Summer Schools and Academies 147
I have incidentally referred to the academies. Their waxing and waning form a curious phase of our educational development. In the eighteenth century the growth of the scattered villages, and the division of the towns into school districts, was attended by a gradual discontinuance of the grammar schools. Indeed, the law requiring grammar schools was relaxed, until we find in Massachusetts only seven towns where they were obligatory in 1824. The people preferred to spend all the money raised for education on the district schools; but some channel of more advanced instruction was a necessity, and there began to come into being many private schools and incorporated academies. The first of the latter was established in 1780 at Andover; others soon followed, and by 1840 the state had nearly one hundred of them. The purpose of the founders was primarily to provide a means by which young men could be fitted for college. They were imperatively needed. For instance, when Leicester Academy began its work, there was not in all Worcester County an educational institution higher than the district schools. The few boys who were determined to attend college conned their Latin and Greek by their own firesides, and recited to the parish ministers.
The standard studies in the academies were English, Latin, Greek, and French; writing, arithmetic, and geography; the art of speaking, logic, geome-. try, and philosophy. Some of the academies were little more than day schools for town pupils; others drew from a wide constituency, not alone in their