Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Utah Common Schools, 1868

When John Morgan reached Utah in 1866, he was befriended by Robert Lang Campbell. The Church History Library in Salt Lake City recently digitized Robert Campbell's Annual report of the Territorial Superintendent of common schools for the year 1868.

You can read or download it here. It is addressed to the Utah Territorial Legislature and it seems quite progressive for a frontier school system. Campbell's note about the incomplete statistics for the previous year is curious:
The collection of school returns, which hitherto has been attended with much difficulty, has this season been almost impossible, in consequence of the absence of so many of the Trustees, who have been engaged directly or indirectly in the construction of the great national railroad.
The list of county school superintendents also provides some historical context:

Campbell includes a lengthy explanation of the methods of instruction into the English language in the schools and mentions the Deseret Alphabet system.

The statistical report provides some information about the operation and make up of the schools at that time.

It is not much of a stretch of the imagination to assume that John Morgan would have been very familiar with this report and the legislation printed in the report, since he would have been very interested in the quality and training of the students who showed up at his Commercial College in Salt Lake City.

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