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His Evolution in Western Civilization . 


. BY 


Author of "Typical Negro Traits," etc., Corresponding Member of "The Negro 

Society for Historical Research " and Sometime Reader of Occasional Papers 

BEFORE The American Negro Academy and other Literary Societies 


New Haven, Conn., U. S. A. 

The Tutti.e, Morehouse & Taylor Press 


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D ! 

Copyright, IQU. by 
^^■ILLIAM H. Ferris, A.M. 

on A. '{5 I4~nrv, 






who, although only a sturdy delaware 
farmer, residing on the outskirts of the 
city of wilmington, was, nevertheless, 
such a sage and seer, such a faithful 
guardian of all interests intrusted to his 
care, so loyal to those who reposed their 
confidence in him, so brave, so manly, so 
upright in character, and who raised up 
such a noble group of daughters, my own 
dear mother among them, that he was 
respected among white and black alike, 
for miles around, this volume is dedicated, 
by one who often sat by his side on many 
a lovely september afternoon and heard 
him discourse on things human and divine, 
with the wisdom, grace, and dignity of 
those stoical philosophers, who have 
immortalized the name of athens and 
made the groves of the academy ring with 
their eloquence. 

William H. Ferris. 
New Haven, Conn., July i, 1913. 


This book had its origin in the fact that in the fall of 1902 and 
the following winter I was invited to address the Boston Literary ; 
also the Bethel Literary, the Second Baptist Lyceum, the Shiloh 
Baptist Lyceum and the American Negro Academy of Wash- 
ington, D. C. ; upon "The Light of Sociology upon Various 
Phases and Aspects of the Negro Question." In June, 1904, I 
began to collaborate my material and lecture upon "Beacon 
Lights of Negro History." Li November, I lectured upon the 
same theme in Charleston, S. C. The Nczus and Courier gave 
an account of nearly two columns to the lecture and Lawyer 
A. C. Twine wrote a glowing account of it in the Charleston 
(S. C.) Messenger. The lecture was favorably received in other 
sections of the state. On the evening of December 25, 1905, 
while I was preparing an address to be delivered at the Emanci- 
pation Celebration at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of 
Orangeburg, S. C, I decided to put the material, which I had 
been accumulating for over three years, into the form of a "His- 
tory of the Evolution of the Colored Race under Caucasian 

In investigating the subject I traveled from Maine to Florida, 
from Washington, D. C, to Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. The 
expense of collecting data and preparing manuscript was con- 
siderable. Handicapped once by a severe and prolonged illness 
and by the expense of changing publishers and preparing and 
sending out a second prospectus, it would have been absolutely 
impossible for me to have brought to a consummation such a 
gigantic task, had not a few noble-hearted Anglo-Saxons and 1 
four public-spirited colored men rallied to my aid and support. 
Therefore, I desire to acknowledge my special indebtedness to the ' 
following parties : 

Hon. Charles Sumner Bird, East Walpole, Mass. ; Senator 
George Peabody Wetmore, Newport, R. I. ; Mr. George S. 
!Motley, Lowell, Mass. ; Hon. Francis Burton Harrison, New 
York City; Mr. Oliver G. Jennings, New York City; Mr. Wil- 

vi The African Abroad. 

Uam Sloanc, New York City; Senator Joseph Benson Foraker. 
Cincinnati, Ohio; Senator Winthrop Murray Crane, Dallon, 
Mass.; Col. Isaac M. Ullman, New Haven, Conn.; Dr. I. X. 
Porter, New Haven, Conn.; .Mr. Francis Duskin Hurtt, New 
York City; Hon. .Me.xaiuler McGregor. Bo.ston, Mass.; Mrs. 
Thomas M. Stetson, New Bedford, Mass.; Professor Josiah 
K(jyce, Harvard University; Rev. Paul Revere Frothingham, 
Boston; Mr. IClnier 1'. Howe, Boston; Mr. Jacob H. SchifT, New 
York City; Mr. Jonathan Thome, New York City; Mr. A. A. 
P.-pe, Farminj,'ton, Conn. ; Mr. D. N. Barney, Farmington, Conn.; 
Mr. Winchell Smith, Farmington, Conn.; Mr. Zcnas Crane, Dal- 
ton, .Mass.; Deacon Greene, Wilmington, N. C ; Mrs. Phoebe 
A. Hearst, San I-'rancisco, Cal. ; Miss Ellen F. Mason, Boston. 
Mass.; Professor William James, Harvard University; Professor 
Irving I'ishcr, Yale University; Hon. R. G. Hazard, Peacedale, 
R. I.; Mr. Roger S. Baldwin, New York City; Hon. Moorfield 
Storey, Boston; Mr. Max .\dler, New Haven, Conn.; Mr. 
Thomas Walker, Washington, D. C. ; Mr. Joseph S. Robinson, 
Hartford, Conn.; Mr. E. Kent Hubbard, Middletown, Conn. 

I desire further to acknowledge my indebtedness to these 
friends, who have subscribed for more than one set, namely: 

Miss Alice M. Longfellow, Cambridge, Mass.; Mrs. Murray 
C. Mayer, nee Miss Fannie Ullman, Chicago, 111. ; Mr. Joseph 
N. Smith, Boston; Mr. William CJammcll, Providence, R. !.; 
Mrs. J. Milton Greist, New Haven, Conn.; Mrs. Clara M. 
Rotch, New Bedford, Mass.; Miss Caroline Hazard, Peacedale, 
R. I.; Miss Mary Eldridge, Norfolk, Conn.; Miss Helen E. 
Chase, Waterbury, Conn. ; Hon. W. W. Crapo, New Bedford, 
Mass.; Hon. A. E. Pillsbury, Boston; Mr. Tiieodore M. Davis, 
Newport, R. I.; Mr. Samuel M. Nicholson, Providence, R. I.; 
Rev. .\nson Phelps Stokes, Secretary of Yale University; Mr. 
Anson M. Beard, New York City; Mr. \\illiam .\. Delano, New 
York City; Mrs. \. G. Pierce, New Bedford. Mass 

The list of those who have pledged subscriptions for single 
sets is too large to be pul)lishcd in this preface, but this is the 
list of those who have sent in their subscrij)tions in full or in 
part : 

Mrs. J. N. Harris, New London, Conn.; Dean .-\ndrew W. 
Phillips. Yale University; Dean Henry P. Wright, Yale Uni- 

Preface. vii 

versity; the late Colonel T. W. Higginson, Cambridge, Mass.; 
Judge Livingston \\'. Cleaveland, New Haven, Conn. ; Mr. F. D, 
Kendrick, Lebanon, N. H. ; Hon. Samuel J. I^lder, Boston; 
Mr. R. S. Bradley, Boston ; President Timothy Dwight, Yale 
University; yiw Henry L. Hotchkiss, New Haven, Conn.; Mr. 
C. R. Forrest, Hartford, Conn. ; Mrs. Keep Ladies Seminary, 
Farmington, Conn.; Mr. George W. Williams, Farmington, 
Conn. ; Mr. George B. Alvord, Hartford, Conn. ; Colonel A. H. 
Goetting, Springfield, Mass.; Mr. Adrian Iselin, New Rochelle, 
N. Y.; ^Ir. Guy R. AIcLane, New York City; Airs. Marshall 
Crane, Dalton, ]\Iass. ; Governor Simeon E. Baldwin, New 
Haven, Conn. ; Rev. John F. Huntington, Hartford, Conn. ; 
Miss Theodate Pope, Farmington, Conn. ; Mrs. Susan J. Cheney, 
South Manchester, Conn. ; Mr. R. O. Cheney, Jr., South Man- 
chester, Conn.; ]\Irs. L. G. Spencer, Manchester, Conn.; Mrs. I. 
M. Palmer, Marblehead Neck, Mass.; Mrs. S. Hagerty, Clifton, 
Mass.; the late IMrs. Jennie E. Emmerton, Salem, Mass.; Mrs. 
J. C. Rogers, Peabody, Mass. ; General Francis Henry Appleton, 
Proctor's Crossing, Mass.; Dean Samuel Hart, Middletown, 
Conn.; Hon. Lyman D. Mills, Middlefield, Conn.; Mr. H. C. 
Rowley, Springfield, Mass.; Mr. George D. Barron, Rye, 
N. Y. ; Aliss A. C. Harris, Springfield, Mass.; Mrs. N. T. 
Bacon. Peacedale, R. L; Mrs. F. C. Jones, Hartford, Conn.; 
The Pratt Brown Co., Perth Amboy, N. J. ; lion. George M. 
Landers, New Britain, Conn. ; Mr. Gilbert W. Chapin, Hartford, 
Conn.; Airs. Frederick Grinnell, New Bedford, Mass.; Miss 
Ann E. Bostwick, New Milford, Conn.; Mr. M. C. Bouvier, 
New York City; Air. David L. Parker, New Bedford, Alass. ; 
Air. C. W. Clifford, New Bedford, Alass. ; Hon. W. G. Church, 
W'aterbury, Conn.; Hon. A. P. Gardner, Hamilton, Alass.; 
Editor Philip Troup, New Haven, Conn.; Mrs. Bradley, New 
Haven, Conn. ; Air. John T. Manson, New Haven, Conn. ; Dr. 
Walter Skiff", New Haven, Conn.; Air. William J. E. Jente, 
New Haven, Conn. ; President H. A. Garfield, Williams College, 
Williamstown, Alass.; Air. Robert Cluett, Williamstown, Alass.; 
Professor S. F. Clarke, Williamstown, Alass.; Rev. J. Frank- 
lin Carter, Williamstown, Alass. ; Rev. William Van Valkenburg, 
Alarblehead, Mass.; Air. John Elliott, New Haven, Conn.; Mr. 
Charles G. Alorris, New Haven, Conn. ; Hon. W. H. Hackett, 

viii The African Abroad. 

New Haven, Conn. ; President William S. Scarborough, Wilber- 
force University, W'ilbcrforce, Ohio ; Professor James Edward 
Mason, Livingstone College, Salisbury, X. C. ; Dr. York Russell, 
New York City; Mr. Emerson G. Taylor, Hartford, Conn.; Mr. 
John G. Talcott, Talcottvillc, Conn.; Mr. W. K. Sessions, 
Bristol, Conn.; Mr. William .S. Ingraham, Dristol, Conn.; Mr. 
William C. Cheney, .Soutli Manchester, Conn.; Mr. X. X. Hill, 
East Haddam, Conn.; Mr. C. W. Bevin, East Haddam, Conn.; 
Mr. C. G. Bevin, East Haddam, Conn.; Mrs. Lena ^.L Barreau, 
New Bedford, Mass.; Dr. E. D. Osborn, Xew Bedford, Mass.; 
Dr. (korge II. Wright, Xew Milford, Conn.; Dr. W. L. Piatt, 
Torrington, Conn.; Mr. Frederick Wadhams, Torrington, Conn.; 
Mr. Charles B. Johnson, New Haven, Conn.; Mr. A. R. Critten- 
den, Middlctowii, Conn.; Mrs. Everett L. Brown, Mr. Charles S. 
Kelly. Mr. William .V. Read, Mr. C. Baylie, Mr. Bob Churchill, 
and Dr. X. W. Nelson, Xew Bedford, Mass.; Mrs. Mary F. 
Munsill, Hon. E. W. Hooker, Hartford, Conn. ; Mrs. A. D. 
\'orce, Farmington, Conn.; Mrs. ^\^ S. Hill. Siicfficld, Conn.; 
Mr. R. S. Williams and Philip Williams, Glastonbury, Conn.; 
Mr. Henry M. Lester, Xew Rochelle, X. Y. ; Mr. Charles 
Mallory, Byram Shores, Conn. ; Mrs. S. M. Bradley, Mr. F. G. P. 
Barnes, Mr. H. T. Blake and 'Sir. A. C. Wilson, Xew Haven, 

Above all, I am indebted to Mr. Roger \\'. Tuttle, a Yale Class- 
mate, of The Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Company for his 
generous aid, when my publishing venture was floundering in 
the sea of distress. 

I am indebted to Mr. J. E. Bruce, the president, and to Air. 
A. A. Schomburg, the secretary of the Negro Society for His- 
torical Research, for valuable data and for all of the African, 
West Indian and South American photographs, and for the por- 
trait of Alexander Dumas, pirc. The Sierra Leone photographs 
are the work of Mr. Alisk Carew, a native African photographer. 
I am indebted to Mr. Emory T. Morris, Deputy Sealer of 
Weights and Measures in Cambridge, Mass., the nephew of the 
famous Robert Morris, the friend of the late Culonel T. W. 
Higginson, the former president of the Colored Xational League, 
whose common sense, public spirit, and purity and integrity of 
character have made him an esteemed and respected citizen of 

Preface. ix 

Cambridge. From my Harvard days until the present, his 
splendid library, which ranges from colonial and anti-slavery 
books and pamphlets up to philosophical and literary master- 
pieces, has been an unfailing source of inspiration and has sup- 
plied me with a rich fund of information. The late Colonel 
Thomas Wentworth Iligginson often spoke to me of the high 
regard in which he held Mr. and Mrs. Emory T. Morris and the 
pleasure that he took in looking over Mr. Morris's books, 
several of which were out of print. 

I appreciate the courtesy of Professor John Christopher 
Schwab, the Yale Librarian, of Mr. Henry R. Gruener and 
George Alexander Johnson, assistants in the Yale Library, in 
granting me the use of the library and in assisting me in locating 
books and of ^Mr. E. Byrne Hackett of the Yale University 
Press. I also appreciate the kindness of E. PL Clement of tlie 
Boston Transcript. 

Now a concluding word as to the book. I have merely desired 
to get at the facts. Scientific accuracy and historical truth have 
been my pillars of cloud by day and of fire by night. I have 
endeavored as far as possible to verify all of the oral and written 
data that have been submitted to me and that I have chanced 

My investigations and researches have led me into many 
by-paths, where I have uncovered many interesting facts. And 
the scrap book character of a few sections of Part TV. is due to 
the fact that I unearthed some of the new data while my book 
was in press. It was too late to rewrite the chapters and I was 
compelled to dovetail the facts in as best I could. 

I should have liked to elaborate upon the careers of many 
American colored men whom I have mentioned in my book, but 
my space was limited, as I was compressing six thousand years 
of history and summing up the careers of nearly one thousand 
individuals in one thousand pages. As I delved into the sub- 
ject, I was amazed to find what honors had been conferred upon 
exceptional men of color in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, 
Germany, Holland, Russia, Spain and Portugal, amazed to find 
to what heights of eminence talented African and West Indian 
Negroes had risen, and I was forced to make place and room in 
my book for those distinguished foreign Negroes who had 
reached the highest pinnacle of fame. 

X The African Abroad. 

While some of tlic colored leaders in America have been teach- 
ing ihcir followers to despise books and scholarship, Duse 
Mohamcd in ICn^dand has hccii writing plays, sketches, trage- 
diettas, the libretto of a musical comedy, a coronation ode, a his- 
tory of ICgypt, a romance, a series of essays on the drama and 
editing a magazine of world scope and significance. And over in 
Africa Hon. James Carmichael Smith, ex-Postmaster General of 
Sierra Leone, has written nearly a dozen books upon economics 
which have been commended by the leading English and Scotch 

When the men of soaring ambition in the colored race in 
America receive encouragement, then, and then only, can we 
expect a Duse Mohamed and an Hon. James Carmichael Smith 
to arise in .\mcrica. 

New Haven, Conn., July i, 1913. 









A Narragansett Reverie upon the Eternal and the Ephemeral 
in History and Human Life i 

God Revealed in the Course of Human History, in the 
Movement of the Human Spirit in its Historical Develop- 
ment — The Meaning of History 24 


Teleology in Reality ; or, in what Sense is there a Telcological 
Movement in the World? Is Man One of the Final Pur- 
poses of the Universe ? 44 

The Great Man in History — An Estimate of Gladstone and 
Bismarck, the Two Greatest Teutons of the Nineteenth 
Century, and of Frederick Douglass, the Greatest Ameri- 
can Negro of the Nineteenth Century; and a Glance at 
John Henry Newman, the English Preacher, who was a 
Compeller of Men 6^ 

xii The African Abroad. 


Roosevelt and the Negro — The Man of Thought versus the 
Man of Action — Roosevelt, Joseph Benson Foraker, Oliver 
Cromwell and Charles Eliot Xorton as Typical Great Men 84 

A Chapter from My Autobiography — My Boyish Dreams and 
Mouthful Resolutions 107 

The Philosophy of Success and the Success of Philosophy — 
Rctlcclions upon the Lack of a Criterion of (ireatneso 
among Critical A fro- Americans who Belittle Philosophers, 
Scholars and Litterateurs 142 

The Success of Philosophy 160 


A Word about Booker T. Washington, DuBois, and the 
Niagara Movement 182 


The Epical Meaning and Historical Significance of the Black 
^L^n's Spiritual Strivings and Higher Aspirations 193 




A Historical and Psychological Account of the Genesis and 
Development of the Negro's Religion 235 


The American Negro's Contribution to Literature. Music and 
<^>ratory 255 

Contents. xiii 


Is the Negro an Imitative or Reflective Being? To what 
Extent is the Present Anglo-Saxon CiviHzation Original 
and Underived ? 279 

Reason why the Term "Negrosaxon," or Colored, Better 
Characterizes the Colored People of IMixed Descent in 
America than the term "Negro" 296 

Chapter on the Laws Governing the Migration of Nations 
and Negro Labor and Foreign Emigrant Labor in the 
South 312 



The Key to the Solution of the Race Question — The Philos- 
ophy of the Color Question 329 

The Return of the Scholar and Dreams of my Boyhood .... 348 

Is There Place and Room in the South for Negroes of Strong 
Individuality and Masterful Personality ? No 356 

The Educated Leader the Hope of the Race and the Hero in 
the Struggle for Negro Liberty 363 

The Genesis and Development of the Anti-Booker Washing- 
ton Sentiment amongst Thoughtful Negroes 371 

xiv The African Abroad. 

Professor Kelly Miller's Philosophy of the Race Question . . 383 

Professor Jcsiah Royce's "Philosophy of the Color Question" 390 


A Message to My Colored Brethren — Stop Whining- and 
Buckle Down to Hard Work 395 



Africa, the Dark Continent 429 


Africa at the Dawn of History — The Xcgro in Pre-Historic 
Times ] ) | 

Africa in the Dawn of Civilization 463 

l'"inal Words about the Ethiopians 476 

CHAPTER XX \' ill. 
The Negro in the Babylonian Civilization 507 










A Narragansett Reverie upon the Eternal and the Ephemeral 
in Human Life and History. 

As I selected for a task giving to the world an interpretation 
of the hopes and longings and strivings and aspirations of the 
Black Man, and a record of his deeds and achievements, I 
thought of the larger life of mankind, of which the life of the 
Negro is but an eddy in a stream. I pulled back the curtain 
of time and saw savage man emerging from the caves thousands 
of years ago. I saw how he learned the use of fire and mastered 
the art of writing. I saw him dwelling in communities and 
developing states. I saw him offering sacrifice to an avenging 
deity, and then rise to the lofty conception of an Eternal One. 
I saw nations rise and fall, dynasties come and go, saw great 
men play their part in the drama of human history and pass 
on into oblivion. And then I asked, What is the significance 
of the toil and struggle, of the effort and aspiration of man, of 
the blood and tears he has shed? What is human history? Is 
there any meaning to history? Is it a divine poem, epic in its 
sweep ? Is it a world drama ? Is there a mighty power, a Master 
Mind behind the curtains, shifting the scenes? I will relate 
the experience that led me to reflect upon the meaning of history 
and man's place in the universe. 

Whoever has visited Great Barrington, crossed the Housatonic \ 
River and wandered along the street which lies at the foot of 
East Rock, can never forget the beauty and serenity of the view 
before him. Great Barrington lies in a valley between two long I 
low ranges of hills. As the eye glances down the hill, it stops 
for a moment to watch the play of sunlight and shade upon 
the Housatonic River, flowing so calmly between two rows of | 
trees. I 

Then the way in which the village is nestled among the trees, 
the infinite variety and contrast of the scene, the dreamy play 
of the sunlight on the leaves and branches, and the sense of 
repose and quiet pervading the whole village cause a serene, 

2 The African Abroad. 

rapturous fcclinp to take possession of the beholder and Hft 
him to realms of the infinite. 

Finally the eye rests ui)on the sloping hillside at the other 
end of the villap^e, and the large residences built upon it. It 
obsc^^'es the mixture of forests and meadows, and the trees on 
the top of the hilNidc. I thought of the serenity of nature, of 
those enduring hills that had stood for ages, and something of 
the peace and quietness of nature, something of the granite 
strength of those hills came into my soul. But it was another 
experience which was to lead me to see in nature the manifesta- 
tions of a creative spirit and to contrast the eternal life of nature 
with the ephemeral strivings of man. 

It was a beautiful August morning when I started for Tower 
Hill, one of those days when poets love to sing. As I looked 
up at the sun shining with all its sky-high splendor, casting 
its rays here and there, and felt the invigorating breeze as 
it swept over the Atlantic, I was moved by it. I went up the 
road and turned into the lane that leads to the woods. I listened 
to the singing of the birds, to the chirping of the crickets, and 
saw what variety nature threw around me. I looked at those 
large fir trees that formed an arch over my head, saw the sun- 
beams as they peeped through the leaves of the trees and cast 
a yellow glow on some spots and left a dark shade where they 
did not alight. Across the fields I could see the cows grazing, 
the bright, sparkling water and the mountains in the distance. 
I contrasted the different forms of vegetation from the deepest 
green to the brightest yellow. 

Filled with a poetic thrill, I gave myself up to nature, and, 
stretched on the banks of that beautiful stream, viewed and 
studied the wild and enchanting scenery. I went to the top 
of that pile of rocks on that scenic eminence called Tower Hill 
and looked toward the Atlantic Ocean. I saw every possible 
variety of scenery — streams, meadows, forests, gardens, houses 
nestling among the trees, hotels and cottages low lying along the 
shores, the waters of the broad Atlantic, and, about ten miles 
across — a dim view, Newport hid among the trees. 

I turned to the left and saw how prettily the river meandered 
through the meadows and around the hills, to my right I studied 
the wild grandeur of the scene. 

4 Narras:ausctt Reverie. 


But this was not all ; turning in the direction of Kingston, I 
saw the little village of Wakefield, and that prettiest of all 
villages, Peacedale, almost concealed from sight by the luxuriant 
foliage of wide spreading trees which surrounded her. Still 
looking in the direction of Peacedale, I jumped down from the 
rock, and ran over the ground to the edge of the hill ; there I 
studied and studied that grand, nay, that heavenly beauty of 
the scenery. So moved was I by this scenery that I forgot every- 
thing but the peace and beauty which enveloped me upon all 
sides. Could I depict the beauty in nature as Homer or Words- 
worth did, I could not express the emotions and thoughts which 
this scene aroused in me. I hold this as a scene which is 
remembered a lifetime. 

It seemed that I was in some vast cosmical cathedral, built 
within a still vaster cathedral, whose carpet was the green grass, 
whose statues were the waving trees and flowing vines, whose 
stained windows were the gilded and golden clouds which 
reflected the light of the sun, whose choir was the singing birds 
and whispering winds, whose choral music was the organ roll 
of the mighty thunder, whose incense was the vapor rising from 
the misty sea, whose candles were the evening stars and whose 
lurid lights were the flashing of the lightning, whose vaulted roof 
was the blue domed sky. 

I felt like taking ofif my shoes, for I believed that I was on 
holy ground in the temple of the Most High. 

Ten years later I visited the same scene, and lived in that 
Tower Hill house for several weeks. On an autumn afternoon 
or Indian summer day, I felt that same heavenly peace come 
over my troubled spirit and felt the tranquilizing influence of 
a Sabbath benediction. But this time I contrasted the peace and 
serenity of nature and the calmly grazing cows and the quiet 
life of Wakefield and Peacedale with the bustle of the summer 
life of Narragansett Pier and Newport. The cows need only 
plenteous grass and bright sunshine to complete their happiness ; 
the farmers of Wakefield and Peacedale, who die unknown to 
fame, need only good crops and the presence of loved ones to 
complete their happiness. 

But it was different at the Pier and at the fashionable Ameri- 
can summer resort. There, people sought pleasure and life and 

4 The African Abroad. 

amusement, there people vied with each other in giving enter- 
tainments. There social rivalry was keen, and men and women 
were dominated by the passion for social leadership, social pres- 
tige and social preeminence. 

I reflected, how evanescent is the fame of social kings and 
queens! Ten years ago a calm and tranquil Tennessee belle and 
a bright, vivacious Western belle held regal sway at the Pier. 
Their wish was law in the circle in which they ruled ! Gazing 
admirers stood silently awed. Ten years ago, a sturdy Oxford 
oarsman and a brilliant, dashing American athlete were lionized. 
Ten years ago a wife and daughter of a famous Southern states- 
man, a Southern Governor and retired Commodore were centers 
of attraction. To-day their names are barely mentioned. Other 
stars are in the ascendency, other queens hold their court and 
other figures hold the center of the stage. 

In Newport it is essentially the same. Ten years before Count 
So and So, Lord Somebody, Duke of Somewhere, Earl of Some- 
place and Marquis of Abroad, were in everyone's mouth and 
were followed by envious, admiring eyes, as they rode around the 
town. Now no one ever mentions their names. 

Six years ago a $50,000 dinner, given when mill hands were 
on a strike and out of work, was the talk of the town. Now it 
is forgotten. Three years ago a brilliant automobile parade 
stirred Newport, but now it has passed into oblivion. 

To-day two manly English tennis players are in the limelight. 
To-day the monkey dinner is discussed. But ten years from 
to-day they will be forgotten. Then I thought of the fate of 
the favorites at the fashionable resorts, which is ultimately the 
fate of men and women who dominate things in their day and 
generation. The thought occurred to me that men prominent a 
generation or two ago are practically unknown to-day, and 
even some of the things that should render their names immor- 
tal are forgotten. Men who were public figures when I was 
a schoolboy, twenty years ago, are barely mentioned now, except 
by their personal friends and descendants. The names of James 
G. Blaine and Roscoe Conkling were in the air twenty years ago. 
The present generation is fast forgetting them for new heroes 
and new issues. They live only in the memory of their friends, 
aiifl even their greatest achievements are practically unknown. 

A Narra^ansctt Reverie. 


That they played ahnost as important a part as Charles Sumner 
in reconstruction legislation, that Conkling in the United States 
Senate in 1875 crushed the Louisiana conspiracy to overthrow 
the Federal Authority, that James G. Blaine in his twenty years 
in Congress paid a remarkable tribute to the colored men who 
went to Congress, is practically unknown; and one Connecticut 
Governor, whose name was in ever}^ one's mouth when I was 
learning my A, B, C's, has dropped completely out of sight and 

Sixty years ago the slavery debate held the center of the 
stage, but the present generation has not only forgotten the 
names of many of the chief actors then, but has even forgotten 
the moral issue involved in the contest. In the late forties and 
early fifties Samuel Ringo Ward, a giant in ebony, electrified 
English and American audiences on the slavery question, but 
now his name is forgotten. No one reads his autobiography or 
cares for the issue that was so dear to him. Very few people 
know that Gerrit Smith, who educated him, was a philanthropist, 
who, in 1849, gave an immense tract of land to colored men in 
the Adirondack Mountains. Also, very few know that George 
Luther Stearns gave $10,000 to maintain liberty in Kansas, sup- 
plied John Brown with arms and equipped a colored regiment 
in the late Civil War. So I might go on and mention many 

Fifty years from now some of the living men, whose every 
movement is chronicled in big headlines, who are constantly 
sought out by newspaper reporters and have snapshots fre- 
quently turned upon them, will be almost forgotten by the 
popular mind. 

The vanity of human life constantly recurred to me in these 
reflections. In the fourteenth chapter of Job we are told, "Man 
that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble." In 
the 90th division of Psalms we are told, "In the morning they 
are like grass, which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, 
and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. 
. . . We bring our years to an end, as a tale that is told." The 
cycle of a man's life is soon run. Men die broken-hearted of 
political hopes and issues that are soon forgotten. Women fret 
and worry over invitations to social functions that soon pass 

6 The African Abroad. 

into oblivion. Tlie world doesn't know who gave and doesn't 
care who was invited to social functions a decade ag^o. In school 
and college days we strive for school and college honors. It 
seems that our future is bound up with these honors. It seems 
that without them life would not be worth living. But after 
we have been out in the world a few years, men will forget 
them and our record as students, and will ask us, "Can you solve 
this problem ; can you face this situation ; can you meet this 
emergency?" The tragedy in the lives of most men and women 
is that they fret and worry, pine and grieve over things that 
will appear trivial and insignificant when they reach the years 
that bring the philosophic mind. 

Nature joys in her floral beauty and her verdant hills, her 
radiant dawn and sunset tints, her calmness and repose, her 
peace and serenity, and the splendor of the starry hosts seems 
to rebuke the feverish, fretful and fitful strivings of man for 
pomp and honor and fame and glory. 

I am glad that when, in the fall of 1902, I began to prepare 
lectures upon the Negro's religion and focus the light of 
sociology upon the Negro question, I was living upon Tower 

There is nothing that gives a man perspective in human history, 
that makes him a spectator of all times and spaces and enables 
him to see all things sub-specie a^ternitatis, as a view from a 
lofty eminence. From the top of that lofty eminence I surveyed 
four civilizations. Down in Wakefield and Peacedale, I saw 
the civilization of the New England village ; down in Narragan- 
sett Pier, I saw the civilization of the South and West; over 
across Narragansett Bay, I saw in the distance the civilization 
of America's metropolis ; while in the breeze that swept over 
the Atlantic, in the mirroring sea, and blossoming fields and 
forests near me, I saw the joyous life of that Nature which 
never changes and ever remains the same. And at night, when 
the lamps of heaven began to send out faint rays from afar, I 
thought of the eternity of the starry hosts and reflected that 
those same stars looked down upon the cave men, who endeav- 
ored to interpret the universe five hundred thousand years ago. 
They saw the mighty Ethiopian, Eg\'ptian. Babylonian, Assyrian, 
Persian, Greek and Roman civilizations rise and fall in their 

A Narramtisctt Reverie. 


splendor, dominate the world for a few centuries, and then 
pass away. They saw the conquering Pharaohs and mighty 
Persian kings ride forth to battle; they saw the life of little 
Pompeii blotted out in a day ; they saw the glory that was 
Greece's and the grandeur that was Rome's. They now see the 
triumphal, resistless march of the Anglo-Saxon race. In the 
next 50,000 years they may witness the rise of the black, brown 
and yellow races. Men come and go; kingdoms rise and fall; 
but the stars shine on in their lonely splendor in the immensity 
of space. 

But what of the men who made these ancient civilizations 
possible, what of the renowned Ethiopian, Egyptian, Babylonian, 
Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Roman warriors who led vast 
armies to battle and dragged nations captive at their chariot 
wheels? They have mostly passed out of the memory of men 
and have been swallowed up in oblivion. 

The queen of Sheba, and Candace, a shadowy Ethiopian 
queen, are the only ones of the powerful Ethiopian rulers whose 
names have gone ringing down the ages. Of the famous 
Egyptian monarchs, who ruled from 5000 to 200 B. C., Khufu, 
known by the Greeks as Cheops, who built the wonderful pyra- 
mid at Gizeh ; Tholmes II, Seti I, Rameses II, and Meneptha, the 
greatest of the Pharaohs; Psammetichus, Necho II, Ptolemy 
Soter and Ptolemy Philadelphus are the only names that have 
survived the marks of time. Of the mighty Babylonian kings 
who held sway from 5000 to 728 B. C, Sargon I and Hammurabi 
are the only names which shine with splendid lustre. 

Of the powerful Assyrian kings who, in 728 and the following 
years, conquered Babylon and took captive the Ten Tribes of 
Israel, and who for six centuries, from iioo to 600 B. C., made 
Nineveh great, Sargon II, Sennacherib, and Asshur-bani-pal, 
known to the Greeks as Sardanapalus, are the only names which 
have survived. 

Of the Chaldean kings who made the seventh and sixth cen- 
turies, B. C, ring with their glory, Nabopolassar and Nebu- 
chadnezzar II and Nabonidus are the only names which still 
live in the memory of man. Of the Persian kings who for over 
two centuries dominated Asia and part of Africa and broke 
the sway of the Assyrians and Chaldeans, Cyaxares, Cyrus, 

8 The African Abroad. 

Kanibyses, Darius and Xerxes I are the only names familiar to 
every schoolboy. 

The study of the Greek and Roman classics and the study of 
the Bible has made the modern mind almost as familiar with 
the Greek and Roman heroes and Hebrew prophets as with the 
great modern fij^nires. Rut twenty thousand years from now, 
perhaps Homer, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Demosthenes, Phidias, 
Pericles and Alexander the Great will be the only Grecian names, 
and Scipio, Caesar, Augustus, Constantine, Cicero and \'ergil 
will be the only Roman names, and Abraham, Moses, Jesus and 
Paul the only Hebrew names familiarly known to posterity. 
Each succeeding century will make their names more dim and 
shadowy, until finally a hundred thousand years from now. 
Homer, Alexander, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Paul, Hannibal and 
Ca?sar may be the only names of antiquity known to man. In 
another hundred thousand years they may all, with the exception 
of Jesus of Nazareth, have completely dropped out of memory. 

Of the great names and figures of the Middle Ages, it may 
be that twenty thousand years from now, Mohammed, Peter 
the Hermit, Charles Martel, Charlemagne, \\illiam the Con- 
queror and Dante may be the only ones who will stand out as 
beacon lights. 

Of the great names of the fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, 
and eighteenth centuries, Martin Luther, Columbus, Copernicus, 
Kepler, Galileo, Xewton, Shakespeare, Cromwell, Milton, Bacon, 
Queen Victoria, Rousseau, Kant, Peter the Great, Mirabeau and 
Chatham may be the only familiar names twenty thousand years 
from now. Of the famous men of the nineteenth century, the 
Duke of Wellington, Napoleon, Washington, Lincoln, Emerson, 
Grant, Darwin, Spencer, Carlyle, Gladstone, Browning, Tenny- 
son, Goethe, Lotze, Bismarck, Hugo. Watts. Roentgen, Metchni- 
kofif, Marconi, Harvey, Koch and Marquis Ito may alone find a 
])lace in a history of civilization written twenty thousand years 

One hundred thousand years from now the world may have 
forgotten who discovered America, who discovered the law of 
gravitation, who propounded the evolution hypothesis, who dis- 
covered the X-ray and who first flashed a message across the 
sea by wireless telegraphy. Perhaps then Shakespeare and 
Napoleon will be the only modern men known to mankind. Two 

A Narragansett Reverie. 9 

hundred thousand years from now they may be mythical and 
legendary figures, and scholars will be writing books to prove 
that the only existence they ever had was in the imagination of 
some poet, orator or novelist. Five hundred thousand years 
from now the only historic or mythological figure known to man- 
kind, who will be on the lips of men, will be Jesus of Nazareth. 
He alone will escape oblivion. 

Perhaps in that distant time scholars may write books to prove 
that the world-renowned and world-conquering Anglo-Saxon 
race never really existed, except in the imagination of rapt poets, 
and was only a mythical, legendary race. Yes, in the course of 
time — in the course of five thousand centuries, the races and 
men now familiar to every schoolboy and girl will be swallowed 
up in oblivion. 

If the great races only dominate the world for a few centuries, 
and then give way to fresher, stronger races, if even after a 
few thousand years the great figures in history are forgotten, 
what is the use of the striving of man? 

Though the Egyptians, the Hebrews, the Greeks and Romans 
have fallen from their high estate, the mathematical, philosophi- 
cal, religious, and political ideas that they have bequeathed to 
mankind have been woven into the fibre and texture, into the 
very web and woof of modern civilization. 

Our conception of God, our ideas of the sanctity of life, of 
the value of virtue, of the sacredness of the marriage tie, our 
doctrine of property rights and our principles of representative 
government, our moral maxims, our political and our industrial 
organizations represent the thoughts, the ideas and the crystal- 
lized experience of men who lived and died centuries ago, and 
whose very names are forgotten. 

Back in the dim and distant past, unknown men discovered 
the use of fire, conceived the ideas of steps on an inclined plane, 
discovered the arch, conceived the idea of hollowing out the trunk 
of a tree and setting a sail in it, conceived the idea of wheeled 
carts, domesticated animals and used the force of running water 
to turn a mill. They have handed dov/n their discoveries as 

Though nations rise and fall, though they pass oflf the stage 
of existence, they yet live in the ideas they have bequeathed to 
civilization. Though great individuals die and are forgotten. 

lo The African Abroad. 

they yet live in the thouglns they have thrown out, which con- 
stitutes our intellectual inheritance. Though teachers and 
preachers are forgotten, they yet live in the lives they inspire, 
and they kindle a flame that burns in the breasts of countless 
generations. So our striving is not vain. It ultimately becomes 
a part of the structure of civilization. 

But astronomers tell us that solar systems are constantly being 
destroyed and other solar systems are constantly being born in 
the universe. Suns are burning out. Other dead suns are 
being transformed into fiery, gaseous vapor by the heat gener- 
ated from colli>ion with other similar bodies. And then 
begins again the whirling, the cooling, the condensation and 
throwing oflF of rings or satellites from the burning, gaseous 
mass in the center. 

Astronomers tell us that, in the course of a few million years, 
our shining sun will have burned itself out, ceasing to shrink and 
contract and to radiate light and heat. The earth can then no 
longer support vegetable or animal life. Then all vegetable and 
animal life will die out on this planet of ours and the human 
race will cease to exist. 

But before this catastrophe occurs our sun is liable to be 
transformed into gaseous vapor by collision with a giant sun, 
the cfjuilibrium of our solar system destroyed and our earth 
burned up by the heat generated by the collision, or else deorbited. 
Or our earth is liable to be struck by the head of a rushing comet. 
The earth would then be enveloped in a fiery, gaseous hood, and 
every living thing would be burned up or else destroyed by the 
poisonous gases thrown out. Or, again, our earth may be 
powdered to dust by collision with a dead star. 

The first of these catastrophes will surely occur in the next 
hundred million years and the second and third and fourth may 
occur. So there will finally, in the course of a few score million 
years, come a time when every semblance of vegetable or animal 
life will have disappeared from the planet, and every trace or 
vestige of man's civilization will have become completely effaced. 
Annihilation is the ultimate fate and destiny of the human race 
on this earth of ours. 

And then I asked, was this the end of Nature's strivings, was 
this the final destiny of man's aspiration, was this the consumma- 

A Narra^ansctt Reverie. ii 


tion of man's hopes, to be swallowed up in the dark midnight 
of nothingness and obHvion, to fade away forever out of exist- 
ence? Was human life a dream? Was human history a farce? 
Were the ideal dreams which have lured on mankind to higher 
heights of achievements, illusions? Were the heroic ideals to 
do and dare and strive and achieve, nothing but hallucinations? 
Were the mighty hopes which made us men but mirages in the 
desert ? In a word, is our striving to realize and embody ethical 
ideals in our lives and characters a vain struggle, which will 
finally end in defeat? 

That which is most fundamental and basal in human nature 
asserts itself, rises in protest and cries out, No! No! No! 
And yet, if the fate and destiny of this earth on which we live 
and of the human life it sustains, is to vanish and be blotted out 
of existence, this would seem to be the nature of man's ideals, 
and the end of his strivings, unless man were immortal. But 
if the universe were not the fortuitous play of blind, unthinking 
atoms and ions, if it were not a chaos but a cosmos, if reason 
were embedded in the very structure of the universe, if a world 
drama were being enacted, in which a Master Mind were behind 
the curtains, shifting the scenes, then it would seem that man 
is immortal and that his strivings are not in vain. And 
I asked myself, is there a God, is there a Master Mind behind 
the mechanism of Nature, who utters his eternal decrees in the 
immutable laws that regulate the movements of the starr}' hosts 
above, and who thunders in trumpet tones in the ideals of man ? 

Then I paused and thought of the wonderful universe in which 
I lived, of Nature's abounding life and her daily miracles, when 
the leaves on the trees become laboratories. Then the principles 
involved in plant growth were no longer dead, abstract principles 
to me, but became the living methods by which this wondrous 
universe robed itself in a garment of verdure and created through 
the forces that unconsciously work in plants, trees and flowers, 
this beautiful world in which we live. The living, palpitating 
world, throbbing with life, which was presented to me by the 
study of botany, caused it to take on a new meaning and opened 
my eyes to the beneficent purpose of that Deity whose vesture 
is this beautiful world, in which we live and move and have our 
being and who works through the wonderful growth of plant 


12 The African Abroad. 

life for man's good. It seems to me, that if a man knew some- 
tliing of this marvelous universe in which we live, if he could 
but lift the curtain and peep behind the veil, where the mysterious 
forces of nature are silently working, the world would take on 
a new meaning and he would see a new glory in meadow and 
field, forest and stream. The flowers would speak to him a new 
language. The flowers in the crannied walls would tell him, as 
they told Tennjson, something about the nature of the world and 
of the r,oil who created it. Like Wordsworth, he would look 
through nature to Nature's Cod and see that "the clouds that 
gather round the setting sun do take a sober coloring from an 
eye that keeps watch o'er man's immortality." 

And then T thought of the internal structure and of the 
wonderful mechanism of the atom, so small that it could be 
contained within the billionth part of a square inch, so small 
that it could not be seen by a microscope which magnified it a 
thousand times. Then I reflected that the spectroscope, the 
cathode ray and radium revealed the fact that this infinitesimal 
at(»m was not a single indivisible entity as was supposed twenty 
years ago; but that it was a wonderful machine, an intricate 
mechanism, a solar system in miniature, composed of thousands 
of g)Tating and circling and revolving centers of force, whose 
velocity is almost as great as speed of light and who, by their 
hamionious g^Tations and oscillations, give the little atom its 
power of effecting chemical changes. Then I thought of how 
the atoms build up the molecules and the molecules build up the 
universe of matter. I reflected that what we call solid matter 
is the result of the gyrations and activity of little ions so small 
that seventy or eighty thousand of them could be contained in a 
space smaller than one billionth of an inch square. I thought 
of these wonderful structures and of the wonderful mechanism 
of this solar system in miniature. I saw that it was a trillion 
times more intricate than the mechanism of a watch : I saw that 
it could not come into existence by chance, that the Mind which 
planned it, the Mind which could bring law and order into 
that miniature solar system must be Divine. 

As I stood at midnight on Tower 1 1 ill and looked at the myriad 
stars that dot the milky way, and reflected that many of them 
were immense suns, rushing through space with their revolving 


A Narragansctt Reverie. 13 

[)lanets and satellites whirling about them, as I reflected that 
some of these faint, twinkling stars were suns several times 
larger than the sun that illumines this solar system of ours (a 
few being a million times larger), as I reflected that it takes 
light traveling at the rate of 186,000 miles a second, fifty years 
to reach us from the Pole Star and four hundred centuries to 
reach us from the furthest of these dim specks, and then con- 
sidered that this immense universe hangs together and is gov- 
erned by law and order, I was constrained to believe in a God, 
the source and ground of that law and order. And when I 
thought that the planetary laws of motion which governed the 
movements of Halley's comet compelled it, though traveling 
away from the earth for 3,400 million miles, with a speed 
greater than that of a cannon ball, to return again every seventy- 
five years, then I understood how the devout astronomer, Kepler, 
could say, when he discovered the mathematical laws that regu- 
lated the movements of the planetary bodies, "Oh God, I think 
thy thoughts after Thee." I then saw that God was the great 
Geometer, that the universe is crystallized mathematics and that 
nature is the time vesture of the Eternal, the garments we see 
Him by, which reveals Him to the wise and hides Him from 
the foolish. Then I understood how the Psalmist, gazing in rapt 
adoration at the starry hosts, which glorify God, could say, 
"The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament 
sheweth his handiwork." 

Such were my reflections, when the stars, the silent sentinels 
of heaven, came out every night and stood forth in their lonely 
splendor; but the cynic may say that this was only a dream. 
We have forever passed beyond the age of atheism, when men 
could say, "There is no God," and we now are in the age of 
the Spencerian agnosticism, when men say that knowledge of 
the cause behind the phenomena, knowledge of the real nature 
of the Infinite and Eternal Energy which manifests itself in the 
world of mind and matter transcends the limitation of human 
knowledge. The human mind is impotent to grapple with 
transcendental realities. 

"There may be a God," the agnostic says, "but we can never 
know; we cannot see beyond the veil; we cannot look beyond 
nature to a present God. All is vain surmise. It is a vain hope 

14 The African Abroad. 

to think we can know the why, the whence, the whither of 
our eternal destiny." But is this so? Cannot we trust the guid- 
ance of that reason which leads from facts of every class and 
kiiul to theories and hypotheses, which from the phenomena of 
nature carries us to molecules, atoms, ions and ether as the 
underlying entities. 

Can we not trust that reason which created the Copernican 
astronomy and framed the Newtonian belief in gravitation's 
universal laws, the nebular hypothesis and the Spencerian theory 
of universal evolution? Can we not trust the organ which guides 
us through the labyrinth of life's perplexing problems? We 
must, we cannot think that our life is vain illusion, our experience 
a lie. Whatever contradicts the testimony of reason, that we 
must reject or else confusion and discord will be introduced into 
the very inmost life of reason — man's divine and regal wings 
for soaring up beyond the world of sense, up into the ethereal 
empyrean of thought's luminous realms. 

What is the universal testimony of human reason then? 
Reason asks, "Can a cosmos, vast and orderly, be built by count- 
less millions of minute, invisible, intangible atomic elements of 
seventy odd different things, each acting, reacting and inter- 
acting in ways peculiar to itself alone, unless the atoms are 
embraced in one Infinite Mind, who expresses his eternal laws 
and life in the activity and uniform co-working of atoms? 
Can millions of gyrating, revolving and minute invisible ions 
build up by their ceaseless activity this vast and orderly cosmos, 
and hence the world of matter, unless they express the thought 
and plan and are the forthputting and energizing of one Infinite 
Reason ?" 

Reason again asks, "Can life come from that which is not 
life; can the mental come from non-mentality? Can mind be 
conjured up from that which is not mental in its inner structure? 
Can primordial small elements and germ-like cells develop into 
the majestic oak, the splendid lion, the graceful dove, the God- 
like man, without the presence of immanent ideas in plants and 
animals to guide and control the growth? Do we not here see 
internal i)urj)osiveness bedded in the very nature of things ? Can 
the moral qualities be evoked from sources that are unethical? 
Can living beings come from a non-living cause? What's con 

A Narragansctt Reverie. 15 

science but the pleading, warning voice of God? What's the 
'I ought' but the embracing grip of the eternal God, forever 
immanent in finite things and selves, the life and soul of all, upon 
his sons? What's nature's beauty then, but the divine garment 
in which God does eternally weave the outward fabric that 
reveals and expresses his eternal thoughts and inner life?" 

Reason again says, "That One who brought us here must ever 
be as great, as wise, as noble as we finite ones, his creatures. 
You may point to sin and misery, which hang forever over life, 
as a dark and gloomy curtain. But we cannot hope to pierce 
beyond the veil and enter into the deep counsel of the Most 
High. Forget not that our God has all eternity at his disposal, 
yea remember that it is in the light of immortality, which can 
illumine these perplexing doubts and send a luminous ray o'er 
the speculative mysteries." 

Reason again says, "Consider, agnostic, how we build up our 
sense world out of impressions, caused by excitations of the end 
organs of our five senses. These shocks and quivers of sensa- 
tion come to us scattered, but are unified by the mind's activities 
and categories. How now can the mind of man impose its mental 
forms upon the world of sense, unless the world were the 
manifestations of mind, yea a mental being in its inner life. 
What can this mean save one, who is self conscious and rational 
as we are? 

In the fundamental laws of human thought we see the move- 
ments grand of the eternal mind of God. If there is order and 
law in the universe, if there is reason in the mortal soul, it has 
its source in the Universal Reason who expresses and manifests 
his mind and will and life in this fair world of ours. Were it 
not so, would not our lives and thoughts be a mockery ?" 

Such riddles, questions and puzzles, the human reason puts 
to the confident and rash agnostic. The mind of man, then, in 
seeking to understand and interpret the universe, in seeking to 
strike rock-bottom and give a rational explanation for the ulti- 
mate nature of things, is inevitably led to the conclusion that 
the universe of mind and matter is the expression of the one 
infinite and eternal Being. 

The science of the nineteenth century has borne overwhelming 
testimony to the unity of the universe. The Newtonian gravita- 

I'j The African Abroad. 

tion, or rather Newton's theory of gravitation, has been shown 
to apply not only to our own solar system but to the entire 
stellar universe. The entire universe is bound together by the 
tic i>f gravitation. The elastic and undulatory, luniiniferous 
ether, the medium for the transmission of light, heat and electric 
waves, is now shown to pervade all space and to extend from 
farthest star to farthest star. The spectroscope and spectral 
analysis have discovered that the farthest star shining in space 
is composed of the same physical elements that form the consti- 
tution of our earth. 

Planetary bodies composed of the same physical and chemical 
elements, luniiniferous ether pervading all space, and gravitation 
the force that knits and ties those bodies together so that they do 
not fly apart in space, all testify to the unity of the universe. 
But now this is a unity dominated by law and order, so that we 
have an orderly totality and a cosmos instead of chaos. The 
only explanation that satisfies the reason of man, for the law 
and order that makes the universe an orderly totality and a 
cosmos, is that the universe is the forthputting of an Infinite 
Mind who manifests his own ideas in the laws of Nature. 

But I am a child of Nature. I have been generated in Nature's 
womb, and I am an offspring of the universe and an integral 
part of the universe. Hence, I am the manifestation of the 
Infinite Being, who manifests himself in the universe. The same 
Being who wells up in grass and flower, who registers his laws 
in the movements of the heavenly bodies, also manifests himself 
in me. Truly has the Apostle said, "In Him we live and move 
and have our being." And in seeking to understand the Power 
or Infinite Energy who manifests himself in the universe we 
must find a being big and brainy enough to beget man. 

The philosophy of Dr. Samuel Eugene Stevens, author of 
"The Great Unconscious," which maintains that matter i> the 
origin of all tilings that make unconscious matter the sole origin 
of conscious mind, that makes "electro-atomic matter" the sole 
cause of the rational and ethical life of man, refuses to satisfy the 
rea.son of man. 

We cannot believe that the stream can rise higher than its 
source. W'e must believe that there is something in the cause 
adequate to produce the effect. 

A Narragansctt Reverie. 17 

That an unconscious world ground could manifest itself in 
conscious, rational beings, that a universe whose background 
was blind, formless, unconscious matter, could usher in rational 
beings, that an irrational, unethical world ground could manifest 
itself in rational and ethical personalities and impose rational, 
ethical ideas upon them, as the deepest law of their being, this 
the mind of man refuses to believe. So, then, the Superhuman 
and Supersensible Cause and Source of the universe of mind 
and matter must be a universal life, which is as coextensive as 
the life of the universe, and a universal self-consciousness which 
is coextensive with the mental and physical changes in the world 
of finite mind and finite matter, and embraces them in the totality 
of its own being, manifesting its mind and its ideas in the 
orderly sequence which we term the laws of Nature and its 
will in the force of Nature. 

The happenings in the universe of finite minds and finite mat- 
ter are not only phases and aspects and doings and forthputtings 
of finite selves and things, but they are also movements in the 
life of the Absolute, facts in his consciousness. For he is the 
Immanent and Causal Ground of all the psychic and physical 
changes in the universe, and of the system of things. He is the 
Absolute Self of whom all finite things and finite selves are but 
partial and fragmentary manifestations. 

To destroy me, the Absolute must destroy a part of himself 
and destroy his own offspring. The question then arises, Is the 
Absolute interested in the ideals and strivings of man? Have 
the ideals and strivings of man an eternal value and significance 
for the Absolute? Have our personalities and individualities an 
eternal meaning and value for the Absolute? On the answer to 
these questions hangs the immortality of man. 

In developing our manhood, we are not only realizing our 
latent potentialities and developing the germs of divinity that 
slumber in our natures, but we are developing a bit of the 
Absolute. If we share in the life of the Absolute, and are par- 
takers of his divine nature, what is more natural than that we 
should share in and partake of his eternity and immortality? 
No mother, in her senses, would murder her child, and does it 
seem natural that a rational and ethical personality would bring 
into existence rational and moral beings only to destroy them as 

i8 77jr African Abroad. 

they began to develop and unfold and express their latent capaci- 
ties? I am no prophet, but it does not seem reasonable that the 
Power, not ourselves, which makes for righteousness, who 
brought us into being, would implant certain ideas as the deepest 
laws of our nature, would impress certain qualities of mind and 
heart, as things worth attaining and striving for, only to blot 
tliem out of existence forever. We cannot fathom the purposes 
of the Almighty, but the human reason refuses to believe that 
the Creative Spirit would impress the moral imperative upon 
us as the fundamental law of our being and then cut our 
development short by annihilation. 

The Being who shot us through the crucible of his own nature, 
ran us through certain molds of thinking and feeling, stamped 
us with the impress of his own personality, and then launched 
us forth from the shores of eternity out into the sea of time, 
endowed us with a reason that can fathom the secrets and 
mysteries of nature, extract the ores from the earth, harness 
the forces of nature, water, wind, steam and electricity, to run 
our mills, carry us over land and water and transmit messages 
across space ; with an imagination that can catch and depict, on 
canvas and in verse, the fleeting glories of sunrise, the passing 
beauties of sunset when the sky seems bathed in colored seas 
of lambent light, and can create those flowing melodies and 
cathedral harmonies that waft the soul upon the wings of faith 
above the world of sense and light into the realm where the 
soul catches fleeting glimpses of eternity ; with a will that enables 
a man to chisel and carve and hew out his own career and be 
the architect of his own fate and destiny ; with a will that enables 
a man to tunnel mountains, bridge chasms, brave dangers and 
defy obstacles and obstructions ; with a will that exultindy cries, 
"There shall be no Alps, I will find a way ocpake it," — this ^Jeing 
will call us back home some day and then he will longingly look 
to see whether we have preserved or efTaced the divine impress. 
The impression of the Almighty is upon us ; a divine spark slum- 
bers in us; divinity stirs within us; we are men, not beasts of 
the field. 

That throbbing, divine life, with which the universe pulses and 
which transforins the world into a fairyland every spring, break- 
ing into expression in leaf and blade and flower and covering 

A Narragansctt Reverie. 19 

the earth with a garment of verdure, wells up in us as the 
fountain source of the impulses, the instincts, that Hft us above 
the plane of animal life. It manifests itself in the divine dis- 
content and dissatisfaction with our present mode of life. It 
utters itself in the stirrings within us that prompts us to trans- 
form the actual into the likeness of the ideal. It voices itself in 
the strivings after the higher life, that are the springs of human 
progress and of the development of man in history. And while 
the Negro needs to buy all the land, and get as large a bank 
account as he can, while he needs to branch out into the mercan- 
tile world, and go into business, he must remember that this is 
not the end and goal of our existence. That end and goal is 
to realize the mighty hopes which make us men. 

Every living thing fulfils the laws of its being and realizes 
the immanent idea that Nature implants in it. The grass grows; 
the seed buds and blossoms into fruit and leaf and flower; the 
acorn develops into the wide-spreading oak; the majestic lion 
stalks the forests, monarch of all he surveys ; the eagle soars aloft 
on his powerful wings and sights his prey from afar, and man 
develops from a babbling babe into a Godlike being, in whom 
reason and conscience are inthroned. The plant and animal do 
this unconsciously, obeying their instincts. Alan does this con- 
sciously, through the guidance of reason, and by the power of 

The ideals which man consciously sets up before himself and 
endeavors to realize in his life and character spring from the 
abysmal depths of a superhuman source. Man wills whether 
or no to register, incarnate and embody these institutions and 
ideals in his life and character, but they come from the eternal 
God. We must remember that this earth is a stage on which a 
world drama is being enacted and that our little lives not only 
have significance for our poor finite selves but also for the 
universe which begat us. 

The teleological instinct is basal and fundamental in man. The 
doctrine of final causes has ever appealed to him. He has 
always inquired about the final purposes of things. And the 
man in men asks, "For what final purpose was man created? 
Why did the universal mind never pause in his struggle and 
striving, in his manifestation until he begot man? For what 

ao The African Abroad. 

reason did the Absolute impose the ethical idea upon man, as 
the supreme law of his nature?" Unless we believe the universe, 
with all its vastness and splendor and glory and grandeur and 
law and order, to be begotten by blind chance, and unless we 
believe the world ground to be having fun with us, there must 
be an infinite and eternal meaning and significance to the 
supremacy of the ethical ideals of man. And I am inclined to 
believe that the Absolute will preserve whatever is of eternal 
significance and value in the universe. 

But the scientists tell us that the immortality of the mind of 
man is an impossibility because the mind states are epiphonema 
thrown off by the brain. The brain secretes thoughts just as 
the liver secretes bile. A blow on the head will cause uncon- 
sciousness and when the brain ceases to function the mind of 
man dies. 

While the brain influences the mind, it is also true that the 
mind of man, through the brain, influences the body. Worry 
poisons the secretions of the bile and liver and depresses the 
entire physical organism. Joy accelerates the entire physical 
organism. Anger excites and fear paralyzes the heart. The 
worry, fear and stage-fright of Jim Jeffries made a physical 
weakling of that giant on July 4, 1910, at Reno, Nevada. Doctors 
had pronounced him physically sound and perfect ; but his 
mental collapse, caused by worrying over the outcome of his 
fight with Jack Johnson, the black champion, completely upset 
and threw his physical organism out of tune. Yes, the mental 
^j states have a powerful effect upon the nervous systems of men. 
The mind influences the brain just as much as the brain 
the mind. 

The mind and brain, then, are two separate things, which 
are causally related to and reciprocally influence each other during 
the temporal life of man. But the mind of man has a life and 
nature that is peculiarly its own, that is sui generis, that behaves 
in ways peculiar to itself alone, and that transcends the function- 
ing of the brain. 

There is a great gulf between the movements in the molecules, 
atoms, nerve cells and nerve tracts in the brain of a Plato, 
Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Shakespeare, Kmerson, W'agner and 
Beethoven and the wonderful mental creations of these gifted 

A Narra^ansctt Reverie. 21 

souls. How translate the commotion in the nerve centers of 
their brains into the grand thoughts of lofty sentiments that 
surge in them ? 

It may be true, as the late Professor William James of Har- 
vard has said, that the brain is the medium for the transmission 
of thought as well as for the production of thought. And it 
certainly seems clear that the brain, instead of producing the 
mind, is the occasion for the mind's manifesting its own peculiar 
nature and activities. 

How, then, could two such separate and distinct beings as the 
brain and mind reciprocally influence each other and be causally 
related to each other? Only on the hypothesis that they are the 
manifestations of the same Infinite Mind, who manifests himself 
in the world of mind and matter and whose self-consciousness 
is coextensive with and inclusive of the psychical and physical 
changes in the universe. The mind of man is the manifestation 
of the mind of God. And if God so wills, the conscious, rational 
life of man will survive the death of the body and the destruction 
of the brain. God has the whole universe at his command. 

The mind develops in constant and ceaseless dependence upon 
the protoplasmic molecules of the brain; but in its growth and 
development it evolves an ego, a unity of personality, a center of 
self-consciousness that persists and endures during the modifica- 
tions in the substance of the brain and changes in psychic states. 
Nerve cells in the brain wear out and are replaced by new nerve 
cells ; psychic states come and go, and succeed each other in the 
stream of consciousness like the waves of the sea. But the self, 
the ego, the unity of personality, the center of self-consciousness, 
the permanent subject of the psychic states, the "I" who thinks, 
perceives, imagines, remembers, feels, and wills, remains. And, 
is it strange that this unity of personality, this center of self- 
consciousness should survive the destruction of the body, should 
persist during the physical change of death and be clothed in 
a new garment and raiment and be attached to a new medium and 
organ of expression? If God wills it, the rational life of man 
will survive the death of the body and the destruction of the 

I know that this is the age of practical atheism, of agnosticism, 
the age when men say, "We don't know whether there is any 

22 77jr African Abroad. 

God!" But when I reflect that I am living in a universe which 
is built up out of millions of some seventy odd different kinds 
of atoms, of millions of minute gyrating and revolving ions, in 
which law and order reign, when I reflect that certain fundamen- 
tal laws of reason govern my thinking and the constitutional 
mode of the operation of my mind, when I reflect that from the 
depths of my nature, beneath the subsoil of my conscious life, 
rises the impulse of instincts that make me a moral personality, 
I cannot believe that this vast universe, and myself a mental and 
moral being, were formed by the fortuitous concourse of blind 
and unthinking atoms. 

The universe needs a God back of it to explain it. I need a 
God back of myself to explain myself to myself. No wanderer 
who has ever set sail on the dreaded sea that laves these terres- 
trial shores, has ever returned to tell of the sights he saw, the 
sounds he heard, or what beautiful visions greeted his eye on 
yonder shore; no one has ever returned to tell of the strange 
land and countries beyond the sea. But when I must shuffle off 
this earthly coil, leave this bright, beautiful land I love so well, 
this pleasant sunshine, and the friends whose presence to me is 
so sweet and dear, and trust myself to a stream that will bear 
me, I know not whither, I must believe that the unknown ocean 
currents, urged on by unseen forces, will bear my bark to the 
region that the Author and Maker of my being and of the uni- 
verse in which I live, has prepared for me. And when the 
imprisoned soul has escaped from the cage of the flesh, and has 
left behind its prison bars, it may be that the noble spirits who 
have spent their lives doing something to lighten the sins, suffer- 
ings, miseries and wretchedness of the world will realize the 
words of the Apostle when he said, "Beloved, now are we the 
sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but 
we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for 
we shall see him as he is." And who can tell but what the 
powers, strengthened by battling with evil and sin in this world, 
will there find ?n ampler field of exercise, a broader sphere of 
activity and a larger arena? 

And how can wc do better than to act well our part in this 
life, and then when the hour comes for us to face the mystery of 
Death, leave the shores of time and venture forth upon the ocean 

A Narragansctt Rci'cric. 23 

of eternity — how, I say, can we do better than to trust the power 
that brought us into being in a world that breaks into expression 
and bursts into a thousand forms of beauty, in leaves and flowers, 
in grass and foliage every spring, unfolding in beauty and 
grandeur, in glory and splendor and putting on the robe of 
beauty which has ever delighted the eye of man ? 




God Rcx'calcd in the Course of Human History, in the Move- 
ments of the Human Spirit in its Historical Development — The 
Meoninij; of History. 

As I have studied history, two questions have constantly forced 
themselves upon mc, What is the meaning of history? Is the 
hand of God revealed in the movement of human history? Does 
the way in which man has moved along in his historical develop- 
ment, does the influence of great men upon history, does the 
moral order that is revealed in history, does the fact that history 
shows that religion is the deepest thing ahout man prove anything 
with regard to the nature of the world ground? I think so. I 
will endeavor in this chapter to give a brief survey of the course 
of human history ; to show the part that great men have played 
in history and the secret of their influence ; to show how the 
immoral nations have gone to destruction ; to show how religion 
is the life blood of humanity; to show how ethical ideals and 
moral instincts have been the dynamos which have whirled the 
car of civilization on its onward way ; to show that the conscience 
of man has been the mainspring of his activity ; to show that 
his instinctive morality and capacity for moral development has 
determined and dominated his movements in history. And then 
I think that the following conclusion will be forced upon it. 

All human history is inexplicable and incapable of being 
explained if human history is not the manifestation of the self- 
revealing life of an Immanent God, who is the center and source 
of all human progress, because he is the Immanent Source and 
Ground of the ideals and instincts which have been the propelling 
cause of human progress. If this universe is not rational to the 
core, — and by rational to the core we mean that the universe is 
the manifestation of a self-conscious mind; if moral principles 
are not interwoven in the very web and woof of the uni- 
verse, imbcdfled in the structure and nature of the universe 
itself; if this universe is but the result of the accidental and 

The Meaning of History. 25 

fortuitous play of diverse atoms ; if human history is but an 
accidental result of the play of blind mechanical forces, then is 
not only all human history, all ethics, art and religion an illusory 
dream, but life itself is an illusion, a monstrous farce. If history 
is to be understood, if human history is to be interpreted, it can 
only be so as we recognize, in a dim way though it may be, the 
presence of God in human nature and history. 

There is one set of students of history who regards man as a 
product of physical conditions, the resultant of physical forces. 
In their estimation he is a child of Nature. They say that 
"History is accounted for by the action and interaction of physi- 
cal and psychical forces. The interaction of known physical laws 
accounts for the development of history ; and by a study of those 
laws we can predict with a probability approaching to certainty 
the course of history." This is the biological, the mechanical and 
anthropological view of history. It is a materialistic view of 
human character, human life, human history. 

Now it is no doubt true that men can develop in history only 
by constant and ceaseless dependence upon physical and psycho- 
logical laws. Such are the laws of the physical and natural 
sciences. Heat and cold, the change of the seasons, the physio- 
logical laws of one's bodily organism — these are laws to which a 
man must conform. Then, too, the geographical distribution of 
land and water, the fertility and barrenness of the soil, the 
healthiness of the climate, all of these things determine the move- 
ment of men in masses. Again, the fact whether men live on the 
seashore or in a tropical climate where little exertion is required 
to get a living and where consequent indolence and idleness 
result, or whether men live in a rugged mountainous climate 
where they must get their living by the sweat of the brow, and 
where sturdy, manly qualities of soul are developed, where self 
reliance and thrift and energy are developed, these things pro- 
foundly influence men's lives and the movements of history. 
Then, too, consider what effect the fact that the country of Greece 
was broken up into deep valleys by the mountain ranges had 
upon the history of Greece and upon the history of mankind. 
One writer says, "It resulted in the autonomy of the common- 
wealth." It divided Greece into many little states instead of 
into one state. "Large armies could neither be trained nor sup- 

26 The African Abroad. 

ported; nor could they be transported so that tliey could come 
down over the mountains and despoil those in the plain." It 
prevented Greece from being a United Greece. And if the sev- 
eral Greek states had been united into one large state, what effect 
would it have had upon the future history of mankind? Then, 
too, the physiological and jjsychical differences of the sexes, the 
universal laws of family life, must be recognized. But while we 
must admit that man is acted on by his environment, is influenced 
and modified by his environment, still it is true that man reacts 
upon his environment and changes it. He does this in ways 
peculiar to himself alone. He forms tools out of the elements 
of nature, he builds houses, he shoots game, he raises crops, he 
invents machinery and makes the forces of heat, water, electricity 
and other forces of nature drive his mill, run his cars and admin- 
ister to his physical wants and necessities, to his comforts and 
to his luxury and ease. The dog or the horse or the ape does 
not develop machinery or utilize the forces of nature to the 
extent that they can feed and clothe and shelter the increasing 
multitudes of their kind; but man reacts upon his physical 
environment in ways that are peculiar to himself alone. There 
you must recognize in man a mind and a will of his own that 
changes the aspects and facts of nature. 

Professor Ladd truly says, "Human history is an extremely 
complex affair in which the whole human nature, aesthetical, 
moral and religious as well as the physical and sensuous side, 
reacts in extremely complicated ways upon the changing condition 
of the environment." The peculiar and inexplicable fact about 
man's reacting upon his environment is not so much that he shows 
mor^^ intelligence in providing for iiis daily wants, for that 
would only make him a superior animal, but that man has intel- 
lectual ideals and a love of truth for its own sake ; has ethical, 
asthctical ideals and sentiments of awe and reverence, from 
which he reacts upon his environment in a way to get his 
philosophy, science, art, ethics and religion — this is what can't 
be explained on biological or mechanical or anthropological 
grounds. You cannot understand history unless you understand 
man as an ethical, xsthetical and religious being. All degrees 
of civilization, all eras and epochs of history show that the love 
and appreciation of beauty is an essential part of man's progress. 

The Mcaniui; of History. 27 

Professor Ladd ag-ain says, "It is the soul of man which 
makes history what it is. History is a study of the develop- 
ment of the free spirit of man. It cannot be explained on biologi- 
cal, anthropological and statistical grounds alone. Some of the 
most important economical changes have been due to the fact 
that man is a religious being. History is the resultant of the 
entire complex development of man considered as body and mind 
and determining his own development." That view of history 
which makes it a matter of biological mechanism ignores the most 
important class of facts. 

Professor Ladd again truly says, "If you confine your handling 
of it to mere external and mechanical considerations, objective 
details, you can't get at the heart of the matter. If you deal 
with the history of Europe from the time of Christ to the present 
era as a purely economic and political affair, you leave out of 
the account the greater whole. The politics and history of 
Europe have been profoundly modified and influenced by moral 
and religious ideas. The history of political institutions and the 
history of economic changes is an important but small part of 
history. The history of domestic and private institutions is an 
important part of history. The history of art is just as much 
a necessar}' part of historical institutions as the political and 
economic history. Man's philosophy, his science, his art, 
his ethics and religion are not caused by mechanical forces 
external to himself; but they arise out of the depth of the 
human soul. The intellectual, moral and spiritual character- 
istics of the human soul are what is of main account in history. 
Then, again, we cannot explain the psychological genius of the 
Greeks, the genius of Beethoven, the monotheistic and ethical 
genius of the Israelites, the political genius of the Indo-Germanic 
races on biological and anthropological grounds. Neither can you 
explain the great racial characteristics, psychological peculiarities 
of the different races on biological and anthropological grounds. 
The race, reacting in a different way on its environment, deter- 
mines the of development the race will take. The inexpli- 
cable soul life of the Germanic nations is the thing of main 
account that will explain what the Germanic nations have done 
and will do in history." How account for the psychical and 
psychological differences between races, that one has a genius 

28 The African Abroad. 

for religion, another for art, and another for politics, how account 
for the psychical differences between men of genius of different 
kinds? You can't do it in terms of mechanism. 

You cannot explain on physiological and biological grounds 
how Moses, Jesus, Paul and Luther became such powers in 
history. You can't account for the genius and personality of 
Christ on the ground of enlarged brain area. It is his inexplica- 
ble soul life that explains him as a religious genius. His 
wonderful spiritual insight was the resultant of his spiritual 
hopes and longings and aspirations ; it arose from the inner 
experience of the man. We cannot leave out of account human 
individuality and human personality in history. 

Then, too, certain sociologists and political economists regard 
society as an organism ; they speak of the social forces which 
work in this organism, and of the laws which reign and hold 
sway in this organism. This view of human society is a biologi- 
cal and mechanical view and leaves out of account human indi- 
viduality and human personality. This view of human society 
does not consider individuality to be the making force in history. 
But it sees in human society nothing but the blind, mechanical 
working of "social laws" and "social forces." It is interested 
only in the mechanics of society. 

There is a very erroneous school in sociology which regards 
society as a mechanism or as a blind unconscious organism. It 
looks upon human history as a product of social forces and inex- 
orable laws. Indeed, one hears of the laws to which society is 
subjected, of the forces that work in human history. But Pro- 
fessor George Trumbull Ladd of Yale University, a philosopher 
possessing a mind of wonderful depth, subtlety and comprehen- 
siveness, has completely refuted that school of sociology when 
he says in his "Philosophy of Knowledge," one of the most pro- 
found and comprehensive philosophical works ever written: 
"When one turns to face the concrete and life-like picture of 
the multitudes of men in the present world and in the course of 
history, then, too, one inclines to believe that these souls are 
themselves the forces and that their ever varying and self-chosen 
relations to the world of things and to each other are the laws 
which constitute the figuratively so-called social organism. Social 
forces are not existent, so far as the science of sociology goes, 

The Meaning of History. 29 

until the souls are existent. They are no more uniform than are 
the souls from which the forces spring. And as to the laws of 
a 'social org^anism' there are none except those which are made 
bv the action and interaction of the souls themselves. But these 
are not ready-made laws, as it were; they are only the actually 
ceaselessly varying- and, as we hope, improving modes of the 
behavior of the individual members of the so-called organism. 
There is one set of students of history who regard man as a 
product of physical conditions, the resultant of physical forces, 
a child of nature. But this is a materialistic view and it ignores 
the spiritual side, ignores the influence that man is capable of 
producing upon events. Some men say that events of the past 
would have happened no matter what men lived. But is it so?" 

There are two great sets of facts that this way of looking at 
human history overlooks. There are the enormous influence of 
great men upon human history. If a few military geniuses, a 
few political geniuses, a few speculative thinkers had not lived, 
the entire course of human history would have been different. 
They are Jesus Christ, Paul, Augustine, Luther, Moses, Abraham, 
Buddha and Mohammed, Socrates^ Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Alex- 
ander, C?esar, Charlemagne, Columbus, and a few others. Take 
them out of history and no one can tell what the course of human 
history would have been. I know that the essential elements of 
human nature — its hopes, longings and aspirations — are facts to 
be reckoned with. I know that the prevailing social, moral and 
spiritual conditions and tendencies of the time are also facts to 
be reckoned with and facts which the great man must take account 
of. But it was the peculiar genius of the individual men that 
was the most important factor. 

But while historj' is to be primarily accounted for by the 
development of a rational and free human nature, we must 
remember that the structure of physical nature, the fact that 
tiiere are rivers in certain places and mountains in certain other 
places, are facts to be reckoned with also. But some one will 
object that there are certain great men who were the mere product 
of circumstances. Circumstances made the man, emergency 
called him forth and placed him on the top of a swelling tide. 
But there are two classes of great men; there are men who 
possess intrinsic greatness, and there are other great men whose 

3° The African Abroad. 

greatness is purely the greatness of opportunity. But it is no 
(louht true that even the men of intrinsic greatness are partlv 
dependent ui)on opportunity. They require that they shall live 
in circumstances which will develop and quicken the latent germ. 
They require that they shall he given a chance or opportunity to 
exercise and display their wonderful powers. The political and 
social genius, and even the speculative and religious genius, is 
assistefl if he casts his seed upon fruitful and fertile soil. 

Still the men of intrinsic greatness are distinguished in two 
ways from the men whose greatness is the greatness of oppor- 
tunity. The partly great men are carried along by the events, 
swept along by the advancing tide of public opinion and aroused 
feeling. They are merely figureheads, who happen to represent 
the advancing tide or give expression to the aroused sentiment. 
But the truly great man determines the course of events, guides 
and directs affairs. The partially great man could be taken out 
of the situation and he would not be missed; another man could 
step in and fill his place just as well. But a truly great man 
is a man who cannot be easily duplicated. It is very hard or 
impossible to find a man who can fill his place. He is unique. 
He possesses a penetrating insight, an iron will and a self- 
possessed nature. 

A human ideal has been slowly and progressively realized in 
the development of human society. Some pessimists have only 
seen strife and carnage in nature, the survival of the fittest, and 
they have remarked that nature is red in tooth and claw. But 
self-sacrifice is as noticeable in animal life as is selfishness, self- 
assertion and cruelty. As Dr. Gordon has said, '"Parental love 
is the tic that binds the whole brute creation to God." Love 
is the emotion that binds the generation of the brutes together. 
Were it not for the facts that mothers of animals cared for their 
offspring, were willing to sacrifice their lives for their offspring, 
the young animals could not live. The emotion of love is even 
found in a lion's den. 

But it is not until wc reach human nature that the emotion of 
love passes from a blind, unconscious, natural instinct to an 
ethical sentiment. The entire history of humanity has consisted 
in broadening the sphere for the emotion of love. At first we 
see man in a savage and wild state. Every man was an Ishmael- 

The Meaning of History! 31 

ite, with his hand against his neighbor. Then there was a crude 
family love, caused by the family being knit together in caring 
for and protecting the young. Then the ties of blood relationship 
widened, until the family love extended itself, until the clan was 
but another name for a larger family. Then the emotion of 
love broadened its scope until it took in the tribe, then the nation 
or race, and, finally, the growth of commerce, the spread of 
Christianity, the missionary movement and the hope of inter- 
national arbitration have so expanded that men are beginning 
to realize what the brotherhood of man means. The family life 
is the source from which the nation sprang and it is also the 
source from which the emotion of love took its rise. We can 
see that the whole of the higher spiritual qualities of man and 
the whole tendency of history has moved towards the triumph 
of moral principles and towards the enthronement of love. Not 
only has a moral ideal been slowly and progressively realized in 
the life of the individual, but a moral order has been slowly and 
progressively realized in the course of human history. This clearly 
indicates the thought and plan of God which is being realized 
in human history. I know that there has been a great waste of 
material and life. I know that there has been many a regression. 
I know that the element of luck and chance has played a promi- 
nent part in human history. I know that there is no special 
providence in the sense that God directs every movement. But 
still an immanent idea has been realized in human history and 
there has been a movement towards some goal ; namely, the ideal 
social community. 

And in the course of human history we can see the method of 
the movement of the Divine Mind. We see first that the method 
of history has been one of evolution rather than of revolution, 
of slow and gradual growth rather than of sudden transition. 
Secondly, we see that the great advances of history have been 
made by a few men being faithful to an ideal. Thirdly, we see 
the law of the survival of the fittest prevailing in history. 

When Christianity first made its entrance into the world slavery 
was embedded in the very structure and life of the Roman 
Empire. Indeed half of the population of Italy were slaves. 
Christianity advocated a sentiment and embodied a spirit (namely, 
the intrinsic worth of every individual soul) that was at war with 

3* The African Abroad. 

human slavery. Cliristianity finally conquered, but the process 
was a long and slow one. The despised plebeians finally obtained 
full civil and political rights and intermarriage; but the process 
was a long and slow one. The Jews had been persecuted for 
centuries ; but at last a Jew became prime minister of England, 
and now the Jews are beginning to breathe freely. About twelve 
hundred years ago all luirope was groaning in serfdom, but 
finally the French Revolution broke forth upon astonished 
Europe and indicated that the time was at hand when the peasant 
would secure his rights and privileges. The Saxon peasants, 
under William the Conqueror, were serfs, and serfdom for a 
long while held sway in England, yet slowly and gradually the 
striving Anglo-Saxon spirit burst its fetters, until the Magna 
Carta was secured and until the constitutional form of self-gov- 
ernment prevailed in England. The whole course of human his- 
tory indicates the terrible patience of God and the fact that he 
has all eternity at his disposal. 

Then, too, when we look at the heroic spirit of the Hebrew 
prophets; at the heroism of Paul and the other Apostles; at 
the dauntless courage of Luther, Knox, Wesley and their dis- 
ciples ; at the heroism of the Pilgrim Fathers and the Abolition- 
ists, we can see that human history would not have been what 
it now is were it not for those little bands of heroic souls, were 
it not for those rugged adamantine spirits who stood against the 
world for principles. All human history is a witness and testi- 
mony to the psychological fact that a little band of faithful souls, 
who will not flinch, can shape and cause to totter the confidence 
of the guilty and can rouse the conscience and stir the spirit 
of the indifferent. 

The entire cycle of history is replete with instances of a rich, 
luxurious but effeminate nation falling before a hartlier and 
stronger one. Persia became rich, powerful, immoral and degen- 
erate only to fall before the hardy Greeks. The Greeks became 
powerful, but immorality sapped their manhood and vitality and 
they fell before the hardy Romans. The little city of Rome ruled 
the world ; but licentiousness and debauchery weakened her and 
she was unable to resist the tide of barbarian invasion that swept 
in continuous hordes over the barriers of her empire, until it 
overwhelmed her. Similarly the fall of Constantinople in the 

The Meaning of History. 33 

fifteenth century was caused by degeneracy, consequent upon 

F'ifteen hundred years ago the hardy Norseman and fierce, 
fearless \'ikings made their presence known and felt in Europe. 
They laughed at the perils of the deep, courted danger, burned 
villages and pillaged houses. The Anglo-Saxon race ever since 
has stood forth as the perfect embodiment of daring courage and 
adventurous aggressiveness. By its bold, daring, adventurous 
and aggressive spirit the Anglo-Saxon race has conquered every 
race that it has come into contact with. It has taken up Christian- 
ity and has shown its aggressive spirit in carrying forward 
civilization into the very heart of Africa and in carrying forward 
the missionary movement. That race, with its progressive spirit, 
is now developing and carrying still higher the twentieth century 
civilization. But just look at the facts: Israel, Greece, Rome, 
the Geniianic and Saxon races are the five great races that have 
thus far made important contributions to civilization. Each race 
developed a peculiar genius along one line and perfected it in an 
organized and national life. Israel, as an ethical and religious 
genius, left her impress upon civilization; Greece, as a philo- 
sophic and artistic genius; Rome, as a military, practical and 
political genius ; the Germanic races, as the embodiment of a 
free and independent spirit ; the Anglo-Saxon race, as the mani- 
festation of an adventurous and progressive spirit. After 
Christianity appeared in the world, each of these five great race 
stocks not only was influenced and modified by Christianity, but 
each left its own impress upon Christianity and contributed its 
own distinctive genius to it. Thus it was from the Hebrew mind 
and spirit that Christianity derived its conception of the ethical 
perfection of God and of the reality of sin as an alienation from 
God. It was from the Greek mind that Christianity obtained its 
conception of the immanence of the Divine mind in nature, 
obtained its notion that every visible thing was but the symbol 
and manifestation of an invisible thought. And here it is that 
Julius Csesar made his indelible impress upon human history. 
He conquered the Britons, the Gauls and Germans ; he cleared 
the Alediterranean Sea of pirates, enlarged and strengthened the 
Roman Empire in the far East, united and centralized the politi- 
cal life of Rome. Had it not been for the political and military 


34 The African Abroad. 

genius of Rome, and especially of Julius Cnesar, which conquered 
the civilized world, built niagniticent roads and assimilated the 
conquered into one State, Christianity would not have been the 
force that it is to-day. Rome became the purveyor of the Hebrew 
and Greek mind and so conquered and unified the world that 
it was possible for Christianity to be disseminated over the entire 
civilized world. We find the dermanic spirit free and independ- 
ent during a process which began with the Mediaeval mystics 
and culminated in the heroic pleas of Luther for the sanctity of 
inward piety, of the soul's communion with God, and for indi- 
vidual freedom in studying and interpreting the Bible. Inward 
pietv. philosophical and theological freedom have been the dis- 
tinctive contribution of the Germanic race to Christianity, and it 
was from the Mediaeval mystics and the German Reformation 
that Germany received its impulse. 

But some one may say, What has the Anglo-Saxon race con- 
tributed in philosophy, theology and inward piety? Nothing. 
But what Rome did for the Hebrew and Greek mind the Anglo- 
Saxon race has done for the German mind. The Anglo-Sa.xon 
race has assimilated the results of the Hebrew, Greek and German 
genius and is aggressively carrying forward to all parts of civili- 
zation the indestructible elements contributed by the Hebrew, 
Greek and Roman mind. The Anglo-Saxon race is the advance 
guard of civilization and it is the source from which the great 
missionary movements have sprung. It is the embodiment of a 
progressively aggressive missionary spirit. 

So the Negro race will never achieve much if it scatters its 
energy and attempts to blot out the precious traits of the race. 
We are a race possessing a lovable nature, a spiritual earnestness 
and a musical genius. The nineteenth century civilization, the 
nineteenth century Christianity, and especially the American civili- 
zation and American Christianity is absorbed in a gross material- 
ism which takes away the spirit of love and depreciates the 
spiritual side of human nature. There is a felt want and need 
in our modern civilization and Christianity. The Negro possesses 
those spiritual and emotional qualities which can soften human 
nature and spiritualize religion and music. Here is his sphere. 
He must shake off the infirmities of the Negro race; he must 
cease imitating the vices of the Anglo-Saxon race; he must 

The Meaning of History. 35 

acquire the aggressiveness and tenacity of purpose of the Anglo- 
Saxon race and develop all that is precious in the Negro genius. 
But the Negro poet, musician, artist and philosopher must remem- 
ber that, if he is to accomplish something that will live forever 
and go down the ages, he must rise above the limitations of a 
Negro environment, touch the common heart of humanity, rise 
to the Universal and strike the Universal chord in the harp of 
God's world. Genius of whatever kind is an inborn quality of 
the human soul. It enables the possessor of it to constructively 
and creatively deal with the material at his disposal in unique 
ways, in ways that cannot be taught or learned. This is true of 
every kind of genius. It is the peculiar, the inexplicable psychical 
and psychological differences between men which causes one man 
to be a political genius, another man to be a military genius 
and another man to be a religious genius. The environment 
doesn't make the man, the environment only quickens the latent 
germ, only develops and brings out what already exists in the 
man, though perhaps only in embryonic forms. The environment 
may develop some qualities in a man, may modify others, may 
repress others. But it can never put into a man what is not in 
the man. The ideals and fundamental instincts which impel a 
man of genius or any great man are not imposed upon him from 
without. They come from within. They grow from within. 
They are the results of the innate tendencies of the man and they 
burst forth with the irrepressible vehemence of pent-up energy. 
The possibilities of every man's personality, the peculiarities of 
his genius exist, in a dormant state though it may be, in the 
man and are independent of the man's environment. 

While environment may modify a man's original endowment, 
still the way that a man shall choose or decide at the crises of 
his career, at the critical moments of his life, moments in which 
the character is formed or changed, when a man chooses his 
calling or decides upon any line of action, this is something that 
is not determined by circumstances, but is accounted for by his 
inexplicable soul life and by his freedom of mind in choosing 
and willing. Caesar's decision on the banks of the Rubicon was 
not caused by mechanical forces external to himself, but arose 
out of the depth of the experience of the man. The righteous 
indignation of Luther at the sale of indulgences was not caused 

36 The African Abroad. 

by the physical forces which acted uix)n his sensuous organs, but 
arose out of the spiritual nature of the man. 

The other central fact is that if the soil was fertile and the 
sower had not come and cast his seed the spiritual life of mankind 
would not be what it is now. If the conditions were all rii^ht 
for a political revolution or religious awakening, but if the great 
man had not come and set the forces and tenflencies into operation 
and roused men, the course of human history would have been 
far different. As to whether, if Christ or Mohammed or Buddha 
or Casar or Alexander had not lived, other men of genius would 
have taken their places and done their work, we do not and cannot 
know. But we know of no other men of their age who could 
have done the work they did. And if these other men of genius 
had lived, we do not know whether the conditions would be the 
same. But the positive fact that we do know is this : a few 
unique individuals, coming at the time they did. exerted a tremen- 
dous intluence upon human history and determined its course, 
destroyed empires, founded new ones, and were the founders 
of religion. 

Each one of the three great religions, Buddhism. Mohamme- 
danism antl Christianity, some one of which influences almost 
every tribe and nation upon the earth, has been the fruit of the 
thought and inspiration of a single individual. We must take 
account of the general condition and civilization of the people 
at the time that Siddartha, Mohammed and Christ arose, as we 
must also of the general characteristics of human nature as 
modified by its environment. We must consider the spiritual 
needs and longings and hopes and aspirations of man. But the 
dominating force and essence of each one of these three move- 
ments was the genius and personal power of the man who gave 
his thoughts and life to the world to meet its needs. 

Before Mohammed's time, the Saracens were men of a narrow 
iconoclastic spirit and were scattered into a few Bedouin tribes. 
But what did Mohammed do? In the brilliant words of Profes- 
sor George Burton Adams: "Putting into definite and striking 
form the unconscious ideas and asjjirations of his people, and 
adding a central and unifying teaching, and inspiring and ele- 
vating notions from various .sources, he had transformed a few 
scattered tribes into a great nation and sent them forth under 

The Meaning of History. 37 

a blazing enthusiasm upon a career of conquest entirely unparal- 
lelled in motive force and extent." 

}kIohamnied starts out with a few Bedouin tribes and a territory 
six thousand miles in diameter was occupied and conquered within 
a hundred years. True it is that the tendencies towards Moham- 
med's results existed before Mohammed was born. True it is 
that Mohammed did not build out of chaos. True it is that 
the Semitic race was an intensely religious race. 'Tis a fact, 
also, that the conquests of the Mohammedans were easily made, 
because the races which they overthrew were old, weak races 
and that when the Arabs met the young and vigorous Franks 
they were turned back. These three causes partly account for 
the rise of Mohammedanism, but they do not wholly explain it. 
A psychological cause remains to be explained, namely, the 
influence of the personality of Mohammed upon the minds and 
hearts of the Arabs. The tendencies of the tribe and the intensely 
religious nature of the Semitic race needed the powerful person- 
ality of a Mohammed to put the vague, floating desires and 
tendencies to unity in religion, language and government, into a 
definite and clear shape. The creative genius and powerful per- 
sonality of a Mohammed gave the people a deep channel to work 
in. If Mohammed had not come and unified the tendencies and 
desires of his race, no one can tell what the history of those 
Bedouin tribes would have been. 

And with regard to Luther. The fact that there were a reli- 
gious movement in Switzerland by Zwingli, a movement in France 
led by LaFevre, a movement in Spain, a desire for reform in Italy, 
which were independent of each other and of Luther, the fact that 
some of these movements were before the time of Luther, have 
led some historians to believe that the Reformation would have 
come if Luther had not lived, although it might have come later 
and perhaps in some other country. And some see in the Refor- 
mation nothing but the bursting forth of forces working unseen 
beneath the surface. But these men lose sight of the central fact. 
No one questions that for a moral and spiritual reformer to exert 
great influence the times must be ripe and the conditions favora- 
ble. He must come at the proper time. But suppose a Luther 
had not come along and applied the match? Who can tell but 
the combustible material might never have burst into a conflagra- 

38 The African Abroad. 

tion? Who can tell but what the volcanic fires might have con- 
tinued to smoulder and ferment instead of belching forth in a 
stream of hot lava that blazed and burned its fiery path to the 
sea, if Luther's rugged and heroic personality had not come in 
the nick of time, as it were, and set the forces and tendencies 
into operation. 

The influence of the truly great in every form of development, 
in every line of activity, is enormous. But important in the 
history of the race as is the influence of a great discoverer, 
explorer, inventor, military leader, statesman or thinker, more 
important still is the influence of great individuals and a few rare 
personalities in the religious development of the race. The 
reason is obvious ; the discoverer, explorer, inventor, military 
leader and statesman makes a change in the external structure of 
life which reacts upon the individual; but the founder of a 
religion or prophetic seer works directly upon the hearts and char- 
acters and minds of men. A Christopher Columbus, a Julius 
Caesar, an Alexander, a Charlemagne, a Napoleon Bonaparte, 
ceases to exert a personal influence upon men after his death, 
but the life, the words and writing of a Buddha, a Mohammed, 
a Newman, a Luther, a Paul, a Christ, continue to inspire a:nd 
awake the spiritual nature centuries after he is dead. 

But it may be asked. Why is it that whereas a great thinker 
or inventor or discoverer can only hasten the onward march of 
civilization, yet to a few religious geniuses, often men of narrow 
views, but possessed of indomitable will, energetic natures and 
a burning enthusiasm, it has been given to change the course of 
history, to create history and to found religions and empires? 
Can we explain it by saying that mankind loves to follow illusions 
and mirages and hence will follow those men who embody its 
dreams and illusions? No. No religion has its hold upon the 
world and upon human nature by reason of the error that is 
in it or the illusions that it contains, but by reason of the truth 
that is in it. And Buddha became such a spiritual force and 
factor in history and founded such a world-embracing religion, 
because his religion met the sjMritual needs of the Eastern mind, 
which desired an escape from the ills and misery and sin of 
this life. 

Mohammed. Buddha, Luther and Newman or any narrow 
fanatic or enthusiastic reformer sways men as a speculative thinker 

The Meaning of History. 39 

and scholar never can, not because of the illusions which they fol- 
low, but because the ideals which they embody and their own 
intense and powerful personalities are able to appeal to and stir 
the deep-lying ethical and religious impulses of the human soul. It 
is because they can liberate the heroic in men and touch and 
vivify human nature in its inmost depths. 

But how account for the magical spell which is wielded by a 
great man? How account for the secret of the enchantment of 
his magnetic presence over the hearts and minds of men? Man- 
kind is ruled by kings, because hero worship is an instinct of the 
human soul. We see Roman soldiers blindly following Caesar. 
We see a Richelieu, a Calvin, a Bismarck erecting a liberty-crush- 
ing despotism and ruling with a rod of iron. Nay, from the 
French soldiers, who instinctively bowed before Napoleon and 
obeyed his every nod and call, as though he were a frowning 
Zeus hurling his dreaded thunderbolts from the rugged heights 
of Mount Olympus, up to the noble Oxford youths who eagerly 
hung upon the lofty words of Newman, so strangely fascinated 
and overawed by the moral sublimity and spiritual transcendency 
of the man, we see all men dominated by the man of superior 
intellect and stronger personality. There are certain instincts as 
fundamental as the distinction between right and wrong. There 
is an instinct about that sense of reverence, that sense of yielding 
ourselves to that which is above us, and it is this that partly 
explains the superlative influence of a great man. For it explains 
the influence of the personality of a great man upon the minds 
and hearts of his contemporaries, and this influence of one per- 
sonality upon other personalities is an important element in the 
effect which any great man produces upon his own and following 
ages. But as to whether that man's word, when it has been 
spoken, or deed, when it has been done, will be taken up by a 
tide that no one can control and swept onward, no one can pre- 
dict, as that belongs to conditions that lie beyond the ken of 
finite mortals. The conclusion of our study of history would 
seem to be that it is great men with the breath of the Almighty 
upon them, great men inspired by ideals, who are the making 
forces in history. 

When one looks at the magnificent civilization of Babylon and 
Assyria, at the still grander civilization of Greece and Rome, one 

40 The African Abroad. 

notices a striking similarity in the causes which led to the over- 
throw of these nations. The same sad story is told of all. By 
reason of their heroic character, simple way of living and sturdy 
virtues these four nations acquired vast riches and great power. 
Babylon became rich, luxurious and corrupt, and fell an easy 
victim to the hardy and sturdy Persians. Then the Persians gave 
themselves up to fast and loose pleasures and dissipation. They 
then became physically weak and cowardly. On the plains of 
Marathon and Salamis the vast hosts of the Persians were routed 
by the small but valiant bands of the Greeks. And then followed 
that tale that causes cultured men to look back with saddened 
eyes to Greece. Greece, the land of beauty, culture and art, 
became the home of corrupt and degenerate sons of the old 
heroes ; weakened by their dissipation they became an easy prey 
to Philip of Macedon, to Rome. W'e next see Rome rising in her 
might, gaining control of Italy, annihilating the Carthaginians, 
clearing the Mediterranean Sea of pirates, subduing the Gauls, 
Germans and Britons, extending her conquest to the far East 
and binding the whole civilized world into a unified kingdom, 
whose center and source of power was Rome — Mighty Rome. 
The power that Rome, that single city, showed in aggressively 
enlarging her boundaries and in assimilating the conquered 
nations into Romans and building up a strongly centralized state, 
challenges our admiration. But with the increase of wealth and 
power, luxury, cruelty, corruption, dissipation, physical weakness 
followed. \'irtue and chastity became lost; family life became 
corrupt. The very plain and sturdy virtues by which the Romans 
gained power were lost, and the effeminate and degenerated 
Romans were not able to resist the tide of barbarian invasion 
which rolled over Europe. Mighty Rome was turned over to 
the barbarians. These four nations of antiquity serve us as a 
terrible reminder. But let us look a moment at the modern 
nations and see if immorality and atheism is a cause of their 
weakness and downfall. The fall of Constantinople in the fif- 
teenth century was due to the corruption, dissipation and conse- 
quent physical degeneracy and weakness resulting therefrom. 
The partition of Poland was caused by the luxur}', injustice, 
cruelty, fast and high living of the Polish nobles. Someone may 
here object that "Poland was overthrown by the greed of stronger 

The Meaning of History. 41 

nations." That is true, but the Hfe of the nobles sapped their 
physical energy and their unjust government and caste system 
took the patriotism and lofty spirit out of the middle class of 

France is the best example in modern times of the full results 
of atheism. France, in the eighteenth century, forgot God and 
became atheistic. Then, when they believed that there was no 
future life in. which virtue would be rewarded and vice punished, 
the Frenchmen lived solely for pleasure, sensuality. All Europe 
in the eighteenth century showed how scepticism and atheism 
are necessarily followed by crime and vice. But nowhere did 
there a worse atheism exist than in France and nowhere were 
licentiousness, sensuality, crime and vice of every description 
more rampant. And the most central causes of the French Revo- 
lution were the atheism of France and the corruption which 
resulted from it. The licentiousness, luxury, sensuality and love 
of pleasure of the nobles prevented them from regarding the 
rights of the people and made them grind every last cent out of 
the peasants. Then, when the French peasants were aroused, 
there was no fear of God, no belief in God and the future life 
to restrain them from the terrible crimes and wholesale murders 
that even now cause a shudder to come over us, whenever the 
French Revolution is mentioned. It is a fact of life and history 
that cannot be denied, that men and nations cannot live a perfect, 
ethical and moral life, when they think there is no God ; as soon 
as men think there is no God, no future life, they invariably 
say with Greek and Roman atheists, with the Epicureans, "What 
is the use of all our striving, of all our suffering, of all our self- 
denial if there is no God, no life after this life? What is the use 
of our building up a perfect character and making lofty our whole 
nature, what is the use of building such a fine edifice of heroic 
manhood and noble womanhood only to see this fine manhood 
and womanhood destroyed and perish? Let us eat, drink and 
be merry, for to-morrow we die. Let us live solely for pleasure 
and let us gratify our animal passions." That is the state of 
mind that atheism brings a man into; that is the state of mind 
that ruined Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Poland, France ; that 
is the state of mind that will sap the strength of and ruin any 

4* The African Abroad. 

Some one may object here that "some atheists are good men, 
nay, even arc heroic and noble men." A few atheists are, but 
very few. For it is a matter of biography that ahnost all of the 
atheistic philosophers, the great men of whom atheism boasts, 
are immoral men. \'oltaire is one of a great number of them. 

\'ery few men have that iron will, that herculean strength of 
character that, without belief in "an Eternal Power not our- 
selves that makes for righteousness," without a belief that 
righteousness will finally conquer in this world and that some- 
where in the universe, somehow or other, virtue will be 
rewarded — I say that very few men have that strength of char- 
acter and iron will that, without a belief in God and immortality, 
they can suffer unpopularity and hatred and death for right's 
sake, can calmly face seeming defeat, through all disappoint- 
ments and failures can be courageous or cheerful, can be proof 
against every temptation. Parnell and Mark Antony are only 
representatives of that class of strong men, not guided by 
religious motives, who have succumbed to temptations. Parnell 
was a Catholic, and a church member I think, but God and 
religion did not mean much to Parnell. His religion was not 
the reality of his life. 

I will only glance for a moment at the transcendent heroism 
of those who had a living faith in the ever-present and living 
God. Look at the old Hebrew Prophets, who sternly rebuked 
the Jewish multitudes and suffered persecutions, telling the truth 
and uttering the thoughts God inspired them with. Look at the 
Apostle Paul and all the other Christian martyrs, who, with 
singing and rejoicing, suffered persecutions and went to be torn 
into pieces by the lions in the Roman Amphitheatre or to be 
burned alive at the stake. Look at the intrepid Luther, fearlessly 
speaking the truth about religion; and when dissuaded by his 
friends from going to the Diet of Worms and to seeming suffer- 
ing and death, boldy said, "H there were as many devils in 
Worms are there are tiles on the house roofs I would still go 
there!" Look at the old Pilgrim Fathers, who, in order to wor- 
ship God in their own way, left their happy homes in England, 
came to bleak and barren New- England, heroically endured the 
frosts, famine and attacks of the Indians, and founded a common- 
"wealth. That old, stern, heroic Puritan blood still courses in 

The Meaning of History. 43 

the veins of their descendants. That blood caused Wendell 
Phillips, Charles Sumner, William Lloyd Garrison and other 
abolitionists to agitate the slavery question and to suffer for so 
doing. That old Puritan blood and faith in God caused John 
Brown to cheerfully die. Look at Chinese Gordon, the Christian 
soldier, the hero of the nineteenth centur}% sustained by his faith 
in God, accomplishing seeming impossibilities, calmly overwhelm- 
ing odds and so cheerfully bearing the terrible strain at Khartoum 
and so heroically dying there. Look at the long list of Christian 
missionaries and martyrs of the nineteenth century, Henry Martyn, 
Percy Alden, Livingston, Armstrong and others, who have given 
up personal comfort and selfish ambition, lived for others and 
been happy in their heroic self-renunciation and self-sacrificing 
love. Consider that the backbone and strength of England rests 
in her religious faith and moral stamina. 

I know that my proof has not been a strictly logical one. I 
know that I have barely touched upon some important points. 
But the subject with which I have to deal is so complex and so 
wide that it can only be illumined by flashing sidelights upon it 
from different positions, by looking at it from different points 
of view. 


Teleology in Reality; or, in ivhat Sense is there a Teleological 
Movement in the World? Is Man One of the Final Purposes 
of the Universe? 

There is one sentence in Hamilton Wright Mabie's essays in 
hterary criticism which equals the best of Emerson's epigram- 
matic sentences, which could condense a whole system of philos- 
ophy into a single phrase. And this sentence will form the text 
of this chapter. 

"Through personality the universe reveals itself, and in the 
high and final development of personality the universe accom- 
plishes the immortal work for which the shining march of its 
suns and the ebb and flow of its vital tides were ordained." 

I shall endeavor to unfold the meaning of that sentence in this 
chapter and to throw the illumination of its light upon the great 
problem of man's immortality. 

But, before we proceed, it will be well to glance for a moment 
at the line of thought already traversed. I have endeavored in 
the two preceding chapters to show that the universe and man 
are only to be understood upon the hypothesis that they are the 
expressions and forthputtings of an immanent, rational, ethical 
and benevolent world spirit. Then we took up the objection 
raised by the pessimist, that the sin and suffering and misery and 
moral evil in the world introduces a discord in the world ground 
and indicates some imperfection in his nature. 

But in those chapters we saw that altruism was as universal a 
principle as egoism, both in the animal and human world ; we 
saw also that from the time when the nebula began to condense 
and contract into revolving fluid balls, up to the present time, 
the whole process of evolution has tended to the producing and 
perfecting of the spiritual nature of man. This looks as if the 
universe were ethical to the core and that love and benevolence 
were imbedded in the very structure of the universe. Then we 
saw that the hypothesis of man's immortality would resolve the 
difficulties involved in the problem of evil. 

Teleology in Reality, 45 

Now, the pessimist may say that I am arguing in a circle ; for 
we cannot prove that God is love unless man is immortal, and 
we cannot prove that man is immortal unless God is love. But 
our adversary does not distinguish between positive arguments 
and negative objections. It is by our positive argument that we 
prove that God is love. On the hypothesis that God is love we 
prove that man is immortal. And upon the supposition that man 
is immortal we can show that the sin and suffering in the world 
does not invalidate our positive proof that the world is the 
eternal expression of a rational and ethical Personality. 

Thus far, instead of arguing in a circle, there has been a steady 
progression in our argument. Now we will try to discover what 
is the destiny of man; but, before we do that, we must see what 
is man's place in the cosmos. And that will be the burden of this 

The old Ptolemaic astronomy placed the earth in the center 
of the solar system, around which all the other planets revolved. 
In the eyes of the old theology man was the lord of the earth ; 
the entire solar universe was created for him and his comforts 
and he was the center of cosmic space. The earth in this concep- 
tion was not only the center of the solar system, but was the 
largest and most important planetary body in that system. 

The earth and its revolving planets were formed but for one 
purpose, to be the terrestrial stage and scene of action in which 
man would perform his part in the drama of life. Man was a 
monarch, whose throne was the earth, whose canopy was heaven 
and whose kingdom was the universe. And this view was given 
classic expression in Pope's beautiful Essay on Man: 

Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine, 

Earth for whose use? Pride answers, " 'Tis for mine; 

For me kind nature wakes her genial power, 

Suckles each herb and spreads out every flower; 

Annual for me, the grape, the rose, renew 

The juice nectareous and the balmy dew; 

For me the mine a thousand treasures bring, 

For me, health gushes from a thousand springs; 

Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise. 

My footstool earth, my canopy the skies." 

But this childlike naive belief in the special creation of nature 
and her forces for man's use and comfort vanished, like the 

4^ The African Abroad. 

mists before the risinpf sun, when Copernicus revealed the fact 
that the sun was the center of our solar system, around which 
the earth as well as Mercury, \'enus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn 
revolved. Then, with the invention of the telescope, the new 
astronomy disclosed the truth that those dim, fixed stars, which 
twinkle faintly in the distance, are li^dit-shedding suns and centers 
of other solar systems with their revolving planets. Our sun 
is at least a million times larger than our earth. Julia McNair 
Wright in her fascinating book on astronomy says that, "Most 
of the fixed stars are larger than our sun. Sirius is supposed 
to be as large as eight suns like ours. Vega is as large as thirty- 
eight suns." 

Think of that, \^ega, a star-sun, is forty million times larger 
than our earth. And when we reflect that some astronomers 
declare that in space there are nine thousand millions of star-suns, 
with their wheeling planets, we can form some idea of the insig- 
nificance of our earth in the solar system. But when we remem- 
ber in the words of the same author that, "As to distance, one 
tries in vain to realize it. The nearest fixed star is trillions of 
miles away. Light travels at the rate of one hundred and eighty- 
six thousand miles a second, yet so far ofif are the stars that it 
takes their light from three and a half to many thousand years 
to reach us. If to-day one such star suddenly perisiied, for a 
thousand years the light that has already left it would be stream- 
ing to us," — we are appalled by the size and vastness of this 

But when we reflect that there are nine thousand millions of 
shining suns with revolving planets in space ; that most of these 
are more than a million times larger than our earth, and that some 
of them are ten million times larger than our earth and one of 
them forty million times larger; when we reflect that Canopus, 
Rigel and Betelguese are a million times larger than our sun, 
which is a million times larger than our earth ; when we reflect 
that it takes light, traveling at the rate of one hundred and eighty- 
six thousand miles a second, over thirty thousand years to reach 
us from the farthest star-suns and three and a half years from 
the nearest star-sun, we see that our earth is to the universe as 
a mere drop in the ocean ; compared to the whole system of 
light-giving suns and gravitating satellites, our earth is but a 


Teleology in Reality. 47 

tiny speck in the universe. It becomes the height of absurdity 
for man to say : "For me those shining suns in the infinite 
spaces shine and sparkle and are set like diamond studs in the 
dark heavens." Then man seems dwarfed into insignificance. 

But another line of reflection takes man down from his self- 
erected pedestal or egoistic pride. This thought is expressed by 
Pope when he says : 

But errs not nature from this gracious end, 
From burning suns when livid deaths descend, 
When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests sweep 
Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep? 

It is a fact that Nature seems to pay no regard to the life and 
comfort and happiness of man. The dreaded lightning, the 
raging cyclone, devastating fire, and flaming and smoking vol- 
canoes spare no human being that is athwart their destructive 
paths. The ocean engulfs the helpless souls who jump from a 
burning ship, summer's heat and winter's cold spare neither saint 
nor sinner. Nature seeks not to please man. She does not ask 
what he desires. And if man is to survive he must step in line 
and adjust himself to Nature and her moods. 

The principle of the survival of the fittest holds universal sway 
in nature. And by the survival of the fit, Nature does not mean 
the intellectually, aesthetically and ethically fit, but those who can 
best adapt themselves to their physical environment. In the 
desert, the Bedouin Arab will survive where the Christian saint 
will perish. In the wilds of Africa, the Hottentot stands a better 
chance of living than the Caucasian philosopher. Nature says 
to man: "I don't care whether you are wise or foolish, honest 
or dishonest, pure or impure, brave or cowardly, adjust yourself 
to my conditions and you will live." Nature does not wait on man. 
You must conform yourself to her ways, or else you will suffer, 
starve or perish. Nature takes no account of your ignorance. 
You may not know that your next step may plunge you down a 
precipice to instant death ; you may not know that the mode 
of life you are living will injure your health and bring you to 
a premature death; but you must pay the penalty just the same. 
Nature punishes you as much for your ignorance as for your 
perversity and willfulness and wickedness. In vain do you pray 
for Nature to yield and spare your life or that of your loved one. 

48 The African Abroad. 

But not only is Xature thus careless about the individual wel- 
fare anrl happiness, but she ruthlessly cuts off the most sensitive 
and hii^dily organized souls just as they are beginning to bud. 
Those who have read the "Studies in Medireval Life and Litera- 
ture" and the introductory essay, "Brief Introduction and Notes to 
Literary Criticism," by Edward Tompkins McLaughlin, and seen 
the memorial volume published socjn after his death, will say that 
his prose and poetic writings reveal rare gifts for a man just 
turned thirty. He had just been appointed full professor of Belles 
Lettres at Yale, had spent years of study of Dante and mediaeval 
and modern literature, had begun essays upon Dante and other 
forms of mediaeval and modern literature, and had just begun to 
give the world the fruits of his study and reflection when he was 
cut down by typhoid fever at the age of thirty-three. 

I well remember, when a freshman in Yale University, twenty- 
one years ago, while assembled one Tuesday afternoon in Linoiiian 
Hall for our exercise in English composition, a rather small, 
black-haired man, of somewhat feminine appearance and manner, 
strode nervously into the room. He began in a pleasing, delicate, 
conversational voice to talk about literature in general, restlessly 
twirling his slight mustache or twisting his watch chain. There 
was something about his ardent way of speaking that riveted my 
attention. I soon forgot his dainty appearance, his feminine 
voice, his seeming embarrassment and nervous mannerisms and 
became fascinated by the noble thoughts and beautiful sentiments 
that easily and naturally flowed in a limpid stream of delightful 
sentences from the inspired lips of the speaker as he spoke of 
the literary traditions of dear old Yale and the refining and 
ennobling influence of the study of literature. 

I went out of the place a changed man. I saw that there was 
an indefinable something about this delicate and sensitive man 
that I lacked and wanted to possess. Such was my first impres- 
sion of Professor Edward Tompkins McLaughlin, a man who 
opened up before my eyes and the eyes of many other under- 
graduates the vista of the aesthctical and spiritual beauties to 
be found in literature. 

Professor McLaughlin was one of those rare spirits who rep- 
resent the happy blending of philosophical and practical gifts 
with the poetic temperament. He was an Emerson, but an 

Teleology in Reality. 49 

Emerson in whom the poet predominated over the philosopher, 
in whom the pliilosopher was lost in the poet. He combined the 
broad and profound scholarship, the sound sense and fine literary 
taste of a Lowell with the rare imaginative and poetic gifts, 
the delicate humor and deep spirituality of a Newman. I do 
not know whether he had that perfect ear for music which would 
place one in the front rank of lyric poets, although he wrote some 
short poems that were gems. But if ever a man had the creative 
imagination, the dainty, fancy and literary feeling and spiritual 
sensibility of a true poet, McLaughlin was that man. He had 
a sure and unerring literary sense. His poetic intuition, aided 
by his spiritual sympathy with and responsiveness to all that 
was noble in sentiment or beautiful in expression, would penetrate 
to the heart of the matter in a way that a profound literary scholar 
or keen critic never could. He instinctively discerned the secret 
of the magic beauty of a phrase, or the haunting music of a line. 
Had he lived, he would have given to the world essays which 
would have combined the insight of a Carlyle with the delicate 
fancy and quaint humor of a Lamb. Indeed, he might have sent 
forth books like Mabie's "Essays in Literary Interpretation" and 
Santayana's "Poetry and Religion," essays which register the 
high-water mark of American literary criticism, and are fit to be 
placed alongside of ^latthew Arnold's essays in Criticism and on 
translating Homer. But McLaughlin's essays would have been 
more imaginative in quality, more poetic in feeling. A delicate 
vein of sentiment and humor would have run through and per- 
vaded them. They would have been characterized, too, by a 
quaint fancy and been bathed in a dreamy atmosphere. His 
"Studies in Mediaeval Life and Literature," which had not 
received his final touch, and his other writings which I have men- 
tioned, showed his genius in its budding stages. He was one of 
those sensitive and strenuous souls, like Emerson, who felt an 
inner prompting to preach the gospel and carry the glad tidings of 
great joy, but his broad faith could not be confined within the 
limits of any definite religious creed, so he chose literature as 
his pulpit. Had he lived, he would have delivered his message 
to the world. It might not have been as philosophical as were 
those of Carlyle and Emerson, but it would probably have been 
the message of Mabie, touched with the sentiment of Ik Marvel's 
"Dream Life" and Curtis's "Prue and I." 

50 The African Abroad. 

Like Newman in his famous St. Mary's sermons, he would 
have searched the human soul and lured it back to the forj^otten 
dreams and forsaken ideals of its youth in language that would 
have charmed men with its beauty. 

What sane gardener would cut oflf a rose just as it is beginning 
to blossom forth into a glorious flower and distil its delicious 
odors? And yet that is what Nature does when she cuts off, 
before its prime, the budding genius of gifted and noble souls 
like Charles Ray Palmer, Edward Tompkins McLaugiilin and 
John Keats. These, and other rare spirits, have been cut off 
before they could do their life work, before they could reveal 
their powers to the full. And humanity is the poorer for their 
loss and suffers for their premature death. 

If, then. Nature goes on her way regardless of the fact whether 
she crushes or bruises men, either physically or spiritually, how 
then can man be so presumptuous as to say that this earth was 
only created for man's use and comfort, and the forces of the 
universe to run man's errands and perform his bidding? Does 
it not look as if Nature had purposes of her own to fulfill and 
that man is only one of the many instead of the only final pur- 
pose that is being realized in the universe? 

But while man is not the only final purpose in the world, yet 
the adaptation of the earth to man, the part the mystery of sex 
has played in the evolution and development of life and the evolu- 
tion of man in history, clearly show that man is one of the final 
ends for which the creation of the world was planned. And in 
the morning of creation God saw that his divine process would 
culminate in the evolution of and development of man's spiritual 

Whether the earth was purposely designed and consciously 
fashioned for man's uses, the fact remains that the earth is 
especially adapted to man and his comforts. If the forces of 
wind and water and fire and electricity are destructive of man, 
yet, when they are mastered and harnessed by man, they do his 
work for him, carry him over land and sea, run his errands and 
carry his messages. Even the deadliest poisons, like iodoform, 
carbolic acid, and corrosive sublimate of mercury and creosote, 
are useful to man as germicides and disinfectants. Even poisons 
like arsenic, strychnine and phosphorus are useful in tlie animal 

Teleology in Reality. 51 

economy for retarding tissue waste, repairing tissue waste, and 
stimulating the formation of new cells. 

From the most poisonous herbs man has distilled a balsam for 
his wounds. The bark and roots can be made to discover their 
hygienic properties and given as medicine to purify our blood and 
tone up our stomachs. Indeed, Nature has, in the curative 
properties of her roots and herbs and fruits and acids, remedies 
for every conceivable ailment of man. But, though these forces 
and powers are at the disposal of man, they are not given him 
gratuitously, but must be wrested from Nature by his brain and 
sweat. And, though the elements of Nature and the animals 
which are so terrible and destructive of man can be made to 
work for him, they must first be harnessed and bridled and 
curbed. This earth furnishes food for man, protects him against 
summer's heat and winter's cold, and shelters him against the 
storms and cold, chill blasts of winter. She furnishes him with 
wool and cotton with which to clothe his body, with coal and 
wood with which to cook and warm his house; with candle, kero- 
sene, gas, electricity, with which to light his streets and houses. 
Nay, she furnishes him with implements with which to work 
and subdue his environment, both vegetable and animal, to his 

But man must work hard and wrest Nature's secrets from 
her, either by force or cunning. The earth, with her pathless 
woods, trackless forests, fertile soil, with her copper, coal, oil, 
gold, silver and diamond mines, is lying a rich prize for her 
conqueror, man. But she waits for pioneers like Vasco Da 
Gama, Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone to pierce her unex- 
plored depths. And she needs a genius like Eli Whitney, Robert 
Fulton, Watts, Stevenson, Edison, Tesla and Bell to bring her 
boundless wealth within the use of their fellow men. 

But besides these powers and forces of nature, which man 
must bend to his purposes in order to utilize them, it is true that 
Nature, silently and unsought, ministers to man's wants. The 
winter's frost breaks the shell and husk of seeds in the earth, 
and purifies the atmosphere. The bracing wind causes the blood 
to circulate in our veins and sets our nerves tingling. The cold 
freezes our ponds and gives us ice to preserve our meats and 
cool our drinks on warm days. Springtime comes, when all 

5» The African Abroad. 

nature wakes to life ; the rain moistens and fertilizes the soil ; 
the light and heat of the sun warms and vivifies the seed, and 
this combined play of sun and rain on the soil and seed gives 
us the profuse growth of vegetable life, the ultimate basis of 
all animal existence, and that divine beauty that intoxicates our 
eyes with joy. The wood and the vegetation that decays in 
rivers are metamorphosed into coal which cooks for us, warms 
our houses and runs our engines, thus propelling our boats 
through the water, our railroad cars over the land, and furnishing 
the motive power in our machine shops and manufacturing 
industries. The lightning purifies the atmosphere of noxious 
odors ; that same electricity serves man in numberless ways. The 
vapor is absorbed from the ocean and it wends its way heaven- 
ward. In the skies, it is condensed into rain and comes down in 
those cooling and refreshing showers which put an end to the 
drought and prevents us from dying of thirst. Thus we see that 
Nature bountifully satisfies our need for food, drink, clothing 
and shelter. 

Then, too, the beneficent change of the seasons, the beneficent 
variety of day and night appeals to us. It is not so cold in 
winter that we freeze to death, nor so hot in summer that we 
die of heat prostration. Thus we see that there is a nice adjust- 
ment between the temperature of man's body and the outside 
heat. If man lives in the frigid zone. Nature protects him with 
fur against the bitter cold; in the torrid zone, she gives him 
wide-spreading trees. If it were perpetual day, man could not 
get his adequate amount of sleep and nervous and mental recuper- 
ation, as witness those persons who turn night into day, who 
work or sport at night and sleep in the daytime. If it were 
perpetual night, vegetables and plants and fruits and flowers 
could not grow, man would grope about in darkness, and plant 
and animal life could not grow and develop as it has. Indeed 
man would neither be physically nor mentally the being that he 
is now. 

Man is the right size and has the proper organs for utilizing 
his environment. Suppose man were six inches or sixty feet, 
instead of six feet high ; suppose he lived five hundred or a 
thousand years, instead of seventy years ; suppose he were not 
an erect being, but walked on all fours; suppose his hands and 

Teleology in Reality. 53 

fingers were not fitted for grasping, man's life on earth and his 
development in its history would be totally different from what 
it is. 

The whole significance of the evolutionary hypothesis is beau- 
tifully brought out on page 307 of Royce's "Spirit of Modern 
Philosophy." Professor Royce says : "It is only after a patient 
scrutiny has revealed, as is the case with the doctrine of evolution, 
a vast unity in a long series of phenomena; a growth like this 
which links civilized to savage men and savage man to an 
animal ancestry; and the animal ancestry to unicellular organ- 
isms and these to the inorganic matter of a primitive earth crust, 
and this crust to an antecedent fluid earth ball, glowing, and 
parting with its bulky satellite, the moon ; and this glowing ball 
to a primitive nebula; and perhaps this nebula to a previous 
manifold streaming of multitudinously clashing meteors, — it is 
only then, I say, when such a book as this splendid history of life 
lies open before us, only partly deciphered, daily more clearly 
read by science, that we have a right to ask: 'Who, then, is 
this self, and what manner of life is this he writes in this book, 
itself merely a waif from the last tales of endless time, just as 
the endless time also is merely an illusory form wherein the self 
is pleased to embody and manifest this truth? Its illusory form 
is not wholly an illusion. For the Self is all that is and his 
world is the chosen outcome of his eternal reality. Beyond all 
these illusions must lie a meaning deeper than we have ever 
yet comprehended, higher than our thought will soon reach. 
What fragment, then, of the meaning does the story of evolution 
convey ?' " 

Professor Henry Jones in his "Browning as a Philosophical 
and Religious Teacher" gives the best answer to these questions 
that I have yet seen. He says on pages 209-211 of that book: 
"Granting the hypothesis of evolution, there can be no quarrel 
with the view that the crude beginnings of things, matter in its 
most nebulous state, contains potentially all the rich variety of 
both natural and spiritual life. 

"If out of crass matter is evolved all animal and spiritual life, 
does that prove life to be nothing but matter; or does it not 
rather show that what we in our ignorance took to be mere matter 
was really something much greater? If 'crass matter' contains 

54 The African Abroad. 

all this promise and potency, by what right do we still call it 
'crass'? It is manifestly impossible to treat the potencies assumed 
to lie in a thing that grows, as if they were of no significance ; 
first, to assert that such potencies exist, in saying that the object 
develops, and then to neglect them and to regard the result as 
constituted merely of the simplest elements. Either these poten- 
cies are not in the object, or else the object has them in it, and 
is, at the first, more than it appears to be. Either the object 
does not grow, or the lowest stage of its being is no explanation 
of its true nature. 

"If we wish to know what any particular living thing means, 
we look in vain to its primary state. We must watch the evolu- 
tion and revelation of the secret hid in natural life, as it moves 
through the ascending cycles of the biological kingdom. The idea 
of evolution, when it is not muddled, is synthetic — not analytic; 
it explains the simplest in the light of the complex, the beginning 
in the light of the end, and not vice versa. In a word, it follows 
the ways of nature, the footsteps of fact, instead of inventing 
a willful backward path of its own. And Nature explains by 
gradually expanding. If we barken to Nature and not to the 
voice of illusory preconceptions, we shall hear her proclaim at 
the last stage, 'Here is the meaning of the seedling; now it is 
clear what it really was, for the power which lay dormant has 
pushed itself into light, through bed and flower and leaf and 
fruit.' The reality of a growing thing is its highest form of 
being. The last explains the first but not the first the last. The 
first is abstract, incomplete, not yet actual but mere potency ; 
and we could never know even the potency, except in the light 
of its own actualization. 

"From this correction of the abstract view of development 
momentous consequences follow. If the universe is, as science 
pronounces, an organic totality, which is ever converting its 
promise and potency into actuality, then we must add with 
Edward Caird 'that the ultimate interpretation even of the lowest 
existence in the world cannot be given except on principles which 
are adequate to explain the highest. We must "level up and 
not level down" ; wc must not only deny that matter can explain 
spirit, but we must even say that matter itself cannot be fully 
understood, except as an element in a spiritual world.' 

Teleology in Reality. 55 

"Thus the movement of science is towards ideaUsm. Instead 
of lowering man, it elevates nature into a potency of that which 
is highest and best in man. When Nature is thus looked upon 
from the point of view of its final attainment in the light of 
the self-consciousness into which it ultimately breaks, a new 
dignity is added to every preceding phase. The lowest ceases 
to be the lowest except in the sense that its promise is not fulfilled 
and its potency not actualized, for, throughout the whole process 
the activity streams from the highest. It is that which is about 
to be which guides the growing thing and gives it unity. The 
final cause is the efficient cause ; the distant purpose is the ever 
present energ>'; the last is always first." 

That is what we mean by evolution, and before I examine the 
theory in detail, I desire to make three remarks with reference 
to it: 

1. The evolutionary hypothesis is not an established fact or 
truth. It is merely a working hypothesis with a high degree of 

2. If the evolutionary hypothesis be true, so far from its 
being contradictory to a philosophical conception of human his- 
tory, it cannot be understood save upon such a view. For how 
could seventy diflferent kinds of atoms build up one world, an 
orderly and harmonious cosmos? How could life come from 
non-life? How could mind come from the non-mental, con- 
sciousness from the unconscious, human reason from blind 
instinct, ethical sentiments from animal instincts? Only if matter 
were the manifestation of mind and contained the promise and 
potency of the higher spiritual life. 

3. If evolution be true, it only indicates that the whole 
creation has been groaning and travailing to evolve the higher 
spiritual qualities of man. 

Dean Everett has so many wise and profound things to say 
with such lucidity and beauty of style about evolution that I 
must quote him once or twice more. He says evolutionists say 
'■That these results have been produced by the play of exter- 
nal forces acting upon these organisms. But there was a 
tendency from the beginning to produce the harmonious 
and complex universe. And if the organisms and environ- 
ments were cooperative in working together, why they were 

56 The African .-1 broad. 

the correlative and harmonious elements which were bound 
up in the world from the be.i^innin^^ The play of the germ and 
the environment isn't an accidental play, because they are bound 
together. W'c must recognize this organic tendency and organic 
unity in the universe as the movement of the world ground. 
There is an inherent tendency in the organisms to produce the 
higher forms of life. The result of excessive forms of aggrega- 
tion is the cosmos as we find it. It is idle to say that something 
must have come together and why not in this form as well as 
in another? It must strike somewhere in the series and it is 
not remarkable that it should strike in one place rather than in 
another. The integration of which Herbert Spencer speaks is 
that which would result from differentiation. It is impossible 
to draw an absolute fixed line where chance stops. The original 
atoms must have been endowed with the possibilities of producing 
this universe, or else it is a mere chance by which this harmonious 
world was produced. In the general structure of the world we 
have geometrical results, we have movements in an ellipse, etc. 
The world is continually producing a condition in which it can 
support life, and when life appears, it moves to ever higher 
and higher forms. The principle of natural selection is supposed 
to produce organic beings. Could it produce this result, unless 
it was the working of teleological principles moving in and 
through the world process?" I think Dean Everett is right. 

Now, how can we account for the wide leap from inorganic 
compounds to organic life, from plant to animal life; from animal 
life to man? We can't do it, save upon the hypothesis of the 
forthputting and energizing of an Absolute Mind, immanent in 
the world and realizing through the method of evolution his 
own divine purposes. 

Thus all through the millions of years, we find an upward 
movement from undifferentiated star dust to difTerentiated 
worlds; from inorganic compounds to simple plant life; from 
simple plant life to complex plant life; from complex plant life 
to lower forms of animal life; from lower forms of animal life 
up to higher forms of animal life; from higher forms of animal 
life up to primitive man; from primitive man, controlled by pas- 
sions and instincts, to civilized man, dominated by conscience. 
Doesn't this upward trend through millions of years, culminating 

Teleology in Reality. 57 

in man, look as if a divine plan, a divine idea was being realized 
through evolution? Must we not say, that evolution cannot 
create anything new ; but can only evolve what has already been 
evolved? Must we not interpret the process of evolution in 
the light of the highest products? If the atoms produced man, 
they must contain man's intellectual, assthetical and moral facul- 
ties in embryo in the germ. But the truth of the matter is, that 
we cannot understand evolution, save as it is the method of the 
world ground in creating beings and manifesting himself. 

And now to sum up what I have been saying. When we con- 
sider how this world is adapted to the wants and needs of man, 
how important and necessary a part the differentiation of the 
sexes has played in the development of organic life, it is hard 
to believe that a process, which in an upward movement culmin- 
ated in man, did not have in mind, in the very beginning, the 
production of rational self-conscious, ethical spirits. The scien- 
tist may say that man is a legitimate child of Nature, springing 
from Nature by a natural process, according to natural organci 
and biological laws. Natural laws of organic and biological 
evolution account for man. 

I do not deny this, but what I affirm is this: man emerges at 
the end of this process of organic evolution because these natural 
laws, these biological laws, are nothing but the modes of opera- 
tion of the Divine Mind and Will — God's method for realizing 
his ideas and manifesting himself in temporal fomis. 

As we go back in thought to the time when God evolved the 
world out of primeval mist and chaos and sent five hundred mil- 
lion suns, with their revolving planets, whirling into space to chant 
the song, "The hand that made us is divine," we behold the 
unfolding of a mighty cosmical drama. The primitive star dust 
in the form of a hot, gaseous vapor began to contract, whirl and 
throw out rings, which cooled off and condensed into planets, 
revolving around a central sun. Our solar system was one of the 
countless myriads thus formed. The earth was at first swallowed 
up in water. Then the dry land appeared. Somehow protoplasm, 
a germ-like cell, containing wonderful potencies and possibilities 
of development, found a lodgment upon this planet and started 
a cycle of development that reached its culmination in the evolu- 
tion of man, a rational self-conscious spirit. It looks as if the 

58 The African Abroad. 

wliole creation were groaning and travailing for the advent of 
man. Seventy odd kinds of atoms, composed of whirling and 
revolving ions, could never have accidentally gotten together and 
built up this cosmos. The blind play and fortuitous concourse 
of atoms could never liave produced this wonderful universe. 
Some Guiding Mind is needed to account for it. 

But the question arises, could not man have been evolved and 
developed as a spiritual being without carnage in nature, with- 
out this ruthless destruction of animals, without animals tearing 
and rending each other in their slime, without such waste of 
material? Could not the same end have been obtained without 
such a bloodthirsty and painful process? These are the real 
questions involved in this vexed problem. 

But, if it is true that selfishness and cruelty have played such 
a great part in the evolving of life, altruistic forces have been 
at work in the universe from the first. The love of mate for 
mate, the love of the mother for her oflfspring, — without this 
animal life could not have been preserved. In this love of the 
female animal for her child, we see a divine spark that unites 
the animal to God. And especially, when we come to human life, 
we see that love in some form or other, whether low or lustful or 
high and spiritual, is the ruling passion in men and w^omen. 
If this principle of love holds such universal sway in nature, 
does it not indicate something as to the nature of the World 
Ground? Again, if the whole course and trend of history and 
evolution has tended to a higher and richer and nobler expression 
of the same passion, doesn't it show that the World Ground is 
a loving personality, rather than a cold, pitiless Absolute? We 
have not the undoubtable proofs that God is a loving father, as 
we have that the World Ground is rational, resthetical and moral 
to the core ; but we may have a rational hope w'ith a high degree 
of probability attached to it. 

Tlic mctliod of God's procedure in ez'olving; and dezrloping 
life. It is because God is operating in and through the laws of 
organic life that man comes into being. Man is finally produced 
on this earth because God had him in mind from the bednnincf. 

The scientist may again say that God did not consciously 
design this earth for man ; but that man is the natural offspring 
of the earth, springing from biological germs that have been 
generated by the parent organisms. 

Teleology in Reality. 59 

That is no doubt true, but the parent offspring has the power 
to throw off seed germs, and these seed germs, in a certain 
pecuhar manner, develop into human beings, only because God's 
plan and will is immanent in the organism and germ from the 

The question, is there a teleological movement in the world, 
admits of but one answer. That man is one of the final purposes 
that this universe was intended to realize, does not admit of a 
doubtful answer. But when we ask, is man the only final pur- 
pose that this universe was intended to serve, or is he the supreme 
final purpose that this universe was intended to serve, we are 
asking far dift'erent questions. The fact that Nature, in her 
obedience to inexorable laws, never swerves from her path to 
please man, that she frustrates his most cherished hopes and 
dearest wishes, ruthlessly and permanently destroys the fairest 
flowers of human blossom when her laws are disobeyed or man 
happens to stand athwart the path of her titanic forces, such as 
the cyclone, volcano, lightning or angry waves, forbids us believ- 
ing that the only purpose this earth exists for is to produce man. 
Nor again can we ever know whether the creation and eternal 
preservation of finite moral personality was the supreme and most 
important final purpose God had in mind when he manifested 
himself through this universe. 

I cannot do better than close this discussion by quoting from 
the chapter, Light Thrown upon the Problem of Immortality, in 
my work, "The Agnostic Tendency of Modern Thought," which I 
hope to publish some time in the near future : 

"Now with such a theory of the presence of Absolute Mind 
in finite minds as their immanent source and ground, immor- 
tality is not only possible but probable. For we share in the life 
of the Absolute Life, as the Apostle says: Tn him we live, and 
move, and have our being.' But if our spiritual and mental life 
has no abiding and permanent ground in an Absolute Self-Con- 
scious Life, which is in touch with it all the while, why, then, with 
the decay of the brain tissues, immortality is an impossibility. 

"L'nless there is an Infinite Self-Conscious Life, an infinite 
spiritual life, with whose life our spiritual life shares, why, then, 
the only consistent theory is that thought and all mental life is 
a product of the brain. But if the mental life is not a product 

6o The African Abroad. 

of the brain or has no source in an Absolute Life, whence does it 
derive its Hfe and its varied complexity? It is only because our 
mental life shares in the life of absolute mind, that the mind, 
while in reciprocal influence with the brain, can transcend the 
brain and live in a mental anrl spiritual kin;:,Mom, which is not 
translatable in terms of matter or physical unconscious life?" 


Herbert Spencer says that the Absolute is unknowable. Some 
scientists claim that the universe was formed by chance as the 
result of the blind and fortuitous concourse of atoms. Some 
philosophers say that the universe was formed by blind neces- 
sity, that unconscious reason created the universe. 

How do we know man? We know him through the works 
that he does, — so we can know God. In daytime, the city streets 
and buildings, the works of man, so absorb our time and 
thoughts that we don't get out into the country and think of 
budding and blossoming nature, as the life, the forthputting and 
manifestation of a creative spirit. In the nighttime, the glare 
and glitter of the city lights, man's creation, so dazzle us that 
•we don't have time to think of the far-off stars, the flaming 
and whirling chandeliers of heaven, that are held in their places 
by the laws of gravitation, in the blue-domed vault of God's 
vast cosmical cathedral — a cathedral whose immensity, com- 
plexity, grandeur and sublimity dazzles the imagination, in its 
highest flight. 

The law and order reigning in the heavens above, the law 
and order reigning in the atomic world, show that God does 
not work by chance. Then the geological study of the earth, 
the study of astronomy and the long and slow process of bio- 
logical and historical evolution show that God does not hurry, 
but takes his time. 

We have found out four things about the .\uthor of the 
Universe, the Architect of the cosmical cathedral, and the Geom- 
eter of the Heavens. He puts on a robe and garment of 
beauty every spring. He has created a vast cosmical cathedral, 
in which the laws of mathematics are cr>stallizcd into blazing 
suns, with their revolving satellites. Then He works by law and 

Teleology in Reality. 6i 

not by chance. His method seems to be that of slow evolution 
of forces, residing within the organisms and atoms rather than 
of interference from the outside. Our first thought is that God 
is a being of vast worlds — embracing intelligence, and of wonder- 
ful power. 

Then, too, we really know that we are the children of Nature, 
the offspring of the Universe. The moral imperative is the 
deepest law of our being. It wells up in us spontaneously. It 
rises from the abysmal depths of our being. It speaks with a 
more than human authority. It seems to come from a super- 
human source and to issue out of the life of the Eternal One. 
To seek and will the morally good is a law of our being, as 
it is a law of water to flow down hill, for incense to rise or 
for fire to burn. 

These facts ought to give us some insight into the basic nature 
of the Being who brought us onto the stage of existence, onto 
the scene of action. The offspring gives some token of the nature 
of the parent. The structure gives some indication of the mind 
of the architect. If the universe were not ethical to the core, 
how could the moral imperative be implanted in us as the 
fundamental law of our being? Is not the wisdom of the ages 
crystallized in the thought, "the voice of conscience is the voice 
of God." 

Every reflective mind has contrasted the reign of God in 
nature and the reign of human ideas in the mind. We find 
necessity in nature and freedom in the human personality. The 
same God who created matter with its laws also created mind 
with its ideals. And in this resides the tragedy and pathos of 
human life. The unchanging laws of matter frustrate our 
desires at every turn, prostrate us on a bed of sickness and 
finally destroy us, as a sentient personality. Nature seems to 
pay no regard to the wishes of man and brings to naught his 
choicest plans. The laws of matter decree that the cycle of 
our existence as sentient beings will be sooner or later brought 
to an end. Our physical bodies are made of perishable materials 
and will sooner or later crumble and decay and mingle with 
the material elements, from which they came. 

On the theory that the production of the physical happiness of 
sentient beings was the final purpose of the universe, we find 

62 The African Abroad. 

ourselves confronted by difficulties that we cannot surmount. 
But on the theory that one of tlie final purposes of the universe 
was the development of man as a spiritual being, his unfolding as 
an ethical personality, we can have a pliilosophy of life that 
is not set at naught by the facts of experience. On the assump- 
tion that the divine spark survives the dissolution of the body, 
we can see the rationale of the World Spirit's mode of pro- 
cedure. On the assumj)tion that the grave ends all, the universe 
is an cnignia, a sphinx riddle and an unsolved problem. The 
human mind demands an explanation of the universe. Only one 
explanation will satisfy it. Nothing short of the immortality 
of the human personality will satisfy human reason, in seeking 
for a rational explanation of the meaning of the universe and 
the meaning of the creation of man. 

I'.ut the "how" eludes human analysis and defies human 
speculation. And the "why" of God's mode of procedure also 
escapes our observation. It is verily true that we see through 
a glass darkly. At the best, we only have vague hints, intima- 
tions, guesses and surmises. We but see the unfolding of a 
colossal cosmical drama, whose inner forces escape our ken, and 
whose final outcome escapes our finite vision. But we have a 
clue to the secret of the universe, to the mystery of existence, 
a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night, tliat may lead us 
through the wilderness of doubt, a key that may guide us 
through the labyrinth of speculative inquiry. 

That man, as a rational and ethical personality, was finally 
evolved, after long eons, after the groaning and travailing of 
ages, as the highest product and fairest flower of the universe, 
ought to give some token and indication of the purpose and plans 
of the creative spirit, who didn't stop in his creative forthputting, 
in his historical unfolding and terrestrial manifestations, when 
he had flung millions of huge, flaming balls of fire with revolv- 
ing planets into the distant spaces, but called on the whirling 
ions that form the atoms, upon the circling atoms that form 
the molecules, u{)on the molecules that build up matter, to do 
something more than form whirling and blazing rings and worlds 
out of gaseous vapor and primaeval mist, until the growth forces, 
inherent and latent in matter, finally evolved life, then sentient 
life, then rational, ethical spirits. 

Teleology in Reality. 63 

We whose life rarely exceeds four score years, and whose 
period of productive activity rarely exceeds two score years, 
have not sane perspective, as a God who has all eternity at 
his disposal, for whom centuries are but a moment of time, 
whose omniscience embraces past, present and future. But we 
must believe that God has some purpose in manifesting himself 
in the world of mind and matter and in creating the universe, 
and us as a part of the universe. 

j\Iay not the Hebrew sages have been right when they said 
that man was made in the Divine image and that the purpose 
and end of his existence was to grow into the likeness of his 
Maker? May not the Presbyterian Catechism have been right 
when it said man's first duty was to glorify God and that he 
could glorify God by making his body the temple and dwelling 
place of the Holy Ghost. The desire to have spiritual children, 
to reproduce himself in his creatures, may be one of the ideas 
that the Creative Spirit is endeavoring to realize in this vast 

Necker, sometimes profound, oftentime eloquent, uttered a 
profound truth when he said : "There is some magnificent secret 
concealed behind this superb proscenium which the drama of the 
world gives utterance to. We will never believe that our imag- 
ination only outsoars the limits of time to furnish us with a 
simple plaything. It is not worth while deceiving us if we 
have but an ephemeral existence." 

I cannot better close this hovering around the porches of 
philosophy than by quoting the words of one of the men who 
has stood for the best in Yale life. When I was an undergrad- 
uate at Yale there were three men on the faculty whose academic 
position enabled them to mould the lives of the students. I refer 
to ex-President Timothy Dwight, a New Testament Greek 
scholar, a sagacious administrator, whose wisdom, grandeur of 
soul, and kindliness of nature, made him a beloved president; 
to Dean Henry P. Wright, a man of remarkable poise, balance, 
sweetness, and serenity, with ability to call out the highest and 
best in a student's nature, whose worth the University recognized 
by erecting Wright Hall in his honor; and to Dean Andrew^ W. 
Phillips, who irradiated the dry subject of mathematics with his 
keen wit and genial personality, whose services to the University 

64 The African Abroad. 

have been eloquently referred to in Professor William Lyon 
Phelps's article in the Yale Alumni Weekly. Dean Phillips has 
penned a few lines on the Shadows on the White Mountains ; 
they contain tlK jjliilosophy of a mathematician who has the 
Browning optimism ; and I cannot better close this discussion 
than by quoting these lines: 


■ The floating shadows in the Great White Hills 
Fill me with rapture, and my whole soul thrills, 
For, on the ground, I have before my eyes 
The image of the clouds that deck the skies, 
Shadows ourselves; what shadows we pursue 
Of substances beyond our own purview. 
The Universe, yes, all that we find here 
Is but the shadow of some vaster sphere. 
And man, created in God's image, he 
A shadow, truly of that God, must be. 



The Great Man in History — Ati Estimate of Gladstone and 
Bismarck, the Two Greatest Teutons of the Nineteenth 
Century, and of Frederick Douglass, the Greatest American 
Negro of the Nineteenth Century; and a Glance at John Henry 
Nezvman, the English Preacher, zvho in'as a Compellcr of Men. 

History is replete with the deeds and achievements of those 
strong men who, by the sheer force of a commanding personahty, 
have dominated and ruled their fellows. The story of how that 
bold adventurer of royal blood, William the Conqueror, infused 
his own reckless and daring spirit into his followers, crossed the 
English Channel, and triumphed on that memorable day at 
Hastings; the story of how the greatest orator the world has 
seen since the days of Demosthenes, William Pitt the Elder, the 
man who could silence an opponent with a glance of his eagle 
eye, without the prestige of wealth or rank or the backing of a 
political machine, with the King and his cabinet, with the House 
of Lords and the House of Commons opposed to him, breathed 
his own heroic spirit into a discouraged and disheartened people, 
fired the English nation with his own faith and passionate 
patriotism, charged it with his own ardor and enthusiasm, roused 
it out of its lethargy and started it upon that career of conquest 
which ended in wresting the supremacy of the sea from France, 
and driving the French out of Canada and the Mississippi Val- 
ley, and caused England to become the mistress of the sea and 
the Anglo-Saxon race to become supreme in America, — has ever 
captivated and fascinated men. 

The student of history knows that the races which have largely 
shaped the world's history, such as the Anglo-Saxon, the Ger- 
manic, the Latin, Hellenic and Jewish peoples, have looked back 
upon an illustrious past and drawn inspiration from their heroic 
leaders, who tower in their colossal grandeur like Alpine peaks. 
Such men are Closes, Paul, Pericles, Alexander the Great, 
Demosthenes. Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Mirabeau, Luther, Bis- 
marck, Samuel Adams, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, 

66 The African Abroad. 

William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips and Charles Sumner. 
But educators and missionaries know that young men often 
admire without seeking to emulate the heroes of other races. 
But when they behold one of their own kith and kin rising from 
obscurity to fame, challenging the admiration and commanding 
the attention of the world, they feel, "We too can do the same," 
and there enters into their own souls that intrepid, dauntless 
spirit which laughs at danger and adversity and transforms the 
very obstacles and difficulties that confront them, the very oppo- 
sition they encounter, into stepping stones by which they mount 
the heights of human achievement, rounds by which they climb 
the ladder of fame. It is true that glorifying the great men of 
a race is a way of uplifting the whole and that nothing can be 
better for the inspiring of a race than holding up before its 
members the possibilities for their own development, which their 
leaders have shown them. If, then, the Xegro race is to be 
uplifted out of the illiteracy and superstition in which it has been 
left by two hundred and fifty years of slavery, it must produce 
leaders whose greatness is a prophecy of the possibilities of the 
race. The question may well then be asked, "Has the Negro 
produced such leaders in the past or are there any such who are 
living to-day?" 

Scholars and thinkers diflFer in the criterions by which they 
judge greatness, and differ in their definition of what greatness 
really is. Who is a great man, has long been a question that 
has divided the critics. I believe that a great man is a man who 
impresses his contemporaries and posterity, either by exceptional 
ability or transcendent character, or the dynamic force of an 
iron will. And when I speak of a great Negro, I do not mean 
one of whom our Anglo-Saxon friends say, "He is smart for a 
Negro," or, "If he had the advantages of education and oppor- 
tunity to prove his worth, he would have made a splendid record," 
but I mean one who has fulfilled the promise of his youth and 
who, when measured by the same standard by which we estimate 
the worth and value of a white man, will be weighed in the 
balance and not found wanting. 

I have met several Negroes of remarkable ability. Some of 
them are talented and capable to an unusual degree. As I look 
over the list of our prominent Negroes, it seems to me that there 

The Great Man in History. 67 

are over two hundred colored men whose actual achievements | 
have registered the high-water mark of Negro capacity and made j 
history for the Negro race. And there are one hundred colored 
men whose brilliancy or genius or achievements have dazzled the 
most hostile Anglo-Saxon critics. And I believe that there are 
thirty colored men who have won world-wide fame and ten whose 
names are familiar to almost every schoolboy in the land. Possi- 
bly some of those whose names I have omitted are just as talented 
as those I have included, but I am speaking of those colored 
men whose ability has crystallized into deeds that mark a distinct 
advance for the Negro, who by concentrating and focusing their 
ability and powers for the attainment of a definite object, have 
achieved some definite work, or produced some definite and 
distinct impression upon their contemporaries. 

Some may wonder why I have not included many versatile 
colored men among my Negroes of exceptional ability and 
remarkable achievements. This is the reason: for many years I 
have been a careful student of history, and a careful observer of 
men ; and I have done more thinking than I have reading, and 
I have often reflected upon the reason why many brilliant and 
gifted men do not loom up in colossal proportions in the works 
of Carlyle, Emerson, Matthew Arnold, Macaulay, Green, Taine, 
and other great writers. I have discovered the reason. A ver- 
satile man of rare gifts who dissipates his energy, who does not 
stand for the achievement of some one definite task, who does 
not write a great book, or make a great speech, whose name is 
not connected with some one great cause, or one great idea, never 
makes a distinct and powerful impression upon the world. 

The men of one idea, who hammer away in their deeds, writ- 
ings, sermons, and speeches to embody and realize it, are the 
men who move the world, and make history. And that is why"^ 
Hon. Archibald H. Grimke and Dr. W. E. Burghardt DuBois, I- 
while no more capable than a score of other Negroes, are in thej 
limelight of the public gaze to-day. 

A man must have some positive convictions, some clear-cut and 
well-defined ideas and policies to make an impression upon the 
world, or be a positive factor in the world's progress. A man 
who is merely tactful and diplomatic, who merely goes with the 
crowd, who merely swims with the prevailing currents of popular 

68 The African Abroad. 

opinion, who merely floats upon the crest of the popular wave, 
is usually a negative quality in human history, I have met so 
many of our prominent men, men holding good situations, who 
seem to have no ideas of their own regarding the higher and indus- 
trial education of the Negro, and his civil and political rights. 
They merely echo the popular cry, when the world is looking for a 
voice and not an echo. I cannot regard them as great men, and 
they wonder why they are sidetracked and passed by for Dr. 
F. J. Grimke and Dr. DuIIois; they wonder why these two have 
the center of the stage to-day. The reason is so clear that a child 
can see it ; each of these men stands for some one great idea, and 
they will live in Negro history, because they have been as zealous 
as Mohammed and the Apostle Paul in propagating their faith. 

In my estimate of the relative worth of our great men, living 
and dead, my judgments may not always run in the conventional 
ruts and grooves of opinion. That is because I try to see men 
and measure them through my own eyes, rather than through 
the eyes of other men. Only one man out of a thousand really 
thinks for himself. Nine hundred and ninety-nine men in every 
thousand allow others to do their thinking for them. They take 
their ideas ready-made from others. They go with the crowd and 
blindly worship popular idols. That is quite natural, since man 
is a gregarious animal, and goes in flocks and crowds. That is 
the psychology of the mob and of mob violence: one man 
inflames the crowd and then they all go crazy. 

Here in America, wealth is deified. There is only one standard 
and estimate of success in America, and that is the ability to 
make money. I wonder whether the lowly Nazarene, St. Paul, 
St. John, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Soc- 
rates, Plato, Aristotle, Homer, X'ergil, Dante, Demosthenes, 
Cicero, Seneca, Epictetus and St. Augustine would be appreciated 
at their face value if they were living in America to-day. 

I suppose that the reason why American scholarship is so shal- 
low and superficial to-day, in comparison with English and (ler- 
man scholarship, is because of the i)revalcnce of materialistic 
standards and estimates of success in this country. I suppose the 
reason why we have few men of the caliber of Daniel Webster 
and Charles Sumner in Congress to-day, the reason why most of 
our statesmen are mere opportunists, the reason why we have 

The Great Ma)i in History. 69 

not a philosophic statesman of the type of Burke in Congress 
to-day, the reason why few of the men in American pubUc Hfe 
to-day are scholars and philosophers of the type of Gladstone, 
Bryce, Duke of Argyll, Marquis of Salisbury, Balfour and ]\Iorley 
is because in America we prostrate ourselves before the brazen 
calf, we bow before the Baal of materialism, and worship no god 
but the Almighty Dollar. The Negro is an imitative being. He 
has not yet in large numbers reached the reflective stage where he 
does his own thinking and forms his own ideas of conduct and 
character, and hence he swallows whole the teaching of his 
Anglo-Saxon friends, and blindly accepts the leaders his white 
friends select and choose for him. Usually a race chooses and 
selects its own leader because he is the exponent and represen- 
tative of the ideals and hopes and aspirations of the race. But 
it seems as if we were not out of our swaddling clothes yet, 
and our Anglo-Saxon philanthropic friends must present us 
with a leader, as a father presents a toy to a child, saying, "Now, 
little colored man, see what a nice little leader your papa has 
chosen and selected for you. Take good care of him. Don't 
hurt him. He is your Moses, follow him." 

And if little Sambo says, "Daddy, I wants to choose my own 
boss. I don't wants no toy Moses. I wants a real leader," his 
Caucasian spiritual father will become shocked and oflfended, and 
will regard him as an ungrateful wretch. And if Sambo does not 
hear in every tintinnabulation of the Moses set up for him to 
worship the \^ox Dei, if he does not attach papal infallibility 
to every casual word of his toy leader, his Caucasian spiritual 
father will brand him a fool or knave. It seems to be a crime 
now against the State, a capital offense, for a colored man to say 
that he believes he is a man and not a monkey. And it seems to 
be a sin against the Holy Ghost, a sacrilegious and impious 
defiance of the decree of the Almighty, for a colored man to say 
now that he believes he has a soul as well as a body. 

I have no objection to our Anglo-Saxon friends. North and 
South, recommending leaders to us for our reception or rejection ; 
but I question the efficacy of the attempt of some of our friends 
to choke us into submission, to strangle free inquiry, and to adopt 
the methods of the Spanish Inquisition in forcing leaders upon 
us. In the days of the Spanish Inquisition, they burned heretics 

7© The African Abroad. 

at the stake, roasted them alive, broke them over the wheel, and 
tortured them at the rack. 

We are supposed to have outg^rown that now. This is supposed 
to be the age that tolerates freedom of thought in religious, peda- 
gogical and political matters. But there are some Northern 
philanthropists and some trustees of Southern high schools and 
State colleges who will throttle the nascent Xegro manhood by 
refusing to aid or employ educated colored men who believe that 
the Negro has a soul to be developed, a mind to be trained and 
quickened, as well as a body to be fed and housed and clothed. 

And I would say to our .\nglo-Saxon friends, North as well 
as South: "Don't club us if we don't bend the knee in humble 
submission to the fetish you give us to worship." And I would 
say to any aspiring Negro leader: "Advocate your own theories 
as to the civil and political rights of the Negro and as to his 
industrial education as much as you please. It is your divine 
right, your privilege and prerogative. But, by any means, don't 
use your white friends, who control the political patronage 
of the United States, who contribute to Southern schools, who 
control the schools of Washington and other Southern towns, 
who control the State colleges of the South, don't use your white 
and colored friends who edit white and colored newspapers and 
magazines to annihilate and crush those colored men who have 
the honesty and courage to speak and write as they think. God 
gave them an intellect whose nature and essential being is to 
evolve thoughts. 

"The American Negro will accept any leader who makes his 
appeal to his reason and conscience ; but he will never graciously 
accept a leader who is rammed down his throat after he has 
been beaten into insensibility and bound hand and foot." And 
I would say to our Caucasian friends: "Please don't extinguish 
the spark of manliness that is burning faintly in our breasts." 

I have said that the prevailing standard of success in America 
is a materialistic one, and that the Negro has, in a large measure, 
naively accepted this standard. We frequently hear half -edu- 
cated upstarts, who are more smart than wise, and who possess 
more flippancy than brains, say: "Wc like to see a man do some- 
thing. We are tired of so much talking." And it is quite the 
fashion now to sneer at and ridicule our orators and literarv men. 

TJic Great Man in History. 71 

But I believe that the men of thought, rather than the men of 
action, have been the ones who have set into operation forces 
and tendencies that are moving- yet. 

The man who can think and write and talk, creates and propa- 
gates the ideas, that when planted in the minds of the masses 
rouse a million men to arms and to action. Who caused the 
miraculous spread of Christianity over the Roman Empire? A 
few talkers and writers. Who was responsible for the rapid 
rise and growth of Mohammedanism? W^ho formed the scat- 
tered Bedouin tribes into a mighty nation that swept all opposing 
it like a devastating cyclone or the resistless rush of Niagara, 
before Charles Martel, the hammerer, and hurled back the fren- 
zied and fanatic Saracen hosts at the battle of Tours? One talker 
and writer, Mohammed. Who roused the Grecian states to 
rebel against Philip? One talker, Demosthenes. Who roused a 
million men to arm themselves, cross a continent and die by the 
thousands in the attempt to capture the Holy Land, from the 
Mohammedans ? One fiery fanatic, one impassioned orator, Peter 
the Hermit. Who applied the match that caused the combustible 
material to burst into the flame of the Protestant Reformation? 
One monk, Martin Luther, a man who nailed ninety-five theses 
to his church-door at Erfurt, defied the powers of earth and 
hell, feared neither man nor the devil, and roused the German 
people to the fever-heat of enthusiasm by his eloquent sermons. 
\\'ho caused the Calvinistic conception of the sovereignty of God, 
the Calvinistic ideas of civil and political liberty, to become such 
potent forces in England, Scotland, and America? One thinker 
and writer in Geneva, John Calvin. Who started that Puritan 
Reformation that ended in toppling King Charles from his throne 
and beheading him? A few writers and preachers. Who were 
responsible for the production of those ideas of the natural rights 
of man, which worked in the minds of the French masses as a 
fermenting leaven, which intoxicated them with the desire of 
battle and lust for blood, which so stirred them that they threw 
aside the restraints of reason, law and religion, beheaded the 
King and Queen, and for a few months made the streets of 
Paris run and reek with the blood of thousands of France's 
noblest citizens? Rousseau, \''oltaire, Diderot and the French 
encyclopediacs of the eighteenth century. Who called the minute 

7* The African Abroad. 

men of '76 to arms, who rang the alarm bell that welded 
the thirteen colonies into a formidable and resistless army? 
Samuel Adams, Otis Hancock, John Adams, Thomas JeflFerson, 
Patrick Menry, and a few other talkers and writers. Who 
uprooted the iniquitous system of African slavery, of traffic 
in flesh and blood, that was embedded in the very institutions of 
the land, protected by Congress and the Supreme Court, and 
sanctioned by the Church ? Why, William Lloyd Garrison, Wen- 
dell Phillips, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Ward Beecher, 
Charles Sumner, Frederick Douglass, and a few other thinkers 
and writers, who crystallized the sentiment of the North, and 
made their appeals to the hearts and consciences of the nation. 

Verily, it is true of the thinkers, writers and talkers, one shall 
chase a thousand and two shall put ten thousand to flight. The 
thinker is the High Priest of modern society. 

W'hen God turns loose a thinker upon this planet he releases 
and sends forth a force that shakes the earth from pole to 
pole, overturns established institutions, overthrows monarchies, 
changes dynasties and ushers in a new and better order of things. 
The hand is the hand of the doer of deeds and the achiever of 
results ; but the brain which conceives and shapes the idea' is 
the brain of a thinker. Hence, the motive force, the motive 
power, of any work, issues and emanates from the mind of some 

One book, the Bible, has revolutionized the history of the 
world. One book, the Koran, has changed the map of Asia 
and decided the fate of nations. One book. Homer's "Iliad," 
became the literary bible of the Hellenic race ; Achilles, the hero 
of the "Iliad," became the ideal hero of Alexander the Great ; and 
Leonidas and his three hundred Spartans could hold the Pass 
of Thermopylae against the Persian hosts, because the courage 
and heroism of the Greek race was fed on Homer's "Iliad." 

One book, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," sung its way to the hearts of 
the American people and made friends for the poor slave by the 
thousands. One book, a dusty Latin Bible, worked the spiritual 
transformation in Luther that resulted in the Protestant Refor- 
mation and changed the faith of half of the civilized world. 
One book, "The Souls of Black Folk," has placed DuBois on the 
throne of Negro leadership, through the dynamic force of the 
written word. 

The Great Man in History. 73 

What is diviner than the gift of speech, the power of one man 
to stamp the impress of his individuaHty upon hundreds and 
thousands of other men? One man, Demosthenes, with no other 
weapon than his tongue, roused the Greek states to rebel against 
Phihp of Macedon. One man, Savonarola, by the torrential 
impetuosity of his eloquence, ruled gay Florence with a rod of 
iron for many years. Two men, John Wesley and Whitfield, 
through their ardent preaching, started Methodism upon its 
triumphant career. One speech of Patrick Henry inflamed the 
Southern Colonies against Great Britain. The peroration of one 
speech of Daniel Webster crystallized the Union sentiment of 
the North. One speech of William Jennings Bryan swept him 
on to the saddle of Democratic leadership. One speech of Booker 
T. Washington did more to make him famous than twenty years 
of hard work in building up Tuskeegee. Yes, a few writers and 
orators can turn a country upside down. 

In Part I of this book I take up two hundred colored history 
makers. But, after I speak of them, I desire to mention and 
refer to three hundred very intelligent and very talented Negroes. 
In ability and attainments they are the peers of many and the 
superior of some whom I include in my two hundred great 
Negroes, whose actual achievements marked a forward advance 
for the race. Some may think that this is a hypercritical distinc- 
tion, and that I am indulging in the hair-splitting that cha.racter- 
ized the mediaeval scholastic philosophers and the Jesuits. But 
you must understand my point of view. I am a historian and not 
a biographer in this essay. What is the difference ? A biographer 
eulogizes a man or woman whom he admires, or loves, or he 
critically portrays the life and character of a man or woman who 
interests him, while a historian records the deeds and achieve- 
ments of those men and women who have made history. So, 
while my two hundred great Negroes in my chapters upon Colored 
History Makers, may not be superior in education and ability 
to my three hundred strong Negroes in my chapter upon Some 
Prominent Negroes of To-day, or to several whom I have not 
mentioned in this essay, they have made history for the race. 
And how can the members of a despised, proscribed, ostracised 
race, a race with circumscribed and limited opportunities, make 
history for the race better than by breaking across the color line 

74 The African Abroad. 

and forcinpf recognition from the more powerful and more domi- 
nant race. So, other tilings being equal, preference in this book 
will be given to those who have broken across the color line. To 
recapitulate, I have three groups or classes of the prominent 
Negroes I catalogue and classify and assign to their respective 
places. First, I have my talented and remarkable Negroes, such 
as the twenty-five wlio distinguished themselves in Northern and 
Western colleges, and the three hundred I will mention in the 
chapter on Prominent Negroes of To-day, and one hundred 
more I could mention. Then I have my two hundred Negroes 
who have made history for the race, and then, lastly, I have my 
thirty exceptional Negroes and my ten Negroes of world-wide 

Now this is no arbitrary distinction of mine. Conspicuity 
is the universal criterion of greatness. How does a man or 
woman live in history? He or she must do, achieve, discover, 
invent, write, say or teach something to attract attention. Thomas 
Arnold, of Rugby, is an example of a man who, while not a great 
doer of deeds, great thinker, writer or orator, was nevertheless a 
great teacher, and a remarkable inspirer of young men. A man of 
genius who buries his talents or hides his candle under a bushel 
does not make history. It is true that many a budding genius 
does not unfold his latent powers, because they are frozen, chilled, 
discouraged and depressed by a cold and unsympathetic environ- 
ment, and that many a great man never had the opportunity or 
chance to let out his speed and unlock and let loose his stored-up 

-J There are two classes of great men, those who seize the oppor- 
tunity that is presented to them and make the most of it; and 
then there are those men who create and make the opportunity 
that rides them into greatness; they are restless, resistless, 
aggressive and combative natures ; they rise in the world because 
the life-principle, the impulse to grow and develop and force 
their way through, around, over and under obstacles and oppo- 
sition, in their effort to reach the sunlight of fame is born in them. 
Oliver Cromwell, Gladstone, Toussaint L'Ouverture, Abraham 
Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Booker T. Washington and W. H. 
Lewis arc instances of the former type of great men ; while 
Julius Caesar, a great statesman, jurist, grammarian, writer and 

The Great Man in History. 75 

orator of power, William the Conqueror, the Earl of Chatham, >^ 
Disraeli, Theodore Roosevelt, Martin Luther, Bismarck, Mira- 
beau, Napoleon, Frederick Douglass, William Monroe Trotter, 
W. E. Burghardt and DuBois are instances of the latter type of'' 
great men. Were it not for the Puritan Reformation, Oliver 
Cromwell would have died an unknown farmer. Had it not been 
for the agitation preceding the Revolutionary War, Patrick 
Henry would have died unknown to fame. Were it not for the 
Civil ^\'a^, U. S. Grant would have died an unknown saddler. 
Were it not for the anti-slavery agitation and the Civil War, the 
greatness of Abraham Lincoln would never have impressed the 
world. Circumstances made Toussaint L'Ouverture, and emer- 
gency called him forth. How ably he seized the flying oppor- 
tunity, the world well knows. He rode on the wave of a revolt 
of slaves into power and he directed that wave. 

Now, for the latter type, I will take Frederick Douglass, I 
Bismarck, Gordon and Newman, The work of Frederick Doug- 
lass has not the permanent value of that of Toussaint, but 
Toussaint did not create the opportunity that made him famous 
as Douglass did. Like ]\Iartin Luther, Frederick Douglass was 
a giant intellectually, morally and physically. Born a slave, the 
love of liberty, the desire to rise in the world, was innate. He 
picked up pieces of spelling books and readers from the gutter, 
dried them and so learned to read. He used the planks in the 
shipyard for a blackboard, the crayon for pencil, and so learned 
how to form figures. 

He learned how to read, write, cipher and spell against his 
master's wish. He thrashed the bullying overseer and fought 
a mob on the docks of Baltimore. Thrice thwarted in his desire, 
plans and efforts to escape, he did not despair. His fertile brain 
successfully devised the plan whereby he and his wife escaped 
from slavery. The whole world knows the story of his life in 
freedom. Like a spirited racehorse that stands with head erect, 
nostrils distended, pawing the ground, on fire with the desire to 
let out his marvelous speed, Frederick Douglass sniffed the air 
of freedom, gave himself the word "go," started from slavery 
and went down the racetrack of progress in the face of opposing 
winds of race prejudice and across the country roads of achieve- 
ment with lightning speed. He was like a game, gritty, nervy. 


7 6 The African Abroad. 

halfback, who, with lowered head, set jaw, and dogged deter- 
mination, strikes the opposing rush line at full speed. Frederick 
Douglass faced the formidable rush line of human slavery, 
determined to win his freedom, or die in the attempt. He 
charged into it ; it swayed ; it bent ; it broke ! First his head 
came through, then his whole body, and he broke clear through 
the walls of slavery. But he did not stop. He kept on. He 
dashed down the field of achievements with plenty of steam and 
speed to let. He threw off the halfbacks of American prejudice, 
bowled over the fullback of jealousy of other smaller Negroes 
and made a touchdown after a one-hundred-and-ten-yard run, 
from goal line to goal line — from the depths of slavery to the 
heights of fame. 

This is no fanciful picture. When Frederick Douglass came 
to New Bedford he secured work as a common laborer, preach- 
ing occasionally in a colored Methodist church. It happened 
that one of the Abolitionists heard him preach one Sunday and 
was impressed with his eloquence. He was invited to be one 
of the speakers at an anti-slavery meeting. 

His soul was on fire with a righteous indignation at the cruelty 
of slavery. His address that day brought tears to the eyes 
of several ladies, and Garrison waxed eloquent. Then he was 
employed as an anti-slavery orator. He was stoned, rotten- 
egged and beaten into insensibility by a mob. His life was 
threatened. Again and again he faced and defied mobs. Some- 
times no inn, or hotel, or home would receive him, because he 
was colored. But he did not despair ; he soon became the honored 
guest of the most distinguished men in England and America. 
And he wore his honors gracefully. He was marshal of the 
District of Columbia, recorder of deeds for the District of Colum- 
bia, and United States Minister to Hayti. He died worth nearly 
a quarter of a million dollars. So we see that Douglass went 
from the very bottom rung of life's ladder, a slave, to the very 
top, a distinguished and famous man. Before we take up Bis- 
marck, Gordon and Newman it may be well to glance at the career 
of Gladstone, who represents a different type of the great man 
from Douglass, Bismarck, Gordon and Newman. 

Gladstone, physically, mentally and morally represents the 
acme of human development. He was of almost herculean size 

TJie Great Man in History. 77 

and strength. He was a ripe, classical and Biblical scholar, 
blessed with a splendid physique, a strong, rugged, yet kindly 
countenance, and a rich, ringing, baritone voice. As an orator, 
he was almost the equal of Chatham, and was the peer of 
Mirabeau, O'Connell, Webster and Phillips. But the influence 
of Napoleon, Bismarck, Carlyle, Emerson, Goethe, Newman, 
Kant and Hegel upon the political and spiritual life of the nine- 
teenth century has been deeper and more far-reaching than 

W'hile Gladstone was the grand old man of the nineteenth 
century, we must remember that he changed sides on almost every 
public question that was brought before England during his 
political career. He was an opportunist. At first he was a pro- 
tectionist, and then he was a free trader. At first his sympathies 
were with the Confederates, and later he saw the justice of the 
cause of those who fought to preserve the Union and abolish 
slavery. He belonged to all of the different political parties at 
different periods of his life. He began his political career as a 
Tory, then he became a moderate Conservative, afterwards he 
joined the Whig Party, then he became a Liberal, afterwards 
a Radical, and finished his career striving for Home Rule for 
Ireland. Of course it indicates that Gladstone was unusually 
quick and keen in his perceptions, that he kept his eye open, was 
alert in noticing the trend of affairs and swift in adjusting him- 
self and his views to the new conditions ; it shows that he had 
an open mind and a teachable spirit. But it also shows that 
Gladstone was not gifted with that political genius which intui- 
tively discerns the trend of affairs, that he was preeminently 
endowed with that philosophical mind which would not be 
deceived by the appearance, but would penetrate to the heart of 
the matter, trace causes to their effects and thus forecast the 
future. Gladstone's shifting policy indicates that when he was 
once in error he did not always remain in error but would return 
to the right path; but it also indicates that Gladstone's first judg- 
ments were not always correct and that he often missed the mark 
on his first shot. 

Like Newman, Gladstone possessed an intellect of wonderful 
subtlety and was a remarkable dialectician. But as was the case 
with Newman, his subtlety and keen dialectic w^as often employed 

7^ The African Abroad. 

in making himself believe what he wished himself to believe and 
in raising' hair-splitting distinctions, which the scholastic philoso- 
phers of the Middle Ajjes and the Jesuits delighted in. Glad- 
stone's feeling and prejudices often biased his judgments; and 
the calm judicial mind of the philosopher was not one of his lead- 
ing traits. The fact that Gladstone chose third-rate men for his 
assistants, by whom he was often ill advised, because he could 
easily manage them, because they would not contradict him, and 
which brought Chinese Gordon, the Bayard of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, to his death at Khartoum, shows that he lacked Bismarck's 
knowledge of human nature, Bismarck's knowledge of the way 
to handle men. And Gladstone's work as a statesman lacked 
the unity which was characteristic of Bismarck's statesmanship. 
Gladstone was not like Bismarck, a statesman who saw from the 
beginning the end to be realized, saw what materials and forces 
which the times and conditions furnished could be selected as 
means to realize that end. Gladstone was one of the noblest and 
most gifted men of the nineteenth century, but he was not an 
epoch-maker — not the creator of an epoch. 

Gladstone was one of those men who cooperated with the 
ideals of his own age. He was a splendid representative of the 
best humanitarian spirit of the age. He was an incarnation of 
the modern democratic spirit. In him were personified and 
embodied the best forces and tendencies of the age. But Glad- 
stone did not overthrow any existing social order nor did he 
create those moral, social and political ideals for whose realiza- 
tion he so nobly strove. Now we come to Gladstone's important 
measures. Gladstone, in an effective manner, worked in harmony 
with the spirit of the age and modern currents of thought and 
feeling. He assisted the stream of English history in flowing 
in the direction in which it was already moving, but he did not 
turn it into new channels nor give it a deeper channel in which to 

The modern spirit of liberty was formed by the meeting of 
the electric currents of thought and feeling which were set in 
motion by the Protestant Reformation. It was guided by the 
philosophers of the eighteenth century. It attained to full size 
in the American Revolution and burst like a meteor in the air 
before the astonished eyes of Europe in the Erench Revolution. 

The Great Man in History. 79 

And, like the irresistible rush of a mighty river, it has been 
sweeping everything before it in the nineteenth century. It 
has been pulsating in the blood of the Anglo-Saxon in the present 
century, and if Gladstone had worked against the spirit, instead 
of checking it, he would have been overwhelmed by it. Thus 
we see that Gladstone was not one of those statesmen who made 
history; but Bismarck is the statesman of the nineteenth cen- 
tury whose personality determined the course of events in his 
day. He was not as versatile a man as Gladstone; he was not 
as broad and sympathetic and kindly in nature; he was more 
narrow in his sympathies and prejudices. His questionable 
political methods, his unscrupulousness and cruelty as a states- 
man, such as when he offered to aid Russia in crushing Poland 
in order that he might win over Russia, so that she would remain 
neutral while he dismembered Denmark; such as when he used 
Austria as an ally and then picked a quarrel with her and cemented 
ties of friendship with Italy, her natural enemy; such as when 
he deceived and outwitted the French emperor and Russian 
diplomats so that they would not disturb him while he was con- 
quering the Austrians, — suggest that Bismarck derived his politi- 
cal ideals from Machiavelli's "II Principe," and clearly shows that 
Bismarck was morally inferior to Gladstone. But Bismarck played 
the more important role in the affairs of men. Gladstone's was a 
nobler, more beautiful, and sweeter nature; but Bismarck's was 
a more colossal. Gladstone was preeminently a man of moral, 
Bismarck of dynamic greatness. The world was slightly a better 
world because Gladstone lived in it; but it was a decidedly 
different world because Bismarck lived in it. 

Then, too, Bismarck worked against the progressive and I 
democratic spirit of the nineteenth century. He could not form 
any permanent party in the imperial legislature after the Franco- I 
German War, but was compelled to rely upon shifting combina- ' 
tions to secure his ends, using Peter against Paul one day and 
Paul against Peter the next day. Bismarck could only obtain 
executive control of the treasury for the purposes of the army, 
and force his army measures through, by several times bringing 
Europe to the very verge of war. He could only maintain his 
ascendency in the Reichstag by "adopting a protective tariff 
which hampered the free development of the natural resources 

8o The African Abroad. 

of Germany." His attempt to crush the Roman Catholics in 
Germany was thwarted by their passive resistance. His attempts 
at colonial expansion in the South Pacific and in Africa were 
only partially successful. His work as a domestic statesman, in 
which he resorted to arbitrary measures and temporary expe- 
dients, was only crowned with temporary success, because he 
was fij^htinpf against the spirit of the age; but it shows the 
tremendous power of the man. Then, too, the arbitrary meas- 
ures and temporary expedients of his domestic policy were abso- 
lutely necessary to the carrying out of his ruthless foreign policy. 
And it is highly improbable that any other than the iron hand of 
Bismarck, any other than the blood and iron policy of Bismarck, 
could have welded the German unity. 

' But what did he do that has permanent value? The one aim 
that dominated his career was welding the German people into a 
unity. The end that he kept constantly before his mind was 
the uniting of all the Protestant and semi-Protestant states of 
Germany into a confederacy and unity of which his Prussia 
should be tiie controlling factor, of which his Prussia should 
be the heart and mainspring. And of course Austria was to be 
excluded by peaceful means, if possible, by forceful, if necessary. 
How did he realize that end? In 1861 Bismarck saw that the 
first step to be taken would be the strengthening of the army. 
The Chamber refused to do it and he dissolved it in defiance of 
the Constitution and public opinion. Then he set to work to 
consolidate the powers of Germany and to strengthen its foreign 
relations. With what success everyone knows. He soon had 
the best disciplined army and best disciplined nation in Europe. 
The result was that Germany entered the Franco-German War, 
in which the process of welding the German unity and fusing the 
various elements was completed, with a thoroughly trained army 
and a united confederation that was a tribute to the fertile niind 
and personal power of Bismarck. After the war he saw that 
the sine qua non of Germany's preserving peace and being the 
arbiter of Europe was the possession of a strong army and the 
forming of effective alliances. He set to work to do that. What 
was the result of his policy? He found his Germany fifth in the 
list of European powers; he left her second to none. He found 
Germany broken up into many jealous and discordant states; 

The Great Man in History. 8i 

but out of them he created a united Germany. United Germany 
is a glorious monument to the poHtical genius, the iron will, the 
indomitable spirit, the blood and iron policy, and the diplomacy 
of Bismarck. 

Bismarck's work was crowned with success. But it was a 
success that cannot be attributed to the spirit of the age, or to 
the social and political forces working unseen beneath the surface 
in Germany. It was a success that was in defiance of the political 
and social forces of the nineteenth century. It was a success that 
was in defiance of the Constitution and public opinion of Ger- 
many. It was a success in which Bismarck's personality was 
the dominating and controlling factor in the whole scheme. And 
without him Germany would not be where she now is, and the 
political history of Europe would be different from what it was 
in the latter half of the nineteenth century. And, from an 
aesthetical standpoint, what a sublime spectacle Bismarck's career 
presents — an end kept constantly in view, a skillful adaptation 
of means to an end, a knowledge of the levers by which men 
are moved, and that remarkable foresight and keen insight into 
the springs of human action, backed by a massive personality of 
herculean determination and superhuman energy^! 

Critics may say that Bismarck was unequal to guiding the 
Germany he had created so that it would move and develop with 
the tendencies of the age, they may say that Bismarck has left 
uncompleted a work which only a statesman with the democratic 
spirit and humanitarian nature of Gladstone, a veritable cham- 
pion of liberty and a believer in the rights of the people, could 
do; but the fact remains that it was Bismarck who created this 
united Germany, and that without the planning mind and guiding 
hand of Bismarck, Germany would not be what she is to-day. 
Whether Germany ever plays the leading part in the world's 
history or not, whether she becomes a destructive or beneficent 
agent, the fact remains that Bismarck is the embodiment of 
titanic force, directed by a gigantic intellect, and that that force 
and that intellect changed the map of Europe and made Ger- 
many what she is to-day. No great statesman or military leader 
has ever dominated the men and events of his time to a greater 
degree than Bismarck. And in Bismarck we see one man whose 
personality is woven in the very web and woof and texture 
of history. 

Sa The African Abroad. 

I will now introduce Chinese Gordon, and I believe that he, 
tog^ethcr with Bismarck, Gladstone and Newman, will 1:^0 down 
in history as one of the spectacular and picturesque figures of the 
nineteenth century. Bismarck's, Gladstone's and Newman's title 
to fame is secure. Gladstone, as a statesman, has not done for 
his country what Pericles did for Athens, Cssar for Rome, 
Charlemagne for feudal Europe, William the Conqueror for 
early England, Richelieu for France, Peter the Great for Russia, 
Frederick the Great for Prussia, Chatham for England, in former 
centuries, or even what Cavour did for Italy and Bismarck for 
Germany in the nineteenth century. But when we consider 
Gladstone as a statesman, orator, Greek scholar, and Bible 
student ; when we reflect that his nature, like a mighty organ, 
responded to the humanitarian waves and currents of the thought 
and feeling of the nineteenth century ; that at eighty years of 
age he had the physical vigor to fell the oaks of the forest, we 
must recognize that, taking him all in all, Gladstone is the finest 
specimen of manhood physical, mental and moral, that the nine- 
teenth century has produced. Both physically, mentally and 
morally he has reached the acme of human development, and 
in that lies his title to immortal fame. 

Cavour was the creator of a United Italy, in the same sense 
that Bismarck was the welder of a United Germany, out of dis- 
cordant elements; yet the Germany that Bismarck fashioned 
is such a powerful military machine that he may well be regarded 
as the greatest statesman of the nineteenth century. 

And now we come to Chinese Gordon, the Christian soldier 
and martyr. He brought no great war to a successful close as 
did Washington, Wellington, Grant, von Moltke and Garibaldi. 
But his brilliancy as a soldier, his efforts to break up the African 
slave trade and his fervid religious faith stamp him as the 
Bayard of the nineteenth century, as the knight who was with- 
out fear and without reproach. Not since the days when the 
Knights of the Round Table sought so earnestly for the Holy 
Grail has such a chivalric warrior donned the plumed helmet, 
buckled on his armor, seized the battle axe, set his lance in 
rest and wandered over the world in search of adventure, longing 
to rescue the weak and oppressed. 

The Great Man in History. 83 

And his buoyant faith and sturdy heroism in the last days at 
Khartoum and the trai^edy of his life, these have glorified his 
life with an immortal halo and lighted up his last days with the 
undying flames of romance. He went down to his grave at 
Khartoum covered with a blaze of glory. 

Cardinal Newman was not such a potent intellectual force as 
Kant or Hegel, not such a potent scientific force as Darwin or 
Helmholtz, not such a potent literary force as Goethe or Brown- 
ing, not such a potent moral force as Carlyle or Emerson, and 
yet he is the most chivalric and picturesque spiritual hero of the 
nineteenth century. There is something spectacular about New- 
man's setting his lance against the intellectual forces of the nine- 
teenth century, vainly hurling himself against the aggressive force 
of the human intellect, vainly attempting to stay the advancing 
tide of human thought. And then consider him as a man. Froude, 
the biographer of Caesar, says that Newman possessed the noble 
head, the Roman nose, the firmly compressed lips, the determined 
jaw and commanding personality of Caesar; that, like Caesar, 
he was a born leader, compeller and ruler of men. When we 
reflect that no other master of English prose, no other writer 
of melodious English in the nineteenth century was such a 
magnetic preacher and illustrious leader of men as Newman, 
and when we remember the dramatic and tragic close of his 
spiritual career, we must admit that he was the most interesting 
spiritual hero of the nineteenth century. 

While Newman and Chinese Gordon were not epoch makers as 
Bismarck was, while they were leaders of forlorn hopes and 
lost causes, yet the fact that they created the opportunities that 
made them famous, the fact that they were leaders rather than 
followers of public opinion, the fact that they conceived and 
followed out a definite plan of action, the fact that they were 
such remarkable leaders of men, show that they were men of 
dynamic as well as moral greatness and hence belong to the 
Douglass and Bismarck rather than the Gladstone type of great 
men. Noble, gifted and brilliant as he was, Gladstone was an 
opportunist in politics and, like Roosevelt, belonged to the type of 
statesmen who met the emergencies as they arose, rather than 
the Richelieu, Chatham, Burke and Hamilton type of statesman, 
who planned and built for the future. 


Roosevelt and the Negro — The Man of Thought Versus the Man 
of Action — Roosevelt, Joseph Benson Forakcr, Oliver Crom- 
well and Charles Eliot Norton as Typical Great Men. 

Xewpaper reputation does not necessarily determine a man's 
greatness but it does determine a man's fame. In this connection 
I once heard Professor Charles Eliot Norton of Harvard say, 
"Fame is the newspaper reputation of future generations." 
Great is the power of the press. The newspapers make men 
nowadays. They made Booker T. Washington and Theodore 
Roosevelt. They began talking about these two men and soon 
everybody was talking about them. Ask ninety-nine men out 
of one hundred why Booker T. Washington and Theodore 
Roosevelt are great men and they will hem and haw and say, 
"One built up Tuskeegee, and the other one organized the Rough 
Riders, etc." Undoubtedly they are remarkably successful men 
of action. But the real reason the man thinks they are great is 
because every one is talking about them. And the newspapers 
started people's tongues a-wagging about them. Tliat is why the 
career of the former was meteoric. 

The newspapers can transform a pigmy into a giant. But 
there is one thing they cannot do, they cannot reduce a colossus 
to the size of a dwarf. Genius will shine even through a black 
skin and in the midst of squalor and poverty. Ragged clothes 
cannot obscure its luminous rays. Character cannot be hid, even 
if it resides in a garret. It will make its presence felt even 
though masked under a dark complexion. The greatest thing 
God ever created is a human soul, and if God makes a man great, 
man cannot unmake him. 

Comparisons are odious. But I regard Charles Eliot Norton 
of Harvard as fully great a man as Theodore Roosevelt, who is 
one of the most forceful personalities of the present century. 
The country does not think so. This is the speculative, sensa- 
tional and picturesque age, the age of the doubting Thomases. 
Unless a man does something that we can see with our eyes ; 

Roosevelt as a Great Man. 85 

unless he makes something that we can smell and taste ; unless he 
builds something- that we can touch and handle, and feel and 
weigh and measure, we don't think he has done much. Theodore 
Roosevelt is a great man. He is smart and magnetic. He is 
big and he carries the big stick. He is the embodiment of the 
fighting, aggressive spirit of the Anglo-Saxon. The spirit of 
the Mkings, of the old sea rovers, who braved the dangers of the 
deep, still lives in him. 

Professor Kelly Miller, in his masterly analysis of ex-President 
Roosevelt's personality in his pamphlet, "Roosevelt and the Negro," 
says : "A man almost or wholly without Anglo-Saxon blood, 
he is the ideal embodiment of the Anglo-Saxon spirit, which 
glorifies beyond all things else the power of doing things, 

"The Celt is in his heart and hand 
The Gaul is in his brain and nerve." 

This is only partially true. While Roosevelt is the embodiment 
of the rash, reckless and restless Viking spirit, the incarnation 
of Anglo-Saxon fire, dash, energy and enthusiasm, he yet lacks 
the critical and analytical intellect, the calm, judicial mind and \^ 
the cold, phlegmatic temperament of the typical Anglo-Saxon of 
whom Wellington, Washington, Webster, Lincoln, Spooner, Root 
and Grant are splendid specimens. 

This was abundantly illustrated by his hasty though well-meant 
decision in the Brownsville matter, when he discharged colored 
soldiers without the form or semblance of a trial, and his whole- 
sale throwing out of the colored delegates from the South at his 
Chicago convention in August, 1912. The impetuosity of the 
Irish, the "hot heart of the Scot," the fire and enthusiasm of the 
Huguenot, and the dogged determination, the grim stubbornness 
of the Dutch are all blended in Roosevelt's unique personality. 
He might be called a cosmopolitan, who possesses all of the 
virtues and some of the faults of those great race stocks. 

Roosevelt's real greatness is not in what he has done but 
what he is. There are a score or two of men now living in 
America who could do what Roosevelt has done, if given the 
opportunity. Brainy, brilliant and brave men like Roosevelt live 
in every age. But educators with Professor Norton's insight into 
art and literature and history and life, educators who blend 
sturdy vigor of character with gracious and winning manners, 

86 The African Abroad. 

who blend the streng-th of a Phillips with the grace of a Curtis, 
are rare. Sometimes only one such lives in a generation. Norton 
was not only as great a critic as Matthew Arnold but he was 
as great a teacher as Thomas Arnold. We applaud the man who 
can lead a thousand men in a charge and who can control a 
thousand politicians. But we ignore the man who can reproduce 
his personality in the lives and characters of a thousand students. 
I have carefully considered the work of Roosevelt as Civil 
Service Commissioner, Police Commissioner, Governor, as prime 
mover in the suit against the Northern Securities Company, 
adjuster of the anthracite strike, handler of the Miller case, pro- 
moter of the Panama Canal, pacificator of warring Russia and 
Japan, and investigator of the Standard Oil secret rates; but I 
do not see what Roosevelt has achieved that is of permanent 
value, besides doing a lot of talking and writing about the stren- 
uous life, and displaying a great deal of physical courage, and 
manifesting a great deal of titanic energy. Roosevelt will go 
down in history as a spectacular, picturesque, interesting, fasci- 
nating, dominating and masterful personality, who possessed a 
wonderful amount of personal magnetism. He may stand out in 
American history as Cromwell does in English history. He will 
appear as a master politician and a born leader of men. He has 
won the confidence of the masses and has not wholly alienated 
the sympathy of Wall Street. That in itself is a remarkable 
achievement. But I do not believe that he will be regarded as 
a constructive and creative statesman of the type of Chatham, 
Robert Peel, Richelieu and Bismarck, or a philosophic statesman 
of the type of the Marquis Ito, Alexander Hamilton, Charles 
Sumner and Edmund Burke. He has not the ponderous legal 
mind and is not the constitutional lawyer that the late Senator 
William M. Evarts of New York was. It may be questioned 
whether he has the inimitable wit of Tom Reed or the rare com- 
mon sense and quaint humor of Abe Lincoln and Uncle Joe 
Cannon, who recalled the shrewd, kindly Yankee. Roosevelt is 
not as big and brainy as Daniel Webster, Charles Sumner and 
James G, Blaine. He is not more brainy nor more brilliant than 
Roscoe Conkling. One may wonder why he dominates the 
country as neither of these four did. Tt is not so hard to see 
the reason why. The name "Rough Riders" tickled the popular 

Roosevelt as a Great Man. 87 

ear. The charge of Roosevelt and his Rough Riders up San 
Juan Hill caught the ol vokAol and made Roosevelt more popular 
with the masses than Charles Sumner was. To see a wealthy 
man, a dignitary of the State, lay down his office and go to the 
firing line appealed to the young American mind. Then, too, 
Roosevelt's attitude toward the trusts shows that he is more 
courageous than Webster, and more honest than Blaine. This 
gives him the confidence of the people, for they believe that he 
is a lover of fair play and means to do the right thing by them. 
Is it that big heart, that big soul of his that endears him to men? 
But I now come to the real secret of Roosevelt's popularity. 
Webster never had the stage to himself. Calhoun was as strong 
in intellectual and moral force. Clay was as magnetic an orator. 
And they divided the honors with him in Congress. Then, too, 
the sudden rise of Wendell Phillips as an anti-slavery orator 
focused the attention of the country upon him. Both Blaine 
and Conkling were men of strong, masterful personalities and 
imperious natures. They were born leaders and rulers of men. 
They were two intellectual giants, two titans pitted against each 
other. The result was that they crippled each other's influence 
and divided the attention and admiration of the country. 

Now Roosevelt had no Clay, no Calhoun, no Conkling, looming 
up in the public eye, as gigantic as himself. Since the deaths of 
Sumner and Blaine, and the retirement of Conkling, there has 
been no commanding personality in American public life, with the 
possible exception of Justice John M. Harlan of the Supreme 
Court bench and Senator J. B. Foraker. McKinley was far- 
seeing and magnetic, but not forceful enough to be a great man. 
He was a fascinating but not a commanding personality. The 
same might be said of the genial, scholarly and eloquent Senator 
G. F. Hoar. Tom Reed, a big man physically, intellectually and 
morally, a dogged fighter, calm, cool and deliberate in debate, 
keen and sarcastic in invective, admired and respected, but 
dreaded and feared, lacked the gift of eloquence. Bryan, Bourke 
Cochran and Chauncey M. Depew possessed it in a preeminent 
degree. But people are afraid of Bryan because of his free 
silver heresies and socialistic notions. They believe that Cochran 
plays to the galleries, and they question his sincerity. They 
regard Depew as a financier, and a felicitous after-dinner 

88 The African Abroad. 

speaker, but question his earnestness of convictions. Hearst pos- 
sesses brains, resourcefulness, ambition, energy' and a masterful 
personality ; but it remains to be seen whether he is a statesman 
or a shrewd politician. Henry Cabot Lodge, Senator Spooner, 
Senator Elihu Root and President W'oodrow Wilson are almost as 
stron},' intellectually as Alexander Hamilton, Daniel Webster, 
Charles Sumner and James G. Blaine. But they are too quiet 
and reserved, not strong and dramatic enough, not sensational 
and spectacular enough, to appeal to and fascinate the popular 
mind. LaFollette and Jerome have the necessary dash and nerve, 
the brilliancy and magnetism, but they are small in stature, and 
Americans, like their heroes, must be large in size. Now Taft is 
a big man, big physically, mentally and morally, and an able 
man in every respect ; but he is not as sensational as Roosevelt 
or Bryan, and America demands that her heroes be picturesque 
figures. Hence, Roosevelt stands out because he lives in an age 
of little men. He has no Fox and Burke to share his greatness as 
Pitt had. He has no Disraeli and John Bright to draw the popu- 
lar eye and attention from himself, as Gladstone had. When I 
say that this is the age of little men, I do not mean small intel- 
lectually and morally, but there are few men now living who 
possess the qualities of leadership, few who can command the 
attention and challenge the admiration of the world. 

Some say that Senator Bailey, Ben Tillman, Hoke Smith, 
Governor Blease of South Carolina, Governor Vardaman and 
Tom Dixon are breezy enough to attract attention. Undoubtedly 
Bailey, Tillman and Hoke Smith are men of unquestioned ability, 
but they are narrow-gauged men and extremely prejudiced. And 
Blease, Vardaman and Dixon are nothing but ''bombastes 
furiosos," howling dervishes and sounding brass and tinkling 
cymbals. They are all banty roosters in comparison with 

Mark how tactful Roosevelt is ; first he catches the masses by 
settling the coal strike and bringing suit against the Northern 
Securities Company. Next he catches Wall Street by his hand- 
ling of the Miller case and by refusing to make a wholesale 
assault upon Wall Street. This shows that Roosevelt is a man 
or resourcefulness and that his policy is in keeping with his 
idea of a square deal. It is only as regards the Negro question 

Roosevelt as a Great Man. 89 

that he has failed to carry out his square-deal principle to its 
legitimate conclusion. 

The Americans are hero-worshippers. They soon get tired of 
one hero, like a child of a toy, for a trivial pretence or pretext, 
drop him as they did Admiral Dewey, and are then on the look- 
out for a new hero, as a child for a new toy. And it seems to be 
the duty of the newspapers to find and discover real heroes, and 
to make them known to the rest of mankind. If no real heroes 
exist, then it is their business to create and manufacture heroes, 
and serve them up to the palled taste and jaded appetite of the 
Americans, always craving a new sensation. That is the cause of 
the former unparalleled popularity of Booker T. Washington and 
Theodore Roosevelt. The deaths of Phillips Brooks and James G. 
Blaine and J. C. Price and Frederick Douglass left a void and 
a vacuum in the public mind. Like an infant crying in the night, 
these American people cried out for a black and white hero. And 
tlie newspapers saw that these two answered the bill better than 
any others. 

America is the country of deeds and achievements. There is 
a hunger for the heroic, for the picturesque, in the American's 
nature. When he reads of the ancient heroes and the daring 
deeds and miraculous achievements of Samson and Hercules, of 
Jack the Giant Killer and Robin Hood, of Rob Roy and Richard 
the Lion-Hearted, when he reads of the influence wielded by an 
Alexander the Great, a Julius Caesar, or a Napoleon Bonaparte 
he weeps because these quiet, peaceful times, this commercial, 
ease-loving age has no sensational, spectacular and picturesque 
personalities to match against these. Dare-devil Diavolo, who 
loops the loop on a bicycle ; Prodigious Porthos, who goes down 
a steep incline and makes a flying trip in the air on a bicycle; 
Death-defying Gabriel, who breaks records with his famous 
automobile, called the "Dragon," satisfies the American's hunger 
for the display of nerve-thrilling, hair-raising feats. But there 
is not enough dignity and respectability to these. Now Roosevelt, 
the bear killer, the lion killer, the elephant killer and the rhinoc- 
eros killer, the leader of Rough Riders, the tamer of politicians 
and fighter of the trusts, can do enough stunts to dazzle the eye 
as much as the tight-rope walker or trapeze performer. Then 
his grandiloquent manner and his tragic posing throws the mantle 

90 . The African Abroad. 

of sublimity around all his acts and actions. Roosevelt is the 
greatest grandstand player since the age of Xapoleon. So, then, 
we must regard Roosevelt as the Hercules, the Jack the Giant 
Killer, the Richard the Lion-Iiearted of the twentieth century. 
He has more of the qualities that make a popular hero than any 
living man. In the early (ireek and Roman days they would 
have deified such a heroic figure and made a demigod of him. 
He was a find for the newspapers, and they who catered to the 
tastes of a sensation-loving age would not let such material and 
stuff for breezy and catchy articles pass by unnoticed. 

President Thomas Miller of the State College in Orangeburg, 
S. C, says : "Roosevelt's fame will never die. He will never 
become like Blaine and Conkling, a sad relic of departed great- 
ness. His dare-devil dash into a conflict, uninvited and unex- 
pected, will make him live in the popular mind. But he will live 
more strongly and favorably amongst the young and hopeful." 

While the American's ideal Anglo-Saxon is a bold, lion-like 
character, his ideal Negro is a meek and humble man like the 
good old Uncle Tom of Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous novel, 
who, on bended knees, pathetically and piteously cried, "Please, 
Marsa," or like the traditional conception of the lowly Xazarene, 
who w-as brought "as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as 
a sheep that before her shearers is dumb ; yea, he opened 
not his mouth." Goldsmith's parson in his "Deserted Village" 
answered this description. "At church, with meek and unaflFcctcd 
grace, his looks adorned the venerable place." We look upon 
Uncle Tom as a mythical character and despair of seeing his 
counterpart in real life. When we hear of Christ advising us, 
if a man slaps us on one side of the face, to turn the other to 
him; if a man takes our coat, to give him a cloak also; advising 
us, if a man makes us go one mile with him, to go two miles 
with him, we despair of actually living this out, and the common 
sense of mankind has come to believe that these words are to be 
figuratively and not literally taken. But, miracles of the century, 
in Booker T. Washington we have an Uncle Tom in real life, a 
man who poses as one, believing literally in these lofty words 
of the lowly Xazarene ! 

Why, he outdoes Uncle Tom and Goldsmith's parson. His 
sympathies go out as much to those who fought to enslave his 

Roosevelt as a Great Man. 91 

people as to those who fought to free them. In every attempt 
that has been made to degrade and humiliate the Negro, to rob 
him of his civil and political rights, to curtail his educational 
privileges and opportunities, to reduce him practically to helpless 
and hopeless peonage and serfdom in the Southland, in short in 
every attempt made to dethrone the Negro from his humanity 
and wrest from him the sceptre of manhood, Booker T. Wash- 
ington sees nothing but "blessings in disguise." Why, I really 
believe that if the entire Negro race in America were to be sub- 
merged in slavery again, Booker T. Washington's head would be 
lifted above the troubled waters and turbulent seas; his grave, 
majestic, Jove-like countenance would be seen, and from his wise 
lips would issue forth some philosophic declaration, or glittering 
generalization, or grandiloquent platitude, or eloquent common- 
place, proclaiming that enforced servitude was part of the grand 
plan that the Divine Providence had in store for the Negro. 
Great heavens, was ever such faith and patience seen since the 
days of Job; such love since the days of Christ, and such 
humility since the days of Uncle Tom ? Why this was the eighth 
wonder of the world ! Could the newspapers pass by this won- 
derful discovery, this marvelous being, and not parade him before 
the public gaze? Why, of course not. But Dr. Washington 
carried his optimism so far that the judicious questioned his 


I trust that it will be permitted me to digress from my analysis 
of Roosevelt's personality and take up his attitude upon the 
Negro question. For nearly a century the history of this country 
has centered around an oppressed and outcast race. There were 
three settlements in America that shaped the history of this 
country — one in Plymouth Rock, another in New York and still 
another in Jamestown, Va. The Pilgrims who crossed the 
Atlantic in the Mayflower were seeking a land where they could 
follow the dictates of their conscience in moral and spiritual 
matters. They developed a theocracy, a system of town govern- 
ment, gave to New England history a sombre character, and 
to New England manhood and womanhood an austere morality 
and rugged vigor. Nineteenth century culture has caused this 

9* The African Abroad. 

sturdy stren^h of character to blossom into refined and gracious 
forms. The Dutchmen who landed in Xew Amsterdam were 
traders and fortune hunters. They settled in Xew York, which 
was at the mouth of a beautiful river which flowed through a fer- 
tile valley. And so New York became the commercial center of 
America, as Xew England became the fountain-head of learning 
and religion, the source from whence flowed moral, religious and 
intellectual reforms. The colonists who landed in Jamestown, 
Va., intended to find nuggets of gold and return to England 
immensely rich. Instead they planted tobacco and settled in 
\'irginia. Cargoes of slaves were brought over. 

Then, in Xew England, sturdy, independent farmers were the 
dominating forces. In the Southland, there was seen the growth 
of an aristocratic class, owning large plantations, managed by 
slaves. Feudalism, the system of a serf class, of a subject race, 
was revived in America as it was dying out in Europe. It 
began to die a natural death in America. Slavery was abolished 
in the X^orth after the close of the Revolutionary War. Whit- 
ney's invention of the cotton-gin gave an impetus to slavery in 
the South. Then began the antagonism between the puritan and 
cavalier class, between slave and free labor. Then came the abo- 
litionists, John Brown, civil war, emancipation, reconstruction 
and disfranchisement. 

It seems to me that the Xegro question is a more baffling and 
perplexing one than the Panama Canal, or railroad-rate regula- 
tion, or that of the trusts, and yet Roosevelt has not a word to 
say about it. There is only one thing Teddy has not tackled, 
and that is the most vital thing — the rights of man. He seems 
to hesitate and fear to tackle it. I admire Roosevelt for the 
open-hearted welcome he extends to the helpless and needy, for 
his lofty conceptions of the rights of others and his eff'orts at 
all times to maintain them. But I must say, thus far, he has 
dodged and evaded the only question or issue confronting him 
which will test whether he is, or is not, a constructive and 
philosophic statesman. His dining with a colored man, his 
appointment of Crum, his decision upon the Cox postmaster 
issue, and his appointment of Ralph Tyler as auditor of the Xavy 
Department are nullified by his supplanting Postmaster Thorpe 
and United States Marshal Deas with white men, by his dismiss- 

Roosevelt as a Great Man. 93 

ing the colored soldiers, by the low ideals held before colored 
youths in his addresses at Tuskeegee, Hampton and Howard Uni- 
versities, and by his wholesale barring of Southern Negro 
delegates at his Chicago convention. As to whether the pro- 
visions of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the 
Federal Constitution should be or should not be enforced, as to 
whether the South's representation in Congress and the Electoral 
College should be or should not be cut down, as to whether the 
Southern legislatures should be permitted to defy and set at 
naught the Constitution of the United States, — on these questions 
Roosevelt thus far has given no decided and definite answer. 
Roosevelt is a clever opportunist, rather than a philosophic states- 
man. He seems more intent upon finding out what the people 
want and of catering to their wishes than in propounding the 
eternal principles that must be applied to all conditions and 

Any solution of the Negro problem that does not recognize 
that the question at issue is as to whether the Negro is a man, 
a full-fledged man, and is to be so regarded and treated, is a 
nostrum that temporarily allays the fever and postpones the crisis, 
but does not reach the heart and seat of the disease. Now I 
have looked in vain in Roosevelt's utterances and actions for 
evidence of a clear, well-defined policy regarding the Negro's 
place in American politics. My ideal statesman is a man like 
Edmund Burke, who discerns the principles that should guide 
and control the destinies of a nation for a century or two after 
his death. I must confess that I do not know the President's 
attitude regarding the Fifteenth Amendment and the action of 
the Southern States which practically nullifies it. I am inclined 
to think that Roosevelt is a clever and adroit actor, who plays to 
the galleries and looks to the side of the house from whence the 
greatest applause comes. 

I believe that Roosevelt is free from race prejudice. He is 
the master politician of the twentieth century and the greatest 
political leader this country has yet possessed. But he is not a 
far-sighted statesman. 

That I am not alone in this interpretation of his attitude 
towards the civil and political rights of the Negro, appears from 
the following editorial in the Springfield Republican in the fall 
of 1905, entitled "The President's Silence": 

94 The African Abroad. 

"In his address to Southern people he has nowhere alluded to 
the political rights of the colored race. 

"The President has completed his tour of the South, and it 
may now be said, as a matter of record, that in not one of his 
speeches did he speak a word in support of the maintenance of 
the political rights of the colored race under the federal consti- 
tution. The nearest he came to such an utterance was at 
Tuskeegee, where he said: 'It is not only the duty of the white 
man, but it is to his interest to see that the Xegro is protected 
in property, in life, and in all his legal rights.' The phrase 
'legal rights' is hardly broad enough, as commonly used in public 
discussions of the questions relating to Xegro citizenship, to 
include political rights. Had Mr. Roosevelt wished to make him- 
self unmistakably clear in support of the colored race's political 
status, he would undoubtedly have added a significant word or 
two at that particular point. 

"In no other address did the President approach the subject, 
while in his speech before the colored citizens at Jacksonville, 
Fla., he seemed by implication to discourage a policy of race 
assertion in politics. 'It seems to me,' he declared, 'that it is 
true of all of us that our duties are even more important than 
our rights. If we do our duties faithfully in spite of the diffi- 
culties that come, then sooner or later the rights will take care 
of themselves.' Applied to the question of the Negro's political 
rights, this means that the Negro should not bother himself about 
them while concentrating his eflforts upon the question of indus- 
trial efficiency, moral progress and good citizenship. 

"These facts concerning the President's Southern tour are not 
emphasized for the purpose of attacking him, but with the object 
of correctly interpreting current history. Before the tour began, 
the Republican pointed out with some detail the development of 
the question of the political status of the colored race since Mr. 
Roosevelt became President, showing that the tendency has been 
for it to sink lower and lower. And we said : 'One cannot help 
being curious to know whether his attitude has been modified by 
his four-years' e.xperience in office and whether he will refer to 
the question at all — that is, in its political aspect — in his greetings 
and declamations to his Southern audiences. To students of the 
Negro situation in the United States the tour becomes an event 

Roosevelt as a Great Man. 95 

of exceptional interest because of its organic relation to the 
course of events.' Curiosity is now satisfied. The President 
spoke sensibly and well in several places on Negro education, 
and most admirably did he denounce lynch law in the presence 
of the governor of Arkansas. But concerning the colored race's 
right to participate in the politics of State and nation he was 
everywhere silent. 

"This silence is open to a discouraging interpretation, especially 
from the point of view of those who were emancipated politically 
by the Fifteenth Amendment. It is to be said that the President 
could scarcely have wooed the white South so gallantly and fer- 
vently had he gone into the political phase of the race question, 
yet the query now arises whether the renewal of the entente 
cordiale between the President and his mother's people, for which 
there are many reasons for satisfaction, involves on his part the 
abandonment of the colored folk to the political helotry to which 
the white race of the South has consigned them." 

I realize that the race question is going to be solved not by 
any laws passed by Congress, nor by any President's messages, 
but in the hearts and consciences of the American people. The 
President may and ought, however, and Congress may and should, 
assist in the molding of public opinion, in the crystallizing of 
public sentiment. A statesman who merely sneezes when the 
public holds the snuflF box is a figurehead and not a true states- 
man. A true statesman is a man like Bismarck, Chatham, Charles 
Sumner, Joseph Benson Foraker, and Hon. J. Warren Kiefer of 
Ohio, the chivalric defender of the three famous war amend- 
ments, who stands at the pilot wheel of the ship of State, with 
keen eye, clear mind and steady hand, knowing where lie the 
dangerous rocks and treacherous shoals, and discerning, through 
the mists and fog, the calcium lights that show the uncertain 
mariner where the harbor is. But unless he can compel his 
contemporaries to see as he does, the statesman will be a Cassan- 
dra, prophesying in vain, rather than a Pitt, who induces his 
country to share and act out his insight. 


Now for a word regarding the much-discussed Brownsville 
episode. Notwithstanding the fact that it is doubtful whether 

96 The African Abroad. 

the colored soldiers shot up Brownsville; notwithstanding the 
fact that even if it were true that some of the soldiers shot up 
C Brownsville, Roosevelt went too far in discharging the entire 
\ battalion without honor and forbidding their re-enlisting in the 
army or employment in the civil service; notwithstanding the 
fact that Roosevelt erred in sending all of the Xegro soldiers to 
the Philippines and in deciding not to enlist any more colored 
soldiers — I say notwithstanding all of these facts, I am not 
inclined to be as harsh with Mr. Roosevelt as the other leaders 
of my race arc. I do not believe that he was actuated by race 
prejudice. I believe that he is almost as free from race prejudice 
as Senator J. B. Foraker, the Bayard of the nineteenth century, 
the knight who is without fear and without reproach. I believe 
Roosevelt, like Senator Foraker, means to do the right thing by 
ythe colored people. Wherein does Roosevelt, the discharger, and 
(^Senator Foraker, the defender of the colored soldiers, differ? 
Senator Foraker is guided by far-sighted statesmanship, Roose- 
velt by present expediency. 

I trust that I may be permitted to digress for a moment and 
speak of the Ohio senator. 

Had not Senator Foraker stood in the breach, like the doughty 
monk in Froissart's Chronicles, and defied Roosevelt's discharge 
order of the colored soldiers, the press of the country would have 
passed it by with only a passing reference, for Senators Spooner 
and Patterson, while endeavoring to be fair and just to the 
Negro, conceded considerably more to the South, in replying to 
Senator Tillman, than Charles Sumner would have done ; and 
Senators Foraker and Nelson were, alone, uncompromising in 
demanding fair play for us. 

It required the highest kind of courage, for one man, almost 
single-handed and alone, to pit himself against a powerful and 
popular President, who was solidly backed by the administration. 
I heard the speeches of Lodge, Daniels, Tillman, Spooner and 
Patterson. T remember how the people crowded the doors before 
the galleries were opened on the Saturday afternoon Tillman 
spoke. But the man whose masterly massing and marshalhng of 
facts and arguments, whose brilliant analysis, scintillating wit. and 
impassioned eloquence held the audience spellbound, and called 
forth applause again and again from the galleries, was Joseph 

The idol of ihe Grand Army and the hero of the Brownsville controversy 

Roosezrlt as a Great Man. 97 

Benson Foraker. By his ability, eloquence and courage, Senator 
Foraker commanded the attention of the country, focused its 
gaze upon an incident that would otherwise have passed by 
almost unnoticed and called the world's attention to the valor 
and worth of soldiers of African descent. His address before 
the Army of the Cumberland, his Memorial Day address at 
Arlington, rose to the high-water mark of American eloquence ; 
but the effort which will cause his name to live in the annals 
of the United States Senate was his chivalric defense of the 
Black Battalion. And he retires to private life with the proud 
consciousness of rising to the dignity of the occasion, when 
an orator of Wendell Phillips' brilliancy and fearlessness was 

While I question whether Roosevelt is a conservative and 
creative statesman, while I doubt whether he has the analytical 
mind of the philosopher, I still regard him as the greatest dynamic 
force and the most tremendous personality in the world to-day. 
He is a dynamic force not because of his statesmanlike insight, but 
because of his magnificent virility and titanic energy. He is a 
great doer. What part would Roosevelt have played in the 
world's history had he been living in other times and ages, and 
been pitted against Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Martin 
Luther, Oliver Cromwell, William the Conqueror, William Pitt, 
Mirabeau, Napoleon, Bismarck, Gladstone, George Washington, 
Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, Charles Sumner, James G. 
Blaine, Roscoe Conkling and U. S. Grant I do not know. I 
believe, however, that the dynamic power of Roosevelt's person- 
ality and his self-assertive individuality would have forced him 
to the front whenever and wherever he had been born. But I 
doubt whether he would have mastered the warring elements, as 
Alexander the Great and Hannibal, as Caesar and Napoleon, as 
Luther and Cromwell, and as William the Conqueror and William 
Pitt did. If I could make the distinction, I would regard Roose- 
velt, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, 
General Grant, Mirabeau, and Bismarck as nationally great men, 
and Roosevelt of lesser stature than Washington, Lincoln, Grant 
and Bismarck, while Csesar, Napoleon, Hannibal, Luther, Crom- 
well, \\''ilHam the Conqueror and Chatham are world-great men. 
"Oliver Cromwell, before whose genius," in the eloquent words 

98 The African Abroad. 

of Macaulay, "the young pride of Louis and the veteran craft of 
Mazarin had stood rebuked — who had humbled Spain on the 
land and Holland on the sea, and whose imperial voice had 
arrested the sails of the Libyan pirates and the persecuting fires 
of Rome," was, in my opinion, a world-great man, the greatest 
man the Anglo-Saxon race has yet produced. 1 trust that I 
will be permitted to digress and say another word about Crom- 
well, whom I regard as the most tremendous moral force since 
the days of Martin Luther, as a type of the world-great man. 
Paxton Hood says of him, "Cromwell performed his work on 
our own island, but he did not leave it. He humbled the proud 
empires of Europe by a glance. It took battles to raise him to 
his place of protector, but he became the dictator of Europe by 
the magnetism of a great intelligence." 

Cromwell was such a titanic figure, towering above ordinary 
mortals like Colossus, because he was a man of dynamic, moral 
and intellectual greatness. Cssar, Napoleon and Cromwell, the 
three greatest men who have figured in human history, were all 
shot out of revolutions. They emerged from a stress and a storm 
of agitation and discussion. They arose in the midst of warring 
factions, tempestuous elements and turbulent parties, who didn't 
know where they were going or what they desired, and at the 
same time would not brook the iron hand of the master. The 
man who, under such circumstances, could mount to the seat of 
leadership, seize the reins of government, master the situation 
and curb and control the lawless and unrestrained passions and 
riotous spirits, must indeed be a strong man. And that is just 
what Caesar, Napoleon and Cromwell did. Only in Cromwell 
we see a military and political genius, a born compeller and ruler 
of men, a dynamic force in human history, who was at the same 
time inspired by a moral idea. In his moral sublimity, rising to 
the lofty altitudes of thought and feeling upon which Moses, 
Paul, Luther and John Brown dwelt ; as a military genius, almost 
matching Napoleon and Hannibal ; in political sagacity and 
genius as a ruler, measuring up to Julius Cassar — might we not 
regard him as the most sublime if not the greatest figure in 
human history? 

Now for an analysis of Cromwell's personality. In the first 
place, he was a man of indomitable will-power and dynamic 

Roosevelt as a Great Man. 99 

force of character. Standing five feet ten inches in heii^ht, with 
a rugged physique, noble head, broad brow, massy, waving locks, 
prominent nose, firm lips, massive jaw, rough, strong features, 
shaggy, craggy eyebrows, beneath which gleamed and glistened 
bold, fearless eyes that seemed to look through one, Cromwell, 
with a face expressing calmness, self-possession, strength and 
kindness, impressed every one with his elemental greatness. One 
unconsciously felt that he was in the presence of a big man, of 
a human lion. The force and magnetism of that commanding 
personality, of that leonine presence, was felt in the halls of the 
Long Parliament, upon the battlefields of jNIarston IMoor, Naseby 
and Dunbar and in the office of the Lord Protector. In this 
respect he w^as like Ccesar, Napoleon, William the Conqueror, 
George Washington and other great soldiers. But then, too, 
Cromwell could do what neither of these four could do, what 
Hannibal and Alexander could not do. Through his moral 
earnestness, religious fervor and blazing enthusiasm, he could 
inspire and fire the Ironsides with the faith that moves mountains, 
with an invincible courage that has never been paralleled since 
Leonidas with his three hundred Spartans for three days held 
the pass of Thermopylae against a million Persians. W^hen Crom- 
well at Marston Moor thundered out "Charge in the name of 
the Most High," the Puritans charged not as brave men do who 
go down to certain defeat and death, as the Light Brigade did at 
Balaclava, or the cuirassiers and Old Guard did at Waterloo, but 
with the resistless impetuosity and torrential force of a conquer- 
ing army that sweeps everything before it as is moves forward. 

Napoleon found a perfect fighting machine created for him. 
All he had to do was to set it in motion. But Cromwell was 
compelled to construct his own fighting machine and breathe into 
it his own spirit. Then Cromwell possessed a prophetic insight, 
the foresight I believe that Gladstone lacked and that Roosevelt 
does not possess in a preeminent degree. Cromwell could have 
brought order out of chaos in the days of the French Revolution. 
When the debate was raging in the Long Parliament, when Pym, 
Ham])den and the other Puritans were pitted against the defenders 
of King Charles and Stafford, when John Pym was expounding 
the constitution and shrewd lawyers were gracefully threading 
their way through the mazes of the labyrinth of legal technicali- 

loo The African Abroad. 

ties, Cromwell's clear eye saw that the issues would be settled, 
the perplexing problems would be solved, the fate of England 
decided upon the field of battle, and he began to make prepara- 
tions for the conflict that he knew was coming on. Then the 
problem was how to organize a body of men who could success- 
fully stand off cavaliers and aristocrats, who were inspired by 
the traditions of chivalry and royalty. 

Cromwell knew that religion was a more potent conjurer to 
nerve men to deeds of heroism than any ideals of chivalry, and 
he worked that spell and charm for all that it was worth. He 
so breathed his own ardent, religious faith and flaming enthusiasm 
into the minds and hearts of the sturdy Ironsides that they 
became fired and charged with the fanatical faith and dauntless 
courage and enthusiasm of the followers of the prophet Mahomet. 
Mark how at the battle of-Marston Moor, after the dashing 
Rupert had annihilated the Puritan's center and Goring had cut 
to pieces the Puritan right, Cromwell — calm, cool, steady, col- 
lected, self-controlled and calculating — held the restless left wing 
in leash until the proper moment came, then let it loose or, rather, 
hurled it forth to overwhelm the seemingly victorious Rupert! 
Then, notice at Naseby, where Charles I met his Waterloo, how 
Cromwell moved around among his men, nerving them like 
some incarnate god of war ! See how he decoyed the fiery Rupert 
and Charles from their vantage ground into the plains, where 
the odds were even ! Observe how, when Ireton was defeated on 
the left, how when Fairfax was hard pressed in the center as was 
Wellington at Waterloo, Cromwell with his old Ironsides on the 
right swept Sir Marmaduke Langdale and his forces from the 
field and then rallied to the aid of Fairfax and, turning the 
tide of victory in his favor, moved across the entire field like a 
tidal wave! Mark how he took Tredajh, hanged the fighting 
Bishop of Ross before the walls of Clonmell, before the very eyes 
of the garrison, and broke the back of a formidable rebellion in 
Ireland ! Then reflect that at Dunbar, without losing more than 
twenty men, Cromwell slew three thousand Scots and took ten 
thousand prisoners ! Cromwell there concentrated all his forces 
against one flank of the enemy, cut it to pieces, spreading confu- 
sion and consternation in the Scotch army and thus routed the 
Covenanters. Witness the rapid motes by which he suddenly 

Rooscz'cit as a Great Man. loi 

and unexpectedly stormed Worcester. Cromwell, in war, waited 
until the opportune moment came and then he struck hard. It 
was when he had been victorious on the field that Cromwell 
showed his political genius. He saw^ that England needed the 
iron hand of a master, seized the sceptre of authority but not 
the crown, dissolved the Rump Parliament in April, 1653, and 
so held in check his political enemies that, powerless to harm him 
when he was living, they desecrated his dead body in his grave. 
Then, when all England, Scotland and Ireland acknowledged him 
as lord and master, he sent the terror of his name across the 
English Channel. He never left England. All the old lion had 
to do was to sit in his chair and roar, and France, Spain, Holland 
and Italy, the Pope and the Libyan pirates heeded that roar. 
Did ever man before inspire such terror, such awe ? Did Roose- 
velt dominate America and overawe Europe as Cromwell domi- 
nated England and overawed the continent? 

Returning to my subject, I will say Booker T. Washington and 
Theodore Roosevelt are eminently practical. They embody and 
represent the tendencies of this practical age. And that is why 
they were once so popular. They follow rather than lead public 
opinion. But the practical man is very rarely a creative and 
constructive statesman, very rarely a political philosopher; very 
rarely does he create an epoch and shove forward the car of 
civilization. The practical man meets the present emergencies, 
present-day evils, the present-day difficulties. He bails out the 
water and patches up the leaks, but the constructive and creative 
statesman plans and builds for the future. He prepares the ship 
of state for the future storms that she must encounter on the high 
seas of statecraft. He looks down the vista of time with the 
prophet's vision or seer's sight. He sees all of the problems 
in the light of the eternal and immutable principles of righteous- 
ness and justice which decides the fate of nations and destinies 
of mankind. He recognizes that no problem will be settled until 
it is settled right. He discerns, like the Revolutionary fathers, 
the universal principles that are involved. Expediency would 
have caused Caesar to pause on the banks of the Rubicon, William 
the Conqueror to pause before crossing the English Channel, 
Luther to pause before burning the Pope's Bull, Cromwell to 
pause before driving the members out of Parliament at the point 

I02 The African Abroad. 

of the sword, locking- the door and walking off with the key in 
his pocket, Chatham to pause before plunging England into war. 
Rut tlicy trusted the larger vision and went forward to change 
the course of history. Roosevelt cannot be classified with these 
far-seeing statesmen, still we must regard him as the greatest liv- 
ing man of action. Had he been living at the time of the French 
Revolution, Mirabeau, Marot, Danton, Robespierre and Napoleon 
would have found Roosevelt a power that must be reckoned with, 
though I do not believe that he would have dominated Europe 
as Cromwell and Napoleon did. 

But for reasons that I have given in the first chapter and in 
this chapter, I believe that the men of thought rather than the 
men of action have been the real makers of the world's history. 
Like the beneficent influence of the Gulf Stream, theirs has been 
a silent and unseen influence. But many a shore has felt the 
kindly influences of their power. They rule the minds of the 
masses and dominate the imaginations of the men of action. 
Thoughts and ideals rule the world. And men are only great in 
so far as they realize and embody ideas. 

So anxious are we to do something and to see others do some- 
thing, that we don't stop to ask, after all, *Ts this the best thing 
to be done, and if so, is it the right way to do it?" \\'e like 
to do for the mere sake of doing. Don Quixote did something. 
He fought windmills. Carrie Nation did something. She 
smashed saloons with a hatchet. Alexander Dowie, Elijah H, did 
something-. He founded Zion City. Must we regard them as 
great? No. We are too restless, in too much of a hurry to do 
things and see others do things. This is the practical age. Men 
are now looking for results and results alone, and I believe we 
underestimate culture for its own sake. We don't inquire about 
the permanent value of the results. The fact that a man does 
something is not important. What he does and the significance 
of his action, that is the important thing. 

I have said that I regard Professor Charles Eliot Norton of 
Harvard fully as great a man as Theodore Roosevelt, and that 
I regard the man of thought as a more potent factor in human 
history than the man of action. Once in a while a man of 
action like an .Mcxandcr. a Cxsar. Charlemagne, a William the 
Conqueror, changes the course of human history or decides the 

Roosevelt as a Great Man. 103 

fate of empires. But usually the influence of the men of action 
ceases with their death. The men, however, who have made a 
lasting and permanent impression upon human history are the 
men like Moses, Paul, Mohammed, Luther, Calvin, Knox, the 
French encyclopaedists of the eighteenth century, the Revolu- 
tionary orators and writers and the anti-slavery agitators who 
have scattered the seeds of revolt, discontent or inspiration, which 
have ripened and multiplied a thousand fold in the minds of men. 

Xow I will tell why I regard Charles Eliot Norton of Harvard 
as fully as great a man as Theodore Roosevelt, the modern 
Hercules. It is because of the impress that Norton's personality 
left upon my life and character and upon the lives and characters 
of hundreds of students who came within the radius of his 
inspiring influence. 

When I left Yale and went to Harvard I was calm, cool, 
critical and conventional in my attitude of mind, and cautious and 
conservative in temperament. I was not lacking in courage and 
aggressiveness in boxing, wrestling and football. But you 
couldn't pay me to crash into the conventional ideas and con- 
ventional opinions. The professors in philosophy and history 
and literature at Yale and in philosophy and theology at Harvard' 
gave me a sound philosophy of life. Professor Ladd's philosophy 
of religion, Professor Royce's metaphysics, Professor James's 
psychology and Professor Sumner's sociological views are to me 
as the air I breathe. But the man who taught me to remove the 
spectacles of other men's ideas and look at life out of my own 
eyes was not a man in whose classes I enrolled myself, but it was 
a man whose lectures I only occasionally attended, just before 
and during the Spanish-American War I would once in a while 
drop into Professor Norton's lectures, in Fogg's Art Museum, 
upon "The History of the Civilization of Greece, Rome and the 
Middle Ages, as Reflected in the Arts." It was called by many, 
"The History of the Culture." And not only ancient and 
mediaeval life and ideals, but modern life and ideals were illu- 
mined by Norton's views. If any student had taken those lectures 
down verbatim in shorthand he would have a book which would 
blend the beauty of Ruskin with the sanity of Arnold and the 
fire and moral earnestness of Carlyle. In Norton, the rugged 
strength of the Puritan was tempered by Grecian culture. I 

I ©4 The African .-1 broad. 

admired the grace and ease, the dignity and serenity, with which 
Norton defied the public opinion of the country. 

Just as I absorbed and assimilated Norton's fearlessness of 
public oi)inion, so other Harvard students absorbed and assimi- 
lated the courtly dignity of his bearing and the grace and sweet- 
ness of his manner. 

When the aged A[)Ostle John was banished to the isle of 
Patmos, when his fellow apostles had been persecuted, killed 
and crucified, he was still comforted by the Holy Spirit. His 
imagination projected itself into the future, leaped out and 
painted some of the sublimest pictures that can enter the mind 
of man. With the eye of faith, he looked down the vista of 
time and beheld "The Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down 
from God out of Heaven," a house not made with hands, whose 
builder and maker was God. The faithful may not see the 
New Jerusalem that John saw in a vision, a city with streets of 
gold, walls of jasper and gates of pearl. But we do behold a 
human society reconstructed upon the ideas and principles laid 
down by the Prince of Peace in the Sermon on the Mount. 

As I visit Boston again and observe the subway, the elevated 
system, the Charles River bridge and the magnificent buildings 
around Copley Square and Beacon Hill, I am constrained to 
admire the constructive genius, the engineering skill that can 
create and call into existence those splendid buildings and works; 
and I am compelled to recognize that these magnificent material 
achievements are but the embodied thoughts and crystallized ideas 
of men, nothing but the ideas of men taking form and material 
shape. Yea, the works of man's hands are but the ideas of man 
realized and visualized and put into tangible material form. All 
the architectural achievements of modern times, such as the Con- 
gressional Library at Wa.shington and the sky scrapers and 
Brooklyn Bridge of New York, all of the institutions of human 
society, all of the governments and religions of the world are 
but the embodied thoughts of man, are but the ideals of the 
human mind taking form and material shape. The glories of 
the physical universe pale into insignificance before the stupen- 
dous achievements of the God-given intellect of man. 

From the times when primitive man lived in caves and learned 
by the bitter lessons of experience how to conquer nature and 

Roosevelt as a Great Man. 105 

wild beasts, exchanged weapons of wood and stone for steel 
swords, spears and shields, left the flint age, the stone age, 
forever behind him and emerged from the rude, barbarous civili- 
zation of those primitive times, until the present age, which 
witnesses the most complex civilization the world has yet seen, 
mankind has ever sought to express himself, sought to give 
tangible form and shape to his ideas, sought to embody his 
ideas in laws, governments, institutions, social customs, the fine 
arts and religions. Our complex modern civilization, with its 
artificial culture and its social usages and manners that consti- 
tute the life of refined society, is nothing but the ideals of man 
realized, embodied and objectified. Ideas have ruled history in 
the past. Ideas still rule men to-day. And men are only great 
in so far as they embody and incarnate ideas in their personalities. 
The man of ideas, then, is the uncrowned king of modern society. 
Grand and glorious as is the physical universe, magnificent as 
are the starry heavens above, they all pale into insignificance 
before the splendors of the human mind and the stupendous 
achievements of the intellect of man. The Psalmist asks, "When 
I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and 
the stars, which thou hast ordained ; what is man, that thou art 
mindful of him and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" 
Man differs from the lower animals not because he walks upright, 
wears clothes, uses tools and talks, but because he has been 
endowed by the Almighty with reason, imagination, w'ill and 
conscience. The glory and grandeur of man resides in his mar- 
velous intellect. And the greatest miracle of the world's history 
is not the wonderful play of light and electricity in the light- 
bearing ether, it is not the law and order that reigns in the 
heavens above, but the most mysterious miracle in the cosmos's 
evolution is that man can make what is but a thought, an idea and 
an ideal in his mind take visible form and shape, transform his 
physical environment and create the complex machinery and 
institutions of modern society and modern civilization. Man is 
not satisfied when he has put a roof over his head, put clothes 
upon his back and food into his stomach, but he goes on and seeks 
to realize in his own personality, in the lives of others and the 
institutions of human society, the intellectual, aesthetic, moral and 
religious ideals of the human mind. That being the case, the 

io6 The .Ifrican Abroad. 

greatest men in human history are the men who think, the men 
whose minds are proHfic with fertile ideas. For a thought can 
transform a continent, erect cities, overthrow governments, estab- 
Hsh institutions or rouse a milHon men to arms and action. Yes, 
a few world-thoughts, a few great ideas, have revolutionized 
human socictv. 

The unique influence whicii the late J. Pierpont Morgan 
exerted in organizing the financial and industrial forces of both 
hemispheres on a colossal scale, never before witnessed by the 
world, resulted from his being preeminently a man of thought, 
endowed by nature with a comprehensive mind, as well as an 
iron will and powerful physique. A man of Bismarck's force 
of character, with a breadth of interest and view that the Iron 
Chancellor did not possess, the dominating figure of American 
finance, one of the great personalities of modem times, gives 
eloquent testimony to the dynamic power of constructive and 
creative human thought. 

The greatest man in history is the man of thought, the 
man who launches forth the world-idea into the sea of human 
thought. After him in rank comes the man of action, who 
realizes and embodies these great ideas, these world-thoughts, in 
his deeds and achievements. That is why history will assign 
Theodore Roosevelt, the modern Hercules, the great doer, a 
lower rank than it will assign Moses, Paul, Mohammed, Luther, 
Rosseau, the propagators of religion and social ideas ; Homer, 
the world-poet ; Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Kant, the world's 
philosophers, and Pericles, Caesar, Richelieu, Pitt and Alexander 
Hamilton, the world's statesmen. 


A Chapter from My Autobiography — My Boyish Dreams and 

Youthful Resolutions. 

Booker T. Washington's Tuskeegee and business league are 
valuable ideas, but he made the mistake of his career in holding 
up to contempt and ridicule the literary, artistic and musical aspi- 
rations and dreams of his race, and in belittling the political 
ambitions of his people. He has lost the sympathy and coopera- 
tion of some of the most powerful and influential men and women 
of his race. Perhaps Booker T. Washington is a great man, one 
of the greatest men the Negro race has produced, possibly one 
of the greatest men this country has produced; but certainly 
not as great a man as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, 
Charles Sumner or Phillips Brooks. He has been a man of one 
idea. And, like most men of that type, he has underrated and 
underestimated some of the elements necessary to the rise and 
development of his race that are just as necessary and fundamen- 
tal as the idea he represents. But we must not criticize him too 
severely, because he is not an educated man, not a philosophic 
statesman who can throw upon the problems he discusses the 
light of the philosophy of history. To properly understand the 
Negro question a man must be a profound student of human 
history, must study the race question in the light of the historical 
evolution of the human race, must focus and concentrate upon 
it the scattered rays of the past experience of the human race. 
Bishop Stubbs, in his "Constitutional History of England," says 
that we can only know the present by knowing the past, because 
when we understand the past, we understand how the present 
came to be. I can only regret that a man as level-headed as ji 
Booker T. Washington, a man of his sane and judicial mind, J/ 
did not study history and sociology in Yale or Harvard. Then 
he could have seen the Negro problem sub specie eternitatis. \\ 
His are the limitations and narrowness of vision- that any man •' 
must necessarily have who discusses a complex sociological prob- 
lem, the interrelation and interaction of races, and is ignorant 

io8 The African .-Ibroad. 

of human history. Why do I say this? The late President 
McKinley, in his address to the Tuskeegee students a few years 
ago, told them to strive not for the unattainable. President 
Roosevelt a few years ago said at Tuskeegee that Emerson said, 
"Hitch your wagon to a star." He advised the Tuskeegee 
students to hitch their wagon to the earth. 

It is a fact of human nature that a boy who does not aspire 
to be great and famed and rich, who does not aspire to rise above 
being a servant and menial, never amounts to anything. The 
indifferent workman is the man who always expects to be a 
servant or menial or hired hand or petty farmer. The only man 
who works overtime, who perfects himself in his calling, is the 
man who has the ambition to rise, and hopes some day to elevate 
himself above being a menial or hired hand or poor, struggling 

I have stood on a dock in Brunswick, Ga., and watched some 
colored men load ships with lumber. The lazy and careless work- 
men were the men who had no desire or ambition to be more 
than wheelers and loaders of lumber. On the other hand, the 
bright, energetic workmen were the men who hoped to get the 
attention and win the approval of the boss stevedore or captain 
of the gang. 

I have met firemen who knew nothing whatever about a loco- 
motive and had to follow the directions of the engineer. Their 
only ambition was to be a fireman. Then, again, in W'aycross, 
Ga., I met a colored fireman who could run a locomotive as well 
as any engineer. If the engineer should ever get drunk or sud- 
denly be taken sick, this fireman could take his place and run 
the engine. When he first started out it was his ambition to be 
an engineer. He never realized his ambition, but he got the 
reputation of being the best fireman on the road and every 
engineer who ran on that road wanted him to fire for him. 

I have seen gardeners who only aspired to be mere gardeners. 
Then I have met a gardener who aspired to be a landscape 
gardener. He never realized his ambition and he never became 
a landscape gardener, but he became a gardener who was sought 
after by many employers. Then I have seen coachmen who were 
only coachmen and nothing more. And I once ran across a coach- 
man who aspired to be a veterinary surgeon. He never realized 


A Chapter from My Autobiography. 109 

liis ambition and never became a veterinary surgeon, but became a 
coachman who was an excellent horse doctor and became indis- 
pensable to his employer. I have seen carpenters and brickmasons 
who aspired to be nothing more than good carpenters or brick- 
masons. Once I met a colored brickmason who, in early life, 
aspired to be a great builder. He never realized his ambition 
and never became a great builder. But when the Yale Gymna- 
sium was in construction and some one was w^anted to artistically 
put together the bits of clay that form the gigantic athletic figures 
on the front, so that they would look as if they were wrought 
out of one piece of clay, the ordinary brickmasons couldn't do 
it. But the colored brickmason who possessed an overwhelming 
ambition could and did, and received five and six dollars a day 
for it. I know a shop where rifles are manufactured. Some men 
are only satisfied to be good machinists. There is a colored man 
there who hopes to be boss of the room some day. He buys books 
upon machinery and engineering and has paid men to teach 
him mechanics and higher mathematics. He has never realized 
his dream of being foreman of the shop or boss of the room, but 
he is the best machinst in the room. I have seen farmers who 
never aimed to be more than struggling farmers and they never 
became more than struggling farmers. Then I have seen farmers 
who hoped to give up farming and go into business. They were 
the ones who worked overtime and made money out of farming. 
I could take like illustrations from carpenters, printers, cooks, 
waiters and butlers whom I have met, but I will stop here. We 
can lay it down as an axiom that a man who has no ambition 
or hope of rising above his present calling and station and posi- 
tion in life never puts forth his best effort or perfects himself in 
any vocation. We can lay it down as another axiom that the only 
man who does his best work, puts his personality into his w^ork 
and masters his calling and vocation is the man who makes his 
present position a stepping stone to a higher and better one, who 
aspires to be more than a hired man or a struggling farmer. The 
man who is content to remain at the foot of the ladder is usually 
a jack-of-all-trades and good at none. He cannot do his best 
work down there at the foot of the ladder, unless he has the 
ambition to rise and climb to the topmost round of fame. The 
poor shoemaker is -the man who hopes always to be a mere shoe- 

iio The African Abroad. 

maker and nothing more. On the other hand, the expert shoe- 
maker is the man who hopes some day to be more than a mere 
shoemaker. It may sound and seem paradoxical; but the spur 
that drives a man on to do his best, that nerves him to master his 
calling, is the dream and vision of his some day rising above 
and transcending his present position in life. We live by our 
hopes. The hope of some day being richer and more prosperous 
and more famous than he now is, is the only thing that sustains 
one in a life of toil and drudgery. It is the thought of some day 
transcending the narrow valley in which we are now living, shut 
in by the hills that hide the rest of the outside world from us, 
the dream of some day reaching the world that lies beyond our 
present horizon — these are the things that inspire and brace us 
as we go about our daily work and take up our humble tasks. 

The ai)prentice boy works diligently and patiently with the 
chisel, thinking of the day when he will become a carver of note 
and distinction ; he does not realize his ambition, but he becomes 
a finished woodworker. The student pores over his books and 
burns the midnight oil, dreaming of the time when the world 
will hang upon his eloquence, or go into ecstasy over his polished 
sentences or marvel at his scientific discoveries. He does not 
become the famous orator, writer or scholar that he dreamed of 
some day becoming; but he does become a good teacher, or an 
active public-spirited citizen. I remember meeting a modest 
New England farmer, a college-bred man, and a lawyer, who 
never became famous as a lawyer, never went to Congress, never 
became the mayor of his town, nor governor of his state, as he 
once dreamed of becoming, but he was a power in the local 
church and a power to be reckoned with in the annual town 
meeting — a splendid representative of the sturdy New England 
fanner ! 

Only one man out of a hundred thousand fully and completely 
realizes his youthful dreams and ambitions. But it is these heroic 
dreams and boyish hopes which throw the glamour of poetr}' and 
romance around the brow of youth and give the young man the 
courage and will to do and dare, to strive and achieve, to push 
and forge his way to the front. He does not reach the height 
to which he once aspired. He does not become as great and 
as powerful as he once dreamed of becoming. But he does serve 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. iii 

his day and generation. He does live an honorable and useful 

If a man is only a farmer or mechanic, only a cook or shoe- 
maker, it is better for him if he has read his Emerson and 
Carlyle, and surveyed human life from those mountain heights. 
He may return to dwell forever in the valley below, toiling at the 
plough and handling the pickaxe, but the memory of having 
once breathed the pure mountain air, of having once caught sight 
of the world that stretches beyond the toil and work; the mem- 
ory of having seen the miles of rolling upland and lowland and 
meadow and field, interspersed with garden, grove and stream, 
bustling cities with church steeples, the cottages by the seashore ; 
the memory of having seen beyond that the wide expanse of water ; 
and beyond that a bustling city, whose harbor is studded with 
ships, whose church steeples rise above the other buildings and 
soar aloft in the ethereal blue, whose factories with their count- 
less smokestacks send up the smoke that in the distance looks 
like a thin, airy vapor ; and beyond that, the quiet mill towns, 
nestling among the hills and sleeping by some placid river ; and 
beyond them the well-tilled farms and leafy forests which rise 
into the sun-kissed hills and ridges ; and in the dim distance, fifty 
miles away, the vast, limitless ocean that stretches so far that it 
seems to lose itself and blend with the sky ; and letting the eye 
glance in the opposite direction, the vision of grazing cattle and 
gathered hay and country towns basking in the sunshine or 
hidden by the trees, lying in the foothills of the rock-ribbed and 
cedar-crowned mountains that rise so high that their tops vanish 
in a purple haze, — these memories and these visions are the expe- 
riences of a lifetime to the farmer or workman who lives in 
his narrow world ; they gladden his sorrows, cheer his toil and 
delight him in his lonely hours. 

The world is a new world to him. Life has a beauty and 
meaning and significance that it lacked before. Life is richer 
and deeper than ever before. It means something more than 
drudgery and toil to feed and clothe and shelter the body and 
make both ends meet. It is vaster in its range and wider in its 
scope. I have sailed down the St. Lawrence, the Hudson, the 
Potomac and St. John rivers, and up Narragansett Bay. I have 
stood upon East Rock, West Rock, Woodbridge Hill, the Her- 

112 The African Abroad. 

mit's Cave, and Mt. Carmel Hill, near New Haven, Conn., and 
have stood upon Tower Hill, near Narragansett Pier, R. I.; and 
upon Eagle Rock, near Montclair, New Jersey. I have traveled 
the length and breadth of the Berkshire hills, and stood upon the 
hills of Staten Island, N. Y., and watched the ocean liners steam- 
ing past the statue of Liberty into the harbor of New York City ; 
seen the ferry boats plying between New York and the Jersey 
shore ; seen the mass of mighty buildings and skyscrapers that 
give New York City such a formidable aspect ; and I know that 
just as the memory of these glorious moments and happy hours 
has shed its benediction upon my life, so the memory of having 
swept up to the gates of Heaven in the chariot of some lofty 
sage and seer has transfigured and uplifted the toiling mortal 
ever afterwards. He returns to the earth and takes up his daily 
tasks, but it is with gladness in his heart and a song upon his lips. 

The turning point in my life came when I was a boy thirteen 
years of age. I well remember the day. It was the seventeenth 
of June, the day when the sailors' and soldiers' monument was 
unveiled on East Rock, at New Haven, Conn. There was a pro- 
cession five miles in length. Soldiers and civilians and marines 
joined in the parade. The school children rode in barges and 
platform covered wagons. The soldiers drew up in line and 
cheered wildly as Generals Sherman, Sheridan, Scofield and 
Terry and an admiral rode down the line. Lunch counters and 
merry-go-rounds covered the fields that lay at the foot of East 
Rock and stretched away into the woods beyond or to the beauti- 
ful edifices along Hillhouse Avenue and Prospect Street. Scores 
of bands played patriotic airs ; thousands of bayonets glistened 
and gleamed in the afternoon sun. The drives of East Rock and 
Whitney Avenue were crowded with thousands of brilliantly 
dressed soldiers ; everywhere was joy and gladness. The sun's 
rays were not dazzling and piercing but warm and mellow. The 
smiling skies seemed soft and kind. The air was balmy and 
pleasant, fragrant with the breath of the flowery fields and 
blossoming earth. 

Dazzled, bewildered, and dazed by that spectacle, Louis Fender- 
son and I walked home together. We talked and dreamed of war 
and fame. When the next Decoration Day came around we had 
organized a military company of colored boys. I was the cap- 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. 113 

tain and he the first lieutenant. With the assistance of Rev. 
Mr, Gedda and Miss AdeHne Sanders we arranged a concert and 
bought our uniforms. Captain James Wilkins gave us a flag 
and on May 30, 1888, for the first time in the history of New 
Haven, colored boys in uniform, and with wooden guns, partici- 
pated in the Memorial Day parade. The Grand Army congratu- 
lated us, and it was the proudest moment of my life. We were 
only fourteen years old, then. That was the first stirring of my 
boyish ambition that crystallized into deeds. It was the birth of 
patriotism in my soul. 

There is one thing that I am grateful for, and that is that I 
was born in New England. I remember when I was nine years 
old that a young, brilliant Jewish teacher, Miss Fanny Ullman 
(now Mrs. Murray C. Mayer of Chicago), taught room No. 7 
in the Dixwell Avenue Grammar School, in New Haven, Conn. 
She first distinguished herself by the vigorous use of a rattan 
stick, and in a few days convinced a few overgrown boys and 
girls of fourteen and fifteen that they were not men and women. 
Then every Friday afternoon she would read the life of Jack 
Hazard, stories of the early colonists and the French and Indian 
wars. After that I attended the Shelton Avenue and Gregory 
Street Schools. Miss Chapman, Miss Eleanor Howe and Prin- 
cipal George M. Hurd, now principal of the Beach Institute, in 
Savannah, Ga., told us, and read to us, about the Revolutionary 
heroes. The figure of Israel Putnam dazzled and captivated my 
boyish imagination. His daring feats and hairbreadth escapes 
thrilled me. I read the lines of Frederick Douglass, John Mercer 
and Langston. Then I entered the Hillhouse High School, and 
through Principal Whitmore, Miss Grace Weeks, Miss Petty 
and Miss Susan Sheridan I became interested in Elijah Kellogg's 
stories and Walter Scott's novels, and Froissart and the story 
of the Knights of the Round Table. I remember reading Ebers' 
"Homo Sum," and Lytton's "Last Days of Pompeii," in one day. 
And I waded through Ben Hur in four days. Then Mr. Lewis 
would enthuse over Xenophon; Mr. McAndrews, over Vergil; 
and Mr. Booth, over Geometry ; and I remember that Mr. Gulli- 
ver was constantly saying, "Caesar never had a Waterloo." I read 
Henty's and Eckstein's stories in those days. The combined 
result of all these readings was that when still a school boy I 

114 The African Abroad. 

began to feel the pulse-beat of the throbbing American heart. 
The New England ideals and traditions became part and parcel 
of my very nature, bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. I 
realized that I was colored, but, caring more for nature, books 
and athletics than for society, I never grieved over the fact that I 
was a social outcast. I took many a long walk, with my book 
under my arm and my dog trotting by my side. 

There are four days in my life that I can never forget. Two I 
have already spoken of. And then I remember that on April 25, 
1888, they celebrated the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of 
the founding of New Haven. The parade was fine but nothing 
extra. But after the parade Dr. Smyth, a Jewish Rabbi and other 
speakers ascended the platfonn in the middle of the Green. I man- 
aged to get near the speaker's stand. Most of what the speak- 
ers said was beyond my comprehension. But I did carry away 
three thoughts. This is a great country. And the Pilgrim 
Fathers, the founders of New Haven, the Revolutionary heroes, 
and the New England Abolitionists made it great. I didn't quite 
understand just what they did. But that big parade and the thou- 
sands of people who were assembled on the New Haven Green 
were for the purpose of honoring those men. That was the 
thought that lived with me. 

I was too young to appreciate the significance of James G. 
Blaine's speech in the campaign of 1884. But I noticed how the 
bands played on the New Haven Green, and people jumped up 
and down, when his carriage went down Temple Street, and he 
alighted and addressed the people on the Green. I remembered 
hearing people say, "He is magnetic." "He is a silver-tongued 
orator." I had never heard those words before. But I thought 
that the people had such a big time because he was "a silver- 
tongued orator" and "magnetic." And I made up my mind 
then that I was going to be a a silver-tongued orator and have 
the band playing for me, and people having a big time for me 
some day. I received inspiration from these occasions. But I 
can never forget the afternoon when the funeral services were 
held over General Terry, in the United Congregational Church, 
New Haven, Conn. The people seemed sadder even than over 
the death of President Garfield and General Grant. It was a 
serious and solemn occasion. I was beginning to get old enough 

A Chapter from I.Iy Autobiography. 115 

to fully realize the significance and meaning of the patriotic 
occasions that so stirred my boyish heart. I began to not only 
feel, but to respond to the mighty pulse-beat of American Life, 
and I began to feel this is the most glorious country in the world, 
and it is a great thing, a grand thing to be an American citizen. 

And now must I, at the bidding of a colored educator and 
his Afro-American followers, look back upon my youthful expe- 
riences and boyhood dreams, which have been to me a peren- 
nial well-spring of inspiration, which have put in my soul a 
spirit which never despairs, even when the clouds are heavy, 
dark and threatening, and difficulties are piled up mountain high 
around me ; I ask, must I regard these ennobling experiences, 
these heroic dreams as vain and empty illusions? 

And then I remember the summer when the mystery of life 
first dawned upon me. It was the summer before I entered 
college. I had just graduated from the Hillhouse High School 
in New Haven and was one of the commencement speakers on 
the programme in the graduating exercises. I was spending the 
month of August in Wilmington, Del., with my grandparents. 
I rowed and boxed and wrestled, played baseball, rode horseback, 
attended country picnics and camp meetings, addressed literary 
societies, heard George Anderson, Mandy Anderson and Lacey, 
brilliant colored politicians, speak ; met Miss Kreuz, one of the 
noblest female educators of my race ; met an accomplished school 
teacher who seemed to my boyish imagination the prototype of 
the heroines of fiction that I had read about. She was older 
than I ; we never exchanged letters, but for eight years she 
remained the incarnation of all that I reverenced and adored in 
womanhood. With her delicate, refined features and patrician 
air, she impressed me as being a high-toned aristocrat. She could 
have married wealthy colored men, but none measured up to her 
ideals of manhood. When one of her scholars was sick with a 
contagious fever one Christmas vacation she risked catching it 
to carry the little child some flowers. She was rather austere; 
but was heroic. She once rode and mastered a vicious horse. 
I had just been thrown by the colt of a mustang, which I finally 
conquered, and I admired her physical bravery and believe to-day 
as I did then that she valued her honor and her virtue and purity 
more than she did her own life. Five years and a half elapsed 

ii6 The African Abroad. 

before I saw and met her again ; but she was the touchstone, 
the standard by whicli I estimated and gauj^ed other young 
women. If they measured up to her lofty and stoical idealism, 
I was interested in them; if they did not, I was not interested 
in them. When Tom Dixon or any other Negro-hater speaks 
slightingly of the purity and sensitiveness of colored women, 
I wish they could meet this lady and a few other colored women 
I know. I would like to enshrine her name in this book, but 
she is reserved and shuns notoriety and would strenuously object 
to my parading her name before the public. 

My relatives and friends in Wilmington, Del., gave me to 
understand that they expected great things of me. I could tell 
of the singing or shouting at the country camp meetings on the 
last Sunday in August, when three thousand colored Methodists 
from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland met 
to have their religious jubilee. But the event that was stamped 
upon my memory was the excursion to Atlantic City the last 
week in August. Prior to that I had met a colored woman in 
Delaware, whose beauty Raphael or Titian would have immor- 
talized had they met her, and heard a plain unpretentious girl 
sing "Cavalleria Rusticana," the "Angel's Serenade," and 
"II Trovatore." 

The volume, the range, the fullness and richness, the sweet- 
ness and tenderness of her voice were such that it would be 
difficult to adequately describe her singing. Homely as she was, 
when she poured forth her soul in song her face became trans- 
figured and was lighted up with a divine expression. I can 
but regret that that wonderful voice was never cultivated and 
broudit to the attention of the world, for she incarnated the 
Negro's gift of song. It is not quite popular nowadays to use 
superlatives in describing colored women ; and this book is not 
a treatise or dissertation on the beautiful; but I would like to 
make a passing reference to the famed colored beauty. 

In Jamestown and at Narragansett Pier I saw three Southern 
belles and beauties, who brought men to their feet by the score. 
At one Harvard Commencement. I saw a woman who looked 
like a twentieth century Hypatia. At one Junior promenade at 
Yale, I saw one New York beauty with the pure face and soul- 
ful eyes of an angel. I have met in New Haven, Conn., a woman 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. 117 

who seemed to me not to be a mere mortal, her face radiated such 
sweetness and serenity, her manners were so gracious and winning 
that she impressed me as Newman did IMatthew Arnold. She 
seemed a spiritual apparition, she seemed a being from another 
world, taking flesh and dwelling among men. She might have 
passed as one of the vestal virgins who have become immortal- 
ized in Roman history. 

And yet the oriental splendor and tropical luxuriance of this 
colored beauty possessed an indefinable something that defied 
analysis and left an indelible impression upon most people who 
met her, whether they were white or colored. She was a woman 
of about twenty-five years, of medium height. Her complexion 
was not as pale and colorless as the complexion of an octoroon 
but her rich blood manifested itself in the rich coloring of her 
face. The voluptuous curves of her features were relieved from 
sensuality by the fire that flashed from her eyes, by the intelli- 
gence and refinement that were written in the lineaments of her 
countenance. Pride and sweetness, vivacity and reserve, were 
expressed in that face, and she seemed the embodiment and 
incarnation of poise and serenity and complete self-possession. 
She was self-sufiicient and was the center of the universe in 
which she lived. When I saw her, I understood why Homer 
sang of the fated beauty of Helen which caused the two great 
races of antiquity to fight for her. I understood why Caesar 
could defy the conventionalities of Rome and why ]\Iark Antony 
could barter away an empire for the sake of Cleopatra. There 
are many unpolished diamonds in the Negro race. Give us the 
ripening and refining influence of culture and we will produce 
a high type of men and women. 

But an experience was about to come to me which was to sup- 
plant reflections on the beautiful with ambitious hopes and stern 
resolves and dreams of fame, which were to be the dominating 
factors in my life. 

Over ten thousand colored excursionists from Wilmington, 
Del., Chester, Pa., and Philadelphia packed and crowded three 
excursion trains that day on the way to Atlantic City. As I leaned 
against the window sill I was thinking of my college career and 
the possibilities of the race. It was a sight that I can never forget, 
when the ten thousand excursionists alighted from the excursion 

ii8 The African Abroad. 

trains. There was beauty in abundance, pretty girls were popping 
up everywhere the eye glanced. But I soon left the colored 
throng and took a stroll up the beach. I had heard of the mighty 
breakers and mountain waves of Atlantic City and desired to see 
them. It was the second time in my life that I saw the ocean 
face to face. The waves came leaping, rolling, tumbling, pouring 
in one after the other. They foamed as they broke and seemed 
to throw up white spray and mist as they struck the shore. I 
never tired of seeing some mighty billow form and rise two 
hundred feet from the shore, towering above the preceding waves, 
gathering force and violence as it swept along, until it was ready 
to break over and upon the Philadelphia bathers. For an hour 
or so I watched the ocean, then I returned to the excursion 
grounds and boarded the car for a ride to a resort at the edge 
of the town. 

After that came the five-mile walk down the Atlantic City 
board walk to the excursion ground. On one side was the ocean 
and the sturdy bathers, on the other the magnilicent villas and 
cosy cottages. The board walk was covered with shops, stores, 
concert halls and merry-go-rounds, from which colored people 
were barred. Finally I came to what was a smaller edition of 
what afterwards became famed as the Ferris wheel. 1 will say 
in passing that I am in no way related to that noted inventor, 
though my Washington, D. C, critics characterized one of my 
Washington addresses as the "Ferris wheel revolving at the 
Bethel Literary." As the wheel revolved, I caught the bracing, 
invigorating ocean breeze. I suppose the cars, or rather seats, 
in the revolving contrivance rose to the height of fifty or sixty 
feet in their revolutions, high enough to get a bird's-eye view 
of Atlantic City, with its hotels, pleasure grounds and parks. 
But the music that accompanied the revolution, to us, then, 
seemed the most uplifting and suggestive that I have ever heard. 
I couldn't characterize it as a waltz or two-step. In some respects 
it recalled a waltz song I had once heard, in other respects it 
reminded me of the Polish National Dance or Beethoven's Moon- 
light Sonata. There were some dreamy and sentimental passages 
in the selection, but they were variations from its dominant spirit. 

A buoyant faith, a boundless ambition and an illimitable aspira- 
tion seemed to pulsate and breathe and speak in that piece. It 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. 119 

struck the heroic chords in one's nature, there was something^ in 
it that caused one to take a fuller and deeper breath. It seemed 
to cause the heart to beat a little faster; it seemed to send the 
blood coursing more swiftly through the veins; it seemed to 
set the nerves tingling for joy. 

It spurred the imagination so that it reached out and painted 
the sublimest pictures that can enter the mind and dazzle the 
eye of man. It lifted me and sent me sweeping into the gates 
of the New Jerusalem. It caused me to dream of love and fame, 
but it suggested the thoughts and emotions that reach out towards 
that which cannot be expressed and put into words. I was 
thrilled, I was supremely happy, I hardly knew whether I was 
awake or dreaming. Between the sensation of being whirled 
through the air, between the tonic ocean breezes, between the 
moving panorama that was passing before my eyes as the cars 
ascended and descended, and between the subtle, soothing and 
suggestive music, for fifteen minutes, I was in paradise. 

Something that had lain dormant in me before awoke. New 
forces and powers in my being seemed to manifest themselves. 
It was a longing after I know not what; a vague desire to 
realize I know not what, a craving to do and accomplish I know 
not what. It began with a love song, then passed to the ambition 
to strive and conquer and master and dominate the w^orld. Then 
came the splendid, beatific visions, the ethereal sweep of the 
imagination, the aerial play of fancy. 

But by and by the intangible desires and longings took the 
shape of tangible resolves. First there came the longing to 
meet and win the woman for whose sake I would risk and dare 
all things. Then came the desire to be a great and famous man. 
Then came the resolve to win laurels for myself and race as 
an athlete in college, to make the graceful dodging runs on the 
gridiron that should lift men and women ofif their benches, and 
send them into hysterics, to make the hazardous flying tackles 
that should electrify the spectators in the grandstands. Then 
came the determination to shine as a football hero, as a daring, 
plunging halfback, as a wild reckless tackier. Stepping from the 
whirling wheel, there was one thought uppermost in my mind ; I 
was going to be an athlete, and a daring, reckless, death-defying 
football player. And what came of my dream of being an athlete ? 

I20 The African Abroad. 

The nearest I came to winninj;]: football honors was to play on the 
scrub side of the Freshman Eleven, and on a New Haven team. 
I did make a few brilliant runs and tackles, but it was before 
two or three hundred spectators in parks in Westville and Bran- 
ford, Conn., and on the Cambridj^e Commons, and not before 
twenty and thirty cheerin!:^ thousands in Hampden Park, Sprinj^- 
field. or the Polo Grounds, New York. What was the practical 
result of my ambition as an athlete? I became a fair boxer and 
a good catch-as-catch-can wrestler. Try as hard as I mit^ht, I 
could never put on avoirdupois and could never, when in college, 
weigh more than one hundred and forty pounds. 

Some people cry down football, but unless sometime in his life 
the boy has the ambition to be a hero, to be a brave, fearless man, 
he will never amount to anything. And my type of a hero then 
was a man who, like McClung of Yale, could run through a field 
of tacklers, dodging this one and that one, or who, like Butter- 
worth, could bowl over half a dozen men who ran with out- 
stretched arm to throw him as he ran down the field, or like 
the slender, sinewy Hinkey, could dive through the air and bring 
down the most powerful runner. And I regard the birth and 
dawn in me of the ambition to be a football hero as one of the 
crucial and epochal moments of my life. It gave shape and 
direction to unconscious desires that surged in me for expression. 
It gave a healthy outlet for my tireless energy. I forgot the 
rapt singer, forgot the voluptuous beauty, and thought only of 
evanescent and ephemeral football fame. Why do I call this 
a crucial and epochal moment in my life? Pardon the compari- 
son, but, like Hercules, I stood at the parting of the ways. The 
question was, should pleasure or ambition be the dominant pas- 
sion of my life, should my leisure moments be spent in parlors 
and drawing rooms or in the gymnasium and in the woods. 
And I decided that pleasure should be sidetracked for ambition. 
What I aspired to do and be and become was not important. But 
the fact that in my college days I was invulnerable to the siren's 
deceitful lay and seraph's soft murmur ; the fact that the stoical 
rather than the epicurean type of life caught my youthful fancy; 
the fact that a life of striving and achieving rather than a life 
of sensuous delight and luxurious ease allured and held captive 
my youthful imagination, — this was all-important with me. Later 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. 121 

the dream of being an athlete gave way to the dream of being 
a scholar and writer. And I will now describe the experience 
from which was born and generated the passion to rule and 
dominate and master men, to move among them like Ulysses 
among his followers on the Plains of Troy, who seemed to King 
Priam to resemble some great ram moving among his flocks. 

The new experience that revealed a new world to me came 
when I was twenty-one years old. It was my first visit to New 
York. I had hurriedly passed through the city before en route 
to Wilmington, Delaware, but it was the first time that I ever 
lingered in the city. I remember the wonderful Easter parade on 
Fifth Avenue, when New York society was on foot, the thrilling 
sermon of Dr. Greer, the pure, sweet voice of the rapt soloist, 
the glorious singing of the surpliced choir, and the majestic roll 
of those organ notes that seemed freighted with a superhuman 
meaning. I remember the colored people's parade on Sixth 
Avenue, the large congregation at the St. Mark's Literary and 
the small but select crowd in the little Presbyterian Church. I 
remember the bracing breeze that swept through Broadway the 
next day, the rosy cheeks and buoyant, elastic walk of the lovely 
women blooming with health in the first flush of youthful beauty. 
Then at night I strolled along the walk bordering Central Park. 
The invigorating spring breeze buoyed me and seemed to put 
new life and vim and vigor into me. The stars stood out bright 
and clear against the dark background of the cloudless sky. 
Central Park seemed shrouded in mystery and gloom. I only 
felt the thrill and exultation of physical life and physical vigor. 

Then I was ushered into a colored fair, where I received my 
entree into the colored society of New York. I there beheld an 
accomplished West Indian girl, a fascinating quadroon, and an 
octoroon with passionate, drooping, love-laden eyes, shaded by 
heavy lashing eyebrows. There was a langourous charm in her 
rich, splendid beauty. Her contralto voice was rich and soft. It 
was a caressing voice. It throbbed and quivered with latent 
passion. And then I was introduced to a girl who almost rivaled 
her in beauty. She was a quadroon with large fearless eyes that 
bespoke a frank, open nature ; her manner was calm, tranquil and 
serene. Nothing seemed to disturb her equanimity, poise and 
balance; she was modest, quiet, unassuming, and winning in 

122 The African Abroad. 

manners. She was handsome and fascinating and yet neither 
she nor the dashing, coquettish octoroon struck the deepest chord 
of my nature and aroused tlie ambition to do and dare and strive 
and acliieve. I retired home shortly after midnight and yet it 
was two hours before my college mates and myself could sleep. 
Such a flood of sensations had poured into our souls the two days 
that we had been in Xew York. We f^lt the stirring of the rich 
metropolitan life of the great city and were dazzled, confused, 
perplexed. We discussed the question as to whether the metropo- 
lis of the nation offered a career to educated colored men. 

The ne.xt day I crossed over to a Jersey town to see an old 
friend. I missed her but met her younger sister. A vision of 
radiant loveliness greeted my eyes when she appeared at the 
door; she represented the Castilian type of beauty. She inter- 
ested me because she was a girl of ideals, was undesirous of 
being a dressmaker, loved music and elocution better than she 
did dressmaking; did not know just what she wanted to do or 
become, but longed to become a famous woman. She had positive 
views and convictions of her own and severely criticized the 
fops, dudes, sports and dandies whose only vocation in life seemed 
to be to parade Sixth Avenue dressed in the height of fashion. 
She had the making of a woman, I thought. 

That night a recejjtion was given two other Yale students and 
myself and I remember how, fresh from my philosophy classes, 
I discoursed upon philosophy in grandiloquent fashion, trying 
to impress the audience that philosophy was a practical study. 
"How deep and profound he is for a young man," the assembled 
guests said. But I know now that all the wisdom of life is not 
confined to books on philosophy. But the next day was the day 
of days for me. It was my first visit to Central Park and there 
I saw New York life from its highest to its lowest depths. I 
started from Fifth Avenue, where Broadway runs into it at 
Madison Square. For a few minutes I watched the ladies who 
represented the aristocracy of New York descending from their 
carriages and shopping. As I walked up Fifth Avenue to the 
Park, I thought of the wickedness of the great city, and yet I 
saw women and young girls whose faces revealed purity and 
maidenly modesty and refinement. 

I was all eyes and ears, drinking in the experiences of the 
moment. No one .-^eemed to notice me, an insignificant colored 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. 123 

youth wending- his way up Fifth Avenue. Some of the faces in 
the rapidly moving vehicles expressed pride and haughtiness. I 
wondered if the time would ever come when my gifts as a writer 
or orator would command the attention of the country and 
compel even the reserved and dignified aristocrats of New York 
City to regard me not as a Negro, the member of a despised 
and proscribed race, but as a man among men. 

Feeling the thrill of life and health in every fibre and bone 
of my being, responding to the breath of spring that was in the 
air, I soon shook off these reflections ; feeling that it was a 
grand and glorious thing merely to be alive and to drink in the 
joy of the present moment. What care I for what the world 
thinks of me? I mused, as long as I have life and health. Every 
fibre of my being felt the shock and thrill of buoyant spring life. 
My nerves tingled for joy. Entering Central Park, I came into 
a new world. It was shortly after noontime. Not yet had New 
York society rode through it in their stately carriages. The 
common people and middle classes had taken possession of it. 
It was in early April and was the first warm day in spring. The 
Saturday before Easter was damp and cloudy ; it rained slightly, 
while bracing and invigorating breezes swept over New York 
City on Easter Sunday, and on the following Monday and Tues- 
day the air was slightly cold and chilly. But it seemed as if 
ever}-thing responded that Wednesday to the soft touch and 
warm kiss of the sun. The glare of the sun was softened and 
mellowed by the haze in the atmosphere. There was just enough 
haze in the atmosphere to produce the dreamy eft'ect of an Indian 
summer day. Only the pulsing and bounding spring life bespoke 
joy and gladness. The buds on the trees were beginning to open 
into leaves; the buds on the bushes were beginning to blossom 
forth into fruit and flowers. The grass was beginning to push 
itself up. The birds sang or chirped merrily. The little children 
romped gleefully. How happy the mothers seemed as they 
danced their children upon their knees or fondled them tenderly ! 
Every one threw off care and restraint and gave him or herself 
up to the joy of the present moment. 

I passed through the avenue on which, on both sides, the statues 
of the famous men of other times and ages stand like silent 
sentinels. The very presence of these statues in the Park 
preached a sermon that was more eloquent than words. They 

124 The African Abroad. 

reminded us of the fact that while our earthly bodies were 
perishable, a man with a mighty soul could do the deeds whose 
memory would live in the hearts and minds of men when the 
bronze statue dedicated to preserve their memory had crumbled 
into pieces. 

About four o'clock I stood upon a hill near the northern 
entrance to the Park, about to leave it. I looked back and noticed 
v.hat a brilliant and kaleidoscopic efTect was produced by the 
shifting play of sunlight and shadow. Then I saw the magnificent 
carriages, with the handsomely dressed occupants rolling through 
the Park and going towards Eighth Avenue. Society was now 
making its presence felt and known. The children stopped their 
running and playing and watched the display of wealth and 
fashion. The boys paused in the baseball game to gaze at the 
passing of New York's four hundred. The mothers stopped 
dangling their babies and looked at the horses, equipment, 
dresses and jewels of those fortunate society queens. What a 
blessed thing it is to be rich, I thought. What a silent tribute 
and homage every one pays to the great and rich. Soon I 
passed a public square where the children danced, sang, and kept 
time to the music of a hand organ. The passing of the rich 
did not disturb their childish joy nor mar their happiness. 
Then I called upon the self-possessed and serene quadroon whom 
I had met the other night. Proud and self-sufficient in the con- 
sciousness of her beauty, she was supremely happy. I envied 
her glorious unconsciousness of the fact that she belonged to 
an ostracised, despised and proscribed race. She seemed to 
accept American race prejudice as a fact just as she accepted 
gravitation or the fact that fire burned. She was perfectly 
oblivious to the fact that she was labeled, tagged and catalogued 
as a member of an inferior race. Hers was not the divine dis- 
content with her actual condition which would prompt her to 
prove to the world that she possessed all of the elements of 
womanhood. .She opened her eyes wide with surprise and amaze- 
ment when I told her that I expected some day to startle and sur- 
prise, to astonish and electrify the world and demonstrate the 
ability of the Negro to scale the heights of eloquence, delve deep 
into the psychology of the human mind and grapple with the 
profound mysteries of metaphysics. 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. 125 

Poor girl, I thought, as I slowly wended my way through 
Central Park, as the sun was going down, covered with yellow 
glory and bathing the skies in a radiance of golden colors. Soon 
the western sky was dyed with a faint pink, then a crim- 
son and then a blood-red color, while night stole softly over 
the heavens. I mused, "your soul is not awakened, you know not 
what life means," and yet why should she not be happy? She 
was a queen in her little circle, her colored gallants took her to 
the theatre, balls and parties ; they presented her with beautiful 
bouquets and delicious candy. At Christmas time they showered 
upon her valuable presents, rings, diamonds, pins, and gold 
watches. She held regal sway in her little court. 

That night, I met the dazzling colored beauties at the brilliant 
bazaar again and escorted the exquisite West Indian lady home. 
Sensitive and refined in spirit, she realized what it meant to be 
a member of a despised race. She was inclined, however, to 
give way to a melancholic fatalism. "There is no use struggling 
against fate," she said. There had dawned upon her the con- 
sciousness of the impassable gulf that separated her from the 
rest of the human family. But there had not entered into her 
soul the heroic resolve to overleap the barriers and the wall placed 
around her by the Anglo-Saxon race prejudice. 

There was one woman I met at the brilliant bazaar who had 
resolved to lift herself out of the miry clay and make history 
for the Negro, and that was Miss Lizzie Frazer, who enjoys 
the distinction of being the first colored teacher in a mixed 
school in New York City. And the exquisite and dainty West 
Indian soon followed her and afterwards became a minister's 

The next morning I crossed over to Brooklyn. It was an 
inspiring sight to watch the ferryboats passing to and fro, 
thronged with eager passengers. I walked five or six miles in 
Brooklyn that day. I thought nothing of the beautiful quadroon 
and octoroon girls ; I was charged with the throbbing and pulsing 
life of Fifth Avenue and Broadway and longed for the day to 
come when I would step out from the college elms and venture 
forth, battle with the world and win my place. I returned to 
New York. As I approached the home where I was invited to 
dine there flitted across my vision the beautiful octoroon with 

1^6 The African Abroad. 

the drooping eyes, the blushing cheeks and caressing voice. She 
expressed the hope that she would see the college boys again 
but said that she was going to a reception that night, and then 
she vanished. It was a year and a half before I saw her again 
on an excursion, and she seemed much older; her eyes retained 
their melting tenderness, their velvety beauty, the liquid glamour 
that impressed me at first, but they had lost some of their former 
brilliancy and lustre. There were rings and circles under her 
eyes, her cheeks were pinched and the color partly faded from 
them. The pace of the high life of New York was beginning 
to tell upon her; love of dress and finery and flattering admirers, 
too many theatres, balls, receptions and card and wine parties 
had reduced licr in fifteen months from a dazzling beauty to a 
faded rose. 

That night I addressed the St. Mark's Lyceum upon "Human 
History as a Revealer of the Supremacy of the Moral and 
Spiritual Life of Mankind." It was my maiden effort as a 
platform lecturer and it was pronounced a wonderful address. 
It was talked about for many months in New York City. After- 
wards Mr, George W. Allen, the president of the Lyceum, told 
me that it fell upon their ears as Bryan's speech did upon that 
Democratic convention that nominated him for the Presidency. 

In some respects, as I look back upon it, it was the Sophomoric 
eflfort of a college Senior, who had read his Emerson and Car- 
lyle, his Browning and Milton, and who, ignorant of real life, 
was expressing his youthful faith, hopes, dreams, aspirations and 
ambitions. It did not differ materially from the average com- 
monplace oration, or class day address of the high school or 
college graduate. 

But in some respects it did differ from the average commence- 
ment oration, or class day address. In a way it was the most 
wonderful address I have ever delivered or shall ever deliver. 
There was a quality to it that few college orations have. For 
the first time in my life I had witnessed the spectacle of the 
surging, seething life of humanity, which reminded me of the 
sea breaking into a thousand strands of foam and spray as it 
struck the sandy shore. And my address echoed and reechoed 
with the distant roar of the surging and seething of that life. 
It echoed and reechoed with the hum and murmur of those 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. 127 

multitudinous voices. It thrilled and pulsed with the buoyant 
Easter faith, with the joy and radiancy and splendor of that 
Fifth Avenue parade on Easter Sunday. It throbbed and quiv- 
ered with the bustle, ambition, the passion and energy that was 
reflected in those men who rushed hither and thither on Broad- 
way, hurrying as if their lives depended upon this or that car 
or elevator, that gleamed from the eyes and rounded cheeks of 
those women who walked as if the world lay at their feet. And 
then there breathed through it the spiritual faith of that Wednes- 
day afternoon in Central Park when I saw the glory of God 
reflected and revealed in every blade of growing grass, in every 
bud that was expanding into leaf and flower and opening up its 
beauty to the world. 

I do not wonder that that address impressed that audience: 
it was delivered before a Washington Literary two years Iater,~( 
when President McKinley was inaugurated. L. M.__Hershaw was 
president of the Literary then. Professor J. W. Cromwell was 
secretary. Visitors were there from every section of the country ; 
there was not the fire and passion, the enthusiasm and energy to 
its delivery that characterized the New York address. But even 
then it made an impression. Professor W. H. Richards of the 
Howard University Law School walked home with me that 
night. He was interested in me because I was such an idealist, 
because I was so ambitious and optimistic. But he was afraid 
lest becoming disillusioned by the world, and being disappointed 
in realizing my hopes and dreams, I would grow bitter and 
pessimistic. He gave me kindly warning. I smiled at his 
words then, but now I realize how true they were. In college 
a man is appreciated at his face value, but you must force and 
compel the world to appreciate your w^orth and value — force 
and compel the world to respect you. College honor is high; 
the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount is incarnated in the 
college ideals, and the Golden Rule is enthroned in the college 
world. But in the outside world, if you do not stand up and 
assert yourself as a man, people will knock you down and run 
over you. The world does not give any man recognition 
gratuitously. Whatever recognition you get from the world 
you must wrest and wring from it. The college world is no 
more a microcosm of the real world, no more the real world 

128 The African Abroad. 

in miniature, than is the Newport harbor the Atlantic ocean in 

The next morning^ after the lecture before the New York 
Lyceum, I crossed the river to visit the lady of the Jersey shore 
who wanted to be p^reat and yet did not know what she wanted 
to be or become. I admired her for her soaring ambitions and 
idealistic dreams, but I thought she would be an exotic in New 
York City and was a product peculiar to the Jersey shore ; so 
1 shook my head and said to her, "To breast the rolling waves 
of New York life, and buffet with those mighty billows, one 
must move in a straight line towards some definite point, 
towards some goal." She who dreamer! of such wonderful 
things married a man whose vocation in life was humble but 
whose spirit was manly and noble. 

In the afternoon I walked for an hour on the Bowery. In the 
evening I visited the brilliant and dazzling bazaar again, was 
introduced around and again, was fascinated by the glitter, glare 
and brilliancy of those lights and that aristocratic society, but 
was impressed by the hollowness and artificiality and mockery 
of it all. There was ambition there, the ambition to make money 
and dress and wear diamonds, but not ambition to play an active 
part in that rich metropolitan life. And yet why should they 
have such ambition? Many a talented and gifted colored man, 
who would be a leader of his people in a Southern city or a 
prominent citizen in a small Northern or Western town, has 
gone to New York City and been overwhelmed by that life, 
just as a swimmer who can float and swim gracefully in a mill 
pond is buried beneath the mighty ocean waves breaking upon 
the shore, swept off his feet and out to sea by the undertow and 
drowned. And even if he has the strength and vitality to play 
with, laugh at, and ride upon the storming breakers, there is 
the Chinese wall of American caste prejudices that confines 
his activities to a narrow and circumscribed area. 

Soon I boarded the Elevated on the way to the Richard Peck. 
and in a few minutes I was listening to the splash of the dark 
waters, and watching the brilliant lights of those massive 
buildings, which seemed studded with scintillating diamonds, 
recede from view. The stars overhead shone calmly and softly 
down upon the sea. There was no sound in nature save the kiss 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. 129 

of the angry waves as they parted before the prow of that swift 
twin screw steamer, the pride of the Long Island Sound. But 
the calm and peace and quiet of nature was strangely contrasted 
with the stormy thoughts, the mighty hopes, the heroic resolves, 
that raged in my mind. Then I retired to my state room, but 
not to sleep. I reflected that I had not seen what I had expected, 
what they told me I would see in New York. When I left 
New Haven I dreaded lest I should shudder at the exhibition of 
vice and poverty, the misery and wretchedness of New York 
City, or I expected to be dazzled and captivated by the scintillat- 
ing brilliancy of New York's Colored "Four Hundred". And 
yet it was not so. The walk through the Bowery made no 
impression on me whatever. The dazzling and brilliant society 
of the colored aristocracy did not sweep me off my feet. But 
what my colored friends had not told me about, what I did not 
expect to see and experience in New York City, was what 
impressed me. The wealth and fashion of Fifth Avenue, the 
tense commercial life on Broadway ; the people who represented 
the rank and file of the New York life, the democracy of modern 
civilization and the middle class, which is the backbone and 
sinew of any country, coming out to enjoy the first warm day of 
spring in Central Park ; the romping children and fond mothers ; 
they were the things that generated in me the mighty resolve to 
be a man and compel the country to recognize me. I had 
dreamed before of being an orator and philosopher, but then for 
the first time was born in me the passion and the desire to 
dominate and master men. That New York experience was 
the dawn of manhood's ambition. 

But Mr. Washington and his admirers will ask, "Was this 
experience translated into dollars and cents? What was the cash 
value of it? How much money did it put into my pocket?" A 
celebrated German philosopher was asked a similar question a 
century ago about philosophy and he replied : "Philosophy can 
bake no bread. But it does give us God, freedom and immor- 
tality." If eating, drinking and sleeping, if toiling for food, 
clothes and shelter were the end of life and living, why then this 
experience would be an illusion and an empty dream. 

But Hamilton Wright Mabie once said that the hours and 
moments when high hopes are generated in the human soul are 

130 The African Abroad. 

the tablelands of inspiration which are like the mountain 
ranges which catch the rain and give it forth as the springs 
that cool parched lips and issuing forth into streams prevents 
their drying up in summer drought, thus preventing suffering 
and misery in the valley below. 

So from that New York experience I gained the insatiable 
ambition, the indomitable spirit, the will that cannot be overcome 
or conquered, the determination and resolve to fight on and 
forge to the front, which will yield and give way to no obstacle 
or opposition. It is worth more than a fortune to me. 

This book, whatever its worth or value, is the outcome of 
that youthful experience. I have passed from the optimism of 
the college student to the disillusionment that contact with the 
world gives ; and have now arrived at manhood's rational faith. 

I hope and trust that the reader will not think that I am too 
self-conscious and too desirous for fame, but when a schoolboy 
of twelve years I read John Mercer Langston's orations and 
addresses, and when a schoolboy of thirteen years I read Fred- 
erick Douglass' Life. These did not electrify me like the four 
experiences that I have just described; but they set me to think- 
ing, they made me realize that I with a few million Xegroes 
were living in a little valley, shut in by the hills of American 
race prejudice, and that the world living beyond those mountain 
barriers despised and looked down upon us who lived within. 
Then I asked, "How can we who live in the valley win the 
respect of mankind?" And the answer came back, '"By your 
deeds and achievements you must climb over those mountain 
barriers and let the world know of your intellectual and moral 
worth." That is why I set out to get an education. And that 
is why I turned aside from putting on the finishing touches to 
two philosophical works and a volume of literary and historical 
essays to tell to the world the deeds and achievements of the 
Negro race. 

"But what has he done?" the practical, impatient and unsym- 
pathetic world will ask. The contrast between what men hoped, 
aspired, longed to be and become and what they actually are, 
the contrast between what they dreamed of achieving and what 
they accomplished constitutes the pathos in the lives of most 
men. The tragedy in my life has consisted in the fact that I 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. 131 

possess the spirit of the demigod, the ambition of a Hercules, 
and that this titanic energy' is yoked to the body of an ordinary 

In the summer of 1896, I did two men's work at Narragan- 
sett Pier. For five successive weeks, I worked as waiter in 
one hotel and night bellman in another, working from sixteen 
to eighteen hours a day and only getting from four to six hours 
sleep out of twenty-four. The second year I was at Harvard 
I worked five hours a day in Memorial Hall and took full 
courses. The last year at Harvard I attempted to work five and 
six hours a day in a boarding house and take full courses in 
college. Even though I had a constitution of iron I soon found 
that there was a limit to my strength. Then a few years ago 
I attempted to pastor a church in one town and be assistant 
principal in a school two hundred miles away. And now I am 
forced to accept the sad fact that I cannot do two men's work, 
that with all my ambition and energy, like other men, I must 
follow the maximum eight hours for work, eight hours for 
sleep and eight hours for leisure. 

The world has expected colored men to be smaller edi- 
tions of Booker Washingtons, yea Booker Washingtons in 
miniature, instead of taking them as they are. Nature has 
endowed him with the skill to organize and marshal forces, the 
patience to worry over and bother with petty details, the spirit 
to swim with the popular currents of thought and feeling. 
She has fitted others with the eye to see, the heart to buck 
against opposition, the tongue and pen to thrill and electrify 
men. Their training has been along philosophical, literary and 
oratorical lines. Not until they fail along those lines, can the 
world justly pronounce them failures. The world must judge 
a man from what he aspires and strives to be and become, 
recognizing that not every man is endowed with ten talents. 
All I am or ever hope to be is expressed in this volume. It was 
not wholly written from other books, for I left my library behind 
me during my eleven months' lecture tour through the South. 
My only literary companions were a slender volume containing 
.selections from Ruskin's "Modern Painters" and a little pamphlet 
upon "The Inspiration of the Bible." This book, then, was 
written out of my heart, out of my experience with men and 

132 The African Abroad. 

women. It expresses my life dreams, hopes and aspirations. 
Upon this volume, then, I will stake the reality or unreality of 
my youthful dreams and experiences. 

How strange are the ways of Providence! I was trained to 
be a teacher of Philosophy, Sociology and English Literature. 

Ten years ago my ambition was to occupy the chair in philoso- 
phy, sociology and English literature in some of the big Negro 
colleges and universities. The Lord withheld the opportunity 
from me to teach my specialties in some of the big colored colleges 
and universities, but he opened up the way for me to gain a 
richer, wider and deeper experience as a lecturer and newspaper 
man. Even in crossing and thwarting our cherished plans, the 
Almighty offers us blessings in disguise. Just see how His 
wisdom transcends our petty judgments. 

I had dreamed of teaching colored students in college meta- 
physics and the philosophy of knowledge, but in this little volume 
I will teach the Negro race the philosophy of life. I had dreamed 
of teaching colored students the principles of sociology ; but in 
this book I am applying the principles of sociology to the Negro 
question and giving the world a sociological view of the Negro 
and his many problems. I had dreamed of pointing out to 
colored students the secret of the elusive charm and delicate 
beauty of the style of Ruskin and Newman, of Curtis ami 
Mitchell ; and behold I have written a book which though lack- 
ing in the gorgeous imagery and lyrical cadence of Ruskin's 
periods and the grace and ease of Newman's sentences, which 
though lacking in the poetic beauty and poetic mysticism of some 
of DuBois's pages, may yet for a few months be studied by 
Negro orators and students as an attempt at sledge-hammer elo- 
quence. What do I mean by sledge-hammer eloquence? Cato 
ended every address with "Carthage must be damned." Kelly 
Miller has told us of the colored preacher who once ended every 
sentence of a prayer with "Obertrow de works of de debil." 
Now there is one idea that runs through the book as a sort of 
string that prevents the beads flying apart, no matter what chap- 
ter you read, no matter where you open the book, no matter what 
subject I am discussing, somewhere in the course of the chapter 
you will see my discussion, clinching that idea. And if you 
read the book from cover to cover that one idea will be so 

A CJiaptcr from My Autobiography. 133 

impressed upon you that you cannot forget it. I discuss a hun- 
dred different subjects in this book. Now you will be carried 
off into a discussion of eloquence, now of music, now of litera- 
ture ; now you will be carried through pages of history and now 
through discussions in psychology and philosophy, but will 
finally discover that all of these diverse roads lead to Rome, 
and that is what I call sledge-hammer eloquence. No matter how 
far you wander from the track to pick berries in the bypath, 
you will find yourself in the main road again. 

My attitude of mind towards the world may seem rather com- 
bative, but a man is unconsciously but powerfully influenced by 
his ideals and heroes. When I was a schoolboy in New Haven, 
there were seventeen men who dazzled my boyish imagination. 
Moses, Paul, Luther, John Brown, William Lloyd Garrison and 
Wendell Phillips were my moral and spiritual heroes. The 
Earl of Chatham, Mirabeau, Daniel Webster and Charles 
Sumner were my political heroes. Frederick Douglass was my 
ideal orator; I regarded him as the godlike, incarnated in a 
dusky skin. But William the Conqueror, Oliver Cromwell, U. S. 
Grant, Oliver Perry, Israel Putnam and John Paul Jones were 
my fighting heroes. In the latter part of the book I pay my 
respects to Cromwell, Grant and Perry. While Cromwell appeals 
more to me now than any other soldier, when I was in my early 
teens Israel Putnam and John Paul Jones were my fighting gods. 
Putnam's sturdiness as a farmer, his descent into the wolf or 
bear's den and his daring feats and hairbreadth escapes in war, 
appealed to my youthful imagination. Many an afternoon, on 
my way home from the Shelton Avenue School, I would stop 
in one of the lots on Dixwell Avenue, drop under a tree and 
read the life of Israel Putnam until the glow in the western sky 
indicated that the Sun was giving up his dominion of the sky 
and Night was about to spread her drapery over the heavens. 
Then I mused what a blessed thing it would be to be a farmer 
and fighter like Israel Putnam. The rugged strength of Put- 
nam's character, the sturdiness of his sterling nature, made a 
powerful impression upon my impressionable mind. 

And can I ever forget the first time I read about the cool 
daring and grim, dogged courage of John Paul Jones, who lashed 
an old, burning and sinking ship, the Richard, to the Scrapis, 

134 The African Abroad. 

and when ordered by the EngHsh captain, Pearson, to surrender, 
defiantly cried out, "I have not yet begun to fight ; sink me if 
you can! If I must go to the devil, I would rather strike to 
him than to you." Whenever I am disheartened and discouraged 
by the rebuffs of the world, whenever the odds are against me, 
v.hcncver I am fighting a hard, uphill fight. I think of the heroic 
words of the intrepid, indomitable and invincible commander of 
the Richard, "I have not begun to fight yet." Then I tighten 
my armour, get my second wind and plunge into the fray again. 

When I stepped out from under the shadow of the protecting 
college walls, I had the faith and enthusiasm of a frank, open- 
hearted youth, who was innocent of the world. But now I 
have the faith and self-reliance of a man, who has faced adver- 
sity, who has been brought to the brink of poverty, yea to the 
verge of pessimism, cynicism and despair by an unsympathetic, 
indifferent world; but who didn't get dizzy, lose his head or 
go over the precipice to moral suicide and atheism. I can hurl 
back defiance to the world, because when the tide of adversity 
set against me, and the criticism of a hostile world swept against 
me, I (lid not lose my moorings, and was not carried out to 
the sea and lost, but held to the sheet-anchors of faith in God 
and faith in humanity. The day that I received my A.B. degree, 
the years that I studied philosophy in Yale, were the golden 
days of my life. I was happy and careless then. The sun 
seemed to shine all the time, then ; every one seemed to smile 
upon me, then. I have seen some cloudy days and weathered 
some fierce storms since then ; I passed from optimism to pessi- 
mism, to despair, to cynicism, and now I have reached a modified 
but resolute faith. 

But what is the outlook before a colored youth? The world 
expects an educated colored man to be another Crogman, Bowen, 
Wright, Miller, Cook and Tunnell who did splendid work as 
educators in Gammon Theological Seminary, Georgia State 
Iiulustrial College, Clark University or Howard University. 
They are typical and noble examples of the well-trained teacher, 
who is familiar with the details of college work discipline. Or 
possibly the world expects a colored college graduate to be 
another Proctor, who is a brilliant jireacher and an ideal pastor. 
These men in their callings as teachers and preachers are admira- 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. 135 

ble specimens of the educated Negro. But nature cuts out 
some men for a broader and larger work than the pulpit or 
the classroom. If a man is a teacher in the South, he must 
merge and lose his individuality in that of the man he teaches 
under, who is often an ignoramus. 

If he preaches in the South, he must merge and lose his indi- 
viduality in that of his deacon or trustee board, who are often 
ignorant and illiterate. Consequently the Negro school and 
college or church offers mediocre and talented men a field of 
usefulness and a means of getting a livelihood ; but does not 
offer a field of expression and development for a man of genius 
who is gifted with the power of vision and the art of so putting 
things as to cause others to share in that vision. 

Now the country regards the Negro as an imitative being. 
This is no doubt true. Cuffee was an imitator of the philoso- 
phers and philanthropists of their day. Crummell and Blyden 
were partly imitators of English scholars and thinkers. George 
T. Downing was an imitator of Charles Sumner. Frederick 
Douglass was an imitator of Sumner, Garrison and Phillips. 
Toussaint L'Ouverture alone of the foreign Negroes possessed 
the construction and creative genius as a soldier and statesman 
so that we can speak of him in the same breath with Hannibal, 
Caesar, Alexander, Cromwell, Napoleon and George Washington. 
And in America, there are three colored men who will go down 
in Negro history as the three American Negroes who were 
endowed with the constructive and creative mind, who were 
original and creative forces, who were innovators or possessed 
the power of initiative, who were intellectual and moral pioneers, 
and who burst the conventional traces, broke out of the conven- 
tional ruts and grooves of popular opinion and blazed out a path 
and hewed out a way for themselves. For did not these three 
men set themselves against the popular estimate of Booker T. 
Washington's political and pedagogical theories and successfully 
challenge the consensus of opinion of colored and white men 
regarding the ultimate worth and value of IVIr. Washington's 
self-effacement from politics and self-surrender of civil and 
political rights theories? Did not these men manfully face the 
American view regarding the Negro's place in American politics 
and the Negro's status in civil, industrial and economic life? 

136 The African Abroad. 

Some shallow-brained and superficial critics of X'egro extrac- 
tion rejjard them as "indomitable fools" and say "Fools rush 
in where angels fear to tread." 

But the verdict of history, the judgment of posterity, will be, 
"Whether these three men were right or wrong, we must admit 
there were three American Negroes who were not mere imitators 
of the Anglo-Saxon, but who were original and creative forces, 
who were men of constructive and creative minds." 

Of the men who make up this triumvirate. Dr. W. E. Burg- 
hardt DuBois, the author of "The Souls of Black Folk," and the 
leader of the Niagara Movement, is the most prominent. But 
some may ask, where do Kelly Miller, T. Thomas Fortune, 
George Washington Forbes and the gifted Grimke brothers come 
in? Miller, Fortune and Forbes are endowed with the power of 
philosophical analysis and the gift of expression ; but they lack 
the daring, adventurous temperament which would make them 
wedge-drivers. Dr. Francis J. Grimke and Hon. Archibald 
Grimke are men cast in a rugged, heroic mould. They blend 
the stern, austere morality of the Hebrew prophets with the 
polish and refinement of a George William Curtis. But they are 
more conservative than radical, with the wisdom and judgment 
of a Nestor. Booker T. \\'ashington is a genius as an organizer 
but he is not an original thinker nor a philosophic statesman. I 
would rate Professor William H. H. Hart of the Law Depart- 
ment of Howard University as the most gifted and versatile 
orator that the Negro race in America has yet produced, blend- 
ing a philosophical grasp of mind with the aerial imagination 
of a poet and backing up these with a powerful physique and 
an indomitable will. But as his father was wholly white and his 
mother partly white, and as he desires the recognition of his 
Anglo-Saxon blood, I will respect his wishes and not classify 
him as a colored man, but as an American of Anglo-Saxon 

Kant, Hegel, Lotze, Ladd, Royce and James have said the 
last word in j)hilosophy ; Emerson and Carlyle have said the 
last word in practical idealism ; Matthew Arnold and Hamilton 
Wright Mabic have said the last word in literary criticism. 
Mabie blends the moral vigor of Carlyle with the optimism of 
Emerson and the sanity of Arnold. Mabie has reached a height 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. 137 

of literary criticism that no one can ever hope to transcend. 
Victor Hugo's famous battle picture of Waterloo, and Ruskiii's 
"Modern Painters," for gorgeous splendor and vivid coloring are 
unsurpassed in all literature and only equalled by some of the 
eloquent pages of Carlyle and Newman. But there are no great 
orators living in America to-day. Wt have no orators who can 
rival Demosthenes, Cicero, Chatham, Burke, O'Connell, Bishop 
Wilberforce, Daniel Webster and Wendell Phillips, Storrs, 
Curtis, Patrick Henry and Henry Grady. 

The Negro race has many orators who possess a magnificent 
presence, a stentorian voice, a fluency of expression and utter- 
ance, and among the greatest of these are Dr. M. C. B. Mason, 
the impassioned orator and former educational secretary, and Dr. 
I. N. Ross of Washington, D. C. But Dr. DuBois, Attorney'\ 
J. D. Carr and Rev. Reverdy C. Ransom are three Negro orators | 
who can express grand and sublime sentiments in words that ^ 
charm us with their lyric splendor ; colored orators whose magic 
of style can clothe universal sentiments, dear to mankind, in 
phrases that haunt the mind and linger in the memory for weeks. 
And yet DuBois, who blends the insight of Emerson with the 
style of Newman, lacks fire and passion and physical magnetism. 
Carr possesses fire and magnetism, yet lacks the passion and 
abandon of Ransom. So Ransom is our greatest living colored^ 
orator. His Garrison Centennial and Harpers Ferry addresses 
will live long in Negro history. They rival A. Grimke's famous 
Sam Hose speech. 

Of the white orators, Depew, Burke Cochran and Bryan have 
held the center of the stage and been in the limelight of popu- 
larity the past twenty years. Depew is an Apollo in face and 
figure, with a mellow, pleasant tenor voice and a mellifluous flow 
of words. His gestures are graceful and natural. His manner 
of speaking is characterized by grace and ease, while felicity 
is the word that characterizes his subtle wit and playful humor. 
At the dinners of the Yale Alumni Association his grasp of uni- 
versity problems, his bright, clear stories and his appeals to the 
glory and traditions of Old Yale, his eulogies of the men who have 
made Yale great and famous, gave his eloquence the sentimental 
quality and delightful reminiscent vein that constitutes the 
perennial charm of Ik Marvel's "Dream Life." But gifted as 

ijS The African Abroad. 

he is, Depew lacks the fire and passion and moral earnestness 
of Demosthenes, Chatham, Patrick Henry and Wendell Phillips. 
Burke Cochran is a big, brawny Irishman, with a roaring, bel- 
lowing baritone voice, an Irishman's wit and humor and a 
scholar's knowledge. He is a master of the periodic sentence 
structure and knows how to build a series of climaxes and 
perorations, one rising above another, growing out of it and 
transcending it, just like a series of winding stairs; and you are 
carried higher and higher. He has the Irishman's fire and 
passion and intensity and is the embodiment and incarnation of 
titanic force and dynamic energy upon the platform. He is the 
modern Mirabeau and the greatest living orator. But Cochran 
is a demagogue, who plays to the gallery gods, an orator unan- 
chored to fundamental moral convictions or the eternal principles 
of justice as the great Daniel O'Connell was. Bryan has some 
of the grace of Depew and force of Cochran. I heard him 
in Mechanics Hall, Boston, a few years ago. Twelve thou- 
sand people were present that night. The meeting began at 
eiglit o'clock. First the temporary chairman spoke, then George 
Frederick Williams, then the late Governor Altgeld, and a Con- 
gressman from Ohio. When Bryan was called forth at half- 
past ten, the people had been surfeited with two hours and a 
half of speaking, and yet Bryan held that audience until midnight. 
Only two thousand left and they were forced to take cars for 
neighboring towns and suburbs. Bryan has a strong face. With 
his bright eye, thin, finn lips and square, determined chin and 
his splendid figure, he looks like a man born to rule and com- 
mand. A man, who though thrice defeated in his fight for the 
presidency could yet dominate the Democratic National Conven- 
tion in July, 1912, is a man to be reckoned with. He is a master 
of antithesis and has perfected the epigrammatic phrase-coining 
style. His voice is musical and well modulated. It carries well. 
There is a nervous quiver to it that touches a sympathetic chord 
in the hearer's heart. But Bryan is lacking in the intellectual 
and imaginative qualifications of a great orator. He is rarely 
profound and original at the same time. His thought is some- 
times commonplace and platitudinous. His eloquence is some- 
times scintillating in its brilliancy, but meteoric in its effect upon 
an audience. He expresses some of the universal democratic 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. 139 

ideas that appeal to the 01 ttoWoI. But liis is not the soaring 
imagination. He can rise upon the wings of the imagination 
in its aerial flight. But he cannot sustain himself as Storrs did, 
nor can he rise to such passages as Curtis's introduction to his 
Concord oration, his characterization of Wendell Pliillips's elo- 
quence and his description of Phillips's call. Neither can he rise 
to Daniel Webster's magnificent peroration beginning "When 
my eyes shall behold the Sun in his glory." His Crown of 
Thorns and Cross of Gold speech swept him on to the throne of 
Democratic leadership, but it will not live. Theodore Roosevelt 
is a rapid-fire gatling-gun speaker. He has the impetuosity of a 
mountain torrent. But he is abrupt and jerky. His eloquence 
has not the even flow of a river which sweeps one along 

Now no one can hope to originate a new system of philosophy 
nor create a new school of literary criticism. But there is an 
opportunity for a Negro to bring philosophy down from cloud- 
land and shed its blessings upon the X'egro race, as Prometheus 
brought down the fire of the gods from the heavens and gave 
it to mankind. There is an opportunity for a colored man to 
revive American eloquence and sound a new note in American 
eloquence. And the Negro youth should seize these opportuni- 
ties. If the Negro youth will read this book, he may catch 
its spirit and go forth to make history for the Negro race; to 
make his contribution, whether along practical or intellectual 
lines, to civilization. The cultured and the refined will suffer 
unspeakable anguish for the time being, but in the long run nat- 
ural selection will weed out the morally depraved and physically 
decrepit; the struggle for existence and the law of the" survival 
of the fittest will give the Negro the place and position that 
he deserves and ought to have. 

Some will say that the stern Anglo-Saxon race will never 
accord the Negro civil and political equality; but mankind ever 
has in the past and ever will in the future pay homage to genius 
and heroism, even if shining through a black skin. Reflect that 
iEsop, Terence, Timrod, Alexander Hamilton and Robert 
Browning had a strain of Negro blood in their veins. Hannibal, 
a distinguished Negro general, the great grandfather of the poet 
Pushkin, made Russia forget that he was a Negro. Pushkin, 

14° The African Abroad. 

an octoroon, the Shakespeare of Russian poets, made Russia j 
forget that he was one-eighth Negro. Dumas, a distinguished 
mulatto general, the father of the famous novelist, made France 
forget that he was half Negro. Alexander Dumas, a quadroon, 
the prince of novelists, made France forget that he was one- 
fourth Negro. We have seen how Douglass, Crummell, Dunbar, 
Chestnut, Washington and DuBois have been honored in America. 
Then cross over to Ilayti and remember that Wendell Phillips, 
the most persuasive orator the Anglo-Saxon race has produced, 
Wendell Phillips, who with Chatham, Burke, O'Connell, Henry 
and Webster is a star of the first magnitude in the firmament of 
modern eloquence, has devoted the oration by which he will be 
remembered by posterity to the eulogy of a black soldier, states- 
man and martyr, Toussaint L'Ouverture. Black men, take heart, 
and go forth to make your contribution to civilization, sustained 
by a faith in the Almighty God, in the possibilities of the Negro 
and in the innate sense of justice of the Anglo-Saxons. 

Professor Kelly Miller of Howard University admirably 
summed up the thought of this chapter in an article upon "The 
Artistic Gifts of the Negro" in The Voice of the Negro for April, 
1906, when he said, "The back room of every Negro barber 
shop is a young conservatory of music. 

"In the ordinary Negro household, the piano is as common a 
piece of furniture as the rocking chair or center table. That 
rosewood piano in a log cabin in Alabama, which Dr. Booker 
T. Washington's burlesque has made famous, is a most con- 
vincing, if somewhat grotesque, illustration of the musical genius 
of the Negro race. Music satisfies the Negro's longing as 
nothing else can do. All human faculties strive to express or 
utter themselves. They do not wait upon any fixed scheme or 
order of development to satisfy our social philosophy. When the 
fires of genius burn in the soul, it will not await the acquiring 
of a bank account or the building of a fine mansion before 
gratifying its cravings. The famished Elijah under a juni- 
per tree was the purveyor of God's message to a wicked king. 
Socrates in poverty and rage pointed out to mankind the path 
of moral freedom. John the Baptist, clad in leather girdle, 
and living on the wild fruits of the fields, proclaimed the com- 
ing of the kingdom of God. Would it be blasphemy to add. 

A Chapter from My Autobiography. 141 

that the Son of Man, while dwelHng- in the flesh, had not 
where to lay His head? Our modern philosophy would have 
advised that these enthusiasts cease their idle speculation, 
go to work, earn an honest living, and leave the pursuit of 
truth and spiritual purity to those who had acquired a com- 
petency. Is it a part of God's economy that the higher suscep- 
tibilities of the soul must wait upon the lower faculties of the 
body? Should Tanner paint no pictures because his race is 
ignorant and poqr? Should Dunbar cease to woo the muses till 
every Negro learns a trade? The Negro in poverty and rags, 
in ignorance and unspeakable physical wretchedness, uttered forth 
those melodies which are sure to lift mankind at least a little 
higher in the scale of spiritual purity. 

"The Negro's order of development follows that of the human 
race. The imaginative powers are the first to emerge; exact 
knowledge and its practical application come at a later stage. 
The first superlative Negro will rise in the domain of the arts. 
The poet, the artist and the musician come before the engineer 
and the administrator. The Negro who is to quicken and inspire 
his race will not be a master mechanic nor yet a man of profound 
erudition in the domain of exact knowledge, but a man of vision 
with powers to portray and project. The epic of the Negro race 
has not yet been written ; its aspirations and strivings still await 
portrayal. Whenever a Dunbar or a Chestnut breaks upon us 
with surprising imaginative and pictorial power, his race becomes 
expectant and begins to ask — 'art thou he that should come, or 
do we look for another?' 

"Mr. W. D. Howells, writing in the introduction of Mr. Dun- 
bar's first volume of poems, says : T said that a race which 
had come to this efl^ect in any member of it, had attained civili- 
zation in him, and I permitted myself the imaginative prophecy 
that the hostilities and prejudices which had so long constrained 
his race were destined to vanish in the arts ; that these were 
to be the final proof that God had made of one blood all nations 
of men. I accepted them as an evidence of the essential unity 
of the human race.' " 


The Philosophy of Success and the Success of Philosophy — 
Reflections upon the Lack of a Criterion of Greatness among 
Critical A fro- Americans zvho Belittle Philosophers, Scholars 
and Litterateurs. 

This chapter has been prepared because there seems to be no 
true criterion of greatness and no adequate standard of judging 
and estimating success among the critical Afro-Americans, who 
set themselves up as judges and pass judgment upon the careers 
of university men, pronouncing this man a success and that man 
a failure. It was originally prepared for the private instruction, 
enlightenment and edification of an aristocratic friend of mine, 
a colored clergyman and professor of pedagogy and philosophy 
in a university not many miles from the National Capitol, who 
seemed to think that if a college-bred and university-trained man 
could not become an educational jack-of -all-trades and do every 
and all things equally well, he was not practical and not a success. 

And then I reflected that there might possibly be other critical 
Afro-Americans, who, being dilettantes and lacking profound 
insight into philosophy, psychology, sociology, literature and 
human life and character, like my learned and distinguished 
friend, might fail to recognize that a man's natural and proper 
sphere of activity was along lines in which he had previously 
distinguished himself and manifested natural aptitude. And 
thinking that this chapter might clarify their mental atmosphere 
and enlarge their intellectual horizon, I send it out as an educa- 
tional document, hoping and trusting that the ideas and thoughts 
contained in these pages may be dis.'^eminatcd and scattered 
broadcast among the hypercritical Afro-Americans. 

It is to be hoped that these pages will also find their way into 
the libraries of the noble-hearted and thoughtful Anglo-Saxons 
and colored men of th.e judicial type, who are interested in the 
mental and moral uplift of the black race and who frequently 
are called upon to pass judgment upon the recommendations of 
these critical Afro-Americans. 

The Philosophy of Success. 143 

Soon after graduating from Harvard, I was employed by the 
Massachusetts and Connecticut RepubHcan Campaign Com- 
mittees. And I observed their modus operandi. The committees 
endeavored to put the campaign workers to work that they were 
fitted by temperament and training to do. They acted upon the 
hypothesis that a man could succeed best if he was given the 
work for which his natural tastes and aptitudes and inclinations 
and his previous training and preparation fitted him to do. 

Thus the campaign committee selected ward heelers to drum 
out the poolroom and saloon gang. They selected men endowed 
with the gift of gab and brass to orate on the street corners and in 
the barber shops. They selected the tactful diplomatic men to wire 
pull in ward caucuses and visit the doubtful voters. 

The committees heard that I was a student of sociology and 
history and was endowed with certain gifts as a public speaker 
and writer for the press and pressed me into service. They 
selected me to answer, in the columns of the Boston Transcript, 
Professor Kelly Miller's brilliant pamphlet on Anti-Imperialism 
and to show in the columns of the New Haven Leader the incon- 
sistencies in the career of the Democratic candidate for Judge 
of the Probate Court. Then they used me as a speaker in the 
big rallies in Lynn, Mass., and New London, Conn. 

Then there was a great meeting held in New Haven, Conn., 
preceded by a torchlight procession and fireworks and the speak- 
ers riding in open carriages behind the brass band. The Hon. 
N. D. Sperry, one of the oldest and most distinguished men in 
the House of Pvcpresentatives ; the Judge of the Probate Court, 
the City Prosecuting Attorney, were the three white speakers. 
Hon. James Jeffries, the most distinguished colored citizen in 
Connecticut, and the writer of this article, were the two colored 
speakers and rode in the carriage with Hon. N. D. Sperry. 

Now these campaign committees were not doctrinaires or 
theorists, who held that an educated man should be able to adajit 
himself to any situation or emergency; but they were cool, prac- 
tical, hard-headed men, who desired to carry an election. They 
said, "we want a man to do a certain work and render a certain 
service," and they selected the man who w^as fitted to do that 
work and render that service. 

But, judging from the criticism which the critical Afro-Ameri- 
cans make of college-bred men, they would have pursued a 

144 ^^'t' 'African Abroad. 

different course. They would have put the ward heeler up to 
speak on the same platform with a distinguished Congressman, 
with the Judge of the Probate Court and the City Prosecuting 
Attorney. They would have delegated the curbstone and barber- 
shop orator to reply in the Boston Transcript to Professor Kelly 
Miller's masterly article and perform the delicate work of criti- 
cising in the Xew Haven Leader the rival candidate for the 
Probate Court judgeship. Then they would have taken men 
who were as much at home on the public platform and in news- 
paper writing as Brer Rabbit, who was bred and born in the 
briar bush, and detailed them to become curbstone and barber- 
shop orators and ward heelers. For the theory of these critical 
Afro- Americans is that a man who cannot adapt and adjust him- 
self to every emergency and situation is a failure. And instead 
of everything moving like clockwork with Leibnitzian preestab- 
lished harmony, the confusion that prevailed at the building of 
the Tower of Babel would have occurred if these critical Afro- 
Americans, who ignore the natural qualifications of men. and 
think that educated men can be dovetailed anywhere and put 
to do any and every kind of work and fitted to every uncongenial 
task, had their way. 

The question is now: Who is right, the campaign managers, 
who put men up to the work that they are best adapted to doing, 
or the critical Afro-Americans, who expect an educated man to 
fit in anywhere and everywhere ? 

I do not know who is right, but I know that the great generals, 
the great admirals, the great rulers, the great captains of industry, 
the successful bishops, college presidents and presidents of banks 
and railroads, and managers of mills, stores and factories act 
just as the campaign managers did. The commander-in-chief 
of the army desires to capture a certain fort and storm a certain 
position and he selects a man with dash, courage and brilliancy 
to command the attacking- column. He desires to lay a mine 
under the enemy, lay in ambush for him or spring upon him 
unawares and take him by surprise, or to mislead him by pre- 
tending that he is about to attack when he will really retreat, 
or that he is retreating, when he is really gathering himself for 
another attack, and he details a cool-headed and resourceful man 
to supervise and manoeuvre. He wants some one to carry a 

The Philosophy of Success. 145 

message to another general, when the messenger has to be on 
the lookout for the enemy, and he selects a man who has a head 
that is as cool as ice and a heart that is as hot as fire. Then he 
wants a man to go as a spy into the enemy's country and he 
selects a cool, crafty, resourceful man, who is always wary and 

The bishop has appointments to fill that require a certain type 
of minister. There is a country circuit or a rural charge which 
does not demand a great scholar or teacher, but it requires that 
a man shall be a good pastor, the shepherd of his flock, the father 
of his people, and so the bishop sends some wise, pious, devout, 
fatherly man. Another church is struggling under a heavy load 
of debt. It requires a hustling, energetic man, who is fertile with 
devices and schemes for raising money and the bishop sends 
such a man. Another church is divided into two warring factions 
over a wrangle about a preceding pastor. It requires a careful, 
cautious, tactful minister, and the bishop sends such a man. 
There is another large city church, which carries a large floating 
congregation, that is attracted by the personality, magnetism and 
eloquence of the preacher. It demands an eloquent and magnetic 
preacher, and the bishop sends such a man. Then there is 
an historic church, with intellectual and aristocratic conditions. 
It is steeped and saturated in culture. It needs an intellectual 
giant, a broadly cultured man. And the bishop sends that type 
of minister. Then there is the ultra fashionable church, where 
may be seen dress and style and fashion. It requires a preacher 
with the polish and elegance of the cavalier and courtier. And 
the bishop sends that kind of man. Of course it goes without 
saying that all six types of ministers must be men of faith, 
vision and high character. But the success of the bishop, like 
the success of the statesman, ruler, general, admiral and captain 
of industry, depends upon his picking out the right man to fit 
into the situation and do the required thing. This is the way 
that the cool-headed and practical Anglo-Saxon sizes up and 
utilizes men. But how do the colored critics of educated men do? 

I have had colored bishops and educators come to me and say : 

"This man succeeded in this place and position, I don't quite 

understand why he failed in that other place and position." I 

will give the reason. These men think that if a man succeeds 


146 The African Abroad. 

in one place and position, which calls for one set of qualities 
and one type of man, therefore he will succeed in another place 
and position, which calls for an entirely different set of qualities 
and an entirely different type of man. Their theory was tersely 
put by a dean of the Teachers' CoUej^e of Howard Univer- 
sity and ex-i)astor of the People's Congregational Church, in a 
sermon in which he stated that if a man succeeded down there 
in a little niche, that he would be likely to succeed up here in 
a big niche. And vice versa. This theory was trenchantly 
stated by another thinker when he said : "Have a care, young 
man, you never know when the world is taking a measure of 
you for a larger position." This theory sounds plausible on the 
surface : but let us lay it bare and delve into it. The test 
of a theory is whether it will work and the proof of a pudding 
is in the eating. 

These bishops take a young minister, who succeeded in a small 
country town because of his sweet and winning personality, and 
put him in charge of a large city church which makes intellectual 
and oratorical demands that he is not equal to. And they wonder 
why he fails. They take a brilliant preacher and successful pas- 
tor and make him president of a college, a position which calls 
for the broad culture that the minister does not possess and 
they wonder why he fails. 

They take a popular teacher and elect him college president, 
which position calls for a commanding personality, administra- 
tive and executive ability that the genial and affable teacher does 
not possess. And they wonder why he fails. They forget that 
many a boat that safely sails the harbor or river would flounder 
helplessly in the ocean ; that many a man who could command 
a regiment would fall helplessly and hopelessly as commander- 
in-chief of the whole army. 

Educators take a sweet and estimable lady, who would make 
a splendid head of the department of history, and appoint her 
as principal of a high school, a position which calls for brute 
force that the lady does not possess. She is not big and strong 
enough to dominate and master the restless elements as ^olus 
did his winds and they wonder why she fails. They take a 
brilliant, classical scholar, who should have been placed at the 
head of the dei)artment of languages, and they make him a 

The Philosophy of Success. 147 

supervising principal of ,c:rammar school work, a position which 
requires a technical knowledge of and an experience in grammar 
school work, which he does not possess. And they wonder why 
he does not immediately, perfectly adapt himself to his new work. 
Bishops and educators of the critical Afro-American type also 
criticize an expert in philosophy, psychology, sociology, history, 
literature and oratory because he does not work wonders as 
an experimenter in chemistry and as pastor of an ignorant and 
illiterate Negro church. 

These educators, bishops and critics mean well, but they fail 
to see that certain churches, certain positions, certain situations 
and certain emergencies call for a certain type of man, for a 
man endowed with certain traits and qualities. ]\Ien not of the 
required type may by tact, resourcefulness and adaptability 
weather the gale and pull through by the skin of their teeth; 
but only the man whom the emergency calls for, only the man 
of the hour, who arrives at the psychological moment, can per- 
fectly master the situation, with his hands firmly upon the throttle 

I remember two Baptist, two Methodist, and one Congrega- 
tional preacher who were able, tactful and resourceful men. 
But they were not brilliant and magnetic speakers, whereas the 
size of the church and the character of the congregation called 
for ministers who could electrify an audience. Whereas before 
the church was crowded to the doors, many empty benches and 
seats and a lack of enthusiasm could be observed under the 
ministry of those five. Then I remember that an untutored 
but powerful mob orator was sent to manage a book concern 
that required a Napoleon of finance, a born leader of men and 
marshaller of forces ; yet he floundered helplessly in the sea of 
finance. Failure to realize these facts has caused ninety per 
cent, of the misfits and failures in Negro education and Negro 
church work. 

A situation like that of the Civil Dissensions in Rome, the 
English Reformation, the French Revolution, the German States 
of the middle portion of the nineteenth century, calls for the 
iron hand of a master, for a man strong enough to seize and 
hold all of the reins of government and power in his grasp by 
sheer brute force, by the sheer force of an iron will, by the sheer 

148 The African Abroad. 

force of an overmastering, overpowering and all-dominating 
personality. And Cresar, Cromwell, Napoleon and Bismarck 
answered the call and rose to the emergency. What have we 
in Cc-esar training up a loyal army of veterans, in Britain, Gaul, 
Germany, who would follow his fortunes; in Cromwell, organ- 
izing his Ironsides and breathing into them his own fanatical 
faith ; in Napoleon, saying that God was on the other side of 
the strongest battalion ; in Bismarck, thinking that Germany must 
be welded by blood and iron, — but the trust and reliance in the 
crushing power of the brute force? And it was because Cxsar, 
Cromwell, Napoleon, had the eyes to see, the arm to strike, 
and the will to dare that they mastered the restless and tempes- 
tuous elements and rode the sea of revolution, as a proud ship 
rides the seas or a strong rider his horse. 

The Revolutionary period in American history required a 
wary, watchful and indomitable spirit like George Washington. 
The Civil War period required a calm, cool, careful, cautious, 
alert, tactful and judicial mind like Abraham Lincoln with his 
ear on the ground, sensitive to the movements and changes of 
public opinion. The Civil War required a general like U. S. 
Grant, who possessed an indomitable will and inflexible resolu- 
tion, who was not a sparrer, but a grim, dogged, determined 
fighter who could strike with crushing force. Each great emer- 
gency in human affairs calls for a particular kind of man. This 
is true of the lesser situations. Some colored bishops, educators 
and critics seem to overlook this fact. But even many of the 
world's great men are dependent upon Dame Fortune to give 
them a field to display their peculiar talents and the opportunity 
to reveal their innate gifts. 

Then, too, we have the spectacle in history of a man who 
faced and successfully met one crisis, failing before another 
crisis which called for a different type of man. Take Napoleon 
Bonaparte, the soldier of fortune, the believer in his star of 
destiny, who rode over the angry waves of the French Revolution 
to fame and power and who finally went down to defeat at 
Waterloo. There was a time when Napoleon was a necessity 
to France. When there was need for some strong man to strike 
with slashing vigor and crush the French Revolution, when there 
was need for some political genius to boldly seize the reins of 

The Philosophy of Success. 149 

government and guide and control the restless steeds and give 
the emotional and mercurial Frenchmen a continuity of aim and 
purpose, when there was need for some military genius to add 
prestige and lustre to the fair name of France and extend the 
boundaries of her empire, Napoleon w^as the man of the hour. 

But there came a time when Europe grew tired of wars and 
rumors of wars and wanted peace, when France herself wearied 
of the carnival of bloodshed and of the lust of wholesale 
slaughtering. The times then called for a Julius Cresar, who 
could extend the olive branch of peace to those whom he con- 
quered; for an Abraham Lincoln, who could temper justice 
with mercy. But Napoleon, with his insatiable ambition, which 
was not balked by losing thousands of soldiers in the Russian 
campaign, thought not of peace or compromise. His only 
thought was, Europe must recognize one Lord, one God, and 
one master — and that the illustrious Napoleon Bonaparte. In 
a word, he was not the type of man called for by the turn of 
events. He didn't realize that the wheel of fortune produced a 
set of circumstances that called for a different type of man than 
the restless and insatiable Napoleon. So he finally became a 
menace to the prosperity of France and the peace of Europe. 
Almost all of Europe combined against him and France ditl not 
follow him as enthusiastically as she did in days of yore. And 
Napoleon lost out at Waterloo and was banished like a caged 
lion to St. Helena, not because Grouchy failed him at the critical 
moment, but because he was no longer the man of the hour, 
because he had played well his part as dominator and could 
not, like the versatile and resourceful Julius Caesar, adapt himself 
to the new role of pacificator, which the times and turn of 
events called for. 

U. S. Grant, the hero of the Civil War, was later a plaything in 
the hands of Wall Street stock gamblers and speculators. Grover 
Cleveland, who stood for honesty in politics, later allowed the 
sanction of his great name to be attached to certain shady insur- 
ance transactions. Admiral Dewey, the hero of Manila Bay, 
brought criticism down upon himself and made himself a target 
for ridicule by announcing himself as a candidate for the Presi- 
dential nomination. Horace Greeley, one of the pioneers in 
American journalism, possibly the most potent figure in Ameri- 

150 The African Abroad. 

can journalism, vainly imai^ined that he could run against General 
Grant and land in the \\ hite House. But he was so overwhelm- 
ingly defeated and buried under such an avalanche of votes, that, 
crushed in spirit and wrecked in mind and in body, he died 
broken-hearted soon afterwards. What are the lessons? U. S. 
Grant could bring a great war to a close ; Grover Cleveland 
could twice lead a great political power to victory ; but neither 
could sail the seas of high fniance; neither were matches for the 
manipulators of the stock markets. Admiral Dewey could crush 
a Spanish fleet and Horace Greeley could build up a powerful 
newspaper, but neither could build up around himself a formida- 
ble political machine, nor play the game of politics successfully. 
Both lacked political foresight and political horse sense. 
Just as an actor can play one part, and fail in another, so great 
men of action can play one role and fail in another rule, which 
requires an entirely different type of man. So, men who are 
suited for one crisis cannot fit into a different crisis. Abraham 
Lincoln was indispensable for the Civil War period, but could 
not have played the part of Caesar, Cromwell, Napoleon nor 
Bismarck, which required a rough, rugged adamantine spirit, who 
could ride roughshod over the rights and privileges of others ; 
nor fitted in the role of a Paul, a Luther, a Columbus, nor an 
Athanasius. Frederick Douglass, the orator whose voice rang 
out like a trumpet blast, was a trump card for the abolitionists ; 
but it is doubtful if he could have built up a Tuskeegee. Booker 
T. Washington, the creator of Tuskeegee Institute, could not 
have gotten the center of the stage when the anti-slavery contest 
waged. While it is true that the stress of revolt breeds revolu- 
tionists and reformers and awakes in men their puritanic fire, 
and that circumstances form and fashion, anfl emergencies draw 
out men, still it is true that the only men who ride on the crest 
of the wave are the men of the hour, who are suited for that 
particular crisis. Only a Julius Ccnesar, who was as much the 
embodiment of pure intellect as Aristotle, and whose mind was 
as comprehensive in its reach and grasp and as practical as the 
mind of Bacon, and who possessed such fertility of resources 
that he never met a Waterloo, could fit into every and all 

Then again it must be remembered that every artisan must 
serve his apprenticeship, and every linguist must learn the gram- 

The Philosophy of Success. 151 

mar and ^■ocabula^y of tlie language that he is about to master. 
So, too, the scientist, the writer, the teacher, the lawyer, the 
doctor, the preacher, the politician, and the business man serve 
their apprenticeship and learn the grammar and vocabulary of 
their calling". They are training certain faculties of observation, 
analysis and comparison and are developing certain innate gifts. 
They have had a certain experience and have mastered the details 
of their calling. Now, if they go into a different calling it will 
take them many years to acquire the experience and master the 
details and so attain the highest success. 

Even when an American philosopher like George Trumbull 
Ladd visits Japan and goes on a diplomatic mission to Korea, on 
Japan's Eastern question, there was no real change of occupa- 
tion. His whole life was a preparation for that splendid study. 
His travels in four continents sharpened his observation. His 
study of philosophy trained his analytical faculties and taught 
him to generalize. His study of psychology and history and 
ten years of experience as a pastor taught him to know the 
human heart. Is it any wonder then that he could give such a 
penetrating study of the Eastern situation ? Macaulay marvelled 
that Cromwell, who never saw a soldier until he was forty, 
should develop into such a wonderful military genius. But 
Cromwell was not doing anything new. For years he had been 
captain-general of his farm, had been studying human nature, 
bossing men and developing his administrative and executive 
gifts. All of his life he was training the faculties and acquiring 
the experience that later would serve him as general and lord 
protector. Daniel Webster had little time to formulate his reply 
to Hayne, but his whole life was a preparation for that sublime 
peroration. Abraham Lincoln was not learned in books, but 
his whole life as farmer, railsplitter, storekeeper, teacher and 
lawyer taught him to know human nature, trained his judgment, 
and was a splendid preparation for his later political career. 
Some may wonder what preparation did the gifted and versatile 
Julius Caesar have, who never seriously entered military service 
and took command of an army until he was forty-five. In youth 
and middle age, he was a scholar, litterateur, a Beau Brummel, 
an athlete, an oratorical demagogue and a political adventurer. 
What preparation was that for a military career? It was a great 


The African Abroad. 

preparation. It enabled Csesar to have a rich, wide and varied 
experience. The capacity that he showed as a politician to lead 
and organize men and marshal and mass forces, only received 
a wider field to work upon in his military conquests and work 
as master of Rome. 

Consider what a preparation Shakespeare had. His memory 
was stored with the sights and sounds and fragrant odors of 
the beautiful countryside around Stratford-on-Avon. He came 
up to London, where a brilliant group of scholars, writers and 
dramatists were holding sway. It was the age of scientific 
discoveries, of war, conquest, exploration and adventures, the 
age of Bacon, of Ben Jonson, of Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh 
and the Spanish Armadas. Shakespeare's own varied life as 
actor, playwright and manager of the theatre, his observing the 
rise and fall of individuals and of nations, expanded his knowl- 
edge of life indefinitely. And his constructive and creative 
imagination had a splendid mass of experience, observation and 
material to work upon. 

So wc may lay it down as an axiomatic truth that no man 
can succeed in a new vocation unless it calls in play faculties 
developed and experience acquired in his past life. I am not 
saying that a successful farmer, preacher, lawyer or teacher can 
do nothing else ; but they succeed best when they get into work 
which calls out the faculties already developed and calls into 
use the experience already acquired. Take a man like President 
Eliot, who has a commanding personality, an iron character and 
rare administrative and executive gifts. He could easily boss a 
plantation, manage a mill, captain a ship, command a brigade, 
fill the post of Mayor of Boston or Governor of Massachusetts, 
or Bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts. In war it might be 
possible for him to develop into a general of the Duke of Welling- 
ton, George Washington and U. S. Grant types. As a statesman 
he might (lcvclo[) into a George Washington. But he could never 
do the mathematical work of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, New- 
ton and Gibbs, the philosophical work of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, 
Hegel, Ladd, Royce and James, the historical work of Buckle, 
Ferrero and Sumner, and the literary work of Carlyle, Emerson 
and Taine, or the scientific work of Darwin, Helmholtz and 
Lord Kevlin. Why? President Eliot was not cut out to be a 

The Philosophy of Success. 153 

great philosopher, mathematician, scientist, historian or writer. 
He is of the executive and administrative type and could fit in 
any situation which required an executive and administrator of 
a high type. 

How do I know these facts? I consider how President Eliot 
has reconstructed the College course, the Graduate School, the 
Law School, the Medical School and Divinity School of Harvard 
University. I consider how he is familiar with every detail 
of the working of Harvard University from the management of 
the Library to the care of the buildings and grounds. This 
shows that President Eliot is a genius as an organizer and execu- 
tive and administrator. Then I hear that when the Big Mogul 
of the Harvard Medical School desired to know what the inno- 
vations in the Medical School meant, President Eliot replied, 
"It means that there is a new president of Harvard University." 
Then I read what President Eliot said in a controversy with 
President Roosevelt. He said that a college should inculcate a 
high sense of honor in the students. This shows that President 
Eliot has the force of character to command respect. 

Then I read his work on "American Contributions to Civiliza- 
tion." It is a thoughtful book, written in a lucid and vigorous 
style. But a philosophical genius like Hegel, Lotze, Buckle, 
Spencer and Sumner in treating that subject would have given 
a history of civilization, a sketch and protocol of philosophy of 
history and have struck off some striking and startling generali- 
zations that could apply to all ages and times. A literary genius 
like Taine, Carlyle and Emerson would either have given us the 
brilliant analysis and picturesque descriptions of Taine or thrown 
off those splendid passages of eloquent outbursts that lie scattered 
like nuggets of gold in the pages of Emerson and Carlyle. But 
President Eliot does neither. Now a philosophic mind like Ladd 
and Royce reveals itself even in a book like Ladd's "With Ito 
in Korea," or in an essay like Royce's "American Race Preju- 
dice," therefore I conclude that President Eliot would not have 
shone as a star of the first magnitude in the realm of Philosophy, 
Letters, etc. 

This contradicts the American doctrine that one man can do 
all things equally well. But the business men who have lost out 
in politics and the politicians who have lost out in business are 


The African Abroad. 

overlooked by the American doctrine. It is true, tliough, that 
the man wlio can manage one line of business successfully would 
be likely to succeed as a business man anywhere, etc. 

Every sermon must not only unfold and unravel the meanine;' 
that is wrapped up in the text, but it must make a practical appli- 
cation. And this sernionctte must make its application. In the 
capacity of lecturer, ficld-agent, and newspaper correspondent, 
I have visited about twenty-two states and over two hundred 
towns, cities and villages in the eastern half of the United States, 
and I am frequently reminded of Gray's famous lines: 

Full many a gem of purest ray serene, 
The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear, 
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air. 

For I find frequently a waste of valuable material. I find many 
a colored light shining under a bushel. For I regard valuable 
material wasted and a light shining under a bushel when a gifted 
and talented man is prevented from following the bent of his 
genius, the dialectics of his nature and working along the lines 
and in the spheres in which he is preeminently fitted to excel, 
but is forced by the exigences of circumstances into other lines 
and grooves for which he has no special love or aptitude or 

It often happens that the stones that the builders reject are 
worthy of becoming the head of the column. 

It might seem more American to say that all things are possi- 
ble to the buoyant and hopeful college graduate. But a man's 
natural equipment and endowment, the character of his educa- 
tion, training and experience determines that certain individuals 
are fitted to excel in certain spheres and fieUls of activity and 
other individuals in other spheres and fields of activity. 
Fortunate is the man who early in life finds his proper sphere. 

How can tiie individual then find his proper sphere and 
vocation. Life is the trying-out process. The man finds that 
he likes and can do certain things better than other things or 
that there is a big demand for others things and little compe- 
tition and he docs those things. Take the case of the learned 
professors. Many ministers give up the pastorate and active 
ministry to fill chairs in philosophy, systematic theology, or lit- 

The Philosophy of Success. 155 

erature in universities, or to go into literary work, or to edit a 
religious magazine, or to serve on a missionary committee. 
Many lawyers resign the active practice of law to go into busi- 
ness, or politics, or on the bench, or to accept a position as teacher 
in a law school. Many physicians resign the active practice of 
medicine to accept chairs in science or psychology or medicine 
in our universities, to edit a medical journal or to go into farming, 
business or literature. I have known other university professors 
to resign their chairs and accept a call to the pastorate of a large 
church. It is significant to note that one of the really famous 
teachers in Yale University when I was a student there, Professor 
George Trumbull Ladd, was trained for the ministry and spent 
ten years as pastor of a large western church. And Professor 
William Graham Sumner, the eminent historian, political econo- 
mist and sociologist, was also trained for the ministry. And it is 
also significant that the present president of Harvard University, 
Abbott Lawrence Lowell, was trained as a lawyer and spent ten 
years in the active practice of law. 

Why do these changes occur? The minister contributes a 
series of articles to a theological journal, or writes a book, or 
delivers a course of lectures before a divinity school. He imme- 
diately wins recognition as a philosopher and theologian. And 
it dawns upon his consciousness that his calling is to inspire the 
men who go out from the colleges and to give the world the 
benefit of his ripe scholarship and profound studies in religion, 
through the printed page and the written word. The lawyer 
writes a book upon law or delivers a course of lectures before 
a law school. His book is favorably received and his lectures 
awake enthusiasm and he sees that his talents will find fuller 
scope in the professor's chair than in the routine of office work. 
And this adjustment is constantly going on in other callings and 
professions. The point to fee established is that the individual 
does his best work when he enters the sphere where he is excep- 
tionally fitted to excel. 

The custom and practice in colored churches of sending 
financiers to fields that require brilliant and magnetic preachers 
and of sending mob orators to manage book concerns that 
require a Napoleon of finance, the custom and practice in colored 
colleges and universities of putting dilettantes and men of execu- 

155 The African Abroad. 

live and administrative ability in chairs of philosophy that 
require specialists, and of sending specialists and masters to 
the backwoods of the South, prevails because philosophy, as the 
study of man, the microcosm, does not seem to be tauj^dit in 
many of the Negro colleges and universities. Hence the critical 
Afro-Americans lack perspective. 

I know of few Xegro colleges or universities where psychol- 
ogy as the study of man, acted upon by and reacting upon his 
environment, the creature and yet the master of circumstances, 
is taught. I know of few Negro colleges or universities where 
philosophy as the interpretation of the drama of the unfolding 
of the human spirit in history, as an interpretation of the pageant 
of life, as a disclosure of the worth and value of the human per- 
sonality and of the ultimate purpose and meaning of man's 
earthly career, is taught. I know of no Negro college or uni- 
versity where the history of philosophy as the strivings of giant 
intellects and lofty spirits to rationally explain and account fur 
the universe, its mysteries and miracles, to know it through and 
through and understand the riddle of existence, is taught. 

What teachers' college, or school of pedagogj- or chair of 
philosophy in Negro universities realizes the Greek inscription 
over the Temple of Delphi, "Know Thyself," and presents the 
study of man which is found in Hegel's "Philosophy of History," 
Lotze's "Microcosmus," Buckle's "History of Civilization," 
Taine's "History of English Literature," Carl Snyder's "The 
World Machine," and Carlyle's "Sartor Resartus"? 

The result is that colored students graduate from Negro col- 
leges and universities without having studied man, the key to 
the meaning of the universe. Consider the story of the rise of 
man. He began life naked, or wearing the skins of animals, 
and dwelling in caves. He was weak and frail in body compared 
to the animals that surrounded him ; but he possessed a brain 
that could think and reason and plan, and dexterous hands that 
could execute. He first ate raw meat and his first rude weapons 
were a club and a heavy stone attached to a sling. He discovered 
the use of fire and began to cook his food and fashion bronze and 
iron and steel imi)lcincnts and weapons. With the sword, battle 
axe, spear and bow and arrows, he was more than a match for 
the animals. 

The Philosophy of Success. 157 

Man's first conquest was the conquest of the animal world. 
First he slaughtered the animals for food and killed them in 
self-defense. Then he domesticated the horse, the cow, the goat, 
the sheep, the dog, the cat, and various kinds of the feathered 
tribe, making them work for him, bear him on his journeys, and 
supply him with food. 

But while he is making his conquest of the animal kingdom 
he is making his conquest over Nature. First, he puts on clothing 
of skin or hair, and erects a rude tent or shelter to protect him 
from the tempests and the blasts of winter. Then he begins to 
find pasturage for his sheep and medicine and balm from the 
roots and herbs. Then he begins to cultivate the earth and to 
wrest a living from the soil. Then he harnesses the wind, the 
waterfall, steam and electricity to do his work and carry him 
over land and sea, and light up his streets and cities. He even 
uses the ether of space to transmit his messages across the sea. 
He flies through the air, with his aeroplanes and biplanes. He 
reclaims the wilderness and the forest, transforming them into 
prosperous cities. He makes quiet, peaceful valleys hum with his 
mills and factories. He erects his skyscrapers, builds palatial 
steamers, which are really floating palaces, bridges chasms and 
tunnels mountains, counts the stars, measures their distances 
and magnitudes and computes the rapidity of the movements of 
the whirling suns and their planetary bodies. 

But while man has been doing this, he has been fighting and 
conquering his land, learning to dwell in peace and harmony 
with his fellows in the city and has submitted himself to orderly 
civilized life, subject to law and government, resting upon the 
family, which has been sanctioned by the institution of marriage. 

But as soon as he plants his feet firmly upon the earth he 
begins to look up to the skies and build the ideal world around 
his real world. First, we have the world of mythology, which 
reaches its noblest expression in the Greek and Roman and Norse 
mythology; then we find men building altars to unknown and 
strange gods. Finally the Hebrew race grasped the monotheistic 
conception, and the idea of the one and only God took possession 
of mankind. And while he was doing that he was building up 
his art world, constructing beautiful homes, composing sublime 
music, carving clay and chiseling marble into the likeness of the 

15^ The African Abroad. 

human form, making the canvas to speak witli Hfe, and erecting 
the Grecian temples and Gothic cathedrals. And while man 
was soaring into the ideal realms of religion he was building up 
the structure of his mathematics and science and enlarging the 
boundaries of his mathematical and scientific knowledge, read- 
ing the history of the world in the rocks and crags and reaching 
out to a knowledge of the starry heavens above. 

But the Hindoo seers, the Hebrew prophets, the Greek philoso- 
phers and sages of different lands were beginning to ask pro- 
found questions regarding the meaning and mystery of human 
life. They began to inquire about the why, the whence 
and the whither, and to ask, "Whence came I ? Why ain I 
here? Whither am I going? What can I know? What must 
I do? And what may I hope?" Man asked these questions 
because he was a metaphysical being, who longed to get at the 
bottom of things, as well as a toiling, struggling, fighting being, 
who evolved a social and political life, expressed his yearnings 
in art and religion and his craving for a unitary conception of 
the universe in mathematics and science. Finally, comprehensive 
cosmos, embracing intellects like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Kant, 
Hegel, Lotze, Royce and Ladd came along, who sought to unify 
and to reach a conception of the universe, which w-ould explain 
the world of politics and government, the world of science and 
mathematics and the world of art and religion, and embrace all 
in that supreme fact of the universe which faith calls God and 
philosophy the Absolute. 

So we see that philosophy, psychology, sociology, political 
economy, history and literature but study the deeds and achieve- 
ments and yearnings and strivings of that being who is not sat- 
isfied when he has reared a roof over his head and has fed and 
clothed himself and his family, but who seeks to reconstruct the 
real world after the ideals of the human mind and to give 
expression in philosophy, religion, art, anil literature to the 
deathless hopes and immortal yearnings of the human soul, and 
who does not fulfil the end of his being until he has realized 
"the mighty hopes which make us men." So the study of phi- 
losophy and psychology, like the study of sociology, political 
economy, history and literature is but the study of man. But 
in what Negro college or university is philosophy and psychology 

* The Philosophy of Success. 159 

thus taught as the interpretation of the drama of human history, 
as the interpretation of the pageant of Hfe? 

All honor to the Negro schools, colleges and universities for 
so nobly equipping the freedman for his duties in the Southland. 
But I am afraid that if Cardinal Newman or Matthew Arnold 
were to visit the colored colleges and universities, Lincoln Uni- 
versity alone might possibly impress them as the colored school 
which has lighted the torch of its inspiration upon the heights 
of Mount Parnassus and perpetuated the spirit of those 
Grecian thinkers who on the porch and in the groves of the 
academy taught ambitious Grecian youths to look up to the 
skies and feel their kinship with the Divine. 


The Success of Philosophy. 

It may be objected by these critical A fro- Americans that it is 
all very well to philosophize and speculate and write disserta- 
tions, disputations and treatises ; but the nineteenth century calls 
for men who will not talk and write, but who can do things. 
They say, "Philosophy and philosophizing is all right, but this 
modern age demands action. It calls for men who can act, not 
for men who can talk." 

But it may be well to inquire into the respective parts played 
in history by great men of thought and great men of action. I 
will compare the four greatest men of action with the six great- 
est men of thought. Oliver Cromwell was the greatest ruler and 
soldier produced in the Reformation or post-Reformation period. 
He towered above Gustavus Adolphus, W'allenstein, Tilly, 
Charles XII of Sweden, the white-plumed Henry of Navarre and 
the Duke of Alarlborough as a military and political genius. 
Indeed he is the greatest man of action that the Anglo-Saxon 
race has produced. He was a colossal figure, fit to have coped 
with Hannibal, Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and Napoleon. 

And John Calvin was the greatest intellectual and moral force, 
the greatest man of thought produced in the Reformation or 
post-Reformation period. It might be well to inquire into the 
permanent influence of the greatest man of thought and the 
greatest man of action produced by tiie Protestant Revolution, 
that tremendous upheaval that shook Europe from center to 
circumference, changed the character of Sweden, Holland, Ger- 
many, Switzerland, Scotland and England, aflfected France, 
Spain and Austria, became the dominant influence in the history 
of America and was almost as widespread in its results as the 
rise and spread of Christianity. 

I presume that John Morley, who rose to eminence both in 
the realm of politics and statesmanship on the one hand and in 
the realm of philosophical, historical and literary criticism on 
the other hand, would be as safe a man to quote from as any 

The Success of Philosophy. i6i 

other; for in him the practical was blended with the literary 
and philosophical. 

On page 124 of \^olume IV of his Aliscellanies, John Morley 
says: "To omit Calvin from the forces of Western evolution 
is to read history with one eye shut." Hobbes and Cromwell 
were giants in their several ways; but if we consider their 
powers of binding men together by stable association and organi- 
zation, their permanent influence over the moral convictions and 
conduct of vast masses of men for generation after generation, 
the marks that they have set on social and political institutions, 
wherever the Protestant faith prevails from the country of Knox 
to the country of Jonathan Edwards, can we fail to see that 
compared with Calvin not in capacity of intellect but in power 
of giving formal shape to a world, Hobbes and Cromwell are 
hardly more than names written in water. And what was Cal- 
vin's propaganda? INIark Pattison has said, "It was a rude 
attempt, indeed, but then it was the first which the modern 
times had seen to combine individual and equal freedom with 
strict self-imposed law; to found society on the common endeavor 
after moral perfection. The scheme of policy which he con- 
trived, however, mixed with the erroneous notions of his day 
embrace at least the two cardinal laws of human society, self- 
control as the foundation of virtue, self-sacrifice as the con- 
dition of the common weal." 

Then there was Alexander the Great. Every school boy knows 
that he tamed the horse Bucephalus, that he cut the Gordian knot, 
and at thirty-three, before Cromwell or Csesar really started on 
their careers, wept because there were no more worlds to conquer, 
and yet the dynasties that he founded crumbled into pieces in a 
couple of centuries; while Aristotle, the intellectual light of 
Greece, ruled the intellect and thought of Europe for two thou- 
sand years. The only permanent result of Alexander's conquest 
was that by disseminating the Greek culture and language over 
the East, he made it possible for the Greek New Testament to 
be widely read and understood in the East. He but pre})ared 
the way for the spread of the ideas of a greater individuality, 
whose shoe latchets he was unworthy to unloose. 

Then there was the great Julius Cresar, the master of Rome, 
whom Ferrero, Mommsen, Hegel, Shakespeare, DeQuincey, 

i62 The African Abroad. 

Froude, and Frederic Harrison unite in proclaiming the great- 
est figure in luiman history, the foremost citizen of the world, 
the man who gave his name to succeeding Roman emperors, 
who made his name stand for imperialism in government, and 
whose name translated in Russian is Czar and in German is 
Kaiser. As Cassius said, "He doth bestride this narrow world 
like a colossus." And yet, compared to the work of Jesus of 
Nazareth, whether you call him the Son of Man or the God- 
Man, or the God-like Man, his work was as the reflected light 
of the moon to the steady shining of the burning ball that lights 
up our solar system. 

The empire that the great Julius founded was overthrown 
and broken into fragments within three centuries of his death, 
by the surging tides of barbarian invasion ; but the kingdom 
that Christ founded has survived for nearly twenty centuries. 
Of Him it may well be sung : 

Jesus shall reign where'er the sun. 
Does his successive journeys run. 
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore 
Till moons shall wax and wane no more. 

The only permanent result of the great Casar's work was that 
by welding the Roman Empire from Britain to Asia, from Ger- 
many to Africa, into a unit, by integrating it and centralizing 
its power in Rome, he paved the way for the spread of Chris- 
tianity and prepared the way for the spread of the ideas of a 
more powerful personality. Like Alexander's work, his work 
was that of a pioneer and pathfinder. Alexander the Great gave 
Christianity a language in which it could speak to the East ; while 
Julius Csesar gave it a road on which it could travel throughout 
the known world. 

Had it not been for the rise and spread of Christianity, the 
beneficent results of the Greek and Roman civilization would 
have been lost to the world. Tiie savage hordes fro<n the north 
poured in like a mighty flood and overwhelmed and toppled over 
the corrupt and decrepit Rome, a ghost of the Rome of the 
Republic. She lay at the mercy of the sturdy and savage Goths. 
But one thing overawed and impressed the victorious German 
tribes, and that was the Roman civilization as expressed in the 

The Success of Philosophy. i6 


Roman Catholic Church. The Goths conquered Rome ; but they 
\vere conquered by the Christian rehg-ion. It was not Roman 
law, Roman jurisprudence, and Roman civil government that 
tamed the fierce Germanic tribes, taught them to restrain their 
passions and held society together during the ten silent cen- 
turies which have been termed the Dark Ages; but it was the 
Christian religion as embodied and incarnated in the Roman 
Catholic Church. Rome gave the Christian religion an eccle- 
siastical organization in which to shelter the precious seed of 
divine truth. But it was not the ecclesiastical organization that 
revolutionized ancient civilization; but the fructifying and ger- 
minating ideas that Jesus threw out and that the Christian 
missionaries carried to the forests of Germany and the British 
Isles. The Rome that Julius Csesar built gave Christianity a 
scabbard; but Jesus Christ gave it a sword. 

And then there was Napoleon Bonaparte, whose rise was 
even more remarkable than that of Julius Caesar. Caesar was 
born great, but Napoleon rose from the ranks; Caesar was of 
aristocratic birth, the nephew of Alarius, the famous conqueror 
of the Cimbri and Teutons and the son-in-law of Cima; while 
Napoleon started life as a charity student and became such a 
potent figure that he dominated most all of Europe, changed the 
map of Europe, made and unmade kings, and had kings and 
queens waiting in his antechambers and trembling with fear 
upon his frown. 

And yet he went down to crushing and final defeat at Waterloo 
and vanished completely as the star performer in European his- 
tory. Henceforth an exile at St. Helena, he could only helplessly 
watch the wheel of fortune and the turn of events. The France 
whose glory he strove to make shine like the sun in the skies, 
is to-day weaker as a nation and power than England, Germany 
and Russia, whose strength he strove to break and whose spirit 
to crush. As a political force. Napoleon left France no stronger 
or vaster than he found it. He can not be called a gfreat moral 
force, when all Europe rose in rebellion against his tyrannical 
despotism. Indeed it might seem that Napoleon's chief service 
to Europe was by his ruthless policy to rouse the spirit and 
manhood and self-respect of Germany and the other European 
States which he trampled upon. 

1^4 The African Abroad. 

A champion of liberty at first, he afterwards became the king 
of despots. While his Napoleonic code was valuable, it was 
not the dominating influence in European history. Napoleon's 
work, which was to impress Europe with the ideas of the French 
Revolution, was like an avalanche, a cyclone or a mountain 
freshet, which sweeps everything before it at first and changes 
the face of nature; but whose work of destruction and change 
can hardly be noticed a century later. 

Brilliant, creative, constructive and magnetic as he was, the 
conquests of Napoleon Bonaparte pale into insignificance before 
the conquests of the followers of the prophet Mohammed. 

Mohammed welded a few Bedouin tribes into a unity througli 
the idea of monotheism and sent them out under the flaming 
banner of his blazing faith and burning enthusiasm to conquer 
the world. In less than a century the fanatical and zealous 
Arabs had conquered territory four times as great as the 
United States. Like a tidal wave, Mohammedanism swept over 
Asia, Africa and Europe. It rolled into Constantinople, Italy, 
Spain and France. That wave rolled triumphantly along, 
threatening to overwhelm Europe, until it was turned back by 
Charles Martcl and his Franks at the battle of Tours. Even 
the combined strength of Europe could not wrest the Holy Land 
from the Infidels. And to-day the followers of the Prophet 
Mohammed are as numerous in Asia and Africa as the sands of 
the sea. Napoleon shook Europe as no man since Alartin Luther 
has done. lie plunged all Europe into a series of wars as 
Luther did. But he was the matchless champion of the ideas 
of Rousseau, while Luther was the creator of an epoch. 

Martin Luther broke the fetters of mediaeval superstition and 
unfettered the human intellect. The political and religious and 
intellectual liberty of modern times dates its birth from his 
nailing his ninety-five theses to the church door at Erfurt. He 
applied the match and the combustible material burst into the 
flame of the Protestant Reformation. That flame swept over 
Europe and Great Britain. It kindled the torches of Calvin, 
Zwingli, Gustavus Adolphus, William of Orange, Knox, Hamp- 
den, Cromwell, Milton and the Pilgrim Fathers. He made half 
of Europe and half of America Protestant. The armies of five 
nations rose to defend with the sword the principles that Luther 

The Success of Philosophy. 165 

preached. Scholars crossed the seas to plant his principles in 
a new world. And he scattered like a spark the germs of 
scientific, philosophic, relit^ious and political progress over 
Europe and America, which bore fruit a thousand fold. Just 
as Caesar's crossing the Rubicon and the birth of Christ were the 
epochal moments of ancient history, so Columbus's discovery of 
America and Luther's nailing his theses, burning the pope's bull, 
and confronting the dignitaries of the Roman Catholic Church 
at the Diet of Worms were the turning points in modern history. 
Columbus discovered a new world, and Luther extended indefi- 
nitely the horizon and boundaries of men's thought. 

And it may even be questioned whether Napoleon changed the 
course of events more than Lnmanuel Kant, the lonely thinker 
of Konigsburg, the Copernicus of modern philosophy, who said 
that two things filled him with awe, the starry heavens above 
him and the moral law within him, who started the wave of 
German transcendentalism, which through Fichte, Schelling, 
Hegel, Lotze and Paulsen swept over Germany; and then 
crossing the seas, influenced England and Scotland through 
Carlyle, Coleridge, Green and the Caird brothers, and America 
through Emerson, Royce, Ladd and Harris, and who also set 
in motion that wave of agnosticism which spoke in Hamilton, 
Mansel and Spencer, and that wave of religious fervor which 
uttered itself in Schleiermacher, Ritschl, Kaftan and Hermann. 
It has been said by an historian that the influence of Kant upon 
the nineteenth century thought was equal to that of the French 
Revolution. Compared to the work of Alohammed, Luther and 
Immanuel Kant the work of Napoleon was as the passing of 
the comet or brilliant meteor to the steady light of a fixed star 
of the first magnitude. 

We might go further and show that all of the great move- 
ments of men, which have changed the course of human history, 
Christianity, Mohammedanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, the 
Crusades, the Protestant Reformation, the American Revolution, 
the French Revolution and the anti-slavery movement, were 
caused by a few thinkers propagating, disseminating and scatter- 
ing broadcast a few germ ideas. 

Nothing is so powerful as ideas. They have toppled over 
thrones, overthrown monarchies, destroyed cities, changed 

i66 Till- African Abroad. 

dynasties and decided the fate of nations. Stone and brick and 
marble decay and cities rise and fall and pass away ; but ideas 
are indestructible. They are planted in the minds of the young 
of each generation and live on forever. The Parthenon on the 
Acropolis and the Gothic cathedral are crumbling and decaying. 
The Coliseum is a mass of ruins and the temple of Solomon is 
no more; but the imperishable works of Homer, Pindar, Sappho, 
Sophocles, /ILschylcs, ICuripides, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, 
Demosthenes, \'irgil, Cicero, Dante and the inspired Hebrew 
prophets still live in the hearts and minds of men. Carthage, 
Babylon and Nineveh are no more. Rome, Athens, Jerusalem, 
Alexandria, \'enice, Florence and Constantinople are but names 
that conjure up a greatness that has vanished and a glory that 
has passed away. But through the literature they have left 
behind, some of the ideas underlying the Hebrew, Greek and 
Roman civilization still rule the intellect and thought of men. 

Great philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Xewton, 
Bacon, Kant, Hegel, Spencer, Carlyle and Emerson with com- 
prehensive world-embracing intellects only come once in a while, 
like wandering stars or visitors from other stellar worlds. Some- 
times one does not appear in a century ; but when it does step 
upon the shores of time it creates an epoch. 

Verily it is true of thinkers like Jesus, the God-man, Abraham, 
Moses, Elijah, Amos, Isaiah, Paul, Athanasius, Mohammed, 
Peter the tiermit, Wyckliffe, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Zwingli, 
Milton, Wesley, Rousseau, \'oltaire, Samuel Adams, Benjamin 
Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Daniel Web- 
ster, Sumner, Garrison and Phillips and of martyrs like Savona- 
rola, Bruno, Huss, Latimer, Ridley, and John Brown, wIki 
launch great ideas on the sea of thought, that one shall chase a 
thousand and two shall put ten thousand to flight. While their 
work was not as dazzling to the eye or as appealing to the 
imagination as the work of Miltiades, Themistocles, Alexander, 
Caesar, Charles Martel, Charlemagne, William the Conqueror, 
Columbus, Cromwell, Richelieu, Peter the Great, Frederick the 
Great, Chatham, \\'ellington, Washington, Lincoln, Grant, Napo- 
leon and Bismarck, it was perhaps more basal and elemental, 
for it affected the forces that work unseen beneath the surface, 
the springs of human conduct, which sometimes burst forth in 

The Success of Philosophy. 167 

a volcanic eruption, which at other times well up as a fountain 
or an artesian well, and at other times pour forth like a mountain 
torrent or flow like a river or again silently lift themselves as 
do the forces which build up the magnificent oak. 

Ideas plus personality make human history. The difference 
between Rome of the days of Nero, when Christian maidens were 
thrown to the lions, and Boston of to-day, the stronghold of 
woman suffrage, is not so much a difference in material splendor, 
for Rome had her Coliseum, her Appian way, her aqueducts, 
baths and splendid buildings and statues; but it is a difference 
in the ideas underlying the two civilizations. The fusing of 
the Christian conception of the worth and value and sacredness 
of the human soul, in the presence of the Almighty, with the 
Teutonic reverence for personality and individuality, has trans- 
formed the Grceco-Roman civilization of the Caesars into the 
twentieth century civilization of the Anglo-Saxon race. 

The American civilization of the twentieth century is built and 
erected upon four ideas — the brotherhood of man, fraternity; 
the Anglo-Saxon idea of representative government or right to 
have a voice in one's government — justice; the Lutheran idea 
of the right of each person to interpret the Scripture for himself 
and make his peace himself with his God — religious liberty ; and 
the Rousseau idea of the equality of man. In the framework of 
these four basal ideas, the superstructure of our splendid Ameri- 
can civilization has been based. So ideas are not so impotent 
and resultless after all. 

In fact we may say that the greatness of a race or nation is 
measured by the greatness of the idea that dominates it; by the 
greatness of the ideal that it endeavors to realize in its national 
or racial life. The same is true of an individual. C?esar, Alex- 
ander and Napoleon were dominated by the love of glory, by 
personal power and military conquests. That idea possessed 
them and it shaped and moulded their lives. President Eliot of 
Harvard was dominated by the idea of personality, by the idea 
of self-mastery, by the idea of the intrinsic worth and gran- 
deur of the human soul, and the dignity of the human person- 
ality. The result was that he developed into a man of iron 
character and commanding personality. An idea is more durable 
than hammered brass or monuments of bronze. The pioneers of 

i68 The .■}frica)i Abroad. 

freedom have not worked or labored in vain. The greatest 
battles have been fought and the greatest victories won, not by 
generals on the battlefield, by ministers in the council chambers, 
by statesmen in legislative halls, or by the barons of Wall Street ; 
but by the lonely thinkers, who in their studies by the seaside, 
on the country roadside, in the desert, or on the mountain tops 
evolved the ideas that roused a nation or a race to arms and to 
action and changed the course of human history. The Crusades, 
the Thirty Years' War in Germany, the heroic struggle of the 
Netherlanders and the victories of Gustavus Adolphus were 
prompted by the desire to vindicate with a sword a few ideas. 
The Crusades were probably the most titanic series of struggles 
the world has ever witnessed. They were characterized by 
deeds of heroism that put to shame the achievements of the 
Macedonian Phalanx, Caesar's Tenth Legion and Napoleon's Old 
Guard. They are only matched by the valor and process of the 
Homeric heroes and Leonidas' three hundred. It was the West 
against the East, the Crescent against the Cross. Europe was 
endeavoring to wrest the Holy Land from Asia. 

Did ever a general lead such a mighty army as surged out of 
Europe to vindicate the Cross? Did the followers of any gen- 
eral fight with such fiery zeal and resistless ardor as the fol- 
lowers of Mohammed and Ciirist, when the two rival faiths 
clashed under the walls of the Holy City. The Christians were 
fighting for the ideas of Christ, the Mohammedans for the 
ideas of Mohammed. The Crusades were not wars of conquest ; 
but a struggle for the supremacy of ideas. How often is the 
general on the battlefield, and the leader of a political party, 
but an instrument to realize and actualize the ideas of a thinker 
like Christ, Luther, Rousseau, Chatham and Samuel Adams? 

But why have I written at length of the philosophy of suc- 
cess, defined philosophy as the interpretation of life, and spoken 
of the dynamic force of ideas? 

There is a colored clique and coterie in Washington, D. C, 
whose hobby is to belittle and make light of colored men of 
New England birth, breeding and culture. They mean well ; 
but they don't understand the forces that work in history. They 
don't know that ideas are motive forces and they don't under- 
stand the dynamic power of ideas. They don't know that men 

The Success of Philosophy. 169 

of thought have moved the world to action in the past and 
direct affairs of tc-day. They don't know that ideas have revo- 
lutionized human society and rule the world to-day. They 
don't know that great men, with the breath of the Almighty 
upon them, are the making forces in history. 

They evidently have not read the "clothes philosophy" of 
Carlyle's "Sartor Resartus" and believe that the history of civili- 
zation consists in the evolution of dress, when in reality it 
consists in the evolution of ideas and application of ideas to 
life. Beau Brummel, the king of dandies and arbiter of dress 
and fashion, is their patron saint. And I presume that they 
rank him as greater than the God-man, Christ, greater than 
Moses, Paul, Luther, Wesley, Carlyle, Emerson, Cresar, Alex- 
ander, Cromwell, Napoleon, Columbus, Washington, Grant and 

They don't understand the nature of things and they don't 
understand the world in which they are living. They have no 
appreciation of those colored scholars who in their poverty and 
adversity uphold their dignity, their manhood and their ideals. 
The situation is that colored men, w-ho are not intellectually 
abreast of the times, who are ignorant of these fundamental and 
basal ideas, which are the common property and stock in trade of 
every graduate of Leipsic, Berlin, Heidelberg, Gottingen, Oxford, 
Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Yale and Harvard, and which 
are in current use and circulation in university circles everywhere, 
by pull and influence get important positions on the faculty and 
trustee boards of our leading Negro colleges and universities 
and sit in judgment upon and pronounce as successes or failures 
Yale and Harvard graduates, who transcend them as much in 
range of information, comprehensive grasp of mind and philo- 
sophical and psychological insight as Socrates, Roger Bacon, 
Bruno and Galileo transcended their accusers and judges. 

But the breed of carping critics, of scoffers and mockers is 
of ancient lineage. We hear of Thersites in Homer's "Iliad," of 
the Greek sophists, and of the Pharisees and Sadducees in 
Christ's time. We must be careful to differentiate between the 
scoffers and mockers and the real critics. Montaigne, Lessing, 
Matthew Arnold, Carlyle, Emerson, Professor Charles Eliot 
Norton, Professor George T. Ladd, and Professor William 

lyo Tlu- African Abroad. 

Graham Sumner are real critics. Tliey have ideals of life, stand- 
ards of value, by which they estimate men ; and points of view 
by which they look at life and literature and art. 

But the scoffers and mockers are not serious and earnest 
thinkers like the real thinkers. They are not men of solid 
learninjT and ripe scholarship, but they are shallow, superficial 
dilettantes, who possess a thin veneer of culture, a smatterint^ of 
learning, and who are more smart than wise, and possess more 
flippancy than brains. Their method is to ridicule and belittle 
a man and speak of him in contemptuous tones. Their method 
is not to take him seriously, but to laugh him out of court. 
They jeer and mock at him. They mockingly put the crown of 
thorns on the head of the .Saviour and the purple robes upon 
him. They jeeringly called upon him, who had saved others, to 
come down from the cross and save himself. 

The Greek sophists laughed at Socrates and made fun of 
him. The Greek Stoics and Epicureans in Athens also called 
Paul a babbler. And these same scoffers and mockers ridiculed 
the maiden speeches of Demosthenes and Disraeli and called 
Christopher Columbus and Robert Fulton crazy. Thus we see 
that the first characteristics of the scoffers and mockers is never 
to take a man seriously but to take him as a huge joke. 

The second characteristic of tliese scoffers and mockers is 
that they invariably prophecy failure. They asked, '"Can any 
good thing come out of Nazareth?'' 

The third characteristic of these scoffers and mockers is that 
they called names. The names Christians, Protestants, Quakers, 
Methodists, Yankees and Abolitionists were originally coined by 
scoffers and mockers in derision. But those who were ridiculed 
and jeered at, at first, made those opprobious epithets names 
to be proud of and banners under which to enroll followers. 

A fourth characteristic of these scoffers and mockers is that 
they are as barren as the proverbial fig tree. They found no 
cities, build no institutions of learning, propagate no religion 
and produce no great works in literature, art, philosophy and 
science. They are not constructive and creative geniuses. They 
are not profound students of anything, but are mere dabblers, 
dilettantes and surface skimmers. They never stamp the 
impress of their individuality upon history. The only record 

The Success of Philosophy. 171 

they have left behind them is that of having- railed at men who 
were climbing- the ladder of fame and mounting the steps of 
human achievement. Take Beau Brummel, the prince of dandies 
and mockers and scoffers. What do we know about him? Two 
things stand out in his life. He was faultless in his attire, 
critical about the set of a coat, or style of a hat ; and when 
he was snubbed, made fun of Prince George for being fat. 
Such is the fame of the master of railery. 

Thersites of Homer's "Iliad," the Scribes and Pharisees, who 
mocked Christ, the Greek sophists who railed at Socrates, the 
Greek Stoics and Epicureans who called the Apostle Paul a 
babbler, the shallow critics who ridiculed the maiden speech of 
Demosthenes and Disraeli, who regarded Columbus as an imprac- 
tical and visionary dreamer, who spoke of Fulton's steamer as 
"Fulton's Folly" and who predicted failure for Lincoln's states- 
manship and Grant's campaign, are dead ; but their mantles 
have fallen upon the shoulders of some American Negroes, and 
through a succession, that is by no means an Apostolic succession, 
a double portion of their spirit has descended upon a few Wash- 
ington Negroes. Yes, the Scribes and Pharisees, the Greek 
sophists and the historic mockers and scofTers are dead but they 
live in the spirit. They live in critical Afro-Americans, who 
speak with scorn and contempt of Negro authors, scholars, think- 
ers and philosophers. They live in prominent colored educators 
in Washington, D. C, who refer to colored men who are strug- 
gling and making personal sacrifices to publish works on philoso- 
phy, sociology, history and literature as educated loafers. Harvard 
tramps and literary bums. These beraters of Yale and Har- 
vard graduates live in Washington, D. C, and are men of execu- 
tive and administrative ability and mean well, but lack the 
psychological and literary insight, the comprehensive grasp of 
mind and power of philosophical analysis which a critic of other 
men should possess. 

Pope, the inimitable coiner of matchless phrases and inimita- 
ble distiller of the world's wisdom in choice lines, has immortal- 
ized this breed of men in his much quoted lines. 

A little learning is a dangerous thing, 
Drink deep or touch not the Pierian Spring, 
For shallow drops intoxicate the hrain, 
But drinking deeply sobers it again. 

17* The African Abroad. 

This is the class tliat Christ and Socrates routed, and put 
to fiij^dit so often. They think they know it all, when in reality 
they know but little. They imaj^ine that the wisdom of the 
ages is contained within the narrow confines of their brains, 
when in reality but a mere fragment and segment of the world's 
knowledge has been grasped by them. And the object of this 
chapter is to do to men of their ilk what Socrates did to the 
Greek sophists, disillusion lliem, teach them that they know 
nothing and teach them that humility, which sends a disciple 
to sit at the feet of the masters of them that know. 

But there is a difference between the Greek sophists, the 
Scribes and Pharisees and the Negro critics of cultured men. 
The Greek sophists, the Scribes and Pharisees had an intel- 
lectual pride and arrogance. They did not know as much as 
they thought they knew, and overrated and overestimated them- 
selves; but they still revered learning and respected culture, 
nevertheless. But the critical Afro-Americans dwell in that 
happy state of which the poet has said, 

Where ignorante is bliss 
'Tis folly to be wise. 

and they exemplify the maxim. 

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. 

For the colored sophists. Scribes and Pharisees differ from 
the Greek sophists and Hebrew Scribes and Pharisees in that 
they despise culture and learning and scholarship. They speak 
contemptuously of book learning and of men who have mastered 
books and philosophy. And they contemptuously refer to men 
who have devoted their lives to the pursuit of literature, science 
and philosophy as failures. Now it seems to me that no race 
needs the wisdom and culture and knowledge that may be derived 
from books more than the Negro race. \\'hen I reflect that no 
Negro scholar has yet made a distinct or positive contribution 
to philosophy, theology, science, philology, sociology and political 
economy ; when I reflect that only five colored writers, Crummell, 
DuBois, Kelly Miller, Archibald Grimke and C. C. Cook, have 
won recognition for sociological treatment of the race question ; 
when I reflect that only two Negro theologians, Blydcn and 

The Success of Philosophy. 173 

Grimke, have really mastered philosophy, and that only one colored 
orator, Professor William H. H. Hart, has risen to the sublimity 
of Burke and the dignity and majesty of Webster ; when I reflect 
that on great occasions when colored educators, clerg\'men and 
politicians address white audiences, they constantly fail to rise 
to the dignity of the occasion or utter only meaningless platitudes, 
truisms and commonplaces, — I feel that the very thing so many 
Negro leaders despise, books, scholarships, learning and culture, 
are the very things that they need. I always tremble when I 
see a half-educated Negro educator, bishop, clergyman or poli- 
tician rise before a white audience. 

It is often said that a college or university education is not 
absolutely necessary for a colored man, as so many colored men 
of great natural ability, like Frederick Douglass, Governor Pinch- 
back, Robert Smalls, B. K. Bruce, Booker T. Washington and 
some of the Methodist bishops and Baptist clerg}'men and heads 
of southern schools, who were either born slaves or received 
little or no scholastic training, rose to eminence and became men 
of national reputation. But the greatness of most of these men 
is relative rather than a real greatness. Compared with the 
mass of Negroes, they tower as giants and titans. But when 
measured with the intellectual giants of the white race like Burke, 
Gladstone, Alexander Hamilton, Daniel Webster, Charles Sum- 
ner, W'endell Phillips, Elihu Root, Professor Willard Gibbs, 
E. H. Harriman and J. J. Hill, these colored colossi shrink to 
the common size of man. They are great men when measured 
by the tape with which men size up white men. We frequently 
hear white men say, "He is smart for a Negro." 

And we frequently have the spectacle of distinguished Negro 
divines preaching sermons on "De sun do move and de earph 
am square," and tracing the genealogy of races from the 
descendants of Noah. Now the Bible is a fountain and store- 
house of moral and spiritual wisdom and divine truth ; but a 
white clergyman or theologian, who would base his geology, 
astronomy and anthropology upon a literal interpretation of 
the Pentateuch would lose caste and standing as a thinker and a 
>cholar. Then we have presidents of Negro State and denomi- 
I national colleges and principals of colored high and normal 
schools, who could not prepare an address that was fit for 

174 The African Abroad. 

publication or worthy of beinj:^ delivered before a body of 
learned men, without pressing some literary men into ser\'ice. 
And yet such men are held up before colored students as exam- 
ples of self-made Negroes, who rose to prominence without the 
aid of a college education, when in reality these intellectual 
giants of the Negro race are intellectual pigmies when compared 
with the great men of the white race. 

Why are they thus rated and estimated? The immortal Fred- 
erick Douglass answered this question by saying, "Measure us 
not by the heights to which we have attained but by the depths 
from which we have come," and by saying of a friend, "Like 
myself he started from the lowest rounds of life's ladder, a 
slave." It is because the prominent Negroes are members of a 
proscribed, ostracised, oppressed and persecuted race; it is 
because they did not have the advantages of a college or univer- 
sity training; it is because opportunities and advantages offered 
to white men were withheld from them ; it is because they 
started from the foot of the ladder and the bottom of the 
mountain and forced their way up in the face of obstacles and 
disadvantages; it is because of all these things that allowances 
arc made for the intellectual shortcoming of prominent Negroes. 
But such allowances will not be made for the generation of 
Negroes who are now entering upon manhood and womanhood. 
The hour is at hand when colored men of free birth will be 
measured by the same intellectual and moral standard by which 
we estimate white men. 

I do not mean to undervalue the marvellous achievements of 
self-made colored men and the miraculous progress of the 
Negro race. Frequently I have seen colored men who could 
barely read and write accumulate considerable wealth as farm- 
ers, contractors, caterers and storekeepers. And then I have 
heard Negro preachers and orators speak who have hardly spent 
a day in school, and yet they have dazzled me by the richness 
of their thought, the splendor and sweep of their imagination 
and the beauty of their diction. And then I think of the remarka- 
ble careers of Frederick Douglass, who received no academic 
training whatever, and of partly self-made men like Booker T. 
Washington and Thomas Walker, who only received a partial 
academic training. The world knows the phenomenal record of 

The Success of Philosophy. 175 

Douglass as an orator and business man and Booker T. ^^'asll- 
ington's success as an educator and manipulator of men. But 
the world does not know that Thomas Walker is a remarkably 
successful lawyer and business man, a high-toned gentleman who 
has an appreciation for Buckle, Scott, Carlyle, Macaulay, Dickens, 
Thackeray, Gray and Goldsmith. But consider to what heights 
these men might have arisen had they been blessed with a Uni- 
versity education. The untutored Negro preacher might have 
developed into a Henry Ward Beecher, a Frederick Douglass, a 
Burke or a Webster. Booker T. Washington might have 
developed into a President Eliot and Thomas Walker into a 

It so happens that the vast majority of colored people get 
their knowledge through their eyes and ears. The sights and 
sounds of Nature enrich their knowledge. They learn to do 
things by seeing other people do things and by having other 
people tell them how to do things. That is how a man learns 
to plough, to prune trees, to cook, to wait on table, to make 
shoes or clothes, to lay bricks, to build a house, to harness and 
curry a horse, to sail a boat and do the thousand and one things 
incidental to domestic, farm and industrial work. That is what 
one means by serving an apprenticeship. The man learns by 
watching other people or by having other people tell him how 
to do things. The vast majority of colored people learn that 
way, but such knowledge is largely imitative and that is why 
the Negro is largely an imitative being. 

A man must read books and study books and master first 
principles before he can become creative, constructive and 
original. Before an architect could design the Congressional 
Library or the skyscrapers of New York, before a shipbuilder 
could build the Lusitania, before a bridgebuilder could build the 
lirooklyn Bridge or an engineer could drive the underground 
tube under the East River, he must read and study books and 
master the mathematical, mechanical and architectural principles 
which underlie the building of ships, houses, bridges and tunnels. 
They need not servilely imitate their predecessors, but can work 
along original lines, for they have mastered the principles of 
construction. Now if the Negro is to become a creative and 
constructive instead of an imitative individual he must read 


The African Abroad. 

books and study and master basal and fundamental principles, 
whicb are universal in their application. 

Those critical Afro-Americans who despise men of letters are 
lamentably ignorant of the history of civilization. The four 
men back in the dawn of the world's history who made civiliza- 
tion possible were the man who discovered the use of fire, the 
man who conceived the idea of navigating the waters by hol- 
lowing out the trunk of a tree, the man who first conceived the 
idea of a wheel revolving on an axle and the man who invented 
the art of writing. History, science, mathematics, philosophy, 
in a word civilization, first begins with the invention of the art 
of writing. The inventor of the art of writing made it possible 
for man to record his fleeting thoughts and emotions, to pre- 
serve the experience and knowledge that he has acquired in his 
lifetime and to pass it on and transmit it to posterity. Books 
arc tile storehouses of human experience, human wisdom and 
human knowledge. Without books, the steps of human progress 
would be lost and each generation would have to begin all over 
again. The world is startled with the discoveries of a Newton, 
a Harvey, and a MetchnikoflF, a Darwin, a Roentgen, and a Mar- 
coni, and with the aerial feats of Curtiss, the Wrights and 
Grahame-White. But their discoveries and exploits are the last 
link in a chain of causes which has stretched through centuries. 
Osborn in his book, "From the Greeks to Darwin," has shown 
Darwin's indebtedness to his predecessors. 

Then take Marconi's wireless telegraphy. Clerk Maxwell 
proved that electric waves exist ; Hertz discovered electric waves. 
Then other men invented the ball oscillator, the coherer and the 
decoherer whereby the electric waves were transmitted through 
space, received, and the connection broken off. Someone in- 
vented the Morse alphabet. Someone conceived the idea of 
utilizing the Morse alphabet in wireless telegraphy. Another 
man conceived the idea of similarly tuned instruments. Then 
Marconi came along, utilized the knowledge of his forerunners 
and sent his message. 

Peary could not alone and unaided reach the North Pole, but 
he studied polar exploration and profited by the triumphs and 
failures of his predecessors. He made the dash in winter and 
started further west than his predecessors and finally reached 
the goal. 

The Success of Philosophy. 177 

A dozen steps and stages intervened between Fulton's steamer 
and the Lusitania; between the rude huts of the cavcdwellers 
and the skyscrapers of New York ; between the chariots of 
Homer's "IHad" and the record-breaking automobile. Thus it has 
ever been. Man progresses by possessing himself of the knowl- 
edge, wisdom and experience of his ancestors and predecessors 
and of making one or two steps beyond. And it is the mission 
of books to prevent the intellectual acquisitions of mankind from 
being lost. Books store up the accumulated knowledge and 
wisdom of mankind. Thus it has ever been. 

The dark night of the Middle Ages did not recede before the 
dawn of modern civilization, until after the revival of learning, 
the rediscovery of the Greek world and the founding of uni- 
versities. Without the translation of the Bible into the German 
and English language ; without the invention of the printing 
press, which disseminates and spreads broadcast the wealth of 
modern knowledge, the Protestant Reformation and Calvinism 
could not have affected the world as they did. So when a Negro 
leader speaks contemptuously of books and book-learning, he is 
speaking contemptuously of the treasure vaults of civilization. 
And the man who never reads and never masters elemental 
and basal principles never can be a creative, constructive and 
original force in civilization. 

The great philosophers were not day-dreamers, star-gazers, 
recluses and bookworms, but they were men who took all of 
human knowledge for their province. Plato wrote over the door 
of his temple of philosophy, "Let no one enter here until he 
has studied Geometry." And he studied profoundly literature 
and art and \vrote his "Republic," in which he built his ideal 
state. Aristotle mastered the science and politics and literature 
and art of his day. Men still read his Politics and Poetics. Kant 
mastered mathematics and unfolded a theory of the nebular 
hypothesis before Laplace. Lotze and Ladd mastered science, 
history, literature and art. And the great philosophers but 
sought to harmonize the truths of science and mathematics with 
the truths of politics, literature, art and religion. 

Then, too, the great philosophers were men of affairs. Anax- 
agoras, the inspirer of Socrates and the real father of the 
Athenian philosophy, was the friend and counsellor of Pericles. 

lyS The African Abroad. 

Socrates, in a battle, took a wounded soldier upon his shoulder 
and cut and cleaved his way through the enemy. Plato was a 
wrestler and an athlete. Aristotle was a tutor and friend of 
Alexander the Great. Leibnitz played a part in the affairs of 
his day. Fichte roused the German nation to arms. Hegel wrote 
his "Philosophy of Rights" and was interested in the political 
affairs of his day. Professor Josiah Royce of Harvard has 
given the world the best analytical study of race prejudice. Pro- 
fessor William James of Harvard has been a ver>' live and 
vital man; while Professor G. T. Ladd of Yale went on a 
diplomatic mission for Marquis Ito and wrote an illuminating 
book upon the Eastern question. Thus it will be seen that philoso- 
phers of both ancient and modern times kept their feet firmly 
planted on the earth, while they soared heavenward in thought. 

Now for the mission of philosophy. What Professor A. 
Young, the famous astronomer of Princeton University, said of 
astronomy in the Saturday Evcnin;^ Post of October 31, 1903, 
might be said of philosophy, which harmonizes the generaliza- 
tions, fundamental postulates and underlying assumptions of 
all the sciences and embraces them in the life and plans of the 
Absolute. The Princeton astronomer said: "In closing we can 
assure our readers that any home student of astronomy will find 
the pursuit delightful ; the universe will seem to him to grow and 
broaden with it. The ancient heavens will shine with new 
glories and the earth will partake of the celestial character. H 
he makes no money by the study he will gain something better 
in the development of his manhood and his recognition of its 
kinship to the Divine." 

This eloquent tribute to astronomy is similar to Xovalis's 
famous justification of philosophy. A materialistic philosopher 
insolently asked, "Can Philosophy bake any bread ^" Xovalis 
replied, "Philosophy can bake no bread, but it can give us God, 
Freedom and Immortality." In other words, philosophy will not 
teach a man how to make a living, but it will teach him those 
things which give value to life, which are worth while and which 
alone make life worth living. 

This thought was powerfully expressed by James Hutchinson 
Sterling in his "The Secret of Hegel" when he said. "These 
interests constitute what is essential to humanity as humanity. 

The Success of Philosophy. 179 

We shall have no difficulty in discerning that man, deprived of 
any interest in the questions concerned, would at once sink into 
no higher a place than that of the human beaver, who knew only 
and valued only what contributed to his merely animal com- 

"What is peculiarly human is not to live in towns with soldiers 
and police, etc., safely to masticate his victuals; what is pecu- 
liarly human is to perceive the apparition of the Universe; what 
is peculiarly human is to interrogate this apparition, is to ask 
in its regard, what? — whence? — why? — whither? 

"In a word, had there been no such questions, there could 
never have been this formed world, this system of civilized life, 
this deposit of an objective life. On no less a stipulation than 
eternal life w-ill a man consent to live at all ; so it is that philos- 
ophy and morality and religion are his vital air, without which 
his own resultant madness would presently dissipate him into 

■'What does Science seek in all her inquiries? Is it not expla- 
nation? Is not explanation the assigning of reasons? Are not 
these reasons in the form of principles? And when will expla- 
nation be complete, when will all reasons be assigned? When — 
but when we have seen the ultimate principles ; and the ultimate 
principles whether in the parts or in the whole may surely be 
named the Absolute. To tell us we can not reach the Absolute, 
is to tell us not to think ; and we must think, for we are sent 
to think. To live is to think, and to think is to seek an ultimate 
principle and that is the Absolute." 

While it is all very well to linger in these tablelands of inspira- 
tion and dwell upon these sun-kissed heights and cloud-capped 
mountaintops, it might be asked, "What relation has all this 
speculation to the black workman, who is toiling on the farms, 
in the mines and on the street, endeavoring to make money to 
feed, clothe and shelter himself and his family?" It might also 
be asked, what relation had Moses, writing the ten command- 
ments on graven stone, amid the thunders and lightning of Alt. 
Sinai, to the Israelites, in the valley below, who longed for the 
fleshpots of Egypt and were bowing before the brazen calf? 

This is the materialistic age. The puritanical ideals and tradi- 
tions are struggling with the lust for gold, pleasure and luxury. 

i3o The African Abroad. 

And the young Xegro has been caught in the whirlpool and vor- 
tex of this struggle. He is no longer frightened by the hell-fire, 
brimstone, and damnation doctrine of preachers of the type of 
venerable John Jasper, who taught that "De sun do move and 
de earph am square." The young Xcgro is losing the faith of 
his fathers. He is imbibing the doctrine, "Let us eat, drink 
and be merry, for to-morrow we die." What he needs is a 
philosophy of life that will inculcate in him the ideals of chivalry, 
manliness and honor, that will put iron in his blood, fire him with 
the ambition to do and dare and strive and achieve. 

But just as actors disport themselves difTerently, according 
as it is a farce, a comedy, a tragedy or a melodrama that they 
are playing; so in the drama of life, the black man will shape 
his part according as he believes the universe to be a godless 
mechanism, the soul of man the by-product of the brain, and 
morality merely the conventional standards of society ; or accord- 
ing as he believes the universe to issue from the life of the 
Absolute, the moral imperative to well up from the inmost depths 
of our being, and the Eternal to express his inmost nature in 
the ideals and aspirations of man as he struggles toward 

It is the soul of man that makes history. And the deeds of a 
man flow from his ideals, which are not imposed upon him from 
witiiout, but which are the resultant of and spring spontaneously 
from his hopes and longings and strivings and aspirations. Then 
the belief or lack of belief in the fundamental verities is the 
central thing about a man. All else flows from that. If the 
Negro race is to be lifted, then it must be lifted through those 
great beliefs which Professor George Trumbull Ladd has 
termed "The Psychic Uplift of the Human Race." 

It is true that the forces of heredity and environment could 
fashion a sensitive, refined nature, which would realize in its 
life the highest ideals of manliness, chivalry and Corinthian 
honor without believing that the system of things is the divine 
reason in its self-development, without believing that the law 
and order and harmony in the heavens proclaim that the universe 
is a unity which is instinct with purpose and informed with 
intelligence, without believing that what is best, truest, and 
deepest in human nature is not foreign to the nature of God, 
who is manifested in the universe of mind and matter. 

The Success of Philosophy. i8i 

But such a man can never be a world leader of men. For all 
world leaders of men have been optimists. And how can a man 
be an optimist if he believes that he is a lone, chivalrous knic,dit, 
donning- the plumed helmet, and setting his lance in resti to 
battle for human rights ? How can he be an optimist if he docs 
not believe in the ultimate success of his cause and the ultimate 
triumph of the principles for which he is contending? And how 
can he believe in the success of his cause and triumph of his 
principles if he does not believe in a just and righteous God, 
who is operating in the consciences of men? But when a man 
believes in a Power not himself that makes for righteousness; 
when he believes that there is a moral order revealed in human 
history; when he believes that the universe is ethical to the core; 
when he believes that righteousness is embedded in the very struc- 
ture and woven in the very web and woof of the universe ; when 
he believes that the very stars in their courses are on the side of 
the good man ; when he believes that his ideals are not stran"-ers 
in the universe, but at home here and are rooted and grounded in 
the very nature of the Spirit, in whom we live and move and 
have our being, — then the man has the faith of a Jesus, an 
Abraham, a Moses, a Paul, a Lutheran, an Athanasius, a Calvin — 
the faith that can move mountains. 

And it is the goal and mission of philosophy to give a man 
such a faith, a faith in the "mighty hopes that make us men." 


A Word about Booker T. Jl'asJiiv'tou, DiiBois and the Niagara 


From the period when I, a boy of twelve, about a score of 
years ago, read the "Life and Times of Frederick Douglass," up 
to the present time, I have been a close and serious student of 
the race problem. Two racial phenomena have impressed me, 
as I have marked the rise and progress of the recently emanci- 
pated race — one was the rise and decline of Booker T. Wash- 
ington ; the other was the origin and growth of the Niagara 

That a man who was born a slave, and a member of a pro- 
scribed and despised race, could reach a position of commanding 
eminence and world-wide fame; could, for a time, win the 
confidence of the business men of the country, the respect of the 
educators; could, for a wdiile, dine with the aristocratic Wana- 
maker and with the President of the United States; could finally 
so send the prestige of his name and the splendor of his achieve- 
ments across the Atlantic that next to President Roosevelt he 
became the best known American in the world, — seems to me 
to be one of the crowning miracles of Negro history. Then as 
we read the steps by which he built up this world-wide fame and 
international renown, we seem to be reading of another Aladdin 
and his lamp. How he walked his way to Hampton, sleeping 
under a sidewalk ; how he struggled to get an education ; lunv a 
quarter of a century ago he went down into the black belt of 
the South and started a small school in an old church and 
dilaj)idatcd shanty in Tuskcegee, Alabama ; how he organized and 
marshalled his forces at Tuskecgce; how he developed a magnifi- 
cent industrial plant there and really built up a Negro school 
community there with over 2,000 pupils and lands and buildings 
valued at a quarter of a million dollars, and secured an endow- 
ment fund of nearly two millions; how he captured the heart of 
the South, won at first the confidence of the North and the ear of 
the President of the United States, until he became the educa- 

B. T. Washington and DiiBois. 183 

tional and political boss and dictator of the Negro lace of ten 
million human beings, is familiar to every schoolboy in the land. 

That Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, Editor William Monroe Trotter, 
L. M. Hershaw, F. H. Murray, Professor William H. H. Hart, 
Professor William H. Richards, Rev. R. R. Ransom, Rev. J. 
Milton Waldron, Professor W. S. Scarborougli, Mr. F. L. 
McGhee, Air. J. R. Clifford, Mr. A. H. Grimkc, Professor Wil- 
liam Bulklcy, Rev. Owen M. Waller, Rev. Frazier Miller, Rev. 
Dr. Bishop, Rev. Charles Satchell Morris, Lawyers E. H. Mor- 
ris, Carter and Crawford and Clement G. Morgan, Mr. G. W. 
Forbes, Rev. A. Clayton Powell, Bishop Alexander W. Walters, 
and other educated Negroes should dare to form and join the 
Niagara Movement, which promulgated ideas antipodal to those 
of Dr. Washington and removed the halo that surrounded the 
brow of a man who was firmly entrenched in the world's regard, 
strikes me as nothing less than marvelous — as the second miracle 
in Negro history. 

I believe that natural causes are behind the Negro's desire for 
his civil and political rights. A hundred years ago to-day every 
one of my ancestors except two were free people and they 
secured their freedom soon after the war of 1812. Sixty years 
ago to-day both of my grandfathers owned and paid taxes on 
the roof which sheltered them and their families. My father 
and three of my uncles fought in the Civil War. To-day my 
relatives own nearly $50,000 worth of taxable property in the 
State of Delaware. None of them are wealthy, but a score of 
them have managed to secure a modest home. Now there are 
hundreds of colored men and women in the North and East and 
West and scores in the Southland, whose family record is simi- 
lar to mine. The free colored people of America owned nearly 
twenty million dollars worth of personal property and real estate 
at the time of the Civil War. 

Since the Civil War, colored boys have been class orators and 
commencement speakers, and colored girls valedictorians and 
salutatorians in high schools and academies ; colored students have 
won literary and oratorical prizes and honors in Yale, Harvard, 
Amherst, Dartmouth, Brown, Williams, Boston University, Cor- 
nell University, University of Pennsylvania and other New 
England and Northern institutions of learning. DuBois and 

184 The African Abroad. 

Kelly Miller won national and international renown as sociolo- 
gists ; Frederick Dou.i^dass, J. C. Price, Booker T. Washinj^ton, 
Rev. R. R. Ransom, R. C. Bruce and William Pickens as orators ; 
Dunbar and Braitliwaite as poets; Locke as a Rhodes scholar; 
Chestnut as a novelist ; Tanner as an artist ; Coleridf::c-Taylor as 
a musician ; Crummell, Bassett, Greener, Grimke and Bouchet 
as ripe scholars, and Blyden as a linc^uist, Arabic scholar, and 
interpreter of Mohammedanism. In a word, the black man 
dazzled the eye of mankind, because as soon as he was emanci- 
pated from bondage he began to aspire after and ab.sorb and 
assimilate and appropriate the most advanced and most complex 
civilization that the world has yet seen. The North welcomed, 
encouraged and pushed to the front every aspiring and ambitious 
colored youth. 

But then, in the summer of i'^95, came Dr. Washington's 
famous Atlanta speech, followed by other addresses in which 
he ridiculed the higher aspiration and spiritual strivings of his 
own people and asked his own people to cease contending for 
their manhood rights, which things the Anglo-Saxon race has 
held dear and sacred in its own history and for which he sacri- 
ficed ease and happiness, yea life itself. Did not President Eliot 
of Harvard University in his "America's Contribution to 
Civilization" mention "The Development of Manhood Suffrage" 
as one of the five American contributions to civilization ? And yet 
Dr. Washington in his Atlanta speech said: "We began at the 

Senate instead of at the plough The wisest among 

my people realize that agitating questions of social and political 
equality is the sheerest nonsense, etc." In that celebrated Atlanta 
speech we behold the spectacle of a Negro leader saying the 
things the Georgia white man desired him to say. The South 
hailed him as the Moses of his people. Then Dr. \\'ashington 
lectured in Northern churches and imported into the North the 
South's estimate of the Negro. Tie minimized the intellectual 
achievements of the Negro and cut the foundation from under 
his civic privileges and political rights. The North soon began 
to think and feel that it had forced the higher education and 
civil and political rights upon the black man before he was ready 
for it and silently acquiesced in the South's practically undoing 
the work of Sumner, Garrison, Phillips, Thaddeus Stevens, Ros- 

B. T. Washington and DiiBois. 185 

coe Conkling and George Boutwell. What more natural than that 
the dammed up waters of Negro striving and Negro aspirations 
should burst the dam erected by the Alabamian and swell into 
a formidable protest against the stifling and smothering teach- 
ings of Booker T. Washington. 

The opposition to Booker T. Washington's leadership expe- 
rienced difficulty in making headway for two reasons. First, the 
opposition produced no personality as resourceful and masterful, 
as tactful, strategic and diplomatic as himself. And any move- 
ment that does not center and group itself around some great 
and commanding personality breaks to pieces. 

Again, Trotter and the Niagara Movement underrated the 
weight of General Armstrong's influence in this country. His 
philosophy of the Negro question embodied the fundamentals of 
civilization, because he advocated simple industry, settled habits 
of life and simple home life. This latter fact drew around Wash- 
ington, his pupil, the men who represented the financial bone and 
sinew of the country and were the moulders of public thought 
and shapers of public opinion. And Trotter's campaign of con- 
demnation and vituperation was powerless to convert his Anglo- 
Saxon friends. Had his critics recognized that his gospel of 
industrialism embodied the basic principles of Negro develop- 
ment, but that his industrial propaganda was not the entire 
programme, they would have gone before the country with a 
stronger case. But since Dr. DuBois has been elected secretary 
of the Society for the Advancement of Colored People he has 
gained in weight and influence. 

I have studied the history of philosophy pretty thoroughly and 
endeavored to grasp the thought of Pythagoras, Democrates, 
Empedocles, Eratosthenes, Aristarchus, Archimedes, Socrates, 
Plato, Aristotle, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Locke, Berkeley, 
Hume, Kant, Schelling, Fichte, Hegel, Lotze, Schopenhauer, 
Hamilton, Mansel and Herbert Spencer. I believe that the 
liistory of human thought illustrates one truth. Each of these 
tliiiikers grasped some important phases and aspects of historic 
truth. They sometimes erred because they saw certain funda- 
mental phases and aspects of the ultimate truth so clearly that 
they ignored and overlooked other fundamental and necessary 
phases and aspects of the universe. 

i86 TJic African Abroad. 

Thus Professor Josiah Royce of Harvard in his "The World 
and the Individual" takes up the four historical aspects and 
conceptions of being, shows that there is an element of truth in 
each, and causes the scattered rays of truth to focus in his own 
theory of the universe. The great battles in modern philosophy 
have been fought by the empiricists and intuitionalists and by 
the materialists and idealists. There seems to be a disposition 
among modern philosophers to recognize that there is an element 
of truth in both empiricism and intuitionalism, in both materialism 
and idealism, and that the true philosophy blends these scattered 
truths into one complete system. 

Empiricism claims that moral ideas are derived a posteriori 
from experience. Intuitionalism claims that moral ideas are 
derived a priori from the innate functioning and forth-putting of 
the human mind. Materialism claims that mind states are epi- 
phenomena, which are thrown off by the brain and caused by 
brain states. Idealism claims that something more than an 
excitation of nerve centers in the brain and a commotion in 
nerve tracts is needed to explain the poetic genius of a Shakes- 
peare and Homer, the moral insight of a Kant and Paul and 
the moral choice of a Caesar and Luther. In a word, idealism 
claims that while the life of the mind is connected with the life 
of the brain, the activity of the mind transcends the activity of 
the brain. The history of human thought shows that there is 
an element of truth in all of these views and that a true philoso- 
phy blends these scattered violet rays into the white light of truth. 

Now, that is what I attempt to do in this history of the Negro 
race. Dr. \\^ashington has clearly seen the economic and indus- 
trial phase of the race problem; Dr. DuBois the moral and 
political phase. General Armstrong's propaganda was basic 
and fundamental because the bread problem is the most important 
problem of life, and because in advocating simple industry, 
simple home life and a settled mode of life, he was reaching the 
bedrock of modern civilization and grasping the fundamentals of 
civilization. I regard Dr. DuBois' work as important and neces- 
sary, for he sees that the Negro is a member of the human 
family, belongs to the genus vir as well as to the genus homo and 
has the same spiritual wants and needs that the rest of mankind 
has. He continued the noble work begun by Rev. A. F. Beard. 

B. T. Washington and DuBois. i8j 

Without industrial education and an economic basis, we would 
have a tree without roots, which would soon topple over. \\'ith- 
out the higlier education and the ballot, which confers dignity 
and self-respect upon an individual, we would have roots and 
a trunk but no leaves and branches upon our tree ; we would 
only have an embryonic and not a developed tree. The first 
thought of a man should be to provide food, shelter and clothes 
for himself and his family. His next thought should be the 
moral training of his children. The teachings of history show 
that no race that is without the ballot in a republic has ever 
been respected. The sciences of psychology and ethics show that 
pride, pride of self, pride of family, pride of race and pride of 
ancestry are the bulwarks and props of feminine virtue. In a 
word, we say that the Negro is a moral personality of the genus 
vir, as well as a physical organism of the genus homo. Now to 
develop these ideas. 

In this historical treatise on the Negro race I endeavor 
to show that the Tuskeegee propaganda has grasped the eco- 
nomic phase and aspect of the race problem, while DuBois and 
the Niagara movement have emphasized and accentuated tiie 
moral phases and the universal aspects of the world-old problem 
of human rights. It is undoubtedly true that in this complex 
civilization the race or nation that possesses wealth is all-power- 
ful. Through the Rothschilds in England and through the Jewish 
bankers and merchants in New York, the Jews have become a 
power in the commercial and banking world. Through DeBeers 
and the Beits in South Africa, the Jews have virtually ruled 
South Africa. Wall Street in New York dominates the finan- 
cial policy more than does the President of the United States. 
The fluctuations of the market in Wall Street are more potent 
for national weal or woe than the legislation proposed or the 
laws enacted or the measures passed by the Congress of the 
United States. The combined influence of six financiers in New 
York — Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, E. H. Harriman, 
J. J. Hill, William \'andcrbilt and J. Pierpont Morgan, was greater 
than the combined influence of President Roosevelt and the Sen- 
ate of the United States. So Booker T. Washington is undoubt- 
edly right when he says that a man who owns a bank, or a brick 
block, or a railroad line, or a steamboat company, is a potent 

1 88 Till- African Abroad. 

factor in modern life. He is undoubtedly right \vhen he preaches 
industrial education and urges the accumulating of property. 
In this history of the Xegro race I assert that he is one of the 
industrial saviors of the Southern Xegro, that he has solved the 
bread-and-butter problem for nearly ten millions of toiling and 
struggling Negroes ; but not the political and the moral prob- 
lem. He has realized the necessity of making bread; but not 
the importance of making men. His philosophy of life has not 
rated character at its face value. He lacked General Armstrong's 
idealism. And that is why he has lost his grip on the world's 

But man is a metaphysical, religious, artistic and moral being 
as well as a physical being, w'ho needs to be clothed, sheltered 
and fed. The late John Henry Newman, in one of his impas- 
sioned flights of eloquence, says : "Man is a being of genius, 
passion, intellect, conscience, power. He exercises these various 
gifts in various ways, in great deeds, in great thoughts, in heroic 
acts, in hateful crimes. He founds states, he fights battles, he 
builds cities, he ploughs the forest, he subdues the elements, he 
rules his kind. He creates vast ideas and influences many gen- 
erations. . . . He pours out his fer\ad soul in poetry ; he sways 
to and fro, he soars, he dives in his restless speculation, his 
lips drop eloquence, he touches the canvas and it glows with 
beauty; he sweeps the strings, and they thrill with an jesthetic 

What does man do in history? As soon as he has felled the 
trees, burned the brush, cleared the forests, ploughed the land, 
sown the seed, reaped the harvest, put a roof over his head, 
built stone walls, made roads, and constructed a mill or factory 
by a stream of running water and reared up the walls for his 
bank or counting room or store, what does he do then? He 
erects a church and schoolhouse. He crystallizes his ideas 
of what is morally right and politically expedient into laws 
and institutions. Then he debates about abstract moral 
questions and concerns himself with the question of his 
rights as a human being. That is what the English colo- 
nists in America did. It took the English-speaking colonists a 
century and a half to transform the wilderness into habitable 
land, to conquer or drive out the Indians and to wrest the 

B. T. Washington and DuBois. 189 

Mississippi and Ohio valley from the French. And then they 
advocated the theoretical principle of "No taxation without rep- 
resentation," and strenuously objected to the Stamp Act, threw 
the tea over in Boston Harbor; and the result was the Revolu- 
tionary War and the independence of the American colonies. 
The history of Greece, Rome, Italy, Holland, England and 
America is largely made up of the struggles for political or 
religious liberty. The Protestant Reformation in Europe, the 
Puritan Reformation in England, the American Revolution and 
the French Revolution resolve themselves into a series of strug- 
gles for political and religious liberty. The most devastating war 
in history, the Thirty Years' War in Germany ; the most heroic 
struggle in history, the struggle of the Netherlanders against 
Philip I and Duke Alva of Spain; the most appalling massacre 
in history, that of two hundred thousand Huguenots on the eve 
of St. Bartholomew's day in France, were caused by the struggles 
of men and women for religious freedom. 

Some students of history have regarded the wresting of the 
Magna Carta from King John by the English Barons at Runny- 
mede as the true beginning of English history. Gray, in his 
immortal elegy, speaks thus : 

■Some village Hampden here may rest 

Who with dauntless breast 

The petty tyrant of his fields withstood. 

The philosopher Hegel says that all human history is but the 
struggle of the human spirit for personal freedom, the endeavor 
of the human personality to express itself, to develop its latent 
powers and capacities and to assert its latent manhood. History 
shows unmistakably that the love of liberty is innate, that the 
desire for freedom is an inborn characteristic of the human soul. 
Such are the teachings of sociology and history. 

But it may be objected that these are but the views of a 
doctrinaire or a political theorist, of a closet philosopher and 
bookworm. It is stated that the Negro is mentally and morally 
different from the Anglo-Saxon. It is true that the great 
race stocks which have made contributions to history have 
psychical and psychological qualities peculiar to themselves alone. 
The Hebrews were endowed with peculiar religious gifts; the 

19° The African Abroad. 

Greeks were endowed with philosophic, artistic and poetic gifts; 
the Romans were gifted with a genius for war and government; 
the Germans were gifted with a remarkable insight into philosophy 
and theology ; the Anglo-Saxon possessed a genius for war and 
parliamentary government and a desire for simple home life 
and a settled mode of industrial life. So, too, in America the 
native Yankee, the Irish immigrant, the Italian and the Jew 
have psychical and racial characteristics that are peculiar to them- 
selves alone. So, too, the Negro has race traits and tendencies 
peculiar to himself alone. He is an emotional and happy and 
warm-hearted and sympathetic being. He has a gift for music 
and eloquence, a love and taste for dress and finery and a humble 
and childlike trust and belief in the Almighty. But while this 
is true, still all the great race stocks, the Hebrew, Greek, Roman, 
German and Anglo-Saxon, all the different races in America, the 
English, the Irish, the German, the Frenchman, the Italian, the 
Jew, the Indian and the Negro have certain human characteristics 
common to all alike. All shudder at the mystery of death; all 
have an innate longing for life and liberty; all grope towards 
the Eternal and reach in their soaring aspiration the thought of 
some Great IVIysterious Being, some Infinite Power, who is the 
creator of this universe ; all strive to express and give utterance 
to what is deepest and most fundamental within them. In a 
word, the Negro is a member of the human family. We must 
recognize his humanity. And he desires those common rights 
that this country bestows so freely upon the priest and prophet, 
the prince and pauper, the beggar and king, who come fleeing 
from the persecution and oppression of his mother country or 
fatherland and knocks for admission to this country, which is an 
asylum for the oppressed and persecuted of every land and clime. 
For the Negro in America to be satisfied with less than is given 
to every ragged, dirty immigrant, every ignorant, illiterate, 
poverty-stricken and bad-smelling foreigner who comes to our 
shores would be for him to be less than a man. If he would, 
without a protest or audible murmur, wear his color as the 
badge of his inferiority, he would lose the respect of the civilized 
world, and he would lose that self-respect and personal pride 
necessary alike for feminine virtue and manly self-reliance. 
The world never puts a higher estimate upon a race or indi- 

B. T. JJ'asliington and DuBois. igi 

vidual than that race or individual puts upon himself. If the 
Negro would voluntarily self-efface himself from politics and 
content himself with providing a living for himself, he would 
be despised by mankind and would justly be regarded as the 
most inferior of all the races. Then, again, it is true that the 
dynamic force of the ideal is the lifting power in human lives 
and the psychic uplift of the human race. Where, then, could 
come the inspiration for progress, if the Negro regarded himself 
as an inferior being, if he regarded his natural sphere as clinging 
to the lowest rounds of life's ladder, as vegetating in the lowest 
strata of human society? 

Some pessimists say that the Negro will either be subjugated, 
exterminated, deported or amalgamated ; that the white man will 
never recognize his black brother as a full-fledged or full-orbed 
man. One distinguished Negro educator wrote me : ''The orig- 
inal barbarity of the Teuton is mildly tempered with Christian 

A distinguished educator, who has the blood of so many 
races coursing in his veins that it is hard to tell which race he 
is identified with, wrote me : "I have lost hope for your people. 
I do not see how their condition can be bettered; indeed I am 
convinced that their condition will grow worse and worse instead 
of better, for reasons inhering in themselves as well as those 
outside of them. All the powerful forces of our civilization are 
coming more and more to be exerted against them — they are 

But I must confess that dark and gloomy as is the outlook, 
at present, cheerless and hopeless as seem our prospects, I look 
forward to the future with hope. I believe that the Negro race 
will slowly and surely absorb and assimilate and appropriate the 
highest elements of the Anglo-Saxon civilization and embed the 
Anglo-Saxon ideals into the ground roots of its being, into the 
very fibres of its moral nature. And then, I believe that the 
innate and inborn sense of justice which slumbers in the Anglo- 
Saxon at times will reassert itself and welcome the black man 
into the brotherhood of the human family, into the circle of his 
politics. While the Anglo-Saxon will not share with us his 
posterity he will share with us his prosperity. If it were not 
so then is democracy a failure and Christianity a lie. Did not 

192 The African Abroad. 

Emerson, the American Plato, say : "The Intellect is miraculous, 
who has it has the talisman. Though the black man's skin be 
as dark as midnis^dit, if he has genius, it will shine through and 
be as transparent as the everlasting stars." 

Some have regarded Emerson as a bookworm, a closet philoso- 
pher and an impractical dreamer; but I believe that his insight 
into human nature, into the moral springs of conduct, was the 
truest and subtlest that the world has seen since that God-man, 
nineteen hundred years ago, by the Sea of Galilee, spoke as 
never man spoke before. Can we not trust the intuitions and 
divinations of such a prophet, seer and sage as Emerson? 

We must remember that for a thousand years Europe groped in 
darkness, intellectual and moral. The intellect was fettered and 
Europe ran riot with murder and bloodshed. Kings and queens 
killed each other and the rival claimants for the throne. The 
Feudal barons were but border ruffians and highwaymen on a 
colossal scale. It was unsafe to travel alone and unattended 
during the Middle Ages. What lifted England and Europe out 
of that dark and dismal night called the Dark Ages? It was the 
founding of universities in England and Europe and the revival 
of learning, the rediscovery of the Greek world, the Protestant 
Reformation, which emancipated the intellect and the soul, and 
the French Revolution, which ushered in modern democracy 
and bathed Europe in a sea of blood. Can the Negro, then, rise 
in civilization without the uplifting influences of education and 
political rights? 


TJie Epical Meaning and Historic Significance of the Black 
Man's Spiritual Strivings and Higher Aspirations. 

There are three attitudes which inteUigent and thoughtful 
colored men assume towards the all-embracing' and all-encom- 
passing fact of American caste prejudice. Professor William 
H. PI. Plart of the Law Department of Howard University say.s 
that we must ignore caste prejudice and live and act as if it did 
not exist; we must forget that we are colored men and live and 
work on the assumption that we are men the same as other 
human beings. Dr. Booker T. \\'ashington, the founder of 
Tuskeegee Institute, says that we must recognize American 
caste prejudice as a fact that cannot be striven against ; but to 
which we must adjust and adapt ourselves just as we recognize 
the fact of gravitation as one of the immutable facts and laws 
of nature. To disregard it and jump from a tower or leap over 
a precipice is to court and meet certain death. So the colored 
man who clamors for his civil and political rights, who does 
not lie down, keep still and remain quiet when the white man of 
the South tells him to, is as wise as the man who butts his head 
against a stone wall or as the bull who charges into a locomotive 
that is coming towards it at full speed, with steam up and throttle 
valves thrown back. Dr. DuBois differs from Professor Plart 
and agrees with Dr. Washington in that he recognizes caste 
prejudice as a basic and fundamental fact of the black man's 
existence, which cannot be ignored or passed by, by our closing 
our eyes to it, just as the ostrich does not elude its pursuers by 
burying its head in the sand and thinking that because it does 
not see its pursuers, its pursuers cannot see it. On the other 
hand. Dr. DuBois differs from Dr. \\''ashington and agrees with 
Professor Hart in holding that American caste prejudice can 
be overcome by the colored man's endeavoring to think and feel 
and act and live like a human being and an American citizen 
clothed in the full panoply of his constitutional rights. 


194 7"//r African Abroad. 


There is an element of truth in each of these three attitudes. 
Professor Hart holds that the Negro is an imprisoned group, 
that he is confined on an island, as it were, and prevented by 
American caste prejudice from getting out into the sea of 
humanity that surrounds him upon all sides. He holds that it 
may be, confined and ostracised as he is, isolated in a group with 
a separate social and church life to himself, and developing within 
that group difTcrent social classes and building up an aristocracy 
of his own, the Xegro may develop valuable race traits. But 
he also holds that if the Negro goes through life branding and 
libeling himself as a Negro, and thinking, feeling, acting as if 
he were a Negro, the country will take him at his own estimate 
and treat him as if he were a peculiar being. But if he regard.s 
himself as an American citizen and acts accordingly, the country 
will so treat him. Csesar saw that the only way to conquer the 
barbarians was to make incursions into Gaul. Hart holds that 
the Negro must accordingly transcend his Negro environment 
and participate in the national life. Hence he refused to go into 
a Jim Crow car in Maryland, refused to allow himself or wife 
to be written down colored or Negro on the marriage register, or 
his child to be written down colored or Negro on the birth 
register. As Hart's father was a white man of aristocratic 
lineage and his mother a refined mulatto, he is theoretically 
justified in his attitude. It is the only way to overcome race 
prejudice in the North or West; but if Hart were to carry 
out his principles South of the Mason and Dixon's line, he 
would suflfer the experience of Bishop Phillips and wife and Dr. 
R. R. Ransom; the former were ejected from a sleeping, the 
latter from a Pullman palace car for refusing to remain in a 
Jim Crow car. So Hart's theory to ignore race prejudice and 
act as if it did not exist is the ideal attitude. But it cannot be 
lived out to the letter in the South. 


Dr. Washington's policy is to recognize race prejudice as a 
fundamental fact, just as one recognizes the law of gravitation 
as the basic law of nature. His advice is to buckle down to hard 
work, don't make any fuss, and everything will come out right 

The Black Man's Spiritual Strivings. 195 

in the long run. It is a rash man who bombards Air. Washing- 
ton's theories with criticisms, for he has entrenched himself 
behind the impregnable walls of Tuskeegee. Dr. Washington 
is something like Alcibiades. During the civic turmoils in 
Athens, Alcibiades would retire to the temple, where none would 
dare disturb him and molest him within those sacred walls, and he 
would there carry on his work. Now the sanctuary within 
whose sacred precincts Air. \\'ashington is safe against criticism 
is Tuskeegee. He and his work are so indissolubly connected 
that to criticise his theories seems an attack upon his work. But 
we must distinguish between the vulnerability of his social and 
political philosophy and the utility of his work at Tuskeegee; just 
as we do not accept Air. Carnegie as an authority in orthography 
because he has been a successful financier and amassed a colossal 
fortune and has dotted the land with libraries. In the other parts 
of the book, I analyze and discuss Air. Washington's view at 
length and will only say one thing here. 

In his "Gospel of Work," Air. A\'ashington has emphasized a 
basic law of human progress. But it has not been true in the 
past history of the race that all a man has to do is to toil and 
labor and save his money, and civic and political recognition will 
come to him. It has been true in the past history of Greece, 
Rome, England, America, Germany and France that in order 
for men to secure civic rights, social and political privileges, they 
have usually been compelled to clamour and cry for them and 
sometimes strive and fight for them. 

A'len do not often give us the recognition that we deserve. 
They usually withhold that gift from cowards and bestow it 
on those who possess the courage to demand it. Then, too, in 
attempting to solve the race question with the Negrosaxon elimin- 
ated from politics, in solving the race question on the basis of the 
Negrosaxon being a hopeless and helpless social and political unit, 
Air. Washington is running counter to the teachings of history. 
The race problem is practically the Negrosaxon's place in Ameri- 
can politics. Everything hinges upon the ballot. It is the door 
which ushers one into the blessings of justice in the court room, 
educational opportunities and civic privileges. It is the gate 
through which one enters the paradise of equality of rights and 

196 The African Abroad. 

liberty of opportunity. Without the ballot the Ncg^rosaxon is a 
helpless and hopeless pariah in society, absolutely at the mercy of 
a dominant prejudiced race. He is a member of a doomed race. 
He cannot demand anything like a man. He can only beg and 
plead, and weep and wail, and whine and cry for his rights. 


Professor W. E. B. DuBois sees that a man is not the slave 
of circumstances, but transforms his environment after the pat- 
tern of his ideals. He recognizes with Professor Hart that a 
man by his own attitude may transform the w^orld's estimate of 
him. Whether DuBois is right or wrong, he is following in the 
footsteps of Paul, y\thanasius, Luther, Knox, Calvin, Cromwell, 
JMilton, Hampden, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas 
Jefferson, Sumner, Garrison and Phillips. \\'hat is human his- 
tory but the attempt of man to reach out after the highest that 
he knows of and to struggle to express the deepest that is within 
him? Hence DuBois is following after the saints and heroes, the 
sages and seers of all ages. 

The same principle for which ^Martin Luther contended, when 
he nailed his ninety-five theses to the church door at Erfurt 
and burned the Pope's bull; the same principle for which the 
Pilgrim Fathers contended, when they crossed the Atlantic in a 
frail bark and faced starvation and attacks by Indians and bore 
the rigors of a New England winter; the same principle for 
Avhich Roger \\illiams contended, when he left the Massachusetts 
Colony; the same principle for which the Boston patriots con- 
tended, when they threw the tea overboard; these are the same 
principles for which the critics of Booker Washington contend, 
and that principle is the right of private judgment, the right of 
an individual to think for himself and to express his deepest 
thoughts and fundamental convictions. The critics of Booker T. 
Washington are the twentieth century champions of freedom of 
thought and liberty of conscience ; they are the spiritual descend- 
ants of Martin Luther and the brave men and women who crossed 
the Atlantic in the Mayflower. The mantles of Samuel Adams 
and Wendell Phillips have fallen upon our shoulders. 

The Black Man's Spiritual Strivings. 197 


Yes, all the ancient world sacrificed the individual to the State, 
and in Japan, which is the modern representative of Oriental 
ideals, it is not regarded as a terrible thing for a girl to prostitute 
herself to support a famil3^ Education in the ancient world has 
to produce a certain type rather than develop the individual. 

But in the spread of Christianity, which regarded the soul of 
every one as of value in God's sight, and in the ascendency of 
the noble Teutonic peoples, who reverenced their own personality 
as something sacred and divine, who craved for personal recog- 
nition, we see the emergence of the idea that the individual was 
supreme and of value for himself alone. For nearly a thousand 
years these ideas smouldered during the so-called Dark Ages. 
The}'- undermined Roman slavery and mediaeval serfdom. 
Then came the renaissance, which emancipated the intellect of 
Europe from the domain of the mediaeval schoolmen ; the Protes- 
tant Reformation, which emancipated the conscience of the indi- 
vidual believer from the authority of the infallible Pope; the 
French Revolution, which toppled over the doctrine of the divine 
right of kings and the democracy of the nineteenth and twentieth 
centuries. And I believe that the grand Anglo-Saxon has been 
ilie modern champion of the doctrine of liberty and independence, 
and of the worth and sacredness of human personality. The 
fact that Napoleon, the son of a revolution, could elect himself 
as emperor over a republic which had dethroned and beheaded 
a king; the fact that Louis Napoleon, his nephew, could, in 
December, 185 1, transform the second republic into a second 
empire ; the fact that the French people lean to socialism, shows 
that for them the state idea is more supreme than the idea of 
individual development. The German believes in method. Bis- 
marck Vi^elded the army into a perfect fighting machine. He 
understood the German nature and made the soldier a part of a 
machine. But in England and America we see the aggressiveness 
of the Anglo-Saxon. 

So we may say that the meaning of human history is the 
growth and spread of the conception of personal freedom ; free- 
dom to express one's personality and manifest one's individuality ; 
freedom to think one's thoughts and utter one's deepest longings 

198 The African Abroad. 

and cravings; freedom of thought, speech and action in religion, 
poHtics and civil life. 

The difTercnce between ancient and modern history is that 
in the ancient Oriental world the individual was ignored, while 
in the modern Occidental world he is recognized. In China and 
Japan the family was supreme; the individual was nothing. In 
Hindoo philosophy the individual was lost and swallowed up 
and absorbed in the absolute. In Persia, Eg>'pt and Babylon, the 
individual was nothing; the monarch was supreme. Even in 
Greece, where the individual expressed his freedom in the realm 
of art and literature; and in Rome, where the right of private 
property and freedom in willing such property was recognized, 
the individual existed for the sake of the State, and not the 
State for the sake of the individual. That was the dream of 
Plato's republic. Aristotle was the first ancient thinker who 
clearly recognized the importance of the individual. 

The Athenian democracy and the Roman republic meant that 
the development of personality and the assertion of individuality 
applied to all free citizens but not to the slaves. The growth and 
dissemination of Christianity, the rise of the Teutonic races, the 
abolition of serfdom in the middle ages, the revival of learning 
and the rediscovery of the Greek world, the Protest-ant and Puri- 
tan reformations, the American and French revolutions, meant 
that the development of human personality, the assertion of 
human individuality applied to all white men and women. And 
the twentieth century will witness the application of the ideals of 
personality, the conception of individuality, to the darker races. 
It will witness the embracing of the darker races within the 
brotherhood of the human family. It will mean that the Negro 
will be regarded as a person and not as a thing. It will see the 
sons and daughters of Ham attaining to selfhood. As DuBois, 
the Emerson and Thucydidcs of the Xcgro race, says, "The 
problem of the twentieth century will be the problem of the color 
line." I wonder if the Anglo-Saxon will ever realize that deep 
in the soul of the Negro divine impulses are stirring and are 
longing to break into expression in song and story and eloquent 
speech; that his revolt against some of the teachings of the 
Tuskeegee sage express his desire to enter into the spiritual 
inheritance of the human race. 

The Black Man's Spiritual Striz'in^s. 199 

The most pathetic spectacle about the attitude of the American 
mind towards the Negro is not the facts of lynching, disfran- 
ciiisement and the enacting of Jim Crow laws, for there are some 
vicious and boisterous Negroes who ought to be Jim-Crowed 
and disfranchised, but the fact that the higher courses have 
been eliminated from the State colleges and the higher schools 
for Negroes in the South ; the fact that the Northern philanthro- 
pists are now refusing to aid the schools and colleges for the 
higher education of the Negro; the fact that the self-reliant, the 
self-supporting class of colored people are Jim-Crowed. As I read 
the daily press, the weekly and monthly magazines, I discover it 
is not the illiterate, vicious Negro who is the recipient of the 
most abuse and vituperation and villification ; but it is the colored 
man who desires to become cultured and strives also for the 
bread of spiritual life. And the Niagara movement is a protest 
against this low estimate of the Negro. It says Booker Wash- 
ington is right in urging the Negroes to become an agricultural, 
industrial and economic factor in the country; but the colored 
man needs to aspire after the highest things in the American 
civilization, needs the ballot, whose possession exalts an indi- 
vidual and makes him a man. The Niagara movement is but the 
world impulses of thought and feeling manifesting themselves 
in the Negro consciences. It is but the Zeitgeist affecting Negro 
minds, it is but the stirring within the Negro's soul of the Imma- 
nent World Ground, the welling up within human nature of the 
Immanent World Spirit. It shows that the Negro is human and 
sensitive to slights and insults. 

The Niagara movement is but the surging up into the soul of 
the Negro of that Immanent World Spirit, who has been weav- 
ing at the loom of time for centuries, of whom the Apostle Paul 
said, "In him we live and move and have our being." It will be 
victorious, because it is in harmony with the tendencies of this 
democratic age and the genius of Christianity. It will become true / 
of it that the stone that the builder rejected will some day become 
the head of the column ; it will galvanize the Negro with the 
electricity of hope. From the Great Lakes to the Gulf, it will send 
the thrill of life throughout the Negro race. It will start a tidal 
wave of sentiment that will move mountain-high from the Atlan- 
tic to the Pacific, lifting the Negro out of the valley of the 
Shadow of Death to the Mount Ararat of Hope. 

200 The African Abroad. 

What William Roscoe Thayer, in his "Dawn of the Italian 
Indepciulcncc," says of Italy may well be said of the American 
XcLcro : '"We must look for siijns of pro.^aess in the aspirations 
rather than in the achievements of anything conspicuous. For 
this movement was inward and subtle ; and its outward expres- 
sion in deeds was stubbornly repressed. For no man can speak 
the truth that is in him when the hand of the oppressor is on 
his throat." 

This being true, an epical grandeur is attached to the forces 
working unseen beneath the surface, which like the forces of 
nature, asserting themselves in budding spring, are slowly trans- 
fomiing the thought, life and character of the Negro. And that 
is why the Niagara movement has an epical significance and why 
DuBois is the hero in the battle for spiritual freedom and Negro 

There is one thing in the attitude of the American mind toward 
the Negrosaxon that I question and that is the leveling tendency, 
which acts upon the principle "all coons look alike to me," and 
which links all Negrosaxons indiscriminately together, good, bad 
and indifferent, in a mass. President Roosevelt erred this way, 
when he in his annual message of December, i(jo6, intimated 
that the good Negrosaxons sympathized with and shielded Negro 
criminals. He erred again when he took it for granted that a 
whole battalion of the Twenty-fiftii Infantry entered into a 
conspiracy of silence to shield the dozen who are said to have 
shot up Brownsville. New England philanthropists erred again 
when they intimated that the colored graduate of Yale and Har- 
vard ought to go South to be a missionary and apostle of culture 
to his people, instead of hovering around Boston, New York, 
Philadelphia, Washington and Chicago. 

The mass of Southern Negroes are so densely ignorant, and so 
averse to learning and so hostile to scholarsliip and culture, that 
it will be at least twenty-five years before a colored scholar will 
be appreciated at his face value in the South. At present, the 
attitude of the Southern Negro to the Northern-born colored 
graduate of Yale and Harvard is one of hostility, distrust and 
suspicion, of cynical, carping criticism rather than one of sym- 
pathetic appreciation. They will inspect him for the purpose 
of detecting his minor faults rather than discovering his splendid 

The Black Man's Spiritual Striz^ings. 201 

qualities. Woe unto him, if he is not, in addition to being 
scholarly, an Apollo in appearance, a Beau Brummel in dress and 
a Lord Chesterfield in manners. This is perhaps as true of 
New York City and Washington, D. C, as of the South. If a 
colored scholar is interested in Pythagorus, Socrates, Plato, 
Aristotle, Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Lotze, Spencer, Carlyle, 
Emerson and Matthew Arnold, he is cut off by the fact that he 
is colored from contact and association with the scholars of the 
country and compelled to live amongst those of his own race, 
who have no sympathy with nor appreciation of his idealistic 
dreams. The reasons why colored graduates, who won scholar- 
ships, prizes and literary honors and oratorical honors in Yale 
and Harvard, do not grow and develop into scholars of fame 
and distinction, after they leave the classic walls of their Alma 
Mater, is because their environment does not give them a stimulus. 

One may ask why is it that in the period of the renaissance, 
in the age of Pericles, in the Kantian and post-Kantian period 
of philosophy in Germany, in the Elizabethan age of litera- 
ture, in the Victorian age of English literature, and in New 
England transcendentalism, there was such a plentiful crop of 
distinguished scholars and brilliant writers? How account for 
it, that in a town of only moderate size and population, almost 
within a span of one human life, there could be produced such 
remarkable geniuses as Miltiades and Alcibiades in war; 
Themistocles and Pericles in statesmanship ; ^schylus, Socrates 
and Euripides in tragedy ; Aristophanes in comedy ; Thucydides 
and Herodotus in history; Socrates, Plato and Aristotle in 
philosophy, and Demosthenes in eloquence? These names, rep- 
resenting the highest heights to which the human intellect has 
attained in war, statesmanship, tragedy, comedy, art, philosophy 
and eloquence, were produced in a city which we would regard as 
small within the space of two generations. \\'ell might Frederick 
Harrison say, "It is this sudden blazing up of supreme genius 
on this mere speck of rock for one short period — and then utter 
silence — which makes the undying charm of this magic spot on 
earth." How could this be possible? 

Then consider that within one century, from 1450 to 1550, 
the world witnessed the revival of learning, the invention of the 
printing press, the discovery of America by Columbus, Coperni- 


The African Abroad. 

cus's epoch-making discovery in astronomy, and the Protestant 
Reformation. How account for it that in art, science, reHgion, 
discovery and invention, there was such an intellectual, artistic 
and moral awakening. For a thousand years the world had 
been sleeping and then suddenly it burst forth into the greatest 
quickening of the human spirit along artistic, scientific, exploring 
and religious lines that the world has yet seen. I low account for 
it ? How account for the galaxy of brilliant men ? 

Then coming down to the close of the eighteenth century and 
the beginning of the century that has just passed, what do we 
fmd? Within fifty years Germany gave the world Lessing, 
W'ieland, Goethe, Schiller and Heine in poetry; Herder, W'ilhelm 
Fredrich Schegel, Jean Paul Richter, Ludwig Tieck, Novalis, 
Fouque, Arndt, Korner, Ruckert and Nililand in literature, and 
Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel and Jacobi in philosophy, producing 
in Goethe a poet who almost equaled Homer, Dante and Shakes- 
peare ; in Ilerder a philosophical student of history, who rivaled 
Thucydides; in Kant and Hegel philosophers who measured up 
to the colossal grandeur of Plato and Aristotle. What a galaxy 
of names we find in England about the middle of the nineteenth 
century, when Newman was disturbing the peace of Oxford 
University by the Oxford movement, and when his sonorous 
voice was being hushed in the retirement of Livermore. New- 
man, Maurice, Robertson, Stanley and Martineau in religion and 
theology; Carlyle, Froude, Kingsley, Freeman and Green in 
history ; Pater and Ruskin in art ; Browning, Tennyson, Clough, 
Arnold, Shairp, Rossetti, Fitzgerald and Swinburne in poetry; 
and Thackeray, Bronte and Eliot in fiction, are the brilliant lit- 
erary luminaries whose glowing genius lighted up the pages of 
English history and made the period between 1840 and 1875 fully 
as fruitful as the Victorian age of English literature, and almost 
as epoch-making as the golden age of German literature. 

It is significant, too, that the immortal names that America has 
bequeathed to literature — Irving, Cooper, Bryant, Webster, 
Emerson, Hawthorne, Longfellow, Lowell and Holmes, her great 
epoch-makers in theology ; Bushnell, Channing, Parker and the 
brilliant group of satellites, Fuller, Thoreau, Alcott, Curtis, 
Mitchell, Higginson, Hale and Norton, all rose to prominence or 
received their inspiration during the first half of the nineteenth 

The Black Man's Spiritual Strivings. 203 

century ; that all of these writers, with the exception of the first 
three, were the product of New England and that Boston was 
either the place where they were nurtured or trained or delivered 
their messages to the world. In a word, almost all of the men 
who have made Greece, Rome, Florence, Italy, Germany, France, 
England and America memorable in literature, art, philosophy or 
religion belonged to groups of thinkers and artists who lived in 
the same age, so the Periclcan age, the Augustan age, the age 
of Lorenzo the Magnificent; the age of Raphael, the Goethean 
age, the Mctorian age, the Elizabethan age, and the period of 
New England transcendentalism, and the age of Rousseau, have 
come to stand for the periods of creative activity in the literary 
life of the countries and cities we have just mentioned. We 
might write the life of Pericles, Augustus, Raphael, Lorenzo the 
JMagnificent, Goethe, Rousseau, Shakespeare, Carlyle and Emer- 
son and show that almost all of the immortal names in literature, 
art and philosophy either spoke their message to the world or 
received the intellectual or moral shock that quickened them into 
activity in the lifetime of these eight men. The lives of eight 
men can epitomize all human progress. Why is it that great 
thinkers, poets, artists and musicians do not come singly, but in 
groups? It is because one human mind is stimulated and 
inspired by another mind. The example of one mind putting 
forth creative activity arouses the creative impulse in another. 
Kant aroused Fichte and Herder aroused Goethe. Then the 
encouragement such as Baron Bunsen and the Oxford professors 
gave Max Miiller nerves one to explore the untraveled paths of 
scholarship, to enlarge the bounds of human knowledge and peer 
into the realms that lie beyond the ken of human vision. I have 
seen Dr. George A. Gordon, pastor of the South Congregational 
Church of Boston, grow as a theologian. WHien I was an under- 
graduate of Yale, he had not written any of the books that have 
since made him famous. The first course of lectures which, 
being afterwards embodied in book form, made him famous, were 
delivered before the Yale Divinity School. The enthusiasm that 
their delivery and their publication evoked, and the fact that his 
own congregation grew with his growth and encouraged and 
sympathized with his efforts as a theologian, inspired him to 
deliver three more courses of lectures at Yale, one in Boston and 

204 The African Abroad. 

one in Harvard, which, being pubHshed, increased his fame. 
Had he remained in the small country church in Maine, where 
he began his pastorate, he would not have been the Gordon he is 
to-day. Boston, Yale and Harvard developed him as a theologian 
and quickened the spark of genius that slumbered in his soul. 

What encouragement docs the colored man, who has spent a 
score of years in school and college, who has delved in philosophy 
and history and literature, and whose aim and ambition in life 
is to produce a work in literature, philosophy or history, that 
shall live after him and cause the youth of his own race to feel 
that his own race has made some contribution to civilization and 
wrought something in the world of ideas and the realm of letters, 
get? The Anglo-Saxon race will regard him as an impractical 
dreamer, who is wasting his life, while the head of one of the 
great industrial schools of the South will speak of him as a 
literary bum and educated tramp and speak in contempt of a rose- 
wood piano in a log cabin or country school-house or a colored 
youth studying a French grammar in the backwoods. He will be 
pointed to as an educational failure ; even if he has written and 
had typewritten a work on philosophy, history and literature, he 
can arouse no interest in the Anglo-Saxon race and no enthusiasm 
in his own race. H, however, by dint of nerve and grit and pluck 
he succeeds in getting his book upon the market, and the world 
recognizes his genius, his own people will then crowd around 
him for the purpose of basking in the sunshine of his greatness, 
in order that he may shed lustre upon them. But while he is 
panting and struggling and striving to rise, to mount the heights 
of achievement and climb the ladder of fame, he will find few 
in his own race or the Anglo-Saxon race who will give him an 
encouraging word or a helping hand. 

I remember how three conversations with Hon. William T. 
Harris, former United States Commissioner of Education, 
opened a new world to me. Ten and twelve years ago I read 
Carlyle and Emerson and Goethe and Hegel, and thought I 
understood them. A few years ago I returned to Washington, 
after having lived two years in the South in intellectual loneli- 
ness and isolation. Just in three conversations, Dr. Harris opened 
u\) a new mine of riches in Emerson, Carlyle, Hegel and Goethe, 
in discussing the philosophy of history and present-day politics. 

The Black Man's Spiritual Strivings. 205 

I returned to Emerson's works and Hegel's philosophy of his- 
tory, and saw in those writers that which I had overlooked or 
passed by ten years ago. This impulse and inspiration, which 
contact with a superior mind gives, is not as a rule open to the 
colored scholar, after he leaves college. This is not a plea for 
social equality, but a statement of the cause of the dearth of 
Negro literature and Negro scholarship of a high grade ; a state- 
ment of the reason why the budding Negro genius is nipped by 
the chill and frost of unsympathetic criticism and lack of 

The North desires to develop the Negrosaxon as a man, the 
South to repress his development. I believe that the North 
attitude towards the Negrosaxon is wiser than the South's 
attitude. Both regard the Negrosaxon as a crude and unde- 
veloped race in comparison with the Anglo-Saxon, which has 
had the discipline and training of centuries. The South says : 
"Tlie Negrosaxon is inferior to the white man and we will keep 
him so. We will Jim-Crow, segregate and disfranchise him. We 
will eliminate the higher courses from high schools and State 
colleges. If he indulges in the luxury known as freedom of 
thought and expression, we will shoot him down, string him up 
to a tree or run him out of our community. We must teach 
him to know his place and that he is a Nigger." While the North 
says : "The Negrosaxon is a child in comparison with the Anglo- 
Saxon. He is a good-hearted, genial, generous, kindly and 
religious being and he has produced some exceptional men and 
women. But he is vain and imitative, caring more for show and 
display and glitter and glare than for solid intellectual and moral 
worth. Then he manifests a spiteful and envious spirit towards 
the more gifted and successful men of his own race. What will 
we do with him? Why we will give him everything that can 
exalt him and dignify him as a man." Then the North put the 
ballot into his hands, gave him equal civil rights and privileges 
and then admitted him to the public schools in New England, 
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the West, and spent 
millions of dollars in erecting, supporting and endowing Southern 
schools and colleges to fit the Negrosaxon to become a full- 
fledged American and to exercise the duties of citizenship. The 
solution of the so-called race problem will never come until the 


2o6 The African Abroad. 

South learns to respect tlie Nei^rosaxon and teaches the Negro- 
saxon to respect himself. The best way for the South to prevent 
intcrmarria.c,'e between the races or any longings for such among 
the colored is to regard and so treat the Xegrosaxon with respect 
and consideration that he will look with honor and reverence upon 
his own race and women. How can the Xegrosaxon be taught 
self-respect when he is humiliated and snubbed at every turn, 
when the consciousness of his inferiority is forced upon him in 
the South every moment of his life? I recall an amusing inci- 
dent in this regard. A few years ago I visited a Southern school. 
The State Board of Education was also visiting and inspecting 
the schools that day. I heard the children read and recite in the 
various rooms. Then the children convened in the chapel and 
sang and marched. The brilliancy of their recitations, their 
gracefulness in calisthenics and marching, the beauty and weird- 
ness of their singing, made a powerful impression upon one mem- 
ber of the Board of Education. And he enthusiastically exclaimed, 
"Isn't that fine!" "Yes," the other man replied, "but they are 
Niggers just the same." And that represents the normal 
Southern attitude. 


And this brings me to the American Negro Academy idea. 
The American Negro Academy is an organization of Negro 
scholars, which was founded by the late Rev. Alexander Crum- 
/Tnell, its first president, at whose death Dr. W. E. Burghardt 
SDuBois was elected president, and whose present president is the 
V^Hon. Archibald Grimkc, whose secretary is and has been Pro- 
fessor John Wesley Cromwell. Its membership is limited to 
forty and it meets every year during tlie_Qiristmas holidays in 

^Washington to read and discuss papers relating to various phases 

and aspects of Negrosaxon life. Its last session was held in 

Howard University, whose noble president. Dr. Wilbur P. 

Thirkield, offered the university for its annual meeting place. 

^By prefixing the adjective American to the odious word "Negro," 

Uhe Academy has partly robbed it of its hateful meaning. 

Now what is the spiritual meaning and epical significance of 
the word American Negro Academy, which endeavors to foster 
scholarship in tlie Negro race and encourage budding Negro 

The Black Man's Spiritual Strivings. 207 

genius? On January ii, January 13, January 14, 1907, I was 
an interested spectator in the Senate galleries, when, in the 
discussion regarding the Foraker resolution regarding the dis- 
missal of a whole battalion of the Twenty-fifth Infantry, because 
a few were charged with shooting up the town of Brownsville, 
Senator Tillman flayed the Negrosaxon race, and Senators 
Spooner, Patterson and Nelson made pleas for fair play for the 
colored brother, and Senator Gallinger stated that one colored 
man had been appointed Assistant District Attorney in Boston. 
I was especially interested when, on January 13, Senator Tillman 
declared, "I do not hate the Negro, but I regard myself as his 
superior, that is, I mean the white race is superior to the colored 
race." That pithy sentence of Senator Tillman explains why the 
South Jim-Crows and disfranchises the Negro and why the 
North acquiesces in the South's setting at naught the Fourteenth 
and Fifteenth Amendments to the Federal Constitution. It is 
because the country regards the Negrosaxon as an inferior race. 
Now Crummell's idea was that the Negro thinkers, scholars, 
writers, poets, artists and musicians, must demonstrate to the 
world the intellectual and spiritual equality of the Negrosaxon 
race with the Anglo-Saxon race. 

One friend said to me, when I said that the Negrosaxon race 
must acquire prestige and standing to secure respect and recog- 
nition, that that was Dr. Washington's doctrine. Hardly. He 
says : "Get wealth and all other things will come to you." 
Wealth is a necessary and fundamental factor in the evolution 
of the Negrosaxon race. For the bread problem is the first 
problem of life. But wealth alone will not save the Negro. 
Without a ballot, and justice in the court room, he cannot keep 
his wealth, but is at the mercy of the whim and caprice of his 
Anglo-Saxon neighbor. Two thousand years ago the saying was 
current in Rome, "There is only one thing in the world more 
despicable than a poor Jew and that is a rich Jew." Through the 
middle ages the Jews possessed wealth. But they were hounded, 
persecuted and murdered, driven from post to pillar, forbidden to 
own land and conduct manufacturing industries. Only towards 
the close of the nineteenth century have they been able to breathe 
easy in Europe. A few years ago we read of the anti-Semitic 
riots in France. Only recently the Kishenev massacre in Russia 


2o8 The African Abroad. 

took place. The Jew's fate in Russia is worse than the Negro's 
in America. Babylon, Carthage, Rome, \'enice and Florence 
were once powerful and rich kingdoms. But who knows who 
the rich men of antiquity were. Croesus and Crassus are the only 
rich men of anticjuity whose names have come down to us from 
the ages and ring in the class room. But every schoolboy has 
heard of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Demosthenes, Caesar, 
Cicero and Vergil. The fame of Dante and Raphael and Michel 
Angelo will outlive that of the famous Medici family. The 
names of Goethe, Milton, Shakespeare, Spencer, Beethoven, 
Wagner, Carlyle, Emerson, Browning, Tennyson, \\'hittier and 
Wordsworth are household words, while few people know or care 
who were the rich contemporaries of these gifted souls. Rich 
men, as a rule, are forgotten as soon as their remains are depos- 
ited in the ground. Rich men like Lorenzo the ^lagnificent, who 
was a patron of art and letters ; or like Robert ^klorris, the 
patriot ; or like Peabody, the philanthropist, are the only rich 
men who live in history or literature. So, if we, as a race, would 
gain recognition, we must not only absorb and assimilate, but 
must add ideas, must not only be an imitative but a creative 
race in art, letters, science, statesmanship and finance. In some 
way or other we must make the world our debtors. If this be 
true, then we must honor the scholars and thinkers in our race 
and regard Alexander Crummell as one of those prophetic 
minds who looked beyond the immediate present and down the 
vista of the ages. 

Dr. Washington has thus expressed the watchword of the 
modern world, "The world does not care so much what you or 
I know, as what we can do." And the masses of colored men and 
women have forsaken soul-hunger for land-hunger and gold- 
hunger. In a certain sense, it is true that the object and aim 
of all education is not to make men dreamers and bookworms, 
but to fit and prepare men to play a man's part in life. We 
are living in an age when men have harnessed the wind and 
the rain, the waterfall and brook, fire and electricity to turn our 
mills, run our errands, transmit us over land and sea, permit us 
to converse with friends hundreds of miles away and transmit 
messages to our cousins across the sea. We have compelled the 
forests, gold, silver, copper, ir6n, coal and oil and other earthly 

The Black Man's Spiritual Strivings. 209 

deposits to yield up their energy for our use. We manufacture 
ice by machinery and make by machines most of the things that 
we formerly made by hand. We erect skyscrapers twenty-four 
stories high. We live in steam-heated, electric-lighted houses, 
and cross the ocean in floating palaces. We fill in marshes and 
swamps and build cities upon them. We honor the man who can 
increase the output of the world's food or clothes supply or 
cheapen transportation. The watchword of modern life is 
"bring the comforts and luxuries of life within the reach of the 
masses." And we exclaim, "great is the man of action, great is 
the man who can do things." 

But wait a minute. Why is it that we moderns have so many 
more conveniences and inventions, and a more scientific agricul- 
ture and a more antiseptic surgery than the ancients? It is only 
because we know so much more about the laws of nature and 
human nature ; it is because we know so much more about the 
properties and laws of matter, about the properties and qualities 
of coal, iron, fire, water, steam and electricity, about the soil 
and about the human body and have formulated and have sys- 
tematized such knowledge into science, that we may enjoy the 
material blessings of our modern civilization. Had it not been 
for the fact that for nearly ten thousand years men have been 
questioning nature, unraveling her secrets, discovering her laws 
and systematizing them in the form of science and leaving the 
permanent records of discoveries and researches and investiga- 
tions in books, we would not have our modern inventions, con- 
veniences, agriculture and medicine. We can do things so well 
because we are the heirs of the past knowledge of the world. 
The real benefactors of the world are the men who have thought 
and studied and known and deposited their accumulation of the 
world's wisdom as the priceless heritage for us moderns. 

The question whether the man of thought or the man of 
action is of most value to society, the question as to whether the 
man of affairs or the scholar has played the most important 
role in history, has been a debated question for two thousand 
years. Two thousand years ago Cicero, in his oration in behalf 
of the poet Archias, gave a classic defense of the literary man. 
And the question has never been answered yet. Milton, in middle 
age, flung himself into the religious and political controversies of 


2 10 The African Abroad. 

his time and became a formidable controversialist; but the 
Milton who has stamped the impress of his personality upon the 
ages, the Milton who will go down in English history and litera- 
ture is not the Milton who wrote iconoclastic pamphlets, but the 
poet who gave the world "Lycidas," "Comus," "I'Allegro" and "II 
Penseroso" and created that epoch of Puritanism, "Paradise 
Lost." Goethe for many years held some state position in Wei- 
mar. But the Goethe whose name lives in history is not the State 
official, but the author of that epoch of the soul life, "Goethe's 
Faust." He has been severely criticized because he did not, like 
the rugged and heroic Fichte, enter into the struggle for German 
liberty, kindle into activity the slumbering flames of German 
patriotism, when Napoleon plowed his rugged way and blazed 
his fiery path through Europe, and stamped the iron heel of 
oppression upon prostrate Prussia; on the contrary, Goethe 
remained a calm and impassive spectator, while the most stormy 
and bloody drama the world has ever witnessed was being enacted 
upon the stage of human history. One wonders how any man 
could sit serenely in the grandstand or stand idly along the side 
lines wiiile the greatest battle in human history was being fought 
and won for democracy, while blood was flowing like water in 
the streets of Paris, and while Napoleon was crushing and 
throttling the spirit of German liberty and was riding rough- 
shod over the kingdoms of Europe, while the old aristocratic 
order was being shaken to its foundation and the democratic 
ferment and leaven was felt throughout Germany. Fichte towers 
in his colossal grandeur above Goethe and is worthy of the elo- 
quent tribute of Carlyle when he calls him "the cold, colossal, 
adamantine spirit, standing erect and clear, like a Cato Major 
among degenerate men, fit to have been the teacher of the Stoa, 
and to have discoursed of beauty and virtue in the groves of the 
Academe. We state Fichte's character, as it is known and 
admitted by men of all parties among the Germans, when we 
say that so robust an intellect, a soul so calm, massive and immov- 
able has not mingled in philo.sophical discussion since the time 
of Luther. We figure his motionless look had he heard the 
charge of mysticism which was made against him in England. 
For the man rises before us amid contradiction and debate, like 
a granite mountain amid a cloud and wind." 

The Black Man's St^iritual Strivings. 211 

I will admit that Emerson in his address upon "The American 
Scholar and Literary Ethics," Curtis in his oration upon "The 
Duty of the American Scholar," and Wendell Phillips in his 
"Phi Beta Kappa Address" have sounded the bugle call which 
aroused the scholars of America out of ignoble ease and cowardly 
leisure, awoke the Puritan spirit in them and transformed them 
into champions of liberty and self-sacrificing patriots. All this 
is true and yet many histories of German literature dispose of 
Fichte with a few sentences, while they devote as many chapters 
to Goethe as they do paragraphs to Fichte. Only five or six 
books have been written upon Fichte, while nearly a hundred 
have been written about Goethe, whose fame is almost as uni- 
versal as Luther, the greatest figure of modern timies. 

Matthew Arnold was for many years examiner in the schools 
of England and his salary of examiner was greater than the 
average income from his poems and essays, which was only 
$1,200 a year. But the Matthew Arnold who lives and will live 
in English history and literature is not Arnold the examiner, but 
Arnold the chaste and refined poet, the sane critic of literature, 
the lofty and serene interpreter of Hellenism, the modern apostle 
of culture. It is as a moral force, expressing itself through 
literature, that Arnold powerfully affected and influenced his age. 

Carlyle found himself too big for the classroom, he found its 
walls too narrow to compass his mighty spirit, and embraced 
literature as his vocation. Had he remained a teacher, he 
might have become as famous and noted an inspirer of youth 
as Dr. Arnold of Rugby, or Professor Mark Hopkins of Wil- 
liams, but he would never have enriched the world by his wonder- 
ful histories, would never have interpreted German thought to 
England and America, and been, with the possible exception of 
Emerson, the strongest moral force of the nineteenth century, 
and the greatest apostle of idealism since the days of Plato. 
Emerson and Colonel T. W. Higginson found themselves fettered 
in the pulpit. They discovered that they could not speak freely 
and express their individuality in the pulpit. So they uttered 
their divine messages in literature. Had Emerson remained in 
the pulpit, he might have become an influence in New England 
theology like Channing, Theodore Parker and Horace Bushnell, 
might have become a magnetic preacher like Henry Ward 

212 The African Abroad. 

Beccher or Phillips Brooks. But he would never have become the 
American interpreter of German and Neo-Platonic idealism and 
Oriental I'anthcism, and Harvard's Hall of Philosophy would 
never have been christened after him. Had Emerson remained 
in the pulpit he would never have become a world genius like 
Homer, Shakespeare and Goethe, he would not have been free 
to range over the world of human thought and could never have 
spoken those mystic words or sang that mystic song that has 
enthralled mankind. I well remember Henry McLaughlin, the 
professor of belles Icttres of Yale, wiio was cut off in his early 
thirties. He longed to preach but his message would have been 
embarrassed by traditional orthodoxy. He decided to make litera- 
ture his pulpit and the world his congregation. And his little 
books upon "Literary Criticism" and "Studies in Mediaeval Life 
and Literature" indicate that had he lived he would have devel- 
oped into a literary critic, who would have blended the sanity 
of Arnold with the spirituality of Newman. 

Max Miiller, the famous philologist, in a confession in his "My 
Autobiography," says : "One confession I have to make and one 
for which I can hardly hope for absolution, whether from my 
friends or my enemies, — I have never done anything and I have 
never been a doer, a canvasser, a wire-puller, a manager in the 
ordinary sense of these words. I have also shrunk from agita- 
tion, from clubs and from cliques, even from the most respectable 
associations and societies. Many people would call me an idle, 
useless, indolent man, and though I have not wasted many hours 
of my life, I cannot deny the charge that I have neither 
fought battles, nor helped to conquer new countries, nor joined 
any syndicate to roll up a fortune. I have been a scholar, a 
Stubengelehrte and voila tone . . . 

"What we do or what we build up, has always seemed to me 
of little consequence. Even Nineveh is now a mere desert of 
sand and Ruskin's new road also has long since been worn away. 
The only thing of consequence to my mind is what we think, what 
we know, what we believe. , . . 

"Did not Emerson write: 'The scholar is the man of the age?' 
Did not even Mazzini. who certainly was constantly up and 
trying to do, did not even he confess that men must die, but 
that the amount of truth they have discovered does not die with 

The Black MaJi's Spiritual Striz'i)ii:;s. 213 

them. And Carlyle? Did he ever try to get into Parliament? 
Did he ever accept directorates? Did he join the choruses or the 
special constables in Trafalgar Square? . . , Nature has not 
endowed everybody with the requisite brawn to be a muscular 
Christian. But it may be said that even if Carlyle and Ruskin 
were absolved from doing muscular work in Trafalgar Square, 
what excuse could they plead for not walking in procession to 
Hyde Park, climbing up one of the platforms and haranguing 
the men, women and children? . . . Gladstone could harangue 
multitudes, so could Disraeli ; all honor to them for it. But 
think of Carlyle or Ruskin doing so ! Striking the shell of a 
tortoise, or the cupola of St. Paul's would not have been more 
attractive to them than addressing the discontented, when in their 
hundreds and their thousands they descended into the streets. 

"AH I claim is that there must be a division of labor, and as 
little as W^ayland Smith could be spared, when he hardened the 
iron in the lire for making swords or horseshoes, was Carlyle a 
man that could be spared while he sat in his study preparing 
thought that would not bend or break. 

"But I cannot even claim to have been a man of action in the 
sense in which Carlyle was in England or Emerson in America. 
They were men who in their books were constantly teaching and 
preaching. 'Do this!' they said; 'Do not do that!' The Jew- 
ish prophets did much the same, and they are not considered 
to have been useless men, though they did not make bricks, or 
fight battles like Jehu. But the poor Stubengelehrte has not even 
that comfort. Only now and then he gets some unexpected 
recognition, as when Lord Derby, then Secretary of State for 
India, declared that the scholars who had discovered and proved 
the close relationship between Sanskrit and English, had rendered 
more valuable service to the Government of India than many 
a regiment. . . . 

"However, I can only speak for myself, and of my idea of 
work. I felt satisfied when my work led me to a new discovery, 
whether it was the smallest desert island in the vast ocean of 
truth. I would gladly go so far as to try to convince my friends 
by a simple statement of facts. Let them follow the same course 
and see whether I was right or wrong. But to make propaganda, 
to attempt to persuade by bringing pressure to bear, to canvass 

2 14 The African Abroad. 

and to organize, to found societies, to start new journals, to 
call meetings and have them reported in the papers, has always 
been to me very much against the grain. . . . 

"As students of classical and other oriental history, we come 
to admire the great empires with their palaces and pyramids and 
temples and capitols. What could have seemed more real, more 
grand, more likely to impress the young mind than Babylon and 
Nineveh, Thebes and Alexandria, Jerusalem, Athens and Rome? 
And now where are they ? The very names of their great rulers 
and heroes are known to few people only and have to be 
learned by heart, without telling us much of tiiose who bore 
them. Many things for which thousands of human beings were 
willing to lay down their lives, and actually did lay them down, 
arc to us mere words and dreams, myths, fables and legends. 
If ever there was a doer, it was Hercules, and now we are told 
that he was a mere myth ! 

"If one reads the description of Babylonian and Egyptian 
campaigns as recorded on cuneiform cylinders and on the walls of 
ancient Egyptian temples, the number of people slaughtered seems 
immense, the issues overwhelming and yet what has become of 
it all? The inroads of the Huns, the expeditions of Genghis 
Khan and Timur, so fully described by histories, shook the whole 
world to its foundations, and now the sand of the desert, dis- 
turbed by their armies, lies as smooth as ever. . . . 

"And wdiat applies to military struggles seems to me to apply 
to all struggles, political, religious, social, commercial, and even 
literary. Let those who love to fight, fight ; but let others who 
are fond of quiet work go on undisturbed in their special callings. 

"That was, as far as we can see, the old Indian idea, or at all 
events the ideal which the Brahmans wished to see realized. I 
do not stand up for utter idleness or sloth, not even for drones, 
though nature does not seem to condemn even that genus alto- 
gether. All I plead for as a scholar and a thinker is freedom 
from canvassing, from letter reading, letter writing, from com- 
mittees, dei)Utations, meetings, public dinners, and all the rest. 
That will sound very selfish to the ears of practical men, and 
I understand why they should look upon men like myself as 
hardly worth the salt. But what would they say to one of the 
greatest fighters in the history of the world? What would they 

The Black Man's Spiritual Strivings. 215 

say to Julius Caesar, when he declares that the triumphs and 
the laurel wreaths of Cicero are as far more nobler than those 
of warriors as it is a great achievement to extend the boundaries 
of the Roman intellect than the domains of the Roman people?" 

I believe that Max Miiller never regretted leaving fortune- 
getting and political agitation and concentrating his life and 
effort to interpreting to the restless, striving, materialistic world 
the religion and philosophy of the oriental world. He has put 
the world under an eternal debt of obligation to him for brino-ine- 
it in touch with the pantheistic thought of the Hindoo seers and 
sages and showing the kinship of the spiritual hopes and aspira- 
tions of the Eastern and Western mind. 

The world has forgotten the millionaires and the political 
agitators who dominated London in the time of Max Miiller; 
but the name of Max Miiller will linger in college walls for 
many generations. 

If, then, Milton, Goethe, Matthew Arnold, Emerson, Colonel 
Higginson and Max Miiller affected their age more powerfully 
through the written world than they would had they confined 
their activities to the classroom and pulpit and practical affairs, 
if McLaughlin had become a Matthew Arnold and John Henry 
Newman rolled up in one, had he lived, who can tell but what my 
peripatetic mode of existence, my trying my hand at preaching, 
teaching, journalism, lecturing and farming instead of settling 
down to any one occupation and driving a peg in one particular 
place, has done for me what Dante's exile had done for him, given 
me that range and breadth of experience, that knowledge of men 
and insight into human nature which I might otherwise have 
never received? Had I not traveled so widely and visited so 
many places and met so many different men and women, had 
my nature not been exposed to so many different influences and 
impressions, I might not have written this prose epic of the 
Negrosaxon race. 

But the materialist will say in reply, "This age does not ask 
how much you know, or how good you are ; but it asks what 
can you do?" This is no doubt true. But we know that with 
the possible exception of Alexander the Great, the nation maker, 
and Julius Caesar, the empire builder, Napoleon Bonaparte was 
the greatest man of action the world has yet seen. We are told 

2i6 The African Abroad. 

that he carried a history of several hundred volumes with him on 
his various campaigns. Before he entered upon his Egyptian, 
Prussian, Austrian and Russian campaigns, he studied the geog- 
raphy and topography of the country, its political history and 
mode of warfare. And that is one of the reasons why he moved 
with such wonderful rapidity. 

The nineteenth century has seen a greater progress in material 
invention than all the preceding centuries put together. One 
hundred years ago we traveled slowly in a stage coach. It took 
nearly a week to go from Boston to New York. Xow we have 
our speedy locomotives that can cover this distance of two 
hundred and fifty miles in five hours. And we have automobiles 
that cover two miles a minute. A hundred years ago to-day we 
crossed the ocean in wooden steamships. Frequently the journey 
lasted five or six weeks. Xow we cross the ocean in our elegantly 
furnished iron and steel steamships, which are veritable floating 
palaces, in five or six days. A hundred years ago to-day we 
dwelt in wooden houses, heated by wood piled up on a hearth 
and lighted by candles or oil lamps. To-day we dwell in steel- 
framed, stone-constructed skyscrapers, heated by steam and 
lighted by electricity. We stand in Boston and converse with 
a friend in New York over the telephone. \\'e transmit messages 
across the ocean by wireless telegraphy. By means of the 
X-ray, we penetrate through the flesh and locate the bullet that 
has been lodged in the human body. We reproduce the human 
voice with the phonograph, cast moving pictures on the canvas, 
reproducing a prizefight or train robbery with the vitascope. 
We utilize steam to drive our engines and harness the water and 
wind to run our mills. How did this come about? 

The Bell telephone was invented by a man whose grandfather 
and father and himself were teachers of elocution. His knowl- 
edge of the mechanism of the human voice enabled him to invent 
the telephone. There is one farmer in Xew England who grows 
from $4,000 to $8,000 worth of vegetables annually upon eight 
acres of land and he raises lettuce in a greenhouse in winter time. 
There is another man in Xew England who raises roses and 
carnations in winter time. There is another man in New Eng- 
land who grows in winter time, in his greenhouse, trees, plants 
and fruits, whose normal habitat is in Florida and the tropics. 

The Black Ma)i's Spiritual Strivings. 217 

How does this come about ? These men or their employees were 
g-raduates of the best agricultural colleges in New England. 
Roentgen's discovery of the X-ray came as the culmination of 
a series of discoveries and experiments in electricity and electric 
waves by eminent scientists of the nineteenth century. Then 
take that most marvelous of all occurrences, Marconi trans- 
mitting a message across the Atlantic by wireless telegraphy. 
Who were the forerunners of Marconi? First, Clerk Maxwell 
demonstrated that electric waves exist. Then Hertz proved the 
actual existence of electric waves by his experiments. Then 
someone invented the ball oscillator, by which one sent electric 
waves, by passing an electric current through an open circuit. 
Then someone must invent a coherer to catch that electric wave. 
Then someone must invent the Morse series of letters. Then 
someone must invent the decoherer, whereby the electric waves, 
generated by the ball oscillator and caught by the coherer, can 
give rise to Morse letters. Then one must conceive of the idea 
of having the instruments that send and the instruments that 
catch electric waves, similarly tuned. Then, when the apparatus 
has been prepared, the theory of wireless telegraphy has been 
accepted by scientific men, Marconi comes along and sends the 

So, when we with vaunted pride boast of the wonderful 
achievements of modern science, and of our numerous inventions, 
wliich bring the commodities and luxuries of life within reach 
of the many, let us remember that we have the locomotive, steam- 
ship, microscope, telescope, telephone, telegraph, phonograph, 
vitascope, electric-light, X-ray and wireless telegraphy, because 
we knov/ so much about the laws and forces of nature and 
have formulated such knowledge into sciences. It is only 
because men have for fifty centuries been studying and inter- 
preting nature, been learning her ways and discovering her 
secrets, and unraveling her mysteries, that we can utilize the 
knowledge thus gained for our wonderful inventions. We are 
under an eternal debt of gratitude to Aristotle, ?\cwton, Coper- 
nicus, Galileo, Clerk Alaxwell, Lord Kelvin and Hertz and their 
many contemporaries. 

Without the labor and discoveries of these men, wc could 
not have the appliances of Edison, the X-ray and wireless 

2iS The African Abroad. 

Freeman has said that history is past poHtics. But I believe 
that Heg-el, Le Bon, Carlyle and Emerson are nearer the truth 
when they base human history and its changes upon the ideas and 
ideals that reign in the mind of man. Aristotle ruled the intellect 
of Europe for two thousand years. Luther shook Europe from 
the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean. Kant has been as potent a 
factor in nineteenth century history as the French Revolution. 
So we must admit that the men in the long run who know are 
the moulders of human history. 

If a man can understand nature anrl man, make a comfortable 
living and rear and educate a family, he can consider himself 
fortunate and can look back upon his career as a successful one. 
The bread problem is a problem of life. So, if the colored man 
is to succeed in life, he must adjust and adapt himself to this 
comj)lex civilization. If the Negrosaxon race is to make a name 
in history it must measure up to and square itself with the 
Anglo-Saxon ideals. I know that Anglo-Saxon prejudice limits 
and curtails our opportunities. But it is these hard conditions 
that make and develop men and women of rugged strength of 
character and sturdy moral fibre. It does seem a hard thing 
that the bulk of the time and the energy of the masses of men 
should be devoted to merely eking out a living. And yet it was 
the struggle for existence in the German forests, in the British 
Isles, on the bleak New England coast and on the \\^estern 
prairies that has developed the splendid fighting qualities of the 
Anglo-Saxon race and made it what it is to-day. The struggle 
for existence, to which the Teutonic races have been subjected 
for centuries, weeded out the weak in body and weak in will 
who could not survive in the struggle witii the forces of nature 
in the battle with wild beasts and fighting with hostile foes in the 
German forests. The eflfort to gain the mastery over nature, 
animals and man, developed thoughtfulness, strength of will and 
strength of body in those who were strong enough to survive 
in that strife and conflict. That is why, some eighteen centuries 
ago, the rude, but rugged and sturdy Germans could impress 
Tacitus that they would be the future conquerors and masters 
of Rome. Now the Negrosaxon, brought up for centuries in a 
tropical climate, only three hundred years removed from sav- 
agery, and with only half a century of freedom, lacks the stead- 
fastness and tenacity of purpose of the Anglo-Saxon. 

The Black Man's Spiritual Striz'ins^s. 219 

The Negrosaxon will get this discipline and training in time. 
He will be compelled to get it, if he hopes to survive in this 
strenuous civilization, in this intense competition and strain and 
at this high pressure and tension of life. In fact, he is slowly 
but surely mastering the alphabet of bread-winning and becoming 
a more efficient economic, industrial and agricultural factor in 
this country. But the great and crying need in this country for 
the colored youth is moral character. Money, education, political 
rights, and civil privileges and economic opportunities are neces- 
sary factors in the evolution of our race. But underlying all is 
the substratum of moral character. We must dig beneath the 
subsoil and sand, until we reach the bedrock of moral character 
and rest and build the civilization of our race upon that. But it 
is not popular to preach that doctrine nowadays. A man who 
would preach character at a public mass meeting would meet 
with a cool reception. The ministers who are sought after by 
congregations and lauded by bishops are not the ministers who 
convert the most souls and inspire the youth of the race; but 
the men who can raise the most money. Booker T. Washington 
has wittily shown how the Negrosaxon has absorbed Anglo-Saxon 
materialism by saying that forty years ago people asked about 
a deceased man, "What did he say?" But now they ask, "How 
much did he leave?" 

But it seems to me that the greatest need in the Negrosaxon 
race is for the granite of moral character which distinguishes 
Dr. Francis J. Grimke and Hon. Archibald H. Grimke, and which 
distinguished the late Dr. Alexander Crummell. It was the gran- 
ite of moral character, the iron of manhood and the nerve of 
integrity that made Rome, England and New England great, 
and that will make the Negrosaxon race great. 

What made Rome, a single city, the conqueror of Italy, then 
the ruler of the Mediterranean, and finally the mistress of the 
world? It was sturdiness and ruggedness of character. The 
Romans were not a brilliant, versatile and gifted race like the 
Greeks; not skillful traders like the Phoenicians; but they 
were a sturdy and vigorous race, mentally, morally and physi- 
cally, with a genius for war and government ; and the whole 
world went down before them. Rome never fell until licentious- 
ness, drunkenness, gluttony and dissipation sapped her moral and 

2 20 The African Abroad. 

physical energy, and then she succumbed before the rouL,^h and 
rude but honest and sturdy barbarians. The greatest war in 
the ante-Christian era was that waged between Rome and 
Carthage in the second and third centuries before Christ. It was 
not only a struggle for supremacy of the sea, for the control 
of the Mediterranean; but it was a struggle between the old 
and decrepit civilization of the Carthaginians and the vigorous 
and sturdy civilization of the Romans. It was a struggle between 
Hannibal, the greatest military genius of antiquity, if not of the 
entire history, and Rome, the greatest nation of antiquity. It 
was Roman character matched against Hannibal's transcendent 
military genius, and Roman character won in that fierce and 
bitter struggle. In the Second Punic war, Hannibal crossed the 
Alps in midwinter; gathering his forces together, he pounced 
down upon Italy with an eagle's swoop, winning victory after 
victory, until the olive groves and vine-clad hills of Italy acknowl- 
edged him as lord and master. At the battle of Lake Trasimenus, 
Hannibal and his hosts slew 15,000 Romans and took 15,000 
prisoners. At the battle of Cannae, Hannibal practically annihi- 
lated the Roman army. The defeated and receding Roman army 
left 70,000 of their slain comrades upon the battlefield of Cann?e. 
It was a fearful slaughter. It showed that Hannibal was invin- 
cible, unconquerable and irresistible, and yet Rome did not 
despair. Instead of meeting Varro, the conquered general, with 
reproaches and insult, as Russia did some of her conquered gen- 
erals and admirals after the Russian-Japanese War, the Roman 
Senate thanked \'arro for not despairing of the Republic. It 
was, with the possible exception of Leonidas' stand with his 
three hundred Spartans at the Pass of Thermopylze, the sub- 
limest spectacle of heroism that the ancient world afforded. And 
although Rome lay at his mercy, Hannibal dared not march upon 
Rome and capture her. He knew that such was the temper of 
the Roman people, such the sturdiness of their character, that 
though he had enough troops to take Rome, he could not hold 
Rome. So we can readily see that it was character that saved 
Rome in the Punic Wars. 

Great Britain is a small inland. It is only about one-fiftieth 
as large as the continent of Europe, which is occu])icd by some 
fifteen different nations. All of these European nations were 

The Black Man's Spiritual Strivings. 221 

really formed by the breaking up of the Roman Empire, of 
Charlemagne's empire. And yet the race that settled in the 
British Isles sent out adventurers and colonists who have con- 
quered and occupied all of North America, part of the West 
Indies and South America, all of Australia, part of Southwest 
Africa and the western coast of Africa, and who now rule and 
dominate India, a country with nearly five hundred million 
inhabitants. So that we may safely say that Englishmen and 
the descendants of Englishmen occupy and control more terri- 
tory in the two Americas, in the W^est Indies, in Australia, in 
Asia and Africa than all the rest of Europe put together. And 
the colonial possessions of England in North America, South 
America, the West Indies, Australia, Asia, and Africa are greater 
than the combined colonial possessions of Russia, Holland, Ger- 
many, France, Spain and Italy. Then, as we turn over the 
pages of history, we read that English yeomen and bowmen, led 
by the bold Black Prince, although greatly outnumbered, defeated 
French chivalry at Crecy in 1346 and at Poictiers in 1356. It is 
said that at the latter battle the English were outnumbered seven 
to one. Then under Drake and other sailors England defeated 
the Spanish Armada on the high seas of the sixteenth century. 
Under the gallant Wolfe, she captured Quebec and drove the 
French out of North America. Under the brave Nelson, she 
defeated the French Navy at the battle of Trafalgar. Under the 
intrepid Wellington, assisted by the Germans, she crushed 
Napoleon at Waterloo. Only once in her history has she retired 
from a struggle, in which she put forth all of her power, defeated 
and vanquished. And that was when she attempted to oppress 
her own children in America, who were bone of her bone, flesh 
of her flesh, who had inherited her blood, her traditions and her 
longings for liberty. But the struggle in which the push and 
plodding pluck of the Anglo-Saxon, which can forge ahead in 
spite of difficulty, obstacle and danger, fight a hard up-hill battle 
and hang on with grim, dogged determination, with bull-dog 
tenacity of purpose, was seen at its best, was the Napoleonic 

When Prussia, Austria, Holland, Russia, Spain and Italy had 
bowed before Napoleon's power and recognized him as lord and 
master, England alone of the European nations refused to recog- 

222 The African Abroad. 

nize Napoleon as the arbitrator and dictator of Europe. She 
encouraged every coahtion aj^^ainst him and backed it with arms 
and money. When Spain rebelled against Napoleon and England 
assisted her, Napoleon reconquered every section of Spain, except 
the narrow strip of land where the indomitable W'ellington had 
planted himself with his intrepid soldiers. Try as hard as he 
might, Napoleon could not drive the Iron Duke out of Spain. 
Had not England maintained her defiant and independent atti- 
tude, the other European states would not have dared to rise up 
against Napoleon. 

On the morning of the battle of Trafalgar, Lord Nelson 
signalled: "England expects every man to do his duty." The 
English sailors responded to that bugle call and defeated the 
French in one of the greatest naval battles of modern times. It 
was English pluck and bull-dog grit and courage that won for 
her tlie battle of Waterloo. Napoleon, that Sunday afternoon, 
raked the English squares with grape and canister, but they 
closed up again. Napoleon sent his giant cuirassiers against those 
squares. Those mighty horses leaped over the squares and 
landed right in the midst of the squares, thus breaking them up. 
But the English soldiers, by standing the hammering and pound- 
ing of Napoleon's artillery and the resistless charges of his 
cavalry for six hours, stood off the French until the Prussians 
could come to their aid. And the splendid, sturdy fighting quali- 
ties exhibited by the English soldiers at the battle of Waterloo 
has given the Anglo-Saxon race the preeminence and ascendency 
that it has in the world to-day. 

What enabled the Pilgrim fathers in the Mayflozccr to face the 
dangers of an ocean voyage, the privations of a New England 
winter, the terrors and perils of life in an unknown land, sur- 
rounded by bloodthirsty savages, to hang on with grim deter- 
mination, to wrest a living from those barren hills, to transform 
the Naugatuck valley in a stream of cities that teem with mills 
and factories, to develop an inland town like New Britain and 
finally to make New England the center and focus of the intel- 
lectual and moral life of the country? It was character, nothing 
more and nothing less. 

And, finally, take the great English and .American captains. 
William the Conqueror, the Charlemagne of the Anglo-Saxon 

The Black Man's Spiritual Striznngs. 223 

race, the man who with the clear brain, stern heart, stout arm 
and iron hand of a JuHus Oesar, laid the foundation of England's 
government ; Cromwell, the victor in England's greatest civil 
war; Wellington, the victor in England's greatest foreign war; 
Washington, who was the hero in America's struggle for inde- 
pendence ; Grant, who fought to a successful close the greatest 
civil war in history, — were all men who blended in their person- 
alities the common sense and iron will that is the predominant 
characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon race. It required a man with 
a resourceful brain and iron nerve, with an eye to see, with a 
heart to dare, and with an arm to strike, to be able to charge 
his own followers with his own reckless daring and adventure- 
some spirit, embark upon a hazardous enterprise, cross the Eng- 
lish Channel and win out at Hastings. On the memorable Sunday 
afternoon at \\\aterloo, the Duke of Wellington, pale, but calm 
and determined, pulled out his watch and said, "Bliicher or 
night." He realized that unless rescue or night came on soon, he 
would probably go down to defeat before the impetuous charge 
of Napoleon. But he did not abate one jot of heart or hope and 
fought resolutely on. His quiet, calm courage, his resolute and 
determined personality reflected itself in his soldiers. And the 
English stood their ground, and just before night wrapped its 
mantle over the historic battle ground, thirty thousand gleaming 
and glistening Prussian bayonets, reflecting the golden light of 
the setting sun, gladdened the eyes of the Iron Duke and he 
realized that he had not waited in vain. And backed by the 
fresh and vigorous Prussians, he struck consternation into the 
French and swept them completely before him, driving them in 
confusion from the field. Our own George Washington was not 
a military genius. He had none of Caesar's, Hannibal's, Napo- 
leon's or Marlborough's dash and brilliancy, was not so fertile in 
resources or prompt in emergency as these great captains. At 
his best he was only a second-rate general ; but it was his tran- 
scendent character, his indomitable spirit, his unyielding purpose, 
his unbending pride, his inflexible resolution and superb control 
exhibited during the trying winter at Valley Forge and the dark 
days of the Revolutionary War, that made him a tower of 
strength to the Colonial Army and ranks him as one of the great- 
est fighters in human history. William the Conqueror, Cromwell, 

2 24 The African Abroad. 

Wclling^ton and Grant alone of the moderns, Leonidas, Alexan- 
der, Caesar and Hannibal alone of the ancients, equal him in cool- 
ness of head and sternness of heart. Who can look at his picture 
and observe his steady eyes, his broad brow, his prominent cheek 
bones, his firm determined lips, his massive chin and square set 
jaw, without noticing that the wisdom, the majestic calmness, the 
streng-th, the silent and inscrutable mystery of the sphinx is 
expressed and written in the lineaments of that immobile face? 
(Jur Grant in the Civil War was not a more resourceful strate- 
gist than the brilliant but vacillating McClellan ; but he possessed 
an unconquerable will and a bull-dog tenacity of purpose. He 
had the grit that enabled him to hang on. Thus a clear brain 
and cool head, a steady nerve and an iron will have made the 
Anglo-Saxon race victorious in war, politics, business, industry 
and agriculture. And a race that wastes its strength and energy 
in riotous living and dissipation never can possess the superb 
mental, moral and physical qualities that are necessary to the 
preservation and supremacy of a race. The Negro should heed 
this teaching of history. This is the most practical age the world 
has yet seen. Men do not desire to know whether you are a 
scholar, thinker, sage, saint, or seer, but they ask, "Mow many 
acres of land, how many houses do you own, how many railroad 
companies or steamboat lines or copper or coal mines do you 
exercise the controlling influence in ?" The men who can develop 
a railroad or cheapen transportation, or work a copper, coal, or 
gold mine, or probe into an oil well or increase the output of 
shoes, hats, clothes or food are in the limelight to-day, the only 
men whose names are upon the lips of every schoolboy. \\'e only 
value the man who can increase our physical comforts and com- 
modities and develop the material resources of this community. 
With the population of the world steadily increasing, with the 
struggle for existence growing fiercer and the competition keener, 
he is indeed a benefactor who can show us how to feed, shelter 
and clothe humanity, bring the necessities and comforts and some 
of the luxuries of life within the reach of the poor man and 
regulate the relation between labor and capital. And yet the 
greatest wars that have shook Christendom during the past one 
thousand years have not been wars waged to increase boundary 
lines, have not been wars of conquest, but have been wars waged 

The Black Man's Spiritual Stritnngs. 225 

in behalf of civil and political rights, in behalf of moral principles 
or a religious creed. Men have ever been ready to sacrifice the 
comforts and luxuries of life, sacrifice fame and fortune, and risk 
not only material possessions but life itself to defend personal 
liberty, root out a moral evil or uphold a religion. 

The psychology of patriotism shows that we go enthusiastic 
over the Stars and Stripes, not because the flag waves over 
thousands of acres of fertile fields, teeming meadows and luxu- 
riant forests and rich mineral deposits and precious ores, but 
because the Red, White and Blue symbolizes certain moral, 
political and religious ideals. And when a man is ready to 
die for his country, when he is ready to sacrifice his all upon the 
altar of his country, it is not of the field, forest, plain and 
prairie that he thinks, but of the sacred traditions of his country's 
history, of her past and glorious achievements and of the ideals 
that are enshrined in the hearts of his countrymen. 

The Crusades, the Thirty Years' War in Germany, the strug- 
gles of the Waldenses, the Dutch Netherlands and the French 
Huguenots and the Puritan Reformation in England, when men 
rose to a lofty heroism that was unsurpassed by Leonidas and 
his three hundred Spartans at the Pass of Thermopylae or Napo- 
leon's Old Guard at Waterloo, or the Light Brigade at Balaclava, 
were religious wars. The Revolutionary War, the struggle for 
Italian independence, the struggle of the Hungarians under 
Kossuth, and the brave stand of the Boers against the English, 
are modern instances where men have valued civil and political 
liberty as things for which they would sacrifice their lives. Men 
have ever been ready to risk life and the comforts of life for 
the sake of those things which alone make life worth living. 

Why did the Pilgrim Fathers leave their friends and comforta- 
ble homes in England? Why did these men and women in the 
Mayfloivcr risk the dangers of an ocean voyage and the terrors 
of a winter in a strange land and dare to plant a civilization and 
try their fortunes in a wilderness, surrounded by savage Indians? 
It was an ideal of a religious liberty that lured them on. They 
desired to follow the dictates of their consciences as to the man- 
ner in which they should worship God. The Stamp Act and 
tlie other taxes imposed by England upon America were petty 
and insignificant taxes. They could easily have been paid by the 

aafi The African Abroad. 

colonists. Why llien did tliey refuse to pay them, plunge this 
land in war and drench it in blood for eight years, suffering 
untold hardships and misery, facing death and bitter poverty? 
It was a principle for which they were contending. The love of 
liberty, the instinct of free-born men was asserting itself in 
them. They would have no taxation without representation. 
Why did not the North let the South secede and have her own 
peculiar institutions? It was the ideal of a united country which 
Webster pictured in his famous peroration that hovered before 
their imaginations and welded the North and West together. 
Why do we celebrate Washington's birthday, Decoration Day, 
the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving day and Christmas as holidays? 
It is because the first three days commemorate the men who 
risked their lives for the sake of a political ideal, for the love 
of country ; while the fourth commemorates the men and women 
who sacrificed physical comforts for their religious faith ; and 
the fifth commemorates the birth of God-Man, who gave a divine 
meaning and significance to human life on earth. From the 
time when the Greeks at Marathon and Thermopylae fought as 
heroes, and defended the liberties of Greece, from the time 
when the Christian martyrs would rather be thrown to the lions 
or burned at the stake before they would bow before Diana, 
forsake their Christ and tell a lie, men have ever been ready and 
willing to give their lives for the sake of their liberties and the 
principles and ideals which alone dignify life and make it worth 
living. From the time when the daughters and wives of the 
Cimbri committed suicide rather than become the slaves of the 
Romans, from the time when the Roman Tribune stabbed and 
killed his daughter before he would see her the mistress of a 
king, women have ever valued their virtues and chastity and 
purity as more sacred and precious, as of more worth and value 
than life itself. 

And why is it that the proud, scornful, haughty Anglo-Saxon 
refuses to intermarry with the Chinaman, Japanese, Indian and 
Negro? Is it because he fears that this country will become 
poorer and more ])overty stricken ? No, he fears lest merging 
the Anglo-Saxon blood with the colored races would cause their 
descendants to lose their psychological qualities, moral and spirit- 
ual ideals, which have forced the Anglo-Saxon race to the fore- 

The Black Man's Spiritual Strivings. 227 

front of civilization and given the world the best civilization it 
has yet seen. And I believe that the Net^rosaxon will receive 
recognition in America not so much by piling up wealth as by 
developing those psychical qualities and realizing that type of 
personality that is the dream of the Anglo-Saxon race and the 
goal of human development. 

Many Anglo-Saxon friends and many Anglo-Saxon critics of 
the Negrosaxon claim that he can acquire culture and refine- 
ment, but lacks the rugged character and sturdy moral fibre of 
the Anglo-Saxon, that he does not possess that simplicity and 
sturdiness of character that characterized the Duke of Wellintr- 
ton, Wordsworth, Whittier, Emerson, Bryant, Lincoln and Grant. 
I believe that the answer is at hand. The Anglo-Saxon socially 
ostracises the cultured and refined colored people and noble col- 
ored youths in order to prevent intermarriage of the races. I 
will not go into the debated question as to whether contact 
between the races will lead to intermarriage. I honor the Anelo- 
Saxon for desiring to keep his race stock pure and preserve 
those psychical and psychological characteristics which have 
forced the Anglo-Saxon to the forefront of civilization; but I 
desire to say a word about the reflex influence of a crushing 
environment upon a cultured and refined Negrosaxon. 

Emerson in his essay upon heroism says: "We have seen or 
heard of many extraordinary young men who never ripened, or 
whose performance in actual life was not extraordinary. When 
we see their air and mien, when we hear them speak of society, 
of books, of religion, we admire their superiority ; they seem to 
throw contempt on our entire policy and social state. Theirs is 
the tone of a youthful giant, who is sent to work revolutions. 
But they enter an active profession and the forming colossus 
shrinks to the common size of man. The magic they used was 
the ideal tendencies, which always make the actual ridiculous ; 
but the tough world had its revenge the moment they put their 
horses of the sun to plough in its furrow. They found no exam- 
ple and no companion and their heart fainted." 

Mr. B. Flower in his brilliant book upon "The Century of 
More" said : "The philosopher who ascends the mountain of 
the ideal receives truths larger and more potential for good than 
aught man has before conceived. But when he returns to earth, 

228 The African Abroad. 

that is to say, when he is jostled by the positive thought of 
positive brains, when he is confronted by dominant ideas strug- 
ghng to maintain supremacy in the empire of thought, he is in 
peril ; that which was a blessing upon the mount becomes a 
dirge in the valley, for unless he is great enough to hold stead- 
fastly to the high new truth and rise above sensuous feeling, 
personal ambition and innate prejudices, he is likely to yield to 
the psychic forces in the atmosphere below. Painful to relate, 
this was, I think, to a great degree true of Sir Thomas More, 
as we shall presently see. 

"But the point I wish to illustrate just now is the liability on 
the part of historians and biographers to misjudge persons who 
are profoundly sensitive and endowed with a wealth of imagina- 
tion, but who also possess deep-rooted convictions — men who love 
the good in the old and yet yearn for the new ; those who in 
moments of ecstacy speak for the ages to come, but when 
oppressed by the fears and prejudices which environ them reflect 
the dominant impulses of the present. W'itliout a clear under- 
standing of the mental characteristics of such natures, it will be 
impossible to understand, much less sympathize with, the noblest 
and most far-seeing English philosopher of his age." 

What Emerson and Flower say with such earnestness and 
eloquence of the tragedy in the lives of idealists like earnest 
young men and Sir Thomas More, applies with double force to 
the colored idealist. The white idealist, if he desires, can come 
in intimate and personal association and contact with men of 
like minds with himself, can come in intimate and personal 
association with men who can inspire and ennoble him ; but this 
sacred privilege is denied ambitious colored youths. 

In the summer of 1895 and 1896, just entering my career as a 
graduate student, I met six colored idealists. They were young 
men in college or just out of college. They were interested in 
philosophy, literature and rirt, and admired Carlyle, Emerson and 
Browning. The ostracism of the Anglo-Saxon race and the lack 
of sympathy and appreciation of their own people with whom 
they were forced to associate, who only cared for eating and 
drinking and wearing fine clothes and who cared little or 
nothing for books and culture, drove all six to the verge of 
despair and to the brink of moral suicide. Two grew dizzy and 

The Black Man's Spiritual Strivings. 229 

sank to menial employment. The other four wavered for a while, 
trembling- from stem to stern like a storm-tossed ship and then, 
regaining- their balance, righted and sailed through the storm 
and mist and foam to the haven of usefulness and noble endeavor. 
There is one tragedy that has never been written. DuBois 
sketched it in his chapter upon Alexander Crummell, in his 
"Souls of Black Folk"; and that tragedy is the loneliness of the 
colored idealist who sails between the Scylla of the lack of 
sympathy of the Anglo-Saxon race, and the Charybdis of the 
lack of appreciation of his own race. Would that some Whittier 
would come along and touch with his magic lines the hopeless 
outlook before a dreamy colored youth as he has immortalized 
the longings and aspirations of a poor country girl ! 

The tragedy in the life of a colored idealist is that he reads 
Plato, Wordsworth, Kant, Hegel, Fichte, Carlyle, Emerson and 
Browning and forthwith goes off into a world that cares nothing 
for the great idealists and seers and where everything is at 
variance with the teaching of the classroom and the atmosphere 
and influence of his favorite authors. To descend from the 
mountain lands of inspiration to the valley of temptation, hos- 
tility and opposition — that is the fate of the colored idealists. 

The Negrosaxon has high ideals, but he is born and reared in 
an environment that makes it very difficult for him to live up to 
his ideals. I appreciate the Anglo-Saxon's desire to preserve his 
own racial integrity; but his Jim-Crowing the Negrosaxon, 
crowding and segregating the good and bad together in large 
cities, prevents educated colored men from receiving the blessings 
of an inspiring environment. Unfortunately, the herding of the 
Negrosaxons together often compels the cultured and refined to 
live as hermits or recluses or else to associate with the coarse 
and ignorant. Many a pure and pretty colored girl has suffered 
because of the social ostracism that compels her to live in isola- 
tion or else associate with the impure of her own race. 

There is one thing that I will refer to again that I have 
briefly touched upon. The saddest spectacle that I witnessed was 
in a backwoods town of the South. The mother of a beautiful 
and brilliant group of daughters suddenly died. Some of them 
were entering, others were leaving their teens. All of them were 
girls of remarkable beauty, intelligence and refinement. One of 

230 The African Abroad. 

them was of an ethereal type of beauty. With her exquisitely 
molded features she seemed the prototype of Hawthorne's 
"Hilda." Another, thouj^h a mere child in years, was the per- 
sonification of womanly dignity, queenly grace and maidenly 
purity of mind and reserve in manners. Now, owing to circum- 
stances over which they have no control, they are unable to asso- 
ciate with people of culture and refinement and are compelled 
to come in contact with men and women of coarser make than 
themselves. I regard it as a tragedy that these girls, at a period 
of life when their natures are plastic, susceptible, impressionable 
and receptive, at a time when habits are crystallizing into char- 
acter and ideals are being formed, are prevented by their envi- 
ronment from coming in touch witli uplifting and ennobling 
influences. The problem is, will the memory of a saintly mother 
be a sufiicient charm to ward off evil influences and hold them 
up against the degrading tendencies of their environment? I 
remember, too, how a lonely Methodist minister in a country 
town, living in intellectual and spiritual isolation in a rural com- 
munity, so hungered and thirsted to converse with and associate 
with one of similar taste and inclinations with himself that he 
begged me, passing through the town, to remain as his guest six 
months, so that we might browse over the field of literature, his- 
tory, science and philosophy together. There was nothing in 
that man's immediate environment to inspire him. 

I will now add a word. Carping critics pronounce a Negro 
who does not become wealthy or famous within five years after 
his graduation from college, a failure. But notice: Hawthorne, 
the Beethoven of English prose, was not able to buy a house of 
his own until he was forty-seven years old ; Bancroft, a failure 
as an educator, afterwards wrote the prose epic of America; 
Motley, a failure as a politician, wrote the immortal work which 
chronicled Holland's struggle for liberty; Irving was a failure 
as a hardware merchant, but won a world-wide reputation as a 
man of letters ; Cooper was an indifferent lawyer but a brilliant 
novelist; Patrick Henry failed as a farmer and merchant, but 
succeeded as a lawyer and became the fiery, impassioned Revo- 
lutionary orator, whose name is indissolubly linked with that of 
the American Revolution. Shakespeare, a failure as a wool 
merchant, a poor actor, became the world's dramatic poet. 

The Black Man's Spiritual Strivings. 231 

Emerson, not a howling success as a teacher or preacher, became 
the seer and prose poet of America. Verdi's first two plays were 
failures. The audience hissed the players of one of his comedy 
dramas off the stage before the completion of the last act. His 
wife and two babies died of starvation and neglect, and he was 
on the verge of suicide, while he was winning his matchless 
fame. Verdi, whose musical harmonies have dazzled the world, 
labored for ten years in poverty and obscurity, before the world 
recognized his productions. Henry Grady's first two journalistic 
ventures in Rome and Atlanta were failures, but he afterwards 
became the South's most gifted journalist and delivered a speech 
in Boston, which, while unjust to the Negro, reached the high- 
water mark of American eloquence. Demosthenes, ridiculed in 
his first speech, afterwards became Greece's greatest orator. 
Disraeli, coughed at, hissed and hooted down in his maiden 
speech in Parliament, defiantly cried out, "The time will come 
when you will hear me," and afterwards became the Prime Min- 
ister of England. Phillips Brooks, a failure as a teacher, became 
the preacher whose eloquent and fervid sermons stirred the 
country. U. S. Grant was a failure as a farmer, a cordwood 
merchant and a clerk; but he afterwards became the greatest 
soldier America ever produced and ranked as a general with 
Wellington and Von Moltke. Samuel Johnson, underrated by 
Lord Chesterfield, was on the verge of starvation; but he was 
immortalized by Boswell and Carlyle and became one of Eng- 
land's noted writers. Goldsmith would have been jailed for 
debt had not Addison come to his rescue ; but he was the author 
of "The Vicar of Wakefield" and "The Deserted Village." Mil- 
let, jeered at by fellow students and nicknamed "The Wild Man 
of the Woods"; Millet, who for twelve years barely eked out a 
living in Paris ; Millet, whose first wife died while he was forging 
his way to the front ; Millet, who often couldn't buy fuel for 
his family — painted "The Angelus," which sold for 800,000 
francs, and touched the heart as few paintings have. Wagner, 
arrested on the charge of being a rioter ; Wagner, whose Tann- 
hauser was greeted with hisses, catcalls, jeers and outcries when 
first performed in 1845, when he was forty-eight years old; 
Wagner, the composer, whose unpopularity as a musical revo- 
lutionist caused him to go into voluntary exile for ten years 

2^2 The African Abroad. 

in Switzerland; Wagner, not rich enough at a period of life 
when most great men have achieved fame or fortune, to own 
a piano ; Wagner, barely able to earn a living by his music until 
fifty years of age, — now ranks as a musical genius above Beetho- 
ven and Mozart. Sir Isaac Newton, turned down by the Royal 
Society of London, was too poor to publish his "Principia," but 
Edmund Ilalley came to his rescue, printed it at his own private 
expense and Xewton won undying fame. Herbert Spencer, 
whose fame is world-wide as a philosophical scientist, whose 
writings have been more widely read than any other philosopher 
of the nineteenth century, exiiausted his small fortune in pub- 
lishing his first three or four books and was forced -to accept 
a loan of a few hundred pounds from an American friend and a 
loan also from John Stuart Mill. Elias Howe, the inventor 
of the first sewing machine, in 1845 ^^''^s compelled to sell a 
machine and pawn his American patent for fifty pounds sterling. 
He was forced to work his passage home from England on an 
emigrant steamer and on reaching Spencer was forced to borrow 
a suit of clothes in which to attend his wife's funeral. And yet 
his royalties afterwards netted him $4,000 a day. Carlyle, who 
struggled in poverty the first forty years of liis life, barely 
eking a living, afterwards became the most potent and dominant 
literary force of the nineteenth century. Samuel Adams was so 
poor that he had to borrow a suit from a friend to attend con- 
ventions and speak at meetings, but now every schoolboy knows 
that he was the Father of the American Revolution. 

Do not despair if the Goddess of Fortune does not at first 
smile upon you and if prosperity does not at the start crown your 
eflforts, but persevere, persevere, plod on, plod on. Remember 
that the race is not to the swift nor to the strong, but to him 
who endures unto the end. Go forth to make your contribution 
to civilization and success will finally perch upon your banners. 
And the world will at last give you the recognition that she 
withholds now. 






A Historical and Psychological Account of the Genesis and 
Development of the Negro's Religion. 

The theory of evolution has revolutionized modern thought. 
By this I do not mean the Darwinian theory of natural selec- 
tion, but that the religion, politics and art of any era can be best 
explained by evolution, by growth, by development, by the 
unfolding of germs that existed before, though in a dormant 

The genetic method of explaining the present by the past is 
the only satisfactory way of dealing with any problem. The 
reason is obvious. The present is the outgrowth of the past 
and has its roots deeply grounded in the past. Hence the pres- 
ent can only be understood in the light of the past. And we 
cannot understand things as they are, save as we understand 
how they came to be. To illustrate, we don't really know the 
oak tree, save as we understand how the acorn, through the 
combined action of soil and rain, of light and the air, unfolded 
its latent powers, reacted upon its environment and grew into 
the majestic oak. When we see how the oak came to be, then 
and not until then will we really know what the oak tree is. 
We cannot understand the adult man, save as we trace his gen- 
esis and growth, from infancy through childhood and youth to 

Men apply this same principle to the origin, evolution and 
development of various religions. The religions of the present 
day are growths from more primitive conditions. We cannot 
understand the present religions of the world save as we under- 
stand their origin in the distant past. Men find, then, in the 
history of religion a perspective, which, like a view from a moun- 
tain top, enables them to see things in their proper relations. 

Formerly church historians and theologians discussed the 
various systems and views of different theologians and philoso- 
phers as if they were isolated phenomena; but now Windel- 

236 The African Abroad. 

band in his "History of Philosophy," and Harnack in his "History 
of Christian Dogma," show that the various philosophical and 
theological conceptions go through an orderly process, an orderly 
Unfolding and development, one from the other. 

Then again, when men discussed the various religions, such 
as Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism, Buddhism, Con- 
fucianism, Brahmanism, Mazdeism and the various nature 
religions which culminated in the Graeco-Roman religions, they 
put the Christian religion in a special category by itself, whereas 
it is now seen that no religion has its hold upon mankind by 
virtue of the error that is within it, but by virtue of the truth 
that it contains. The Christian religion is a mighty stream into 
which currents from Jewish, Greek, Roman and Persian civili- 
zations flowed. Christianity differs, then, from other religions 
in that it appeals to all instead of to some of the elements of 
human nature, and especially to the higher elements. 

But this genetic method of explaining things by the principle 
of growth by and through development, this comparative method 
of showing how all religions necessarily appeal to some funda- 
mental element in human nature, is entirely forgotten and 
sight of when we study the Negro's religion. Men approach 
the Negro's religion as if they were about to enter a curiosity 
shop or hospital or dime museum. They seem to think that they 
will only find pathological cases of the aberration of the human 
intellect, religious freaks who foam at the mouth, go into 
hysterics, prance and shout, and faint away, when in reality 
the truth is the Negro's religion is not outside of the stream of 
the general religious development of mankind. 

In our account of the genesis and development of the Negro's 
religion we shall endeavor to show that the colored man is not 
constructed psychologically different from other men. His 
religion is not, as commonly supposed, a phenomenon that is sep- 
arate and apart from the historical development of the human 
race. In his religion, as in the white man's religion, we see 
but stages in the evolution of human thought. In the colored 
man's religion we but see the Anglo-Saxon's religion objectified. 
The Negro in .\frica and America is now passing through the 
same process of religious development that the Anglo-Saxon 
and other races have passed through. He is gradually shuffling 

The Negro's Religion. 237 

off his old superstitions and absorbing- from his environment 
materials for a more renewed growth. It is the comparative 
method in the study of religion that has revolutionized modern 
theology. And when we approach the colored man's religion 
from the comparative point of view, we see that it contains the 
same psychological elements as do other men's religion. And 
we can not understand it then save as we make a brief survey 
of the history of the religious life of mankind and see what 
are its permanent psychological elements. 

Many persons never carefully distinguish between religion 
and theology, and yet there is wide difference betwocn them. 
Religion is first in the order of time and is more fundamental 
and vital. Religion is the soul's inner communion with and 
relation to God ; while theology is the system of religious dogma 
and faith. Religion is the outgrowth of certain cravings and 
aspirations of man's innermost heart and nature ; while theology 
is man's thought of the relation of God and man. Religion is 
a matter of the heart ; while theology is an affair of the intellect. 

A man may have a wrong intellectual dogma, but yet may 
feel the presence of God and be perfect in his life. On the other 
hand, a man may have a correct intellectual dogma, but yet never 
experience a deep religious feeling; may never really know 
that God stands in a personal relation to him. Abraham's theol- 
ogy was far from being perfect, yet God was near to him. 
Alany theologians can discourse on the ways of God to man, 
and yet religion is not a reality to them. Religion brings a man 
into relation with his fellows ; but theology oftentimes never 
leads a man to acts of benevolence. In a word, religion is the 
life of God in the soul of man, while theology is man's philo- 
sophical interpretation and explanation of that life. 

Religion, too, is not to be confused with the church, which is 
an ecclesiastical organization. Religion is the spiritual life of 
the individual believer, while the church is the organized body 
of believing Christians, whose desire for fellowship draws them 
to worship in common. Religion as a life in the soul of the 
believer existed before the church as a religious body came into 
being. Thus those who assembled in the upper chamber were first 
moved by the Holy Spirit before they came together. Man is 
a gregarious being. He loves the sympathy of his fellow men, 

238 The African Abroad. 

and that is why his courage and his faith is reinforced in a 
crowd. While public worship and prayer meetings stimulate 
one's spiritual life, yet the lowly Nazarene chose the quiet of 
the mountains in the evening and the lonely walk by the sea- 
shore for his meditation and communion with the unseen God. 
During the Middle Ages, when the church was corrupt, many 
mystics in study and prayer and meditation nourished their piety 
apart from the church. 

In seeking a defuiition for religion we must have a broad 
conception of religion and find a definition that will apply to all 
the varied forms of religion, from the religions of savages up 
to that of the enlightened Christian. It must take in the most 
primitive as well as the most developed form of religion. The 
Hottentots and Bushmen have moral ideas which are crude and 
distorted. The Vikings, the Spartans, the Zulus, the Kafifirs, 
the wild Indians, the Mohammedan warriors, the Goths and 
the Huns have many notions of right and wrong that are at 
variance with the Sermon on the Mount. We see at times an 
unscrupulous treatment of foes, a fiendish cruelty towards their 
enemies, a demoniac fierceness of spirit and many revolting 
practices, and yet these savage and relentless barbarians are 
guided by what to them seems their ideal of a brave and faith- 
ful man. They follow what to them appears to be the highest 
conception of life. Their reverence for courage, their fidelity 
to their chieftain, their loyalty to their tribe, may manifest itself 
in grotesque and unnatural forms, yet it is this that dominates 
their actions. Their rude notions of what is right and wrong, 
their instinctive ideas of justice, prompt these men to action. 

Our conception of religion must be broad enough to take 
these in. It must include the fetish worship of native Africans ; 
the worship of gods many and lords many who were half men 
and half beasts, which we find in the old Dravidian, and the 
religion of the Tetaonian, the Egyptian religion and the religion 
of the American Indian. It must also include the superhuman 
and semi-ethical deities of the Vedic, Zoroastrian, various 
Semitic, Celtic, Germanic, Hellenic and Groeco-Roman religions; 
the legislative or nomistic religions of the Brahmans and 
Hebrews anrl the universal and ethical religions such as Con- 
fucianism, Buddhism, Islamism and Christianity. 

The Negro's Religion. 239 

I think the late Dean Everett of the Harvard Divinity School 
hit the nail on the head when he said, "Religion is a feeling 
towards a supernatural presence," and that in the higher 
religions this "Supernatural Presence is manifested in Truth, 
Goodness and Beauty." 

Without feeling there may be a philosophical conception of 
the universe; without feeling tiiere may be a moral life; but 
without feeling there can be no religion. But what distinguishes 
religious feeling from other forms of feeling is this: In the 
religious feeling there is always a reference to unseen and 
invisible powers, with whom the worshipper desires to get into 
right relations and whose favor he seeks. The higher and lower 
forms of religion differ in two respects ; in the lower forms of 
religion we find superstitious and slavish fear, while in the higher 
forms of religion we find a worshipful reverence. In the lower 
forms of religion the deities are endowed with the lower attri- 
butes of the human spirit, while in the higher forms of religion 
the deities are endowed with the higher attributes of the human 
mind. Thus when we say that "religion is a feeling towards 
a supernatural presence" we have a definition that is compre- 
hensive enough to take in all. 

Each race is modified and influenced by its religion. This 
fact is so well known that it does not need elaboration. We 
have all seen the wonderful transforming power of Christianity 
in the case of individual men and women. To see what it has 
done with a race we have only to reflect that it has tempered, 
mildly though it may be, the original barbarity of the Teuton 
and Anglo-Saxon. Buddhism has made the Hindoo more pas- 
sive and less aggressive. Confucianism has made the Chinese 
more practical, while Mohammedanism has sent its converts out 
with that unconquering faith and infectious enthusiasm that have 
ever moved the world. 

Each race, too, prefers the religion that is suited to its tem- 
perament. Thus we see the preference of the Anglo-Saxon for 
Christianity, of the Hindoo for Buddhism, of the Chinese for 
Confucianism, and of the African for Mohammedanism. Some 
wonder why fierce and aggressive peoples, like the Teutons and 
Saxons and Normans, could so readily assimilate a religion that 
emphasizes self-renunciation, self-sacrifice and self-denial. It 

24° The African Abroad. 

is because Christianity laid stress upon the worth and sacred- 
ness of the human personahty and hen<?e touched what was 
deepest in the Teuton's nature, namely, his nascent sense of 
personality. Again the Chinese are a practical and non-poetic 
and non-heroic people and hence like a relit,non that does not 
call for heroic self-sacrifice, but looks to the temporal comfort 
of a people, while Buddhism with its dream of a Nirvana appeals 
to the lan.i^'^uid Hindoo nature. 

Before Mohammed's time the Saracens were men of a narrow 
iconoclastic spirit and were scattered into a few Bedouin tribes. 
But what did Mohammed do? In the brilliant words of Pro- 
fessor Georg-e Burton Adams, of Yale, "Putting into definite 
and striking form the unconscious ideas and aspirations of his 
people and adding a central and unifying teaching and inspiring 
and elevating notions from various sources, he had transformed 
a few scattered tribes into a great nation and sent them forth 
under a blazing enthusiasm upon a career of conquest entirely 
unparalleled in motive force and extent." Mohammed starts 
out with a few Bedouin tribes and yet a territory 6,000 miles in 
diameter was occupied and conquered within a hundred years. 
The native African tribes, both then and now, took to Moham- 
medanism as a duck takes to water. 

Christians may point with pride to the Christian martyrs and 
heroes going singing and crying "Hosannahs to the Lord of 
Hosts," to be torn into pieces by the lions in the Roman amphi- 
theatre or burned alive at the stake. But Islam can also point 
with pride to the fanatical enthusiasm and death-defying cour- 
age of the followers of the Mahdi, who repeatedly rush to be 
mowed down by thousands by British musketry and British 

The African Negro takes so readily to Mohammedanism 
because it fits in so well with his previous modes of thought and 
feehng and api)eals so powerfully to all that is deep and funda- 
mental in him. The fatalism and sensuousness of Mohammed- 
anism, its picture of a heaven with its fair gardens and luxuriant 
vegetation that has ever delighted the eye of man, its soothing 
music and beautiful women touch a responsive chord in the heart 
of the native of Africa. In the Mohammedan Paradise the 
Atrican beholds his dream of earthly happiness visualized and 

The Negro's Religion. 241 

realized. Again while Mohammedanism does not particularly 
encourage, it does not distinctly forbid polygamy and slavery. 
Thus we can see why Islam can sway the native African in the 
way that it does. 

The truth which is illustrated and brought out in this survey 
is this : The religion of a race or nation cannot be arbitrarily 
imposed upon it from without, but springs up and grows from 
within. It is the resultant of the longings and desires, the hopes 
and aspirations of the race. It wells up spontaneously and 
unconsciously from the soul depths of the race, issuing forth just 
as the spring, rising in the hills and expanding on its downward 
career into the river, on whose noble bosom the ships of the 
nations float, gushes forth from the mountain side, because 
impelled by unseen, elemental forces from below. 

Israel, Greece, Rome, the Germanic and Saxon races are the 
five great races that have thus far made important contributions 
to civilization. Each race developed a peculiar genius along one 
line and perfected it in an organized and national life. 

Now each race has followed the dialectics of its own nature 
in developing in the way that it did. It developed in ways 
peculiar to itself, because it was true to the trend of its own 
genius, because it followed the tendencies and bent of its own 
peculiar temperament. It passed its environment through the 
crucible of its own race psychology. We cannot understand 
how these races developed in the way that they did, unless we 
understand the peculiar and inexplicable soul life of the race. 
Now each of these five great race stocks not only was influenced 
and modified by Christianity, but each left its own impress 
upon Christianity and contributed its own distinct genius to it. 
It made its distinct and permanent contribution by following 
the dialectics of its own nature. 

The Greeks, like Justin and Clement and Origen, who had 
studied Greek philosophy, embraced Christianity and they had 
to interpret Christianity in terms of the Greek philosophy. And 
Christianity in adapting itself to the Greeks had to recognize 
the truth in the philosophical systems. Now the Platonic philoso- 
phy with its conception of an unknowable God who was apart 
from the world, and the Stoical philosophy with its conception of 
the Logos or Divine manifestation of God in the universe, these 

243 The African Abroad. 

two systems of philosophy influenced the Christological concep- 
tions of tlie day. Also Persian and Oriental notions of sin and 
Neo-Platonism influence Christian thinkers. The Alexandrian 
thinkers represented by Clement, Origen and Athanasius were 
largely given to recognizing Christ as the incarnation of God. It 
recognized and emphasized the divine element in Christ, while 
the influence from Antioch emphasized the human element in 

Those who were steeped in Platonic and Xeo- Platonic philoso- 
phy found difficulty in the conception of the union of the human 
and divine. Thus one Christological problem was the incar- 
nation, "How could the human and divine be united in one 
person?" Clement solved it by showing that Christ was the 
Logos which was the Word of the Father, was the manifestation 
of the Father, who had always been in the world inspiring 
heathen moralists and philosophers and the good in all ages, 
and in so far as Socrates and Plato knew the Logos, they knew 
Christ. And the divine Logos or the indwelling Christ or Father 
was manifested in the reason, conscience and hearts of all men. 
He was the divine light of the reason of all men. The 
Christians must believe in the divinity and humanity of Christ 
at the same time. 

The problem in the first three centuries was, "How could the 
unity of God be harmonized with the Trinity? How could the 
Absoluteness of God be harmonized with the Divinity and Deity 
of Christ? How could the Divinity and Humanity of Christ 
be harmonized?" Clement solved the last by showing that 
Christ as the Logos of God was present in the world and in 
man from the beginning, hence it was easy to see how Logos, 
who was imperfectly manifested in men heretofore, could be 
perfectly manifested in one man. Thus we see how the Greek 
philosophy and the philosophical trend of the Greek mind pro- 
foundly influenced and modified the theology of Christendom. 

The Hebrew gave us the monotheistic conception of an ethical 
deity. It was from the Hebrew mind and spirit that Christian- 
ity derived its concei)tion of the ethical perfection of God and 
of the reality of sin as an alienation from God. The gifted 
Greek mind, more versatile and poetic, gave to civilization, 
philosophy, poetry and sculpture, to which men still repair, as 

The Negro's Religion. 243 

to perennial founts of inspiration and perennial well-springs of 
wisdom. And it was from the Greek mind that Christianity 
obtained its conception of the immanence of the Divine Mind in 
nature, obtained its Logos doctrine that every visible thing was 
but the symbol and manifestation of an invisible thought. The 
practical Roman mind gave us a system of law and a policy of 
assimilating rather than subjugating a conquered people, that 
has revolutionized political history. Rome thus became the 
purveyor of the Hebrew and Greek civilization, and so unified 
the world that it was possible for Christianity to be disseminated 
over the entire civilized world. And when the hosts of the 
barbarians swarmed over the Roman frontiers and poured down 
upon Rome, sweeping everything before them, there was one 
thing that challenged the admiration of these rude Titanic tribes 
and that was the Roman civilization as embodied and crystallized 
in the Christian religion. It was this that really conquered the 
youthful and victorious barbarians. The Roman mind had 
expressed its monotheistic genius in the Roman Catholic Church 
and it was this that held the vigorous and untutored races 
together during those ten silent centuries that are fitly termed 
the Dark Ages. 

The profound and mystical Teuton mind gave the theology, 
pietism and mysticism to modern Christianity. We find the 
German spirit free and independent. It emphasized the worth 
and sacredness of human personality. During the process which 
began with the mediaeval mystics and culminated in the heroic 
pleas of Luther for the sanctity of inward piety, of the soul's 
communion with God, and for individual freedom in studying 
and interpreting the Bible, up until the present time, inward 
piety, philosophical and theological freedom have been the 
distinctive contribution of the Germanic race to Christianity. 
And it was from the mediaeval mystic that the Lutheran 
Reformation in Germany received its theological impulse. 

Fifteen hundred years ago the hardy Norseman and fierce 
Vikings made their presence known and felt in Europe. They 
laughed at the perils of the deep, courted danger, burned vil- 
lages and pillaged houses. The Anglo-Saxon race ever since 
has stood forth as the perfect embodiment of daring courage 
and adventurous aggressiveness. By its bold, daring, adven- 

244 The African Abroad. 

turous and aggressive spirit the Anglo-Saxon race has conquered 
every race that it has ever come into contact with. It has 
preeminently originated and developed the idea of representative 
government, and has emphasized personal liberty in religion and 

What Rome did for the Hebrew and Greek mind the Anglo- 
Saxon race has done for the German mind. The Anglo-Saxon 
has assimilated the results of the Hebrew, Greek and German 
genius and it is aggressively carrying forward to all parts of 
the world the indestructible elements contributed by the Hebrew, 
Greek and Roman mind. The Anglo-Saxon is, then, the advance 
guard of civilization and it is the source from which the great 
missionary movements have sprung. It is the embodiment of 
a progressively aggressive missionary spirit and is actively inter- 
ested in social reform. It must not be understood by this that 
the Anglo-Saxon is the only race that embodies the missionary 
spirit. Thus we see that religion is transformed and modified 
in passing tii rough the crucible of race psychology. 

Some say that the intellectual, moral and spiritual differences 
of the various races are due to the geographical location of the 
race. But we cannot explain the psychological genius of the 
Greeks, the monotheistic and ethical genius of the Israelites, 
the political genius of the Indo-Germanic races on geographical 
grounds. Neither can you explain the great racial characteris- 
tics or psychological peculiarities of the different races on bio- 
logical and anthropological grounds. The race reacting in a 
different way on its environment, determines the course of devel- 
opment the race will take. The inexplicable soul life of the 
Germanic nations is the thing of main account that will explain 
what the Germanic nations have done and will do in history. 
How account for the psychical and psychological differences 
between races so that one has a genius for religion, another for 
art, and another for politics? It cannot be done upon merely 
geographical grounds. 


Is there anything that psychologically differentiates the Negro 
from other races? Every time the Negro minister is referred to 

The Negro's Religion. 245 

before a white congregation, immediately a broad grin spreads 
over the countenance and they call to mind the darkey preacher 
often referred to, who looked apprehensively at the sun and said, 
"De grass am gittin' weedy, de sun am gittin' hot, dis man's 
gittin' old and feeble ; guess dis darkey am called to preach." 
When you speak of the Negro's religion, this audience will 
immediately call to mind another Negro, also often referred to, 
who pays his respects to the chicken coop on his way home 
from the prayer meeting. The Negro's religion is not taken 
seriously, and yet despite the superstitions, the incongruities and 
inconsistencies manifested in the Negro's religion, there is a 
deep vein of serious religion in the Negro's nature. 

I wall admit that the Negro race is not as practical and hard- 
headed as the Anglo-Saxon race, but neither had the Greeks 
and Romans of long ago, nor have the Germans, French, Ital- 
ians, Russians or Spaniards of to-day that phlegmatic tempera- 
ment that can coolly and calmly view every subject. But the^ 
Negro is as imaginative, versatile, plastic and imitative a race V 
as the Greeks. He has a poetic imagination. Even the illiterate/ 
Negro has fastidious notions as to dress. The Negro has 
remarkable ability in adjusting himself to a varied and changing 
environment. That is why he thrives under changed surround- 
ings, where other races perish. 

The Negro race is the greatest race of natural talkers that 
ever appeared upon the stage of history. It is preeminently 
endowed with the gift of gab. It has its oratory on tap. All 
you have to do is to turn the faucet and a copious stream of 
oratory will gush forth. On election days, in the large cities 
of the North and East, every street corner is a rostrum, every 
barber shop a forum and every bar-room a free lecture platform. 
We think then of that brilliant epoch in Greek history, the days 
of Pericles, when the Athenian orators made the market place 
ring with their eloquence, when the peripatetic philosophers dis- 
coursed of high things in the grove of the academy and Socrates 
held his divine conversations in the streets of Athens. The 
Greeks were a race of talkers. But they could not compare with 
the Negro race. I know you will think of that fair moment in 
Grecian history when, as DeWitt Clinton declared, "the herb 
women could criticise the phraseology of Demosthenes and pro- 

246 The African Abroad. 

nounce judgment upon the works of Phidias and Apelles." I 
know you will recall how Pericles, yEschines and Demosthenes 
held the Athenian multitude spell-bound under the magic wand 
of their matchless eloquence. But reflect that in the cotton and 
corn fields of the Soutli, our sugar and rice plantations and in 
the turpentine camps, there are untutored Negro preachers from 
whose lips issue forth eloquence that, though rude, is noble. 

I know you will say that the Negro is prone to emotional 
excitement. But the only diflference between the Negro camp 
meetings and the camp meetings of the poor whites is that you 
can hear the whites singing and shouting two miles away, while 
you can hear the colored singing and shouting three miles away. 
The rites at the Delphic Oracle, the Bacchanalian festivals in 
Greece and Rome and the miracles at Lourdes exhibit as much 
excitement and intoxication and frenzy as do those recent con- 
verts who go crazy and let themselves go when they picture 
themselves wearing white robes and golden slippers, and tread- 
ing upon a sea of glass, surrounded by jasper and sapphire walls. 
Z' Then, again, the Negro race has an innate ear for harmony, 
C^n instinctive love of music. The aspiration and longing and 
sorrow and cravings of the Negro burst into expression through 
the jubilee songs and plantation melodies. Besides the soothing 
and plaintive melodies of these songs the gospel hymns of Moody 
and Sankcy sound like sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. 
These songs touch and move everyone because they come up 
out of the elemental depths of the Negro's nature. The Negro 
race is richer, then, in emotional endowment than any other 
race in the world. 

It has an inspiring nature, for immediately after his emanci- 
pation the Negro began to aspire after the highest things in 
the American civilization. He tried to absorb the most com- 
plex political psychology ever evolved from the brain of man. 
The Reconstruction politicians even aspired to using Dresden 
china cuspidors. 

Nature worship is the first form of religion, and the most 
primitive form of religion. Herbert Spencer seems to think that 
ancestor worship was the first form of religion, basing his 
argument upon the fact that the phenomena of dreams, where 
persons saw their parents and grandparents, was what caused 

The Xcgro's Religion. 247 

savages to ascribe the good or ill luck that attended them to 
their dead ancestors. But it is the almost universal verdict 
of scholars that Spencer is wrong. So far as we can learn by 
the observation of present peoples and by the study of the 
past, ancestor worship is found among more highly developed 
people than nature worship. The worship of crude and unso- 
phisticated savages is almost always nature worship. By nature 
worship, or animism, we mean that form of human thought 
which ascribes spiritual life to the objects of nature and animals, 
or, as it is scientifically defined, "the doctrine that the phenome- 
non of life in animals is caused by the presence of a soul or 

Professor C. H. Teile, the eminent scholar in the history of 
religions, in an article upon religion in the ninth edition of 
the Encyclopaedia Britannica, divides nature worship into three 
varied forms of nature religions: "The Polydaemonistic magical 
religions, under the control of Animism; the purified or organ- 
ized magical religions, namely, Therianthropic polytheism; and 
the worship of man-like, but superhuman and semi-ethical, 
being in 'Anthropomorphic polytheism.' " He divides the 
ethical religions into two great groups, the national nomistic or 
nomothetic, and the universal religions. 

We see the first form of nature religions in the religion of 
savages. We see the second form in the old Dravidian faith, 
in the religion of the Finns, in the Egyptian religions and the 
more organized American Indian faiths. We see the third form 
of nature religions in the Vedic religions, in Zoroastrianism and 
various Semitic faiths, in the Celtic, Germanic, Hellenic and 
Grseco-Roman religions. 

I think that Teile is right in making nature religion in the 
form of Animism, or the religion of savages, the most primi- 
tive form of religion. Human nature is everywhere the same. 
It is the same yesterday as it is to-day. It is the principle of 
causation and the impulse to interpret nature in terms of the 
mind's life that leads the speculative philosopher of the twentieth 
century to his belief in a universal world spirit, immanent in 
the universe. And it was the same universal desire to seek a 
cause adequate for every eflFect and to ascribe to nature a spirit 
akin to his own that led the untutored savage to worship his 

248 The African Abroad. 

Fetich and led the poetic Greeks to people the springs and 
streams with nymphs, the woods and groves with deities and to 
represent the thunder and lightning as but the frowning Zeus, 
hurling his dreaded thunderbolts from Mount Olympus' rugged 
heights. The Greek, in letting his imagination go out and paint 
one of the sublimest pictures that can enter the mind of man, 
when he conceives of guardian spirits presiding over forest, 
streams, hills and dales, and controlling the beneficent activities 
of nature, was but obeying the same universal instinct of the 
human reason that dominated the thinking of the Apostle Paul 
when he says, "In him we live and move and have our being," 
or the poet Wordsworth when he says, 

There was a time when meadow, grove and stream. 

The earth and every common sight 

To me did seem appareled in celestial light, 

The glory and the freshness of a dream, 

or the astronomer Kepler, when in reading aright the meaning 
of those grand elemental laws that control the movements of 
the stars in the Milky Way, he said he was thinking the thoughts 
of God after Him. 

The poet-philosopher Plato calls God the great Geometer. 
The philosopher Kant says that there are two things which 
fill him with awe, the starry heavens above him and the moral 
law within him. The old prophets in the calm of the midnight 
sky saw God face to face. Who of you that has beheld the 
stars shining so calmly in the immensity of space has not felt 
that he was in the presence of forces and powers that were 
above and beyond him. The savage, the Apostle Paul, the poet 
Wordsworth, the astronomer Kepler, the poet-philosopher Plato, 
the philosopher Kant and you and I obey the same innate laws 
of human thought, the same constitutional principles of human 
reason, when we strive to get back of the phenomena to that 
which produced them. 

Some have made the distinct characteristic of man that differ- 
entiates him from llic lower animals, to lie in the fact that man 
is a tool-using being. Others have laid stress upon the fact 
that man is a being who has the gift of speech. But the 
peculiar characteristic of man that differentiates him from the 

The Ncs^ro's RcHs^ion. 249 


lower animals is that he is a metaphysical and reasoning being. 
Behind the ability to handle tools lies the ability to think, back 
of the power to use speech lies the power to frame a concept 
and carry on a consecutive chain of thought. 

You throw a stone at an animal and conceal youself — it will 
give a start, look around and go about its business ; but you 
throw a stone at a savage and hide yourself and he will imme- 
diately begin to reflect, and that is what the primitive men of 
all races and nations have done. That is what primitive man 
has always done in unconsciously obeying that constitutional 
tendency of the human mind which leads it to seek a cause for 
every effect. 

The savage saw the sun rise and then set. He saw the stars 
shine in the firmament. He saw the trees and grain and 
grasses and fruit and flowers grow. He saw the frost and rain 
spoil his crops. He saw the cyclone sweep everything before it. 
He saw the rivers rise and surge and rage. He trembled at 
the thunder and lightning. He saw sickness and disease and 
death take away his fellows. He felt the rheumatism steal in 
upon him and was driven by the necessity of human thought 
to account for it. What more natural than that he, in seeking 
causes for the beneficent and baleful operations of nature, should 
ascribe them to good and evil spirits with a conscious, sentient 
and volitional life that was akin to his own. From the time 
when primeval man looked up to the stars and at the world 
around him and peopled nature with spirits akin to his own, up 
to the present time this has ever remained the process by which 
religion has germinated and unfolded in the mind of man. The 
wild African, the ancestors of the Aryan race on the hills of 
Northern Asia, and the poetical Greeks, all saw nature throbbing 
and pulsating with animate life. 

Now if nature was believed to be peopled with good and 
evil spirits, where will these spirits exist. Primitive man had 
not reached that stage of advanced thought where he could 
conceive of disembodied spirits, neither could he believe that 
the objects of nature that he saw moving and growing were 
inanimate. He believed that all the physical objects and all 
the animals were impelled by some spirit. \Miat more natural, 
then, than that he should believe that the unseen and invisible 

= 5° The African Abroad. 

spirits that lived and moved in things and animals should be 
the spirits who benefited or harmed them? 

It is significant in this respect that animus is the Greek or 
Latin for spirit, and this is the step from nature worship to 
Fctichism. "A Fetich," in the words of one scholar, "is not 
an idol and is not properly a symbol, but is looked upon as the 
actual and visible dwelling place of a preternatural power." In 
Fctichism, then, the object is not worshipped or prized highly, 
because it itself has power to benefit or harm a man, but because 
it is the abode and habitat of some invisible spirit or unseen 

"Every object," says Peschel, "that attracts the glance of 
the savage, who espies a ghost in every corner, may become 
in his eyes the abode of a deity." Sticks, stones, household 
utensils, ornaments, plants, trees, snakes and animals were thus 
looked upon and regarded as fetiches. 

(3scar Peschel, on page yy of his "Races of Man," says, "All 
true Negroes adhere either to a rude animal and fetich worship 
or to Islam." 

Now these seem to be rather sweeping statements, but if the 
reader will but turn over the pages of Ratzel's "History of Man- 
kind," by far the most exhaustive and comprehensive account of 
the darker races, their customs, institutions and religions, he will 
observe numerous instances which verify these statements of 

Fctichism is now common in Central Africa, among the 
Kaffirs, in Dahomey and among the degraded tribes of Senegal 
and Congo. At one time or another Fctichism has been common 
among the Red Indians, the Mexicans, the Germans, the Saxons, 
the Brahmins, tlie Hindoos and other tribes. When the fetich 
was a household utensil, it was punished or beaten or broken if 
misfortune befell its owners, or it did not grant his wish. Says 
Peschel again, "Before every great enterprise, the Negro of 
Guinea, if no old and tried fetich is at hand, selects a new one; 
whatever his eye falls upon as he leaves his house, be it a dog, 
a cat, or any other creature, he takes as his deity and offers 
sacrifices to it on the spot. If the enterprise succeeds, the credit 
of the fetich is increased; if it fails, the fetich returns to its 
former position." African fctichism is not diflferent, then, from 

The Negro's Religion. 251 

the Fetichism that is founa among other peoples and has been 
found in other ages. 

It is but a step, then, from African Fetichism to African 
Shamanism. If nature was looked upon and regarded as peopled 
with invisible spirits, who bring not only beneficent results, but 
also misfortune, calamities, sickness, disease and death upon 
men ; if in the religion of ancestor worship, the departed spirits 
of ancestors must be propitiated when angry, what more natural 
than that the primitive savage should seek for some means of 
counteracting the baleful operations of these evil spirits. In 
this way, priests or magicians, such as the African Shaman or 
Indian medicine man, grew up. 

The Shaman, by his magic and peculiar medicines, is supposed 
to be able to cure sickness and disease, prolong life, ward off 
death, counteract the effect of witchcraft and come into direct 
communication with evil powers and the spirits of departed 
ancestors, tlius receiving supernatural knowledge. 

Says Peschel, "Of all nations the South African Bantus suf- 
fer most from this mental malady of Shamanism. Whenever 
a death occurs, inquiries are made of the Mzango or local 
Shaman as to its author. . . . When the seer indicates a sus- 
pected person, a trial by ordeal takes place, etc." Thus in Afri- 
can Shamanism, no man is regarded as dying from a natural 
cause ; but from the malice of some wizard or some person 
who sought its evil powers. 

African Shamanism is not only the religion of the South 
African and Bantu Negro, the Australians, Papuans and the 
Kaffirs, but is the religion of some Siberian tribes, of primitive 
North Asiatic and Central Asiatic tribes, of the Brazilian peon 
and of the North American Indian. It is something that is not 
peculiar to the Negro per se. 

Now this native African, with tropical and luxuriant imagi- 
nation, a passionate, sensuous, voluptuous and emotional tem- 
perament and nature religion, taking the form of a crude and 
superstitious Fetichism, was suddenly imported to an alien 
country as a slave. His condition here has been graphically por- 
trayed by Dr. W. E. B. DuBois. He says, "Endowed with a 
rich tropical imagination and a keen delicate appreciation of 
nature, the transplanted African lived in a world animate with 

252 The African Abroad. 

gods, devils, elves and witches, full of strange influences of 
good to be implored, of evil to be propitiated. Slavery then was 
to him the dark triumph of evil over him. All the hateful pow- 
ers of the under world were striving against him and a spirit 
of revolt and revenge filled his heart. He called up all the 
resources of heathen sin to aid, — exorcism and witchcraft, the 
mysterious Obi worship, with its barbarous rites, spells and 
blood sacrifice even, now and then, of human victims. Weird 
midnight orgies and mystic conjurations were invoked, the witch 
woman and the voodoo priest became the centers of Negro group 
life and that vein of vague superstition which characterizes the 
unlettered Negro even to-day was deepened and strengthened." 

But this is where I differ from Professor DuBois : the woman 
conjurer and voodoo priest were not creations of the American 
Negroes in their slave life; they were rather modifications of 
the African Shaman or Medicine Man, who was at the same 
time judge, physician, priest, magician and wizard. What more 
natural than that the Negro in his new environment and new 
sorrows and trials should turn for comfort and solace to his 
old healer, the African Shaman. 

To-day, even, in some sections of the Bahama Islands and the 
South, no man or woman is supposed to die of a natural disease, 
if consumption or typhoid fever takes him off. If rheumatism 
or paralysis afflicts him some enemy is supposed to work a charm 
and the man or woman conjurer is consulted and sought after. 

IVIiat was there in the environment of the American Negro* 
ivhich caused his religious development to take the form it did? 
We have seen how the native African, following that primal 
instinct which is common to every primitive race, was led in 
seeking a cause for every effect to believe in the existence of 
unseen forces and invisible powers who could help or injure 
him. We have seen how he worshipped the various objects in 
nature, or animals in which these supernatural spirits were sup- 
posed to reside. We have seen how next he had recourse to 
the Shamans who were magicians or priests supposed to have the 
power to ward off the witchcraft of evil-minded persons and the 
mischievous designs of wizards and departed spirits. We have 
seen, too, how Negro \'o()disni, Gopherism and Conjurism is a 
direct evolution from African Shamanism. And the medicine 

The Negro's Religion. 253 

men and women conjurers who were familiar figures on Southern 
plantations were lineal descendants of the African Shamans. 

Professor W. E. Burghardt DuBois, the eminent sociologist, in 
his article upon the religion of the American Negro in the Nezv 
]Vorld for March or June, 1901, gives a graphic and eloquent 
picture of the transformation of the family and clan life of the 
newly imported slaves. He there says, "He (the slave) was 
brought from a definite social environment, the polygamous 
clan life under the leadership of the chief and the potent influence 
of the priest. The first 'rude change in this life was the slave 
ship and the West Indian sugarfields. The plantation organiza- 
tion replaced the clan, and the tribe and the white master replaced 
the chief, with his thirst for greater and more despotic powers. 
Forced and long-continued toil became the rule of life, the old 
ties of blood relationship and kinship disappeared, and instead 
of the family appeared a new polygamy and polyandry, which, 
in some cases, almost reached promiscuity. It was a terrific 
social revolution, and yet some traces were retained of the former 
group life, and the chief remaining institution was the priest 
or medicine man. He early appeared on the plantation and found 
his function as the healer of the sick, the interpreter of the 
unknown, the comforter of the sorrowing, the supernatural 
avenger of wrong and the one who rudely, but picturesquely, 
expressed the longing, disappointment and resentment of a 
stolen and oppressed people." 

Before we proceed, it will be well for us to make a resume of 
the ground already covered. We have shown that the genetic 
method of explaining things by the principle of growth by 
and through development, the comparative method of show- 
ing how all religions necessarily appeal to some fundamental 
element in human nature, is entirely forgotten and lost sight 
of when we study the Negro's religion, when in realit}^ the 
Negro's religion is not outside of the stream of the general 
religious development of mankind. His religion is not, as com- 
monly supposed, a phenomenon that is separate and apart from 
the historical development of the human race. In his religion, 
as in the white man's religion, we see but stages in the evolu- 
tion of human thought. The colored man is gradually shuffling 
oflf his old superstitions and absorbing from his environment 
materials for further growth. 

254 The African Abroad. 

The presentation of a religion whose heaven and hell gave 
his imagination room to play, the presentation of a God and 
Saviour who awakened his religious aspiration and satisfied the 
cravings of his spirit, the songs of Christendom that appealed 
to his sense of music, was what caused the transported African 
to embrace Christianity. 

The depression of slavery caused him to rest his hopes of 
happiness in heaven. His utter helplessness caused him to lean 
upon an unseen friend for comfort. And the aspiration and 
longing and sorrow and cravings of the Negro burst into expres- 
sion through the jubilee songs and plantation melodies. The 
emancipation hope may be likened to the Jewish hope of the 
coming of a Messiah. And the relation between sexual and 
religious excitement is illustrated in the emotional excitement of 
the Negro in the ecstacies of the religious fervor. 

The consequent effect of the change in the Negro's soul life 
that was produced by his emancipation upon his religion must 
be noted. The influence of the American Missionary Associa- 
tion, the Freedman's Aid and Southern Educational Society, 
W'ilberforce University, the Presbyterian and Episcopalian 
churches in giving the Negro an educated ministry, raised the 
ethical standard of his religion. The general diffusion of intel- 
ligence among the masses broadened their faith. But the irre- 
ligious tendencies of the new Negro must be noted. The sportive 
and epicurean tendencies of the young Negro is the reflex 
manifestation of the irreligion of the present day. The rise 
of the Gospel of industrialism, of the "Get Cash Gospel," has 
caused men to forget that man has higher aspiration than feeding 
his belly ; that eating and drinking and sleeping do not circunv 
scribe and limit man's activity. What is needed is a higher 
gospel than get bread and nothing but bread. 

There was often a divorce between religion and ethics in the 
ante-bellum days, and even now tire Negro has not sufficiently 
shaken off the influences of slavery, which disrupted family ties, 
and has not completely assimilated the civilization and religion 
of a race that differs in history and tradition from his own. But 
the day is breaking; the Negro will never completely lose his 
rich emotional endowment, but his rich emotional life will be 
a life directed by intelligence and controlled by the will. 


The Negro's Contribution to Literature, Music and Oratory. 

Professor Albert Bushncll Hart's recent article in the Inde- I 
poidcnt, upon the Negro question, has attracted considerable 
attention. His position as a well-known professor of Harvard 
University, his reputation as an authorit}^ upon American history 
and the calm, judicial tone of his article commended it to thought- 
ful students of the so-called Negro problem. 

The significant feature of his article to me lay in the fact that 
only four colored men loomed up before him in large enough 
proportions and commanded his attention to the extent that 
he could regard them as four colored leaders. 

For three of these men, their title to fame lies wholly and 
solely in the fact that, in their poems, stories and essays, they 
have portrayed and revealed the soul-life of the Negro in a 
way to appeal to the American mind. One of these men partly 
won his reputation as a writer, who could tell the story of his 
life in a manner to command the attention of the country. 

So we can say, then, that the Negro race, in America, has only 
produced four writers of note and distinction, and none of 
these has produced an immortal work that will go ringing down 
the ages and will ring forever in the hearts of men. In the 
judgment of posterity, these, with the possible exception of 
DuBois, will probably be classed as talented writers rather than 
men whose insight into the human soul and inimitable manner 
of uttering their thoughts ranks them as men of genius. These 
four Negro writers are W. E. Burghardt DuBois, Paul Lawrence 
Dunbar, Charles G. Chestnutt and Booker T. Washington. And 
of these, DuBois is the most gifted literary artist. And it must 
not be forgotten that we have other colored writers almost as 
talented as DuBois, Chestnutt and Dunbar. 

I will endeavor to show in this chapter why the Negro, with 
his rich artistic equipment and endowment, has produced so many 
good talkers and so few good writers. I will endeavor to show 
why the four men whom Professor Hart characterizes as the 

256 The African Abroad. 

"four Xegro leaders" do not leap the chasm or bridge the 
gulf that separates the clever from the great writers; and by 
a brief study of Homer, Dante, Goethe, Milton, Shakespeare and 
Carlylc, what the Xegro writer must do, if he would not only 
artistically uncover to our gaze the inner life of the Xegro, but 
would touch the throbbing heart of humanity, feel its pulse beat 
as it keeps time to the footsteps of the Almighty, as he writes his 
eternal laws of righteousness in the movement and march of 
human history, and would create those unforgetable phrases 
which haunt the memory and linger in our minds like — 

Music, when soft voices die, 

Lingers in the memory, 
Odors, when sweet violets sicken, 

Live within the sense they quicken. 

There is one thing that the Xegro race has bequeathed to 
literature and that is DuBois's picture of Alexander Crummell 
in his "Souls of Black Folk." Carlyle and Ruskin, at their best, 
have never surpassed the inimitable touches with which DuBois 
portrays the strivings of a Xegro for the higher life. Crummell 
was a kingly, gracious soul, and DuBois has made this suffering 
man live in his pages. DuBois's hero haunts the memory and 
lingers in the mind for weeks. It is such a delicately drawn por- 
trait, such a halo surrounds it that some have doubted that it 
was the likeness of a real man and believed that it was the 
])icture of an ideal, an imaginary Xegro. I should call DuBois's 
chapter upon Crummell "The tragedy of a human soul." \\'hat 
is tragedy but the thwarting of a man's will by Fate, or the 
State, or Society? What is tragedy but the struggle of an 
exhausted swimmer against an outgoing tide that carries him 
out to sea and finally overwhelms him? And what do we 
find in the life of Alexander Crummell but the struggle of an 
idealist against relentless American caste prejudice and selfish 
self-seekers in his own race. And I believe that that one chapter 
in which DuBois felt the pulse-beat of one throbbing negro soul 
is worth more than all of his pathological studies of Xegro 
criminology, poverty, and mortality. 

Those who have studied tlie Xegro closely have observed that 
he possesses an imagination that is tropical in its fertility, fruit- 

The Negro's Contribution to Literature. 257 

fulness, and luxuriant richness. He is gifted with graphic 
descriptive powers. He is a vivid word painter, and can give 
a pen picture of an event that interests him. He has an eye that 
can take in the beauty of Nature, and is keen to observe misfit 
of clothes and the changing thoughts and emotions that mirror 
themselves in the human countenance. 

I have in Washington, D. C, North Carolina and Florida heard 
uneducated and untutored Negro orators and preachers describe 
the radiant splendor of dawn, the beautiful tints of the rainbow, 
the golden glories of the setting sun, the buoyant freshness of 
a springtime, when Nature bursts into life and weaves for 
us a new garment and pulses into beauty in blade and grass 
and flower, the pensive sadness of the Indian summer and the 
crimson yellow glory of autumn, or the flight of an eagle, in 
a way to thrill me. 

He is endowed with the natural gifts of the orator. He 
preeminently possesses the faculty of language. Not since that 
fair moment in Grecian history when their philosophers dis- 
coursed often on high themes before the ol iroXXol in the market 
place, or when the choice disciples of the peripatetics eagerly 
hung upon their lips and treasured their every word in the 
groves of the academy, not since the palmy days when the 
eloquence of the Athenian orators, speaking in the open air, 
thrilled their audiences, not since that high hour in Greek 
civilization w^hen, as DeWitt Clinton declared, "herb women 
could criticise the phraseology of Demosthenes, and the mean- 
est artisan pronounce judgment upon the works of Phidias and 
Apelles," has any race of natural talkers appeared upon the 
stage of history who could compare with the Negro as talkers. 
One has only to attend the revivals, camp meetings, funerals, 
emancipation day celebrations in the South, and he will wonder 
how such illiterate and ignorant preachers and orators can talk 
with such ease and fluency for one or two hours. While he may 
laugh at some of their uncouth phrases, he will marvel at the 
wealth of their illustrations and their copious supply of words 
and at the tumultuous, torrential flow of their sentences. 

Upon the street corners, in the barber shops and political 
clubs of the North, he will see this gift of fluent speech, this 
natural ability to talk and talk and talk manifested during 


258 The African Abroad. 

election times. But in the North, the restraints of the Anglo- 
Saxon civilization have curbed and repressed the effusive, 
effervescent and enthusiastic oratory of the Xegro, while in the 
Southland the Negro's imagination riots in its barbaric splendor 
and wild extravagance to its heart's content, unhindered and 
unimpeded by the standards of the civilization of another race. 
In the South no wet blanket, in the sense of propriety of another 
race, chills and dampens the fires of Negro eloquence. 

Besides this, the Negro possesses the oratorical temperament. 
This may seem a superfluous statement. But a vivid imagina- 
tion and fluency of speech are not the only requirements of an 
orator who can hold an audience spellbound, and sweep it off 
its feet, and so charge it with his own enthusiasm and passion 
that it but reflects his own ardent personality. The eloquence 
must burn and seethe in his own soul before it can burst forth, 
like a smoking and flaming IVIt. yEtna, when she belches forth 
a mass of molten lava that moves upon its triumphant march 
to the sea. True eloquence is the spontaneous outburst of 
thoughts and emotions that have been fermenting and work- 
ing in the soul for a long while, just as a volcanic eruption 
or the gushing forth of a spring under the hillside are the 
resultant of forces which have been working unseen beneath the 
surface; just as the breaking forth of a terrific storm, in which 
the lightning flashes and leaps across tlie heavens and the 
reverberating thunders roll their deafening roar, has been pre- 
ceded by the silent gathering of dark, heavy, threatening clouds 
in. every section of the sky. There is no cataclystic or violent 
outburst of dynamic forces in Nature. What seems so, is but 
the sudden letting forth of energ}' that has been stored up slowly 
and has been silently accumulating for a long while. 

The true orator must be so absorbed, lost and wrapped up in 
his subject, that it takes possession of him until he has but one 
thought, and one desire, and that is to give expression and 
utterance to the truth or message that is burning and stirring 
in his soul. And this it is that gives fascination and charm 
to the poetic eloquence of an Isaiah, explains the inspiration of 
the Hebrew proi)hets and accounts for the power and influence 
of the Apostle Paul as a preacher and writer. It partly explains 
the matchless charm of the magnetic personality of the lowly 

The Negro's Contribution to Literature. 259 

Nazarene. It partly accounts for the spell of the enchantment 
which his gracious and benign presence wove over his followers 
and friends, so that the servants of the High Priest sent to 
arrest him exclaimed: "Never man spake like this man"; 
so that his two disciples who journeyed with him to Emmaus, 
not knowing who he was at first, exclaimed after he revealed 
himself to them : "Did not our hearts burn within us while he 
talked with us by the way?" 

When a man is aflame with a noble enthusiasm or a righteous 
indignation, his eye glows and lights up with a new fire, his 
countenance shines and speaks, and there is a nervous quiver and 
tremor to his voice that can thrill and electrify an audience, or 
excite it until it goes into hysterics, or that persuasive quality 
to his voice that can touch the sympathetic and responsive chords 
in his hearers' hearts. Sometimes, as in a Cicero or Savonarola, 
his very frame will vibrate and tremble, his very arm and finger 
will shake, his every gesture will have a meaning more eloquent 
than words. Now the Negro orators and preachers can invol- 
untarily and unconsciously throw themselves into their subjects, 
become enthused and enthuse others. 

The Negro also has an innate love for music, an instinct for 
detecting the melody of harmonious sounds or dissonance of 
inharmonious sounds that makes the untrained ear of a Blind 
Tom or some of the singers of the old plantation songs and 
jubilee melodies a more unerring judge and monitor in music 
than all the training that the schools can give the Anglo-Saxon. 
The old slaves voiced their religious hopes and aspirations and 
longing for freedom in "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Roll, 
Jordan, Roll," and "We will Walk through the Valley in Peace," 
etc. After the war the changed conditions of the Negro intro- 
duced a modification in his soul-life, but it did not quench the 
deathless ardor of his soul. His soul was still stirred to its 
depths, with an elemental power, by the swing and rhythm of 
the old hymns which have moved Christendom. But at first the 
Negro attempted to create no new music of his own. At first he 
but satisfied the needs of his soul, and poured out his soul in 
the sublime hymns of Isaac Watts, which were set to the old 
meters, to "Auld Lang Syne" and to "Greenwood." And what 
a power there was to those old meters. I can sometimes hear 

26o The African Abroad. 

the old-fashioned Christians singling "There is a land of pure 
delij^ht," and "Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, I'll meet you 
there. Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, I'll meet you there." 
I remember well the love feasts and communion services in tlie 
old Methodist churches in New Haven. Those old hymns seemed 
to lift me to Heaven ujxjn their soaring wings. 

But the creative instinct, the passion for self-expression is an 
inljorn quality of the human soul. The Negro liked the white 
man's songs, but his aspirations did not stop there. A few years 
ago five young men, Rosamond and James Johnson, Bob Cole, 
\\"\\l Cook and Gussie L. Davis, composed refined rag-time 
two-steps, if there is such a thing as refined rag-time two-steps, 
if there is such a thing as refined rag-time, some dreamy waltzes 
and sentimental songs. They did some very clever work, but pro- 
duced no enduring work. It was reserved for Samuel Coleridge- 
Taylor to enjoy the unique distinction of being the first of his race 
to produce a masterpiece and attempt something upon a large 
scale. The music of his "Hiawatha" is soft and sweet and 
soothing. It is rich, luscious and voluptuous. His flowing 
melodies, his dreamy languorous music sometimes reminds me 
of the ravishing strains of Verdi's Aula. But some of his 
critics claim that his music "cloys upon the taste," that there 
is too much sameness and not enough variety to the piece. But 
as Taylor attempted to incarnate and embody the spirit of 
Longfellow's "Hiawatha" in his music, and as there is a 
great deal of sameness to that poem, I believe that he can be 
acquitted of the charge of monotony. The Boston Journal says 
of Taylor: "To those who follow music, it is needless to state 
that ]\Ir. Coleridge-Taylor, as the composer of the trilogy on 
Hiawatha, has written tlie most beautiful, original, richly-colored 
and fascinating music that has come out of England for a 
hundred years at least." 

I have endeavored to state in what the Negro's artistic equip- 
ment and endowment consists. I have said that he is gifted with 
a poetical imagination, fluency of speech, the oratorical tempera- 
ment and an car for melody and harmony. It explains why 
Samuel Ringo Ward, Frederick Douglass, Hon. R. Brown Elliot. 
J. C. Price, Alexander Crummcll, George William Williams and 
John IMcrcer Langston could delight and cliarm both white and 

The Negro's Contribution to Literature. 261 

colored audiences in the past. It explains why ex-President 
William Laws of Paul Quinn College, Hon. Thomas E. ^liller, 
Professor N. W. Collier. James Hayes the agitator, Dr. C. T. 
Walker, Dr. William V. Tunnell, Dr. M. C. B. Mason, Professor 
William H. H. Hart, Dr. F. J. Grimke, Rev. J. T. Wright, Bishop 
Abram Grant, Bishop Alexander W. Walters, Rev. J. T. Welch, 
Rev. J. L. Dart, Rev. J. W. E. Bowen, Rev. Dr. Owen M. Waller, 
Rev. J. A. Cotton, Rev. Charles S. JMorris, Dr. William Decker 
Johnson, Rev. N. C. Cleaves, Rev. John Adams, Lawyers W. PL 
Lewis, J. N. Bundy, E. M. Hewlett, E. T. Morris, Clement G. 
Morgan and James D. Carr, Dr. Booker T. Washington, Roscoe 
Conkling Bruce, William Pickens, Professor R. R. Wright, E. M. 
Hewlett, President D. J. Sanders, Dr. J. H. Frank, Hon. A. S. 
White, Dr. J. Milton Waldon, Hon. Joseph Lee and President 
W. G. Goler can interest and sway large audiences at present, 
why Dr. H. PL Proctor, of Atlanta, Ga., could so thrill the annual 
meeting of the American Missionary Association that he was 
elected as assistant moderator of the National Council. But 
it does not explain why the Negro's literary output has been so 

It is said that great literature is produced in the storm and 
stress of life, that the greatest works of Dante, IMilton, Carlyle 
and other writers were wrung out of the agony of their souls, that 
it was because they suffered and felt and sympathized with the 
world's woe and world's suffering that they could sound the 
universal note, freighted with the hopes and aspirations of 
toiling, struggling, humanity, in their immortal works. Did 
not Carlyle call Dante "the voice of ten silent centuries," the 
voice in whom the religious faith and cravings of the dark ages 
spoke? This being true, the Negro has a past and present rich 
in literary material. • 

The woe and misery and wretchedness of two hundred and 
fifty years of slavery, when our fathers and mothers groaned 
under the yoke, bled under the lash, heard the sound of a master's 
voice and felt the sting of the slave driver's whip, and were 
hunted by bloodhounds, when husband and wife, brother and 
sister, mother and child were parted at the auction block, never 
to meet again this side of Jordan, is rich in dramatic, picturesque 

c62 The African Abroad. 

The caste prejudice in America, which is an asylum for the 
persecuted of every race and nation, except the Negro, this caste 
prejudice, I say, which hmits the Negro's possibihties in industry, 
business and poHtics to certain prescribed channels and grooves 
in the North, which disfranchises and Jim Crows him in the 
South ; this caste prejudice which says to the Negro, "Thus 
far shalt thou go and no farther," which builds a wall to restrict 
Negro aspiration and Negro ambition, furnishes the environ- 
ment for the development of many a Carlyle, of many a Milton, 
of many a Dante. Thus far it has produced but one man 
whose protest against it has caught and held the ear of the 
country, and that is W. E. Burghardt DuBois, whose "Souls 
of Black Folk" is the most brilliant and suggestive book ever 
written by a Negro, which if it had combined the philosophic 
insight of a Carlyle's Sartor Resartus with DuBois's psychologi- 
cal and literary genius, would have raised DuBois to the rank 
of the world's great writers. 

There is one world that know^s no distinction of race or color, 
and that is the world of letters, art and science. Why hasn't 
the Negro realized his possibilities in this line? The Negro has 
made a very creditable performance in scholarship. There were 
a few colored professors in Howard University who were worthy 
of positions in a white university of high grade. I refer to 
Professor Kelly Miller, the mathematician and sociologist. Dr. 
William V. Tunnell, head of the history department. Professor 
Benjamin Lightfoot, the late C. C. Cook of the English 
department, Professor William A. Joiner of the pedagogical 
department, Professor W. H. H. Hart and Professor W. H. 
Richards of the law school, Dr. P. F. Purvis and the late F. 
Shadd of the medical school. Then in Dr. E. Blyden, President 
W. S. Scarborough, Professor Oreshatikeh Faduma, Professor 
Charles S. Boyer, Professor Benjamin Lightfoot, and Drs. 
Henry Bailey and G. II. Henderson, the race has produced classi- 
cal scholars. In George W. Forbes, William Monroe Trotter, J. 
Max Barber, Professor H. T. Kealing, Professor J. W. Crom- 
nicll, T. Thomas Fortune, L. M. Hershaw, W. Calvin Chase, 
Max Barber. W. Ashbie Hawkins, J. E. Bruce, R, W. Thompson, 
and II. Slaughter, the race has produced up-to-date journalists 
and writers for the press. But literature is different from 
scholarship and journalism. 

The Negro's Contribution to Literature. 263 

There is this difference between the spoken and the written 
word, — the written word is divorced from the charm and irre- 
sistible magnetism of the speaker's personahty. Very few are 
the men whose written word is as effective as their personal 
presence and the spell of their personality. Again, there are 
grammatical errors, constant repetitions, infelicitous expressions, 
clumsy phraseology, which are not noticed or are overlooked 
when one is impressed with the earnestness or intoxicated by 
the fire and enthusiasm of a speaker. But these are detected and 
criticised in the written discourse. The fact that eloquence con- 
sists in the ability of one man to impress his personality upon 
other men, that the secret of his power lies back of his thread 
of argument, back of his brilliant rhetoric and flowing diction, 
and is found in his commanding and masterful or sweet and 
gracious personality, explains w^hy a race may produce finer 
orators than writers ; but it does not explain why the race 
has been more successful in scholarship and journalism than in 
the world of letters. 

There are three reasons why the Negro's literary output has 
been so meagre. The first reason is the same that makes tlic 
American statesmen, scholars and writers not as profound and 
comprehensive as the English and German statesmen and 

Money is deified in America. The standards of success are 
materialistic. The worth of a man to society depends upon his 
ability to make money. The value of an education depends upon 
its power to make a man a successful money-maker. Conse- 
quently, literature, poetry, art, and philosophy, the studies whose 
function it is to develop the imagination and to acquaint a man 
with the best and noblest that has been thought, felt and 
believed in the world, are now in disfavor. Literature does not 
flourish in a materialistic age, — that is why the age of Gray was 
a barren age in English literature. It needed the dawn of the 
nineteenth century, with its French Revolution and new ideas 
about man and nature and God, it needed the breath of Gennan 
idealism in English literature to make it blossom into life in the 
nineteenth century. The decadent tendencies of the hour, the 
pernicious drift of the American civilization towards a crass 
and sordid materialism has swept the Xegro along with it and 

264 The African Abroad. 

caused him likewise to despise culture for itself, and to value 
only the so-called practical studies. 

The result is that so many Xegro scholars, writers and teach- 
ers do not balhc themselves in the fountain of knowledge, and 
are afraid of becoming erudite theorists and idealistic dreamers. 
In their desire to become practical, they turn aside from books 
and literature too soon. The result is that Xegro scholarsliip and 
literature partakes of the .shallow, superficial and dilettante 
character of American scholarship and literature. And as 
America does not produce statesmen as profound and scholarly 
as Burke, Gladstone, the Duke of Argyll, Lord Salisbury, Balfour, 
James Bryce and John Morley, so the Negro writer, imitating the 
American ideals, falls short of supreme excellency. 

Then, again, the fad and craze of industrial education for 
the Negro has discredited the educated Xegro and put a pre- 
mium upon the Negro who owns houses and lands and is a good 
servant. This conception of industrial education as a panacea 
of all Negro ills, past, present and to come, is a survival of 
that slaveholder's notion which regards the Negro as an inferior 
being, fit only to be a race of hewers of wood and drawers of 
water. It is a manifestation of that American caste prejudice, 
which would reduce the Negro, irrespective of his ability or 
worth, to the class of serfs and peons, yea, to the lowest strata 
of American society. And this wave of industrialism has borne 
the Negro along with it and turned many talented colored men 
and women from the college to the bench, the plow, the brick 
yard, the stable, the dining room and the kitchen. It has 
quenched the aspiration of many a budding artistic and literary 
genius, shining through a black skin. 

Now we come to the last and most important reason for the 
dearth of Xegro literature of high grade. I believe that Homer, 
Dante, Shakespeare, Milton and Goethe are regarded as the 
five universal poets, whose words will go ringing down the 
ages and will ring forever in the hearts of men. Some may 
perhaps question Milton's title to the rank of immortal poet. 
I believe that Thomas Carlyle is regarded as the greatest prose 
writer the English-speaking people have yet produced, if not 
the greatest prose writer the world has yet seen. 

The Negro's Contribution to Literature. 265 

This is the one quahty these writers had in common. They 
were rooted in the Hfe and soil of their native country. In them 
the ideals, the hopes and aspirations, and longings and cravings 
of their times and country found expression. However much 
they might soar in the empyrean of imagination and fancy, their 
feet were firmly placed upon terra firma. However much they 
might touch in their sweep the life and thought of other coun- 
tries, in them the peculiar genius of their own race, the peculiar 
and inexplicable soul life of their own people burst into utter- 
ance. Back of their writings was the deep, rich soil of the 
unexpressed thoughts, hopes and longings of their race. 

Homer personified and incarnated in his "Iliad" and "Odyssey" 
the Greek ideals of courage and friendship, the Greek dreams of 
beauty. It was the literary bible of the Greek race. The brav- 
ery of the Athenians at the battle of Marathon, of Leonidas and 
his three hundred Spartans at the pass of Thermopylae, was fed 
and nourished by admiring the heroes of Homer. Alexander 
the Great, the greatest general the Greek race ever produced, who 
is but a shade inferior to Hannibal, Csesar and Napoleon, slept 
with Homer's "Iliad" under his pillow and modeled his character 
upon that of Homer's immortal hero, Achilles, who combined in 
a preeminent degree, grace and beauty of person with marvelous 
physical strength. He was the realization of the Greek dreams 
of manhood and heroism. What do we find in the friendship 
of Patroclus for Achilles, of Priam's love for his son Hector, 
of Andromache's love for her husband Hector, of Hector's 
fondness for and tenderness for his infant son, of Penelope's 
faithfulness to the absent Ulysses, when other suitors pressed 
around, what but the consummate expression of the Greek ideals 
of friendship and love? 

I have said that Carlyle called Dante "the voice of ten silent 
centuries" because his was the voice in whom the religious faith 
and cravings of the Dark Ages spoke. It was the passionate out- 
burst in literature of the seething soul-life of men, who in the 
eloquent words of Hamilton Wright IVIabie, "for ten centuries 
had been toiling and sufifering ; building states, organizing socie- 
ties, elaborating a church with its creed, ritual and government, 
evolving languages: bearing a world of crushing burdens and 
doing a world of necessary, difficult and in the main noble work ; 

266 The African Abroad. 

but all this liad gone on in silence." And Dante broke the 
silence and told us what these men were thinking and dreaming 
about, as he pictures in lurid colors souls in Hell, Purgatory and 
Paradise. He not only carries us through the three worlds, but 
opens to our view that religious faith which reveled in erecting 
such magnificent and colossal Gothic cathedrals during the 
Middle Ages. 

Similarly we could show that Milton's ''Paradise Lost" and 
"Paradise Regaincil" were but the theology of English Puritan- 
ism, soaring upon the wings of Milton's sublime imagination and 
speaking in the matchless music of his blank verse ; that Goethe's 
"Faust" was the classic answer to questions about the meaning of 
life that agitated the minds of men a century ago; that Shakes- 
peare was a mirror who reflected in myriad ways the life and 
thought and feelings of his own age; that Carlyle's "Sartor 
Resartus" was the peculiar product of German idealism grafted on 
to his own rugged dyspeptic Scotch nature ; that he appealed to 
the men of his times because the blending in his works of German 
transcendentalism and his own heroic temperament satisfied the 
religious needs of men and women of puritanic moral fibre, who 
found tlie rigid, Calvinistic theology too narrow and antiquated 
for them. It was tiie breath of German idealism in "Sartor 
Resartus" that made it a living book. 'I'hus we see that a writer 
must speak to his own age, must embody in his works the dreams 
and ideals of his own country, if he is to move men or occupy 
a unique place in literature. 

i!ut while it is true that Homer and Shakespeare. Dante and 
Milton, Goethe and Carlyle won recognition from their contem- 
poraries because they expressed the life and thought and dreams 
and ideals of their own age and country, their immortal fame 
rests in the fact that they can transcend their own age and 
country, touch the universal heart of humanity and speak a word 
of cheer and comfort to men of all times. In Achilles, Patroclus, 
Hector, Andromache, Penelope and Ulysses, Homer not only 
pictured persons who appealed to his own time, but who can 
interest men and women of all times. Dante's Divine Comedy 
lives because of its beauty and the eternal truth that every sin 
leaves its baleful cfTect upon the character. It is the univer- 
sality of Shakespeare, the fact that he presents human nature 

The Negro's Contribution to Literature. 267 


as it is in all ages and times and countries, that gives him 
his world-wide fame. It is because Faust, the hero of Goethe's 
drama, represents the unrest and dissatisfaction of men to-day in 
this country, that Goethe's "Faust" is read to-day. It is because, 
in his "Heroes and Hero Worship," Carlyle draws heroic figure^ 
which the world will ever admire, that that book is still vital 
and fresh. 

Now the Negro writers seem afraid of following the dialec- 
tics of their own nature, the genius of their racial psychology, 
consequently the note of individuality is not heard in their 
writings. As a rule the colored writers and colored speakers, 
who have the ear of the country, are more desirous of winning 
the favor and esteem of the Anglo-Saxon race than in giving 
utterance and expression to the thoughts that are burning in 
their own souls. Consequently they sing a song that will catch 
and please the ears of the Anglo-Saxon instead of speaking in 
trumpet tones the message that wells up in their souls, and 
comes to them from the Eternal God. 

The Negro is an imitative being. He has shown remarkable 
aptitude in absorbing and assimilating the civilization of an 
alien race. It is the miracle of history that as soon as the Negro 
was emancipated from bondage, he aspired after the highest 
things in the Anglo-Saxon civilization. Even Negro politicians 
aspired to using mahogany tables, Brussels carpets, Dresden 
china cuspidors. This race, that had been living in ignorance and 
illiteracy for over two hundred years, immediately grasped and 
comprehended the most complex political psychology the world 
has yet seen. But in adapting itself to the ideals and standards of 
an Anglo-Saxon civilization the Negro went too far in taking his 
ideas ready-made from the Anglo-Saxon, and in letting his Cau- 
casian brother do his thinking for him. The result is that Negro 
writers and speakers only utter commonplaces and platitudes. 
They efface their individuality and lack originality. The style 
of these colored writers lacks the color and flavor of individuality. 
The tropical imagination and ardent temperament of the Negro 
ought to give richness and warmth to his style, ought to cause 
the Negro essayists and journalists to excel in the sensational, 
picturesque and spectacular kind of writing. But in pruning 
their style and modeling it after the models of English prose, 

268 The African Abroad. 

these colored writers not only prune off their flamboyant 
barbaric extravagances but lose virility and a terse, trenchant 
and telling way of putting things. What does that quality 
called magic of style or charm of style consist in? When the 
writer's style expresses his own personality, and his personality 
is interesting, there is a flavor to his style that charms us in spite 
of the fact that he cannot coin those magic phrases that haunt 
the memory and linger in the mind for days. We get up from 
reading his easy, natural colloquial ways of putting things, 
feeling that we have had a heart-to-heart talk with him. 

When colored men write as colored men and not as white men, 
only then will lliey be interesting. In assimilating the culture 
and traditions of Anglo-Saxons, they must not lose their rich 
and luxuriant African heritage, they must not lose the barbaric 
splendor of the African imagination or the fervid eloquence of 
the native African. The charm of individuality is the charm of 
naturalness. This is true of manners, and of writing and speak- 
ing, and acting and reading and reciting. The full meaning and 
significance of Emerson's now hackneyed phrase, "Be yourself," 
should dawn upon the budding Negro writer. The world will 
always lend a listening ear to the writer or speaker who has a 
message for it from out of the heart of the eternal. The man 
who has a personality and an individuality, who is rooted and 
grounded upon his own convictions, and whose writings reflect 
and reveal that personality, will always be listened to. 

The Negro race must come to a consciousness of itself before 
it can produce great literature. It must come to a consciousness 
of its aims and powers, to a self-realization of its ideals and 
talents, before it can produce great literature. The civilization 
of a people is reflected in its literature. Literature is something 
that wells up spontaneously from the soul-depths of the race. 
It is the expression, in artistic form, of the deep-seated thought 
and feelings, dreams and longings of the race. A race that 
is self-conscious recognizes its strength as well as its weakness, 
its powers as well as its limitations. The Negro is more of a 
dreamer and an idealist than a doer of deeds. Consequently 
the contribution that tlie Negro will make to civilization will be 
in the realms of music, oratory, literature and art. Partaking 
of the Greek temperament, rather than of the practical phleg- 

The Negro's Contribution to Literature. 269 

matic temperament of the Anglo-Saxon, who, at his best, 
resembles the stern old Roman, the Negro, as a rule, will be 
distanced by his Anglo-Saxon brother in the world of science, 
business and politics. These things the Negro writer must 

Again, many colored writers are outside of the stream of 
human history, and out of touch with the complex problems of 
modern life. There are three dominant tendencies prevailing in 
the world to-day, and especially in America. In theology and 
religion, the tendency is towards agnosticism, which says there 
may be a God, and man may be the heir of an immortal life, 
but we can never know it. 

In ideals of life and character the tendency is towards a 
crass and gross materialism, towards a deification of money and 
the money maker, a contempt for the man who cannot make 
money, and an ignoring of the moral, aesthetical and spiritual 
values which literature, art, music and religion nourish. In 
politics the tendency is towards democracy, the recognition that 
"A man's a man for a' that," and that wealth, rank, race and 
color are but a stamp. 

If the colored writer would float on the crest of the wave 
to the flood-tides of prosperity, he must be in the currents of 
modern thought and feeling. If he would move mankind, he 
must stay the advancing tide of materialism. If he would speak 
a word that the world will not willingly let die, this must be 
the burden of his message : "The soul of man is infinitely more 
precious than all the wealth of the money barons." If he would 
produce an immortal work, he must transcend the limitations of 
his own race, country and age, and utter some truth that will 
apply to all times and countries, to all ages and conditions of 
men, whose meaning will be unfolded with the growth and 
development of human thought. That is why Plato and Homer, 
Isaiah and Paul, Gray and Carlyle are read to-day. But there 
are four colored writers who have essayed to do what Homer 
did for the Greek race and what Dante did for the Middle Ages 
and what Shakespeare did for his own complex age. They have 
attempted to voice the thoughts and aspirations of their race. 
Is the note of power or permanence heard in their voices? Can 
they sing and catch the ear of their age as Carlyle did his? 

270 The African Abroad. 

Dr. Booker T. \\'asliington is a very level-headed man. He 
has shown considerable tact, patience, perseverance, energy of 
character, and executive and administrative ability in building 
up his work at Tuskeegee. He can tell the story of his life 
and work in an interesting and impressive manner, both on the 
platform and in his '"L'p from Slavery." But his thought is 
never profound or original, his phrases are never pregnant with 
deep meaning, nor has his style that great quality called magic 
and grace. He is never a brilliant, suggestive and original 
writer. His "Up from Slavery" interests men because men 
desire to know the steps by which he built up his work at 
Tuskeegee and achieved his fame. He tells his story in an 
interesting way : but not with the charm and delicate grace with 
which Xewman wrote his "Apologia pro vita sua." Already some 
of his friends feel that they have made too much of a fetich of 
him. /Vnd Mr. Washington's "Up from Slavery," without the 
prestige of his sudden leaping into fame, might never have 
appealed to men. 

He was a fortunate man. He came upon the scene just after 
General Armstrong, J. C. Price and Frederick Douglass died, 
when Alexander Crummell and George T. Downing were spent 
rockets and w-orn out warriors and just before DuBois attracted 
the attention of the country. 

No other Negro educator, or speaker, or writer, or white man, 
interested in the education of the Negro was before the country. 
And Mr. Washington had the stage all to himself. Again, it 
was his Atlanta speech that made him famous, and this speech 
did not mold the thought or sentiment of the American mind 
regarding the Negro, but catered to the dominant Anglo-Saxon 
prejudice, which would restrict the civil and political rights 
and business and educational opportunities of the colored man. 
That is why colored men see in DuBois. rather than in Washing- 
ton, their leader, spokesman, and champion. Mr. Washington 
is now a waning influence in the country amongst the colored 
people ; DuBois's star is in the ascendency. 

Chcstnutt's "Conjure Women," "The Wife of His Youth," 
"The House Behind the Cedars," and "The Marrow of Tradition" 
are splendid productions. He is an interesting writer. What he 
lacks is a quality that even few white writers possess, and that 

The Negro's Contribution to Literature. 271 

is the quality possessed by Carlyle and \^ictor Hugo, the abihty 
to paint heroes and heroines in flesh and blood colors. That 
is why we can't shake off the spell of Carlyle's French Revo- 
lution, or Hugo's famous battle picture of Waterloo. It may 
be questioned whether he has the vivacity of Dumas, the fasci- 
nating elegance of a Hawthorne, or the psychological insight 
of a George Eliot. But it is in the vivid word-painting qualities 
tliat Chestnutt is mainly lacking. Still his "Marrow of Tra- 
dition" is a burning protest against American race prejudice. 
And Chestnutt can not only feel and think and write as a Xegro, 
but he can feel and think and write as an American citizen. 
In his "Conjure Women" Chestnutt's insight into Negro char- 
acter and plantation philosophy and plantation life reminds us 
of Dunbar's unique poems and stories. But there is this differ- 
ence : while Dunbar has preserved for us the relics of slavery 
days and interpreted the soul-life of humble colored people, 
of plain men and women, Chestnutt has in "The Wife of His 
Youth," "The House Behind the Cedars" and "The ]\Iarrow of 
Tradition," mirrored the thoughts, sentiments, and feelings of 
the intelligent and refined Negro, who has a large mixture of 
Caucasian blood in his veins. Chestnutt seems to have caught 
the spirit of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and revealed the pathos 
in the lives of cultured colored people who are not full-blooded 
Negroes. Chestnutt possesses many of the characteristics that 
made Ik Marvel famous. A vein of true and sincere sentiment 
runs through his stories. And at times he almost moves us 
to tears. 

Dunbar is a poet of genius when he writes in Negro dialect 
and reproduces the soul-life of the plantation Negro, and only 
a poet of high talent when he whites in pure English, and deals 
with the complex problems of modern life. He has not the 
passionate and commanding personality of a Byron, the aerial 
imagination of Shelley or the delicate beauty of phrase of a 
Keats, but what he mainly lacks is the reflectiveness that char- 
acterizes the poetry of Goethe, Browning, W^ordsworth, Tenny- 
son, Clough, and Arnold. Still Chestnutt and Dunbar are in 
the front rank of living American writers, though I doubt 
whether they have grasped the significance of modern doubt 
regarding the verities of religious faith. 

272 The African Abroad. 

But we should not be too searching in our criticism of 
Dunbar and Chestnutt nor blame them for not doing what they 
did not aspire to do. Dunbar's first volumes were entitled 
"Lyrics of Lowly Life" and "Lyrics of the Hearth Side." He 
did not attempt to solve "the Riddle of the Universe." He 
essayed a humbler task, and he has succeeded admirably well. 
The same may be said of Chestnutt. 

Dunbar's humor plays around his subjects just as lightly as 
the dancing sunbeams kiss the waving leaves. Tliere is 
uproarious fun and merriment let loose in the "Party." In the 
"Ante-Bellum Sermon," we have the typical old-fashioned plan- 
tation preacher portrayed. There is a quaint fusing of Scrip- 
tural wisdom, history, and eloquence, with plantation philosophy 
and humor and nonsense in that sermon. And Dunbar has made 
live in that poem the John Jasper type of Xegro preachers, 
which is passing away even in the South ; while in "When 
Malindy Sings," "The Corn Pone's Hot," and a few other 
poems, there is an exquisite blending of humor and pathos and 
lofty sentiment that captivates us. We begin these poems with 
a smile, but before we know it we have left terra firma and 
are sweeping into the cloudlands of fancy and reverie upon 
the wings of Dunbar's genius. Dunbar's supreme greatness 
as a poet lies in the fact that he has done for his people what 
Robert Burns has done for the Scotch. He has touched the 
life of the lowly Negro with the transforming breath of 
poetry, transfigured it with the magic wand of his halo-shedding 
imagination and revealed its humor, its pathos, and hidden 

In the poems of Phillis Wheatley, Rev. James David Corro- 
thers, Francis Harper, A. A. Whitman, William Stanley 
Eraithwaite, Mrs. Fordam, Still, Webster Davis and McGirt, 
in the books of William C. Nell. George W^ Williams, Edward 
Blyden, Frederick Douglass, Alexander Crummcll, Archibald 
Grimke and Dr. William Sinclair, in the novels of William Wells 
Brown, Francis Harper, Sutton Griggs, we see talented colored 
writers successful in clothing their thoughts in an attractive 
literary garb. I believe that Archibald Grimke's Lives of 
Garrison and Sumner are brilliant works. But these talented 
writers are not quite as unique and individual in their style and 
manner as Chestnutt, Dunbar and DuBois. 

The Negro's Contribution to Literature. 273 

And now we come to the great DuBois. Both Dunbar and 
Chestnutt have artistically uncovered to our gaze the inner life 
of the Negro, but DuDois has done this and something more. 
Pie has not only graphically pictured the Negro as he is, but 
he has brooded and reflected upon and critically surveyed the 
peculiar environment of the Negro, and with his soul on fire 
with a righteous indignation, has written with the fervid elo- 
quence of a Carlyle. If one desires to see how it feels to be a 
Negro and a man at the same time, if one desires to see how 
a sensitive and refined Negro mentally and spiritually reacts 
against social, civil and political ostracism, if one desires to 
see a Negro passing judgment upon his civil and political status, 
and critically dissecting American race prejudice as with a 
scalping knife, he must go to DuBois. 

I well remember the thrill and pleasure with which I read his 
"Souls of Black Folk." It was an eventful day in my life. It 
affected me just like Carlyle's "Heroes and Hero Worship" 
in my sophomore days at Yale, Emerson's "Nature and Other 
Addresses" in my senior year, and Carlyle's "Sartor Resartus" 
in my graduate days. 

The reading of these three books were epochs and crucial 
moments in my moral and spiritual life. Henceforth the world 
was a different world for me. They revealed to me my own 
spiritual birthright, showed that there was a divine spark in 
every soul, and that God was manifest in every human soul 
and breathed his own nature into every human soul. DuBois's 
"Souls of Black Folk" came to me as a bolt from the blue. 
It was the rebellion of a fearless soul, the protest of a noble 
nature against the blighting American caste prejudice. It pro- 
claimed in thunder tones and in words of magic beauty the worth 
and sacredness of human personality even when clothed in a 
black skin. 

DuBois is a literary artist who can clothe his thought in such 
forms of poetic beauty that we are captivated by the opulent^ 
splendor and richness of his diction, while our souls are being 
stirred by his burning eloquence. His style is not only graphic 
and picturesque, he can not only vividly describe a county, in 
his brilliant chapter upon the Black Belt, but there is a dreamy 
suggestiveness to his chapters "Upon our Spiritual Strivings," 

274 The African Abroad. 

"The Wings of Atalanta," and "Alexander Crummell," a deli- 
cate literary touch, which entitles DuBois to a place in the 
magic circle of prose poets. As a literary genius he ranks 
with Newman, Ruskin, Renan and Taine, and he has come to a 
self-realization of the ideals of his own race. 

What then does DuBois lack? As Dunbar lacks a grasp of 
the problems that interest and perplex the modern mind, so 
DuBois seems to ignore the unity of human history. He is the 
voice of one crying in the wilderness, "The black man has the 
same feelings and thoughts and aspirations as the white man." 
It is a voice that has caught the ear of this countr>', and made 
its appeal to the American conscience. But it is a lone, solitary 
voice. It is DuBois, an individual, crying out in righteous 
indignation and piteous wail, because he and his race, in the 
valley below, are prevented by the walls of American caste 
prejudice from climbing to the heights of Mt. Olympus and ban- 
queting with the other immortals there. It is a Pilgrim, goaded 
and hurt because his race alone is shut out from the paradise of 
equal civil and political rights and equality of opportunity. It is 
not a prophetic voice, freighted with a message from the eternal, 
speaking, not with human force and emphasis, but with a "Thus 
saith the Lord" assurance and authority. 

I understand the book because I am a Negro, ^^^^ite people 
put it down, surprised that a colored man's soul should be so 
sensitive to slights and insults. 

But suppose DuBois had gone back to Father Abraham, and 
showed that Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Elisha and Isaiah cham- 
pioned the idea of the sovereignty of God, that they believed 
that he breathed into the nostrils of man the breath of life, and 
that man became a living soul, and that Christ completed this 
conception and revelation by declaring the 'brotherhood of man ; 
suppose DuBois saw in the religious faith of the Dark Ages, in the 
wresting of the Magna Carta from King John, in the Protestant 
Reformation in Germany, in the Puritan Reformation in Eng- 
land, in the American Revolution and the French Revolution, 
nothing but stages in the practical application to life of Christ's 
disclosure of the sacredness and worth of human personality ; 
suppose that he saw in the anti-slavery struggle and the Negro's 
emancipation, not only the recognition of the Negro as a man 

The Negro's Contribution to Literature. 275 

but the application to him of Christ's divine revelation, and the 
cuhnination of the history of fifty centuries, — then DuBois's 
argument would have swept the country oflf its feet, because 
the tidal wave of five thousand years of history would have 
backed his argument with its irresistible movement, and would 
have carried his argument along with its resistless roll. 

Then the Americans would not have seen in DuBois a Negro 
chafing because he and his people have been caged and fettered, 
but a Daniel who reads the handwriting on the wall, and sees 
the hand of the Almighty in the progressive movement of human 
history. Matthew Arnold, the doubter, saw in human history 
"an eternal power not ourselves that makes for righteousness." 
Yes, w^hat is human history but man's coming to self-knowledge, 
man realizing his own spiritual birthright, man realizing the 
moral and spiritual meaning and significance of life, man realiz- 
ing that the same human soul pulses and throbs in men of all 
ages and races and colors. 

Just as we cannot explain that impulse in grass and flower 
and seed that transforms the world into a fairyland every 
spring, save as we see that it is the Divine Mind and Life break- 
ing into expression, so we cannot understand righteous indigna- 
tion at wrong, and the impulse in man towards a nobler life 
and a saving faith in humanity, save as we see in it the stirring 
within human nature of God, the World Spirit, who is con- 
stantly uttering himself in nature and human nature. If DuBois 
had grasped these truths as Carlyle and Emerson and Browning 
did, then he could say: "It is not I, DuBois, who speak, but 
God, the World Spirit, in whom I live and move and have my 
being, speaking in me." As it is, "The Souls of Black Folk " is 
the protest of DuBois, the individual, and not the protest of the 
universe against caste prejudice. 

But it may be that if the subjective and personal note was 
not so clear and strong in "The Souls of Black Folk" ; if instead 
of having for its keynote a despairing wail, it had rung with 
the buoyant faith of a Browning, the book might not have caught 
the ear of the age in the way that it has. Perhaps just such 
a pessimistic view of the race question was needed to arouse 
the American mind out of its letharg}\ awaken the American 
conscience to its duty to the Negro and acquaint the world with 


276 The African Abroad. 

the unrest and dissatisfaction of colored men and women, who 
faced a bHghting and blasting caste prejudice. 

That Duliois's "Souls of Black Folk" has become the political 
bible of the Xegro race, that he is regarded by the colored people 
as the long-looked-fur political Messiah, the Moses that will 
lead them out of the Egypt of peonage, across the Red Sea of 
Jim Crow legislation, through the wilderness of disfranchise- 
ment and restricted opportunity and into the promised land of 
liberty of opportunity and equality of rights, is shown by the 
recent Niagara movement, which has crowned DuBois as the 
Joshua before whom it is hoped the Jericho of American caste 
prejudice will fall down. In July, 1905, colored men from thir- 
teen diderent states, representing graduates from Ilarvard and 
Yale Universities, professors in Howard University, Washington. 
D. C, and some of the most prominent colored educators, preach- 
ers, lawyers and business men of the South and West, assembled 
at Niagara Falls, issued the declaration of Negro manhood and 
hailed DuBois as the standard-bearer of Negro rights and Negro 

Many believe that DuBois will loom up in colossal enough pro- 
portions to completely wrest the scepter of Negro leadership 
from Washington. Thus far the movement against Washing- 
ton's leadership has centered and focused around no single com- 
manding personality. In 1901, William Monroe Trotter and 
George Washington Forbes were the brave warriors who donned 
plumed helmets and ventured forth as lone, chivalrous knights to 
battle for Negro rights. They hurled a dreaded mace, the 
Boston Guardian. In the spring of 1903, DuBois was the David 
\vho attacked the Goliath of race prejudice. His "Souls of Black 
Folk" was his sling and five pebbles. Then the gifted Grimke 
brothers and the able lawyers E. H. Morris and Professor 
W. II. H. Hart sharpened their swords. But they all fought as 
individuals. The Niagara movement means that the opposition 
to Mr. Washington's leadership has crystallized around DuBois. 
DuBois is gifted with a more powerful intellect than Wash- 
ington, is a more uncompromising idealist, and is a more brilliant 
writer. On the whole, his is the more impressive personality. 
But Washington is a more magnetic speaker and more astute 
politician, a greater humorist, and less of an aristocrat. It 

The Negro's Contribution to Literature. 277 

remains to be seen whether the Niagara movement, headed by 
DuBois, will sweep Washington and his theories from the field. 
This is not a personal fight, but a battle of ideas, a struggle for 
the supremacy of rival theories. 

There have been many instances in history where men, through 
their military or political genius, through their gift of speech or 
the magnetism of a fascinating personality, have forged to the 
front, challenged the admiration and compelled the homage of 
their fellows. Such men were Samuel Adams, George Washing- 
ton, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, James G. Blaine, 
Theodore Roosevelt, Daniel O'Connell, Parnell, Cavour, Gari- 
baldi, Mirabeau, Bismarck, Napoleon and Caesar. But DuBois 
is one of the few men in history who was hurled on the throne 
of leadership by the dynamic force of the written word. He is 
one of the few writers who leaped to the front as a leader and 
became the head of a popular movement through impressing his 
personality upon men by means of a book. He had no aspira- 
tion of becoming a race leader when he wrote his "Souls of Black 
Folk." But that book has launched him upon a brilliant career. 

It will be observed that the best productions of the most gifted 
colored writers have dealt with various phases and aspects of 
Negro character and Negro life. The colored writers have not 
grappled with any of the great world problems nor related the 
so-called race question to the various theological, literary, politi- 
cal, or social questions which interest thoughtful men and women. 
But what the colored writers lose in breadth they gain in passion, 
what they lose in cosmopolitanism they gain in intensity. Then, 
again, it is natural that the thought of the reflective colored 
writers should turn upon themselves and their peculiar relation 
to their environment. The colored man lives in two worlds. He 
is regarded as a man, and yet an impassable gulf separates him 
from other men. He is an American citizen and yet is deprived 
of the civil and political rights which the most illiterate and 
ragged foreigner can have for the mere asking. And this para- 
dox of the Negro's position in this country impresses every 
colored man, who thinks at all. But wdien the pressure of a 
smothering and strangling caste prejudice has been removed, 
then the colored writers, instead of expressing their indignation, 
despair or submission in the presence of a crushing race preju- 

278 The African Abroad. 

dice, will breathe easier and look out upon the world with the 
eyes of free men. Then the plaintive, despairing note will no 
longer be heard, but a song will spontaneously rise to their lips 
that will ring as joyously as the thrilling notes of the morning 
lark. Then the noble Anglo-Saxon friends of the Negro will 
see that the money, blood, and tears expended in his behalf have 
not been spent in vain. 

Note. — In a letter, written to the author on August 7, 1906, Professor 
Albert Bushnell Hart said, "Of course you understand that in selecting 
four literary men of the Negro race, I did not mean to assume that there 
were no others, but simply to call attention to the striking literary out- 
put of those men ; there are to my personal knowledge other speakers, 
and writers of distinction. Certainly Kelly Miller's reply to Dixon is 
a masterpiece of satire; and Bruce, in his address in Memorial Hall on 
last Memorial Day, rose to a very high pitch of eloquence." 

It is undoubtedly true that men like Dr. Alexander Crummell, Hon. 
Archibald H. Grimke and Professor Wm. H. H. Hart of Howard Uni- 
versity are gifted with unusual oratorical powers. Professor Hart has 
brought the grandiloquent style up to a high point of perfection. Dr. 
Crummell and Mr. Grimke in their brilliant analysis, vivid description, 
staccatic sentences and splendid climaxes almost rival Cardinal Newman. 
But their style is rather the orator's than the writer's style. The orator 
must state things clearly to make out a case. But the great writers have 
a dreamy suggestiveness and a play of fancy. In a later chapter, I pay 
my respects to Phyllis Wheatley — our literary pioneer in America, and to 
Braithwaite, who has forged to the front since this chapter was written. 
It is undoubtedly true, too, that Wm. S. Scarborough of Wilberforce 
University in his "First Lessons in Greek," "The Birds of Aristophanes," 
and "The Thematic Vowel in the Greek Verb," preeminently demon- 
strated the intellectual capacity of the .\merican Negro and rivalled the 
late Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden as a linguist. 


Is the Negro an Imitative or a Reflective Being? To wJxat 
Extent is the Present Anglo-Saxon Civili::ation Original and 

It will be observed that I speak with what the philosopher 
Kant would term epideictic certainty. Perhaps it may be well 
for me to quote authorities: C. F. Riching's "Evidences of 
Progress among Colored People," DuBois's "Suppression of 
Slave Trade in America," Williams's "History of the Negro 
Race in America," William T. Alexander's "History of the 
Colored Race in America," Johnson's "School History of the 
Negro Race," Professor Daniel L. Williams's "Freedom and 
Progress," and H. F. Kletzing and Crogman's "The Progress of 
a Race" have furnished me with several facts. I read Simmons's 
"Men of Mark" and Wilson's "The Black Phalanx" when I was 
a schoolboy. But it might interest the reader to know what first 
inspired me to so patiently study the lives of prominent colored 
men. In the fall of 1896 I met two men who changed and 
directed the course of my life. In September, 1896, Rev. A. 
Clayton Powell of New Haven, Conn., was advertised to lecture 
in a Baptist Church in Newport, R. I., upon "The Stumbling 
Blocks of the Race." In company with Rev. Dr. Mahlon Van 
Home, formerly consul at St. Thomas, West Indies, I 
attended the lecture. At the close, a tall, slender, dark-com- 
plexioned man, of stern and grave countenance, arose in the 
audience to express his appreciation of the address. His sen- 
tences were short, crisp and nervy; he spoke rather rapidly, 
but every word was clearly enunciated and he threw his whole 
soul, his entire personality, into what he said. Soon every one 
was feverishly leaning forward listening to what he said. I 
eagerly hung upon his every word. I asked Dr. Van Home 
who the gentleman was. Dr. Van Home said, "That is Dr. 
Crummell." When Dr. Crummell sat down, a large man, with 
a prominent brow and a face upon which determination and a 
resolute will were stamped and written arose, and spoke in calm 

28o The African Abroad. 

and measured words. Dignity and pride were expressed in his 
attitude and manner of speaking. That was George T. Downing. 
A recent graduate from college, I hurried forward, at the close 
of the meeting, to meet two men whom I had long regarded 
as heroes. The next day I called and spent the day with 
Crummell and Downing. Then every pleasant morning for two 
weeks Crummell and I would go down to the beach together ; and 
such delightful conversations we had, as we looked out of 
Downing's window upon Bellevue Avenue, watching the gay 
equipages rolling by. 

Crummell and Downing were then nearly eighty years old. 
They had been personally acquainted with all the prominent 
white and colored abolitionists and had been eye-witnesses of 
and actors in some of the most stirring anti-slavery scenes. 
They told me of Remond and DeGrasse of Boston, of Reason 
and Dr. McCune Smith of New York, of Purvis and Forten of 
Philadelphia, of Ward and Nell, Still, Wells, Brown, Gamett, 
Varshon and Frederick G. Barbadoes, the prominent colored 
abolitionists. In the summer of 1898, I met Mr. William 
Burr of Norwich, Conn., then a colored barber over seventy 
years old. He, too, had participated in some of the events of 
those days. He confirmed what Crummell and Downing had 
told me and added several new facts. In some respects he was 
one of the most remarkable self-made colored men I have ever 
met. His judgment was so sane and unerring, his estimates of 
men and women were so critical, his ideals were so high, the 
language that flowed from his lips was so beautiful, his literary 
tastes were so fine and true, there was such an air of refinement 
about the man that even his shabby clothes could not conceal, 
that I spent hours at his house, talking with him. At one time 
he and Jeflferies of Meriden wielded considerable influence in 
their respective communities. The infirmities of age. with his 
failing eyesight, prevented his making much money at his calling; 
but he had seen better days. 

Then, the last year that I attended Harvard. I boarded with 
Mr. Emery T. Morris of Parker Street, Cambridge. Colonel 
Higginson said that he had never met a man colored or white 
who had more books dealing with the anti-slavery movement 
and Negro question. Morris had gathered together books and 

Is the Negro an Imitative or a Reflective Being? 281 

pamphlets that are now out of print and that were written by 
colored people and about colored people thirty, forty, fifty, sixty 
and seventy years ago. What is the significance of all this? 
Why, prior to my meeting Crummell and Downing, I didn't rate 
colored men so highly. I had been a student witli and under 
white men so long that I, a colored man, had absorbed and 
assimilated the Anglo-Saxon's attitude towards the Negro intel- 
lect. And I am afraid that many colored men are now as I 
was then. Every time a colored man distinguishes himself at 
Yale or Harvard or rises to eminence, as a writer, educator, 
inventor, fortune accumulator, lawyer or physician, the whole 
country is surprised and astonished. Imagine my surprise when 
Downing and Crummell informed me that fifty, sixty and seventy- 
five years ago there were colored men living in Boston, New 
York and Philadelphia who were looked upon in those days as 
intellectual prodigies and literary curiosities. Imagine my sur- 
prise when I learned that John V. DeGrasse was admitted to 
the Massachusetts Medical Society m August, 1854, and that 
Charles Remond was seriously considered as a prospective 
member of an exclusive Boston literary society in the early 
fifties. Imagine my surprise when Downing one day read me 
what a white man had written in the early fifties about Rev. 
Samuel Ringgold Ward, rating him as a scholar and logician 
far above Douglass. Imagine my surprise when I heard that 
George B. Vashon received an A.B. degree from Oberlin Col- 
lege in 1843. I told Downing then that some day I would write 
a book or booklet about the colored heroes of the anti-slavery 
days, and behold the hour is at hand when the desire and wish 
is to be gratified. 

When I think what high-minded and high-spirited colored 
men and women lived in the stirring times that preceded the 
Civil War, I wonder why the spirit of those heroic men does 
not live in the colored editors, educators, preachers, politicians 
and business men of to-day. I wonder why so many of them 
wnll, like Esau of old, sell their spiritual birthright for a mess 
of pottage, bartering away their own manhood and the rights 
of the race they represent for a petty political job or for a 
position in. or subscription for. a petty school. At last, I have 
discovered the answer. The Negro is largely an imitative being 

282 The African Abroad. 

and is largely the reflex image of the white man. Thus, the 
aristocratic colored man of Charleston is the rctlex image of 
the white aristocrat, and the sporting Xegro of New York City 
is the reflex image of the sporting white man. The insolent and 
impudent Xegro of Georgia is the reflex image of the arrogant 
and coarse "Georgia cracker." 

Wliatever the white man approves of or admires, that the 
Negro will admire, too. If the white man admires most the 
bold lion, like Douglass, every Negro will try to be a little 
Fred Douglass. If the white man approves of a cautious, con- 
servative educator and industrialist of the Booker T. Washing- 
ton type, then you will observe a change of front among the 
Negroes. Little, petty, industrial schools will suddenly spring 
up all over the country. Colored ministers will have a little 
industrial attachment to their churches. Nearly every Negro will 
become a little Booker T. Washington, and then the Negroes 
will regard it as an unspeakable crime for a colored man to 
attempt to assert his rights as a man and an American citizen. 
Tiie Negro is usually a thermometer which registers the ideas 
and opinions of the white persons he works for or associates 
with. WHiy, once I met two colored men, one in Georgia and 
another in South Carolina, who were unusually proud, haughty 
and self-assertive. And, behold, I found that one had been raised 
with, and another had worked for, Benjamin Tillman, and he 
was their ideal. In Booker T. Washington we see the faint reflec- 
tion of General Armstrong and New York plutocrats. Why, 
I can tell what sort of people the white people of any community 
are by associating with the Negro. 

In the Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Wil- 
mington, Charleston, Savannah and Louisville Negroes, I see a 
reflection of the civilization, or lack of civilization, of the Boston, 
New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Wilmington, Charleston, 
Savannah and Louisville white man. The white man cannot 
ascend higher in the scale of civilization than the Negro can 
follow. Charles Sumner might be heroic and aristocratic, but 
a George T. Downing can grow into his likeness. Beriah Green 
might say that his blood would dry up in his veins before he 
would endorse slavery and Alexander Crummell, his pupil, 
catches the fire of his spirit. 

Is the Negro an Imitative or a Reflective Being? 283 

Now, the Negro, to me, is an interesting being. He not only 
imitates the dress and manners of his white brother, but absorbs 
and assimilates his civilization and the ideas upon which that 
civilization is based. In Charleston, S. C, I met an uneducated 
colored man who was the prince of gentlemen, he was a Lord 
Chesterfield in his manner, and his ideals were high and fine 
and true. In him, I saw a reflection of the finest type of the 
Caucasian aristocracy of Charleston. Lie spoke of the white 
people of Charleston, what they say and think, as though he 
were one of them. The Negro is a perceptive, imaginative and 
emotional being. He has a creative and constructive imagination. 
He is original as a thinker and productive as an inventor. Why, 
then, is he an imitative being? Why, simply because the Ameri- 
can white man, whom he imitates, who is his god, is an imitative 
being, too. 

In my travels I believe that I have met three colored men 
who were original thinkers, three men who could sit in judgment 
upon the American civilization and critically dissect and analyze 
the ideas upon which it is based. They were Alexander Crum- 
mell, Edward Blyden and Hon. Archibald H. Grimke. All three 
were profound students of history. Crummell completed his 
education in Cambridge University, England, and lived for sev- 
eral years in Africa; Blyden lived most of his Hfe in Africa and 
visited England frequently; Grimke completed his education at 
Harvard. They could compare and contrast the American civ- 
ilization with the civihzation of other times and other countries. 
In order for a man to pass from the imitative to the reflective 
stage of self-consciousness, in order for him to set up a higher 
ideal than that his own age and country affords, he must take 
a deep dive into history and philosophy. 

I have said that the American white man is an imitative being. 
Of the epoch-making discoveries in science, biology and medicine 
very few originated in America. Newton, Laplace, Copernicus, 
Clerk Maxwell, Hertz, ]\Iarconi, Helmholtz, Lord Kelvin, 
Roentgen, Darwin, Huxley. Spencer, Pasteur, Koch, MetchnikofT 
and Professor Willard Gibbs of Yale, these are the men around 
whom modern science has revolved. And only one of these is 
an American. Some critic may point to Edison, the inventor, 
but Edison has not discovered any new principles in electricity as 

284 The African Abroad. 

Tesla has. Edison and the other American inventors have merely 
apphcd the principles. And Granville Woods, the Negro electri- 
cian of Cincinnati, has done the same thing. Then, going to the 
realm of speculative philosophy, going back to the time of Jona- 
than Edwards and coming down to the present day, I find only 
two American philosophers — Professor Ladd of Yale and Pro- 
fessor Royce of Harvard. I find only two American psycholo- 
gists — Professor Ladd of Yale and Professor James of Harvard, 
who have made a positive contribution to philosophy and psy- 
chology. Professor Ladd derived his starting point from Kant, 
Lotze and W'undt, three German philosophers, and Professor 
Royce derived his starting point from Kant and Hegel, two Ger- 
man i)hilosophers. Hon. W'illiam T. Harris, United States 
Commissioner of Education, the world's greatest interpreter of 
Hegel, built upon Hegel. 

Professor John Watson of Kingston, Canada ; Professor 
Edward Caird of England, and the late Thomas Hill Green and 
John Caird, probably the most potent English philosophers of the 
nineteenth century, received their cue from Hegel. The gifted 
Seth brothers went back to Hegel for their point of view. Pro- 
fessor Howison of California is a Xeo-Kantian ; so we can safely 
say that all of the profoundest English and American philoso- 
phers of the nineteenth century are Neo-Kantians, Neo-Hegelians 
or Neo-Lotzians or they represent a fusing and blending and 
developing of ideas of these three philosophers. 

I will go a step further. W'hat have we in Thomas Carlyle, 
the greatest prose writer the Anglo-Saxon race has yet produced, 
but German idealism grafted onto Carlyle's rugged dyspeptic 
nature? What have we in Carlyle's "Sartor Resartus," his mas- 
terpiece, but German idealism breaking into expression in poetry 
and eloquence, and somehow or other mingled with Scotch wit, 
humor, pathos and cynicism. As Professor Beers of Yale would 
put it. in Carlyle we see "the hot heart of the Scotch married 
to the transcendental dream of Germany." What have we in 
Coleridge but a reflection of German idealism? Then, take 
Emerson, the most original mind America has produced, and 
what have we but Yankee keeness and shrewdness and Puritanic 
moral fibre, touched and transfigured by Oriental mysticism and 
Platonic and German idealism ? 

Is the Negro an Imitative or a Reflective Being? 285 

I will go a step further. The Anglo-Saxon race has contributed 
no new ideas to civilization. Some of the ideas which underlie its 
civilization were contributed by the Hebrew race, others by the 
Greek race, others by the Roman race, and others by the German 
theologians and philosophers. If the Anglo-Saxon race has 
any genius, it is the genius of common sense. In Grant we see 
the genius of common sense applied to war, in Hon. James Bryce 
and Elihu Root we see the genius of common sense applied to law 
and statesmanship. In Professor Ladd, Professor Sneath and 
Professor Duncan of Yale and Professor Royce of Harvard, we 
see the genius of common sense applied to philosophy. In Pro- 
fessors Sumner, Adams and Wheeler of Yale and Professor Hart 
of Harvard we see the genius of common sense applied to history. 
In Professor Seymour of Yale we see the genius of common 
sense applied to the Greek language and literature. In the late 
Dean Everett and Professor Toy of Harvard we see the genius 
of common sense applied to theology. In Charles Eliot Nor- 
ton of Harvard we see the genius of common sense applied to 
art and literature. In Professor Palmer of Harvard we see 
the genius of common sense applied to ethics, and in Deans 
Wright and Phillips of Yale we see the genius of common sense 
applied to the administration of practical affairs. In Professor 
H. A. Beers, Professor William Lyon Phelps and Professor A. S. 
Cook of Yale we see this genius applied to literature. What do 
I mean by the genius of common sense? The Anglo-Saxon 
intellect does not, Hke Plato, the Greek idealist, or Luther, 
Schleiermacher, Kant, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, the German 
philosophers and theologians, spin and weave a system of theol- 
ogy and philosophy out of its own mind. It does not, like Rous- 
seau, evolve a theory of natural rights out of its own brain. 
Kant for twenty-five years brooded over and meditated upon 
the problem of sense perception, upon the problem of how the 
mind can know anything at all, and then he revolutionized 
modern philosophy, so that he is justly called the Copernicus 
of modern philosophy, the man that was tlie pivot around which 
modern philosophy revolved. What do I mean by this? 

This is how the Anglo-Saxon mind acts. I was a student of 
Professor Ladd for three years. Successively the philosophers 
Kant. Lotze, Wundt, Schopenhauer, Riehl and Bradley were 

286 The African Abroad. 

laid upon the dissecting table and critically analyzed by Profes- 
sor Ladd's searching and penetrating intellect. As a result of 
such critical analysis, certain fundamental physical, psychological, 
moral, aesthctical and religious facts were disclosed and revealed 
as facts that must be accepted as the fundamental truths of 
our human experience. Then came the problem, how can 
such facts be harmonized in a theory of the universe that shall 
be self-explanatory and self-consistent? And then Professor 
Ladd proceeded to construct his system of philosophy. He 
built it out of the facts that emerged as the result of his critical 
analysis. Professor Royce constructed his system of philosophy 
by analyzing the four fundamental conceptions of being and 
then constructively synthesizing the results of such analysis. 
And I might go on still further. The philosophy of the Declara- 
tion of Independence is not the product of Thomas Jefferson's 
brain. That philosophy originated in the minds of Rousseau, 
Voltaire, Diderot and the French encyclopaediacs of the eighteenth 
century. The Anglo-Saxon intellect, then, is primarily a keen, 
penetrating, critical and judicial intellect rather than a creative 
intellect. Sanity of judgment characterizes it. It very rarely 
flies off on a tangent or goes of? half-cocked. 

What has the great Anglo-Saxon race contributed to civili- 
zation? It has contributed its spirit. The love of liberty, the 
desire for personal independence and insistence that reverence 
and respect be paid to its personality is an inborn quality of the 
Anglo-Saxon mind. And that is the issue in the South. The 
Southerner does not dread physical contact or nearness to the 
Negro as much as the Northerner does. The presence of thou- 
sands of mulattoes, quadroons and octoroons in America is a 
living witness. Whence the ground of the race friction in the 
South? The Southerner demands that the Negro look up to 
him as a superior being, as a sort of demigod. If the Negro will 
but acknowledge his inferiority, mentally, morally and physically, 
to the Southerner, will but recognize him as lord and master, 
and will but say to him, with upraised hands, on bended knee, 
"My lord and my god, what will thou have me to do?" why 
the Negro will have a friend who will "stand by him until hell 
freezes over," as one Southern aristocrat put it; he will have 
a master who will be lenient with his shortcomings and deficien- 

Is the Negro an Imitative or a Reflective Being? 287 

cies. But if, on the other hand, the Negro says, "I am a man 
the same as you are. You are deahng with a man and not a 
slave," then there will be war to the knife and the knife buried 
up to the hilt. The recognition of the importance of his own 
selfhood and the demand that others recognize it, that is the 
fundamental fact in the Anglo-Saxon's history. 

The Anglo-Saxon is the greatest fighting race that has yet 
appeared upon the stage of history, combining aggressive force 
with dogged determination and a bulldog grit and tenacity of 
purpose, combining a daring, adventurous spirit with the ability 
to fight a hard, uphill battle. I believe the English-speaking 
people could stand off the combined armies of the entire world. 
Then in the leaders of New England transcendentalism and the 
anti-slavery movement we see this rugged strength blossoming 
into the fruit and flower of Christian kindness. But I do not 
believe the Anglo-Saxon intellect has the versatility of the Greek 
mind, and except occasionally in a Professor William James, the 
scintillating brilliancy of the French mind, or the speculative 
depth of the German mind. 

On the other hand, is there such a thing as real originality? 
No one thinker, by solitary meditation, ever spun the philosophy 
and theolog}'' prevailing to-day out of his own unaided intellect. 
The world's system of thought is a stream that was fed from a 
thousand channels. Ideas from Hebrew, Greek, Roman and 
German sources have all contributed to make Christianity w^hat 
it is to-day. Aristotle, the greatest intellect the Greek race has 
yet produced, sat at the feet of Plato, the prince of idealists, 
and Plato was a pupil of Socrates, who had derived his inspira- 
tion from Anaxagoras. Even the philosopher Kant, the father 
of modern philosophy, said that it was Hume who roused him 
out of his dogmatic slumber. Thus it has ever been in the 
world of thought. One thinker has added somewhat to the 
stock of thought and knowledge that was furnished him by his 

Rarely, in the world of science, has a great discovery or inven- 
tion suddenly sprung from the brain of one thinker alone, like 
Archimedes' discovery of the law and principle governing the 
buoyancy of water, Newton's discovery of the law of gravita- 
tion, Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood, Isaac 

288 Tlie Africati Abroad. 

Watts' invention of the steam engine or Roentgen's discovery of 
the X-ray. Usually there has been a series of steps preparing 
the way for the epoch-making discovery. Darwin had his fore- 
runners, who blazed the way for him. Few discoveries and 
inventions are suddenly shot out of the mind of one thinker, 
who had none to prepare the way for him. Not at a single 
bound was the palatial and commodious ocean liner evolved from 
the dugout of the savage, or the locomotive that pulls the 
Empire State express evolved from the old-fashioned stage 
coach, or the record-breaking automobile evolved out of the 
wagon ; but many stages were passed through before the 
modern steamship, the modern locomotive and the modern 
automobile were evolved. 

Some may point to Marconi's sending a message across the 
sea as a refutation of what I say. Clerk Maxwell had to prove 
theoretically the existence of electric waves, Hertz had to actually 
discover the electric wave, someone had to invent the ball oscil- 
lator, then the coherer and decoherer, someone had to conceive 
the idea of similarly tuned instruments, someone had to formulate 
the system of Morse letters before Marconi could send or receive 
a message by wireless telegraphy across the seas. 

It is a law of the human mind and it applies to the Negro, 
Anglo-Saxon, French, German, Roman, Greek and Hebrew 
intellect, that the mind must first be roused to action by stimuli 
from the outside world before it unfolds its latent capacity and 
develops as a reasoning, moral and religious being. Material 
facts, physical, mental, moral, aesthetic and religious, must first 
be presented to the mind before it can construct its physical 
world, its world of thought, its moral world and its religious 
world out of them. The prophet Moses differs from the wor- 
shipper of Baal because he reacts in a different manner to his 
moral and religious environment. The poets Tennyson and 
Wordsworth differ from ordinary men because they see in the 
"flower in the crannied wall" and in "the clouds that gather 
round the setting sun" that which the ordinary man does not 
see; Carlyle differs from the ordinary man because the French 
Revolution starts in motion and sets in operation trains of 
thought and reflection that they do not to the ordinary man. 
The man of genius differs from the ordinary man because he 

Is the Negro an rmitative or a Reflective Being? 289 

constructs a more magnificent edifice out of the material pre- 
sented to him by his experience. 

Civihzation moves forward by one race appropriating the 
achievements of another race and adding to it. Greece absorbed 
and assimilated the civilization of Egypt. Rome absorbed and 
assimilated the civilization of Greece. The barbarians, who swept 
over the Roman frontier and captured Rome, were awed by the 
Roman civilization, as expressed in the Christian religion, and it 
took them over one thousand years to absorb and assimilate the 
civilization of Rome. The so-called Dark Ages mean that the 
English, French, German and Spanish people were, for ten silent 
centuries, slowly taking in and mentally digesting the ideas 
underlying the Roman civilization. And then the revival of 
learning, the rediscovery of the Greek world means that at the 
close of the Middle Ages, the mediaeval mind bathed and steeped 
and saturated itself in the Greek civilization. The Protestant 
Reformation, however, was a distinctly forward move. It 
resulted from the brooding and meditation of a lonely monk in 
his cell. Some say that the Reformation would have come any- 
way without ]\Iartin Luther. But it would not have come so 
soon and would not have taken the form that it did. 

So, then, when the American Negro builds the ideas under- 
lying the American civilization into the structure and texture of 
his mental and moral life, he is only doing what mankind has 
ever done. The question remains. Is the Negro a reflective as 
w^ell as an imitative being? Kelly Miller is not the only Negro 
scholar or writer who is endowed with an analytical mind. Mr. 
L. M. Hershaw of Washington, a graduate of whom Atlanta 
University may well be proud, is a logician and dialectician. 
And he is not the only Negro, unknown to fame, who is gifted 
with a keen and penetrating mind. The fact that the Cufifes, in 
the eighteenth century, petitioned for their rights as Negroes ; 
the fact that colored men formed an anti-slavery society in 183 1, 
seven years before the big anti-slavery society ; the fact that 
Downing, Crummell and Garnett, as boys in New York City, 
formed an anti-slavery society, shows that the Negro has done 
some thinking for himself in the past. 

But in the last ten or twelve years he seems to have taken his 
ideas ready-made from his Caucasian friends, and to have let 


290 The African Abroad. 

his Caucasian friends do his thinking for him. In a blind, naive, 
unquestioning and unreflcctive manner, he has accepted whatever 
Mars' John has told him. If Mars' John tells Aunt Dinah that 
it is dangerous for her boy to go to college, if Mars' John tells 
Ephraim Jim Crow cars are good for him, medicine for the 
weary soul, if Mars' John tells Sambo that God didn't intend 
the Negro to be a voter and office-holder, why Aunt Dinah, 
Epiiraim and Sambo will forego their right to think for them- 
selves. Why is it there seems to be a fatalistic tendency in the 
Negro's nature? He submits gracefully to fate and bows to 
the inevitable. He submissively submitted to slavery. He 
accepted Booker T. Washington as a leader without hardly an 
audible murmur or dissenting voice, when Washington asked the 
Negro to forego those rights and privileges which the Anglo- 
Saxon race has ever held dear. The Negro can easily adjust 
and adapt himself to a changed condition and a different 

I have seen colored men and women suddenly step from 
prosperity to adversity, from wealth and affluence to poverty and 
pauperism. I have seen one United States Congressman, who 
was once wealthy, eking out a living by doing menial jobs. I 
have seen a prominent business man become a janitor. I have 
seen cultured and refined preachers who once were pastors of 
large, wealthy and aristocratic churches, take small and poor 
churches. I have seen colored persons who once lived in palatial 
mansions living in huts. And they bore this change of fortune 
with good grace. They accepted it philosophically. The reason 
why the Negro surrenders his individuality to the Anglo-Saxon 
is not because he is conquered by the Anglo-Saxon's intellect 
but by his will. The Negro has the plastic nature and tempera- 
ment which conforms to its present environment instead of 
moulding its environment to the likeness of its ideal. 

I'ut tlie (lay is breaking. The Negro is going back to the 
temper that prevailed in the days of Crummcll. Downing and 
Garnett. The Boston Guardia>i, DuBois's "Souls of Black Folk," 
DuBois's "Moon," "The \'oice of the Negro," the Boston riot in 
the summer of 1903. the recent Niagara movement and the recent 
Macon conference to me are very significant facts. Some people 
see in them only jealousy of Mr. Washington on the part of over- 

Is the Negro an Imitative or a Reflective Being f 291 

educated Negroes. But I see deeper. It has been repeatedly 
said that the Negro is a child race. Well, these seven happenings 
and the successful attempt of the colored people of Darien, Ga., 
to avert a threatened lynching, the refusal of the Thomasville, 
Ga., colored people to have anything to do with a fair and show 
that barred them on Washington's birthday, tiie attempt of the 
Jacksonville, Fla., colored people to challenge the legality of the 
Jim Crow law in the city of Jacksonville, and their subsequent 
boycotting of the Jim Crow cars, the fact that the colored people 
of Nashville ran busses of their own rather than ride in the 
Jim Crow street cars. Professor W. H. H. Hart's winning his 
case against the Maryland Jim Crow law in January, 1905, 
Professor Kelly Miller's reply to Dixon's Leopard Spots, the 
articles of Archibald Grimke and J. Wilson in the Atlantic 
Monthly, all these indicate that the Negro mind has roused itself 
from the former lethargy and that the Negro is beginning to 
think for himself. 

Some people do not take the Niagara movement or the recent 
Macon conference seriously. They have been so accustomed to 
think of the Negro as a happy-go-lucky fellow, with simian 
traits well developed, that they pass lightly by with a toss of 
the head or a wave of the hand anything that he says or whites. 
It has been repeatedly said that the Negro race is a child race. 
But the movements and events referred to above indicate that 
the Negro has emerged from childhood to manhood. He is no 
longer a child but a man who has put away his childish clothes 
and toys, his childish way of looking at the world and viewing 
life. He has passed from the imitative to the reflective stage and 
DuBois is the leader of those who are in the reflective stage. 

What do I mean? A Negro is in the imitative stage of self- 
consciousness when he swallows whole and gulps down every- 
thing his Caucasian friends tell him. Those colored men who 
look cross-eyed at the higher education of the Negroes, who 
regard the ballot box as a dangerous quicksand or a mirage in 
the desert, who regard Jim Crow cars as a boon and blessing in 
disguise, because Uncle Jonathan and Mars' John tell him the 
two former things are poison to him and the latter thing some- 
thing God intended him to have, are imitative beings. 

But when old Uncle Eff, Uncle Mingo, or young Csesar, Scipio, 
Pompey, and Rastus begin to scratch their heads and thus solilo- 

292 The African Abroad. 

quizc, "Is wliat is meat for the white man, poison for the Negro? 
If votinjj and office-holding are good for the white man, why 
are they not good for me? My Caucasian friends make hght of 
my rights. And yet the pages of Enghsh and American history, 
which tell how Ent^lish and American statesmen, orators, sol- 
diers and patriots struck out for their liberties and their rights 
are the pages which are lighted up with a divine lustre and 
glow. In order to have liberty to worship God, as their con- 
sciences directed, the Pilgrim fathers left their happy homes in 
EnL;land, faced the terrors of an ocean voyage and braved 
the rigors of a New England winter on a bleak and barren 
coast. For the sake of a principle the American colonists refused 
to pay a petty tax that would not affect their pocketbooks to any 
appreciable extent, and thus forced a terrible war upon them- 
selves. And now, my Anglo-Saxon friend, asks me to hold 
lightly the principles that he has treasured so highly and regarded 
so sacredly. On George Washington's birthday, Decoration Day 
and Fourth of July orators will tell of the courage of the Revo- 
lutionary soldiers at Valley Forge, they will tell of the brave 
Nctlierlanders who said, 'We will cut down the dykes and give 
Holland back to the sea' before we will yield to Spain. And yet 
they ask me to be Jim-Crowded. Now does my Caucasian friend 
think I haven't any intelligence or any feelings? Does he think 
that I do not recognize an insult and resent a snub?" 

When I say the colored brother asks these questions, he has 
passed from the imitative to the reflective stage. 

The Anglo-Saxon gods and goddesses, throned high upon the 
rugged heights of Mount Olympus, and basking in the sunshine 
of prosperity, hear the grumblings, complainings and mutterings 
rising from the vale below. They lean over the edge of the 
mount, look down into the valley and ask, "What is this noise 
that I hear? What is the matter with the colored people? Do 
they want to be invited to the feasts of the gods? Do they 
want to drink of our ambrosial nectar at our banquets? Do 
they want to listen to this serajjhic music and view the intoxi- 
cating splendors of this dreamland? 

No. Old Uncle Eff and young Rastus are not languishing 
and pining away, or dying of grief and sorrow because they 
are not invited to the banquet of the Olympian dieties. They 

Is the Negro an Imitatiz'e or a Reflective Being? 293 

don't care a picayune or one scintilla about being invited to the 
private dinners, private parties, private receptions and private 
dances of their Caucasian neighbors. They do not desire to 
marry any of the Olympian goddesses, because they have hand- 
some women, dazzling beauties in their own race, whose souls 
are as pure and fresh as the morning dew, whose honor is as 
stainless and unsullied as the snow when it first falls from the 
ethereal dome. 

Then Father Zeus, who used to feast with the blameless 
Ethiopians, will ask, "Well, then, what is the matter with 
DuBois and Trotter and the men who are interested in the 
Niagara movement and Macon conference?" I will tell you, — the 
colored brother wants his humanity recognized. He wants to be 
treated as a human being and not as an animal. He, whose brawn 
and muscle, whose toil and sweat has developed the resources of 
the Southland, and for two hundred years has sustained and made 
possible the aristocracy of the South, desires to receive citizen- 
ship on the same terms that are offered to the ignorant and 
illiterate foreigner who seeks an asylum in this country. He 
asks the labor unions and employers in the North and West to 
give him a man's chance to earn an honest living. In a word, 
he asks for civil, political and industrial equality, in a country 
that is the haven for the persecuted and oppressed of every land 
and clime. 

In my travels in the Southland, I have met Southern aristo- 
crats from whose hearts the very milk of human kindness flows 
towards the Negro. In Mr. Smith, the city editor of the Charles- 
ton Neii's and Courier, I have met a gentleman who is as 
noble-hearted as Editor E. H. Clement of the Boston Transcript. 
I realize, too, that there are some bad and vicious Negroes in 
the Southland and that they need to be handled with kid gloves 
ofT. But the Southerner does not discriminate and distinguish 
between the first class and the low down Negroes. 

I will take Savannah for instance. Tom Dixon speaks of the 
Negroes of Savannah being impudent. I have met more inso- 
lent and ill-mannered Negroes in Savannah than in any other 
town I have ever been in. On the other hand, the colored brother 
may be seen at his best in Savannah. Along literar\^ political 
and financial lines, he has reached a high state of civilization. 

294 The African Abroad. 

There is the Men's Sunday Club of which Professor M. N. 
Work of the Georgia State Industrial College was the president, 
and of which Mr. G. S. Williams and E. W. Houston, both 
brilliant men, were active workers. Every Sunday, cultured and 
handsomely dressed men and women meet there and listen to 
a splendid literary and musical programme. Then, once a month, 
they invite some distinguished man to lecture for them in the 
Beach Institute Lecture Course. Professor George B. Ilurd, a 
New England white man, is principal of the popular Beach 
Institute. Then there is the Colored Republican Poll Tax Club 
of Chatham County, of which J. C Williams is president, James 
T. Burton, secretary, and the brilliant lawyer, H. A. Macbeth, 
chairman of the executive committee. This impresses upon the 
youth the duties of citizenship and inculcates civic pride to virtue. 

Then there is the Metropolitan Mercantile and Realty Com- 
pany, of which J. W. Armstrong was general manager and F. M. 
Cohen, teller and cashier ; the Wage Earners' Loan and Invest- 
ment Company, of which L. E. \\'illiams was president and W. S. 
Scott is secretary and treasurer ; and the Union Savings and 
Loan Company, of which L. S. Reed is president, D. C. Suggs, 
vice president, J. T. Burton, secretary, T. M. Bell, treasurer; 
H. A. Macbeth, attorney; and W^ A. Newsome and Wylly A. 
Thrash, two of the directors. I believe that it would be difficult 
to find three more wide-awake, aggressive and up-to-date busi- 
ness men than J. W. Armstrong, L. S. Reed and H. A. Macbeth. 
In Dr. T. B. Belcher we see a physician of the finest type, and 
Sol. C. Johnson is the progressive editor of the Savannah 
Tribune. So, after all, if Tom Dixon says there are some impu- 
dent Negroes in Savannah, there are also some very intelligent 
and refined colored people. And my bone of contention with 
the Southern white man is that he does not recognize the presence 
of the higher and better class of colored people. 

To return to the point from which we have digressed. Is the 
Negro an imitative or reflective being? The Negro who believes 
in the Niagara movement, in the Macon conference, in the "Souls 
of Black Folk." and in the principles enunciated in this book is 
a reflective being. The Negro who does not, is an imitative 
being. Ask any Negro if he thinks DuBois has the key to the 
solution of the Negro problem. If he says "No," he is an imi- 
tative being. If he says "Yes," he is a reflective being. 

Is the Negro an Imitative or a Reflcctix'e Being f 295 

I have long been thinking of writing a book of some thousand 
pages along the Hnes laid down in this chapter. DuBois's "Sup- 
pression of the Slave Trade in America," Williams's "History of 
the Negro Race in America," are masterpieces. But no dis- 
criminating accounts of colored history-makers have been written 
yet. AH of the books eulogizing the great Negroes lack the 
historian's perspective. Giants, pygmies and ordinary men are 
thrown together, and you can't tell the heavy-weights from the 
light-weights. None of them combine the philosophic grasp of a 
Thucydides with Plutarch's insight into men and motives, and 
Carlyle's dramatic instinct, which seizes the spectacular events 
in a man's or nation's life and paints the heroes in flesh and 
blood colors, so that you can see them living, moving, struggling 
and striving, yea points them in a way to stir the blood and 
thrill the nerves. Sometimes I think the story of the great 
men and women of the race could be written so that it would 
read like a romance. That is the way DuBois has treated Alex- 
ander Crummell in his "Souls of Black Folk." 

It is said that y^sop, the creator of those famous fables; 
Terence, the Latin poet ; Alexander Hamilton, the constructive 
statesman ; Robert Browning, the English poet ; Henry Timrod, 
the poet of South Carolina, and General Lew Wallace, the novel- 
ist of Indiana, were of Negro descent and had a slight strain of 
Negro blood in their veins. Whether or no this is true, I do 
not know. But this has been asserted by both white and colored 
scholars. I believe that such sane thinkers as E. H. Clement, 
of the Boston Transcript, and Professor W. E. Burghardt DuBois 
believe it possible that these gifted writers may have been one- 
fourth or one-eighth or one-sixteenth Negro. It is claimed that 
one of the great-grandmothers of Hamilton, Browning and 
Timrod were Africans or mulattoes. That would make them 
octoroons or one-sixteenth Negro. You may lay it down as 
an axiom, that in nineteen cases out of twenty DuBois is right 
when he makes an assertion about the Negro. He is cautious and 
conservative as well as heroic and poetic. Whether these asser- 
tions about these men are true or not, I trust that this book will 
be a storehouse of information, a mine teeming with rich and 
pregnant factors. Whether I have found any nuggets amongst 
the dross, or discovered any ore in the rocks, the perusal of this 
book will disclose. 



Reason Why the Term "Negrosaxon," or Colored, Better Char- 
acterizes the Colored People of Mixed Descent in America 
than the term "Negro." 


Scholars and scientists are in despair as to what term will best 
classify the hybrid and ostracized group of individuals who are 
known in America as "Nej^^roes," "colored people," and "Afro- 
Americans." "Negro" will not do, because that ethnologically 
refers to the full-blooded Negro in Africa, or of African descent 
living elsewhere, whereas more than fifty per cent, of the col- 
ored population in America has more or less of .Ajiglo-Saxon 
blood in its veins and ten per cent, has Indian blood or the 
blood of the Indian, Jewish, Spanish, Italian, French and German 
races in their veins ; "colored" may not do because the Indians, 
Mexicans, Chinese, Japanese and Philippinos are colored people 
as well as the American Negro. While not a scientific, it is a 
good colloquial term. 

"Afro-American" will not do, because it is a geographical 
rather than an ethnological term. The Canadians, Indians, 
^Mexicans and Brazilians are just as much Americans as the 
citizens of the United States. And the Egyptians, Berbers, Arabs, 
Phoenicians and Carthaginians are just as much natives of Africa 
as the Negroes. Wiiat word will do then? Why, Negrosaxon, 
or colored. 

We must remember that the colored race is a heterogeneous 
group of individuals in whose veins Negro, Indian, Jewish. Cel- 
tic, Teutonic and Latin blood is mingled, rather than a homo- 
geneous race. The colored race has no ethnological integrity. 
It does not spring from the same stock, has not similar physical 
and psychological traits and characteristics, nor common ideals. 
The force that welds it together does not come from within, but 
from without. The colored race is held together by adhesion 
rather than by cohesion. It is the oppression of a more powerful 

"Negrosaxon" or Colored? 297 

and more dominant race, rather than similar physical characteris- 
tics, similar race ideals that bind the colored people in America 
into a unity. When the external pressure and oppression is 
removed, it will tiy apart. Why, because there is nothing to hold 
it together, no inward or compelling impulse which unites and 
binds together the different molecules and particles. 

The machine is constructed by an external artificer. He puts 
it together or pulls it apart, piece by piece. He gives it an 
artificial unity by a mechanical arrangement of parts. When 
that mechanical arrangement of parts is changed, the machine 
collapses. But the organism has its principle of growth residing 
within it. That life principle in its growth development, unfolds 
itself in that inner structure and constitution that gives its unity 
to organism. Only when the life principle is affected, the vital 
process interfered with, does the organism die. Break the 
hour hand, minute hand and second hand of a watch and it is 
no longer a watch. Remove the wheels, the cow catcher, etc., 
and leave only the boiler and furnace and burning fuel and you 
no longer have a locomotive. But you can lop off all the limbs 
and branches of a tree, and it is still a tree, as long as there 
is the inward vitality. For it will put forth, from its resident 
and unimpaired forces, new limbs and branches, shoot forth 
new buds and blossoms and come to fruitage in new leaves and 
flowers. You may cut off a man's limbs; but as long as his 
brain centers, his lungs, heart, liver and kidneys, the vital 
organs are unimpaired, he will live on, — he is still a man. Now, 
the Negrosaxon or colored race in America has a mechanical and 
artificial rather than an inner and organic unity like the Anglo- 
Saxon or Jewish races. The integrity of the Negrosaxon or 
colored race in America will be destroyed the moment Anglo- 
Saxon caste prejudice is destroyed or removed. But the integ- 
rity of the Anglo-Saxon and Jewish races will not be destroyed 
until they amalgamate with other races and lose their predomi- 
nating physical and psychological race traits and tendencies, and 
their peculiar and inexplicable psychical, moral and religious 

Then, again, the Negrosaxon or colored race in America has 
no spiritual integrity, no common religious hopes and beliefs and 
aspirations like the Jewish race. In the Babylonian, Assyrian, 

298 The African Abroad. 

Greek and Roman dispersion of the Jews, caused by the Baby- 
lonians, Assyrians, Greeks and Romans conquering the Jews 
and carrying some away into captivity, the Jews were scattered 
all over the world two thousand and nearly three thousand years 
ago. To-day there are American Jews, English Jews, French 
Jews, German Jews, Russian Jews, Palestinian Jews and Arme- 
nian Jews. Yet the world over the Jew is the same dogged, 
determined, resourceful individual with a genius for finance. 
They have no home, no nationality, they are not a farming or 
manufacturing people, they live by buying and selling the 
products of other men's toil and labor, by lending money and 
banking. Two thousand years ago there was a saying current in 
Rome, "There is only one thing in the world more despicable 
than a poor Jew and that is a rich Jew." But to-day, some of 
America's most noted philanthropists and most brilliant preachers 
belong to the Hebrew race, which has produced some noble men 
and women. The school teacher who inspired me, a schoolboy 
nine years old, with the desire and ambition to rise in the world 
was a Jewess, j\Iiss Fannie Ullman, one of the noblest women 
that gifted race has ever produced. But what causes the Jew- 
ish race, scattered all over the world, to hang together and to 
preserve the same psychical and psychological race traits and 
tendencies. It is their race pride and peculiar religious beliefs 
which prevents their intermarrying with other races and losing 
their race identity and individuality. Now, this Xegrosaxon has 
not this Hebrew pride of race, or Hebrew religious pride that 
its race was the chosen people of God. His only God is the God 
that he borrowed from the Anglo-Saxon. 

Again, the Xegrosaxon has no territorial, geographical integ- 
rity or community of political ideas. The Englishman in 
Australia, China or India has a country he can call his own, 
a government that can protect liim, a political history and politi- 
cal traditions that he is proud of, and certain political ideals of 
justice and liberty that he believes in. That is why the English- 
man is an Englishman the world over. Xow, the colored man 
is a pariah in American society. There is no country he can call 
his own. He is a social and political outcast. His only political 
faith is the political faith of a country that rejects him as a 
citizen and does not regard him as a full-fledged man. X^ow, how 

"Negrosaxon" or Colorcdf 299 

shall we name and classify a heterogeneous and discrete group of 
individuals, who have no racial, territorial, geographical and 
political integrity, who are not unified by a peculiar religious 
faith as are the Jews, or the scattered Bedouin tribes under the 
Alohammedan religion, and who are only held together by the 
iron hand of American caste prejudice. Name them by the pre- 
dominant bloods that enter into their composition? Negro and 
Anglo-Saxon blood predominates in the colored population of 
the United States. For in the Southland the bulk of slave hold- 
ers and overseers who had children by the slave women were 
pure Anglo-Saxons. And while the colored people of America 
cannot boast of the manner in which they came by their white 
blood, they at least have this consolation, — most of the Caucasian 
blood that flows in Negrosaxon veins is the blood of Southern 
aristocrats. If, then, Negro blood is in every colored person 
in America and Anglo-Saxon in over fifty per cent., why not 
call the colored American a Negrosaxon? I am justified in my 
observations, for I know two noted colored educators who are 
black or very dark in complexion and yet their grandfathers 
were white men, and they are Anglo-Saxons. And there are 
many others such. The same ethnological considerations that 
apply to the term Anglo-Saxon applies to the term Negro-Saxon 
or Negrosaxon. Some may ask, why not be correct and call 
the colored people of America the Negro-Anglo-Saxon race? 
^ly reply will be, "for the same reason we do not call the 
English-speaking people, the Jute-Anglo-Saxon, Norman-French 
race. This is how the term Anglo-Saxon came to ethnologically 
characterize the English-speaking people. 

When Julius Caesar began the conquest of Britain in 55 B. C, 
he found a Celtic race there who were known as Britons. In 
the fourth and fifth century, A. D., Rome was hard pressed 
because of the tide of barbarian invasion which was sweeping 
over her frontiers. Then in 407 A. D., the Roman legions 
were withdrawn from Britain for the purpose of helping Rome 
to stem the advancing tide 6f sturdy and rugged Goths. After 
the Roman soldiers were withdrawn, the peaceful and semi-civil- 
ized Britons were unable to defend themselves against the fierce 
Scots and Picts, who came surging like a mighty wave from 
Scotland and Ireland. 

300 The African Abroad. 

But meanwhile a mighty race of tall, fair-haired and blue- 
eyed Teutons, who were known as Saxons by the Britons, was 
arising in the north of Europe. They were the forerunners of 
those daring navigators, reckless pirates and formidable war- 
riors who were afterwards known as the terrible \'ikings, or 
Northmen, whose name brought terror to whatever shore in 
Soutiiern Europe upon which they landed, and who afterward 
sailed up the Seine and sacked Paris. Three of these Saxon 
tribes, the Angles, Jutes and Saxons, occasionally attacked the 
east coast of Britain. So, imitating her mistress, Rome, who 
pressed into service one Gothic tribe to fight another Gothic 
tribe, the Britons, unable to cope with the Saxons, the wild Picts 
and Scots, promised the greatest fighting race known to history, 
land in return for services rendered in driving back the Picts 
and Scots. As the first tribe of Teutonic invaders who came 
from Northern Europe and attacked East Britons were Saxons, 
the Britons afterwards called the various tribes of Germanic 
invaders by that name. So that is how "Saxon" in the course 
of centuries came to ethnologically characterize the Teutonic 
branch of the Aryan race that conquered Britain. That is why 
Wendell Phillips in his oration upon Toussaint L'Ouverture could 
say, "Now, blue-eyed Saxon, proud of your birth," etc. 

But to return to our story. In 449, the Jutes, who were the 
first Teutonic settlers in England, came from Jutland, landed on 
the Isle of Thanet in the southeastern corner of England, near 
the present Canterbury, and vanquished the Picts. They spread 
and established the kingdom of Kent. Then the Saxons and 
Angles came over in greater numbers. Not receiving enough land 
and rations to satisfy them, they turned against the race that 
had invited them over and swept it oflf the face of history. 
They conquered the Britons in battle after battle and absorbed 
the remnant that they did not exterminate and annihilate. 

Thus, three Teutonic tribes, the Jutes, Saxons and Angles, 
invaded and conquered Britain. But only the Angles and Saxons 
gave their name to the race. As the ^rst tribe of Teutonic 
invaders who landed in Britain were Saxons, the Britons called 
all Jutes, Saxons and .\ngles, by that name. So that is why 
the term Saxon has clung to the Teutonic settlers. The Jutes 
were few in number and formed a small and insignificant set- 

"Negrosaxon" or Colored? 301 

tlement. So their name was last. The Angles, who settled on 
the eastern coast, on the other hand, occupied the bulk of the 
land, a much greater portion than the Saxons, who settled on 
the southern shores. Hence, when the Teutonic settlers called 
themselves by a common name, it was Angles or English, and 
the island was called England. Thus Saxon is the name the 
conquered Britons gave to the Teutonic invaders and Angles is 
the name the Teutonic settlers gave to themselves, and that is 
how, in the course of time, they were called the Anglo-Saxon 
race and the language they spoke was called the Anglo-Saxon 

But in the ninth century, four centuries after the Saxon tribes 
invaded Britain, Danish pirates began to make raids upon the 
east coast of England, and conquered the Anglo-Saxons in 1016, 
but their kings only ruled England for a quarter of a century. 
So, from 449, when the Jutes conquered the Picts, until 1066, 
when the Norman-French, under William the Conqueror, Duke 
of Normandy, crossed the English Channel and defeated Harold 
at the battle of Hastings, the Anglo-Saxon race was supreme in 
England. But the conquering Danes or Northmen, who came 
over from Normandy, on the northeast coast of France, and sub- 
jugated the Saxons, did not exterminate them or drive them out. 
They lived side by side, the Norman-French as the aristocratic 
and ruling, the Saxons as the serf and peasant class. Finally 
they mingled their blood. But why did not the conquerors, the 
Norman-French, give their name to the mingled language and 
blended race ? For the first time in history, the conquered or 
subjugated people gave their name to the mingled language and 
race. How explain this ethnological and philological miracle? 
The answer is near at hand. Immediately there began a struggle 
for the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon and the Norman-French 
language. It lasted for four centuries; and when, in 1475, 
Caxton gave the printing press to England, the Anglo-Saxon 
language had won the battle, two-thirds of the words in the 
English language being Anglo-Saxon words and only one-third 
being Norman-French words ; and over three-fourths of the 
words in daily use being Anglo-Saxon words and less than one- 
fourth of the words being Latin-French words. So that is the 
race stock, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, which rep- 

302 The African Abroad. 

resented the blending of the Jutes, Angles, Saxons and Normans, 
who were called the Anglo-Saxon race. So we can see that by 
ethnological and philological laws of the survival of the fittest 
the race of Teutonic or Germanic settlers of Britain was called 
the Anglo-Saxon race. And the word Saxon, which was the 
name of the first Teutonic invaders of Britain, has in the course 
of centuries come by natural psychological and ethnological laws 
to be a synonym to represent the entire race of Germanic settlers 
in Britain. So that is why I call the race in which is mingled 
the blood of the Xegro and Anglo-Saxon race, the Xegro-Saxon 
or Xegrosaxon race. 


Colored Americans do not belong to the Xegro, but to the 
Negrosaxon race. 

What do we mean by Xegro? ^lost of the encyclopnedias, 
geographies and dictionaries define him as a black person, of 
African descent, low, receding forehead, knotty, kinky, woolly 
hair, broad, flat nose, enormous lips, a monkey grin that stretches 
from car to ear, thick, coarse, heavy, brutal features, guttural 
utterance, flat-footed and either bow-legged or knock-kneed and 
usually reeking with the malodor of perspiration. lie is described 
as an emotional and excitable creature, devoid of reason and 
conscience, and with the passions and instincts of a brute or 
beast. This is the picture that is conjured up by the words big 
burly Xegro, and this is the picture of the Negro brute, who only 
represents one-tenth of one per cent, of X^egro society. Does 
this represent the Xegrosaxon in America? Xo, the Xegrosaxon 
varies in complexion, from deep black to blond white, in hair 
from woolly knots to flowing, flaxen locks ; in features from 
heavy African to refined Caucasian. I know families in whose 
veins course X'egro, Indian, English and Spanish blood. Does 
Xegro ethnologically describe that group? Xo. the only ethno- 
logical term to describe the mixed colored population in America 
is Xegrosaxon. 


The colored man is not psychologically different from other 

"Negrosaxon" or Colored F 303 

One eminent Xegro divine said that the colored man who 
points with pride to the Anglo-Saxon blood in his veins is boast- 
ing of his bastardy, and that the colored man is the only being 
who boasts of his bastardy. There is a large measure of truth in 
this. But in coining a new name to describe the colored people 
of mixed descent in America there is only one that is ethnologi- 
cally true and that is Negrosaxon. Just as there are differences 
in color and hair and features in the Negrosaxons, so there are 
intellectual and moral differences. There are all grades of 
intelligence and character in the Negrosaxon race. The Negro- 
saxons, even those of pure Negro descent, have forsaken their 
African heritage and absorbed and assimilated the political, 
social, moral and religious ideals and conceptions, the language 
and religion and the social manners and customs and usages of 
the Anglo-Saxon race. In fact, Alexander Crummell, who became 
metamorphosed into a cultured and polished Englishman, was 
a pure-blooded Negro. And Kelly Miller, the mathematician, 
and Judge Joseph E, Lee, the astute politician, who possess the 
phlegmatic temperament and analytical mind of the Anglo-Saxon, 
are almost pure blacks. These three, one of whom was a pure 
black, the other two almost pure blacks, possess as many of the 
psychical and psychological characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon as 
any colored men I have ever met. Crummell was a born aristocrat 
and a born autocrat. He was an intrepid, dauntless soul and was 
steeped and bathed and saturated and dyed with English ideals, 
traditions and prejudices. And yet he had not an ounce of 
Caucasian blood in his veins. Kelly Miller has not the aggres- 
siveness of the Anglo-Saxon, but, like Francis Bacon, he is the 
incarnation of pure intellect, and has the calm, judicial mind and 
cool and calculating intellect of the Anglo-Saxon. Judge Lee is 
as gracious and polished in his manners as a Lord Chesterfield 
and as shrewd, as far-seeing and as discreet and self-controlled 
as a Tom Piatt. And yet he and Kelly Miller have very little 
Anglo-Saxon blood in their veins. 


Our destiny is not to build up peculiar racial ideals, but to 
become American citizens. Calling ourselves Negrosaxons defines 
our race ideals. The American Indian was exterminated because 

304 The African Abroad. 

he would not adopt the Anglo-Saxon civilization. If the Negro- 
saxon expects to share in the political inheritance of the Anglo- 
Saxon, he must be made over in the likeness of the Anglo-Saxon. 
He cannot bleach out his complexion, or straighten his hair, or 
sharpen his nose, or thin his lips. But in mind and character and 
disposition he must become a black white man. After the Xegro- 
saxon has been made over into the likeness of the white man he 
can hupe to be made over into the image of God. 

I have just spoken of three Negrosaxons of pure or almost pure 
African descent. Take now three who have more Caucasian than 
Negro blood in tlieir veins. I refer to the gifted Grimke brothers 
and the peerless writer and brave champion of the black folk, 
DuBois. Not only by blood and descent are the Grimkes from 
the best Huguenot stock, but in intelligence, refinement, aristo- 
cratic bearing and puritanic fibre, they are Huguenots through and 
through. They have not the slightest trace of Xegro characteristics, 
although I suppose that they are one-fourth Negro. There is 
DuBois, — what is there Negro about him, except that he is one- 
fourth Negro by blood and descent? While he has the poetical 
nature and tropical imagination and gift of language of a Negro, 
in intelligence, pride and sensitiveness, he is an Anglo-Saxon of 
the bluest blood. 

I desire to say that I regard the term Negro, to characterize 
the mixed race, in whose veins flow Negro, Caucasian and Indian 
bloods, as a misnomer. It is an opprobrious, disingenuous epithet, 
into which has been packed all conceivable and imaginable hatred, 
venom, disdain, contempt and odium. \\'hat causes more of a 
shudder or revulsion to run through the frame than the phrase. 
"A big, burly Negro." The term Negro is so loaded down and 
freighted with ignominy and contempt that the colored man 
who brands himself as a Negro thereby catalogues and labels 
himself as a being who is outside of the pale of humanity, as a 
being who is separate and distinct from other men. So much that 
is low and degrading is suggested by the name that the colored 
race can never hope to dignify and exalt the term. 

When a colored man calls himself a Negro he puts himself 
iipon the defensive. He then has a case to prove. He calls 
himself by a term that suggests a low type of man. Then he has 
to prove and demonstrate that he possesses the higher qualities 

"Negrosaxon" or Colored? 305 

and finer characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon. The odor of that 
word Negro will cling to him like mud upon trailing skirts. It 
will be as easy to eradicate a birth mark as to purge out the 
objectionable and offensive features of that word. 

We must forget the word Negro and all that is connected or 
associated with it. We don't want any Negro philosophy, Negro 
theology, Negro religion, Negro art, Negro music and Negro 
literature. Our destiny is not to build up a separate nationality 
in America but to become American citizens. Let us call our- 
selves the "Negrosaxon race" or the "Colored race" instead of 
"Negro race" — "Negrosaxons" or "Colored Americans" instead 
of "Negroes." 

Thoughtful Negrosaxon leaders have observed that there has 
been a change of sentiment on the part of the white man towards 
the colored brother during the past twelve years. A wave of anti- 
Negro sentiment has swept over the country. Some have attrib- 
uted the change to the fact that the old abolitionists and Grand 
Army heroes have died and that their sons have become engrossed 
and absorbed in money-making and have hardened and deadened 
their consciences to moral appeals and sentimental considerations. 
Others have shouldered Booker T. Washington's industrial-and- 
surrender-civil-and-political rights fads with the responsibility 
for the changed attitude of the country regarding the colored 
brother. Some have thought that the Associated Press, siding 
with the South and branding the Negrosaxon as a criminal, has 
turned the North against him. But w^e colored people ourselves 
are partly responsible for the changed attitude of the country. 
When we called ourselves Negroes, when Negrosaxon teachers, 
editors, orators and preachers made the term popular, we tagged 
ourselves with a name that suggested that we were a peculiar 
class of beings, different from other men, that we were a little 
higher than the ape, and a little lower than the rest of mankind. 
Then, when we dubbed and labeled and catalogued ourselves as 
inferior beings, we laid the burden of proof upon ourselves. 
Then we had to establish the fact that we were equal to other men. 

And that reminds me of a story. Once upon a time a dog bit 

a man ; the man was a Quaker, averse to the shedding of blood. 

So he said to the dog, "I will not kill thee, but I will give thee 

a bad name." So he yelled out, pointing his finger at the dog, 


3o6 The African Abroad. 

"Mad dog, mad dog, mad dog." Soon others took up the cry, 
"Mad dog, mad dog," chasing the dog meanwhile. And finally 
some one shot him. Now, that is what we did. \\'hen we 
called ourselves "Negroes" we gave ourselves a bad name. What 
was the result? In October, 1898, the Red Shirts in North Caro- 
lina yelled out "Negro, Negro, Negro, Negro this and Negro that," 
and the Wilmington riot resulted. In September, 1906, Hoke 
Smith's and John Temple Graves's newspaper repeated, "Negro, 
Negro, Negro, Negro this and Negro that," and the world was 
horrified by the spectacle of the Atlanta massacre. In October, 
1906, the citizens of Brownsville, Texas, proclaimed, "Negro 
soldiers, Negro soldiers, Negro soldiers this and Negro soldiers 
that, and Negro soldiers the other." The result was that Presi- 
dent Roosevelt in November, 1906, discharged without honor a 
whole battalion of 167 colored soldiers, simply because he could 
not detect or discover the thirteen who were supposed to be 
guilty of murder or attempted murder. In December, 1906, the 
white people of Scoobo, Miss., set up the howl of "Negro, Negro, 
Negro, Negro this, Negro that, and Negro the other." The 
result was that Nicholson, a prosperous Negrosaxon farmer, and 
other innocent Negrosaxons were murdered in Scoobo, Miss. And 
unless the Negrosaxons or colored people stop blackguarding and 
libeling themselves and besmirching their reputations by calling 
themselves Negroes, the lynching, shooting down and stringing 
up of often innocent Negrosaxons by crazed mobs will continue 
to go on in the South, 

To mention or use the word "Negro" to a white man of the 
South or a white mob is like waving a red flag before an angry 
bull. Why? Words have a history. In the course of time 
certain associations and traditions become attached to the word. 
Immediately the Negro is mentioned, certain suggestions are 
called up by the word. Now the word "Negro" originally 
referred to a native African black, who was a barbarian and a 
savage. When this native African black was imported and 
transported to America, a genuine infusion of aristocratic Anglo- 
Saxon blood into his veins took place, due to white slave- 
holders and overseers having children by black, mulatto and quad- 
roon women. Then, too, this transported slave absorbed and 
assimilated the civilization, language and religion of the Anglo- 

"Negrosaxon" or Colored? 307 

Saxon race. He forgot his own native language and spoke the 
EngHsh language; he forgot fetichism and idol worship and 
accepted Christianity ; he forsook polygamy and accepted monog- 
amy. Ethnologically and psychologically he is a different being 
from the being to whom the word Negro originally applied. So 
the being to whom the word Negro originally applied is differ- 
ent entirely from the being who is now called by the word Negro. 
For there are five million Negrosaxons with Anglo-Saxon blood 
coursing in their veins. Even the five million American Negro- 
saxons who are pure blacks are psychologically different from 
the native African blacks. As long as the Negrosaxons call them- 
selves Negroes they will be disfranchised, Jim-Crowed, segregated 
and lynched. The loophole out of our political and civil ostra- 
cism is to call ourselves Negrosaxons or Colored people. 

But you can't make the colored leaders see this. The Negro- 
saxon has shown a remarkable faculty for appropriating the 
Anglo-Saxon ideals and absorbing and assimilating the Anglo- 
Saxon political sagacity and foresight. He can master Greek, 
Latin, French, German, science, mathematics, mechanics, agri- 
culture, philosophy and literature. But when it comes to his own 
salvation, you have to take a sledge-hammer to drive anything 
into his head or hammer any ideas into him. He possesses more 
hindsight than foresight. He is as slow of comprehension of 
what concerns his own future welfare as the Englishman is of 
a joke. The Negrosaxon, Irishman or American catches on to 
the joke immediately. But the Englishman is slow of compre- 
hension. He goes home, thinks it over and the next day it 
dawns upon him, and then he will collapse and explode with 

I have said that the race problem will be solved by the colored 
people calling themselves Negrosaxons, or Colored people, instead 
of Negroes, because the word Negro misrepresents us and 
conveys a false impression in the minds of our Anglo-Saxon 
friends and critics, and suggests that we are a peculiar people. 
Three things will result from our calling ourselves Negrosaxons. 
In the first place we will see that our mission and destiny as a 
race is not to build up a Negro-ocracy or little Africa in 
America, but to appropriate Anglo-Saxon ideals and absorb and 
assimilate the Anglo-Saxon civilization. Some say this is a 

3o8 The African Abroad. 

servile imitation. No, I do not think so. The Anglo-Saxon 
civilizatiun is the highest and best yet evolved in the history of 
the human race. The twentieth century Anglo-Saxon civilization 
is a stream that is fed by currents from Hebrew, Greek, Roman 
and German thought. It is a thread into which are woven strands 
of Hebrew monotheism, Greek art and philosophy, Roman law, 
German mysticism and philosophy and Anglo-Saxon aggressive- 
ness and reverence for women. Fibres of Hebrew, Greek, Roman 
and German civilization grafted on to the Anglo-Saxon's power 
of initiative and love of personal freedom and independence of 
character, is what we find in the Anglo-Saxon civilization. And 
what higher purpose could the Negro have than to enter into 
the spiritual inheritance of such civilization and regard Milton, 
Hampton, Chatham, Clarkson, W'ilberforce, Chinese Gordon, 
Samuel Adams, Emerson, Sumner, Garrison and Phillips, and 
Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe as his spiritual heroes and heroines 
and grow into their likeness. I know that reading Tom Brown's 
School Days and Tom Brown at Oxford when I was about four- 
teen years of age fired me with the ambition to get an education 
and be a man. 

In the second place, if we call ourselves Xegrosaxons or Col- 
ored people the white people will ultimately call us Negrosaxons 
or Colored people, and. in the third place, as a consequence of this, 
they will recognize that their blood is in our veins, and that even 
those Negrosaxons or Colored men who have not a drop of 
Anglo-Saxon blood in their veins, have partaken and shared in 
the Anglo-Saxon civilization and built Anglo-Saxon ideals in the 
roots of their being and fibres of their nature. And while the 
Anglo-Saxon will not permit our children to marry his sons and 
daughters, he will still permit us to share in his civil and political 

The carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, sulpiuir, potash, iron and mag- 
nesium and silicon in the blood of the pure black comes from the 
same American soil as do the chemical elements in the blood of 
the American white man. He, with the other social units in 
America, comes from the same American earth and draws his 
sustenance and nurture from the same natural bosom. And, if 
this is true of the physical elements that go to make up the physi- 
cal structure of the pure black or Negrosaxon, how much more 

"Negrosaxon" or Colored? 309 

real and identical is that kinship which comes from moral ideals 
and aspirations and intellectual faculties and their development, 
with all of its binding threads of language, love, labors of hope 
and of righteousness, the only rational end of life — to say nothing 
of those enduring bonds which bind the creature to the Creator, 
and the religious work and worship of this great Christian Ameri- 
can nation, which has exalted in its secular and sacred life the 
brotherhood of man equally with the fatherhood of God; to say 
nothing of all the devout hearts and souls of all this nation, 
black and white, believing in the immortality of the soul and the 
eternal responsibility of man to his Maker for the observance of 
the divine law. This divine leaven of Christianity will yet impress 
itself fully and freely upon all of our government institutions and 
over social intercourse. To hasten that day of the new world 
and new social order, when the Lord's Prayer shall become the 
world's heritage, when His Will will be done on earth as it is 
in Heaven, is the duty of every American citizen, black or white, 
and this book is the fruit of my abiding conviction on this point 
■ — of this fact. 

The term "Negro" suggests physical and spiritual kinship to 
the ape, the monkey, the baboon, the chimpanzee, the ourang- 
outang and gorilla. The term "Negrosaxon" denotes the physi- 
cal kinship of half of the colored people of America and the 
spiritual kinship of ninety per cent, of the colored people of 
America to the noble Anglo-Saxon race. It is up to the Negro- 
saxon or Colored man to say which badge he shall wear, the 
badge of monkeyhood or of manhood, the badge of brutehood 
and bestiality or the badge of humanity. Calling ourselves 
"Negrosaxons" or Colored people will not let down the social 
barriers to us and give us entrance to Anglo-Saxon society; but 
it will give us the only kind of equality and opportunity that we 
need and desire — civil and political equality and industrial and 
economic opportunity. This is my commonsense inquiry, What is 
the use of our taking a name that misrepresents us, ethnologically 
and psychologically, and then hope by our deeds and achieve- 
ments to purge the name of its odium? Why not take a name 
that ethnologically and psychologically represents us? 

The term Negro passed into general circulation about three 
centuries ago, early in the seventeenth century, to characterize 

3IO The African Abroad. 

tribes of African savages and barbarians. Its original meaning 
has clung to it during the past three hundred years. By the term 
"Negro" a being who possesses the instincts of a brute, who 
is uncouth in his manners and hideous to look upon, is conjured 
up by the imagination. This colored race is no longer a pure 
Negro but a mixed Caucasian and Negro race, no longer a savage 
but a civilized race that is fast becoming cultured. In a word, it 
is an entirely different race of being from the African savages 
to whom the term "Negro" was originally applied. We colored 
people in America create the race problem by calling ourselves by 
a name that ethnologically and psychologically suggests what, one 
side of our ancestors were three hundred years ago. Ncgrosaxon, 
both ethnologically and psychologically, suggests what we act- 
ually arc to-day, and why not call ourselves by our proper name? 

Judge Samuel Hoyt of Atlanta, Ga., believing that a rose by 
any other name would smell as sweet, said, "That which we call 
Negro would smell as bad by any other name." But the Judge, 
while eminent in legal lore, is not a philologist or psychologist. 
If he had understood the history of language he would have 
known that words have a history, certain meanings become packed 
up in them and they come, in the course of time, to suggest 
certain ideas. Now the word Negro suggests what over fifty 
per cent, of the colored people are not, ethnologically and psycho- 
logically, and what seventy-five per cent, will not be ethnologi- 
cally and psychologically twenty years from now. It may be that 
the colored American is an offensive and an objectionable being to 
the Anglo-Saxons and always will be. But he is a little higher in 
the scale of being than the word "Negro" represents him to be. 

Now the word Negrosaxon sounds rather queer and strange. 
It suggests incompatible ideas. "Negro" calls up a black, kinky- 
haired and heavy-featured being; "Saxon calls up a very white, 
flowing-haired and thin-featured being. But the term "Negro- 
saxon" is a linguistic symbol for a physical fact. It represents a 
race that is the blending of the blackest and the whitest race 
known to history. The sons of Japheth, seeking the black but 
comely daughters of Ham, gave rise to the mixed race that 
I call Negrosaxon or Colored. Some say that is a base origin 
for a race. But the duke of Normandy by his deeds and 
achievements changed his title name from "William the Bastard" 

"Negrosaxon" or Colored f 311 

to "William the Conqueror." Abraham Lincoln made the 
world forget the dishonor that shrouded his birth and he goes 
down in history as the "savior of his country." Some of the 
ancestors of the present aristocrats and millionaires of America 
came over to this country two and three hundred years ago as 
redemptionaries, paupers, adventurers and social outcasts. So 
the obscurity and shame, for which black women were not respon- 
sible, of the origin of the Negrosaxon race need not deter its 
members from ascending the highest pinnacles of fame. Colored, 
then, is the colloquial and Negrosaxon the scientific term to 
designate the individuals now called Negroes. 

Note. — While the author does not think the term "Negro" properly 
characterizes the colored American or Negrosaxons, he uses it because 
of common custom and because he realizes that Andrew Carnegie and 
Col. Theodore Roosevelt, far more powerful than he ever dreams of 
becoming, were unable to reform American spelling. 


Chapter on the Lazi's Governing the Migration of Nations aud 
Negro Labor and Foreign Emigrant Labor in the South. 

The central fact of human liistory has been the migrations of 
nations and the laws governing such migrations. In the course 
of human history nine great migratory waves have swept over 
the world, changing the course of empires and determining the 
fate of nations. These migratory waves were the Mediterranean, 
the Aryan, the Gothic, the Saxon, the English and the European. 
Now to take them up in detail. 

The study of Sanscrit led Max Miiller and other philologists and 
ethnologists to conclude that Sanscrit was the mother tongue of 
all the Aryan peoples, that the cradle of that race and of civilization 
was in Asia. The Aryans were supposed to have emigrated from 
Asia, carrying the germs and formative elements of civilization 
with them. But Sergi, a professor in the University of Rome, has 
demolished that theory in his recent book, "The Mediterranean 
Race." He shows by a study of skulls and physical characteristics 
that there were physiological and craniological differences between 
the ancient Italians, Greeks, Celts, Germans and Slavs, indicating 
that they could not have sprung from the same human stock or 
been derived from the same human root. He claims that a race 
which came from North Africa and dwelt upon the shores of the 
Mediterranean Sea, was the founder of the world's first civili- 
zation. He says in his preface, "The two classic civilizations, 
Greek and Latin, were not Aryan, but Mediterranean. The 
Aryans were savages when they invaded Europe." He claims 
that the Germans and Scandinavian blonds, the early inhabitants 
of Greece and Rome, the African Berbers, the Egyptians, Phoeni- 
cians, Carthaginians and Negroes were branches of this Mediter- 
ranean race, which dwelt originally upon the north coast of 
Africa and then diffused itself northward into Europe and south- 
ward into Africa. 

Climatic conditions working through centuries accounted for 
the (lifTerences in complexion. The tower-building Pelasgians 
or Etrurians of Greece, with their sombre religion in which Hades, 

Negro Labor and Foreign Emigrant Labor. 313 

Demeter, Persephone, Dionysus, Castor and Polydeuces were 
prominent, and their conquerors, the Semites, who introduced 
Apollo, Posideon, Heracles, Hermes, Cybele, Hera, Athena, 
Aphrodite and Artemis, were branches of this race. Agamemnon 
was the last of their kings. Davidson, in his "History of Edu- 
cation," partly backs up Sergi, for he says, "The civilization 
described by Homer is not the Greek or even Aryan, but Semitic 
and Turanian. He writes Aryan indeed in Greek ; but his myths 
and legends, his gods and heroes are mainly Semitic." Thus the 
first great migratory wave was that of the Alediterranean race, 
which diffused itself over Europe and Africa. 

Just as the Semites drove the Pelasgians to the mountains and 
barren places, so about iioo B. C., the Aryan Hellenes, in three 
tribes, the .^olians, Dorians and lonians, conquered and absorbed 
the IMediterranean Greeks, who had been weakened by the Trojan 
W'ar. And the Greek race which gave the world its philosophy 
and art was a blending of the A'lediterranean Pelasgian and 
Semites and the Aryan Hellenes. The early population of Italy 
was composed of the Greeks and the great builders, the Etrus- 
cans, who belonged to the Mediterranean race and the lapygian 
and Italians, who were Aryans. So the second great migratory 
wave is the Aryan, which swept into Greece about 1000 B. C. 
down the mountain passes from the north and across the ^gean 
Sea and into Italy from the north, conquering and absorbing the 
Mediterranean peoples and appropriating their civilization. 

And now we come to three great migratory waves, or series of 
migratory waves — the Gothic waves which began in 120 B. C., 
when Marius and his Romans cut to pieces 3,000,000 armed 
Cimbri and 15,000 mailed knights at Vercelli ; w^hich manifested 
itself again five centuries later when the Goths under Fridigen in 
A. D. 378 destroyed two-thirds of the Roman army at Adri- 
anople and burned the Emperor Valens in his cottage; which 
gathered force when Theodosius, the emperor, coquetted with the 
Goths ; and which wave rose to its crest in 410 A. D., when Alaric 
and his Goths sacked Rome, after Stilicho, the giant Vandal 
who held the Goths at bay, had been murdered by the Emperor 
Honorius, who was jealous of his military fame and was after- 
ward dethroned. Alaric died soon after his capture of Rome. 
Then a fierce enemy, the terrible Huns, a wild Tartar tribe, who 

3X4 The African Abroad. 

cut their faces to make themselves more hideous in battle and 
rushed into the fi^'ht uttering unearthly yells, swept down upon 
Rome. They drove the East Goths before them, who in turn 
crowded the West Goths. Finally, in 271 A. D., Aurelian admitted 
the Goths within the Roman Empire. About the middle of the 
fifth century, A. D., their greatest king, Attila, who called him- 
self "The Scourge of God," arose. Rome by herself was unable 
to hurl back the swarms of Huns and Germans who under the 
terrible Attila bore down upon her. So she pressed into service 
the Goths and Franks. She played German against German and 
German against Hun. So in 451 A. D. the Romans, \'isigoths, 
who were led by their king, and the Franks, who were marshaled 
into a mighty army under iEtius, defeated Attila with his Huns 
and Germans at the battle of Chalons. Valentinian was emperor at 
this time and, following in the footsteps of Ilonorius, he caused 
the brave .i^tius to be murdered. Two years after his defeat at 
Chalons, Attila died. Then the Teutons and Tartars who formed 
his army began to wrangle and quarrel among themselves. 
Finally, at Netad near the Danube, the Tartars were defeated by 
the Teutons and the Tartar peril and menace to civilization was 
at an end. 

But Rome was not saved. In 455 A. D., when Maximus was 
emperor, Genseric, the Vandal, came over from Africa, being sum- 
moned by Eudoxia, the wadow of the murdered \'alentinian and 
wife of the murderer Maximus, and sacked Rome. 

Then the Gothic wave made its appearance again. And now 
comes the natural and logical climax to Rome's history for five 
centuries. When Rome conquered a country she made citizens 
of the conquered people and enrolled them under her banners. 
Barbarians under Roman leadership fought and conquered bar- 
barians. She played off barbarian against barbarian, German 
against German, and German against Hun. The Goths and bar- 
barians formed the bone and sinew of her armies. The natural 
and fitting climax would be that a Goth and barbarian should 
finally become king of Italy. This happened in 493, when The- 
odoric, the king of tiie Ostrogoths, called Dietrich Von Bern, mur- 
dered by his own hand Odoacer, a German soldier who deposed 
the Emperor Romulus Augustus, and was made king of Italy by 
the army, became king of Italy and ruled for thirty-three years. 

Negro Labor and Foreign Emigrant Labor. 315 

Then Justinian, the nephew of Justin, an lUyrian peasant, 
ascended the throne, attempted to revive the old Roman Empire 
and drive out the Ostrogoths, who had ruled Italy for nearly 
half a century. His general, Belisarius, trapped \'itigis and his 
Goths at Ravenna. Belisarius was disgraced because of jealousy. 
Then Totila and his Goths conquered Belisarius and captured 
Rome. Then Narses, the terrible Eunuch, arose. He defeated 
and killed the sturdy Totila and his Goths in the Apennines 
and defeated and killed the mighty Tela and his Goths on 
the slopes. So between them, Belisarius and Narses exterminated 
the Ostrogoths and Justinian wrested the southeastern portion of 
Spain from the Visigoths, and it was old Rome once more for 
a few years. In 568 A. D., the Lombards, another German 
tribe, swept over Italy and ruled over her for two centuries. 
Then the powerful Charlemagne gathered the broken and scat- 
tered fragments of the Roman Empire into a mighty kingdom. 
It was broken up again after his death and from the breaking up 
of his empire the different nationalities arose. 

The sixth migratory wave was the Saxon wave, the tribes of 
Jutes, Angles and Saxons who came from Europe and conquered 
the Britons. The seventh was the Norman-French wave, which, 
under William the Conqueror, crossed the English Channel and 
conquered the Saxons at the battle of Hastings. The eighth 
was the English wave which planted English colonies in Canada, 
America and Australia and conquered India. The ninth was the 
European wave which has peopled America with foreigners. 

The question may be asked. Why have these great migratory 
waves swept over the world? Why have there been these vast 
migratory movements of vast bodies of men? Why have men 
left their native homes and wandered to foreign lands? There 
are four causes. Sometimes the population has become too 
numerous and too dense for the productive properties of the 
soil and there must be an overflow and outlet somewhere. Some- 
times men have been doing fairly well, but have migrated to 
find a warmer climate, richer pastures and a more fertile soil. 
At one time love of adventure sent them forth. At other times 
again love of conquest, the desire to enlarge one's boundaries has 
been the propelling migratory impulse. And it seems that the 
present migratory wave is from Europe to America. European 

3i6 The African Abroad. 

peasants lonpinply look to America as a Promised Land that is 
flowing with gold and money. 


There are four dates in the history of the United States that 
are profoundly significant and fraught with a pregnant meaning 
to the student of sociology. Those dates are December 21, 1620; 
1619; July 4, 1776, and 1792. They may be said to mark the 
ushering in of a new industrial era in the history of this 
country and determining the course that events should take. 

On December 21, 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers stepped from the 
Mayflozirr and landed on Plymouth Rock. In 16 19 a Dutch 
ship brought and sold nineteen Negroes, the first cargo of slaves, 
to the Jamestown Colony, A'a. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration 
of Independence was signed. And in 1792 Eli Whitney invented 
the cotton gin. 

It has been one of the miracles of history that the men who 
shaped human history, changed the course of empires, founded 
cities and propagated religions were born in humble and obscure 
circumstances and many of the events which have decided the 
fate of nations have had a humble and obscure beginning. 

Some forty centuries ago a little babe was placed in a bulrush 
cradle of weeds and left in the River Nile to be devoured by 
hungry crocodiles. And yet that babe became the prophet and 
lawgiver for a people that gave the world the monotheistic con- 
ception of the Godhead. And he has made the name Mount 
Sinai, upon which he received and wrote down the ten command- 
ments, synonymous for the moral law that reigns supreme in 
our inward life and for the conscience that thunders within us. 

Some nineteen hundred years ago a little babe was born in 
a manger, in a stable, with only a few humble shepherds to wel- 
come his advent into this world. And yet this babe of obscure 
birth became the highest incarnation and expression of the divine 
in human form and gave the world the religion which is the life 
blood of our modern civilization and our hope in the life to come. 
To-day the nations which bear his name and are called the 
Christian nations are known as the civilized nations and the 
nations which do not bear his name are known as the heathen 
nations. That little babe has made his name stand for the pre- 



Negro Labor and Foreign Emigrant Labor. 317 

dominating characteristic of modern civilization and has made 
the day, Easter Sunday, commemorate the act which crystaUized 
the behef of the civiHzed world in the immortality of the human 

Four hundred years ago, at the dawn of the sixteenth 
century, a lonely monk, who had sung for alms and begged for 
food while on his way to college, was brooding and meditating in 
his cell upon the doctrine of justification by faith. And yet 
those spiritual conflicts, that wrestling of the spirit in the obscure 
cloister, resulted in that stirring of the human spirit which shook 
Europe from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean, from Great 
Britain to Russia, plunged her in a hundred years' war, broke 
the authority of the Pope, and the power of Spain, and bathed 
Sweden, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, France and England 
in that sea of revolt which washed away the old landmarks and 
swept in the germinating ideas which sent the Pilgrim Fathers 
across the Atlantic, dethroned and beheaded an English king, 
Charles, and cropped in the intellectual, scientific, religious and 
political freedom of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The 
Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, the Civil War and 
the nineteenth and twentieth century democracy, the right of an 
individual to govern himself, was born in the storm and stress of 
Luther's soul in the internal conflicts in that cell, when there 
dawned upon Luther's mind the conviction that religion was the 
striving of the human soul for faith in God and Christ, that 
religion was a matter between each believing soul and his Maker 
and that each one had a right to interpret the Scriptures for 

So it has always been with the beginning of the epochal events 
and great movements of America. That frail bark that crossed 
the Atlantic in 1620 with a few score passengers bore with it 
the destiny of a continent. They planted the seeds of a mighty 
nation and founded the greatest republic that the world has yet 
seen. As that Dutch ship sailed up the James River in 1619, 
holding in its cabin nineteen African Negroes who were despised 
because they were black, despised because they were heathens 
fresh from Africa, and hence sold into slavery, little did 
those Dutch traders know that they were saddling upon America 
the most perplexing and baffling race problem the world has yet 

3i8 The African Abroad. 

seen, for the Sphinx riddle, the tangled skein, the Gordian knot 
that the American Anglo-Saxon is puzzling his brains about is 
how to elevate and subjugate the Negro at the same time, how 
to lift the Negro out of the mire of ignorance, illiteracy, im- 
morality and i)auperism, and at the same time teach him to know 
his place and prevent him from aspiring to reach the sunlit 
heights of full and complete manhood — something that has never 
and can never be done. 

Yes, those nineteen frightened savages, who were huddled and 
herded in the cabin of that slave ship, have bequeathed to America 
the problem of the twentieth century. For the problem of the 
twentieth century will be, "Is modern democracy, is modern 
Christianity, broad enough to embrace and take in the Negro?" 
Can the democratic idea of the dignity of man, the Christian 
conception of the sublimity and majesty of human personality, 
be applied to the brother in black? 

In the fall of 1792 Eli Whitney, a young graduate of Yale 
College, invented the cotton gin ; little did he realize that he 
would spread slavery in the South and plunge America into the 
greatest Civil War known to history. And on November the 5th, 
1906, there happened an event that attracted no attention and 
aroused no interest on the part of the American Negroes and yet 
it may be prophetic of the future misery and woe of the Southern 
Negro, may carry within it the germs that, like the dragon teeth, 
will rise as the industrial monsters who will destroy the Southern 
Negro. On November 5, 1906, the North German Lloyd steamer, 
the llliitticr, unloaded five hundred immigrant aliens in Charles- 
ton, S. C, who will be employed as farm laborers. And in 
December, 1906, a South Carolina judge handed down the decision 
that the Alien Contract Labor Law, which prevented individuals 
and corporations from supplanting American labor with cheap 
foreign labor, does not and will not hinder State authorities from 
throwing out inducements for alien immigrants. What is the 
significance of this fact? Heretofore some of the alien immi- 
grants have come to America because they have been lured by 
the glowing description that their friends on this side of the 
Atlantic wrote of the Paradise they found here. Others have 
been brought over by steamship companies. But the landing of 
the foreign immigrants in Charleston on November 5 and the 

Negro Labor and Foreign Emigrant Labor. 319 

decision of the South Carolina judge means that if any Southern 
state decides that it needs ten, twenty or thirty thousand ahen 
immigrants as farm laborers it can send for them and bring them 
across the Atlantic. The American Negro has overlooked the 
meaning of this fact. 

There comes to my mind now the memorable introduction to 
Patrick lienry's immortal speech, "It is natural for man to 
indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes to 
a painful truth and listen to the voice of that siren, until she 
transforms us into beasts." 

This is strikingly true of the prevailing attitude of the mind 
of the American Negro. The Negro is naturally a buoyant, 
sanguine, hopeful, optimistic race. Possibly this is the result of 
his superb physical vitality and tremendous physical energy. 
Perhaps it is fortunate, despised, circumscribed and ostracised as 
he is, with ambitions fettered and aspirations limited by Anglo- 
Saxon caste prejudice, that the Negro can laugh and smile when 
he is the under dog in the fight. 

But there is also a sad feature about the Negro's sanguine 
temperament. The Negro is not thoughtful, and lacks foresight. 
He has shown a remarkable faculty for absorbing and assimilat- 
ing the religion, language, customs and civilization of an alien 
race, perhaps the most remarkable in human history. But he 
lacks foresight. There are exceptional and gifted individuals in 
the race who possess this quality ; but it is not a race trait. 
The world was astonished when the news of the Wilmington 
and Atlanta riots — or Atlanta massacre, rather — was w'ired across 
the country, and those riots fell like a bolt from a clear sky upon 
the astonished colored people of those towns. And yet the 
colored people of Wilmington and Atlanta had been warned and 
should have been on their guard. 

In Wilmington, the white people held meetings and made 
threats, but the colored people did not take them seriously. On 
the night before the Wilmington riot the mayor assembled the 
colored ministers and leading colored citizens and desired to know 
whether they would endorse Manley's editorial reflecting upon 
the character of Southern white women. Their reply did not 
reach his house before he left the next morning and assembled 
the mob. Had he received their reply that night the riot would 

320 The African Abroad. 

have been averted. In the summer of 1906 the colored people 
of Atlanta were sleeping carelessly upon a volcano, and didn't 
know it. When the Atlanta newspapers were offering rewards 
for lynching Negroes and were putting in big headlines accounts 
of attempted assaults, I fail to see how the colored people could 
believe that all was well in Zion. 

A few years ago, as 1 traveled through the South, I read the 
Northern and Southern newspapers, observed the white people 
of the South and saw how the Negro problem was uppermost in 
their minds, while the masses of the Negro were as happy as 
Belshazzar and his feasters when the Persians were turning 
the river bed and entering the city to capture it, or the dancers 
in Belgium's capital on the eve of the battle of Waterloo, some 
of whom would be spilling their life's blood in the battlefield 
next day. Sometimes it seems to me that the Negro has the 
wisdom of the ostrich, which buries its head in the sand when 
it sees an enemy coming. 

But we must not be too hard on the Negro. As a slave, he took 
no thought for the future ; his master did that. So the Negro, 
as a race, has had less than fifty years in which to gain discipline 
by paddling his own canoe and hoeing his own row. 

Pleretofore, the Negro has had no industrial competitor in 
the South. During two hundred and fifty years of slavery and 
forty years of freedom, ninety or ninety-five per cent, of the agri- 
cultural and mdustrial work of all grades has been exclusively 
in the hands of the Southern Negro. During the past five or six 
years many immigrants, especially the Italians, have come to 
Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, 
Alabama and Arkansas. They have come in great numbers to 
Florida, Louisiana and Texas. They are still coming to the 
number of twenty or twenty-five thousand a year in the South. 
It looks as if an agricultural wave of Italians was about to sweep 
into South Carolina. 

When we reflect that trades unions discriminate against the 
Negro in the North, that in Northern cities like Boston, Newport 
and New York, Negro waiters, bellmen, cooks, butlers, coachmen, 
footmen and servant girls have been supplanted by foreigners ; 
when we reflect that LcBon, the eminent psychologist, says that 
the Negro is only tolerated in the South as a useful animal, to 

Negro Labor and Foreign Emigrant Labor. 321 

be shot or lynched when he manifests the first dangerous 
symptoms, and that the Negro will be exterminated like the 
Indian or banished like the Chinaman or subjugated like the 
Hindoo when he ceases to become a necessary industrial factor 
in the South ; when we remember that Rev. Richard Carroll, a 
noted Negro educator and journalist in the South, says that the 
only conditions under which the Negro can survive in the South 
is that he become a good servant, it is well for us to pause and 
ask ourselves the question, "Will the foreigner supplant the 
Negro in the South, and, if so, what will be the fate of the 

For the year ending June 30, 1905, 8,972 immigrants were 
received in Florida, 5,101 in Louisiana, 4,022 in Texas, 1,609 i" 
Virginia, 1,342 in Mississippi, 912 in Alabama, 782 in Tennessee, 
681 in Kentucky, 518 in Georgia, 431 in Arkansas and a few 
others in other Southern States. In Florida more than one-half 
of the immigrants were Cuban cigar makers, but there were 
many Italians among them. In Louisiana and Mississippi, more 
than one-half of the immigrants were Italians, and in Texas 
many of the immigrants were Italians. In the year ending June 
30, 1906, about 25.000 immigrants landed in the Southern States. 
Most of these landed in Texas, Florida and Louisiana ; Galveston 
and El Paso, Texas; Key West, Fla. ; and New Orleans, La., 
being the ports that received most of them, of whom about 
forty per cent, were Italian laborers and farmers. 

On November 5, 1906, the North German Lloyd steamer 
Whittier unloaded nearly six hundred alien immigrants in 
Charleston, S. C, who will be employed as agricultural laborers. 
And in 1906, South Carolina appropriated $20,000 to bring over 
desirable foreign immigrants. 

During the past five or six years, North German Lloyd 
steamers have carried a farming class to Galveston, Texas. 
New Orleans has been an open port for many years. The 
Italians have been coming for distribution as farm hands in 
Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas during the last 
five or six years. In recent years, too, an industrial and immi- 
gration wave has swept over North Carolina, bringing in for- 
eigners who have built cotton mills and factories and have been 
employed in manufacturing industries. 

322 The African Abroad. 

So \vc may safely say that since the twentieth century has set 
in about one hundred thousand immij^rants have been received 
into the South. The greater i)art of these have settled in the 
Gulf States, and a large per cent, of them were Italian laborers. 
Then, the fact that last December, a South Carolina judge handed 
down the decision that the alien contract labor law, which pre- 
vents individuals and corporations from supplanting American 
labor by cheap foreign labor, does not prevent the State from 
offering inducements to immigrants, means that any Southern 
State has a right to pay the transportation for any immigrant 
whom it may need. The indications are that in the next quarter 
of a century over a half million, perhaps a million immigrants 
will be received into the South, and the question is. Will the 
immigrant crowd the Negro laborer to the wall in the South? 


The cry goes up that the Negro is leaving the farms and 
flocking to the cities ; that he won't work, etc. I have visited 
farming communities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 
Florida and Kentucky. I have attended farmers' conferences 
in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, and I have 
arrived at certain conclusions. Most of those who find fault 
with Negro laborers regard the old slave as the ideal Negro 
laborer, a being who works hard all day for his food and raiment 
and receives no pay. I saw colored farm hands in and near 
Camden and Orangeburg, S. C, and DeLand and Palatka, Fla., 
leaving the farms and going to the turpentine camps, where 
they could receive more pay. Major James Albert Clarke of 
the Bureau of Immigration in Washington, D. C, says that when 
he paid Negroes one dollar a day to ditch and build and work for 
him at Carolina Beach, Va., they left the farms, where they were 
paid ten or fifteen dollars a month, or where they were in debt 
to the man for whom they worked, and who supplied them 
with pork and meal. 

Then, again, Negro farm hands flock to the cities because they 
can get better police protection there. So we may lay it down 
as an axiomatic truth : — The Negro will not work hard for star- 
vation wages any more than the white man will. But how about 

Negro Labor and Foreign Emigrant Labor. 323 

the Negro who works for himself or receives good pay? In 

the tobacco factory of Duke, in Durham, X. C. ; in the cotton 

press of Sprunt, in Wihnington, X. C. ; in the Atlantic Coast 

Lumber Company of Georgetown, S. C. ; on the Atlantic Coast 

Line Railroad in Florence, S. C, and in Jesup and Waycross, 

Ga., and along the wharves in Brunswick and Savannah, Ga., 

and Jacksonville, Fla., where the Negro receives good pay, he 

works hard. Then, when I recall that William Wade, a colored 

farmer in Alalee, N. C, who owns over a thousand acres ; Deal 

Jackson of Georgia, who markets the first bale of cotton each 

year, and Cody Bryant of Covington, Ga., worth over $1,000,000, 

all started poor — when I recall the prosperous colored farmers 

that I met in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and 

Florida, in Danville and Lexington, Ky. ; when I recollect that 

the census reports of 1900 show that the Negroes in Georgia 

own 26,636 homes, and are worth $80,501,600; that the Negroes 

in Mississippi own 28,855 homes, and are worth $77,122,000; 

that the Negroes in Alabama own 23,536 homes, and are worth 

$71,346,000; that the Negroes in Louisiana own 21,023 homes, 

and are worth $56,105; that the Negroes in Virginia own 

46,248 homes, and are worth $51,412,000; when I recollect that 

this wealth has been accumulated during the past forty years ; 

that the Southern Negro when emancipated hardly owned the 

brogans upon his feet, — I am constrained to admit that the Negro 

is a hustler. 


We now come to a very grave and serious question, one to 
which divergent answers have been given. One class of students 
of Southern conditions claims that the Italian is a harder worker 
than the Negro ; the other says that he is not. It seems that most 
men generalize the Negro from the few Negroes with whom 
they come in contact. But I will present both views and draw 
conclusions. In Louisiana the Italians, in planting and cultivating 
cotton, worked the lands up to the ditches, fences and river banks, 
wdiile the Negro cotton raisers are said to only scrape the middle. 
The Italians rented land and picked their cotton so quickly that 
they could hire out to Negro farmers who were said to be too 
lazy to work hard and fast. The Italians plant vines and make 

2^4 T'/ir African Abroad. 

their own wine as in Italy. They grow plenty of fruit, own fine 
farms, put up fine buildings, make money and are said to be 
getting ahead of the Negro in Louisiana, Alabama and Arkansas. 
That is one side of the picture. Now for the other. 

Senator Paddock was chairman of the Senate Committee on 
Agriculture in the early eighties, and he investigated the cotton 
product in the National exposition. General Humphries of Texas, 
who had charge of the Negroes' part of the Farmers' Alliance, 
and Colonel I'olk of North Carolina, head of the Farmers' 
Alliance, reported to iiini, and this is Senator Paddock's report, 
so I am informed by Professor Jesse Lawson of Washington. 
The Chinaman rattled his tin god and bowed to it. The Italian 
worked as he chose. The German wanted to be his own boss. 
Each German thought he was an emperor in himself and that 
he could evolve a god out of his own consciousness. The Negro 
•was the best workman. 

Dr. E. W. Lampton. the late bishop of the A. M. E. 
Church, has had abundant opportunity to observe the immi- 
grants in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas. 
And this was the substance of his observations. Immigrants 
can be brought over in car loads. But it takes about as 
much money to watch them at work and prevent them from 
running away as to psij their transportation. They will work 
hard and faithfully until their transportation is paid. Then they 
will walk ofif in the day or leave at night. The Italians can and 
will work as hard as the Negro, but you can't keep them at it. 
There are three or four instances in Mississippi where the Italians 
have made a cotton crop. As soon as the cotton crop was laid 
by, you could find tiiem with their baskets of bananas and fruits. 
When asked about harvesting their crops and paying their bills, 
they would say to the boss man, 'T will pay you." When asked 
how, the Italian would reply. "By this," pointing to his basket. 

My own view is that there is a measure of truth in each of 
these views. If the Italians should immigrate to the Southland 
in large numbers, they would probably prove a very formida'oie 
and dangerous industrial competitor to the Southern Negro. For 
generations the Italian has been schooled in the school of bitter 
adversity and poverty. lie has been forced to subsist upon small 
wages. He has been trained in thrift, frugality and economy. 

Negro Labor and Foreign Emigrant Labor. 325 

The Italian laborer did superb work in the New York subway 
and the new Union Depot in Washington, U. C. 

On the other hand, from my knowledge of the Italian venders 
and storekeepers and of Jewish merchants in New Haven, Conn. ; 
from my knowledge of Syrian confectioners in Wilmington, 
N. C, and of Jewish merchants in Durham. N. C, Savannah, Ga., 
and Greenville, Miss., I observe that the Jewish, Italian and 
Syrian immigrant endeavors to get away from drudgery and 
enter upon mercantile life. 


Now we come to the vital question that concerns the industrial 
and agricultural welfare of the Southern Negro. Is the immi- 
grant superior to the Southern Negro as a workman? It is hard 
at this early date to arrive at conclusions. Unfortunately, the 
Negro problem is not taken seriously ; but is flippantly discussed. 
Nearly every Caucasian schoolboy or newsboy has his theory for 
the solution of the Negro question. The Northern tourist 
reclines cosily in the Pullman palace car as he is being whirled 
through the Sunny South, takes a sweeping glance at a few 
log cabins and Negro loungers and loiterers around the depot, 
consults a few prejudiced Southerners who employ Negroes, and 
returns North prepared to deliver a series of lectures, or write a 
series of articles, upon the "Brother in Black," and the "Southern 
Situation." What he really gives is the race problem as seen from 
a Pullman. President Roosevelt, in his Panama Canal message, 
seemed to regard the Italian and Spaniard as superior to the 
Negro laborer. I am inclined to take a middle gromid with regard 
to Mr. Roosevelt. I neither regard him as an infallible judge on 
the one hand, nor a boasting demagogue on the other hand. He 
is a brave soldier, a born leader of men, and a resourceful poli- 
tician. In a word, he is a successful man of action and as such 
has all of the merits and defects of a man of action. The virtue 
of a man of action is that he can think and act quickly in an 
emergency, and in the main be correct. Now, Mr. Roosevelt 
possesses this quality in a preeminent degree. In one respect, 
the man of action is superior to the man of thought. There is 
a virus to the academic life, an insidious danger in the life of 
contemplation and introspection. This was seen in a mild form 

3^6 The African Abroad. 

in the poet Gray and Walter Pater, and in a more serious form 
in Hamlet, the melancholy Dane, Samuel Coleridge and Coventry 
Patmore. These three men carried introspection and reflection 
to such a point and degree that it resulted in paralysis of the 
will and indecision of character. We see Hamlet in Shakes- 
peare's play hesitating and doubting and baffled and perplexed. 
Now, the man of action escapes this. 

But the habit of thinking and acting quickly, of relying upon 
keen perceptions and quick intuitions, prevents the man of action 
having that cautious attitude of mind that carefully sifts and 
weighs evidence, balances authorities and then in a calm and 
judicial spirit comes to a decision. And that is why Mr. Roose- 
velt sometimes errs. 


According to the census reports of 1900, the American Negro 
in the South owned 376,036 homes, and his wealth was estimated 
at $937,830,000, exclusive of school and church property, which 
is valued at about $100,000,000. 

WHien the Southern Negro was emancipated in 1865, with the 
exception of the free Negroes of Charleston, S. C, whose wealth 
was estimated at nearly $2,000,000. and the free Negroes of 
New Orleans, La., he hardly owned the brogans on his feet. 
But in 1900, thirty-five years later, there were twelve Southern 
states, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisi- 
ana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, 
Texas and Virginia, where the Negro's wealth was estimated at 
over $30,000,000 in each state. 

In 1900, there were eight colored States, Alabama, Georgia, 
Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas 
and Virginia, where the Negro's wealth was estimated at over 
$40,000,000 in each state; five Southern States, Georgia, Mis- 
sissippi, Alabama, Louisiana and \'irginia, where the Negro's 
wealth was estimated at over $50,000,000 in each state ; three 
Southern States, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama, where the 
Negro's wealth was estimated at over $70,000,000 in each state. 
Some have claimed that these figures, which appeared in a 
colored man's paper in Washington, D. C. are exaggerated. 
Oftentimes property is assessed at less than its market value. 





The Key to the Solution of the Race Question. 


I believe that in a few paragraphs I can state the philosophy 
underlying this book. I do not believe that the Negro is outside 
of the pale of humanity and that he is such a peculiar being that 
he needs a different kind of training, a dift'erent kind of treat- 
ment from other men. I do not believe that any one formula, 
recipe or prescription will solve the race question. I do not 
believe that industrial education alone is the universal panacea 
for all of the colored man's ills and ailments. It took the farm, 
the workshop, the mill, the factory, the bank, the store, the 
public school, the college, the church and civil and political lib- 
erty to make this country what it is. And I believe that it will 
take all of these, nothing less and nothing more, to make anything 
of the Negro. If I am asked, "What does the Negro need most, 
industrial or higher education?" I reply, "He needs both!" If 
I am asked, "What does the Negro need most, wealth or the 
ballot?" I reply, "He needs both." Why? Because he is a 
man and not a monkey, because he is a full-fledged man in all 
that the name implies, and not half a man as some of the 
colored brother's friends would endeavor to make him believe. 

Then, some one may ask, "What do you think of the Jim Crow 
car and of social equality?" I don't care the snap of the finger 
for social recognition. I don't hunger and thirst and hanker and 
crave for the society of men and women. As to whether I am 
invited to dine by any man, white or colored: as to whether I 
am invited to any social function, are minor concerns of my life. 
When I was at Yale, my happiest moments were when I would 
take my Emerson and Carlyle and my Irish terrier, named 
"Birdie," go out to the Slaughter woods and West Rock on 
some spring or fall day, look down upon the dreaming, sleepy 
quiet village of Westville, which was nestled so cosily among 
the trees, watch the play of sunlight and of shade, see the stream 
lazily dreaming its way through the meadows and, with the blue 

33° The African Abroad. 

sky above me for a canopy, drink in the beauty of nature, as 
I brooded over the mystic words of two lofty tliinkers. What 
is tlie hollow and artificial life of man, with its vainj^lories and 
petty rivalries and prejudices, compared to the memory of such 
golden moments as these, when I saw all nature radiant with the 
glory of a present God? 

Then, too, there were some memorable experiences and 
memorable days at Harvard, when inspiration came to me in 
the presence of memorials of the past. I well remember the 
Sunday in May when I first visited Concord, Mass. It was a 
beautiful afternoon, with just enough haze in the atmosphere to 
relieve the glaring brilliancy of the noonday sun and to soften 
the outlines of the trees. I remember coming to a lonely lane. 
It was in a quiet, secluded spot, running off from the main road 
and far away from the business center of the town. It seemed 
that the Almighty intended to hallow and consecrate this spot, 
by placing it at a distance from the center of trade and the 
wranglings, quarrelings, and contentions of men. It was a beau- 
tiful lane, shaded by four rows of trees, with the statue of the 
Minute Man of '76 at the end of the lane. Unless I confuse 
it with the statue of a minute man I have seen elsewhere, it is 
a bold, defiant youth, who, with flashing eye, and set lips, and 
bared chest, holds a gun. The fire of battle is in his eye. 
He seems eager for the fray. And there is the bridge just 
beyond and from the bridge rises the hill that is crowned by 
the house from which Emerson's grandfather witnessed the fight. 

It was down this hill that the New England patriots marched, 
and here it was that the "embattled farmers stood and fired the 
shot heard round the world." I would call this place the meeting 
of the waters. Three or four quiet, peaceful lakes and lazy, 
lingering streams seem to meet and mingle their waters under 
this bridge. Heaven seems to have shed its benediction upon this 
scene, and then I asked. Will I ever in reality be able to share 
in the glorious memories of those heroic days? 

And then I reflected. The colored boy pursues the same and 
yet different ideals from the white boy. Ambitions which appeal 
powerfully to the white boy touch him not at all. Hopes and 
fears and longings and sorrows, too deep for tears, that the 
white boy knows nothing of, visit him constantly and stir him 

Philosophy of the Color Question. 331 

deeply. On W'ashington's Birthday, Decoration Day, the Fourth 
of July and Thanksi^iving Day, he hears of the bravery of the 
Pilgrim Fathers, of the heroism and patriotism of Samuel 
Adams and Patrick Henry, of Otis and Hancock and Warren, 
of Israel Putnam and General Stark at the battle of Bennington, 
and straightway goes into a world where the rattle of musketry 
in the streets of Boston and the thunders of Bunker Hill, the 
story of Paul Revere's ride and the ringing of Independence Bell, 
sends no thrills of patriotism. The white boy who sweeps out 
an office may some day become president of the bank. The white 
boys who sells newspapers in the railroad cars may some day 
become the president of the railroad corporation, and the white 
boy who blacks your boots or splits rails may some day 
become the President of the United States. But no such vista 
stretches out before the colored boy. His horizon is limited, 
his sphere circumscribed. His activities are confined to a narrow 
circle. The trades unions discriminate against him in the North 
and East. Certain callings are closed to him. He is barred 
from them.. In others he can go to a certain point but there 
must stop, regardless of his ability, aspiration and ambition. 
And I regard it as a healthy sign that the caste prejudice is 
teaching the Negro self-reliance and that colored men are going 
into business for themselves. 

No, I do not care for the attractions of society, but I will 
speak the truth : I do hate, when I am in the South, to be con- 
stantly reminded of the fact that the color of my skin is different 
from that of most of the other American citizens. I do hate to be 
constantly annoyed, insulted, humiliated, treated with open con- 
tempt, taunted with my inferiority and forced to feel that I belong 
to a despised race, as when a white clerk in a manufacturer's office 
told me when I introduced myself as Mr. Ferris, "We don't call 
you people by the title of Mr." (Mr. is a title of respect in the 
South and denotes a gentleman, which is of course too high 
a title for a Negro), or, when I heard the sign over one door at the 
Atlanta Exhibition read, "Negroes and dogs not allowed." I do 
not enjoy or relish the inferior and uncomfortable accommoda- 
tions that are given colored people on the Jim Crow car. I think 
it a shame that a colored lady of culture and refinement is unable 
to secure a berth in a sleeping car. I do hate to be constantly 

332 The African Abroad. 

reminded of the fact in the South that I am a Negro, not a man. 
I don't like to always feel I am of a darker complexion, my hair 
is not as straij^ht and my features not as aquiline as those of 
most of the other American citizens. It is refreshing for me to 
visit a little town like lieaufort, S. C, where the thought of 
color, color, color, color, is not always brought to the front and 
emphasized and where the two races dwell together in peace 
and harmony. 

I like to feel rather that I am a human being, that I belong to 
the human family. I like to feel that I belong to the genus 
vir as well as to the genus homo. I like to feel that the same 
flag waves over me that waves over the white man. I like to 
feel that the Stars and Stripes is the emblem and symbol of the 
government to which I belong as an integral part and not as 
an alien. I like to feel that it protects me as well as the white 
man. I like to feel that there is a divine spark within my soul. 
I like to feel that a divinity stirs within me no less than in my 
white brother. I like to feel that I am an immortal soul, dwell- 
ing for the space of a few short years in this tabernacle of 
flesh, in this temple of clay. I like to feel that the same God 
who speaks in thunder tones in the conscience of the white 
man lives and moves and has his being and manifests his inmost 
nature in my reason, and higher impulses and higher instincts, 

Some people say that the Negro must not expect too much, 
after only forty years of freedom. But in the year 1800, A. D., 
every one of my ancestors, with two exceptions, were living, 
moving, breathing as free men and women. And the love of 
liberty was such an inborn quality and characteristic of their 
souls, that these two would not, and could not, be kept as slaves. 
They secured their freedom immediately after the War of 1812. 

Sixty years ago to-day, both of my grandfathers were prop- 
erty owners. The blood of the warlike Delaware Indians flows 
in my veins. Mv father, my uncles and grand uncles, fought 
in the late Civil War. Some of my relatives baptized with their 
blood the soil of this countr>' in order that "this nation, under 
God. might have a new birth of freedom." Haven't I some 
rights in this country? Does not this country' owe me as much 
as it does the foreigner who came over yesterday? 

Philosophy of the Color Question. 333 


Then some say, "The Negro must do something, must have a 
material fountlation for his prosperity." This is all very true, 
but I believe that the foundation upon which the race needs to 
build is the bed rock of manhood and womanhood, and not the 
shifting sands of cowardice and sycophancy. 

It is as true to-day as it was in the days of Paul, that the 
things which are seen are temporal, while the things which are 
imseen are eternal. The works of the hand perish before the 
wind, the rain, the corroding forces of the atmosphere, and the 
wear and tear of time, but the products of the mind endure 
forever. The Parthenon, the marbles of Phidias, the buildings 
on the Acropolis and all the memorable works of the age of 
Pericles are crumbling away. Soon not a vestige of them will 
remain. But the writings of Plato and Aristotle, the orations 
of Demosthenes, the poems of Homer and Pindar, and the 
dramas of .Eschylus, Sophocles and Euripides still live; and 
when every last one of the material landmarks of the age of 
Pericles shall have succumbed before the corroding forces of 
nature and the abuse of man, and shall have passed into oblivion, 
the literary products of that brilliant moment in Grecian civili- 
zation will still remain as the imperishable treasures of the human 
mind. • 

Go to mighty Rome, that city of one million souls, which once 

ruled the entire world. What has become of the Coliseum, of 

the temples of the Gods, and the palaces of the Roman emperors? 

They are a mass of ruins, but schoolboys still read the orations 

of Cicero, still admire his exposure of Catiline's conspiracy and 

his eloquent defense of the poet Archias, still delight to scan the 

lines of Vergil beginning : 

Arma virumque cano. Troiae qui primus ab oris. 
Italiam, fato profugus, Lavinia venit 
Littora; multum ille et terris jactatus et alto, 
Vi superum, saevae memorem Junonis ob iram; 
Multo quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem, 
Inferretque deos Latis ! genus unde Latinum 
Albanique patres, atque altae meonia Romae. 
Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso. 

The Gothic cathedrals and rugged castles of the middle ages 
are crumbling into decay. Some of the old medic-eval abbeys 

334 Tl^*-" African Abroad. 

are in ruins ; but Dante's divine poem, which Carlyle called, "the 
voice of ten silent centuries," will ever remain as the literary 
monument, the literary expression of the genius, and the religious 
hopes and aspirations and cravings and longings of the benighted 
souls of the Middle Ages. 

Gone is the temple of Solomon, once the pride of the Hebrew 
world. The glories of the old Jerusalem have passed away, but 
the reflections of Job, the poetry of the Psalms, the splendid 
visions of Isaiah, the profound words of John and the burning 
eloquence of Paul still A\r our hearts and minds. Yes, it is 
true that the works of man shall perish, but the word of our 
"God" will abide forever. 

Despite the at tuba terribili, sonitu taratantara dixit of Booker 
T. Washington, and the other prophets of Baal and worshippers 
of the brazen calf, I still believe that Jesus Christ is the greatest 
builder the world has yet seen. You could take all of the kings of 
finance from the time of Crcesus to the present day ; all of the 
statesmen from Khufu to Gladstone ; all of the conquerors from 
Pepi of Egypt to Napoleon, and estimate the permanent value of 
their works, and you would probably find that their combined 
influence would hardly surpass that of the lowly Xazarene. He 
sowed a few germinal thoughts like seed corn in the minds of a 
few chosen disciples. They grew and developed and were repro- 
duced in ten thousand times ten thousand men. The soul of one 
man, the Apostle Paul, was touched by these thoughts. He 
stood against the Roman Empire, which reached from Germany 
on the north to the wilds of Africa on the soutii, which stretched 
from Great Britain on the west to the Parthian empire in the 
eastern part of Asia. The whole world was shaking beneath 
the triumphant tread of Roman soldiers. Her eagles were flying 
at the head of her victorious legions. 

Human slavery was embedded in the very fibre and woven in 
the very web and woof of the Roman civilization. What could 
one man do against the great, the vast Roman Emjjire? 

But Paul said, "I preach Christ and him crucified." He was 
stoned by a mob, beaten with rods, and beaten with stripes. He 
was shipwrecked three or four times. He floated for a day and 
a night on the great deep. He languished in prison. Bound with 
fetters upon his wrists, a chained and manacled prisoner, he 

Philosophy of the Color Question. 335 

still wrote letters that thrilled and inspired Christendom. He 
faced centurions and Roman governors. He addressed the cul- 
tured Greeks from the historic Mars Hill. The flaming enthu- 
siasm and burning zeal of those Christian martyrs, who went 
singing to be torn in pieces by lions in the Roman Amphitheater, 
and whose burning bodies lighted up the gardens of the infamous 
Nero, penetrated the inmost core and kernel of his being. What 
was the result? Christ, through Paul, conquered the Roman 

And when Rome, weakened by licentious ease, was unable to 
stem the advancing tide of the sturdy, hardy barbarians, and 
yielded to the rugged Goths, who poured over the Roman fron- 
tiers ; Christ, through the Christian religion, which was embodied 
in the Roman civilization, overawed and impressed and conquered 
and tamed the barbaric Teutons. 

I know that this is the age of practical atheism. Men scan 
the heavens with the telescope, they examine plants and microbes 
with the microscope, and they say they see no God. But 
His image is engraved upon the human conscience, and written 
in the ideals of the human heart, and His nature is expressed in 
those moral imperatives which, springing up in the human mind, 
we know not whence, we know not how, are the impulses to all 
human progress. And unless the iron of manhood enters the 
blood of the Negro youth, unless the nerve of manliness is 
incorporated into the sinews and fibres of his moral nature, the 
Negro will never amount to anything. We must have for our 
foundation faith in God, and faith in manliness and womanhood. 
Then we can get all the wealth and buy all the land that we can. 

When Christ said to Peter, "Upon this rock I will build my 
church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it," on 
which Peter was he to build the church? On the timid, hesi- 
tating, doubting and denying Peter? No, but the Peter, whose 
God was a man of war, the Peter who was so rooted and 
grounded in his faith in God that he had the boldness and lionlike 
courage to defy and face a frowning world ; this was the Peter 
on which Christ was to build his church. 

Let us then lay first the foundation, deep and strong, in the 
manhood and womanhood of the race. And then we can add 
wealth and culture, and the comforts and luxuries of life. 

336 The African Abroad. 

When was it that tlie civiHzations of Babylon, Persia, Greece, 
Rome, Constantinople and Spain crumbled away, and when did 
those nations fall before the attacks of other more vigorous 
people? Was it not when they had become enervated by luxury 
and ease and licentiousness? When was it that the Persian, 
Greek, Roman and Spanish soldiers swept opposing armies 
before them as with the onward sweep of a mighty torrent? 
Was it not when those nations were rugged and sturdy and 
strong, were in the youthful period of life and were characterized 
by simplicity and simple tastes ? 

I realize that in an age which has witnessed the invention of 
the telei)hone, telegraph, phonograph, and vitascope, etc. ; I real- 
ize that in an age which has witnessed the marvelous development 
of the material resources of this country and the miraculous 
accumulation of great wealth in the hands of a few indi- 
viduals, the doctrine that the race problem will be solved by the 
colored man's getting wealth, seems very plausible. But money- 
making alone will not solve the race question. 

The Phoenicians were once the traders and merchants of the 
ancient world. Egypt, Persia, Greece and Spain were once 
mighty empires, but wealth did not save them. Babylon once 
reveled and rioted in wealth and luxury. Athens, the home of 
philosophers, orators, statesmen, scholars, artists and poets, was 
once basking in the sunshine of material prosperity. Carthage 
was once the queen of commerce and the mistress of the sea. 
Rome was once blessed by seeing the wealth of the entire w^orld 
pouring at her feet, and the nations of the world prostrating 
themselves before her. Constantinople was once the metropolis 
of the Eastern w^orld. Florence was once a flourishing and art- 
loving city. And yet all of these magnificent cities fell in power, 
and saw their ancient glory fade away. All of them, with one 
exception, heard the tramp of conquering armies within their 
city gates. Go to Babylon, Athens, Carthage, Rome, Constanti- 
nople and I'Morence and you will everywhere see the relics and 
remains of a glory that has departed, of a grandeur that has 
passed away. 

There can be no doubt that wealth gives a man great power 
and influence. A rich man can surround himself with all of 
the comforts and luxuries of life. He can go abroad or to tlie 

Philosophy of the Color Question. 337 

Adirondacks, to California, Colorado and Florida, whenever a 
whim seizes him, or the necessities of his health require it. He 
can buy up orators and writers, lawyers and judges, mayors 
and governors and congressmen and senators. He can control 
the judiciary and corrupt the fountain sources of legislation. 
And David Graham Phillips, in his brilliant articles in the Cosmo- 
politan upon "Treason in the Senate," says that a few multi- 
millionaires, through Senators Depew, Aldrich and Gorman and 
others, have their hands upon the throttle valve of the United 
States Senate. But great as is the power and influence of the 
immensely rich, unless like the Stokes, Thornes, Harrisons, SchifTs 
and Sloanes of New York, the Hazards and the Wetmores of 
Rhode Island, the Masons and Cranes of Massachusetts, and the 
Hearsts of California, their hearts have been touched by the 
humanitarian waves of thought and feeling that have swept over 
the country, their riches avail nothing. 

Then, again, the doctrine that a Negro must acquire property 
before he secures his manhood rights, means that the Negro, 
whose sweat and toil has made possible the Southern aristocracy, 
must acquire wealth to secure the rights that the ragged immi- 
grant secures from the mere fact that he is a man. It further- 
more means that we must take Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, 
Martin Luther, the Pilgrim Fathers, the Revolutionary Fathers, 
the Abolitionists, Phillips Brooks, Richard Salter Storrs, Colonel 
Robert Gould Shaw, George William Curtis, Dante, Milton, 
Carlyle and Emerson down from the lofty pedestals upon which 
the gratitude and common sense of manhood have placed them, 
and admit that they were pursuers of chimeras and mirages. 
It means that a man must be a millionaire before he is a man. 
It means that it is no longer the fashion to estimate and rate 
a man for what he himself is, for his intrinsic worth as a man. 


Some people are confused about the race problem. But I 
believe that it only requires the exercise of a little common sense 
to understand and solve the problem. It seems to me that even 
a child ought to be able to grasp the color question as easily 
as he learns his alphabet. Let us remove the colored glasses of 
our preconceived notions and prejudices and look at the prob- 

338 The African Abroad. 

lem in the clear light of reason. The Xegro is not a dog nor 
a slave, not a monkey nor an ape, not a jackass nor a mule — but 
a man. And hence he deserves not the treatment of a dog, slave, 
monkey, ape, jackass, or mule — but a man's treatment. Let us 
no longer lump all of the Negroes in a mass and treat all alike. 
But let us recognize inrlividual differences and treat colored 
men and women as individuals. Let us give each colored person 
the education, training, treatment and opportunities that his 
talents, ability and character, his natural tastes and aptitudes and 
inclinations require that he should have. If we banish to the 
limbo of exploded ideas the theory, regnant in the days of 
slavery, that the Negro is a soulless brute, no longer wmU the 
ghost of Negro domination or the nightmare of social equality 
disturb our peaceful slumbers. The members of New York's 
Four Hundred do not invite the Irish immigrants to their social 
functions. The descendants of the old Puritans, who came over 
in the Mayfiozcer, do not entertain the Jewish banana vender in 
their parlors, and yet they treat them as human beings and not 
as beasts of the field. 

This is all that the brother in black asks. It is not an abstract 
question of theoretical rights ; but the simple, practical question 
as to whether the Negro is or is not a man. Our Anglo-Saxon 
friends are shocked and surprised when they see a colored man 
manifesting manliness and spirit and sensitiveness. It seems 
now to be political heresy for a colored man to emulate the spirit 
of the heroes of the Anglo-Saxon race. And a colored man who 
is interested in literature, art and philosophy is dreaded as if he 
were an anarchist or fire-eater. 

All my life, I have in the grammar and high schools, in the 
college and graduate schools, been taught by white men, and sat 
by the side of white students. Now the Anglo-Saxon ideals of 
manliness have become part of my mental and moral constitution. 
No man can study in Yale or Harvard without being affected by 
the atmosphere and catching the spirit of these two institutions 
of learning. Besides, my ancestors on both my mother's and 
father's side were high-minded and high-spirited people. My 
parents, grandparents and six of my great-grandparents never 
groaned under the yoke of slavery, never trembled with fear at 
a master's frown, never heard the crack or felt the sting of a 

Philosophy of the Color Question. 339 

slave-driver's whip, never bled under the lash, nor shuddered 
at the far-off bay of the dreaded bloodhound. And old Enoch 
Jefferson, my g-reat-g^randfather, resolved one day to be his own 
master. He rose in the dignity, strength and majesty of his 
manhood, threw off the yoke of slavery, and stepped forth a free 
man. It is reported that he spent one Sunday in the woods and 
by the creek planning his escape. He returned home Sunday 
night. His master asked him where he had been. He said to 
church. His master asked him what the text was. Enoch 
replied, "You shall look for me in the morning and shall not 
find me." Sure enough, next morning, Enoch was missing. He 
had taken the wings of the morning and departed for parts 
unknown. This story has been repeated in different parts of the 
country. But I understand that my ancestor actually uttered 
these words. He was the father of about a dozen boys and six 
daughters. Most of his sons and many of his grandsons became 
farmers. His son David, who lives in Middletown, Del., and my 
grandfather Enoch became very successful farmers. The Jef- 
fersons in Delaware excelled as brickmakers, farmers, wrestlers 
and athletes. My grandfather Enoch and his wife were raised 
and trained by Philadelphia Quakers, and I suppose that is why 
their ideals were so high. His wife was one half Indian, one 
quarter Negro, and one quarter Caucasian. My grandfather, 
David Ferris, was a hard worker, and a fiery preacher. His 
ancestors were emancipated at the time of the Revolutionary 
War. Coming from such a splendid stock, and being bred and 
born in New England, being saturated with New England tradi- 
tions, admiring Samuel Adams and Israel Putnam, even as a 
schoolboy, is it strange that I have absorbed and assimilated the 
white man's aggressive spirit and ideals, while I still retain the 
Negro's buoyant, optimistic and hopeful nature? 

Professor Ladd, Professor Duncan, Professor Sneath, Profes- 
sor Sumner, Dean Wright and Dean Phillips of Yale, and 
the other Yale professors, gave me a sound philosophy. But 
Thomas Carlyle. Frederick Douglass, Alexander Crummell, and 
George T. Downing developed the combative instinct which was 
born in me. But I believe that Professor DuBois has had as 
much influence over my ideals as any other man. When I heard 
him read his paper upon "The Conservatism of Race Traits, 

34° The African Abroad. 

and Tendencies of tlie Negro," at a meeting of the American 
Negro Academy in Washington, in March, 1897, I trained my 
guns upon DuBois and severely criticised him. But the more I 
reflected the more truth I saw in his views. Dean Everett, Pro- 
fessor Royce, and Professor Jaines of Harvard broadened my 
conception of life. But the strenuous spirit of iny great-grand- 
father, Enoch JelTerson, who burst asunder the bonds of slavery, 
lives in me, and that is why, while I admire Booker T. W'ash- 
ington for the consummate ability with which he organized and 
marshalled his forces at Tuskeegee, I cannot accept his view that 
the Negro should remain at the foot of the ladder, should extol 
as blessings in disguise, Jim Crow cars, and should give up the 
ballot and ofiiceholding. 

I look at the situation philosophically. The white man in the 
South dominates the Negro psychologically and the Negro must 
adapt and adjust himself to him, because he has the wealth, the 
government and press on his side. But sooner or later the day 
must come — it will come, when the civil and political status of the 
Negro will be determined, not by the color of his skin, but by his 
intrinsic worth as a man. What the Negro has to do is to make 
the most of his present opportunities, and never lose sight of the 
fact that the ultimate solution of the color question will never be 
found until he has all of the rights guaranteed him by the four- 
teenth and fifteenlh amendments, and is clothed with the full 
paraphernalia of manhood. 

I believe that the race question will be brought to a focus and 
a crucial test in Georgia, and that Georgia will be the battle- 
ground and storm-center where the problems centering around 
the civil and political rights will be fought out. The situation 
is more acute and the friction between the races greater in 
Georgia than in any other State. In the first place, there are 
more wealthy and educated Negroes in Georgia than in any other 
State. Then the white men in Georgia taunt and goad and wave 
the red flag before the Negro more than they do in Beaufort. 
Charleston, Summcrvillc. Orangeburg, Denmark, or Georgetown, 
South Carolina, or some towns in North Carolina. Florida, and 
Kentucky. I don't say that there is any more prejudice in Geor- 
gia than in the other States. But the Georgian does not sugar- 
coat his pills, or administer his medicine in homoeopathic doses 

Philosophy of the Color Question. 341 

He is not as courteous and as polite as the South Carolina aris- 
tocrat. And one will see the haughty, arrogant spirit, the con- 
tempt of the Caucasian for the Negro, in its plain, unvarnished 
simplicity in Georgia. Thus the Negro, except in Savannah, 
Brunswick and Darien, is irritated more in Georgia than in the 
two Carolinas, Kentucky and Florida; and the Georgia Negro 
is intelligent and wealthy enough to be manly and self-assertive. 
Hence there is likely to be an interesting development in Georgia. 
Then again, there are in Georgia men like Rev. H. S. Bradley, 
D.D., of Atlanta, Judge E. H. Callaway of Augusta, Ga., Attor- 
ney D. L. Clarke and Colonel J. H. Estill of Savannah, Ga., who 
believe in giving the Negro a man's chance in life, and that is all 
that a sensible man wants. 

Editor B. J. Davis, of the Atlanta Independent, in the issue of 
April 19th, in an able editorial under the headlines, "The Case 
is Made, and Burden of Proof is upon the Negro," says : "The 
celebration (referring to the twenty-fifth jubilee celebration at 
Tuskeegee) demonstrates beyond cavil this moral certainty, the 
white man North and South has agreed upon the solution of the 
Negro problem. Both sections have agreed to put it up to the 
black man and leave it to him to fix his status in the social 
order upon his neighbors and compel the estimate that they shall 
place upon his worth as a man and citizen. Instead of depend- 
ing on self, the Negro, to his hurt, depended too much upon the 
Republican party, and for something to happen out of the ordi- 
nary in Yankeedom." Now, Editor Davis in a very able man- 
ner unravels his text. It applies to any man, black or white, that 
he must acquire the wealth, the education, the character and man- 
liness that the community requires and demands in those it would 
respect and honor. But it seems to me this editorial really begs 
the question and dodges the main issue. The Negro confronts 
the bars of race prejudice. Suppose his Caucasian neighbors tell 
the Negro, "thus high shalt thou rise, and no higher" ; suppose 
the decree goes out, that not even the wealthy and educated 
Negroes can hold ofiice in the South ; suppose the Negro is dis- 
franchised, under terms that are contrary to the spirit and the 
letter of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the Federal 
Constitution ; suppose Jim Crow car laws are passed that fly in 
the face of interstate commerce laws, — what then ? 

342 The African Abroad. 

There are two classes of men and women in the world. There 
are tiiose who believe in submitting and succumbing to the exist- 
ing moral, religious, social and political evils, and there are those 
who believe in a finish fight with injustice and unrighteousness. 
They believe in going into the battle determined to conquer or 
(lie. They believe in winning out, or going down with their 
colors tiying and banners floating to the breeze. I will admit 
that there are times when a man must stoop to conquer. But 
generally the soldiers who go into battle determined, in the words 
of the Spartan mother, to return with their shields or upon 
them, are the winners in life's battles as well as in war. 

The man who impresses his convictions, his ideas, and ideals, 
and hopes and aspirations upon his fellows, and dominates his 
associates by the sheer force of his own transcendent personality, 
is the real maker of history. 

William Pitt the elder, called the Great Commoner, afterwards 
made the Earl of Chatham, is my ideal leader. He swayed men 
by appealing to their imagination, by charging them with his 
own faith and enthusiasm, his own passion and patriotism. If 
a man is to bring a message to men and implant in them his own 
fundamental and basal ideas regarding life and its meaning, he 
must be something more than a tactful diplomat or clever com- 
promiser. To be an intellectual and moral force in the world 
a man must be free to assert his individuality. A man whose 
individuality has lost its color and flavor is like a faded rose 
which has parted with its fragrance and sweetness. 

Now the problem is, can this ideal of manhood be realized by a 
colored man in the South and in a colored college ? Can a 
colored man be a man here? An independent thinker, who, like 
the Hebrew prophets of old, speaks with a "Thus-saith-the-Lord" 
authority and blazes a path through the unknown, is always a 
potent factor in civilization, always a force to be reckoned with. 
Julius Cajsar, Oliver Cromwell, John Calvin, and Napoleon 
Bonaparte, at certain crises of history, saw that to be masters 
of the situation and control the discordant elements, they must lay 
aside their democratic and republican ideals and inaugurate an 
imj^erialistic form of government, with the seat of authority 
residing in one man. They burned their bridges behind them, 
carried the war into Africa, bearded the lion in his den, took the 
bull by the horns, and came off victors. 

Philosophy of the Color Question. 343 

The prophets Hke Paul, Mohammed, Calvin, and Wesley, the 
soldiers like Caesar, Napoleon and William the Conqueror, the 
religious heroes like Luther and Cromwell, the statesmen like 
William Pitt the elder, who possess an irrepressible individuality, 
who do not get discouraged and disheartened when obstacles and 
opposition loom up before them in gigantic proportions, but in 
whom all the lion in their natures rises at the sight of difficulties, 
who gather all of their forces together, and hurl themselves 
against the obstacles and drive through the opposition with the 
force of a moving catapult or flying wedge, these are the great 
captains of history and the epoch-makers. 

It is no doubt true that it is the height of absurdity and fool- 
hardiness for a man to lower his head and run at full tilt against 
a mountain; it is suicidal for a man to stand in the middle of 
the track and crash into a locomotive coming at full speed, as an 
angry bull and an English bull dog once did. But history teaches 
us that the men who, when they have a fighting chance to win, 
go into the fray and risk their lives, their all, — go in determined 
to come out conquerors or meet their Waterloo, usually turn 
seeming defeat into victory, as Caesar and Napoleon more than 
once did, as William the Conqueror did at Hastings and Phil 
Sheridan did at Winchester. It is related that at the Battle of 
Hastings the report spread amongst the Norman invaders that 
William the Conqueror was slain. This scattered and disorgan- 
ized them. But, in a voice of thunder, William cried out, "I 
live and by God's grace will conquer yet!" He rallied his dis- 
heartened forces and won out on that memorable day at Hastings. 
Why IS it? 

There is no one quality of the human mind that is so con- 
tagious as courage. The preacher, the statesman, the reformer, 
the soldier, who possesses an unconquerable and indomitable 
spirit, who never gives up, who never knows defeat, who never 
says die, can charge a thousand, yea a million men with his 
own faith and passion, his own zeal and enthusiasm. Thou- 
sands will flock to his banners and rally around his standards. 
That is why the mighty minds and great souls of history domi- 
nate their fellows and followers in the way that they do. The 
weaker natures gravitate towards the stronger by as irresistible 
a law of gravitation as that which draws the needle to the magnet 

344 The African Abroad. 

or compels the tidal waves of the sea to obey the resistless pull 
of the moon. What is the secret of eloquence? It is not the 
voice, the elocution, the gesture, the thoughts, the words and 
rhetoric that explain the secret of the orator's spell or the preach- 
er's power. The magic wand by which the orator sways listen- 
ing thousands is a psychic influence. He communicates his 
mind, his soul, his spirit to his hearers, and by the force of his 
individuality and personality impresses his ideas and convictions 
upon those who come within the radius of his influence. His 
soul illumines his features and transfigures his voice. That is 
why his countenance is radiant and his voice magnetic. 

]\Iilton's Satan is the real hero of his "Paradise Lost," in fact 
the most powerful character, the most heroic figure in poetry 
and fiction. The unconquerable, indomitable, invincible, daunt- 
less and defiant spirit that he exhibited when he had been hurled 
over the battlements of Heaven into Hell, has challenged the 
admiration of the world. How eloquently does Milton describe 
his fall and dauntless resolution ! 

Him the Almighty power 
Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky, 
With hideous ruin and combustion, down 
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell 
In adamantine chains and penal fire. 
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms. 
Nine times the space that measures day and night 
To mortal men, he, with his horrid crew, 
Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf. 
Confounded, though immortal. But his doom 
Reserved him to more wrath ; for now the thought 
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain 
Torments him : round he throws his baleful eyes 
That witnessed huge affliction and dismay. 
Mixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate. 

At once, as far as Angels ken, he views 

The dismal situation waste and wild. 

A dungeon horrible, on all sides round, 

As one great furnace flamed ; yet from those flames 

No light ; but rather darkness visible 

Served only to discover sights of woe, 

Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace 

And rest can never dwell, hope never comes 

That comes to all, but torture without end 

Philosophy of the Color Question. 345 

Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed 
With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed. 

There the companions of his fall, o'ervvhelmed 
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, 
He soon discerns, and, weltering by his side, 
One next himself in power, and next in crime, 
Long after known in Palestine and named Beelzebub. 

Is Satan discouraged? Mark how he holds discourse with the 
arch fiend Beelzebub : • 

Since, through experience of this great event, 
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced, 
We may with more successful hope resolve 
To wage by force or guile eternal war, 
Irreconcilable to our grand Foe, 
Who now triumphs, and in the excess of Joy 
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven. 

Consult how we may henceforth most ofifend 
Our Enemy, our own loss how repair, 
How overcome this dire calamity, 
What reinforcement we may gain from hope. 

Though Milton wrote "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Regained" 
to justify the ways of God to man, nevertheless the Puritan poet 
who, when fallen upon evil days, when some of his friends had 
been imprisoned and others executed, when his enemies were 
upon the throne and in the saddle, did not abate one jot of heart 
or hope; thus Alilton, I say, unconsciously breathed his own 
heroic nature, his own intrepid spirit into the being that he 
intended to represent as the Prince of Devils, the defier of the 
Powers of the Universe. Milton intended to represent him as 
the Prince of Demons, instead he made him the King of Fighters. 
The whole world loves and admires a fighter. I don't know 
whom to pity the most, the Indian or the Negro. The Indian 
played the lion, was exterminated, and now is admired and 
honored by the entire world. The Negro played the lamb, sur- 
vived and is now despised and proscribed in America as is no 
other race or class of people in the world. I believe the Negro 
assumed the wiser but less heroic role. Too often, though, the 
Negro leaders have been sickening in their ser\'ile sycophancy, 
sickening in their cowardly cringing. 

346 The African Abroad. 

Why, my j^^randfatlier, David Ferris, although only a steve- 
dore and local Methodist preacher, had a spirit within him that 
might well put to shame these latter-day saints. It was no doubt 
true that he regarded the whipping of his boys as a religious 
duty, and consecrated and made too much of a religious ceremony 
over a mere whipping, for he would first read the scripture, 
preach a short sermon to them, whip them, and then pray over 
them. But he was the type of the soldiers who formed the 
backbone of Oliver Cronnvell's "Ironsides." Men had to respect 
the "House of the Lord" when he preached. One night some 
brothers began to quarrel in the church. He said "Go slow, 
brethren, go slow." They began to fight : he said again and 
again, in ever louder tones, as he approached nearer and nearer 
to the combatants. "Go slow, brethren, go slow." He was a 
tall, powerful man. and as graceful and as supple as a dancing 
master. They wouldn't heed him, and finally he pitched and 
plunged into the fray. He picked up first one and then the 
other; and threw them out of the door. There were no more 
fiirhts when he conducted the services in the ^Methodist Church. 
Now, I believe that the younger breed of Negroes need some of 
his sterling qualities. 

Some think that the race problem will be solved by the Negroes 
becoming a race of spineless and flexible-kneed sycophants. I 
notice that if a dog can't fight, nearly every dog in the neigh- 
borhood will jump on him, and send him home howling. If a 
boy is cowardly, nearly every boy in the school will kick and 
cuflf him about. If a man is soft and mushy and short in the 
vertebrate column, he will be used as a football and a doormat. 
It requires a man, and not a weakling, to stand the stress and 
storm, the rivalry and competition of modern life. The men to 
stand the struggle for existence must be made of stern stuff and 
cast in a heroic mould. 

The moulding of an enlightened public sentiment will solve the 
race question. Now. no one will be so potent in affecting public 
opinion in his own behalf as the colored man himself. It is not 
enough that he be a producer in the agricultural, industrial, com- 
mercial, manufacturing world, not enough that he be a creator 
in the world of letters, art, music and science, but he must 
manifest and exhibit manliness. The main reason why the 

Philosophy of the Color Question. 347 

Negro is despised and looked down upon by his Anglo-Saxon 
neighbors is not because of his color and hair, his illiteracy and 
poverty, but because he and his ancestors so tamely and cowardly 
submitted to chattel slavery. As many degrees as the Negro 
race rises in manliness and courage, just so many degrees will 
the thermometer of the Anglo-Saxon's respect, admiration and 
appreciation for the Negro rise. 

I do not mean that colored leaders should wave the bloody shirt 
and stir up race riots in the South. On the other hand, I dis- 
approve of Negro educators who are running around the country 
soliciting funds, painting the South as an earthly paradise, a New 
Jerusalem, for the colored brother, where the lamb and the lion 
lie down together and where Leibnitz's preestablished harmony 
prevails. It is advisable for the Southern Negro, who is in 
the lion's den, to move with caution, circumspection and discre- 
tion for the present and acquiesce in existing conditions. But 
it seems to me to be injudicious for colored leaders to extol 
as "blessings in disguise," and laud to the skies, the despotism 
that crushes them down. 

The Return of the Scholar and Dreams of my Boyhood. 

Now, some critics and friends of the brother in black say that 
the Ncj::^ro will never follow his own leaders, that colored men 
of the lar^^er vision stand alone, and are a generation in advance 
of their race. This is partly true and partly false. Immediately 
after his emancipation, the Negro had a hunger and thirst for 
education. He followed his political leader blindly. He rever- 
enced the colored educator, and worshipped the colored states- 
man. Why, twenty-five years ago, when I began to learn my 
A, B, C's, the speeches of Congressman R. Brown Elliott, in 
behalf of the civil rights of the Negro, were electrifying the 
country, and twenty years ago, when I was rolling my hoop, and 
playing hide and seek, on the New Haven playgrounds, the 
Negro press and pulpit were ringing with the praises of Presi- 
dent Scarborough, who wrote a Greek text-book. Then a mere 
youngster, I heard of Douglass and Elliott, the Negro statesmen, 
of Garnett, Crummell, Bassett, Bouchet, Greener, and Scarbor- 
ough, the Negro scholars. Then, a mere schoolboy, I made up 
my mind that I would some day be a scholar. I didn't know what 
the word scholar meant. But I remember hearing the Methodist 
preachers, who dined at my father's house, say, ''Scarborough is 
a scholar/' emphasizing the last word. Then I remember hear- 
ing Rev. Mr. Jackson say "Rev. Laws is a coming scholar." H you 
had asked me then, what is a scholar, I would have replied, "A 
scholar is a man who is bigger than a preacher." As I grew older 
the meaning of that mystic, mysterious, unfathomable word 
"scholar" gradually dawned upon me. 

But seventeen years ago, with the rise of the gospel of indus- 
trialism and the spread of the industrial wave over the country, 
the entire Negro race was swept off its feet and swamped. Dr. 
Crummell wittily said that no one would imagine that the Negro 
for years had been dining on terrapin, sleeping on beds of eider- 
down, having breakfast served to hin\ in his room, and having 
a barber come up to shave him at 2 p. m.. while he still reclined 
on his couch, and was just now awakening to the fact that he 


5: 2 




o i 

The Return of the Scholar. 349 

must work out his own salvation and earn his Hving by the sweat 
of his brow. Then the Negro, obeying the old slave impulse 
which made him worship the fellow slaves who had won his 
master's approval and look down upon those who had won his 
master's disapproval and carry tales from the kitchen to the 
"Big House," began to despise culture and scholarship and to 
treat the scholars and thinkers in his own race with a degree of 
contempt that surprised even the white people of both the North 
and South. The men who spent studious days and laborious 
nights, who burnt the midnight oil, were ignored and not appreci- 
ated at their face value. Soon a set of Afro-American sophists, 
having their headquarters in Washington, and branch offices in 
a few other cities, issued the edict and sent out the decree: "No 
man who believes in the higher education of the Negro and his 
civil and political rights can secure a position as teacher in the 
Washington schools, or a government position in Washington. 
We will hound and persecute and blackguard and vilify any man 
who does not agree with Booker T. Washington in every particu- 
lar. We will crush and annihilate the Negro scholar or orator 
that dares to think for himself, and calls his soul his own." They 
illustrated the saying, "Envy despises the excellence it cannot 

This was the reign of little men. Then the men who possessed 
more flippancy than brains, who were more smart than wise ; 
then the men of imposing appearance and pompous manners, 
who strutted like peacocks and posed and paraded and masquer- 
aded as great men, like the ass in the lion's skin in ^sop's fables, 
had their day. 

But old Abe Lincoln, the Solon of the nineteenth century, said, 
"You can fool some of the people all of the time, you can fool all 
of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the 
people all of the time." The people saw that their educational 
and political leaders were feathering their own nests, fattening 
their own cribs, and leaving the people to starve. Then the 
people cried, "Oh, God, give us an honest and courageous 
leader!" And God raised up William Monroe Trotter and sent 
them the Boston Guardian. 

The Greeks said, "A little learning is a dangerous thing. 
Drink deep or taste not of the Pierian springs." The people 

35° The African Abroad. 

saw that their supposedly wise counsellors were merely sounding 
brass and tinkling cymbal, that the so-called leaders possessed the 
external manifestations of culture but not the real article itself, 
possessed a thin veneer of refinement, and a superficial layer of 
polish, but lacked wisdom and insight. Then the people cried, 
"Oh, God, send us a scholar and thinker to lead us!" And God 
raised up DuBois and sent them "The Souls of Black Folk." 
Yes, desi)ite the shallow superficiality of the American ideals, 
which the Negroes have blindly imitated, the scholars, philoso- 
phers, thinkers and writers will have their day again, as they have 
ruled the world in times past and gone. And the real leaders 
in the country and in the Negro race will be men of thought and 
scholarship. The old maxim was, "The pen is mightier than the 
sword. A public school is a better safeguard than a standing 
army." The new maxim will be, "The pen is mightier than the 
American dollar. The thinker is the High Priest of modern 

Too often our Southern Negro schools and colleges do not 
appreciate real scholarship and the pupils only get a smattering 
of an education, instead of a thorough grounding in literature and 
science, history and psychology, economics and sociology. And 
that is why they have sent out so few scholars and writers of note 
and distinction. That is why the Negro race in America has 
only produced one writer who has in a preeminent degree that 
quality which Matthew Arnold would call "magic of style." I 
refer to DuBois, whom Harvard developed and Germany ripened. 
Too often that manliness that Thomas Arnold inculcated in the 
students of Rugby, that Thomas Arnold illustrated in Tom 
Brown's school, that the Duke of Wellington praised in the stu- 
dents of Eton and Harrow, is not emphasized in Negro schools 
and colleges. 

Many of our Anglo-Saxon friends are shocked because igno- 
rant, illiterate and superstitious Negroes do not kindle with enthu- 
siasm or fully appreciate the scholars and thinkers of the race. 
They are inclined to believe that an educated Negro is a failure, if 
he is not fully understood by and very popular with the masses of 
his own race. They would not expect a Yale or Harvard profes- 
sor to be appreciated at his face value by the residents of the 
Bowery and Tenderloin districts of New York, and by the rank 

The Return of the Scholar. 35' 

and file of Tammany Hall. They are not shocked if a college pro- 
fessor goes into ward politics and is snowed under .by a petty 
ward politician. They would not expect an Oxford or Cam- 
bridge professor to be idolized and lionized in the Whitehall 
district of London. Hence it need occasion no surprise if colored 
scholars are not deified and apotheosized by crude, primitive and 
untutored Negroes of a mercurial temperament, ever craving a 
new sensation. So, then, we must judge the scholars and thinkers 
of the race by the impression that they produce upon men and 
women of solid attainments, culture, and character, by the impres- 
sion they produce upon the poor, the humble and distressed, rather 
than by the estimate that shallow, superficial, half-educated and 
conceited upstarts form of them. 

I try never to be a pessimist or a cynic, because life is like a 
game of football — as long as you keep your feet, they can't hurt 
you and you can keep going, but if once you fall, not only is 
your progress impeded, but the whole eleven will pile on top of 
you. If you lose in the battle of life, it is because you don't 
keep your feet. Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and 
you weep alone, is a much quoted but true saying. Whenever 
you bask in the sunshine of prosperity, men and women draw near 
to you, in order that you may shed some lustre upon them. But 
when the sun of popularity goes down upon you, when the 
sun goes down upon your greatness, they will desert you and 
scan the horizon, looking in the east for the rising of another 
luminary. Mark how slow the world was to recognize and appre- 
ciate the genius of Wagner, Carlyle, Millet, Turner, Grant and 
Sherman ! Whenever you find a man a pessimist, you can usually 
set it down to the fact that he was born with a morbid, brooding 
disposition, or else the world has soured upon him. But looking 
at the matter from a calm, cool, dispassionate, from the objective 
point of view, I must say that during the past ten years I have 
watched the attitude of the American mind change towards the 
educated Negro, from one of kindly sympathy to that of severe 
criticism and positive hostility. Fortunately the pendulum is 
beginning to swing back again. I remember when I was a 
schoolboy and college student, if a colored student or scholar 
possessed literary and artistic tastes or manifested the ability and 
the desire to grapple with and grasp political, sociological, psycho- 

352 The African Abroad. 

logical and philosophical problems, it was regarded as an intellec- 
tual achievement and an advance of the colored brother in the 
intellectual world. But it is not so to-day. And the Negro imi- 
tator has out-IIeroded Herod, and outdone his Caucasian masters 
in pouring contcmi)t and ridicule upon those of his own race who 
aspired after the highest and best things in the American and 
Anglo-Saxon civilization. The colored scholar has stood alone, 
running the gauntlet of two hostile groups ; on the one side 
pelted by those of his own race not cultured enough to under- 
stand and appreciate him, on the other side clubbed by those of 
the Anglo-Saxon race who thought that he was eating of the for- 
bidden fruit of knowledge. They have almost driven him out 
of Paradise and stationed an angel at the gates, with flaming 
sword, to prevent his return. 

In his essay upon heroism, Emerson says that many extraor- 
dinary young men never ripen. He says that when we hear 
them talk of books and life, etc., we expect great things of these 
youthful giants, who seem sent to work revolutions. But the 
world has its revenge, the moment they put their fiery steeds 
of the sun to plough in its furrows. They enter an active pro- 
fession and the forming colossus shrinks to the common size 
of man. This is especially true of the young colored graduate, 
who leaves the idealistic university atmosphere and faces a cold, 
hard, indifferent and unsympathetic world. 

A few brilliant and talented colored men have lost hope, and 
given up in despair, sinking to waiters and bellmen and railroad 
porters and janitors. But others have hung on with a grim deter- 
mination, and fought a hard, uphill figiit, confident that the battle 
belongs not to the swift nor to the strong, but to him that 
endureth to the end ; possessing the indomitable, unconquerable 
spirit, which, when a mountain of difficulty looms up before them, 
only causes them to knit their brows, grit their teeth and strike 
the harder ; possessing the splendid, last-ditch courage of a Napo- 
leon, who, when thirty thousand Prussians swept across the field 
on the fatal day at Waterloo, as the battle was wavering in the 
balance, instead of retreating in order, only gathered the Old 
Guard together, insjiired it with his own dauntless, defiant 
si)irit, breathed into it his own reckless daring and hurled it 
against the combined armies of England and Prussia, staking 

The Return of the Scholar. 353 

his all, and risking his fortunes on the outcome of that last 
desperate charge. 

It is said, that as the mantle of night was spreading itself over 
the battlefield, enveloping everything in darkness and gloom, a 
lone figure stood in the middle of the read, pleading, gesticu- 
lating, vainly attempting to stay and turn back the tide of terrified 
and frightened soldiers who fled from the scene of battle, 
throwing away everything. And then when he saw that his 
efforts v/ere fruitless, he rushed frantically back to the thickest 
of the fray, to charge, one lone man against the triumphant and 
advancing Prussians ; but kind friends forced and drew him 
back. It was Napoleon. Does anyone wonder why the poor, 
unknown Corsican boy became the general and statesman who 
mastered the situation in France, changed the map of Europe, 
and had kings and queens waiting in his ante-chambers as suppli- 
cants before him? It took the losses of the Moscow campaign 
and the combined armies of almost entire Europe to overpower 
the man for whose sake thousands of soldiers would perform 
superhuman deeds of valor. 

I have traveled considerably in the North, the South and the 
middle West. And I can truthfully say, that I believe that the 
New England ideal of manhood and womanhood is the highest 
and noblest ever evolved in America, if not in the entire world. 
If it were a little broader on the color question, Charleston aris- 
tocracy would rival Boston culture. Whenever I tarry long in 
the Southland, I have a longing to get back to New England 
and brush up against civilization again. I do hope the day will 
come when the New England type of manhood and womanhood 
will be realized in the Southland, when the Negro church and 
Negro school, like the Crisis, Guardian and kindred papers, will 
be the medium for the expression and development of personality 
and individuality. Now, unless a man is free to assert his indi- 
viduality, free to develop the dominant tendencies of his per- 
sonality, free to express his fundamental ideas and convictions, 
he is an intellectual and moral slave. He will then get stuck 
fast in the conventional ruts and grooves of opinion. Intellectual 
and moral stagnation will result, and he will not grow and 
develop intellectually and morally. The great need among the 
Negro race, especially in the Southland, is the presence of 

354 The African Abroad. 

writers, of a literary class, the representatives of advanced 
thought and scholarship, who will do for the Southern Negroes 
what Emerson and George William Curtis did for America and 
New York ; what Carlyle, Matthew Arnold and Ruskin did for 
England and what Goethe and Fichte did for Germany. If the 
colored farmer in the South possessed the intelligence and sturdy 
independence of the New England farmers, if the colored educa- 
tors in the South possessed the literary tastes and manly inde- 
pendence of the New England college professor, the race would 
evolve such a high type of manhood and womanhood that his 
Caucasian neighbor would be constrained to respect him. 

People seem to overlook the fact that the ministers, teachers, 
editors, lawyers, physicians and business men are the leaders of 
the Negro race, and that upon the kind of education and training 
that is given them will depend the salvation of the masses. 

While the training and education of a ripe colored scholar is 
too far in advance of tiie rank and file of his race for him to 
be appreciated at his face value at present ; while the jealousy 
and misrepresentations of the intermediaries between him and tlie 
masses he tries to uplift occasionally causes the life of a profound 
thinker to be wasted, and his time spent in vain, in the Southland; 
while it will be twenty-five years before colored scholars will be 
honored among their people as white scholars are revered in 
New England, it is a hopeful sign that even the colored farmers 
and laboring men in the South are getting tired of half-educated 
demagogues and shallow, superficial leaders, and are crying out 
for preachers and teachers of wisdom and scholarship. The 
Southern Negroes never will forget that the masses of the 
Negroes ought to become proficient in the agricultural and 
meciianical pursuits and should strive to acquire wealth, but th.e 
demand is growing stronger each year for trained and cultured 
and thoughtful leaders. The colored man of literary tastes and 
aspirations will yet have his day. 

The industrial fad, the stop-thinking craze, like an intermittent 
fever, has run its course, so far as the colored people are con- 
cerned. Even the untutored masses of the Negro race see that 
they need trained minds as well as trained hands, cultivated 
brains as well as brawny muscles, to succeed in the battle of life 
and make money on a large scale. Shrines will be erected to 

The Return of the Scholar. 355 

the scholars of the race. The words of the philosophers will be 
treasured as the Greek people treasured the oracular sayings of 
the Delphic priestesses, and the thinkers will be revered as in 
days of old as liigh priests. 

This volume is sent out as an educational document, for tlie 
purpose of giving- the Anglo-Saxon friends of the colored 
brother a thread to guide them through the mazes of the labyrinth 
of the color question, and of kindling anew in the colored man's 
heart the altar fires of hope and inspiration, which have been 
burning faint and low. 


Is there Place and Roovi in the South for a Negro of Strong 
Individuality and Masterful Personality f No. 

The Nortliern philanthropists bcHeve that all of the colored 
men educated in Northern universities oui^ht to go South and be 
missionary teachers or preachers. Theoretically the South is the 
])lace for the educated Xegro, but practically it is not. The South 
is narrow, provincial, conservative, and non-progressive. And 
in the South there is an inaccessibility to new ideas, a distrust 
of innovations, and a hostility to the importation of foreign and 
Xorthern ideas, usages and customs. 

Neither in religion, education, politics, manners, morals, social 
customs nor usages does the South desire a change. This is true 
of both colored and white. 

If a man goes South and falls in with the ways and customs 
and traditions of the South, he will meet with a warm and 
cordial reception. But if he attempts to introduce and import 
New England ideals and traditions, sometimes the clannish spirit 
in the Southern white man and Southern Negro will assert itself 
and they will unite in an organized opposition. Sometimes the 
Negroes will starve him out ; the whites will run him out or 
string him up to a tree. Starvation, death or e.xile usually stares 
in the face the white or colored man from the North who pos- 
sesses individuality or personality. Just recall the fate of the 
heroic Rev. Mr. Ransom of Boston, Mass. 

If a man has a passive or negative individuality, if he desires 
to be a spectator and not an actor in the drama of life, if he 
desires to live in a place where competition is not keen, where 
the struggle for existence is not intense, where people take life 
easy and do not have nervous prostration, and where land is 
cheap, the South is the place for a Negro. But for the young 
man of ideas, ambitions, push and energy, for a young man wb.o 
desires to be a positive factor in civilization, the North, East 
and West are the places for him. 

The South and Strong Individuality. 357 

This is no gloomy or pessimistic picture, no prejudiced or 
biased account of Southern hfe and ide^ils. In the commercial, 
scientific, intellectual, literary, educational, and religious worlds, 
the South has lagged behind the North, and has never been in 
the vanguard of progress. 

Few of the men who have shaped the political and religious 
life and thought, and none of the men who have directed tlie 
intellectual and commercial life of the country, have come from 
the South. Towns like Greensboro, N. C, Savannah and Atlanta, 
Ga., Jacksonville, Fla., JJirmingham, Ala., and Louisville, Ky., 
which have felt and responded to the throbbing pulse of modern 
commercial life, have usually owed their business activity and 
wide-awake progressive air to Northern and Jewish brains and 
capital. I have talked with more than one Southern white man 
and heard him say, "This would be a fine town if we had some 
Yankee capital and brains to develop its resources." There is 
much in the Southern white man that I admire: I admire his 
courage, chivalry and gallantry, his generosity and hospitality 
and reverence for womanhood. Eut the South is not the scene 
where the great world ideas are being fought out, not the testing 
ground for New England ideals and traditions. 

This need occasion no surprise. For how can it be otherwise 
when freedom of thought and speech are repressed in all the 
South ? When communications with the outside world and con- 
tact with outside ideas are cut off, intellectual, scientific, moral 
and religious growth are impossible. It v/as the blighting hand 
of the Spanish Inquisition, crushing freedom of speech and 
thought and repressing the assertion of individuality, which 
brought about the intellectual, moral and religious stagnation 
and consequent deterioration of national character and caused 
Spain to decay in intellectual power and material splendor and 
to become the ghost of a once glorious past. 

The South has always felt that she had peculiar institutions, 
which are sacred and inviolable and which must not be tampered 
with or touched or criticised. The result is that the connection 
between the South and the world's thought has really been 
cut off. And when the influx of new ideas is checked, when the 
clash between new and old ideas ceases, progress of any kind 
and intellectual and moral growth stops. What the South needs 
is not more religion but more civilization. 

35^ The African Abroad. 

Xine hundred and ninety-nine men out of a thousand are the 
product of their environment. Only one man out of a thousand 
transcends and rises above his environment and shapes and forms 
and fashions for himself an ideal that is hi.i^her than that supplied 
by his immediate environment. Now the Nef^ro, having a plastic, 
imitative, receptive and impressionable nature, absorbs and 
assimilates the South's opposition to progress and the invasion 
of ideas from alien quarters. 

What do I mean by saying that the South is opposed to 
progress? If \vc were to construct a quadrangle and have the 
points located in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and 
Chicago, the territory and section included in the lines running 
between Boston and Xevv York, New York and Philadelphia, 
Philadelphia and Chicago, and Chicago and Boston would be the 
zone of progress, the region where the electric currents and 
waves of thought and feeling are generated, which sweep over 
the country and give rise to progress. Washington and Charles- 
ton, although centers of culture and refinement, are outside of 
this zone, outside of the region which is an incubator or hothouse 
for germinating and fermenting ideas. 

Colored graduates of New England colleges and white ladies 
representing the most cultured and refined homes in New Eng- 
land come South to "uplift" the Southern Negro. They find 
that they must move in certain conventional ruts, grooves and 
channels of opinion and action. Methods of winning a wife or 
husband are prescribed. If they attempt to break through the 
traces and blaze and plough out paths for themselves they will 
find that they are sowing dragon teeth. Sometimes nine-tenths 
of their time and energy and thought is devoted to avoiding 
friction with the Southern whites and catering to the prejudices, 
superstitions and whims and caprices of Southern Negroes, and 
one-tenth to the task of uplifting. There was a colored Congre- 
gational minister of Charleston, S. C, who was a martyr to 
freedom of speech. He was a brilliant preacher, a gifted writer, 
a sympathetic pastor, and an energetic organizer. In Charleston 
he set his lance and tilted against the prejudice which some of 
the light-complexioned colored people have for the dark-com- 
plexioned colored people. What was the fate of this gallant 
ami chivalric minister? They nearly starved him out. They 

The South and Strong Individuality. 359 

vilified him. And poor Rowe died of a broken heart and on the 
ragged edge of impecuniosity, while still in the prime of life. 
His colored friends in Charleston, and he had some in every 
church, rallied and raised the money to send his family to New 
England. I regard Rev. Mr. Rowe as truly a martyr as Lovejoy 
or John Brown. 

It is said that the teachers in Southern schools and colleges and 
pastors of colored churches in the South are on the firing line. 
But I believe they are on the waiting and watching line. That 
sounds like a paradox. But let us see. Are bull dogs that have 
been muzzled, roaring lions whose teeth have been extracted, 
or bulls whose horns have been sawed off, on the fighting line? 
Are soldiers who have been bound and gagged hand and foot or 
who shoot blank cartridges, on the firing line ? Were the colored 
slaves who dug the trenches for the Confederates and carried off 
the wounded during the Civil War, on the firing line? Similarly, 
are colored and white teachers and preachers in the South who 
must repress, rather than express, their individuality, on the firing 

Unless a man can stamp the impress of his personality upon 
other men and inculcate his ideas in their minds, he can not 
profoundly modify his environment, or be an active force in 
the world. In the South the colored teachers in the public schools 
and State colleges often have to crouch or cower under the 
heels of white politicians ; colored teachers in the denominational 
schools and colleges often have to merge or lose their individ- 
uality in that of the principal or president who is over them as 
a sort of feudal lord or baron, and colored preachers sometimes 
have to humiliate themselves and knuckle before ignorant and 
superstitious, antiquated and fossilized trustees and deacons who 
lord it over them. 

His success depends upon how artistically and perfectly he can 
assume the role and don the garb of the tactful, truckling, trim- 
ming and time-serving diplomat. It is true that colored editors, 
teachers, preachers, lawyers, physicians and business men and 
missionar}' teachers from the Xorth do have some influence in 
elevating and broadening the ideals of Southern Negroes. But 
their combined influence is less than that of the immediate envi- 
ronment into which the Southern Negro is born and which his 

360 The African Abroad. 

Caucasian neighbors fashion for him. In nine cases out of ten, 
the words and warninj,^ the advice and example of his Southern 
employer and white neighbor, will have a more potent effect upon 
him than the utterances of his Northern teachers and preachers. 
So, then, if a man or woman desires to really uplift the Southern 
Xegro they must fight at long range. They must return North 
and mould the sentiment and thought of the country regarding 
the color question. This sentiment and thought will react upon 
the Southern whites who dominate the Negro prfychically, and 
their thought and sentiment will react upon the Southern Negro. 
He will go as far as the white man will permit in appropriating 
his ideals. 

The Negro has boundless aspiration and remarkable imitative 
faculties. The only question is, will the Southern white man 
clear the track and open up the avenue for the Negro? The 
Southern white man is the key to the solution of the race 
question. He is the master of the situation. Who captures him 
captures the citadel. He is in the saddle and has the reins of gov- 
ernment in his hands. He has his hands upon the throttle valves 
and holds the trump cards. The question is what will the 
Southern white man do with the Negro, how far will he let 
the Negro advance? And I believe that Boston, the Athens of 
the modern world; Boston, the city whose literary Bible, the 
Ezrnittg Transcript, is read by the workingman ; Boston, the 
storm-center of the Revolutionary and Abolition movement.^ ; 
Boston, the Gibraltar of political and religious liberty; Boston, 
the city which welcomes new inventions and discoveries ; Boston, 
ever on the lookout for new theories and new solutions for old 
problems,— will be the city that will solve the color question. 
Boston will be the pivot around which New England will turn. 
New England will swing the country with her. The South will 
eventually and ultimately enlarge its mental horizon and move 
in the current of the world's thought, and then the brother in 
black will soar upon tlie wings of hope in the empyrean of 


I differ from Mr. Washington in that I hold that Miss Ann's 
son rather than Aunt Hagar's child i- the key to the Southern 
situation. In nine cases out of ten the Southern Negro will 
conform his words and actions to the implied and expressed 

The South and Strong Individuality. 361 

wishes and desires of his Caucasian neighbors. If his white 
neighbor tells him to get wealth, he will buy land, etc. ]\Iassa 
Charles dominates Ephraim psychically almost as much now as 
he did in the slavery days. The Southern Anglo-Saxon exercises 
a sort of hypnotic influence upon his colored brother. The 
Southern white man believes that the Negro is his inferior and 
treats him accordingly. The Negro accepts the white man's esti- 
mate of him and acts accordingly, acts as if he were inferior. 
If ever there was a case of race hypnotism, a case of one race 
hypnotizing another race, we find it in the Southland. I have 
visited over one hundred towns and cities in Virginia, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Kentucky and I 
found only four cities where the colored people evolved their own 
race ideals. Those towns are Wilmington, N. C, Augusta, Ga., 
Savannah, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla. I have not visited Atlanta 
as yet. I am told that the Negroes have evolved a race con- 
sciousness there. Of the small towns, Georgetown and Beaufort, 
S. C, and Darien, Ga., are progressive. 

There is no race that is more completely the product of its 
environment than the Southern Negro. He is of a plastic, elastic 
nature and, surrounded with an ennobling environment, he will 
develop into a noble being. 

It may sound paradoxical to say that Professor DuBois, living 
in New York, is a more potent factor in the race question than 
the Tuskeegee sage or any Negro professor or preacher or editor 
in the South; but it is the truth, nevertheless. If a man can not 
freely give utterance to his deepest convictions in speech and 
writing, if he must tread softly and whisper "shoo, shoo!" like 
a burglar in the dark, why he is a nonentity, a negative quantity, 
a figurehead, even though he be the president of a big college 
or the pastor of a large church. 

If a Northern white man visits the Southland, he will be 
delighted with the warm Southern hospitality. But let him come 
South to teach or preach to Negroes and he will find that he 
is between Scylla and Charybdis. He will face social ostracism 
on the one hand and on the other hand he must conform his 
conduct and words to Southern customs and usages. So we can 
accept it as as an axiomatic truth that there is no room and no 
place in the South for a Northern man with an individuality and 

3^2 The African Abroad. 

personality. The Xortl:, where lie can mould and shape public 
sentiment, is the place for him. If a colored man desires to 
acquire property let him remain South. But if a colored or white 
man is gifted with an analytical mind, if he possesses the power 
of analysis, if he can look beneath the surface and discern the 
silent forces of nature, working and operating, if he is endowed 
with an iron will, if he can plant himself firmly upon his deep 
and fundamental convictions, remaining unmoved though the 
mob may howl and rage and the world may roar and storm at 
him, he will find the North rather than the South the place where 
he can impress his personality and ideas upon men and women. 

In this volume I have taken no thought of pleasing the colored 
man or the white man. I have plainly, bluntly, frankly, and 
boldly stated the things that I know to be essential to the elevation 
and uplifting of the colored brother. I believe that the Xegro 
race has developed intellectually to the extent that it can grasp 
and comprehend the implications of my thought. If it should 
prove, however, that I am too far in advance of the thought life 
of the main body of my race. I can set down my stakes, erect 
my canvas tent, sling my hammock, light my pipe, take a quiet 
smoke, and doze and wait with patience for the advance guard 
of the thinkers of the race to come up to me. 

I am not the only one who sees the defects of the ideal that 
is held up before the Southern Negro. A few years ago a man, 
bred and born in the South, one of the most distinguished edu- 
cators and clergymen in the Negro race, told me that the 
Northern ideal of manhood tended towards confidence in self 
and the assertion of individuality. But he said that the ideal 
held up before the colored student in the Southern colleges was 
crushing. It tended to conformity to a certain prescribed type 
and the emasculation of personality and the power of initiative. 


The Educated Leader the Hope of tl:e Race and the Hero in 
the Strui:;i^lc for Negro Liberty. 

And there is still another reason why there is no room and 
no place in the South, at present, for educated colored men of 
advanced and independent thought, of broad and liberal ideas 
and dynamic force of character, and that is the jealousy, oppo- 
sition, distrust and suspicion of half-educated leaders, who, like 
the ass in the lion's skin in yEsop's fables, pose as thinkers and 
scholars. The thinker in the Negro race will be appreciated by 
the scholars of the race. !Most of the ministers will respect him. 
The ignorant masses will revere and w^orship him, but his efforts 
are constantly thwarted by half-educated, shallow, selfish and 
superficial demagogues, who are jealous of his superior ability 
and scholarship. The curse of the Negro race is its false 
prophets, its political and educational leaders who will compro- 
mise the manhood rights of the brother in black and sell him 
cut for a government job or a contribution to a school. 

The sudden emancipation and enfranciiisement of the Negro 
brought to the front as leaders men whose only equipment 
for leadership was a vigorous pair of lungs, the gift of gab, 
and nerve and brass and assurance that exemplified the motto, 
'"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread." Ignoramuses and 
illiterates masqueraded as Solons and Solomons, and became 
national figures. Alen who couldn't utter a dozen sentences with- 
out butchering the English language became political and relig- 
ious leaders and educators. Men who couldn't w^ite a short 
letter without making ten or twenty grammatical errors became 
secretaries of the deacons' board and chairmen of the trustee 
board of so-called Congregational churches. 

A white man, w-ho can barely read and write and cipher and 
spell, would never look upon himself as a great man. Why, then, 
do the untutored Negroes not manifest the humility of ignorant 
w^hite men in the presence of scholars? I will tell you. I once 
heard of a famous colored divine, a D.D., who had built up a 

364 The African Abroad. 

church of nearly 2,000 members out of nothing. I expected to 
meet a cultured and finished scholar. Instead, I met a fine- 
looking, well dressed, suave, unctious man, who was woefully 
ignorant and illiterate, lie used words of three, four and five 
syllables, and placed them in the wrong places in his sentences. 
Wiiat sort of a leader is he? I asked. I visited his church and 
found out tile reason. He who knew but a little was a sort of 
leader to those who knew nothing, lie who was tactful and 
diplomatic was a sort of leader to those who were rough and 
uncouth in manners. He who was dignified in his bearing and 
carefully groomed, was a sort of a leader to those who were 
slouches in appearance and slovenly in dress. He who was moral 
was a sort of a leader to those who were immoral. No wonder 
his illiterate and superstitious congregation looked up to him as 
if he were a demigod. Similarly, the Xegro politicians of limited 
education who forged to the front during the Reconstruction 
days, men of native ability and force of character, loomed up as 
intellectual giants in comparison with the colored voter who 
didn't even know his alphabet. When I consider that these men 
made such splendid use of their meagre training and slender 
opportunities, I am constrained to admire them. They performed 
well the task assigned to them. But the vital questions of the 
hour demand colored leaders of trained minds and broad scholar- 
ship. If the old leaders whose sun has set and whose day is 
passed will but give the right hand of fellowship to the scholars 
and seers of the race, they will put the race under an eternal debt 
of gratitude. 

While I dififer with Cooker T. Washington regarding his atti- 
tude towards the educated Xegro and the civil and political rights 
of the Xegro, there is one position that he has wisely taken. 
He has opened his batteries and trained his guns upon the insti- 
tutions for the. higher education of the X^egro in the South that 
spoiled good farmers in turning out poor preachers, lawyers, 
doctors, editors and teachers. Xorthern philanthropists and 
Southern educators have not taken the education of the Xegro 
seriously. Men who couldn't even pass the entrance examinations 
for Yale or Harvard were placed as presidents of and professors 
in State and denominational colleges. Colleges and universities 
were established in the South which were not as high in grades 

Heroes in the Struggle for Negro Liberty. 365 

as a New England high school or academy. Normal schools 
were established which were no higher than New England gram- 
mar schools. And graduates of these schools, possessing a mere 
smattering, would strut around with the sophomoric pride and 
peacock air that graduates of Yale and Harvard would never 
dream of assuming. 

I believe that graduates of these schools have done valuable 
pioneer work. They have laid well the foundation upon which 
their successors may build. But they have not the talents nor 
the training to enable them to successfully champion the cause 
of the higher aspiration of the Negro, or to successfully cope 
with and answer the arguments and assaults of Vardaman, Till- 
man, Tom Dixon, Tom Watson, the late Henry Grady, John 
Temple Graves, Hardwick and Hoke Smith. They have done 
their work well. But they should not stand in the way of those 
graduates of Yale and Harvard who, by virtue of their grasp of 
psychological, sociological and economic problems, by virtue of 
the slashing vigor and poetic beauty of their style, by virtue of 
their oratorical and literary gifts, are able to command the atten- 
tion and to challenge the admiration of the world, because of 
their brilliant leadership of the Negro and their splendid handling 
of the critics of the race. It is better for those whose days of 
real usefulness are practically over to be put on the retired list 
if their jealousy of younger and more gifted leaders causes them 
to hinder the advancement of and place obstacles in the way of 
men more talented than themselves, and more capable of leading 
the Negro at this crisis in his history. 

When the American comes to the Negro problem, he settles 
that ofifhand, without any thorough investigation. He merely 
passes it by, with a contemptuous wave of the hand, or toss of 
the head. Why, any petty clerk, or office boy or newsboy or 
bootblack, knows what ought to be done with the Negro, knows 
what kind of education the Negro needs! The prevailing senti- 
ments seems to be that any one, no matter how ignorant, is fitted 
to grapple with the various Negro problems. 

A traveler who goes to Europe or Asia or Africa wouldn't 
presume to pass final judgment upon any countries of the 
far East from a bird's-eye view or passing glance. But all 
the Northern tourist has to do is to recline comfortably on the 

3^6 The African Abroad. ' 

cushioned seats of a Pullman palace car, gaze tranquilly out 
of the window as he is being borne along by the iron horse 
through the Sunny South, and he is ready to write an elaborate 
treatise upon the Southern Xegro, when in reality he has only 
surveyed a few loungers around railroad depots from a distance. 

If we seek to get the Irishman's opinion regarding Ireland, 
we don't go to the ignorant immigrant fresh from Ireland; but 
we generally go to the Irishmen of the finest minds, who have 
had the best training. It is the same way with regard to the 
Philippines, Cuba, India, China or Japan. We don't solicit the 
opinion of the Chinese laundryman or the illiterate Filipino, 
and Cuban, or the untutored Hindoo, but that of the educated 
Japanese, the educated Chinaman, to get the best thought of 
natives regarding themselves and their country. And we oug]:t 
to do the same with regard to the Xegro. We ought to regard 
the men who represent the brains and scholarship, the moral 
stamina and manliness of the Negro race, as the real leaders. 

The current belief is that the teachings of history and sociology 
can be ignored when we approach the Negro problem, that it 
doesn't require careful and serious study to understand the race 
question in its deeper issues. 

Of all the subjects that command the attention of the country, 
none are more flippantly and carelessly discussed than the race 
question. When men discuss the tariff question, the currency 
question, socialism, imperialism, the trusts and the momentous 
problems growing out of the relation of labor and capital, they 
focus upon these grave issues all the concentrated light that his- 
tory, philosophy, sociology and political economy can give. To 
understand the tariff question they must not only go back to the 
beginning of feudalism and trace the history of protection and 
free trade from the middle ages, when the manor system pre- 
vailed, but they must go back to the time when the Phcenicians 
were the traders of the world. To properly understand the cur- 
rancy question, one must not only be familiar with the history of 
American and European currency, but he must go back to the ages 
when money was not the medium of exchange — when barter was 
the method of exchanging goods. So, to undersand the claims of 
tlic imperialists, one must not only go back to the period when 
Spain began her infamous policy of oppressing the Mexicans and 

Heroes in the Struggle for A^cgro Liberty. 367 

Peruvians, but he must go back to the days when Athens and 
other Greek cities began to plant colonies. So we might take up 
other political, social or educational problems and find the genetic 
method of explaining the present by the past — the only satisfac- 
tory way of dealing with any problem. The reason is obvious. 
The present is the outgrowth of the past, and has its roots deeply 
grounded in the past. Hence, the present can only be understood 
in the light of the past. And we cannot understand things as 
they are save as we understand how they came to be. 

The Negro problem is a complicated one. Unless a man is a 
profound student of psychology, sociology, political economy and 
history, he cannot begin to comprehend and understand, or grap- 
ple with its phases and aspects. Hence, the Moses who will lead 
the X'egro race out of the wilderness and into the promised land 
must come from the centers of learning in New England. The 
race is doomed if the jealousy of those who haven't the courage 
to fight for the race impedes the progress of those who have. 

My advice to the light-weights, feather-weights and bantam- 
weights of the race would be, "Clear the track and give the right 
of the way to the heavy-weights, the intellectual giants and the 
strong men of the race. They will sweep down the line and will 
toss aside the arguments of the critics of the race. They will go 
to the front and fight your battles for you." It may seem 
pedantic for me to say that we must look to the colored graduates 
of Yale and Harvard for the champions of the civil and political 
rights of the Negro. But three of the four men thus far in the 
tv.-entieth century who have been the boldest, most fearless and 
most uncompromising in asserting the claim.s and demands of the 
Negro, three of the four men who have been the keenest, most 
penetrating and most searching in their analysis of and criticism 
of the arguments of the Tuskeegee sage and his followers, are 
graduates of Yale and Harvard universities. These four are 
Clement G. Morgan, Harvard's colored class orator; William 
Monroe Trotter, a Master of Arts of Harvard ; W. E. Burghardt 
DuBois, a Ph.D. of Harvard, and George \V. Forbes, the first 
editor of the Boston Guardian. 

So, we see. that not from Tuskeegee, Hampton, or any of the 
Southern schools and colleges, but from Yale and Harvard have 
come the big four who will go down in history as the four saviors 

368 The African Abroad. 

and deliverers of the Negro, as the four men who saved the day 
for the Negro, as the four intrepid leaders in the struggle for 
Negro liberty. Think what a calamity and a misfortune for the 
Negro race it would have been if these four men had 4iever been 
born! Why, the intellectual and moral progress of the race 
would have been impeded a century. 

And then there is a brilliant and distinguished graduate of 
Howard University, private secretary to the late Senator W'il- 
liam M. Evarts, who, while not so conspicuous in the charging 
of the center against the intrenched position of Booker T. Wash- 
ington, nevertheless did some magnificent fighting upon the right 
wing in successfully challenging the constitutionality of the 
Maryland Jim Crow law, so far as concerns the interstate 
colored passengers. I refer to Professor William H. H. Hart, 
of the Howard University Law School. 

Dr. F. J. Grimke of Washington was not in the thick of the 
anti- Booker T. Washington fight. But what a brave stand he 
made upon the left wing when he sent a letter of sympathy to 
William Monroe Trotter, in his supreme hour of trial, and 
cheered the men engaged in a life and death struggle for Negro 
manhood. If DuBois was the Wellington, Lawyer E. H. Morris 
of Chicago was the Blucher in the battle for Negro rights. Just 
as the Boston coterie and DuBois were winning the day for the 
Negro, a new champion swept across the field, and in an address 
upon "Shams," mercilessly exposed the fallacies in Mr. Washing- 
ton's doctrine of the inherent inferiority of the Negro, and made 
the rout of the Washington forces complete. 

It may be that Douglass, Crumniell, Downing, Grimke, Hart, 
Morris, Morgan, Byron, Greuner, DuBois and men of that stamp 
will be remembered by the colored people when the walls of the 
Tuskeegee of the proscribed curriculum are crumbling into ruins 
and a mass of dust and clay indicates the site where Tuskeegee 
once stood. The tale of how, when the Negro was being stripped 
of his rights and dehumanized, four young colored graduates of 
Yale and Harvard buckled on their armor, entered the lists, 
and, single-handed and alone, amidst the curses of the white 
people and jealousy of petty Negro leaders, unhorsed, overthrew 
and hurled back the Goliaths of race prejudice, and brought dis- 
may to the ranks of the black man's enemies ; the story of how, 

Heroes in the Struggle for Negro Liberty. 369 

•when Sumner, Garrison, Phillips, Doug^lass, Crummell, and 
Downing- were dead, four young colored scholars routed and put 
to flight, like Elijah of old, the black prophets of Baal, breathed 
their own dauntless spirit into the discouraged and disheartened 
sons of Ham, and taught them to look up and be men, will be 
told by grandsires on many a winter's evening by the fireside. 
Generations yet unborn will look back in grateful remembrance 
to the four colored men who made it possible for dark complex- 
ioned persons to be men and women in America. Their names 
will be forever enshrined in the hearts of the colored people of 
the world. Poets will sing their praises and orators will repeat 
and reiterate their eloquent words. 

If ever a Negro writer hoped to color and flavor his writings 
with his own personality and individuality and write with the 
slashing vigor of a Carlyle, it is the writer of this volume, which 
is only the first installment of a series of Negro histories that 
is projected. What Homer did for the heroes of the Trojan 
War, what Carlyle did for Cromwell and his other heroes, I am 
going to try to do for the great men of the Negro race. I am 
going to try to rescue from the dust and dusk of obscurity and 
oblivion, and surround with the halo of immortality the names 
of those heroic men and women who braved unpopularity and 
misrepresentation for asserting their manhood and womanhood. 
If life and health be spared me, I will endeavor to write the 
Negro histories that will inspire the colored youth of the land. I 
hope that the future historians of the race will build upon me 
and see through my spectacles. I trust that they will accept 
my point of view and take their cue from me. 

If every other Negro in the land had bowed the knee in servile 
submission to the Baal of American caste prejudice, if every 
other Negro in the land had crouched and cowered and cringed 
like a cowardly cur, and confessed his inferiority, if every other 
Negro in the land had degenerated into a fawning, bootlicking 
sycophant, there would have been one colored man who, by 
the grace of God, would not have lost his faith in humanity. I 
would have continued to believe that somewhere in this wide, 
wide world, somewhere on God's green earth, it would have been 
possible for a Negro to live in peace and comfort, and be a man. 


370 Thf African Abroad. 

Other XepTToes may do as they please, but I hope to develop 
into a full-fledped, well-rounded man. I intend to fulfill the law 
of my being-. I don't believe that it will be necessary for a col- 
ored man to go to England, France, Australia, to the wilds of 
Africa, the jungles of Asia or the isles of the sea. I don't believe 
that it will be necessary for a colored man to endure the winter's 
frost and cold of the frigid zone or the torrid heat of the 
equatorial region in order to be a man, and draw a free 
breath. But I believe that the time will soon come in America 
when a colored man can live at ease and be frank, manly, straight- 
forward and honest at the same time. 

Sad is the fate of the world's great men. Columbus, the dis- 
coverer of America, died in poverty and disgrace in prison, 
Savonarola, Huss, Latimer, and Ridley were burnt alive at the 
stake. Athanasius was hunted and pursued like a criminal. 
Themistocles and Aristides were banished, Phidias and Anax- 
agoras died in prison. Miltiades, the hero of Marathon, was 
thrown into prison. Socrates, the peerless philosopher, was 
forced to drink the cup of hemlock. Luther was under the ban, 
Dante was exiled. Milton was hated. Webster, Clay, Calhoun, 
Horace Greeley, Sherman and James G. Blaine died broken- 
hearted, because they could not become presidents of the United 
States. Roscoe Conkling and Thomas Brackett Reed, thwarted 
in their political ambitions, retired from politics in sullen rage. 
The seekers of life's prizes emerge from the race baffled and 
empty-handed. He who pursues fame, grasps at mist and vapor. 
Many of the world's great men have died poor and unpopular. 
But we can all do something to broaden and elevate men's con- 
ception of life, and lighten the sin and evil, the misery and 
unhappiness in the world. I trust that this volume will be a bugle 
call. T hope that it will ring out the clarion note and arouse the 
dormant manhood and womanhood of the race. 

Note. — We must not ignore the work of Hon. Archibald H. Grimke, 
President of the .American Xcgro .'\cadcmy, author of "The Lives of 
William Lloyd Garrison and Charles Sumner," and the work of Dr. 
WiUiam E. Sinclair, organizer of the Constitution League and author 
of ".Aftermath of Slavery." Like the Grecian gods in classical mythology 
they have frequently come to the aid and rescue of the black Ajaxes 
and Diomedcs who were performing superhuman deeds of valor while 
battling against superior numbers. 


The Genesis and Development of the anti-Booker T. IVashington 
Sentiment amongst Thoughtftd Negroes. 

On the morning of July 31, and August i, the world was 
shocked to hear that a group of determined and resolute Negroes 
for two hours had prevented Booker T. Washington from speak- 
ing in a Boston church. 

While District Attorney William H. Lewis and Editor T. 
Thomas Fortune were tolerated as speakers, the very mention of 
]\Ir. Washington's name was the occasion for hisses. Three times 
he stepped forward to speak. Three times the opposition led by 
^lartin, Charles and Trotter, compelled him to take his seat. The 
disturbance and commotion reached such a height that twenty- 
five policemen were called in to quiet and subdue matters. The 
trouble was precipitated by Mr. Washington refusing to answer 
the questions put to him by Messrs. Trotter and Martin, who 
desired to put him upon record and locate where he actually stood 
upon certain questions affecting the Negro's civil and political 
status and educational opportunities. Trotter and Martin were 
regarded as martyrs and heroes. At subsequent mass meetings, 
in New York, Washington, and Chicago, Mr. Washington was 
publicly criticised. This indicated that the unrest and dissatis- 
faction regarding his leadership was not merely confined to 
Boston, but affected circles of educated Negroes all over the 
country. The "Boston Riot," which will go down in Negro 
history as the story of the Boston patriots throwing the tea over- 
board goes down in American history, was no sudden explosion 
that came without a warning. It was the passionate outburst of 
pent up wrath and indignation that had been accumulating for 
eight years. It was the breaking forth of clouds that had been 
slowly gathering in the horizon for eight years. Certain rum- 
blings in the heavens, the darkening of the skies in some sections, 
betokened the slow approach of a storm of indignation that was 
some day to break over Mr. Washington's head. 

37 2 The African Abroad. 

DuDois's "Souls of Black Folk," the Boston Guardian, and my 
speeches in Boston, Washington and Louisville were the three 
forces that roused the dormant manhood of the Negro. Since 
the Boston Herald said that I was the "leader of disorder in 
Louisville," since the Colored American and Indianapolis Free- 
man said that I was the "prime mover of disorder in Louisville," 
and the "star performer of the Boston triumvirate" (which con- 
sisted of Ferris, Forbes and Trotter), I may justly claim to have 
played a part in stiffening the backbone and strengthening the 
vertebrate column of the Negro. I will now tell about the 
\\'ashington meeting, where the Boston Herald says I "went to 
Washington and in a meeting of colored men where he was asked 
to speak, assailed Mr. Washington, who was not present, with 
disparagement that differed little from vituperation." 

As soon as I read Mr. Washington's famous Atlanta speech 
I was dissatisfied with it. There was a ring in it that was 
unmanly, a vein of insincerity running through it. It didn't 
sound like the addresses of Douglass, Price, Langston, Elliott, 
Garnett, Crummell, and Downing. It said to the Negro: "Give 
up politics. Go to the farm. Retire from the Senate chamber. 
Take up the plough. No longer hold up your head and think 
you are a man. Remember that you belong to an inferior and 
lower order of beings than the rest of mankind." The South 
went wild over the speech. They had never heard a Negro leader 
speak like that or make such concessions before. The North 
was captivated by it. It took a troublesome problem off their 
hands. All the Negro had to do was to farm and plough and 
leave the government of the country to the white man. The 
Negro was to be the hand, the white man the head of the modem 
society. At last, the vexatious question of the Negro's place 
in American life had been solved. It was at the foot of the 
ladder. He was to be a semi-serf. 

I remember that one Providence merchant told me that Booker 
T. Washington was a greater man than Frederick Douglass, 
because he did not teach the Negro to feel that he was as good 
as a white man nor to strive for social equality. The Negro, 
obeying that imitative instinct which was his heritage from 
slavery, thought Professor Washington must be a big man 
because Mars' Charles and Miss Anne praised him so highly 

The anti-Booker T. Washington Sentiment. 373 

The poor, hoodwinked, deluded Negro swung into line and 
jumped upon the band wagon. He saw the white man clapping 
his hands, and he clapped his hands, too. He didn't know that 
he was applauding his own social, civil, and political damnation. 
It was unfortunate, after this, that it was necessary to endorse 
Mr. Washington in order to get and hold government jobs, 
secure and retain positions in Southern high schools and colleges, 
or solicit money from Northern philanthropists for colored 
schools or get a hearing in white newspapers and magazines or 
white publishing houses to handle colored books. 

Subsequent talks with Robert Bonner, a Yale art student, 
George T. Downing of Newport, R. I., Dr. Alexander A. Crum- 
mell and Mr. L. AI. Hershaw of Washington, and Hon. E. G. 
Walker of Boston, Mass., convinced me that other thoughtful 
colored men thought as I did. So in the fall of 1897 and the 
winter and spring of 1898, I ventured forth, discussed the "False 
Theories of Booker T. Washington" before the colored National 
League of Boston, the Bethel Literary of Washington, in a 
Faneuil Hall mass meeting and before the Shaw Monument, 
Boston Commons, on Decoration Day. The Washington meeting 
w^as a memorable one. Messrs. Hillyer, R. W. Thompson and 
Jesse Lawson criticised me, while Professor W. H. H. Hart, 
Attorney Thomas L. Jones and Messrs. Lassiter and Williams 
defended me. Lewis Douglass moved a vote of thanks. But my 
efforts were not taken seriously. They were regarded as the 
utterances of an inexperienced schoolboy. So for five years I 
retired into the background. This is how I was drawn into the 
controversy again. 

In November, 1902, Professor Kelly Miller of Howard Univer- 
sity spoke before the Boston Literary. He heaped and piled the 
superlatives upon Booker T. Washington and deified him. 
Messrs. Trotter, Forbes, Morgan. Wilson, Gaines and every 
speaker, with the exception of Miss Maria L. Baldwin, took 
exception to Professor Aliller. To say that he was surprised 
and astonished would be putting it mildly. In December of the 
same year I read a paper before the American Negro Academy 
meeting in Washington, D. C., upon "The Psychological and His- 
torical Account of the Genesis and Development of the Negro's 
Religion." I was fresh from Boston. Everyone wanted to know 

374 ^^^ African Abroad. 

why the Boston Negroes were opposed to Booker T. Washington. 
Then I was invited by President George L. Jackson of the Bethel 
Literary of Washington, Professor J. W. Cromwell, a member 
of the executive committee, and L. M. Hershaw, a former presi- 
dent, to speak ui)on "The Boston Negro's Idea of Booker T. 
Washington." In a calm, cool, dispassionate and analytical man- 
ner, I told the reason why. Immediately a howl and cry went 
up all over Washington. The friends of Booker T. Washington 
hoisted up the signals of distress and cried out for a defender of 
Mr. Washington. R. W. Thompson, the brilliant newspaper cor- 
respondent, and Mr. Allen or Mr. Allain, a fiery orator, defended 
Mr. Washington before the second Baptist Lyceum. But Dr. 
William Sinclair, Dr. S. L. Corrothers, Attorney Turner of 
Atlanta, Ga., and myself swept and carried the crowd with us. 
The "Thompson" meeting was a failure and fiasco. Then came 
the famous "Lawson" meeting. It was announced by the Wash- 
ington colored press that early in February, Professor Jesse 
Lawson was to reply to me before the Bethel Literary. On the 
Sunday morning before the meeting, Dr. Booker T. Washington 
passed through Washington and had a council of war in the 
Pennsylvania depot. They mapped out a campaign and planned 
my Waterloo, and Mr. Washington left happy, chuckling to him- 
self. Lo, and behold, one Tuesday morning in February, 1903, 
the Washington Post told how the colored people of Washington, 
D. C., were indignant with me for "attacking" Mr. Washington, 
and were going to have a great mass meeting that night to 
denounce me. The Washington Star and Times had similar 
reports. The great meeting was held. The basement of the Met- 
ropolitan A. M. E. Church was packed and crowded. Excitement 
was at fever heat. People came from Baltimore. The Wash- 
ington Post said that it was an audience representative of the 
entire South. Professor Jesse Lawson read an elaborate paper. 
When he sat down, cries and calls came for "Ferris" from all 
over the house. I stepped to the platform and in a ten min- 
utes' speech told the audience that "the Tuskeegee sun was 
setting in the west, and that another guardian star was rising 
in the east." Then Judge Robert Terrell. Mr. R. W. Thompson, 
Miss Lucy Moten, principal of the Normal Training High School, 
Dr. Bruce Evans, principal of the Manual Training High School, 

The anti-Booker T. Washington Sentiment. 375 

replied to me. Mrs. Ida D. Bailey, Messrs. L. W. Hershaw, 
Shelby Davidson, Ormond Scott and William Fossat, and Dr. 
Georg-e L. Richardson, a profound philosopher, defended me. 
The Washing-ton daily newspapers sent reporters to the meeting. 
What was the result? 

Wednesday morning the Washington Post had in big head- 
lines, "W. H, Ferris of Boston precipitates a lively discussion at 
Bethel Literary"; and at the close of the long article said that 
so far from having a unanimous, Mr. Washington did not even 
have a majority representation in the District of Columbia. 

The late Dr. Clayton, a gifted writer and high-toned gentleman, 
writing under the nom de plume of "The Man on the Monu- 
ment," in the Colored American, a paper friendly to Mr. Wash- 
ington, said : "Professor Ferris dared to attack Mr. Washington 
here on his dunghill in Washington, D. C, and came off victo- 
rious." He went on to say, that it would naturally be supposed 
that this rash and presumptuous young man would be severely 
rebuked for his audacity and boldness. He concluded his article 
by saying, "But the consensus of opinion is, that if Mr. Wash- 
ington wants what is left of his defenders he had better come 
and get them. ..." Then came DuBois's "Souls of Black 
Folk," the "Louisville Meeting," and the "Voice of the Negro." 
And these events, supplemented by the keen editorials and bril- 
liant cartoons in the Boston Guardian, roused the consciences of 
the thoughtful Negroes and has resulted in installing DuBois as 
the leader, spokesman, champion, representative of the intelligent 
and manly Negro. 

On August I, 1903, the Boston Herald had this to say, in the 
course of an editorial : 

"It was the Boston delegation that almost turned the National 
Afro-American Convention into pandemonium on two or three 
occasions. Nor was this the first display of the kind. One 
Dr. Ferris, who was a leader of disorder in Louisville not long 
ago, went to Washington, and in a meeting of colored men, where 
he was asked to speak, assailed Mr. W^ashington, who was not 
present, with disparagement that differed little from vitupera- 
tion." Now, I am the Ferris referred to, and the convention 
referred to was the Afro-American Council, which met in Louis- 
ville, Ky., in July, 1903. This was the occasion. On one side of 

37^ The African Abroad. 

the platform was a picture of Tuskeegee, and on the other side 
was a picture of Booker T. W'asliington, but nowhere in the hall 
was there a picture of a man or a college which stood for the 
higher aspirations of the Negro. Thursday afternoon T. Thomas 
I'ortunc, the presiding officer, introduced Mrs. Givens, the painter 
of Dr. Washington's picture. I arose quietly to a question of 
personal privilege. Mr. Fortune — and I shall ever honor him for 
it — had the magnanimity and courage to recognize me, although 
he knew that I was on the war path. In a three or four minute 
speech I turned the convention upside down. They hissed me 
at first, but before I finished speaking the hall rang with 
applause, and oil was not poured upon the troubled waters and 
quiet restored until the picture of J. C. Price, the champion of 
the higher education and the manhood rights of the Negro, was 
placed upon the platform. I had the convention going and was 
about to capture it and carry it my way. Several of my friends 
rushed up to me and said, "If you will sit down now, we will let 
you air your views and spread yourself to-morrow morning." But 
when the morning came, and I arose several times and 
called, "Mr. Chairman," in loud enough tones to be heard above 
the din and noise and to have every one turning around and look- 
ing at me, the chairman seemed never able to see me. He could 
look ten feet to the right, or ten feet to the left, and recognize 
some one. He could look over my head, and recognize some 
one twenty feet behind me. But he seemed afflicted with some 
ocular or auditory disease that could never see or hear me. And 
being a parliamentarian, a believer of law and order, of course, 
I could not speak unless I was recognized. Pandemonium miglit 
have reigned supreme, and I might have been the king of the con- 
vention, if I hadn't sat down after I had, in a four minute speech, 
lifted the delegates ofT of their feet. The Associated Press 
wronged me when it sent out the report : "Delegate Ferris of 
Boston objected to the picture of Booker T. Washington." I 
did not object to the picture of Booker T. Washington, but I 
objected to the council ignoring and treating with silent contempt 
the representatives of the higher education of the Negro. 

The Louisville Ncxvs and Courier and the Louisville Herald the 
next day put Booker T. Washington's great speech in McCauley's 
Theatre, before an audience of over three thousand, on the 

The anti-Booker T. Washington Sentiment. $77 

inside of the paper, while they devoted big headlines and a column 
on the front page to the speeches of Forbes and Trotter and the 
other men who sympathized with the Boston delegation, and 
to my speech. One must not think because I have written such 
a realistic account of my short speech, in fact an account that is 
more realistic than elegant, that I have bursted my hat and quit 
wearing it. I have told no fairy tale, narrated no Arabian 
Nights story, and spun out no fisherman's yarn. I am only 
reflecting the accounts the colored and white press gave of that 
little tempest. I have told in this and preceding chapters of the 
work of the Boston Guardian and of myself. In the last 
chapter I told how DuBois crowned my efiforts and the efforts of 
Trotter by his matchless book, "The Souls of Black Folk." 

There was one subtle criticism of Booker T. Washington in 
DuBois "Souls of Black Folks" that I will quote here. On 
page 43 of that book DuBois says : "And so thoroughly did 
he, Mr. Washington, learn the speech and thought of triumphant 
commercialism, and the ideals of material prosperity, that the 
picture of a lone, black boy poring over a French grammar amid 
the weeds and dirt of a neglected house soon seemed to him the 
acme of absurdities. One wonders what Socrates and St. Fran- 
cis of Assisi would say to this." And I would add, what a loss 
the world would have sustained if Jean Millet, when struggling 
in poverty, with a wife and children depending upon him for 
support; if Richard Wagner, when his musical dramas were 
being hooted off the stage and his materialistic wife was rebuk- 
ing him; if Carlyle, when facing hardships and the trials of a 
hterary career, on the fens of a Craigenputtoch ; if Verdi, on 
the verge of starvation and suicide, a seeming failure as a com- 
poser ; if Milton, writing "Paradise Lost," when poor and old and 
blind; if Hawthorne, dismissed from the Custom House in 
Salem, often making his dinner on chestnuts and potatoes, because 
too poor to buy meat, when writing the "Scarlet Letter," — had 
listened to the advice of some ignorant and materialistic friend 
and renounced their divine aspirations and their strivings in the 
world of art, music and letters? 

I believe that the opposition to Booker T. Washington reached 
its climax when, amid deafening applause and shrieks of women, 
and shouts of "Morris, Morris," Rev. Charles Satchel Morris of 

37^ The African Abroad. 

New York, at the Faneuil Hall mass meeting on June 20, 1906, 
said: "I believe Booker T. W'ashinj^ton's heart is ri^ht, but 
that in fawning, cringing and groveling before the white man 
he had cost his race of ten thousand souls their rights, and that 
twenty years hence, as he looks back and sees the harm his 
course has done his race, he will be broken-hearted over it." 

I quote from the New York Times for Tuesday, December 
18, 1906: 

The Rev. A. Gayton Powell, pastor of the Emanuel Baptist Church 
(colored) of New Haven, Conn., in an address delivered before the 
Ministers' Conference of Greater New York yesterday, added another 
to the attacks on President Roosevelt for dismissing the negro companies 
of the Twenty-fifth Infantry, and questioned the loyalty of Booker T. 
Washington to the colored people of the South. He said the President 
had disappointed his colored friends by catering to Southern prejudice 
and playing into the hands of the mob. 

"The mob spirit," said the speaker, "controls everything below Mason 
and Dixon's line. It edits every newspaper, dictates the teachings of 
every professor, sits as judge in every court, elects every officer from 
Councilman to Governor, and molds the utterances of every pulpit. The 
white man who contends that the negro should have civil and political 
rights is denounced and ostracized. If he is a professor he must resign; 
if he is a business man he is boycotted; if he is a politician he must 
seek other fields in which to realize his political ambitions. 

"One of the most unfortunate phases in the recent history of race 
prejudice is the change in the position of the President. For years we 
looked with great hope to Theodore Roosevelt. His manly utterances 
and actions at that time justified our expectations. Now he has greatly 
disappointed us. To say nothing of his failure to speak a word for 
8.000,000 citizens who are deprived of their rights under the Constitu- 
tion, his executive order dismissing and punishing a battalion of the 
Twenty-fifth Infantry is an evidence of his desire to please the Southern 
white man, who has hated a negro in Uncle Sam's uniform since the 

"Say what you please, these soldiers were dismissed because the white 
people of Brownsville wanted them dismissed, and for no other reason 
under the sun. After suffering all manner of insults and indignities a 
half dozen soldiers, it is claimed by the municipal authorities, 'shot the 
t(jwn up.' The President promised to turn the guilty over to the State 
of Texas. He knew when he made the promise that within forty-eight 
hours after they were turned over to the Texas authorities they would 
be burned at the stake and their charred bones sold for souvenirs. 

"Under these conditions who can blame them if they did 'stand together 
in a determination to resist the detection of the guilty?' If the few 
who may know should become backdoor tattlers and betray their com- 

The anti-Booker T. Washington Sentiment. 379 

rades they would bring down on their heads the withering curses of 
all mankind. Because the War Department cannot detect the guilty, 
if there be any, for the State of Texas to burn, the great Czar of all 
America seemingly becomes infuriated and smashes all laws and prece- 
dents by punishing three companies, the majority of them admitted to 
be innocent, even by Inspector General Garlington, the South Carolina 
negro hater, who made the Federal investigation. 

"It is hard to believe that the man with the big stick disarming and 
crushing the colored soldiers is the same Theodore Roosevelt who three 
years ago declared that as long as he was President every man 
should have a 'square deal.' What has caused him to change his 
stand? Dr. Booker T. Washington is his adviser. Some believe that 
he is responsible for the change in the President's attitude towards the 
Negro-Americans. The awful march of events since the famous Roose- 
velt-Washington luncheon makes a thoughtful man ask: Has the colored 
race been sold for a mess of pottage? We should all be slow in 
criticising a great and useful man like Dr. Washington, but after many 
things have been said to his credit, one or two remains to be said to 
his eternal discredit. 

"For years he has counseled the colored men to 'meekly wait 
and murmur not,' and a large number of us have obeyed him. He 
has also advised the North to let the South solve in its own way the 
negro problem, and in its greed for gold the North gladly accepted 
advice from such a distinguished source. What are the results? Lynch- 
ings are increasing and riots are more numerous, the race is humiliated 
by Jim Crow laws, and woefully handicapped in its intellectual and 
moral development by inferior schools. In a word, under Dr. Washing- 
ton's policy the two races in the South are a thousand times further 
apart than they were fifteen years ago, and the breach is widening 
every day." 

The speaker closed by saying that the black man, who says that it 
is best to sit quiet and meekly submit to wrongs, is either a blatant fool 
or a hypocrite who has sold himself for a little political sop or for 
some other mercenary consideration. The race, he added, must rise up 
in its might and "sweep out of high places these weak-kneed Professors 
and cornstalk preachers." 

Bishop Alexander Walters of the A. M, E. Zion Church, next 
to Bishop Henry M. Turner of the A. M. E. Church the most 
widely-known Negro bishop in America, spoke before the Boston 
Historical and Literary Society on "The Possibilities of Life and 
How to Obtain Them." One of his sub-titles was "The Possi- 
bilities of the Xegro in the Realm of Politics." 

In the course of his remarks he referred, without mentioning 
his name, to Booker T. Washington's Atlanta speech in 1905 

380 The African Abroad. 

and said, "That was a fatal day for the race when it lowered its 
equal rights flag, thus saying to the world that the Negro's 
contention was not for equal rights, but that he was willing 
to accept an inferior place, social equality, whatever that might 
mean to the race, was completely surrendered ; from that fatal 
hour until now, politically we have been losing ground. Prior to 
that time, we were advancing rapidly in our struggle for equal 
rights, overcoming race prejudice, by a persistent and courageous 
stand against it. The impression had gotten abroad that the 
American Negro considered himself worthy of the manhood 
rights conferred upon him, and was making a manly fight to 
retain them ; in the midst of this fearful struggle, suddenly, to 
the surprise of the courageous leaders of the race, our rights 
were bartered for a mess of material pottage ; the white flag 
of surrender was hoisted and a place of political inferiority was 
accepted. Our genuine white friends stood aghast and wondered 
what it all meant. Our traditional friends of the North, who 
had much to gain from a business standpoint, by ceasing to give 
offense to the South, were now at liberty to abandon the struggle 
for our equal rights, since we ourselves had surrendered to 
prejudice in order to have an easier time of it. Our friends 
thought, and rightly so, that they had no need to jeopardize 
their interest to further aid a race to obtain its equal rights, when 
that race was not willing to struggle against all odds to retain 
the rights which had been conferred and guaranteed by the 
Federal Constitution. 

"The Republican party banished us from its general councils, 
and in the South turned us over to our enemies. The sentiment 
of our accepted inferiority reached the Old World and had a 
baneful effect upon the race. While in England a few years 
ago, we were told that it was understood on that side that the 
Negroes of America had a low estimate of themselves, that they 
considered themselves in every way inferior to the white man, 
and a member of parliament added, 'this is to be regretted; 
no people can rise to their full height who believe themselves 
inferior to the rest of mankind'; in our reply we stated that 
there were some Afro-Americans who, on account of the many 
years of cruel and debasing servitude, so considered themselves, 
but there were many others who believed with St. Paul in his 

The anti-Booker T. Washington Sentiment. 381 

declaration that 'God hath made of one blood all nations of men 
to dwell on all the face of the earth.' We added that it was 
circumstances that made the difference ; and it is they who thus 
believe in equality who are the leaven in the meal which is to 
leaven the whole lump. 

"Material gain has usurped the place of our higher interests; 
and the leaders of the new idea, Jehu-like, are driving on 
furiously. The acceptance of an inferior place met with general 
approbation on the part of our enemies and erstwhile friends. 
The next thing we heard was that the black man must eschew 
politics and abdicate from the high places of equality and let 
the white man alone reign supreme in the political sphere. 

'•When everything had gone against the patriarch Job in the 
Scriptures, his sons and daughters had been slain, his property 
swept away, himself smitten with a loathsome malady from head 
to foot, he cursed the day in which he was born. He said, 'Let 
that day perish wherein I was born ; the night in which was said, 
there is a man child conceived. Let that day be darkness; let 
not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon 
it. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it. Let a cloud 
shadow it ; let the blackness of night terrify it. As for the night 
let it not be joined into the day; the year let it not come into 
the number of the months ; let that night be solitary, let no joyful 
voice come therein. Let them curse it that curse the day, who 
are ready to raise up their mourning. Let the stars of the 
twilight thereof be dark, let it look for light but have none, 
neither let it see the dawning of the day; because it shut not 
up my mother womb nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.' " 

And then brave Bishop Walters rose in the might and majesty 
of his splendid manhood and cursed that day in Atlanta in 1895 
when a noted colored educator let the banners of his race's 
civil and political rights trail in the dust of compromise and 

Rev. Reverdy C. Ransom, who leaped into prominence as an 
orator by his Garrison Centennial address in Fancuil Hall, Bos- 
ton, in January, 1906, is in some respects the most brilliant orator 
our race has yet produced. Possessing scholarship, an analytical 
mind, a dramatic insight, poetical imagination, an appealing voice, 
fire, passion, and abandon as an orator, he can stir the blood 

382 The African Abroad. 

of his race as no Negro orator has since the days of Douglass. 
In his Whittier Centennial address in Fancuil Hall in December, 
1907, he gave utterance to one of the sublimest sentiments that 
ever issued from the lips of man. lie said: 

But no race or nation has the right to usurp the place of the Almighty 
by arbitrarily seeking to impose the conditions and hmit the sphere to 
which another shall confine its activities. Birth, class, rank, title, are 
artificial distinctions among men and are not ordained of God. The first, 
the highest dignity among men, is the dignity of manhood. He who feels 
or acknowledges himself to be naturally inferior to another tears the 
sovereign crown of manhood from his brow and abdicates his throne. 
Those who assume, because of race or color, to set themselves above 
their fcllowmen, would usurp the nature and power of Divinity. Any- 
one who acknowledges their assumption of superiority defiles God's 
image and insults the Almighty to his face. 

I regard that as the high-water mark of Negro eloquence. 
Carlyle, Emerson, Curtis, Patrick Henry, Daniel Webster and 
Abraham Lincoln have given utterance to no sublimer thought 
or sentiment. Morris, Powell, Waters and Ransom are right; 
the black man can never win the regard and respect of the civil- 
ized world by abdicating the throne of manhood. 

Note.— Since that discussion Professor Jesse Lawson has written a 
book which critics of intelligence have commended as a valuable 
sociological study of the Negro and his problems. 


Professor Kelly Miller's Philosophy of the Race Question. 

During the palmy days of German philosophy, when even 
cobblers and blacksmiths could read Kant's "Critique of Pure 
Reason," one materialist insolently asked, "Can philosophy bake 
any bread," and Novalis replied, "No, but it can give us God, 
freedom and immortality." and for the space of nearly half a 
century Kant. Fichte, Schelling and Hegel ruled as the kings 
of German thought. But after the death of Hegel, philosophy 
was forced to yield the right of way to modern science, and 
speculative metaphysics has been relegated to the side lines. 

Similarly, when any practical problem, like the race question, 
is discussed, books like Professor Royce's "Race Prejudice, 
Provincialism and Other American Problems," and Professor 
Kelly Miller's "Race Adjustment," which, in a calm and dispas- 
sionate manner analyze race prejudice and resolve the race prob- 
lem into its constituent elements, and which has been widely com- 
mended by the American press and admirably reviewed by Hon. 
Archibald Grimke, attract inadequate attention. This age is 
impatient. It cares little for philosophical analysis. It wants a 
creed. It cares little for any philosophical discussion. It wants a 
recipe, a formula, a cut and dried, canned and labeled, and ready 
for the market solution of the race problem. And yet, before a 
physician can suggest a remedy and cure, he must first diagnose 
the disease. 

The Anglo-Saxon loves a fighter. He is interested in the 
actors in the drama of life, rather than the dramatic critics in 
the parquet or gallery. He is more interested in the player who, 
with lowered head, smashes through an opposing rush line and 
scores a touchdown, or the man who runs back a kick half the 
length of the gridiron, dodging tacklers on the right and on the 
left, rather than in the coach on the side lines. And yet the 
coaches on the side lines have won more than one football game. 
And that is the justification of Socrates. Plato, Epictetus, Mon- 
taigne, Emerson, Ladd, James, Sumner, Royce and Kelly Miller, 

384 The African Abroad. 

who are critics of life rather than leaders of popular movements 
who are in the thick of the fray. 

But the objective attitude and the calm, dispassionate analysis 
of Kelly Miller is the more remarkable from the fact that he is 
a member of an emotional and excitable race, and from the fur- 
ther fact that that race is a persecuted, ostracized, downtrodden 
race that is under the fire of criticism. A man who is a member 
of a proscribed race, and at the same time can, in a calm and 
tranquil manner, discuss the relation of his race to his environ- 
ment is a remarkable man. 

But while these general remarks are true, Kelly Miller 
deserves a place in Xegro history because he is a reconciler and 
a harmonizer of two opposing movements among the colored 
people, one of which is led by Booker T. Washington and the 
other by Professor W. E. DuBois, Editor William Trotter, Dr. 
Owen M. Walker, L. M. Hershaw, F. H. McMurray, Bishop Alex- 
ander Walters, Dr. J. Milton Waldron and Dr. S. L. Corrothers. 
These rival schools of thought, these differences of opinion 
amongst colored leaders, are not the verbal disputes and oral 
disquisitions which the Greek sophists, the mediaeval school men, 
the Jesuitic priests, and Pickles Smith, Raspberry Johnson and 
Jones of Brother Gardiner's celebrated Lime Kiln Club delighted 
in ; but these schools of thought and these differences of opinion 
have crystallized into organizations, which meet annually, and 
have a definite programme and propaganda. What are these 
movements and schools of thought, and in what sense is Kelly 
Miller a reconciler and harmonizer? 

As I study the history of the American Xegro, I find two 
distinct attitudes of the American mind toward the Xegro since 
the Civil War. First came Charles Sumner and the American 
Missionary Association. Their colored exponent was Frederick 
Douglass. These men passed the fourteenth and fifteenth amend- 
ments and planted Howard, Fiskc and Atlanta universities. 
Then fifteen years ago, some philanthropists and educators and 
editors in the Xorth began to think that the higher education, 
civil and political rights, were forced upon the Xegro before he 
was ready for them. The late President McKinley voiced this 
view when he advised the students of Tuskeegee not to strive 
for the unattainable. President Taft, in his inaugural speech. 

Kelly Miller's Philosophy of the Race Question. 385 

seemed to lean towards this view, when he questioned the wis- 
dom of the attitude of the North towards the South during the 
reconstruction days, and intimated the change of his pohcy 
regarding Negro appointments in the South. Booker T. Wash- 
ington, who in his Atlanta 'speech said, "We began at the Sen- 
ate instead of at the plough," and who, in subsequent addresses, 
held up to ridicule a Negro youth studying a French grammar in 
a log cabin and spoke with contempt of a rosewood piano in a 
country schoolhouse, was the masterful and resourceful exponent 
of this view. 

There had been rumblings and grumblings of dissatisfaction 
among the colored people at some of the utterances of Dr. Wash- 
ington, in which he seemed to minimize the intellectual achieve- 
ments of the Negro, to ridicule the higher aspirations and spiritual 
strivings of his own people, and in which he seems to ask 
his people to cease contending for their manhood rights and to 
cut the foundation from under their civic privileges and political 
rights. In a word, thoughtful colored people felt that Mr. Wash- 
ington was importing into the North the South's estimate of 
the Negro, and giving to the North the opiate which put its 
conscience to sleep and caused it to silently acquiesce in the 
South's practically undoing the work of Sumner, Garrison and 

At first there were only muttcrings and grumblings and rum- 
blings of dissatisfaction. Finally the storm burst in the fall of 
1901, when the Boston Guardian was launched. Then, in the 
spring of 1903, DuBois's "Souls of Black Folk" was published. 
In the summer of 1903, Booker T. Washington's appearance in 
a colored church of Boston precipitated a riot. Then, in the same 
summer, the New England Suffrage League was organized. In 
the summer of 1905, the Niagara movement, of which Dr. W. E. 
DuBois is the general secretary, was organized. Then, in the 
spring of 1908, the National Negro Political League was organ- 
ized, of which Dr. J. ^Milton Waldron is president. These men 
believe that the same forces and ideals which have civilized the 
Anglo-Saxon are needed to uplift and save the Negro. They do 
not believe that two different standards and ideals of education 
can be held before two different races, living in the midst of the 
same civilization, facing the same problems and engaged in the 

386 The African Abroad. 

same struggle for existence. Tlicy believe that the world puts 
the same estimate upon a man or race which the man or race 
puts upon himself or itself and that it would be suicidal for the 
Negro to supinely acquiesce in the deprivation of those rights 
which are freely bestowed upon every foreigner and immigrant 
who seeks refuge upon our shores, simply because he is a man, 
and which he may have for the mere asking. They believe that 
the Negro is a member of the human family and belongs to the 
genus vir as well as to the genus homo, and they desire to see 
his humanity recognized. 

Then Professor Kelly Miller comes along as the harmonizer 
and reconciler. He sees that there is value in the creed of both 
Booker T. Washington and Dr. DuBois and yet that neither 
propaganda contains the whole programme. He sees that the 
Negro needs both the industrial education, property and good 
will of the Southern whites, which Booker T. Washington empha- 
sizes, and also the higher education, civil and political rights for 
which Dr. DuBois contends. Asked the question, "Which does 
the Negro need most, the industrial or the higher education?" 
Professor Miller will reply, "Both." Asked the question, "Which 
does the Negro need most, the ballot or property?" Professor 
^liller replies, "Both." Asked the question, "Which does the 
Negro need most, the good will of the Southern whites or the 
encouragement and emoluments from holding office?" Professor 
Miller will reply, "Both." In a word, Professor Miller is a judge 
who recognizes that both of the claimants in court have a case 
and the right to be heard ; and he recognizes that there is a 
ground in reason and in fact for the contention of each. And 
the most cultured men in the Negro race, such as Hon. Archibald 
H. Grimke, Dr. Francis J. Grimke, Hon. E. M. Hewlett, 
Professor William H. H. Hart, Professor William H. Richards, 
Professor C. C. Cook and Professor \Y. W Tunnell of Howard 
University, Professor J. W. Cromwell. George W. Forbes, C. G. 
Morgan, Mr. Thomas Walker and J. F. Bundy, recognize that the 
colored man needs everything that other men need. It seems to 
mc that Professor Miller is on the way towards a true solution 
of the race problem. We must recognize with Booker T. Wash- 
ington that the Negro must become an economic and industrial 
asset to the country and we must also recognize with Dr. DuBois 

Kelly Miller's Philosophy of the Race Question. 387 

that the Xegro must be impreg^nated with the ideals of civiHza- 
tion, and that a man's civil and poHtical status in society should 
not be determined by the color of his skin but by his worth as 
a man. For does not DuBois say in his great poem on the 
'Smoke King," "What's the hue of the hide to a man in his 
might?" This thought was eloquently voiced by Assistant Dis- 
trict Attorney W. H. Lewis of Boston in an address before the 
Twentieth Century Club, March, 1904, when he said, "I would 
rather not be than to be and not be a man." 

Now for a few closing reflections which may drive away the 
mists that becloud the vexed race problem. The Northern 
friends of the Negro are disappointed because he has not wholly 
kept pace with the Anglo-Saxon in this strenuous civilization. 
But it was hardly fair to expect that a race only two centuries 
removed from barbarism and savagery could within a half a 
century of its emancipation from bondage immediately absorb, 
assimilate and appropriate a civilization that it has taken the 
Teutonic people over twenty centuries to first absorb and assimi- 
late and then evolve and develop. Then, too, a mistake was made 
in grouping all of the colored people, good, bad and indifferent, 
in the same category, and expecting to find some one recipe, 
formula, or prescription, that could be applied to both the high- 
toned, the low-toned, and no-toned. 

But one truth shines out as clear as the noonday sun. The 
objective towards which all friends and helpers of the struggling 
black race must strive is this. The need of the hour is for the 
Negro to become impregnated with the ideals of civilization and 
enter into the spiritual fruits and inheritance of the complex and 
advanced civilization which is falsely called the Anglo-Saxon 
civilization, but which is really the Greek or Roman civilization, 
transformed by Hebrew monotheism and Teutonic aggressiveness 
and reverence for personality. In a word, the Negro must enter 
into the intellectual, moral, political, economic and industrial 
inheritance of the civilization into which he is bred and born. 
If the Negro does not participate in our American civilization, 
his fate will be the fate of the red man and he will go the way 
of other races which have succumbed before civilization. Now, 
how can the Negro appropriate the Anglo-Saxon civilization ? It 
required freedom for the Teutonic races to develop their splendid 

388 * The African Abroad. 

qualities of mind and lieart ; and if the Negro is oppressed, over- 
i<hadowcd, imprisoned in a social group, absolutely segregated 
and herded together and cut off from the rest of mankind, he 
cannot evolve and develop into a higher being, or realize his 
possibilities. If the colored brother is shut up in a pen and cut 
off from the intellectual, moral and political atmosphere of the 
life in which he lives and moves and has his being, his soul life 
will circle in eddies, and he will not get into the stream and 
currents of American thought and life. Yes, the great need is 
for the Negro to be stirred by the divine impulses which have 
moved the world. 

Some say, let the Negro first get wealth and education and all 
the rest will follow. But a race that is a pariah in society, a vaga- 
bond race, with no share in the government, cannot even protect 
its property rights or determine what kind of an education the 
public school shall give its children. Thus, in several Southern 
states the higher courses have been eliminated from the state 
colleges and high schools for the colored youths, against tiie 
wish and protest of the colored people. 

The Negro only forms fifteen per cent, of the population of 
the country. The white people own nearly 98 per cent, of the 
total wealth of the country. The whites have their hands upon 
the throttle valves of the manufacturing industries and the build- 
ing trades of the country. Thus the Negro is overpowered, over- 
whelmed and oppressed both statically and dynamically by a 
crushing and restraining force. He can only offer such resist- 
ance as the restraining and crushing force will permit and allow 
him to offer. The colored people will only have such rights as 
the white people will permit them to have. Theoretically, the 
white people have granted him constitutional rights and they have 
endeavored to lift him morally. 

If the economic pressure should come and Negro labor be 
supplanted with immigrant labor, the Negro race would be left 
a completely hcl])less, prostrate people, groveling in the dust. 
The pressure against the colored man has been static. If it 
should become dynamic, it would close like a vise and crush tlie 
poor Negro comjilctcly. The atoms of oxyq-cn and hydrogen 
would be disintegrated, distributed, and scattered abroad, and the 
Negro would then i)lay the role of a fertilizer in American 

Kelly Miller's Philosophy of the Race Question. 3S9 

I do not know whether the supreme aim and purpose of the 
South is to hft up or keep down the colored man, to develop or 
degrade, to elevate or subjugate him. But one thing I do know, 
the South cannot lift the Xegro by keeping him down, cannot 
develop him by degrading him, cannot elevate him by subjugating 
him. It remains for the country to decide whether the colored 
brother shall be lifted up or kept down, whether he shall be 
developed or degraded, whether he shall be elevated or subju- 
gated. But I believe that the black man especially needs the 
uplift of the mighty hopes which make us men. The country 
says to the colored man, "Get material well-being, get houses 
and lands, but do not meddle with the higher things of the mind, 
do not interfere with the white man's politics." But did not the 
God-like Being, who cast the spell of his enchantment over his 
followers and who spake as never man spake before, say, "Is 
not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment." 


Professor Josiali Royce's "Philosophy of the Color Question." 

Sidney Oliver, C.M.G., has written a remarkable work upon 
"White Capital and Colored Labor." One of his most suggestive 
chapters is the seventh chapter, where he quotes copiously from 
Mrs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox and Professor Josiah Royce. Mr. 
Oliver says : 

The facts are so important that I am glad to be able to substantiate 
my own impressions by quoting those of two well-known American 
writers who have, since my observations appeared, quite independently 
but very precisely endorsed them. 

Mrs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox, writing from Jamaica (which this lady 
has visited several times) to the New York American, in January, 1906, 
speaks as follows : — 

"The man or woman who visits Jamaica and does not acknowledge 
the ability of the colored race to occupy positions of dignity and trust, 
and to acquire education and culture, is either blind or utterly pig-headed. 

"Three colored men acted on the jury in Kingston this week. The 
policemen, the trolley and railway officials are colored ; so are the 
post-office officials. Scores of men stamped with the indelible marks of 
the African occupy prominent places in large industrial concerns, and 

the most remarkable man teacher I ever met with is Mr. of 

, principal of the schools, and a man of very dark, albeit of 

very handsome, features. 

• • • • • 

"There is no question but the colored man is more evenly developed 
and better treated, better understood on this island than anywhere in 

"Xowhere has the man with colored blood in his veins a better 
opportunity to rise in the world than right here. Stay here, and prove 
to all 'doubting Thomases' what the colored race can do. It is 
miraculous to think what it has accomplished here in sixty-eight years, 
since slavery was abolished. 

"What may it not achieve in the next half century?" 

Professor Josiah Royce, of Harvard University, in an otherwise notable 
article on "Race Questions and Prejudices," published in the Intcrnatioiuil 
Journal of FJhics for .\pril, \()o6. from which I am fain to quote again 
hereafter in support of the views of these questions which experience 




O H 

3 — 

S- n 

t cc 

o ^ 






Josiah Roycc's "Philosophy of the Color Question." 391 

has impressed upon myself, has written at some length on the topics 
which I have discussed in these chapters on "The Transplanted African." 
His testimony is so explicit and coming independently from such a 
source so significant and so weighty, that I think it necessary to quote 
the following somewhat lengthy extract with only trifling excisions. 

"How can the white man and the Negro, once forced, as they are in 
our South, to live side by side, best learn to live with a minimum of 
friction, with a maximum of cooperation? I have long learned from 
my Southern friends that this end can only be attained by a firm, and 
by a very constant and explicit insistence upon keeping the Negro in his 
proper place, as a social inferior — who, then, as an inferior, should, of 
course, be treated humanely, but who must first be clearly and unmis- 
takably taught where he belongs. I have observed that the pedagogical 
methods which my Southern friends of late years have found it their 
duty to use, to this end, are methods such as still keep awake a good 
deal of very lively and intense irritation, in the minds not only of the 
pupils but also of the teachers. 

"Must such increase of race-hatred first come, in order that later, 
whenever the Negro has fully learned his lesson, and aspires no more 
beyond his station, peace may later come? Well, concerning just this 
matter I lately learned what was to me, in my experience, a new lesson. 
I have had occasion three times, in recent summers, to visit British 
West Indies. Jamaica and Trinidad, at a time when few tourists were 
there. Upon visiting Jamaica I first went round the coast of the Island, 
visiting its various ports. I then went inland, and walked for miles over 
its admirable country roads. I discussed its condition with men of 
various occupations. I read some of its official literature. I then con- 
sulted with a new interest its history. I watched its Negroes in various 
places, and talked with some of them, too. I have since collected such 
further information as I had time to collect regarding its life, as various 
authorities have discussed the topic, and this is the result: 

"Jamaica has a population of surely not more than 14,000 or 15,000 
whites, mostly English. Its black population considerably exceeds 600,- 
000. Its mulatto population, of various shades, numbers, at the very 
least, some 40,000 or 50,000. Its plantation life, in the days before 
emancipation, was much sadder and severer, by common account, than 
ours in the South ever was. Both the period of emancipation and the 
immediate following period were of a very discouraging type. In the 
sixties of the last century there was one very unfortunate insurrection. 
The economic history of the island has also been in many ways unlucky 
even to the present day. Here, then, are certainly conditions which in 
some respects are decidedly such as would seem to tend towards a lasting 
state of general irritation, such as would make, you might suppose, 
race-questions acute. Moreover, the population, being a tropical one, 
has serious moral burdens to contend with of the sort that result from 
the known influences of such climates upon human character in the 
men of all races. 

392 The African Abroad. 

"And yet, despite all these disadvantages, to-day, whatever the problems 
of Jamaica, whatever its defects, our own present Southern race-prob- 
lem in the forms which we know best, simply does not exist. There is 
no public controversy about social race equality or superiority. Neither 
a white man nor a white woman feels insecure in moving about freely 
amongst the black population anywhere on the island. 

"The Negro is, on the whole, neither painfully obtrusive in his public 
manners, nor in need of being sharply kept in his place. Within the 
circles of the black population itself there is meanwhile a decidedly rich 
social differentiation. There are Negroes in government service, Negroes 
in the professions, Negroes who are fairly prosperous peasant proprietors, 
and there arc also the poor peasants; there are the thriftless, the poor 
in the towns, — yes, as in any tropical country, the beggars. In Kingston 
and in some other towns there is a small class of Negroes who are dis- 
tinctly criminal. On the whole, however, the Negro and colored popu- 
lation, taken in the mass, are orderly, law-abiding, contented, still 
backward in their education, but apparently advancing. They are gen- 
erally loyal to the government. The best of them are aspiring, in their 
own way, and are wholesomely self-conscious. Yet there is no doubt what- 
ever that English white men are the essential controllers of the destiny 
of the country. But these English whites, few as they are, control the 
country at present with extraordinary little friction, and wholly without 
those painful emotions, those insistent complaints and anxieties, which 
at present are so prominent in the minds of many of our own Southern 
brethren. Life in Jamaica is not ideal. The economical aspect of the 
island is in many ways unsatisfactory. But the Negro race question, 
in our present American sense of that term, seems to be substantially 

"I answer, by the simplest means in the world— the simplest, that is, 
for Englishmen — viz. : by English administration, and by English reticence. 
When once the sad period of emancipation and of subsequent occasional 
disorder was passed, the Englishman did in Jamaica what he had so 
often and so well done elsewhere. He organized his colony; he estab- 
lished good local courts, which gained by square treatment the confidence 
of the blacks. The judges of such courts were Englishmen. The 
English ruler also provided a good country constabulary, in which native 
blacks also found service, and in which they could exercise authority 
over other blacks. Black men, in other words, were trained, under 
English management, of course, to police black men. A sound civil 
service was also organized; and in that educated Negroes found in 
due time their place, while the chief of each branch of the service 
were or are. in the main, Englishmen. The excise and the health services, 
both of which are very highly developed, have brought the law near to 
the life of the humblest Negro, in ways which he sometimes finds, of 
course restraining, but which he also frequently finds beneficent. Hence 
he is accustomed to the law; he sees its ministers often, and often, 
too, as men of his own race; and in the main, he is fond of order, 

Josiah Royce's "Philosophy of the Color Question." 393 

and duly respectful towards the established ways of society. The 
Jamaica Negro is described by those who know him as especially fond 
of bringing his petty quarrels and personal grievances into court. He 
is litigious just as he is vivacious. But this confidence in the law is 
just what the courts have encouraged. That is one way, in fact, to 
deal with the too forward and strident Negro. Encourage him to air 
his grievances in court, listen to him patiently, and fine him when he 
deserves fines. That is a truly English type of social pedagogy. It 
works in the direction of making the Negro a conscious helper toward 
good social order. 

"Administration, I say, has done the larger half of the work of solving 
Jamaica's race-problem. Administration has filled the island with good 
roads, has reduced to a minimum the tropical diseases by means of an 
excellent health-service, has taught the population loyalty and order, 
has led them some steps already on the long road 'up from slavery,' 
has given them, in many cases, the true self-respect of those who them- 
selves officially cooperate in the work of the law, and it has done this 
without any such result as our Southern friends nowadays conceive 
when they think of what is called 'negro domination.' Administration 
has allayed ancient irritations. It has gone far to offset the serious 
economic and tropical troubles from which Jamaica meanwhile suffers. 

"Yes, the work has been done by administration, — and by reticence. 
You well know that in dealing, as an individual, with other individuals, 
trouble is seldom made by the fact that you are actually the superior 
of another man in any respect. The trouble comes when you tell the 
other man too stridently that you are his superior. Be my superior 
quietly, simply showing your superiority in your deeds, and very likely 
I shall love you for the very fact of your superiority. For we all love 
our leaders. But tell me that I am your inferior, and then perhaps I 
may grow boyish, and may throw stones. Well, it is so with races. 
Grant then that yours is the superior race. Then you can afford to say 
little about that subject in your public dealings with the backward race. 
Superiority is best shown by good deeds and by few boasts. 

"So much for the lesson that Jamaica has suggested to me. The widely 
different conditions of Trinidad suggest, despite the differences, a some- 
what similar lesson. Here also there are great defects in the social 
order; but again, our Southern race problem does not exist. When, 
with such lessons in mind, I recall our problem, as I hear it from my 
brethren of certain regions of our Union, I see how easily we can all 
mistake for a permanent race-problem a difficulty that is essentially a 
problem of quite another sort. Mr. Thomas Nelson Page, in his recent 
book on the 'Southerners' Problem,' speaks in one notable passage 
of the possibility, which he calls Utopian, that perhaps same day the 
Negro in the South may be made to cooperate in the keeping of order 
by the organization under State control of a police of their own race, 
who shall deal with blacks. He even mentions that the English in the 
East Indies use native constabulary. But this possibility is not Utopian. 

394 The African Abroad. 

When now I hear the complaint of the Southerner, that the race prob- 
lem is such as constantly to endanger the safety of his home, I now 
feel disposed to say : 'The problem that endangers the sanctity of your 
homes and that is said sometimes to make lynching a necessity, is not 
a race problem. It is an administrative problem. You have never 
organized a country constabulary. Hence when various social condi- 
tions — amongst which the habit of irritating public speech about race 
questions is indeed one, though only one condition — have tended to the 
producing, and to the arousing of extremely dangerous criminals in your 
communities, you have no adequate means of guarding against the danger. 
When you complain that such criminals, when they flee from justice, 
get sympathy from some portion of their ignorant fellows and so are 
aided to get away, you forget that you have not first made your Negro 
countrymen familiar with and fond of the law, by means of a vigorous 
and well-organized and generally beneficent administration constantly 
before his eyes, not only in the pursuit of criminals, but in the whole 
care of public order and health. If you insist that in some districts 
the white population is too sparse or too poor, or both, to furnish an 
efficient country constabulary constantly on duty, why, then, have you 
not long since trained black men to police black men? Sympathy with 
the law grows with responsibility for its administration. If it is revolt- 
ing to you to see black men possessed of the authority of a country 
constabulary, still, if you will, you can limit their authority to a control 
over their own race. If you say all this speech of mine is professional, 
unpractical, Utopian, and if you still cry out bitterly for the effective 
protection of your womankind, I reply merely, look at Jamaica! Look 
at other English colonies. 

"In any case, the Southern race problem will never be relieved by 
speech or by practices such as increase irritation. It will be relieved 
when administration grows sufficiently effective, and when the Negroes 
themselves get an increasingly responsible part in this administration 
in so far as it relates to their own race. That may seem a wild scheme. 
But I insist: It is the English way. Look at Jamaica, and learn how 
to protect your own homes." 

That Professor Josiah Royce does not paint too roseate a 
picture of the Jamaica Negro is seen in the picturesque article 
upon Jamaica by Rev. James F. Hill, D.D., entitled ''The Land 
of Smiles." Dr. Hill says, "This is a sun-blessed land, where the 
Negro question is settled, or where it simply does not exist. 
There are so few whites that their number is insignificant as 
regards the ordinary run of things on the island and so no dis- 
tinctions exist." The history of Jamaica conclusively shows that 
the Negro's civil and political equality is not a menace to the 

^i-^^-'""V ' 

' a 


A Message to My Colored Brethren — Stop Whining and Buckle 

Down to Hard Work. 

I desire to say at the outset that this book is not a philHpic 
against Booker T. Washington. But I will explain why I discuss 
him at such great length in the book. He is a resourceful man 
and the colored thinkers are divided into two camps regarding 
his leadership. 

The physicist faces certain physical facts. The fact that 
gravitation draws all things to the ground, the fact that fire 
burns, that water seeks its level, are facts that we cannot ignore. 
We may close our eyes and say that they are illusions of the 
mind, and step off the top of a high building, or thrust our 
hands into the fire, or construct faucets higher than the 
reservoir and we will get some unpleasant experiences, remind- 
ers that there are some stubborn physical facts and laws that 
we must recognize and cannot yet get around or over or under or 
through. And so in the moral and spiritual world there are 
certain facts that remain facts whether we so recognize them or 

Now, it is a fact that the mass of the Negroes are not as 
sensitive to their rights, not as high-spirited, not as keen in 
their appreciation of intellectual things and in their admiration 
of scholars and literary men as the mass of the Anglo-Saxons. 
But it is also a fact that many colored persons, the present 
writer among them, have higher cravings and aspirations and 
wants and needs than the mere feeding, clothing and sheltering 
of the body. The hunger for the eternal is in their nature. 
The thirst for the higher things of life is the deepest law of 
their being. They have caught the far-off gleam of the ideal 
and they are pursuing it with the same chivalric spirit w'ith 
which the Knights of the Round Table sought the Holy Grail. 

It is also a fact that Booker T. Washington's gospel of indus- 
trialism, his gospel of submit-to-Jim-Crow-cars and stay-out-of- 
politics does not appeal to the spiritual and moral wants and 

396 The African Abroad. 

needs of these colored persons. It is a fact that this dissatis- 
faction with the crass and sordid materiahsm of Mr. W'ash- 
ini^-ton's teaching has voiced itself in DuBois's "Souls of Black 
Folk," has spoken in the trenchant and hysterical editorials of 
the Boston Guardian, has uttered itself in The Voice of the 
Negro, has manifested itself in the Boston riot of 1903, and in 
similar public gatherings, and finally has crystallized itself into 
that formidable organization of intelligent and ambitious 
Negroes known as the Niagara movement. The scientist holds 
the mirror up to nature and reflects her; as a historian of the 
Negro race, as the writer of a history, which may be read after 
I have passed away, it is my duty and mission to hold the mir- 
ror up to the Negro's history and reflect his dominant tendencies. 
Hence, as the growth of the anti-Booker T. Washington senti- 
ment amongst thoughtful colored men is a fact of Negro history, 
as the rise of DuBois as a race leader is a fact of Negro history, 
I must record them in these pages. 

The Anglo-Saxon friends of the colored people express a 
surprise that so many strong Negro leaders resent the yoke of 
Mr. Washington's leadership. Some have attempted to toss the 
objection to Dr. Washington's leadership lightly aside by say- 
ing, "The Negro is a hero dissector rather than a hero wor- 
shipper. He likes to pull down and tear down his great men. 
He has the instinct of the buzzard in discovering and feeding 
upon rotten carrion. He likes to discover and reveal defects 
in his leaders. He likes to wash his dirty linen and air his 
petty grievances in public." But we must probe deeper to dis- 
cover the kernel of the objection to Mr. Washington's leader- 
ship. That kernel is found in the fact that the love of liberty 
is innate, that the instinct and desire to rise is an inborn char- 
acteristic of the human soul. Hence those colored men, crav- 
ing and yearning for all that belongs to a man. are not 
satisfied with a philosophy and doctrine which would curtail their 
rights and privileges and circumscribe and set a limit to their 
aspirations. Then, again, it is a fact of history that educated 
men do not relish an uneducated leader. 

It seems to me the fact that educated colored men have not 
swallowed and gulped down whole Mr. W^ashington's gospel of 
compromise, but have taken him in homeopathic doses, is a 

A Message to My Colored Brethren. 397 

healthy sign, and indicates that the Negro has emerged from 
mental childhood to manhood, and is now thinking for him- 
self. The Republican and Democratic parties have divided 
upon protection and free trade, gold and silver standards and 
imperialism. There is the anti-trust and pro-trust wing in the 
Republican party. So it is no inexplicable phenomena that all 
Negroes do not think alike. 

It is unfortunate, though, that personal enmity should exist 
between the critics and defenders of Mr. Washington, and that 
the friends and foes of Mr. Washington should be drawn up 
in two warring camps. But the responsibility for this rests, I 
believe, upon the shoulders of Mr. Washington's over-zealous 
friends, who made the mistake of putting under the ban and 
regarding as heretics those who believed that Mr. Washington 
was human and liable to err and who did not believe that divine 
omniscience was one of his perspicuous qualities and attributes. 
I hope and trust that brotherly love will prevail between the 
critics and the friends of Dr. B. T. Washington; but the latter 
wills otherwise. 

For my own personal estimation of Mr. W'ashington, I will 
say that, in many ways, I regard him as a very clever man, one 
of the cleverest men the Negro race has produced. He is a 
successful organizer, a popular orator, and he must be a diplo- 
mat to win and draw and hold such faithful friends as he has. 
Apart from the fact that he has built up a big industrial plant 
at Tuskeegee, that he has manifested rare genius in organizing 
and marshalling his forces at Tuskeegee, that he can land his 
colored henchmen in political jobs, schools and colleges, that he 
can reward colored editors and orators for booming him, there 
must be some magnetism, that defies analysis to his personality, 
that accounts for the magic influence that he formerly exerted 
upon his colored and white friends. Then, again, he is one 
of the industrial saviors and deliverers of the South. General 
Samuel Armstrong, his teacher, has solved the problem as to how 
the toiling black masses shall earn their living and become an 
economic force in the South. If I were a billionaire, I would 
plant a Hampton Institute in every Southern State to solve the 
bread-and-butter problem for the Southern Negro. 

But look upon the other side of the picture. On the other 
hand, Mr. Washington has put the Negro race back fifty years 

39^ The African Abroad. 

so far as the country's recognizing and appreciating the fact 
that he is a full-fledged man, entitled to all the rights and priv- 
ileges and opportunities to which the meanest foreigner and 
poorest immigrant is heir. The world has long believed that 
the object, end and aim of life, and hence of education, which 
prepares one for life, is to develop a high type of manhood and 
womanhood. How this ideal of life and education can be realized 
in a human being when he has no part or parcel in the gov- 
ernment to which he belongs, when the spirit of a slave and not 
that of a free being is instilled in him, and when he is taught 
to feel and believe that he is an inferior being, is a mystery to 
me, and is a harder problem for my brain to solve than any 
to be encountered in differential calculus or vector analysis. 
Untieing the Gordian knot or answering the riddle of the Sphinx 
is child's play compared to it. 

When I reflect that Air. Washington, in a quarter of a cen- 
tury, has built up and developed a remarkable school, which is 
a wonderful industrial plant, nay a little city by itself, I feel 
like exclaiming in the words of the devout Mohammedan, "Great 
is Tuskeegee and Washington is its creator." But I will say in 
conclusion, that I believe Mr. Washington's place is at the head 
of Tuskeegee and not as the dictator of political appointments or 
supervisor of all the Negro schools and colleges in the country, 
or the universal boss of the Negro race. Self-made men are, like 
Washington, often men of great power in achievement and of 
great intensity of purpose. They often grasp and grapple suc- 
cessfully with one phase of a complicated problem. They often 
see one vital truth and see it clearly, but, as a rule, they are not as 
broad-gauged and have not as comprehensive a sweep and survey 
of great problems as the men of university training. They lack 
the perspective which a knowledge of history gives to a thought- 
ful observer. Hence the world-leader of the Negro race must 
not only be a man of affairs but he must be a profound student 
of sociology. He must be cognizant of the meaning and sig- 
nificance of the great world movements in history. On account 
of these general considerations Dr. ^^^ E. Burghardt DuBois, 
President William S. Scarborough and Hon. A. H. Grimke are 
the men best suited by native ability and thorough training and 
preparation to lead the advancing hosts of black heroes. 

A Message to My Colored Brethren. 399 

Mr. Washington may be doing a grand and good work at 

Tuskeegee but DuBois towers above and transcends him intellec- 

" tually, and his nature is more imperial than Washington's. But 

the world formerly rated Washington as the greater man. Yes, 

but w-hy? 

In the white race, a man who trains the mind is ranked as a 
greater man than the man who trains the hand. That is why 
Presidents Eliot and Lowell of Harvard, President Hadley of 
Yale and the late President Harper of Chicago University are 
justly regarded as greater educators and greater men than the 
principal of a white industrial or farm school. 

Why then was Mr. Washington, the representative of the 
industrial education of the negro, formerly regarded by the 
world at large as greater than Scarborough, the representative of 
the higher education of the Negro? It is because Yale, Har- 
vard, Oxford and Cambridge and the universities of Leipsic 
and Berlin are regarded as ideal universities for the white 
youth, while Hampton and Tuskeegee fix the limits of the 
Negro attainment and aspirations. It is because the Negro is 
regarded as a being who is fit for nothing higher than being a 
beast of burden and a tiller of the soil. But the Negro's love 
of music, eloquence, poetry, philosophy, theology and religion 
indicates that the deathless hopes of the human soul appeal to 
him no less than they dazzle the mind of his Caucasian brother. 

Mr. Washington says that when we get wealth, when we get 
something the white man wants, the friction between the races 
will be a thing of the past and the race problem will be solved. 
He says that we must be rich before we can hope or expect to be 
treated as human beings. But that is a surface view and indi- 
cates that iMr. Washington does not understand the deepest 
springs of human nature. The moral impulse is a more potent 
spring of action than the commerical instinct. Rev. Richard 
Carroll of Columbia, S. C, the colored Chautauqua lecturer, said 
in his paper, "The Southern Ploughman" : "O Foolish Gala- 
tians! Talk is cheap. The race is loaded down with race 
leaders, big men and advisers. There are a lot of these cheap 
orators that come through the South and even the North, but 
especially do they confine their work to the South, giving lec- 
tures at every Sunday School picnic and in the pulpits. They 

400 The African Abroad. 

advise the Negro to 'get property, get money, get a bank 
account, and the white man will recognize you and treat you 
like a gentleman. The white man loves money ; you can reach 
him through his pocket; touch his pocketbook and you've got 
him.' They never labored under a more fatal mistake. The 
white people of the South are not purchasable with money. 
Tiicy have not yet learned the value of money, as have some 
other wh.ite folks. If you would cover the Negroes with gold 
from head to foot, some of the white people would not recognize 
them any more than they do now. If these orators mean that 
the Negroes will get social equalities from the white people of 
the South, if they get hold of some land and money, they are 
very much mistaken, and are 'barking up the wrong tree.' 
Others teach the Negroes that as soon as they get wealth, become 
the equals or superiors of the white people of the South, then 
they will get recognition. How the Negroes of the South can 
become the financial equals of the white people of the South 
is something I can not see through. I wish we could get as 
much money as they have. There are others that teach, 'When 
the Negroes get property and money, persecution in the South 
will cease.' It will make it worse. The Jews in Russia have 
plenty of money, and they are persecuted. It does not make 
any difference what the Negroes get, how much land they own 
or how much money they have in the bank, the sentiment of the 
South as to social equality will remain." 

Let us see. The Negro is despised, proscribed and ostracised 
and is a very unpopular being. He is an objectionable being 
to the white man. How- overcome the aversion which the Anglo- 
Saxon has for his brother in black? Clearly not by the Negro 
merely acquiring wealth and accumulating property. If he was 
rough, uncouth, and unrefined, he would still be aesthetically 
objectionable to his Caucasian brother, even if he possessed the 
wealth of a Croesus. We must produce a type of manhood and 
womanhood that the Anglo-Saxon will admire. Then and then 
alone will the Negro no longer be despised, but he will be freely 
accorded his civil and political rights. 

The Negro must acquire culture, polish and refinement, he 
must acquire an aristocratic, high-bred feeling. We must im- 
prove the racial stock. We must produce a high-minded, high- 

A Message to My Colored Brethren. ^ox 

spirited, hig-h-toned race of men and women, who will walk 
with head erect, lift their feet and strike the ground with a 
firm elastic step. W'e need an educated gentry. We need men 
like the late Sir William Conrad Reeves, Chief Justice of Bar- 
badoes, roughshod and still refined. We must produce a race 
of bold, lion-like men, and aristocratic, high-bred women; we 
must make some contribution to civilization, must develop the 
intellectual, moral and aesthetic sides of our nature, — then we will 
no longer be a despised but an admired race. 

Some may say that the Negro has already attained to culture 
and made remarkable progress. It is true that in L'Ouverture, 
Cuffee, Douglas, Crummell, Downing, Garnett, the Grimke 
brothers, Purvis and Reeves, we have produced men who tower 
in their intellectual and moral grandeur as Alpine peaks. In 
Phyllis Wheatley, Dunbar, Chestnutt, Tanner and Coleridge-Tay- 
lor, we have produced men who have distinguished themselves 
in literature and art. 

In Blyden, the Mohammedan and Arabic scholar; in Scar- 
borough, the Greek scholar; in Kelly Miller, the mathematician; 
in Forbes, ]\Ioore, Cook, Sinclair, Richards, Bassett, DuBois, 
Bowen, Crogman, Fortune and Barber we have produced schol- 
ars and thinkers, who have written creditable essays and books. 
In Ward, Williams, Eliot, Price, Morris, Ransom, Brockett, 
Hayes, Bishop Turner, Vernon, Mason, O'Connell, Purvis, 
Lewis, Morgan, Gilbert, Bruce and Pickens we have produced 
magnetic orators. In Bishop Salters and Coppin, Rev. M. W. 
Gilbert, and Bishop Albert Johnson we have produced great 
preachers. In Bruce, Cuney, Pledger, Lyons, Lee and DeVeaux 
we have produced astute political leaders. In Derham, LeGrasse, 
Porter, Purvis, Williams and Hills we have produced six great 
physicians and surgeons. In Hart, Morris, and McGhee we have 
produced three great lawyers. In Granville Woods we have 
produced an inventor, who is a genius. We have produced a 
few millionaires and two or three hundred men and women who 
have piled up a fortune of over one hundred thousand dollars. 
Crispus Attuscks, at the Boston Massacre; Peter Salem, at 
Bunker Hill; Sergeant Carney, at Fort W'agner; Bob Smalls, 
in carrying off the planter ; the Haytien troops under L'Ouver- 
ture, and the colored regulars at San Juan Hill, El Caney and 

402 The African Abroad. 

LaQuassia, have written their names in letters of blood upon 
the pages of human history and demonstrated forever the 
courage of the Negro upon the battle field. 

In Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington 
and Charleston, we have a cultured and refined aristocracy. In 
Rochester, New Bedford, Providence, Newport, Hartford and 
New Haven we have old and respectable colored families, to 
whom there is a sort of moral aroma. In Wilmington, Del., 
Durham, Savannah, Jacksonville, Waycross, Brunswick, Louis- 
ville and Chicago, we see cities and towns teeming with colored 
population that pulses with the modern commercial spirit. In 
Wilmington, N. C, Beaufort, Georgetown, Columbia and Darien 
we see towns animated by loyal race spirit. 

But there are thousands of Negroes in the South, and scores 
in the North, who have practically been untouched by the civil- 
izing forces of the modern age, and who are ignorant, illiterate, 
superstitious and poverty-stricken. The Negro is not an inferior 
being; but the race is a crude and undeveloped race. It is not 
a backward or child race; but it is an unpolished diamond, a 
diamond in the rough. 

And then, again, we have produced few men and women 
in America whose deeds and achievements are recorded in the 
world's history. If I could pass any criticism upon the social 
leaders of the Negro race, upon the representatives of Negro 
aristocracy, it is that they have not been touched by the mis- 
sionary impulse to the degree that the New England philan- 
thropists and the representatives of New England culture have. 

If, then, few of the gifted and talented sons and daughters 
of the Negro race have been potent factors in shaping the 
world's history, why do I write this book and why was I tempted 
to call it "The Prose Epic of the Negro Race"? As I pass 
through the country and meet men like S. N. Scarlett of 
Waycross, and a hundred others I might mention, I am com- 
pelled to admire them. It is not what they have actually done; 
it is not what they have actually wrought out; it is not 
the heights to which they have attained, but it is for the 
depths from whence they have come; it is the obstacles which 
they have encountered, the difficulties they have overcome, in 
forging their way to the front and climbing the mountain of 

A Message to My Colored Brethren. 403 

human achievement; it is for these things that I value and 
honor them. When I consider that the Negro race as a race 
has only had fifty years of freedom ; when I consider that many 
have forced their way up in the face of the indifference of the 
Anglo-Saxon race, and the opposition and jealousy of their own 
race, I am constrained to doff my cap to any colored man or 
woman who has won recognition for his deeds and achievements 
from his own and from the Anglo-Saxon race. 

It seems hard, unjust and cruel to tell a race it must become 
an admired, instead of a despised race, before the race prob- 
lem will be solved. But it is the truth. As I travel through 
the South and am penned and cooped and packed like a sardine in 
the sweat-box known as the Jim Crow car; as I am herded, 
with other Negroes, as if we were all cattle ; as I am denied the 
privilege of a sleeping car, subjected to inconveniences and 
annoyances when traveling, yea subject to countless insults and 
humihations in the South, I ask, "Why is it?" 

I am educated and have over a century of free and respectable 
ancestry behind me. Why am I so treated in the South? It is 
because I am connected with a race that is despised because of 
the color of its skin, the texture of its hair, the heaviness of its 
features ; despised because it was until recently a slave race ; 
despised because it does not possess wealth and has not made 
a contribution to civilization or played a part in shaping and 
moulding the world's history. 

What am I to do? The most natural thing for me to do is 
to hoist the signal of distress and set up a pathetic howl and 
plaintive wail. But suppose the world turns a deaf ear to my 
cries and lamentations? And that is what it has done to the 
Negro. For the past twenty-five years, we have had our race 
conventions. W^e have met and passed resolutions. We have 
resolved and dissolved. And what has been the result? The 
petitions and entreaties of the Negro have been ignored and 
one Southern State after another has disfranchised and Jim- 
Crowed him. 

The Boston Guardian and the Niagara movement did some 
very effective work in causing the Warner amendment, which 
would have nationalized Jim Crow cars, to be dropped from the 
rate bill. Under the wise leadership of DuBois, the Niagara 

404 The African Abroad. 

movement, supported by Trotter, the fearless editor of the Boston 
Guardian, did wonders in arousing the dormant and deadened 
conscience of a nation tliat in its mad rush for gold has shut 
its eyes to the question of human rights which is as old as history. 
And the Constitution League, backed by Mr. John E. Milliolland 
and organized by Dr. William A. Sinclair, followed suit. 

But unless the Negro does something to convert the contempt 
of the country into admiration, the eloquent protests will be 
powerless to help the Xcgro. A tidal wave of sentiment, hostile 
to the Negro, is sweeping over the country. We must turn back 
that wave. How ? With America as a stage, an immense amphi- 
theatre and field of action ; and the civilized world as spectators, 
ready to applaud our rise, we must demonstrate to the world 
that the black race possesses genius and talent and make a 
record which will compel mankind to recognize and respect us. 

But first we need a criterion of aristocracy in society. We have 
no social standing in America. We level distinction too gen- 
erally ; we make little gods of fops, dudes, dandies. Beau Brum- 
mels, Ward McAlisters, and Lord Chesterfields, who put more 
money in the tailor's hands than they do in the bank or into 
real estate. It is no disgrace to be an honest servant ; I have 
great respect for a hard-working man or woman ; I, too, have 
worked at manual labor ; but the question of the inequality 
of social position is ignored among us. The Negro lacks the 
grit and plodding pluck of the white man to push and forge. 
The Negro who wants something, easy every day, who dreads 
hard work and who lacks the ambition to rise in life and climb 
the rugged heights of achievement, is not the social equal of a 
man who has struggled and made sacrifices to get an education 
and has grappled with knotty problems in mathematics and with 
the mysteries and subtleties of metaphysics. The average Negro 
does not respect his superior people. lie must learn to look up 
to his eminent men and refined women. But the Negro is not 
to blame for this, as he was taught in slavery days that one 
"Nigger" is no better than another "Nigger" and that no 
"Nigger" is the equal of the white man. 

Some will say that this talk sounds like an echo of Booker T. 
Washington. Mr. Washington and I agree that it is up to the 
Negro to do something and work out his own salvation. But 

A Message to My Colored Brethren. 405 

there the Tuskeegee sage and I differ. He beHeves the Negro 
ought to be a milHonaire before he demands to be treated as a 
man; I don't. He wants the Negro to begin at the foot of the 
ladder and remember that his mission and destiny is to remain 
there. I, too, want him to begin at the bottom ; but I also want 
him to climb the dizzy heights of fame, to go higher and higher, 
cutting his way up niche by niche. I want him to reach up and 
write his name in letters of gold side by side with the scholars 
and scientists, the statesmen and orators, the poets and artists, 
the financiers and writers, whom the world has long revered. 
But, descending from the cloudland of fancy, and coming down 
to terra firma, we are confronted by this question, "Will the 
white man permit the Negro to mount to such dazzling heights 
and carve his name upon the topmost pinnacle of fame?" The 
ideal Negro for the white man of the South is the old slave 
Negro, who is humble, submissive and courteous. He thinks the 
Negro's place is in the kitchen and on the farm. He looks upon 
the aspiring Negro as an anomaly and an exotic in modern 

But the Negro is ambitious and imitative and he wants to do 
everything the white man does; so there will be a row between 
the Negro and the Southern white man. The Negro follows the 
white man, step by step, and as long as he does that, there will 
be a fight in the South. He will reach the white man's ideas and 
ideals, and take them to himself and try to develop and perfect 
them. It is the question of the political and social aspirations 
of the Negro that brings about the trouble in the South. It is 
now a social question, based on the freedom and citizenship of 
the Negro. 

I have heard Swami Abhedananda, Mozumdar and Bepin Chan- 
dra Pal, the distinguished Hindoo philosophers, lecture, I have 
had long talks with Yokoi, the philosophical Japanese, and I have 
come to the conclusion that the Anglo-Saxon ideal of manhood 
and womanhood is the highest the world has yet seen, the high- 
est that will ever be evolved in the history of the world. I desire 
to ask America, "Will you permit the Negro to realize and 
embody this ideal in his life? Will you encourage the unlim- 
ited and unrestricted development of talented and gifted colored 
people?" Regard as the delusion of a hysterical mind, as the 

4o6 The African Abroad. 

wild dream of a diseased and disorganized imag^ination, the 
theory of the South that we must not educate the Xegro or 
treat liim as a man, because he will want a white wife. It is 
barbarous and inhuman to say, "We must not uplift the Negro, 
but must degrade and humiliate him in order to discourage his 
social aspirations." Believe, rather, that it is the illiterate, rather 
than the intelligent Negro, who does not appreciate the worth 
and value of colored women. I have enjoyed exceptional educa- 
tional advantages, and yet I have met colored women who in 
beauty, culture, refinement, purity, delicacy and high-bred feel- 
ing were the incarnation and embodiment of all that I admired 
in womanhood. I believe it possible that two races can dwell 
together in peace and harmony, living side by side, each reach- 
ing a high degree of civilization, mingling in commercial, civil 
and political life, without intermarrying. The intermarriage of 
races is something that will never be regulated by legal statutes 
and enactments, but by the preference of individuals for each 
other. Of the two evils, lawful marriage between colored and 
white persons is infinitely less disastrous to the individual and 
the community than the clandestine relations that frequently 
exist between white men and colored women, and that occasionally 
exist between colored men and white women in the South. 
In Boston, the colored man's paradise, there is some amalga- 
mation; but if one did not consult the marriage register, he 
would hardly know that colored and white persons intermarry; 
and they are usually colored men and foreign servant girls. I 
share with the Anglo-Saxon in the disgust and aversion that he 
has for the vicious and criminal Negro. But I ask our Anglo- 
Saxon friends. North and South, to banish to the Hmbo of 
exploded and discarded ideas the theory that a man's status in 
society, a man's educational opportunities, should be determined 
by the color of his skin rather than by his intrinsic worth as a 

Now, a final word to my brethren. We have a hard task set 
before us. Hercules, cleaning the Augean stables ; yea, the twelve 
labors of Hercules are but child's play compared to the work 
that is cut out and lined out for the Negro. The Negro must 
convince a world believing in his inferiority and hostile to his 
higher aspirations ; the Negro must convince a generation that 

A Message to My Colored Brethren. 407 

believes he is fit only to be a pack-horse and beast of burden, 
that he is a full-fledged and full-orbed man, with the tastes and 
desires and hopes and aspirations of other men. How can he 
do it? He must go out and dazzle the world by his deeds and 
achievements. We have produced a few exceptionally gifted men 
and a few remarkable women. But we, as a race, have not been 
history-makers. We must go out and make history. We have 
been a critical race; we must now become a productive race. 
We have been an imitative race ; we must become a creative 
race. We have made a brilliant start, but we have not yet won 
the race. Ours is not a hundred-yards dash, but a long, arduous 
journey over hill and down dale ; we must climb mountains, ford 
rivers, and forge our way through thickets and briars. We have 
brain capacity and fervid enthusiasm, but we lack the grit, pluck 
and push of the Anglo-Saxon race. The god of the universe and 
the stars in their courses fight upon the side of the man who 
possesses an unconquerable will. He levels mountains, harnesses 
heat, light, electricity and the other forces of nature, and compels 
the winds and waves, the rivers and seas, to obey his will. He 
tames the wild animals and subdues them. Men give ground 
before him and he moves along with the resistless sweep of a 
conquering army. This is no fanciful picture. Look at the 
Anglo-Saxon. In three centuries the Anglo-Saxon race has 
transformed a wilderness into a continent dotted with teeming, 
bustling cities. I have traveled through the Naugatuck valley in 
Connecticut. I saw thriving, prosperous towns and cities. I 
saw many a mill by the side of rushing streams, saw many a fac- 
tory extending its smokestack into the air, heard the hum and 
whizz and whirl and whirr of machinery, and observed the life 
and activity that pulsed in those New England villages. Then 
I visited New York City; saw those sky-scrapers rising forty 
and forty-four stories high; noticed how the city was tunneled 
out beneath ; viewed the magnificent residences and flashing, 
gaily-dressed women upon Fifth Avenue ; saw the automobiles 
sweeping along; heard the noise and observed the hurry and 
bustle of Broadway; and then I reflected, three centuries ago 
the Naugatuck valley and New York City were forest lands, 
where wild beasts roamed and sported and the wild Indians roved. 
What has brought about the marvelous, nay, the miraculous 

4o8 The African Abroad. 

chani^e? What was the potent charm, the magic, fairy wand? 
It was the aggressive energy- and dogged determination of the 
Anglo-Saxon. He has subdued the Hindoo and Chinaman and 
exterminated the Indian. The Xegro, by his imitativcness, genial- 
ity and llexibility has won the sympathy of the Anglo-Saxon and 
he has spared him. But the Anglo-Saxon is monarch of all he 
surveys. lie is king over nature, men and beasts. 

Wlicn the Psalmist says of man, "Thou madest him to have 
dominion over the works of thy hands ; thou hast put all things 
imder his feet ; all sheep and oxen, yea and the beasts of the 
field : the fowl of the air and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever 
passeth through the paths of the seas," he made a prediction of 
man that was never realized before the Anglo-Saxon race stepped 
forth upon the stage of history and appeared before the foot- 
lights. It is the conquering race, the greatest fighting race that 
ever appeared upon this terrestrial globe. It owns the earth. 
There is only one thing in the universe greater than the will of 
the Anglo-Saxon and that is the will of the Almighty. Will power 
— that is the talisman in this world. That was tiie throbbing 
engine that whirled Martin Luther through the breastworks of 
the Roman Catiiolic Church. When his Wittenberg friends 
remonstrated with him and begged him not to go to the Diet 
at Worms, Luther replied, "Should they make a fire from Wit- 
tenberg to \\'orms, and high as Heaven, I would go through it 
in the name of the Lord." They told him that Duke George 
would kill him if he went to a certain place. Luther replied, "I 
would go there if it rained Duke Georges for ten days." When 
we behold this sublime courage, do we wonder why Luther suc- 
cessfully defied the Pope and became the hero of the Protestant 

If the Xegro race in America, ten millions strong, was deter- 
mined to rise, no power in tiie universe could hold it back or keep 
it down or prevent it writing its deeds and achievements indelibly 
upon the pages of the world's history ; for the forces of the 
universe and the common sense of mankind would sympathize 
with it. Archimedes said that if anyone would give him a level 
and a fulcrum upon which to rest it, he could move the universe. 

If the Negro possessed the lever of ambition and rested it upon 
the fulcrum of will-power, he could lift himself out of the pit, 

A Message to My Colored Brethren. 409 

where he is despised by mankind, onto the Alps of achievements, 
where he would be admired by the civilized world. We must 
produce what Booker T. Washington and his followers under- 
rate ; we must, I say, produce thinkers, scholars, writers, orators, 
statesmen and scientists, who will rise to eminence and distinc- 
tion and command the respect of the world. We must produce 
leaders in the world of finance and be creators in literature, 
music and art. We must change the world's attitude towards 
us, and then America will willingly grant us the rights which 
she now withholds from us, and for which we plead and beg 
in vain. The world admires a hero. 

Leonidas and his three hundred Spartans were annihilated at 
the Pass of Thermopylae. The Light Brigade was cut to pieces 
in its magnificent charge at Balaclava. Napoleon's cuirassiers 
and his Old Guard went down to irretrievable defeat at Waterloo; 
and yet they have been immortalized in the pages of human his- 
tory and the world never tires of singing of their heroism, because, 
though defeated, though they rode and marched to certain death, 
they displayed that intrepid, indomitable spirit that the world 
has ever admired. 

In order to completely solve and settle the race question, we 
must exhibit and manifest the sterling, sturdy qualities the world 
admires ; we must produce a race of heroes, and then America 
will gladly grant us those manhood rights that she only yields 
now reluctantly and against her will. 

Negro soldiers under Toussaint L'Ouverture, and in the Revo- 
lutionary, Civil and Spanish wars, have fought with the desperate 
courage of a Spartan. We have made remarkable progress since 
our emancipation, but we have not dazzled and fascinated the 
world as has Japan. 

Remember, I do not retreat one inch from the manly demands 
of DuBois and the Niagara movement; I don't say with Wash- 
ington, "We must not demand our rights until we have the 
cash to back up our demands." A race must strive and strug- 
gle for its rights and privileges. If it waits to have its rights 
served to it upon a platter, it will never get them. 

As I read history and study men, I observe that men and 
nations and races get treatment proportional to the impression 
that they make upon the world. I notice, too, as I travel over 

4IO The African Abroad. 

the country, that I am treated with more consideration by 
white and black than I was ten years ago, when I was not so 
well known. I lay it down as an axiom: "If a man or race 
imi)resscs the world that he or it is of no account, he or it 
will be cufTed and kicked around. On the contrary, if that man 
or race impresses the world that he is a superior man or it a 
superior race, other men and other races will yield conces- 
sions to him and it." Now, then, black men, listen to me. We 
must determine the attitude that the world will take towards 
us. We must convince the world that we possess mental capac- 
ity, moral sensitiveness and physical courage. We must show 
the world that we resent being disfranchised, Jim-Crowed and 

The country says we are a race of cowards; we must prove 
to the world that we, as a race, can rise to deeds of heroism. We prove that we are men and women that resent insults. We 
have the stuff in us. We must demonstrate to the world that we 
are a gifted and talented race. Then we can rest upon our 
oars and point with pride to our glorious achievements. 

I know that this talk sounds rather sophomoric and smacks 
of a spread-eagle, Fourth-of-July oration. But I am only serv- 
ing up to the colored youth in another dish the food that was 
passed to me when I was a school boy in New England on 
Washington's Birthday, Decoration Day. Fourth of July, Thanks- 
giving Day and other patriotic anniversaries. And I do not 
believe that what was meat for the colored and white youth 
of New England is poison for the Negro of the South. 

I am aware, also, that some timid, hesitating soul may point 
with fear and dismay at the hide-bound Southern prejudice. 
There is no doubt that centuries will pass before intennarriage 
between the races will take place in the South. Perhaps it 
will never come. But, if we lift the masses of the Southern 
Negro; if we produce leaders in the world of science, art and 
finance; if we demonstrate the ability of the Negro to cope 
with the complicated political, social, and industrial problems 
of modern life, we will change the world's attitude towards us, 
and that attitude w^ill react upon the Southern whites. Then 
we will be treated as human beings and not as manlike apes. 
We are a gifted race, and it is up to us to prove our mettle 
to the world. 

A Message to My Colored Brethren. ^ii 

Many a brilliant man may say that his opportunities are 
restricted in the North, that labor unions discriminate against 
the Negro and that white employers will only permit the colored 
employee, no matter how ambitious or energetic, to go so far. 
If you don't find the way open for you, take the initiative. 
Make a way and create opportunities. Only the weak man goes 
down under opposition. The strong man drives through opposi- 
tion and knocks obstacles out of the way or tosses them aside. 
Like the eagle that on poised wing cleaves its way through 
the storm, or the ocean liner that proudly rides the waves, he 
uses the vtvy elements that offer resistance to him as the means 
by which he propels himself forward. There are other streams 
to cross, other rivers to ford, other mountains to climb, and 
other heights to be taken before we reach the summit and rest 
at ease upon the Plains of Abraham. The world regards us as 
lacking in the elements of true greatness. Ours is the difficult 
task to convince a doubting world, averse to our progress, that 
God breathed into our nostrils the breath of a spiritual life. 
Don't despair, my brother! Grit your teeth and pull for dear 
life; pull hard, I say; else you will be swept out to sea and 

The truth of the matter is, the North has lost its sentimental 
attitude towards the Negro, because the Southern Associated 
Press has advertised the Negro as a rapist and kept silent about 
the Negro's remarkable intellectual, moral and material pro- 
gress. The Negro by his deeds and achievements must win 
back that sympathy. The North freed the Negro and gave 
him the ballot. It is now tired of carrying him. It is now 
"root hog or die." "Hoe your own row." "Paddle your own 
canoe." Despair not, my colored brothers! Why, if a race 
were in the bottom pits of the world's regard, but yet possessed 
grit, grace, gumption, and greenbacks, it would rise or break 
to pieces the civilization that kept it down. Get hold of the 
fundamentals, my brethren — get wealth and character. 

Go on, colored youth ; strive on, and faint not. Beyond the 
Jordan lies a land flowing with milk and honey. Beyond the 
Alps of achievement lie the sunlit plains, the vine-clad hills, 
and olive groves of Italy. 

Some say that it is not fair or right to say to the Negro 
youth, "You must become wealthy or distinguished before you 

412 The African Abroad. 

can hope or expect to be treated as a man." Some may say that 
it is not fair play or right to say to the Negro race, you must 
dazzle the world by your achievements, and by your deeds and 
heroic spirit change the world's attitude of contempt to admira- 
tion; you must become, by your efforts, an admired rather than 
a despised race, before you can hope to be regarded and treated 
as human beings. But that is just what the gifted Hebrew race 
has accomplished. 

My friends, we are not living in a land of dreams, but of 
hard and naked realities. We face cold, stern facts. If I am 
rowing against the current, if the tide and wind are against me, 
I must pull harder than if I were rowing down-stream and a 
stiff wind was behind my boat. The Negro race must realize 
that it is in the position of an oarsman who is pulling up stream, 
with the wind and current against him. American race pre- 
judice means that the tide and wind are against the Negro, and 
the sooner the Negro realizes that the conditions are against 
an outgoing tide, that he is going up-stream, the better it will 
be for him. 

To you who are living in some sections of Georgia, Alabama, 
Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee, who are 
in the lion's den, whose head is in the lion's mouth, who must 
tread softly on tiptoe and cushioned slippers, as if walking on 
a bridge of glass, who must shoo, shoo, like a burglar in the 
dark, who is afraid to take a full, deep breath and to talk above 
a whisper lest he should awaken the sleeper ; to you who are 
living in mortal dread every minute, afraid lest you should 
arouse the tiger in the Southerner's nature and have your 
house burned, your crops destroyed, and yourself run out of 
town or strung up to a tree, with a bonfire lit under you. I would 
say, have patience, my brother ; pat the lion on the shoulder a 
little longer. Remember the saying of a distinguished educator 
that, oftentimes, in the Southern Anglo-Saxon, "the original 
barbarity of the Teuton is mildly tempered with Christian 
hypocrisy," and take care lest you awaken the devil that 
sleeps in his nature. Pat the lion on the shoulder a little longer, 
play the humble, submissive lamb for the time being. Remem- 
ber that you are in the lion's den ; he can stretch out his 
mighty paw and strike you dead at any time. Remember that 

A Message to My Colored Brethren. 413 

your head is in the Hon's mouth : he can bite it off any moment 
he feels so disposed, Pat the hon on the shoulder a little 
longer, my brother. 

Remember that you are in the cave of the Cyclops. At the 
bidding of one-eyed Polyphemus, or Vardaman, and Blease, 
or other Titians, the giants will pick you up and dash you into 
pieces. Remember that you are walking on thin ice and living 
upon the crater of a volcano that is by no means extinct. At 
any moment the smouldering fires may belch forth a mass of 
molten lava that will pour down upon you, as did Mt. Pelee 
upon two fated towns, when the top of the mountain was 
blown off by a terrific explosion that came from the depths of 
the earth. 

Take to heart the counsel of Polonius to his son Laertes, 
which is to this effect : Beware of getting into a fight or quarrel, 
but if once you do, so conduct yourself that your adversary 
will beware of thee. As far as possible, get on friendly terms 
with your white neighbors, for the North has forgotten the 
memories of the Civil War times and lost its abolition fire and 
is dominated by the commercial spirit. Intermarriage and busi- 
ness relations have brought the North and South together. The 
South, by diplomacy, has succeeded in doing what she could 
not do by arms. She has conquered and won over the North. 
And if the white man of the South turns against you, you will 
be in an earthly hell ; you will be in a more unfortunate pre- 
dicament than the unhappy victims who were consigned to 
Dante's Inferno. 

No doubt you think of the fate of Postmaster Baker of Lake 
City, S. C, whose home was burned March 18, 1898, who was 
shot dead, whose babe was killed in its mother's arms, and 
whose only offence was that he held a government position. No 
doubt you remember the fate of the colored educator in Louisi- 
ana who was assassinated from ambush a few years ago, 
and whose only offence was that he advised colored people 
not to be servants for white people, not to rent farms from 
white people, or mortgage their crops, but to buy and own their 
own farms and go into business for themselves. No doubt you 
remember the fate of President Thomas H. Amos of Harbiston 
College, Abbeville, S. C, who was ordered in August, 1906, 

414 The African Abroad. 

by a committee of white citizens to resigri the presidency of the 
college and leave the town, suggesting that if he did not the 
college might be burned to the ground, and his life taken, and 
whose only offence was that he held up before his girl students 
a higher aim in life than being servants in other people's kitch- 
ens and clothes-wringers in other people's wash-rooms, whose 
only offence was that he held up before the colored people a 
higher vision of life than being the servant of someone else. 
No doubt you remember that in many sections of the South a 
colored man will be lynched if he resents a white man insulting 
his wife or daughter, his sister or mother. No doubt you 
remember that in many sections of the South a colored man will 
be lynched if he shoots a white man in self-defense. No doubt 
you remember that when you ride from Sumter, S. C, to 
Camden, S. C, in the Jim Crow car, and along other lines, you 
are put in a dirty, filthy cage, in an old-fashioned, broken-down 
car ; the floor, seats, windows and window sills are covered 
with dust, the lining is torn from some of the seats, some of 
the seats are broken down ; the car, in fact, looks more like a 
chicken coop or hog pen than a conveyance for human beings. 
Sometimes the colored people are huddled and herded and packed 
in there like sardines in a box, or chickens on the way to market. 
When you think of these things, is it a wonder the cry goes up, 
"How long, O Lord, how long?" 

Pray, my brother, pray without ceasing. The effective, fer- 
vent prayer of the righteous man availeth much. Remember that 
Jehovah is God. He holds the universe in the hollow of His 
hand. He is immanent, omnipresent and omnipotent in every 
thread and fibre of our being. The laws of the universe are 
the manifestations of His mind. The forces of nature are but 
the operations of His will. The heat that produces the dreaded 
lightning and the gravitation that draws it to the earth with a 
velocity that surpasses the speed of a cannon ball are mani- 
festations of His i)ower. Every blade of grass pulses with the 
throbbing, vibrating life of God. All nature, which renews 
her ancient raptures, bursts into life, breaks into expression in 
myriads of beautiful forms in leaf, foliage and verdure every 
spring, is but the expression of His will, but responds to the 
quickening touch of His life. The actinic rays of the sun, which 

A Message to My Colored Brethren. 4^5 

unlock the hidden forces and powers of the acorn, and trans- 
form it into the growing oak, are but the manifestations of God's 
will. The sunbeam which turns the leaves of the trees into a 
laboratory and makes the little green cells decompose the carbon- 
dioxide of the air into the element of carbon, which is trans- 
formed into the texture of the growing- plant, and oxygen which 
purifies the air ; the sunbeam whose latent energy is stored up 
in the coal which we burn for fuel and which is really decaying 
vegetation that has undergone chemical change ; the sunbeam 
which, by heating the air, causes the heated air to rise and the 
colder air to rush in and take its place, is the ultimate cause 
of the winds, tornadoes, hurricanes and cyclones ; the sun- 
beams, which transform the water of the sea into vapor that 
rises and is distilled into the refreshing rains that cool the air, 
water the crops and, falling upon the mountain side, flow 
forth as streams that expand into mighty rivers, bearing the 
commerce of nations upon their bosoms, or bursts forth into 
cooling springs, is but the manifestation of His omnipotent 
power. The mathematical laws that reveal themselves in the 
curve of a boat that cuts the water with lightning-like speed; 
the mathematical laws that so reveal themselves in the structure 
of the Parthenon or other building that so impresses us with its 
grace, symmetry and beauty that we can say that architecture 
is crystallized mathematics ; the mathematical laws that so 
reveal themselves in the inner structure of music that we can 
say, music is flowing mathematics ; the mathematical laws that 
so govern the revolution of the earth on its axis in its orbit 
around the sun, that so govern the movements of the planetary 
bodies that we can say that the universe is instinct with mathe- 
matics, that mathematics are enthroned in the universe, that in 
studying astronomy, we are, in Kepler's words, "but reading 
and thinking the thoughts of God after him" ; the laws of color 
and proportion, that govern the radiancy of sunrise, the golden 
glories of the setting sun, when the skies are bathed in colored 
seas of lambent light, and the beautiful tints of the rainbow ; 
the laws of color and proportion that govern the ineffable 
tenderness and beauty of Indian summer days and that trans- 
form the country side on many an autumnal day into a fairy 
land and symphony of color, yea, bathing the woods and fields 

41 6 The African Abroad. 

in a radiance of color; — these mathematical laws, I say, are but 
modes of the movement of God's mind. God reigns in the 
universe; He plays and t(>y> with the lightning and rides upon 
the storm. 

Our God is a man of War. He reigns in human history at 
the same time. He speaks in no uncertain tones in the common 
sense and conscience of mankind. He manifests himself in the 
laws of reason. He utters his voice in the moral laws that have 
held such a mighty sway in human history. God has given 
the Anglo-Saxon the dominion of the earth, only because he 
has obeyed His moral laws, only because he has reverenced and 
held sacred the purity and virtue of woman, and has respected 
the sanctity of the marriage tie. So we pray to a God who 
can melt the Anglo-Saxon's race prejudice just as the rays of 
the rising sun dissolve the mists. 

And as ye pray, work, too. While the Anglo-Saxon strikes 
you as hard and unsympathetic, he is no demon. Beneath his 
cold and austere exterior there lurks a warm heart and gen- 
erous, sympathetic nature, an innate sense of justice, the love 
of fair play, and an admiration for intellectual and moral excel- 
lence, for successful achievement, and brilliant performance. 
While the intelligent white man of the South may not welcome 
you to his home or invite you into his parlor, he respects the 
colored man who possesses grit, grace, gumption and greenbacks. 
While the white man of the North has no patience or sympathy 
with the Negro tramp, loafer or bum, he admires the colored 
man who possesses grit, grace and gumption. So, let us do 
our best. It may not come in our time ; but in God's own 
good time our wrongs will be righted, our grievances redressed. 
He is Lord over the universe of mind and matter. 

I have three suggestions to make. First — The attitude of 
the country towards the Negro is one of pity, sympathy and 
contempt. By living lives above reproach and by our intel- 
lectual and resthetical attainments and achievements, we must 
change the world's attitude towards us from one of pity, sym- 
pathy and contempt to one of respect and admiration. 

Second — We must teach the young sports and dandies that it 
takes more than a brand new suit of clothes, a silk hat. patent 
leather shoes, standing collars and bow, brag and bluster, to 

A Message to My Colored Brethren. 417 

make a man. We must teach the young society queens that it 
takes more than silk and satin dresses, gaudy llnery, loud hats, 
flashing diamonds and peacock pride to make a woman. We 
must teach our boys and girls the truth embodied in Isaac 
Watts's immortal words. A gentleman who admired the writer 
of those hymns, which have thrilled Christendom, saw an 
insignificant specimen of humanity. "What!" he exclaimed in 
a tone of surprise and disgust, "Is that Dr. W'atts?" And 
Dr. Watts, who overheard him, gave expression to these mem- 
orable words : "Were I so tall as to reach the stars, and grasp 
the world with my span, I must be measured by my soul. The 
mind is the measure of a man." 

We must teach our boys and girls that it takes intelligence, 
refinement and character to make a man. 

Third — And now we come to the defect and weakness that is 
peculiar to the Xegro as such. The Negro has demonstrated 
that, physically, he is the equal and match of the white man; 
intellectually, aesthetically and morally he has made marvelous, 
nay, miraculous progress, during the past forty years. But this 
is the Negro's peculiar weakness, he does not reverence his 
great men and women, he does not appreciate the scholars and 
thinkers of his race. 

In this connection, Rev. Richard Carroll, the editor of The 
Southern Ploughman, and the Henry W^ard Beecher of South 
Carolina, says : "Ever since Dr. Miller has been head of this 
school (State College of South Carolina) efforts have been 
made by many to oust him, instead of extending him sympathy 
and help. This is one of the practices among the educated 
Negroes, they spend their time trying to kill out the 'other 
fellow' and to keep each other from being a success." What 
Rev. Mr. Carroll wrote as applicable to the South is especially 
applicable to Washington, D. C. As soon as a man gets up, 
especially in Washington, D. C, nearly every one will shoot 
at him, and it becomes difficult even for a man of irreproachable 
integrity of character to maintain an untarnished reputation. 
Even if a gifted man like the late Dr. Alexander Crummell lives 
above suspicion, he will be misrepresented. 

The great curse of the Negro race are the men who think 
the only qualification for Negro leadership is a throat of brass, 

4i8 The African Abroad. 

adamantine lungs, a braying, bellowing voice, an air of bravado, 
and a pompous, braggadocial, blustering and domineering man- 
ner. Why I have heard some preachers say, "I know Jesus, 
and that is the only thing I care to know about." If the only 
thing a man knows about is his conversion, that is all he can 
preach about, and people will get tired of hearing about his 
conversion. A preacher is a teacher: Xicodemus called Christ 
Rabbi, Master; and Paul sat at the feet of Gamaliel. 

The current fallacy regarding the race question, which seems 
to permeate colored as well as white ])cople, is that any igno- 
ramus can understand and solve the race question. But it is a 
very complex sociological problem, into which various elements 
enter. Xo one but a profound student of human history can 
understand its various phases and aspects. 

Plato wrote over the door of the entrance to his lectures upon 
philosophy: "Let no one enter here who has not studied 
Geometry," thinking that a man who has not studied geometry 
could not understand philosophy. And I would like to engrave 
this axiom over the door of every Negro school-house, college, 
church and newspaper office, "No one who is not a profound 
student of sociology and human history is fit to be a leader 
of the Negro race. The blind cannot lead the blind." 

But let us return to our argument. From the time of Crum- 
mell down to the time of DuBois the scholars, thinkers and 
literary men of the Negro race are honored less by the Negro 
race than by the Anglo-Saxon race. 

We boom as great men, men whose only qualification for 
leadership is a glib and fluent tongue, and a loud, boisterous 
and noisy manner of speaking. Blyden is the greatest linguist 
our race has yet produced. He was a recognized Arabic scholar, 
and a recognized authority upon Mohammedanism, and yet I 
hear very little about Blyden among the colored people. DuBois 
is honored among the colored people, not so much because he is 
a brilliant scholar and literary genius, as because he is a leader 
of the political hopes and aspirations of the Negro. 

It is a serious mistake of Mr. Washington that all the Negro 
needs is a bank account, a block in a city square, and stock 
in a railroad, to win the respect of mankind. Who is the 
colored man that white men admire the most? It is the man 

A Message to My Colored Brethren. 419 

\vho is cultured, polished and refined. Dr. Crummell was once 
the guest of Dr. Fulton, a prominent Episcopal divine of 
Rochester, N. Y. And I remember how Dr. Fulton's daughter 
spoke to me of Crummell's culture and scholarship. She said 
that he not only dressed faultlessly, not only possessed the thin, 
superficial veneer of polish and refinement, not only possessed 
gilded and fascinating manners, but that he seemed steeped in 
classical learning and modern scholarship, that he carried an 
aroma and atmosphere of culture and scholarship wherever he 
went. Dr. Crummell was always saying to me, ''We need an 
educated gentry." 

Professor Thayer of Howard used to say, "Politeness is a 
refined benevolence." That constituted the charm of Crum- 
mell's manners. His was the soul of a gentleman. 

Then, too, I heard Professor William H. H. Hart speak in the 
United Congregational Church in New Haven, Conn. There 
were men in that audience who had heard Douglass, and Price 
and Langston, Bishop Derrick, Congressman \\'hite and Wash- 
ington speak, but Hart captivated that audience because he rose 
upon an aerial flight of the imagination and spoke in such a 
courtly and dignified manner. 

One Yale professor said to me, "Professor Hart is a gifted 
man." Another distinguished literary critic said to me, "Hart 
is a more elegant speaker than Air. Washington." 

Then, too, one Harvard professor, in speaking of DuBois's 
"Souls of Black Folk," said to me, "DuBois has a powerful 
intellect and is a literary genius." A millionaire, who has been 
a heavy contributor to Tuskeegee, said, "DuBois is a more 
brilliant man than Washington." 

Now, take Bruce, Harvard's oratorical idol. Bruce is not an 
impassioned orator who can lift an audience off its feet, sweep 
it along with the torrential streams of his eloquence, catch it 
up in the chariot of his inspiration and charge it with his own 
passion and enthusiasm. He never stirs men's blood nor elec- 
trifies an audience. Like Air. Washington, his eloquence is 
prosy, prosaic and platitudinous. He never touches the heroic 
note, never gives utterance to a sublime sentiment that will be 
quoted and remembered by men after he is dead and gone. And 
yet he won the Princeton and Yale debates for Harvard. He 

420 The African Abroad.