The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 52
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
nor buttoned; a dirt floor, and across it are placed several logs hewn
on one side for seats.44
In 1830o he moved his school to Gulph Prairie, and the following
year to Columbia where he remained till 1836.'4 Here he moved
about from one plantation to another taking his pupils with him,
like the earlier peripatetic schoolmasters of New England. The
curriculum, according to Pilgrim's advertisement, consisted of
"grammar, geography, rhetoric, history, composition, arithmetic,
natural philosophy, languages, and mathematics." Tuition was
low, being $2.00 per month. Students from distant farms could be
accommodated with "board and washing, in a number of re-
spectable families, from $6-$10o per month."4
Although Austin, in the best "booster" tradition, assured pro-
spective immigrants that private schools existed in the American
settlements-"and very good ones,"'47 the colonists were far from
satisfied. One of the grounds on which they condemned the
Mexican regime in the Texas Declaration of Independence
(1836) was that it had "failed to establish any public system
of education."'4 Wealthy colonists sent their children back to
the United States for schooling; those of moderate means either
taught their children at home or else sent them to private acad-
emies or old field schools; the poor gave their children no formal
schooling other than what could be imparted through occasional
Yet, the condemnation of the Mexican regime in the Texas
Declaration of Independence was not entirely justified. Failure
was largely due to basic conditions beyond governmental control.
The people of the towns were poverty-stricken, and the state
treasury bankrupt. Frontier conditions, Indian raids, epidemics,
and a general feeling of insecurity complicated the task. More-
over, it was extremely difficult to obtain qualified teachers or
44T. J. Pilgrim, "First Sunday School in Texas," D. W. C. Baker, Texas Scrap
Book (New York, 1875), 74.
45C. W. Raines, Yearbook of Texas (Austin, 19o2), I, 37; George P. Garrison,
"Guy M. Bryan," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, V, 121.
eAdvertisement of T. J. Pilgrim, Texas Gazette, January 23, 18go.
4rEugene C. Barker, "Descriptions of Texas by Stephen E Austin," Southwestern
Historical Quarterly, XXVIII, 12o.
48The Declaration of Independence, March 2, 1836, in Gammel, Laws of Texas.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/70/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.