About the Project

Bethlehem 1741-1844


Community Records




Personal Papers

Teaching Materials

Visitors' Accounts

Additional Resources

Site Index

Contact BDHP



Copyright © 2000-2009
Bethlehem Digital
History Project.
All rights reserved.

For supper we had bread and milk, or tea and bread and butter. On Sunday night we looked over our lessons, then the teacher heard every girl say her lessons. Those, whose lessons were perfect, were allowed to go to bed at half past eight; those with imperfect lessons were obliged to sit up until they had learned them. We had certain days for history, geography, logic, rhetoric, botany, and astronomy with celestial globes, paley's [sic] philosophy, chemistry, and grammar. Music lessons were twice a week, practice every day. Drawing and painting on velvet, worsted work, reading, writing, arithmetic, and spelling completed our studies. I was considered a wonder, because I could say the multiplication table as well as the inspector when I entered the school.

Monday morning we took our seats at our table, and looked over our lessons. When the clock in our room showed it was near recitation hour, we put our books away in the "next room" on our shelf, and waited in our seats until the clock commenced striking, when the door opened and everyone ran to her recitation room, seated herself, and recitation began. The first girl rose and repeated every word of a short lesson. If she blundered, the teacher said "Next". In this way she went through the class. Those who did not know their lessons at all were sent to the inspector; those who showed that they had tried to learn their lessons were allowed to go with the rest. When the clock struck the next hour, all ran to their next recitation rooms and recited in the same manner.

At noon we had dinner. Before dinner, the day keepers went to the dining room, arranged plates, knives, forks, tumblers, spoons, and all crockery necessary for the meal. If we were going to have soup, there were soup plates and spoons. All were fond of soup, and when the day keepers returned to their rooms the cry was, "What are we going to have for dinner"? "Plates and spoons" was the answer. Then we would all exclaim "Soup, good soup", etc. Every day at dinner we had an abundance of good meat and vegetables and good bread and butter, all we wanted.

Sometimes we had mush and milk for supper, at others hot boiled potatoes with plenty of butter, bread and milk. We could have bread and molasses if we preferred it to milk. Once a year we had apple pie. In the winter this was served at supper in pieces that would make three ordinary pieces. We would ask the waiter to put it away for us until the following day.

One afternoon of the week was devoted to drawing, another to velvet painting and music, another to worsted work and music, writing, reading and spelling, one afternoon, and one afternoon we sat in our sitting room and were taught darning stockings with as much care as we were taught embroidery. We also mended our clothes at that time. Every girl, big and little, was taught to mend her clothes.

Recollections of
Mrs Harriet Gould Drake Tinkam: student, 1817

1   2   3   4   5   6

<< Previous    Next >>