[Footnote AK: The Massachusetts Legislature, in a recent session, appropriated funds to the New England Female Medical College, located in Boston, to pay forty students for five years; and I have since observed in a Boston paper that there are twenty lady physicians, who, confining themselves to midwifery and diseases of their own sex, have a fair practice, and enjoy the confidence of the families they visit.]
Teaching of Youth, and a Model Jail.
I must now turn to a more important and interesting feature of Boston, viz., education. We all remember how the religious persecution in the reign of Elizabeth, fettering men’s consciences, drove a devoted band of deep-thinking Christians into caves of concealment, and how, after much peril, they escaped in 1609, in the reign of James the First, to Amsterdam, under the leadership of the noble-hearted J. Robinson, where, after sighing long for a return beneath the flag of the country of their birth, they obtained a charter from the Virginia Company. The first division of them embarked on board “The Mayflower,” a small vessel of 180 tons, and sailed from Plymouth, 6th September, 1620, landing in their new and barren home upon the 11th of December. These were the sturdy champions of liberty of conscience, from whom the New Englanders may be said to have sprung, and who have leavened the whole community with their energy and indomitable spirit: such men knew how to appreciate education, as the leveller of oppression and the bulwark of freedom; and it is, therefore, no wonder that the American Republic recognises them as the worthy pioneers of that noble feature in their institutions—free education, supplied to all by the State.
Let us, then, see how far their descendants are treading in their footsteps upon this point. I speak of Boston and its 150,000 inhabitants, not of the State. And first, it is important to observe, that the strict provisions of the State requirements would be met by three schools, and three teachers with assistants, whose salaries would amount to 900l. The actual provision made by this energetic community, is,—Schools: 1 Latin, 1 English, 22 grammar, 194 primary,—total for salaries, 37,000l. And that it may not be supposed the salaries are great prizes, it is important to remark, that there are 65 male teachers, and about 300 female teachers. The highest paid are head-masters of Latin and English schools, 490l.; sub-masters of same, and head-masters of grammar, 300l.; ushers, assistants, &c., from 50l. to 160l.; and female teachers, from 45l. to 60l., with 5l. additional for care of the rooms.
All the primary schools have female teachers; and the feeling is strongly in favour of females for instructing the very young, their patience and kindness being less likely to foster feelings of dread and dislike.