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Full text of "The Choctaw freedmen and the story of Oak Hill industrial academy, Valliant, McCurtain County, Oklahoma, now called the Alice Lee Elliott memorial; including the early history of the Five civilized tribes of Indian Territory, the presbytery of Kiamichi, synod of Canadian, and the Bible in the free schools of the American colonies, but suppressed in France, previous to the American and French revolutions;"

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THE CHOCTAW FRELDMLN 




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AN OAK TREE 



On the southeastern slope, near the Academy, 

A pretty Oak, 

That strong and stalwart grows, 
With every changing wind that blows, 
is a beautiful emblem of the strength, beauty and eminent use- 
fulness of an intelligent and noble man. 

"He shall grow like a Cedar in Lebanon; like a tree planted 
by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season." 













ALICE LEE ELLIOTT 
1846-1906 



—- 1 

ii 






THE 

Choctaw Freedmen 

AND 
The Story of 

OAK HILL INDUSTRIAL ACADEMY 

Valliant, McCurtain County 
OKLAHOMA 

Now Called the 

ALICL LLL LLLIOTT MLMORIAL 



Including the early History of the Five Civilized Tribes of Indian Territory 

the Presbytery of Kiamichi, Synod of Canadian, and the Bible 

in the Free Schools of the American Colonies, but 

suppressed in France, previous to the 

American and French Revolutions 



By 

ROBERT LLLIOTT FLICKINGLR 

A Recent Superintendent of the Academy and 
Pastor of the Oak Hill Church 



ILLU5TRATLD BY 100 LNGRAVING5 



Under the Auspices of the 

PRLSBYTLRIAN BOARD OF MISSIONS FOR FRLEDMLN 

Pittsburgh, Pa. 






»/ 



ENTERED ACCORDING TO ACT OF CONGRESS 

IN THE YEAR 1 9 1 4 BY THE AUTHOR 

IN THE OFFICE OF THE LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS 

AT WASHINGTON. D. C. 






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Journal and Times Press, Fonda, Iowa 



DEC 26 1914 



CI.A391127 



-— 



TABLL OF CONTLNT5 

I. GENERAL FACTS 

Introduction— List of Portraits 

I Indian Territory 7 

II Indian Schools and Churches 15 

III The Bible, An Important Factor in Civilization 31 

IV The American Negro 39 

V Problem of the Freedman 46 

VI Voices From the Black Belt 59 

VII Uplifting Influences 65 

VIII The Presbyterian Church 84 

IX The Freedmen's Board 90 

X Special Benefactors 96 

II OAK HILL INDUSTRIAL ACADEMY 

XI Native Oak Hill School and Church 101 

XII Era of Eliza Hartford 1° 7 

XIII Early Reminiscences 114 

XIV Early Times at Forest I 24 

XV Era of Supt. James F. McBride 131 

XVI Era of Rev. Edward G. Haymaker 134 

XVII Buds of Promise I 46 

XVIII Closed in 1904 154 

XIX Re-Opening and Organization 155 

XX Prospectus in 1912 1Q2 

XXI Obligation and Pledges 169 

XXII Bible Study and Memory Work 173 

XXIII Decision Days i83 

XXIV The Self -Help Department 185 

XXV Industrial Education I 96 

XXVI Permanent Improvements 202 

XXVII Elliott Hall 210 

V 



CONTENTS 

XXVIII Unfavorable Circumstances 216 

XXIX Building the Temple 227 

XXX Success Maxims and Good Suggestions .... 241 

XXXI Rules and Wall Mottoes 259 

XXXII Savings and Investments 272 

XXXIII Normals and Chautauquas 275 

XXXIV Graces and Prayers 279 

XXXV Presbyterial Meetings and Picnics 282 

XXXVI Farmer's Institutes 287 

XXXVII The Apiary, Health Hints 294 

XXXVIII Oak Hill Aid Society 300 

XXXIX Tributes to Workers 308 

XL Closing Day, 1912 325 

III THE PRESBYTERY AND SYNOD 

XLI Presbytery of Kiamichi 335 

XLII Histories of Churches 345 

XLIII Parson Stewart 351 

XLIV Wiley Homer 360 

XLV Other Ministers and Elders 370 

XLVI Synod of Canadian 382 

IV THE BIBLE IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 
XLVII The Public School 391 

XLVIII A Half Century of Bible Suppression in 

France 418 



VI 




OAK HILL CHAPEL 



[VI] 




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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Alice Lee Elliott 

Elliott Hall II 

Choctaw Church and Court House 14 

Alexander Reid, John Edwards 15 

Biddle and Lincoln Universities 70 

Rev. E. P. Cowan, Rev. John Gaston, Mrs. V. P. Boggs. . 91 
Eliza Hartford, Anna Campbell, Rev. E. G. and Pris- 

cilla G. Haymaker 108 

Girls Hall, Old Log House 109 

Carrie and Mrs. M. E. Crowe, Anna and Mattie Hunter. .116 

James McGuire and others 117 

Wiley Homer, William Butler, Stewart, Jones 148 

Buds of Promise 149 

Rev. and Mrs. R. E. Flickinger, Claypool, Ahrens, Eaton 160 

Reopening, 1915, Flower Gatherers 192 

Mary I. Weimer, Lou K. Early, Jo Lu Wolcott 193 

Rev. and Mrs. Carroll, Hall, Buchanan, Folsom 224 

Closing Day, 1912 ; Dr. Baird 225 

Approved Fruits 256 

Planting Sweet Potatoes and Arch 257 

Orchestra, Sweepers, Going to School 274 

Miss Weimer, Celestine, Coming Home 275 

The Apiary ; Feeding the Calves 294 

Log House Burning, Pulling Stumps 298 

Oak Hill in 1902, 1903 299 

The Hen House, Pigpen 295 

The Presbytery, Grant Chapel 352 

Bridges, Bethel, Starks, Meadows, Colbert, Crabtree 353 

Crittenden, Folsom, Butler, Stewart, Perkins, Arnold, 

Shoals, Johnson 378 

Teachers in 1899, Harris, Brown 379 

Representative Homes of the Choctaw Freedmen 406 

The Sweet Potato Field 407 

VII 




INTRODUCTION 

"The pleasant books, that silently among 

Our household treasures take familiar places, 

Are to us, as if a living tongue 

Spake from the printed leaves, or pictured faces!" 

;HE aim of the Author in preparing this vol- 
ume has been to put in a form, convenient 
for preservation and future reference, a 
brief historical sketch of the work and 
workers connected with the founding and 
development of Oak Hill Industrial Academy, established 
for the benefit of the Freedmen of the Choctaw Nation, In- 
dian Territory, by the Presbyterian church, U. S. A., in 
1886, when Miss Eliza Hartford became the first white 
teacher, to the erection of Elliott Hall in 1910, and its dedi- 
cation in 1912; when the name of the institution was 
changed to "The Alice Lee Elliott Memorial." 

Some who rendered service at Oak Hill Academy, be- 
stowed upon it their best work, while superintendent, 
James F. McBride and Matron, Adelia M. Eaton, brought to 
it a faithful service, that proved to be the crowning work 
of their lives. 

The occasion of receiving a new name in 1912, is one 
that suggests the eminent propriety of a volume, that w£U 
commemorate the labors of those, whose self-denying pio- 
neer work was associated with the former name of the in- 
stitution. 



2 INTRODUCTION 

Another aim has been, to place as much as possible of 
the character building work of the institution, in an attrac- 
tive form for profitable perusal by the youth, in the homes 
of the pupils and patrons of the Academy. As an aid in ef- 
fecting this result, the volume has been profusely illustrated 
with engravings of all the good photographs of groups of 
the students that have come to the hand of the author ; and 
also of all the teachers of whom they could be obtained at 
this time. The portraits of the ministers and older elders of 
the neighboring churches have been added to these, to in- 
crease its general interest and value. 

In as much as Oak Hill Industrial Academy was in- 
tended to supply the special educational needs of the young 
people in the circuit of churches ministered to by Parson 
Charles W. Stewart, the pioneer preacher of the Choctaw 
Freedmen, and faithful founder of most of the churches in 
the Presbytery of Kiamichi, a memorial sketch of this 
worthy soldier of the cross has been added, that the young 
people of the present and future generations may catch the 
inspiration of his heroic missionary spirit. 

"All who labor wield a mighty power ; 
The glorious privilege to do 
Is man's most noble dower." 

The ministers of the neighboring churches, in recent 
years, have been so helpfully identified with the work of the 
Academy, as special lecturers and assistants on decision 
days, and on the first and last days of the school terms, they 
seem to have been members of the Oak Hill Family. The 
story of the Academy would not be complete, without a rec- 
ognition of them and their good work. This recognition has 
been very gratefully accorded in a brief history of the Pres- 
bytery of Kiamichi and of the Synod of Canadian. 



AIM OF AUTHOR 3 

The period of service rendered by the author, as su- 
perintendent of the Academy from the beginning of 1905 to 
the end of 1912, eight years, was one of important transi- 
tions in the material development of Indian Territory. 

The allotment of lands in severalty to the Indians and 
Freedmen was completed in 1905, and the Territorial gov- 
ernment was transformed into one of statehood on Jan. 1, 
1908. The progress of their civilization, that made it pos- 
sible for the Indians in the Territory to become owners and 
occupants of their own homes, supporters of their own 
schools and churches and to be invested with all the pow- 
ers and duties of citizenship, is briefly reviewed in the in- 
troductory chapters. 

The author has endeavored to make this volume one 
easily read and understood by the Choctaw Freedmen, in 
whose homes it is expected to find a place, and be read with 
interest and profit many years. 

He has done what he could to enable as many of you 
as possible to leave the impress of your personality on the 
world, when your feet no longer move, your hands no long- 
er build and your lips no longer utter your sentiments. 

The hope is indulged that every pupil of the Academy, 
whose portrait has been given an historic setting in this vol- 
ume, will regard that courteous recognition, as a special 
call to make the Bible your guide in life and perform each 
daily duty nobly and faithfully, as though it were your last. 

A life on service bent, 
A life for love laid down, 
A life for others spent, 
The Lord will surely crown. 

Whilst other denominations have rendered conspicu- 
ous and highly commendable service in the effort to edu- 



4 INTRODUCTION 

cate and evangelize the Indians and Freedmen, in this vol- 
ume mention is made only of the work of the Presbyterian 
church. This is due to the fact the Presbyterian church, 
having begun missionary work among the Choctaws at a 
very early date, it was left to pursue it without a rival, in 
the particular section of country and early period of time in- 
cluded in the scope of this volume. 

Such as it is, this volume is commended to him, whose 
blessing alone can make it useful, and make it to fulfil its 
mission of comfort and encouragement, to the children and 
youth of the Freedmen who are sincerely endeavoring to 
solve the problem of their present and future destiny. 
Fonda, Iowa, March 15, 1914. R. E. F. 



PART I 

GENERAL FACTS 

RELATING TO THE INDIANS OF INDIAN TERRITORY, THE 
CHOCTAW FREEDMEN AND PRESBYTERIAN BOARD OF 
MISSIONS FOR FREEDMEN. 



"In history we meet the great personalities, who have 
crystalized in their own lives, the hopes and fears of nations 
and races. We meet the living God, as an actor, and dis- 
cover in passing events, a consistent purpose, guiding the 
changing world to an unchanging end."— W. A. Brown. 

"Four things a man must learn to do, 
If he would make his record true; 
To think without confusion, clearly; 
To act from honest motives purely; 
To love his fellowmen sincerely; 
To trust in God and heaven securely." 

—Vandyke. 

"The study of history, as a means of cultivating the 
mind and for its immediate practical benefit, ever since the 
days of Moses, who wrote the pioneer history of Israel, and 
Herodotus, the father of profane history, has formed a 
necessary part of a liberal and thorough education."— History 
of Pocahontas County, Iowa. 




I 
INDIAN TERRITORY 

EARLY HISTORY OF THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES— OPEN- 
ING OF INDIAN TERRITORY — OKLAHOMA — CLEAR 
CREEK, OAK HILL, VALLIANT. 

"Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its 
powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great inter- 
ests and see whether we, also, in our day and generation 
may not perform something worthy to be remembered." — 
Daniel Webster. 

NDIAN Territory, now Oklahoma, was a part 
of the public domain, that was reserved for 
several tribes of Indians whose native hunt- 
ing grounds were principally in the South- 
ern states. While they remained in their 
native valleys they proved a menace to the safety of the 
frontier settlers, and in times of war were sure to take sides 
against them. Thomas Jefferson in his day advised that 
they be located together on some general reservation. This 
was gradually effected during the earlier years of the last 
century. 

The official act of congress constituting it an Indian 
Reservation did not occur until 1834, but a considerable 
number of the Choctaws, Chickasaws and of some other 
tribes were induced to migrate westward and locate there 
previous to that date. Other leading tribes that were trans- 
ferred to special reservations in Indian Territory were the 
Cherokees, Creeks and Seminoles. 

THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES 
The Choctaw Indians recently occupied lands in the 



8 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

states bordering on the Gulf of Mexico. In 1820 a consider- 
able part of them, ceding their lands in Georgia, were lo- 
cated on a reservation in the Red River valley west of Ar- 
kansas. In 1830 they ceded the remainder of their lands in 
Alabama and Mississippi and all, together with their slaves, 
were then transferred to their new reservation in the south- 
eastern part of Indian Territory. 

The Chickasaws, who originally occupied the country 
on the east side of the Mississippi river, as early as 1800 
began to migrate up the valley of the Arkansas. In 1805, 
1816 and in 1818 they ceded more of their lands and more 
of them migrated westward, many of them going to the 
countiy allotted to the Choctaws. In 1834, when the last 
of their lands in the Gulf states were ceded, they were lo- 
cated on a reservation south of the Canadian river, west of 
the Choctaws. These two tribes lived under one tribal gov- 
ernment until 1855, when they were granted a political sep- 
aration. 

The Cherokees, previous to 1830, occupied the upper 
valley of the Tennessee river, extending through the north- 
ern parts of Georgia and Alabama. In 1790 a part of the 
tribe migrated to Louisiana and they rendered important 
services in the army of Gen. Jackson at New Orleans in the 
war of 1812. 

In 1817 they ceded a part of their native lands for 
others and the next year 3,000 of them were located in the 
northwestern part of Arkansas in the valleys of the Arkan- 
sas and White rivers. In 1835 the remainder of them were 
located just west of the first migration in the northeast part 
of Indian Territory. 

The Creek Indians originally lived in the valleys of the 
Flint, Chattahoochee, Coosa and Alabama rivers and in the 



INDIAN TERRITORY 9 

peninsula of Florida. About the year 1875, a part of them 
moved to Louisiana and later to Texas. In 1836 the re- 
mainder of the tribe was transferred to a reservation north 
of the Canadian river in Indian Territory. 

The Seminoles were a nation of Florida Indians, that 
was composed chiefly of Creeks and the remnants of some 
other tribes. After the acquisition of Florida from Spain 
in 1819 many slaves in that section fled from their masters 
to the Seminoles. The government endeavored to recover 
them and to force the Seminoles to remove westward. These 
efforts were not immediately successful, Osceola, their wily 
and intrepid chief, defeating and capturing four of the gen- 
erals sent against them, namely, Clinch, Gaines, Call and 
Winfield Scott. He was finally captured by his captors violat- 
ing a flag of truce. In 1845 they were induced to move west 
of the Mississippi and in 1856, they were assigned lands 
west of the Creeks in the central part of Indian Territory. 

These five tribes, the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Chero- 
kees, Creeks and Seminoles, were the most powerful in num- 
bers. After their settlement in Indian Territory, they made 
considerable progress in elementary education and agri- 
culture, their farm work being principally done by their 
slaves previous to the time they were accorded their free- 
dom in 1865. As a result of their progress in the arts of 
life, during the last half of the last century, these were 
often called "The Five Civilized Tribes, or Nations." 

In 1900 when the last census was taken of them in their 
tribal form their numbers were as follows : Choctaw nation, 
99,681; Chickasaw, 139,260; Cherokee, 101,754; Creek, 
40,674 ; Seminole, 3,786. 

The Osage Indians were early driven to the valley of the 
Arkansas river. They were conveyed to their reservation 



10 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

west of that river, in the north part of Indian Territory, in 
1870. The supplies of oil and other minerals found upon 
their reservation have caused some of the members of this 
nation to be reputed as quite wealthy. 

Other tribes that were located on small reservations 
in the northeast part of the Territory were the Modocs, Ot- 
tawas, Peorias, Quapaws, Senecas, Shawnees and Wyandot- 
tes. 

During this early period the Union Indian agency es- 
tablished its headquarters at Muskogee, and it became and 
continued to be their principal city, during the period of 
their tribal government. 

OPENING OF INDIAN TERRITORY 
On April 22, 1889, 2,000,000 acres of the Creek and 
Seminole lands were opened to white settlers, and there oc- 
curred an ever memorable rush for lands and a race for 
homes. An area as large as the state of Maryland was 
settled in a day. On that first day the city of Guthrie was 
founded with a population of 8,000, a newspaper was issued 
and in a tent a bank was organized with a capital of $50,000. 
Oklahoma and other cities sprang up as if in a night. 

On June 6, 1890, the west half of Indian Territory was 
created a new territory, called Oklahoma, with its capital at 
Guthrie, and with later additions it soon included 24,000,000 
acres. 

On June 16, 1906, President Roosevelt signed the en- 
abling act, that admitted Oklahoma, including Oklahoma 
and Indian Territories, as a state, one year from that date. 
On November 6, 1906, occurred the election of members to 
the constitutional convention, that met at Guthrie January 
1, 1907. The first legislature met there January 1, 1908. 
Two years later the capital was moved to Oklahoma City. 



INDIAN TERRITORY 11 

The growth, progress and advancement of the territory 
of Oklahoma during the sixteen years preceding statehood 
in 1907 has never been equaled in the history of the world, 
and in all probability will never be eclipsed. This was due 
to the mild and healthful climate of this region, and a pre- 
vious knowledge of its great, but undeveloped agricultural 
and mineral resources. So great has been the flow of oil 
near Tulsa, in the north central part of the state, it has been 
necessary to store it there in an artificial lake or reservoir. 

OKLAHOMA 

The surface of Oklahoma consists of a gently undulat- 
ing plain, that gradually ascends from an altitude of 511 
feet at Valliant in the southeast to 1197 feet at Oklahoma 
City, and 1893 at Woodward, the county seat of Woodward 
county, in the northwest. The principal mountains are the 
Kiamichi in the southern part of Laflore county, and the 
Wichita, a forest reserve in Comanche and Swanson coun- 
ties. 

Previous to statehood Indian Territory was divided in- 
to 31 recording districts for court purposes. In 1902 when 
Garvin was founded it became the residence of the judge of 
the southeastern judicial or recording district, and a small 
court house was built there for the transaction of the pub- 
lic business. In 1907, when McCurtain county was estab- 
lished, Idabel was chosen as the county seat. The location 
of Oak Hill Academy proved to be one and a half miles east 
of the west line of McCurtain county. In 1910 the popula- 
tion of McCurtain county was 20,681, of Oklahoma City 
64,205 ; and of the state of Oklahoma, 1,657,155. 

CLEAR CREEK 

During the period immediately preceding the incoming 
of the Hope and Ardmore Railroad in 1902, the most im- 



12 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

portant news and trading center, between Fort Towson and 
Wheelock, was called "Clear Creek." Clear Creek is a rust- 
ling, sparkling little stream of clear water that flows south- 
ward in a section of the country where most of the streams 
are sluggish and of a reddish hue. The Clear Creek post 
office was located in a little store building a short distance 
east of this stream and about three miles north of Red 
river. 

A little log court house, for the administration of tri- 
bal justice among the Choctaws of that vicinity, a black- 
smith shop and a Choctaw church were also located at this 
place. These varied interests gave to Clear Creek the im- 
portance of a miniature county seat until Valliant and Swink 
were founded. 

OAK HILL 

During this early period the oak covered ridge, extend- 
ing several miles east of Clear Creek, was known as Oak 
Hill and the settlement in its vicinity was called by the 
same name. 

When the first church (1869) and school (1876) were 
established among the Freedmen in this settlement, the 
same name was naturally given to both of them. It has 
adhered to them, amid all the changes that have occurred, 
since the first meetings were held at the home of Henry 
Crittenden in 1868. 

VALLIANT 

Valliant was founded in 1902, and was so named in 
honor of one of the surveyors of the Hope and Ardmore, a 
branch of the Frisco railway. It is located in the west end 
of McCurtain county eight miles north of Red river. It has 
now a population of 1,000 and a branch railroad running 
northward. 



INDIAN TERRITORY 13 

The country adjacent to the town consists of beautiful 
valleys and forests heavily set with timber, principally oak ; 
walnut, ash and hickory, and with pine and cedar along the 
streams. The soil is a rich sandy loam, that is easily culti- 
vated and gives promise of great agricultural and horticul- 
tural possibilities. It is in the center of the cotton belt and 
this staple is proving a very profitable one. The climate is 
healthful and the locality is unusually free from the prev- 
alence of high winds. 



II 
INDIAN SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES 

BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR.— EFFECTS OF THE CIVIL WAR.— 
TRANSFER OF THE FREEDMEN'S WORK.— THE INDIANS 
MAKE PROGRESS TOWARD CIVILIZATION.— WHEELOCK 
ACADEMY. — SPENCER ACADEMY. — DOAKSVILLE AND 
FORT TOWSON. 

"God, who hath made of one blood all nations of men 
and determined the bounds of their habitation, commandeth 
all men everywhere to repent." — Paul. 

l^^x^^J^HEN Columbus landed on the shores of 
\a/ ™ America, the Indians were the only people 





he found occupying this great continent. 
During the long period that has intervened, 
the Indian has furnished proof, that he pos- 
sesses all the attributes which God has bestowed upon other 
members of the human family. He has shown that he has 
an intellect capable of development, that he is willing to re- 
ceive instruction and that he is capable of performing any 
duty required of an American citizen. 

Considerable patience however has had to be exercised 
both by the church in its effort to bring him under the sav- 
ing influence of the gospel, and by the government in its 
effort to elevate him to the full standard of citizenship. Re- 
sults are achieved slowly. His struggles have been many 
and difficult. He has needed counsel and encouragement at 
every advancing step. 

In the former days, when the Indian supported his fam- 
ily by hunting, trapping and fishing, he moved about from 



16 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

place to place. This was finally checked in Indian Territory 
by the individual allotment of lands in 1904. He has thus 
been compelled by the force of circumstances, to change his 
mode of life. He has gradually discovered he can settle 
down on his own farm, improve it by the erection of good 
buildings, and either buy or make the implements he needs 
for cultivating the soil. 

The great commission to the church to "go into all the 
world and preach the gospel to every creature," will not 
be completed until the American Indian and the Freed- 

men, who were his former slaves, have been brought under 

its uplifting influence. 

The Presbyterian church throughout all its history has 
been the friend and patron of learning and inasmuch as the 
evangelistic work among the Indians and Freedmen, has 
been largely dependent on school work for permanent re- 
sults, it began to establish schools among the Indians at a 
very early date. The work among the five civilized tribes 
was begun many years before they were transported from 
the southern states to Indian Territory. Some of these 
missionaries migrated with them and continued both their 
school and church work in the Territory. Rev. Alfred 
Wright, who organized the Presbyterian church at Wheel- 
ock in December, 1832, and died there in 1853, after receiv- 
ing 570 members into it, began his work as a missionary to 
the Choctaws in 1820. 

The aim of the government in its educational work 
among the Indians, as elsewhere in the public schools of the 
country, has been mainly to make them intelligent citizens. 
The aim of the church, by making the Bible a daily textbook, 
is to make them happy and hopeful Christians, as well as 
citizens. In the early days there was great need for this 



INDIAN SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES 17 

educational work, and in the Presbyterian church it was 
carried forward by its foreign mission board, with wisdom, 
energy and success. 

In 1861 the Presbyterian church had established and 
was maintaining six boarding schools with 800 pupils and 
six day schools among the Indians in the Territory. Two 
of these schools, Spencer and Wheelock Academies, were 
located in the southern part of the Choctaw Nation. 

In 1840 the Presbytery of Indian was organized and in 
1848 the Presbytery of the Creek Nation. In 1861 these 
included an enrollment of 16 churches with a communicant 
membership of 1,772. 

EFFECTS OF THE CIVIL WAR 

At the outbreak of the civil war in 1861, all of these 
schools and churches were closed, and the next year the 
Presbyterian church became divided by the organization 
of the Southern Presbyterian church, under the corporate 
name, "The Presbyterian Church in the United States." 

At the close of the war it was left to the Southern 
branch of the church to re-establish this school and church 
work in the Territory. It undertook to do this and carried 
parts of it alone for a number of years. The task however 
proved to be too great ; the men and means were not avail- 
able to re-open the boarding schools, and to supply the 
churches with ministers. The arrangement was according- 
ly made for the foreign mission board of the Presbyterian 
church, to resume its former work as fast as workers could 
be obtained. 

In 1879, four ministers returned and opened six 
churches among the Choctaws, Creeks and Cherokees. 

In 1882 Spencer Academy was re-opened at Nelson, by 
Rev. Oliver P. Starks, a native of Goshen, New York, who, 



18 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

for seventeen years previous to the Civil War, had been a 
missionary to the Choctaws, having his home at Goodland. 

The Indian Mission school at Muskogee was also re- 
opened that year by Miss Rose Steed. 

In the fall of 1883 the Presbytery of Indian Territory 
was re-established with a membership of 16 ministers, 11 
churches, 385 communicants and 676 Sunday school schol- 
ars. 

In 1884 Wheelock Academy was re-opened by Rev. 
John Edwards, who for a couple of years previous, had been 
located at Atoka. This was a return of Edwards to the 
educational work among the Choctaws. From 1851 to 1853 
he served at Spencer Academy, north of Doaksville, 
and then from 1853 to 1861 had charge of Wheelock Acad- 
emy, as the successor of Rev. Alfred Wright, its early found- 
er. 

In 1883 two teachers were sent, who opened a school 
among the Creek Freedmen at Muskogee, known as the 
"Pittsburgh Mission." A teacher was also sent to the Freed- 
men among the Seminoles. 

After a few years the Pittsburgh Mission was transfer- 
red from Muskogee to Atoka, where it supplied a real want 
for a few years longer. In 1904 when adequate provision was 
first made for the Freedmen in the public schools of that 
town this mission was discontinued. 

TRANSFER OF THE FREEDMEN'S WORK 
During this same year, 1884, the Presbyterian Board of 
Missions for Freedmen, Pittsburgh, Pa., received the volun- 
tary transfer from the Southern church of all the work it 
had developed at that date among the Choctaw Freedmen. 
This transfer was made in good spirit. The motive that 
prompted it was the conviction and belief the Presbyterian 



INDIAN SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES 19 

church could carry it forward more conveniently, aggres- 
sively and successfully. 

The work that was transferred at this date consisted 
of Rev. Charles W. Stewart, Doaksville, and the following 
churches then under his pastoral care, namely: Oak Hill, 
Beaver Dam, Hebron, New Hope and St. Paul (Eagletown) . 

Parson Stewart had been licensed about 1867 and or- 
dained a few years later. With a true missionary spirit he 
had gone into these various settlements and effected the or- 
ganization of these churches among his people. During 
the next two years he added to his circuit two more church- 
es, Mount Gilead at Lukf ata and Forest, south of Wheelock, 
and occasionally visited one or two other places. 

INDIANS MAKE PROGRESS TOWARDS CIVILIZATION 

About the year 1880 the social and moral condition of 

the Indians in Indian Territory was described as follows: 

"About thirty different languages are spoken by the 
Indians now in the territory. The population of the terri- 
tory, though principally Indians, includes a lot of white 
men and negroes, amongst whom intermarriages are fre- 
quent. The society ranges from an untutored Indian, with 
a blanket for his dress and paganism for his religion, to men 
of collegiate education, who are manifesting their christian 
culture and training by their earnest advocacy of the chris- 
tian faith. 

"The Cherokees were the first to be brought under 
direct christian influence and they were probably in the 
lead of all the Indians on the continent in civilization, or 
practice of the useful arts and enjoyment of the common 
comforts of life." 

"In 1890, the year following the opening of the first 
land in the territory to white settlers, the mission work in 
the territory was described as "very interesting and unique." 
The Indian population represented every grade of civiliza- 
tion. One might see the several stages of progress from the 
ignorant and superstitious blanketed Indian on the western 
reservations to the representatives of our advanced Amer- 
ican culture among the five civilized nations. Our mission- 



20 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

aries have labored long and successfully and the education, 
degree of civilization and prosperity enjoyed by the In- 
dians are due principally, if not solely, to the efforts of con- 
secrated men and women, who devoted their lives to this 
special work. Although their names may not be familiarly 
known among the churches, none have deserved more hon- 
orable mention than these faithful servants of the Master, 
who selected this particular field of effort for their life work. 

"Events are moving rapidly in Indian Territory. Many 
new lines of railroad have been surveyed, and when they 
have been built, every part of the Territory will be easily 
accessible. 

"A new judicial system with a complete code of laws 
has recently been provided, and with liberal provision for 
Indian citizenship and settlement of the land question it is 
safe to predict a speedy end to tribal government. 

"This means the opening of a vast region to settlement, 
the establishment of churches and the thorough organiza- 
tion of every form of christian work. For this we must pre- 
pare and there is no time to lose. Our churches and schools 
must be multiplied and our brethren of the ministry must be 
fully reinforced by competent educated men trained for 
christian work. What the future has in store for the whole 
Territory was illustrated by the marvelous rush into and 
settlement of Oklahoma Territory during the last year. 

"A wonderful transformation has taken place. The 
unbroken prairie of one year ago has been changed to cul- 
tivated fields. The tents of boomers have given place to well 
built homes and substantial blocks of brick and stone. Un- 
organized communities have now become members of a leg- 
ally constituted commonwealth. Here are found all the ele- 
ments of great progress and general prosperity and the fu- 
ture of Oklahoma Territory is full of great promise. 

"Here the Presbyterian church has shown itself cap- 
able of wrestling with critical social problems and stands 
today as the leading denomination in missionary enterprise. 
Every county has its minister and many churches have been 
organized. Others are underway. With more ministers 
and liberal aid for the erection of churches the Presbyterian 
church will do for Oklahoma what it has done for Kansas 
and the Dakotas." 

In 1886 the mission school work among the Indians 
was transferred from the care of the foreign to the home 



INDIAN SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES 21 

mission board. Those in charge of the school work of Spen- 
cer Academy at Nelson resigned that work and the school 
was closed. 

In 1895 the Mission school work at Wheelock Acade- 
my was undertaken and continued thereafter by the Indian 
Agency, as a school for orphan children of the Indians. 

WHEELOCK ACADEMY 

Wheelock Academy for nearly four-score years was the 
most attractive social, educational and religious center in 
the southeast part of the Choctaw nation. It was located 
on the main trails running east and west and north and 
south. But when the Frisco railway came in 1902, it passed 
two miles south of it, and a half dozen flourishing towns 
were founded along its line. 

There remain to mark this place of early historic in- 
terest the two mission school buildings, a strongly built 
stone church 30 by 50 feet, a two story parsonage and cem- 
etery. The church is of the Gothic style of architecture, 
tastefully decorated inside and furnished with good pews 
and pulpit furniture. 

REV. ALFRED WRIGHT 
Among the many old inscriptions on the grave stones 
in the Wheelock cemetery, there may be seen the following 
beautiful record of the work of one, whose long and emi- 
nently useful life was devoted to the welfare of the Choctaw 
people : 



22 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

SACRED 

to the memory of the 

REV. ALFRED WRIGHT 

who entered into his heavenly rest 

March 31, 1853, age 65 years. 

Born in Columbia, Connecticut, March 1, 1788. 

Appointed Missionary to the Choctaws 1820. 

Removed to this land October, 1832. 

Organized Wheelock Church December, 1832. 

Received to its fellowship 570 members. 

AS A MAN 

he was intelligent, firm in principle, 

prudent in counsel, gentle in spirit, 

kindness and gravity, 

and conscientious in the discharge of every 

relative and social duty. 

AS A CHRISTIAN 

he was uniform, constant, strong in faith, 

and in doctrine, constant and fervent in prayer, 

holy in life, filled with the spirit of Christ 

and peaceful in death. 

AS A PHYSICIAN 

he was skillful, attentive, ever ready to relieve 

and comfort the afflicted. 

AS A TRANSLATOR 

he was patient, investigating and diligent, 

giving to the Choctaws in their own tongue the 

New and part of the Old Testament, 

and various other books. 

AS A MINISTER 

his preaching was scriptural, earnest, practical, 

and rich in the full exhibition of Gospel truth. 

He was laborious, faithful and successful. 

Communion with God, faith in the Lord Jesus, 

and reliance upon the aid of the Holy Spirit, 

made all his labor sweet to his own soul 

and a blessing to others. 

In testimony of his worth, and their affection, 

his mourning friends erect this 

Tablet to his Memory. 

"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people 

of God." 

REV. JOHN EDWARDS 
Rev. John Edwards, the successor of Rev. Alfred 
Wright, was a native of Bath, New York. He graduated 
from the college at Princeton, New Jersey, in 1848, and 
from the theological seminary there in 1851. He was or- 
dained by the Presbytery of Indian Territory December 11, 
1853. 




The Choctaw Church, Clear Creek. 




The Choctaw Court House, Clear Creek. 

Both buildings ceased to be used about 1899. 




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INDIAN SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES 23 

He became a teacher at Spencer Academy, north of 
Fort Towson, in 1851, and continued until 1853, when he 
became the successor of Rev. Alfred Wright as the stated 
supply of the Choctaw church and superintendent of the 
academy at Wheelock. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 
1861 he passed to California and after teaching two years in 
San Francisco, served as stated supply of various churches 
during the next twenty years, having his residence during 
the latter part of that period at Oakland. 

In 1882 he returned and resumed work among the 
Choctaws, locating first at Atoka. In 1884 he re-opened the 
academy at Wheelock, and continued to serve as its super- 
intendent until 1895, when it became a government school. 
He remained the next year in charge of the church. He 
then returned to California and died at San Jose, at 75, 
December 18, 1903. 

In 1897, Rev. Evan B. Evans, supplied the Choctaw 
church at Wheelock one year. As its membership of 60 con- 
sisted principally of students living at a distance, and they 
were absent most of the year, the services were then discon- 
tinued. A few years later the services were resumed at the 
town of Garvin, where another stone church was built in 
1910, during the efficient ministry of Rev. W. J. Willis. 

SPENCER ACADEMY 

Rev. Alexander Reid, principal of Spencer Academy, 
was a native of Scotland, and came to this country in his 
boyhood. He graduated from the college at Princeton, N. J., 
in 1845, and the theological seminary there, three years 
later. He was ordained by the Presbytery of New York in 
1849 and accepting a commission to serve as a missionary to 
the Indians of the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory, was 



24 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

immediately appointed superintendent of Spencer Academy, 
ten miles north of Fort Towson. 

He was accompanied by Rev. Alexander J. Graham, a 
native of Newark, New Jersey, who served as a teach- 
er in the academy. The latter was a roommate of Reid's at 
Princeton seminary, and his sister became Reid's wife. At 
the end of his first year of service he returned to Lebanon 
Springs, New York, for the recovery of his health, and died 
there July 23, 1850. Rev. John Edwards immediately be- 
came his successor as a teacher. 

Alexander Reid while pursuing his studies, learned the 
tailor's trade at West Point and this proved a favorable in- 
troduction to his work among the Choctaws. They were 
surprised and greatly pleased on seeing that he had al- 
ready learned the art of sitting on the ground "tailor fash- 
ion" according to their own custom. 

The academy under Reid enjoyed a prosperous career 
of twelve years. In 1861, when the excitement of war ab- 
sorbed the attention of everybody, the school work was 
abandoned. Reid, however, continued to serve as a gospel 
missionary among the Indians until 1869, when he took his 
family to Princeton, New Jersey, to provide for the educa- 
tion of his children. 

While ministering to the spiritual needs of the Indians 
his sympathies and interest were awakened by the destitute 
and helpless condition of their former slaves. In 1878 he 
resumed work as a missionary to the Choctaws making his 
headquarters at or near Atoka and in 1882 he was appoint- 
ed by the Foreign Mission Board, superintendent of mis- 
sion work among the Freedmen in Indian Territory. In this 
capacity he aided in establishing neighborhood schools 
wherever teachers could be found. In order that a number 



INDIAN SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES 25 

of them might be fitted for teaching, he obtained permission 
of their parents to take a number of bright looking and 
promising young people to boarding schools, maintained by 
our Freedmen's Board in Texas, Mississippi and North Caro- 
lina. He thus became instrumental in preparing the way, 
and advised the development of the native Oak Hill School 
into an industrial and normal boarding school. 

In 1884, owing to failing health, he went to the home of 
his son, Rev. John G. Reid (born at Spencer Academy in 
1854), at Greeley, Colorado, and died at 72 at Cambridge- 
port, near Boston, July 30, 1890. 

"He was a friend to truth, of soul sincere, of manners 
unaffected and of mind enlarged, he wished the good of all 
mankind." 

UNCLE WALLACE AND AUNT MINERVA 
Uncle Wallace and Aunt Minerva were two of the col- 
ored workers that were employed at Spencer Academy, be- 
fore the war. They lived together in a little cabin near it. 
In the summer evenings they would often sit at the door of 
the cabin and sing their favorite plantation songs, learned 
in Mississippi in their early youth. 

In 1871, when the Jubilee singers first visited Newark, 
New Jersey, Rev. Alexander Reid happened to be there and 
heard them. The work of the Jubilee singers was new in 
the North and attracted considerable and very favorable at- 
tention. But when Prof. White, who had charge of them, 
announced several concerts to be given in different churches 
of the city he added, 

"We will have to repeat the Jubilee songs as we have 
no other." 

When Mr. Reid was asked how he liked them he re- 
marked, 



26 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

"Very well, but I have heard better ones." 
When he had committed to writing a half dozen of the 
plantation songs he had heard "Wallace and Minerva" sing 
with so much delight at old Spencer Academy, he met Mr. 
White and his company in Brooklyn, New York, and spent 
an entire day rehearsing them. These new songs included, 

"Steal away to Jesus." 

"The Angels are Coming," 

"I'm a Rolling," and "Swing Low." 

"Steal Away to Jesus" became very popular and was 
sung before Queen Victoria. 

The Hutchinson family later used several of them in 
their concerts, rendering "I'm a Rolling," with a trumpet 
accompaniment to the words: 

"The trumpet sounds in my soul, 

I haint got long to stay here." 
These songs have now been sung around the world. 

When one thinks of the two old slaves singing happily 
together at the door of their humble cabin, amid the dreary 
solitudes of Indian Territory, and the widely extended re- 
sults that followed, he cannot help perceiving in these inci- 
dents a practical illustration of the way in which our Heav- 
enly Father uses "things that are weak," for the accom- 
plishment of his gracious purposes. They also serve to 
show how little we know of the future use God will make 
of the lowly service any of us may now be rendering. 

These two slaves giving expression to their devotional 
feelings in simple native songs, unconsciously exerted a 
happy influence, that was felt even in distant lands; an in- 
fluence that served to attract attention and financial sup- 
port to an important institution, established for the educa- 
tion of the Freedmen. 



INDIAN SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES 27 

NEW SPENCER ACADEMY 

In the fall of 1881 the Presbyterian Board of Foreign 
Missions re-established Spencer Academy in a new location 
where the postoffice was called, Nelson, ten miles south- 
west of Antlers and twenty miles west of old Spencer, now 
called Spencerville. 

Rev. Oliver P. Stark, the first superintendent of this in- 
stitution, died there at the age of 61, March 2, 1884. He was 
a native of Goshen, New York, and a graduate of the col- 
lege and Theological Seminary at Princeton, N. J. In 1851, 
he was ordained by the Presbytery of Indian which, as early 
as 1840, had been organized to include the missions of the 
American Board. 

As early as 1849, while he was yet a licentiate, he was 
commissioned as a missionary to the Choctaws, and, locat- 
ing at Goodland, remained in charge of the work in that 
section until 1866, a period of seventeen years. During the 
next thirteen years he served as principal of the Lamar Fe- 
male Seminary at Paris, Texas. His next and last work 
was the development of the mission school for the Choctaws 
at Nelson, which had formed a part of his early and long 
pastorate. 

Rev. Harvey R. Schermerhorn, became the immediate 
successor of Mr. Stark as superintendent of the new Spencer 
Academy and continued to serve in that capacity until 1890, 
when the mission work among the Indians was transferred 
from the Foreign to the care of the Home Mission Board. 
The school was then discontinued and he became pastor of 
the Presbyterian church at Macalester. After a long and 
very useful career he is now living in retirement at Harts- 
horne. 

These incidents, relating to the work of the Presbyter- 



28 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

ian church among the Indians, especially the Choctaws, 
have been narrated, because the men who had charge of 
these two educational institutions at Wheelock and Spen- 
cer Academies, were very helpful in effecting the organiz- 
ation of Presbyterian churches, the establishment of Oak 
Hill Academy and a number of neighborhood schools 
among the Freedmen in the south part of the Choctaw Na- 
tion. 

DOAKSVILLE AND FORT TOWSON 

Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury, an early Presbyterian mission- 
ary to the Choctaws, was located at Doaksville near old 
Fort Towson. He secured the erection of an ample church 
building and rendered many years of faithful service. He 
died and was buried in the cemetery at that place in 1870. 

Doaksville, though no longer entitled to a place on the 
map, is the name of an important pioneer Indian village. 
Here the once proud and powerful Choctaws established 
themselves during the later twenties, and were regarded 
as happy and prosperous before the Civil War. 

Fort Towson was built by the government to protect 
them from incursions on the part of the wild Kiowas and 
Comanches, who still roamed over the plains of Texas. The 
name of Ulyses S. Grant was associated with it just before 
the Mexican war. The generous hospitality of Col. Gar- 
land, who died there after a long period of service, is still 
gratefully remembered. 

During its most prosperous days, which were long be- 
fore the Civil War, a considerable number of aristocratic 
Choctaws, claiming large plantations in the neighboring val- 
leys, dwelt there near each other. Some were men of cul- 
ture and university education, while others were ignorant 
and superstitious. Some had previously enjoyed the ac- 



INDIAN SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES 29 

quaintance and friendship of Andrew Jackson and Zachary 
Taylor, and greatly appreciated the privilege of manifest- 
ing their chivalrous spirit. Berthlett's store, now used as 
a stable, was a noted trading establishment and place of so- 
cial resort. Its owner was a native of Canada, who had 
come to live among the Choctaws. 

While living in this beautiful country, where they were 
paternally protected from poverty at home and the en- 
croachments of enemies abroad it has been said they were 
so addicted to private quarrels and fatal combats, that 
there was scarcely a Choctaw family that did not have its 
tragedy of blood. These fatal tribal feuds, however, seldom 
occurred except on gala days, and the preparations therefor 
included a supply of "fire-water." 

The old Doaksville cemetery occupies the slope of a 
hillside near a little stream skirted with timber. Some of 
the leading pioneers of the Choctaw nation were buried 
here. The marble tablets that mark their graves were 
brought by steam boat from New Orleans, up the Mississip- 
pi and Red rivers to a landing four miles south. Some of 
the graves are walled and covered with a marble slab, while 
others are marked by the erection over them of oddly shap- 
ed little houses. In the early days, the full-bloods were in 
the habit of burying with the body some favorite trinket 
or article of personal adornment. Many of the grave stones 
attest the fact that the deceased while living enjoyed a 
good hope of a blessed immortality through our Lord Jesus 
Christ. 



Ill 

THE BIBLE AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN 
CIVILIZATION AND EDUCATION 

THE BIBLE A POWER IN THE FORMATION OF CHARACTER. 
—THE ARCHITECT GREATER THAN THE CATHEDRAL.— 
THE BIBLE THE BASIS OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC 
SCHOOL SYSTEM.— VALLEY OF DIAMONDS.— IMPORT- 
ANCE OF CHRISTIAN TEACHERS. 

"From a child thou hast known the HOLY SCRIP- 
TURES, which are able to make thee Wise unto Salvation." 

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is 
profitable for instruction ; That the man of God may be per- 
fect thoroughly furnished unto all good works." — Paul 

\^^^^/f HILST our religious educational institutions 
V \ a J HI where unsectarian instruction in the Bible 
is fundamental, have been producing good 
results of the highest order, those educa- 
tional institutions where only secular in- 
struction is given, have been contributing a very small pro- 
portion of the world's consecrated moral leaders. Of 1,600 
home missionaries, 1,503 received their training in Chris- 
tion educational institutions. Of 600 foreign missionaries, 
551 received their training in Christian educational insti- 
tutions. 

It is not correct to say that one standard of education 
is as good as another. Fourteen American colleges, recent- 
ly established in China by the Christian Missionaries, 
though only meagerly equipped, but manned by those of un- 






32 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

questioned Christian character, and teaching the plain sav- 
ing truths of the Bible, have become educational centers, 
from which have gone out the leaders in a peaceful revolu- 
tion that occurred there in 1912, that have brought the boon 
of civil and religious liberty to one-fourth of the population 
of the world. Under the beneficent influence of a few Chris- 
tian leaders this ancient empire has been lifted off its 
hinges and a new life and spirit of progress have been in- 
fused into a civilization, hoary with centuries of stagnant 
heathenism. In this wonderful transformation, effected by 
trained Christian teachers, the church and the world have 
seen the fulfillment of the Bible prediction, "A nation shall 
be born in a day." 

Training for a noble Christian life is many times bet- 
ter than training merely to make a living. The demand for 
good and true men, to serve as leaders in church and state 
was never greater than at present. The aim of the church 
is to supply the world with capable leaders that are "Christ- 
led and Bible-fed." 

A right education knows no limit of breadth. It in- 
cludes a knowledge of the Infinite as well as the finite. It 
recognizes the fact that finite things can not be rightly un- 
derstood without knowing their relation to the Infinite. 
Our Lord Jesus, who came into the world to make known the 
will of the Father, "holds in his girdle the key to all the 
secrets of the universe, and no education can be thorough 
without the knowledge of Him." 

Christian schools are established for the culture of 
souls. Their aim is to develop men and women as persons 
to the full extent of their powers for the sake of their con- 
tribution to the personal welfare and progress of society. 



THE BIBLE AN IMPORTANT FACTOR 33 

THE BIBLE A POWER IN THE FORMATION OF 

CHARACTER 

All things being equal the thorough Christian makes 
a better mechanic, a better farmer, a better housekeeper, 
teacher, doctor, lawyer or business man, than one who is 
not a Christian. It is the work of a Bible school of instruc- 
tion to equip its graduates with the very best elements of 
character and progress, and send them forth tempered and 
polished for the conquest of the world. 

The young have characters to be molded, ideals to be 
formed, capacities to be enlarged, an efficiency that may be 
increased, an energy to be centralized, and a hope and faith 
to be strengthened. The Bible, in the hands of the tactful 
and faithful Christian teacher accomplishes all of these re- 
sults, by its precepts and interesting biographies. 

The Bible, furnishes the young correct ideals of a noble 
and useful manhood. The common greed for money, po- 
sition and outward appearance is weighed in the balance 
and found wanting. 

The Bible is the fountain of all true character, and fur- 
nishes the means for the betterment of one's self. It fur- 
nished the principles and ideals that enabled Washington, 
Lincoln, Frances Willard, Queen Victoria, Gladstone and 
others, to achieve greatness as statesmen, rulers or na- 
tional leaders; and enabled Cary, Judson, Moffat, Living- 
stone and others to invade dark, dangerous continents that 
they might become heralds of gospel light and liberty 
where they were most needed. "Buy the truth, sell it not, 
and the truth shall make you free," was the ringing mes- 
sage they proclaimed to men, women and children. 



34 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

THE ARCHITECT GREATER THAN THE CATHEDRAL 

A tourist, visiting the famous cathedral at Milan, ex- 
pressed his great surprise at the wonderful vision and per- 
fect ideal of the man, who designed it. A guide remarked, 
that the mind of the architect, who wrought out the hun- 
dred striking features of the design, was greater than the 
magnificent cathedral. This led another to remark, "Only a 
mind inspired by Christ could have designed this wonder- 
ful building.'' How true! The love of Christ constrains his 
people to bring to his service and worship their noblest 
powers of mind and body. 

When the tourist viewed the works of art, which in- 
cluded some of the world's most famous statuary and paint- 
ings, he found the master pieces of Michael Angelo, the 
sculptor, were Moses and David, both of them characters 
from the Bible; and the most wonderful paintings were 
those of the person of our Lord Jesus, the only Redeemer of 
the world. 

Hayden and Handel, two of the world's most famous 
musical composers, were inspired to write their great choral 
masterpieces, the "Creation" and the "Messiah" as a re- 
sult of their careful study of the sacred scriptures.. 

The best the world has produced in law, literature, 
poetry, music, art and architecture has been the embodi- 
ment of ideals, that have received their inspiration from 
reading God's Holy Word, and experiencing saving knowl- 
edge of the redeeming work of His blessed Son. 

Abraham continues to be the "father of the faithful,-" 
Moses, author of the Pentateuch, continues to be the world's 
greatest lawgiver and leader of men; Joshua effecting the 
conquest of Canaan on the principle, "Divide and Conquer," 
continues to be the inspirer of successful military strateg- 



THE BIBLE AN IMPORTANT FACTOR 35 

ists; David author of Psalms, continues to be the world's 
greatest poet ; Joseph, Daniel and Isaiah, continue to be the 
best ideals for rulers and their counselors; Nehemiah, the 
best representative of a progressive and successful man of 
affairs ; Peter and John, the most noted examples of loyalty 
to truth ; Paul, the most zealous advocate of a great cause ; 
and our Lord Jesus continues to be the ideal of the world's 
greatest teachers and benefactors. 

THE BASIS OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOL 

SYSTEM 
"The Bible, the basis of moral instruction in the public 
school," was the interesting theme of an address it was the 
privilege of the author to deliver at a teachers' institute 
forty years ago, when engaged in teaching in central Penn- 
sylvania. The conviction then became indellibly impressed, 
that the Bible is really the basis of the American public 
school system. The fact is now noted with a good deal of 
interest, that the legislature of Pennsylvania in 1913, en- 
acted a law, distinctly recognizing this fact, and providing 
that at least ten verses from the Bible shall be read every 
school day, in the presence of the scholars in every public 
school within the bounds of the state. Every teacher refus- 
ing to comply with this law is subject to dismissal.. 

Every state in the Union should have a law of this kind. 
The Bible is not merely the book of books, it is the only one 
that has correct ideals for young people. It awakens the 
desire for more knowledge and inspires the courage to do 
right. 

THE VALLEY OF DIAMONDS 

Ruskin, in "The Ethics of Dust", referring to the valley 
of diamonds, remarks that "many people go to real places 



36 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

and never see them; and many people pass through this 
valley of diamonds and never see it." 

One great object to be attained in the education of the 
mind is to awaken an earnest desire for truth. All real life, 
whether it be in the school, shop or field, consists in using 
aright the true principles of life, that are found in the Word 
of God. Every human heart, that has been illuminated by 
this Word of Truth, finds that along the pathway that leads 
to God, there are hidden the gems and jewels of eternal 
truth, that prevail in every department of life. These gems 
are hidden only from the careless and indifferent. Those 
that make a diligent search are sure to find them. This 
longing desire for truth is not only the mark of a good stu- 
dent, but the assurance also that such a one, if circumstances 
are favorable will continue to make progress after school 
days have ended. 

Many pupils, during their youthful school days, fail to 
perceive the real mission of their education. They do not 
then fully appreciate the real gold of truth, that cultivates 
in them "those general charities of heart, sincerities of 
thought, and graces of habit, which are likely to lead them, 
throughout life to prefer frankness to affectation, reality to 
shadows, and beauty to corruption." This enlightenment is 
pretty sure to come to them later, if the Bible has been 
their daily text book. 

THE CHRISTIAN TEACHER 
The acceptance of the Bible as the Word of God should 
be regarded as essential, on the part of all teachers of child- 
ren and youth. 

If the Bible is the great fountain of saving truth and 
the highest authority on human conduct, and it is to be 
used as a daily text book, then, it naturally follows, the 



THE BIBLE AN IMPORTANT FACTOR 37 

teacher should be "a workman approved unto God, apt to 
teach and rightly dividing the word of truth." Persons who 
do not believe in the Bible do not care to teach it, and when 
they are required to do so, they are pretty sure to vaunt 
their unbelief. The influence of such teachers tends to es- 
tablish unbelief instead of awakening a longing desire for 
more truth. 

Emerson in one of his essays, after pressing the fact 
that the soul is the receiver and revealer of truth, states an 
undeniable fact, when he says : 

"That which we are, we shall teach, not voluntarily 
but involuntarily. Thoughts go out of our minds through 
avenues, which we never voluntarily opened. Character 
teaches over our head. The infallible index of true progress 
is found in the tone the man takes. Neither his age, nor his 
breeding, nor his company, nor books, nor actions, nor tal- 
ents, nor all together can hinder him from being deferential 
to a higher spirit than his own. If he has not found his 
home in God, his manners, his form of speech, the turn of 
his sentences, the build, shall I say of all his opinions, will 
involuntarily confess it, let him brave it out how he will." 

The longings of the human heart are unsatisfied, until 

the soul finds its home in God, its creator and preserver. 

Teachers that ignore this fact, lack one thing that is vitally 

important. Our Lord Jesus, the great teacher, expressed 

its relative importance when he said: "Seek ye first the 

Kingdom of God, and his righteousness ; and all these things 

will be added unto you." 

A RAILROAD PRESIDENT 

James J. Hill, a prominent railroad president recently 

made this important statement : 

"We are making a mistake to train our young people 
in various lines of knowledge for undertaking the big tasks 
of life, without making sure also that those fundamental 
principles of right and wrong as taught in the Bible, have 
become a part of their equipment. There is a control of 



38 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

forces and motives, that is essential to the management of 
the vast affairs of our nation, which comes only through 
an educated conscience; and to fail to equip young men, 
who are to manage the great affairs of the future, with this 
control and direction, is a serious mistake of the age and 
bears with it a certain menace for the future." 

In a recent issue of the Asembly Herald there ap- 
peared the following very pertinent paragraphs on this 
subject, credited to the Synod of Tennessee: 

"In common with all good citizens, we rejoice in the pro- 
gress of the cause of popular education in our land. The in- 
telligence of our citizenship is a bulwark to the country. 
But unless the education of the future citizen is complete 
and symmetrical, the body politic becomes a body partly of 
iron and partly of potter's clay. The education of the head 
and the hand without the heart is not enough. 

"The popular education has no place for the heart in 
all of its splendid equipment. This is not a reflection on the 
fine system. It is merely the statement of a melancholy 
fact. The average state school, high or low, is absolutely 
colorless as to religion. Even the morality that is taught 
is not the morality of the Christian religion, but of philos- 
ophical ethics that differ but little from the ethics of the 
pagan. 

"Our state schools have no place for the God of the 
Bible, nor for the Bible of the only living and true God. The 
poetry of Homer and Horace are sufficiently honored, but 
the finer poetry of Moses, Job and David are unknown in the 
courses of study of our schools, except now and then as spec- 
imens of Oriental song. The wise sayings of Plato and 
Socrates are reckoned worthy of profound study, while the 
vastly greater sayings of our Lord Jesus and Paul are un- 
known. Cicero and Demosthenes are commended as great 
models of public address, while Isaiah and Ezekiel are sel- 
dom mentioned in the four years of college life, or in the 
longer years of the secondary schools. 

"That education is incomplete and inadequate for life's 
best, which does not include the whole man, and put first 
things first. If the heart be not educated and the conscience 
be not enlightened, the best trained hand may strike in a 
wrong manner, and the best trained mind pronounce wrong 
judgments. . Our citizenship must be Christian if it is to 
promote a Christian civilization." 



IV 

THE AMERICAN NEGRO 

RELIGIOUS INSTINCT. — LOYAL AND PATRIOTIC. — THE 
FREEDMAN. — HOMELESS AND ILLITERATE WHEN 
EMANCIPATED. — FIRST SCHOOLS DURING THE CIVIL 

WAR.— FREE NEGROES AND COLLEGE GRADUATES.— 
50th ANNIVERSARY. 

"All nations whom thou hast made shall come and wor- 
ship before thee and glorify thy name." David. 

RELIGIOUS INSTINCT 
y^^^&ifiN commendation of woman's loyalty and 
f W sense of obligation to our Lord Jesus, it has 

Ojj been said of her, "She was last at his cross 

s&J) anc * ^ rs ^ a ^ *^ s g rave > sne staid longest 
there and was soonest here." In recognition 
of this fact when he rose from the dead he appeared first to 
one of them, Mary Magdalene. 

To the credit of men of African descent, it may be said, 
that one of them performed the last act of kindness to our 
Lord Jesus, and the first individual conversion, of which we 
have an account in the book of Acts, relates to another one. 

Simon, who assisted Jesus to bear his cross to the 
place of crucifixion, was a native of Cyrene in North Africa. 
The eastern church canonized him as Simon, the Black one, 
because his was the high and holy honor of bearing for the 
weary Christ, his cross of shame and pain. Our Lord Jesus 
was not long in the black man's debt. A few hours later, he 
paid it back by bearing for him all his weary burdens, on 




40 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

the very cross the African had borne for him. That was a 
good start for the Black man. 

Philip, directed by an angel of the Lord to go south and 
join himself to the chariot occupied by the Eunuch, a man of 
great authority under the Queen of Ethiopia, found him 
reading the prophet Isaiah. Explaining the scriptures to 
him the eunuch confessed his faith in Jesus, was baptized 
with water found at the roadside and resumed his journey, 
homeward from Jerusalem, rejoicing. The record of this 
Black man's conversion is the first one of an individual in 
the book of Acts. 

The religious trait of the American Negro has often 
been the subject of favorable comment. He has never, in all 
his history, been swayed by the false teachings of infidels, 
atheists or anarchists. 

Dan Crawford, a Scotch missionary, the successor of 
Livingstone in the central part of the dark continent, recent- 
ly stated he had discovered the fact, that the most ignor- 
ant and degraded natives of central Africa, have a relig- 
ious instinct, that includes a belief in one God and the im- 
mortality of the soul. 

Penetrating the jungles of the interior beyond the 
reach of a previous explorer, he found a tribe of nearly 
nude cannibals. He saw one of them eating human flesh. 
Meeting Ka la ma ta, their chief, the next day in the pres- 
ence of several hundred of his tribe, he made special inquiry 
in regard to their knowledge of God. The result was an 
astounding surprise. 

Kalamata, gave their name of God as Vi de Mu ku lu 

the Great King. When further questioned he said: 

"We know there is a God for the same reason we know 
where the goats went on a wet night, when we see their deep 
foot-prints in the mud. We see the sun and the sun sees 



THE AMERICAN NEGRO 41 

us. We see the wonderful mountains and the flowing 
streams, and both tell us there is a God. He is the one 
who sends the rain. No rain, nothing to eat; no God, no 
anything." 

Concerning a future life he expressed the thought, the 
body is the cottage of the soul. The dead do not really die. 
When one dies they do not say, "he departed", but "he has 
arrived." 

The x^merican Negro, like his native ancestor, has always 
manifested this religious instinct. 

Under the influence of a natural instinct the bee in- 
variably builds its cell in the same form for the next brood 
and the storage of honey for it; the butterfly prepares the 
cradle and food for offspring it never sees, and the migra- 
tory birds follow the sun northward in the spring and south- 
ward on the approach of winter. All this is natural instinct. 
Religious instinct is something very different from the 
natural instinct of any creature. It is a natural power pos- 
sessed by man alone, and has its sphere in the human con- 
science. Paul, writing to the Romans in regard to the bar- 
barians of his day, observed, "God is manifest in them, for 
the invisible things of God, even his eternal power and God- 
head, are clearly seen by the things that are made." 
LOYAL AND PATRIOTIC 
The Negro in America has always been loyal and pa- 
triotic. He has rendered a voluntary service in the army 
and navy of the United States that is worthy of special com- 
mendation. The records of the war department show that 
the number of colored soldiers, participating in the several 
wars of this country was as follows : 

Revolutionary War, 1775-1781 3,000 

War of 1812 2,500 

Civil War, 1861-1865 178,975 



42 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

In the war with Spain in Cuba in 1898 the first troops 
that were sent to the front were four regiments of colored 
soldiers, and the service they rendered was distinguished by 
bravery and courage. 

THE FREEDMAN, HOMELESS AND ILLITERATE 
In 1860 the number of Negroes that were in a state of 
slavery was 3,930,760. In 1910 their number in the south- 
ern states had increased to 9,000,000; and in the northern 
states to 1,078,000. 

The Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln 
was issued January 1, 1863, but it was preceded by a prelim- 
inary one on September 22, 1862, that gave the public a no- 
tice of 100 days of the coming event. 

The Act of Emancipation that severed the relation 
binding them to their masters, left them in a very forlorn 
and deplorable condition. They were homeless and penni- 
less in a country, that had been rendered more or less des- 
olate, by the ravages of war and bloodshed. No provision 
had ever been made for the spread of intelligence among 
them. It has been estimated that only about five per cent 
of them at that time could read and write. Their homeless 
and illiterate condition rendered them comparatively help- 
less and dependent. 

In 1885 the number of voters enrolled among the 
Freedmen was 1,420,000 and of these as many as 1,065,000 
were then unable to read and write. These illiterate voters 
then represented the balance of power in eight southern 
states and one sixth of the national electoral vote. This was 
a matter of vital importance to the nation as well as the 
states. 

In 1900 the per centage of the Freedmen that could 



THE AMERICAN NEGRO 43 

read and write had been increased to 55.5 per cent, and in 
1910 to 69.3 per cent. 

At this latter date however only 58.3 per cent of their 
children, of a school age, were enrolled as attending school, 
which left more than one million yet to be provided for. 

FIRST PUBLIC SCHOOL 

The first day school among the Freedmen was estab- 
lished at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, by the American Mis- 
sionary Association on September 17, 1861. This school be- 
came the foundation of Hampton Institute, to which the 
ragged urchin wended his way on foot and slept the first 
night under a wooden pavement, that has since been known 
as Booker T. Washington. 

In 1862 similar schools were established at Ports- 
mouth, Norfolk, and Newport News, Virginia; Newbern 
and Roanoke Island, North Carolina, and Port Royal, South 
Carolina. In December of that year Gen. Grant assigned 
Col. John Eaton the supervision of the Freedmen in Arkan- 
sas, with instruction to establish schools where practical. 

After the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 
1863, schools for the Negroes began to be established in 
those parts of the south occupied by the Federal armies, 
General Banks establishing the first ones in Louisiana. 

In 1865 the Freedman's Bureau was established, and it 
made the maintenance of schools one of its objects until 
1870, when it was discontinued. The work has since been 
left to the supervision of the several states, aided by the 
generosity of the friends of Christian education through the 
missionary agencies of their respective churches. 

It is estimated that since 1870 the Freedmen, who con- 
stitute nearly one half the population of the southern states 



44 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

have received for the support of their schools, only one 
eighth of the public funds appropriated for the maintenance 
of common schools. In the rural districts teachers only are 
furnished, and these are supplied on the condition the Freed- 
men in the district build, furnish and maintain the school 
building, the same as they do their church buildings. 

The number of free Negroes in the United States in 
1860 was 487,970. The states having the greatest number 
of them were Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Maryland, Vir- 
ginia and North Carolina. 

A few of these had become graduates of colleges be- 
fore the war and were thus fitted for intelligent leadership. 
The beginning and increase in number of these colored col- 
lege graduates has been as follows ; In 1829, 1 ; in 1849, 7 ; 
in 1859, 12; in 1869, 44; in 1879, 313; in 1899, 1,126; and in 
1909, 1,613. About 700 of them have graduated from our 
northern colleges the largest number having attended 
Oberlin college at Oberlin, Ohio, and Lincoln University at 
Oxford, Pennsylvania. In 1910 the whole number that had 
graduated was 3,856. 

50tb ANNIVERSARY 

The 50th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclama- 
tion was observed by a number of the states in September, 
1913. In Pennsylvania it consisted of an exposition at 
the city of Philadelphia, that lasted one month. The 
exhibit, showing the progress of the negroes from their in- 
fantile condition of 50 years ago, was characterized as 
"wonderful", and the occasion, one for devout thanksgiving 
and encouragement on the part of those, who have labored 
patiently and faithfully for their civil, social, moral or 
religious development. 



THE AMERICAN NEGRO 



45 



The Presbyterian was the only one of the white church- 
es that attempted an exhibit of its work at this exposition. 
Its exhibit consisted of photographs of churches and schools, 
and accounts of the results of the work. It included speci- 
mens of industrial work done in the schools by the sewers, 
cabinet workers and other artisans. It was under the di- 
rection of Rev. John M. Gaston, field secretary of the Pres- 
byterian Board of Missions for Freedmen. 




THE PROBLEM OF THE FREEDMAN 

DIFFERENT STANDPOINTS.— REPRESENTATION IN CON- 
GRESS.— 13th, 14th AND 15th AMENDMENTS.— NEGRO 
SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES.— DISFRANCHISE- 
MENTS.— RESULTS CONTRARY TO EXPECTATION.— PROV- 
IDENTIAL LEADING OF JOSEPH, ISRAEL, NEHEMIAH 
AND DANIEL SUGGESTIVE.— A DIVINE MISSION.— THE 
FREEDMAN'S FRIENDS.— FRIENDLY COUNSELS.— THE 
GOLDEN RULE. 

"Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy 
throne ; mercy and truth shall go before thy face." 

"Righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach 
to any people." 



f^^m 




%^/PHE "Problem of the Negro" is an old and fa- 
W miliar phrase. It relates to the fact, that, 
1 ujj however many and great have been the 
«<cfev benefits derived from his labor and loyalty, 
the best management of him has been a 
troublesome problem to the statesmen of this country, 
ever since the declaration of independence, and especially 
the Freedman, since his emancipation. 

Like a prism or cube, this problem has several sides, 
but unlike these symbols, its various sides are unlike each 
other. The solution of it has always appeared to be dif- 
ferent when viewed from different angles of vision. Ob- 
servers in one part of our country unite in saying, "this is 
the best way to solve this problem," while others in another 
section insist, they know a better way. The statesman 



THE PROBLEM OF THE FREEDMAN 47 

views it from one point of view, the labor leader from an- 
other and the Christian philanthropist from still another 
standpoint. 

The first part of this problem, the one relating to the 
fact of his freedom, has already been solved. The solu- 
tion of this introductory part of the problem caused pre- 
liminary struggles in Kansas and other places, including the 
Civil War. It served to bring out that which was noblest 
and best in Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Lloyd Garrison, 
Frederic Douglass, Henry Ward Beecher, Horace Greeley, 
Charles Summer, Abraham Lincoln and others. 

The parts that remain to be solved relate to his uplift 
from ignorance, poverty and degradation, to the attain- 
ment of the ability to support himself, by a fair chance in 
the labor market, and the enjoyment of approved educa- 
tional, religious and political privileges. 

He has been accorded the right to own property, ana is 
enjoying that right to the full extent of his ability to ac- 
quire and hold it. 

He has been accorded limited educational and religious 
privileges, and has made a very commendable progress 
along both of these lines. 

It is at this point we reach the difficult and unsolved 
part of the problem. 

The intelligent and prosperous portion of them in the 
South, though native and loyal Americans, are discrimin- 
ated against, and denied rights and recognitions, that are 
accorded other nationalities, though illiterate. The popular 
reason assigned, for locally withholding from all of 
them certain privileges of citizenship, is the fact that a 
great number of them continue to be illiterate. 



48 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

In several of the states the Freedman is denied the 
privilege of enjoying the instruction of competent white 
teachers in their state and public schools, and in all of them 
he is prohibited from attending white schools, as in Penn- 
sylvania and other northern states. The discriminations 
against them are so general, that it is almost impossible for 
any of them to acquire skill as workmen, or become fitted to 
serve their own people in the professions, except from those 
of their own number, or institutions of learning provided 
specially for them. 

REPRESENTATION IN CONGRESS 

During the last forty years, the Freedmen have been 
counted as a part of the population, in apportioning the dis- 
tricts for the election of Representatives in the Congress of 
the United States. This inclusion of their number, in the 
arrangement of the districts, has enabled the states to 
which they belong, to have a considerable number of ad- 
ditional congressmen, that they would not have had, if the 
districts had been arranged according to the white popu- 
lation, which alone has been permitted to vote. 

Since 1910 the additional number of Congressmen^ 
representing the suppressed vote of the Freedmen, has been 
82 in a total of 82 members. These additional representa- 
tives, based on the population representing the suppressed 
vote of the Freedmen, have come from the different states 
as follows : Alabama, 5 ; Arkansas, 2 ; Florida, 1 ; Georgia, 6 ; 
Louisiana, 4; Mississippi, 5; North Carolina, 4; South Car- 
olina, 4; Texas, 1. Total, 32. 

This is an unexpected and a rather anomalous condi- 
tion. It places the Freedmen in this country on a plane 
somewhat similar to that accorded the Philippines and Porto 



THE PROBLEM OF THE FREEDMAN 49 

Ricans, as regards the matter of government and partici- 
pation therein. 

It also, however, suggests the goal towards which edu- 
cation, religion and consequent material prosperity are 
gradually uplifting the race. This goal is clearly expressed 
in the following amendments to the Constitution of the 
United States. 

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION 

Article XIII. Section I. Neither slavery nor involun- 
tary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof 
the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within 
the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. 
— (Ratified Dec. 18, 1865.) 

Article XIV. Section I. All persons born or natural- 
ized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction 
thereof, are citizens of the United States, and of the state 
wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any 
law, which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of 
citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive 
any person of life, liberty or property, without due process 
of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the 
equal protection of the laws. 

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned 
among the several states according to their respective num- 
bers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, 
excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote 
at any election for the choice of electors for president and 
vice-president of the United States, representatives in con- 
gress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the 
members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the 
male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of 
age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way 
abridged, except for participation in rebellion or other 
crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced 
in the proportion, which the number of such male citizens 
shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one 
years of age in such state. — (Ratified July 28, 1868.) 

Article XV. Section 1. The right of citizens of the 
United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the 
United States or by any state on account of race, color, or 
previous condition of servitude. 



50 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Section 2. The congress shall have power to enforce 
this article (or these articles) by appropriate legislation. — 
(Ratified March 30, 1870.) 

NEGRO SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES 

As a result of these amendments two negroes, one free 
born, the other a Freedman were elected to the United 
States senate, namely, Hiram R. Revels, 1870-1871 ; and 
Blanche K. Bruce, 1875-1881, both from Mississippi. 

Twenty others have enjoyed the privilege of serving 
as representatives in congress, during the thirty-two years 
intervening between 1869 and 1901. The first of these was 
Jefferson Long of Georgia, who served alone in 1869 and 
1870. During the next four years 1871 to 1874, there were 
four representatives, representing Alabama, Florida, Mis- 
sissippi and South Carolina, the last having two colored rep- 
resentatives during this entire period. Their number was 
then reduced to two representatives, and finally to none 
since 1901, save that there were three during the terms 
commencing 1877, 1881 and 1883. Their last representa- 
tives were George W. Murray of South Carolina, 1893 to 
1897; and George H. White of North Carolina, 1897 to 1901. 

Five of these twenty representatives were re-elected 
and served terms of four years ; three served six years, and 
Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina enjoyed the unusual 
privilege of serving ten years, 1875 to 1885. Eight of them 
were from South Carolina, four from North Carolina, three 
from Alabama and one from Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, 
Mississippi and Virginia. 

DISFRANCHISEMENTS 
During the seventies and eighties the Freedmen were 
to a considerable extent disfranchised by means of "elec- 
tion devices, practices and intimidations." 



THE PROBLEM OF THE FREEDMAN 51 

Since 1890, when Mississippi took the lead, a number of 
the states have passed laws restricting the right of suffrage 
on their part to such tests as the payment of their annual 
taxes, previous to a certain date; ownership of a certain 
amount of land or personal property, the ability to read and 
write the constitution of the state or of the United States, 
and the "Grandfather Clause" which permits one unable to 
meet the educational or property tests to continue to vote, 
if he enjoyed that privilege, or is a lineal descendant of one 
that did so, previous to the date mentioned therein, usually 
1867. 

The following states have enacted laws containing the 
"Grandfather Clause:" South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, 
Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and in 1910, Oklahoma. 
This part of the Oklahoma statute reads as follows : 

"But no person who was on January 1, 1866, or at any 
time prior thereto, entitled to vote under any form of gov- 
ernment, or who at that time resided in some foreign na- 
tion, and no lineal descendant of such person shall be de- 
nied the right to register and vote because of his inability 
to so read and write such Constitution." 

RESULT CONTRARY TO EXPECTATION 
This historic record, of representation in the highest 
legislative council of the nation, is very suggestive. That 
the Freedmen should have been accorded the largest num- 
ber of representatives just after the dawn of freedom, when 
their general condition has always been described as ex- 
tremely deplorable, that this number should have been 
gradually diminished with the spread of intelligence among 
them; and that finally they should have no representative 
during the last thirteen years, when their progress in ed- 
ucation and material prosperity has been, at their fiftieth 
anniversary, declared to be "wonderful," certainly does not 



52 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

seem to be in accordance with what one* intuitively would 
expect to be the natural order of things. 

It is quite natural the present order of things should 
awaken and develop a feeling of protest on the part of the 
Freedmen, for they appreciate rights and privileges as 
well as other races and nations. 

Their segregation, enforced on all alike in cities, public 
places and conveyances results also in many disappointing 
and humiliating experiences to those who are leaders 
among them. 

The existing order is, however, an expression of local 
public sentiment and of the wisest statesmanship of those, 
who claim to be the best friends of the Freedman, because 
they live nearest to him and know better than others how 
to provide for his needs, including rights and privileges. 

He enjoys the privileges of public protection to life, 
property and the pursuit of happiness, but to a consider- 
able extent is denied the privilege of representation in 
making laws and exercising the power of government. 

These historic facts relating to the gradual curtail- 
ment of the privilege of representation in legislation and 
government have been noted, not merely because they form 
an important part in a full statement of the negro problem, 
but as a prelude to the following facts, and suggestions to 
the Freedmen. 

PROVIDENTIAL LEADING 
The history of the negro in America has been one of 
providential leading and apparently to enable him to work 
out his own destiny. From the time the Dutch slave ship 
in 1619 landed the first importation, consisting of 20 slaves, 
at Jamestown, Virginia, to the present time, every import- 
ant event or change in his condition has come to him from 



THE PROBLEM OF THE FREEDMAN 53 

others, who without aid or suggestion from him have been 
moved to act for him. 

The experience of Joseph, in passing through the pit 
and the prison, on the way to his real mission, the exper- 
ience of Israel in Egypt from the death of Joseph until the 
time of their deliverance at the Red Sea, and the experience 
of Nehemiah and Daniel, captives at Babylon, who were 
there providentially led and prepared for the most signal 
services of their lives, seem like historic parallels flashing 
from inspired Bible story, their comforting and prophetic 
light on the servile and dark experiences of the negro in 
America. 

In all of these instances the persons were subject to 
the control of others, the way seemed dark, trying and ut- 
terly disappointing, and the opportunities, that prepared the 
way for important transitions, came unsought and in ways 
wholly unexpected. The things that proved of greatest im- 
portance in every instance were the intelligence, integrity, 
patience and piety of the individual. 

The Godfearing integrity of Joseph was expressed 
when he resisted a great temptation by saying, "How can 
I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" 

Israel in Egypt submissively and obediently under- 
took to make the full tale of brick when unsympathetic 
taskmasters withheld the usual and necessary amount of 
straw. 

Nehemiah, a captive cupbearer of a heathen prince, 
won his confidence and when honorably permitted to return 
and rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, nobly answered his idle 
opposers, "I am doing a great work I cannot come down to 
you." 



54 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Daniel, when a captive youth, "purposed in his heart 
not to defile himself with the King's meat or the wine which 
he drank," or be swerved from his fidelity to the living and 
true God by threats of the lion's den. When the lives of 
the wise men of Babylon were in danger of being suddenly 
taken by royal command, he is introduced to King Nebu- 
chadnezzar with the significant words, "I have found a MAN 
of the captives of Judah that will make known to the King 
the interpretation." He was a man whose power of vision 
enabled him to forecast the future correctly and possessed 
the courage to act prudently. Though a captive and denied 
many privileges, he proved himself an intelligent and trust- 
worthy man and, serving as a special counsellor of five suc- 
cessive heathen kings, achieved for himself the worthy rep- 
utation of being the greatest statesman of his age. 

All of these men discovered, that their imprisonment or 
captivity was a part of the divine plan, that providentially 
led and prepared them for their real mission, which in each 
instance proved to be one of prominent usefulness. 

All of them were true patriots, but none of them were 
"office seekers" or "corrupt politicians." They loved more 
than any other their own native land, because of its sacred 
literature and religious institutions, but they were loyal 
and true to those who ruled over them in a foreign land. 
If any of them had manifested a political ambition, the 
divine plan, in regard to their promotion and usefulness, 
would have been immediately frustrated, and the memory 
of their names would have perished with their generation. 

A DIVINE MISSION 
May we not believe that God had a plan and purpose, 
in bringing the negro to the christian colonies, that estab- 
lished our government on the fundamental principles of 



THE PROBLEM OF THE FREEDMAN 55 

civil and religious liberty. His condition during the period 
of servitude, which lasted 246 years, was perhaps in many 
places but little worse than that of most of his kinsmen in 
Africa, during this same period; while now, at the end of 
the first fifty years of freedom, the condition and prospects 
of the intelligent and prosperous ones among them, are de- 
clared to be better than those enjoyed by their kinsmen, 
any where on earth. 

THE FREEDMAN'S FRIENDS 

The Freedman has hosts of friends, who are interested 
in his welfare. He has interested neighbors, amongst 
whom he lives, and also friends at a distance. Both are 
trying to solve the problem of his true relation to Ameri- 
can institutions and privileges. While both have been co- 
operating together to a considerable extent and in a very 
commendable manner for the betterment of his condition, 
it remains to note however that if one is considered by the 
other as moving too slowly, or too rapidly, one acts as a 
gentle spur or check to the other. 

This is the harmonizing process that is now going on 
among the friends of the Freedman. He is scarcely regard- 
ed as a participating factor in this harmonizing process. 
There are times when to him every new event seems to be 
one moving him in the wrong direction. His natural im- 
pulse, on experiencing these apparently adverse movements, 
is to raise the voice of bitter complaint against one set of 
his friends. When this is done in a personal or partisan way 
it is offensive and always does more harm than good. This 
method of procedure should therefore never be approved or 
adopted. 






56 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

FRIENDLY COUNSELS 

A respectful protest against a wrong and an appeal 
to have it removed, addressed to the person or body having 
the power to remove it, is an inherent right and a proper 
method of procedure whenever deemed advisable. 

"Love thy neighbor as thyself" should be regarded as 
a fundamental principle by every Freedman. When the 
herdmen of Abraham and Lot had a little trouble over 
cattle and pastures, Abraham, who had received all the 
land by promise and Lot was really a troublesome intrud- 
er, discovered the greatness of his soul and settled the dif- 
ficulty by saying to Lot, 

"Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and 
thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen, for we be 
brethren. 

"Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself 
from me, if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to 
the right, or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go 
to the left." 

Do not become impatient. Your friends at a distance, 
especially those in the churches, are generously endeav- 
oring to help you to climb the ladder of progress, until a 
larger proportion of the race has been uplifted to the plane 
of an enlightened christian civilization. 

That the Freedman, notwithstanding his wonderful 
progress during the last fifty years, is still in an infantile 
condition, is freely confessed. It was eighty years from the 
time the helpless babe was uplifted from the river, before 
Moses was called to be the leader and deliverer of Israel. 
The uplift from the river and training in his case came 
from the gentle hands of others. This fact is quite signifi- 
cant. 



THE PROBLEM OF THE FREEDMAN 57 

The Freedman who, avoiding the worthless and cor- 
rupt politician and over zealous office seeker, makes a good 
success of his farm and co-operates cordially with his 
friends and neighbors in effecting the educational and moral 
uplift of his race, will be happiest while he lives and do 
most to hasten the day, when political privileges, now tem- 
porarily withheld, will be restored to those who are found 
capable and worthy of their enjoyment. 

If you happen to live in a state where your neighbor 
does not wish you to be a politician and hold office, do not 
worry. There are thousands of citizens every year and in 
all parts of our land, who do not vote and merely because 
they do not care to do so. 

The voice of protest, against the useless and corrupt 
politician, is now heard in all parts of our land. In many 
of our cities, he has already been relegated to the junk 
heap, by the adoption of the commission form of govern- 
ment. Two of the states, Kansas and Oklahoma, are now 
vieing with each other, to see which shall be first to adopt 
the same system in the management of the public affairs 
of the state, and thus dispense with a lot of unnecessary 
public officials. 

"A public office is a public trust" and affords an op- 
portunity to render a useful and honorable service, but 
holding public office is not essential to the happiness and 
prosperity of any of us. An over eager desire to hold pub- 
lic office often suggests nothing more, than an effort to find 
employment for the idle. The better way, as in the cases 
of Saul and David, kings of Israel, and of Washington and 
Grant, commanders-in-chief of our armies, is to let the of- 
fice seek the man. 






58 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

THE GOLDEN RULE 

"As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to 
them." 

The application of the Golden Rule to this part of this 

problem, suggests that every man is entitled to recogni- 
tion according to his worth. 

"Our country can fulfil its high mission among the na- 
tions of the earth, conferring lasting benefits on ourselves 
and all mankind, only by guaranteeing to its humblest citi- 
zen his just right to life, liberty, protection from injustice, 
the enjoyment of the fruits of his own labor and the pur- 
suit of happiness in his own way, as long as he walks in the 
path of rectitude and duty and does not trespass upon the 
rights of others," declares ex-President Roosevelt. 

"Morality, and not expediency, is the thing that must 
guide us," is the emphatic declaration of President Wood- 
row Wilson. The false assumption that "the end justifies 
the means has come from self-centered men, who see in 
their own interests the interests of the country, and do not 
have vision enough to read it in wider terms, the universal 
terms of equity and justice." 



VI 

VOICES FROM THE BLACK BELT 

"If any man hear my voice and open the door." 

i^^^tf/^N a discussion of the Negro problem it is 
\[ eminently appropriate the Freedman and 





his neighbor be accorded the privilege of 
expressing their respective views. The 
thoughts expressed in this chapter have 
been gleaned principally from the columns of the Afro- 
American, a colored weekly, published by the faculty of 
Biddle University, Charlotte, North Carolina. 

The problem of the negro relates to his capacity for im- 
provement and self-support. Is the American negro, after 
centuries of slavery, that kept the race in an infantile con- 
dition, capable of development and self support? 

Over this question the people of our country have ex- 
pressed differing opinions, many insisting that the servant 
condition is the better one for the American negro. The 
Presbyterian Standard, published at Charlotte, N. C, a sec- 
tion of country in which the latter sentiment still prevails, 
recently bore this testimony to their progress. 

"While it is true of them as a mass that they are an in- 
fantile race, it is not true of them in many individual cases. 
There are thousands of them, who have advanced wonder- 
fully during the last fifty years. They have made progress in 
every line. They are owning more farms every year, and in 
our cities they are buying homes, which sometimes would 
do credit to a more enlightened people. Their churches are 
not only built in better taste, but their preachers are be- 



60 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

coming better educated, and are exerting a stronger moral 
influence than ever before." 

This frank statement fairly represents the sentiment 
of the thoughtful christian people of the south. Some who 
have thought otherwise have been led to admit that, "while 
great advance has been made by a race only fifty years old, 
it is still in its infancy and therefore in the servant condi- 
tion." Nor is it any exception in this respect. 

Through adversity and hard treatment, the Irish people 
who first came to this country were largely in a servant con- 
dition. They accepted it. They became our domestics and 
built our railroads. But "Pat" is not on the railroad now. He 
is found occupying the seat of the chief justice, or serving 
as private secretary of the president and filling many other 
positions of honor and influence throughout the country. 

What is thus true of the Irishman, is also true of other 
Europeans, who came to this country. It is an honor to 
them, that they truly appreciated their condition, accepted 
it and, through an honest and valiant struggle, rose above 
that condition to something better. 

The American negro is now making it evident, that he is 
no exception to this general law of progress, under favorable 
conditions. It is neither necessary nor prudent to blind 
their eyes in regard to their real condition and status. Their 
best friends are those who encourage them to accept the sit- 
uation in which they have been placed by an over ruling 
providence, and, through a noble endeavor, worthy of divine 
favor, rise to something better. 

Their friends assist them best by aiding and encourag- 
ing them to make this noble endeavor, without which they 
cannot rise. The mass of the people must have native teach- 
ers and preachers to serve as leaders. This suggests the 



VOICES FROM THE BLACK BELT 61 

need of two kinds of educational facilities. A common in- 
dustrial education, that will enable the mass of the people 
to achieve success in their daily avocations ; and some spec- 
ial educational facilities of a higher grade, to prepare the 
needed supply of teachers, preachers and other leaders. 

The mass of the people need an education, the scope of 
which will reach their physical, mental and spiritual nat- 
ures. Their greatest need is instruction in the Bible, that 
it may exert its saving power on their early lives and ani- 
mate them with noble aspirations. 

THE CRY OF THE BLACK BELT 

"They shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppres- 
sors and he shall send them a Saviour and a great one and he 
shall deliver them." — Isaiah. 

The following appeal in behalf of the Freedmen, by 
Rev. A. W. Verner, D. D., president of Scotia Seminary, 
Concord, North Carolina, one of the five normal schools of 
the Presbyterian board, especially intended for girls, is so 
well and forcibly expressed, we are sure it will be appre- 
ciated by every reader. 

"The urgent call from the black belt is the cry of souls 
in distress, the cry of humanity. Fifty years of unprece- 
dented progress, in every line of industrial and intellectual 
pursuits and religious development, on the part of a con- 
siderable number of the colored people, show clearly, that 
the negro is capable of receiving and using to good advant- 
age the education and training of the christian school. 

"Industrial education, that lacks genuine christian cul- 
ture, does not provide leaders of the right character to re- 
deem the race, and many of our friends in the south do not 
care to open to the negro the doors of opportunity, to de- 
velop and manifest the best that is in him. It is therefore 
to the christian church of the north and to individuals, who 
have come to recognize the bond of human brotherhood, to 
whom this infant race still makes its appeal. 



62 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

"The sad and degraded condition of great masses of the 
race in many localities of the south, ought to be an appeal, 
silent indeed but sufficiently strong, to awaken the sympa- 
thy of every one, capable of being touched by the cry of 
needy humanity. As a representative of the great Pres- 
byterian church, that has called me into a very important 
and necessary field of her work, I earnestly appeal to our 
people to do more for the establishment and fostering of 
christian schools among the great masses of the black belt. 

The christian church and the christian school have 
something to give, that can be gotten nowhere else. The 
public school where established and industrial training 
where available are good and necessary. But the 
christian school is still needed and very greatly, to give 
moral and spiritual ballast to the individual. The leaven of 
gospel power and purity is needed, to give moral strength 
to the character and the highest degree of usefulness in 
life. 

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION 

"Christian education is not narrow, it takes in every 
phase of training that is essential to produce a well devel- 
oped and useful life. Jt touches and tints industrial train- 
ing with a brighter and richer glow. It quickens the facul- 
ties of the mind, adds keenness to the power of perception, 
forms permanent habits of industry and strengthens the 
will or purpose to do right. 

"Christian education emphasizes the fact that it is not 
merely book learning — storing the mind with knowledge of 
facts or training the hands to work, but includes moral ele- 
vation, as well as intellectual development. It includes 
everything that tends to make the life purer, better and 
more useful. It begets and fosters a spirit of hopefulness. 
It develops that patience and perseverance that is needed 
for the best performance of every day's duties. 

"Christian education emphasizes personal purity, pur- 
ityof the family life and the sacredness of the marriage re- 
lation. Its whole trend and effect is upward. Its genius 
is moral, spiritual, industrial, domestic, social and individ- 
ual elevation. It creates a hunger and thirst for higher and 
better things. It is the mountain summit from whose 
height one gets a broader vision, a clearer view of the pos- 



VOICES FROM THE BLACK BELT 63 

sibilities and demands of life and a truer conception of all 
human relations. 

This is the provision that must be made for our black 
brother. Nothing less will meet his needs. A great respon- 
sibility rests with negro leaders who have attained a good 
degree of intelligence and refinement, but a greater re- 
sponsibility still rests upon the people of richer blessing and 
greater power. 

"If the spirit of true democracy, which declares, 'op- 
portunity for every one, according to his capacity and 
merit,' and the spirit of Christianity, whose principle is, 
'Help for the weaker as the stronger is able to give it,' be 
exercised toward the negro, many of the difficulties will 
vanish, better conditions will prevail and more desirable 
results will be secured." 

This cry of humanity from the black belt of our land 
is very touching and suggestive. It suggests the negro's 
greatest and most urgent needs, the Bible, the Bible school 
and the christian teacher. 

It is the silent appeal of Joseph while passing through 
the pit and the prison in the land of Israel's enslavement. 
Beyond these dark and unpleasant experiences there await- 
ed for Joseph a career of great usefulness in the land of 
his previous imprisonment. 

Let us recognize the fact that God has a great use for 
the Freedman in this our native land, because he has provi- 
dentially brought him here and increased his number so 
greatly. 

A spirit of true patriotism, as well as the tie of chris- 
tian brotherhood, prompts the lending of a helping hand 
and an encouraging word, while he solves the problem of 
his own destiny of great usefulness in the home, the school, 
the church, in the shop, on the farm and in the fields of pro- 
fessional opportunity and business activity. 



64 



CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 



It may be truly said of the Freedmen that they repre- 
sent the poor of this world, of whom the Lord Jesus said, 
"Ye have the poor always with you, Me ye have not al- 
ways. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least 
of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto Me." 





VII 

UPLIFTING INFLUENCES 

FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT.— AN HISTORIC COMPARISON. 

"Look unto the rock whence ye were hewn, and to the 
hole of the pit whence ye were digged." — Isaiah 51:1. 

FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT 

MZ^x^^ff* HE historic incidents, having an uplifting 
J' T^ >\Y influence that occurred among the Choctaw 
til Freedmen of Indian Territory, from the 
time of their first instruction in the Bible 
to the establishment and present develop- 
ment of Oak Hill Industrial Academy, when briefly sum- 
marized, seem like a reproduction on a miniature scale of 
those greater events that occurred among the Christian na- 
tions of Europe and America preceding the adoption of 
their systems of public instruction. 

I. THE CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 
Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury, a generous hearted missionary 
to the Indians, having charge of a church building at 
Doaksville, encourages the slaves in the vicinity to meet in 
it occasionally on Sabbath afternoons, for the purpose of re- 
ceiving instruction in the Bible and shorter catechism. 

This Bible instruction does not result in the organiza- 
tion of a church at that place, but opportunity is given for 
the manifestation and development of the religious in- 
stinct of a number of persons, amongst whom there are two 

3 



66 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

young men, who were destined later to become influential 
leaders among the enslaved people whom they represented. 
After their emancipation, one locates on the west bank 
of the Kiamichi river and later becomes known as Parson 
Stewart, the organizer and circuit rider of a sufficient num- 
ber of churches, at the time of his decease in 1896, to form 
the Presbytery of Ki a mich i. 

The other, accompanied by several personal friends, 
migrates fifteen miles eastward and founds a home in the 
Oak Hill neighborhood. In the course of a short time he 
is visited by the parson and his home becomes a house of 
worship, where a church is organized and Henry Crittenden 
is ordained as its ruling elder. 

A Sunday school for Bible instruction follows the es- 
tablishment of public worship, and two years later it is 
followed by the establishment of a week-day school, for 
the benefit of all the children and youth in the neighbor- 
hood. Eight years later, when the trained missionary teach- 
er arrives, the inspiration of a new life is infused into the 
church and Sunday school, and the week-day school be- 
comes an important industrial academy, where the Bible 
is the basis of the moral and religious instruction. In 1905 
they receive an allotment of lands that they may become in- 
dependent owners of their own homes. In 1908 statehood 
brings the rural public school and in 1912, an intelligent 
Freedman is entrusted with the management of the Indus- 
trial Academy, church and farm. 

This sequence of events includes the dark period of 
slavery and illiteracy followed by instruction in the Bible, 
the light of the world ; the development of the native preach- 
er of the gospel as a leader, the organization of the church, 
followed by the Sunday school, the week-day school, the 



UPLIFTING INFLUENCES 67 

academy, normal, public school and finally a native superin- 
tendent of the academy and independent ownership of land. 

II. THE EUROPEANS AND AMERICANS 

THE DARK AGES 

The period from the 8th to the 12th centuries of the 
christian era has been classed by historians as the "Dark 
Ages" of the world, because of the general prevalence in 
Europe of ignorance, superstition and barbarism. Some 
of the leading events that occurred during this gloomy 
period, immediately following the decline and fall of the 
Roman Empire, tended almost wholly to check the spread 
of intelligence and the prosperity of the people, rather 
than to promote their welfare. The Scrptures were neglect- 
ed and the clergy as well as the people became worldly, ig- 
norant, selfish and superstitious. 

THE SARACENS AND NORMANS 
These unfavorable events included, at the beginning of 
this period, the invasion of Palestine and southern Europe 
including Spain, its most western state, by the Moham- 
medans of Arabia, often called Saracens and Infidels, who 
were fanatically inflamed with a passion to destroy with 
the sword all the people of the world, who would not obey 
Mohammed, their prophet. During the next century Ger- 
many, Britain, Holland and France, then called Gaul, were 
ruthlessly invaded by conquering hordes of the adventurous 
and barbarous Normans, who came from Norway, Swed- 
en and Denmark, countries north of the Baltic Sea. 

THE CRUSADERS OR CROSS-BEARERS 
These invasions were followed by the period of the 
Crusaders, 1096 to 1271, when as many as seven great 
armies or multitudes of people were assembled at the call 



68 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

of the popes, and wearing crosses on their shoulders, march- 
ed through the intervening countries to Palestine. Their 
object was to rescue the city of Jerusalem and the holy 
sepulchre from the infidels. The first crusade was organ- 
ized in France, and it enlisted an army of 800,000. God- 
frey, duke of Lorraine, was placed in command, and the 
multitude was arranged for the march in three divisions. 
Peter, the hermit, a wrong-headed monk, was appointed lead- 
er of the first division and experienced an inglorious and ir- 
reparable defeat on the way. Godfrey, after the siege and 
conquest of Jerusalem in 1099, was chosen King to rule 
over Palestine and the holy city, as his kingdom. At the 
time of his coronation he made the noble remark, that, 

"He could not bear the thought of wearing a crown of 
gold in that city, where the King of Kings had been crowned 
with thorns." 

The brave soldier and manly man, who gave expres- 
sion to this noble sentiment, died the next year. 

Under weak and unskilful chiefs the crusaders while 
on the way wandered about like undisciplined bands of rob- 
bers, plundering cities, committing the most abominable 
enormities, and spreading misery and desolation where- 
ever they passed. There was no kind of insolence, injustice 
and barbarity of which they were not guilty. The seven 
successive crusades drained the wealth of the fairest prov- 
inces and caused the loss of a prodigious number of people. 

Those of the first crusade, that remained in Palestine, 
were divided by sordid ambition and avarice, and in 1187 
Saladin, sultan of Egypt and Syria, the most valiant chief of 
the Mohammedan warriors, recaptured Jerusalem and 
subsequent crusaders were not able to regain it. 



UPLIFTING INFLUENCES 69 

FIRST RAYS OF LIGHT 

The first rays of light, that serve to dispel the dark- 
ness of prevailing night, may be briefly summarized in the 
following leading events. 

In 901 Alfred the Great, king of England, founds a sem- 
inary at Oxford to promote the study of sacred literature. 
Later it becomes a university, the first one in Europe, and 
it is still distinguished as one of the greatest institutions in 
the world for publishing the Scriptures in a form suited for 
the use of preachers and christian teachers. Two centur- 
ies later the second university is founded at Cambridge, 
England. 

About 1170 Peter Waldo of Lyons, France, committing 
to memory such portions of the Scriptures as he could ob- 
tain, and taking for his favorite saying, the command of 
our Lord to the rich youth, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and 
sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt 
have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me," commences 
to preach the gospel, as the Apostles had done, in the homes 
of the people and in their market places. As he attracts 
followers, who also commit portions of the Scriptures, he 
sends them out like the seventy, two and two, to preach the 
Word of God. They are called Waldenses, after the name of 
their leader, and oppose corrupt doctrines and practices 
with the plain truths of the Word of God. They oppose 
the crusades, as fanatical expeditions on the part of those 
who were not Jews, and therefore were unjust and unlaw- 
ful. They insist the church consists not merely of the clergy 
or priests, but includes the whole family of believers. 

The advocacy of these principles and by laymen, causes 
them to be excommunicated, then anathematized and fin- 
ally to be condemned by a council at Rome in 1179. Peter 



70 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Waldo, their leader, flees from land to land, preaching as 
he goes and dies in Bohemia in 1197. 

In 1215, King John of England, yielding to the insistent 
demand of the barons, issued the Magna Charta, (Great 
Charter) the first grant of English constitutional liberty, 
pledging the right of trial by jury and protection of life, 
liberty and property from unlawful deprivation. It is im- 
mediately denounced by the pope, Innocent III, who ab- 
solves the king from all obligation to keep the pledges there- 
in expressed and solemnized by the royal oath. 

In 1366 John Wiclif, a graduate of Oxford and member 
of the English Parliament, presents to that body indisput- 
able reasons, why, without the approval of the Parliament, 
not even the king of England could make their lands sub- 
ject to a tax claimed by a foreign sovereign, representing 
the papacy. As a religious leader, he instructs his follow- 
ers, called "poor priests," to pass from village to village and 
city to city, and to preach, admonish and instruct the peo- 
ple in "God's Lav/." He accomplishes the translation of the 
Latin Vulgate into the English of his day, that his coun- 
trymen might have the Scriptures in their own language. 

Charles V, king of France, has the scriptures translat- 
ed into the French language, for the enlightenment of his 
people. 

During this 14th century seventeen universities are 
founded and they include the one at Geneva in Switzerland, 
Heidelberg in Germany and Prague in Bohemia. 

THE MORNING STAR 

In 1401 John Huss of Bohemia, the Morning Star or 

John Baptist of the Reformation, appears as "the voice of 

one crying in the wilderness." His mother, left a widow in 

early life, gave him to the service of the Lord as he lay in 




BIDDLE UNIVERSITY, CHARLOTTE, N. C. 




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UPLIFTING INFLUENCES. 71 

the cradle, and later, like Hannah of old, took him to the 
school at Prague. 

When he became a preacher he found the Lord's vine- 
yard a desert, the ministers of religion, the priests, ignor- 
ant, worldly and dissolute, and the popes of that period no 
better than the priests. The people, designedly chained 
to the basest superstitions and following the example of 
their leaders, have cast aside the restraints of chastity and 
morality. His heart touched with pity at the sight of the 
religious destitution of the people, his anger, like that 
of Moses "waxed hot" against those, who should have given 
them the gospel of their salvation. Encouraged by the ex- 
ample of Wiclif to make known the truth, he affirms the 
supreme authority of the scriptures, proclaims against the 
abuse of the clergy and endeavors to regenerate the relig- 
ious life of both priests and people. His glowing zeal for the 
honor of God and the church move the people in a way 
until then unknown ; but the priests, unwilling to reform or 
longer endure his piercing protests, falsely accuse him of 
heresy. In 1416, after fifteen years of self denying and he- 
roic service, he is condemned at Constance and suffers mar- 
tyrdom at the stake. A century later Luther, who imbibed 
his heroic spirit, said of him, ''The gospel we now have was 
born out of the blood of John Huss." 

THE FIRST PRINTED BIBLE 

The art of printing is invented and the Vulgate, a 
Latin Bible, is the first book printed. It is issued in 1450 
and is printed on a hand press at Mentz, Germany. Previous 
to this event and date all books were in the form of costly 
manuscripts and their number could be increased, only one 
copy at a time, by penmen called copyists. 



72 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

The mariners compass is invented and in 1492 Colum- 
bus discovers America, and thirty years later Magellan sails 
around the world. 

During this 15th century the universities of Glasgow 
and St. Andrews are founded in Scotland, Mentz and eight- 
een others, on the continent. 

III. THE REFORMATION 
MARTIN LUTHER 

"Arise, shine, for thy Light is Come." 
In 1517, Martin Luther, the apostle of the German 
nation, a man of learning and undaunted courage, whose 
equal had not been known since the days of Paul, appears 
as the valiant and steadfast leader of the Reformation in 
Germany. In 1530 he becomes the founder of the Evan- 
gelical Lutheran church, and aided by Melancthon, suc- 
ceeds in translating and giving to the German people the 
Bible in their own language, and in preparing the Augsburg 
confession that has since served as a standard of faith and 
bond of union for the Lutheran churches in Europe and 
America. 

Emotion and imaginative piety have become the hand- 
maids of superstition; and patriotism, lacking courage, has 
covered its face. He writes hymns and patriotic songs, that 
inspire the German heart with loyalty to tlie truth and de- 
votion to their Fatherland. 

JOHN CALVIN 
In 1527, John Calvin, a man of great learning and glow- 
ing eloquence with burning zeal for the honor of his Master, 
appears as the leader of the Reformation in France, but 
nine years later, joins Farrel, the successor of the zealous 
but fallen Zwingii, in Switzerland, and becomes head of the 



UPLIFTING INFLUENCES 73 

university at Geneva. He secures the adoption of a con- 
stitution, that gave and also limited the authority of the 
church to spiritual, and of the state to temporal matters; 
and thus prepares the way for the separation anew of 
church and state, and the enjoyment of civil and religious 
liberty. 

Educated for the priesthood, he is assigned a parish 
and there obtained a copy of the Scriptures. When he dis- 
covered the erroneous teaching and practices of the church 
of Rome, he resigns his charge and completes a course in 
law and another in theology in the University of Paris. He 
becomes a man void of fear and is borne onward on the 
wings of a living faith. Following the example of Paul in 
his letters to the churches, and of Augustine, bishop of 
Hippo (391-446) in North Africa, he undertakes to state 
in a systematic form the great facts and doctrines of the 
Bible, as one of the best means of opposing and overcoming 
prevailing errors and corrupt practices in church and state. 

He feels the Spirit of God moving him to blazon tri- 
umphantly, the thought of God's sovereignty and man's 
utter dependency, in order to dash in pieces the prevalent 
selfrighteousness. His writings, by emphasizing the su- 
preme authority of the Divine Word, have tended to raise 
the moral standard of individuals and communities, and by 
emphasizing the moral law, to lessen the distinction be- 
tween the "sins" of the Bible and "crimes" of the civil law. 
Their tendency has been to make the moral law the rule 
for states as well as persons. 

Presbyterianism, or government of the church by rul- 
ing elders and presbyters as in the apostolic period, and Re- 
publicanism, government by representatives, are advo- 
cated with transcendent ability, and success. After the 



74 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

death of Luther in 1546, Calvin exerts a great influence over 
the thinking men of that notable period in Switzerland, 
France, Germany, Holland, Italy, England and Scotland. 
The young preachers, sent out from the university at 
Geneva, establish 2,150 reformed congregations in these 
countries, and in 1564, the last year of his life, the confes- 
sion of the reformed churches in France is officially recog- 
nized by the state. 

An ardent and effective friend of civil liberty, he 
makes the city of his adoption the nursery of a pure, noble 
civilization; and the little republic of Geneva becomes the 
sun of the European world. Animated by his example and 
principles, William, prince of Orange, in 1580, establishes 
the Dutch Republic in Holland, and it becomes "the first 
free nation to put a girdle of empire around the world." 

Bancroft, the historian, in summarizing the influences 
that contributed to American Independence makes this 
creditable reference to Calvinism. 

"We are proud of the free states that fringe the At- 
lantic. The Pilgrims of Plymouth were Calvinists, the best 
influences in South Carolina came from the Calvinists of 
France. William Penn was a disciple of the Huguenots; 
the ships from Holland, that in 1614 brought the first col- 
onists to Manhattan (New York), were filled with Calvin- 
ists. He that will not honor the memory and respect the 
influence of Calvin, knows but little of the origin of Amer- 
ican Liberty." 

WILLIAM TYNDALE 

In 1530 Henry VIII aided by William Tyndale, the new 

translator of the New Testament and Pentateuch, and in 

1547 Edward VI, his successor, promote the establishment 

of the Reformation in England. A change of rulers in 1553 

leads to the martyrdom of Archbishop Cranmer, bishops, 



UPLITING INLUENCES 75 

Latimer and Ridley, and of John Rogers, the zealous re- 
former — four of the noblest men England ever produced. 

It was the noble-hearted, youthful Tyndale who, when 
he came to perceive that the Word of God was the gift of 
God to all mankind and all had a right to read it, that de- 
clared to one of the clergy opposing him, "If God spares my 
life, ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth the plow 
to know more of the Scriptures than you do." 

JOHN KNOX 

In 1560, John Knox, a pupil of Calvin, establishes the 
Reformation in Scotland and under his leadership the church 
of Scotland from the first adopts the system of doctrines 
and the forms of worship and of government established 
at Geneva. 

HUGUENOTS OF FRANCE 

In 1557, Admiral Coligny, taken prisoner at the 
battle of St. Quentin, is confined at Gaud in Spain. Secur- 
ing a copy of the Scriptures he reads it, and, after his re- 
lease, becomes the enthusiastic leader of the Hu gue nots 
of France. They represent the most moral, industrious and 
intelligent of the French people, but those who love the 
"Mass", which involves no moral obligation, hate them on 
account of their chaste and devout lives. In 1572, when a 
bloody persecution arises against them, they begin to emi- 
grate to England, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and 
the Colonies of North America. 

It was Fenelon, one of the preachers of the Huguenots 
in France under the feudal system, about the year 1710, 
that gave utterance to the patriotic sentiment, emphasized 
in this country since the rise of the great trusts, "That gov- 
ernments exist and have a right to exist, only for the good 



76 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

of the people, and that the many are not made for the use 
and enjoyment of one." 

THE BIBLE 

In 1559 the Puritans protest against the act of uni- 
formity passed by the English Parliament, imposing uni- 
formity in religious worship. 

The Bible has now come to be regarded as of so much 
importance to the clergy and people, that as many as fifty- 
five learned men during this 16th century devote their 
time and attention to its exposition and illustration; and 
twenty-seven new universities are established. 

The Reformation is an insurrection or revolution against 
ecclesiastical monarchy and absolute power in the church, 
or spiritual matters. It establishes freedom of inquiry and 
liberty of mind in Europe. The Bible and theology oc- 
cupy the attention of the greatest minds, and every ques- 
tion, whether philosophical, political or historical is consid- 
ered from the religious point of view. 

THE INQUISITION 

In 1235, Pope Gregory IX, establishes the Inquisition, 
a cruel court of inquiry for the suppression of those who 
question the authority of the papacy to rule over them in 
the church. It becomes very active in Italy, France, Spain, 
Portugal and Ireland. It is not suppressed in France until 
1834, after a period of six centuries. 

In 1540, Ignatius Loy o la, an illiterate Spanish sold- 
ier and priest, with papal authority, organizes the society 
of the Jesuits, to require christians to renounce whatever 
opinions may separate them, and, accepting the doctrines 
and worship of the Roman Catholic church to acknowledge 
the pope as Christ's sole vicegerent on earth. 



UPLIFTING INFLUENCES 77 

The Inquisition had previously proved, a bloody court 
but this order is intended to make it more effective in sup- 
pressing freedom of thought and action in matters relat- 
ing to education and religion. 

The events that occur during the period of the Inquisi- 
tion are harrowing to relate. The historians of that period 
have recorded, among others, the following executions and 
massacres. 

The duke of Alva, a Spanish general and persecutor 
who died in 1582, condemned 36,000 of his countrymen to 
be executed. 

On the night of August 24, 1572, the anniversary of St. 
Bartholomew, Charles IX, of France, by offering his sister 
in marriage to the prince of Navarre, a Huguenot, as- 
sembles at the nuptials in Paris five hundred of the most 
prominent of the Huguenots, including Admiral Coligny, 
their venerable leader, and, at a given signal an unparalleled 
scene of horror ensues. Before the break of day, these 
noble leaders and 10,000 of their faithful followers, in Paris 
that night, are ruthlessly slaughtered. The horrid carnage, 
against these defenceless friends of truth and right, is ex- 
tended to Lyons, Orleans, Rouen and other cities until 
50,000 are massacred at this particular time. The total loss 
of France by the Inquisition has been estimated at 100,000 
persons. 

It is estimated that, during a period of seven years 
Pope Julius II effected the massacre of 200,000 persons. 
The Irish massacre at Ulster in 1641 cost Ireland the loss 
of more than 100,000 of her best citizenship. It is estimated 
that during a period of thirty years as many as 900,000 
persons suffered martyrdom for the truth at the hands of 
the secret order of Jesuits. During the entire period of 



78 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

persecution by the papacy, a vast multitude, numbering 
many millions in addition to these, were proscribed, ban- 
ished, starved, suffocated, drowned, imprisoned for life, 
buried alive, burned at the stake or assassinated.* 

These dark historic events illustrate the price that 
had to be paid for letting the light shine when darkness 
prevailed in the high places of the world. Every martyr for 
the truth was a torch bearer, whose light was extinguished. 
The countries that suffered the greatest loss of their best 
citizenship received a check of more than a century's 
growth. The hand on the dial of progress was turned 
backward wherever the blighting inquisition was felt. Its 
blighting effects may yet be seen in Italy, Spain, Portugal, 
Ireland and other countries where the papacy exerts a con- 
trolling influence. Men, whose deeds are evil and they are 
unwilling to repent, hate the light and endeavor to sup- 
press it, by killing the torch bearer, "lest their deeds should 
be reproved." 

A knowledge of these conditions that prevailed at the 
time is necessary to enable one to appreciate the import- 
ance and greatness of the work of the Reformers and their 
faithful followers during the 16th century in giving the 
Bible to the people at the risk of their lives. 
INDEPENDENT OWNERSHIP OF LAND 

In 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers, bringing with them the 

Bible as a precious treasure, establish a colony at Plym- 
outh Rock, Massachusetts, where they hope to enjoy civil 
and religious liberty to a fuller extent than they were able 
to do elsewhere. Other colonies are established along the 
Atlantic coast, from New England to Georgia, but no one 
of them exerts a moral influence, quite so potent as this one, 



*See Cottage Bible on Revelation XVII 6. 



UPLIFTING INFLUENCES 79 

in the events and councils that precede the laying of the 
foundations for this great government. 

They now enjoy individual or independent ownership 
of lands, a privilege they did not enjoy under the feudal 
system that had its rise in the 10th century and was con- 
tinued until the French Revolution in 1799. Under the feudal 
system the land was owned by dukes, earls and barons, who, 
as members of the House of Lords, alone participated in 
the government. 

The orators of the pulpit, commonly called preachers 
of the gospel, aside from the academies, colleges and uni- 
versities, are the principal teachers of the people, and for 
the purpose of instruction, they use but one book — the 
Bible. 

In 1635 other colonies of Puritans, under Roger Wil- 
liams and Thomas Hooker settle Rhode Island and Connec- 
ticut, respectively; and religious liberty is accorded Rhode 
Island by its charter in 1663. 

WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY 
In 1648, the Westminster Assembly, convened by the 
Long Parliament five years previous, and composed of 10 
Lords, 20 Commoners and 121 Clergymen, representing the 
churches in England, Scotland and Ireland, to prepare a 
statement of the doctrines of the Bible, that might form the 
basis of religious liberty and a bond of union of the Prot- 
estant churches, completes its work, by publishing a Confes- 
sion of Faith, Form of Government, Larger and Shorter 
Catechisms. This confession does not give rise to any 
new denominations nor result in any union; but it is re- 
ceived and adopted as the standard of faith by all the 
branches of the Presbyterian church in England, Scotland, 



80 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Ireland and America. This confession is a natural sequence 
of the authorized King James Version of the Bible in 1611. 
In 1704, the newspaper is established in America; and 
the first postoffice, in 1710. 

RISE OF METHODISM 

In 1738 John and Charles Wesley, young preachers of 
the Church of England, having spent three years as mis- 
sionaries among the Moravians in Georgia, return to Lon- 
don, where, preaching the gospel as a proclamation of free 
forgiveness to sinners, and with it, repentance and faith 
in Christ, they soon find the pulpits of that city closed 
against them. Supported by Lady Huntington and aided at 
the first by George Whitefield, the most gifted of their 
early associates and the first Methodist to preach in the 
open air, they lay the foundations that soon develop into 
the Methodist church, by establishing new congregations 
and organizing them into classes, each under a local leader, 
who by means of weekly testimonies, exhortations and cor- 
rections was to look after the moral conduct and promote 
the spiritual life of the members. 

SUNDAY SCHOOLS AND MISSIONARY SOCIETIES 

In 1782 when there are a sufficient number of printed 
Bibles available for use, Robert Raikes of London makes 
the suggestion and Sunday schools are established, that 
the people in every worshipping congregation may co-op- 
erate with their preachers in instructing the young and 
rising generation in the great truths contained in the Bible. 

From 1792 to 1800, the three great modern missionary 
societies of England are organized, and during the next 
ten years the first two are organized in this country. 

In 1804, the British and Foreign Bible Society, and in 



UPLIFTING INFLUENCES 81 

1816, the American Bible Society, are established in Lon- 
don and New York, to promote the multiplication and cir- 
culation of the Bible. 

CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY 
In 1776 the Declaration of Independence and Ameri- 
can Revolution develop brave and patriotic leaders like 
George Washington , Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, 
John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, John 
Witherspoon and others, who fight the battles and solve the 
problems of civil and religious liberty in America. Liberty 
and independence become familiar watchwords. 

In 1787 when the Constitution of the United States 
is adopted, civil and religious liberty is assured. Protec- 
tion is to be given to religion but there shall be no taxation 
for its support in church or school, and public education is 
left to the several states. 

Those, who framed this remarkable Constitution and 
thus prepared the way for America to become the land of 
"Liberty Enlightening the World," expressed their senti- 
ments in regard to the urgent need of general instruction in 
the Bible, in the ordinance for the government of the North- 
west — the country north of the Ohio, as follows : "Religion, 
morality and knowledge, being necessary to good govern- 
ment and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means 
of education shall forever be encouraged." 

In 1841 Congress makes provision for grants of unoc- 
cupied lands in the states for the better support of the 
public schools and the establishment of state universities. 

In 1862 Congress makes provision by further grants of 
unoccupied lands for the establishment of State Agricultu- 



82 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

ral Colleges. About this same period Normal Schools are 
established in the states and they gradually take the place 
of many of the Academies previously established by Christ- 
ian people. 

In 1863 Abraham Lincoln in order to maintain the Un- 
ion "one and inseparable," becomes the emancipator of 4,- 
000,000 slaves ; and America becomes "the land of the free" 
as well as "the home of the brave." 

The Boston News Letter, the first American newspap- 
er is established in 1704, and the New England Courant, the 
second one in 1720. The first Colonial post office is estab- 
lished in 1710. In 1765, when the Stamp Act was passed, 
there are forty newspapers published in America; and one 
of the most influential of these is the Philadelphia Gazette, 
by Benjamin Franklin, the man who "wrested the lightning 
from heaven and scepters from tyrants." 

The religious papers of the Presbyterian church are es- 
tablished a half century later, and as follows: The Her- 
ald and Presbyter, at Cincinnati in 1830; the Presbyterian 
at Philadelphia in 1831 ; and the Interior, now Continent, at 
Chicago in 1870. As a civilizing agency the press not only 
rivals but increases many fold the power of the pulpit. 

The public press, especially the religious newspaper, 
noting the progress of events relating to the extension of 
the Redeemer's Kingdom becomes a very potent factor in 
promoting an enlightened Christian civilization. 

UPLIFTING INVENTIONS 
During the 19th century civilization receives a general 
and wonderful uplift as a result of many important inven- 
tions, that, to a greater or less extent, are enjoyed by all the 
people. They include the gteam engine, steamer, railway, 



UPLIFTING INFLUENCES 83 

telegraph, telephone, phonograph, cylinder printing press 
and folder, electric light and motor, gasoline and kerosene 
engines, cotton gin, spinning jenny, sewing machine, mower, 
reaper, steam thresher and separator, mammoth corn shelt- 
er, tractor, gang plow, typewriter, automobile, bicycle, aero- 
plane, vaccine, serum and wireless telegraph. 

THE COMPARISON. 

The intelligent American citizen of the present time 
is the product of all these forces, to the extent he has come 
under their uplifting influences. He is the product of cen- 
turies of enlightened struggle and successful effort. If the 
early Roman was proud of his history and privileges as a cit- 
zen much more profoundly thankful may be the American of 
this twentieth century. 

The forces that have given him the uplift from the Dark 
Ages include the Bible in his own language, the faithful 
preacher of the Gospel, the Evangelical Reformer, the brave 
Military Leader, the God-fearing Statesman, the Church, 
Sunday school, the public, high and Normal school, the Aca- 
demy, Christian College, Agricultural College, University, 
ownership of land, civil and religious liberty. 

What these institutions have done for the intelligent 
American citizen they are now beginning to do for the 
Freedman, as he is brought under their uplifting influence. 
They suggest both to him and his friends, the greatest or 
most important needs of the Freedmen. 



VIII 



THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 

IT EMPHASIZES THE BIBLE AS FUNDAMENTAL IN EDUCA- 
TION.— A ZEALOUS MISSIONARY ORGANIZATION.— AS 
CATHOLIC IN SPIRIT AS THE GOSPEL. 

"Walk about Zion, tell the towers thereof; mark ye well 
her bulwarks, that ye may tell it to the generation follow- 
ing." — David. 

1^^^^/fJHE Presbyterian Church has always stood 
for Religion and Education — Religion as the 
basis of true education, and Education as 
the promoter of positive practical religion. 




T 



CHRISTIAN LEADERS. 

The Presbyterian Church wishes to see the young peo- 
ple of every generation provided with the best means for 
their intellectual and spiritual progress. It wishes to see 
them prepared, not merely for active and successful partici- 
pation in the onward work of the world, but also in full and 
hearty sympathy with the great work of Christ and his peo- 
ple, for the spiritual salvation of the nations. It knows there 
is no good reason, why a stirring leader of men should not 
be a Christian ; nor why a Christian should not be eminently 
successful, in taking his place among men as a forceful fac- 
tor in the life of the world. 

The Presbyterian Church believes in the system of 
state schools from the primary, public and high schools, to 
the University. These schools provide for general educa- 



THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 85 

tion. Millions of children would never be in school, were 
it not for these state provisions and for compulsory public 
education. These schools are however not all perfect, 
•ince they do not provide for moral and religious training, 
the great underlying principles of reverence and righteous- 
ness, that must enter into every life in order to fit it for 
the performance of christian and patriotic duty. 

The Presbyterian church takes a patriotic interest in 
our whole public school system, and believes that all the 
children should be trained in those that are under public 
direction, so that all the children and youth of the nation 
shall be a united, intelligent and patriotic body, fitted for 
good citizenship. 

At the same time it believes in special church institu- 
tions of higher learning, that shall be adapted to train our 
young people for intelligent leadership in the church, and 
enable them to become doubly useful in the home, social 
circle and in public life. Our christian academies and col- 
leges are valuable institutions. These furnish to the church 
and the world the greatest number of ministers, mission- 
aries, college presidents and christian statesmen. Parents 
everywhere, find these christian institutions furnish the best 
adrantages, and that they are the safest and most economi- 
cal. No institutions furnish higher or more profitable cul- 
ture. They combine all that is best in real culture and edu- 
cation of the intelligent faculties, with a true religious con- 
ception of life ; so that all who yield to their best influences 
go forth from them pure-hearted, stronger and better pre- 
pared to engage in life's duties successfully; for they take 
with them the personal assurance of the gracious presence 
and abiding blessing of our Father in Heaven. 



86 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

In a christian educational institution, the spirit of the 
instructor is one that regards the student, as of more value 
than the subject taught. Its aim including the christian 
college, is not research, the work of a university, but to make 
men. The ordinary branches that are taught are regarded 
as instrumentalities, for making a well trained man of the 
student. 

The key to success in the battle of life, is found in the 
struggle, which insures control of one's self. This is the 
secret of a good education. In an important sense, all edu- 
cation must be self -education. Professor Huxley gave good 
emphasis to this thought when he wrote: "Perhaps the 
most valuable result of all education, is the ability to make 
yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be 
done, whether you like it or not ; it is the first lesson which 
ought to be learned, and, however early a man's training be- 
gins, it is probably the last lesson he learns thoroughly." 
An eminent educator used to say to his class : "He, who will 
become a scholar, must learn to command his faculties." 

The Presbyterian church honors God and exalts him 
to the throne of absolute supremacy over all his creatures. 
It honors Him by using the instrumentalities he has ap- 
pointed. It receives the Bible, as the very word of God, 
and adopts it as the only rule of faith and practice. 

The Presbyterian church from the beginning has been 
a zealous missionary organization. At the meeting of the 
First General Assembly arrangements were made to send 
the gospel to "the regions beyond,"— the frontiers and the 
various tribes of American Indians. The agencies, then 
organized as committees, have become the great Boards of 
Home and Foreign Missions, that now receive and dis- 
tribute, each, more than a million dollars annually. 



THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 87 

A ZEALOUS MISSIONARY ORGANIZATION. 

It is gratifying to know that the colored people, al- 
though emotional and demonstrative, have nevertheless 
an intelligent appreciation of the views and methods of the 
Presbyterian church. 

A prominent minister of a southern church is quoted 
as having said: "The Presbyterian church can do for the 
colored people of the south what no other church can do." 

FABLE OF PERSIAN TENT. 

There is a Persian fable that tells of a young prince who 
brought to his father a nutshell, which, when opened with 
a spring, contained a little tent of such ingenious construc- 
tion, that when spread in the nursery the children could 
play under its folds,; when opened in the council chamber 
the King and his counsellors could sit beneath its canopy; 
when placed in the court yard the family and all the servants 
could gather under its shade ; when pitched upon the plain, 
where the soldiers were encamped, the entire army could 
gather within its enclosure. It possessed the qualities of 
boundless adaptability and expansiveness. 

This little tent is a good symbol of our Presbyterian 
system. It is all contained within the nutshell of the Gos- 
pel. Open it in the nursery, and beneath its folds parents 
and children sit with delight; spread it in the court yard, 
and beneath its shadow the whole household assembles for 
morning and evening worship ; open it in the village and it 
becomes a church, under whose canopy the whole town may 
worship. Open it upon the plain, and a great sacramental 
army gathers under it. Send it to the heathen world, and 
it becomes a great pavilion, that fills and covers the earth. 



88 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

The Presbyterian church is as Catholic as the Gospel 
in its spirit of brotherly love, and readiness to co-operate 
with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ. It recognizes the 
ordination of the Episcopalian and the baptism of the Bap- 
tist. It joins cordially with those who would place the crown 
upon the brow of Jesus by singing only the Psalms of David, 
and responds with an approving echo to the hearty "Amen" 
of the Methodists. It is capable of an expansion, that will 
include all shades of our common humanity, and is work- 
ing valiantly to usher in the day, when the prayer of our 
Lord Jesus shall be fulfilled: "That they may be one; as 
Thou, Father art in me, and I in Thee, that they also may be 
one in us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent 
me." 

"The Presbyterian church stands," says Rev. W. H. 
Roberts, D. D., "as it has stood during its entire history, for 
the unconditional sovereignty of God, for the Bible as the 
only infallible rule of faith and life, for simplicity of wor- 
ship, representative government, a high standard of christ- 
ian living, liberty of conscience, popular education, mission- 
ary activity and true Christian Catholicity." 

President Benjamin Harrison said of it: "The Presby- 
terian church has been steadfast for liberty, and it has kept 
steadfast for education. It has stood as stiff as a steel beam 
for the faith delivered to our fathers, and it still stands with 
steadfastness for that essential doctrine — the inspired 
Word. It is not an illiberal church. There is no body of 
Christians in the world, that opens its arms wider to all who 
love the Master. Though it has made no boast or shout, 
it has yet been an aggressive missionary church from the 
beginning." 

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY. 
Lincoln University in Chester county, Pennsylvania, 
was established in 1854 under the leadership of Rev. John 
M. Dickey, D. D., pastor of the Presbyterian church of Ox- 
ford, for the classical and theological education of negroes. 



THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 



89 



The extent and thoroughness of the courses of instruction 
at this institution have been amply justified by the success 
of its graduates ; many in the ministry, and others, in found- 
ing similar institutions of a high grade in the south, as at 
Columbia, S. C, Salisbury, N. C, Holly Springs, Miss., and 
a number of other places. Its aim is to furnish trained pro- 
fessional leaders, and it is accomplishing this object in splen- 
did form. Established before the Freedmen's Board, it 
has continued to be maintained without its aid. 




IX 

THE PRESBYTERIAN BOARD OF MIS- 
SIONS FOR FREEDMEN. 

ORGANIZED IN 1865.— WOMEN ENLISTED IN 1884.— BOARDING 
SCHOOLS.— TRAINS CHRISTIAN LEADERS.— WORTHY OF 
GENEROUS SUPPORT AND ENDOWMENT. 

'"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath ap- 
pointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent 
me to heal the broken-hearted and preach deliverance to the 
captives." — Luke. 

j^p^fypHE emancipation of 4,000,000 slaves, at the 
\( close of the Civil War, was the sudden op- 
* ening of a new and a vast field of oppor- 
tunity and duty, before the Christian 
^ churches of this land. 
The education and moral elevation of the Freedmen be- 
came in both church and state, a very serious and vital 
question. Ever since the foundation of the government, 
the church, through the voluntary establishment of acad- 
emies and colleges, has been co-operating with the civil 
government, in the effort to develop in all parts of our land 
an intelligent christian citizenship. 

The Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen was 
organized as a committee in 1865, the last year of the Civil 
War. In 1882 this committee was made and incorporated 
as a Board. Its work then assumed a more permanent 
form and the contributions to its work began to be greatly 
increased. The contributions received that year were $68,- 





THE LATE MRS. V. P. BOGGS 
Secretary Women's Department, Freedmen's Board 



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PRESBYTERIAN BOARD FOR FREEDMEN 91 

268.08. In 1913 the amount received to be applied to this 
work was $323,899.29. The amount of property held by it 
and used for educational and church purposes is $1,831,- 

610.09. The office of the board is at Pittsburgh, Pennsylva- 
nia. 

WOMEN ENLISTED IN 1884 

In 1884 the interest of the women of the Presbyterian 
church was enlisted in behalf of the women and girls among 
the Freedmen. The progress of the work of the Women's 
Missionary societies, in establishing and maintaining edu- 
cational institutions, is worthy of special mention. 

During their first year they contributed $3,010; the 
second, $7,966 ; the third, $17,075 ; and in 1913, $85,236.09. 

In raising this last amount 675 Sunday schools and 
1082 Young People's societies co-operated with 3591 Wo- 
men's societies. 

To the women, almost entirely, is due the establish- 
ment and maintenance of most of the boarding schools now 
supported by the board. The names of some of the most 
consecrated workers and liberal contributors have been 
commemorated in the names of most of these institutions. 
That this fact may be noted and as a matter of general in- 
formation, the following list of twenty-four of them is 
given. 

LIST OF BOARDING SCHOOLS 
I. FOR MALES ONLY 

Biddle University, Charlotte, North Carolina. 
Harbison Agricultural College, Irmo, South Carolina. 

II. SEMINARIES FOR GIRLS ONLY 

Scotia, Concord N. C. 
Mary Allen, Crockett, Texas. 
Ingleside, Burkeville, Va. 
Mary Holmes, West Point, Miss. 
Barber Memorial, Anniston, Ala. 



92 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

III. CO-EDUCATIONAL 

Allendale Academy, Allendale, S. C. 
Albion Academy, Franklinton, N. C. 
Alice Lee Elliott Memorial, Valliant, Okla. 
Arkadelphia Academy, Arkadelphia, Ark. 
Boggs Academy, Keyesville, Ga. 
Brainard Institute, Chester, S. C. 
Emerson Industrial Institute, Blackville, S. C. 
Fee Memorial Institute, Nelson, Ky. 
Gillespie Normal, Cordele, Ga. 
Haines Industrial, Augusta, Ga. 
Kendall Institute, Sumpter, S. C. 
Mary Potter Memorial, Oxford, N. C. 
Monticello Academy, Monticello, Ark. 
Cotton Plant Academy, Cotton Plant, Ark. 
Coulter Memorial Academy, Cheraw, N. C. 
Redstone Academy, Lumberton, N. C. 
Swift Memorial College, Rogersville, Tenn. 

In addition to those in these boarding schools, 112 
teachers are employed in the maintenance of this same 
number of day schools. 

In his last annual report, April 1, 1913, Rev. E. P. 
Cowan, D. D., secretary of the Board submitted the follow- 
ing interesting summary of its v/ork. 

"The Freedmen's Board has ever kept in mind the one 
great fact that its work is, first, last and all the time, mis- 
sionary work. We have aimed from the very beginning to 
follow a course that would commend itself to every man's 
conscience in the sight of God. We have always sought the 
counsel and advice of good men on the field, at times nearer 
our work than ourselves, and better able to judge of its con- 
dition. We have endeavored to exert such an influence over 
the people among whom we have labored, so that no one 
could object to it except he were a heathen or an infidel. As 
a consequence, all the opposition we have met with in all 
these years has been as nothing, compared with the sym- 
pathy and encouragement we have received from good men. 

"We have this year issued our forty-eighth annual re- 
port. This annual report shows that we have now in con- 
nection with our church, four colored Synods, composed of 
sixteen colored Presbyteries, in which there are four hun- 
dred and four church organizations, with twenty-six thous- 



PRESBYTERIAN BOARD FOR FREEDMEN 93 

and, one hundred and thirty-two communicants, two hun- 
dred and eighty-nine ordained ministers of the Gospel, and 
thirteen hundred and seventeen ruling elders. 

"Within these Presbyteries, there are one hundred and 
thirty-six schools, and in these schools there are 16,427 
pupils, taught by 448 teachers, all of whom are professing 
christians, and by a rule of the Board, members of the Pres- 
byterian church. 

"In all these schools, the Word of God and the Shorter 
Catechism are regularly and daily taught. On the mind 
and heart of every living soul that passes in and out of our 
schools, there is impressed the fundamental and far-reach- 
ing truth, that the chief end of man is to glorify God and 
to enjoy Him forever, and that the Word of God, which is 
contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, 
is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy 
Him. 

'These churches and schools, and ministers and teach- 
ers — 588 workers in all — are housed in 470 buildings, of 
which 300 are church buildings, 70 are manses, and 100 are 
school buildings. The value of these buildings is estimated 
at $1,561,000. The cry comes up to us without ceasing for 
either more room, or better accommodations. Should we 
answer these cries promptly, and without regard to the 
question as to where the money is to come from, we should 
be hopelessly overwhelmed with debt within one year." 

TRAINS CHRISTIAN LEADERS 

The Freedmen are naturally religious and hitherto 
their churches have been their principal social centers. 
Under uneducated leadership, the only kind possible at 
first, their church life was characterized by a loose moral 
standard, poor business methods and boisterous worship. 
In many places it still lacks a realization of the real needs 
of the race. 

"The true standard bearers of better things have been 
the relatively few ministers and churches that have been 
noted for their educated ministry, restraint in worship, 
rigid morals and careful supervision." 



94 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

The wisdom of the policy of training capable christian 

leaders, was emphasized at the last General Assembly at 

Atlanta, by Rev. H. A. Johnson, D. D., in the following 

pertinent paragraph: 

"The vital need of the negro people is a trained chris- 
tian leadership. Their problem can never be solved by ele- 
mentary education for the masses, or industrial training for 
those who enter the trades and till the farm. They must 
have thoroughly trained christian teachers and ministers 
of the Gospel and should also have the other professions 
represented among their leaders. The men, who are con- 
spicuous leaders among the negroes in industrial training 
are publicly saying that they expect such organizations as 
the Presbyterian church to furnish the ministers and teach- 
ers for their people, while they furnish the farmers, the 
carpenters and other tradesmen. The task of furnishing 
this trained leadership is being bravely attempted by our 
Board within the limitations of their available resources. 
Every intelligent student of the problem must realize how 
supremely important is this phase of the work." 

WORTHY OF GENEROUS SUPPORT AND ENDOW- 
MENT 

The Board of Missions for Frsedmen of the Presby- 
terian church merits the intelligent sympathy and cordial 
co-operation not only of our whole church but of all the 
friends who favor christian education among the dependent 
colored people in the south part of our land. 

It educates ministers and teachers, and supports them 
in their work. It builds academies, seminaries and colleges, 
and aids in the erection of churches and manses. Its 24 
boarding schools, having normal and industrial depart- 
ments, are distributed so that there is one or more in every 
southern state. 

It now owns and controls school, church and manse 
properties that represent a value of one and a half million 
dollars. 



PRESBYTERIAN BOARD FOR FREEDMEN 95 

Its permanent investments, that bring an annual in- 
come for the promotion of its work however, are yet only 
$200,202.50. In these days of big business, the evidence 
of unusual prosperity, it ought to have an endowment of 
one million dollars. 

Education is the most costly of all philanthropic en- 
terprises. The following reason recently expressed for a 
large endowment of the College Board applies with equal 
force to the Freedmen's Board. 

"A million dollar corporation is now considerably more 
than twice as efficient, as an instrument to accomplish re- 
sults than one of a half million. In this day of large things 
the men who are interested in education, prefer to employ as 
their agent, an organization whose resources are large 
enough to place its permanent and financial stability beyond 
question. A bank with a million dollars of capital has consid- 
erable advantage over one having only a quarter of a million. 
The law, 'To him that hath shall be given,' still prevails 
among the children of men." 

The members of the Freedmen's Board have been se- 
lected, because of their manifest interest in the educational 
and spiritual welfare of the colored people; and they are 
conscientiously striving, to the best of their ability, to pro- 
mote the interests of the Freedmen, in behalf of the great 
body of generous hearted christian people whom they rep- 
resent. 

The work of the Freedmen's Board has hitherto by 
its charter been limited to the Freedmen in southern 
states. At the next General Assembly, an effort will be 
made to extend its work, so as to include the negroes in the 
northern states. 




X 

SPECIAL BENEFACTORS. 

GEORGE PEABODY.— JOHN F. SLATER.— DANIEL HAND.— 
EMILINE CUSHING. — ANNA T. JEANES. — CAROLINE 
PHELPS STOKES.— JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER.— NEGRO 
PHILANTHROPISTS. 

"He loveth our nation and hath built us a synagogue." 

?HE educational needs of the Freedman have 
called forth several large benefactions from 
individual contributors. George Peabody 
of Danvers, Massachusetts, in 1867 and 
1869, established a fund of $3,500,000 for 
the promotion of general education in the South. One half 
of this amount happened to prove unavailable. A large 
part of the remainder was used in the establishment and 
endowment of the Peabody teachers college for whites at 
Nashville, Tennessee, leaving only a small part of it for use 
among the Freedmen. 

In 1882, John F. Slater of Norwich, Connecticut, created 
a trust fund of $1,000,000, for the purpose of uplifting the 
emancipated population of the southern states and their 
posterity. The income of this fund, now increased to $1,- 
500,000, is used to promote normal and industrial education. 
In 1888 Daniel Hand of Guilford, Connecticut, gave the 
American Missionary Association of the Congregational 
church $1,000,000, and a residuary estate of $500,000 to aid 
in the education of the Negro. 



SPECIAL BENEFACTORS 97 

In 1895 Miss Emiline Cushing of Boston left $23,000 
for the same object. 

In 1907 Miss Anna T. Jeanes of Philadelphia, Pa., left 
an endowment fund of $1,000,000 to aid in maintaining ele- 
mentary schools among the Freedmen. Booker T. Wash- 
ington was named as one of two trustees of this fund. Its 
distribution contemplates a three fold plan. First, some- 
thing additional is to be secured from the school authorities. 
Second, the co-operative efforts of the people are essential. 
Third, the effectiveness of the school is improved and its 
neighborhood influence widened by the introduction of in- 
dustrial features. In 1911, the income from this fund was 
so widely distributed as to reach the work in as many as 
111 counties in 12 different states; and summer schools 
were aided in six of them. 

In 1909 Miss Caroline Phelps Stokes created a fund of 
$300,000 for the erection of tenement houses in New York 
City; and the education of negroes and Indians, through 
industrial schools. 

From 1902 to 1909, John D. Rockefeller gave $53,000,- 
000 to establish a fund for the promotion of general educa- 
tion in the United States. The schools of the Freedmen 
have received from this fund $532,015. 

NEGRO PHILANTHROPISTS 

The Freedmen have fallen heir to the estates of some 
free negroes, that became wealthy. It is interesting to note 
the following ones. 

Tommy Lafon of New Orleans, a dealer in dry goods 
and real estate, in 1893, left for charitable purposes among 
his people, an estate appraised at $413,000. 



98 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Mary E. Shaw of New York City, left Tuskeegee Col- 
ored Institute $38,000. 

Col. John McKee of Philadelphia, at his death in 1902, 
left about $1,000,000 worth of property for education, in- 
cluding a provision for the establishment of a college to 
bear his name. 

Anna Marie Fisher, of Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1911, hav- 
ing an estate of $65,000 left $26,000 for educational insti- 
tutions. 

The successful achievement of these four free Negroes 
and their generous regard for the welfare of their kin-folks, 
suggest the possibilities of which they are capable, as fin- 
anciers and philanthropists, when circumstances are fav- 
orable. 




PART II 

OAK HILL INDUSTRIAL 
ACADEMY 



"It is said that the Athenians erected a statue to ^sop, 
(564 B. C), who was born a slave; or as Phaedrus phrases 

it: 

"Thev placed the slave upon an eternal pedestal," 

"Sir, for what the enfranchised slaves did for the cause of 
constitutional liberty in this country, the American people 
should imitate the Athenians and, by training the slave for 
usefulness, place him upon an eternal pedestal. Their con- 
duct has been beyond all praise. 

"They have been patient and docile; they have been loyal 
to their masters, to the country, and to those with whom 
thev are associated; but, as I said before, no other people 
ever endured patiently such injustice and wrong. Despotism 
makes nihilists; tyranny makes socialists and communists; 
and injustice is the great manufacturer of dynamite. The 
thief robs himself; the adulterer pollutes himself; and the 
murderer inflicts a deeper wound upon himself than that 
which slavs his victim. 

"If my voice can reach this proscribed and unfortunate 
class, I appeal to them to continue, as they have begun, to 
endure to the end; and thus to commend themselves to the 
favorable judgment of mankind; and to rely for their safety 
upon the ultimate appeal to the conscience of the human 
race." -John J. Ingalls, U. S. Senate, 1890. 



(100) 





THE NATIVE OAK HILL SCHOOL 

1876-1886 

CHURCH ORGANIZED JUNE 29, 1869.— SUNDAY SCHOOL IN 
1876.— SCHOOL HOUSE, 1878.— OLD LOG HOUSE, 1884.— 
APPEAL FOR ACADEMY. 

"The vineyard which thy right hand hath planted." 
"Who hath despised the day of small things?" 

v^xf^/pS the preaching of the gospel and the or- 
A \|( ganization of a church preceded the estab- 
l\ oil lishment of the school, the following facts 
in regard to the church are first noted. 

THE OAK HILL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 
The Oak Hill Presbyterian church was organized about 
June 29, 1869, with six members, namely, Henry Critten- 
den, who was ordained an elder, Teena Crittenden, his wife, 
J. Ross Shoals and his wife Hettie Shoals, Emily Harris and 
Reindeer Clark. 

The services at first were held in the home and later 
in an arbor at the home of Henry Crittenden, one mile east 
of the present town of Valliant, and now known as the home 
of James and Johnson Shoals. After a few years the place 
of meeting was transferred to an arbor about two miles 
southwest of Crittenden's, and two years later, 1878, to the 
Oak Hill schoolhouse, a frame building erected that year 
on the main east and west road north of Red river. It was 

(101) 



102 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

located on the southwest quarter of section 27, near the 
site on which Valliant was located in 1902. It is reported, 
that Henry Crittenden was the principal contributor to- 
wards the erection of this building. His cash income though 
meager was greater than others and he gave freely in order 
that a suitable place might be provided both for public 
worship and a day school for the neighborhood. 

Parson Charles W. Stewart of Doaksville, a representa- 
tive of the last generation of those who were slaves to the 
Indians, was the minister in charge from the time of organ- 
ization until the spring of 1893, when he retired from the 
ministry. He was succeeded at Oak Hill by Rev. Edward 
G. Haymaker, the superintendent of the academy, who con- 
tinued a period of eleven years. He was succeeded by Rev. 
R. E. Flickinger, whose pastorate of nearly eight years 
was eventfully ended at the dedication of the new colored 
Presbyterian church at Garvin, on October 3, 1912. Rev. 
William H. Carroll, relinquishing his work on that same 
day as the first resident pastor of the Garvin church be- 
came the immediate successor at Oak Hill. 

Those who served as elders of the Oak Hill church and 
are now dead were Henry Crittenden, J. Ross Shoals, Rob- 
ert Hall, Jack A. Thomas and Samuel A. Folsom. The elders 
in 1912 are James R. Crabtree, Matt Brown and Solomon 
H. Buchanan. 

In 1912 a site for a new chapel, intended only for the 
uses of the local congregation, was purchased in a suburb 
on the west side of Valliant. The trustees chosen at this 
time were Mitchell S. Stewart, formerly an elder, Matt 
Brown and James R. Crabtree. They were duly authorized 
to incorporate and manage the erection of the new church 
building. 



THE NATIVE OAK HILL SCHOOL 103 

THE NATIVE OAK HILL SCHOOL 

The Negroes who were slaves of the Indians, about the 
year 1880 were enrolled and adopted as citizens, by the 
tribes to which they respectively belonged, and they then 
became entitled to a small part of their public school funds. 
The amount accorded the Choctaw Freedmen was about 
one dollar a year for a pupil that was enrolled as attending 
school. This made possible the employment of a teacher 
for a short term of three months in the vicinity of a few 
villages, where a large enrollment could be secured, but left 
unsupplied the greater number living in the sparsely settled 
neighborhoods. 

Our Board of Missions for Freedmen, ever since its or- 
ganization, has made it the duty of every negro minister 
commissioned by it, to maintain a school in their respective 
chapels several months each year, in order that the children 
of the community might have an opportunity to learn to 
rea'd the Bible. 

The first native teacher in the Oak Hill congregation 
was J. Ross Shoals, one of the elders of the church, who had 
a large family and principally of boys. His work was that 
of a Bible reader or Sunday School teacher. About the year 
1876 he began to hold meetings in the south arbor on Sab- 
bath afternoons for the purpose of teaching both old and 
young to read the Bible with him. Nathan Mattison suc- 
ceeded him the next year at the same place as a Sabbath 
school teacher. 

In 1878, George M. Dallas, a carpenter, was employed 
to build a small frame school house on the southwest quar- 
ter of section 27, and after its completion he taught that 
year the first term of week day school among the colored 
people of that section. Others that succeeded Dallas, as 



104 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

teachers in this frame school house, were Mary Rounds, 
Henry Williams and Lee Bibbs. 

OLD LOG HOUSE 

In 1884, Henry Williams transferred the day school 
to the "old log house" on the northeast quarter of section 
29, a mile and a half northwest of the school house. The 
motive for this change was the fact there was no supply 
of good water near the school house, while at the new loca- 
tion there was a good well and a large vacant building avail- 
able for use. 

Robin Clark, its owner and last occupant was an active 
member of the Oak Hill church. 

After occupying this building one or two years he 
moved to another one near Red river and generously tend- 
ered the free use of this one for the Oak Hill school. In 
1885 Henry Friarson, another native teacher, taught the 
school in this same "old log house." 

All of these native teachers did the best they could, 
' but deeply felt their insufficiency for the task laid on them, 
by the pressure of an urgent necessity. All had personal 
knowledge of the existence and unusual privileges afforded 
the children and youth of the Choctaws at Wheelock and 
Spencer Academics. It was also easy for them to see that 
as farmers they succeeded as well in securing good results 
from the cultivation of the soil as many of their Choctaw 
neighbors, and this fact tended to increase their desire to 
have a "fair chance" and equal share in the matter of ed- 
ucational privileges for their children. 

The Oak Hill church and school happened to be near 
the center of the widely scattered group of a half dozen 
churches that formed the monthly circuit of Parson 



THE NATIVE OAK HILL SCHOOL 105 

Charles W. Stewart. All who were interested in securing 
a good mission school approved this location as the most 
convenient for all of them, and, heartily uniting in an ap- 
peal for one, pledged their united support of it, when it 
should be established. 

APPEAL FOR OAK HILL 

The appeal of the Choctaw Freedmen was presented to 
the Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen by Rev. 
Alexander Reid and Rev. John Edwards, the missionaries 
in charge of the Indian work at Spencer and Wheelock 
Academies, respectively. 

In the early days many of the old Negroes were located 
near these educational institutions and they were sometimes 
sent by their masters to work for the missionaries. These 
men living in their midst had opportunity to witness their 
extreme poverty, utter ignorance and general degradation. 
They also heard their personal appeals for the light of 
knowledge and Bible truth. Their sympathetic interest was 
awakened and began to manifest itself towards them. 

They were occasionally accorded the privilege of at- 
tending religious services, and at Doaksville, during the 
ministry of Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury, were permitted to hold 
occasional Sabbath afternoon meetings in the Choctaw 
church. Primers, catechisms and testaments were some- 
times presented to them, and in this way a few of them 
learned to read the Bible. The kindly interest of these mis- 
sionaries won their esteem and confidence and awakened in 
many of them an abiding love and affection for the Presby- 
terian church. 

It is related that when one of them was asked to unite 
with another church because it was "more free" he re- 
plied, "You are too free for me, I need a stricter church. I 



106 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

believe in staying by the old missionaries. They were our 
friends when we were slaves. They treated us well and did 
us good, and I mean to stay by their church as long as I 
live." 

SLAVERY AMONG INDIANS 

The state of religion among all of the people, both In- 
dians and Negroes, was low, "very low". One of the mis- 
sionaries described that of the Negroes as being like that 
of the Samaritans. 'They fear the Lord and serve their 
own gods. As their fathers did, so do they. Their condition 
is bad, morally and religiously." 

It could not easily have been otherwise. The tendency 
of slavery, under the most favorable conditions has always 
been in the direction of a low standard of morals and life. 
Slavery to untutored Indians, in a sparsely settled timber 
country, suggests the most deplorable condition imagin- 
able. Such a slave lacking the example of intelligence and 
uprightness, often common among white masters, was sub- 
jected to generations of training in every phase of depravity 
and had no incentive whatever to live a better life. 

When, however, these slaves of the Indians were ac- 
corded their freedom and became entitled to a part of the 
public school fund of the Choctaws, they manifested an 
earnest desire to have ministers and teachers sent them, 
that they might have churches and schools of their own. 

Their great need was a boarding school where the boys 
and girls especially those in the remote and neglected rural 
districts, could be taken from their homes and trained 
under the personal supervision of christian teachers, to a 
higher standard of living, and, some at least, become fitted 
to serve as teachers of their own people. 



XII 

ERA OF ELIZA HARTFORD 

1886-1888. 

THE HEROIC PIONEER. — FEBRUARY 14, 1886. — BOARDING 
SCHOOL, APRIL 15th, 1886.— PRISCILLA G. HAYMAKER.— 
NEW SCHOOL BUILDING IN 1887.— ANNA E. CAMPBELL. 

"I'll go where you want me to go." 

l^^^/f.HE story of Oak Hill as an Industrial Acad- 
TT »" em y> begins with the work of Miss Eliza 





Hartford of Steubenville, Ohio, the first 
white teacher in the "Old Log house". She 
was commissioned by the Freedmen's 
Board in January, 1886, and was sent in response to the ap- 
peal of the colored people of the Choctaw Nation. 

The missionaries, Reid and Edwards, had commended 
as the most favorable location for such an educational in- 
stitution the rural neighborhood occupied by the Oak Hill 
church, two miles east of Clear Creek in the valley of Red 
river. 

They referred to this as a "pivotal location" for such 
a school, and wrote, "Here we want to see a good school es- 
tablished that shall grow into a normal academy. The lo- 
cation is central and healthful. If in charge of white teach- 
ers, such a school will attract scholars from all the other 
settlements." 

(107) 



108 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

HEROIC PIONEER 

Oak Hill, like other schools of its kind, had its early 
period of heroic effort and self -sacrificing toil, before the 
usual comforts and conveniences of civilized life could be 
enjoyed. This was true of the entire period of service on 
the part of Miss Hartford, February 1886 to August 1888. 

When she arrived at Wheelock, where she met a friend, 
Miss Elder, engaged in teaching the Indians, Rev. John Ed- 
wards served as an aid, in making a tour of inspection over 
the field, of which she was to be the missionary teacher and 
physician. This journey was made on horseback, which 
was the most speedy and comfortable mode of travel, over 
the rough and winding trails through the timber at that 
time. 

As a result of this survey and a call at the home of 
Henry Crittenden, an elder of the Oak Hill church and a 
"local trustee of the neighborhood, under the Choctaw law," 
it was decided that the "old log house" was the best place to 
establish the school ; and the best place for her to live was 
at the home of the colored elder, Henry Crittenden, three 
miles east. She was expected to make her daily journeys 
on horseback; and, in connection with the work of the 
school, to visit the people at their homes, furnish medicines 
for the sick and give instruction in regard to their care. 

In her description of the old log house Miss Hartford 
states, "The windows are without sash or glass and the 
roof full of holes. The chimneys are of hewn : .tone, strong 
and massive. The house is of hewed logs, two stories in 
height and stands high in the midst of a fine locust grove. 
The well of water near it seems as famous as Jacob's well." 

At the request of Mr. Edwards the colored people in 
the vicinity, after repairing the roof and windows, clean- 




Eliza Hartford. 



Anna E. Campbell. 








Priscilla G. Haymaker. Rev. Edward G. Haymaker 

108 




The Girls' Hall, 1889-1910. 




The Old Farm House. 

The Pioneer Home of a Choctaw Chief, Leflore, and of the Oak Hill School. 



ERA OF ELIZA HARTFORD 109 

ed, scrubbed and whitewashed the inside of this old log 
house, and thus prepared it for its new and noble era of 
usefulness. 

FEBRUARY 14, 1886 

On Sabbath, February 14,1886, one week after the ar- 
rival of Miss Hartford, her first meeting was held and a 
Sunday school was organized under her leadership. At its 
close a prayermeeting was held in which she read the 
scriptures, the hymns and a sermon. 

On Tuesday, February 16, 1886, the school was opened 
with seven pupils. The opening exercises consisted in the 
reading of a chapter by the new teacher, the singing of a 
hymn and prayer by elder Henry Crittenden. The latter 
was profoundly impressed with the fact that, in the auspic- 
ious opening of the school that morning, the colored peo- 
ple of that section were realizing the answer to their oft 

• 

repeated prayers, the fulfilment of their long delayed hopes. 

The new teacher had never heard such a prayer in any 
school she ever attended. He thanked Our Heavenly 
Father, "That the prayers of his people were answered. In 
their bondage they had cried unto Him and He had heard 
their cry. In their ignorance and darkness they had asked 
for light and the light had come." He prayed for the 
teacher that "God would give her wisdom and enable her to 
be faithful." He prayed for the children and their parents 
that, "they might be able to see and appreciate what God 
had done for them," and for the school, "that it might abide 
with them and become an uplifting power to them and their 
children." 

On the following Monday the number of the pupils 
had increased to fourteen. The chills were prevalent and 
frequently half the pupils would be seen huddling around 



110 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

the log fire in the chimney fireplace, and making a chatter- 
ing noise with their teeth. 

A BOARDING SCHOOL 

On April 15, 1886, Miss Hartford began to live at the 
school building and some of the pupils brought their corn- 
meal so they might live "wid de teacher," and Oak Hill be- 
came a boarding school with an enrollment of 24 pupils. 

At a prayer meeting of the women held soon after this 
event, it was decided to build a kitchen at the west end of 
the log house so "de chillen might have a place to bake and 
eat their corn bread." While they were building this 
kitchen a man who saw them said to Miss Hartford, "It 
makes the men feel mighty mean to see the women doing 
that work." She repeated to him the following words from 
the third verse of the fourth chapter of Paul's epistle to the 
Philippians: "I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help 
those women which labor with me in the gospel, whose 
names are in the book of life." The result was very grat- 
ifying. He got his team, hauled the rest of the materials 
and then helped them to complete it. This improvement in- 
creased the facilities and also the general interest in the 
school. 

In September 1886 pupils began to arrive from dis- 
tant places and whilst some of them were retained in the 
building others were located among the friends in the 
neighborhood. In February following, all the available 
room in the log house was occupied and the work of the 
school proving too great for one teacher, another one was 
requested. The institution had now acquired the name, 
"Oak Hill Industrial School." 



ERA OF ELIZA HARTFORD HI 

PRISCILLA G. HAYMAKER 

In April 1887, Miss Priscilla G. Haymaker, of New- 
lonsburg, Westmoreland county, Pa., arrived to aid in the 
management of the school, and this event was the occasion 
for another thanksgiving on the part of the people. At a 
meeting then held they decided to build a house that 
could be used for a school house and chapel, using the mat- 
erials in the Oak Hill school building of 1878. The men 
agreed to donate all the work they could, and, with ox 
teams, delivered the lumber in the old building. The Board 
gave $50.00 and Rev. John Edwards $25.00 towards the 
purchase of new lumber. It fell to the lot of Miss Hartford 
and Elder Henry Crittenden to pay some of the balances 
due on this building, and their contributions were remark- 
ably large ones for those early days. 

Miss Hartford, at the time this building was undertak- 
en, was given special permission to solicit money to furnish 
the new school building, to fit up the "old log house" for a 
boarding house, and scholarships of $15.00 each. She went 
east and returning in August found the new building ready 
for the desks. 

Miss Haymaker solicited and received the promise of 
a large bell that had been used by her father on the old 
farm at Newlonsburg, Pa., that the people might rejoice 
over the possession not merely of a chapel and school build- 
ing, but one "wid a bell." 

The time appointed for opening the fall term was now 
near at hand and yet the old log house was not ready for the 
boarders, that were expected soon to fill it, owing to the fact 
no workmen could be found to do the work. Miss Hartford 
and Miss Haymaker, with the help of a boy, made the bed- 
steads and tables with their own hands, the latter mani- 



112 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

festing considerable skill in the use of the saw and hammer. 
On September 1st the boarders began to arrive and on the 
15th, 60 pupils were enrolled of whom 36 were boarders. 
Every boarder was expected to bring 12 bushels of corn, and 
with scholarships of $15.00 each, there was no danger of 
starving. The girls were required to do the housework and 
the boys to provide the wood. Miss Haymaker was not used 
to roughing it and before the close of November she was 
compelled to return to her home, broken in health. 

ANNA E. CAMPBELL 

Miss Anna E. Campbell of Midway, Pa., who had pre- 
viously been sent for, arrived at Oak Hill two days after the 
departure of Miss Haymaker, and with her the long expect- 
ed bell, from the old home of the latter. The following Sab- 
bath, the first one on which they were called together for 
worship by the clarion tones of the new bell, was another 
glad day for the people, and they extended to Miss Campbell 
a very cordial welcome, as the new assistant of Miss Hart- 
ford. She remained until the end of the term, June 15th, 
1888. 

Miss Campbell held temperance meetings every Sat- 
urday and some objected to them, because "dey was teachin 
de risin generashun dat it was wrong to drink whiskey or 
use tobacco, while de Bible said it was good for de stomik." 
During this second term six of the pupils, repeated the 
Catechism and nine united with the church. 

During the summer of 1888 Miss Hartford remained 
alone to take care of the homeless children, and maintain 
the Sunday school and prayer meeting. Other parents be- 
gan to call and plead for room for their children. Believing 
the time had come when another and a larger building was 



ERA OF ELIZA HARTFORD 



113 



necessary in order to receive them, she rode a long distance 
to confer with a carpenter, in regard to the erection and 
cost of a frame building for boarders. He arranged to call 
and make an estimate, but while she waited for him, her 
health began to fail. The exposures, burdens and priva- 
tions proved too great for her, single handed and alone, and 
she felt constrained to return to her home. She was un- 
able to return to Oak Hill and died at Richmond, Ohio, July 
9, 1901. Miss Campbell was also unable to return and the 
school was left without a teacher. 





XIII 

EARLY REMINISCENCES 

ELIZA HARTFORD. — PRISCILLA G. HAYMAKER. — ANNA E. 
CAMPBELL.— THE NIGHT SCHOOL.— HARDSHIPS AT OAK 
HILL. 

"Books are keys to wisdom's treasures; 
Books are gates to lands of pleasure; 
Books are paths that upward lead; 
Books are friends. Come let us read." 

>HE following reminiscences, gleaned from 
letters written by these three heroic young 
lady teachers, will be read with interest. 
They discover in their own language, their 
feelings of hopefulness and loyalty while 
coping with unexpected embarrassments and unusual pri- 
vations. Single handed and alone they penetrated the wilds 
of Indian Territory to a secluded spot, where they were a 
half day's ride from their nearest white friends, and thir- 
ty-five miles from the railway. 

Holding aloft the Bible, the true standard of the cross, 
they rallied the ignorant and uncivilized natives appreciat- 
ingly around it, more worthily and long before our famous 
explorers decorated the North Pole with the American flag. 
The mail was carried once a week from Clarksville to 
Wheelock, ten miles east, the nearest post office. 

TEACHING ELIZABETH WASHING 
At the end of her first year, March 19, 1887, when she 
was still working alone, having school, Sunday school, 

(114) 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 115 

preaching and boarding house all in the old log house, Miss 
Hartford wrote to a friend, as follows: 

"This ought to be a resting day for me, but I am al- 
ways tired on Saturday. This has been my wash day and I 
will give you my experience with a girl of fifteen, who is very 
ignorant about the simplest things relating to work. It is 
useless to tell Elizabeth how to do any work, unless one goes 
with her and shows her every change. Today I had her 
wash her own clothes by my side, while I washed mine, to 
show her how, and how speedily she ought to do her own 
work. The only way to succeed in having them work is to 
work with them. 

'These poor Freedmen have a just claim on the church. 
They are far below their white brothers and sisters, but 
they are not to be blamed for it. Slavery has made them 
so, and we must do something to lift them up. This how- 
ever, will not be done by sending them to expensive 
schools, to make ladies and gentlemen of them, but where 
they will learn to work thoughtfully and be taught the 
pure religion of the Bible. The worst ones among them are 
very religious in their way. 

A "FEELIN' MEETIN' " 

"On last Sabbath we had an example of the way they 
like to do things. Their old black preacher always preaches 
on the Sunday school lesson. He comes early to hear what 
I say and then 'enlarges on de subjec in de afternoon.' I 
cannot tell you how hard it is sometimes to sit still and 
listen to the old man's explanations. Last Sabbath he dwelt 
a long time 'on de fact Rebecca was a shameful deceiver an 
dat Jacob was another one.' 

"In the afternoon, after two hours of preaching ser- 
vices he concluded, 'as it was still early in de day' they 
would sing a hymn and any who wished to jine de church 
could come 'for'ud and give us der hand.' 

"As soon as they started to sing, a woman fell in some 
sort of spell. She was sitting near me on the same bench. 
Instantly it occurred to me they were getting up one of 
their 'feelin' meetin's', as they call them, and I was fright- 
ened half out of my wits. Fearing they would get to shout- 
ing and pounding each other, I ran out as fast as I could. 
There were about fifty of them packed in one little room 
sixteen feet square and I was up in front. It was one of the 



116 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

friendly tribe that shouted, and had I been wise, I would 
have known what was coming. My flight spoiled the meet- 
ing, but if you would appreciate my feelings just imagine 
you are alone in a small room with fifty darkies and fifteen 
or twenty of them commence shouting and breaking 
benches. I had a severe headache and have not felt well 
all week. 

"After I ran out the people laughed and the poor wo- 
man recovered quite suddenly. By the time I was safe in 
my own room the meeting was dismissed. I was nervous 
and discouraged. I called the old preacher to my room and 
gave him a lecture. He said he did not believe in shouting 
and had no idea of any one doing so. I am afraid some of 
the shouting ones will be offended but I could not help it. 
It was the first time I have felt afraid since I came here. 

"The school children think it was the 'best meetin' 
they were ever at.' They say 'Miss Hartford did look so 
funny when she got scared.' I tell them they may laugh at 
me but not at the poor woman who shouted. I tell them that 
shouting and falling in fits is not religion, that the poor wo- 
man was probably a good christian, but her shouting and 
spells do not make her one. 

" 'Mamma says,' said one of them, 'that she first took 
religion wid one of them spells and dey alius' come when she 
gits happy.' " 

"Poor things! I tell you this to show you in what a sad 
state they are. They have had enough preaching to make 
them think they are religious, but have had no real Bible 
teaching, and there are ten thousand of them in this nation. 
The Board has concluded to send Miss Haymaker here and 
I am glad. 

BOTHERSOME "BREDDERIN" 

The Board talks about sending a new preacher here, 
I hope they will send a strong healthy consecrated white 
man. A sickly man has no business here. Common sense 
and grit are needed more than learning. It will be no easy 
task for a white preacher to manage these black Presby- 
terians. I suspect it will require more tact and will power 
to manage this set, than one of our city churches. 

A half dozen old fellows claiming to be elders tried to 
run 'de Sunday School and de teacher' until I read to them a 
letter from Dr. Allen, secretary of the Board. Not one of 
them can read, but they take great pride in being elders. 




Mrs. M. E. Crowe. 



Carrie E. Crowe 





Anna T. Hunter. 



Martha Hunter. 



Iks 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 117 

Some were appointed elders in other churches and they 
think that makes them elders here. It will be a sad day to 
them when they learn they are not elders here, and I fear 
they will not then be willing to remain as members. 

I have written you a long letter and it is all about the 
darkies ; but no doubt you are expecting that. 

HARD WORK AND MISERABLE LIVING 

"I am not so strong, in fact feel ten years older than one 
year ago. I fear I cannot stand the heat this summer. I 
said 'heat' but do not mean that exactly. This climate is 
rather pleasant, if we could only provide comforts. It is 
the constant hard work and miserable way of living that 
makes it so bad. 

"No white person could eat what these women prepare, 
— bread, always of corn, and fat pork, swimming in grease. 
Give them flour, they stir in a lot of soda and serve you 
biscuit as green as grass. They have no idea of better 
cooking and will not take the pains to do better. We are 
going to teach them to cook, scrub and wash clothes. 

"Write soon and tell me whether you called on mother, 
when you were in Steubenville. 

Your Friend, 

Eliza Hartford." 

Six months later when she returned from a short visit 
to her mother she writes : 

"The weeds were so high I could scarcely see the house. 
I had to pay forty dollars from my own earnings on lumber 
hauled for the new school building, but which Elder Critten- 
den says, was taken by thieves. I paid it to save our credit 
and am glad I had it to give. 

"We have now nineteen boarders. I am almost worked 
to death and it takes all my patience to stand it." 

BETSY BOBBET 

A letter dated January 6, 1888, bears the stamp, "Oak 

Hill Industrial Academy." A change in her assistants had 

taken place in November previous and she writes: 

"Miss Haymaker before leaving had miserable health 
and I have had a hard time since my return. I think Miss 
Campbell will do well. The attendance now ranges from 45 



118 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

to 60 and I am not able to do anything except the school 
work. Four of the children have had chills and fever, and 
I have had to rise at night to care for them. I have been 
trying to do the work of three people and not complain. 
Still I'd like to grumble a little, if I could find the right one 
to talk to. I am beginning to feel a little like Josiah Allen's 
wife, when she said, 'Betsy Bobbet, you're a fool, or else 
me.' 

"Still I had rather be regarded foolish, by working hard 
for the good of others, than take advantage of another. 

Pray for me for I need your prayers. 

Eliza Hartford." 

MISS HAYMAKER'S EVENTFUL JOURNEY. 
Miss Priscilla G. Haymaker made her first journey to 
Oak Hill about the first of April, 1887. She passed by 
way of St. Louis to Texarkana, Arkansas, 50 miles east of 
Clarksville, over the Iron Mountain railway. This part of 
the journey was made during the night, and most of the 
time she was the only lady in the car. The crowd on the 
train was one of ruffians, who spent the time playing cards, 
drinking whiskey and showing their revolvers. 

The conductor said to her, "Lady you have a rough 
crowd to ride with to night, but I will not leave you long." 
He was as good as his word. He sat in the seat with her 
when in the car and returned promptly when required to be 
absent. 

At Clarksville she found the driver from Wheelock 
awaiting her arrival at the hotel. As early as four o'clock 
the next morning everything was in readiness for making 
the trip to Wheelock in a covered wagon. It soon began 
to rain and continued raining all day. It was 8 o'clock at 
night when the team arrived at Wheelock. 

The cordial welcome extended by Rev. John Edwards, 
Superintendent, and his wife and the teachers at Wheel- 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 119 

ock Academy, was one not soon to be forgotten. It was 
greatly appreciated and enabled her to feel she had gotten 
back again to a place of civilization. 

Miss Haymaker, the first assistant of Miss Hartford, 
April to November 1887, was a native of Newlonsburg, Pa., 
daughter of George R. and Priscilla Haymaker. 

On October 1, 1890, she returned to Oak Hill and served 
as the principal teacher in the Academy the next six years. 
In the fall of 1892 she was joined by her brother Rev. E. G. 
Haymaker, who then became superintendent. On October 
13, 1896, she became the wife of John Blair of Chambers- 
burg, Pa., and they still reside there. 

MISS CAMPBELL'S TRIP FROM CLARKSVILLE. 

Miss Anna E. Campbell, the successor of Miss Hay- 
maker arrived at Clarksville, the same day the latter passed 
through that place on her way home in November, 1887. 

The proprietor of the hotel called her very early the 
next morning and informed her he had secured a mule team 
driven by a negro to take her to Oak Hill. When she was 
leaving the hotel he solicitously inquired, 

"Do you carry a gun?" 

"No I haven't any weapon except a little pocket knife," 
she answered. He then said, "In going into Indian Terri- 
tory you ought to have a gun, you may need it." 

Mr. Moore, the railway agent, a man from Ohio, notic- 
ing by the check of her trunk, that she came from Pennsyl- 
vania, was very courteous and gave his name. He charged 
the driver to protect the lady at the risk of his own life; 
all of which he solemnly promised to do, by promptly answer- 
ing, "Yes sah, dat I will." 



120 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

The bell and two barrels of clothing for Oak Hill were 
put on the wagon and they made the load a pretty good one 
for the team. After driving northward all day it began to 
grow dark and they had not yet reached the ferry across 
Red River. The crossing was made however without ac- 
cident. 

When the landing had been completed the driver re- 
marked : 

"I don't reckon we will get dar, 'coz I doesn't know de 
way now." 

Fortunately there were several houses not very far 
away on the bluff along the river, and after a few inquir- 
ies, a white family was found that very kindly gave Miss 
Campbell shelter for the night. 

The woman at once offered her a sniff of snuff as a 
token of good will. When the snuff was very politely de- 
clined, she laconically remarked : 

"Well, some folks don't." 

Miss Campbell arrived at Oak Hill, ten miles distant 
from the ferry, the next day, after experiencing a "stuck 
fast" in the mud on the way. 

Miss Campbell was a native of Midway, Washington 
county, Pa. She became the assistant of Miss Hartford in 
November, 1887, two days after the departure of Miss Hay- 
maker and remained until June 15, 1888. At that time she 
expected to return about the first of October following. 
But when her trunk had been packed for that purpose cir- 
cumstances arose at home that made it necessary for her 
to remain and take care of her parents, both of whom were 
aged and infirm. On March 7, 1905, she became the wife of 
James H. McClusky and now lives on a well cultivated pro- 
ductive farm near Monongahela, Pa. 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 121 

MISS HARTFORD'S NIGHT SCHOOL. 
On requesting Alexander M. Reid, D. D., of Steubenville, 
Ohio, the early home of Eliza Hartford to obtain and send a 
photo of her, he reported her death at Richmond, Ohio, July 
9, 1901 ; and stating that a photo could not be found among 
her relatives, sent instead the following beautiful incident, 
growing out of her work as a teacher of night school in that 
place before she came to Oak Hill. 

MATTHEW FINDING HIS OPPORTUNITY 

Rev. Charles C. Beatty, D. D., a former Moderator of the 
General Assembly who had become almost totally blind, at 
the close of a prayer meeting held in the Second Presbyter- 
ian church, said to Miss Hartford, "Could you not name one 
of your boys here to lead me home?" 

She replied, "Yes, here is Matthew Rutherford ; he will 
lead you home." 

On the way home Dr. Beatty asked Matthew, what he 
was doing: He replied, "I dig coal in the day time and go 
to the school of Miss Hartford at night." 

When near home Dr. Beatty inquired, "Matthew, how 
would you like to go to school and get an education?" He 
said, "I would like it very much." 

Dr. Beatty then said, "Matthew, you may quit digging 
coal and go through the school and High School. Then if 
you have a good standing, I will send you to college. If the 
Lord should then seem to be calling you to be a minister, I 
will enable you to pursue your studies at Allegheny Semi- 
nary. 

Matthew, who was a native of England and exceeding- 
ly grateful for this recognition and counsel, quit the mines 
and entered school. He graduated from Washington and 



122 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Jefferson college in 1884, and from the theological Seminary, 
three years later. Since 1896 he has been the highly es- 
teemed pastor of the third Presbyterian church, Washing- 
ton, Pa., and Bible instructor in the college since 1900. He 
received the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1909. 

This incident serves to illustrate the readiness of the 
friends of Christian Education to aid young people of limit- 
ed means, who are trying to educate themselves; and the 
care they also take to know they are worthy. It also shows 
the importance of young people industriously and economi- 
cally doing what they can to help themselves. That is their 
best recommendation. 

If young Rutherford, while working in the mines, 
had indulged in spending his evenings at places merely of 
amusement or entertainment as many do, he would have 
missed the golden opportunity of his life. The unexpected 
and gracious offer came to him, while he was attending 
night school and the weekly prayer meeting. It was while 
he was taking advantage of these opportunities for intel- 
lectual and moral improvement, within his reach, that he 
found the true and faithful friend, whose assistance he 
most needed. 

HARDSHIPS AT OAK HILL. 

Miss Hartford, before coming to Oak Hill, spent several 
years as a teacher among the Mormons at Silver City, Utah. 
This was a period when missionary work was difficult and 
dangerous. She resigned that work on account of the fail- 
ing health of her aged mother. 

She patiently and hopefully endured many privations 
and hardships in faithfully and energetically carrying for- 



EARLY REMINISCENCES 123 

ward the work entrusted to her. These were greatest at 
Oak Hill than elsewhere. 

At Oak Hill she was unable to relieve the natural con- 
ditions that produce malarial troubles. She felt very deep- 
ly the loneliness of dwelling in the wilderness, where there 
was no white person in the neighborhood to render assist- 
ance in time of special need, or sympathetic friend to ex- 
press a word of comfort and encouragement. Then she 
could not avoid the incessant strain of continuous work and 
worry under surroundings and limitations, that could not be 
removed and tended to produce that nervous exhaustion, 
which results in complete prostration. This nervous strain 
was increased by every advancing step in the progress of 
the work. Relief from this malady is not found in the use 
of medicines, but in a complete change of scenes, diet and 
employment. She and her two faithful helpers were com- 
pelled to seek this form of relief. 




XIV 

EARLY TIMES AT FOREST. 

FOREST CHAPEL.— LIFTING THE COLLECTION.— PRIMITIVE 
MID-WEEK MEETINGS. 

"I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient 
times." 

I^^^^/^HE following reminiscences of early times at 
W Forest church are narrated for their intrin- 
I %\ I sic as well as historic interest. The first 
^e/J one reveals an order of service, that is very 
' — general in the colored churches. It is one 
that affords the deacon, if he be a man so disposed, to spon- 
taneously introduce considerable native wit and humor in- 
to the part of the service entrusted to him ; and if he does, 
it very naturally prepares the way for unexpected shouts 
of joy and gladness on the part of those who are emotional 
or subject to the sudden impulse of ecstatic delight. 

FOREST CHAPEL. 

Forest Chapel, as is suggested by its name, was located 
in the large and dense oak forest along Red river eight miles 
south of Wheelock. Its post office has been successively, 
Wheelock, Fowlerville, Parsons and since 1906 Millerton. 
The Forest church was organized by Parson Stewart about 
1886, and was served by him once a month the next seven 
years. In 1898 it became a remote part of the field of 
Rev. William Butler of Eagletown, who also endeavored to 
visit it once a month. 



(124) 



EARLY TIMES AT FOREST 125 

The chapel was a lonely, dingy and dilapidated build- 
ing, inside as well as outside. It was about 20 by 30 feet 
and was built entirely of rough lumber. The side walls 
consisted of one thickness of wide inch boards, nailed at the 
top and bottom, and having a thin strip over the cracks 
on the outside. The roof was covered with long, split, oak 
clapboards, that invariably look black and rough at the 
end of a year. The pulpit consisted of a box-like arrange- 
ment that stood on a small platform at the center of one 
end. The seats consisted of a half dozen rough benches 
without backs, that could be arranged around the stove in 
cold weather, or in three fold groups for a picnic dinner, the 
middle one being used for a table on such occasions and the 
other two for seats around it. No paint or even white wash 
ever found a place on this building. It was the largest and 
best building in the neighborhood, and the popular resort 
for all of their social gatherings. 

The leading men of the congregation consisted of two 
elders, both venerable and devout survivors of the slavery 
period, neither of whom could read, and a deacon, who was 
one of the only two of the older people who could read a 
little. 

LIFTING THE COLLECTION 

It was regarded as the duty of the deacon to "lift the 
collection" at the Sabbath services. This gave him a very 
prominent part in the services, for the collection is not lift- 
ed by passing the hat or basket, but each contributor, after 
the general call brings their offering and lays it either on 
the pulpit or a little stand near it. However novel this 
arrangement may at first appear to those unaccustomed to 
it, it must be remembered that a method somewhat similar 
to this was in use in the Temple in Jerusalem, when our Lord 



126 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Jesus, taking his seat opposite the treasury, saw the poor 
widow cast in her two mites and commended her very 
highly. 

It was not unusual for the deacon to announce before 
hand the amount needed and then, as the offerings are pre- 
sented, to state the amount received from time to time, until 
finally the whole amount is obtained. This part of the ser- 
vice was always enlivened by singing some soul-stirring 
songs, that everybody could sing. Occasionally it would 
take the form of a good natured rivalry, as to which could 
appear the most happy and joyous, the deacon, vociferously 
announcing from time to time as their offerings came in, 
the latest result of the collection, or, the people, whose mer- 
ry singing would occasionally develop into a shout of ecstatic 
enjoyment, on the part of one or more of their number. 

PRIMITIVE MID-WEEK MEETINGS 

The early preachers, having monthly appointments, 
were always very faithful in exhorting and encouraging 
the elders of their distant congregations to maintain regu- 
lar Sabbath services, for the study of the Bible and Catech- 
ism, and a mid-week meeting for praise and prayer. The 
people were encouraged to attend all these meetings and 
cordially cooperate with the elders in making them inter- 
esting and instructive. 

The older generation at Forest was one that had a fore- 
taste of slavery in their early days, but not a day of school 
privileges, except as the Bible was read or taught at their 
meetings on the Sabbath. The lack of school privileges in 
the neighborhood and its remote seclusion from the outside 
world, had the effect of leaving these colored people to con- 
tinue their primitive ways and methods of doing things, to 



EARLY TIMES AT FOREST 127 

a later date than in many other more highly favored com- 
munities. 

The following narrative contains an account of the mid- 
week meetings held at Forest about the year 1897 when 
Miss Bertha L. Ahrens, a white missionary teacher of our 
Freedmen's Board opened a mission school in the chapel. It 
shows how the people, that lived in the gross darkness of 
utter ignorance, groped for the light and earnestly endeav- 
ored to extend it, when the gospel was first presented to 
them. 

The mid-week meetings are held regularly when not 
prevented by rain or cold weather. The people live in little 
shanties scattered through the timber near springs of water 
and are poorly clad. In good weather they "begin to gath- 
er" about 8:30 p. m. and continue to "gather" until 9:30, 
when Elder "B." taking his place at the left of the pulpit, 
"reckons that they's all here that's going to com." Elder F. 
aits down beside him and neither of them can read. Deacon 
L. who serves as chorister, occupies a shortseat in front of 
the pulpit. The wives of the elders, the lady missionary and 
other leading sisters occupy seats — a bench — at the right 
of the pulpit. 

The meetings are opened by the deacon, who reads two 
lines of a hymn and, winding out a tune, the people unite in 
singing them. Two more lines continue to be read and sung 
until the hymn has been completed. 

When the deacon is not present Elder "R." says : "Will 
some of you select something to sing?" If no brother is pres- 
ent, who can read, a sister or the missionary, or perhaps one 
of her school boys, may "line out" a hymn and may even 
"raise it" kit the tune must be one "the old folks can sing." 
If the one who "raises the tune" breaks down with it, any 



128 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

one may pick it up and go on with it to the end of the two 
lines that have been "lined out." 

The missionary's organ is in position ready for use, but 
it must be silent in the prayer meeting, and also at the 
preaching service. It is a new and troublesome innovation. 
It takes the prominence in the singing, that belongs to the 
officers of the church. The missionary cannot wind and 
slur the tunes on it, the way the old folks have learned to 
sing them, and it robs the singing of its old-time sweetness 
and power. The organ therefore remains silent. 

After the first hymn, Elder "B." who never allows any 
one else, not even the preacher, to lead the prayer meeting, 
now calls on some one to "read us a lesson from the Bible." 
This was an innovation introduced into the prayer meeting 
after the arrival of the lady missionary. It is at first mere- 
ly tolerated, comments and explanations are strictly for- 
bidden. These restrictions in regard to the Bible in the 
meeting were due to the influence exerted by the wife of 
Elder "B." who had been the first real leader of the church 
and was still regarded as a "mother in Israel, whose opin- 
ions should be respected." She felt that God had taught 
her by visions and dreams, and believed he would teach 
others the same way. Elder "F." however, is not satisfied till 
he and others have heard the "Word of God" and permission 
to read it is given. 

"Down to pray," is the next request of the leader, and 
the voice of every one present is expected to be heard in 
this part of the meeting. A sister, whose seat is near a 
window, begs the Lord to "come this-a-way, just a little 
while, to lay his head in the window and hear his servant 
pray." A brother near the front door responds approvingly, 
"Yes sir," and bids him, "Walk in, and take a front seat." 



EARLY TIMES AT FOREST 129 

The prayer of a devout sister after one or two petitions, be- 
comes an earnest exhortation to all the sinners to repent 
and be saved. 

Some seemed to believe their prayers have to travel 
long journeys and are better long than short. Some prayers 
are chanted with a pleasing variety of the voice, while 
others are agonized by using many repetitions. All are wit- 
nessed to by "amen" and similar words of attestation; for 
these are "live christians", and have no use for "dead meet- 
ings." 

Elder "F." who sits beside the leader, sometimes insists 
on "making some remarks." If the leader whispers to him 
"make it short," and he does not give good heed, the start- 
ing of a familiar hymn is the method adopted to "bring him 
down." 

At a meeting held on the forenoon of Christmas, Elder 
"F." was feeling too happy and grateful to restrain himself. 
His theme was "Our Wonderful Saviour," and he began to 
exhort sinners to open their hearts to him. He became so 
absorbed in the greatness and importance of his theme as 
not to heed the usual whisper of the leader or even the 
starting of the familiar hymn. The situation is one of em- 
barrassment to the leader. The one that proves equal to it 
is Elder "B.'s" wife. She walks over to him, grabs him by 
both arms and pushes him down on his seat, saying, "Bud, 
you talks too much, sit down now and keep still." She 
laughs as she says this, the elder smiles as he sits down, 
and the meeting proceeds in good form. 

The usual way of closing the mid-week meeting was 
about as follows : Elder "B." says, "Well we's done about all 
we can do. Let us sing something and go home." If elder "F." 



130 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

does not call for the new hymn, they have recently learned 
from the organ, 

"Lord dismiss us with thy blessing," they stand and 
sing a familiar one. Elder "B." then says: "Amen !" and dis- 
misses the congregation with a wave of his hand. 

In the Sunday school the attitude of the people toward 
the Bible, the organ and the lady missionary was altogether 
different. Here she is the recognized leader, both in the 
singing and Bible instruction. As they profit by her instruc- 
tion, and listen a few times to some of their familiar hymns 
on the organ, the younger people manifest pleasure and de- 
light and the early prejudices of the older ones are gradually 
forgotten. 

The first elders of Forest church were Simon Folsom, 
Charles Bibbs and Lee Bibbs. Charles Bashears was soon 
afterward added to their number and died in 1912. His 
wife exerted a leading influence in the earlier years of this 
church. 

The allotment of lands in 1905 made it necessary to 
move Forest church to another location ; and in 1909, it was 
moved about two miles east in the valley of Red river. 





XV 

ERA OF JAMES F. McBRIDE 

1888-1892 

GIRL'S HALL IN 1889.— ADDITIONAL SCHOOL ROOM.— Mc- 
BRIDE DIES JAN. 29, 1892.— MRS. McBRIDE. 

"Seest thou a man diligent in his business, he shall 
stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men." 

ERA OF SUPT. McBRIDE 

\^5<f^/p BOUT October 1, 1888 Mr. and Mrs. James 
v A W F. McBride arrived to take charge of the 
work as superintendent and matron. Their 
arrival was the occasion of another joyful 
meeting on the part of the colored people 
who came to see the "suptender, and express their great joy 
over the new start that was to be given the school." 

Mrs. McBride at a later date, referring to the appear- 
ance of things on the day of their arrival at this, their new 
home, wrote : 

"I can still see how the old log house looked as we drove 
up ; so dilapidated. A broken down porch ran along the front 
of it, and we had to climb over an old rail fence to get to it. 
Our first meal was corn bread made with water — without 
salt — and stewed dried peaches." 

When the school opened they were assisted by Miss 
Carrie Peck, Celestine Hodges and Mary Grundy. 

A new era was now inaugurated in the management of 
the school. Ownership as yet extended only to the farm 
buildings, which consisted of the old log house, and barn, 

(131) 



132 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

purchased from Robin Clark, and the new school building. 
The first effort was now made to utilize two small fields of 
cleared laid and the neighboring timber to raise stock and 
crops for the local support of the school. 

GIRLS' HALL 
In 1889 a commodious Girls' Hall was built having 
ample facilities for carrying and boarding a considerable 
number of students. The enjoyment of anything like ordin- 
ary home comforts on the part of the teachers began with 
the occupancy of this building. It became the home of 
the family of the superintendent, teachers and the girls ; and 
the old log house was fitted up for occupancy by the boys. 
An additional room was also added to the school building. 

As the patronage of the school increased Mr. McBride 
felt there was need for a suitable Boys' Hall. He made the 
plans for it and, enlisting the interest of the women of In- 
diana, they provided the money for it. On January 29, 1892, 
after three and one half years of faithful service and before 
his hopes could be realized by merely starting the work on 
the new building, his death occurred and the progress of 
the improvement work was again arrested. 

Mr. McBride was educated at Hanover, Indiana, and 
had previously taught in several other schools. He was an 
active christian worker and had been ordained a ruling 
elder in the Presbyterian church. He anticipated the fut- 
ure needs of the school by planting fruit trees, that, during 
these later years, have borne bountiful crops of fruit. 

The other assistants of Mr. McBride were Mary Coff- 
land, principal in 1889 and assistant principal 1890 to 1892 ; 
Miss Priscilla G. Haymaker, who returned to serve as prin- 
cipal in 1890 and continued until 1896. Other assistants 



ERA OF JAMES F. McBRIDE 



133 



were Anna McBride, Bettie Stewart, colored, and Rilla Fields 
who served from the fall of 1891 to the spring of 1895. 

MRS. J. F. McBRIDE 

During the next eight months the management of the 
institution devolved upon Mrs. McBride; and she contin- 
ued to serve as matron until the spring of 1899, a period of 
eleven years. She gave to this institution many of her best 
years for service, and the best work of her life. She be-: 
came specially interested in a number of young people at 
Oak Hill and aided them to attend other schools of our. 
Board. She is now living at Coalgate, Okla. 




XVI 

ERA OF REV. EDWARD G. HAYMAKER 

1892-1904 

A TERM ANNOUNCEMENT.— BOYS' HALL 1893.— LAUNDRY 
AND SMOKEHOUSE, 1895.— MR. AND MRS. HAYMAKER.— 
MRS. McBRIDE.— OTHER HELPERS.— ANNA AND MATTIE 
HUNTER.— MRS. M. E. CROWE.— PRAYING FOR WATER.— 
APPEAL FOR HOSPITAL.— CARRIE E. CROWE. 

"Learning is wealth to the poor, 

An honor to the rich, 

An aid to the young, 

A support and comfort to the aged." 

ERA, 1892-1904. 
»<£^VfjN October 1, 1892, Rev. Edward Graham 
*■ Haymaker became superintendent and con- 
tinued to serve in that capacity until the 
of 1904. 
The following extracts, from a circular 
announcement, sent out in script form, for one of the early 
years of this period, are full of historic interest. 

"Oak Hill Industrial school for colored children is sit- 
uated 5 miles north of Red river and 25 miles east of Good- 
land, the nearest R. R. station. School opens Oct. 2nd. and 
will continue for a term of six months. It is important that 
all who attend be on hand at the opening. The sum of $10.00 
for citizens and $12.00 for non-citizens will be charged 
which must be paid in advance, or assurance given for its 
payment. The price of tuition has been raised by the Board 
as the Choctaw fund seems to be cut off. It only amounts 
to 1 cent a meal or 3 cents a day for board and IV2 cents for 
lodging. Cheap enough. The Board pays the large part of 
the bill. 

"Shoes must in all cases be provided by parents and 
guardians. Girls will be provided with other articles of 

(134) 




ERA OF REV. EDWARD G. HAYMAKER 135 

clothing as far as possible, but no such provision can be 
made for boys. Books for all will be provided free, and all 
will be required to work certain hours each day. Boys will 
not be allowed to use tobacco. 

"A course of study has been arranged and pupils com- 
pleting the course will be given a diploma, which will admit 
to any of the higher schools under the Board. 

E. G. Haymaker, superintendent." 

BOYS' HALL 
During this period a Boys' Hall was erected in 1893, a 
laundry and smokehouse in 1895. In 1902 the school build- 
ing was moved from the oak grove at the railway to its pres- 
ent position on the campus and the height of it increased. 

Most of the pupils were boarders and most of them 
were girls. The girls were encouraged to learn to sew that 
at Christmas they might be the wearers of a new calico 
dress made with their own hands. 

All were required to read the Bible and encouraged to 
commit the shorter catechism, the World's briefest and best 
commentary on the Bible. 

MR. AND MRS. HAYMAKER 
Rev. E. G. Haymaker was a native of Newlonsburg, 
Westmoreland County, Pa. He graduated from Washington 
and Jefferson College in 1885 and from the Western Theolog- 
ical Seminary at Pittsburg, in 1890. In 1887 he was licensed 
by the Presbytery of Blairsville, and in 1890 was ordained by 
the Presbytery of Kittanning. After serving Midway and 
Union churches, Cowansville, Pa., two years, on Oct. 1, 1892, 
he became superintendent of Oak Hill and continued until 
the spring of 1904, eleven and a half years. 

Mrs. Haymaker, who became matron of the Boys Hall 
in 1894, was a native of Pennsylvania and was educated in 
the public schools and Wilson Female College at Chambers- 



136 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

burg. She was a teacher at Wheelock Academy at the time 
of her marriage in 1894. 

During the period of service on the part of these and 
all previous helpers the necessaries of life had to be hauled 
long distances. The daily supply of water had to be hauled 
one and a half miles. The nearest post office most of the 
time was at Wheelock, ten miles east. Previous to 1902, 
when Valliant was founded the nearest trading stations 
were Paris and Clarksville, Texas, and from 1889 to 1903 
Goodland, twenty-eight miles west. All the surfaced lum- 
ber in the Girls' and Boys' Halls, built in 1889 and 1894 
had to be hauled from Paris. 

Travel over the rough crooked trails and unbridged 
streams in the timber, whilst not unhealthf ul in good weath- 
er, was always a slow, tedious experience, rather than a 
source of pleasure. To live at Oak Hill meant to enjoy a 
quiet secluded home, so far removed from the currents of 
the world's activity, as to be almost unaffected by them. 

Mrs. McBride continued to serve as matron until 1899, 
a period of ten years. The school had then a history of 13 
years. On reviewing the signs of improvement and pro- 
gress among the colored people that might be attributed to 
the good influence of the Oak Hill school, she wrote as fol- 
lows: 

"The community has greatly changed since this school 
was established. When Mr. McBride and I went to the field 
murders were common in the neighborhood of Oak Hill, but 
they are rare now. The people are now improving their 
places, cultivating more land, planting orchards and build- 
ing board houses, having several rooms. They have more 
stock than formerly and their outlook seems hopeful; but 
alas! their religious life is sadly neglected. One half the 
pupils are from Presbyterian families, and those who come 
from other denominations learn to love our church, its doc- 
trines and form of worship." 



ERA OF REV. EDWARD G. HAYMAKER 137 

Parson Stewart of Doaksville, who had been the faith- 
ful pastor of the Oak Hill church from the time it was 
founded in 1869, continued to serve it once a month until 
the spring of 1893, a period of 24 years. He was then at 
the age of 70 honorably retired from the active ministry, 
and the superintendent of the academy, became his suc- 
cessor in the pastorate of the Oak Hill church. 

OTHER HELPERS. 

The other assistants, during the period Mr. Haymaker 
was superintendent were as follows : 

Principals : Anna T. Hunter, 1895 to 1901 ; Sadie Shaw, 
1898-9 ; Carrie E. Crowe, 1901 to 1903 ; Verne Gossard, 1903 
to 1904. 

Assistant Teachers : Mattie Hunter, 1895 to 1901 ; Mrs. 
Mary Scott, 1901-1903; Jessie Fisher, 1903 to 1904; Rilla 
Fields, 1892 to 1895 ; Howard McBride, 1892-93. 

Assistants in the Cooking Department: Mary Gordon, 
1894-5; Fannie Green (Col.), Josephine McAfee (Col.), Sadie 
Shaw, 1897, Lou K. Early, Josie Jones, Lilly E. Lee, Mrs. 
Martha Folsom (Col.), 1902-3, and Mrs. Emma Burrows, 
1903-4. 

Matrons: Mrs. M. E. Crowe, 1899-1903; Carrie Craig, 
1903-04. 

ANNA F. and MATTIE HUNTER 

of Huntsville, Ohio, were educated, Mattie in Indianap- 
olis and State Normal at Terra Haute, Indiana, and Anna in 
similar schools in Ohio. 

Anna taught at Wheelock, I. T., from 1885 to 1890, un- 
der the Home Mission Board, and then three years under 
the Freedmen's Board at Atoka. In 1895 she became a 
teacher at Oak Hill and, serving one year as an assistant, 



138 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

served four years as principal 1896 to 1901, being absent 
in 1898. 

Mattie was an assistant at Oak Hill from 1896 to 1901, 
having previously taught at Wheelock two years, 1889 to 
1891. 

The work of these sisters at Oak Hill was greatly ap- 
preciated. A number of the views of the early days, that 
appear in this volume are due to their thoughtfulness, and 
skill in the use of a Kodak. 

MRS. M. E. CROWE. 
Mrs. M. E. (Rev. James B.) Crowe in 1899 became the 
successor of Mrs. McBride as matron of the Girls' Hall 
and continued until the spring of 1903. It seemed to her 
like the dawning of a new era in the life of a Choctaw Negro 
girl, when she entered a Christian training school like Oak 
Hill. After an opportunity for observation she wrote as 
follows : 

"It gives us no small satisfaction to see the rapid im- 
provement during the first year on the part of those who 
come to our school. It is very gratifying to witness the sur- 
prise of their parents, when they return after the lapse of 
a few months. This work may seem small when compared 
with the great South; but these Choctaw Negroes are ours 
now to mould as we will. The time is near when this coun- 
try will be thrown open to white settlers ; the hordes, — both 
white and black — will then pour into this section and our 
opportunity will be gone if we do not seize it now. We have 
had this year the clearest evidence of God's approval of 
this work. Oak Hill needs much in the way of facilities. 
We are thankful for every word of sympathy and the help 
received this year from societies and friends. I would like 
to speak of individual pupils; of the transformation we see 
going on in their characters, and also of their efforts to 
profit by the instruction given." 

Rev. James B. Crowe, in 1887 had charge of the Presby- 
terian church of Remington, Indiana. In 1890 he was ap- 



ERA OF REV. EDWARD G. HAYMAKER 139 

pointed by the Freedmen's Board to serve the colored people 
at Caddo and Atoka. Anna and Mattie Hunter were then 
teaching at Atoka, and Mrs. Crowe became a teacher at 
Caddo. In 1893 her health failed and, returning to the North 
he died soon afterward. Later Mrs. Crowe became matron 
at Oak Hill. She is now living at Hartford, South Dakota. 

PRAYING FOR WATER 
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." 

When Oak Hill became a boarding school and a heavy 
draft was made on the old well, that at the first had at- 
tracted the school there, it "went dry." After this unex- 
pected occurrence it never furnished an adequate supply of 
water for the school and stock. During all of the 90's great 
inconvenience was experienced in securing and keeping on 
hand an adequate supply during term time. When the sup- 
ply was exhausted the work in the laundry and kitchen had 
to stop, until a new supply was obtained. 

The nearest sources of supply, during this "lack of 
water" period, were Clear Creek and a large spring near it, 
both one and a half miles distant. At first two barrels were 
used to haul water and the team had to make daily trips 
during term time. Later a long water tank, that held a 
wagon load, was substituted for the barrels. Hauling water 
in barrels kept two boys out of school a considerable part 
of their time. They did not seem to care, yet the feeling 
prevailed that it was not right. 

In the fall of 1899 when Mrs. M. E. Crowe became ma- 
tron, the lack of water was so distressing it was made the 
subject of prayer. Mrs. F. D. Palmer, a secretary of the 
Board visited the school at this period and after an address, 
the question was asked, "How many will join in prayer for 
water to be given Oak Hill?" Quite a number responded 



140 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

and, at the ringing of the retiring bell, a circle of prayer 
would form in the girls' sitting room and sentence prayers 
were offered for that one object. 

About three weeks later, Mrs. Palmer met the women 
of the First Presbyterian church, Wilkinsburg, Pa., and, 
among other needs of the schools visited, referred to the 
urgent need for water and a cook stove with a large oven at 
Oak Hill. At the close of her address an elderly lady, Mrs. 
Rebecca S. Campbell, arose in the back part of the room and 
said, "My sister-in-law, Anna E. Campbell, taught in that 
school some years ago; and I will give one hundred dollars 
for a good well and wind wheel for it, that it may be a use- 
ful and worthy memorial of a dear son, Frank Campbell, 
who died at thirty in 1900, and of Annie's work in 1888." 

The Endeavor society added fifty dollars for a large 
cook stove that would serve as an oven. 

In this reminiscence, the faithful teacher, the circle of 
prayer, the visit of the secretary, the address, and the pres- 
ence at the meeting of a woman with a responsive heart and 
offering, seemed links in a chain of providential circum- 
stances, that made those who were interested feel sure the 
school at Oak Hill was "precious in the sight of the Lord." 
Their prayer for water had been heard and the answer was 
assured. 

In 1903 this difficulty was overcome by placing an aer- 
moter over the well, sunk the previous year, to do the pump- 
ing for the stock. The stock then enjoyed the free range 
of the timber and consisted of considerable herds of cattle 
and hogs. 






ERA OF REV. EDWARD G. HAYMAKER 141 

APPEAL FOR HOSPITAL 
"Ask and it shall be given you." 

In the early spring of 1903, writes Mrs. M. E. Crowe, 
matron, one of the girls became ill and feared she was go- 
ing to die. A special bed was made for her in my own sit- 
ting room. 

After her recovery Mrs. Crowe wrote Mrs. Mary O. 
Becker, Mexico, N. Y., a personal stranger but previous con- 
tributor to the school, soliciting her aid to provide a hospital 
or separate room for the care of sick girls. 

A favorable response was received. A partition was 
removed to make a long room and provide for a stove. Soon 
afterwards there was received from the Women's Mission- 
ary Society represented by Mrs, Becker, three single beds, 
bedding, gowns, slippers, sponges, water-bottles and all the 
other articles necessary for the complete equipment of a 
sick room, including three changes of clothing for the sick. 

The promptness of this response and the generosity 
of the donation, awakened feelings of heartfelt gratitude, 
on the part of the recipients. 

A few years afterwards Mrs. Crowe related this in- 
cident to a group of ladies at Mitchell, South Dakota, stand- 
ing in the recess of a bay window. 

The pastor of the church, now an evangelist, was busy 
in an adjoining room, separated only by a curtain. The re- 
ference to Mrs. Becker attracted his attention. At the close 
of her remarks he entered the room and stepping to the 
window, pointed to some pictures and said: 

"These pictures at your side are of Mrs. Becker's home 
and son. She helped me to get an education. That may not 
have meant much to others but it meant a great deal to me. 
It was a fulfilment of the promise. 

"I will guide thee with mine eye." 



142 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Mrs. Crowe further states, "Many that were under my 
care became christians and I know that many of them are 
now doing great good. 

"One, when leaving for home at the close of the term, 
remarked, "All things are going to be different with me at 
home, but I'm goin' to try to live a christian." 

"They need to be taught how to live as well as to die ; So 
many have died. They are not careful of their feet. 

"They are unable to get good books at reasonble 
prices, and the shoddy stuff they do read only tends to make 
them dreamy and careless." 

CARRIE E. CROWE. 

Carrie E. Crowe, principal teacher at Oak Hill 1901 to 
1903, and again in 1905, is one to be remembered as having 
devoted her best years and noblest gifts to the educational 
work among the Freedmen. It was during the early 80's 
and through the influence of her cousin Mrs. R. H. Allen, 
D. D., whose husband was then in the beginning of his work 
as secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Missions for 
Freedmen, she was led to consecrate herself to this greatly 
needed work. 

Her first commission was as leading teacher in Scotia 
Seminary, Concord, North Carolina. During one of the va- 
cations while here, she and Miss D. J. Barber developed a 
new school at Hendersonville, North Carolina that was con- 
tinued a number of years under the care of our Freedmen's 
Board and the personal direction of Sadia L. Carson. 

During another vacation she devoloped a school at 
Nebo, Marion county, N. C. This school came to be known 
as the Boston Mission. While she was caring for it, her 
father, who was a Colporteur of the American Tract Society, 
and her mother came and made their home with her. The 
maintenance of this school was not pleasing to all the people 
of that community; and when a total abstinence organiza- 



ERA OF REV. EDWARD G. HAYMAKER 143 

lion was effected and some regarded it as a menace to the 
local illicit manufacture of intoxicating liquors, the ill feel- 
ing was manifested by the complete destruction and loss of 
their home. Her parents were so distressed over this de- 
structive work of the "white caps" and the seriousness of 
the loss sustained that both died a few months later at 
Durham, N. C. 

After the experience of these great trials that came in 
quick succession, she was requested to open a day and Sun- 
day school and visiting Mission, among the operatives of 
the Pearl Cotton Mills at Durham. When failing health 
made it necessary to relinquish this work, it was extended to 
the other mills at that place and continued by the women of 
the Southern Presbyterian church, at whose request this 
work had been originally undertaken. 

On resuming work under our Freedmen's Board the 
first year was spent at Nottoway, near Burkeville, Nottoway 
county, Virginia. 

The next year, 1897, the Mary Holmes Seminary, des- 
troyed by fire at Jackson Jan. 1, 1895, was rebuilt and re- 
opened at West Point, Miss., by Rev. Henry N. Payne, D. D. 
and she became the principal teacher in that institution. On 
March 6, 1899, their principal building was again destroyed 
by fire. After three years of faithful service and another 
sad experience that tended to impair her health, she be- 
came in 1901 principal at Oak Hill Academy, Indian Terri- 
tory, but after two years, by special request, returned and 
resumed her former position as leading teacher at West 
Point, taking with her two pupils from Oak Hill, Lizzie 
Watt and Iserina Folsom. 

In the fall of 1905 she returned to Oak Hill Academy 
and remained until the month of February following, when 



144 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

she was called to the bedside of the late Mary Holmes at 
Rockford, Illinois. 

Her work since that date has been limited to more 
healthful localities, namely Gunnison, Utah, and the Spanish 
Mission in Los Angeles, California. At both of these places 
she served under commissions issued by our Board of Home 
Missions. 

She is now enjoying the rest of a quiet and frugal life 
in retirement at Escanto, California, within easy distance 
of a brother and wife, whose kindness is constant, and hav- 
ing as a companion, a friend, who is as a sister in their mod- 
est home. 

Her last teaching among the Freedmen was at Oak Hill 
Academy and she seemed to have a special interest in the 
young people of that section. This interest was awakened 
by the fact that during her first term of service at West 
Point several girls were sent there from the vicinity of Oak 
Hill, which was then represented as a new country, without 
previous educational and good church privileges. 

She had the earnest desire to follow these girls when 
they returned to their home communities to see to what ex- 
tent their christian training at West Point would tend to 
elevate and ennoble their own lives and through them the 
lives of others. 

This is the desire of every friend of Christian educa- 
tion. It cannot be given too great emphasis. Pupils that 
give assurance they will "make good" find that there are 
friends somewhere, when their need is known, ready to 
"help them to help themselves." It ought to be a source 
of constant and life-long encouragement to every pupil, 
specially aided by friends in any of our christian educational 



ERA OF REV. EDWARD G. HAYMAKER 145 

institutions, to know that the personal interest of their 
teachers and friends follows them through life to see and 
know, that they have profited by their youthful christian 
training. They are expected to be teachers and leaders in 
thought and action in their respective communities. 








XVII 

BUDS OF PROMISE 

1884 to 1904. 
FAVORED YOUTHFUL CHOCTAW FREEDMEN. 

"And Hannah took Samuel to the Temple of the Lord 
and said to Eli, the priest; I have lent him to the Lord as 
long as he liveth." 

l^ s 3> <e ^J/fJHE object of this chapter is to note the 
W names and careers of a number of the young 
I y| people that during the early days, were sent 
r< «JW/ or encouraged to attend other educational 
institutions. As early as 1884, two years 
before Miss Hartford came to Oak Hill, Rev. Alexander 
Reid, of Atoka took the lead in arranging for two 
young men to go to Biddle University, Charlotte, North 
Carolina, and five young ladies to Scotia Seminary, at Con- 
cord, North Carolina. Later the teachers at Oak Hill aided 
and encouraged others to attend these and other christian 
institutions of learning established elsewhere by our Freed- 
men's Board. The present is an opportune time for noting 
the results, in the way of increased happiness and added 
usefulness to these young people by one or more years of 
special training in youth. 

In 1884 Richard D. Colbert of the Beaver Dam church 
was sent to the preparatory school at Biddle University and 
remained till June 1887. After his return he taught school 
eleven years. He was then licensed by the Presbytery, and 
has been preaching the gospel ever since that time. 

(146) 



BUDS OF PROMISE 147 

In 1884 Henry Williams of Doaksville, (Fort Towson) 
was sent to Biddle University and remained three years. 
On his return he became a teacher of public school and in 
1892 married Annie Ball. 

In 1884 Celestine Kodges a daughter of Samuel and 
Charlotte Hodges, Wheelock, was sent to Scotia Seminary 
and remained four years. On her return in 1888, she became 
a teacher and has been teaching most of the time since, serv- 
ing the first two years as an assistant at Oak Hill. 

She became custodian of the buildings, after the depart- 
ure of Miss Hartford, and was teaching the Oak Hill school, 
when Mr. McBride arrived a month or so after its opening. 
Two years later she founded a school and Sunday school 
along Sandy Branch, that a few years later developed into 
the church, that bears that name. She is now located upon 
and improving her own farm southwest of Antlers. 

In 1884 Susan Homer, daughter of Wiley Homer, Grant, 
was sent to Scotia Seminary and remained two years. On 
her return she served as a teacher until she married Albert 
Brown. She is now a widow, occupying and improving her 
own farm, near Grant. 

In 1884 Marie Jones and her sister Fannie Jones, daugh- 
ters of the late Caroline Prince (1911), and Virginia Shoals, 
daughter of J. Ross and Harriet Shoals, all from the Oak 
Hill church, were sent to Scotia Seminary. 

Marie Jones of ter spending some time at school engaged 
in teaching and later became the wife of Mr. Sands, a 
Methodist minister, now located at Kingston, New York. 

Fannie Jones remained at Concord, going to school 
and working in the city until 1898, when she located at St. 
Louis, where she became the wife of Mr. McNair, and taught 



148 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

school a number of years. She is now occupying the old 
home near Oak Hill. 

Virginia Shoals, now Mrs. Perry, returned in 1901, 
She has taught school several years and is now living on 
her own allotment of land near Red River, where she has 
founded and is endeavoring to maintain a christian home. 

Mary Homer (B. 1873) a daughter of Wiley Homer, 
Grant, after completing a course at Oak Hill attended a 
Choctaw government school, 1890 to 1894. She engaged in 
teaching until her marriage to Martin Shoals. She is now 
improving her own farm and educating her children at Oak 
Hill. 

Hattie Homer (B. 1876), a sister of Mary, after attend- 
ing a Choctaw government school at Grant 1890 to 1894 
and completing a course at Oak Hill, taught school until she 
became the wife of Nick Colbert, an elder of the Beaver 
Dam church, after his decease she married Bud Lewis and 
is now occupying and improving her own farm. 

Harriet Stewart (B.1873), and Fidelia Perkins, daugh- 
ter and step-daughter of Parson Stewart, in 1892 were 
taken by Mrs. Emma F. McBride, matron, to the Mary 
Allen Seminary at Crockett, Texas. They remained until 
Harriet was promoted to the senior and Fidelia to the junior 
class. Both of them engaged in teaching. 

Harriet Stewart after teaching a few years in 
1898 became the wife of Rev. Pugh A. Edwards, a min- 
ister of the A. M. E. church and is now occupying and im- 
proving her own farm near Hugo. 

Fidelia in 1900 married Thomas H. Murchison, and lo- 
cated at Garvin, where she and her husband have taken a 
very active part in promoting the work of the Presbyterian 
church. She served as one of the first superintendents of the 





is 





Rev. Wiley Homer. 



Rev. William Butler. 




Rev. and Harrip:t Stewart 
Edwards. 




Rev. and Maria Jones 
Sands. 



14S 




Favored Young Choctaw Freedmen. 



BUDS OF PROMISE 149 

Sunday school and he as an elder. She is now serving her 
sixth year as teacher of the public school at Millerton. She 
is a good penman, an acceptable teacher and is making a 
record of commendable usefulness. 

Martha Jones, a daughter of Caroline Prince, and 
Nannie Harris a daughter of Charles B. Harris, in 1893, 
were sent to Crockett, Texas. 

Nannie Harris contracted consumption and died the 
next year after returning from the school, and Martha Jones 
going with one of her teachers, located at Frankfort, Ken- 
tucky. 

Johnson Shoals, son of J. Ross and Hattie, was an early 
pupil at Oak Hill, and an assistant teacher at that institution 
during the last term, 1912-1913. He has enjoyed a four 
years' course of study at Tuskeegee, and four years at the 
Iowa State Agricultural college, Ames, Iowa. During the 
last four years he has been working on the old home farm 
during the summer and teaching school during the winter, 
which is an ideal plan for the average young man to pursue 
in early life. 

Malinda A. Hall in 1900, after completing the grammar 
course at Oak Hill Academy, was sent by Mrs. Edward G. 
Haymaker to Ingleside Seminary at Burkeville, Virginia, 
where she graduated in 1904. She has taught public school 
one or more years. Commencing in February 1905 she 
rendered five years of faithful and efficient service as teach- 
er of domestic science and superintendent of the christian 
Endeavor society at Oak Hill Academy. In 1911 she became 
the wife of William Stewart and they are now improving 
their own new farm home south of Valliant. 

Edward D. Jones, a class mate of Malinda Hall and 
native of Bluff, Okla., after completing the grammar course 



150 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

in 1900, graduated from Jackson college, Jackson, Miss., five 
years later, and in 1909 from the Medical school at Raleigh, 
N. C. He has since been engaged in the practice of medicine 
in his native state and is now located at Nowata, where he 
has acquired an extensive and lucrative patronage. 

In 1903 when Carrie E. Crowe returned to Mary Holmes 
Seminary at West Point, Miss., she was instrumental in 
having Lizzie Watt and Iserina Folsom, both Oak Hill pupils, 
follow her to that institution. 

Lizzie Watt was from Arkansas. Going with her mis- 
tress to spend some time at Winona Lake, Ind., she there 
met Mrs. M. E. Crowe, matron at Oak Hill. So great was 
the interest awakened she became a pupil at Oak Hill that 
fall, and remained until she was encouraged to go to the 
Mary Holmes Seminary. When last heard from, through 
the head of that institution, she was teaching and doing 
well. 

Iserina Folsom, daughter of Moses and Martha Folsom, 
after her return from West Point in 1905, married Amos 
Ward, a farmer, and lives at Grant. 

Samuel A. Folsom of the Forest church, and early pupil 
at Oak Hill, in 1903-5 spent two years at Biddle Univer- 
sity. On his return he taught one year at Oak Hill Acad- 
emy, aided in the erection of the temporary Boys' Hall after 
the fire of Nov. 8. 1908; and, serving as foreman of the 
carpenters, made it possible for the superintendent to erect 
Elliott Hall in 1910, by employing only the labor of students 
and patrons of the academy. On becoming a member and 
elder of the Oak Hill church, be enjoyed the privilege of 
representing the Presbytery in the General Assembly at 
Denver in May, 1909. Returning later in search of health he 
died there at 29, Jan. 11, 1912. 



BUDS OF PROMISE 151 

George Shoals, in 1903-05, spent two years at Biddle 
University. Since his return he married Redonia Grier and 
they are now improving their own farm near Grant. 

George Stewart, 1903-5 spent two years at Tuskegee. 
In 1910 he married Ara Brown, an Oak Hill student, and 
they are now industriously and successfully improving their 
own farm near the academy at Valliant. 

In 1904, when the Pittsburg Mission at Atoka was clos- 
ed, Mrs. O. D. Spade, one of the teachers, took Lucretia C. 
Brown, a pupil of eight years, to her home at Bellefontaine, 
Ohio, and enabled her to graduate from the Grammar and 
High schools of that city in 1910. In 1912, after rendering 
one year of earnest and faithful service as assistant matron 
at Oak Hill Academy, she became the wife of Everett Rich- 
ards, one of the older students at Oak Hill that year; and 
they are now improving and enjoying their own farm home 
near Lukfata. When their home was gladdened by the birth 
of their first born on Christmas night, 1913, they named it, 
Lucian Elliott, in honor of Mrs. Spade, her youthful bene- 
factress. 

Samuel S. Bibbs and Henry D. Prince in 1904 went to 
Biddle University and remained one year. Henry, after sup- 
porting his venerable mother until her decease in 1911, is 
now industriously engaged in improving his own farm near 
the academy. S. S. Bibbs in 1912 married Fannie McElvene, 
and is now located at Broken Bow, where he is making a 
good record in a new section of the country. 

On March 4, 1906, James Stewart and Mary Garland, 
two previously promising Oak Hill students, were married 
at the academy. They are now industriously and earnestly 
developing a comfortable home on their own farm. 



152 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

These incidents relating to the special education of the 
first young people among the Choctaw Freedmen are quite 
suggestive and interesting. 

These young people may be said to represent buds of 
promise found in the wilderness, where the wild flowers 
bloom that are cared for only by a Heavenly Father's eye. 
They are transplanted for a time, where they may receive 
Bible instruction, industrial training and a foretaste of the 
privileges of an enlightened christian civilization. They 
are then returned to the wilderness with the Bible in hand, 
like the Huguenots and Pilgrim Fathers, when they first 
came to America, to become the standard bearers of truth, 
purity and industry, founders of prosperous christian 
homes, and intelligent promoters of the best interests of 
their people. 

Their education and training was the first intelligent 
effort to provide a supply of competent native teachers and 
preachers for the colored people in the south part of the 
Choctaw Nation. However humble their station and limit- 
ed their attainment, they represent the first generation of 
native teachers. 

It was also an effort to introduce into the homes of the 
people on their return, correct ideals of an intelligent chris- 
tian civilization. It was the day of small things and of 
humble beginnings. 

It is encouraging to note that in all instances where 
they remained long enough in school to make sufficient pro- 
gress, they became teachers and Sunday school superinten- 
dents on their return to their own neighborhoods. Some of 
them are still teaching and one after teaching eleven years 
has made a good record as a faithful minister of the 
gospel. 




The Presbytery of Kiamichi, Garvin, Okla., April, 1914. 




Wiley Homer his People and Chapel at Grant, 1904. 



352 





Rev. T. K. Bridges. Rev. W. J. Starrs. 




W. R. Flournoy. 



Doll Beatty. 





Rev. P. S. Meadows. James R. Crabtree. 



BUDS OF PROMISE 153 

Those that have married have in most instances be- 
come the founders of prosperous christian homes, and the 
most influential leaders in their several communities. By 
their industry, frugality and piety, they are proving them- 
selves, in a very commendable way, to be "the salt of the 
earth and the light of the world," among their own people. 

Several of them died soon after their return from 
school. This is a disappointment that is more deeply felt in 
Mission work than elsewhere. The proportion of short lives 
in this list is perhaps no greater than would be found in 
similar lists taken from other sections of the country. Good 
health and the disposition to take good care of it are very 
important assets, on the part of those who are encouraged 
to take special courses of training in missionary education- 
al institutions. 

These incidents were rot without their influence on the 
mind of Alexander Reid in leading him to approve the plan 
of establishing a boarding school for the Freedmen in In- 
dian Territory and Oak Hill as the most needy and favorable 
location for it. The Boa::d was maintaining missions at 
Muskogee and Atoka, but those locations were not then at- 
tractive. One of his last acts in 1885, his last year, was 
the purchase of the Old Log House from Robin Clark for 
the use of the school. 

The fact this emigrat'on to distant schools continued, 
after the establishment of Oak Hill as a boarding school, 
awakens a little surprise. Only a very limited number of 
them in later years, remained at Oak Hill to complete the 
Grammar course. The good old rule of local prosperity 
"Patronize Home Industries," or institutions, seemed to 
have been forgotten. The sentiment began to prevail that 
any school abroad was bett r than one at home. The gener- 



154 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

al prevalence of this sentiment tended to put a slight check 
upon the successful development of the work at Oak Hill. 
It was bereft of the presence and co-operation of its older 
and best trained pupils, just when their example of self-con- 
trol and habits of study were beginning to exert a good in- 
fluence over the new ones, 



XVIII 

CLOSED IN 1904 



In the spring of 1904, as there was no one available to 
manage it, the school was closed, and a student was entrust- 
ed with the care of the buildings, stock and crops. 

As this was the year the land in Indian Territory was 
allotted to the Indians and their former slaves, individually, 
Mr. Haymaker remained until he secured the allotment of 
two tracts of forty acres each, on which the buildings of the 
academy were located, one to a graduate student and the 
other to a friendly full blood Choctaw woman; with the 
understanding that, when the restrictions should be remov- 
ed, the allottees or owners would sell them to the Board of 
Missions for Freedmen, to be held and used as a permanent 
site for the institution. 

In August Miss Bertha L. Ahrens of Grant, a mission- 
ary teacher of the Board, became the custodian of the build- 
ings and other property belonging to the institution. 

A few days later, Soloman Buchanan, a former student 
from Texas, returned and making his home there, began to 
take care of the stock and crops. His general efficiency, 
manifest interest and good staying quality enabled him to 
become ever since a very valuable helper, during term time. 



XIX 

REOPENING AND ORGANIZATION 

1905. 

TWO-FOLD ORGANIZATION OF THE WORKERS.— NEW FEAT- 
URES.— CHARACTER BUILDING.— VISIT OF MRS. V. P. 
BOGGS. 

"Do all the good you can, 

By all the means you can, 
In all the ways you can, 
In all the places you can, 

At all the times you can, 

To all the people you can, 

As long as ever you can." — Wesley. 

lV^S^ (£ ^'nFTER two veeks of voluntary service in the 
/' \ yt vicinity of the Academy, visiting churches, 
L J|j schools, institutes and towns, making the 
L. >W/ trips thro- gh the timber with a team of 
^-^^ faithful bi t superannuated mules, and de- 
livering addresses in as mi ny as eight different places, dur- 
ing the month preceding, the academy was reopened for a 
three months term in February, 1905, under the manage- 
ment of Rev. and Mrs. R. E Flickinger of Fonda, Iowa. They 
had for their assistants, Miss Adelia M. Eaton, Fonda, 
Iowa, matron, Miss Bertha L. Ahrens, principal, Miss Malin- 
da A. Hall and Henry C. Shoals, assistants in the cooking 
and farming departments, and Solomon Buchanan, a volun- 
teer student accompanist and general helper. 

TWO FOLD ORGANIZATION OF THE WORKERS 
The moral and religious instruction was organized after 
the following manner. The Bible was supplied and read by 

(155) 



156 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

all as a daily text book in the school. The lady principal 
served as superintendent of the Sunday school, and as or- 
ganist and chorister at all the other meetings. The assist- 
ant superintendent took charge of the primary department 
of the Sunday school, the matron, the Bible class; the as- 
sistant matron, the intermediate class, and the general man- 
agement of the work among the Christian Endeavorers, se- 
lecting and aiding the leaders in their preparation for and 
conduct of their meetings on Sabbath evenings, in which 
all the students were required to participate. Mr. Buchan- 
an served as organist for the Sunday school and accompanist 
on the piano at the other meetings. 

The superintendent, in addition to attending and par- 
ticipating in the Sabbath school and Endeavor meetings, 
which were held on Sabbath mornings and evenings, con- 
ducted the preaching service on Sabbath morning, the Bible 
memory meetings at 2:30 on Sabbath afternoons and the 
mid-week service, which was held on Friday evenings. 

VOICE CULTURE. 

The training and development of their youthful voices, 
for efficient participation by song or story in religious meet- 
ings on their return home, was made a distinct aim and ob- 
ject at the Friday evening meetings. 

This special vocal training was based on the fact, that 
in all the recorded instances of the manifestation of divine 
or spiritual power, it has been communicated through the 
use or instrumentality of the human voice. The annual re- 
sults, of this training of their voices for a sacred use, were 
a very gratifying surprise to all the patrons of the school. 

The superintendent also conducted the family worship 
at which all of the students and teachers were present. It 
consisted in the daily reading of the Scriptures and prayer 



REOPENING AND ORGANIZATION 157 

immediately at the close of the morning and evening meals. 
Twice a week the young people united in repeating a Psalm 
or other appropriate selection and the Lord's Prayer. 

He also invariably attended and participated by a word 
of encouragement in the Sunday school and Endeavor meet- 
ings. 

CHARACTER BUILDING 

It was the constant endeavor of the superintendent to 
make the hours spent together on Sabbath afternoons and 
Friday evenings, not only the most instructive and profit- 
able of all the week to the students, in the matter of their 
character building, but also the most joyous and happy to 
all of them. All cares and troubles were forgotten, while 
repeating responsively and cheerily together many of the 
most thrilling and comforting passages of the Bible, or 
singing merrily the beautiful hymns, plantation melodies, 
sacred anthems and patriotic glees, that enlisted mutual 
attention and interest. The joyous blending of their many 
happy, youthful voices, sometimes soft and low, then rising 
and swelling with all possible animation into full chorus, 
while singing together the "Beautiful Story" that "Never 
Grows Old" and "Must be Told," "Break Forth into Joy," 
"Before Jehovah's Throne," "Hail to the Flag," "Free- 
dom's Banner" and similar familiar selections, are sweet 
and blessed treasures of the memory, that are invariably 
recalled with pleasure and delight. 

NEW FEATURES 

In addition to the branches that had been previously 
taught, arrangements were now made for special instruc- 
tion in voice culture and vocal music, one hour a week for all 
the pupils; and the young men in agriculture, horticulture, 
house-painting, carpentry and masonry. 



158 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

The aim of these new departments was to awaken an 
intelligent interest and make every one familiar with the 
principles that would enable them to make 
The Farm, 

The Garden, 

The Orchard, 
The Dairy, 

The Cattle, 

The pigs and Poultry, 
all a source of greatest profit to them as owners. 

An earnest effort was also made to check the stream 
of migration to distant schools, by bringing the work at 
Oak Hill to such a degree of efficiency as to meet the real 
needs of every young person in its vicinity. 

This was successfully accomplished by a voluntary and 
gratuitous establishment, on the part of the superintend- 
ent and principal, of Normal and Theological departments, 
that were maintained as long as there was any real need 
for them; the former until the fall of 1907, the last year 
under territorial rule preceding the establishment of county 
normal institutes; and the latter in 1910, when the last 
licentiate was ordained to the full work of the gospel min- 
istry. 

VISIT OF MRS. V. P. BOGGS, SECRETARY 
The late Mrs. V. P. Boggs, secretary of the Women's 
Department of the Freedmen's Board was a welcome vis- 
itor in the fall of 1907. Her observations were afterwards 
summarized in a printed report as follows: 

"Since the re-opening of Oak Hill Academy in February 
1905 it has had an era of prosperity that promises perma- 
nency. Many improvements have been made, new buildings 
for farm purposes have been erected, much of the land has 
been refenced and is gradually being brought under a high- 



REOPENING AND ORGANIZATION 159 

er state of cultivation, and there is a general improvement 
in the appearance of the entire premises, that reflects credit 
on the management, as well as upon the boys who do the 
work. The literary work progresses under well trained 
teachers, and a normal department has been added that 
teachers may be better fitted to supply the schools, which 
it is hoped will be maintained in the south part of the Ter- 
ritory. The home department is managed, to the comfort 
and happiness of all by the wife of the superintendent, who 
'looketh well to the ways of her household.' The matron's 
duties, which include the general management of all mat- 
ters relating to the work in the Girls' Hall, including the 
sewing, laundry and kitchen departments, are performed 
with conscientiousness and enthusiasm. A former graduate 
student is rendering very efficient service in the cooking 
department." 

"The property of the Board, farm and buildings, is the 
most attractive and prosperous in appearance in that region. 
The location is beautiful, the buildings good for that section 
are well painted, the ground well fenced and in good order. 
Some good farm buildings have been erected by the stu- 
dents and they have painted other large buildings in a very 
workmanlike manner. Considerable land has been re- 
deemed from a state of wildness. Thrift and order are ap- 
parent everywhere indoors and out."— V. P. Boggs, Secre- 
tary Woman's Department. 

SUCCESSION OF HELPERS. 

The succession of helpers during the eight years, 1905 
to 1912, inclusive, when Rev. R. E. Fiickinger was Superin- 
tendent, was as follows: 

Assistant Superintendent: Mrs. Mary A. Fiickinger, 
Feb. 1, 1905, to Aug. 1, 1909. 

Principals: Miss Bertha L. Ahrens, Feb. 1, 1905,- 
Feb. 1, 1911, having been previously custodian of the prem- 
ises from Aug. 1, 1904 ; Mrs. W. H. Carroll, Feb. 1, to May 
27, 1911 ; Rev. W. H. Carroll, Oct. 1, 1911, to June 13, 1912. 

Matrons: Adelia M. Eaton, Feb. 1, 1905, to June 5, 
1908 ; Mrs. John Claypool, 1908-09 ; Mary I. Weimer, 1909- 
1911 ; Jo Lu Wolcott, Feb. 27 to June 13, 1912. 



» 

160 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Assistant Teachers: Carrie E. Crowe, Oct. 1, 1905 to 
Jan. 31, 1906; Mrs. Sarah L. Wallace, Feb. 1 to Mar. 31, 
1906 ; Mary A. Donaldson, April 1 to May 31, 1906 ; Rev. W. 
H. Carroll, Oct. 28, 1907, to May 28, 1908, and Oct. 25, 1909, 
to Apr. 28, 1910 ; Samuel A. Folsom, Oct. 26, 1908, to May 
28, 1909; Solomon H. Buchanan, Nov. 15, 1910, to 1911; 
Mrs. W. H. Carroll, Oct. 16, 1911, to June 13, 1912. 

Assistants in the Cooking Department and Sewing 
Room: Malinda A. Hall, Feb. 1, 1905, to June 30, 1909, and 
Nov. 15, 1910, to June 15, 1911; Mrs. Virginia Wofford, 
1909 ; Ruby Moore and Ruby Peete, 1909 to 1910 ; Lucretia 
C. Brown, 1911 to 1912 ; Ora Perry, 1912. 

Pianist and Librarian: Solomon H. Buchanan, 1905- 
1912, except 1909. 

Foremen, Carpenters: Samuel A. Folsom and Edward 
Hollingsworth in 1910. 

Whilst the great need of the colored people in the South 
is the opportunity for intellectual, manual, moral and reli- 
gious training, to all of which they are readily responsive 
and make encouraging improvement, it remains a fact, that 
the material development of the southern states depends in 
a great measure upon the general education and intelligence 
of the colored people; and that a manifestation of prejudice 
against their general education through public or mission 
schools is sinful, impolitic and unpatriotic. 

It is only a few years since the report was made that in 
Florida 64.5 per cent, in South Carolina, 69.5, and in Louis- 
iana, 76.4 per cent of the children of school age were un- 
provided for with school privileges. 

Under favorable conditions it is a delightful work to 
supply a need for which there is so great and urgent a de- 





Mrs. Mary A. Flickinger. Mrs. John Claypool. 




Bertha L. Ahrens. 



Adelia M. Eaton. 



160 




Robert Elliott Flickinger. 



REOPENING AND ORGANIZATION 



161 



mand, and such manifest appreciation, and, that means so 
much in promoting the intelligence and thereby increasing 
the happiness and prosperity of so many of the common peo- 
ple, whose general education tends to make our nation 
greater. 




6 




XX 

THE PROSPECTUS IN 1912 

SCHOOL AND WORK PERIODS.— FARM WORK.— IMPROVE- 
MENT WORK.— SAWING WOOD A PICNIC. 

"Art and science soon would fade 

And commerce dead would fall, 
If the farmer ceased to reap and sow 

For the farmer feeds them all." 

tyf^N 1912 the prospectus of the academy in- 
cluded the following announcements: 
Free tuition and books are accorded 
'neighborhood pupils under thirteen, that at- 
tend regularly after the time of their enroll- 
ment. Those over fourteen are expected to pay fifty cents 
a month. The hope is expressed that every one living near 
the Academy will see the propriety of making the same 
noble endeavor to enjoy its valuable privileges for improve- 
ment that is made by the many patrons who live at a 
distance. 

An opportunity will be afforded a limited number of 
both boys and girls over fourteen years to work out their 
term expenditures, with the exception of $5.00 which must 
be paid at the time of enrollment. This opportunity to 
work one's own way through school is given to two boys and 
two girls during the term at one time and to others during 
the vacation period. 

After spending six and one-half or seven hours at study 
in the class room, three hours, in the latter part of the after- 

(162) 



THE PROSPECTUS IN 1912 163 

noon of each day, are devoted to industrial training and 
work on the farm, in the shop, kitchen, laundry or sewing 
room. All work during this period is required to be done by 
the rule, which is first stated at the time of assignment, 
and afterwards illustrated during the hours of work ; and the 
student is required to work as silently, thoughtfully and 
earnestly as during the hours previously devoted to study. 

Parents are requested to note that girls are not allowed 
to wear white waists, skirts or dresses, except at the time 
of commencement and that each student must supply their 
own toilet soap, combs and shoe polish. 

The Bible is a required text book and every student is 
expected to commit an average of one verse and read one 
chapter each day during the term. The passages committed 
to memory are recited in concert to the superintendent at 
the Bible Memory Service held every Sabbath afternoon. 

The actual cost of carrying a boarding student through 
the term is about $50.00. Every student that pays $28.00 
or does extra work to that amount enjoys a scholarship of 
equal amount contributed by the many friends who are sup- 
porting the institution. Under this arrangement the stu- 
dent that does most to help himself receives most from the 
friends who are ready to co-operate with him. The doors 
of the Academy are thus open to the penniless and homeless 
boy or girl, if they have a desire to be useful and are willing 
to work ; but young people who lack funds and at the same 
time are unwilling to do extra work to cover the first half of 
their expenses, are not regarded as either promising or de- 
sirable. 

Since one half the cost of carrying boarding students at 
the Academy has to be provided for by the generous offer- 
ings of friends, who are interested in their temporal, moral 



164 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

and spiritual welfare, every student is expected to show his 
appreciation of this fact, by being always thoughtful and 
earnest, during all the hours set apart each day for study 
and work. Only those who learn quickly how to be silent, 
thoughtful and earnest workers, make that improvement in 
study and work which forms the chief element in the re- 
ward of teachers and friends. 

The student that makes the most encouraging progress 
is the one that enters at the beginning of the term and con- 
tinues to attend and work faithfully until the end of it. 

The annual report of the superintendent of Indian Ter- 
ritory for the year 1907 shows that at the Indian Orphan 
School at Wheelock, eight miles east of Oak Hill, the cost of 
carrying each pupil a term of nine months was $155.17, or an 
average of $17.05 a month. A comparison of these figures 
with the cost at that time at Oak Hill, $25.00 a term of 
seven months, or $3.60 a month, it is easy to see that the 
economy practiced in a mission school is much greater than 
in one under government control. 

SCHOOL AND WORK PERIODS 
Provision is made for eight hours of school work on the 
part of the teachers, the first five days of every week of the 
term, and one hour on Saturday evening. These are daily 
enjoyed by all the smaller pupils. But all over fourteen 
years, after enjoying 6V2 hours in the school room, are ex- 
pected to work three hours each day in the latter part of 
the afternoon, and on Saturdays until 2:30 p. m. 

The two leading objects that are attained by this ar- 
rangement are, the opportunity to give and receive practical 
instruction in the rules, or best methods of doing every part 
of the work in the home or on an improved farm ; and enable 
those for whose benefit the institution has been established, 



THE PROSPECTUS IN 1912 165 

to perform the work that is necessary to be done for the 
daily comfort of the students during term time, and the 
successful and economical management of the farm which 
now contains 270 acres, of which 140 acres are enclosed and 
100 are under cultivation. 

THE WOOD SUPPLY 

The sawing and splitting of the wood at the two wood- 
piles, to meet the daily demands of the many and large 
stoves, that have to be kept constantly running, is the reg- 
ular morning and evening chore of those of the boys, that 
are not otherwise employed at that time about the build- 
ings or stock. The preparation of the fuel in the timber and 
again at the woodpiles is, to say the least, a long and rather 
monotonous employment. Boys who do not manifest an 
interest in this part of their early training, by reason of its 
necessity and general healthfulness, are prone to regard it 
as a very wearisome employment, until they acquire skill 
in the matter of position and movement, and then their de- 
light is manifested in efforts to outdo one another. 

THE FARM WORK 

In order that friends at a distance may know something 
of the regular methods of work during the three-hour work 
periods of each day and during the period of the term the 
following notes are added: 

During the first four or more weeks of the term, all the 
available student help is busily employed gathering in the 
crops of cowpeas, potatoes, corn and cotton. In order that 
their undivided attention may be given to this important 
work at this time, all the wood needed for fuel during this 
period has to be brought from the timber, before the end 
of the previous term. 



166 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

As soon as the crops have been gathered the long cam- 
paign for the year's supply of wood in the timber, — about 
25 cords, — has to be undertaken and continued from week 
to week, especially on Saturdays until the end of the term. 

If the necessary materials are on hand, this is the gold- 
en time to start the older and best trained boys on the per- 
manent improvement work outlined for the year, such as 
fence building, sprouting, clearing of new lands, the con- 
struction of conveniences for the school, home or farm, the 
repair of old the erection and painting of new buildings and 
finally, the preparation of the ground and planting of the 
crops for the next year. 

The boys, however, are never taken to the timber or 
fields when the ground is damp or the weather is cold and 
unfavorable. When from these causes they cannot work to 
advantage, they continue their studies in the class room, 
all the day. 

The two winter months of January and February have 
been ordinarily unfavorable for student work in the timber 
or fields. The work is then, to a considerable extent, limited 
to the carpenter shop, cellar, or indoor work on new build- 
ings. 

IMPROVEMENT WORK 

In order that the work performed by the students dur- 
ing the industrial hours of each week, may serve to promote 
the welfare of the institution as well as for training the in- 
dividual, it devolves upon the superintendent and matron to 
have ready suitable work, and all the tools and materials 
necessary to execute it, when the students are ready for as- 
signment. 

This work includes the chores morning and evening, 
the preparation of the fuel — about twenty-five cords an- 



THE PROSPECTUS IN 1912 167 

nually, first in the timber and then at the woodpile — the cul- 
tivation of the farm and garden, the harvesting of the crops 
and the care of the stock, all of which may be termed neces- 
sary routine work. ' 

In addition thereto there may be permanent improve- 
ment work, such as the clearing of new lands for cultivation 
and enclosing them with good fences, the repair of old and 
the erection of new buildings and the manufacture of articles 
of furniture or comfort, for the better equipment of the 
many rooms in the buildings. 

A plain statement of these two kinds of work will indi- 
cate to nearly every one the prime importance of endeavor- 
ing to accomplish as much improvement work as possible 
each term. There is now more of this improvement work 
pressing for immediate attention than possibly may be done 
during the next three years, but it needs now to be contem- 
plated, intelligently provided for, and then executed as 
speedily as possible. 

SAWING WOOD, A PICNIC 
Saturday forenoon has come to be recognized as the 
special fuel or timber day of each week. It is a busy and 
bustling day for all. For this day's work two dozen boys 
are organized and equipped with axes, a splitting outfit, four 
cross-cut saws and the mule team. The axe men are di- 
vided into two squads, the axe men or stumpers who cut 
down trees, and the trimmers who trim the trunks and large 
branches. Three boys are assigned to each crosscut, two 
of whom are expected to keep the saw running steadily, 
while the third one, who is supposed to be resting, carries 
a light lever and, with the weight of his body raises the log 
under the crosscut, so it will not bind the saw as it goes 
through it. By taking turns at the saw and lever, the hard- 



168 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

ness of this work is greatly relieved, and it sometimes is sur- 
prising to see the amount of work, done by the small boys, 
when they have "a mind to work." If the logs are large 
or the saw runs hard, it is not unusual for them to couple 
together and merrily make the running of the saw a four- 
handed affair. The superintendent, or one of the older boys 
acting as a foreman, goes before the saws and with an axe 
marks out the work for them, so they can work speedily, 
and so that every piece that may serve for posts, long or 
short, or for fence props or rails, is cut the proper length. 

The boys have worked faithfully and industriously in the 
timber on Saturday forenoons. A rest of fifteen minutes 
has always been given, about the middle of the forenoon. 
When the signal is given, they assemble at some convenient 
place, where there are several logs suited for seats; for all 
are required to be seated as the best way to rest their weary 
limbs, during this period. 

A pail of fresh water and a paper sack filled with soda 
crackers is always provided for their enjoyment at this 
time. A smile of pleasure and delight is sure to light up the 
countenance of every boy, when, taking his turn, he thrusts 
his hand into the paper sack and draws therefrom his ap- 
pointed number of crackers. 

At these periods of rest and lunch all usually seem as 
happy as if they were enjoying a regular social picnic din- 
ner. Amid the merriment and pleasantry of the occasion 
they seem to forget all consciousness of weariness, or 
thought that their work is hard, and resume it again with 
pleasure and delight. 



XXI 

OBLIGATION AND PLEDGES . . 

OBLIGATION.— ENDEAVOR. — SELP-HELP STUDENTS. — TEM- 
PERANCE.— THE INTOXICATING CUP.— PRESIDENT LIN- 
COLN.— PRESIDENT HARRISON. 

"Thy vows are upon me O God. I will pay my vows un- 
to the Lord, in the presence of all his people." — David. 

I. THE STUDENT'S OBLIGATION 

<^5^/^N being received as a student of this institu- 
"^ *J tion, I do solemnly promise, God helping me, 





that I will be obedient to the rules of this 
institution and endeavor to prove myself an 
earnest student and thoughtful, faithful 
worker; that I will be prompt in responding to every call, 
pay the cost of repair to any furniture or glass broken, as a 
result of thoughtlessness or carelessness on my part; and 
that I will refrain from the use of profane or angry words 
to man or beast ; and also from the use of tobacco, cigarettes, 
snuff, dice, gamblers cards, and intoxicating liquors as a 
beverage, while I enjoy the privileges of the academy. 

II. CHRISTIAN ENDEAVOR PLEDGE 

Trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for strength, I prom- 
ise him that I will strive to do whatever he would like to 
have me do ; that I will pray to Him and read the Bible every 
day, and that, so far as I know how, throughout my whole 
life, I will endeavor to lead a christian life. 

(169) 



170 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

III. PLEDGE OF SELF-HELP STUDENTS 
As long as I am accorded and enjoy the privilege of a 
home and of a student at Oak Hill Academy, recognizing the 
fact that my time during the periods of work does not be- 
long to me, but to the institution ; 

I solemnly pledge my word and honor, God helping 
me, that I will refrain from making any engagement else- 
where, that might interfere with the faithful and constant 
performance of the duties devolving on me at Oak Hill ; that 
I will conscientiously keep my word as to the time of my re- 
turn, when absent from my home at the academy ; that I will 
yield a prompt and cordial obedience to all the rules and 
regulations relating to the conduct of students at the acad- 
emy, and that I will constantly endeavor to show myself 
worthy the confidence and esteem of the superintendent 
and his helpers; and not leave the institution until I have 
honorably met all of my obligations. 

IV. TOTAL-ABSTINENCE PLEDGE 
"Abstain from all appearance of evil." — Paul. 
"With malice toward none and charity for all, I the un- 
dersigned do pledge my word and honor, 

GOD HELPING ME 
To abstain from all Intoxicating Liquors as a beverage and 
that I will, by all honorable means, encourage others to ab- 
stain. 



OBLIGATION AND PLEDGES 



171 



An acre of government land costs $1.25, and a bottle of 
whiskey about $2.00. How strange that so many people pre- 
fer the whiskey. 



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THE INTOXICATING CUP 

Within this glass destruction rides, 
And in its depths does ruin swim; 

Around its foam perdition glides, 
And death is dancing on its brim. 

WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT IT 

A curse. — Queen Victoria. 
A scandal and a shame. — Gladstone. 
It stupefies and besots. — Bismark. 
The devil in solution. — Sir Wilfred Lawson. 
The mother of want and the nurse of crime. — Lord 
Brougham. 

Saloons are traps for workingmen. — Earl Cairnes. 



172 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

The following is the pledge of Abraham Lincoln, the 

great emancipator. 

"Whereas, the use of alcoholic liquors as a beverage is 
productive of pauperism, degradation and crime, and believ- 
ing it is our duty to discourage that which produces more 
evil than good; we, therefore pledge ourselves to abstain 
from the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage." 

When Lincoln signed the pledge he was a tall awkward 
youth, and the only one that went forward at the meet- 
ing in the log school house to sign it that night. When he 
was president, "Old Uncle John," who induced him to sign 
it, called on him at the White House and Lincoln said : 

"I owe more to you than to almost any one of whom I 
can think. If I had not signed the pledge in the days of my 
youthful temptation, I should probably have gone the way 
of a majority of my early companions, who lived drunkard's 
lives and are now filling drunkard's graves." 

After reconstruction, the next great question is the 

overthrow of the liquor traffic. — Abraham Lincoln. 

WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON 

"Gentlemen I have now twice refused your request to 
partake of the wine cup. That should be sufficient. I made 
a resolve when I started in life, that I would avoid strong 
drink: I have never broken that pledge. I am one of a 
class of seventeen young men who graduated; the other 
sixteen fill drunkard's graves, all due to the pernicious habit 
of wine drinking. I owe my health, happiness and pros- 
perity to the fact I have never broken my pledge of total 
abstinence. I trust you will not again urge me to do so." 

This noble answer was given to friends who were din- 
ing with him at the old Washington House in Chester, Pa., 
when he was a candidate for president. 





XXII 

BIBLE STUDY AND MEMORY WORK 

AIMS IN BIBLE STUDY.— SELF-CONTROL.— TRAINING THE 
MEMORY AND VOICE.— DIVINE TRUTH THE NEED OF ALL. 
—ONE BOOK IN THE HOME.— COMMITTED TO MEMORY.— 
THE BIBLE ONLY IN SUNDAY SCHOOL.— A LIFE-LONG 
GOLDEN TREASURE.— A FOUNTAIN OF BLESSING.— UP- 
LIFTING POWER IN NEW HEBRIDES. 

"Hold fast the form of sound words ; * * * that ye may 
be able to give to every one that asketh, a reason of the 
hope that is in you." — Paul. 

.^^x^^C/j^HE development of the Bible-memory work, 
HP W that, during the later years of this period, 
k\\\ moved forward very rapidly, was one of 
small beginnings and slow progress at first. 
The meetings were held at half past two 
o'clock on Sabbath afternoons. 

The girls were formed into one class and their meet- 
ing was held in the sitting room of the Girls' Hall. The boys 
met immediately afterwards in the office of the superin- 
tendent in the Boys' Hall. 

The weekly lesson consisted in committing to memory 
five to seven verses in the more important chapters of the 
New Testament and Psalms, commencing with the ten com- 
mandments in Exodus XX, 1-17. The passages assigned 
were read and studied every week in the school under the 
direction of the principal, in order that all the younger 
pupils, as well as the older ones, might be able to repeat 
them on Sabbath. 

At the meetings, which were conducted by the superin- 
tendent, the lesson assigned would have to be read over 

(173) 



174 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

several times in concert before their voices would acquire 
the right movement and expression. The effort to train the 
memory, by committing scripture verses, was one from 
which many of them shrank as being too irksome, and the 
weekly lesson of one verse a day would have to be repeated 
a number of times, before most of them could continue to 
be heard to the end of the lesson. The previous lessons 
were then reviewed, to fasten them more firmly on the 
memory. The advance lesson was then read together that 
all might surely know its place and extent. 

AIMS IN BIBLE STUDY 

"Accurate Bible Knowledge" and "Character building" 
were the keynotes of the instruction given at these meetings. 
A third object, that was constantly kept in view, was the 
training and development of their youthful voices for pub- 
lic address in religious meetings. This was accomplished 
by making a large use of the concert drill, both in reading 
and repeating the classic and beautiful passages of the 
Bible. 

The tendency of the new pupils to speak and act badly 
from sudden impulse, was freely admitted at these meet- 
ings. As a *means of enabling them to put a check on their 
impulsive dispositions and acquire the art of self-control, 
the following questions were prepared and asked of each, 
at the opening of the lesson hour. 

1. During the week that has passed, have you re- 
frained entirely from the use of profane or quarrelsome 
words and actions? 

2. Have you been uniformly respectful and obedient 
to all of your teachers ? 

3. Are you using your spare moments each day for 
some good purpose, that will promote your best interests? 



BIBLE STUDY AND MEMORY WORK 175 

The cordial and helpful cooperation of Miss Adelia 
Eaton, our first matron, in connection with this Bible mem- 
ory work at the period when it was most difficult to awak- 
en interest and enthusiasm in it, was very greatly appreciat- 
ed. Although her presence was not required, she volunta- 
rily arranged to be present at every meeting. She seldom 
if ever participated in the meetings, but she invariably ar- 
ranged the room in the most convenient form for the meet- 
ing and continued to patiently aid and encourage those of 
the girls, to whom this memory work was the hardest, un- 
til the last moment before the meeting. The increased at- 
tendance of later years, made it advisable to hold these 
Bible meetings in the chapel, and there both classes met to- 
gether. 

TRAINING THE MEMORY 

The memory, the natural power of retaining and re- 
calling what has been learned, is the basis of all progress 
in study. It is the faculty that enriches the mind by pre- 
serving the treasures of labor and industry. The beauty 
and perfection of all the other mental faculties are de- 
pendent on it. Without its aid there can be no advance- 
ment in knowledge, arts and sciences ; and no improvement 
in virtue, morals and religion. 

Those who cannot read acquire knowledge by hearing, 
and their vision is occupied principally with large rather 
than small objects. It was soon a matter of observation 
that the children of illiterate parents in whose homes there 
are no books, find it very difficult to learn to read, after they 
have passed fourteen years of age. That which is natural 
and easy in childhood, becomes more difficult the longer it 
is delayed. They form the habit and find it much easier 
to acquire knowledge like their parents by the ear, or "by 



176 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

air" as it is sometimes called, than by poring over the 
letters and words of a printed line in a book. Many that are 
over fourteen before they are sent to school shrink from 
the mental discipline and labor of learning things so small 
as letters and words, and seek relief by looking elsewhere 
than on the printed page. 

By the aid of a memory that has been trained for ser- 
vice in childhood, one is able to learn easily and rapidly; 
and also to express their treasures of knowledge in such a 
way as to give life and animation to every word that is ut- 
tered. 

The memory is very responsive to training in childhood 
and youth. Its retentive power may then be very greatly 
increased by judicious exercise and labor, which have that 
distinct end in view, just as the limbs gradually grow 
stronger by daily exercise. If it is accustomed to retain 
a moderate quantity of knowledge in childhood, it is 
strengthened and fitted for more rapid development in 
youth. That is the golden period to learn the "form of 
sound words," that shall exert a moulding influence upon 
the entire life. 

Repeated acts form a habit, and habits of thought may 
be aided by a methodical system in the arrangement of in- 
tellectual possessions. Frequent review, repetition, con- 
scious delight in the things to be learned and association of 
the new with the known, are important aids to the memory, 
that may be profitably observed throughout the entire life. 

DIVINE TRUTH THE NEED OF ALL 
Truth is the natural food for the mind and does for it 
what bread and meat do for the body. The mental facul- 
ties include the intellect, the power of thought ; the memory, 
the conscience, the power that enables one to distinguish be- 



BIBLE STUDY AND MEMORY WORK 177 

tween right and wrong; and the judgment, the power of de- 
cision. There are no truths so well adapted for the best 
training and development of all these faculties, as the great 
and important ones that God has so attractively and plain- 
ly revealed in His holy word. The poetic parts of the Old 
Testament and the words of Jesus in the New, are adapted 
alike for the comfort and instruction of childhood, manhood 
and old age. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every 
word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." "I am the 
living bread which came down from heaven ; if any man eat 
of this bread he shall live forever." 

ONE BOOK IN THE HOME 

One aim of the requirement to commit one verse a day 
in the Bible presented to each pupil was, of course, to make 
even those, whose terms in school were the shortest, fa- 
miliar with some of the most important parts of the one 
book, they were expected to take to their homes ; but another 
distinct aim was to develop the memory of every pupil so as 
to make the mastery of other books easier and their pro- 
gress in them more rapid. 

Every pupil was encouraged to train their memory to 
be their ready and faithful servant, so that it would recall 
a line, a verse or a rule, when it had been carefully traced 
the third time, by the eye. 

The definitions and rules form the most important parts 
of most of the necessary text-books above the primary de- 
partment. The future value of these studies, as well as the 
pupils advance in them while in school, depends on his abil- 
ity to understand, apply and easily remember the rules. The 
thorough teacher will discard the use of those superficial 
authors, whose books lack these important parts, tersely 
and plainly stated. The sooner that a pupil learns to follow, 



178 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

obey and never to violate a rule, the sooner does he begin 
to advance rapidly and profitably in his studies. 

COMMITTED TO MEMORY 

The memory work of a term, according to the rule, 
one verse a day, would usually carry the student through the 
following passages: 

The Oak Hill Endeavor Benediction, Numbers 6, 24-26 
and Rev. 1, 5-6; The Ten Commandments Exodus 20, 1-17; 
Words of Comfort, Confession and Devotion, Psalms 1st, 
8th, 19th, 23d, 27th, 50th, 51st, 90th, 103d, part of the 
119th, 122d and 150th; Wise Counsels, Proverbs 3d and 
4th ; A new heart promised, Ezekiel 36,25-32 ; John Baptist's 
Message, Matthew 3d; The Beatitudes and Sermon on the 
Mount, Matthew 5th ; The Divinity of Christ, John 1st ; His 
Farewell Address, John 14th ; The Bible inspired, 2 Timothy 
3, 14-17. Also the first, half of the Westminster Shorter 
Catechism, with its ever memorable beginning, "Man's Chief 
end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." 

Every new pupil is encouraged to read the Bible in 
course, an average of one chapter a day or seven each week, 
making report of progress at the Bible hour each Sabbath 
afternoon. By this plan many of them read, during their 
first term, the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts 
and Romans. 

THE BIBLE ONLY IN THE SUNDAY SCHOOL 

The Inter-National lessons are always prepared for the 
Sunday school hour, but always and only from the Bible in 
the hand of each scholar. The teachers only are supplied 
with other helps, and even these are used only during the 
period of preparation. The Bible, black board, map and 
charts only are used by the teacher and students during the 



BIBLE STUDY AND MEMORY WORK 179 

Sunday school session. This use of the Bible only in the 
Sunday school, served to create a demand for it on the part 
of every scholar and attendant, and to increase the famil- 
iarity of each with their own copy of it. It is a good plan 
for any teacher or Sunday school, that wishes to promote 
reading and circulation of the Scriptures in the homes of 
the people. 

A LIFE-LONG GOLDEN TREASURE 
He has a rich treasure whose memory is well stored 
with words from the Holy Scriptures. Such a treasure is 
"more to be desired than gold, yea, than much fine gold." 
It is a life-long treasure to those who secure it in youth. 
It cannot be taken away, but it may be imparted to others. 
Whoever shares this treasure with others, sows the good 
seed of the Kingdom of God and realizes in his own soul, 
that he "who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully." 
Committing the scriptures to memory was a delightful 
employment to the Psalmist, who said: 'Thy word have I 
hid in my heart," and again, "Let my heart be sound in thy 
statutes." "Thy statutes have been my songs in the house 
of my pilgrimage." "I will never forget thy precepts; for 
with them thou hast quickened me and caused me to hate 
every false way." "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a 
light unto my path." "Order my steps in thy word ; for the 
entrance of thy words giveth light." 

A BEAUTIFUL TRIBUTE 

The following beautiful tribute to the Bible, printed by 

Soper and Son, Detroit, was pasted on the inside of the front 

lid of every Bible presented to the students. 

This Book contains the mind of God, the state of man, 
the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness 
of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are bind- 
ing, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable: 



180 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practise it to 
be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, 
and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, th'e pil- 
grim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and 
the Christian's charter. Here Paradise is restored, heaven 
opened, and the gates of hell disclosed, Christ is its grand 
subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. 
It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. 
Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of 
wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is 
given you in life, will be opened in judgment, and be remem- 
bered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, re- 
wards the greatest labor, and condemns all who trifle with 
its sacred contents. 

A FOUNTAIN OF BLESSINGS 
The Bible is an infallible revelation from God in re- 
gard to his own character, will and works. One result of 
a practical faith in it is the development of an heroic mis- 
sionary spirit. The noblest heroisms that mark the his- 
tory of the human race have had their inspiration in im- 
plicit faith in the Bible. "Men in whom life was fresh and 
strong, and women, the embodiment of gentleness and deli- 
cacy, have met the martyrs death of fire, singing until the 
red-tongued flames licked up their breath." 

It is the fountain from which have come the principles 
of a pure morality and "all sweet charities." It has been the 
motive power that has effected the regeneration and re- 
formation of millions of men. "It has comforted the hum- 
ble, consoled the mourning, sustained the suffering and 
given trust and triumph to the dying." 

Rational minds will ask for no higher proof, that the 
Bible, as a revelation from God is reliable, than the nature 
and results of the faith that is based upon it. The results 
include the noblest phenomena of human experience, the 
richest fruitage of our christian civilization. The Bible is 
the one great regenerative and redemptive agency in the 



BIBLE STUDY AND MEMORY WORK 181 

world, and this soon becomes apparent, whenever it is read 
in the homes of the people. 

UPLIFTING POWER IN NEW HEBRIDES' ISLANDS 

A very interesting illustration of this fact has been 
narrated by John Inglis a Scottish Missionary to the New 
Hebrides. On going there about the middle of the last cen- 
tury, he selected for his abode an island occupied by canni- 
bals. Among the things he took with him was a mason's 
hammer. When he began to dress and square the hard 
rocks of the neighborhood to build the chimney of his 
house, the novelty of the operation drew a crowd of the na- 
tives around him. They looked on in wonder, and were sur- 
prised to see the hammer break in pieces and bring into 
shape those hard stones, which no one had before attempt- 
ed to break. 

Missionaries, like philosophers sometimes find "ser- 
mons in stones," as well as "good in everything." On this 
occasion, he took the stones and the hammer as his text and 
gave them a short practical sermon as follows: 

"You see these stones and this hammer. You might 
strike these stones with a block of wood till you were tired 
and you would not break off a single chip ; but when I strike 
with a hammer you see how easily they are broken, or cut 
into needful shapes. Now God tells us that our hearts are 
like stones, and that his Word is like a hammer. Some white 
men came among you before the arrival of the missionaries, 
and you continued as much heathen as ever. But when the 
missionaries came and spoke to you, you gave up your heath- 
enism, began to keep the Sabbath day, to worship God and 
to live like christians. What caused this difference? The 
words of the missionaries were not any louder or stronger 
than those of the other white men. The difference was 
merely this — the other white men spoke their own words; 
they spoke the words of men; and that was like striking 
these stones with a piece of wood. But the missionaries in- 
stead of speaking to you their own words read to you the 



182 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Words of God; and that was like this hammer striking, 
breaking and bringing into shape your stony hearts." 

This illustration took hold on their imagination; the 
sermon on the stones and the hammer was not soon for- 
gotten. Many years afterwards, some of the older natives 
when leading in prayer in the church would offer the pe- 
tition, "0 Lord, thy word is like a hammer, take it and with 
it break our stony hearts and shape them according to the 
rule of Thy holy law." 

There were 3,500 natives on this island. Through the 
influence of God's Word, for no other means were employed 
save the human voice to make it known, all of them were led 
to abandon heathenism and place themselves under Chris- 
tian instruction. 

These people had no money but they could gather and 
prepare arrowroot. They were encouraged to bring this to 
the missionaries, in order to secure a supply of Bibles for 
the island, with the result that in a few years they sent 
$2,500 to the British and Foreign Bible society, London, for 
copies of the New Testament and Psalms ; and a few years 
later $3,500 to pay for the printing of the Old Testament 
in their own language. 

There is no instance on record of a like number of 
heathen people, so poor, being persuaded to contribute so 
much money to obtain any other book ; and why not ? It is 
because the Bible alone is divine and this divine power has 
subdued human hearts. "Is not my word like as a fire? 
saith the Lord ; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock 
in pieces?"— Jer. 23. 29. 

The Bible is the Book of the Lord, a "sure word of 
prophecy, whereunto we do well to take heed, as unto a light 
that shineth in a dark place." It challenges us to "prove all 
things and hold fast that which is good." 




XXIII 

DECISION DAYS 

CHRISTMAS.— WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY. 

"How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord 
be God follow him." —Elijah. 

h^^^^/PVERY new student at the time of his enroll- 

/ P Alt ment was ^^sted to state whether or not 
1—^ vill he was a member of church. If a negative 
response was received, he was kindly in- 
formed it would be regarded as a serious 
disappointment, if he did not become an active Christian 
worker, during the period he enjoyed the privileges of the 
Academy. As a means of enabling every one to manifest 
their decision to live a Christian life, Decision days were 
held frequently during the term. The first one always oc- 
curred at least one week before Christmas ; and the others 
about the Day of Prayer for Colleges, Easter and Memorial 
Sabbaths. When advantage could not be taken of a volun- 
tary visit on the part of a neighboring pastor the co-opera- 
tion of one of them was always solicited. 

On the first occasion Rev. William Butler was present, 
Feb. 11, 1906, and took for his theme in the morning, the 
Good Shepherd, and in the evening, the New Heart, his own 
heart was gladdened by seeing twenty-three young people 
come to the front in response to his appeal and pledge them- 
selves to live a Christian life. A month later the pastor's 
heart was gladdened anew by receiving fourteen of them into 
the membership of the church and administering baptism to 

(183) 



184 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

ten of them. Two lears later, as the result of an evangel- 
istic meeting held on the evening of the closing day of the 
Farmers' institute, January 1, 1908, Mr. Butler, who was 
one of the speakers at the institute, had the pleasure of 
seeing twenty-one other students manifest a decision to live 
a Christian life. Rev. Wiley Homer, T. K. Bridges and 
Samuel Gladman, assisted and with encouraging results on 
other decision days. 

In 1910, Washington's birthday, Thursday, was ob- 
served by a patriotic and evangelistic meeting at which im- 
pressive addresses were delivered by Rev. W. J. Willis of 
Garvin and Rev. A. B. Johnson of McAlester. Among those 
present were thirteen that had not previously manifested a 
decision. In response to the appeal of Mr. Willis, every one 
of these thirteen voluntarily arose, came forward and gave 
their pledge to live a Christian life. The attainment of a 
voluntary pledge from every student in attendance at that 
time made this an eventful occasion. It was also deeply im- 
pressive. Every one joined in the joyful congratulatory 
procession. 

As it was the last glad and happy decision day before 
the loss of the Girls' Hall, which occurred on the second Sab- 
bath following, it has been commemorated by an engraving 
from a photo, thoughtfully taken before hand by Miss Mary 
Weimer, in which may be seen David Michael, Livingston 
Brasco, and William Shoals, who have just returned from 
the timber with vines and white flowers to decorate the 
chapel for this meeting. 




XXIV 

THE SELF-HELP DEPARTMENT 

FOOLISH NOTIONS.— A PROMISING GIRL.— THOUGHTLESS 
BOYS. — THOUGHTFUL YOUNG PEOPLE. — VACATION 
WORKERS.— JAMESTOWN COLLEGE.— SUPPORT OF SELF- 
SUPPORTING STUDENTS.— HOW IT WORKS.— ENLARGE- 
MENT AND PERMANENT IMPROVEMENT.— SELF-SUPPORT 
MEANS INDEPENDENCE.— PARK COLLEGE. 

"If any would not work, neither should he eat." — Paul. 

l^^ixS^^/PHE unexpected disappointments experienced 
^* in establishing the self-help department are 
worthy of a brief mention. They serve to 
illustrate some foolish notions that pre- 
vailed among some of our first patrons, and 
prepare the way for a good suggestion. 

The aim of this department is to enlarge the scope of 
the training work of the institution by the employment of 
students, as far as possible, to do the necessary work dur- 
ing vacations as well as the chores during the school-terms ; 
and by this means, reducing the number of hired helpers, 
afford lucrative employment to the greatest number of stu- 
dents, as a means of self help. 

In view of the needy and helpless condition of the peo- 
ple in their new homes, and the urgent prospective demand 
for more teachers, one would naturally suppose every family 
would be eager to take advantage of such an opportunity. The 
scheme however was a new one and it was regarded with 
suspicion and disfavor. The effort to have leading fam- 

(185) 



186 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

* 

ilies, those that seemed to stand in the nearest relation to 
it by having previously enjoyed its privileges most freely, 
cooperate in the establishment of this plan, by permitting 
one of their children to remain at the academy during the 
vacation period or even do extra work a part of the day 
during the term, and thereby be able to continue and com- 
plete a course of study that would fit them for teaching, 
proved a complete disappointment. This disappointment 
was the occasion of two earnest appeals before two different 
meetings of the Presbytery, but neither of them received 
more than a respectful hearing, no favorable response. 

Some, whose children had been previously carried from 
year to year gratuitously, no doubt, regarded it as the inno- 
vation of a stranger, who was adroitly depriving them of 
their former rights and privileges ; while others seemed to 
view it as a discovery to their neighbors, that they were 
not able to pay for the education of their children. Some 
of the larger girls at the academy, when requested' to ar- 
range to do some extra work at the school declined, saying 
they had homes of their own and did not have to work for 
others away from home. 

A PROMISING GIRL 

That this was not the sentiment, however, of all the 
larger girls appears in the following incident. A very 
promising girl oi sixteen came to the school oi" her own ac- 
cord. She was animated with the desire to become a chris- 
tian teacher. About the middle of the term, a younger 
brother called with the request from her mother, that she 
return home. No reason was assigned and she knew of no 
good one. She sent her mother word that she desired to 
remain, and resumed her studies. Two weeks later an old- 
er brother called with a pre-emptory demand that she return 



THE SELF-HELP DEPARTMENT 187 

home with him. The reason assigned by her mother for 
this unexpected and arbitrary request was, "Daughter can 
get along without school as well as her mother." It seems 
scarcely necessary to state that this promising and aspir- 
ing young lady was not permitted to return. 

THOUGHTLESS BOYS 

The first to acquiesce in the arrangement to pay a part 
of their term expense by working at the academy during 
the vacation were some boys, who had not learned to work ; 
and it seemed impossible for them to conceal the fact that 
they did not want to work. They were not old enough or did 
not know enough to appreciate the privileges accorded to 
them ; and as many as three of them ran away, when most 
needed. 

The work deserted by two of these boys was undertaken 
by a third one, not then a student. He was a willing worker 
and at the end of the summer found that his job at the 
academy was his best one during the season. Pie illustrated 
the difference between the worthy and the worthless. The 
worthy achieve success where the worthless make a miser- 
able failure. 

THOUGHTFUL YOUNG PEOPLE 

It was left for some thoughtful young people living at 
a distance to come, take advantage of the opportunities 
thus afforded and make this self-help or industrial depart- 
ment a real, visible and practical success. While deriving a 
life-long benefit for themselves, they have conferred a last- 
ing benefit to the institution by remaining long enough to 
reach the higher grades. Their efficient service in various 
lines of work has served to show that the varied and thor- 



188 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

ough training given during recent vacations has been very 
valuable to them. 

The vacation period has afforded the best opportun- 
ity for instruction and practice on the organ, for reading 
the many good books in the library and for special train- 
ing in farming, carpentry and in the various kinds of work, 
like canning fruit or the manufacture of sorghum, that 
require attention only during the summer months. It has 
hitherto seemed to be the golden period of the year when 
the personal responsibility and general efficiency of the 
student has been most rapidly developed, a fact no doubt 
due to the freer daily association with the superintendent 
and teachers. The full course of training provided at the 
institution can be fully enjoyed only by those who remain 
during the summer months. 

VACATION WORKERS 
The vacation workers have always been regarded as 
members of the Oak Hill family and every personal want 
has been promptly supplied. The habit of reading or learn- 
ing something every day, kept them prepared for doing 
their best work on the first as well as their last day of the 
term; while others would take a week or month, perhaps 
before they could settle down to good work in the school 
room. They were allowed a reasonable credit for every 
day they worked during the vacation and were not request- 
ed to do any extra work during the term, except in cases of 
emergency. The self-help students, who rendered extra ser- 
vice during the term, dropped one study, and they also re- 
ceived a reasonable allowance for all the extra work they 
performed. 

JAMESTOWN COLLEGE 
Effective christian work by students at home during 
the summer vacation was admirably illustrated by the 



THE SELF-HELP DEPARTMENT 189 

young people attending the Presbyterian college at James- 
town, North Dakota, during the summer of 1913. 

Every student at the close of the term had formed 
the decision to lead a christian life. Under the inspiration 
of a resident lawyer, John Knouff, a number of them be- 
came members of the mission band that had for its object 
the ingathering of new scholars into their own Sabbath 
schools, and the college they were attending. 

The result was a very pleasant surprise and a source 
of great profit to all of them. They reported the organiza- 
tion of a score of new Sunday schools in neglected commun- 
ities, and an enrollment of 1231 new scholars through their 
instrumentality. An incidental result was a greatly in- 
creased enrollment of new students at the college they had 
so worthily represented. 

SUPPORT OF SELF-SUPPORTING STUDENTS 
Where does the money come from that is necessary to 
meet the monthly allowances placed to the credit of the 
self-help students? This is a very practical question and a 
few thoughts on it may be helpful. 

When a farmer employs a man to help him on his farm 
he expects to pay him from the annual cash income, when 
the products of the farm are sold. This would naturally be 
true of the boys who do the farm work at Oak Hill if there 
was a surplus to sell ; but hitherto it has not been sufficient 
to meet the demands of the boarding department and stock. 
It would however not be true of the work of the boys 
who build fence, clear new land or erect and improve build- 
ings. The product of the labor of these students is a per- 
manent improvement, that increases the value of the land 
to the owner, and it cannot be sold annually for cash, like 
the products of the farm. 



190 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

But the superintendent has to pay cash for the grocer- 
ies consumed by these students the same as for the others ; 
and when their monthly allowance for labor is transferred 
to the enrollment or other account book, it represents an 
item for which some one must furnish him the cash. Where 
will he get his money ? Who will furnish it to him ? Man- 
ifestly he must look to the owner of the property for it, and 
the owner in this instance is the Board of Missions for 
Freedmen. By using tools and implements the student has 
been trained in their use and the results of his work have 
become a permanent possession of the Board. 

In as much as most permanent improvements do not 
ordinarily bring any direct annual income to the Board, but 
serve rather to increase the facilities of the school and pro- 
vide additional opportunities for self-help, the question 
arises, "Where does the Board get the money for the sup- 
port of the self-supporting students?" 

The answer to this inquiry is, the Board has to solicit 
and receive it from the friends of christian education. 

This is a very important statement and it is often not 
very clearly understood. When the actual cost of carrying 
a student through a seven months term is found to be 
about $50.00 then that is the lowest amount that will en- 
able the superintendent to carry a vacation worker, as a self- 
supporting student, through the period of an entire year. 

HOW IT WORKS 

There are some features of this problem that are quite 
interesting. The student that does the most for the perma- 
nent improvement of the institution that has educated him, 
commonly called his "Alma Mater," or fostering mother, 
finds at the time of completing his course, that by that 



THE SELF-HELP DEPARTMENT 191 

means he has done most for himself, by advancing more 
rapidly than others in the course of training and study. He 
has also done something in the way of increasing the facil- 
ities for the education and uplift of his race. 

Whilst his employment was creating a demand for a 
benevolent gift from some friend of christian education he 
was unconscious of that fact, and is happy in the conscious- 
ness, that he is earning his way through school like a man ; — 
one, who wants to make most of himself. He goes forth 
to enter upon the duties of active life as a true or "good 
soldier" prepared to "endure hardness," if necessary, and 
ready to lend a helping hand to other worthy young people. 
ENLARGEMENT AND PERMANENT IMPROVEMENT 

The zealous interest of the superintendent in this self- 
help industrial department appears in the broad foundation 
lie endeavored to lay for it in the purchase o r so many acres 
for the Oak Rill farm. 

There were other good motives that prompted the 
purchase of land, when the opportunity was afforded to do 
so at its virgin price in 1908, such as provision for future 
supplies of wood as a cheap fuel, about twenty-five cords 
a year being needed, and, ample pastures for the herds of 
cattle and hogs, that are easily and profitably raised and 
greatly needed, but the most urgent motive was the earnest 
desire to provide an agricultural base large enough to en- 
able the self-help department of the academy to become 
in time self-supporting. 

"Enlargement" and "permanent improvement" became 
the watchwords while laying the foundation for this de- 
partment. 

The manifest need of it had been deeply and indellibly 
impressed. The conviction also prevailed that, when prop- 



192 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

erly organized and developed, so as to meet their most 
urgent needs, the self-help department in an educational 
institution works like a live magnet in attracting the pat- 
ronage of many worthy young people. 

Permanent improvement year after year by self-sup- 
porting students, seeking training is an arrangement that 
has in it the germ of expansion, that means enlargement 
and growth with passing years. This was the ideal to- 
wards which we were moving with might and main. We 
wanted to plant the live magnet, that would make Oak Hill 
an attractive and pre-eminently useful educational center 
for all. the Choctaw Freedmen. 

There are no annual taxes on lands used for public or 
mission school purposes, and all the annual income tends 
to lessen to the Board, the local expenses of the teachers 
and students. The net income from the farm is the surplus 
that remains after deducting the cost of management from 
the gross receipts. 

Whenever this net income is more than sufficient to 
cover the local support of the teachers, it goes toward the 
support of the self-supporting students; whenever it is 
sufficient to cover all of their monthly allowances, this self- 
help department is self-supporting; and special remittances 
from the Board will not then be needed for the worthy, in- 
dustrious and ambitious young people, in that department. 
The attainment of this object is worthy of noble and con- 
stant endeavor. 

It is also worthy of note, that good agricultural lands, 
purchased at the government price in a new section of the 
country that is destined to be filled with new settlers, is al- 
ways a good investment. The land rapidly increases in value 




Oak Hill in 1905. 




Flower Gatherers for Decision Day. 

February 22, 1910. 



192 




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J 

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OS 




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THE SELF-HELP DEPARTMENT 193 

where the incoming of new settlers causes a rapid increase 
in the population. 

This annual increase in the value of new land is known 
as its "unearned increment." This unearned increment is 
now accruing to the Board on every acre that has been 
purchased. Those that were purchased first have already- 
doubled in value. 

Every acre of land added to the Oak Hill farm at its 
virgin price means now, by reason of its annual income 
and gradual increase in value, a live unit added to the per- 
manent endowment of the institution and enlarges the scope 
of the self-help department. 

SELF-SUPPORT MEANS INDEPENDENCE 

The negro needs to be taught to be "self-dependent, 
self-reliant and self-respecting." 

Wherever public schools have been established and 
supplied with good teachers and text-books, they have rend- 
ered efficient service in improving the condition of the peo- 
ple. The lack of text-books has caused many of the rural 
schools to prove very inefficient, one text-book often having 
to serve as many as three pupils, Then there are yet large 
sections of some of the southern states in which there are 
no public schools for the colored people. 

In proportion as the colored people attain a general 
christian education and become progressive, industrial 
workers, do they rise to their natural inheritance; an in- 
heritance that brings to them what America now holds of 
freedom, justice, opportunity and benevolence to the op- 
pressed of other lands, that are coming a million a year, to 
locate in this land of civil and religious freedom. 

Among their essential needs to self-support are a fair 

7 



194 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

industrial opportunity, distribution, education and equal 
protection of the laws. 

Whenever too many unskilled workers, including women 
and children, crowd into towns and cities, the number that 
have to live in poverty-stricken hovels is greatly increased. 
Their general health and good morals are also endangered. 

Every youth will do well to adopt the thrilling watch- 
words of the early American patriots, "Virtue, Liberty, and 
Independence." 

PARK COLLEGE 

Rev. John A. McAfee, the eminent founder of Park Col- 
lege, Parkville, near Kansas City, Missouri, realizing the 
need of hardy and energetic ministers during the pioneer 
days of Missouri and Kansas, manifested a commendable 
wisdom and foresight in the planting of that institution, by 
making special provision for the self-help of those, who 
were candidates for the ministry and those wishing to be 
missionary teachers. The self-help department then estab- 
lished has greatly promoted its growth, and increased its 
usefulness. The visitor now sees a beautiful campus of 20 
acres occupied by massive stone buildings erected largely 
by student labor. They include a fine administration build- 
ing, chapel, library, observatory, boarding and professors 
houses, and a half dozen large dormitories. He will also find 
an attendance of 420 students, and a farm of 500 acres 
cultivated by them. 

Its worthy representatives in the ministry may now be 
found in nearly every state of the Union and many, as for- 
eign missionaries and teachers, are doing a noble work in 
other lands. A large proportion of its most worthy repre- 
sentatives owe their present position and usefulness to the 
opportunity for self-help, provided in the agricultural and 



THE SELF-HELP DEPARTMENT 195 

mechanical departments, while pursuing their studies at 
this classical institution. 

It was founded in 1875 and was named after Col. George 
S. Park, the friend and helper of Rev. John A. McAfee. He 
donated the original college building and one hundred 
acres of land. At present the college owns 1000 acres, 500 
of which are in the college farm. Both of its worthy found- 
ers died about the year 1890, but the good work of the in- 
stitution they planted is going forward with annually in- 
creasing usefulness. Though established more recently than 
many others, it is now very highly prized as one of the most 
important of our Presbyterian colleges, in maintaining the 
supply of well trained ministers and christian teachers. 

A SUGGESTION TO PARENTS 
Having stated the aims and advantages of the self-help 
department the following suggestion to parents seems ap- 
propriate. 

If you have a bright son or daughter that can be spared 
for a time at home, take your child, as Hannah did Samuel, 
while he is young enough to learn rapidly, to the superin- 
tendent of the academy, and, if the way be clear, enter into 
an agreement as Hannah did, that he shall remain there, if 
needed, until he has completed the course of study provided 
at the institution, earning his expenses, as far as possible, 
by his own industry. 

Regard your contract as a matter of honor and refrain 
from calling him away when his services have begun to be of 
some value to the institution, merely because you need some 
one to do a few day's work. Encourage him to be true and 

faithful, that he may win and hold the esteem and confi- 
dence of his instructors. 

If a number of parents will pursue this policy, the acad- 
emy will accomplish its mission and prove a boon and bless- 
ing to you as a people, one generation serving another. 




XXV 

INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION 

A TRAINING PERIOD.— INDEPENDENT HOMES.— DOMESTIC 
TRAINING.— HIGHLAND PARK COLLEGE.— BOOKER T. 
WASHINGTON.— SAM DALY. 

"Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work." "What 
thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." 

PUBLIC education is at present passing 
through a transition stage. The emphasis 
in the school courses of previous genera- 
tions was upon the culture of the mind and 
the appeal was made for a high classical 
training, but now that the work on the farms as well as in 
the shops is largely done by costly machinery, the emphasis 
of school work is being rapidly transferred to the hand, and 
the appeal is for manual or vocational training and domestic 
science. 

Its aim is to reach and train for a successful self-sup- 
porting career, the great majority of young people who can- 
not pursue their studies beyond the fifth to the eighth 
grades. 

Our country has made wonderful progress in the arts 
and sciences including new inventions, during the last half 
century. The scope of the "Natural Philosophy" and "Fa- 
miliar Science" of a few years ago has been very greatly 
enlarged. 

The country has been spanned and crossed in every 
direction by great systems of standard and interurban rail- 
dee) 



INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION 197 

ways. Automobiles are in popular use on the highways and 
powerful tractors do the threshing, corn-shelling and plow- 
ing on the farm. Oil engines and electric motors are in 
use on the farms and in the homes of the people. The last 
of the good agricultural lands have been opened for settle- 
ment and are now occupied. Agriculture, animal husbandry, 
horticulture, dairying and even housekeeping have been 
reduced to a science, by the statement of essential princi- 
ples, the same as in architecture and civil-engineering. Suc- 
cess in them depends on a practical knowledge of the art, 
as well as a theoretical knowledge of the science. 

A few years ago the pressing demand was for teachers 
and normal instructors for their preparation. The demand 
for teachers in constantly increasing numbers continues, 
but it is now rivaled by the present demand for young peo- 
ple, who understand the principles of mechanical construc- 
tion, whose hands have been trained to use costly and deli- 
cate machinery aright and properly care for it. Success and 
self-support on the farm as well as elsewhere now require 
the trained hand as well as the intelligent mind. 

INDEPENDENT HOMES 

Self-support is essential to the possession of a perma- 
nent and happy home. 

No home can be permanent while there is no assured 
means of support. While the father depends on uncertain 
day labor and the mother knows little or nothing of econ- 
omy in the household and even less about the care, train- 
ing and discipline of children, there can be but little pro- 
gress made in the home or church life. 

Dependent homes mean dependent churches, while pros- 
perous homes mean self-supporting churches. In this fact 
is found a great motive for the church in her educational 



198 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

missionary work to make suitable provision for teaching the 
young the useful or necessary arts of life, and some know- 
ledge of the sciences, while offering to them the bread and 
the water of life, through the establishment of christian 
educational institutions. 

DOMESTIC TRAINING 

A recent debate in the House of Congress at Washing- 
ton developed a unanimous sentiment, that a good cook is 
more cultured than a pianist, and that girls should not be 
allowed piano lessons until they learn how to cook good bis- 
cuits. We have read of girls "whose heads were stuffed 
with useless knowledge, but not one in twenty knew the 
things that would be serviceable to her through life. They 
could not sew or cook." 

At Oak Hill it is different. Every girl at ten begins to 
take her monthly turn in learning to cook, mend and sew. 
She is taught the art and the rules of these useful employ- 
ments the same as those of reading, writing and arthmetic 
in the school room. 

The business of housekeeping is thus early introduced 
to the mind of the child, to awaken its thoughtfulness and 
develop efficiency in the future work of managing a home. 
This connects the teaching of the school with the life of the 
home. It makes the instruction a real and practical help 
instead of being merely theoretical. It affords pleasant 
and profitable employment to the pupils during spare mo- 
ments that would otherwise be lost in idle loafing or play. 

The business of housekeeping is attracting the at- 
tention of schools of learning and of legislatures more and 
more every year. Some states, like Indiana, are making 
large investments to promote training in domestic science 
in the schools of the state. The great results achieved in re- 



INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION 199 

cent years by health regulations, in checking and suppress- 
ing contagious diseases, have greatly increased the scope of 
this instruction. It now includes in the higher schools, the 
new applications of the principles of nutrition, the chem- 
istry of cleaning and the laws of hygiene, or health. 

HIGHLAND PARK COLLEGE 
At Highland Park College, Des Moines, Iowa, having an 
enrollment of 2,500 young people in the capital city of one of 
our most highly favored states in the valley of the Missis- 
sippi, ninety-five per cent of them never go beyond the sev- 
enth and eighth grades and only two percent go to higher 
institutions of learning. This eminently successful insti- 
tution attracts young people from all parts of our land and 
this last year from twelve foreign countries. 500 young 
men, one fifth of its enrollment are in shops. This institu- 
tion is the embodiment of the genius and a splendid monu- 
ment to the memory of its founder, Dr. O. F. Longwell, who 
for twenty-four years served as its president, having pre- 
viously secured a remarkable development of the Western 
Normal college at Shenandoah. 

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON 

The industrial scheme of Booker T. Washington at 
Tuskeegee is an intelligent negro's idea of what the illiterate 
negro needs to help himself. It is undoubtedly the best 
scheme to enable him to attain self support. 

Started as a private enterprise its patronage soon over- 
taxed its equipment of buildings and attracted public aid 
from the legislature of Alabama, and later large gifts 
from many wealthy people in our larger northern cities, 
some of whom endeavor to visit it once a year to note its an- 
nual progress and needs. 



200 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

The remarkable success of this industrial institution 
and the immeasurable amount of good it has already done, 
during the lifetime of its founder, in bettering the temporal 
welfare of thousands of colored people in the south, have 
tended to make it the most prominent illustration of prac- 
tical and successful industrial education among the colored 
people of this or any other land. 

SAM DALY 
Sam Daly of Tuscaloosa, an illiterate janitor of the Uni- 
versity of Alabama, previous to 1903, and died at Atlanta, 
while attending the Presbyterian General Assembly in May 
1913, is a splendid illustration of what one may do for the 
good of his race. 

At the time of his death he left to be cared for by 
others a 500 acre farm of his own, fourteen miles from town 
on which he was voluntarily caring for 270 convicted and 
vice steeped colored boys from the cities of that state. 

He established an industrial school for boys on his 
own farm, to save convicted and bad boys from prison ; re- 
ceived them from the police judges and conveyed them to 
the farm. They had become a nuisance and burden to the 
public, but he housed, fed and clothed this large family 
without receiving a dollar of public funds of Jefferson coun- 
ty ; and from the church, only forty dollars, for a sleeping 
room for them and the salary of a teacher. The rest of 
their support was obtained from their daily toil on the farm. 

At last the number of boys and the cost of keeping them 
became so great, he was compelled for their sakes to put 
a mortgage of eighteen hundred dollars on his farm. This 
impelled him to go to the Assembly (South) to make an 
appeal for funds. Unfortunately he suddenly became ill 
and died before he was able to make his appeal. His last 



INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION 201 

words were: 'Take care — take good care ob mah little 
niggahs !" 

He had saved, by industrial occupation and farming, 
for good citizenship in Alabama, three hundred boys convict- 
ed of crimes and misdemeanors. It was a sad disappoint- 
ment to him that he was unable to present to the Assembly 
an appeal on behalf of those still under his care. 

Sam Daly was a good janitor, but when he began to 
make good men of useless and bad boys, his value to the state 
of Alabama was increased many fold. This brief record of 
his generous, energetic and heroic work is made that it 
may serve as an inspiration to devise other similar ways of 
being useful and helpful. 





XXVI 

PERMANENT IMPROVEMENTS. 

PAINTING BOYS HALL.— SURFACE DRAINAGE.— ORCHARD IN 
1906.— HOG HOUSES.— SHEDS FOR HAY AND THE STOCK 
HOGS.— OAK BRIDGES.— TEMPORARY BOYS HALL.— AD- 
DITION TO THE ACADEMY.— GOOD FENCES AROUND THE 
CAMPUS.— GARDEN, STOCK YARD AND CULTIVATED 
FIELDS.— ELLIOTT HALL.— PULLING STUMPS. 

"So built we the wall; for the people had a mind to 
work." Nehemiah. 

>HE improvements undertaken and completed 
by means of the student help began with 
the removal of old rubbish, the accumula- 
tion of years, and the impenetrable briar 
thickets near the buildings. 
During the latter part of the first spring term in 1905 the 
boys applied two good coats of lead and oil in cream and 
white to the Boys' Hall. The work was well done although 
it was the first work of the kind any of them had ever at- 
tempted. The appearance of the building was greatly im- 
proved, and every boy was delighted to find how quickly 
the painter's art could be learned. 

The black picket and crooked worm fences around the 
buildings were then removed and replaced with good 
board and wire fences, The extent of good and substantial 
fences, erected during this period, aggregate about 100 
rods of board and picket fences around the campus, garden 
and stock yards ; 12 large farm gates, all hung between tall 
posts with overhead tie; and 780 rods of web and barb 

(202) 



PERMANENT IMPROVEMENTS 203 

wire fence; all set with good Bodark or Locust posts, top 
down and reenforced with a strong oak stub in every pan- 
el, making a valuable permanent improvement. 

In March 1906 a young orchard was planted consisting 
of 50 trees, that include a number of the best varieties of 
apples and peaches suited for that section. These were 
supplemented with a similar lot in 1913. 

The purchase of lands, begun in 1908, as soon as the 
restrictions were removed, was continued until 1912 when 
the aggregate included fifteen different purchases, making 
270 acres and costing $2050.00. 

Twenty-five acres were cleared of previously ringed 
and dead trees and thirty more were enclosed and cleared 
of underbrush and useless trees. 

The surface drainage work begun in 1905 and complet- 
ed in 1912, included outlets to all the little ponds near the 
buildings, the deepening of the artificial pond north of the 
buildings, a deep drain with branches through the meadow 
and another one through a large slough at the northwest 
corner of the farm. 

BUILDINGS 

The first building erected was a log house 24x32 feet 
with a good cistern in 1906, and for the number of its con- 
veniences it is an excellent model. A cut and description 
of it will be found in the latter part of this volume. 

A new shed was also built that year, on the east side of 
the commons, for the convenient, daily care of the growing 
herd in the pastures. 

In 1907 a belfry and farm bell were put on the comb of 
the roof of the first girls' hall. An axle was obtained and 
a wooden wheel and frame were made for the large old 
bell, and it was then mounted in the tower of the chapel. 



204 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

The new highway along the railroad to Valliant was 
cleared of trees and the materials converted into posts and 
fuel. Two substantial oak bridges, live and ten feet long 
respectively, were constructed over the streams on this 
road to make it passable for the loaded Oak Hill team 
during term time. 

A string of hay sheds, 64x16 feet, was constructed on 
the south side of the feed lot and two portable racks for 
feeding hay and fodder economically and conveniently 
from the sheds. 

In 1908 the enrollment having reached 115, the seat- 
ing capacity of the academy was increased by lifting all 
the seats and adding an additional row of thirteen double 
seats to their number. The academy was then painted 
two coats inside and outside and the woodwork of the old 
desks was brightened and tinted to correspond with the 
new ones. These improvements made it look more beauti- 
ful and attractive than ever before. 

The porches on the south and west sides of the girls 
hall were repaired by the insertion of new joists where 
needed and the laying of new floors. 

TEMPORARY BOYS' HALL 

In 1909, the Boys' Hall having been lost a few days 
after the opening of the term, November 8, 1908, a tem- 
porary boys' hall 55x24 feet was hastily constructed, its 
dedication taking place Feb. 28, 1909, after an address by 
Rev. Wiley Homer of Grant. This meeting was held on 
a beautiful Sabbath afternoon and the speakers and sing- 
ers occupied the wide platform on the west end of the 
building. This building was erected entirely by the stu- 
dent boys. The materials in it cost $410 and it had apart- 
ments for an office, one teacher and twenty-five boys. 



PERMANENT IMPROVEMENTS 205 

It was intended as a place for the workmen while erecting 
a new hall for the boys, the material in it then to be used 
in lining the new building. 

The blistered condition of the front of the girls' hall 
and academy from the intense heat of the fire were then 
relieved by a thorough scraping, sandpapering and re- 
painting. 

Owing to the limited accommodations for the boys in 
this building, and for the large number of pupils in the 
primary department in the academy, an extension of 
twelve feet, with an upper room for special students, was 
added that fall to thr academy. While this improvement 
was under construction, other boys built a new wood shed, 
obtained in the timber and prepared the supplies of fuel, 
and built 170 rods of new fence. A considerable quanti- 
ty of sand was also hauled for the foundation of the new 
hall for the boys. 

ELLIOTT HALL 

In 1910, the erection of Elliott Hall became a necessity 
after the disastrous fire which occurred on March 13th. 
This building is 80x32 feet, with an extension 6x32 feet, 
in front, and a two story addition 18x16 feet, for kitchen 
store and bath rooms, at the northwest corner over a 
large brick-walled cistern. 

This building absorbed the attention of all for more 
than a year, although it was opened for occupancy on No- 
vember 14th. It was a great undertaking with the few 
workmen obtainable. The clearing away of the rubbish, 
the excavation for the cellar 28x75 feet and the construc- 
tion of the foundation wall, and the same for the large cis- 
tern took a good deal more time than was expected, and 
all of it was heavy and hard work for every one that par- 



206 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

ticipated in it. It was the 15th of June when the cement 
wall around the main part of the foundation was complet- 
ed by the superintendent, who placed the rock, cement and 
reinforcing materials in the walls with his own hands as 
a precaution against defects. 

The construction of the frame work was entrusted to 
Samuel A. Folsom, who, acting as foreman of the carpen- 
ters, succeeded in getting the building ready for occupancy 
at the end of five months, or November 14th. So great, 
however, was the amount of unfinished work in the halls 
and rooms upstairs and of cement lining needed for the 
excavation walls in the cellar that a considerable number 
of students were employed principally at this work during 
that and the following term. 

Every part of the work on this building was very 
faithfully performed. It is a creditable monument to the 
memory of every one that wrought upon it. It is symmet- 
rical and, though plain, is handsome in appearance and 
very convenient in its uses; as an administration building, 
girls dormitory and boarding house. The lumber was fur- 
nished and delivered by J. R. Bowles of Swink; David 
Folsom made the window and door frames; Solomon Bu- 
chanan served as foreman of the painters, and he and 
George Stewart built the walls of the cistern and the first 
story of the chimneys. Edward Hollingsworth, in addi- 
tion to important work on other parts of the building, 
served as foreman of the construction of the stairways, 
belfry and porches. It represents an expenditure of $6,500 
in cash and student labor. This does not include the ser- 
vices of the superintendent, who had previously prepare'd 
the plans for the building and personally superintended 
its construction. 



PERMANENT IMPROVEMENTS 207 

LATER IMPROVEMENTS 
During 1911 and 1912 while some were putting the 
finishing touches on Elliott Hall, the last being the inser- 
tion of the fixtures in the two bath rooms and the construc- 
tion of a closed room in the cellar for canned fruit and 
vegetables, the other boys removed the old oak stumps 
from the north field, drained a slough covering four acres 
of land, cleaned twenty acres of land for cultivation and built 
160 rods of good fence around it. They also built a pretty 
and very convenient semi-monitor hen house, with open 
front and two out-yards. 

PULLING STUMPS 
During the month of March, when the ground was 
moist and favorable, a squad of the larger boys would some- 
times be equipped and employed in pulling stumps, This 
was a new employment for all of them, but they soon learned 
to make a cheering success of it. 

The working outfit consisted of two levers, a very large 
and a smaller one, a log chain, sixty feet of inch rope, and 
for each of the workmen a shovel and an axe. The method 
of procedure was to assign them in teams of two each, to 
remove the earth from around a lot of stumps to the width 
and depth of about eighteen inches, The larger lever, hav- 
ing the middle fold of rope attached to its smaller end, 
was placed in a vertical position at the lower side of the 
stump and firmly fastened to its crown with a log chain, 
the latter passing over its top from the opposite side. 
The small lever was placed in position at the side opposite 
the larger one, for the use of the foreman. When all the 
.boys, in two lines facing each other, had hold of the ends 
of the rope and the signal was given, "Ready for a pull," 
something was sure to happen; usually the uprooting of 



208 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

the stump, but sometimes the breaking of the log chain, 
which was sure to result in making a good natured pile of 
the boys. The team did the pulling the first half day, but 
the boys did it afterwards, because they were more avail- 
able and enjoyed it. 

WALL OF ELLIOTT HALL 

The concrete wall under Elliott Hall, built by the sup- 
erintendent and student boys in the spring of 1910, was the 
first work of that kind in this section of the country. The 
sand was found and obtained without cost along a stream 
in the neighboring timber. The filler consisted of rock and 
broken brick from the chimneys of the three buildings that 
that had been previously consumed by fire, and they were 
incorporated in the wall by hand. The iron used for rein- 
forcing the concrete was all obtained from the scrap pile 
of the burned buildings. The processes, or methods of pro- 
cedure, were new to all the workmen. As the work advanced 
it called forth expressions of distrust, rather than confidence 
and commendation. The mixing of materials had to be 
strictly forbidden save in the presence of the superintend- 
ent, whose hands afterwards placed them in position on 
the wall. 

After the lapse of four years this wall is solid as a rock 
in every respect. It has now the reputation of being not 
only the first, but also to this date one of the most perfect 
and substantial crncrete walls in that section. 

WORKING ACCORDING TO RULE 
An expert carpenter has observed, "It takes the aver- 
age apprentice about one year to discover, that he does not 
know how to drive a nail with the skill of an expert;" one 
who drives it through hard woods without bending and 



PERMANENT IMPROVEMENTS 209 

brittle, without splitting. This skill is however always 
more quickly acquired, when a rule like the following is giv- 
en the apprentice at the beginning of his training. "Gripp- 
ing the hammer near the end of the handle and setting the 
nail slightly slanting from the edges toward the solid cent- 
er, strike the top of it fairly with the center of the ham- 
mer, starting and finishing it with gentle taps." 

Whenever a new tool or implement was put in the hand 
of a student, the rules governing its use were fully ex- 
plained, and a constant effort was made to have the student 
do all work by rule ; whether it was on the farm, in the kitch- 
en, laundry or shop, as well as in the class room. The es- 
sential parts of the text books, that were reviewed most 
frequently, were the definitions and rules. A good position 
is the first essential in reading, writing, speaking, sawing, 
planing or plowing; and the second is to grasp and use 
aright the tool or implement, whether it be the pen, pencil, 
brush, axe, hammer or saw. The good effect of patiently 
taking the time to make every one familiar with the rules 
governing the tools and work, became noticeable very soon 
on the part of the older students, both in the better quality 
of the work and the larger amount of it performed. Pro- 
gress in studies and success in the shop or field depends 
largely on the ability to follow the rule, and the decision 
never to violate it. 





XXVII 

ELLIOTT HALL 

THE GIRLS HALL LOST AND REPLACED.— OLD LOG HOUSE 
—DAVID ELLIOTT.— ALICE LEE ELLIOTT. 

"Be noble! and the nobleness that lies in other men, 
sleeping but never dead, will rise in majesty to meet thine 
own." — Lowell. 

LOSS OF THE GIRLS HALL 

)^^ ><t ^(C^ Sabbath afternoon, March 13, 1910, as we 
'' S~^ W left the chapel at the close of a very delight- 
ful and profitable Bible Memory service, a 
cloud of black smoke was seen moving rap- 
idly around the buildings across the view 
before us and suggesting a fire in one of the buildings. It 
was a sad and sickening surprise. Quickly the word was 
passed, "The Girls' Hall is on fire." Rushing into this build- 
ing to locate and if possible to suppress the conflagration, we 
found it had originated on the third floor, and that a tub of 
water had already been applied to it by attendants in the 
building, without any hope of checking it, as the flames 
were spreading rapidly over the dry roof, fanned by a strong 
breeze from the west. The roof was inaccessible both from 
the inside and the outside, and in a very few minutes both 
sides of it were covered with a fiery sheet of low, devouring 
flame similar to that occasionally seen, when fire sweeps 
rapidly over ground covered with dry underbrush. 

In a very little while the entire building was consumed, 
and with it the laundry, smokehouse, old log house, new 
woodhouse, stock tank, ten rods of the campus fence, fif- 

(210) 



ELLIOTT HALL 211 

teen cords of wood, the food supplies on hand and nearly 
all the furniture and equipment of the Girls' Hall, the home 
of the institution. 

A fair estimate of the loss sustained is as follows : Girls' 
Hall 36x56, $2550: contents, $1175; other buildings and 
contents, $250; total $3975. 

The girls rooming on the second story, obedient to 
instruction, hastened to their rooms and secured all their 
effects, but six that were rooming on the third story lost 
their trunks and extra clothing. 

It is impossible to describe how deeply was felt the loss 
of everything at this time, coming as it did so soon after the 
loss of the Boys' Hall in 1908. It had been the comfortable 
home of the Oak Hill family since 1889. To the superin- 
tendent it meant not merely the loss of the property, a kind 
of loss that is always more or less deeply felt, but a check 
of several years upon plans outlined for the permanent im- 
provement of the work of the institution. 

This loss was a staggering blow to the superintendent 
until he learned the next day that the matron, Miss Weimer, 
with the cooperation of Miss Hall, was willing to practice the 
self denial needed to make a heroic effort to recover from 
it. When this information was received, twenty of the lar- 
ger girls were constrained to remain, while the rest were 
sent home. Some of these were provided for in the second 
story of an addition to the academy building, then nearly 
completed, and the school room under it served for a dining 
room and kitchen. The school work was resumed the next 
day, under Miss Hall with student assistants. The girls 
that remained proved helpful in executing the extra work 
then necessary, and the experience of self denial no doubt 
proved a profitable one to them. 



212 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

The old log farm house 46x16 feet, was the last of the 
four Oak Hill buildings to yield to the flames. It was built 
by the Choctaw Indians about the year 1840, soon after they 
were transferred from Mississippi. It was very substantial- 
ly constructed and by skilled workmen, who no doubt came 
from Fort Towson. The Girls' Hall stood between it and the 
well, indicated by the aermotor east of it. 

This building was the pioneer home of the academy. 
The stages of progress in its use were as follows. The na- 
tive school was transferred to it in 1884. Eliza Hartford 
began to occupy it in 1886, first as a day school, and three 
months later as her home with a boarding school. In the 
fall of 1887, a kitchen was added to the west end of it, and 
it was then used as a home for the teachers and girls, and 
the school was transferred to the new school building. Two 
years later it became a dormitory for the boys. After 1895 
it was used for storage, a smith and carpenter shop. The 
picture showing it on fire is from a photograph taken 
by Miss Weimer, after the roof had fallen and the Girls' 
Hall was entirely consumed. 

DAVID ELLIOTT 

The erection of the fine building known as Elliott Hall, 
was made possible by the receipt of a gift of $5,000 from 
Mr. David Elliott, of LaFayette, Indiana, who expressed 
the desire that a school might be established among the 
Freedmen that would be a memorial of Alice Lee Elliott, 
deceased, his previously devoted wife. It was dedicated to 
her memory on June 13, 1912. 

Elliott Hall is now the commodious and comfortable 
home of the Oak Hill family. It provides a convenient office 
for the superintendent, library and reception room, places 
for the boarding and laundry departments, rooms and bath 



ELLIOTT HALL 213 

rooms for the girls. It occupies a beautiful and command- 
ing position on the gentle elevation known as Oak Hill. It 
stands on the very site previously occupied by the old log 
house, but parallel with the survey lines. It forms a center 
around which all other needed buildings can be convenient- 
ly and permanently located. 

Elliott gall is the largest and finest of the buildings 
hitherto erected at the academy, and the first of the larger 
ones to be built by the local Freedmen. This noteworthy 
achievement, occurring so soon after the reopening in 1905, 
and the introduction of industrial training in the shop as 
well as on the farm, is suggestive of the real and substan- 
tial progress made by the young men. 

It is also an encouragement to every patron of this in- 
stitution, for it practically illustrates the progress that may 
be made by every thoughtful and industrious youth. In 
view of the fact that there are few or no opportunities for 
the young Freedmen to learn carpentry and painting else- 
where in its vicinity, this achievement becomes one in 
which every Freedman may justly manifest a laudable pride 
and express devout thanksgiving. 

The memorial offering of Mr. Elliott, that made it pos- 
sible, is the largest individual donation yet made to this 
institution. It came at a time of our saddest and greatest 
need. It is a gift to be very greatly appreciated. Every 
Freedman in the region of country benefited and blessed 
by this institution, may well be profoundly thankful for 
this manifestation of personal interest in your intellectual 
and material welfare. 

ALICE LEE ELLIOTT 

Mrs. Alice Lee Elliott, in memory of whom Elliott Hall 
and the Oak Hill Industrial Academy were named in 1910, 



214 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

was the faithful and devoted wife of David Elliott, an elder 
of the Spring Grove Presbyterian church near LaFayette, 
Indiana. She was the daughter of John and Maria Ritchey, 
who left Ohio soon after their marriage to found a new home 
of their own on the frontier in Indiana. She was born, 
January 7, 1846, and was called to her rest in her sixty- 
first year, June 27, 1906. 

She received a good education in her youth and her 
marriage occurred March 2, 1875. Three years later she 
became a member of the Dayton Presbyterian church, of 
which her husband was already a member, and at once be- 
came an earnest and zealous christian worker. 

When in later years Mr. and Mrs. Elliott transferred 
their membership to Spring Grove Presbyterian church, 
because their services were more greatly needed there, she 
became a very successful teacher in the Sabbath school and 
an enthusiastic leader in their missionary work. 

She was amiable and winsome. Although she lived 
amid the surroundings of wealth, she was the constant 
friend and helper of all classes. Her home was always a 
delightful retreat for the ministers of the gospel and those 
who represented worthy causes of benovelence and charity. 
The Bible, the favorite family church paper and the mis- 
sionary magazine were always on the center table and read 
regularly. 

She was animated with the noble desire to be em- 
inently useful and took advantage of every opportunity to 
benefit and bless others. Others were captivated and en- 
thused by her happy, hopeful spirit, and have accorded to 
her this beautiful tribute, "Many daughters have done 
virtuously, but thou excellest them all." 

When her voice became silent and her eyelids closed in 



ELLIOTT HALL 215 

death it seemed to her surviving husband that she was wor- 
thy and the world would be made better by the erection of a 
living or useful, as well as granite memorial. Accordingly 
when her last earthly resting place was duly marked with an 
appropriate granite memorial, he made a donation of $5000 
to the Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen, for 
the establishment of an educational institution for the bene- 
fit of the colored people of this land, that should bear her 
name. 

After the loss by fire of two of the main buildings at 
Oak Hill Industrial Academy in 1908 and 1910, this fund 
was used for the erection of a main building — Elliott Hall 
— and the school has since been called the Alice Lee Elliott 
Memorial. 

The Bible and shorter catechism are to be regularly 
and faithfully taught to all pupils, as fundamental in the 
development of a good moral character. The hope is in- 
dulged that the beautiful story of her unselfish and emin- 
ently useful life will prove an incentive to constant, noble 
endeavor on the part of every one that enjoys the privi- 
leges of the institution that now bears her honored name. 

ENDOWMENT 
Other friends who have it in mind to leave a legacy to 
this greatly needed institution, will do well to consider the 
propriety, if possible, of sending the funds to the Freed- 
men's Board while living, as Mr. Elliott did, and receive from 
the Board, if desired, an endowment bond bearing interest 
payable annually to the donor, during the continuance of 
the donor's life. By this arrangement the gift becomes a 
profitable source of annual support to the donor, and an im- 
mediate benefit to the institution, without costs and dis- 
counts. 




XXVIII 

UNFAVORABLE CIRCUMSTANCES 

LOSS OF HELPERS AND BUILDINGS.— BOLL WEEVIL.— STATE- 
HOOD CHANGES.— EFFICIENT SERVICE REQUIRED.— 
INFERENCES.— BURDENS AND FRIENDS. 

"All these things are against me." — Jacob. 

>HE new era, that had been so auspiciously 
continued for three years, and gave promise 
of rapid and substantial material develop- 
ment, was destined soon to be interrupted 
by the experience of three dark days that 
occurred, one soon after the other. 

On June 5, 1908, one week after the end of the term and 
after three and one half years of faithful and efficient serv- 
ice as a matron, the death of Miss Adelia M. Eaton occurred 
at the institution. 

On the 7th of November following the Boys' Hall, and 
most of its contents were consumed by fire. 

In the spring of 1909 Mrs. Flickinger experienced a ser- 
ious injury by falling from the open conveyance while on the 
way to Valliant, and, going home for treatment during the 
summer was unable to return in the fall and resume her 
former duties. 

On March 13, 1910, the Girls' Hall, laundry, smoke- 
house, wood house and Old Log House, together with most 
of their contents, suddenly disappeared in smoke. 

Nothing was then left of this cherished and promising 
institution, except the chapel, temporary hall for the boys, 

(216) 



UNFAVORABLE CIRCUMSTANCES 



217 



built the previous year, and a lot of ashes and burned rub- 
bish, the sight of which suggested the loss of comforts and 
working outfit; hopes and plans indefinitely deferred if not 
completely blasted, and the expenditure of a vast amount 
of labor and time to replace and refurnish the buildings 
destroyed; and the utter impossibility of any immediate 
recovery from the oft-repeated and fatal checks imposed 
on the enrollment, ever since the loss of the Boys' Hall in 
1908. 




BOYS' HALL 18^5-1908 

Two rays of light relieved the darkness of the gloom 
that followed the experience of these staggering losses. 

(1). All of the lady helpers manifested the real spirit 
of missionary heroes. Presuming they were greatly need- 
ed during the period of reconstruction, instead of running 
away when there seemed to be no suitable place for them, 



218 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

they discovered a readiness to suggest possible and accept- 
able arrangements for their comfort. (2) There was also 
available for assistance, a clever squad of intelligent and 
trained student boys, one of whom, having served for a 
term as an assistant teacher, was believed to be capable 
of serving as a foreman of the carpenters; thus making it 
possible to erect buildings entirely by the aid of colored 
workmen and principally by student labor. 

THE BOLL WEEVIL 

In 1903 the Mexican boll weevil in its northward mi- 
gration from Brownsville, Texas, crossed Red river and, 
during the next seven years, continued to deprive the farm- 
ers in the country north of that river of all profit on the 
cotton, their principal money crop; and greatly to injure 
the corn, their food crop. These long repeated ravages of 
the weevil came at a time when the colored people were by 
no means prepared to meet them. 

In 1904 and 1905 they had been allotted 40 acres of 
unimproved timber lands appraised at $3.25 an acre, or $130. 
The allotment was the occasion of many changes in their 
location. They were really pioneer settlers, in their own 
native country and without funds to make needed improve- 
ments. They were happy in the possession of a home they 
could call their own, and entertained great hopes for the 
future. But this new and destructive pest, year after year 
for seven years, completely checked the prosperity they had 
so hopefully anticipated. The years came and went and 
they had nothing to sell worthy of mention to bring them 
money. 

In April 1905, at the first meeting of the Presbytery 
after the reopening, many of the colored people voluntarily 
and enthusiastically united in making pledges for the pur- 



UNFAVORABLE CIRCUMSTANCES 219 

chase of the land needed for the buildings and farm at Oak 
Hill. But of the many generous hearted friends, who united 
in pledging about $300.00 at this time, only ministers and 
teachers receiving aid from the board, and a couple of others 
ever became able to pay these pledges. 

Parents bringing their children to school, with only a 
few or no dollars in hand, would make pledges of payment 
during the term. The amount proposed was $25.00 for 
boarding a pupil seven months, about one half the real cost. 
When they became convinced they had no money to send, 
some would send for their children during the term, 
while others would leave them at the end of the term with- 
out notice, and even make it necessary for the superintend- 
ent to pay their way home. 

These disappointing experiences had a two-fold effect 
on the school. They meant the loss, not merely of some ex- 
pected income, but almost invariably of the pupil and pa- 
tron, and the constant change of the student body prevents 
the development of the higher grades which must be 
reached by the students, if the school is to accomplish its 
mission, namely the training and development of christian 
teachers. 

The term reports of the last eight years will show that 
all the full term students that continued long enough to 
reach the higher grades, 7th and 8th, were self supporting 
ones, who were either sent to remain at the academy dur- 
ing the vacation periods until they completed their course, 
or were accorded the opportunity to work out a part of their 
expenses at the academy. The full term students whose 
boarding was entirely paid by their parents did not average 
a half dozen a term. 



220 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Inability to provide for their board, meant the loss of 
the brightest and most promising pupils of the earlier years, 
about the time they reached the fifth grade. But a good 
boarding school can be developed only where the conditions 
are favorable for the continuance of the pupils from year to 
year, until they reach the higher grades. The fact that the 
7th and 8th grades were reached only during the last two 
years and then only by the self-supporting young people 
is quite suggestive, not merely of a past embarrassment, 
but of that which should be an important feature in the fu- 
ture management of the institution, namely, a constant en- 
deavor to increase the opportunities for young people to 
support themselves by the employment furnished at the 
institution. 

STATEHOOD CHANGES 

Another embarrassment was experienced as a result 
of the changes incident to the establishment of statehood. 

The constitutional convention that met at Guthrie, the 
old capital, Jan. 1, 1907, changed the map of Indian Terri- 
tory. From the time the Indians were located in it until 
that date the civil divisions consisted of the general allot- 
ments to the different tribes or nations and Oak Hill was 
near the center of the southern part of the Choctaw nation. 
In 1907 when the boundaries of the counties were estab- 
lished Oak Hill was near the west line of McCurtain county. 
The first election of county officers occurred that fall and 
they entered upon their duties on Jan. 1, 1908. It was 
made the duty of the county superintendent to divide the 
county into school districts so as to meet the needs of the 
colored people as well as the whites and Indians. 

On Sabbath, Jan. 20, 1908, the first superintendent of 



UNFORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCES 221 

McCurtain county called at the academy and left the pa- 
pers showing the establishment of Oak Hill district No. 73, 
for the colored people of that neighborhood. The district 
included the northeast quarter of section 29, on which the 
academy is located and the southeast quarter of the section 
adjoining it on the north. The board of education for this 
Oak Hill district was organized on February 20th following, 
by the election of Henry Prince, chairman, Rev. R. E. Flick- 
inger, Secretary; and Malinda A. Hall, treasurer. All this 
was done at a time, when the county superintendent could 
not think otherwise, than that the teachers and work at the 
academy were in some way under his jurisdiction. A little 
later the Oak Hill district was quietly quashed and its hon- 
orable board of education went into "inocuous desuetude." 

This incident is narrated because it illustrates what 
was then taking place all over McCurtain county, and all 
the other counties of the new state. The law provided that 
a district and a school might be established wherever there 
were six pupils to attend the school and the people furnished 
a building for it. In a short time three schools for the col- 
ored people were established in the vicinity of the academy, 
and parents were made to believe that they must send their 
children to these schools or penalties would be imposed 
on them. A host of colored teachers from Texas and other 
localities were attracted to the new state to meet the needs 
of the public schools, now for the first time established in 
the rural districts. 

The mission schools previously established for many 
years in the chapels of the churches of the Presbytery of 
Kiamichi became public schools and the pastors that con- 
tinued to teach became public school teachers. Parents were 
also for the first time in their lives, taxed for the support 



222 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

of their local school. Will they be able and willing to pay 
their annual taxes and additional tuition or board at Oak 
Hill for the education of their children. 



These important changes, occurring both in the imme- 
diate neighborhood and also in distant ones that furnished 
the supply of students for Oak Hill, were destined to ex- 
ert considerable influence on the work of that institution. 
What the effect of that influence would be, was a matter of 
great anxiety and constant watchfulness on the part of the 
superintendent. The previous missions of our Freedmen's 
Board at Muskogee, Atoka and Caddo were abandoned as 
unnecessary as soon as the increasing population of those 
towns made adequate provision for the public education of 
their colored children. Shall this be the outcome of the 
work at Oak Hill, now that the rural districts are supplied 
with public schools and teachers? 

EFFICIENT SERVICE REQUIRED 

That these changes would temporarily affect the en- 
rollment of Oak Hill, even under the most favorable cir- 
cumstances was believed to be inevitable. This problem was 
all the more difficult to meet, while undergoing the exper- 
ience of repeated checks, that made it necessary to send 
pupils home during term time on three different occasions 
and twice to check their incoming on account of "no room." 

The most efficient and faithful service possible, on the 
part of the superintendent and teachers, was believed to be 
the best means of meeting this crisis. Parents and young 
people must also have a little time for observation, that they 
might see and be convinced of the greater value of the work 
at the academy. 

To visitors at the academy the difference was very 



UNFORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCES 223 

quickly perceived. These were some of the things that at- 
tracted their special and favorable attention. 

The Bible was in the hand of every pupil, and even the 
youngest were familiar with many of its most beautiful 
and instructive passages. 

Every pupil had all the text books he needed from the 
day he entered the school. 

All that were old enough were required to spend an 
hour each evening, in quiet study under the helpful and en- 
couraging eye of the principal, in addition to the forenoon 
and afternoon hours. 

All were forming the habit of using their spare mo- 
ments to advantage, by reading some good books from the 
library, a church paper, or practicing on some useful musi- 
cal instrument. 

Their voices were being correctly and rapidly devel- 
oped for intelligent use in song and public address. 

In the visible results of their work they witnessed 
their skill in the necessary arts of life, such as farming, 
stock raising, carpentry, painting, masonry, cooking, bak- 
ing and sewing. 

And then it was very unusual for any pupil to return 
home at the end of the term, without having voluntarily be- 
come an active christian worker in the endeavor meeting and 
Sunday school. 

During the spring term in 1905 only 34 pupils were en- 
rolled. During the next three years the increase was very 
encouraging, the enrollment reaching the full capacity of the 
buildings at 115, May 31, 1908. 

The loss of buildings that began with the opening of 
the next term compelled a reduction in the enrollment. For 



224 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

1909 and the subsequent years it was 84, 108, 90 and in 
1912, 95. 

INFERENCES 

It would seem from the foregoing facts, that, whafc 
ever demand there was for the Oak Hill Mission as a 
school for local elementary instruction in the earlier yearsi 
of its history, the conditions of the country, to which its 
work must now be adjusted, have experienced a very great 
change. So long as there are families living in sparsely 
settled districts, that are not provided with ample school 
privileges ; or the interest of parents in the welfare of their 
children leads them to prefer the select boarding school, 
under well-known christian influences, to the rural school; 
elementary instruction will be needed at Oak Hill. But the 
greater need now is for the higher christian education that 
will best fit the young people to become intelligent and suc- 
cessful teachers, and for the industrial training that will fit 
them for the performance of the necessary duties of life. 

A comfortable home on a well-tilled farm, that is every 
year increasing in value, is the ideal and happiest place for 
ambitious young people. Such a home affords healthful 
employment, the greatest freedom and is usually a very 
profitable investment. 

The young farmer needs not only a knowledge of soils, 
their drainage and how to use them to best advantage, 
but also a practical knowledge of carpentry and painting, 
to enable him to erect good buildings economically and to 
take proper care of them afterwards. 

The teacher needs this knowledge and training, that he 
may create a constant demand for his services during the 
long summer days when he is not teaching. 






Rev. W. H. Carroll. Sudie B. McNiell. Mrs. W. H. Carroll. 





: -^'^ip 



Lucretia C. Brown. 



Everett Richard. 






Malinda A. Hall. Solomon H. Buchanan. Samuel A. Folsom. 

224 




*l 



%-• 



UNFORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCES 225 

The young minister needs this knowledge more than 
many others, and a great deal more than is generally ap- 
preciated, to enable him to give intelligent counsel to his 
people, when they have need to make repairs or build new 
churches and parsonages. 

As these higher and special lines of industrial instruc- 
tion are perfected and emphasized, and the facilities for 
self-help both during term time and vacation are gradually 
increased, the efficiency and patronage of the academy will 
continue to increase with the progress of the years. 

BURDENS AND FRIENDS 

The deficit in the running expenses on June 30, 1911, 
the last day included in the annual report of that year was 
$1,693.95. This was the largest deficit at the end of any pre- 
vious month, and was a big one with which to commence 
the improvement work of our last year. It was due to the 
fact that the completion of Elliott Hall with good materials 
and workmanship, including furniture, cost nearly $1,500 
more than was expected, and the appropriation made for 
it. 

We were called upon to experience some serious losses 
and bear, for considerable periods of time unusually great 
and heavy burdens. The burden twice became so great, in- 
deed, as to awaken the fear that another straw would break 
the camel's back. Happily the needed relief came in time 
to avert that unhappy experience, or check the aggressive 
onward progress of the improvement work. 

When the burden became large and a matter of person- 
al anxiety, it also became the measure of the valuable and 
loyal co-operation of the new friends who came to our aa- 

8 



226 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

sistance, in addition to our Board of Missions for Freedmen ; 
which is the first and final resort for the resources that 
are necessary to successfully administer, and gradually de- 
velop the work of this institution. 

We deem it appropriate to gratefully record the names 
of those who have most signally aided us in the manage- 
ment of the finances, so as to keep them locally on a cash 
basis, namely, the Security State bank of Rockwell City, 
la. ; 1st National bank of Valliant; and in succession the fol- 
lowing dealers in Valliant : O'Bannon & Son ; A. J. Whitfield 
and Planters Trading Co. 

Hon. T. P. Gore, United States Senator from Oklahoma, 
(blind), has favored this institution by sending for its li- 
brary more than a dozen valuable volumes, among which 
are 2 Year Books of the Department of Agriculture; 2 
Handbooks, — I & II, — of theAmerican Indians; Report of 
the Commissioner on Education for 1911, in two volumes; 
Report on Industrial Education; Manual of the United 
States Senate; Directory of Congress, and several other 
smaller volumes. 

SPECIAL ADDRESSES 
During our last term the institution was favored with 
encouraging and instructive addresses from the following 
distinguished visitors: Rev. Duncan McRuer of Pauls Val- 
ley, Moderator of the Synod of Oklahoma ; Rev. E. B. Teis 
of Anadarko, Pastoral Evangelist for the Presbytery of 
El Reno ; Rev. Phil C. Baird D. D., Pastor of the First Pres- 
byterian church of Oklahoma City ; and by Rev. Wiley Hom- 
er, Rev. William Butler, Rev. W. J. Starks and Rev. T. K. 
Bridges, pastors of local churches, and Rev. M. L. Bethel, 
Oklahoma City. 




XXIX 

BUILDING THE TEMPLE 

AN EXERCISE FOR CHILDREN'S DAY, ILLUSTRATED BY A 
TEMPLE AND AN ARCH. 

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children 
walk in the truth." — John 

Giving all diligence add to your faith, virtue; and to 
virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to 
temperance, patience ; and to patience, godliness ; and to god- 
liness, brotherly kindness ; and to brotherly kindness, char- 
ity. He that lacketh these things is blind."— Peter. 

\T was the good fortune of the author to be 
called to serve as chorister and superintend- 
ent of rural Sunday schools, and leader of 
the choir of the church, in his early youth. 
At the beginning of his ministry, he dis- 
covered the relative importance of this work among the 
young, by reading the observation of the sainted Samuel 
Miller to the effect ; if he could repeat the period of his min- 
istry, he would give ten times more time and attention to 
the work among the children. This importance was very 
acceptably emphasized during the eighties, by the enthus- 
iasm of Rev. James A. Worden, D. D., of our Sunday school 
Board, and the appointment of a Sabbath in June, to be an- 
nually observed as Children's Day. 

One of the most prominent features of our ministry 
has been, a persistently active participation in the work 
among the children and young people. Other engagements 
have not been permitted to interfere with attendance at 
Sunday school and Endeavor meetings, or an appointment to 
meet the children at any of the regular times of rehearsal 
of songs and exercises for Easter, Christmas, Children's 
Day and other anniversaries. All the young people were 

(227) 



228 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

encouraged to participate in the effort to make these rally- 
ing days, occasions of special instruction and delight. A 
number of pretty, and sometimes elaborate, designs were ' 
devised to add their illuminating effect to the exercises. 
Two of these designs, a temple and an arch, both having for 
their object, a visible representation of the divinely ap- 
pointed elements of a good character, according to the 
apostle Peter, and animating power of the indwelling spirit, 
manifested by a conscientious observance of the command 
to remember the Sabbath, have been deemed worthy of 
an illustration in this volume, that those who participated 
in them, and others, may be able to reproduce them for 
the instruction and delight of others. 

Exercises, that consist of passages from the Scrip- 
tures, are more valuable than others to the children, when 
committed to memory, and they learn them very readily, 
when an immediate use is to be made of them at a public 
service. The passages suggested for use in these exercises 
include many of the most important ones in the Bible, and 
as they practice, in the presence of each other, all become 
more or less familiar with every one of them. The super- 
intendent or leader is expected to arrange the length and 
number of the exercises, to suit the number and ages of 
those available to participate in them. A single verse may 
be best for the child ; but a glance over the additional pas- 
sages may be very helpful to the pastor or other person, de- 
livering a short address at the close of the children's exer- 
cises. 

A very pleasing feature of these designs is the fact, 
they are constructed by the children as one after the other, 
or two together, carry their part to the platform and render 
their exercise. One or two are appointed to serve as Master- 
builders to receive the stones or tablets, when delivered, and 
place them in their proper position. 



BUILDING THE TEMPLE 



229 



A good character is an enduring monument. A good name is rather to be chosen 
than great riches. 

WALKING IN THE TRUTH 





THE 
SABBATH 








CHARITY 










KINDNESS 










GODLINESS 










PATIENCE 










TEMPERANCE 










KNOWLEDGE 










VIRTUE 








FAITH 




JESUS 

AND HIM 

CRUCIFIED 


WORD OF GOD 

THAT 

ENDURETH 



AN ENDURING TEMPLE. -A temple for time and eternity, showing the divinely 
appointed elements of a good character (2 Peter 1:5-8), their sure foundations; the person 
and work of our Lord Jesus and the inspired Word of God; and their crowning bond, the 
Sabbath. 



230 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

AN EXERCISE FOR CHILDREN'S DAY 

(The two master builders standing together) 

Master Builder. Dear friends: The Bible tells us that 
all are builders. That some are wise and others are foolish. 
That some are building on the sand, without any protection 
against the storms and floods, that will surely cause their 
fall. That some are building with wood, hay or stubble; 
or with gold, silver and precious stones, without any protec- 
tion against the day, when the fire will consume these 
perishable materials. That others, however are building 
safely and securely, with divinely appointed materials, on 
the Rock of Ages and the unchanging, impregnable Word 
of God. That the indwelling Spirit, commonly called the 
Comforter, is the occupant, strength and life of their tem- 
ple; and their conscientious observance of the Sabbath, is 
to them the pledge of Divine favor and the visible sign of 
their sure protection. 

Assistant Builder. All of you no doubt are familiar 
with the words of the poet, Longfellow; 

"All are architects of fate 

Building on the walls of time; 
Some with massive deeds and great, 

Others with the ornaments of rhyme. 
For the structures that we raise 

God's Word is with materials filled; 
And our todays and yesterdays 

Reveal the materials with which we build." 

"We have planned today to build 

A temple— on earth, a heaven; 
A temple on rocks so solid, 

And with materials divinely given, 
That all who hear the Master's call 

To service and an endless life, 
May of this be sure, whate'er befall 

They have builded for time aright." 

Life is what we make it out of what God puts within 
our reach, and every act is a foundation stone for the next 
one. Walking in the truth, adding to our faith and building 
a temple all mean advancing one step or stone at a time. 

Master Builder. The white stone referred to in Revela- 
tion was an emblem of pardon and a badge of friendship. 



BUILDING THE TEMPLE 231 

The stone ordinarily is an emblem of solidity and en- 
during strength. In this sense it is an emblem of an eternal 
truth, or principle. When Peter confessed, "Thou art the 
Christ," Jesus said in regard to his confession, "Thou art 
Peter, and on this rock" or fundamental truth, "I am Christ," 
"I will build my church ; and the gates of hell (hades) shall 
not prevail against it." 

David tells us "The Lord set his feet upon a rock." He 
calls the Lord a rock, a fortress and a high tower; and en- 
treats the Lord to "lead him to the rock that is higher than 
I." Peter speaks of Jesus as a living stone, and of believers 
as lively stones that form a spiritual house, an holy priest- 
hood. 

We are now ready for the foundation. 

"And as we build, let each one pray, 

That we may build aright ; 
That all we do on earth may be 

Well pleasing in God's sight." 

Chorus. "We're building up the temple, 
Building up the temple 
Building up the temple of the Lord." 

Bearer : We bring the corner stone on which our tem- 
ple rests. 

Master Builder: This stone represents our Lord Jesus, 
the sure foundation. Let us hear of this stone, the Rock of 
Ages, what the Bible may tell. 

Bearer: "Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, 
elect, precious; and he that believeth on him shall not be 
confounded. Unto you therefore which believe, he is pre- 
cious ; but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which 
the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the cor- 
ner. Other foundation can no man lay than- that is laid, 
which is Jesus Christ. 

He said of himself, I am the light of the world. I 
am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me 
though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liv- 
eth and believeth in me shall never die. Without me ye can 
do nothing. My grace is sufficient for thee. 

Paul said of him, "We preach Christ crucified, unto the 
Jews a stumblingblock and unto the Greeks foolishness; 



232 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, 
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." 

Asst. Bearer: Peter said: "Be it known unto you all, 
and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus 
Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised 
from the dead, even by him doth this man stand before you 
whole. This is the stone which was set at nought by you 
builders — the Jews — which is become the head of the cor- 
ner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is 
none other name under heaven, given among men whereby 
we must be saved." 

Bearer: We bring another stone for the foundation. 

M. B. This stone represents the Word of God that en- 
dureth forever. Let us hear of this stone what the Bible 
may tell. 

Bearer: "Thou hast known the holy scriptures, which 
are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith, 
which is in Christ Jesus. 

All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is 
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for in- 
struction in righteousness: That the man of God may be 
perfect; thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 

The law of the Lord is perfect; converting the soul; 
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the 
commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judg- 
ments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." 

Asst. Bearer. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but 
my words shall not pass away. 

"Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, 
of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed when he shall come 
in his own glory, and in the glory of the Father and of the 
holy angels." 

"Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and 
prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner 
stone ; in whom all the building fitly framed together grow- 
eth unto a holy temple in the Lord, for a habitation of God 
through the Spirit." See John 1. 4, 14. 

M. B. The two fold foundation of our glorious temple 



BUILDING THE TEMPLE 233 

has now been laid. It consists of the Rock of Ages and the 
Word of God that endureth forever. We are now ready for 
those good materials for the walls of the temple that are 
better than wood, hay or stubble, gold, silver or precious 
stones. 

FAITH. Bearer: We bring the stone that represents 
Faith. 

Master Builder : Faith is a goodly stone, and it fits right 
well. Let us hear of Faith what the Bible may tell. 

(Adjust and repeat for the other stones.) 

Bearer : By grace are ye saved through Faith ; and that 
not of yourselves ; it is the gift of God. 

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten 
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but 
have everlasting life. He that believeth on the Son hath 
everlasting life ; and he that believeth not the Son shall not 
see life. 

Asst. Bearer: Abraham believed God, and it was ac- 
counted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that 
they which are of faith, the same are the children of Ab- 
raham. They which be of faith are blessed with faithful 
Abraham. He that is faithful in that which is least is faith- 
ful. Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a 
crown of life. See also Rom. 10:8-10. 

VIRTUE— COURAGE. B : Whatsoever things are true, 
whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just; 
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, 
whatsoever things are of good report ; if there be any virtue, 
and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

Thou therefore my son, Timothy, be strong in the 
grace that is in Christ Jesus and endure hardness, as a good 
soldier of Jesus Christ. 

Asst. B: The Lord said unto Joshua, "Be strong and 
of a good courage : that thou mayest observe to do according 
to all the law, which Moses, my servant commanded thee; 
that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This 
book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth ; but thou 
shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest ob- 
serve to do according to all that is written therein ; for then 
thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt 
have good success." See also Eph. 6:10-17. 



234 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

KNOWLEDGE. B: The fear of the Lord is the begin- 
ning of knowledge. This is life eternal, that they might 
know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou 
hast sent. 

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that 
the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the 
temple of God, him shall God destroy: for the temple of 
God is holy, which temple ye are. See Prov. 4:7-8; 3: 16-17 

TEMPERANCE. Abstain from all appearance of evil. 
If meat make my brother to offend I will eat no meat while 
the world standeth. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, 
peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, 
temperance; against such there is no law. And 2 Pet. 1:5-6. 

PATIENCE. In your patience possess ye your souls. 
Let us run with patience the race that is set before us ; look- 
ing unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith ; who for 
the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despis- 
ing the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the 
throne of God. 

GODLINESS. "Great is the mystery of Godliness: 
God manifest in the flesh, believed on in the world and re- 
ceived up into glory. Godliness with contentment is great 
gain. Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise 
of the life that now is and of that which is to come. Fear 
God and keep his commandments : for this is the whole duty 
of man." 

KINDNESS. "Be ye kind one to another, tender heart- 
ed, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake 
hath forgiven you. Love ye your enemies, and do good; 
lend hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be 
great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest : for he is 
kind unto the unthankful and to the evil." 

CHARITY. Though I bestow all my goods to feed the 
poor, and though I give my body to be burned and have not 
charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long and 
is kind. Charity envieth not; beareth all things, believeth 
all things, endureth all things. And now abideth faith, 
hope and charity, these three, but the greatest of these is 
charity." Luke 10:27. I John 3.17. 

All repeat 2 Pet. 1:5-8, and review the foundations. 



BUILDING THE TEMPLE 235 

THE SABBATH. "The Sabbath was made for man and 
not man for the Sabbath : therefore the Son of Man is Lord 
also of the Sabbath, and the apostle John calls it the Lord's 

day." 

"From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of 
Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be 
the weekly Sabbath ; and the first day of the week ever since 
to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian 

Sabbath." 

"And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, verily my 
Sabbaths ye shall keep, for it is a sign between me and you 
throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am 
the Lord that doth sanctify you. It is a sign between me 
and the children of Israel for ever." 

Isaiah refers to the Sabbath as a pledge of divine favor. 
"If thou call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord 
and shalt honor it, not doing thine own ways; I will cause 
thee to ride upon the high places of the earth and feed thee 
with the heritage of Jacob thy father." 

Ezekiel, a prophet of the captivity, older than Daniel 
and faithful even unto death, refers four times to the pollu- 
tion of the Sabbath as one of the principal causes of the 
captivity. "The word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 
I gave them my Sabbaths to be a sign between me and them, 
that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify 
them. But the house of Israel walked not in my statutes, 
and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I said I 
would greatly pour out my fury upon them to consume them 
and scatter them among the heathen." 

Abraham Lincoln very truly observed, "As we keep 
or break the Sabbath day, we nobly save or meanly lose the 
last best hope by which man rises." 

Washington and Lincoln, apart from what they did, 
were great men. The divine element of a God given char- 
acter belonged to each. Goodness is the basis of greatness, 
and greatness is character; the ability and willingness to 
serve. 

All unite in repeating the fourth commandment. 

THE DESIGN. It can be ornamented with a gilt cross 
and decorated with evergreen festoons pendant over the 
ends. Bouquets of the same color can be laid at the corres- 
ponding angles. 



236 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

THE CROSS. "God forbid that I should glory, save in 
the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is 
crucified unto me, and I unto the world." — Paul. 

The children bringing bouquets can be supplied with 
short exercises like the following. 

I bring these flowers : Solomon in all his glory was not 
arrayed like one of these. 

These beautiful flowers I bring, 
A grateful offering to my king. 

I bring these pretty flowers, 

A fragrant relic of Eden's bowers. 

I bring these roses fair 

To Him who hears my evening prayer. 

I bring to him this pretty rose, 

Who died and from the dead arose, 
To save us all from all our foes. 

These flowers I bring to him of whom it was said, 
"I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys." 

"By their fruits ye shall know them." This is the pres- 
ent test of character; of men, their teachings and institu- 
tions. 

Fruit, FRUIT, MORE FRUIT. 

Every branch that beareth not 
FRUIT 

He taketh away ; every branch that beareth 

FRUIT 
He purgeth it, that it may bring forth 

MORE FRUIT 

"In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the 

sea. 
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me ; 
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men 

free, 

While God is marching on." 

See also Math. 7:30; John 15:5-8, 14, 15. 



BUILDING THE TEMPLE 237 

Repeat in unison the call of Jesus for the children: 
"Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not 
for of such is the kingdom of heaven." 

OPPORTUNITY FOR DECISION 
Daniel in his youth, purposed in his heart, not to defile 
himself by eating the king's meat or the wine which he 
drank. Joshua expressed his decision to all Israel, saying, 
"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." 

Choose ye this day whom ye will serve? While the 
congregation is standing and singing an appropriate, fa- 
miliar hymn, encourage every undecided person present, to 
accept Jesus as their savior; and to indicate with the up- 
lifted hand, their decision to live a Christian life. 

Provide testaments or bibles for those needing them. 

BUILDING DAY BY DAY 

"We are building in sorrow and building in joy 

A temple the world cannot see. 
But we know it will stand, if we found it on a rock, 

Through the ages of eternity. 
Cho. We are building day by day 

As the moments glide away, 
Our temple which the world may not see. 

Every victory won by grace 
Will be sure to find a place 

In our building for eternity. 

Every deed forms a part in this building of ours, 

That is done in the name of the Lord ; 
For the love that we show 

And the kindness we bestow 
He has promised us a bright reward. 
Then be watchful and wise 

Let the temple we rear 
Be one that no tempest can shock ; 

For the Master has said 
And He taught us in His word 

We must build upon the solid rock." 

-H. E. Blair 



238 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

GROWING UP FOR JESUS 

"Growing up for Jesus, we are truly blest, 

In His smile is welcome, in His arms our rest, 
In His truth our treasure, in His word our rule, 

Growing up for Jesus, in our Sunday School. 
Growing up for Jesus, till in Him complete, 

Growing up for Jesus, oh ! His work is sweet ; 
In His truth our treasure, in His word our rule, 

Growing up for Jesus, in our Sunday School. 

Not too young to love Him, little hearts beat true, 

Not too young to serve Him, as the dew drops do. 
Not too young to praise Him, singing as we come, 

Not too young to answer, when He calls us home. 
Growing up for Jesus, learning day by day, 

How to follow onward in the narrow way; 
Seeking holy treasure, finding precious truth, 

Growing up for Jesus in our happy youth." 

— Pres. Board Publication. 

OUR HAPPY LAND 

A Favorite Children's Chorus. 
Land of children, birds and flowers, 

What a happy land is ours! 
Here the gladdest bells are rung, 

Here the sweetest songs are sung. 
With Thy banner o'er us, 

Join we all in chorus, 
Land of children, birds and flowers 

What a happy land is ours. 

Let us keep it so we pray, 

Drive the clouds of sin away; 
Father by Thy love divine 

Make us, keep us ever Thine. 
With Thy banner o'er us, etc. 
Keep us Lord from day to day 

In the straight and narrow way. 
May it be our chief delight, 

To walk upright in Thy sight ; 
With Thy banner o'er us, etc. 

What a happy land 

What a happy land is ours, 
Here the gladdest bells are rung, 



BUILDING THE TEMPLE 239 

Here the sweetest songs are sung; 
Freedom's banner o'er us, 

Join we all in chorus, 
Land of children, birds and flowers, 
What a happy land is ours. 

THE ARCH 

The arch, which appears on another page, illustrates 
in a very striking manner the mutual dependence of all the 
stones, representing the divinely appointed elements of 
character, on their crown, the keystone, which represents 
the Sabbath or fourth commandment, the connecting link 
between the first and second tables of the law and the vis- 
ible bond of every man and nation to his Creator. 

When the keystone has been placed in position the 
arch will sustain considerable weight, but if it be removed 
nearly all of the other stones tumble to the floor in a confused 
heap. Those who do not remember the Sabbath to keep it 
holy unto the Lord, may manifest some of these divinely 
appointed elements of character, but every one who con- 
scientiously observes the Sabbath as a day for public wor- 
ship, reading and teaching the Word of God, endeavors to 
develop all of them. The indwelling spirit is dependent on 
an intelligent knowledge of the Word, and the strengthen- 
ing influence of the Sabbath is usually according to the good 
use that is made of it. 

EXPLANATORY 

A couple of cracker boxes inverted serve for the two foundation 
stones The parts of the temple consist of frames made of thin 
strips, about five inches wide. Each stone is about three inches short- 
er and one and one-half inches narrower than the one below it, and 
it rests on supporting strips inserted in the top of the lower one. 
All can be set aside in the lower one when they are inverted. All are 
covered with white printing paper and the letters are fastened with 

little tacks 

The large letters are 2%xl% and the small ones 1^x7-8 inches. 

A bright red color is essential in order to produce the nicest effect. 



240 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

They can be cut very speedily and uniformly if the cardboard is first 
ruled with a pen, into squares the size of the letters, and then ruled 
with a pencil one-fourth of an inch distant from the ink rulings. 

The arch is four feet wide at the base. The inner circle is de- 
scribed with a radius of two and the outer one of three feet. The 
curved edges of each are cut with a scroll saw. Strips of orange 
boxes or sheets of card board, one foot long, are used to nail on their 
straight edges. All ace covered with cheese cloth or muslin and 
the letters are placed on a curved line. The arch and temple can both 
be built on a smaller scale with box board. The lifting of the key- 
stone of the arch, when first inserted is a very interesting performance. 

REFERENCES 

TEMPLE: 1 Cor. 3:16-17;Math. 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49; 1 Cor. 
3:12-15; James l:22-24;Rev. 2:17; Ps. 18:2; 31:2-3; 71:35; 40:2; 61:2 
62:2. 

JESUS. Isa. 28:16; 1 Peter 2:6; Math. 16:15-18; John 1:1-2-14 
Dan. 2:34-35; 1 Cor. 3:11; Math 21:42-44; Acts 4:10-12; 1 Peter 2:4-6 

WORD. 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:20-21; Ps. 19:7.10; Heb. 4:12 
Ps. 119:105,130; Isa. 40:8; Math. 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 9:26 
Eph. 2:19-22. 

FAITH. John 3:16, 36; Heb. 11:1-3; Eph. 2:4-8; Acts 16:31 
Heb. 11:23-26; Mark 11:22-23; Gal. 3:6-9; Luke 16:10. 

VIRTUE. Phil. 4:8; Josh. 1:6-9; 2 Tim 2:1-3; 1 John 2:13-14. 

KNOWLEDGE. John 17:3; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; Prov. 1:7; Isa. 11:1-2, 
33, 6; Prov. 4:7-8; 3:16-17. 

TEMPERANCE. Gal. 5:22-24; 1 Cor. 8:13; 2 Peter 1:5-6; Gen. 
2:16-17; Dan. 1:8; - Thess. 5:22. 

PATIENCE. Luke 21:19; James 5:11; Heb. 10:35-36; 12:1-2. 

GODLINESS. 1 Tim. 4:8; 6:6-7; 3:16; Ec. 12:13-14. 

KINDNESS. Eph. 4:32; Luke 6:35; Ps. 103:2-4. 

CHARITY. 1 Cor. 13:4-8; 13:1-3; 2 Peter 1:5-8. 

SABBATH. Ex. 20:8-11; Mark 2:27-28; Ex. 31:13- 17; Isa. 58: 
13-14; Ezek. 20:13, 16, 20, 24; Luke 4:16:18; Rev. 1:10. 




XXX 

MAXIMS AND SUGGESTIONS 

RELATING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OP A GOOD CHARACTER 
AND THE ACHIEVEMENT OF GOOD SUCCESS.— NUGGETS 
FROM SHORT TALKS TO THE STUDENTS ON FRIDAY 
EVENINGS. 

"Precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and 
there a little." Proverbs. 

INSTABLE as water thou shalt not excel. 

Jacob. 

Be gentle in manner, firm in principle, 

always conciliatory. 

Go forward; and if difficulties increase, 

go forward more earnestly. 

In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all 
things, charity. Augustine. 

Find a way or make one, is excellent ; but sometimes it 
needs to read, Find employment or make it. 

Whatever cannot be avoided must be endured. En- 
dure hard things bravely. 

Patience and Perseverance will perform great wonders. 

Early to bed and early to rise will make a man healthy, 
wealthy and wise. Ben Franklin. 

Whoever wins man's highest stature here below must 
grow, and never cease to grow — for when growth ceases, 
death begins. Alice Carey. 

"There is so much bad in the best of us, 

And so much good in the worst of us ; 
It is hardly fair for any of us, 
To speak ill of the rest of us." 
If thou wouldst know the secret of a happy life, rise in 
the morn, with armor clasped about thee, for the day's long 
strife. "Thy duty do." 

(241) 



242 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

The very angels then will stoop, when the night brings 
rest, to cradle thee in heavenly arms because thou didst 
thy best. Jennings. 

Bear and forbear are two good bears to have in every 
home ,in order to keep peace in the family. Grin and bear it, 
is another good one. Impatience, scolding and fault-finding 
are three black bears, that make every one feel badly and 
look ugly. Don't harbor them. 

BIBLE PRECEPTS. Faithful is the Bible word for 
success. 

He that is faithful, is faithful in that which is least. 

Owe no man anything. Render to all their dues. 

Be not wise in your own conceits. A wise son maketh 
a glad father; but a foolish son is the heaviness of his 
mother. 

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things 
shall be added unto you. 

Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom. 
Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are 
peace. 

Honor the Lord with thy substance and with the first- 
fruits of all thine increase ; so shall thy barns be filled with 
plenty. 

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply 
our hearts unto wisdom. Let the beauty of the Lord our 
God be upon us, and establish thou the work of our hands. 
Moses. 

The hand of the diligent maketh rich. The hand of 
the diligent shall bear rule. 

Be not slothful in business. A man diligent in his 
business shall stand before kings ; he shall not stand before 
mean men. 

Anger resteth in the bosom of fools. Make no friend- 
ship with an angry man, lest thou learn his ways : Let not 
the sun go down upon thy wrath. Be patient; and not a 
brawler or striker. 

SPIRITUAL POWER. Bring ye all the tithes into the 
storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove 
me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open 



MAXIMS AND SUGGESTIONS 243 

the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that 
there shall not be room enough to receive it. 

HOW SOME MEN ACHIEVED GREATNESS 

Abraham believed God and was promptly obedient to 
His divine call. "The Lord made Abraham rich" and the 
"Father of the Faithful." 

"The Lord was with Joseph," the innocent slave in pris- 
on. He led him from the prison to a throne and made him 
a successful ruler in Egypt. 

Daniel the youthful, God-fearing captive at Babylon, 
"sought the Lord by prayer, supplication and fasting." 
"The Lord prospered him." gave him favor with princes 
and made him the greatest statesman of his age. 

Job was a "perfect and upright man, one that feared 
God." Satan said of him, "Doth Job fear God for nought ?" 
Satan then deprived him of his family, property and health. 
Job still maintained his integrity, saying, "The Lord gave 
and the Lord hath taken away." The Lord then gave Job 
twice as much as he had before ; so that the latter end of 
Job was more blessed than his beginning. 

When the Lord said to Moses, "Come now, I will send 
thee unto Pharoah, that thou mayest bring forth my people 
out of Egypt;" he hesitated, saying, "Who am I?" "They 
will not believe me;" and "I am not eloquent." But when 
he obeyed the call and went, the Lord went with him, the 
people believed, the army of Pharoah was overthrown; and 
Moses became the first emancipator, a great leader of men 
and the greatest law-giver in the history of the world. 

OAK HILL BE'S 

Be Honorable. Never do that which will cause you af- 
terwards to feel ashamed. 

Be Honest. Never deceive or take that which belongs 
to another. 

Be True. Stand firmly for the truth and be faithful, 
though you stand or work alone. 

Be Pure. Shun the impure and abhor whatever will 
corrupt good morals. 

Be Polite. Help the weak and never by word or act 
offend another. 



244 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Be Prompt. If you have done badly, hasten with your 
apology before you are called to account. 

Be Thoughtful. Learn how to exercise that forethought 
that anticipates every future need at the beginning of an 
undertaking. 

Self Control. Self control means self discipline. Self 
discipline means that I must be willing to: 

Be, what I know I ought to be ; 

Say, what I know I ought to say ; 

Do, what I know I ought to do ; 

Go, where I know I ought to go; 

Do, with my might what my hands find to do; and be 
firmly decided, not to do anything I know I ought not to do. 
It is the ability to control one's thoughts and energies by 
rule, so as to act prudently, and never impulsively or im- 
patiently. 

All make mistakes, some more than others. "To err 
is human." He succeeds best who makes the fewest mistakes ; 
and most quickly corrects them, when discovered. 

"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. 
I am not bound to suceed, but I am bound to live up to 
what light I have. 

I must stand with anybody who stands right; stand 
with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes 
wrong." Lincoln. 

Freedom. True freedom is the freedom to do right, 
and for it good men contend. The liberty to do what one 
may wish to do, is not freedom, for that may be wrong. 

Tact. Tact is the ability to please rather than offend, 
by saying or doing the right thing in a pleasant way at the 
right time, ignoring petty slights and insults and leading dis- 
agreeable people to become your friends. 

Blessed is the teacher who expects much from his pu- 
pils, he is thereby likely to receive it ; that has common sense 
in framing regulations, and backbone to enforce them ; whose 
vocabulary contains more "do's" than "don'ts." Lucy A. 
Baker. 

The little birds, like the busy bees, are cheery and valu- 
able helpers. Encourage their presence and aid, by plant- 



MAXIMS AND SUGGESTIONS 245 

ing trees for their songs and building little houses for their 
young. 

The domestic animals are our servants and profit-mak- 
ers, or mortgage lifters. Always treat them kindly. Never 
permit anyone to strike, or stone them. Even the pig of your 
neighbor, when he becomes a mischievous intruder in your 
field, if you give him a friendly chase, will conduct you to 
a hole in the fence that ought to be closed. 

''Kind words can never die, 

Cherished and blest ; 
God knows how deep they lie, 

Stored in each breast." 

Character. Character is a word derived from another 
one that means to impress or engrave. It marks our individ- 
uality. It is the result of the principles and habits, that have 
impressed themselves on our nature and the abilities that 
have been developed. Solomon calls it a good name, which 
suggests reputation. It is tested and strengthened by over- 
coming difficulties. A good character is within the reach of 
all while greatness is possible only to a few. 

"When wealth is lost, nothing is lost ; 
When health is lost, something is lost ; 
When character is lost, all is lost." 

Character. "Character is not what we think, feel or 
know; but what we are. Character is being; and it is in- 
finitely nobler to be than to have, or know, or do. The rank, 
value and dignity of character cannot be overestimated. 
The confidence of the whole world on which trade, empires, 
homes and real happiness are built is confidence in charac- 
ter. Character is the great end ; moral and spiritual educa- 
tion is the greatest means to attain that end." — Martin. 

Character is personal power, the poor boy's best capi- 
tal and the success, that makes him greater than his occupa- 
tion. The weak wait for opportunities, but the strong sieze 
them and make even common occasions great. 

The world honors success. God honors faithfulness. 
The world commends worldly achievements, but God re- 
wards character. 

Every student should endeavor to build up the commun- 
ity in which he lives commercially, socially and religiously. 



246 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Beware of strangers that come to you full of smooth 
talk and clad in fine clothing. The tree, book, land and other 
agents sometimes prove helpful. But you will be happier 
and more prosperous, if you will send for a catalog and get 
just what you need, and at cost. You will thereby avoid the 
expensiveness and uncertainty of doing business through a 
nicely dressed, but irresponsible stranger. 

The upright exert a blessed influence long after their 
departure from the earth. They are remembered in the 
home, the social circle and the church. 

"That man exists, but never lives, 
Who much receives but nothing gives; 
But he who marks his busy way, 
By generous acts from day to day, 
Treads the same path his Savior trod, 
The path to glory and to God." 

Education. Everything from a pin to an engine has 
its cost and someone must pay the price. 

In education the material is human and the product 
is a new and living worker for the world's work. The ma- 
terial and moral progress of the world has been principally 
due to the work of educated men and women. 

Education has its cost, but the profit of a good christian 
education is vastly greater than its cost. It pays to educate 
young people who are christians, that they may become 
leaders in thought and action. 

"A good education enables one to manifest goodness 
and not badness. Drawing out all the good qualities of head 
and heart, it magnifies them and suppresses the bad ones. 
If this seems hard, it should be remembered that all things 
of value are obtained only by effort." 

"For every evil under the sun 
There's a remedy, or there's none, 
If there is one, try and find it; 
If there is none, never mind it." 

"A clear and legible handwriting is one of the best 
means of giving a stranger an impression of force of char- 
acter, self-control and capacity for skilled work. It wins 
favor by making the reading of it easy and a source of 
pleasure. It is one of the crowning attainments of a well 
cultured life." — Spencer. 



MAXIMS AND SUGGESTIONS 247 

"Success follows those who see and know how to take 
advantage of their opportunity." 

The Lord loves to use "the weak things" and "things 
that are despised." He loves to put the treasure of His 
grace into the feeble, that the world may be compelled to 
ask, "whence hath this man power?" Rev. J. H. Jowett. 

Self education is accomplished by reading good books, 
with the aid of a dictionary. Get a Bible dictionary for the 
Bible, and a Webster or Academic dictionary for other books. 

Do all things by rule. A good rule tells the right way 
to do things. If you do not know the rule ask for it. Never 
violate a known rule. It never pays to do so ; the confidence 
of someone is sure to be forfeited. 

Keep Busy. Keep busy and you will keep happy. Read 
good books when you cannot work. If you call on a friend 
and he is busy, do not become an idler or make him one. 
Either help him or read his best books. 

Idleness. Idleness is a sin against God. "Six days 
shalt thou labor and do all thy work." "In the sweat of 
thy face shalt thou eat bread." If any man will not work, 
neither let him eat." It is also a sin against our nature; 
causing a slow movement, which is a serious disappoint- 
ment; tardiness, which is like a dead fly in precious oint- 
ment; and, that loathsome disease, laziness. Like drunk- 
enness it is an inexcusable shame, that dooms one to poverty 
and clothes him with rags. Shun idleness as you do the 
sting of a hornet, or the bite of a rattler. 

"We are not here to play, to dream, to drift, 

We have our work to do, and loads to lift. 

Shun not the struggle ; face it. 'Tis God's gift." 

"They are slaves who fear to speak, 

For the fallen and the weak. 

They are slaves who will not choose 

Hatred, scoffing and abuse, 

Rather than in silence shrink 

From the truth they needs must think; 

They are slaves, who dare not be 

In the right with two or three." Lowell. 

Do your best. Put your best efforts in your work, no 
matter how simple or difficult the task. 



248 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

"I am passing through this world but once. I will 
therefore do my best every day, and do all the good to all 
the people I can." 

"I do the very best I know how — the very best I can; 
and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings 
me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to 
anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swear- 
ing I was right would make no difference." Abraham 
Lincoln. 

Efficiency. Efficiency is the ability to perform work 
in the shortest and quickest way, by omitting every use- 
less movement. 

Faith. Faith rests on facts and realities. It is the 
basis of home and business. "It swings the rainbow across 
the dark clouds, makes heroes in life's battles, extracts the 
poison from Satan's arrows and links us to God and the 
good in heaven." 

Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that 
faith let us to the end dare to do our duty, as we understand 
it. With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firm- 
ness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us 
strive on to finish, the work we are in. Abraham Lin- 
coln at Gettysburg. 

Gladness. Gladness is sown for the upright. The joy 
of the Lord is your strength. Manifest your joy and glad- 
ness by wearing the smile of contentment and love. It in- 
cludes a sparkle in the eye, a little ripple on the cheek and 
the kind word that "never dies." 

"Smile and the world smiles with you, 
Laugh and the world will roar, 
Growl and the world will leave you, 
And never come back any more. 
All of us could not be handsome, 
Nor all of us wear good clothes, 
But a smile is not expensive. 
And covers a world of woes." 

Energy. Energy is power in action. Stagnant water 
lacks power, but water in action produces steam, the power 
that moves the world's machinery and traffic. Knowledge 
in action means power on the farm, in the home and in the 
church. 



MAXIMS AND SUGGESTIONS 249 

"God bless the man who sows the wheat, 
Produces milk and fruit and meat; 
His purse be heavy, his heart be light, 
His corn and cattle all go right, 
God bless the seed his hand lets fall, 
The farmer produces the food for all." 

Knowledge. Knowledge is power, when it is wisely as- 
sorted, assimilated and immediately employed; as is the 
water of a river, when it is used to produce electric power. 
The knowledge that leads to sovereign power, includes self- 
knowledge, self- respect and self- control. The man who 
does well whatsoever he undertakes, cannot be kept down, 
except by his own indiscretions. 

A good character is essential to the soul winner. It 
is a false notion that one must meet the world on its own lev- 
el — drink to win a drinker, smoke to win a smoker, and play 
the world's games in order to win it to Christ. Richard 
Hobbs. 

Thrift. Thrift consists in increasing the value of our 
possessions every year, by making good investments of our 
time and money, and by earning more than is spent for liv- 
ing expenses. "A penny saved is two pence earned." 

Our Father in heaven sends no man into this world 
without a work, and a capacity to perform that work. 

"Live for those that love you, 
For those you know are true; 
For the cause that- lacks assistance, 
For the wrong that needs resistance ; 
For the future in the distance; 
And the good that you can do." 

"A fool with a gun or an axe can destroy in five minu- 
tes, what it took nature years to perfect and perpetuate." 

A little house well filled, 

A little field well tilled, 

A good wife well willed, are great riches. 

Leaders. Be a leader. A leader does his thinking be- 
fore hand and endeavors to provide for every need. He must 
be well informed and know how to arouse interest and stimu- 
late activity. He must discover and adopt only the best 
methods. The rewards of leadership are a continually in- 



250 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

creasing power to lead others and the ability to conduct 
your own life most usefully and happily. 

"A good farmer's tools are under shelter; 
But Pete Tumbledown's lie helter-skelter; 
And when he wants his tools again 
He finds them rusty from the rain." 

"Divide and conquer," was Joshua's rule of strategy in 
the conquest of Canaan. "Separate for the march, unite 
for the attack," was a maxim of Napoleon. Both are good 
rules for the people in all our churches, in their constant 
conflict with vice and iniquity. 

The noblest man does not always uphold his rights, 
but waives them for his own good and the good of others. 
A keen sense of honor, that condemns dishonorable conduct, 
is one of the finest results of a good education. Education 
is expected to do for the mind, what sculpture does to a 
block of marble. 

"A merry farmer's girl am I, 

My songs are gay and blithe; 

For in my humble country home 

I lead a free, glad life. 

Through fertile fields and gardens mine, 

I love at will to roam, 

And as I wander, gayly sing, 

This is my own, free home, 

My own free home." 

Genius. There is no genius like a love for hard work. 
Hard work develops strength, increases usefulness, and tends 
to length of days. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy 
work. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread. Labor 
conquers all things. 

"He lives the best who never does complain, 
Whether the passing days be filled with sun or rain. 
Who patiently toils on though feet be sore, 
Whose home stands by the road with open door ; 
Who smiles though down he sits to feast or crust, 
His faith in man sincere, in God his trust." 

A. F. Caldwell. 

Seek employment by the month or year, rather than 
by the day ; and render unswerving loyalty to those of your 



MAXIMS AND SUGGESTIONS 251 

own home, school and church ; and those who favor you with 
employment. 

A man's work is the expression of his worth. It should 
make a man of him, and give him great pleasure and delight. 
When a man knows his work and does it with the enthusi- 
asm of Nehemiah, it gives him joy and enables him to exert 
a good influence. "That man is blest who does his best and 
leaves the rest." 

The world owes no man a living, but every man owes 
the world an honest effort to make at least his own living. 

SAVE THE BOY ; SAVE THE GIRL ! 

Save them from bad habits and evil associations. Save 
them for useful careers, happy homes and a glorious inher- 
itance. 

"If a blessing you have known, 
Twas not given for you alone, 

Pass it on. 
Let it travel down the years, 
Let it dry another's tears, 
Till in heaven the deed appears, 
Pass it on. 

Greatness: Goodness is the basis of that service that 
leads to greatness. The keynote of that service is found 
in the words : "The Son of man came not to be ministered un- 
to, but to minister, and to give his life for many." The cross 
is the symbol of a service that is faithful, even unto death. 

"So live that every thought and deed may hold within 
itself the seed of future .good and future need." 

Undertake great things for God and His glory and ex- 
pect great things from Him. 

"Never trouble trouble 
Until trouble troubles you." 

Prudent, hopeful and enthusiastic are those who make 
the "desert to rejoice and blossom as the rose." 

Habits: A habit is a cable; we spin a thread of it 
every day, and at last we cannot break it. 

Thoughts leave an ineffaceable trace on the brain or 
memory. 



252 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

"Sow a thought and you reap an act, 
Sow an act and you reap a habit, 
Sow a habit and you reap a character, 
Sow a character and you reap a destiny." 

A pretty oak tree is a beautiful emblem of the strength, 
beauty and eminent usefulness of an intelligent and noble 
man. Train the head, the heart and hand, and thus develop 
that strength and beauty of character, that fits one for the 
most eminent usefulness. 

A single aim means undivided attention and interest. 
Concentrate your faculties on the particular work of each 
day, that later you may be able to give your undivided at- 
tention to your chosen employment. All great achievements 
have been won by those who have had a single aim. "Con- 
sider the postage stamp, my son; its usefulness consists in 
sticking to one thing, until it gets there."— Josh Billings. 

Concentrate your energies and be master of your work, 
The world crowns him who knows one thing and does it bet- 
ter than others. 

I will. Always say, "I will" or 'Til try," when work or 
a duty is proposed, that can and ought to be done. Never 
say, "I can't" or "I won't", except to resist a temptation to do 
wrong. While the "I can'ts" fail in everything, and the "I 
won'ts" oppose everything, the "I will's" do the world's 
work. 

God has a plan for every life. He made you for use 
and for His own use. He gives power to those whom He 
uses. Let Him use you. Your happiness depends on the 
consciousness you are fulfilling your divinely appointed 
mission; and your success, on your will being in harmony 
with your work. 

Only the tuned violin can make music; and only the 
life in harmony with God can "please him" or "win souls" 
to Him. Spiritual power is necessary for spiritual work. 

Investments. Invest only where your investment will be 
under your own personal supervision, or that of a known and 
trusted friend. Invest only in those kinds of properties, 
the successful and profitable management of which, you 
best understand. 

Investments in young stock and good real estate in- 



MAXIMS AND SUGGESTIONS 253 

crease in value ; but investments in rolling stock always de- 
crease in value. Buy low from those who have to sell, and 
sell to those who want to buy. 

Seek counsel only of those who are achieving success, 
and never trust a stranger. 

Home. A home is one of the best investments for every 
one of moderate means. It provides a shelter for the in- 
dividual and for the family, no matter what may happen. A 
regular income must be assured in order to retain a place to 
sleep in a rented house. The early desire to own a home 
makes steady employment a source of pleasure. 

It is not what we eat, but what v/e digest, that makes us 
strong. 

It is not what we read, but what we remember, that 
makes us learned. 

It is not what we earn, but what we save, that makes 
us rich. 

Home. A christian home is a precious heritage. It 
is the divinely appointed educator of mankind. Its seclu- 
sion, shelter and culture are invaluable. There the mother 
whose hand rocks the cradle, moves the world, teaching 
the lessons of obedience, self-control, faith and trust. Use 
only a mellow and sweet tone of voice in the home. A kind 
and gentle voice is a pearl of great price that, like the cheery 
song of the lark, increases the joy and happiness of the 
home with passing years. 

"The farmer's trade is one of worth, • 
He is partner with the earth and sky; 
He is partner with the sun and rain, 
And no man loses by his gain. 
And men may rise and men may fall; 
The farmer, he must feed them all." 

"Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him for- 
ever." 

Knowledge. "Other things may be seized by might or 
purchased with money; but knowledge is to be gained only 
by study." — Johnson. 

"He that studies only men, will get the body of know- 
ledge, without the soul ; and he that studies only books, the 
soin without the body. He that to what he sees adds ob- 



254 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

servation, and to what he reads, reflection, is in the right 
road to knowledge, provided that in scrutinizing the hearts 
of others he neglects not his own." — Cotton. 

Co-operation. "All real progress of the individual, or 
of society, comes through the joining of hands and working 
together in a spirit of helpfulness for the common good." 

A brother in need is a brother indeed. 

"Whoso hath this world's goods and seeth his brother 
in need and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, 
how dwelleth the love of God in him?" 

Never go security for any one who cannot give you a 
mortgage or whose word is not as good as his bond. "He 
that is surety for a stranger, shall smart for it ; and he that 
hateth suretyship is sure." 

Eloquence. Eloquence is the expression of a moral 
conviction. It is overpowering when the moral conviction 
is tremenduously felt. This was the secret of the eloquence 
of Lincoln, Beecher and Garrison, when they spoke of the 
wrong of slavery ; and of John B. Gough, Neal Dow and 
Frances Willard, when they plead for an uprising against 
the curse of stronk drink. 

Marriage. Marriage is a divine ordinance, instituted 
by our Heavenly Father in the time of man's innocency. It 
is not a sacrament, but a social institution, intended to pro- 
mote the comfort and happiness of mankind, through the 
establishmentofthe family relationship, and a responsible 
home, where the children may be trained for the service of 
God and the work of their generation. The gospel hallows 
all the relations of life and sanctions the innocent enjoyment 
of all the good gifts of God. It purifies the hearts of those 
who walk in the way of obedience and induces the peace that 
passeth understanding. 

"Life is real, life is earnest 
And the grave is not its goal, 
Dust thou art to dust returnest, 

Was not written of the soul. 

Let us then be up and doing, 

With a heart for any fate ; 
Still achieving still pursuing, 

Learn to labor and to wait." — Longfellow. * 



MAXIMS AND SUGGESTIONS 255 

Robbers. Idleness, tardiness and "late nights," are 
three bold bad robbers, that must be strenuously resisted and 
overcome. Be watchful or they may rob you of the best 
that is in you. 

Spare Moments. It is better to be a busy silent reader 
in the home or school and learn something useful, than to 
be an idle, noisy talker, disturbing others and causing the 
loss or forfeiture of valuable privileges. 

Have a book for spare moments in the home. Read only 
good books, the Bible and catechism first ; then those on his- 
tory, biography, travel, and progress in the arts and sciences, 
including one on your own occupation. Do not read worth- 
less story books. They will rob you of your time, and the 
taste for the Bible and other good books. Time wasted in 
idleness or reading worthless books means bad companions, 
bad habits, and the loss of opportunity, energy and vitality. 
Learn to abhor idleness as nature does a vacuum. 

Say No. Have the courage to say "no" to every solicita- 
tion to violate rule or known duty. "The companion of fools 
shall be destroyed." "Though hand join in hand the guilty 
shall not go unpunished." "This is Fabricius, the man 
whom it is more difficult to turn from his integrity, than the 
sun from his course." — Pyrrhus. 

Writing. Train the hand and inform the mind so you 
can write the English language, 

"Plain to the eye and gracefully combined." 

"The pen engraves for every art and indites for every 
press. It is the preservative of language, the business man's 
security, the poor boy's patron and the ready servant of 
mind." — Spencer. 

Train : The hand to be graceful, steady, strong ; 
The Eye to be alert and observing ; 
The Memory to be accurate and retentive; 

The Heart to be tender, true and sympathetic. 

Promptness. Promptness takes the drudgery out of 
an occupation. The decision of a moment often determines 
the destiny of years. Every moment lost affords an op- 
portunity for misfortune. Punctuality is the soul of busi- 
ness, the mother of confidence and credit. Only those, who 
keep their time, can be trusted to keep their word. Tardiness 



256 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

is a disappointment and an interruption ; a kind of falsehood 
and theft of time. 

Vices. The four great vices of this age are Sabbath- 
breaking, gambling, intemperance and licentiousness. These 
must be fought all the time, like the great plagues that at- 
tack the body, tuberculosis, leprosy and small pox. The 
gospel will save any one from all of them ; and some day it 
will sweep them from the earth, as they are now kept from 
heaven. 

"A Sabbath well spent 

Brings a week of content, 
And strength for the toils of the morrow ; 

But a Sabbath profaned, 

Whatso'er may be gained, 
Is a certain forerunner of sorrow." 

To be a leader is a praiseworthy ambition. A leader is 
one who wins the confidence of the people so that they are 
willing to follow. Our Lord Jesus gave the secret of leader- 
ship, when he said : "Whosoever would be first among you, 
shall be servant of all ;" and again, "The Son of Man came 
not be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life 
a ransom for many." 

America. America is a land of opportunity, where the 
poor boy secures a home and later may participate in the 
government. Most of those, who are managing the world's 
work to day, were poor boys yesterday. If you are in the 
school of adversity today, do not be discouraged, "thank God 
and take courage;" for you are merely on the same level 
with those, who by their energy and thrift, are making 
sure of success tomorrow. When Lord Beaconsfield became 
a member of Parliament, and the other members did not 
care to listen to his youthful speeches, he said to himself, 
"I am not a slave nor a captive ; and by energy I can over- 
come great obstacles. The time will come when you will 
hear me." 

Books. "The first time I read an excellent book," said 
Goldsmith, "it is to me as if I had gained a new friend." 
"Books are the pillars of progress, the inspiration of man- 
kind. They exert a wonderful influence and a mighty power, 
though silent," says John Knox in Ready Money,"in liftingup 
humanity and making progress possible." They enable the 
reader to converse and associate with the noblest and best 




Fruits Approved at Oak Hill in 1912, for the 
Home Orchard in Southern Oklahoma. 



Peaches: 1, Mamie Ross; 2, Waddell; 3, Alton: 4, Capt. Ede; 5, Carman; 
6, Early Elberta; 7, Illinois; 8, Elberta (Queen); 9, Belle of Georgia; 
10, Champion; 11, Late Crawford; 12, Late Elberta. 

Apples: 13, Duchess; 14, Maiden Blush; 15, Wilson Red June; 16, Deli- 
cious; 17, Jonathan; 18, Wolf River; 19, King David; 20, Stayman 
Wine Sap; 21, Ben Davis; 22, Mammoth Grimes Golden; 23, Black 
Ben; 24, Champion; and, Missouri Pippin. 



256 





i**S 



The Flames Consuming the Old Farm House, 
Looking Northeast. 




The Bridge of Life. 



The Bible elements of a good character; their two-fold foundation, and bond — 

the Sabbath. 



MAXIMS AND SUGGESTIONS 257 

minds. In them we have the thoughts and deeds, the ex- 
perience and inspiration of all the great ones of earth. 

Good books, that breathe the best thoughts and exper- 
iences of others, are trusted friends, that bring instruction, 
entertainment and contentment to the home. As compan- 
ions and counselors they supply a real want, that makes the 
home more than merely a place for food and raiment. 
"Writing makes an exact man, talking makes a ready man, 
but reading makes him a full man," — that is a man of in- 
telligence. A man is known by the books he reads and the 
company he keeps. Let some of the world's best books 
find an inviting and permanent place in your home. 

Books and voices make a glorious combination. No one 
can tell what good books and good voices may not do. The 
Word of God and the gospel of our Lord Jesus, have come to 
us in the form of a book, and we call it by way of pre-emin- 
ence, "The Bible," or Scriptures of the Old and New Testa- 
ments. Our attention has been directed to them by the liv- 
ing voice. Let your tongues proclaim the glad message of 
divine truth and redeeming love. The Holy Spirit will re- 
cord the results in the Lamb's Book of Life. 

Read and preserve the books. 

WIT AND HUMOR 

"Laugh, and grow fat." 

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." 

Aunt Dinah: "How long hab you dis set of dishes?" 

Mother Hubbard : "Let me see ; I've had 'em — four girls 
and a half." 

Mike: "Do ye believe in the recall of judges, Pat?" 

Pat : "That I do not. The last time I was up before his 
honor he sez: 'I recall that face. — Sixty days.' I'm agin the 
recall of judges. "Life. 

Bishop : "Well, Mr. Jones, how do you like your preach- 
er?" 

Deacon Jones: "He's de best I eber seed, to take de 
Bible apart ; but he dun' no how to put it to gedder agen." 



258 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

A Swede, that had not yet had time to learn our lan- 
guage was accused of throwing a stone through a plate glass 
window. When the lawyers failed to enable him to des- 
cribe it's size the judge asked: 

"Was it as big as my fist?" 

"It ben bigger," the Swede replied. 

"Was it as big as my two fists," 

"It ben bigger." 

"Was it as big as my head?" 

"It ben about as long, but not so thick," the Swede re- 
plied, amid the laughter of the court. 

The German's trouble with the English language. 

Visitor: "Those are two fine dogs you have." 
Cobbler: "Yes und de funny part of it iss, dat de 
biggest dog is de leettlest one." 

Cobbler's Wife: "You must mine husband egscuse; 
he shpeaks not very good English. He means de oldest dog 
is de youngest one." :~ 










XXXI 

RULES, MOTTOES AND COURSE OF 

STUDY 

'WALL MOTTOES 

I. OAK HILL MOTTO 

Time is precious 

Time is money — 
Do not stand idle, waiting, 
Do not keep others waiting, 

Do something useful. 
Be a busy, silent worker, 
Shun the idle, noisy shirker. 

II. RULE OF ORDER 

Order is the first law of Heaven, and it is the first rule 
in every well regulated home, school and church. 

IT REQUIRES THAT EVERYONE: 

BE in the right place at the right time, 
DO the right thing in the right way, 
DO the same things the same way, 
KEEP everything in the right place ; and 
COMPLETE whatever has been undertaken. 

ENDEAVOR BENEDICTION 

"The Lord bless thee and keep thee : 

The Lord make his face shine upon thee and be grac- 
ious unto thee : 

The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give 
thee peace. 

And unto him that loved us, and washed us from our 
sins in his own blood and hath made us kings and priests 
unto God and his Father ; to him be glory and dominion for- 
ever and ever. Amen." 

(259) 



260 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

III. ESSENTIALS TO SUCCESS 

An unwavering aim, 

Unswerving integrity, 
Intelligent industry, 
Neverfailing promptness, 

Indomitable perseverance, 

Unbounded enthusiasm, 
Willing and strict economy, 

In the employment of time, 

Talents, money and expenses. 

IV. BUSY DAY 

THIS is our BUSY DAY. 

Do not intrude here to day. 

Come some other day. 

LOAFERS 

Are worse than useless. Their presence here is 

STRICTLY FORBIDDEN. 

KEY WORDS : The Key words that open or close doors 
of opportunity, and contrast the characteristics of the good 
and bad student, are as follows: 

GOOD STUDENT 

POET: Politeness, Obedience, Economy and Earn- 
estness, Thoughtfulness. 

BAD PUPIL 

DIED: Disorderly conduct, Idleness, Extravagance, 
Deceit. 

GOOD WORKMAN 

STEAM: Steam is a good key word, to enable one to 
remember how the good workman works efficiently and 
profitably. He works : 
Steadily, 

Thoughtfully, 

Enthusiastically, 
Alone, 

Methodically. 



RULES, MOTTOES AND COURSE OF STUDY 261 

RULES AND REGULATIONS 

I. STUDENTS 

The Superintendent and Teachers wish all the students 
to be gladdened and strengthened by the joy of successful 
achievement. To effect this each student must learn to do 
promptly and thoroughly everything he knows he ought to 
do, and refrain absolutely from doing anything he knows 
he ought not to do. "The joy of the Lord is your strength." 

Order. Good order must be maintained in all the build- 
ings and premises. It requires that there be a place for 
everything and everything be kept in its place; that each 
student know 1 his place and be in it at the right nick of time. 

Silence. All are expected to be silent, thoughtful, earn- 
est workers so as to make perfect recitations. The discipline 
of absolute silence is necessary to the attainment of com- 
plete self control, and the achievement of the best results, 
both as a student and workman. Silence must be observed 
in the Academy at all times, and only a low tone of voice 
is appropriate in the other buildings at any time. 

Obedience. All are expected to yield a prompt and 
cheerful obedience to all the Rules and Regulations, and 
never indulge in any disputes with your teachers. 

Students render themselves liable to suspension or ex- 
pulsion by persistent disobedience, quarreling, disorderly 
conduct, profane or unchaste language, truancy, or general 
disregard for the rules of the school. 

No student known to be affected with a contagious dis- 
ease, or coming from a family where such diseases exist, 
shall be received or continued in the school. 

Pupils must procure drinks and make all other necessary 
preparation for school at playtime, and keep their places 
after the bell rings. 

Pupils shall not ask questions, walk across or leave the 
room while classes are reciting, nor at any other time with- 
out permission. 

Pupils must observe the common forms of politeness 
and at all times treat their teachers and one another with 
courtesy and respect. 

No pupil shall be permitted to leave or be absent from 



262 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

the school during school hours, except in case of illness 
without an excuse from the superintendent or parent. 

Rooms. The rooms occupied by the students are merely 
sleeping apartments ; and for this purpose the pure cold air 
in them is conducive to the enjoyment of the most rugged 
health. They must not be used for study or amusement, 
especially at night ; and drafts of air from the windows must 
be avoided. 

Each student on rising, when no other provision is made 
is expected to air the bed and room, to empty the slop pail 
and put it on its shelf in the sun, to make the bed and sweep 
the room ; and after breakfast to report for duty, the boys 
at the office, and the girls to the matron. They will report 
in the same way at 2:30 p. m., and the children at 4:00 p. m. 

All are expected to refrain from returning to the sleep- 
ing rooms during the day, from entering the rooms of others 
in the evening and from receiving visitors without permis- 
sion. The doors must be kept closed. 

Illness. The first duty of everyone who becomes ill is 
to report that fact to the superintendent, or matron. He ex- 
pects everyone to perform every duty assigned in a faith- 
ful and responsible manner, until notice of illness has been 
received. 

All are required, even when feeling indisposed and lack- 
ing an appetite, to come to the table for warm drinks at the 
regular meal time. 

All requests for meals to be brought to the rooms, shall 
be sent to the matron or superintendent at or before meal 
time. 

Sitting Rooms. The small boys, when needing the com- 
fort of a warm room, must occupy their own sitting room, 
and the larger boys and girls the rooms provided for them, 
respectively; each endeavoring to make a good use of their 
spare moments, while occupying these places, and observe 
the rule requiring quiet and good order in the buildings. 

Chapel Bell. The chapel bell shall be rung at 7:45 and 
7:55 a. m. ; at 12:45 and 12:55 p. m. ; at 2:40 p. m. and at 
6:45 and 6:55 p. m. Every student is expected to be in his 
place and be ready for work on his studies, before the tap 
bell is heard at 8 :00 a. m., 1 :00 p. m. and 7 :00 p. m. 

Farm Bell. The signal for the janitors or fire makers 



RULES, MOTTOES AND COURSE OF STUDY 263 

shall be rung at 5 :40 a. m., the call to rise, at 6:00 a. m. ; for 
dinner at 11 :40 a. m. ; supper at 5 :40 p. m. ; retiring at 8:20 
and 8:30 p. m., when all lights in the rooms must be 
put out. 

The dining room bell will ring for breakfast, at 6:20 a. 
m. ; dinner, at 11:55 a. m. ; supper, at 6:00 p. m. 

All matters for the mail must be delivered at the office 
before 1:00 p. m. 

II. MEETINGS AND CHORES 

Genius. All are encouraged to learn how to work hard 
and constantly, and to use every spare moment for some 
good purpose. There is no genius like that for hard work. 
Enthusiastic interest in one's work is essential to success. 
Idleness is a sin, a waste of life, and cannot be endured at 
Oak Hill, which is intended to be a hive of industry. 

Carefulness. All must learn to use rightly and careful- 
ly the books, slates, tools, and furniture entrusted to them. 
All injuries to books, furniture or buildings must be paid 
for by those guilty of injuring them. 

Services. All, unless specially excused, are required to 
attend all the religious services on the Sabbath, including 
the Bible Memory class. The Endeavor meeting is the 
student's special training service; all are expected to par- 
ticipate in it, by at least reading or repeating a verse of 
Scripture ; and in the Bible Memory class by committing an 
average of one verse a day. All are encouraged to covet the 
best gifts, especially the power of complete self-control, and 
the ability to say things forcibly, and do things thoroughly. 

Speakers. Those speak with authority, who, instead of 
telling what they think, or making an apology, tell what the 
Bible, the law of the Lord, says. All should endeavor to in- 
struct, animate and encourage ; none should ever indulge in 
fault-finding, or allude to any personal grievance. 

Leaders. Leaders of meetings are expected to be fully 
prepared before hand, to stand when they speak; to speak 
sufficiently loud and distinct as to be easily heard by the 
most distant listener ; to repeat the numbers of the hymns ; 
to request the audience to stand during prayer ; to afford an 
opportunity for volunteer prayers or remarks; and to close 
the meeting as soon as the interest in it has ended. 



264 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Immorality. No one guilty of persistent immoral con- 
duct, will either be admitted, or be permitted to remain at 
the academy. 

Chores. The domestic work in all the buildings, the 
care of the stock, and the preparation of the fuel, are ap- 
portioned among the students, and all are required to do 
their part. 

Janitors. The janitors must see that the kindling has 
been provided in the evening; rise promptly at the call of 
the janitor's signal; and have the fires in the sitting rooms 
and chapel burning in good shape, before the ringing of the 
rising bell. These fires are to be maintained during the day, 
by those specially appointed to perform that duty. All are 
expected, to exercise good judgment and practice economy in 
the use of both the kindling and wood. The ashes from all 
the stoves must be carried to the heap every morning. Only 
old vessels may be used for this purpose and these, when 
emptied, must be returned to their proper places. 

Care of Stock. Those assigned the care of the stock are 
required to be prompt and faithful in caring for it; in the 
morning, at noon and evening day by day, according to in- 
structions, without having to be prompted. This work must 
not be left undone or entrusted to others, without first noti- 
fying the superintendent. 

Other Chores. This rule, requiring faithfulness, applies 
also to those, who have been assigned the chore work about 
the buildings, kindling fires, sweeping halls, cleaning lamps, 
carrying water and wood. 

Hall Lamps. The hall lamps, water pails and other fix- 
tures, that are intended to serve all, must never be removed 
from their places, to render service to an individual. 

III. WORK AND THINGS FORBIDDEN 

Work Period. All over 13 years of age are expected to 
render three full hours of faithful and efficient work each 
day, and on Saturday until 2:30 p. m. Time lost by tardi- 
ness, or unnecessary absence during the working period, 
must be made up before the end of the term. 

Object. The aim of your teachers, during these work- 
periods, is to give you a practical knowledge of the simple 
arts of life; that you may be intelligent, capable and effi- 



RULES, MOTTOES AND COURSE OF STUDY 265 

cient workmen; be enabled to make your own homes more 
comfortable, and create a demand for your services. 

Tool Rules. Each workman, at the close of the work 
period, must return all tools used to their proper place. If 
they have been transferred, then the last one using them 
must return them. None are permitted to use any tools, or 
touch any musical instrument, until they have been taught 
the rules relating to them ; and have been shown how to use 
them, and do the work in a skillful and workmanlike man- 
ner. Tools must never be taken to any of the rooms to do 
any repair work. 

Non-interference. When students are working under 
the direction of anyone, they must not be interfered with by 
others, nor leave the work assigned them, without the 
knowledge and approval of the one, under whose direction 
they are working at the time. 

Irregularity. Irregularity greatly interferes with a 
student's progress and the work of his class and teacher. 
Leave of absence during the term cannot therefore be grant- 
ed, except for the most urgent reasons. Those, that from 
any cause, miss one or more lessons, should endeavor to 
master them when they return. 

Caution. All are kindly advised never to be guilty of 
any word or act, that will be likely to cause you to forfeit the 
esteem and confidence of the superintendent, or your teach- 
ers. A good student endeavors to aid and cheer, but never 
disobeys or annoys a teacher. 

Things Forbidden. Never permit yourself to indulge 
in any dispute with your teacher in the school room, shop or 
field. 

Don't tease, ridicule or despise others; be polite and 
courteous to each other. 

Don't indulge in the use of profane or obscene language, 
or in any acts of deceit, falsehood or theft. 

Don't use or have in your possession, any intoxicating 
liquors, tobacco or snuff in any form ; gamblers' or obscene 
cards or pictures ; concealed weapons ; or soil the floors with 
spittle or wash water. 

Don't indulge in singing, whistling, unnecessary talk- 
ing or foolish laughter while working with others; or play 
ball while others are working, or choring. 



266 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

All communications between boys and girls, and all as- 
sociation or interference on the play grounds are strictly for- 
bidden. 

At the close of all meetings, especially those in the eve- 
ning, the girls are required to go directly and quietly to their 
hall. 

Don't be extravagant or foppish in your dress, or bor- 
row or lend, either clothing or money. 

Don't send home for eatables or other unnecessary 
things. New clothing, especially shoes, should not be sent 
from home, without having the measure taken. It is bet- 
ter to send the money. 

Every article of clothing needing to be washed must 
have the owner's name. 

Don't tamper with the street lamp, or the plugs in the 
water trough ; nor change the pins, tubs or tube at the well ; 
nor roughly jerk the pump handles at the well and cisterns. 

Use everything in the way and for the purpose for 
which it was intended, never otherwise. 

Don't leave your seat in the school room, or go out of 
it during school hours, without permission from your teach- 
er. Never sit on the tops of the desks. 

Teachers. Each teacher is expected to keep in an or- 
derly form on the teacher's desk, for use in conducting reci- 
tations, a complete set of the Text books used by the classes ; 
and to prepare before hand all lessons or parts thereof that 
may not be familiar. 

The power of suspension or exclusion is vested only 
in the superintendent. This power must never be exercised 
by any of his helpers without his previous knowledge and 
approval. 

All matters relating to the repair of the buildings and 
their equipment should be promptly reported to the super- 
intendent. 

The aim of the primary teacher, at the time of recita- 
tion, should be to have all the pupils reproduce the entire 
lesson one or more times in concert and then individually 
to accomplish this with as few words as possible. 

The aim of every teacher should be to make Oak Hill, 
to all the young people pursuing their studies here, a foun- 









RULES, MOTTOES AND COURSE OF STUDY 267 

tain of inspiration, a sanctuary where fellowship with the 
Redeemer of the world and a new discovery of the glory of 
God shall be among the blessings bestowed. 

Book Marks. The teachers are required to furnish every 
new pupil one complete set of approved, folded marginal 
book marks ; one for each text book, and for both the Sun- 
day school and Memory lessons in the Bible. By example 
and precept, they are expected to require them to keep them 
in their proper places, and if carelessly lost, to replace them 
with new ones of their own making. Among the objects to 
be attained by the enforcement of this rule are the habit of 
carefulness in little things, to save the books from other in- 
jurious methods of marking and to save the time of the 
teacher, class and pupil. 

FIRE PRECAUTIONS 

The rooms occupied by the students must be carefully 
inspected by the matrons or their special monitors every 
time the students leave them for the school or chapel; to 
see that the buildings have not been endangered by any acts 
of carelessness or thoughtlessness. 

The ladders must be kept where they may be easily and 
quickly obtained. 

On the first Friday of each term the students shall be 
organized into a Fire Department, the superintendent serv- 
ing as chief and the matrons and teachers as his special 
aids. The fire-fighters shall include the pumpers and a 
bucket brigade; the life and property savers shall include 
the ladder squad; and the strenuous work of all shall con- 
tinue until the building or the last possible piece of proper- 
ty has been saved. 

The fire drills shall consist of quick orderly marches, 
at an unexpected signal, from all the buildings occupied, and 
the report of each squad for duty to their respective fore- 
men. 

TO PARENTS 

These suggestions to parents or guardians appear on 
the monthly report cards. 

This report is sent you in the hope it will give you that 
information you naturally desire to receive in regard to the 
work and standing of the pupils you have sent to the acad- 
emy. 



268 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

In your communications to your children encourage 
them to be prompt and punctual in meeting every engage- 
ment, to remember the Sabbath day, to improve their spare 
moments by reading the Bible or some good book, to do their 
best during the hours of study and work each day, and to 
refrain from association with the idle or worthless. 

(1) SALUTE TO THE FLAG 

(2) We give our heads (3) and our hearts (4) to our 
Country. (5) One country, one language (6) one flag. 

1. All rise and extend right arm toward the flag. 2 Touch fore- 
head with tips of the fingers. 3. Right palm over the heart. 4. Both 
hands extended upward. 5. Lean forward, hands at sides. 6. With 
emphasis, right hand pointing to the flag. Sing America. 

"The red is for love that will dare and do 
The blue is the sign of the brave and true. 
The white with all evil and wrong shall cope, 
And the silver stars are the stars of hope." 

THE STUDENTS GOODBYE 

Good bye, Oak Hill ; good bye ; 
We're off to the fields and the open sky ; 
But we shall return in the fall, you know, 
As glad to return as we are now to go. 

Good bye, Oak Hill ; Good bye. 

THE COURSE OF STUDY 

The following is the course of study pursued at the 
academy, the high school course being added June 1, 1912. 

I. PRIMARY DEPARTMENT 

First Grade: First Reader, Reading Chart, Primer, 
Printing, Numbers and Tables. Books of Bible, Memory 
Work. 

Second Grade : Second Reader, Doubs Speller, Printing, 
Writing, Tables, Primary Arithmetic. Also the Bible, Short- 
er Catechism and Vocal Music in this and the subsequent 
grades. 

II. INTERMEDIATE DEPARTMENT 

Third Grade: Third Reader, Doubs Speller, (Smith's) 
Primary Arithmetic, Principles of Penmanship, (Spencer 
or Eaton), Introductory Language Work, Primary Geogra- 
phy. 



RULES, MOTTOES AND COURSE OF STUDY 269 

Fourth Grade: Fourth Reader, Doubs Speller, Pri- 
mary Arithmetic, Writing, (Thompson's) Principles of 
Drawing, Primary Geography, (Krohn's) First Book in 
Physiology. 

Leslie's Music Chart and Ideal Class Book ; and Thwing's 
Voice Culture, are used weekly for instruction in the prin- 
ciples, and general drills in gesture, note reading and voice 
culture. 

III. GRAMMAR DEPARTMENT 

Fifth Grade : Fifth Reader, U. S. History, Doubs Speller, 
Primary Arithmetic, Reed & Kellogg's Graded Lessons in 
English, or Burt's Grammar, Physiology, Writing, Nature 
Study Chart. 

Sixth Grade: Fifth Reader, History of United States 
or Oklahoma, Doubs Speller, (Smith's) Practical Arith- 
metic, Writing, Geography, Drawing, Burt's Grammar or 
Reed & Kellogg's Graded Lessons in English, Agriculture. 

Seventh Grade: The Bible, Literary Readings, Doubs 
Speller, Arithmetic, Grammar, Agriculture, Civics, Writing, 
Geography Completed. 

Eighth Grade : The Bible or Literary Readings, Doubs 
Speller, Grammar, Composition, (Carson's Handbook), 
Arithmetic, (Evans & Bunn's) Civics, Constitution of Okla- 
homa and United States, Writing, Bookkeeping (Stephen- 
son's), Thompson's Drawing for Rural Schools. 

Wentworth's Mental Arithmetic is commended for use 
in the Sixth to Eighth grades. 

Frequent reviews of the rules and definitions are es- 
sential to the attainment of a thorough knowledge of any 
textbook and the most rapid advancement in it. 

Didactic Electives: Page's Theory and Practice in 
Teaching ; Holbrook on the Teacher's Methods ; Wickersham 
on School Government ; Trumbull, the Teacher Teaching ; or 
similar works. 

This outline of grades and studies is intended to be sug- 
gestive and helpful to the teachers in the Academy in grad- 
ing and promoting the pupils. The pupils should be arrang- 
ed in classes according to their several abilities, rather 
than according to this outline in an arbitrary manner, in 
order that the classes at the time of recitation may be as 
large as possible rather than small. Their grade is ascer- 
tained by the majority of their studies, and their standing 
or rank by their percentage in each. 



270 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

This course has been arranged in harmony with the 
outline course prepared in 1908 for the public and city- 
schools of Oklahoma, and is intended to prepare pupils for 
entering the high school course consisting of the Ninth to 
Twelfth grades, or a normal course consisting of Didactics, 
Methods in Teaching and School Government. 

A suitable certificate is issued to all pupils that com- 
plete, in a creditable manner, all the studies in this prepar- 
atory course ending with the Eighth grade. 

The industrial work and training required of all the 
boarding pupils is intended to include a practical knowledge 
of agriculture, animal husbandry, apiculture, poultry rais- 
ing, carpentry, cobbling, concrete, gardening, domestic 
science, sewing and laundry work, as the opportunity is af- 
forded and the pupils discover fitness for these arts. 

IV. HIGH SCHOOL DEPARTMENT 

Ninth Grade: Grammar, Arithmetic, Composition, 
Civics, Elementary Algebra, Bookkeeping. 

Tenth Grade: Algebra, Hill's Etymology, Physical 
Geography, General History, Rhetoric. 

Eleventh Grade: Algebra, Rhetoric, Ancient History, 
American Literature (Abernathy), Composition, Botany, 
Plane Geometry. 

Twelfth Grade : Solid Geometry, (Hessler & Smith's) 
Chemistry, Newcomber's English Literature, Political 

Economy. 

Electives: Astronomy, Geology, Zoology, Trigonom- 
etry; Surveying, Stenography, Typewriting, Telegraphy. 

In January 1908, when P. K. Faison, first superintend- 
ent of the public schools of McCurtain county, made his 
first visit to Oak Hill, he stated that Wheelock and Oak Hill 
Academies were the only graded schools in McCurtain 
county at that time. 

TEACHING IN SUNDAY SCHOOL 

As a help to young Sunday school teachers in the prep- 
aration of the lesson and its management before the class 
Miss Saxe's method of five points of analysis and five points 
of application are given. 



RULES, MOTTOES AND COURSE OF STUDY 271 

ANALYSIS 

1. What is the principal subject? 

2. What the leading lessons ? 

3. Which the best verse ? 

4. Who are the principal persons ? 

5. What teaching about Christ? 

APPLICATION 

1. What example to follow? 

2. What to avoid? 

3. What duty to perform? 

4. What promise to proclaim? 

5. What prayer to echo? 





XXXII 

SAVINGS AND INVESTMENTS 

'Gather up the Fragments that nothing be lost." — Jesus. 
SAVINGS OR WAGES 
Kf^/pT is a matter of great importance to every 
one to learn early in life the difference be- 
tween monthly or yearly savings and wages ; 
and also the difference between personal ex- 
penses and profitable investments. 
When a boy works on the railroad and has to supply all 
his daily wants, he knows what his wages are and answers 
the question quickly, stating what he receives by the day 
when he makes a full day's work. But when he is asked, 
"What are your monthly savings ?" he is bothered and frank- 
ly confesses he cannot tell. Before the end of the second 
month the wages of his first month have slowly passed 
through his hands for personal expenses and little or noth- 
ing has been saved for profitable investment. 

When a boy works for a farmer, who receives him into 
his home, providing for him a furnished room, fuel, light, 
boarding and washing, he does not seem to receive more 
than half what the other boy receives who works for the 
railroad. When he is asked the same question, "What are 
your monthly wages and what your monthly savings?" he 
makes reply by stating the balance in the farmer's hand as 
his savings, and that is correct ; but he cannot tell what his 
wages are, by way of comparison with the other boy. The 

(272) 



SAVINGS AND INVESTMENTS 273 

first boy at the end of the month has received wages the 
other boy his savings, save for his clothing. The latter at 
the end of the year has ordinarily saved more than the 
former, though all the time he may have imagined he was 
not receiving sufficient wages, merely because the monthly 
allowance of the farmer is commonly called "wages," instead 
of by the right name, "monthly savings." 

That which the farmer does for his boy, in providing 
him a home and helping him to save his earnings, this 
Industrial Academy is now doing for every boy, that is 
received into the membership of the Oak Hill Family and 
makes his home there during the summer season. 

At the Academy he not only finds steady employment, 
but is removed from the places that call for worse than use- 
less daily expenditures; and the monthly allowance, made 
by the Superintendent, represents not his wages but his 
monthly savings, in the deposit bank of the institution. 

When a parent or boy makes the discovery, that the 
boys who remain at the Academy during the summer months 
have more funds to their credit in the Bank of the institu- 
tion in the fall of the year, than many of those who receive 
a higher daily wage elsewhere, and that they also make the 
most rapid progress in their studies, they begin to see the 
difference between working for savings and working for 
wages; and how much better off is the boy, who takes the 
training and grows up under the stimulating and elevating 
influence of a good educational institution. 

INVESTMENTS 

A personal expense is an expenditure of money for some 

article that may indeed be necessary, as a pair of shoes, but 

it begins to depreciate in value as soon as the expenditure 

has been made. A profitable investment is an expenditure 



274 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

of money, time or talents, that is expected to increase in 
value or yield an income. If a lamb is purchased it will grow 
into a sheep and its value is doubled. If an acre of good land 
is purchased it is sure to increase in value according to its 
quality and location. 

The ability to avoid personal expenses and to make 
profitable investments is one of the things that determines 
our good or ill success in life. The education of a thought- 
ful, earnest boy or girl is ordinarily a good and profitable in- 
vestment, for their value or usefulness may be increased 
many times more than that of the lamb or the acre of land. 
If they are gratefully responsive to their training no better 
investment can be made, than that which has for its object 
the intellectual, moral and religious training of our boys 
and girls. 

A christian educational institution is an investment 
for producing manhood and character, things that money 
will not buy. One may invest in bonds or stocks, and make 
or lose money ; but he who aids in the production of christian 
men and women, trained for service, increases their useful- 
ness and continues to live through their consecrated lives 
and achievements. 

This institution makes its appeal to the friends who 
have money and who would make a profitable investment; 
and also to the thoughtful boys and girls, who would greatly 
increase their value to society, the church and the world, by 
obtaining a good education in their youth. 




GOING TO SCHOOL 



■■Pill* IP! 




THE ORCHESTRA— 1912 
[274] 



YOUTHFUL SWEEPERS 
Holding and using the broom aright 




OAK HILL— Weimer Photos 



XXXIII 

SUMMER NORMALS AND CHAUTAU- 
QUA 

"Apt to teach, patient." — Paul 

V^><£^/pHE summer normals were established at the 
HP \t academy in October, 1905, and were con- 





tinued during the next two years. Their 
object was to prepare candidates for the 
ministry, under the care of the Presbytery, 
to serve also at that time as teachers in the mission, and 
later in the public schools; and to afford ambitious young 
people the opportunity to prepare for the same work. They 
were conducted by the superintendent and Bertha L. 
Ahrens, the latter serving as instructor in the class room. 

At the time they were held, they afforded the only op- 
portunity in the south part of the Choctaw Nation, for the 
Freedmen to receive this training. When the McCurtain 
county normal was established at Idabel in 1908, they were 
no longer needed and were discontinued. 

Those that attended the normals were as follows: 

In 1905, Mary A. Donaldson of Paris, Texas. 

In 1906, Mary A. Donaldson and Lilly B. Simms, Paris, 
Texas; Mrs. W. H. Carroll and Fidelia Murchison, Garvin, 
Mary E. Shoals, Grant, and James G. Shoals, Valliant. 

In 1907, Zolo O. Lawson, Shawneetown, Mary E. Shoals, 
Grant ; Delia Clark, Lehigh ; Virginia Wofford and Solomon 
H. Buchanan, Valliant. 

(275) 



276 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

When the first summer normal was held at the academy 
in 1905, a request for some lectures or an instructor a part 
of the time addressed to Hon. J. Blair Shoenfelt, Indian 
agent, Muskogee, brought the following response from John 
D. Benedict, superintendent of schools. 

"The colored citizens of the Choctaw Nation have not 
been allowed to participate in the benefit of the school fund 
of that Nation ; hence we have not been able to establish any 
schools for colored children in the Choctaw and Chickasaw 
Nations, until this year. We have now a few colored schools 
in both of these Nations. There has never been any de- 
mand for normals or summer institutes for colored teachers 
in these two Nations. They will enjoy an appropriation of 
$100,000 for the ensuing year, but there are no funds 
available for normal schools among them this year." John 
D. Benedict, Superintendent. 

This letter indicates the lapse of provision for the gen- 
eral education of the Choctaw Freedmen and its renewal 
during the last years of the Territorial government. 

LICENTIATES 

Those that pursued the course of study, provided dur- 
ing these years, for those that were preparing specially for 
the ministry, were Noah Alverson, Griffin, and John Rich- 
ards, Lukfata. Mr. Richards died at 28 in 1908 and Mr. 
Alverson was ordained in 1910. 

CANDIDATES FOR THE MINISTRY 

In April 1911, Riley Flournoy, Sylvester S. Bibbs, Fred 
McFarland and Clarence Peete expressed the desire to be- 
come ministers of the gospel and were received under the 
care of the Presbytery at Eagletown, as candidates. All 
were members of the Oak Hill church and school. 



SUMMER NORMALS AND CHAUTAUQUA 277 

THE FIRST CHAUTAUQUA 

In 1907, the last year under territorial government, ar- 
rangements were made for a patriotic celebration, in the 
form of a chautauqua at the Academy. The following ac- 
count of it is from the columns of the Garvin Graphic: 

The Fourth of July meeting bv the Freedmen at Oak 
ilill AcacY:. ly, near Valliant, was a real patriotic chautauqua, 
the first meeting of the kind ever held in this part of the 
Territory, and well worthy of more than a mere passing 
note. The preparations for the occasion, which included a 
comfortable seat for everyone, were fully completed before 
hand. The speakers' stand and the Academy buildings were 
tastefully decorated with our beautiful national colors, one 
large flag suspended between two of them, being twelve feet 
long. 

"The exercises included three series of addresses, inter- 
spersed with soul-stirring patriotic music by the Oak Hill 
Glee Club, and the speakers included several of the most 
eloquent orators in the south part of the territory. The oc- 
casion afforded ample opportunity for the free and full dis- 
cussion of those questions, relating to the administration 
of our public affairs, that are now engaging the attention of 
the people; and this fact was greatly appreciated both by 
the speakers and the people. 

"At the forenoon session James R. Crabtree presided 
with commendable grace and dignity. The Declaration of 
Independence was read in a very entertaining and impres- 
sive manner by Miss Malinda Hall, who has been an efficient 
helper in the work of the Academy, since its re-opening two 
years ago. The principal address at this session was deliv- 
ered by Rev. Wiley Homer, of Grant, a large, well built man 
with a strong voice, who for many years has been a capable 
and trusted leader among the Freedmen of this section. 
Others that participated were Johnson Shoals, of Valliant, 
who has been pursuing a course of study at the Iowa State 
Agricultural college, Ames, Iowa, and W. J. Wehunt, one of 
the prominent business men of Valliant. 

"At the afternoon session Isaac Johnson, a natural born 
orator, presided and, both in his address and happy manner 
of introducing the speakers, enlivened the occasion with 
unexpected sallies of natural mother wit and eloquence. Rev. 



278 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

W. H. Carroll, of Garvin, one of the instructors of the Acad- 
emy, discussed in an able manner a number of questions re- 
lating to the educational and church work among the ne- 
groes ; and he was followed by Prof. P. A. Parish, of Idabel, 
the well-known "Kansas negro," but of full-blood African 
descent, who seemed at his best in the discussion of current 
and local public questions. 

"Rev. Wiley Homer presided at the evening session and 
the address was delivered by Rev. Chas. C. Weith, of Ard- 
more. This address, delivered in the cool of the evening, 
marked the climax of interest. In an eloquent and forceful 
manner he recalled the events that led to the first declara- 
tion of independence, which was for the freedom of the soul 
by Luther in Germany in 1517; traced the growth of this 
sentiment in other countries until it found its expression 
in the Declaration of Independence for the citizen, by our 
forefathers in 1776; and pressed the urgent need of Godli- 
ness on the part of every American citizen, in order to have 
the highest type of patriot and to insure the permanency 
of our civil and religious liberty. This address was a rare 
treat for the people of this section. 

"Patriotic solos were rendered by Miss Bertha L. 
Ahrens, organist, Rev. W. H. Carroll, S. H. Buchanan, Mrs. 
J. A. Thomas and Miss Hall. 

"The barbecue was prepared during the night previous 
by Charles Bibbs. 

"Rev. R. E. Flickinger, the superintendent of the Acad- 
emy, at the close of the day's sessions, received hearty con- 
gratulations for the excellent character of the arrange- 
ments for the day and was encouraged to provide for sim- 
ilar patriotic celebrations in the future." 



XXXIV 

GRACES AND PRAYERS 

"In all things, give thanks, pray without ceasing." — 
Paul. 

i^^^^/PHE following forms of grace and prayer are 
V '"p y[ intended to be suggestive helps to young 




people, who have the desire to be ready al- 
ways to lead in prayer and conduct family 
worship, with interest and profit to others. 
Bible reading and private prayer prepare for public prayer; 
but the latter is rendered much easier, when it is remem- 
bered, that it should consist of expressions of thanksgiving, 
confession, petition and intercession. Those that lead should 
speak loud enough to be easily heard by everyone, and with 
an earnestness, that suggests sincerity. 

GRACE AT MEALS 

BREAKFAST. We thank Thee, our Father, for sweet 
rest and refreshment in sleep, thy bountiful supply of our 
wants and the right use of our faculties. Give us wisdom 
this day in the discharge of duty and in the employment of 
our time and talents for Jesus' sake. Amen. 

DINNER. We thank thee, our Father, that thou dost 
give to us health and strength to perform our labors and 
hast surrounded us with the blessings and comforts of life. 
Feed our souls with the bread of life and enable us to serve 
thee acceptably for Jesus' sake. Amen. 

SUPPER. We thank thee, our Father, that thou hast 
enabled us to perform the labors of the day and graciously 
supplied our wants. Establish the work of our hands and 
forgive our sins for Jesus' sake. Amen. 

(279) 



280 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

HELPFUL FORMS OF PRAYER 

"Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep ; 
If I should die before I wake, 
I pray thee, Lord, my soul to take ; 
And this I ask for Jesus' sake." 

We thank thee, O Lord, for strength of arm to win 
our daily bread; for enough on which to live and some to 
give to those that are unfed. We thank thee for shelter 
from the cold and storm, a place that may be shared with a 
friend forlorn. We thank thee for thy wonderful love on us 
bestowed, that we should now be called the children of God. 

May thy gracious presence go with us this day. Put 
good thoughts into our minds and good words into our 
mouths. Make us strong to do that which is pleasing in thy 
sight, by making thy word the guide of our lives. Bless our 
friends that are near and dear unto us. May their lives be 
found precious in thy sight. Command thy blessing to rest 
upon our neighbors and all with whom we associate. 

May thy richest spiritual blessing rest upon thy ser- 
vant, our pastor, and all the people to whom be ministers; 
so that the work of the Lord may prosper in our hands. Bless 
our children and youth by writing their names in the Book 
of life and inclining them to walk in thy commands. 

Forgive our sins, comfort our hearts, strengthen our 
faith and enable us to serve Thee acceptably; we ask it for 
Jesus' sake. Amen. 

ANOTHER ONE 

We thank thee our Father, for the Bible, thine own 
blessed word, that teaches us, what we are to believe con- 
cerning Thee, and what duties Thou requirest of us. Help 
us to read it with the understanding heart, that it may 
prove a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. 

We thank Thee for the voice of conscience, prompting 
us to do right. Enable us by Thy grace to do promptly, that 
which we know to be right. Help us to remember the Sab- 
bath, to keep it holy unto the Lord. Help us to set our affec- 
tion on the "house of the Lord;" and when we worship Thee, 
may the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us. Bless 
our friends and neighbors; all who seek an interest in our 
prayers. Forgive our sins and enable us to serve thee ac- 
ceptably, for Jesus' sake. Amen. 



GRACES AND PRAYERS 281 

A PRAYER FOR THE AGED 

Ever blessed and gracious God, our Father, I humbly 
pray that thou wilt not cast me off in the time of old age, 
when my strength faileth. Preserve unto me the right use 
of my faculties for my soul trusteth in Thee. Comfort and 
strengthen my soul in the day of weakness that I may attest 
thy faithfulness in fulfilling all thy gracious promises. 

Thou hast taught me to know mine end and the meas- 
ure of my days, that I might apply my heart unto wisdom ; 
and desire to dwell in Thy presence, where there is fulness 
of joy; and at thy right hand, where there are pleasures for 
evermore. 

When the time comes for my inexperienced soul to 
leave its earthly temple, send the blessed angels to carry it 
to the mansions, thou hast prepared for the redeemed, who 
put their trust in Thee; and accord unto me an abundant 
entrance into the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus 
Christ. To whom be praise, dominion and glory, now and 
forever. Amen. 

"How beautiful to be with God ! 
To lay aside this toil-worn dress, 
To wear a crown of righteousness, 
And robes of purest white possess ; 
And sing the sweet redemption song." 

— Frances Willard. 






XXXV 

PRESBYTERIAL MEETINGS AND 

PICNICS 

OAK HILL IN 1905.— NOT A BUCKET.— GOING TO PRESBYTERY. 
ENTERTAINMENT FOR EVERYBODY. 

j^5)<^/pN August 31, 1905, the Presbytery of Ki- 
(^\ \( amichi met at Oak Hill, at a time when an 




attack of malaria at his summer home at 
Fonda, Iowa, prevented the return of the 
superintendent. The attendance of visitors 
was unusually large. It fell to the lot of Miss Eaton, matron, 
and Miss Ahrens to provide for their entertainment. They 
were ably assisted by Miss M. A. Hall and Mitchell S. Stew- 
art. They had sixty for dinner on Friday and Saturday and 
one hundred and twenty-five on Sabbath. 

On this occasion three new members were added to the 
roll, Jack A. Thomas was elected and ordained an elder, and 
Samuel Harris, a deacon. 

The meetings of the Presbytery, which are always evan- 
gelistic, have now come to be the most attractive, interesting 
and profitable meetings held in their respective commun- 
ities. As the available churches are few in number, the 
meetings are held in each every two or three years. The 
coming of the Presbytery is anticipated with a great deal of 
interest, and a "big crowd" is the delight of the congrega- 
tion, receiving and entertaining it. This is a fact worthy 
of special note. 

(282) 



PRESBYTERIAL MEETINGS AND PICNICS 283 

NOT AN OAK HILL BUCKET 
In the Territorial clays, or, rather previous to the allot- 
ment of lands to them individually in 1905, the most at- 
tractive meeting, in their various neighborhoods, was the 
annual old-time picnic, made interesting by the presence of a 
"merry go round" that relieved them of their nickels, and 
a platform, where promiscuous dancing was sure to be con- 
tinued through most of the night, and be accompanied with 
considerable dissipation and immorality. 

When the superintendent discovered the nature of these 
gatherings, he did not hesitate to declare their dissipating 
and demoralizing tendency. He also stated the attitude of 
the institution in regard to them by giving utterance to the 
following sentiment: "Whilst everything at the academy is 
available for the betterment of the colored people, there is 
not an Oak Hill bucket available for use, at a dissipating 
and demoralizing dance in the timber." This sentiment 
sounded a little harsh and cruel at first, but it now com- 
mands the approval of all the good students and of those, 
who are doing most to promote the happiness and welfare of 
the young and rising generation. Since the young people 
have come to participate, to a greater extent, in the frequent 
meetings of the Presbytery and in an annual Sunday school 
convention, the old time "dance in the timber", has become a 
"thing of the past." 

EVERYBODY GOES TO PRESBYTERY 
The meetings of the Presbytery are sure to be attended 
by everyone, living in the vicinity of the meeting, and by as 
many others as can manage to "get there." It is unusual 
for any colored minister and his elder to be absent from any 
meeting, no matter how great may be the difficulties, that 
have to be overcome in getting there. If the place of meet- 



284 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

ing can be easily reached, additional delegates are chosen to 
represent the Sunday school, the aid, Endeavor and Wo- 
men's Missionary societies. 

If these additional delegates get to the meeting, they 
are duly enrolled and later are accorded all the time they 
wish in making their oral reports of the work they repre- 
sent. All seem to enjoy making reports and addresses at 
Presbytery. Many are animated with the earnest desire to 
aid in giving their race an uplift, and the address in Pres- 
bytery seems to be one of the nicest opportunities to do this. 
This is especially true of some of those among the older peo- 
ple who cannot read, survivors of the slavery period who in- 
herited good memories and good voices. Several of the most 
eloquent and deeply impressive appeals, it was the privilege 
of the author to hear at the academy or Presbytery, were 
delivered by those, whose condition of slavery in youth and 
isolated location afterward prevented attendance at school. 
By frequent participation in religious meetings, where they 
endeavored to repeat and enforce Bible truths, to which they 
had given an attentive ear, caused them, like some of the 
famous philosophers in the days of Socrates and Aristotle, 
to be held in high esteem as persons of intelligence and in- 
fluence in their respective communities. Henry Crittenden, 
Elijah Butler, Mrs. Charles Bashears, and Simon Folsom 
were all good examples of unlettered, but natural orators, 
who found their widest sphere of usefulness in the activities 
of the church. 

GOING TO PRESBYTERY 

Those, attending the meetings of the Presbytery, 
often experienced serious disappointments on the way and 
some little inconveniences, when they got there. Previous 
to the organization of the church at Garvin in 1905, there 



PRESBYTERIAL MEETINGS AND PICNICS 285 

were only two churches, Oak Hill and Beaver Dam at Grant, 
that were located near the railroad. All the other churches 
were located in rural neighborhoods, 8 to 20 miles distant 
from the nearest station. The roads to them were merely 
winding trails through the timber, that crossed the streams 
where it was possible to ford them, without any grading of 
the banks. 

That which we witnessed and partially experienced, in 
making our first trip through the timber to a meeting of the 
Presbytery at Frogville, about fifteen miles from the sta- 
tion, was characteristic of three other meetings we attend- 
ed, at a distance from the railroad. 

The delegation, that arrived at the station, consisted of 
nearly two dozen and about half of them were women. We 
arrived at the place the wagons were to meet us, after walk- 
ing across the railroad bridge over the Kiamichi river, a 
short distance west of the station. When we arrived there, 
we found only one wagon of the three, that were expected. 
That was a serious but not a stunning disappointment. The 
luggage was crowded into the bed of that wagon and it 
carried also a few of the older women. The rest of us set 
out on a good long walk, indulging the hope other teams 
would surely meet and relieve us somewhere on the road. 
As the hour of noon was approaching, we anticipated our 
needs on the way, by having a box of crackers and a slice of 
cheese put on the wagon. When we reached a half way 
place, where there was also a spring of good water, this 
lunch was greatly enjoyed. We managed to ride the re- 
mainder of the distance, and at the end of the journey we 
heard no one complain the "road am hard to travel." 



286 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

ENTERTAINMENT FOR EVERYBODY 

The problem of entertainment, always seemed before- 
hand a rather serious one for the few families, living near 
the church in a rural neighborhood. Their generous hos- 
pitality, however, never seemed to be over taxed, but to 
have an elasticity, that included a cordial welcome to every 
one, and as much of comfort during the night as it was 
possible to extend. Many of the younger people on Saturday 
and Sabbath evenings, when their number would be greatest, 
would be grateful when they were accorded a pillow and 
blanket for a bed on the floor, or a bench. 

The happy, hopeful spirit, manifested by both hosts 
and guests, in meeting the responsibilities and unexpected 
disappointments, that are sometimes experienced while at- 
tending meetings of the Presbytery in the rural neighbor- 
hoods, reminds one of the happy remark of a little six year 
old boy, in regard to a sunny visitor, whom he knew had ex- 
perienced many trials and had just left their home: "Yes, 
I like her ; she goes over the bumps as though her heart had 
rubber tires." 







XXXVI 

FARMERS INSTITUTES 

1905-1912 

FOREST CHURCH.— OAK HILL.— SHORT COURSE IN 1912.— 
ISAAC JOHNSON.— EMANCIPATION DAY. 

"Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and 
most noble employment of man." — George Washington. 

>HE first meeting, conducted by the Choctaw 
Freedmen, it was the privilege of the author 
to attend was their annual Farmers Insti- 
tute, held in Forest Presbyterian church 
on Monday, Jan. 1, 1905. Others had been 
held in other places during previous years but this was the 
second annual meeting in the Forest church, and it was 
called the county institute of Fort Towson county. It was 
their own original method of endeavoring to make a pleas- 
ant and profitable observance of Emancipation Day. 

On this the first historic occasion the meeting was con- 
ducted by Johnson W. Shoals, president, in a very dignified 
manner. An interesting annual report was read by the sec- 
retary, James G. Shoals, Fidelia Murchison read an essay 
on gardening and Elsie Shoals-Arnold, one on making and 
marketing butter. The author indulged in a short address 
and other addresses were delivered by Simon Folsom, Lee 
V. Bibbs, Charles Bashears and Mitchell Stewart. The 
principal address however, was by Isaac Johnson, one of 
their number living along the north bank of Red river, 
who had learned the teacher's and speaker's art in Texas. 

(287) 



288 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

He seemed to be at his best and discussed good morals, agri- 
culture and the destiny of the Choctaw Freedmen, with so 
much native wit and humor, we felt well repaid for the long, 
wearisome journey to the place of meeting. 

The meeting consisted of one long session, called a 
forenoon meeting, and at its close, it fell to our lot to ac- 
cept an unexpected invitation to enjoy an old-time picnic 
dinner, which was soon spread on the backless benches in 
the church. Isaac Johnson was chosen as the new president 
and he has continued to serve in that capacity. 

The meeting the next year was held in this same place 
and commencing Jan. 1, 1907, they began to he held at Oak 
Hill Academy. 

The meeting held at Oak Hill on Jan. 1, 1907, had some 
features worthy of special mention. It was the first oc- 
casion, when the meeting included the sessions of two days, 
or any effort was made to have an exhibit of the products 
of the garden and field. McCurtain county, though not yet 
organized had been established, and the officers took more 
pains than usual, to invite the farmers in all parts of the 
new county to participate in its discussions. It was the first 
time, that an effort was made to have a special lecturer 
from the Agricultural college and the young people at Oak 
Hill, trained to supply the needs of the occasion with vocal 
and instrumental music. It was very gratifying to note the 
increased attendance and interest. 

For this occasion, Miss Eaton prepared an artistic de- 
sign, with grains of corn of different colors, for the center 
of the decoration over the speaker's stand, that attracted 
the attention and called forth the admiration of all. It con- 
sisted of a large tablet having a representation of a large 
broadly branching oak tree on the summit of a little hill, hav- 






FARMERS INSTITUTES 289 

ing a canopy of bright stars over it and the words "Oak Hill" 
in the form of an arch near its lower branches. Over the 
tablet was the word "Welcome" and over the ends of it 
"Happy New Year." 

The entire program had been previously arranged, so 
that all the addresses and discussions might form a part of 
the course of instruction, in agriculture and animal hus- 
bandry to the students. All the proceedings proved inter- 
esting and instructive to them. In furnishing the vocal and 
instrumental music, which formed a very pleasing feature 
of each session, they were enabled to participate in a way 
that was very profitable to them, and entertaining to others. 

Among those who participated by addresses, on topics 
previously assigned, were Isaac Johnson, James G. Shoals, 
Rev. W. H. Carroll of Garvin, Rev. R. E. Flickinger, Adelia 
Eaton, Malinda A. Hall, Bertha L. Ahrens, who also served 
as organist, Solomon Buchanan, who also served as pianist, 
John Richards of Lukfata, Noah Alverson of Lehigh, whose 
ectures on raising corn and cotton were worthy of special 
commendation, Rev. Samuel Gladman of Parsons, Martha 
Folsom of Grant, R. H. Butler of Bokchito and Charles Bibbs, 

Illness prevented the attendance of W. S. English, direc- 
tor of the state college. 

One of the resolutions adopted was as follows : 

"That we note with great pleasure the manifest in- 
crease of interest in this session of the Farmer's Institute, 
on the part of the superintendent, teachers and students of 
Oak Hill Academy and of the people generally, there being 
a good local attendance and a larger representation than 
ever before of interested farmers and speakers from other 
parts of the surrounding country." 

10 



290 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

At this meeting it was decided the annual membership 
fee shall be for men, twenty-five cents ; and for women, ten 
cents. 

SECOND OAK HILL INSTITUTE 

The closing day of the second observance of Emancipa- 
tion day by a two-day Farmer's institute at Oak Hill Acad- 
emy occurred January 1, 1908. Among the new speakers 
were Rev. Wiley Homer of Grant, Rev. William Butler of 
Eagletown and Jack A. Thomas. Isaac Johnson and James 
G. Shoals served as president and secretary and were again 
re-elected. Prof. C. A. McNabb of Guthrie, Secretary of the 
State Board of Agriculture, promised two addresses, but fail- 
ed to arrive. The resolutions included a memorial to con- 
gress for the establishment of postal savings banks and a 
parcels post, both of which were established a few years 
(1912) later. They also included the following one in regard 
to the Mexican boll-weevil that during the previous four 
years had nearly ruined the cotton crop. 

"In order that we may do something practical in the 
way of checking the ravages of the boll-weevil, we encour- 
age every one raising cotton in this section, to plow up and 
burn as early as possible each fall, all the old cotton stalks, 
which principally furnish their fall and spring food supply; 
and as far as possible to avoid planting cotton in the same 
ground two years in succession." 

The record of these two Farmer's institutes at Oak Hill 
Academy, and of three preceding ones at Forest church, by 
the Choctaw Freedmen during the period of the Territorial 
government, is of historic interest, since these annual in- 
stitutes preceded any similar meetings, by the other folks, 
in that section of' the country. This observation is true also 
of the three summer normals held at the Academy, during 






FARMERS INSTITUTES 291 

the months of October in 1905, 1906 and 1907 ; and of the 
first Oak Hill chautauqua, held July 4, 1907. 

SHORT COURSE IN 1912 

For 1912 the institute was held on the last half day of 
a three day short course in agriculture and animal hus- 
bandry conducted by Prof. E. A. Porter and Mr. R. L. Scott, 
expert farmers at Hugo; assisted by Prof. J. W. Reynolds 
of Muskogee, the superintendent and Rev. W. H. Carroll. 

In 1913, when the first opportunity was afforded min- 
isters in California to attend a short course in agriculture, 
lasting one week, at the state university farm, it was attend- 
ed by five hundred pastors of churches, representing twenty 
denominations. This fact, as an expression of the trend of 
public sentiment, is noted with a good deal of interest. 

ISAAC JOHNSON 

Isaac Johnson, (B. 1859) organizer and president of 
the Farmer's institute, 1905 to 1912, is a native of Hopkins 
county, Texas, and in 1865 located near Clarksville. In 1876 
he married Anna Wilson of the Choctaw Nation, who died 
in 1880. He then went to school in Texas and, receiving a 
certificate in 1889, taught school there four years. In 1893, 
'94 and '95 he taught successively at Forest, Lukfata and 
Eagletown, I. T. In 1894 he married Winnie Durant and 
again located along Red river, south of Valliant, where he is 
widely known as one of the leading farmers and stock 
raisers. 

The people of the community in which he lives, under 
his leadership, on January 1, 1897, began to observe Emanci- 
pation Day by holding a Farmer's institute, a kind of social 
meeting, that afforded an opportunity for a number of them 
to make short addresses, on any topic of public or general in- 



292 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

terest, and all to participate in the enjoyment of a picnic din- 
ner. He enjoys the distinction of having served as presi- 
dent of this organization a number of years before any 
similar organization was effected in McCurtain county. 

EMANCIPATION DAY 

The reasons for the general observance of New Year's 
day as a legal holiday seem eminently appropriate, for the 
attention of the people is seldom directed to them. There are 
several good reasons worthy to be remembered. 

It was on January 1, 1863, that President Lincoln issued 
the memorable proclamation, that emanicipated the slaves 
in all the states, then at war against the general govern- 
ment. The number of the persons accorded freedom was 
about four millions. 

This event, considered from the standpoint of the num- 
ber of people affected, was even greater than the Declara- 
tion of Independence, for the latter resulted in the freedom 
of only a part of the people, and their number was one mil- 
lion less than the number set free in 1863. In 1790, when 
the first census was taken, fourteen years after the Declar- 
ation, the entire population was not quite four millions 
and of that number 697,624 were left in a state of slavery. 

That "all men are created free and equal," is a funda- 
mental principle of the Declaration, but, for more than four- 
score years, it was regarded as true of only a part of the peo- 
ple. It was not realized by the other part of the people, 
that was gradually increasing from one to four millions. 
For them there was but one law and it was, "Servants obey 
your masters." This was the only rule of conduct for the 
negro. Under it he became socially "a curiosity." He had 
no laws or ceremonies regulating marriage; and if such 
ties were formed, they were liable to be broken at any time, 



FARMERS INSTITUTES 293 

by their sale to other and different owners. This rule did not 
regulate his moral, economic or political life, for he was not 
recognized as a person or citizen, possessing these faculties 
and functions. It did not prevent him from worshipping 
his Creator, but this was done in an ignorant way, that serv- 
ed more for entertainment and amusement, than the devel- 
opment of morality and piety. 

After the lapse of a half century, he has not yet been 
wholly emancipated from these illiterate and low social con- 
ditions; but he is approving and pursuing the better way, 
as he learns from the Bible, "what man is to believe concern- 
ing God and what duty God requires of man." 

The Emancipation proclamation thus affected the des- 
tiny of more persons than the Declaration of Independence, 
and it marks the beginning of the era of universal freedom ; 
when all the people could unite in saying, America is the 
"land of the free," as well as the "home of the brave." It 
also effected national unity, by completely removing the 
one great cause of previous political dissension. It pre- 
pared the way for America to be the home of a happy and 
united people, knowing no north or south, east or west. In 
these great facts of national importance there are found 
good reasons for the annual observance of Emancipation 
day, as a legal holiday, as well as the anniversary of the 
Declaration of Independence. 



XXXVII 

THE APIARY 

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; which gathereth her 
food in the harvest; consider her ways and be wise." 

— Solomon. 

l^^x^^/fJHE Oak Hill apiary consists of twenty or 
\[ more colonies, and their annual yield of 




comb honey ranges from 300 to 500 pounds. 
It was started with two colonies in the sum- 
mer of 1905. These were obtained by the 
superintendent and H. C. Shoals, from two hollow trees in 
the timber near Red river, and were what are known as 
"wild bees." They and their comb were placed in movable 
comb Langstroth hives, and the native queens were soon 
afterwards replaced by two pretty yellow Italian queens, ob- 
tained by mail from Little Rock. By this means the two 
colonies of wild bees, in the fall of the year, had become 
golden Italians. 

A DOUBLE SWARM 

On a pretty warm day in March, 1910, when the locust 
trees in the campus were in full bloom, two swarms of bees 
left their hives about the same time, and both clustered on 
the low, branching limbs of a small plum tree. After tak- 
ing a photo of this unusual sight, Miss Weimer and Clar- 
ence Peete, who is standing behind the tree, each using a 
tin cup, gently lifted the bees from the limbs of the tree and 
placed them in a hive so arranged, that instead of destroy- 
ing one of the queens, the bees naturally separated into two 

(294) 




THE APIARY 
Orchard and Swarm-Sack at left 




STANCHIONS FOR CALVES 
Ora feeding them with pleasure and profit 



[294] 







THE HEN HOUSE; OPEN FRONT, SEMI-MONITOR ROOF 




PIG PEN; MANY CONVENIENCES 



THE APIARY 295 

clusters around their respective queens. On the following 
morning, the swarm intended for Clarence was lifted out by 
him and put in a separate hive. The operations of hiving 
and separating the swarms were very successfully per- 
formed, without either of them receiving a single sting, and 
in the fall both colonies had a good supply of surplus 
honey. As an inducement to the young people to learn to 
manage bees profitably, a colony was presented to those 
who undertook the responsibility of caring for them at 
the Academy. 

The first frost in the fall of the year indicates the 
time to remove the surplus honey from the hives ; and to 
cut a bee-tree merely for its supply of honey and wax. April 
and May however, are the months to transfer colonies from 
boxes and hollow trees to movable comb hives, so as to 
save the "bee." 

A MODEL HOG HOUSE 

The following description of the hog house is given 
for the benefit of students and patrons. It was intended to 
be a model in the arrangement of every part and it is yet 
unsurpassed in the number of its conveniences. It was built 
in 1906 and is 24 by 32 feet. 

An entry, four feet wide, extends through the length of 
the building and the pens, with outlots, are arranged on 
each side. The drip boards of the troughs are arranged 
along each side of this entry making them easy to fill with- 
out wetting the stock or pen. The floors intended for litter 
are further protected from dampness, by being elevated one 
inch from the rear to a line parallel with the trough, and 
about two feet from it. The litter is held on this elevated 
part of the floor by a guard, 2x4 inches, around its edge. 
Hanging partitions separate the entry from the pens. Fat 






296 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

hogs are easily and quickly loaded, by merely lifting the par- 
titions and driving them through the entry into the open 
end of a wagon box, placed at the rear end of the entry. 

It has a floor over head for receiving the corn from the 
field ; husking and sorting it. On this loft there is a bin for 
storing the good corn intended for meal, and mouse-proof 
boxes for preserving seed corn on the ear until planting 
time. There are two hatches, one on each side at the rear 
for passing the husks for litter to the pens below. At the 
right near the front, there is a shute that conveys the 
corn for the pigs to a crib at the right in the first apart- 
ment below, from which it is taken at feeding time, by 
raising a self-closing lid near the floor. In the corner of 
this open apartment there is a large box covered with a 
hinged lid for ground feed, and a set of steps to the loft. 
Under the stairs, there is an elevator and purifying pump, 
that brings up pure and cool water from a brick walled 
cistern, underneath the floor of the building, and it has 
never gone dry, when used only for the hogs. 

OLD LOG HOUSE 

The old log house, which remained until 1910 and in 
which the school was founded, was for a half century the 
largest and best building occupied by the Choctaws in the 
south eastern part of their large reservation. During the 
period previous to 1860, when it was occupied by Bazeel 
Leflore, chief of the Choctaw Nation, its halls and spacious 
porches were the favorite places of meetings for the ad- 
ministration of tribal affairs, social and religious gatherings. 

An Indian graveyard was located a few rods from its 
southeast corner. A neat little marble monument still 
marks the grave of Narcissa LeFlore, wife of the chief 
Bazeel. She died at forty in 1854. Small marble tomb- 






THE APIAITi 297 

stones, bearing the names of LeFlore and Wilson, mark a 
half dozen other graves. One long, unnamed grave is mark- 
ed by a broad wall of common rock, three feet high, covered 
with one large flag stone. 

Chief LeFlore, about the year 1860, located at Good- 
land, where he spent the remainder of his days. He left 
the log house to be occupied by John Wilson his nephew. 
About twenty years later Wilson left it to his son-in-law, 
Frank Locke, its last Choctaw occupant. He soon after- 
wards left it to Robin Clark, the Choctaw Freedman, from 
whom it was obtained in 1884, for the use of the school. 

PAINTING 

The pretty and attractive appearance of the premises at 
Oak Hill was due to a considerable extent to the good work 
of the boys that learned to use the brush in painting and 
white washing. The following facts are noted as an aid 
to them and others. 

All the school buildings were painted cream and white. 
The materials used were white lead and flaxseed oil, mixed 
in the proportion of 15 to 20 pounds of lead to a gallon of oil. 
A gallon of the mixture is expected to cover 225 square 
feet of surface with two coats. The cream tint, a warm 
color, was obtained by mixing a little chrome yellow (and 
burnt sienna) with a pint or more of oil and adding as much 
of this mixture as was needed to produce the desired tint. 

The red paint, used on the farm buildings and large 
gates, consisted of Venetian red, a dry paint, and oil, five 
to eight pounds of paint to the gallon of oil. A white trim- 
mer was used on the face boards of the roof, doors and win- 
dows. 

The white wash used on the board and pale fences con- 
sisted of quick lime slacked under water and gently stirred 
during this process. It should be allowed to stand a day 
or two before it is used. A pound of salt to the gallon of 
quicklime, the salt being first dissolved in water, improves 
its wearing quality. A little boiled rice flour improves its 
adhesiveness for indoor use. 

Skimmed sweet milk, used the day it is mixed, is an 
inexpensive substitute for oil in applying Venetian red to old 



298 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

gates. One coat will make them look right well for one or 
more seasons. Milk however should never be used except to 
brighten up some old work for one or two years, and each 
gallon should contain three pounds of Portland cement, fre- 
quently stirred. 

SEED CORN IMPROVED 

Large yields of corn are secured only by planting seed 
that has vitality sufficient to produce a good ear as well as 
a stock. Careful and successful farmers raise and endeavor 
to improve their seed from year to year. This may be done 
on a small scale as follows: 

Select ten good sized, straight rowed, deep-grained ears. 
Remove the tips and butts. Shell each ear separately and 
plant in separate rows, marked and numbered from one to 
ten. As soon as the corn in these rows begins to tassel go 
through them every few days and remove the tassel from 
every stalk that is not forming an ear; so that the pollen or 
tassel dust of the barren stalk may not fall on the silks of 
the corn-bearing stalks. 

At husking time husk and weigh the yield from each 
row or ear of seed separately. Missing hills and barren 
stocks indicate a low vitality in the seed-ear and also in the 
crop. Select the seed for the next year from the rows that 
yield the largest crop. 

The yield of the cotton crop can be increased two fold 
by gathering the seed at picking time from only the best 
fruited stocks. 

HEALTH HINTS. Health means a sound mind in a 
sound body. 

"Know thyself", and remember, that "self-preservation 
is the first law of nature." 

An open window, day and night, is better than an open 
grave. 

"Warm sleeping rooms have killed more people, than 
ever froze to death." 

"A good iron pump, over a well protected well, costs 
less than a case of typhoid." 

"Wire screens in the windows may keep crape from the 
door." 

"A fly in the milk often means a member of the family 
in the grave." 

Work when you work and rest outstretched, when you 
rest. 

Avoid all sins of the flesh. Overeating and eating in- 







PLANTING SWEET POTATOES 
Carriers, Droppers and Trowelers 




[298] 



READY FOR A PULL 




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THE APIARY 299 

jurious foods or drinks are responsible for many ills of body 

and mind. . 

He who said, "I am the bread of life," said also, He 
that eateth me shall live by me." 

Cherish a cheerful, hopeful spirit by reading at least 
one promise from the Bible, for meditation, every day. 
Learn how to look pleasant, even when you may be feeling 
otherwise. 

Fix the mind on the virtue to be cultivated rather than 
on the vice to be overcome. 

If the heart action is sometimes weak, avoid all acts of 
over-exertion and sleep on the right side. Avoid snoring, 
by breathing through the nose. 

Sleep is "nature's sweet restorer." Pure air, pure 
water and proper exercise are nature's healthful invigorat- 
ors. Use them freely. 

HEADACHE. Headaches are due to three causes, 
namely, eye-strain, indigestion, and exposures to damp- 
ness and cold. 

To avoid eye-strain, bathe the eyes frequently with 
cool water, and avoid using them intently too long, when 
the light is not good, especially in the twilight after sun set. 
To avoid the sick headache eat slowly and temperately ; and 
drink water frequently both at and between meals. The 
ache in the back of the head, caused by exposure to drafts 
of air, cold and dampness to the feet, may be relieved by the 
application of hot damp cloths to the parts affected, and 
warming the feet and limbs until the perspiration is start- 
ed. Never use dopes or preparations for headache, pure 
sparkling water is always much better. 

Hot water, sipped frequently, tends to relieve a cough, 
difficult breathing and a weak heart action. Pure air, in- 
haled by frequent daily deep breathings, and^out-door ex- 
ercise do more for weak lungs than medicines. 

CHILLS. A chill is the protest of the liver or lungs 
after an exposure one or more days previous, that was not 
followed by a proper warming of the feet, especially in the 
evening. Sulphate of quinine, a tonic for the stomach, is a 
standard remedy for malarial troubles but its use should al- 
ways be preceded or accompanied with a tonic for the liver. 

SMALLPOX. A mixture consisting of one ounce of r 
cream of tartar, and two ounces of sulphur flour, should be 
in every home, to be taken a little occasionally as an anti- 
dote, and kept as an approved remedy for smallpox. 




XXXVIII 

THE OAK HILL AID SOCIETY 

AND OTHER CONTRIBUTING SOCIETIES AND INDI- 
VIDUALS. 

THE OAK HILL AID SOCIETY 

>N Oct. 30, 1904, during the period of vacancy, 
ten persons interested in its continuance 
met in the Academy and organized an aid 
society, to aid the Freedmen's Board in 
maintaining it. Solomon Buchanan and 
Samuel Harris took the lead in calling the meeting. James 
R. Crabtree served as chairman and Bertha L. Ahrens as 
secretary. The others present were Mitchell S. Stewart, 
Wilson Clark, S. S. Bibbs, Charles B. Harris and Mrs. J. A. 
Thomas. The organization was effected by the election of 
M. S. Stewart, president; J. A. Thomas, (absent) secretary; 
B. L. Ahrens, treasurer; and Samuel Harris, field secretary: 
May 28, 1905, George Shoals was elected president and 
S. S. Bibbs, secretary. On June 25th, 1905 a constitution 
was adopted, in which its object was stated as follows : 

"The aims and object of this society shall be: To help 
the Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen ; to raise 
the funds required to pay for the land on which the build- 
ings are located; to devise ways and means by which the 
academy may be directly aided with supplies of food, live 
stock and other things, when money cannot be given ; and, 
to do what we can, to enlarge its course of study and provide 
new departments of industry. 

(300) 



THE OAK HILL AID SOCIETY 301 

"It is understood, that all money raised shall be sent to 
the aforesaid Mission Board and be applied by it to the gen- 
eral needs of this institution, when no specific object has been 
named by this society. It is also understood, that this so- 
ciety shall not hinder the aforesaid Board, in its absolute 
control of the academy and farm." 

The annual membership fee is twenty-five cents, other 
offerings being entirely voluntary, each giving, "as the 
Lord hath prospered him." The first week in October was 
designated, as the time for an annual public meeting, to give 
emphasis to the work of the society and solicit free-will 
offerings from everybody. Other congregations were re- 
quested to form similar organizations, to create a visible 
bond of union in the support of the academy. 

The first visible result of this lowly organization, found- 
ed as a forlorn hope, appeared on the 15th of April 1905, 
when at the close of the eloquent appeal of Samuel Harris, 
its field secretary, before the Presbytery at Grant, Rev. F. 
W. Hawley, the Synodical Missionary of Indian Territory, 
challenged all present to unite with him in making a pledge 
of support toward the purchase of the land. Heading the 
list with a pledge of $10.00, all were surprised to find it 
increased, in a few minutes, to $210.00. Two weeks later 
Mr. Harris made a similar appeal at Oak Hill, and $45.00 
more were pledged. He visited Forest church and received 
pledges to the amount of $45.00. George Shoals visited 
Bethany church at Parsons, and $15.00 more were pledged, 
making the amount pledged, $315.00. 

Sam Harris, in the fall of 1905, voluntarily went to 
Atoka and had forty-five acres of land allotted to his wife 
and four of his children, in order that they might later be 
added to the Oak Hill farm ; and the education of his child- 



302 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

ren be provided for, at that institution. His death occurred 
the next year, and in 1912, the last of these lands were add- 
ed to the Oak Hill farm. His children are now enjoying the 
privileges of the institution. 

He belonged to a generation that could neither read 
nor write, and that which he accomplished for Oak Hill 
and his needy children during the short period of his co-op- 
eration with the superintendent, is but another beautiful il- 
lustration of what may be done for a needy and worthy 
cause, by one, however unlearned, whose sincere and burning 
interest leads him to lend a helping hand and to use the 
power of his voice in its behalf. 

He had come to appreciate and, before the Presbytery, 
emphasized the importance of these three vital facts : 

1. The need of a good christian education for all the 
members of his own rapidly growing family. 

2. The great value of the educational and religious 
privileges, and the facilities for industrial training, af- 
forded the young people of the colored race at Oak Hill 
Academy, located in the very midst of them. 

3. The great meaning of the changes, that were taking 
place in the country around them since the building of the 
railroad, the transition to statehood, the allotment of the 
lands to them individually, and the incoming of large num- 
bers of white folks from Arkansas, Texas and other sec- 
tions; who were founding and building towns, leasing and 
occupying the farm lands, gaining control of the business in- 
terests of the community ; and thus making it ten fold more 
necessary for the young people of the colored race to have 
sufficient intelligence to enable them to do their own think- 
ing and manage successfully their own business interests, in 



THE OAK HILL AID SOCIETY 303 

order to avoid the impending doom, of being soon crowded 
out of their present homes and possessions. 

His burning desire as he often expressed it, was to 
bring it to pass, that their children and the generations to 
come might rise up and be able to say, "Our Fathers, in 
grateful acknowledgement of the inestimable value of the 
educational, moral and religious privileges, that the Pres- 
byterian Board of Missions had established and so long 
maintained, for the benefit of the colored people of that sec- 
tion, had contributed the funds, paid for and donated the 
lands occupied by the buildings of Oak Hill Industrial Acad- 
emy." 

The members of his family, in whose names the allot- 
ments for Oak Hill were secured, were Catherine, his wife; 
Roland (died Nov. 24, 1911), John, Margie and Ellen. 

LAND FUNDS CONTRIBUTED 

The following is a brief summary of the funds con- 
tributed for the purchase of the land at Oak Hill. 

Rev. F. W. Hawley, Sam Harris, Bertha L. Ahrens, 
Adelia M. Eaton, Wiley Homer, William Butler, R. D. Col- 
bert, Malinda A. Hall, Noah S. Alverson, R. E. Flickinger 
and Jo Lu Wolcott, each $10.00; Samuel Gladman, W. J. 
Starks, S. H. Buchanan, John Richards and Finley Union 
Sunday school, Lehigh, per Isabella Monroe, each $5.00; 
Virginia Williams, and Matt Brown, each $3.00 ; Simon Fol- 
som and Alonza Lewis, $2.50; specials from churches in 
Oklahoma, as follows: Anadarko, Bartlesville, Perry and 
Vinita, each $2.00 ; Chelsea, $2.50 ; Muskogee and Wagoner, 
each $3.00; Oklahoma First, $5.00; Oak Hill $10.00; and 
Alva $50.00. 

The Oak Hill Aid Society in 1906 gave $39.00; in 1907 
$46.00 ; in 1908, $16.00 and in 1910 to 1912, $19.00 ; making 
for it $120.00, and altogether $335.00. 

This amount covers the cost of the forty acre allotment 
of Samuel A. Folsom, on which the Academy and Boy's 
Hall are located. This was the first tract purchased, and 
it was obtained August 30, 1908, a few days after the Choc- 



304 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

taw Freedmen were legally authorized to execute warranty- 
deeds. 

These facts are worthy of note, since to that extent 
they indicate the achievement of that object, for which 
Sam Harris plead so earnestly and effectively at Presbytery. 

A lady at San Jose, California, gave $200 in 1909, for an 
annuity bond to cover tract No. 5, on the Oak Hill plat, con- 
taining twenty acres and allotted to Caroline Prince. Bertha 
L. Ahrens in 1908 purchased the three fourths inheritance of 
three of the heirs of William Shoals, in tract No. 8, contain- 
ing thirty acres, that in course of time, it might be included ; 
and in 1909 and 1913, R. E. Flickinger donated tract num- 
ber 4, containing twenty acres north of the buildings. These 
three specials include and cover the 70 acres on section 20, 
north of the public road, north of the buildings. 

The Oak Hill Women's Missionary society was organ- 
ized in October 1906, and at the end of its first year contrib- 
uted to Home Missions, Gunnison, Utah, $5.00; and to the 
Board of Freedmen, $15.00. 

LOCALITY OF DONORS 

The following exhibit shows the location of the gener- 
ous contributors, who united in furnishing the general ex- 
pense funds for the support of the students and furnishing 
the Temporary Boy's Hall, as it appeared in the report for 
July 1, 1909. 

Expense Furnishing 

California 

Illinois 

Iowa 

Kansas 

Ohio 

Oklahoma 

New York 

Pennsylvania 

Total $1166.18 $121.15 $1287.33 

DONORS TO THE GENERAL SUPPORT 

A record has already been made of those who contrib- 
uted toward the purchase of the farm in response to the 
appeal through the Oak Hill Aid society. A grateful men- 



^und 


Boy's Hall 


Total 


$444.20 


$13.41 


$457.61 


55.00 




55.00 


96.75 


5.00 


101.75 


19.23 


12.25 


31.48 


105.00 




105.00 


117.00 


80.49 


197.49 




5.00 


5.00 


329.00 


5.00 


334.00 



THE OAK HILL AID SOCIETY 305 

tion of the Women's and Young People's societies and in- 
dividual donors, who contributed to the support and exten- 
sion of the general work of the institution, seems eminently 
appropriate. They include the following list: 

ALABAMA: The Negro in Business by Booker T. 
Washington, Tuskeegee. 

CALIFORNIA: Alhambra, Dinuba, Rev. H. J. Froth- 
ingham, Elsinore; Eureka, Lampoc, Long Beach, Mrs. 
0. L. Mason; Los Gatos, Los Angeles, First; 
Mrs. Margaret Daniels, Mrs. Archibald ; Central, Mrs. Hiram 
Leithead ; Highland Park, Mrs. Kate C. Moody M. D. ; Third, 
Mary A. Clark, Boyle Heights, Hollywood, Immanuel, Span- 
ish Mission, Carrie E. Crowe, Westminster; Nordhoff, Mar- 
garet Daniels; North Ontario, New Monterey, Monte Cito, 
Oakland, Mattie Hunter; Orange, Red Bluff, San Diego 
First, Mrs. A. W. Crawford; San Jose First and Second, 
Mrs. Frances Palmer, Mrs. G. H. Start, Mrs. Mary Langdon ; 
Lebanon of San Francisco, San Martin, Santa Barbara, San- 
ta Clara, Santa Cruz, Santa Paula, San Louis Obispo ; Upland 
Ventura, Watsonville. 

COLORADO: Fort Morgan, Gunnison, Timnath. 

CONNECTICUT: Miss A. C. Benedict, Waterbury. 

ILLINOIS: Cairo; Chicago, Bethany, J. H. Jones, 
Leslie Music Company; Fairbury, Mrs. J. J. Pence; Mason 
City, Springfield Second. 

INDIANA: William Elliot, Lafayette $5,000 for El- 
liott Hall; Greensburg, Winona Lake. 

IOWA: Alta, Lucy M. Haywood; Boone, Burlington 
First, Clarinda, Corning, Corning Presbytery, Crawfords- 
ville, Creston, Des Moines Central, Fonda, M. E. Church, 
Mrs. A. S. Wood, Adele Curkeet, Adelia M. Eaton, Mrs. R. 
E. Flickinger, Geo. Sanborn, Mrs. J. B. Weaver, Mrs. John 
E. Jordan, Clark Perry; Fort Dodge, Gilmore City, Mrs. 
Bert C. McGinnis, Clarence M. Patterson; Grimes, Ham- 
burg, Knoxville, Lenox, Malvern, Manchester, Nodaway, 
Princeton, Red Oak, Rockwell City, Ella T. Smith, Elmer E. 
Johnson, John H. Mattison; Sanborn, Sigourney, Shenan- 
doah, State Center, Storm Lake, Washington, Bethel, Win- 
field, Walnut. 

KANSAS: Auburn, Burlington, Clay Center, Derby, 
Edgerton, Herrington, Halstead, Highland, Humboldt, Junc- 
tion City, Kansas City, First, Grand View Park, Western 



306 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Highland; Lincoln Center, Lawrence, Lyons, Manhattan, 
Morganville, Mulberry Creek, Neodesha, Oakland, Osawat- 
omie, Oswego, Phillipsburg, Roxbury, Stanley, Sterling, 
Syracuse, Topeka, First, Second, Third and Westminster, 
M. B. True; Waverly, Wichita, First. 

MASSACHUSETTS: Marblehead, Mrs. J. J. Gregory. 

MICHIGAN: Coldwater, Harrington. 

MISSOURI: Kansas City, Montgomery Ward & Co., 
Maryville, Prof, J. C. Speckerman; St. Louis, Majestic 
Range Co. 

NEBRASKA: Beatrice. 

NEW YORK: Mexico, Mrs. Mary O. Becker, Mrs. 
Mamie G. Richardson; Plattsburg, Mrs. M. D. Edwards; 
Honoye, Anna M. Bowerman ; New York, Am. Bible Society, 
Oliver Swet Marden. 

OHIO: Belief ontaine, Mrs. D. 0. Spade; Columbiana, 
Mrs. Mattie C. Flickinger ; Dayton Lorenz Music Co. ; Deni- 
son, College Hill, Miss H. M. Wilson; East Liverpool First, 
Mansfield, Springfield First, Wellsville First. 

OKLAHOMA: Alva, Mrs. H. E. Mason, Anadarko, 
Atoka, Annie Osborne, Ardmore, Rev. Charles C. Weith, 
Bartlesville, Blackwell; Mrs. Emma F. McBride, Coalgate; 
Cement, Central, Cimmaron Presbyterial ; Chickasha, Ed- 
mond, Elk City, El Reno, Mrs. F. R. Farrand, Enid, Eagle- 
town, Kiamichi Presbyterial; Garvin, Rev. and Mrs. W. H. 
and Emma A. Carroll; Hobart, Mrs. Geo. D. Willingham; 
Frederick, Griffin, Charity Glover; Granite, Grant, Susan 
Seats, Kaw, Kingfisher, MacAlester, Millerton, Ranee Cher- 
ry, Joseph Garner ; Muskogee First, Mulhall, Norman, Prof. 
Geo. N. Gould; Oklahoma First, Phil C. Baird D. D., Mrs. 
W. A. Knott; Okmulgee, Perry, Ponca, Shawnee, Stroud, 
Tulsa, Tonkawa, Oak Hill, Valliant, Solomon H. Buchanan, 
Dining Table and Chairs, Samuel Folsom, Front Door of 
Elliot Hall, Lucretia C. Brown Communion Service, Bertha 
L. Ahrens, Adelia M. Eaton, John Claypool, Malinda A. Hall, 
R. E. and Mary A. Flickinger; Vinita, Wagoner, Watonga. 

NORTH DAKOTA: Fillmore, Mary I. Weimer. 

PENNSYLVANIA: Armagh, Bakerstown, Black Lick, 
Blairsville First, Blairsville Presbyterial, Braddock, First 
and Calvary; Buelah, Coatesville, E. Lilley; Cresson, Con- 
gruity, Derry, Doe Run, Easton, College Hill, Brainard and 



THE OAK HILL AID SOCIETY 



307 



South Side; East Liberty, Ebensburg, Greensburg, First 
and Westminster; Anna B. Hazleton, Irwin, Jeanette, Lat- 
robe, Ligonier, Johnstown, First, Second and Laurel Ave- 
nue; Lewistown, Manor, McGinnis, Murraysville, Philadel- 
phia, Lena D. Fieber and Prof, H. W. Flickinger; Pittsburg, 
First and Second, Ellen M. Watson, Mary R. Scott; Port 
Royal, Parnassus, Pleasant Grove, Poke Run, Plum Creek, 
New Alexandria, New Kensington, South Danville, Mrs. W. 
A. Reagel; Turtle Creek, Westmont Chapel, Wilkinsburg, 
Martha Graham, Mrs. J. J. Campbell, Williamsburg, Wind- 
ber and Windsor. 

SOUTH DAKOTA : Volga, Hartford, Mrs. M. E. Crowe. 

TEXAS : Bushy Creek, Mary A. Pierson, Crockett, Mrs. 
John B. Smith. 





XXXVI X 

TRIBUTES TO THE WORKERS 

AHRENS. — EATON. — CLAYPOOL. — WEIMER. — WOLCOTT. 
—HALL. — DONALDSON. — BUCHANAN. 

"Our lives are songs, God writes the words, 
And we set them to music at pleasure ; 
And the song grows glad, sweet, or sad 
As we choose to fashion the measure." 

MARY A. FLICKINGER 

N^^^J/fJRS. Flickinger is gratefully remembered for 
J\ y[ five years of untiring service as assistant 
superintendent. 

The sphere of her observation and sug- 
gestion included all the women's work in the 
buildings, occupied by the students, and the special care of 
the garden and Boy's Hall. In connection with this daily 
oversight, there was always manifested a feeling of personal 
responsibility, to carry to completion at the end of the day, 
any unfinished work, that would otherwise prevent some of 
the larger girls from enjoying the privileges of the school, 
during the evening study hour. 

Trained in her youth to execute speedily all the kinds 
of work, usually required on a well arranged farm, and also 
as a sewer and nurse, she proved a very valuable helper. 
She became the home physician, administering the med- 
icines and caring for the sick. Her method of treatment in- 
cluded the prevention of some of the milder, but common 

(308) 



TRIBUTES TO THE WORKERS 309 

forms of disease, by the regular administration of some in- 
expensive antidotes. These two principles were frequently 
expressed: "Self-preservation is the first law of nature," 
and "Prevention is better than cure." The young people 
were also encouraged to learn, how to keep and intelligently 
use, a few simple remedies in the home. 

She and her husband are both natives of Port Royal, 
Juniata county, Pa., and their marriage occurred there, June 
20,1878. They have filled pastorates at Doe Run, Pa., Wal- 
nut, and Fonda, Iowa. They raised the funds and secured 
the erection of churches at Marne, Fonda, Pomeroy and Var- 
ina, Iowa; and a commodious parsonage at Fonda. He has 
served as a trustee of Corning Academy, Buena Vista college 
and of the Presbytery of Fort Dodge ; stated clerk and treas- 
urer of the latter twelve and a half years, and as Moderator 
of the Synod of Iowa, at Washington in 1901 ; and by special 
request, as author of the Pioneer History of Pocahontas 
county, Iowa, in 1904. Mrs. Flickinger in her youth became 
a teacher in the Sunday school, and during all the years that 
have followed, has been an efficient and aggressive so- 
licitor and teacher of the children, in that important depart- 
ment of the work of the church. 

She has ever manifested an unusual degree of energy, 
always preferring to do all her own home work, rather than 
have it done by others. One who enjoyed the privilege of 
witnessing her unflagging energy and enthusiastic devo- 
tion to her work, rising early and working late, at a time 
when she was supposed to be unable to do more than take 
care of herself, paid to her this friendly compliment: "You 
work with the untiring industry of a bee, the patient per- 
severance of a beaver, the overcoming strength of a lion, 
and the double quickness of a deer." 



310 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Her liberal responses to the calls of the needy have 
been limited only by her ability to work, save and give. 

BERTHA LOUISE AHRENS 

"I'll praise my Maker with my breath ; 
And when my voice is lost in death, 
Praise shall employ my nobler powers." 

— The Psalmist. 

Bertha Louise Ahrens (B. Feb. 26, 1857), missionary 
teacher among the Choctaw Freedmen of Indian Territory 
since 1885, and principal teacher at Oak Hill Academy,, 
1905-1911, is a native of Berlin, Prussia. Her parents, Ot- 
to and Augusta Ahrens, in 1865, when she was 8, and a 
brother Otto 5, came to America and located on a farm near 
Sigourney, Iowa, after one year at Bellville, 111.; and four, 
at Harper, Iowa. The schools and churches first attended 
used the German language. Her first studies in English 
were in the graded schools at Sigourney and here at seven- 
teen, she became a member of the Presbyterian church 
under the pastorate of Rev. S. G. Hair. He loaned her some 
missionary literature to read and it awakened a desire on 
her part to become a missionary. This desire was express- 
ed to the Women's Missionary society of the church and 
she was encouraged to attend the Western Female Semin- 
ary, now college, at Oxford, Ohio. After a course of study 
at this institution she enjoyed a year's training in the 
Bible school connected with Moody's Chicago Avenue 
church, Chicago. 

During the next year, after hearing in her home town 
an appeal in behalf of a Negro school in the south, she was 
led to offer her services to the Presbyterian Board of Mis- 
sions for Freedmen. In December 1885, she received a 
commission with request to locate among the Choctaw 



TRIBUTES TO THE WORKERS 311 

Freedmen at Lukfata, in the southeast part of Indian Ter- 
ritory. The route at that early date was quite circuitous. 
Going south through Kansas City over the M. K. T. Ry., to 
Denison, Texas, she passed eastward by rail to Bells, through 
Paris to Clarksville, Texas; and thence northward forty 
miles to Wheelock and Lukfata. Clarksville, south of Red 
river continued to be the nearest town and station during 
the next ten years. 

She has now completed twenty-eight years of contin- 
uous and faithful service as a missionary teacher among 
the Freedmen. During these years she has served the fol- 
lowing communities and churches. 

Lukfata, Mount Gilead 11 years 1885-1896. 

Fowlerville, Forest 3 years 1896-1899. 

Goodland, Hebron 1 year 1899-1900. 

Grant, Beaver Dam 4 years 1900-1904. 

Valliant, Oak Hill Academy 6i/ 2 years 1904-1911. 

Beaver Dam 1 year 1911-1912. 

Wynnewood, Bethesda Mission 2 years 1912-1914. 

She is now serving as principal teacher in the Bethesda 
Home and School, located three miles northeast of Wynne- 
wood in the Chickasaw Nation. This school was opened 
Nov. 1, 1899. It was founded by Carrie and Clara Boles and 
others ; and its obect is to provide a home and christian edu- 
cation to the orphan and homeless youth of the colored peo- 
ple. 

Miss Ahrens has been a life long and conscientious 
Christian worker, among the Freedmen of the Choctaw Na- 
tion. Her name is a household word to all of them. She 
found it necessary from the first to locate as a lonely teach- 
er among them in territorial days, and share with them the 
unusual privations, incident to a life of such seclusion and 



312 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

unselfish devotion. During the first fifteen years, she had 
to live alone in little, rudely constructed huts in a sparsely 
settled timber country, where quarrels and murders, among 
both the Indians and colored people, were events of common 
and almost annual occurrence; yet she never thought of 
leaving her work or forsaking her mission on account of per- 
sonal danger. 

The following is an accurate description of the little 
hut she occupied three years while at Forest church. It was 
built of saplings, eight feet square and chinked with mud. 
It had a fire place, an opening eighteen inches square for 
light, and another one for entrance, that was about three 
inches lower than her height. The chimney was built of 
mud, so small and crooked that only a part of the smoke 
could be induced to go up it, on a windy day. The blind for 
closing the window opening was so open, it merely broke the 
force of the wind, it could not keep it out, nor the lamp from 
blowing out. The little door left similar openings above and 
below it. On windy days the smoke found its way out 
through these and other openings overhead. These condi- 
tions after a while were relieved, by the insertion of a win- 
dow in the opening, and covering the walls of the room with 
sheets. 

The floor space was fully occupied, when it was sup- 
plied with a bed, trunk, sewing machine, book case, table 
and one chair. It lacked room for the organ, which had to 
be kept in the chapel. 

There was no porch, and into this little room the child- 
ren on Sabbath afternoons would crowd to sing, standing 
until they grew weary, and then sitting on the floor. This 
rude and lonely hut was located about one fourth of a mile 
from the church. Near it was another and larger one-room 



TRIBUTES TO THE WORKERS 313 

cabin, having a porch, that was occupied by a good elder of 
the church, his wife and a family of six children. 

The school rooms, that she had to occupy, in order to 
fulfil her mission, though the best the colored people could 
afford, were also of the rudest sort. It was a difficult task, 
to make them look within like tidy temples of knowledge. 

Her work was also very elementary. As the pupils 
would advance and their work become interesting, they 
would drop out of school. Yet it never occurred to her the 
work was wearisome, because it was monotonous and often 
disappointing. If experiences were disappointing, or the 
day, gloomy, there remained to her the Bible, with its prec- 
ious and unchanging promises; and the organ, responsive. as 
ever to the touch of her hand. These were home com- 
forts, that enabled her to forget the trials and burdens of 
each day, before its close. 

Her work as a teacher has been increasingly attrac- 
tive. The secret of this unflagging and ever increasing in- 
terest, is found in the large place, given the Bible in all her 
teaching work. It has been a daily text book in the school 
room. On the Sabbath, her opportunity to read and ex- 
plain it to all the people of the community, as superinten- 
dent of the Sunday school, has been even greater than that 
of some of the ministers in charge, when the latter was only 
a monthly visitor, while she served faithfully every Sab- 
bath. 

The world is needing the light of Bible truth. It is life 
giving. "Go teach," is as urgent as the commission, "Go 
preach." The opportunity to supply the world's great need, 
with the life giving Word of God, is an inspiration to the 
consecrated christian teacher. 



314 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

She has felt this inspiration, and has become a very 
capable interpreter and practical expositor of the Bible. She 
has been well equipped to lead the people in song, and. has 
received many evidences of the highest appreciation of her 
work, as a Bible instructor. 

Though not possessing what might be termed a rugged 
constitution, she has never lost a week, at any one time, 
from the school room on account of illness. She has been 
free to express the desire to continue to labor, as a faithful 
and efficient teacher, among the Freedmen as long as her 
strength will permit. Ruth expressed her sentiments, when 
she said to Naomi : 

"Entreat me not to leave thee; where thou lodgest I 
will lodge; Thy people shall be my people and thy God my 
God." 

She has been a true missionary hero. She has been 
willing to work in one of the most solitary places, for the 
lowliest of people, without the ordinary comforts of home 
and friends. Whilst her Bible work has been continued 
through the entire years, with but two exceptions, her in- 
come — a mere pittance — has been limited to the terms of 
school. This has made necessary very close economy in per- 
sonal expenses, but has not prevented liberal offerings to 
promote the work of the church. Her seclusion, priva- 
tions and dangers, during the first fifteen years, were as 
great as of many of those, who have gone to the remote 
parts of the earth. The heroic spirit of Martin Luther, 
translator of the German Bible she learned to read in youth, 
has always proved a source of great inspiration, to be faith- 
ful and courageous. When he was warned of the danger of 
martyrdom at Worms, where he had been summoned for 
trial for declaring the plain words of the Bible, he bravely 



TRIBUTES TO THE WORKERS 315 

said, "Were they to make a fire that would extend from 
Worms to Wittemberg, and reach even to the sky, I would 
walk across it, in the name of the Lord, I would appear be- 
fore them and confess the Lord Jesus Christ." And a little 
later, "Were there as many devils (cardinals) in Worms, as 
there are tiles upon the roofs, I would enter," for the Elect- 
or had promised him a safe conduct. When he arrived at 
Worms and stood before his accusers, he finally said: "Here 
I am, I neither can, nor will retract anything. I cannot do 
otherwise; God help me." These noble and courageous 
words of Luther are well adapted, to prove an inspiration to 
every one that reads them. 

Her courage has led and kept her in the place of priv- 
ilege and duty. Her faithfulness and devotion have en- 
abled her to win the confidence and esteem of all who have 
come within the sphere of her acquaintance and friendship. 
She continues to pursue her chosen and loved employment, 
of serving as a missionary teacher among the Freedmen of 
Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, in the spirit of the 
Psalmist. 

"My days of praise shall ne'er be past, 
While life, and thought, and being last, 
Or immortality endures." 

ADELIA M. EATON 

The superintendent, teachers, students and friends of 
Oak Hill were called upon to sustain a great loss and ex- 
perience a deep sorrow, as the sun was setting, on June 5, 
1908, when Adelia M. Eaton, our highly esteemed matron, 
after three and one half years of unusually efficient ser- 
vice, and a brief illness of one week after the end of the 
term, peacefully and trustfully passed from the scene of 
her faithful missionary labors, to the enjoyment of her eter- 



316 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

nal reward. Her illness, which terminated with heartfail- 
ure, seemed to be the outcome of a weariness that ensued 
after rendering some voluntary but needed services for the 
comfort of others. 

She was the second daughter of Harvey Eaton, one of 
the hardy, prosperous pioneer farmers of Pocahontas coun- 
ty, Iowa, She grew to womanhood on the farm, where she 
learned to be industrious and earnest. 

She early became identified with the work in the Pres- 
byterian church and Sunday school at Fonda where she re- 
ceived her first training in christian work. After enjoying 
a four years' course at Buena Vista college, Storm Lake, as- 
sociated with her elder sister, she spent four years in mer- 
cantile pursuits in Sioux City and Fonda. All of these prev- 
ious employments and experiences seemed to be parts of a 
varied training, to fit her most fully, for the position she 
filled as a missionary teacher at the Academy. In the man- 
agement of the affairs of this institution, her responsibili- 
ties and duties made her the executive helper of the super- 
intendent. Here she found responsiblities and opportun- 
ities, that called forth all her noblest powers, and enabled 
her to make it the most highly useful and crowning period 
of her life. 

She naturally possessed an attractive personality. She 
was tall, slender and erect in form, very prompt, dignified 
and graceful in movement. Her countenance indicated intel- 
ligence, energy and culture. She had a good voice for public 
address, possessed rare executive ability and was so gentle 
in manner that obedience to her commands was accorded 
with pleasure and delight. Though never unmindful of her 
resources, she never manifested any pride, save that which 
every truly noble soul manifests in the quality of its work, 



TRIBUTES TO THE WORKERS 317 

by putting forth a constant effort to perform every duty in 
the most thorough and efficient manner. 

She was a happy, willing worker. The key note of her 
work as a teacher seemed to be the one expressed in the 
words : "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me and 
to finish his work." John 4, 34. Although she had many 
other important duties on that day, she was always present 
at the services on the Sabbath. The memory of the living 
will not soon forget the personal interest she manifested in 
the spiritual welfare of every member of her large class of 
older students in the Sunday school, her tender and affec- 
tionate appeals to the young people at the Endeavor meet- 
ings, her interesting and instructive addre'sses at institutes 
and conventions, and how she voluntarily lingered to ex- 
tend friendly greetings at the close of the church services. 

The call, to engage in this educational work among the 
Freedmen in Indian Territory, came to her at an unexpect- 
ed, but opportune time. When the need for her services and 
desire for her co-operation were stated, she immediately gave 
her assent to make a trial of the work for a term of three 
months. As the work progressed her interest in it increas- 
ed, and she became more firmly attached to it. Her affec- 
tions, interest and ambitions seemed to be transferred to 
the people and work at the Academy. Her attachment and 
devotion to this work was as remarkable as it was unexpect- 
ed. This was the secret of the unusual merit of the service 
rendered. In this new sphere of usefulness, she found a 
field of opportunity that afforded full scope for the exercise, 
of all her intellectual, moral and spiritual powers, and, en- 
gaging in this work with all the enthusiasm of her noble 
nature, she rendered a continuous service so faithful and 



318 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

efficient, as to call forth heartfelt appreciation and words 
of highest commendation. 

MRS. JOHN CLAYPOOL 

Mrs. John Claypool, matron 1908-9, the successor of 
Adelia Eaton, came from membership in the class of Mrs. 
A. W. Crawford of the First Presbyterian church of San 
Diego, California. Her work is gratefully remembered for 
its uniform faithfulness and efficiency, and the sweet benef- 
icent influence exerted by the noble womanhood and man- 
hood of herself and husband, previously employed in a 
bank, who also came and remained with her at the institu- 
tion. Through the aid of the latter, the profit on the poul- 
try was greater that year, than in any other. The garden 
that year was greatly enlarged and surrounded with a new 
fence. He nailed the pales on the panels and they remain 
as a memento of his interest and handiwork. The fact that 
she represented one of the churches giving most loyal and 
liberal support to the Academy, and was thus a living link 
connecting the work of the institution with the many 
friends, supporting it on the Pacific Coast, gave to her work 
an additional charm that was greatly appreciated. They 
are now living in Texas. 

MARY I. WEIMER 

Mary I. Weimer, who served as matron 1909 to 1911, 
a native of Port Royal, Pa., came to Oak Hill from Knox, in 
the Devils Lake Region of North Dakota; where, after a 
course of preparation at the state teachers college at Fargo, 
she achieved an unusual degree of success, both as a teacher 
and manager of affairs on the farm. These interests pre- 
vented her from coming the previous year when first solic- 
ited. 



TRIBUTES TO THE WORKERS 319 

At the Academy she rendered a service so efficient and 
faithful as to merit the gratitude of all. After the loss of 
the Girls' Hall, which occurred during her first year, when 
all of its occupants were deprived of comfortable quarters, 
the fear was entertained she would want to be excused 
from further service. Instead of pursuing this course she 
became one of our best counselors and helpers in the effort 
to provide for the comfort of herself and the girls, and keep 
the latter from returning home at that critical period. 

The superintendent will never cease to be grateful for 
her favorable decision at this trying hour, and the self- 
denial she voluntarily proposed to undergo, in order to 
make it possible, to continue the work of the institution. It 
was the period when Mrs. Flickinger was a helpless invalid 
at Fonda, patiently awaiting the return of her husband, with 
daily anxiety. He could not leave, however, until the cellar 
excavation and concrete walls of the building had been 
completed. This done, Samuel Folsom was ready to serve 
as foreman of the carpenters, in the erection of the new 
building, and it fell to the lot of Miss Weimer, to serve as 
general manager, in the absence of the superintendent. The 
situation was one, that required unusual courage, as well as 
prudence and self-control. Her heroism was equal to the 
call to duty. Loyalty and faithfulness were her constant 
watchwords. 

At the end of the next term in 1911, she found it nec- 
essary to give her personal attention anew to the interests 
of her own home and farm. She enjoys the distinction of 
having served as matron, the last year in the Girls' Hall 
and the first one in Elliott Hall. She is gratefully remem- 
bered by all, who became the subjects of her daily care and 
domestic training. 



320 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

MISS JO LU WOLCOTT 
Miss Jo Lu Wolcott, matron, February to June, 1912, 
was a daughter of the late Dr. Wolcott of Chandler, Okla. 
She has had considerable experience as a teacher in the pub- 
lic schools of Kansas and Oklahoma, and in the government 
school for the Indians at Navaho Falls, Colorado. She is 
now serving as a teacher in an Indian school in South Da- 
kota. 

MALINDA A. HALL 

Malinda A. Hall rendered six years of faithful and ef- 
ficient service as assistant matron, and teacher. Having 
completed the grammar course at Oak Hill in 1900, and 
then a four years course at Ingleside Seminary in Vir- 
ginia, she was well prepared for the work at the Academy, 
and proved a very reliable and valuable helper. She was 
capable and always willing, when requested, to supply any 
vacancy occurring among the other helpers. She enjoyed 
good health, and never lost a day from illness. Her strength 
and energy enabled her to execute promptly and efficiently, 
every work entrusted to her. Her work throughout was 
characterized by a never failing promptness, faithfulness 
and energy. She was familiar with the needs and traits of 
her people, was thoroughly devoted to the promotion of their 
best interests, and her suggestions were always gratefully 
received. The ability and enthusiasm of her work, as the 
teacher of a large class in the Sunday school and leader of 
the young people in their Endeavor meetings, will never be 
forgotten by those, who came within the sphere of her voice 
and influence. 

Since her marriage in 1911 to William Stewart she 
has been devoting her time and attention to the improve- 
ment of their home on the farm near Valliant. She is need- 



TRIBUTES TO THE WORKERS 321 

ed on the farm, but the thought lingers, that there continues 
to be a great need for her services in the educational work 
among her people. 

Miss Hall's exploits, as a sharpshooter with her own 
gun, during her first year as a teacher at Oak Hill, indicate 
her responsiveness to the spirit of chivalry, that prevailed 
among the people during the period of her youth. 

One day in the spring of the year, while hunting eggs 
in the second story of the old log house, she discovered a 
large snake on one of the rafters over her head. Hastening 
quietly to her own room for a gun, she brought the snake 
to the floor with the first shot. It measured over four feet 
in length, was dark in color and was of the kind, that eats 
eggs and chicks, commonly called a chicken snake. She al- 
so, at the request of Mrs. Flickinger, stunned a small beef, 
that they together butchered, at a time the superintendent 
was absent. 

MARY A DONALDSON 

When Carrie E. Crowe was called away in January 
1906, the place was rather reluctantly assumed but very 
acceptably filled by Mrs. Sarah L. Wallace of Fairhope, Ala- 
bama. After two months she also was called away. The 
place was then filled by Mary A. Donaldson of Paris, Texas. 
She had been an attendant at the first Oak Hill Normal, in 
1905, and then became a missionary teacher at Grant. At- 
tendance at the Normal led to her recognition, both at 
Grant and Oak Hill. After teaching several years she pur- 
sued another course of training at New Orleans and has 
become a professional nurse. 



11 



322 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

SOLOMON H. BUCHANAN 

"He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful/' 
Solomon H. Buchanan is a native of Glen Rose, Somer- 
vell Co., Texas. At the age of eight he was bereft of both 
of his parents, and those, into whose care he drifted, were 
not willing he should learn a letter. By some means he at- 
tracted the favorable notice of Miss Mary A. Pearson, a 
missionary of our Home Mission Board. Furnishing him the 
funds for the trip, she sent him at the age of 18 in 1903, to 
Oak Hill Academy with request to become an earnest Chris- 
tian teacher. At the Academy Mrs. Mary R. Scott of Pitts- 
burgh became his teacher. She taught him his letters and 
first lessons in spelling and reading, giving him consider- 
able time and attention, while the other boys were play- 
ing. Perceiving his special fondness for music, she taught 
him the chords on the piano, and thus gave him a start on 
that noble instrument, which has ever since been his fav- 
orite. 

He has always found the study of books a rather dif- 
ficult task, owing to the lack of early training in them ; but 
he has proved a good student and a very valuable helper at 
the Academy. The longing desire to become a capable and 
successful teacher, has kept him there, amid all the changes 
that have occurred since his arrival in 1903. He has now 
acquired an unusual degree of skill as a performer on the 
piano and his enthusiastic accompaniments on that noble 
instrument contributed greatly to the pleasure and delight 
of the work at the Academy. He has become an earnest 
worker in the Sunday school and endeavor meetings. He 
has a strong voice for song or public address, and has be- 
come an excellent leader of religious meetings. He served 
one year as an assistant teacher at the Academy. He has 



TRIBUTES TO THE WORKERS 323 

proved himself a very efficient and valuable helper at the 
Academy, always looking after the entertainment of vis- 
itors. 

In 1912 he was ordained an elder of the Oak Hill church 
and in May of that year was sent as one of the commission- 
ers of the Presbytery of Kiamichi, to the general assembly 
at Louisville, Ky. Through the courtesy of Rev. E. G. Hay- 
maker, he spent the summer of 1903 at Winona Lake, Ind. 
He is now serving, as superintendent of the farm work and 
musical instructor, at the Bethesda Home and school at 
Wynnewood, Okla. 

The boy who wins is, 

"Not the one who says, 'I can't'; 
Nor the one who says, 'Don't care;' 
Not the boy who shirks his work, 
Nor the one who plays unfair. 
But the one who says, 'I can', 
And the one who says, 'I will;' 
He shall be the noble man, 
He the place of trust will fill." 

STUDENT WORKERS 

These tributes to worthy workers seem incomplete, 
without some reference to the faithful co-operation of some 
of the young people, who, making rapid progress in their 
studies and industrial training, during the later years of 
this period, and serving efficiently as workers, foremen and 
occasional teachers, made possible the large amount of im- 
provement work necessary to overcome the losses sustained. 
The memory recalls the names of the following students, 
whose responsible and efficient co-operation was thus 
worthy of grateful mention. 

Occasional Teachers and Leaders: Paul Thornton, 
Vina Jones, Delia Clark*, Isabella Monroe, Ruby Moore*, 

*Deceased. 



324 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Virginia Wofford, Sarah Milton, Celestine Seats, Solomon 
Buchanan, Riley Flournoy, Clarence and Herbert Peete. 

Carpenters and Cement Workers: David Folsom*, 
Solomon Burris, Louis and Alvin Pitchlin, Isaiah Nelson, 
Clarence Peete, Noah Alverson, Riley Flournoy, Fred and 
Percy McFarland, Thomas Wilson, George Hollingsworth, 
Frank Dickson, Ashley and Alonza McLellan and Brown 
Gaffony.* 

Painters: Solomon Buchanan, Frank Dickson, John 
Black, Eugene Perry, Wesley Lewis, Herbert Peete and 
Cornell Smith. 

Farmers and Trustworthy Teamsters : James Stewart, 
James Burris, James Richards, Dee McFarland, Robert 
Johnson, Robert Maxie, S. S. Bibbs, and Everett Richards. 



*Deceased. 





XL 

CLOSING DAY, 1912 

ELLIOTT HALL DEDICATED. — CONCERT. — RESOLUTIONS.— 
STUDENTS AFFECTION. — FAREWELL NOTE. 

>HE following account, of the closing day of 
our last term of school, is taken from the 
last issue of the Oak Hill Freedman's 
Friend, a news-letter, intended to promote 
the interests of the Academy, and sent to 
its patrons and friends as a quarterly at first, but later as 
an annual, from February 1905, to September 1912. 

CLOSING DAY, 1912 

June 13, 1912, was a day of unusual interest. It was 
the last day of the last term of school, under the manage- 
ment of the superintendent, and the contemplation of this 
fact frequently suggested a thought of sadness, since it 
meant the last meeting with many friends and co-workers. 

It was also the second day set for the dedication of El- 
liott Hall, and the third day announced for a visit and ad- 
dress by Rev. Phil C. Baird, D. D.,pastor of the First Pres- 
byterian church of Oklahoma City. His leading and unus- 
ually happy participation in the events of the day, made his 
visit and services on this occasion thrice welcome and valu- 
able. 

At 2:00 p. m. Dr. Baird delivered the principal address 
to a large and very appreciative audience in the Academy. 
He chose for his theme, The Essentials of Success ; and em- 

(325) 



326 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

phasized these three, namely "Labor, purpose and persever- 



ance." 



ELLIOTT HALL DEDICATED 

At the close of the address of Dr. Baird, the meeting 
was transferred to the cozy and spacious front porch of El- 
liott Hall. 

The story of the Hall as a grateful and permanently 
useful memorial of the late Alice Lee Elliott, and the gen- 
erous gift of $5,000.00 on the part of her surviving husband, 
David Elliott of Lafayette, Indiana, now at Minneapolis, 
Minn., was briefly related by the superintendent. Rev. W. H. 
Carroll reported that voluntary offerings to the amount of 
$29.48 had that day been donated toward the expense of fur- 
nishing the two bath rooms. The prayer of dedication was 
offered by Rev. Wiley Homer of Grant, who has been a 
faithful annual visitor and constant guardian of the good 
name and welfare of the institution ever since it was found- 
ed in 1886. The benediction was pronounced by Rev. P. S. 
Meadows of Shawneetown, moderator of the Presbytery of 
Kiamichi. 

CLOSING CONCERT 

The program provided for the evening consisted of a 
vocal and instrumental concert by the students, such as had 
been given, with one exception, at the close of each term. 
Several of the selections, rendered as full choruses, were 
from Leslie's Ideal Class, the music book most frequently 
used by the superintendent in the training work of note read- 
ing and vocal culture. They included the anthems, "Break 
forth into Joy," "I was Glad," by I. B. Woodbury, "Before 
Jehovah's Throne," and patriotic Glees, "Hail to the Flag," 
"Now a Mighty Nation," and "Unfurl the Sail." 



DLOSING DAY, 1912 327 

When the time arrived to announce the closing chorus, 
the superintendent, after expressing appreciation of the fact 
there were present so many ministers of the Presbytery, 
patrons and friends; and gratitude for their constant co- 
operation, then made known to them, for the first time, the 
fact that several months previous he had tendered his resig- 
nation to the Board of Missions for Freedmen, and that in 
due season, Rev. W. H. Carroll, the principal, would be pro- 
moted to fill the vacancy, when it occurred. 

After hearing these announcements, every minister 
present manifested a des?re to participate in the meeting, by 
bearing voluntary testimony to the good work that had been 
done at the Academy under the leadership of the superinten- 
dent. Rev. Dr. Baird was the first speaker, and he acted as a 
leader or chairman during this temporary interruption of 
the program. He bore testimony to his previous knowledge 
of the faithfulness and administrative ability of the sup- 
erintendent, and his pleasant surprise at the results achieved 
at this institution. Grateful tributes to the efficiency of his 
work, as superintendent of the Academy, were then ex- 
pressed by Rev. Wiley Homer of Grant, Rev. T. K. Bridges 
of Lukfata, Rev. P. S. Meadows and Rev. W. H. Carroll. 

Rev. W. J. Starks of Frogville read and presented for 
adoption the appreciative resolutions that follow: 

Their unanimous adoption by a rising vote was im- 
mediately followed by a general waving of handkerchiefs, a 
touching expression of good wishes and parting cheer. 

RESOLUTIONS 

Whereas the Rev. R. E. Flickinger, our beloved super- 
intendent and friend, has announced his resignation as sup- 
erintendent of Oak Hill Industrial Academy, now Alice Lee 
Elliott School; and whereas such resignation has come to 
us at a very unexpected time; We, citizens of the neigh- 



328 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

borhood, patrons, students and teachers of the Academy, 
and members present of the Presbytery of Kiamichi, do here- 
by unite in adopting the following resolutions : 

First. That the announcement of his resignation 
brings to us profound grief and disappointment, as it takes 
from among us a friend and brother bound to us by many 
unusual and lasting ties. 

Second. That we lose in Rev. R. E. Flickinger, the 
founder of the new and the real Oak Hill Industrial Institu- 
tion, through the accomplishment of the following achieve- 
ments, during his administration: 

When he re-opened the doors of this academy seven 
and a half years ago, it had been closed for the year, and 
for months there seemed to be but little prospect it would 
be opened again. The evidences of neglect, decay and deser- 
tion were manifest on every hand. Under his magic hand 
the school was re-opened, only a few students were enrolled 
the first term, but the piles of rubbish in every corner, and 
underbrush began to disappear, and one of the buildings was 
neatly painted by the boys. At this time the Board did not 
own the land on which the buildings were located. After the 
removal of the restrictions in 1908, the title to one small 
tract was promptly secured by purchase. A dozen other 
adjoining little tracts have since been added to this first one, 
as their purchase became possible and at their virgin price ; 
so that now there belongs to this school, as a means of pro- 
moting its local support, the magnificent domain of 270 acres 
of beautiful and valuable tillable lands of which about one- 
third is now cleared, enclosed and under cultivation. 

"Enlargement and Permanent Improvement," became 
the watchwords of progress, when the title to the second 
tract was secured. Upon this stable material basis there 
has been systematically organized and developed an import- 
ant Industrial institution, where boys and girls are trained 
not only in the great fundamentals of the best intellectual 
and moral culture, but also in the essential industrial arts 
of life. 

The accomplishment of these results has cost the sup- 
erintendent an indescribable amount of toil and labor. His 
great staying powers and ingenuity were taxed to their ut- 
most, when, in quick succession, the two largest buildings 
were suddenly destroyed by unexpected fires, that left noth- 
ing but ashes and discouraged friends. The testimony that 
he has proved himself capable of overcoming these stag- 
gering losses appears in the temporary Boys Hall an addi- 



CLOSING DAY, 1912 329 

tion to the Academy building after the first fire in 1908, and 
in the large and commodious new building, bearing the name 
"Elliott Hall" of which he enjoys the honor of having been 
its architect and builder, through the labors of the students 
and the teachers of the academy ; and, in this creditable stu- 
dent body of well trained young people. 

Third. In grateful recognition of his unusual patience 
and perseverance, his unceasing toil and never failing inter- 
est, his self denying generosity and for his noble, manly ex- 
emplary christian life, we tender to him our heartfelt last- 
ing gratitude; and, enrolling his name among the worthy 
founders of Oak Hill Industrial Academy, shall enshrine it 
as one to be given to children's children, as the educator and 
organizer, who infused new life into this institution and 
greatly enlarged the scope of its work. 

Fourth. That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the 
Board of Freedmen, to the Interior, The Valliant Tribune 
and the Times, Fonda, Iowa. 

PHIL. C. BAIRD, 

Chairman of Meeting. 

A TOKEN OF AFFECTION AND REGARD FROM THE 

STUDENTS 
Dear Superintendent: 

I have been requested by the boys of this institution, 
to offer you a slight token of our affection and regard. I 
cannot tell you how delighted I am to be the means of con- 
veying to you this expression of our united love. What we 
offer you is a poor symbol of our feelings, but we know you 
will receive it kindly as a simple indication of the attach- 
ment, which each one of us cherishes for you in our hearts. 

You have made our days and months pleasant to us. We 
know that we have often tried your patience and forbear- 
ance, but you have dealt gently with us in all our wayward- 
ness; teaching us by example as well as precept, the ad- 
vantages of magnanimity and self control. 

We will never forget you. We shall look back to this 
institution in after life; and, whenever memory recalls our 
school days, our hearts will warm toward you as they do 
today. 

I have been requested by my school mates, not to 
address you formally, but as a beloved and respected friend. 
In that light, Dear Superintendent, we will regard you. 

Please accept our good wishes. May you always be as 



330 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

happy as you have endeavored to make your pupils; and 
may they — nothing better could be wished them — be al- 
ways as faithful to their duties to others, as you have been 
in your duties to them. 

Very truly yours, 

W. RILEY FLOURNOY. 
In behalf of the boys of Oak Hill Academy. 

An expression of gratitude from Simon Folsom, an 
elder of the Forest church, who gave us very cordial co-op- 
eration, and whose voice, ringing with pleading eloquence 
and words of glad encouragement to the students, was fre- 
quently heard at the Endeavor meetings or morning ser- 
vices, by the young people during term time: 

Dear Sir: I want to thank you for your interest, help 
and work among my people. I feel that you have done us 
a great service here. It is my prayer that God will reward 
you in time for all your services in labor, thought and in- 
terest. This is the plea of one whom you have been serv- 
ing. 

July 21, 1912. A Friend, 

SIMON FOLSOM. 

FRUIT BULLETIN 

The superintendent continued to have charge of the 
improvement and other work of the Academy and farm, un- 
til the first of October ; publishing in the mean time the last 
issue of the Freedman's Friend in September; and, remain- 
ing during the month of October, prepared and published a 
bulletin entitled, "Approved Fruits for Southern Oklahoma." 

The aim of the author, in preparing and publishing this 
fruit bulletin, was to furnish a short and reliable text book 
on horticulture, for use in the Academy ; and to supply the 
patrons of the institution, the information they were need- 
ing, to enable them to secure, when making their first in- 
vestments, profitable early, medium and late, fruit-bearing 
varieties of trees for a small home orchard on their respec- 
tive allotments. 



CLOSING DAY, 1912 331 

FAREWELL 
The farewell words of the superintendent, briefly sum- 
marized, appeared as follows in the last issue of the Freed- 
man's Friend: 

With the sending forth of this issue of the Oak Hill 
Freedman's Friend, Rev. R. E. Flickinger lays aside the 
mantle of service, as superintendent of the Academy and 
Farm, and cordially commends Rev. W. H. Carroll, his suc- 
cessor, to the confidence and esteem of all the patrons and 
friends of the institution. 

The opportunity afforded here during the last eight 
years, to engage in the educational work among the colored 
people of our beloved land, has been the realization of an 
earnest desire awakened in the early part of our ministry, 
but not expressed until the opening occurred at this place. 
The silent but deeply impressive cry of need, the golden 
opportunity to lay the foundation for the organization and 
development of an important Industrial Educational Insti- 
tution in this new section of country, and the cordial co-op- 
eration of local ministers, teachers, patrons and friends, have 
combined to make this work throughout, intensely inter- 
esting. 

It has enlisted our noblest and best powers of mind, 
heart and hand. The constant probability that our term 
of service would at best be brief, and the desire to accom- 
plish the greatest possible results, have proved an incentive 
to incessant industry. When difficulties increased, they 
served as a signal to go forward more earnestly. 

We have done what we could to add our mite, most ef- 
fectively, to the great educational work needed in this 
south land. That which has been done, has bean due to the 
constant and cordial co-operation of our Board of Missions 
for Freedmen, and of the immediate patrons and friends of 
the institution. It remains, that we express to you all our 
lasting gratitude, for your cordial co-operation, and for the 
present, say, Farewell ! 

"God bless you, till we meet again." 

Very truly, 

R. E. FLICKINGER. 



PART III 



HISTORY 

...OF THE.... 

PRL5BYTLRY OF KIAMICHI 

...AND THE... 

SYNOD OF CANADIAN 



"My church is the place, where the Word of God is 
preached, the power of God is felt, the Spirit of God is man- 
ifested and the unity of God is perceived. 

"There, I am to meet my Saviour, to meditate on his re- 
demption, to listen to his commands, to bow in reverence 
before him, to pray for his guidance, to sing his praise, to 
ask for his help, and to sit quietly in his house. 

"It is the home of my soul, the altar of my devotion, 
the hearth of my faith, the center of my affections and the 
foretaste of heaven. 

"I have united with it in solemn covenant, pledging 
myself to attend its services, to pray for its members, to 
give to its support, to obey its laws, to protect its name, to 
reverence its building, to honor its officers and to main- 
tain its permanence. 

"It claims the principal place in my activities, and its 
unity, peace and progress, concern my life in this world and 
that which is to come." — F. Hyatt Smith. 





XLI 

THE PRESBYTERY OF KIAMICHI 

CONSTITUTED IN 1896.— ORGANIZED AT GRANT.— BOUNDARY 
ENLARGED IN 1907.— REPORT IN 1913.— GROWTH, 1868 TO 
1913.— DEARTH OF MINISTERS.— FAVORITE SONS.— NEW 
ERA. 

"Neglect not the gift which was given thee, with the 
laying on of the hands of the Presbytery." — Paul. 

iJ^x^OTJHE ministers and group of churches, that 
W first formed the Presbytery of Kiamichi, be- 
klli longed originally to the Presbytery of Choc- 
taw; which included the territory allotted 
in 1832 to the Choctaw Nation, comprising 
the southeast one-fourth of Indian Territory, after the es- 
tablishment of Oklahoma Territory in 1890. 

CONSTITUTED BY SYNOD 
The Synod of Indian Territory, at the meeting held at 
South McAlester, Oct. 22-25, 1896, in response to an over- 
ture for division from the Presbytery of Choctaw, estab- 
lished the new Presbytery by the adoption of the following 
resolutions : 

1st. That the Choctaw Presbytery be divided into two 
Presbyteries, according to the following geographical 
boundaries: First, beginning at Durant on the M. K. & T. 
Railroad, east on the 34th parallel to the Arkansas line, 
thence South to the Texas line, thence west with the Texas 
line (Red river) to the M. K. & T. Railroad, thence north 
with the M. K. & T. Railroad to Durant, the starting point ; 
this Presbytery to be known as the Presbytery of Tuskaloo- 
sa, and to embrace the following churches now within its 
bounds: St. Paul, Oak Hill, Bethany, Forest, Beaver Dam, 
Hebron, Sandy Branch, New Hope, Oak Grove and Mt. Gilead 

(335) 



336 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

— 10 ; and to embrace the following ministers, now members 
of the Presbytery of Choctaw: Rev. E. G. Haymaker, (white) 
Rev. E. B. Evans, (white) Rev. Wiley Homer, Rev. J. H. 
Sleeper, and Rev. Samuel Gladman — 5. 

2nd. That the Presbytery of Tuskaloosa meet at Beav- 
er Dam (Grant) on the Saturday before the third Sabbath 
in November, 1896, at 11 o'clock a. m. and be opened with a 
sermon by Rev. E. G. Haymaker, or in his absence, by the 
oldest minister present, who shall preside until a new Mod- 
erator is elected." 

ORGANIZED AT GRANT 

The first meeting of this new Presbytery was held at 
Grant, in the Beaver Dam church of which Rev. Wiley 
Homer was pastor, Nov. 14-16, 1896, seven months after 
the death of Parson Stewart, who had organized and devel- 
oped all these churches. The meeting was opened with a 
sermon by Rev. Edward G. Haymaker, superintendent of 
Oak Hill Academy, Clear Creek ; and he was chosen to serve 
as the first stated clerk. The first annual report, April 1, 
1897, showed an enrollment of 5 ministers, 11 churches and 
292 communicant members. The name of the Choctaw 
church at Wheelock, Garvin, P. O. was included in this re- 
port, and Richard D. Colbert was enrolled as a licentiate and 
appointed stated supply of New Hope and Sandy Branch 
churches. 

The name given this new Presbytery, which was the 
name of a county and county seat town in Alabama, was not 
entirely satisfactory to those, who were included in it ; and in 
making their first report to synod in the fall of 1897, they re- 
quested the name be changed to Mountain Fork, the name 
of a branch of Little river, that flows from the east end of 
Kiamichi mountain. While this matter was under discus- 
sion at synod the name of the principal river flowing through 
the bounds of the Presbytery, "Kiamichi," (Ki a mish ee) 
signifying "Where you going," was suggested by Rev. Wiley 



THE PRESBYTERY OF KIAMICHI 337 

Homer; and it was approved both by the Synod and Pres- 

« 

bytery. 

The roll of the Presbytery, at the time of its first re- 
port in the spring of 1897, included two Choctaw churches, 
namely, Oak Grove at Grant, and Wheelock, having 5 and 
70 members respectively. During this year Oak Grove was 
disbanded and dropped; and Wheelock, becoming vacant, 
was transferred to the Presbytery of Choctaw ; Rev. Evan B. 
Evans, its last pastor, having gone to Mulhall, in the Pres- 
bytery of Oklahoma. Bethany, a colored church previous- 
ly reported as having 9 members was also dropped. These 
changes reduced the Presbytery to one consisting entirely 
of colored churches and of colored ministers, with the single 
exception of Rev. E. G. Haymaker, superintendent of Oak 
Hill Academy, who was engaged in the educational work 
among them. 

The annual report for 1898, the first one under the new 
name, "Kiamichi" that included only colored churches, 
shows that the Presbytery then consisted of 4 ministers, E. 
G. Haymaker, Wiley Homer, John H. Sleeper and Samuel 
Gladman; 2 licentiates, William Butler and R. D. Colbert; 
and 8 churches, Oak Hill, 40 ; Mount Gilead, 25 ; Saint Paul, 
14; Beaver Dam, 34; Hebron, 13; New Hope, 25; Sandy 
Branch, 16; and Forest, 20; having 187 members and 248 
Sunday school members. 

BOUNDARY ENLARGED 

In May 1907, when the General Assembly at Columbus, 
Ohio, united and rearranged the synods and Presbyteries of 
the Presbyterian and Cumberland churches, after the union 
of their Assemblies at Des Moines the previous year, the 
boundary of the Presbytery of Kiamichi was defined as 
follows : 



338 



CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 



The Presbytery of Kiamichi shall consist of all minis- 
ters and churches of the Negro race in that part of the synod 
of Oklahoma, lying south of the south Canadian river, and 
south of the Arkansas river, below the point of confluence 
of these two rivers." Min. G. A. 1907, 214. 

The north half of Oklahoma was included in the Presby- 
tery of Kendall, then established and two men Rev. Burr 
Williams and Rev. David J. Wallace, who had been mem- 
bers of Kiamichi, since 1899 were transferred to it. 

In 1910 the colored Presbyterian ministers and 
churches in east Texas were added to the Presbytery of 
Kiamichi. These included Rev. J. A. Loving, M. D., and the 
Mount Zion church, at Jacksonville, Texas; and Rev. J. M. 
McKellar and the Mount Olivet church at Rusk, Texas. 

ANNUAL REPORT IN 1913 

In 1913, the Presbytery included 14 ministers and 16 
churches as follows : 



Minister 


Address 


Church 




m 
u 


u 
a 

S3 


>> 

U CO 

CD bd 

B C 

■S-c 


i 
3 6 








0> 

T3 


§ 


4> 


0) O 

.2Sn 










3 


-. 


w§ 


SO 


O 


Wiley Homer, H. R. 


Grant, Okla. 














Robert E. Flickinger, H. R. 


Rockwell City, Iowa 














x Samuel Gladman, Ev. 


Eufaula, Okla. 














Thomas K. Bridges 


Lukfata, Okla. 


Mt. Gilead 


2 


26 


25 


$ 13 


$ 25 


William Butler 


Eagletown, Okla. 


St. Paul 


4 


27 


38 


8 


98 




Millerton, Okla. 


Forest 


3 


13 


17 


3 


25 




Lukfata, Okla. 


Pleasant Valley 2 


27 


37 


8 


15 


Richard D. Colbert 


Grant, Okla. 


Hebron 


2 


19 


15 


8 


12 


William J. Starka 


Garvin, Okla. 


Garvin 


3 


30 


57 


11 


190 


William H. Carroll 


Valliant, Okla. 


Oak Hill 


3 


69 


85 


55 


78 


Noah S. Alverson 


Griffin, Okla. 


Ebenezer 


1 


12 


13 


4 




Plant S. Meadows 


Shawneetown, Okla. 


Mt. Pleasant 


2 


8 


10 


3 






Millerton, Okla. 


Bethany 


3 


23 


30 


10 


!0 


Samuel J. Onque 


Grant, Okla. 


Beaver Dam 


4 


41 


55 


10 


53 


Julius W. Mallard 


Frogville, Okla. 


New Hope 


3 


26 


59 


11 


24 




Frogville, Okla. 


Sandy Branch 
Pleasant Hill, v 


2 


29 
4 


37 


6 


30 


J. A. Loving 


Jacksonville, Texas 


Mt. Zion 


3 


28 


45 


14 




J. M. McKeller -14 


Rusk, Texas 


Mt. Olivet -16 1 


18 


60 


6 








38 


400 


583 


$170 


$560 



X Died, Eufaula, January 8, 1913, at 65. 



THE PRESBYTERY OF KIAMICHI 339 

These churches now represent 38 elders; 400 members, 
and 583 Sunday school members. They contributed $180.00 
to our Missionary Boards and $560.00, towards self-support. 

At the next meeting of the synod in the fall of 1913, 
the two ministers and churches in Texas were transferred 
to the Presbytery of White River, Arkansas. 

Other ministers and churches, that have been enrolled 
as members or a part of this Presbytery, and their names 
have not yet been mentioned, were as follows: 

Rev. Thomas C. Ogburn, who in 1890 and 1891 served 
Beaver Dam, New Hope and Hebron. 

Rev. William G. Ogburn, who in 1890, served Saint Paul 
and Mount Gilead. 

Rev. Burr Williams, who from 1899 to 1902 served Con- 
well chapel at Springvale, and from 1902 to 1903, served 
Mount Zion at Monger, O. T. 

Rev. David J. Wallace, Langston, in 1899, and in 1906 
at Okmulgee, Ok. Ter. 

Rev. Hugh L. Harry, New Hope at Frogville in 1904 
and 1905. 

SUCCESSION OF STATED CLERKS 

Edward G. Haymaker. Clear Creek, Nov. 14, 1896-1903. 
John H. Sleeper, Frogville, 1903-1904. 

Thompson K. Bridges, Lukfata, 1904-1906. 

Samuel Gladman, Millerton 1906-1910. 

William J. Starks, Garvin, 1910-1914. 

EXHIBIT OF GROWTH, 1868 TO 1913 
The following exhibit shows the comparative growth 
of the work among the colored people of the Choctaw nation 
in Indian Territory, the summaries commencing with the 
results of the work as left by Parson Charles W. Stewart, 
when he was honorably retired from further active service 



340 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

among the churches, on account of the infirmities of age, 
in 1890, from Beaver Dam, New Hope, Hebron, St. Paul, 
and Mount Gilead, and in 1893, from Oak Hill and Forest. 
The report for 1898 is the first one of the new Presbytery 
of Kiamichi to include only colored churches. 



Church 


Address 


Stewart 


Date of 




Members in 








began 


organi- 


1890 1893 


1898 


1913 






services 


zation 










Beaver Dam 


Grant 


1874 


1881 


15 




34 


41 


Hebron 


Messer 


1868 


1872 


12 




13 


19 


New Hope 


Frogville 


1869 


1872 


38 




25 


26 


St. Paul 


Eagletown 


1877 


1878 


18 




14 


27 


Mt. Gilead 


Lukfata 


1883 


1885 


25 




25 


26 


Oak Hill 


Valliant 


1868 


1869 




30 


40 


69 


Forest 


Millerton 


1885 


1887 




7 


20 


13 


Sandy Branch 


Sawyer 




1895 






16 


29 


Ebenezer 


Griffin 




1903 








12 


Bethany 


Millerton 




1904 








23 


Garvin 


Garvin 




1905 








30 


Pleasant Valley Lukfata 




1906 








27 


Mount Pleasant Shawneetown 


1906 








8 


Pleasant Hill 


ital in Oklahoma 










4 


Tc 


108 


(145) 37 


187 


354 


Mount Zion 


Jacksonville, Texas 










28 


Mount Olivet 


Rusk, Texas 










18 



Total in Presbytery 400 

DEARTH OF MINISTERS 

This exhibit shows that the membership of the 7 
churches, when relinquished by Parson Stewart in 1890 and 
1893, numbered 145, and in 1898, when the Presbytery under 
the name "Kiamichi" made its first report, including only 
colored churches, the number was 187; suggesting a gain 
of 42 members by his successors in 8 years. If, however, 
the 16 members at Sandy Branch be taken from the 1898 
column, it shows the 7 churches served by Stewart, gained 
only 26 members during all those eight years. 



THE PRESBYTERY OF KIAMICHI 341 

This lack of growth, during this important period, was 
in great measure due to the fact most of the churches were 
left vacant, during a considerable part of that period. Thir- 
ty years had passed since the people had been accorded their 
freedom, but so great had been the lack of educational facil- 
ities, a sufficient number of acceptable men, that could 
read and expound the scriptures profitably to others, could 
not be found. Other communities throughout the south 
were experiencing the same need, and had no young men to 
spare for these needy fields. 

FAVORITE SONS BECOME MINISTERS 

It devolved upon each community to solve this prob- 
lem, relating to the supply of ministers, by encouraging their 
own brightest and best boys to train for the ministry. That 
was the way this problem had to be solved by the Choctaw 
Freedmen in the south part of Indian Territory. 

While the native young men were under training, and 
the churches were vacant, the services had to be maintain- 
ed by the elders and most capable women; and they de- 
serve great credit for their faithfulness and efficiency in 
maintaining them from year to year. 

The church, that during this period made the great- 
est gain — 13 members — was Beaver Dam, the one that was 
first to furnish from its own membership, an acceptable and 
capable minister for its own pulpit, by commending Wiley 
Homer for licensure in 1894, when he was appointed the 
stated supply for that church and Hebron. 

In 1897 the same church presented Richard D. Colbert, 
another of its sons for licensure that he might take charge 
of the church at Frogville and Sandy Branch. 

Eagletown presented William Butler, as their favorite 



342 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

son, for licensure; and beginning then, he is still serving 
that church and Forest. 

In 1905, Ebenezer church at Griffin presented Noah S. 
Alverson for licensure, and beginning then, he is still faith- 
fully serving that field. 

In 1905, Mount Gilead church at Lukfata presented for 
licensure John Richards, a youth of considerable promise, 
who died at 25, in June 1907, while pursuing his studies 
under the superintendent of Oak Hill Academy. 

Under the ministry of these native youth, aided by 
several others who have joined them, the membership of 
the Presbytery was increased from 187 to 350; or, nearly 
doubled, during the period from 1898 to 1913, and five new 
churches have been organized. 

Parson Stewart, serving all his seven churches life-long 
periods, and these favorite sons, following loyally and faith- 
fully in his footsteps, have greatly honored the permanent 
pastorate, though none of them have ever been installed. 
In this matter of long pastorates, these ministers and peo- 
ple have made a record, worthy of the emulation of the 
church at large ; especially those congregations that seem to 
take pride in having "itching ears" and the consequent 
doom of standing vacant and idle half the time, and those 
perambulating ministers, who remind one of the proverb 
of the "rolling stone that gathers no moss." 

NEW ERA REQUIRES THAT PREACHERS BE 

TEACHERS 

On the other hand it is proper to note, that, commenc- 
ing with Parson Stewart all of these worthy men were 
licensed and ordained to the full work of the gospel min- 
istry, after taking a very "short course" of educational 
training. This was due to the fact they were needed to meet 



THE PRESBYTERY OF KIAMICHI 343 

an emergency, an unexpected and unusual condition, that 
called for immediate action. The extraordinary call, these 
men were encouraged to accept, came to them during the 
Territorial days, when there was no adequate provision for 
public education. They were then abreast of their times, and 
the very best their several communities could furnish. 

Now the times are different. The change came with the 
allotment of lands in 1904 and 1905, followed by statehood 
in 1907 and the establishment of a public school system im- 
mediately afterwards. Public schools are now found in 
every community, where there are a sufficient number of 
pupils to justify the employment of a teacher. The demand 
for good teachers is now greater than the supply, and with 
passing years the call will be for better ones. There are 
many reasons now, why every candidate for licensure should 
first prove himself to be an acceptable and successful teach- 
er, as well as a good speaker. Teaching is now, and for 
many years will continue to be, the secondary employment 
of the colored minister in the rural districts. Recognizing 
that fact, every future candidate for the ministry should be 
animated with the noble ambition, to stand at the front in 
the teacher's profession, in order that there may be a con- 
stant demand for his services as a teacher, in the com- 
munity he serves as a preacher. 

More ministers are needed, and promising young men, 
in every community, should be encouraged to train for that 
sacred office. The church is standing ready to co-operate 
with them, in their effort to secure a good and thorough 
education, as a fitting preparation for their future work. 
"Go and teach" is a divine call to a noble work, but "Go and 
preach," is recognized as a divine call to a still nobler and 
greater work, as the Bible and its mission are greater than 



344 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

that of any other book. A greater work suggests the need 
of greater preparation. The extraordinary incidents of 
the past were not intended to be regarded as precedents, or 
as a rule for the future. The time is now at hand when all, 
who present themselves to the Presbytery, before they 
have graduated from the Grammar department, or 8th grade 
of a well accredited school, should be enrolled and held 
merely as "candidates for the ministry," until they have 
completed their studies to that extent, before "licensure to 
preach" is accorded to them. Ordination should ordinarily 
be deferred, until the licentiate has completed the theologi- 
cal course prescribed for all in the standards of the church. 
Young men are frequently impatient to enter upon their 
ministerial life work. They do not always know, that ex- 
pert or thorough training in youth, doubles their value in 
the activities of life; and that this is especially true of the 
teacher and preacher. 





XLII 

HISTORIES OF CHURCHES 

" I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the 
House of the Lord." — David. 

"There's a church in the valley by the wild-wood 

No lovelier spot in the dale ; 

No place is so dear to my childhood, 

As the little brown church in the vale." 

BEAVER DAM CHURCH 

jV^^^J/PHE earl y history of the Beaver Dam Pres- 
/' *"p >\¥ byterian church at Grant carries us back 
Vlll to the year 1873, when Wiley Homer, one 
of the enterprising young men of the com- 
munity, built an arbor in the timber, and 
held the first religious meetings among the colored people 
of that neighborhood. 

Parson C. W. Stewart, of Doaksville, the next year held 
occasional services in the arbor, and in 1875 secured the 
erection of the first house of worship. It was built of sap- 
lings, and at the place previously occupied by the arbor. 
Wiley Homer continued to serve as leader of the regular 
Sabbath meetings, when the parson was not present. 

In 1881 the church was organized with the following 
persons as original members: 

Wiley Homer, Laney Homer, his wife, Louisa Roebuck, 
Martha Folsom, Amy Walton, Adaline Shoals, Rhoda Lark- 
ins. — 7. 

(345) 



346 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Wiley Homer was the only elder ordained at that time. 
A year or two later, Richard Roebuck, and in 1888 Richard 
D. Colbert and Wellington Bolden (died 1892) were or- 
dained. Wiley Homer and Richard D. Colbert continued to 
serve as elders until they were ordained to the full work of 
the gospel ministry in 1895 and 1903, respectively. 

The elders in 1913 are as follows: 

William Goff, ordained 1892 

Aaron Green, ordained 1894 

Wiley Brown, ordained 1912 

Walter McCulloch, ordained 1912 

Others that served as elders were: 

Nick Colbert, 1891 to 1894 

Peter Nolan 1893 to 1896 

Moses Folsom 1904 till death, 1912 

The succession of pastors has been as follows: 

Parson C. W. Stewart, Doaksville 1874 to 1890, 16 years 
Thomas C. Ogburn, Goodland 1890 to 1892 2 years 
Wiley Homer, Grant 1892 to 1912 20 years 

Samuel J. Onque, Grant 1912 to date 1914 

The comfortable and spacious chapel, now occupied by 
the congregation, was built in 1904 during the pastorate of 
Wiley Homer, the God-fearing cowboy, who 30 years before 
had built the arbor in the timber. 

NEW HOPE CHURCH AT FROGVILLE 

The New Hope Presbyterian church at Frogville, 
Choctaw county, was organized about 1872 by Parson 
Charles W. Stewart, who had conducted occasional services 
in this neighborhood for some time previous. 

The first elders were Elias Radford, who died in 1908 
after 36 years of faithful service, and James Pratt, who, 
after 40 years of faithful official service, is still living (1914) 
in his own cozy cottage home near the church. In the interest 
of the church, which is located in the Oak forest, along Red 



HISTORIES OF CHURCHES 347 

river southeast of Hugo, and still fifteen miles from rail- 
way, he has from the first been the principal host, to re- 
ceive and entertain the Frogville circuit-riders, as in the 
days of Stewart and Homer ; and provided rooms in his own 
home for the resident ministers as in the days of Sleeper, 
Harry and Starks. When the Presbytery meets at Frog- 
ville, he generously plans to entertain about one half the 
people that are present from a distance. The good he has 
already accomplished, by his faithful, life-long service in the 
church and Sunday school, make him worthy to be long 
and gratefully remembered, as one of the noblest and most 
generous benefactors in the community in which he lives. 

Others that have been ordained and are still serving as 
ruling elders in this church are Willis Buffington, ordained 
Sept. 7, 1902 ; and Garfield Pratt, son of James, April 9, 1911. 

The succession of pastors of the New Hope church has 

been as follows : 

Charles W. Stewart, Doaksville 1872—1889. 

Thomas C. Ogburn, Goodland 1889—1891. 

Wiley Homer, Grant 1891—1892. 

Samuel Gladman, Atoka 1897—1899. 

Richard D. Colbert, Grant 1899—1900. 

John H. Sleeper, Frogville 1900—1904. 

Hugh L. Harry, Frogville 1904—1905. 

William J. Starks, Frogville 1905—1912. 
Julius W. Mallard, Frogville since Jan. 4, 1913. 

Wiley Homer, an elder and catechist in the Beaver Dam 
church at Grant, as an aid to Parson Stewart conducted 
most of the services during his last two years, 1887 to 1889. 

This church in 1913 reports 26 members and 59 in the 
Sunday school. In all probability it was the second church 
organized by Parson Stewart. 



348 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

ST. PAUL CHURCH, EAGLETOWN 

In 1877, Parson Charles W. Stewart of Doaksville be- 
gan to hold occasional religious services in the colored 
settlement at Eagletown, and Saint Paul Presbyterian 
church was organized in 1878. 

Rev. Charles Copling, a missionary to the Choctaws 
also conducted an occasional service among the colored peo- 
ple, during the year preceding the organization of the 
church. 

The elders ordained at the time of organization were 
Elijah Butler, Primas Richards and Solomon Pitchlyn. In 
1885 William Butler was ordained to supply the vacancy, 
occasioned by the removal of Elijah Butler, and Primas 
Richards to Lukfata, where they became that year two of 
the first elders of the Mount Gilead church. William But- 
ler continued to serve as an elder until 1897, when, as a 
licentiate of the Presbytery, he became the stated supply 
of St. Paul and Forest Presbyterian churches. Shepherd 
Riley served a number of years as an elder of this church. 
Those serving as elders in 1913 are Calvin Burris, Monroe 
Lewis, George Burris and Adam Lewis. 

The ministers serving Saint Paul have been: 

Parson Charles W. Stewart 1877 to 1889. 

William G. Ogburn 1890 to 1891. 

John H. Sleeper 1894 to 1897. 

William Butler 1897 to date, 1914. 

William Butler, a favorite son and elder of this church, 
continuing to serve it acceptably in the pastorate ever since 
he was made a licentiate in connection with Forest has made 
a very noble record. He is a pastor who has acquired the 
art of emphasizing in a very pleasant way the word "come." 

"Oh, come to the church in the wildwood, 
To the trees where the wild flowers bloom ; 



HISTORIES OF CHURCHES 349 

Where the parting hymn will be chanted, 

We will weep by the side of the tomb. 

"From the church in the valley by the wildwood, 

When day fades away into night ; 

I would fain from this spot of my childhood, 

Wing my way to the mansions of light. 
"Come to the church in the wildwood, 
Oh, come to the church in the vale, 
No spot is so dear to my childhood 
As the little brown church in the vale." 

MOUNT GILEAD CHURCH, LUKFATA 

The Mount Gilead church at Lukfata was organized 
July 26, 1885, by a committee of the Presbytery of Choctaw, 
consisting of Rev. John Edwards, superintendent of Wheel- 
ock Academy, and Elder Charley Morris, a Choctaw. The 
members enrolled on this date were: 

Elijah Butler and Amanda Butler, his wife; Elisha 
Butler and Vina Butler, his wife; Easter Butler, Francis 
Butler, Jane Butler, Francis Burris, Daniel Burris, Kate 
Burris, Primas Richards, Rhoda Butler, Nelson Butler and 
Adaline Butler. — 14. 

Elijah Butler and Elisha Butler, his son, and Primas 
Richards were elected and ordained as the first elders. On 
Jan. 29, 1896, Matthew Richards was ordained an elder. 

This church was called "Mount Gilead," the home of the 
prophet Elijah, in honor of Elijah Butler, one of the first 
elders, who, having served a few years as one of the first 
elders of Saint Paul church, conducted the first religious 
meetings among the colored people, that led to the organ- 
ization of this Presbyterian church at Lukfata. 

Parson Charles W. Stewart held occasional services in 
the neighborhood of Lukfata, two or three years before the 
church was organized in 1885, and then continued to be its 
monthly supply during the next five years. 



350 GHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

In 1890 it was grouped with St. Paul church at Eagle- 
town and supplied by Rev. William G. Ogburn from that 
place. From 1895 to 1899 it was supplied by Rev. John H. 
Sleeper, who then moved to Frogville. From 1901 to 1903 
it was served by Rev. Samuel Gladman, who then took 
charge of Bethany near Wheelock. 

Rev. Thompson K. Bridges, after serving and organ- 
izing Ebenezer church at Lehigh the previous year, located 
at Lukfata in the fall of 1903, and has been the local teacher 
and regular supply of the church, since that date, a period 
of eleven years. 




* 




XLIII 

PARSON CHARLES W. STEWART 

DOAKSVILLE, 1823-1896. 

"A soldier of the cross, 

A follower of the Lamb, 

Who did not fear to own his cause, 

Or blush to speak His name." 

I^^^^/PHIS pioneer circuit rider of the Choctaw 
W Freedmen came forth from a period of slav- 
ery, to the Choctaw Indians in the wilds of 
Indian Territory, that covered the first 42 
years of his life. His home was afterwards 
located near the Kiamichi river, seven miles west of Doaks- 
ville. He grew to manhood and always lived in an unim- 
proved, sparsely settled timber country in an obscure and 
inaccessible corner of the world. 

Taking John the Baptist, as his ideal of a good christian 
worker, he became the leading herald of the gospel me&- 
sage to his people, first in the valley of the Kiamichi, and 
then going forth in every direction in the larger valley of 
Red river, he established a monthly circuit of preaching sta- 
tions, that included the most thickly settled neighborhoods 
of the colored people in the territory, now included in Choc- 
taw and MeCurtain counties. Like John, he seems never to 
have sat before a camera long enough to leave the world his 
portrait, and, though serving faithfully as a minister more 
than 25 years he never enjoyed the privilege and pleasure 
of attending a meeting of the General Assembly. 

(351) 



352 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Judging him, however, by the results of his work, the 
circle of churches established and acceptably served for an 
unusually long period of years, and the number of talented 
young men, whom he discovered, in the communities visited, 
and enthused with the longing desire and ambition to be- 
come leaders of their race especially useful and efficient 
teachers and preachers of the gospel, he proved himself 
worthy to be rated as one of the most aggressive and suc- 
cessful of the early leaders of his race. 

"A man he was to all the country dear, 
Remote from towns he ran his godly race, 
Nor ever changed, nor wished to change his 
place." 

PERIOD OF SLAVERY, 1823-1866 

Charles W. Stewart was a native of Alabama, and, at 
the age of ten in 1833, was transported with the Choctaws, 
to whom as a slave he belonged, to the southeastern part of 
Indian Territory. John Homer was then his master, and 
he located about three miles northeast of the present town 
of Grant. His first marriage occurred, while he was serving 
Homer. The wedding of one of Homer's daughters occur- 
red a few years later, and his wife was assigned to serve in 
the home of the newly married daughter. She located in 
a distant part of the reservation, and he was thus deprived 
of his first wife, Charlotte Homer. 

Charles Stewart, a white man, keeping store at Doaks- 
ville, soon afterwards became his owner, and his previous 
name, "Homer" was then changed to "Stewart", after the 
name of his new master. About the year 1860, Samson 
Folsom, a Choctaw who lived eight miles southeast of old 
Goodland, became his new and last owner. 



PARSON CHARLES W. STEWART 353 

PERIOD OF FREEDOM, 1866-1896 
He began to hold religious meetings as early as 1856, 
when he belonged to Stewart, and lived at Doaksville. Mrs. 
Stewart, who had been a missionary teacher, encouraged 
him to learn to read and furnished him with books for that 
purpose. Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury, pastor of the Choctaw 
church, gave him the instruction in the Bible, that fitted 
him for the work of the ministry, and accorded to him the 
privilege of holding meetings in the church, for his people, 
on occasional Sabbath afternoons. 

He was accorded ordination by the Presbytery of In- 
dian (southern) in the fall of 1870, and was then officially 
assigned the pastoral care of the congregations he had pre- 
viously developed at Doaksville and its vicinity, and at 
Wheelock, or Oak Hill. He greatly appreciated the recog- 
nitions accorded to him by the Presbytery, which had pre- 
viously given him a license to preach ; and he endeavored to 
magnify his office, as an evangelist, by going to the "re- 
gions beyond," as fast as the door of opportunity opened 
for him. During the early sixties he gathered new congre- 
gations for worship at his home on the Folsom farm and 
in the Horse Prairie neighborhood. The Oak Hill appoint- 
ment was established soon after he was accorded his free- 
dom. 

During the year 1883, the evangelistic work among the 
Freedmen in Indian Territory, was voluntarily transferred 
by the Southern to the Northern Presbyterian church, with 
the conviction the latter was better prepared to success- 
fully prosecute it. At the time of this transfer Charles 
W. Stewart was enrolled as an ordained minister and desig- 
nated as the Stated Supply of the following organized 

12 



354 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

churches: Beaver Dam, Hebron, New Hope, Oak Hill and 
St. Paul. During the next two years three more of his ap- 
pointments, Mt. Gilead, Forest and Horse Prairie were en- 
rolled, as the fruit of his labors, and added to his circuit. 
At this early date he had also a preaching station at Caddo 
near Durant, and the distance across his circuit of appoint- 
ments, from Caddo eastward to St. Paul at Eagletown, was 
118 miles. 

In 1886 when the Synod of Indian Territory was form- 
ed by the union of three Presbyteries having 24 ministers, 
his circuit included 8 of the 43 churches that were then en- 
rolled. He continued to serve all of these churches four 
more years. 

Previous to this latter date, 1890, he was the first and 
only Presbyterian minister that preached the gospel to the 
colored people of Indian Territory. During that period, he 
laid the foundation for most of the churches, that are now 
enrolled in the Presbytery of Kiamichi and give employ- 
ment to a half dozen ministers. He was now advanced in 
years and beginning to feel the infirmities of age. He re- 
linquished, in favor of two new men from a distance, all of 
his circuit of churches, except Oak Hill and Forest, which 
he continued to serve three more years, or until 1893. He 
was then at the age of 70 honorably retired by the Presby- 
tery, after a long and remarkably successful career in the 
gospel ministry. 

CIRCUIT OF CHURCHES 
The following exhibit of the churches he established 
and served is as nearly correct as it is possible at this date 
to make it. 



PARSON CHARLES W. STEWART 



355 



Post office 


Church ! 


Services 


Church 


Work 


Members 


Years 








began 


organ- 
ized 


dropped 
by Stew- 
art 




of 

service 


Doaksville 






1856 








Pine Ridge 






1858 










Caddo 






1860 










Horse Prairie 






1863 


1870? 


1890 




27 


Wheelock 


Oakt 


1868 


1869 


1893 


30 


25 


Goodland 


He 


bron 


1868 


1872 


1890 


12 


22 


Frogville 


New Hope 


1869 ? 


1872 ? 


1890 


38 


21? 


Grant 


Beaver Dam 1874 


1881 


1890 


15 


16 


Eagletown 


St. 


Paul 


1877 


1878 


1890 


• 18 


13 


Lukfata 


Mt, 


. Gilead 


1883 


1885 


1890 


25 


7 


Wheelock 


Forest 


1885 


1887 


1893 


7 


8 














145 





About 1890, he moved to a home near Forest church, 
and died there at 73, April 8, 1896 ; after an aggressive min- 
istry of more than twenty-five years after his licensure, 
which had been preceded by nearly ten years of earnest 
volunteer service for the betterment of his people. He was 
buried in the Crittenden grave yard. 

He left three children, the offspring of his marriage to 
Catherine Perry, namely, ^ThomjLS, Betty married to Ben- 
jamin Roebuck, and Harriet, married to Rev. Pugh A. Ed- 
wards. 

In 1886, after the death of Catherine, he married the 
widow of Jeffers Perkins, and she died at 65 in 1905, sur- 
vived by seven of twelve children by her first marriage, 
namely, Charles and Louis Perkins, Mrs. R. D. Arnold, Fre- 
donia Allen, Virginia Willians (d. 1913), Fidelia Murchison 
and Jane Parrish. 

CHARACTERISTICS AS A PREACHER 

Charles W. Stewart was a man of medium height and 
rather stout build. The rugged features of his face sug- 
gested a man, possessing strong and sturdy elements of 



356 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

character. He grew to manhood under circumstances and 
changes that made an early education impossible. His edu- 
cation, which was very limited was acquired by the private 
study of a primer, catechism, Bible and other books, furnish- 
ed him by Mrs. Stewart, his real owner, and, Rev. Cyrus 
Kingsbury (d. 1870). 

Parson Stewart was a faithful christian worker, who 
did not become weary in well doing. He made his long jour- 
neys on horseback. He endeavored to arrive at his monthly 
appointments the previous day so as to have time for the 
discipline or re-instatement of wayward members, or hold 
an evangelistic meeting. He manifested so much of hope- 
ful enthusiasm in his work that he seemed unmindful of the 
loneliness and wearisomeness of the long journeys in the 
wilderness and regarded it merely as a passing incident, 
when he had to spend a day or even a night in the timber, 
waiting for the overflow of flooded streams to subside, so he 
could safely ford them. 

He was an aggressive christian worker. He strived to 
preach the gospel, "not where Christ was named, lest he 
should build upon another man's foundation," but, as it is 
written, "To whom he was not spoken of they shall see, and 
they that have not heard shall understand." He was on the 
alert to hear the cry of Macedonia, "Come over and help us," 
and he was always ready to enter and hold a new field while 
his strength lasted. When he was licensed, all the land of 
the Choctaw Nation seemed to be spread out before him, 
as his field of effort, as the land of Canaan was before 
Joshua, when the Lord encouraged him to be "strong, very 
courageous and possess it," for his people. He knew he had 
the "book of the law," that his people needed and his whole 
nature seemed to be enthused with the promise, "Every 



PARSON CHARLES W. STEWART 357 

place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have 
I given unto you." His ambition, to carry the message of 
gospel light and liberty into new settlements of his people, 
was limited by the necessity laid upon him, to continue to 
serve those he had already acquired. 

He was an enthusiastic Presbyterian. He frequently 
delighted, as well as instructed the people, by explaining to 
them the Bible, by repeating familiar portions of the shorter 
Catechism and Confession of Faith. These were his most 
familiar and best commentaries on the Bible. He encour- 
aged the elders, to become leaders of meetings, and teach- 
ers of the people, by maintaining regular Sabbath services, 
for the study of the Bible and Catechism, to promote their 
spiritual welfare. 

He was a forceful and acceptable preacher. In his later 
years he was sometimes slow in finding the hymn, Scripture 
lesson and text. But when he found the hymn, it was al- 
ways one the people could sing, and in leading them with 
his own powerful voice, he needed neither tuning fork or 
organ accompaniment. He read the Scripture with such a 
variety of emphasis, as to awaken the desire to catch every 
word. In the delivery of his message he manifested so much 
sincerity and earnestness, that every one felt he was speak- 
ing to them "direct from the shoulder." 

He grew in favor with the people. He held, to the end 
of his lifelong ministry, the love and affection of the peo- 
ple, whom he served. He saw their need of teachers and 
preachers, and encouraged the young people in every neigh- 
borhood, to prepare themselves to supply that need. As a 
direct result of his personal influence and encouragement, 
Wiley Homer, Richard D. Colbert, William Butler, Elisha 
Butler, Simon Folsom and others came to be recognized, as 



358 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

efficient Bible teachers and religious leaders, in their re- 
spective settlements. Acceptable and permanent preachers 
could not be found, for the group of churches from which 
Stewart retired in 1890, until Homer, Colbert and Butler 
were licensed, and two churches assigned to each of them. 

The worthy veteran lived long enough to see Wiley 
Homer licensed in 1893 and become his successor at Beaver 
Dam and Hebron. The other two were licensed in 1897, the 
year after he "entered into the joy of his Lord." It was not 
until this year, when, John H. Sleeper continuing to serve 
Mt. Gilead, William Butler became his successor at St. Paul 
and Forest, and R. D. Colbert was assigned New Hope and 
Sandy Branch, that all of the churches in the circuit of 
Stewart had regular supplies. 

He was a real pioneer "circuit rider," who has left the 
good impression of his personal work, upon the colored 
people of a large section of country, and of him it may well 
be said: 

"This man never preached for money, 
If he did he never got it ; 
He had some faults, but more virtues: 
He was conscientious and devoted, 
Persevering and determined; 
Long his name will be remembered." 

"He was a faithful circuit rider — though a slave in his 
youth ; 

His artless earnest sermons were the simple tale of 
truth, 

How the Son of God who loved us, left a scepter, crown 
and throne, 

All the joys of highest heaven, to go, seek and save his 



own." 



"Soldier of Christ, well done ! 
Praise be your new employ, 
And while eternal ages run 
Rest in the Saviour's joy." 



PARSON CHARLES W. STEWART 359 

The opportunity to prepare the foregoing tribute to 
the memory of Charles W. Stewart, and give it an historic 
setting in this volume, has been greatly appreciated by the 
author. Rising above the limitations of his condition as a 
slave, during the first half of his natural life, he consecrated 
himself to the betterment of his race and thus, under the 
most unfavorable circumstances, prepared himself for the 
wider field and greater opportunities, that came to him with 
the dawn of freedom. 

This story of noble achievement by one of their own 

number, is well worthy of long and careful preservation; 

that it may thrill to noble endeavor, the present and future 

generations of the Choctaw Freedmen. 

"Let us labor for the Master, 

From the dawn till setting sun; 

Let us talk of all his wondrous love and care, 

Then, when all of life is over, 

And our work on earth is done, 

And the roll is called up yonder, we'll be there." 






XLIV 

REV. WILEY HOMER 

"Patience and Perseverance will perform great wonders." 

^^^^/fTT na s been said, "some men are born great, 
/' y[ some have greatness thrust upon them, 

while others achieve greatness." Many, 
however, who have inherited a great name, 
wealth or power have failed to meet the 
expectation of their parents and friends. When, therefore, 
any one, reared in the home of poverty and educated in the 
school of "hard knocks," rises above the unfavorable lim- 
itations of his surroundings and achieves a noble career of 
eminent usefulness in church or state, he merits commend- 
ation. 

The subject of this sketch is a good illustration of the 
self-made man. He inherited good lungs, a strong voice 
and a splendid physique. He is really a physical giant, his 
stalwart frame towering upward six feet, and tipping the 
beam at 265 pounds. His erect and dignified movements have 
made him a commanding figure among his people. His 
constant endeavor to promote their best interests has made 
him a popular leader among them. A slave by birth and 
denied the privilege of books and papers, lest he should 
learn to read, his eager desire for knowledge led him to de- 
vise ways and means of self -education, to enable him to rise 
above the fetters that bound him in youth. His successful 
career as a minister of the gospel, serving the same people 
amongst whom he was born and raised during the entire 

(360) 



REV. WILEY HOMER 361 

period of his active ministerial life, was as unusual and 
worthy of special commendation, as it was long and useful. 
Wiley Homer was born March 1, 1851, in the south part 
of the Choctaw Nation, known as the Red river valley. His 
parents were Isam McCoy and Adaline Shoals, who lived 
about three miles northeast of the present town of Grant. 
As his parents were called after the family name of their 
masters, in accordance with the usual custom in slavery 
times, he was called "Homer" after the name of his master, 
John Homer, a full-blood Choctaw. 

LEARNING THE ALPHABET 
His self-education began, when at fourteen, he was 
employed as a cowboy, to herd cattle on the little prairies 
and hunt them, when scattered through the timber. The 
timber was a general pasture for the cattle of everybody, 
and their ownership was told by the brand which consisted 
of the initial letters of the owner's names, burned on the 
hip, or back of each. It became necessary for him, to learn 
how to distinguish these brands, one from another, for he 
was sometimes asked to hunt the cattle of other people. To 
do this he began by drawing the outline of familiar brands 
in the dust or sand, where the ground was smooth, and then 
on slips of paper. In a short time, the list on the paper slips 
included the brand of every owner in the settlement, and 
nearly all the letters of the alphabet. 

A man once called on his employer, Samson Loring, to 
see if he could hunt his cattle. When asked if he could 
identify the new brand, "A. B.", he took a stick and, stoop- 
ing down before them, drew the outline of these letters, in 
the loose sand of the road. On seeing this performance 
one remarked to the other, "That boy will make a smart 
nigger." That remark was a source of considerable en- 



362 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

couragement to him, and awakened the desire, to take ad- 
vantage of every opportunity to gain knowledge. 

LEARNING TO READ 

When, at 16 in 1867, he wp/3 accorded his freedom he 
obtained a primer and first reader, and undertook to master 
these by private study. About four years later, a testament 
and shorter Catechism were given him. He now had what 
was regarded as a good library for a young man and he ap- 
plied himself to the reading and study of these books, in 
the evenings and other periods of spare time. The test- 
ament was frequently taken to the field when plowing, in 
order that he might learn to read a verse or two, while the 
team was resting, or get a neighbor, passing on the road, to 
read it for him. The reading of the testament soon awak- 
ened a desire to be a teacher and preacher, and this greatly 
increased his interest in the study of that book. 

He learned to sing from his mother, who greatly en- 
joyed whiling away spare hours on the Sabbath, singing the 
songs they used to sing in slavery times. The only help of 
a teacher, that he enjoyed was a period of three months, to 
enable him to read the Bible aloud correctly. This instruc- 
tion was given only on Sabbath afternoons, and for it he 
had to cut and split for the teacher 250 oak rails. 

THE MAN WHO BUILT THE ARBOR 

The story of the incidents, that prepared the way and 
providentially led him into the ministry, is as novel and in- 
teresting as the one relating to his method of learning the 
alphabet. 

When he had learned to read portions of the Testa- 
ment and Catechism there were no meetings held in his 
neighborhood on the Sabbath, for the religious instruction of 



REV. WILEY HOMER 363 

the colored people. He had a good voice and loved to sing. 
He had experienced as much joy and delight in learning to 
read the Bible, as many do, when they learn to play a musi- 
cal instrument. He longed for an opportunity to read the 
Bible for others. 

This yearning first took the form of a prayer, that God 
would provide for them a church or place for meeting. When 
this prayer had been offered a few times, at the foot of an 
oak tree in the timber he told others of his earnest desire 
for a church ; and proposed to some friends, that they unite 
with him in building an arbor in the timber for a meeting 
place. This proposal was not taken very seriously, and yet 
none of his friends cared to oppose it. A day was finally ap- 
pointed and all, who were interested, were requested to 
meet at the place selected for the arbor, and help to build it. 

On the morning of that day, he went alone to the ap- 
pointed place, which was near the oak tree at the foot of 
which he had before knelt in prayer, and by noon he had cut 
and erected the frame. Another friend arrived in the after- 
noon and assisted to cover it with branches of trees and sup- 
ply it with seats. 

On the day following, which was the Sabbath, the 
colored people of the neighborhood assembled to see the new 
arbor and enjoy a meeting. Now it happened that no one 
present had ever led a meeting, and the first question to be 
settled was, "who should lead the meeting?" Every one, 
that was asked to lead it, insisted, "the man who built the 
arbor" must serve as leader of the meeting. 

Young Homer accepted the situation and led the meet- 
ing in the best manner possible. The exercises consisted of 
a prayer, the reading of a familiar passage from the Bible, 
some remarks by the leader and others, and the singing from 



364 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

memory of a few plantation melodies, such as "Kentucky 
Home," Swanee River", and "The Angels Are Coming to 
Carry Me Home." 

At the second meeting, which was held on the following 
Sabbath, the people were formed into a class for instruction 
in the Bible and catechism, and Homer was chosen to be 
the leader. This was the organization of the Sunday school 
for that neighborhood. 

At this meeting Homer offered prayer the first time 
in the presence of others; and it happened in this way. 
When he called on the friend, who led in prayer at the first 
meeting to do so again, he politely declined, saying : "Homer 
you lead in prayer, yourself." 

A TEACHER, ELDER AND PREACHER 

This arbor, which was the tiny beginning of the 
Beaver Dam church, was built in 1873, the year after he 
became of age. The next year this place was visited by Rev. 
Charles W. Stewart, and it then became one of his regular 
monthly appointments. Homer was again appointed Bible 
teacher and leader of the meetings, on the other Sabbaths. 

In 1875 a church house or meeting place was built of 
saplings, near the old arbor, that continued to be used for 
many years. 

In 1881 he was elected as the first elder of the church, 
and in 1887 was appointed a Catechist. Encouraged by 
these recognitions and duties he secured a good library of 
religious books including a Bible dictionary and a Webster. 
He read many of them with great profit, and was soon 
recognized as an intelligent and valuable instructor of the 
people. The Bible and the shorter Catechism, the one con- 
taining all of Bible truth and the other, a brief com- 
pend of Bible doctrine, were the two books that were studied 
most and proved most helpful. 



REV. WILEY HOMER 365 

In 1893 he was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of 
Choctaw and assigned the pastoral care of Beaver Dam and 
Hebron churches. On Sept. 28, 1895, by the same Presby- 
tery, meeting at Oak Hill Academy, now known as the Alice 
Lee Memorial, he was ordained to the full work of the gospel 
ministry. He continued to serve Beaver Dam, his old home 
church, until Oct. 1, 1912, when, after a pastorate of twen- 
ty years, he was honorably retired from the active work of 
the gospel ministry. In 1904 he secured the erection of a 
commodious chapel at Grant that, during the next five 
years, served also as the most convenient place for holding 
the neighborhood school. After serving Hebron about ten 
years on alternate Sabbaths, in connection with Beaver 
Dam, he relinquished that field and served Sandy Branch 
and Horse Prairie, each a short period. 

When the Presbytery of Kiamichi met in the new chapel 
at Grant, in April 1905, he conducted the Bible lesson for 
the entire Sunday school, as had been his custom ever since 
the early days. The writer was pleasantly surprised and 
profoundly impressed, by his scholarly and highly instruc- 
tive management of it, and the many useful, practical les- 
sons he endeavored to impress. 

THE POWER OF THE BIBLE 
Wiley Homer is a good practical illustration of what 
the Bible is intended to do for all men. If he were asked, 
what book, in the process of his self -education, had proved 
most valuable to him, he would unhesitatingly reply, "the 
Bible." His prayer in regard to it has been that of David in 
the 119th Psalm, "Let my heart be sound in thy statutes," 
and his testimony, that of David in the 19th Psalm, "The 
law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testi- 
mony of the Lord is sure making wise the simple. The 



366 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart, the com- 
mandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes." 

If he were to name the next most helpful book, it would 
be, The Shorter Catechism, with the statement on its first 
page, that, "The chief end of man is to glorify God, and to 
enjoy him forever." 

The private study of the Bible and Catechism prepared 
him for lifelong usefulness as a teacher, discovered to him 
and his people his divine call to the ministry and enabled 
him to do the most important work of his life. He has been 
a faithful and efficient teacher of these two books, but of 
these only, to all the people and, as a result, he has become 
recognized as their spiritual leader. 

The habit of private study, formed while learning to 
read the Bible, fitted him to search for knowledge in other 
fields of literature, and he has thus become one of the most 
intelligent, highly respected and successful citizens of the 
community in which he lives. 

He has been an ardent friend and promoter of educa- 
tion among his people. When in 1889, it was decided to 
make the school at Oak Hill an industrial institution, he 
donated two head of cattle to start the herd. He has ever 
since taken a personal interest in the welfare of that insti- 
tution. During recent years, he has made one or two visits 
each year, for the purpose of delivering special lectures and 
sermons to the young people gathered there. He thus 
brought to them the encouragement of his own word and 
example, in solving the problems of their education and life- 
work. 



REV WILEY HOMER 367 

A COMMISSIONER TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 

SIX TIMES 

He has enjoyed the unusual distinction of having been 
chosen a commissioner and to have represented his Pres- 
bytery in the General Assembly, five times during the last 
fourteen years as a minister, and once before as a ruling 
elder, making six times in 24 years. The times and places 
of these meetings were as follows: In 1889, New York; in 
1899, Minneapolis; in 1901, Philadelphia; in 1903, Los An- 
geles ; in 1905, Winona Lake, Ind. ; in 1913, Atlanta, Georgia. 
In attending these great meetings he has passed over the 
entire length and breadth of this land. To appreciate the 
unusual character of this privilege and honor it is merely 
necessary to state the fact, that the eminent man, who was 
chosen Moderator of the Assembly at Atlanta in 1913, Rev. 
John Timothy Stone, D. D. of Chicago, was attending the 
Assembly on that occasion, the first time as a commissioner; 
and Rev. Charles W. Stewart, the worthy founder of Pres- 
byterianism among the Choctaw Freedmen, never so much 
as got there once. 

These frequent voluntary recognitions, on the part of 
his brethren in the Presbytery, suggest the power of lead- 
ership he has modestly, but always exercised among them. 
His brethren have found him a wise and prudent counselor, 
and an unselfish helper ; and he has always been held in the 
highest esteem by them. 

A LIFE-LONG LEADER OF THE CHURCH HE 

FOUNDED 

He has been a man of strong and positive convictions 
and a persevering worker for the moral and spiritual uplift 
of his people. He learned from his own early 
expen'ence as a slave, the trials and urgent needs of 



368 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

his people and, as the way became clear before him, he con- 
secrated himself unreservedly to the promotion of their wel- 
fare. 

As a preacher he has emphasized the necessity of re- 
pentance and forgiveness of sins, willing obedience to all the 
commands of Christ, and the joyous rewards of faithful 
service. As he surveys the progress of recent years, he 
sees the fulfilment of Isaiah's prediction, "The people, that 
walked in darkness, have seen a great light, they that 
dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath 
the light shined." 

Thirty years have now passed, since he began to hold 
the ever memorable meetings, in the little arbor in the tim- 
ber. Ever since that date he has been the faithful Bible in- 
structor of all the people, during the lesson hour of the Sun- 
day school, and the resident pastor of the Presbyterian 
church for twenty years. The cozy chapel, and the good con- 
gregation of happy christian people, that regularly meet 
there for worship and Bible study, are visible reminders of 
his consecrated genius and unselfish devotion to the best in- 
terests of his people. 

"Dare to do right, dare to be true, 
You have a work that no other can do." 

"Since God is God and right is right, 

Right the day shall win; 
To doubt would be disloyalty, 

To falter would be sin." 

Wiley Homer and Laney Colbert were married in 1867 
and their family consisted of ten children, of whom five 
died in childhood and youth. Those that are living are 
Susan, Mary Shoals, Hattie Lewis, Sarah Williams and Lin- 
coln. 

In 1890, after the death of Laney, he married Rhody 
Tutt ; and in 1906, after her decease, Lizzie Homer. 



REV. WILEY HOMER 369 

In October 1912, he was granted by the Presbytery, an 
honorable retirement from the performance of the public 
duties required of the active ministry. As the sunset of 
life approaches, and the shadows lengthen toward the clos- 
ing day, he enjoys the consciousness of a well spent life, as 
a source of comfort and consolation to sustain and strength- 
en, until the recording angel shall proclaim, the gracious 
benediction, "Well done good and faithful servant, enter thou 
into the joy of thy Lord." 

HAYSTACK MEETING 

The use of the shadow of the oak tree, and later of the 
arbor near it, as a place for prayer and worship, reminds 
one of the historic prayer meeting that was held near Wil- 
liamstown, in 1806, when Samuel J. Mills, and four other 
students of Williams college, Newell, Nott, Hall and Judson, 
met in the shadow of a haystack and united in prayer, that 
God would fit them and prepare the way for them to carry 
the gospel into heathen lands. 

After making two tours to the southwest as far as 
New Orleans, distributing and selling Bibles and organizing 
Bible societies, Mills made the suggestion, that led to the 
organization of the American Bible society in New York, 
May 11, 1816; and to the Synod of New York, the plan of 
educating negroes to carry the gospel to Africa. In 1817 
he was sent as a missionary to Western Africa, including 
Sierra Leone. He died on the homeward voyage and like 
his friend Adoniram Judson, who went to farther India and 
translated the Bible for the Burmese, was buried in the sea. 



XLV 

TRIBUTES TO OTHER MINISTERS AND 

ELDERS 

BUTLER. — COLBERT. — GLADMAN. — BRIDGES.— STARKS.— 
MEADOWS. — AND ELDERS CRITTENDEN. —SHOALS. — 
FOLSOM. — BUTLER. 

"Walk about Zion and go round about her; tell the 
towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her 
palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following." 

— David. 

REV. WILLIAM BUTLER 

"The kindly word, how far it goes along life's way! 
The kindly smile, how it lights up a sad, gray day ; 
The kindly deed, how it repays the doer." 

— Mary D. Brine. 

I^K^/fjEV. William Butler (B. 1859), pastor of St. 
F^ y[ Paul Presbyterian church at Eagletown, 




and of Forest church near Red River south 
of Millerton, is a native of the community in 
which he still lives. His parents, Abraham 
and Nellie Butler, were the slaves of Pitchlyn and Howell, 
Choctaws; and William was about seven, when freedom 
was accorded the family in 1866. His home and work as a 
minister until recently have been in localities remote from 
the railway and good schools. The short period of one and a 
half months was all the time he ever went to school. He 
learned to read by a regular attendance at Sabbath school, 
and by private study at the fireside. The Bible and the 

(370) 



WILLIAM BUTLER 371 

Shorter Catechism were the books that occupied his spare 
time and attention. As a natural result, he became a 
christian and united with the church at an early age. 

In 1885, at the age of twenty-six, he was ordained an 
elder in the St. Paul Presbyterian church. He then began 
to read the Bible to the congregation and to hold religious 
meetings. While preparing himself for the work then in 
hand, he was led to see the great need of more teachers and 
preachers for the colored people, and, believing he could 
render efficient service as a minister, he undertook a spec- 
ial course of reading and instruction under Rev. John 
Sleeper, his pastor, and later of Rev. E. G. Haymaker, sup- 
erintendent of Oak Hill Academy, instructors who lived 12 
and 35 miles distant, respectively. 

In 1894 he was enrolled as a candidate for the ministry 
under the Presbytery of Choctaw. Three years later he was 
licensed by the Presbytery of Kiamichi and appointed the 
stated supply of St. Paul and Forest churches. He has con- 
tinued to serve these two congregations, faithfully and ac- 
ceptably ever since that date, a period now of sixteen years. 
His ordination occurred in 1902. Other fields, that he de- 
veloped and served for short periods are, Bethany, two 
years; Mount Gilead, one year; and Mount Pleasant, one 
year. 

A WINNER OF SOULS 

Mr. Butler is a man, who experienced a hard struggle 
in early life, in the effort to train himself for his life's work, 
as a minister and farmer. He has overcome many of these 
difficulties in a manner, that is very praiseworthy and com- 
mendable. 

He is a man, who carries with him a happy, hopeful 
spirit, and a countenance full of good cheer. Seeing the need 



372 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

of a religious leader among the people of his home com- 
munity, he decided to fit himself to supply that need, and 
has done so hitherto in an efficient and admirable manner. 
To win souls to Christ and instruct them aright from the 
word of God, have been his aims during his ministry. He 
has been to the people an example in righteousness, and has 
labored with faith and zeal in the vineyard of the Lord. 

His annual visits to Oak Hill Academy during term time, 
were always anticipated with considerable interest. They 
were made the occasion for special evangelistic services, fol- 
lowed with an opportunity for decisions ; and many times his 
heart was gladdened at the close of the sermon, by seeing 
more than a dozen of the young people manifest their de- 
cision to live a Christian life. 

The, -people, whom he serves regularly, have shown their 
appreciation of his efficient and long continued work among 
them, by according to him a loyal and constant support. He 
has always lived in the wilderness far removed from the 
railway, notwithstanding the fact the Frisco railway in 
1902 passed through the country, lying between Eagletown 
on the north and Forest church on the south. He has al- 
ways had a pony circuit, of two or more rural churches, 
widely separated. The faithful and acceptable service rend- 
ered these widely distant churches, makes him a good rep- 
resentative of the itinerant work of Parson Stewart, his 
pioneer predecessor. 

The following lines by Hastings, are an appropriate 
prayer for all, who like Bro. Butler faithfully and patiently 
minister to those, who dwell in the wilderness. 

"O thou, who in the wilderness 
The sheep, without a shepherd, didst bless, 
Oh, bless thy servants, who proclaim 
In every place thy wondrous name. 



TRIBUTES TO OTHER MINISTERS 373 

May voices in the wilderness, 

Still with glad news the nations bless ; 

And, as of old, in deserts cry, 

'Repent', God's kingdom draweth nigh." 

REV. RICHARD D. COLBERT 

Rev. Richard D. Colbert of Grant, is one of the young 
men, enlisted in the work of the church, by Parson Stew- 
art. He attended Biddle University from October 1884 to 
June 1887, three years, when he returned home, on account 
of impaired health. Regaining his health after a few months, 
he became a teacher and taught school eleven years during 
the territorial period. 

In the spring of 1897, he became a licentiate of the 
Presbytery of Kiamichi, and two years later was assigned 
the pastoral oversight of New Hope and Sandy Branch 
churches. He was crdained in 1903. Most of his ministerial 
labors have been devoted to Sandy Branch and Hebron 
churches, serving the latter until 1913. As a result of ac- 
cidents that happened in making the journey to the Hebron 
church in 1911 he experienced the loss of an eye and other 
injuries that resulted in total blindness in 1913. He en- 
deavored to make a good record as a teacher and preacher, 
and has served his generation faithfully. 

REV. SAMUEL GLADMAN 

Rev. Samuel Gladman, who died Jan. 11, 1913, at Eu- 
faula, Okla, was a native of Westchester, Chester county, 
Pa. During the early seventies he went to western Texas 
and engaged in teaching. Sometime afterwards he was 
licensed and ordained to the work of the gospel ministry. 

In 1896, when the Presbytery of Kiamichi was organ- 
ized, he was enrolled as one of its charter members. He was 
then living at Atoka. During the next year he served New 



374 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Hope and Sandy Branch churches, but continued to reside 
in Atoka until 1900, when he located at Lukfata. Three 
years later he took charge of Bethany, near Wheelock, and 
in 1905, effected the organization of the church in the new- 
town of Garvin. In 1910, he voluntarily resigned the work 
at Bethany and the office of stated clerk of the Presbytery, 
and located at Eufaula. 

As a minister and lifelong teacher, he rendered a very 
helpful service to the various communities, in which he 
lived and labored. 

REV. THOMPSON K. BRIDGES 

Rev. Thompson K. Bridges, (B. Dec. 6, 1856), Luk- 
fata, is a native of Ellisville, Jones county, Miss. He grew to 
manhood and received his early education at Claiborne, 
Jasper county. Later. he attended the city school at Mer- 
idian, and then took a course in theology at Biddle uni- 
versity. He began to teach public school at the age of 21 
in 1877, and taught fourteen years in Mississippi. In 1891, 
he located in Indian Territory, and has now taught sixteen 
years in Oklahoma. In 1899 he was licensed to preach by 
the Presbytery of Catawba and in April 1902 was ordained 
by the same Presbytery. His first ministerial labors were 
at Griffin, Indian Territory, where in 1903 he effected the 
organization of the Ebenezer church. The next year he 
continued to serve Ebenezer, but located at Lukfata, where 
he has since continued to serve as the stated supply of the 
Mount Gilead church, and teacher of the local school. He 
served two years, 1904 and 1905, as stated clerk of the 
Presbytery of Kiamichi. 

Mr. Bridges has been a progressive teacher and min- 
ister. In his youth, he formed the habit of having a good 
book or paper always at hand to occupy his attention prof- 



TRIBUTES TO OTHER MINISTERS 375 

itably, whenever he had a spare moment. That habit of 
private study in spare moments has enabled him to keep 
abreast of the times, and the changes that have taken place 
in recent years, by the addition of new branches of study 
to the public school course. Ever since he began to render 
service to his people as a teacher, he has made a highly 
creditable record for efficiency and faithfulness. As he looks 
forward to the future it is full of hope and bright prospects. 
He has never ceased to be grateful, for the benevolent 
aid, generously furnished him by the Presbyterian church 
and Sunday school at Purcell, Okla., while he was pursuing 
his theological studies at Biddle university. The persons, 
whose names are most associated with these grateful mem- 
ories, are those of the pastor, Rev. S. G. Fisher, and two of 
the elders, Mr. Lotting and Will Blanchard. This generous 
aid, which made possible an education for the gospel min- 
istry, has led the recipient ever since to feel, that he is 
under a special but very delightful obligation, to ronder to 
the church a faithful and efficient service, as long as he 
lives. 

REV. WILLIAM J. STARKS 

The Lord Jesus, who brought to the world the glad tid- 
ings of the gospel often finds his messengers in strange or 
unexpected places; and leads them, in remarkable ways to 
the accomplishment of his purposes. No one can tell, what 
is going on in the mind of a young man, brought under the 
influence of the divine Spirit ; nor how deep the impressions, 
that may "have been made upon the heart of those, who 
naturally seem most unlikely to become heralds of the 
gospel. 

William J. Starks (born March 14, 1876), Garvin, is a 
native of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. After completing 



376 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

the grammar course in the public school of that place, he 
prepared for college under special teachers. 

The Falling Spring Presbyterian church of that city, 
maintained a mission, that was attended by white and 
black. Mr. J. M. McDowell, a white lawyer, was the sup- 
erintendent of this mission. His special interest was awak- 
ened in young Starks, by the fact he committed the entire 
list of 107 questions and answers in the shorter catechism, 
in one week after a copy was placed in his hands. The sup- 
erintendent proposed, he undertake special studies under 
him as his teacher. In 1897, he entered the college at Lin- 
coln university and graduated from it in 1901, and from the 
Theological department in 1904. 

After one year spent in mission work at Mercersburg, 
Pa., he became in 1905 the stated supply of the New Hope 
church at Frogville, and in 1908, also of Sandy Branch. On 
November 1, 1912, he became the successor of Rev. W. H. 
Carroll at Garvin. 

During .his residence of seven years at Frogville, he 
maintained a six months term of school every year in the 
chapel, serving the first five years as a mission teacher un- 
der our Freedmen's Board, and the last two as a teacher of 
public school. In September, 1910, he was elected stated 
clerk oi the Presbytery of Kiamichi, and is still serving in 
that capacity. In October, 1910, he served as moderator 
of the synod of Canadian at Little Rock, Ark. 

REV. PLANT SENIOR MEADOWS 
Plant Senior Meadows, (Born Feb. 15, 1841) Shawnee- 
town, is a native of Lewis county, Mo. At 17 in 1859, he was 
sold by the administrator of the Cecil Home, and a sugar 
planter at St. Mary's Parish, La., became his master. Here 
he was employed at various kinds of mechanical work, until 



TRIBUTES TO ELDERS 377 

he was accorded his freedom, at 26 in 1865. Mrs. Cecil 
taught him to read, and during this early period, he made 
the best possible use of his spare moments, by reading all 
the good books that were available. As soon as he was free, 
he became a teacher and in connection with ministerial 
duties taught twenty-two years in Texas, and since 1908, in 
Shawneetown, Okla. 

On Nov. 10, 1867, he was licensed and in 1869, ordained 
to the full work of the gospel ministry, by the A. M. E. 
church of Texas. After 41 years of faithful service in that 
church, which included a term as presiding elder, in 1908 
he located within the Presbytery of Kiamichi, Okla., and, 
becoming a member of it, was placed in charge of the Pres- 
byterian church at Shawneetown. Bethany and Pleasant 
Hill have since been added to his field. He has made a good 
record and is still doing splendid work at 73. 

OAK HILL PIONEERS 

Henry Crittenden, 1830-1894. 

Teena Crittenden 1831-1898. 

John Ross Shoals 1849-1885. 

Hattie Crittenden Shoals, 1850-1909. 

Henry Crittenden and Teena Crittenden his wife, John 
Ross Shoals, his son-in-law and Hattie C. Shoals, his wife, 
all of whom were buried in the Crittenden Burying Ground 
near the old Crittenden pioneer home east of Valiant, were 
four of the six original members of the Oak Hill church in 
1869. 

During the last years of the slavery period, they lived 
in the neighborhood of Doaksville, and there enjoyed the 
occasional privilege of attending Sabbath afternoon meet- 
ings for the colored people, in the Choctaw Presbyterian 
church. These meetings were at first conducted, by Rev. 



378 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

Cyrus Kingsbury and Mrs. Charles Stewart, wife of the 
storekeeper, and later by Parson Stewart. The instruction, 
given by the parson, consisted principally in reading selec- 
tions from the Bible and shorter catechism. The rest of 
the time was spent in singing familiar hymns and giving 
testimonies. They became Presbyterians and formed a part 
of Parson Stewart's first congregation at that place. 

When they were accorded their freedom about the year 
1865, they chose their permanent location in the Oak Hill 
neighborhood, about fifteen miles eastward. Parson Ste- 
wart followed them, and began to hold occasional services 
at the home of Henry Crittenden. He became the first elder 
of the Oak Hill church, when it was organized in 1869, and 
during the remaining 25 years of his life rendered a zealous 
and faithful service. 

Henry Crittenden enjoyed the reputation of being a 
"master mechanic." During the slavery period, he was 
trained as a blacksmith, tinsmith and carpenter, and later 
acquired the art of repairing jewelry. Soon after he lo- 
cated on the Crittenden land, he built a shop. His intelli- 
gence and skill as a workman enabled him to attract custom- 
ers from long distances. He was industrious and econom- 
ical, and accumulated savings more rapidly than any of his 
neighbors. 

He was a firm believer in the Bible and a regular at- 
tendant at church. He encouraged the establishment of 
the Oak Hill Sunday school, of which J. Ross Shoals, his 
son-in-law in 1875, became the first teacher. He furnished 
most of the materials for the first frame school house in the 
Oak Hill district in 1878, and in 1887, when it was used 
in the erection of a larger building near the "Old Log 
House" and since known as Oak Hill Academy, he covered 
the deficit on the building estimated at $100.00. 






HENRY CRITTENDEN 



SIMON FOLSOM 



ELIJAH BUTLER 





7 




V 



'MRS. PERKINS STEWART 



REV. C. L. PERKINS 



MRS. R. D. ARNOLD 






JOHNSON W. SHOALS 
[378] 



JAMES G. SHOALS 



ISAAC JOHNSON 




MATT AND MRS. BROWN 




THE TEACHERS, 1899 
Photo by Mattie Hunter 



TRIBUTES TO ELDERS 379 

He and Parson Stewart were the most influential of the 
Choctaw Freedmen, in securing the establishment of Oak 
Hill Academy, as a training school for teachers. He mani- 
fested his joy, not only on the day of its lowly establish- 
ment by Miss Hartford in February 1886, but at every suc- 
cessive enlargement of its work, while he lived. He knew 
better, than many of his fellow Freedmen, the value of 
youthful training, and was enthusiastic in his zeal, to have 
every family far and near take advantage of its open door. 
An early teacher, who frequently heard him, writes: "He 
was a dear, good old man, a remarkable man in many ways. 
His ability to read was quite limited, but his voice was 
splendid for service in meetings." 

Teena Crittenden, his amiable wife, was as industrious 
and frugal in the home, as her husband, in the shop and on 
the farm. She was a devout christian, one that loved the 
Bible and enjoyed the privilege of having a place at the 
meeting for prayer. She died at 67 in 1898, having outlived 
her husband four years. 

John Ross Shoals, in addition to the Sabbath afternoon 
meetings at Doaksville, took some additional night work, 
that fitted him to become the first Sunday school teacher in 
the Oak Hill neighborhood in 1875, and an efficient elder in 
the church. He died at 36 in 1885, leaving to Hattie, his 
wife, the responsibility of raising and educating a family of 
nine children. 

Hattie Crittenden Shoals inherited the industrious and 
religious traits of her parents, in or near whose home she 
always lived. She surpassed many of her people, in the in- 
telligent forethought she manifested in all her plans, and in 
the ability to exercise a correct judgment of men and con- 
ditions. 



380 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

" I mean to have my children begin life, at a higher 
step than I did." This was an ambition oft expressed in the 
presence of her children. She succeeded in giving all of 
them a good education, by sending them first to Oak Hill 
and then to other institutions, including Biddle university, 
Scotia Seminary, Tuskeegee and the Iowa State Agricultural 
college. 

SIMON FOLSOM 

Simon Folsom, one of the first elders of the Forest 
Presbyterian church is now one of the oldest living repre- 
sentatives of the slavery period. Nancy Brashears, his 
third and present wife ,enjoys the distinction of having been 
the most influential of the early leaders in effecting the or- 
ganization of that church. He became an elder in 1887. 
After twenty-six years of faithful service under very un- 
favorable circumstances, he is still trying "to hold up for 
the faith." 

In 1901 he enjoyed the privilege of being one of the 
commissioners of the Presbytery of Kiamichi, and attended 
the meeting of the General Assembly in Philadelphia. Many 
of the good things heard and fine impressions received on 
that occasion, have never been forgotten, and they have fur- 
nished him interesting themes, for many subsequent ad- 
dresses. Though unable to read, he quotes the Bible as one 
very familiar with that sacred book. He inherited a good 
memory, that serves him well in public address, and he is 
always happy and ready when it comes his turn to "speak 
in meeting." His messages are always notes of joy and 
gladness, and the ebb and flow of his voice in prayer often 
seem like the chanting of a sacred melody. 

He was an ardent supporter of the Oak Hill school and 
two of his sons, Samuel and David, both now deceased, were 



TRIBUTES TO ELDERS 381 

among the brightest and most promising, that have attend- 
ed that institution. He has been for many years the coffin 
maker, for the people of his community, and both of these 
boys became skilled carpenters. Samuel, after completing 
the grammar course at Oak Hill, spent two years 1903-5 
at Biddle University and served one year as a teacher at 
Oak Hill. His skill as a workman and ability to serve as a 
foreman of the carpenters, made it possible for the super- 
intendent in 1910, to erect Elliott Hall by the labor of the 
students and patrons of the Academy. Both worked faith- 
fully on this building and died soon after its completion, 
during the early months of 1912. Both were members and 
Samuel an elder of the Oak Hill church.* 

ELIJAH BUTLER 

Elijah Butler, Lukfata, was an uncle of Rev. William 
Butler. He was one of the early leaders in christian work 
in what is now the northeast part of McCurtain county. In 
1878, when St. Paul church was organized at Eagletown, he 
was ordained as one of its first elders, and became an active 
christian worker. A few years later he moved to Lukfata, 
and when the Presbyterian church of that locality was or- 
ganized, July 26, 1885, he and his son, Elisha Butler, were 
chosen as two of the first elders of that church. 

Elijah Butler, like Apollos of old, was a man, "fervent in 
spirit," and was teaching others of the people, what he 
knew of God and the Bible, when Parson Stewart first visit- 
ed the Lukfata neighborhood. His zeal and faithfulness, in 
magnifying the call of God to him to be a christian leader 
among his people, suggested to them the propriety of nam- 
ing their church, at the time of its organization "Mount 
Gilead," the home of the prophet, Elijah, in his honor. As 
an elder and christian worker, he "kept the faith" and "fin- 
ished his course with joy." 

*Simon died May 17, 1914, 



XLVI 

THE SYNOD OF CANADIAN 

FIRST MEETING AT OKLAHOMA.— SECOND AT OAK HILL.— 
AT GARVIN IN 1912.— AN UNINTENTIONAL INJUSTICE.— 
GRATEFUL RECOGNITION.— WOMEN'S SYNODICAL MIS- 
SIONARY SOCIETY.— DEPENDENT CONDITION OF THE 
CHURCHES. — UNSYMPATHETIC ISOLATION. — EDUCA- 
TIONAL INSTITUTIONS.— POPULAR MEETINGS. 

"Christ loved the church and gave himself for it; that 
he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water 
by the word. That he might present it unto himself a glor- 
ious church." — Paul. 

CONSTITUTED IN 1907 

>HE following is the enabling act of the Gen- 
eral Assembly at Columbus, Ohio, May 24, 
1907, establishing the synod of Canadian, 
to consist of the colored Presbyterian min- 
isters and churches in the states of Arkan- 
sas and Oklahoma. 

IT IS HEREBY ENACTED BY THE GENERAL 

ASSEMBLY 

"That the Synod of Canadian is hereby erected and 
constituted, to consist of the Presbyteries of White River, 
Kiamichi and Rendall; and the synod of Canadian, as thus 
constituted, shall meet in the meeting place of the First 
Colored Presbyterian congregation in Oklahoma City, on 
Tuesday, the 8th day of October, 1907, at 7:30 o'clock p. m.; 
that the Rev. W. L. Bethel shall preside until the election 
of a Moderator, that the Rev. W. D. Feaster preach the op- 
ening sermon and that elder J. H. A. Brazleton act as tem- 
porary clerk, until the election of a stated and permanent 
clerk." 

(382) 




THE SYNOD OF CANADIAN 383 

The assembly at this time enlarged the boundary of 
the Presbytery of Kiamichi so as to include the south half of 
the state of Oklahoma and established the Presbytery of 
Rendall to include the north half of it, the Canadian river, 
and below its mouth the Arkansas river, forming the boun- 
dary line between them. 

It also enlarged the boundary of White River Presby- 
tery to include all the colored Presbyterian ministers and 
churches in the synod,or state, of Arkansas. 

FIRST MEETING AT OKLAHOMA 

The first meeting of the synod of Canadian, was held in 
the colored Methodist church of Oklahoma City. The Pres- 
bytery of Kiamichi was represented by 3 ministers and one 
elder, namely, Rev. R. E. Flickinger, and Elder Jack A. 
Thomas, representing Oak Hill church at Valliant, Rev. W. 
H. Carroll, Garvin, and Rev. T. K. Bridges, Lukfata. 

The Presbytery of Rendall was represented by Rev. W. 
L. Bethel of Oklahoma, who served as moderator, John S. 
May of Watonga ; William T. Wilson, Reevesville ; Oscar A. 
Williams, M. D. Okmulgee; Samuel J. Grier, Guthrie; and 
elder J. H. A. Brazleton of Oklahoma, who served as tem- 
porary clerk. 

The Presbytery of White River was not represented by 
any ministers or elders. 

The Oak Hill church was also represented by Miss Ma- 
linda A. Hall, representing the Women's Missionary and 
Christian Endeavor societies, and by Solomon H. Buchanan, 
representing the Sunday school and Oak Hill Aid society. 

At the first meeting, held on Tuesday evening, Oct. 8th, 
a special address was delivered by Rev. William A. Provine, 
D. D., representing the Board of Publication of the Cumber- 
land Presbyterian church at Nashville, Tennessee. Another 



384 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

visitor, who was present with him at this first meeting, al- 
so delivered a short address in behalf of the cause he repre- 
sented. 

Inasmuch as White River Presbytery was not repre- 
sented by a minister or elder, the sentiment prevailed, that 
those present did not form a quorum, and nothing further 
was done save to adjourn until the next morning. 

At the meetings held on Wednesday morning and after- 
noon considerable indisposition to organize was manifested 
by most of those participating in the discussions, because 
the colored people had not been previously consulted as to 
their wishes, before the Synod of Canadian was established 
by the General Assembly. As nothing further was accom- 
plished the meeting was adjourned a third time. 

On Wednesday evening Oct. 9th, after a sermon by 
Rev. R. E. Flickinger, the Synod of Canadian was organized. 
Rev. William L. Bethel was elected Moderator and elder J. 
H. A. Brazleton, clerk. The principal business transacted 
was the enrollment of delegates, the arrangement of the 
standing committees and the appointment of a special com- 
mittee, to prepare a set of standing rules to be submitted 
at the next meeting. 

SECOND MEETING AT OAK HILL 

The second meeting of the Synod of Canadian was 
held at Oak Hill Academy Oct. 1-4, 1908. The Presbytery of 
Rendall was represented by Rev. W. L. Bethel, who deliv- 
ered the opening sermon, and elder J. H. A. Brazleton of Ok- 
lahoma. The Presbytery of White River was represented 
only by Rev. W. A. Byrd, Ph. D., of Cotton Plant, Ark., and 
he was elected Moderator. Rev. William H. Carroll of Gar- 
vin was elected stated clerk, after the adoption of the stand- 
ing rules presented by Rev. R. E. Flickinger. The meetings, 



THE SYNOD OF CANADIAN 385 

which included one in behalf of the Women's work, were 
continued over Sabbath. • 

In 1909 the Synod met at Okmulgee, Oklahoma. In 
1910 it met at Little Rock, Arkansas, and Rev. W. J. Starks 
of Frogville served as moderator. At this meeting a resolu- 
tion was adopted establishing a Synodical Women's Mis- 
sionary society by the appointment of Mrs. C. S. Mebane of 
Hot Springs, president, and Miss Cassie Hollingsworth of 
Little Rock,, Ark., secretary. The next meeting of synod 
was held at Hot Springs, Ark., Oct. 6, 1911, and the fore- 
going resolution was re-approved. 

AT GARVIN IN 1912 
On Oct. 3, 1912, the Synod of Canadian met in the new 
Presbyterian church at Garvin, Okla., and the opening ser- 
mon was delivered by Rev. C. S. Mebane, D. D., of Hot 
Springs, in the absence of the moderator, Rev. A. M. Cald- 
well. Rev. Virgil McPherson of Camden, Ark., was elected 
moderator and Rev. M. L. Bethel of Oklahoma, temporary 

clerk. 

The representation and attendance at this meeting, the 
sixth one, was greater than at any previous one. It con- 
sisted of 15 ministers and 5 elders as follows: 

C. S. Mebane, A. E. Rankin and Virgil McPherson from 
the Presbytery of White River. 

Martin L. Bethel, the Synodical Sunday school mis- 
sionary, and J. S. May from the Presbytery of Rendall. 

Wiley Homer, T. K. Bridges, R. E. Flickinger, William 
Butler, R. D. Colbert, W. J. Starks, W. H. Carroll, the stated 
clerk, N. S. Alverson, P. S. Meadows, J. A. Loving, and 
elders, Calvin Burris, St. Paul, Solomon H. Buchanan, Oak 
Hill; Lee V. Bibbs, Forest; T. H. Murchison, Garvin, and 
William Harris, Hebron; from the Presbytery of Kiamichi. 

13 



386 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

At this meeting Rev. R. E. Flickinger presented his 
fifth and last report on the work of the Board of Missions 
for Freedmen. He had performed a leading part in effect- 
ing the organization of the Synod, at a time when it lacked 
a legal quorum, because of the previous order of the General 
Assembly establishing it. The General Assembly at its 
next meeting approved the organization and made it effec- 
tive. 

GRATEFUL RECOGNITION 

The following words of grateful recognition have been 
taken from the minutes of the synod of 1912, the first year 
they have been printed. 

Rev. R. E. Flickinger, superintendent of Alice Lee 
Elliott School, in a lengthy and very pathetic address, made 
known to synod his intention of giving up his charge and 
returning to his home in Iowa. 

The period of eight years which he spent in our midst 
was ended with many deep regrets on the part of all with 
and for whom he labored. 

"His work as superintendent of Oak Hill Academy, now 
called Alice Lee Elliott school, will be long remembered, for 
he secured and permanently established the Oak Hill Farm, 
and developed industrial features in the school far beyond 
what was even expected. We cherish for him the feelings 
of gratitude and appreciation, that belong to the unselfish 
worker he was." 

WOMEN'S SYNODICAL MISSIONARY SOCIETY 
The Women's Missionary meeting at synod in Garvin 
in 1912 was the first one at which a complete organization 
was effected. It is therefore of historic interest. 

The meeting was opened by Mrs. C. S. Mebane of Hot 
Springs, convener, and she was later elected president. Mrs. 



SYNOD OF CANADIAN 387 

W. H. Carroll was elected secretary, Mrs. W. J. Stark, treas- 
urer, Mrs. Emma P. White president of the Young People's 
Work, and Miss Bertha L. Ahrens, corresponding secretary. 
Others who were present and enrolled as members were 
Mrs. M. L. Bethel, Mrs. Martha Folsom, Mrs. L. Walker, 
Mrs. Nellie Milton, Sarah Milton, Ledocia Milton, Mrs. 
Fidelia Murchison, Mrs. Garfield Lewis, Mrs. Ed. Thomas, 
Mrs. Violet Shelton, Emma Beams, and Emma L. Carroll. 

Ihe address at their popular meeting in the evening 
was delivered by Rev. A. E. Rankin of Crockett, Texas ; and 
a paper from Mrs. D. J. Wallace of Okmulgee was read by 
Mrs. M. L. Bethel. Muskogee was chosen as the place for 
the synodical meeting in 1913. 

DEPENDENT CONDITION OF THE CHURCHES 

The synod in 1913 the sixth year after its organization, 
represents three Presbyteries, that include all our colored 
ministers and churches in the states of Arkansas and Ok- 
lahoma, and, since 1910, tho.se also that are in the east half 
of Texas. Its roll includes 42 ministers and 46 churches, 
whose membership of 1269 contributed to all local purposes, 
such as maintenance of buildings and pastoral support, the 
sum of $3,212.00. This is an average of less than $70.00 
for each church in the synod and less than $48.00 each, for 
the churches in Oklahomo and east Texas. This statement 
indicates, that the ministers serving these churches are 
almost wholly dependent for their income, on what they 
receive from other sources, than the dependent congrega- 
tions they serve, and, that only by the practice of the most 
rigid economy, in personal expenses, is it possible for them 
to make ends meet and maintain a good name in their re- 
spective communities. 



388 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

POPULAR EVENING MEETINGS 
The evening meetings of synod and a part of the after- 
noon sessions may be made very profitable to the local con- 
gregation, by arranging before hand for special addresses 

on the part of representatives of the Boards, or members of 
the synod. There are some causes, such as education, evan- 
gelism, the Freedmen and Women's work that are of popu- 
lar interest, and a stirring address on these subjects is al- 
ways appreciated. Such addresses are a means of instruc- 
tion and serve to awaken popular enthusiasm. 

Some synods have adopted the plan of holding an an- 
nual Sunday school convention during the evening and day 
preceding the meeting of the synod. These endeavor to 
bring before the young Sunday school workers* the very 
best speakers available, on the subjects to be discussed. 

The arrangements for the popular addresses should 
be made several weeks in advance, so the speakers may be 
prepared and the people be duly notified. 

BENEDICTION 

"May the God of peace that brought again from the 
dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, 
through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you 
perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you, 
that which is well pleasing in his sight through Jesus 
Christ; to whom be dominion and glory for ever and ever. 
Amen. 








.. ■■:■-■ 




m^M: 






^^^£m8h 
















>«/,■ * 




^mW&8EB3BSBKi 



THE SWEET POTATO FIELD, 1911 

Looking north from the Frisco railway; the boys' temporary hall at the right. 



[388] 




TWO SETS OF PORTABLE ROOFS FOR SWEET POTATO PITS 

1. A set of roofs set aside on their edges for the summer. 

2. A set as they appear when set over a pit The ends are closed during Winter. Looking 

northeast toward the rear of Elliott Hall. 



PART IV 



THE BIBLE IN THE PUBLIC 
SCHOOL AND NATION 



The two following chapters, relating to the supreme 
importance of reading the Bible daily in every public school 
of the land, are a supplement to the brief discussion of this 
subject, that appears in the introductory part of this 
volume. 



•'Truth crashed to earth shall rise again,— 

The eternal years of God are hers; 
But Error, wounded, writhes in pain, 

And dies among his worshippers." 

"Truth forever on the scaffold; 

Wrong forever on the throne; 
Yet that scaffold sways the future; 

And behind the dim unknown, 
Standeth God, within the shadow, 

Keeping watch above his own." 

Queen Victoria said to the King of Siam: "England owes 
her greatness to this book— The Open Bible." 

The Bible, and the public school to make known to all the 
children its moral principles and religious truths, have 
brought liberty, greatness and enlargement to the United 
States of America and Great Britain. 

These two instrumentalities— the open Bible and public 
school— will bring the needed blessings of intelligence, hap- 
piness and prosperity to the people of the United States of 
Mexico, of Central and South America, when they are ac- 
corded a fair chance. 



XLVII 

THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 

AN OUTGROWTH OF THE REFORMATION.— PORTO RICO.— 
MISSION SCHOOLS.— COLONIAL SCHOOLS.— MASSACHU- 
SETTS AND CONNECTICUT.— NEW YORK AND PENNSYL- 
VANIA.— THE BIBLE, THE STANDARD OF MORALITY.— 
RISE AND FALL OF INTOLERANCE.— DANIEL WEBSTER. 
—THE BIBLE, THE FREEDMAN'S BEST BOOK.— THE 
CHURCH, SUNDAY SCHOOL, PUBLIC SCHOOL.— ENCOUR- 
AGING MOVEMENTS. 

"Education is the cheap defense of a Nation." — Gar- 
field. 

"Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom. 
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." — Solomon. 

|HE public school is the general and perman- 
ent agency for the education and uplift of 
the colored people. Religious and indepen- 
dent schools may do a splendid work in their 
several localities, but the public school is in- 
tended to be state-wide. It alone reaches the masses of 
colored children, and it should receive its due share of the 
public funds. The fact that they have not received any 
thing like a fair share of the public funds, for their equip- 
ment and support, has already been stated. This, to a great 
extent, is an act of injustice. Conditions however are grad- 
ually improving. They are made better as a good use is 
made of present educational facilities, and earnest appeal 
is made for more and better ones. A vast amount of self- 
sacrificing work, on the part of teachers and parents, Is 

(391) 




392 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

needed to bring the schools of the Freedmen up to their 
proper standard, and to secure them, where they are still 
needed both in city and rural district. 

The Freedman alone cannot do all that is needed, to 
provide adequate educational facilities for all his people ; but 
there is so much that may be done, in the way of awakening 
local interest, supplying local deficiencies, and appealing for 
more and better equipment, as to enlist the united and per- 
sistent co-operation of all intelligent, public spirited Freed- 
men. 

AN OUTGROWTH OF THE REFORMATION 

The public school system, in the United States, is an 
outgrowth, or by-product of the Protestant Reformation of 
the sixteenth century in Europe. Harvard college was es- 
tablished at Cambridge, near Boston, in 1639, less than 
twenty years after the first arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers. 
Its object was to provide a supply of trained ministers and 
christian teachers, to meet the rapidly growing needs of the 
colony. 

The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in For- 
eign parts, organized in London, England, in 1701, aided the 
colonists in the establishment of free schools, by sending 
them donations and supplies of bibles and testaments. Chris- 
tian teachers were employed in these free schools and two 
of the text books used were the Bible and the New England 
primer. This primer was illustrated with Bible pictures and 
contained the shorter catechism. 

These colonial free schools of New England were grad- 
ually extended to the other colonies, but not without calling 
forth some opposition in some of them, especially where 
there was opposition to the use of the Bible. This fact has 
been rendered quite memorable, by the rather unenviable 



THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 393 

remark of Governor Berkeley of Virginia in 1670, to the ef- 
fect, "I thank God, there are no free schools in Virginia." 

The scattered condition of the population rendered dif- 
ficult and greatly retarded the progress of free schools in 
the south. Planters were often widely separated, and many 
of them preferred to send their children away to school, or 
employ a private tutor for them. They did not care to pro- 
vide schools for the Negroes. 

When, by the adoption of the Constitution the colonies 
became states, the protection of religion and encourage- 
ment of education were left as they had been, as matters to 
be considered by the legislatures of the several states. As 
one state after another has been admitted to the Union, ex- 
tending it over a vast extent of country, a system of public 
education has been adopted in each, ranging from the rural 
school to the state university. The system in every state 
is quite complete and more or less efficient to accomplish 
its objects. The entire system is due to the presence of the 
Bible in our land, and especially during the formative per- 
iod of our government. The states have deemed it neces- 
sary to train the young and rising generation in the inter- 
est of good government and progress. 

As the church of the Reformation in Europe, and of 
our forefathers in New England, found it necessary to es- 
tablish academies, colleges and theological seminaries, in 
order to train a constantly increasing supply of christian 
teachers, statesmen and ministers, the states have real- 
ized that it is their duty to maintain public and high schools, 
in order to have an intelligent and prosperous citizenship; 
and to maintain normal schools and universities, in order to 
provide a sufficient number of professional teachers, leg- 
islators, jurists and efficient captains of industry. 



394 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

The system of public education in all the states is one, 
of which every citizen of the land may well be proud, and 
endeavor to take every possible advantage of it as teachers, 
patrons and pupils. 

PORTO RICO 1898-1913 

A splendid illustration of its inestimable value has just 
been received from Porto Rico. In 1898 when the United 
States received the transfer of Porto Rico from Spain, it 
had been for centuries under the control of Romanism. There 
was then only one building on the island, specially erected 
for school purposes, and more than eighty per cent of the 
population could neither read nor write; and only 26,000 
children had been enrolled as attending school. So rapid 
has been the progress toward enlightenment and a better 
civilization under Protestant American rule, that at the 

end of fifteen years there are 40 school buildings and 162, 
000 children are enrolled as attending school; and the num- 
ber of the illiterate has been reduced from 80 to 14 per cent. 

THE BIBLE AND CHRISTIAN TEACHERS 
One is now ready to inquire, "Wherein does our splen- 
did system of public education differ from that provided by 
the various Protestant denominations, in their mission 
schools, academies, colleges and universities ? 

Both are essential to the well-being of the state. They 
are two strong pillars that, supplementing and standing 
near each other, support the power and promote the ma- 
terial prosperity of the state. Their mutual relation is 
aptly expressed, by the sentiment of the two brothers on 
the shield of Kentucky, "United we stand, divided we fall." 
They look so nearly alike in buildings and equipment, the 
passing observer sees little or no difference in their out- 
ward appearance. 



THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 395 

Nevertheless there is often a difference in their objects 
and products, which has already been noted, and in the 
means employed to accomplish these objects. This differ- 
ence is fundamental. It is found in the law of their estab- 
lishment. 

In the admirable system of public education in the state 
of Iowa, which is second to none in the land for the goodness 
and greatness of its beneficent results, there is found the 
following statute, and it is a fair illustration of similar stat- 
utes in other states. 

"The Bible shall not be excluded from any public school 
or institution in this state, nor shall any pupil be required to 
read it contrary to the wishes of his parents or guardian." 
Sec. 1764. 

This statute takes it for granted the Bible is in the 
schools, and that is excellent; it has also a concession and 
the latter often prevails. Many Jews read only the old 
Testament, and many Catholics out of regard for the pope, 
a foreign potentate, think they ought not to read any part 
of the Bible. The state is a secular power and the result, 
of this concession to religious freedom, is, that the Bible 
and the Christian teacher, in many localities, are not re- 
garded as essential features of its educational work. 

This leaves the moral character and relative value of 
our public schools, to a considerable extent, to the caprice of 
those who are in the majority or authority, as directors and 
teachers in any particular community. In christian com- 
munities they are invariably found exerting a christian in- 
fluence. 

The Bible and the christian teacher are essential for the 
accomplishment of the greatest good. These are seldom 
separated, and when they are found together in the public 



396 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

school, it becomes a fountain of elevating christian influ- 
ences. This privilige is enjoyed by many of our communities, 
where the supply of christian teachers is equal to the de- 
mand. 

This discussion of the public school has been included 
here, for the general knowledge of christian families 
among the colored people. Since the enactment of laws, 
limiting the teachers in the public schools of the colored 
people, to those of the "colored persuasion," there is now, 
and will continue to be, an ever increasing demand for cap- 
able christian teachers. Christian teachers come from 
christian homes and christian schools. 

COLONIAL SCHOOLS 

The historic facts, showing that the open Bible has been 
the corner-stone of the American public school system, have 
been so interesting and suggestive to the author, as to lead 
him to take the initiative, in effecting and maintaining a 
local Bible society in Fonda, and to make the distribution 
of the Scriptures among the people, a special feature of his 
ministry there, and later at Oak Hill Academy. The hope 
is indulged, that the following facts, relating to the place 
accorded the Bible in the schools of the colonies, will prove 
of interest to every reader, especially among the Freedmen. 

Our fore fathers and the stalwart statesmen of their 
day, were not led astray by the "higher" or more properly 
called destructive criticism and infidelity, that is now per- 
meating much of the literature of our day to the great injury 
of all who are influenced by it. Indebted to the Scriptures 
for their ideas of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happi- 
ness," and, prizing them as the foundation of their civil and 
ecclesiastical privileges, they manifested both their sense 
of obligation to them and dependence upon them, by mak- 



THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 397 

ing them the corner stone of every institution they estab- 
lished. The word of God in their hand, like a pillar of cloud 
by day and of fire by night, led them to locate in this land, 
awakened in them the spirit of heroism amid all their pri- 
vations and sufferings, and served as their common guide 
and comforter, in all their struggles and progress. 

If there are any who have the right to judge and to 
have their judgment respected, as to the nature of the edu- 
cation needed in this republic, surely those men of sagacity, 
patriotism, piety and comprehensive statesmanship, who 
founded both the system of education and the Republic, are 
among the number. 

During the Colonial period the towns were little re- 
publics, with the Bible for their foundation, and their 
schools were established for general instruction in that 
book. The exclusion of the Bible from those early schools 
would have been repugnant to their founders. They re- 
garded the Bible not merely as an authoritative book in 
all matters of conscience, but as the charter of their liber- 
ty and their guide to the independent ownership of land. 

MASSACHUSETTS 

The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, as early as 1647, 
less than twenty years from the date of their first charter, 
made provision by law, for the support of schools at the pub- 
lic expense ; for instruction in reading and writing in every 
town containing fifty families, and grammar schools in 
those containing one hundred families. This noble foun- 
dation suggests the religious foresight that laid it. The pre- 
amble to this school law contained the following motives: 
"It being one chief object of Satan to keep men from the 
knowledge of the Scriptures, as in former times keeping 
them in unknown tongues, therefore, that learning may not 



398 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

be buried in the graves of our fore fathers, the Lord as- 
sisting our endeavors, it is ordered," etc. 

Horace Mann, secretary of the Massachusetts Board 
of Education, has left on record this noble testimony for 
all the teachers of our country. "As educators, as friends 
and sustainers of the common school system, our great 
duty is to impart to the children of the commonwealth the 
greatest practicable amount of useful knowledge; to culti- 
vate in them a sacred regard for truth, to keep them un- 
spotted from the world; to train them to love God and also 
their fellow men; to make the perfect example of Jesus 
Christ lovely in their eyes ; to give to all so much religious 
instruction, as is compatible with the rights of others and 
the gains of our government, so that, when they arrive at 
the years of maturity, they may intelligently enjoy the in- 
violable prerogatives of private judgment and self -direction, 
the acknowledged birthright of every human being." 

Rufus Choate, the eminent statesman and jurist in one of 
his orations very emphatically exclaimed : "Banish the Bible 
from our public schools? Never! So long as a piece of 
Plymouth Rock remains big enough to make a gun-flint." 
This is an expression of true patriotism on the part of one, 
who knew well the history and cost of American freedom. 
"He is the freeman, whom the truth makes free." 

CONNECTICUT 

In the Colony of Connecticut as early as 1656, explicit 
laws were added to the general law by which the schools 
were first established, and constables were required to take 
care ,"That all their children and apprentices, as they grow 
capable, may through God's blessing attain at least so much 
as to be able to read the Scriptures, and other good books in 
the English tongue." 



THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 399 

"The schools of this state" says the state school Jour- 
nal, "were founded and supported chiefly for the purpose 
of perpetuating civil and religious knowledge and liberty, as 
the early laws of the colony explicitly declare. Those laws, 
published in the first number of this Journal declare, that 
the chief means to be used to attain these objects, was the 
reading of the Holy Scriptures." 

This enlightened policy of the Puritans, in regard to the 
establishment of free schools, for the general dissemination 
of a knowledge of the Bible and the development of a pure 
morality among the young, was a great step in advance of 
all the countries in the old world. The results have won- 
derfully justified their wisdom and forethought. The 
schools they established, having the Bible as a universal 
text book and basis of moral instruction, became nurseries 
of piety and knowledge. The very thought of excluding the 
Bible from schools, they had established with great sacri- 
fice for its special study, would have been received with a 
shudder of horror. 

"The interests of education," says Chancellor Kent, 
chief justice of New York, "had engaged the attention of 
the New England colonists, from the earliest settlement of 
the country, and the system of common and grammar 
schools, and of academical and collegiate instruction, was 
interwoven with the primitive views of the Puritans. 
Everything in their genius and disposition was favorable to 
the growth of freedom and learning. They were a grave, 
thinking people, having a lofty and determined purpose. 
The first emigrants had studied the oracles of truth as a 
text book, and they were profoundly affected by the plain 
commands, awful sanctions, sublime views, hopes and con- 
solations, that accompanied the revelation of life and im- 



400 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

mortality. The avowed object, of their emigration to New 
England, was to enjoy and propagate the Reformed faith, in 
the purity of its discipline and worship. They intended to 
found republics on the basis of Christianity, and to secure 
religious liberty, under the auspices of a commonwealth. 
With this primary view, they were early led to make strict 
provision for common school education, and the religious 
instruction of the people. The Word of God was at that 
time almost the sole object of their solicitude and studies, 
and the principal design, in emigrating to the banks of the 
Connecticut, was to preserve the liberty and purity of the 
gospel. We meet with the system of common schools, in 
the earliest of the Colonial records. Provision was made for 
the support of schools in each town, and a grammar school 
in each county. This system of free schools, sustained by 
law, has been attended with momentous results ; and it has 
communicated, to the people, the blessings of order and se- 
curity, to an extent never before surpassed in the annals 
of mankind." 

STATE OF NEW YORK 

George Clinton, the first governor, in presenting the 
matter of public education to the first legislature of New 
York, used the following language: "Neglect of the educa- 
tion of youth is one of the evils consequent upon the evils 
of war. There is scarcely anything more worthy your at- 
tention, than the revival and encouragement of seminaries 
of learning; and nothing by which we can more satisfact- 
orily express our gratitude to the Supreme Being for his past 
favors, since piety and virtue are generally the offspring of 
an enlightened understanding." 

Later, when the phrase "Common schools" had come 
into use, he emphasized morals and religion as their fore- 



THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 401 

most objects. "The advantage to morals, religion, liberty 
and good government, arising from the general diffusion of 
knowledge, being universally admitted, permit me to rec- 
ommend this subject to your deliberate attention." 

In 1804, his successor, Governor Lewis, emphasized the 
necessity of establishing common schools in the following 
words: "In a government resting on public opinion, and 
deriving its chief support from the affections of the peo- 
ple, religion and morality cannot be too sedulously incul- 
cated. Common schools, under the guidance of respectable 
teachers, should be established in every village and the 
poor be educated at the public expense." 

In 1810, his successor, Governor Tompkins, brought the 
matter anew to the attention of the legislature. "I cannot 
omit inviting your attention to the means of instruction for 
the rising generation. To enable them to perceive and duly 
estimate their rights, to inculcate correct principles, and 
habits of morality and religion, and to render them useful 
citizens, a competent provision for their education is all es- 
sential." 

In 1811, in response to these successive appeals, the leg- 
islature of New York appointed five commissioners, to re- 
port a system for the organization and establishment of 
common schools to carry forward the educational work, that 
had been previously maintained by the voluntary contribu- 
tions of christian people in their various communities. 

These commissioners, in their report, recommending 
the establishment of common schools for the state of New 
York, expressed their own sentiments and those of the peo- 
ple they represented, as follows : 

"The people must possess both intelligence and virtue ; 
intelligence to perceive what is right, and virtue to do what 



402 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

is right. Our republic may justly be said to be founded on 
the intelligence and virtue of the people, and to maintain it, 
'the whole force of education is required.' The establish- 
ment of common schools appears to be the best plan, that 
can be devised, to disseminate religion, morality and learn- 
ing, throughout a whole country." 

In referring to the branches to be taught there is add- 
ed in this report, as follows: "Reading, writing, arithmetic 
and the principles of morality (Bible) are essential to every 
person, however humble, his situation in life. Morality and 
religion are the foundation of all that is truly great and good 
and are consequently of primary importance." 

After calling attention to the "absolute necessity of 
suitable qualifications on the part of the master," the re- 
port continues in regard to the Bible, as one of the books 
to be used: 

"Connected with the introduction of suitable books, the 
commissioners take the liberty of suggesting that some ob- 
servations and advice, touching the reading of the Bible in 
the schools, might be salutary. In order to render the 
sacred volume productive of the greatest advantage, it 
should be held in a very different light, from that of a com- 
mon school book. It should be regarded, not merely as a 
book for literary improvement, but as inculcating great 
and indispensable moral truths. With these impressions, 
the commissioners are induced to recommend the practice, 
introduced into the New York Free School, of having select 
chapters read at the opening of the school in the morning 
and the like at the close in the afternoon. This is deemed 
the best mode of preserving the religious regard, which i» 
due to the sacred writings." 

This admirable report closes with these significant 



THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 403 

words: ''The American empire is founded, on the virtue 
and intelligence of the people. The commissioners cannot 
but hope that that Being, who rules the universe in justice 
and mercy, who rewards virtue and punishes vice, will grac- 
iously deign to smile benignly, on the humble efforts of a 
people in a cause purely his own ; and that he will manifest 
this pleasure, in the lasting prosperity of our country." 

The public school system of New York, with the Bible 
as its corner stone, was established the next year, 18 1 2. Ten 
years later, Governor DeWitt Clinton, encouraging their lib- 
eral support, said, "The first duty of a state is to render its 
citizens virtuous, by intellectual instruction and moral dis- 
cipline, by enlightening their minds, purifying their hearts 
and teaching them their rights and obligations." 
STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA 

The status of the Bible, in the early schools of Pennsyl- 
vania, may be gathered from the following extract from a 
report, approved by the National Convention of the friends 
of public education, that met in Philadelphia in 1850. 

"In the common schools, which are open for the in- 
struction of the children of all denominations there are 
many whose religious education is neglected by their par- 
ents, and who will grow up in vice and irreligion, unless they 
receive it from the common school teacher. It seems to us 
to be the duty of the state, to provide for the education of 
all the children, morally as well as intellectually; and to 
require all teachers of youth, to train the children in the 
knowledge and practice of the principles of virtue and piety. 

"The Bible should be introduced and read in all the 
schools in our land. It should be read as a devotional exer- 
cise, and be regarded by teachers and scholars, as the text 
book of morals and religion. The children should early be 



404 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

impressed with the conviction, that it was written by in- 
spiration of God, and that their lives should be regulated 
by its precepts. They should be taught to regard it, as 
their manual of piety, justice, veracity, chastity, temper- 
ance, benevolence and of all excellent virtues. They should 
look upon this book, as the highest tribunal to which we 
can appeal, for the decision of moral questions ; and its plain 
declarations, as the end of all debate." 

It was about the year 1840, that the Catholics in 
Pennsylvania began to manifest opposition to the reading 
of the Bible, in the schools of that state. In view of this 
opposition the board of directors, for the Fourth section in 
Philadelphia, adopted the following resolutions: 

(1) "That we will ever insist on the reading of the 
Bible, without note or comment in our public schools ; because 
we believe it to be the Word of God, and know that such is 
the will, of the vast majority of the commonwealth. 

(2) "That we look on the effort of sectarians to di- 
vide the school fund, as an insidious attempt to lay the axe 
at the root of our noble public school system, the benefits 
of which are every day manifested in the training of our 
youth. 

(3) "That we will use every means proper for chris- 
tians and citizens to employ to maintain our present school 
system, and to insure the continuance of the reading of 
God's holy word in all our schools." 

BOARD OF NATIONAL EDUCATION 

The constitution of the Board of National Popular Edu- 
cation contains in its sixth article, the following pledge, as 
one required of teachers, as well as the board. "The daily 
use of the Bible in their several schools, as the basis of that 



THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 405 

sound christian education, to the support and extension of 
which, the board is solemnly pledged." 

In its fifth annual report, which is for the year 1852, the 
the necessity of a free and open Bible in our common schools 
was emphasized as the only possible way, in which our 
nation can continue to be self -governed. The Bible, for the 
masses, is God's great instrument for governing men and 
nations. "There is but one alternative," said Mr. Sawtell, 
"God will have men and nations governed; and they must 
be governed by one of the two instruments, an open Bible 
with its hallowed influences, or a standing army with brist- 
ling bayonets. One is the product of God's wisdom; the 
other, of man's folly ; and that nation that discards or will 
not yield to the moral power of the one, must submit to the 
brute force of the other. The open Bible, in our schools, 
is the secret of our ability to govern ourselves. Take from 
us the open Bible and, like Samson shorn of his locks, we 
would become as weak as any other people. Take away the 
Bible, and like Italy, Austria and Russia, we would need 
a despot on a throne, and a standing army of a half -million 
to keep the populace in subjection." 

JESUS, THE GREAT TEACHER 
It was our Lord Jesus himself, who said, "Suffer little 
children to come unto me, and forbid them not." He did not 
suggest, that they be sent for moral instruction to the 
schools of the Pharisees, or the unbelieving Sadducees, but 
that they should come to him, and receive his word and bless- 
ing. He saw no sectarianism in the message of love, life 
and forgiveness, he brought from the Father; for he des- 
cribed it, as, "living water," "living bread which came down 
from heaven," "the light of the world," and its object, "that 
they might have life more abundantly." He knew, it was a 



406 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

matter of utmost importance to every individual, to receive 

that message in childhood and youth. 

THE BIBLE, THE STANDARD OF MORALITY 

The Word of God is supreme in all matters of con- 
science or morality. The man, whose conscience is in har- 
mony with the Word of God, must be recognized as on the 
side of God and right. Elijah on Mount Carmel, having on- 
ly the Word of God, prevails over four hundred misguided 
prophets of Baal. When those, who were prejudiced against 
the gospel in the days of Peter, imprisoned and undertook to 
silence him and others, he gave the right answer, when he 
said, "We ought to obey God rather than men." Peter and 
Elijah, teaching the Word of God, were progressive up- 
builders of the Kingdom of God, while their suppressors 
were merely blind opposers and destructionists. The en- 
lightened consciences of Peter and Elijah were of more value 
and more to be respected, than those of the hosts of souls, 
in the darkness of unbelief, arrayed against them. Whilst 
the work of Peter and the apostles tended to make the 
world better, and better men of all their opposers, the work 
of the latter, tended to put a real check, on the cause of hu- 
man progress. Those, who opppose the reading of the 
Scriptures in the public schools of this, or any other land, 
commit the very same folly. 

The Bible is the Word of God to all mankind. It is his 
provision for our intellectual, moral and spiritual natures, 
as the light, air, water and food have been provided for our 
physical natures. It was originally written in the language 
of the people to whom it was given, the Old Testament in 
Hebrew to the Hebrews; and the New Testament in Greek 
to the Greek speaking Jews, in the time of Christ. 

Our English version was made from the original lang- 




Home of the late Caroline Prince. 




406 



New Home, Mrs. Sam Harris. 

Representative Homes of Choctaw Freedmen, near Oak Hill. 






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THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 407 

uages in the time of King James, and it is an error in judg- 
ment to call it, either a Protestant or Sectarian Bible. There 
is, indeed, a sectarian version of the Bible in use in this 
country. It is printed in the latin language, the language of 
pagan Rome, which the common people no longer use or un- 
derstand. 

It seems a queer freak of our human nature, that those 
who use the Bible in a dead, foreign language, unsuited for 
use in our public schools, should call our English version of 
the scriptures a sectarian book, and then oppose its use in 
our public schools. 

Our English version of the Scriptures is no more a sec- 
tarian book, than are the ordinary books on astronomy, 
geology, botany, and natural history. Nevertheless when 
Romanists oppose its use, others of all sorts in the com- 
munity, who like them need its gracious message of light, 
life and love, but instead profess not to regard it as a mes- 
sage from God, are liable to unite with them in their un- 
fortunate opposition. 

No one has an inherent right, to exclude the Bible from 
the public schools of America. As the one authoritative book 
of God, it ought to be there. As the charter of American lib- 
erty, and the corner stone of our system of public education 
and jurisprudence, it ought to be there. No one has any 
more right to exclude the Bible from the public schools of 
America, than he has to exclude the sun, for both are God's 
own provision of light. It is intended of God to be the one un- 
changing standard of morality and purity, for old and 
young; and to be as free for all, as the common air that 
we breathe. Its use, at an early age, tends to develop the 
conservative principles of virtue and knowledge, which serve 
as the world's best protectors against ignorance, barbarism 
and vice. 



408 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

RISE AND FALL OF INTOLERANCE 

Excluding the Bible, from the public schools of Ameri- 
ca, is an old world innovation. In some countries of Europe, 
books on science, literature or philosophy have not been per- 
mitted to be published, without the previous approval of the 
government. "The Bible itself, the common inheritance, not 
merely of Christendom, but of the world, has been put ex- 
clusively under the control of government, and has not been 
allowed to be seen, heard, or read, except in a language un- 
known to the common inhabitants of the country. To pub- 
lish a translation in the language of the people, has been in 
former times a flagrant offense." (Story on the Constitution, 
page 263.) 

The popes, as early as the eighth century, condemned 
the circulation and reading of all writings unfriendly to 
the papacy. In 1515, after the art of printing had been in- 
vented, the papal decree was issued, "That no book should 
be printed without previous examination by the proper ec- 
clesiastical authority, the Inquisition. The books prohib- 
ited by it included the bible in the English and German lan- 
guages, and all the books published by Luther, Calvin, 
Zwingli and other Reformers. While the Reformers were 
called, heresiarchs, they proved themselves to be the world's 
greatest benefactors, by giving the people the Bible. 

When Roman Catholicism was the state religion of 
Italy, France, Spain and Britain, it was intolerant, and by 
massacres and persecutions endeavored to suppress the 
reading of the Bible and also its publication in the language 
of the people. 

In 1531, when the bishops were almost universally 
statesmen, lawyers or diplomats. Henry, the King of Eng- 
land, by an act of parliament, which consisted of a convoca- 



THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 409 

tion of the clergy, became the recognized head of the church 
in England, instead of the pope at Rome. The principle now 
begins to prevail, that "Truth possesses the power to defend 
itself." As a result Wiclif, Tyndale, Sir Thomas More, 
Thomas Cromwell, Archbishop Cranmer, Miles Coverdale 
and others, with the approval of the king successively, en- 
courage the translation, publication and circulation of the 
Scriptures among the clergy and people. It was at this time 
and in this way, that the principle of toleration in matters 
of religion had its beginning, and the first check was put 
upon the cruel intolerance of the church of Rome in Eng- 
land. The church of England, episcopal in form then be- 
came the established, or state church; and it is so still, but 
the king is no longer the head of it and the parliament no 
longer consists of the clergy, as in the days of King James. 
It was in 1566 that the Puritans, followers of Calvin and 
other foreign reformers, withdrew from the established 
church of England, because they did not approve all the 
forms and ceremonies, then required in the public worship 
of the established church. 

The official act of religious toleration in England was 
passed during the reign of William III, 1689-1702, (and 
Mary), who, as the prince of Orange and founder of the 
Dutch republic in 1680, had previously distinguished him- 
self as the friend of liberty. 

Roger Williams, founder of the Colony of Rhode Island 
1636 to 1647, established there the first government in 
America, upon the principle of universal toleration. William 
Penn, founder and proprietor of Pennsylvania, in 1684 in- 
corporated the same principle in the government of that 
colony; and, as the expression of his own views and senti- 
ments, respecting religion and civil government. These 



410 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

men exercised government, by instilling into the minds of 
the people the principles of religion, morality, forbearance 
and friendship. Americans do well to cherish the memory 
of these men, who wrought so nobly a century before the 
American Revolution. 

NOBLE DEFENSE BY DANIEL WEBSTER 
Our American public school system represents the ac- 
cumulated wisdom of many generations of Bible readers, 
and in promoting it we preserve for future generations the 
foundations so wisely laid in the earlier years of our history. 
Daniel Webster, one of the advocates of the system 
and early defenders of the Bible in it, stated its fundamental 
principle when he said, "In all cases there is nothing, that 
we look for with more certainty, than this general prin- 
ciple, that Christianity is part of the law of this land." He 
explained its object and motive in the following passage, 
which is worthy to be repeated in every generation. 

"We seek to educate the people. We seek to improve 
men's moral and religious condition. In short, we seek to 
work upon mind as well as upon matter; and this tends to 
enlarge the intellect and heart of man. We know that when 
we work upon materials, immortal and imperishable, that 
they will bear the impress which we place upon them, 
through endless ages to come. If we work upon marble, it 
will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it. If 
we rear temples, they will crumble to the dust. But, if we 
work on men's immortal minds — if we imbue them with 
high principles, with the just fear of God, and of their fel- 
low men, — we engrave on those tablets, something which 
no time can efface, but which will brighten and brighten to 
all eternity." 

The exclusion of the Bible from the public schools in 



THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 411 

New York state had its rise in 1838 and concerning this 
movement, Mr. Webster said, "This is a question which in 
its decision is to influence the happiness, the temporal and 
the eternal welfare of one hundred millions of human beings, 
alive and to be born in this land. Its decision will give a hue 
to the character of our institutions. There can be no char- 
ity in that system of instruction from which the Bible, the 
basis of Christianity, is excluded." 

The public school, with daily instruction to the young 
in the Bible, is an American system of education. It had 
its origin in the belief of its founders, that general instruc- 
tion in the Bible was essential to the permanency of that 
freedom, civil and religious, and that independent owner- 
ship of land, they came to America to enjoy. If the early 
Pilgrims, more particularly those of Massachusetts and Con- 
necticut, had not struggled and toiled for this great object, 
and if they had not been immediately succeeded by men, 
who imbibed a large portion of the same spirit, the free 
school system of New England would never have been ex- 
tended to all parts of our land. We have inherited the public 
school through the Bible, and the feeling prevails, that only 
by maintaining a general knowledge of the Bible, among the 
young and rising generation through it can the countless 
blessings, that flow from it, be conserved for future gener- 
ations. 

THE FREEDMAN'S BEST BOOK 
These historic facts, relating to the original establish- 
ment of free schools among the colonies, during the period 
of the early settlement of this country, and the place ac- 
corded the Bible in them by their faithful founders, are well 
suited to be suggestive, and to prove an inspiration to every 
friend of freedom, to promote the good cause of maintaining 



412 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

the daily reading of the Bible, in all of our public schools at 
the present time. 

Christian parents among the Freedmen, having child 
ren that are bright and studious, are encouraged by these 
facts, to train one or more of them to be teachers and help- 
ers, in promoting the educational and moral uplift of the 
race. All are encouraged to co-operate with your teachers, 
in making the public school of your neighborhood, an at- 
tractive and inviting place for your own and your neigh- 
bor's children. 

Send the children regularly to school during the term, 
for the terms are short. Do all you can, as long as you live, 
to supply your public schools with bibles and christian teach- 
ers, in order that they may attain the highest degree of ef- 
ficiency, and bring the greatest amount of public good, to 
you and your children. Remember, that the Bible is the 
mother of the public school and that it awakens a desire 
for more knowledge, drives back the darkness of ignorance 
and inspires the courage to do right. 

Many have been led astray by reading bad books and 
papers, but none from reading the Bible. Its blessings of 
comfort and guidance to individuals, and of civil and re- 
ligious liberty to nations, have come to us like the dew of 
Hermon, that made "the wilderness and solitary place to be 
glad, and the desert to rejoice and blossom as the rose." 

In view of these important historic facts, it is certain- 
ly strange that any parents, who permit their children to 
read all sorts of trashy and worthless books, without pro- 
test, should pretend they do not want them to read the Bible, 
the one infallible and incomparable book, that does not" Be- 
come old and out-of-date like the best of other books, but 
is as fresh and life giving to day as twenty centuries ago. 



THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 413 

The number of those, who have opposed the reading 
of the Bible in the public schools have comprised but a small 
part of the entire population of our land, and they have al- 
ways represented that part of it, that have most needed its 
enlightening and uplifting influence. 

One million immigrants from other lands are now com- 
ing to our shores every year, that they may enjoy the civil 
and religious privileges, that have here been secured, 
through the influence of the Bible. One of their greatest 
needs, immediately on their arrival, is faithful instruction 
in the living and eternal truths of God's Holy Word, that 
they may know and understand the genius or spirit of our 
American, civil and religious institutions. 

There is urgent need to day for more of that holy com- 
pulsion that Jesus exercised, when, surrounded by a lot of 
hungry people, he required the disciples to "Make the men sit 
down," and then added, "Give ye them to eat." 

THE CHURCH AND SUNDAY SCHOOL 

When Jesus said, "The son of man came not to be min- 
istered unto but to minister," he gave to the world one of 
its clearest visions of the Kingdom of God, and his own, the 
highest ideal of life, the one that produces the noblest type 
of manhood. 

It is the great business of the church to bring all its 
children and youth to this true conception of life, and it 
aims to do this through the christian home, the Sunday 
school, young peoples' meetings and church services. But 
these alone are not adequate, to reach all the children and 
youth of the land, including those of the one million immi- 
grants, arriving annually from other lands. 

Margaret Slattery in the Charm of the Impossible has 
very truly remarked: 



414 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

"Men of all creeds and of none agree, that religious in- 
struction ought to be given, to all the children and youth of 
the lasd, but the task of attempting it is a tremendous one, 
and the best manner of doing it is not clear to all. Some say- 
religious instruction should be given in the home. This is 
usually done, in the intelligent christian home ; but there are 
many homes, where it is impossible, and others indisposed. 
The fact that the church has seen, as if with a new vision, 
the method of Jesus, the Great Teacher of all men, reveals 
itself more clearly in the Sunday school, than in any other 
department of its work. There it attempts the task of re- 
ligious education by instruction from the Bible, and en- 
deavors to inspire the child, youth and man with the purest 
and greatest motives for action." 

MAKE THE PUBLIC, A BIBLE SCHOOL 

There is, however, no instrumentality in our country, 
so convenient and favorable for giving all the children and 
youth of our land a general knowledge of the Bible, as the 
public school. The Bible is the embodiment of all lofty ideals, 
and when it is daily read in all of our schools, there is in 
them a uniform standard of morals. Schools, that neglect 
or suppress the daily reading of the Bible, do not keep the 
vision of those attending them on the christian ideal, or de- 
velop the christian motive in them, during the most im- 
pressionable period of their lives. 

The Bible is the light of the intellect, the fore runner 
of civilization, the charter of true liberty and secret of na- 
tional greatness. The Bible is the one, all-important book 
for the Freedmen and their children. Its weekly use, in 
the church and Sunday school, is to be appreciated and pro- 
moted; but the home and the public school are the golden 



THE PUBLIC SCHOOL 415 

places, where its daily use should be required, and the op- 
portunity be magnified. 

American patriotism relies on the public school, con- 
ducted with moral and social aims, as the one preeminent, 
assimilating agency to bind together the older and newer 
elements of our population, in a common devotion to our 
common country. It has been "America's greatest civil 
glory and chief civil hope." The enthusiasm, that led to its 
establishment, was well nigh sacred. It needs to day the 
support of a public spirit, that will insist on the restoration 
of the daily reading of the Bible, as the basis of moral in- 
struction in it. 

Concerning its educational value President Woodrow 
Wilson has recently very truthfully said, "The educational 
value of the Bible is, that it both awakens the spirit to its 
finest and only true action, and acquaints the student with 
the noblest body of literature in existence; a body of liter- 
ature, having in it more mental and imaginative stimulus, 
than any other body of writings. A man has deprived him- 
self of the best there is in the world, who has deprived him- 
self of the Bible." 

How true to day is Paul's description of the people that 
were living without the Bible in his day. He describes them 
as "filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, 
covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, deceit, 
haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil 
things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, un- 
merciful."" 

Our own and every heathen land furnishes abundant 
proofs, that whenever the gracious promises of the Bible 
are gratefully received, the proud become humble, the dis- 



*Rom. 1. 27. 



416 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

obedient dutiful, the drunkard sober, the dishonest, honor- 
able; the profligate, prudent; and the miserable become 
happy. Nothing else has ever done this, but the gospel of 
Christ always does it, when gratefully received. 

ENCOURAGING MOVEMENTS 
The legislature of Pennsylvania, in 1913, restored the 
use of the Bible in the public schools of that state, by a stat- 
ute requiring the daily reading of at least ten verses of the 
Bible, in the hearing of all the pupils under every teacher, 
and making a neglect of this duty a proper cause, for the 
suspension of the teacher. 

The National Reform Association at its last meeting in 
Portland, Oregon, in 1913, resolved to raise $25,000, for the 
purpose of undertaking to place a copy of the Bible, in every 
public school in the land, from which it may have been ex- 
cluded ; and to aid in keeping it, where it is now adopted, as 
the standard of moral instruction. 

Commissioner Claxton, in welcoming the members of 
the council of church Boards of Education, representing 
fourteen denominations, at their third meeting in Washing- 
ton, D. C, in January 1914, very correctly stated the lead- 
ership of the church in the educational work of our country, 
and the importance of its continued relation to it, in the fol- 
lowing language : 

"The church has been the leader in educational devel- 
opment, at a time when the state was unable and unwilling 
to pay the large cost for education. Honor should be given 
the church for its splendid, formative work in education, 
during the time the state was occupied in building up its 
political relations. It is indeed a happy thing, that the 
church is so deeply interested in education, as to maintain 
national agencies, known as boards." 



CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 417 

In regard to the secondary schools he prophetically 
added, "The day will come, when the Bible will be read in the 
public schools, just as any other book. There is no good rea- 
son, why the Bible should not have its rightful place, in our 
public school curriculum." 

The Gideons, an organization among traveling sales- 
men, are endeavoring to place a copy of the Bible in every 
bedroom of all the public hotels in the United States. At 
the end of 1913 they had supplied bibles for 220,000 rooms, 
and had reached all but three states, Utah, Nevada and 
Washington. 

These are movements in the right direction and sug- 
gest the proper attitude of every christian parent, teacher 
and legislator. Do not hesitate to advocate the daily read- 
ing of the Bible, and the employment of christian teachers, 
in all the public schools, provided for the Freedman and his 
children. 

"There's a dear and precious book, 

Though it's worn and faded now, 
Which recalls those happy days of long ago ; 

When I stood at mother's knee 

With her hand upon my brow, 
And I heard her voice in gentle tones and low. 

Blessed book, precious book 
On thy dear old tear-stained leaves I love to look ; 

Thou art sweeter day by day, 

As I walk the narrow way, 
That leads at last, to that bright home above." 

— M. B. Williams. 



14 



XLVIII 

A HALF-CENTURY OF BIBLE SUPPRES- 
SION IN A NATION, OR FRANCE, DUR- 
ING THE PERIOD, 1572 TO 1795. 

THEISM, DEISM, PHILOSOPHISM.— APPEAL FOR BREAD.— 
MORAL AND FINANCIAL BANKRUPTCY.— FIRST POPULAR 
ASSEMBLY.— REPUBLIC OF FRANCE.— REIGN OF TER- 
ROR.— PEOPLE UNPREPARED FOR FREEDOM.— INSUR- 
RECTION OF WOMEN.— RESULTS.— LAND OF JOHN CAL- 
VIN.— LAFAYETTE.— ROMANISM, BEHIND THE TIMES.— 
HUMAN REASON, BLIND.— LIGHT, LIFE AND LIBERTY. 

"The entrance of thy word giveth light, it giveth un- 
derstanding to the simple. Open thou mine eyes, that I 
may behold wondrous things out of thy law." — David. 

N American citizen does not need to go to 
far-off India or Africa to learn how people 
live without the Bible. Every heathen na- 
tion, living in ignorance and degradation 
furnishes a practical illustration. This il- 
lustration may be found by visiting the countries on the 
other side of the southern boundary line of the United 
States, where for several centuries under dominant catholic 
influence the Bible has been a forbidden book in the few 
public educational institutions of the country. The result 
may now be seen in the general prevalence of ignorance, pov- 
erty and oppression ; the ownership of land limited to a com- 
paratively few persons, corruption and rapacity on the part 
of public officials, general improvement checked and the 
country impoverished by frequent insurrections and revolu- 

(418) 




HALF-CENTURY OF BIBLE SUPPRESSION 419 

tions, that indicate incapacity for stable and prosperous self- 
government. 

France, however, once made the actual experiment of 
suppressing the Bible and Bible readers for two centuries, 
during the period from 1572 to 1795, while the Reformation 
of the 16th century was progressing in Germany, Switzer- 
land, Britain and other countries. 

Thomas Carlyle, in his history of the French Revolu- 
tion, that occurred 1788 to 1795, has very dramatically por- 
trayed scenes and incidents, which become pregnant with 
new and thrilling interest, when briefly summarized to il- 
lustrate the folly and sad consequences of suppressing the 
Bible and Bible readers in that nation. The historic value 
of these incidents should make this story interesting and 
instructive to every student and teacher. 

ATHEISM, DEISM, PHILOSOPHISM 

Louis XV, king of France, at the end of a reign of fifty- 
nine years, dies unwept and unmourned in 1774. Affirming 
there is no God or heaven, at the beginning of his long reign, 
and not permitting any of his courtiers to mention the 
word "death" in his presence, he abandons himself to a life 
of forbidden pleasure, humiliates and scandalizes the peo- 
ple of France instead of enlightening and elevating them. 
He inherits and maintains the tyrannous and oppressive 
feudal system, that prevents the common people from ac- 
quiring ownership of land. His career has been described, 
"as an hideous abortion and mistake of nature, the use and 
meaning of which is not yet known." The persecution of 
Bible readers, or Protestants, is begun with a general mas- 
sacre at Paris, on the anniversary of Saint Bartholomew 
in 1572. Those who escape the bloody horrors of that occa- 
sion, are commanded to emigrate from France, on pain of 



420 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

death. The following events occur, during the latter part 
of the last half century, preceding the French Revolution. 

The leaders in thought are the shameless and selfish 
infidels and deists, Voltaire, Rosseau, Robespierre and 
others like them. Paris admires her deistical authors and 
makes them the objects of hero-worship. They are called 
"Philosophs," and Bible readers must not stand in their 
way. Philosophism sits joyful in glittering saloons, is 
the pride of nobles and promises a coming millennium 
Crushing and scattering the last elements of the Protestant 
Reformation, they blindly and falsely talk of a Reformed 
France. The people applaud, instead of suppressing these 
false teachers. The highest dignitaries of the church 
waltz with quack-prophets, pick pockets and public women. 
The invisible world of Satan is displayed and the smoke 
of its torment goes up continually. No provision is made 
for the general education of the common people and yet the 
government is fast becoming bankrupt. 

In 1774 Louis XVI succeeds his father, as the last 
King of France. He is youthful, uneducated, imbecile. He 
is wedded to a giddy superficial queen. Both are infidels 
and incapable of any intelligent acts of government. With 
imbecility and credulity on the throne, corruption continues 
to prevail among high and low. Instead of individual thrift 
and general prosperity, poverty and famine prevail through- 
out the land. 

APPEAL FOR BREAD 

In 1775, impelled by a scarcity of bread, a vast multi- 
tude from the surrounding country gather around the royal 
palace at Versailles, their great number, sallow faces and 
squalid appearance indicating widespread wretchedness 
and want. Their appeal for royal assistance is plainly 



HALF-CENTURY OF BIBLE SUPPRESSION 421 

written, in "legible hieroglyphics in their winged ragged- 
ness." The young king appears on the balcony and they are 
permitted to see his face. If he does not read their written 
appeal, he sees it in their pitiable condition. The response 
of the king is an order, that two of them be hanged. The 
rest are sent back to their miserable hovels with a warning 
not to give the king any more trouble. 

Mirabeau, a French writer, describes a similar scene 
that occurs later that same year. "The savages descending 
in torrents from the mountains our people are ordered not 
to go out. The bagpipes begin to play, but the dance in a 
quarter of an hour is interrupted by a battle. The cries of 
children and infirm persons incite them, as the rabble does 
when dogs fight. The men, like frightful wild animals, are 
clad in coarse woollen jackets with large girdles of leather 
studded with copper nails. Their gigantic stature is height- 
ened by high wooden clogs. Their faces are haggard and 
covered with long greasy hair. The upper part of their vis- 
age waxes pale, while the lower distorts itself into a cruel 
laugh, or the appearance of a ferocious impatience." 

These proceedings are a protest of the common people, 
of whom there are twenty millions, against government by 
blind-man's-buff. These people, paying their taxes, are pro- 
testing against corrupt officials depriving them of their 
salt and sugar, in order to maintain royal and official ex- 
travagance. Stumbling too far prepares the way for a gen- 
eral overturn. 

MORAL AND FINANCIAL BANKRUPTCY 
There is no visible government. Its principal repre- 
sentative is the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or king's treas- 
urer; and "Deficit of revenue" is his constant announce- 
ment, to the feudal lords, who exercise local government. 



422 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

In 1787 Cardinal Lomenie becomes the king's new treas- 
urer. His predecessor has been ousted because the treas- 
ury was bankrupt, but his unscrupulous methods continue 
to be adopted because no better ones can be devised. As 
late as the next year the cardinal demands the infliction of 
the death penalty on all Protestant preachers. 

The period has become one of spiritual and moral bank- 
ruptcy. The Bible has been suppressed and blind human 
reason has been exalted. There is no bond of morality to 
hold the people together. Men become slaves of their lusts 
and appetites, and society, a mass of sensuality, rascality 
and falsehood. Infidelity, despotism and general bank- 
ruptcy prevail every where. There is no royal authority 
and the palace of justice at Versailles is closed. 

The poverty and misery, experienced by the peasants 
in their comfortless hovels, awakens a feeling of discontent 
and protest. This feeling of protest, among the poor and 
illiterate, permeates upward and becomes more intense as it 
proceeds. In this unorganized protest the hand of one is ar- 
rayed against his fellow man. The common people are ar- 
rayed against the nobles ; the nobles, against each other, and 
both nobles and people are bitter against the government. 
Townships are arrayed against townships and towns against 
towns. Gibbets are erected everywhere and a dozen wretch- 
ed bodies may be seen hanging in a row. The mayor of 
Vaison is buried alive ; the mayor of Etampes, defending a 
supply of food, is trampled to death by a mob exasperated 
with hunger, and the mayor of Saint Denis is hung at Lan- 
terne. The ripening grain is left ungathered in the fields, 
and the fruit of the vineyards is trodden under foot. The 
bloody cruelty of universal madness prevails everywhere. 

A frightful hail storm, that destroys the grain and 



HALF-CENTURY OF BIBLE SUPPRESSION 423 

fruits of the year at the beginning of harvest, is followed 
by a severe drought in 1788. Foulon, an official grown gray 
in treachery and iniquity, when asked, 

"What will the people do?" makes response, 

"The people may eat grass." 

The royal government is now described, as existing 
only for its own benefit; without right, except possession; 
and now also without might. "It foresees nothing, and has 
no purpose, except to maintain its own existence. It is 
wholly a vortex in which vain counsels, falsehoods, intrigues 
and imbecilities whirl like withered rubbish in the meeting 
of the winds." 

Commerce of all kinds, as far as possible, has come to a 
dead pause, and the hand of the industrious is idle. Many 
of the people subsist on meal-husks and boiled grass. Arm- 
ed Brigands begin to make their appearance and a "reign 
of terror," is ushered in. 

FIRST POPULAR ASSEMBLY 

On May 4, 1789, the first popular assembly meets at 
Versailles, more churches than other buildings having been 
used as polling places, at this first election in France. The 
assembly is composed of nobles, clergy and commoners, the 
last representing the people. 

Six "parlements," consisting only of nobles, have pre- 
viously been convened by the king's treasurer, and as often 
have been dismissed by the king, because they were not 
willing to tax themselves more, to increase the revenues of 
the king. In this assembly, there are six hundred com- 
moners, who, when the king dismissed the assembly, under 
the leadership of Mirabeau refused to be dismissed, and 
bind themselves by an oath, to remain in session, until they 
have framed and adopted a constitution. 



424 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

This act of the commoners is the beginning of the 
French Revolution. This Revolution has been defined, as 
"An open, violent rebellion and victory of unimprisoned 
anarchy, against corrupt worn-out authority; breaking 
prison, raging uncontrollable and enveloping a world in 
fever frenzy, until the mad forces are made to work toward 
their object, as sane and regulated ones." 

These commoners are shut out of their hall and their 
signatures are attached to their oath in a tennis court. 
They are later joined by Lafayette, the friend of Washing- 
ton, and by other nobles and 149 Roman clergy. They are 
treated offensively, but cannot be offended. They are ani- 
mated with a desire to prepare a constitution, that will re- 
generate France, abolish the old order and usher in a new 
one. 

Paris, always very demonstrative under excitement, 
grows wild with enthusiasm for the commoners, and others, 
who compose their first National Assembly. They go sim- 
mering and dancing, thinking they are shaking off some- 
thing old and advancing to something new. They have 
hope in their hearts, the hope of an unutterable universal 
golden age, and nothing but freedom, equality and brother- 
hood on their lips. Their hopes, however, are based on noth- 
ing but the "vapory vagaries of unenlightened human rea- 
son," instead of the unchanging truths and principles of 
Divine Revelation. They experience an indescribable terror, 
of the unnumbered hordes of Europe rallying against them, 
in addition to the constant dread of their own cruel, armed 
brigands and inhuman official executioners. 

Unfortunately the commoners had not been previously 
trained in the art of statesmanship, and after a long ses- 
sion, that lasted until September 14, 1791, the constitution 
then proposed was still incomplete, and had to be submitted 



HALF-CENTURY OF BIBLE SUPPRESSION 425 

to another assembly to be completed. They however accom- 
plish some things worthy of note. In 1789 they abolish feud- 
alism, root and branch; and the payment of tithes. The 
latter meant the separation of church and state, in matters 
of support and government; and this event seemed to the 
deists, like a time of Pentecost. 

REPUBLIC OF FRANCE 

On Sept. 22, 1792 the Republic of France is declared. 
On Jan. 1, 1793, King Louis XVI, who had become a runa- 
way king, and on October 16th following, Marie Antoinette, 
the queen, are executed. These events are followed by an- 
other reign of terror, the plundering of churches and a war 
with Spain. 

The Republic of France, when first established, proves 
to be one of a mob, robbing and murdering those, who had 
property. The people become despotic as soon as they have 
disposed of their useless king, and queen. There were only 
nine prisoners in the bastile, when it was destroyed, but 
now in two days and under the name of liberty, eight thous- 
and innocent persons are massacred in prison. Walter Scott 
in his Life of Napoleon adds: "Three hundred thousand 
other persons, one third of whom are women, are ruthlessly 
committed to prison," the executioners usurping the place 
of the judges and, without trial, pronouncing sentence 
against them". Their watchwords, while the Revolution con- 
tinues, are, "Unity, Brotherhood or Death." These principles 
are enforced by edicts of exile, imprisonment, or death by 
the guillotine. 

REIGN OF TERROR 

This reign of terror continues until July 28, 1794, when 
the cruel hearted Robespierre and his consorts are con- 



426 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

demned to death on the guillotine, a cunningly devised be- 
heading machine, on which he had been practicing with in- 
nocent and helpless victims, for twenty-two years. 

In 1795 a new constitution is adopted, and after the 
suppression of a number of bloody riots and insurrections 
that year, by the young Napoleon with his batteries of 
artillery, public order is restored and the Revolution is re- 
garded as ended. 

PEOPLE UNPREPARED FOR FREEDOM 

These are but a few of the many riotous and disorderly 
events that occurred in France just at the close of the 
American Revolution, in which Lafayette co-operated with 
so much honor to himself and his country. These suffice 
to show how unprepared the people were for any great or 
concerted movement, and how destitute the nation was of 
men, fit to serve as leaders in thought and action, until the 
rise of Napoleon with his genuis for military affairs. 
Mirabeau, their first trusted leader, dies before the end of 
their first assembly. Lafayette, a prominent member of the 
first assembly, when made military commander at Paris, 
finds the rabble will not listen to his counsels, and he re- 
signs. In 1782 he makes another attempt to re-instate 
authority in Paris, and the attempt proving a failure he re- 
tires from further participation in public affairs. 

No one is able to anticipate the next movement of the 
populace, or win and hold their confidence, any length of 
time. One event follows another "explosively." Men, fear- 
ing to remain longer in their huts or homes, fugitively rush 
with wives and children, they know not whither. Under the 
the leadership of the infidels, Rosseau and Robespierre, 
they experience terrors such as had not fallen on any na- 
tion, since the fall of Jerusalem. 



HALF-CENTURY OF BIBLE SUPPRESSION 427 

INSURRECTION OF WOMEN 

An insurrection of women is suddenly started in Paris, 
in October 1789, at the call of a young woman who seizes 
a drum and cries aloud, "Descend Mothers; Descend ye 
Judiths to food and revenge !" Ten thousand women, quick- 
ly responding to this call, press through the military guard 
to the armory in Hotel de Ville, and when supplied with 
arms march on foot to Versailles, and, taking the king and 
his family captives, bring them and the National Assembly 
to Paris the next day, October 5th, followed by a good natur- 
ed crowd, estimated at 200,000. Now that the king occupies 
the palace of the Tuileries at Paris, the people hungry, but 
hopeful, shake hands in the happiest mood, and assure one 
another "the New Era has been born." 

RESULTS 

The principal results of the French Revolution may be 
briefly summarized as follows: 

Good riddance of a half century line, of worse than 
useless, atheistic kings and queens; the suppression of the 
tyrannous feudal system, that prevented the common people 
from acquiring ownership of land, the suppression of the 
bastile, a feudal prison and robber den, and of the guillotine ; 
the suppression of religious persecution, and the separation 
of church and state in matters of government and support ; 
and the adoption of a constitution, that provides for the peo- 
ple to have a voice, in the management of the affairs of the 
government. 

LAND OF CALVIN AND LAFAYETTE 

France is the land that gave birth and education to 
John Calvin, the pioneer advocate of civil and religious liber- 
ty, and in his day the good work of the Reformers had 
gained an encouraging foot hold in his native land, but after 



428 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

the lapse of a century of cruel extermination, one looks in 
vain to see the expected fruits of his great work. A cen- 
tury, of Bible suppression and persecution of Bible readers, 
has left the people in ignorance of the Word of God, which 
is the Light and Life of the World, and in its place catholic- 
ism and infidelity, like hoar frosts or destructive black 
clouds, have spread over the land. Oppressed with a feel- 
ing of need and seeking something not clearly denned, the 
people grope in darkness and stumble on events, as if play- 
ing blind-man's-buff. The one hundred and forty-nine Ro- 
man clergy in the first assembly are so lacking in intelli- 
gence and patriotism, they exert no special influence worthy 
of note. 

Very different were the scenes that Lafayette witness- 
ed, during the period he co-operated with the colonies of 
America, in their struggles for liberty and independence. 
Here he met many of the descendants of the very people, 
whom the bitter persecutions in France had driven to this 
country. Many of them, as early settlers in New York, 
Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia, exerted a considerable 
influence, in moulding the character of the American people. 
He found all the people engaging intelligently in the cause 
of freedom. Their leaders knew what they were endeavor- 
ing to achieve, and every movement was characterized by 
good order, patriotism and superior wisdom. 

ROMANISM BEHIND THE TIMES 
This historic contrast of the good fruits of the open 
Bible among the people in America, with the sad and de- 
plorable results of Romanism and infidelity in France, pre- 
vious to the great revolutions, that occurred in both coun- 
tries in the days of Lafayette, is certainly very interest- 
ing and instructive. 



HALF-CENTURY OF BIBLE SUPPRESSION 429 

Other countries in which Romanism has been dominant 
and the Bible suppressed, as Ireland, Spain, Mexico, the 
Philippine Islands and the states of Central and South 
America, show a similar unfavorable contrast. In South 
America, where Romanism has suppressed the Bible for 
centuries, only two percent of all the college students in 
1913, according to Bishop Kensolving of the Episcopal 
church in Brazil, "affirm their allegiance to any religious 
faith." 

In Spain, according to a recent issue of the Herald of 
Madrid, there are 30,000 towns and rural villages, that are 
yet without schools of any kind. There are thousands of 
the people whose homes can be reached only by bridle-paths. 
They lack schools, roads and railroads. Seventy-six per cent 
of the children and youth are unable to read and write. In 
Spain, Mexico and South America, Romanism has proven 
itself to be, but little more than a pious form af paganism, 
an oppressive and wide-spread relic of ancient, pagan Rome. 

During the two hundred years preceding the Revolu- 
tion in France no one was ever persecuted for being an 
atheist, deist, infidel or Roman catholic, but all of these 
united in suppressing the general use of the Bible and the 
presence of Bible readers, to the great injury of the public 
welfare. If that country had not foolishly and wickedly ex- 
terminated the people, that were fast becoming Bible read- 
ers at the time of the Reformation, it would no doubt have 
been saved from many of the blind and bloody scenes of 
the period of the Revolution. 

Romanism, by suppressing the Bible, encourages ignor- 
ance, superstition and bigotry. It also tends to break down 
the sanctity of the Sabbath as the Lord's day ; winks at the 
liquor traffic, and by its confessional strikes at the very 



430 CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 

foundation of free manhood, freedom of thought and liber- 
ty of conscience. 

This contrast, shows clearly that Romanism, whatever 
good it may have done, is now many centuries behind the 
times. This is a very serious defect. It has the Bible, a 
latin version called the Vulgate which it claims as its own. 
It has the New Testament and for that reason it is classed 
as a christian religion. It has however, opposed and sup- 
pressed the reading of the Bible by the people, lest the 
spread of intelligence, through a personal knowledge of its 
contents, would lessen the respect and obedience of the 
people to the false claims of the pope, clerical orders and 
priesthood. 

Several generations of slave holders in this country 
gave this same reason, as a good one for not providing edu- 
cational facilities for their slaves, fearing that intelligence, 
which greatly increases the value of the workman, would 
tend to lessen their authority over them. It serves to il- 
lustrate the old worn-out adage, that "might makes right," 
instead of the newer and better one, "God is with the right." 

The ability to rule, in both cases, is based on the ignor- 
ance, instead of the intelligence of the subject. When thus 
expressed in plain words, it certainly does not sound very 
creditable, or as if it were the best policy. It is not un- 
charitable to say, that as a policy, it is "out of date." Our 
Lord Jesus was a teacher as well as Saviour. He went from 
place to place, teaching and encouraging the people to 
"search the scriptures," that they might know, what to be- 
lieve concerning Him, in order to inherit eternal life and 
"have life more abundantly." 

This is one of the good features of Protestantism. It 
is based on a personal knowledge of the Bible and the gen- 



HALF-CENTURY OF BIBLE SUPPRESSION 431 

eral intelligence of the people. Its motto is "Let the Light 
Shine." Truth is mighty and in the end will prevail, for 
"justice and judgment are the habitation of God's throne." 
HUMAN REASON BLIND 

When the Bible was suppressed in France and human 
reason exalted, all the infernal elements of a depraved hu- 
man nature held high carnival. Enthusiasm and fanati- 
cism, the allies of ignorance and superstition, caused the 
people to think and act wildly. If in his heart there is no 
devout faith, to develop the sense of personal responsibility 
and duty, man becomes ready for any evil under the sun. 
Sin, however, has been and always will be the parent of 
misery. "The wages of sin is death." This one terrific ex- 
periment, of a half-century in France without the Bible, 
should be enough for a thousand worlds, through countless 
years." 

LIGHT, LIFE AND LIBERTY 

The life-giving word of Divine Truth is the salt, that 
preserves learning and a sense of personal obligation to do 
that which is right, amid the changing scenes of time and 
life. Learning is knowledge based on fact, and not on fiction 
or unbelief. Duty as a practical matter has regard for that 
"righteousness, that exalteth a nation." as well as the sal- 
vation that saves the individual. 

"Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make 
you free." A knowledge of the truth tends to produce that 
self-restraint, that is essential to freedom ; and that sense of 
duty and right, that results in faithful public service. Gen- 
uine liberty has never been realized, where there has not 
been also an intelligent self-restraint. 

The fundamental principle of the Reformation was ex- 
pressed by Luther as follows : "The Word of God, the whole 
Word of God, and nothing but the Word of God." 



432 



CHOCTAW FREEDMEN 



This was based on the following passage from Augus- 
tine in the fourth century: "I have learned to pay to the 
canonical books alone, the honor of believing very firmly, 
that none of them has erred ; as to others, I believe not what 
they say, for the simple reason, that it is they who say it ;" 
and the previous saying of Paul, "Should we, or an angel 
from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that 
which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed, for 
it is written, the just shall live by faith." 

This principle of the Reformation appears in our com- 
mon form of attestation, "The truth, the whole truth and 
nothing but the truth ;" and in the patriotic motto of Penn- 
sylvania, "Virtue, Liberty and Independence." 

Think on these things. Search the scriptures. Know 
that the Bible is the Word of God to all people, that it is 
the sword of the Spirit, and the Truth that makes you free. 
The Master hath need and calleth for thee. Be of good 
courage. Be loyal to the truth and let it shine through 
you. 

THE END 




INDEX 



Ahrens, Bertha L 127, 154, 289, 300, 310 

Aid Society 300 

Allen, Fredonia 149 

Allotment of lands 3, 154 

Alverson, Noah S 289, 342 

Apiary 294 

Arch of Character 257 

Arnold, Olivia, Mrs. R. D 378 

Baird, Phil C. D. D 226, 325 

Bartholomew St. Massacre 77 

Bashears, Charles 287 

Beatty, Doll 353 

Bees, Double Swarm 299 

Becker, Mary 141 

Benediction, Endeavor 259 

Bethel, M. L 226, 353 

Bethesda Mission 70 

Bibbs, Samuel S. 151 ; Lee, Charles 287-9 

Bible, first book, 71 ; Cause of Reformation, 76 ; in Public 

School, 35,391; Memorized, 173; Uplifting Power, 181 ; 

Only Standard of Morality 406 

Biddle University 70 

Boggs, V. P. Mrs 90, 158 

Boll Weevil 218. 290 

Books, Value of 256 

Book Marks 267 

Boys' Hall 135, 204, 217 

Brasco, Livingston 192 

Brackeen, Rosetta 27o 

Brown, Lucretia C. 151, 224; Matt 379 

(433) 



434 INDEX 

Buds of Promise 146 

Buchanan, Solomon 160, 224, 300, 322 

Building the Temple 227 

Burrows, Emma 137 

Butler, William Rev. 148, 183, 226, 290, 370; Elijah 

378, 381 

Calvin, John 72, 427 

Campbell, Anna E 108, 112, 119 

Candidates for Ministry 276, 342 

Carroll, William H. Rev 159, 224, 289, 327 

Character, Formed 33, 157, 227, 241 

Chautauqua, First 277 

Cherokees 7, 19 

Chickasaws 7 

Choctaws 7, 14 

Claypool, John Mrs 159, 318 

Clear Creek 11 

Churches: Beaver Dam, Oak Hill (101), New Hope, St. 

Paul, Mt. Gilead .345 

Colbert, Richard D. Rev 146, 353, 373 

Concert, Closing 326 

Constitutional Amendments 49 

Cowan, Edward L. Rev 91 

Craig, Carrie 137 

Crabtree, James R 277, 353 

Crawford, Dan 40 

Creek Indians 8 

Crittenden, Henry 101, 109, 377 

Crusaders 67 

Crowe, Carrie, Mrs. M. E 116, 137, 142 

Daly, Sam 200 

Decision Days 183, 192 

Doaksville 29 



INDEX 

Domestic Training 198 

Donaldson, Mary A 160, 321 

Donors, Oak Hill 305 

Early, Lou K 137, 193 

Eaton, Adelia M 155, 159, 288, 315 

Education 62, 93 

Edwards, John Rev 15, 22, 105 

Elliott, Alice Lee, David IV, 212 

Elliot Hall II, 205, 208, 210, 326 

Emancipation Day 42, 292 

Farewell 331 

Farmer's Institutes 287 

Fields, Rilla 137 

Fisher, Jessie 137 

Flag, Salute 268 

Flickinger, R. E. and Mrs 155,160,308 

FloMinoy, William R 329, 353 

Folsom, Iserina, Martha, 137, 149; Samuel, 150, 160. 

224 ; Simon 330, 378 

Forest Church 12 5, 130 

Fort Towson 28 

France, Bible Suppressed 418 

France, Republic of '- -> 

Freedmen, Homeless, 42 ; Choctaw 65 

Fruits, Bulletin 256, 330 

Gaston, John Rev ?1 

Gideons *" 

Girls Hall, Weimer Photo 109, 132, 210 

Gladman, Samuel Rev 373 

Going to School 274 

Gordon, Mary, Lela, Inez 137. 27-1 

Gossard, Verne 137 

Graces at Meals 279 



436 INDEX 

Grandfather Clause 51 

Green, Fannie 137 

Hall, Malinda A 149, 224, 277, 289, 320 

Harris, Nannie, Sam, 149, 300, 379 ; New Home of Cath- 
erine 406 

Hartford, Eliza 107, 115, 121 

Haymaker, Edward G. and Mrs. .... 108, 134, 339, 379 

Haymaker, Priscilla G 108, 111, 118 

Hawley, Rev. F. W 301 

Headache 299 

Health Hints 298 

Hen House 295 

Highland Park College 199 

Hodges, Celestine 147, 149 

Homer, Wiley Rev 148, 226, 277, 352, 360 

Homer, Hattie, Mary, Susan 147 

Homes, Representative 406 

Huguenots of France 75 

Hunter, Anna, Mattie 116, 137 

Huss, John 70 

Idleness 247 

Improvements 166, 202 

Independent Ownership of Land 78, 193, 197 

Indian Schools and Churches 15 

Indian Territory, Slavery 7, 19, 106 

Inquisition, The 76 

Intolerance, Rise and Fall 408 

Investments 272 

Johnson, Isaac 277, 291, 378 

Jones, Edward T. 149; Josie, 137, 379; Fannie, Marie 

Martha 147, 149 

Key Words 260 

Kingsbury,, Cyrus, Rev 28, 65, 105 



INDEX 437 

Knox, John 75 

Lafayette, Land of 427 

Land Funds 303 

Lee, Lilly E 137 

Liberty, Civil, Religious 81, 431 

Licentiates 276 

Lincoln, Abraham 172 

Lincoln University 71. 88 

Log House, Old 109, 257 

Luther, Martin 72, 431 

Massacres of Bible Readers 77 

Maxims, Character, Success 241 

McBride, James F. and Mrs 131, 136 

McGuire, James 117 

McNiell, Sudie B 224 

Meadows, Plant S., Rev 326, 353 

Memory Trained 175 

Methodism, Rise of 80 

Ministers, Dearth of, Teachers 340, 342 

Moore, Ruby 160 

Mottoes, Wall 259 

Murchison, Fidelia 148 > 287 

Mexico 418 

Negro, American, Voices 39, 59, 96 

Newspapers, First 82 

Normals, Summer - ' ° 

Oak Hill, Church, School, 12, 101, 103 ; Groups in 1902 

and 1903 2 " 

Orchestra, Buchanan, Flournoy, Dixon, Ashley and Alon- 

za McLellan, Clarence and Herbert Peete, Harris, 

Smith 274 

997 
Painting 

Park College iy4 



438 INDEX 

Perkins, Charles, Fidelia 149, 355, 378 

Perry, Ora Maxie 160, 294 

Picnics 282 

Pig Pen 203, 295 

Pledges, Endeavor, Self-help 169 

Porto Rico 394 

Prayers, Forms of 280 

Presbyterian Church, Board 84, 90 

Presbytery, Indian, Meetings 17, 282 

Presbytery, Kiamichi ; at right, Homer, Onque, Bibbs, 
Alverson, Bridges, Starks, Crabtree, Frazier, Harris, 
Richard ; 3d row, Elisha Butler, Mills, Wm. Butler, Ed- 
munds, Lewis 335, / 52 

Prince, Caroline, Henry 406 

Pulling Stumps, Percy, Ashley, Alonza, Dee, Mark, Her- 
bert, Thomas 207, 298 

Reformation, the 72, 392 

Reid, Alexander, Rev 15, 23, 105. 146 

Richard, Everett 224 

Romanism, Behind Times 428 

Rules, Mottoes 259 

Rutherford, Matthew 121 

Sands, Rev. Marie Jones 148 

Schools, Colonial 395 

Scott, Mary 137, 299 

Seats, Celestine 275 

Seer: Corn, Cotton, Improved 298 

Self-control, Education 174, 244, 247 

Self-help, Support 163, 185 

Shaw, Sadie 137 

Shoals, John Ross, Johnson 149, 277, 287, 378 

Shoals, Virginia Wofford, Perry 148, 160 

Study, Course 268 






INDEX 439 

Success, What, How Attained 260 

Sunday Schools 80, 271, 413 

Sweepers, Rosetta, Mary, Helen, Beatrice Emma Evelina, 

Ellen 274 

Synod of Canadian 382 

Spain 129 

Teachers, Christian, Aim of 36. 266. 270 

Teachers in 1899, Mr. and Mrs. Haymaker, Anna Hunter 
(sitting), Mrs. M. E. Crowe, Visitor, Josie Jones ; photo 

by Mattie Hunter 379 

Uncle Wallace 25 

Uplifting Influences, Inventions 65. 82 

Vacation Workers 188 

Valliant 12 

Voice Culture 157 

Wallace, Sarah L I 60 

Waldo, Waldenses 69 

Washington, Booker T 1" 

Watt, Lizzie 150 

Webster, Daniel 410 

Weimer, Mary 1 159, 193. 275. 318 

Weith, Rev. Charles C 278 

Westminister Assembly 79 

Wiclif, John ■ 70 

Williams, Henry, Virginia I 47 . I 49 

Wit, Humor -^ 

Wheelock Academy - ] 

Wolcott, Jo Lu : I 59 . •'-" 

Working by Rule 162,208, 

Women's Miss. Soc. Oak Hill, 304; Synod 386 



CORRECTIONS 

Page 203. Line 22. read "pigpen." instead of "loghoue.-. 
Page 403. Line 9, read "1812," instead of "1992." 



Plat of the Farm of Oak Hll Industrial Academy 

Valliant. McCurtain County. OhUhoroa 
Sec. 29 & 20 NORTH Township 6 s Range 21 e 



Sec. 



19 



Sec. 



20 



Sec. 21 



31 



30 



29 



28 



27 



r 32 



18 



16 



26 



14 



33 



f.t;&..H*m<t>C 




8 



5 

'T- 



IS 



15 



26 



36 



12 11 



19 
20 



Sec. 30 



_ ; Oak Hill 

/ Academy 1 




37 



Sec. 

38 



29 

39 



40 



Sec. 28 

41 



46 



45 



43 



VI 



Sec. 



31 



Sec. 



32 



Sec. 



33 



Showing the lands bought at their virgin price ip 1908, 1909. 
E. P. Cowan D. D. R. E, Flichinger 

Sec. and Treas. of the Board. Pittsburgh. Pa. Supt. of the Ac idemy, Valliant, Okla. 




LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 




005 835 899 A #1