Emma Willard

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Willard, Emma,

1787–1870, American educator, pioneer in woman's education, b. Emma Hart in Berlin, Conn. She attended and later taught in the local academy and in 1807 took charge of the Female Academy at Middlebury, Vt. Two years later she married Dr. John Willard. In 1814 she opened a school in her home, where she taught subjects not then available to women. In 1818 she addressed to the New York legislature an appeal for support of her plan for improving female education, and Gov. Clinton invited her to move to New York state. Her school was opened (1819) at Waterford but promised financial support was not forthcoming, and in 1821 the Troy Female Seminary was founded under her leadership. Troy became famous, offering collegiate education to women and new opportunity to women teachers. She wrote a number of textbooks, a journal of her trip abroad in 1830, and a volume of poems, including "Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep." In 1838 Willard retired from active management of the school, which was later renamed in her honor. She devoted the remainder of her life to the improvement of common schools and to the cause of woman's education.


See A. Lutz, Emma Willard, Daughter of Democracy (1929) and Emma Willard, Pioneer Educator of American Women (1964).

References in periodicals archive ?
Emma Willard and her sister translated Madame de Saussure's Progressive Education.
Belloc and Adelaide Montgolfier greatly admired Emma Willard and, believed their own accomplishments were insignificant compared to hers.
20) </pre> <p>In the summer of 1854, Emma Willard attended the World's Educational Convention in London.
The author is grateful to Amherst College for granting the permission to quote from the Belloc and Montgolfier letters to Emma Willard in the Emma Willard papers.
1) For standard reference work on Emma Willard, see Willystine Goodsell (1970) Pioneers of Women's Education in the United States (New York: AMS Press), Alma Lutz (1964) Emma Willard, Pioneer Educator of American Women (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press Publishers) and Anna Firor Scott (1979) The Ever-Widening Circle: The Diffusion of Feminist Values from the Troy Seminary 1822-1872, History and Education Quart.
7) In a letter to her sister [2], Emma Willard gives clearly her opinion on female education in France:" I have been enabled to come to more definite opinions concerning the differences between us and the French, than I should otherwise have done; as comparisons were constantly elicited in the course of the conversations.
Belloc had been asked to write a note about Emma Willard for an American periodical.
Emma Willard, "Letter to Dupont L'Eure on the Political Position of Women," The American Literary Magazine (1848): 246.
While Emma Willard girls are sometimes conflicted about what to do when, there is little spontaneity in their sexual choices and virtually no coercion.
Sex at Emma Willard is obviously not the same as sex in Watts or even Watertown.
This is particularly true of Janet Mendelsohn's study, which proposes that the Emma Willard students represent something we might call the "new girl" (my term, not hers).
Yet after completing the postscript "Reflections," an account by Emma Willard teachers of their personal experience of the Dodge Study, one cannot help but the struck by the potential of Gilligan's ideas to transform female education.