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Revised Rules & Regulations




Superintendent of Soldiers' Orphan Schools:

DEAR SIR:  I have the honor herewith to submit my annual report of the soldiers' orphan schools in the State of Pennsylvania.
One who recently visited the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pa., of which the members of the Grand Army of the Republic are so justly proud, tells me:  "Beside the lofty National monument, in the cemetery, cannon are placed, and in the very mouth of these guns the little birds have built their nests."  No longer these great guns belch forth fire, smoke, and death, but they now serve as the peaceful home of the sweet songsters that now fill the beautiful herbage and trees which mark the growth of twenty years of peace, on the very spot where the thickest of the conflict raged and so many brave men died.

"On Fame's eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And Glory guards with solemn round,
The bivouac of the dead!"

There seems to me to be a wonderful resemblance between the nests of these defenceless little birds, built in the cannon at Gettysburg, and the larger nests--homes--for the children of the brave men who fought, bled, and died for this land of freedom, which Pennsylvania has built at a large expense, and maintained for more than a score of years, to rear to an honorable manhood and womanhood the soldiers' boys and girls.  Well may the old Keystone State glory in the noble work which she has already accomplished, and still is accomplishing, in thus caring for the soldiers' children.
In the words of the immortal Lincoln, on that sacred spot where the great National monument now stands, at the time of the dedication of the cemetery:  "It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who have fought here, have thus far so nobly carried on.  It is, rather for us to be here, dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that for those honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion."

The Legislature's Action.

We rejoice that the Legislature has again manifested its interest by making the annual appropriation to sustain these schools for the next two years, and also that they passed the "deficit bill."  This is a grand work:  one that will be recorded in history's pages besides the deeds of the heroic dead.  Could the departed heroes look up from their silent resting places and behold their precious offspring thus cared for by the dear old Commonwealth for whose very existence they so freely poured out their life's blood, how they would rejoice.  The training by Pennsylvania of these youths is a new experience in the history of the world, and it is, and shall be, fraught with grand results.
Frequently, in my travels, I meet splendid young men and women who come to me and speak in glad tones of recognition, "Mrs. Hutter, do you know me?"  As I detect something familiar in the manner and tone of voice, I am apt to reply, "It is one of my boys or girls;"  and then they gleefully tell me of their success in life, and speak lovingly of the school where they were educated and fitted for life's battle-fields.

Military Training.

And just here let me commend the military discipline to which all the boys in these orphan schools are subjected.  We consider it very valuable.  It develops fine, manly, physical frames and it is also valuable in other ways.  It is the boast of the Pennsylvania State Guards they they are not merely "holiday soldiers," but the best disciplined in the United States.  If trouble had come in Central America, as was so recently feared, the sons of the sires who, twenty years ago, stood by General Grant at Appomattox Court House, would rush to the rescue, for the honor of the dear old flag, and maintain the glory of the American nation, which their fathers won so gallantly on many a hard-fought field.  But we do not wish war.  We would exclaim in the language of the dear departed here, "Let us have peace!"  Still we should be prepared to defend our country from every foe to liberty, and this is best done by training the young, in time of peace, to uphold the Government so dear to us all.

The Governor's Visits.

Our gallant young Governor, Robert E. Pattison, has visited a number of the schools and has shown a marked interest in their conduct.  These visits have been productive of much good.  So kindly and earnestly has he addressed the children, that they feel that the Governor of their native State has a heartfelt interest in their welfare, and is a true friend.  In one of the schools, the Governor presented the diplomas to the boys and girls who had arrived at the age of sixteen.  They will ever remember, with just pride, that they received these diplomas from the hand of the Governor of the State.

Arbor Day, Thursday, 16th of April, 1885

It is to the honor of Governor Pattison that he made the first arbor day proclamation in Pennsylvania.  This day was very generally observed throughout the State, but especially by the officers, teachers, and pupils of the schools for soldiers' children.  Much interest was taken in all the orphan schools.  They seemed to enter into the very spirit of the proclamation, "to plant trees along the streets, by the roadsides, in parks and commons around public buildings, and in waste places."
"Ye may be aye sticken in a tree, Jock; it will grow when ye're sleeping."  We know how earnestly you, Dr. Higbee, recommended this arbor day, devoting much time and space to the subject in the School Journal.  In many of the schools, trees were planted and named after Governor Pattison and Dr. Higbee, and sweet childish voices uttered the words:  "O, tree, I name thee ------------   ----------------.  Grow and flourish to rejoice the hearts of this and coming generations."

Industrial Training.

There has been a great influx of foreigners to our country of late years, and the need of our times is to train our American youth in all true knowledge in skill of hand, so that they may be able to compete as skillful workmen.  Also, to imbue their young minds with a just appreciation of American institutions and methods of government, and ideas of freedom.  There is a great need of industrial training, need of habits of industry, so that children will be able to earn a living when leaving the schools.


Sewing has lately been introduced into the public schools of Philadelphia, because so many girls do not know how to sew, mend or darn.  The girls in our Soldiers' Orphan schools are taught all the mysteries of needlework.  Any woman who can sew well is that much better fitted to go through life usefully and successfully.  Book-keepers are needed; boys and girls in these schools study this branch.  Many of the boys farm the fields attached to the schools; some also are learning trades.


These are generally in good repair.  Since the Legislature has so wisely extended the time of the schools, the principals are taking pains to make the buildings and grounds not only comfortable, but ornamental.  The beds and bedding are clean and in sufficient quantity, and the bed-rooms well ventilated.


All the children are well clothed.  The principals of the different schools conscientiously expend one sixth of all they receive for the maintenance of the children in clothing them comfortably.  In many cases, the clothing is more liberal than the amount of money given by the State for this purpose would warrant.  This generosity on the part of the principals is commended.


The food is well cooked and the table service has been much improved during the last few years.  The tables are furnished with clean linen, knives, forks and chinaware.

Examination Day.

Examination day is a day of importance in all these schools.  Many distinguished visitors come to witness the educational progress of the pupils and proficiency in their studies.  We have faithful teachers who are doing good work in the school.

Moral and Religious Training.

Moral and religious training is not neglected, for education of the head without education of the heart is "dead if alone."  The training of our physical, mental and moral natures should ever be in sweet unison.  Some of our children have grown up to be teachers, and are showing in their earnest work that good seed was sown in good soil.

Corporal Punishment.

Again let me urge that corporal punishment be exercised in very few cases, and then only as a last resort.


We have visited all the schools three, four, five and some six times.  These visits have more than ever convinced us of the great importance of the work that is being done.  We strive to correct, encourage, and advise to bring the long experience of years in this and similar enterprise to bear upon the whole system so that the best methods may be employed to secure the desired results.

Grand Army.

The men who, twenty years ago, stood beside General Grant at Appomattox have been as true to duty and each beloved comrade and comrade's child during these years of peace as they were brave in war.  The noblest work of the Grand Army of the Republic since the surrender has been their ever living, acting, loving interest in the children of fallen or wounded comrades.  The hundreds of children who have grown up to love the fostering care of the Grand Army of the Republic are whiter, more enduring monuments to their valor than the many slabs and pillars that mark the place of fierce strife.
Our work is drawing toward a close.  We begin to "see the beginning of the end," but history is writing the record given by war.  Peace and plenty sit side by side, while liberty and victory point heavenward and toward the mountains of our God, where rest the brave in an eternal glory.  
Respectfully submitted.

Inspector and Examiner.




Superintendent of Soldiers' Orphan Schools:

SIR:  I have the honor, as inspector, to report to you the results of my investigations since my last annual report.


I made an early commencement of my visitations and examinations, and carefully distributed them through the year, in order that I might, by thoroughness of work, the better possess myself of facts necessary to report intelligently upon the conditions of the schools.  Previous reports from all sources have usually been commendatory and I am gratified to report that no reason at present exists for any other than good words for the management during the past year.

Sanitary Provisions.

First in importance is the general health of the pupils; without this the most scientific and thorough methods of tuition must end in failure.  In attention to all measures for the prevention of disease and the promotion of physical health, probably no schools in the country have ever had better advantages, and certainly none have had more intelligent oversight and careful administration.  No better record in these respects can be shown in any public institution in the land.
In my opinion, the plain, but nutritious and abundant food, pure water and pure air, careful ventilation of buildings, and regular, judicious physical exercise have been the sanitary measures which have secured this important result.


An improvement is noticeable in the quality of the clothing in some of the schools.  In other respects it continues as heretofore.  The regulation uniform is properly adhered to, and neatness and cleanliness are strictly enforced.

Buildings and Instruction.

The buildings have received many much needed repairs.  The work of improvement has continued in many important directions.  Some of the buildings are in general good condition, while others, being old, will require constant attention.
Marked progress in education is still a characteristic of the schools.  The advantage of experience in methods and increased knowledge of adaptation to individual cases exhibit the teacher in a favorable light; and the retentive hold of instruction upon the minds of the scholars shows the satisfactory results of the course adopted and followed.  These institutions are schools, and no colleges or universities; the primary object should therefore be to impart thorough instruction in the most important and useful English branches.  The scholars are from stations in life which require such practical form of education as shall not only assist them in earning an honest livelihood, but which shall, in addition thereto, enable them to rise to any of the higher positions which are always open to American boys and girls.
In the industrial department, but little can be done in the way of mechanical instruction outside of theoretical knowledge; but so far as it is practicable, its tendency is to broaden though and increase the usefulness of the boys in after life.  In military drill, there has been some improvement, but not enough, and I would suggest an undeviating regularity.
There may be a proper objection to making mere machines of men, but that which instills into a boy system and obedience lays for him a foundation of incalculable advantage; regular methods of thought and action are the key to business success, while obedience is better than sacrifice.  It is well said that "he who does not first learn to obey will never be able to command."  I would further suggest that these military drills be enlivened with martial music, which could readily be supplied by the boys.
There is one evil in regard to the good order of several of the schools which should be remedied as far as possible.  In some schools, orphans have been admitted from town in the immediate neighborhood, and they think they ought not be subjected to the same restrictions as other scholars.  While the enforcement of strict rule absolutely necessary in other cases has, in some instances met, with considerable opposition from relatives and has seriously interfered with proper discipline, I believe it would be better in all such cases if the scholars were sent to other schools.

New Legislation.

Under all administrations, the same marked loyalty has favored our soldiers' orphans; our government is worth to us all that it cost of like and treasure.  Our Legislature has never forgotten the best interest of those who offered themselves in defense of their country in its hour of peril.  To its crown of honors it has added new laurels by the act of May 21st, of the present year.  This meets the just expectations of all interested in the efficiency of the schools.  It provides for the admission of all soldiers' or sailors' orphans, no matter from what cause the father died; if destitution has overtaken the family, that fact is sufficient to warrant the application.  Our Legislatures since the war have created for themselves an honorable place in history, through wise and patriotic provisions for the training of the helpless orphans of our soldiers.  Educating the young loyal citizenship by a system of free public education is a duty which devolves upon every nation, but the special provision of our State which gathered the orphans of our fallen heroes into comfortable homes, and gave to them food, clothing, and education from the public treasury, was a crowning act of patriotic gratitude which no other people has ever equaled.
Under these legislative provisions, there are at present many applicants; all cannot be admitted.  I would urge that discrimination be made in favor of all who are at an age to occupy the longest term and thereby receive the greatest benefit.  This would apply to those, say, of the age of ten years.  I think this plan would work the least injustice of any other that could be devised.  In June, 1887, the doors of admission must finally close, and those who cannot be admitted should be such as would receive the least advantage.

The Grand Army.

Of all classes none rejoice more sincerely over this splendid achievement of Christian civilization than the Grand Army of the Republic.  Without official recognition, they have given the most unselfish devotion to the best interests of these schools.  Their money and their influence have both been given with unstinted liberality whenever needed to forward any object touching the interests of these helpless ones.  I believe to this is largely due the great success and purity of the schools.
The Grand Army still pledges its aid to the Legislature and the public authorities toward obtaining the best results from this unequaled educational scheme.  In the nature of things, these schools must soon close their doors forever.  Their memory will live, not only in history, but in the lives and influence of those whom they have educated.  The Grand Army will also have done its work, the last comrade will have been mustered out by death, the muster roll will have moldered into dust, while rank and file will sleep forever upon

"Death's eternal camping-ground."

But living men and living hopes, as new generations shall come upon the stage of action, will ofttimes stop to look back in admiration of the enlightened citizenship which came of these schools; while parents will point their children to the unexampled patriotism of the Grand Army and say, "Behold the loyalty which in war offered its life for freedom, and in peace its influence and treasure for the support of the orphans of its fallen comrades.  Of all these things the written history may perish as the ages roll by, but that which they have so well done will be engraved upon men's hearts, and instilled into their lives, and demonstrated in their actions, and will live on forever in blessing and honor to the race."

In Conclusion.

Allow me to compliment you upon the success of your labors.  The schools reflect credit upon all connected with them.  You have ably performed a most difficult task and the Commonwealth has properly and gracefully acknowledged your worth in your re-appointment as superintendent.

Respectfully submitted.



HARRISBURG, PA., October 1, 1884.

To the Principals and Managers of Soldiers' Orphan Schools:
Your attention is respectfully called to the following revised rules and regulations:

I.  Clothing

1.  The Clothing for the respective sexes must be uniform in each institution.  It must be seasonable, of good quality, and sufficient in quantity for Sunday and every-day wear, and for weekly changes.

2.  For the boys' suits, a choice of three colors will be allowed:  First, a West Point gray cadet suit, consisting of pants, with black stripes down the sides; jacket, buttoned to the neck--Pennsylvania State buttons; cap to match.  Second, dark navy-blue suit, consisting of pains and jacket--made the same as described in gray suit, cap to match; or Third, a dark blue jacket, and light kersey pants, with dark blue cap.  Suits in the colors chosen to be made in cadet or military style.

3.  For the girls, in winter, a dress of black alpaca-poplin, trimmed with blue or red; or alpaca-poplin, wine color, blue or plaid, trimmed with same material as quillings or bands; black cloth coat; winter hat.  In summer, a dress of white drilling, pink calico, gingham, or delaine; straw hat, neatly trimmed, and summer sacque.

4.  Price list for making and repairing clothing:


Sunday dresses 100 cents
Every-day dresses 40 cents
Chemises 15 cents
Drawers 15 cents
Aprons, low 8 cents
Aprons, with bodies 16 cents
Skirts 20 cents
Skirts, with bodies 30 cents


Pants, winter 50 cents
Jackets, winter 90 cents
Pants, summer, lined 40 cents
Pants, summer, unlined 30 cents
Jackets, summer, lined 50 cents
Jackets, summer, unlined 40 cents
Shirts, plain 25 cents
Shirts, navy style 30 cents


For pair of half-soles 50 cents
For pair of heel-taps 16 cents
For each toe-tap 8 cents
For each patch 5 cents
For each seam sewed 3 cents

For repairing clothing, actual expense incurred will only be allowed.

5.  Form for clothing account.  The following form has been adopted by the Department of use in future settlements of clothing accounts at the close of each fiscal year.  This will hereafter be required of all the schools in lieu of issue rolls, for which the necessary blanks will be forwarded in time.

Clothing Account.

To Superintendent of Soldiers' Orphan Schools:
SIR:  The following statement is respectfully submitted for the year ending May 31, 1885:

June 1, 1884

Invoice of goods on hand . . . . . . . .  - $ 100.00

Goods purchased, making and repairing clothing, mending shoes, &c., during the year, for which vouchers are inclosed as follows:


# of Voucher.


July 10, 1884 1 $ 100.00 -
July 12, 1884 2     200.00 -
July 15, 1884 3     100.00 -
July 22, 1884 4     200.00 -
Aug. 11, 1884 5     300.00 -
Aug. 15, 1884 6     200.00 -
Aug. 22, 1884 7     150.00 -
Aug. 30, 1884 8     150.00 -
Sept. 1, 1884 9     250.00 -
Sept. 10, 1884 10     250.00 -
Sept. 15, 1884 11       50.00 -
Sept. 22, 1884 12       50.00 -
Oct. 1, 1884 13      150.00 -
Oct. 15, 1884 14      300.00 -
Nov. 10, 1884 15      200.00 -
Nov. 25, 1884 16      200.00 -
Dec. 1, 1884 17      100.00 -
Dec. 10, 1884 18      100.00 -
Jan. 1, 1885 19      150.00 -
Jan. 15, 1885 20      150.00 -
Feb. 5, 1885 21      200.00 -
Mar. 15, 1885 22      200.00 -
April 20, 1885 23      150.00 -
April 25, 1885 24      150.00 -
- - - $ 4,050.00
May 31, 1885 Total value of clothing, &c., for distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  - $ 4,150.00
- Total amount of bills presented for education and maintenance, including clothing for the year $ 24,000.00 -
- Value of clothing distributed to children - $ 4,000.00
June 1, 1885 Invoice of goods on hand . . . . . - $     150.00
- of which a detailed list is inclosed. - -

COUNTY OF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . }
Personally appeared before me, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Soldiers' Orphan School, who, being duly . . . . . . . . . , according to law, doth depose and say that the foregoing is a true and correct statement of the clothing account of said school:  that the clothing, &c., purchased as represented by the above vouchers, was in strict conformity with the instructions of the Superintendent of Soldiers' Orphan Schools; and that these supplies have actually been distributed to, and used by, the pupils under his care during the year.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Prin. or Man.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inspector.

. . . . . . . and subscribed before me, this . . . . . day of . . . . . . . . . 188  .  
Approved . . . . . . . . day of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188  .

These directions as to clothing, except so far as the general rules relating to it and the kinds suggested are concerned, have no reference to the church homes, which receive only $100 and $115 for the instruction and maintenance of each child.  In their case, the children must be clothed subject to inspection, and no special accounts need be kept or rendered.

II.  Amounts Allowed for Education and Maintenance.

1.  To the institutions named below, $150 per annum will be allowed for each child above ten years of age, and $115 for each child of less than that age, viz:  Chester Springs, Dayton, Harford, Lincoln Institution, Mansfield, McAllisterville, Mercer, Mount Joy, Soldiers' Orphan Institute, Uniontown and White Hall.
To the several asylums and church homes that have never received any appropriation from the State, $115 per annum will be allowed for each child.
To the several asylums and church homes that have received, at any time, appropriations from the State, $100 per annum will be allowed for each child.
It will be observed, upon examination, that these allowances are in strict accordance with the act of Assembly, and they cannot be departed from.  The authorities of the several institutions must govern themselves accordingly in making up their quarterly bills.

III. Rules Relating to Charges.

1.  Children discharged on order or transfer may be charged for until they leave the institution.
2.  No charge can be allowed for children until they actually enter the institution.
3.  No allowances for pay can be made for children entering an institution without orders from this Department.
4.  Pupils who are absent from school more than three (3) days, either with or without leave, except at regular vacations, are not to be charged for on the quarterly bills for said absence.
5.  All applications for leave of absence, with the length of time specified, and the opinion of the principal or manager indorsed thereon, must be forwarded to this Department for approval or disapproval.
6.  Pay will be allowed for the time a pupil is furloughed in accordance herewith.

IV.  Food.

No regular bill of fare will be prescribed.  All the schools and homes will certainly provide food for their children that is proper in variety, healthful in kind, and sufficient in quantity, and nothing more is desired.

V.  Sleeping Apartments.

Care must be taken that the sleeping apartments are well ventilated and not over crowded.  The beds and bedding must be clean and comfortable.

VI.  Industries.

The industries so long in force in the schools, which have given systematic employment to the pupils of both sexes during the past years, will be required in the future.  The work done will form a prominent feature of the annual examinations.

VII.  Course of Study.

First Grade.--- Spelling, reading, writing, and drawing on slates, oral exercises in numbers, object lessons.
Second Grade.--- Spelling, reading, writing and drawing on slates, mental arithmetic, four fundamental rules of written arithmetic, object lessons.
Third Grade.--- Spelling, reading, writing, drawing, mental and written arithmetic, geography, and object lessons.
Fourth Grade.--- Same as for third grade.
Fifth Grade.--- Same as for fourth grade, with the addition of grammar.
Sixth Grade.--- Same as for fifth grade, with the addition of history of United States.
Seventh Grade.--- Spelling, reading, book-keeping, elementary algebra, geography, grammar, history of United States, physiology.
Eighth Grade.--- Reading, algebra, or geometry, grammar, Constitution of United States, natural philosophy, or the elements of the natural sciences generally.
Vocal music, declamation, composition, and instruction in morals and manners must be continued throughout the whole course.
Drills in military tactics must be systematically kept up in all the institutions where there are boys over ten years of age.  The boys in all the schools will be expected to be proficient in the "School of the Company."
The studies of the course must be frequently reviewed as the pupils proceed.  Bible classes and Sunday schools, as organized in all the schools, must be continued, but sectarian instruction carefully avoided, except where the children are all of one denomination.
Object lessons, by which a large amount of general information can be imparted and valuable instruction given in the elements of the different sciences, must constitute an important feature of the course.

VIII.  Reports.

1.  The customary weekly reports must be furnished at the close of each week on the prescribed form.
2.  The quarterly reports, with the lists as specified on the blank, must be forwarded with the bills at the close of each quarter.
3.  The annual instruction report, similar to the one made the present year, must be made out at the close of the school term in July and promptly forwarded.
4.  An annual report in writing, giving an account of the progress and improvements made during the year, and the sanitary, industrial, educational and moral conditions of the institution and any additional information that it may be desirable to communicate, must be made.  This report should be on file in this Department not later than August 15.
5.  Each school must furnish, on or before August 1 in each year, as complete a list in alphabetical order as it is possible to prepare of all children who have gone from it at the age of sixteen, for the year ended May 31st previous, giving occupations, &c., since leaving school.
All the reports due the Department from any institution must be on file in the form required before its bills are approved or paid.

IX.  Regulations.

1.  Principals and managers have authority to permit children to visit their homes for a period of three days, but no longer, without consulting this Department, and need not note such absences on weekly reports.
2.  Parents or guardians must limit their visits at the schools to one day in length, and will, while there, sustain no intimate relations with any children except their own.
3.  Distant relatives and near acquaintances are not expected to visit the children, but may visit the schools as the general public have a right to, and are cordially invited to do.
4.  Smoking is not allowed on the premises of any of the schools or homes.
5.  Principals and managers will see that the foregoing regulations are rigidly enforced.

X.  Inspections.

1. All the schools will be visited and carefully inspected by the State Inspectors as heretofore, who will render detailed reports on the blanks prepared for this purpose.
2.  It will be their duty at each visitation to call the roll and see that absentees are properly noted on the weekly reports of the schools to this Department.
3.  It will be the duty of the lady inspector at each quarterly visitation carefully to compare all bills of goods purchased since her previous visit, as to quality and price.  If found correct and she shall be satisfied the same have been or are to be used for the benefit of the children, she will then approve said bill or bills, with date of approval.
4.  It will be the duty of the male inspector, at a special visit to be made between the 15th and 31st of May in each year, to reexamine all bills of goods purchased and issued during the year, together with the invoices of goods on hand and not issued to the pupils.
If they are found correct and properly noted on the statement (a form of which is given on page 55,) he will then approve the account for the year as rendered by the principal, and direct it to be forwarded to this Department.  The inspectors have full authority to require the correction of all deficiencies.




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