For a period of time, in compliance with a state law enacted in 1847, there was a “colored department” or “colored school” in School District 1. Here again is a relatively little-explored topic. It seems possible that such a school existed prior to the state law. It is also not immediately obvious when the school ultimately closed, integrating the district; an April 16, 1873 item below would suggest it was probably prior to that date.
The information at hand about the Lansingburgh school being rather limited at the time of this post, it is supplemented by some information from 1846 pertaining to a similar school in the City of Hudson.
We wish to refer our City reader to the important communication of J. P. Campbell, the teacher of the Colored School, in our city, with a request that they will call the attention of the parents of that class of our people to it, but two or three of whom are subscribers to this paper. […]
For the Columbia Washingtonian.
To the parents of colored children in the City of Hudson. Dear friends there is in this City, a school set a part by the superintendents of the public schools, for the benefit of colored children. They supply it with a teacher and often and regularly visit it, examine the children in their different studies—inquire after the prosperity of the school and each individual scholar, and seem to express the greatest anxiety for its improvement in every thing that relates to the future advancement of the children in receiving a good common school education. In this City there are 102 children 52 of whom are old enough and ought to be in school every day. It is to be lamented that some of these seldom come to school at all, and others are irregular in their attendance. This must arise from a wilful neglect or invincible ignorance or both together, on the part of the parents and not the children. Is it possible that my people do not know the exceedingly great disadvantages under which a child, does and must actually forever labour without an education. Of the above stated number our actual school list is just 40.
The Black man’s condition, and not his colour is that which degrades him.
Knowledge is power. By it princes reign and nobles bear rule. By it shall the Black man through the blessing of kind heaven be delivered from all the disadvantages under which he now labours. By this he will become a blessing to himself and to others, and command the respect of all with whom he has any intercourse [communication]. Wisdom and Virtue, these and these only will raise the sable sons of Africa from their present state of degradation, poverty and want. These we have at our command. The time was when schools, Academies, College, and all the various sources of light were fast closed against us. But now thank heaven they are open.
To these we have access for the light of instruction, and to heaven for the grace of Virtue. Does not our present situation demand that we should do all that is in our power to better our condition and that of our children. If we can do nothing more, Let us give our children a common school education at least. This we can do with all ease, send them to the District school and you will be doing your duty.
I am yours respectfully,
I. P. Campbell
Hudson, Jan. 17th, 1846.
Columbia Washingtonian [Hudson]. January 29, 1846: 2 col 4.
AN ACT appropriating the annual revenue of the Literature, and United States Deposit Funds, of the years 1847 and 1848.
Passed May 12, 1847, “three-fifths being present.”
The People of the State of New-York represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows: […]
§ 3. There shall be paid from the income of the United States deposit fund to the trustees of every incorporated village, which shall during one year from the passage of this act, support for three months or more a school for the exclusive instruction of colored children, the sum of twelve dollars a month during the time such school shall be kept, not exceeding six months, to be applied to defraying the expenses thereof; but no money shall be paid as aforesaid for any month during which the number of scholars attending such school shall be, on the average, less than ten; and for this purpose the sum of five thousand dollars of the said income is hereby appropriated.
Laws of the State of New-York, Passed at the First Meeting of the Seventieth Session, of the Legislature, Begun and Held the Fifth Day of January, 1847, at the City of Albany. Vol. 1. Albany, NY: Charles Van Benthuysen, 1847. 285. https://books.google.com/books?id=VnZZAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA285
The last Legislature passed a law, providing that each incorporated village which shall support for three months or more, a school at which there shall be not less than ten colored children is entitled to the sum of twelve dollars a month during the time such school shall be kept, not exceeding six months. This village will come in for them rations.
Lansingburgh Democrat and Rensselaer County Gazette. May 4, 1848: 2 col 1.
☞ THE SCHOOL MEETING.—At the public school meeting held on Tuesday evening, it was voted to raise a tax of $950 for the expense of the district school for the ensuing year; also, to raise $350 for the building of a new school house for the colored population, upon a lot owned by the district near Davenport’s Oil cloth Factory. It has been suggested to us since the meeting, that the location is bad, owing to the odor emitted by the boiling of oils and manufacture of varnish. We presume the trustees will take this matter into consideration. MARCUS L. FILLEY Esq. was elected Trustee in place of Baily G. Hathaway, and will hold the office for three years.
The meeting was largely attended, and a commendable interest was manifested in the affairs of the school.
Lansingburgh Democrat. July 19, 1849
Of Trustees of School Dist. No. 1.
To the Electors of School District No. One:
The Trustees of the District Schools report—That the organization of the schools remains as last year reported,—that is, there are three Departments. First, an upper Department, in which are taught Reading, Spelling, Writing, English Grammar, Arithmetic and Geography; Second, a Primary Department, for the younger children, in which they are taught Reading, Spelling, Writing on Slates, and Intellectual Arithmetic; Third, a Department for Colored children, conducted in a separate building. In the several departments, the sexes are taught together.
The number of Teachers employed in the upper department is three, whose names and compensation follow.
Mr. James Comstock, Principal. $600 00
Miss Mary E. Lansing, 150 00
Miss Anna W. Joslin, 100 00
The number of teachers employed in the Primary Department is four
Miss Louisa Lewis, $250 00
Miss Caroline M. Walker, 150 00
Miss Sarah Springer, 50 00
Miss Mary E Grafton, 50 00
The teacher of the colored department is Miss Mary B. Janes, at a salary of $150.
The whole number of teachers in all the departments at the close of the year, was Eight, and their aggregate annual compensation was $1,500, Mr. Mathiot was employed during a part of the year, as teacher of book-keeping and writing. His compensation was $36 40.
The whole number of different scholars taught during the year ending January 1st, was Six Hundred and ninety-four.
The daily average attendance for the year ending this day, in the
Upper Department, is . . . . 125
Primary Department, . . . 182
Colored School, . . . . 12
In all the Schools, . . . . 319
The whole number of volumes in the Library is . 985
Being an increase, during the year, of forty volumes.
The number of readers for the year is about One Hundred and sixty, being a decrease from the last year of 40.
Number of volumes out—Two hundred—being a decrease, as compared with the last year, of Forty seven.
The number of volumes issued weekly during the year, is [102?].
The whole number of volumes issued during forty weeks is 4080.
Your trustees attribute the decrease in the average attendance in the schools, to fear of Small Pox, some cases of which occurred among the pupils in the last spring.
And the decrease in the issue of books from the library is attributed by the Librarian to the failure of the Golden Rule Institute, which, under Mrs. Smith, drew largely from the Library.
The whole income for the past year is as follows:
From tax voted at the last annual meeting . . . . $1056 00
From Supt. of Common Schools . . . . . . 786 84
From Trustees note to Bank of Lansingburgh . . . . 400 00
From sale of Arithmetics to scholars, at cost . . . . 40 95
From balance of last account . . . . . . . 5 77 ————
Total annual income $2289 56
The whole expenditure for the past year is as follows.
For Compensation of Teachers $1562 22
For Fuel 92 00
For Repairs 227 33
For Lightning Rod 19 37
For Rent of lot for colored school 5 25
For Trustees’ note and interest 185 88
For taking Census of District 21 00
For Librarian’s Salary 50 00
For Books and Apparatus 44 10
For Care of School House, making Assessment roll, and contingencies 95 35 ———
Total Annual Expenditure $2300 40
Balance due Treasurer, $10 94.
The Library money which was in the hands of the Town Superintendent at the time of the last annual meeting of this district, has never been received, and the late Superintendent, John G. Neal has failed to pay that amount,
being $137 85
and a portion of the money applicable to teacher’s wages amounting to 440 71
Making him a defaulter to this district to the amount of $578 56
and interest thereon, which the trustees see no present prospect of receiving.
All which is respectfully submitted.
M. L. FILLEY, Trustees,
F. B. LEONARD, } Dis. No. 1.
A. E. POWERS,
Lansingburgh Democrat. December 18, 1851: 2 col 6.
The contracts for building the addition to the Market street public school house were last evening awarded to McKeon & O’Neil, masons, and B. F. Purcell, carpenter, for $4,463, total. The work is to be completed by the middle of August. The colored school house will be sold in May at auction and the proceeds appropriated to the above work.
Troy Daily Times. April 16, 1873: 2 col 2.