19th Century Education in Caswell County
The Milton Spectator (Milton, North Carolina), 6 September 1854.
Office of Board of Superintendents
Common Schools for Caswell County
January 2, 1854
Those interested are hereby informed that since the first of October last or the time of the notice given by the former Chairman of the Board of the amount of funds on hand belong[ing] to each School District in the County of Caswell, a dividend has been received from the tax levied by the County, which gives nineteen dollars and forty-seven cents to each District and also the Fall Dividend from the Literary Fund of the State, which gives twenty-eight dollars and eighty-four cents to each district. The Milton District in consequence of the number of pupils receives double the aforesaid amount.
The Committee on giving orders to teachers will see that the report of the number of scholars taught, length of time, &c., accompanies this order.
Nathaniel J. Palmer, Chm'n
January 10, 1854
While the following describes the educational situation in 1835, little changed by the time of the above 1854 Caswell County report. The electorate was decidedly anti-education. Taxes of any sort were vehemently opposed.
In the State in 1835, there was not one school house for every 15 miles square, not a single high school, and only a few good academies, the whole number of the latter being certainly less than half and possibly less than a third of the number of counties. In the whole State . . . nearly every tenth white man was totally illiterate and nearly one-half the white people of every county were uneducated. The people had no thirst for knowledge; in many cases it was dreaded, despised, and hated.
Source: Hamilton, J. G. De Roulhac and Wagstaff, Henry McGilbert, Editors. "Party Politics in North Carolina 1835-1860," The James Sprunt Historical Publications. Durham (North Carolina): The Seeman Printery. 1916.