On the day before Christmas
, in 1878, as I was seated in my library, I had a call from President Eliot
, who came in person to answer my letter and to discuss the subject in some of its bearings.
He assured me that there was no objection on the part of the College
, that the professors were quite at liberty to accept an offer to teach in the way proposed, and that the only suggestion that came to him was that some provision would have to be made for taking care of the young women who would come to study in Cambridge
This, I assured him, had been considered, and that a body of ladies would be asked to act in the capacity of directors of the movement.
A few weeks were now spent in private conversation with the professors whom it was desired to interest, and in the formation of the governing board of ladies.
This has always been a woman's movement, and at first the directors were all women, though I acted as their Secretary
and attended to the correspondence and general management.
The first ladies had already been chosen.
They were Mrs. Greenough
and Mrs. Gilman
Our choice fell next upon Miss Longfellow
and Miss Horsford
Our first meeting with these occurred on the twenty-fourth of January, 1879, when with their help we chose Mrs. Josiah P. Cooke
, wife of the distinguished Professor
The public announcement of the scheme was all the time under discussion, and by the opening of the month of February those who had already become members of the body met and discussed a circular which had been prepared in outline.
At a meeting held on the fourth of February, it was voted to ask Mrs. Louis Agassiz
to join the body.
Two days later Mrs. Agassiz
accepted the offer.
On the eleventh of