Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 January 2017
Christine Ladd-Franklin spent the first forty years of her life becoming one of the best-educated women in nineteenth-century America. She spent the rest of her life devising fellowship programs designed to enable educated women to have the same opportunities as men in their academic careers. “What law of nature is it,” Ladd-Franklin wondered in 1890, “that says that it is fitting for women to be the teachers of young persons of both sexes in preparatory schools, but that it is not fitting that they should teach young persons in college?” This supposed “law” hurt not only women who were qualified to be professors, like the scientist and mathematician Ladd-Franklin, but also the larger number of college-educated American women who turned to teaching in primary and secondary schools after graduation. As Ladd-Franklin explained, the difficulty women had in becoming professors had a profound effect on women who taught at lower levels. Because women were “thought to be not worthy of being college professors,” it was “impossible for them to receive equal pay with men in the secondary schools.” The solution to the problem of inequality in schools and colleges, Ladd-Franklin believed, lay in proving that individual women could perform as well as men; this “entering wedge” would prop open the door for future women. But as Ladd-Franklin's life and work show, there were limits to a strategy that focused on individuals in institutions.
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8 Veysey, , Emergence of the American University, 121–79; Röhrs, , Classical German Concept, 75–102.
9 On departments, see Veysey, , Emergence of the American University, 320–24; on professional scholarly organizations, see Wiebe, Robert H., The Search for Order, 1877–1920 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1967), 121.
10 Albisetti, James C., “German Influence on the Higher Education of American Women, 1865–1914,” in German Influences on Education in the United States to 1917, eds. Geitz, Henry, Heideking, Jürgen, and Herbst, Jurgen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 227–44. For women's entry into American higher education in general, see Rosenberg, Rosalind, Beyond Separate Spheres: Intellectual Roots of Modern Feminism (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1982); Solomon, Barbara M., In the Company of Educated Women: A History of Women and Higher Education in America (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1985); and Gordon, Lynn D., Gender and Higher Education in the Progressive Era (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1990).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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15 Solomon, , In the Company of Educated Women, 14–26, 47.
16 Scarborough, Elizabeth and Furumoto, Laurel, Untold Lives: The First Generation of American Women Psychologists (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987), 109–29; and Furumoto, , “Joining Separate Spheres—Christine Ladd-Franklin, Woman-Scientist (1847–1930),” American Psychologist 47 (1992): 175–82.Google Scholar
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20 Claghorn, , “The Problem of Occupation for College Women,” 217; Scarborough and Furumoto, Untold Lives, 121.
21 Levine, Susan, Degrees of Equality: The American Association of University Women and the Challenge of Twentieth-Century Feminism (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995), 6–7; Maltby, Margaret E., ed., History of the Fellowships Awarded by the American Association of University Women, 1888–1929, with the Vitas of the Fellows (Washington, DC: American Association of University Women, 1929), 3.Google Scholar
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24 Magill earned only a “third” on the Cambridge classical tripos, but she was the first American woman to pass the exams. Altschuler, Glenn C., Better Than Second Best: Love and Work in the Life of Helen Magill (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1990), 44–58.Google Scholar
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27 Horowitz, Helen L., The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994), 74–75, 89–90, 98.Google Scholar
28 Gilman, Daniel Coit to Ladd, Christine, 26 April 1878, Box 4, CLF-FF Papers. Universities kept many women off enrollment lists in order to avoid setting any precedents for the admission of women. For the case of Thomas, M. Carey at Hopkins, Johns, see The Making of a Feminist: Early Journals and Letters of M. Carey Thomas, ed. Dobkin, Marjorie H. (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1979), 149–50.
29 Royce told his students, “It is rather remarkable that the crowning activity in a field worked over since the days of Aristotle should be the achievement of an American woman.” “Professor Royce on an American Woman's Work,” New York Evening Post, n.d., Box 14, CLF-FF Papers. For the thesis itself, see Ladd, Christine, “On the Algebra of Logic,” in Studies in Logic, ed. Peirce, Charles S. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1883), 17–71. For a brief exposition of Ladd-Franklin's concept of the “antilogism,” see Shen, Eugene, “The Ladd-Franklin Formula in Logic: The Antilogism,” Mind 36 (1927): 54–60.Google Scholar
30 Backus, Helen H., “Some Recent Phases in the Development of American Colleges,” Publications of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae 2, no. 17 (1889): 5–6.Google Scholar
31 Eells, Walter C., “Earned Doctorates for Women in the Nineteenth Century,” American Association of University Professors Bulletin 42 (1956): 646–48; Rossiter, , Women Scientists in America, 29, 31–34.Google Scholar
32 Johns Hopkins awarded a PhD to a woman in 1893 but did not change its general policy of excluding women graduate students until 1907. Rossiter, Women Scientists in America, 45–46.
33 Sanford, Edmund to Calkins, Mary Whiton, 16 February 1892, quoted in Scarborough and Furumoto, Untold Lives, 41.
34 Diehl, , Americans and German Scholarship, 141. See also Veysey, , Emergence of the American University, 129; Daniel T. Rodgers, Atlantic Crossing: Social Politics in a Progressive Age (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998), 85.
35 Grafton, Anthony, “The Nutty Professors,” New Yorker, 23 October 2006, 82–87. See also Clark, William, “On the Dialectical Origins of the Research Seminar,” History of Science 27 (1989): 111–54; Clark, , Academic Charisma.Google Scholar
36 Rodgers, , Atlantic Crossings, 89. For American newspaper articles about German professors, see, e.g., “Banquet in Honor of Von Helmholtz,” Chicago Daily Tribune, 31 August 1893, 3; E. T. H., “Germany's Leading English Scholar,” New York Times, 22 April 1906, part 4, 8.
37 Rodgers, , Atlantic Crossings, 85.
38 See, generally, Albisetti, Schooling German Girls and Women; Mazón, , Gender and the Modern Research University; and Rowold, , Educated Woman, chap. 3–5.
39 Hamilton, Alice, “Edith and Alice Hamilton: Students in Germany,” Atlantic Monthly, March 1965, 131.Google Scholar
40 Mazón, , Gender and the Modern Research University, 87.
41 Horowitz, , The Power and Passion, 126, 139, 144–47, 152; Singer, Adventures Abroad, xiii, 5.
42 The others included Channing, Eva and Parker, Harriet, whom Thomas met at Leipzig, , and Kelley, Florence, whom Thomas recommended to go to Zurich. See Singer, Adventures Abroad, 56–57, 136; Sklar, Kathryn K., Florence Kelley and the Nation's Work: The Rise of Women's Political Culture, 1830–1900 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995), 67–68, 80–90.
43 The Helmholtz-Hering controversy is covered in Turner, R. Steven, “Vision Studies in Germany: Helmholtz versus Hering,” Osiris, 2nd ser., 8 (1993): 80–103; and Turner, , In the Eye's Mind: Vision and the Helmholtz-Hering Controversy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994).Google Scholar
44 Christine Ladd-Franklin to Aunt, 16 January 1886, Box 2, CLF-FF Papers.
45 Minutes of the ACA executive committee, 19 May 1888, in AAUW Archives, reel 5, section II:8.
46 For instructions to Ladd-Franklin, see in AAUW Archives, reel 5, section II:8.; for report, see Ladd-Franklin, Christine, “Report of Committee on Endowment of Fellowship,” Publications of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae 2, no. 7 (1888).Google Scholar
47 Minutes of the ACA, 19–20 October 1888, in Publications of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae 2, no. 9 (1888), in AAUW Archives, reel 4, section II:1; Maltby, History of the Fellowships, 11.
48 Of these eleven, five studied math or physics; one each studied biology, botany, classics, German and French, philosophy, and psychology. Julia Warner Snow went to Switzerland: she studied botany at Zurich in 1891–1892. Maltby, History of the Fellowships, 13–19.
49 Rossiter, , Women Scientists in America, 40; Helmer, Bessie B., “Report of the Committee on Fellowships” (1897), History of Women Collection (microfilm edition, no. 8759), 6; Maltby, , History of the Fellowships, 16. As James Albisetti has pointed out, Maltby and two other women were recruited by German university officials who wanted to make sure they had promising candidates for their experiment with admitting women students. Albisetti gives 1896 as the date of Maltby's degree. Albisetti, Schooling German Girls and Women, 227. At least 1,350 American and Canadian women studied in Germany between 1868 and 1915, the bulk of them after 1890. Singer, Adventures Abroad, xiv.
50 Ladd-Franklin, , “The Usefulness of Fellowships,” 4; Albisetti, “German Influence,” 243.
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52 For a sample of the newspaper reports dealing with American women at German universities, see “General Foreign News,” Chicago Daily Tribune, 20 January 1891, 5; “Woman's Work,” Los Angeles Times, 13 December 1891, 12; “Educational Gossip,” Chicago Daily Tribune, 9 July 1892, 13; “Women in German Universities,” Chicago Daily Tribune, 5 March 1893, 42; “Persons and Places,” New York Times, 17 December 1893, 18; “May Bring on a Crisis,” Chicago Daily Tribune, 24 November 1895, 14; “New Victory for Women,” Chicago Daily Tribune, 26 December 1896, 16; “Fight on Women Students,” Chicago Daily Tribune, 2 April 1899, A1; “Women Students,” Los Angeles Times, 3 January 1900, 5; “German Degree for American Woman,” New York Times, 19 February 1901, 7.
53 Rossiter, , Women Scientists in America, 328, n. 15. Rossiter's speculation gains some credence when one considers that a total of thirty-two letters from Wendell Garrison, the Nation's literary editor, survive in Ladd-Franklin's papers; half are from the period between 1891 and 1895. See Box 4, CLF-FF Papers. The letters and reports in the Nation include Isabelle Bronk, “Women at the University of Leipzig,” Nation, 18 December 1890, 480–81; Crow, Martha F., “Women in European Universities,” Nation, 31 March 1892, 247; “Coeducation in German Universities,” Nation, 21 July 1892, 42–43; Wheeler, Benjamin I., “A Woman's Doctorate at Heidelberg,” Nation, 28 December 1893, 483–84; X., “An Old-World Lesson,” Nation, 11 January 1894, 28; J. B. S., “Women at the German Universities,” Nation, 8 February 1894, 116–17; M. F. K., “Women at the German Universities,” Nation, 22 February 1894, 137; J. B. S., “Women at the German Universities,” Nation, 1 March 1894, 154; Luxenberg, Adele, “Women at Leipzig,” Nation, 4 October 1894, 247–48; J. B. S., “Women at Leipzig University,” Nation, 11 October 1894, 268; A. B., “An American Woman at the German Universities,” Nation, 25 March 1897, 223–24. Anja Becker discusses the many Leipzig-related reports in the Nation in Becker, “How Daring She Was!,” 31–46.
54 G. T. F., “Pioneer Women Students in Germany,” Nation, 8 April 1897, 262.
55 Chicago and Stanford opened during these years and admitted women from the start. Rossiter, Women Scientists in America, 34.
56 James, William to Ladd-Franklin, Christine, 3 March 1892, Box 1, CLF-FF Papers.
57 Rossiter, , Women Scientists in America, 44.
58 Those schools were the Catholic University, Clark, Hopkins, Johns, and Princeton. Harvard allowed women into graduate courses only through Radcliffe. M. Carey Thomas, “Education of Women,” in Education in the United States: A Series of Monographs, ed. Butler, Nicholas M. (New York: American Book Company, 1910), 349.
59 Women were more likely to get doctorates in the humanities (102 degrees, with English the top choice) than in the social sciences (66, mostly education and history) or the natural sciences (48, spread mainly among chemistry, botany, math, and zoology). The fields for the rest of the women are unknown. Eells, “Earned Doctorates for Women,” 646–48.
60 Ladd-Franklin, Christine, untitled notes, n.d., Box 10, CLF-FF Papers.
61 Ladd-Franklin, Christine, “Woman Under Monasticism,” review of Woman Under Monasticism: Chapters on Saint-Lore and Convent Life between A.D. 500 and A.D. 1500, by Lina Eckenstein, Nation, 30 July 1896, 90.
62 Ladd-Franklin, Christine to König, Arthur, [1891?], Box 8, CLF-FF Papers; Ladd-Franklin, to Minister der Geistlichen Unterricht und Medizinalangelegenheiten, 1891, Box 8, CLF-FF Papers.
63 For the affiliations of Müller and König, see Turner, , “Vision Studies in Germany,” 85.
64 Scarborough, and Furumoto, , Untold Lives, 123–24; Christine Ladd-Franklin, undated notes, Folder 27, Box 14, CLF-FF Papers. For Ladd-Franklin's theory, see Ladd-Franklin, , “A New Theory of Light-Sensation,” Proceedings of the International Congress of Experimental Psychology (London, 1892), 103–8.
65 Ladd-Franklin, Christine to Franklin, Fabian, 17 June 1894, Box 7, CLF-FF Papers. On König's lab, see Turner, , “Vision Studies in Germany,” 87; Turner, In the Eye's Mind, 197.
66 On the importance of color blindness in the dispute, see Turner, , “Vision Studies in Germany,” 80–82. On the role of König and Ladd-Franklin in the color vision debates of the 1890s, see Turner, In the Eye's Mind, 196–210. Many aspects of the Helmholtz-Hering dispute are still unresolved, but in the late 1950s, Hurvich, Leo M. and Jameson, Dorothea reached a compromise resembling Hering's theory in the field of color vision. Turner, “Vision Studies in Germany,” 101–2.
67 Ladd-Franklin turned down an offer from Bryn Mawr in 1889. Ladd-Franklin, Christine to Thomas, M. Carey, 19 May 1889, Box 6, CLF-FF Papers.
68 Furumoto, , “Joining Separate Spheres,” 180.
69 Claghorn, , “The Problem of Occupation for College Women,” 217–30. Even as women began to earn more degrees, the proportion of professors who were women remained at about 20 percent from 1890 to 1910. See National Center for Education Statistics, “Historical Summary of Faculty, Students, Degrees, and Finances in Degree-Granting Institutions: Selected Years, 1869–70 through 2006–07,” National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed 12 October 2009 at: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d08/tables/dt08_ 187.asp.
70 Claghorn and other friends supported Ladd-Franklin's plan and persuaded her to present it to the ACA. See Claghorn, Kate Holladay to Ladd-Franklin, Christine, 14 October 1898, Box 3, CLF-FF Papers; Claghorn to Ladd-Franklin, 25 October 1898, Box 3, CLF-FF Papers; Howe, Elizabeth to Ladd-Franklin, , 28 May 1903, Box 4, CLF-FF Papers; Florence Cushing to Ladd-Franklin, 21 June 1903, Box 4, CLF-FF Papers.
71 Ladd-Franklin, Christine, “Endowed Professorships for Women,” Publications of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae 3, no. 9 (1904): 53–61.Google Scholar
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73 Turner, , “The Prussian Universities and the Research Imperative,” 364–67, 466, 422; McClelland, , State, Society, and University in Germany, 165–68; Ringer, Fritz K., The Decline of the German Mandarins: The German Academic Community, 1890–1933 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1969), 36; and Ringer, , “A Sociography of German Academics, 1863–1938,” Central European History 25 (1992): 251–80.
74 Ladd-Franklin, , “Endowed Professorships for Women,” 60.
75 McClelland, , State, Society, and University in Germany, 223, 271.
76 Ladd-Franldin, , “Endowed Professorships for Women,” 59, 61; Rossiter, , Women Scientists in America, 49–50.
77 Clarke, Elizabeth Lawrence, “Report of the Meetings of the Executive Committee Held at Milwaukee,” Publications of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae 3, no. 9 (1904):Google Scholar
78 Minutes of the ACA executive committee, 10 November 1906, in AAUW Archives, reel 4, section II:3.
79 Ladd-Franklin, Christine, “Report of the Committee on the Endowment of Fellowships,” Publications of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae 3, no. 17 (1908): 143–46.Google Scholar
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81 Ladd-Franklin, , “Report of the Committee on the Endowment of Fellowships,” 146. See also Wile, Frederic William, Emile Berliner: Maker of the Microphone (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1926), 146, 301–4; “Scientific Notes and News,” Science, 27 December 1907, 923–24.
82 Untitled clipping about Berliner Fellowship, New York Nation, 19 December 1907, in Box 18, CLF-FF Papers. The Berliner Fellowship fits into the “separatism as strategy” framework outlined by Estelle Freedman in “Separatism as Strategy: Female Institution Building and American Feminism, 1870–1930,” Feminist Studies 5 (1979): 512–29.
83 Christine Ladd-Franklin, “The Sarah Berliner Fellowship,” Science, 24 November 1911,705–6.
84 Tryon, Ruth W., Investment in Creative Scholarship: A History of the Fellowship Program of the American Association of University Women, 1890–1956 (Washington, DC: American Association of University Women, 1957), 184; Wile, , Emile Berliner, 303.Google Scholar
85 Ladd-Franklin described her work on behalf of Berliner Fellows in a letter to Heinrich Ries, 22 April 1916, Box 18, CLF-FF Papers. For an example of a loan by Ladd-Franklin, , see Leuba, James H. to Ladd-Franklin, Christine, 26 April 1911, Box 4, CLF-FF Papers.
86 Rossiter, , Women Scientists in America, 50.
87 Maltby, , History of the Fellowships, 66–79. According to Maltby, six of the women had jobs at coeducational universities or research institutes, two had jobs at women's colleges, two had science-related jobs outside academia, and two had no job. Margaret Rossiter has concluded that “the project failed in its second and larger purpose of inducing the major universities to hire prominent women scientists and scholars.” Rossiter, Women Scientists in America, 50.
88 Cott, Nancy F., The Grounding of Modern Feminism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987), 218–19. See also Graham, Patricia A., “Expansion and Exclusion: A History of Women in Higher Education,” Signs 3 (1978): 759–73; Solomon, In the Company of Educated Women, 133.Google Scholar
89 In 1920, women made up 45.8 percent of faculty and students; in 1930, that figure was 42.5 percent. The low point for women in American colleges and universities was around 1950 (29.8 percent), but large numbers of women students pushed women's overall representation in higher education to 39.8 percent in 1970 and 49.7 percent in 1980. “Historical Summary,” National Center for Education Statistics.
90 McClelland, , State, Society, and University in Germany, 166, 242, 258–72; McClelland, , “Professionalization and Higher Education in Germany,” 309–20; Ringer, , Decline of the German Mandarins, 53–55
91 Quoted in McClelland, , State, Society, and University in Germany, 311–12.
92 Ringer, , “A Sociography of German Academics,” 263–64.
93 This was related to the general decline of separate single-sex institutions after World War I. See Gordon, Gender and Higher Education, 198; Glazer, Penina M. and Slater, Miriam, Unequal Colleagues: The Entrance of Women into the Professions, 1890–1940 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1987), 56.Google Scholar
94 Graham, , “Expansion and Exclusion,” 759–73; Rosenberg, , Beyond Separate Spheres, 238–46; Rossiter, , Women Scientists in America, chap. 6; Solomon, , In the Company of Educated Women, 188–90.
95 Dzuback, Mary A., “Creative Financing in Social Science: Women Scholars and Early Research,” in Women and Philanthropy in Education, ed. Walton, Andrea (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005), 110, 120.Google Scholar
96 Cott, , Grounding of Modern Feminism, 16–20.
97 Levine, , Degrees of Equality, 13–16.
98 Cott, , Grounding of Modern Feminism, passim.
99 Zschoche, , “Dr. Clarke Revisited,” 548–50, 561–63, 566–67.
100 Gordon, , Gender and Higher Education, 192,195–99; Zschoche, , “Dr. Clarke Revisited,” 567–68; Glazer and Slater, Unequal Colleagues, 63–64; Antler, Joyce, The Educated Woman and Professionalization: The Struggle for a New Feminine Identity, 1890–1920 (New York: Garland, 1987), 408–9. See also Cott, , Grounding of Modern Feminism, chap. 5.
101 See the committee's two reports: Vocational Training: A Classified List of Institutions Training Educated Women for Occupations Other Than Teaching (Northampton, MA: Gazette Printing, 1913) and Francke, Marie, Opportunities for Women in Domestic Science (Philadelphia: Association of Collegiate Alumnae, 1916).Google Scholar
102 Wein, Roberta, “Educated Women and the Limits of Domesticity, 1830–1918” (PhD dissertation, New York University, 1974), 136–50.
103 See Cott, , Grounding of Modern Feminism, 275–78, 280–82.
104 A 1924 survey of 152 men and women employed at American colleges reported that more than two-thirds would give preference to a man over an equally qualified woman, and more than one-third would give preference to a less-qualified man over a better qualified woman. For additional statistics documenting male prejudice at American universities in the 1920s, see Hummer, Patricia M., The Decade of Elusive Promise: Professional Women in the United States, 1920–1930 (Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Research Press. 1979), 100–2.
105 Fite, Warner to Ladd-Franklin, Christine, 28 May 1905, Box 3, CLF-FF Papers.
106 Ladd-Franklin, Christine to Ames, Joseph Sweetman, 8 February 1926, Box 3, CLF-FF Papers.
107 Goodnow, Frank to Ladd-Franklin, Christine, 6 February 1926, Box 4, CLF-FF Papers.
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