Mary Mason Lyon was an American pioneer in women's education. She established the Wheaton Female Seminary in Norton, Massachusetts, in 1834, she established Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, Massachusetts in 1837 and served as its first president for 12 years. Lyon's vision fused moral purpose, she valued socioeconomic diversity and endeavored to make the seminary affordable for students of modest means. The daughter of a farming family in Buckland, Lyon had a hardscrabble childhood, her father died when she was five, the entire family pitched in to help run the farm. Lyon was thirteen when her mother moved away, she attended various district schools intermittently and, in 1814, began teaching in them as well. Lyon's modest beginnings fostered her lifelong commitment to extending educational opportunities to girls from middling and poor backgrounds. Lyon was able to attend two secondary schools, Sanderson Academy in Ashfield and Byfield Seminary in eastern Massachusetts. At Byfield, she was befriended by the headmaster, Rev. Joseph Emerson, his assistant, Zilpah Polly Grant.
She soaked up Byfield's ethos of rigorous academic education infused with Christian commitment. Lyon taught at several academies, including Sanderson, a small school of her own in Buckland, Adams Female Academy, the Ipswich Female Seminary. Lyon's attendance at the novel, lectures in laboratory botany by Amos Eaton influenced her involvement in the female seminary movement. In 1834, Laban Wheaton and his daughter-in-law, Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton, called upon Mary Lyon for assistance in establishing the Wheaton Female Seminary in Norton, Massachusetts. Miss Lyon created the first curriculum with the goal that it be equal in quality to those of men's colleges, she provided the first principal, Eunice Caldwell. Wheaton Female Seminary opened on 22 April 1835, with three teachers. Mary Lyon and Eunice Caldwell left Wheaton, along with eight Wheaton students, to open Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. During these early years, Lyon developed her vision for Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which would resemble Grant's schools in many respects but, Lyon hoped, draw its students from a wider socioeconomic range.
The college was unique in that it was founded by people of modest means and served their daughters, rather than the children of the rich. She was influenced by Reverend Joseph Emerson, whose Discourse on Female Education advocated that women should be trained to be teachers rather than "to please the other sex." Mount Holyoke opened in 1837: the seminary was ready for "the reception of scholars on November 8, 1837." Lyon strove to maintain high academic standards: she set rigorous entrance exams and admitted "young ladies of an adult age, mature character." In keeping with her social vision, she limited the tuition to $60/year, about one-third the tuition that Grant charged at Ipswich Female Seminary, central to her mission of "appeal to the intelligence of all classes."Lyon, an early believer in the importance of daily exercise for women, required her students to "walk one mile after breakfast. During New England's cold and snowy winters, she reduced the requirement to 45 minutes. Calisthenics—a form of exercise—was taught by teachers in unheated hallways until a storage area was cleared for a gymnasium.
In order to keep costs low, Lyon required students to perform domestic tasks—an early version of work/study. These tasks included washing floors and windows. Emily Dickinson, who attended the Seminary in 1847, was tasked with cleaning knives. Though Lyon's policies were sometimes controversial, the seminary attracted its target student body of 200. Lyon anticipated a change in the role of women and equipped her pupils with an education, comprehensive and innovative, with particular emphasis on the sciences, she required: seven courses in the sciences and mathematics for graduation, a requirement unheard of at other female seminaries. She introduced women to "a new and unusual way" to learn science—laboratory experiments which they performed themselves, she organized field trips on which students collected rocks and specimens for lab work, inspected geological formations and discovered dinosaur tracks. Conforti examines the central importance of religion to Lyon, she was raised a Baptist but converted to a Congregationalist under the influence of her teacher Reverend Joseph Emerson.
Lyon preached revivals at Mount Holyoke, spoke elsewhere, though not a minister, was a member of the fellowship of New England's New Divinity clergy. She played a major role in the revival of the thought of Jonathan Edwards, whose works were read more then than in his day, she was attracted by his ideas of self-restraint, self-denial, disinterested benevolence. Lyon died of erysipelas on March 5, 1849. Lyon was buried on the Mount Holyoke College campus, in front of Porter Hall and behind the Amphitheatre, her burial site is marked with a granite marker surrounded by an iron fence. Many buildings have been named including Mary Lyon Hall at Mount Holyoke College. Built in 1897 on the site of the former Seminary Building, the hall houses college offices, a chapel; the main classroom building for Wheaton Female Seminary called New Seminary Hall, was renamed Mary Lyon Hall in 1910 and still feat
Massachusetts the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, New York to the west; the state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history and industry. Dependent on agriculture and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, higher education and maritime trade. Plymouth was the site of the second colony in New England after Popham Colony in 1607 in what is now Maine.
Plymouth was founded in 1620 by passengers of the Mayflower. In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem witch trials. In 1777, General Henry Knox founded the Springfield Armory, which during the Industrial Revolution catalyzed numerous important technological advances, including interchangeable parts. In 1786, Shays' Rebellion, a populist revolt led by disaffected American Revolutionary War veterans, influenced the United States Constitutional Convention. In the 18th century, the Protestant First Great Awakening, which swept the Atlantic World, originated from the pulpit of Northampton preacher Jonathan Edwards. In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution; the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts has played a powerful commercial and cultural role in the history of the United States. Before the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center for the abolitionist and transcendentalist movements.
In the late 19th century, the sports of basketball and volleyball were invented in the western Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke, respectively. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U. S. state to recognize same-sex marriage as a result of the decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Many prominent American political dynasties have hailed from the state, including the Adams and Kennedy families. Harvard University in Cambridge is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, with the largest financial endowment of any university, Harvard Law School has educated a contemporaneous majority of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Kendall Square in Cambridge has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet", in reference to the high concentration of entrepreneurial start-ups and quality of innovation which have emerged in the vicinity of the square since 2010. Both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, have been ranked among the most regarded academic institutions in the world.
Massachusetts' public-school students place among the top tier in the world in academic performance, the state has been ranked as one of the top states in the United States for citizens to live in, as well as one of the most expensive. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was named after the indigenous population, the Massachusett derived from a Wôpanâak word muswach8sut, segmented as mus "big" + wach8 "mountain" + -s "diminutive" + -ut "locative", it has been translated as "near the great hill", "by the blue hills", "at the little big hill", or "at the range of hills", referring to the Blue Hills, or in particular the Great Blue Hill, located on the boundary of Milton and Canton. Alternatively, Massachusett has been represented as Moswetuset—from the name of the Moswetuset Hummock in Quincy, where Plymouth Colony commander Myles Standish, hired English military officer, Squanto, part of the now disappeared Patuxet band of the Wampanoag peoples, met Chief Chickatawbut in 1621; the official name of the state is the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts".
While this designation is part of the state's official name, it has no practical implications. Massachusetts has powers within the United States as other states, it may have been chosen by John Adams for the second draft of the Massachusetts Constitution because unlike the word "state", "commonwealth" at the time had the connotation of a republic, in contrast to the monarchy the former American colonies were fighting against. Massachusetts was inhabited by tribes of the Algonquian language family such as the Wampanoag, Nipmuc, Pocomtuc and Massachusett. While cultivation of crops like squash and corn supplemented their diets, these tribes were dependent on hunting and fishing for most of their food. Villages consisted of lodges called wigwams as well as longhouses, tribes were led by male or female elders known as sachems. In the early 1600s, after contact had been made with Europeans, large numbers of the indigenous peoples in the northeast of what is now the United States were killed by virgin soil epidemics such as smallpox, measles and leptospirosis.
Between 1617 and 1619, smallpox killed ap
Poughkeepsie (town), New York
Poughkeepsie the Town of Poughkeepsie, is a town in Dutchess County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 43,341; the name is derived from the native term Uppuqui meaning "lodge-covered", plus ipis meaning "little water", plus ing meaning "place", all of which translates to "the reed-covered lodge by the little water place", or Uppuqui-ipis-ing. This evolved into Apokeepsing into Poughkeepsing, Poughkeepsie; the area includes a large IBM campus noted for its ongoing development and manufacturing of IBM mainframes. The town was first settled around 1780 and was part of the Schuyler Patent of 1788; the town of Poughkeepsie was established in 1788 as part of a general organization of towns in the county. In 1854, part of the western section of the town an independent village, became the city of Poughkeepsie. At least two National Historic Landmarks are located in the town: the Vassar College Observatory and the Main Building of Vassar College. Vassar College, Dutchess Community College, Marist College are located in the town of Poughkeepsie.
Our Lady of Lourdes High School is a private, co-educational, Catholic high school located at a former IBM site on Boardman Road. Poughkeepsie Day School is an independent, co-educational, day school for students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, located at another former IBM site on Boardman Road. Oakwood Friends School is a private, co-educational middle school and high school located near the western end of State Route 113. Spackenkill High School is a co-educational public high school located on Spackenkill Road and has been named a Blue Ribbon School by the U. S Department of Education, part of the Spackenkill Union Free School District among Orville A. Todd Middle School and Nassau Elementary, their school mascot is the Spackenkill Spartan. Due to its proximity to the IBM plant nearby, many of the students are direct descendants of "IBMers". There are several school districts such as Poughkeepsie city; the first Arlington High School was in Poughkeepsie before being moved to the more rural Lagrangeville.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 31.2 square miles, of which 28.5 square miles is land and 2.6 square miles, or 8.44%, is water. The Hudson River, which marks the boundary of Ulster County, forms the majority of the western border of the town; the city of Poughkeepsie occupies the remainder of the town's western border. The town is bordered by Hyde Park to the north, Pleasant Valley to the northeast, LaGrange to the east, Wappinger to the southeast. U. S. Route 9, U. S. Route 44 and State Route 55 pass through the town; the town of Poughkeepsie operates under a council–manager form of government. The Town Supervisor is the chief administrative officer of the town and village, selected to carry out the directives of the council; the Deputy Supervisor enforces its ordinances and laws. The Town Supervisor is involved in the discussion of all matters coming before council yet has no final vote; the Town Board is the legislative body consisting of five council members.
The Town Supervisor serves as the presiding officer of the council. The council functions to set policy, approve the annual budget and enact local laws and ordinances; the Town Supervisor and Town Clerk are elected officials, as are the Town Council members from the six wards of the town. Three fire departments cover the town of Poughkeepsie: the Arlington Fire District covers most of the town, from the southern end to the LaGrange line, from the city line north, the Fairview Fire Department covers a small 4-mile section in the northern section of the town near Saint Francis Hospital, the New Hamburg Fire Department covers the south end; the fire districts operate a total of seven fire stations spread out over the town, as their district covers a large area. The departments are capable of handling fires, rescues and natural disasters; the departments operate a varied fire apparatus fleet, along with basic life support and advanced life support emergency medical services within the Arlington Fire District.
Within the Fairview section, Mobile Life Support Services is contracted to handle advanced life support calls. All EMS transports in the New Hamburg Fire District are covered by Mobile Life Support Services through a contract with the town of Poughkeepsie. Police protection is provided by the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department; when someone calls 911, the call is routed to the Dutchess 911 center in the town of Poughkeepsie, they route it to the town police department's communications center, who dispatch the closest unit based on a GPS map. The Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Medical Center is located in the town, Vassar Brothers Medical Center is located a mile away in the city of Poughkeepsie; as of the census of 2000, there were 42,777 people, 14,605 households, 10,121 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,487.5 people per square mile. There were 15,132 housing units at an average density of 526.2 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 63.01% White, 38.07% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 5.13% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.62% from other races, 2.00% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.27% of the population. These groups enrich the area's biocultural diversity, as is manifested in the neighborhoods and local ethnic markets. There were 14,605 households out of which 32.9% had
Barnard College is a private women's liberal arts college located in Manhattan, New York City. Founded in 1889 by Annie Nathan Meyer, who named it after Columbia University's 10th president, Frederick Barnard, it is one of the oldest women's colleges in the world; the acceptance rate of the Class of 2023 was 11.3%, the most selective and diverse class in the college's 129-year history. The college was founded as a response to Columbia's refusal to admit women into their institution. Despite Barnard being and financially separate from Columbia University, it issues US$5.0 million annually to maintain itself as an affiliate college of the university. Students share pre-selected classes, Greek life, sports teams and more with Columbia University. Barnard offers Bachelor of Arts degree programs in about 50 areas of study. Students may pursue elements of their education at greater Columbia University, the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, The Jewish Theological Seminary, which are based in New York City.
Its 4-acre campus is located in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Morningside Heights, stretching along Broadway between 116th and 120th Streets. It is directly near several other academic institutions; the college is a member of the Seven Sisters, an association of seven prominent women's liberal arts colleges. For its first 229 years Columbia College of Columbia University admitted only men for undergraduate study. Barnard College was founded in 1889 as a response to Columbia's refusal to admit women into its institution; the college was named after Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard, a deaf American educator and mathematician who served as the tenth president of Columbia from 1864 to 1889. He advocated equal educational privileges for men and women, preferably in a coeducational setting, began proposing in 1879 that Columbia admit women; the board of trustees rejected Barnard's suggestion, but in 1883 agreed to create a detailed syllabus of study for women. While they could not attend Columbia classes, those who passed examinations based on the syllabus would receive a degree.
The first such woman graduate received her bachelor's degree in 1887. A former student of the program, Annie Meyer, other prominent New York women persuaded the board in 1889 to create a women's college connected to Columbia. Barnard College's original 1889 home was a rented brownstone at 343 Madison Avenue, where a faculty of six offered instruction to 14 students in the School of Arts, as well as to 22 "specials", who lacked the entrance requirements in Greek and so enrolled in science; when Columbia University announced in 1892 its impending move to Morningside Heights, Barnard built a new campus on 119th-120th Streets with gifts from Mary E. Brinckerhoff, Elizabeth Milbank Anderson and Martha Fiske. Milbank and Fiske Halls, built in 1897–1898, were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Ella Weed supervised the college in its first four years; as the college grew it needed additional space, in 1903 it received the three blocks south of 119th Street from Anderson who had purchased a former portion of the Bloomingdale Asylum site from the New York Hospital.
By the mid-20th century Barnard had succeeded in its original goal of providing a top tier education to women. Between 1920 and 1974, only the much larger Hunter College and University of California, Berkeley produced more women graduates who received doctorate degrees. Students' Hall, now known as Barnard Hall, was built in 1916. Brooks and Hewitt Halls were built in 1926 -- 1927, respectively, they were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Jessica Finch is credited with coining the phrase, "current events," while teaching at Barnard College in the 1890s. Bachelor of Arts degree in about 50 areas of study is offered to Barnard graduates. Joint programs for the Bachelor of Science and other degrees exist with Columbia University, Juilliard School, The Jewish Theological Seminary; the six most popular majors at the college are English, political science, economics and biology. The liberal arts requirements are called the Nine Ways of Knowing. Students must take one year of one laboratory science, study a single foreign language for four semesters, complete one 3-credit course in each of the following categories: reason and value, social analysis, historical studies, cultures in comparison and deductive reasoning and visual and performing arts.
The use of AP or IB credit to fulfill these requirements is limited, but Nine Ways of Knowing courses may overlap with major or minor requirements. In addition to the Nine Ways of Knowing, students must complete a first-year seminar, a first-year English course, one semester of physical education; the Nine Ways of Knowing was replaced with Foundations in 2016. Students must take the First Year Experience which includes two semesters of seminars, complete Distributional Requirements within many subjects, six Modes of Thinking courses. Admissions to Barnard is considered selective by U. S. News & World Report, it is the most selective women's college in the nation. The class of 2021's admission rate was 14.8% of the 7,716 applicants, the lowest acceptance rate in the institution's history. The early-decision admission rate for the class of 2020 was 47.7%, out of 787 applications. The median SAT Combined was 2080, with median subscores of 700 in Math, in 705 Critical Reading, 720 in Writing; the Median ACT score was 32.
The average GPA of the class of 2021 was 96.13 on a 100-point scale
New York (state)
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. To distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes called New York State; the state's most populous city, New York City, makes up over 40% of the state's population. Two-thirds of the state's population lives in the New York metropolitan area, nearly 40% lives on Long Island; the state and city were both named for the 17th century Duke of York, the future King James II of England. With an estimated population of 8.62 million in 2017, New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. The New York metropolitan area is one of the most populous in the world. New York City is a global city, home to the United Nations Headquarters and has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, as well as the world's most economically powerful city.
The next four most populous cities in the state are Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, while the state capital is Albany. The 27th largest U. S. state in land area, New York has a diverse geography. The state is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south and Connecticut and Vermont to the east; the state has a maritime border with Rhode Island, east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the north and Ontario to the northwest. The southern part of the state is in the Atlantic coastal plain and includes Long Island and several smaller associated islands, as well as New York City and the lower Hudson River Valley; the large Upstate New York region comprises several ranges of the wider Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains in the Northeastern lobe of the state. Two major river valleys – the north-south Hudson River Valley and the east-west Mohawk River Valley – bisect these more mountainous regions. Western New York is considered part of the Great Lakes region and borders Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Niagara Falls.
The central part of the state is dominated by the Finger Lakes, a popular vacation and tourist destination. New York had been inhabited by tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans for several hundred years by the time the earliest Europeans came to New York. French colonists and Jesuit missionaries arrived southward from Montreal for trade and proselytizing. In 1609, the region was visited by Henry Hudson sailing for the Dutch East India Company; the Dutch built Fort Nassau in 1614 at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, where the present-day capital of Albany developed. The Dutch soon settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson Valley, establishing the multicultural colony of New Netherland, a center of trade and immigration. England seized the colony from the Dutch in 1664. During the American Revolutionary War, a group of colonists of the Province of New York attempted to take control of the British colony and succeeded in establishing independence. In the 19th century, New York's development of access to the interior beginning with the Erie Canal, gave it incomparable advantages over other regions of the U.
S. built its political and cultural ascendancy. Many landmarks in New York are well known, including four of the world's ten most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, Niagara Falls, Grand Central Terminal. New York is home to the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of the United States and its ideals of freedom and opportunity. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability. New York's higher education network comprises 200 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, the United States Military Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, University of Rochester, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the nation and world; the tribes in what is now New York were predominantly Algonquian. Long Island was divided in half between the Wampanoag and Lenape; the Lenape controlled most of the region surrounding New York Harbor.
North of the Lenape was the Mohicans. Starting north of them, from east to west, were three Iroquoian nations: the Mohawk, the original Iroquois and the Petun. South of them, divided along Appalachia, were the Susquehannock and the Erie. Many of the Wampanoag and Mohican peoples were caught up in King Philip's War, a joint effort of many New England tribes to push Europeans off their land. After the death of their leader, Chief Philip Metacomet, most of those peoples fled inland, splitting into the Abenaki and the Schaghticoke. Many of the Mohicans remained in the region until the 1800s, however, a small group known as the Ouabano migrated southwest into West Virginia at an earlier time, they may have merged with the Shawnee. The Mohawk and Susquehannock were the most militaristic. Trying to corner trade with the Europeans, they targeted other tribes; the Mohawk were known for refusing white settlement on their land and banishing any of their people who converted to Christianity. They posed a major threat to the Abenaki and Mohicans, while the Susquehannock conquered the Lenape in the 1600s.
The most devastating event of the century, was the Beaver Wars. From 1640–1680, Iroquoian peoples waged campaigns which extended from modern-day Michigan to Virginia against Algonquian and Siouan tribes, as well as each other; the ai
The Pioneer Valley is the colloquial and promotional name for the portion of the Connecticut River Valley, in Massachusetts in the United States. It is taken to comprise the three counties of Hampden and Franklin; the lower Pioneer Valley corresponds to the Springfield, Massachusetts metropolitan area, the region's urban center, the seat of Hampden County. The upper Pioneer Valley region includes the smaller cities of Northampton and Greenfield, the county seats of Hampshire and Franklin counties; the northern part of the Valley was an agricultural region, known for growing Connecticut shade tobacco and other specialty crops like Hadley asparagus, however since the late 19th century the Valley's economy has become a knowledge economy, being in the eponymous Knowledge Corridor. The Springfield-Chicopee-Holyoke economies transformed from volume producers of goods such as paper and armaments, into a combination of specialized manufacturing, distribution services for Boston and New York. Many of the cities and towns include areas of forests, Springfield itself, which in the early 1900s was nicknamed "The City in a Forest," features nature within its city limits and over 12% parkland.
The Pioneer Valley is known as a vacation destination. The Holyoke Range, Mount Tom Range, numerous rolling hills and meadows feature extravagant homes from the Gilded Age, many of which surround New England's longest and largest river, the Connecticut River, which flows through the region; the Pioneer Valley is a popular, year-round tourist destination—a role that it has played prior to its deindustrialization. Travelers are drawn to the Pioneer Valley by its lively college towns, such as Northampton and Amherst; the region features alpine skiing at resorts such as Berkshire East and Blandford Ski Resort and seasonal festivals that draw millions of visitors, such as The Big E—all six New England states' collective, annual state fair in West Springfield—and Bright Nights at Springfield's Forest Park—an elaborate, high-tech lighting display during the holiday season. The Pioneer Valley includes half of the southern Connecticut River Valley—an ancient rift valley created by the breakup of the supercontinent Pangea along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge during the Triassic and Jurassic periods of the Mesozoic Era.
The Connecticut River has been flowing through the valley for millions of years and was dammed to form glacial lake Hitchcock during the last ice age. According to King's Handbook of Springfield, by Moses King, the Pioneer Valley "is not an ordinary river channel. To the west lie the worn-down remnants of the once lofty Berkshire Mountains; these rocks now form many sharp mountains in the Valley. During the Triassic time, Massachusetts's portion of the Connecticut River Valley formed a shallow arm of the sea," leaving deposits that enriched the Pioneer Valley's inordinately fertile soil. Geologically interesting parts of the Valley are the basalt flows and dinosaur tracks in South Hadley and Holyoke, Massachusetts, a chain of basaltic traprock ridges known as Metacomet Ridge along the ancient tectonic rift including the Mount Holyoke and Mount Tom ranges, layers of rock deposit laid down by the river, varves and deltas deposited by Lake Hitchcock during the Pleistocene; the region known as the Pioneer Valley constitutes Massachusetts's portion of the fertile Connecticut River Valley and the hill and mountain towns to its east and west.
The following three counties—from north to south, each with a different character—encompass the Pioneer Valley: Franklin County is the most rural county in Massachusetts and thus reminiscent of southern Vermont, which it borders. Greenfield is its largest municipality, a small city used as a gateway to the region's many outdoor pursuits; the county offers downhill skiing at resorts such as Berkshire East, white-water rafting, zip-lining, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. In addition, Franklin County contains many former mill towns. Many of these have become quaint and scenic since the decline of the mills, Massachusetts's Routes 2 and 2A, which run through Franklin County, feature many antique stores. Hampshire County is the home to five prominent colleges and universities that cooperate with each other and are known collectively as the Five Colleges, they are UMass Amherst, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire. Each of these regarded liberal arts colleges and universities contribute to Hampshire County's college town atmosphere in the significant college towns of Northampton and Amherst.
Much of Hampshire County's cultural activity, vibrant nightlife, musical venues are concentrated in these two small but lively cities that are separated by a mere 7 miles. While the college towns in Hampshire County are known for their liberal political values and their embrace of alternative cultures and lifestyles, many of the county's outlying towns preserve their traditional, bucolic characters. In terms of political demographics, Hampshire County is one of the most liberal areas in the United States in both voter registration and election returns. Ha
Litchfield Female Academy
The Litchfield Female Academy in Litchfield, founded in 1792 by Sarah Pierce, was one of the most important institutions of female education in the United States. During the 30 years after its opening the school enrolled more than 2,000 students from 17 states and territories of the new republic, as well as Canada and the West Indies; some 1,848 students known to have attended the school have been identified through school lists and journals, correspondence, as well as art and needlework done at the school. Many more, unidentified to date, attended before 1814, when formal attendance lists were first kept; the longevity of the school, the size of the enrollments, the wide geographic distribution of the student body, the development of the curriculum and the training of teachers, all distinguish it from the numerous other female academies of the Early Republic. The young women were exposed to ideas and customs from all the isolated parts of the new nation, developing a more national perspective than most Americans of the period.
More than 80 percent of the students were from out of town and boarded with families throughout Litchfield, under Sarah Pierce’s supervision. The young women were well integrated into the social and cultural life of the town, known for its staunch Federalist politics and Congregational religious practice. Prominent residents, including the Reverend Lyman Beecher, Senator Uriah Tracy, Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, Julius Deming, the Oliver Wolcott family, had family, social and business networks which helped attract students to Litchfield; these well-known men gave occasional lectures and talks to the students. The Reverend Beecher taught religion in exchange for free tuition for his children; the leading men of the town and their wives judged the compositions, maps and needlework shown at the school’s annual exhibitions, adding to the school’s fame. The school rose to prominence at the same time at the Litchfield Law School, operating in Litchfield, CT and founded by Tapping Reeve in 1784. Students attended each school from the same families - sons attending the Litchfield Law School and daughters attending the Litchfield Female Academy.
The close proximity of the two schools resulted in numerous marriages between Law School and Female Academy students. Sarah Pierce, born in 1767, was the fifth child and fourth daughter of Litchfield farmer and potter, John Pierce, his wife Mary Paterson. Sarah’s mother died in 1770 and two years her father remarried and had three more children, her father died in 1783, leaving her brother John Pierce, responsible for his step-mother and seven younger siblings. During the Revolution, Pierce had a distinguished record, rising to become the Assistant Paymaster of the Continental Army, personal friend of General Washington. Following the close of the war, he was named Commissioner of the Army, responsible for settling the army’s debts. John Pierce became engaged to Ann Bard, the daughter of Dr. John Bard, Washington’s personal doctor in New York. In order to marry, Pierce sent his younger sisters Mary and Sarah to New York City schools to train to become teachers so that they could help support their step-mother and younger half-siblings.
Returning to Litchfield, Sarah Pierce brought a few students with her from New York and established her school. It was a family undertaking as her sister Mary handled the boarders and the school accounts, while her sister Susan’s husband, James Brace taught in the school. In 1798, due to the increased popularity of the school, a subscription was held by the town leaders in Litchfield to raise funds to construct a building for the Female Academy. Prior to this Sarah Pierce had been holding classes in her house on North Street in Litchfield. $385 was raised and a school house was built on the north side of Sarah Pierce's house. The building was described by student Lucy Sheldon Beach as being a large room with a swinging partition in the center so that the room could be expanded or divided as needed. There was a piano along one wall; the students sat at benches with no backs during lessons. In 1827, the school had outgrown this building and the newly incorporated Litchfield Female Academy board of trustees "desirious of extending the benefits of the female academy in this place which they believe can be done by the erection of a new building."
The new school was built on the site of the previous building but was considered a larger and more modern building. The new academy building measured 42 feet long by 30 feet wide, it was two stories high and covered in clapboard siding painted white. Two story pilasters decorated the front with a cupola on the roof encasing a large brass bell; the building is no longer standing today but a marker on North Street in Litchfield denotes where the school was located. Sarah Pierce's house is gone, it was torn down in 1896 to make way for another home. Frank Livingston Underwood built his summer residence on the site. Sarah Pierce seized upon the post-revolutionary rhetoric of Republican Motherhood, which stressed the responsibility of women to provide the early intellectual and moral training of their children, was believed to be crucial for the survival of the country, she believed in the intellectual equality of the sexes, while holding increased educational opportunities for women would not jeopardize the status quo of separate spheres of activity for men and women.
Pierce did not believe women should enter the all-male colleges or professions, but believed their work as mothers and in benevolent and reform organizations was if n