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this; “ The state of the English school is to be taken into consideration at next meeting, and whether it be proper to continue it on its present footing or not.” This consideration was, however, not taken at the next meeting, at least nothing was concluded so as to be minuted; nor do we find any farther mention of the English school till the 18th of July, when the following minute was entered ; viz. “A special meeting is appointed to be held on Monday next, and notice to be given, that the design of this meeting is to consider whether the English school is to be longer continued.”
This special meeting was accordingly held on the 23d of July, 1769, of which date is the following minute and resolution ; viz. “ The trustees at this meeting, as well as several former ones, having taken into their serious consideration the state of the English school, are unanimously of opinion, that, as the said school is far from defraying the expense at which they now support it, and not thinking that they ought to lay out any great part of the funds intrusted to them on this branch of education, which can so easily be procured at other schools in this city, have resolved, that, from and after the 17th of October next, Mr. Kinnersley's present salary do cease, and that from that time the said school, if he shall be inclined to keep it, shall be on the following footing; viz. that he shall have the free use of the room where he now teaches, and also the whole tuition-money arising from the boys that may be taught by him, and that he continue professor of English and oratory, and, as such, have the house he lives in rent-free, in consideration of his giving two afternoons in the week as heretofore, for the instruction of the students belonging to the college in public speaking, agreeable to such rules as are or shall be made for that purpose by the trustees and faculty. It is further ordered by this regulation, that the boys belonging to his school shall be still considered as part of the youth belonging to the college, and under the same general government of the trustees and faculty; and such of his scholars as may attend the mathematical or any other master having a salary from the college, for any part of their time, shall pay proportionably into the fund of the trustees, to be accounted for by Mr. Kinnersley, and deducted out of the twenty pounds per quarter now paid by the English scholars.” The trustees hope this regulation may be agreeable to Mr. Kinnersley, as it proceeds entirely from the reasons set forth above, and not from any abatement of that esteem which they have always retained for him, during the whole course of his services in college. Upon this and some of the preceding minutes, may be observed; 1. That, the English school having been long neglected, the scholars were so diminished in number as to be far from defraying the expense in supporting it. 2. That, the instruction they received there, instead of a complete English education, which had been promised to the subscribers by the original constitutions, were only such as might easily be procured at other schools in this city. 3. That this unprofitableness of the English school, owing to neglect of duty in the trustees, was now offered as a reason for demolishing it altogether. For it was easy to see, that, after depriving the master of his salary, he could not long afford to continue it. 4. That if the insufficiency of the tuition-money in the English school to pay the expense, and the ease with which the scholars might obtain equal instruction in other schools, were good reasons for depriving the master of his salary and destroying that school, they were equally good for
dismissing the Latin masters, and sending their scholars to other schools; since it is notorious that the tuitionmoney of the Latin school did not pay much above a fourth part of the salaries of the masters. For such reasons the trustees might equally well have got rid of all the scholars and all the masters, and remained in full possession of all the college property, without any future expense. 5. That by their refusing any longer to support, instead of reforming, as they ought to have done, the English school, they shamefully broke through and set at nought the original constitutions, for the due execution of which the faith of the original trustees had been solemnly pledged to the public, and diverted the revenues, proceeding from much of the first subscriptions, to other purposes than those which had been promised. Had the Assembly, when disposed to disfranchise the trustees, set their foot upon this ground, their proceeding to declare the forfeiture would have been more justifiable; and it may be hoped care will now be taken not to give any future Assembly the same handle.
It seems, however, that this unrighteous resolve did not pass the trustees without a qualm in some of them. For at the next meeting a reconsideration was moved, and we find the following minute under the date of August 1st, 1769; “ The minute of last meeting relative to the English school was read, and after mature deliberation and reconsidering the same, it was voted to stand as it is, provided it should not be found any way repugnant to the first charter granted to the Academy, a copy of which was ordered to be procured out of the rolls office.”
One might have thought it natural for the trustees to have consulted this charter before they took the resolution, and not only the first charter, but the
original constitutions; but, as it seems they had lost the instrument containing the charter, and, though it had been printed, not one of them was furnished with a copy to which he might refer, it is no wonder that they had forgot the constitutions made twenty years before, to which they do not seem to have in the least adverted. Probably, however, the trustees found, when they came to examine original papers, that they could not easily get entirely rid of the English school, and so concluded to continue it. For I find in a law for premiums, minuted under the date of Jan. 29th, 1770, that the English and mathematical school is directed to be examined the third Tuesday in July, and a premium book of the value of one dollar was to be given to him that reads best, and understands best the English grammar, &c. This is very well; but to keep up the old partiality in favor of the Latin school, the premium to its boys was to be of the value of two dollars. In the premiums for best speaking, they were indeed put upon an equality. . After reading this law for premiums, I looked forward to the third Tuesday in July with some pleasing expectation of their effect on the examination required for that day. But I met with only this further record of the inattention of the trustees to their new resolutions and even laws, when they contained any thing favorable to the English school. The minute is only this; “July, August, September, October, no business done.” On the 20th of November, however, I find there was an examination of the Latin school, and premiums, with pompous inscriptions, afterwards adjudged to Latin scholars; but I find no mention of any to the English, or that they were even examined. Perhaps there might have been none to examine, or the school discontinued; for it appears by a minute of July 21st, following, that the provost was desired to advertise for a master able to teach English grammatically, which it seems was all the English master was now required to teach, the other branches originally promised being dropt entirely. In October, 1772, Mr. Kinnersley resigned his professorship, when Dr. Peters and others were appointed to consider on what footing the English school shall be put for the future, that a new master may be thought of, and Mr. Willing to take care of the school for the present at fifty pounds per annum. It is observable here that there is no mention of putting it on its original footing, and the salary is shrunk amazingly; but this resignation of Mr. Kinnersley gave occasion to one testimony of the utility of the English professor to the institution, notwithstanding all the partiality, neglect, slights, discouragements, and injustice that school had suffered. We find it in the minutes of a special meeting on the 2d of February, 1773, present Dr. Peters, Mr. Chew, Mr. Lawrence, Mr. Willing, Mr. Trettel, and Mr. Inglis, and expressed in these strong terms. “The college suffers greatly since Mr. Kinnersley left it, for want of a person to teach public speaking, so that the present classes have not those opportunities of learning to declaim and speak which have been of so much use to their predecessors, and have contributed greatly to raise the credit of the institution.” Here is another confession that the Latinists were unequal to the task of teaching English eloquence, though on occasion the contrary is still asserted. I flatter myself, Gentlemen, that it appears by this time pretty clearly from our own minutes, that the original