American Education in the Early 19th Century


The Connecticut Asylum at Hartford for the Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons.

Approx. 1817

Founded by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc, it is the first permanent school for the deaf in the United States. Gallaudet's son later founds the first college for the deaf in the 1860's.

Boston English High School


The first public high school within the United States opens.

Hartford Female Seminary


Founded by Catherine Beecher, it is a private school for girls in Hartford, Connecticut. Catherine would later go onto found more schools and is sister to Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Massachusetts State Law


Massachusetts passes a state law that requires towns etc. of more than 500 families to have a public high school open for all. This is a huge step as private schools for the wealthy are the norm at this point in time.

New England Asylum for the Blind


Opening in Massachusetts in 1829, it is the first institution for the visibly impaired in the United States. It is now known as the Perkins School for the Blind.

Horace Mann


In 1837, Horace Mann becomes the first Secretary of the newly established Board of Education within Massachusetts. Mann was an advocate for 'free' schools and worked to earn funding for public schools as well as better training for educators.

Louisville, Kentucky


The first school superintendant is appointed.

African Institute


Opens in Cheyney, Pennsylvania. It is the oldest institution of higher learning for African Americans and is now called Cheyney University.

Mount Holyoke Female Seminary


Founded by Mary Lyon, it is the first college for women in the United States.

Normal School


'Normal Schools' are institutions where people are taught to be educators. In 1839, the first state-funded school specifically for educators opens in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Elizabeth Blackwell


Elizabeth graduates from Geneva Medical College, becoming the first woman to graduate from medical school.