Monday, October 22, 2012

Nadine's Diary, "Wrote a Letter Home"

Monday Oct. 22, 94.  In school.  I wrote a letter* home and one to Lucy Linn.   
Tuesday Oct. 23, 94.  In school*.   
Wednesday Oct. 24, 94.  In school.   
Thursday Oct. 25, 94.  In school.
*This Canadian site contains interesting information about letter writing in the 19th century.

*Early College Women:  interesting article, "Early College Women:  Determined to Be Educated" produced by the American Association of University Women here.  Excerpts:
By 1890, 70% of all women in college were enrolled in coeducational colleges. This is not to say that women in college were a significant part of the population. In 1870 only .7% of the female population went to college. This percentage rose slowly, by 1900 the rate was 2.8% and it was only 7.6% by 1920. 
But for those pioneering women who did go to college, they loved the experience and the opportunity to create a new model for women, although they faced many critics. Some of the harshest were medical personal who felt that "...a girl could study and learn, but she could not do all this and retain uninjured health, and a future secure from neuralgia, uterine disease, hysteria, and other derangements of the nervous system," according to Dr. Edward Clark in his widely respected Sex and Education published in 1873.
This scientific reasoning added fuel to the arguments of those who did not want women to go to college for social reasons. Henry Adams, writing about women’s intellectual ambitions for higher education, commented on “...the pathetic impossibility of improving those poor little, hard, thin, wiry, one-stringed instruments which they call their minds.” In 1885 he complained bitterly in a letter of protest to the American Historical Association when he found a woman historian listed in the program of a AHA meeting...
Faced with the negative medical opinion, early college women had to prove that college life would not injure their health. They were helped in this by... the Association of Collegiate Alumnae. In 1885 the ACA published a study which concluded that " is sufficient to say that female not seem to show, ...any marked difference in general health for the average health ... of women engaged in other kinds of work, or in fact, of women generally..."

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