Established in 1829, Saint Francis Academy of Rome in Baltimore, Maryland, was the first boarding school for black girls. The school was established by the Oblate Sisters of Providence, a group of black nuns who were French-educated. The school opened with twenty-four girls. The only secondary school for black women, Saint Francis became well known and attracted young women from all across the country as well as from Canada. The school had become co-educational by 1865 and was known then as the Saint Francis Academy.