Beecher, Catharine Esther


Beecher, Catharine Esther

▪ American educator and author
born Sept. 6, 1800, East Hampton, N.Y., U.S.
died May 12, 1878, Elmira, N.Y.

      American educator and author who popularized and shaped a conservative ideological movement to both elevate and entrench woman's place in the domestic sphere of American culture.

      Catharine Beecher was the eldest daughter in one of the most remarkable families of the 19th century. She was the daughter of Lyman Beecher (Beecher, Lyman), as well as the sister of Edward and Henry Ward Beecher (Beecher, Henry Ward) and Harriet Beecher Stowe (Stowe, Harriet Beecher) and the half sister of Isabella Beecher Hooker (Hooker, Isabella Beecher), to name only the most prominent of her siblings. She grew up in an atmosphere of learning but because she was female did not receive much formal education. From 1810 she lived in Litchfield, Connecticut, where she attended schools for young ladies while independently studying Latin, philosophy, and mathematics. After the death of her mother in 1816 she had much of the care of the family. In 1821 she became a schoolteacher, and in 1823 she and her sister Mary established a girls' school that four years later became the Hartford Female Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, an innovative institution in which, for example, she introduced calisthenics in a course of physical education.

      Moving with her father to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1832, Beecher opened the Western Female Institute; financial difficulties and her precarious health closed the school five years later. The rest of her life was devoted to the development of educational facilities in the Midwest and to the promotion of equal educational opportunities for women. She worked through the Board of National Popular Education (1847–48), a private agency headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, and in 1852 founded the American Woman's Educational Association to recruit and train teachers to staff schools on the frontier. She inspired the founding of several women's colleges in the Midwest, and her writings did much to introduce domestic science into the American school curriculum.

      Beecher was most influential as a writer. Her major work, A Treatise on Domestic Economy, first published in 1841, went through 15 editions and was the first American work to deal with all facets of domestic life. The Treatise helped to standardize domestic practices and reinforce domestic values, arguing that woman's proper role was in the home, where she could powerfully affect American society. Beecher's other publications include “Female Education” (1827), The Duty of American Women to Their Country (1845), Common Sense Applied to Religion (1857), and, with Harriet Beecher Stowe, The American Woman's Home (1869).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Beecher, Catharine (Esther) — born Sept. 6, 1800, East Hampton, N.Y., U.S. died May 12, 1878, Elmira, N.Y. U.S. educator who popularized and shaped a conservative movement to both elevate and entrench woman s role in the domestic sphere. Daughter of the minister and… …   Universalium

  • Beecher, Catharine (Esther) — (6 sep. 1800, East Hampton, N.Y., EE.UU.–12 may. 1878, Elmira, N.Y.). Educadora estadounidense que popularizó y dio forma a un movimiento conservador destinado a aumentar la importancia, como asimismo, a elevar y afianzar el papel de la mujer en… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Catharine Beecher — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Catharine Beecher Catharine Esther Beecher (6 de septiembre de 1800, East Hampton 12 de mayo de 1878, Elmira, Nueva York) fue una educadora estadounidense que moldeó y popularizó un movimiento conservador …   Wikipedia Español

  • Beecher — /bee cheuhr/, n. 1. Catharine Esther, 1800 78, U.S. educator: advocated educational rights for women. 2. Edward, 1803 95, U.S. clergyman, educator, and abolitionist. 3. Henry Ward, 1813 87, U.S. preacher and writer. 4. Lyman, 1775 1863, U.S.… …   Universalium

  • Beecher — (as used in expressions) Beecher, Catharine (Esther) Beecher, Henry Ward Stowe, Harriet Beecher Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Wilson, Edmund B(eecher) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Esther — /es teuhr/, n. 1. the wife of Ahasuerus. 2. a book of the Bible bearing her name. Abbr.: Esth. 3. a number of prayers, visions, interpretations of dreams, etc., that are included in the Douay Bible as chapters 10 16. 4. a female given name. * * * …   Universalium

  • Catharine Beecher — Catharine Esther Beecher (September 6, 1800 ndash; May 12, 1878) was renowned for her forthright opinions on women’s education as well as her vehement support of kindergarten into children’s education. Beecher, born in East Hampton, New York, was …   Wikipedia

  • Beecher family — Originating in New England, the Beecher family in the 19th century was a political family notable for issues of religion, civil rights, and social reform. Notable members of the family include clergy (Congregationalists), educators, authors and… …   Wikipedia

  • Beecher, Henry Ward — born June 24, 1813, Litchfield, Conn., U.S. died March 8, 1887, Brooklyn, N.Y. U.S. Congregational clergyman. The son of a minister, he was the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Catharine Esther Beecher. After graduating from Amherst College… …   Universalium

  • Beecher,Lyman — Bee·cher (bēʹchər), Lyman. 1775 1863. American cleric. A fiery preacher, moderate Calvinist theologian, and resolute abolitionist, he was the father of Catharine Esther Beecher (1800 1878), who promoted equal educational opportunities for women;… …   Universalium


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