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Archive for March 7th, 2014

One of many reasons why Steam at Harper’s Ferry opened was to offer an opportunity to learn about Harper’s Ferry in all its historic glory. Steam sells many historic newspapers from the Victorian Period, but the one especially loved is The Ladies’ Garland, published by John S. Gallagher. One recent acquisition is dated October 21, 1826, volume 3, no. 37.

Ladies Garland October 21, 1826

This particular edition contains an article on Female Education, reprinted from the Edinburg Review. Here is a sample:

“A great part of the objections made to the education of women, are rather objections made to human nature, than to the female sex ; for it is surely true, that knowledge, where it does produce any bad effects at all, does as much mischief to the one sex as to the other, and gives birth to fully as much arrogance, inattention to common affairs, and eccentricity among men, as it does among women. – But it by no means follows, that you get rid of vanity and self-conceit, because you get rid of learning. Self-complacency can never want an excuse ; and the best way to make it more tolerable, and more useful, is to give to it as high and as dignified an object as possible. But at all events, it is unfair, to bring forward against a part of the world, an objection which is equally powerful against the whole. When foolish women think they have any distinction, they are apt to be proud of it ; so are foolish men. But we appeal to any one who has lived with cultivated persons of either sex, whether he has not witnessed as much pendantry, as much wrong-headedness, as much arrogance, and certainly a great deal more rudeness, produced by learning, in men, than in women.  …

We are quite astonished on hearing men converse on such subjects, to find them attributing such beautiful effects to ignorance. It would appear from the tenor of such objections, that ignorance has been the greatest civilizer in the world. Women are delicate and refined, only because they are ignorant ; they attend to their children, only because they know no better ! Now, we must really confess we have all our lives been so ignorant as not to know the value of ignorance !  … Let any man reflect too upon the solitary situation in which women are placed, the ill treatment to which they are sometimes exposed, and which they must endure in silence, and without the power of complaining – and he must feel convinced, that the happiness of a woman will be materially increased, in proportion as education has given to her the habit and means of drawing her resources from herself.”

Purchase this and other limited editions of The Ladies’ Garland at Steam at Harper’s Ferry.

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