Stephen Collins Foster Biography - online book

A Biography Of America's Folk-Song Composer By Harold Vincent Milligan

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16              STEPHEN COLLINS FOSTER
Academy. This academy was considered a model insti­tution for the education of youth, and was attended by the sons of nearly all the most prominent citizens of Pittsburgh and Alleghany.
Mr. Stockton was regarded as a very learned man. In addition to his high repute as a classical scholar, he had also achieved fame as the author of a book on arithmetic which was for a long time the standard in schools west of the Alleghany Mountains. His chief assistant in the Alleghany Academy was one John Kelly, an Irishman who had been tutor in the family of Sir Rowland Hill, and who had brought with him to Pittsburgh letters of introduction from many of "the most excellent people in the refined city of Dublin." Mr. Kelly was held to be a rigid disciplinarian, but notwithstanding "of genial disposition." Out of school he played ball and prisoner's base with the boys and "excelled in every manly athletic exercise," but in school he required strict attention to business. The faculty boasted two other members, who were entrusted with the instruction of elocution and pen­manship.
Lindley Murray was the standard authority on gram­mar, and "The English Reader," by the same author, was used for instruction in reading. Hutton's Mathe­matics and "The Western Calculator" were relied on for arithmetic, together with Mr. Stockton's book.
Stephen's copy of "Walker's Dictionary" is one of the very few of his possessions which have been preserved. It is now in a very dilapidated condition; the front cover, the title-pages and the last pages from the letter "Z," are missing.
These books constituted the chief sources of primary education for the youth of Western Pennsylvania in the 1830's, while "the higher walks of learning" were followed at Jefferson College at Canonsburg (which had grown out of Dr. McMillan's Academy), Washington College at Washington, and the Western University at Pittsburgh.







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