Olive C. Taylor's Senior Oration "The Prostestant Sisterhood," 1900


In her senior oration "The Protestant Sisterhood," Olive Taylor discussed the centrality of women in religious communities throughout history. She argues that women's activity as reformers and missionaries within the church in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was unprecedented. For the first time, she asserted, protestant women were leaving the private sphere and working independently within the public sphere. However, Olive argued, women were still being the motherly figures they were born to be. Olive wrote that "Unlike the professions, her work does not tend to spoil the motherhood of our land. The deaconess is mother to the starving babies of the slums, mother to the neglected street girls, mother to the old and decrepit, mother to the sorrowing, mother to the race."

Location of Document in Archives
Orations 1900 T244p