PamphletWomen's Education Movement: Wheaton Female Seminary Catalog, 1869. Chronological Catalog "tracing the history of the school from 1834 to the publication date of 1869. Blue wrappers. Founded in 1834, Wheaton is one of the oldest institutions of higher education for women in the United States. Wheaton's founding was brought about when Eliza Wheaton Strong, the daughter of Judge Laban. Wheaton, died at the age of thirty-nine. Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton, the judge's daughter-in-law, persuaded him to memorialize his daughter by founding a female seminary. The family called upon noted women's educator Mary Lyon for assistance in establishing the seminary. Lyon created the first curriculum with the goal that it be equal in quality to those of men's colleges. She also provided the first principal, Eunice Caldwell. Wheaton Female Seminary opened in Norton, Massachusetts on 22 April 1835, with 50 students and three teachers. Mary Lyon and Eunice Caldwell left Wheaton to open Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1837 (now Mount Holyoke College). Following their departure, Wheaton endured a period of fluctuating enrollment and frequent changes in leadership until 1850, when Caroline Cutler Metcalf was recruited as the new principal. Mrs. Metcalf made the hiring of outstanding faculty her top priority, bringing in educators who encouraged students to discuss their ideas rather than to memorize facts. The most notable addition to the faculty were Lucy Larcom, who introduced the study of English Literature and founded the student literary magazine The Rushlight ; and Mary Jane Cragin, who used innovative techniques to teach geometry and made mathematics the favorite study of many students. 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.
See all items by Wheaton Female Seminary Catalog 19 cent Women Education