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Lydia Booth

May 17, 1803
November 6, 1854
Home Town:
Poughkeepsie, NY
Later Residences:
Tappanhanock, VA
Fredericksburg, VA
Poughkeepsie, NY
Biographical Notes:
Born in Poughkeepsie, New York on March 17, 1803, Lydia Booth was the daughter of George Booth, a wool manufacturer, and Mary Armstrong Booth. After her mother's death her father re-married Maria Vassar (the sister of Matthew Vassar). From 1814 to 1815, Lydia attended Sarah Pierce’s Female Academy in Litchfield, Connecticut, where she received rigorous academic and religious training. It was probably at Miss Pierce’s school that Booth acquired the intellectual interests that prompted her to suggest that her uncle establish an institution of higher education for women. Miss Pierce firmly adhered to the notion of “Republican Motherhood” which held that women are responsible for their children’s moral and intellectual instruction and thus should receive advanced education.

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In the Ledger:
help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
"Rules for the School and Home" and Names of the Young Ladies belonging to Miss Pierce's School in the Summer of 1814 (Litchfield Historical Society - Litchfield Female Academy collection).

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