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Go to the Sources

Lucy Maynard Salmon and the Teaching of History


Chara Bohan

Lucy Maynard Salmon was a pioneer educator with a progressive spirit. Having earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1876 and 1883, Salmon continued her studies under Bryn Mawr professor and future U.S. President, Woodrow Wilson. Thereafter, Salmon began her forty-year Vassar College career and earned a reputation as a nationally prominent historian, suffrage advocate, author, and teacher. She helped found the American Association of University Women, the American Association of University Professors, and the Middle States Council for the Social Studies. She was the only woman to serve on the American Historical Association’s Committee of Seven and the first woman to be elected to its Executive Council. An advocate of the new social history, Salmon’s teaching methods were novel at the time and continue to be relevant today. Indeed, Salmon advised students to «go to the sources».