Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Litchfield Female Academy

Litchfield Female Academy (1792-1833)
Litchfield Female Academy

Location: Litchfield, Connecticut, USA

Founded: 1792

Closed: 1833

From the Litchfield Historical Society:

THE LITCHFIELD FEMALE ACADEMY was one of a small group of early schools that played a critical role in shaping later educational, social and economic opportunities for women in the United States. Through her innovative curriculum, the school’s founder Sarah Pierce transformed the lives of the more than 3,000 women who attended the school. Over its forty-one year history, from 1792-1833, the Litchfield Female Academy attracted students from fifteen states and territories, Canada, Ireland and the West Indies.

The academic curriculum at the Female Academy reflected Sarah Pierce’s belief that women and men were intellectually equal. Pierce continuously improved and expanded her academic curriculum, offering many subjects rarely available to women, including logic, chemistry, botany and mathematics. At the same time, Pierce experimented with innovative ways to unite the academic and ornamental subjects. Students drew and painted maps and made charts of historical events to reinforce geography and history lessons.

Students also illustrated poetry, literature, and mythological and biblical readings with elaborate embroideries and detailed watercolor paintings. Botany and natural history lessons were often illustrated with watercolor drawings.

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