INSTITUTIONS MODELED AFTER MOUNT HOLYOKE SEMINARY.
To the frequent question, what are the essential features of Mount Holyoke Seminary, it is answered: That it may realize its ideal - the greatest usefulness - it must combine thorough mental training with careful religious culture; and put this education within reach of the class most likely to be benefited by it and to use it for the good of the world. In order to do this it must be devoted to the service of Christ; "furnished with every advantage which the state of education will allow;" and able to put its charges low.
The first call for another Holyoke school came from Persia in 1843, through Rev. Dr. Perkins, who visited the seminary and asked for a teacher to establish a similar institution for the Nestorians. Out of many candidates, Miss Fidelia Fiske was selected to go.
When mission work began in Oroomiah only one among the thousands of Nestorian women could read. The men opposed the education of women. Through the efforts chiefly of Mrs. Grant, a few girls had been gathered into a day school. Little, however, could be done for them till they were separated front the degradation of their surroundings. In order to bring them under the influence of a Christian home the mission provided accommodation and support for six boarding pupils. Although a boys' school had been easily gathered, there was much doubt whether parents would allow their daughters to enter a boarding school. But Miss Fiske in faith prepared her house, and on the day appointed, Mar Yohanan brought two little girls, saying: "They are your daughters; no man shall take them out of your hand. Now, you begin Mount Holyoke in Persia." In a few months the six boarders were secured and the work of the seminary began. Twenty-five boarders gladdened the heart of Miss Fiske the second year, and although the buildings were enlarged, there were more applicants the third year than they could contain. In training these untutored girls, Miss Fiske's great abilities were taxed to their utmost. She was mother, housekeeper, and teacher, bearing cheerfully a load of care that would have crushed a less loving heart.
In the early days of the school the Bible was the only text-book and the teaching was oral; but Miss Fiske was a teacher of rare power, and the effect of the constant presentation of the Bible as the rule of life was soon apparent. Meanwhile a change was taking place in the community. The visits of the missionaries were welcomed. The preaching of the Gospel found eager listeners among the women as well as the
men. The winter of 1846 was made memorable by the first of those remarkable revivals with which that mission has been blessed. The work began on the first Monday of the year. The pupils of both schools were bowed down under a deep sense of sin. Importunate prayer was heard on every side, some even making places in the woodshed for private devotion. In the two schools, fifty were soon rejoicing in Christ. Then the parents and friends came in to learn what this "awakening" meant, and to be brought themselves under the power of the Spirit. Miss Fiske writes: - "I had often ten or fifteen women to spend the night with us. The young converts were full of zeal in leading them to Christ. The voice of prayer was often heard all through the night." When the pupils separated for vacation the divine leaven was carried into many families and in spite of persecution the work advanced.
As Miss Fiske's cares increased she turned to her Alma Mater for help, and one like-minded, Miss Mary Susan Rice. gladly responded, reaching Oroomiah in November, 18147. Even then she found the school a "miniature Holyoke." For more than twenty years she labored in the school with untiring zeal, spending her vacations, as did Miss Fiske, in seeking out and instructing the women of remote villages and of the mountains. The discomforts of touring were alleviated here and there by finding Christian homes presided over by pupils who welcomed their teachers with holy joy. Years later a missionary says of these homes, "They are lighthouses in the great, dark sea of iniquity which covers the mountains."
The history of the school is one of steady growth, despite many hindrances. The course of study was gradually extended, the Bible always retaining the chief place. The girls were trained to do a work as teachers, wives, and mothers, which should sanctify their nation. February came to be designated as the month of blessing, and the last weeks of the winter term prepared the girls to be very useful in their village
homes. The last evening of one term a pupil stopped at tile teacher's desk as she passed out from family worship, to make a special request. "If you please, will you allow our class to pray together just as long as we wish to-night? We are going home to-morrow; we can sleep then." Permission granted, the class separated only with the dawn.
When, after nearly sixteen years of such sowing and reaping, Miss Fiske was forced by failing health to return to America, ninety-three women sat down with her at the table of our Lord. And these were only a part of those whom God had blessed through her labors.
Miss Aura J. Beach, of the class of '59, went to assist Miss Rice after Miss Fiske left; but though fitted in every way save that of health, she was able to remain only two years in the field.
Miss Lucy M. Wright, now Mrs. Mitchell, gave a year to the service; and Mrs. Sarah J. (Foster) Rhea, after the death of her lamented husband, continued his work for Persia by entering with her wonted enthusiasm into Miss Rice's work in the seminary. She thus describes a revival occurring at that time: "Miss Rice was a true daughter of Mary Lyon; the Lord was honored and lie honored the school by his special presence. After devotions one morning, the seven seniors, all Christians, were seated for the recitation in theology. The lesson that day was about Christ, the sinless Saviour, dying for the world. First rose Miriam. She announced her subject, gave the divisions, and dwelt on the perfections of this wonderful Redeemer. All at once her voice trembled, broke beyond control, and she sat down in tears. The next rose and told what Christ was in heaven, and what he left to die for his enemies; suddenly she felt the personal application, and left her theme unfinished. As she dropped into her seat, another followed, developing a kindred thought, and broke down in the same way. The next rose from deep study of Isaiah's vision which told how He should
die, brought as a lamb to the slaughter, wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. Then, conscious of her own portion in the story she was telling, and unable to proceed, she covered her face arid sat down. Next to her sat Yasmin, who, after long resistance of the Spirit, had been brought into the kingdom two years before. She had lived eighteen years in sin, but had been led to Christ by these words which she found one day: 'Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.' She recited next, telling how God loved the world by giving his only begotten Son, and she said solemnly, 'If the dying love of the Son of God fails to melt a human heart, there is no power in the universe to move it!' and her own heart was so moved, she, too, was unable to say more. We fell on our knees to worship, and the recitation was turned into prayer."
Later in the same year, Mrs. Rhea and Miss Rice returned to America, the latter exhausted by the labors of many years. The seminary was left, in charge of Miss Jennie Dean, of Michigan, who still continues at her post.
The preparatory and seminary courses now occupy six years, and a year of post-graduate study is offered in addition.
The widespread influence of the school was strikingly manifested at the recent jubilee of the Nestorian Mission, by the presence of nearly eight hundred intelligent Christian women. Cheering reports were brought of pupils of the seminary, who in the darkness and isolation of the mountain villages still retain their love for the, Bible, studying it constantly and teaching it to those about them.
CHEROKEE SEMINARY. - In 1851, John Ross, a chief of the Cherokee nation, after visiting many schools, fixed upon the Holyoke system as best adapted to develop character and advance, Christian education among his
People. Brick buildings were erected in Tahlequah [now in Indian Territory], and a three years' course of study arranged, embracing the higher English branches, Latin, and vocal music. In its early years the school was under the care of Mount Holyoke graduates. Its students are filling important and responsible places, being a power for good among their people.
THE WESTERN SEMINARY, in Oxford, Ohio, was first suggested by a few earnest Christians living in Oxford, led by Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Tenney. A beautiful site of thirty acres, now increased to sixty-five, adjoining the town, was given by James Fisher. Gabriel Tichenor and family, of Walnut Hills, gave the first five thousand dollars; other generous gifts followed. Trustees were appointed in July, 1853, and the building began. The enterprise was laid before the principal and teachers of Mount Holyoke Seminary, with the request that they would foster this western daughter, assist in making her a counterpart of the mother institution, and select the first corps of teachers from their own ranks. Of these, Miss Helen Peabody, who had been associated with Mary Lyon as pupil and teacher, was elected principal. The seminary was dedicated September 20, 1855.
The history of its trials is wonderful; more wonderful is the way God has brought it through them all, victorious through that which has made her daughters invincible, - God within. Three thousand pupils have received instruction, and four hundred have graduated. Fifty are foreign missionaries, while others are doing service no less valuable in the home field. A large number are doing good work as teachers, and five have entered the medical profession. God has yearly visited this school with his saving grace; hundreds have been converted, and many others strengthened in the Christian life.
The school year of 1859-60 was brought to a sudden close by the fire of January 14th, originating in a
defective flue. There was no excitement, no confusion, though one of the pupils had a narrow escape. The doors of the Oxford Female College were hospitably thrown open to receive the homeless family. The senior class completed their studies in the house of Mr. James Fisher, near the seminary grounds, under the instruction of Miss Peabody and Miss McCabe, the graduating exercises occurring in May. An interesting feature of this occasion was the fitting up of a box of documents to be placed in the corner-stone of the second building. These words, written by members of the graduating class, were included, and are significant as history: "The Western Female Seminary; Christ himself the chief corner-stone. It has nothing to fear but that it may not know its duty or may fail to do it. May the pillar of cloud which guarded the door of the tabernacle rest ever at the going in of our beloved seminary." The new building was dedicated in May, 1862. In the preceding year the seminary had received a permanent fund of twenty thousand dollars, the bequest of one of its earliest friends, Gabriel Tichenor, the income to be applied to the salaries of its instructors. In the list of teachers for that year we find a new name, Miss Emily Jessup. Affectionate allusions are made to her invalid condition as well as to the great value of her instruction in class room and in religious meetings.
Only a few hours before the building was consumed by fire the second time, April 7, 1871, earnest prayer had been offered that when the proposed stone porch should be erected, the completed building might be more entirely consecrated as an abiding place for the King of kings. The next morning, a pupil told Miss Peabody that her books were lying in front of the ruins, and on the top "Mueller’s Life of Trust." "I do believe," she added, "it means God is going to give us back our seminary, just as he gave Mueller the orphan houses."
The Lord did, indeed, prompt many hearts to send their offerings unsolicited. The trustees were not long
in deciding to rebuild. By the middle of October they had provided an attractive and commodious home, and on the day before Thanksgiving, trustees, alumnae, and friends gathered for the dedication service.
In alluding to the almost miraculous strength given the young ladies who rescued Miss Jessup from the flames on that fearful night, it was remarked: "I believe it was God who did it, while he permits those girls to have the pleasure of thinking it was their work. So," said the speaker, "I believe it was God who wrought all these marvelous things we give thanks for to-day, but he allows these friends to think they are doing the work in his name."
"It has been our greatest desire," says Miss Peabody, "that our school should be Christ's; that each pupil should be one of the King's daughters; that every room should be an abiding place for the Holy Spirit." We cannot recount the many ways in which these prayers have been answered. In the winter of 1871, the religious interest began early in the term and deepened during the week of prayer; but the pentecostal day was not till later in the year, when nearly the whole family confessed Christ. Of several years following, equally interesting records might be made. Temporal blessings were not denied in connection with the spiritual. Improvements have been made in the buildings and furnishings, as well as in the course of study. New apparatus has been obtained, and large additions have been made to the library, which now contains over four thousand well chosen volumes.
The approximate value of seminary property is one hundred and twenty thousand dollars, and the invested funds amount to thirty-four thousand dollars, having been largely increased within the last ten years by the munificent gifts of the late honored treasurer of the board of trustees, Mr. Preserved Smith, of Dayton, Ohio. A students' fund is available to those looking forward to Christian work. One feature of this seminary - a fundamental one in its establishment - is the
aid rendered the daughters of home missionaries. The original charge for board and tuition was only sixty dollars a year. In 1887, it is one hundred and seventy, which covers gas-light and heating by steam. The course of study, embracing four years, is somewhat less extended than that of Mount Holyoke, thus admitting younger pupils. Lectures by professors from different institutions supplement instruction in the class room. The department of art is well furnished with models of a standard character, and special attention is paid to music. A systematic course of Bible study extends through the four years. The principles of education inculcated by Mary Lyon are faithfully reproduced, and the spirit with which she infused the Holyoke system is felt by every Oxford pupil.
LAKE ERIE SEMINARY, in Painesville, Ohio, was the successor of Willoughby Seminary, founded in 1847, and discontinued by the burning of the building in 1856. That seminary was noted for thorough scholarship and decided religious influence. The number of pupils averaged two hundred in the later years, with a graduating class of fourteen. A preparatory department was a necessity, but the regular course of study was nearly the same as at Mount Holyoke Seminary, where most of its teachers had been educated, among them two nieces of Miss Lyon. Miss Roxena B. Tenney was principal till 1854, and was succeeded by Miss Marilla Houghton and Miss Julia M. Tolman. After the building was burned, citizens of Painesville made liberal offers, and the trustees voted to locate the seminary there, and upon a somewhat different plan. A new board of trustees was formed; Rev. Roswell Hawks, who had been invited to Ohio to advise in the matter, was appointed to solicit subscriptions. The cornerstone of the building was laid July 4, 1857. A Holyoke feature which had not been possible at Willoughby, was the family life, all the students being gathered under one roof and sharing in the domestic
duties. The grounds of the seminary comprised fourteen acres, including a grove of oaks and chestnuts, under whose shade the anniversary exercises have been held through successive years. The building, four stories high and one hundred and eighty feet long, accommodates one hundred and fifty students. The school was opened in September, 1859, by three teachers and four other graduates from Mount Holyoke Seminary, Miss Lydia A. Sessions being principal. There were one hundred and twenty-seven pupils and two graduates at the close of the first year. Notwithstanding the civil war, the seminary prospered during the administration of Miss Sessions, which continued till 1866, when Miss Anna C. Edwards was appointed principal. Upon her return to Mount Holyoke Seminary in 1868, she was succeeded by Miss Mary Evans, - like her predecessors, a highly esteemed Holyoke teacher. In 1878, Miss Luette P. Bentley, one of its own graduates, was appointed associate principal.
Since its beginning, the seminary has bad more than three thousand students. Two hundred and fifty-one have graduated, one hundred and sixty of whom have engaged iii teaching. Forty have occupied important positions in high schools and seminaries. Five have studied medicine and one has graduated from a law school. Twelve graduates and former students have engaged in foreign mission work, and seven are missionary teachers in the South and in Utah. These numbers would be increased if statistics could be obtained in regard to members of the school, not graduates.
The standard of admission to the regular course of study has been gradually raised, and the course, occupying four years, now includes the same amount of Latin and mathematics as at Mount Holyoke, and a liberal course in history, literature, philosophy, and the natural sciences, - laboratory work being required in chemistry, physics, and botany. The domestic department prospers. Labor-saving appliances have been
introduced, courses of lectures in domestic economy have been delivered, and great value is placed on this important part of a symmetrical education.
As to its financial history, a heavy debt was incurred at the outset, which did not diminish till, chiefly by a gift of ten thousand dollars from Hon. Reuben Hitchcock, president of the board of trustees, it was wholly removed in 1871. His benevolent work was seconded by his colleagues in the board, according to their ability, some of them taking charge of seminary affairs so thoroughly that the services of a steward have been dispensed with for eighteen years. The largest improvement in the building was the erection, in 1876, of a wing, seventy by forty feet and three stories high. The approximate value of seminary property including grounds, buildings, and apparatus is one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
The invested funds of the seminary amount to thirty-two thousand dollars. The rate of board and tuition, at first ninety dollars exclusive of fuel and lights, and at present two hundred dollars, includes all advantages except private lessons in music and painting. The number of pupils in 1887 is one hundred and thirty.
Its religious history bears witness to the faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God. The, means of grace, so richly blessed in the development of Christian character in the mother school, have availed here: the morning half hour in the chapel, for praise and prayer and exposition of the Word; the silent half hours when each student is alone in her quiet room; the prayer meetings; the systematic course of Bible study through the four years; and the days set apart for prayer, especially the day of prayer for colleges. Not a school year has passed without special religious interest, and, although it is not easy to sum up results, it is safe to say that at the end of each year the number not professedly Christian has averaged less than one-tenth of the whole. Of the two hundred and fifty graduates only five are known to have been without a Christian hope.
The seminary has been undenominational. Each denomination has its own missionary society, meeting monthly for the study of its special field at home and abroad, and contributing to its own missionary board. On the first Sunday of the month these societies unite in a "monthly concert," where reports and papers of general interest are presented.
In MARSOVAN, TURKEY, Miss Aim Eliza Fritcher, of the class of '57 and a Holyoke teacher, has been for more than twenty years in charge of a seminary on the Holyoke principles which is a center of blessing in educating Christian women.
MILLS SEMINARY AND COLLEGE in California was founded by Rev. Dr. and Mrs. C. T. Mills, "to do for the far West what Mount Holyoke Seminary does for the East." Dr. Mills had been president of Batticotta Seminary, Ceylon, and of 0ahu College, Hawaiian Islands. Mrs. Susan (Tolman) Mills graduated in 1845, taught in the seminary until 1848, and after her marriage was closely associated with her husband in his labors. They began their work in California at Benicia, in 1865. Prosperous from the beginning, the school was removed in 1871 to Brooklyn, Alameda County, where a better Location for a permanent institution was secured, commodious buildings were erected in a lovely park of eighty-five acres, and excellent facilities provided. For several years more the school was carried on as a private enterprise, and gained the confidence of the Pacific coast by the cultured graduates who went out from it year by year. In 1877 the founders committed the seminary so largely the fruit of their own prayers and labors, to the hands of trustees, though they still remained at the head of it until the death of Dr. Mills in 1884, when the trustees placed it in charge of Mrs. Mills. In 1885 the institution was re-incorporated and a college curriculum was added. It was the aim of the founders "to establish a Christian school on
a permanent basis, that like Mount Holyoke it should depend on no individual life, but should become a wellspring of blessing to California and the world." This hope has already been realized in large measure and will, we doubt not, be more fully realized in the future history of the college. Including the class of 1886 more than sixteen hundred young ladies have been enrolled as pupils. Three hundred and twelve, representing different states and territories as well as the Sandwich Islands, Alaska, British Columbia, and Mexico, have graduated.
The charter of the MICHIGAN SEMINARY at Kalamazoo specifies that it shall be "essentially modeled after the Mount Holyoke Seminary, founded by Mary Lyon." The buildings stand in a beautiful oak grove overlooking the city, the river, and adjacent country, - the whole forming a wide and beautiful landscape. The school was opened in January, 1867. Miss Jeanette Fisher, a Holyoke graduate of 1859, was appointed principal, and held that position for twelve years. More than a score of the teachers have been Mount Holyoke graduates. It has been repeatedly blessed with revivals, and a large proportion of its more than one hundred graduates have become active Christian workers. They are found in all parts of our country and some are foreign missionaries. The school has labored at times under financial difficulties, but it has done and is doing excellent work. It is now free from debt. Its facilities for instruction are much increased and its friends anticipate for it a prosperous future.
THE MOUNT HOLYOKE SEMINARY at Bitlis, Turkey, is in one of the "darkest, loneliest corners of the world hidden behind the mountains of Kurdistan." It is under the care of Misses Charlotte E. and Mary A. C. Ely, of the class of '61. They began their work in 1868, after Mrs. Knapp had taught a few pupils and prepared the way. Few parents cared to have their daughters
instructed, but the success of the mission soon increased the number. A good building was erected, additions have been made to it, and in these attractive rooms two hundred pupils have received a Christian education.
In the summer, tents are pitched on a mountain about three miles from the city. In this healthful retreat the teachers pursue their work during the hot season. Sixteen pupils have finished the course of study, receiving a diploma from "The Mount Holyoke Seminary, Bitlis." Like that of Alma Mater it bears the inscription, "That our daughters may be as corner-stones, polished after the similitude of a palace."
The study of the Bible, the prayer meetings, and missionary meetings are all powerful influences in the education of these Koordish girls. Two precious revivals have been enjoyed, and the Misses Ely have the "unspeakable delight of seeing many of their pupils consecrated to the Lord, and carrying his gospel to darker regions beyond."
THE HUGUENOT SEMINARY at Wellington, Cape Colony, the oldest Holyoke offshoot in South Africa, was founded for European colonists, and opened January 19, 1874.
The Rev. Andrew Murray, pastor of the Dutch Reformed church there, on reading the "Life of Mary Lyon," said to Mrs. Murray, "Such a school is just what we need for our own daughters and for the daughters of our people." He interested the churches of the Colony in the subject and asked their prayers for God's blessing upon the undertaking. With a liberal hand they supplied the funds required. Letters were sent to Mount Holyoke Seminary, asking for a graduate to take charge of the school. Their faith that the request would be granted appeared in their sending money for her passage before receiving a reply to their appeal.
Miss Abbie P. Ferguson, of the class of '56, and Miss Anna E. Bliss, of '62, responded to the call., They went out scarcely knowing whither they went, but believing
that they were led by the hand of God. When the news reached Africa that two were coming, a little company gathered about the open letters and gave thanks to Him who had given double what was asked. On their arrival they received a hearty welcome from the clergymen of the Dutch Reformed church, then assembled in synod, and from the people of Wellington.
The seminary received the name of Huguenot, in honor of the French refugees, who came to Cape Colony from. Holland, whither they bad fled from persecution after the revocation of the "Edict of Nantes." Many of their descendants are still living in the Colony, exerting a great power in every good cause.
A large building, surrounded by pleasant grounds, was purchased. Its location reminded the new-comers of their Alma Mater, the ground sloping down to another "Stony Brook," with "Prospect Hill" rising beyond. The two institutions are similar in the arrangements of the home and the plan of the school. A course, of study was adopted much the same as that of Mount Holyoke in 1837. Above all there was an earnest desire that the school should be eminently Christian. The "Life of Mary Lyon," translated into Dutch, had been read with much interest, and forty pupils assembled for the opening besides day scholars, who formed a separate school in the village. There was a spirit of hearty co-operation among the students from the first. Before the end of the term every pupil expressed the hope, that she had accepted Christ as her Saviour.
The demand for greater advantages has been met from year to year. Teachers have gone from the United States and from different parts of Europe, and some of the graduates have remained to teach. A normal department has been added, supplying the need for trained teachers, and improving the village schools. Two new buildings have been erected, one on either of the first, so that more than one hundred boarders can be accommodated, while one hundred and fifty children are connected with the normal department.
Through the liberality of A. Lyman Williston, Esq., of Northampton, Massachusetts, an observatory built upon the grounds contains the telescope used at Mount Holyoke Seminary until the erection of its present observatory. A hall, with rooms on the first floor for art and science, the gift of Hon. E. A. Goodnow, of Worcester, Massachusetts, promises to double the usefulness of the institution.
In December, 1878, the first class graduated. From that time the seminary has been on a sure foundation, and though the standard of attainment has been raised a class has graduated each year. The students find many opportunities for practical Christian work among the colored population, in gathering the children into Sabbath-school, and holding prayer meetings in the cottages. Many go forth from the seminary to be teachers; others occupy positions of responsibility and are found in cultivated homes in all parts of the Colony. During the first twelve years, ten became missionaries.
The labors of Rev. Andrew Murray have been blessed to both pupils and teachers. Each year there have been special seasons of revival.
The influence of Mount Holyoke Seminary in South Africa is not limited to the Huguenot Seminary; nor would the history of the latter be complete without an allusion to the progress of Christian education through kindred institutions in other parts of the land. It was no sooner established than there was a demand for others of like stamp. In November, 1874, Miss Juliette Gilson, of the class of '68, arrived in Stellenbosch, Cape Colony, in response to an application from Rev. J. Neethling of that place, for a Holyoke graduate. She took charge at once of a work of great promise; and opened the Bloemhof Seminary in 1875. The plan of instruction, which at first was necessarily limited to elementary subjects, now embraces English and Dutch literature, German, French, Latin, geometry, evidences of Christianity, and natural theology. The first class graduated in 1881. Many besides graduates have gone
forth to be blessings in the land. Like other Holyoke seminaries the Bloemhof is not local in its interests. Out of one hundred and eighty-four pupils in its first five years, twenty-four were from Stellenbosch, forty-four from Cape Town and vicinity, while the remainder came from more than thirty different places in the Colony and the regions beyond, including Diamond Fields, Orange Free State, Basuto Land, Natal, and the Transvaal.
Rev. William Murray, of Worcester, was the third pastor to send for teachers. As his brother had done before, he forwarded passage money, and began preparation in confident expectation of success; nor was he disappointed. Miss Ellen Smith, of the class of '73, and her sister, Miss Annie Smith, reached the Cape late in 1875. When the seminary building in Worcester was completed - April, 1876 - all the American teachers then in the Colony assembled for its dedication, and to confer regarding the interests of Christian education in South Africa. It was decided to ask at once for six more, teachers from America.
In the same year, Miss Helen Murray, who had been two years at the Huguenot Seminary, began an important work at Graaf Reinet, taking charge of the Midland Seminary, till the arrival of Miss Thayer, of the class of '60. On Miss Thayer's return to America in 1880, Miss Murray again became principal. During the first term of the school there was a revival almost as remarkable as that of the first term at the Huguenot Seminary.
In 1877, Rev. Andrew Murray, and his brother, Rev. Charles Murray, returning from America,, were accompanied by ten teachers. One of the ten - Miss Martha Newton, of the class of '75 - opened a prosperous school at Swellendam.
At Pretoria, in the Transvaal, a school was opened in 1,877 by Miss Susan M. Clary, who had been fourteen years a teacher at Mount Holyoke Seminary. The journey from Cape Town, one thousand miles by sea
and five hundred overland, was difficult and trying. A large number of pupils gathered around Miss Clary, catching her enthusiasm. A severe attack of pneumonia resulted in consumption, and in less than a year she entered into rest, rejoicing that it had been given her to do something for Africa. Of the forty or more teachers who have gone from the United States to these schools more than twenty were Holyoke pupils, Applications have generally come through Rev. Andrew Murray, of Wellington, and the selection has been made under the direction of the principal of Mount Holyoke Seminary and Mrs. H. B. Allen, of Meriden, Connecticut.
The reading of the memoirs of Miss Lyon and Miss Fiske has been followed by efforts to establish schools on the Holyoke plan in England and in France.
A SPANISH HOLVOKE SEMINARY is under the care of Mrs. Alice (Gordon) Gulick, of the class of '67. From the translation of a letter from Sr. Dn. Cipriano Tornos, a Madrid pastor, we make the following extracts:-
"Passing through San Sebastian we improved with pleasure the happy opportunity of being present at the examinations then being held. They were the following: 'Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Grammar, History of Spain, Geography, Universal History, Reading Music at Sight, Singing, Exercises upon the Piano and Organ, Spanish Literature, French-English Grammar, English Literature, Bible History, Book-keeping, Theory of Teaching, Gymnastic Exercises, Drawing, and Embroidery, as well as Plain Sewing.' Perhaps reading this list one would fear to see accomplished here the Spanish adage, 'He who tries to do much accomplishes little.' No! In no wise! The young girl who at last obtains her diploma attesting that she has finished the studies here taught is able not only to talk about them, but can dedicate herself to the work of teaching them. We have seen here proved what is the current opinion
in Spain, that in the Evangelical schools there is more and better teaching than in others.
"The number of pupils in the different departments during the year is eighty-two. Of these three finished the course of study and we had the pleasure and privilege of presenting them their diplomas. Two of them expect to teach. All this we have seen ourselves, no one has told it to us. But we have seen more, which has surprised us beyond measure. At the same time that these pupils prepared for their examinations, they found time to prepare for a brilliant musical soiree, which took place the following day at night."
The writer enumerates the "classical pieces played and sung," closing with "the magnificent Hallelujah Chorus by Farmer," and congratulates the director of the school, teachers, and scholars, "and lastly the American Board, which with such generosity sustains this school in San Sebastian," and continues:-
"It now remains for us to give some general information about the aforesaid school. It was founded in Santander in the year 1876, and was transferred to San Sebastian in 1881. The object is not only to prepare teachers for usefulness but to give an ample and solid education to all those young girls who are able to attend.
"Especial care is given to educate the scholars in the life of a well organized home. They are taught to do for themselves to-day, what to-morrow they will have to do in their own homes. That is to say, they are taught to be good housekeepers, not mere senoritas of the drawing room.
"They pay according to their ability. Scholars of all ages are admitted, for as the whole house of five stories is given up to the school, the scholars are cared for according to their age, forming but one family.
"In regard to religious instruction it is understood to be essentially and eminently Biblical. Every morning before breakfast there is family worship in the chapel; sessions of study, meals, etc., are preceded by prayer.
"Every evening the children have a prayer meeting before retiring, and on Sunday the older girls have a meeting for mutual edification and prayer. Thursday evening of each week there is public worship in the chapel. On Sunday there are two meetings with sermon at 11 A. M. and 8 P. M., besides the Sabbath-school at three o'clock. Besides all this there are daily Bible classes for the whole school in sections, according to age.
This is what we have truly seen and what we have learned regarding this school."
In Japan a translation of the "Life of Mary Lyon" has been much sought and widely read by men as well as women. Not to mention others, a school on the Holyoke plan was opened in 1885 at Kanazawa by a graduate of the seminary at Oxford, Ohio. Beginning with thirty-two pupils it has more applicants than can be received. A letter dated December, 1886, speaking of the desire expressed by officials of a neighboring city for a similar school, illustrates the favor which the higher education for women is gaining in Japan.
Other Holyoke offshoots in mission stations and elsewhere are doing similar work and sending forth pupils to multiply good influences. To the work of Mary Lyon, Mr. D. L. Moody traces the establishment of his seminaries at Northfield and Mount Hermon.
WELLESLEY COLLEGE, opened in 1875, has a close connection with Mount Holyoke Seminary through its founder, Henry F. Durant, Esq., a trustee of both institutions, who diligently studied the Holyoke system that he might embody its essential features in his ideal of a Christian college for women. The character and history of this prosperous and truly Christian college, its wide influence, and the great and good work it has already accomplished in the twelve years of its existence are too well known to require description here.
ALBERT LEA COLLEGE at Albert Lea, Minnesota, belongs to the Presbyterian churches of that state. It was opened in September, 1885, and at the dedication of the building was emphatically declared a Holyoke school, whose object should be the training of young women for Christian work, especially to an interest in missions.
The domestic system of Mount Holyoke and many of its school and family regulations have been adopted. Its principal is Miss Laura C. Watson, of the class of '71, who writes: "Rich spiritual blessings have already been granted, and though only two years old, it has three scholarships for those who have declared their intention of devoting their lives to missionary work. Its literary curriculum is as high as that of the best colleges for women in New England. The number of students in 1887 is sixty."
As another has said: "The seminary like a banyan tree spreads abroad its branches and takes root in many a foreign soil, while the mother trunk grows only the more stately and strong beside the same ‘river of water’ where it was so wisely planted at first."
[END OF CHAPTER XXI]