PamphletCleveland Female Seminary Catalog: 1866-1867. Cleveland, OH founded by Rev. Eli N. Sawtell, the seminary opened on 3 May 1854 (an earlier enterprise by the same name had been established in Apr.1837). Located in a new $50,000 building, the school commanded a hefty $300 annual tuition. The seminary had 2 major departments, Preparatory (which admitted girls under 12 years of age) and Academic (for those over 12) . Emphasis was placed on teaching both languages and science so that students could acquire a wholesome mental discipline. In a Telegraph Dept was established to provide instruction in the principles of telegraphy for students in natural philosophy and chemistry. It was ) reincorporated in 1871 as the Cleveland Seminary for Girls at which time it acquired the rights and privileges of a college. including the authority to grant degrees, but closed in 1883. At the time that this description is being written, no copies are recorded in American institutions. OCLC search results are at best an estimate and can vary over time.
Women's Academy and Seminary Archive recording the first important movement of women into higher education in the United States (seminary was synonymous with "academy" and did not have the religious connotation of today. In the 1800’s, the Female Academy and Seminary Movement transformed American educational norms allowing women the opportunity to receive secular, non-religious college-level education. Women's colleges proliferated in the mid- to late- 19th century to fill the void created by their exclusion from most institutions of higher education. The prevailing notion that women were too delicate for a rigorous academic education was openly challenged when Elizabeth Cady Stanton spoke at the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, "Man's intellectual superiority cannot be a question until woman has had a fair trial…When we shall have had our colleges, our professions, our trades, for a century, a comparison then may be justly instituted." Young women were quick to step up to the challenge; as quickly as female colleges opened, they filled up.