Morrison's Pensions


    This is the home of Edward Wall, schoolmaster for Sir William Johnson's children and the children of the little hamlet of John's Town.  The school being located on the southeast corner of William and New Sacandaga Streets; the first absolutely free, non‑sectarian school in the colony of New York.
   In this year of 1769 Sir William is living in Johnson Hall.  He founded and named our community after his son.  He built six dwellings to house, as he expressed it, 'tradesmen and artificers' when they settled here.  All six buildings are constructed alike.  They are painted yellow, and so is the school.
    Sir William assigned this cottage, which is one of the six, to the schoolmaster.  To‑day you are a guest in this interesting home.  The schoolmaster welcomes your visit to see his dwelling and furnishings.  It shows you, of course, the way he lives.  Look, and feel free to ask questions, but please do not touch anything.
    The Baronet conducted a long search for a schoolmaster for his school.  When he discovered Edward Wall, a fellow countryman from Ireland, he brought him to the frontier settlement, John's Town.  Mr. Wall was provided with a new cottage, built in 1763, and ready to occupy.  You are visiting that house to‑day.
   There are two good sized rooms on the first floor:  the Keeping room and the Parlour.  Upstairs are the East and West Bedchambers.  A commodious Hall occupies the middle of the house.
    You will note that it is the Keeping room where the household finds its 'board and keep'. Cooking, dining and housekeeping tasks:  such as spinning, herb‑drying and washing are assigned to this room.
    The Parlour offers a place to relax. It is a family gathering room.  The clock is from Scotland; the cupboard, called Kass (Dutch name).  The schoolmaster's desk and books are here.  Even a pointer, which is sometimes used to discipline pupils, lies across the top of the desk.
    The West Bedchamber is Mr. Wall's sleeping room.  Note the commode chair; and the bed wrench to tighten the bed ropes, so that he can "sleep tight".
    Currently, the schoolmaster is a bachelor, although courting.  Therefore, he uses the East Bedchamber as a Storeroom.  Good judgment in a frontier town, because a household needs to keep equipment accessible to maintain self-sufficiency.
    You have helped us, indeed, to maintain our self-sufficiency by your donation in the fried cake jar.
    Please tell others to be sure and visit the 18th Century home of the schoolmaster in John's Town.

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