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An American Teacher in Tagbilaran, Bohol
« on: September 23, 2007, 12:19:19 PM »
The U.S. Military Occupation of Bohol

1900-1902

by Norman Cameron

In what follows I've referred to "my grandfather" and to things that he wrote in a diary he kept, and I should probably explain who he was.


Diary entry:

The Spaniards had sent friars; the Americans sent teachers. And they didn't waste time: they sent seven or eight hundred in the first year alone (1901-1902). The majority of these men and women - some with teaching experience, some without - came across on a steamer called the "Thomas"; my grandfather, then twenty-six, was one of them. His name, like mine, was Norman Cameron.

After graduating from college in 1895, he had taught for six years in the public schools in Blacksburg, South Carolina, but up until 1901 he had never been west of the Allegheny mountains. In the Philippines, where he arrived aboard the "Thomas" in August 1901, he was assigned to teach school at Tagbilaran, Bohol.

The war was still in progress when he got there and culminated just a couple of months later (on Bohol, that is). He remained at Tagbilaran till 1904, when he was reassigned briefly to the grade school at Tubigon.

Throughout his sojourn on the island he kept a diary, which, though it runs to five volumes and covers two hundred pages in typescript, grows increasingly perfunctory as time goes on and as the novelty of his surroundings began to wear off.

In March 1904, he left the Philippines, discontented and disillusioned by the fights that he'd had with the Bureau of Education in the islands.

Back in the United States, he resumed his career, first at the Kalamazoo Teachers College in Kalamazoo, Michigan and later at the West Chester Normal School (now West Chester State University) in West Chester, PA.

Somewhere along the line he acquired a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. While serving as the principal of the Baltimore Teachers Training School, in 1920, he met and married my grandmother, a 26-year old teacher trainee named Lula Sehrt.

In 1928, he returned to the West Chester Normal School (with his wife and two children) and remained there as president for the next eight years, when he was ousted from the place for political reasons. He ended his career as superintendent of schools for the Garfield (New Jersey) public school system (1936-1941). In 1947, without warning, he died of a heart attack in Towson, Maryland. He was 72 years old.

source: http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/scriven/bohol-history.html



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Bohol During the American Occupation

Started by Ligalig-Mike on Bohol Directory

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Last post April 29, 2007, 02:25:49 PM
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