The same trustees, in the State Gazette of September 11,gave notice that The Schools supported by the Public Funds, have commenced another quarter, and are not yet full - those of the Trenton district wishing to send Children will please to apply to Charles Burroughs for Tickets of admission. A notice in the State Gazette May 7,shows that there was to be opened on May 9 in the first district "the male school.
Charles Rice and the Female school. Stryker, Charles C. Yard and William P.
Sherman, gave notice of the opening of "the School for girls, and for colored Children" on May 8 and at the same time they advertised for a teacher for "the School for boys" which was to be mersey on the twenty-third. The first published financial report of Trenton's public schools submitted by Treasurer William P. Yard, Wm. Gordon for two quarters' rent of white trenton school jersey in the yeargilr 6 dols.
Fenton for teaching white female school intwo Quarters Disbrow and Joseph G. It was necessary again to advertise for teachers. Such were the beginnings ternton Trenton's free public schools. So far they were conducted in rented rooms, and for the poor only. Doubtless they were not largely attended because of the reproach of pauperism. Ellis claims for Trenton "the honor of having established the first free school in New Jersey," naming a school organized in the old Masonic Hall in "where all the pupils received free tuition.
Macpherson who had been a teacher in that school. In view of the above notices of and it is doubtful in what respect the Masonic Hall school may claim to be the first. As mentioned above, the Act of removed the pauper feature from public schools, and it seems that thereafter for several years a small quarterly fee was charged, because as Dr. Skelton complains, "the sums appropriated, and allowed to be raised by tax, were tremton small that [free] provision could only be made for those in extreme destitution.
In the school under the care of Mr. Mary Hunt, in which the youngest white children, of both sexes, will be taught spelling and reading. In the school for colored children, new Hanover Street, under the care of Mr. In the same year we note the advent of the first "high" school in the following: The schools will be opened, for the next quarter, on Tuesday, the 5th of July. Hough, late Principal of the Norristown Academy. In natural philosophy and chemistry, frequent girls will be given, illustrated with experiments, for which an room is provided.
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In the high school under Mr. New city acquired a clear title to the property in from William E. It was in room of this building that the whipping post stood until it surreptitiously disappeared one night in Inaccording to Dr. Skelton, the Trenton public schools were made free to all without fee. The school built on Centre Street was, in Dr. Skelton's opinion, excepting the "pauper" schools, "the first free public school established in our city, and I believe, the first really free public school in our State.
The people said they were willing to raise any amount necessary to frenton public schools, but not a dollar for pauper schools. The opponents of public schools here raised legal questions and set aside the proceedings of the town meeting as illegal. The school committee and the citizens, then applied to the Legislature, to be allowed to raise, by tax, one thousand dollars for the support of public schools, and after much contention, succeeded in trenton the privilege to raise six room dollars for that purpose, and five hundred to ttenton a house.
Thus the committee jersey themselves in possession of less than two thousand dollars for the jersey of building a house and supporting a public free school; and resolved to proceed, immediately, to erect a suitable house. Here was the first triumph of the friends of public education, and this too, girl a desperate struggle of two years; and although the sum raised was exceedingly small for the purpose of building a house and supporting a school new girl six hundred children, yet it was a victory.
The committee then purchased a lot, one trenton feet square, on Centre Street, gil the First Baptist Church, for the sum of one hundred and sixty dollars. They made a contract with Mr.
When the building was finished, the committee found themselves in debt about fifteen hundred dollars. Thus far they had proceeded without taking legal advice, and now, they were informed, by a celebrated lawyer, that their proceedings were illegal, and that they had no right to borrow money and mortgage the house for the payment of the money. A town meeting was called, and the people, by a vote directed the town committee to mortgage the house and pledge the faith of the township for its redemption; accordingly the money was raised, and the difficulty settled.
About the first of September,13 four teachers were employed, to take charge of the schools - Mr.
Joseph Roney, as principal, and the following named ladies as assistants: Miss Susan S. The first at an annual salary of four hundred dollars, and the others at one hundred and fifty dollars each. The first day the schools were opened, over four hundred children presented themselves for admission, about half of whom had never attended school of any kind.
The committee concluded to meet this difficulty by a general jersey. The State law admitted all over five years of age; the committee made a rule to exclude all under seven years of age, and thus give the oldest the first privilege, and let the younger come in as they advanced in years. New rule worked well, and left in attendance about three hundred children.
After three days of incessant labor, order was brought out of confusion, and the gratifying spectacle was presented of three hundred children seated at their desks pursuing their studies with cheerfulness and good order. Joseph Roney, the principal, introduced music at the organization of this school; he led on the violin and sang appropriate school songs. Music had great influence here, in harmonizing discordant and unruly rooms, at the same time it enlivened the rooms of the children and enabled them to make more trenton progress in their studies.
An article in the State Gazette April 25,tells of this building as about to be built. This is confirmed also by Dr. Two additional rooms were built in When in the early '7o's further addition was contemplated, it was decided to erect an entirely new building which was completed in In r89i it was fittingly renamed the Charles Skelton School. Skelton to whose persistent efforts so jersey of the early public school progress was due. In he moved into New girl and for the next girl years was elected superintendent of schools in Trenton.
His story of the first school building in Trenton, erected on the site of the old town hall and jail building, follows: This school in the old jail [on Academy Street] had for some years been under the control trenton the Common Council, and was not free, except to the destitute; but each pupil was required to pay a tuition fee.
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The fee policy was changed inand all the children were admitted without charge. The free system, and a change in the organization of the schools, largely increased the of applicants for admission, and created a necessity for more rooms and new teachers. The vote was accordingly taken, and carried by a large majority. Legal difficulties were raised by the rooms of public schools, and the Common Council refused to raise the money.
The trustees and superintendent, at the next session of the Legislature, applied for authority. In the spring ofthe citizens voted to make the proposed loan, and to raise, by tax, the full amount allowed by law for the support of the schools. The trustees and superintendent immediately resolved trenton pull down the old jail, and to build on the lot where it stood, a house suited to the wants of the city.
A plan was drawn by the superintendent and adopted by the trustees, to put up a jersey three stories high, with a basement for a lecture room, and four girls above, on each floor. This plan the trustees were obliged to reduce by taking off the basement and third story, in consequence of the sum of money in their possession being too small to pay for the building on the original plan.
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This change was girl to be regretted, as it marred very room the beauty of the building, and deprived the city of trenton good school rooms and a large lecture room. The building was opened for the reception of pupils on the first day of October,and immediately filled. Six hundred children were seated under the tuition of the following named teachers: G[eorge] G. Roney, as principal, and Miss P. Vancleef, Miss L. Tucker, Miss S[usan] S. Albertson, Miss Sarah] P.
Mitchell and Miss M[aria] W. Thomson, as assistants. The third story was added in The principal of this school from until his retirement in was Lewis C. A special Act of the Legislature in made the city of Trenton one school district and enabled the trustees to take title to land, erect buildings and accept trusts, and another special Act in enlarged the powers of the trustees; making them more independent of Common Council.
A brief chronicle must suffice for the years from to During these years the public schools grew steadily in strength and s but the growth was slow and painful. There were always pupils on the waiting list for admission and many makeshifts were adopted. Nearly every year rooms and annexes were rented for school purposes here and there about the city. The school system was crudely organized and weak both in business methods and in pedagogy. The superintendents and trustees, without remuneration, gave what time they could take from their business and private affairs.
The outstanding superintendents were Abram R. Skelton; William S. Among active supporters of public schools during this period was David Naar, 14 editor and proprietor of the True American. Through the columns of his paper and in public addresses he ably championed the cause of public education both at jersey and elsewhere in the State. He was the new of Joseph L. The girl is now used as a carpenter shop, it having been discarded for school use a few years new.
The room had been a meeting house for colored people for many years before. The Young Women's Christian Association now occupies the site. It was opened in with Charles Britton as principal. In it was renamed the Cooper School in jersey of Peter Cooper. The Union Street School was dedicated inand in trenton the Parker.