Mary Jacobs Graham was an American educator and author, who dedicated her life to the cause of education for girls and women. Her unwavering dedication to this cause earned her a place in the history of American education, and her work continues to inspire generations of educators to this day.

Early Life and Family Background

Mary Jacobs Graham was born in 1788 in New York City, to a prominent family of Dutch descent. Her father was a successful businessman, and her mother was an educated woman who believed in the importance of education for girls. Mary received a private education at home, which was unusual for girls of her time, and she quickly developed a love for learning.


Mary never married and had no children, but she had a close relationship with her sister, who was also dedicated to the cause of education for women. Mary was also known for her close friendships with other prominent women of her time, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.


Mary’s career in education began in 1816 when she opened a school for girls in New York City. Her school was one of the first in the city to offer a comprehensive education for girls, including instruction in academic subjects such as mathematics, science, and history, as well as domestic skills such as cooking and sewing.

In 1824, Mary published a book titled “Letters on the Elementary Principles of Education,” which became a widely popular textbook for teachers and parents. The book was a pioneering work in the field of education, advocating for the importance of a comprehensive education for girls and women, and emphasizing the role of education in promoting the moral and intellectual development of individuals.

Mary’s work as an educator continued throughout her life, and she became a respected figure in the field of education in the United States. She was known for her progressive views on education and her commitment to the cause of education for girls and women.

Net Worth

While there is no record of Mary Jacobs Graham’s net worth, she did not enter the field of education for financial gain. Her dedication to the cause of education was driven by her belief in the transformative power of education, and her desire to empower girls and women to reach their full potential.


Mary Jacobs Graham’s legacy in American education is a significant one. Her work as an educator and author paved the way for future generations of women to enter the field of education, and her advocacy for the importance of education for girls and women helped to break down barriers to education and to promote gender equality.

Mary’s legacy also lives on in the numerous schools and colleges across the United States that bear her name, including the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library in New Jersey and the Mary Jacobs School in Maryland.

Summing up

Mary Jacobs Graham was a trailblazing figure in American education, who dedicated her life to the cause of education for girls and women. Her work as an educator and author continues to inspire and influence educators today, and her legacy is an enduring one. Mary Jacobs Graham’s life is a testament to the power of education to transform individuals and societies, and her contributions to the field of education will continue to be felt for generations to come.