Academy History in Albany

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Topic: Albany Female Academy Founding

On Sunday, April 18, 2021, 07:56 PM (MT)
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© John McClintock, Albany, NY, 2018
Header February 24, 1814   Albany    NY   United States
Tags EDU #school #Albany Female Academy #women
Event Albany fathers pledge support of Union School for daughters to open May 1, 1814:

"We, the subscribers, agree to send to Union School in Montgomery street, under the tuition of Horace Goodrich, the number of female scholars affixed to our names for the space of one year, from the first day of May next, and we agree to pay to Ebenezer Foot twenty-four dollars for each scholar, in four equal quarterly payments, the first payment to be on the first day of August next."

John Ely (1), Moses Allen (2), James Scrymser (1), T. & J. Russell (4), Edward Brown (1), G. Stewart (1), Matthew Gill (2), Uriah Marvin (2), Thomas Gould (1), Solomon Allen (1), William Fowler (1), Nicholas Bleecker (1), Ab. Van Vechten (1), Benj. Knower (1), Harmon Ten Eyck (1), James Kent (1), John V. Henry (3), John Reid (1), Isaac Hutton (1), Asa H. Center (1), James [Clark] [paper torn], John S[tearns] [paper torn], Roorb[ach] [paper torn].
Header May 1, 1814   Albany    NY   United States
Tags EDU #school #Albany Female Academy #Union College
Event Union School opened in a hastily built wood frame building in Montgomery street--then known as "quality row." Montgomery was one block east of Market Street (Broadway), north of State Street, and was a residential area in these pre-canal, pre-railroad days, "unusually pleasant and retired from the ordinary confusion and noise of the city." The school was a great success. It opened with 35 girls. In just two years, a second floor was added to the Union School building to accommodate 70 students.

Horace Goodrich, generally counted as the first principal, was, as Lebbeus Booth wrote, the first teacher. He was a young man, just out of Union and was from Milton, in Saratoga County. His intended profession was not education, but law, for at the same time he started at Union School, he began reading law in Ebenezer Foot's office. According to the Semi-Centennial account by Eben Stearns, he also lived with the Foot family. Sadly, Goodrich's constitution was not up to the stresses of both occupations and he died of consumption in 1815.
Header July 21, 1814   Albany    NY   United States
Tags EDU #school #Albany Female Academy #women
Event The final day of the academic quarter at Union School (later called Albany Female Academy) and the death of a principal founder, Ebenezer Foot, occurred the same day. The closing day exams and ceremonies were omitted in deference to him.
Header February 16, 1821   Albany    NY   United States
Tags EDU #school #Albany Female Academy #women #Regents
Event Incorporation of the Union School by the New York State Legislature as Albany Female Academy. Gideon Hawley, Secretary of the State Board of Regents, drew up the legislation, the Hon. Charles E. Dudley, State Senator, supported it, and Governor Dewitt Clinton, the great exponent of education, signed it. James Kent was named president of the board of trustees. He was then chief justice of the Supreme Court of New York and chancellor of the state, then the highest judicial office. Other trustees included John V. Henry (lawyer and recent comptroller), Hawley, and Rev. John Chester (pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church), Joseph Russell (paints, oils, and dyes), Asa Center (printer), Peter Boyd (merchant), William Fowler (fur buyer, leather manufacturer, merchant), and Teunis Van Vechten (lawyer).
Header February 16, 1821   Albany    NY   United States
Tags EDU #Albany Female Academy
Event BE it enacted by the People of the State of New-York, represented in Senate and Assembly That the said James Kent, John Chester, Joseph Russell, and others, their associates, together with such other persons as may became members of the corporation hereby created, shall be and hereby are constituted and declared to be a body corporate and politic, by the name of the "Albany Female Academy"
Header February 27, 1821   Albany    NY   United States
Tags EDU #Albany Female Academy
Event First meeting of the Trustees of Albany Female Academy. Chancellor Kent was elected president, Asa H. Center, treasurer, and Lebbeus Booth, secretary. They also took measures to procure subscriptions for a new building, by creating a seven per cent stock, and committees were appointed to select a site.
Header June 26, 1821   Albany    NY   United States
Tags EDU #school #Albany Female Academy #Union College
Event A second building for Albany Female Academy was built at 11 Montgomery Street in 1821, the same year the school was incorporated by the state legislature as Albany Female Academy. "Here for thirteen years, in an aristocratic part of the city, with trustees of unusual importance, with principals graduated from Union and Harvard, the daughters of Albany's most substantial citizens gathered daily to receive instruction in solid branches of learning."

Alden Chester put the second building site in the yard of the N.Y.C. and H.R.R. The Semi-Centennial stated "in the rear of the Delavan House." The lot extended from Montgomery to Water Street. The lot cost $1200 and the building cost, with furnishings, $3000.96.

The cornerstone was laid this day, Trustees, teachers and school "going in procession to the spot. Mr. Booth, by appointment of the Trustees, made an address suited to the occasion, and Rev. Dr. Chester offered prayer. Beneath the stone were deposited the papers of the day, &c., &c, as usual, and a roll of parchment in a sealed bottle, on which was written as follows:

"To all to whom these presents shall come: Salutem in Domino


That the Albany Female academy, the cornerstone whereof is this day herewith laid, was founded in the year of our Lord 1814; and that the same was incorporated by an act of the Legislature of the State of New York, passed February 16, A.D. 1821, whereby the following persons were constituted Trustees, who have accepted of the trust, viz: The Honorable James Kent, chancellor of the said State, President; John V. Henry, Esq., Counselor-at-Law and late Comptroller of the State; the Rev. John Chester, Pastor of the Second Presbyterian church, Albany; Gideon Hawley, Counselor-at-Law and later Superintendent of Common Schools of said State; Messrs. Joseph Russell, Asa H. Center (Treasurer of the Institution), Peter Boyd, William Fowler, Merchants, and Teunis Van Vechten, Esq., Counselor-at-Law.

The funds for this building were raised by subscription; the shares of the subscribers are seventy-five in number at fifty dollars per share. The sole design of the institution is the education of females.

Mr. Lebbeus Booth, A.M., is Principal, and Mr. Frederick Mathews, A.M., Assistant.

The stone is laid in the fear of Jehovah, the God of Knowledge, and commended to his protection and favor.

Done in the city of Albany, this 26th day of June, A.D. 1821.

Chauncey Mills and Stephen R. Rider, builders."
Header October 6, 1821   Albany    NY   United States
Tags EDU #school #Albany Female Academy #women
Event The first board at Albany Female Academy declared that the course of studies would be in the lower department: Orthography, Reading, Writing, English Grammar, Arithmetic, Geography, and Plain Sewing. The highest department still continued the basic studies, adding, however, sacred and ecclesiastical history, Blair's Lectures on rhetoric and belles lettres, "such parts of Paley's Moral Philosophy as are suited to the character and condition of females," Lord Kames' Elements of Criticism, and a partial view of natural philosophy and astronomy. This was already beyond the typical model in a girl's school and was a reflection, if still a pale one, of the curriculum of a male academy, as shown by the deliberate choice of the new name, "Albany Female Academy."

Items ending with "vM" are taken verbatim from Munsell's "Notes from Newspapers"
Items ending with "vM EDB" are taken verbatim from Munsell's "Every Day Book"
If Munsell used variants for the same word, one is chosen to simplify searches
Untagged items are copyright, John McClintock, Albany, NY.

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