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Volume 1 - Title page
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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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.


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Excerpt from Massachusetts School Law of 1647

publisher   Samuel Bowles and Company
author   Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1881)
date   1855
location   Springfield, Massachusetts
height   7.75"
width   5.25"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Books/Book
accession #   #L02.143

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See Also...

"Regulations For the Government of the Schools in the Town of Deerfield"

Campus During Conference, East Northfield, MA

"Abstract of the Massachusetts School Returns for 1838-9"

"Rudiments of Reading"

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