Early Chicago, 1833–1871
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives

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May 2, 1845

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In 1842, the city council passed a resolution allowing the employment of female teachers in the public schools but stipulated that they were not to be compensated over $200 per annum. At the same time male teachers were receiving $400 per annum. In 1845, the salaries of male teachers were increased to $500 while female teachers remained at $200. In 1847, female teachers received a $50 raise. Schools were open forty-eight weeks a year. At this time common laborers on the Illinois and Michigan Canal received $1.00 a day and carpenters received $1.25.

Points to Consider

Why were these teachers asking for a salary increase?

At this time did male teachers receive more salary than female teachers?; and if so, why?

What does per annum mean?

What were classrooms like at this time?

See Related Document:

5, 31, and 42

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