chapter  2
20 Pages

Science for Ladies, Classics for Gentlemen

Plate 2.1 "Misses C & M Beecher," in American Mercury, Hartford, Connecticut, 20 April 1824. (Courtesy 0/ the Department 0/ Special Collections, Stan/ord Universi~y Liharies,)

1818 1823 1826 1830

Although the study of the sciences was largely the prerogative of the middle and upper classes, it was not restricted to the children of AngloSaxon, Protestant families. Indications of the movement to bring science into girls' courses of study can be found in so me Catholic schools and in several academies serving Native Americans. Some of the academies run by various orders of the Catholic Church adapted to the newer American views of female education by offering scientific subjects to middle-class girls. For example, in 1842, the Maryland Carmelite Sister's Academy advertised natural philosophy, botany, and astronomy in its course of study, along with such other subjects as sacred history.23