May Day at Atlanta University

I loved this image from an Atlanta University May Day celebration so much that I decided to write a post around it!

May Day, n.d. , Atlanta University Photographs, Robert W. Woodruff Library, presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.
Winding the May Pole, Atlanta University Photographs, Robert W. Woodruff Library, presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.

Atlanta University, which is now part of Clark Atlanta University, was founded shortly after the Civil War by the American Missionary Association. The institution began issuing degrees in the 1870s. Here’s an excerpt from an 1888 pamphlet describing the university and asking for funds.

Atlanta University collection. Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.

In 1920, the school put out a publication about its living graduates. Below is a list of the school’s earliest graduates.

Here is a table from the same 1920 document showing the professional fields the graduates entered.

This is a letter written by one of the young students in the Atlanta University Junior Preparatory class.

Here are some fabulous old photographs of Atlanta University from the Digital Library of Georgia and presented by the Robert W. Woodruff Library. Please visit the site to enjoy the entire collection.

Educating Your Daughters – A Guide to Regency Era Boarding Schools

Henri-François Riesener

Excerpted from The Female Preceptor, Essays On The Duties Of The Female Sex, Conducted By A Lady in the years 1813 and 1814

The images come from the Journal Des Dames et Des Modes.

Ponder’s End, Middlesex

At the above place, Mrs. Tyler had established a Boarding School for Young Ladies. The situation is healthy; and being so contiguous to the Metropolis, to those Parents who reside in London, and prefer having their children near them, this Seminary is likely to prove a considerable acquisition. The Terms—-30 Guineas per annum— has comprise the English and French Languages, History, Chronology, Mythology, and every kind of Needle Work. Music, Dancing, Writing, Arithmetic, and Geography, with the Use of the Globes, are taught by the most approved masters, on the usual terms. No entrance money.

Bromsgrove, Lickey, Worcester

This Seminary, conducted by Misses Allbutts,  possesses peculiar advantages. The Parents of the Misses A. have, for many years, with unsullied reputation, conducted a Boarding School, on a very considerable scale, for Young Gentlemen. Solicitous for the advancement of their daughters’ Education, they have, for a considerable time, availed themselves of the assistance of a Governess of great talent, and qualified masters for the various branches of polite literature.  Having passed through the regular routine of education, at the request of friends, they have established a Female Boarding School for the reception of ten young Ladies. Terms—Twenty Guineas per annum—comprising Board; English; Geography; plain and ornamental Needle-work. Entrance One Guinea. Parlour Boarders—Thirty Guineas per annum.

Hungerford, Berks

The above Seminary is conducted by Mrs. and Miss Pocock, and MissPrice. Mrs. Pocock’s exemplary piety has been very prominent in the religious world for many years. Anxious to inculcate the principles of Christianity into the tender minds of the rising generation, early piety is affectionately recommended, while no accomplishment is overlooked which can render the young persons amiable and happy. The system of instruction comprehends English grammatically, the varieties of Needle Work, Writing and Arithmetic, Geography, and the Use of the Globes, History and Botany.

Terms: Thirty Guineas per Annum, (Board included) for those Young Ladies above Ten Years of age;  for those under Ten, Twenty-five Guineas.  One Guinea Entrance. Washing Two Guineas per Annum; French, Drawing, and Music on the usual Terms. The House is commodious, with extensive Gardens and Walks.

Kingston, Surry

At the above place, Miss Piper, with able Teachers , has opened a Boarding School for Young Ladies. It appears Miss P. has been very successful in her mode of instruction, and has given general satisfaction. Her terms are moderate, being only Twenty-five Guineas per Annum, which includes, Board, Washing, English Tuition, Useful and Ornamental Needle Work. No Entrance Money.

Ryde, Isle Of Wight

Miss Homer’s Seminary is situated in a delightful part of Ryde, where they have a very commanding prospect of the sea.—Terms for Board, Instruction in the English language, Geography, &c, &c. Twentyfive Guineas per Annum. Entrance Two Guineas.


In February last, Miss Ryall opened a commodious House at the above place, for the reception of a limited number of young Ladies. Much credit is due to Miss R. for the great attention she pays to her pupils ; whose health, comfort, and improvement, appear to be her peculiar study: and what is of considerable importance, the duties of religion are tenderly inculcated. Terms, 30 guineas per Annum: Writing, Arithmetic, Geography, and the use of the Globes, by a celebrated master, at 4 guineas per Annum. Weymouth being a sea-port Town, the advantages of sea-bathing is a considerable acquisition to the Seminary.

Keynsham, Near Bristol

A Seminary for Young Ladies was established at the above place several years since, by Mrs. M Geary, but since her decease it has been conducted by Mrs. Singer and Miss Ford. Terms 20 Guineas per annum, including the common rudiments of education. Music, French, Drawing, Writing, and the Use of the Globes, are subject to an extra charge. We can only observeof this Seminary, that if conducted on the same plan at Mrs. M’Geary’s, considerable credit will be due to the Conductors.Keynsham is a pleasant, healthy village.

Baker Street, Enfield

Mrs. Cotty receives young Ladies into the above Seminary at a very early age, and prepares them for Classical Schools.Terms, 22 guineas per annum.—

Mrs. C. has given the greatest satisfaction to those parents who have intrusted their childrento her charge. They receive all that care and attention which their tender years demand.

Witham, Essex

A Female Seminary is conducted at the above place; by Miss Woollaston, who pays particular attention to the health, comfort, and improvement of her young charge.—Terms, for general instruction, 24 Guineas per Annum.—Entrance One Guinea. French,  Italian, Latin, Music, Drawing, Dancing, each Four Guineas per Annum.—Geography, with the use of Globes, two Guineas per Annum. Writing and accounts, Ten Guineas per Annum.—Washing, 12 shillings per Quarter.—Terms, for Parlour Boarders, 24 Guineas per Quarter.

Francis Terrace, Kentish Town

Mrs. and Miss Barton, who have for several years conducted a Boarding School for Young Ladies, have lately removed into the above House, which is much more commodious than the former. As Mrs. Barton chiefly superintends the domestic concerns, whilst Miss B. and her sisters conduct the Seminary, the comfort and improvement of their pupils is thereby considerably promoted. Every suitable opportunity is embraced for instilling religious principles. Terms 30 Guineas per Annum: no entrance money required.

Harlow, Essex

A Seminary is conducted at the above place by Miss Lodge.—Terms, 20 Guineas per Annum. It appears that French, Drawing, and Music, constitute an additional charge. We are happy to state that Miss L. devotes a considerable portion of her time to her young charge, and that she gives general satisfaction. The situation is delightfully pleasant, and being so contiguous to the metropolis may, on that account, be considered an acquisition.