Appendix 3: Young Ladies’ Academy, Georgetown, Student Records

Compiled by Susi B. Slocum

The Young Ladies’ Academy in Georgetown, administered by the sisters of the Order of the Visitation, was established in 1799. However, very few records earlier than 1816 have survived. A notable exception is the 1800 receipt, signed by Maria Sharpe, the school’s first teacher. In the receipt, Sharpe wrote the name of the school as “George Town Ladies Academy.” Later ledgers record the name as Ladies’ Academy of the Visitation, which is also found on various annual prizes awarded to students. The name Young Ladies’ Academy only appears on needlework produced at the school.

The school kept various account books for their students, and four were researched for this study:

  • Entrance Book (1816–1842) — Chronological by student recording the per annum tuition as a day scholar or boarder; certain common expenses; extra fee classes chosen; party responsible for the account; and the home location, if provided.
  • Letter Book (1817–1837) — Copies of correspondence concerning the student’s account, academic progress, and well- being.
  • Journal (1818–1830, 1830–1835, 1835–1845) — Record of specific transactions (expenses and payments) in chronological sequence for all students. Composite journal entries were posted to the Student Ledger.
  • Student Ledger (1817–1836) — Account book of debits and credits by student name, being a chronological summary by year of journal entries and showing that the account balanced over the period of enrollment or until it was paid in full.

The earliest embroidery charges found in the available account books occurred in May 1818 and followed on through 1820. Journal entries disclose silk work on canvas, silk for sampler, and silk and chenille on satin. A total of nine distinct needlework charges, each with individual costs, were listed in an entry for November 1819. The last expense for “drawing a piece” (of embroidery) was in December 1823. To date, no satin or silk embroideries from the 1818–1823 period have been discovered.

In November 1818, the first flat fee “piece of embroidery” at $12 was charged to Elizabeth Lancaster. The flat fee pricing was not consistently used until 1821 and then only through 1824. The later “piece of embroidery” entries probably recall the earlier designation and were most likely tapestry to stitch covers for a footstool, music stand, lamp stand, or pitcher stand. The fee ranged between $7 and $12.

The dearth of embroidery entries after 1821 is evident in the records. Besides the ongoing economic depression, it probably reflects the change in curricular focus engendered by Father Clorivière’s more academic 1822 prospectus, followed by Father Wheeler’s emphasis on modern science, with “Philosophical and Chemical apparatus,” as of 1827.

In summary, extant student records for the Young Ladies’ Academy of Georgetown show charges for needlework materials, patterns, and equipment from 1818 until the late 1880s.

Matilda Flanigan May 1818 Canvass & Silks; tape; satin, lawn, drawing, stand, frame & silk; India Cotton $10.84
Elizabeth Lancaster 7/8/1818 White satin; drawing satin; linen, India Cotton & tape; use of stand & frame $4.56
Mary Byrne 10/1/1818 Satin; linen; Cotton; tape; drawing Satin; use of stand & frame $4.75
Elizabeth Lancaster Nov 1818 Silks for Sampler; piece of embroidery $14.00
Rebecca Boarman 2/10/1819 Drawing a piece for embroidery; use of stand & frame; Shenille; spool floss; Card floss $6.58
Matilda Flanigan 5/7/1819 Silk for sampler; spool floss silk; card floss silk; shenelle $14.52
Elizabeth Lancaster 8/8/1819 Silks for sampler; spool floss silk; card floss silk; shenille $14.52
Adeline Posey 8/9/1819 Satin; linen; india cotton $1.63
Catharine Cleary 8/22/1819 Satin & materials for embroidery $6.00
Rebecca Boarman 9/10/1819 Piece of embroidery $8.00
Eliza Neale 11/23/1819 Satin for embroidery; fine linen; tape; Shenille; spool floss; card floss; drawing piece for embroidery; use of stand & frame for embroidery $11.44
Harriott Yost 12/16/1819 Drawing & materials for embroidery $10.00
Mary A. Fenwick 4/5/1820 Piece of embroidery $10.00
Eleanor & Henrietta Waring 4/5/1820 Satin; fine linen; india cotton; tape; drawing two pieces for embroidery; use of stands & frames for embroidery; Shenille; card floss; spool floss $22.79
Mary Burns 8/16/1820 Satin, linen; india cotton, tape; drawing her piece, use of stand & frame; Spool floss; card floss $10.01
Mary A. Fenwick 9/1/1820 Lutestring; linen; india cotton; tape; drawing her piece; use of stand & frame; card floss $4.88
Elizabeth Spalding 3/7/1821 Piece of embroidery $10.00
Henrietta Thompson 5/2/1821 Piece of embroidery $10.00
Elizabeth Spalding 12/20/1821 Piece of embroidery $8.00
Adelaide Jullien 6/1/1822 Piece of Embroidery $7.00
Ann Delia Myers 12/11/1823 Drawing a piece of Embroidery & the Use of a stand & frame $3.50
Eleanora Neale 1823 Board and tuition expenses but no charges recorded for 1823 sampler
Margaret Barry 1/9/1824 Piece of Embroidery $8.00
Mary E. Boothe 4/2/1824 Piece of Embroidery $8.00
Ann Eliza & Henrietta Tarbell 12/12/1824 Piece of embroidery $8.00
Maria & Elizabeth Carroll 6/22/1825 2 Covers in Tapestry for Musick Stools; 2 Covers in Tapestry for foot stools $10.00
Elizabeth Threlkeld 7/11/1825 Materials for working a musick stool Cover $3.00
Catharine McSherry 3/29/1826 Two musick stools $6.00
Misses (Ann) Cassin 7/1/1827 1 music stand cover $5.00
Eliza & Julia Garesche 5/5/1828 1 piece of tapestry $4.00
Henrietta Dunlop 7/24/1828 Piece of tapestry $3.00
Misses Smith 9/18/1828 2 pieces of tapestry $6.00
Mary Laurence 1829 Day scholar tuition expenses but no charges recorded for sampler dated 1829
Misses Lasala 10/2/1829 Fire screens & tapestry $10.50
Elizabeth Cox 9/21/1830 Tapestry $2.50
M. (Mary) O. (Olivia) Stonestreet 10/6/1830 Music stool (amount combined with unrelated expenses) $10.96
M. (Mary) E. Mahoney 1/24/1831 Mat(erials) for Tapestry & pieces of music $3.75
Frances Helm 4/16/1831 Piece of tapestry Blank
E. (Ellen) A. (Ann) Hill 7/11/1831 Materials for tapestry $4.00
Robina Hillen 7/27/1831 Materials for tapestry $4.00
Clementina Graham 9/1/1831 Materials of tapestry $4.00
Alicia Freeman 9/8/1831 Materials for tapestry $4.00
Misses Nicholson 9/16/1831 Materials for tapestry $4.00
Frederica Bonford 9/17/1831 Materials for tapestry $1.00
Mary Fitzgerald 9/20/1831 Materials for tapestry $4.00
A. (Ann) Brooks 10/5/1831 Materials for tapestry $4.00
Mary Coursey 10/5/1831 Materials for tapestry $3.00
Maria Brent 10/5/1831 Materials for tapestry $4.25
E. (Ellen) A. (Ann) Hill 10/5/1831 Materials for tapestry $4.00
E. (Emily) Long 10/5/1831 Materials for tapestry $4.00
E. (Elizabeth) Reilly 10/5/1831 Materials for tapestry (lamp); materials for tapestry (foot stool) $7.00
F. High 10/5/1831 Materials for tapestry $3.00
E. Jenkins 10/5/1831 Materials for tapestry $3.00
[Emily] O’Donnell 10/5/1831 Materials for tapestry $4.00
Misses Pearson 10/5/1831 Materials for tapestry $4.00
E. Rodgers 10/5/1831 Materials for tapestry $4.50
E. (Elizabeth) Beall 10/5/1831 Materials for tapestry $3.00
Elizabeth Reilly 10/20/1831 Materials for tapestry $7.00
Mary Reilly 4/13/1832 Books, tapestry & shoes $8.39
Camilla Brette 7/5/1832 Materials for tapestry $5.00
Mary Fitzgerald 7/5/1832 Materials for tapestry $5.00
Ellen Ann Hill 7/5/1832 Materials for tapestry $4.00
Robina Hillen 7/5/1832 Materials for lamp stands $5.00
Mary Neally 7/8/1832 Materials for Embroidery $7.00
Camilla Brette 9/15/1832 Materials for tapestry $5.00
M. Louisa Smith June 1833 Tapestry $1.50
Elizabeth Cox 6/26/1833 Materials for tapestry $4.50
Abby Clark 7/9/1833 Materials for tapestry $10.00
R. (Robina) F. Hillen 7/9/1833 1 pr foot stools in tapestry $4.50
M. (Mary) L. (Louisa) Hobby 7/9/1833 Materials for tapestry $5.00
Ellen Jenkins 7/9/1833 Materials for a large piece of tapestry $6.50
Misses Nicholson 7/9/1833 5 pieces of tapestry $12.00
R. (Rosetta) Worthington 7/9/1833 Pitcher stands in tapestry $4.00
Mary Fitzgerald 7/10/1833 Materials for tapestry $3.00
E. (Ellen) A. (Ann) Hill 7/11/1833 Piece of emb 8.00, framed velvet samp 9.00 $17.00
R. (Rosetta) Worthington 7/11/1833 Piece of embroidery & frame $18.00
Elizabeth Bromwell 7/24/1833 Materials for tapestry $2.50
Elizabeth T. Cox 10/15/1833 Tapestry $2.00
V. (Virginia) Edwards 11/4/1833 Frames for painting and embroidery $14.50
Margaret Clinton 11/22/1833 Piece of embroidery $10.00
H. (Hellen) Mason 11/26/1833 Tapestry $2.50
Misses Ewing 12/17/1833 Tapestry $4.00
Mary Hunter 1/2/1834 Tapestry $2.00
E. Jenkins 1/2/1834 Tapestry $8.00
Maria L. Hobby 2/28/1834 Tapestry $2.00
Henria Clayton 3/18/1834 Tapestry $1.00
Louisa Fenwick 4/5/1834 Tapestry $1.50
Elizabeth Bromwell 5/22/1834 Tapestry $2.00
Jane Whyte 5/26/1834 Tapestry $0.50
Leonide Duperu 5/27/1834 Tapestry $0.50
Mary Jones 5/27/1834 Tapestry $0.50
Charlotte Coad 7/10/1834 Tapestry $2.00
Mary Hunter 7/18/1834 Tapestry $2.00
Eliza Smith 7/23/1834 Tapestry $1.50
Rosey Spence 7/23/1834 Tapestry $1.10
Abossinon? Clay Sept 1834 Tapestry $1.00
Elizabeth Cox 10/1/1834 Tapestry $2.00
Mary Villard 10/13/1834 Tapestry $1.00
Jo. (Josephine) Warring 10/24/1834 Tapestry $1.00
Mary Villard 12/2/1834 Tapestry $5.00
Eliza Durkin 1/7/1835 Tapestry $2.50
Martha Duvall 1/7/1835 Tapestry $2.50
Eliza Ewing 2/14/1835 Tapestry $6.00
Ann & E. (Emma) Norvell 3/4/1835 Pieces of tapestry $3.00
Josephine Warring 3/24/1835 Piece of tapestry $1.00
Maria Mitchell April 1835 Piece of tapestry $1.00
Lucretia Thompson 5/1/1835 Tapestry $5.00
Mary MaGruder 5/20/1835 Piece of tapestry $2.00
Maria Mitchell 7/3/1835 Piece of tapestry $1.00
Mary MaGruder 7/6/1835 Piece of tapestry $5.00
Lucretia Thompson 7/6/1835 Piece of tapestry $5.00
Celestia Reardon 8/19/1835 Piece of tapestry $1.00
Ellen McDonnell 10/15/1835 Piece of tapestry $5.00
Louisa Villard 10/15/1835 Tapestry $1.00
Martha Pearson 10/24/1835 Tapestry $5.00
Mary Liggat 11/9/1835 Piece of tapestry $1.00
Henrietta DeCousey April 1836 Tapestry $4.00
May Coyle 4/16/1836 Piece of tapestry $1.00
Ellen McDonnell 5/4/1836 Piece tapestry $3.00
Emily Gardiner 5/8/1836 Tapestry $1.50
Eliz. & Ann Jewel 7/22/1836 1 Foot stool (Tapestry) $4.00
Adelle Cochran Sept 1836 Piece of tapestry $2.00
Virginia Semmes 9/17/1836 Piece of Tapestry $2.50
Rebecca Alford 2/2/1837 Tapestry $4.00
Elizabeth Thompson 2/6/1837 Piece of Tapestry $4.00
Camilla Calhoon 2/13/1837 Tapestry $4.00
Sarah Williams 3/1/1837 Materials for Tapestry $2.00
Ellen McDonnell 5/11/1837 Books, music, tapestry etc. $11.68
Matilda Waring 6/3/1837 Tapestry $1.50