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

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

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trol the Greensboro College. Arrangements had been
completed between the managers of Trinity College
and the syndicate, when on June 19, 1903, the syndi-
cate announced that the doors of the College were
closed, and that it would go out of existence as an
educational institution. This announcement was a
painful surprise to the citizens of Greensboro and espe-
cially so to the alumnae of Greensboro College. The
resident alumnae immediately drafted resolutions to
be presented to the board of directors of the College,
praying them to grant the alumnae time to rally their
forces and formulate plans for saving the College for
the alumnae and through them for the Methodist
Church. They received no answer for some time, but
they saw a notice that there would be a meeting
August 5 to settle the affairs of the College. Realiz-
ing that the emergency must be promptly met, they
called a mass meeting of the citizens of Greensboro.
The meeting was addressed by Rev. S. B. Turrentine,
D. D., Governor Aycock, and others prominent in
church and state; the amount secured was $12,895.
The alumnae all over the South rallied to the aid of
the resident alumnae, and by August 5 they had raised
$52,000, the amount necessary to obtain possession of
the College, and had pledged themselves to raise


$50,000 for an endowment fund. Thus Greensboro
College belongs to the Alumnae Association.

In the spring of 1902 Dr. Peacock having suffered
several years from ill health, resigned the presidency
of the College and the board of directors elected Mrs.
Lucy H. Robertson as his successor. Mrs. Robertson
had been a teacher for twenty-five years, and eighteen
of those years had been in connection with the College.
Her management of the school for the session of
1902-03 was satisfactory, and the Alumnae Associa-
tion announced that the school would be continued
under her management. An active canvass for the en-
dowment fund has been begun, and the Alumnae As-
sociation feel assured that the ultimate success of the
school will be secured when this fund is raised.

(The material for this sketch was obtained from
catalogues and papers sent by Dr. Dred Peacock, and
Mrs. Lucy H. Robertson.)



Edgeworth Female Seminary, Greensboro, North
Carolina, 1840-1871

REV. WILLIAM D. PAISLEY moved to the little vil-
lage of Greensboro in 1820, and took charge of an
academy for boys. Later he took charge of an acad-
emy for girls. This academy stood between the resi-
dences of Mrs. Dillard and George McDonnell. The
first teacher, so far as can be ascertained, was Miss
Judith Mendenhall. According to the Greensboro
Patriot of February 23, 1831, Miss Ann D. Salmon, of
Fayetteville, was in charge of this school. She was
succeeded by a Miss Humphries, who taught a short
time. In 1836 Miss Mary Ann Hoye, and a young
lady who afterward became Mrs. Robert Lindsay, took
charge of the school, which they retained about three

Miss Hoye made such a fine impression on the
daughters of Hon. John M. Morehead, who was Gov-
ernor of North Carolina, 1841-1845, and one of the
most illustrious characters of the State, that he became
interested in the education of girls and determined to
erect a fine building for a school for girls. In 1840
he purchased a large tract of land, extending from the
old homestead of the Mebanes to what is now the prop-
erty of the Greensboro College for Girls, and from
Market street on the north to his home, Blandwood, on
the south. This property is now occupied by the resi-
dences of Mrs. Scales, widow of Governor A. M.
Scales, and Mrs. Ellington, widow of Capt. Neil Elling-
ton. At his own expense Governor Morehead built a
large four-story building with all the conveniences for


a school. As soon as this building was completed
school was opened in it, in 1840, with Miss Hoye as
principal. It was a great success from the first. Pu-
pils from many Southern States were received. It was
the intention of Mr. Morehead to make it one of the
finest schools for girls in the whole country, and he
spared neither time nor money to accomplish this pur-
pose ; however, it was not a success financially. Among
the early teachers with Miss Hoye were Misses Emily
Hubbard and Eliza Rose of the literary department,
Misses Nash and Kolloch, teachers of music and
French, Rev. John A. Gretter, teacher of Latin, and
Profs. Breitz and Brant, music teachers.

In 1844 Miss Hoye died, and Dr. and Mrs. D. P.
Weir took charge of the school. Dr. Weir managed
the business of the institution, and taught chemistry
and natural philosophy. They held the position for a
short time. In 1845 Governor Morehead secured the
services of Rev. Gilbert Morgan and wife. Mr. Mor-
gan immediately changed the course of study from the
academic to the collegiate system. According to an
advertisement in the Greensboro Patriot, under date
of February I, 1845, their course of study was First
Department Davies' Arithmetic, Bullion's English,
Latin and Greek Grammars, Town's Spelling Book
and Analysis, Webster's 8vo Dictionary, Woodbridge
and Willard's Geography, with the use of Mitchell's
Outline Maps ; History of the United States, Book of
Commerce, Elements of Mythology, with lectures on
Jewish Antiquities; Watts on the Mind, with lectures
on Self-Knowledge and Self-Culture; the French.
Latin or Greek language, with one ornamental branch.
Second Department Davies' Algebra, Legendre's
Geometry, Newman's Rhetoric, Lincoln's Botany,
Paley's Natural Theology, Ancient and Mediaeval
History, Burritt's Geography of the Heavens, Blair's
Lectures. Third Department Maffett's Natural
Philosophy, with experiments, Critical study of the
English Language as the Vehicle of Thought its


Etymology, Lexicography and History ; Abercrombie's
Chapter on Reason, with lectures as a system of Prac-
tical Logic; Smillie on Natural History, with lectures
on Astronomy and Physiology ; Alexander's Evidences.
Fourth Department Philosophy of Mind, Astronomy
as a Science, Kame's Elements of Criticism, Critical
Study of Milton and Shakespeare, Constitution of the
United States, Principles of Interpretation, Wayland's
Moral Philosophy, Guizot on Civilization, Butler's
Analogy, Lectures on the Harmony of Truth, or
Method and Plan of Self-Education. There was also
a preparatory department, to which girls of seven and
eight could go for their training for the first collegiate

The first term began on the 28th of May, the second
one, on the I3th of November. At the close of the
first session the examinations took place before a com-
mittee of visitors ; the final examinations at the end of
the year were public. The expenses per session of
five months were : board, washing, fuel, lights, and in-
struction in the ordinary branches, $75 ; piano, $20 ;
guitar, $15; drawing and painting, each $10; Latin,
Greek and French, each $10; wax work, $10; shell
work, $5 ; silk and worsted work, $5.

The school prospered under the management of Mr.
Morgan. In 1848 there were more than one hundred
boarders, and a large building was erected for the ac-
commodation of boarders, and also a building for an
art studio. Mr. Morgan resigned in 1 849-1850 and
was succeeded by Prof. Richard Sterling from Hamp-
ton-Sidney College, Virginia, who served until 1862,
when the school was closed by the War between the
States. When Mr. Sterling took charge of the school
it had reached its greatest enrollment, and had ample
equipment for the accommodation of boarders, a
laboratory well supplied with apparatus for scientific
courses, a music studio well supplied with musical in-
struments, an art studio, and a good library belonging


to the school and a large one belonging- to the prin-
cipal, which was free to the pupils. The faculty for
1856-1857 were: Richard Sterling, A. M., principal
and professor of belles-lettres and physical science;
Andrew J. Wood, A. B., professor of ancient and
modern languages; Isaac B. Lake, A. B., professor of
mathematics and geology; Rev. J. J. Smith, A. M.,
lecturer on moral science; J. Jaques Eyers. professor
of oil painting and drawing ; Heinrich Schneider, pro-
fessor of piano and harp; Miss Minna Raven, in-
structor in piano and vocal music; Miss Bettie Scott,
instructor in piano and guitar ; Miss M. Lizzie Dusen-
berry, instructor in piano ; Alfred M. Scales, steward ;
Mrs. A. M. Scales, matron ; Professor Maurice, French

In 1862 J. D. Campbell, A. M., was professor of
mathematics and rhetoric. He and Mr. Sterling wrote
and published "Our Own Third Reader" in 1863,
and in 1866 they published " The Southern Primer."
Professor Sterling also wrote and published " Sterl-
ing's Southern Second Reader " in 1866, and " Sterl-
ing's Fourth Reader" in 1865. All these were pub-
lished by Sterling, Campbell and Allbright, of Greens-
boro, North Carolina.

During the War between the States the building was
used by the Confederates as a hospital, and after the
war by the Federals for the same purpose ; hence there
was no school in the building from 1862 to 1868. In
the latter year the building was leased to Rev. J. J. M.
Caldwell, grandson of the distinguished Dr. David
Caldwell, who opened school September, 1868, and
continued to manage it until August, 1871. He then
returned to Rome, Georgia, where he had established
a school prior to the War between the States. His
departure closed the school of Edgeworth. For a
short time the building was occupied by Mr. Julius A.
Gray, a son-in-law of Governor Morehead. During
the year 1872 it was burned.


Warrenton Female College, Warrenton, North Caro-
lina, 1841-1873

Warren County is situated in the section between
the Roanoke and Tar rivers. This section has been
noted for the variety of resources, its mild climate, and
especially for its hospitality and its cultured people.
Good schools have been maintained in this section since
the beginning of the nineteenth century. The two
schools for girls which flourished from 1841 to about
1865 were known far and wide. The first of these
was Warrenton Academy, which was founded as early
as 1841, and was located on the south side of the town.
The trustees bought the private residence of Mr. Kemp
Plummer for school purposes, and added to it the old
Presbyterian Church for a chapel. The first principal
was Rev. N. Z. Graves, a Presbyterian preacher from
Vermont. Mr. Julius Wilcox, who was Mrs. Graves's
brother, was his assistant, and afterward became his
associate. These men were fine scholars and success-
ful instructors, and the school became prosperous im-
mediately. In 1846 Hon. Daniel Turner, who had
been a Congressman for a short time, was elected prin-
cipal. He was a man of great ability and fine reputa-
tion; his wife was a daughter of Francis Scott Key,
the author of " The Star Spangled Banner."^ Under
the management of these principals and their assist-
ants the school rapidly increased in numbers.

In 1856 Mr. Turner received a fine offer to go to
California, and gave up the institution to a company
of citizens of Warren County. These men were mem-
bers of the Methodist Church South, and immediately
obtained a charter and changed the name to Warren-
ton Female College, and from this time the school was
a Methodist institution.

After the reorganization, in 18.^6, Rev. Thomas S.
Campbell, a member of the North Carolina Conference,
became president. He collected a large and strong


faculty, among whom was Edwin E. Parham, M. A.,
who two years afterward became president. Profes-
sor Parham kept the school open most of the
time during the War between the States, but left in

The rivalry between the two schools Warrenton
College and Warrenton Collegiate Institute was
beneficial to both schools. For several years after the
reorganization there were more than one hundred
pupils attending Warrenton College.

After the buildings of Greensboro College were
burned, in 1863, Dr. Jones moved his school to Kittrel,
then to Louisburg, and about 1870 to Warrenton, and
occupied the buildings of the Warrenton College.
After Dr. Jones returned to Greensboro, in 1873, the
school was closed and never reopened as a college.
Mrs. Mary Williams and Miss Lucy Hawkins have
been conducting a private school of high grade in the
buildings for a number of years.

The course of study of Warrenton College was
about the same as that of Edgeworth Seminary and
that of Greensboro College.

Warrenton Female Collegiate Institute, Warrenton,
North Carolina

This school was always a private school. It was
opened in 1846 by Messrs. Graves and Wilcox, who
had been principal and associate principal of Warren-
ton Academy. Luke Graves, A. M., became an asso-
ciate principal with his brother and Mr. Wilcox about
1848; in 1853 Edwin L. Barrett took his place, and
the firm name became Graves, Wilcox & Com-
pany. In 1859 Mr. Wilcox bought the interest of Mr.
Graves; he continued as principal until his death in

From that time until 1880, when the last exercises
of the Collegiate Institute were held, it was under the
management of Mrs. Wilcox. For a number of years


the attendance was 125 girls each year. Its pupils
are scattered over the whole South, but most of them
are to be found in Virginia and North Carolina. Its
diploma graduates number 135, and the gold medal
graduates 82.

The course of study required four years for com-
pletion, and was arranged as first, second, junior, and
senior years. The course for diploma was : First
class reading, spelling, geography, arithmetic (Emer-
son's First Part), history of the United States, natural
history. Second class Arithmetic (Davies'), geog-
raphy, penmanship, English grammar, history of the
United States, spelling, French, composition, reading,
moral lessons. Junior class Arithmetic, algebra
(Davies'), French, Latin, Greek, rhetoric, botany,
natural philosophy, composition, chemistry, reading.
Senior class Intellectual philosophy (Abercrombie's),
logic, languages, astronomy, elements of criticism,
moral philosophy, evidences of Christianity, geology,
anatomy, physiology, geometry. There was also a
course for graduation with gold medals, and a some-
what extensive course in music, drawing, painting, and
fancy work as extras. The cost of board, lights, fuel,
washing and tuition in the regular department was
about eighty-five dollars per session of five months.
The expense of the extras about the same as in Edge-
worth Seminary, and other schools for girls of the
same grade at that time.

St. Mary's School, Raleigh, North Carolina, 1842-


St. Mary's School was founded in May, 1842, by
the Rev. Albert Smedes, D. D. Desiring to move
South in search of a milder climate, he consulted with
Bishop Ives and decided to take charge of a diocesan
school for girls and to locate it in Raleigh. For thirty-
six years Dr. Smedes was rector and principal, allow-
ing nothing to interrupt the work he had undertaken.


During the War between the States St. Mary's was a
refuge for those who were driven from their homes.
It is a tradition, of which all her daughters are proud,
that all through those years of struggle St. Mary's
doors were open, sheltering at one time the family of
the beloved President of the Confederacy.

On the 25th of April, 1877, the venerated founder of
St. Mary's was called to his rest, leaving to his son,
Rev. Bennett Smedes the school for which he had so
long and faithfully labored. This trust was consid-
ered a sacred one, and for twenty-two years Dr.
Smedes, sparing neither expense nor pains, gave his
every energy to the work.

In May, 1897, Dr. Smedes proposed to the Diocese
of North Carolina, at its annual convention, that the
church take charge of the school which had been the
lifework of his distinguished father, as of his own.
This was done, the church purchasing the property
from the heirs of Mr. Paul Cameron, from whom until
then it had been rented. In the fall of 1897 a charter
was granted by the General Assembly of North Caro-
lina (Chapter 86, Private Laws of 1897), and after-
ward amended, incorporating the trustees of St. Mary's
School, consisting of the Bishops of the Dioceses with-
in the States of North and South Carolina, and clerical
and lay trustees from each.

The charter provides (section 8) : " That the fac-
ulty of said school, with the advice and consent of
the board of trustees, shall have power to confer all
such degrees and marks of distinction as are usually
conferred by colleges and universities." This dis-
position of St. Mary's had long been the wish of Dr.
Smedes. Its organization as the school of the church
completed, Dr. Smedes continued as rector for a year
and a half, and on February 22, 1899, entered into

From its organization until 1897 the school was a
preparatory school, and for a number of years it was
correlated with Vassar. The course of study was ar-


ranged for five years, but if a pupil desired to add " ac-
complishments," as music and art were considered, a
longer time was required. Dr. Smedes thought a
pupil could not pursue at one time, with advantage,
more than four subjects of an advanced grade. A
four-year course in Latin was required to the attain-
ment of a diploma, but proficiency in modern lan-
guages was accepted as a substitute for an advanced
course in Latin.

The Church Catechism, Bible history, the Christian
year as illustrated by the Prayer-book, and ecclesiasti-
cal history, form a part of the regular course of study.
The school has always offered good facilities for the
study of music and art, and these have been en-
larged and extended to meet the demand of the

The main building is of brick, three and a half
stories high, and is connected with two " rock houses "
each two stories high, by covered corridors. The
other buildings are the art building, the chapel, the
infirmary, and the rectory. The chapel is a beautiful
Gothic structure, designed by Upjohn, and is furnished
with a pipe organ of two manuals and sixteen stops,
the " in memoriam " gift of Mrs. Bennett Smedes.
It is devoted exclusively to religious purposes. The
services of the church are celebrated there on week
days as well as on Sundays.

In May, 1900, the College was established on an
equal standard with other colleges for women in the

In addition to the preparatory school and the col-
lege, St. Mary's offers instruction in the schools of
music, art, elocution, physical culture, and business.
A kindergarten has been established in a separate build-
ing but under the same management. Thus St. Mary's
offers opportunity for study in all the departments of
knowledge usually pursued in schools for girls, and
under the present management bids fair to attain suc-


Asheville Female College, Asheville, Buncombe
County, North Carolina, 1842-1908

Some time prior to 1842 the Asheville Female
Seminary was established. Its principals were John
Dickson, M. D., and Rev. Erasmus Rowley, D. D.
Under their management it was a very efficient school.
Some time between 1842 and 1866 it became the prop-
erty of the Holston Conference, its name was changed
to Asheville Female College, and a new charter was

In 1866 the property passed over to a joint stock
company, composed for the most part of Asheville
citizens. When it became the property of the stock
company Dr. James S. Kennedy was elected presi-
dent, and held the position for about ten years. Then
Rev. J. R. Long served as presiding officer for two
years. From 1878 to 1879 the institution was sus-

In September, 1879, Rev. James Atkins, A.M.,
D. D., t assumed control and was at its head for ten
years. Rev. S. N. Barker, of Texas, was president
1889-1890; and B. E. Atkins, A. M., 1890-1893. In
the fall of 1893 Dr. James Atkins, who had been presi-
dent of Emory and Henry College, Virginia, for four
years, returned, and had control until the summer of
1896, when he was elected Sunday-school Editor of the
Methodist Episcopal Church South. During the year
1896-1897 it was kept by Mrs. James Atkins. In
1897 the property was sold to Archibald A. Jones,
who had been president of Central Female College,
Lexington, Missouri, from 1889 to 1897.

In 1897 the present building was erected by Dr.
Atkins, at a cost of $30,000. During the eighteen
years with which he was connected with the school,
as president of the faculty or of the trustees, it had
an annual enrollment of about one hundred and fifty,
and the pupils were from almost every Southern State,


and from Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, and Nebraska.
The course of study was equally as high as that of
any of the schools for girls in the State.

Mr. Jones has enlarged the faculty, extended the
curriculum, and increased the expense to a consider-
able extent.

The courses advertised in English, Latin, Greek,
French, German, mathematics, physics, chemistry, ge-
ology philosophy, and history are as extensive as those
given by any of the higher institutions for men in
the State. Music, art, and elocution are extras, and
cost from $15 to $45.

(This sketch is condensed from a sketch of the
school in " Church and Private Schools of North Caro-
lina," by Charles Lee Raper.)

The Fayetteville Female Seminary, Fayetteville,
North Carolina, 1854

This Seminary was established by a company of
stockholders, the majority of whom were citizens of
Fayetteville. The corner-stone was laid June 9, 1854.
Rev. W. E. Pell, a prominent minister of the Metho-
dist Episcopal Church South, was the first president.
He was succeeded by Mr. W. K. Blake, who was suc-
ceeded by Mr. Thomas Hooper, who retained the po-
sition until the school was closed by the War be-
tween the States.

This school held the same rank as other schools for
girls established during this period, though its patron-
age was never large nor its influence never great.
Since its close as a college the building has been used
for many and various purposes. It is now used by
Col. T. J. Drewry for his military academy.

Thomasville Female College, 1849-1893

This was a private school from the beginning. Its
principals were members of different churches. It was


opened in 1849 by Mrs. Charles Mock, as a preparatory
school for Greensboro College. She sold out. to Dr.
Charles Force Deems, September, 1852. He changed
the name from Sylva Grove Female Seminary to Glen
Anna Seminary, in honor of his wife. Glen Anna
Seminary was opened January, 1853, an d in 1855 Dr.
Deems secured a regular charter.

Mr. John W. Thomas became interested in the
school, and erected a large building for its accommo-
dation, at a cost of $1,200. In 1858 the school was
in its new quarters under the management of Mr.
Thomas, though he did not teach himself. He em-
ployed a large, well-trained faculty. The school flour-
ished under his management. In 1860 there were 150
pupils, and Mr. Thomas, by prudent and discreet man-
agement, succeeded in keeping the school in operation
during the war. In 1867 its name was again changed,
and it was called Thomasville College. Mr. Thomas
retained the management until his death in 1873, when
the school was closed for a short time, but reopened
in 1874, by Prof. H. W. Reinhart, who purchased the

Professor Reinhart was sole proprietor until 1884,
when Rev. J. N. Stallings bought a half interest and
became co-principal. Soon after this transaction the
school began to decline, and in 1889 the whole plant,
faculty, and students were transferred to High Point.
The school continued to decline until it was closed in
1893. A new charter was secured March n, 1889,
and the name changed to High Point Female College.

This school was in active operation for fifty-four
years, and had a fairly successful career. During
one-half of this time the faculty numbered twelve or
more trained teachers.

The curriculum was the same and the facilities for
studying music, art, and fancy work the same as those
offered by other schools for girls of the same period.


Floral College, Robe son County, North Carolina,

Floral College was located about four miles from
Maxton, Robeson County, North Carolina. It was

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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 17 of 24)