The Smith School

September 21, 1849

An article signed, “W.C.N.”, (William Cooper Nell) regrets the action of the School Committee, which has voted to continue the separate Smith School. They have acted, in “disregard for a people’s earnest and intelligent wishes, …”.and says, that, in spite of this action ” almost the entire mass stand, erect, and will not bow to the dictation, but intend keeping their children at home, or in temporary schools, until, at least, they have better reasons for submitting than up to the present can be acknowledged…..They are grievously indignant that any man, and especially a colored man, could be found willing, in the present crisis, to accept the appointment..” (reference is to Thomas Paul Smith).   The article refers to the Sept 17 meeting at the church: “A few persons, known as the advocates of exclusive schools, stationed themselves near the door, and, observing the cue of their leaders, persevered in disturbing the meeting by hisses, and various other demonstrations.  The audience was requested to pay no attention to them, but some individuals, on their own responsibility, attempted to secure order, and on the rioters retreating from the building, the windows were immediately assailed by a volley of stones and other missiles, which are preserved as trophies of the prowess of those who resort to such methods of appeal…..To sustain the contest, we must have funds for the payment of tuition fees in the temporary schools….”

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