National System
of Meercantile


Revised año Improved.




Expressly adapted to the Schools of the U. States, and comprehending every thing requisite for the convenience of the Teacher and the needs of the Scholar.


It has led all others, and dates its existence YEARS before any other now known.


It has furnished a guide which others have not hesitated to follow, and improvements which others have time after time borrowed and subsequently claimed as their own.


It has commanded the admiration of the lovers of this beautiful art, and acquired a reputation as extensive as our country.


Giving unqualified satisfaction to teachers, and exciting the greatest enthusiasm among scholars, it has become more widely known and extensively used than any other; and it would be difficult to find a township in the United States where the name of Payson, Dunton & Scribner is not familiar as a household word.

The merit of introducing and establishing a system of Chirography that has become so firmly rooted that a return to the old modes of teaching would be no sooner thought of than a return to the old wells and pumps by the inhabitants of a city blessed with a copious aqueduct of pure water, belongs to the authors of this system. To their genius and industry is the world indebted for the system that has brought harmony out of chaos, and regularity out of confusion, by a few simple rules based upon a correct philosophy in applying NATURAL MUSCULAR FORCES to the production of written forms; and to them, more than to all others, are the schools throughout our country indebted for the great advance in this branch of education.

Particular attention is requested to our Manual of Penmanship, Oblique Lines for teaching the proper slope in writing, and The New Writing Tablets, all of which are entirely original with us, and are of the utmost importance to teachers. Send for circulars.

Testimonials from eminent teachers and friends of education, and a full description of the series, will be sent to any who may desire.


117 Washington Street, Boston.

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THERE are more than thirty schools in the territory, conducted by as many as forty or forty-five teachers, who are commissioned by the three associations in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, and by the American Missionary Association. They have an average attendance of two thousand pupils, and are more or less frequented by an additional thousand. The ages of the scholars range in the main from eight to twelve years. They did not know even their letters prior to a year ago last March, except those who were being taught in the single school at Beaufort already referred to, which had been going on for a few weeks. Very many did not have the opportunity for instruction till weeks and even months after. During the spring and summer of 1862 there were not more than a dozen schools, and these were much interrupted by the heat, and by the necessity of assigning at times some of the teachers to act as superintendents. Teachers came for a brief time, and upon its expiration, or for other cause, returned home, leaving the schools to be broken up. It was not until October or November that the educational arrangements were put into much shape; and they are still but imperfectly organized. In some localities there is as yet no teacher, and this because the associations have not had the funds wherewith to provide one.

I visited ten of the schools, and conversed with the teachers of others. There were, it may be noted, some mixed bloods in the schools of the town of Beaufort,-ten in a school of ninety, thirteen in another of sixty-four, and twenty in another of seventy. In the schools on the plantations there were never more than half a dozen in one school, in some cases but two or three, and in others none.

The advanced classes were reading simple stories and didactic passages in the ordinary school-books, as Hillard's Second Primary

Reader, Willson's Second Reader, and others of similar grade. Those who had enjoyed a briefer period of instruction were reading short sentences or learning the alphabet. In several of the schools a class was engaged on an elementary lesson in arithmetic, geography, or writing. The eagerness for knowledge and the facility of acquisition displayed in the beginning had not abated.

On the 25th of March I visited a school at the Central Baptist Church on St. Helena Island, built in 1855, shaded by lofty live-oak trees, with the long, pendulous moss every where hanging from their wide-spreading branches, and surrounded by the gravestones of the former proprietors, which bear the ever-recurring names of Fripp and Chaplin. This school was opened in September last, but many of the pupils had received some instruction before. One hundred and thirtyone children were present on my first visit, and one hundred and forty-five on my second, which was a few days later. Like most of the schools on the plantations, it opened at noon and closed at three o'clock, leaving the forenoon for the children to work in the field or perform other service in which they could be useful. One class, of twelve pupils, read page 70th in Willson's Reader, on 'Going Away'. They had not read the passage before, and they went through it with little spelling or hesitation. They had recited the first thirty pages of Towle's Speller, and the multiplication-table as high as fives, and were commencing the sixes. A few of the scholars, the youngest, or those who had come latest to the school, were learning the alphabet. At the close of the school they recited in concert the Psalm 'The Lord is my shepherd', requiring prompting at the beginning of some of the verses. They sang with much spirit hymns which had been taught them by the teachers, as,


"My country, 't is of thee,

Sweet land of liberty";

"Sound the loud timbrel";

also, Whittier's new song, written expressly for this school, the closing stanzas of which are,—

"The very oaks are greener clad,

The waters brighter smile;

Oh, never shone a day so glad
On sweet St. Helen's Isle !

"For none in all the world before
Were ever glad as we,-
We're free on Carolina's shore,
We're all at home and free!"


Never has the pure Muse, which has sung only of truth and right, as the highest beauty and noblest art, been consecrated to a better service than to write the songs of praise for these little children, chattels no longer, whom the Savior, were he now to walk on earth, would bless as his own.

The prevalent song, however, heard in every school, in church and by the way-side, is that of John Brown', which very much amuses our white soldiers, particularly when the singers roll out,

"We'll hang Jeff. Davis on a sour apple-tree!"

The children also sang their own songs, as,—

"In de mornin' when I rise,

Tell my Jesus, Huddy oh? *
In de mornin' when I rise,
Tell my Jesus, Huddy oh?

"I wash my hands in de mornin' glory,
Tell my Jesus, Huddy oh?

I wash my hands in de mornin' glory,
Tell my Jesus, Huddy oh?

"Pray, Tony, pray, boy, you got de order,
Tell my Jesus, Huddy oh?

Pray, Tony, pray, boy, you got de order,
Tell my Jesus, Huddy oh?

Pray, Rosy, pray, gal," etc.

Other songs of the negroes are common, as, 'The Wrestling Jacob', 'Down in the lonesome valley', 'Roll, Jordan, roll', 'Heab'n shall-a be my home'. Russell's Diary' gives an account of these songs, as he heard them in his evening row over Broad River, on his way to Trescot's estate.

One of the teachers of this school is an accomplished woman from Philadelphia. Another is from Newport, Rhode Island, where she had prepared herself for this work by benevolent labors in teaching poor children. The third is a young woman of African descent, of olive complexion, finely cultured, and attuned to all beautiful sympathies, of gentle address, and, what was specially noticeable, not possessed with an overwrought consciousness of her race. She had read the best books, and naturally and gracefully enriched her conversation with them. She had enjoyed the friendship of Whittier; had been a pupil in the Grammar-School of Salem, then in the State Normal School in that city, then a teacher in one of the schools for white

* How d' y' do?


children, where she had received only the kindest treatment both from the pupils and their parents, and let this be spoken to the honor of that ancient town. She had refused a residence in Europe, where a better social life and less unpleasant discrimination awaited her, for she would not dissever herself from the fortunes of her people; and now, not with a superficial sentiment, but with a profound purpose, she devotes herself to their elevation.

At Coffin Point, on St. Helena Island, I visited a school kept by a young woman from the town of Milton, Massachusetts, the child of parents passed into the skies', whose lives have both been written for the edification of the Christian world. She teaches two schools, at different hours in the afternoon, and with different scholars in each. One class had read through Hillard's Second Primary Reader, and were on a review, reading Lessons 19, 20, and 21, while I was present. Being questioned as to the subjects of the lessons, they answered intelligently. They recited the twos of the multiplication-table, explained numeral letters and figures on the blackboard, and wrote letters and figures on slates. Another teacher in the adjoining district, a graduate of Harvard, and the son of a well-known Unitarian clergyman of Providence, Rhode Island, has two schools, in one of which a class of three pupils was about finishing Ellsworth's First Progressive Reader, and another, of seven pupils, had just finished Hillard's Second Primary Reader. Another teacher, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the same island, numbers one hundred pupils in his two schools. He exercises a class in elocution, requiring the same sentence to be repeated with different tones and inflections, and one could not but remark the excellent imitations.

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In a school at St. Helena village, where were collected the Edisto refugees, ninety-two pupils were present as I went in. Two ladies were engaged in teaching, assisted by Ned Loyd White, a colored man, who had picked up clandestinely a knowledge of reading while still a slave. One class of boys and another of girls read in the seventh chapter of St. John, having begun this Gospel and gone thus far. They stumbled a little on words like unrighteousness' and 'circumcision'; otherwise they got along very well. When the Edisto refugees were brought here, in July, 1862, Ned, who is about forty or forty-five years old, and Uncle Cyrus, a man of seventy, who also could read, gathered one hundred and fifty children into two schools, and taught them as best they could for five months until teachers were provided by the societies. Ned has since received a donation from one of the societies, and is now regularly employed on a salary. A woman comes to one of the teachers of this school for in

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