Guide to the Student Essay of Theodore Pierson 1830 MG 993
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Laura Ruttum as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Finding aid encoded by Danielle Kovacs. February 2004. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
Theodore Pierson attended Mendham Seminary, which was probably either an academy for boys established by William Rankin or the Hilltop School established by Ezra Fairchild.
The school founded by William Rankin was on Seminary Lane, and sent students on to college, to teach, to become ministers, lawyers and physicians. In contrast, the boarding school founded by Ezra Fairchild appears to have been a school primarily for younger boys. The presence of Ezra Fairchild’s name on the inside cover of the essay, however, indicates Hilltop School as the more likely of the two. The school began in the Phoenix House, but was soon moved to a building opposite from the Hilltop Church.
One visitor to Mendham in 1852 expressed astonishment at the level of education of the farmers from the town, of which a familiarity with Latin and Greek were examples. His comment was met with the observation that “…they were educated at Mr. Fairchild’s well-known school and were drilled in the classics as well as in manners.”
This collection consists of one hand-sewn volume dating from April 8, 1830. The volume contains an essay entitled “Emancipation of the Slaves,” that was written by Theodore Pierson, a student of Mendham Seminary of Morris County. The essay attacks the institution of slavery from a moral standpoint, and draws attention to the discordance between the concept of freedom so prized by Americans, and their denial of this freedom to their fellow men.
Pierson addresses the danger of merely abruptly emancipating the slaves, arguing that the majority of the population are not properly prepared for freedom. He argues that slaves should be taught to read and that each slave should be “…taught his duty to God and man and thus be fitted for future emancipation.”
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The source of this collection is unknown.
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 993, Theodore Pierson Student Essay, The New Jersey Historical Society.