Catharine Esther Beecher

Is your surname Beecher?

Research the Beecher family

Catharine Esther Beecher's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Catharine Esther Beecher

Birthdate: (77)
Birthplace: Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Death: May 12, 1878 (77)
Elmira, Chemung, New York, United States (apoplexy)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Rev. Lyman Beecher and Roxana Ward Beecher
Sister of William Henry Beecher; Edward Beecher; Mary Foote Perkins; George Beecher; Harriet Beecher Stowe and 4 others
Half sister of Mary Foote Perkins; Frederick Porter Beecher; Isabella Beecher Hooker; Rev. Thomas Kinnicut Beecher; Brevet Brig. General James Chaplin Beecher and 4 others

Occupation: Teacher, Author
Managed by: Ivy Jo Smith
Last Updated:

About Catharine Esther Beecher

https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/catharine-beecher/

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharine_Beecher

Rugoff, Milton. The Beecher, An American Family in the Nineteenth Century.....pp. 302, 304, 305, 315.

p. 304 Cath. wrote (1831) The Elements of Mental

p. 302 Cath. wrote (1851) The True Remedy for the Wrongs of Women

           Cath. wrote (1854) Letters to the People on Health and Happiness

p. 305 Cath. wrote: Common Sense Applied to Religion; or the Bible and the People, An Appeal to the People on Behalf of Their Rights as Authorized Interpreters of the Bible.

p. 315 Catharine wrote 25 Novels.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Catharine Esther Beecher (September 6, 1800 – May 12, 1878) was an American educator known for her forthright opinions on women’s education as well as her vehement support of the many benefits of the incorporation of kindergarten into children's education.

Early life and education

Beecher was born in East Hampton, New York, the daughter of outspoken religious leader Lyman Beecher. She was the sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the 19th century abolitionist and writer most famous for her groundbreaking novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, and of clergymen Henry Ward Beecher and Charles Beecher.

Beecher was educated at home until she was ten years old, when she was sent to a private school where she was taught the limited curriculum available to young women. The experience left her longing for additional opportunities for education. She taught herself subjects not commonly offered to women.

Youth

• Beecher was born September 6, 1800 to a wealthy and predominate family in East Hampton, New York to Lyman and Roxanna (Foote) Beecher

• She took over the domestic duties of her household at the age of 16 following her mothers death

• Became a Teacher in 1821 at a school in New Haven, Connecticut

• 1823 her fiancée Alexander M. Fisher was lost at sea

Education

• Though she was born to a wealthy and socially affluent family her education started rather late and was almost entirely self taught.

• Educated at home till the age of 10

• Private school Litchfield, Connecticut

• Taught only the limited curriculum approved for women

• Self Taught subjects that were not available to her

• Math, Latin, Philosophy

Midlife in the West

• She moved to the Midwest in 1831 with her father to campaign for more schools and teachers in the frontier

• Returned East in 1837

Late Life

• 1837 Beecher retired from administrative work

• After returning East she started The Ladies Society for Promoting Education in the West

• 1847 Co-Founded the Board of National Popular Education with William Slade

• 1852 she founded the American Women’s Educational Association

• Their goal was to recruit and train teacher for frontier schools

• Send women into the West to civilize the young

• Became a model for future schools developed in the West

Quote: “Woman’s great mission is to train immature, weak, and ignorant creatures to obey the laws of God; the physical, the intellectual, the social, and the moral”

• In 1878 she died from Apoplexy

[edit]Views on and advocacy of education

To provide such educational opportunities for others, in 1823 Beecher opened the Hartford Female Seminary, where she taught until 1831. The private girls school in Hartford, Connecticut, had many well-known alumni, including Catharine’s sister Harriet. Later, Catharine was engaged to marry Professor Alexander Fisher of Yale University, but he died before the wedding was to take place. In 1841 Beecher published, “A Treatise on Domestic Economy for the Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School”, a book which discussed the underestimated importance of women’s roles in society. The book was edited and re-released the following year in its final form. Catherine Beecher was a strong advocate of the inclusion of Physical Education daily and developed a program of calisthenics performed to music.

Catharine Beecher

In 1831, Catharine Beecher suggested teachers read aloud to students the passages from writers with elegant styles, “to accustom the ear to the measurement of the sentences and the peculiar turns of expression” (Wright & Halloran, 2001, p. 215). She went on to have the students imitate the piece read using words, style, and turns of expression in order to develop, “a ready command of the language and easy modes of expression” (Wright & Halloran, 2001, p. 215). In 1846, Beecher pronounced that women not men should educate children and established schools for training teachers in western cities. She advocated that young ladies find godly work as Christian teachers away from the larger Eastern cities. The Board Of National Popular Education which was her idea trained teachers in four-week sessions in Connecticut and then sent them out West. She believed that women had a higher calling to shape children and society.

Views on Education • Beecher recognized public schools responsibility to teach moral, physical, and intellectual development of children. • Promoted the expansion and development of teacher training programs deducting that teaching was more important to society than lawyers or doctors. • Beecher was a strong advocate of the inclusion of Physical Education daily and developed a program of calisthenics performed to music.

Women as Educators • Beecher believed that women have inherent qualities that make them the preferred sex as teachers. • As men left teaching to pursue business and industry she saw the untapped potential of educated women and encouraged education of women to fill the increasing need for teachers. • Women are natural teachers; teaching is an extension of their domestic role. • Pushed and transformed teaching into women’s work versus a profession that women could thrive in.

Influential changes over time

In 1862, John Brinsley recommended students analyze and imitate classical Greek and Latin models while Beecher recommended English writers (Wright & Halloran, 2001). They both believed that frequent practice and the study of important authors helped students acquire writing skills. Perhaps these ideas provided the groundwork for Katie Wood Ray’s encouragement to include lots of time for lots of talk about topics of interest and to read anchor texts so that students can learn to write like a writer (Ray, 2006).

Beecher founded The American Woman’s Educational Association in 1852, an organization focused on furthering educational opportunities for women. She also founded the Western Female Institute in Cincinnati (along with her father Lyman) and The Ladies Society for Promoting Education in the West. She was also instrumental in the establishment of women’s colleges in Burlington, Iowa; Quincy, Illinois; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Beecher strongly supported allowing children to simply be children and not prematurely forcing adulthood onto them. She believed that children lacked the experience needed to make important life decisions and that in order for them to become healthy self-sufficient adults, they needed to be allowed to express themselves freely in an environment suited to children. It was these beliefs that led to her support of the system of kindergartens.

[edit]View on Women

Views on Women • She believed that women should be educated so that they can be better mothers and teachers • Feminity allowed women to understand and carry out the responsibilities of motherhood and education • Domestic Laborers o Wrote books on domestic virtues • She believed that women did not have to be married with children to fulfill their female/domestic duties, but that an unmarried women could teach and thus share their feminine virtues with the world. This would also prepare single women in the hopes they choose motherhood. • Women are intellectually capable • Anti-Suffragist o Women could best influence society as mothers and teacher o Did not want women to be corrupted by the evils of politics • Contradiction because she advocated women as teachers and mothers but lived a life where she rarely taught and never married

Accomplishments Schools • 1823 Co-Founded Hartford Female Seminary o School to train women to be mothers and teachers o Began with one room and 7 students and grew to almost 100 students with 10 rooms and 8 teachers in 3 years o Small class sizes o Used advanced students to teach others o Connected all classes to general principles o Motivated students to go beyond the text/instruction • 1832 Western Female Institute • 1852 American Women’s Educational Association founded colleges in Burlington, Iowa, Quincy, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin Published Works • 1829 Suggestions Respecting Improvements in Education • 1837 An Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism with reference to the Duty of American Females • 1839 The Moral Instructor for Schools and Families: Containing Lessons on the Duties of life • 1841 A Treatise on Domestic Economy for the Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School • 1845 The Duty of American Women to Their Country • 1846 Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt Book • 1846 The Evils Suffered by American Women and Children: the Causes and Remedy • 1856 Physiology and Calisthenics for Schools and Families • 1871 Woman Suffrage and Woman’s Profession • 1874 Educational reminiscences and suggestions

[edit]References

Wright, E. A. & Halloran, S. M. (2001). From rhetoric to composition: The teaching of writing in American to 1900. In J. J. Murphy (Eds.). A short history of writing instruction: From ancient Greece to modern America. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Ray, K. W. (2006). Study driven: A framework for planning units of study in the writing workshop. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Catharine Esther Beecher was an American educator known for her forthright opinions on female education as well as her vehement support of the many benefits of the incorporation of kindergarten into children's education.

Beecher was born September 6, 1800, in East Hampton, New York, the daughter of outspoken religious leader Lyman Beecher and Roxanna (Foote) Beecher. She was the sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the 19th century abolitionist and writer most famous for her groundbreaking novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, and of clergymen Henry Ward Beecher and Charles Beecher.

Beecher was educated at home until she was ten years old, when she was sent to a private school in Litchfield, Connecticut, where she was taught the limited curriculum available to young women. The experience left her longing for additional opportunities for education. She taught herself subjects not commonly offered to women, including math, Latin, and philosophy. She took over the domestic duties of her household at the age of 16, following her mother's death. Beecher became a teacher in 1821 at a school in New Haven, Connecticut. Catharine was engaged to marry Professor Alexander M. Fisher of Yale University, but he died at sea before the wedding took place. She never married.

To provide such educational opportunities for others, in 1823 Beecher opened the Hartford Female Seminary, where she taught until 1832. The private girls' school in Hartford, Connecticut, had many well-known alumni, including Catharine’s sister Harriet, who also assisted her at the school.

Comprehending the deficiencies of existing textbooks, she prepared, primarily for use in her own school, some elementary books in arithmetic, a work on theology, and a third on mental and moral philosophy. The last was never published, although printed and used as a college textbook.

She was constantly making experiments, and practicing them upon the girls, weighing all their food before they ate it, holding that Graham flour and the Graham diet were better for them than richer food. Ten of her pupils invited her to dine with them at a restaurant. She accepted the invitation, and the excellent dinner changed her views. Thereafter they were served with more palatable food.

In 1829 and 1830, Beecher led a women's movement to protest the Indian Removal Bill of President Andrew Jackson. This was the first national campaign on the part of women in the United States.

In the bill, Jackson requested Congress approve the use of federal money to resettle southeastern American Indians, including the Cherokee, to land west of the Mississippi River.

In response, Beecher published a “Circular Addressed to the Benevolent Ladies of the U. States,” dated December 25, 1829, calling on women to send petitions to Congress protesting the removal. In the circular she wrote, “It has become almost a certainty that these people are to have their lands torn from them, and to be driven into western wilds and to final annihilation, unless the feelings of a humane and Christian nation shall be aroused to prevent the unhallowed sacrifice.”

Congress passed the bill, and the Indian Removal Act became law on May 28, 1830.

In 1832, Beecher moved with her father to Cincinnati to campaign for more schools and teachers in the frontier. There she opened a female seminary, which, on account of her failing health, was discontinued after two years. She then devoted herself to the development of an extended plan for the physical, social, intellectual, and moral education of women, to be promoted through a national board. For nearly 40 years, she labored perseveringly in this work, organizing societies for training teachers, establishing plans for supplying the territories with good educators, writing, pleading, and traveling. Her object, as described by herself, was “to unite American women in an effort to provide a Christian education for 2,000,000 children in our country.” She made her field of labor especially in the west and south, and sought the aid of educated women throughout the United States.

In 1837, Beecher retired from administrative work. After returning East she started The Ladies' Society for Promoting Education in the West. In 1847 she co-founded the Board of National Popular Education with William Slade, ex-governor of Vermont. In 1852 she founded the American Women's Educational Association. Their goal was to recruit and train teachers for frontier schools and send women into the West to civilize the young. This became a model for future schools developed in the West.

“Woman’s great mission is to train immature, weak, and ignorant creatures to obey the laws of God; the physical, the intellectual, the social, and the moral. ” It was claimed that hundreds of the best teachers the West received went there under the patronage of this system. To a certain extent the plans succeeded, and were found beneficial, but the careers of the teachers were mostly short, for they soon married.

In 1878 Beecher died from apoplexy.

In 1841 Beecher published, “A Treatise on Domestic Economy for the Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School”, a book that discussed the underestimated importance of women’s roles in society. The book was edited and re-released the following year in its final form. Catharine Beecher was a strong advocate of the inclusion of daily physical education and developed a program of calisthenics performed to music.

In 1831, Catharine Beecher suggested teachers read aloud to students the passages from writers with elegant styles, “to accustom the ear to the measurement of the sentences and the peculiar turns of expression” (Wright & Halloran, 2001, p. 215). She went on to have the students imitate the piece read using words, style, and turns of expression in order to develop, “a ready command of the language and easy modes of expression” (Wright & Halloran, 2001, p. 215). In 1846, Beecher pronounced that women, not men, should educate children and established schools for training teachers in western cities. She advocated that young ladies find godly work as Christian teachers away from the larger Eastern cities. The Board of National Popular Education, which was her idea, trained teachers in four-week sessions in Connecticut and then sent them out West. She believed that women had a higher calling to shape children and society.

Beecher recognized public schools' responsibility to teach moral, physical, and intellectual development of children. She promoted the expansion and development of teacher training programs, deducting that teaching was more important to society than lawyers or doctors. Beecher was a strong advocate of the inclusion of physical education daily and developed a program of calisthenics that was performed to music. She also firmly believed in the benefits of reading aloud.

Beecher believed that women have inherent qualities that make them the preferred sex as teachers. As men left teaching to pursue business and industry, she saw the untapped potential of educated women and encouraged education of women to fill the increasing need for teachers. She considered women natural teachers, with teaching as an extension of their domestic role. She pushed and transformed teaching into women’s work rather than a profession that women could thrive in.

In 1862, John Brinsley recommended students analyze and imitate classical Greek and Latin models while Beecher recommended English writers (Wright & Halloran, 2001). They both believed that frequent practice and the study of important authors helped students acquire writing skills.

Beecher founded The American Woman’s Educational Association in 1852, an organization focused on furthering educational opportunities for women. She also founded the Western Female Institute in Cincinnati (along with her father Lyman) and The Ladies Society for Promoting Education in the West. She was also instrumental in the establishment of women’s colleges in Burlington, Iowa; Quincy, Illinois; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Beecher strongly supported allowing children to simply be children and not prematurely forcing adulthood onto them. She believed that children lacked the experience needed to make important life decisions and that in order for them to become healthy self-sufficient adults, they needed to be allowed to express themselves freely in an environment suited to children. It was these beliefs that led to her support of the system of kindergartens.

Beecher thought that women could best influence society as mothers and teachers, and did not want women to be corrupted by the evils of politics. She felt that men and women were put on the earth for separate reasons and accepted the view that women should not be involved in politics, but rather, they would teach male children to be free thinkers and moral learners and help shape their political ideas.

1823: Hartford Female Seminary: Beecher co-founded the Hartford Female Seminary, which was a school to train women to be mothers and teachers. It began with one room and 7 students; within three years, it grew to almost 100 students with 10 rooms and 8 teachers. The school had small class sizes, where advanced students taught other students. All classes were connected to general principles, and students were motivated to go beyond the classes' texts and instruction. 1832: Western Female Institute 1852: The Ladies Society for Promoting Education in the West founded colleges in Burlington, Iowa; Quincy, Illinois; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Female College changed names several times. Today, as Downer College of Lawrence University of Appleton WI, it is the longest continuously operating college for women's higher education founded on the Beecher plan.

view all

Catharine Esther Beecher's Timeline

1800
September 6, 1800
Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
1878
May 12, 1878
Age 77
Elmira, Chemung, New York, United States