150 Old-time Schools and School-books
torn, six cents an inch must be paid, and for every mark or scratch two cents. Separate schoolrooms were provided for the boys and girls, and separate entrances to the building, and the yard was divided by a high board fence to keep the sexes apart while at play.
The decay of the academies dates from about the middle of the nineteenth century, when Horace Mann began to urge the necessity of free high schools. These were rapidly established, and as they and the academies derived their students from the same source, the academies weakened. Most of them, after dragging out a lingering existence for a longer or a shorter time, finally succumbed. A few of the stronger ones adjusted themselves to the altered conditions and survived, but their students now came chiefly from the homes of the wealthy, and they were no longer the resort of the awkward rural youths and maids, to whom a short period in the academy was often their only opportunity for a glimpse of the broader world of culture and books.