[1833 Boston ALS from Textbook Author and Educator William Woodbridge, the First Preceptor of Phillips Exeter Academy and Founder of a Female Seminary in New England].
New England educator William Woodbridge (1755–1836), here writes to American foreign missionary Samuel Nott (1788–1869). Penned from Boston three years before his death, Woodbridge reflects back to his days there when he founded an early female seminary in New England in nearby Medford, Massachusetts.
Woodbridge refers his son, educator and geographer William Channing Woodbridge (1794–1845), and very briefly discusses their writings and publications. He mentions writing for a Boston children’s newspaper, the Juvenile Rambler, and contributing to his son’s monthly journal, American Annals of Education and Instruction, copies of which he transmits to Nott, possibly for use in the foreign mission field.
After 35 years I have come back to the vicinity of the place where I spent eight years [at Woodbridge’s female seminary]. But, almost every thing is changed. Not one of all the contemporaries of Dr. Lathrop, is left. Our fathers, where are they? We shall soon know—& meet them, I trust, where we shall see as we are seen—& know as we are known. How immense are the objects of untried being before us! How surprising the nature of that Faith which is the substance of things hoped for—the evidence full & satisfactory—of the reality & excellence, of things not seen! … How favoured & happy are we, whose Faith has endured the trials of sixty years. (p)
…’Tis the last act that crowns the dramatic play. I think, indeed, you have fought a good fight. I thank you for your good half century sermon…(p)
…My son [William Channing Woodbridge] is lately married & in this city. I am writing for the press—particularly for a little schoolwork, called The Juvenile Rambler. … P.S. I shall beg your acceptance of as many Ramblers and numbers of the Annals of Education, as I think will be convenient for the Bearer [Rev. Mr. Smith] to carry. Mr. Smith has been for some years an Exploring Missionary in the East—& spent some months among the Mohametans there & other where. Like a true soldier he is soon desirous to return. (p and Postscript)
A thoughtful letter by an important New England educator. DAB (for his son’s entry) notes that Woodbridge “was especially interested in the education of young women” and that through his tutelage his son entered Yale at fourteen.
Description: [1833 Boston ALS from Textbook Author and Educator William Woodbridge, the First Preceptor of Phillips Exeter Academy and Founder of a Female Seminary in New England].
Boston, February 2, 1833. [2¼]pp. Autograph Letter Signed. 4to. Bifolium with integral address leaf; wax seals. Folds; two short closed tears; small loss at wax seal affecting a few words, but not sense; very good.
Ref. The National Cyclopædia of American Biography. Volume X. (New York, 1900), p104.