The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898

Recollections of Early Schools.

RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY SCHOOLS.
MI. M. KENNEY.
The first school which I remember, though I did not attend it,
was in Austin's colony in 1835, and was taught by an Irishman
named Cahill. My older brother, aged about eight years, was one
of the pupils of that primitive academy, which was distant about
two miles from our house, and the way was through the woods
without any road or path. When he started to school, our father
was absent and mother went with him, carrying a hatchet to blaze
the way.
Of the discipline of the school and its studies, I only know that
my brother, in relating the experience of several of the boys, made
the impression on me that the rod was not spared; and my recollec-
tion of the books is reduced to the arithmetic, which I afterwards
studied, in which the primitive rules were illustrated by engrav-
ings; that for subtraction being a bunch of grapes, showing in suc-
cessive pictures how, after eating two, three, etc., so many remain-
ed. Thinking that this must have been the work of a little boy
like myself, I put the lesson into practice by purloining from a
basket of "forbidden fruit" and then producing the arithmetic as
authority for the appropriation--a sally which mother allowed to
condone the little sin.
The next school which I remember, though I did not attend that
either, was taught in 1836, at a place called Mt. Vernon, now in
Washington county, by Miss Lydia Ann McHenry, a maiden aunt
who lived with us. The school was at the house of Mr. Ayers, a
public spirited man, who was one of the principal settlers there.
I think that Mrs. Ayers and Miss McHenry joined in teaching, and
they intended to make it a permanent school, but the war of the
revolution interrupted and it was never renewed. I was then four
years old. My sister, two years older, attended, and, as it was
twenty miles away, was of course absent from home, which left me
very lonesome. How long it was I do not know, but it seemed an
age, and I had about given her up and ceased to grieve, when one

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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/. Accessed May 3, 2015.