Jump to navigation
See all library hours »
Martin, Elma G. Diary, 1892
Vassar College Archives and Special Collections
For more information about rights and reproduction, visit http://specialcollections.vassar.edu/policies/permissionto.html
Martin, Elma G.
Bound volume; aprox 143p; 10 x 7 inches; Iron gall ink on aged paper
Vassar College. Special and Preparatory Students
VC Spec 1892-93
Daily entries of varying length concerning Martin’s experiences as a special student at Vassar College between September 22, 1892 and June 28, 1893. Further entries until June 23, 1894 discuss Martin’s return home and work teaching. After a break of several years, Martin resumes the diary with an account of her studies at Denison University from Sep 12, 1906 to June 23, 1907. During the Vassar section, Martin frequently mentions sermons by [VC president James Monroe] Taylor and by visiting pastors, lectures by missionaries, and prayer meetings. She also refers to attending academic and philanthropic lectures, concerts and recitals. Martin details the Vassar students’ political meeting concerning the presidential election, (Oct 15 1892), listing the slogans chanted by the students and mentioning that [Presidential candidate William] McKinley spoke in Poughkeepsie (Nov 1 1892). Martin provides brief descriptions of her professors Fraulein Neef, Miss Richardson, Miss Green, Dr Thelberg, and Miss Perry (Sep 26 1892). Martin records her experiences of Vassar traditions such as the Lake Mohonk visit (Oct 12 and 15 1892), Halloween pranks (Nov 1 and 6 1892), Hall Plays (Nov 19 and Dec 17 1892), Philalethean Day (Dec 2 1892), the removal of “Female” from the college name (Dec 21 1892), Valentine’s Day (Feb 14 1893), George Washington’s Birthday (Feb 22 1893), Trig Ceremonies (Feb 25 1893), Founders’ Day (Apr 28 1893), Tree Ceremonies (May 21 1893), the Greek Play (May 26 1893), Class Day (Jun 12 1893), and Commencement (Jun 13 1893). Martin mentions exercising and enjoying the outdoors with classmates by gathering apples and hickory nuts, walking, swimming, bicycling , and boating. Martin depicts the importance of her friendships at Vassar by caring for Belle Freeman during the latter’s eye issues and brief illness, and by describing her sadness over having to part with her classmate Grace at the end of Martin’s year as a special student (Jun 8 1893). After describing her year at Vassar, Martin mentions sightseeing in Washington, DC and giving lectures (Jul 30 1893) and painting lessons (Aug 17 1893) in her hometown, Elmira. She describes teaching school in the autumn of 1893 and spring of 1894, her mother surviving a carriage accident (Mar 13 1894), and participating in VC alumnae activities (Jun 9-23 1894). Martin resumes her diary on September 12, 1906 by introducing her plan to study at Denison University while supporting herself by teaching preparatory algebra at Shepardson College. She describes her coursework, students, classmates, professors, the academic and missionary lectures that she attended, musical concerts and recitals, costume parties, and Commencement (Jun 15 1907).