Joseph Patterson notebooks  1786-1803
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Public Schools record book (around 30 pages) contains printed circulars, a copy of the society's constitution, and letters about education in Pennsylvania dated between 1827 and 1831. Manuscript lists and letters were written directly into the volume, and printed items were pasted in.

The volume's first 2 pages contain a manuscript list of teachers with notes on their locations or addresses. A printed copy of the society's constitution is accompanied by the text of an 1809 Pennsylvania legislative act promising financial assistance for students unable to pay tuition fees, as well as a letter about the society's formation with a list of its officers (November 15, 1827, 3 pages total). George M. Stroud, a corresponding secretary, wrote letters from November 10, 1828-November 25, 1829 (12 pages); from December 17, 1829-December 18, 1829 (1 page); and on March 22, 1831 (1 page). Stroud, who promoted the Lancaster system of education, discussed issues related to public education in the state of Pennsylvania and responded to inquiries about school buildings, hiring teachers, and teachers' salaries. An item laid into the volume among the first group of letters contains manuscript copies of 2 resolutions that the society adopted about corresponding members.

The remaining items are pasted-in copies of printed circular letters and memorials. The society's corresponding secretaries sent a letter to supporters with a list of questions about local schools (November 24, 1829, 1 page), as well as 2 memorials to members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly (December 15, 1830, and undated); Stroud copied lists of the circulars' recipients (7 pages total). The book also contains 2 copies of the undated memorial. Addressing the State Legislature, the society encouraged senators and representatives to uphold the spirit of the educational legislation of 1809, and argued that, despite the legislation's provisions, poor children often did not attend school. The front endpaper contains the name of Mrs. W. Herbert Burk of Valley Forge.

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