The History of Mather School

Mather School Marker

Mather School was founded by Rachel Crane Rich Mather in 1868. 

Mrs. Mather arrived in Beaufort, South Carolina in November, 1867. 

She joined other teachers who were sent as she was, by the American Missionary Baptist Association to establish a school for freed slaves following the Civil War. 

  The Mather School was one of the oldest boarding schools for black women in the country and drew students from across the United States, Africa, and Honduras.    

Students at Mather received an interdisciplinary education. 

In addition to core academic subjects at Mather, students learned an appreciation for the arts; practiced the principles of proper etiquette at all times and was required to perform one service of assigned industrial work per day to assist in the maintenance of the school. 

Bible Study and Christian education for leadership were emphasized in the training of all students. For example:  Spiritual life was nurtured in daily devotional chapel periods; Bible classes in the daily schedule; church attendance every Sunday and vespers every Sunday evening were required. 

In 1968, after 100 years  of extraordinary quality  education,  this Reconstruction Era icon closed its doors.