Stone Collection: Volume 94 - Item 30
30. Report of a Special Committee of the Grammar School Board, August 29, 1849, Adverse to the Petition of Sundry Colored Persons, Praying for the Abolition of the Smith School, with a Minority Report (Boston: J. H. Eastburn, 1849). (71 + 13 p.)
Response to a petition from the parents of African American children calling for integrated schools. The petition advances four reasons why the only school in Boston open to black pupils (the Smith School) should be closed. “It is a great inconvenience on account of the scattered state of our residences—It is an obstacle in the way of common rights—It secures to the child of the Foreigner a privilege that is denied to a native Bostonian—It holds up a barrier against a portion of the people, ‘solely on account of color,’ and encourages the worst influences in the community” (italics in original). The committee examines each objection and concludes that they are without merit. A thirteen-page minority report written by Charles T. Russell is appended. Russell argues that the Smith School should remain open for black children who desire to attend but that all of the public schools in Boston should be open to black pupils.