Open main menu

Woman of the Century/Jane Mariah Slocum

SLOCUM, Miss Jane Mariah, educator, born in Slocumville, N. Y., 1st May. 1842. Her paternal ancestor, Giles Slocum. came from Somersetshire, England, in 1642. Giles Slocum was a friend, as were all his descendants in direct line until Jane M. joined the Congregational Church in Canandaigua. N.Y. Her grandfather. Hon. Caleb Slocum, moved from Dartmouth, Mass.. to the town of Le Ray, Jefferson, county, N. Y., when her father, Samuel Gilford Slocum, was a small boy. The French gentleman who purchased and named the town after himself lived in luxuriant style in a country seat which he established, and as her grandfather became his private secretary, the little-quaker boy grew up in an atmosphere which served not a little to broaden his horizon and to educate him. Making use of such opportunities as he had, her father became a leading citizen in the new community. He was married to a young Friend, Phebe Palmer, and reared his six children in his own simple, honest faith. He supported a little school for the children of the hamlet, and there, in Slocumville, Jane began her education at the early age of two-and-one-half years She learned to read without difficulty and developed an omnivorous taste for books. Fortunately, no trash came in her way. The district school, with a woman to teach in the summer and a man in the winter, had to suffice until she was fifteen, when she was permitted to go to a small boarding-school. The following year she went to the new Friend's boarding-school in Union Springs, N. Y. Graduating after a three-year course, just as the war broke out, she was turned from her purpose of entering Oberlin or Antioch College, the only higher institutions of learning then open to women. She was yet too young to be allowed to go to the front, and she continued her studies in a collegiate institute. Before the close of the war her zeal to take some active part in the conflict led her to join the first volunteers for teaching the Freedmen. She received an appointment to teach in Yorktown, Pa. A little school building was erected on Darlington Heights, on York River, and there she devoted eight months of labor to the new race problem. A Severe attack of malarial fever made a return to that field impracticable. One school year was given to the teaching of a private school in Philadelphia, N. Y., and the summer was devoted to the study of hook-keeping in the commercial college in Rochester, N. Y. An imperative call to Howland School, Union Springs, N. Y., resulted in further association with old teachers, and for ten years she continued to labor there, building up the first department for girls in civil government and political economy. In 1873. after being made principal, she took a leave of absence for two terms of the year, to pursue a law course in the University of Michigan, for the triple purpose of gaining more discipline by study, of acquiring a better foundation for political science, and to study the effects of co-education in college. In 1874 she took the degree JANE MARIAH SLOCUM A woman of the century (page 669 crop).jpgJANE MARIAH SLOCUM. of LL. B. In 1878, in company with three other women, she went to Canandaigua, N. Y., where they established Granger Place School. Miss Slocum was chosen vice-president, a position which she still occupies Her departments of instruction include civil government, political economy, psychology, logic and ethics. Her success as an educator has been remarkable