New Hampton History: Student Life in the 19th Century

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Please enjoy this article presented by Library Director and School Archivist Jerrica Blackey P’19. This second article focuses on student life and a few key figures in the school’s life from 1850-1884.

Religious by nature, men and women of the mid-19th century wanted to stay close to God by studying the bible. New Hampton was proud of its Theological Department which produced many of the country’s profound ministers. Studies included natural theology, evidence of Christianity, scripture geography, and biblical archeology, to name a few. Many would return to the Institution as board members and, or, teachers.

Women during this time wanted to become teachers as well or travel as missionaries and men yearned to study at Dartmouth or Brown to become lawyers and doctors. The curriculum consisted of spelling, geography, philosophy, astronomy, chemistry, Greek and Latin. Both men and women were learning much of the same material. However, women had to supplement their curriculum with painting, drawing, and ornamental needlework along with daily readings from the bible.

Luella “Ella” Elizabeth Pike

Adopted by Jonathan R. and Sarah A. K. (Gordon) Pike, she was born on May 15, 1852, and entered the New Hampton Literary Institution in 1864. While at the Institution, she joined the women’s social fraternity known as the Germanae and completed the English and French courses graduating in 1871. Below are two inserts of her composition notebook writing on our first principal, Martha Hazeltine, and Animals.

Ella Pike's entries about Martha Hazeltine and animals help illustrate student life in the 19th century at New Hampton School.

Mary Emma Taylor

Miss Taylor was a local girl from nearby Alexandria, NH born there in September of 1866. She attended New Hampton from 1888-1891. She joined the Germanae and completed the English and classical courses. Ms. Taylor became a teacher in Bristol after she graduated.

Miss Emma Taylor experienced student life at New Hampton School in the 19th century.

Ralza E. Andrew

Although torn between serving God and serving the public, Ralza E. Andrew would ultimately turn to the church and was ordained in August of 1884. Born in 1861 in Orange, NH, Ralza found his way to New Hampton in 1879, graduating in 1883. After commencement he studied law for a year but gave more heed to the divine and started preaching in Sherburne, NY instead. This was a prosperous place for him, and he would send for Miss Clara A. Fernald in New Hampshire, marrying her November 1884. He went on to continue preaching for the remainder of his life.

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