Printed Journal Letter 23: March 28-May 1, 1889 

Journal Letters: Introduction and Notes 
Journal Letters: Chronological Inventory 
Journal Leters: Index to Journalists
Mount Holyoke

Collections Online
10 printed pages. 

The top of each new page is indicated within the body of the text below by a page number in parentheses. 

Note: The text below was created from the scanned original by optical character recognition (OCR). Inaccuracies in OCR transcription are common, and it is possible that not all errors have been corrected. When in doubt, refer to the original page images

View original pages  


Mount Holyoke Seminary,
March 28, 1889.
DEAR FRIENDS: One of you wrote, in a letter received lately, "I have wanted to come and see how you look now that you are a college." Perhaps many of you have had some curiosity or anxiety of the same kind; you have expected - hoped, may be - that the annual letter from the old home would no longer "foist old incidents upon you with only a slight change of costume," or you have feared that, reading the story of the daily life of this school year, you could no longer say: 
    "With easy force it opens all the cells 
    Where Memory slept ... 
    ... the scene recurs,  
    And with it all its pleasures and its pains."
Read, then, and when you have read may the hopes be in a measure realized and the fears quite laid aside.  

If you had come back with us on one of the early days of our opening week, we would first have made you acquainted with our new teachers-Miss Kenney, a graduate of the Boston School of Technology, Miss Carpenter, a graduate of Oberlin, and Miss Hodgkins, one of our own class of '85. Miss Carter, one of the class of '87, who had been with Miss Hooker in Europe through the summer, came a week later to teach botany in her absence, and Miss Goldthwait was also here for a few weeks to take charge of a part of the regular autumnal classes. Miss Hooker is still in Berlin, and will be until May at least, studying under Professor Kuy. Charming letters come from her from time to time, which show us that she has eyes for a great deal else, though so absorbed in microscopic wonders. Miss Sessions is spending most of the year at home with her sisters. Miss Berry is absent for the year studying chemistry in Cornell University. Miss Kies was in Ann Arbor through the first term studying philosophy and political economy. Miss Clapp was hard at work for six weeks of the vacation, several hours daily, in the Marine Biological Laboratory at Wood's Holl, which was opened last summer and is intended to furnish an opportunity for work for professors and special students from the different colleges. Miss Edwards came back to us again from far-west journeyings, though not quite to Alaska. She went to the National Teachers' Institute in San Francisco and as far north as Seattle. Miss Bardwell was one of her companions, and had the delight of a visit to the Lick Observatory and that of the University of California, as well as to the Yellowstone Park and other places sought by tourists. Miss Kies also made one of the party. 

When the first Saturday night of the year came, almost every room was full. The number applying for admission was much larger than could be received. A few expected were kept away for a while by illness or death of friends. On the first Sabbath morning, as has been the custom of late years, flowers were laid beside each plate at the breakfast table, giving a bright good morning to the faces which leaned over them as bright as they, even though a touch of homesickness lent a shade of sadness here and there. We had already found bright minds shining through those faces. The requirements for admission were somewhat higher in Latin and mathematics than they were last year, yet the entering class was better prepared than usual. You know we do not admit on certificate at all. No one was fully prepared to enter upon either one of the college courses, though several hoped to do so and will be in the collegiate departments next year. You will see from the catalogue 


how many of our older pupils are in the scientific department, and that two are candidates for the degree of B.S. One of these is a member of the class of '86, and has since her graduation received her degree of M.D. from a Baltimore medical college. Many who are old pupils this year intend to complete the classical or scientific course, who cannot be classed in the collegiate department now because they have not enough of either Greek, or mathematics, or modern languages, though they are ready even for the third or fourth year in other studies, and some have spent more time than is required in the whole collegiate course upon some branch of which they have made a specialty. Our girls have had only a few months, you remember, in which to think of pursuing a college course, hence had not planned as they would otherwise have done. A great deal of work hitherto called "advanced" is done this year, but it is covered by the college curriculum or the enlarged seminary course. Referring to the catalogue again, you will find a synopsis of the seminary and of the college course in each of its departments, so I need not tell you of the many changes within two years. We do not talk of "series" any more, save from force of habit, but in this transition to a new order of things there must be a mingling of old and new; some of the old arrangements of studies must be made for the present senior class, as well as for younger classes, to some extent. Reviews and examinations are not after the old manner this year. Most if not all the teachers have required written examinations at intervals in the progress of each study; and at the close of each term, or each three months, more properly, two days have been given to examinations in all the studies finished then, mostly written, but some of them partly oral. I do not think it is decided that all public examinations will be given up. 

We have one family and one section exercise in the week - on Saturday afternoon. Necessary notices are given at the table on other days, or at the morning gathering in the Hall. The bulletin board is a popular advertising agent. In another way time is saved on Wednesday; "extra work," known as such, is no more. That which was so called, and which is not given over to the women employed, is done as daily work. We'll show you just how it is all arranged if you will come and see. 

I must not forget to tell you of our danger and deliverance early in the year. The morning of that day was cloudy and some rain had fallen, but there had been no lightning, when, about the middle of the forenoon, a sound came like the report of a heavy pistol, the south wing halls were filled with a blaze of light, some sitting by the windows saw a great ball of fire enter the house, and many thought themselves struck by the lightning, which did strike the electric wires with such effect that they were burned apart in three places, one of them within the casement of a window. One wire in the observatory was also severed, another partially, but none of the clockwork or instruments were harmed. The electricity in this building apparently followed the wires and steam-pipes through a large part of the south side, and they probably saved the building and perhaps many of us from harm. 

The great amount of rain in the autumn spoiled many cherished plans for long walks and picnic lunches on the mountains, or at Thermopyloe, or at Paradise, but many were carried out and enjoyed. The trees kept their green leaves wonderfully late, and the autumn coloring was like England's - all gold and russet and brown. We counted, with some solicitude, the rainy days when outdoor work could not go on, for we feared that winter would come before the walls of the addition to Williston Hall could be raised. But the workmen were well housed against the cold before it came, and you will rejoice with us that some of the rooms will be ready for occupancy early next term. This addition is on the northeast side of the main building, extending thirty-five feet beyond it to the north and fifty-five feet back to the east. On the ground floor is a large addition to the present ichnological cabinet, two recitation rooms, Miss Clapp's " den " or dissecting room, and a tank room or " aqua vivarium," which is to be a thing of beauty and a joy forever to all here, as well as a most important adjunct to animal and plant studies. On the second floor will be laboratories for zoology and physiology, and a biological library room, for both botanical and zoological departments. The room at present used for zo6logy will be used for botany when the Annex is ready for occupancy. 

All this is a very delightful prospect for teachers and students in these studies, and for 


others who hope to have the fine recitation rooms on the first and third floors, but there is an imperative and pressing need for another new building for the growing departments of chemistry and physics, which are now greatly cramped and hindered for lack of room. The room for laboratory work in physics is absurdly small; much work which is demanded at the present time cannot be done advantageously, and that which is done must be in a succession of small classes, consuming much more of the instructor's time than would be necessary in a suitable room. Most of the laboratory instruments are home-made and inexpensive, there is a well selected and expensive set of illustrative apparatus, but there is no suitable place in which to bestow it or use it. The instructor in chemistry says that considerable new apparatus must be had before any satisfactory work can be done in one department of laboratory work - gravimetric quantitative analysis. The first need, however, is more room for carrying on all the work most successfully. 

Miss Bardwell needs a room with a southern exposure (which will serve other purposes also), where she can use to advantage the valuable solar camera which Dr. W.T. Harris gave us last year. She does the best she can now in tire mineralogical room. 

Have we any money towards the needed building? Yes, Mrs. Carrie Clark Woods brought us $5,000 last November, which will be used in this way. A friend, who does not wish his name made public, gave it to her to be used for the college wherever most needed. lie became greatly interested in the school at the time of the hearing before the Legislature of its Petition to become a college. I dare say be would be willing to give his name to any one who might use it to secure an equal or even smaller sum from some other loan of means. So little has come to us this year from any source that such a gift is especially encouraging. Miss Shattuck has secured nearly $1,000 for the needed building, of which $500 is from one gentleman. $1,000 has recently been given to Dr. Love for the same purpose. 

Our dependence in days to come, as it has been in the past, must be chiefly upon our alumnae. A large part of all that we have ever received, except the buildings which Mr. Williston's generosity has provided for us, has come from former pupils and teachers, directly or through their efforts. We do thank you most sincerely for the prayers and words and deeds which are assured to us in the future by the past. I am sure that a great many among the alumnae have in their hearts the feeling expressed by Miss Ella Ives in a letter to Miss Edwards written after the meeting of the Boston association last October, which Miss Edwards addressed. Miss Ives sent reports of the meeting to some Boston papers, and in her letter she said of those reports: " I wrote, hoping to enkindle in some hearts the fire which you aroused afresh in our own; it is a fire in our bones this time, and we do not mean to stop giving and being and praying for dear Mount Holyoke while life lasts. " They have had another meeting lately and have added point to those words by sending nearly $250 to the botanical department. You know, perhaps, that a new alumnae association was formed in October last, called the Central New York Branch, which had its first meeting in Syracuse and chose Mrs. Eliza Haskell Frisbie as its President. Mrs. Eaton of Palmyra was here a little earlier and took away a budget of statistics and observations to present at that meeting. Nearly $35o has already been sent to us by that branch. Another association has been lately formed, having its first meeting in Springfield and electing Mrs. Gertrude Ellis Bowman President. This Springfield and Vicinity Branch " is, I think, the fourteenth formed. 

We had the sunny presence of Miss Eastman of Dana Hall, Wellesley, among us for a Saturday and Sunday in October, when she also came to "see for herself" before taking her place for the first time at the meeting of the Boston alumnae association as its President. Mrs. Moses Smith was here soon after her return from the London missionary conference, and gave us an informal report of the meetings in Exeter Hall, of other gatherings, and of the people there, which was truly charming, as you know it must have been if she told it. She came, however, as the President of the national alumnae association, to inquire and observe, in order to report at the meeting of the Western branch. I think the example of these ladies is a very good one for presidents and officers of other associations to follow. 

We had a pleasant gathering of ladies to lunch with us on Wednesday, October 17, who came to attend the meeting of the Hampshire Branch of the W. B. M. We had little tables 


set in the Seminary Hall as for the reception last year after the meeting of the Board in Springfield. The children who form Mrs. Love's hand of " Faithful Workers " were invited also, and the waiting upon them was the most amusing if not the most interesting feature of the occasion. Mrs. Rand of Micronesia was one of the speakers and one of our guests. The meetings were in the church. Miss Prentiss conducted a Bible reading in the morning, and one of our senior class read a paper which gave the history of the Mount Holyoke Missionary Association, which I wrote about in my letter last year. In the ten years of its existence twenty-five of its members have become foreign or home missionaries. Last year, for the first time, there was a public invitation to its membership; this year a new constitution has been formed and its preamble reads: "We, the instructors and students of Mount Holyoke Seminary and College, in order to render the abiding missionary interest of our institution even more effectual than it has been in the past, and to identify ourselves more fully with organized missionary effort, do hereby form the Mount Holyoke Missionary Association, auxiliary to the Hampshire County Branch of the Woman's Board of Missions." 

In January Dr. Creegan, Secretary of the American Board, was here and met the members of the association, and any others interested, with an urgent plea for " six of our teachers and thirty of our girls for foreign missionary work." He went away happy in having received assurance from at least twelve of their readiness to go to such work when a fit time and opportunity shall come. Three of our girls went to Worcester with Miss Edwards and Miss Bardwell to attend the meeting of the Woman's Board, and gave reports of the exercises at our Friday evening meeting of that week. 

In last year's letter one of the class of '87 was spoken of as on her way to mission work in Japan. That was Nettie Horton, who is well and happy in a girl's school in Yokohama. Mary Matthews, who was here in the years '81-83, went last summer from her place in Fisk University to Monastir, Turkey. In December Ida V. Smith, class of '81, went to Kyoto, Japan, and in January Clara Giddings, class of '84, sailed for northern India to join Mrs. Scott, Hettie Scott and Clara Williamson, all Seminary daughters. Annie Wells, class of '67, who has lately come home for a vacation from the Huguenot Seminary in South Africa, spent a Sabbath with us early in January, and told us of the missionary work done among the colored people by the girls of their school. How that seed-thought of Mary Lyon has multiplied its fruit in every land! Those girls have that school for their training because she founded this school, which Mr. Murray read about in her memoir. And they have gone out from it to stand at the head of other schools of like spirit and methods, as well as to carry the gospel "through the dark continent" as far as woman can go. After Mrs. Rand's coming, our first missionary visitor this year was Dr. Fairbank, who spent two days with us a little while before he left for India. What an inspiration to talk with such a man! No less inspiring was Dr. Constantine of Athens, whom you all know about - a servant of God, indeed, like the first apostles, who were in perils oft, while abundant in labors in the same field where he has wrought. How very small our trials and self-denials looked when we heard the story of his work and his poor people. He has been for many years in Smyrna and in other places in Asia Minor under the Greek Evangelical Alliance. Mr. and Mrs. Otis Cary from Japan were here in October, Mrs. Cary talking in a familiar way at morning devotions, Mr. Cary giving a rather more formal address in the evening. With them came a very young missionary who received a continued ovation in the hours when he could be seen. It was a pretty sight that met one's eyes on going into the room where he sat enthroned on the lap of one girl, while ten others knelt on the floor about him. He bore the honors accorded to his three and a half months of life with the graciousness and dignity of a king of threescore years and ten. 

A few weeks ago Mr. Bruce of India, Mrs. Gulick of Japan, and Miss Helen Norton of the W. H. M. S., were here on the same Saturday and Sabbath; and last week Mr. and Mrs. Andrus of Mardin, Turkey, came to visit us - an especial pleasure to us who had not seen Mrs. Andrus since she was our dear fellow-teacher, Olive Parmelee. Old times were delightfully recalled, and it was good to see her so like her old self. But how hard to bear must be the ill health which makes it necessary for her to stay longer in America, while her husband goes back to his work alone. It has seemed to us that the thought of a personal call and respon- 


sibility must have impressed itself on many hearts as never before through the words of all these missionary friends who have been with us this year. This week our hearts have been deeply stirred by a tale of miseries almost at our doors. Mrs. Helen Campbell spoke to us on Tuesday evening. You all know her probably through her many newspaper articles, and her book, Prisoners of Poverty, so startling and heart-sickening in its story of the wrongs of the working women of our cities. 

I dare say you have heard something about our share in the presidential election. I copy a part of a short notice that appeared in a New York newspaper: "The girls at Mount Holyoke Seminary, South Hadley, Mass., entered into the spirit of the recent political contest and determined to imitate their fathers' and brothers' doings. The college gymnasium was the meeting place. Half a dozen of the girls acted as policemen, preserved order, and led away obstreperous partisans. St. John, Roger Q. Mills, James G. Blaine, Robert Ingersoll, Robert T. Lincoln, Hugh McCulloch, Frances E. Willard, Chauncy Depew, and Speaker Carlisle were impersonated by mischievous girls, who made speeches that, as far as possible, were such as would have been made had the veritable individuals been present. After long and able arguments for the parties represented by these speakers, the students and faculty proceeded to ballot for President and Vice-President. No intimidation at the polls was observed; each party had its workers; boxes of candy and new pairs of gloves were the bribes offered. The polls closed at 9 P.M., 315 votes having been cast. Of these Mr. Cleveland received 30, General Fisk 33, and President-elect Harrison 252. The reading of this bit of school gossip before the Mount Holyoke Alumnae Association of New York, at its semi-annual meeting in the Fifth Avenue Hotel, produced such enthusiastic applause that it was plain to see that alumnae and under graduates are agreed on political questions." A lengthy supplement might accompany this account, giving details of the proceedings. There was much to add to the humor of it all. "Beware of Pickpockets" warned us at various corners; banners were borne about on which were such mottoes as "Free Trade" and "No License." Pretended Boston and New York reporters sat just beneath the platform, and were as irresistibly funny in their intense devotion to business as were the tall police force who with gymnasium clubs held back the crowd who pressed too near the polls, and issued their orders, " Stand aside," " Let this lady pass," as if they had served at street corners or in court rooms for years. Their solemn behavior was also very droll as they accompanied the ballot boxes and the tellers to the room south of the gymnasium, where the votes were counted under the eye of civil-service officers. Amid tumultuous applause the chairman announced the result and introduced to the audience General Harrison, who made a short and dignified acknowledgment, with which the meeting closed. Our girls will be intelligent, hereafter, as to the manner of voting and as to many other usages in public gatherings. Politics ran high in our little community for some weeks before election day, and if a girl didn't know why she voted as she did, it was not for lack of talk on the subject, at table, in halls, and in private rooms. The study of the science of civil government for some years past, the lectures by Professor Bemis in the two last years, and the beginning of the study of political economy by the senior class last year, have all done much, doubtless, to arouse in all the pupils a real interest in political affairs. More will be done in days to come, as you will see from the catalogue. The plan of instruction now pursued aims not only to promote intelligence on all questions of state and national interest, and to teach how laws are made and executed by state and nation, but also to give familiarity with the methods of conducting business meetings in narrow spheres, and, as far as time allows, to give such a knowledge of general laws of business transactions as every woman needs. All the doings of that election day were according to the laws of the land, even to the forbidding the depositing of any vote unless the voter had registered on Monday. Notices had been put up in different parts of the house requiring it. The day was not alone observed by the evening gathering; at the hour of morning devotions, after we had sung the hymn "O God, beneath thy guiding hand," Miss Edwards directed us to many Bible passages which were read in concert, relating to the duties, sins, and privileges of nations and of rulers; and then she gave us an excellent political sermon founded on those texts, followed by prayer that 


carried all hearts with it up to the nation's God. Hymn and Bible reading at evening devotions, also, were selected for the day. 

We had a pleasant Thanksgiving recess, spent much in the usual way, though the evening gathering was enlivened by the presence of guests who have never before been with us, but were well known to us by reputation. They came to us from Dickens land; they wore the costumes and spoke the language of that country. Nice Miss Betsey Trotwood; practical, comfortable Peggotty, and tearful Mrs. Gummidge; sunshiny Dot Perrybingle and blundering Tilly Slowboy; Mrs. Micawber and her twins; Sairey Gamp and Betsey Prigg with all their gossip, and others only less celebrated, made up a most interesting delegation from the mother country to our New England festivities. 

One of our guests last term in her own proper self was Miss Helen Peabody, so long the honored and loved principal of Oxford Seminary. She diverted us very much by her pretended indignation at the stage driver who gave her careful directions as to the right door to enter when they reached the Seminary. "Young man," she wanted to say to him, "I knew the way to that door before you were born." A little while after her visit we enjoyed one from her successor at Oxford, Miss McKee, who came with Miss Carrie White, so long a teacher there. Since that visit we have had no anxiety about the welfare of the school under a new administration. Miss Jessup is quite happy in it and is comparatively well this year. One of the few links which bind us to the earliest years of our Seminary was broken ill December by the death of Mrs. Obed Montague. The old home, you remember, was given up at Mr. Montague's death; since then Mrs. Montague has lived in the village a part of the time. She died at the home of Mrs. Payson Williston in Northampton, where Miss Emily remains. What pleasant memories will always come with the mention of her name to a great many who, as Seminary girls and teachers, have partaken of her kindness and bounty in years past! A thought goes naturally just here to Mrs. Foster, who lives now with her daughter quite near us, and is usually well, though not strong enough to be ill the place she held so long and so faithfully here. We are sure she helps us still by her prayers, and we are glad to have her so near us. 

Our choral classes and the Perkins orchestra of Lynn gave us a delightful evening a few weeks ago. The instrumental music was excellent of its kind, and "Florimel, a Faerie Cantata," which was sung, not only charmed the ear but the eye by its accessories. We shall lose three of our sweetest singers when our senior class leaves us, whose voices we shall miss very much; and we shall miss two pairs of cunning hands that know wonderfully well how to make from greenhouse plants or the treasures of the wild woods most bewitching combinations. But for how many reasons we shall miss all the dear class; in how many ways have they shown the spirit of their motto, " Doe ye nexte thynge," and the spirit of the Master who came "not to be ministered unto but to minister!" May their last term together be the best one spent here for each one of them. They gave a reception on the evening of Washington's birthday, a "conversation party" or "causerie," with subjects assigned on cards, which made the evening full of lively and easy comradeship and free from the stiffness often incident to such gatherings. 

The girls have had very little of the usual winter recreations - sleigh- riding and skating -but they had a great amount of fun over a new method of coasting down our hill to the brook. This journal would never dare to tell you on what they coasted and you could never guess, but it was certainly one of the most mirth-provoking sights we ever witnessed. The wife of one of our trustees was a spectator one day, and a few days after sent the girls half a dozen handsome sleds. These early spring days tell us that soon the happy search can begin for the red, white and blue of arbutus, and innocence and hepatica, and our own grounds will have first a shadow, then a mist, then a full burst of greenness and beauty. Snowdrops and crocuses are here as heralds of the May, and tell us that the daffodils are already on the way. Our royal and beloved black-walnut tree is still here, though the new picture of Williston Hall in the catalogue is half spoiled by its absence. The squirrels accepted the new building early in the fall as put up expressly for them, and their antics therein were as diverting as they are now in the trees. By and by we shall doubtless find that the moles are our tenants 


also. If any of our friends know how to catch these mischief-makers let them send us the information. Their tunnelings for their rapid transit roads make parts of our beautiful lawn look like a railroad map. Am I giving you too many small details of our daily life? Only one more before graver matters. You will like to know that we are to be represented in the Paris exposition, and that the "History," several of the last catalogues, a beautiful portfolio of photographs of grounds and buildings, with some other things, have already been sent to the superintendent of the educational department of American exhibits. 

And now what shall be written of the spiritual life in our household? Most of our girls called themselves Christians at the beginning of the year, and a large part of these are church members. There has been a blessed revival for two months past in the church and town, and we are grateful for so much evidence of a share in the blessing, though we have longed to be more abundantly partakers. Dr. Laurie was with us on our day of prayer for colleges, and gave us sermons that cannot yet have lost their power over our hearts. "A servant of God" - how ennobling, inspiring, exalted, he made that title, and how earnestly to be coveted! Dr. Burnham, of Springfield, gave us another strong lift upward and onward by a sermon on " Drifting," in a Friday evening meeting a few weeks ago. Miss Edwards has seemed especially inspired this year in many of her talks at morning devotions. She has spoken from time to time on religious questions which troubled some of our girls as well as others in the Christian world. The credibility of miracles, the inspiration of the Old Testament, the power God has given to prayer, are among the topics upon which she has given us clear presentations of the views of the best writers on these themes as well as evidence from the Bible itself. Seed-thoughts sown now will bear fruit in after days; we know that God himself is teaching many hearts because of the fruits of the spirit which are seen in the daily living -the faithfulness in little things, the thoughtfulness for others, the teachable and the helpful spirit. Again and again in your letters the desire is expressed, which is doubtless often in your prayers, that the intellectual may not crowd out the spiritual. And you question what relation college and seminary are to bear to each other; whether, under the new name and new conditions, the influences here will any longer produce, as in the past, "the serious, earnest purpose that became in due time transformed into character and made the institution such a power in the world." Time must answer all such questions; but as to hopes and purposes, Dr. Clark said in his last year's anniversary address: "It is hoped to keep this institution - Mount Holyoke Seminary and College - in its rightful place in the forefront of the higher Christian education of the time - the seminary with all its sacred traditions, with its peculiar training in Christian character, and the college to give development, breadth, and power to the culture here enjoyed." " The college is to round out in fullness and completeness the work begun under the most favorable conditions in the bracing moral atmosphere of the seminary. The college will quicken the intellectual life of the seminary till perhaps the two shall become one in reality and in name; and whether the transition period be longer or shorter, the seminary and the college shall both be richer for the union." "The object of the college is not primarily material product, but disciplined character and womanly culture - power for the kingdom of God." Dr. Tyler also said in a short address on the same occasion, in reference to the general plan and purpose of the trustees: "Mount Holyoke Seminary and College - a double name, but a single institution with one head, one body of teachers and pupils, animated by one spirit, possessing one life - a unique name, perhaps, and, if you please, willing to be considered a unique institution, not anxious to be just like any other; at Once a real seminary and a real college, uniting all that has distinguished and hallowed the seminary of the past with all that should exalt and adorn the college of the future." 

Most of you already know that Miss Mary Brigham, who has been for many years at the head of the Brooklyn Heights Seminary, is to be our President next year. She will come not as a stranger but as a daughter, after long absence, to her Alma Mater again; how loving and loyal, she has shown in her years of service as President of the New York and Brooklyn alumnae association. Those were her words which were quoted in the last journal-letter: 


"I cannot think it possible that God will suffer it to lose that which has made it so influential and so valuable since its foundation;" and we believe that she will lend all her influence that it may not lose anything in moral and spiritual power, while gaining in all pertaining to intellectual growth and wide culture. She will see for herself how far teachers here have been successful in their eager and constant study in order to gain in scholarship and in methods of teaching, and she will bring to us in herself an incentive and inspiration, and help us by all that she has gained in her life so different in many ways from ours. She writes: "If I had not the assurance of the cooperation of the present faculty I should know that I could not, even at this late day, attempt the work. With you as co-laborers I trust that God will give to me the wisdom and skill, the strength and the clear vision, that are necessary to guide the college to the high ground on which it ought to stand in coming years." I am sure that she would not object to this quotation from one of her letters, and that she would wish to say to you all, as to us, "Thank you for your sympathy, your hopes, and your prayers." 

Dear friends, we also thank you for all you have given to us. Miss Blanchard and Miss Edwards, especially, have been helped by the many letters expressing appreciation of their work and giving assurance of remembrance in prayer. The strain upon mind and body of the jubilee year, and the years since, has been necessarily much greater upon them than upon any of their associates. A great amount of head-work and time has been required in newly arranging seminary courses of study and inaugurating college work, and while others have given much and valuable aid, the chief burden has fallen upon Miss Blanchard, in addition to her other duties. We who are her associates add to that of others our tribute to the "executive ability rarely met, and the great advance of the institution under her management." "It should not be forgotten that this seminary and college would not have been what it is today without the earnest and persistent efforts of Miss Blanchard and Miss Edwards in securing to teachers time and opportunity for bringing their departments so far forward that a college charter could rightfully be asked for." Their resignation a year ago was made public only a few weeks ago. On the same day Miss Blanchard received a paper signed by nearly all if not all our pupils, expressing appreciation of her efforts in their behalf, and their hope that the college would not "be deprived of her influence and ability." 

May 1. The sending out this letter has been unexpectedly delayed so long that a part of the story of the present term ought to find a place here. It was a cause for gratitude, when we came back from vacation days, that we found dry roads instead of deep mud, between the railroad station and the seminary, and we have been more grateful still for green fields and spring flowers that came so early this year, giving us many a May day in April before the beautiful today. Don't you wish you could go again to some of the old flowery haunts? Don't you remember the great blue hepaticas by the iron bridge, and the milk-white host of blood-root blossoms by the old saw-mill on the road to Amherst; the sweet white violets in the ravine, and the blue ones on the sand-hill above? Can you not live over again the dear delight of transferring to your basket from their nestling places the arbutus clusters, " shy and modest and sweet; " and can you not see again the sentinel ranks of columbines, in their uniform of scarlet and gold, keeping guard over the river on the high rocks at the " Pass " and beyond it? Did you sometimes make May baskets to hang on teachers' doors, or ever see the like of these that one of the girls has just brought in -two half-open chestnut burrs filled with "innocence" and suspended by the narrowest ribbon? 

As pretty as a bank of flowers with the spring predominance of white was the senior class this morning, as they stood to be photographed in the costumes they wore on the evening of April 23 - Shakespeare's birthday. Scenes had been selected from twelve of his plays; the dresses had been prepared in the vacation, and were charmingly effective and generally in keeping with the time and country represented. There could be no rehearsing till late that afternoon. Olivia, Maria, and Viola spoke their own words from act I scene 5 Of " Twelfth Night; " Ophelia sang her wild, pathetic songs before the pitying Gertrude, but most of the other scenes were represented as tableaux, while Miss Rose read the words which would have been spoken by the characters had there been time for memorizing and rehearsals. There were four framed portraits-fair Jessica, "a Gentile and no Jew;" Phoebe, "the Arcadian 


coquette Anne Boleyn, when she "would not be a queen for all the world;" Hermia and Helena, "like to a double cherry seeming parted." Hermione, also, as a seeming statue, looked serenely down upon her Perdita and the repentant king, while Paulina held back the curtain that they might behold her. Titania and her attendant fairies, grouped on a bank in a shade of evergreen trees, made one of the two large tableaux; the other - and the last one shown - was the vision of Katherine from act 4 scene 2 of "Henry Eighth." After the exhibition was over, ice-cream and cake were served alike to spirits and fairies and queens of bygone centuries and to nineteenth century damsels, and a pleasant social hour closed the birthday celebration and "one of the prettiest entertainments ever given here." 

Another evening of great interest came on the Friday before, when a temperance meeting;was held, presided over by members of the Y. W. C. T. U. I quote from an account of the evening which appeared in the Springfield Union the next day, written by one of our number: "The exercises of the evening consisted, in part, of the consideration of the following resolution, viz.: That the cause of temperance is better promoted by constitutional prohibitory amendment than by high license or local option. The discussion was introduced by able papers on both sides, presented by members of the class of '89, which discussion was a continuation of the topics considered in the morning recitation hour in ethics. Both the affirmative and the negative presented equally weighty arguments and full statistics, each endeavoring to prove why the measure she advocated would the better promote the cause of temperance in the State. After a lively discussion the students adjourned to vote upon the constitutional amendment, according to the system which goes into effect in Massachusetts in November next, familiarly known as the Australian method. This part of the evening's exercises was in charge of the students of the classes in civil governi-nent, who were impressively uniformed to represent the various officers." "The hour for closing the polls having arrived, the ballots were officially stamped and counted. The vote polled 156 in favor of the amendment and 14 opposed, a large number of the students attending a lecture in town not being present to vote." The account of the scenes at the polls (in the lecture room) would be too long for insertion here. All was done in strict conformity to the new method of voting. 

Next week a festival of the Hampden County Musical Association will be held in Springfield, and many of our household will probably go to some one of the three evening concerts or the one on Wednesday afternoon. We are anticipating a great pleasure on another evening a fortnight hence in the coming of the Beethoven Club, with Mrs. Humpbrey-Allen as soloist. 

We are really occupying, this term, the new rooms of the Williston Hall Annex, and how delightful it all is! The woodwork is all ash and uncommonly beautiful; many of the stairs ought to be used for decorative purposes rather than to be trodden on. All the chairs are provided with arm-rests, which are much needed on all recitation-room chairs, now that so much note-taking and so many written examinations are required. The southeast room on the upper floor is for modern history; the northeast for English literature and rhetoric; while the northwest corner room with its pretty tiled fire-place and large windows is to be a library and study for both history and English departments. A fourth room is for Latin or other languages. On the floor below are Miss Clapp's two large laboratory rooms with all their appointments exactly to her mind; her own little office is in a corner of one of them; a dumb waiter makes easy communication with the rooms below; a library room under the one above is for all the departments of biology. The large new room back of the lecture room, and opening into it, is for physiology. A door opens from the hall of the upper floor into the bird alcove; a door also opens into the botanical rooms from the hall below. Miss Hooker will soon be here, we hope, to enjoy her enlarged recitation and work rooms. She was to sail on the 27th of April, so we shall look for her next week. 

How could "the beloved physician" have been forgotten when changes of teachers were mentioned on the first page of this letter? It was cause for general grief that Dr. Peck left us at the close of last year, and she shared our sorrow, leaving only because of her wish to establish herself in general practice. She is in West Philadelphia; has given three courses 


of lectures within the year, one in the Normal School there, one in Swarthmore College. It was no small consolation for our loss that Dr. Marchant consented to leave her practice with her partner and come to us again for a year. 

Miss Sarah Dickey spent last Sabbath with us, one of the class of '69, and the principal of Mount Hermon Seminary in Clinton, Hinds County, Miss., a chartered school for colored girls which she founded herself not long after her graduation. The story of her life recalls many of Mary Lyon's experiences. Her certainty that a special work was waiting for her alone to do, and that Mount Holyoke was the place where she must be fitted for it; her direct dependence on God, her bravery and tact in meeting and disarming opposition, her long patience in securing needed funds, the respect, cordiality, and honor which she has won from those bitterly hostile to her work at first -place her among the noble women (not a few) who have been truest patriots and humanitarians by persistent and courageous work, so quiet as to be almost unrecognized and unknown. Two of our girls, Misses Minnie Bridgman and Carrie Edwards, classes of '86 and '87, are teachers in her school, which now numbers about 230. 

Sorrowful tidings have lately come to us of the death from pneumonia of Rebecca Livingstone, one of last year's class, who had been this year in Mrs. Steele's Orphanage in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was very happy in her work, and her growth in Christian character was marked there as it was when with us. When her last hour of life had come she asked in her delirium, "Can we not stop at the next station and rest a while?" And next came heaven, where the sweet life soon ended here will still be spent in loving service, with no need to rest a while. 

On the last Saturday of last term we were invited to the observatory during midday hours to look at Venus through the telescope while the sun shone undimmed. The star was so bright that with the naked eye most of those who looked could see it not far from the sun, but through the glass, large and clear in the pale blue depths above, it lay, a silver crescent like the new moon, shining serenely upon us, as if an angel's face looked down from heaven. No night vision through that glass, when the sky is full of stars, could have been so wonderful a revelation as this, in the full light of day. Quickly there came to mind, with a force uiifelt before, the last lines of Blanco White's "Mysterious Night": 

    "Who could have thought such darkness lay concealed 
    Within thy beams, O Sun; or who could find, 
    When fly and leaf and insect stood revealed, 
    That to such countless orbs thou mad'st us blind?  
    Why do we then shun death with anxious strife?  
    If light can thus deceive, then why not life?"
Yet another blessed thought came with the vain effort to see the shining point of light which most eyes saw without the glass. Again and again one pair of eyes tried to pierce the depths, but only the empty blue could be seen. One look through the glass and the lost world was again there - 
    "Nothing before, nothing behind; the steps of faith 
    Fall on the seeming void, and find the rock beneath."
May an assured faith in God your Father, in Jesus your Saviour, in his kingdom your inheritance, be yours, now and always. 

In Christian and Seminary bonds, and for the Seminary, yours, 


[end of text] 


© 1997 Five Colleges, Inc.