A Unique Teacher - Miss Frances Bennett Callaway
aaaaThe art of letter writing to this gifted and original teacher means primarily the expression of personality in correspondence. The minor details of correct forms, spelling, etc., can be found in any manual of letter writing.
aaaaMiss Callaway's work began ten years ago. At that time, having to prepare an article on letter writing, she visited the Boston libraries to get material on the subject. All the books shown her were unsatisfactory, dealing with the forms of letters and saying nothing more. She resolved then and there to write a book herself such as she conceived would be useful. The necessary study and research led her by a strange route into teaching, for when the book was completed no publisher would take it unless there were specimen letters in it. To get a variety of them she began to teach by correspondence.
aaaaMiss Callaway has studied in Edinburgh and London, finding at the great English libraries, the Oxford and Bodleiam, many valuable manuscript letters which have been of use in the work.
aaaa"The inside of a letter is the cream of the correspondence." says this unusual instructor. "I teach my pupils that the motive of the letter is more important than the outside form. I always tell them that I do not make finished letter writers of them, but simply suggest lines of thought that they can carry out."
aaaaHer pupils are of every age and from many walks in life, from farmers to lawyers, from society ladies to cowboys.
aaaaMiss Callaway is the author of several little books - "Hints to a Silent Friend Upon Writing Letters," "The Phantom Letter," The Wit on the Staricase" and "Musical Postals." This last formulates a unique way of writing short messages by musical signs, saving time and preserving secrecy.
aaaaMiss Callaway's thoughts and theories on her art are soon to be published in book form. She possesses a beautiful copy of her manuscript, printed entirely by pen and ink, the work of one of her pupils. It is bound in fine leather and is a veritable ____. From its index one can get an idea of the timely topics treated by the author. Among them are "Observation Studies," "Courtesy Letter," "Apologies," "The Sympathetic Letter," "Picture Letters," "The Mischief Making Letter," and "Silent Conversations."
aaaaMiss Callaway is a small woman, with a bright, earnest face and a winning manner. The personality that, if true to her theories, she must convey in her letters to pupils is so very magnetic and forceful that her success is not to be wondered at.
~ above article published in The Daily Review, Decatur, Illinois, August 1, 1895.
She was born Frances Bennett Dilts. In 1863 Lewis Howell Callaway adopted both Frances and her sister Lillian. He had married their mother about 1858. Lewis Howell Callaway's line of descent is as follows:
Larkin S. Callaway
Lewis Howell Callaway
Booker T. Washington quoted Frances Bennett Callaway in his book, Up From Slavery, written in 1901, in chapter XI, p. 153: "I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him."
Frances Bennett Callaway went on to write other books including, Bee's Flower Children. She died in 1905.