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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Maynard Salmon July 27th

Born this day in 1853,Lucy Maynard Salmon,historian and Department Head of History for Vassar College. Salmon's mother was the first principal of Fulton Female Seminary and her father a very successful businessman. She attended the University of Michigan in 1872. One year after they allowed women to attend.
After receiving her AB in history, Salmon taught in high schools in the mid-west. She went on to finish her master's thesis,"A History of the Appointing Power of the President. Vassar College hired Salmon in 1887 to create their history department as a Associate Professor of History and by the second year she was a Full Professor and Head of the Department of History.
Salmon did not believe in learning by rote- learn the names, dates, places, but to learn how to learn and to understand the subject- memorizing these dates and places was not the point..... "if a child is sent to school to learn he may never learn how to learn."
Salmon methods of research of history was to go beyond the Gods and their thrones, but look out one's backyard and research the history of everyday life. The laundry list was one of her more interesting projects- but by understanding daily life, gives a more honest real relationship with history and then when one does look to the ancients,,,well what was on their laundry list.
Salmon also founded the Vassar Alumnae Historical Association which created a treasury with the propose of purchasing books for the History Library that was in great need of their support.Vassar Alumnae Historical Ass continues their work today.
Salmon wrote many books and hundreds of essays about the many aspects of history one of her most well known is Domestic Service
Lucy Salmon changed history by changing the focus of the eye on a tree and another tree and another and then seeing the forest. Lucy died in Feb, 14, 1927.