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Cotten, Sallie Swepson Sims Southall (13 June 1846–04 May 1929), advocate of women's education and the women's club movement in North Carolina, advocate of women’s education and the women’s club movement in North Carolina, was born in Lawrenceville, Virginia, the daughter of Thomas Southall and Susan Sims. Because of her father’s precarious fortunes as planter and hotelkeeper, she came to Murfreesboro, North Carolina, at the age of thirteen to live with her father’s wealthy cousin. She attended Wesleyan Female College and Greensboro Female College, graduating in 1863. While teaching in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, in 1864, she met Robert Randolph Cotten, a Confederate cavalryman. They were married in 1866....

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Reilly, Marion (16 July 1879–27 January 1928), leader in women's higher education, leader in women’s higher education, was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, the daughter of John Reilly and Anna Lloyd. Her father was an entrepreneur in railroad development and an official of the Pennsylvania Railroad; he also served a term in the U.S. Congress from 1875 to 1877. The family moved to Philadelphia in 1881. Reilly was educated at the Agnes Irwin School, an academic preparatory school for girls in Philadelphia, and then at Bryn Mawr College. She was president of her class at Bryn Mawr, where she was awarded an A.B. degree in 1901. She remained at Bryn Mawr until 1907, pursuing a doctorate in mathematics and physics. She also did advanced study at Göttingen university in Germany, at Newnham College, Cambridge (1907–1908), and at the University of Rome (1910–1911). Her research was described by a colleague as “in the borderline between mathematics, physics and philosophy.” The product of her research abroad was published in Germany by another scholar before Reilly was able to present the dissertation at Bryn Mawr. The theft of her work resulted in Reilly’s not being awarded an advanced degree. Thus, to her bitter disappointment, her years of scholarly work and her contributions to theory in mathematics were never officially recognized....

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Stone, Lucinda Hinsdale (30 September 1814–14 March 1900), educational reformer, was born in Hinesburg, Vermont, the daughter of Lucinda Mitchell and Aaron Hinsdale, and cousin to two other educational pioneers, Emma Willard and astronomer Maria Mitchell. Her father, a freethinking renegade from the local Congregational church who owned a woolen mill on 260 acres, died before Lucinda’s second birthday. Lucinda was shaped both by the family’s intellectual and political progressivism and by her mother’s deep regret for her own lack of educational opportunity. At age three Lucinda was sent to the district school, and at thirteen she entered the coeducational Hinesburg Academy. She was introduced to her future profession when, at fifteen, she was asked to teach a summer school. She briefly attended Mrs. Cook’s Female Seminary in Middlebury but, rapidly disenchanted by its traditional female curriculum, returned to the academy an adamant advocate of coeducation: “I felt I knew things in a different way from that in which the seminary girls knew them. I had been better, more thoroughly and broadly taught in our academy with young men and young women in the same classes” (“Club Talks,” 1891). At once the beneficiary and a sharp critic of the best education available to an American girl of her era, she took from the academy “an irrepressible desire for the higher, more thorough, college education for women, which should cure the affectation and pettiness of school girls,—in short, give them something worthy to live for and to do for others” (Perry, p. 30)....