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but it shows that the free high school had a good start by 1860. Alton .1859 Kewanee

..1859 Atlanta .1859 Lacon

1858 Belleville ..1860 LeRoy

.1856 Belvidere. .1857 Lockport

..1856 Bloomington

..1856 Lee Union Center...1859 New Boston. ...1860 Lyndon

.1847 Brimfield

1860 Mount Vernon AcadCanton


emy, changed to Chester


free school........1856 Chicago

1856 Nashville Academy, Decatur

.1856-62 changed to free Dwight


..1858 Dixon ...1857 Ottawa

...1857 Eden .1856 Paris

...1856-66 East Elgin.. ..1856 Sparta

..1856 East Pawpaw.......1856 Peoria Franklin Grove.....1856 Plainfield

.:1856 Freeport ....About 1851 Princeton

...1857-66 Fulton City.........1860 Prairieville

..1858 Galena, Male High

Urbana Seminary, School and Female

changed to free High School......1857 school

..1856–58 Galva . 1859 Quincy

..1856 Geneseo .1852–59 Rockford

.1862 G a le s burg, but a

Rock Island.. charged tuition


..1851 for several years.. 1859–60 Springfield

.1858 Homer Seminary,

Vandalia :.

.1858 changed to free


1846 school ...1858 Warsaw

..1858 Jacksonville, West... 1851 Washington, TazeJerseyville, mostly

well Co....

.1858 free


.1856 Joliet





..1853 ..1858


Subjects of Study. Since the common school included a high school department in numerous instances, it is to be expected that secondary subjects of study existed along with elementary subjects. Either high school subjects were contemplated, or they were being taught in some common schools before the permanent free school law was passed. The county superintendent of Stark county hoped to have the common schools so perfected, “as to be able to teach, in the most approved manner, all that our children need to learn in order to fit them for the ordinary avocations of life. They not only need to know how to read and write and cipher, but to have some knowledge of History, Natural and Mental Philosophy, Political Economy, Chemistry, Physiology, Geology and Meteorology. All these may be profitably taught in our common schools." 20

However, in those communities where the town charter had given the common council the right to impose a tax for the support of schools, or in those places where the people were willing by a two-thirds and then later a majority vote to tax themselves for education, or where the schools were graded, there, subjects of an advanced nature were taught. Chicago common schools in 1847, were teaching, besides such subjects as reading, writing and arithmetic, Townes' Intellectual Algebra, Baley's Algebra, Preston's District School Book-keeping, Physiology, Gales' Philosophy and Gray's Chemistry.” 21

In the Rockton Union School, subjects were taught“from the alphabet up to the highest branches of classical and natural sciences taught in our best academies. "22 In Virginia, Ill., the common schools were graded so that in the upper division there was a "thorough course of instruction in the English branches of education; in mathematics; in Latin, Greek, and French Languages, and in the ornamental branches. "23 A union school at Freeport taught, besides the

' common branches, mathematics, natural and moral sciences, French, Greek and Latin.24 At Carrollton, German, French, Latin, Greek and Spanish, in addition to the common branches, were taught in the common schools.25 The county superintendent of Peoria county reported that chemistry,

20 Prairie Farmer, v. 12, p. 236. 11 Prairie Farmer, v. 7, p. 372. 22 Prairie Farmer, v. II. 1851, p. 160. 23 Prairie Farmer, v. 6, 1846, p. 86. * State Supt. Report, 1851, p. 230. 25 House Reports, 1853, p. 179.




algebra, physiology, ancient and United States history, and philosophy were taught in the common schools.28 Will

county included in the program for the common schools, as: tronomy, algebra, physiology, chemistry and philosophy. Moreover, subjects of secondary character were taught in

of the common schools in the counties of Champaign, Greene, Johnson, Jefferson, Marion, Pike, Saline, Stark, Lake and Woodford

Woodford according to

to the reports of the county superintendents of those ties for 1851.28 Morgan county had a union graded school at Jacksonville wherein departments of study were included as far as those of college grade.29 Jerseyville had a high school, mostly free, as a part of the common school system in which teachers were prepared for elementary instruction. In Knox county, a union district building was constructed in which “the plan to be pursued is to select a principal capable of teaching all the branches usually taught in a high school, with sufficient assistance to accomodate the whole district." 31

The Prairie Farmer found that some of the common schools were teaching mental and written arithmetic, drawing, writing, spelling, mathematical, physical, civil and political geography, astronomy, English grammar, United States history, physiology, natural and mental philosophy, algebra, geometry, economics and the ornamental branches. 32

The subjects in the common schools were not so extensive in scope as those taught in the academies, but they were quite similar. One reason for the likeness was that the common man took his cue from the classes above him. It was the fashion for, say, "Ornamental Branches”, to be taught to the children of the working people. While the parents' opportunities had been limited, the study of Latin and Greek, as in the academies, would make their children cultured. When they were arguing for the common school, the leaders thus retained part of the philosophy of the academy in the curricula of the “people's college. The other reason was that

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* House Reports, 1851. app. of Supt. Report. * House Reports. 1851, app. of Supt. Report. 3 House Reports, 1851, app. of Supt. Report. 20 House Reports 1853, p. 163. * House Reports 1853, p. 163. a House Reports, 1849. p. 113. » Prairie Farmer. v. 10, 1850, p. 11.

the academies supplied many of the common teachers for the common schools. The teachers naturally taught those subjects which they studied in the academies.

At the time of the passage of the free school law, which gave a decided impetus to the formation of high schools, the educational literature had quite a little about the kind of subject matter, and its organization, that should be adopted by the high school. The Illinois Teacher printed the program of studies which appears in the list below for the guidance of school men. Chicago began its central high school in 1856 with a two year curriculum for prospective teachers, a three year English curriculum and a four year English classical curriculum. Schools reorganizing under the free school law also were advised to study the Chicago curricula for suggestions. However, it is quite probable that most of the common schools enlarged their curricula gradually rather than creating others, de novo. The academies, reorganized by the law of 1855, probably continued the subjects that they had taught. At any rate, the core of the curricula that were suggested continued to urge the languages, mathematics, and philosophy, which were the intellectual studies of the academy, as appears from the following programs of study:

FIRST YEAR. First Term-Latin, or English Analysis; Algebra, Elocu

tion and Orthography. Second Term-Latin, or English Analysis, Algebra, History. Third Term—Latin, or Elements of Physiology; Arithmetic;


SECOND YEAR. First Term-Latin, or Rhetoric; Geometry; History or

Greek. Second Term-Latin, or Rhetoric; Geometry; History or

Greek. Third Term-Latin, or Bookkeeping; Algebra; Botany, or


THIRD YEAR. First Term-Latin, or Natural History; Physical Geog

raphy; Trigonometry, or Greek

Second Term-Latin, or Surveying, etc.; Physiology; Natural

Philosophy, or Greek. Third Term-Latin, or Evidence of Christianity; Review of

Arithmetic, etc.; Astronomy, or Greek.

FOURTH YEAR. First Term—Mental Philosophy, or

or Latin; Rhetoric; Chemistry, or Greek. Second Term-Mental Philosophy, or Latin; Civil Govern

ment; Geology, or Greek. Third Term—Moral Philosophy, or Latin; Review of Arith

metic, etc.; Logic, or Greek. It will be seen that there are in reality three courses marked out in this report. The first is the General Course which the main body of the school may be supposed to pursue. It is that given in the scheme omitting the alternative branches. The second, is the course preparatory to College. It is the same as the General course for the first year; but in the second and third years, substitutes Greek, and in the fourth, Latin and Greek. It may be called the Collegiate course. The third is for those who prefer not to study Latin. It differs from the General Course by substituting other studies in the place of Latin for the first three years. It is the Imperfect Course. As sounder notions of Education become prevalent, this course will become less popular and the General Course more so.

The normal training curriculum of the Chicago High School consisted of a review of the common branches, physical geography, general history, ancient geography, algebra, bookkeeping, botany, astronomy, physiology, natural philosophy, chemistry, geology, rhetoric, political science, mental philosophy, moral science, etymology, English literature, reading, drawing, music, recitations and the theory and practice of teaching

The English course consisted of a review of the common branches, physical geography, general history, ancient geography, algebra, legendre, arithmetic, plane and spherical trigonometry, mensuration, surveying, navigation, book


13 Ill. Teacher, v. 4. p. 400.

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