Chapter

Foothold on the Frontier

Sarah A. Curtis

in Civilizing Habits

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780195394184
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866595 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394184.003.0003
Foothold on the Frontier

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This chapter follows Philippine Duchesne to Missouri, where she and her RSCJ companions established girls' schools in and around St. Louis and St. Charles. Duchesne struggled against American conceptions of race regarding African Americans and slavery, while promoting a European vision of class difference. The RSCJ schools were among the first available to frontier girls and followed a French curriculum that proved popular with American parents, including Protestants. Duchesne, however, saw the enrollment of Protestants as an opportunity to gain Catholic converts. The chapter argues that the success of the RSCJ in the United States depended on its responsiveness to local needs, while retaining strong ties to France.

Keywords: Philippine Duchesne; Missouri; St. Louis; slavery; class difference; girls' schools; protestants

Chapter.  13708 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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