To Ornament Their Minds: Sarah Pierce's Female Academy, 1792‑1833
by Theodore & Nancy Sizer, Sally Schwager, Lynne Templeton Brickey, and Glee Krueger
The Litchfield Female Academy was one of a small group of early schools that played a critical role in shaping later educational, social, and economic opportunities for women in the United States. Through her innovative curriculum, the school’s founder Sarah Pierce transformed the lives of more than 3,000 women who attended the school. Over its forty one year history, from 1792-1833, the Litchfield Female Academy attracted students from fifteen states and territories, Canada, Ireland and the West Indies. In 4 separate essays, the history of the Litchfield Female Academy, the expansion of women’s education, the role of Sarah Pierce’s school, and the primary source artwork produced at the Academy are explored.