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Stone Collection: Volume 90 - Item 13
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Alfred H. Stone Collection
Volume: 90

13. Report to the Primary School Committee, June 15, 1846, on the Petition of Sundry Colored Persons, for the Abolition of the Schools for Colored Children. With the City Solicitor’s Opinion (Boston: J. H. Eastburn, 1846). (38 p.)

Response to a petition from the parents of African American children asking for integrated schools in Boston. The committee identifies three reasons why a separate school for black children may be illegal; 1) because they can not attend a school of their choice, 2) because they can not attend a school closest to their home, or 3) “because the separation, being made on the principle of a distinction in races or color, does necessarily deprive the colored children of the full and equal benefits of the public schools.” The committee rejects all three arguments and concludes that the School Board had not only the right, but an obligation, to establish segregated schools. “In our opinion, the less the colored and white people become intermingled, the better it will be for both races. . . We maintain, that the true interests of both races require, that they should be kept distinct. Amalgamation is degradation.” A resolution stating that “the continuance of the separate Schools for colored children, and the regular attendance of all such children upon those Schools, is not only legal and just, but is best adapted to promote the education of that class of our population” was adopted by a vote of 59 to 16. The City Solicitor’s opinion states that the School Board had the authority to establish separate schools for black and white children. (The collection has another copy of this report in volume 94 [no. 26].)