body and mind. I may also add that the mental
occupations upon which our graduates enter after
leaving our college tend to increase the strength and
activity of body and mind of the lady students." *
* Ibid., p. 508.
1 86 AMERICAN COLLEGES.
President Bascom, of the University of Wisconsin,
after making a thorough study of this question,
thus writes in a recent report :
" Though my conviction has been, previous to
this report, that the health of the young women, as
a whole, was better than that of the young men, and
that there were striking instances of graduation with
robust strength, I am striving to test this opinion by
facts, so far with the following results. All excuses
for ill-health are given by me. The exact number
of students in our collegiate and dependent courses
is 357. Of this number 93 are young women a
trifle more than one-quarter. During the past eight
weeks, the most trying weeks in the year for stu-
dents, there have been 155 days of absence from ill-
health on the part of young men, and 18 on the part
of young women. The young women should have
lost, according to their numbers, 54 days, or three
times as many as they have actually lost. The stu-
dents were not aware that any such registration was
being made. It may be felt that the young men
are less conscientious in pleading ill-health than the
young women, and this is doubtless true ; but I
sharply question a young man, and rarely ask any
questions of a young woman. I explain the facts in
this way. The young men are not accustomed to
confinement, and though sun-browned and appar-
WOMAWS ED UCA TION. 1 87
ently robust, they do not endure the violent transi-
tion as well as women. Study is more congenial to
the habits of young women, and the visiting com-
mittee are certainly mistaken in supposing that they
have to work harder in accomplishing their tasks.
The reverse is true. In addition to the above bill of
ill-health against the young men, a corresponding
large number of them have been compelled, from the
same cause, to leave the University altogether.
" A second showing of the registration, which I
had not contemplated, but one very interesting, is
this : the absences of the young women are almost
exclusively in the lower classes. Of the eighteen,
two are in the Sub-Freshman, fourteen in the Fresh-
man, one in the Sophomore, one in the Junior, and
none in the Senior. The absences of the young men
are evenly distributed, on the other hand, through
the entire course. The young women do not, then,
seem to deteriorate with us in health, but quite the
opposite. I do not belong to the number of those
who set lightly by health I would not sacrifice any
measure of it for scholarship ; but it has long seemed
to me plain that a young woman who withdraws
herself from society and gives herself judiciously to
a college course, is far better circumstanced in refer-
ence to health than the great majority of her sex." *
* Ibid., quoted, pp. 509, IO.
1 88 AMERICAN COLLEGES.
These testimonies might be multiplied, but suf-
ficient have been adduced to prove that women
entering college as well fitted as men, pursuing stud-
ies under conditions as favorable to the preserva-
tion of health as those under which men are placed,
graduate with constitutions as vigorous as those
of the men. Indeed, the evidence indicates that
the physical vigor of women constantly increases
throughout the college course.
The scholarship of the women, moreover, is excel-
lent. They maintain at least as high a rank as their
brother students. The fear that their admission
would lower the scholastic standards has proved to
be utterly without foundation. In the public schools
it is generally acknowledged that girls are better
scholars than boys. The same relative standing
continues in the college. It is, however, to be said
that the natural ability of the young women is prob-
ably higher than that of the young men, for only
the women of superior intellectual natures seek a
collegiate training, and young men of all grades of
ability go or are driven to college. In reference to
this question of scholarship, President White, of
Cornell University, wrote at a time when, under the
proposal of opening this university to women, he
was studying the system of co-education in other
" If it be said that the presence of women will
tend to lower the standard of scholarship, or at all
events to keep the Faculty from steadily raising it,
it may be answered at once, that all the facts ob-
served are in opposition to this view. The letters
received by the Committee, and their own recent
observations in class-rooms, show beyond a doubt
that the young women are at least equals of the
young men in collegiate studies. As already stated,
the best Greek scholar among the thirteen hundred
students of the University of Michigan, a few years
since ; the best mathematical scholar in one of the
largest classes of that institution to-day, and several
among the highest in natural science, and in the
general courses of study, are young women.
" It has been argued that the want of accuracy
and point, the * sloppiness ' of much of the scholar-
ship in some of the newer colleges, is due to the
admission of women. The facts observed by the
Committee seem to prove that this argument is
based on the mistake of concomitancy for cause.
If ' sloppiness' and want of point are inadmissible
anywhere, it is in translation from the more vigorous
and concise ancient and modern authors. Now, the
most concise and vigorous rendering from the most
concise and vigorous of all Tacitus himself was
given by a young lady at Oberlin College. Nor did
the Committee notice any better work in the most
difficult of the great modern languages than that of
some young women at Antioch College." *
The long and varied experience of the President
of Oberlin College is in the line of President White's
observation. Dr. Fairchild remarks :
" We find no difference in ability to maintain
themselves [women students] in the recitation-room.
Under the circumstances, I shall be excused for re-
ferring to my own individual experience, which has
been somewhat varied. The first eight years of my
work as a teacher was in the department of the
Ancient Languages Latin, Greek, and Hebrew ;
the next eleven in mathematics, abstract and applied ;
the last eight, in Philosophical and Ethical studies.
In all these studies my classes have included young
women as well as young men, and I have never ob-
served any difference between them in performance
in the recitation. The strong and the weak scholars
are equally distributed between the sexes.
" In this statement I do not imply that I see no
difference between the normal male and female mind
as to taste for particular studies. I have no doubt
of the existence of such differences ; but they~do not
appear in the ability as pupils to comprehend and
* Orton's Liberal Education of Women, p. 223.
WOMAN'S EDUCATION. 191
express the truth. A few days since, on a visit to
the University of Michigan, I attended a recitation
in Thucydides. So far as could be judged from a
single exercise, in which there were many excellent
performances, the daughter of the Professor of Greek,
the only young lady under the wing of the Univer-
sity, led the class. But it did not strike me as an
anomaly ; I had often seen such things." *
President Edward Orton, of Antioch, bears similar
"As to the intellectual result of co-education, I
have seen nothing to warrant the belief that the
general average of scholarship is lowered by it.
Young women, as we find them, have not the same
powers of endurance, in severe and protracted study,
that young men have ; but, on the other hand, they
do much of their work with greater facility. In the
Languages, in Rhetoric and Belles-lettres, for in-
stance, they are apter pupils than their brothers.
Perhaps we do not find them as strong or original
mathematicians as young men, but still it must be
said that if the two most successful scholars of the
last seven years, with us, were to be named in this
department, both sexes would be represented. They
recite what they know better, on the average, than
* Ibid., pp. 245, 6.
192 AMERICAN COLLEGES.
young men. The sexes seem to take different results
from the same course. The philosophic phases of a
subject always seem to me to take deeper hold of
young men. They have ' Darwinism,' for instance,
harder. It seems to me that a more symmetrical
view is obtained when a subject has been "brought
under both points of vision." *
A member of the St. Lawrence University, of
New York, writes in reference to the women stu-
dents, that " their average proficiency in all studies
is quite as high as that of the young men ; " f and
President Magoun, of Iowa College, has likewise
affirmed: "It has not been found that young ladies,
equally prepared, were at all behind young men in
the more difficult college studies mathematics, lan-
guages, science, or philosophy." \
The evidence is, therefore, abundant and explicit
that the scholarship of the women is as high as the
scholarship of the men in-the colleges which admit
But intellectual training is of small worth in com-
parison with moral culture. What, then, are the
results of co-education in the domain of personal
character? Have immoralities prevailed? Has
* Ibid., pp. 270, I. f Old and New ', Vol. IV., p. 129.
\ Ibid., p. 760.
WOMAN'S ED UCA TION. ig+
woman become mannish? Has the peach been made
to lose its bloom ? Have the reserve, the delicacy,
the tenderness qualities that are the special adorn-
ment of womanhood been sacrificed or even im-
paired ? The testimony is unanimous in the nega-
tive. President White, in the paper from which
an extract has already been made, writes :
" That there may be some danger to certain classes
of women shallow in character and weak in mind is
not unlikely, but of all women, these are the least
likely to involve themselves in the labor of prepara-
tion for the university or of going on with its courses
of study. As to the good effect on the women who
have actually entered the colleges, the testimony is
ample. The Committee in its visits found no op-
posing statement either from college officers, stu-
dents of either sex, or citizens of university towns,
and all their observations failed to detect any symp-
toms of any loss of the distinctive womanly qualities
so highly prized. Nor have they found that those
who have been thus educated have shown any lack
of these qualities in after life. On the contrary, it
would be hard to find a body of women combining
these qualities more nobly than the matrons of this
State and surrounding States, who have graduated
at the Academies and Normal Schools. These quali-
ties they have, by the agreement of all observers, in
194 AMERICAN COLLEGES.
a very much higher degree than the women of coun-
tries where a semi-conventual system of education is
Six years after Cornell University was opened to
women, it was affirmed, it is worthy of note, by one
of its members, that " the whole tone of the Univer-
sity has greatly improved." f
The testimony of President Fairchild is no less
" You would know whether the result with us has
been a large accession to the numbers of coarse,
' strong-minded ' women, in the offensive sense of
the word ; and I say, without hesitation, that I do
not know of a single instance of such a product as
the result of our system of education. * *
" To show that our system of education does not
bewilder woman with a vain ambition, or tend to
turn her aside from the work which God has im-
pressed upon her entire constitution, I may state
that of the eighty-four ladies that have taken the
college course, twenty-seven only are unmarried.
Of these twenty-seven, four died early, and of the
remaining twenty-three, twenty are graduates of less
than six years' standing. The statistics of the grad-
* Orton's Liberal Education of Women, pp. 219, 20.
\ Report of the Mass. Society for the University Education of
Women, 1880, p. 18.
WOMAN'S ED UCA TION. 195
uates of the Ladies' Course would give essentially
the same result." *
Similar sentiments have been expressed by Horace
Mann and Mrs. Mann regarding the college of which
he was the first president. President Canfield, of
the University of Kansas, writes that there have
passed " sixteen years of radical co-education with-
out even a whisper of scandal." f
The President of Butler University, Indiana, says :
" Let me assure you that a better set of students
than ours it would be difficult to find. On no occa-
sion whatever has discipline been made necessary by
the association of the sexes. Our students are gentle
and modest on the one hand, polite and gallant on
the other ; while on both they are attentive, indus-
trious, and obedient. ' \
Many testimonies of a general character in favor
of the system of co-education might be presented.
They refer, in fact, to points already discussed.
The President of the University of Michigan says :
" Women graduates are doing their full part in win-
ning a reputation for Michigan University, and are
* Orton's Liberal Education of Women, pp. 249, 50.
\ The Nation. No. 932, p. 401.
\ Report of the Mass. Society for the University Education of
Women, 1880, p. 20.
I 9 6 AMERICAN COLLEGES.
justifying the wisdom of the Regents who opened
to^them the opportunities for a thorough classical
The President of the University of Wisconsin also
"After an experience of ten years in large college-
classes, I am more than convinced of the suitable-
ness of co-education ; I believe it to be pre-eminently
the fitting method of training our youth. I can
only briefly indicate my reasons.
" The fears so often expressed in reference to its
effects on manners, on health, on the standard of
scholarship,' on the type of female character, have
not been found by me to be true, but quite the re-
verse of the truth. On the other hand, this method
gives a vigor, insight, and scope to higher education
not attainable under the narrower conditions of sex-
ual division. It is impossible to secure breadth with-
" Both men and women should encounter the
conditions of life in regular sequence as they arise.
A period of seclusion is no preparation for new,
closer, and more responsible contact. It is very piti-
ful that some doctrinaire should have the power to
* Report of the Mass. Society for the University Education of
Women, 1880, p. 18.
WOMAN'S ED UCA TION. 197
prepare for women a private regimen that excludes
a portion of the most weighty conditions and in-
fluences of that life which we have actually to en-
"While much maybe said in behalf of one, two, or
three colleges recently provided for women, most of
the instruction furnished for them is, and will re-
main, greatly inferior to that offered to young men.
Even the best of this instruction is inferior in the
scope of its influence to that furnished in our older
institutions, which have behind them the gathered
force of our national life. It is uneconomical in
theory, and impossible in practice, to provide a sec-
ond series of colleges equal in extension and educa-
tional force to those already in existence.
" Seclusion in the education of women means weak-
ness, and weakness means continued subjection to a
faulty conventional sentiment ; seclusion means in-
feriority, and this inferiority is not to be measured
by the distance between the best institutions open
respectively to young men and young women, but
by the distance from centre to centre, the difference
of the average work in the two directions." *
The President of Boston University affirms the
satisfactory character of the results of co-education in
* The Critic. No. 66, pp. 154, 55.
1 98 AMERICAN COLLEGES.
the institution which he serves. When the present
President of Columbia College was the chief execu-
tive officer of the University of Alabama, at Tusca-
loosa, it was his custom to invite the attendance on
his lectures of young women from a neighboring
female seminary. The effect of this association upon
the manners of the young men was most advan-
tageous; and the results were so satisfactory that
the example was followed by other officers of the
The results of the system generally known as the
" Harvard Annex," so far as they have any bearing
upon this question, are in favor of co-education.
This system is simply, that the professors of the
University are teaching private classes of young
women in the college studies. In speaking of this
system, Professor A. P. Peabody has said :
" I can see no reason why young men and young
women may not study and recite together as well as
talk, sing, and dance together. The reason usually
given why they should not is purely a relic of some
tradition, the reason for which has been entirely lost
to the memory of man. When we think that they
are to be together in the building, the most inno-
cent and fitting of all associations would seem to be
an association in the very highest pursuits, next to
their eternal well-being, in which they can be en-
gaged. There is no reason why association in this
matter should be postponed."
Although Columbia College, despite the recom-
mendations of its president, refuses to admit women
to its classes, it has yet provided an arrangement
which offers even more advantages than the " Har-
vard Annex." The officers of the college examine
women for entrance to a four-year course of study,
prescribe this course, which for the first two years is
obligatory, and for the second two elective, examine
students, and at the close grant a certificate, which
stands in the place of a degree. This system is in-
augurated in the college year of 1883-84. Neither
its precise details nor, much less, its results are at
present known. But the fact indicates at least prog-
ress in the provision for the higher education of
women, and in the views of many it shows an ad-
vance toward the introducton of co-education into
this most conservative institution.
The scope of this work fails to permit extended
reference to the education of European women.
England has four universities of ancient establish-
ment : Oxford, Cambridge, London, and Durham.
Professors at Oxford have admitted women to their
lectures, and Somerville College and Lady Margaret
Hall have recently been opened for the special use
of female students. Cambridge admits women to
200 AMERICAN COLLEGES.
its Honor examinations, and its professors instruct
the students of Girton College and Newnham Hall.
London University admits women to degrees and to
honors on the same terms as men ; and Durham
University grants to them degrees in arts.
From the seventh to the fifteenth century, 'Eng-
lish women received precisely the same education as
English men. It was not till the convent schools
were swept away in the sixteenth century that they
were denied those educational facilities which the
last quarter of the nineteenth century is restoring.
THE statistics contained in the following Tables have been in the
main obtained from the returns made to the U. S. Commissioner of
Education for the year i3So-8i. From the five or six hundred insti-
tutions bearing the name of college, the difficulty in selecting those
whose merits entitle them to be so ranked has been very great, and it
cannot be hoped that perfect justice has been done. Mr. Eaton's ar-
rangement has been in general followed. Those institutions, how-
ever, returning no students in the collegiate departments have been
omitted. The list as it now stands embraces 312 colleges, four-fifths
of which have connected with them preparatory departments. Of
this number 171 admit both sexes on equal terms, 133 admit 3nly men,
and 5 women only. The whole number of students is 29,101, one-
sixth of whom, as nearly as can be estimated, are women.
As regards States, they are" distributed as follows :
i New Jersey
'Virginia . . .
Sixteen religious denominations are represented in their manage-
ment, among which they are divided as follows :
S D Advent
Reformed German . .
Of the colleges now in existence, two date their foundation to the
seventeenth century, and twenty-two to the eighteenth. The remain-
ing two hundred and eighty-eight have been founded since the year
1800. The subjoined table gives the number of charters granted in
each decade of the present century.
Date of 1
Marion, Ala. ...
Boonsboro, Ark. .
Judsonia, Ark. . . .
Little Rock, Ark.
Benicia, Cal. .
M. E. So.
*University of Alabama . . .
*Arkansas College . ...
*St. John's Col. of Arkansas.
tMissionary College of St.
* Admits both sexes. t Admits men only. $ Admits women only.
*Pierce Christian College...
*University of California...
tSt. Mary's College
tSanta Clara College
^University of the Pacific..
^Pacific Methodist College..
University of Colorado
College City. Cal.
Santa Clara, Cal .
Santa Clara, Cal.
Santa Rosa, Cal . .
Colo . .
I8 > 3
M. E. So.
'6 4 60
Hartford. Conn . .