Woman of the Century/Mary L. Bonney Rambaut
RAMBAUT, Mrs. Mary L. Bonney, educator, born in Hamilton, Madison county, N. Y., 8th June, 1816. Her father was a farmer in good circumstances, a man of integrity, of sound judgment, of special military power and of strong influence. Her mother, a teacher before her marriage, was always cheerful and kind, interested in everything that concerned human weal, and especially in educational, moral and religious movements. Religion and an education were prominent in their thoughts and directed in the training of the son and the daughter. To the latter was given the benefit of several years of valuable instruction in the female academy in Hamilton, and the superior course of study under Mrs. Emma Willard in Troy Seminary, then the highest institution for young ladies in this country. Her committal to a christian life expressed itself MARY L. BONNEY RAMBAUT. by union with the Episcopal Church, and subsequently. owing to a change of view with regard to the subject of baptism, with the Baptist Church. The important discipline of sorrow came to her in the loss of her loved and honored father. Through teaching in Jersey City, N. J.. New York City, De Ruyter, N. Y., Troy Seminary, Beaufort and Robertville, S. C, Providence, R I., and Philadelphia. Pa., she reached 1N50 with wide observation and tried and developed powers. Then, in order to give a home to her mother, she decided to establish a school of her own, and inviting Miss Harriette A. Dillaye, a teacher in Troy Seminary and a friend of earlier days, to join her, they founded the Chestnut Street Seminary, located for thirty-three years in Philadelphia, and enlarged in 1883 into the Ogontz School for Young Ladies, in Ogontz, Pa. Thus was she for nearly forty years before the world as an independent educator, putting her maturest thoughts and her life-force into thousands of rich young lives, and reaching with her influence the various Suites and Territories of the Union and Canada. To an unusual degree she taught her pupils to think, and how to think. With clear perceptions, logical processes and conclusions reached in such a way that they could be firmly held and vigorously pushed, she not only impressed her own strong nature on her pupils, but equipped them with her methods, to go out into the world as independent thinkers and actors. It has been her pleasure, from the financial success granted by a kind providence, to secure to one white young man and four colored men all their school preparation for the christian ministry, and to dispense largely in many other directions. With very great sensitiveness to wrong and quick benevolence, it is not surprising that her sympathy has been roused for the "Wards of the Nation. She says: "Seeing from newspapers that Senator Vest, of Missouri, had been pressing Congress for thirteen years to open the Oklahoma lands to settlement by whites amazed me. A senator, said, urging that injustice! A moral wrong upon our Government! It took hold of me. I talked about it to one and another. One day my friend, Mrs. A. S. Quinton, visited me in my room. I told her the story and of my deep feeling. Her heart and conscience were stirred. We talked and wondered at the enormity of the wrong proposed by Senator Vest, and that Congress had listened. Then and there we pledged ourselves to do what we could to awaken the conscience of Congress and of the people. I was to secure the money, and Mrs Quinton was to plan and to work." Seven-thousand copies of a petition protesting against contemplated encroachments of white settlers upon the Indian Territory, and a request to guard the Indians in the enjoyment of all the rights which have been guaranteed them on the faith of the nation, with a leaflet appeal to accompany it, were circulated during the summer in fifteen States by that volunteer committee of two and those whom they interested, and the result in the autumn was a petition roll, three-hundred feet long, containing the signatures of thousands of citizens. That memorial was carried to the White House, 14th February, 1880, by Miss Bonney and two women, whom she invited to accompany her. It was presented by Judge Kelly in the House of Representatives the twentieth of that month, with the memorial letter written by Miss Bonney, the central thought of which was the binding obligation of treaties. Thus was begun what finally resluted in the Woman's National Indian Association. During the first four years Miss Bonney's gifts amounted to nearly fourteen-hundred dollars. She became the first president of the society, and continues its beloved honorary president, with undiminished devotion to the great cause of justice to the native Indian Americans. While in London, in 1888, as a delegate to the World's Missionary Conference, Miss Bonney became the wife of Rev. Thomas Rambaut, D.D., LL.D., a friend of many years and a delegate to the same conference, who has since died. God is helping in a precious way to round her character and her life, as in her attractive home in Hamilton, the home of her childhood, she uses her remaining strength in ministries to others.