“By the Force of its Own Merits” is a one-day symposium that will round out a two-year celebration of the Litchfield Female Academy, a progressive educational institution that instructed over 3,000 young women between 1792 and 1833. A diverse slate of presenters will discuss the structure and curriculum of the Academy, illuminate its role in the development of educational and social opportunities for women, and speak to the school’s legacy and relevancy within current scholarship.
The Litchfield Female Academy and the Future of American Education
Mark Boonshoft, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History at Norwich University
American education transformed during the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Literacy, numberacy, and the tools of citizenship became more accessible to more people. The Litchfield Female Academy and its alumni helped make possible this profound change in American life.
An Examination of Lucy Sheldon’s Music Books
Jewel A. Smith, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music
An examination of Lucy Sheldon’s music books offers a window into the music studied at the Litchfield Female Academy in the early nineteenth century, where young women were exposed to and participated in Litchfield’s upscale social culture. Sheldon’s books include diverse and up-to-date publications for the serious piano student, such as battle pieces, waltzes, sonatas, marches, sets of variations, and transcriptions, in addition to sacred and secular vocal music—all representative as part of the education that prepared the students to enter genteel society.
The Litchfield Effect
C. C. Borzilleri, Program and Administrative Coordinator, Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation
Litchfield-educated women pursued lifetimes of service to their communities and important roles in the typically male-dominated public sphere. Using the tools and lessons they gathered from Miss Pierce, they made an impact across the country on industries as varied as education, publishing, and women’s health. This talk will explore some of the stories recently uncovered about a few of the LFA’s most prolific graduates.
As well as educator-led tours of Litchfield’s town center focusing on the daily life of Female Academy students and an in-depth look at Female Academy materials from the archival and museum collections.