Educational and Evangelical Missions of Mary Emilie Holmes (1859-1906) Not to Seem, But to Be.

Mary Emilie Holmes's contributions to American education are examined, beginning with her own accomplishments, particularly with her identification as the first woman to have earned the doctorate in the earth sciences. The study then follows her scholarly efforts in geology and the pedagogy of earth sciences, her attempts to educate freed Blacks in Tennessee and Arkansas, the founding of a two-year seminary (now a coeducational junior college) for Black women in Mississippi, and the educational and social work on behalf of the Presbyterian Church. Reconstructed from Holmes's publications, church record books, minutes of meetings of church organizations, newspaper accounts, and secondary sources, the story of Holmes's life also provides insight into a specific type of late 19th-century American woman -- scholar, teacher, administrator who refused to float aimlessly amid the clouds of unattempted dreams.


". . . makes a contribution to the literature about the role that women played during an important period in American history. It can provide scholars and students of the period with another source of information in fields such as education, church history, the history of science, and women's studies." - History of Education Quarterly