At a meeting of the Visitors of the Young Ladies' Academy in the city of Philadelphia, held at the said Academy on the 28th of July, 1787,


THAT the thanks of this board be presented to Doctor BENJAMIN RUSH, for the Thoughts delivered this day by him, at the close of the quarterly examination, on the subject of Female Education; and that the doctor be requested to furnish a copy thereof for publication.

Resolved, also,

THAT the thanks of the board be presented to the Rev. Doctor SA­MUEL MAGAW, for the Prayer delivered by him on the same occasion; and that he be also requested to favour the board with a copy thereof for publication.

Signed by order of the board, J. SWANWICK, Secretary.



SOME of the opinions contained in the following pages are so contrary to general pre­judice and fashion, that I could not presume to offer them to the public, without soliciting for them, the patronage of a respectable and popular female name.

Permit me therefore MADAM to commit this little work to your protection, and at the same time to assure you, of the great respect and esteem, with which I have the honor to subscribe myself,

Your most obedient, Humble servant, BENJAMIN RUSH.

I HAVE yielded with diffidence to the so­licitations of the Principal of the Academy, in undertaking to express my regard for the prosperity of this Seminary of Learning, by submitting to your candor, a few Thoughts upon Female Education.

The first remark that I shall make upon this subject, is, that female education should be accommodated to the state of society, man­ners, and government of the country, in which it is conducted.

This remark leads me at once to add, that the education of young ladies, in this coun­try, should be conducted upon principles very different from what it is in Great Britain, and in some respects different from what it was when we were part of a monarchical empire.

There are several circumstances in the situation, employments, and duties of women, in America, which require a peculiar mode of education.

[Page 6]I. The early marriages of our women, by contracting the time allowed for education, renders it necessary to contract its plan, and to confine it chiefly to the more useful branch­es of literature.

II. The state of property, in America, ren­ders it necessary for the greatest part of our citizens to employ themselves, in different occupations, for the advancement of their fortunes. This cannot be done without the assistance of the female members of the com­munity. They must be the stewards, and guardians of their husbands' property. That education, therefore, will be most proper for our women, which teaches them to discharge the duties of those offices with the most suc­cess and reputation.

III. From the numerous avocations to which a professional life exposes gentlemen in America from their families, a principal share of the instruction of children naturally de­volves upon the women. It becomes us there­fore to prepare them by a suitable education, for the discharge of this most important duty of mothers.

IV. The equal share that every citizen has in the liberty, and the possible share he may have in the government of our country, make [Page 7] it necessary that our ladies should be qualified to a certain degree by a peculiar and suitable education, to concur in instructing their sons in the principles of liberty and government.

V. In Great Britain the business of servants is a regular occupation; but in America this humble station is the usual retreat of un­expected indigence; hence the servants in this country possess less knowledge and sub­ordination than are required from them; and hence, our ladies are obliged to attend more to the private affairs of their families, than ladies generally do, of the same rank in Great Britain. "They are good servants (said an American lady of distinguished merit * in a letter to a favorite daughter) who will do well with good looking after." This cir­cumstance should have great influence upon the nature and extent of female education in America.

The branches of literature most essenti­al for a young lady in this country, appear to be,

I. A knowledge of the English language. She should not only read, but speak and spell it correctly. And to enable her to do this, she should be taught the English grammar, and [Page 8] be frequently examined in applying its rules in common conversation.

II. Pleasure and interest conspire to make the writing of a fair and legible hand, a neces­sary branch of female education. For this pur­pose she should be taught not only to shape every letter properly, but to pay the strictest regard to points and capitals*.

I once heard of a man who professed to discover the temper and disposition of persons by looking at their hand writing. Without enquiring into the probability of this story; I shall only remark, that there is one thing in which all mankind agree upon this sub­ject, and that is, in considering writing that is blotted, crooked, or illegible, as a mark of a vulgar education. I know of few things more rude or illiberal, than to obtrude a let­ter upon a person of rank or business, which cannot be easily read. Peculiar care should be taken to avoid every kind of ambiguity and affectation in writing names. I have now a letter in my possession upon business, from a gentleman of a liberal profession in a neigh­bouring state, which I am unable to answer, [Page 9] because I cannot discover the name which is subscribed to it. For obvious reasons I would recommend the writing of the first or christian name at full length, where it does not consist of more than two syllables. Ab­breviations of all kinds in letter-writing, which always denote either haste or carelessness, should likewise be avoided. I have only to add under this head, that the Italian and in­verted hands which are read with difficulty, are by no means accommodated to the active state of business in America, or to the simpli­city of the citizens of a republic.

III. Some knowledge of figures and book­keeping is absolutely necessary to qualify a young lady for the duties which await her in this country. There are certain occupations in which she may assist her husband with this knowledge; and should she survive him, and agreeably to the custom of our country be the executrix of his will, she cannot fail of deri­ving immense advantages from it.

IV. An acquaintance with geography and some instruction in chronology will enable a young lady to read history, biography, and travels, with advantage; and thereby qualify her not only for a general intercourse with the world, but, to be an agreeable companion for a sensible man. To these branches of know­ledge [Page 10] may be added, in some instances, a ge­neral acquaintance with the first principles of astronomy, and natural philosophy, particu­larly with such parts of them as are calculated to prevent superstition, by explaining the causes, or obviating the effects of natural evil.

V. Vocal music should never be neglected, in the education of a young lady, in this country. Besides preparing her to join in that part of public worship which consists in psalmody, it will enable her to soothe the cares of domestic life. The distress and vexation of a husband—the noise of a nursery, and, even, the sorrows that will sometimes intrude into her own bosom, may all be relieved by a song, where found and sentiment unite to act upon the mind. I hope it will not be thought foreign to this part of our subject to introduce a fact here, which has been suggest­ed to me by my profession, and that is, that the exercise of the organs of the breast, by singing, contributes very much to defend them from those diseases to which our climate, and other causes, have of late exposed them.— Our German fellow-citizens are seldom af­flicted with consumptions, nor have I ever known but one instance of a spitting of blood among them. This, I believe, is in part oc­casioned by the strength which their lungs ac­quire, by exercising them frequently in vocal [Page 11] music, for this constitutes an essential branch of their education. The music-master of our academy* has furnished me with an obser­vation still more in favor of this opinion. He informed me that, he had known several instances of persons who were strongly dis­posed to the consumption, who were restored to health, by the moderate exercise of their lungs in singing.

VI. DANCING is by no means an improper branch of education for an American lady. It promotes health, and renders the figure and motions of the body easy and agreeable. I anticipate the time when the resources of con­versation shall be so far multiplied, that the amusement of dancing shall be wholly confined to children. But in our present state of soci­ety and knowledge, I conceive it to be an agreeable substitute for the ignoble pleasures of drinking, and gaming, in our assemblies of grown people.

VII. The attention of our young ladies should be directed, as soon as they are pre­pared for it, to the reading of history—tra­vels—poetry—and moral essays. These stu­dies are accommodated, in a peculiar manner, to the present state of society in America, and when a relish is excited for them, in early life, [Page 12] they subdue that passion for reading novels, which so generally prevails among the fair sex. I cannot dismiss this species of writing and reading without observing, that the subjects of novels are by no means accommodated to our present manners. They hold up life, it is true, but it is not as yet life, in America. Our pas­sions have not as yet "overstepped the mo­desty of nature," nor are they "torn to tat­ters," to use the expressions of the poet, by extravagant love, jealousy, ambition, or re­venge. As yet the intrigues of a British novel, are as foreign to our manners, as the refine­ments of Asiatic vice. Let it not be said, that the tales of distress, which fill modern no­vels, have a tendency to soften the female heart into acts of humanity. The fact is the reverse of this. The abortive sympathy which is excited by the recital of imaginary distress, blunts the heart to that which is real; and, hence, we sometimes see instances of young ladies, who weep away a whole forenoon over the criminal sorrows of a fictitious Charlotte or Werter, turning with disdain at two o'clock from the sight of a beggar, who solicits in fee­ble accents or signs, a small portion only, of the crumbs which fall from their fathers' tables.

VIII. It will be necessary to connect all these branches of education with regular in­struction in the christian religion. For this [Page 13] purpose the principles of the different sects of christians should be taught and explained, and our pupils should early be furnished with some of the most simple arguments in favour of the truth of christianityBaron Haller's letters to his daughter on the truths of the christian religion, and Dr. Beatie's "evidences of the christian religion briefly and plainly stated" are excellent little tracts, and well adapted for this purpose.. A portion of the bible (of late improperly banished from our school) should be read by them every day, and such questions should be asked, after reading it, as are calculated to imprint upon their minds the interesting stories contained in it.

Rousseau has asserted that the great secret of education consists in "wasting the time of children profitably." There is some truth in this observation. I believe that we often im­pair their health, and weaken their capacities, by imposing studies upon them, which are not proportioned to their years. But this objec­tion does not apply to religious instruction. There are certain simple propositions in the christian religion, that are suited in a peculiar manner, to the infant state of reason and moral sensibility. A clergyman of long experience in the instruction of youthThe Rev. Mr. NICHOLAS COLLIN, minister of the Swedish church in Wicocoe. informed me, that he always found children acquired religious knowledge more easily than knowledge upon [Page 14] other subjects; and that young girls acquired this kind of knowledge more readily than boys. The female breast is the natural soil of christianity; and while our women are taught to believe its doctrines, and obey its precepts, the wit of Voltaire, and the stile of Boling­broke, will never be able to destroy its influ­ence upon our citizens.

I cannot help remarking in this place, that christianity exerts the most friendly influence upon science, as well as upon the morals and manners of mankind. Whether this be oc­casioned by the unity of truth, and the mu­tual assistance which truths upon different subjects afford each other, or whether the faculties of the mind be sharpened and cor­rected by embracing the truths of revelation, and thereby prepared to investigate and per­ceive truths upon other subjects, I will not determine, but it is certain that the greatest discoveries in science have been made by christian philosophers, and that there is the most knowledge in those countries where there is the most christianity*. By knowledge I mean truth only; and by truth I mean the percepti­on [Page 15] of things as they appear to the divine mind. If this remark be well founded, then those philosophers who reject christianity, and those christians, whether parents or school­masters, who neglect the religious instruction of their children and pupils, reject and neglect the most effectual means of promoting know­ledge in our country.

IX. If the measures that have been recom­mended for inspiring our pupils with a sense of religious and moral obligation be adopted, the government of them will be easy and agreeable. I shall only remark under this head, that strictness of discipline will always render severity unnecessary, and that there will be the most instruction in that school, where there is the most order.

I have said nothing in favour of instrumen­tal music as a branch of female education, because I conceive it is by no means accom­modated to the present state of society and manners in America. The price of musical instruments, and the extravagant fees demand­ed by the teachers of instrumental music, form but a small part of my objections to it.

[Page 16]To perform well, upon a musical instru­ment, requires much time and long practice. From two to four hours in a day, for three or four years, appropriated to music, are an immense deduction from that short period of time which is allowed by the peculiar circum­stances of our country for the acquisition of the useful branches of literature that have been mentioned. How many useful ideas might be picked up in these hours from his­tory, philosophy, poetry, and the numerous moral essays with which our language abounds, and how much more would the knowledge ac­quired upon these subjects add to the conse­quence of a lady, with her husband and with society, than the best performed pieces of mu­sic upon a harpsichord or a guittar! Of the many ladies whom we have known, who have spent the most important years of their lives, in learning to play upon instruments of music, how few of them do we see amuse themselves or their friends with them, after they become mistresses of families! Their harpsichords serve only as side-boards for their parlours, and prove by their silence, that necessity and circumstances, will always prevail over fashion, and false maxims of education.

Let it not be supposed from these observa­tions that I am insensible of the charms of instrumental music, or that I wish to exclude [Page 17] it from the education of a lady where a musical ear irresistably disposes to it, and affluence at the same time affords a prospect of such an ex­emption from the usual cares and duties of the mistress of a family, as will enable her to prac­tise it. These circumstances form an excepti­on to the general conduct that should arise upon this subject, from the present state of society and manners in America.

I beg leave further to bear a testimony against the practice of making the French language a part of female education in America. In Britain where company and pleasure are the principal business of ladies; where the nurse­ry and the kitchen form no part of their care, and where a daily intercourse is maintained with French-men and other foreigners who speak the French language, a knowledge of it is absolutely necessary. But the case is wide­ly different in this country. Of the many la­dies who have applied to this language, how great a proportion of them have been hurried into the cares and duties of a family before they had acquired it; of those who have ac­quired it, how few have retained it after they were married; and of the few who have re­tained it, how seldom have they had occasion to speak it, in the course of their lives! It certainly comports more with female delicacy as well as the natural politeness of the French [Page 18] nation, to make it necessary for French-men to learn to speak our language in order to converse with our ladies, than for our ladies to learn their language, in order to converse with them.

Let it not be said in defence of a know­ledge of the French language, that many ele­gant books are written in it. Those of them that are truly valuable, are generally transla­ted; but, if this were not the case, the English language certainly contains many more books of real utility and useful information than can be read, without neglecting other duties, by the daughter, or wife of an American citi­zen.

It is with reluctance that I object to draw­ing, as a branch of education for an American lady. To be the mistress of a family is one of the great ends of a woman's being, and while the peculiar state of society in America imposes this station so early, and renders the duties of it so numerous and difficult, I con­ceive that little time can be spared for the acquisition of this elegant accomplishment.

It is agreeable to observe how differently modern writers, and the inspired author of the proverbs, describe a fine woman. The former confine their praises chiefly to perso­nal [Page 19] charms, and ornamental accomplishments, while the latter celebrates only the virtues of a valuable mistress of a family, and a useful member of society. The one is perfectly ac­quainted with all the fashionable languages of Europe; the other, "opens her mouth with wisdom" and is perfectly acquainted with all the uses of the needle, the distaff, and the loom. The business of the one, is pleasure; the pleasure of the other, is business. The one is admired abroad; the other is honour­ed and beloved at home. "Her children arise up and call her blessed, her husband al­so, and he praiseth her." There is no fame in the world equal to this; nor is there a note in music half so delightful, as the respectful language with which a grateful son or daughter perpetuates the memory of a sensible and af­fectionate mother.

It should not surprize us that British cus­toms, with respect to female education, have been transplanted into our American schools and families. We see marks of the same in­congruity, of time and place, in many other things. We behold our houses accommoda­ted to the climate of Great Britain, by east­ern and western directions. We behold our ladies panting in a heat of ninety degrees, under a hat and cushion, which were calcula­ted for the temperature of a British summer. [Page 20] We behold our citizens condemned and pu­nished by a criminal law, which was copied from a country where maturity in corruption renders public executions a part of the amuse­ments of the nation. It is high time to awake from this servility—to study our own cha­racter—to examine the age of our country— and to adopt manners in every thing, that shall be accommodated to our state of society, and to the forms of our government. In par­ticular it is incumbent upon us to make orna­mental accomplishments, yield to principles and knowledge, in the education of our wo­men.

A philosopher once said "let me make all the ballads of a country and I care not who makes its laws." He might with more pro­priety have said, let the ladies of a country be educated properly, and they will not only make and administer its laws, but form its manners and character. It would require a lively imagination to describe, or even to comprehend, the happiness of a country, where knowledge and virtue, were generally diffused among the female sex. Our young men would then be restrained from vice by the terror of being banished from their com­pany. The loud laugh, and the malignant smile, at the expence of innocence, or of per­sonal infirmities—the feats of successful [Page 21] mimickry—and the low priced wit, which is borrowed from a misapplication of scripture phrases, would no more be considered as re­commendations to the society of the ladies. A double entendre, in their presence, would then exclude a gentleman forever from the company of both sexes, and probably oblige him to seek an asylum from contempt, in a foreign country. The influence of female education would be still more extensive and useful in domestic life. The obligations of gentlemen to qualify themselves by knowledge and industry to discharge the duties of bene­volence, would be encreased by marriage; and the patriot—the hero—and the legisla­tor, would find the sweetest reward of their toils, in the approbation and applause of their wives. Children would discover the marks of maternal prudence and wisdom in every station of life; for it has been remarked that there have been few great or good men who have not been blessed with wise and prudent mothers. Cyrus was taught to revere the gods, by his mother Mandane—Samuel was devoted to his prophetic office before he was born, by his mother Hannah—Constantine was rescued from paganism by his mother Constantia—and Edward the sixth inherited those great and excel­lent qualities which made him the delight of the age in which he lived, from his mother, lady Jane Seymour. Many other instances might [Page 22] be mentioned, if necessary, from ancient and modern history, to establish the truth of this proposition.

I am not enthusiastical upon the subject of education. In the ordinary course of human affairs, we shall probably too soon follow the footsteps of the nations of Europe in manners and vices. The first marks we shall perceive of our declension, will appear among our wo­men. Their idleness, ignorance and profli­gacy will be the harbingers of our ruin. Then will the character and performance of a buf­foon on the theatre, be the subject of more conversation and praise, than the patriot or the minister of the gospel;—then will our lan­guage and pronunciation be enfeebled and cor­rupted by a flood of French and Italian words; —then will the history of romantic amours, be preferred to the immortal writings of Addison, Hawkesworth and Johnson;—then will our churches be neglected, and the name of the supreme being never be called upon, but in profane exclamations;—then will our Sundays be appropriated, only to feasts and concerts; —and then will begin all that train of domes­tic and political calamities—But, I forbear. The prospect is so painful, that I cannot help, silently, imploring the great arbiter of human affairs, to interpose his almighty goodness, and to deliver us from these evils, that, at least one [Page 23] spot of the earth may be reserved as a monu­ment of the effects of good education, in order to shew in some degree, what our species was, before the fall, and what it shall be, after its restoration.———————

Thus, gentlemen, have I briefly finished what I proposed. If I am wrong in those opinions in which I have taken the liberty of departing from general and fashionable habits of thinking, I am sure you will discover, and pardon my mistakes. But, if I am right, I am equally sure you will adopt my opinions; for to enlightened minds truth is alike acceptable, whether it comes from the lips of age, or the hand of antiquity, or whether it be obtruded by a person, who has no other claim to atten­tion, than a desire of adding to the stock of hu­man happiness.

I cannot dismiss the subject of female edu­cation without remarking, that the city of Phi­ladelphia first saw a number of gentlemen as­sociated for the purpose of directing the edu­cation of young ladies. By means of this plan, the power of teachers is regulated and restrained, and the objects of education are extended. By the separation of the sexes in the unformed state of their manners, female delicacy is cherished and preserved. Here the young ladies may enjoy all the literary advan­tages [Page 24] of a boarding-school, and at the same time live under the protection of their pa­rents*. Here emulation may be excited with­out jealousy,—ambition without envy,—and competition without strife. The attempt to esta­blish this new mode of education for young ladies, was an experiment, and the success of it hath answered our expectations. Too much praise cannot be given to our principal and his assistants, for the abilities and fidelity with which they have carried the plan into ex­ecution. The proficiency which the young ladies have discovered in reading—writing— spelling—arithmetic—grammar—geography —music—and their different catechisms, since the last examination, is a less equivocal mark of the merit of our teachers, than any thing I am able to express in their favour.

But the reputation of the academy must be suspended, till the public are convinced, by the future conduct and character of our pupils, of the advantages of the institution. To you, therefore, YOUNG LADIES, an important problem is committed for solu­tion; [Page 25] and that is, whether our present plan of education be a wise one, and whether it be cal­culated to prepare you for the duties of social and domestic life. I know that the elevation of the female mind, by means of moral, physical and religious truth, is considered by some men as unfriendly to the domestic character of a wo­man. But this is the prejudice of little minds, and springs from the same spirit which op­poses the general diffusion of knowledge among the citizens of our republics. If men believe that ignorance is favourable to the govern­ment of the female sex, they are certainly de­ceived; for a weak and ignorant woman will always be governed with the greatest difficul­ty. I have sometimes been led to ascribe the invention of ridiculous and expensive fashions in female dress, entirely to the gen­tlemen*, in order to divert the ladies from im­proving their minds, and thereby to secure a more arbitrary and unlimited authority over them. It will be in your power, LADIES, to correct the mistakes and practice of our sex up­on these subjects, by demonstrating, that the fe­male temper can only be governed by reason, and that the cultivation of reason in women, is alike friendly to the order of nature, and to private as well as public happiness.


Concluding Prayer, BY SAMUEL MAGAW, D. D.

HEAVENLY FATHER! Eternal Source of Truth and Goodness! in Thee should all our works begin; in Thee should they be continued;—that their end may be happy! We come into thy presence, conducting these our DAUGHTERS to receive thy Blessing! The Parents, and the Children shelter them­selves near the Mercy-seat, trusting in thy acceptance, looking for thy salvation! Our Crown of Glory, and Diadem of Beauty Thou art in the season of prosperity; and, if affliction cometh, thou art a sure refuge! We worship thee! we glorify thee! we thank­fully acknowledge thee to be the LORD!

WHEN we look around, O Infinite GOD! on the works which thou hast made—al­though we see but a little way—we are struck with their magnificence and arrangement! Parts combine with parts; systems rise on systems, in number, weight, and measure, beyond all utterance! Yet, thou hast given us to know, that however great thy material works; thy intelligent creation is still great­er: that the Excellency of MINDS, is the [Page 27] highest Excellency: that the Universe is a Theatre, on which, the prevalence of wis­dom and moral goodness, the confirmation of Purity and Righteousness, is the essenti­al, leading Object for ever!

WHILE noblest orders of intellectual Being —Cherubim and Seraphim,—the Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, and Powers, dwel­ling in heaven—incessantly beholding thy face, O King Immortal! receiving ineffable irradiations of the Divine majesty and fa­vour, which raise and dignify their immense faculties still more and more,—and bring them nearer, and nearer to THEE in bliss;— we rejoice with reverence, Thou FRIEND of human Nature! that thou art also bringing many sons and daughters unto glory, from this inferior world!—that, by a rich dispen­sation of mercy, thou art incorporating them with those elder-born Sons of light, into one innumerable, grand Company!—

THOU hast honored Us with a Religion es­tablished in thy SON! Thou art repairing the ruins of our fall! Thou art shedding abroad the light that guides into the way of peace! Thou art bestowing liberally the aids that render meet for the Life which is celes­tial!—In all the researches and studies of mankind, may this great business be considered [Page 28] as supreme; may every ray of Science upon earth, and all its institutions, to the end of time, pay homage to "the Wisdom that is from above!"

O MOST HIGH! without whose aid, nothing can prosper,—we beseech thee to regard with favour every Seminary of sound Learning! May they answer fully the purposes of their appointment; and let the number of them be increased! From them, may knowledge flow in living streams! In them, let multitudes be receiving continually impressions, which will secure the usefulness of each individual, and lay a firm foundation for private and public Virtue! Especially, we beseech thee to fur­ther in these respects, and to bless this ACA­DEMY!

FATHER, who delightest in the Children who obey! Be ever gracious unto these be­fore thee! Endue them with thy power! En­rich them with thy love! At this most interest­ing time of life, may every circumstance, and every measure, through thy kind Providence, be directed to their benefit! Heighten the parental attentions! Assist and adorn the Pre­ceptor's skill!—May they be convinced, and affectionately feel, that their happiness must be our happiness!

[Page 29]As the ground of their improving in what­soever things are "lovely and of good re­port," O LORD and SAVIOUR! keep them confirmed in filial confidence, and filial duty: May each of them "honour her Father and her Mother!" May they grasp with ardour to their bosoms, and never lose the remem­brance of, "the first commandment with pro­mise!"—Hereby, directed to their ultimate and chief dependence,—in delightful grada­tion, may their affections be continually rising to thee, PARENT OF ALL!

SHEPHERD of Israel! defend this tender Flock from evil! Preserve to them the charms of innocency;—the treasures of an approving Conscience! In gentleness, humility, and pa­tience, give them to possess their souls!

LET thy Maidens carry hence, those senti­ments of Prudence,—those habits of appli­cation,—that taste for mental accomplish­ment,—that exercise of the virtues of the heart,—which will be increasing continually through life, and render them the EXCEL­LENT AMONG WOMEN!

MAY we be accepted also concerning one thing more, O God, who art no respecter of persons!—Our spirit is stirred with com­passion for the multitudes of Children in this [Page 30] great City, who stroll about unheeded, and untaught—exposed to all temptation; pre­paring for any wickedness—LORD of MER­CY! make speed to save them, by putting it into the hearts of the humane and affluent to gather those destitute ones into some kindly folds of Instruction, that they likewise may become useful and happy!

WE now go in peace—trusting that our necessities are all provided for; and every blessing secured to us, and thy whole Church, by the mediation of JESUS CHRIST our LORD: For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, forever and ever. AMEN.

[Page 31]BY the encouragement of a number of Gentlemen, an Aca­demy was opened, on the first of May 1786, in the city of Philadelphia, under the immediate direction of Mr. AN­DREW BROWN, for the sole purpose of educating young ladies in the most useful and necessary branches of literature.

THE CONSTITUTION is as follows.

Article I. The English language shall be taught gramma­tically, and strict attention paid to its pronunciation, and the reading of it with elegance and propriety; writing, arithmetic, and geography, are also a part of the education proposed for this school, in which such further improvements, in other branches of useful knowledge, will be hereafter adopted as circumstances may direct, and the visitors shall approve.

II. That an early sense of the reverence due to the Deity may be impressed on the minds of the young ladies of this se­minary, the business of the day shall be introduced, and ended, with public prayers in the school; and such catechisms shall be taught in it, as the parents of the children may appoint for their instruction in the first principles of religious knowledge.

III. Select portions of the Bible shall be read daily by the children, together with extracts from the most approved prose, and poetical English authors.

IV. The visitors will hold quarterly examinations of the young ladies, in the presence of their parents, or guardians, whose attendance, on such occasions, will be requested.

V. The laws and regulations, for the well governing of the school, shall be jointly made by the master and visitors. Three of the visitors shall form a quorum.

VI. The hours of attendance, for young ladies, shall be from nine till twelve o'clock in the forenoon; and from three till five in the afternoon.

[Page 32]VII. After the first year shall have elapsed, the visitors shall be annually elected, by the parents, and guardians, of the young ladies, at the quarterly examination to be held in May; and the following gentlemen have agreed to act as visitors, until the first election can be made in May 1787.

  • The Reverend Dr. WILLIAM WHITE.
  • The Honourable CHARLES PETTIT, Esq.
  • JOHN GILL, Esq.

The visitors elected on the second of May for the present year, are,

  • The Right Reverend Dr. WILLIAM WHITE, Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Pennsylvania.
  • The Reverend Dr. HENRY HELMUTH, Minister of the German Lutheran Church.
  • The Reverend Dr. GEORGE DUFFIELD.
  • The Reverend Dr. SAMUEL MAGAW.
  • JOHN GILL, Esq.

[Entered agreeably to Act of Assembly.]

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.