Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: Constitution, or Fundamental Rules For The Hampton Proprietary School Corporation -- Part II

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Constitution, or Fundamental Rules For The Hampton Proprietary School Corporation -- Part II

The last article is given in full, to show the spirit which actuated the founders of the Academy. The Puritan principles of the first settlers had not died out. Accordingly, religious instruction was actually given in the school for many years, and revivals were not infrequent. Even now,s the requirements above-named remain a part of the constitution, though, in practice, they have long been a dead letter.

The Academy corporation being now secured against extinction, a permanent fund also seemed a necessity. Accordingly, "An address to the Public," signed by the trustees was sent out, setting forth the advantages, and urging the needs of the institution, more especially for "improvement . . . . . in the system of female education," that having been uppermost in Mr. Webster's thought at the outset. Mr. Webster was appointed agent of the board, to receive donations. Two years afterward Rev. Ephraim Abbott, of Greenland, was chosen an additional agent, for the same purpose; and at the same meeting Mr. Webster reported the gift of three hundred acres of land in the town of Peeling (afterwards sold, and the proceeds invested), and about eight hundred dollars in cash and notes. The next year Mr. Abbott reported gifts amounting to a little more than two hundred dollars. And thus, little by little, the fund grew.

Mr. George Brackett, of Greenland, made a considerable donation, with the condition, that his grandchildren, four or five in number were to receive tuition and board, free of charge. Subsequently, Mr. Brackett determined to give to the Academy, through Mr. Abbott, its agent, a sum so large as to place it on an independent foundation; but Mr. Abbott had conflicting interests at heart, even with the establishment of a similar institution in Greenland; and to his persuasions Mr. Brackett yielded. The money was therefore diverted into the new channel. The trustees of Hampton Academy, believing that undue influence was brought to bear upon the testator, worn as he was with age and feebleness, commenced a suit for recovery in 1826, and expensive and fruitless litigation followed.

Meanwhile, the other agent, Mr. Webster, was winning the gratitude of his colleagues, by his zeal and success in obtaining funds, the aggregate of which, though never large, was sufficient to pay necessary expenses.

From the beginning, the Hampton institution took a good standing among schools. Phillips Exeter Academy, for boys, and Atkinson Academy, preceded it in time of incorporation, but did not interfere with its prosperity. The first preceptor, Mr. Andrew Mack, in a letter, dated Gilmanton, August 30, 1872, when he was eight-six years old, wrote the story of the commencement of operations, in these words:

"In the month of September, 1811, I set out from Londonderry, designing to go to Newburyport, to find a situation to teach. I was led by that Unseen Hand which shapes the history of our lives, to Hampton. On the evening of the day of my arrival there, the trustees had a meeting. Their Academy building was just completed, and the trustees were in a divided condition and jealous of each other. There had been previous meetings and nothing done. The board consisted of eight members, four being Orthodox, and four, Unitarians.

I had taught two years at Gilmanton Academy and one year at Dartmouth College. The trustees agreed to lay aside their prejudices, and commence operations in the Academy. I made my contract with them, for three terms. At this distant day, I can pronounce the whole a success. Upon leaving, the trustees gave me a handsome testimonial.

I hereby send you the names of the students, while I was principal of the Academy.

Polly Batchelder John Blake
Abigail Brown David Brown
Moses Brown Nathan Brown
Simon Brown Thomas Brown
Arlond Carroll Mary Carroll
Sally Carroll Stephen Chase
Oliver Cilley Edwin A. Clark
Aaron Coffin Moses Coffin
Hannah Cram Betsey Dearborn
Jonathan Dearborn Joseph R. Dearborn
Mary Dodge Richard Dodge
Sally Dodge Eben T. Drake
Samuel Drake Sarah Emery
Abigail Fifield John Fogg
Jonathan Garland Henry George
Harriet Goodhue Sally Goodhue
Abigail Green Stephen Harberger
Obed S. Hobbs Eben James
Hannah James Ira James
John Johnson Oliver Lamprey
Eben Lane Reuben Lane
Clarissa Leavitt Lydia Leavitt
Mary Leavitt Nancy Leavitt
Shubael Leavitt Susan Leavitt
Clarissa Marston David Marston
Fanny Marston Jonathan Marston
Jonathan Marston 2d Josiah Marston
Moses L. Marston Sabrina Marston
Samuel Marston Jacob Moulton
Nathan Moulton Abigail Page
Josiah Page Hannah Perkins
John Perkins John Perkins
Jonathan Philbrick Sewall Pike
Sewall Pike Simon Roby
Sally Sanborn Thayer S. Sanborn
Eben Shillaber Martha Thayer
Mary Ann Thayer Hill Tibbetts
Christopher S. Toppan Elizabeth Toppan
Mary C. Toppan Eben S. Towle
John Towle Jonathan Towle
Nancy Towle Philip Towle
Sally Towle Sally B. Towle
Abigail Ward Deborah Ward
Joseph Ward Nancy Ward
Sally Ward Eliphalet K. Webster
Josiah Webster Susan Webster"
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