Equal School Rights in Boston

August 17, 1855

William Cooper Nell has an article about the last days of the separate school, the Smith School.  The article notes the “lack of zeal for examination day, and the dismission took place without any allusion to meeting again under that administration.”  The article includes a report  by the School Committee which comments on the “falling off” of the number of students, and the run-down condition of the school.  It says that “if the present state of things continues, there will be no one left to be taught”.  His article expresses gratitude to the Legislature for ending the separate school system.  He is concerned that an “attempt will be made to resume the illegal Smith School, and ways and means provided  by the disaffected to secure an attendance.  But should there be even those few parents so lost to self-respect, or otherwise seduced to sustain this refuge of colorphobia, the unholy scheme must necessarily be short-lived; for the taxpayers of Boston will not long submit to three thousand dollars extra annual appropriation when it can be saved by obeying the laws of Massachusetts.  The colored citizens and their friends are looking forward so hopefully to the anticipated change, that even this word of caution may be superfluous; but the cause will lose nothing by reminding its votaries that ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’.”

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