Jan. 7th 1868.
I am sure you will attribute to me none but the best of motives in calling your attention to a section in the Governor's message given to our Massachusetts Legislature a few days since. You will find the whole message in your Hampshire Gazette of yesterday. I cut out & send you the part to which I refer. It seems to me very plain that the State has adopted and will foster Mr. Clarke's institution for Deaf-Mutes. That is beyond all doubt to be a success. Now it seems to me that posterity will not commend your course if you, in the face of these facts, leave an endowment for a similar institution.
On the other hand one of the finest opportunities ever offered a person in this world is now offered to you in another enterprise. You may become to all time a Benefactress to the race. I refer to the endowment of a Woman's College. This subject of Woman's education, Woman's rights & privileges, is to be the next great step of progress in our State. You can now by a codicil to your will appropriate the sum designed for a Deaf-Mute institution to this object & have your name attached to the first Woman's College in New England. I remember that such an idea was very pleasing to you some years ago. But it then seemed to be an experiment. But it is no longer to be so regarded. Somebody will very soon endow in this state a Woman's College. I wish that the honor might be yours. It seems to me that I can see the hand of God in prompting Mr. Clarke to endow the institution for Deaf-mutes that you might do this nobler & wider-reaching work for the women of New England.
I will add that I have been urged from two or three sources of late to leave Hatfield & enter other fields of labor. But if you will make arrangements for the carrying out of such an enterprise I will engage to remain here, if God spares my life, so long as you live & do all in my power to give the completest success to your plans. I have given no little time to the study of this subject & am sure that God now offers you a golden prize. Hatfield is the place for the college. This beautiful valley is unsurpassed for richness & beauty in the whole world. Please allow me to state again that if I know my own heart I am looking in this thing to your interest & the welfare of the church & the race, not to my own gain. I do not want posterity should say that you did an unwise thing, as most assuredly they will, if you now leave an endowment for Deaf-mutes. On the other hand your name may stand by the side of Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Mary Lyon &c, as conferring upon woman what has too long been denied her, equal opportunities with men for higher education.
With great respect I am very cordially yours,
JOHN M. GREENE.