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[p. 8] Caleb Stetson, pastor of the Unitarian Church, a man of wit, tact, enthusiasm, and ripe scholarship; and Deacon Galen James, the builder of more than threescore ships, a man renowned for benevolence, energy, perseverance, and practical common-sense. These men (and doubtless others as well), being convinced that those youth who hungered for education beyond the mere rudiments ought not to be banished from the parental hearth to obtain it, boldly declared their convictions in private circles and in the public business meetings of the town. At the March meeting in 1834 they secured a vote ‘That the School Committee be directed so to arrange the town schools that the girls shall enjoy equal privileges therein with the boys through the year.’ Careful research has failed to reveal the nature of those ‘privileges’ denied to the girls, the removal of which the town then and there resolved upon. One now living, who was then a teacher in town, does not, at this late day, recall any occasion for the vote; yet doubtless the occasion existed, or the vote would not have been passed. It is not certain that anything was done that year by way of executing the citizens' recorded wish. Probably there was not, and hence the agitation was renewed at the next annual meeting in March (1835), and, as additional light had been received, a much higher claim than that of the preceding year was advanced.
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