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

History of higher education of women in the South prior to 1860. online

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five trustees. The charter required the establishment
of a school for boys and one for girls ; in both French
and English were to be taught, and such other lan-
guages, ancient and modern, as the funds would ad-
mit, as well as the usual academic studies.

The Academy of Ouachita, Ouachita, Louisiana,
was opened in 1811, but the location of the building
proved very unsatisfactory, and in 1824 the building
was sold and suitable quarters in a convenient place
secured. After the change the school was known as
Ouachita Academy. The provisions of the charter re-
garding funds leads to the conclusion that this charter
also provided for a school for girls.

The Academy of Covington was another school of
the same class and established by a similar charter;
but Clinton Female Academy was distinctively a school
for girls. It was incorporated March n, 1830, and
put under the trusteeship of seven trustees. Nothing
was said as to the scope of studies, neither were the
duties of these trustees defined ; they were simply em-
powered " to direct and establish plans of education
in said academy if deemed necessary by the board."

Ouachita Female Academy, Ouachita, Louisiana,



OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH 163

was incorporated on March 12, 1837; the seven
trustees were simply empowered to " direct and estab-
lish plans of education, if deemed necessary by the
board."

An appropriation annually for five years was made
to Clinton Female Academy and to Ouachita Female
Academy, on condition that ten indigent children re-
ceive instruction each year.

Covington Female Seminary was incorporated
March 13, 1837. An appropriation of $4,000 was
granted, conditioned on maintaining and instructing
four indigent females, to be taken from each of the
parishes of the senatorial district.

On March 7, 1838, Johnson Female Academy, of
Donaldsonville, and Greensburgh Female Academy
were incorporated. An appropriation of $1,000 an-
nually for five years was given, on condition that the
Johnson Academy should board and instruct five in-
digent children from the fifth senatorial district; and
the Greensburgh Seminary should board and instruct
ten poor children during that period.

Minden Female Seminary was incorporated March
12, 1838, and an appropriation of $1,000 annually for
five years was made, conditioned on free instruction
of ten children.

Union Male and Female Academy was incorporated
March 8, 1841, and received an appropriation of
$1,500 without stipulations.

Silliman Female Collegiate Institute, 1852-1908

This institution is located in the suburbs of Clinton,
the site of East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, 120 miles
north of New Orleans and about 100 miles south of
Vicksburg.

The institution began under the management of <\
joint stock company, chartered in 1852 by the Louisi-
ana Legislature. In 1856 Mr. Silliman donated to the
Presbytery of Louisiana 102 shares (being a majority



164 HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION

of the stock) valued at $5,000. The interests of the
Presbytery continued until 1866, when the institution,
having become embarrassed under the joint manage-
ment, was sold and the entire interest, valued at
$10,000, was purchased by Mr. William Silliman, and
by him donated to the Presbytery in 1866.

In October of the same year Mr. Silliman made an-
other donation of $20,000 to constitute an endowment,
the interest only to be used for education of girls,
under the direction of the Presbytery's local board of
trustees.

By will, Mr. David Pipes left $500 as a fund toward
building a concert hall for the institution.

Mrs. A. R. Dickinson had established a school in
Plaquemine, Louisiana, but it did not succeed, and she
transferred the fund to Silliman Institute, the interest
of which is to be used to pay the board of daughters
of Presbyterian ministers. In honor of the donors of
these funds the building recently added to the college
was named " Pipes-Dickinson Annex."

The institution has been successively presided over
by Rev. H. Mosely, Rev. A. G. Payne, Rev. James
Stratton, Mr. Edwin Fay, Mrs. E. H. Fay, George
G. Ramsay, and Rev. Frank W. Lewis, D.D. Rev.
H. H. Brownlee was elected August, 1906, to preside
in the future.

There are four departments, as follows:

I. Primary and Preparatory Department.

II. Collegiate Department. In this department
there are seven schools, or sub-departments, separate
and distinct, and the pupil may, at her option, become
a candidate for graduation in any one, or in all. i.
School of English Language and Literature, compris-
ing analysis and composition, rhetoric, English litera-
ture, parallel readings. 2. School of History, com-
prising history of England ; history of France ; general
history. 3. School of Mathematics, comprising
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry plane
and spherical; analytical geometry. 4. School of



OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH 165

Natural Science, comprising physiology, botany, phys-
ical geography, physics, chemistry, astronomy,
geology. 5. School of Ethics, comprising mental and
moral science, logic, evidences of Christianity, civil
government. 6. School of Ancient Languages, com-
prising Latin and Greek. 7. School of Modern Lan-
guages, comprising French and German.

III. Department of Fine Arts. 8. School of Music
instruction given on the piano, organ, violin, guitar,
and mandolin. The cultivation of the voice, singing
at sight, part singing, thorough bass, harmony, ora-
torio and chorus practice. 9. School of Drawing and
Painting. It is the aim of this school to give a prac-
tical knowledge of the arts of form, color, and design,
and to awaken in students true appreciation of artistic
work. The studio is well supplied with casts and
studies. 10. School of Physical Culture and Expres-
sion. Physical culture has for its aim the harmonious
development of the entire body. To secure the
" sound mind in the sound body " so necessary for
happiness and success. The course of physical train-
ing includes Delsarte, Swedish, and light gymnastics.
The aim of the Department of Expression is primarily
the development of personal power. It has in view
the physical, mental, and moral development of the
pupil, and also the thorough appreciation and correct
interpretation of good literature.

IV. Business Department. The course of study in-
cludes shorthand, typewriting, book-keeping, and com-
mercial law.

The buildings were originally erected at a cost of
$30,000; in 1894 an annex one hundred by fifty feet
was completed at a cost of about $15,000.

The school is well supplied with charts, maps, and
globes ; the chemical and physical laboratories are well
furnished and additions are constantly being made.
The reading-room is well supplied with religious and
secular newspapers, and the leading magazines, and
will be open every day except Sunday.



166 HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION



The Sigma Phi Literary Society, an association
organized and conducted by the young ladies, holds
weekly meetings. It is regarded as a valuable auxil-
iary to the usual methods of instruction, cultivat-
ing ease of speech and composition, and love of
higher literary culture. Lambda Delta Fraternity
was organized in 1906. Its aims are social
culture.

Each year arrangements are made for lectures, read-
ings and musicales.

Though the school is under Presbyterian control, it
is avowedly and conscientiously non-sectarian in its
aims and purposes. However, it takes its place in full-
est sympathy with Christian morals and culture, and
all proper means are used to direct the young -to the
Saviour, without interfering with denominational pref-
erences.

A certificate of proficiency is given in each study at
the intermediate and final examinations when the
student has passed successfully upon the work of the
previous half session. A certificate of distinction is
given at the final examinations to each student whose
general average of scholarship for the past year is
as much or more than 9 (10 being the highest grade)
and her name is placed on the " Honor Roll." A
diploma, with the title of " Graduate " in each partic-
ular school, is awarded after satisfactory examination
in all the studies of that school. This includes the
schools of Music and Art. The degrees are B.S., B.L..
B.A., and M.A.

(From catalogues sent by the president, Rev. H. H.
Brownlee.)

Keachle Female College, Keachie, Louisiana,
1856-1908

This college was founded in 1856 by the Baptist
denomination. Like the Silliman Institute at Clinton
founded by the Presbyterians, and Mansfield founded



OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH 167

by the Methodists, this college has had various vicissi-
tudes, but it is still doing the work for which it was
originally organized a college for women. The work
was suspended during the War between the States, and
the building used as a hospital for Confederate sol-
diers. After the war it became Keachie College, a
co-educational institution. In 1887 the name was
changed to Keachie Male and Female College. In
1899 ^ was rechartered, and the name changed to
Louisiana Female College, becoming then a school
for girls and young women exclusively, as was first
intended.

Rev. J. H. Tucker was president from 1857 to 1861 ;
exercises suspended from 1861 to 1865; Rev. Peter
Crawford was president from 1865 t I ^7 I > Rev. J.
H. Tucker from 1871 to 1881 ; Rev. T. N. Coleman
from 1 88 1 to 1886; Rev. P. Fountain from 1886 to
1889; Rev. C. W. Taukies from 1889 to 1899; Rev.
G. W. Thigpen from 1899 to present time.

The course of study is distributed into separate
schools of Latin, Greek ; English ; history ; philosophy ;
mathematics ; geology and biology ; natural philosophy
and chemistry; modern languages; music; art.

Candidates for the B. A. degree may substitute
French and German for Greek. Those for the B. L.
degree may take two years of Latin in place of Ger-
man.

The school has well equipped studios for music and
art; and makes quite a feature of needlework.

(The material for this sketch is taken from a letter
from Dr. Thigpen, and a catalogue sent by him.)

There was a college in Minden, founded about the
same time as the three colleges already mentioned ; it
was suspended during the War between the States,
and never reopened as a college, and when the pres-
ent school system was organized the building was
used for the Minden High School. (From a private
letter.)



168 HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION



Mansfield Female College, Mansfield, Louisiana,
1854-1908

In 1854, when this fertile section of the country was
rapidly settling up and attracting the attention of the
emigrant from older States, Dr. Thweatt saw the
need for an institution of high grade at some point
west of the Mississippi. He came to the parish of
Caddo, and met Rev. William E. Doty, a liberal and
intelligent man, and of ardent temperament and en-
thusiastic nature like himself, who was possessed with
considerable wealth and influence. They set out to-
gether on a prospecting tour for a location of a fe-
male college. When they reached Mansfield, DeSoto
Parish, they found an ideal location. They selected
the site where the College now stands, on an elevated
plateau forming the watershed between the Red and
Sabine rivers a location free from malaria, with a
dry sandy soil, and a rich agricultural country on all
sides.

Dr. Thweatt resolved to build a college here with
ample facilities for the education of the daughters
of the land. He immediately entered upon an active
canvass of the subject before the people, without, at
first, much success; but his earnestness and zeal soon
inspired them with an interest in the subject. His
efforts in behalf of the founding of this institution were
met by liberal voluntary contributions on the part of
the citizens of Mansfield and surrounding country,
amounting in the aggregate to quite $30,000.

The foundation stone of this splendid college edifice
was laid the latter part of the year 1854. Mean-
while, the school was opened in a commodious frame
structure, now standing in the rear of the College
building, and used as a dining-hall. In 1856 the main
building as it now stands was completed and opened
for the intended purpose of a college.



OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH 169

The first president of this institution said of the
establishment of the College : " In the enlightened
wisdom and by the munificent liberality of the citizens
of Mansfield, this Institution was projected." By their
magnanimity, generosity, and public spirit these
grounds and this college building were presented to
the Louisiana Annual Conference of the Methodist
Episcopal Church South, and placed under its direc-
tion and control in the month of January, 1855. The
institution was adopted by the Conference, which as-
sumed control of its affairs. Its founder, Rev. H. C.
Thweatt, a graduate of the University of Virginia,
was made its first president.

The Act of the General Assembly No. 88 of the
session of 1855 which granted a charter to this col-
lege, was approved on March 9, 1855.

The subscriptions had not all been paid when the
War between the States began, and then could not be
collected ; therefore the College was sold to pay these
unpaid balances, and Mr. Lewis Phillips, then a resi-
dent of Mansfield, became the purchaser. During the
greater portion of the four years of struggle the school
was closed and its campus a tented field. But before
the smoke of battle had cleared, in 1864, Dr. John C.
Keener, afterward Bishop Keener, purchased the
property, and freed it of debt and gave it to the
Louisiana Conference. Dr. Charles B. Stuart was
made president. Since then the College has been under
the presidency of Rev. Thomas Armstrong, to 1880;
J. Lane Borden, to 1883; Rev. F. M. Grace, to 1889;
Rev. A. D. McVoy, to 1896. In 1896 President
Sligh was elected to the presidency, and has retained
the place ever since.

President Sligh came to this institution with the
prestige of eminent scholarship, and years of experi-
ence as a successful educator. A new era seems to
have opened with his coming. All the buildings have
been put in good condition, a new assembly hall has



170 HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION

been built, water works and bath-rooms have been
added. Other buildings are in contemplation to meet
the growing demand.

The buildings now are the original three-story brick
building; the primary department, the conservatory
of music, and the session hall form each a separate
building; and a new three-story brick building con-
nected with the main building by a hallway.

The library now contains about sixteen hundred
books, and is well supplied with magazines and papers,
and also a few late books.

The Cadmean and Clionian Literary Societies, hav-
ing for their object the promotion of literary and
ethical culture among the students, have added much
to the interest in literary research, and have stimulated
some to do original work of real merit.

The plan of instruction embraces a primary and
preparatory course of seven grades, followed by col-
lege course. College course. The course of study
is arranged according to the requirements of the
Board of Education of M. E. Church South. The
regular plan of instruction, as given in this depart-
ment, embraces ten schools, as follows:

I. School of English Including English, philol-
ogy, literature, rhetoric, old English (Anglo-Saxon)
and history. II. School of Greek Including Greek
language and literature and the history of Greece.
III. School of Latin Including Latin language and
literature and history of Rome. IV. School of Modern
Languages Including French and German languages
and literature, with history of France and Germany.
V. School of Mathematics Including pure mathe-
matics, mechanics and astronomy. VI. School of
Natural Science Including botany, physics, chemis-
try, natural history, geology, and biology. VII.
School of Philosophy Including logic, psychology,
ethics, and political economy. VIII. School of Elo-
cution Including physical training, respiration, vo-
cal culture, articulation, orthoepy, gesture, the laws of



OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH 171

inflection, analysis in reading, dramatic and practi-
cal reading, artistic and oratorical recitations. IX.
School of Commercial Law and Business Forms In-
cluding bookkeeping and the laws of business. X.
School of Art Including drawing, painting, wood-
carving, designing, and pottery. XL School of Mu-
sic Including vocal and instrumental music and voice
culture, science of music.

The course of Bible study is divided into four years.

The degrees conferred are A. B., B. S., A. M.,
M. E. L.

(This sketch is taken from a catalogue furnished by
President T. S. Sligh.)



172 HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION



CHAPTER XVIII

The Woman's College, Frederick, Maryland,
1840-1908

THE Maryland Legislature granted a charter to the
Frederick Female Seminary in 1840, and gave to the
corporation full collegiate powers. The trustees were
authorized to raise $50,000 to carry out the purposes of
the charter, and the requisite amount being obtained
the first building was erected in 1843, an d the Semi-
nary was thereupon organized with the late Professor
Hiram Winchester as the first president. His ability,
energy, and scholarly excellence did much to make
the institution a success.

In the course of a few years it was found neces-
sary to erect a second building equal in dimensions
to the first. The Seminary was well patronized, and
became a powerful influence for good in this and the
surrounding communities.

The first trustees of the Frederick Female Semi-
nary were Christian Steiner, David Boyd, and Gideon
Bantz.

In 1893 the management of the school passed from
the original board of control to the management of
the Evangelical Reformed Church, and the name " Wo-
man's College " was adopted. In connection with the
College is a conservatory of music and art, and school
of expression. The equipment includes a library,
laboratories, gvmnasium, and infirmary.

(The data of this sketch was kindly furnished by
Miss Bertha Trail.)

Patapsco Institute, Ellicott's Mills, Maryland, 1841

" The Patapsco Female Institute is situated within
five minutes' walk of the depot of the railroad, in the



OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH 173

vicinity of Ellicott's Mills, Maryland, ten miles west
of Baltimore, with which, as with Washington, there
is a constant communication, both by railroads and
turnpikes. The buildings for the accommodation of
the school are of dressed granite, erected at an ex-
pense of $27,000. The adjacent grounds, consisting
of about twelve acres, belonging to the institution,
are beautifully situated, and afford many advantages
for health and recreation.

" The location of the Institute in the mountainous
region of Elk Ridge, and overlooking the Patapscc
River and surrounding country, is eminently health-
ful, and combines in a high degree the beautiful and
picturesque in scenery."

On March 4, 1852, Thomas B. Dorsey, president
of the board of trustees of the Patapsco Female In-
stitute, requested Mrs. Lincoln Phelps, principal of
Patapsco Female Institute, to submit to the board a
written statement of the mode and principles by which
its operations had been conducted, from which such
important public benefits had resulted. She responded
as follows:

" In compliance with the request of the board of
trustees, the undersigned, principal of the Patapsco
Female Institute, proceeds to lay before them the
following report:

!< This Institution was organized in 1841 under the
direction of the present principal, who with six teach-
ers and twenty pupils came from her school in New
Jersey to this place, the teachers bringing with them
the system of discipline, and the pupils the habits of
study, order, and obedience which had there been
practiced and acquired. The whole number of board-
ing pupils the first term was forty-one; there was a
gradual increase of numbers up to the year 1850, when
the Institution numbered seventy boarders, which is
found to be about as many as our buildings can con-
veniently accommodate. ^

" Besides the great improvements made in the in-



174 HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION

terior of the building for comfort, accommodation and
embellishment, much expense has been incurred by the
principal in the erection of out-buildings, and improve-
ment of the ground belonging to the Institution. In
addition to expensive water-works, green-house, laun-
dry, and servants' house, the principal during the year
has erected at her own expense a building which affords
music, drawing, dancing, and lecture-rooms, with suit-
able private apartments for gentlemen connected with
the Institution, as professors, or other officers. Many
thousand loads of stone have been carried off the
grounds, which are now under high cultivation, and
ornamented with a rich variety of shrubbery and other
exotic plants and trees. It is estimated that in ad-
dition to the expenditure above named, more than
$20,000 have been expended by the principal in musi-
cal instruments, scientific apparatus, furniture, etc.,
for the use of the Institution. Such is a brief outline
of what has been accomplished in respect to render-
ing this place better fitted and furnished for the pur-
poses of a Female Collegiate Institute.

" The organization of the Institution is as follows :
A principal, vice-principal, chaplain, eight lady teachers
associated in the care and discipline of the pupils, and
teachers of common English branches, mathematics,
Latin, belles-lettres, natural sciences, music, drawing,
etc. ; a French governess, four professors of music and
drawing, two domestic superintendents, a matron, and
secretary, or business-agent. Besides these regular
and constant teachers and officers, other persons are
occasionally employed, as professors of dancing, elo-
cution, lecturers on physical sciences, etc.

" The number of graduates of the Institute is found
to be 122. The course of studies here pursued, as
respects literary and scientific branches, is not less
extensive than that of the first colleges in the coun-
try, and scarcely less so in the higher branches of the
pure and mixed mathematics; in Latin, though fewer
books are prescribed, our course is thorough and ex-



OF WOMEN IN THE SOUTH 175

tensive; and for the acquisition of modern languages
and accomplishments great advantages are enjoyed.
Teaching is, here, thorough and practical, founded
upon the principles of the philosophy of the mind as
learned by observation and experience ; and the highest
principles of morality are combined with the sanction
of the Christian religion, without bigotry on the one
hand, or fanaticism on the other. To cultivate, to
the highest degree, the mind, and elevate the characters
of the future women of our country, is the object of
this Institution.

" It is, furthermore, our aim and object to do all
we can in influencing the minds of our pupils, to stem
the torrent of foreign licentiousness which is in danger
of inundating our country; to teach that fashion and
pleasure should never be allowed to take precedence
of morality and duty; that woman's mission is a high
and holy one, which she, as an immortal being, is
bound to perform in short, to render our pupils earn-
est and sincere lovers of truth and virtue, and to in-
spire them with abhorrence of vice, under whatever
form of allurement it may approach."

After setting forth in glowing terms the aims and
objects of the Institution, and what she, Mrs. Phelps,
had done to attain the ideal, Mrs. Phelps discusses
the question which gave rise to the report the with-
drawal of the annual appropriation by the Legislature
to the support of this school. She says :

" Without the fostering care of the State, this In-
stitution must have been a failure as to the great and
important objects for which it was designed, and which
it has now attained. By the liberality of the trustees
in offering the use of the property on favorable terms,
the principal was induced to undertake the formidable
task of building up an Institution, where, hitherto,
after several attempts, little had been accomplished;
rendering thereby difficulties greater than if a pre-
vious character of mediocrity had not been stamped
upon the school; a disadvantage which even at this



176 HISTORY OF HIGHER EDUCATION

day, by development of circumstances, sometimes be-
comes apparent."

Though Mrs. Phelps says at the outset that the
school began in 1841, under her management, in this
last paragraph she admits it had been in operation


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Online LibraryI. M. E. (Isabella Margaret Elizabeth) BlandinHistory of higher education of women in the South prior to 1860. → online text (page 12 of 24)