Courtesy of Historic Deerfield, Inc.
Deerfield June 28.th 1799
I am requested, by a
Committee of the Corporation
of Deerfield Academy, which is appointed
for procuring instructors, to invite you
to take the part of an assistant, in the
Academy. I will give you an account of our
situation, that you may be better able to
determine on the subject.
The Academy is an elegant Edifice, having, on
the lower floor, four rooms, one for the English
school, one for the Latin, & Greek school,
the Preceptor's room, and a room for the Museum
and Library. The upper room, being all in one,
is used for examinations, and exhibitions.
The last quarter we had two assistants,
Mr Cutler of Amherst, a very likely young
gentleman, who graduated last fall, at
Williams College; And Mr Alvord of Greenfield,
a mile, or two distant from this place.
The Academy is in a very flourishing state.
The last quarter, there were upwards of 70 students
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In 1799, while he was second headmaster of Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, Claudius Herrick wrote this appeal to an acquaintance to join the academy faculty. The letter is a valuable historical record both of the academy about six months after it opened in January of that year and of the community in which the school had gained prominence. Herrick described the building, with its classrooms, museum and library; he talked of the subjects being offered to the seventy-plus male and female students; he described the town's main street; and he mentioned notable town residents. Herrick assured "Friend Lewis" that if he made the move he would not lack for interesting acquaintances, including Deerfield's "Men of a liberal Education" who were "exceedingly agreeable as Society," as well as "Gentlemen, and Ladies from the neighboring towns." Comparing the academy to Yale College in New Haven, he also assured Mr. Lewis of the school's promising future although it could not afford large salaries at the time due to funds that were "in an unproductive state." Herrick's prediction was borne out, as today Deerfield Academy is a highly regarded private secondary school that draws students locally and from all over the world.
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Letter from second headmaster of Deerfield Academy
| author Claudius Herrick (1775-1831)
| date Jun 28, 1799
| location Deerfield, Massachusetts
| height 13.0"
| width 8.0"
| process/materials manuscript, paper, ink
| item type Personal Documents/Letter
| accession # #L99.103
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