Miss Dana's School for Young Ladies was a private boarding and finishing school founded in 1860 as the Morris Female Institute, in Morristown, New Jersey at 163 South Street, near Madison Avenue. In 1877 it was leased and renamed by Miss E. Elizabeth Dana, daughter of famed author, jurist, and progressive politician Robert Henry Dana, Jr., of Cambridge, MA. The school closed in 1912 following the death of Miss Dana.
Miss Dana's most notable student was Dorothy Rothschild, later becoming known as Dorothy Parker, a popular American writer and poet as well as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Another notable alumna was Marjorie Hillis, also a popular writer of the 1930s; and social scientist Louise Leonard McLaren.
As with most finishing schools, the rules were strict. There was no smoking, no eating between meals, no candy, no evening dresses and no low-neck dresses. Jewelry was to be kept at a minimum, outings required chaperons and of course, bills had to be paid on time. There were no exceptions.
Miss Dana's curriculum was classical and collegiate. There was the usual Bible, reading, writing, history and math, but also geometry, chemistry, astronomy, Latin and even a form of philosophy, which was considered very progressive for that time.
Miss Dana ensured that her students were not only exposed to current social and political topics, but discussions on these topics were held weekly. Her philosophy was "intellectual and moral".
Because of the well-rounded education Miss Dana provided, her students were automatically accepted to Vassar College, with entrance requirements being waived.