For many years succeeding the settlement of Brooklyn, in 1836, the scattered settlers on the western end of Long Island were dependent upon the embryo city, across the river, for all their civil and religious privileges; and this state of things, with all its inconveniences, lasted (as regards civil matters) until the investiture of Breuckelen with municipal powers in 1646, and (as regards ecclesiastical matters), the erection of a church edifice at Flatbush, in 1654. In the meantime, it cannot be supposed that the peculiar toils, embarrassments, and privations incident to life in a new settlement, afforded the first settlers much opportunity to attend to the education of their children, except such as could be given them at home. In the year 1660, however, Breuecklen received its first minister, the learned Henricus Selyns; and we can scarcely err in supposing that it was largely due to his influence and exertions that Breuckelen, in July of the following year (1661), obtained the services of its first schoolmaster, Carel (Charles) de Beauvois. See vol. I, page 116. The range of studies pursued in the schools of De Beauvois’s period was extremely limited ; being, in fact, simply confined to reading, writing, and the religious doctrines of the church. Under the encouragement given to schools by bluff old Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch governor, their number and quality increased in New Netherland; but, during the English colonial period which succeeded, education received little or no attention or support from the government. When, however, early in the beginning of the seventeenth century, the tide of immigration set toward this shore from the British Islands, education received a new impulse, slight indeed, yet indicative of progress. As the population of New Amsterdam and the surrounding towns became more cosmopolitan, there arose a Babel of languages, English, Welsh, Irish, Scotch, and Dutch were spoken; until, in the opinion of Smith, the historian of our colony, the language was “hopelessly corrupt.” Even in the New England colonies there was no uniform standard; with scarcely an exception, the schools were illy conducted, and the few competent instructors were secured only by those families whose hereditary wealth

1 A portion of this sketch was published, by the author, in the first three numbers of The Brooklyn Monthly, for 1869, under the title of “History of Education in Kings county.”

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