Travels Through North America, during the years 1825 and 1826
On our return to Bethlehem, we went rather roundabout, in order to see a large farm, which is distinguished in the country on account of its good management; it is occupied by a native of Nassau, Mr. Schlabach. His fields are indeed in an excellent situation, as well as all his barns and farm houses. This proprietor, who is now so wealthy, came over a redemptioner, and owes his present wealth to his industry and frugality. After dinner I went with Mr. Seidel, who is the guardian, to the great female boarding-school. In the office where the small domestic library is kept, which not only consists of religious books, but also belles lettres, voyages and travels, I met the venerable Bishop Huffel, who accompanied me, with Mr. Seidel, during my inspection of the school. In this school we found about one hundred handsome young ladies, between the ages of eight and eighteen years, who are carefully educated, and who, besides the common school education, are instructed in drawing, music, and all female accomplishments. They make very fine embroidery and tapestry, and also handsome artificial flowers. They are divided into four classes; in every class-room was a piano. I was informed that they performed their morning and evening devotions by chanting. After dinner they receive no other instructions but music and female accomplishments; the latter part of the day is employed in walking in the large garden, which lies in a vale behind the house. They have also a hall for prayers, in which stands a piano, and which is often made use of as a concert room. They sleep in large halls, with the superintendents, and the girls have a very good appearance. The custom which prevails in European boarding-schools, of dressing all the girls in uniform, and distinguishing different classes by different ribbons, does not take place here; every girl dresses as she pleases. The scholars are from all parts of the United States, even some from Alabama.