MagazineWomen's Educational Movement. Rural Repository News Journal, 1841 [ Poughkeepsie Female Academy Founding Story and Engraving]. Large Item. Poughkeepsie Female Academy- Hudson NY. This news journal, the "Rural Repository" leads with a full page story on the opening of the Poughkeepsie Female Academy, and engravings. More than 30 years later Vassar College would open near the same site.
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." This document predates Seneca Falls by 7 years.