Woman of the Century/Elizabeth Powell Bond
BOND, Mrs. Elizabeth Powell, Dean of Swarthmore College, Swarlhmore, Pa., born in Clinton, N. V , 25th January. 1841. Her parents, Townsend and Catherine Macy Powell, belonged to the Society of Friends. The mother was a ELIZABETH POWELL BOND. discendant of the "Goodman Macey" of whom Whittier writes in his poem "The Exiles," and who was, on account of his religious tolerance, driven in 1660 from his home on the mainland to the Island of Nantucket, where, ever since. Macy has been one of the leading and most honorable names. In 1845 Mr. and Mrs. Powell removed to Ghent, N. Y., and thereon her parents’ farm Elizabeth's childhood and youth were spent. A gentle, thoughtful child, endowed with perfect health and "a spirit equable, poised and free," labeled, as she expresses it. a "teacher" almost from her birth, she began early to exercise her powers. At fifteen she was for one winter assistant teacher in a Friends' school in Dutchess county. Graduating at seventeen from the State Normal School, Albany, N. Y., she taught for two years in public schools in Mam- aroneck and Ghent, N. Y., and afterwards for three years carried on a home school in the house of her parents. Among her boarding pupils were colored and Catholic children. As a young girl she developed the spirit of a reformer and began active work in behalf of temperance, personally pleading with intemperate men, whose families she saw suffering, and instituting in the bar-room of the village tavern a series of readings and talks, hoping so to turn its frequenters away from their cups. At that time she was, with her older brother, Aaron M. Powell, identified with the Abolitionists. The anti-slavery leaders, Garrison, Phillips and Pillsbury, were her personal friends. With them she attended anil occasionally spoke in anti-slavery and woman suffrage conventions. Public speaking has, however, generally been auxiliary to her other work, that of teaching. In the summer of 1863 she attended Dr. Lewis' normal class in gymnastics, in Boston, and was the valedictorian of the class at its graduating exhibition in Tremont Temple. The two following winters she conducted classes in gymnastics in Cambridge, Boston and Cuticord, Mass. In 1865, soon after its opening, she was appointed teacher of gymnastics in Vassar College, and continued in that position for five years. Alter a few months of rest at home Miss Powell was invited to Florence, Mass , as superintendent of the Free Congregational Sunday-school and as occasional speaker to the society, whose work was conducted by Charles C. Burleigh. Altera year's work in that field Miss Powell was married to Henry H. Bond, a lawyer of Northampton, and resigned most of her public duties, though for a time editing, with her husband, the Northampton "Journal," and acting as one of the working trustees of the Florence kindergarten from its founding. Two sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bond, one of whom died in infancy. The years 1879-80 were spent in traveling and residence in the South, in search of health for her husband. After his death, in 1881, Mrs Bond returned to Florence and devoted herself to the education of her son, gathering about her a class of children, whom she taught with him. In 1885 she resumed her relations with the Free Congregational Society, becoming its resident minister, preparing written discourses for its Sunday meetings, and performing the social duties of a pastor. At the expiration of a year's service Mrs. Bond tendered her resignation to the society and took the position of matron in Swarthmore College. The title matron was, in 1891, changed to the more appropriate one of dean. That co-educational college, founded by and under the management of Friends, offered a field which Mrs. Bond's principles, experience and gifts eminently fitted her to occupy. Her office is that of director of the social life of the college and special adviser to the young women. The religious meetings of the college are conducted according to the order of Friends. Mrs. Bond's published writings are few. Several tracts on the subject of social purity, occasional addresses at educational meetings, and her messages to the Swarthmore students, which have appeared in the "Friends' Intelligencer," comprise the first.