No image available

Minerva Finkle McCutcheon

Other Name:
Minerva Finkle
September 19, 1803
May 18, 1885
Home Town:
Ernest Town, Ontario Canada
James McCutcheon (September 9, 1829)
Biographical Notes:
Minerva Finkle McCutcheon, daughter of Henry and Lucretia Henderson Finkle, was born in Ernest Town, Canada on September 19, 1803. Minera and her sister Sarah were said to be, “probably the first women in Upper Canada to be sent out of the country by their family to be educated, and the first to receive higher academic training.” Whether they were indeed the first or not, Minerva did travel to Litchfield, Connecticut in 1816 where she studied at Sarah Pierce's Female Academy until 1818. In 1825 Minerva married James McCutcheon. Little else is known about Minerva's life until her death in Toronto, Canada on May 18, 1885.

Years at LFA:

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.
"Catalogue of the Ladies Academy in Litchfield" 1818 by J.A. Shepard (Litchfield Historical Society - Litchfield Female Academy collection).

1816 Litchfield Female Academy Catalog (Vanderpoel, Emily Noyes. Chronicles of A Pioneer School From 1792 to 1833. Cambridge, MA: The University Press, 1903).

1818 Litchfield Female Academy Summer Catalogue (Vanderpoel, Emily Noyes. More Chronicles of A Pioneer School From 1792 to 1833. Cambridge, MA: The University Press, 1927).

Minerva a letter along with Sarah Finkle and Nancy Waldo to Eliza A. Ogden on April 4, 1817 while a student at Ms. Pierce's school in Litchfield (Litchfield Historical Society - Litchfield Female Academy collection).

Contact Us

Do you have more information for the Ledger?

If you have family papers, objects, or any other details you would like to share, or if you would like to obtain a copy of an image for publication, please contact us at