Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Meadville Academy Trustees Minutebook, 1807-1864

Finding aid created by
Rob S. Cox, August 1997

Summary Information
Title: Meadville Academy Trustees minutebook
Creator: Meadville Academy. Trustees
Inclusive dates: 1807-1864
Extent: 190 pages
Abstract:
In the fall of 1805, the Meadville Seminary of Learning -- called the Meadville Academy after about 1810 -- was opened in Meadville, Pa. The minutebook of the Board of Trustees of the Meadville Academy records brief summaries of the minutes of meetings of the board for nearly the entire period of the existence of the school.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1993. M-2965.4.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Meadville Academy Trustees minutebook, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan.


History

In the fall of 1805, the Meadville Seminary of Learning -- called the Meadville Academy after about 1810 -- was opened in Meadville, Pa. The school set a graduating scale of fees for its students, depending on the type of education they desired: $5.00 per term for those who wished a "first class" education (languages, science, and mathematics), $2.00 for second class (only reading, writing, grammar and mathematics), and $1.25 for third class (spelling and reading only). The school, not to be confused with the famed Meadville Theological Seminary, was an immediate success, with money collected from subscribers invested to good effect. A majority of the teachers employed in the early years appear to have been ministers. Among its better known instructors was Timothy Alden, who at other times served as a missionary for the Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Indians and Others in North America.

By the mid-1830s, the Meadville Academy had established a working relationship with both Allegheny College and the common schools of the city, renting rooms to the latter, and for a brief period in the 1840s, the Academy also rented rooms for holding a "Mechanics' Lyceum." With the growth of the public school system, however, the Academy slowly began to yield to the city. In December, 1863, a motion was presented to transfer the Academy to the school district for use as a public high school, and by January, 1864, the trustees had transferred the balance of real estate remaining in their possession.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The minutebook of the Board of Trustees of the Meadville Academy records brief summaries of the minutes of meetings of the board for nearly the entire period of the existence of the school. While in most cases, these minutes provide only limited information, the board was responsible for the gamut of mundana, from building maintenance to the erection of a new building, from collecting tuition to relieving the tuition burden of those who could not afford to pay. Most importantly, one can gauge the growing ties between the private Academy and the local public school system, which eventually subsumed the Academy entirely.

The summary reports of the finances of the institution, though few in number, make it possible to trace the fortunes of the Academy, and the minutes also permit following shifts in governance and school policy in its broadest outlines. Of perhaps greatest interest are copies of the agreements between the Trustees and teachers employed at the school, however specific information on curriculum is very scant.

Laid into the minute book are three receipts issued to the Trustees of the Academy, all in 1861, a loose slip of paper recording the minutes of December 12, 1863, when the motion to transfer the Academy to the public school system was proposed, and a newspaper clipping regarding an reunion, ca.1903, of the alumni of Meadville High School, the successor to the Academy.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Education--Pennsylvania--Meadville.
    • Meadville (Pa.)--History.
    • Schools--Pennsylvania--Meadville.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Volume   1  
    Meadville Academy Trustees minutebook,  1807 May 09-1864 January 23 [series]: