Women's Education
in 1840s Madison, Indiana

Hanover College did not formally accept female students until 1880, and so young women in Jefferson county
had to turn to other educational opportunities, as is evidenced by the 1841 newspaper stories reproduced below.
In his newspaper announcement, William Twining expresses pride in the "diligence, good order, and progress" girls demonstrated while at his school, but a teacher at a competing school described things quite differently.  Charles Titus thought Twining's school was full of "noise, confusion, and misrule" and that the girls there were "idle, uncultivated, [and] barbarous" (Charles H. Titus to Martha H. Titus, 14 May 1843).


"To the patrons of the Madison Young Ladies' Seminary," Madison Courier, 11 Sept. 1841, p. 2.

The approach of a new session furnishes me a fit opportunity to express to you my sincere gratitude for the confidence you have reposed in me, and your concurrence in whatsoever I have deemed advisable for the good of your daughters.  In my rules of discipline and of order you have manifested a disposition to sustain me, and if I am not mistaken, you have seen reason to be gratified by the progress of your children in study.  My personal feelings toward the former members of my school are feelings of interest and respect.  I feel a pride in calling them my pupils, and in referring to their diligence, good order, and progress under my instruction.  To the members of the school during the last session, I beg leave particularly to refer.  Justice to them constrains me to say that their unusually correct conduct, as a body in general, their willing compliance with my directions, conspired to render the session highly agreeable to me, and to themselves both pleasant and profitable.  Good order with them was the rule; disorder was the exception; and it may be mentioned as worthy of especial notice that their intercourse with each other throughout, was remarkably characterised by perfect harmony and true friendship.  In these statements I know that I shall be borne out by the testimony of every individual acquainted with the internal affairs of the school.  Some of the pupils will not probably return.  They go out with the sincere attachment of their teacher, and with his best desires for their welfare.

I have taken this public method of addressing you for want of a more private.  Had I any other feelings than those of satisfaction, I should have communicated them to you privately.

Some changes will be made in the instruction of the school, but I stand pledged to my patrons to furnish the best facilities for an education, and to devote my entire time and attention to such as may be committed to my charge.

Wm. Twining, Principal


"Notice," Madison Courier, 11 Sept. 1841, p. 2.

Madison Young Ladies Seminary
The next session will commence on 2d Monday, the 13th inst
Terms - - Eight dollars quarterly.
Primary Scholars $6 do
No person received for less than one session; 5 months - - and no deduction.

Sept, 4 1841.
W. Twining


Untitled announcement, Madison Courier, 11 Sept. 1841, p. 2.

Miss E. K. Robinson will resume her School on Monday Sept. 6th in the basement of Mrs. Dutton's house, corner of Cherry Lane and high streets.
Madison Sept. 4th 1841.


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