previous next
[p. 31] some story of the olden times, or sing to the guitar which she had learned to touch quite skilfully, a song of her own writing, or lead them forth into the mazes of a merry contra dance.’ In referring to the papers of that period, it is found that her charges were thirty dollars per month for board; five dollars entrance each for music and dancing, and then seventy-five cents per lesson for one and eight dollars per quarter for the other. Miss Peggy Swan of Medford was the teacher in penmanship. In discipline Mrs. Rowson was severe and yet not arbitrary, One of her contemporaries wrote of her: ‘such were her accomplishments, her refined and moral principles, and her pious and charitable disposition, that her friends were numerous, and her pupils represented the most respectable families in the community; many of them are now to be seen in the refined circles of the capital of New England.’ She published a dictionary, a geography, and some other elementary books for the benefit of her pupils. A book, entitled ‘A Present for Young Ladies, containing poems, dialogues, addresses, etc., as recited by the pupils of Mrs. Rowson's Academy at the annual exhibition,’ was published in 1811. In the introduction, Mrs. Rowson alludes to them as ‘Bagatelles,’ written for the amusement and information of very young minds. ‘Let not the old and learned look at them with a critic's eye. My chief pleasure arises from being loved, esteemed and applauded by a few; the children whom I have educated, and the friends who are satisfied with my endeavors to please, constitute the few. Conscious of meaning well, I leave to the wit, the scholar and the critic to astonish, correct or satirize, and rest content with the feelings of a heart, grateful for the many blessings it possesses, and devoid of envy for the superior excellence or happiness of another.’

‘A Girl's Life Eighty Years Ago,’ published in 1888, consists of a selection of the letters of Eliza S. Bowne; she was a pupil of Mrs. Rowson, and many of her letters were written from Medford. In a letter to her father,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
New England (United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William Rowson (4)
Peggy Swan (1)
Eliza S. Bowne (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1888 AD (1)
1811 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: