Adams, Mary Electa

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Adams, Mary Electa

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1823-1898

History

Mary Electa Adams was born in Westbury, Lower Canada (Quebec) on 10 November 1823, the daughter of Rufus and Maria (Hubbard) Adams. She grew up in Adamsville, Upper Canada (now Acton, Ontario) and was educated in a school run by her mother. She completed her studies in Montpelier, Vermont and at the Cobourg Ladies’ Seminary in Ontario. Thereafter, she taught at the Adelaide Academy (Toronto), the Picton Academy, and Albion Academy (Albion, Michigan). In 1854 she was hired as the first preceptress of the Female Academy at Mount Allison in Sackville, New Brunswick. She established a rigorous program of study that ultimately led to Mount Allison University being the first institution in Canada to offer bachelor’s degrees to women. She next led the Wesleyan Ladies’ College (Hamilton, Ontario), established the Brookhurst Academy (Cobourg, Ontario), and finished her fifty year career at the Ontario Ladies’ College (Whitby, Ontario). Mary Electa Adams is widely recognized as an advocate for women’s education and worked tirelessly throughout her life to further this goal. She died in Toronto, Ontario on 5 November 1898.

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