Sketches of Church History in North Carolina

Most of this information is well known to MASHBURN researchers. However, the date of publication makes this book of interest as it shows that the topic of Mashburn’s School was well known to historians early on. As far as I know, this is the earliest book that references the school.

Sketches of church history in North Carolina : addresses and papers by clergymen and laymen of the dioceses of North and East Carolina

Author:     Episcopal Church. North Carolina (Dioceses)
Publisher:     Wilmington, N.C. : Wm. L. De Rosset, Jr., 1892.

But beyond question there was a good Church school in Chowan in 1712 taught by Mr Masburn and the results of his labours at the time of the Rev Mr Rainsford’s visit indicate that it must have been in operation for some time already

This Missionary had proposed to instruct a son of the Chief of the Chowanook tribe of Indians but it was decided to send him to Mr Masburn’s school to Sarum to have him taught to read and write by way of foundation in order to a further proficiency for the reception of Christianity CR I 859

This place Sarum is described as on the frontiers of Virginia and neighboring upon two Indian towns One of these was the seat of that Chief of the Chowan Indians

Now any one who has ever seen the vast deposit of muscle shells mixed with human bones pottery and ashes on the north bank of Chowan river near Bandon or Holley’s Wharf cannot doubt the truth of Dr Winborne’s conjecture that here was the location of an important town of the Indians This is about three miles from Ballard’s Bridge where in after years stood one of the Colonial Chapels of St Paul’s Parish was, which I am confident, the Sarum Chapel of the Vestry Book.

Mr Rainsford the Missionary visited Mr Masburn’s school at Sarum and found the teacher highly deserving of encouragement He asked the SPG to allow him a salary and sought to secure the continuance of the work Mr Rainsford reports what children he has under his care can both write and read very distinctly and gave before me such an account of the grounds and principles of the Christian Religion that strangely surprised me to hear it Evidently the Bible was in that school The man upon a small income would teach the Indian children gratis whose parents are willing to send them could they but pay for their schooling as he would those of our English families had he but a fixed dependency for so doing (CR. I. 859). This is all that we know of Sarum school