Memories of Mont Amoena: "An Island of Culture in Difficult Years," 1859-1927
1 online resource (101 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
In 1851, the North Carolina Lutheran Synod (NCLS) selected the small, remote village of Mount Pleasant, North Carolina as its center for secondary education. Mount Pleasant Female Academy’s future was uncertain, at best, when it opened as a finishing school on the brink of the Civil War in 1859. The isolated location and poor timing of its foundation set the stage in a continuous battle for financial stability and accessibility. Closed during the war years, it reopened in 1869 as Mont Amoena Female Seminary under the auspices of the NCLS; however, the Civil War and its aftermath altered the future of Mont Amoena and Mount Pleasant such that neither ever fully recovered. Although Mont Amoena evolved into a degree granting junior collegiate preparatory school, it paradoxically held on to the antebellum structures that defined traditional Southern culture as it sought to be a haven of stability for the region’s young white elite Christian women. The ideology of the New South created social and economic changes that challenged the model used to create Mont Amoena and split the membership of the NCLS as it determined to consolidate power. Ultimately unable to keep pace with changes in education and the interests of the church, the synod withdrew its support in 1927. Mont Amoena reflected the strong bonds of community, kinship, religion, gender, and race, intrinsic to the period’s Southern female seminary education, as well as to the rural identity of Mount Pleasant at the peak of its prosperity. As such, Mont Amoena Female Seminary remains an important part of the town’s historical memory.
FEMALE EDUCATIONFEMALE SEMINARYLUTHERAN EDUCATIONSOUTHERN WOMEN
Cox, KarenRamsey, Sonya
Thesis (M.A.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2017.
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