Letters to the Principal: the Correspondence of the McKeen sisters and Don Gordon

Abbot Academy was founded in 1829 as Abbot Female Academy. There were eighteen principals who served Abbot from 1829 until its merger with Phillips Academy in 1973.

This exhibit focuses on correspondence of three people whose tenure was most influential in school history. The McKeen sisters, Philena and Phebe, were a principal/assistant principal duo who began at Abbot just before the Civil War in 1859. The other, Donald Gordon, was the last principal of Abbot Academy, 1968-1973. 

Through careful observation and use of the Abbot Academy Collection, a comparison between the two time periods, as well as the efforts made by the principals, can be seen in their correspondence with students, parents, and the community. Most of the letters used in this exhibit are incoming letters though outgoing letters do exist. More letters are available in the Archives and Special Collections at Phillips Academy. For more information, see the Abbot Academy Collection finding aid: http://www.noblenet.org/paarchives/?page_id=2116