Maine Genealogy Archives

Register of Students at Passamaquoddy School at Pleasant Point, 1858

Source: 1858-09 Report of School Committee of Perry on the Passamaquoddy school at Pleasant Point, Maine State Archives.

Report of the School Committee
of Perry in relation to the Indian School

To the Secretary of State,

The Resolve in favor of the Passamaquoddy Indians, appropriating one hundred dollars to be expended under the supervision of the School Committee of Perry, makes it their duty, "on or before the first day of January to make full returns of their doings under the resolve to the Secretary of State, to be laid before the next Legislature; specifying the length of the school, by whom kept, the average number in attendance, amount paid to each teacher, and all items of expenditure, and such other facts as they may deem for the interest of Education among the Indians."

In conformity with the "Resolve", we make this Return

The "length of the school" was eleven weeks. It was "kept" by L. J. Lincoln five Weeks and by Jonathan Stickney six weeks. "The average number in attendance", thirty six. The whole number attending school, forty nine. "The amount paid each teacher was thirty dollars a month viz to L J Lincoln thirty seven and a half dollars & to Jona Stickney forty five dollars

The "Items of expenditure" were as follows,

Teachers Wages eighty two & a half dollars82.50
Repairing doors & benches in hall for school Room2.75
L. J. Lincoln's bill for services as S. S. Committee1.50
W. D. Dana's bill for services as S. S. Committee1.38

The Teachers Register shows that the ages of those attending school, range from five to twenty six years, & that "one class of eight scholars study Reading, Spelling, Arithmetic, & Writing & have made good proficiency. They understand the simple rules of arithmetic, United States money & Reduction; read understandingly, spell almost any word put to Them & write a fair copy hand"

The Indians are much interested in the School and a strong desire to learn is manifested on the part of old and young. Never having been subject to restraint, school must be made attractive to them or they leave at once. Anything like punishment is entirely out of the question. The discipline of a Common School would send them all Porpoise hunting very quick; yet we find the average attendance the past season equal to that of other schools, and the progress made, all that could be expected. Their irregular habits (Breakfast & Dinner coming at almost any time of day) make punctuality impractable. The school having been kept in their "Powwow Hall" has not been, heretofore, so profitable as we hope to make it, in the future, in their new School-House, of which They are very proud. The associations connected with the room have been detrimental to that order and regularity which are so necessary to rapid improvement yet the quick and sprightly intellects of many of them warrant us in believing that the Indian school at "Pleasant Point" before many years will occupy a respectable grade with our common schools

With care on the part of the committee in the selection of kind and faithful Teachers, we think the appropriation of money for their education promises more good than many other things for which money is expended

Wm D Dana
for the Committee

Register of School at Pleasantpoint.
Commencing June 28th 1858.
Closing Aug. 24, 1858.
Length of School in days. — 36.
Whole number of Scholars in attendance 32
Average number in attendance — 21

NamesAgesDate of Ent.Date of Leaving
Francis Dana14June 28thAug. 24
Peter Dana Jr.14June 28thAug. 24
Peter Mitchel8June 28thAug. 24
Joseph Selmore8June 28thAug. 24
Newell Dana9June 28thAug. 24
Lola Toma9June 28thAug. 24
Aselma Dana5June 28thAug. 24th
Nicholas Neptune9June 28thAug. 24th
Newell Hetyan9June 28thJuly
Newell Soctoma11June 28th
Lewey Neptune12June 28thAug. 24th
Soctoma Francis16June 28thAug. 24th
Joseph Selmore12June 28thAug. 24th
Susepslola Dana6June 28thAug. 24th
Francis Dana12July 30thAug. 24th
Toma Dana20Aug. 2ndAug. 24th
Tomapolis Dana14Aug. 2ndAug. 24th
Peter DanaAug. 24th
Sockobie Francis24July __
Mary Dennis13June 28thAug. 24th
Mary Dana7June 28thAug. 24th
Louisa Neptune10June 28thAug. 18th
Daless Dana7June 28thAug. 18th
Mary Jane Dana11June 28thAug. 24th
Julia Dana5June 28thAug. 24th
Elizabeth Selmore8June 28thAug. 24th
Cecilia Selmore6June 28thAug. 24th
Louisa Dana7June 28thAug. 24th
Nancy Mitchel18June 28thAug. 24th
Susan Benewit8Aug 2ndAug. 24th
Mary Francis14Aug. 24th
Mary Dana9Aug 2ndAug. 24th

With regard to the progress made I will state a few facts leaving you to draw your own conclusion. Not one of the scholars, entering at the commencement of the term, ever attended any school before and consequently know nothing of what was expected of them or what they were to do, and not a few were unable to speak a word of English. But by judiciously mingling, if I may be allowed the term, their hours of study and recreation, and aided by certain of the Parents I was soon enabled to restore order out of chaos, and to interest them in their new work. And to their credit be it spoken that after they became acquainted with our rules they never I think intentionally violated the least of them.

One class consisting of four boys who had previously learned the alphabet were able at the close of the term to read tolerably well anything in Towns' First-Reader, to spell proportionally well, and gained such an idea of numbers as to enable them to read and write small numbers with case and even work simple questions in addition.

Of the remainder who did not know the alphabet, the greater part were able to at the close of the term to spell out any word of one syllable and to pronounce correctly the more simple ones. Many of this class could not speak English. A few of the younger ones, whose attention I found it impossible to wean entirely from play during school hours, failed to learn the alphabet entire.

On the whole I must characterize them as exceedingly eager to learn, perfectly unexceptional in their deportment, so far as they know, kind to each other and respectful to their teacher, and if their school should be continued in future I see no reason to doubt that it would be entirely successful.

I am unable to give the number of days of attendance and absence of each scholar, as, in the early part of the term many of them did not know their own names and considerable time passed before I learned to apply them to the proper persons.

It may be proper here to state that many of the men came in at different times, when they were at leisure, and took a part with us in the exercises, but as the days they were present were few when compared with the whole number of days in the term I did not place their names upon the register.

J. W. McMahon, Teacher,

To the Sup. S. Committee
            Perry, Maine.

We certify that the above is a true statement of the school at Pleasant Po[i]nt the past summer and it meets with our approval.

L. J. Lincoln }
J. W. McMahon }
S. S. Com.

In committee
March 24th 1859
Read & ordered
on file
Noah Smith Jr
Secy of State