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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Old Field Schools

The old field schools were used in the South before the War Between the States.  Essentially, they were elementary schools. The building was typically one-room with a pot-belly stove. The schoolmaster taught children who frequently attended school after the planting and harvesting seasons. Valentine, a leading schoolmaster in York County, Virginia in 1691 charged each pupil at the rate of twenty shillings ($25 in modern values). Another schoolmaster, Thomas Dalby of Henrico County charged thirty shillings tuition for two youthful students for nine months. In 1698 the estate of a schoolmaster in Isle of Wight County presented bills which sixteen pupils owed the estate, showing that he pupils paid fifty pounds of tobacco per quarter. Source: Institutional History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century by Philip Alexander Bruce, Volume Zi.

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