Atwater - Chapter 13



PROTESTANT Christianity places so much empha-sis on individual accountability to God that con­sistency requires a Protestant community to provide that every person shall be able to read, in order that he may read the Scriptures. The Puritan fathers of New England established schools as early as, or earlier than, they organized churches, and with direct reference to religious instruction as the ultimate end. Under the caption " Children's Education," the New Haven law reads as follows: -

" Whereas too many parents and masters, either through an over tender respect to their own occasions and business, or not duly considering the good of their children and apprentices, have too much neglected duty in their education while they are young and capable of learning, It is Ordered, That the deputies for the particular court in each plantation within this jurisdiction for the time being, or where there are no such deputies, the constable or other officer or officers in public trust, shall, from time to time, have a vigilant eye over their brethren and neighbors within the limits of the said plantation; that all parents and masters do duly en­deavor, either by their own ability and labor, or by improving such school-master or other help and means as the plantation doth afford or the family may conveniently provide, that all their children and apprentices, as they grow capable, may, through God's blessing, attain at least so much as to be able duly to read the Scriptures


and other good and profitable printed books in the English tongue, being their native language; and, in some competent measure, to understand the main grounds and principles of Christian religion necessary to salvation."

The statute then proceeds to provide for its enforce­ment, imposing fine after fine, and finally authorizing the court of magistrates if " such children or servants may be in danger to grow barbarous, rude, and stub­born," to "take such children or apprentices from such parents or masters, and place them for years, boys till they come to the age of one and twenty, and girls till they come to the age of eighteen years, with such others who shall better educate and govern them, both for public conveniency and for the particular good of the said children or apprentices." We learn from the statute that the end for which schools were instituted was that children might not grow " barbarous, rude, and stubborn." From the his­tory of the schools we shall further find that the plant­ers had in view not only to secure the colony from the existence of a dangerous class, but to qualify some of their youth to be leaders of the people in the following generation. The first planters of the earliest plantation in the colony brought With them a school-master. A few months after the arrival of the company at Quinnipiac, and apparently as soon as a room for the school could be provided, he commenced to teach. Michael Wiggles-worth, who was his pupil in the summer of 1639, says, " I was sent to school to Mr. Ezekiel Cheever, who at that time taught school in his own house; and under him, in a year or two I profited so much, through the 263

blessing of God, that I began to make Latin, and to get on apace." The revision of the town records sanc­tioned by the General Court, after the unfaithfulness of Secretary Fugill had been discovered, gives the fol­lowing minute concerning Mr. Cheever's school: -

" For the better training up of youth in this town, that through God's blessing they may be fitted for public service hereafter, either in church or commonweal, it is ordered that a free school be set up, and the magistrates with the teaching elders are en­treated to consider what rules and orders are meet to be observed, and what allowance may be convenient for-the school-master's care and pains, which shall be paid out of the town's stock. According to which order £20 a year was paid to Mr. Ezekiel Cheever, the present school-master, for two or three years at first; but that not proving a competent maintenance, in August, 1644, it was enlarged to ^30 a year, and so continueth."

After Mr. Cheever's difficulty with the church it was uncomfortable for him to reside in New Haven, and he soon removed to Ipswich. In October, 1650, "it was propounded that a school-master be provided for the town," and the matter was referred to a committee; but some time elapsed before a school-master was found whom the town was willing to reward with so large a salary as' they had paid to Mr. Cheever. Mr. Jeanes, one of the proprietors of the town, was willing to teach, and, in March, 1651, "it was propounded to know whether the town would allow any salary to Mr. Jeanes for teaching school.1 Much debate was about it, but

1 William Jeanes, whose house was at the corner of Chapel and Church Streets. I have seen it stated that Rev. Thomas James, who lived at the corner of Chapel and York Streets, taught school in New Haven; but after diligent search I conclude that this is a mistake occasioned by the similarity of his name to that of Jeanes.


nothing was ordered in it at present; only it was pro­pounded to him, that if the town would allow him £10 a year, whether he would not go on to teach and take the rest of the parents of the children by the quarter; but he returned no answer." On further reflection Mr. Jeanes concluded to accept the town's offer, so that in May the town "ordered that he should have £10 for this year." In October " Mr. Jeanes informed the town that he is offered a considerable maintenance to go to Wethersfield to teach school, yet if the town will settle that £10 a year upon him formerly ordered, he is willing to stay here in the work he is. Whereupon it was voted that for three years he have £10 a year as formerly ordered, and upon the same terms as before." For some reason Mr. Jeanes did not continue to teach for so long a period as the town had engaged itself to him ; for, in October, 1651 : -

" The secretary was desired to speak with Mr. Goodyear to use some means to bring the school-master hither, who, they hear, is coming,, but wants transportation; and, about a fortnight later, " the governor acquainted the court that now the school-master is come, and some course must be taken to provide for his lodging and diet; and to repair the school-house; and consider what the town will allow him a year; and what his work shall be; therefore it is necessary a committee should be chosen to treat with him. The court considered of the motion, and chose the ruling elder, the four deputies, and the treasurer, as a committee to treat with him and provide for him; and declared that they .are willing to allow him Lb30 a year out of the treasury, or any greater sum as they can agree, not exceeding Lb40 that his work should be to perfect male children in the English after they can read in their Testament or Bible, and to learn them to write, and to bring them on to Latin as they are capable, and desire to proceed therein."


Three days later -

" The committee appointed at the last court to treat and agree with the school-master, acquainted the court with what they had done; viz., that he propounded to have £20 a year, and the town to pay for his chamber and diet (which they have agreed with Mr. Atwater for, for five shillings per week); that the town pay toward his charges in coming hither thirty shillings; that he have liberty once a year to go to see his friends, which we propounded to be in harvest time; that his pay be good, and some of it such as wherewith he> may buy books and defray charges in his travel; that if he be called away (not to the same work, but to some other employment which may be for the honor of Christ) he may have liberty. And for this he will teach the children of this town (having the benefit of strangers to himself) after they are entered and can read in the Testament; to perfect them in English 5 and teach them their Latin tongue as they are capable; and to write. After consideration the town voted to accept the terms propounded."

The school-master thus provided was John Hanford, afterward settled in the ministry at Norwalk. When he had taught about four months : -

" The governor acquainted the court that he hears the school­master is somewhat discouraged, because he hath so many English scholars which he must learn to spell, which was never the town's mind, as appeared in the order which was now read. And it was now ordered that the school-master shall send back such scholars as he sees do not answer the first agreement with him, and the parents of such children were desired not to send them."

Seven months after Mr. Hanford had commenced his school:-

"The governor informed the court that one of Norwalk had been with him to desire liberty for Mr. Hanford's remove to be helpful to that plantation in the work of the ministry: also Mr. Hanford himself, who saith he finds his body unable, and that it will not stand with his health to go on in his work of teaching 266

. school, and therefore desires liberty to take his opportunity; which liberty he did reserve when he agreed with the town; the record of which agreement being read, it so appeared. Therefore, if his mind was so set, they could not hinder him; but a convenient time of warning was desired, which he granted, if it was a month or two."

On the same day when the aforesaid action was taken, releasing Mr. Hanford, " brother Davis's son was propounded to supply the school-master's place, and the magistrates, elders, and deacons, with the deputies for the court, were chbsen as a committee to treat with him about it." It is probable, however, that Mr. Davis was not employed; for the governor informed the court, Nov. 8, 1652: -

" That the cause of calling this meeting is about a school-master, to let them know what he hath done in it. He hath written a let­ter to one Mr. Bowers, who is school-master at Plymouth, and de­sires to come into" these parts to live, and another letter about one Mr. Rowlandson, a scholar, who, he hears, will take that employ­ment upon him. How they will succeed, he knows not; but now Mr. Jeanes is come to the town, and is willing to come hither again if he may have encouragement. What course had been taken to' get one he was acquainted with, and that, if either of them come, he must be entertained; but he said, if another come, he -should be willing, to teach boys and girls to read and write, if the town thought fit; and Mr. Jeanes being now present, confirmed it. The town generally was willing to encourage Mr. Jeanes's coming, and would allow him at least ten pounds a year out of the treasury, and the rest he might take of the parents of the children he teacheth, by the quarter, as he did before, to make it up a comfortable main­tenance. And many of the -town thought there would be need of »two school-masters, for if a Latin school-master come, it is feared he will be discouraged if many English scholars come to him. Mr. Jeanes, seeing the town's willingness for his coming again, acknowledged their love, and desired them to proceed no further


at this time; for he was*not sure he shall get free where he is, and if he do, he doubts it will not be before winter. Therefore no more was done in it'at present."

About seven months later (June 21, 1653): -

"The governor acquainted the town that Mr. Bowers, whom they sent for to keep school, is now come, and that it hath been difficult to find a place for his abode; but now Thomas Kimberley's house is agreed upon, and he intends to begin his work next fifth day if the town please; with which the town was satisfied, and de­clared that they would allow him as they did Mr. Hanford,- that is, twenty pounds a year, and pay for his diet and chamber; and they expected from him that work which Mr. Hanford was to do: and some that had spoken with him, declared that upon these conditions he was content."

Mr. Bowers continued to teach the town school for about seven years. He was at first troubled, as Mr. Hanford had been, with so many " children sent to him to learn their letters and to spell, that others, for whom the school was chiefly intended, as Latin scholars," were neglected. The town, hearing of this, charged two of the selectmen (as such officers are now called, or townsmen, as they were then denominated) to send all such children home, and desired the school-master not to receive any more such. He does not appear to have been hindered in his usefulness after his first year by this or any other difficulty, till the last year of his service. He then informed the court, April 23, 1660, " that the number of scholars at present was but eigh­teen, and they are so unconstant that many times there are but six or eight. He desired to know the town's mind whether they would have a school or no school, for he could not satisfy himself to go on thus. The


reason of it was inquired after, but not fully discovered. But that the school might be settled in some better way for the furtherance of learning, it was referred to the consideration of the court, elders, and townsmen, who are desired to prepare it for the next meeting of the town." At the next meeting "the governor declared that the business of the school had also been considered by the committee, but was left to be further considered when it appears what will be done by the jurisdiction general court concerning a colony school."

The institution of a colony school at New Haven, a few months later, put an end to the town school, absorb^ ing into itself all the boys in the plantation whose parents wished them to learn Latin.

The question naturally rises in the mind of one who studies in the early town records of New Haven, the history of its schools, What provision was there for chil­dren who had not yet learned to read? So far as appears, no provision was made at the public expense for children not sufficiently advanced to enter the town school; but parents were obliged either personally to teach their children, or to pay for their instruction in private schools. So early as February, 1645, "Mr. Pearce desired the plantation to take notice that if any will send their children to him, he will instruct them in writing or arithmetic." Probably other inhabitants from time to time taught the rudiments of learning as they could obtain pupils. Mr. Jeanes seems to have occupied a middle position between such teachers of private schools and the master of the public school, being re­garded as less competent than those who received their


maintenance wholly from the town, and yet worthy to be encouraged by a grant from the public treasury when a more learned man than he, was not to be obtained.

At Guilford, Rev. John Higginson added to his work as teaching elder of the church, that of school-master for the town. At a general court, Oct. 7, 1646, a com­mittee was appointed to collect the contributions for the maintenance of the elders, and "it was ordered that the additional sum toward Mr. Higginson's maintenance with respect to the school shall be paid by the treasurer out of the best of the rates in due season according to our agreements." As it was at the same time further ordered " that whoever shall put any child to school to Mr. Higginson, shall not put for less than a quarter's time at once, and so all shall be reckoned with quarterly, though they have neglected to send them all the time, after the rate of four shillings per quarter, by the treas­urer," we may infer that the school was not free to those who' sent their children, though a fixed salary was assured to the master by the town. When Mr. Higginson, after Mr. Whitfield's departure, became the only elder of the church, other persons were succes­sively employed as school-masters. Jeremiah Peck, afterward an ordained minister, was school-master from 1656, - in which year he was married to a young lady of Guilford, - to 1660, when he removed to New Haven to take charge of the grammar school established in that year by the colony.

According to Lambert, "the first school in Milford was kept by Jasper Gunn, the physician;" and the colo­nial records in 1657 preface an order, that "endeavors shall be used that a school-master shall be procured in


every plantation where a school is not already set up," with the statement that New Haven hath provided that a school-master be maintained at the town's charge, and Milford hath made provision in a comfortable way." '

These town schools were chiefly intended for such as could remain long enough "to make Latin." The teachers were men of liberal education, and were pro­cured' to teach, because they were capable of teaching something more and higher than the rudiments of learning. In every plantation there were inhabitants who could teach children as much as the law required that they should learn, which, as we have seen, was at first only reading.

To show, that, as the colony grew in years it required a greater minimum of scholarship, we cite the addition made by the General Court in 1660 to the law requiring that all children should be taught to read. "To the printed law concerning the education of children, it is now added that the sons of all the inhabitants within this jurisdiction shall (under the same penalty) be learned to write a legible hand so soon as they are capa­ble of it." The reader should take notice, however, that the earlier order refers to all children and apprentices, and the later to boys only. The standard to which Mr. Davenport would have brought "the people by moral suasion, if not by authority of law, was even higher than that enforced by the court; for, when he delivered

1 The omission of Guilford in this mention of towns which in May, 1657, were maintaining schools, leads me to think that Mr. Peck com­menced his school in 1657 ; butI have allowed the date of his commence­ment to remain as it is in |ibley's Harvard Graduates. Perhaps he commenced as the master of a private school.


up all his power and interest as a trustee of Mr. Hop-kins's bequest in aid of a college, he embraced the oppor­tunity to express his desire "that parents will keep such of their sons constantly to learning in the schools whom they intend to train up for public serviceable-ness; and that all their sons may learn, at the least, to write and cast up accounts competently, and may make some entrance into the Latin tongue." As this com­munication was made at the meeting when the ordei was passed requiring that boys should be taught to write, it would seem that the freemen were moved by Mr. Davenport's communication to pass the order, but did not think it expedient to require arithmetic and Latin.

It was designed .from the beginning, that "a small college should be settled in New Haven." x In laying

1 While they looked forward to the establishment of a college at home, the people of New Haven in 1644 appointed collectors to " receive of every one in this plantation whose heart is willing thereunto, a peck of wheat or the value of it," for " the relief of poor scholars at the college at Cam­bridge." The amount of this contribution may be learned from the fol­lowing record in 1645. " Mr. Atwater, the present treasurer, informed the court that he had sent from Connecticut forty bushels of wheat for the college, by Goodman Codman, for the last year's gift of New Haven, although he had not received so much." This contribution of college corn became an annual institation, though sometimes there was less enthusiasm than at first. In 1647 "the governor propounded that the college corn might be forthwith paid, considering that the work is a service to Christ to bring up young plants for his service, and besides it will be a re­proach that it shall be said New Haven is fallen off from this service." A few weeks later "it was desired that as men had formerly engaged themselves to contribute a portion of corn to the college, that they would not now be slack in carrying it to the collectors, but that within seven or eight days at farthest those that are behind would pay, for it is a service to Christ, and may yield precious fruit to the colonies hereafter, being that

272 . out their town the freemen reserved the tract called "Oyster-shell Field" "for the use and benefit of a college," and in March, 1648, directed a committee, empowered to dispose of vacant lots " to consider and reserve what lot they shall see meet and most commo­ dious for a college, which they desire may be set up as soon as their, ability will reach thereunto." The subject had been brought before the General'Court for the jurisdiction, at least as early as 1652 ; for the town of Guilford voted in June of that year: -" That the matter about a college at New Haven is thoug/ht to be too great a charge for us of this jurisdiction to undergo alone, especially considering the unsettled state of New Haven town, being publicly declared from the delib­ erate judgment of the most understanding men to be a place of no comfortable subsistence for the present inhabitants there; but if Connecticut do join, the planters are generally willing to bear their just propor­ tions for erecting and maintaining a college there. However, they desire thanks to Mr. Goodyear for his proffer to the settihg forward of such a work." The records of the jurisdiction for that year having been lost, we are indebted to an allusion to this offer twelve years afterward by Mr. Davenport in some remarks in a town meeting, for the knowledge that the offer of Mr. Goodyear alluded to by the Guilford people was an offer to give his house and home-lot for the use of the college.

Notwithstanding the damper which Guilford put upon

the commissioners have taken order that none should have the benefit of it but those that shall remain in the country for the service of the same."


the attempt to set up a college, the people of New Haven continued to hope, and about two years after­ward again agitated the subject. At a general court May 22, 1654, "the town was informed that there is some motion again on foot concerning the setting up of a college here at New Haven, which, if attained, will in all likelihood prove very beneficial to this place; but now it is only propounded to know the town's mind, and whether they are willing to further the work by bearing a meet proportion of charge, if the jurisdiction, upon the proposal thereof, shall see cause to carry it on. No man objected, but all seemed will­ing, provided that the pay which we can raise here, will do it." The next year, at a general court May 21, 1655, the subject was "revived; and in some respects this seems to be a season, some disturbance being at present at the college in the Bay,1 and it is now in-

1 The disturbance at Harvard College alluded to was occasioned by the outburst of President Dunster's long pent-up conviction that infant baptism was unscriptural. Probably some of the leading men at New Haven were aware, when in the preceding year they made a motion for setting up a college, that a storm was brewing at Cambridge; for about three weeks previously the General Court of Massachusetts had commended to the " pious consideration and special care of the officers of the college and the selectmen of the several towns, not to permit or suffer any such to be continued in the office or place of teaching, edu­cating, or instructing of youth or child in the college or schools, that have manifested themselves unsound in the faith or scandalous in their lives, and not giving due satisfaction according to the rales of Christ; forasmuch as it greatly concerns the welfare of the country that the youth thereof be educated not only in good literature, but sound doctrine." Mr. Dav­enport and Mr. Hooke knew what this meant as well as President Dunster himself, who resigned in the following month. When it was publicly mentioned in town meeting at New Haven that there had been some dis­turbance in the college at the Bay, the college had been eleven months without a president


tended to be propounded to the General Court: there­fore this town may declare what they will do by way of encouragement for the same; and it would be well if they herein give a good example to the other towns in the jurisdiction, being free in so good a work." Mr. Davenport and Mr. Hooke were both present upon this occasion, and " spake much to encourage the work;" and a committee was appointed " to go to the several plant­ers in this town, and take from them what they will freely give to this work." On the 3Oth of the same month, at a general court for the jurisdiction: -

" The governor remembered the court of some purposes which have formerly been to set up a college at New Haven; and in­formed them that now again the motion is renewed, and, that the deputies might be prepared to speak to it, letters were sent to the plantations to inform them that it would now be propounded. He acquainted them also that New Haven has in a free way of con­tribution raised above three hundred pounds to, encourage the work, and now desired to know what the other towns will do. The magistrate and deputies from Milford declared, that, if the work might comfortably be carried on, their town would give one hun­dred pounds ; but those from the other towns seemed not prepared, as not having taken a right course, and therefore desired further time to speak with their towns again, and take the same course New Haven hath done, and they will then return answer: and for a committee to receive these accounts, and upon receipt of them to consider whether it be meet to carry on the work, and how; and whatever considerations and conclusions may be meet for the fur­therance of it; they agree that each town choose some whom they will entrust therein, and send them to New Haven upon Tuesday come fortnight, which will be the igth of June, to meet in the after­noon, by whom also they promise to send the account, what their several towns will raise for the work; the major part of which com­mittee meeting, and the major part of them agreeing, shall conclude what shall be done in this business."


The time was not ripe, however, for setting up a college; and these endeavors produced no substantial fruit except a bequest in aid of the intended college, which Mr. Hopkins made at the solicitation of Mr. Davenport. In May, 1659, however, Mr. Hopkins being now deceased, the General Court of the jurisdiction took action for establishing a grammar school for the colony, being probably stimulated thereto by the desire to secure Mr. Hopkins's bequest for such an institution of learning as it was possible for them to establish, since they could not compass a college. The order of the Court reads as follows; viz.: -

"The Court looking upon it as their great duty to establish some course (that, through the blessing of God), learning may be promoted in the jurisdiction as a means for the fitting of instru­ments for public service in church and commonwealth, did order that £40 a year shall be paid by the treasurer for the furtherance of a grammar school for the use of the inhabitants of the juris­diction, and that £8 more shall be disbursed by him for the pro­curing of books of Mr. Blinman,1 such as shall be approved by Mr. Davenport and Mr. Pierson* as suitable for this work. The appointing of the place where this school shall be settled, the per- ' son or persons to be employed, the time of beginning, &c., is referred to the governor, deputy-governor, the magistrates, and ministers settled in the jurisdiction, or so many of them as upon due notice shall meet to consider of this matter. The deputy-governor, with the deputies of Guilford, did propound Mr. Whit-

1 Rev. Richard Blinman, " after he had labored about ten years in the ministry at New London, removed to New Haven in 1658. After a short stay in that town, he took shipping, and returned to England."-Trum-htll, vol. i., chap. 13. The New Haven town records show that he assisted Mr. Davenport in the work of the ministry after Mr. Hooke left and be­fore Mr. Street came.

* Rev. Abraham Pierson of Branford.


field!s house * freely for the furtherance of this work, who did also declare that they judged it reasonable that if the said school should be settled in any other place by those who are appointed to deter­mine this question, that the like allowance should be made by that plantation where it falls, answerable to what by Guilford is now propounded."

More than a year, however, elapsed after this order was passed before the colony school went into operation. Meantime Mr. Davenport, having agreed with the other surviving trustees of Mr. Hopkins what part of his bequest should inure to the benefit of New Haven, transferred to the court of magistrates his rights as a trustee to receive and manage this part of the be­quest : -

" At a court of magistrates held at New Haven, May 28, 1660, Mr. John Davenport, pastor to the church of Christ at New Haven, delivered into the hands of the court, to be kept for the use of the magistrates and elders of this colony, as is specified in his writing to them, certain writings concerning a trust committed to himself with some others, for the disposal of an estate given by the wor­shipful Edward Hopkins, Esquire, deceased, for the furtherance of learning in these parts, with resignation of his power and inter­est therein, so far as he might with preserving in himself the power committed to him for the discharge of his trust (which is more fully and particularly expressed in the records of the General Court), which was thankfully accepted."

A few days afterward, a general court for the juris-

1 The house thus offered by Gov. Leete and the Guilford deputies is still standing near the railway-station in Guilford. Its appearance and its internal arrangements have been somewhat changed, however, by altera­tions made in 1868. Mr. Ralph D. Smith's description of it, as it was in 1859, may be found in this volume, in the chapter on domestic and social life, and in Palfrey's History of New England.


diction was held at New Haven, the record of which contains the following document: -


" On the fourth day of the fourth month, 1660, John Davenport, pastor to the church of Christ at New Haven, presented to the Honored General Court at New Haven as followeth: -


" 1. That sundry years past it was concluded by the said General Court that a small college, such as the day of small things will permit, should be settled in New Haven, for the education of youth in good literature, to fit them for public services in church and commonwealth, as it will appear in the public records.

" 2. Hereupon the said John Davenport wrote unto our honored friend, Edward Hopkins, Esq., then living in London, the result of those consultations; in answer whereunto the said Edward Hop- kins wrote unto the said John Davenport a letter, dated the thirtieth of the second month, called April, 1656, beginning with these words: ' Most dear sir, the long-continued respects I have re­ ceived from you, but especially the speakings of the Lord to my heart by you, have put me under deep obligation to love and a return of thanks beyond what I ever have or can express,' &c. Then after other passages (which, being secrets, hinder me from showing his letter), he added a declaration of his purpose in ref­ erence to the college about which I wrote unto him: ' That which the Lord hath given me in those parts, I ever designed the great­ est part of it for the furtherance of the work of Christ in those ends of the earth; and, if I understand that a college is begun and like to be carried on at New Haven for the good of posterity, I shall give some encouragement thereunto.' These are the very words of his letter, but

, " 3. Before Mr. Hopkins could return an answer to my next letter, it pleased God to finish his days in this world. Therefore, by his last will and testament (as the copy thereof transcribed and attested by Mr. Thomas Yale doth show), he committed the whole trust of disposing of his estate in these countries,-after some personal legacies were paid out,-unto the public uses mentioned,


and bequeathed it to our late honored governor, Theophilus Eaton, Esq., his father-in-law, and to the aforesaid John Davenport, and joined with them in the same trust Capt. John Cullick and Mr. William Goodwin.

"4. It having pleased the Most High to afflict this colony greatly by taking from it to himself our former ever-honored gov­ernor, Mr. Eaton, the surviving trustees and legatees met together to consider what course they should take for the discharge of their trust, and agreed that each of them should have an inventory of the aforesaid testator's estate in New England, in houses and goods and lands (which were prized by some in Hartford intrusted by Capt. Cullick and Mr. Goodwin), and in debts, for the gather-ing-in whereof some attorneys were constituted, empowered, and employed, by the three surviving trustees, as the writing in the magistrates' hands will show.

"5. Afterward at another meeting of the said trustees, they considering that by the will of the dead they are joined together in one common trust, agreed to act with mutual consent in per­formance thereof, and considering that by the will of the testator two of New Haven were joined with two of Hartford, and that Mr. Hopkins had declared his purpose to further the college intended at New Haven, they agreed that one-half of that estate which should be gathered in, should be paid unto Mr. Davenport for New Haven; the other half to Capt. Cullick and Mr. Goodwin, to be improved for the uses and ends forenoted, where they should have power to perform their trust; which, because they could not expect to have at Hartford, they concluded would be best done by them in that new plantation unto which sundry of Hartford were to remove and were now gone$ yet they agreed that out of the whole, an £100 should be given to the college at Cambridge in the Bay, the estate being £1,000, as Capt. Cullick believed it would be, which we now see cause to doubt, by reason of the sequestra­tions laid upon that estate and still continued by the General Court at Hartford, whereupon some refuse to pay their debts, and others forsake the purchases they had made, to their great hinderance of performing the will of the deceased according to the trust com­mitted to them, and to the endamagement of the estate.

" 6. The said John Davenport acquainted the other two trustees


with his purpose to interest the honored magistrates and elders of this colony in the disposal of that part of the estate that was, by their agreement, to be paid thereunto, for promoting the college-work in a gradual way, for the education of youth in good litera­ture, so far as he might with preserving in himself the power com­mitted to him for the discharge of his trust. They consented thereunto. Accordingly on the election day, it being the thirtieth day of the third month, he delivered up into the hands of the honored governor and magistrates, the writings that concern this business (viz., the copy of Mr. Hopkins's last will and testament, and the inventory of his estate in New England, and the appraise­ment of his goods, and the writings signed by the surviving trustees for their attorneys, and some letters between the other trustees and himself), adding also his desire of some particulars for the well performing of the trust, as followeth: -

"I. He desireth of New Haven Town, First, That the_rent of the oyster-shell field, formerly separated and reserved for the use and benefit of a college, be paid from this time forward toward the making of some stock for disbursement of necessary charges towards the college till it be set up, and afterward to continue for a yearly rent as belonging to it, under the name and title of college land.

" Secondly, That if no place can be found more convenient, Mrs. Eldred's lot be given for the use of the college and of the colony grammar school, if it be in this town, else only for the college.

" Thirdly, That parents will keep such of their sons constantly to learning in the schools whom they intend to train up for public serviceableness, and that all their sons may learn, at the least, to write and cast up accounts competently, and may make some entrance into the Latin tongue. " Fourthly, That if the colony settle Lb40 per annum for a com­mon school, and shall add an ^100 to be paid toward the building or buying of a school-house and library in this town, seeing thereby this town will be freed from the charges which they have been at hitherto to maintain a town school, they would consider what part of their former salary may be still continued for future supplies toward a stock for necessary expenses about the college or school.

"II. He humbly desireth the honored General Court of the


colony of New Haven, First, That the £40 per annum formerly agreed upon to be paid by the several plantations for a common grammar school be now settled in one of the plantations, which they shall judge fittest, and that a school-master may forthwith be provided to teach the three languages, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, so far as shall be necessary to prepare them for the college, and that, if it can be accomplished, that such a school-master be settled by the end of this summer or the beginning of winter, the payments from the several plantations may begin from this time.

" Secondly, That, if the common school be settled in this town, the honored governor, magistrates, elders, and deputies would solemnly and together visit the grammar school, once every year at the court for elections, to examine the scholars' proficiency in learning.

" Thirdly, That for the payments to be made by the plantations for the school, or out of Mr. Hopkins's estate toward the college, one be chosen by themselves, under the name and title of steward or receiver for the school and college, to whom such payments may be made, with full pbwer given him by the court to demand what is due and to prosecute in case of neglect, and to give acquittances in case of due payments received, and to give his account yearly to the court, and to dispose of what he receiveth in such provisions as cannot be well kept, in the best way for the aforesaid uses, according to advice.

"Fourthly, That unto that end a committee of church-members be chosen, to meet together and consult and advise in emergent, difficult cases, that may concern the school or college, and which cannot be well delayed till the meeting of the General Court, the governor being always the chief of that committee.

" Fifthly, The said John Davenport desireth that while it may please God to continue his life and abode in this place (to the end that he may the better perform his trust in reference to the col­lege), he be always consulted in difficult cases, and have the power of a negative vote, to hinder any thing frtrni being acted which he shall prove by good reason to be prejutacial to the true intend-ment of the testator, and to the true end this work.

" Sixthly, That certain orders be speedily made for the school, and, when the college shall proceed, for it also, that the education


of youth may be carried on suitably to Christ's ends, by the coun­sel of the teaching elders in this colony; and that what they shall conclude with consent, being approved by the honored magistrates, be ratified by the General Court.

" Seventhly, Because it is requisite that the writings which con­cern Mr. Hopkins's estate be safely kept, in order thereunto the said John Davenport desireth that a convenient chest be made, with two locks and two keys, and be placed in the house of the governor or of the steward, in some safe room, till a more public place (as a library or the like) may be prepared, and that one key be in the hand of the governor, the other in the steward's hand; that in this chest all the writings now delivered by him to the magistrates may be kept, and all other bills, bonds, acquittances, orders, or whatsoever writings that may concern this business, be put and kept there; and that some place may be agreed on where the steward or receiver may lay up such provisions as may be paid in, till they may be disposed of for the good of the school or college.

"Eighthly, Because our sight is narrow and weak in viewing and discerning the co'mpass of things that are before us, much more in foreseeing future contingencies, he further craveth liberty for himself and other elders of this colony to propound to the honored governor and magistrates what hereafter may be found to be con-ducible to the well carrying on of this trust according to the ends proposed, and that such proposals may be added Unto these, under the name and title of useful additional and confirmed by the General Court. "Lastly, He hopeth he shall not need to add what he expressed by word of mouth, that the honored General Court will not suffer this gift to be lost from the colony, but, as it becometh Fathers of the Commonwealth, will use all good endeavors to get it into their hands, and to assert their right in it for the common good, that posterity may reap the good fruit of their labors and wisdom and faithfulness, and that Jesus Christ may have the service and honor of such provision made for his people, in whom I rest.

"To these motions I desire that the answer of the Court, together with this writing, may be kept among the records for the school and college.

john davenport."


To this communication the General Court responded as follows: -

" The Court being deeply sensible of the small progress or pro­ficiency in learning that hath yet been accomplished in the way of more particular town schools of later years in this colony, and of the great difficulty and charge to make pay, &c., for the maintain­ing children at the schools or college in the Bay, and that notwith­standing what this Court did order last year or formerly, nothing hath yet been done to attain the ends desired, upon which consid­erations and other like, this Court for further encouragement of this work doth now order that, over and above the Lb40 per an­num, granted the 'last year for the end then declared, Lb100 stock shall be duly paid in from the jurisdiction treasury, according to the manner and times agreed and expressed in the court records, giving and granting that special respect to our brethren at New Haven, to be first in embracing or refusing the court's encourage­ment or provision for a school, whether to be settled at New Haven town or not; but if they shall refuse, Milford is to have the next choice, then Guilford, and so in order every other town on the main within the jurisdiction have their liberty to accept or refuse the court's tender; yet it is most desired of all that New Haven would accept the business, as being a place most probable to advantage the well carrying on of the school for the ends sought after and endeavored after thereby; but the college after spoken of is affixed to New Haven, if the Lord shall succeed that under­taking. It is further agreed that all and every plantation who have any mind to accept the propositions about the school, shall prepare and send in their answer unto the committee chosen of all the magistrates and settled elders of this jurisdiction, to order, regu­late, and dispose all matters concerning the school (as the provid­ing instruments and well carrying on of the business) from time to time as they shall judge best, before the 24th of June instant, that so if any plantation do accept, the committee may put forth their endeavors to settle the business; but if all refuse, then it must be suspended until another meeting of this General Court

"And for further encouragement of learning and the good of posterity in that way, Mr. John Davenport, pastor of the Church


of Christ, at New Haven, presented a writing, as before appears, whereby and wherewith he delivered up all his power and interest as a trustee by Mr. Hopkins, for recovering and bestowing of all that legacy given by him for the end of furtherance to the settle­ment of a college at New Haven; he also propounded therewith, what he apprehends hath been granted and set apart by the town of New Haven for the same end, with a request that matters there­abouts might be ordered and carried on according to such proposi­tions as are therein set down. All which the General Court took thankfully, both from the donors and Mr. Davenport, and accepted the trust, and" shall endeavor by God's help to get in the said estate"and improve it to the end it was given for.

"By way of further answer to what was propounded by Mr. Davenport in his writing presented, the Court declared that it was their desire that the colony school may begin at the time pro­pounded, and to that end desire that endeavors may be put forth by the committee of magistrates and settled elders formerly ap­pointed, for the providing a school-master, &c., to whom also they leave it to appoint a steward or receiver, which steward or receiver they empower as is propounded, and to settle a committee from among themselves to issue emergent cases, and to take order that a chest be provided wherein the writings may be laid up that con­cern this business. The Court further declared that they do invest Mr. Davenport with the power o£ a negative vote, for the reason and in the cases according to the terms in his writing specified, and that they shall be ready to confirm such orders as shall be pre­sented, which in the judgment of the Court shall be conducible to the main end intended.

"It is ordered for encouragement of such as shall diligently and constantly, to the satisfaction of the civil authority in each plantation, apply themselves to due use of means for the attain­ment of learning, which may fit them for public service, that they shall be freed from payment of rates with respect to their persons; provided that if any such shall leave off, or not constantly attend those studies, they shall then be liable to pay rates in all respects as other men are.

" It is ordered that if the colony school shall begin any time within the first half year from this court of election, that £40 shall


be paid by the treasurer for this year, and if it shall begin at any time before the election next, that ^20 shall be paid by the treas­urer upon that account.

" To the printed law'concerning the education of children, it is now added, that the sons of all the inhabitants within this jurisdic­tion shall, under the same penalty, be learned to write a legible hand, so soon as they are capable of it."

The next record concerning the colony school which we find, was made by the town of New Haven, and is as follows: -

"1660, June 21 st

"The orders made by the General Court in May last, also a writing of Mr. Davenport by him then delivered in to the General Court concerning a school and college, were both read; after which the governor declared that formerly the Court had taken care that schools of learning might be settled in the several plantations, but finding that means did not attain the end propounded, they have now, as by their order read appears, provided for the settling of a colony school (for teaching of Latin, Greek and Hebrew), in some one of the plantations, which they first tender to New Haven to accept if they shall see cause so to do upon the encouragement they have agreed upon; viz., ;£loo stock for the providing a house for the master to live in and a school-house, and £40 per annum. Sergeant Jeffrey desired that the town [ ] the compass of the business. To which it was answered that it appears by the order read, that the jurisdiction allows £ioo stock and £40 per annum for the salary; but what it comes to more, that town which accepts their tender must make up. After the business had been debated and considered, it was, by the vote of the town, generally declared, that upon the jurisdiction's encouragement, the school shall be settled at New Haven. To which end, Mr. Gilbert, Lieutenant Nash, Sergeant Munson, and John Cooper were appointed a com­mittee to .provide a house for the school-master and a school-house, and therein to use their best discretion whether to buy or build, so as may answer the end, yet with as good husbandry for the town as may be."


At the same court " it was also by the governor pro­pounded concerning Oyster-shell Field, that as it hath been from the first intended (as hath been often said) for the use of a college, that it might now be actually set apart for that use, as Mr. Davenport in his writing hath desired, which was also debated; and the town generally showed their willingness, that if it shall please God in his providence so to order it that a college be settled and set up at New Haven, that then the Oyster-shell Field shall be set apart for that use. But to do it before that was not granted."

From the colony records we extract the following: -

"At a meeting of the committee for the school, June 28th, 1660, there were present the governor,1 the deputy-governor,2 Mr. Treat, Mr. Davenport, Mr. Street. It was agreed that Mr. Peck, now at Guilford, should be school-master, and that it should begin in October next, when his half-year expires there; he is to keep the school, to teach the scholars Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and fit them for the college ; and for the salary, he knows the allowance from the colony is £40 a. year; and for further treaties, they must leave it to New Haven, where the school is; and for further orders concerning the school and well carrying it on, the elders will con­sider of some against the court of magistrates in October next, when things, as there is cause; may be further considered. Mr. Crane and Mr. Pierson came after the business was concluded, and what is above written was read to them, and they fully ap­proved of it; and after that, being read to Mr. Gilbert, he approved of it also."

At a town meeting in New Haven, July 25 of the same year, the governor communicated the action of the committee as above, and "further informed that upon th& eleventh of July, Mr. Peck coming over him-

1 Newman. * Leete.


self, with such of the court and townsmen as could be got together, had a treaty with him, who propounded that unto the £40 per annum allowed by the jurisdic­tion, £10 per year, with a comfortable house for his dwelling, and a school-house, and the benefit of such scholars as are not of the jurisdiction, and such part of the accommodations belonging to the house lately purchased of Mr. Kitchel (at a moderate price), as he shall desire, with some liberty of commonage, all which the town now consented to, and by vote determined to allow to Mr. Peck; which the governor now promised to give him information of."

According to the arrangement thus made, the colony school went into operation in the autumn of 1660. At the General Court held in May of the following year, "there were sundry propositions presented by Mr. Peck, school-master, to this court, as followeth : -

"First, That the master shall be assisted with the power and counsel of any of the honored magistrates or reverend elders, as he finds need, or the case may require. 2. That rectores schola be now appointed and established. 3. What is that the jurisdiction ex­pects from the master ? Whether any thing besides instruction in the languages and oratory? 4. That two indifferent men be ap­pointed to prove and send to the master such scholars as be fitted for his tuition. 5. That two men be appointed to take care of the school, ,to repair and supply necessaries, as the case may require. 6. Whether the master shall have liberty to be at neighbors' meet­ings once every week ? 7. Whether it may not be permitted that the school may begin but at eight of the clock all the winter half-year ? 8. That the master shall have liberty to use any books that do or shall belong to the school. 9. That the master shall have liberty to receive into and instruct in the school, scholars sent from other places out of this jurisdiction, and that he shall receive the benefit of them, over and above what the jurisdiction doth pay


him. 10. That the master may have a settled habitation, not at his own charge, n. That he shall have a week's vacation in the year to improve, as the case may require. 12. That his person and estate shall be rate-free in every plantation of this jurisdiction.

13. That half the year's payment shall be made to, and accounts cleared with, the master, within the compass of every half year.

14. That £40 per annum be paid to the school-master by the juris­diction treasurer, and that £10 per annum be paid to him by New Haven treasurer.

15. That the major part of the foresaid pay­ments shall be made to the school-master in these particulars as followeth; viz., 30 bushels of wheat, 2 barrels of pork, and 2 bar­rels of beef, 40 bushels of Indian corn, 30 bushels of pease, 2 fir­kins of butter, 100 pounds of flax, 30 bushels of oats. Lastly, That the honored Court would be pleased to consider of and settle these things this court time, and to confirm the consequent of them, the want of which things, especially some of them, doth hold the master under discouragement and unsettlement; yet these things being suitably considered and confirmed, if it please the honored Court further to improve him who at present is school-master, al­though unworthy of any such respect, and weak for such a work, yet his real intention is to give up himself to the work of a gram­mar school, as it shall please God to give opportunity and assist­ance.

" The Court, considering of these things, did grant as followeth; viz., to the second, they did desire and appoint Mr. John Daven­port, sen., Mr. Street, and Mr. Pierson, to take that care and trust upon them; to the third, they declared that besides that which he expressed, they expected he would teach them to write so far as was necessary to his work; to the fourth, they declared that they left it to those before mentioned; to the eighth, they .declared that he should have the use of those books, provided a list of them be taken; the ninth they left to the committee for the school; and the rest they granted in general, except the pork and butter, and for that they did order that he should have one barrel of pork and one firkin of butter, provided by the jurisdiction treasurer, though it be with some loss to the jurisdiction, and that he should have wheat for the other barrel of pork. This being done, Mr. Peck seemed to be very well satisfied."


The school thus established continued only about two years, being discontinued partly on account of the paucity of scholars, and partly on account of the expense of litigation with Connecticut concerning her assump­tion of title to the territory of New Haven, which threatened to exhaust the treasury. The vote to dis­continue is thus recorded: -

" At a General Court held at New Haven, for the jurisdiction, Nov. 5, 1662, it was propounded as a thing left to be issued at the next General Court after May last, by the committee for the school, whether they would continue the colony school or lay it down. The business being debated, it came to this conclusion, that, considering the distraction of the time, that the end is not attained for which it was settled no way proportionable to the charges expended, and that the colony is in expectation of una­voidable necessary charges to be expended, did conclude to lay it down, and the charges to cease when this half-year is up at the end of this month."

How far the school came short of attaining the end for which it was established, may be seen in the light of some remarks made by Mr. Davenport in a town meeting held the preceding August. " Mr. Davenport further propounded to the town something about the colony school, and informed them that the committee for the school made it a great objection against the keeping of it up, that this town did not send scholars to it, only five or six; now, therefore, if you would not have that benefit taken away, you should send your chil­dren to it constantly, and not take them off so often; and further said that he was in the school, and it grieved him to see how few scholars were there."

The colony school being discontinued, the town of


New Haven negotiated with George Pardee, one of their own people, to teach the children " English, and to carry them on in Latin so far as he could. The busi­ness was debated, and some expressed themselves to this purpose, that it is scarce known in any place to have a free school for teaching English and writing, but yet showed themselves willing to have something allowed by the public, and the rest by the parents and masters of such that went to school; and in the issue twenty pounds was propounded and put to vote, and by vote concluded to be allowed to George Pardee for this year out of the town treasury, and the rest to be paid by those that sent scholars to the school, as he and they could agree. This, George Pardee agreed to, to make trial of for one year. He was also advised to be care­ful to instruct the youth in point of manners, there being a great fault in that respect, as some expressed."

Our history of schools in the colony of New Haven might here come to a conclusion, for, when the year expired for which Mr. Pardee was engaged, the colony of New Haven had become absorbed into the colony of Connecticut, and thus lost not only its name but its existence as a jurisdiction.

But it will not be deemed improper to add that within two years after the union, the town of New Haven, stimulated by its desire to secure to itself that part of Gov. Hopkins's bequest which was in the power of .Mr. Davenport, established a "grammar or collegiate school," and invited Mr. Samuel Street to be the school­master. The town appropriated .£30 per annum, and the Hopkins estate in the hands of Mr. Davenport yielded by this time £10 more. A few months after-


ward, Mr. Davenport came into the town meeting, and " desired to speak something concerning the school; and first propounded to the town whether they would send their children to the school, to be taught for the fitting them for the service of God in church and com­monwealth. If they would, then he said that the grant of that part of Mr. Hopkins' estate formerly made to this town stands good; but if not, then it is void, because it attains not the end of the donor. Therefore he desired they would express themselves. Upon which Roger Ailing declared his purpose of bringing up one of his sons to learning; also Henry Glover, one of Wil­liam Russel's; John Winston; Mr. Hodson; Thomas Trowbridge; David Atwater; Thomas Mix; and Mr. Augur said that he intended to send for a kinsman from England. Mr. Samuel Street declared that there were eight at present in Latin, and three more would come in in summer, and two more before next winter. Upon which Mr. Davenport seemed to be satisfied, but yet declared that he must always reserve a negative voice, that nothing be done contrary to the true intent of the donor, and that it be improved only for that use; and therefore, while it can be so improved here, it shall be settled here; but if New Haven will neglect their own good herein, he must improve it otherwhere unto that end that may answer the will of the dead."

As this declaration of Mr. Davenport was made in February, 1668, and he removed to Boston some two or three months afterward, having in the previous Septem­ber received a call to the pastorate of the first church there, it may be inferred that the people of New Haven had some reason at that time to apprehend that they


might lose the benefit of the Hopkins bequest. On the 18th of April, however, Mr. Davenport executed a deed of trust, in which he conveyed unto " William Jones, assistant of the colony of Connecticut, the Rev. Mr. Nicholas Street, teacher of the church of Christ at New Haven, Mr. Matthew Gilbert, Mr. John Davenport, jun., and James Bishop, commissioned magistrates, Deacons William Peck and Roger Ailing, and to their successors," his interest in the Hopkins bequest; reserving " full power of a negative voice, while it shall please God to continue my living and abiding in this country or any part of it;" appending the condition that the rent of Oyster-shell Field and of Mrs. Eldred's lot should be to the use of the school; and declaring null and void his former conveyance for the encourage­ment of a " colony school," on the ground that the colony school had been dissolved by the act of the General Court of the colony of New Haven.1

The Hopkins Grammar School thus established, has, with some intermissions which occurred early in its his­tory, afforded to the boys of New Haven from that time to the present day, opportunity " to be taught for the fitting them for the service of God in church and com­monwealth." It opens its doors so indiscriminately to the children of all classes of people, Christian, Jewish, and pagan, that the following action of the town may perhaps awaken the risibles of the reader:

- "At a town meeting in New Haven, Dec. 9, 1728, Voted, That the land lying in the governor's quarter in New Haven called the Oyster-shell Field be put into the hand of the school committee in New Haven commonly known by the name of Hopkins Com­mittee, as they now be or hereafter shall be, according to their

1 See Appendix V.


constitution or custom, by tfeem to be improved for the upholding and. maintaining a grammar school in the first parish in.this town, for the educating of children of Congregational or Presbyterian parents only, and no other use whatsoever forever hereafter; and if it shall hereafter be thought most advantageous to make sale of the lands commonly called the Oyster-shell Field as aforesaid, and the major part of proprietors in this town shall agree thereto, the money thereby produced shall be past into the hands of said com­mittee to be improved as aforesaid, and to no other use whatso­ever."