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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Effects of a mother's education

Adamson's mother and aunts had all been highly educated as well. She reflects on how her mother's upbringing affected her life.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

MARY FREDERICKSON:
What sort of plans do you think were made for your mother's life? Was she sort of raised to be a southern lady, or was she . . .
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
No, she was raised to be good; southern lady's not the right term. She was raised to be upright, is what she was. As I say, her family was very strong Methodist. My grandfather had married Marinda Branson. And she was a lady-I don't know whether youheard about Grandma Marinda or not-but she'd been to Greensboro College, and she was interested in the affairs of state. She said the children needed books to study from during the Civil War era because it just wasn't possible for them to get any. So she turned in and wrote books, textbooks, for the childrenin the area to learn their reading, writing, and arithmetic. Incidentally, there are copies of her books in the New York Public Library in the rare book collection. She had them printed, oh, I imagine her husband or I don't know just who, did the printing of them. But anyhow, on the brown paper; they didn't have any other paper to do it on. I have seen those books, but I'm afraid at a time when I was rather scornful of the literary merit of (Laughter) a devoted Confederate lady writing a history book (Laughter).
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Had they tossed out the regular history books, I guess, when the war broke out or when they seceded?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
I imagine it was a combination of those things. There just weren't any books available for study, andthe ones that might be around were not acceptable to the southern point of view.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Interesting.
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
So anyhow, Grandmother Marinda died. Shehad three children; no, she had two daughters, Aunt Mary and Aunt Grace. And then she died, and in the course of time, my grandfather married her younger sister, Emily. Then he and she had two sons and my mother, the three children. So there was this very close tie between, you couldn't really call them half sisters, anyhow, the two batches of children.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Do you think that your Grandmother Marinda's plans for the children having books to read and all, that she planned to have her daughters educated? I mean, there was no reluctance on her part or on that family's part to have their daughters read and go to college? What did they see them doing, teaching school or marrying, but being well educated, or. . . .
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
I assume from the fact that both of those aunts, Aunt Mary and Aunt Grace, married young men in the area at fairly early ages and had lots of children that that was the accepted social pattern. But just why those children . . . well, as I was saying, Aunt Grace and Aunt Mary went to Greensboro College for two years, and that was two years only because the times were so tough. Apparently they had what passed for what education was available.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Did any of those women work for the suffrage movement that you know about?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
I never heard any word to that effect. Now, just what their interests were, I don't know.