James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Albert Picket and Others, 10 September 1821

From Albert Picket and Others

Baltimore, M.d. Sept. 10, 1821


We address you on a subject of vital importance; we mean the subject of Female education, which has been, hitherto, much neglected, & yet, seems not to have received that attention which it deserves. It has not been conducted on a scale, in our opinion, commensurate to its importance. If it be worthy of national concern, to educate young men well, in all that pertains to their morals & intellect, it is no less necessary to educate females in an equally solid, if not splendid degree.

Under the impression, that the interests of Female Education should, and can, be placed on a more permanent basis, we intend to apply at the next session of the Legislature of Maryland, for means to erect a Female College, to be conducted on an extensive scale. The importance of such an Institution, properly managed, is seen and felt; & would, perhaps, be a means of bringing into existence, more of a similar nature, in the various states.

Having been engaged nearly 25 years in the instruction of Females, & having formed our opinion of the advantages of such an establishment, we solicit your attention to the following—

Your opinion of such an Institution

—— ——— of the course of Instruction to be adopted

An Answer as soon as convenient, would be very thankfully received. With the highest sentiments of regard, We remain Yrs

Albert Picket, Senr.1
John W. Picket,
Albert Picket, Jr.

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Albert Picket Sr. (1771–1850), a New York City schoolteacher, conducted the Manhattan School for Girls, 1804–20, and wrote, sometimes in partnership with his son John W. Picket, a number of English-language primers, including the Union Spelling Book. Picket also published a semimonthly journal for teachers, the Academician, from 1818 to 1820. In 1826 Picket moved to Cincinnati, where he opened a school for girls. In addition to teaching and publishing, Picket organized teacher associations in both New York and Ohio (H.G. Good, “Albert Picket, Educational Journalist and Organizer,” Peabody Journal of Education 19 [1942]: 318–22).

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