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Oberlin College
Encyclopedia of Women's History - from Jone Johnson Lewis
Oberlin Collegiate Institute was founded in Oberlin, Ohio, by liberal Congregationalists in 1833, the first institute of higher education in the United States to conduct the "joint education of the sexes." By 1835, race was no longer a barrier to admission, either.

Many women took courses in the Ladies' Course, which did not include, for example, the Latin, Greek and Hebrew courses required for the full Collegiate degree.

The school also came to include a Preparatory Department, for those students not yet prepared for the college-level courses, and a Theological Department, which first unofficially admitted women in 1847. Antoinette Brown and Lettice Smith were the first two women in the Theological Seminary, but were admitted as "Resident Graduates," not degree students.

Some notable women graduates from the early decades of Oberlin College's existence include: Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Abby Kelley Foster, Sallie Holley, Lucretia Mott, Caroline Putnam, and Lucy Stone.


  • Soul Mates: The Oberlin Correspondence of Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown, 1846-1850. Carol Lasser and Marlene Merrill, editors. Oberlin College: Oberlin, Ohio, 1983.
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