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"Dear Teacher"

Correspondence about education, parenting, and growing up in Alexandria, Virginia in the 1840s. Selected letters from the James S. Hallowell Collection.


The first Hallowell School in Alexandria was established in 1824 by Benjamin Hallowell, a member of the Society of Friends.   Among his earliest students was young Robert E. Lee, who was tutored to prepare him for entrance to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.   These nine letters date from 1842-1846, the period of time when Benjamin's nephews, James and Caleb, operated the Alexandria Boarding School on North Washington Street.   The image in the background is from a print of the facility from that period.   Prior to its being the school, this group of buildings operated as a sugar factory.   The structures are no longer extant.   The collection was donated to the Alexandria Library in 1996.


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