icon for Home page
icon for Kid's Home page
icon for Digital Collection
icon for Activities
icon for Turns Exhibit
icon for In the Classroom
icon for Chronologies
icon for My Collection

Things To Do
Dress Up | 1st Person | African American Map | Now Read This | Magic Lens | In the Round | Tool Videos | Architecture | e-Postcards | Chronologies | Turns Activities

Send an E-Postcard of:
Excerpt from Massachusetts School Law of 1647

Volume 1 - Title page
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Contact us for information about using this image.

The Massachusetts School Law of 1647 was a historic first for North America: it was the first time a government ordered all towns to support a public school. This was the foundation of the public school system in America. Of course, the motivations for keeping a school have changed. Here, the Puritan General Court ordered schools to prevent "that old deluder, Satan," from gaining a foothold among the youth. Consequently, all of the schools created under this law were, by definition, religious in nature. This excerpt from an 1855 history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts celebrates the law. By 1855, most of states around Massachusetts had adopted free and compulsory public education, but in many parts of the country that idea had not yet caught on and would not until the 1870s or even later.


top of page

Share this image with a friend.
Simply enter their e-mail address below and we'll send them this image in an e-mail greeting, along with a link to see the image on our site.

To E-Mail Address *
From E-Mail Address *
From Name

* = Required

button for Side by Side Viewingbutton for Glossarybutton for Printing Helpbutton for How to Read Old Documents


Home | Online Collection | Things To Do | Turns Exhibit | Classroom | Chronologies | My Collection
About This Site | Site Index | Site Search | Feedback