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Caroline Ely Steele

Other Name:
Carole Ely
Home Town:
Lyme, CT
Joel Steele (May 26, 1816)
Biographical Notes:
Caroline Ely Steele of Lyme, Connecticut attended Sarah Pierce's Litchfield Female Academy in 1815, and later became a teacher and educator. In 1816 she married Joel Steele, a businessman, of Bloomfield, NY. While little else is known about her life her neice said of her, "I can tell you little that can be of use to you of my aunt Caroline. I know that she had a school for young ladies and taught painting embroidery, working lace, etc., but she married before my remembrance Mr. Joel Steele and went to Bloomfield, NJ to reside, and I saw her but seldom until the latter part of her life. She lived to be ninety years fo age and retained her love for embroidery and various kinds of fancy work, almost to the last; doing beautiful work, when nearly or quite eighty. She was a great reader and well posted always on past and current events."

Years at LFA:

Profession / Service

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.
Emily Noyes Vanderpoel interviewed Caroline Ely Steele's neice Phebe Augustus Ely Avery for her book Chronicles of A Pioneer School (Vanderpoel, Emily Noyes. Chronicles of A Pioneer School From 1792 to 1833. Cambridge, MA: The University Press, 1903).

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