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[p. 10]

Plymouth, the first town settled in New England by Europeans, appreciating the intelligence of its founders, and ambitious to preserve its prestige, established a free school in 1672 (antedating Medford's first by nearly a half-century) and a high school in 1826, which was taught by a graduate of Harvard College.

A part of Chelmsford became Lowell in 1825. Within four years of its incorporation and seven years before it became a city with the requisite 12,000 inhabitants, that thriving village had a high school for boys and girls; but its organization was largely due to the irresistible arguments of one man, a young clergyman, possessed of indomitable courage to fight for his cause against the violent opposition of his wealthiest parishioners.

Whether these schools had or had not existed long enough to have realized the ideal of Medford's High School advocates, their very being must surely have afforded a strong backing for the arguments used.

The above-named opposition did not die out for a dozen years or more after the school was established, and, while it could not kill, it essentially crippled.

The school guardians of those days had carefully to study public sentiment, and generally dared not advance beyond its approval. In anticipation of the possible obsequies of the High School, the apartments in the new building erected in 1843 were furnished substantially the same as those of the grammar department under the same roof, so that there might be no waste of furniture when the higher should be merged in the lower grade.

In 1846 an economical compromise was effected, and the experiment tried, and continued for two years, of having lady principals in the two grammar schools, if perchance the reduction of expense (about $500) thus made might satisfy the complainers and secure the quiet permanency of the Committee's favorite institution.

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