NW Quadrant, West of Rock Creek, Georgetown, Architecturally Significant, Female, Radicals

Emma Willard
(February 23, 1787 – April 15, 1870)

Georgetown Female Seminary, Now the Colonial Apartments, 1305-1315 30th St. NW, Georgetown neighborhood, DC. Marked by an historic plaque.

A passionate advocate for women’s rights, Willard dedicated her life to the education of girls and young women, and is best known for founding the Troy Female Seminary in Troy NY. From 1830 to 1835, Willard taught at Lydia English’s Georgetown Female Seminary.

Willard’s 1819 pamphlet, A Plan for Improving Female Education, was followed by an address to the New York Legislature. She stated that “the taste of men…has been made into a standard for the formation of the female character” but that religion, not to mention pure reason, teaches us that “we too are primary existences…not the satellites of men.”

Willard married a physician 28 years her senior, with whom she had a son. She also raised four step-children. She was the author of numerous textbooks in geography, history, anatomy, and morals. She also published a book of poems, The Fulfillment of a Promise (1831), which included her popular poem, “Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep.”

Also home of Jessie Benton Fremont and Mabel Loomis Todd.

Year: 1820
The Georgetown Female Seminary was commissioned by Miss Lydia English; the architect is unknown. English ran the school in this location from 1820 to 1861, after which time it served as a temporary Civil War Hospital. It was built with 19 bedrooms, a library, and several parlors, and had running hot water. In 1870, the building was converted to apartments.