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[41] Samuel Phipps & Lt. Eleazer Phillips, be a committee to bargain and agree with a gramer schoolmaster for the yeare to keep a free school & the Selectmen to, Raise by way of Rate on the Inhabitants what shall be wanting beside what is already given for that use to make up the sailery that shall be agreed upon to be given to sd schoolmaster.’

March 8. ‘Agreed that Mr. Samuel Phipps & Lt. Eleazer Phillips go to Cambridge or elsewhere & inform themselves by the best advice they can get of a suitable person for a schoolmaster, & if they see meet to agree with one, this to be done with all expedition.’

This unseemly haste is explained, perhaps, by a reference in Hutchinson Collection, page 553. Frothingham says, page 214, ‘So watchful were the public authorities of the common schools that in 1691 Charlestown was presented to the county court for its neglect, while it was in search of a competent teacher, and only saved itself from a penalty by a quick bargain.’

May 22, 1700. ‘According to vote in March the selectmen and committee agreed with Mr. Thomas Swan to keep the school in this Towne, to teach children belonging to this towne Lattin, writeing, scifering, & to perfect them in Reading English, & forthwith to enter upon said work & continue for the space of one whole yeare from the day of the date hereof. In consideration of which service, faithfully performed, it was agreed that he be paid £ 40 money for the year, to be paid quarterly. Nathl Dowse, Recorder.’

Various orders to the town treasurer to pay Mr. Swan are found upon the books, the most interesting being that of October 27, 1702: ‘To Mr. Thomas Swan 15 shillings money disbursed by him for wood for the schooling of pore children.’

Thus ends the account of Charlestown school in the first century of our history. It remains to add that, at the opening of the eighteenth century (Frothingham, page 243), at annual meeting in March, it was voted, if there should be a county school settled by the General Court, that this Town would raise £ 40, in order to provide for it, if it be settled in this town. Apparently nothing ever came of this.

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