Archives and Special Collections
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013
Catherine Ester Beecher was born on September 6, 1800 in East Hampton, New York. She was dedicated to the promotion of revolutionary ideas about women’s education and the inclusion of kindergarten into the American education system. She was the product of the renowned Beecher family. Her father, Lyman Beecher, was a prominent religious leader, her sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and her brothers, Henry Ward Beecher and Charles Beecher, were well known Congregationalist Ministers.
Beecher opened the Hartford Female Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1823 and taught there until 1831. During that year, Beecher began to promote a new teaching style which encouraged teachers to read book passages aloud to students with enthusiasm and students responded with their own interpretations. Beecher published A Treatise on Domestic Economy for the Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School in 1841. The book focused on how society under-valued women’s roles. Catherine Ester Beecher died on May 12, 1878.