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

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

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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 7 of 24)
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In 1866 the trustees began to prepare to reopen the
school that had been temporarily suspended. The re-
maining building was repaired and suitably furnished.

Prof. W. B. Seals of Columbus, Georgia, was placed
in charge of the Academy, and continued with good
classes for two years. Dependent upon tuition fees
for the support of himself and family, and the pay-
ment of assistant teachers, Professor Seals did not find
the place sufficiently remunerative, and resigned the
position at the close of the session of 1868.

In May, 1868, Dr. Albert Barnes Sears, agent of
the fund donated by George Peabody, for the benefit
of education in the Southern States, visited Selma, and
after consultation with some of the prominent citizens
made the following proposition : " The Trustees of
the Peabody fund will pay $2,000 if the people of
Selma will raise $4,000, or more, to provide free edu-
cation for all the white children of the city, in the com-
mon English branches for one year, the school to be
under the control of some committee of men that shall
fairly represent the public interests of the schools, to
be appointed by the citizens who contribute to the

On the 1 4th of May a public meeting was held to
consider the above proposition, at which it was re-


solved to make an effort to establish free schools in
Selma. A committee consisting of Messrs. Joseph
Hardie, Geo. O. Baker, Geo. Peacock, Ed. Woods,
and B. Eliasburg, was appointed to draft resolutions
expressive of the sense of the meeting, which after
consultation reported in substance that there should be
established in Selma two good schools, one for boys
and one for girls, and that the sum of $4,000 at least
would be required to be subscribed to effect the object
desired. The report was adopted by the meeting. On
May 15 another public meeting was held. The com-
mittee on subscriptions reported progress showing that
the citizens were responding liberally to the calls. The
trustees of Dallas Academy, through their president,
the Hon. J. R. John, proposed to co-operate with the
movement in such manner as might be deemed best,
to render the grounds and building, known as Dallas
Academy, available in its aid.

On the 1 3th of June the subscription having
amounted to a sum deemed sufficient to warrant the
inauguration of the proposed system of schools, a
meeting of the subscribers was held for the purpose
of selecting " a body of men that would fairly repre-
sent the public in respect to schools " in accordance
with the terms of the proposition made by Dr. Sears.
The selection resulted in the choice of the following
men : Jos. R. John, Jos. Hardie, Geo. O. Baker, Geo.
Peacock, Chas. M. Shelly, A. G. Mabry, James M.
Dedman, Edward Woods, John White, James W.
Lapsley, and S. C. Pierce. Of these, Messrs. John,
Baker, Woods, and Mabry were already members of
the board of trustees of Dallas Male and Female Acad-
emy. The remaining gentlemen above named were suc-
cessively elected to members of the board of trustees
of Dallas Male and Female Academy, one to fill a
vacancy caused by death, and the remainder to fill
vacancies caused by resignations to make room for
them. In this manner the new board acquired the
property, powers, rights, and immunities conferred by


the act of incorporation in compliance with terms of
the charter of Dallas Male and Female Academy. The
new board thus created organized on the 22nd of
June, 1868, by the election of the following officers
and the adoption of its by-laws, viz: Jos. R. John,
president; Ed. Woods, secretary; Jos. Hardie, treas-

The Board proceeded to appoint a building commit-
tee to secure accommodations for the new free graded
school, now for the first time to be established in
Selma. This committee, after various efforts, decided
to enlarge the accommodations of the Dallas Academy
building by erecting another of the same dimensions
alongside the original building, thus increasing the
capacity to double the original size; and to rent a
building in East Selma for a branch school. The
board next proceeded to elect the following teachers:
Capt. N. D. Cross, principal and superintendent; Mr.
G. M. Callen, principal of the boys' department; Miss
Ella Thompson, principal of the girls' department ; and
eight assistant teachers; and Mrs. Moore, teacher of
vocal music. As the building was not completed, the
boys' school was opened in the basement of the Metho-
dist Church, and the girls' school in the basement of
the First Presbyterian Church, October n, 1868.

In 1869 the city of Selma was made a separate
school district under the general control of the State
Board of Education and a special superintendent, and
thenceforward became a part of the public-school sys-
tem of the State. An arrangement was made with
the City Council and City Board of Education, by
which the board of trustees should control and manage
the school, under the general supervision of the City
Superintendent arid the City Board of Education.
This arrangement has continued until the present time,
and has always worked harmoniously and satisfac-

The school has been maintained by special tax, the
State appropriation, and tuition fees. The income


from public monies has never been sufficient to make
the school entirely free. In 1873 the high school was
organized with twenty pupils, mainly girls under
charge of Miss Julia Nixon. In 1878 diplomas were
conferred on a class of six. Since that time this honor
has been conferred on about one hundred and thirty.

The board of trustees has been wise and fortunate
in the selection of principals and teachers for the
school. Since 1868 there have been three principals
Captain Cross, three years; Prof. Woodward, eleven
years; Prof. Hardaway, twenty years. Through all
this time they have been assisted by the very best
teachers to be found, several of whom have been in the
school for many years. One teacher, Miss Emily F.
Furguson, has taught continuously since 1868.

The combined labors of the trustees, principals, and
teachers has made Dallas Academy the pride of Selma,
and an honor to those who have brought it to its pres-
sent efficiency and usefulness.

Judson Female Institute, Marion, Alabama, 1839-1908

When Alabama became a State much interest in
education already existed, and the new State began
with commendable zeal to organize a school system,
and to establish academies and other seminaries for the
benefit of girls ; but, before the close of the first decade,
this zeal was much decreased difficulties had proved
much greater than had been foreseen, and many which
the people could not anticipate had arisen. However,
the people were not discouraged, and in the larger
towns " Female Associations for the Promotion of
Education " were organized. These associations were
called " female " not because they were composed of
women, for as many men as women belonged to
them, but because the prime object of their organiza-
tion was the advancement of the education of girls.

In 1833 such an association was formed in Marion,
Alabama, and a charter was obtained. This charter


empowered the stockholders to establish a school for
girls, of any grade desired. As a matter of course all
denominations belonged to this association, and all
patronized the school established in 1835.

This harmonious arrangement was not destined to
continue very long. The Baptists were the first to tire
of it, and withdraw. In 1833 the Alabama Baptist
State Convention, a corporate body, had established
" a Seminary for Young Men," afterward known as
Howard College, and at the session of 1837 the sub-
ject of education occupied much time and attention,
and after mature deliberation the Convention decided
to establish a school for girls, to be located in Marion.
Therefore, the Baptists withdrew from the " Society
for the Promotion of Education," and the school
established by the Society, and began preparations for
the accommodation of their own school. The first
session of this school the " Judson Female Institute "
began January 7, 1839, in a modest two-story
wooden building thirty by forty, and having two
wings. Rev. Milo P. Jewett was the first president ;
General Ed. D. King, president of the board of
trustees ; William Hornbuckle, secretary, and Langston
Goree, treasurer.

A small beginning was made with forty-seven pupils
and six teachers; the third session closed with one
hundred and fifty-seven pupils. In two and one half
years a house answering all the demands of the time
had been constructed, which was unsurpassed by any
school building for girls in the South at that time. It
was supplied with apparatus, a library, a cabinet of
minerals, music-rooms and an art studio. This build-
ing was destroyed by fire, but was soon replaced by
three handsome three-story brick buildings, joined by
two-story wings, forming a structure two hundred and
forty by one hundred and twenty feet. This building
was also destroyed by fire, but was replaced by build-
ings on a larger and more elegant plan, and greatly
superior to those which preceded them. Meanwhile,


thanks to the public spirit and liberality of the citizens
of Marion, the exercises of the school were not sus-
pended. All the classes were taught as usual during
the erection of this building.

When first organized this school adopted a uniform
dress for the students, and the graduates have always
worn plain white dresses, without trimming or orna-

On May 24, 1906, the sixty-eighth commencement
was held. To the graduating class and to the great
audience assembled in Alumnae Hall, President Patrick
read the first graduating essay ever read at the Judson
the graduating essay that was read in the remote
year of 1841, by Miss Carolina Frances Smith of
Lowndes County. To them was shown the first
diploma issued from the Judson, the diploma issued to
Miss Smith. Every word of it was written by hand,
and it was signed by that famous educator, Milo P.
Jewett, who became the first president of Vassar Col-
lege. Mr. Patrick also showed an oil portrait, life
size, of Miss Smith, Judson's first graduate.

On the evening of May 24, 1906, the thirty-six
graduates marched down the aisles of Alumnae Hall
to the stage, while the great pipe organ pealed a stately
march. To begin the exercises the large audience
arose and sang " Praise God from Whom all blessings
flow." A beautiful and touching prayer, by Rev. S. M.
Provence, followed. Then the graduating class sang
" The Lord is my Shepherd."

Diplomas were awarded to each of the following-
graduates : Literary president, Mayo Provence ; vice-
president, Jane Elizabeth Massey; treasurer, Annie
Lorena Warren. Degrees Bachelor of Arts, Mayo
Provence; Bachelor of Science, Elva Goodhue;
Bachelor of Literature, Margaret Ansley, Warre
Boyd, Janie Ida Bean, Mamie Crew, Inez Webb Col-
lins, Hattie Eloise Collins, Mary Lou Dean, Loucile
Donald, Louise Davie, Frances Ruby Holley, Ethel
Yvette Hill, Ruth Hobson, Rosa Ramsey, Carrie


Spigener, Mabel Catherine Hauff, Annie Vinceil
Strong, Evalyn Thompson, Annie Lorena Watts.
Bonnie Pearl Watts, Jane Elizabeth Masse, Harriet
Cecil Hampton. Music Pianoforte, Bessie Inez
Burk, Ida Holley, Margaret Bacon; voice, Harriet
Hosmer Reynolds; violin, Annelu Burns; organ,
Maude Robinson; elocution, Ruth Hobson, Carrie
Spigener, Cecyle Clyde Metcalf, Ethel Salter. Art
Annie Vonceil Strong, Edna Middleton. The presi-
dent of the class, Miss Mayo Provence, was the recipi-
ent of the highest honor of her class.

The Judson is the property of the Alabama Baptist
Convention. Its interests are committed to a board of
trustees elected by the convention, to whom the board
annually reports. This board assumes the responsi-
bility of all expenses, so that no officer or teacher is
pecuniarily interested in its income. The manage-
ment of the affairs of the school is entrusted to a presi-
dent, who is elected by the board, and whose term of
office is determined by the condition of mutual satis-
faction between the contracting parties.

At the annual meeting of the board in 1906 the an-
nual report of President Patrick was received with
general satisfaction by the board, for in it was out-
lined the remarkable growth of the Judson during the
past ten years.

After a thorough examination of the books and
management, and in view of the fact that about sixty
pupils have been turned away every fall for three years,
the trustees decided to build an annex on the north
side of the dormitory, similar to the one on the south
side; also to beg-in work immediately on the Carnegie
Library, the building to cost $15,000 furnished by Mr.
Carnegie; the College has raised $15,000 endowment
fund. It was also definitely decided to build a house
for the president that will be in keeping with the form
and importance of the Judson.

The board of trustees in 1906 consisted of fourteen


ministers and laymen of the Baptist Church of Ala-
bama, B. F. E. Ellis, Orrville, president.

The Judson had been in operation well-nigh three
years before a charter was applied for. The trustees
named in this charter were Edwin D. King, James S.
Goree, Larkin Y. Tavnat, A. C. Eland, Langston
Goree, Francis Lowery, John Lockhart, William E.
Blasingame. The usual powers concerning the own-
ing and disposal of property were granted, but the
amount of property owned by the institution was
restricted to fifty thousand dollars. Trustees were em-
powered to grant diplomas, certificates, or other evi-
dences of scholarship as they may prescribe. This
charter was approved January 9, 1841.



Livingston Female Academy, Livingston, Alabama,

THIS academy was incorporated January 15, 1840,
and without cessation of regular exercises has con-
tinued until the present time. The full course of in-
struction includes three departments: primary, inter-
mediate, and collegiate. In the first two departments
are three classes each. In the collegiate department,
four. One year is required for each class, or ten years
for the entire course. Latin and French are required ;
German and Greek are elective.

For the benefit of graduates of this and other in-
stitutions the collegiate course will be supplemented by
an elective course of higher grades whenever the neces-
sity arises.

In this course it will be the aim to bring the standard
of scholarship as nearly as possible to that recom-
mended by the Committee of Ten appointed by the
National Educational Association.

To meet the demands for trained teachers for the
public schools of the State the Legislature of 1882-83
made a yearly appropriation of $2,000 for the support
of the Normal School, and $500 for the purchase of
school appliances. The Livingston Academy being an
undenominational school, the directors were empow-
ered to establish in connection with it a normal depart-
ment to enable young women to prepare for teaching
in the public schools of the State. As the Academy
was well organized, or graded, and supplied with many
excellent appliances, this arrangement enabled the
normal department to begin work without delay. The
name was changed to Normal College and a new


charter was granted February 28, 1883. The Acad-
emy became the literary department of the Normal
College; and an industrial department, including
stenography, typewriting, telegraphy, a printing de-
partment, and a dressmaking and fitting department
have been added to the other advantages offered by the
Normal College. Vocal music in classes, and draw-
ing, both free-hand and outline, are taught in all de-

The boarding department and music department
(special lessons) and art department (including draw-
ing and painting) belong to the principal.

A unique feature of this school is the " annual ex-
cursion." During the winter of 1881 the plan of
school excursions was inaugurated by sending the first
to the Atlanta Exposition. The success of the trip
caused the principal, Miss Tutwiler, to decide in favor
of an annual trip if a sufficient number of the parents
desired it for their daughters. Almost the whole
school visited the New Orleans Exposition. In 1887
a party of twenty-six pupils and two teachers, chap-
eroned by Miss Tutwiler, made an excursion of ten
days to Washington City. The graduating class of
1895 decided not to have graduating costumes, not
even a white fan, gloves, or ribbons, but to wear the
simple uniform they wore every Sunday, and to ask
their parents to give each of them $25 to be used for
an educational excursion. They visited Tuscaloosa
during the commencement week of the University, met
many prominent citizens and distinguished Ala-
bamians, and visited places of interest; then on to
Birmingham, where they visited the rolling mills, fur-
naces, and other places of interest ; then on to Chatta-
nooga, Lookout Mountain, and Mounteagle, where
they spent two weeks, keeping house for themselves
in a cottage belonging to Miss Tutwiler. The neces-
sary cost of these excursions is $25.

The College buildings were burned to the ground
Christmas night, 1894, but the exercises of the school


were not interrupted for a single day. Two commo-
dious buildings, close together, one for the boarding
department the other for sole use of the school, have
been erected.

The Normal College has had only one principal,
Miss Julia Strudwick Tutwiler, who was principal of
the Livingston Academy when the normal department
was established. A library, and reading-room sup-
plied with current literature, a laboratory, a museum,
a telegraph office, and a printing-press afford facilities
for teaching.

Athens Female Institute, 1842-1908

It had been obvious for some time to the leading
men of Athens that in order to maintain her prestige
Athens must provide schools of a higher grade than
the academy for girls. Indeed, this sentiment largely
pervaded the community, but the Methodists seemed
to take the lead in its discussion.

Thus the way was prepared for action when the
Tennessee Conference of the Methodist Episcopal
Church (at that time that part of Alabama lying north
of the Tennessee River belonged to the Tennessee
Conference) met in Athens, in October, 1842, and
after mature deliberation the enterprise was projected.
In 1843 a charter was obtained from the legislature
of Alabama incorporating the " Female Institute "
of the Tennessee Conference. The dignity and high
character of the undertaking was amply manifested
in the selection of the trustees named in the charter,
men prominent in church and state. The lofty aim
of the institution was further shown in the election
of the learned and sweet-spirited Dr. R. H. Rivers
as its first president.

Gradually the boundaries of the conferences were
made to coincide with the boundaries of the State,
and in 1869 the North Alabama Conference was or-
ganized, embracing the northern portion of Alabama,


in which Athens is situated, thus acquiring all the
church property in this section formerly belonging to
the Tennessee Conference. In this way the Institute
became the property of the North Alabama Conference.
In 1872 the charter was amended, changing the
name to the " Athens Female Institute," and again
was amended in 1889, changing the name to " Athens
College for Women." These amendments included
other changes, as extending the curriculum, enlarging
the powers of the trustees, and defining property

Several additions have been made to the beautiful
Ionic structure erected by the founders; one of these,
a spacious chapel ; another, a large two-story building
for accommodation of the music department. Re-
cently the whole building has been remodeled and
made modern in its appointments, and refurnished.
The entire structure is of brick, the main building
being three stories high.

The course of study embraces kindergarten, pri-
mary, intermediate, academic, and collegiate depart-
ments; the last requiring four years. The languages
taught are Latin, Greek, French, and German. To
these courses are added the schools of music, art,
voice culture, elocution, and business.

Two literary societies, a current events club, a chorus
club, an orchestra, musical recitals, and lectures by
the best platform speakers are some of the means of
culture used to render the course interesting and

The College has been a church school from the be-
ginning, hence the Bible is studied throughout the
course, and a regular course of Bible study forms a
part of the work of the collegiate course.

The College has an honorable history and a future
full of promise. It is enshrined in the hearts of thou-
sands, and there are mothers all over the South who
reflect with thanksgiving upon the gracious influences
shed upon them while students in its classic halls,


and remember with loving kindness the advice and
training received from the long line of eminent and
worthy presidents, whose lives were a benediction.

For several years the College has been under the
supervision of Miss Mary Moore, a woman eminently
fitted for the position. Under her guidance the stand-
ard has been raised, the equipment enlarged, and the
efficiency of the College greatly enhanced. The great
need of this College is an ample endowment; with this
advantage it could take rank with the first colleges
in the country.

(The material for this sketch was obtained from
catalogues, acts of Legislature, and correspondence.)

Alabama Central Female College, Tuscaloosa. 1845

Although the Baptists had established one school
for girls which had not been as successful as they
had anticipated, they were willing to make another
venture whenever an opportunity should present it-
self. The opportune time came when Montgomery
became the capital of the State. When this came to
pass, the Legislature gave the old Capitol to the L^ni-
versity. The trustees of the University soon realized
they had " a white elephant " on their hands, and
gladly leased the building to a syndicate for ninety-
nine years, on condition that it should be kept open
and a school kept in it.

The charter granted to this syndicate demanded that
two-thirds of the syndicate should be members of the
Baptist denomination, and limited the amount of stock
to $300,000; hence this college is locally known as
" The Baptist College," though its charter name is
" Alabama Central College."

The provision of the charter necessarily places it
under the control of the Baptist Church, though the
Baptists maintain it is not a denominational school :
as a proof of this contention, the teachers, other than
the principal, who has always been a member of the


Baptist Church, have been drawn from all denomina-

Among- the many presidents who have had charge
of this College during its existence of sixty-one years
are the following: Professors Bacon, Browne, Lan-
neau, Samuel B. Foster, Yancey, and Dr. Murfee.

Auburn Masonic Female College, Auburn, Alabama,

This school had its beginning in the forties, and
exact records are not extant ; however, tradition says
it was successfully managed by Mr. Pelot Lloyd, and
became so popular at home and abroad that more
commodious buildings became necessary.

In 1852 it became the property of the Masonic
Lodge of Auburn, and a new charter was approved
February 10, 1852.

The judiciary powers granted by this charter were
the same as were usually granted to institutions of
learning, and the trustees were empowered to con-
fer degrees and to grant diplomas to graduates, and
issue certificates of scholarship. One clause of this
charter forbids the sale of liquor within two miles of
the College. This seems a peculiar precaution for a
school for girls.

The rieht to elect trustees was vested in the Ma-
sonic Lodge in Auburn, and the trustees named in
the charter were to hold office until the Lodge should
see fit to appoint their successors.

Under the name and title of Auburn Female Col-
lege the school seemed to take on new life. Mr.
Lloyd was still in charge, and Mrs. Agnes Clower
was the first music teacher employed by the College.
General Holtzclaw of Montgomery delivered the first
baccalaureate address, June, 1854.

Online LibraryI. M. E. (Isabella Margaret Elizabeth) BlandinHistory of higher education of women in the South prior to 1860. → online text (page 7 of 24)