[MANUSCRIPT-AMERICAN EDUCATION] Sally Tate/Her Book/Medford School/1796.
. [Title taken from leather label mounted on front cover of binding]. [Mr Wyman's Boarding-School, Medford, Mass.: 1796 on]. Later half roan over cloth, containing two manuscripts. The first, Aphorisms on Man, is dated 1796; Sally Tate's name is on several pages. 16 3/8 x 10 1/4 inches (41.5 x 26.5 cm); 7 ff. written in an attractive formal hand with a variety of penwork and polychrome decoration. The second (untitled) work was prepared by Sally Tate at a slightly later date (on internal evidence). 20 x 13 3/4 inches (51 x 35 cm); 15 ff., written in a fine formal hand of the period, with architectural renderings; a map of the North Polar region; an apologia for women's education; many diagrams of Euclidean propositions; and a fine compass rose: all rendered in penwork heightened with restrained polychrome decoration. The binding is heavily worn, within there is some soiling and browning to the text, several old restored tears (with a few losses) to the larger manuscript, but overall most attractive.
These two manuscripts bear rare testimony to the high quality of education available to at least some young women in the young American Republic. Sally Tate's work is already known from a sampler she prepared in Medford in 1795, on which the artist Dugald Stewart Walker based Sally's ABC, published in 1929.
The school she attended, run by Joseph Wyman, had about fifteen students. According to a 1795 advertisement in the Columbian Sentinel, it concentrated on penmanship, arithmetic, geometry and drawing, all of which accomplishments are shown to advantage in these pages.
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