|Born||May 16, 1804|
Billerica, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||January 3, 1894 (aged 89)|
|Education||Tutored in Greek by Ralph Waldo Emerson|
|Parent(s)||Nathaniel Peabody, Elizabeth "Eliza" Palmer|
Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (May 16, 1804 –January 3, 1894) was an American educator who opened the first English-language kindergarten in the United States. Long before most educators, Peabody embraced the premise that children's play has intrinsic developmental and educational value.
Peabody also served as the translator for the first English version of a Buddhist scripture which was published in 1844.
Peabody was born in Billerica, Massachusetts on May 16, 1804. She was the daughter of Nathaniel Peabody, a physician, and Elizabeth ("Eliza") Palmer (1778–1853), and spent her early years in Salem.
After 1822, she resided principally in Boston where she engaged in teaching.She also became a writer and a prominent figure in the Transcendental movement. During 1834–1835, she worked as assistant teacher to Amos Bronson Alcott at his experimental Temple School in Boston. After the school closed, Peabody published Record of a School, outlining the plan of the school and Alcott's philosophy of early childhood education, which had drawn on German models.
She later opened a book store, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody's West Street Bookstore, at her home in Boston (c. 1840–1852).
It was there that the "Conversations" were held, organized by Margaret Fuller. The first of these meetings between women was held on November 6, 1839.Topics for these discussions and debates varied but subjects were as diverse as fine arts, history, mythology, literature, and nature. Fuller served as the "nucleus of conversation" and hoped to answer the "great questions" facing women: "What were we born to do? How shall we do it? which so few ever propose to themselves 'till their best years are gone by". Many figures in the woman's rights movement took part, including Sophia Dana Ripley, Caroline Sturgis, and Maria White Lowell.
The 1840 Catalogue of the Foreign Library offered several hundred titles in German, French, Spanish, Italian and English languages, including:
In 1852, the bookstore and library located at 13–15 West Street in Boston closed down. Members of the Transcendentalist movement had begun to disperse since the mid-1840s and income from the bookstore had gradually declined. In 2011, the Boston Landmarks Commission designated the building as a Boston Landmark.
For a time, Peabody was the business manager of The Dial , the main publication of the Transcendentalists. In 1843, she noted that the journal's income was not covering the cost of printing and that subscriptions totaled just over two hundred. In 1844 the magazine published Peabody's translation of a portion of the Lotus Sutra from French, which was the first English version of a Buddhist scripture.The publication ceased shortly thereafter in April 1844.
When Peabody opened her kindergarten in 1860, the practice of providing formal schooling for children younger than six was largely confined to Germany. She had a particular interest in the educational methods of Friedrich Fröbel, particularly after meeting one of his students living in the U.S. 1859 named Margarethe Schurz. In 1867, she visited Germany for the purpose of studying Fröbel's teachings more closely.Through her own kindergarten, and as editor of the Kindergarten Messenger (1873–1877), Peabody helped establish kindergarten as an accepted institution in American education. She also wrote numerous books in support of the cause. The extent of her influence is apparent in a statement submitted to Congress on February 12, 1897, in support of free kindergartens:
With grounding in history and literature and a reading knowledge of ten languages, in 1840 she also opened a bookstore which held Margaret Fuller's "Conversations" and published books from Nathaniel Hawthorne and others in addition to the periodicals The Dial and Æsthetic Papers. She was an advocate of antislavery and of Transcendentalism. Moreover, she also led decades of efforts for the rights of the Paiute Indians.
Her sisters were painter Sophia Peabody Hawthorne (wife of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne) and writer Mary Tyler Peabody Mann (wife of educator Horace Mann). Peabody died January 3, 1894, aged 89. She is buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.
Peabody published a number of works, including:
Amos Bronson Alcott was an American teacher, writer, philosopher, and reformer. As an educator, Alcott pioneered new ways of interacting with young students, focusing on a conversational style, and avoided traditional punishment. He hoped to perfect the human spirit and, to that end, advocated a vegan diet before the term was coined. He was also an abolitionist and an advocate for women's rights.
Louisa May Alcott was an American novelist, short story writer and poet best known as the author of the novel Little Women (1868) and its sequels Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886). Raised in New England by her transcendentalist parents, Abigail May and Amos Bronson Alcott, she grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist, dark romantic, and short story writer. His works often focus on history, morality, and religion.
Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States. A core belief is in the inherent goodness of people and nature, and while society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual, people are at their best when truly "self-reliant" and independent.
Brook Farm, also called the Brook Farm Institute of Agriculture and Education or the Brook Farm Association for Industry and Education, was a utopian experiment in communal living in the United States in the 1840s. It was founded by former Unitarian minister George Ripley and his wife Sophia Ripley at the Ellis Farm in West Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1841 and was inspired in part by the ideals of Transcendentalism, a religious and cultural philosophy based in New England. Founded as a joint stock company, it promised its participants a portion of the profits from the farm in exchange for performing an equal share of the work. Brook Farmers believed that by sharing the workload, ample time would be available for leisure activities and intellectual pursuits.
Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli, commonly known as Margaret Fuller, was an American journalist, editor, critic, and women's rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism movement. She was the first full-time American female book reviewer in journalism. Her book Woman in the Nineteenth Century is considered the first major feminist work in the United States.
The Transcendental Club was a group of New England intellectuals of the early-to-mid-19th century which gave rise to Transcendentalism.
Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne was an American painter and illustrator as well as the wife of author Nathaniel Hawthorne. She also published her journals and various articles.
Sylvester Judd was a Unitarian minister and an American novelist.
George Ripley was an American social reformer, Unitarian minister, and journalist associated with Transcendentalism. He was the founder of the short-lived Utopian community Brook Farm in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.
Frederic Henry Hedge was a New England Unitarian minister and Transcendentalist. He was a founder of the Transcendental Club, originally called Hedge's Club, and active in the development of Transcendentalism. He was one of the foremost scholars of German literature in the United States.
Sophia Willard Dana Ripley (1803–1861), wife of George Ripley, was a 19th-century feminist associated with Transcendentalism and the Brook Farm community.
The Old Manse is a historic manse in Concord, Massachusetts, United States famous for its American historical and literary associations. It is open to the public as a nonprofit museum owned and operated by the Trustees of Reservations. The house is located on Monument Street, with the Concord River just behind it. The property neighbors the North Bridge, a part of Minute Man National Historical Park.
Jones Very was an American poet, essayist, clergyman, and mystic associated with the American Transcendentalism movement. He was known as a scholar of William Shakespeare and many of his poems were Shakespearean sonnets. He was well-known and respected amongst the Transcendentalists, though he had a mental breakdown early in his career.
Ellen Sturgis Hooper was an American poet. A member of the Transcendental Club, she was widely regarded as one of the most gifted poets among the New England Transcendentalists. Her work is occasionally reprinted in anthologies.
Mary Tyler Peabody Mann was a teacher, author, mother, and wife of Horace Mann, American education reformer and politician.
Caroline Wells Healey Dall was an American feminist writer, transcendentalist, and reformer. She was affiliated with the National Women's Rights Convention, the New England Women's Club, and the American Social Science Association. Her associates included Elizabeth Peabody and Margaret Fuller, as well as members of the Transcendentalist movement in Boston.
The Temple School (1834-ca.1841) in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, was established by Amos Bronson Alcott and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody in 1834, and featured a teaching style based on conversation. Teachers working at the school included Elizabeth Peabody and Margaret Fuller.
Mary Colman Wheeler was the founder and first head of the Wheeler School in Providence, Rhode Island.
Caroline Sturgis Tappan, commonly known as Caroline Sturgis, or "Cary" Sturgis, was an American Transcendentalist and poet. Caroline Sturgis was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Elizabeth Marston Davis Sturgis, the daughter of a judge for the U.S. Court for the District of Massachusetts, and William F. Sturgis (1782-1863), a prominent sea captain and maritime merchant. Known for her friendships and frequent correspondences with prominent American Transcendentalists, such as Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sturgis also attended Bronson Alcott's Temple School, was Margaret Fuller's student, and she participated in Fuller's Conversations series. Sturgis had a substantial influence in Transcendentalist thought. She published 25 poems in four different volumes of The Dial, a Transcendentalist periodical, and was a member of the Transcendental Club. Her sister, Ellen Sturgis Hooper (1812-1848), was also a member and poet published in The Dial.
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