$10 Museum Admission

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Coin/ pendant

Object Number: 
1/8 x 1 1/2 in. diameter
A dull silver colored metal coin or pendant embossed on one side with a very raised relief portrait of a man encircled by the name "Robert Raikes". On the reverse "Sunday School Of/ St. Thomas Church/ New York/Instituted. A.D. 1827". Robert Raikes (1735-1811) was a British newspaper editor traditionally credited as pioneering Sunday Schools in the 1780s although teaching Bible reading and basic skills on a Sunday was an established activity in a number of eighteenth century Puritan and evangelical congregations. Raikes started his first school for the children of chimney sweeps in Sooty Alley, Gloucester (opposite the city prison) in 1780. Convinced "vice could be better prevented than cured," after visiting in the slum section of the city, he was distressed with the corruption of children. Heconceived of a school to be taught on the best available time - Sunday. They decided to use the available manpower - laymen. The curriculum would be the Bible and they aimed at reaching the children of the street, not just the children of church members. Pierced at the top for hanging.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Bella C. Landauer
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group