Mary Caroline Crawford.

The college girl of America and the institutions which make her what she is online

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age. So they got in " Aunt Mary Jane," a negro
cook who had been in the family, and took a shop.
Then the Inn grew to fill a very real and long-felt
need. And though the corporation is not yet many
years old, it is already very firmly established, and
pays handsome dividends to its stockholders.

One other college woman venture of a decidedly
domestic nature is the Sunshine Laundry, carried
on in Brookline, Massachusetts, by two Smith gradu-
ates. A feature of this establishment is the cleanli-
ness and airiness of the rooms in which the work
is done. Higher prices than are commonly charged
for laundry work are here demanded, but none of
the hundreds of regular customers on the establish-
ment's list demur at larger bills, since these ensure
better service than could be anywhere else obtained.

After College — What? 299

Another college-bred girl that I know has gone
into the employment business. From her own ex-
perience she had observed that ladies are in constant
tribulation because of inability to secure good help
willing to stay in service. And from her work in
a college settlement house she had come to have a
good understanding of the servant's side of the ques-
tion. She saw clearly that what was needed was
a higher sense of personal obligation on the part
of both people making the contract. She allied
herself, therefore, with a woman's association of
standing, and is going far to solve the problem by
dissolving the difficulties of the servant situation.
For, while the mistress makes concessions to the
maid in this establishment, the maid similarly binds
herself to the mistress. Then, if both are honest —
as they usually are — the contract entered into bids
fair to be a tolerably stable one. This is a work
which requires no capital whatever, and one in which
any girl interested in matters sociological, and pos-
sessed of warm human interest and a fair amount
of tact, might easily engage without leaving her
home, provided, of course, that the community in
which she lives is large enough to give opportunity
for usefulness in this line.

Another of the new social forces, which are doing
so much tO' make the world a sweeter place to live in,

300 The College Girl of America

is that exercised by the woman rent collector. It
is the duty of a young woman filling this position
to see that the rents of buildings under her charge
are promptly paid and that the tenements are kept
in repair. But her work is much finer and broader
than this mere business side of it, for she can help
sustain a high standard of home life in the tene-
ments, and, by her influence, lead the tenants to
cleaner, better ways of living than they have known.
In establishing order and cleanliness, in managing
the property with justice to both tenant and land-
lord, her duties as agent end. But having gained
her tenants' confidence by fair treatment, she can
help them as a friend. Indeed, they will often ap-
peal to her for advice or sympathy. Her help,
though philanthropy, is not charity, however. Grow-
ing out of fair business relations, it has a per-
manency which philanthropy pure and simple does
not ensure.

The work of a social secretary likewise appeals
strongly to the girl trained in college. With the
rise of the factory system, the corporation, and the
trust, the interests of business have become so great
as to absorb the time of those directly responsible
for it. The new conditions have created a new
need, — that of a woman who can devote her en-
tire time to becoming acquainted with employees.

After College — What? 301

who can attend to the sanitary and physical condi-
tions under which they work and secure better re-
suhs o>f labour. To do this requires training, tact,
intelligence, sympathy, and experience. The social
secretary must possess originality and a jx>wer of
adaptation, together with a capacity for hard work.
She must oversee the library and superintend the
entertainments to raise money for it and other pur-
poses. She must watch the lunch-rooms and see
that a proper standard of food is maintained. She
must be prime mover in planning outings of all
kinds. If a school for cash or errand boys is started,
she must act as its supervisor. In cases of
illness or distress, it is she who seeks out the absent
employee, and brings the necessary aid. If a mutual
benefit fund exist among the operatives, she takes
an active interest in its workings. The daily re-
quests for her advice or assistance present a variety
ranging through matters of health, board, courses
of study for the evening, salary, dentists, vacations,
and shirt-waist patterns. " But far above all this,"
as a successful social secretary has well said, " rests
the individual personal touch, the high ideals of life
made attractive, the power to take a girl whose
breeding has been of the ' tumbled up ' sort and to
reveal to her the * vision splendid.' "

In creative work of the arts and crafts variety,

302 The College Girl of America

too, as well as along ameliorative lines, college girls
may to-day do much to help the world. William
Morris is the controlling ideal of one unique little
Boston shop to which I greatly like to go occasion-
ally. This is the bookbindery of Miss Mary Sears,
high up in a building opposite Boston Common.
There are several women bookbinders in the coun-
try, but Miss Sears stands alone, I fancy, in the
spirit with which she has undertaken her work.
Trained in the best ateliers of London and Paris,
she is an enthusiastic teacher of her craft as well as
an excellent binder. But she accepts as pupils only
such choice spirits as are, like herself, in love with
books and bookbinding. All the work in her little
establishment is done by the fingers of these enthusi-
astic apprentices, and every book bound reflects the
intelligence of the women concerned in it. On a
dainty morocco volume of Keats would be traced,
perhaps, some lines which would show at once that
the worker herself knew and loved the figures on
the Greek Urn. Such binding as this naturally at-
tracts to the little shop the most conspicuous bibli-
ophiles of Boston. Consequently the good work
pays, as the late Henry Demarest Lloyd contended
that work with high ideals always will.

For the girl whose lot is cast in the country, as
well as for city maidens, there are, however, new

After College — What? 303

and interesting lines of labour. Miss Mary Cutler,
of Holliston, Massachusetts, left several years ago
with some greenhouse property on her hands, re-
solved to make herself mistress of horticultural and
floricultural lore. Accordingly, she has worked and
studied until to-day her small fruit department is
stocked with many varieties hardly obtainable else-
where. And she is able to offer ornamental trees
and shrubs of rare and rich beauty. Pecuniarily as
well as in other ways. Miss Cutler has made a de-
cided success of this work. For years Margaret
Deland, the Boston author, has raised jonquils in
her window garden, which she is able to sell each
spring at a good price. Mrs. Deland is, therefore,
an enthusiastic advocate of window-gardening for
profit. I know, too, a girl in Long Island, New
York, who, though she lives some seventy-five miles
from the metropolis, her market, is able to make
a very good income raising violets for the city flo-
rists and for private customers.

Deerfield, Massachusetts, offers, however, the
most remarkable instance of success in home indus-
tries afforded by any country-place of which I know.
Concerning three of these only I will speak : that oi
magazine illustration by photographs — in which
the Misses Allen, of this quaint old town, have made
a great success ; the blue and white embroidery now

304 The College Girl of America

renowned the country over, and the basket-making.
The world knows Deerfield Village by its Society
of Blue and White Needlework, formed by Miss
Margaret Whiting and Miss Miller, residents of the
town. This society has now been in existence some
half a dozen years, and at the present time there
are nearly a score of women working on the designs
which Miss Miller and Miss Whiting have adapted
from the old embroideries and bits of china in which
Deerfield homes abound. Embroidery in the old
days was a very different thing from buying a piece
of cloth with a design stamped and the silk selected.
When a girl preparing her trousseau decided to
make a set of curtains and a spread for the best bed,
she took carefully selected flax, hetchelled and spun
it, wove it into cloth, and bleached it on the grass.
Some of the linen thread she dyed two or three
shades of blue in the indigo-tub which always stood
in the chimney-corner. Then she drew a design
on the linen, very lightly, making it up as she went
along, with a bit of charcoal. This design she filled
in with queer, fanciful stitches. These old-fashioned
embroideries are for the most part Oriental in char-
acter, and were probably suggested by the figures
on Eastern shawls which were brought home by sea-
captains. But now, through the Deerfield Blue and
White Society, many a home w^hich cannot boast of

After College — What? 305

sea-captain ancestors enjoys the graceful patterns
of the olden times.

Here, then, are a dozen concrete examples of suc-
cess in new enterprises undertaken by educated
women. What some girls have done other girls
can do in these uncrowded fields. But chiefly for
their value as suggestions, as possible points of de-
parture to still other original occupations, have these
accounts been given. In woman's work, as else-
where, pioneering, difficult as it is, offers its own
peculiar zest and its own rich reward. And never
have the industrial, commercial, and sociological
fields been so white for the harvest as now.

Of literary women there are, of course, hundreds
who have had a college training. Some are by no
means distinguished in the world of letters, but
a few others — such as Miss Josephine Preston
Peabody, of Boston, a poet of really remarkable
gifts — have made reputations while still very
young. As artists and architects, too, college girls
are winning renown. And at least two or three are
successful actresses. In musical composition and
in playwriting, college-bred women have been de-
cidedly successful — and one college woman has
even added a new chapter to the history of the
world !

The lady to confer the last-named distinction

3o6 The College Girl of America

upon women's colleges was Miss Harriet Boyd
(born in Boston some thirty odd years ago, and
graduated from Smith College before she was
twenty-one), who became a student at the American
School of Classical Studies at Athens, for the pur-
pose of deciphering descriptions. But Miss Boyd
desired to excavate, and this she began to do in the
spring of 1901 on the island of Crete, where ar-
chaeologists of all nations had vigorously set to
work. Not until she began her work at St. An-
thony's Hill, Kavousi, however, did she really strike
anything of interest. Here, within a mile of the
main highway to Crete, from a small excavation
which at the time seemed almost a failure, were
exhumed some bronze tools and potsherds which
offered evidence conclusive that a Bronze Age
settlement had been discovered. Miss Boyd says
that she lives at all times, while in charge of an
expedition, in the best style possible — and this not
only that she may hospitably entertain such archseo^
logical guests as come her way, but also for the
sake of the impression a good mode of life makes
upon the peasants. It is curious to think that an
English tea-basket goes out each afternoon at four
o'clock to this Smith College girl and her asso-
ciate who are engaged in directing some hundred

After College — What? 307

workmen in the excavation of a city of the Bronze

In the professions, college-bred women continue
to be broadly successful. The number of them who
are nobly filling educational positions is very large;
in the ministry they may be found by the dozens
in these days; of lawyers there are perhaps a few
hundred in the United States, and of women phy-
sicians possibly a thousand or two. In this last-
named profession the college girl will in the future,
according to some authorities, find particularly
good chances of usefulness and of pecuniary success.
One very charming college-bred woman physician
that I know, who has to-day a ten thousand dollar
practice and is able to be a means of inspiration
to a hundred or so devoted women patients, said
to me recently :

" A woman has every chance of a competence as
a physician, a bigger chance, I should say, than in
any other profession she can follow. For equip-
ment she should have a college education or its
equivalent (that within herself which will enable
her to grasp things and escape narrowness), good
physical health, a not toO' emotional temperament,
and a diploma from a good coeducational medical
school. This last qualification seems to me very
important, for the opportunity to observe how men

3o8 The College Girl of America

take hold of things serves to modify her view of
humanity in general. Then she should go, with
money enough to keep herself for awhile, to a
locality where she means to stay. If you ask me
to what school she should have resorted, I would
say that Johns Hopkins is good for allopathic and
Boston University for homoeopathic training. She
should have a comfortable practice established
at the end of eight or ten years. The money reward
is great, as I have said, but of course the work
itself is its chief inducement to a right-minded girl.
More and more women are coming to use women
physicians. Many of the best-known men prac-
titioners in this city send their women patients to
me constantly nowadays, for certain kinds of treat-

Further to enlarge upon college-bred women in
the professions were unnecessary. They have estab-
lished their right to be here, because they have
proved their intrinsic purity of aim and their capa-
bility for usefulness.


There can be no doubt about it, the first year
and a half after graduation is rather a painful period
to the college girl. She may, of course, be at a
professional school, in which case she is still study-
ing, and, therefore, still in a congenial environment.
But if the recent graduate decides to go straight into
some kind of work, or if, on the other hand, she
returns to the old home, the process of " adjust-
ment " is difficult. She finds it hard to fit in
with other people. Not that she lacks social apti-
tude, but that she has for four years been meeting
those who for the most part understood her and
her ambitions.

All the world makes way for the college
student; for the college graduate there is too
often only criticism and crowding. Yet since
the drama of human life is not a game of solitaire,
fit in she must. The years which Dr. Hanford
Henderson has so aptly called those of the " ex-
perimental life " are very trying to the girl's ideals.
Her salvation at this stage would seem to lie in an


310 The College Girl of America

earnest resolution not to do anything which is not
really uplifting. Keep her ideals she must, if college
is to be her benefactor. Her difficulty lies in apply-
ing them, in strenuously striving for unfaltering
practical impulses which shall lead to her highest

Let us see what these may be. Perhaps the girl
wants to gO' away from home and work in the
world with men. Now, if she has this desire within
her, it seems to me better to let her have her way.
" If the girl has right royal good sense," says a
recent writer in this connection, " there will in time
develop in her character areas of wisdom, and she
will come back all the more contented after her little
fling in the busy world to marry some wisely chosen
and fortunate young man, or to comfort her father
and mother in their declining years and hold her
sway in the home, well sunned and ripened by her
added experience."

These seem to me wise words. I would simply
wish to suggest that the family should in no way
curtail this " experience " by means of an allow-

If you aim to be independent, girls, be inde-
pendent. You have no real right to be earning
your living when it is not necessary for you to enter
the economic struggle. The place you occupy may

Conclusion 311

mean life and hope to another, and its lack dis-
couragement and despair. Yet if you will work,
support yourself wholly. Pay your board, buy your
own clothes. Don't let the family send you money.
If there is to be any money-sending, you should
do it.

But very often the home people do not need
money and do need you. The natural and simple
division of labour is the one that assigns to women
the duties and activities that centre 'round the
hearth. It is a sociological fact that women and
the home, with all the institutions that spring from
it, are interdependent. If it's dull at home, that's
your fault. You have had splendid educational
opportunities. Use them for the good of your kith
and kin and kind. An intelligent woman should
be for all her neighbours a strong stimulus to self-
activity. It is the nature of an enlightened mind
to diffuse light, of a generous soul to make love
prevail, of a noble character to build character.
College should make a girl eminently fit for a full
home life, social in the deepest sense. If she goes
home to uncongenial surroundings she has her task
cut out for her at once. Here is infinite opportunity
for the exercise of womanly tact. She must change
things, of course, — college years were thrown away
else, — but she must mould her environment to meet

312 The College Girl of America

her ideals with such sweetness and grace and good-
will that all her neighbours will marvel at the beau-
tifying influences of college upon character.

She must see to it that her impulses are practical
ones, however. If necessary, she must really help
at home, work with those hands that have hereto-
fore fingered lexicons. It won't hurt her at all.

If she's the right kind of girl her intellect will
take care of itself. Almost every village in these
days has its library and its magazine club. Then
she will, of course, own the more important works
in the world's literature, and carefully con them
again and again.

And for society, she will have city friends in
summer, with their talk of plays and lectures and
picture-galleries, and in winter there will be the
townsfolk, from whom, as she will readily recog-
nize, she can learn much not written in books. The
young people of the village she should encourage
to go tO' school and college. The selectmen she
should inspire with a desire for street-lamps. To
the minister she can suggest institutional methods
of church work, and to the school committee im-
proved text-books and enlightened educational
ideas. She will thus be a power for good in the
community from which was derived the money spent
on her education. Surely this is rendering to Caesar

Conclusion 313

the things that are Caesar's — a process recom-
mended ahke by poHtical and social economy.

Woman's real interest and happiness do not con-
sist in the number of lines that draw from the home
to the outside world, but in the multitude of avenues
by which she may bring the best from the world
without to illuminate the home. If a girl must
work in the world, let us help her to work nobly.
But let us urge her to stay, if she can, quietly at
home " in that state of life to which it has pleased
God to call her." She need neither stagnate nor
shrivel in her village atmosphere. It is her business
to grow there just as she would anywhere else. If
she neglects this she has in a very literal sense missed
her vocation.



Addams, Jane, 199.

Adalbert College, 275.

Agassiz, Mrs. Louis, 98, 99,

Agnes Scott School, 238.

Ainsworth, Mrs., 196, 199.

Amherst College, 9, 194.

Anderson, Mrs. A. A., 135.

Andrews, President, 164.

"Antigone," 65.

Applebee, Constance, 12.

Arkadelphia Methodist Col-
lege, 240.

Arnold, Sarah Louise, 219,

"Athalie," 108.

Atkins, Mary, 208.

Auburn, N. Y., 171.

Aurora, N. Y., 187.

Ayres, Dr. Howard, 264.

Barnard College, 130-143.
Barnard, President, 130, 131,

Bates College, 284.
Bates, Katharine Lee, 49.
Benjamin, Simeon, 172.
Bernard, Sir Francis, 2.
Bernhardt, 108.
Bethel, Conn., 9.
Boston University, 281, 308.

Boyd, Harriet A., 306.
Boyden's, 24.
Briggs, President, 109.
Brinckerhoff, Mrs. Van

Wyck, 135.
Brook Farm, 105.
Brooks, Rev. Arthur, D. D.,

Brown, Samuel Robbins, 171.
Brown University, 168.
Bryn Mawr College, 1 18-129,

Butterfield, Alice, 17.

Cable, George W., 25.
Carnegie, Andrew, 79.
Cary Collegiate Institute, 195.
Cayuga Lake, 187.
Cazenove, 33, 34,. 35-
Century Magazine, x., 15,

Channing, Lucy, 105.
Channing, William Henry,

Chapin, Henrietta Sheldon, 9.
Chicago University, 243, 246,

Clieveland College for

Women, 275.
Cleveland, Mrs. Grover, 188.
Colby College, 287, 288.



The College Girl of America

Columbia College, 130.
Converse College, 294.
Cooke, Mrs. J. P., 98.
Cornell University, 242, 281 -

Cowles, Rev. Aucrustus W.,

Craigie House, loi.
Curtis, George William, 58.
Cutler, Mary, 303.

Dalton Hall, 119.
Daily Palo Alto, 255.
Dana, Chief Justice, 105.
Dana, Sophia, 105.
Daniels, Mabel W., 112.
Davis, Fannie Stearns, 19.
Deerfield, Mass., 303.
Delbrueck, Doctor, 246.
Deland, Margaret, 303.
Dixon, President, 226, 227.
Durant, Henry Fowle, 31, 32,

38, 48, 53.
Durant, Pauline Fowle, 36,

Duse, 106, 107.

Eliot, George, 180.

Eliot, President, 96, 98, no,

Elliott, Frances, 295.
Elmira College, 170 - 182.
Emery, Dean, 168.
Enosburg, Vt., 206.
Everett, Edward, 105.

" Fair Harvard," 105.
Fay House, 96, 104, 106.
Fay, Maria, 106.
Fiske, Mrs. Josiah M., 135.
Foster, Elene, 143.
Fowle, Major, 34, 36.

Genesee College, 279.
Geneva, 33.

Gill, Laura Drake, 136.
Gilman, Arthur, 98.
Gilman, Mrs. Arthur, 98.
Gilman, Rev. Samuel, 104.

Girard College, 183.
Goucher, John F., 144, 145,

149, 153-
Greene, Rev. John M., D. D.,

I, 3, 4, 5- .
Gulliver, Julia H., 201.
Gurney, Mrs. E. W., 98, loi.

Hall, Dr. Stanley, 276.

Hamburg, 33.

Harkness, Albert, ifg.

Harper, President, 246.

Harvard " Annex," 98, lOi.

Harvard Graduates' Maga-
zine, no.

Harvard University, 96.

Hatfield, 2, 5, 6.

Hazard, Caroline, 52.

Hearst, Mrs. Phebe, 249.

Heath, Florence E., 112.

Henderson, Dr. Hanford, 309.

Hewes, Hon. David, 215.

Higginson, Thomas Went-
worth, 105.

Hill, Lucille E., 50.

Hinsdale, Phebe Allen, 170,

Hollingsworth, Grace, 112.

Hollins Institute, 235.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 105.

Honolulu, 214.

Hooper, Rebecca Lane, 112.

Horsford, Lilian, 98.

Horsford, Professor, 40.

Howe, Mrs Julia Ward, 53.

Indiana University, 260, 261.

Jayne, Violet, 261.

Jewett, Miss, 89.

Johns Hopkins University,

120, 145, 308.
Jordan, Mrs., 256.

Kansas State University, 267,

Keller, Helen, 114, 115.
Kelly, Myra, 143.



La Democracia, 212.

Leach, Professor, 97.

Le Gallienne, Richard, 143-

Leland Stanford, Jr., Uni-
versity, 255-258.

Livermore, Mrs. Mary A., 97,

Lloyd, Henry Demarest, 302.

Longfellow, 51.

Longfellow, Miss Alice M.,
98, lOI.

Low, Seth, 136.

Lowder, Mrs., 179.

Lucy Cobb Institute, 237.

Lynchburg, Va., 154.

Lyon, Mary, 2, 71, 72, 74, 76,
77, 93, 171, 207.

Mabie, Hamilton Wright, ix.
MacDowell, E. A., 192.
MacKenzie, Rev. Alexander

Cameron, 174.
Mary Baldwin Seminary, 236.
McCarroll, Frances, 17.
McClung, Alice, 236.
McCracken, Elizabeth, 20.
McKinley, President, 89.
McManus, Seumas, 143.
Metcalf. Albert, 285.
Mills College, 206 - 216.
Mills, Rev. Cyrus T., 207,

Mills, Sarah Tolman, 206,

210, 213,
Mitchell, Maria, 63.
Morgan, Mrs. Henry. 189.
Morningside College, 245.
Mortarboard, 140.
Mt. Holyoke College, 71 - 95,

194, 206.
Moulshan, Lady, 102.
Moulshan, Sir Thomas, 102,


Newburgh, 56.

Newcomb College, 225 - 232.
Newcomb, Mrs. Josephine
Louise, 227, 231.

Newcomb, Sophie, 230.

New England Magazine, x.,
6, 100.

Newman's " Idea of a Uni-
versity," 28.

New Orleans, 228, 232.

"Noah's Flood," 87.

Noanett House, 39, 40.

Norfolk, Eng., 54.

Northampton, i - 30.

Northwestern University,
268 - 270.

Norumbega, 40.

Oakfield, 195.

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Online LibraryMary Caroline CrawfordThe college girl of America and the institutions which make her what she is → online text (page 17 of 18)