THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A FREE SCHOOL SYSTEM
(A) Conflict in Politics and Compromise in Education
The Golden Age, however, was over almost before it had arrived. Perhaps, like the happy state of youth, it existed more in anticipation, and later in retrospect, than in actual fact. Continuing the analogy, one may say that with its passing there came to the province many sobering realizations, many vexing problems, a number of great decisions, and the acceptance of new ties and relationships.
In this period of nearly two decades there were only two Acts relating to parish schools. The first of these, the Act of 1858, was passed by what was popularly called the “Smasher” government, but even the “Smashers” did not dare to insist on compulsory assessment for school purposes, in the face of the persistent opposition to such a reform. Before any government had developed the necessary courage and determination to face this issue, and the still more delicate question of non-sectarian schools, the province was caught up in the whole complicated set of circumstances which led to Confederation. It was inevitable, therefore, that further school legislation should await the outcome of the constitutional question and the many adjustments which the new order of things necessitated.
While the interval between the Act of 1858 and the Free School Act of 1871 was a momentous period, the four years from 1854 to 1858 were not without excitement. Not a little of this was provoked by the prohibitory liquor law of 1855. This premature measure was introduced by Tilley as a private bill, and passed the House by a slim majority. An effort was made in 1856 to have the law repealed but without success. It is not clear whether the disorder, which, it was alleged by the Courier, prevailed in the Assembly toward the close of the session, was the result of feeling on this question, or was an expression of disappointment over the inability of Jackson & Co. to complete their contract for building the European and North American railway. Whatever the cause, the proceedings of the House, if accurately described by the Courier, were indicative of a regrettable lack of dignity. The editor of the paper mentioned said that the order “to clear the galleries” , which generally was “a pretty broad hint that the members are disgracing themselves by ungentlemanly conduct, and do not wish to be observed by the public—is given with lamentable frequency from the Speaker's chair. . . . In a deliberative body, which is supposed to contain a large representation of the wisdom and manliness of our people, to see violent outbursts of passion, personal violence threatened, and to hear offensive epithets and personal abuse applied, is painful in the extreme” .1
In a few days the editor of the Courier was able to turn from shaking his head over the Assembly to shaking his fist at the Governor, for that official, the Honourable J. H. T. Manners-Sutton, to whom the liquor law was objectionable, had precipitated a constitutional crisis shortly after the close of the session by dissolving the House against the advice of his Council. In the election which ensued, those who opposed prohibition had to vote, perforce, for the new government, although in doing so they seemed to uphold the right of the Governor to override the wishes of his advisers. The outcome of the election was probably not so much a vindication of the Governor's action as an indication “that all sumptuary laws which are intended to regulate human affairs, must be ineffectual unless they have the support of a large majority of the people affected by them” .2
The campaign was marked by bitterness of feeling and violence of language. Among the names which were bandied about were the terms “Rummies” and “Smashers” , as designations for the Tories and Liberals respectively. What we are most interested in, however, are the social aspects of the controversy, as dealt with by the Courier in a long editorial reviewing the history of colonial government in New Brunswick. Here we find evidences of anti-Tory feeling highly reminiscent of Glenie. Speaking of the Governor, Council, and Judges of the early days, the editor wrote: “These latter were generally sent out from England, received enormous salaries, and strutted on their little platform with all the airs of a genuine aristocracy, to the wonder and admiration of the poor Provincials who had to work for their living, and who could only look from a distance at the honours and dignities which were placed beyond their reach .... In the process of time the descendants of this original aristocracy, educated in a college provided at the public expense, for their sole use and benefit, fell heirs to the snug berths of their progenitors, and so was at length formed a general Colonial aristocracy, without the pale of which all were held as common people, or plebeians, none of whom had the remotest chance or hope of office or power in their native land” . If, said the editorial, “we have been rescued from this state of slavery, it is not, we are sorry to say, to the intelligence, love of freedom, or patriotism of New Brunswickers that we owe it. Too many were always found here to lick the hand of power and bow the knee to oppression, and although some contended manfully for their rights, it was reserved for Canada to take the bull by the horns, and force from the hands of a corrupt oligarchy that right of self-government which is the inherent right of all intelligent people” . The British Government, when it granted responsible government to Canada, “in the same despatch pressed it upon the acceptance of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick” . In Canada and Nova Scotia the people sent the aristocracy about their business. “In this Province, unfortunately, our House of Assembly proved recreant to their trust, and allowed the old 'Family Compact' party to retain power, forgetting that as they had condemned Responsible Government as Responsible Humbug, they were bound to make it turn out so” . Up to the
previous year the rule of the Liliputian aristocrats had prevailed to a certain extent among us. “Roused at length by the open corruption and slavish truckling to the Governor's behests of the men in power, the people at the last General Election returned representatives who by a majority of 29 to 11 declared the country had no confidence in 'Family Compacts'.” A Government was then formed from among the common people, of the sons of carpenters, shopkeepers and farmers, who when tried, were found as capable at making speeches, writing despatches, or concocting financial statements as any of their predecessors. However, those “who had been long habituated to think that in them lay the inherent right to govern” , had done everything they could to disgust the people with plebeian rule. Through the hireling press and venal writers they had vituperated and misrepresented the Government, attributing to it the breaking down of the railway scheme, the discord produced by the liquor law, and the financial embarrassments, deficient revenue, and depressed trade resulting from the Crimean War.
Warming to the attack, the editor next turned his attention to the Governor. “Our present Governor, the Hon. Mr. Manners-Sutton, the son of a Lord, and addicted to convivial habits, it is generally understood, had no sympathy or liking for his constitutional advisers, and associated only with 'gentlemen', in the Fredericton sense of the term.” Those with whom he associated had doubtless led him to believe that his administration did not truly represent the people's choice. “Acting on the advice of his associates, and desiring to have a Government whose 'previous habits' would entitle them to the entrie of Government House,” he had insisted on a dissolution of the Assembly, had provoked the resignation of his Council, and had thrown himself into the hands of the minority of the old “Family Compact” . The issue now was whether the people, or the Governor and an Oligarchy, should rule the Province.3
On the same day the Courier published two letters of a similar tone. The writer of one of these declared that “if the whole Province is to be thrown into confusion through the influence of a few families residing in the neighborhood of Fredericton, who have access at Government House—if that limited community is to rule the Province, the sooner the Government is placed in the centre of a larger population the better” .4
The author of the second letter, signing himself “Alarm” , said of the Governor and his office: “We respect the office; but the holder of the office must respect the people who pay him. Do these foreign importations think they are honouring us by condescending to govern us? If so, we must manfully teach them their mistake . . . . We shall go to the polls with the firm purpose of resisting this last despotic act of the Governor in this Province” .5
Throughout the electoral campaign the Courier featured editorials and communications of the same nature. For instance, on June the twenty-first, an editorial declared: “In the old country and the new, Tory is the name of that
party which believes in stagnation, and always will. Its policy is the rule of the many by the few. Its creed is that the people are unfit to govern, that government is the fitting occupation of a select few” .6
It is interesting and amusing to turn from this description to a definition of the term Tory, as given by one of the party, who styled himself “Old Vinty” . He had been frequently asked by the Smashers if he knew the meaning of the word. His answer was that according to the definition which he had been taught at school, “A Tory is the name of a party, an advocate for the ancient constitution of the State, and the Apostolic Hierarchy of the Church of England. The meaning of Apostolic is what emanated from the Apostles. The meaning of Hierarchy is a sacred government,—therefore “Everything that is pure and Holy, Is comprised in the words-I am a Tory! ” ” 7
After the election was over the Courier continued to criticize the Tory party, complaining particularly of the absence of an energetic immigration policy on the part of Tory immigrant agents. What, asked the editor, had happened to Johnson's excellent report on the agricultural capabilities of the province. Four years before an English emigrant had had to hunt London for a copy, and was compelled to pay six shillings for it. At the time of the Great Exhibition, the Tory government had made Moses Perley the commissioner forward specimens of New Brunswick produce and skill. New Brunswick had a little table four or five feet square, covered with dusty black cotton velvet, in an out-of-the-way apartment. On this table lay inferior samples of flinty spring wheat from the neighbourhood of the Miramichi; some Indian bead work; and a copper bead of a vessel, a representation of an Indian chief. We were mortified, said the editor, to turn from this pitiful collection to the magnificent Canadian trophy.8
We find this outspoken editor a week later blaming all the ills of the country on the administration, thereby resorting to the tactics for which he had condemned the Tories a short time before. It was grievous, he declared, to find every man who had been for a few weeks tour in the United States and Canada coming back surprised at the activity and enterprise there, and exhibiting “a doleful expression of countenance at our own deplorable backward condition . . . . You cannot meet a man in the street who has spent a week or two in Canada that is not chagrined at the pitiful figure we cut on the scale of human progress. The few steamboats we have, are of the solid steady old class that prevailed twenty years ago; we have no railways, our mail coaches can scarcely accomplish a journey of a hundred miles in twenty hours, and they would assuredly fail to do that if Providence had not blessed us with a good soil for roadmaking. Our roads are annually top dressed with the mud out of the ditches which ought to go on to the fields, while stones lie in the fields which ought to be put on the roads . . . . The sullen, listless aspect of the country are
enough to dishearten a native or a settler in this province, and to make him think whether it is worth while to stay in a land where public interest and public feeling seems to be dormant, and where no principles of government seem to be acknowledged, or whether it is not better to fly to those lands of promise of which our returned tourists give such glowing accounts” . As for the reason for this state of affairs, for years New Brunswick had been under the government of a class of men “who have managed it as if it were an isolated corner of the earth. Not only have they legislated for it without regard to the external world, but they have considered it piecemeal. They have never looked steadily at the good of the whole Province alone; they have allowed themselves to be subject to local influences and local feelings, which have generally so nearly balanced one another as to produce a general stand-still” .9
One must make allowances for the political animosities of the time, and agree with Hannay that a good deal of unnecessary violence was injected into this particular campaign,10
but this description of provincial affairs is significant. The westward expansion of Canada in the '40's and '50's meant that “the centre of interest and the centre of economic gravity were to move distinctly westward and there remain” .11
The new age of industry, of steam and steel, was to strike at the old economy of the Maritime provinces; the belief expressed by Howe in 1851 that these Provinces were “but the Atlantic frontage” of the North-west, “the wharves upon which its business will be transacted and beside which its rich argosies are to lie” 12
was to be proved erroneous; “Canadian surplus capital and population would seek outlet elsewhere; British immigration and British capital alike were to pass them by” .13
Eventually these provinces were to realize that prosperity for them could be achieved only through their own initiative, and that it could be only a degree of prosperity. In thus facing the realities of their geographical and economic circumstances, they attained a new maturity. Perhaps it is not surprising that in the new realism there was an element of bitterness.
At the first session of the new government, a session which lasted only ten days, the liquor law was repealed. The position of the Government was revealed as none too secure when, on division, an endorsement of the Governor's conduct in dissolving the Assembly was carried by a majority of only seven. By the time the House met again, in February of 1857, many of the Liberals, who had voted against prohibition, had returned to their party allegiance, and the address in reply to the Governor's speech was carried only by the casting vote of the Speaker. This stalemate prevented vigorous action, but the session was distinguished by two events of importance. For the first time the Provincial Secretary brought down a budget, and a dispatch from the Colonial Office surrendered the surplus civil list fund into the hands of the Provincial Legislature.14
Clearly, whatever party might be in power, Responsible Government had become a fully accomplished fact.
The position of the Government having become untenable, the Governor and Council decided on dissolution. Another heated election was held and the Liberals were returned to power. In the new Government, besides Fisher, who was the leader, there were James Brown, S. L. Tilley, and David Wark, all men who had shown interest for years in the cause of education. The times, however, were not propitious for any reforms in education involving drastic financial changes. Correspondence brought down at the session of 1858 on the subject of immigration showed little prospect of any large gain in population from the United Kingdom.15
The province was struggling forward with the Saint John-Shediac railway which was costing far more than had been anticipated. Britain, because of her operations in the Near East, which were placing a heavy strain on her treasury, was not disposed to support the building of the Intercolonial railway. In fact, in this year a concerted attempt on the part of the British North American provinces to obtain imperial aid for the project failed.16
The public debt of New Brunswick at the end of 1857 was revealed at this session to be over two million dollars,17
and the mercantile interests of the province were suffering from the financial crisis.18
It would seem, therefore, that in these circumstances the Government feared to introduce compulsory assessment for education, particularly as the question of denominational schools was becoming more controversial. For several years resolutions against the continuance of provincial aid to denominational schools had been defeated, and in this particular year a number of petitions were presented to the House for and against the principle of such schools.19
The majority of these were signed by Roman Catholics, asking for the right to establish separate schools, or urging that any legislation which might be passed involving taxation for education should be founded on the system of separate schools. There were also several petitions objecting to the reading of the Bible in the schools, and as many or more, urging that that religious exercise be made compulsory.20
The Parish School Act of 1858 therefore included no provisions for the establishment of free, tax-supported, non-sectarian schools, but merely aimed to correct some of the deficiencies which the passage of time had revealed in the previous Act.
Before proceeding with a study of the new statute, we must examine the official reports of the Superintendent of Education and of the inspectors for the interval between 1854 and 1858. We find that, as before, these officials continued to express the opinion that there could be no real improvement in the parish schools until taxation was universally adopted. In 1856 Superintendent
d'Avray declared that objectors must be resisted on the ground that if men would not voluntarily respect the rights of society and care for the temporal and eternal interests of their children, it was the right and duty of society to supply the want thus sordidly and cruelly created. Society, he thought, could neither forego that right without great peril, nor neglect that duty without great disgrace. As Macaulay had done in England in 1847, he stressed the duty of the state to provide for education as an exercise of self-protection, asserting that if the sordid and the ignorant would not voluntarily acknowledge that the best school is cheaper than the gallows and the gaol at any price, then they must be compelled to act on that truth. Happily, there was little to fear from the evils of crime and pauperism in New Brunswick, but there was the danger that the liberal aid granted by the legislature towards the remuneration of teachers, and the facilities afforded to the people of evading the payment of the sums they ought to contribute would increase, rather than diminish, the popular indifference which was known to exist. Thus the intellectual progress of the rising generation would be impeded.21
In his next annual report, Superintendent d'Avray emphasized the importance of education from the vocational standpoint. Trade and commerce had become professions and required a wide range of information. In every branch of industry the head that planned was becoming daily of more importance than the hand that executed. Scientific knowledge had ceased to be a luxury and had become a necessity. The province required schools in which youth could obtain instruction in those branches of knowledge best calculated to train them for a life of active business.22
It is rather interesting to observe that d'Avray in this report used the term “national” , referring at one point to the necessity of discussing the means of providing a “National Education” to enable the youth of the province to discharge the duties of citizenship, and to develop the faculties necessary for the working of the great machine of civil society. Thoughts of nationality do not seem to have occurred with frequency or force in the minds of New Brunswickers, in contrast with pre-Confederation Nova Scotians, of whom Whitelaw has remarked: “It is hardly an exaggeration to say that they had come to the very threshold of nationality” .23
Had there been a stronger sense of nationality in New Brunswick, the inspector for York County might not have had to complain in 1856 of the continued lack of a map and history of New Brunswick suitable for school purposes. For this he blamed the Legislature. It need be no matter of surprise, he said, that the inhabitants of the province as a body, the parents, teachers, and children, all exhibited apathy in everything connected with education, when they could not help seeing indifference manifested by their representatives.24
Actually, however, an effort was being made by the Board of Education, and by the Legislature, to remedy the lack of a history. The first move seems to have come from Dr. Robb of King's College, whose proposal to write a small
volume for the use of the Parish Schools, on the history, geography and industrial resources of New Brunswick, was well received by the Board of Education, which went on record as willing to recommend Robb's proposal to the Legislature, and to aid him in obtaining a grant for the purpose.25
The next significant official reference to the scheme appears under the date of April 17, 1856, when Wilmot reported for a Committee of the House, appointed for the purpose, that the Committee had examined a communication from Robb relative to the question of procuring certain documents bearing upon the early history of the province. The Committee favored the acquisition of a copy of such portions of the documents as were in the archives of Canada and Paris, and recommended that the sum of £ 150 should be placed at the disposal of His Excellency with a view to obtaining such a copy.26
Later in the session this sum was voted by the Legislature, although twelve members of the House opposed the expenditure.27
At the time of Robb's untimely death in 1861 the project was still unfinished, but he had collected material and had made notes in preparation for it.
The inspector's reports for the period under consideration showed that many school buildings were still very inferior, and many teachers still very inefficient. For instance, in 1857 most of the schoolhouses of Restigouche County were reported as being log huts, and there were no trained teachers in that county.28
The inspector for Kent County said that teachers in that county were paid sometimes in money, at times in money and “truck” , and not infrequently in “promises alone” .29
The inspector for Sunbury County reported that in general the difference between trained and untrained teachers was not preceptible, for in granting licenses the amount of knowledge of the candidate had been made the qualification rather than his teaching ability, and so there were trained teachers who did not succeed in imparting knowledge, and untrained teachers who excelled in doing so.30
The Superintendent, commenting on these reports, said that he felt more strongly than he had ten years before at the opening of the Training School that the possession of a knowledge of the higher branches did not make a teacher a better teacher. The pupils at the Training School all endeavored to obtain a first class license in twelve weeks. They devoted all their time and energies to the necessary preparation for the examination which was to decide their rank. They coached each other, and were coached by the master. Thus the Training and Model School failed in its real object. Moreover, said the Superintendent, this school at Saint John was working under difficulties. The building was a disgrace to the province; the period of training was too short; the duties of the master were too varied. The Training School at Saint John should be remodelled, and with no niggardly
hand. The Province needed something like the Model and Training School in Canada, only on a smaller scale.31
In the same report the Superintendent drew attention to the monopoly on schools held by third class teachers, who were popular because they taught for a pittance. He had issued a circular to the inspectors calling for a closer attention to the regulations relating to licensed teachers. In the past, the inspectors had too readily forwarded certificates in favor of untrained candidates for third class licenses. Since the inspectors were paid according to the number of schools visited it was in their interests to have as many schools as possible, regardless of the fitness of the teacher.32
In addition to this report, it is probable that the case of George Taylor emphasized the importance of elevating the inspectorship to the status of a full-time, adequately paid, position. In August of 1853, Taylor, who was the inspector for Sunbury County, applied to the Board of Education for permission to teach a parish school when he was not engaged in the duties of his office. The Board, however, refused permission, stating that it did not deem the duties of a teacher and an inspector compatible.33
On October 29, 1855, the Board received an application from Taylor, who was still inspector, requesting to be paid as a first class teacher for six months' service in the parish of Sheffield, whereupon the Secretary of the Board was ordered to “inform Mr. Taylor that the Board adheres to the Minute of the first of August, 1853” .34
Taylor, however, petitioned the legislature, where a discussion took place on the propriety of double grants. The principle of such grants was warmly opposed but Taylor received his teacher's allowance.35
Although the Fisher Government of 1855-1856 favored the right of the Executive to initiate money grants—indeed a resolution to effect a change in that direction was reluctantly passed by the Assembly in 1856—the actual change did not take place until 1857 during the short Tory regime. In 1856, therefore, the Assembly could grant Inspector Taylor's petition. As a matter of fact, fifty-four petitions from teachers came before the Committee of the Assembly on School Petitions at this session. The Committee recommended that thirty-seven of the claimants should receive varying sums, and the other seventeen claims were disallowed or referred to the consideration of the House. Among the grants which were recommended was an allowance of £ 50 for the teaching of a superior school at Shediac.36
While the special class of schools known as “Superior Schools” was not established until 1858, it would appear that occasionally before that date a school of a better grade than the usual was called by that name, and received a grant in excess of the ordinary grant. For instance, in 1852, the trustees of the St. Stephen Academy requested special aid for their school in recognition of its “superior” nature. In the April twelfth
edition of the Courier
for 1856, the term “Superior School” occurred in an account of certain proceedings of the House. Under the date of April 7 the special correspondent of the paper described what he called a novel and interesting feature of the day's proceedings. He said that one of the members, in the sincerity of his wishes for the educational improvement of Magaguadavic, had moved for a sum of £ 50 to be applied towards the maintenance of a Superior School in that village, whereupon several members threatened that if the motion passed they would make similar motions for some favored section of their own counties. The threat was carried into effect, and, said the correspondent, for about twenty minutes it was nothing but 'Mr. Speaker, I move for a grant of £ 50 towards the support of a superior school in the Parish of—-—and County of——-' Scarcely any opposition was offered, as it was conceded that such a course would have been less than useless when the principle was assented to in the first instance.37
This makes a very interesting story, but on consulting the Journals we find no record of any such proceedings. Indeed, we discover that later in the session resolutions for grants for Superior Schools in St. Martin's, St. George, Nelson, Hampton, Hopewell, Andover, and Bathurst were negatived.38
It may be that the special correspondent of the Courier
was not a reliable informant, or it is possible that something of the like did occur, and that the record was later expunged from the Journal, although there is no mention of any such obliteration.
In the light of the information embodied in the official reports between the years 1852 and 1858, a new educational measure, if it were to be any improvement over the old, would have to raise the status of the Superintendent and inspectors, apply the principle of self-government to the control of schools, and, by this means and other devices, arouse a sense of local responsibility for education. Naturally, a system of teacher training would have to be continued and, if possible, enlarged and improved. While the inexpediency of making the assessment principle compulsory seemed to be generally accepted, the existing permission to assess for schools could hardly be removed, if retrogression were to be avoided. From the number of petitions which had recently been presented to the Assembly bearing on the question of religious instruction in schools, some action in this connection also seemed unavoidable. In the early years of the province, denominationalism, as we have seen, had been closely related to educational endeavor. In line, however, with the general trend of the nineteenth century away from denominational control of education, the parish schools of the province were designed for children of all faiths, but the religious and moral purposes of education had never been entirely lost sight of. Denominational catechisms were frequently taught; the Bible, especially when books were scarce, was often used for reading purposes; and legislative support to denominational schools had come to be an accepted part of the provincial system. But Irish immigration, as we noted earlier, had added considerably to the Roman Catholic population of the province. Moreover, just as Nova Scotia had been New Eng-
land's outpost in the eighteenth century, so in the nineteenth the northern part of New Brunswick had become an area of expansion for Quebec habitants. By the middle of the century, therefore, the denominational question in education had assumed something of the aspect of a Protestant-Catholic issue. As we shall see, to steer a course between the growing trend against clericalism and sectarianism in education, and the educational policy of the Roman Catholic Church was to become increasingly difficult.
In examining the Parish School Act of 1858,39
those sections of the Act which dealt with the problems we have just raised claim our first attention.
While under the Act the emoluments attached to the office of Chief Superintendent were not as tempting as the Commission of 1854 had indicated that they should be, nevertheless the position was made more attractive than formerly. The maximum salary was increased to £ 300; travelling expenses and contingencies of office were allowed as well; and the Chief Superintendent was to have the assistance of a clerk whose maximum salary was to be £ 150. Thus the highest official in the educational system of the province was freed from many of the less important clerical duties of his office, and was given both the time and the means to become acquainted with the educational conditions of the whole province, and to carry on the highly important work of enlightening and arousing the public. According to the Act, in addressing public meetings on the subject of education he was to use “all legitimate means to excite an interest therein” .
To insure a better system of inspection, the Governor in Council were to divide the province into four inspectorial districts, and to appoint an inspector for each district at a maximum salary of £ 250 a year, including travelling expenses. This salary, and the size of each inspectorial district, meant that henceforth an inspector was to devote his whole time to the work of inspection. While from the modern point of view the salary attached to this office under the Act of 1858 seems inadequate, actually it was four or five times as large as that received by the ordinary school teacher.
When Ryerson framed the School Act of 1846 for Canada West he believed that the fundamental element of the whole system was an elected board of school trustees. On no point was he more careful than to make his system appear in harmony with the principles of self-government. The local trustees of each school section were, therefore, to be responsible to the local ratepayers, and local superintendents were to be responsible to the municipal authorities.40
In New Brunswick, the trustees from the beginning had been appointed by the Justices of the Peace, and had the oversight of all the schools of a parish. It is scarcely to be wondered at that many trustees were satisfied with a partial or perfunctory performance of their duties, or frankly neglected them altogether. The indifference of the trustees was but a reflection of the apathy of the people in general. If the development of the practice of executive responsibility in provincial government had taken many years, in local matters the application of
the principle was delayed still longer. It has been said that “men do not put off the old before the new is ready” .41
Neither do they, except under pressure, take on the new before they themselves are ready for it. The popular indifference that continually delayed the improvement of the schools of New Brunswick also manifested itself in the laggard development of municipal institutions. A permissive measure for the establishment of municipal government was apologetically introduced by Attorney General Street in 1851, but by 1858 only the towns of Carleton and Woodstock, and the Counties of York and Sunbury had availed themselves of the privilege, and in the next twenty years only three other areas made the change. Raymond has expressed the opinion that the desire of the magistrates to retain the honor and dignity of presiding over public affairs at the Quarterly Sessions was one reason for the dilatory adoption of municipal government. He thought, however, that “the chief reasons why the province was tardy seem to have been the apathy of the people and the indifference of the legislature. It was not the fault of the lieutenant-governors, since several of them recommended the establishment of municipal government” .42
We have earlier considered as possible reasons for this civic backwardness such factors as colonial tutelage, a long period of rule by the select few, economic stringencies, the influence of the lumber industry, and defective early education. It is interesting to note at this point what Inspector Davidson of York County said in 1856, as he contemplated the relationship between public apathy, municipal institutions, and educational progress. He believed that no improved system of education could be properly carried out except by means of municipal institutions, and added: “It is to their introduction that the unexampled prosperity of Canada West, both in an educational point of view and otherwise, is mainly to be attributed” . He then compared the amounts granted for educational purposes by the legislatures of New Brunswick and Canada West, and claimed that more than one-half as much money was distributed by the legislature of New Brunswick for the benefit of a population one-fifth as great as that of Canada West. However, New Brunswick, if compared with Canada West in educational improvement, seemed to be standing motionless. Something, he said, must be radically wrong, for as a Province the people of New Brunswick were not less intelligent than the Canadians. The answer must be “that our legislature has done too much . . . . Our people have never been taught to rely upon themselves even to a small extent, but they will have to learn sooner or later” .43
Whether or not any completely satisfactory explanation can be found for this state of provincial apathy, thoughtful individuals from the provincial governors down to the county inspectors testified to its existence, and to the retardive influences which it exerted. In the Act of 1858 we find several provisions designed to arouse a sense of local responsibility for local education.
One of the most significant of the new arrangements provided that three Trustees of Schools were to be elected annually in each Town or Parish, at the same time and in the same manner as other Town or Parish officers, and subject to the same penalties for neglect or refusal to act, or for the non-performance of their duties. If, however, a Town or Parish failed to elect Trustees, the Sessions were to appoint as usual. In incorporated Towns, Cities, or Counties, the Council was to appoint the Trustees a provision which may have been included for the purpose of encouraging the adoption of municipal government. We notice at once that with respect to Trustees the Act of 1858 did not proceed so far in the direction of local responsibility for schools as did school legislation in Canada West, where the Trustees were elected for the local school district or section, and were therefore responsible for the oversight of only one school. Not until 1871 was this procedure adopted in New Brunswick, and the practice of having Town or City Councils appoint Trustees has been continued to the present time, a practice which means that the people of urban districts exercise only second-hand control over their School Trustees.
While under the Act of 1858 the Trustees continued to exercise many of the same duties that previous acts had laid down, and while they continued to be responsible for all the schools of their parish, some of their former duties now devolved on local School Committees. Such Committees were to be elected by the ratepayers of the District at an annual meeting called by the Trustees on a notice of seven days. In specifying the duties of these local bodies the Act declared: “The School Committee shall have the immediate charge of the School House, with the furniture, apparatus and grounds. They shall, when necessary, call meetings of the inhabitants of the District for the purpose of providing a School House, books, maps, apparatus, school furniture and fuel, and for the support of the School and the comfort of the scholars. They shall have the immediate control of any Library provided by the District, and may appoint a Librarian, Secretary, and Treasurer. They shall receive and appropriate any money raised in the District for the purpose of providing a Library or increasing the same. The School Committee may admit as many free scholars, and also children at reduced rates, being the children of poor and indigent parents, as they may deem prudent and just” .
Clearly, the purpose of these administrative changes was to secure local interest in the welfare of the Parish Schools, and to encourage greater responsibility and a more faithful performance of duty on the part of local authorities. In the Act of 1847 a long step had been taken in the direction of a central authority for the whole province, and in the Act of 1852 the centralizing process had been more or less completed by the appointment of a Chief Superintendent of Education. But in local administration no change had been made since the year 1816, although the fact had been long apparent that the Trustees either could not, or would not, take a proper interest in all the schools of a parish. The Act of 1858 represents, therefore, a step towards the decentralization of local school government, but not a full stride. It was apparently felt by those who framed the Act that a more sudden and complete change to local Boards
of Trustees would be premature at this time, and that half-way measures should be tried out first.
Besides these administrative changes there were other features of the Act of 1858 which aimed to arouse interest in education and to encourage local expenditure for better schools. One of these was the establishment of Superior Schools. If the inhabitants of any School District should raise by assessment or otherwise, for the support of a Superior School, the sum of £ 50 or upwards, and had engaged a competent Teacher, they were to receive from the Province a sum equal to the amount so raised, but not exceeding the rate of £ 5 per annum. When the inspector had certified that the school had been taught to his satisfaction, and that the teacher had received £ 50 or more from the inhabitants in cash,44
then the Provincial grant would be paid to the teacher, but not more than one such school would be assisted in a Parish. The establishment of these schools was an encouragement to first class teachers, and to the inhabitants of a district who wished to have the services of the best teachers, and were willing to pay for the advantages of a good school. Eventually Superior Schools were to become a special type of school, midway between the Parish Schools and the Grammar Schools, but in the Act of 1858 nothing was said about the curriculum or the attendance. In other words, the Superior School at this time was thought of merely as a better grade of Parish School, to which the Government would give special aid in recognition of special interest and initiative on the part of the people.
Another way in which the Act of 1858 offered encouragement and special assistance to those who were willing to help themselves was through a provision for the establishment of School Libraries. The section of the Act on this point reads: “Whenever any School District shall raise a sum of money for the purpose of establishing a Library, or increasing any one already established, they shall be entitled to receive from the Provincial Treasury a sum equal to half the amount so raised, to be expended in the purchase of Books therefor, not to exceed five pounds in any one year” . One of the duties of the Board of Education, as laid down in the Act, was “to provide for the establishment, regulation, and government of School Libraries, and the selection of Books to be used therein; but no works of a licentious, vicious, or immoral tendency, or hostile to the Christian religion, or works on controversial theology, shall be admitted” .
Finally, special grants were again offered to districts and parishes which might adopt the principle of assessment. The bonus, however, was reduced from 25% to 10% of the sum raised by taxation. Although counties and municipalities were also permitted by the Act to adopt the taxation principle, no special grant was provided for such areas. During the next decade frequent references were made to this omission as a flaw in the Act, and as a drawback to the adoption of assessment by municipal institutions. As we shall see, the general failure of districts, counties, and municipalities to adopt taxation for
schools under this Act in the end necessitated legislation forcing school districts to tax themselves for the support of their schools.
With regard to the Training School, the Act of 1858 foreshadowed no significant changes. We note that allowances for the expenses of teachers who attended the School were to be continued, but no allowance was to exceed £ 6 to any one teacher. The salary of the master of the Training School was not to exceed £ 250 per annum; the maximum salary of the male teacher of the Model School was set at £ 125 per annum; and that of the female teacher was fixed at £ 75 per annum.
In the light of the controversy which arose later over the provisions of this Act for religious and moral teaching, the exact wording of that section of the Act which legislated on this question is of extreme importance. Section VIII, listing the duties of teachers under the Act, stated: “Every teacher shall take diligent care, and exert his best endeavors to impress on the minds of the children committed to his care, the principles of Christianity, morality and justice, and a sacred regard for truth and honesty, love of their country, loyalty, humanity, and a universal benevolence, sobriety, industry and frugality, chastity, moderation and temperance, order and cleanliness, and all other virtues which are the ornaments of human society, but no pupil shall be required to read or study in or from any religious book, or join in any act of devotion objected to by his parents or guardians; and the Board of Education shall, by regulation, secure to all children whose parents or guardians do not object to it, the reading of the Bible in Parish Schools—and the Bible, when read in Parish Schools by Roman Catholic children shall, if required by their parents or guardians, be the Douay version, without note or comment” . When, under the Act of 1871, sectarian schools were deprived of a government allowance, the Roman Catholics claimed that this section of the Act of 1858 had permitted them to have separate schools. Thus a clause in the Act of 1858, designed to satisfy all parties, later became one of the focal points in a bitter denominational controversy which penetrated to the Canadian House of Commons, and to the highest court in the Empire.
The regulations of the Act relating to the qualifications of teachers differed very little from similar regulations in the Act of 1852. Male teachers of the first class were to teach Spelling, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, English Grammar, Geography, History, Book-keeping, Geometry, Mensuration, Land Surveying, Navigation, and Algebra, while female teachers of the same class were to teach Needlework and the first seven subjects named for male teachers. Second class male teachers were required to teach the same subjects as first class male teachers, with the omission of Geometry, Mensuration, Land Surveying, Navigation, and Algebra. Second class female teachers were to teach the same subjects as second class male teachers, with the omission of History and Bookkeeping, and the addition of Needlework. The requirements for third class teachers of both sexes were simple—Spelling, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, with the addition of the inevitable Needlework in the case of females. The Act required all teachers of the first and second class to impart a knowledge of the
Geography, History and Resources of the Province of New Brunswick and the adjoining North American colonies.
The provincial allowance for teachers of the various classes was as follows:
The payment of the government grant was contingent on the payment of an equal sum, or its equivalent, by the inhabitants of the district. In other words, the objectionable practice of paying the teacher in board and washing might be continued.
Of the remaining provisions of the Act, the majority of which were of a routine nature, we shall note only two. Penalties were fixed for the misappropriation of school funds by School Committees, and for the making of false returns by teachers and inspectors. Among the powers of the Board of Education was that of making regulations for the construction and ventilation of school houses, and for the furniture and apparatus to be used. The Chief Superintendent was to provide the necessary plans for the construction of school buildings, and was to encourage the improvement and embellishment of the school grounds. We find that about a month after the Act came into effect the Board of Education recorded a minute to the effect that the Superintendent should keep in his office, ready for immediate reference, the plans of school houses and grounds, and the description of furniture, recently published in Canada, Nova Scotia, and the United States, and should exert his best efforts to aid the School Committees in making selections and arrangements proportionate to the money to be expended.45
(B) Interim 1858-1871
It is probable that many people in the province lauded the Government for passing a School Act which spared property owners the “burden” of taxation for schools. Others, however, were disappointed that the Government should continue to temporize. At a public meeting held in Carleton on March 16, 1859, for the purpose of considering the adoption of the assessment principle, one of the speakers pointed to the United States, Upper Canada, Scotland, and Germany as instances of the beneficial working of this principle. “He could only condemn the Government for not making it compulsory (in New Brunswick). He thought they should have had the moral courage to grapple with the question of Education, and have firmly determined to stand or fall by direct taxation for the support of schools throughout the Province.” 46
Feeling evidently ran high at this meeting, for the editor of The Western Recorder & Weekly Herald
stated that in consequence of his advocacy of the principle of
direct taxation for the support of schools, a subscriber called the next day and requested the removal of his name from the subscription list of the paper.47
According to The Morning News
, the Press of the Province, with one exception, was universally agreed that direct taxation was the only remedy for the imperfect school system of the Province. So many papers.48
not all on the same side of politics, could not, declared The Morning News
, all be mistaken. people should be taught that they were now taxed heavily for schools in an indirect way. for one-fourth of the Provincial revenue went toward the maintenance of the common schools, and about 13,000 a year for denominational institutions. Why not, asked The Morning News, introduce a bill embracing what was required, and submit it to the people as an independent question.49 The Instructor
, a little periodical “devoted to Education, Agriculture, Emigration and General Intelligence” , in March of 1861 made unflattering comparisons between New Brunswick and Upper Canada,50
and a month later declared: “Our educational progress is weighed in the balance and found wanting” .51
Critics who had queried for ten years, “Why does the Legislature hesitate to bring forward a scheme of compulsory assessment?” did not fail to raise this question again. There were ample opportunities for asking it, for no further steps were taken in the direction of free tax-supported schools until 1871. If, as a writer to The Courier
said in 1862,52
the majority of the members of the Assembly were convinced of the benefits which would result from the adoption of such a system, then one is justified in concluding that the members hesitated because they knew there was no popular demand for it. This indifference of the people meant that eventually a system of free tax-supported schools had to be imposed from above, rather than achieved as the result of a popular movement. That the establishment of municipal institutions, and, to a certain extent, of responsible government, took place in much the same way is indicative of consistency, but only adds to the enigma of the New Brunswick civic temperament of a hundred years ago.
During the decade between 1860 and 1870, absorbing problems involving railways, industry, Maritime Union, and Confederation were before the province. This fact possibly explains the paucity of educational developments during that interval, and the postponement of a free school act. The report of the Chief Superintendent of Education in 1868 indicated that the cause of education had been influenced adversely by the problems and disturbances of the times. The year 1867 had been eventful in the history of the Province. The distraction of the popular mind arising from the political agitations and changes, the depressed state of business, the diminished demand for labour in the principal centres, were all calculated, he said, to draw men's minds from the subject
of education. He added: “Whatever may be the effect of these influences in the future, it is morally certain that their tendency for the time was rather to retard than to advance the interests of education” .53
But for this negative influence, it is difficult to find a vital connection between the political and economic developments of the period, and the educational question. In a sense, the fact that the Province came to maturity educationally, as well as politically, establishes a relationship among all the events and developments of the era. We shall not, however, strain a point to discover a more significant interaction.
In addition to the difficulty of establishing a close relationship between education and Confederation, there is another reason why a lengthy consideration of the political aspects of the decade would be superfluous in this study. No period of Maritime and Canadian history has received so much attention from writers. Economists, royal commissions, and advocates of Maritime Rights have familiarized us with the chief features of the Golden Age, and have discussed the reasons for its decline. Historians have found in the pre-Confederation period ample material for article and essay. The history of the movement which led to Confederation has been told, from its beginnings in the rather nebulous ideas in the minds of Guy Carleton and William Smith at the time of the disruption of the Old Empire, through a number of proposals for various kinds of union—regional, legislative, federated—down to the consummation of the idea in the British North America Act.54
The relationship in New Brunswick between the railway question and the Confederation issue has been studied,55
likewise the basis and persistence of opposition to Confederation in that province.56
The economic and political reasons which made a union appear desirable to Canada, to Britain, and to the Maritime Provinces, have been investigated. The influence of the American Civil War, of the Trent affair, and of Fenian threats, has been recognized. The key position of New Brunswick in relation to the scheme, the part played by her governors for and against union, and the political manoeuvres which led to a reconsideration of the question in the province are not unexplored topics.57
Under these circumstances, deviations from the educational developments of this period are only justifiable when such wanderings lead to further light on the progress or retardation of schools and learning.
The “Smasher” Government which had sponsored the Act of 1858 dismissed Marshall d'Avray from his post as Chief Superintendent. A descend-
ant of his family has said that he lost his position 'through the precipitate action of a group of politicians who then autocratically managed affairs, under what has been somewhat impolitely called The Smasher Government'.58
It is not clear whether the Government objected to d'Avray's political views, his educational policies, or his dual role as Chief Superintendent and Professor of Modern Languages at King's College. Patronage may have been a factor, for the new incumbent of the office was Henry Fisher, a brother of Charles Fisher, the leader of the Government. Indeed, this may have been the real reason, since a number of other public officials were dismissed at the same time in accordance with the “spoils system” which was then so generally practised in the neighbouring States as well as in other provinces of British America.
An untimely death made the new Superintendent's tenure of office so brief that no accurate estimate can be made of his views, or of his abilities as an administrator. His first—and last—report shows that he entered into his work with energy, and was making a study of educational developments elsewhere. In accordance with the Act of 1858 he had made a series of visits to all the counties, delivering lectures on education. He referred to physical education as a subject under the consideration of some of the leading educationists of the day, and hoped to mature a plan by which it might be introduced into New Brunswick. He had similar hopes with regard to the study of vocal music, which, he said, was proving advantageous on the Continent, in Great Britain, the United States, and some of the neighboring provinces. The pupil-teachers at the Training School were already receiving instruction in the subject. He believed that intercourse for purposes of mutual sympathy and improvement would be helpful to teachers, and he pointed to the establishment of Teachers' Institutes in the United States, Canada, and Nova Scotia. After consultation with the inspectors he had resolved to attempt similar establishments in the Province. On the subject of assessment he adopted a cautious tone, which is not surprising considering his close connection with the leader of the Government which had failed to make assessment for schools compulsory. His belief was, he said, that the Legislature had been wise in 1852 and 1858 in leaving the assessment principle to voluntary action. The subject was now being discussed in the Press, at meetings, and in homes. He was optimistic that in a few years the country would be ready for the general adoption of the system.59
One wonders how long he would have maintained this spirit of optimism had he lived.
Fisher was succeeded by John Bennet who remained in office until the inauguration of the free school system rendered advisable the appointment of a man experienced in its workings. Such an individual was found in the person of Theodore Rand of Nova Scotia.
Among the changes in personnel which took place after the passing of the Act of 1858, we note that E. H. Duval resigned as master of the Training
School to become one of the provincial inspectors. He was succeeded by William Mills, who for some years previous had conducted a “Commercial and Mathematical School” , at his home on Coburg Street. On his appointment, Mills arranged the transfer of the Normal School to his own premises, using the pupils of the Commercial School as a Model School. Because of lack of space he placed the female section of the Normal School in another building, under the tutelage of Miss Duval, who had assisted her father.60
Later a move was made to premises a little more convenient, but “not so commodious as might be desired” .61
The arrangement far from satisfactory at any time, became more unsatisfactory as the attendance grew and the premises deteriorated. In 1870 a Committee of the Board of Education visited the School and reported on the unsuitability of the accommodations. Part of the Normal School was conducted in the basement of Calvin Church on Hazen Street. The lighting, heating, and ventilation were defective—for instance, one small stove heated three rooms. The Female Department was lodged on Mill's own premises over a fuel shed, and the skylight for ventilation in the centre of the roof was not water-tight.62
Clearly, better accommodations would have to be provided. Moreover, for some time Bennet had been urging the removal of the Normal School to Fredericton, where the Superintendent, the chief agent of the Board of Education, had his office and could exercise supervision without expenditures for travel. One central Training School would, he thought, render unnecessary the supplementary school conducted at Chatham for the benefit of the northern counties.63
This school at Chatham was under the management of William Crocket who was a native of Scotland and had attended Aberdeen College. After acting as Principal of the Superior School at Campbellton he had become the head of the Presbyterian Academy at Chatham. When he began to train teachers he used this Academy as his Model School. His report of 1870 shows that during the three years his Training School was in operation he trained 117 candidates.64
Professional instruction, as we noted earlier, was given after the regular school hours.
The availability of the stone barracks on Queen Street, Fredericton, at a rental of £ 10 sterling per annum, facilitated the move from Saint John to that city. Although sixteen years had passed since the Commission of 1854 had urged the importance of fine buildings and grounds for a Normal School, temporary housing accommodations for the Training School of New Brunswick were not to end in 1870. The first Normal School had been conducted in a gaol. The move at this time from a basement and a semi-loft was made to the stone barracks in Fredericton, where the new school opened in May, 1870, under the Principalship of William Crocket. Not until 1877 was a really suitable
building, designed for the purpose, constructed on the site of the present Normal School.
From the official reports of the sixties we learn that candidates entering the Training School were found to be better prepared than formerly. The Superintendent thought that this was due to the “improving quality” of the common schools, and the practice of rejecting candidates who were not qualified.65
In 1863 the system was begun of requiring teachers, at the expiration of their training, to undergo examination in writing for their license. The superintendent commended this, but pointed out that licenses issued under the old system did not represent the same qualifications as licenses under the new system. Because of this inequality, he thought that a reclassification of licenses was necessary.66
This, however, does not seem to have been done.
The number of trained teachers greatly increased during this period. In 1868 there were twice as many trained teachers as in 1858, and the Superintendent expressed the doubt that any state in the American Union had its schools conducted by so large a proportion of trained teachers as New Brunswick. He believed that Massachusetts might shortly adopt a training policy like that of New Brunswick's, in preference to the Teachers' Institutes on which, in that state, dependence had so long been placed. Even Nova Scotia, to which many anxious eyes were turned for educational light,67
was, in this respect, behind New Brunswick in actual and relative number of trained teachers employed in the public schools. In New Brunswick, two out of every three teachers were trained; in Nova Scotia in 1867 not more than two hundred and seventy-two teachers were graduates of the Normal School.68
There were, however, still too many untrained teachers in New Brunswick, and the Superintendent suggested that the Board of Education, after giving notice, should require all untrained teachers to attend the Training School or submit to re-examination.69
He thought that if teachers did not possess the qualifications which the law and the age required, in mercy to the public they should be made to stand aside, and if they possessed those qualifications, there was no hardship in asking them to submit proof.70
In connection with this question of untrained teachers it would appear that these were of two classes—teachers who were granted third class licenses on the recommendation of the inspector, and students who were recommended by the principals of the better schools of the province, and were examined for license by a Board of Examiners, without being required to attend the Normal School. From the Minutes of the Board of Education under the date of April 12, 1860, we find that the Board had had enquiries from St. Stephen Academy and Sackville Academy relative to this question, and that the Board refused to
make a blanket regulation, but ruled that each case would be dealt with according to its own merits.71
From the number of misdemeanors and irregularities of various kinds reported against teachers during this period, one is induced to wonder if the economic uncertainties, political unease, and international tensions of the early sixties had not communicated to society a social restlessness and a disregard of standards. A simpler explanation may lie in the fact that after the Act of 1858 personal and professional mistakes of the teaching profession were more likely to be noted and reported, because of a better system of inspection. At any rate, many irregularities were reported during this period. A surprising number of teachers lost their licenses for drunkenness, irregular attendance, and immoral or abusive language. Of the more flagrant cases we shall note a few specific examples. In 1862 two male teachers lost their licenses because they were charged with seduction and bastardy,72
and two female teachers also had their licenses cancelled because they had given birth to illegitimate children.73
In the same year, a teacher was charged with drunkenness, altering his license from the third class to the second, and forging the signatures of the trustees to some school returns.74
The next year, Inspector Duval reported that a teacher, or his wife, was selling liquor on the premises where the school was conducted, viz., in a part of the teacher's house, and that at the time of the inspector's visit there were parties drinking and quarreling about the said premises.75
At one session of the Board of Education in the spring of 1865, the license of one teacher was cancelled because he had made false returns, and that of another likewise, because full investigation had upheld charges that he had indulged in improper conduct towards some of his female pupils.76
Evidences of professional, as well as of moral lapses, occur in some of the inspectors' reports. One official remarked that he did not wonder there were wretched schools, for he sometimes had entered a school to find the master poring over a newspaper or the mistress engaged at a quilt.77
In the course of observations in 1870 on the school book question, Inspector Morrison revealed some interesting facts both about the texts and the way in which they were sometimes handled by the teachers. After noting that the only Geography used in the French Schools taught that the population of St. Andrews was 10,500 and that of Fredericton 5,300, he told of visiting a school in Northumberland County where the children were reading a lesson from one of the Irish National texts. The lesson began: “The country where you, children, live in, is called Ireland” , and the teacher gave the explanations all on the assumption that the children did live in that country. The class was dismissed without any reference to the error, and, on examination, the inspector found that the children
actually believed they lived in Ireland. The inspector's comment was that it was bad enough to teach little Frenchmen that St. Andrew's was twice the size of Fredericton, but that to teach young Bluenoses that they lived in Ireland was drawing too largely on good nature.78
While hundreds of teachers were no doubt leading exemplary private and professional lives, the number and nature of all these irregularities cast a serious reflection on the character of the teaching body and indirectly, on the provincial society which, through indifference or poverty, had failed to demand a higher standard on the part of its teachers.
We may note two other cases, of a somewhat different category. The first of these was more pathetic than reprehensible. In 1862 the Board had before it, for consideration, the case of a teacher from Albert County who asked for provincial aid for five and five-eighths months of teaching service, when, according to the regulations, no teacher could draw the provincial allowance for less than six months of service. The teacher was well recommended by her employers and by the trustees, but the Board noted that she was “about twelve years of age” , and ruled “Impossible to entertain such an application” .79
The international situation was involved in the case of a teacher from Campobello, whose application for the provincial grant was refused because he had been for some time engaged in the service of the Federal Army during the American Civil War. The order of the Board read as follows: “Mr. D——having openly violated the law, and rendered himself liable to severe penalties by entering without license a foreign service, cannot possibly be employed by the provincial government.” 80
An excursion at this point into the economic, political, and social fields seems necessary in order to accentuate the background into which this rather depressing picture of pre-Confederation education in New Brunswick fits with a remarkable degree of harmony. In this connection we find various observations by Lieutenant-Governor A. H. Gordon of great significance. This administrator, being young, vigorous, and without family cares, travelled the remote rural areas of the province to a greater extent than had his predecessors.81
He was, therefore, qualified to speak of prevailing conditions. Even the possibility that his political observations may have been influenced by class and political prejudices cannot rob them of significance.
In 1862 Gordon made the following comparison between New Brunswick and Canada: “Above all I have been struck by the startling contrast which the position of New Brunswick presents to that of the neighboring province of Canada. New Brunswick viewed after an inspection however cursory of the wealth, prosperity, comfort and progress of that magnificent dependency appears poverty-stricken, stagnant and decaying. In Canada new buildings are everywhere rising which in the towns are generally of brick or stone; new
settlements are extending in the wilderness on well organized plans: ships crowd every port of their noble rivers and lakes. Here, new buildings, almost always of wood, certainly creep up here or there; but a stone house or public building is a sure mark of an earlier period; new settlements are few: but two or three, on any plan or scale, of numbering so many as fifty persons having been mad, in the last ten years, whilst the bare sad desolation of cleared land once farmed but now abandoned is not an infrequent spectacle in any extensive journey, and I know of at least one settlement, where twenty years ago there were one hundred settlers, and now are none.” 82
It is significant that a recent economist should have to describe the rural New Brunswick of today in terms reminiscent of those used by Gordon eighty years ago. On the other hand, if this description of conditions of eighty years ago is accurate, it indicates that the prosperity connected in the Popular mind with the pre-Confederation era has been somewhat overrated.
Gordon next referred to the apathetic listlessness of the inhabitants, “a listlessness which contrasts strongly with the notions usually entertained of the American character, and which is partly the cause and partly the result of the present political conditions of the Province—partly the cause—as but for their own apathy and inefficiency the educated and wealthy class would not so wholly have lost every vestige of influence; partly the result, for under the existing state of things no man of comfortable private means has any temptation to busy himself with public affairs” .83
About a year earlier Gordon had described the leading public men as “imperfectly educated and destitute of all political experience” .84
In his lengthy confidential dispatch of December 31, 1862, he elaborated this point, and the character of the Assembly. “With one or two exceptions every gentleman of education and position has lost his seat and has been replaced by some ignorant lumberer or petty attorney, or by some keeper of a village grog shop or grocery store. Immense sums of money—immense at least for this part of the world— were lavished on the elections. Members are not ashamed to boast openly, and at my table, of the amount they have expended. I have myself heard a member of the Executive Council boast to one of his colleagues that his supporters had cost him a guinea apiece, and that their votes were not to be had at 3s. 6d. a head, like those of the county which his colleague represented.” 85
Describing some of the scenes in the Assembly he wrote: “The spectacle of the grave deaf old clerk seated at his table in gown and bands, a relic of more decorous days, and mournfully endeavouring to avoid the sofa cushions pitched about the House by playful and would be humorous members, was highly suggestive of the change which the last five and twenty years have worked in the character and appearance of the Assembly.” He attributed this state of affairs partly to the inefficiency of the speaker, but in a greater degree to the
description of persons from whom the members were generally selected. “A question is seldom argued upon its own merits he past history of those who take part in the discussion is raked up—Bare assertions are met by flat contradictions— disparaging innuendoes by an appeal to a past public career, and the dispute having passed into a squabble probably not bearing the slightest reference to the question nominally before the House wanders on till dinner time, when progress is reported. Almost the only questions which appear to excite any very lively interest are those which may affect the immediate locality from which the members come, or which afford them a chance of sharing in the spoils of office.” 86
“Public opinion there is really none—the press, with hardly an exception, is below contempt, and the men who have any regard to the welfare of the Province as a Province and apart from their own selfish interests might easily be numbered.” 87
While in Gordon's remarks of a somewhat similar nature two years later we may trace signs of his opposition at that time to Confederation, it is impossible to believe that they are completely devoid of significance. Under the date of October 11, 1864, he pointed out that in a Federal System the ablest men in political life would be found at the political centre, leaving little material for an able Executive and Legislature in the provinces, especially in New Brunswick, where there was a lack of material to begin with. “The local assemblies would then be filled exclusively with men of a stamp already too common among their members—men without education, able indeed to sign their names but barely able to write a few consecutive lines, and utterly unable to do so consistently with any known rules of grammar or orthography—men, not only without principle, but without the affectation of principle, men whose honesty . . . consists in their open avowal of selfish motives and the unconcealed manner in which they exercise any power they may possess to profit themselves or their friends, or to injure those against whom they may have a grudge.” 88
This picture of men and things, even after allowances are made for possible exaggerations and misinterpretations on Gordon's part, is revealing. One sees defective educational facilities as both cause and effect—as the result of years of rule by “gentlemen” insufficiently concerned with the needs of the common people; and as the cause, or at least one of the causes, of laggard developments in education after the reins had passed from the hands of “gentlemen” . These found much to condemn in the new order, but failed to see that their fathers and grandfathers were partly responsible.
Turning now to the more promising aspects of education in the sixties we find a number of improvements and advances. As we have seen, the Grammar Schools of the province, from the first, were under the management of separate Boards of Trustees or Directors. In 1861 they were placed under the control of the Board of Education, and became subject to the supervision of the
Chief Superintendent. Of the eleven Grammar Schools which he visited in 1861 and 1862, he reported four as good, three as middling, and the remainder as below the grade of the ordinary Parish Schools.89
In an effort to raise the standard of these schools, the Board of Education issued a number of regulations. In future no person would be considered eligible to take charge of any of the Grammar Schools who was not a graduate of some degree-conferring university or college, or who had not received a certificate of qualification upon examination before the Board. The school house was to be fully equipped and large enough to allow not less than 120 cubic feet of air to each pupil. There must be an average daily attendance of not less than fifteen pupils over ten years of age, and at least five pupils in each Grammar School were to be regularly instructed in Latin. Greek and Mathematics, or any two of these branches, and not less than ten in English Composition and Modern History.90
Grammar School licenses continued to be issued by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, and in the Minutes of the Council we find references to a number of applications during this period. These licenses seem to have been granted without an examination of the candidate, but whether or not the applicant in every case held a degree is not stated. In 1865 Superintendent Bennet referred to the disadvantage of having the Grammar Schools and the district schools under separate Boards of Trustees. He said that sometimes big boys were sent to the district schools, and small ones to the Grammar Schools, thus reversing the order of things and making the schools to some extent do each other's work.91
As we shall see, the Act of 1871 permitted the joint management of both types of schools, but not until 1884 were the separate Grammar School corporations dissolved by law.
Among the devices used during this decade to stimulate interest in education were competitive examinations among the brighter pupils of a County. According to the Superintendent's report in 1868 such examinations were first held in Restigouche County in 1866, and had extended to Albert, Northumberland, and part of Gloucester. The Government had aided the scheme by a grant of $ 40 to each County for prizes, but sufficient funds for the prizes required had been subscribed in those Counties by interested gentlemen before the Government took action. The Government grant had been accepted, however, and the local funds reserved for future competitions. Apparently great interest was aroused. A competition held at Belledune between the champions of Restigouche and Gloucester had been attended, said the Superintendent, by people from miles around.92
The next report, however, expressed disappointment, for the new Government was not prepared to make provision for the necessary prizes. Because dependence had been placed on the expected grant, steps had not been taken in time to procure funds from other sources. As a result, competi-
tive examinations had been repeated only in Restigouche and Gloucester, where the necessary arrangements had been made the year before. The Superintendent hopefully left the matter to the good sense and patriotism of the Government and Legislature,93
and in May of that year the Executive Council issued a warrant to Bennet for $ 200 on this account.94
The grant was apparently repeated the next year, as in March of 1870, during a debate in the Assembly on another matter, one of the members urged that it be struck off, as the benefits were not equal to the expenditure. He thought that teachers were apt to give too great a share of their attention to two or three pupils, in order to qualify them for the examination.95
Early in the sixties Teachers' Institutes were initiated; in fact several regional Institutes were held before 1860, a number being reported in that year as having been organized by the late Henry Fisher. 96
The first Provincial Institute was held in 1863. The modest scale on which these early meetings were held is indicated by the attendance at the second annual session, held in Fredericton in 1864. There were only twenty of the leading teachers of the province present, besides the Chief Superintendent and three inspectors.97
A degree of public interest in these Institutes, County and Provincial, is revealed by grateful references on the part of the Superintendent and inspectors to the offers of steamship companies, whose boats plied the Saint John river, to convey the delegates at half price. That the collective body of teachers began early to make suggestions to the Government in the interests of education is indicated by a Minute of the Executive Council in 1867 acknowledging the receipt of a letter from a committee of the Teachers' Provincial Institute. The Council went on record as being interested always in obtaining information on the important subject of education; thanked the teachers; and invited future suggestions.98
It is fairly safe to suppose that the suggestions offered on this occasion related to the subject of assessment.
Towards the close of the decade, the Superintendent began to advocate the establishment of a pension fund for teachers, pointing to the existence of pension plans in Germany and in both provinces of Canada. He believed that a scheme of pensions would be an inducement to young men to enter the school service and to remain in it, and he thought it was mistaken economy to retain a man as teacher after his mental and physical energies were impaired.99
From the official reports we glean a few minor items of information, more or less interesting, or indicative of progress. The Superintendent reported in 1862 that 5000 copies of Johnston's Catechism of Agricultural Chemistry and Geology had been distributed for sale among the school book agents of the
province. He recommended this as a step toward the improvement of agriculture. Special Agricultural Schools with Model Farms attached were as yet too expensive for the province, but it was well to use whatever modest means and humble appliances were at public disposal.100
We learn that a map of the Province was now available, and was offered gratis to every school district which established a library of the minimum value of £ 7 10s., including the Provincial bonus.101
The Board had made arrangements for the sale of Worcester's Series of English Dictionaries which teachers might obtain at a discount of 25%. Bennet approved of these as being free of the innovations which detracted from Webster's Dictionary.102
In general, there were few authorized changes in the school books in use, but a feeling was growing in favor of more modern texts. As Inspector Morrison pointed out in 1866, a quarter of a century had elapsed since the readers had been authorized, and school literature in the interval had improved, while succeeding editions of the Irish National texts had deteriorated. In some of the denominational schools obtaining provincial grants, books of a strong denominational bias had been substituted, and along the border, teachers, sensible of the inferiority of New Brunswick texts, were using the American books. This was regarded as objectionable, as many of these books satirized British usages and institutions.103
In 1871 the Superintendent reported that the Board had arranged with a Toronto firm for readers to replace the Irish readers. These, he said, were inexpensive, and were considered by teachers and clergymen to be well adapted to schools of a mixed character.104
In the same year, Inspector Morrison expressed himself strongly on the subject of French texts, severely criticizing those in use in the French schools. He said that if it were expedient to preserve the French language at all in the public schools, which many intelligent Frenchmen denied—a remarkable statement, surely—then it was only wisdom and justice to afford the French children as good facilities for obtaining information as were afforded to the English children. In point of fact, however, catechisms and a few other religious books formed nearly the whole literature of the French schools. The low state of these schools was not always the result of poverty or indifference on the part of the parents, but was chiefly caused, he thought, by the use of unsuitable books, and the mistaken kindness hitherto extended to the French in not insisting upon higher qualification in their teachers.105
This last was evidently a reference to the fact that French teachers were not required to attend the Training School. The year before, Morrison, at that time the Inspector for Kent, Northumberland, Gloucester, and Restigouche, had expressed the belief that the time had come when French teachers should be required to attend that institution, and to pass the same tests as were applied to other teachers. Their teach-
ing power, he said, was of the feeblest.106
The Superintendent had referred to the same subject in his report of 1867, suggesting that the services of a French teacher competent in both languages should be secured for the Training School, and that no licenses should be granted to French applicants without attendance at the School.107
However, nothing was done in this connection during this period.
Among the matters complained of by the Superintendent and inspectors, nothing was mentioned more frequently than the number of small and unnecessary schools. We must bear in mind that even the town schools were not yet graded. Moreover, the vast majority were held in cramped quarters—an attic, a basement, a room in the teacher's home, etc. There were also many educational agencies, all independent of one another, and sometimes definitely antagonistic. Often in the same community or area there were a Grammar School, a common school, a Madras School, or some other denominational school. Even in the country, school districts were often divided, and unnecessary schools established, through rivalry of faction. These “fledglings” , as the Superintendent called them in 1866, were but poor affairs. They reduced the level of the schools of the province and saddled the country with useless expense.108
In 1871 he declared that if Fredericton should have half a dozen new schools, the addition would be actually a mischief, because schools were too numerous there already. The same, he said, was true of other towns and villages.109
From this, it emerges that the considerable increase in the number of schools during this decade was not so completely that sign of progress which it appeared to be, since many of the schools would have been unnecessary if a system of gradation had been employed, and if school districts had been properly marked off. In 1862, the Board, with a list before it of ninety schools having an average attendance of less than ten pupils, did make an effort to discourage multiplicity of schools of this type, by ordering that the daily average attendance in rural schools must be at least ten, and in the cities, towns, and villages at least seventeen, to entitle the teachers of such schools to the provincial allowance. Teachers were also required to attest to the accuracy of their returns by affidavit made before a Justice of the Peace.110
Both before and after this date a number of cases occurred in which teachers were charged with having forged the names of the Trustees to school returns. In one case the comment of the Board was: “Returns grossly false” and “cooked up” 111
Because of the large number of petitions from teachers who became ineligible for the government allowance on account of the regulation of 1862 the rule was relaxed in 1863. In districts where the number of resident children between the ages of 16 and 6, years did exceed 15, the regulation would not be enforced should the Inspector recommend its relaxation.112
One of the most difficult tasks to face the inspec-
tors and the trustees on the passage of the Act of 1871 was that of laying off suitable school districts.
One matter on which the Superintendent expressed regret was the small number of girls in attendance at the parish schools, as compared with the number of boys. In his report for the year 1869, he drew attention to the fact that during the winter term the attendance of boys exceeded that of girls by 3598, and during the next term the excess was 2,006. It was his belief, he said, that the sure hope of general instruction even for boys would never be realized until general instruction was first secured for girls. The children of instructed and enlightened mothers were almost certain to be instructed and enlightened also. Universal female education was a prior and indispensable condition for the establishment and perpetuity of a system of universal education for both sexes.113
Although the Superintendent did not do so at the time, he might have referred to the teaching profession in this connection. Since the retention of male teachers in the teaching service was growing steadily more difficult, females were staffing the schools in an increasing degree, therefore a supply of more and better teachers was contingent on the spread of female education.
The slowness with which communities availed themselves of the opportunity to choose School Committees was also a matter of regret to the Superintendent and inspectors. In 1866 Bennet reported that more than half the schools were still without such Committees.114
It may be that lack of power on the part of School Committees to raise funds to make needed improvements, except for School Libraries, promoted a general feeling that such Committees could not render services commensurate with the trouble of electing them,115
but obviously local disinterest was largely responsible. The failure of the majority of school districts to adopt the assessment principle was another indication of this same indifference. Sometimes the absence of provisions for a bonus to counties adopting the principle was cited as a deterrent, an excuse which suggests the existence of a feeling of unwillingness to accept a duty without payment for the performance of that duty.
That the Superintendent and inspectors supported the idea of compulsory assessment is indicated by many of their remarks. In 1861 the Superintendent declared that one might as well ask the dumb to sing as to wait until the indifferent had cast off their apathy. The success of assessment in Canada and elsewhere should influence New Brunswick to make the experiment. There was much juvenile depravity in Saint John. While he commended the establishment of a Reformatory School, he thought that the outlay it required would not have been necessary if the money had been spent years before in opening Free Schools for the poor and friendless. Schoolmasters were the cheapest and most effective police.116
In 1867 Inspector Freeze said that one would think that the people of
New Brunswick, with such activity and improvements in education on all sides of them, would awake to a lively sense of the condition of their young, and would at once demand of their rulers greater progress. Referring to the neighboring republic, to Canada, and to Nova Scotia, he asked: “How is it that New Brunswick is doomed 'to drag her slow length along', and to allow the adjacent States and Provinces to lead, yes more, to outstrip her in the race of educational improvement?” Placing the responsibility more boldly on the Legislature than was usually done in these reports, he said that the Province required a new and vigorous measure that would compel assessment for schools, open the schools freely to every child of suitable age, and compel attendance at school. If there was ever a time when the Statesmen of New Brunswick could be a blessing to their country and could leave themselves a name on the pages of history, it was at that moment, when the people were anxiously awaiting a bold and vigorous School Law that would give new life to study, and to the aspirations of the young, and would create a determination on the part of the people to raise the educational status of the Province, making it equal, if not superior, to that of the surrounding States.117
The next year a resolution moved by J. R. Hartley of Carleton County recommending direct taxation in support of schools failed.118
Others besides the educational officials of the Province labored during this period to arouse public interest and to spur the Legislature into action. Of these propagandists, none is more worthy of notice than George Parkin, during whose Principalship of the Grammar School at Bathurst, (1867-1871), competitive examinations in Gloucester County were conducted with such marked enthusiasm. In a lecture in 1868 in the Court House at Bathurst, Parkin, speaking of the neglect of education, said: 'I do not believe that our politicians are such blind fools that they cannot catch a glimpse of this fact, that they cannot perceive the weakness of a political economy that takes so little account of the mental resources of a nation, and hence one is forced to the inference that they willingly sacrifice what they know to be the true and permanent interests of their country for the accomplishment of such ends as will receive the richest reward of vulgar popular applause'. Referring to the Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, L. A. Wilmot, and to Charles Tupper, Premier of Nova Scotia, he observed: 'It is indeed cheering to behold such a man as our own Lieutenant-Governor throwing all the weight of that influence which his fellow Provincialists have bestowed upon him and all the power of his flowing eloquence into the scale of educational progress, and to see Tupper of Nova Scotia staking his political reputation and political life on the question of free public instruction'. He closed his lecture with these words: 'It needs no prophet's eye to see that the day is not far distant when the people of this Province will be asked to declare if they wish the last barrier which separates the son of the poor man from the son of the rich man to be broken down; if they desire to leave to their posterity the proud right of boasting that every child born on the soil of
New Brunswick is as free to drink from the well of Knowledge as he is to breathe the air which fans his native hills'.119
As Parkin had said, all signs pointed to an impending change. The Superintendent might admit a greater number of schools, an increased school attendance, a wider spread of knowledge,120
less pretension in the schools and more reality, less straining after impossibilities and conceits, and something of that emphasis on the elementals121
which d'Avray had always advocated, but he constantly pointed to the great numbers of children who were not attending any kind of school. In his report for 1870 he stated that there were 279 schoolhouses not the property of the district. Many of these were inferior and unsuitable.122
As for school attendance, Nova Scotia, with an estimated population of 392,562, had in 1869 a registered school attendance of 93,731. Estimating the population of New Brunswick at about 300,000, the registered attendance in that province should have been about 71,000, in place of which the minutest search could find no more than 49,000. To do as well as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick should have had 22,000 more children in school, and to do as well as she ought to do, should have had still more, for in Nova Scotia in 1869 there were 15,000 children of school age who were not attending school.123
Moreover, the average attendance of those who were enrolled was only 53.7% for the winter term of 1870, and 52.5% for the summer term.124
These facts indicated the necessity of a new method of school support. A change with regard to inspection was also needed. For instance, Inspector Duval had to supervise 270 schools, while in Ontario the law required no inspector to be responsible for more than 120 schools.125
There were other factors. More than a decade had elapsed without any significant school legislation. The Confederation issue was settled, and the British North America Act, by making education a provincial responsibility, had focussed attention in New Brunswick on educational developments in the other provinces of the new Dominion. 126
In this connection, the example of Ontario and of Nova Scotia was an inspiration. In Ontario, although the Education Act of 1850 had left the matter of assessment to the choice of the electors, Ryerson's propaganda and the growth of an educational consciousness had led to an adoption of the principle on a scale unknown in New Brunswick, so that an Act at this very time, 1871, making the adoption of the assessment principle compulsory, and the schools free, met with no opposition.127
In New Brunswick's neighbor, Nova Scotia, the leader of the Government, Charles Tupper, had gained the concurrence of
A. G. Archibald, the leader of the Opposition, in 1864, and a Free School Act had passed without serious opposition, although as in New Brunswick there was not a little local hostility.128
In the Mother Country, also, the sixties had been marked by considerable educational activity. The Newcastle Commission of 1861, the Clarendon Commission on Secondary Schools in the same year, the Taunton Enquiry of 1864, the Endowed Schools Act of 1869, had all led on to the forward step taken in the Education Act of 1870, an Act which almost of necessity followed the increased enfranchisement of the working classes in 1867. Although under the new Act subsidies were continued to the denominational and other voluntary schools, there was to be a closer supervision of those schools. The main feature of the Act, however, was the provision for tax-supported, non-sectarian schools, or “Board Schools” , as they came to be called. While attendance was not made compulsory, unless the School Boards adopted a by-law to that effect, and while the schools were not free except to the indigent,129
the Act represented a great advance. These developments did not go unnoticed in New Brunswick. Hannay tells us that many people, looking to the Mother Country as an example to be imitated, argued that if Free Schools did not exist there, New Brunswick did not need them.130
Others, however, realized how progressive a measure the British Education Act was, relatively speaking, and hailed it as an inspiration. Inspector Duval, penning his report in 1871, referred to the surprising enactment so noiselessly made by the British Parliament during the previous year. “The world,” he said, “is moving, New Brunswick cannot stand still.” 131
(C) The Act of 1871
In the light of domestic conditions and potent external examples, the framing of legislation which would improve the educational facilities of New Brunswick was clearly one of the responsibilities facing the new administration after the election of 1870. The speech from the throne, the reading of which must have given Lieutenant-Governor Wilmot great satisfaction, foreshadowed school legislation, referring to the need of a better school system. “In comparison with this, all other questions for Legislative deliberation are of secondary importance. It is the first duty of the governing power to make provision for the education of every child. The children of the poorest in our land should have free access to Schools, where they can receive at least the rudiments of an education, that will qualify them for an intelligent performance of their duties as citizens.” 132
Thus the Government indicated its intentions to deal at last with the question of Free Schools.
As Attorney-General King pointed out in the Assembly, the Bill could
not have taken anyone by surprise. Following Hartley's resolution in 1868 the Government had prepared a bill which got as far as being published. In 1870 another had been brought down, but was withdrawn. Then had come the election in full view of the question. A constituency could only blame itself if it had sent to the Assembly members not pledged on the question one way or another. Taxation for schools was working in New England, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and on the Continent. In proposing the establishment of the provisions of the Bill the Government was only doing what almost every other civilized country had done for its people.133
In some contradiction to this, an editorial in The Telegraph
at the time the Legislature opened referred to the fact that since the Bill of 1870 nothing had been done by the Government to bring out public sentiment. There had been no public meetings, nothing except a few speeches at the last session and one or two hustings speeches in which the subject with a score of others had been briefly alluded to. It might be said that the Superintendent had done something in public addresses to further the interests of free unsectarian schools, “but all who understand the small amount of influence which our Education Department exerts in influencing public sentiment, will not be apt to over-estimate the services of the Superintendent in this direction” . Perhaps, said The Telegraph
, a delusion in the Province that a good School Bill was to result in an easy victory might account for the lack of energy of the friends of popular and unsectarian education.134
A few days later, the editor of this paper was pleasantly surprised to find the language of the speech from the throne so firm and manly on the question of the School Bill.135
It would seem from these and other observations that while everyone was more or less aware that a School Bill was in the offing, the subject had not been made an issue in the election.
Very early in the session the insecurity of the Government became apparent. Before even the speech from the throne had been considered, the leader of the Government, George E. King, announced the Government's resignation. Then followed the announcement that George L. Hatheway of York County had been called on to form a new administration which, when announced, was found to include the majority of the previous Executive. The announcement of the King-Hatheway coalition caused great excitement, as Hatheway, according to the story as told by The Telegraph
, had been one of the twenty-three members of the Assembly who had met on the night of the opening of the Legislature, and had pledged themselves by a round robin to oppose the Government.136
, The Ottawa correspondent of The Morning Freeman
, who signed himself T. W. A. and was therefore probably Timothy W. Anglin, the editor of the paper, wrote that the news had caused New Brunswick's Dominion representatives mortification. Their Province, they felt, was humbled; they were unable to explain the recent confusion and intrigue; the influence of New Bruns-
wick in the Dominion was always small; by these transactions that influence was rendered even less. “To do all this in the name of education is to steal the livery of Heaven to serve the Devil in” .137 The Telegraph
, on the other hand, while cautiously admitting that the personnel of the new Government might not give entire satisfaction, declared: “It embraces, however, some of the ablest men on both sides of the House, and, we presume, was formed expressly with a view of carrying a School Bill. Under the circumstances, we can afford to forget the men in the importance of the measure which they carry forward to its final triumph” .138
From The Freeman
we learn that Hatheway, in his speech to the electors during the by-election necessitated by his entrance into the Government, declared that the reconstructed Administration would stand or fall on the principle of direct taxation and free schools.139
Unfortunately, the official reports of the debates in the Assembly during this session are not available for the purposes of this study. We are forced, therefore, to rely on the press, and may choose The Daily Telegraph and The Morning Freeman as fairly representative of the two great sections of opinion. The latter, however, dealt mainly with the denominational question which was involved commenting but little on the other aspects of the Bill. The Telegraph, on the other hand, followed the entire course of the Bill with considerable attention.
In commenting on the text of the measure, The Telegraph
was generally approving, but noted the composition of the Board of Education as one feature that might be improved. It was right, declared the editor, that the President of the University should be a member of the Board, if he could spare the time; right too, that the Superintendent of Education should be; but should not the members be “gentlemen of high culture, well versed in educational matters? . . . But what presumption is there that the nine members who compose the Government shall be reasonably educated men, or thoroughly conversant with educational matters? In this Province, at least, literary or scientific attainments are no passport to political distinction” . Even if the members of the Executive were qualified, could they give the necessary time and attention to the duties of the Board? Moreover, they were subject to distracting political influences, and, as a body, were subject to frequent changes in personnel.140
We may note that Inspector Duval had said something of the same sort more than ten years before. In 1869 he said that he had suggested as early as 1858 that the Board of Education should not consist of the Executive Council, but should be a group chosen to represent the different sections of the Province and the various religious bodies. It should be composed of gentlemen who had given special attention to popular education, had acquainted themselves with its great principles, and were well informed on improved methods which had been successfully adopted by intelligent teachers. The members of the Executive Council were not the right men,
in his estimation, for they were chosen for political considerations, and to then, education was a secondary matter.141
About a week after its earlier reference to this subject, The Telegraph
reported that the Attorney-General had discussed the matter very thoroughly in the Assembly. He pointed out that in England the Board was composed of the members of the Privy Council, and in Nova Scotia it was also political. In the United States it was non-political, and also in the Upper Provinces of the Dominion, save that the Minister of Public Instruction—a member of the ministry—was one of its members. The Attorney-General did not think it was necessary that the Board should be composed of men of profound scholastic attainments. A Superintendent competent in that respect was all that was required. What was needed was a body of men of fairly sound judgment and good business talent. If the Board were a non-political body, composed of men from different parts of the province, the members would have to receive large grants for contingent expenses for travelling. The probability was that such a Board would be like the Board of the University of New Brunswick, at which gentlemen held seats and were never known to attend a meeting. The members of the Executive, on the other hand, were often called to Fredericton in connection with government business. The duties of the Board, he said, were largely administrative, therefore politics could not play a part, unless in the case of the appointment of the inspectors. As for the changing character of the Executive Council, the presence of the President of the University on the Board would give a continuity of experience.142
These arguments, largely based on the practical considerations which our investigations have revealed were always appealing to a New Brunswick Legislature, proved convincing, and the composition of the Board of Education, under the Act of 1871, continued as before, except for the addition of the President of the University of New Brunswick. Educationally, the question may still be a moot question, but otherwise it seems to have been written off as closed.
Of the debate on other features of the Bill, we may briefly note what the Attorney-General said on the question of local control. Counties and parishes had proved to be too large to be effective units of local government. There were few municipalities in New Brunswick, therefore it was necessary to set up districts. These, he said, would be small enough to put no child to the necessity of walking more than two miles to school.143
During the debate, S. H. Napier of Bathurst created considerable amusement when he began his speech in support of the Bill by holding up a copy of The Fourth Book of Lessons
for the use of schools, and, to show the character of the teaching under which the instruction of his youth had been received, read out that the Province of New Brunswick was composed of land and rivers, and most of it was covered by a forest composed of trees, that people called lumber-
men, who lived in low log huts, went in pursuit of these trees, cut them down, and made timber. The timber was floated to Fredericton and shipped in vessels to Halifax where it was reshipped to England. For it the natives got in return cotton. This, he said, was the kind of stuff he had been taught, and he thought that many of the books then in use were not of a much higher or more accurate standard.144
It is interesting to note that only a few days before The Freeman
had charged that for many years there had been a deliberate and persistent attempt on the part of the Chief Superintendent and his inspectors to decry the school system of the province. In all countries the results of the existing system were put in the best possible light before the world. Everywhere else, if a boy attended school for even one day, he was numbered, whereas in New Brunswick this was not done, and the great object was to prove that the attendance was less than it ought to be.145
Raymond has said that in view of the fact that public opinion in New Brunswick had been against free schools up to this time, it was remarkable how little opposition the Bill of 1871 encountered in the Assembly.146
It would seem, however, that several of the sessions were heated, for The Telegraph
observed that the Speaker was a gentleman, and was elected to preside over an assembly of gentlemen and not over a bear-garden. Why, then, did he allow disgraceful scenes to occur?147
It is possible, of course, that the acrimony and violent talk hinted at by The Telegraph
were caused by the political manoeuvres which had resulted in the King-Hatheway coalition, and not by the School Bill. Actually, however, the manoeuvres and the measure were closely associated, and in much of the wordy warfare in which the newspapers engaged we find the two subjects closely linked.
Whatever the feeling in the Legislature, there was clearly a spirit of opposition in the province at large. An examination of the petitions which were tabled at this session, and of those, too, which had been presented off and on for many years previous, indicates that the popular opposition to the School Bill fell into two classes. One group of people objected to taxation for schools; the other was hostile to non-sectarian schools. The more vocal opposition came from the latter group through their clerics and their journalists. There were 22 petitions in 1871 for Separate or Dissentient Schools signed by a total of 5,281 persons. One petition from the City of Saint John, headed by Bishop Sweeney, was signed by 736 persons, and another from Saint John County had 1,031 signatures. There were counter-petitions also. For instance, there was one against provisions for separate schools signed by 1, 163 persons from Saint John City and County.148
Most of the Protestant denominations declared for schools
open to all children, regardless of their religious persuasion, but an influential element of the Anglican Church opposed the exclusion of religious instruction from the schools. However, the strongest hostility came from the Roman Catholic section of the population.149
It may be well to remind ourselves at this point that the question of eliminating sectarianism from education had provoked violent controversy in many countries. In general, the “liberalism” of the nineteenth century fostered anti-clericalism, and insisted that state-supported education should be non-sectarian and conducted by lay teachers. In England, as we have seen, denominational influences were so strong, particularly those of the Anglican Church, that even in the Education Act of 1870 provisions were continued for the state subsidization of denominational schools. In France, Napoleon III, besides exercising many tyrannies over the curricula and faculties of schools and universities, had favored religious schools. Religious instruction, therefore, prospered under the Second Empire.150
But at the very time that the school question was agitating New Brunswick, the Third Republic was being established amid the throes of a radical working-class uprising, and the avowed anti-clericalism of the radical republicans was a subject of deep concern to Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholic press of New Brunswick, as we shall see, seized the opportunity to make a comparison between the Paris “infidels” and the supporters of nonreligious education in New Brunswick.
Contemporary with all this, was the achievement of nationality in Italy at the expense of the papal states, and the beginning in Prussia of the conflict known as the Kulturkampf. Pope Pius IX, an opponent of the new political liberalism, had issued his Syllabus of Errors in 1864, condemning civil control of education. Soon, in acceptance of the challenge, Prussia under Bismarck was to expel the Jesuits, make civil marriage compulsory, place ecclesiastical seminaries under state control, and put an end to clerical school inspection.151
In America, as we saw earlier, many circumstances favored the development of non-sectarian education. But in Puritan Massachusetts Horace Mann had had to meet the cry that the public schools were Godless schools,152
and in New York City the Irish Roman Catholics made a determined, but unsuccessful, fight between 1825 and 1842 for a division of public school funds.153
In a number of the British North American provinces the outcome was different. Quebec had separate schools, and in 1863, after twenty years of agitation, the Roman Catholics of Upper Canada succeeded in their demands for such schools. In the newly created province of Manitoba, the circumstances which had attended the formation of the province out of the North West Territories had made separate schools seem expedient, and the Manitoba School Act of 1871 contained provisions for a dual system.
When the proposal was made at the Quebec Conference on Confedera
tion that education should be a provincial matter. D'Arcy McGee moved an addition to the proposal, namely, 'saving the rights and privileges which the Protestant or Catholic minority in both Canadas may possess as to the denominational schools at the time when the Constitutional Act goes into operation', and his motion had carried.154
As a result of this, and the incorporation of a clause in the London Resolutions, the ninety-third clause of the British North America Act safeguarded the rights and privileges of any provincial minority. Later, the Roman Catholics of New Brunswick were to demand remedial action from the Dominion Government on the grounds that the Act of 1871 deprived them of rights and privileges which were theirs under the Act of 1858. However, we find no reference to this clause, even in The Freeman
, at the time the Act of 1871 was before the local legislature.
While the Catholic viewpoint found considerable expression before and after the Bill of 1871, D'Arcy McGee's speech in 1863 on the separate school question of Upper Canada explained the Catholic attitude with such reasonableness of language that it is worth noting. Meeting the claim of those who were hostile to the petition of the Roman Catholics that there was no question of religious liberty in the matter, he asked whether Catholics were to be guided by the conscience of those who objected to their petition, or by their own conscience. They asserted that they had conscientious objections to the common or mixed system, and could not divorce religious from secular instruction in their schools. “You say they ought not to have such scruples . . . that they are either fancied or simulated.” But the Quakers say that they have conscientious objections to invoking the name of God in giving testimony in courts of Justice. We may think them wrong, and may feel that the oath is essential to the solemnity of the evidence, but we give way to the Quaker's scruples, and allow him to testify after his own fashion. The Israelites may buy and sell on the day we call the Sabbath, and the dissenters also on days established by law as fetes d'obligation in Lower Canada— “Yet we will not strain the law to prevent either from collecting debts contracted with them on those days, however you or I think they ought to be kept sacred” .
He then contended that no enduring national character was ever moulded without a strong infusion of a dogmatic religion of some sort, and met the assertion of some of the honorable members that the bill was a priests' bill by declaring it was a fathers' and brothers' bill. There were times and subjects in which he would deprecate the interference of priests as much as any layman living, but he was not afraid that in this country and age the ecclesiastical order would become disproportionately powerful. He noted the existence of an assumption that if separate schools were established, the children of Catholics would be uneducated or ill-educated, but he said that he trusted human nature and parental pride better than that. Were Catholics, he asked, less ambitious for their children than other parents.155
Turning now to the local situation in New Brunswick in the spring of
1871, we find that the press campaign for and against non-sectarian schools was conducted with considerable vigor. The following examples will give some indication of the bitterness which the subject aroused at times.
The Moncton Times
, according to The Telegraph
, made the observation that it was clear 'Hatheway and Stevenson's treachery' had saved New Brunswick from being ruled by a government that would inflict on the country the detestable separate school system.156 The Telegraph
, meeting the charge that the Roman Catholics of New Brunswick only sought what had been accorded the Protestants of Quebec, pointed out that the Protestants of Quebec had separate schools because the government schools were intensely sectarian. If New Brunswick established schools in the interests of Protestants, one could see why the Roman Catholics should claim separate schools. But, said The Telegraph
, New Brunswick wanted schools established in which no man's religion would be assailed.157
According to The Freeman
, The Religious Intelligencer
used strong language on the question, accusing Catholics of believing that 'Ignorance is the mother of devotion', and of preferring to have public funds “appropriated for the teaching of the blasphemous dogmas of the Papal Infallibility and its kindred superstitions and errors” than to have a liberal secular education. The Freeman
, after quoting The Religious Intelligencer
as having asked “Shall New Brunswick give the helping hand in the establishment of a Papal hierarchy?” , observed that all this was written in the name of education.158
On the question of conscience The Freeman
asked who was George E. King to determine that he knew better than the 200,000,000 Catholics of the world what the Catholic conscience should be.159 The Freeman
also accused The Morning News
, The Telegraph
, and The Religious Intelligencer
of thinking it quite right that Pope L. A. Wilmot and the half dozen Methodist Cardinals who formed his Council, aided by a Presbyterian Superintendent and Professor, should determine what all the children of New Brunswick should read and learn, but their conscientious scruples would not allow anyone else to indulge in resisting or objecting to an order of things which to them seemed beautiful.160
The School Bill, declared The Freeman
shortly after the introduction of the measure, showed that the Government had deliberately determined that the Catholics, over two-fifths of the people of the province, had no rights which the other three-fifths were bound to respect. “The only means by which the advocates of the measure hope to ensure its becoming law is by appealing to the prejudices and the fanaticism which unfortunately prevail still to so great an extent in many parts of the Province.” The Saint John News
and The Telegraph
, said The Freeman
, were trying to inflame this fanaticism. “They mod the same means to carry this Province into Confederation.” 161
Having observed before the Bill was introduced that religion, if taught, must be denominational.162 The Freeman
later declared that assuredly the public schools under the proposed system must be either Protestant or Godless and Infidel, and in any case such as Catholics could not conscientiously support. The Press which supported the system could hardly be called Protestant, as that meant Christian. “It is in this matter Infidel and Atheistic. The principle is that most horrible anti-christian principle enunciated by the Honorable Mr. King on the Saint John hustings, that the child belongs not to the Church, nor to the parents, but to the State.” 163
The cry of The Morning News
, declared the editor of The Freeman
, “is precisely the same that has been raised by the Red Republicans of Paris, now in revolt against God and society” . They too proclaimed that they would have free education, absolutely secular, wholly free from religious influences, but “infidelity and indifference are as detestable to good Protestants as to Catholics” . The Freeman
then pointed to the fact that in Great Britain education was still mainly denominational, in Scotland was essentially religious, and in Germany was what The News
called sectarian, likewise in France, despite the Infidel Reds, and in Belgium, despite the Infidel Liberals. So also in Quebec and Ontario. Where the denominational system existed, all agitation on the school question ceased, and instead of contention and ill will there was peace and harmony. Which, said The Freeman
, did New Brunswick want?164
In the Assembly, the vote on the question of taking up the School Bill, section by section, was 24 to 14. Among those who voted “yea” were Theriault and Girouard, two French members, who were severely criticized by The Freeman
for misrepresenting the counties of Victoria and Kent.165
A few days later the editor declared: “It was not so much through any desire for what they call Free Schools, or any love of Direct Taxation, that the clamour for this new system was raised and maintained, as it was through hatred of Catholicity and jealousy of the growth and progress of Catholic educational institutions” . Referring to the persecution of Catholics in Ireland, the editor made the assertion that in New Brunswick Catholics were met “by the same barbarous spirit which disembowelled priests in Ireland and tore Acadians from their homes” . A majority of the Legislature, composed, said the writer, for the greater part of men well-known as no good models for youth, had resolved that the people of the province should receive no education unless it was Godless.166
On May 5 a resolution passed the Assembly by a vote of 25 to 10 that a new section be added to the bill, to the effect that all schools conducted under its provisions should be non-sectarian.167
The following day the editor of The Freeman
asserted that the great contest of the day was not between Catholicism and Protestantism but between Christianity and Rationalism and Infidelity. “For the propagation of Infidelity no better engine could be devised than the
Common School system which excludes religion altogether and puts it out of view, thus inevitably creating in the minds of the young the impression that religion is of little or no importance in the real business of life. and leading to indifference and latitudinarianism, out of which Infidelity is sure to grow in most cases.” 168
When the bill was considered in the Legislative Council it had a narrow escape. An amendment was moved that all schools in existence at the time of the passing of the bill, and all schools thereafter established, whether separate or common schools, should be entitled to their share of school funds, provided they complied with the regular school requirements. The Council divided evenly on this question, so that the amendment failed to pass, and the bill was agreed to as it stood.169
When the Legislature was prorogued the next day, The Freeman
asserted that Lieutenant-Governor Wilmot was so elated at the passing of the Education Bill that he could not maintain gravity and decorum. One spectator, alleged The Freeman
, described him as a Jumping Johnny. His speech was a stump speech, of rant and clap-trap.170
As a matter of fact, three-quarters of Wilmot's address did deal with the subject of education. That portion of his speech which referred to non-sectarian schools was as follows: “I ask you to do all in your power, in your respective spheres, to give effect to the measure; and most sincerely do I hope that under its operations we may soon see, in every part of the Province, children of all denominations of christians gathered into the same Schools, sitting on the same forms, bravely competing for the same prizes, and forming youthful friendships to be continued in after years when the real life-work is entered upon, and when all denominations are inevitably gathered into the World's Great School, and side by side competing for its rewards. No Statesman will ever be found who could successfully resolve this great School into its Denominational elements for carrying on the business of the world: the mutual relations of commerce and industry constitute the centripetal force which necessitates the coherence, and therefore you have acted wisely and well in providing that all, who are growing up to take their part in such an inseparable union, shall be educated for it side by side in early life.” 171
Earlier in the address Wilmot voiced his personal pleasure at the passing of the bill. “It is with great satisfaction that I have given my assent to the Bill relating to Common Schools, and most sincerely do I congratulate you upon the provisions therein made for the education of our Youth.” 172
The comment from The Freeman
was: “The exultation of the man who professes to be a Christian of the purest water, an expounder of Scripture, a shining light,173
in the fact that religion is to be absolutely excluded from the schools is worse than indecent” .174
If the Common Schools Act was “King's Bill” , in the sense that Attorney General King drafted it, guided it through the Assembly, (and later defended it in the courts), the work of preparing for the operation of the measure fell on the inspectors and the Chief Superintendent of Education. The latter, Theodore H. Rand, whom King probably interviewed on his “mission to Nova Scotia on educational matters” 175
shortly after the passage of the Act, was fitted by reason of his organizing ability and his experience with a Free School system in Nova Scotia, to undertake the necessary organization in New Brunswick.176
The Act was not to go into effect until January 1, 1872, so that people might become familiar with its provisions, and so that the preliminary organization might be effected.
The principal features of this lengthy Act 77 of sixty-two sections and many sub-sections were those to which reference has already been made. In brief, the Act established free, tax-supported, non-sectarian schools and made provision for the efficient operation, support, and supervision, of such schools.
The sections of the Act dealing with administration determined the composition of the Board of Education, which was to remain as before, with the addition of the President of the University of New Brunswick. The Board was empowered to divide the province into local school districts containing no more than fifty resident children between the ages of five and sixteen years of age, unless the area embraced four square miles, or were a town, village, or populous locality. The Board was to appoint fourteen inspectors at a total salary of $ 4,000. This last was in the nature of a temporary provision, the duty of the inspectors at this small salary being to familiarize their respective counties with the workings of the Act. Subsequently, the Board reduced the number of the inspectors, increased their salaries, and, by Regulation 42,178
established certain requirements in order to ensure the competency of the inspectors for the actual work of inspection. The duties of the Superintendent and of the inspectors, as laid down in the Act, were very similar to those outlined in previous acts. The inspectors, however, had the additional duties of choosing trustees, if a district failed to elect those officers. and of deciding what districts should be entitled to special aid as “poor” districts.
The sections of the Act dealing with the mode of support provided that teachers should receive their salaries from three sources, the Provincial Treasury, the County Fund, and District Assessment. The teacher's allowance from the province was to be based on license, but at the expiration of five years this aid would depend partly on license and partly on the quality of the teaching.179
The County Fund, a portion of the County rates amounting to thirty cents,
for every inhabitant of the County, was to be distributed in the following manner: The Trustees of a school were to receive $ 20 a year for every qualified teacher employed in the school; the balance of the fund was to be apportioned to the Trustees according to the average number of pupils in attendance at the school, as compared with the whole average number of pupils attending the common schools of the County, and the length of time in which the school was in operation. Finally, any sum required by a district in further payment of teachers' salaries, or any sum required for other school purposes, was to be raised by poll tax, and by assessment on real and personal property. Districts reported by the Inspector as “poor” districts were to receive special aid from the Provincial Treasury and County Fund.
The duties of trustees and teachers were outlined in detail, and precise regulations framed relating to the election of trustees in each school district, their qualifications, and the holding of an annual meeting by the ratepayers. All schools under the Act were to be free and non-sectarian, trustees were to make arrangements for the purchase, rental or erection of school buildings, and to borrow money if necessary.
Superior Schools were provided for, under conditions very similar to those stipulated in the Act of 1858, and the Trustees of Grammar Schools might unite with the Trustees of any district for the management and support of the Grammar School. The City of Saint John was to constitute one school district, likewise the City of Fredericton. In each case the Board of Trustees was to consist of seven members, three of whom were to be appointed by the Governor in Council, and the remainder by the City Council. Section 59 ruled that similar provisions might be extended under certain conditions to any incorporated town in the province.
Section 29 of the Act called for the grading of schools into elementary, advanced, and High School departments, whenever the population was sufficient for the purpose, and subsequent regulations pointed out the advantages of such classification.180
Among these regulations No. 37 lengthened the period of training at the Normal School to five months,181
and No. 20 prohibited the exhibition of emblems and symbols distinctive of any national or other society, political party or religious organization, either in the school-room or on the person of any teacher or pupil.182
Regulation 21 gave teachers the privilege of opening and closing the daily exercises of the school by the reading of a portion of Scripture, out of the Common or Douay version, and by the offering of the Lord's Prayer, but no teacher could compel any pupil to be present at these exercises against the wish of his parent or guardian.183
The provision which this Act made for the localizing of authority and control was its most revolutionary feature, aside from the provisions for free, tax-supported, non-sectarian schools. The parish had proved to be an unsuit-
able unit. The Trustees, as parish officers, had been too remote or too indifferent to make efficient authorities. The new Act abandoned the idea of parish officers, and made the inhabitants of a small area responsible for the wise expenditure of local funds, and for the efficient operation of local schools. In the Remarks appended to the Regulations which were issued on November 15, 1871, emphasis was placed on this feature, and on the fact that the share which a district would receive of County moneys would depend on the efficient operation of the school.184
Clearly, it was hoped that under the new arrangements local interest, and even local pride, might be aroused. The fact that in recent times the trend has been toward a larger unit and the amalgamation of districts is no proof that the establishment of small districts in 1871 was unnecessary or unwise. Changing times have brought improved standards and new demands for better facilities, and have also made possible consolidations and extensions which were out of the question seventy years ago. In those ideas and practices which may seem obsolete to one age there was once validity and utility in terms of the environment which nurtured them.
With the passage of this Act the province had moved forward into the company of those states which acknowledged, in theory at any rate, that an education was the birthright of every child. The Act, of course, could work no sudden miraculous changes, for there could be no quick solution of the old problem of popular indifference. Several years were to elapse before every community in the province organized schools. Not only was there indifference, but even active opposition, particularly from the Roman Catholic element of the population. This opposition led to a constitutional struggle in the courts, and in one locality to rioting, with loss of life and property.
While under the Act a teacher's position was more secure than formerly, the old problem of an insufficiency of trained and enterprising teachers persisted, and, if anything, grew more acute as the westward expansion of Canada drew hundreds of young men from the province. New problems were also to arise, and new dangers, for the sense of achievement which the Act of 1871 engendered could lead to complacency and self-satisfaction, blinding people to the fact that progress must be indefinite.
^1. The New Brunswick Courier, Saint John, Vol. 45, No. 52, May 3, 1856, p. 2.
^2. Hannay (1), Vol. 2, p. 174.
^3. The New Brunswick Courier, Saint John, Vol. 46, No. 4, May 31, 1856, p. 2.
^4. Ibid., p. 2.
^5. Ibid., p. 2.
^6. Ibid., Vol. 46, No. 7, June 21, 1856, p. 2.
^7. The Saint John Chronicle, July 10, 1857.
^8. The New Brunswick Courier, Saint John, Vol. 46, No. 23, Oct. 11, 1856, p. 2.
^9. Ibid., Vol. 46, No. 24, Oct. 18, 1856, p. 2.
^10. Hannay (1), Vol. 2, p. 182.
^11. Whitelaw, pp. 35, 36.
^12. Creighton, p. 275.
^13. Whitelaw, pp. 36, 37.
^14. Hannay (1), Vol. 2, pp. 183, 184.
^15. From Hannay we learn that the agent, Moses Perley, had no authority to spend much money for the purpose of promoting immigration, that the British Government was not disposed to lend assistance, that the Australian Colonies were competing for settlers, and that New Brunswick was not looked upon favorably as a field for immigration. (Hannay (1), Vol. 2, pp. 188, 189.)
^16. Martin (2), p. 362.
^17. Hannay (1), Vol. 2, p. 189.
^18. Ibid., p. 186.
^19. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1858, Index XXI.
^20. Ibid., Index XXXVIII-XL.
^21. Ibid., 1856, Appendix CLXXXVII.
^22. Ibid., 1857-1858, Appendix DCXXXIII.
^23. Whitelaw, p. 17.
^24. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1856, Appendix CCXIV.
^25. Department of Education of New Brunswick, Minutes of Board of Education, 1852-1865, Feb. 27, 1854, p. 70.
^26. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1856, pp. 276, 277.
^27. Ibid., pp. 334, 335.
^28. Ibid., 1857-1858, Appendix DCLIII.
^29. Ibid., Appendix DCII.
^30. Ibid., Appendix DCLVIII.
^31. Ibid., Appendix DCXLVII, DCXLVIII.
^32. Ibid., Appendix DCXXX-DCXXXII.
^33. Department of Education of New Brunswick, Minutes of Board of Education, 1852-1865, Aug. 5, 1853, pp. 57, 58.
^34. Ibid., Oct. 29, 1855, p. 87.
^35. The New Brunswick Courier, Saint John, Vol. 45, No. 48, April 3, 1856, p. 2.
^36. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1856, pp. 140, 141.
^37. The New Brunswick Courier, Saint John, Vol. 45, No. 49, April 12, 1856, p. 2.
^38. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1856, pp. 296, 303.
^39. 21 V Cap. IX.
^40. Burwash pp. 169, 170.
^41. Parrington (2), Intro. p. iii.
^42. Raymond (4), pp. 424, 425.
^43. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1856, Appendix CCXIII, CCXIV.
^44. Ibid., 1859, Appendix 671.
^45. Department of Education of New Brunswick, Minutes of Board of Education, 1852-1863, May 25, 1858, p. 120.
^46. The Western Recorder and Weekly Herald, Saint John, March 19, 1959.
^47. Ibid., March 19, 1959.
^48. The papers named were: The Church Witness, The Courier, The Newbrunswicker, The Globe, The News, The Carleton Sentinel, The St. Andrews Standard, The Westmorland Times.
^49. The Morning News, Saint John, Vol. 21, No. 124, Oct. 19, 1859, p. 2.
^50. The Instructor, Bay Verte, N.B., Vol. 4, No. 3, March 1861, pp. 33-46.
^51. Ibid., Vol. 4, No. 4, April 1861, p. 50.
^52. The New Brunswick Courier, Saint John, Vol. 51, No. 49, April 12, 1862, p. 3.
^53. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1868, Appendix 5, p. 5.
^54. See: Whitelaw, W. M., The Maritime Provinces and Canada before Confederation.
^55. See: Bailey, A. G., "Railways and the Confederation Issue in New Brunswick 1863-1865", Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 21, No. 4, Dec. 1940, pp. 367-383.
^56. See: Bailey, A. G., "The Basis and Persistence of Opposition to Confederation in New Brunswick", Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 23, No. 4, Dec. 1942, pp. 374-397.
^57. In addition to the works just cited see: (1) Trotter, R. G., “The Coming of Confederation” . Cambridge History of the British Empire, Vol. VI, Chapter XVIII. (2) Martin, Chester, “The Maritime Provinces. 1840-1867.” Cambridge History of the British Empire, Vol. VI, Chapter XIV. (3) Creighton, D. G., “Dominion of the North.” Chapter 6, Parts I and H, pp. 263-304. (4) Wilson, G. E., “New Brunswick's Entrance into Confederation” , Canadian Historical Review, Vol. IX, No. 1, March, 1928, pp. 4-24.
^58. Bailey, G. W., Our Schools 1847-1858 (M.S.), pp. 3, 4 (Quoting J. W. Bailey.)
^59. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1859, Appendix 670-675.
^60. Maxwell (2), p. 9.
^61. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1859, Appendix 674.
^62. Ibid., 1870, Appendix, Report on Public Schools, p. 16.
^63. Ibid., 1868, Appendix 5, p. 16.
^64. Maxwell (2), p. 9.
^65. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1862, Appendix 3, Report on Public Schools, p. 12.
^66. Ibid., 1866, Appendix 5, Report on Public Schools, p. 8.
^67. Nova Scotia had adopted compulsory assessment in 1864.
^68. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1869, Appendix 4, Report on Schools, pp. 7, 8.
^69. Ibid., 1865, Appendix 5, Report on Schools, p. 6.
^70. Ibid., 1866, Appendix 5, Report on Schools, p. 7.
^71. Department of Education of New Brunswick, Minutes of Board of Education, 1852-1865, April 12, 1860, pp. 140, 141.
^72. Ibid., p. 217.
^73. Ibid., p. 218.
^74. Ibid., p. 223.
^75. Ibid., p. 243.
^76. Ibid., p. 263.
^77. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1863, Appendix 5, Report on Schools, p. 35.
^78. Ibid., 1870, Report on Schools, p. 27.
^79. Department of Education of New Brunswick, Minutes of Board of Education. 1852-1865, p. 195.
^80. Ibid., March 22, 1865, p. 264.
^81. See Gordon, A. H., Wilderness Journeys in New Brunswick, 1862-1863.
^82. P. A. of Canada, C0189, Vol. 1, Gordon to Newcastle, Dec. 31, 1862, (Confidential), p. 272.
^83. Ibid., p. 273.
^84. Ibid., Gordon to Newcastle, Nov. 11, 1861, p. 5.
^85. Ibid., Gordon to Newcastle, Dec. 31, 1862,(Confidential) pp. 262, 263.
^86. Ibid., pp. 265, 266.
^87. Ibid., 273, 274.
^88. Ibid., Vol. 2, Gordon to Cardwell, Oct. 11, 1864, (Confidential), p. 33.
^89. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1862, Appendix 3, Report on Schools, p. 21.
^90. Department of Education of New Brunswick, Minutes of Board of Education, 1852-1865, Feb. 6, 1864, p. 247.
^91. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1865, Appendix 5, Report on Schools, p. 16.
^92. Ibid., 1868, Appendix 5, Report on Schools, pp. 13-16.
^93. Ibid., 1869, Appendix 4, Report on Schools, p. 15.
^94. Office of Executive Council of New Brunswick, Minutes of Executive Council, Vol. 9, p. 219.
^95. New Brunswick: Synoptic Report of Debates of House of Assembly, 1870, p. 142.
^96. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1860, Appendix 398.
^97. Ibid., 1865, Appendix 5, Report on Schools, p. 29.
^98. Office of Executive Council of New Brunswick, Minutes of Executive Council, Vol. 9, page 102.
^99. New Brunswick: Journal of Assembly, 1869, Appendix 4, Report on Schools, pp. 11, 12.
^100. Ibid., 1862, Appendix 3, Report on Schools, pp. 14-16.
^101. Ibid. 1860, Appendix 398.
^102. Ibid., 1862, Appendix 3, Report on Schools, pp. 13, 14.
^103. Ibid., 1866, Appendix 5, Report on Schools, pp. 23, 24.
^104. Ibid., 1871, Appendix 4, Superintendent's Report, p. 16.
^105. Ibid., Inspectors' Reports, p. 12.
^106. Ibid., 1870, Appendix, Report on Schools, p. 26.
^107. Ibid., 1867, Appendix, Report on Schools, p. 14.
^108. Ibid., 1866, Appendix 5, Report on Schools, p. 5.
^109. Ibid., 1871, Appendix 4, Superintendent's Report, p. vii.
^110. Department of Education of New Brunswick, Minutes of Board of Education, 1852-1865, May 24, 1862, pp. 198-201.
^111. Ibid., Oct. 11, 1862, p. 214.
^112. Ibid., Jan. 10, 1863, p. 230.
^113. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1869, Appendix 4, Report on Schools, p. 13.
^114. Ibid., 1866, Appendix 5, Report on Schools, p. 10.
^115. Ibid., 1867, Appendix, Report on Schools, pp. 11, 12.
^116. Ibid., 1861, Appendix, Report on Schools, pp. 13, 14.
^117. Ibid., 1867, Appendix, Report on Schools, pp. 39, 40.
^118. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1868, pp. 29, 30.
^119. Willison, pp. 20, 21.
^120. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1866, Appendix 5, Report on Schools, pp. 5, 8, 12.
^121. Ibid., 1871, Appendix 4, Superintendent's Report, p. viii.
^122. Ibid., p. xv.
^123. Ibid., p. xii.
^124. Ibid., 1872, Appendix 4, Superintendent's Report, p. 5.
^125. Ibid., 1871, Appendix 4, Superintendent's Report, p. xv.
^126. We note that in 1871 the Superintendent called on the Legislature to give New Brunswick such an educational law as would place her at least on an equal footing with the other provinces of the Dominion. (Ibid., p. xii).
^127. Ross, p. 174.
^128. MacKay, pp. 523, 524.
^129. Reisner, pp. 255-276.
^130. Hannay (1), Vol. 2, p. 297.
^131. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1871, Appendix 4, Inspectors' Reports, p. 4.
^132. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1871, p. 13.
^133. Saint John Daily Telegraph and Morning Journal, Vol. II, No. 249, April 26, 1871, p. 1.
^134. Ibid., No. 187, Feb. 11, 1871, p. 2.
^135. Ibid., No. 192, Feb. 17. 1871, p. 2.
^136. Ibid., No. 197, Feb. 23, 1871, p. 2.
^137. The Morning Freeman, Saint John, Vol. XXI, No. 14, March 7, 1871, p. 2.
^138. Saint John Daily Telegraph and Morning Journal, Vol. II, No. 197, Feb. 23, 1871, p. 2.
^139. The Morning Freeman, Saint John, Vol. XXI, No. 16, March 11, 1871, p. 2.
^140. The Saint John Telegraph and Morning Journal, Vol. II, No. 241, April 17, 1871, p. 2.
^141. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1869, Appendix 4, Report on Schools, p. 21.
^142. Saint John Daily Telegraph and Morning Journal, Vol. II, No. 249, April 26, 1871, p. 1.
^143. Ibid., p. 1.
^144. Ibid., No. 252, April 29, 1871, p. 1. Napier's criticism was directed against statements which occur on p. 136 of the Fourth Book of Lessons for the use of schools, published in 1853 by direction of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland. An examination of the offending item reveals the fact that Napier, or the paper which reported his speech, rather exaggerated the inaccuracy of this portion of the text.
^145. The Morning Freeman, Saint John, Vol. XXI, No. 36. April 27,1871. p. 2.
^146. Raymond (4), p. 420.
^147. The Saint John Telegraph and Morning Journal, Vol. II, No. 243, April 19, 1871, p. 2.
^148. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1871, p. 123, 195.
^149. Raymond (4), p. 420.
^150. Cubberley, p. 332.
^151. Reisner, pp. 184-186.
^152. Cubberley, p. 382.
^153. Ibid., p. 383.
^154. Whitelaw, pp. 250, 251.
^155. McGee, D'Arcy, pp. 10-14.
^156. Saint John Daily Telegraph and Morning Journal, Vol. II, No. 210, March 10, 1871, p. 1.
^157. Ibid., No. 212, March 13, 1871, p. 1.
^158. The Morning Freeman, Saint John, Vol. XXI, No. 38, May 2, 1871, p. 2.
^159. Ibid., No. 36, April 27, 1871, p. 2.
^160. Ibid., No. 34, April 22, 1871, p. 2.
^161. Ibid., No. 32, April 18, 1871, p. 2.
^162. Ibid., Vol. XI, No. 146, Jan. 10, 1871, p. 2.
^163. Ibid., Vol. XXI, No. 35, April 25, 1871, p. 2.
^164. Ibid., No. 33, April 20, 1871, p. 2.
^165. Ibid., No. 38, May 2, 1871, p. 2.
^166. Ibid., No. 39, May 4, 1871, p. 2.
^167. Hannay (1), Vol. 2, pp. 296, 297.
^168. The Morning Freeman, Saint John, Vol. XXI, No. 40, May 6, 1871, p. 2.
^169. Hannay (1), Vol. 2, p. 297.
^170. The Morning Freeman, Saint John, Vol. XXI, No. 46, May 20, 1871, p. 2.
^171. New Brunswick: Journal of House of Assembly, 1871, p. 257.
^172. Ibid., p. 256.
^173. For years Wilmot had been choir leader, Sunday School Superintendent, and active church worker in the Methodist Church of Fredericton. (See Lathern, Rev. J., The Hon. Judge Wilmot, pp. 99-165).
^174. The Morning Freeman, Saint John, Vol. XXI, No. 46, May 20, 1871, p. 2.
^175. Office of Executive Council of New Brunswick, Minutes of the Executive Council, Vol. 9, June 2, 1871, p. 327.
^176. Hannay (1), Vol. 2, pp. 299, 300.
^177. Cap. XXI Vict. 34.
^178. The Common Schools Act of New Brunswick: Regulations of the Board of Education, p. 43.
^179. This system of “Payment by results” was attracting attention in England at the time. It seems to have been In the mind of Superintendent Bennet, for in both 1870 and 1871 he hinted at the possibilities of the method. (Journal of House of Assembly of New Brunswick, 1870, Superintendent's Report, p. 10; also Journal for 1871, Appendix 4, Superintendent's Report, p. ix.)
^180. The Common Schools Act of New Brunswick: Regulations of the Board of Education. pp. 5-7.
^181. Ibid., p. 39.
^182. Ibid., p. 22.
^183. Ibid., p. 22.
^184. Ibid., p. 3.