The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 56
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
to overcome natural diffidence." Second only to the music studies
in popularity were the courses offered by the "Ornamental
Department," where the young women were taught drawing,
painting in water colors, oriental painting, Grecian painting,
oil painting, ornamental hair work, wax work, and embroidery.2
The university did not confer degrees on women, but it did grant
diplomas to women graduates.
Baylor girls were not different from girls of other sections
and other schools of that time in favoring courses in music,
painting, hair work, wax work, and embroidery; and the Baylor
curriculum was not unique in this respect. The older generation,
however, like most older generations, did not entirely approve.
Doubtless the New Orleans newspaper editor was thinking of
the product of female education when he chose "Young Ladies
of Today" as the title of an editorial in 1863 and wrote:
Did you ever think what a contrast there is between the young lady of
today and the one of fifty or even a score of years ago? Then, a lady
was one who could take care of herself --could sing in plain musical
English, wash, bake and cook all kinds of food, milk a cow if necessary,
and make herself generally useful. If she didn't she was called lazy - that
was all there was about it. But now, we have no lazy women, they are
all delicate. The modern young lady is a strange compound of dress and
nerves - by which we mean those exquisite susceptibilities which cause
her to shudder when she sees a wash tub, and scream at the sight of a cow.
She sings "divinely" and plays the piano "exquisitely," but neither of these
affects you as much as the jabbering of a North American Indian, for it
is not half as intelligible. She lounges about in the morning, crochets and
embroiders a little, then dresses herself up and promenades for the benefit
of some "genteel exquisite."
Thus passes her days. . . . It is an uncommon thing, indeed, to find a
young lady now-a-days who half pays for the food she eats.21
Baylor's principal and faculty claimed that the course of
study for women was "both disciplinary and practical" and
that the instruction was thorough. Patrons were warned, how-
ever, not to expect the impossible, for the university did not
promise to make a scholar out of every student. "We cannot
create mental ability," the catalogue said, "nor the disposition
to use it.... We can only promise then, to parents and guardians,
the faithful cultivation of those talents which they entrust
2olbid., 5-6,'13-19; Catalogue of the Trustees, Faculty and Students of
Baylor University, Female Department, for the Year 1857, pp. 9-10, 11,
21New Orleans Daily True Delta, December 10, 1863.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946, periodical, 1946; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/m1/65/: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.