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BEECHER, Catharine Esther [1800-1878] -- American educator

Relationship to me: 3C7
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Daughter of Lyman ¤ and Roxana (Foote) Beecher, and elder sister of Harriet, she was the eldest of thirteen children, and by her mother's death the care of her father's household devolved upon her when she was sixteen years of age.

Catherine lost her fiance at sea, but received by his will a small fortune, which she used to found the Hartford Female Seminary in 1823. The school was a celebrated success, and was the first school attended by her brother, Henry Ward Beecher. ¤ She went on to found more schools, to write prolifically on education and woman's place in society.

This work she continued for ten years. Becoming dissatisfied with existing text-books, she set about preparing others on subjects which pressed immediately upon her attention. One book, a treatise on mental and moral philosophy, was never published. An edition, however, was printed, and held to be of such value as to be used as a college text-book. When her father assumed the presidency of Lane theological seminary in 1832, she went to Cincinnati with him, and there established a young ladies' school; but her health failed, and after two years the enterprise was abandoned. She continued actively engaged in the cause of education; travelled long distances to interest and instruct educators in their work; organized societies in which teachers could learn not only the details of instruction, but broaden their views so as to embrace more varied study for their own advancement, and a better knowledge of the capabilities of children and youth. She was especially eager "to unite American women in an effort to provide a Christian education for two million children in our own country." Her gradually increasing physical weakness unfitted her for active labors, but her keen thought and subtile power of analysis continued, and by speech or pen incited others to do what she had strength only to conceive. In later life she connected herself with the Episcopal church. She was the author of many books relating, for the most part, to the training of women.

She died in Elmira. N.Y., May 12, 1878. BDNA  -30-

Selected Works

  • The American Woman's Home (1869)
  • An Appeal to the People, as the Authorized Interpreters of the Bible (1860)
  • Common Sense Applied to Religion (1857)
  • Domestic Receipt Book which had a large sale
  • Duty of American Women to their Country (1845)
  • Housekeeper and Health-keeper (1873)
  • Letters on the Difficulties of Religion (1836)
  • A Memoir of George Beecher (1844)
  • The Moral Instructor (1838)
  • Religious Training of Children in the School, the Family and the Church (1864)
  • Treatise on Domestic Economy (1842)
  • True Remedy for the Wrongs of Women, with a History of an Enterprise having that for its Object (1851)
  • Truth Stranger than Fiction (1850)
  • Woman's Profession as Mother and Educator, with Views in Opposition to Woman's Suffrage (1871)
  • Bookmarks (off-site links)

    Bookmarks:2003-03-15 16:22:54

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