What did York girls study in the early 19th century?
Advertisements from the York Recorder gives us an glimpse into educational offerings in York Town in the early 1800s. The first is for a small girls school, probably run out of a home:
EDUCATION &c. &.
Misses THOMSON and SCANLAN
take the liberty of informing the inhabitants of York, and its vicinity, that they intend opening a SCHOOL, on Monday 2d December, for the education of young ladies, in English, Grammar, &c. with Fancy and Plain Needle work. The greatest care and attention will be paid to the morals of the children—whose proficiency, they trust, will be such as to give general satisfaction.
Terms, per Quarter, two and a half Dollars. Morning school from 9 until 12 o’clock—Afternoon, from 1 o’clock till 4. The also intend taking in dresses to make, white work, etc., which will be done in the neatest and most fashionable manner.—Corner of Main and Newbury streets, west of the bridge.
York, November 22, 1811.
It isn’t clear if the morning and afternoon session are for two different groups of girls of just one with a break to go home for lunch.
For a more formal education, there was the:
York County Academy
NOTICE IS, in this manner, given to those interested in this institution, that application was made to Ebenezer Adams, L.L.D. professor of mathematics and natural philosophy in Dartmouth University, to procure a gentleman of classical literature and mathematical science, to take charge of one division in this Academy; and that he has recommended Mr. James Merrill, A.B. late a member of that college, as a gentleman possessing every requisite qualification.
On Monday next, the following divisions will be made.—The classical scholars, and those in the higher branches of English, will constitute the first division:, all the other lads, will constitute the second division; and all the Misses, belonging to the Academy, will constitute the third division. These divisions will each have a convenient room, and a competent teacher to take charge of them.
It will be seen, that two grand objects are attained, which have long been contemplated: The separation of the misses into one division; and the classical scholars into another, by themselves.
In consequence of this arrangement, a few more scholars can be admitted into each Division.
All scholars from other towns will, hereafter, be charged at the rate of FIVE DOLLARS a quarter.
York County Academy, Sept. 11, 1812.
This particular ad doesn’t mention what was studied by the first, second or third divisions, but I suspect that second division was not as rigorous as the first, and the third less so.
Online calculators indicate that the quarterly tuition charged by Thomson and Scanlan was about $44 a quarter, and $88 for out of town students at York County Academy.
At that time most of the students outside of York would have attended schools associated with their local churches.
By the end of the next decade Miss Torrey was offering girls more varied subjects.