During the 1700s, girls’ education typically ended around age 12 or 14. Girls were taught the basics: reading, writing, and arithmetic. Boys were able to continue their education past the basics, learning geography, Latin, and history.
Beginning in 1717, Connecticut required every town to have at least one school. Cornwall’s first school is believed to have been held in the home of Rachel Marsh Douglass and her husband, James Douglass. Rachel taught the school during the summer months, while her husband taught during the winter.
In Cornwall, as in all Connecticut towns, a winter school for older boys, taught by a man, was held for three months every year. For the remainder of each year, school would be held at four “women’s schools,” schools that were taught by women.