Early American School Laws and Goals and a Snapshot from a Pre-Politically Correct 1914 Darwinian Textbook

From an 1647 law;

“It being one chief project of the old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures … it is therefore ordered … [to] appoint one within their town to teach all such children as shall resort to him to write and read. ”

Henry Steel Commager (Ed) Massachusets School law of 1647, Documents of American History, F.S. Crofts, New York, p.29, 1947

In a 1749 booklet on education, Benjamin Franklin said the teaching of history in schools should “afford frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion … and the Excellency of the Christian religion above all others.”

Benjamin Franklin, The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, Leonard W. Labaree (Ed.), Yale University Press, New Haven, volume III, p. 413, , 1961; “Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania,” 1749.

And now 200 years later in the dawn of a new educational era, a 1914 school textbook;

“Although anatomically there is a greater difference between the lowest type of monkey and the highest type of ape than there is between the highest type of ape and the lowest savage, yet there is an immense mental gap between monkey and man … . At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the others in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; the American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America.”

George W. Hunter, A Civic Biology, American Book Company, New York, pp. 195–196, 1914.

You know, I sort of think the Puritans were the enlightened ones, and we’re the idiots. But I’m only a woodcutter. [Ed]


About notmanynoble

woodcutter from Washington State
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