Reports of the
Superintendent of Public Instruction
of the State of Michigan
For the years 1855, 1856, and 1857

Ira Mayhew
Superintendent of Public Instruction
1858 - Homer & Kerr, Printers to the State

Hon. Ira Mayhew, Sup't Public Instruction:

SIR:- The Founders and Trustees of the Michigan Female College, located at Lansing, Michigan, beg leave to submit a brief statement of its prospects, and the facilities offered by its course of study and discipline to such young Ladies as may desire to avail themselves of the advantages of a thorough and substantial education.

In its establishment they have aimed at supplying a want long felt by the educational interests of the State, which, while it has provided with a munificent hand for the liberal education of its sons within the Halls of its richly endowed University, has witheld from its daughters corresponding advantages, and left them to seek mental culture in private Academies and Seminaries, in which the Course of Instruction is necessarily limited, and too often extremely superficial. With this object in view, and aided by the advice of the most experienced Teachers in the State, they have adopted a Course of Study commensurate with that ordinarily pursued in our Colleges.

Every possible effort will be made to secure the most competent Instructors, and to raise the standard of scholarship, while at the same time no pains will be spared to surround the members of the Institution with all the advantages of a refined and elegant home, where the taste will be cultivated, and the moral sentiments and the affections developed and trained in harmony with the development and training of the intellect.

One large four-story brick building is already completed, and it is confidently hoped that the liberality of the friends of education will secure the carrying out of the entire plan at the earliest possible day. Elmira Female College chronicles among its donations the munificent gift of fourteen thousand dollars from one individual, and many Colleges for young men have received much larger sums from private beneficence, nor can it be doubted that there are men in Michigan who will yet glory in devoting a portion of the wealth with which God has blessed them, to do for Female Education what the State has failed in its duty to accomplish. More than $15,000, exclusive of grounds, (twenty acres,) has been already expended in Building, Furniture, Musical Instruments, Apparatus, &c.; and nearly $6,000 of the original subscription is yet unappropriated.

A citizen of Lansing, who has already subscribed $2,500, has volunteered another $1,000 provided $20,000 cam be secured in like sums.

An effort will be made during the coming year to raise the funds necessary to complete the original design, and thus secure to young Ladies, through all time, facilities for acquiring a thorough Scientific and Classical Education.

The Courses of Instruction will include Music, Drawing, and Painting, for those students who may wish to acquire these Ornamental Branches. Young Ladies who do not desire to become candidates for a Degree, will be admitted to any class in which they can satisfactorily sustain themselves.

A Department, under the direct supervision of the authorities of the College, will prepare girls and boys for a Collegiate Course.


College Course
Young Ladies applying for admission to the Classical Course, will be required to pass an examination in the following preparatory studies: Arithmetic (Stoddard's); Algebra, (through the sixth chapter of Davies' Bourdon); English Grammar, (Welch's Analysis); Geography; Physiology; History of the United States; Andrews & Stoddard's Latin Grammar; Arnold's First Latin Book, (Harkness edition); Arnold's Latin Prose Composition, (through forty exercises); Cornelius Nepos or Q. Curtius; Caesar, and Cicero's Select Orations; Kuhner's Elementary Greek Grammar; Xenophon's Anabasis, (Boise edition) to the Fourth Book; and Arnold's Greek Prose Composition.

In the Scientific Course, candidates for admission will be examined in all the studies preparatory to the Classical Department, except the Latin and Greek. Fifty Exercises in Fasquelle's French Method, the regular Verbs; and fifty Exercises in Woodbury's German Method will also be required.

Classical Course.
First Year - First Term.
Algebra; Latin prose Composition finished; Cicero de Amicitia; Greek Testament; Boise's Greek prose Composition.
Second Term.
Geometry, (Davies' Legendre); AEnid; Latin Prosody; Xenophon's Anabasis (at the Fourth Book)
Second Year - First Term.
Trigonometry and Analytical Geometry; Horace; Latin Prosody; Homer's Iliad; Smith's History of Greece, with Geography.
Second Term.
Botany; Sallust or Livy; Thueydides; Roman History and Geography.
Third Year - First Term.
French; Rhetoric; Tacticus; Roman History and Geography.
Second Term.
Demosthenes' Oration on the Crown, or Plato's Apology of Socrates; French; Astronomy; Geology.
Fourth Year - First Term.
Mental and Moral Philosophy; Natural Philosophy; Logic.
Second Term.
Butler's Analogy; Chemistry; Political Economy, or Science of Government.
Scientific Course.
First Year - First Term.
Algebra; French and German; English Language and Literature; History.
Second Term.
Geometry; History; English Language and Literature; French and German.
Second Year - First Term.
Trigonometry and Analytical Geometry; Rhetoric; Logic; History; French and German.
Second Term.
Botany; History; Natural History; French and German.
Third Year - First Term.
Natural Philosophy; Chemistry and Mineralogy; French and German; History.
Second Term.
History; Geology; Zoology and Botany; French and German.
Fourth Year - First Term.
Mental and Moral Philosophy; History; French and German.
Second Term.
Butler's Analogy; History; Political Economy, or Science of Government; French and German.

The study of the Holy Scriptures will form a regular part of the whole Course, both Preparatory and Collegiate.
The Text-Books named, are those which are used in the Institution, but an equivalent amount of knowledge is all that will be required of candidates for admission.

The entire expense of Board, including Fuel, Lights, &c., for the College year of forty weeks is.....$130.00
Tuition in the Preparatory Department, for English Branches, per term.....$10.00
Tuition in the Preparatory Department, for each of the Languages, per term.....$4.00
Tuition in the College Department, per term.....$18.00
"     "     Drawing, per term.....$4.00
"     "     Painting in Oil Colors, per term.....$16.00
"     on Piano or Guitar, per term.....$20.00
Use of Instrument, per term.....$5.00

The only extra charge will be twenty cents per dozen for washing.

Young Ladies are expected to furnish their own towels, table-napkins, napkin-rings and forks, and will be required to provide themselves with umbrellas and overshoes.

A deduction of twenty-five per cent will be made to Clergymen, and a liberal discount allowed to those who pay for the whole year in advance.

The year is divided into two Terms of twenty weeks each, and it is extremely desirable that no pupil enter for less than a Term, although every possible accommodation will be extended to those who wish to teach.

The Fall and Winter Term will open on the 22d of September. There will be a vacation from the Thursday before Christmas to the Tuesday after New Year's, and no other until the end of the year.

The required amount of capital is already secured, and the necessary steps taken for immediate incorporation under the following


Hon. Horatio SEYMOUR, Utica, N.Y.; Hon. Moses H. GRINNELL, New York; T.S. WEDDLE, Esq., W.H. ROGERS, Esq., Rochester, N.Y.; Col. L.D. COMAN, New York; E.B. WARD, Esq., Hon. S. CONANT, J. OWEN, Esq., H.P. BALDWIN, Esq., Hon. R. McCLELLAND, Hon. Z. CHANDLER, Detroit, Mich.; A.N. HART, Esq., Lapeer, Mich.; Wirt DEXTER, Esq., Chicago, Ill.; Hon. James SEYMOUR, Flushing, Mich.; M. McROBERTS, M.D., Mason, Mich.; Hon. J.E. BEEBE, Jackson, Mich.; Hon. C. JOSLIN, B. FOLLETT, Esq., Ypsilanti, Mich.; Hon. Whitney JONES, D.L. CASE, Esq., H.H. SMITH, Esq., J.C. BAILEY, Esq., James TURNER, Esq., J.W. LONGYEAR, Esq., F. LaRUE, Esq., Lansing, Mich.; Hon. C.N. BEECHER, Flint, Mich.

MISS A.C. ROGERS, Principal.
Lansing, August 20, 1858.



To the Hon. Ira Mayhew, Supt. Public Instruction.

The Board of Visitors appointed by you, for the Michigan Female College, now under the care of the Misses ROGERS, beg leave to submit to you the following report.

The number of scholars in attendance during the last year is 107.

They have pursued the following studies: English Grammar; Analysis of English Sentence; Civil and Physical Geography; History of United States; General History; Mental, Practical and Philosophical Arithmetic; First Lessons in Algebra, and Davie's Bourdon; Geometry; Trigonometry; Natural Philosophy; Botany; Physiology Uranography; French; German; Latin; Milton; Bible.

Your Board were present at the annual examination in these studies, and are happy to say that it was highly creditable to both students and teachers. The manner of the examination convinced the Board that no particular portion of the text books have been assigned to the students on which to prepare themselves, in order that they might "show off well,' - and the readiness and correctness of the answers given to the questions propounded by the teachers, and the thoughtfulness with which those answers were given, proved that the students had made themselves thoroughly acquainted with the branches of study they had pursued as far as they had pursued them; that they had not merely memorized, but had mastered the principles of their text books. It is evident to your Board, that the teachers have aimed in their instructions, at thoughtfulness rather than rapidity, to make sound rather than showy scholars.

The examination and the exhibition at its close, furnished evidence that the young ladies of the Institution had been instructed that they were not to receive ideas and theories advanced by their teachers and the authors that they studied, merely because they were advanced, but that they should examine for themselves and see if the things they learned were true; thus fitting them, in their future studies and observations, to select from the mixed literature and conflicting theories of the day, only such principles in morals and science as are well based.

The Misses Rogers are now moving into their new building, which, although but a wing of the edifice projected, is large and commodious, having four stories and furnishing good size study-rooms for over 30 scholars, and a school room large enough for some hundreds of "day scholars."

We cannot but admire and commend the energy, tact and perseverance of these ladies, in carrying on to completion, this wing, at an expense of some $15,000, during the severe financial crisis from which the country is even now but slowly recovering. We think there are but few men that would have accomplished so much in such times.

We hope they may be able to speedily complete the entire building as projected. e learn from them that the prospects for the present college year are very flattering. That the 1st term will probably commence with 5 in the senior class, 15 in the freshman, and about 60 in the preparatory department, and that they have encouragement that the number will greatly increase during the year.

We understand the arrangements which are made for the accommodation of young ladies who may desire to board with the Principals, are ample, and we do not hesitate to say that we know of no similar institution where the triple nature, the physical, intellectual and moral, will be likely to be more thoroughly cared for, or more harmoniously developed, than in this, under the supervision of its present efficient corps of teachers. We therefore cheerfully recommend it to the patronage of the public.

Daniel L. CASE.

Lansing, Aug. 12, 1858.

1 History of Ingham and Eaton Counties, Michigan
by Samuel W. Durant
Published 1880 by
D.W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia

Michigan Female College
In connection with the public schools of Lansing it is but just to the truth of history to mention the Female College, established by Misses ROGERS in 1855, and sustained by their indomitable energy for fourteen years. These ladies had $8500, their private means. This, with about $10,000 from the citizens of Lansing and vicinity, - part of which was in nature of scholarships, and was thus refunded, - and nearly $2000 from Hon. Zachariah CHANDLER and Eber WARD, enabled them to erect a large four-story building in the northwestern part of the city, twenty acres of land for that purpose being donated by H.H. SMITH and J.W. COLLINS. The institution was opened in this building in 1858, the school till then having been kept in a rented building. It was conducted with marked success until 1869, when, upon the decease of the eldest of the ROGERS sisters, it was suspended. The property was afterwards sold to the Odd-Fellows, who expended $30,000 on a addition to the building for an educational and benevolent institution in connection with the order. But that project was not carried out, and the premises are now rented by the Odd-Fellows to the State for a school for the blind.

During the existence of the college about 1000 young ladies received instruction and fifty were graduated after a full college course.

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Transcribed by Nedra Evans
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