126 Old-time Schools and School-books
appealed to the neighboring fathers, they were apt to advise him to desist, and let matters take their course. I recollect one instance, however, where a youth was shut out who, procuring a piece of board, mounted from a fence to the roof of the schoolhouse and covered the top of the chimney nicely with his board. Ten minutes thereafter, the house was filled with smoke, and its inmates, opening the doors and windows, were glad to make terms with the outsider.
The usual.sum paid to a master was ten or twelve dollars a month, though a wealthy district might, in exceptional cases, give twenty dollars to retain a man of culture and experience. Women earned from four to ten dollars. Even after the middle of the nineteenth century the standard pay for a woman teacher in many districts was one dollar a week. Instances of still lower wages can be found a few decades earlier. Thus a " qualified woman teacher" in a Connecticut town in 1798 received a weekly stipend of sixty-seven cents, and some masters of that period were paid no more. Besides the money remuneration, the districts boarded the teachers. Otherwise, the salary would have loomed much larger,and the town appropriation would have quickly melted away. The teacher " boarded round " among the homes of the pupils, spending at each house a length of time proportioned to the number of school children in the family. The custom was common until after 1850. The following paragraphs from what purports to be a schoolmaster's diary written early in the last century give a very spirited account of a week's experience of—