Mary Ann Wolcott Whitehead


Other Name:
Mary Ann Goodrich Wolcott
Gender:
Female
Born:
August 9, 1801
Died:
April 26, 1865
Home Town:
Litchfield, CT
Marriage(s):
Asa Whitehead (1827)
Biographical Notes:
Mary Ann Wolcott Whitehead, of the “first family” of Litchfield, was born August 9, 1801. Her grandfather, Oliver Wolcott, and uncle both served as Governor of Connecticut and her great grandfather was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

From 1814-1816 her parents, Frederick and Betsey Huntington Wolcott, sent her to Sarah Pierce's Female Academy in her hometown to study. Prior to attending the Litchfield Female Academy, Mary Ann was a student at Betsey Collins' school in Litchfield. Several years after completing her studies Mary Ann married Asa Whitehead in 1827. Asa, originally from Newark, New Jersey, was a lawyer.
Additional Notes:
In 1820, Mary Ann was romantically attached to Litchfield Law School student Henry Walter Livingston, whose family belonged to the old NY grant, Manor families (considered the closest thing to “aristocracy in the US”). Despite Mary Ann's own distinguished background, it didn't meet the Livingston family's marital criteria and Henry ultimately ended the relationship. This caused a stir in the community and many students weighed in on the breakup via journal entries and letters.

Upon Henry’s arrival at Litchfield Law School, fellow student George Younglove Cutler wrote that Henry saw Mary Ann (his first glance of her?) and fellow student "Hannah L" from his window at Tapping Reeve’s house and remarked, “I suppose these young ladies i.e. the ladies of this village -- depend upon law ...
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Education
Years at LFA:
1814-1816


Related Objects and Documents
In the Ledger:
help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
CITATION OF ATTENDANCE:
"Rules for the School and Family" and Names of the Young Ladies belonging to Miss Pierce's School in the Summer of 1814 (Litchfield Historical Society - Litchfield Female Academy Collection).

1814 Summer Session Litchfield Female Academy Catalog (Vanderpoel, Emily Noyes. Chronicles of A Pioneer School From 1792 to 1833. Cambridge, MA: The University Press, 1903).

1816 Litchfield Female Academy Catalog (Vanderpoel, Emily Noyes. Chronicles of A Pioneer School From 1792 to 1833. Cambridge, MA: The University Press, 1903).
Secondary Sources:
New York Daily Tribune April 27, 1865; Volume: XXV; Issue: 7506; Page: 5.

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