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I. M. E. (Isabella Margaret Elizabeth) Blandin.

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IC-NRLF




17 am



HISTORY OF HIGHER

EDUCATION OF WOMEN

IN THE SOUTH

PRIOR TO I860



RS.I.M.E.BLANDIN



LIBRARY



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.



Class



HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION

OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH

PRIOR TO 1860



N-



HISTORY OF HIGHER

EDUCATION OF WOMEN

IN THE SOUTH

PRIOR TO i860



By

MRS. I. M. E. BLANDIN




OF THE

UNIVERSITY

OF



NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON

THE NEALE PUBLISHING COMPANY

1909






8EWEHAL



COPYRIGHT, 1909,
By The Neale Publishing Company



*fjBR^

OF THE

UNIVERSITY

OF



CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

i SOUTHERN CIVILIZATION n

n SYSTEM OF SCHOOLS 16

ni URSULINE CONVENT, 1727 1908 ... 20
iv SALEM ACADEMY, WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH

CAROLINA, 1802 1908 31

v EARLY SCHOOLS IN ALABAMA ... . 56

vi ACADEMIES FOR GIRLS ...... 63

vn ACADEMIES IN AND AROUND TUSCALOOSA . 69

vin ACADEMIES CONTINUED 75

ix ALABAMA FEMALE INSTITUTE, TUSCALOOSA,

ALABAMA, 1833 1888 80

x MARION FEMALE SEMINARY, MARION, ALA-
BAMA, 1835 I 98 86

xi LIVINGSTON FEMALE ACADEMY, LIVING-
STON, ALABAMA, 1840 1908 .... 100
xii SOME OTHER INSTITUTES, SEMINARIES AND

COLLEGES 119

xiii SCHOOLS IN FLORIDA .. 126

xiv FIRST SCHOOL IN GEORGIA FOR GIRLS . . 129
xv LAGRANGE FEMALE COLLEGE, LAGRANGE,

GEORGIA, 18331903 139

xvi EARLY SCHOOLS OF KENTUCKY . . . . 153
xvii EARLY SCHOOLS OF LOUISIANA . . . 161
xviii THE WOMAN'S COLLEGE, FREDERICK, MARY-
LAND, 1840 1908 172



19262?



8 CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

xix FRANKLIN ACADEMY, COLUMBUS, MISSIS-
SIPPI, 1821 1908 185

xx SCHOOLS IN MISSOURI. MARY INSTITUTE,

ST. Louis, MISSOURI, 1859 1908 . . 204
xxi EARLY SCHOOLS IN NORTH CAROLINA . . 217
xxii EDGEWORTH FEMALE SEMINARY, GREENS-
BORO, NORTH CAROLINA, 1840 1871 . . 232
xxiii EARLY SCHOOLS IN SOUTH CAROLINA . . 251
xxiv FIRST ACADEMIES IN TENNESSEE . . . 273
xxv INSTITUTES AND COLLEGES. COLUMBIA IN-
STITUTE, COLUMBIA, TENNESSEE, 1836

1908 282

xxvi EARLY SCHOOLS IN TEXAS 296

xxvii EARLY SCHOOLS IN VIRGINIA . . . .310



OF THE

UNIVERSITY

OF
LIFOR




PREFACE

COLLEGES and universities were provided for the
training and culture of men long centuries before such
opportunities were accorded to women ; but at last men
began to realize the truth of the sentiment expressed
in one of the earliest acts of the legislative council of
the Territory of Orleans, " that the prosperity of every
State depends greatly on the education of the female
sex, in so much that the dignity of their condition is
the strongest characteristic which distinguishes civil-
ized from savage society." However, some sections
of our country were slow to recognize this truth, and
the first half of the nineteenth century was well-nigh
passed before girls were allowed to attend any but the
" common or district school," and the expression of a
desire to learn Latin or higher mathematics was con-
sidered an evidence of unsound mind.

Finally, women demanded a recognition of their
right to educational advantages equal to those pro-
vided for men. In some States women canvassed the
country to arouse interest in the education of women,
and to collect money to establish schools for women of
a higher grade than the common school. Indeed,
" they fought for every step of the way toward the
recognition of their right to educational advantages
equal to those provided for men."

Such, however, was never the case at the South;
for in every part of the South, from its earliest settle-
ment, men recognized their obligations to their
daughters as well as to their sons, and schools for
girls were established all over the South as soon as
conditions would warrant their maintenance.

Well aware of the fact that the simple assertion of
this truth can be doubted, is doubted, and oftentimes
denied, the author has undertaken the task of collect-

9



10 PREFACE

ing the strongest proof that can be offered that con-
tained in the acts of the legislatures of the States, in
catalogues of the schools, in data preserved in libraries
of historical associations, and in letters written by
people connected with such schools. The facts thus
obtained are presented in the sketches of the different
schools, and enough facts from every section of the
South have been gathered to show that the interest in
the education of women was not confined to any
locality or State but was widespread.

The author returns thanks to all who answered let-
ters of inquiry or in any way assisted her; especially
to Messrs. R. E. Steiner, Jr., and Flowers Steiner of
Montgomery, Alabama, and to Mr. W. C. Richardson
of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Also to Miss Courtney Hol-
lins of Nashville, Tennessee, for valuable assistance in
securing data for Nashville Academy.

The author fully appreciates the value of the great
advantages enjoyed by Southern women as a free-will
offering, and deems it an act of justice only that the
record of such nobility of character should be made
available for reference and put in a more durable form
than it has been heretofore.



History of Higher Education of
Women in the South



CHAPTER I

Southern Civilization

SINCE the South was largely settled by colonists
from continental Europe, and for more than a century
these colonies were under European dominion, it be-
comes necessary, in order to present a truthful and in-
telligent view of Southern life, its customs, manners,
trend of thought, or the educational ideas and methods,
to consider European civilization and the agents by
which it was evolved from the chaos that ensued on the
dissolution of the Roman Empire.

This civilization presents a marked contrast to the
civilization of antiquity; the latter were characterized
by remarkable unity; they seemed the result of some
one fact, the expression of some one idea; whereas,
the civilization of modern Europe is diversified, con-
fused, stormy. " All the principles of social organiza-
tion are found existing together within it: powers
temporal, powers spiritual, the theocratic, monarchic,
aristocratic, and democratic elements, all classes of so-
ciety, all social situations are jumbled together and
visible within it; as well as infinite gradations of lib-
erty, wealth, and influence." ("Guizot's History of
Civilization," pp. 37-41.)

These various elements were in a constant struggle
among themselves, but their inability to exterminate
one another compelled them to enter into a sort of
mutual understanding. This understanding was
brought about by a new division of property which,
together with the maxims and manners to which it

11



12 HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION

gave rise, introduced a species of government formerly
unknown, which attempted to establish a federative
system. This peculiar system is now distinguished
as the Feudal System. " It rested upon the same prin-
ciples as those on which is based the federative system
of the United States. This system gave birth to ele-
vated ideas and feelings in the mind, to moral wants,
to grand developments of character and passion. It
jealously guarded individual rights, especially those of
landed proprietors, fostered the family spirit, and made
known the importance of women and the value of wife
and mother."

Though these feudal lords were almost always en-
gaged in war, yet a " crowd of noble sentiments, of
splendid achievements, and beautiful developments of
humanity were evidently germinated in the bosom of
the feudal life." (" Guizot's History of Civilization,"
pp. 98, 99, 100.)

However, the real dawning of the morning that suc-
ceeded the long night was the inauguration of the
Crusades. These were the first common enterprise in
which the European nations ever engaged the first
European event. The Crusaders returned with much
information, enlarged views and new ideas; their
prejudices were removed, their manners, tastes, and
amusements more refined.

The same spirit that had induced so many gentlemen
to take arms in defense of the oppressed pilgrims in
the Holy Land incited others to declare themselves the
patrons and avengers of injured innocence at home.
Thus arose that peculiar institution chivalry whose
characteristic qualities were valor, humanity, courtesy,
justice, honor. Its effects were not confined to the
knightly class, but showed themselves in other ranks
of society. More gentle and polished manners were
introduced when courtesy was recommended as the
most amiable of knightly virtues; women were treated
with deference and respect, and their status in society
elevated.



OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH 13

A scrupulous adherence to truth, with the most
religious attention to the fulfillment of every engage-
ment, became the distinguishing characteristic of a
gentleman, because chivalry was regarded as the school
of honor, and inculcated the most delicate sensibility
with respect to these points.

The impetus given to commerce by the Crusades en-
abled the seaport cities to amass great wealth and
caused others to spring into existence. This wealth
enabled them to acquire liberty, and with it such
privileges as rendered them respectable and independ-
ent communities. Thus in every State was formed
a new order of citizens, to whom commerce presented
itself as their proper object, and opened to them a
certain path to wealth and distinction.

The church, through all these changes, possessed
a definite form, activity and strength; she had move-
ment and order, energy and system, and the promises
that address themselves to the hopes of humanity re-
specting the future. The church has given to the de-
velopment of the human mind an extent and variety
never possessed elsewhere. Her great error was the
denial of the rights of the individual the claim of
transmitting faith from the highest authority down-
ward, throughout the whole religious body, without
allowing to any one the right of examining the grounds
of faith for himself. This encroachment on the rights
and liberty of individuals was not allowed to continue
without a challenge, and the vast effort made by the
human mind to achieve its freedom is known as the
Reformation. If it did not accomplish a complete
emancipation of the human mind, it procured a new
and great increase of liberty.

Through these agencies, at the dawn of the seven-
teenth century European civilization possessed broader
and more enlightened views, greater political freedom,
more refined manners, and greater religious liberty
than ever before; but the war between advanced re-
publican ideas of government and the doctrine of the



14 HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION

divine right of kings and the claim to extensive prerog-
atives must yet be fought, and the world had not yet
learned religious toleration.

The political and religious upheavals that resulted
from the promulgation of these doctrines sent thou-
sands of the best citizens of Europe to the wilderness
of America. These people were not serfs nor peas-
ants, but intelligent men of the middle class, and men
of culture in whose veins coursed the best blood of
Europe. Many of them found the way to the South-
ern States, where they established a civilization that
possessed many of the best features of feudalism and
chivalry. In North Carolina the Scotch, Irish, and
Moravians made large settlements; the Huguenots
found homes in South Carolina, and many Scotch and
English settled in Georgia.

To avoid the consequence of the dispute between
England and her American colonies, many of the best
and most intelligent citizens of Virginia, the Carolinas,
and Georgia sought homes in the Southwest, where
they established communities distinguished for thrift
and the observance of law and order.

" A company of immigrants from New Jersey made
a settlement on the Homochitto River, now known as
Kingston, Mississippi. This settlement begun by men
of intelligence, energy, and high moral character, be-
came prosperous and rich, densely populated, highly
cultivated, distinguished for its churches and schools,
its hospitality and refinement, and in the course of
years it sent its thrifty colonies into many counties,
carrying with them the characteristics of the parent
hive." (" Claiborne's Mississippi," pp. 102-107.)

The same author says : " The Natchez district was
proverbial for its immunity from crime and criminals,
though remote from the provincial government at
Pensacola and no court of record nearer. There is no
British record of judicial proceedings in the Natchez
district, and as there was considerable wealth in land,
slaves, cattle, and merchandise the good order that



OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH 15

prevailed must be ascribed to the superior character of
the early immigrants. The intelligent and cultivated
class predominated and gave tone to the community."
Similar testimonies as to the character of many
other settlements could be adduced. These testimonies
were made by the historians of those times, men unin-
fluenced by sectional feeling or prejudice, and they
warrant the assertion that a large proportion of the
early settlers of the Southern States were men of in-
telligence and moral worth, law-abiding citizens.



16 HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION



CHAPTER II
System of Schools

THE Southern people fully recognized the impor-
tance of education, and according to their ideas made
generous provision for schools. The following ex-
tract from a speech by Dr. J. L. M. Curry confirms
this statement: "In 1860 the North had a popula-
tion of 19,000,000 whites, 205 colleges, 1,407 profes-
sors, 29,044 students. In the same year, the South
had a population of 8,000,000 white, 262 colleges,
1,488 professors, 37,055 students. During the same
year the North expended on colleges $514,688, the
South $1,622,419." (Birmingham, Alabama, Age-
Herald.)

In 1617 Virginia began to work out a plan for the
education of the " People of the Plantation," which
culminated in the establishment of William and Mary
College and provided for schools to be correlated with
this institution of higher learning. This " University
System " that is, an institution of higher learning in
each State and at least one academy in each county
was adopted by each of the Southern States. These
academies were maintained in part by grants of land
in Kentucky and Tennessee; by legislative appropria-
tions in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. (" Boone's His-
tory of Education in the United States," pp. 86-87.)
In Alabama the revenues from toll bridges, escheated
property, and a certain percentage of the dividend of
State banks were appropriated to the maintenance of
academies.

Every Southern State made provision for common
schools. The first constitution of Georgia made pro-



OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH 17

vision for a general common-school education. (Con-
stitution of 1777, Art. 8.) In 1821 the Legislature of
Georgia appropriated $250,000 for common schools.
Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisi-
ana, Mississippi, and Tennessee each spent annually
on common schools from one-fourth to three-fourths
of a million dollars. ("Boone's History of Educa-
tion in the United States," pp. 348, 349.) The com-
mon-school fund was increased by the establishment
of a " literary fund " by legislative enactment in Vir-
ginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. These
funds were augmented from time to time from vari-
ous sources.

In 1806 Tennessee granted 100,000 acres of land to
academies and colleges, and one-thirtieth of the re-
maining unoccupied territory to common schools. In
1821 Kentucky and Louisiana made large grants of
land to these schools. In the former one-half the net
profits of the Bank of the Commonwealth were made
a " literary fund " to be distributed annually for main-
tenance of common schools.

In 1837 Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri,
North Carolina, and South Carolina applied the
whole of their shares of the surplus revenue to the
maintenance of common schools in the respective
States. ("Boone's History of Education in the
United States," pp. 86, 87, 91.) This alone aggre-
gated three and a half millions. Alabama and
Mississippi were organized on the " sixteenth plan " ;
that is, every sixteenth section of land must be appro-
priated to the support of common schools. This fund
in some sections was sufficient to maintain good schools
and provide free text-books. The proceeds of the sale
of these lands form the basis of the school fund of
these States.

It was estimated in 1855 (See DeBow's Review,
Vol. XVIII, p. 664) that for many years prior to 1860
the South paid annually five million dollars to the
North for books and instruction.



IB HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION

In addition to what the State appropriated for edu-
cational purposes, much was done by private enterprise
and denominational zeal. As early as 1655 Captain
John Moon bequeathed a sum of money for the sup-
port of a free school in Isle of Wight County in Vir-
ginia. Two years later Mr. King bequeathed one
hundred acres of land to the same county for the
same purpose. (Isle of Wight Records.)

The prevailing sentiment at the South opposed
secular education and favored church schools; there-
fore the control of the academies soon passed from
the State to the various denominations, and many
seminaries and institutes were established by different
denominations.

The Southern people were also opposed to co-educa-
tion, hence girls were not admitted to the academies
and colleges ; but they were not neglected. At a very
early period schools, seminaries, and institutes the
last two, colleges in all but name were established
especially for them.

The criticism is sometimes made that these schools
sink into insignificance when compared with the col-
leges for women of the present day. The same might
be said of the schools for men the high schools and
colleges of the present day are far in advance of any
colleges fifty years ago. However, the principal dif-
ference between the colleges for men and women fifty
years ago was substitution of French for Greek and the
addition of music and art to the curriculum of the col-
leges for women. Judged by the test that has been
applied for two thousand years, " By their fruits shall
ye know them," these colleges were excellent schools.
The women who were trained in them acquitted them-
selves admirably in every station of life, from the
highest to the most ordinary vocations of women.
They have commanded the admiration of cultured peo-
ple at home and abroad, by their intelligence, their
accomplishments, and refined and gentle manners.

When/ the antecedents of the Southern colonists



OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH 19

and the character of the colonists themselves are con-
sidered it is not strange that in the South was estab-
lished the first school in the United States, the second
oldest school for girls on the continent of America,
the Ursuline Convent in New Orleans.



20 HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION



CHAPTER III
Ursuline Convent, 1727-1908

LA SALLE'S scheme of planting a colony in Louisi-
ana, and others along the Mississippi River until the
Great Lakes were reached, thus making an empire
worthy of the " Grand Monarch/' filled all France,
from court to peasantry, with enthusiasm, but his
failure and the stirring events nearer home that de-
manded immediate attention prevented the prosecution
of this scheme. After the peace of Ryswick the all-
important consideration was to take possession of the
valley of the Mississippi before the English claimed
it. Accordingly, plans for colonization were vigor-
ously prosecuted. In January, 1699, Fort Maurepas
was built on the Back Bay of Biloxi, where Ocean
Springs now is, and the first settlement in Louisiana
was begun.

After more than twenty-seven years of labor and
toil Louisiana consisted of the following settlements:
New Orleans and the plantations in its vicinity, Fort
Rosalie (now Natchez), and Fort Maurepas in Mis-
sissippi; Mobile and Fort Tombecbe and Fort Tou-
louse in Alabama.

The Spaniards claimed Florida, where they had
made two settlements St. Augustine and Pensacola.
The English had settled three Southern colonies
Maryland, Virginia, and Carolina ; the last colony was
not divided into North and South Carolina until 1729.
Thus what is now the Southern States was still in
possession of the red man until the eighteenth cen-
tury had well-nigh passed.

After the death of Iberville, Bienville was made
Governor of Louisiana. He fully realized that 'in or-



OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH 21

der to insure the prosperity of the colony the colonists
must be self-sustaining and self-reliant. They must
become Americans, not continue to be Frenchmen
living in America. He fully realized this would never
be accomplished as long as the children were sent to
France to be educated. Hence he urged the home
government to establish a college in Louisiana. The
government refused on the ground that Louisiana was
not populous enough to warrant the expense.

Governor Bienville then attempted to obtain the
services of some of the " Soeurs Crises " to teach the
girls of the colony. This plan proved impracticable;
but Bienville, undaunted by his failures, next applied
to Father Beaubois, a Superior of the Jesuits who had
recently come to evangelize the outlying districts of
Orleans Island and the Indian tribes of the Territory.
Father Beaubois suggested the Ursulines of Rouen
as likely to be able to supply teachers.

Application was made to them immediately. Father
Beaubois, acting under the authority of Mgr. Jean de
la Croix de St. Valier, Bishop of Quebec, negotiated
with the Company of the Indies, which agreed to main-
tain six nuns, to pay their passage, and that of four ser-
vants to serve them during their voyage, and, further,
to pay the passage of those who might wish for any
motive to return to France.

It was agreed that one of the nuns should be house-
keeper of the hospital and should occupy herself with
all the temporal concerns ; that two others should con-
tinually be at the service of the sick ; that there should
be one for the school for the poor, and another should
serve as substitute to any of the others in case of
sickness or the like. When the nuns might do so ad-
vantageously, they were to take, if they thought proper,
boarding pupils.

On the 1 2th of January, 1727, all the nuns destined
for the Louisiana monastery assembled in the infirm-
ary of the Ursuline Convent in Rouen to meet for
the first time the superior, Mother Maria Tranchepain



23 HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION

de St. Augustine, who had been set over the new es-
tablishment by the Bishop of Quebec, in whose diocese
Louisiana then was. The names of the first sisters
were: Soeur Marguerite de St. Jean 1'Evangeliste,
professe de la Communeaute de Rouen; Soeur Mari-
anne Boulanger de St. Angelique de Rouen; Soeur
Magdeleine de Mahieu de St. Francis de Xavier, pro-
fesse de la Communeaute du Havre; Soeur Renee
Guiquel de Ste. Marie, professe de Vannes; Soeur
Marguerite de Salaon de Ste. Therese de Ploermel;
Soeur Cecile Cavalier de Ste. Joseph, professe de la
Communeaute d'Elbouf ; Soeur Marianne Daiu de Ste.
Marthe, professe de la Communeaute de Hennebon;
Soeur Marie Hochard de St. Stanislas, novice; Soeur
Claude MafTy, seculiere de Choeur; Soeur Anne, se-
culiere converse. These sisters were accompanied to
New Orleans by Fathers Tartarin and Doutrebleau,
very worthy missionaries of the Society of Jesus.

On the 22d of February, 1727, they embarked on
the Gironde at Port 1'Orient, but contrary winds de-
tained them in the harbor until the following day.
The mother superior describes the passage as most
perilous, and we can well believe her statement, for it
was not until the 7th of August that they reached New
Orleans. Some distance below the city they left the
ship and entered small craft, to hasten up the river,
and thus an opportunity was given for that hospitable
reception thus recorded by the superior : " When we
were 8 or 10 leagues from New Orleans we com-
menced to meet habitations. There was no one but
stopped us to make us enter his house, and everywhere
we were received with a joy beyond all expression.
On every side they promised us boarding pupils, and
some wished to give them to us already." She con-
tinues : " The inhabitants of New Orleans wish that
we should lack nothing; they vie with one another in
hospitality toward us. This generosity charges us
with obligation to almost everybody. Among our
most devoted friends are M. le Commandant and his



OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH 23

lady, who are persons full of merit, and their society



Online LibraryI. M. E. (Isabella Margaret Elizabeth) BlandinHistory of higher education of women in the South prior to 1860. → online text (page 1 of 24)