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The people who settled New England were very peculiarly trained: they were people of refinement and education reduced to poverty, and compelled to do hard work. That work was an important part of their tuition, and the idea was handed down as a law that the thinker must work and the worker must think. It was thus from the earliest days held that women should unite the highest intellectual culture with domestic duties — which, in a land of few scrvants, are generally arduous. The Yankee girls have thus had real powers and practical qualities trained in them; and they were much more ready to march westward by the side of man, than their sisters of the old world had ever been. Nevertheless, destiny was not to be swerved from its old method of elevating woman. The discovery of gold in California, and other regions of the Pacific coast, and the wars attending the settlement of Texas and Kansas, led to another vast male emigration beyond the Mississippi. At one time a woman could hardly walk through the streets of San Francisco without having every one pause to gaze on her; and a child was so rare that once at a theatre in the same city, where a woman had taken her infant, when it began to cry, just as the orchestra began to play, a man in the pit cried out "Stop those fiddles and let the baby cry. I haven't heard such a sound for ten years!" The audience applauded this sentiment; the orchestra stopped; and the baby continued its performance amid unbounded enthusiasm. Into such communities as these women are now following; and in them they are finding a position and influence, enhanced by their scarcity, which is still very remarkable. In America men exceed women in number by a million; and in the West the disproportion is extreme. California there is one woman to three men ; in Nevada one to eight; in Colorado one to twenty.* And if the women there had not
Spaniards, French, and Dutch took none. that sex had been secured beyond any seEven now the number of female emigrants rious reaction. to America is far beneath that of the male; but in the time when America was thought of only as a wilderness full of savages, every woman who went voluntarily was a heroine. With the exception of those of the Spaniards in the south-west of America, the Indian squaws were not inclined to favour the advances of the European adventurers. So great inducements were offered to European women to go to Virginia and New England, and a system of importation something like that by which Miss Rye is supplying Australia was devised. Many of the women who followed the pilgrims to New England were moved to do so by their religious sympathies with them, and thus that region began with a somewhat superior class of women. Nevertheless, in all the early settlements of America, women were for several generations rare enough to be of great importance, and obtained a consideration in society far beyond that which they enjoyed in Europe. The reader of the early histories of the American colonies will find that women were mixed up with some of their most important public affairs. Indeed, it is almost certain that women would have been enfranchised in New Englandthey were for a time in New Jersey - but for something in Paul's writings about their keeping silence in the churches, and the Puritan State was a kind of church. However, fortunately for women in America, the high value which the people of New England placed upon their mothers took a better form even than enfranchisement. It took the form of giving the girls a good and sound education. The Puritans placed reading the Bible above all other things; the school thus was to them a part of the plan of salvation; and since the hard soil and the Indians demanded all the energies of the men, it was necessary that the women should be trained as educators of the young. And to this day two-thirds of the school-teachers throughout America are women. Under education women were shown to have as various and as valuable endowments as men. And thus it was that when the young men of the Eastern States began to settle in the far West leaving the women behind them the elevation of
*The Daily News has recently shown, by the corresponding statistics of the Eastern States, the error of the theory that the lowness of the birthrate in some of those States is attributable to a growing aversion of their people for large families. It shows that the result is due to the vast disproportion which has been made by male emigration, leaving many thousands of women for whom no husbands
gained in moral and intellectual power, we | other lands and ages, have "builded better should see them again having their heads than they knew." A great republic and turned and hearts corrupted by the poor the abolition of slavery were their unfore ambition of outshining each other in soci- seen results. The Puritans established ety. But the various important movements free schools to teach people to read the in the West for securing equal educational Bible, and so save them from hell; the reand political privileges, show that they sult is a grand system of universal secular have the ability and virtue to seize this education. fresh opportunity for securing the emancipation of their sex from the thraldom of ages.
We cannot pause to particularize all the changes which have resulted from the influences described. We may sum them up in one direction by saying that, in 1829, the Western State of Illinois began the work of reforming the provisions of the common law which America inherited from England as it affects women - that work which Mr. Lefevre has recently begun in the House of Commons; - and since that young State took this step, the laws which give up a married woman, body, soul, and property to the absolute ownership of her husband, have been modified in nineteen of the American States, and in many of them entirely stricken out of the statute book. No one dreams that in any of the new States that are forming in the distant West any law will reappear that affects the equality of woman as regards property. And in none of these nineteen States has any man arisen to suggest that the home is less secure, or the domestic relations of men and women less happy, than before the household tyranny was overthrown; in not one has there been any reactionary movement towards its restoration.
The equality of women has been idly called "an American idea; " but that is really to say it is the product of the ages of experience which have passed into man since first from the rocks of Asia he turned his face Westward. Every genuine American idea is a fruit in which has garnered the light and flush of every dawn that has arisen on mankind. We sometimes meet with people in Europe who fancy that beyond the Atlantic men are engaged in evolving reforms out of their inner consciousness, and carrying them out for the sake of experiment; but humanity is the same there as in all lands and ages, and what it does is rooted in the need of the hour. America took up arms against George III. not for democracy, but against heavy taxes; she took up arms lately not for humanity, but to save the Union. In these things Americans, like the people of
are possible As compared with the marriage-rate, the birth-rate of New England is as high as it is else
Similarly, to return to the theme of Miss Becker's memoir, the plan of educating men and women in the same universities and colleges is not at all eccentric — is not due to the whim of some visonary — but originated in the economy of some Western farmers. They wished to have their daughters thoroughly educated, so that, in regions as yet too thinly settled to have many schools, the daughter might be qualified to teach the rest of the family. And of course they wished to have their sons educated, for
in America particularly - an uneducated man is hardly a man at all. These farmers were generally well-to-do but not wealthy, and they put to themselves the question, Why should we build two colleges one for men, another for women when one will answer? These boys and girls grow up together in their homes, in neighbourhoods, in children's schools, Sunday schools, churches; and when educated they will pass their lives in each other's society. Why should there be an interval of four years, when the boys and girls shall be separated into two educational monasteries? They saw a double expense in it and no common sense. And to this primarily we owe it that there are now twenty-nine flourishing colleges in America where the youth of both sexes study together, recite together, and are in every respect upon an equality. These are not small institutions. Some of them have as many as a thousand pupils, and they are generally well-endowed. Again, it is important to consider that no American colleges or universities__are conducted upon the principle of the English institutions. The students do not merely listen to lectures, and cram for annual examinations; they are examined from day to day. Consequently, in nearly all of the colleges mentioned, the students of both sexes are resident, the dormitories for the two being in separate buildings. In all other respects they mingle as freely as in the drawing-room. The professors are both men and women. American experience in this co-education of men and women stretches over forty years, so that we know something of what the general effects are. And what the public estimate of those effects is in America may be gathered from the fact that the great State of Kansas has passed
a law that no school or college connected | ber of the United States Congress and the with its government shall refuse women on founder of the public school system of New the same terms with men, or in any respect England in its modern shape, is final. Mr. educate them differently. Indeed this ex- Mann was for many years by far the most perience of the Western colleges has so re-eminent educator in America, and he had, acted upon the Eastern States, where the in pursuance of his duties as superintendent separate plan-inherited from England- of the schools of Massachusetts, travelled prevailed, that some of the finest of its through Europe and made himself personinstitutions have pulled down the ancient ally acquainted with all of its systems and barriers. It is even reported that the Vas- seats of learning. In 1853 this able and sar Institute the largest, wealthiest, and accomplished man was induced to accept even most aristocratic female college of the position of president of Antioch ColNew York- has decided to admit young lege, which had just been established in men hereafter; and the founder of the new Central Ohio on the co-educational plan. State University of New York, the "Cor- He was a severe moralist, and his wide acnell University," has declared it to be his quaintance with schools and colleges indesire to have it opened to women equally spired him with very serious misgivings as with men. This then is the verdict on the to the prudence of this new plan. But subject after forty years of experience, after he had been there about five years, marked by the critical vigilance of people devoting himself to a personal supervision who have as much anxiety for the purity over the college, President Mann wrote to and welfare of their sons and daughters as his friend Mr. Combe of Edinburgh in these any in the world. Indeed, so rapidly are terms: — transatlantic institutions falling into this line that co-education may already be called the American system.
But its advocates are not content that the matter should rest upon the mere supposition that the plan answers, without any drawback, the simple purpose of educating young men and women for which it was instituted. They distinctly declare that it has resulted in advantages far higher than any contemplated by the economical farmers who devised it. When it began the prophets of evil did not fail to shriek out their warnings that the system would produce horrible results. The girls would become coarse, the young men coarser, and the project end in licentiousness. It is remarkable how often things have turned out the exact reverse of what was theorized concerning them. Theory said the sun moved around the earth; the truth shows that the earth moves around the sun. It said the earth is flat; we know it is round. It said the sky is solid; we know it to be a vapour. This reversal of old beliefs has been too common for wise men to accept at once even obvious theories. The experience of the American plan has not only shown that the apprehensions amid which it began were unfounded, but just the reverse of all that was predicted or apprehended has really come to pass. It is the estimate of persons who have been intimately associated as patrons and professors with these co-educational colleges that in refinement and morals they are infinitely higher than others in which persons of either sex are exclusively educated. On this point the testimony of
"No one conversant with the daily life and walk of Antioch College can deny that the purity and high tone of its morals and manners, in both departments, were unequalled by those of any other known institution. There are many colleges at the West, in whose neighbourhood schools for young ladies have sprung up, in order that the services of teachers and professors in the former may be made available in the latter; and in such cases there have always been regulations prohibiting any intercourse whatever between the two. But it is the universal testimony of those acquainted with the subject, that loss of reputation, and even of character, are not unfrethe Hon. Horace Mann, some time mem-quent in such places, growing out of clandes
"We really have the most orderly, sober, diligent, and exemplary institution in the country. than half through the present; and I have not We passed through the last term, and are more had occasion to make a single entry of any misdemeanour in our record book-not a case for any serious discipline. There is no rowdyism in the village, no nocturnal rambles, making night hideous. All is quiet, peaceful; and the women of the village feel the presence of our students, when met in the streets in the evening, to be a protection rather than an exposure It is now almost five years since I came here, and as yet I have had no practical joke' or 'college prank,' as they are called, played upon me not in a single instance."
But in such a case the testimony of a woman is of equal importance; and this we have from Mrs. Mann, a lady of the highest culture, who shared her husband's toils and triumphs. This lady was in fact partly President of the College, and gave her time and extraordinary talents to promoting its social welfare. She writes as follows:
tine correspondences and meetings. Mr. Mann | connection with any student in it. And in thought the monkish error of repressing nat- short, through personal observations of that ural sentiments should be swept away with other and other co-educational institutions in the errors of the same nature, and a generous cul- United States, we have become convinced that ture should enlist them in the interests of purity. the purification and elevation of the educaYoung people are thoughtless rather than vi- tional systems of the world are to be wrought cious; and it is cruel to put them into circum- by carrying into them that influence which has
stances where they can learn wisdom only from a fatal experience. . never failed to civilize and refine wherever At Antioch the diningit has gone - the influence of woman. We hall, which was the commons of both sexes, was a charming scene of social enjoyment and inno- are convinced that young men are never so cent hilarity-a scene which Mr. Mann spec- animated to high endeavours, never so put ially enjoyed for its beneficent influences upon upon their manliness, as when in the presmanners and happiness. . . In American society ence of women; and, equally, that women the freedom of intercourse between the young has are never so inspired by womanly sentiever been found compatible with virtue, in strik-ment, or so raised to noble efforts, as by ing contrast with the system of repression that the presence of true gentlemen. The two exists in the older societies of the world, even of sexes are meant to sustain and encourage modern Europe.' each other, and their separation during the period in which principally each is forming its mind and character, is the relic of an age of monks and nuns - an age which branded all relations between the sexes as impure.
Antioch College has been visited by Em- In a recent address the Bishop of Oxford, erson, Theodore Parker, Oliver Wendell in maintaining the need of religious instrucHolmes, Dr. Bellows, and other dis- tion in the universities, said: "A college tinguished men. The testimonies as to its life is to be a house in which the family life superior character have been uniform. A of England is to be exhibited on a larger member of the Massachusetts Legislature scale; where young men are brought towho visited it said that he left it with a bet-gether, exposed necessarily by that very ter opinion of human nature than he had circumstance to a multitude of temptations when he entered it. to expense, as to the indulgence of natural appetites, as to intercourse with one another, where they may make utter shipwreck of life, if there is not a wholesome influence brought to bear upon them.” But how is the college to be the larger English home, with all the pure influences of the family pervading it, if that particular influence which has made the English home what it is, is carefully excluded from it?
This was lately written, some years since President Mann's death, and when his widow had ceased to have any personal connection with the Institution.
About twelve years ago the writer of this article, at that time very little interested in the subject of it, went to reside in the neighbourhood of Antioch College under circumstances which furnished ample opportunities for forming an acquaintance with its plan, professors, and students. And although he is quite familiar with the University of Virginia, Harvard, and to some extent with English universities, he has an entire conviction that in none of those male institutions can there be found anything comparable to the moral elevation, the refinement, or the intellectual enthusiasm, which characterize the students of Antioch. In our estimates, male students were first called gentlemen at Antioch. The young men were none the less chivalrous because they did not drink or smoke; while their personal neatness, courtesy, and delicacy of behaviour, showed that under the refining influence around them a certain manliness, very rare in college students, had appeared in their characters. The college had the grace of a refined household. On the other hand, the finest and most womanly traits were visible in the young women. During the seven years of the present writer's intimacy with Antioch College, he at no time knew or heard of any scandal in
It was prophesied in America that when young men and women were brought together in colleges, there would be many love affairs; and that these would be often imprudent, and lead to the neglect of studies. The experience of the American colleges shows that though there were fewer cases of this kind than had been anticipated, they rather incited those concerned to better conduct and more earnest study. Both man and maid aspire to make the best appearance in the eyes of those they love, and not to be surpassed by others. And why should such attachments be imprudent? Where does society offer the young better opportunities for knowing each other's minds and characters, than is implied in studying side by side for years? The chief source of domestic unhappiness is that the young, fresh from their monastic colleges, rush heedlessly into life-long rela
tions with persons of whose minds and the other to long beards. It would be characters they know little or nothing, or strange indeed if by the same mental diet, else enter into heartless marriages of con- the same intellectual sun and atmosphere, venience. There is too much levity associ- women should be made too masculine or ated with this subject; human happiness men too effeminate. The fact is, this is absoand welfare are more deeply involved in it lutely a phantom, It ought to be needless than any other; and to a thoughtful man or at this date to affirm to English people that woman it will be no disparagement of the the broad culture and profound psychologico-educational plan that it may lead to at- cal penetration of George Eliot, the severe tachments which, surviving the test of years scholarship of Elizabeth Browning, the politof associated study, may end in marriage.* ical insight of Harriet Martineau, and the In none of these colleges has the standard science of Maria Mitchell, coexist with the of study been in the slightest degree low- utmost womanly feeling and refinement. ered beneath that of those in which young We are not, however, disposed to evade, men alone are taught. The girls have not but rather to rejoice in the fact, upon which asked or received any favour. And they is based much of the opposition to the eduhave shown their entire competency to hold cation of women in directions hitherto retheir own in the same field with the other served for men- namely, that it must tend sex, whether as pupils or professors. Miss to extend their occupations to employments Mitchell is as good an astronomer as any in hitherto monopolized by men. That there America; and the professor of mathematics are occupations for which men and women at Antioch -a woman-taught without are respectively endowed we have no book the most abstruse portions of her sci- doubt; as little do we doubt that Nature ence with a clearness which the best male has in such cases set barriers which, though professors acknowledged could not be sur-they may be overleaped by peculiar natures passed. The writer has often been in the in long intervals, neither sex can destroy. recitation-rooms, and can testify that the Fortunately, however, we are not without girls in nowise were inferior in their performances to the young men; and at the commencement the public essays read by the female graduates dealt with subjects of general interest quite as ably as the orations of the male graduates. Indeed, the uniform testimony of these co-educational colleges confirms that of the examiners at Cambridge, England, that if there has been any difference between the examinations of the young men and young women, it has been in favour of the latter.
The undeniable facts reported from Cambridge have compelled the opponents of all such steps to shift their ground. Forced to admit that women can pursue with equal success the same studies with men, they now say "Yes, but they are not proper studies for woman; they do not fit her for her true sphere; and consequently they unsex her." Now it must be admitted that it would be a strange anomaly in Nature if this were true. Women daily sit at the same table with men, and partake of the same food; Nature has not provided one kind of beef and mutton for women and another kind for men; and yet the same meat and bread are converted by one sex into woman, by the other into man. The two are not unsexed by breathing the same air, or by the same sunshine; there is not a female and a male air or sunshine; and yet one frame converts these to long tresses, *None of the colleges to which we are referring
permit students to marry while in college.
the means of knowing the directions in which the larger education which some women have managed to secure has tended to widen their sphere of employment. The age in which we live has prevailed against our hereditary theories, and many women have gained strength to contend successfully with the prejudices and sentimentalisms which still imprison the majority of their sex. It is remarkable how little of reactionary defiance has attended the movements of those who have thus been liberated. They have not only not sought to become sea captains or military generals, but have not even tried to become lawyers or ambassadors. Politically they have been content to demand the franchise; while the only profession before monopolized by men which they have invaded is that of medicine.
The female physician," in our judgment, represents so well the healthiness and the safety of the "woman's rights" movement, that we propose to devote some portion of our present article to reviewing the present relation of that sex to the medical profession, and the more recent steps by which it has been reached. Before the female physician had made her appearance, it was a conservative platitude that woman's place was in the sick-room. Conservatism, however, meant that she should be there in the capacity of Mrs. Gamp, and had no idea that a Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was disguised in the nurse who relieved the physician of the more disagreeable duties of the