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Ursuline Convent (Charlestown, Boston, Mass.).  [drop-title below an unsigned oval engraving] Ursuline Community. Mount Benedict — Charlestown, Massachusetts. This beautiful and extensive establishment is situated about two and a half miles from Boston, upon a delightful and healthy spot, commanding one of the most beautiful prospects in the United States. — in it young ladies are received from the age of six, to that of fourteen ... [Boston, MA?: No publisher/printer, ca. 1829–34]. Small 4to (24.5 cm, 9.75"). [4] pp., illus.

Pupils at the Ursuline Convent school in Charlestown were from well-to-do families, primarily liberal Unitarian. This prospectus provides a description of physical plant, curriculum, and school environment down to what items the pupils were required to provide from home (napkins, towels, knife and fork, silver goblet, silver desert and tea spoon, sheets, pillow cases, and articles of dress and uniforms). => The costs and extra charges are specified, as are the text books that will be used.
        The school opened for its first classes in 1828 and demand was swift and large, leading quickly to the addition of two new wings to the building in 1829 (shown in the engraved illustration at head of title). By 1834 there were 47 students, only six of whom were Catholic.
        Although one paragraph of the prospectus promises that "The religious opinions of the children are not interfered with," strong anti-Catholic sentiment in the area was rife and in August of 1834 => a mob burned the convent and school beyond repair.
        Searches of WorldCat, the appropriate bibliographies, and NUC, locate only two libraries (Boston Athenaeum, Massachusetts Historical) reporting ownership of this prospectus. Another, earlier prospectus was printed in anticipation of the school's opening, as is clear from its wording; it is different and less full of information than this later one (based on comparison with the digitized AAS copy). Needless to say the bulk of the printed copies of both issues perished in the fire of 1834.
        => A precious document for women's education in America, and an important relic of Nativism, anti-Catholicism, and early U.S. Catholicism.

Not in Shoemaker; not in American Imprints; not in Parsons; not in Bowe, List of Additions and Corrections to Early Catholic Americana. Folded as issued. Smudging, staining, old folds and some tears; some careful repairs. Docketed on verso, "Convent Papers." => A survivor.  (40906)   Please RESHELVE This.

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