In colonial times some girls in New England went to “dame schools,” where they were taught reading, writing, and arithmetic by an older woman in her home.
After the American Revolutionary War many more girls went to school.
In Massachusetts, towns had to provide free elementary schools for all children after 1789.
New private schools, such as the Young Ladies Academy of Philadelphia, opened to give girls a high school education. At these academies girls learned not only reading and writing, but also grammar, rhetoric, geography, history, arithmetic, and even public speaking.
In addition, they might have lessons in music or dancing.
Missionaries, determined to convert Native Americans to Christianity, began to teach girls and boys to read and write.
As early as 1727 Catholic nuns in New Orleans taught Native American girls as well as African Americans and whites.