Elizabeth Peabody

Last updated
Elizabeth Palmer
Elizabeth Palmer Peabody portrait1.png
BornMay 16, 1804 (1804-05-16)
DiedJanuary 3, 1894 (1894-01-04) (aged 89)
EducationTutored in Greek by Ralph Waldo Emerson
OccupationTeacher
Writer/Editor
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.

Kindergarten preschool educational approach traditionally based on playing

Kindergarten is a preschool educational approach based on playing, singing, practical activities such as drawing, and social interaction as part of the transition from home to school. Such institutions were originally created in the late 18th century in Bavaria and Strasbourg to serve children whose parents both worked outside home. The term was coined by the German Friedrich Fröbel, whose approach globally influenced early-years education. Today, the term is used in many countries to describe a variety of educational institutions and learning spaces for children ranging from two to seven years of age, based on a variety of teaching methods.

Contents

Peabody also served as the translator for the first English version of a Buddhist scripture which was published in 1844.

Buddhism World religion, founded by the Buddha

Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana.

Early years

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.

Billerica, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Billerica is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 40,243 according to the 2010 census. It takes its name from the town of Billericay in Essex, England.

Nathaniel Peabody was a U.S. physician and dentist from Boston and Salem, Massachusetts, having studied at Dartmouth. He was descended from John Paybody of Plymouth of 1635, and in early Massachusetts records, the name of these ancestors was often spelled Pabodie. Nathaniel Peabody was a member of one of the prominent families recognized in society and known as the Boston Brahmins. Married Elizabeth ("Eliza") Palmer (1778-1853). He was father of three noteworthy intellectual women: Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Mary Tyler Peabody Mann, and Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne.

Salem, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Salem is a historic coastal city in Essex County, Massachusetts, located in the North Shore region. It is a New England bedrock of history and is considered one of the most significant seaports in Puritan American history.

Career

After 1822, she resided principally in Boston where she engaged in teaching. [1] 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.

Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States. It arose as a reaction to protest against the general state of intellectualism and spirituality at the time. The doctrine of the Unitarian church as taught at Harvard Divinity School was of particular interest.

Amos Bronson Alcott American teacher and writer

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.

Boston Capital city of Massachusetts, United States

Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 685,094 in 2017, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States.

Bookstore

She later opened a book store, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody's West Street Bookstore, at her home in Boston (ca. 1840–1852). [2] [3] [4] [5]

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. [6] Topics for these discussions and debates varied but subjects were as diverse as fine arts, history, mythology, literature, and nature. [7] 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". [8] Many figures in the woman's rights movement took part, including Sophia Dana Ripley, Caroline Sturgis, [9] and Maria White Lowell. [6]

Margaret Fuller American feminist, poet, author, and activist

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.

Sophia Willard Dana Ripley (1803–1861), wife of George Ripley, was a 19th-century feminist associated with Transcendentalism and the Brook Farm community.

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.

The 1840 Catalogue of the Foreign Library offered several hundred titles in German, French, Spanish, Italian and English languages, including: [10]

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.

The Dial

Elizabeth Peabody ElizabethPeabody portrait2.png
Elizabeth Peabody

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. [16] [17] The publication ceased shortly thereafter in April 1844. [18]

Kindergarten

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. [19] 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:

The advantage to the community in utilizing the age from 4 to 6 in training the hand and eye; in developing the habits of cleanliness, politeness, self-control, urbanity, industry; in training the mind to understand numbers and geometric forms, to invent combinations of figures and shapes, and to represent them with the pencil—these and other valuable lessons… will, I think, ultimately prevail in securing to us the establishment of this beneficent institution in all the city school systems of our country. [20]

Diverse activities

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.

Personal life

Grave of Elizabeth Palmer Peabody ElizabethPalmerPeabodyGrave.jpg
Grave of Elizabeth Palmer Peabody

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. [21]

Selected works

Peabody published a number of works, including:

See also

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References

  1. Wikisource-logo.svg  Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1900). "Peabody, Elizabeth Palmer"  . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography . New York: D. Appleton.
  2. "Foreign books & circulating library, 13 West" Street; cf. Boston Directory. 1848, 1851, 1852
  3. Sampson R. Urbino bought Peabody's book stock in the mid-1850s. cf. Publishers Weekly, April 4, 1896
  4. Stern, Madeleine B. "Elizabeth Peabody's Foreign Library (1840)." American Transcendental Quarterly, No. 20 Supplement Pt. 1 (Fall 1973), p. 5-12. (Includes facsimile of Catalogue of the Foreign Library, No. 13 West Street, Boston: S.N. Dickinson, 1840.)
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2001-08-17. Retrieved 2010-12-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. 1 2 Slater, Abby. In Search of Margaret Fuller. New York: Delacorte Press, 1978: 43. ISBN   0-440-03944-4
  7. Gura, Philip F. American Transcendentalism: A History. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007: 134. ISBN   0-8090-3477-8
  8. Marshall, Megan. The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005: 387. ISBN   978-0-618-71169-7
  9. Marshall, Megan. The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism. Boston: Mariner Books, 2005: 386–387. ISBN   978-0-618-71169-7
  10. Catalogue of the Foreign Library, no.13 West Street. Boston: printed by S.N. Dickinson, 1840
  11. WorldCat. Alexandre Andryane
  12. WorldCat. Boston Quarterly Review
  13. "Farrar, Mrs. Eliza Ware [Rotch]". Herringshaw's encyclopedia of American biography of the nineteenth century. American Publishers' Association. 1901. p. 352.
  14. WorldCat. J. F Jünger
  15. WorldCat. Maria Callcott
  16. Ford, James Ishmael (2006). Zen Master Who?. Wisdom Publications. p. 60. ISBN   0-86171-509-8.
  17. Lopez Jr., Donald S. (2016). "The Life of the Lotus Sutra". Tricycle Maqgazine (Winter).
  18. Gura, Philip F. American Transcendentalism: A History. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007: 130. ISBN   978-0-8090-3477-2
  19. Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Peabody, Elizabeth Palmer"  . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  20. Report of the Commissioner of Education. 1898. pp. 922–.
  21. Library of Congress Today in History: May 16