Woman of the Century/Emma Willard
WILLARD, Mrs. Emma, educator, born in Berlin, Conn., 23rd February, 1787, and died in Troy, N. Y., 15th April. 1870. She was a daughter of Samuel Hart. She was educated in the academy in Hartford, Conn., and, at the age of sixteen, began her career as a teacher. She taught in different institutions and finally took charge of a school in Middlebury, Vt. In 1809 she became the wife of Dr. John Willard, then United Sutes Marshal of Vermont. In 1814 she opened a girls' boarding-school in Middlebury, in which she adopted many new features. EMMA WILLARD. She decided to found a seminary for girls, and in 1819 she addressed a treatise on "The Education of Women" to the legislature. In that year she opened in Waterford, N. Y., a school, which was incorporated and partly supported by the State of New York. In 1821 she removed to Troy, N. Y., where an appropriate building for a seminary was given to her by the city, and her school became known as the Troy Female Seminary. In 1825 her husband died, and the business management of the school fell upon her hands. She conducted the institution until 1838. when she was succeeded by her son. John Hart Willard, and his wife. In 1830 she traveled in Europe, and in 1833 she published her "Journal and Letters from France and Great Britain," devoting her share of the proceeds, over $f 1,200, to the support of a school that had been founded in Greece, through her influence, for the education of native women teachers. Her col- leagues in that enterprise were her sister, Mrs. Almira Lincoln Phelps, and Sarah J. Hale, Lydia H. Sigourney and others. In 1838 she became the wife of Dr. Christopher C. Yates. In 1843 she was divorced from him and resumed her former name. She revised her numerous school-books and did much work in the cause of higher education. In 1846 she traveled eight-thousand miles in the western and southern States, addressing conventions of teachers. In 1854 she attended the world's educational convention in London, Eng. She was the pioneer in the higher education of women in the United States, and educated over five-thousand pupils. Her school-books had a large sale and were translated into the European and Asiatic languages. Her publications are: "The Woodbridge and Willard Geographies and Atlases" (1823); "History of the United States, or Republic of America" (1828); "Universal History in Perspective" (1837); "Treatise on the Circulation of the Blood" (1846); "Respiration and Its Effects, Particularly as Respects Asiatic Cholera" (1849); "Last Leaves of American History" (1849); "Astronomy" (1853); "Morals for the Young " (1857), and many charts, atlases, pamphlets and addresses. She wrote a number of poems, including the famous "Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep," which were published in a volume, in 1830, and afterwards suppressed. She was a woman of great powers of mind, and she possessed marked executive capacity. All her work in the school-room was carried out on philosophical methods.