Catharine Esther Beecher (September 6, 1800 - May 12, 1878) was an American educator known for her forthright opinions on female education as well as her vehement support of the many benefits of the incorporation of kindergarten into children's education Beecher was born September 6, 1800, in East Hampton, New York, the daughter of outspoken religious leader Lyman Beecher and Roxanna (Foote) Beecher. She was the sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the 19th century abolitionist and writer most famous for her groundbreaking novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, and of clergymen Henry Ward Beecher and Charles Beecher.Beecher was educated at home until she was ten years old, when she was sent to a private school in Litchfield, Connecticut, where she was taught the limited curriculum available to young women. The experience left her longing for additional opportunities for education. She taught herself subjects not commonly offered to women, including math, Latin, and philosophy. She took over the domestic duties of her household at the age of 16, following her mother's death. Beecher became a teacher in 1821 at a school in New Haven, Connecticut. Catharine was engaged to marry Professor Alexander M. Fisher of Yale University, but he died at sea before the wedding took place. She never married.To provide such educational opportunities for others, in 1823 Beecher opened the Hartford Female Seminary, where she taught until 1832. The private girls' school in Hartford, Connecticut, had many well-known alumni, including Catharine's sister Harriet, who also assisted her at the school.
Comprehending the deficiencies of existing textbooks, she prepared, primarily for use in her own school, some elementary books in arithmetic, a work on theology, and a third on mental and moral philosophy. The last was never published, although printed and used as a college textbook.
She was constantly making experiments, and practicing them upon the girls, weighing all their food before they ate it, holding that Graham flour and the Graham diet were better for them than richer food. Ten of her pupils invited her to dine with them at a restaurant. She accepted the invitation, and the excellent dinner changed her views. Thereafter they were served with more palatable food