Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Mary Lyon

Page 5 of 9

Table Of Contents: Lives of Girls Who Became Famous

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

She had the tenderest sympathy for poor girls; they were the ones usually most desirous of an education, and they struggled the hardest for it. For them no educational societies were provided, and no scholarships. Could she, who had no money, build "a seminary which should be so moderate in its expenses as to be open to the daughters of farmers and artisans, and to teachers who might be mainly dependent for their support on their own exertions"?

In vain she tried to have the school at Ipswich established permanently by buildings and endowments. In vain she talked with college presidents and learned ministers. Nearly all were indifferent. They could see no need that women should study science or the classics. That women would be happier with knowledge, just as they themselves were made happier by it, seemed never to have occurred to them. That women were soon to do nine-tenths of the teaching in the schools of the country could not be foreseen. Oberlin and Cornell, Vassar and Wellesley, belonged to a golden age as yet undreamed of.

For two years she thought over it, and prayed over it, and when all seemed hopeless, she would walk the floor, and say over and over again, "Commit thy way unto the Lord. He will keep thee. Women must be educated; they must be." Finally a meeting was called in Boston at the same time as one of the religious anniversaries. She wrote to a friend, "Very few were present. The meeting was adjourned; and the adjourned meeting utterly failed. There were not enough present to organize, and there the business, in my view, has come to an end."

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

Still she carried the burden on her heart. She writes, in 1834, "During the past year my heart has so yearned over the adult female youth in the common walks of life, that it has sometimes seemed as though a fire were shut up in my bones." She conceived the idea of having the young women do the work of the house, partly to lessen expenses, partly to teach them useful things, and also because she says, "Might not this single feature do away much of the prejudice against female education among common people?"

At last the purpose in her heart became so strong that she resigned her position as a teacher, and went from house to house in Ipswich collecting funds. She wrote to her mother, "I hope and trust that this is of the Lord, and that He will prosper it. In this movement I have thought much more constantly, and have felt much more deeply, about doing that which shall be for the honor of Christ, and for the good of souls, than I ever did in any step in my life." She determined to raise her first thousand dollars from women. She talked in her good-natured way with the father or the mother. She asked if they wanted a new shawl or card-table or carpet, if they would not find a way to procure it. Usually they gave five or ten dollars; some, only a half-dollar. So interested did two ladies become that they gave one hundred dollars apiece, and later, when their house was burned, and the man who had their money in charge lost it, they worked with their own hands and earned the two hundred, that their portion might not fail in the great work.

Page 5 of 9 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004