1876 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN JOURNAL AND NOTEBOOK OF A BRIGHT YOUNG WOMAN BEING EDUCATED AT THE ABBOT ACADEMY, ONE OF THE VERY FIRST SECONDARY SCHOOLS FOR WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES

By: MARGARET C. WEBSTER

Price: $3,385.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is the 1876 original handwritten journal and notebook of Margaret C. Webster, a student at the Abbot Academy, notable as one of the first secondary schools for educating young women in New England. This is an exceptional document of early women’s education in America. It details the things women were learning, how they learned them, and a bit into the personal life of one of the few women being educated in the country. The book seems to have served two purposes for Ms. Webster. First, the majority of the book is a school composition/notebook. Secondly, at the end of the book, there is a diary for writing down personal experiences. Margaret seems to have been born in 1858, making her around 18 at the time of this journal. The majority of the Margaret C. Webster book is devoted to school related work (65 pages). This includes: Poetry – Margaret has written in her journal poems by Thackeray, Proctor, Homer and some quotations by Tennyson. There is also the poem “Annie and Willies Prayer” by Sophia Snow, which is a Christmas poem similar to the “The Night Before Christmas.; Original essays – There is an essay by Margaret titled “World Without Imagination.”; Botany notes which include a list of 100 plants and flowers with their common name as well as their genus and specie; Notes/Discussions/Compositions on Famous Personages and Subjects – These include Tennyson, Wordsworth, Aristotle, Byron, Pope, Chaucer, and more; A Student Study Schedule– This contains Margaret’s schedule of morning study work for 1876 and 1877. There are a number of schedules written down here, for nine different days in three different terms (Fall, Winter, and Spring). Example: “Jan. 13, 1877. From 8:30 - 9:30am: Went to prayer meeting at Chapel. 9:30 - 10:30: Studied Shakespeare. 10:30 - 11:15: Studied Botany. 11:30 - 12:00pm: Studied and did various things. From 5:15 - 6pm: Studied Shakespeare. 7:30 - 8: Studied Shakespeare. 8:30 - 9: Gymnastics. Finally, there is also a 10-page section within the notebook which is not related to school but is a more personal diary. It contains two separate entries. And it is somewhat of an anomaly. It appears that the first entry of 6 pages is done by a person other than Margaret - perhaps a relative. The woman writing this section states that she is around forty years old, and reports that she has just found her old diary in the attic. She proceeds to write in this journal some of the more important entries from her original diary. Thus, she is copying them into this (Margaret’s) notebook – probably around the same time frame that Margaret used it (1870-1880). Sample entries: "Journal, you this day, May 1, 1850, my 16th birthday, have been presented to me by my father as a present. If you prove a pleasure and comfort (as he says you will), I will patronize your pages now unsullied. But, if you prove a bother (as I think you will), you will at quick notice be dispatched to Hades.”; “Aug 28 (1850) Journal, in spite of my resolution, I believe I am going to like you. Something tells me that if all other friends desert me, you will be true to the last……I am to enter upon a very important period of my life. I am going away to school to Abbot Academy. I want to go because I am sick of staying at home. I am curious to see the girls there. I have about made up my mind not to like them.” The remaining entries reveal that the young girl attends the academy and greatly enjoys the experience, making many new friends. In her last entry, dated July, 28, 1854, she reports that she is graduating that day, and is excited about her achievement - but sad that she is leaving friends. It is possible that this section was provided by a relative who may have also attended Abbot Academy. And perhaps the relative wanted to show Margaret that the school would be a pleasant and worthwhile experience. The author of the last four pages of this section is most probably Margaret, considering the similar handwriting. The entry is titled “My Walk” and describes a walk she took into Andover, Massachusetts, where she lives. During her walk, she strolls by a Captain Perry’s house and past the Old South Church. She also comes across Parson Watkins, who is on horseback, and after a greeting she returns home. As she nears her house, a driverless carriage races by with the two lady occupants so absorbed in conversation that they fail to take notice of the danger they are in. Running behind them is the driver, who eventually gets the carriage back under control. The notebook is 7” by 8” in size. It has worn green boards with a floral design and a bit of discoloration at points. It has a red leather spine with wear at head and foot. Pages are lightly toned but clean, and the writing is neat and easily legible. The binding is tight, and the ink is slightly faded but very readable. The book has approximately 75 handwritten pages, of which all but a few have writing in them. (Background: Abbot Academy (also known as Abbot Female Seminary and AA) was an independent boarding preparatory school for women boarding and day students in grades 9–12 from 1828 to 1973. Located in Andover, Massachusetts, Abbot Academy was notable as one of the first incorporated secondary schools for educating young women in New England. It merged with Phillips Academy in 1973 and campus buildings along School Street continue to be used for the combined school. In 1859, the "strong-willed" but "ideologically moderate" McKeen sisters — headmistress Philena and Phebe—exerted strong leadership by adopting a "school-home" approach. The years were marked by substantial expansion of buildings.The McKeens fostered the study of French and German and introduced a "systematic oral language program" on a par with that of Harvard University.)

Title: 1876 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN JOURNAL AND NOTEBOOK OF A BRIGHT YOUNG WOMAN BEING EDUCATED AT THE ABBOT ACADEMY, ONE OF THE VERY FIRST SECONDARY SCHOOLS FOR WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES

Author Name: MARGARET C. WEBSTER

Illustrator: /

Categories: 19th Century Diary, Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: ABBOT ACADEMY, ANDOVER, MASSACHUSETTS, MA, 1876

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall

Seller ID: 0009084

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