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"Order of Exercises at the Exhibition of the Deerfield High School"

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Deerfield High School was only two years old when this end of term exhibition was held in 1860. Each academic term ended with an exhibition of the students' talents. Exercises like those presented here allowed - even, perhaps, forced - the students to display their proficiencies, whether at elocution, music, or memorization. The skits themselves drew from popular literature or drama - the "May Queen" here, for example, came from William Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Eve - or gave moral stories. "The Student and his Neighbor," for example, probably communicated moral instruction, with the character Sobersense combating Swager and Noisybreath. "The Swiss Patriot" drew its inspiration from the history of the Swiss Republic and William Tell. As one of the world's earliest republics, Switzerland was seen by many of the Revolutionary Generation as an inspiration.


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