Columbia Athenaeum, School for Young Ladies
- Title: Columbia Athenaeum, School for Young Ladies
- Date: ca. 1860
- Description: Color poster advertising the Columbia Athenaeum. The composition is divided into a main image of the campus, with two diamond-shaped vignettes at top corner, and three scenes of the grounds below.
- Historical Note: The Columbia Athenaeum, a school for young women in Columbia, Tennessee, was founded in 1852 by Reverend Franklin Gillette Smith (1797-1866) after he left the Columbia Female Institute, where he had been headmaster since 1837. The former school had been founded by locally prominent citizens, including Episcopal Bishop of Tennessee James Hervey Otey and Reverend Leonidas Polk (1806-1864), Bishop of the Southwest Territory. Otey, Polk, and other Episcopal leaders were also instrumental in founding the University of the South at Sewanee, although neither lived to see it open after the Civil War. While the Columbia Female Institute closed during the war, Smith and his wife worked tirelessly to keep the Athenaeum boarding school open for any young ladies who cared to stay, fearful that the buildings might be destroyed in their absence. Columbia, the county seat of Maury County, which encompasses some of the richest farmland in the state, became a stronghold of Confederate sympathies during the war. Among the owners of many of the large plantations in the surrounding area can be found several Confederate generals, including Gideon Pillow and Leonidas Polk. Polk, who was a graduate of West Point, resigned from his post as Bishop of Louisiana to fight in the army.
- Institution: Maury County Archives
- Publisher: Digital Initiatives, James E. Walker Library, Middle Tennessee State University
- Rights: Images reproduced on this website are intended for individual, educational use only. For research inquiries about specific objects or requests for high resolution images, contact the Maury County Archives.
- URL: http://cdm15838.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/shades