Female Education. A Discourse...To which is added, the Little Reckoner, consisting principally of Arithmetical Questions for Infant Minds. Boston: Samuel T. Armstrong and Crocker & Brewster
Emerson, Joseph.

New York: John P. Haven, 1822. First edition. Inner wrappers are printed with a description of the seminary, a general summation of its curriculum, required textbooks (Conversations on Chemistry, Conversations on Natural Philosophy and Pope’s Essay on Man) among them, and the costs of instruction. Covers a bit soiled and lightly creased, spine mostly worn away. Wrappers a little torn and chipped near spine, with no loss of text. Light foxing, a few stains and minor soiling. A good copy of a fragile book. Original printed wrappers. Twelvemo. 40 pp. (Item ID: 16090)


Joseph Emerson (1777-1833) was an educator, writer, popular speaker, Harvard graduate, Freemason, minister, and a distant cousin of Ralph Waldo Emerson. In Female Education, he argues that “females [must] attain that dignified and elevated rank in society, for which the God of nature, as well as the Bible, has manifestly designed them” (p. 4) and cites the Biblical creation story of Adam and Eve to establish women’s social equality (pp. 6-7). He further states that, next to women’s domestic duties, “the schoolroom is unquestionably the most important sphere of female activity.” He insists that a woman may do the most good at home if she has a solid educational foundation. Unlike other educators, Emerson promoted a wide curriculum of study for female students, which included: geography, composition, history, grammar, rhetoric, logic, natural history, mathematics, natural philosophy, chemistry, intellectual philosophy, and education (American National Biography).

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