SOLDIERS' ORPHANS' SCHOOLS
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE
SUPERINTENDENT OF SOLDIERS' ORPHANS,
FOR THE YEAR 1885.
Rules & Regulations
REPORTS OF THE INSPECTORS.
REPORT OF MRS. E. E. HUTTER.
To E. E. HIGBEE,
Superintendent of Soldiers' Orphan
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
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
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
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
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."
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 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
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.
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.
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.
ELIZABETH E. HUTTER,
Inspector and Examiner.
REPORT OF JOHN W. SAYERS.
To E. E. HIGBEE,
Superintendent of Soldiers' Orphan
SIR: I have the honor, as
inspector, to report to you the results of my investigations since my last
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.
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
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
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
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
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."
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.
J. W. SAYERS,
REVISED RULES AND REGULATIONS.
DEPARTMENT OF SOLDIERS' ORPHAN SCHOOLS,
HARRISBURG, PA., October 1, 1884.
To the Principals and Managers of Soldiers' Orphan Schools:
Your attention is respectfully called to the following revised rules
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:
|Aprons, with bodies
|Skirts, with bodies
|Pants, summer, lined
|Pants, summer, unlined
|Jackets, summer, lined
|Jackets, summer, unlined
|Shirts, navy style
FOR MENDING SHOES.
|For pair of half-soles
|For pair of heel-taps
|For each toe-tap
|For each patch
|For each seam sewed
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.
SOLDIERS' ORPHAN SCHOOL.
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 .
. . . . . . .
making and repairing clothing, mending shoes, &c., during the
year, for which vouchers are inclosed as follows:
# of Voucher.
|July 10, 1884
|July 12, 1884
|July 15, 1884
|July 22, 1884
|Aug. 11, 1884
|Aug. 15, 1884
|Aug. 22, 1884
|Aug. 30, 1884
|Sept. 1, 1884
|Sept. 10, 1884
|Sept. 15, 1884
|Sept. 22, 1884
|Oct. 1, 1884
|Oct. 15, 1884
|Nov. 10, 1884
|Nov. 25, 1884
|Dec. 1, 1884
|Dec. 10, 1884
|Jan. 1, 1885
|Jan. 15, 1885
|Feb. 5, 1885
|Mar. 15, 1885
|April 20, 1885
|April 25, 1885
|May 31, 1885
||Total value of clothing,
&c., for distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
||Total amount of bills
presented for education and maintenance, including clothing for the
||Value of clothing
distributed to children
|June 1, 1885
||Invoice of goods on hand . . . . .
||of which a detailed list is
COUNTY OF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . }
STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA,} ss:
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Second Grade.--- Spelling, reading, writing and drawing on slates,
mental arithmetic, four fundamental rules of written arithmetic, object
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
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 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.
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
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.
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
5. Principals and managers will see that the foregoing regulations
are rigidly enforced.
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
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
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.
E. E. HIGBEE,