Pioneer in the Movement for the Higher Education of Women in the United States
1800 – 1878 A.D.
Catherine Esther Beecher, a pioneer in the movement for the higher education of women in the United States. She was the daughter of Lyman Beecher, and the sister of Henry Ward Beecher and of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her knowledge of domestic science and its educational value was due to the fact that she was “the eldest of thirteen children, all but two trained to maturity, and most of them in a good degree under my care through infancy and childhood,” as she tells in her reminiscences.
At the age of nineteen years she was betrothed to Professor Fisher of Yale, who shortly after lost his life at sea. She never married but dedicated herself to the advancement of women’s education, opened a school at Hartford in 1822, and in 1832 one for young women in Cincinnati.
For many years she traveled throughout the South and West, by her lectures stimulating interest in the higher education of her sex. She was called upon to supply teachers for the schools of the /West, and her books on domestic science were the first of their kind published in America.
In 1852 she organized the Women’s Educational Association,
“to aid in securing to women a liberal education, honorable position, and remunerative employment in the appropriate professions by means of endowed institutions on college plan of organization 0 these institutions to include all that is gained by normal schools, and also to train women to be healthful, intelligent and successful wives, mothers and housekeepers.”
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.