Equal Education

Nellie Wilcox Diary Page

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Nellie Wilcox Diary / COU: 4441  

1874 was a year of change for 16-year-old Nellie Wilcox.  Her diary documents her transition from life on the family farm to attendance at the prestigious Morgan School in Clinton, Connecticut.  Education and the opportunities it offered were of great importance to Nellie.  In the spring, she consistently recorded which of her siblings attended the local country school for the day and who stayed home due to illness or farm chores.  In recording her experiences at the Morgan School that fall, she meticulously documented her own progress in courses including Latin, rhetoric, algebra, and music.  On November 21, 1874, Nellie notes her enjoyment of Jane Eyre, a novel notable for its independent heroine.   

“I have been reading Jane Eyre one of Charlotte Bronte’s books which was taken from the Morgan library.  I have not finished it yet but think it is splendid."