Yesterday’s Rules of Behavior Redefined for Today’s Families

Schwenksville, PA (April 20, 2016) – Visit Pennypacker Mills on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 1:00pm for a presentation by local author and educator, Paul Breon, on “Yesterday’s Rules of Behavior Redefined for Today’s Families.” This is a free program.
Pennsylvania Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker was a lover of old books. His travels took him to an old farmer who sold him an original copy of Christopher Saur’s “Geistliches” magazine, published in 1764. Within the magazine’s pages he found something that sparked his interest, an article entitled “Hundert Noethige Sitten-Regeln für Kinder – A Hundred Necessary Rules of Conduct for Children.” The author, Christopher Dock, was a Mennonite schoolmaster. Pennypacker was intrigued by Dock’s philosophies and teachings and decided to translate and republish the rules – the first known original publication on the subject of etiquette in the colonies.
Not only do the “Rules” paint a picture of life before America was even a country, they show what was valued by the early immigrants. The “Rules” give instructions on how children are to behave in various settings – at home, at school, and out in town. Some of the more curious rules will be discussed, and an opportunity for questions on which of these rules might still apply today will follow. Author and educator Paul Breon has included an introduction and illustrated the “Rules” with period photography.
Mr. Breon’s presentation will focus on the two men who made the book possible: Christopher Dock, the Mennonite schoolmaster who taught in the Skippack area, and Samuel W. Pennypacker, who used his interest in local history and his love of languages to translate Christopher Dock’s original writing
for a broader audience. The publication of the translation is credited with an increased appreciation of Christopher Dock’s progressive method of education.
Books will be available for purchase at the event. This presentation will take place in the Classroom Building with convenient parking nearby.
Pennypacker Mills is open year-round for guided tours, seasonal events, educational programs, and changing exhibits. The site is operated by the Montgomery County Division of Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites, and is located at 5 Haldeman Road in Schwenksville, PA. For more information, please call 610-287-9349 or visit Pennypacker Mills online at www.montcopa.org/pennypackermills. Like Pennypacker Mills on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennypackermills.