Early History of St. Johns Schools
Rise of the
St. Johns County School System
Part 5
Private Schools After the Civil War
May 18, 1867
Select School
Encouraged by solicitation for several citizens, I will establish a School on St. George Street, near the house of Wm.
Rayes to be opened on the 18th of May. All the branches of a thorough English education will be taught, and it will be
my aim by strict attention and discipline to lead he pupils to a fast advancement in their studies.

Fees for tuition will be for beginners, $4 per quarter, for advanced pupils, $6 per quarter; for Latin and Spanish lessons,
$2 per quarter will be added to the above, half of the fees to be paid at the beginning and the other half at the end of
each quarter.

A subscription list is opened at the store of George Greeno and R. V. Balsann

George Ginople  St. Augustine , May 11, 1867

St Mary's Academy
Those of our citizens who did not attend the exhibition of the School Sisters of Mercy can have no idea of what they lost.
Nothing can be pleasanter to any one who has anything of the human about him, than to see children innocent and
cheerful enjoying the festivities of the breaking up of a school. The speeches and dialogues recited. The songs sung
and the pieces of music excellent played, showed to the minds of the most prejudiced that they Sisters have done all
that any could do to train the minds of those entrusted to their charge in a way that besides making them graceful and
accomplished also makes them intellectual. The joy of the children and the anxious looks of the parents as each child
stepped forward to take its part strongly contrasted and showed to a stranger that S. Augustine society was bound by
the strongest ties, namely domestic happiness.

There was but one thing to mar the pleasant occasion and that was the absence of our former beloved Father Aubriel,
who would have so much delighted in the joyous scene.

St. Augustine, May 1st, 1867
We take pleasure in inserting the advertisement of Dr. and Mrs. Myers of their school for young ladies. Dr. Myers was
formerly pastor of the Presbyterian church in this city. Soon after the commencement of hostilities he removed to
Monticello. His kindness, while there to many of those who were compelled to leave this place, after its occupation by the
Federal forces will always be remembered with gratitude.    Sept 29, 1866

St Mary's Academy, St Augustine FLA
This Institution under the charge of the Sisters of Mercy, will be re-opened for the admission of Pupils on Monday 9th of

The course of Instruction embraces Reading, Writing, Grammar, Orthography, Arithmetic, Geography, History, Rhetoric,
Natural Philosophy, Algebra, Geometry, Chemistry and Astronomy; French, German and Spanish languages; Music
vocal and instrumental; Drawing, Plain and ornamental needle work.

Terms per Academic year
Board and Tuition (including bed and bedding) payable half yearly in advance $200.00
pocket money $6.00
clothing, books, postage material and implements used in the different branches of education are charges which
depend upon circumstances and the direction of parents and guardians.

Extra charges per academic year payable in advance

French Spanish and German each $30.00
Drawing $30.00
Piano and use of Instrument $60.00

Vocal Music 480?0

Plain and ornamental needle work will be taught to the pupils boarding at the Academy free of charge. Pupils entering
after the commencement of session will be charged only such portion of it as may remain. No deduction, however, can
be made for partial absence, or the withdrawal of a pupil before the expiration of a session, unless in case of severe
illness or dismissal.

The Academic year will close by an Examination and Distribution of Premiums at which Parents and Guardians are
requested to be present.

All letters received and sent are subject to the inspection of the Superior.

Letters of inquiry must be directed to the Superior of St. Mary's Academy, St Augustine FLa
St. Augustine, August 17, 1867.     

Dr. Simon
Several young ladies of St. Augustine, who are now under Dr. Simons' tuition, desire to recommend his school. Dr.
Simons method of instruction is simple, easy and attractive, and no one, who desire to learn, can fail to progress. The
Doctor is indefatigable in his exercions; and his full and lucid explanations render the most difficult studies comparatively
easy; while his kind and agreeable manner makes it a pleasure to receive his instruction.
St. Augustine Examiner June 19, 1869.
School Notice.
The exercises of Dr. Simons' School will be continued, as follows:

Morning School - for Male Scholars exclusively - from 8 am to 1 pm
Afternoon School - for Young Ladies exclusively - from 3 pm to 5 p. m.

At the school room of the Pros. Episcopal Church.

Dr. Simons' Continued
Dr. Simons' night School will positively re-open, on next Monday night, at 8 o'lock. All who have joined and wish to join,
are requested to come forward at once and enter their names. Terms - $2 per month - payable positively in advance
Oct 9, 1869

Public School Law
At the adoption of the constitution of 1868, and the enactment of the school law compiled by State Superintendent C.
Thurston Chase, by the Legislature in 1869 comprised the effective legislation contemplating the establishment of a
uniform system of public schools supported by taxation.

1869 School Law and growth of state law through century
Constitution of 1868
Section 1 It is the paramount duty of the State to make ample provisions for the education of all the children residing
within its borders, without distinction or preference.

Section 2. The legislature shall provide a uniform system of common schools and a university, and shall provide for the
liberal maintenance of the same. Instruction in them shall be free.

Section 3. There shall be a superintendent of public instruction whose term of office shall be four years, and until the
appointment and qualification of his successor. He shall have general supervision of the educational interests of the
State. His duties shall be prescribed by law.

Section 4 The common-school fund, the interest of which shall be exclusively applied to the support and maintenance of
common schools and purchase of suitable libraries and apparatus therefor, shall be derived from the following sources:

The proceeds of all lands that have been or may hereafter be granted to the State by the United States for
educational purposes; appropriation by the State; the proceeds of lands or other property which may accrue to the
State by escheat or forfeiture; the proceeds of all property granted to the State when the purpose of such grant shall
not be specified; all moneys which may be paid as an exemption from military duty; all fines collected under the penal
laws of this State; such portion of the per capita tax as may be prescribed by law for educational purposes; twenty-five
per centum o the sales of public lands which are now or hereafter may be owned by the State.

Section 5 A special tax o not less than one mill on the dollar of all taxable property of the State, in addition to the other
means provided, shall be levied and apportioned annually for the support and maintenance of common schools.

Section 6. The principal of the common-school fund shall remain sacred and inviolate.

Section 7. Provision shall be made by law for the distribution of the common-school fund among the several counties of
the State in proportion to the number of children residing therein between the ages of four and twenty-one years.

Section 8. Each county shall be required to raise annually by tax for the support of common schools therein, a sum not
less than one-half the amount apportioned to each county for that year from the income of the common-school fund.
Any school district neglecting to establish and maintain for at least three months in each year such school or schools as
may be provided by law for such district shall forfeit its portion of the common-school fund during such neglect.

Section 9. The superintendent of public instruction, secretary of state, and attorney general shall constitute a body-
corporate, to be known as the board of education of Florida. The superintendent of public instruction shall be president
thereof. The duties of the board of education shall be prescribed by the legislature.

School Law of 1869 3
general and uniform system of public instruction throughout the State, wherein tuition was to be free to all the youth
residing in the State between the ages of six and twenty-one years.

County Boards of Public Instruction - not more than 5 members all whom were appointed by the state board of education
after being nominated by the superintendent of public instruction and recommended by the representatives of the
county. The county superintendent of schools was by virtue of his office, its secretary and agent. The chairman and
other officers were chosen by the board itself.

1 assume and hold title to all property of the county, and to have the oversight, management, and disposition of the
same, keeping in mind the best educational interests
2 to receive, hold and manage the common-school funds of the county, with due regard to their just distribution and use
3 to locate and maintain schools, as needed within the county, for not less than three months in each year
4 to have oversight of the construction, rental, repair, and improvement of the schoolhouses, feces, grounds, and
5 to procure the textbooks and proper apparatus for the schools, and the books and stationery needed by the teachers
6 to grade and classify the pupils
7 to examine, certificate, employ, and pay the teachers
8 to fix the compensation and expenses of the county superintendent of schools
9 to choose candidate for admission to the state university or seminaries
10 to determine the amount of money to be raised by taxation for educational purposes within the county
11 to keep an accurate record of all their official acts, proceedings, and decisions of all financial matters relating to the
schools of the county, of the state and condition of each school, and to report to the superintendent of public instruction
when so required
12 to do whatever was reasonable and necessary for the educational welfare of the county.

County Superintendents of Schools
1 2 year term
2 to ascertain the places where schools were needed
3 to present plans and estimates for the construction and improvement of school buildings
4 to visit the schools of the county, carefully observe the condition of the same, and give such helpful suggestions as he
deemed proper
5 to arouse a greater interest in education throughout the county
6 to select, for appointment by the county board of education, the local school trustees, and, when elected, to see that
they attended to their duties and were kept supplied with copies of the laws decisions, blanks, and regulations of the
state department of education
7 to decide on appeal to him, all disputes and controversies arising within the county, or refer them to the county
board for decision
8 to see that the educational affairs of the county were properly guarded, and that its rights to in relation to education
were secured
9 to establish and maintain schools within the county
10 to examine and certificate teachers when empowered to do so by the county board, and to revoke or suspend the
same when sufficient cause was given;
11 to perform all the acts of the county board of ed when that body failed or neglected to attend to its duties;
12 to suspend any certificate when there was a good reason for doing so
13 to keep a record of each school in the county and of the expenditure therefor.

Local School Trustees
1 to attend to the construction and rental of school buildings
2 to look after the school property and make or oversee the making of repairs and improvements
3 to see that the schools were properly supplied with suitable textbooks and teaching supplies
4 to examine each school once a month and see that it was conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations of
the state department of public instruction
5 to assist the teachers, when necessary, in matters of attendance and discipline
6 to try to awaken among the people an increased interest in education
7 to suggest changes and improvements to the county superintendent of schools
8 to keep a complete and reliable record of all their official acts and proceedings and the length of time actually taught
by each teacher
9 to certify the accounts of teachers and other persons to the county board of education
10 to make a report to the county superintendent of schools every 3 months, or oftener when required, on all matters
committed to their charge.

1. to work faithfully and industriously for the growth of the pupils in subject-matter;
2. to labor earnestly to raise the moral tone of the pupils
3 to lead the pupils, both by precept and by example to an acquaintance with, and the practice of, the different virtues
4 to require them to observe such virtues as personal cleanliness, neatness, orderliness, promptness, and courtesy,
and to avoid such vices as vulgarity and profanity
5 to cultivate in them a consideration for the rights and  feelings of others and the realization of their own duties and
responsibilities as citizens;
6 to see that the property of the school was not injured in any way
7 to enforce the rules and regulations of the school in regard to the conduct of the pupils;
8 to suspend those who persistently violated the rules and regulations
9 to hold a public examination once each term, that is, once a month
10 and on closing or suspending the school, to turn over to the trustees of the school the keys and all the property and
at all times to conform to the rules and regulations of the department of public instruction.

A State Board of Education was first established in Florida by the school law of 1869. It was an Ex-Officio Board,
consisting of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General.

First meeting of the board on February 11, 1871.

Constitution of 1868 Superintendents of public instruction in each county were appointed by the Governor till
constitutional revision of 1885.
        creation of a permanent state school-fund
        the provision for an annual state school-tax of one mill on the dollar of all taxable property
        the requirement that each county should raise for the support of schools not less that half the amount
apportioned to it from the state school-fund
        the appointment by the governor of a state superintendent of public instruction
        the provision for a state board of education, consisting of the superintendent secretary of state, and attorney
        the appointment, by the governor and the state board of education respectively of a superintendent and board
of public instruction for each of the counties
        the appointment by the different county boards of  not more than five trustees for each school district
        the examination of teachers by the county boards of public instruction
        the certification of them by the county boards and the state superintend,
        the appointment of the same by the county boards on the approval of the local trustees
        the requirement that negro children should be given educational advantages equal to those of the white
        every county should maintain a school or schools for not less than three months in each year in order to receive
its part of the state revenue for the support of free public schools.

from 1884 to 1892 additions to the system
        election of the state and county superintendents of public instruction by the qualified voters.
         Reduction in number of members in the county boards of education from five to three

Peabody Fund
In the decade following the Civil War, Southern school systems received vital financial assistance from a fund
established in 1867 by the Northern philanthropist George Peabody. The fund, as administered by the well-known
educator and former college president Barnas Sears, was eventually distributed on a segregated basis, with no monies  
going to integrated schools.

Peabody was a banker and financier who had been born in Danvers, Massachusetts, in 1795 but made his fortune in
England as a merchant and money broker. In 1867 Peabody bequeathed $1 million for public school education in the
South, the investment income to be used and applied "for the promotion and encouragement of intellectual, moral or
industrial education among the more destitute portions of the South and South Western States of our Union."  He
declared that this fund should benefit the entire population "without other distinction than their needs and the
opportunities of usefulness to them."  (died in 1869)

In 1869 he donated another $1 million for the promotion of Southern education.

The board to administer the fund included Robert C Winthrop of Massachusetts, Hamilton Fish of New York, General US
Grant, Admiral David G. Farragut William Rives of Virginia, William Aiken of South Carolina, George W Riggs of
Washington DC, Edward A Bradford of Louisiana and George N Eaton of Maryland. Robert Winthrop was selected by
Peabody as chair.

The immediate goal of the fund was the promotion of elementary education for the greatest possible number of
Southern children.

The trustees selected as their general agent Barnas Sears, a man who probably did more to make the Peabody Fund
an influential factor.  Sears was born and raised in rural Massachusetts. He was educated at Brown University, Newton
Theological Seminary and in Germany. He served as a Baptist minister in Hartford, Connecticut, taught at Madison
University, and then became professor of theology at Newton Seminary, of which he later became president. From 1848
to 1855 Sears acted as secretary and executive agent of the Massachusetts Board of Education, succeeding Horace
Man. In 1855 he was called to the presidency of Brown University.

To qualify for aid a school had to meet certain requirements:
it must be a public institution;
it must have a term of approximately ten months;
average minimum attendance of 85%.

Local residents were to pay toward current expenses at least twice as much as they received from the fund. The
community had to supply one teacher for each fifty pupils and assign the pupils to grades.

Colored schools received 2/3 the amount of white schools

Barnas Sears died in 1880.  He served as general agent until his death. His successor was L. M. Curry. 7

The St. Augustine Examiner 1869 - Education Articles May 8, 1869
The Trustees of the Free School, haven given the contract for the enlargement and repair of the school house to
Messrs Holt and McDennett. Work will be commenced upon it immediately.
The Public School
Mr. Editor: As several inquiries have been made by our citizens, respecting the proceedings of the Board of Public
Instruction which organized on Saturday night I hand in the following, for general information.

A loan of $800 was effected by the Treasurer; to repair the School House; which will be immediately fitted up. The Board
resolved, to apply to the State for a sum sufficient to enable this School and all others in the County to go into
immediate operation. The colored school is to be continued; and the Peabody School, will be exclusively for the benefit
of the white population. Every arrangement has been made to get the school in operation, in the shortest possible time.
Very Respectfully,

George W. Atwood, Esq., has been appointed County Clerk and Clerk of the Circuit Court, for this County, vice D R
Dunham, deceased.

Mr. Atwood has capacities fully equal and more to the duties of the office and those having business with it will find him
courteous and obliging.
St. Augustine Examiner July 24, 1869

August 14th 1869 Debility in Children - Mischiefs of Overtaxing Children in School - Disease and Death.
At the recent meeting of the Wisconsin State Medical Society a paper was read by Dr. Waterhouse, of Portage City, on
the subject of debility in children, especially with reference to the evils of overtaxing children in our schools, the facts
and suggestions of which were deemed so valuable that a resolution was adopted requesting its general publication by
the press, for which purpose it has been revised by the author. We copy a few passages:

in our common schools of the present day -- everywhere but more especially in cities and the larger villages, where the
best teachers are sought and generally obtained -- every inducement, every incentive that can be devised and brought
to bear to stimulate and encourage study is faithfully and persistently applied.  The consequence is that many of our
brightest and best children of from six to ten years of age are performing more study, more mental labor, than most of
the business men, or more than their teachers. I am aware that many children are sluggish in temperament, and will
bear tand seem to require great urging to get them to learn; yet with many of this class it is their rapid growth that takes
away their energy, sequently, you must fail to get them to learn much until they cease to grow so rapidly; or, if you
succeed in getting study out of them, you induce anemia. What else can you expect.  Goes on for three columns.

Notice At a meeting of the Republican Committee of St. Johns County, held last Saturday Evening, the
following resolutions were passed

Resolved That we recommend as party nominations, to be made, for the coming Charter Election.

Resolved: That we recommend our friends and those who usually set with our party, to support those men, of
whatever party who represent progressive and liberal ideas; whose election will best repress sectional animosities and
local prejudices and thus promote the prosperity and tranquility of our City.  

A Anderson.
Secretary, pro-tem.
Sept 11, 1869

Sept 18 St. Augustine Examiner St. Augustine Debating Society
The subject for debate, on Monday night next is:
"Resolved that the supporting of Public Schools by taxation, is just and expedient"

Affirmative - Dr. Simons  
Negative - Mr. Tanahill

Assistants in the Affirmative Messrs. Allen, Darling and Loring

Assistants in the Negative  Messrs Mackay, Foster and Hernandez.

The debate is expected to be particularly interesting. The public are invited.

Sept 25, 1869  St. Augustine Examiner Common Schools.
We clip the following from the Tallahassee Floridian, of the 14th inst. :ast month the Boardof Public Instruction for Leon
county advrtised for applications from persons wishing to take charge of schools under the sytem established by the
Legislature. Applications have not been made in sufficient numbers or of such character as meet the wishes of the
Board, and the Chairman informs us that they have been compelled, contrary to their inclinations, to send abroad for

There is a misapprehension existing on the part of our people in relation to this School business, which, if removed
we think could alter the state of affairs and be the means of providing a sufficient number of competent persons in the
county to teach all the Schols that The Board may wish to establish. Under the school law as passed by the Legislature
in January last, the Board of Public Instruction for each county is vested with a discretionary power in the manner of
establishing schools, which perhaps is not generally known and which the law-making power did well to insert; for as
these schools are to be supported by Taxes paid by the people, it is but just and proper that their tastes should have
been consulted in establishing them and nothing that would be distasteful and odious to the greater part of them and
contravene public custom, forced upon the community.

By the sixth clause of the nineteenth section, the Board are empowered to provide "separate schools for the different
classes in such manner as will secure he largest attendance of pupils, promote harmony and advancement of the
school, when required by the patrons." It is obvious from this that with a Board composed of men who appreciate the
importance of their position and are disposed to do what is right and proper, conulting the wishes and desires of the
community, mixed schools , which of course are distasteful to the whites and should not be desired by the colored
people, (and we do not believe are, except perhaps by one man and that is the Rev. Mr. Bradwell can be altogether
avoided, except probably in very thinly settled localities and then other arrangement can be made which will answer
every purpose. A school for white children can be established here, and one for the clored here, with distinct teachers
for each and hus the public taste be gratified, harmny promoted, and the advancement of the pupils secured. And we
are pleased to lern that such is the view taken of the matter by the Board of Leon county. The Chairman of the Board,
though a Republican, appreciates the condition of affairs, and assures us that he will use his best endeavors to so
arrange and adjust the county system as will be agreeable to all classes of our people.

In thus writing, we do not wish to be understood as sanctioning the theory of public instruction maintained at the
common expense, or the manner in which the system of free schools has been provided for by the Lgislature. we
express no opinion upon these points, but simply take the thing as we find it, and would have our people make the best
out of it they can. We conceive it to be better and wiser for them instead of standing aloof, to go into the matter and take
charge of these schools, and not drive the Board to the necessity of importing teachers, who may turn out to be utterly
devoid of characterand be the means of stirring up strife and turmoil in our community. We have had enough of this
already. The establishment of free schools is provided for by law; taxes will be levied and collected to support them, and
we say let us derive as much benefit from them as we can.

Oct 23, 1869 St. Augustine Examiner
We liked to have forgotten our schools. For this purpose let us squint a little to the southward of the Plaza. Do you see
that large square stone building, two stories, in the middle of a large lot and which you can hit with a stone from here.
That is the Peabody School House. Do you recognise the old City Hall and Court House with its elegant new fence, its
back addition and its generally improved appearance. Strain your eyes seaward Northeastwardly and yu will see a
vessel almost in sight. That vessel contains a thorough sett of school furniture and outfit of the most approved plans.
selected at the North by one of the Trustees, Dr. Bronson. About  the time of its arrival we are informed will also arrive
from the same place on of the most thorough and accomplished teachers and the school will then be opened; say
november 1st next. a free school for White Children.

Turn to the Westward and you see "St. Mary's Acadmey for young ladies, situated within the Convent grounds. This
institution is under the charge of the Sisters; three of whom thoroughly competant and accomplished teachers, have
recently arrived from the North. Attached to which is a Free School for young misses.

In the grounds attached to the Cathedral, is an admirable school for boys, under the charge also, of able and
experienced teachers.

The whole under the supervision of that thorough scholar and gntleman Rev. Father Clavurel.

In the course of a few months a college of the highest grade is also to be established here. The Very Rev. Bishop
Persico, who was recommended for that sacred office for this state to His Holiness, the Pope by the Council of Bishops
who met at Baltimore last Spring, before leaving for Rome, visited the Canadas for the purpose of procuring Priestsfor
this State who understood thoroughly the English language and also Teachers.

We hear it is the intention of the Bishop immediately on his return, to establish here in our "Ancient City," this Institution,
which is to be not only for the benefit of the State, but for the benefit of the Country at large. In this he will be supported
by all the Catholic Bishops of the United States; as in connection with this College will be an institution for the education
of young men who desire to enter the Holy Order of the Priesthood.

It is proposed to bring young men from Rome and the European States so that they may learn horoughly the English
language in order to supply the much needed demand for the Ministry thoughout the United States.

The former beloved Pastor of this City -- Father Delafsse, who so thoroughly understands the wants not only of this City,
but of the whole State, has been laboring dilligently in this respect, throughout the continnent of Europe.

A little further to the West and North, is the new Freedman's School; a fine building, capacious, well arranged,
comfortably and creditably finished and furnished. An ornament to this city and a well spring of knowledge for our
colored youth. This will also shortly be opened by competant teachers.

Having frequently spoke before of the admirable school of Dr. Simons, in the parish School house of the Episcopal
Church, we were well nigh forgetting again to say that no better opportunity for securing a thorough english and
Classical Education can be presented elsewhere.

The Peabody School of St. Augustine will open Monday, November stn, at 9 a.m.

This school is free to residents of St. Augustine.

Parents, who wish to take advantage of this School will do well to send their children promptly, that they may receive the
benefit of the preliminary instruction to be given to the classes to which they may be assigned.

D. Waterbury,

By order of the Board,
Fatio Dunham, Secretary
Nov 6, 1869

Peabody School Songs
We publish the following songs by request, and shall continue for a few weeks to publish one or more on our first
page. they are intended for the benefit of the scholars of the Peabody School, to be used in the school.

We learn that the school is in a prosperous condition.

Mr. D. Waterbury, the Superintendent, is a highly educated gentleman, and of great energy.

Let the Smiles of Youth, &c.
Let the smiles of youth appearing,
Let the rays of beauty cheering,
Drive the gloom of care away,
Cheerful singing lively measure,
Voices ringing joy and pleasure,
Lengthen out the happy day.

The Car of Improvement.
The car of improvement is rolling along,
Dispensing its blessings around,
The rich and the poor may unite in the song,
As joyous their voices resound;
the thick mists of error are clearing away,
Dispelled by the sunshine of truth;
We're living to bless Education's bright day,
That dawns on our childhood and youth.

Like brothers and sisters we daily have met,
And cheerful our tasks have performed;
Then can we those hours of enjoyment forget,
When friendship our bosoms has warmed.
Oh no! when life's trails and cares shall surround,
And warm hearts begin to grow cool;
One green spot in mem'ry will ever be found,
For firends we have cherished at school.

Then let us remember with gratitude still.
Our parents, beloved and kind,
For their sakes endeavor with heart and good will
To enrich and embellish the mind.
So when our school days, well improved, are all past,
We go to our loved homes again;
Our parents and teachers will find at the last,
That they have not labored in vain.

Peabody School Songs
Be Kind to Thy Father.

Be kind to they Father -- for when thou wert young,
Who lov'd thee so fondly as he?

He caught the first accents that fell from thy tongue,
And joined in thy innocent glee.
Be kind to thy father, for now he is old,
His locks intermingled with gray,
His footsteps are feeble, once fearless and bold,
Thy father is passing away.

Be kind to they Mother - for low on her brow
May traces of sorrow be seen;
O welll may'st thou cherish and comfort her now,
For loving and kind hath she been.
Remember they mother, for thee she will pray,
As long as God giveth her breath,
With accents of kindness, then cheer her lone way,
Even to the dark valley of death.

Be kind to they Brother--his heart will have dearth;
In the smile of thy love be withdrawn;
The flowers of feeling will fade at their birth.
If the dew of affection be gone.
Be hind to thy brother, where ever you are,
The love of a brother shall be
An ornament purer and richer by far,
Than pearls from the depths of the sea.

Be kind to thy Sister-- not many may know
The depth of true sisterly love;
The wealth of the ocean lies fathoms below
the surface that sparkles above.
Thy kindness shall bring to thee many sweet hours.
And blessings thy pathway to crown;
Affection shall weave thee a garland of flowers,
More precious than wealth or renown.

The City of St. Augustine and the turnover of the Public School Building 10
City Council room
Jany 4th 1868

Present Geo Burt Mayor
Lopez, Buffington, Usina Aldeman.

On Motion of Ald Buffington which was duly carried that  committee be appointed to find out how the City came in
possession of the school fund and the building erected with that  fund, what agreement was made with the County
Commissioners as to the occupation of said building and said committee to consist of Adls Dunham and Buffington, and
the clerk tbe authorized to inform Mr. Dunham as he is not present. On Motion of Ald Buffington that the Clerk find out
the amount of school fund in Charleston and draw for the same on Mr Nalen.

City Council Room
April 14h 1868
Called Meeting
Present His Hon. Geo Burt Mayor
Dunham Lopez Usina Buffington Aldemen
The Mayor then called the attention of the Council to the School fund donated by Wm Peabody. By Ald Buffington
resolved that the city council appropriate the building known as the City Hall as a public School House, to be used for
educational purposes only under the control of the managers of the School fund. Provided that the school so
established shall not be sectarian the vote being taken was carried unaimously.

Nov 15, 1868
Present W. W. Van Ness Mayor
Oliveras Usina Llambias Snow Aldermen
Bills Passed for Payment
S B Flym repairing of City School House and painting

Council Chambers Dec 26, 1868
Present W W Van Ness Mayor
Llambias Snow Oliveros Aldermen.

...  On motion of Ald Oliveros duly seconded that the Mayor be authorized to corespond on the subject of the Lawton
Legacy and obtain a certified abstract copy of the will in relation of the school funds. The lease o the Peabody Free
School Committee was presented beore Council and approved. Refer to ordinance...

Peabody Free School Committee
Whereas a committee has been organized for the purpose of establishing in the City of St. Augustine County of St Johns
and State of Florida a free School for the education of white children. composed of the following members and their
successors wz. The Mayor of St. Augustine ex officio "as Chairman" Mayor E D Rogero, Reverend Canova, B F Olivero
E F di Medicis, D. Oliver Bronson, Dr. N. D. Benedict, Dr. Andrew Anderson, Dr. John E Peck, ? B E Carr, Fatio Dunham,
Geo Burt and Godfrey Forter.

And whereas by an ordinance of the Mayor and ? Council of said City of St Augustine passed on the 21st day of
December inst certain rights and privileges powers and duties were conferred upon said Committee and he manner in
which it? shall be maintained was therein defined.

And whereas by said ordinance the Mayor was directed to execute a ? of the building and grounds situated in St
Augustine aforesaid and known as the City Hall under certain conditions and instructions then in mentioned with the said
Peabody Free School. C? for the terms of one year and for such further time as a Free School shall be maintained and
conducted in the manner and under the restrictions presented in said ordinance.

Now therefor this indenture witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of one dollar in hand paid to the City of
St. Augustine by the said Peabody Free School Com. and for other considerations the said City of St. Augustine by their
presents doth leave let and hire unto the said Peabody Free School Com to their successors all that attain for a parcel
and lot of land with the building, thereon, and grounds belonging thereto situate in St. Augustine aforesaid known as the
City Hall for the term of one year from the date hereof such further time as a Free School for the education of White
children shall be maintained by said Com: and conducted in the manner and under the instructions prescribed in the
Ordinance heretofore mentioned to which inferences here made at an annual rent thereof  be paid to the City of St.
Augustine by said Com of one cent.

The condition of this indenture is such that if said previous ? be used for any other than educational proposes without
consent of the ? Council of said city / ? shall be permitted o be though therein if any cause a Free School for the
education of white children conducted in the manner and under the restrictions prescribed in the aforesaid ordinance
shall fail to be maintained by said Committee then this indenture to be null and void and the City of St. Augustine shall
have the right to reenter with the possession of said premises.

in witness whereof the Mayor of the City of St. Augustine has here met sit his hand and caused he seal of said city to be
herewith affixed the members of  said Peabody Free School Com have herein to subscribed themselves this ____ day of
____ A.D. 1868  In presence of ____________

The Mayor and Commin Council
City of St. Augustine
A L Rogero
Ramon Canova
B G Oliveras
Earl J DeMedicees (sp)
O Bronson
A D Benedict
F Fortez
Fatio Dunham
B E Camron
B E Cau
G Bunt
A Anderson
Jno E. Peck

Presbyterian Involvement
MC 10 Anderson Papers Box 2 F31

Register of Elders ( Presbyterian Church)
Dr. Nathan D Benedict March 1866 ordained , died April 30, 1871
Dr Oliver Bronson Dec 1870, died July 21, 1875
Dr. John E Peck March 1878 died 1884
Sarah Mather was also a member of the Presbyterian Church

Peabody Fund - Public School #1
This school was called the "Peabody School" and the building continued to be used for public instruction in St.
Augustine until 1909, when classes were transferred to the newly constructed Orange Street School.

The fund bequeathed by Mr. Peabody to the Southern-states for the support of schools was most helpful in St.
Augustine where the sum of $1,000 was received annually. This was used to engage skillful instructors from the north
for the school.

At the opening of the Peabody School; 120 children enrolled when only 20 had been expected.

The Peabody Free School Committee was organized on December 23, 1868 for the purpose of establishing in St.
Augustine a free school for the education of white children. A lease was executed for the building on Hospital Street
where school had been held for several years, and this was the beginning of the St. Johns County School System as it is
known today.

Barnas Sears
In 1868, Barnas Sears visited St. Augustine and found that the only school in operation for white students was the one
run by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Sears was the general agent of the Peabody Fund, an organization which contributed
money for the advancement of education in the South. At Sears' request, a Peabody Free School Committee was
formed to direct the establishment of a free school for white children in St. Augustine.
* * *

November 6, 1869  Peabody School open November 8, 9 AM
* * *
Peabody School This school opens and is free to residents of St. Augustine Preliminary instruction will be given.
D. Waterbury. Supt
Fatio Dunham, Secty Board
* * *
Whereas the Commissioners of the Peabody School Fund have offered to contribute two-fifths of the annual expenses
necessary to the maintenance of Free Common Schools for the education of white children in the ten Seceding States ---

And whereas, it is desired to establish such a school in the city of St. Augustine the annual expenses of which it is
estimated will amount to $2500 --

Now therefore for the considerations and purposes above mentioned and on condition that three fifths of said sum viz
$1500 shall be raised by subscription and also that the building now occupied by the common council, originally built out
of the school fund and for school purposes shall be obtained free of charge we the undersigned agree to pay the sums
placed opposite our respective names whenever the total of individual subscription shall amount to said sum of $1500.  
St Augustine April 13 1868  
Geo Burt $100
Jno E Peck 30.00
C W Allen $10.00
G W Walton $5
Francis Andreu $2
Bartolo Pacitty $2
Jno Minucy $1
D B Usina $5
Chas H Bohn $5
Andreu Humman $1
Ignitio Lopez $1
Anna Genova $1
Wm Brag $1
Chas D Segui $1
Con Walker $2
Box 7 File 10
* * *

Dec 23, 1868
Whereas a committee known as the Peabody Free School Committee has been organized for the purpose of
establishing in the city of St. Augustine. City St. Johns, State of Fla. a free school for the education of white children,
composed of the following members and their successors viz. Mayor of St. Aug ex officio, chairman Messrs A.D. Rogero,
Ramon Canova, B. F. Oliveros, E. J. de Medecis, Dr. Oliver Bronson, Dr. N. D. Benedict, Dr. A. Anderson, Dr. Jno. E.
Peck, B. E. Carr, Fatio Dunham, George Burt and Godfrey Foster.

And Whereas by an ordinance of the Mayor and Common Council of said city of St. Augustine passed on the 21st day
of Dec. inst certain rights and privileges, powers and duties were conferred upon said committee and the manner in
which its organization shall be maintained was therein defined.

And whereas by said ordinance the Mayor was directed to execute a lease of the building and grounds situated in St.
Augustine aforesaid and known as the City hall, under certain conditions and restrictions therein mentioned unto the
said Peabody Free School Committee for the term of one year and for such further time as a free school shall be
maintained and conducted in the manner and under the restrictions presented in said ordinance.

Nor this Indenture witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of one dollar in hand paid to the City of St.
Augustine by the said Peabody Free School Committee and for other considerations, the said City of St. Augustine by
these presents doth lease, let and hire unto the said Peabody Free School Com. and to their successors all that certain
piece and parcel and lot of land, with the buildings thereon and grounds belonging hereto situated in St. Augustine
aforesaid and known as the City Hall for the term of one year from the date hereof for such further time as a free school,
for the education of white children shall be maintained by said committee and conducted in the manner, and to which
reference is here made at an annual rent to be paid to the city of St. Augustine by said committee of one cent.

The condition of this indenture is such that if said premises shall be used for any other educational purposes without
consent of the Common Council of this City, or if any Sectarian Doctrines shall be permitted to be taught therein- or if
from any cause a Free School for the education of white children, conducted in the manner and under the restrictions
prescribed in the aforesaid ordinance shall fail to be maintained by said Committee then this indenture to be null and
void and the City of St. Augustine shall have the right to re-enter into possession of said premises.

Signed, etc. 23rd Day of December, 1868
W. W. Van Ness Mayor
O. Bronson
George Burt
N D Benedict
G Foster
B E Carr
Fatio Dunham
Andrew Anderson
B. F. Oliveros
Ramon Canova
A. D. Rogero

a true copy of the original attest
Chas F. Perpall, Clerk of Council

Bond for George Burt for Treasure of Board of Public Instruction (Burt Papers)
Be it known by these Present

That I George Burt the Treasurer of the Board of Public Instruction for the county St. John, State of Florida as principal
and N B Benedict and Oliver Bronson, his ? are held and ? bound into the said county ??????????????? for the
payment which sum well and truly to be made to the said count we ? bind ourselves, heirs, executrs and administrators,
jointly ad severally by these presents.

The conditions of this oblighation is such that if the said George Burt Treasurer of the Board of Public Instruction for the
county of St John State of Florida shall faithfully apppropriate to ????????????????? all sums an other property that
may come into his hands by virtue of this office, I render promptly the required returns and pay over when required all
balances in his hands, then this obligation shall be void otherwise of full force and virtue.

Signed, sealed and delivered
this 1st of June 1869 in presence of
J H Simons
? de Midies

Geo Burt
O Bronson
N D. Denedict

I certify that the above in duplicate copy of original bond on file in my office June 1 1869 David R. Dunham, clerk of Court

Sep 7th 1869 the within bond was this day approved by the County Commissioners Geo W Atwoods, clerk of C Court for
St. Johns County

Early School Financing
More Subscriptions  16

Peabody School

5/29 O Bronson $250
6/12 O Bronson 120
8/14 O Bronson 181.58
9/04 O Bronson $100
9/16 O Bronson 248.42

J? 4 Miss Perit $100
F Maignar $200
M 29 G Burt $25
ND Benedict $25
Dec 1 B E Carr $25
J W Allen $10

Jan 1870
J E Peck $30
Miss Perrit $50
Feb 18 J J Crain $50
Mrs Newbury $100
Apr Kennedy? $50
Edgar $50
Jun 1 F Dunham $10
O Bronson $500

Tax  1870
May 29
J McDurmett $200
same $140
Aug 4
Leonardy $1.50
G Foster $78
Sept 11 W I Rogero $28.70
J D Nateel $2
Sept 18 G Foster $77.45
Gomez Capo $29
Oct 7 Gomez Capo $100
B Foster $108
Oct 30 Ig Lopez $3
Wm Nateel $4.75
Wm Booth $9
G Fosterand Capo $216.50
Nov 19 Wm Benedict $38.94
G Burt 17.75
Nov 30 Sparhawk $25
B E Carr $84.65
G Foster $152
N G Ponce $3.85
W L Reyss $81.99

Tax 1870
Jan 3
A Welters $3
J E Peck $4.50
Jan 14
Deeply Thomas $4
Gomez And Capo $5
Jan 21
N D Benedict $30.12
Andru Caova $16.50
Feb 4
D L Dunham $20
Depty? Thomas $4
Feb 16
M and C Watkins $50
D L Dunham $13.00
Feb 19
B E Carr $31.84
G Foster $73.10
N Sanchez $7.79
W B Miranda $2.50
Feb 26
Alex McKinney $3.13
D Waterubry $200.00
Aprl 2 C Watkins $100
D Thomas $8
April 9
Ths Williams $9.63
G Burt $14.20
? O Bronsons Bill 1070.54
P D Waterbury $300

Nov 30 1869  School Tax 300.00
Tax Schol No 2  $50.00

First Teachers of St. Johns County Public Schools
Nov 17, 1869
Mr Burt

Dear Sir
The following is list of billed due for salaries July 1, 1870
Mr Waterbury $500
Mr Hughes $40
Miss Watkins $100
Mr. Wright $70
Mr. Oliveras $120
Miss Mather $466.62
Wright must bring certificate from his Trustees that the school has been free.
O  Bronson
Burt papers

School Trustees (1871-72)
At a meeting of the Board of Public Instruction of the County of St. Johns on May 1871 the following gentlemen
M Watkins
M Canova
Dr. Anderson
Mr F Dunham
M G Burt
were in conformity with the schools law appointed Trustees of the Board ? of free school
O Bronson
Co Supt

Mr. G Burt
(Burt papers)

Second Year (1871) payments for teachers at the Peabody School
Peabody School by ? Burt papers
paid to Danl Waterbury June 23/71 666.66
Mrs L C Leland June 30 71 $419.90
Miss Callin Dunham June 29 71 $120.00
Miss M C Watkins June 30, 71 120.00
O Bronson $400.00 (loan repayment)

Peabody School
1871 in act with Geo Burt Tresr
June 23 To Daniel Waterbury Teacher 666.66
June 29 Miss Callin Dunham Teacher 120.00
June 30 Miss L C Leland Teacher 419.90
June 30 Miss M C Watkins Teacher $120.

State Report 1872:
The Superintendent Oliver Bronson from St. Augustine reported that there were 6 schools in the county with 337
students. The total cost for the school system was 4,183.00 dollars. His visionary report provided a foundation for the
educational system well into the 20th century.  However, the battle for a free public school system from religious
influence was not maintained for long. The school system would eventually begin paying the salaries of the nuns
teaching parochial students.  This is his report of the St. Johns County School system from the 1870-1871 school year.
The school board had been appointed on February 25 1869 and completed it first organizational meeting on April 30,

To the Superintendent of Public Instruction:
Dear Sir: I herewith submit my report of the schools in this county for the last scholastic year. There has been six
schools in operation. In all instances where application has been made for the establishment of a school, and a teacher
recommended by the trustees, a school has been opened.

Prospects are very favorable for the coming year. The chief difficulty in this county, which will take time for its removal,
is the sparseness of its population and the distance of the families from any common center.

The people feel their want of education, and are almost universally anxious that their children should not grow up
under the same disadvantages precincts a commendable interest in the cause of education. I never heard but one
person say that he did not want a school-house near him, for that would bring in settlers, and then what should he do for
a range for his cattle.

What the State needs is an educated people, and for that the State should provide. The first requisite is the
establishment of school-houses. i would suggest that all moneys belonging to the school fund should be used for that
purpose and no other, as the simplest method of reaching the end in view and promoting the interest of education in the
State until schools are built. While every one imbued with American principles feels that the State cannot be too closely
allied to the schools, at least so far as to give to every inhabitant the benefit of an education qualified to make him a
useful citizen, and enable him to employ his natural faculties to advantage. For this purpose the schools should be free
to all. Nothing should be taught in the schools but what the State judges to be proper, and within their legitimate

If the public free school system is to be carried out in this State (and we believe the American people, claiming the
right to judge for themselves in this, one of the most important of all their rights, will carry it out), we must believe the
schools discharge their duties and perform the functions entrusted to them, when they prepare their pupils to fight the
great battle of life, in obedience to the laws of the State. We cannot be too careful that we do not attempt, or even allow,
anything that would prevent any person from participating in their advantages. We believe in the duty of every person to
be religious and to owe supreme allegiance to their Creator, and any school that teaches anything contrary to the laws
of God we would cordially join in condemning. But teaching religion in any form is not one of the functions of a free
public school, and this is the only form of school that the State intends to establish. It would be a manifest departure
from the object for which they are established, and could only be proposed by those who would willingly see the whole
system of public schools destroyed.

The Peabody school, in this city, retains its good reputation, and is in a very satisfactory condition. It well deserves the
encouragement that it has received. It is patronized by our best citizens, without distinction. the Board of Trustees
consist of all denominations, and perfect harmony has characterized all of their proceedings. Their children are, or have
been, all members of the school. I have heard of no objection to the school, except from those who object to the whole
system on which our public schools are founded.

When a free public school was first spoken of in St. Augustine, Mr. Sears, the agent of the Peabody Fund, visited this
city. The prospect was rather discouraging. Mr. Sears remarked, "You cannot have a school without scholars." The
friends of the system about to be inaugurated carefully canvassed the city and came to the conclusion that not more
than thirty pupils could be counted upon. On this calculation they borrowed money to enlarge the building which was
used for public offices, and which had been given to the city for the purpose of a public school. Provision was made for
120 pupils, to meet any emergency. To their agreeable surprise the school opened with a much larger number than was
expected. The school has steadily increased in size till now it becomes necessary to increase its accommodations, both
as to room and teachers. Instead of petitioning for additional separate schools and division of the small allowance
received from taxes, we greatly need increased funds to make this school what it should be, a model institution, capable
of accommodating the whole city, and giving a complete education in those branches which it proposes to teach. it is
only by the assistance of the Peabody Fund that our city schools are able to accomplish what they have. We do not fear
that any such attempt as has been made to impair their resources will be received by the people, or their
representatives, the Legislature, with any favor until a system of free education is abandoned.

The colored school occupies a commodious building erected by the Freedman's Bureau, and to it is attached a
convenient cottage for the teacher's residence, owned by the American Missionary Association, in New York. This
school has always maintained a high reputation. It has been a great blessing to those for whom it was established.

This city enjoys exceptional advantages for education. Its healthiness at all seasons of the year is such that schools
could be kept open in summer as well as winter, with only the necessary vacations. The prospect of a greatly increased
population and its facility of access when railroad communication shall be opened to Jacksonville, will conspire to make it
a place of great resort.

The State needs a school of the highest character, sufficiently large to receive all that apply, and provided with a
competent corps of teachers. I trust the time is not far distant when this need will be supplied.

Mr. Waterbury, the principal of the Peabody school, who is enthusiastically devoted to its interests, has collected over
150 volumes as a beginning of a well-selected library for the use of the school. As soon as a suitable building can be
procured we hope to see this grow into a large public library.        

The first census conducted by the Assessor of Taxes showed that there were 910 youths in the county between the
ages of 4 and 21.  There were 4 schools in operation with 3 teachers.  Three schools were in the process of beginning.
229 pupils were registered at the time of the census with 204 in average attendance.  Nineteen of those students had
no father, 9 no mother, and 4 were orphans. One third of the students were unable to purchase textbooks.

The three teachers had all taught previously.  One was a graduate of a New York Normal School and was a 10 year

For school houses one was the oldest in the state built by a benevolent gentlemen. This school was refit with the
Peabody money.

By 1871-1872 school year St. Johns County had a total population of 2,618 with 986 youths between 4 and 21.  The
total value of the property in the county was $694,383. The school system also received a supplement of 694.38 from a
1 mill state tax.

The State Superintendent of schools was the Rev Charles Beecher. Dr. Bronson remained as school superintendent
with Mr. Waterbury as principal of the Peabody school.

By 1873 the total cost of the school system was 4,183.06.  The schools had 337 pupils in attendance. This would
increase to 498 pupils within the next year.

The state issued a text list to standardize the educational standards throughout Florida.

By 1876 there were 495 students enrolled. 93 were primary, 385 were enrolled in some type of reading program, 183 in
writing, 164 in math, 143 geography, 51 in grammar and 22 in History and highest grades. The students in 1876 went to
a 122 day term.

There were 13 teachers 6 male and 7 female. 100 dollars a month was the highest salary and 60 dollars was the lowest.
3 held a first class certificate, 3 a second and 8 a third (sic 1 more certificate than teachers).

The county had an assessed value of 3,022,000 generating 5,587.87 tax revenue.  Private contributions totaled 6,110.
$500 was contributed from the Peabody Fund and 814.36 from the state. With the system operating on less than
$13,000 the superintendent was paid $450 and the Board treasurer received $75.

In 1877 TT. Russell served as School Superintendent. He was followed by Charles F. Perpall. In 1880 there were 1788
youth between 4-21. 938 were males, 782 females. There were 447 African American youth and 1245 white youth on
the census. 550 was the average daily attendance at 18 schools with 879 students enrolled..

At the end of the 1879 school year there were 21 schools with 879 students and 26 teachers. The teachers received a
combined total salary of 4,531.43. The system lost the principal of the Peabody school W B Clarkson who resigned for
the high school of Jacksonville.  Miss W Watkins was appointed principal.  (Note: this may be either Lightfoot Watkins or
a relation. Mrs Watkins served the freedmen's bureau school in 1870-1872        
Thomas F Russell Esq
St Augustine Fla

March 7th 77
I will call your attention to the fact that the law requires a copy of the organization of each Board of Public Instruction to
be placed on file in this office (school law of 1869) Please organize as early as practicable and forward me such copy. ?
in mind the recent act of the legislature making county treasurer, the treasurer of the school fund in their respective

I send to Oliveros some time ago blanks for making application for the Peabody Fund have not since heard from them.
Please ? this matter.

He soon as I have received the copy of organization above and file it. I will forward you the necessary blanks for making
the apportionment made to St. Johns for the current year.

Very Respectfully W P Haisley

April 9th
Hon Tho F Russell
St. Augustine
Yours of the 6th inst at hand.
In my letter of the 9th inst I called your attention to the fact that from the ? returned i found that there was not one
school in St. Augustine which had complied with the requirements for drawing aid from the Peabody Fund and that this
one could not draw the current apportinant to your town. It seems from your letter, however, that by special arrangement
with Dr. Sears the agent of the und, the whole of this amount $4000.00 was intended to the one school.

My instructions were not to notice any appeals asking for a departure from the regulations, In can, however, call the
attention of the agent to the promise made to Dr. Bronson when I forward your application.

Very Respectfully
Your bot Sevrt
W Pa Hanley

April 14th
Hon B F Oliveros
St. Augustine Fla
The question in regard to the bonds of the County Treasures I had ? before receiving your letter ? to the Attorney
General. It is presented that the bonds given by the Treasurers in most of the counties are difficient to cover the
additional amount of revenue coming into their hands by visiting the new law. It will be ? ? for the school officers to look
at this ? state is my doubt report to this office Where I will refer it to the Governor provoant re-authorized the ? ? the
county commissioners an opportunity o require an increased bond.

Very Respectfully
Your Obt Servt
W P Hanley

An Appeal for Christian Education 20
Where are we drifting?

We are told, on good authority; that a vast majority of American people attend no religious service, belong to no
church, and make no profession of any religion.

How is this?
Are the American people irreligious or sceptical? By no means. Perhaps none are more disposed to be in earnest in
religion, or more susceptible of religious impressions.

What, then, has brought about this state of indifference in religious matters?

Holy Writ declares that if you "train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it." Our
fault has been here. We have not trained up our children in the knowledge of Christian truth and under the influence of
the Christian spirit.

How have our Children been Trained?
For the greater part, in our Public Schools, the foundation principle of which is the exclusion of all positive religious
instruction. The sole aim is to give a secular education.

Is it, then, to be wondered at that our children, growing up under a system of secular education, become smart
business men, absorbed in gaining worldly wealth and high position, alive to all the concerns of this life, and dead to
their future welfare? "As you sow, so shall you reap."

But are not our children instructed in religion at their homes?
The greater part of our children are not. the reason is plain. they belong to the hard-working and poorer classes of

Who can teach these Children at their homes?
Not their fathers, after they return home weary from toil, at the close of the day. The neeed and seek repose. Not their
mothers, who are busy the whole day with household duties and trying to make the two ends meet. Moreover, many
parents who may have the time and inclination to give religious instruction to their children are not themselves
instructed. A wise man opens his eyes and looks at things as they are.

But there are the Sunday Schools?
The Sunday schools, so far as they go, are doing a good work. The difficulty is that a majority of the children of our
general population, who are in the greatest need of religious instruction, do not go to these schools.  Suppose they
were all sent to Sunday-schools.

What then?
Why, at best these could not supply the instruction needed. Look at it in a moment. You give the child in public schools
from twenty to thirty hours a week instruction in secular knowledge, and once a week on a Sunday you give at most one
or two hours' instruction in religion. Is it a wonder that Christianity, placed at such a disadvantage, is rapidly going to the

Is this Justice to our Children?
It does not take a wiseacre to see that the amount of religious instruction whcih children receive at Sunday school,
compared with the secular instruction they receive in public schools, is but a drop in the bucket. "The children of this
world are wiser in their generation than the children of light."

Is there no remedy for this?
First of all, we must look the evil squarely in the face. Our common-school system is well calculated to make secularists,
sceptics, and infidels, but to expect our children to grow up to be Christians under such a training is as absurd as to
pretend to gather figs from thistles, or grapes from thorns.

What is the remedy?
Believers in Christianity must not, under any plea whatever, let mistaken notions of education rob their children and
future generations of what is dearer and more precious to them than the gaining of the whole word--the knowledge of
Christian truth, and the conviction of its divine origin and character. Let them look to it that their own convictions of the
truth of Christianity are transmitted to the minds and hearts of their children. If we expect to have Christian men and
women, we must train up our children in the way of Christianity.

How can this be done?
Simply by maintaining the right of parents of teaching their children according to the dictates of their own religious

But does not everybody enjoy this right now?
Theoretically he does, practically he does not. When Christians are taxed to support a system of education which from it
very nature excludes all knowledge of distinctive Christianity, they are mader to play into the hands of the enemies of
Christianity, whether they recognize it or not. Our system of education, under the pretence of being unsectarian, is
flooding our land with a sect of infidels.

But how can religous knowledge be imparted without implicating the state in teaching it?

Simply enough. Let every school receive pro rata accoriding to its numbers for teaching the secular knowledge which
the State has a right to exact in order to form intelligent citizens. It is not concern of the State, provided the knowledge it
requires be given, what religion may or may not be taught in the school.

Would not such a system act unfavorably to the general education of our children?
On the contrary, it would promote education in a much greater degree and make it universal. In the first place, it would
enlist religious zeal, the most powerful of motives, in the cause of education. To the second place, as no one would be
taxed for an education which violated his conscience, education could then fairly be made compulsory, thus hundreds
and thousands of illiterate children who now run in our streets would be found in our schools under instruction.

The Result
Such a system would receive, the approval of all man of sincere religious convictions, whatever might be their creed; of
the true friends of the education of all the children of the Republic; and of all who advocate religions equality and the
liberty of each man to follow the dictates of his own conscience.

History of Florida Past and Present Historical and Biographical

2  History of Public-School Education in Florida by Thomas Everette Cochran, Ph. D. State Department of Education,
Florida Bulletin, 1921 No. 1, p34.

3 Cochran, p36.

Education in Florida Past and Present, Florida State University, Tallahassee, 1954. p21

History of Public-School Education in  Florida Bulletin, 1921, No 1, State Depart Of Education, Tallahassee, Fl).


7  Schools for All The Blacks & Public Education in the South, 1865-1877, William Preston Vaughn, 1974, The University
Press of Kentucky, p141.

Ibid.,  page 157.

St. Augustine Examiner, Dec 4, 1869.

St. Augustine Examiner, December 11, 1869.

11 Minute Book B 11/1854 4/1871

The Awakening of St. Augustine

13 St. Augustine Examiner.

St. Augustine Examiner, December 11, 1869.

15 MC1 Burt Papers Box 7 File 10, St. Augustine Historical Society.

16  Box 8 Burt Papers, File 14, St. Augustine Historical Society

17 State Superintendents Letter Book, Page 28.

18 State Superintendents Letter Book, page 76.

19 The State Superintendent's Letter Book, page 78.

St. Augustine Examiner May 23, 1874
Governor Harrison Reed
Florida Governor July 4, 1868 – January 7, 1873
(August 26, 1813 - May 25, 1899)
George Peabody
Feb 18, 1795 - Nov. 4,1869
Andrew Anderson
March 13, 1839 - December 2, 1924
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St. Johns County
St. Augustine Territorial
St. Augustine Statehood
Early History of Education St. Johns
County Part 1
Early History of Education St. Johns
County Part 2
Early History of Education St. Johns
County Part 3 (African American History)
Early History of Education St.Johns County
Part 4 (Freedmen Bureau)
Early History of Education St. Johns
County Rise of the St Johns County
School Board Part 5
Early History of Education St. Johns
County Growth of St. Johns County
Schools Part 6
Early History of Education St. Johns
County Through the 1890s St. Johns
County Schools Part 7