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WOMAN'S EDUCATIONAL MOVEMENT IN
BY MRS. H. E. MONROE.
THE slow awakening of woman all over the globe to the firm
conviction that she is not filling her possibilities of either happiness or usefulness, for lack of education and opportunity, is a development of this century.
Machinery and factories have taken away the spinning, weaving, and sewing which formerly kept woman busy, and now with more leisure, she has raised her eyes from her work to find her brother has outstripped her intellectually. She remembers that up to the age of fifteen she felt herself his equal, and she is led to inquire, where and how have I fallen behind?
She also realizes that the old means of earning a living are no longer possible, yet the demand for a livelihood for herself and those depending upon her, increases rather than grows less, and it is not surprising that she asks for better mental, civil, and physical conditions to meet new emergencies.
English women have had a harder time to obtain proper educational facilities than we have in America. An Englishman has a firm conviction that "established things are sacred things," that what has been shall continue to be, so that it has proved no easy matter to obtain the excellent facilities which women now enjoy. When I said to one of the leading educators, "Where shall I obtain some information from books on the woman's educational movement in your country?" she replied: "We are passing through an educational revolution; it has not been written, and only on our hearts are the scars of the battle. Up to thirty years since, indeed I may say fifty years since, if we had a well-educated woman like Mrs. Browning, Mrs. Somerville, or George Eliot, she obtained that education in her father's study and not in a school. We had no good schools for girls; money would not buy good teaching, for the mistresses were sadly deficient."
In 1848, Queen's College for women was formally opened as a sort of supplement to King's College, London. It did not take out a charter until 1853. It bore immediate fruit. Miss Buss' private academic school in London, and Miss Beale's Ladies' College at Cheltenham were established soon after that, giving the best training for girls in the kingdom. Both these ladies had received part of their training at Queen's College.
Cambridge and Oxford have from time immemorial held local examinations wherever a center could be formed, for boys under fourteen for the Juniors, and under sixteen for the Seniors. These examinations were for the purpose of fixing a definite standard of instruction for intermediate and grammar school grades, and for supplying a definite point of attainment to both teacher and pupil.
Miss Emily Davies, whose name should be enshrined in every woman's heart, in 1860 conceived the idea of extending these examinations to girls. In 1862 a committee was formed, with Miss Davies as honorary secretary, to accomplish this purpose.
1In 1863 an experimental Cambridge examination for girls was held in London, the regulations for boys being observed. This was followed by others, and in 1865 the Cambridge local examinations were thrown open to girls, and six centers formed. In 1881 there were 87 centers, with 1554 candidates for Juniors, and 1139 Seniors, making a total of 2693; of these 75 per cent. of the Juniors and 57.5 per cent. of the Seniors passed successfully.
Oxford soon followed Cambridge in permitting girls to enter these local elementary examinations. An improvement in girls' schools immediately followed, and thoroughly stirred public thought in the matter. Girls' Schools were now included in the royal commission, and a parliamentary committee, after a thorough examination, reported the girls' schools to be exceedingly inefficient.
Miss Buss and Miss Beale were both brought before this committee, and their showing of the difficulty of obtaining good women teachers, the sad mental condition of girls entering their schools, may be said to have begun a revolution in elementary and intermediate education for girls. Miss Buss' school in London was turned into an endowed school. Miss Beale's school became collegiate as well as academic, so that girls could there take a complete scholastic education.
1 Facts from Mrs. Gray's article in The Woman Question in Europe.
Mrs. Maria G. Grey and her sister, Miss Shereiff-the accomplished daughters of Admiral Shereiff-brought to the cause great social influence, having independent fortunes and a large acquaintance among the nobility. Their work was purely philanthropic. These sisters, with the help of other earnest women and chivalrous men, organized "The National Union for the Education of Women," of which Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne, was president. This admirable organization continued for ten years, until it had, with other like organizations, succeeded in establishing an improved class of girls' schools throughout the kingdom.
But blessed Miss Davies, not yet satisfied by the improvement which she may be said to have caused, now began to ask that all the university examinations be given to women, on precisely the same conditions as they were given to men.
In 1868 Mrs. Josephine Butler presented a petition largely signed, to the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, asking for the examination of women over eighteen on the usual university conditions for men. This was duly considered by the university senate and granted.
Miss Emily Davies in 1869 started the college now known as Girton, at Hitchin, half-way between London and Cambridge, where her students could have the advantage of the Cambridge tutors and lectures. And while the university proper has not seen fit to give women full recognition, these gallant men, without additional salaries, have given of their time and talents to the plucky girls who "go in" for the best education they can obtain.
Miss Davies removed to Girton in 1871, where students have the same advantages of residence as at the dear old Cambridge halls of Kings, Emanuel, Trinity, or any of those seventeen colleges which, taken collectively, we call Cambridge University.
Women have now two resident colleges and one professional school at Cambridge. Girton, now under Miss Welch, where one hundred pounds per annum entitles a student to two rooms; Newnham, under Miss Anne J. Clough (pronounced Cluff), and Miss Helen Gladstone daughter of the statesman where stu
dents pay seventy-five pounds and have one room; and the Cambridge training college for teachers, under Miss Hughes.
But there is yet one fly in the ointment: women take exactly the same examinations, but men only receive degrees. The degree seems to mean not only a certificate of scholarship, but that one
has now attained the right to vote for members of parliament and to belong to the university governing power. It would not argue well for the education attained, if women are not thereby fitted to wisely exercise either or both of those privileges.
Another difference is that girls have no fellowships. When a man takes a degree he has the right to strive for a fellowship. If successful, his college gives him for a period of seven years rooms at the college, free of expense, and two or three hundred pounds per annum, which gives him time to find his place amid the world's busy workers. When good women or men leave their great fortunes to women's colleges, instead of enriching men's already wealthy endowments, then Girton and Newnham will have fellowships, and Maria Mitchells and Mrs. Somervilles will have time to grow.
Never, while I live, will I forget the joy of that day at Cambridge, as I walked through Newnham and saw the stately walls of Girton, and talked with the grand women who have brought about these opportunities for women.
I remembered sadly my own exasperated girlhood, when not a college I cared to enter would admit me. It was before the days of Vassar, or before any state university had opened its doors to
When Magdalen, Luther's oldest daughter, lay dead, his wife wailed over her loss. Luther said, "Don't cry so, sweetheart; it's a hard world for girls." I think it is growing less hard for that class who have been given strong souls in feminine bodies.
Cambridge and Oxford consent to certify to women, "If you were a man, you know enough to take a degree." Oxford elementary examinations have long been opened to girls under sixteen, but only since June, 1888, could women present themselves for examinations.
Lady Margaret and Somerville Hall, at Oxford, and the Royal Holloway College, Egham, take the same curriculum as Oxford, and take university examinations. Colleges in England cannot grant diplomas on their own examinations to their own students. The University of London, an examining college with the severest tests in the kingdom, deals with women exactly as it does with men. The consequence is that over one hundred and fifty women are Bachelors of Arts of London; over twenty are Bachelors of Science; two are Doctors of Science, Mrs. Sophia Bryant
and Miss C. A. Scott, now at Bryn Mawr, Philadelphia; six are Masters of Arts; and one, Eliza Orme, has the degree of LL. B.; six are Bachelors of Medicine, and two are Bachelors of Surgery.
The Royal Holloway College at Egham, Surry, has a history much like Vassar. It was the gift of Mr. Holloway in memory of his mother, at a cost of £237,000 for the buildings alone, with further endowment and extensive grounds. This college is under the supervision of Miss Bishop.
Besides those mentioned, women have Mason's College, Birmingham, Owen's College, Manchester, the Royal University at Dublin, three colleges in Wales, the Westfield College in London, under Miss Maynard, who prepares for London University, and doubtless Scotland has her share, but of them I am not informed.
When we consider the mental and educational progress represented by this record, we can only raise our hearts in gratitude to God, that he has put it into the hearts of men at last to heed the cry of the women who grace society, and who make the beautiful homes of England the best type of which we can conceive of the Home eternal.
BY CHARLES E. RIDLER, BOSTON.
HE bronze statue of Franklin, in frent of City Hall, Boston, was erected September 17, 1856. It was a propitious day throughout. Bells were rung, cannon were fired, a parade of the fire department (with a contest for prizes) took place, and there was a great procession. Here are some particulars of the dedication of that statue, and of an incident connected therewith. Colonel Thompson, as chief marshal of the day, invited his mounted aids to meet at his residence, Boylston street, west of Charles street. The vast region of what is now the Back Bay territory was undeveloped then, and the designation "west of Charles street" was significant. A little before, in 1854 or 1855, the beautiful Public Garden of to-day began to be created. Charles street was not much better than an ash heap, and the "triangle" in the Back Bay region of to-day, near the intersection of the Bos