Mental and Social Culture: A Text Book for Schools and Academies. Mary H. Clark, Lafayette C. Loomis.
Mental and Social Culture: A Text Book for Schools and Academies.

Mental and Social Culture: A Text Book for Schools and Academies.

New York: J.W. Schermerhorn & Co., 1867. First edition of this textbook on etiquette, character, and how to learn, study, and think. Endpapers with publisher’s ads. Some sunning. Stain to corner of one board. Light toning inside. Inscribed by pioneering educator Mary H. Clark (1813 – 1875): “To Miss Anne Ritter / with much love from her friend / Mary H. Clark. / The Misses Clark’s School / Ann Arbor / Mich. / June 25, 1873.” A very good copy. Contemporary brown pebbled cloth titled in gilt on spine. Octavo. 118 pp. Item #17211

Mary H. Clark and her sister Chloe founded the Misses Clark’s Seminary for Young Ladies in Ann Arbor in the late 1840s. Their family valued education, and both sisters had attended the Troy Female Seminary as young women. The Clark sisters drew inspiration from the work of Emma Willard and modeled their own school after the Troy Female Seminary. Chloe taught the primary grades, while Mary taught advanced courses like geometry, astronomy, and botany. The Misses Clark’s Seminary was an important institution for young women at the time, especially because the University of Michigan did not accept women into their program until 1870. Mary also wrote for Godey’s Lady’s Book, was a prolific book collector, and had a personal passion for botany, local history, and ecclesiastical history. Alpheus Felch, the fifth governor of Michigan, remembered Mary as “one of the most learned women I ever knew,” and other contemporaries described her as an authority in botany and history. Lafayette Loomis (1824 – 1905) was an educator who founded the Adelphian Academy in Massachusetts and served as president of the Wheeling Female College in West Virginia. He taught at the Wesleyan Female College, Mount Hollis Seminary in Massachusetts, and Howard University in Washington, D.C., and served as vice principal of the Irving Institute in New York.

We could not identify a clear connection between Loomis and the Clark sisters, though it is entirely possible that they knew each other by way of the Clarks’ connection to the Troy Female Seminary. Loomis’s father-in-law was a Lincoln, hailing from the same family as the first husband of Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps, a teacher at and vice-principal of the Troy Female Seminary. Smith. “The Misses Clark’s School for Girls.” Ann Arbor Observer (website), Sept. 19, 2019.

Price: $500.00