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September 8

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This version of Women of Achievement has been taken
from the 1998 email distribution of Women of Achievement and Herstory.
The full text of this episode of Women of Achievement and Herstory
will be published here in the future.

University of Rochester was founded in 1900


QUOTES by Mary Wollstonecraft, Lady Hillingdon, and Dr. Christine Dinesmore.

"May their numbers increase until the daughters of the city shall be all thoroughly educated..."

Event 09-08-1900, the University of Rochester was founded in 1850 as an all-male institution. In the 1880s, women began to petition the University to open its doors to female students. Finally in 1898 the Board of Trustees voted to allow women to enter the University if they defrayed expenses by raising $100,000 (approximately $2,000,000 in today's money).
      A committee of women led by Helen Barrett Montgomery raised $40,000 over the next two years. In June 1900 the Board agreed to admit women students that September if the women could secure another $10,000. During the summer of 1900, the committee was able to raise another $2,000, but the day before the deadline they were still $8,000 short.
      At this point, Susan B. Anthony took charge of collecting the remaining money. She solicited the first $2,000 from her sister Mary, the second from Sarah Willis, and the third from Rev. and Mrs. William Channing Gannett. Still short, $2,000, Susan B. Anthony pledged her life insurance policy - thus enabling the admission of women to the University of Rochester in the fall of 1900.
      In a note Susan B. wrote when the third class of women entered the University in September, 1902:
"May their numbers increase until the daughters of the city shall be all thoroughly educated...."
            --Material from various New York State women's history repositories.

In 1837, Emily E. and Marietta Ingham founded the LeRoy Female Seminary in LeRoy, New York. In 1852, the seminary affiliated with the Genesee Synod of the Presbyterian Church and changed its name to the Ingham Collegiate Institute. In 1857, the school changed its name again to Ingham University. Although Ingham claimed to be "the first to introduce a college curriculum for the education of young ladies," its academic standards were not as rigorous as those at men's institutions or Elmira College, founded in 1855.

Information requested for WOAH on Isabella Sforza, Duchess of Bari - (1500) mother of Bona Sforza, who showed an amazing ability to administer and improved her duchi.

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B. 09-08-1413, Caterina Vigri, Italian noblewoman who became a mystic and writer and later a saint of the Roman Catholic as Catherine of Bologna. She founded a Poor Clares convent which she head her entire life. She claimed to have visions and wrote extensively with Le Sette arme necessarie alla bataglia spirituale (1438. English translation: The Spiritual Armour, 1926) considered her masterpiece.

B. 09-08-1591, Jacqueline Marie Angelique (Mere Angeliqud) Arnauld who at 11 was named abbess of the convent she was sent to. At 17 she became interested in Jansenism and she made her convent its center in France with gatherings of the most learned men and women of the times.

B. 09-08-1749, Marie-Th,rSse-Louise de Savoie-Carignan, Princess de Lamballe, intimate confidante of Marie Antoinette and superintendent of the Queen's household. She held the Parisian salons where MA plotted with Royalist supporters against the French revolutionists. The Princess was imprisoned with MA. When she refused to denounce the monarcy, the princess was beheaded and her severed head was paraded outside MA's prison cell on a pike.
      The close relationship between the two women have led many to label it lesbian or romantic friendship. It should be noted that in the prior Freud society such relationships between women were not frowned upon - and certainly not in France which legalized Royal Mistresses, etc. The Napoleonic Code adopted a few years later did not criminalize homosexuality.

B. 09-08-1828, Margaret Slocum Sage who some report took over the management of her husband's huge grocery business since he wanted to be active in politics full-time. Others report MSS was simply a society matron who did society matron things that never included business things. She married when she was 41.
      At her husband's death in 1906, she inherited an estimated $63 million which she distributed to a huge variety of institutions in such amonts that it made her the fourth largest benefactor in the history of the U.S. She endowed the Russell Sage Foundation with $10 million to be used for social improvements. She did not use her name in the foundation - or in subsequent largess - because she didn't think it fitting that a woman's name appear on a public organization! (This *may*be why there is a disagreement about her involvement with the grocery business.)
      By her death in 1918 she had given away or endowed almost $80 million. Among her gifts were a new campus for the Emma Willard School, $1.6 million to the Women's Hospital of New York, and founded Russell Sage College for Women (1916). In all, 15 colleges and universities were given almost a million each, with a number of museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History, etc., receiving sizeable grants.
      MOSS believed women the moral superiors to men and was active in the major women's movements of the time including suffrage, temperance, milk inspection, humane animal treatment, etc. She did not believe in direct handouts to the poor, thinking it a waste of money, that education and social changes were more lasting.

B. 09-08-1839, Phoebe Wilson Couzins, American, attorney and suffragist who believed that women power could prevent wars and reform society into a caring organization.
      Where many women had to battle for a law degree, PWC was welcomed into the Washington University (St. Louis) law school that had been seeking a suitable woman candidate. Her father was chief of police in that city.
      She became active in woman suffrage and worked under the tutelage of the storied Virginia Louise Minor. She never actually practiced law; her forte was speaking before groups. She was a staunch supporter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, but of her radicalism, she lost favor with the wealthier women who were joining the suffrage movement in the later 1890s. Her strong character which attempted to override opposition was also a major factor.
      An extravagantly feminine woman, she was constantly in need of funds because of her expensive wardrobe. When the wealthy turned their backs on her and her rheumatic arthritis confined her to a wheelchair for longer and longer periods, she became bitter and renounced all her previous feminist positions. The newspapers, of course, made much of the renunciations. Actually, the renunciations were probably an attempt to earn a living. On the whole the ploy failed and she died bitter and in abject poverty.

Event 09-08-1852, at the personal invitation of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony attended her first woman's rights convention, the three-day Syracuse Convention. It was the third national woman's rights convention. Anthony then spent her entire life traveling and speaking on behalf of women's rights.

B. 09-08-1859, Mary Morton Kimball Kehew, U.S. social reformer with an uncanny executive ability who served in the top leadership positions with the Women s Educational and Industrial Union of Boston from 1890 until her death in 1918.
      The precursor of settlement and trade unionism, the WEIU sought to educate and help in all ways the women of New England who were drawn to the city to work.
      The educational help MMKK advocated (instead of charity and remedial) ranged from vocational guidance, legal aide, to job guidance.
      MMKK brought Mary Kenney (O'Sullivan), a union organizer who had been trained at Hull House, to Boston to aid the women workers. In 1903, the National Women s Trade Union League was organized in Boston and MMKK was elected a vice-president along with Jane Addams.
      As important as her organizing women workers for better conditions was, her studies of the social and working conditions of women were vital to the future welfare of working women. Rigidly accurate, the studies (and MMKK's political abilities) influenced labor reform legislation and important social changes. Examples are minimum wages, controlled garnishment of wages for debts including regulation of installment payments, sanitary facilities at work, etc.
      Her accomplishments were awesome in so many different areas but always centered on the concern for the working woman and her health. Emily Greene Balch, longtime professor, pacifist, social observer, and winner of the Nobel Peace prize called MMKK "the greatest social statesman I have ever known."

B. 09-08-1863, Jessie Willcox Smith, U.S. artist. Something strange happened to JWS on her way to becoming a kindergarten teacher. She went to an art class with a friend and discovered her talent. Noted art teacher Howard Pyle took her as a student without tuition. She set up housekeeping with two sister artists Violet Oakley and Elizabeth Shippen Green who were also Pyle students. Later Henrietta Cozens joined the household-studio arrangement.
      JWS won a bronze medal for some of her book illustrations and was so phenomenally successful that her friends called her "the mint" for her earning ability. "The Mint" grew in value as she contracted for many illustrations for national magazines, one cover for almost $2,000.
      JWS won a silver medal in international competition and was widely recognized as the most noted woman artist of her day.
      JWS preferred to draw children, searching out their character as she refused to pretty them up into dolls. She contributed to the care of about 11 children in her life. JWS never married, preferring the company of women. She was a noted contributor to a number of orphanages and charities. Many of her illustrated books of poetry and children's literature are still being reproduced.

B. 09-08-1867, Mary Melinda Kingsbury Simkhovitch, U.S. American social reformer who was a leader in the settlement movement. She was adamant that people had to live in the situation, i.e., the slums and minority neighborhoods to make effective changes.
      She broke with the elitist philosophies of social reform to create the important Greenwich (settlement) House in Greenwich Village, New York City. She was active in the development of a number of federal housing projects.
      MMKS served as vice-chair of the New York City Housing Authority. In both settlement and her housing authority work, she emphasized the need for the retention of neighborhoods and their cultural cohesion.
      She was part of the Emily Greene Balch/Florence Kelley network which tied into the Hull House Network as well as to Lillian D. Wald and her Henry Street Settlement in New York.
      Her mother was an intellectual, teacher, and verse writer. MMKS's autobiography is My Story of Greenwich House (1938). She also wrote the autobiographical study Neighbors (1938)

B. 09-08-1914, actress Hillary Brooke.

Event 09-08-1921: the first Miss America beauty pageant was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Margaret Gorman of Washington was awarded the first crown.

B. 09-08-1932, Patsy Cline, the most noted U.S. Country-Western singer whose recordings are still played so often they are part of the yearly tabulations. Her recording of "I fall to Pieces," "Walkin' after Midnight," and "Crazy" are as familiar to county western listeners today as they were in the late 1950s and early 1960s. "Pieces" lead the pop charts for 39 weeks.
      PC was badly hurt in an accident in the early 1960s. Recovering her health, PC was just hitting her stride as a singer-entertainer when she was killed in a 1963 plane crash. She disliked the pop crossover and retained her cowgirl outfits (and included yodeling in her personal appearance acts). As a member of the Grand Old Opry, she influenced the genre and was the recognized influence on a number of CW artists, including Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson (composer of "Crazy.").

B. 09-08-1937, Barbara Frum, U.S. journalist.

Event 09-08-1937: Anne I. Farley of the Bronx, New York, becomes the first woman to serve on a jury in New York State in accordance with a law passed 05-24-1937.
      Amazingly, the final Federal disposal of laws against women jurors did not occur until June 1, 1967 ( just 31 years ago) when 18 states barred women from jury duty unless they volunteered. Some states barred them altogether. As late as 1961 Florida's Supreme Court upheld the barring of women from jury duty unless they volunteered. Louisiana held out until 1976 even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled nine years before that such laws barring women from juries "deny to women the equal protection of the laws in violation of th 15th amendment."
      Men automatically assumed the right to sit on juries (that judged women) when the North American European colonies were settled more than three hundred years ago.

B. 09-08-1945, Esther Rome, U.S. women's health advocate and the guiding force behind the ground-breaking Our Bodies, Ourselves, the first medical book that treated women as individuals rather than "the other." It was the most honest and practical medical book ever written about women's bodies in the HIStory of the world. If you don't have the latest copy, GET IT! That's an order!
      Women throughout the world should bow to the memory of ER who took our bodies out of the shadows.
      She died at 50 of breast cancer.

B. 09-08-1947, Ann Beattie, U. S. author.

B. 09-08-1954, Marilyn Williamson Mims, opera singer.

B. 09-08-1957, Heather Thomas, U.S. actor.

Event 09-08-1986, for the first time in history, Democratic and Republican voters of Maryland nominated women to oppose each other in the general election for U.S. Senator. Democrat Barbara Mikulski, five-time Congressional Representative from Maryland, won over Republican Linda Chavez, a member of Ronald Reagan's administration who became a successful ultra-conservative newspaper columnist.

Event 09-08-1992: Shoved out of her car in a car jacking, Pam Basu of Savage, Md., was dragged to her death. The thief ignored her screams as he drove away. Her coat was caught in the door and she was dragged for miles to her death as her body was being badly mutilated by bumping along the road surface. The case prompted federal laws against carjacking.

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      "Do women not notice how eager men are to degrade the sex from whom they pretend to receive the chief pleasure in life?"
            -- Mary Wollstonecraft, 1792.

      "I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment and refinement of taste, in short, those attributes which men have deemed necessary as femininity are almost synonymous with the epithets of weakness, and that those beings who are only the objects of pity, and that kind of love which is termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt."
            -- Mary Wollstonecraft, 1792

      "I am happy now that Charles calls on my bed chamber less frequently than of old. As it is I now endure but two calls a week and when I hear his steps outside my door I lie down on my bed, close my eyes, open my legs and think of England."
            -- Lady Hillingdon, Journal, 1912

      "What has happened on the international front replicates what happened on the U.S. front: we have been robbed of the long history of international feminism. For instance, in Vietnam there was a feminist movement in the 1920s.
      "Enloe in Bananas Beaches and Bases, (University of California Press, 1989) wrote:
'Coming face-to-face with a Vietnamese feminist of the 1920s not only makes it less possible for British or American women to imagine that their foremothers were the creators of feminist ideas; it also subverts nervous local men's attempts to write off Third World feminists in the 1980s as nothing more than dupes of foreign imperialism.' "
            -- Submitted to WOA by Dr. Christine Dinesmore, 1992.

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