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Almira Lincoln Phelps 1793 ~ 1884


Almira Lincoln Phelps

There were but two among all the early distinguished literary women of America who had the honor of being members of the American Association for the advancement of science, and these two women were Maria Mitchell and Almira Lincoln Phelps, one from the North and one from the South. Mrs. Phelp's father, Samuel Harte, was a descendant of Thomas Hooker, the first minister of Hartford and founder of Connecticut. She was the youngest child and was born in Berlin, Connecticut, in 1793, educated at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and later married to Simeon Lincoln, editor of the Connecticut Mirror, in Hartford.

She was early left a widow with two children. Finding the estates of both her husband and father insolvent, she took up the study of Latin and Greek, the natural sciences, art of drawing and painting, in order to perfect herself for the work which she had in contemplation, namely, the education of the young. She was a student under Miss Willard for seven years. In 1831, she married Honorable John Phelps, a distinguished lawyer and statesman of Vermont. In 1839 she accepted a position at the head of the female seminary at West Chester, Pennsylvania. In 1841 she and her husband established the Patapsco Female Institute of Maryland. Pupils came to them from all parts of the West and South.

In 1849 she was again left a widow. In 1855 her daughter's death 90 saddened her that she resigned her position and removed to the city of Baltimore. Her best known works are: "Lectures on Botany," "Botany for Beginners," "Lectures on Chemistry" "Chemistry for Beginners," "Lectures on Natural Philosophy," "Philosophy for Beginners," "Female Students," "A Fireside Friend," "A Juvenile Story," "Geology for Beginners," "Translation of the Works of Benedicte de Saussure," "Progressive Education," with a mothers' journal by Mrs. Willard and Mrs. Phelps, "Ada Norman, or Trials and Their Uses,' ''Hours with My Pupils," and "Christian Households." She probably had as much to do with the education of the young of this country as any woman, her works having been largely used in the schools.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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