Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House is pleased to present

The 2004 Summer Conversational Series
The Concord Summer School of Philosophy
on the grounds of Orchard House

Monday - Wednesday, July 12 - 14
Intensive Workshop
“Work is My Salvation …”
Women & Work in the 19th Century

Wednesdays, July 7, 14, 21, & 28
19th Century Evening Entertainments


In the summer of 1879, Bronson Alcott saw a life-long dream become reality with the founding of “The Concord Summer School of Philosophy and Literature,” a place where adults could come together to learn. This school became one of the finest early examples of continuing education in America. The first session was such a success that a donation was given to build a permanent home for the school on the grounds of Orchard House. By the next summer, “Hillside Chapel” was finished, and for the following eight years, adults from around the country came to participate in Alcott’s dream -- to interact with some of the greatest thinkers and educational pioneers of the 19th century. Orchard House brings The School of Philosophy back to life in this special way each July. The three-day workshop, which has a different focus each year, takes place in the same building Mr. Alcott constructed in 1880.

The 2004 Summer Conversational Series will explore the roles of women in the workplace during the 19th century. In a period of great change in America, the roles of women were changing also. In addition to their work at home, women held jobs in domestic service, nursing, teaching and the labor industry. Later in the century, as the woman’s movement began to take hold, women were starting to want more, both personally and professionally. They began to make in-roads into careers usually thought to be for men only. Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, Victoria Woodhull, Maria Mitchell, Rebecca Pennell Dean, and Rebecca Lukens were “firsts” in their respective careers of medicine, politics, astronomy, education, and industry.

In addition to exploring the kinds of work women did, why women worked will also be discussed. Many women worked to support their families, but for some it also brought self-respect and independence: “Work is my salvation,” as Louisa May Alcott once said, “and I shall celebrate it.” We hope you celebrate it with us!

Summer Series Intro | Workshops | Entertainments
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