"Our Tools of Learning" : George Arthur Plimpton's Gifts to Columbia University

Education for Women > Page 3


“Je fais chaque jour…” [Writing exercise]

Vienna, September 2, 1761

Plimpton Historical Papers

Maria Carolina, born an Archduchess in Austria, was called Charlotte in the Viennese court. She and her sister Marie Antoinette, the future Queen of France, were the two youngest girls in the family and were extremely close as children. While Marie Antoinette neglected her studies, Maria Carolina was an excellent student, with great ability in language, history, geography, and writing, among other subjects, as shown by this exercise. The text is a quotation from Seneca.

Gift of George Arthur Plimpton


Geography Made Easy, Being a short, but comprehensive system

New Haven: Printed by Meigs, Bowen and Dana,

Plimpton A910 1784

Jedidiah Morse’s first book, Geography Made Easy, was first published in 1784. It is dedicated “To the Young Gentlemen and Ladies throughout the United States,” with Geography recommended “As a very necessary and important Part of Education.”

Gift of George Arthur Plimpton

CALEB BINGHAM, 1757–1817

The Young Lady’s Accidence: or, Short and East Introduction to English Grammar…the Sixth Edition, Corrected

Boston: Printed by I. Thomas and E. T. Andrews, 1792

Plimpton A424 1792 B52

This was Caleb Bingham’s first text book, first published in 1785, two years before his American Preceptor. He wrote in the Preface: “From the present aspect, the author is encouraged to hope that a reformation, in favour of female education is about to take place. Should that be the case, and should his performance contribute, in any measure, to the advancement of it, he shall ever esteem himself highly rewarded for his trouble.” It was the second English grammar by an American published in the United States, following that of Abel Curtiss, also a Dartmouth graduate.

Gift of George Arthur Plimpton


A Vindication of the Rights of Women

London: Printed for J. Johnson, 1792

Plimpton 396 1792 G54

Mary Wollstonecraft was headmistress and teacher at a school that she founded at Newington Green with her sister Eliza. In Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787), Wollstonecraft proposed that a logical extension of the ideals of the Enlightenment was education for women, on the grounds that women were the intellectual equals of men. In A Vindication of the Rights of Women, she argued that women appeared inferior to men only because they lacked education, and called for the creation and preservation of equal rights and opportunities for all women.

Gift of George Arthur Plimpton

CALEB BINGHAM, 1757-1817

The American Preceptor; being a new Selection of Lessons for Reading and Speaking. Designed for the use of schools…The Fourth Edition. Published according to Act of Congress

Boston: Printed by Manning and Loring, for the Author, 1797

Plimpton A808.8 1797 B

After graduating from Dartmouth, Caleb Bingham first became master at Moore’s Indian Charity School, and then moved to Boston to found the city’s first school for girls in 1784. By 1789, he was influential in reforming the Boston school system to include girls, closed his private school, and taught in Boston’s public schools until 1796 when he retired to write, publish, run a bookstore, and help found and run the Boston Public Library. The American Preceptor, Bingham’s textbook on reading, grammar and oratory, first appeared in 1794. His most famous book, still in print today, was The Columbian Orator. First published in 1797, it was intended as the second part to The American Preceptor. This copy is inscribed on the upper free endpaper: “This book, presented by Mr. C. Bingham, is adjudged to Miss Betsey E. Marrett by her Instructor As a reward for her acquirement In the T. R. School Boston Oct. 13th 1801.”

Gift of George Arthur Plimpton


A Plan for the Conduct of Female Education in Boarding Schools

Derby: Printed by J. Drewey for J. Johnson, 1797

Plimpton 376 1797 D25

Gift of George Arthur Plimpton


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