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Louisa Wait

April 15, 1793
Home Town:
New London, CT
Later Residences:
Litchfield, CT
Philadelphia, PA
Biographical Notes:
Louisa Wait of New London, Connecticut was born April 15, 1793 to Thomas Griswold Wait and Hannah Calkins Wait. In 1805 she attended Sarah Pierce's Female Academy. While attending the Litchfield Female Academy she boarded at the Lyman Beecher house. She returned to the Beecher house around 1816 to teach music at the LFA. She shared a room with Catherine Beecher and they became close personal friends. Louisa taught music at the LFA from 1816 to 1821. She also taught in Philadelphia. At some point prior to 1818, Louisa became secretly engaged to Uriel Holmes, Jr. the son of Judge Holmes of Litchfield. After graduating from Yale in 1816 and beginning the study of theology at the Andover Seminary, Holmes returned to Litchfield and died of consumption in 1818.

By 1819, Louisa was known ...
Additional Notes:
On January 22, 1811, Catharine Beecher wrote to Louisa and commented on the broken engagement of Litchfield Female Academy student Sarah Gilbert saying that her family lost it's fortune "by her Uncle's failure" and that "as soon as Alexander heard of it he left her...There was a kind & generous heart that would not have forsaken the afflicted & the orphan in her utmost need.”

Schlesinger Library - Beecher-Stowe Collection

Years at LFA:
Room and Board:
Boarded witih the Lyman Beecher family

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.
Letter, Catherine Beecher to Louisa Wait, January 1822 (Beecher-Stowe Collection, Schlesinger Library).

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