Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Carol Lasser


Post-Civil War, American Missionary Association, AMA, Teacher, Oberlin College, Female, South


The American Missionary Association (AMA) proved to be the largest and most enduring of the benevolent societies which sponsored teachers in the South. Local affiliates of the society were organized throughout the East and Midwest to raise funds, gather donations, and enlist teachers. Many of those who went South as teachers were recruited from colleges, theological seminaries, female seminaries, and normal schools in these areas. Not surprisingly, a significant group of individuals who were sent South by the AMA was recruited from Oberlin College. Most of those who came from Oberlin College, as was true of the missionary teachers on the whole, were women.

This paper explores this particular group of evangelical Oberlin women who became teachers and missionaries to the freed-people. It looks at how their experience in the Southern work brought together both the larger historical cycle of post-Civil War reform and their own life cycle patterns as evangelical women. These two cycles would be important in shaping the motivations of the women, their perceptions of the work, and their conceptions of reform.

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