Tuesday, August 24, 2010

24 August 1827: Professor of Penmenship Promotes Employment

On this day in 1827, the Athenian published the following advertisement:

Professor of Penmanship,
Respectfully informs the inhabitants of Athens, that he intends opening a School for the purpose of instructing young Ladies and Gentlemen in the plain and ornamental branches of Penmanship. Mr. T. flatters himself from the liberal encouragement he has received in Savannah and Augusta, that the citizens of Athens, when acquainted with his system and method of instruction, will not be unwilling to patronize him. Mr. T will teach the Round, Running, Secretary, and Italian Hands--also, German Text, Old English, and Roman Print; likewise, Pen-making.
The cost for the 15 penmanship lessons was $5.00, approximately $111.00 by today's rates. For an extra 50 cents, "Mr. T" would also provide stationery for his students. Classes were held at the Female Academy (which "despite its name, instruction ... was not limited to girls"). The penmanship classes were divided by gender: ladies would be taught from 8am to 9:30am, and gentlemen from 5pm to 6:30pm. As proof of his expertise, "Specimens of writing may be seen at the Post-Office."

Though it is unclear how long "Mr. T" stayed in Athens, all references to J. or Joshua Tucker in the newspaper abstract books end by the fall of 1828, and he did not appear to pay any taxes in Clarke County during his time here. By 1833, writing was part of the standard curriculum at the Female Academy, at a far lower rate than charged as an extra course in 1827.

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