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North Carolina. Dept. of Public Instruction
Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina, for the Year 1869
Raleigh: M. S. Littlefield, 1869.


The North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction's Report for 1869, written by Samuel Stanford Ashley, is the first report about efforts to educate the newly freed slaves and the first report of the superintendent of public instruction under the new state constitution. It provides a broad overview of the progress and status of educational institutions throughout the state and recommends improvements, including the establishment of an institution to train female teachers. The report also includes a school survey that Ashley sent to the state's colleges, seminaries, and academies to gather more data about North Carolina higher education; some of the responses are published here. A staunch advocate of improved education for African Americans, Ashley reprints a letter from Rev. James Walker Hood, a prominent African American minister and assistant superintendent of public instruction (1868-1871). The letter outlines the work of African American schools supervised by the American Missionary Association, American Union Freedmen's Commission, the Society of Friends (Quakers) and the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches.

Ashley also provides the Board of Education's report, which contains information about financial holdings, specifics about school curriculum and facility plans, and details of the board's decision to pursue state-allocated funds from fines and forfeitures for public schools. In addition, the report alludes to potential revenue from the sale of swampland, which was vested in the Board of Education (1868-1959). This land, however, proved a generally ineffective source of revenue. The report also contains census data from 1868 for persons "between the ages of 6 and 21" (p. 53); a list, provided by Solomon Pool, of men enrolled at the University of North Carolina in 1869; financial statements concerning appropriations for the University as well as the public schools in each county; and curriculum changes for each college at the University. A report from the North Carolina institution for the hearing and visually impaired concludes the work: included here are lists of expenditures, pupils, and faculty.

Monique Prince

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