Author: The Independent Gazetteer


“A Lady Proposes to Read A Course of Lectures, on Language, Eloquence, Poetry, Taste and Criticism, By Subscription.” (April 2, 1787)

In this advertisement, published in Philadelphia’s Independent Gazetteer on April 2, 1787, Elizabeth “Eliza” Harriot Barons O’Connor describes her lecture series. This was the first of 140 notices for her lecture series that ran in Philadelphia newspapers. At the time, it was unheard of for a woman to lecture in front of a mixed-gender audience in a university hall. She gave three lectures, beginning April 17, in College Hall, at what was then the University of the State of Pennsylvania, which would become the University of Pennsylvania in 1791.