Catherine Esther Beecher

(1800-1878 / East Hampton, New York)

Catherine Esther Beecher Quotes

  • ''Unusual precocity in children, is usually the result of an unhealthy state of the brain; and, in such cases, medical men would now direct, that the wonderful child should be deprived of all books and study, and turned to play or work in the fresh air.''
    Catherine E. Beecher (1800-1878), U.S. educator and author. Treatise on Domestic Economy for the Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School, ch. 18 (1843). Beecher had girls in mind, especially. A pioneer in female education, she was very concerned about excessive mental stimulation, which, she claimed, could lead to "idiocy or an early grave."
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  • ''... the physical and domestic education of daughters should occupy the principal attention of mothers, in childhood: and the stimulation of the intellect should be very much reduced.''
    Catherine E. Beecher (1800-1878), U.S. educator and author. Treatise on Domestic Economy for the Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School, ch. 4 (1843).
  • ''... any men who would give up the law-making power to women in order to remedy existing evils, would surely be those most ready to enact the needful laws themselves.''
    Catherine E. Beecher (1800-1878), U.S. educator and author. Woman's Profession as Mother and Educator, with Views in Opposition to Woman Suffrage, "An Address to the Christian Women of America," (1872). Beecher was challenging the pro-suffrage argument that women needed the vote in order to influence the passage of progressive legislation. Her rather intricate argument held that if men were progressive enough to grant suffrage to women, then women didn't need suffrage, because those progressive men could be counted on to support the positions that women favored.
  • ''... it is the right and duty of every woman to employ the power of organization and agitation in order to gain those advantages which are given to the one sex and unjustly withheld from the other.''
    Catherine E. Beecher (1800-1878), U.S. educator and author. Woman's Profession as Mother and Educator with Views in Opposition to Woman Suffrage (1872). From an address delivered on December 10, 1870, at the Music Hall of Boston. Beecher, an important advocate of the systematization of housework and of education and economic independence for women, nonetheless was never captivated by the era's woman suffrage movement. She favored suffrage only for women whose names appeared on the tax rolls; hers probably did, as she was single and self-supporting.
  • ''... pure and intelligent women can be deceived and misled by the baser sort, their very innocence and experience making them credulous and the helpless tools of the guilty and bold.''
    Catherine E. Beecher (1800-1878), U.S. educator and author. Woman's Profession as Mother and Educator, with Views in Opposition to Woman Suffrage, "An Address to the Christian Women of America," (1872). She was framing an argument against woman suffrage, claiming that "pure" women would be easily led to unfortunate voting choices.
  • ''... a large portion of those who demand woman suffrage are persons who have not been trained to reason, and are chiefly guided by their generous sensibilities.''
    Catherine E. Beecher (1800-1878), U.S. educator and author. Woman's Profession as Mother and Educator, with Views in Opposition to Woman Suffrage, "An Address to the Christian Women of America," (1872). Beecher was both an anti-suffragist and a passionate advocate of education for girls and women.
  • ''When the precepts and example of Jesus Christ fully interpermeate society, to labor with the hands will be regarded not only as a duty but a privilege.''
    Catherine E. Beecher (1800-1878), U.S. educator and author. Woman's Profession as Mother and Educator, with Views in Opposition to Woman Suffrage, "An Address to the Christian Women of America," (1872).
  • ''The principle of subordination is the great bond of union and harmony through the universe.''
    Catherine E. Beecher (1800-1878), U.S. educator and author. Woman's Profession as Mother and Educator, with Views in Opposition to Woman Suffrage, "An Address to the Christian Women of America," (1872). Beecher argued that, just as all people were properly subordinate to God, so employees should be subordinate to their employers and women subordinate to men. She herself was a hard-working, independent educator and proponent of education for women; she never married.
  • ''... the school should be an appendage of the family state, and modeled on its primary principle, which is, to train the ignorant and weak by self-sacrificing labor and love; and to bestow the most on the weakest, the most undeveloped, and the most sinful.''
    Catherine E. Beecher (1800-1878), U.S. educator and author. Woman Suffrage and Woman's Profession (1871).
  • ''The care of a house, the conduct of a home, the management of children, the instruction and government of servants, are as deserving of scientific treatment and scientific professors and lectureships as are the care of farms, the management of manure and crops, and the raising and care of stock.''
    Catherine E. Beecher (1800-1878), U.S. educator and author. Woman Suffrage and Woman's Profession (1871). Beecher was a leader in the domestic science, or home economics, movement, which aspired to systematize and "scientize" housework and home management.

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