Woman of the Century/Caroline Van D. Chenoweth
CHENOWETH, Mrs. Caroline Van Densen, vice-consul and educator, born at the summer home of her parents, on the Ohio river, opposite Louisville, Ky.. 29th December, 1846. She is the youngest daughter of Charles Van Deusen and Stary Huntington, his wife. The winters of her early life were passed in New Orleans, La., where was also the residence of her mother's family. Her academic training was had in the St. Charles Institute, New Orleans, and Moore's Hill College, near Cincinnati. She became the wife, while still in her girlhood, of Col. Bernard Peel Chenoweth, the son of Rev. Alfred Griffith Chenoweth, of Virginia. Mrs. Chenoweth has always held liberal views relative to woman's work, and the simple naturalness with which she has lived according to her faith is. hardly less remarkable than the unusual and brilliant character of her achievements For fourteen months following her marriage in 1863. she performed faithfully and with patriotic fervor the onerous duties of a military clerk to Col. Chenoweth, thereby returning to duty in the ranks, and as her substitute on the field, the soldier detailed for this clerical work. When Col. Chenoweth was made superintendent of schools in Worcester, Mass., Mrs. Chenoweth took the examination required for teachers, that she might be of service in the event of need. It was during her husband's term of office as United States Consul in Canton, China, CAROLINE VAN DENSEN CHENOWETH. that she was able to render her most efficient aid. Upon one occasion she sat as vice-consul in an important land case between one of the largest American houses and a wealthy Chinese. She reserved her decision for several days, until it could be submitted to Col. Chenoweth, then some eighty miles distant, under medical care, who promptly returned it unchanged, with direction that she should officially promulgate it as his duly accredited representative. Thenceforth, until Col. Chenoweth's death, several months later, the affairs of the consulate were conducted by Mrs. Chenoweth. She is believed to be the only woman who has ever held diplomatic correspondence with a viceroy of China upon her own responsibility. She was officially recognized in her vice-consular capacity upon her return to Washington to settle her husband's affairs with the Department of State, and was cordially complimented by Hamilton Fish. Secretary of State, for the thoroughness and skill with which her mission was accomplished The effort was made by influential friends in Massachusetts to return Mrs. Chenoweth to Canton as United States consul, a measure to which President Grant extended his warm approval and the promise of his support, provided his Secretary of State could be won over. The later life of Mrs. Chenoweth has been a most studious and laborious one, the more so that the support and education of her two sons fell to her unaided care. For some years she taught private classes in Boston, and was for a time professor of English literature in Smith College. Her interests are varied, and her literary work is graceful as well as full of energy. Her essays relating to experimental psychology are scholarly and abreast of the freshest thought. She is a member of the London Society for Psychical Research, as well as of many other working societies, among which are the Brooklyn Institute, the New York Dante Society, and the Medico-Legal Society of New York. Her sketches of child-fife in China are quaint and sweet. Her "Stories of the Saints " (Boston, 18821 is rich in an old-world charm. The book was written for some children of Dr. Phillips Brooks' parish in Boston, of which she was for twenty years a member. She now resides In New York City.