1842 April 16 Kingsboro Gentlemen, As one of the Committee in School District No. 17 I take the liberty of addressing you, in relation to our prospects and condition in this District with the hope that something may be done in a cause of which I am deeply interested to promote, if possible, unity of feeling and harmony of action.

It is obviously true that our territorial limits are too large as to preclude the possibility of the two extremes ever meeting at one point and this circumstance I found when I settled at this place last year, would deny me the benefit of educating my children from home, and accordingly, succeeded in building up a school in my own neighborhood, which has been in operation nine months out of twelve that I have been here, and is now in more successful operation than it has ever been before. It is true that there are four or five Scholars more on the west side of Leith's Creek than on the east side, but it is also true that there are many Children on the west side that never have and never can reach the school built under the first Act of Assembly for the District School House, but very convenient to the School House on the east side, and have been Scholars here with us during the principal part of the time that our school has been in operation. And it is moreover true that on the west side of Leith's Creek and in the immediate neighborhood of their School House are many Children that have not, and never will go to school anywhere. Their parents will not send them under any circumstances. As an example — I visited that school sometime ago, when under the management of a very competent Teacher, and I found the number of Scholars to be nine. Eight of whom were Archibald Fairly's Children from the east side of Leith's Creek, and only one from the other side. This continues to be about the condition of the School for the whole term. It is indeed not possible to continue a School at what is now called the District School House, but with some public assistance we may, and always will have a school on this side of the creek. I ask not this assistance on my account, but, there are those around us and connected with our school who do need it, who have never been benefited by any distribution of public monies that has been made, and never can, unless the hand of public benevolence opened so widely as to drop some of it's charities aroud the School House on the east side of Leith's Creek.

Now as the Act of our Legislature is predicated on principles of the purest benevolence and charity, and for it's object the exclusion of no one who is a proper subject of this charity. As we have in this District nearly sixteen Children, of whom cannot be managed by one Teacher, much less can they ever meet together. Is it not within your province today to settle the point, that this District may be entitled to two Teachers and that should there be two schools, that the public monies be divided between them, or rather in proportion to the scholars in each. This measure, I think, would harmonize every discordant feeling among us, would inspire the weak with confidence, would remove prejudices, would advance the cause of which we labor, and would establish that great and noble principle of justice which characterize all our acts and all our thoughts. But, if however, you deem it inadvisable to make this arrangement with us and say that we shall have but One School and One Teacher, you discover from my remarks on our present position, that the east side of the creek is evidently most convenient and suitable for it's location here, we can always have a School. And we will also build a fine house and keep a fine Teacher in it, and always share to the last dollar the public charities with all who may be interested with us. I owe you Gentlemen an apology for the length of this communication, but I know you, yourselves can find it in the importance of the subject and the interest which I feel in it. Any communication which you may think proper to make to me on this subject will be promptly attended to. And believe me to be very respectfully yours. Archibald McQueen

© All records on this page are transcribed from files at NC Dept. of Archives and History, Raleigh, N. C. by Myrtle Bridges

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