Beecher, Catharine 1800- 1878

Catharine Beecher


"Woman's great mission is to train immature, weak, and ignorant creatures to obey the laws of God; the physical, the intellectual, the social and the moral."

-An Address to the Christian Women of America-

Early Life-
Catharine Beecher was born on September 6th, 1800, to the parents Lyman Beecher and Roxanna Ward Beecher. Lyman was a Presbyterian minister. Catharine was the oldest of thirteen children. Catharine and many of her siblings would play important roles things such as educational reform, the revision of Calvinist theology, abolition, and women's suffrage. One of her siblings was Henry Ward Beecherknown as the "Shakespeare of the pulpit." Another sibling of hers was Harriet Beecher Stowe who was the author of Uncle Tom's Cabinin 1852. In 1809, the Beecher family moved to Litchfield, Connecticut. There, Catharine went to Miss Pierce's school. In 1816, when Catharine was 16 years old, her mother died of tuberculosis. The care of the house hold came upon her until 1817 when her father remarried. A year later in 1818, Catharine moved to New London, Connecticut were she took a teaching job. Catharine was engaged, but in 1823 she lost her husband at sea. Her fiance was Alexander Fisher who was a Yale professor. From the death of her fiance, she received a small fortune, and in 1823 she used the money to found the Hartford Female Seminary.

Hartford Female Seminary
Her career started in 1818 when she got her first teaching job in New London, Connecticut. After teaching for 5 years, Catharine and her sister Mary founded the Hartford Female Seminary in Hexternal image 200px-Beecherc.jpgartford, Connecticut in 1823. The purpose of the school was to train women to be mothers and teachers. In the school, the core classes taught were algebra, chemistry, history, Latin, philosophy, and rhetoric. When still at the school, Catharine wrote the essay "Suggestions Respecting Improvement in Education." This essay was to promote women as natural teachers. It also promoted for the expansion and development of teacher training programs. After eight years of operating her school, Catherine left in 1831. She moved west to Cincinnati, Ohio, with her father Lyman, when he became the president of the Lane Theological Seminary. In 1832, she opened a school in Cincinnati called The Western Female Institute. This school was opened for the purpose to teach young women so they could instruct others. This school carried on the works that Catharine had at Hartford. Due to not having enough financial support, the school closed in 1837. When at The Western Female Institute, Catharine made a lecture in 1835 titled "An Essay on the Education of Female Teachers." In 1837, she published an essay titled "Slavery and Abolition with Reference to the Duty of American Females." This essay was about how women should unite against the system of slavery. Writing now, was becoming the new way for her to spread view points and make a living. It wasn't till 1841 that she was able to get a larger audience. That year, she published one of her most famous books, Treatise on Domestic Economy. This book was to provide women with information such as cooking, childcare, and general health care. This book was like a hand book about household knowledge which had never existed before. But, the main idea of this book was to say that in order to have a women at home to raise well educated children, her herself had to be fully educated too. This book was such a success that it went through 15 printings. In 1852, with the help from the success of this book, she founded the Women's Education Association in New York. The purpose of this organization was to raise money for the establishment of women education. It was also established to help training teachers for frontier schools. This organization died out in 1862. It died out due to not enough funds.

Later Li
"The American Women's Home"

Beecher moved back to the east. There she lived with various relatives. She was very close to her sister Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her and her sister worked together to write "The American Woman's Home" in 1869, which was the sequel to the Treatise on Domestic Economy. Until she died in 1878, she still continued to support women as teachers. Beecher did not ever remarried or have any children of her own. She died on May 12, 1878, in Elmira, New York. She died at the age of 78.
"How many young hearts have revealed the fact that what they had been trained to imagine the highest earthly felicity was but the beginning of care, disappointment, and sorrow, and often led to the extremity of mental and physical suffering."

Contribute to America History-
Catharine Beecher did a lot to contribute to American history. In the nineteeth century, the role of a woman was to be at the home cooking, cleaning, and looking after the children. The role of men was to be out in the world, being a buisnessman. Through Beecher's writting and publishing of books, she spoke of women being able to be educated and be teachers. She helped the education of men and women equal. She believed that if women were educated, than they could teach their children the proper roles in society.

Quick Facts-
1800- Born on September 6, to the parents Lyman and Roxanna
1809- Beecher family moved to Litchfield, Connecticut

1816- Mother died
1817- Father remarried
1818- Moved to New London, Connecticut
1819- First teaching job
1823- Opened the Hartford Female Seminary
1831- Moved to Cincinnati, Ohio
1832- Opened The Western Female Institute
1852- Founded the Women's Education Association in New York
1878- Died May 12, in Emmira, New York at the age of 78

1835- An Essay on the Education of Female Teachers
1841- A Treatise on Domestic Economy
1846- The Evils Suffered by American Women and Children
1863- The American Woman's Home
1871- Woman Suffrage and Woman's Profession

Heart Of Longing - Betsy Sise


"Beecher, Catharine" [1800-1878] PBS Online. Only a Teacher: Schoolhouse Pioneers 26 Oct. 2008

"Beecher, Catharine" [1800-1878] National Womans History Museum 28,Oct. 2008

"BEECHER, Catharine Esther [1800-1878] -- American educator." roots web. 25 Oct 2008

"Beecher, Catharine [1800-1878] Gale Group 25 Oct. 2008
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"Treatise on Domestic Economy" 1841 29 Oct 2008

"Beecher, Catharine" Feeding America 1 Nov 2008
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