SUNDAY-SCUOOLS (ante). The first permanent Sunday-school organization in the United States, of which there is authentic record, was The First-day or Sunday-school society, formed in Philadelphia, 1791. It was composed of members of different denom inaticins including the society of Friends. Its constitution required that the instruction given in its schools should be "confined to reading and writing from the Bible, and such other moral and religious books as the society may direct." The New York Sunday-school was instituted, 1816; the Philadelphia Sunday and adult school union, 1817. These three societies recognized the union of different denominations, and led to the organiza tion of the American Sunday-school union at Philadelphia, 1824. The suggestion that such an association should be formed came from New York. Its object was to concen trate the efforts of Sunday-school societies in different sections of the United States, and to endeavor to plant such schools wherever there is a population. As the new states were settled and the various religious denominations were strengthened, more attention given by each to its own Sunday-schools, and denominational unions to promote them were formed. In the early history of the schools the chief thing expected of the
children was to commit to memory portions of scripture, and the chief employment of the teachers was to bear the recitations. Afterward the question book was added to the recitation, and at length in a great degree superseded it. Still later came the lesson helps, golden text, blackboard exercises, etc. In the first •Ichools, reward tickets were given, and when they had sufficiently accumulated were exchanged for books. This stimulated the production of volumes of suitable character, and from this the Sunday school library has been developed. At. the Robert Raikes centenary held in London, 1880, the following statistics for the United States were reported: Number of Sunday schools in all the states and territories 82,216, containing 886,328 teachers and 6,623,124 scholars.