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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Judith Vermeule Phillips (1796-1881)

Most parents in nineteenth-century Chapel Hill tutored their children at home. Boys could enter the university at fourteen. Professor James Phillips and his wife, Judith Vermeule Phillips, opened a school for girls in their home on Franklin Street. In an 1838 advertisement, the school offered its students a diverse and broad curriculum, including languages, mathematics, natural history, natural philosophy, music, drawing, and needlework. The Phillips educated their daughter Cornelia in this school as well as the daughters of science professor Elisha Mitchell.