Eric Campbell

A Colonial Schoolmaster

A Little About Me!

Good morrow, my name is Eric Campbell. I love to educate kids, and that’s why I’m a schoolmaster. I have three kids; Marc, Alan, and Alex. While I was teaching, Alex couldn’t recite the lesson I taught so I had to whip him. My wife’s name is Barbara Campbell; she just finished weaving stockings for Alan. I live in the colony of Delaware. I live in a two room house; it has an attic and a keeping room. I am 36 years old; I have a horse hair wig. I am related to Marcus Bogert, he is my cousin. The town crier, Ryan Collins, just came outside and I want to hear the news so fare thee well.

Schoolmasters are usually men because they can handle bad kids that misbehave. Besides teaching, I sometimes dig graves, run errands, ring the church bell, and lead the choir. I am not paid for these “extras.” When students misbehave, I thrash them, cuff them, flog them, whip them, and put them in the pillory – a wooden frame through which an offender has to thrust his hands and head for punishment. I am paid, but not with money. I am paid with pigs, chicken, cows, and sometimes a service. I am paid by the school children’s parents. Besides teaching reading and writing, I also teach religion and arithmetic.

My classroom looks like an empty looking place; there are no blackboards, chalk, pencils, and very little paper. The floor is really just dirt. There is also no source of light. There are two long tables that fit twenty kids each. Both of them are as dirty as a pig sty. A hornbook is a very fancy book and includes ivory pointers; on it there is the alphabet, lessons, and a poem for each letter. A Primer is a beginner’s textbook that teaches the alphabet, spelling, and religion.

My training as a schoolmaster started when I was fifteen years old. I became an apprentice and helped my father teach. That’s how I decided to become a schoolmaster.