permitted, and therefore had so many points of resenıblance that for the purposes of this paper it has not been deemed necessary to trace each from its origin down to the time when all were merged in one common system. The first eighty years of the public schools may be divided into three distinctive periods, which I have designated by the characterizing terms “initial,” “transitional," and "developmental.”


1. The original record of the proceedings of the board of trustees of public schools from 1805 to 1818, now in the Force Collection, Library of Congress. Through the courtesy of Librarian Spofford I bad a copy of this record mado and placed on file in the office of the superintendent of schools.

2. No official record of the proceedings of the board of trustees from 1819 to 1844 has been found. The files of the National Intelligencer, accessible in the Library of Congress, and the acts of the city council and of the Congress during that period, are the chief sources of information.

3. The published annual reports of the board of trustees of public schools from 1845 to 1885. The series for each year is not complete. The reports from 1880 to 1884 were prepared with the usual care and labor, but the District authorities failed to provide for their publication. The twenty-second annual report for the school year 1865–66, prepared by Mr. William J. Rhees, is of special interest, containing “A compendium of the laws and resolutions of the city council of Washington relative to public schools from 1804 to 1867, chronologically arranged," “ List of trustees from 1845 to 1866," and inuch other interesting historical material. The report for 1874-75 is also exceptionally valuable, as it was prepared with reference to the public school exhibit made at the Philadelphia Exposition of 1876, and contains brief histories of the public schools of the city of Washington, organized in 1805; the city of Georgetown, organized in 1810; the county, 8 the part of the District of Columbia outside of Washington and Georgetown was designated, organized in

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Read before the Columbia Historical Society of Washington, D. C.. May 4 1896.
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1861; and the colored schools of Washington and Georgetown, organized in 1861 – the four independent systems of schools as originally established in the District of Columbia. Theso monographs were all written with intelligence and fidelity and as a labor of love by persons well qualified for their respective tasks; the first two by Mr. Samuel Yorke At Lee, tho third by the Rer. Claudius B. Smith, and the fourth by the Superintendent of colored schools, Mr. George F. T. Cook.

4. Special Report of the United States Comunissioner of Education on the Condition and Improvement of Public Schools in the District of Columbia, 1868.

5. The minutes of the board of trustees which bave been published in recent years, to be found sometimes in connection with the annual reports and sometimes as separate documents.

6. The acts of the city council, the District legislature, and the Congress, and the orders of the District Commissioners relating to the schools.

7. The files of the Evening Star and other city newspapers published from timo to time.

THE INITIAL PERIOD-1805 TO 1845. Neither the framers of the Constitution nor the earlier Congresses contemplated the exercise of exclusivo municipal legislation for the District of Columbia directly by the Congress, and hence as early as practicable after the removal of the seat of Government here the Congress ordained a municipal government for the city of Washington, and in 1804 by an amendment to its charter provided “for the establishmen and superintendence of schools.” On the 5th of December of the same year the city council passed an act “ to establish and endow a permanent institution for the education of youth in the city of Washington,” which provided for a boarıl of 13 trustees, 7 to be elected by the joint ballots of the two chambers of the council and 6 to be chosen by individuals contributing to the promotion of the schools as provided for in said act. For tho support of the schools the act appropriated so much of the net proceeds of the taxes on slaves anıl dogs and licenses for carriages and hacks, ordinaries and taverns, retailing wines and spirituous liquors, billiard tables, theatrical and other amusements, hawkers and peddlers, as the trustees might decide to be necessary for the education of the poor of the city, not to exceed the sum of $1,500 per annum. The act also provided for the appointment of a select committee of 3 councilmen, whose cluty it should be to solicit or provide for soliciting, both at home and abroad, contributions in money or lots for the benefit of the schools. One of the largest contributions was that of $200, made by Thomas Jefferson.

It may be stated at the outset that the colored children of the District of Columbia were not included among the beneficiaries of the public schools in any legislation, either by the Congress or the city council, prior to the abolition of slavery in 1862.

The first board of trustees consisteil of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Monroe, Gabriel Duvall, Thomas Tingey, Joseph Brombey, Johın Tayloe, Robert Brent, William Brent, Samuel H. Smith, William Cranch, George Blagoen, John Dempsie, and Nicholas King.

They met in the Supreme Court room, l'nited States Capitol, Angust 5, 1805, and were called to order by Robert Brent. Thomas Jefferson, then President of the l'nited States, was elected president of the board, and accepted the office in a letter dated Monticello, August 14, 1805, but was prevented from ever discharging its duties by “otliers of paramount obligation.”

At a little later date the Rev. William Matthews, better known as Father Matthews, became a member of the board, and was most zealous and active in the cause of public schools for many years.

A very comprehensive report, setting forth in detail the plan of the entire educational system from an academy to a university, was prepared by a select committee and adopted September 19, 1805.

Mr. Jefferson's early and liberal contribution in money and his accepting and holding the offices of trustee and president of the board of trustees of public schools so

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