Imagens das páginas

appointed without waiting until the state of the funds would allow the establishment of a college. Persons of every religious denomination were capable of being elected trustees, and no person, president, professor, instructor or pupil was to be refused admittance for his eonscientious persuasion in matters of religion.

The corporation had control and management of the township of land granted by the act of 1804, and of the three sections granted to the college of Detroit by the treaty of Fort Meius in 1817, and also were entitled to all property, rights and credits of the corporation established by the act to establish a “Cathole piste miad,” which aet was repealed.

At the first meeting of the board of trustees, Gov. Woodbridge disclosed to the board the result of his previous inquiries and was appointed one of a committee to memorialize Congress in relation to the lands. A memorial was drawn up by him, adopted by the trustees, and a copy laid before the Legislative Council which held its first session in the Territory. It was transmitted with their approval to Congress in 1824. This document, which may be found at length in the journal of Congress for that year, embodies the motives which led to a location of the township in detacbed sections, rather than in an entire township.

The evils resulting from the separate interests, adverse to the general interests of the State and of the institution, which could hardly fail to grow up, by embodying together in one county and neighborhood, so large a number of lessees ( for at this time do thought was entertained of selling these lands in fee,) had been witnessed by the memorialist in the State of Ohio, and formed a le ding consideration for locating the land in separate tracts.

The petition of the trustees was attended to with zeal and 6delity, by the late Austin E. Wing, and through his earnest efforts, a second township was appropriated for University purposes. bwh to be located in detached tracts. An addition was made to ow University lands by the terms of the trea‘y of Fort

#holic residents of the city of Defroit were desirous of rites pues Pop! to aid in the building of a church. This wi-h in !!ih in the execution of the treats, hy General Cito-, kt!?!

'in tasan other tract should be granted for the banuti

Teucation. This treaty was confirmed and the grants sancione!.

Classical and evening schools were established in the city of Detroit, as early as 1822, by private teachers, and a Lancasterian school was kept as part of the University, but no law was passed to provide for a system of common or primary schools, until 1827, four years after the organization of the legislative council. This act provided that every township containing fifty inhabitants or householders, should provide themselves with a schoolmaster, of good morals, to teach children to read and write, and to instruct them in the English and French language, as well as in arithmetic, orthography and decent behavior, for such terms of time as shall be equivalent to six months for one school in each year; every township containing one hundred families or householders, for an increased length of time; and to provide in addition, a schoolmaster or teacher to instruct children in the English language. Every township containing two hundred families or householders, was to be provided with a grammar schoolmaster of good morals, well instructed in the Latin, French and English languages.

For neglect of any township to procure and support such teacher as was required for the various lengths of time, the township incurred a penalty in proportion, from fifty to one hundred and fifty dollars; and the penalty was to be levied by warrant from the court, upon the inhabitants of the deficient township, and was appropriated for the use of such schools as had complied with the law, and whose circumstances most required such assistance.

The inhabitants were to choose five persons within their township, as inspectors of common schools, who possessed similar powers to these officers at the present time.

The inhabitants voted at the annual meetings to raise such sums of money upon the polls and rateable estates, within the respective townships, for the support and maintenance of a schoolmaster, to teach youth to read, write and cipher, as a majority decmed expedient; to be assessed and collected at the same time and in the same manner with the township and county taxes; the moneys were apportioned by the supervisor and township clerk, according to the number of children between the ages of five and seventeen, as appeared by a census of the district, taken under oath by one or more of the trustees of the school, who were appointed in each of the districts.

The moneys were to be applied exclusively in paying the wages of the teacher or schoolma iter. But the law did not apply to any town. ship which at an annual meeting, declared by a "two-thirds vote that they would not comply with the act."

Section six of this act relates to proceedings after the formation of a school district, and also to the power of the inhabitants to vote tax and the manner of its collection, and is deemed to be of sufficient interest, being the first school law, and adapted to a state of things so different from our present condition as a State, to be inserted at length:

Sec. 6. That whenever any township in this territory shall be divided into school districts, according to the directions of this act, it shall be the duty of one of the inspectors of said township, within iwenty days after, to make a notice in writing, describing said district, and appointing a time and place for the first district meeting, and deliver said writing to some one of the freeholders or inhabitants, liable to pay taxes, residing in said district, whose duty it shall be to notify each freebolder or inhabitant residing in said district, qualified as aforesaid, by reading such notice in the hearing of each such freeholder or inhabitant, or leaving a copy thereof at the place of his abode, at least six days before the time of such meeting; and if any such freeholder or inhabitant shall neglect or refuse to give such notice, he shall pay a fine of five dollars, to be recovered in the same manner, and for the same use as is provided in the third section of this act. Such district meeting shall have power, when so convened, by the major part of the persons so met, to adjourn from time to time, as occasion may require, and to fix on a time and place to hold ibeir future annual meeting, which annual meeting they are hereby authorized and required to hold, and to alter and change the time and place of bolding such annual meeting, as they or a majority of them, at any legal meeting, may think proper. And at such first meeting, or at any future meeting. the said freeholders and inhabitants, or a majority of them so met, are hereby authorized and empowered to appoint a moderator for the time being, to designate a for their school house, to vote a tax on the resident inhabitants of such district, as a majority present shall deem sufficient, to purchase a suitable site for their school house, and build, keep in repair, and furnish it with necessary fuel and appendages; also to choose three trustees to manage the concerns of said district, whose duty it shall be to build and ke p in repair their school house, and from time to time, as occasion may require, to agree with and employ instructors, and to pay them; also to choose one district clerk, to keep the records and doings of said meeting, whose doings shall be good in law, who shall be qualified by oath or affirmation, as the several township clerks are; likewise one collector, who shall have the same p wer and authority, and have the same fees for collecting, and be subject to the same rules, regulations and duties, as respects the business of the district, which by law appertaineth to the collectors of townships in this territory; and the said trustees, clerks and collectors shall not be compelled to serve more than one year at any one time; and it shall be the further duty of the trustees of each district, as soon as may be, after the trustees have voted a tax, to make a rate bill or tax list, which shall raise the sum voted, with four cents on a dollar for collector's fees, on all the taxable inhabitants of said district, agreeably to the levy on which the township tax was levied the preoeding year, and annex to the said tax list or rate bill, a warrant, which warrant shall be substantially as followeth:

County of



day of


Collector of the district, in the town of in the county aforesaid, Greeting:- In the name of the United States of America, you are hereby required and commanded to collect from each of the inhabitants of said district, the several sums of money written opposite to the names of each of said inhabi. tants, in the annexed tax list, and within days, after receiving this warrant, to pay the amount of the money by you collected, into the hands of the trustees of said district, or some one of them, and take their or his receipt therefor. And if any one or more of said inhabitants shall neglect or refuse to pay the sum, you are hereby further commanded to levy on the goods and chattels of each delinquent, and make sale thereof, according to law. Given under our hands and seals, this


(L. S.
(L. s.] Trustees.

(L. s. In 1825 Congress authorized the Governor and Council to take charge of the school sections, to protect them from waste and injury, and to provide by law for leasing them. In 1833 the school law of 1828 was repealed and another act passed, which provided for the election of three commissioners of schools and ten inspectors, whose duties were similar to those of inspectors under the present law. They were charged with the protection of section 16, with power to lease and manage it, in whatever manner they deemed best calculated to enhance its value. Any moneys arising from such care and management were to be applied to the support of common schools. The mode of taxation to build a school house, after a majority of the inhabitants approved of the estimate of expense, was similar to later prorisions, requiring the directors of districts to obtain a transcript of so much of the last assessment roll of the township as related to his district, and to add to it all the property of persons who had be

come residents, and of residents who had purchased since the last assessment roll was made.

A humane provision of the law gave discretion to directors, whenever there was within any di-tric*, any poor and in:ligent person, anable to pay for the instruction of his or her children, or where there were poor children without parents, to order such children to be instructed at the school, and the expense of such instruction was defrayed by tax upon the property of the distriet.

This law gave authority to the several commissioners of adjoining townships to constitute and establish conjointly school districts on the line dividing such townships. It also authorized the appointment of some person, by the governor of the territory, ils "uperintendent of common schools,” who had authori:y to the supervision of section 16, and all fractional sections for the use of schools, where trustees or commissioners bal not been chosen. The directors of districts were to report to the Superintendent, the whole rumbur of scholars taught in the district for three months, and any additional time, together with the amount of moneys received from the commissioners. It was made the dury of the Superintendent io li port annually to the Legislative Council, the number of scholars taught the condition of the school lands, suits or actions brought and moneys arising from this and other sources, and whitever else might to him appear necessary, concerning the lands and the condition of the schools.

In 1835, the same year in which the law was p ssed to form a constitution and state government, an amendment to the ct of 183:3, made it the duty of the school commissioners tombe pearly dividends of all moneys coming into their hands by virtue of their office, for rents or damages done lo section 16i, ani diveribile and j'y over the amount to the directors, in proportion to the number of taught, according to the provisions of the law of 18 3. This mendment repealed the sections of the previous art relia B, psintendent, and provided for his appointment hy the Grenoit Hi and with the advice and consent of the Legislatie, wi? 1 and duties as before.

During the year (1835 ] the people of the Ti... constitution and formed a Sta!e yoveri ment. T}: up

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »