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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Sophia Smith

National Women's History Museum
#HappyBirthday to Sophia Smith, philanthropist and founder of Smith College, born #OnThisDay in 1796. The fourth of seven children, like many girls at the time, Smith only received a minimal education. She never married, and all of her siblings died without children, making Smith the heir to her entire family’s fortune in 1861. By the time she was 40, Smith had begun to go deaf. She considered using the money to start a school for the deaf in Massachusetts before Alexander Graham Bell and John Clarke beat her to it. Instead, Smith decided to endow a women’s college, providing in her will for "the establishment and maintenance of an Institution for the higher education of young women, with the design to furnish for my own sex means and facilities for the education equal to those which are afforded now in our Colleges to young men.” Smith College was chartered in 1871 and opened in 1875. (Photo Credit: Smith College Archives) #WomensHistory

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