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Gender Issues, Institutional Politics, and the Running Controversy Over Black Female Education in Richmond, Virginia, 1865-1883

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Abstract:

No sooner had institutions catering to the education of the newly-freed population in Virginia been established in the wake of the Civil War, than the debate arose over gender education within the context of the larger freed community. The subsequent controversy was particularly acute in Richmond, where Richmond Theological School for Freedmen, focused primarily on male education, fell under increasing pressure to admit a female constituency. The dispute permeated both the American Baptist Home Mission Society and the Women’s American Baptist Home Mission Society, and led to the independent creation of Hartshorn Memorial College for African American females in 1883. Under the presidency of Dr. Lyman Beecher Tefft, Hartshorn adhered to a staunchly single-gender educational philosophy rooted in strict Christian values, and circularly modelled on Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
Situated at first, in semi-isolation, on the northern outskirts of the City of Richmond, Hartshorn was adjoined in 1899 by the recently formed Virginia Union University – which was initiated in under the mission of exclusive admission of African American males, and which neighbored Hartshorn to the immediate North.
From 1899-1930 Hartshorn and Virginia Union University co-existed in an uneasy “brother”/”sister” institutional relationship, as sentiment for a merger and co-educationalism steadily mounted. Hartshorn proved particularly resistant to all coeducational proposals, and adamantly maintained its single-gender stance until forced into merger in 1930, by financial exigency. More flexible, Virginia Union adopted a co-educational model in 1928. Only after Hartshorn’s absorption into Virginia Union University was African American female education in Richmond ultimately defined.
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Association:
Name: 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1298157_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Hylton, Raymond. "Gender Issues, Institutional Politics, and the Running Controversy Over Black Female Education in Richmond, Virginia, 1865-1883" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH, <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1298157_index.html>

APA Citation:

Hylton, R. "Gender Issues, Institutional Politics, and the Running Controversy Over Black Female Education in Richmond, Virginia, 1865-1883" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1298157_index.html

Publication Type: Abstract
Abstract: No sooner had institutions catering to the education of the newly-freed population in Virginia been established in the wake of the Civil War, than the debate arose over gender education within the context of the larger freed community. The subsequent controversy was particularly acute in Richmond, where Richmond Theological School for Freedmen, focused primarily on male education, fell under increasing pressure to admit a female constituency. The dispute permeated both the American Baptist Home Mission Society and the Women’s American Baptist Home Mission Society, and led to the independent creation of Hartshorn Memorial College for African American females in 1883. Under the presidency of Dr. Lyman Beecher Tefft, Hartshorn adhered to a staunchly single-gender educational philosophy rooted in strict Christian values, and circularly modelled on Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
Situated at first, in semi-isolation, on the northern outskirts of the City of Richmond, Hartshorn was adjoined in 1899 by the recently formed Virginia Union University – which was initiated in under the mission of exclusive admission of African American males, and which neighbored Hartshorn to the immediate North.
From 1899-1930 Hartshorn and Virginia Union University co-existed in an uneasy “brother”/”sister” institutional relationship, as sentiment for a merger and co-educationalism steadily mounted. Hartshorn proved particularly resistant to all coeducational proposals, and adamantly maintained its single-gender stance until forced into merger in 1930, by financial exigency. More flexible, Virginia Union adopted a co-educational model in 1928. Only after Hartshorn’s absorption into Virginia Union University was African American female education in Richmond ultimately defined.


 
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