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Julia Ward Howe, feminist, author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and a frequent visitor to Vassar noted in her journal, “a peaceful day at Vassar College…. In the afternoon met the teachers and read some poems, to wit, all of the Egyptian ones, and the poem on the Vestal dug up in Rome. At bedtime last night I had a thought of ghosts. I spoke of this to Maria Mitchell to-day. She told me that Mr. Matthew Vassar’s body had been laid in this room and those of various persons since, which, had I known, I had been less comfortable than I was.”

Laura E. Richards and Maud Howe Elliott, Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910

A decade after her first visit, British feminist and author Emily Faithfull returned to Vassar.

“The equipments of that institution are simply superb…. The new laboratory is almost equal to that of University College in London. And up there two miles from the city, hanging onto civilization by the skirts as it were, like a baby to its mother’s gown. It is a sort of poem, in the vast volume of prose one goes through to get to it.

Emily Faithfull, The New York Star, April 27, 1883.

Minnie Hoyt ’80 became the first person appointed to a clerkship in the United States Treasury Department under the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act (1883), which replaced the previous the patronage system for such appointments with competitive examinations. The change—long considered necessary—had been given new impetus by the assassination in 1881 of President James Garfield by a disgruntled civil servant, Charles Guiteau.

The score attained by Hoyt, who had entered government service shortly after her graduation, was 88.96, the highest among the first group to take the examination.

The New York Times

The Years