History of the Afro-American Group of the Episcopal Church:
Electronic Edition.
Bragg, George F. (George Freeman), 1863-1940

http://docsouth.unc.edu/church/bragg/bragg.html

Page 35  & 36        

        In the colony of Maryland, as far back as 1761, the Rev. Thomas Bacon, a clergyman of the Church of England, inaugurated a free school for black children in Frederick county. And even long before this date the same clergyman had inaugurated a school in Talbot county, for the poorer classes of both races. Some years ago in a published essay commenting on this early venture, Mr. Lawrence C. Worth, the assistant of the Enoch Pratt Library, as well as historiographer of the diocese of Maryland, said:

        "Mr. Bacon had set an example in the Province in regard to the Christian education of Negro slaves, which was not generally to be followed by either clergy or laity for many generations. It was probably his work among the Negroes which led to the project of founding a sort of manual training industrial school for poor children. In a subscription paper circulated in 1750, he remarks upon the profaneness and debauchery, idleness and immorality--especially among the poorer sort in this province, and asks for yearly subscriptions 'for setting up a charity working school in the Parish of St. Peter's, Talbot county, for maintaining and teaching poor children to read, write and account, and instructing them in the knowledge and practice of the Christian Religion as taught in the Church of England.'

        "A few months later he had received from a goodly, list of subscribers, among them the Proprietary and Lady Baltimore, Cecelius Calvert and Bishop Wilson, a sufficient fund for the running expenses, and in the course of a few years his subscriptions permitted the purchase of one hundred acres of land, and the erection of a suitable brick home and school. Thus, in the year 1755, and for many thereafter, Talbot county, boasted a fine charity school; but, thirty years later, when Bacon and nearly all of the original trustees were dead, it was turned over to the county for use as a poorhouse. The institution seems to have been born before its time, so far as Maryland was concerned."

Return to MARYLAND          HOME