The very concept of taxpayer-funded public schooling was less than a generation old, and all but non-existent in many areas - including most of the South. Millard Fillmore was President. California became the 31st State of the Union. Slavery was still entrenched in half the nation, and Harriet Tubman was beginning her work as a ‘conductor’ on the ‘Underground Railroad’ in defiance thereof. Fancy travel meant your wagon was covered, or in rare cases you rode on a train. Internet was still dial-up.
It was a long #$%@ing time ago is what I’m saying. And Supt. Mayhew was commissioned – by an act of the State Legislature, no less – to write a book on learnin’. Which he did.