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New England Educational Ideals Reflected in Hawaiian Missionary Schools

The women of Mount Holyoke were greatly affected by their time spent at the college which was reflected in the establishment of their own schools during their missions. The schools are an interesting example of the cultural exchange that was taking place in the sense that the missionaries' New England backgrounds contributed to the structure of the academic and religious environment in the Hawaiian Schools.

Pleasant Mountain Seminary: Reverend Andrews, the husband of a Mount Holyoke missionary describes a Maui school in a letter from 1904, “Maunaloa, or Pleasant Mountain, Seminary may be called a daughter of Holyoke, in so far as the founders, Mrs. Andrews and Miss Carpenter were graduates of Mt. Holyoke Seminary and adapted the methods of their Alma Mater to the needs of this mission school.” “During these years the classes, domestic work, prayer-meetings, missionary meeting &c., were patterned after Holyoke methods as nearly as possible.” This is especially noteworthy because it is idicative of the direct relationship between Mount Holyoke College and the ever evolving Hawaiian culture which was gradually incorporating more and more New England Protestant traditions and behaviors.

The Legacy Continues: The Mount Holyoke Women not only had an influence on the individuals who they came into contact with directly but also continued a legacy of Christianity and American ideals through their students, many of whom later went on to become teachers themselves. The New England Protestant ideal of republican motherhood was reflected in the curriculum and goals of the administrations. East Maui Seminary located in Makawao was opened in 1862 and was run by Miss Carpenter (Class of 1855) who stressed the importance of domestic service. “I have had 400 pupils under my care many…are now good Christian teachers and mothers.”() Clearly the Mount Holyoke Women were successful in transplanting New England Protestant values in the Sandwich Isles.

Here we can see the significant role that the establishment of schools by Mount Holyoke women played in spreading New England Protestant culture. The curriculum and day to day tasks were modeled as closely to New England schools as possible. To read more on the success of Christianity as a culture unifier.


This page was created by [name student] '[grad year] in History 283, Fall Semester 2003 - [e-mail]