More from Noyes Academy

Following up on the story from Noyes Academy, and the video lecture in particular, I ran into the story of Henry Garnet and Julia Williams.

It’s fairly easy to find information about Garnet; he was a significant and fairly unique figure in the abolitionist movement, and became US Minister to Liberia just before he died. Julia’s story, however, seems just as striking and much harder to uncover. There’s a lot of her story recorded in things that happen around her, but I can’t find anything that talks about her directly beyond where she attended and who she married.

It’s this sort of thing that makes me wish I were more of a historian. There’s a fascinating story to be uncovered here, the sort of thing that would make an amazing book. This is a woman who traveled, at the very least, all across New England and upstate New York, in her 20’s, to find an education. In the 1830s. Almost certainly by herself. The first two schools she went to were destroyed while she was at them and she still went on to find a third. That’s some serious gumption.

I find these stories of older schools, and especially of students so determined to be educated, incredibly inspiring. In this age of mandatory education, the message many not resonate with as many people, but it definitely hits me, and I think that if it were presented right it could hit a lot of high school students too.

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About Colin Fredericks

By day I help to create online courses at HarvardX. By night I write roleplaying games.

Posted on February 10, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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