THE Wellesley girls who saw old College Hall burn, in the spring of their freshman year, came back to college in the autumn of 1914, with Europe in the first throes of the Great War; and the spring of their senior year was marked for them by the entrance of the United States into the War, on the side of the Allies. This was the generation of undergraduates, from 1914 to 1920, who helped to raise the money, not only for the College buildings that began immediately, magically, to rise on the campus---Tower Court, 1915; Claflin, 1917; Founders, 1919---but also for the many war funds: the Red Cross, the War Chest, the Liberty Loans, the College War Garden; Edith Wharton's tuberculosis hospital; the bed at the American Hospital at Neuilly---the list is long. This was the generation of the knitters, whose needles clicked everywhere except in the classroom, though even there the knitting-bags hung on the backs of the chairs ready to disgorge. These were they who adopted the French and Belgian orphans, and sent, in April, 1915, the Ambulance, No. 24, bearing the inscription, "Wellesley College," to Section Sanitaire No. 3, operating in Alsace "with postes-de-secours at Hartmannsweilerkopf and Mittlach"; the ambulance that was to see service in Lorraine and in the Verdun Sector during the first battle of Verdun, "and at Pont-à-Mousson with postes in the Bois- le-Prêtre"; the ambulance that was returned to Paris for repairs in December, 1916, and was then transferred to Section Sanitaire No. 2, and saw service again in the Verdun Sector, "on the left-bank of the Meuse, with postes at Mort Homme and Hill 304; in the Argonne with poste at la Chalade; and again on the left bank of the Meuse, where it completed a service of nearly two years-and-a-half with the French armies."
In April, 1917. the United States entered the War, and Wellesley immediately began to make arrangements "to do her bit."
We learn from the Alumnae Quarterly of October of that year that on the day when it was announced that General Pershing would command the American Expeditionary Force in France, plans were formulated to send an ambulance with the first detachment of American soldiers under General Pershing, in memory of his wife, one of Wellesley's dearly loved graduates of the class of 1903, who had died in 1915. Through Mary Hull Benedict. of 1903. and Miss Caroline Hazard, Honorary Member of the Class, the project was set in motion, by the middle of May, and there was an immediate and enthusiastic response, not only from Mrs. Pershing's own class and the college mates of her own generation but from many other Wellesley women. On June 30, the order for the ambulance was sent, with the check in payment. The inscription read:
The letter from General Pershing, accepting the ambulance, is one of the treasures of the Archives Room in the College Library. It is here quoted in full.
American Expeditionary Force
Office of the Commanding General, August 10, 191 7.
Miss Ellen F. Pendleton,
President, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts.
My dear Miss Pendleton:
I have your note of July 14th regarding the Frances Warren Pershing Memorial Ambulance. This expression of affection for Frances touches me very deeply. My visit to Wellesley in 1914 is one that I shall always treasure most highly. It was such a pleasure to see her meet her friends and to meet them myself, and to go over with her the interesting events of her college days, of which she spoke so enthusiastically.
It is very good of you to write me of this subscription, and I wish to thank you and the others interested for assisting in making this memorial possible. It is something that I know Frances would herself have been very deeply interested in, especially now that our armies are on foreign soil and fighting the great battle of humanity.
With very warm regards and heartfelt thanks, I remain, always
Yours most sincerely,
(signed) John F. Pershing
In this same Quarterly we also read that on Monday, September 24, 1917, the first day of academic appointments for the college year, 1917-1918, a meeting was held in the Tower Court living-room, "to try to give to the present generation some slight understanding of the personality and writings of Sophie Jewett," in whose name a fund was raised to send an American ambulance to Italy, in the group of memorial ambulances for poets. "Wellesley would inaugurate her war work of this new college year with the gift to Italy of an ambulance in remembrance of her own poet. This effort is in connection with the nation-wide endeavor of American poets to do for the land of Virgil and Dante a little of what American patriots have done for the land of Lafayette." The swift creation of this memorial was made possible by the devotion and untiring effort of Miss Sherwood and Miss Shackford---who, in a week and a day, collected, saw through the press, and put on sale at the college bookstore, a group of Miss Jewett's Italian Prose Sketches---and of Miss Bates, who presented the speakers at the meeting and later collected the contributions. The fund, begun on September 10, was completed on October 11, the anniversary of Miss Jewett's death, eight years before.
Meanwhile, in the spring of 1917, the President of the College was marshaling her young cohorts for their stay-at-home campaign. In March, on the initiative of President Thomas of Bryn Mawr, a conference was held by Miss Thomas, Miss Woolley (Mt. Holyoke), and Miss Pendleton, with the result that the resolution which follows was adopted by eight of the Women's Colleges and presented to President Wilson in April, 1917, by his daughter, Jessie Wilson Sayre, a former student of Goucher.
"To the President of the United States.
"We the undersigned Presidents and Deans of the eight largest colleges for women in the United States, speaking for ourselves and authorized by vote to speak also for the Faculties of the Colleges which we represent, hereby respectfully offer you our loyal service.
"Although we believe that the settlement of international difficulties by war is fundamentally wrong, we recognize that in a world crisis such as this it may become our highest duty to defend by force the principles upon which Christian civilization is founded.
"In this emergency, Mr. President, we wish to pledge you our wholehearted support in whatever measures you may find necessary to uphold these principles.
"Any service which we and (as far as we are able to speak for them) any service which the thousands of trained women whom we have sent out from our colleges may be able to render we hereby place at the disposal of our country."
It is a commentary upon the war psychology of the period that this paradoxical interpretation of their "highest duty" was signed by Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Goucher, Mt. Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, Vassar, and Wellesley.
Professor Julia E. Moody of the Department of Zoology, writing in the July Quarterly, tells us that early in May, Miss Pendleton had appointed a faculty-student committee, "to formulate a plan for the mobilization of the College in order that students and faculty might prepare themselves to meet the new responsibilities, and bear their share of the burden which our nation assumed on April 2." At chapel, on Wednesday, May 9, Miss Pendleton presented the Committee's plan (an adaptation of the one adopted by Goucher), and it was characteristic of the president that she should make this an opportunity to heighten the morale of her college, for its own sake, and to bring about a closer co-operation between faculty and students. Nine hundred and ninety-seven members of the college enlisted under this mobilization plan. The enlistment pledge reads: "I enlist under my country's flag and the Wellesley idea of self-discipline and service for personal preparedness and national need."
Physical efficiency was stressed, and the unsuspecting undergraduate adopted with simplicity and ardor a regimen which called for rising at 6.30 A.M., retiring at 10.30 P.M., regularity in attendance at chapel, no eating between meals, bringing the individual weight up to standard, daily bath (! ), daily inspection of rooms, erect carriage and proper posture at table and in the class room, quiet behavior in the dormitories, a period of quiet alone in one's room (a return, this for the guileless recruit, to the Silent Time of the '80's and ,90's); exercise, sports, and drill "for self-control, teamwork, and endurance," on the West Playground under Dr. Skarstrom of the Department of Hygiene; some nine hundred and fifty members of the college enlisted for this drill. A flag-raising was instituted on May 15, and the flag was raised daily at the East Lodge beside the bronze tablet to the Boys of the Revolution who set out from the old Hubbard's Tavern, at that point (then West Needham) for Lexington; there was a simple ceremony with the singing of the first verse of the Star-Spangled Banner, in the morning, and of America the Beautiful, when the flag was lowered at night.
From the President's Reports for these years we learn that War Activities were in charge of the Wellesley College War Relief Organization, with a head, secretary, treasurer, and seven chairmen of committees, with faculty advisers. And that early in October, 1917, the Academic Council voted to approve certain War Emergency Courses, including first-aid, statistics and filing, stenography and typewriting, book-keeping, household economics, gardening, wireless telegraphy and field geology. Only two of these, however, were to count towards the degree---Miss McDowell's course in wireless telegraphy for which a prerequisite of one year in Physics was required; and Mr. Lahee's course in Field Geology, which taught the simpler methods of map-reading and map-making, and the use of instruments, for which a prerequisite of a year in Geology was required. Even in the midst of the excitements of war and emergency, the College was careful to guard against the establishment of purely vocational courses which should count for the degree. In the spring term a course in Food Conservation was offered, at the request of the Food Administration, and proved popular with heads of houses, cooks, and students. Thirty-two students took the examination and were awarded the certificate for the course.
In 1917 and 1918, Commencement festivities were shortened and simplified, and in 1918, Float, the Garden Party, and the Senior Play were omitted, and the Shakespeare Society gave up its outdoor play. The only outdoor festivity was a presentation by Alpha Kappa Chi of the Greek play, Iphigenia in Tauris, for the benefit of the Red Cross.
The President's Report also records a benefit for the Red Cross in the form of a Patriotic Celebration, on May 18, in the afternoon, which was organized under Professor Homans's direction, and was participated in by the entire College---faculty, students, and employees. There was a procession from campus to the West Playground, a patriotic address by Mr. Leonard W. Gonkhite of the Town of Wellesley, an exhibition of the work of the Department of Hygiene and Physical Education, and the presentation of a Service Flag to the Town of Wellesley, in behalf of the College, by Miss Pendleton. The Chairman of the Board of Selectmen accepted the flag for the Town, and the proceeds of the celebration went to swell Wellesley's quota in the Red Cross Drive of 1918.
Wellesley also gave her share to the Student Friendship Fund, a campaign organized by Mr. John R. Mott. The college committee had fixed Wellesley's quota at $10,000.00, but $15,000.00 was pledged, and $ 16,000.00 was paid in to the Fund.
In the spring of 1918, a War Garden was started under the direction of the Department of Botany; twenty acres of the college land on Weston Road were put under cultivation, and the necessary work in the spring term was done by volunteers, in the afternoons because of the exigencies of the College schedule. But for the summer work, Professor Ferguson chose, from 219 applicants, 48 students who were divided into three squads of 16 members, each squad to serve one month. The workers lived, from June 15 to September 15, at Wilder Hall, and did their job with enthusiasm and efficiency, reimbursing the trustees for the money advanced, and returning the land to the College in a better state of fertility and cultivation, with a credit balance of $200.00 for the Red Cross, or some other form of Reconstruction Work. The truthful report of this activity after describing the abundance of vegetables, fresh, dried, and canned, adds that the farm did not pay in dollars, but was distinctly a success because of the higher values involved and produced.
A training camp for supervisors of Agricultural Units was also opened at Wellesley at the request of the Woman's Land Army of America, under the direction of a former student, Miss Edith Diehl 1900-1903. Four members of the Board of Trustees financed the Camp. Of this piece of work Mrs. Ethel Puffer Howes wrote, on January 7, 1919, to Miss Pendleton, "I understand that Miss Diehl's report of the Wellesley training camp has gone in to you. I have looked it over, and it seems to me a remarkably fine piece of work. It contains all the results toward which I had hoped that the Wellesley camp might contribute in the way of light on the present problems of the Woman's Land Army.
"In fact my committee on training is planning to use it as a sort of text book for the course which we are recommending to the Agricultural Colleges, and for that reason I am earnestly hoping that arrangements can be made to have it printed speedily, so that it will be available for general use.
"As Chairman of the Committee on Training, I should like to say that I consider Wellesley College can be congratulated on the constructive and concrete achievements of the Wellesley Training Camp and Experimental Station for the cause of Woman's Agricultural Work."
On March 18, 1918, a committee of the Faculty, on Patriotic Service, had met in the Brooks Room of the library. Professor Charles Lowell Young, in the Chair, announced the need for the College to engage in patriotic service and two sub-committees were constituted: one, "to meet the pacifist influence exerted inside the College, and to arouse a patriotic majority and mobilize them for service"; the other, "to aid in moulding public opinion and to help carry on war activities in the outside world." When, however, Miss Pendleton's statesmanlike plan for a General War Council was announced in May, this committee seems to have devoted itself to the work of war propaganda, by means of after-dinner talks in the College dormitories, the distribution of pamphlets among the students, the use of War Space in the College News. and the establishment of a War Bulletin Board. The Service Flag was presented to the town by this committee. The Chairman was a member of the College War Council.
In March, 1918, the following letter was sent by Miss Pendleton to all Members of the Official Staff of the college:
"The Trustees wish to express their sense of the high task committed to the official staff of the College in the education of young women at this time of national and world crisis. The responsibility of your college faculty is comparable to that committed to our armies in the field, and loyalty to the aims of the nation as expressed by President Wilson is as necessary for the fullest service of the teacher as of the soldier. The Trustees do not forget that there are members of the staff of enemy alien nationality, and that there may be those who because of German parentage or because of personal views are not in sympathy with the aims of this country. To these the Trustees wish to say that in continuing to accept service in the College at this time, these members of the Staff are thereby bound 'to take care not to give reasonable ground for the belief that they are conspiring with disloyal persons; to refrain from public discussion of the war, and in their private intercourse with neighbours, colleagues or students to avoid all hostile or offensive expressions concerning the United States or its Government.' So long as these restrictions are scrupulously observed, the Trustees will continue to offer opportunity for Service in the great tasks of scholarship as far as circumstances allow."
It is doubtful if ever again Wellesley, or indeed any of the colleges or universities will be able to enter into another war with such unanimity of outlook and purpose, such naivete of idealism and action. The disillusion and disaster of the Peace of Versailles, the inhibitions of the League of Nations, the shame and shock of the post-war financial wreckage, do not fade from the classroom as the perspective of history adjusts itself. The children of those of us who ate the sour grapes yesterday, have their teeth on edge today---they will not bite so readily.
This is not to say that the Wellesley Community of 1914 to 1918 was all of one mind. Certain outstanding members of the faculty were pacifists, though not all these were, as yet, confirmed in the absolutist philosophy of Miss Balch who, after two years' leave of absence from her classroom, working with Jane Addams for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and in other ways, for peace, was not reappointed to her post on the expiration of her appointment, which occurred at this time. Friction there was; a number of the members of the faculty disagreed congenitally with the policies of President Wilson; Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives, Socialists, expressed their views or were grimly silent according to temperament---the Communist Professor had not yet dawned upon the academic horizon. But looking back upon those days of tension and excitement one sees that on the whole it was a remarkably united Wellesley that entered into the Great War.
Taking the Building Fund Drives and the Preparedness Rallies in its stride, the academic life of the College had "carried on" with a new seriousness and intensity of purpose amid the distracting makeshifts of the Hencoop. Adjustments, not all connected with the acoustic properties of the beaver-board classrooms, had to be made. Scholars and specialists, confronted with a concrete situation, found it difficult to remain "above the battle." Cynic observers remarked that members of the faculty who had spent the summer in England or France could usually be counted on to espouse the cause of the Allies; those who had been in Germany when war was declared, or who had taken their Ph.D.'s under German auspices, were most often pro-German. The German Department, with a national reputation for excellence among colleges and universities up to this time. now suffered a temporary, though not a total eclipse. Professor Margarethe Muller, its brilliant and beloved Head, whose gay, almost Gallic attitude of mockery towards her Kaiser, and seeming detachment in scholarly criticism, had been the delight of her colleagues, returned from her German summer filled with a divine rage against England, the hypocrite, with which she expected immediately to indoctrinate the few members of the faculty not already---as she assumed---convinced of the righteousness of her country's cause. The shock that followed upon her touching and fiery missionary endeavor left her and her colleagues alike astounded and disillusioned. For her, and some of those dearest to her, it meant tragedy from which she never recovered, though she conducted her classes with dignity and conscientiousness, but embittered loneliness, throughout the war years.
Commencement, 1916, saw the retirement of three elder members of the faculty, two of whom---Ellen Hayes, lovable radical whose academic biography is briefly sketched in Chapter IV, and Sarah Frances Whiting,---came to the College under appointment from Mr. Durant. Miss Whiting, Professor of Physics and Physical Astronomy from 1876 to 1904, introduced the first lecture course in Astronomy into the Curriculum, in 1877. Wellesley owes to her the careful planning and equipment of the early Physics Laboratory; and the Whitin Astronomical Observatory and Observatory House profited also from her advice and oversight. She was an enthusiastic pioneer, and her quaint mannerisms endeared her to her many students. In 1900, the Trustees created a separate Department of Astronomy, and from 1912, Miss Whiting devoted herself exclusively to this Department. She was for a time Hostess in College Hall, and later, Head of Fiske, where her sister, Miss Elizabeth P. Whiting, shared with her the cares of the household. When Observatory House was opened in 1906, the two sisters gave up dormitory life and exercised their charming hospitality in this new home built for them by Mrs. Whiting. Miss Whiting was Director of the Whitin Observatory from 1904 to her retirement as Professor Emeritus in 1916. Her later years were chiefly spent with her dear friend Miss Louise Manning Hodgkins, retired Professor of English Literature to whose vision that Department owes its auspicious beginnings. These two shared a gayety of spirit and an enthusiastic joy in the life of the mind which made them ideal comrades. Miss Whiting's death occurred on September 12, 1927, leaving her old friend lonely but buoyed up by her Christian serenity and her happy temperament until 1935, when she too went from this world---to her a world of marvel---to the sure hope of another.
Ellen Louisa Burrell, B.A. Wellesley, 1880, was the third professor to retire in 1916. A member of the notable class of '80, the friend of Katharine Lee Bates and Charlotte Fitch Roberts, she was the first alumna to retire under the Carnegie Grant. On her graduation she had served the College for a year as curator of the Herbarium, returning in 1886 as instructor in Mathematics, and rising in her Department to an Associate Professorship in 1892. From 1893 to 1901 she was Acting Professor of Pure Mathematics and from 1901 till her retirement as Professor Emeritus in 1916, Head of the Department of Pure Mathematics. At the time of the Fire, Miss Burrell's notes for her prospective volume on mathematics of the fourth and higher dimensions were completely destroyed, the work of many fruitful years. Besides her work in the Department of Mathematics she accepted the duties of Hostess in old Stone Hall, for a time, and was also Permission Officer in College Hall. Miss Burrell spent her later years between Boston and Wellesley, a welcome figure on the campus. Her death occurred on December 3, 1938, and at that time she was the oldest living alumna of the College. The funeral services were held in the College Chapel.
In the autumn of 1916, word came from California of the death, in Hollywood, on September 7, of another of those devoted early teachers who helped to set the young College on its feet. Junius Welch Hill was Professor of Music and Director of the School of Music from 1884 to 1897. A native of Hingham, Massachusetts, he had studied in Leipzig under Moscheles and Karl Leinecke, and his wide connections with musical Boston enabled him to bring to the Wellesley concerts of the '80's and '90's a succession of noted musicians. His death came after some years of invalidism from angina pectoris. The Hollywood in which he spent his last months, was a far cry from the movie colony of today.
In October, 1916, the Wellesley Alumnae Quarterly made its debut in the college world, with a leading article by Mr. Ralph Adams Cram, Wellesley's consulting architect, on the plans for the proposed new buildings on the campus. The alumnae, always a conservative body, seem to have been curiously slow and indifferent in establishing a magazine of their own. The story of their reluctant and dilatory consent to harbor this far from radical idea, is told by the then Chairman of the Alumnae Publications Committee, Associate Professor Josephine Batchelder (Wellesley '96), in this first number of the Quarterly. In 1911, Mrs. Elva Young Van Winkle, also of '96, began a campaign "for a publication which Wellesley alumnae should call their own"; but even the fact that Smith's "new venture upon an alumnae magazine seemed to point the way" failed to quicken the imagination of the Wellesley graduates. Expense and responsibility seem to have deterred them. In 1912-13 an arrangement was made with the undergraduates by which an Alumnae Department was introduced into the undergraduate Wellesley Magazine and a page of College News, the undergraduate weekly, was to be given up to alumnae news and interests. Miss Bertha March, Wellesley '95, consented to edit these departments, and upon her resignation in 1914, Miss Elizabeth W. Manwaring (then instructor in the Department of Rhetoric and Composition, now Class of 1902 Professor of Rhetoric and Composition) kindly took over the editorship until the alumnae, in 1916, at last decided to venture upon the support of their own magazine, with a full-time editor. It is from this new Quarterly, ably edited during the war years by Lucy Dow Cushing, 1892, that the reports of the alumnae units in France and Constantinople are, for the most part, adapted for the present chapter. The Quarterly of the war years is stirring reading.
In June 1921, the undergraduate monthly, the Wellesley Magazine, having lapsed, the Quarterly assumed the title, The Wellesley Alumnae Magazine, from 1924-1930; and in 1930 resumed the old title, The Wellesley Magazine; it now appears bi-monthly in October, December, February, April, June, and August. In its inception it patterned itself upon the Smith Alumnae Quarterly, and it could not have chosen a better prototype.
In 1916, the Masefield prizes were established by John Masefield, as a token of his interest in Wellesley, after one of his visits to the College. The first awards, volumes of Mr. Masefield's own verse, were made at Commencement, and the first recipients of these prizes were Miriam Vedder, for verse, and Dorothy Loud for prose. The contestants must be seniors.
Two months before the United States entered into the Great War, Mrs. Durant died, in her eighty-fifth year. For more than forty years she had been a familiar and beloved figure on the campus, although for three years before her death the brave, intelligent mind had dimmed, and she had lived an invalid life in her beautiful house on Lake Waban. After her husband's death, Mrs Durant had assumed the Treasurership of the College and carried it for fourteen years, resigning it only in 1895, to the capable and devoted care of Mr. Alpheus H. Hardy, of Boston But she held the office of Secretary of the Board of Trustees until her death, although in the last years an Assistant Secretary took over the actual duties. In small ways and large, she was always doing something for her college. It was she who built Freeman, and suitable dwellings for the College workmen, and icehouses; it was she who made Eliot into a College House and brought the town water into the outlying halls and buildings. And her eager, consecrated spirit reached out beyond the campus: she was President of the Board of Managers of the Boston Young Women's Christian Association for fifty years, and for seven years a member of the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Prison Commission.
Professor Katharine Lee Bates, who in her gay and brilliant undergraduate youth knew the Founder of the College personally, and was the dear friend of his wife through all their Wellesley years, has given us in the Wellesley Alumnae Quarterly, for April, 1917, the illuminating account of Mrs. Durant and her romantic forebears, from which the material for the following sketch is taken. It is with regret that we condense the lively narrative.
Mrs. Durant's mother, Miss Bates tells us, was of a noble French family whose name, de Cazenove, was held in honor in France for nearly one thousand years. Upon the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes the Huguenot branch of the family emigrated to Geneva, dropped their title and "established themselves as bankers," later extending their financial interests to England, where they rose to first rank among the great banking houses of London. Here, in the London bank, Mrs. Durant's grandfather, Antoine Charles Cazenove, who had been educated for the army but chose finance instead, spent three years, as a young man, returning to Geneva in time to share with his father and elder brother the terrors of the Jacobin Revolution. Along with "several hundred other leading citizens," the three were thrown in prison by the mob, but subsequently released, "their reputation for goodness standing them in good stead." But, evidently distrusting the temper of their fellow townsmen, they embraced an opportunity to escape, via Holland, to America, where, in Philadelphia, the two brothers met and married two sisters from Baltimore, American born, but of Scotch-Irish extraction, named Hogan.
Mrs. Durant's grandmother, the tale informs us, was a woman of culture, widely read in history and literature, a Latin scholar, with a knowledge of French. Her husband, Charles Antoine, carried the first millstones across the Alleghenies, and in the backwoods of Pennsylvania "established flouring mills," while in Uniontown his glass works were the first in America. We are also told that he declined John Jacob Astor's offer of a partnership---in "the great fur adventure," preferring "to try his fortunes as a shipping merchant."
Mrs. Durant's mother, Pauline Cazenove (for whom Cazenove in the Hazard Quad is named), while on a visit to Boston in 1830, met her future husband, Major John Fowle, of Watertown (nicknamed "Honest Jack"); they were married in May, 1831, and Pauline Fowle Durant was born June 13, 1832.
The Fowles, as Miss Bates describes them, were as interesting, in their way, as the Cazenoves. "Honest Jack" had a bevy of beautiful sisters, three of whom were so famed throughout Boston and its suburbs for their good looks that Robert Treat Paine was said to have been inspired to compose a toast to them which tempts the present historian to frivolity and shall be here recorded:
"To the fair of every town
And the Fowle of Watertown."
The youngest of these sisters, Adeline, married Mr. Samuel Welles, "who came to be the leading American banker in Paris," and it is from his father's family that the town of Wellesley takes its name. Harriet Fowle, whose married name was Smith, is said to have been the most intellectual of the children, and it was her son, Henry Welles Smith, who later changed his name to Henry Fowle Durant and founded Wellesley College. The handsome young cousins, Henry and Pauline, became engaged in the autumn of 1853, and were married in May, 1854. In the spring of 1856, was born their only son, Henry Fowle Durant, Jr., the little boy who died when he was eight years old, and in whose memory Wellesley College was founded.
Mrs. Durant was beautiful in youth, as the portrait over the hearth at the end of the reading room of the College library bears witness; and that beauty lingered in the spiritual purity of her old, gentle face to the last, as those of us who used to see her coming across the green, in her wheel-chair, for the Tree-Day pageants, can well remember. She was a woman of old fashioned and faithful piety, of keen common sense, and of a very strong will. The Wellesley of the first decade of the twentieth century often puzzled and disturbed, yes, even grieved her; but she was not a narrow woman: perhaps the memory of her husband's autocratic temper, perhaps her trust in God, guarded her against the arbitrary enforcement of her will---who shall say? And her confidence in Miss Pendleton was complete.
A Memorial Service was held in the College Chapel on May 3, 1917.
THE card catalogue of the Wellesley Roll of Honor contains the names of two hundred and fifty alumnae and faculty who served, before the United States entered the War as well as afterwards, in canteens, hospitals, libraries, munition centres; with the Red Cross, the Y.M.C.A., the Y.W.C.A.; in War Departments and administrative offices, and at Army Headquarters; in prison-camps, famine areas, and devastated regions; in England, France, Italy, Serbia, Palestine, Roumania, Russia, Siberia, Egypt. The Alumnae Quarterly for April, 1919, contains a vivid resume of the work of individual alumnae by Professor Elizabeth Manwaring, 1902, of the Department of English. The present account is, in the main, a condensation of her admirable article. It is a temptation to reproduce the Roll of Honor in its entirety, but at least we must mention a few outstanding names.
Dr. Louise Tayler-Jones, whose work is recorded in the Alumnae Quarterly for October, 1916, April, 1918, and April, 1919---B.A. Wellesley 1896, M.S. Columbia, M.D. Johns Hopkins, practising physician in Washington, D. C., and medical inspector of schools---was appointed Medical Director under the American Red Cross in Serbia, in 1915, and established at Nish (the headquarters of the American Sanitary Commission) the Mabel Grouitch Baby Hospital, with money raised by Madame Grouitch, the American wife of the under-secretary for foreign affairs in Serbia. Dr. Tayler-Jones, who had been director of the baby hospital in Washington, began her Serbian adventure with a tent clinic on a hill above Nish. We read that "Under hampering conditions, calling for a combination of woman's inventive genius and physician's skill" and "by triumphs of improvisation" she founded her baby hospital and carried on "until threatened by the German invasion which finally brought an end to the work and sent her back to Washington." We find Dr. Tayler-Jones's name also in the list of members of the Fourth Wellesley Unit, with which she served from June 23, 1919, to September 25, 1919, in the devastated region near Château-Thierry.
Dr. Harriet Rice, 1887, served as interne and infirmière for three years in several military hospitals in France. Dr. Clelia Mosher, 1893, and Dr. Mabel Seagrave, 1905, also worked in France. And Edith May, 1897, did a noble work on the Riviera for the French soldiers.
Willa Haskell Higgins, 1883, found the scene of her adventure in the British War Office. From November, 1914, till the War's end, she, an accomplished linguist, worked in a branch of the British Secret Service. She writes: "I have seen the Department grow from a small nucleus of a few hundred workers into a vast organization numbering between six and seven thousand. I have become much interested in languages, and have gone on acquiring one after another until I can now read all the modern European tongues."
Mary Cross Ewing, 1898, sailed, November 1917, to work for the French American Society, Les Tuberculeux de la Guerre. From November to May (1918) she worked in a hospital about thirty kilometers south of Paris; had a ten-day holiday in Biarritz, and returned to Paris to the office of the Tuberculosis Commission. The day she arrived, "Bertha" began a fresh bombardment and there was an air raid every night for eight nights. After two days in this office she was given a post at Hospital No. 5 at Auteuil, "for the emergency." "This hospital," writes Mrs. Ewing, "was in tents, and the emergency was so pressing that it was opened two weeks before its staff arrived. The commanding officer and chief nurse were there, and forty nurses sprang out of the night, and a nearby camp loaned a cook, and off we went." ---"We ran through 20,000 cases from May 30 to December 1 (1918). I carried on the duties of a sergeant of K. P.'s, of mess sergeant, of housekeeper, of dietitian and general handy man. The first of August, I took charge of the Nurses' home, and kept house without furniture, lights or hot water until I could worry those things into our very nice house. Finally, I ran the home itself, which filled ten floors of two houses, and received 160 nurses in rooms intended for about 50." Later Mrs. Ewing went to Roumania for six months. After this strenuous preparation for the life of the home, Mrs. Ewing returned in 1922 to her alma mater to be the Head of Norumbega; and since 1930, she has presided, as Dean of Residence, over Wellesley's twenty dormitories. When the problems and conflicts of her academic community beset her, does the militancy of past years pale or heighten---by contrast?
Among the Wellesley women at home, Ruth Baker Pratt (Wellesley, ex. 1898) did notable work for the Government in all five Government loans. She was Chairman of the Women's Liberty Loan Committee of the Second Federal District, and Vice-Director of the Liberty Loan Organization (including both men and women) of that same district, with an office in the Federal Reserve Bank, from August, 1917 to July, 1919. Mrs. Pratt was the first woman member of the New York city Board of Aldermen, from 1926 to 1929, and the first Congresswoman from New York State, from 1929 to 1933. She was elected to the Wellesley Board of Trustees in 1934.
Of the Wellesley Women in Washington, Olga S. Halsey, 1912, writes in the Alumnae Quarterly for October, 1919, "one met them everywhere." There were seven on the staff of the Women's Branch of the Industrial Service Section of the Ordnance Department; these were Mary Gilson, 1899, Dorothy Pope, 1908, Edith Dudley, 1909, Nell Reeder, 1911, Margaret Elliott, 1913, Dorothy Sells, 1916, and Olga S. Halsey, herself. The Department was established "to function on the labor side of the task of providing artillery, shell, rifles, ammunition, etc., for the army in France---charged with speeding up production from the labor end.... The Women's Branch was formed for the purpose of advising employers, often employing women for the first time, upon the peculiar problems of women's employment so that their labor might be as efficient as possible... . This task of maintaining maximum production among women workers over a prolonged period through a conservation program was directed by Alary Van Kleeck, Smith 1904. The first Wellesley woman on the staff was Nell Reeder, 1911," she was virtually employment manager for the women at the Frankford Arsenal, "hiring all the new women workers and being responsible for the conditions under which 4000 were employed."
Mary Gilson, 1899, "known throughout the country as one of the pioneers in employment management, came to Washington to assist in organizing the employment management courses given under Government auspices" . . . and was also "on the staff of the Women's Branch as an employment manager, who could be loaned to companies on Ordnance contracts which wished to improve their employment methods. In this way she reorganized along modern lines the employment department of one of the large Ordnance plants in the middle west." Miss Gilson is now a member of the Economics Faculty of the University of Chicago.
Miss Halsey's own work was in the Washington office, which "headed up" both arsenal and district work. "Our work," she writes, "has a peacetime value if we have in any way helped to demonstrate that high production and modern industrial standards, such as the short week day and collective bargaining, are not strangers to each other, but instead are intimately related." American Industry, however, has not yet learned this valuable lesson.
The Wellesley War Service Committee (alumnae) was created by vote of the Graduate Council in June, 1917,to consider the financing and forming of a Wellesley College Relief Unit, "and to approve, direct, and organize the War activities of Wellesley women." The committee, we are told, "acted only as an administrative and executive medium endeavoring to apply all the means at its disposal, both personal and money, to wartime and post bellum needs in which college women could serve the allies most effectively." In addition to raising money for the Units, the War Service Committee undertook the making of garments for refugee women and children. "A Boston workroom under Ella Mason, 1900, and Emma Calhoun, 1905, had complete charge of deciding on patterns to be used, and directed the garment work in all the Clubs. The total number of garments made by the Wellesley Clubs and shipped overseas was over 13,000 pieces. The following account of the four Wellesley Units is collated and condensed from Miss Pendleton's Annual Reports, from the reports of the meetings of the Graduate Council, from articles and letters in the Alumnae Quarterly, and from the Units' own Bulletins, published in July, 1919, and October, 1920.
At the beginning of its work, the War Service Committee suffered a sad loss by the death, in 1918, of its able chairman, Mary Whitney Thorndike, 1897. Mrs. Thorndike was succeeded by Grace G. Crocker, 1904, whose devotion and ability in this work were to bring her added responsibilities towards her College in years to come. After her duties in the War were over, Miss Crocker served on the National Executive Committee of the Semi-Centennial Fund, and later was chosen to direct the second phase of the campaign. She became Alumnae Trustee in 1922, and has also served additional terms by direct election of the Board of Trustees, acting as Secretary since 1930. In 1930 she was also appointed Executive Secretary of the College.
Miss Crocker's committee began its war work by sending to France, under the direction of the American Red Cross, a unit of ten members. Of these, eight were Wellesley alumnae; one, Miss Margaret Hastings Jackson, was Professor of Italian at Wellesley; and the tenth represented Radcliffe. The Radcliffe alumnae had asked, early in the autumn of 1917; that they might send, with the Wellesley Unit, one member for whom they would assume full responsibility for equipment, transportation, and maintenance. Their wise and happy choice fell upon Dr. Augusta Williams (Radcliffe '87-'89, University of Pennsylvania, M.D.) of Brookline, Massachusetts. Dr. Williams had been in general medical practice since 1896; she had been Chief Surgeon at the Vincent Memorial Hospital in Boston, Medical Examiner for the Brookline Schools, Medical Examiner of women and girls in the Brookline Gymnasium and Baths, and Lecturer in the Boston School of Physical Education.
The first detachment of this unit, six members, sailed in April, 1918, on the S.S. Baltic. Mary Whiting, 1908, leader of the Wellesley contingent, was appointed Head of all the Red Cross workers on the boat, for the voyage. Miss Whiting had taken courses in Economics at Simmons, had taught Domestic Science in Massachusetts public schools, had spent vacations at the Elizabeth Peabody House, a Social Settlement, in Boston, and had lectured on food conservation under the Women's Municipal League of that city. We quote from the Wellesley Bulletin describing the work of the Units: "Too high praise cannot be accorded to Mary Whiting, leader of the first Wellesley Unit, upon whom has rested the heavy and exacting responsibility of the direction of the work, and whose splendid ability, loyalty, and devotion have been an inspiration to her helpers and an everlasting credit to Wellesley."
A letter to Miss Pendleton from Mr. Homer Folks, Director of the Department of Civil Affairs, American Red Cross in France, dated May 31, 1918, tells us that the Unit had been received "so to speak, with open arms," and assigned to the Bureau of Refugees and Relief, under Dr. Devine, who had placed the Unit "for the present," in Lyons, in the Department of the Rhone, "to work with Miss Marian Perkins, delegate of the Bureau," at that post.
A letter from Mary Whiting gives us a picture of their work. She writes: "We arrived in Lyons Saturday night, May 25, and started to work bright and early Monday morning. I was given more or less charge of the office, which is in the Hotel de Ville, in a room once occupied by the Empress Eugenie. It is very elaborately decorated with cupids and wreaths, big mirrors, ornate plush furniture, and even our office table is inlaid with chased brass. Eugenie's bed is in an alcove but is now covered with red and white striped canvas. In her Cabinet de Bain, we keep our hats and coats,---and the precious lollipops which Miss Bissell left in our care for the refugee children."
Later reports tell us that most of the work of the Bureau consisted, for some time, in furnishing the lodgings of the refugees with very simple furniture. "In the month of June, we installed 132 families (578 people) and aided in other ways (medical, employment, etc.) 380 other refugees."
But the members of the Units were not to remain together in Lyons for long. The two nurses, Sarah Burrowes, '94, and Grace L. Bissell, '01, and Dr. Williams, at first assigned to "visiting and other relief work," were sent in June to hospital service near the front. Dr. Williams served as etherizer at an American Base Hospital at Evreux; Miss Burrowes in a tent hospital where she won warm praise from the medical staff for the efficiency with which she took charge of the contagious ward in an outbreak of scarlet fever. She writes of her earlier service, "The gassed cases are still pouring in, horrible ones, so badly burned. You go down through your twenty-two beds, irrigating and putting sterile oil in each pair of eyes, and by the time you have made the rounds, you must begin all over again, and of course the poor blind things must be fed in between times and their wounds dressed. It's perfectly marvelous how their eyes clear up, however, in a few days, and I have not had one in my ward yet whose eyes will be permanently injured." Sarah Burrowes had already served as Head Nurse in two wards of the American Hospital at Neuilly, before joining the Unit. Later she was to have charge of a convalescent hospital for officers in a château near Bordeaux.
Grace Bissell (she of the Lollipops), writes from Temporary Red Cross Hospital No. 23, in a château on the Marne: "We are the first hospital back of the dressing stations (for this district) and the boys arrive at all times of the day and night. We have six large French tents on the lawn and I believe we can take care of 500 men if necessary. We are just 20 nurses and about as many doctors." . . . In the middle of July (1918) this hospital was bombed. "Sometimes, when a lad is coming out of ether, he gives me a glimpse of what he has been through. I was standing beside one who kept turning his head as if listening; then, 'God, this is a lonely post,' he said with a sigh. Then, 'The boys are way back. Look out! There's someone over there.' I put my hand on him to keep him from getting out of bed. He stopped suddenly and asked, 'Who are you?' I said, 'A Red Cross Nurse,' at which he whispered frantically, 'Go back, go back! A battlefield is no place for a woman.' In about half an hour he had come out of his ether dream and was quiet and relaxed."
Another member of the Unit, Agnes L. Gilson, 1910, younger sister of Mary Gilson, 1899, was sent almost at once to the village of Ville-Franche-sur-Saône, near Lyons, "to do a special piece of organization work in connection with the refugees there. Alone, the only American woman in a French town, she organized local committees on a business-like basis, and when she left, a few weeks later, she had established for the people of the town all the necessary machinery for receiving and caring for the refugees as they arrived. From the grateful letters which have been received, it is clear that she has endeared the name of Wellesley to the inhabitants of Ville Franche for all time."
This left Harriet M. Root, 1907, "Handy man of the Unit," and scientific farmer, to carry on with Miss Whiting the work at the Entrepôt in Lyons, and to act as Searcher in Bordeaux.
In July the "rearguard" of the Unit arrived in France: Professor Jackson; Anna M. Young, 1905, who was later to do relief work in Jerusalem; Ada E. Davis, 1908, and Mary R. Cate, 1911. On August 11, they had a reunion in Paris---all except Dr. Williams, and Grace Bissell, who were on hospital duty. "This gathering in Paris had to do with an important decision in regard to the transfer of the majority of the Unit from the Civil to the Military department of the Red Cross," Miss Whiting writes, on August 15. "We are assigned as follows---Miss Jackson is to do searcher's work with the 5th division, in Field hospitals. Harriet Root, Agnes Gilson, Ada Davis and I are going to Bordeaux, Harriet to be a Searcher, and the other three of us to run a Red Cross recreation hut in connection with a Base Hospital. Mary Cate has gone as a Searcher to a Base Hospital near Nantes, but we expect her to join us in Bordeaux in a month or two."
Miss Jackson shall define for us the function of a Searcher. She writes: "I leave, day after tomorrow, for the eastern border, almost in sight of the Alsatian frontier. My headquarters will be a pretty, ax-watering place, where in old days, French families came for the waters, and fine mountain air. My work is that of a 'Searcher' in the section of the Home and Hospital Service, Department of Military Affairs, American Red Cross. A 'Searcher' is a person usually connected with a base hospital who comes in contact with the boys in their home relations. Each day she receives a printed list of names of men for whom enquiries have been made at home. If some one on her list is in the hospital with which she is connected, she sees him and telegraphs back to Paris; she also writes concerning his condition. Once a month, she gets a list of 'missing,' as reported by the army, and tries to locate anyone on the list that she can. If a man dies in the hospital, she attends the funeral and writes a personally unofficial letter to the family at home, as full and friendly as possible." . . . In what time she has left over she does welfare work among the soldiers--- reading aloud, writing letters, things that nurses have no time for now"---"My work is not to be just like that. I am to be all by myself, off on the eastern border, looking for American boys in French hospitals. I am to be allowed an automobile and a chauffeur. I expect to cover the French hospitals within a 30 mile radius of my headquarters."
Leaving Anna Young in charge at Lyons, the remaining members of the Unit, Mary Whiting, Agnes Gilson, Harriet Root, and Ada Davis, were now sent to Beau Désert, a little village outside Bordeaux, to carry on a Recreational Hut for Base Hospital No. 20. We close our account of Wellesley's first Unit with the following letter from Major Kenneth Mygatt, Deputy Commissioner for France, to the War Service Committee:
"Your unit, all of whom I know personally, has done a most remarkable piece of work with the American Red Cross at Beau Désert, which is in itself a most unattractive dreary sort of place There they have operated one of the very best of our hospital recreation huts. Their work has been wonderfully well systematized. They have handled three or four times the number of men for which the hut was constructed. They have decorated it in a most artistic way and have been able through their personalities, to secure especially fine co-operation from the Army. Their hut is a model with its big stone fire place, its recreation room, its small, homelike sitting room and its attractive decorations. The Wellesley Unit has carried on its work in the hospitals its searching work and its entertainment program wonderfully well. Every member has worked hard and long, and the American Red Cross thanks them all and is very grateful to the Wellesley War Service Committee for its assistance and for the character of the people whom it sent to aid us."
The War Service Committee had raised all the money for a new Unit of ten, to reinforce the Red Cross Unit, when the Armistice necessitated a swift readjustment of plans. The Red Cross canceled its acceptances of new workers, but Miss Crocker promptly made arrangements to transfer Wellesley's new workers to the Y.M.C.A., before it could close its lists. This Unit, like the first one, sailed in two detachments, one on January 18, 1919; the other, six weeks later. The leader, Elizabeth Bass, 1903, had been instructor and Director in Physical Training at Colby College, and at the University of Wisconsin, and Dean of Women at Colby. The faculty member was Eliza J. Newkirk, 1900, of the Department of Art at Wellesley; she had already done canteen work for the Y.M.C.A. in Boston, and social work in the Associated Charities. Radcliffe also sent a member with this Unit, Catherine Huntington, 1911, who had been an assistant in the Department of English Composition at Wellesley, and later, Head of the English Department at Westover School for Girls.
On arrival in Paris the Unit received its assignment from the Y.M.C.A. Headquarters, and the members scattered to their posts. Eliza Newkirk, and Mary Rogers, 1912, and Emma Hawkridge, 1910, were retained in Paris under the Army Educational Commission, "which at that time was engaged in establishing schools for the American Soldiers who were to be held in France pending the outcome of the Peace Conference." Mary Rogers, of Asheville, North Carolina, had been trained for social work in Boston and had organized the Associated Charities of Asheville. For five years she had been working among the mountain whites of North Carolina. Emma Hawkridge, of Brookline, Massachusetts, was a graduate of the Boston School of Social Workers, and had done work at the Boston Dispensary, the Massachusetts General Hospital, and under Dr. Lucas at the University of California Hospital. These two, Miss Rogers and Miss Hawkridge, were appointed to the Department of Citizenship, Mary Rogers in the sub-Department of Public Welfare, and Emma Hawkridge in the sub-Department of Labor and Industry, where, the report adds, "Our two workers found themselves confronted with the formidable problem of writing their own text books." "In April after the Y.M.C.A. had established all the machinery for the Army Educational Commission, the A.E.F. took over the administration of the schools, and by request of the officers in charge, Emma Hawkridge and Mary Rogers were transferred from the Y.M.C.A. to the American Army."
"The Commission (we quote from the Bulletin of the Wellesley Units) was quick to recognize Eliza Newkirk's expert knowledge of architecture and its teaching, and honored her with an appointment as the only woman on the architectural teaching staff. Among varying duties, the one of which she speaks with most pleasure in her letters is that of taking the boys on trips through Paris, pointing out to them the buildings and objects of art which most truly represent the spirit of the French people. . . . After some months of this work in Paris, Miss Newkirk was sent to Italy in the same capacity where she conducted similar tours in Genoa."
Corinne L. Crane, 1911, a graduate of the New York School of Occupational Therapy, worked in an American Hospital at Savenay, among men suffering from shellshock and "the mental effects of severe wounds." The other members of the Unit, whose names will be found in Appendix III, did canteen work among the American troops quartered at various French towns.
This is the moment at which to mention the work of Edith May, 1897, who although not connected with a Unit, was doing such admirable service on the Riviera at Menton, dispensing the funds sent to her by her classmate Mabel Wall Sweetzer, "(1) To help men who, having stood the brunt of the war for nearly four years are now worn out. (2) Poor hospitals such as Maison de Repos des Etudiants Serbes, Menton, A.M. (in this hospital, no chairs, beds without springs, no pillows, few sheets and towels, no books, no diversions, absolutely insufficient food. The girls had no underwear); Orphelinat Serbo-Américain, Hotel Splendide, Menton, A.M., 120 children from 10 months to 12 years. Many tuberculous, all in want, no doctors, no nurses. Hotel in miserable condition, plumbing defective, insufficient beds; no sugar, butter, cocoa, green vegetables, toys, games, shoes.
Need of everything. Hospital H.C. 62, Cap d'Ail, A.M. 170 cases of men with tuberculosis of the bones. (3) Individuals who are doing splendid work but greatly need help."
In June, 1919, in her speech at the Alumnae Trustee Luncheon, Miss Crocker, reviewing the achievement of the War Service Committee, said: "Just a year ago, at Commencement, Miss Pendleton announced the first news from our first Wellesley Unit in France.... Now we have three Wellesley Units in the field and a fourth just sailing.... Our third Wellesley Unit, Mabelle Phillips, 1900, leader, is carrying the Wellesley message to the Near East. At Constantinople, under the American Commission, it has been assigned to very responsible positions in Armenian and Syrian relief. We are not surprised, for we heard just before the Unit sailed, that the Near East Committee considered it one of the very best equipped of all units. Even further East we have had a representative. After the Armistice, Anna Young, 1905, of our first Unit, was asked by the Red Cross to go to Palestine, where she has done much needed relief work among Syrians and Armenians at Aleppo....
"Now, as to the future? First, we plan to continue to support, with all our hearts, our Wellesley Unit in the Near East. We are pledged to continue this work till the middle of January, 1920. It may be we ought to support it for a year longer, if the need continues to be so great." (The work was actually supported by the alumnae until 1923.)
"Second, our work in France. This we are reorganizing and plan to concentrate on one Unit, still to be called the Wellesley College Relief Unit.
"Last February, Mary Whiting cabled that the French Government requested our Wellesley Unit to take charge of the reconstruction of a group of villages near Belleau Wood, a section identified with American victories. Your committee immediately accepted this new responsibility. Mary Whiting and three of the Unit are now organizing the work and will remain until a new Unit is well established. I am happy to announce that five of our new Unit are to sail tomorrow, June 14."
The story of the Wellesley Near East Unit, as told in the pages of the Units' Bulletin, follows:
"In January, 1919, the Committee received a request from the Armenian Committee for Relief in the Near East for a group of workers to accompany the large expedition which it was sending to Constantinople for relief and reconstruction work among the Armenians and other victims of the Turkish regime. Although the time was very short before the sailing date, the Committee succeeded in assembling a Unit of five highly trained members who sailed with the expedition in February."
On arrival at Constantinople, March 8, the Unit was sent to await orders on Prinkipo, the beautiful island in the Sea of Marmora. From Prinkipo, four members of the Unit were sent to Derindje, in Asia Minor. Ruth Whiting, 1906, one of the Social Workers in the Unit, describes the station and the work: "Derindje is the permanent base of supplies for the A.C.R.N.E. Here, in two warehouses, built many years ago by the Germans, are $5,000,000 worth of supplies belonging to the expedition, and over $1,000,000 worth more belonging to the U. S. Food Commission. These warehouses were used as dormitories; the men had the fifth floor of one building, the women of the other. There were about eighty of us in one room. I never had so many room-mates before. We slept very comfortably in white hospital beds, and got our meals in the mess hall, where the cook was a U. S. sailor. We were all very busy at Derindje. Mabelle Phillips was asked to start a canteen. She had the interior of an old box car painted, shelves and tables put in, stairs made so that customers could ascend with ease, and was ready to open for business, selling sweet chocolate, thread, raisins, bathing suit material, etc., to the members of the expedition and food supplies to the natives. Bernice Everett (1906) was assistant to the business manager of the Caucasus expedition---Isabel Carter (1908) was a guard and patrolled one of the warehouses. This was a real job, as sometimes workmen stole supplies. The guards worked in four-hour shifts, and as a sign of authority carried formidable-looking sticks. I believe it was never necessary to resort to force! ---I worked in the warehouses, helping direct the native workmen, and listing supplies for the office files."
Olive A. Smith, 1907, Executive Secretary for the Unit, had been assigned to work in Constantinople, under the head of the central office; and by the first of April the others had also been shifted to Constantinople to begin their real work.
A letter from Mab Phillips, dated April 5th, gives a vivid account of their days: "Our relief work has started in earnest, Olive Smith has been assigned to the management of the office, and being Secretary of the Constantinople Committee and on the Executive Committee, she has her hands full. The rest of us have a chairmanship apiece, and a membership on another of the various relief committees. Isabel Carter has the Industrial Relief; Ruth Whiting, the care of the Sick; Bernice Everett, supplies. I am in charge of the Case Committee, which will handle all the individual cases of distress of which the city is full. Our territory does not cover Constantinople only, but extends down both shores, and includes the islands of the Marmora to the Dardanelles."
Again, on May 4th: "Let me try to give you an idea of our daily work here in the city. At nine, we generally scatter for the day; Bernice Everett to the office or to the warehouse to look after our supplies, Isabel Carter, to the Bible House or to Scutari to give out garments to be made, to pay the spinners and weavers and to direct the women making sheets at the English mission; Ruth Whiting to visit the hospitals; Olive Smith to her office for the infinite details, and I to the homes of the poor or to office hours for reception of the same.
"Many towns have been entirely destroyed; in others at least half of the population is in exile; in all there is scarcely an industry left, and the first requisites, such as boats in a fishing village and oxen in a farming community, are lacking. What is worse, terror still remains a feature of life; indeed, a torpedo boat spent a day recently chasing pirates. Many of the people have very little to eat and nothing to eat out of but old tin cans. They have no beds, blankets, or change of clothing. The clothes and shoes they wear are in tatters, and many of them are half ill, or just recovered from typhus."
The vital Head of this busy Unit, Mabelle C. Phillips, 1900, known and endeared to Wellesley alumnae as Mab Phillips, was a graduate, in 1904, of the New York School of Philanthropy; she had served in the New York Charity Organization Society, and for ten years was head executive of the New Jersey branch, as well as a worker on the Public Health Defense League of New York, and Director of the Anti-Tuberculosis League. Within a year of arriving in Constantinople she had so developed her work ---the Bulletin relates---that "the number of families to whom relief had been administered increased from 38 to 3000.... From a little international group of seven volunteer workers which Miss Phillips asked to meet her in April, 1919, there evolved in the twelve months a group of nearly 150 workers representing five nationalities and serving as subcommittees." The report continues, "The 3000 families now receiving relief are wholly made up of widows and children, not an able-bodied father or son among them." The subcommittees were set to investigating conditions among their own nationals: Miss Phillips used the "forces" at hand, "a method which not only enhances tremendously the value of the relief as it is being done now but one which is serving to educate the well-to-do native people to cope intelligently with their own problems."
Miss Phillips had a special feeling for the work among the children; she had made a beginning in bettering the conditions of the thirty orphanages of the city, and she had a plan for establishing a Neutral Home (American Orphanage) where new cases could be received and later sent to the appropriate orphanage or family. In the autumn of 1919, the house in Bebek, which the Unit had used as living quarters---going to and from their work in Constantinople every day---was fitted up as a Neutral Home for 15 or more children, under the supervision of Miss Phillips and Dr. Elfie Graff, 1897, who came out in July, 1919, sent by the American Women's Hospital, to work under the Near East Relief. When Isabel Carter and Ruth Whiting had to leave the Unit, for other fields, Dr. Graff and Glee L. Hastings, 1916, trained in work for children, were chosen to fill the vacancies. At the beginning of the second year Miss Phillips had organized a Child Welfare campaign, and by July 25, 1920, Dr. Graff, who was already in charge of six Baby Welfare Stations established with money from Wellesley women and their friends, had also become the Director of a new open-air hospital of 50 beds, for tubercular children.
In March, I92O, the Wellesley War Relief Committee had cabled that "Wellesley would continue full support of a Unit of five for another year."
For the record of the work of the Fourth Unit we are indebted chiefly to Cristine Myrick, 1911, who was with the Unit from the beginning of its service in France to the end---June 23, 1919, to May 25, 1920. Miss Myrick's sympathetic and lively descriptions of the activities of the household at Lucy-le-Bocage deserve to be reprinted from the Unit Bulletins without excision, but we must resist that temptation.
The French Government had asked the Wellesley Unit "to take over the relief and reconstruction work in 20 villages in the Department of the Aisne, not far from Château Thierry," we are told by Mary Whiting who consented to take charge of the work until the arrival of the Leader, Julia Larimer, 1907, who "took over" on July 14, 1919 and under whom the installation, organization and direction of the work were ably carried out. The work, we are told, "was primarily that of community service. Through the medical and dental service, the traveling store, the furnishing of transportation facilities for the villagers, the physical culture and games for the children, the community center with the frequent cinema shows and dancing parties, and the general spirit of neighborliness the people of the villages attained a more normal life much more quickly than would have been possible without the Wellesley help. But 20 villages seemed too many for the Wellesley group to administer, and after careful consideration, the stewardship of the three villages of Lucy-le-Bocage, Torcy, and Belleau was accepted. These three villages are "in the area that was twice fought over, first in the initial drive of the Germans in 1914, and again in the German advance of 1918. As a result, the devastation is complete. Practically all the houses and public buildings have either been destroyed or so seriously damaged that they will have to be razed before they can be rebuilt." The inhabitants were returning to their homes after nearly five years of exile.
Later, when it was found that the work of the Unit would resemble more that of a Social Settlement House than of a relief organization, arrangements were made to enlarge the service to include the care of 25 villages, "roughly within a radius of 10 miles of the headquarters---Lucy-le-Bocage---and having an aggregate population of 2500." Furthermore, "by a co-operative arrangement with the Methodist Committee for Reconstruction they visited villages up and down the Marne valley where the Methodist workers were carrying on relief. In this way the help of Wellesley was spread over a territory comprising 52 villages."
The War Service Committee was represented in France at this time by its Treasurer, Candace Stimson, 1892, one of Wellesley's most devoted and generous alumnae. Miss Stimson arrived in Paris in May and gave herself to the organization of the new work, remaining until autumn, to see the new workers well started. Miss Crocker, the Chairman of the Committee, was also able to spend some time with the Unit, and to see in action one of the four groups which she had done so much to finance and organize.
Four automobiles were given for this work in the villages: a one-ton G.M.C. truck, presented by the Cleveland Wellesley Club, in memory of Arline Budick Tyler, 1909; a Dodge camionette, by the class of 1913, in memory of Miriam Knowles, nurse with the Johns Hopkins Unit, Base Hospital No. 18, who died of scarlet fever, "contracted in the course of her duties," on November 11, 1917, "one of the first American nurses to die in France"; a touring car given by the alumnae of T Z E (the Art Society); and a second camionette, loaned by the Methodist Committee for the use of the doctor in the Wellesley and Methodist districts. The Unit, on its part, contributed to the hospital in Château-Thierry "enough supplies of sheets, towels, surgical dressings and garments to meet all ordinary needs," and also "repaired the ice-making machine of the hospital and supplied a new refrigerator."
Miss Myrick writes: "Lucy-le-Bocage is a sorry spectacle in the December mud. The gaunt bones of the shattered houses, the tottering remnants of the church, the heaps of rubble lining the village streets, and the stark trees revealing all their splinters. The sun rarely shines to alleviate the sadness, and the wind is everywhere. Hardly a family has a roof over its head."
The roof of the dormitory, over the heads of the members of the Unit, was built under the direction of Berenice K. Van Slyke, 1913, with the assistance of German prisoners. Again we quote from Miss Myrick: "The place looked very much like a western mining camp, especially in the winter mud. All the furnishing sent to us from the Wellesley Unit in Bordeaux, when it closed, did wonders to make our barracks livable, a piano was contributed by a retiring negro regiment---from which we fished cigarette stubs, identification tags and similar trophies, as well as sufficient harmony for dancing. Thanks to the equipment sent to us from Brest by Alice Walmsley (of the second Unit), we had also a home-made plumbing system with hot and cold water that was the envy of all our visitors."
In this region the need for emergency relief was over by the time the Unit arrived. Their chief work was to make life easier for the people "while they picked up the threads broken by war. They thirsted for cheerfulness in the midst of their ruins." There were games and gymnastics with the children; dentistry; medical service; after Christmas there were influenza and whooping cough Community parties were given, with a prisoner playing the piano. There was a moving picture machine. Until November, the American soldiers stationed with the Graves Registration Service at Belleau Wood, used the rooms as a kind of recreation centre.
"Store day," writes Miss Myrick, "has become a real social event in the history of Lucy. As one old lady said: 'I have come over here for four weeks now to get me a pair of shoes. They never can get my size, but that makes nothing. I like to come for the distraction.' And now that our district covers so large a region, our room has grown to be a regular meeting-place for long-lost cousins, relations-in-law and friends from distant villages.... It takes almost weekly trips to the wholesale districts of Paris to replenish our stock after these onslaughts. As we sell at 25 per cent less than the wholesale cost of the goods, and sometimes less than that, we are offering real bargains.
"Quite frequently, one or another of the village priests puts in an appearance. The curé of Lucy scorns peasants and comes only at the end after the people have gone. The curé of Marigny sometimes swishes in in his long black gown to shepherd a small flock of parishioners in buying shoes, and perhaps to see what sort of queer creatures we are. The cure of Torcy, with a humorous blue eye, and an equally blue and pock-marked nose, occasionally appears with his own housekeeper and regales us with rather too spicy stories. When he becomes really Rabelaisian, we discreetly forget our meagre knowledge of French.
"When we left (spring, 1920) every village was blossoming with new shirts and waists, and aprons and skirts."
On March 24, 1920, the Unit was decorated in recognition of its exceptional services in post-war work. The presentation of the medal was made by M. le Colonel de Dampierre, representing President Pau of the French Red Cross. Mademoiselle d'Haussonville, Deleguée de la Société de Secours aux Blessés Militaires, and Madame la Duchesse de Plaisance and M. le Baron Darrien brought the medals on Tuesday, April 27, to Julia Larimer, Mary Rogers, and Berenice Van Slyke. This was the first post war decoration awarded to any Relief Unit.
President Ellen Fitz Pendleton, 1886, Honorary Chairman
Grace G. Crocker, 1904, Chairman
Candace C. Stimson, 1892, Treasurer
Theodora Brown Silver, 1888, Secretary
Alice Upton Pearmain, 1883, Belle Sherwin, 1890 Mary Barrows, 1890 Dora Emerson Wheeler, 1892, Dr. Louise Tayler-Jones, 1896, Mabel L. Pierce, 1904, Helen Goss Thomas, 1912, Harriet Hinchliff Coverdale, 1910 (President of the Alumnae Association, member of the Committee ex officio)
By this Committee the money was raised for all the activities sponsored by the Alumnae Association during the War; and the personnel of the Units was chosen by them.
"For the support of the Units and their work, Wellesley raised a sum of over $100,000. The Fund was completed in January, 1920."
Sailed in two groups: six members in April, 1918, and four members in July, 1918.
Mary B. Whiting, 1908, Director and Dietitian
Agnes L. Gilson, 1910, Social Worker
Harriet M. Root, 1907, Scientific Farmer and Social Worker
Ada E. Davis, 1908, Social Worker
Grace L. Bissell, 1901, Nurse
Anna M. Young, 1905, Social Worker
Sarah Burrowes, 1904, Nurse
Mary R. Cate, 1911, Searcher
Prof. Margaret H. Jackson, Searcher
Dr. Augusta Williams, Physician and Radcliffe member. On duty till after the Armistice
Sailed in two groups: one group on January 8, 1919; the other six weeks later.
Elizabeth Bass, 1903, Leader---Teacher (Physical Training)
Alice F. Walmsley, 1906, Social Worker
Jean A. Cross, 1909, Teacher (war gardens)
Marion Webster, 1909, Social Worker (Nursing)
Emma L. Hawkridge, 1910, Social Worker (Hospital)
Mary M. Rogers, 1912, Social Worker (Mountain Whites)
Helen T. Field, 1915, Social Worker (canteen, etc.)
Ruth H. Lindsay, 1915, Teacher (also Assoc. Charities)
Corinne L. Crane, 1911, Teacher (Occupational Therapy)
Eliza F. Newkirk, 1900, Instruc. in Architec. Wellesley
Catherine Huntington, 1911, Radcliffe member (Dramatics)
Emma L. Hawkridge and Mary M. Rogers were also members of the Fourth Unit. Ruth H. Lindsay has been a member of the Department of Botany since 1929, and has served a term as Class Dean. Eliza Newkirk Rogers is the architect of the group of buildings comprising the Horton Quad.
Sailed in February, 1919, from New York, via Brest and Marseilles to Constantinople.
Mabelle C. Phillips, 1900, Director---Social Worker
Bernice J. Everett, 1906, Social Worker (Supplies)
Ruth Whiting, 1906, Social Worker (The Sick)
Isabel H. Garter, 1908, Social Worker (Industrial Relief)
Olive A. Smith, 1907, Executive Secretary for the Unit
Dr. Elfie Graff, 1897, Physician
Glee L. Hastings, 1916, Social Worker (Children)
Dr. Graff was sent to Constantinople by the American Woman's Hospital to work under the Near East Relief. She joined the Wellesley Unit in March, 1920.
The work in the Near East was supported by the Alumnae until 1923, when the Balance of the Wellesley Relief Funds was given to Mabelle C. Phillips and Dr. Graff to help them in their work under the Society of Friends in Russia, at Buzuluk, in the heart of the famine area.
Sailed in two groups: one group on June 14, 1919; a second detachment, in July.
Julia Larimer, 1907, Director, July 14, 1919-May 25, 1920
Dr. Mary W. Marvell, 1894, Physician, July 14, 1919-May 1, 1920 Dr. Louise Tayler-Jones, 1896, Physician, June 23, 1919 -Sept. 25, 1919
Emma L. Hawkridge, 1910, Social Worker, July 6, 1919-Aug. 30, 1919
Lucile I. Kroger, 1911, Store Manager, July 14, 1919-May 1, 1920
Cristine Myrick, 1911, Secretary, June 23, 1919-May 25, 1920
Julia K. Drew, 1912, Recreation, June 23, 1919-May 1, 1920
Mary M. Rogers, 1912, Social Worker, July 6, 1919-Jan. 11, 1920
Berenice K. Van Slyke, 1913, Construction, June 23, 1919-Dec. 6, 1919
Frances H. Bogert, 1914, Nurse, June 23, 1919-May 10, 1920
Ruth H. Lindsay, 1915, Social Worker, July 16, 1919-May 1, 1920
Marthe Regnault, 1920, Interpreter, July 16, 1919-Aug. 16, 1919
The other Units wore the uniform of the organization under which they worked. This Unit had its own uniform: gray whipcord, with insignia worn on hat and sleeve, designed by Mrs. Harriet Whitaker Kimball, 1904. On the hat, a shield bearing letters W.C.R.U. (Wellesley College Relief Unit) with acorn and oak-leaves below. These, in the emblem book, stand for bravery, patriotism, hospitality. The shield for the sleeve had a W with an oak leaf below. Letters and emblems in Wellesley blue on bronze background.