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September 10, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute 1857, Part I

Caroline’s Journal, 1855-1858. Courtesy Bibb Edwards.

In September 2019, Slate River Ramblings ran a series about Caroline Littlepage’s 1856 visit to Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute where her daughter, “Bake,” was a student.

To read about that trip to Buckingham, click here: Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute 1856, Part I

For those of you not familiar with Caroline’s Journal, since 2014, Bibb Edwards has been posting Caroline’s almost daily journal entries from the mid-19th century. The first post was written on June 11, 1864, 150 years earlier to the day. After concluding her Civil War-era journals, Bibb began posting what survives from Caroline’s journals from 1855, 1856 and, currently, 1857.

Click here to learn more about Caroline Baker (Ellett) Littlepage of Woodbury in King William County, Virginia: Caroline’s Journal


In 1857, Baker “Bake” Littlepage returned to Buckingham County to study at Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute. On July 1, her mother, Caroline, began preparing for a trip to Buckingham to attend the commencement exercises and wrote the following in her journal:

I feel so sad at the idea of leaving [daughters] Nannie & [Pigeo] that it is almost with reluctance that I am trying to make preparation for my departure. Tho’ I am so anxious to make the trip to see the other children, & Bake will be so much delighted to see me I know.

Caroline was particularly concerned about Pigeo’s health and, on July 3, wrote:

Commenced packing my trunk this evening but feel so melancholly (sic) at the idea of the dear little children, that I hardly knew what I am about. I almost wish I had never thought of going.

There were many schools located closer to Woodbury available to the Littlepage family. Sending Bake all the way to Buckingham County is a testament to the quality and reputation of Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute.

Coming next: Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute 1857, Part II

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