Born On This Day ~ February 21 ~ Alice Freeman Palmer ~ American Educator

Born: February 21, 1855 (Colesville, New York)
Died: December 6, 1902 (Paris, France)

Famous For/Known For:
American educator

A Little About Alice Freeman Palmer:
Born Alice Elvira Freeman to James and Elizabeth Freeman. The family owned a farm. In 1861 James decided that he wanted to do more than farming and left the family to pursue an education at Albany Medical School and graduated as a doctor four years later. He returned home when Alice was 6 years old.

Alice attended a rural district school when she lived on the farm. Once her father came back the family moved to Windsor, New York where he established a medical practice. In New York Alice went to Windsor Academy.

Alice had high hopes of furthering her education. Her parents believed that the money for schooling would be better spent on a boy. She promised them that if she could go she would pay for the education of her younger siblings, a promise that she kept.

In 1872 Alice attended the University of Michigan. The school had begun allowing women to be students there two years prior.

After graduating Alice got a job as a principal at a Wisconsin boarding school. But soon was offered a job by the founder of Wellesley College, Mr. Henry Fowler Durant. She was hired as a university professor of history. When Durant died Alice was elected the first female president of a nationally known college.

In 1887 Alice not only announced her engagement to George Palmer, a Philosophy Professor at Harvard but also her resignation as President of Wellesley College.

Over the next few years Alice was actively engaged in promoting higher education for women. She was selected to the Massachusetts Board of Education.

In 1920 Alice was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Great Americans and during World War II a liberty ship was named in her honor, the SS Alice F. Palmer.

Alice Freeman Palmer died due to complications from surgery at the age of 47.

Books About/Written By Alice Freeman Palmer:

Alice Freeman Palmer: The Evolution of a New Woman

The Life of Alice Freeman Palmer

A Service in Memory of Alice Freeman Palmer Held by Her Friends and Associates

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