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\ ■ 

Eminent, Prog^ressive and Rising^. 

President of the State University, Louisville, Kentucky. 







/;C^''^'-^' •-''^^,. 



























TO PRESUME to multiply books in this day of excellent 
writers and learned book-makers is a rash thing per- 
haps for a novice. It may even be a presumption that shall 
be met by the production itself being driven from the market 
by the keen, searching criticism of not only the reviewers, 
but less noted objectors. And yet there are books that 
meet a ready sale because they seem like **Ishmaelites*' — 
against everybody and everybody against them. Whether 
this work shall ever accomplish the design of the author 
may not at all be determined by its sale. While I hope to 
secure some pecuniary gain that I may accompany it with 
a companion illustrating what our women have done, yet 
by no means do I send it forth with the sordid idea of 
gain. I would rather it would do some good than make 
a single dollar, and I echo the wish of ** Abou Ben Adhem," 
in that sweet poem of that name, written by Leigh Hunt. 
The angel was writing at the table, in his vision, 

Th€ names of those who love the Lord. 

Abou wanted to know if his w^as there — and the angel said 
''No.'' Said Abou, 

I pray thee, then, write me as one that loves his fellow-men. 


That is what I ask to be recorded of me. 

The angel wrote and vanished. The next night 

It came again, with a great awakening light, 

And showed the names whom love of God had blessed. 

And lo ! Ben Adhem*s name led all the rest. 

I desire that the book shall be a help to students, male 
and female, in the way of information concerning our 
great names. 

I have noticed in my long experience as a teacher, that 
m€my of my students were wofuUy ignorant of the work 
of our great colored men — even ignorant of their names. 
If they knew their names, it was some indefinable some- 
thing they had done— just what, they could not tell. If in 
a slight degree I shall here furnish the data for that class 
of rising men and women, I shall feel much pleased. Here- 
in will be found many who had severe trials in making 
their way through schools of different grades. It is a 
suitable book, it is hoped, to be put into the hands of intel- 
ligent, aspiring young people everywhere, that they might 
see the means and manners of men's elevation, and by this 
be led to undertake the task of going through high schools 
€md colleges. If the persons herein mentioned could rise 
to the exalted stations which they have and do now hold, 
what is there to prevent any young man or woman from 
achieving gfreatness? Many, yea, nearly all these came 
fi-om the loins of slave fathers, and were the babes of 
women in bondage, and themselves felt the leaden hand of 
slavery on their own bodies ; but whether slaves or not, 
they suffered with their brethren because of color. That 
"sum of human villainies*' did not crush out the life and 


manhood of the race. I wish the book to show to the 
world— to our oppressors and even our friends— that the 
Negro race is still alive, and must possess more intellectual 
vigor them any other section of the humcm family, or else 
how could they be crushed as slaves in all these years since 
1620, and yet to-day stand side by side with the best 
blood in America, in white institutions, grappling with 
abstruse problems in Euclid and difficult classics, €md mas- 
ter them ? Was ever such a thing seen in another people ? 
Whence these lawyers, doctors, authors, editors, divines, 
lecturers, linguists, scientists, college presidents and such, 
in one quarter of a century ? 

Another thing I would have them notice, that the spirit- 
uality of this race was not diminished in slavery. While in 
bondage, it may have been somewhat objectionable, as seen 
in the practices of our race, it must be remembered that 
they copied much from their owners — ^they never descended 
to the level of brutes, and were kind, loving and faithful. 
They patiently waited till God broke their chains. There 
was more statesmanship in the Negro slaves than in their 
masters. Thousands firmly believed they would live to be 
free, but their masters could not be persuaded to volunta- 
rily accept pay from the government, and thus save the 
loss they afterwards bore through the ** Emancipation." 
They went to war and fought **the God of battles,'* but 
the slaves waited, humbly feeding the wives and children 
of those who went to battle to rivet their chains. To my 
mind, one of the most sublime points in our history is 
right here. We never harmed one of these helpless women 
and children — ^they testified of that themselves. And yet 


they tell stale lies of ravishing now, when the war is over, 
and freedom gained, and when the men are all home. 
No, God has permitted us to triumph and through Him . He 
implanted in us a vigorous spiritual tree, and since free- 
dom, how has this been growing? Untrammelled, we 
have, out of our ignorance and penury, built thousands of 
churches, started thousands of schools, educated millions 
of children, supported thousands of ministers of the Gos- 
pel, organized societies for the care of the sick and the 
burying of the dead. This spirituality and love of oflF- 
spring are indubitable evidences that slavery, though long 
and protracted, met in our race a vigorous, vital, God-like 
spirituality, which like the palm tree flourishes and climbs 
upward through opposition. 

Again, I admire these men. I have faith in my people. 
I wish to exalt them ; I want their lives snatched from ob- 
scurity to become household matter for conversation. I 
have made copious extracts from their speeches, sermons, 
addresses, correspondence and other writings, for the pur- 
pose of showing their skill in handling the English lan- 
guage, and to show the range of the thoughts of the 
American Negro. I wish also to furnish specimens of Negro 
eloquence, that young men might find them handy for 
declamations and apt quotations. It was hard to draw 
the line in making many selections, and I do not claim 
that a better selection might not be made. Indeed I am 
aware that many are entitled to a place here, and the 
reader may think I did wrong in selecting some of my sub- 
jects ; but I ask no pardon for the names I present. They 
may be the judgment of a faulty brain, and yet there is 


tntich to admire in all. The extent of our country makes 
it impossible to secure all who may be '^ eminent, progres- 
sive and rising." I trust I have presented a representative 
of many classes o( those who labor. The book may there- 
fore be a suggestion for some one to do better. 

The illustrations are many, and have been presented so 
that the reader may see the characters face to face. This 
writing has been a labor of love, a real pleasure. I feel 
better for the good words I have said of these gentlemen. 
There is no great literary attempt made. I have not tried 
to play the part of a scholar, but a narrator of facts with 
here and there a line of eulogy. The book is full ; and has 
already passed the limit of first intentions. I am in debt 
to many gentlemen for their kindness— especially to Rev. 
Alexander Crummell, D. D., for the use of books; Hon. 
James M. Trotter for the loan of cuts taken from his work 
'Music and Some Highly Musical People;' Rev. R. De 
Baptiste for assistance in securing sketches; Rev. B. W. 
Amett, D. D., loan of books; Hon. John H. Smythe for 
assistance in sketches and pictures of E. W. Blyden and 
President W. W. Johnson ; General T. Morris Chester, for 
picture of Ira Aldridge and facts on his life ; Professor W. 
S. Scarborough for many kind helps; Rev. J. H. Greene, for 
cut of Augustus Tolton and facts in his life ; William C. 
Chase, John W. Cromwell, T. McCants Stewart, Hon. D. 
A. Straker, Marshall W. Taylor, D. D., Hon. P. B. S. Pinch- 
back, Hon. H. O. Wagoner, Rev. Rufus L. Perry and many 
others, and pre-eminently do I feel grateful to Bishop H. M. 
Turner, my distinguished friend, who trusts his own good 
name by associating it with this poor effort. May God 


bless him for this kind act to a beginner in book-making. 

This book goes out on the wing of a prayer that it will 

do great good. 

WiLUAM J. Simmons. 
May, 1887. 


CHAPTER I. / "™ 


HoK Frederick Douglass. LL. D. 
Magnetic Orator— Anti-Slavery Editor— Marshal of the District of 
Colnmbia— First Citizen of America— Eminent Patriot and Dia- 
tingnished Republican 6& 


Rev. W. B. Derrick, D. D. 
Minister of the A. M. E. Church— Pulpit Orator S9 


Philip H. Murry, Esq. 
Phrenologist— Editor— Philosopher 97 



Crispcs Attucks. 
First Martyr of the Revolutionary War— A Negro whose Blood 

was given for Liberty— Blood the Price of Liberty 103 


Granville T. Woods, Esq/ 
Sectridan— Mechanical Engineer— Manufacturer of Tdephonea^ 

Telegraph and Electrical Instruments ^^'^ 



Hon. Jbrbioah A. Brown. 
Legislator— Carpenter and Joiner— Clerk— Duputy Sheriff— Tom- 
key— Letter Carrier 113 


William Calyin Chase, Esq. 
Editor of the Washington Bee— A Vigorous and Antagonistic 

Writer— Politician— Agitator 118 (/^ 


Rbv. James W. Hood, D. D. 
Bishop Of the A. M. E. Zion Church— Church Organizer and Builder 
—Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction— His many 
Contests for Civil Rights on Steamboats and Cars 133 


Hon. Samuel R. Lowery. 
Silk Culturist— Lawyer— Editor 144 


William Still, Esq. "^ 
\ Philanthropist— Coal Dealei^-Twenty Years Owner of the largest 
^ Public Hall Owned by a Colored Man— Author 149 


Professor J. W. Morris, A. B., A. M., LL. B. 
President of Allen University, Columbia, S. C— Professor of Lan- 
guages 162 '^ 


Hon. Robert Smalls. 
Congressman— Pilot and Captain of the Steamer " Planter." 165 


Henry Ossawa Tanner. 
A Rising Artist— Exhibitor of Paintings in the Art Galleries— Illtts- 
trator of Magazines 180 




Rby. Andsbw Hbatbl 
A Minister of the Gospel, Eminent for liis Piety ^ 18& 


H. C. Smith, Esq.. 
Prominent Editor— Pirst-Class Musician— Deputy Oil Inspector of 
Oluo— Song Writer— Leader of Bands— Cometist 194 


Rbv. John Bunyan Rbsyb, A. B., D. D. 
DistingQished Presbyterian Divine— Professor of Howard Univer- 

sitj Theological Department I99. \y^ 


Thomas J. Bowsss, Esq. 
Tlic American '' Mario "—Tenor Vocalist. 202 


Rbt. Nicholas Pranklin Roberts, A. B., A. M. 
Professor of Mathematics— President of the Baptist State Conven- 
tion of North Carolina— Moderator of One Hundred Thousand 
Baptists 206 ^'"'^^^ 


Hon. Theophile T. Allain. 
State Senator of Lotiisiana— Agitator of Educational Measures 

and Internal Improvement— Contractor for Repairing Levees... 2O8 t.-^ 


Denmark Veazib. ^ 
••Black John Brown "—Martyr. 231 


Professor J. E. Jones, A. B., A. M. 

Professor of Homiletics and Greek in the Theological Seminary, 
Richmond, Va. — Corresponding Secretary of the Baptist 
Foreign Mission Convention 234 ^^ 





Poreman of the Ironing and Pitting Department of the ChicBgo 
West Division Street Car Company— Director and Treasurer of 
the Chicago Co-operative Packing and Provision Company— 
Director of the Central Park Building and Loan Association 240 «/^' 


William E. Matthews, LL. B. 

Broker— Real Estate Agent— Financier and Lawyer 246 


Ret. James Alfred Dukn Podd. 
Superintendent of Schools— Editor— Brilliant Pastor 252 


Hon. Hensy Wilkhcb Chandler, A. B., A. M. 
Member of the State Senate, Florida— Capitalist— La w^ci ' City 

Clerk and Alderman 257 y^ 


Rev. Theodore Doughty Miller, D. D. 
The Eloquent Pastor of Cherry Street Baptist Church, Pliiladd* 

phia. Pa.— A Veteran Divine Distinguished For Long Service 260 "^ 


J. D. Baltimore, Esq. 
Chief Engineer and Mechanician at the Freedmen's Hospital— Ba- * 

gineer— Machinist— ^Inventor 267 


J. R. Clifford, Esq. 
.Editor— Lawyer— Teacher— Orator 273 


Wiley Jones, Esj2- 
The Owner of a Street Car Railroad, a Race Track and a Park<-A 

Capitalist Worth $125,000 278 



PftOPB880R John H. Burros, A. B., A. M. 

Pmtdent of Akom UmTerritj— Professor of Mental and Moral 
Pliflosophj and Constitutional Law— Tciacher of Political 
Bcooomy, Literature and Chemistry— Attorney at Law 281 y^ 


Hbnrt F. WiLLuuis, Esq. 
Composer— Violinist and Cometist— Band Instructor 286 


Rbt. Edmund Kblly. 
Christian Letter-Writer— Lecturer and Author 291 


Rbt. Prbston Taylor. x 

Pastor of the Church of the Disciples, Nashville, Tennessee— General 

Financial Agent of the College— Big Contractor 296 ^^ 


Solomon G. Brown. 

Distinguished Scientist— Lecturer— Chief Clerk of the Transporta- 
tion Department of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, 
D. C. — Entomologist— Taxidermist— Lecturer on " Insects" and 
"Geology." 302 


John Mitchell, Jr. 

The Gamest Negro Editor on the Continent— A Man of Grit and 
Iron Nerve— A Natural Bom Artist 314 


Rev. London Ferrill. 

Pastor of a Church Incorporated by a State Legislature— An Old 
Time Preacher— Hired by Town Trustees to Preach to Colored 
People 321 







Cliief Civil Service Bxaminer— Lawyer— Metaphyndan, Logidaa 

and Orator— 'Prise BBsayist— Dean of the Law Department of . 

Howard University 327 >r 


Captain Paul Cuffbb. 

Sea Captain—Wealthy Slup Owner— Petitions to the Massachusetts 
Legislature against "Taxation without Representation*' 
Petition Granted , 33^ 


Rbt. Alexander Walters. 
Financier and Pulpit Orator ^ 340 


BsitjAMiN Bannee:er.- 
Astronomer— Philosopher— Inventor— Philanthropist 344 K 


Rev. Richard DeBaptistb, D. D. 
Corresponding Secretary and Beloved Disciple 352 


Hon. George French Ecton. 
Representative from the Third Senatorial District, Chicago— From 
the Plowhandles to the Legislature— From the Capacity of a 
Waiter to that of Legislator 358 


Professor Newell Houston Ensley. 
Professor of Rhetoric and Sciences— Hebraist— Musician 361 


Rev. Christopher H. Pavnb. 
Preacher, Editor and Soliciting Agent • 368 






Propbssor Pbtbr Humphries Clark, A. M. 
Educator— Editor and Agitator 374 


Justin Holland, Esq. 

Musical Author and Arrangei^Performer on the Guitar, Flute and 

the Piano Forte 384 


Professor William Hooper Council. 

President State Normal and Industrial School, Huntsville, Alabama 

—Editor and Lawyer 390 "C*^ 


Rev. James Poindbxtbs, D. D. 

Advocate of Human Rights— Minister of the Gospel and Agitator- 
Director of the Bureau of Forestry — Member of , the Board of 
Education of the City of Colimibus, Ohio 394 ^^^^ 


Richard Mason Hancock, Esq. 

Foreman of the Pattern Shops of the Eagle Works Manufacturing 
Company,* Chicago, Illinois— Mathematician, Draughtsman, 
Carpenter — Foreman of the Liberty Iron Works Pattern Shops.. 4-05 v^ 


Professor W. S. Scarborough, A. B., A. M., LL. D. 

Author of a Greek Text Book — Scientist— Lecturer — Scholar — Stu- 
dent of Sanscrit, Zend, Gothicand Luthanian Languages 410 

CHAPTER LI. ./ii83doiO— iaifiiloi'/ofo;? 

Rev. Solomon T. CLA)^^<j;t.. A. B., B. D. 

Instructor of Mathematics — Secretary of the American National 

,aDHir4 .J sjTvIhah!) .vhH . , ,. . 
Baptist Convention— Agent of the American Baptist Publication 
g^ . BmBdcIA ,Aml38 ,xii8tt>vin'J nm\^ lo :tnobt?J^'^9 


CHAPTER LIl. „,^„ 


Prof. John O. Crosby, A. M., B. B. 
Principal State Normal School, North Carolina •••..• 422 ^f 

Hon. Francis L. Cardoza. 

Secretary of State— Treasurer of State— Professor of Languagec^— 

Principal of the High School, Washington, D. C 428 /^ 


Hon. John S. Lbary, LL. B. 
Attorney at Law— Legislator— U. S. Deputy Collector 43ft 


E. S. Porter, A. B., M. D. 

Physician on the Sanitary Force of Louisville, Kentucky— Medical 

Attendant at the Orphans' Home and the State University— Lee- . 

turer 436 ^ 



Rev. Augustus Tolton. 

The first and only Native American Catholic Priest of African De- ^ 

scent, through both Parents, on the Continent 43$ 


WiiLrLiAM Wells Brown, Esq. 

Authoi^-Lecturer— Historian of the Negro Race— Foreign Traveler 
—Medical Doctor , 447 


Prof. Walter F. Craig. 
Solo Yiolinist— Orchestra Conductor •••• 451 


Rev. Charles L. Purge, A. B. 
President of Selma University, Selma, Alabama • 454 y 




Albxandbk Dumas. 

Disttnguished Pxench Negro— Dramatist and Novelist— Voluminoits 

Writer 457 


Rbv. William Reuben Pbttiford. 
A Successfid Pastor— Trustee of Selma Universitj » 460 


Hon. Robert B. Elliott. 

Congressmau— Eloquent Oratoi^— Distinguished Disciple of Black- 
stone 466 


Professor Inman Edward Page, A. B., A. M. 

Principal of Lincoln Institute — Oratorical Prize Winner at Brown 
University, Providence, Rhode Island 474 


Rev. E. K. Love. 

From the Ditch to the Pastorate of 5000 Christians— Editor of the 
Centennial Record of Georgia— Associate Editor^Honored of 
God 481 ^ 


J. A. Arneaux, Esq. 

Professional Tragedian, '* Black Booth "-Editor— Poet— Graduate 
of two French Institutions of Learning 484 


Rev. Richard Allen. \^y^ 

First Bishop of the A. M. E. Church— An Eminent Preacher— A 
Devout Man 491 





Hon. Samuel Allen McElwee, A. B., LL. B. 
Lawyer— Lcgislatoi^-President of the Tennessee Fair Association 

—Orator— Speech in the Legislature on Mobs 49g t^ 


Rev. Lott Carey. 
First American Missionary to Africa 506 v 

Hon. John Mercer Langston, A. B., A. M., LL. D. 
Lawyer— Minister Resident and Consul-General— Charge de Affaires 


— ^President of the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute- 
Formerly Dean and Professor of Law in Howard University 510 


Rev. William H. McAlpine. 
Baptist Divine— President of a College— Editor of a Weekly Journal. 524 \J 



Rev. Alexander Cruhmell, A. B., D. D. 

Rector of St. Lake's Church, Washington, D. C— Professor of 
Mental and Moral Science in the College of Liberia— Author 530 

Hon. George H. White. 


K Member of the House of Representatives and the Only Colored 

State Solicitor and Prosecuting Attorney 536 \^ 


Hon. Josiah T. Settle, A. B., A. M., LL. B. 

Eminent Lawyer— Assistant Attorney-General of Shelby County, 

Tennessee— Eloquent Orator— Legislator 538 






WnxiAM H. Gibson, Esq. 

School Teacher in Slavery Daj»— Musician— Mail Agent— Revenue y 

Agent— Grand Master U. B. of Friendship 545 ^ 


Hon. Gborgb W. Williams, LL.D. 

"The Most Eminent Negro Historian in the World— Author of 
World Wide Reputation— Legislatoiv-Jndge-Advocate of the 
Grand Army of the Republic— Novelist — Scholar— Magnetic Ora- 
tor—Editor—Soldier—Preacher—Traveler—Minister to Hayti... 549 


Prop. Willum Evb Holmbs, A. B., A. M. 
Hebrew, German and French Scholar— Professor in the Atlanta 

Baptist Seminary 567 ^ 


Rev. Randall Bartholomew Vandervall, D. D. 
A Self-Made Man — A Graduate From the School of Adversity 57i* 


Rev. Elijah P. Marrs. 
Preacher — Soldier — Treasurer 579 



Rev. Daniel Jones. 
Presiding Elder of the M. E. Church — His Hair-breadth Escapes.... 5HIU^ 


Rev. Henry N.Jeter. 
Baptist Preacher 5SS 


Rev. J. T. White. 
Divine — Editor — State Senator— Commissioner Public of Works S\)\) y 

22 CONT^TS. 



Rev. G. W. Gatlbs. 

The last Colored State Senator in the Mississippi Legislature^ 
Moderator of the State Convention— Member of the Board of 
Police - 594 {/ 


Hon. Mifflin Wister Gibbs. 

Attorney at Law— The first Colored Judge in the United States, and 
an active Politician- An Advocate of Industrial Education- 
Contractor and Builder 597 ^^ 


Wn^LiAM H. Steward, Esq. 
Grand Master— Secretary— Business Manager— Letter Carrier 603^ ^ 


Rev. Frank J. Grimke, A. B. 

Learned and Eloquent Presbyterian Divine— Touching Memorial 

on leaving Washington, D.C 608 ^ 


Hon. Robert Harlan. 

Legislator- A Fugitive from Prejudice— Resident in England Ten 

Years 613 v/ 


Dr. Anthony William Amo. 

A Learned Negro— Student at Halle— Skilled in Latin and Greek- 
Philosophical Lecturer— Received Doctorate from the University 
of Wittenberg, and Counselor of State by the Count of Berlin.. 617 j/ 


Rev. Rufus L. Perry , Ph. D. 

Editor— Ethnologist— Essajrist— Logician— Profound Student of 

Negro History— Scholar in the Greek, Latin and Hebrew Lan- y 

guages 620 yy 



Rby. Baktlett Taylor. 
Financier andChtircli Btiilder— Christian Pioneer 626 


Professor Jambs M. Gregory, A. B., A. M. 
Bean of the College Department of Howard University— Linguist.. » 631 


Rey. Daniel Abraham Gaddie, D. D. 
From thfi Blacksmith Shop to the Pulpit— Temperance AdYOcate— 

Moderator of Fifty Thousand Baptists 647 1^ 


W. Q. Atwood, Esq. 
Irmnber Merchant and Capitalist — Orator— 



Rey. Henry Highland Garnet, D. D. 
Minister Resident of Liberia — Distinguished Minister of the Gospel, \^ 
and a Brilliant Orator 656 


Rey. Leonard A. Grimes. 
Imprisoned in Richmond, Virginia, for Assisting Fugitive Slaves ^^ 

to Escape from Slavery — A Lovely Disciple 062 


Rev. James H. Holmes. 
Pastor of a Flourishing Church in Richmond, Virginia 666 


General T. Morris Chester. 
General — Phonographer and Typewriter— Lawyer 671 ^/^ 


Rev. Lemuel Havnes, A. M. 
A Disringuished Theologian 677 




Hon. H. O. Wagonbr. 
Compositor— Deputy Sheriff— Clerk of the Legislature 679^ ^ 


Rev. Makcus Daub. 
Shrewd Financier and General Manager— Business Capacity Shown. ^^ 


Charles B. Purvis, A. M., M. D. 

Secretary and Treasurer— Professor of Obstetrics and Diseases oi 
Women and Children — Surgeon in Chai^ of Preedman's Hospi- 
tal 690 ^ 


Professor W. H. Crogman, A. B., A. M. 
Professor of Classics in Clark University 694 ^ 


Hon. Blanche K. Bruce. 
United States Senator— Register of the United States Treasury 699 •^ 


J. Dallas Bowser, Esq. 

Editor of the Gate City Press — Grain and Coal Merchant— Princi- 

pal Lincoln School 704. ^ 


Rev. Jesse Freeman Boulden. 

Member of the Lower House of the Legislature of Mississippi in Re- 
construction Times — Agent of the American Baptist Publication 
Society 707 \/ 


Rev. William T. Dixon. 
Veteran Pastor of Concord Baptist Church, Brooklyn, New York... 713 // 




Rbv. Matthew Campbell. 

One of God's Srrvanta, Pull of Years and Work for Christ— A Thirty 

Years* Pastorate— Married 2000 Couples 719 


Rev. C. C. Vaughn. 

^tate Grand Chief of I. O. Good Samaritans and Daughters of Sa^ 

maria— Preacher and Teacher 723 


Rev. Harvey Johnson. 

Bminent Baltimore Pastor— Prominent in the Conndls of his 

Chnrch 720 



The African Tragedian— The *' African Roscius" 733 


Hon. George L. Ruffin, LL. B. 

Judge of the Charlestown District, Massachusetts— From the Bar- 
ber's Chair to the Bench 740 \y 



Professor D. Augustus Straker, LL. B., LL. D. 
Dean of Law Department — Lawyer — Orator and Stenographer 744 *^ 


Rev. John Hudson RroDiCK. 
Preacher— Councilman— Deputy Marshal 752 


Rev. J. C. Price, A. B. 
President Livingstone College — Great Temperance Orator 754 





Hon. Pincknby Bbnton Stbwakt Pinchback. 

Governor— Lieutenant-Governor— United States Senator— Lrawyer 

— Hi8 Daring ''Railroad Race "—Eminent Politician— Wealthy ^ 

Gentleman 759 ^ 


Alexander Pbtion. 
President of Hayti— Skillful Engineer— Educated at the Militaiy 

School of France 782 / 


Timothy Thomas Portunb, Esq. . 

Bditor—Author— Pamphleteer— Agitator 786 \/ 


Troy Porter, Esq. 

Plumber, Gas and Steam Fitter— Superintendent of Waterworks / 

and Town Clerk 792- ^ 


Blind Tom. (Thomas Bethune.) . 

A Remarkable Musician— The Negro Pianist 794 \J 


Rev. Henry Adams. \ 

A Faithful Pastor— A Good Man 798 ^ 


J. C. Farley, Esq. 
Photographer and Prominent Citizen of Richmond, Virginia 801 ^ 


Rev. Henry McNeal Turner, D. D., LL. D. 

Bishop of A. M. E. Church— Philosopher— Politician and Orator 
—Eminent Lecturer— Author— Intense Race Man— United States 
Chaplain SOS^ 




Rbv. John W. Stephenson, M. D. 
Chmxh Buildciv-Financiciv-Drtiggist— His Methods 820 


Professor Joseph Carter Corbin, A. B., A. M. 
State Superintendent of Public Instruction—Linguist— Master of 
Latin, Greek, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Hebrew and 
Danish— Profound Mathematician and Musician— Organist, 
Pianist, Flutist :. 829^ 


Hon. James M. Trotter. 
Recorder of Deeds— Author of Music and Some Highly Musical 
People.' Assistant Superintendent of the Register Letter De^ 
partment, Boston, Massachusetts— Lieutenant in the Army 833 


Rev. Allen Allbnsworth, A. M. 
The Great Children's Preacher of the Gospel — Chaplain of the 
Twenty-Fourth Infantry of the U. S.— Presidential Elector- 
Agent of the American Baptist Publication Society 843v.*^ 


Rev. George Washington Dupee. 
Eminent Minister — Moderator of the General Association — Editor 
—Preacher of 12000 Funeral Sermons— Baptizer of 8000 Can- 
didates 847 


Samuel C. Watson, M. D. 
Druggist— Doctor— Member of City Council— First Colored Clerk of 
a Steamboat Owned by a Colored Man 860 


Rt. Rev. Richard Harvey Cain, D. D. 
Bishop of the A. M. E. Church— Congressman — Senator in the . 

South Carolina Legislature — President of Paul Quinn College... 866 K^^ 




Hon. John H. Smythe, LL. B., LL. D. 

United States Minister— Resident Minister — Consul-General to /^ 

Liberia— Attorney at Law 87^ 


J.J. Durham, A. B., A. M., M. D. 

Valedictorian in the Medical School— A Vigorous, Convincing De- J 

bater— Preacher 878 


Rev. Benjamin W. Arnett, D. D. 

Financial Secretary of the A.M. E. Church— The Statistician of his 
Church— Author— Editor of the Budget— Legislator— Author of 
. the bill wiping out the " Black Laws '* of Ohio 883 \/ 


Olandah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa. 

A Virginia Slave— Purchases His Freedom — Sails for London — ^Pre- . 

sents a Petition to the Queen 892 V 


John W. Cromwell, Esy. 

Editor— Distinguished English Scholar— Lawyer— President of the 
Bethel Literary Society-, Washington, D. C. — Examiner and 
Register of Money Order Accounts 898 ^ 


Rev. E. M. Brawlev, D. I). 

Editor Baptist Tribune — President of Selnia University— Sunday 

School Agent of South Carolina 908 ^ 


James W. C. Pennington, D. D. > 

Able Presbyterian Divine— Greek, Latin and German Scholar 913 



Hon. Edward Wilmot Blyden, LL. D. 

Llngtiist— Oriental Scholar— Arabic Professor— Magazine Writer- 
Minister Plenipotentiary— President of Liberia College WS 


Rev. B. F. Leb, D. D. 

Editor of the Christian Recorder— President of Wilberforce Univer- 
sity for Many Years 922 vr 


Hon. J. J. Spelman. 
State Senatoi>— Temperance Orator— Eminent Baptist La3rman ®28 


Rev. Marshall W. Taylor, D.D, 
Editor of the Southwestern Advocate— Brilliant Writer 933 ^^-^ 


Toussaint L'Ouverture. 
The Negro Soldier, Statesman and Martyr 936^V^ ^ 


Hon. Hisam R. Revels. 

United States Senator— A. M. E. Preacher — President of the Alcorn . 

Universitv— Planter 948 >^ 


Rev. Harrison N. Bouey. 
Missionary to Africa — Agent American Baptist Publication Society 

—District Secretary 951 %X 


Colonel James Lewis. 

Surveyor-General— Colonel of the Second Regiment State MUitia— 
Collector of the New Orleans Port— Naval Officer— Superintend- 
ent of the United States Bonded Warehouses ^54 



Rbt. B. H. Lifscoubb, A. B.,A. M. 
Prerident of tbe Wntcm Union Institnte — Professor of Rbetoric 

and Mora] PMosopb; — Preacbcr— Editor of tbe Monntain , 

Gkaaer 959 ^ 

Hon. James C. Matthbw*. 
La'wycr and Recorder of Deeds. Washington, D. C 964 '^ 

Pkopessok Wiluam Howard Dav. D.D. 
Able and Forcible Orator— Practical Printer^ Veteran Editor— 

PhnaDtbropist—AgiUtor—Progrcsgire Race Man 978 "^ 


I Rbt. Bekjauin Tucker Taknbr. A. M., D. D. 

'' • Editor A. M. E. Review— Twenty Years an Editor— For Manj 

h Yearv Editor of the Christian Recorder— Author of Ecdenas- . 

' tical Works 966^ 


Gboffrbt L 'Islet. 

Correspondent of the French Academy of ScicnAs— Versed in the • 

Sciences of Botany, Natural Philosopby, Zoology and As- 
tronomy 989 


R. C. O. Bbnjamin. Esq. 


Lawyer— Antboi^Editor— Champion of tbe Race M] 



Clerk oftbe Circuit Court of Chattanooga, Tennessee 995 (z' 



George T. Downing, Esq. 

Aggressive Politician— An Intimate Friend of Charles Sumner— An 
Old Time Warrior for Free Speech and Human Rights— A Man 
of Pronounced Convictions 1008 


Major Martin R. DbLanet, M. D. 

Scientist— Ethnologist— Lecturer— Discoverer— Member of the In- 
ternational Statistical Conference 1007 


Rev. J. B. Fields. 
An Able, Eloquent Baptist Divine— Popular Historian— Lectureiv- 
The Annihilator of Ingersollism 1016 


Robert Pelham, Jr. 

The Able Editor of the Detroit Plaindealer— A Vigorous Writer— An 

Active Politician 1022 i/^ 


Professor B. T. Washington. 
Principal of the Tuskegee Normal School — A Successful Career — 
A Wonderful Institution— Industrial Education 1027 


Rev. J. P. Campbell, D. D., LL. D. 

Bishop of the A. M. E. Church— The Theologian of the Denomi- 
nation lOSl 


Nat. Turner. \y 

Insurrectionist 1086 


Hon. Hilery Richard Wright Johnson. 
President of Liberia — An Accomplished English and Classical . 

Scholar— A Master of German, French and Mathematics 1040 t/ 



Hon. John R. Lynch. 

Prominent Politician— Orator— Lawyer — Congressman— Presided 

at the National Republican Convention 1042 \y 

Rev. p. H. A. Braxton. 


Pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church, Baltimore, Maryland— 

Writer— Speaker 1046 


Professor T. McCants Stewart, A. B., LL. B. 
Attorney at Law— Professor and Author 1052 


Hon. E. p. McCabe. j 

Auditor of Kansas-County Clerk-Successfttl Politician 106& u 


Rev. Charles Henry Parrish, A. B. 

A Rising Young Man— From the Position of Janitor to the Secretary- y^ 

ship of a University 1059^ ^ 


Rev. John Jasper. 
"The Sun Do Move" 1064 



James E.J. Capitein. 

A Negro Bom in Africa— Taken to Europe— Educated in Holland— y 

Latin Poet lOTa v 


Rev. D. a. Payne, D. D., LL. D. 

Senior Bishop of the A. M. E. Church— Educator and Author— 

The Scholar of the Denomination 1078 



Rev. I. M. Burgan, B. D. 
President of Paul Quinn College— Educator— Pioneer 1086 ^ 


Rev. W.J. White. 
Editor of the Georgia Baptist 1095 


Hon. Alexander Clark. 
Eminent Mason— Lrawyei^Editor 1097 


Hon. John C. Dancy. 

Editor of the Star of Zion— Eminent Layman in the A. M. E. Zion 

Church— Recorder ofDceds of Edgecombe Co-, North Carolina HOI l/^ 


Professor Charles L. Reason. 
A Veteran New York School Teacher— European Traveler — One of 

the Giants in Anti-Slavery Days 1105 


Rev. John M. Brown, D. D., D. C. L. 
An Active Bishop in the A. M. E. Church 1113 ^ 


Professor David Abner, Jr. 

A Rising Young Professor in Bishop College, Texas— Editor— Lee- y 

turer 1119*^ 


Rev. a. a. Whitman. 

Author of a Book of Poems, entitled, * Not a Man, and Yet a Man,' 

with Miscellaneous Poems 1122 



E. M. Bannister, Esq. pag^ 

An Artist Photographer— The Gifted Painter of Providence, who 
. was Inspired to Paint Pictures by a Slur in the New York ^ 

Herald Twenty Years Ago .1127 ^ 


Hon. C. C. Antoine. 

Lieutenant-Govemor of Louisiana— State Senator— Prominent Pol- 
itician 1132 V^ 


Jamxs Matthew Townsend, D. D. 

Corresponding Secretary of the Parent Home and Foreign Mission- 
ary Society of the A. M. E. Church— A Man of Perseverance and 
Sound Judgment IISS^^ 


1 W.J.Simmons 

2 Frederick Douglass.. 

3 Henry M. Turner 

4 W.B. Derrick 

5 G.T.Woods 

6 Jere A. Brown 

7 W. C. Chase 

8 Samuel R. Lowery... 

9 William Still 

10 Robert Smalls 

11 H. C. Smith 

12 Thomas J. Bowers... 

13 Theophile T. Allain. 

14 J.E.Jones 

15 W. E. Matthews 

16 J. D. Baltimore 

17 J. R. Clifford 

18 Wiley Jones 

19 J. H. Burrus 

20 Henry F. Williams... 

2 1 Preston Taylor 

22 John Mitchell, Jr 

23 Richard T. Greener.. 
24- Alexander Walters... 
25 Richard DeBaptiste. 


26 N. H. Ensley 

27 Justin Holland 

28 James Poindexler 

29 W. S. Scarborough 

30 JohnO. Crosby 

31 Francis L. Cardoza 

32 JohnS. Leary 

33 E. S. Porter 

34 Augustus Tolton 

35 Charles L. Puree 

36 W. R. Pettiford 

37 InmanE. Page 

38 J. A. Ameaux 

39 Samuel A. McElwee 

40 John M. Langston 

41 Alexander Crummell 

42 J. T. Settle 

43 George W. Williams 

44 R. B. Vandervall 

45 Daniel Jones 

46 H. N.Jeter 

47 J. T. White 

48 G. W. Gayles 

49 M. W. Gibbs 

50 W. H.Steward 

51 Robert Harlan 

52 Rufus L. Perry 

63 James M. Gregory 

54 Daniel A. Gaddie 

55 W. Q. Atwood 

56 Henry Highland Garnet 

57 Leonard A. Grimes 

58 H. O. Wagoner 

59 Charles B.Purvis 

60 B. K. Bruce 

61 Jesse F. Boulden 

62 W. T. Dixon 


63 Matthew Campbell 

64 C. C. Vaughn 

65 Harvey Johnson 

66 Ira Aldridge 

67 D. Augustus Straker 

68 J. C. Price 

69 P. B. S. Pinchback 

70 T. T. Fortune 

71 Blind Tom 

72 J. C. Farley 

73 J. C. Corbin 

74 James M. Trotter 

75 Allen AUensworth 

76 George W. Dupee 

77 Richard H. Cain 

78 John H. Smythe 

79 B. W. Amett 

80 Gustavus Vassa.. 

81 John W. Cromwell 

82 E. M. Brawlev 

83 E. W. Blvden 

84 J. J. Spelman 

85 Toussaint L 'Ouverture. 

86 H. N. Bouey 

87 James Lewis 

88 J. C. Matthews 

89 B. T. Tanner 

90 John J. Irvine 

91 Martin R. DeLaney 

92 J. B. Fields 

93 Robert Pelham, Jr 

94 B. T. Washington 

95 J. P. Campbell 

96 John R. Lynch 

97 T. McCants Stewart 

98 E. P.McCabc 

99 Charles H. Parrish 


100 P. H. A. Braxton 

101 John Jasper 

102 D. A. Pajme 

103 I. M. Burgan 

104? Alexander Clark 

105 Charles L. Reason 

106 David Abner, Jr 




SIMMONS, A.B., A.M., D. D. 

IT IS a historic fact that Virginia soil has been rife with 
Presidents, but truly South Carolina has given to the 
world more men of note than any other State in the Union. 
In Charleston, South Carolina, June 29, 1849, Edward 
and Esther Simmons, two slaves, added to their fortune 
the subject of this sketch, who though bom in poverty, 
shrouded by obscurity, was destined to make for himself a 
aame honored among men. At an early period in his life, 
interested parties hurried the mother with three small 
children northward, without the protection of a husband 
and father, to begin a long siege with poverty. When the 
steamer landed at Philadelphia they were met by an uncle, 
Alexander Tardiff, who left the south some time before. 
This uncle, a shoemaker by trade, displayed the virtues of 
a generous nature in caring for the mother, William, Eme- 
line and Anna as well as he could, with prejudice to fight. 
These w^ere days of hardships and anxieties so keen for the 
little family that even now the survivors speak of them 
in hushed tones and with misty eyes. While in Philadel- 


phia they were harassed by slave traders who seemed 
determined to burrow them out of their hiding place. At 
this time disease laid his hand upon them. 

Disasters come not singly ; 
But as if they watched and waited, 

Scanning one another's motions. 
When the first descends, the others 

Follow, follow, gathering flock-wise 
Round their victim, sick and wounded. 

First a shadow, then a sorrow, 
Till the air is dark with anguish. 

Huddled together in the garret of the three-story brick 
house where they lived, stricken with the small-pox, al- 
most destitute of food, and fearing to call in medical 
attendance lest by attracting attention they would be 
carried back into slavery ; while death stared them in the 
face, fugitive slave hunters rapped at the door of the front 
room which the uncle used as a workshop. These beasts 
inhuman flesh, after many inquiries and cross-questionings 
were so misled by the shrewd uncle that they went away. 
Shortly after, the uncle finding it impossible to earn a liv- 
ing at his trade, decided to go to sea. The family was left 
at Roxbury, Pennsylvania. Here for two years the faith- 
ful mother toiled morning, noon and night, at washing 
and other hard work to support the children and keep 
them together. At the expiration of this time the uncle 
returned and carried them to Chester, Pennsylvania, where 
he was able to do a good business; but the same old 
trouble arose. The slave traders were on their track 
again! The family was smuggled away to Philadelphia 
and remained long enough for the uncle to secure employ- 


ment, by answering an advertisement inserted in the 
papers by George and Arthur Stowell, Bordentown, New 
Jersey, for a journeyman shoemaker. At this place it was 
a daily contest with poverty and a struggle for bread ; 
however, the children were kept together, and none were 
ever hired out. During the entire boyhood of William, so 
hard pressed were they because of sickness, dull seasons of 
work and other difficulties, that never a toy, so dear to 
childhood, brightened his life ; and for days and weeks, 
milk and mush was his onlv food. He never attended a 
public school in his whole school life. The uncle having 
attended school in Charleston under D. A. Payne, now 
Bishop Payne of the A. M. E. Church, was a fair scholar 
and undertook the education of "the children, laying a 
foundation so broad and exact, that in after years college 
studies for the boy were comparatively easy. 

William was by no means a good ** Sabbath-keeping- 
bo j' " such as we read of in books. He gave considerable 
trouble at home and abroad. In 1862 he was apprenticed 
to Dr. Leo H. DeLange, a dentist in Bordentown, New Jer- 
sey. So far as giving him necessar}^ instruction, the doctor 
was kind to him. William had learned so thoroughly all 
there was to be learned in the profession, that when the 
doctor was absent he was able to do a large part of the 
work. Though often rebuffed by white patients, he oper- 
ated on some of the best families in the city. He endeav- 
ored to enter a dental college in Philadelphia, and was 
refbsed largely on account of color. Unwilling to enter 
the profession without a thorough knowledge, such as 
could be given only in a training school, he decided to 


abandon the profession, but remained with the doctor 
until September 16, 1864, at which time, becoming dis- 
gusted at the treatment received at the hands of the doc- 
tor, he ran away and enlisted in the Forty-first United 
States colored troops. 

His army life was not uneventful ; he took part in bat- 
tles around Petersburg, Hatches Run, Appomattox Court 
House, and was present at the surrender of Lee, the crisis 
out of which our own happier cycle of years has been 
evolved. He was discharged September 13, 1865, and in 
1866 and 1867 worked as journeyman at his trade for Dr. 
William H. Longfellow, a colored dentist of Philadelphia, 
after which he returned to Dr. DeLange. 

He was convierted in 1867 and joined the white Baptist 
church in Bordentown, pastored by Rev. J. W. Custis, a 
brilliant man, under whose influence about one hundred 
and fifty had joined the church that spring. 

Although the only colored man in the church, he was 
treated with much kindness ; and when his call to the Gos- 
pel ministry was made known, they rallied to his support, 
defraying his school expenses three years. The New Jersey 
State Educational Society aided him to attend Madison 
University of New York, from which he graduated in 
1868, taking the academic course. Both students and 
teachers were his warm friends and are to-day. The dark 
skinned youth, though alone, never felt the sting of injus- 
tice at their hands. September, 1868, found him matricu- 
lated at Rochester University, having been led to make the 
change by an ofier of additional aid by laboring in a small 
Baptist church in Rochester, and because there he found 


colored people among whom he could associate and do 
missionary work. At this early date we see cropping out 
the love for the race which in after years became one of 
the ruling passions of his life. 

One pleasant year slipped by, and the freshman year 
completed, when his eyes became seriously afiected. The 
trouble was brought on by continuous night study of 
Greek during his academic year. This prevented school 
attendance until the year 1871 when he entered Howard 
University, Washington, District of Columbia, and gradu- 
ated as an A. B. in 1873. His graduating oration treat- 
ing of the Darwinian theory, a subject then very popular 
in literary circles, attracted much attention and news- 
paper comments. Extracts were printed in a paper in 
England devoted to science and literature. 

At many periods, his school life was a sequel to the days 
of deprivation of childhood. Time and again he would be 
forced to stay indoors while having his only shirt laun- 
dried. Poor shoes and patched clothes were the rule, not 
the exception. During his entire course he did not have a 
whole suit until reaching the senior year. Once he ate 
cheese and crackers three weeks. During the senior year, 
September, 1872, to June, 1873, he walked seven miles a 
day, and taught school ; came home and drilled the cadet 
company from four to five ; recited at night, and gradu- 
ated with the salutatory of the class. That was a happy 
day; by frugality he had saved three hundred dollars. 
Commencement day for him ended many deprivations and 
sacrifices in one sense. Both have come since, but of a dif- 
fijrent character and easier to bear. In the world one can 


find means of replenishing his purse, and many opportuni- 
ties of changing his circumstances ; but with a student it 
is different. He must in a degree be stationary, and can- 
not move around for the purpose of getting benefits. 

During these years his mother lavished on him the devo- 
tion and pride of a loving heart. She washed, ironed and 
labored in other ways .to help him. In this she was 
greatly assisted by one Bunting Hankins and his devoted 
wife of Bordentown, New Jersey, in whose family she 
labored. General O. O. Howard, president of Howard 
University, and General E. Whittlesey, dean of the college 
department, showed him many kindnesses during and 
after college days. While a student, he showed such apt- 
ness to teach in conducting a school at a place called 
Bunker's Hill, rebuilding it almost fi-om nothing, that the 
school-board promoted him to the principalship of a much 
larger building, with several hundred scholars. This was 
the Hillsdale Public school, District of Columbia. Here 
he boarded in the house of Hon. Solomon G. Brown, one 
of the ablest scientists in this country. 

Immediately after graduating, he took Horace Greeley's 
advice, and went west, to Arkansas, with the idea of 
making it his home; was examined and secured a State 
certificate fi-om the Honorable Superintendent of Educa- 
tion, J. C. Corbin, but soon returned to Washington and 
taught at Hillsdale until June, 1874. 

After marrying Josephine A., the daughter of John and 
Caroline Silence, in Washington, District of Columbia, 
August 25, 1874, he went south. By this union they 
have had the following children: Josephine Lavinia, 


William Johnson, Maud Marie, Amanda Moss, Mary 
Beatrice, John Thomas and Gussie Lewis. Desiring to 
better his financial condition he went to Florida, Septem- 
ber, 1874, and invested in lands and oranges, but the in- 
vestment did not prove a paying one. While in Ocala (in 
1879) he was ordained a deacon, and was licensed to 
preach without asking for it. Pastored at a small station 
a year before ordination, after which time, he was or- 
dained the night before leaving the State. 

He was principal of Howard Academy, deputy county 
clerk and county commissioner. Here, too, his political 
tendencies received an impetus. He was chairman of the 
county campaign committee, and a member of the district 
congressional committee. Stumped the county for Hayes 
and Wheeler, and when it is remembered that the State 
went only 147 majority for Hayes, it is quite a mate- 
rial thing that the county in which he lived raised its 
quota from 525 Republican majority to 986. After this 
he returned to Washington and taught public school until 
1879, when he left to accept the pastorate of the First 
Baptist church, Lexington, Kentucky. To do great work, 
God raises up great men. 

September, 1880, he was called to the presidency of the 
Normal and Theological institution (as it was then 
called), a school conducted under the auspices of the Gen- 
eral Association of Colored Baptists of Kentucky. At that 
time the school had but thirteen pupils, two teachers and 
an empty treasury. Says The Bowling Green Watchmen, 
a State paper edited by Rev. Eugene Evans : 


Few men of Professor Simmons' ability and standing would have 
been willing to risk their future in an enterprise like the Normal and 
Theological Institution; an enterprise without capital and but a few 
friends. But it can be truly said of Professor Simmons, that he has 
proven himself master ot the situation. The school had been talked of 
for nearly twenty years' but no one ever dreamed of its being a possibil- 
ity. When he was elected president, every cloud vanished, and the sun- 
shine of success could be seen on every side. Some of his students already 
rank among the foremost preachers, teachers' and orators of the State. 

As an educator, he has likely no superiors. Discarding 
specialism in education, he claims that ideal manhood and 
womanhood cannot be narrowed down to any one sphere 
of action, but that the whole being — every faculty with 
which we are endowed — ^must receive proper development. 
No boy or girl comes under his influence without feeling a 
desire to become useful and great. He infuses inspiration 
into the least ambitious. He has a knack of "drawing 
out" all there is within. No flower within his reach 
** wastes its sweetness on the desert air." If there are ele- 
ments of usefulness in those around him, he trains and 
utilizes them. As a president, his executive ability is excel- 
lent. Students admire, respect and stand in awe of him; 
his teachers are proud of him, trust his judgment and 
abide by his decisions. For poor students he has the ten- 
derest sympathy, especially for those who most desire an 
education and struggle hardest for it. He rewards those 
who are faithful in discharge of duty, and for those who 
.accomplish something he has words of cheer, but for idlers 

September 29, 1882, he was elected editor of the Ameri- 
can Baptist, and at this time is President of the American 


all children alike ? By petition of our own and by favor of Democrats, even 
when put to a popular vote, and by the act of a Democratic legislature- 
Is it not queer, too, that we never thought to demand of our party that 
they made the fight for us ? The answer is, the colored man is such a 
slave to party that his blind obedience has befogged his reason so that he 
has fought the white man's battles, secured office for him, and fought for 
his own rights unaided in "Negro Conventions.'* White men would have 
made a broad open fight and demanded the Negro votes. After the con- 
vention was over the Negroes would petition the very legislature mem- 
bers whom they had fought and voted against in every county. Negroes 
attempt to do in convention what they ought to do with their votes, 
and are driven to it by the policy of the Republican party in the South. 
We should change this thing." 

Dr. Simmons' activities are prominently identified with 
the most important affairs of the race. Several years he 
has been chairman of the executive committee of the 
"State Convention of Colored Men of Kentucky." At the 
meeting in Lexington, November 26, 1875, he was re- 
elected. The call of the said meeting, a document enumer- 
ating in a few words the long catalogue of injustices prac- 
ticed upon the colored citizens of the State, shows a high 
degree of statesmanship. It begins thus : 

Fellow-citizens: — When a free people, living in a body politic, feel 
that the laws are unjustly administered to them ; that discriminations 
are openly made; that Various subterfuges and legal technicalities are 
constantly used to deprive tljem of the enjoyment of those rights and 
immunities belonging to the humblest citizen ; when the courts become 
no refuge for the outraged, and when a sentiment is not found sufficient 
to do them justice, it becomes their bounden duty to protest against such 
a state of affairs. To do less than vigorously and earnestly enter our pro- 
test is to cringe like hounds before masters, and to show that we are 
not fit for freedom. We are robbed by some of the railroad companies 
who take our first-class fares and then we are dnvcn into smoking cars, 
and, if we demur, ar^ cursed and roughly handled. Our women have 


been beaten by brutal brakemen, and in man\ cases left to ride on the 
platforms at the risk of life and limb. 

We are tried in courts controlled entirely by white men, and no col- 
ored man sits on a Kentucky jury. This seems no mere accident, but a 
determined effort to exclude us from fair trials and put us at the mercy 
of our enemies, from the judge down to the vilest suborned witness. 

When charged with grave ofienses, the jail is mobbed, and the accused 
taken out and hanged ; and out of the hundreds of such cases since the 
war, not a single high-handed murderer has been ever brought before a 
court to answer. Colored men have been deliberately murdered, and few 
if any murderers have been punished by the law. Indecent haste to free 
the criminal in such cases has made the trial a farce too ridiculous to be 
called more than a puppet show. 

The penitentiary is full of our race, who are sent there by wicked and 
malicious persecutors, and unjust sentences dealt out by judges, who deem 
a colored criminal fit only for the severest and longest sentences for trivial 

In all departments of the State we are systematically deprived of 
recognition, except in menial positions. In our metropolitan city, and 
even cities of lesser note, we are not considered in the appointments in 
fire companies, police force, notary public, etc. In fact, we are the ruled 
class and have no share in the government. 

Dr. Simmons was chairman of the committee appointed 
by the convention to lay before the Legislature the griev- 
ances of the 271,481 colored citizens. His speech on this 
occasion was a masterpiece. Says the Soldiers^ Reunion, 
a paper published at Lexington : 

The speech of Rev. W. J. Simmons, D. D., before the Kentucky Legis- 
lature, was one of the ablest efforts ever made in the interests of the col- 
ored people. They (the Legislature) have ordered two thousand copies 

Said he : 

Only the history of the two races in our beautiful cotyitry could give 
birth to such a scene as this. That we, bom Americans, finding distinc- 


tions in law, should be driyen to appeal to a portion of the same body 
politic for rights and equalities; and though American sovereigns our- 
selves, because too weak, bend the suppliant knee, craving that we might 
be given that which appears rightly ours without contest. We feel some 
pride, and are consequently jealous of the good name of the State and of 
the United States. We also feel humiliated that a foreigner who has never 
felled a tree« built a cabin, or laid a line of railway, seems more welcome 
to this shore, and is accorded every facility for himself and children to make 
the most of themselves, even before naturalization ; while we, seeing 
them happy in a new-found asylum, and knowing you from our youth 
up — our mothers washed your linen and nursed you, our fathers made 
the soil feed you, and kept the fire burning in your grate — are com- 
pelled to beg, in the zenith hour of 1886, your favors. Two generations 
are before you ; the one bom in the cradle of slavery, the other bom in 
the cradle of liberty ; the one saw the light mid the discussions of your 
fathers ; the other mingled their infant's voice with the retreating sound 
of the cannon. We belong to the South — the "New South." Your own 
progress in the questions of human liberty and our own thirst for 
draughts from higher fountains, and, indeed, in obedience to the demands 
of our constituents, we venture to lay before you in a manly, honorable 
way, the complaints of 271,481 as true hearted Kentuckians as ever 
came from the loin of the bravest, truest and most honored of women, 
sired by the most distinguished fathers. As Kentuckians we meet you 
with the feelings and aspirations, common and peculiar to those bom 
and surrounded by the greatness of your history, the fertility of your soil, 
the nobility of your men and the beauty of your women. We come, plain 
of speech, in order to prove that we are men of judgment, meeting men 
who are really desirous of knowing our wants. 

At the meeting of the Colored Press convention in St. 
Louis, Missouri, July 13, 1883, he was nominated for its 
president, but was beaten by Hon. W. A. Pledger of 
Georgia by one vote. When said convention met in Rich- 
mond, Virginia, July 8, 1885, he was made chairman of 
the executive committee and at the next meeting, August 
3, 1886, Atlantic City, New Jersey, he was elected presi- 


dent by a majority of four over Mr. T. T. Fortune, editor 
of The Freeman, 

Dr. Simmons is very much interested in the education of 
the hand. He has written a pamphlet on ** Industrie 
Education" which has had' a wide circulation. A sample 
of it will be seen below. 

If the industrial craze be not watched, our literary institutions will be 
turned into workshops and our scholars into servants and journeymen. 
Keep the literary and industrial apart. Let the former be stamped deeply 
so it win not be mistaken. We need scholars. All men are not workers 
in the trades, and never will be. If we cripple the schools established, by 
diverting them largely from their original plan, we shall have no lawyers, 
doctors, professors, authors, etc. And again, the money in the schools 
yniXi be divided and neither end will be reached ; we will be like clowns 
trying to ride two horses, and as they get wider apart, we drop in a 
ditch, and our horses run away from us and break their own necks. 
Keep these schools apart, and attempt not the task of grinding scholars 
out of industrial, nor finished workmen from literar>' schools. Each has 
a legitimate sphere and let each stick to it. In the colleges, universities 
and higher schools of the South, not less than a thousand whrte men are 
teaching our youth ; it is not intended that they will do so forever. I 
would, therefore, prepare the professors to take their places in the same 
m£inner that they were prepared — in literary institutions. In plainer 
words, let the student be free from industrial trade work when he has 
made certain grades in his classes. We want good workmen and good 
scholars, not deluded smatterers in either department. Gingerbread work, 
fiddling with tools, frittering away time, is not seriously making a 
mechanic. Industrial work as a sentiment must be crystallized into 
a profitable reality. 

Hence, this feeble effort in Southern schools will only l)e the means of 
deceiving many into the notion that they are *' workmen," when they 
are only botches, and will frimish another poor class of mechanics to 
supplement a class of which we now complain. It would be wiser to 
spend ten thousand dollars on a single school per year, and make a first 
class industrial department, than two thousand dollars on each of five 
schools. Many will learn to do things for which they can give no reason. 


The people, the masses, the boys, the girls, the rank and file, must be 
taken through a thorough English course and made master of a trade. 
I said this school was needed as a corrective ; that is, to teach the dignity 
of labor. They must learn the gospel of manual labor : not simply as a 
means of bread and butter, but an honorable calling and duty. Let the 
buzz of the saw, the ring of the hammer, the whisle of the engine, the 
spinning of the wheel, the low of the ox, the bleating of the lamb, the 
crow of the rooster, all be music and inspiration to the rising race. 
Labor is honorable, but it is fast becoming unfashionable for the colored 
boy or girl to seek manual labor, and rather than work, many become 
loafers, dissipates and wrecks. Let us start a current large enough to 
meet the mental tide and mingling, find the happy medium. Parents 
must give their children trades. Teachers and preachers must see to this 

This school should have a large farm attached, where agriculture in 
every form should be taught,, and by means of which living could be made 
cheap to poor students. To sum up the words of another, here in this 
school, the farmer should be cducatetl in science, elementary engineering, 
mechanics and agriculture ; the miner, mineralogy, geolog^s chemistry, 
and his own work; the merchant in geography, history, foreign language, 
political economy and laws ; the machinist must master all the known 
powers of ma\erial nature — heat and cold, weight and impulse; matter 
in all conditions — ^liquid, solid and gaseous, standing or running, condensed 
or rare, adamantine or plastic — all must be seen through and compre- 
hended by the master of modem mechanics. Architects, engineers, teach- 
ers and all classes of workers retjuire a technical education. 

I mean to take the female along too. They must Ije taught domestic 
economy, household ethics, home architecture. cooker3', telegraphy, pho- 
tography, printing, editorial work, dressmaking, tailoring, knitting, 
•fancy work, nursing, dairying, horticulture, apiaculturc, sericulture, 
poultry raising, stenography, type-writing, practical designs, painting, 
repoussf work, etc., etc., for if men must make money, the women must 
know best how to save it, or what is better, help to get it. A saving 
wife is worth her weight in gold and earns her own board and is entitled 
to have her washing done from home. 

Before I leave this subject, let me say that it may prove the best thing 
after all that our youth cannot gict into the workshops and factories a» 


readily as white youths. The latter class have the blessings of good 

faoxnes and the amenities of a social life be^'ond that of a colored child. 
Every library, lecture hall and art gallery is o|)en, and the finest music, 
«cnlpture, books, magazines and journals fall as thick around them as 
autumn leaves. But our youths need to have the moral training which 
comes from the school-room as well as the skill that comes from the 
^Rrorkshop. They need practical drill in habits of industry, care in busi- 
ness, punctuality in dealing with the world, and, in fact, they need the 
moral bracing up that makes good citizens and square business men and 
women. Perhai>s Providence has so hedged us that out of trials and 
darkness may come pleasure and light. So now we are driven to do per- 
haps the best thing for our race b^' putting our children wherehead, hand, 
eye, ear, and in fact the whole man, must be trained. 

The great National Convention of colored men held at 
Louisville, September, 1883, enrolled him as a member. 
His love for the people is shown in the following little inci- 
dent. While serving as a member of the committee on edu- 
cation and labor, a proposition was made to ask Congress 
to pass a bill giving the monies which had been left in the 
treasury from the unclaimed bounties of colored soldiers to 
the high schools of the South, which would of course have 
included the denominational, and excluded the public 
schools. #\gainst this he protested, notwithstanding he 
was at the head of the denominationalschool which would 
have received benefits, on the grounds that the masses 
should be aided and not the few, and because it was a lack 
of statesmanship and knowledge of the laws governing the 
land to ask aid for denominational schools. The commit- 
tee voted him down solidly, but when the matter was 
called up in the convention, he took the platform and made 
a speech so convincing that the chairman, Hon. D. A. 
Straker, LL. D., of South Carolina, was called upon to 


change the report, which was done with' good grace. At 
' the convention of the Knights of Wise Men, held in Atlanta, 
Georgia, he took an active part in the deliberations. He 
has delivered several addresses before the American Baptist 
Home Mission Society. At the fiftieth anniversary held in 
New York, May 24, 1872, his oration, **What are the 
Colored People Doing?'' was much spoken of and published 
in the Jubilee Volume. He delivered another before the same 
body. May 26-27, 1885, at Saratoga, and has been invited 
to address the next meeting, May 29, 1887, at Minne- 
apolis. In 1884, he was appointed by Hon. B. K. Bruce 
commissioner for the State of Kentucky in the colored de- 
partment of the World's Industrial and Cotton Exposition 
held at New Orleans, Louisiana, and succeeded in giving a 
splendid representation, thereby reflecting credit on the 
State. The school over which he presided made a credit- 
able exhibit. The trustee board, in making the annual re- 
port to the General Association of Colored Baptists, said : 

At the suggestion of our worthy president, who was also the com- 
missioner for Kentucky for the World's Exposition at New Orleans, an 
exhibition of our University, of both the literary and industrial work, was 
sent to the Exposition. To say that the display was complete and satis- 
factory is but to state it mildly. It has done much to advertise our Uni- 
versity, and shows the capacity of our people for both education and 
industrial pursuits. 

In September, 1883, Dr. Simmons called together and 
organized the Baptist women into a convention, for the 
purpose of raising money for the educational work of the 
denomination in the State. The body known as the ** Bap- 
tist Women's Educational Convention'' has met every 


jear since, and has and is doing a noble work in paying 
oflF the indebtedness of the State University. 

Were you to ask me Dr. Simmons' motto, I would say, 
"God, my race and denomination." While holding tenac- 
iously his own religious views, he is willing for other men 
to hold theirs. Among his strongest friends are eminent 
preachers, scholars and laymen of every denomination in 
the United States with which colored people are allied. 
The fact that the Wilberforce University conferred upon 
him the degree of D. D. is ample evidence of the friendliness 
existing between him and the brethren of that faith. The 
faculty of said school ranks with the most eminent men of 
America, among whom are Rev. B. W. Amett, D. D., Pro- 
fessor W. S. ^arborough, LL. D., Bishops D. A. Payne, 
D. D., LL. D., John M. Brown, D. D., D. C. L., and others 
of like grace and eminence. 

Being impressed with the idea that colored Baptists 
were not doing what they should for the support and influ- 
ence of their peculiar views, he suggested, through the 
American Baptist, April 5, 1886, that a convention be 
held. This suggestion was heartily endorsed by Baptists 
throughout the United States. He issued the call at their 
suggestion, and the result was the organization of the 
American National Baptist Convention, which met, August 
25, 1886, in St. Louis, Mo., and of which he was unani- 
mously elected president, and chairman of the executive 
committee. He preached the denominational sermon 
which was published in the minutes. It was rich in 
statistics and history, pregnant with the faith as handed 
down from the Apostles. He concluded by saying : 


The work of the colored Baptists is marvelous, aye, stupendous. Whea 
we remember our elevation to-day, it is not with undue pride ; no ! no ! 
no ! with thanksgiving and humiliation, with self-abasement and lowli- 
ness, and with an earnest prayer for more faith, we lift our eyes to the 
Great Father of souls and pray His righteous benediction, that we bow 
our heads because we have been unprofitable servants. Yet it is with 
astonishment that we have reached such lofty heights, and with remark- 
able pleasure do we look back upon the depths from which we came. 
Driven out, Hagar-like, we have, Ishmael-like, still become a people and 
dwell in the presence of our brethren, and to-day, in figures bright and 
glowing in the ending of the nineteenth century, we count fully 1,071,000 — 
every sign of progress. It might be remarked, if we can rise to this point 
with few learned men, what shall be the result in the next twenty years ? 
Books, papers, magazines and pamphlets shall be as plentiful as the 
maple leaves in full blown spring. 

The Baptist host is like a cube ; throw them aside and they always 
land on an equal side, and 3'ou need never despair when in your trials 
and doubts in your several churches ; remember the God of battles is oh 
your side and that the ages have only increased His glory. 

His knowledge of the tenets of the denomination with 
which he is identified is marvelous. In this direction his 
research has been thorough and extensive as is shown in an 
article on ** Baptism'* published in the A. M. E. Review, 
October. 1886, in reply to Rev. B. W. Williams. 

As an orator Dr. Simmons is pleasing to his audience. 
A quick thinker, and possessing a rich and read)- flow of 
choice language, a figure that can be seen, and a voice 
that can be heard at a distance. At times, in the heat of 
debate, the whole grandeur of his soul is transfused into 
his countenance; and his hearers are electrified as only 
true eloquence can electrify. 

He was invited to address the students of three different 
colleges in one j'ear. At Selma I 'niversity, May 28, 1885, 


lis subject was **True Manliness." The Baptist Pioneer 
commented as follows : 

For neariy an hour and a half the speaker held the large audience 
^pellbomid. He was eloquent and inspiring. Rarely have we listened to 
a more practical oration. At times the audience was convulsed with 
laughter at the wit, and then immediately made to reflect under the 
tsolid words of wisdom which fell from the speaker's lips. 

His address before the Berea College students, subject 
**The Great Text-Book of the Ages," received much com- 
ment. June 18, 1885, after delivering an oration before 
the Wilberforce Literary Society, subject ''Leaders and 
Followers, "he had conferred on him the degree of D. D., by 
that venerable institution. In 1881, he had received the 
degree of A. M., from Howard University. During the 
educational movement in Kentucky, in 1885, I think, Dr. 
Simmons delivered a speech before the Inter-State Educa- 
tional Convention, which was held in the white Baptist 
church, subject *'The Education of the Negro Race." In 
this convention were found the most eminent educators, 
State superintendents and the most noted thinkers in 
America. Favorable criticism was made by the ATew York 
Journal of Education^ the Courier-Journal of Louisville, 
and other State papers. 

He delivered an oration at the Lexington Emancipation 
celebration, January 1, 1887. Urging the hearers to 
greater efforts, he said : 

The warm blood of the Negro that haunts the channels of his veins 
with ancient Egyptian and Ethiopian fires has been tempered in the cli- 
mate of the South and reduced to that proportion which robs it of its 
sluggishness, subdues it of wild passion and holds it by reason, while the 


trials of tbe past have been the friction that brightens, the winds that 
toughen, and the frosts that ripen. No great song, or poem, or book, 
or invention has yet seen birth south of the' ' Mason and Dixon Line." It 
has been reserved for us. The only American music was bom on the 
plantations and wrung from aching hearts as wine from the luscious grape. 
It has touched the heart of the learned and engaged the attention of the 
scientific musician. As the Indian faded in the North, before the white 
man, so the white man of the South must yield to us, without, however, 
a bloody conflict. We shall gather wealth, learning and manhood, and 
occupy the land. This is the asylum of the world ; and the tramp of 
hurrying nations warns us that this is the " Valley of Decision.*' On this 
soil are settled the great questions of the earth. Already the march of 
empire has bathed its weary feet in the Pacific, and with the exception 
of watery waste has arrived at its home, and it is possible that He who 
made all nations of one blood, will here in our land, marry and inter- 
marry, and reduce this conglomerate mass to one distinct nationality, 
with all the blood made one, and the highest type of consecrated man- 
hood being realized, reduced back to the Adamic color through us ; or He 
may out of the aggregate develop each to its highest type, and let them 
Kve to the end of time, carrying out His divine plans, and unerringly 
accomplishing His decrees. Here in this new South the Negro shall shine 
in the constellation of the nations, and by his words and deeds hand 
down to unborn ages the glittering pages of our history. We shall in 
some prominent way mount the ladder of difficulties, scale the cliff of prej- 
udices and hide our heads among the stars. 

Dr. Simmons, in his modesty, does not claim for this 
work any special literary excellence, but his aim is simply 
to embalm in some place the lives of these men for future 
historians, who may take isolated cases and do justice to 
each. He also wishes to inspire the youth of the land, 
giving the many trials through which these men have had 
to pass, and have them further influenced by the great 
degree of promotion which has been granted to them. 
His talents, developed by cultivation, are also enriched by 


the love of God and man which reaches beyond the boys 
of tchday who are trying to be somebody, to the boys of 
the future, who will inquire into the deeds and achieve- 
ments of their fathers. As a man. Dr. Simmons is loyal to 
his convictions, sympathetic, independent, far sighted, 
therefore a wise counselor, methodical and liberal. He 
regards money as a trust from God, to be invested in 
every cause relative to bettering the condition of his fellow 
men and advancing the cause of Christ. His hand is shut 
when those who do not want, come to him ; but when 
the really needy and friendless come to him, it is like a 
strainer frill of holes, letting all he possesses pass through. 
To friends he is faithful ; to enemies he shows a steady 
resistance, but no aggressiveness. 

Thus far, I have sketched a few of the prominent phases 
in the life of the doctor, more in a biographical outline 
than in analysis of his true worth, reserving for the con- 
clusion a few facts adumbrated in the preceding remarks. 

I regard Dr. Simmons as one of the most replete scholars 
to his age in the country, for all the invincibility that at- 
tached to his boyhood and youthful days, enabling him to 
triumph over every obstacle that confronted him, still 
incites him to literary research, so that almost every sub- 
ject within the circle of learning has been pierced by his 
intellectual prowess. Yet it could not be expected that a 
man of his age could be the master of every branch, for 
such exalted attainments only come by years of laborious 
application, which a young man has not had time to ac- 
complish. The doctor has a large, symmetrically developed 
head, elevated in the centre at the organ of veneration, 


with a brain texture of the highest type, a 
ous powers, when, even in many instan 
oblong, but infinitely more so when righ' 
giving the doctor giant powers to use 
in ferreting out the deep things of science, 
theology, which will, if the doctor lives fij 
nate in making him one of the most mif 
race U)>on the globe. 

As has Ijeen said of liberty, vigilant •' 
price of profound scholarship ; and this 1 
his life, nothing but premature death 
many of our young men after reaching I 
forget the rock from whence they w 
their lives in endeavoring to become 
worshiping white gods. But this ( 
against the doctor. He is as true ' 
to the pole, and no stronger erid' 
work that will contain these A< 
men. The fiiture historian will * 
their contents as he traces the 
wonder at the achievements t 
of So many environments tt 
Negro j^ants now sleeping in 
come forth an Amiada thai 
trample colored prgudice 
and immortality itself «' 
thunders at race < 


try, and present them before earth and heaven as no one 
no\v ever dream. 

When that time comes, as it will, unless God ceases to 
reign, this work of Dr. Simmons' will form the foot-base of 
the mighty superstructure that will be reared with chancel, 
dome, spire and minaret, to the undying worth, merits and 
fame of the Negro. The abominable heresies set adrift by 
pseudo-philosophers, pseudo-scientists, and other figure- 
heads as ignorant as they were mean and low, that the 
Negro race were naturally inferior, and nothing great could 
ever be evolved from them, will be remembered in the grand 
hereafter as the overflowing slag or dross which precedes 
the incandescent rocks dashed from the volcano's fiery jaws, 
while hurtled thunders shook the ground as though the 
gods were in battle arrayed. The Indian represents the 
past, the white man the present, but the Negro the future. 
The Indian is old, decayed and worn out ; the whites are 
in the prime of life and vigor ; but the Negro is a boy, a 
youth at school, a mere apprentice learning his trade. 
When the white race reaches decrepitude, as races are peri- 
odical as well as worlds, the Negro will have reached his 
prime, and being in possession of all he has and will acquire 
from the whites, and his own genius and industry to man- 
ufacture more and lift him to a higher civilization, he will 
stand out the wonder of the ages. The earth will tremble 
beneath his tread, while nature opens her bosom and pours 
into his lap her richest treasures. With mystic keys he 
will unlock her cofiers, and her very arcana will divulge the 
secrets which she never whispered before into inquiring 
cars. Then, if not before, the name of Dr. Simmons will 


be proud of their color, their hair, their origin and their 

Henry M. Turner. 




Magnetic Orator — Anti-slavery Editor — Marshal of the District of 
Colombia— Recorder of Deeds of the District of Columbia — First Citi- 
zen of America — Eminent Patriot and Distinguished Republican. 

WHO can write the life of this great man and do him 
justice ? His life is an epitome ofthe eflForts of a noble 
soul to be what God intended, despite the laws, customs 
and prejudices. That such a soul as Douglass' could be 
found with the galling bonds of slavery is the blackest 
spot in the realm of thought and fact in the whole history 
of this government. But such a man as he would not 
remain in slavery, could not do so. Aye! it was impossi- 
ble to fetter him and keep him there. He was a man. He 
was not going to remain bound while his legs could carry 
him off, and, as he facetiously remarked, he praj^ed for 
freedom, but when he made his legs pray, then he got free. 
He shows himself a man of works as well as faith. And 
these go together. But eulogy is wasted on such a man. 
His life speaks, and, when he is dead, his orations will keep 
his memory fresh, and his name will stand side by side 
with Webster, Sumner and Clay. 

Frederick Douglass was^om about the year 1817, in 
Tuckahoe, a barren little district upon the eastern shore of 


MarylandJ best known for the wretchedness, poverty, 
slovenliness and dissipation of its inhabitants. Of his 
mother he knew very little, having seen her only a few 
times in his life, as she was employed on a plantation some 
distance from the place where he was raised. His master 
was supposed to be his father. 

No man perhaps has had a more varied experience than 
the subject of this sketch. During his early childhood he 
was beaten and starved, often fighting with the dogs for 
the bones that were thrown to them. As he grew older 
and could work he was given very little to eat, over- 
worked and much beaten. As the boy grew older still, and 
realized the misery and horror of his surroundings, his very 
soul revolted, and a determination was formed to be free 
or to die attempting it. 

At the age of ten years he was sent to Baltimore to Mrs. 
Sophia Auld, as a house servant. She became very much 
interested in him, and immediately began teaching him his 
letters. He was very apt, and was soon able to read. The 
husband of his mistress, finding it out, was very angry and 
put a stop to it. 

This prohibition served only to check the instruction 
from his mistress, but had no effect on the ambition, the 
craving for more light, that was within the boy, and the 
more obstacles he met with the stronger became his deter- 
mination to overcome them. He carried his spelling book 
in his bosom and would snatch a minute now and then to 
pursue his studies. The first money he made he invested in 
a ** Columbian Orator." In this work he read "The Fa- 
naticism of Liberty" and the "Declaration of Independ- 


ence." After reading this book he realized that there was 
a better life waiting for him, if he would take it, and so he 
ran away. 

He sett led in New Bedford with his wife, who, a free 
woman in the South, being engaged to Douglass before his 
escape, followed him to New York, where they were mar- 
ried. She was a worthy, affectionate, industrious and in- 
valuable helpmate to the great Douglass. She ever stood 
side by side with him in all his struggles to establish a 
home, helped him and encouraged him while he climbed 
the ladder of knowledge and fame, together with him 
oflfered the hand of welcome and a shelter to all who were 
fortunate enough to escape from bondage and reach their 
hospitable shelter; and never, while loving mention is made 
of Frederick Douglass, may the name of his wife '* Anna" 
be forgotten. 

In New Bedford he sawed wood, dug cellars, shovelled 
coal, and did any other work by which he could turn an 
honest penny, having the incentive that he was working 
for himself and his family, and that there was no master 
waiting for his wages. Here several of their children were 

He began to read the Liberator^ for which he subscribed, 
and other papers, and works of the best authors. [He was 
charmed by Scott's '*Lady of the Lake, "and reading it he 
adopted the name of ** Frederick Douglass. "J He began to 
take an interest in all public matters, often speaking at the 
gatherings among the colored people. In 1841 he addressed 
a large convention at Nantucket. After this he was era- 
ployed as an agent of the American Antislavery Society, 


which really marks the beginning of his grand struggle for 
the freedom and elevation of his race. He lectured all 
through the North, notwithstanding he was in constant 
danger of being recaptured and sent to the far South as a 
slave. After a time it was deemed best that he should for 
a while go to England. Here he met a cordial welcome. 
John Bright established him in his house, and thus he was 
brought in contact with the best minds and made ac- 
quainted with some of England's most distinguished men. 
His relation of the wrongs and sufferings of his enslaved 
brethren excited their deepest sympathy ; and their admir- 
ation forhis ability was so profound, their wonder so great,, 
that there should be any fear of such a man being re- 
turned to slavery, that they immediately Subscribed the 
amount necessary to purchase his freedom, made him a 
present of his manumission papersHand sent him home to 
tell his people that 

Slaves cannot breathe in England ; 

If their lungs receive our air, that moment they are free; 

They touch our country, and their shackles fall. 

• Returning to America he settled in Rochester, New York, 
and Established a paper called the North Star, afterwards 
changed to Fred Douglass^ Paper, also Douglass* MonthljrJ 
These were all published in his own office, and two of his 
sons were the principal assistants in setting up the work, 
and attending to the business generally. 

There has been a great deal of speculation as to what 
connection Frederick Douglpss had with the John Bro'Wi 
raid. The two great men met, and Brown became ac* 
quainted with Douglass' history. They became fast ftiendg. 


They were singularly adapted to each other as co-workers, 
both being deeply imbued with the belief that it was their 
duty to devote their lives and means to the cause of eman- 
cipation. They lived frugally at home that they might 
have the more to give. Their families caught their inspira- 
tion, and their lives were all influenced by the one motive^ 
power — ^the cause of freedom. Many men and women who 
successfidly escaped into Canada, and thence to other 
places, will tell how, after they had been well fed, nourished 
and made comfortable by the mother, one of Fred Doug- 
lass* boys had carried them across the line and seen them 
to a place of safety. When other boys were enjo3ring all 
the comforts and pleasures their parents could provide for 
them, Douglass' sons were made to feel that there was only 
one path for them to walk in until the great end for which 
they were working had been attained. 

Brown's first plan was to run slaves off, and in this 
Douglass heartily joined him; but when he found Brown 
had decided to attempt the capture of Harper's Ferry, he 
went to him at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, a short time 
before the raid, and used every argument he could to 
induce him to change his plans. Brown had enlisted a 
body of men to accompany him who felt as he felt, that 
their lives were nothing as weighed against the lives and 
liberties of so many who were sufiering in bondage. His 
arms and ammunition were ready, his plans were all laid, 
and to Douglass' argument he answered: j^'If we attack 
Harper's Ferry, as we have now arranged, the country 
will be aroused, and the Negroes will see the way clear to 
liberation. We'll hold the citizens of the town as hostages. 



Richmond. Virginia, Noyember 13, 1859. 
To His Excellency, James Buchanan, President of the United States, and 
to the Honorable Postmaster-General of the United States— 
Gbntlemen : — I have information snch as has cansed me, npon proper 
affidavits, to make requisition npon the Executive of Michigan for the 
delivery up of the person of Frederick Douglass, a Negro man, supposed 
now to be in Michigan, charged with murder, robbery and inciting servile 
insurrection in the State of Virginia. My agents for the arrest and reclama- 
tion of the person so charged are Benjamin M . Morris and William N. Kelly. 
The latter has the requisition and will wait on you to the^nd of obtaining 
nominal authority as postofiice agents. They need to be very secretive 
in this matter, and some pretext of traveling through the dangerous sec- 
tion for the execution of the laws in this behalf, and some protection 
against obtrusive, unruly or lawless violence. If it be proper so to do, 
will the Postmaster-General be pleased to give Mr. Kelly for each of 
these men a permit and authority to act as detectives for the postoffice 
department without pay, but to pass and repass without question, de- 
lay or hindrance ? 

Respectfiilly submitted by your 

Obedient Servant, 
" Henry A. WiSE.l 

Mr. Douglass did not feel it necessary to hasten his 
return on account of this interesting document, and so re- 
mained abroad till it was safe for him to come home. This 
adventure did not in the least dampen his ardor in the 
great cause. Wherever and whenever he could do or say 
anjrthing for it, he never failed to do so. When the first 
gun was fired at Sumter, he was among the foremost to 
insist upon the enrollment of colored soldiers, fin 1863 he, 
with others, succeeded in raising two regiments of colored 
troops, which were known as Massachusetts regiments. 
Two of his sons were among the first to enlist. His next 
move was to obtain the same pay for them that the white 


soldiers received, and to have them exchanged as prisoners of 
war ; in fact, that there should be no difference made between 
them and other soldiet^ His work did not end with the 
war. He recognized the fact that a new life had begun for 
the former slaves ; that a great work was to be done for 
them and with them, and he was ever to be found in the 
foremost ranks of those who were willing to put their 
shoulders to the wheel. His means, as well as his time, he 
largely gavetto the cause. He was one of the most inde- 
fatigable workers for the passage of the amendments to 
the Constitution, granting the same rights to all classes of 
citizens, regardless of race and color. JHe attended the 
''Loyalists' Convention," held in Philadelphia, in 1867, 
being elected a delegate from Rochestei:^ Some feared his 
presence would do more harm than good, knowing how 
radical he was ; but he felt that it was his duty to go, and 
nothing could change him. Qt has be^ conceded that it 
was due principally to his persistent work in that conven- 
tion, that resolutions favoring universal suffrage were 
passedj A little incident in connection with this conven- 
tion shows the value of his work in that meeting, by dis- 
closing the feeling of the men he had to deal with. As the 
members assembled proceeded to fall in line, on their way 
to the place of meeting, every one seemed to avoid walking 
beside a colored delegate. As soon as Theodore Tilton 
noticed it, he stepped to Douglass' side, and arm in arm 
they entered the chamber. This act has made them life- 
long friends, and these two are both brotherly in their de- 
voted friendship. In Mr. Douglass' recent visit to France, 



he met Mr. Tilton, who resides in Paris, and had a glorious 

Qle established the New National Era at Washington, 
D. C, in 1870. This paper was edited and published prin- 
cipally by him and his sons, and devoted to the cause of 
the race and the Republican party. In 1872 he took his 
family to reside in the District of Columbia. In 1871 
President Grant appointed him to the Territorial Legis- 
lature of the District of Columbia. In 1872 he was chosen 
one of the Presidential electors-at-large for the State of 
New York, and was the elector selected to deliver a cer- 
tified statement of the votes to the president of the Senate. 

He was appointed to accompany the commissioners on 
their trip to Santo Domingo, pending the consideration 
of the annexation of that island to the United States.' 
President Grant in January, 1877, appointed him a police 
commissioner for the District of Columbia. In March of the 
same year President Hayes commissioned him United 
States marshal for the District of Columbia. President' 
Garfield, in 1881, appointed him recorder of deeds for the 
District of ColumbiaTj This last position he held till about \ 
May, 1886, nearly a year and a half after the ascendancy 
to the national administration of the Democratic party. 

No man has begun where Frederick Douglass did and 
attained to the same giddy heights of fame. Bom in a 
mere hovel, a creature of accident, with no mother to 
cherish and nurture him, no kindly hand to point out the 
good worthy of emulation and the evil to be shunned, no 
teacher to make smooth the rough and thorny paths lead-y 
ing to knowledge. His only compass was an abidii 

74 MEN. OF liARK. 

faith in God, and an innate consciousness of \ds own abil- 
ity and power of perseverance. 

Harriet Bcecher Stowe, in her book entitled ' Men of Ottr 
Times/ says: ** Frederick Douglass had as far to dimb to 
get to the spot where the poorest white boy is bom, as 
that white boy has to climb to be President of the nation, 
and take rank with kings and judges of the earth." 
Again, in the Senate of the United States, in a recent im- 
portant case under consideration, the following statement 
formed part of a resolution submitted by that body in 
reply to the President of the United States: "Without 
doubt Frederick Douglass is the most distinguished repre- 
sentative of the colored race, not only in this country, but 
in the world." To-day he stands the acknowledged peer 
in intellect, culture and refinement of the greatest men of 
our age, or any age ; in this country, or any country. His 
name has never been written on the register of any school 
or college, yet it will ever be written on the pages of all 
fiiture history, wherever the names of the ablest men of 
our times appear, side by side with those of the more 
favored race. His relations with such men as John G. 
Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Wendell Phillips, Wil- 
liam Lloyd Garrison; and such women as Lydia Maria 
Child, Grace Greenwood, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, have 
ever been cordial and pleasant. Some men who never 
graduate from a college have more sense in five min- 
utes than many a conceited graduate who has all his 
knowledge duly accredited by a sheepskin, but is not the 
real possessor of an education. The trustees of Howard 
titoiversity honored themselves and their institution, more 






than they did Mr. Douglass, when they conferred upon 
liim the title of LL. D., and when also they gave him a 
seat in their board. ' 

Mr. Douglass in 'His Life/ written by himself, gives the 
following account of his visit to his old home : 

The first of these events occurred four years ago, when, after a period 
of more than forty years, I Tisited and had an interview with Captain 
Thomas Anld at St. Michaels, Talbot county, Maryland. It will be 
xemembered by those who have followed the thread of my story that St. 
Michaels was at one time the place of my home and the scene of some of 
mj ^addest experiences of slave life, and that I left there, or rather was 
compdled to leave there, becanse it was believed that I had written pas- 
ses for several slaves to enable them to escape from slavery, and that 
prominent slaveholders in that neighborhood had, for this alleged of- 
fense, threatened to shoot me on sight, and to prevent the execution of 
this threat my master had sent me to Baltimore. 

My return, therefore, to this place in peace, among the same people, 
was strange enough in itself; but that I should, when there, be formally 
invited by Captain Thomas Auld, then over eighty years old, to come to 
the side of his dying bed, evidently with a view to a friendly talk over 
our past rdations, was a fact still more strange, and one which, until its 
occu r rence, I could never have thought possible. To me Captain Auld 
had sustained the relation of master— a relation which I had held in ex- 
treme abhorrence, and which for forty years I had denounced in all 
b itt erness of spirit and fierceness of speech. He had struck down my pet^ 
sonaHty, had subjected me to his will, made property of my body and 
soul, reduced me to a chattel, hired me out to a noted slave breaker to 
be worked like a beast and flogged into submission ; he had taken my 
hard earnings, sent me to prison, offered me for sale, broken up my 
Sunday-school, forbidden me to teach my feUow-slaves to read on pain of 
nine and thirty lashes on my bare back; he had sold my body to his 
brother Hugh and pocketed the price of my flesh and blood without any 
apparent disturbance of his conscience. I, on my part, had traveled 
through the length and breadth of this country and of England, holding 
up this conduct of his, in common with that of other slaveholders, to 
the reprobation of all men who would listen to my words. I had made his 


name and his deeds familiar to the world by my writings in four different 
languages; yet here we were, after four decades, once more face to face 
— ^he on his bed, aged and tremulous, drawing near the sunset of life, and 
I, his former slave, United States marshal of the District of Columbia, 
holding his hand and in friendly conversation with him in his sort of final 
settlement of past differences preparatory to his stepping into his grave, 
where all distinctions are at an end, and where the great and the small, 
the slave and his master, are reduced to the same level. Had I been 
asked in the days of slavery to visit this man, I should have regarded the 
mvitation as one to put fetters on my ankles and handcuffs on my 
wrists. It would have been an invitation to the auction block and the 
slave whip. I had no business with this man under the old regime but 
to keep out of his way. But now that slavery was destroyed, and the 
slave and the master stood upon equal ground, I was not only willing to 
meet him but was very glad to do so. The conditions were/avorable for 
remembrance of all his good deeds and generous extenuation of all his 
evil ones. He was to me no longer a slaveholder either in fact or in 
spirit, and I regarded him as I did myself, a victim of the circumstances 
of birth, education, law and custom. 

Our courses had been determined for us, not by us. We had both been 
flung, by powers that did not ask our consent, upon a mighty current of 
life, which we could neither resist nor control. By this current he was a 
master, and I a slave ; but now our lives were verging towards the point 
-where differences disappeared, where even the constancy of hate breaks 
down, where the clouds of pride, passion and selfishness vanish before the 
■brightness of Infinite light. At such a time and in such a place, when 
man is about closing his eyes on this world and ready to step into the 
eternal unknown, no word of reproach or bitterness should reach him or 
^Edl from his lips ; and on this occasion there was to this rule no trans- 
gression on either side. 

As this visit to Captain Auld had been made the subject of mirth by 
heartless triflers, and regretted as a weakening of my lifelong testimony 
against slavery by serious minded men, and as the report of it, published 
in the papers immediately after it occurred, was in some respects defective 
ahd colored, it may be proper to state exactly what was said and done 
at this interview. 

It should in the first place be understood that I did not go to St. 


Michaels upon Captain Auld's invitation, but upon that of my colored 
friend, Charles Caldwell ; but when once there, Captain Auld sent Mr. 
Green, a man in constant attendance upon him during his sickness, to telt' 
me that he would be very glad to see me, and wished me to accompany Green 
to his house, with which request I complied. On reaching the house I 
was met by Mr. William H. Bruff, a son-in-law of Captain Auld*s, and 
Mrs. Louisa Bruff, his daughter, and was conducted by them immedi- 
ately to the bedroom of Captain Auld. We addressed each other simul- 
taneously, he calling me " Marshal Douglass," and I, as I had always called' 
him, ** Captain Auld." Hearing my self called by him '* Marshal Douglass," 
I instantly broke up the formal nature of the meeting by saying, " Not Mar- 
shal, but Frederick to you as formerly. * ' We shook hands cordially, and in 
the act of doing so he, having been long stricken with palsy, shed tears as 
men thus afflicted will do when excited by any deep emotion. The sight of 
him, the changes which time had wrought in him, his tremulous hands 
constantly in motion, and all the circumstances of his condition affected 
me deeply, and for a time choked my voice and made me speechless. We 
both, however, got the better of our feelings and conversed freely about 
the past. 

Though broken by age and palsy, the mind of Captain Auld was 
remarkably clear and strong. After he had become composed I asked 
him what he thought of ray conduct in running away and going to the 
North. He hesitated a moment as if to properly formulate his reply, and 
said : " Frederick, I always knew you were too smart to be a slave, and 
had I been in your place I should have done as you did." I said, ** Captain 
Auld, I am glad to hear you say this. I did not run away from you, but 
from slavery; it was not that I loved Caesar less, but Rome more." I 
told him that I had made a mistake in my narrative, a copy of which I 
had sent him, in attributing to him ungrateful and cruel treatment of tny 
grandmother ; that I had done so on the supposition that in the division 
of the property of my old master, Mr. Aaron Anthony, my grandmother 
had fallen to him, and that he had left her in her old age, when she could 
be no longer of service to him, to pick up her living in solitude with none 
to help her; or in other words, had turned her out to die like an old horse. 
" Ah," said he, "that was a mistake; I never owned your grandmother; 
she, in the division of the slaves, was awarded to my brother-in-law, 
Andrew Anthony ; but," he added quickly, ** I brotight her down here and 


took care of her as long as she lived." The fact is, that after writing mj 
narrative, describing the condition of my grandmother, Captain Auld's 
attention being thus called to it, he rescued her from destitution. I told 
him that this mistake of mine was corrected as soon as I discovered it, 
and that I had at no time any wish to do him injustice, and that I 
regarded both of us as victims of a system. " Oh, I never liked slavery," 
he said, ** and I meant to emancipate all my slaves when they reached the 
age of twenty-five years." I told him I had always been curious to know 
how old I was, that it had been a serious trouble to me not to know 
when was my birthday. He said he could not tell me that, but he 
thought I was bom in February, 1818. This date made me one year 
younger than I had supposed myself, from what was told me by Mistress 
Lucretia, Captain Auld's former wife, when I left Lloyd's for Baltimore 
in the spring of 1825 ; she having then said that I was eight, going on 
nine. I know that it was in the year 1825 that I went to Baltimore, be' 
cause it was in that year that Mr. James Beacham built a large frigate 
at the foot of Alliceana street, for one of the South American governments. 
Judging from this, and from certain events which transpired at Colonel 
Lloyd's, such as a boy without any knowledge of books under eight years 
old would hardly take cognizance of, I am led to believe that Mrs. XfU- 
cretia was nearer right as to my age than her husband. 

Before I left his bedside. Captain Auld spoke with a cheerful confidence 
of the great change that awaited him, and felt himself about to depart in 
peace. Seeing his extreme weakness I did not protract my visit. The 
whole interview did not last more than twenty minutes, and we parted 
to meet no more. His death was soon after announced in the papers, 
and the fact that he had once owned me as a slave was cited as rendering 
that event noteworthy. 

His life has been marked by a purity of purpose from its 
beginning. He has filled many offices of trust, yet in not one 
position has he ever betrayed his trust. He has been largely, 
deeply engaged in politics, yet has been no politician. That 
is, he understood and practiced none of the tricks of politi- 
cians. His work has always been honest and conscientious, 
because he believed in whatever cause he worked for, and 


did not, as most of our public men, have an eye to a per- 
sonal reward. All the recompense he sought was a con- 
scioiisness of having accomplished some good. Whatever 
lias been given him in the way of oflSce has been unsolicited 
by him. Some of our public men have wavered in their 
fidelity to the Republican party, when after long waiting 
they fail to see a substantial reward laid at their feet ; but 
not so with Mr. Douglass. Qle believed implicitly in the 
Republican party and realized that being composed of 
human beings it might sometimes err; but he would say, 
"The Republican party is the deck and all outside is the 
sea." Another sa3ring of his is, "I would rather be with 
the Republican party in defeat, than with the Democratic 
party in victory.'^ By such expressions may be seen his 
faithful adherence to what he believed to be right. 

He is generous and forgiving, almost to a fault. On the 
friendliest terms with Lincoln, Grant, Sumner and many 
of their compeers, his opinions on public matters were al- 
ways heard with deference and often adopted. His clear, 
forcible, yet persuasive way of presenting facts, always 
carry conviction with it. 

And now, after a long and well fought battle of seventy 
years, we find him still erect and strong, bearing gracefully 
and unassumingly the laurels he has so nobly won. No 
one who visits him in his beautiful home at Cedar Cottage 
conies away without being richer by some gem of thought, 
dropped by the genial host. 

(a few years ago Fred Douglass married a white lady, 
who was a clerk in his office while recorder of deedsj This 
was much objected to by many of his race, but on mature 


reflection, it has been about decided that he was no slave 
to take a wife as in slave times on a plantation — accord- 
ing to some master^s wish— but that it was his own busi- 
ness, and he was only responsible to God. He has been 
invited to the President's levees and he and his wife shown 
every mark of consideration. His travel in foreign coun- 
tries has in no way been embarrassed by this act. If any 
one thought he was so foohsh as to not know what would 
be said of his marriage, they have mistaken the man. But 
Douglass did as he thought was right as he understood it. 
It showed he had the courage to brave popular opinion as 
he had done on other occasions. 

Frederick Douglass enjoys a joke as well as any man I 
know. I was traveling with him recently from Atlantic 
City, New Jersey, to Washington, District of Columbia. 
We had been traveling on the territory of Maryland. Near 
Harve de Grace, a rather officious white gentleman was 
particularly attentive to Mr. Douglass, and after intro- 
ducing himself to the eminent orator stood up and called 
out to the people in the car : ** Gentlemen and ladies, this 
is Frederick Douglass, the greatest colored man in the 
United States." The people flocked around him for an 
introduction. One white gentleman who was a Mary- 
lander, said "Let me see, Mr. Douglass, you ran away 
from Maryland, did you not, somewhere in this neighbor- 
hood, I believe?'' "No," said Mr. Douglass, with that 
grand air and good humored laugh which is his own prop- 
erty, "Oh, no sir, I did not run away from Maryland, I 
ran away from slavery." 
[There are three great orators in this country, Frederick 


Douglass, John M. Langston and George W. Williams, 
the first two are a couplet of as magnificent speakers as 
ever heard on an American platform ; the last Is a gifted 
star ascending the zenith. Douglass and Langston are ripe 
iwith age and mellow with experience. The young man is 
now vigorous and fiill of strength and handles the less ex- 
citing subjects of the day. The older men had the subjects 
of slavery and reconstruction; two greater themes, can 
and may never engage our minds in this broad land of 
swift passing events. They showed their zeal and inspira- 
tion against wrong; Williams shows his learning, research, 
and Imlliant oratorjrj 

God grant, when in the course of nature the mantle 
shall fall fi'om his shoulders, that one may spring up to 
wear it, to guard it as vigilantly as he has, and as lov- 
ingly and carefiilly protect its folds fi-om pollution. 

If the extracts here given should be long, let it be re- 
membered that Mr. Douglass, by length of service, by pre- 
eminence in public office, by his standing not only in 
America, but in the world, is entitled to large space. I 
want the young people also to declaim these extracts. I 
am tired of hearing every man's good works repeated and 
no Negro's eloquence chain an audience when, too, there are 
such elegant specimens. 

The following is taken from his great speech in the 
Ulational Convention of Colored Men held in Louisville, 
Kentucky, September 25, 18837] 

The speaker addressed the greater part of his remarks to 
the white citizens of the country in the nature of a rebuke 
for their shortcomings towards the colored race, and said : 


Bom on American soil, in common with yourselves, deriving oar 
bodies and our minds from its dust ; centuries having passed away since 
our ancestors were torn from the shores of Africa, we, like yourselves, 
hold ourselves to be in every sense Apiericans. Having watered your 
soil with our tears, enriched it with our blood, performed its roughest 
labor in time of peace, defended it agtiinst enemies in time of war, and 
having at all times been loyal and true to its highest interests, we 
deem it no arrogance or presumption to manifest now a common con- 
cern with you for its welfare, prosperity, honor and glory. 


Referring to the antagonism experienced in calling the 
convention, he said : 

Prom the day the call for this convention went forth, the seeming in- 
congruity and contradiction of holding it has been brought to our atten- 
tion. From one quarter and another, sometimes with argument and 
sometimes without argument; sometimes with seeming pity for our 
ignorance, and at other times with fierce censure for our depravity, these 
questions have met us. With apparent surprise, astonishment and im- 
patience, we have been asked : '* What more do the colored people of this 
country want than they now have, and what more is possible for them ?" 
It is said they were once slaves, they are now free ; they were once sub- 
jects, they are now sovereigns ; they were once outside of all American 
institutions, they are now inside of all, and a recognized part of the 
whole American people. Why, then, do they hold colored national con- 
ventions, and thus insist upon keeping up the color line between them- 
selves and their white fellow-countrymen ?" 

Mr. Douglass then proceeded to answer these questions 
categorically, and took occasion to administer a basting 
to those of his people who were too mean, servile and cow- 
ardly to assert the true dignity of their manhood and their 
race, and referred the existence of such creatures to the 
lingering remains of slave caste and oppression. 


To the question 'tJVliy are we here in this National Con- 
Tcntion ?" he answered : 

Because the voice of a whole people, oppressed by a common injustice, 
is fiu* more likely to command attention and exert an influence on the 
public mind than the voice of simple individuals and isolated organiza- 
tions : because we may thus have a more comprehensive knowledge of 
the general situation and conceive more clearly and express more fully 
and wisely the policy it may be necessary for them to pursued If held for 
good cause, and by wise, sober and earnest men, the result will be salu- 
tary. The objection to a " colored " convention lies more in sound than 
substance. No reasonable man will ever object to white men holding 
conventions in their own interest when they are once in our condition 
and we in theirs : when they are the oppressed and we the oppressors. 

In point of fact, however, white men are already in convention against 
08 in various ways, and at many important points ; and ^e practical 
structure of American life is in convention against usT7 Human law may 
know no distinction between men in respect of rights, but human prac- 
tice may. Examples are painfully abundant. The border men hate the 
Indians; the Califomian, the Chinaman ; the Mohametan, the Christian, 
and vice versa, and in spite of a common nature and the equality framed 
into law, this hate works injustice, of which each in their own name and 
under their own color may complain. 

The apology for observing the color line in the composi- 
tion of our State and National conventions is in its neces- 
sity, and because we must do this or nothing. 


In vindication of the convention and its cause, the speaker 
continued : 

It is our lot to live among a people whose laws, traditions and preju- 
dices have been against us for centuries, and from these they are not yet 
free. To assume that they are free from these evils, simply because they 
have changed their laws, is to assume what is utterly unreasonable and 


contrary to facts. Large bodies move slowly ; individuals may be con- 
verted on the instant and change the whole course of^ife ; nations never. 
[Not even the character of a g^at political organization can be 
changed by a new platform. It will be the same old snake, though in a 
new skinl Though we have had war, reconstruction and abolition as a 
nation, we s'till linger in the shadow and blight of an extinct institution. 
Though the colored man is no longer subject to barter and sale, he is 
surrounded by an adverse settlement which fetters all his movements. In 
his downward course he meets with no resistance, but his course upward is 
resented and resisted at every step of his prog^ss. If he comes in ignor- 
ance, rags and wretchedness, he conforms to the popular belief of bis 
character, and in that character he is welcome ; but if he shall come as a 
gentleman, a scholar and a statesman, he is hailed as a contradiction to 
the national faith concerning his race, and his coming is resented as impn* 
dence. In the one case he may provoke contempt and derision, but in the 
other he is an affront to pride and provokes malice. Let him do what he 
will, there is at present no escape for him. The color line meets him every- 
where, and in a measure, shuts him out from all respectable and profitable 
trades and callings. In spite of all your religion and laws, he is a rejected 
man. Not even our churches, whose members profess to follow the despised 
Nazarine, whose home when on earth was among the lowly and despised, 
have yet conquered the feeling of color madness ; and what is true of our 
churches is also true of our courts of law. Neither is free from this all- 
pervading atmosphere of color hate. The one describes the Deity as im- 
partial and "no respecter of persons," and the other shows the Goddess 
of Justice as blindfolded, with a sword by her side and scales in her 
hand held evenly balanced between high and low, rich and poor, white 
and black, but both are images of American imagination, rather than of 
American practice. Taking advantage of the general disposition in this 
cotmtry to impute crime to color, white men color their faces to commit 
crime, and wash off the hated color to escape punishment. 

Speaking of lynch law for the black man, he says : 

A man accused, surprised, frightened and captured by a motley cro^nrd,. 
dragged with a rope around his neck in midnight darkness to the nearest 
tree, and told in terms of coarsest profanity to prepare for death, would 
be more than biunan if he did not in his terror-stricken appearance mor^ 


confirm tbe snspidoii of his guilt than the contraty. Worse still ; in the 
presence ofsnch hell-black outrages the pulpit is usually dumb, and the 
press in the neighborhood is silent, or openly takes sides with the mob. 
There are occasional cases in which white men are lynched, but one 
sw^allow does not make a summer. Every one knows that what is 
called lynch law is peculiarly the law for colored people cmd tor nobody 

He next referred to the continuation of Ku-klux outrages, 
and said generally this condition of things is too flagrant 
and notorious to require specification or proof "Thus in 
all the relations of life and death we are met by the color 
line. We cannot ignore it if we would, and ought not if 
\^e could. It hunts us at midnight, it denies us accommo- 
dation in hotels and justice in the courts; excludes our 
children fi*om schools ; refuses 6ur sons the chance to learn 
trades, and compels us to pursue such labor as will bring 
tis the least reward. While we recognize the color line as 
a hurtful force -a mountain barrier to our progress, 
wounding our bleeding feet with its flinty rocks at everj^ 
step — we do not despair. We are a hopeful people. This 
convention is a proof of our faith in you, in reason, in 
truth and justice, and of our belief that prejudice, with all 
its malign accompaniments, may yet be removed by peace- 
ful means. When this shall come, the color line will onlv 
be used as it should be, to distingush one variety of the 
human family from another." 


Our meeting here was opposed by some of our number, because it 
"wotild disturb the peace of the Republican party. The suggestion came 
from coward lips and misapprehends the character of that party. |lf the 
Republican party cannot stand a demand for justice and fair play, it 


ought to go downT] We were men before that party was bom, and our 
manhood is more sacred than any party can be. Parties were made for 
men, not men for parties. This hat (pointing to his big white sombrero 
lying on the table before him), was made for my head ; not my head for 
the hat. ( Applause. )Qf the six million of colored people in this country, 
armed with the Constitution of the United States, with a million votes 
of their own to lean upon, and millions of white men at their backs 
whose hearts are responsive to the claims of humanity, have not sufficient 
spirit and wisdom to organize and combine to defend themselves from 
outrage, discrimination and oppression, it will be idle for them to expect 
that the Republican party or any other political party will organize and 
combine for them, or care what becomes of them] 

The following is taken from an anti-slavery speech de- 
livered many years ago : 



Is it not astonishing that while we are plowing, planting, and reap- 
ing, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses and constructing 
bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron and copper, sil- 
ver and gold ; that while we are reading, writing and ciphering, acting 
as clerks, merchants and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, 


ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators and teachers ; that while we 
are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men, digging 
gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, breeding cattle 
and sheep on the hillside; living, moving, acting, thinking, planning; 
living in families as husbands, wives and children ; and, above all, con- 
fessing and worshiping the Christian's God, and looking hopefully for 
immortal life beyond the grave ; is it not astonishing, I say, that we are 
called upon to prove that we are men ? 

In the Negro, a monthly magazine, published in Bos- 
ton, Massachusetts, of date August, 1886, under the head 



Mr. Douglass wrote as follows : 

Allow me to say tbat what is called the Negro problem seems to me a 
misnomer. The real problem which this nation has to solve, and the 
solution of which it will have to answer for in history, were better de- 
scribed as the white man*s problem. Here, as elsewhere, the greater 
mclndes the less. What is called the Negro problem is swallowed up by 
the Caucasian problem. \^he question is whether the white man can 
ever be elevated to that plane of justice, humanity and Christian civili- 
zation which win permit Negroes, Indians and Chinamen, and other 
darker colored races to enjoy an equal chance in the race of life. It is 
not so much whether these races can be made Christians as whether 
white people can be made Christians^ The Negro is few, the white man 
is many. The Negro is weak, the white man is strong. In the problem 
of the Negro's future, the white man is therefore the chief factor. He is 
the potter ; the Negro is the clay. It is for him to say whether the Negro 
shall become a well rotmded, symmetrical man, or be cramped, deformed 
and dwarfed. A plant deprived of warmth, moisture and sunlight cannot 
Hve and grow. And a people deprived of the means of an honest liveli- 
hood must wither and die. All 1 ask for the Negro is fair play. Give 
him this, and I have no fear for his future. The great mass ot the col- 
ored people in this country are now, and must continue to be in, the 
South ; and there, if anywhere, they must survive or perish. 

It is idle to suppose these people can make any large degree of progress 
in morals, religion and material conditions, while their persons are un- 
protected, their rights unsecured, their labor defrauded, and they are 
kept only a little beyond the starving point. 

Of course I rejoice that efforts are being made byxbenevolent and 
Christian people at the North in the interest of religion and education ; 
but I cannot conceal from myself that much of this must seem a mock- 
ery and a delusion to the colored people there, while they are left at the 
mercy of anarchy and lawless violence. It is something to g^ve the 
Negro religion (he could have that in time of slavery): it is more to give 
him justice. It is something to give him the Bible; it is more to give 
him the ballot. It is something to tell him that there is a place for him 
in the Christian's heaven; it is more to allow him a peacful dwelling, 
place in this Christian country. Frederick Douglass. 




Minister of the African M. E. Church— Pulpit Orator. 

THE subject of this sketch was bom on the Island of An- 
tigua, in the British West Indies, Jul}" 27, 1843. Nine- 
teen years after the boon of emancipation was conferred 
on those islands by the British Parliament, in 1834, An- 
tigua, his native land, was the first island in the British 
West Indies which had the courage to ameliorate her 
slave laws, by affording the accused the benefit of a trial 
by jury ; and an act of the assembly, February 13, 1834, 
decreed the emancipation of every slave without requiring 
a period of apprenticeship prescribed by the British Parlia- 
ment. She refused to believe in the virtues of apprentice- 
ship to prepare her bondsmen for freedom ; if they were to 
be liberated, why not at once? And she has never had 
occasion to repent it. 

His father, Thomas J. Derrick, belonged to the highly 
respectable family of Derricks who were large plantefs in 
the islands of Antigua and Anguila. His mother, Eliza, 
was of medium height, with regular features always 
lighted up with smiles, of genial disposition, and a mind 
well stored with witty and original thoughts, which ren- 
dered her conversation interesting, animating and devoid 


W. B. DERRICK. 89 

of monotony. Both parents are now* slumbering, the 
former in the cemetery of the village church, the latter 
beneath the pendant branches of the mahogany tree in the 
public cemetery of the metropolis of the island. Mr. Der- 
rick when very young was sent to a private school, and at 
the end of two years was admitted in the public school at 
Gracefield, under the auspices of the Moravians, and regu- 
larly attended from 1848 until the spring of 1856, when 
the head master of said school was removed to another 
•charge. During these eight years, his progress at every 
stage in his studies was rapid and substantial, as if he had 
adopted for his motto "7 will excel.** His natural talent, 
especially for oratory, elicited general applause at the 
annual examinations, largely attended by the elite of the 
neighborhood, who took special interest in the cause of 
education. In his class, conspicuous for his uncommonly 
large head, high forehead and penetrating eyes, he stood 
among- the lew who could manfully grapple with the diffi- 
cult questions put by the tutor. In the spring of 1856, he 
was sent to a select private high school in the metropolis, 
under the tutorship of J. Wilson, Esquire, a fine classical 
scholar, but a great disciplinarian. Here he remained 
three years. He was afterward sent to learn the trade of 
a blacksmith. His parents finally consented to let him go 
to sea, under the care of Captain Crane, with the under- 
standing that he was to be taught the science of navi- 
gation, and at the end of two or three years to return 
home and embark in business. On the sixth of May, 1860, 
he was on his first voyage to the United States. The ship 
was soon enveloped in a violent storm, and driven ashore 


at Turk's Island, bnt saved from becoming a total wreck-^ 
She took in her cargo, however, and sailed to New York. 
After a voyage of fourteen days, the merchantman reached 
the back-waters and continued to glide until she reached 
Sandy Hook. On coming along the Jersey coast, some 
altercations, on the term "nigger" being applied to him, 
took place between an Irishman and himself, which ended 
in his convincing the young Irishman, pugilistically, that 
his complexion had nothing to do with his manhood. He 
did considerable sailing around in ships, visiting the coast 
of Massachusetts and other places, and finally came ta 
Boston. On this trip he met with a serious accident,, 
namely, the breaking of his leg in two places. The case 
was aggravated by not having a surgeon on the spot for 
treatment. After making several trips and being ship- 
wrecked, he volunteered in the service of the United States 
government for three years, and was assigned to the 
flagship Minnesota^ of the North Atlantic squadron. He 
was thrown among five hundred other sailors, of all na- 
tionalities, who, like himself, were enlisted on the side of 
right. War absorbed his whole soul, yet with all this he 
could not repress the old idea, or smother the returning 
voice of the spirit which seemed to haunt him, urging him 
to enter the Christian ministry. When he met with the 
accident previously alluded to, he had had serious thoughts 
concerning this matter. Like a nail driven in a sure place 
by "the master of assemblies," there was no getting 
away from him who was determined to be heard amid the 
din and roar of artillery and the shrieks of shells. The 
hand of the Lord was upon him. He -.was formally en- 

W. B. DERRICK. 91 

rolled in the list of sailors from 1861 to 1864 and contrib- 
uted his quota to the gallant exploits and glorious- 
achievements, and shared in the trials and triumphs of 
those brave ones in their struggles and conquests in the 
civil war. 

Many incidents transpired while he remained on board 
his floating home, many of which beggar description, as, 
in the conflict between the Merrimac and Monitor y and in 
the heartrending scenes of carnage and blood. He was an 
American citizen now, and having been dismissed from the 
United States navy, took two steps, one in leading to the 
altar of matrimony Miss Mary E. White, the only 
daughter of Edwin White, Esq., of Norfolk, Virginia, and 
the other to take the initiatory to enter theministry of the 
African M.E. Church by joiningthe church at Washington, 
District of Columbia, under the pastoral care of Rev. , [now} 
Bishop J. M. Brown, who, after the usual preliminaries, 
licensed him to preach and at the same time to act as mip • 
sionary agent, both of which offices he held until 1867. 
He was then admitted to the regular traveling connection,, 
appointed by the Rt. Rev. D. A. Payne, D. D., LL. D., to 
Mt. Pisgah chapel, Washington, District of Columbia, where 
he labored for one year as preacher and teacher. In the 
year 1868 he was ordained deacon, and transferred to the 
Virginia conference, which closed before he arrived. His 
only alternative was to accept one of the most impover- 
ished missions in the district, situated in the Alleghany 
mountains, almost on the border of the Tennessee line. At 
the annual conference at Portsmouth, he was elected elder 
and was ordained by Bishop J. P.* Campbell, D. D.,LL. D., 


after which he was appointed pastor and presiding elder of 
the Staunton church and district. Prom this time he may 
be said to be firmly established in the Christian ministry. 
He was reappointed presiding elder, pastor and conference 
secretary at the annual conference held in Norfolk in 1870 
Staunton, 1871; Richmond, 1872; Portsmouth, 1873 
Danville, 1874; Richmond, 1875; Portsmouth, 1876 
Wytheville, 1877 ; Parmville, 1878 ; and Hampton, 1879 
as a delegate to the general conference held in Nashville, 
1872, at Atlanta, Georgia, 1876, and at Baltimore, Mary- 
land, 1884, serving on all important committees in the ses- 
sions. In politics he has taken an active part. In Virginia, 
when the question of readjusting the State was agitating 
the country, and was submitted to the people to be voted 
upon in the November elections of 1879, he took sides with 
the party that was in favor of papngthe debt as had been 
contracted. This party was known as the "Funders." 
His attitude was in perfect harmony with the platform 
of the National Republican party insomuch that the admin- 
istration at Washington sanctioned his course again. As 
the colored people were considered dangerous and willing 
tools in the hands of ambitious men, who were unscrupu- 
lous and always ready to make use of them in furthering 
their own ends, regardless of consequences, he publicly de- 
nounced the faction known as "Readjusters," who repu- 
•diated the payment of an honest debt. This controversy 
w^as considered the most vindictive political war ever 
waged in that section, and lasted several months, termin- 
ating in the triumph of the "Readjusters.'* Mr. Derrick 
was disgusted, and knowing full well that as leader of the 


W. B. DERRICK. 93^' 

opposite faction he would have to suiBfer, he resigned his 
charge, left the South again, and took a trip to the West 
Indies in company with his wife. In this tour he traveled 
in the Bermudas, Jamaica, St. Thomas and Antigua, his 
native land. After twenty years absence he first visited 
the home of his oldest sister; then the graves of his de- 
parted parents and other members of the family. He 
preached and lectured to almost all the churches, on popu- 
lar subjects. Returning to the United States, he resumed 
his ministerial duties. He has since served churches in 
Salem, New Jersey ; Albany, New York, and Sullivan street 
church. New York City, where he continues to enjoy the 
confidence of the members of his church and the commu- 
nity at large. 

The doctor has many personal admirers and they will 
read with interest a book of over three hundred pages, in 
press at this writing, which will contain a "Tribute to 
the Life and Labors of Rev. W. B. Derrick, D. D., Minister 
of the A. M. E. Church." The contents will be about as 
follows : 

Preface; Dedication to the Sons and Daughters of Liberty in the United 
States and the West Indies; Recommendatory Letters from Bishop H. 
M. Turner, D. D., Rev. Dr. B. T. Tanner, Rev. J. A. Handy, D. D., Profes- 
sor T. McCants Stewart, LL. B., Rev. W. H. Thomas, A. M., Rev. T. T. 
B. Reid, B. A.; Outline History of Antigua, Dr. Derrick's native land; 
Notices of some of the leading men in the A. M. E. Church— the whole 
-work of his life covering four periods, viz : 

Period I. — His Childhood and Youth. 

Period IL — Life Abroad ; or. The Young Man from Home. 

Period IIL — In the American Navy during the Civil War. 

Period IY. — ^Twenty-three years in the Ministry of the A. M. B.. 
Cbarcb ; Sermons and Orations and Contributions to the Press. 


His sermons, addresses and speeches are noticed in the 
New York Tribune^ Sun^ Herald^ Times^ the Evening Tele- 
gram, the Christian Recorder and the leading colored 
journals in this country, such as the New York Freeman 
and the Boston Advocate. He is a staunch Republican in 
politics, a progressive and evangelical preacher of the gos- 
pel, filled with the broad benevolence of Heaven and un- 
wearied in his eflForts to save immortal souls. The Wilber- 
force University conferred upon him the title of D. D., in 
1885. He is an honorary member of the I. O. G. Tern- 
plars, the Masonic Body, Odd-Fellows and Good Samari- 
tans, the Publication Board of the A. M. E. Church and 
trustee of Wilberforce University. He has succeeded in 
accumulating about five thousand dollars worth of prop- 
erty, and was also the executor of the late lamented 
Bishop R. H. Cain, D. D., who died at his residence in 
New York City. He has paid an elaborate tribute to the 
virtues of the deceased in that city recently. He has been 
oflFered the superintendency of the church work in the West 
Indies, but respectfully declined. He is a diligent student 
of the Bible and as a pastor is ever solicitous that his 
flock should be fed with the ** bread of life." His chtut^h is 
justly proud of his works, which show wisdom and care on 
his part. No man has a higher standing in this country, 
for his power is felt among all classes. His rich voice and 
personal magnetism make him powerful in the field of 
oratory. His qualities of head and heart, his sound patri- 
otism and sturdy manhood mark him a progressive man 
of the age. 

The Evening Telegram^ New York, gave ** Sketches of 

W. B. DERRICK. 95 

Some of the Prominent Divines, "had the following, among 
other good things, to say of Rev. Dr. Derrick : 

After leaving Albany, Dr. Derrick became pastor of the Sullivan Street 
Chnrch, which is situated in the heart of the largest colored colony in this 
great metropolis. His church is a low-browed and plain brick structure, 
hut it is roomy inside, and is generally well filled with a class of worship- 
ers much more devout than are to be found in manv churches frequented 
liy white persons. Dr. Derrick is a short, stout, full and smooth-faced 
man of light color, with great command of language and ^exceeding 
fidicitv of illustration to suit the plain understanding and comprehension 
of the people with whom he labors. Outside of the pulpit, he exercises a 
shrewd business supervision of the personal affairs of his flock, and serves 
them as legal adviser and political leader. He is an ardent Republican. 

As presiding elder, his district embraces Fleet Street Church, Brooklyn, 
and the African Methodist Episcopal churches at Williamsburg, Flushing, 
Melrose, Albany, Chatham, Kinderhook, Catskill, Coxsackle, White 
Plains and Harlem Mission. The church which Dr. Derrick has charge of 
is valued at $80,000, and the adjoining parsonage is worth $10,000 
more. He is paid $2,000 per annum, a furnished house included. They 
also support a paid choir, under Professor Savage, one of the best musi- 
cians of the race. The church membership is 1,000, and the seating 
capacity of the building 1,500, but frequently more than 2,000 wor- 
shipers stand within its walls and listen to the eloquent appeals of its 
pastor in behalf of human progress. 

In June, 1884, he was nominated as a Presidential elect or-at-large by 
the Republican State Committee, at the instance of Fire Commissioner 
Van Cott. There was considerable opposition among his own race to 
the nomination. It was headed by John J. Freeman, the theneditor of the 
Progressive American. The opposition alleged that Dr. Derrick was not 
a citizen, and, therefore, could not serve as an elector. W. H. Johnson, 
ex-janitor of the State Senate, made affidavit that once after a ward 
meeting, in Albany, which Dr. Derrick had attended, he asked why Dr. 
Derrick did not vote, and that Dr. Derrick said he was not a citizen, 
having been born in the West Indies, and never having taken out 
naturalization papers. When asked whj' he had not been naturalized, 
he replied that he did not wish to give up his allegiance to Her 


Gracious Msgestj, the Queen, as he had intended to stay in this cotintrjr 
only until he had amassed sufficient means to live like a gentleman at 
home, where living was cheap. 


On July 1 Dr. Derrick declined the nomination. He took this action^ 
however, before he knew of the Albany affidavits, his reason being that 
he had been chosen by his church to assist in arranging for the centennial 
celebration of American Methodism, and, therefore, had not time to be- 
an elector. This was the first time his citizenship was called in question, 
although he had exercised his rights and privileges as a citizen. He 
proved af the time that he had come to this country when he was- 
seventeen vears old, and that when he enlisted in the navy he had taken 
the oath of allegiance to the United States. 




Phrenologist—Editor aua Philosopher. 

ONE of the brightest and most gifted men among the 
editors is P. H. Murry. He was bom in Reading, 
Pennsylvania, in 1842. His parents, Samuel and Sarah 
Murry, were anxious that their boy should have opportuni- 
ties to make a man of himself. His father was bom on 
the eastern shores of Maryland, in Kent county, and 
living in a slave State, found that he would not be able to 
place such advantages before his son. He never was a 
slave, but as far back as he could trace the genealogical 
tree, his ancestors were pure, unadulterated Negroes, who 
came from Africa to America through the British West 
Indies. The mother is a mixed Negro, Indian and Irish. 
On the paternal side of his mother's ancestry, the grand- 
father half Negro and Indian, bought, during the colonial 
times, an Irish woman for her passage and made her his 
wife. It will be remembered in the history of the Virginia 
colonists that many women were sent over for wives to 
the fortune seekers, and they were purchased for one hun- 
dred and fifty pounds of tobacco apiece. She was bom in 
Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, and Jack, her husband, 
was free bom. On account of the inferiority of colored 


schools in Reading, at the time of his youth, his father 
only permitted him to attend school about a week. After- 
wards he was placed under Father Patrick Keevil for priv- 
ate instruction. Father Keevil was at this time a casta- 
way, but was nevertheless a scholar, having graduated 
at Minonth College, England. After passing through the 
rudiments young Philip entered into a series of scientific 
and philosophical studies, embracing natural science, 
natural philosophy and the more liberal works on theol- 
ogy, especially physiology, and the brain as a physical 
instrument of thought and feeling. This was when he 
was about the age of fifteen, and these studies no doubt 
laid the basis of his future investigations. He has studied 
the whole realm of science and philosophy, going deeper 
than the surface, inquiring into the **whys" and "where- 
fores" with patient zeal and unremitting toil. One can 
scarcely converse with him without seeing and feeling 
that his thoughts are drawn from a deep well and that 
the fountain is pure. Later on he was absorbed in the 
abolition movement, and was an attendant and promoter 
of the movements which were prevalent before the war. 
He came frequently in contact with Douglass, Garnet, 
H. Ford, the Shadds and Watkins, Bishop Payne, Rogers, 
the Negro Historian, Wolf and Hamilton, the Journalists, 
and other leading Negroes, including Dr. Martin R. Delan- 
cy, who then were foremost in that work. He delivered a 
series of able, comprehensive and learned lectures on 
** Cerebral Physiology'' throughout New England, and 
made some useful and important investigations, experi- 
ments and discoveries on the temperaments, and the era- 


nium as a continuation of the spinal deyelopment. As a 
phrenologist he is a perfect success. The writer remem- 
bers when quite a boy he met Mr. Murry in the city of 
Burlington, New Jersey. At that time examining his head, 
he accurately told the characteristics so plain to him, but 
at that time so undeveloped and unknown to the writer 
that he has been astonished in later years to find that the 
very things he predicted would be developed, were devel- 
oped unconsciously, and are recognized as a verification 
of his deductions. In 1864 he was a delegate to the 
famous Negro convention which met at Syracuse, New 
York, and was chosen chairman of the Pennsylvania dele- 
gation. When Lee first invaded Pennsylvania, Mr. Murry, 
anxious to serve his country in the capacity which 
would do the most good, organized a company of soldiers 
and offered their services to Governor Curtin, but was 
refused because Negroes were not then needed to suppress 
the rebellion. But in after days when the Southern armies 
had shattered the Northern forces, and doubt was over- 
hanging the country as to which side would win, the 
government found out that a Negro could stop a bullet as 
well as a white man. At the age of twenty-one, he bought 
the homestead of which his father was about being de- 
prived, and deeded it to his mother ; said property being 
w^orth about three thousand dollars. In conjunction 
with J. P. Sampson, he published the first colored jour- 
nal in Kentucky The Colored Kentuckian. He taught 
3chool in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia and Missouri, 
and took conspicuous and active parts in securing colored 
teachers for the colored schools in St. Louis and through- 


out Missouri. This idea was projected by him in a con- 
vention of teachers which met at Jefferson City, Missouri^ 
in 1876, and for which he made speeches in St. Louis, 
which were published in all the dailies verbatim, and drew 
editorial comments as well as universal discussion among^ 
the citizens of the city and State. He published the 
Colored Citizen at Washington, District of Columbia, 
in 1872, and held the inspectorship of public improve- 
ments under a board of public improvement at the same 
time. During the war he traveled in the South and corres- 
ponded for several Northern journals. In 1880, Mr. 
Murry established the St. Louis Advance^ and this paper 
has for its primal mission the industrial education of the 
Negro. He was for several years clerk in the Money 
Order Department of the St. Louis Post Office, also held 
positions of trust and honor in the comptroller's office of 
St. Louis. He has been a delegate to the various State 
and National conventions during the nine years he has 
lived in that city. He is now chairman of the Colored 
State Committee, Missouri. In 1879, he organized the St. 
Louis Colored Men's Land Association, which is now a 
success. As a writer,' Mr. Murry is one of the most bril- 
liant in the country. His editorials are always fresh, 
vigorous, far-seeing and progressive ; bristling with argu- 
ment and backed with facts.' His aim in life is to press 
home the importance of industrial education. His re- 
marks on the subject at the National Press convention, 
Atlantic City, July, 1886, are wortny to be kept, and as. 
many may read this book we give here a few of the seik- 


tences which ought to be read by every colored man, 
inroman and child. Said he : 

'* I would rather see a colored man on 'change than a colored man in 
Congress. We have produced a Fred Douglass, now we want a James 
B. Bads. We are in a large degree a landless, a tradeless and a homeless 
race. We are too much absorbed by politics; the best talent of the 
Negro is engaged in political machinations, scheming to elect some white 
man to office, or praying for the ** New Jerusalem ** to descend down out 
of Heaven. Emigrants from the most fecund blood of Europe are 
inarching by our doors in platoons of ten thousand deep, to the posses- 
sion of the fertile lands of the West. They create a "New Jerusalem" 
for themselves, but the ** New Jerusalem ** for the Negro never comes. 
We loiter about in the big cities, living on the offals of the wealthy that 
overawes and overshadows us at every turn. But we stay until some 
^reat city springs up in the West and the trains are burdened with the 
commerce of the new lands, then we go West with the broom and white 
jacket. We should have gone West with the hoe and the plow. This is 
the age of material progress ; the engineer has replaced the scholar ; the 
mathematician instead of puzzling his brain over the problems of Euclid, 
is wrestling with the "Bulls and Bears on 'change.*' The Greek gram- 
marian has been supplanted by the machinist, and the man who would 
hunt for a hundred years to find out the meaning of a Hebrew dot only 
illustrates the intellectual fool of our modem times. Railroads, big farms, 
manufactories, steam engines, electric lights, cable cars and the telegraph, 
arc the text books of to-day ; and if the Negro will not stud\' to under- 
stand, control and take possession of these, he cannot keep pace with 
the progress of the age. 

On the subject of emigration he said : 

Stop this crying of emigration ; lay hold where you are ; get together, 
put your dollars together like you put your votes and see if the result 
"win not bring more lands, houses, and offices too, for the enjoyment of 
the colored people. Financial unity will establish that bond of interest 
that brings better social, personal and political harmony and power. 
Our oath-bound organization may be a strong tie, but an organization 
bound together by "Dollars,'* welded by business* girded by houses, 


trades, lands and mannfactories, forms a bond of general, political and 
personal, as well as financial union to which the obligations of secret 
organizations appear bat as a rope of sand. 

In a recent editorial upon the same subject he has said : 

Aside from all political considerations, whether the Negro should be 
Democrat, Republican or Independent or become equally divided among^ 
all factions seeking to elevate the national policy or control government, 
the great need of the race to-day is a thorough knowledge and the skill- 
ful training in the various fields of mechanism and labor. If the energies 
wasted among the Negroes in tr3ring to reach great political prominence, 
were directed toward acquiring a knowledge of the necessary and useful 
arts, th«» next generation of American Negroes would come forth full- 
fledged and equipped as artisans, and thrifty business men, skilled car- 
vers in wood, iron and stone structures, and whatever enters into the 
convenience, comfort and facilities of our organization. 

Such doctrines as these are calculated to be of immense 
value to the people. He has vigorously taught and in- 
sisted on industrial institutions, and his paper is sound on 
all questions touching the progress of the race and up- 
building of waste places. 

He has a wife and four children, one dead, and his pos- 
sessions are valued at about five thousand dollars. 





First Martyr of the Revolutionary War— A Negro Whose Blood was 
Given for Liberty—" Blood the Price of Liberty." 

THE subject of this sketch was bom in slavery in 1723, 
and died in 1770. He ran away from his master, 
William Brown of Farmingham, Massachusetts, on the 
thirtieth of September, 1750, at the age of 27. He was a 
mulatto, six feet and two inches high. His master adver- 
tised for him in the following description: **Short, curly 
hair, his knees nearer together than common; had on a 
light colored bearskin coat, plain brown fustian jacket, or 
a brown wool one, new buckskin breeches, blue yam stock- 
ings and a checked woolen shirt. Whoever shall take up 
said runaway, convey him to above said master, shall 
receive ten pounds, old tenor reward, and all necessary 
charges paid. And all masters of vessels, or others, are 
hereby cautioned against concealing or carrying off said 
servant on penalty of the law. October 2, 1750.'* 

Only after much meditation and thought, he had broken 
away from the cruel chains that bound him, and was de- 
termined to be a free American citizen. He learned to read 
at odd times, and he used this accomplishment in under- 
standing the fundamental principles that underlie all regu- 

104 MEN OF MilRK. 

lated forms of governments. A fiery patriotism burned 
in his breast. He was anxious to avenge oppression in 
every form, not by fighting alone, but by the sacrifice of 
life, if necessary. Twenty years later, Crispus' name once 
more appeared in the journals of Boston. This time he 
was not advertised as a slave who had run away, nor was 
there a reward for his apprehension. His soul and body 
were beyond the cruel touch of master. The press had 
paused to announce his death and write the name of the 
Negro patriot, soldier and martyr to the ripening cause of 
the American Revolution, in fadeless letters of gold. 

On March 5, 1770, the Boston massacre occurred. The 
people had been oppressed by British tyranny, they had 
been treated as inferiors ; they were taxed without repre- 
sentation and their souls galled until they were maddened. 
When British troops, to add insult to injury, encamped 
upon their grounds, they could withhold no longer. They 
were greatly exasperated; they formed themselves into 
clubs and resolved to avenge themselves and gain their 
rights. They ran toward King street crying ** Let us drive 
out the ribalds. They have no business here." The rioters 
rushed fearlessly towards the custom house. They ap- 
proached the sentinel crying, ** Kill him ! Kill him ! *' It has 
been said that Crispus Attucks led one of these clubs, 
which has not been denied, but rather assented to. Botta 
speaking of it says: ** There was a band of the populace 
led by a mulatto named Attucks, who brandished their 
clubs and pelted them with snowballs." The scene was 
horrible. The populace advanced to the points of their 
bayonets. The soldiers appeared like statues. The howl- 


ings and violent din of bells still sounding the alarm, 
increased the confusion and the horrors of these moments. 
At length the mulatto and twelve of his companions press- 
ing forward environed the soldiers, striking their muskets 
-with their clubs, cried to the multitude, **Be not afraid, 
they dare not fire. Why do you hesitate? Why do you 
not kill them ? Why not crush them at once ?" 

Inspired by his words, his followers rushed madly on, and 
the soldiers, incensed by this act of insolence, answered 
the war-like cry by discharging their guns. Attucks had 
lifted his arm against Captain Preston and fell a victim to 
the mortal fire. Three were killed and five were severely 
wounded. The cry of bloodshed spread like wild-fire. 
People crowded the street, white with rage ; the bells rang 
out with alarm, and the whole country was aroused to 
battle. Attucks was buried from Fanueil Hall with great 
honor. He had led the people and made the attack. He 
was the first to resist and the first slain. His patriotism 
was the declaration of war. It was liberty to the op- 
pressed; it opened the way to modern civilization and in- 
dependence. It has blessed and will continue to bless 
generations yet unborn. He is rightly claimed as the 
savior of his country. No monument has ever been reared 
to his name. Repeated efforts have been made before the 
Massachusetts Legislature, and notwithstanding the vari- 
ous testimonies and the histories going to show that he 
w^as entitled to the honor we have here accorded him, 
upon a flimsy testimony the honor has been given to one 
Isaac Davis of Concord, a white man. George Williams, 


the historian of the race, in his very excellent work, uses 
these words in regard to Crispns Attucks : 

Attuckb bad addressed a letter to one Thomas Hutchinson, who was 
the Tory governor of the province, in which he had used these words : 
'* Sir, you will hear from us with astonishment. You ought to hear from- 
us with horror. You are chargeable before God and man with our blood. 
The soldiers are but passive instruments, mere machines, neither moral 
nor voluntary agents in our destruction, more than the leaden pellets 
with which we were wounded. 

** You were a free agent ; you acted coolly, deliberately, with all that pre- 
meditated malice, not against us in particular, but against the people in 
general, which, in sight of the law, is an ingredient in the composition o£ 
murder. You will hear from us further hereafter. 

**Crispus Attucks." 

This letter is taken from * Adams' Works/ Volume II, page 
322. Said Williams : 

This was the declaration of war and it was fulfilled. The world has 
heard from him, and more, the English speaking world will never forget 
the noble daring, the excusable rashness of Attucks in the holy cause of 
liberty. Eighteen centuries before He was saluted by death and kissed by 
immortality, another Negro bore the cross of Christ to Calvary for Him. 
And when the colonists were struggling wearily under their cross of woe». 
a Negro came to the front and bore that cross to the victory of glorious 
martyrdom ! 

A sketch also will be fotmd of his life in the * American 
Encyclopedia ' and in William C. Nell's books on the colored 
patriots of the Revolution. 








Hlectridaii-Mechaiiical-Bii^giiieer^Maniifacttirer of Telephone, Telegraph 
and Electrical Instruments. 

4 4 ^^ OME men are bom great ; some have greatness thrust 
*<-^ upon them; and some achieve greatness." To the 
last class belongs G. T. Woods, who was bom in Columbus, 
Ohio, April 23, 1856. He attended school until he was ten 
years of age, when he was placed in a machine shop where 
he learned the machinist and blacksmith trades. In the 
meantime he took private lessons and attended night school, 
and exhibited great pluck and perseverance in fitting himself 
for the work he desired to undertake. He pursued with assi- 
duity every study which promoted that end. November, 
1872, he left for the West, where he obtained work as a fire- 
man and afterwards as an engineer on one of the Iron Moun- 
tain Railroads of Missouri . While in the employ of the rail- 
road company he had a great deal of leisure, and as 
saloons had no attractions for him, he took up the study 
of electricity as a pastime. In December, 1874, he went to 
Springfield, Illinois, where he was employed in a rolling- 
mill. Early in 1876 he left for the East, where he received 
two years special training in electrical and mechanical en- 


gineering at college. While obtaining his special instruc- 
tions, he worked six half days in each week in a machine 
shop, the afternoon and evening of each day being spent in 
school. February 6, 1878, he went to sea in the capacity 
of engineer on board the Ironsides^ a British steamer. 
While a sailor, he visited nearly every country on the globe. 
During 1880 he handled a locomotive on the D. & S. Rail- 
road. Since then he has spent the major portion of his time 
in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he has established a factory for 
the purpose of carrying on the business, as indicated at the 
head of this sketch. A company has been fcTrmed recently 
for the purpose of placing Mr. Woods* Electrical Rail- 
way Telegraph on the market. Mr. Woods says that he 
has been frequently refused work because of the previous 
condition of his race, but he has had great determination 
and will and never despaired because of disappointments. 
He always carried his point by persistent efforts. He says 
the day is past when the colored boys will be refused work 
only because of race prejudice. There are other causes. 
First, the boy has not the nerve to apply for work after 
being refused at two or three places. Second, the boy 
should have some knowledge of mechanics. The latter 
could be gained at technical schools, which should be 
founded for the purpose. In this respect he shows good 
sense and really prophesies the future of the race, and 
these schools must sooner or later be established, and 
thereby we shall be enabled to put into the hands of our 
boys. and girls the actual means for a livelihood. He is 
the inventor of the ** Induction Telegraph,** a system for 
communicating to and from moving trains, and is intended 



to diminish the loss of life and property, and produce a 
maximum of safety to travelers. In the United States 
patent office, in the case of- Woods vs. Phelps^ Railway 
Telegraph Interference — ^L. M. Hosea, attorney for Woods, 
and W. D. Baldwin, attorney for Phelps — it will be shown 
that the patent office has decided that Mr. Woods was the 
prior inventor of this system. His rights having been ques- 
tioned, he secures this verdict which gives him triumphal 
possession of a great discovery. The following is taken 
from the Scienti£c American : 

The public prints give as almost daily accotints of railway collisions in- 
one section of the country or another. Every effort has been made to 
avert these. The general introduction of the telegraph has unquestion- 
ably done much in this direction ; but in thick weather the operatives at 
the railway stations could scarcely be looked to to guard x>oints of the 
road beyond their ken, and the railway switchman or signalman, as in 
other w^alks of life, is fallible. If railway signalmen could be found who 
require neither sleep nor rest, who are not subject to fits or spasms or 
spirituous excesses,, and, above all, having eyes to pierce the fog, then 
railroad travel would indeed be divested of its greatest terrors. But, 
taking human nature as we find it, we learn that so grave a re- 
sponsibility as the care of human life should never be thrust upon the 
shoulders of a single man. 

The •* Block System" recently introduced would, it was believed, 
prove a reliable means of preventing accidents on the rail, and it is but 
fair to say that it has made an excellent record ; but that it is not, under 
all conditions and circumstances, to be relied upon, there is abundant 
evidence. Only last week it failed to prevent a collision between two 
freight trains at New Brunswick, New Jersey', on the line of the Pennsyl- 
vania railroad, in which two lives were lost and property to the value of 
half a million dollars destroyed. It was of course only by mere chance 
that these trains were not carrying passengers. From this it may be in- 
ferred how pressing is the demand for some system in which the safety of 
the traveling public is not made to rely on an vmthinking and not 


always reliable atttomaton, or, still worse, upon the actioti of an over- 
"worked and irresponsible employee, whose perception of colors may be 

Many able electricians have believed the solution of this problem to lie 
within the domains of the electrical science; and those who have fol- 
lowed the drift of recent electrical endeavors are aware of the con- 
trivances, all looking towards the same goal, that have made their 
appearance. The general principle on which all these have been based 
was electrical communications between all trains, while en route, and 
the train despatcher; most of these systems have shown a certain degree 
of efficiency when tested under favorable conditions, but the best of them 
were subject to interruptions, and this, from the very nature of the work 
they were called upon to perform, has been rendered more or less uncer- 
tain, owing to the fact that they relied upon a direct contact with the 
conductor, either by a wire, wheel or brush. 

Now comes forward a practical system of train signaling, which does 
not rely upon contact at all; the electrical induction coil upon the 
moving train being distant from the conductor, lying between the track 
at least seven inches. 

The future possibilities of these new inventions appear to be very 
great ; jupt how far the system can be extended and applied it is impos- 
sible to foretell. But this appears to be certain ; the risk of disaster on 
railways will be greatly reduced from this time onward. 

Mr. Woods claims that his invention is for the purpose 
of averting accidents by keeping each train informed of the 
whereabouts of the one immediately ahead or following 
it ; in intercepting criminals ; in communicating with sta- 
tions from moving trains; and in promoting general, 

social and commercial intercourse. The following ap- 


peared in the Cincinnati Sun : 

Granville T. Woods, a young colored man of this city, has invented a 
new system of electrical motor, for street railroads. He has invented 
also a number of other electrical appliances, and the syndicate controlling 
his inventions think they have found Edison*s successor. 


The Cincinnati Colored Citizen, in its issue of January 
29, 1887, says : 

We take great pleasure in congratulating Mr. G. T. Woods on his suc- 
cess in becoming so prominent that his skill and knowledge of his chosen 
art compare with that of any one of our best known electricians of the 

The Catholic Tribune, January 14, 1886, said of him: 

Granville T. Woods, the greatest colored inventor in the history of the 
race, and equal, if not superior, to any inventor in the country, is destined 
to revolutionize the mode of street car transit. The results of his experi- 
ments are no longer a question of doubt. He has excelled in every pos- 
sible way in all his inventions. He is master of the situation, and his 
name will be handed down to coming generations as one of the greatest 
inventors of his time. He has not only elevated himself to the highest 
position among inventors, but he has shown beyond doubt the possi- 
bility of a colored man inventing as well as one of any other race. 

The following appeared in the American Catholic Tri- 
bune, April 1, 1887 (Cincinnati, Ohio): 

Mr. Woods, who is the greatest electrician in the world, still continues 
to add to his long list of electrical inventions. 

The latest device he invented is the Synchronous Multiplex Railway 
Telegraph. By means of this system, the railway despatcher can note 
the position of any train on the route at a glance. The system also pro- 
vides means for telegraphing to and from the train while in motion. 
The same lines may also be used for local message without interference 
with the regular train signals. 

This system may be used for other purposes. In fact, two hundred 
operators may use a single wire at the same time. Although the messages 
may be passing in opposite directions, they will not conflict with each 

In using the devices there is no possibility of collisions between trains, 
as each train can always be informed of the position of the other while 
in motion. Mr. Woods has all the patent office drawings for these de- 
vices, as your correspondent witnessed. 

112 M^ OF MARK. 

The patent office has twice declared Mr. Woods prior inventor of the 
induction railway telegraph as against Mr. Edison, who claims to be the- 
prior inventor. The Edison & Phelps company are now negotiating a 
consolidation with the Wood's Railway Telegraph company. 

It is recorded that a very distinguished preacher said: 
''If everything the Negro had invented was sunk at the 
bottom of the sea, the world would not miss them, and 
would move on as before." This was not true then, is not 
true now, and will be less so in the future. Hundreds of 
slaves invented instruments which have been taken by 
their masters and patented, and many others for want of 
means to put their inventions through the patent office and 
manufacture them, have sold their knowledge for almost 
a "mess of pottage." The future will bring forthmen who 
will yet astonish the world with inventions of labor- 
saving character, and add materially to the wealth of the 
nation, by producing those instruments which will decrease 
manual labor, multiply articles more rapidly, facilitate- 
communication and benefit mankind. 

Jeremiah a. brown. 11 



^tor-Carpenter and Joiner— Clerk— Deputy Sheriff— Turnkey and 

rON. JEREMIAH A. BROWN, or as he is familiarly 
L called ** Jere," was the^ first child of Thomas A. and 
ces J. Brown, Pittsburgh, Allegheny county, Pennsyl- 
u In that city on the fourteenth of November, 1841, 
ibject of our sketch first saw the light of day. His 
jer days were spent in that city where he attended 
1, having among his classmates such men as the Rev. 
min T. iTanner, D. D., Hon. T. Morris Chester, James 
Etdfbrd of Baltimore, Maryland, and many other dis- 
ished men, who are now prominently before the peo- 
3c continued in the pursuits of knowledge with these 
about his thirteenth year, when he accompanied his 
: as a^teamboatman on our Western rivers. This 
Ltion engaged his attention until his seventeenth year, 
he became very much imbued with the importance of 
Ivancementof himself in such a particular as to secure 
n the possibilities of a livelihood. To this end he 
td a trade, choosing that of a carpenter and joiner, 
e close of his seventeenth year he entered the shop of 
$ H. McClelland, Esq., as an apprentice. This gentle- 
was the foremost builder in that city at the time, 

Jeremiah a. brown. 113 


Legislator— Carpenter and Joiner— Clerk— Deputy Sheriff— Turnkey and 

HON. JEREMIAH A. BROWN, or as he is familiarly 
called **Jere,*' was the^ first child of Thomas A. and 
Frances J. Brown, Pittsburgh, Allegheny county, Pennsyl- 
Tania. In that city on the fourteenth of November, 1841, 
the subject of our sketch first saw the light of day. His 
younger days were spent in that city where he attended 
school, having among his classmates such men as the Rev. 
Benjamin T. Tanner, D. D., Hon. T. Morris Chester, James 
T. Bradford of Baltimore, Maryland, and many other dis- 
tinguished men, who are now prominently before the peo- 
ple. He continued in the pursuits of knowledge with these 
until about his thirteenth year, when he accompanied his 
father as a^teamboatman on our Western rivers. This 
avocation engaged his attention until his seventeenth year, 
when he became very much imbued with the importance of 
the advancementof himself in such a particular as to secure 
to him the possibilities of a livelihood. To this end he 
learned a trade, choosing that of a carpenter and joiner. 
At the close of his seventeenth year he entered the shop of 
James H. McClelland, Esq., as an apprentice. This gentle- 
man was the foremost builder in that city at the time, 

114* MEN OF MARK. 

and a gentleman known far and wide for his interest in 
the advancement of the colored people. Upon his entrance 
into this shop, it was the immediate signal for a number 
of the employees quitting work, stich was the prejudice ex- 
isting against a colored boy entering upon any of the 
trades; but Mr. McClelland promptly filled their places, 
with the remark: '*that that boy will stay in this shop 
until he learns the trade, if I have to fill it with black 
mechanics fi-om the South.'* Thus was the backbone of 
prejudice broken by this bold stand, and our young man 
remained and finished his trade with honor to himself, 
his race, and his fi*iendly employer. After finishing his 
apprenticeship, his parents decided to remove to Canada 
West, believing that it would be beneficial to the children, 
of whohi they had six, to be under a government that did 
not sanction human slavery. They desired to take their 
children away from its bUghting and withering efiects; 
not as practiced in its enormities, but as sanctioned by 
the laws of Ohio, which were then known as the ''black 
laws," and against which he has had an opportunity to 
battle in the Legislature of Ohio. These black laws were 
very obnoxious to the colored citizens and have con- 
stantly provoked unlimited antagonism from them and 
their ardent white fi*iends. Young Brown accompanied 
them to Canada and settled near Chatham, Ontario. Upon 
the inauguration of the Civil War he returned to the 
United States and located in St. Louis, Missouri, and 
again returned to steamboating, but firom time to time 
paid visits to his parents. 
January 17, 1864, he was married to Miss Mary A. 

JBRElflAH A. BROWN. 115 

Wheeler, of Chatham, Ontario, a sister of Hon. Lloyd 
G. Wheeler, of Chicago Illinois, and the Rev. Robert 
F. Wheeler, of Hartford, Connecticut. Returning to St. 
Louis, he remained there a short time and then he decided 
to settle in the State of Ohio. With that end in view he 
went there in 1869 or 1870, stopping at Wilberforce, Ohio, 
to which place his parents had removed for the purpose of 
educating their youngest children. After prospecting in 
several cities in the southern part of Ohio, he determined 
npon Cleveland as the place where he would locate and lay 
the foundation for a useful and happy life ; and here he 
has remained ever since. A few years' residence found him 
an active participant in the political field. His first po- 
litical position was a bailiff of the probate court of that 
county ; then he was deputy sheriff and turnkey of the 
county prison for four years, and clerk of the ** City Boards 
of Equalization and Revision/* Then he obtained a posi- 
tion in the postoffice as letter-carrier and remained in the 
employ of the general government until the fall of 1885, 
when he secured the nomination on the Republican ticket 
as representative in the Ohio Legislature from Cuyahoga 
county, being elected by nearly three thousand majority 
over the highest competitor on the Democratic ticket — an 
honor bv no means small. His career has been short, and 
yet long enough to show that he has made due effort to 
wipe out those prescriptive laws of the State which we 
have spoken of above. He made a telling speech on the 
subject Marcli 10, 1886, a bill having been introduced by 
the Hon. Benjamin W. Amett. Said he: 


All the colored man desires, Mr. Speaker, is that he be given the same 
legislation that is accorded to other men. No man can deny that we- 
have proven ourselves other than tnie, patriotic and honorable citizens. 
Going back to the early days of the history of our country, where the 
picture is presented of the black man, in person of Crispus Attucks shedding 
his blood, the first spilt in the great American war for freedom, we are 
forced to stand appalled at that country's ingratitude. When, again, I 
bring in this galaxy of bright lights, Benjamin Banneker, the great mathe- 
matician, and those brave men of my race who fought, bled and died for 
my country in the War of 1812, 1 ask you, gentlemen, is such ostracism the 
reward for that heroism and devotion ? But when I contemplate the ac- 
tions of the American Negro on the battlefield of the South — at the many 
scenes of carnage in which he was engaged during the late War of the 
Rebellion — with what heroism he performed deeds of valor, showing and 
demonstrating his ability even at the cannon's mouth, my very heart 
bleeds for the foul blot heaped upon the countless thousands of black 
men, who laid their lives upon their country's altar tor the establishment 
and the perpetuity of this government. In that Southland my race put 
on the blue, shouldered their muskets, and to-day their bones lie bleach- 
ing on dozens of battlefields, where they were massacred by those who 
sought to destroy this fair land. What, gentlemen, I ask you, is the 


reward Ohio gives those of her black sons whose bones are scattered 

Further on, in reference to these black laws, he says : 

Repeal them, and to your ensign will cluster the friendship of my race — 
redress our g^evances with that power delegated to every American 
citizen. Defeat this bill, and the wrath of the colored voters will bury 
you beneath their ballots cast by as loyal citizens as the sun of Heaven 
looks down upon. Repeal them, and in after years when we show our 
children these obnoxious and pernicious laws, explaining to them the dis- 
advantages we were subjected to, by and under them, we can teach them 
to love and venerate the memories of those who were instrumental in 
giving us equal facilities with our more than favored brethren. 

Mr. Brown is connected with the Masonic fraternity of 
Ohio, by whom he is highly honored and respected, as is. 


readily shown by the numerous positions he has held. For 
a number of years he has held, and is at this time holding, 
the grand secretaryship of the Grand Lodge F. A. A. M. of 
the Grand Chapter R. A. M. ; Grand Recorder of the Grand 
Commandery of Knights Templars and of the order of 
High Priesthood ; he is also a member of the Carpenters' 
and Joiners' Brotherhood of America; believing that or- 
ganization, if good for white men, is equally, if not more, 
beneficial to the black men. His early education was ac- 
quired in the common schools of his native State, with a 
short course in the Avery College of Allegheny, Pennsyl- 
vania. At that time the facilities and opportunities for 
-acquiring an education were far below what are now in 
vogue. There were no opportunities for black men other 
than situations of a menial and degrading character to be 
obtained ; but he, imbued with the firm determination to 
enter the race of life, succeeded in arriving at a point 
where he can be called a successful man, and has indeed 
risen from the carpenter's bench, and a common laborer on 
a steamboat, to the distinguished position of a lawmaker 
of the State of Ohio. His religious training was under 
the A. M. E. Church while a youth, but he is not connected 
with any denomination now, but attends the Congre- 
gational Church, the Sabbath school of which is and has 
been under the superintendency of his wife for about eight 
years. In financial affairs he has succeeded moderately, 
being worth probably five thousand dollars. Ma)- his life 
and success be some encouragement for those who find life 
hard and labor become unprofitable. 




Editor of the Washin^on Bee — Vigorous and Antagonistic Writer — 
Politician — Agitator. 

WHATEVER maybe said for or against Mr. Chase, it 
can well be remarked that he is a true friend, an untir- 
ing enemy, a defender of his race, and a lover of his home. 
Mistakes he has made, no doubt, and yet they were in be- 
half of his convictions or when he has been mistaken as to 
the justice of the cause*which promoted him to act. He 
has led a life of agitation, turmoil and combats, and has 
taken and given many blows, and, like the ** Black Knight *' 
of Scott's matchless *Ivanhoe,' he has unhorsed many a 
Front-de-Boeny and Atheist ane — using both sword and 
battle-axe. Relying as I do on his written views, news- 
paper articles and other material before me, I have 
attempted to famish the facts with little comment. But 
let it now be said that while Mr. Chase may differ from any 
one, yet he is a pleasant and agreeable companion at any 
time, and those from whom he has differed are all distin- 
guished friends of his. His paper has a motto which 
greatly interprets the man, viz: ** Honey for friends and 
stings for enemies." The next birthday of Mr. Chase will 
occur on February 2, 1888, when he will be thirty-four 
years of age. He is still a very young man. His father, 

"T^n.Sfinf^ i 


William H. Chase, was a blacksmith, and one of the lead- 
ing citizens of Washington, District of Columbia, during 
his day. He was shot by a man named Charles Posey, in 
1863, who called at his place of business, pretending that 
he wanted him to examine a revolver, claiming that it was 
the one that was used by a man who killed a woman in 
the southern section of the city. Posey said the revolver 
was not loaded ; but as soon as Mr. Chase was handed, he 
refused it, and told him to take it away, it might do 
harm, and before he had finished this remark the deadly 
weapon went off and he was shot through the heart. His 
owTi brother (Chase's) immediately asserted that it 
i^as an accident. Very soon after his death, and before 
any of Mr. Chase's immediate family arrived, he was 
robbed of every cent he had in his pockets. The death of 
Mr. Chase left his widow with six small children. Young 
Chase being the only boy, had many hardships to encoun- 
ter, as will be seen in the history of his life. His mother 
-was a Lucinda Seaton of Virginia, a daughter of one of 
the most aristocratic colored families of that State, and 
who is at this time one of the leading citis^ens of Washing- 
ton. She is a woman of determined will, who has suc- 
ceeded in educating her children. One is married to Rev. 
E. W. Williams, principal of Ferguson's Academy, which 
she established, and lives in Abbeville, South Carolina; 
two are teaching in the public schools of Washington ; an- 
other is employed in the government printing office at 
Washington, and has the reputation of having excelled a 
steam folding machine in folding papers. 
During the struggle of Mrs. Chase to educate her chil- 

1 20 MEN OP MARK. 

dren, she met with opposition on all sides, mainly from her 
husband's relatives, some of whom brought suits, aggre- 
gating eight thousand dollars, against her. William H. 
Chase was also a musician, and it is said that he performed 
skillfully on the violin and bass violin, the latter of which 
was the cause of a lawsuit in the Orphan's court. The 
instrument was left to his son, and. at the time of the death 
of Mr. Chase, his nephew had it in his possession, and de- 
clined to give it up until forced to do so by order of the 
court. Young Chase did not take to music ; his ambition 
was journalism. To be successful in that, he knew that it 
was necessary to acquire a good education. He was only 
ten years old at the death of his father, and knowing that 
his mother had a heavy responsibility on her, he began to 
sell newspapers. The prejudice against colored newsboys 
was so great that they were not allowed by the white 
newsboys to come where they were. Chase managed to 
receive his papers through a colored gentleman who was 
employed by the Star Publishing Company, by the name 
of George Johnson, who did all in his power to aid him. 
Young Chase always knew how to ingratiate himself in 
the good graces of those who had charge of newspapers, 
so much so that he succeeded when others failed. He was 
well known around every newspaper office of any promi- 
nence in Washington, and became one of the most popular 
newsboys in the city. Before the death of his father, he 
attended the private school of John F. Cook, present col- 
lector of taxes in the District of Columbia. Leaving this 
school after the death of his father, he began his noted 
career as a newsboy. He would sell papers before school 


in the morning, and after it in the afternoon. While so 
doing, he met a white lady who became impressed with his 
manners, and she asked him if he did not want a place; 
he said he did. She gave him her card and requested him 
to call at her boarding place the next day. Calling as re- 
quested, he was given a pen and ink to write his name ; he 
coTild not do so, but in less than three days he accom- 
plished the task. He was but eleven years old then. Still 
more impressed was the lady; she secured him a place 
with HoUey & Brother, wholesale hat manufacturers in 
Methuen, Massachusetts. Not caring much for the busi- 
ness, he attended a white school taught by a lady named 
Mrs. Swan. He remained there some time, and finally 
"wrote to his mother to allow him to come home. So ap- 
pealing was his letter that his mother consented. It was 
in this tow^n that Chase conceived the importance of an 
education ; there, too, he got an idea of the printing busi- 
ness, and his ambition continued to force him to get an 
education to enable him \o become a useful man. He 
declared when a boy, that he would some day become 
an editor. 

On returning home he took up selling papers again, making 
himself a kind of utility boy around newspaper offices, and 
got a good idea of newspaper business. He left the public 
school and entered the Howard University Model School, 
*'B" class, and remained in that department two years, 
passed a successful examination, and was recommended by 
his teacher as qualified to enter the preparatory department. 
During his stay in Howard University I was his teacher 
for a short while, and found him one of the brightest in the 


class. His wife was also a pupil of mine. Just as he was* 
about to enter college he received an appointment in the 
government printing office, at which place he remained two 
years. He did not get the place promised by the public 
printer ; for this, and injustice to the colored employees in 
the office, he assigned as good reasons for denouncing the 
public printer, which he did. This wto his first public 
act, although prior to this he had made himself prominent 
in politics and was recommended for a consulship, having; 
been endorsed by the most prominent Republican cam- 
paign organizations in the dty, by members of Congress^ 
and Senator Thomas W. Ferry of Michigan. After leav- 
ing the government printing office he filed charges with the 
President against the public printer, A. M. Clapp, and in- 
troduced a resolution in the Hayes and Wheeler campaign 
club, of which he was secretary. Colored men under Clapp 
called a meeting for the purpose of denouncing Chase and 
refuting his charges against Clapp ; but Chase arrived at 
the hall just as the resolution was about to pass, and told 
them that if such a resolution was adopted he would ex- 
pose all those who had urged him to denounce Mr. Clapp- 
on account of his injustice to the Negro. The resolution 
did not pass. He gives the following account of the 
rupture between himself and Mr. Douglass : 

Mr. Frederick Douglass, who had been appointed United States marshal 
by President Hayes, heard that I was to begiven an appointment, said to 
me that he would like to have me in his office, ' ' and as the President is to give 
you an appointment," said Douglass, " tell him if he ( President Hayes) will 
send me a letter, I will appoint you." I called on President Hayes and 
informed him of what Mr. Douglass had said. The President, after looking 
over my papers, wrote a personal letter to Mr. Douglass. The letter was. 


handed to him by me. The '' Old Man Eloquent " said, *' Ah ! Mr. Chase, 
joa have caught me on the fly. Come in and I will see what I can do for 
yon." After entering Mr. Douglass' office, he said, *' Chase, call in, in a 
few days; I am going to discharge a man and put you on.*' In the mean- 
time Mr. Clapp, who had \)ctn requested to resign his office, wrote to 
Mr. Douglass and informed him that he had heard that the President had 
recommended me to him for an appointment ; that the charges I made 
against him were false. In reply Mr. Douglass wrote to Mr Clapp and 
said : " Although the President has requested me to appoint Mr. Chase, 
I don't know whether I shall do it or not." I was informed of the letter 
of Mr. Douglass by a colored man and a friend of his, employed in the 
press room of the government printing office, to whom Mr. Clapp read 
the letter. I called on Mr. Douglass and informed him of the letter writ- 
ten to Mr. Clapp, and before Mr. Douglass replied, his son Lewis, then 
depu ty marshal, denied it. I said that such a letter was written, and 
any one who attempted to deny it was a liar. L. Douglass said: "I 
iRron't appoint you now, any way." I said it made no difference to me, 
and demanded that the letter sent to Mr. Douglass by the President be 
returned to me, and said that I would inform the President that he refused 
to appoint me, after having promised. Mr. Douglass said "no, as the 
President's letter was a personal one to him." I then asked for a 
copy of the letter, at the request of ex-mayor Bowen. Mr. Douglass 
declined. I had become somewhat noted as a newspaper correspondent, 
and in every letter to the Boston Observer I remembered Mr. Douglass, 
and 'would paragraph him in the most pointed manner, and they would 
appear weekly, greatly to the discomfort of Mr. Douglass and much to 
my gratification. I returned to President Hayes, but before seeing him 
talked with his private secretary, Mr. W. K. Rodgers. I was given a card 
to the President and related to him the actions of Mr. Douglass. The 
President seemed to be somewhat indignant, and said that Mr. Douglass 
had nothing to do with the action of the Invincible Club against Mr. 
Clapp. He gave me a letter to the postmaster-general. Six months 
later Mr. Douglass met me in the presence of Captain O. S. B. Wall, and 
seemed to be greatly aggrieved at the letters written by me to the Bos- 
ton Observer, and asked me what I was doing. I told him ; whereupon 
be invited me to call and see him. I called and told Mr. Douglass that 
the President had given me a letter to Postmaster-General Key. Doug 


lass Yoluntsered ito 'ondocse the President's recommendation. While mjr 
.appointment was pending, some of my enemies heard that the postmaster 
.intended to appoint me to an important position. To defeat this, an 
.anonymous letter, denouncing the President's "Southern Policy," was 
written and the name of the secretary of the Hayes and Wheeler Invinci- 
ible Club signed. The letter stated that I denounced the President's policy 
•and was organizing a new African party, which would prove detrimental 
to the President and the Republican party. This letter was sent to the 
postmaster, and I failed to get the appointment. 

Although the Boston Observer had suspended, a new 
paper had been started, known as the Washington Plains- 
dealer, edited by Dr. King, a West Indian. Mr. Chase 
was made reporter and the " Chit-Chat " editor. He was 
considered a valuable news and society, editor. Not being 
satisfied with the policy of the paper, he resigned and 
turned his interest over to A. St. A. Smith and A. W. De 
Leon. Mr. Douglass became a supporter of the Plain- 
dealer, Mr. Chase turned his attention to the manage- 
ment of the public schools and endeavored to reform them. 
He claimed to know of immorality existing in the schools 
and prepared several specifications of charges against cer- 
tain trustees. Commissioner Dent requested the trustees, 
a^gainst whom these charges were made to answer them. 
They were all denied, but were proven by Mr. Chase. 
One of the trustees was removed, but the other was re- 
tained, owing to some doubt on the part of the commis- 
sioners, as this trustee had offered the Colored Normal 
School bill which would have benefited the colored peo- 
ple. Chase called a public meeting and charged these men 
openly with ha\nng corrupted the schools. The meeting 
w^as packed by the friends of the trustees with society 


friends. These were charged by Mr. Chase with attempt- 
ing to hide corruption and keeping a set of corrupt men in 
office. The meeting was taken from Mr. Chase and his 
friends, and resolutions adopted endorsing the trustees. 
Notwithstanding this, Mr. Chase filed his charges and 
proved them. Previous to this Mr. Douglass had made 
up with Mr. Chase, but Mr. Douglass had been informed 
by one of the trustees that Mr. Chase was using the letter 
sent by Mr. Douglass to Postmaster-General Key in con- 
nection with the charges against the trustees. Mr. Doug- 
lass came out in the following card in the National Repub- 
lican of Washington : 

Washington, District of Columbia, September 25, 1876. 

To iivhom it may concern : 

Wliereas, one William C. Chase, is using a letter of mine in connection 

-with certain charges against the tmstees of the public schools, I desire 

to say that I have lost confidence in said Chase and withdraw my letter 

ofendorsementof him. 

Very Respectfully, etc. 

Frederick Douglass. 

Mr. Chase said in a public speech **that Mr. Douglass 
knew that he was using no letter of his." The letter re- 
ferred to was on file in the postoffice department, and was 


not withdrawn until after the appearance of Mr. Douglass' 
card, which was certified to by General 0. P. Bumside,the 
disbursing officer of that department. During this fight 
President Hayes had given Mr. Chase another letter, this 
time to the district commissioners, for an appointment. 
Captain Phelps, one of the commissioners, opposed Mr. 
Chase's appointment on representations made to him by 
the friends of the trustees, while Commissioner J. Dent 


favored it and would listen to nothing said by his 
Mr. Chase, however, did not secure the appointment. 
Presuming that he would give the President a rest for a 
while, he accepted the editorship of the Argus, ivhich vras 
offered him. at that time edited by Charles N. Otey, one of 
brainiest men known to the colored race. The Argus was the 
controlled by a board of directors. Mr. Otey retired and 
Mr. Chase appointed to succeed him, with Captain G. W. 
Graham, business manager. He changed the name of the 
paper to that of the Free Lance. The change of the name 
excited great feeling among the people, as they knew of the 
vindictiveness and determination of Mr. Chase to expose 
fraud and get even with those whom he considered enemies. 
Nor did he disappoint them. His first attack was made on 
Senator John Sherman, then the secretary of the treasury; 
** the schools," ** police force," and the National Republican 
committee for not appointing colored men in the cam- 
paign. So great was the feeling of the Republicans against 
him, that the board of directors, who were all office- 
holders, while they dared not remove Mr. Chase, sold out 
the ])aper to L. H. Douglass, H.Johnson, M. M. Holland, 

and others, office-holders, claimed by Mr. Chase to be his 


enemies. The sell out of the Argus Publishing Company 
greatly pleased his opposers, for the name of Chase was 
becoming a household word, and notwithstanding his 
manv defeats, he conceived the idea that he would sink or 
swim in his next attempt. 

He went to the President and asked for another appoint- 
ment ; this time the President jmt him off; he left, got 
additional endorsements from prominent Republicans in 


Virginia, among whom was one of Colonel Sampson P. 
Bailey, in whose interest he canvassed the IJighth Con- 
gressional District, Colonel John F. Lewis and many 
others. He returned to him and presented a letter which 
w^as referred to his private secretary, who was very favor- 
ably disposed towards Mr. Chase. When asked where he 
wanted to go, Mr. Chase replied, '*Back to the govern- 
ment printing office; foreman of the lower paper ware- 
house," a position then held by a white man. Mr. Chase 
called on Mr. John D. Defrees whose nomination was 
pending. He promised to appoint Mr. Chase, but as soon 
as it became known that Mr. Chase was to return to that 
office, the friends of Mr. Clapp commenced to work on Mr. 
Defrees' prejudice. After his confirmation by the United 
States Senate, a minor place was offered him, which he 
declined. At this time an investigation against Defrees, 
and Clapp was instigated by Hon. Ebenezer B. Finley of 
Ohio, chairman of the sub-committee on expenditures. 
Mr. Chase was subpoenaed by that committee, which be- 
came known at the government printing office ; he was 
sent for by H. Robert, foreman of the bindery. After this 
subpcena he was appointed in the government printing 
office, but remained only one week, as the place was not 
w^hat he desired. Before Douglass was transferred from 
the marshalship to recorder of deeds, a public meeting 
w^as called by the friends of John T. Johnson to endorse 
him for the place of Douglass. Mr. Chase opposed the 
resolution, and asked that Douglass be retained and John- 
son be endorsed for recorder of deeds, to which Mr. Doug- 
lass was subsequently appointed. 


Although Mr. Douglass had been requested not to ap- 
point Mr. Chase in his office, he did so eventually. This 
was considered a victory for Mr. Chase after the publica- 
tion of Mr. Douglass' card. While in this office Mr. Chase 
wrote a severe criticism on the * History of the Negro 
Race ' by Colonel G. W. Williams, of which Mr. Douglass 
was accused; it was in this office that Mr. Chase was 
accused of being inspired to criticise and condemn the 
political course of Hon. R. Purvis. He was editing the 
Bee at the time. He denied all accusations against Mr. 
Douglass. A /heated correspondence passed between 
Messrs. Douglass and Purvis. Mr. Purvis requested 
the discharge of Mr. Chase, but Mr. Douglass refused to 
comply, and suggested that Mr. Purvis meet him on equal 
grounds and not ask him to do that which would not be 
honorable. Mr. Purvis became very indignant at this, and 
instigated a criminal libel suit against Mr. Chase, which 
was subsequently withdrawn. 

Mr. Chase was not satisfied with the position in Mr. Doug- 
lass' office, and Hon. B. K. Bruce, who was a statmchMend 
of his, was accompanied by Mr. Douglass to see the secre- 
tary of war, Hon. R. T. Lincoln, to obtain a better place. 
It is said that instead of Mr. Douglass recommending Mr. 
Chase, he recommended some one else, which greatly em- 
barrassed Mr. Bruce, who requested Mr. Chase to go with 
him to see Mr. Lincoln. Two weeks later Mr. Chase was 
notified to appear in examination, after which he received 
a probationary appointment for four months, at the end 
of which, his appointment was made permanent. Then his 
thoughts were turned to the law department of Howard 


University, where he remained one year, when he was asked 
to enter the Virginia Republican canvass, which he did, 
and which necessarily compelled him to give up the study 
of law. He took an active part in the campaign of '84, 
both in person and with his paper, the Bee, In 1885, he 
went as one of the delegates from the convention of colored 
citizens to President Cleveland, to request him to review 
the Emancipation Day parade. At the conclusion of re- 
marks by Mr. Chase, the President produced a copy of the 
Bee containing the following article : 


We are constrained to say that the time has come when murder and 
^ assassination of black Republicans in the South must cease. The 
"Hie has come for the Negroes and loyal white people of this country to 
Aow to the world that there is purity in American politics. In the State 
w Louisiana, a few days ago, the most cowardly and bloody murders 
"'*'' committed. Innocent colored Republicans were shot down by 
**™ocrats like dogs. The same was a repetition of the past brutalities, 
when helpless colored female virgins and babes were snatched from their 
°^s and murdered. The scene in the South on last Tuesday has 
raised the indignation of over five millions of true black American citi- 
2^s. It is time for every American Negro in the South to make an appeal 
to arms and fire everA' Democratic home where Negro-killers live, from a 
P^^ to a hut, in retaliation for the foul and dastardly murders that 
'^^ committed in the South. We speak without fear and in de- 
fense of the helpless Negro. It is far more noble to die the death of a 
"^^^^n than an ignominious slave. The hundred and fifty-three elec- 
toral votes from the South were obtained through theft and assassination ; 
*Cu«nes of the most outrageous character were resorted to ; Negroes 
murdered; ballot boxes stuffed; peaceable citizens were imprisoned 
to prevent them frqm exercising the rights of elective franchise. Under 
^floe circumstances it will cost the lives of millions to inaugurate Grovcr 

Mr. Chase informed the President that he was the author 


of the article; that it was written in the heat of the Presi- 
dential campaign ; that the Copiah, Danville, and Louisiana 
massacres were the causes of the publication of the article; 
but since it was decided that he was the legally elected 
President, no paper had been as conservative as the Bee. 
Mr. Cleveland said that his life was in danger when the 
article appeared ; he condemned it and called upon all other 
citizens to do likewise. Nearly every paper in the country 
had something to say. The Democratic papers were loud 
in their condemnation of Mr. Chase, and in all directions of 
the city, groups of persons could be seen discussing ** Chase 
and the President.'' 

Many Republicans who knew that what Chase said 
was true, were among those who condemned him. At 
the request of the President, Mr. Chase sent him different 
copies of his paper, and it was thought that this would 
tend to appease him, as Mr. Chase had supported him 
after his inaugural address, which contained some kind 
words in behalf of the Negro. On the twenty-fifth of April, 
about ten days after Mr. Chase had called on the Presi- 
dent, he received his discharge from the War Department, 
by order of the President and W. C. Endicott, secretary 
of war. Long before the ascendency of the Democratic 
party, attempts had been made to have Mr. Chase dis- 
charged. These charges had no effect with Secretary Lin- 
coln as Senator Bruce frustrated them. Mr. Chase was 
elected one of the vice-presidents of the Louisville conven- 
tion, and was first to nominate Rev. W. J. Simmons, presi- 
dent of the National Press convention, to which he was 
elected, and was himself elected historian of said association. 



August 4» 1886. General Logan said that ''Mr. Chase 
was one of the brightest young men he knew, and one 
who will succeed." Mr. Chase has been indicted for libel 
five times and convicted once, the fine being fifty dollars. 
He was married January 28, 1886, to Miss Arabella Y. 
McCabe, a very accomplished lady in music and literature. 
His wedding was one of the grandest that ever took place 
in Washington. Presents were received fi-om all parts of 
the country. He is now editor of the Washington Bee, 
which is flourishing. His office is fitted up in style, all the 
material of which is his own. Although the fights be- 
tw^een Messrs. Chase and Douglass were bitter, they sub- 
sequently became fiiends, and for three successive years 
Mr. Douglass was elected Emancipation orator through 
the influence of Mr. Chase. He had become so popular 
that a young lady, Miss Susie Brown, named her school 
for him. On account of his great height and massive 
form, he is often called a **long, narrow, slender slice of 
night.** This name was given him by the Sunday Capital. 
In the press convention of 1880, held in Washington, he 
was .the only editor North who read a paper favoring 
separate schools; when he had finished, his address was 
endorsed by the entire Southern presS; without one ex- 

His report at the Press convention, on Southern out- 
rages, was highly commended by the Philadelphia Press. 
Mr. Chase is a determined man and has an undaunted dis- 
position, and will never give up as long as there is a fight- 
ing chance. He delights to have a broil on hand , and seems 
never happier than when he hears the shouts of battle 


and the clash of arms. The Bee was foremost in the fight 
concerning the Matthews-Recorder-of-Deeds-muddle. Mr. 
Chase made ^ gallant fight, which, while it did not secure 
the nomination of Mr. Matthews, whipped the Senatorial 
children soundly and compelled them to confirm Mr. Trot- 
ter. They did not dare fiimish the occasion for another 
battle. They dared not go home with the Bee behind them . 
They had felt its sting already and did not care to con- 
tinue to need it further. A full statement of the case will 
be found under the name of Mr. J. C. Matthews. Truly 
did he furnish ** stings for the enemies " of the race. 





Bishop of the A. M. E. Zion Church— Church Organicer and Builder— 
Aasistant Superintendent of Public Instruction— His Many Contests 
For Civil Rights on Steamboats and Cars. 

ONE of the most influential men in this country is 
Bishop Hood. His labors have been crowned with 
abundant success, and his acknowledged ability marks him 
as a special favorite. He has a large amount of what is 
called character. He is the son of a preacher, and his life 
shows that all ** preachers' sons *' are not bad. The names 
of his parents deserve to be mentioned. The family con- 
stituted one of the thirteen families who founded the 
separate Methodist church in Wilmington, Delaware. He 
^vas born in Kennett township, Chester county, Pennsj^l- 
vania. May 30, 1831. At the age of twenty-five, being 
converted, he felt a call to preach the gospel. In 1859 he 
was received on trial in the New England conference of the 
A. M. E. Zion church. In 1860 he was ordained deacon 
and sent to Nova Scotia missions. The year 1863 found 
him stationed at Bridgeport, Connecticut. This same 
vear he was sent to North Carolina, where he now lives 
**as the first of his race appointed as a regular missionary 
to the Freedmen in the South.'' 
He has founded in North Carolina, South Carolina and 


Virginia over six hundred churches, and erected under his 
supervision about five hundred church buildings. He was 
elected bishop of the General Conference which held its 
session inNorth Carolina, in 1872. He was elected amem- 
ber of the Ecumenical Conference, in London, in 1881. 
He has published a volume of sermons, to which Rev. At- 
ticus G. Haygood, agent of the Slater fand, has written a 
complimentary introduction in which he says : 

These sermons speak for themselves ; their naturalness, their clearness, 
their force and their general soundness of doctrine and wholesomeness of 
sentiment, commend them to sensible and pious people. I have found 
them as useful as interesting. Those who still question whether the 
Neg^o in this country is capable of education and refinement, will modifj 
their opinion when they read these sermons, or else they will conclude 
that their author is a very striking exception to what they assume is a 
general rule. Bishop Hood entertains many broad and important views- 
as to the wants, duties and future of his p>eople. He believes that their 
best interests are to be conserved in preserving the race from admixture 
with other bloods. They should, he thinks, hang together, and he is per- 
suaded that if his p>eople are to succeed permanently and broadly in this 
country, they must largely work out their own salvation. 

He has twenty-one very able and comprehensive sermons 
in the book, well worth the reading. Besides peculiarly 
striking sermons by Bishops S.J.Jones, J.J. Moore, J. P. 
Thompson, Thomas H. Lomax, some of the themes 
treated in Bishop Hood's book, are **The Claims of the 
Gospel Message ; " * * Personal Consecration ; ' ' * * Divine 
Sonship;'' ** The Sequence of Wondrous Love;'* **WTiy 
was the Rich Man in Torment?'* **The Streams which 
Gladden God's City ; " **The Glory Revealed in the Chris- 
tian Character; " ** David's Root and Offspring, or Venus 
in the Apocalypse." 


Bishop Hood went to North Carolina in January •1864. 
At Newbem, during that year, in the absence of the chapH 
lain, he preached to the colored troops and was often 
called "chaplain," but he never held the commission as 
such. He went there as missionary, under General Butler's 
invitation to the churches to send missionaries into his 
department. Newbem was twice attacked after he went 
there, so that he understands what it is to be under Con- 
federate fire. Among the ** first*' conventions, if not the 
first of them all, of colored men in the South, was the one 
in October, 1865, in Raleigh. In this meeting he was 
elected president as the "dark horse." Three other candi- 
dates had packed delegations as it appears, and thus de- 
feated each other. The opening speech in that convention 
was the subject of much comment fi-om the press, some 
not very complimentary to the speaker. He was reminded 
"that hemp grew in that part of the State." It was the 
first time that a black man had so publicly stated that the 
Negro was among those who came from one blood, and 
among those whom the Declaration of Independence in- 
cluded as endowed with inalienable rights, liberty and the 
pursuit of happiness; a right to the jury-box, cartridge 
box, and ballot box, were among the demands which he 
said the colored people would contend for, and that with 
the help of God. He was reminded in some of the bitter 
papers at the time that he would get all these in one box. 
In 1868 he demanded and obtained cabin passage on the 
Cape Fear steamers. The agents told him that nothing 
but the fact that the city was under military authority 
caused the company to yield to his demand. He advised 

] 36 MEN OP MARK. 

the bishop not to attempt to take advantage of this, as it 
would be the worse for him when the military was with- 
drawn. The answer was characteristic of the man. He 
said he would enjoy it while he could, and trust the Lord 
for the balance. His right, however, has never been ques- 
tioned on that river since. This proves what we have 
often said, that, if colored men would demand what be- 
longs to them they could very many times get it, but be- 
cause of their indifference and littleness of soul, they are 
often shoved into places where it is a disgrace to go. He 
also broke the ice on the railroads in that early day, and in 
this respect stood foremost in the Southern States. To 
go a little back, he says : 

I have been contending for my rights in public conveyances from boy- 
hood. Time and again, between '48 and *63 did conductors try to put 
me out of the first class cars on the Pennsylvania railroad, but they 
never did it. Once I think they would have done it, but a Quaket lady 
called on the passengers to interfere in my behalf. 1 was carried out of 
the street cars five times in one night in 1857, and, after all, rode from 
the comer of Church and Leonard streets up to 28th street in time to 
preach, but of course I was a little late. I could give many instances in 
which I had to contend, but generally made ray trip in the car. A thirty- 
eight years' fight with railroad conductors seems like a long contest, 
from which 1 have come forth without a scar. 

Bishop Hood has alwaj^s been a traveler, more or less, 
and has traveled 15,000 miles a vcar. It is doubtful 
whether any man living has had so many railroad con- 
tests. He is getting tired and worn out, and avoids the 
far South as much as possible on this account, but never- 
theless he has opened the way and smoothed the path in 
these years for others, and has opened up to the traveling 


public better accommodations. In 1867 he was elected 
as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of the State 
of North Carolina, and took such a prominent part that 
the Democrats called the constitution adopted ** Hood's 
Constitution" until they amended it slightly about 1875. 
In this convention he made a speech which was full of 
sarcasm and ridicule of his opponent, a gentleman who 
had opposed some measure in which he was interested. 
He says: 

After all I am compelled to acknowledge that I feel myself to be under 
some obligation to the secessionists. 1 am comp>elled to acknowledge 
that to their folly, in a great measure, we owe our present enfranchisement. 
The gentleman from Orange remarked last night that his race has always 
fxrcupied a position more elevated than the rest of mankind. I am 
astonished at that young man that he has no more regard for his repu- 
tation as a historian than to assert such a ridiculous fallacy in the hear- 
mg of intelligent gentlemen in the noonday splendor of the nineteenth 
century. Does he not know that his ancestors, the ancient Britons, 
were in bondage in ancient Rome, in the days of Julius Ctcsar, and ever 
since that day ? Mr. Chairman, the worst that has ever been said of my 
people was that they were too ignorant to be anything but slaves ; but 
of the Britons it was said that they were too ignorant even to be slaves. 
A friend of Julius Cafsar, writing to him, urged him not to bring slaves from 
Britain, for they were so ignorant that they could not be taught music. 
Xow I have never heard it said of colored people that they were too ignor- 
ant to sing. I admit that this is not very flattering to the ancestors of the 
gentleman from Cleveland and Orange. Ancestry' is something that they 
should not go back into, except with their mouths in the dust ; but I don't 
blame them for this. It is something they cannot help. I am sorry for 
them, but I don't blame them for springing from such a low origin. I 
only think hard of them for making mouths at me. 

This speech was considered so valuable that it was used 
as a campaign document. It is full of such passages, and 


the comment of. the press was very favorable, though the 
information was easily gained by any one who would take 
the pains to read, yet it was considered wonderfiil because 
a colored man showed such an acquaintance with the 
history of his race and turned with such grace and 
dignity and delivered such a clever shot into the ranks of 
his opponents. ' 

The homestead and public schools in this convention 
claimed his'especial attention, and he was allowed to have 
his own way pretty much in regard to these measures. He 
believed that a good homestead law would secure the rat- 
ification of the constitution, and he was not mistaken. It 
proved to be a very popular measure, and he used it for all 
it was worth in canvassing. The school law was f5ree from 
any hint of condition on account of color. He canvassed 
at the time fourteen counties and carried them all for this 
constitution, although all but two were regarded as doubt- 
ful. He was associated with others, of course, in this can- 
vass, but heenjoyed thelion's share of attention. Returning 
home from a meeting during the Presidential campaign in 
1868, he received a commission as agent of the State Board 
of Education and assistant superintendent of public in- 
struction. This appointment was made without solicita- 
tion from himself and friends and without his knowl- 
edge. The State Board of Education was composed of 
the governor and other State officers, and created the office 
and made the appointment, and the first information he 
had of it was the receipt of the commission, and an accom- 
pan3ring letter asking him to indicate at what time he 
could enter upon the duties of the office. His salary was. 


fixed at $1,500 a year. He filled this position for three 
years, haying his headquarters at Raleigh, and at the same 
time, with the assistance of a subordinate preacher, built 
tip a strong church at Charlotte, North Carolina, out of 
livhich four others have been formed. He would leave 
Raleigh Saturday afternoon and go to Charlotte, 
one hundred and seventy-five miles away, preach three 
times a day and be back to Raleigh Monday morning. 
Sometimes he would not have his boots off from Saturday 
morning until Monday night. He generally filled the pulpit 
three Sabbaths in the month. One Sabbath in the month 
he would remain at Raleigh and divide the time among 
Methodist and Baptist congregations. There was no 
church of his branch of Methodists in Raleigh at that time, 
and he thought it was not fair to use the power of his 
ofiSce to establish one. During the time he was in office, he 
visited the greater portion of the State, lecturing and or- 
ganizing schools. He received, unsolicited, a commission 
from General 0. 0. Howard, as assistant superintendent 
under the Freedmen's Bureau, without pay, except that 
he was allowed three dollars a day, when traveling in the 
interest of the Bureau, to cover expenses. In 1870 he had 
forty-nine thousand colored children in the schools, and 
had a colored department established for the deaf, dumb 
and blind, and about sixt}' of those unfortunates, under 
care and instruction, gathered from all parts of the 
State. Sometimes he had hard work to get parents to 
send their children. One blind boy, that he had to go for 
several times and who would hide when he heard that the 
bishop was in town, is now making his living traveling aa 

14*0 MEN OP MARK. 

Professor Simmons, the blind organist. The department 
formed at that early day has now a brick building worth 
$20,000, heated by steam and has every necessary conveni- 
ence. It is the best institution for deaf mutes and blind of the 
colored people in this country, and yet there is only about 
the same number in the institution that he left when he 
gave up the office, while the statistics show about eight 
hundred in the State. He was about to establish a State 
University when the Democrats got control of the Legisla- 
ture and legislated him out of office. 

The only office he held under the State and National 
government was magistrate under a provisional govern- 
ment, and deputy collector for a few months. The latter 
position he resigned. He was the choice of the colored 
delegates for Secretary of State at the Republican State 
convention in 1872, as unanimously declared by the 
caucus, and declining it he was allowed to name a man 
who was nominated and elected. This gentleman prom- 
ised to appoint a colored man as chief clerk and he did so. 
He never desired a purely secular office and did not regard 
his educational position in that Ught. He was made tem- 
porary chairman of the Republican State convention in 
1876, and gave such satisfaction that the gentleman who 
was selected for permanent chairman wanted to decline in 
his favor. He was a delegate for the State-at-large to the 
National convention in 1872, which nominated Grant 
for his second term. He was Grand Master of the Masons 
in his State for fourteen years, and has twice declined 
unanimous election since. He was elected and re-elected 
Most Eminent Grand Patron of the Order of the Eastern 


Star, until he quit attending the annual meetings. Besides- 
he held very many minor offices. He has been High Priest, 
D. S. H. P. and D., inspector of the Thirty-third degree. 
At the great Centennial gathering of all branches of the 
Methodist church, black and white, held in Baltimore, 
1885, he was elected to preside the first day. This body 
was presided over by one State governor, and one lieuten- 
ant-governor and a number of bishops in turn. He was 
elected to preside, but as he was not present, they sent a 
telegram for him, but he could not reach there in time. 
He was informed that an effort was made to get another 
colored man appointed, but a white bishop was finally 
selected. Notwithstanding his absence, when called for, 
another appointment was made for him, which he filled. 
Early in the day a couple of smart black men gave him an 
opportunity to show what he knew about parliamentary 
usage. His rulings were cheered and for the balance of 
the session both white and black tried to keep within the 
rules, and only made points of order when somebody was 
out of order. 

He has been married three times. First, in his twenty- 
second year, he married Miss Hannah L. Ralph of Lan- 
caster City, Pennsylvania, who died of consumption in 
1855. In his twenty-seventh year he married Miss Sophia 
J. Nugent of Washington City. By that marriage he had 
seven children, four of whom are living, aged respectively 
fourteen, sixteen, eighteen and twenty. Three younger 
ones are at Zion Wesley College. His last marriage was 
celebrated in June, 1877, to Mrs. K. P. McKoy of Wil- 
mington, North Carolina. By this marriage he had three 


children,^ two living, one five and one seven, and the 
youngest one dead. The bishop is a very liberal man, and in 
the building of the many churches over which he has had 
the oversight in the last twenty years, he has given over 
one hundred dollars to a single church and says he has no 
idea of the number of churches to which he has given the 
sum of twenty-five dollars and upwards. The bishop is a 
strict temperance man. From boyhood he has been an 
opponent of the liquor traffic, and has ever been ready to 
oppose intemperance and slavery. He says : ** I have been 
called crazy on the subject of tobacco and whiskey. I have 
been able in some of the conferences over which I have pre- 
sided to influence men who were not teetotalers to be- 
come such, and large numbers have discontinued the use 
of tobacco. Rev. Jacob Adams, leadingminister of the New 
York conference, visited the Central North conference at 
its last session and said : ** That for intelligence and sobri- 
ety, as well as in many other respects this conference was 
the banner conference of the church, as he knew that this 
was regarded especially as * Bishop Hood's Conference.' 
It ha\nng been said that if he winked, the men in it would 
nod, it can be readily seen that he was paying a high 
compliment to said conference ; and that being a leading 
member of the oldest conference, he knew^ome of its his- 
tory, and it was indeed a compliment that he should 
declare in open conference the superiority of this recently 
built up Southern work.'* The Bishop has been connected 
with many temperance societies, the most noted of these 
is the Good Templars, in a lodge of which he accepted a 
position of outside guard to encourage others to accept 


minor places. He was at the same time holding the posi- 
tion of Grand Worthy Chief Templar of the State, and 
Right Worthy Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of the 
world. While in England he delivered many temperance 
speeches and received many notices of value from the tem- 
perance press. He has taken part in every temperance 
-contest in the State of North Carolina. 

Bishop Hood is a big man, and has nerves of iron and 
back-bone of steel ; and, it may be well added, a face of flint 
which he constantly sets against error and wrong. May 
lie live many years to continue his arduous labors for the 
bettering of his race. 




Silk Culturist— Lawyer and Editor. 

NO man in our broad country has exhibited more per- 
severance and pluck than this patient toiler. On De- 
cember 9, 1886, he was fifty-six years old. A hard worker 
and earnest investigator and a courteous gentleman, he 
excites my admiration and challenges my good judgment, 
even when I think he has suffered enough privation and 
sacrifice to make him abandon his project. Nashville, 
Tennessee, has no other man exhibiting such a large 
amount of that self-sacrificing spirit as shown by Mr. 
Lower}'. His mother was a free woman, a Cherokee 
Indian, and his father a slave, living twelve miles from 
the said city, and was purchased by his wife ; God bless 
the woman. The old gentleman still lives in Nashville, 
aged seventy-six. Mr. Lowery lost his mother when only 
eight years old. The young man tried to get learning by 
working at Franklin College and studying privately un- 
der the Rev. Talbot Fanning, a famous Christian preacher, 
and who is of blessed memory now to Mr. Lowery. At 
the age of sixteen, our subject taught a school for the first 
time and had wonderful success for four years. In 1849 he 
united with the church of the Disciples and began preaching 
and continued till 1857. One year after this he pastoitd 



the Harrison Street church of that faith in Cincinnati, 
Ohio. He married in 1858, and becoming displeased with 
the country, went to Canada where he remained for three 
years, when he retnmed to this country, settling on a 
&rm mrhich was given him by his father in Payette county, 
Ohio, near West Lancaster. In 1863, when Abraham 
Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was issued, he went 
to Nashville, preaching to the freedmen and colored sol- 
diers, commanded by Colonel R. K. Crawford, of the 
Fortieth United States Colored troops. Not getting his 
commission as chaplain, he was transferred to the Ninth 
United States heavy artillery as chaplain, appointed by 
the officers, where he remained until the close of the war. 
Then he moved his family from Ohio to Tennessee, where 
he began preaching and teaching school. He commenced 
about this time the study of law in Rutherford county, 
Tennessee. Political excitement was running very high at 
that time, and his school was broken up by the Ku Klux, 
and his affairs much disturbed. Being admitted to the bar 
he began the practice of law in Nashville, Tennessee. In 
1875 he moved to Huntsville, Alabama, and continued 
practicing law and preaching. He also practices before 
the United States Supreme Court, having been admitted 
on the motion of Belva V. Lockwood. His daughter Ruth, 
then a girl fifteen years of age, living in Nashville, vis- 
ited with her father and sister, Annie L. Lowery, ten years 
of age, an exhibition, of silkworms, given by one Mr. 
Theobald, and she persuaded her father to purchase her 
some silk-worm eggs, which he did. She hatched them in 
Huntsville, Alabama, and by the aid of the leaves of the 


he has nothing. In conversation with me he said : ''Mj 
dear sir, I am very poor. I have not yet struck a bonanza, 
but I still hope for a competency yet ahead. Hope is a 
large faculty in my organization. I have tried to abandon 
it and become indifferent to its inviting fields. When I do, 
I am really not myself; yet I know I do not hope vainly or 
recklessly." Lef us pray that he will yet realize his hopes, 
and that his cherished plans may be the means of furnish- 
ing to the race the sure road to wealth and refinement. 
When success shall fiilly crown his labors, may the trade- 
mark of the firm be his daughter Ruth's picture, as an 
honor to the humble girl, who died and did not live to see 
the success of her plans. She is worthy of this distinction. 





Philauthropist— Coal Dealer, and Twenty Years Owner of the Largest 
Public Hall Owned by a Colored Man. 

THIS distinguished gentleman, who made himself prom- 
inent during the dark days of slavery, by helping 
escaped fugitives at the peril of his own life, was bom 
October 7, 1821, in Shamong, County of Burlington, New 
Jersey. He was the youngest of eighteen children of Levin 
and Charity Still. Mr. Still worked at farming and wood 
chopping until he was twenty-three years old, at which 
time he left New Jersey, the home of his birth, to stem the 
current of life alone. He had no education except what 
he had acquired when the weather prevented his working 
out of doors, and what he could pick up here and there 
from observation, conversation and other odd means. 

Being a stranger, he was thrown wholly on his own 
resources, as he entered the city of Philadelphia with less 
than five dollars in his pocket. This was in 1844. While 
quite a boy he had pledged with himself never to touch 
intoxicating liquors, which pledge he ever kept; and it 
was, no doubt, the comer stone of his prosperity, and the 
means by which he has made a man of himself, thereby set 


an example for many of those fast young men who hope 
to succeed in life, and yet indulge in intoxicating drinks 
and riotous living. 

He professed Christ many years after. In 1847 he ob- 
tained a clerkship in the office of the Pennsylvania Anti- 
slavery societ}', and occupied this position for fourteen 
years. He had seen so much of the cruelties of slavery 
that his heart was full of sympathy for the oppressed, and 
he determined to spend his time and his life in securing 
liberty for all over whom his influence might be exerted. 
His house was known as a safe and convenient refuge for 
all who were making their way to a land of liberty. Two 
of his brothers were left in bondage by the flight of their 
mother, and were lost to their parents for forty years. This 
seemed to have deepened his interest in the slaves, and 
yearly hundreds of escaped bondsmen found in himafriend. 
He was chairman and corresponding secretary of the 
Philadelphia branch of the ** Underground Railroad "for 
the last decade of slavery. He wrote out hundreds of 
narratives from the lips of fleeing fugitives and kept them 
secreted in the loft of the Lebanon Seminary till emanci- 
pation, when privacy was no longer a necessity. These 
same narrations make up his famous book, which bears 
the name of the corporation for which he labored. He, 
alone, of all the thousands who aided the fugitives, suc- 
ceeded in preserving anything like a full account of the 
workings of the ** Underground Railroad," asitwascalledr 
before emancipation. 

His book, **The Underground Railroad," which is well 
known by all readers, was published in 1873. This vol- 


ome of eight hundred and fifty pages, was highly com- 
mended by the leading men of the nation and reviewers of 
the country. It had a large sale and will continue to sell 
for many years to come. It is a valuable book, and every 
colored man ought to have it in his library. We cannot 
do better than frequently recur to its pages for the purpose 
of measuring our present greatness by looking back on 
the path through which we have come, filled with thorns 
and precipices. It might not be out of place here to 
give one of the narratives which he has recorded in his 
book. It will show the character of the work, and revive 
in some measure the memories of those days of bitter per- 
secutions and trials. The narration which is here selected 
is that of prominent personages whose history is largely 
familiar to the older people, and cannot fail to be interest- 
ing to the younger ones. 

A quarter of a century ago, William and Ellen Craft were slaves in the 
State of Georgia. With them, as with thousands of others, the desire to 
be free was very strong. For this jewel they were willing to make any 
sacrifice, or to endure any amount of suffering. In this s^te of mind 
they commenced planning. After thinking of various ways that might be 
tried, it occurred to William and Ellen that one might act the part of 
master and the other the part of servant. 

Ellen being fair enough to pass for white, of necessity would have to 
be transformed into a young planter for the time being. All that was 
needed, however, to make this important change was that she should be 
dressed elegantly in a fashionable suit of male attire, and have her hair 
cut in the style usually worn by young planters. Her profusion of dark 
hair offered a fine opportunity for the change. So far this plan looked 
▼ery tempting. But it occurred to them that Ellen was beardless. 
After some mature reflection, they came to the conclusion that this diffi- 
culty could be very readily obviated by having the face muffled up as 
though the young planter was suffering badly with the tooth- 

1 52 MEN OF MARK. 

ache; thus thej' got rid of this trouble. Straightway, upon further 
reflection, several other very serious difficulties stared them in the face. 
For instance, in traveling, they knew they would be under the necessity 
of stopping repeatedly at hotels, and that the custom of registering 
would have to be conformed to, unless some very good excuse could be 
given for not doing so. 

Here they again thought much over the matter, and wiady condnded 
that the yoimg man had better assume the attitude of a gentleman 
very much indisposed. He must have his right arm placed very carefully 
in a sling ; that would be a sufficient excuse for not registering, etc. Then 

he must be a little lame, with a nice cane in his left hand ; he must haTe 
large green spectacles over his eyes, and withal he must be very hard of 
hearing and dependent on his faithful servant (as was no uncommon 
thing with slaveholders) to look afler all his wants. 

William was just the man to act this part. To begin with, he was 
very "likely looking,** smart, active and exceedingly attentive to his 
young master — indeed, he was almost eyes, ears, hands and feet for him. 
William knew that this would please the slaveholders. The young 
planter would have nothing to do but hold himself subject to his ailments 
and put on a bold air of superiority. He was not to deign to notice any- 
body. If, while traveling, gentlemen, either politely or rudely, should 
venture to scrape acquaintance with the young planter, in his deafness 
he was to remain mute ; his servant was to explain. In every instance 
when this occurred, as it actually did, the servant was fully equal to 
the emergency — none dreaming of the disguises in which the undergroimd 
railroad passengers were traveling. 

They stopped at a first-class hotel in Charleston, where the young 
planter and his body-servant were treated as the house was wont to 
treat chivalry. They stopped also at a similar hotel in Richmond, and 
with like results. 

They knew that they must pass through Baltimore, but they did not 
know the obstacles that they would have to surmount in the " Monu- 
mental City." They proceeded to the depot in the usual manner, and the 
servant asked for tickets for his master and self. Of course the master 
could have a ticket, but *' bonds will have to be entered before you can 
get a ticket," said the ticket master. '* It is the rule of this office to re- 
quire bonds for all negroes applying for tickets to go North, and none 


•Imt gentlemen of wdl known responsibility will be taken.'* farther ez- 
-plamed the ticket master. 

The servant replied that he knew ** nothing about that " — ^that he was 
** simply tra^ding with his yonng master to take care of him, he being in 
A Tery delicate state of health, so much so that fears were entertained 
that he might not be able to hold out to reach Philadelphia, where he 
was hastening for medical treatment;*' and ended his reply by sayii^, 
""My master can't be detained." Without farther parley the ticket 
master very obligingly waived the old *' rule " and famished the requisite 
tickets. The mountain being thus removed, the younff planter and his 
^thfnl servant were safely ia the cars for the city of Brotherly Love. 

Scarcely had they arrived on free soil when the rheumatism departed, 
the right hand was unslung, the toothache was gone, the beardless face 
'was unmuffled, the deaf heard and spoke, the blind and the lame leaped 
as a hart, and in the presence of the few astonished friends of the slaves, 
the facts of this unparalleled underground railroad feat were fully estab- 
lished by the most unquestionable evidence. 

The constant strain and pressure on Ellen's nerves, however, had tried 
her severely, so much so, that for days afterwards she was principally 
ver>' much prostrated, although J03' and gladness beamed from her eyes, 
which bespoke inexpressible delight within. 

Never can the writer forget the impression made by their arrival. Even 
now after a lapse of nearly a quarter of a century, it is easy to picture 
them in a private room, surrounded by a few friends — Ellen in her fine 
suit of black, with her cloak and high heeled boots, looking, in every 
respect, like a young gentleman ; in an hour after having dropped her 
male attire and assumed the habiliments of her sex. the feminine was 
only visible in every line and feature of her structure. 

Her husband, William, was thoroughly colored, but was a man of 
marked natural abilities, of good manners, and full of pluck, and pos- 
sessed of perceptive faculties very large. 

It was necessary, however, in those days, that they should seek a per- 
manent residence, where their freedom would be more secure than in 
Philadelphia; therefore they were advised to go to headquarters, 
directly to Boston. There they would be safe, it was supixjsed, as it had 
then been about a generation since a fugitive had been taken back from 
^he old Bay State, and through the incessant labors of William Lloyd 


Garrison, the great pioneer, and his faithful coadjutors, it was conceded' 
that another fugitive slave case would never be tolerated on the free soil 
of Massachusetts. So they went to Boston. 

On arriving, the warm hearts of Abolitionists welcomed them heartily, 
and greeted and cheered them without let or hinderance. They did not 
pretend to keep their coming a secret or hide it under a bushel ; the story 
of their escape was heralded broadcast over the country— North and 
South, and indeed over the civilized world. For two years or more not 
the slightest fear was entertained that they were not just as safe in Bos- 
ton as if they had gone to Canada. But the day the Fugitive Bill passed, 
even the bravest Abolitionist began to fear that a fugitive slave was no 
longer safe anywhere under the stars and stripes, North or South, and 
that William and Ellen Craft were liable to be captured at any moment 
by Georgia slave hunters. Many Abolitionists counseled resistance to 
the death at all hazards. Instead of running to Canada, fugitives gen- 
erally armed themselves and thus said: "Give me liberty or give me 

William and Ellen Craft believed that it was their duty as citizens of 
Massachusetts to observe a more legal and civilized mode of conforming^ 
to the marriage rite than had been permitted them in slavery, and as Theo- 
dore Parker had shown himself a very warm fnend of theirs, they agreed 
to have their wedding over again according to the laws of a free State. 
After performing the ceremony, the renowned and fearless advocate of 
equal rights (Theodore P£u*ker), presented William with a revolver and 
dirk knife, counseling him to use them manfully in the defense of his wife 
and himself, if ever an attempt should be made by his owners, or any- 
body else, to re-enslave them. 

But, notwithstanding all the published declarations made by the Abo- 
litionists and fugitives, to the effect that slaveholders and slave catchers 
in visiting Massachusetts in pursuit of their runaway property would 
be met by just such weapons as Theodore Parker presented William with, 
to the surprise of all Boston, the owners of William and Ellen actually 
had the effrontery to attempt their recapture under the Fugitive Slave 

His reasons for writing this book are given in the pre- 
face of the edition of 1886, and I cannot but give his own 


mrords as his apology for placing such a book before the 
reading people. There are many of our people who are so 
foolish as to desire to rub out all the traces of our past 
history, and would do away with all emancipation 
celebrations and everything that reminds us of a past, 
which though painful and full of bitterness, cannot yet but 
be remembered with praise to God that he has permitted 
us to pass through these trials and come out more than 
conqueror. He very happily refers to the fact in this pre- 
face that the bondage and deliverance of the children of 
Israel will never be allowed to sink into oblivion. The 
world stands, and the Jews do not hang their heads in 
shame because of their bondage, but tell it with some 
pride, that God, though they were in bondage, did not 
forget them, but finally brought them forth and made a 
people of them. Quotations are here given because it is 
in the line of instruction that is badly needed and which 
should be heeded by our people, and he does well to send 
these thoughts through the country in each of his books, 
that they might influence at least the readers of that sec- 
tion in which he says : 

Well conducted shops, stores, lands acquired, good farms managed in 
a manner to compete with any other, valuable books produced and pub- 
liflbed on interesting subjects — these are some of the fruits which the race 
arc expected to exhibit from their newly gained privileges. 

This gains our highest approval. It is the very thing 
for our people to consider. But let me without further 
elaboration give a passage in this preface, which one, in 
the reading, will find full of truth and instruction. 


And in looking back now over these strange and eventful providences, 
"in the light of the wonderful changes wrought by emancipation, I am 
more and more constrained to believe that the reasons which years ago 
led me to aid the bondmen and preserve the record of his sufferings, are 
to-da^' quite as potent in convincing me that the necessity of the times 
requires this testimony. 

And since the first advent of my book, wherever reviewed or read by 
leading friends of freedom, the press, or the race more deeply represented 
by it, the expressions of approval and encouragement have been hearty 
and unanimous, and the thousands of volumes which have been sold by 
me on the subscription plan, with hardly any facilities for the work, 
makes it obvious that it would, in the hands of a competent publisher, 
have a wide circulation. 

And here I may frankly state that but for the hope I have always cher- 
ished, that this work would encourage the race in efforts for self-eleva- 
tion, its pubUcation would never have been undertaken by me.' 

The race must not forget the rock from whence they were hewn, nor 
the pit from whence they were digged. 

Like other races, this newly emancipated people will need all the 
knowledge of their past condition which they can get. 

Those scenes of suffering and martyrdom, millions of Christians were 
called upon to pass through in the days of the Inquisition, are still sub- 
jects of study and have unabated interest for all enlightened minds. 

The same is true of the history of this country. The struggles of the 
pioneer fathers are preserved, produced and reproduced, and cherished 
•with undying interest by all Americans, and the day will not arrive while 
the Republic exists when these histories will not be found in every 

While the grand little army of Abolitionists was waging its untiring 
warfare for freedom prior to the rebellion, no agency encouraged them 
like the heroism of the fugitives. The pulse of the four million of slaves 
and their desire for freedom was better felt through '* The Underground 
Railroad " than through any other channel. 

Frederick Douglass, Henry Bibb; William Wells Brown, Rev. J. W. 
Logan and others, gave unmistakable evidence that the race had no 
more eloquent advocates than its own self-emancipated champions. 

Bvery irtep they took to rid themselves of their fetters, or to gain edu- 


cation, or in pleading the cause of their fellow-bondsmen in the lecture 
room, or with their pens, met with applause on every hand, and the 
▼ eiy argument needed was thus furnished in a large measure. In those 
dark days previous to emancipation, such testimony was indispensable. 
The finee colored men are as imperatively required now to furnish the 
same manly testimony in the support of the ability of the race to sur- 
mount the remaining obstacles growing out of oppression, ignorance 
and poverty. 

The angels have recorded the deeds of this noble-hearted 
man, and God will reward him. It is impossible to do jus- 
tice to those men and women who held their lives as noth- 
ing when the cries of the slaves reached their ears. There 
w^as never greater heroism than that shown by William 
Still. Think, reader, of the pain his heart has undergone. 
Think of the moments of intense agony he bore. Think of 
a life of care, suffering and prayer ; then tell me we are des- 
titute of the finest feelings held by any other race. 

They said we were not men, but if not men then we 
have been angels. For indeed the history of our sufferings 
and the manner in which we have borne them without rev- 
olution and bloodshed, without falling to the depths of 
infidelity, but still holding to a trust in God, mark our 
career as more than marvelous. 

Is it not a wonder that in all these dark shadows we did 
not lose our faith in God and cry out, ** There is no God '* ? 
Is it not a wonder that in all these years there was not 
stamped out of us every feeling of mercy, generosity and 

What could have been expected of a race that was deep in 
the well of ignorance, hidden from the light of day ? What 
could have been expected of us and our children, except 


that we would be brutalized and destitute of all the finer 
feelings of our nature. 

It does seem as if we were made of finer material than 
others, that even so many good men, philanthropists, 
strong Christian men, preachers and faithful workers in 
every missionary department of life, could have been 
gotten out of this race so cruelly treated, so badly de- 
spised. Here is an example in the life of Mr. Still worthy 
of record. In the * Book of Ages ' how many look back and 
thank him for succor, for comfort, for food, for clothing, 
for money, and for liberty? This is a wonderful record. 
The deeds which were done in his office, the acts of charity, 
would almost form, as it would seem, a special volume 
among the records of Heaven. 

O God ! We thank Thee for such a man as William Still. 
Men who, like their Master, went about doing good. Men 
who fulfilled the teachings of the Scriptures and who shall 
be on the right hand and hear these words: **Come, ye 
blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you 
from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungred, 
and \'c gave me meat : I was thirstj' and ye gave me drink : 
I was a stranger and ye took me in : naked and ye clothed 
me : I was sick and ye visited me : I was in prison and ye 
came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him say- 
ing, Lord when saw we Thee an hungred and fed Thee ? or 
thirsty and gave Thee drink? when saw we Thee a 
stranger and took Thee in ? or naked and clothed Thee ? 
or when saw we Thee sick or in prison and came unto 
Thee? And the King shall answer and say unto. them: 
Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto 


one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto 


Mr. Still's name should be in the mouths of all lovers of 
philanthropic deeds, and his name is fittingly placed here 
that he might be known by the rising generation. His 
work is no less eminent than those who were partners 
in the labor of love, and yet extreme danger, namely, 
Abagail Goodwin, Thomas Garrett, Daniel Gibbons, Lu- 
xretia Mott, J. Miller McKim, H. Fumess, William Lloyd 
Garrison, Lewis Tappan, William Wright, Elijah F. Penny- 
packer, Dr. Bartholomew Fussell; Robert Purvis, John 
Hunn, Samuel Rhoades, William Whipper, Samuel D. Bur- 
ris, Charles D. Cleveland, Grace Anne Lewis, Frances Ellen 
W. Harper and John Needles. 

In 1859, when old John Brown with one bold dash 

opened fire for freedom at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, 

several of his officers who were with him in the hottest 

battle at the Ferry, escaped with heavy rewards hanging 

^ver their heads, and sought shelter under the roof, of 

*^iJJiam Still, who kindly received them. He also com- 

^'ted and ministered unto the wife, daughter and sons of 

'"Own who had come, utter strangers, to Philadelphia 

^^^^ the old hero was in prison waiting his execution. 


* t:his was cheerfully done while conscious of the fact 

^'^ his deeds of charity were imperiling his own life. In 

^O he recognized one of his brothers who had been 

^^P^^rated by slavery from his mother, when a child 

^^ ^nly six years. In 1860 he left the antislavery office 

'^'^tli the most hearty s^nnpathy and confidence of his 

dXVtislavery friends and at once turned his attention to 


business of his own. Having some knowledge of the^ 
stove business, he opened a new and second hand stove- 
store. In less than three years he was well established 
and quite successful. In the meantime, the civil war 
broke out and the curse of slavery ended unexpectedlj'. 
The secretary of war furnished him with a post sutler's 
commission at Camp William Penn, at which point col- 
ored soldiers were stationed for Pennsylvania. In 1865- 
he purchased a large lot, built an ofiice and entered 
the coal business, and for over twenty years he has 
successfully conducted this branch of business, amassing^ 
quite a fortune. He is the owner of Liberty Hall, the 
largest public hall in the country owned by a colored man ; 
and to the credit of the race, be it said, that it is well 

He still keeps up his philanthropic work ; always ready 
to help the needy and to contribute of the world's goods 
which God has given him in order that others might have 
their suffering lessened. He was a member of the Freed- 
men's Aid Union and Commission, organized at the close 
of the war by the leading philanthropists of the country 
to prosecute educational work and aid the newly emanci- 
pated generally. 

For many years he has been vice-president and chair- 
man of the board of managers of the **Home for the Aged 
and Infirm Colored Persons ' * in Philadelphia ; also for many 
years he has served as a member on the board of trustees 
for the ** Soldiers and Sailors Orphan Home" and ''Home 
for the Destitute Colored Children.'* His interest in the 
educational work has been so manifest that he has been. 


selected^ and has served for many years, as member of the 
board of trustees of Storer College. He has served as an 
elder of the Presbyterian church, which position he has 
held for quite a while, and was sent by the Presbytery of 
Philadelphia as commissioner to the General Assembly at 
Cincinnati, Ohio, which convened in 1885. He was one 
of the original stockholders to the amount of one thou- 
sand dollars in the stock company of the Nation^ a 
member of the board of trade of the city of Philadelphia, 
and the corresponding sectary to the ** Social and Civil 
Statistical Association'* of Philadelphia. His literary 
labors have not been confined to the underground rail- 
road. He has also published a pamphlet entitled ** Voting 
and Laboring,*' and another **The Struggles for the 
Rights of the Colored People" of Philadelphia. In 1884 
the centennial and general conference of the M. E. church 
which convened in his city, honored him with a vote of 
thanks for entertaining the colored delegates from the 

He still lives in Philadelphia, a quiet and honored citi- 
zen, an upright business man and a devoted friend of his 
race. May his last years be crowned with honor, and 
may he go down to his grave with the best wishes of the 
nation on account of the manner in which he has lived 
and served his God and his people. 

] 62 MEN OP MARK. 



President of Allen University, Columbia, South CaroUna — Professor of 

THE subject of this sketch was bom in Charleston, 
South Carolina, August 26, 1850. His parents were 
John B. Morris and Grace Morris. He was bom of free 
parents and enjoyed early advantages for education. In 
early childhood he was sent to a private school taught by 
Simeon Beard, then a distinguished teacher in the city of 
Charleston. After the close of the late war he entered the 
public schools of his native city, passing through the vari- 
Ou. grades of the same, until he left the high school, to 
take a collegiate course at Howard University. While at- 
tending the public schools he was sent in the afternoons to 
learn the printing trade, which he completed under that 
celebrated scholar and printer, the late Hon. R. B. Elliott, 
who was at that time editor of the Charleston Leader. 
Afterwards this paper was merged into the Missionary 
Record, edited by the late Bishop R. H. Cain. He was 
elected principal of a parochial school, and while in this ca- 
pacity he worked as a compositor on the Missionary Record^ 
which was a weekly paper. 

J. W. MORRIS. 163 

While a pupil of the Normal school of Charleston he was 
twice awarded a prize *for proficiency in Latin by that 
eminent scholar and instructor, Professor F. L. Cardoza, 
now of Washington, District of Columbia. Young Morris 
evincing, in early life, so great a tact and aptitude for learn- 
ing, was sent to Howard University, which institution he 
entered in the fall of 1868. After spending six years at the 
uniYcrsity, he graduated in June, 1875. While at the 
famous seat of learning he was regarded as an excellent 
student. At the Junior exhibition of 1874, he took the first 
prize awarded his class for oratory. 

After graduation he returned to his home in Charleston, 
South Carolina. In the fall of 1875 he entered the law 
department of the South Carolina University, Columbia, 
South Carolina, under the tuition of that celebrated judge 
and jurist, Chief-Justice F. J. Moses. He graduated with 
distinction from this department, December, 1876. He 
applied for admission to the Supreme Court of his native 
State, and, after passing a most critical and searching 
examination, was admitted to practice in all the courts of 
the State. His first case was an interesting and promi- 
nent one; he won it. He was elected in 1876 one of the 
commissioners of public schools for the city of Charles- 
ton, but as this office would interfere with his law studies, 
'le refused to accept the position. He also received in the 
<^untv convention of Charleston, the nomination for the 
legislature, but, again for the same reasons, refused to 

After much persuasion and the earnest solicitation of 
personal firiends, he was induced to abandon what prom- 


ised to be to him a very lucrative 4)ractice, to accept the 
principalship of Payne Institute, the educational work of 
the A. M. E. church in the State. He served for four 
years as principal of this institution, until it was merged 
into Allen University, a demand being made for a more 
central location for the work. While principal of Payne 
Institute, he was a lay delegate to the Ecumenical Council, 
which met in London, England. While in Europe he vis- 
ited Paris and Geneva, Sw^itzerland. 

He was now elected professor of mathematics and 
ancient languages, principal of Normal and Preparatory 
departments, also secretary and instructor of the law 
department of the Allen University, which positions he 
held until elected president — the position he now holds. 
The writer was impressed with the quiet unassuming 
manners of President Morris while in college at Howard 
University. His position is only the reward of faithful 
toil and well directed effort. He was always in earnest ; 
he enjoys fun as well as any man, but his ** Lite is real ; life 
is earnest." He is a fine student, a gifted writer and a 
man of high standing. 





Congressman— Pilot and Captain of the Steamer Planter. 

THIS daring and cool headed man was bom in Bean- 
fort, Sonth Carolina, April 5, 1839; and being a 
slave was of conrse limited in the opportunities for gain- 
ing book knowledge ; but some men can no more be bound 
than the waves of the ocean, and despite all opposition he 
learned to read and write. ** Where there's a will there's a 
wav.** In 1851 he moved to Charleston, where he worked 
as a ** rigger" and thus became familiar with ships and 
the life of a sailor by actual experience. He first became 
connected with the Planter, a steamer plying in the 
harbor of Charleston as a transport in 1861. His further 
connection with the steamer is given in the following, 
taken from the record of the House of Representatives, 
Forty-seventh Congress, second session, Report No. 1887. 
The document was a **Bill authorizing the President to 
place Robert Smalls on the Retired List of the Navy :'* 






[To accompany bill, H. R. 7059.] 

The Committee on Naval AfTairs, to whom was referred the bill to r e tii T 
Robert Smalls as captain of the Navy, beg leave to report as follows: 

This claim is rested upon the very valuable services rendered by Robert 
Smalls to the country during the late war. The record of these has- 
been very carefully investigated, and portions of it are appended, as- 
exhibits, to this report. They show a degree of courage, well directed by 
intelligence and patriotism, of which the nation may well be proud, but 
which for twenty years has been wholly unrecognized by it. The follow- 
ing is a succinct statement and outline of them : 

On May 13, 1862, the Confederate steamboat Planter^ the special dis- 
patch boat of General Ripley, the Confederate post commander at Char- 
leston, South Carolina, was taken by Robert Smalls under the following 
circumstances from the wharf at which she was lying, carried safely 
out of Charleston Harbor, and delivered to one of the vessels of the 
Federal fleet then blockading that port : 

On the day previous, May 12, the Planter^ which had for two weeks- 
been engaged in removing guns from Cole's Island to James Island, 
returned to Charleston. That night all the officers went ashore and slept 
in the city, leaving on board a crew of eight men, all colored. Among' 
them was Robert Smalls, who was 'virtually the pilot of the boat, al- 
though he was only called a wheelman, because at that time no colored 
man could have, in fact, been made a pilot.. For some time previous he 
had been watching for an opportunity to carry into execution a plan he 
had conceived to take the Planter to the Federal fleet. This, he saw, was 
about as good a chance as he would ever have to do so, and therefore he 
determined not to lose it. Consulting with the balance of the crew 
Smalls found that they were willing to co-o|)eratc with him, although 
two of them afterwards concluded to remain behind. The design wa» 
hazardous in the extreme. The boat would have to pass beneath the 
guns of the forts in the harbor. Failure and detection wotdd have been. 


certain deatli. Pearfttl was the venture, but it was made. The daring 
resolution had been formed, and under command of Robert Smalls, wood 
was taken aboard, steam was put on, and with her valuable cargo of 
guns and ammunition, intended for F<)rt Ripley, a new fortification just 
constructed in the harbor, about two o'clock in the morning the Planter 
silently moved off iirom her dock, steamed up to North Atlantic wharf, 
where Smalls* wife and two children, together with four other women 
and one other child, and also three men, were waiting to embark. All 
these were taken on board, and then, at 3:25 a. m.. May 13, the 
Planter started on her perilous adventure, carrying nine men, 
^^e women and three children. Passing Fort Johnson the Planter's 
steam-whistle blew the usual salute and she proceeded down the bay. 
Approaching Port Sumter, Smalls stood in the pilot-house leaning out of 
the window with his arms folded across his breast, after the manner of 
Captain Relay, the commander of the boat, and his head covered with 
the huge straw hat which Captain Relay commonly wore on such occa- 

The signal required to be given by all steamers passing out, was blown 
as coolly as if General Ripley was on board, going out on a tour of inspec- 
tion. Sumter answered by signal, "all right," and the Planter headed 
toward Morris Island, then occupied by Hatch's light artillerj', and 
passed beyond the range of Sumter's guns l)efore anybody suspected any- 
thing was wrong. When at last the P/anter was obviously going toward 
the Federal fleet off" the bar, Sumter signaled toward Morris Island to 
stop her. But it was too late. As the Planter api)roached the Federal 
fleet, a white flag was displayed, but this was not at first discovered, and 
the Federal steamers, supposing the Confederate rams were coming to 
attack them, stood out to deep water. But the ship Onward, Captain 
Nichols, which was not a steamer, remained, opened her ports, and was 
about to fire into the Planter ^ when she noticed the flag of .truce. As 
soon as the vessels came within hailing distance of each other, the Plan- 
ter's errand was explained. Captain Nichols then boarded her, and 
Smalls delivered the Planter to him. From the Planter, Smalls was 
transferred to the Augusta, the flagship off" the bar, under the command 
of Captain Parrott, by whom the Planter with Smalls and her crew were 
sent to Port Royal to Rear Admiral DuPont, then in command of the 
Southern squadron. 


Captain Pairott's official letter to Flag Officer DuPont, and Admiral 
DuPont's letter to the secretary of the navy are appended hereto* 

Captain Smalls was soon afterwards ordered to Edisto to join the 
gunboat Crusader^ Captain Rhind. He then proceeded in the Crusader^ 
piloting her and followed by the Planter to Simmons* Bluff, on Wadma- 
law Sound, where a sharp battle was fought between these boats and a 
Confederate light battery and some infantry. The Confederates were 
driven out of their works, and the troops on the P/a/iter landed and cap- 
tured all the tents and provisions of the enemy. This occurred some time 
in June, 1862. 

Captain Smalls continued to act as pilot on board the Planter and the 
Crusadest and as blockading pilot between Charleston and Beaufort. 
He made repeated trips up and along the rivers near the coast, pointing 
out and removing the torpedoes which he himself had assisted in sinking 
and putting in position. During these trips he was present in several 
fights at Adams' Rum on the Dawho river, where the Planter was hotly 
and severely fired upon ; also at Rock ville, John's Island, and other places. 
Afterwards he was ordered back to Port Royal, whence he piloted the 
fleet up Broad river to Pocotaligo, where a very severe battle ensued. 
Captain Smalls was the pilot of the monitor Keokuk, Captain Ryan, in 
the memorable attack on Fort Sumter, on the afternoon of the seventh of 
April, 1863. In this attack the Keokuk was struck ninety-six times, 
nineteen shots passing through her. She retired from the engagement 
only to sink on the next morning, near Light House Inlet. Captain Smalls 
left her just before she went down, and was taken with the remainder of 
the crew on board of the Ironside. The next day the fleet returned to 
Hilton Head. 

When General Gillmore took command. Smalls became pilot in the 
<|uartermaster's department in the expedition on Morris Island. He was 
then stationed as pilot of the Stono, where he remained until the United 
States trOops took possession of the south end of Morris Island, when he 
was put in charge of Light House Inlet as pilot. 

Upon one occasion, in December, 1863, while the Planter, then under 
command of Captain Nickerson, was sailing through Folly Island Creek^ 
the Confederate batteries at Secessionville opened a very hot fire upon 
her. Captain Nickerson became demoralized, and left the pilot-house and 
secured himself in the coal-bunker. Smalls was on the deck, and finding 


^ovt tJiat tbe captom had deserted his post, entered the pilot-house, took 
'CCmimaiid of the boat, and carried her safely out of the reach of the guns. 
For this conduct he was promoted by order of General Gillmore, com- 
manding the Department of the South, to the rank of captain, and was 
•ordered to act as captain of the Planter^ which was used as a supply-boat 
akmg the coast until the end of the war. In September, 1866, he carried 
Ins boat to Baltimore, where she was put out of commission and sold. 

Besides the daring enterprise of Captain Smalls, in bringing out the 
Pianter, his gallant conduct in rescuing her a second time, for which he 
was made captain of her, and his invaluable services to the army and 
navy as a pilot in waters where he perfectly knew not only every bank 
and bar but also where every torpedo was situated, there are still other 
dements to be considered in estimating the value of Captain Smalls' serv- 
ices to tbe country. The Planter, on the thirteenth of May, 1862, was a 
most useful and important vessel to the enemy. The loss of her was a 
ac' vei e blow to the enemy's service in carrying supplies and troops to 
* difl ere n t points of the harbor and river fortifications. At the very time 
'Of the seizure she had on board the armament for Fort Ripley. Tbe 
Pianter was taken by the government at a valuation of $9,000, one-half 
of which was paid to the caiitain and crew, the captain recei^Hng one- 
third of ohe-half, or $1,500. Upon what principle the government claimed 
- one»half of this capture cannot be divined, nor yet how this disposition 
could have been made of her without any judicial proceeding. That 
$9,0O0 was an absurdly low valuation for the Planter is abundantly 
shown by facts stated in the affidavits of Charles H.Campbell and £. M. 
Baldwin, which are appended. In addition thereto their sworn average 
valuation of the Planter was $67,500. The report of Montgomery 
Sicard, commander and inspector of ordinance, to Commodore Patter- 
son, navy-yard commandant, shows that the cargo of the Planter , as raw 
material, was worth $3,043.05 ; that at anti-bellum prices it was worth 
$7,163.35, and at war prices $10,290.60. For this cargo the government 
has never paid one dollar. It is a severe comment on the justice as well 
as the boasted generosity of the government, that, whilst it had received 
$60,000 to $70,000 worth of property at the hands of Captain 
Smalls, it has paid him the trifling amount of $1,500, and for twenty 
yc&TS his gallant daring and distinguished and valuable services which 
-be has rendered to the £Ountr>' have been wholly unrecognized. 


The following is the testimony in proof of the facts al- 
leged in the bill : 


Flag-Ship Wabasb, 
Port Royal Harbor, South Carolina, May 14, 1862. 

Sir : I inclose a copy of a report from Commander E. G. Parrott^ 
brought here last night by the late rebel steam-tug Planter, in char^ge 
of an officer and crew from the Au^sta. She was the armed dispatch 
and transportation steamer attached to the engineer department at 
Charleston, under Brigadier-General Ripley, whose bai^, a short time 
since, was brought out to the blockading fleet by several contrabands. 

The bringing out of this steamer, under all the circumstances, would 
have done credit to any one. At four o^clock in the morning, in the absence 
of the captain, who was on shore, she left her wharf close to the govern- 
ment office and headquarters, with Palmetto and Confederate flags fly- 
ing, passed the successive forts, saluting as usual by blowing her steam- 
whistle. Af^er getting beyond the range of the last gun, she quickly 
hauled down the rebel flags and hoisted a white one. 

The On ware/ was the inside ship of the blockading fleet in the main 
channel, and was preparing to fire when her commander made out the 
white flag. The armament of the steamer is a 32-pounder, or pivot, and 
a fine 24^pounder howitzer. She has, besides, on her deck, four other 
guns, one 7-inch rifled, which were to have been taken the morning of 
the escape to the new fort on the middle ground. One of the four be- 
longed to Port Sumter, and had been struck in the rebel attack on the 
fort on the muzzle. Robert, the intelligent slave and pilot of the boat, 
who performed this bold feat so skillfully, informed me of this fact, pre- 
suming it would be a matter of interest to us to have possession of this 
gun. This man, Robert Smalls, is superior to any who have come into 
our lines— intelligent as many of them have been. His information has 
been most interesting, and portions of it of the utmost importance. 

The steamer is quite an acquisition to the squadron by her good ma- 
chinery and very light draught. The officer in charge brought her 
through Saint Helena Sound, and by the inland passage down Beaufort, 
river, arriving here at ten o'clock last night. 


On board the steamer when she left Charleston were eight men, fiye 
women and three children. 

I shall continue to employ Robert as a pilot on board the Planter for 
the inland waters, with which he appears to be very familiar. I do not 
know whether, in the views of the government, the vessel will be consid- 
ered a prize; but, if so, I respectfully submit to the department the claims 
of this man Robert and his associates. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

S. F. DuPoNT, 

Flag Officer, Commanding, &Cr 
Hon. GrosoN Wbixbs, 

Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C. 

United Statbs Steamship Augusta, 
Off Charleston, May 13, 1862. 

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the rebel armed steamer 
Plaoter was brought out to us this morning from Charleston, by eight 
contrabands, and delivered up to the squadron. Five colored women 
&od three children are also on board. She carried one 32-pounder, and 
^'nc 24-pounder howitzer, and has also on board four large guns, which 
•ic vras engaged in transporting. 

^ send her to Port Royal at once, in order to take advantage of the 
^^'^sent good weather. I send Charleston papers of the 12th, and the 
^■^ intelligent cgntraband who was in charge will give you the informa- 
^^"Xi which he has brought off. 
"^ have the honor to request that you will send back, as soon as cou- 
rt, the officer and crew sent on board. • 
I am respectfully, &c., your obedient servant, 

E. G. Parrott, 

Commander, and Senior Officer present. 
X^ag Officer S. F. DuPont, 

Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. 

War Department, 
Quartermaster-General's Office, 

Washington, D. C, January 3, 1883. 
Sn : Your communication of the twenty-sixth ultimo, in relation to yomr 


services on the steamer Planter during the rebellion, and requestingcopies 
of any letters from General Gillmore and other officers on the subject, has 
been received. 

The records of this office show that the name of Robert Smalls is re- 
ported by Lieutenant-Colonel J. J. El well, Hilton Head, South Carolina, 
as a pilot, at $50 per month, from March 1, 1863, to September 80, 
1863; and from October 1, 1863. to November 20, 1863, at $75 per 

He was then transferred to Captain J. L. Kelly, assistant quarter- 
master, November 20, 1863, by whom he was reported as pilot from No- 
vember 21 to November 30, 1863. He is reported by that officer in same 
capacity from December 1, 1863, until February 29, 1864, at $150 per 

The name of Robert Smalls is then reported by Captain Kelly as cap- 
tain of the steamer P/anter, at $150 per month, from March 1, 1864, 
until May 15, 1864, when transferred to the quartermaster in Philadel- 

He is reported by Captains C. D. Schmidt, G. R. Orme, W. W. VanNess, 
and John R. Jennings, assistant quartermasters at Philadelphia, as cap- 
tain of the Planter, at $150 per month, from June 20, 1864, to 
December 16, 1864, when transferred to Captain J. L. Kelly, assistant 
quartermaster, Hilton Head, South Carolina, by whom he is reported to 
January 31, 1865. 

From February 1, 1865, he is reported as a ** contractor, victualing 
and manning the steamer Planter.'' 

I respectfully inclose herewith a copy of a letter, dated September 10, 

1862, from Captain J. J. Elwell, chief quartermaster. Department of the 

Souths in relation to the capture of the steamer P/ajiter, which is the only 

one found on file in this office on the subject. 

Verj' respectfully, your obedient servant. 

Alex. J. Perry, 

Deputy Quartermaster-General, U. S. A., 

Acting Quartermaster-General. 
Hon. Robert Smalls, 

Member of Congress, Washington, D. C. 

Office of the Chief Quartermaster, 
Hilton Head, South Carolina, September 10, 1862. 

Gbneral: I have this day taken a transfer of the small steamer 


Planter^ of the navy. This is the Confederate steamer which Robert 
Smalls, a contraband, brought out of Charleston on the thirteenth 
of May last. The Navy Department, through Rear-Admiral DuPont, 
transfers her, and I receipt for her just as she was received from Charles- 
ton. Her machinery is not in very good order, and will require some 
repairs, etc.; but this I can have done here. She will be of much service 
to us, as we have comparatively no vessels of light draft. I shall have 
her employed at Fort Pulaski, where I am obliged to keep a steamer. 

Please find enclosed a copy of the letter of Rear-Admiral DuPont to 
General Brannan in regard to the matter. 

I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant, 

J. J. El WELL. 

Captain and Assistant Quartermaster. 
J. 6. Chandler, 

Deputy Quartermaster-General, U. S. A. 

Personally appeared before me Charles H. Campbell, of the city, 
bounty, and State of New York, who, bein^ by me duly sworn according 
t fj law, deposes and says as follows : 

That during the year 1862, and from that time up to and including the 
^ear 1866, he was doing service in the department of the South, head- 
quarters at Hilton Head, South Carolina; that he knows Hon. Robert 
Smalls, of Beaufort, South Carolina; that he was present when the 
steamer Planter, of the city of Charleston, came into Hilton Head on or 
about the thirteenth of May, 1862; that he went on board the Planter 
and made a personal examination of her condition, and found she was 
built of live oak and red cedar, and a first-class coastwise steamer, well 
famished and complete in every respect; that he was, and is, well 
acquainted with the value of steamers, and has been engaged in the 
business of steamboating, both as captain and owner, for the last fifteen 
years; that the steamer Planter was fully worth, at the time she came 
into Hilton Head, the sum of $60,000 in cash for the boat alone ; that 
the United States government was paying at that time for steamers of 
her class $400 per day under a charter-party agreement with the chief 
quartermaster at that place, the government finding both wood and 
coal; that he chartered to the United States government at or about 


that time the steamer George Washington for $350 per day, which wa» 
only about half the size of the Planter, and not more than half her valae; 
that he executed seven charters for steamers with the government, and 
also had a valuation set on them in case of loss, and the above state- 
ment is made in accordance with the prices paid by the government at 
Hilton Head and elsewhere during the time the Planter was in the ser- 
vibe ; that, at the close of the war, and while the Planter was laying up 
in Charleston and in a very bad condition from the nature of her past 
services, I was commissioned by her former owner. Captain Ferguson, 
to purchase the Planter from the government for the sum of $25,000, 
which sum I did offer, and the same was refused ^n the part of the gov* 
emment of the United States ; that the steamer Planter was an extra 
strong built boat, her frame was live oak and red cedar, and built as 
strong as possible ; she was built expressly for the coastwise trade, and 
she is running out of the city of Charleston to-day, and is considered by 
steamboat men one of the strongest and best built steamboats in the 


Charles H. Campbell. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me the twenty-third day of March, 


[official seal.] James A. Tait, 

Notary Public. 

Personally appeared before me, a notary public. E. M. Baldwin, of the 
city of Washington, District of Columbia, who was by me duly sworn 
according to law, deposes and says : 

That during the year A. D., 1862, and afterwards was doing service 
for the Navy r>epartment at Hilton Head, South Carolina, in the South. 
Atlantic blockading w|uadron ; that he was captain of the steam-tug 
Mercury, and was one of the first persons that boarded the Planter at 
Hilton Head on the thirteenth day of May, A. D., 1862. 

That he has been for years, and is now, engaged in the steamboat 
business as an officer and owner, and is familiar with the prices paid fox 
charters by the quartermaster at Hilton Head, and the value of steam- 
boats generally at that time and since ; that he examined the Plantet 
when she came into said harbor at Hilton Head, and found her a first- 
class steamboat, built of live oak and red cedar, and her outfit and 


findings complete in every particular ; that she could have been readily 

sold at the time she arrived at Hilton Head for $75,000 in cash for the 

steamboat alone, or could have been chartered to the government for 

$400 per day, which at that rate would have paid the purchase money 

at the price aforesaid in less than one year, and would have left a laige 

surplus to the purchaser ; that she was considered by both the officers of 

the Army and Navy, on account of her light draft and great strength, by 

£bu* the best steamer for that coast service in the Department of the 


E. M. Baldwin. 

Sworn to before me and subscribed by him in my presence this twenty- 

fifth day of March, A. D., 1876. 

[official seal.] James A. Tait, 

Notaiy Public. 











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For the services Mr. Smalls ought to have been re- 
warded. The bill did not pass on the ground that there 
was no precedent for placing a civilian on the retired list of 
the navy, but some other reward should be granted. This 
record is preserved in foil for the benefit of history. 

After the Planter was put out of commission in 1866, 
Captain Smalls was elected a member of the State Consti- 
tutional convention. He was of course the hero of an im- 
portant act in the drama of the late war, and his people 
always delighted to hear him tell, in his own style, 
the story of the capture. His zeal, good sense and pure 
disinterestedness, easily made him the idol of his people, 
whose faith in him was unbounded. Indeed, even to this 
day he is very popular. It was recently reported in the 
papers that two colored men, partisans of his, were talk- 
ing on the comers. Said one to the other **I tell you, 
Smalls is the greatest man in the world.'* The other said, 
*• Y-e-s, he's great, but not the greatest man.'' ** Pshaw, 
man," replied the first speaker, **Wlio is greater than 
Smalls? " Said No. 2, **\Vhy, Jesus Christ." "O," said No. 
1, "Smalls is young yet. " 

This, though it may be only a joke on the general, illus- 
trates his popularity with the masses. At the general elec- 
tion in 1868, he was elected to a seat in the House of Rep- 
resentatives of the State and signalized his efforts by the 
introduction of the Homestead Act, and introduced and se- 
cured the passage of the Civil Rights bill. He continued in 
this capacity until Judge Wright was elected as associate 
judge of the Supreme Court of the State, when he was 
elected to fill his unexpired time in the Senate in 1870, and, 


at the election in 1872 he was elected Senator, defeating^ 
General W. J. Whipper. His record here was brilliant^ 
consistent, and indeed he led in all the most prominent 
measures. His debating qualities were tested, and he was 
acknowledged a superior and powerful talker. He was on 
the ** Committee on Finance,'* chairman of the "Commit- 
tee on Public Printing," and a member of many other 
leading committees. An old sketch says of him : 

His character is made up of some of the best traits of human nature. 
He is generous, daring and true. His mental faculties are acute, sen- 
sitive and progressive. He is, in fine, one of the most distinguished 
of his race, and may justly be deemed one of its representative men. 

Taking much interest in the military affairs of his State, 
he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the Third regi- 
ment, South Carolina State militia, in 1873. Afterwards 
he was promoted to brigadier-general of the Second 
brigade, South Carolina militia, and later major-geyieral 
of the Second division. South Carolina State militia, 
which position he held until the Democrats came into 
power, in 1877. 

He was a delegate to the National Republican conven- 
tion at Philadelphia, in 1872, which nominated Grant and 
Wilson, and also to the National Republican convention, 
which met at Cincinnati, in 1876, and nominated Hayes 
and Wheeler; also delegate to the National Republican 
convention which met at Chicago and nominated Blaine 
and Logan ; was elected to the Forty-seventh and Forty- 
eighth Congresses, and was re-elected to the Forty-ninth 
Congress as a Republican, receiving 8,419 votes against 
4,584 votes for Elliott, Democrat, and 235 votes scatter- 


mg. He was also a candidate at the last election but was 
counted out, not beaten, by the Democracy. He will con- 
test the seat of the man holding the certificate. The gen- 
eral affiliates with the Baptist church, and is of a high 
spiritual tendency, and can be seen attending the Berean 
Baptist church, Washington, D. C, every Sabbath mpm- 
ing. His mother, wife and daughters are all members of 
the same faith. 




A Rising Artist— Exhibitor of Paintings in the Art Galleries— Illustrator 
of Magazines. 

THE story goes that many artists die in garrets, poor, 
desolate and friendless ; that unborn generations do 
justice to their works and j)aY high prices for their master- 
pieces; the merest daubs lx?come highest slx^cimens of art, 
and people go into rhapsodies over those j)ictures which are 
no better in after da vs than thev were in the days thevwere 
made. The poor artist, jxjrhaps, died for want of a meal, 
and was unable to get the necessary comforts for the sus- 
tenance of life. But in these days of activity, enterj)rise 
and sfx^culation, meritorious work of every character 
secures good prices, and the man who has lived to make a 
good thing need not go far to find a market. 
Says a distinguished writer : 

The true artist does ncjt iK'gin his jMcture or statue as one does the 
briek wall of a house, laying it out by metes and bounds and erecting it 
with line and plummet, according to fixed mathematical rules; but, in 
the dream of the artist or artisan, a iMriiutiful dome with all its elegant 
finish, is instantly brought int<^ King and spanned above his head. A 
statue or picture comes to him like a dream, and the secret of art iM>wer 


« to hold those models in the memory until the faculties of constnictive- 
neas, form, size and order have wrought out and fixed the image in 
material form. 


This is very largely true of this young man. His whole 
nature and temperament bespeak the artist. While by no 
means he is afiected in his manner, yet his thoughts are of 
the finest character, and are delicately expressed on the 
canvas before him. His taste is somewhat on the order of 
that of Landseer and Bonheur, who love animals. These 
.artists did not look upon them simply as so many bones, 
with hide, horns and other necessary parts thrown in, but 
they delighted to portray their nature, habits, afiections, 
symmetry and beauty. This is indeed an exaltation of 
their Maker and the dignifying of God on canvas, by em- 
ploying their genius in portrajnng the characteristics 

These and other thoughts engage the mind of the true 
artist. Pictures are to them the solidifying of the imagina- 
tion, anembellishmenlof anidea, a thought made tangible. 
Indeed a picture is the impression of one's thoughts upon 
-canvas in such a way that it leaves the thought fixed 
thereon and becomes a means of communication to others. 
Often so delicately expressed, and so verj' carefiilly pre- 
sented, that pictures are sometimes said to almost speak, 
so faithfiiUy do they convey the idea of the painter. It can 
be readily seen how, in ancient times, hieroglyphics were 
used for writing, and surely they were nothing more than 
pictures. Pictures are to the eyes, then, what the type is in 
the book to the same organ — a vehicle of thought, though 
of a much higher grade than writing. 


''B08S Tweed" used to say, ** Print what you please 
about me but spare me from the pictures of Tom Nast." 
So powerfully did his pictures portray the stealings and 
yillanies of that New York alderman. 

Abraham Lincoln told Nast, ''transfer your talents to 
me and you can take my place.'* It can readily be seen 
what power is in the hands of the man who controls the 
pen, pencil or brush. 

This young man, then, will gain a widespread influence 
if he continues to supply illustrations to Harper Brothers, 
for the Harper's Young People and for Judge Tourgee's 
paper Our Continent as he has done. The firm of 
Harper & Brother does much to encourage colored men, 
and in emplo3ring Mr. Tanner, deserves here to be men- 

His services rendered in this capacity for so old and well 
established a firm, show that he is a talented young man 
and that brains will win every time. Young men need 
not mope around, smoking cigars, carousing, and whining 
about prejudice and proscription. Let them go to work; 
let them do something. 

Mr. Tanner is the son of the well known Rev. B. T. Tan- 
ner, D. D., and has his father's talent and progressiveness. 
He was bom June 21, 1859, at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. 
His school advantages have been good, and he is fairly 
fitted for life's work. He studied art at the Pennsylvania 
Academy of Pine Arts, in Philadelphia^^ Pennsylvania, 
where he has lived for many years. His pictures take 
high rank. No favoritism is shown in the selection to 
enter the academies and galleries of this country. Bach 



mtist pass the committee of eminent men, who 
are art critics of long standing. This is stated lest many 
might think he is patronized by rich men or through the 
influence of his father, or because some one takes pity on 
him, trying to help a colored man to rise. No! It is 
merit; let that be understood at once. Perseverance, 
pluck and brains is any young man's capital. Let him 
use them. 

He has exhibited pictures, as has been said, at several 
gralleiies. He exhibited **The Lions at Home" in 1885, 
and "Back from the Beach*' in 1886, at the National 
Academy of Design and at the Pennsylvania Academy of 
Fine Arts. This first named picture was sold at the 
National Academy of Design, New York City. He also 
exhibited "Dusty Road " at the Lydia Art gallery, at Chi- 
cago, where it was sold. Exhibited picture "The Elk 
Attacked by Wolves" at the International Exposition at 
New Orleans, in the department for the colored people. 
Being commissioner from Kentucky, I remember this pic- 
ture very well. It attracted my attention at the time on 
account of its size and naturalness. He has also exhibited 
pictures at Washington and Louisville. At the last named 
place he exhibited "Point Judith." This picture I also 
remember and was very much pleased with it, though I 
did not know at the time that it was the work of a col- 
ored artist. 

He is constantly engaged in furnishing work upon 
special orders. I visited his gallery and was shown quite 
a number of his pictures ; especially was I pleased with one 
of a lion in his den, where it was shown that he was eat- 


ing bloody meat. It was truly life-like and the lion's head 
with all its fierceness, seemed so natural that one would 
almost feel like looking toward the door for egress. The 
bloody meat, as it lay before him, seemed as if it lay upon 
the floor. Let me explain here that the picture was out 
of its frame and was standing upon its edge upon the 
floor, leaning against the easel. The lion's massive paw, 
seemed as if he were about to lift it and reach out for the 
meat, just before him. 

Indeed, it was true and life-like as I have said. This 
artist has been encouraged by many of the leading men of 
his profession in the city, and his future seems brilliant. 

I earnestly hope that those of our race who deal in 
pictures will not forget to encourage such men as Mr. 
Tanner. Mention is made of him not simply that the 
book might be filled and space employed, but that knowl- 
edge of him may extend throughout the country and he be 
encouraged by those who read of his ability. Be satisfied 
that the statements here made are true and his work as 




A Minister of the Gospel, Eminent for his Piety. 

REV. ANDREW HEATH, after a long illness, has gone 
where there is neither sorrow, pain nor death. He 
-was bom in Henderson county, Kentucky, February 20, 
1832, and died February 19, 1887, at the age of fifty-five 
years. At an early period in life he became a Christian, 
.:and spent forty of the best years of his life in working for 
the Master. In 1851 he was married to Miss Lucy Ham- 
ilton, who has worked bravely by his side. In 1867 a 
icouncil, composed of Revs. Henry Adams, William Troy, 
*R. DeBaptiste, R. T. W. James and Professor Green, or- 
dained him to the Gospel ministry. In 1868 he became 
assistant pastor of Fifth Street Baptist church, Louisville, 
Kentucky, and in 1872, on the death of Rev. Henry 
Adams, became its pastor. The first Baptist convention 
ever held in the State, in 1863, enrolled him as a member, 
and in all the years since he has never withheld his hand 
from any work that would advance the interest of the race 
and the denomination. He has served the General Associa- 
tion in being a member of the Executive board and chair- 
man of the same about sixteen years. During his pastor- 


ate about fifteen hundred persons have been baptized by 
him. We may safely say that no minister in the State held, 
a higher place in the estimation of the people who knew 
him. Every charitable cause found a ready helper in him, 
the orphans a father and the Christian church a true 
leader. His character was pure ; his reputation never re- 
ceived a h]fxr in all the years of his ministry. 

His death, though he had been ill a long time, was un- 
expected and created general and profound regret. The 
church appointed the assistant pastor, Rev. J. H. Frank, 
Deacons Thomas Parker, Shelton Guest, Q. B. Jones,. 
Moses Lawson, Horace Crutcher, R. M. Hightower, R. 
Hamilton, and Messrs., William H. Steward, W. L. Gibson 
and George W. Talbott a committee to arrange for the 
funeral, and Mt. Moriah Lodge, F. and A. Masons, ap- 
pointed Messrs. E. W. Marshall, Felix Sweeney, Edwdrd 
Caldwell, Matthew Goodall and Enoch Maney. During 
Saturday, Sunday and Monday, thousands of people who- 
had admired this noble man in life called at his late resi- 
dence to view his remains and tender sympathy to the 
bereaved family. Sunday at the church was a sad day. 
The heavily draped building was a silent reminder of the 
mournful event. Monday morning the several meetings 
of the city pastors and the students of the State University 
passed . suitable resolutions and agreed to attend the 
(ianeral services in a body. 

Tuesday morning, long before the hour for the opening 
of the church, the street was literally packed with a mass 
of humanity, and when the doors were opened the church 
was instantly filled. So eager were the people to witnesa 


the ceremony that hundreds stood patiently for hours. 
Whik this interest was being shown at the church, sad and 
heartrending scenes were occurring in the home of sorr6w, 
from iBvhich his body was soon to be borne. A few. minutes 
before eleven o'clock the funeral cortege started for the 
church. So dense was the crowd that it was almost im- 
possible to force an entrance. The funeral requiem on the 
great organ, in deep and solemn tones, announced the pro- 
cession. No evidence more convincing of the love and 
esteem of this people for their lamented pastor could have 
been given than the spontaneous and unfeigned expressions 
of grief when the body entered the church in charge of 
the following pall-bearers : Revs. E. P. Marrs, A. Stratton 
and W. P. Churchill, Messrs. Q. B. Jones, Wm. Morton, 
Shelton Guest, Isaac Morton and Willis Adams. About 
two hundred ministers, representing the several ministers' 
meetings and associations, were present. The white Bap- 
tist clergy being represented by Rev. J. A. Broadus, J. P. 
Boyce and W. H. Whitsitt of the Southern Baptist Theo- 
logical Seminary, and Revs. T. T. Eaton, H. Allen Tupper, 
C. M. Thompson and A. C. Caperton ; also the presence of 
a large number of ministers from abroad, including Revs. 
6. W. Bowling of Elizabethtown; E. J.Anderson of Georg- 
town; S. P. Young of Lexington; E. Evans of Bowling 
Green; M. Allen of Shelby ville ; R. Reynolds of Pee Wee 
Valley; M. Bassett of New Albany, Indiana; Willis John- 
son of Bloomfield; J. Jacobs of Harrodscreek; J. W. Carr 
of San Antonio, Texas; Wm. Miller of Jacksonville, In- 
diana; J. M. Washington of Indianapolis, Indiana; and 
B. T. Thomas of Clarksville, Tennessee. The large audi- 

188 BffEN OF MARK. 

ence, despite the uncomfortable surroundings, 
attentively and eagerly. Rer. J. H. Frank opened the 
services with a short introductory address, paying a de- 
served tribute to the deceased. Rev. H. Allen Tupper, 
pastor of Broadway Baptist church, read the favored 
hymn : " Is my name written there ?'* which was sung with 
much feeling by the choir of the church; Professor J. M. 
Maxwell read an appropriate scripture lesson and Rev. 
Lee Y. Evans, pastor of Quinn chapel, offered a fervent 

The old familiar hymn— ** Why Should We Start and 
Fear to Die ?"— was lined by Rev. G. E. Scott, pastor of 
Zion Baptist church. 

Resolutions of different organizations and telegrams of 
regret from friends and fellow ministers were read by 
Revs. C. H. Parrish, S. P. Young, R. Harper and Mr. 
William H. Nelson. 

Mr. M. Lawson made a statement expressing the views 
of the deceased as related to him a few weeks prior to his 
death, bearing expressly upon the relative importance of 
masonry and the church. 

Rev. William J. Simmons, D. D., then preached the 
funeral sermon from Acts, 20: 24-27. ** But none of these 
things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself) 
so that I might finish my course with joy, and the minis- 
try which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify 
the gospel of the grace of God. And now behold, I know 
that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the 
kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Where- 
fore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from 


the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare 
unto you all the counsel of God/' 

The sermon was a warm tribute to the memory of a 
good minister of Jesus Christ and found a response in the 
heart of every person present. 

At the close of the sermon, remarks were made by Revs. 
G. W. Ward and A. Barry by request of the family, and by 
Revs. A. C. Caperton repesenting the Baptist Ministers' 
meeting (white), by Rev. C. C. Bates, representing the 
Executive Board, and Rev. D. A. Gaddie representing the 
General Association. 

Rev. T. T. Eaton, pastor of the Walnut Street Baptist 
church, gave out the hymn ** Asleep in Jesus." 

When the hymn was concluded the benediction was 
announced by Rev. Spencer Snell, pastor of the Plymouth 
Congregational church. 

The floral offerings, which were profuse and beautiful, 
were removed from the casket and the march for the ceme- 
tery begun. 

The streets were lined with people who, being unable to 
get into the church, waited patiently to pay the last trib- 
ute of respect to a faithful minister. 

The procession, which was as large as ever followed a 
man to his last resting place in this city, reached the ceme- 
terj^ about four o'clock. The funeral service of the Ma- 
sonic fraternity was rendered by William H. Steward, the 
Grand Master of the State, in the presence of an immense 
number of people, when the body was placed in the vault. 

The following resolutions were passed by the church of 


which he had been pastor and by the Ministers' and Dea- 
cons' conference of this city. 


Whereas, It has pleased the Ruler of the universe, the great Head of the 
church, the Disposer of all things, to call, February 19, in the year of our 
Lord, 1887, at 7:53 A. M., our dearly beloved and worthy pastor, the 
most faithful and wonderfully wrought workman of the gospel ministry' 
ofourcommtuiity, and 

Whereas, But a few have, with such exemplary fidelity, exerted an 
influence for good in the Master's vineyard. A man of fair literary 
attainments, acquired utlder many disadvantages, strong, spiritual in- 
clinations, sound and conservative doctrine, ardent and unostentatioua 
in piety, spotless in character, unblemished in reputation, dignified in 
appearance and ''faithful in his house;'* therefore be it 

Resolvedt That we, the members of the Fiflh Street Baptist church, 
believe he was truly a bishop of the description of 1st Timothy 3, 
*' blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, 
given to hospitality, apt to teach ; not given to wine, no striker, not 
greedy of filthy lucre, but patient, not a brawler, not covetous ; one that 
ruled well his own house, not Kfled up with pride and having a good 
report of them which are without." The church has indeed lost a good 
pastor, the Sunday school a strong support, his wife a kind husband, 
the children a devoted father, the widows and orphans a fnend, the poor 
and needy a comforter, and missions an advocate. We mourn his death 
yet it is a consolation to know that our great loss is his eternal gain. 
We extend our sympathy to the bereaved family and a helping hand in 
time of need. 

Resolved, That in token of our respect and esteem, the church be 
draped in mourning for thirty days, and a copy of these resolutions be 
presented to the stricken family, spread upon the records of the church 
and published in the city papers. 

John H. Frank, 
George W. Talbott, 
Q. B. Jones, 
MO6B8 Lawson, 
William H. Steward. 



The Fifth Street church and the Baptist denomination of this vicinitj 
and State have met with a great loss in the death of Rev. Andrew Heath, 
^rhich occurred in this city the nineteenth inst. We feel desirous of ex- 
pressing ourselves as follows : 

He was a devout Christian for nearly forty years, connected with the 
General Association since its origin, for fourteen 3rears pastor of the Fifth 
Street Baptist church of this city and also a former member and ex* 
chairman of the Executive Board of the General Association. He has 
long resided in our midst, and here in this city achieved his honorable and 
noble success as a Christian pastor. With comparatively limited means 
and opportunity, he has woven his name into the inmost soul of this 
community. With a liberal heart he has promoted all the true interest 
of society and religion. A nobk, honest and true man, an humble and 
consistent Christian has fallen. His counsel, kind and fair; integrity, 
dear; and fidelity, beyond reproach. In his home he was the modd 
Christian, husband and father. Therefore be it 

Resolved^ That we sincerely deplore his death, for in it we have lost a 
true minister and exemplary Christian. 

That in honor of his great worth, a memorial meeting be held at Fifth 
Street church next Sunday afternoon at three o'clock ; that said meet- 
ing include all the ministers of the city, and such visiting ministers as 
may be present, of all denominations. 

That our fullest and tenderest sympathies are hereby extended to hii^ 
afflicted family and church. 
That we attend his funeral in a body. 
That we wear a memorial badge for thirty days. 
That these resolutions be sent to the family, spread upon our minute* 
and published in the city papers. 

D. A. Caddie, 

T. M. Falkner, 

W. Johnson, 

G. W. Ward, 

G. E. Scott. 

J. W. Lewis, 

C. H. Parrish, Secretary. 



Resolutions were also passed by the choir of the Fiftir 
Street Baptist church, and by the State University^ of 
which he was a former pupil, by the Lexington ministers 
and deacons in assembled meeting, by the Junior class of 
the State University, of which a daughter is a member, 
and by the Louisville Ministerial Association, composed, 
of brethren of other denominations. 

Telegrams were received from the following persons ex- 
pressing grief and sympathy: E. W. Green, Maysville,. 
Kentucky ; G. W. Dupee, Paducah, Kentucky ; R. Bassett^ 
Indianapolis, Indiana; J. K. Polk, Versailles, Kentucky; 
O. Durrett, Clinton, Kentucky; Mrs. A. V. Nelson, Lexing- 
ton, Kentucky; R. H. L. Mitchem, Springfield, Kentucky;. 
James Aliens worth, Hopkins ville, Kentucky; Peter Lewis^ 
Louisville, Kentucky; M.Harding, Owensboro, Kentucky. 
All of these testified to his high standing as a Christian 
gentleman, a man of many virtues, of varied graces, 
and who seemed to have no enemies. Sunday, February 
27, the memorial services, in honor of Rev. A. Heath, at 
Fifth street, were held and largely attended. 

Rev. D. A. Gad die presided and made the introductory 
address. The choir sang several appropriate anthems and 
hymns. Rev. W. J. Simmons, D. D., read the Scripture les- 
sons. Revs. B. Taylor and J. Mitchell offered prayer; Rev. 
G. W. Ward portrayed him '* as a preacher/' and Rev. E. P. 
Afarrs, **as a pastor." 

Remarks were made by Revs. B. Taylor, M. F. Robinson, 
R. Hatchett, J. W. Lewis, and Messrs. Thomas Parker, Q. 
B. Jones, Albert Mack and Albert White. At the conclu- 
sion of the addresses, a committee, which had been previ- 


otisly appointed, submitted a tribute of respect which was 
approved as the sentiment of the meeting. 

A touching tribute to this truly good man is given by J. 
C. Corbin, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, who was an associate with 
Elder Heath in his early life. He writes : * * Elder Heath was 
modest, teachable and unassuming; that he succeeded was 
not due to extraordinary gifts of eloquence, scholarship or 
other talents. It must have been the result of his earnest 
piety, pure character and entire consecration to the work 
of his ministry. These secured for him the favor of Al- 
mighty God." 

He was the "architect of his own fortune," and now he 
rests from his labors andliis works do follow him. 
" Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." 

I might have said more in way of eulogy from my own 
standpoint, but I felt that his death brought forth the testi- 
mony sufficient to show how he lived, and this chorus of 
praise is far more telling than my own feeble utterances. 




Prominent Editor— First-class Musician— Deputy Oil Inspector of Ohio- 
Song Writer— Leader of Bands— Cometist. 

MR. SMITH is what we might call a self-made man, 
as it is largely through his own energies that he 
has reached his present station in life ; but he says he owes 
his education and training to the devotion of a faithful 
mother, assisted by his sister. He was bom in Clarksburg^ 
West Virginia, January 20, 1863. His parents were 
named John and Sarah Smith. It was twenty-eight days 
after the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation by 
"Old Abe.'* He went to Cleveland with his widowed 
mother in 1865 or 1866, and there his mother and sister 
toiled very hard to educate him. After leaving the gram- 
mar schools of Cleveland, with the aid of his oomet, 
which he had learned to play without a teacher, having 
secured the rudiments of his musical education in the 
schools of Cleveland, he made much of the money so 
earned, by which he secured advantages. He was con- 
stantly employed in playing in orchestras and brass bands ; 
by this means also he was able to assist in the support of 
his mother and sister. He attended the Cleveland Central 

H. C. SMITH. 195 

High School, entering in 1878, and finished a four 3rears 
course of what was ■ known as the Latin and English 
course. In 1882, while at the high school, he corresponded 
for papers in Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Springfield ; and 
at difierent times during the last 3rear and a half he wrote 
for a weekly paper called the Cleveland Sun — ^a white 
journal. After leaving school he followed music as a pro- 
fission for about a year and a half, directing a colored 
band and orchestral and vocal organization, at different 
times. The summers of 1881 and 1882, he spent at Lake^ 
wood, Chautauqua Lake, New York, playing thecomet in 
the orchestra. He was director of the Amphion male quar- 
tet ; director of Freeman and Boston's orchestra, a well 
kno^^m organization in the northern part of Ohio, for two or 
three years; was president and director of the First M. E. 
and Central High School orchestras — white organizations, 
and leader of the famous Excelsior reed band of the city of 
Cleveland, and captain of several athletic organizations, 
the members of which were white persons, with the excep- 
tion of himself. ^ While at High School, in August, 1883, he 
was one of a company of four that started the Cleveland 
Gazette. He was general manager and editor, having a 
one-fourth interest in the venture. He soon bought out 
each of his partners and is now sole proprietor. His views, 
as expressed in the Gazette, are clear, concise and easily 
comprehended. He never fails to speak most earnestly for 
the race and its representatives. 

Having been brought up in the mixed schools of the 
city, he has always antagonized the color line in the most 
fearless manner. Says Professor W. S. Scarborough : 

196 M£N OF MARK. 

Mr. Smith has always wielded a fearless and able pen for right and 
truth. He has fought squarely in behalf of his race, demanding recogni- 
tion wherever denied. No other proof of this is needed than the Gaiette 
itself; though at times he has been severely criticised, he has never 
wavered from what he considered his duty. He believes that the Repub- 
lican party can serve best the interests of the Negro, and thereupon 
he becomes its able and active defender. He also believes that mixed 
schools are best for all concerned, and especially for the Negro, as separ- 
ate schools simply imply race prejudice and race inferiority, and, there- 
fore, he becomes a relentless antagonist to the color line in the schools. 

Read what that eminent colored divine, Rev. J. W. Gaza- 
way of Ohio and Indiana, has to say of 


The most healthful signs of life and a highly useful career are indicated 
in the existence of the above named paper. That it is a paper of brain 
and culttue cannot be doubted when the fact is remembered that in its 
columns are found communications from the wisest and best minds of 
our race. It is a paper for the people it represents, and it can be relied 
on as a friend of every colored man, though his face may be of ebony hue. 
The Gazette is a practical demonstration of what can be done by the 
young men of our race. The editor is a j'oung man, who, by dint of in- 
dustry and economy and fair dealing, has succeeded in giving to the 
colored people of Ohio and the country a paper wortfiy the patronage of 
all. Having been a reader of the Gazette since its first appearance, and 
having watched its course, I feel that, injustice to the paper, the editor 
and the race, I should urge upon the people generally to support the 
paper that is practically identified with the colored people, and is in 
harmony with the interests and success of all without regard to 

His paper is now in its fourth year, and is one of the 
newsiest and most successful in the United States. He 
claims that it is not only paying its way but is actually 
making money; thiscan be said of but few colored journals 

H. C. SMITH. 197 

m the Utiited States, and marks his paper as popular and 
in demand. He h^ts given constant attention to the qnes* 
tions which have arisen in Ohio. Besides being editor of 
Had ptDtninent journal, which had steadily assumed A 
porw^cttal iiiterest and influence, he is oneof the two colored 
clerks who secured appointments in the city, haring beed 
appointed by a .non-partisan board of dectors ; hi» ap^ 
jk> intm e nt in the Thirteenth ward wa$ a compUment to 
Ills journal, to himself and a recognition of his worths 
Through the agency of Governor Foraker he was also ap- 
pointed Deputy State Oil Inspector at a handsome salary. 
He not only is fitted to fill this position but he is thereby 
recognized as one of the factors in holding the party to- 
gcther, and he is especially deserving of it because of the 
noble manner in which he championed Governor Foraker's 
•cause in the canvass. No other colored man holds a sim- 
ilar position in the State, and never has held such. 

It should be mentioned here that as a musician he has 
taken very high rank, as has been shown by what has been 
written above. He has written several songs which are 
deservedly popular and can be found upon the pianos of 
thousands of homes. Among the most popular is the song, 
" Be true, bright eyes." 

He is one of whom the race is justly proud and fi-om 
whom we shall hear much in the future. Already he has 
been mentioned as a possible candidate for legislative 
honors, and he will be deserving of all the honors that 
might be thrust upon him. He is by no means one of those 
who seek to reap that which he has not sown, but is 
xnodest and retiring. His intellectual qualities, his good- 



ness of heart and generous nature always bring him to the 
front among his friends, who are loyal and true to him. 
He is manly and in every way shows his superiority over 
the common man. May he continue to prosper in worldly 
goods and honors as he is now prospering. He has at- 
tained some wealth and delights to use it as a slight con- 
tribution to the loved ones at home, his mother and sister^ 
who labored so hard to give him the opportunities to 
make the most of himself. 




IMsttngtiished Pre s by t erian Divine— Professor of Howard UniYersity, 
Theological Department. 

IN Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lives one of the oldest 
and mostrespected Presbyterian preachers in America. 
One whose virtues and long life of devotion to the precious 
Gospel are known far and wide. A worthy nobleman of 
feeling so tender and sympathetic, that while he ever 
listens to you with deep and lasting interest, it pains you 
to see how keenly a tale of sorrow affects him. He is a 
man of large physique, commanding stature, and impresses 
one as a gentleman of strong convictions and earnest 

He was bom October 29, 1831, at Mattatuck, Suffolk 
county, New York. His parents and grandparents had 
long lived in that neighborhood, and in this place he had 
hi»home until he was seventeen years of age. He attended 
district schools while young, and worked on a farm. 
From 1848 till 1852 or 1853, he lived and worked in the 
State of New York, during which time he became a mem- 
ber of theShiloh Presbyterian church, during the pastorate 
of the Rev. J. W. C. Pennington, D. D. His parents were 


Presb3rterians, and his mother had early dedicated him to 
the ministry. A mother's prayers, personal conviction, 
and the pastor's cotmsel prevailed over him, and in 1853, 
after having taught school for a few months at Ne^v 
Tower, Long Island, and having been received tmder the 
care of the Third Presbytery of New York city, as a candi- 
date for the Gospel ministry, he entered the preparatory 
department of the New York Central CoUegCi then at 
McGawsville, New York, where he spent one year in the 
preparatory and graduated from the college department 
in June, 1858. He then entered in September, 1858, the 
Union Theological Seminary of New York city, from whicli 
he was graduated in April, 1861, and the same monm 
was licensed to preach the Gospel by the Third Presbytery 
of New York city, and was then dismissed to the Fourtb 
Presbytery of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. June 14, 1861, 
he was ordained by the latter body and installed pastor 
of the Lombard Street Central Presbyterian church, Phila- 
delphia, where he remained until September, 1871. Then 
he resigned his pastorate to accept the invitation of Gen- 
eral O. O. Howard, and the appointment of the Americati 
Missionary Association, to organize a theological depart- 
ment in Howard University, Washington, District of 
Columbia and teach therein. 

He remained in this work, faithfully serving the institti- 
tion until June, 1875, when he resigned to accept a recalf 
to the pastorate in Philadelphia. He was reinstalled 
pastor of this church in September, 1875, where a kind 
Providence still permits him to serve. 

He has never sought any high honors, and with exttcnUH 


modesty and dignified deportment, he has gone through 
life thinking that his ''highest honor was that of having 
had Godly parents ; the Rev. Dr. Pennington, when in his 
prime, as the pastor and guide of his youth, and the late 
Hon. William E. Dodge and the Rev. Asa D. Smith, D. D., 
then his pastor, and later president of Dartmouth College, 
for his patrons when a poor student.'' He was made 
moderator of the Presbytery of Philadelphia in 1865, and 
a commissioner to several assemblies the same year. 

His talents being of such a high order, his personal 
popularity so well known, and the purity of his life px> 
marked, that Lincoln University, in Pennsylvania, in 1870, 
honored herself in conferring upon him the degree of D. D. . 
He is betoved by his congregation, which he has served for 
many years, and with whom it is presumed he will end 
his labors and go to the haven of rest prepared for the 
people of God ; and his lasting influence over the lives of 
those to whom he has ministered will be as a grateful 
incense ascending to God. 




The American " Mario," Tenor Vocaluit. 

THE American ''Mario" was bom in Philadelphia ht 
1836. In childhood he was very fond of mnsicy and 
exhibited rare talent in that direction. His father, a man 
of considerable intelligence, and filled with anxiety to have 
his children learn this fine accomplishment procured a 
piano and a competent instructor for his oldest son, John 
C. Bowers, thinking if he became proficient he should 
teach the others. This purpose was accomplished, and 
our subject was instructed by his brother to perform upon 
the piano forte and on the organ. In a short time he 
became a master of the art and succeeded his brother as 
organist of St. Thomas church, in Philadelphia. He was 
restricted fi-om becoming a public performer for a long 
time because of his parents. As a tenor vocalist he at- 
tracted the attention and excited the admiration of many 
persons. His voice was extraordinary in its power, mel- 
lowness and sweetness. At Samson Street Hall, in Phila- 
delphia, in 1854, he was induced to appear with the Black 
Swan as her pupil. It was not on this occasion that he 
made his fame, yet the Press of Philadelphia spoke of hia 


performance in flattering terms and called for a repetition 
of the concert. After this repetition, a critic, commenting 
Upon the voice of Mr, Bowers, styl^ him the "Colored 
Mario." Colonel Woods, once manager of the Cincinnati 
mnsenm, hearing of the remarkable singing qualities of 
Mr. Bowers, came to Philadelphia to hear him. He was 
delighted and entered into an engagement with him to 
make a concert tour of New York and the Canadas. Mr* 
Bowers was accompanied by Miss Sarah Taylor Green- 
field, the famous songstress. They were highly applauded, 
and met with great success wherever they appeared* 
Daring this tour. Colonel Wood urged that he should ap- 
pear under the name of '* Indian Mario," and again under 
that of ''African Mario." He hesitated for quite a while 
before he would accept either, but at last he consented to 
that of "Mario." As a lover of his .race, Mr. Bowers en- 
gaged in public performances more for the purpose of en- 
couraging colored persons to take rank in music with the 
more highly cultured of the fairer race, than for that of 
making a display of his rare abilities, also for the enjoy- 
ment which he derived from it. Writing to a friend, he 

What induced me more than anything else to appear in public wa» 
to give the lie to Negro serenaders (minstrels), and to show to 
the world that colored men and women could sing classical music 
as wen as members of the other race, by whom they had been so ter- 
ribly YiHified. 

A love of filthy lucre nor his care for fame ever caused 
him to yield to that vulgar prejudice that compelled the 
colored persons to take back seats or go to the galleries. 


If they did not receive the same treiitmeiit as the Whites 
he refused so sing, which was manly to say the least. He 
had an occasion to talce this step ^nd stood firm, and 
thereby broke down the prejudice that many encourage. 

Mr. Bowers sang in many of the States, and even iit- 
viaded the slavery cursed regions of Maryland. Many 
very favorable comments had he from diflerent papers. 
He was ranked among the tnost cultured of his day, knd 
et^ SL tenor vocalist surpassed all of his contemporaries. Ai 
Mr. Bowers is ^ad, and we were unable to secure material 
fbr this sketch, we are largely indebted to 'MUsic and 
Some Highly Musical People ' for much of the above, and 
^o for permission from the author to use the same. 




Professor of Mathematics— President of the Baptist State Convention of 
North Carolina— Moderator of 100,000 Colored Baptists. 

AMONG the rising young men of the old "Tar Heel 
State ' ' is the one whose name is at the head of this ar- 
tide. He has reflected honor upon the State that gave him 
birth ; he is a young man who has risen from the drudgery 
of farm life to the prominence of a professor in a university, 
and is therefore a representative of his people. There are 
many older persons, of course, who might be selected, and 
some may bring the charge of ** young men '* against some 
of the characters in this book, but if in early life they have 
placed themselves at the head of great enterprises, it seems 
fitting that they should be noticed for the encouragement 
of others who come behind them. Then the depths from 
which some people rise, and the heights to which they 
climb, is worthy of notice. Now is there reason for the 
farmer boy who reads this sketch to be discouraged be- 
cause he has hard work, plowing, cutting and hauling 
wood, caring for the pigs, feeding the cows, and other la- 
borious work? It seems not to me. The advantages of 
a farm life are many, though there may be rough spots and 


difficult passages. Indeed, the days of a farmer are well 
spent in being influenced by nature and thus being led up 
to nature's God. Boys in the country have their minds 
measurably kept pure and untainted by the things that 
destroy the purity of the mind, and many of these ** young 
men '' referred to are mentioned as a means of encourage- 
ment to those who still are behind in the race of life. 

He was bom near Seaboard, North Hampton county, 
North Carolina, October 13, 1849. At the age of twelve 
years he relates that he had a thirst for learning, which 
made him apply himself to his books very diligently. 
He would study very late at night, often all night. The 
young man was especially apt with figures, easily leading 
the other boys, with whom he was associated, in all efforts 
at mathematical calculation. With ease every problem 
was solved by him in common school mathematics before 
he ever attended school. His mathematical mind was the 
subject of much comment, and he has only accomplished 
in that sphere what was prophesied for him. October 10, 
1871, he entered Shaw University, then known as the 
Shaw Collegiate Institute. Here he pursued an eminently 
satisfactory life, entering the lowest grade and passing up 
the line through a college course, eliciting the praise and 
commendation of the president and faculty. May, 1878, 
he graduated with much honor and received the applause 
of his fellow-students and the congratulations of his 

Having been converted March, 1872, and feeling a call to 
the ministry, he was ordained to the work of a gospel 
minister May 20, 1877. Rev. Roberts* ability as a math- 


ematician has steadily promoted him in this department of 
educational work, and the professorship of. mathematics 
has been held by him in his alma mater ever since gradua- 
tion, except one year when he labored as general mission- 
ary for North Carolina, under the auspices of the American 
Baptist Home Mission Society of New York, and the Bap- 
tist State Convention of North Carolina. God has thus 
given him an extended field of usefulness where he might 
develop into a powerful man. Blotmt Street Baptist 
church, Raleigh, North Carolina, called for him to serve 
them as their pastor on July 2, 1882. This pastoral 
^work has been done in connection with his work as profes- 
sor, and they have been of mutual help to each other. 
There is great love existing between the pastor and the 
people, and the church has prospered, adding year by year 
to their numbers ''such as shall be saved.'' Asa Sabboth- 
school worker, earnestness and love to God has character- 
ized his life. From 1873 to 1883, a period of ten consecu- 
tive years, he has held the positionof president of the State 
Sunday School convention, and in October, 1885, he was 
unanimously elected president of the State Baptist con- 
vention, which position he now holds, esteemed by all 
the brethren of the State. His position makes him the 
representative of 100,000 colored Baptists, and as su^ch he 
is recognized and respected. His position in the university 
gives him prestige among the educated, and his indorse- 
ment by the convention shows the people are in favor of 




8iaie Senator of Louisiana— Agitator of Educational Measures and In- 
ternal Improvements— Contractor for Repairing Levees. 

AFTER the battle at Salamis, the generals of the diflFer- 
ent Greek states met in council to vote to each other 
prizes for distinguished individual merit. Were the task 
mine to pick from the ranks of Louisiana's sons those who 
have in the face of opposition towered head and shoulders 
above their. fellow men, shedding lustre on the name of the 
sons of Ham, the subject of my sketch would take front 
rank. Having passed through forty-one years of the 
most eventful period of the Nation's history, it is but nat- 
ural that he shotdd have from boyhood thought on flt?d 
traced the struggles to which the race has been subject, 
and that his heart would be stirred with that patriotic 
devotion which sacrifices luxurious idleness on the shrine 
of duty. Opposition calls forth resistance, and it may be 
well that the Africo-American has prejudice to fight, 
otherwise Mr. Allain, with scores of other noble men, 
would be quietly performing personal duties, letting the 
world surge in at their windows, but never going out to 


meet it. October 1, 1846, on the Australian Plantation 



Parish of West Baton Rouge, was bom Theophile, a boy 
who evinced at an early age those signs which point to 
ftiture usefulness. His mother, **a pretty brown woman," 
possessing all the taste and attractions found among 
those of more fortunate circumstances than falls to the 
lot of a slave, attracted the attention and affection of her 
master, a millionaire of culture, who was the father of 
this son. Mr. Sosthene Allain, in the prime of life, was 
surrounded by all the comforts which taste and a princely 
income can give. Setting at naught the sentiments of the 
land, he shared these comforts with the mother and his 
dear "Soulouque," ofben refusing to take his meals unless 
the boy ate with him. Mr. Allain always spent his simi- 
mers North or in Europe, but not without taking Theo- 
phile, who received the same accommodations. When he 
was ten years old his father, who was in Paris, sent for 
him, and he was sent in charge of Madam Boudousquic, an 
accomplished actress, who treated him with love and kind- 
ness. When the ship landed at Havre, ten thousand people 
were there to welcome the Emperor Soulouque of Haji:i, 
but instead it was the ** Soulouque '' of our sketch. These 
yearly visits, the contact with other customs, was a more 
liberal education to the observing boy than could have 
been acquired by years of application to books. He was 
present at the christening of the Prince Imperial at the 
church of Notre Dame de Paris, attended bathing school 
and accompanied his father everywhere he went. Return- 
ing to America he entered school in 1859 under Professor 
Abadie, New Orleans, Louisiana, and in 1868 entered a 
private school in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In 1869 


he returned home and went into the grocery business in 
West Baton Rouge and Iberville and remained until 1873, 
when he invested largely in sugar and rice cultivation. 
Genius in one man may run in the line of literature, in 
another, art, but in this man business seems to be the 
ruling passion. For twenty years he has been a success- 
ful shipper of sugar, syrup, molasses and rice, and every 
day brings him in business contact with the leading com- 
mercial men of the South. Every Exchange in the city of 
New Orleans is open to him. In 1883 the total crop on 
his plantation was estimated at four hundred barrels of 
syrup. Although living in competency, his Sjrmpathies 
are all with the laboring class. At the Sugar Planters' 
convention which met in New Orleans, August 20, 1884, 
a resolution was oflFered for the appointment of a commit- 
tee to collect **data as to the cost of land, labor, food, 
stock, fuel, etc., with the idea of producing cheaper sugar. 
Hon. Allain opposed it on the ground that it meant 
simply the cutting down of wages for the laborer." At 
another time in the Legislature, he said : ** I tell you, gen- 
tlemen, that when you cultivate any spirit of animosity 
between the tillers of the soil on one hand and the proprie- 
tors on the other, you cut your own throats. Nature and 
nature's God have so arranged it, that labor and capital are 
mutually dependent upon each other." Besides this busi- 
ness he is giving work to more laborers than any colored 
man in the * * public works of the country, ' * being under bond 
and contract with the State of Louisiana to put up within 
three years one hundred and fifty thousand yards of levee. 
When the levees of the Mississippi were in a deplorable 


condition, the Republican Executive and Financial com- 
mittee of the Third Congressional District of Louisiana, 
of which Hon. L. A. Martinet was secretary, met April 
8, 1882, and adopted the following resolutions. We give 
the full statement and all the immediate outgrowth 
thereof. Mr. Allain counts the following as the champion 
record of his life. He desires this record handed down to 
his children.. 


The credentials below were furnished him in Louisiana, 
and he went to Washington, District of Columbia, and 
appeared before the committee on commerce : 

Mr. Allain, upon being introduced by the Hon. R. L. Gibson of Louis^ 
iana, presented to the committee the following credentials : 

Resolved, That Hons. T. T. Allain and George Drury be appointed a 
committee to proceed to Washington to lay before the President and 
those in authority, the deplorable condition of the Mississippi levees, and 
urge the necessity on the part of the National Government of taking 
early action toward building and maintaining the same, and also to ask 
a continuance of government aid to the sufferers from the present over- 

Resolved further, That the said committee is hereby authorized to 
present to the President the condition of political affairs in this State, so 
far as the Third Congressional district is concerned. 

New Orleans, Louisiana, April 8, 1882. 
To all whom it may concern : 

I hereby certif>' that the foregoing is a true copy/of resolutions adopted 
at a meeting of the executive and finance committee of the Third Con- 
gressional district of this State, held in this city March 27, 1882. 

L. A. Martinet, 
Secretary Republican Executive and Finance Committee, 
Third Congressional District, Louisiana. 


New Orleans, April 5, 1882. 
To the honorable Senators and Representatives in Congress from the 
State of Louisiana : 

The undersigned Republicans and Federal officials here regard with 
great pleasure the selection and appointment of Hon. T. T. AUain, a 
sugar planter, and representative Republican of the parish%of IberviUe, 
by the Republican committee of the Third Congressional district of 
Louisiana, to proceed to Washington, District of Columbia, and en- 
deavor to enlist the ser\'ices of our Representatives and Senators and the 
National administration for the purpose of rebuilding and maintaining^ 
of the levees of the Mississippi river by the National Government, and wc 
commend him to the attention of the authorities, and trust his mission 
may be eminently successful. 

Very respectfully, 

Don. a. Pardee. 

Edward C. Billings. 

a.j. dumont. 

T. B. Stamp. 

M. V. Davis. 

A. S. Badger. 

Jack Wharton. 


Sam'l Wakefield. 
James Lewis. 
L. A. Martinet. 


New Orleans, April 8, 1882. 
To the Senate and House Committees on the Improvement of the Mis- 
sissippi River : 

Mr. T. T. Allain having informed me of his intention to visit Washing- 
ton, and as a sugar-planter interested in the reparation and maintenance 
of the levees in this State, and as a Representative of the colored people 
of this State, it gives me pleasure to indorse and recommend his mission 
as one of much importance. 

I regard the colored laborer as well adapted to the cultivation of 
sugar and to the diseases of this climate, and should consider it as a 


fortime if it should be discouraged and driven away by the inability of 
the planter to restore the levees. 

Congress, in protecting the great American interest of sugar, may in- 
cidentally provide employment for a great number of her colored race, 
estimated at more than one hundred thousand. 

Mr. Allain deserves approval for his public spirit in urging upon Con- 
gress the importance of promptly assuming charge of the levees of 
Louisiana, and will be entitled to the gratitude of the planters and 
laborers for any influence he may exercise in securing the adoption of a 
SjTStcm which will prevent Louisiana from the calamity of an overflow, 
and the public from the abandonment, and possibly the destruction of 
the sugar crop, which now retains at home more than $25,000,000, 
otberwise exported for the purchase of foreign sugar. 

Your obedient servant, 

R. S. Howard, 
President Chamber of Commerce. 

New Orleans Cotton Exchange, 

New Orleans, April 6, 1882. 
Hon. T. T. Allsun, Louisiana State representative, is entitled to full 
encouragement and assistance from our Senators and Representatives in 
Congress, as a delegate from the suffering people of the overflowed sec- 
tion of Louisiana. 

We therefore recommend him to their good offices, and earnestly 
request that he be granted such hearing as the importance of his 
mission warrants, which mission is to show fully the dire necessities of 
our people and their claims upon the general government for assistance 
in protecting themselves from a recurrence of the terrible disasters 
trough which they are now suffering, 

Very respectfully, 

Thomas L. Airev, 
President New Orleans Cotton Exchange. 

New Orleans Stock Exchange, 

New Orleans, April 8, 1882. 
The New Orleans Stock Exchange cordially indorses the mission as 
l e pixacn ted by Hon, T- T. Allain to succor the distressed sufferers from 



New 0' 

To the honorable Senators and Kepresentativ 

State of Louisiiina : 

The undersigned Republicans iind Federa' 
great i)leasure the selection and appoint i 
sugar i)lanter, iiiid representative Republ- 
!)Y the Republican committee of the T 
Louisiana, to proceed to Washingtor 
deavor to enlist the services of our Re] 
National administration for the pur 
of the levees of the Mississippi river * 
commend him to the attention of 
may lie eminently successful. 


.ive * 
.:".»ia, hy 
: Louisiana^ 
nd maintaining 

::i accomplishing this 
: and individual effort in 

To the Scnal 
sissippi Ri 
Mr. T. T 
ton, and ; 
of the It' 
9f this 

I T . 

"k. =:..rv Kxecutive Committee. 
.:• J rresixmding Secretary. 

.- -^: '» ux. Acting President. 

^- -.-...TV Amcricus Club. 

7 -. < • .-XT Anericus Club. 
V. •^:4 \\x-?n.*ident. 
« • • .. • . 

- — ..". :• vtv'.iti ve Committee^ 
v.- -.-,:.:> Club. 

S . • K-: -. nn 


MON Mekchakts, 

April 6, 1883. 

lative of the 

.intera and htm- intercede 

.nB, in aaking tbe Na- 

vwe of tb; MiwiMipiM 

,im on and for making his 

,u yeara, all of wUch lie has 

iueudiflg Mr. Allain to our ddega- 
'lablc coOMdemtioa for the canee he 

Vary iwp«ctfldlT, 

C. A. Phiupfi & Co. 

OvncB OF RsNBBAW, Cahhack & Co., 
N um SinuK Factoks, No. 32 Pbkdioo Stkbbt, 
Nbw Oblbaks, Louisiana, March 28, 1882. 


"-' had bnsncM TCtatJona with the Hon. T. T. Allain, of Iberville 
.) dtniqg aeveral jeaia, and feel satisfied that anj statement he 
•htmafagan^g^jogtlig eoQJition ofthelerees and the consequent 
AoftteTtrerptuiabetma; be confidently relied on. 
t eiy f ci p e ctn uy I 

RxNSHAw. Cammack ft Co. 
Ar. Mittbkb&rosr & Pollock. 
E. B. Whbelock. 
Stauffbr Mackbadv & Co. 
Hanbeu. ft Wbbstbb. 


Jff And deedbQr indofae all that is said above, and commend Ur. 
a to the LoidnaDa dekgntion in Congress, and respectful!; request 


the overflow, and trusts that his efibrts to bring influence to rebuild 

our levees will be successful. 

T. S. Barton, 

A. A. Brjnsmadb, Secretary. 

New Orleans, April 6, 1882. 
To Hon. W. P. Kellogg, U. S. Senator from Louisiana, and Hon. C. B- 
Darrall, Representative Third Congressional District of Louisiana, 
Washington, D. C. 

Gentlemen : The undersigned, members of the Americus Club of this 
city, beg to commend to your favorable attention Hon. T. T. Allain, 
representative from Iberville Parish in our present State Legislature, 
who has been app>ointed to visit Washington, District of Columbia, by 
the Third Congressional District Committee of the State of Louisiana, 
with the view of obtaining National aid in rebuilding and maintaining^ 
the levees of the Mississippi river. 

We ask that your aid and influence be given him in accomplishing this 
desirable object-, and thanking you for your joint and individual effort in 
behalf of these interests, subscribe ourselves, 

Yours respectfully, 

Wm. a. Halston, 

Secretary Executive Committee. 
P. Landry, Corresponding Secretary. 
Jas. E. Porter, 

First Vice, Acting President. 
Geo. H. Walker, 

Secretary Americus Club. 
Fred. Simms, 

Treasurer Americus Club. 
F. Moss, Vice-President. 
F. M. Ward, 

Chairman Executive Committee* 
Americus Club. 
Thomas J. Bos well. 
A. P. Williams. 
Geo. G. Johnson. 
W. Silverthorn. 
J. E. Martinez. 
W. S. Wilson. 
James D. Macary.. 


C. A. Philippi & Co., 
Cotton Factors and Commission Merchants, 
No. 48 Union Street, New Orleans, April 6, 1882. 

To our Senators and Representatives in Congress : 

Gbxtuembm: Hon. T. T. Allain, a ptomi^ent representative of the 
parish of Iberville, is delegated by a large number of planters and busi- 
ness men of Iberville and this city to proceed to Washington, to intercede 
with our Senators and Representatives in Congress, in asking the Na- 
tional g o v e rnment to build and maintain the levees of the Mississippi 
rrver. We desire to state that we furnished him on and for making his 
sugar crop about $4,000 within the last two years, all of which he has 

We therefore take pleasure in recommending Mr. Allain to our delega- 
tion in Congress, and ask a favorable consideration for the cause he 
advocates, and commend his statements. 

Very respectfully, 

C. A. Phiuppi & Co. 

Office of Renshaw, Cammack & Co., 
Cotton and Sugar Factors, No. 32 Perdido Street, 
New Orleans, Louisiana, March 28, 1882. 

To w^hom it may concern : 

We have had business relations with the Hon. T. T. Allain, of Iberville 

parish during several years, and feel satisfied that any statement he 

might make concerning the condition of the Icvccs and the consequent 

needs of the river parishes may be confidently relied on. 

Very respectfully, 

Renshaw. Cammack & Co. 

Ar. Mittenberger & Pollock. 

E. B. Wheelock. 

Stauffer Macready & Co. 

Hansell & Webster. 

J. W. Bur BRIDGE. 

I fully and cheerfully indorse all that is said above, and commend Mr. 

Allain to the Louisiana delegation in Congress, and respectfully request 

their thorough co-operation in his patriotic purpose. 

I. N. Marks. 


Citizens' Bank of Louisiana, 
Baj«king Department, 
New Orleans, April 8. 188! 
To the Hon. Senators and Representatives of the State of Louisiana 

Congress, Washington, D. C. : 

Gentlemen: The' bearer, the Hon. T. T. Allain, a sugar plantei 
excellent repute, from parish Iberville, in our State, and no do 
known to most of you, comes to Washington accredited as a deleg 
from his parish and district, to intercede with members of Congress 
an early and ample appropriation toward rebuilding the Missisa 
river levees for the future protection of agricultural interests agains 
repetition of the disastrous and ruinous flood which has this year d( 
la ted so large a portion of our State. 

We earnestly solicit from yourselves and associates in both house 

favorable consideration and prompt action to'ward the desired end,nK 

so indispensable as now. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servants, 

E. L. Carriers, 

J AS. J. Tarlbton. 

Office of Tertrou & Pugh, 
Cotton and Sugar Factors, 
New Orleans, March 28, 188: 
Hon. R. L. Gibson, Washington: 

Dear Sir : We take pleasure in introducing to your acquaintance H 
T. T. Allain, a prominent planter of the parish of Iberville, in this Sti 
being a neighbor to a plantation whose owners are in Paris, and 
whom we are the agents. Mr. Allain is from a parish in which are mj 
large plantations and wealthy planters, and is personally known to 
He intends visiting Washington for and on account of levee purposes. 

We therefore recommend him to your consideration and any aid or 

formation which he may need, and extend to him, will be appreciated 

Yours respectfully, 

Tertrou & Pugf 

I cordially indorse Hon. T. T. Allain as worthy and intelligent. / 

courtesy extended him will be appreciated. 


Cyrus Bussed 


Oppicb of the Manhattan Life Insurance Company, 
1S6 AND 158 Broadway, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 28, 1882. 
Hon. B. P. Jonas, Washington. D. C. : 

Dear Sib : Hon. T. T. Allain, of Iberville parish, visits Washington in 
the interest of levee protection for the State at large, an4 has the influ- 
ence of our best citizens to aid his mission. As Mr. Allain represents the 
combined political elements of his parish, doubtless his visit will result in 
great benefit, just at.this condition of distress arising from present high 

I have the honor to be, respectfully, etc., 

H. M. Isaacson. 


Mr. Allain saiA 

Mr. Chairman: The papeis and documents which I have had the 
honor to present to you from the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, 
the Cotton Exchange, and a number of prominent, wealthy, and deeply 
interested merchants and other business men of that city, together with 
the indorsement and recommendations of the Republican committee of 
the Third Congressional district of Louisiana, arc the sanctions of author- 
ity and the credentials on which I venture to appear before you ; not, 
however, without a profound sense of my inability to do full justice to a 
subject of such vast importance as the preservation of the levees of the 
Mississippi river by the National government, the advocacy of which I 
am charged with. 

And, cheerfully as I respond to the obligations thus imposed, my diffi- 
dence is not at all diminished, and especially, when I remember how fre- 
quently, fully, forcibly— and, we had hoped, conclusively— it has been 
shown by facts, figures, arguments, and demonstrations that it was — 
and as it now is — the interest and the duty of the National government to 
huild and keep in repair the levees of its mighty river, the Mississippi. 

It is mine to-day, sir, to once more tread this beaten path, and if it be 
true that there is no evil without its corresponding good, it is mine to 
seize the lamentable opportunity, the moment when millions of acres of 
cultivable and cultivated cotton, sugar, and rice lands are many feet 
under water; when thousands of families are flooded out of their homes, 
are taking refuge everywhere, an v where from the angry flood; when a 


hundred thousand laborers, driven by the waters, have fled in eveiy di- 
rection, to the utter demoralization of labor; when horses, mules, oxen,. 
and innumerable, but valuable lesser animals are de8tro3red or sacrificed 
in one way or the other ; I sa3' that at this moment of our deepest afflictioii 
I am commissioned to come here and appeal to you and to the government 
to use every exertion, to relax no effort to save our section (as far as 
human agency and human effort can rescue us) from the periodic recur- 
rence of these calamitous overflows. 

I may state, as an absolute fact, that the States whose lands are peri- 
odically overflowed by the Mississippi river are utterly unable to build 
and maintain the levees to meet these occasional emergencies. 

This argument in itself would not, I know, constitute any valid basis- 
for our claim that the National government should therefore assume the- 
task of cfRciently providing against the disasters. ^ 

I have, therefore, been at some pains to prepare my statements to for- 
tify the position I now assume, and that is, that it is the interest and the 
duty of the United States Government to construct and maintain an effi- 
cient system of levees along the banks of the Mississippi river, and that 
upon it must rest the enormous moral responsibility, at least, of the- 
incalculable suffering and losses which are entailed by the overflows. 

It is not necessary- for me to labor to show you that the United States 
possessing and exercising the powers and prerogatives of absolute own- 
ership of this mighty inland sea, is placed thereby under obligation to^ 
adopt every necessary precaution to keep it within bounds. 

I take it that this branch of the subject having been so well and so fine* 
quently set before the government I need not dwell on it here. 

I cannot resist the temptation, however, to quote the following forci- 
ble language from the speech of Hon. James B. Eustis, late United States 
Senator from my State : 

'• We know, Mr. President, that the jurisdictional authority of the 
United States Government is exclusive over that river throughout its 
length, and we know how that jurisdictional authority was acquired. 
It was acquired by the statutes of the United States and by the decisions 
of the Supreme Court. In the early period of our history there was a 
conflict going on between the Federal authority and the State govern- 
ments, with reference to the jurisdiction over navigable streams, a con* 
troversy which was as acrimonious upon the Ixjnch of the Supreme Court 


as was the slavery question. It was finally determined, after twenty-five 
years of contest, that the maritime and admiralty jurisdiction over those 
streams was exclusively vested in the Federal government ; and only a 
short time ago, as high up as Shreveport, on Red river, it was decided 
that the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction over that stream was ex- 
clusively vested in the United States Government. Thatjurisdictionisan 
exhaustive jurisdiction. It denies to the States any authority, or any 
po^ver, or any responsibility, or any obligation whatsoever touching the 
Mississippi river. The United States Government can bridge it; the 
United States Government can determine what commerce shall be carried 
on that river, what shall be the means of transportation on that river, 
who shall have the privilege of navigating that river ; and it is even said 
in one of the decisions of the Supreme Court that it has the authority to 
change the channel of that river. 

" Now, I ask, Mr. President, why is it, if every individual in this land, 
every corporation, is obliged to discharge the obligations and the re- 
sponsibilities and the duties arising from the mere tutorship or control 
of property — I ask up>on what ground can the United States absolve 
Itself from that obligation and from that responsibility, particularly 
when vfc consider the immense loss and devastation and ruin which 
result from omitting to discharge that obligation ? And I do not under- 
stand that there is any such thing as degree in national duties and 
national obligations. If I can convince the Senate that it is the duty of 
the United States Government, that it is an obligation of the United 
States Government, it then follows that it is as much a question of 
national faith to discharge that duty, to discharge that obligation, as 
for the Government of the United States to pay the interest on its public 

Passing from this branch of the subject to the ability of the govern- 
ment, I presume that there is not one well-informed citizen of this great 
Republic that raises this question. 

Then, if all these things be true, the only essential lacking is the willing- 
ness of the government to recognize the propriety, the Justice^ and the 
obligation to undertake this work. 

And I hold that it is as much to the interest as it is the duty of gov- 
ernment to undertake the task of protecting the lands on both sides of" 
its river from incursions by its occasionally turbulent stream. 



It is the interest of the National Government because of the enormous 
revenue — the support— which it derives from the section of country which 
■suffers from overflows. 

I am aware that this is an appeal to the Nation on the lowest plane — 
the sordid motive of self-interest, but the argument I hold is sound and 
the conclusions I shall draw most just. 

Taking Louisiana as the illustration, look at our production and the 
revenue which the National Government derives as the necessary direct 
result of our agricultural products. 

Not to be tedions, Mr. Chairman, I will offer the tabulated statement 
of Hon. R. L. Gibson, one of our congressmen, in his recent speech on the 
Hawaian treaty and sugar. 

I give you our production of sugar from 1870 to 1880, and rice from 
1877 to 1880: 















In the matter of cotton it is as important as it is interesting to note a 
hw particulars. 

The Southern country produced in 1880 the enormous amount of 
2,770.000,000 (two billions seven hundred and seventy millions) of 
pounds of raw cotton, which is nearly four-fifths of the entire cotton crop 
of the world. 

During the war we had no production to speak of; but after that 
dreary period, and when we had resumed cultivation under the new and 
improved order of things, the increase in the production of this staple 
became marked. 




Ercry year since 1866-*67, except in overflow years, we have increased 
onr cotton production nntil 1880, when we reached the magnificent 
fi^^res of 6,611,000 bales, as will be more fiiUy seen by the following 
extract from the report of "Louisiana Products," by Commissioner W» 
H. Harris, to the Legislature of 188^ : 


















The value, sir, of these staple productions of our lands, which are 
largnely subject to overflow, make an aggregate value that to me, at 
least, is perfectly bewildering. 

I have heard it declared the conception of a million was an overtax on 
an ordinary mind. But, sir, when we figure up the annual value of our 
sugar, cotton, and rice crops, we cannot but be astounded to find that 
"wc run up into hundreds of millions of dollars. 

This year, sir, unfortunately we shall find no diflficulty in computing 
and comprehending the value of our production. 

But when it is taken into account that we pay cheerfully into the 
National treasury our proportion of the taxes for the support of 
government, and that from such an exhibit, brief and incomplete 
as it is, it can be readily seen that in this matter we are not paupers, and 
that we need feel no hesitancy in coming up here urging and demanding 
that the National Government, which so generoush', but not always 
'Wisely, donates millions upon millions to railroads, should return to us a 
modicum of our contributions in the shape of the preservation of the 
levees of the great Father of Waters. 

The loss in revenue to the United States Government this year will be 
greater than the few millions we are asking and which we deserve to 


Again, the expenditure of over a million of dollars in raitions, which 
have been hurried to our rescue so promptly and so cheerfully, is an ex- 
penditure that might have been better utilized. 

Build the levees and keep them in order, and then we shall not need to 
appeal for bread and meat, and tents and medicines. 

Demoralizing as we know these things to be, wc earnestly desire to 
dispense forever with the reliance on charity fOr food and shelter. But 
driven by our extremities, we have l^ecn compelled to once more tolerate 
the call for and dependence on " rations." 

It seems to me, Mr. Chairman, that where so many important channels 
of profit are neglected that there must be some duty in the matter, and 
hence I say that it is the daty of the National Government to undertake 
without further delay the construction and keeping in order an efficient 
system of levees along the Mississippi banks. 

For years we have had river committees, and river conventions, and 
Mississippi Valley conventions, and public meetings, and public speeches, 
and monster petitions, all in the direction of urging on Congress the 
duty of undertaking this work, but up to this date all of our appeals have 
been unavailing. 

I say, sir, that we hold it to be the constitutional prerogative and duty 
of Congress to provide *' for the welfare of the United States." 

We form, in the relations we have alluded to, no inconsiderable portion 
of the United States, and our welfare is materially injured by the trespass 
of the river, and when we observe Congress recognizing the loud and just 
clamor raised against the imprisonment abroad of American citizens, 
and dealing with the the question as suits a free republic ; when we see 
the interest taken in projedls to check the influx of Chinese, even to the 
practical abrogation of a solemn treaty writh China, without the con- 
sent of*' the other party ;" when we see Congress undertaking the lauda- 
ble, if gigantic, task of even regulating the polygamists of Utah; when 
we see, last, but not least, the beneficent propositions seriously made by 
a revered Senator to provide for the education of the aboriginal Indians 
of our country, and I rcfle<5l that the warrant and the authority for the 
accomplishment of these diversified objects, and that these all are re- 
garded as duties of the United States Government, I wonder whether the 
iaperests of a million of people in Lousiana, a people who fed that by 


«vefy jmt and patriotic consideration should — are entitled to have their 
**' welfore** considered by the govemment to the extent we are seeking. 

A continued neglect of the performance of the duty cannot but result 
in permanent disaster to the sections periodically overflowed, and the 
responsibility for the decay, the ruin, the bankruptcies, and the neglected 
fields will rest on the shoulders, on the only proper, the only competent, 
and the only efficient power to avert them— the Govemment of the United 

I present you the following statement, made by one of the best informed 
men in the State, on the overflow, Major £. A. Burke, who has person- 
ally visited and inspected the crevasses, the condition of the levees, river, 
and the cost that the State would incur in rebuilding the levees. He 

" Eighty-one crevasses in State, from 300 to 1,500 feet each. Say an 
an avei^ge of 900 feet in length of each levee washed away, making a 
mnning length of 72,900 feet, or say 1,043,000 yards of levee swept 
away— costing $260,750. To reconstruct the same levees, owing to the 
effect of the crevasses on the land requiring extra wings to gulches, etc., 
would requite earthwork of at least double that quantity, or say an ex- 
penditure in Louisiana of $521,500, as a result of the flood of 1882, and 
without estimating the crevasses previously in existence. Those crevas- 
ses were the Bonnet Carrfi, in Saint John Parish, Morganza, in Pointe 
Coupee, Diamond Island, in Tensas, and Ashton, in East Carroll, all 
large crevasses broken a length of about nine miles of extra large levees, 
seventeen and eighteen feet in height, or 1,800,000 cubic yards. Owing to 
the great height of levees, the cost of rebuilding would be fully fifty cents per 
cnbic yard, or $900,000 to reconstruct old levees. Thus we find that it 
would cost over ^,400,000 to reconstruct the levees broken by crevasses 
in Louisiana, a sum utterly beyond our ability." 
Add loss cotton, sugar, miscellaneous, fences, stock. 
I speak of demoralization, scattering of people, rising of water, under 
the head of crevasses. 

But, sir, my vocabulary is too limited to express to you what ** crevas* 
tea" in the banks of the Mississippi mean. I will therefore again borrow 
from the speech of Mr. Eustis. He says : 

"Now, sir, a crevasse in the levees of the Mississippi river is something 
of which the imagination, unaided by observation, can scarcely form any 


accttrate conception. At first [it may be but a slender thread of wator- 
percolating through a crawfish hole, or a slight abrasion in the upper- 
surface caused by the waves set in motion by a passing steamer or by a 
sudden storm, but in a few hours the seemingly innocent rill is swollen to 
a resistless torrent, the great wall of earth has given way before the tre- 
mendous pressure of the mighty river, ana the waters rush through the 
opening with a force which soon excavates it to adepthof thirty or forty 
feet, with a roar which rivals the voice of Niagara and with a velocitj 
which is great enough to draw an incautious steamer into the boiling 
vortex. i 

** The effect is not simply that of an overflow, which may subside in a 
day or two. The level of the river, at its flood, is above that of the sur- 
rounding country ; and, consequently, when the embankments break, it 
is as if an ocean were turned upon the land. In a short time the neigh- 
boring country is converted into a sea. Cattle and horses are swept 
away and drowned, or forced to seek refuge on the few dry spots which 
remain among the seething waters ; the crops are destroyed, and the peo|^- 
in many cases are forced to abandon their homes. Sometimes, indeed, 
the land itself is greatly injured by these inundations; for, while the floods 
which come from the Red river, or the Ohio, or even the Arkansas, bring 
some compensation in the fertilizing character of the deposits which they 
leave behind, those of the Missouii, being charged with sand and alkaline- 
earths swept down from the great deserts of the west, have a pernicious 
and sometimes even a ruinous effect on the lands which they invade. 

** In the year 1874, the phenomena which I have feebly described oc- 
curred on so extensive a scale that the catastrophe may well be regarded 
as a national calamity. Through the thirty Louisiana crevasses and the 
permanent openings in Arkansas, and through the f^aks on the left 
bank a vast body of water overspread a district of country more than 
three hundred miles in extent from the north to the south, and averaging 
fifty miles from east to west. I take no account, sir, in this statement, 
of the vast tracts inundated by the overflows of tributary rivers. I 
limit myself to the direct influence of the Mississippi waters from the 
Arkansas southward, and within this region, more than three hundred 
miles in length by fifty miles in width, as I have said, about 22,000 square 
miles, much of it arable and cultivated land, much of it the most produce 
tive portion of the southwest, was Inid under water for many weeks." 


Xnd strong and pointed and forcible as is this description, it is but a 
ftjtit xie-prcscntation of the present condition of affairs in Louisiana. I 
Yiaxe lacre, sir, a map of the State showing the overflowed districts of 
Tberc are a million of acres of the richest and most productive sugar, 
cotton and rice lands under water. 
There are a hundred and twenty thousand human beings driven from 
ther homes to seek shelter anywhere from the ravages of the flood. 

Conjure up the jricture, sir, if you can ; look down the river as far as 
thcfyccan reach, every curve, every bend straightened ; look on the right 
hand and then on the left as far as the eye can reach, and see the vast 
and apparently illimitable ocean of water. 

Water, water everywhere. 

Remember, now that underneath this vast body, this "crevasse,** lay 
bnriedthc seed cane, the cotton-seed, the rice, the cereals, the homes, the 
aH of over one hundred thousand people. 

The picture of calamity can not be depicted by human pen or tongue. 
And remembering that thesft dire afflictions are of periodical recurrence, 
I am the more impressed with the necessity of using every legitimate 
appeal to the justice, and philanthropy, if you please, of this g^at Nation 
to come to our rescue. 

And I cannot let this opportune moment escape me, as the representa- 
tireofaclass who, bom and held in bondage until the utterance of the 
ever-living, ever-abiding decree of the immortal Lincoln gave them un- 
conditional libert}', to specially invite consideration to an irajjortant 
feature of this question. 

By this overflow, for the third time since freedom, our country has 
iKcn flooded and desolated. 

For the third time a hundred thousand stalwarts, yeomen, to the manor 
horn, inured to toil, and living and laboring equally safe in the burning 
suns of August, the epidemic period of September, or the genial season 
of March and April. 

For the third time, sir, this large, this necessary, this indispensable class, 
starting with nothing of this world's goods, but with "heart within and 
God o'erhead,** assumed their new relations, determined to justify the 
act of their enfranchisement, determined to vindicate their title to the 
exalted position of equal citizenship in our great country, determined to 



erect homes, acquire property, build up their families, establish churches, 
support schools, cultivate the arts of peace, and so rise in the scale of hu- 
manity, and all the while contributing to the material prosperity of the 
section in which they reside. 

But they cannot continue living and laboring under the apprehension 
of having their all remorselessly swallowed up every four or ^ve years. 

It requires no gift of prophecy to foretell that if this goyemment per- 
sists in its refusal to keep its river confined to its regular channel (and 
we don*t care how you do it) and thus prevent these overflows, there will 
be an exodus, a serious and permanent diange of abode by a vast 
number of our laboring population, who cannot continue to endure the 
losses entailed by the disastrous overflows. 

And in these days of railroads and enterprise, of openings up of sections of 
our common country not subject to overflow, and with climates as genial 
for us as our own, the danger of the loss of this element is considerably 

So speaking for this element, I say to the representatives of that glorious 
party which enacted the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments 
to theConstitution of the United States, come once more to our rescue and 
save us from the necessity of abandoning our homes, the land of our 
birth, the clime and the products to which we are suited and which are 
suited to us, and the sympathy and increased loyalty of every black 
man, woman and child in Louisiana, yes, and in the United States, will 
be cordially given to you for this act of justice and humanity. 

We are all, in Lousiana, "without regard to race, color, or previous 
condition,*' solicitous to avert the damages from overflow, and hence the 
unanimity among the representatives of the business and the wealth of 
our State, and of the two great parties, with which I have been authenti- 
cated to you, to all of whom I extend my humble and heartfelt thanks. 

Finall3', sincerely thanking you for the patience and attention with 
which you have honored me, I have but to saythat if you keep the Missis- 
sippi out of our lands and homes we will in the near future turn 7,000,000 
bales of cotton ; we will send to market 250,000 hogsheads of sugar, 
20,000,000 gallons of molasses, 25,000,000 pounds of rice, and develop 
a new industry' dawning upon us ; we will send to the North in March 
our early cereals, our spring poultry, and Southern home products, while 
th«! snow and the ice of winter remain on your lands and fields. 


Sir, we make three appeals for protection. 

We appeal against the ravages of the mighty waters of the Mississippi; 
we appeal against the admission of foreign sugars to our markets free of 
dntj ; and, thirdly, we, the Negroes of the South appeal to you to pro- 
tect US, our properties, and our lives against the annual overflows of the 
great riTcr, in order that we may enjoy the benefits of liber£y, husband 
the fruits of our industry, educate our children, and continue to increase 
our productions, and protect the fruits of our labor, which now is two- 
thtrds of the cotton crops, four-fiflhs of the sugar crops, and very near 
all the rice crops. 

We appeal to the National Government, which, in the name of Almighty 
God, we thank for all that we have, to take charge of the levees of the 
Mississippi river, and undef the direction and supervision of officers of 
the government to maintain them. 

Finally, again thanking those who commissioned, and 3'ou who so pa- 
tiently listened to me, I rejoice above them in the proud reflection that, 
in the sublime language of Frederick Douglass, I appear here "in the 
more elevated character of an American citizen." 

This speech was made Tuesday, April 18, 1882, at eleven 
A. M., before the following committee on commerce : Hon. 
Horace F. Page, of California, Chairman ; David P. Rich- 
ardson, of New York ; Amos Townsend, of Ohio; Roswell G. 
Horr, of Michigan; William D. Washburn, of Minnesota; 
John W. Candler, of Massachusetts; William Ward, of Penn- 
sylvania; John D.White, of Kentucky Melvm C. George, 
of Oregon; Richard Guenther, of Wisconsin; John H. Rea- 
gan, of Texas; Robert M.McLane, of Maryland; Randall 
L. Gibson, of Louisiana; Miles Ross, of New Jersey; 
Thomas H. Hemdon, of Alabama. 

It will be remembered that the question of levees affected 
more directly the prosperity of the State than all the 

others combined. It is not a small matter that this colored 

man should be selected by the most prominent business 


men of the section. President Arthur said : ** No man can 
present papers from any part of the country that could 
say more." He pleaded well for his constituents, telling* 
the true state of affairs and giving a reason for every 
demand made. Hon. Allain possesses a large amount of 
perseverance. Ten years before this, 1872—74, while serv- 
ing his first term in the Legislature he agitated this ques- 
tion. In 1875 he was elected to the State Senate and 
remained until 1878. 1879 finds him a member of the 
Constitutional convention, and from '79 to '86 in the 
House of Representatives again. Sixteen years of public 
life is no short time for one who is still j'oung. Hon. 
Allain is a strong advocate of popular education, and is 
second to no man in the State when it comes to educa- 
tional matters for the colored people. He was the first 
man after the war to organize public schools in West 
Baton Rouge for both the white and colored children. 
In 1886, Mr. Allain introduced a bill in the Legislature 
asking for an appropriation of twenty thousand dollars 
and secured fourteen thousand dollars for the purpose of 
erecting the College buildings of the ** Southern University." 
In a speech at the laying of the ** comer stone" he said: 
**I look forward to a period not far distant, when Louis- 
iana will be able to have a white and colored school-house 
dotting every nook and comer in the State of our birth, 
the home of our choice, with a public sentiment advocat- 
ing for high and low, for white and colored popular 
education.'' January 27, 1877, he offered at the ** Farm- 
ers' State Association," a resolution requesting the asso- 
ciation to recommend the passage of an act by the 


legislature to establish an Industrial school for the educa- 
tion of colored people. Under the caption **A Good 
Move," January 15, 1887, the Weekly Iberville South 
quotes from the Louisiana Standard: 

Hon. T. T. Allain has succeeded in having designated as Depositories for 
Public Records the four institutions in our city which are attended 
almost exclusively by colored children, viz: Straight, Southern, Leland, 
and New Orleans universities. Mr. Allain deserves credit for the inter- 
est he takes in educational affairs, and as a business man is a success. 
WTiile a member of the Republican party, he has always advocated 
unification between the two races. 

The Terrebonne Times in the September 18, 1886, issue, 
accused him of drawing the color line, to which he replied : 

I propose to issue a plan for '* Unification'' in 1888, and will ask the 
colored people in each of the fifty-eight parishes of Louisiana — ^including 
the city of New Orleans — to stand solid and support the nominees of the 
National Republican party for President, Vice-President, and for the 
members of Congress, but when it comes to State and local offices the 
colored man in Louisiana must not allow himself to be bulldozed by 
newspaper *' Scare-crows." We know, much better than you can tell us, 
Mr. Editor, as to who among the " white Republicans" in *' Louisiana '' 
that have been "pure" and "true" to us — and God knows that the 
graves of thousands of our "best " men in the South, l)ecause of our sup- 
port to *• white Republican " candidates, should settle and put at rest 
forever the question of ''gratitude." We must look to the peace, quiet 
and wellbeing of our people. We must have Normal and Industrial 
schools for our children, and more public schools in the parishes of the 
State, and we will go in and vote for the white men of Louisiana in 
1888, w^ho have the moral courage to give to their colored fellow-citizens 
a fair living chance, and the "enjoyment " of" full American citizenship." 

Hon. Allain is an acute thinker, a man of sympathetic 
and benevolent nature and large culture. He is known as 


one of the ''Colored Creoles" of Louisiana, and speaks 
French fluently, better than English. He has six childtien ; 
the family affiliates with the Catholic church; the chil- 
dren are being educated for future usefulness at Straight 




" Black John Brown "—Martyr. 

NINETEEN years before the opening of this century, 
on the island of St. Thomas, was bom a child who 
was destined to become a martyr for his race. Men may 
differ as to what makes a martyr, and believe it comes 
through the flesh or the wicked one; but martyrs are 
made of such material as fit men to attempt great things 
for what they believe to be right. Denmark was pur- 
chased by a man named Veazie, after whom he takes his 
name. He was fourteen years old when he was purchased. 
In 1800 he drew a prize of fifteen hundred dollars in a 
lottery. Of course we do not approve of his playing 
lottery by any means, but he made good use of six hundred 
dollars of the money, securing his freedom thereby. He 
was a carpenter by trade, and was the admired of all his 
companions, because of his strength and activity. Twenty- 
two years later he formed a plan to liberate the slaves of 
Charleston, South Carolina. His plan was to put the 
whole city to fire and the sword on June 16. He had par- 
ticularly objected to any slave joining the conspiracy who 


was of that class of waiting men who received presents of 
old coats, etc., from their masters, as such slaves would 
]ye likely to betray them. At 10 o'clock at night, the 
governor having been informed of the conspiracy by the 
treachery of some of the Negroes, had military companies 
thrown around the city, and no one was allowed to pass 
in or out. 

The slaves who were to come from Thomas Island, and 
land on the South bay, and seize the arsenal and guard- 
house, failed to do so. Another body that was to seize 
the arsenal on the Neck, was also thwarted in its plans. 
All the conspirators, finding the town so well protected, 
did not attempt that which they intended. On Sunday 
afternoon, Denmark Veazie, for the purpose of making pre- 
liminary arrangements, had a meeting and dispatched a 
courier to inform the country Negroes what to do, but the 
courier could not get out of the city, and thus the project' 
was a failure, but the leader died a martyr upon the 
gallows, and the slave who had betrayed him was pur- 
chased by the Legislature, thus putting a premium upon 
the betrayal of any one who should attempt an insurrec- 
tion of this kind. From William C. Nell's 'History of the 
Colored Patriots of the American Revolution,' we take the 

The number of blacks arrested was 131 ; of these 35 were executed, 
41 acquitted, and the rest sentenced to be transported. Many a brave 
hero fell, but historj', faithful to her high trust, will engrave the name of 
Denmark on the same monument with Moses, Hampden, Tell, Bruce, 
Wallace, Toussaint L'Ouverture, La Fayette and Washington. 



I have stood in the arsenal yard and seen the place 
"where these men were executed, and the memory of their 
attempt will never fade from the history of the Negroes of 
South Carolina. 




Professor of Homdetics and Greek in the Theological Seminary, Ri^- 
mond, Virginia — Corresponding Secretary of the Baptist Foreiga 
Mission Convention. 

PROFESSOR J. E. JONES was born of slave parents in 
the city of Lynchburg, Virginia, October 15, 1850. 
He remained a slave until the surrender. Against the 
earnest protestations of his mother he was put to work in 
a tobacco factory when not more than six years of age. 
This was in that period of the country's history when the 
question of human slavery was agitating the minds of the 
people from Maine to the Gulf Then, when the feeUngs 
of the people of both sections of the country had almost 
reached their limits, the Southern States deemed it ex- 
pedient to enact some very stringent laws with respect to 
the Negro. Therefore, the State of Virginia passed laws 
that prohibited anyone from teaching Negroes how to 
read and write, and if anyone was caught violating this 
law he would be imprisoned. Young Jones* mother be- 
lieved, with all her heart, that the time would come when 
the colored people would be liberated. She did not 
hesitate to express that belief; she not only expressed it 
to her colored friends, but, on one occasion, went so far as. 

]. E. JONl-S- 

J. E. JONES. 235 

to tcU her owners the same thing. , They regarded this as 
simply madness ; but the idea took such hold on her that 
she, though ignorant herself, determined that she would 
have her son taught to read and write. At once she 
secured the services of a man who was owned by the same 
family as herself. This man agreed to come several nights 
each week to give this boy lessons. At this time — during 
the year 1864r-things were getting to a desperate state in 
the South. Soon, Joseph's teacher began to think that he 
was running too much risk in giving these lessons at the 
boy's home. He decided that he could not continue. How- 
ever, after some reflection another plan was tried. It was 
arranged that the pupil should go once a week to the 
room of his teacher. The time chosen was Sunday 
morning between the hours of ten and twelve o'clock. 
It was selected because the white people usually spent 
this time at church, praying(?) for the success of the Con- 
federacy and the continuance of human slavery. Toward 
the close of the war, the master of the teacher discovered 
that he could read and write, and sold him. But this did 
not discourage the mother, she was determined, more 
than ever, to have her boy taught. After some time she 
succeeded in getting a sick Confederate soldier to teach 
him. She paid this man by giving him something to eat. 
The instruction by this man was cut short after several 
months by the surrender of General Lee. Immediately 
after the surrender, young Jones' mother placed him in a 
private school that had been opened by his first teacher, 
the late Robert A. Perkins. Up to this time, while the 
boy had made some progress, it could not be said to have 


been satisfactory. His was of a fun-loving, mischievous dis- 
position. On account of this fact, combined with the 
irregularity of his lessons and other circumstances, he had 
not been impressed very seriously of the importance of 
an education. But when he commenced going to school 
after the surrender, his progress was more marked. He 
continued in this school for two years. The most of this 
period he stood head in his classes. The winter following 
he spent as a pupil in a private school taught by James 
M. Gregory, now a professor in Howard University, 
Washington, District of Columbia. He was one of the 
best scholars in this school. In the spring of 1868, Joseph 

was baptized and connected himself with the Court Street 


Baptist church of the city of Lynchburg, Virginia. 

In October of the same year, he entered the Richmond 
Institute now Richmond Theological Seminary, with a 
view of preparing himself for the gospel ministry. He 
spent three years there, taking the academic and theologi- 
cal studies then taught. In April, 1871, he left Virginia 
for Hamilton, New York, and entered the preparatory 
department of Madison University, from which he gradu- 
ated in 1872. The following fall he entered the university'' 
and after a successful course of study, graduated June, 
1876. The same year the American Baptist Home Mis- 
sion Society of New York appointed him instructor in the 
Richmond institute, and entrusted him with the branches 
of language and philosophy. In 1877 he was ordained to 
the ministry. In 1879, his alma mater conferred upon 
him the degree of Master of Arts **in course.*' For two 
years Professor Jones has occupied the chair of Homeletics 

J. E. JONES. 237 

and Greek in the Richmond Theological Seminary. He has 
not only performed well his work in the class room, but 
has taken an active part in all the denominational move- 
ments as well as other questions relating to the welfare of 
his people. He is a member of the Educational Board of 
the Virginia Baptist State convention. November, 1883, 
Professor Jones was elected corresponding secretary of 
the Baptist Foreign Mission Convention of the United 
States of America. This convention has grown consider- 
ably since he has occupied this position. The Religious 
Herald of Richmond, Virginia, in speaking of the subject 
of this sketch says : 

Professor Jones is one of the most gifted colored men in America. 
Besides being professor in Richmond Theological seminary, he is corre- 
sponding secretary of the Baptist Foreign Mission convention. He has 
the ear and heart of his people, and fills with distinction the high position 
to which his brethren North and South have called him. 

Professor Jones has constant demands made upon him 
both to speak and to preach. He took an active part in 
getting colored teachers into schools, both in his native 
city and the city of his adoption. He has corresponded 
considerably for newspapers, and at one time was one of 
the editors of the Baptist Companion of Virginia. He was 
six years president of the Virginia Baptist Sunday School 
convention. In June, 1880, he was requested by the cor- 
responding secretary of the American Baptist Home Mis- 
sion Society of New York, to deliver an address at the 
society's anniversary at Saratoga, New York. His sub- 
ject was, **The Need and Desire of the Colored People for 
these Schools.*' He spoke in the public hall to a vast 


audience which seemed to/be perfectly spellbound as he 
told the tale of the Negro's condition and surroundings. 
The Examiner of New York, in commenting on the address 

Mr. Jones is a young colored man, prepossessing in appearance and 
manners, and his address would have been creditable to any white 
graduate of any Northern college. It was sensible, witty and eloquent. 

The Watchman of Boston, in speaking of the same ad- 
dress, said : 

The speech of the evening was that of Professor Jones, a colored 
man. His manly, strong, and sensible address made a stronger 
appeal for the education of his race than the words of the most eloquent 

Two years later, on the twenty-first of June, Professor 
Jones was married to Miss Rosa D. Kinckle of Ljmchburg, 
Virginia, a graduate fi-om the Normal department of 
Howard University, and was then a teacher in the public 
schools of her city. This young man is doing a most ex- 
cellent work for the general advancement of his race. He 
is very hopeful as to the fiiture of the race. He holds, 
however, no Utopian ideas respecting them. He believes, 
he says, ** If the race would rise in the scale of being, they 
must comply with the same laws that conQitionate the 
rise and development of other people." He points with 
pride to not a few of the young men who have gone out 
from the Institute since he has been connected with it. 
Some of them are succeeding admirably well as doctors, 
lawyers, teachers, and ministers of the gospel. Dr. Cath- 
cart, in the ' Baptist Encyclopaedia, * says : 

J. B. JONES. 239 

Profeasor Jones is an efficient teacher, a popular and in9tru<5liv€ 
preacher, and a forcible writer. In 1878 he held a newspaper contro- 
▼ersj with the Roman Catholic Bishop Keane of Richmond, in which the 
bishop, in the estimation of many most competent to judge, was 
worsted. Professor Jones is regarded as one of the most promising of 
the young colored qku of the South. 

In following the career of Professor Joseph Bndom 
Jones, and observing and marking the changes in it, we 
can but say that it was simply marvelous^t must have 
been divinely ordered and superintended. In his manners 
he is princely and attractive. He is never excited, and, 
while an enthusiast in his work, is never more careful than 
when discussing or planning the preparatory part thereof. 
Nothing overthrows him. With great consideration, care- 
ful and accurate information, he seldom makes a mistake. 
It might seem to one that his interest might be lacking in 
any given affair— for he can sit all day and show no desire 
to speak, and when all are through he will pointedly show 
that no thought was wasted on him, but that he had 
given strict attention to the whole matter. Such is the 




p€>reman of the Ironing and Pitting Department of the Chicago West 
Division Street Car Company— Director and Treasurer of the Chi- 
cago Co-operative Packing and Provision Company — Director of the 
Central Park Building and Loan Association. 

T OHN WESLEY TERRY is only about forty-one years 
I of age, having, as near as can be ascertained, seen the 
light of day in Murry county, Tennessee, in 1846, and 
began life a poor, miserable slave, owned by William Pick- 
ard till emancipated by the war of the Rebellion. His 
mother's name was Mary, and his father's name was 
Hayward Terry. When he was but a crawling babe, and 
needed a mother's tender care, he with his dear brother, 
but little older than himself, were put into a pen that had 
been fenced off in one comer of the lot, and there, on the 
bare ground with no covering or shelter, had to crawl 
around on the ground, unattended from early morning, 
when his mother had to go out into the field to work, till 
it was too late to continue, when she had to come to the 
house and spin **ten cuts" of yarn or cotton before she 
was permitted to go to her children and take them from 
the pen. The only attention they received through the 


day was a pan of food placed in the pen by their mother 
to which they could go and eat. 

In 1863, while the Federal army was in possession of 
Columbia, Tennessee, his mother took him and his brother 
and started for the Union lines. She succeeded and found 
protection for herself and her two boys. Henry, the 
older, being of sufficient age, enlisted in the army, leaving 
his mother and brother at Columbia. John remained 
with his mother till a Colonel Myers was placed in com- 
mand at that point, and who delivered all slaves in his 
lines to their masters when they came for them. John 
and his mother were unfortunate in being carried back to 
Murry county by their old master, who came in search of 
them. Colonel Myers had been superseded in com- 
mand at Columbia, and the Union forces had advanced 
and taken possession in Murry county, at which time 
John says: '*I proclaimed to the old master, Pickard, my 
freedom, and at the same time threatened him with the 
Union army for harboring and feeding * Rebel soldiers' 
as he had threatened me with the Secession armv for 
attempting to gain my freedom.'* The old man begged 
him not to inform them against him and proposed to hire 
him for wages if he would not leave him. He worked two 
years for the old man for wages, who said he thought it 
w^as "hard to have to pay wages to a *nigger* he had 
owned." After this he worked one year with his father 
on the "Terry farm," on Tennessee pike, near Sandy 
Hook. The latter part of 1866 he went to Nashville, 
Tennessee, to look for his mother, who had made her 
second attempt of escape before the Union army took pos- 


session of the country around the old farm in Murr} 
county. Finding her, he worked on the steamboat ii 
1867, during which time his mother kept house for him. 

In 1868 he took charge of the farm department knowt 
as the ** Younglove Fruit Farm," on "Paradise Hill," and 
remained till 1869. Returning to Nashville, he and his 
brother Henry opened a "Tailor, Dye and Repair shop," 
and worked at it for about one year ; then he entered the 
employ of P. J. Sexton, contractor and builder. Remained 
at the trade with him in Nashville till he went with him to 
Chicago, in 1872— the year after "the great fire." In 1873 
he professed a hope in Christ, united with the Olivet 
Baptist church, in Chicago, and was baptized into its 
fellowship by the pastor. Rev. R. DeBaptiste. March 11, 
1873, he was united in marriage to Miss Catharine Brown 
of Nashville, Tennessee, in Olivet Baptist church. Rev. De- 
Baptiste officiating. In 1875 he entered the employment 
of the Chicago West Division Street Car company, in their 
"car shops," and worked with them for two years, pur- 
chased a house, but leased the ground. Having a neatly, 
though not a costly, furnished little cottage home, he 
began torefleft upon his duty to the Saviour and perishing 
souls. He soon decided to enter some institution of learn- 
ing and take a higher and more extended course of studies 
than had before been his privilege. His faithful wife con- 
sented to go with him and aid him in the accomplishment 
of his noble aspirations so far as she was able. They 
"stored" their furniture, broke up housekeeping, rented 
their house, and, in 1877, entered Wayland Seminary, 
Washington, D. C. He remaiiled there four years, 


finished the normal course and received his diploma 
He took the theological course of studies there, and re 
ttmied to his home, in Chicago, 1881, and was ordained 
to the work of the gospel ministry by a council composed 
of pastors and delegates from the churches of the city and 
vicinity, called by the Olivet Baptist church. Having con- 
tracted some debts in the prosecution of his studies, and 
his house having been sold to meet a part of this indebted- 
ness, and not obtaining a support from his ministerial 
work, he sought and very readily obtained employment 
again in the shops of the West Division Street Car 

-After one year he was promoted to be foreman of the 
ironing and fitting department. He was the only colored 
man in this department, or indeed in the shops, and he had 
from seven to twelve mechanics under him and subject to 
his orders — all of them whites, of various nationalities. 

The superintendent and master mechanic of the shops said 
to him : ** You have attained your position in these shops 
bv vour merit, and not from havinof anv individual influ- 
ence or backing, or from any consideration of sympathy. 
Your color is not considered here, but yourskill and ability, 
and if any of the men of your department refuse to respect 
and obey your orders, send them to the office." He had 
no occasion to do this, for the men of the shop respected 
him and stood ready to resent any indignity that might 
be offered him on account of his color. Some one was 
heard once to say something about him and used the word 
** nigger" in the shops, and there was raised in all the 
shops such a feeling of indignation, and the inquiry from 


one to another, **Who said it?*' that whoever it was 
that used it was considerate enough not to let himself be 

He united with the Knights of Labor in 1866, and was 
chosen by the men of the shops to represent them on the 
committee to settle the great Chicago strike of that year 
at the ** stock yards," and was elected judge-advocate of 
the Charter Oak Assembly of Knights of Labor, March 
29, 1886. Being the only colored man in the organization, 
he was elected only because of his ability, and was re- 
elected at the end of the year. During the stock yard 
strike he was one of those who suggested the formation of 
the ** Chicago Co-operative Packing and Provision Com- 
pany,'' which held its first successful meeting January 2» 
1887, and he was elected a director of the same. In Feb- 
ruary he was elected treasurer of the organization and 
gave up his position in the car vshop. This organization 
has in running now a main office and a wholesale depart- 
ment, and several flourishing markets in different parts of 
the city. In 1886 he was elected a director of the Central 
Park Building and Loan association. December, 1886, he 
was sent as a delegate to the Cook County Political As- 
sembly of the United Labor party ; at the first assembly 
of the same, was chosen one of the executive committee. 
Was a delegate to the city convention of the United Labor 
party which met February 26, 1887, and was then put in 
nomination for alderman for the Thirteenth ward, to be 
voted for in the spring election. 

I am proud of such men. What a hellish curse was slav- 
ery that a mind so strong, so ingenious as his should be 


Stunted and crippled by such treatment as was dealt out 
to the infant Terry, penned like a hog, neglected all day 
by a mother who labored in the field with an aching heart. 
Let the boys and girls of to-day thank God that slavery 
has been wiped from thefaceof our country and condemned 
by our statutes. 




Broker— Real Estate Agent — Financier and Lawyer. 

MR. WILLIAM E. MATTHEWS, the subject of this 
sketch, was bom in the city of Baltimore, July, 
1845. His father died when he was a boy at the age of 
twelve, and he at once assumed the responsibilities which 
devolved upon him as filling the place of a father. Whik in 
the city of Baltimore he was a prominent member of the 
literary institutions, especially the Gailbraith Lyceum, 
which wielded a wonderful influence at times. He was the 
agent of this society which had been organized by the 
loyalists of Maryland, for the purpose of assisting in the 
education and training of the colored people of the South, 
and especially of that State. As such, he traveled through 
the State, organizing schools and addressing the people on 
all questions which were intended to improve their morals, 
and encourage them to establish homes and enlighten 
them upon the duties of the new citizenship, which they 
had just received. In 1867 he became the agent of another 
body which was organized by Bishop D. A. Payne and 
others for the purpose of founding schools and building 
churches in the South among the freedmen. This work he 


continued for three years, being engaged most diligently, 
speaking in many of the wealthiest and most refined 
churches in the East, such as Dr. Bellows', Dr. Chapin*s, 
Rev. Dr. Adams', Mr. Frothingham's and Dr. Vincent's and 
others of New York, and Drs. Cuyler, Storrs and the 
Plymouth church in Brooklyn. At Mr. Beecher's church 
on one occasion, aflter speaking a few minutes he c>ecured 
fourteen hundred dollars. His subscription book contained 
the names of such men as Henry W. Long^Uow, James 
Russell Lowell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, William Cullen 
Bryant, James G. Whittier, which show to a great extent 
the appreciation of his efforts. In 1870 he severed his 
connection with the society and was appointed to a 
clerkship in the post oflSce department by Hon. J. A. Cress- 
well. He is the first colored gentleman ever appointed in 
that department. In 1873 he graduated from the Law 
Department of Howard University. Previous to this he 
had devoted much of his spare time after office hours to 
business in real estate, mortgages, loans, bonds, etc., 
amassing considerable wealth, and gaining a great exper- 
ience which befitted him for larger operations which he 
undertook in after years. He is a prominent man in the 
community, being one of the most liberal supporters of 
the 15th Street Presbyterian church, and has been a long 
time chairman of its board of trustees. Mr. Matthews is 
a gentleman of pleasing address and entertaining manners 
— a leading man, whose opinions weigh, and are always 
sincerely sought for in the interest of right. His devotion 
to the race is shown in his liberality and earnest efforts to 
improve their condition, and benefit the poor in any and 


every way. Few things are discussed or attempted for 
good that they do not receive his cognizance. It is said 
that his first effort as a speaker was made when he was 
quite a boy, at a great meeting of the State loyalists held 
at the Front Street theatre, Baltimore, 1863, to discuss 
the question of abolition in the border States, Hon. John 
Minor Botts of Maryland, presiding. On the stage were a 
large number of leading Republicans of the South, includ- 
ing Hon. Horace Maynardof Tennessee ; Thomas H. Settle 
of North Carolina ; J. A. Cresswell, Judge Bond and others 
of Maryland. The theatre is said to have been packed by 
an audience of three thousand. When Mr. Matthews was 
called on to speak, he carried the house with a brief but 
enthusiastic speech, which was noted for the boisterous 
andenthiisiastic manner in which it was received. He has 


some distinction as an orator, though of later j'-ears he 
has done very little speaking. In 1880 he was invited by 
a prominent gentleman of Boston to deliver a eulogy on 
the life and character of the Rev. John F. W. Ware, an 
cmitient Unitarian preacher (white). He was pastor of the 
cfiurch in Baltimore during the war, and did much by his 
sterling work and great ability to strengthen the new 
cause and aid the colored people in emancipation and edu- 
cation. On this occasion the meeting was presided over 
by the Hon. John D. Long, Governor of the State. The 
audience was a notable one, including Edward Everett 
Hale, James Freeman Clark and Dr. Rufus' Ellis, Dr. Foote 
of King's Chapel, and thelate Judge George L. Ruffin. An ex- 
cerpt from that speech will show his estimate of this gentle- 
man and also his style as a writer and speaker. Said he: 

\V. li. MAl'lll-" 




Yoa know of his patriotic work for the soldiers in tent, field and hos- 
pital ; of his sermons at our beautifiil Druid Hill Park, where thousands 
of all climes, tongues, colors and conditions would hang on his words as 
be outlined some grand thought in a way which was charming and capti- 
vating to the simple as to the educated, on noble living, high thinking, 
tw passionate devotion to one's country; of his theatre preaching on 
'winter nights, when he would, week after week, hold his audiences of 
t^vo thousand spellbound, from the newsboys and shoeblacks who sat in 
the gallery of the gods, to the solid merchant or eminent judge who sat 
in orchestra chairs. All this you know, but I am not so certain that you 
know that to the colored people of the city and State he was our William 
Lloyd Garrison, because he was our emancipator; our Horace Mann, 
because he was our educator ; our Dr. Howe, because a philanthropist ; 
our Father Taylor, because a simple preacher of righteousnes; and our 
John A . Andrew, because of his inflexible patriotism. All this he was, 
and, I might also add the Charles Sumner, for statesman he was also, 
braver and greater than many who held seats in the great hall at Wash- 

This Speech was put in pamphlet form by a vote of that 
meeting. In 1881jthe private business of Mr. Matthews 
grew to such proportions that he severed his connections 
with the post office department, in which service he had 
been for eleven years, and opened a real estate and bro- 
ker's office in Le Droit Building, Washington, District of 
Columbia, in which business he has met with great suc- 
cess. Few men among us understand so well as Mr. 
Matthews the true handling of money and the way to 
make it pay, as was shown in his able article in the A. M. 
E. Church Review for April, 1885, which the editor, Dr. B. 
T. Tanner, declares the most finished and exhaustive arti- 
cle on economic subjects that has ever yet apj^eared. The 
subject treated was, ** Money as a Factor in the Human 
Prog^ress.*' The business integrity of Mr. Matthews is 

250 . MEN OF MARK. 

one of which any man might be proud. His best indorse- 
ment is, that his check is good for ten thousand dollars at 
any banking house in the city of Washington. Since he 
has been in btisiness he has handlec^one hundred thousand 
dollars belonging to colored gentlemen, among whom* 
might be named Hon. Frederick Douglass, Bishop D. A. 
Payne, D. D., LL. D., James T. Bradford, Dr. C. B. Purvis, 
Dr. Samuel L. Cook, Dr. William R. Francis, T. J. Minton 
and Bishop Brown. Mr. Douglass on his recent departure 
for Europe closed his account with Mr. Matthews. It 
was then shown that he had handled over forty-nine 
thousand dollars of Mr. Douglass* money. As an evidence 
of his appreciation of his business talent and strict hon- 
esty, he writes in these words : 

William E. Matthews, Esq. 

My Dear Sir: It gives me pleasure to inform you and all others, that 
in all the pecuniary transactions in which you have handled my money, 
you have given entire satisfaction, and I take pleasure in commending 
you to all my friends who may have occasion to loan money through 
your agency. 

Verv trulv vours, 

Frederick Douglass. 
Washington, District of Columbia, September 3, 1886. 

The office of this gentleman is visited by all persons of 
national celebrity who sojourn in Washington, and as he 
himself is widely known, we do not hesitate to say that 
the future has much in store for the man who began with- 
out a penny and to-day can be considered one of our 
wealthiest men, and besides this he has never been known 
to enter into a questionable business transaction of any 


kind, maintaining his integrity, though many men have 
fallen far short of the expectations of their friends. 

He is a natural financier, easily understanding all finan- 
cial combinations; and were he a white man he would 
readily be classed with Sherman of America and Roths- 
childs of England. It is indeed gratifjring to have the 
name of so distinguished a financier and broker, with 
such eminent abilities as a business man, to present to our 
readers. Success in business has not marked the pathway 
of many colored men, for lack of training while young. 
Had he depended on this, he too would have fallen by the 
wayside. In this respect we claim that his ability is nat- 
ural more than acquired. It is refreshing to notice the 
high grade of intellect he possesses in this department of 




Superintendent of Schools— Editor— Brilliant Pastor. 

REV. JAMES ALFRED DUNN PODD was a native of 
Nevis, a West India island belonging to Great 
Britain, lea ward group, latitude 17 degrees, 10 minutes 
North, longitude 62 degrees, 40 minutes West. It is a 
little one, area 20,000 square miles, separated from the 
south end of St. Christopher's by a channel two miles 
across. Its population about the time of his birth was 
10,200 souls. He was bom March 16, 1855. His 
parents moved to the island of St. Christopher when he 
was yet quite young. His father, a leading minister of the 
gospel in the Wesleyan Methodist church, in addition to a 
careful home training, endeavored to give him a liberal 
education. He was given the advantage of the best 
schools in the island where he was born and raised. In 
St. Kitts he pursued a preparatory course, graduating 
from his academic course quite young, and gave promise 
at a very early period of becoming a brilliant scholar. 

With the view of preparing himself for the ministry in 
the Episcopal church, he went to England to take a more 


extended course of studies in the venerable and highly 
cultured educational centers of the mother country. 
Being admitted into a collegiate school under the patron- 
age and management of the Church of England, he re- 
ceived a literary and classical education that shone bril- 
liantly in his life as a scholar, and adorned so beautifully 
the w'ork he did in the pulpit and on the platform. He 
was strongly attached to the institutions and forms of 
service in the Episcopal church (from cultivation, no 
doubt, while pursuing his studies in the institutions of 
learning under the Church of England, and from being in 
constant attendance upon its services), and this would 
assert itself often in his manner of conducting his pulpit 
services, even after he had connected himself with a church 
whose simpler rites and plainer forms of service showed 
such a marked contrast. 

Leaving England he returned to his home in the West 
Indies, seeking a field for his future labors. He was ten- 
dered and accepted of appointments under the civil govem- 
^t:tientof his island home, in connection with the department 
^Df education, being at one time superintendent of schools 
Cor the island. His inclination and taste for literary work 
induced him to accept of the editorship of a journal that 
was published on the island in the interest of education, 
literature and religion. In these various capacities he 
showed aptitude and ability, and gave to the interests of 
his people, the islanders, the vigilance and care his talents 
and education so well fitted him to do. 

However useful he may have been in thece spheres of 
service, God had a higher calling for him, and so ordered 

254 M£N OP MARK. 

his providence toward him that he should find that to 
**go preach the gospel ** was for him the life work. 

The death of his mother, and other unfortunate occurr- 
ences in his home life, so completely upset all his cherished 
plans that he could no longer content himself to remain at 
home in the West Indies. Thus unsettled, he turned his eyes 
toward the continent of North America, and leaving his 
island home and the scenes and associations so familiar and 
dear to him, he came to Canada. There he connected him- 
self with the British Methodist Episcopal church, and en- 
tered its ministry, served in the pastorates of several of its 

Ha\'ing undergone a change of view upon the ordinance of 
baptism, he united with the Baptist church at St. Cathe- 
rines, Ontario, and received from the church a call to its 
pastorate. Having served that church for a short time, his 
talents soon attracted the attention of other churches, and 
the Baptist church of London, Ontario, was the next to 
extend him a call. Having been previously recognized as 
a minister of the Baptist denomination by a regularly con- 
stituted council called for the purpose, he accepted the call 
to the pastorate of the London church, and served it two 
years. December, 1881, he received a call from the Olivet 
Baptist church, Chicago, Illinois, which he accepted on 
February 1, 1882. The Bethesda Baptist church having 
been organized in the south part of the city, a new field 
and a new congregation was opened for him, and in Feb- 
ruary, 1883, he took charge of the congregation that had 
been organized for him. Under his leadership its member* 
ship commenced immediately to increase, and his preaching 


attracted large congregations to its services. His pulpit 
ministrations were of marked ability. The increased inter- 
est in his ministry, and the growth of his congregations 
occasioned several changes of location and removal to 
more spacious quarters for accommodations to meet their 
demands, for his preaching, polished in literary finish as it 
was, was yet clear and forcible in its presentations of the 
truths of the Bible, and continued to increase in popular 

The financial strain occasioned by the expensiveness of 
the temporary occupancies, determined the pastor and his 
little flock to begin the purchase of property and the erec- 
tion or purchase of a house for a permanent church home. 
This enterprise drew out and put into exercise his fine pas- 
toral qualities as an organizer, and resulted, after an 
heroic struggle, in the settlement of the church in its neat 
and well furnished quarters, in the pretty little chapel at 
the comer of 34th and Butterfield streets. 

The strain on both pastor and flock was very severe, 
and hastened his death. The last time I saw him was at 
the Baptist National convention, where he read a paper on 
the subject of African mission. It was evident that his 
heart was filled full of the work, and indeed his remarks 
impressed the convention, because of his earnestness and 
zeal in this department of Christian labor. At the close of 
his remarks he made a very strong appeal to the conven- 
tion to contribute to the cause through Rev. T. L. John- 
son, the missionary. Mr. Podd would impress one as in- 
tellectual fi-om his personal appearance. His classic 
countenance was interesting, and his health being at the 


time very feeble, he gave one the impression of a man able 
to meet the demands of any occasion when in full health. It 
could be seen then that he was near the end of life, and his 
words for this reason had the more weight and secured 
careful attention. 

He was not narrow in the exercise of his gifts and tal- 
ents, but with a large heart and generous nature, he laid 
his hand to every good work for the uplifting of his race 
and the cause of humanity. 

Death cut short his earthly labors at Jacksonville, Flor* 
ida, on Thursday, December 23, 1886, in the thirty-second 
year of his life. 





Member of the State Senate of Florida— Capitalist— Lawyer— City Clerk 
and Alderman. 

OCALA, Florida, is proud of the Hon. H. W. Chandler, 
whom she honors so often in sending him to the 
State Senate. 

Reared in a State in which there was little or no 
discrimination, he enjoyed excellent school advantages. 
His father has been for many years a deacon in a white 
Baptist church and superintendent of the Sunday school ; 
it can be seen, therefore, that he has had little of the em- 
barrassments of life which go to make difficulties for young 
colored men. 

He was bom in Bath, Sagadahock county, Maine, Sep- 
tember 22, 1852. He pursued the usual course of studies 
in the common schools of his native city, graduating from 
the College Preparatory Department of the High school in 
June, 1870, and the foUo'^ing September entered Bates' 
College, Lewiston, Maine, where he graduated, in 1874, 
with the title of A. B. September, 1874, he entered the 
Law Department of Howard University, Washington, 
D. C, and at the same time became instructor in the 


Normal Department of the same institution. He pursued 
his law studies at the university and privately till June, 
1876. He went to Ocala, Marion county, Florida, in 
October of the same j^ear and engaged in teaching. In 
1878 he was on, examination, admitted to the practice of 
law. In 1880, was nominated and elected State Senator 
for the Nineteenth Senatorial district, comprising the 
county of Marion. At the expiration of his term, in 1884, 
he was renominated and elected for a term of four years. 

Mr. Chandler was a delegate to the Republican National 
convention in 1 884, and has been prominently connected 
with the Republican State and Congressional committees. 
Since he entered politics, in 1878, he has held various posi- 
tions of honor and trust — clerk and alderman of his 
adopted city, Ocala ; delegate to the recent State Constitu- 
tional convention, in 1885. 

October 2, 1884, he was married to Miss Annie M. 
Onley, a teacher in the Staunton Grammar school, Jackson- 
ville, Florida, and the daughter of Mr. John Onley, a 
prominent contractor and builder in that city. 

Mr. Chandler still resides in Ocala, Florida, where 
wields a very large and powerful influence, politically an 
socially'. He is deacon of the Mount Moriah Bapti 
church of that city, and was baptized by Rev. Samuel 
Smalls, now deceased. 

He had the good fortune of •meeting true and staunch 
friends in the i>ersons of Watson Murphy, F. C. W- 
Williams, Reuben S. Mitchell and others, who have always 
been devoted to his interests. The writer was a residenit:- 
of Florida, and was largely instrumental in Mr. Chand — - 


ler's settlement in that State. Having gone there first, he 
invited Mr. Chandler, with another friend, to make their 
homes in that State, and here, in this volume, I wish to 
testify to the generosit}% the whole-souled respect, which 
these gentlemen have shown, not only to Mr. Chandler 
but to himself, as they are men made in uncommon 
moulds. No better men live ; thev are as true to a friend as 
the needle to the pole, and can only be spoken of with 
tenderness and love. 

Mr. Chandler had only two dollars and one-half in his 
pocket when he settled in Florida, but by hard work, 
honest methods and kind treatment to all with whom he 
came in contact, he has been enabled to secure a vast 
amount of property, and to-day his real estate is worth 
probably twenty thousand dollars. 

Senator Chandler is a man of fine scholastic taste, dis- 
criminating in his choice of books and of the subjects which 
he treats. He is already a successful lawyer. As a poli- 
tician he is shrewd, calculating and far-seeing. His 
speeches are specimens of eloquence, rhetoric and polish; 
in every case a subject is exhausted by him before dropped. 
He generally anticipates his opponent's argument, and so 
presents them that he would be ashamed to use them 
afterwards. His style is both analytical and synthetical. 
His life is an inspiration for those who come after him. 




The Eloquent Pastor of Cherry Street Baptist Church, Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania — A Veteran Divine, Distinguished for Long Service. 

THE subject of this sketch was bom of Henry and 
Sarah Miller, in the city of New York, September 19, 
1835. He was a very bright and active boy, whose win- 
ning ways won him many friends, who have maintained 
their pleasant relations for many long years. When he 
began studying he was a pupil of the well known teacher, 
John Patterson, of colored school No. 1, where he remained 
for ten years and secured an excellent common school edu- 
cation. In July, 1849, he was examined, passed and re- 
ceived a certificate as a teacher, and at once entered upon 
his profession, becoming first assistant in the Public High 
school. He was brought up in the Episcopal church (St. 
Phillips), was confirmed and became a member of the choir 
for many years. Though privileged, he was conscientiously 
opposed to accepting communion, and left that organiza- 
tion to form a part of the newly organized church of the 
Messiah, also Episcopal, under the rectorship of Alexander 
Crummel, D. D., who is now rector in the City of Washing- 
ton, District of Columbia. His father died when he was 


an infant, and his mother was very suddenly called away 
w^hen he was about sixteen years of age, leaving him alone 
in the world to fight the battle of life. He had an older 
brother, but he had gone many years before to California 
when the popular rage for gold was at its height, and 
never returned, being lost in the wreck of the steamer 
Golden Gate. 

From 1849 to 1851 he spent his evenings and Saturdays 
as a pupil of the St. Augustine Institute in the study of 
the classics, determined to thoroughly equip himself to 
make a mark in life. During a revival of religion at the 
Baptist church he was converted and brought to the 
knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Though uniting with 
no church, not being able then to reconcile the Baptist 
▼icws of baptism and church fellowship with his own, he 
determined to study all the creeds and compare them with 
the Bible so as to stand on a Bible platform and defend 
himself in his religious views against all encroachments 
and entreaties from the many who were seeking his ser- 
vices, both in the church and Sunday-school. In the year 
1851 he left New York City to assume charge -of the public 
school in Trenton, New Jersey, which he held for years, 
during which time he united in marriage with Miss Eliza- 
beth P. Wood of that cit}'. He made himself useful in the 
formation of a young men's association, and in the choir 
and Sunday-school of the Mt. Zion A. M. E. church, his 
Teligion being of that liberal nature which constrained 
him, regardless of their names, to aid in any way the on- 
ward march to Christ. In the year 1856 he left Trenton, 
Kew Jersey, and took charge of the public school at New- 


burgh, New York, during which time, as a result of much 
study and prayer, he decided to accept the views of the 
Baptists, believing them to be in accordance with the 
Bible ; and his wife, also having just been brought to a sav- 
ing knowledge of Christ, accepted the same views, and they 
were, both baptized February 22, 1857, in the Hudson 
river. He at once felt impressed to do something to advance 
the interests of his Master's kingdom. Having felt keenly 
the loss of several years service in a decision as to Bible 
views, he joined the Shiloh Baptist church, but they having a 
white pastor, and hebeingnaturally jealous of his abilities, 
which were noticed and which led to frequent invitations 
to participate publicly in their services, every obstacle ta 
advancement was put in his way. But despite the pastor's 
opposition he was chosen as a teacher, then superintend- 
ent of the Sabbath-school, then a trustee of the church, then 
a deacon of the church. But here the pastor determined 
must be the limit ; he was rising too fast. But Mr. Miller 
w^as determined not to be outdone. He opened his own 
house Sabbath afternoons and preached each Sunday night, 
or rather exhorted, for they had refused to license him. He 
was sent by the church as its messenger to the American 
Baptist Missionary convention, held at Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania, with the request that they hear him preach, 
and if they approved, license him. They gave him a hear- 
ing, which was highly satisfactory. It being out of their 
province to license him, they sent back a unanimous recom- 
mendation to that church to at once grant him the license, 
and stated to the candidate that if they refused to so do, 
that he should sever his connection and unite with the 


First Baptist church (white), who, knowing his abilities 
and prospects of usefulness, had promised to give him a 
license. Fearing to rebel, they granted the license. He con- 
tinned speaking and teaching in all the churches until 1858, 
when he received a call from the Zion Baptist church of 
New Haven, Connecticut, which he accepted. He was or- 
dained to the gospel ministry January 19, 1859, at the 
Concord Street church, Brooklyn, New York, by the unan- 
imous decision of a large council, composed of many white 
men, who sought, though vainly, to retard the progress 
of the rising young colored man. His fame spreading, 
reached Albany, where the field being barren and long a 
desert, they desired an active young man; so they extended 
him a call, which after deliberation and prayer he accepted. 
Bringing the church up by gracious revivals, he remained 
qver five years, a longer period than any preceding pastor 
for twenty years, and leaving only against a strong and 
united protest and tears. During this time he fortified 
himself with a full course of theological studies, under the 
tutelage of that noted scholar and preacher, Dr. E. L. Ma- 
goon, whose pulpit, with those of severalothers (all white), 
he often occupied, often exchanging pulpits. 

In 1864 he was invited to visit Oak Street Baptist 
church, West Philadelphia, with a view to their pastor- 
ate. While there the Pearl Street church, the old mother 

church organized in 1809, which has had but four regular 
pastors, situated on Cherry street, also invited him to 
spend a Sabbath with them w^th the same view, after 
which calls were extended to him from both churches, 
and he accepted that of the latter, beginning services with 


them August 1, 1864, in whose service he still remainSt 
the oldest pastor in continued service in the city, but one. 
During his pastorate, the membership has been quad- 
rupled, he having baptized over six hundred in the succes- 
sive revivals, the largest of which, in the history of the 
church, occurred in the spring of 1886, in his twenty-second 
year of service, among whom were two of his own child- 
ren, a son and daughter having previously been baptized, 
making four of his children in the church, a blessing 
accorded to but few pastors. His oldest son is a very 
eminent musician and is the organist of the church, and 
also clerk in Wanamaker's great clothing establishment, 
his oldest daughter being accomplished in the manufac- 
ture of fancy hair work and a dressmaker, while the other 
two are fitting themselves for positions of usefulness. 
During his long pastorate many calls have been extendejl 
to him, some with larger salaries, among them the Nine- 
teenth Street Baptist church and a position in the How- 
ard Theological Seminary, all of which he declined. His 
progress has been really wonderful and crowned with suc- 
cess. Crowded audiences greet him every Sabbath morn- 
ing to catch inspiration from his thoroughly prepared 
discourses. The other many offices he has filled prove the 
just appreciation of his gifts. He was for many years 
corresponding secretary of the American Baptist Mission- 
ary convention and is now recording secretary of the 
New England Baptist Missionary convention. On every 
occasion of note his services and voice have always been 
demanded. He has occupied more white pulpits than any 
other colored pastor in the city, and the first and only 


colored man that by their own appointment was priy- 
ileged to occupy the high position of preaching the intro- 
ductory sermon for the Philadelphia Baptist Association 


—the oldest in the country, three years ago. By the 
united request of the Sunday school and church, he 
assumed, though reluctantly, owing to his own pastoral 
duties, the charge of the Sunday school. The wisdom of 
the choice was manifested in the large revival breaking 
out in the school, from which over ninety were baptized 
and united with the church. He has also organized a 
church at Princeton, New Jersey, and has a branch of his 
own church at Germantown, and rendered them valuable 

During his pastoral duties he has licensed and sent forth 
to the work of Christian ministry, Milford D. Hemdon, 
missionary to Africa, Benjamin T. Moore, Ananias Brown, 
James Banks, Henry H. Mitchell, Benjamin Jackson and 
others. Our subject is admired by his flock, and faithfully 
upholds the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ. Who can 
count the good of this man's life; twenty-two years of 
true teachings has not failed to bless both teacher and 
pupils. The w^riter remembers a sermon which he heard 
bim preach in 1870. The text was **God is Faithful/' 
and to this day it is just as distinct in his mind as it was 
the day he heard it. He is a man of oratorical powers, a 
clear reasoner, forcible writer and elegant talker ; a man 
highly respected for scholarly attainments, strictest integ- 
rity, honor and common sense. 

Recognizing the good qualities in him, a university con- 
ferred on him the title of D. D. A sketch of his life appears 


in the ' Baptist Encyclopedia ' by Cathcart, which pays him 
the following compliment : 

Mr. Miller was appointed to preach the introductory sermon before 
the Philadelphia Baptist Association in 1879, the first colored man that 
ever occupied that position, and he was not placed in it by political 
power, but as a simple recognition of his Christian work. His sermon 
showed the propriety of the choice. , 

Mr. Miller is a man of scholarly taste. He is one of the 
best colored preachers located in Philadelphia, and his 
piety is of a high order. May he ever live to proclaim the 
riches of **His mercy** and the truth of that Saviour of 
souls and bring to his kingdom those who have wandered 



Chief Engineer and Mechanician at the Preedmen's Hospital — Engineer — 
Machinist — Inventor. 

JEREMIAH DANIEL BALTIMORfe first saw light in 
Washington, District of Columbia, April 15, 1852. 
His parents, Thomas and Hannah Baltimore, were free, 
the former a Catholic and the latter a Methodist. The 
boy, following the goodly walks of his mother, adopted 
the same faith, joining the Wesley Zion church and filling 
every position in the Sabbath school, from pupil to sujjer- 
intendent ; also secretary of the board of trustees of the 
church, having united with it in 18G6. He was a scholar 
in Enoch Ambush's school for quite a while, but when he 
left could neither s|x?ll nor write his own name. He then 
attended the district public school. Prior to this he spent 
most of his time planting old tin cans and coffee pots in the 
ground for steam boilers. He would make so much steam 
and smoke that his mother would often Ix? com|)ellcd to 
shut herself up in the house. After he had worked with 
the tins for a year or longer, he weighted the tea-kettle lid 
down with a flatiron, and succeeded in generating sufficient 
steam to raise the lid and produce a noise by its escape 


that caused everybody in the house to predict that he 
would soon blow his head off, if he didn't stop such danger- 
ous pranks. 

One day he told his mother that he would get to be an 
engineer, but she said, **No, my son, it takes a smart man 
to fill that position. I am sure there is no way for us to 
get you through^school." He said he could go through, 
though his skin was dark. 

His further experiments consisted of a piece of stove pipe 
and old brass bucket hoops, etc. With these he made a 
steam boiler, to which he attached an engine that he had 
constructed, but it would not work. It was highly spoken 
of by all who s'aw it. The Rev. William P. Ryder placed it 
upon exhibition in the Wesley Zion Sabbath school. It 
was then placed on exhibition in the United States 
Treasury department, and was examined by the officers 
^nd employees, who pronounced it the work of a genius. 
This so encouraged him, he tried to make a better one ; he 
took a piece of soft brick, cut the shape of the wheel and 
of other details deep enough to hold the molten metal. 
Then taking an old flower pot and lining it thickly with 
clay, he thus succeeded in melting his brass with an ordi- 
nary fire in the kitchen stove. With the aid of a file, a 
pair of old shears and an old knife used for a saw, he 
finished his engine, which was a horizontal high pressure 
one with a tubular boiler. The engine was first placed on 
exhibition in the public school, in the room of which he 
was then a pupil. It w»as carried to the patent office, and 
by the aid of Anthony Bowen, a very distinguished colored 
member of the City Council of Washington, the attention 

"^ J. D. BALTIMORB, 269 

of the public and the press was called to it. One morning 
soon after, an article appeared in the Sunday Chronicle, 
headed like this: "Extraordinary Mechanical Genius of a 
Colored Boy." This boy desired to do something to 
further his own cause, and one day seeing the people going 
into the President's house, he was bold enough to send the 
paper with the sketch in it to the President. When the 
usher retu^ed he announced that, as it was ''Cabinet 
day," the President could not be seen. Not having any 
idea that -the President would become interested in the 
matter, the boy had started out with the crowd. Soon, 
however, the usher called him and said: ''The President 


inrants to see you, young man." He went in and found 
General Grant with his feet on the desk and a cigar in his 
mouth. He turned to him and inquired if he was the 
young man of whom he had just been reading. To this 
the boy, being put at his ease by the kindly manner of the 
general, replied, "I am, sir." The general said: ''You 
must have a trade," and handed him a card with these 
words on it : 

Will the Secretary of the Navy please see the bearer, J. D. Baltimore. 
I think it would be well to give him emploj'tnent in one of the United 
States Navy yards, where he can be employed on machinery'. Please see 
statements of what he has done without instruction. 

U. S. Grant. 

This card he presented to the Secretary of the Navy and 
was immediately appointed as an apprentice in the depart- 
ment of steam engineering at the Washington Navy yard, 
where the prejudice was very strong, and after standing it 
a few months, he complained of his treatment, and Pro* 


fessor John M. Langston interviewed the Secretary of the 
Navy who said to him: ** Young Baltimore shall go to 
another navy yard if you desire it." He was transferred 
to the Navy yard at Philadelphia, where he studied very 
hard. He was ostracized by the men, who told him that 
the President might send him there, but couldn't make 
them show him anything ; and there were very few of the 
men who would have any friendly dealings with him. But 
he would arise at 4 o'clock in the morning and study until 
it was time to go to work. He would study all the dinner 
hour and late at night. He was admitted to the Franklin 

Institute at Philadelphia, being the second colored man 


enjoying that privilege. The chief assistant engineer 
noticed his close application to the duties of the shop and 
scientific studies, and on one occasion, when lecturing to the 
apprentice boys. Chief Engineer Thompson of the depart- 
ment of steam engineering, asked this question. **How 
many of you can tell the strength of a steam boiler by 
mathematical computation? Can you, Baltimore ? " He 
answered ** Yes, sir," and from that moment the hatred of 
the men and boys increased. They would nail his coat to 
the wall, steal his tools and destroy his books, and do 
everything that would make it unpleasant for him, but he 
still held out. He graduated from this department ob- 
taining his certificate, which contained these words : / 

United States Navy Yard. 
To all whom it may concern : 

This certifies that Jeremiah D. Baltimore of Washington, District of 

Columbia, has served as an apprentice to the United States in the 

Machinists* Department at the Navy yard at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 

for the term of three years and six months, and until he had arrived at 


the age of twenty -one years. During that time his general character has 

been Tcrygood. His proficiency in both trades very good. His term of 

apprentkesliip is hereby honorably closed. 

James W. Thompson, Jr. 

Chief Engineer. 

Given at the Navy yard at Philapelphia, this fourth day of December, 


G. P. E. Emmons, Commandant. 

J. W. Kino, Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering. 
September 6, 1873. 

He was then detailed to go to the Naval station at 
League Island on the Delaware river, to assist in repair- 
ing four of the United States monitors. When it became 

necessary to reduce the force, he was placed in the front 


ranks. He then took a position in charge of a large mill, 
receiving twenty-seven dollars per week, but after awhile 
the work was stopped, and the firm paid him ten dollars 
per \veek, which he accepted for a few weeks and then con- 
cluded to seek employment in one of the machine tool 
manufacturing establishments in Philadelphia. He tried 
Cramp & Sons, who did a great deal of work for the gov- 
ernment. They said, **Mr. Baltimore, we have heard of 
you and would like to employ you, but if we do, all of our 
men will leave us, as they refuse to work with colored 
mechanics." It can be seen that prejudice existed in the 
North as well as in the South, for a colored man can find 
Work in the South. He then went to Sellers & Brother 
six times, and five times he was put off with all sorts of 
excuses. The sixth time he was refused at first, but in- 
sisted that he wanted work, not because he was a colored 
man, but because he could do the work. After some delib- 
eration they concluded to give him employment. He held 


this position until he resigned on account of ill health. 
Returning to Washington, May 29, 1872, he was married 
to Miss Ella V. Waters, to whom he owes much of his suc- 
cess. In a private letter to a friend he said once : "She is 
to me what the governor is to a steam engine, or the 
helm to the ship." After he was married he opened a 
general repair shop, which he carried on for twelve years. 
He has been employed as engineer of the United States 
Coast Survey at Washington, District of Columbia, and 
at this writing holds the position of chief engineer and 
mechanician at the Freedmen's Hospital, Department of 
the Interior, Washington, having been appointed August 
2, 1880. 

Mr. Baltimore has realized from his labors about five thou- 
sand dollars. He is the inventor of a pyrometer, which was 
on exhibition in the colored department of the New Orleans 
Exposition. He is a member of the Mechanics' Union in 
Washington, and at a recent meeting, the two bodies 
came together, one which has only white members, and 
the other which has both. Mr. Baltimore at this meeting 
made a speech and criticised very severely the white class, 
which forced the president to say that one year from now 
the constitution of his Union would not have that clause 
in it. Mr. Baltimore is interested in every subject that 
touches his race, and has lectured very frequently for the 
benefit of churches, upon the subject of heat, steam, and 
other scientific subjects. His triumphal success over many 
severe difficulties marks him as a man of genius, firmness 
and talent. 




Editor— La wyei^Teacher— Orator. 

THERE are but few names in West Virginia well 
known to the public; but among these stand 
prominent Editor CliflFord. He is progressive, independ- 
ent and ambitious. He is a native of the State, having 
been bom at Williamsport, Grant county, West Virginia, 
September 13, 1849. When quite a lad he was taken to 
Chicago, by the Hon. J. J. Healy, and given a rudi- 
mentarv education. In earlv life he followed the 
barber's trade, and not being satisfied with a little 
learning he received in Chicago, he went to Zcno, Musk- 
ingum county, where his uncle dwelt, who sent him to 
a school taught by one Miss Effic McKnight. In this 
place he attended a writing school taught by Profes- 
sor D. A. White, from which he took a diploma in that 
art. In 1870 he went to Wheeling, West Virginia, and 
conducted a large writing school with nearly one hundred 
attendants; in the years 1871, '72 and '73 he taught a 
similar school at Martin's Ferry, Ohio. Not yet satisfied 
^th his attainments, he attended Storer College, at 


Harper's Ferry, graduating in 1878. He was called to the 
principalship of the public school at Martinsburg, West 
Virginia, which he held for ten consecutive years, and only 
resigned to give attention to the Pioneer Press, a vigor- 
ous, influential journal which he so ably, fearlessly and 
consistently edits. The Republican party has had a strong 
firiend in him. Being delegate to the State convention in 
1884, he was elected a delegate to Chicago by a majority 
of fifteen, and the white delegates went around to the 
several delegations and persuaded them to withdraw their 
votes from him after the vote had been cast and counted, 
thus defeating him. This outrage was not forgotten, and 
the metal of the man is shown, who, when he had an 
opportunity, paid these men back in their own coin. Mn 
N. H. W. Flick, a white Republican, was leader in the 
defeat of Mr. Clifford, and in the last congressional election 
he was nominated by the Republican party, but was bitterly 
opposed by the Pioneer Press^ which defeated him. They 
have indeed cause to fear such a man, who not only has 
power and influence to back him, but who will stand up 
for his rights and accept nothing which reflects upon his 
race. As a delegate to all the conventions of "the State, he 
has many opportunities to give as well as to take defeats. 
I first made the acquaintance of this gentleman in the 
Knights of Wise Men Convention, held at Atlanta, 
Georgia, where he delivered the oration of the day. In 
that body were Hon. F. L. Cardoza, Bishop H. M. Turner, 
D. D., LL. D., Hon. Richard Gleaves, J. W. Cromwell, the 
eloquent R. P. Brooks, now dead, and some of the most 
gifted men of the country. Mr. Clifford was but littk 


J. R. CUPFORD. 275 

Imown to many of us. On the cars going from Nashville, 
Mr. Brooks said to Mr. Cromwell, "Who is that over 
there ?'* pointing to Mr. CliflFord. Mr. Cromwell answered 
it was the orator. Brooks laughed in his hearty way and 
replied it would be a hard oration, and he wanted to be 
absent when it took place. Brooks himself was totally 
unassuming, however, and was also one of the most 
polished orators of the Old Dominion, yet when the speech 
was heard, the house was electrified, and Brooks led the 
movement in securing a contribution to present Mr. 
Clifford with a gold-heiaded cane, which was presented in 
the State house by Lawyer William H. Young of Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, in a very elaborate and complimentary 
tspeech. Mr. Clifford has delivered many orations since. 
As honorary commissioner of the colored department of 
the New Orleans Exposition he served his State faithfully 
and did all in his power to aid the general work. When 
only sixteen years of age he enlisted in the United States 
heavy artillery (Kentucky), Company F, and served as a 
corporal, but finally appointed nurse in a hospital, serving 
there until the war ended, when he was mustered out at 
Louisville, Kentucky. He studied law under J. Nelson 
Wimer, in the city of Martinsburg, and has had some 
success as a lawyer. Fortunate in his marriage, he is now 
on the road to success, and has accumulated a little 
capital as a basis for competency. One John T. Riley of 
Martinsburg, West Virginia, editor of the Herald^ and 
w^ho is described by the Independent as **a young man 
with a downcast look and a pusillanimous nature,'* and 
having **a mean, uneasy countenance, "saw fit >:o make an 


attack on Mr. Clifford. Some comic writer has said : *'It 
pays to have a few redhot enemies, as it always devdopa 
a few redhot friends. '* It proved true in this case, as the 
following, taken from the columns of the Independent^. 
July, 25, 1885, conclusively proves: 

Riley is envious of the good reputation and high standing of Professor 
J. R. Clifford, the brainy and intelligent principal of the colored schools; 
and for several years, through running a Republican organ, has en- 
deavored to asperse his character and discharge him from his position. 
In every effort he has been defeated, although we are reliably informed, 
in the last proceeding, his associate, Tolliver Evans, threatened never to 
vote again for the members of the Board of Education, which is amusing. 
The truth is, Clifford's standing in the community is in advance of either 
Riley or Evans. Intellectually, and in the point of education, they will 
never reach his standard. Therefore, they envy this colored man and try 
to down him. It cannot be accomplished. His moral standing and his 
friendship with the leading men, best thinkers and most respected citizens 
cannot be assailed. We doubt if any man living in our midst can present 
a better certificate of character than the following, which, when handed 
the Board of Education, put to flight his accusers, viz.: 

To THE Board op Education of Martinsburg: 

Gentiemen .—The undersigned bear willing and cheerful testimony to 
the good character, correct habits and unquestioned moral standing and 
quiet, law-abiding qualities of Mr. J. R. Clifford, as a man and citizen. 
On none of these essentials can he be successfully impeached. 

Charles P. Matthaei, Joseph E. Berry, 

C. R. O'Neal, Z. T. Grove, 

William Gerhardt, Wm. McKee, 

J. Nelson Wisner, Henry Wilen, 

John N. A bell, Robt. Douglass Rollbr» 

F. M. Woods, A. R. McQuilkin, 


R. H. Pitt, E. C. Williams, Jr. 

A. S. Hank, R. A. Blondbll, 




^. N. Myers, 

J. W. McSherry, 

J. H. Bristor, 

C. W. Doll, 

Jno. a. Boycr, 

S. H. Martin, 

Blackburn Hughes, 

Geo. S. Hill, 

W. L. Jones, 

Lee M. Bender, 

H. A. Frazbr, 

C. W. Wisner, 

C. O. Lambert, 

George Knapp, 

KiNSEY Creque, 
Cyrus H. Wayble, 
N. D. Baker, 

S. L. DODD, 

George W. Feidt, 

G. A. Crisman, 

J. T. Picking, 

Wm. S. Henshaw, 

John C. Hutslbr, 

I. L. Bender, 

J. W. Bishop, 

W. H. Keedy, 

J. W. PiTZER, 
W. A. PiTZER, 

Wm. H. Criswell. 

J. H. Gettinger, 

The above list has the names of the ministers of the Protestart 
•diiirches, the magistrates of the town, the mayor, sergeant, constable, 
president of the county court, president and cashier of the National 
bank, physicians, lawyers, superintendent of the town schools, ex-county 
superintendent, teachers, teller of People's National bank, ex-sherifF, 
clerks of the county courts, and leading merchants. Such a certificate 
cannot be beaten in this town. The man who merits the esteem of such 
citizens is beyond the reach of the Ycnomous pen of John T. Riley or his 




Tbe Owner of a Street-car Railroad, a Race Track and a Park— A Cap- 
italist Worth About $125,000. 

THE amount of enterprise shown in the life of the gentle- 
man of whom I now write, is worthy of commenda- 
tion. That an uneducated slave-boy should amass sach 
wealth, is a surprise to many. His business tact and steady 
perseverance is marvelous. There are those who believe in 
luck, but sometimes no such thing can be seen in our lives; 
strive we ever so hard, live we ever so honest, labor we ever 
so faithfully, we do not seem to have that good fortune 
which many term **good luck." Of course there is no 
such thing as luck ; all success is the result of qualities 
within, labor expended or fortuitous circumstances, 
brought about, perhaps, by what might seem to be an 
accident, or because of circumstances over which we have 
littleor nocontrol. Mr. Jones can content himself with the 
thought that an over-ruling power has thrown this money 
into his hands that he may do some great and lasting good 
with it. Surely his name could live long after he is dead if 
he would contribute to the special aid of his race in some 
direct manner. 

WILrBY JONB8. 279 

His yonnglife began in that State which had such severe 
regulations for Negroes in slavery days, that it was consid- 
ered the place where they should be sent when they were 
refractory. He was bom in Madison county, Georgia, 
July 14, 1848. His parents, George and Ann Jones, are 
both dead. At five years of age he was taken to Arkansas. 
and waited on his master, Pitz Yell, and performed the 
duties of a houseboy, and drove the family carriage. This 
he did for two years or more. Then he followed his master 
into the Federal army during the war. After that he went 
to Waco, Texas, and drove a wagon from the Brazos river 
to San Antonio, hauling cotton to the frontiers. After a 
while he returned to Arkansas and worked on a farm at 
twenty dollars a month. By this time it was 1868, when 
he began working at the barber's chair, and continued 
thereat until 1881, when he went into the tobacco, cigar 
and other businesses, which realized him this very large 
fortune of which he is now possessed. His brother, who is 
faithful to his interests, managed the business for the first 
two years, while he was working at his trade. Mr. Jones 
had no school training, and consequently his education 
w^as very limited. He had to rely entirely on what he 
could pick up through life, as he came in contact with men 
and things. 

This school of adversity is often the best teacher for 
some men, for really good men arc often spoiled by trying 
to give them what is vulgarly called education, and 
the truth of the matter is they would be much better 
and more properly educated if they felt the conflicts which 
come to those who battle with the world against the 


many adversities common to life. He extended his opera- 
tions by securing the charter for the street car line in the 
city of Pine Bluff, where he now lives. This was secured 
August, 1886, and he had one and one-quarter miles com- 
pleted and ran the first car on October 19, 1886, the first 
da}' of the annual fair of the Colored Industrial and Pair 
Association, of which he is also treasurer. He is also the 
sole owner of the grounds the fair was held on, and of the 
race track and park which covers fifty-five acres, located 
one mile fi-om Main street. The street car stables, which 
cover forty by one hundred feet, are also located on the 

He carries a stock of eoods in his business of fifteen thou- 
sand dollars, and estimates his wealth at a figure not be- 
low one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, which 
consists of his business, real estate and cash. He is also 
a great fancier of fine blooded stock, and owns a herd of 
Durham and Holstein cattle, and is also breeding trotting 
stock, the best of which is the noted stallion ** Executor," 
that has made a record of 2.24V4. On his farm he has 
about twelve choicely bred mares, and hires a professional 
driver to handle them, which insures him first-class hand- 
ling and develops their speed to perfection. 

Mr. Jones can be accounted as one of our most success- 
ful business men, and the only hope is that he will use his 
wealth wisely, and to the honor and glory of God. He 
has not yet seen fit to marry, and therefore has no one to 
whom he may look as the heir of the large property which 
be has accumulated. 





Acsidcnt of the' Alcorn University — Professor of Mental and Moral Phi- 
, * ICMopfay and Constitutional Law— Teacher of Political Economy, 
. litemtiizeand.Cheniistry— Attorney at Law. 

PTER many struggles as a waiter in hotels and at 
L other hard work, Professor Burrus has attained 
ftfommenoe among men, and has been called to the head 
'" of a very flourishing institution. This gives him the en- 
'^ ^ddmetnent of the State officers of Mississippi. Regardless 
'Apolitical bias, he has maintained his position from year 
to -year under the scrutinizing eye of a Etemocratic Legisla- 
' ture. These things show that worth is being recognized 
wherever found. The surrender of 1865 found James B., 
John H., and Preston R. Burrus with their mother in Mar- 
shall, Texas, with the remnant of Bragg's Mississippi 
Confederate army. They were brought to Shrevcport, 
Louisiana, thence to New Orleans, and afterwards to 
Memphis, Tennessee. Here John H., then a boy, found 
work as acook on a stem-wheel boat. When opportunity 
presented itself for better things, he took advantage of it. 
About 1866 he removed to Nashville, where he worked 
hard as a hotel waiter, studying much of the time at night 


with the Misses Shadwell and Jameson, boarders at the 
hotel where he worked. Very zealous was he for an edu- 
cation, and every energy was devoted to this one purpose. 
The frugality and care of the mother was manifest in the son, 
for never did he indulge in the many extravagances of youth 
-n dress or pleasing seeking, but every cent was carefully 
laid aside until the summer of 1867, when three hundred 
dollars had been saved, which was spent for school advan- 
tages at Pisk University. While in school no time was 
wasted ; extra hours were spent in work and study, while 
the vacations were used for school teaching, until his eyes 
failed him from overwork, then he could study only by 
hearing others read his lessons to him. Thus he continued 
in school until 1873, when, being unable to teach, he bought 
a religious panorama, with which he traveled through 
parts of 1873 and 1874. ' 

During the first year in Fisk University he was converted 
and united with the Congregational church of the univer- 
sity, of which church he is still a member. The president 
often related how he economized and struggled to keep in 
school. He is an illustration of ** where there's a w^ill 
there's a way.*' J. H. Burrus was engaged as teacher in a 
graded school in the suburbs of Nashville for the school 
year following his graduation, but was made principal be- 
fore his year was out. 

Before his school closed in 1876, he was selected by the 
Republican State committee as one of the delegates from 
the Sixth Tennessee Congressional district to the National 
convention. There he voted five consecutive times for Sen- 
ator O. P. Morton for President, but when that distin- 


gnished son of Indiana was withdrawn, he voted for 
Rutherford B. Hayes, who was nominated on the seventh 

After the convention he visited Harper's Ferry, Wash- 
ington, District of Columbia ; Niagara, Philadelphia, New 
York, Oberlin, and many other places. Not long after, 
returning to Nashville, he accepted the principalship of the 
Yazoo city school, of Yazoo, Mississippi. He was re 
elected to the principalship of this school soon after closing 
in June, 1877, and he was also offered the position of in- 
structor of mathematics in his alma mater in place of his 
brother, who had resigned. After due consideration he 
finally accepted this position and taught two years in Fisk 
University, till 1879, when he received the degree of A. M. 
During this year he resigned this position in favor of his 
younger brother, who had just graduated from this place. 

Professor Burrus, who had been reading law to some ex- 
tent, now gave himself to that study under legal advisers, 
and was admitted to the bar early in 1881. For the first 
year he did not make bread out of his law practice, but 
besides making use of his leisure to get more legal knowl- 
edge, he corresponded for several newspapers, getting some 
work looking up titles to property, and being enabled 
on several occasions to point out serious involvements of 
property where even the owner thought none existed. He 
made some reputation for that kind of work which prom- 
ised to bring him handsome returns. At this time he was 
offered the presidency of Alcorn Agricultural and Mechan- 
ical College, in Rodney, Mississippi, in August, 1883. This 


will be remembered as the college where Hon. Hiram R. 
Revels presided for several years. 

He was elected permanent secretary of the Tennessee 
Republican State convention in 1878; was secretary and 
treasurer of the State executive committee, for two years; 
he was also chosen alternate from the State-at-Iarge to 
the National Republican convention which met in Janu- 
ary, 1 880, and was independent candidate for reg^ter in 
Davidson county, Tennessee, August, 1882, and a candi- 
date on the Republican ticket for the Lower House of the 
Legislature in the following November. The people in his 
district in the edge of Nashville, Tennessee, elected him one 
of their school directors in 1878. When his term of three 
years expired in 1881, he was re-elected, beating both of his 
competitors, a colored and a white man, although a ma- 
jority of the citizens were white. Brains and character 
will win, no matter what the color of his face may be. 
There are many sitting down complaining about their 
color keeping them down in life and preventing them from 
succeeding. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred it is the 
man's lack of brains and character. There were then 
seventeen teachers in the district, of whom nine weiie 
white and eight were colored. The other two directors 
were white, still Mr. Burrus served as chairman of the 
board, in which capacity it was his especial duty to look 
after all the schools and see that the teaching was prop- 
erly and faithfully done. Yet when he resigned the chair- 
manship of the board, upon his acceptance of his present 
position, he was on the pleasantest terms with both col- 
leagues and teachers. While a member of the board he 


had succeeded in equalizing salaries of white and colored 
teachers, and efiected some other measures of a progres- 
sive nature. He took part in the municipal elections of 
Nashville, and discussed the injustice of not employing 
competent colored teachers in the public schools, and for 
not furnishing enough school facilities for the colored 
children. This election was followed not many months 
after by an additional colored school, and for the first 
time a corps of colored teachers. He read a paper before 
the State Teachers' Institute, held in Nashville in 1880, in 
which he spoke of all the Congressional script from the 
act of 1862, belonging to Tennessee, having then been 
given to the East Tennessee University, and of the colored 
people of the State getting no benefit therefrom, although 
their numbers entitled them to more than six thousand 
dollars of the nearly twenty-four thousand dollars yearly 
interest. At the close of the paper he moved that the 
institute appoint a committee to meet the Legislature to 
convene January, 1881, and call the attention of that 
body to the wrong and ask that the injustice be remedied. 
A committee was appointed consisting of Mr. J. H. Burrus, 
Dr. John Braden, Central Tennessee College, and Professor 
L. B. Teft, of what is now Roger Williams University, 
Professor H. S. Bennett of Fisk University and several 
others. Mr. Burrus was made chairman, and the commit- 
tee had several interviews with the Legislature educa- 
tional committee. The result was the Legislature passed 
an act appropriating twenty-five hundred dollars annu- 
ally for the next two years to be used as follows : Each 
of the State's twenty-five senators was authorized to 


select two colored persons, male or female^ of suitable age 
and scholarship, who might be sent to any one of the five 
institutions specified and receive from the State fifty dol- 
lars a 3rear, the board to pay his or her expenses. A number 
of the Republicans of the same Legislature were induced 
to appoint a number of young colored men as cadets to 
the University of Tennessee, who thereby for several yeans 
got their tuition in Pisk University paid by the aforesaid 
University of Tennessee. 

Mf. Burrus quietly but firmly holds that the people 
ought to take as much pride in their respective States as 
do other citizens, that they may condemn the policy of 
the ruling party as do other citizens. He also holds that 
they ought to keep wide awake as to their rights, and 
demand their fair and just portion as American citizens 
of all public monies spent for educational purposes, and 
that wherever they are denied or defrauded out of the 
same, they shall unceasingly protest against the un- 
American, unpatriotic and unjust discrimination until the 
wrong is righted. Upon his urgent recommendation, the 
first Legislature of his adopted State that was elected 
after his acceptance of the Alcorn A. M. College, Rodney, 
Mississippi, appropriated in addition to the usual amount 
for running expenses eleven thousand dollars for additions 
to the library and apparatus, and for greatly needed 

With the aid of his co-workers the attendance at the 
college has steadily increased until it is now shown by the 
catalogue to be two hundred and sixteen, about double 
what it was before his connection with the institution. 


President Burrus has a large heart and is ever full of plans 
for the benefit of his students. His duties are discharged 
^-ith singular ability and extreme conscientiousness. His 
rough road in early life is having a fruitful end as well as 
a, peaceful one. He knows how to extend sympathy to 
those who are climbing the educational ladder; he has 
been over the whole road and knows every foot of the 
way. His attachment for his brothers is really pleasant 
to behold. He is loving and affectionate, and he has very 
tenderly cared for his mother. 




Composer— Violinist and Cometist — Band Instructor. 

MR. WILLIAMS forced his way upward in the face of 
all those difficulties, against which the Negro has 
to contend. The singular excellence which he reached in 
this art was mainly the result of careful study. He had 
the gift, which he faithfully cultivated. His aim was to 
become master of- the situation, and he did this. -At the 
Colliseum of Boston he figured conspicuously amongp 
voices, accompanied by an orchestra of two thousand 
musicians; with the exception of Mr. F. E, Lewis,. he was 
the only colored performer. He was dignified and grace- 
ful, and his manly appearance caused much comment. His 
talent was put to a severe test, by bis being required to 
execute on the double bass a very difficult piece — Wagner's 
Tannhauser. This was done, not because his ability was 
doubted, but for a protection to his color should objec- 
tions to him arise. The gentleman who gave the test said 
he wanted to be able to point to his excellent results. 

So proficient was Mr. Williams that men forgot his 
color and thought only of his excellent music. No man 
took offense because the orchestra contained a sable son 

* il 

I ! 



of Ham, but all was union and harmony. He was far 
superior to many of the fairer performers. He could look 
back with pride on thirty years of very persevering energy, 
which was ripe with experience. He felt as did Beethoven, 
the barriers are not erected, which can say to aspiring 
talent and industry, "thus far and no farther." The way 
he did not find he made. 

There are many who persevere in life, but continue only 
for a season, and then sit down discouraged and disgusted, 
because they have not reached the giddy heights of fame. 
Men must remember there is no royal road to learning; 
that fame must be attained by severe self-denials of many 
pleasures, and in this way only can man hope to achieve 
those exalted positions and tmdying fame which are so 
much cherished by noble souls. 

Mr. Williams was bom in Boston, August 13, 1813. He 
began his studies when he was seven years old, mainly by 
his own efforts. He pulled himself up to the pinnacle of 
fame from obscurity and a very humble position. What 
he has done, others can do. His soul was filled with 
melody, ^nd his hand was skil^d with such an infinite 
touch that he made his instrument a part of himself; it 
onl}^ caught the harmony within and gave utterance of 
love and vocalization with the insensible matter of which 
his instrument was made. I said insensible; but truly, 
nothing can be insensible to so delicate a touch and 
sjrmpathetic nature. All things were finends to him that 
had music in them. 

He is a skillful performer on the violin, double bass and 
comet ; and is also able to play the violincello, baritone 


trombone and piano-forte. He is also a skillful arranger 
of music for these instruments. As a composer, his music 
is attractive, soothing and captivating, and he has thereby 
secured the recognition of eminent publishers. Persons 
who so bitterly opposed him among the white, from the 
selfish prejudice of their nattu'es, became his warm ad- 

His favorite instruments seem to be the violin and comet. 
Upon these he produces charming music, which is quite 
varied, from the fantastic to the gravest. He gave much 
time to the formation and instruction of bands, and was 
often employed by the celebrated P. S. Gilmore. He is the 
author of many pieces, such as **Come Love, and List 
Awhile;" **It was by Chance we Met;" **IWouldI had 
Never met Thee," etc. His productions have had good 
sales, from which he has realized a handsome profit. 
Many doubted his authorship, but were soon made to 
acknowledge his rare ability by the unmistakable powers 
of his genius. 

Such a brief outline of the career of a master, an almost 
self-taught musician, whose life affords but another illus- 
tration of the power and force of courage and industry in 
enabling a man to surmount and overcome difficulties and 
obstacles of no ordinary character, is given here as a 
light to guide aspiring young musicians. A fuller sketch of 
him will be found in * Music and Some Highly Musical 
People,' by James M. Trotter, through whose kindness we 
have been permitted to use the cut which accompanies this 




Christian Letter-Writer— Lecturer and Author. 

THIS good man was bom May 23, 1818. He is the 
son of a slave woman and Edmund Kelly, an emi- 
grant from Ireland, who in early manhood settled in Ten- 
nessee. As the father was unable to purchase his family, 
the children all followed the condition of the mother and 
remained slaves. When young Edmund Kelly was but six 
3'ears old, his mother was sold from her little ones and he 
with his sister were left to the mercies of the slave- 
holders. In 1833 Mr. Kelly was hired to a very well to do 
primary school-master, where he served as a table waiter, 
errand boy, and in whatever work he could be useful. He 
was always desirous of an education, and the opportuni- 
ties offered the slave for mental improvement were scanty, 
generally none. In this family, however, young Kelly 
thought he could take advantage of little children who 
came to the house to attend school, and for a speller and a 
few lessons he gave the scholars bon bons from his master's 

All this was a secret, as no one was allowed to teach the 
slave under penalty of the law. Mr. Kelly managed in 


this way. During the day he kept steadily at work and 
all his books were carefully hidden. Early each night he re- 
tired with a prayer that God would guide and direct him and 
wake him at eleven p. m.; thus he first learned how to pray. 

At the appointed hour he awoke and studied and wrote 
until one a. m. For some time this was done entirely un- 
known to every one save the teacher and the taught, but at 
last the watchful eye of his mistress discovered some books 
in which was legibly Written * * Edmund Kelly. ' ' After some 
questioning and finding out that all concerned were minors, 
she gave up the investigation and did nothing against it. 
In the above way Mr. Kelly laid the foundation for after 
study, for he never had the privilege of attending school in 
his life. 

In April, 1837, Edmund Kelly gave his heart to Him 
who had blessed him above many of his fellow slaves, and 
the first of May that same year, at Columbus, Tennessee, 
he was baptized and joined a Baptist missionary church 
in that place, composed of both white and colored mem- 
bers. This brother was a convert from the Catholic faith 
of his father to the Baptist principles, by private study of 
the New Testament, consequently his open declaration of 
a new faith created not a little stir and many persons 
witnessed his immersion. 

On the nineteenth of May, 1842, he was licensed by the 
church of which he was a member to preach the gospel 
without an application for this privilege, and October 1, 
the same year, after a unanimous vote had shown the ap- 
proval of the church and congregation. Rev. R. B. C. Har- 
vdl, D. D., pastor of the First Baptist church (white), of 



Nashville, Teimessee, ordained this brother to the Christian 
ministry as an evangelist. His first subsequent labor was 
the organization of the Mt. Lebanon Baptist church, in 
1843, with only six members. 

As Rev. Kelly always felt it his duty to lead men in the 
straight and narrow path, he never accepted any civil 
positions nor titles, though many have been offered him. 
With ardent soul has he worked for the furtherance of the 
hlessed influence of gospel knowledge — 

First, By introducing missions into the Southern plan- 
tations by the aid of zealous, humble Christian men and 

Second. By writing letters on simple gospel themes to 
be read to the unconverted for their salvation, and for 
encouragement to the converted. 

We were furnished by this brother with a little book 

vvritten by himself showing the course he pursued in Bible 

study. This contains many questions and answers quoted 

"from the divine word, which are to be committed bv the 

X^ersons taught. In this way he conducted Sunday school 

^LTid Bible readings. 

Said Rev. Daniel A. Payne, Washington, D. C, once, in 
speaking of this brother's method : 

I have had the happiness of being present at one of his exhibi- 
tions, and am, therefore, prepared to recommend it to \ou as one of 
the best I ever witnessed. The cause of our common Christianity and 
our common humanity will be greatly promoted b3' furnishing him with 
opportunities of demonstrating the utility and beautj- of his method 
before your congregations. 

He had the interests of the Negro at heart, and for forty 


years he steadily plead for and defended the cause of this 
deeply wronged race, and as an outgrowth of experience 
in mission work the following subjects were written on 
and sent to any one desiring them: 1. ''Edmund Kelly's 
Key to the Work Among the Colored People of the 
South." 2. "The Colored People from the Flood, from a 
Bible Standpoint, Including Africa's quota to the Ameri- 
can Nation." 3. "The Three Amendments to the National 
Constitution, with their Historic Sketches." 4. "The 
Colored Race as Slaves in this Country from 1620, Com- 
mencing with Twenty Slaves and Ending with Six 
Millions, all Free now." 5. "A Light that is not Clear 
nor Dark." 6. " Indispensableness of Colored Organiza- 
tions in this Country, in Order to their Full Development 
as a Part of One Great Whole." 

As a temperance worker, too, for over thirty years 
throughout the North and South has this consecrated 
soldier upheld the banner of the Lord, and anywhere he 
may be called to do any labor for his Master he gladly 

During his life he has always been a successful minister,, 
pastor and evangelist, and has accumulated much, though 
it has generously been expended in mission work and for 
the education of his family, which he bought from slavery, 
paying for a wife and four children twenty-eight hundred 
dollars. With these he went North, where his children 
were educated, among whom are Professor J. H. Kelly of 
Columbia and W. D. Kelly, who was a member of the 
Fifty-fourth Massachusetts regiment. 

This aged soldier for Christ, though worn with many 


years of service, is still active and vigorous, writing for the 
benefit of mankind the results of his careful lifelong Bible 

Many of his children have died and his companion is a 
constant sufferer, besides being deprived of her eyesight ; 
but in all these afflictions he leans upon God and praises 
him for his goodness and love. He is an honored and 
faithful minister of the gospel in the city of New Bedford, 




Pastor of the Church of the Disciples, Nashville, Tennessee — General 
Financial Agent of a College — Big Contractor. 

OUR subject is the leading minister of the Church of 
the Disciples. He was bom in Shreveport, Louis- 
iana, November 7, 1849. He was bom in slavery; his 
parents were Zed and Betty Taylor. He was carried to 
Kentucky when a year old ; he was a promising boy and 
shed sunshine wherever he was. At the age of four years 
he heard his first sermon on the spot where the First 
Baptist church now stands, in the city of Lexington, Ken- 
tucky, and afterw^ards told his mother that he would be a 
preacher some day ; so deep was the impression made on 
his young mind that years have not been able to eradicate 
it. He was affectionately cared for, and he grew up as 
Samuel of old — ripe for the duties of his life. When the war 
broke out he saw the soldiers marching, and determined to 
join them at the first opportunity, and so he enlisted in 
Company G, One Hundred and Sixteenth United States in- 
fantry, in 1864, as a drummer, and was at the siege of Rich- 
mond, Petersburg, and the surrender of Lee. His regiment 
also did crarrison duty in Texas, then returned to New Or- 



leans, where they did garrison duty until mustered out of 
the service. He then learned the stonecutter's trade and 
became skilful in monument work and also in engraving 
•on marbk. He went to Louisville, Kentucky, and in the 
leading marble yards found plenty of work, but the white 
men refused to work with him because of his color. He 
wasoffered a situation asatrain porter on the L.&C. rail- 
road, and for four years he was known as one of the best 
railroad men in the service, and when he resigned he was 
requested to remain with a promotion to assistant bag- 
gage-master ; but as he could be no longer retained, the 
ofiicers gave him a strong recommendation and a pass 
over all the roads for an extensive trip, which he took 
through the North. He accepted, on his return, a call to 
the pastorate of the Christian church at Mt. Sterling, 
Kentucky. He remained there fifteen years, and the Lord 
prospered him in building up the largest congregation in 
the State among those of his faith, besides building them 
the finest brick edifice, as a place for the worship of God, 
in that section of the State. During these fifteen years he 
became known as the leading minister of his church in the 
United States. Not only in Kentucky has he been instru- 
mental in organizing and building both congregations and 
meeting-houses, but he was unanimously chosen the gen- 
eral evangelist of the United States, which position he now 
holds, besides assisting in the educational work of his race. 
He very recently purchased the large, spacious college 
property at New Castle, Kentucky, which originally cost 
eighteen thousand dollars, e-vclusive of the grounds, and at 
once began the task of paying for it. The school is in 


operation with a corps of teachers, and has a bright futiste 
before it. He is still one of the trustees, and the financial 
agent of what is now known as the *' Christian Bible Col- 
lege," at New Castle. Some idea can be given of this man 
of push and iron nerve and bold undertakings by giving a 
passage in his life. When the Big Sandy railroad was 
under contract to be completed from Mt. Sterling to Rich- 
mond, Virginia, the contractors refused to hire colored men 
to work on it, preferring Irish labor. He at once made a 
bid for Sections 3 and 4, and was successful in his bid ; he 
then erected a large commissary and quarters for his men, 
bought seventy-five head of mules and horses, carts,, 
wagons, cans and all the necessary implements and tools, 
and, with one hundred and fifty colored men, he led the way. 
In fourteen months he completed the two miles of -the 
most difficult part of this great trunk line at a cost of 
about twenty-five thousand dollars. 

The president of the road, Mr. C. B. Huntington, said he 
had built thousands of miles of road, but he never saw a 
contractor who finished his contract in advance ; and so 
he then was requested by the chief engineer of the works 
to move his force to another county and help out some of 
the white contractors ; this he did not do. Afterwards he 
was offered other important contracts, but declined. A 
syndicate in Nebraska offered him the position of superin- 
tendent of their coal mines, but knowing it would take 
him away from his chosen calling, he declined the offer. 
For a number of years he was editor of **Oiir Colored 
Brethren, " a department in the Christum Standard^ a 
newspaper published as the organ of his denomination at 


Cincinnati, Ohio, with a circulation of 50,000 copies a 
week. He has written for many books and periodicals. 
He is a member of both Masonic and Oddfellow lodges 
and was State Grand Chaplain of the former and State 
Grand Master of the latter, and held that position for 
three years and traveled all over the State, speaking and 
lecturing. Especially do the Oddfellows owe much to him 
for their rise and progress in the State of Kentucky, and 
the order conferred upon him as a mark of honor, all the 
degrees of the ancient institution. He has represented his 
lodge in many of the National conventions of the B. M. C, 
preaching the annual sermons for a number of years. His 
headquarters are at Nashville, Tennessee, and he lives in 
considerable style, with a handsome office and library 
worth one thousand dollars. The pastoral oversight of 
the Gay Street church at Nashville, Tennessee, increases his 
labors. This is one of the largest, wealthiest and most in- 
fluential congregations in the city. I will give another 
incident that will show the character of the man, how he 
loves his race, and with what respect he treats them. 
While ser^-ing the church in Nashville, in 188G, the choir 
of the church gained great reputation by taking a prize 
over every other church choir in the city, in a musical con- 
test. The Nashville American gave a very flattering 
account of the results which caused forty-two leading citi- 
zens of the white race to petition through the pastor of 
the church, for a concert to be given in the opera house for 
the special benefit of their friends. When Mr. Taylor met* 
this committee, they informed him that oA the night of 
the concert the colored people would be expected to take 


the gallery as usual. Mr. Taylor refused deliberately to 
have an3rthing further to do with the matter and publicly 
denounced the whole crowd in his church, which was very 
satisfactory to the colored citizens who urged him to give 
a concert nevertheless, and he consented. On the night of 
the concert there was scarcely standing room for the 
people, who said they desired to show their appreciation 
of this manly stand in resenting such overtures, and the 
result was an increase to the treasury of over two hundred 
^lollars. He is one of the leading men in the commtmity 
where he lives, commanding the respect of all who know 
him. A slight idea may be given of his popularity by 
stating that once when a gold cane was voted for in some 
entertainment in the city of Nashville, his name was sub- 
mitted by his friends to be voted for. He opposed the 
suggestion, but, nevertheless, when the votes were counted, 
out of the three thousand votes in that large city, he got 
over two-thirds of the number. A quotation from the 
Christian Standard^ Cincinnati, Ohio, March 3, 1886, will 
give some estimate of how he is held by the editor of that 
paper. A grand party was given for his benefit, and the 
editor used these words in reference to his absence. 

We have just received an invitation to a tea party at Nashville, Ten- 
nessee, to be given in honor of Ed. Preston Taylor. We would go all 
that distance, were it possible, to show our respect for the zeal, atnKty 
and untiring energy of Preston Taylor. As we cannot go, we take this 
method of atoning for our absence. 

Mr. Taylor is a man who will impress you when you 
meet him as thoroughly in earnest. He is never idle, 


always with new plans, warm hearted, generous, sympa- 
thetic and a true brother to all men who deserve the cog- 
nizance of earnest, faithful workers for Christ. 




Distingnished Scientist— Lecturci^-Chicf Clerk of the Transportation 
Department of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, District of 
Columbia— Entomologist— Taxidermist— Lecturer on " Insects '* and 

SOLOMON G. BROWN was the fourth son of Isaac and 
Rachel Brown. He was bom of free parents in the 
city of Washington, District of Columbia, February 14, 
1829. He was deprived of the common school education 
by the loss of his father in 1833, when his mother was 
left a widow, and had at that time six children. They 
were very poor. His father's property was seized for pre- 
tended debts in 1834, leaving the family penniless and home- 
less. Solomon was early placed under the care of a Mr. 
Lambert Tree, assistant postmaster in the city post-office. 
He received an appointment under Mr. Tree in one of ther 
departments in the post-office in 1844, from which he wa^ 
detailed to assist Professor Joseph Henry, Professor Sam- 
uel F. Morse and Mr. Alfred Vail in putting the new mag- 
netic telegraph system in operation in 1845, and he 
remained with them until the enterprise was purchased by 
the Morse Telegraph company, when he accepted a situa- 


tion as battery tender from the new company, and served 
until appointed assistant packer to Gillman & Bros, man- 
ufactory, in their chemical laboratory. 

This is quite an incident in Mr. Brown's history, for he 
was present when the first wire was laid from Baltimore 
to Washington. It will be remembered that Mr. Morse 
had conceived the idea of a magnetic telegraph system in 
1 832, and had exhibited it to the Congress in 1837, and 
had vainly attempted to get a patent in England, as Pro- 
fessor Wheatstone in England had claimed a prior inven- 
tion over the American. He struggled on with scanty 
means until 1843, and just as he wa^ about to give up the 
whole matter Congress, at midnight in the last moment 
of the session, appropriated thirty thousand dollars for 
the purpose of making an experiment with the line between 
Baltimore and Washington. After the success of this line 
Mr. Morse was voted testimonials, orders of nobility, 
honors and wealth, but the Negro who assisted materially 
has been almost forgotten. Mr. Brown was a natural 
scientist, and coming in contact with these learned men 
only increased his thirst for knowledge. He is a man of 
rare scientific acquirements, very unassumingin his appear- 
ance, and yet his intelligence would astonish one on mak- 
ing his acquaintance. Mr. Brown is very handy with the 
brush, for while he was in this chemical laboratory he 
mounted and colored maps for the general land office as 
well as prepared colors in the Gideon company's book- 
binding establishment, where he remained until 1852, when 
he was appointed to the foreign exchange division of the 
then new Smithsonian Institute where he has remained until 


this time, filling acceptably all positions that he has been 
honored with. Few men in the city of Washington are 
better known, and certainly none stand higher in the esti* 
mation of the people. He has filled very many honorary posi- 
tions and has done great good for his race. He has been a 
trustee of Wilberforce University, and trustee of the 
15th Street Presbyterian church, superintendent of the 
North Washington Mission Sunday school, and active 
member of the Freedmen's Relief association. He was elec- 
ted to the legislature for the District of Columbia in 1871, 
and re-elected twice, overcoming at one time four candi- 
dates. He was trustee of the public schools, grand secre- 
tary of the District Grand Lodge of Masons, commissioner 
for the poor in the County of Washington, and one of the 
assistant honorary commissioners of the colored depart- 
ment of the New Orleans Exposition for the District of 
Columbia. In 1866 he was elected to the office of Presi- 
dent of the National Union League; was a member of the 
executive committee of the Emancipation Monument 
erectors, and honorary membe rof the Galbraith Lyceum ; 
corresponding member of the St. Paul Lyceum, Baltimore; 
director of the Industrial Saving and Building Association 
of Washington, District of Columbia; Washington corres- 
pondent of the Anglo-African Christian Recorder when it 
was under the management of Bishop H. M. Turner; also 
assistant in the organization of the Pioneer Sunday school 
association, Hillsdale, District of Columbia, presiding as 
superintendent from 1868 to 1887, and is again re- 
elected to serve another year. He is also editor of the 
''Sunday school Circle *' of the Christian Index, at Jackson^ 


Tennessee, and a frequent lecturer on scientific questions 
before scientific societies in Baltimore, Alexandria and 
Washington. Mr. Brown's connection with the Pioneer 
association deserves to be especially mentioned. 

In early days« directly after the war, when General 0. O. 
Howard had charge of the Freedmen's Bureau, through 
it, in some way, a little town now known as Hillsdale 
was pnrchased and many families secured homes for them- 
selves in that neighborhood. Mr. Brown was one of 
these, and through his direction, encouragement and 
advice many happy homes have been established, to which 
the Pioneer association with its very large Sunday school 
work, its brilliant concerts, its Bible readings, lectures 
and other entertainments, has added materially to the 
moral, spiritual and intellectual and financial condition 
of the people. Only judgment day will be able to tell the 
good that Solomon G. Brown has accomplished in that 
neighborhood. Personally acquainted with him, living in 
his house for several years, I can speak from knowledge. 
His whole life seems devoted to the people. He spends 
his money freely in providing those things for the intel- 
lectual culture and the moral training of the Sunday 
school attendants, male and female, young and old, and 
he was never weary in well-doing. No period of my life 
was more pleasantly spent than in his house. Sur- 
rounded as he is with musical people, with the choicest 
library, pictures and other evidences of culture, one could 
not but enjoy life. His home is indeed a pleasant one, be- 
cause his amiable wife, whom he married June 16, 1864, has 
been to him truly a helpmeet and has contributed largely 


to the carrying out of his plans. Mr. Brown is a poet, 
and has in press a book of poems which will show to 
some extent his genius and literary taste. Never having 
been blessed with children of his own, he has adopted sev- 
eral and trained them to useful womanhood. 

Solomon G. Brown began his public lecturing on the 
sciences about the year 1855. His first lecture was deliv- 
ered January 10, 1855, before the Young Peoples' Literary 
society and lyceum, at Israel church, Washington, Dis- 
trict of Columbia, south of the Capitol building, to a 
large, fashionable audience ; this lecture was called out by 
the request of several prominent citizens of Washington, 
as will be shown from the following letter : 

Mr. Solomon G. Brown. 

Dear Sir : A number of your personal friends who were present at the 
last meeting of the Young Peoples* Club, at Israel (prided over by Dr. 
Enoch Ambush), were somewhat surprised at certain pleasing and in- 
structiye remarks, made by you in explanation of society, especiallj 
when you so graphically described the social habits of insects, etc., and 
in order that we may hear you more fully, we beg to request that you 
will at some early date consent to give us a lecture on insects, at such 
place as you may select. 

We are yours very truly, 

Sampson Nutter. 
Anthony Bo wen. 
Andrew Foote. 
W11.1.IAM Sladb. 
Alfred Kiger. 
James Wright. 
Andrew B. Tdcnet. 
James Wormlby. 
Alfred Barbour. 

Washington, District of Columbia, November 24, 1854. 

80L0H0N G. BROWN. 307 


A reply was made and forwarded, and January 10, was 
named as the time. Mr. Brown was introduced by Mr. 
Enoch Ambush. He was greeted by a large, intelligent 
audience, among whom were several white citizens. 

The lecturer, after thanking the audience for their flatter 
ing ovation and Dr. Ambush for his fine introduction, 
said that we are now introduced as a race to a new and 
rich field of thought, quite different fi-om that in which we 
have been accustomed to engage, for from all the facts 
that he could gather, he, S. G. Brown, was the first to 
enter the field as a lecturer and student of natural science, 
and more especially zoologj', and for that reason he 
begged of the hearers a patient sympathy in his feeble 
efforts. He then began thus : 

But before I proceed, and 1 cannot consent to do so without first pay- 
ing a living compliment to those profound, eminent thinkers who have, 
after years of lalx)r, study, investigation and research, added so much 
to our stock of knowledge, in that dcpcirtmcnt of zoolog\' called insects. 

The scientists I will name in the order that they have fixed themselves 
in my mind as follows: Say, Melsheimer, Harris, Fitch, LeConte (father 
and son), Randall, Haldman, Ziegler and othejs, who have for years 
pursued industrioush' the study of entomology, and have many of them, 
departed and left their labors on record in so many scientific memoirs as 
a record. And I am here to-night to say, that to them the world owes 
much for our present stock of knowledge of these little animated crea- 
tures, both as a l)enefit and rare benefit to human economy. 

The word " Insect " is derived f'-om the Greek and means cut into. A 
living creature whose form is articulated, having a sensitive body com- 
posed of three distinct parts; the head, the thorax and the abdomen' 
Legs, six in number; the first two act as maxillary ; the second two as 
super-maxillary; the third two as lifters or props to an overhanging 
oblongated abdomen. Two, and sometimes four wings, attached to 
the thorax and abdomen. Along the sides are openings or spiracules 


lined with ferm^nons hairs, through which they breathe or carry on 

The word ** Insect " is sometimes used in a sense of derision, as some- 
thing small, insignificant, mean, low and contemptible. This we think 
is a grave error, for in nothing created (except man) has God in His 
infinite wisdom and goodness, displayed so much grandeur and wonder 
as is found in these minute, delicate and wonderful creatures. And we 
do this evening come to the defense of the insect and claim for it a high 
place in the great kingdom of zoology, and class it as the head of the 
articulates, forming a distinct branch, yet a zoological unit, and a 
thing worthy of the best and most costly investigation and thought, for 
no man can boast of a complete knowledge of zoology without at least 
some acquaintance with entomology. 

I am truly proud to say that among the branches studied to inclose a 
liberal education now encouraged, that natural history is incorporated, 
and some attention and even respect is being paid to the study of ento- 
mology ; and the most flattering demonstration of that fact is this gath* 
ering to-night. 

The earlier students have carefully collected and arranged all known 
families of insects into groups, families, varieties, genus and species^ 
naming each class according to some well-defined characteristic. Then 
again subdividing them into two grand roots: First, insects which are 
beneficial; second, insects which are injurious to man. 

A further investigation was found necessary when it was discoTered 
that the identical species were not found all over the globe. Then a 
geographical distribution was fixed ; this and many other difficulties 
were met with, among the earliest naturalists, and after a systematic 
^ study of food, habitation, habits, arrival, departure and climatic situa- 
tions considered, they finally arrived at a proper philosophical data. 

The lecturer dwelt for some time, and spoke of many 
amusing incidents of superstition and of association, in- 
dustries, union, affections, offenses and defenses, deceptions 
and profanations, their mode of communications, their 
Bong and language, their destructiveness, friendship and 
enmity to man, their presence and absence at various sea- • 


sons of the year, their Providence, unity, obedience to 
anthoritv and communism. He then named those which 
benefited man, such as bees, silk-worms, house-flj' and 
numerous others ; and among those which injured man, he 
named fleas, chigoes, ticks, bed-bugs, horse-flies, wasps, 
hornets, mosquitoes, lice, ants, scorpions, etc. 

In the concluding portion of the lecture, the social ordei 
of insects was again referred to at some length, and it 
was proven very clearly and logically, as well as wittily, 
that insects in very many cases had been men's closest 
and nearest companions, more so than any other known 
animal, following him through all departments of life, at 
times even his bed-fellow and constant bosom friends. 

The lecturer was applauded very heartily at the conclu- 
sion, and, indeed it was a decided success, as may be 
judged from the many times this lecture has been repeated 
—each time by request. 

This lecture was fully illustrated by forty-nine large 
drawings or diagrams, and was repeated in Georgetown, 
District of Columbia, for Rev. W. H. Hunter, Alexandria, 
Virginia; Rev. Clement Robertson, Baltimore, Maryland. 
Three times at different places: at Zion, Wesley, South 
Washington. The following lectures followed this; 
**Geolog>-,'' "Water," *^Air/' **Food," "Coal,'' "Miner- 
xilogy,'' "Telegraph," "Fungus," "Embryo Plants," 
** Man's Relations to the Earth," "Straight Lines, its Pro- 
duct, Circles and its Waste," "God's Providence to Man," 
** Early Educators of D. C," and six others. 

In connection with his own diagram, Mr. Brown has 
prepared or assisted in preparing nearly all the important 


diagrams for the grand scientific lectures which have been 
delivered in the famous Smithsonian course for the past 
thirty-five years. 

The following is an outline of a lecture by the Hon. 
Solomon G. Brown, and shows in a great measure his in- 
terest in these matters. 

The first lecture on geology before the annual conference 
of the A. M. E. church, Bethel church, Baltimore, April, 
1863, by special invitation of a committee. The immense 
building was filled when Rev. Henry M. Turner [now 
Bishop] introduced the lecturer. After being introduced to 
the vast audience, the lecturer began by saying that the 
selection of the subject to be discussed was not left to him, 
but had been called out by an invitation fi-om a special 
committee appointed by the conference. Then he pro- 
ceeded by saying that geology is the science which treats 
of the constitutional crust of the earth; its object is to 
describe the mineral matter and its organic remains, both 
animal and vegetable, that have lived and hela a place 
upon the globe, many of which are now extinct. It also 
marks the successive changes that have passed over with 
time, also the laws that have governed these changes. 

Geology is divided into three distinct departments, as follows: 

1. Descriptive geolog>'. 

2. Theoretical geolog>'. 

3. Practical geologj'. 

The descriptive exhibits the facts of science, 
The theoretical attempts to account for them ; and the 
Pratical shows their practical application to practical purposes. 
Subservient to geology is chemistr}', which treats of the ultimate parts 
of matter and their modes of combination ; mineralogy,, which char- 


acteriaes and classifies the various rocks and minerals of which the earth 
is composed ; botany and zoology, which describes plants and animals , 
and physical geography, which relates the facts concerning the general 
distribution of matter at the surface of the earth, the form and extent of 
continents and islands, rivers and mountain systems, together with the 
changes now occurring in them. And in order to get a more complete 
knowledge of geology we will necessarily have to consider the chemistry 
of the earth. In doing this we recognize sixty elements or simple bodies 
which combine to produce all the varieties of matter with which we are 
acquainted. Many of them occur in small quantities and are rarely seen. 
Fifteen or sixteen of these elements enter largely into the compositions of 

These substances, however, very rarely present themselves in their ele- 
mentary state: but combined with each other they make the greater 
portion pf the earth's crust. 

The most prevalent of these is oxygen, which forms eight-ninths of 
water, one-fifth of the atmosphere, and constitutes one-half of all the 
matter known to us. 

With silicon it forms silica; with potassium it forms potassia; with 
iron, the oxide of iron, etc. There are but few minerals or fossils that 
<lo not contain oxygen. 

Hydrogen forms a portion of minerals, especially bituminous coal, 
and enters into the composition of water. 

Nitrogen is not so abundant, but is found in the bones of animals, liv- 
ing and fossils, in vegetables and in the atmosphere. 

Carbon is the most abundant ingredient in coal, and enters into the 
composition of limestone, which is carbonate of lime. 

Sulphur exists in the sulphurets of the metals ; sulphuret of iron, iron 
pyrites, sulphuret of lead, galena or lead ore ; also in sulphates, as sul- 
phate of lime, gypsum or plaster of pans. 

It is thrown out extensively bj' volcanoes. Chlorine is one of the con- 
stituents of rock salt (chloride of sodium) and is widely diffused in the 

Fluorine occurs in fluoride of calcium (fluor spar) and other minerals. 

Phosphorus enters into the composition of many minerals and of ani- 
mal bones, as the phosphate of lime. 

Silicon exists in most of the rocks, combined with oxygen, as silica 

312 ^rEN OF MARK. 

quartz, which constitutes about fortj'-five ptr cent, of the crust of the 
earth, and form the walls of nearly all vegetable matter. 

Oxide of Aluminum. — Aluminia forms one-fifth of the mineral feldspar, 
and abounds in clay and slate rocks ; it is estimated at ten per cent, of aU 
the rocks. 

The oxide of potassium also enters largelj' into feldspar and clay. 

Sodium forms a part of rock salt and other minerals. 

The oxide calcium (lime) occurs chiefly in carbonates (limestone, mar- 
ble), which is estimated to form one-fourteenth part of the globe's crust. 

Magnesia. — The oxide of magnesia enters into the composition of many 
rocks, and abounds in niagnesium limestone. 

Iron is very widely diffused in the various forms of its ores, oxide, car- 
buret, sulphuret, etc., and by these the geologist is enabled to discover 
the various changes that have taken place by the agency of chemical 
affinity for many thousands of ages. 

The lecturer then took up at length the following agen- 
cies which had modified, reduced and changed the surface 
of the earth from away back into millions of years, as 
follows : 

Atmospheric, aqueous, igneous and organic. The lec- 
turer then concluded with practical geology. 

The lecture was illustrated by twenty-nine large, well 
executed diagrams. No. 1 of the set showed the geological 
formations of stratas in their geological order. All the 
other twenty-eight were fully explained. 



On the mountain tops the beacon lights are kindled 

By the rosy flush that tells the day is bom ; 
Height to height replies as up the waiting heavens 

Comes the rising sun that heralds Easter morn ; 


Smiles the earth arrayed in robes of living verdnre, 
Sing the birds on leafy bough a joyous strain, 

Nature joins with man in praise and adoration, 
Saying : Worthy is the lamb that was slain ! 

In their channels leap the streams with throbbing pulses, 

Life renewed is in each whisper of the breeze, 
All the little twigs and shoots are stirring softly 

With the life that animates the waving trees ; 
Overhead the cloudless sky is brightly bending, 

Sunbeams rest alike on grassy hill and plain, 
Earth and heaven are lighting up their glad thanksgiving, 

Saying : Worthy is the lamb that once was slain ! 

Bring no spices to anoi nt the dead, ye mourners, 

From the grave the stone of grief is rolled away ; 
Over death and hell the Saviour rose triumphant 

On the morning of the Resurrection day ; 
Seek him not within the tomb for he is risen ; 

Jesus is not here, behold where he has lain ! 
Look above while angels swell the joyous anthem, 

Saying : Worthy is the lamb that once was slain ! 

Hallelujah ! for the cruc ified is risen. 

Let the earth rejoice, the mountains clap their hands, 
Let the floods be glad and offer up thanksgiving, 

Hallelujah ! oh, be joyful all ye lands, 
Sing aloud for joy all nations and all people. 

Angels and archangels swell the loud refrain. 
With the blood- bought millions cast your crown before him. 

Saying : Worthy is the lamb that once was slain ! 




The Gatnest Negro Editor on the Continent— A Man of Grit and Iron 
Nerve — A Natural Bom Artist. 

MEN are brave often from experience with arms and 
the scenes of war, others because of a recklessness 
of life and a dare-devil spirit, and still others are bom for 
deeds of bravery and glide as easily to places of danger as 
if led by unerring instinct ; they are bold, aggressive, de- 
termined and venturesome. Such a man as the last is 
John Mitchell, jr., and it remains yet for history to say for 
certainty what good July 11, 1863, had in store for the 
Nation, for on this day he first raised his infant voice. It 
was when his parents lived in Henrico county ; they w^ere 
slaves. His mother was a seamstress and his father was 
a coachman. From the day of his birth it will be observed 
that he, too, was a slave. But little does he know of 
those dark and ** cruel slavery days.'* The sound of can- 
non, the roar of musketry, the hissing of grape and can- 
ister did not go unheeded by his infant ears. At this 
time the **Fall of Richmond," the Union sentinels passing 
back and forward on the streets of the city did not sligbtljr 
attract his attention. Little fellow that he was, their 


presence had as much terror for him as they had for the 
rebels. The "blue coats ' *' mission, however, he could not 
then understand. His mother taught him his a, b, c's, 
a-b ab's and e-b eb's and the other monosyllabic begin- 
nings, in that old antiquated method, now a long time 
out of date. Many times has he felt the full force of her 
hand on his young face to enable him to have a better 
appreciation of his lessons. As he grew older, he coupled 
with his school duties that of the duties of a newsboy, 
peddling the evening daily papers on the streets of the 
city, with all the strength of his young life crying out 
''State Journal^ here's your State JoumaV He soon 
became carriage boy for James Lyons, a rich, aristocrat 
lawyer; he was a typical Southerner who had owned 
young Mitchell's parents before the war, and consequently 
had been his '*marster." The boy often accompanied him 
to his farm in Henrico county. 

It was this Southerner who tried to instil in him the 
idea that there were no colored gentlemen, the same hav- 
ing been told him when, upon answering the door bell, he 
would inform Mr. Lyons that a colored gentleman wished 
to see him. His mother had so taught him, and it could 
be readily seen that she had different ideas from that of 
the **blue blood" on that score. It was here he had the 
recollection of seeing Jefferson Davis, the ex- President of 
the Confederate States, and he was reminded that he had 
a glass eye, a thing that remains fresh in his mind to the 
present day. He also waited on the table at Mr. Lyons' 
residence on the comer of Sixth and Gray streets, the 


place now being the palatial quarters of the Westmore- 
land Club. 

He bitterly opposed young Mitchell's being educated, 
but despite all this his mother kept him at school, taught 
by Rev. A. Binga, jr., now of Manchester, Virginia. What 
ability he had, if any existed at that time, seemed latent 
wnthin him. In 1876 he entered the Richmond Normal 
High School. In 1877 he received the silver medal for 
having stood the highest in a class of thirty pupils. This 
so encouraged him that he was successful ever after in this 
direction for years. A competition in map drawing at 
the Fair Grounds of the State Agricultural Society, at 
Richmond, took place, and a gold medal was offered for 
the best map of Virginia, and he lost, though he tried very 
hard. He thought that he lost unjustly. He was carefiil 
as to details and was sure if accuracy was called in ques- 
tion he would win. 

This defeat but spurred him on to greater efforts ; he felt 
convinced that he could win, and he was determined to 
make others have the same opinion. January 1, 1881, he 
brought into the school-room a map of Virginia, on which 
he had spent his Christmas holidays to make it ornamen- 
tal as well as accurate. His surprise was great when 
teachers and pupils gathered round and gazed in wonder- 
ment upon the production. This he donated to the school 
upon the suggestion of the principal, and then proceeded to 
draw another which would render insignificant the work 
they had taken the pains to praise. 

In May, 1871, this production was exhibited. Crowds 
of pupils gazed thereon; it was taken from him and he 


heard nothing more of it until at the graduation exercises, 
Hon. A. M. Riky, who was minister to Austria, and now 
one of the judges of the Court of the Khedive of Egypt, 
saw it and said it was worthy of a special gold medal, and 
he would be the one to present it. This he did June 5, 
1881, stating that it was the best production ever exe- 
cuted by any pupil, white or black, in the State. 

Young Mitchell stood at the head of his class and won a 
gold medal offered for that accomplishment. In 1881 he 
won another gold medal in an oratorical contest in which 
there were five competitors. He has since drawn a map 
of Yorktown, surrounded by dignitaries of the Revolution- 
€iry War. All this was done with lead pencils which usu- 
ally cost two cents each. The work resembles the finest 
steel engraving, and would be readily taken for such. Mr. 
Mitchell has never received any lessons in the work and 
this makes it the more surprising. So imbued were his 
firiends with the fine character of the work that they en- 
deavored to secure for him an apprenticeship in the Bureau 
of Engraving and Printing at Washington, District of Co- 

Addressing Mr. M. E. Bell, supervising architect at 
Washington, Senator William Mahone, of Virginia, said : 
** I wish you would give a moment to this young colored 
man. See his drawings, they will interest you. There is 
talent here which ought to be encouraged.'* 

Hon. B. K. Bruce, then register of the treasury depart- 
ment, wrote : ** I cordially concur with the sentiments ex- 
pressed by Senator Mahone, and hope Mr. Mitchell may 
receive the encouragement he so richly deserves.*' 


Senator John A. Logan wrote, after seeing the drawings : 
'*I most cordially concur in what has been said of Mr. 
Mitchell. He is a wonderful young man in his line." 

August 15, 1881, when Hon. Pred Douglass wrote to 
Mr. J. W. Cromwell, by whom Mitchell had been sent : "I 
am much obliged to you ; I am glad to have the evidence 
of the talent and skill aflForded in the map of Viginia by 
your young friend, John Mitchell, jr., with the industry, 
patience and perseverance which he has shown in this virork, 
I have no fear but that young Mitchell will make his way 
in the world and be a credit to our race.'* 

In May, 1878, young Mitchell professed religion and 
joined the First Baptist church, Richmond. He became an 
active member of the Sunday school, and was made chair- 
man of the executive board of the Virginia Baptist State 
Sunday school convention. In 1883 and 1884 he was the 
Richmond correspondent of the New York Freeman. De- 
cember 5, 1884, he assumed the editorial charge of the 
Richmond Planet, since which time the journal has become 
the most influential in the State. 

Mr. Mitchell is a bold and fearless writer, carrying out 
to the letter all he says he will. He has given his attention 
particularly to Southern outrages of the colored people. 
His exposure of the murder of Banks, a colored man, by 
Officer Priddy (white) attracted wide-spread attention. 
The jury brought in a verdict that the deceased came to 
his death by some unknown disease and no one was to 
blame. Mr. Mitchell condemned the crime and declared 
the officer guilty of murder. He was summoned before the 
grand jury, an attempt being made to indict him for mak- 


ing such a charge. The case was dropped. He discovered 
that the man had been unmercifully clubbed by the oflSicer ; 
so he consulted four colored physicians in order to have 
the body exhumed and the head examined. After much 
inquiry, he discovered that the body had been sent to the 
dead-house, of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. 
He boarded a train for that place and went into the dead- 
house; he saw portions of a body which were covered 
over as he entered. He did not know the victim. He was 
locked in the dead-house himself, by parties present, but 
got out, and after hunting for the physician in charge 
-without success, hurried back to Richmond to appear at 
court the next morning. The officer was never punished ; 
this was a specimen of Southern justice. 

The lynching of Richard Walker, in Charlotte county, 
demonstrated Mr. Mitchell's courage again. This colored 
man was lynched by a mob of white men at Smithville, 
about eighty-six miles from Richmond, Virginia. Mr. 
Mitchell condemned the affair and declared that his mur- 
derers should be dangled from a rope's end. This occurred 
in May, 1886. The editorial appeared on a Saturday, and 
on the following Monday he received a letter containing a 
piece of hemp, abusing him and declaring they would hang 
him, should he put his foot in the county. Mr. Mitchell 
replied that he would visit the county, adding: ** There are 
no terrors, Cassius, in your threats, for I am armed so 
strong in honesty that they pass me by like the idle winds, 
which I respect not." 

Later on he armed himself wnth a brace of Smith & 
Wesson revolvers, went to the scene of the murder, which 


was five miles from* any railroad station, and was locked? 
in the jail for the purpose of inspecting the place w^her^ 
Walker had been found, and then returned to Richmond^ 
and published an account of his trip. 

A short account of him appeared lately in the New Yon 
World February 22, 1887, where these words depic 
clearly his character. Said this journal : 

One of the most daring and vigorous Negro editors, is John MitcheL-l» 
jr., editor of the Richmond Planet. The fact that he is a Negro 
lives in Richmond, does not prevent him from being coarageons almo: 
to a fault. 

He is a man who would walk into the jaws of death t<^- 
serve his race ; and his courage is a thing to be admired* 
Mr. Mitchell is one of the intensest lovers of his race. Hi^ 
pen seems dipped in vitriol and his words are hurleiL 
with the force of Milton's Satan, whom we find described — 
as having such strength **that his spear, to equal which^* 
the tallest pine hewn on Norwegian hills to be the mast ol 
some great admiral, were but a wand." 


LOUDON ferrhx. 321 


of a Church Incorporated by a State Legislattire— An Old-Time 
•l^reacher— Hired by Town Trustees to .Preach to the Colored 

ONE of the most wonderful men who ever lived on the 
soil of Kentucky was the second pastor of what is 
hnown as the First Baptist church in Lexington. He 
^e slave of Mrs. Anna Winston, in Hanover county, 
^^^Siiiia- His youth was spent about as boys usually 
•P^^^ixt their time; but at eleven years of age a singular 
^'Vig happened to him, which made him think of a future 
He was bathing with a companion and they were 
^^^ed from drowning only by the help of a woman, who 
^^iight them by the hair of the head and drew them ashore. 
After recovering, he received severe punishment and strict 
orders were given him to keep away from the river. In a 
slcftch written at the time of his death, it is said that both 
of the boys were of the opinion that had they died they 
would have gone to the lake of fire and brimstone ; they 
covenanted together that henceforth they would serve God 
He served an apprenticeship as a house-joiner. Ferrill 


was faithful to his promise, while his partner was recreant 
throughout. After baptism he felt that he was called to 
preach the gospel, but he was disobedient to the prompt- 
ings of his heart. At that time no slave was permitted to 
be ordained. Ferril! was permitted, however, by his 
brethren, to preach, so far as their power extended, in these 
words: **To go forth and preach ,the gospel wherever 
the Lord might cast his lot, and the door should be open 
to him." Fifty persons were soon converts under his 
ministry. When his old master died he became free, an 
he and his wife (for at this time he was married) came t 
Kentucky in search of a new field of labor. 

When he arrived at Lexington he found a preacher know 
as ''Old Captain*' laboring among the people; however 
his days were numbered and the people desired Ferrill t< 
preach to them, which he refused to do because of the oi 

ganization not being in fellowship with the Baptist d^^"- 
nomination, although they held the faith and geners^J 
practice of Baptists ; but he entered into the constitu- 
tion of the First Baptist church (white) in 1817. The 
colored people then applied to the white church for his 
services. The church being in doubt as to what to do, pro- 
posed to the Elkhom association, in 1821, the following 
queries : First. ** Can persons baptized on a confession of 
faith by an administrator not ordained be received into 
our churches under any circumstances whatever without 
being again baptized ?" Second. ** Is it admissible for the 
association to ordain free men of color ministers of the 
gospel ?'' The queries were taken up by a committee, con- 
sisting of Jeremiah Vardeman, James Fishback, John Ed- 


ivards, Edmund Waller and Jacob Creath, who were 
appointed to consider the matter. They reported, first, 
that it is not regular to receive such members; second, 
that they knew no reason why free men of color could not 
be ordained ministers of the gospel, the gospel qualification 
being possessed by them. This first resolution referred to 
those colored people who had been baptized by **01d Cap- 
tain," and the second to Ferriirs ordination. However, 
they were all received without re-baptism, and Ferrill was 
ordained. Ferrill took regular charge of the church and 
served it thirty-two years, during which time it increased 
from 280 to 1820 members, and became the largest church 
in Kentucky. Ferrill was a remarkable man; he was 
descended fi-om a royal line of Africans . Dr. William Bright, 
a white pastor in the State, said of him: **He had the 
manner of authority and command, and was respected 
by the whole population of Lexington, and his influence 
was m6re potent to keep order among the blacks than the 
police force of the city." 

In 1833, when the cholera was raging in Lexington, he 
was the only minister that remained faithful ; nursing his 
wife, who died at this time, and at whose funeral the 
largest number attended, which was thirteen, of any of 
the funerals of that dreadful day. 

There has been many a dispute as to the length of time 
it takes to baptize any number of candidates. It is re- 
corded in * Spencer's History of the Baptists,' fi-om whence 
we get many valuable facts, that he baptized at one time 
220 persons in 85 minutes, and at another time 60 in 45 


So popular was Loudon Ferrill that tne tnjstees of the 
town of Lexington employed him to preach tQ the colored 
people. It is a singular fact that all good niet\ ^ave ene- 
mies, and his endeavored to destroy his church. Splomon 
Walker, his oldest deacon, advised him to discontinue his. 
meetings, but Ferrill said : No, by the help of the Lord 
he was going on and believed that he would see so many 
people there that the house would not hold them. 
And this vision was fully realized, for under his preaching 
the attendance at his church was always a very large, 
one, frequently his church was filled to overflowing. 

Harry Quills, ** whose heart was said to have been as 
black as his face," spread a report that Ferrill's character* 
was not good in Virginia, but upon some of the white 
elders writing to persons living in the neighborhood in 
which he was bom and raised, they were informed that 
his character was unspotted. He made another attempt 
to injure Ferrill ; knowing that the law was such that no 
free colored person could remain in this State over thirty 
days, unless a native of the State, thought he would drive 
Ferrill away in this manner. He had warrants gotten 
out ; a number of free people were sold and a number went 
away. The white people got Dr. Fishback to draw up a 
petition to the Legislature to give Ferrill permission to 
stay in the State, which was granted, and his church at 
length was incorporated by the Legislature under the. 
name of the **01d Apostolic Church.'* 

In his will he left his property to his two adopted child- 
ren, and left the following prayer, also, as a legacy for 
Kentucky : 



O ! Great Father of Heaven and earth, bless the citizens of Richmond, 

Virginia, for their kindness toward me in my youthful days ; but more 

I>articularly, O Lord, be merciful to the citizens of Lexington, Kentucky, 

and may it please Thee to bless, preserve and keep them from sin. Guide 

them in all their walks, make them peaceable, happy and truly righteous ; 

and when they come to lie down on the bed of death, may thy good 

spirit hover around ready to waft their ransomed souls to Thy good 

presence. Lord, grant this for Christ's sake; and, Q! God, bless the 

thurch of which I am pastor, and govern it with Thy imerring wisdom, 

m and keep it the church as long as time shall last ; and O, my Maker, 

choose, when I am gone, some pastor for them, who may be enabled to 

labor with more zeal than your humble petitioner has ever done, and 

.gri'ant that it may continue to prosper and do good among the colored 

race. O, merciful Father, bless the white people, who have always treated 

xne as though I was a white man. And bless, I pray Thee, all those who 

'^larough envy or malice have mistreated me, and save them, is my prayer. 

.fc^less the Church of Christ, everywhere; bless the Christiansen every 

J.^nd. Bless, O Lord, my two adopted children and keep them in Thy 

"^ay. Bring all sinners m all countries to feel their need of a Saviour, 

nd pardon all their sins, and when they come to die, take them unto 

Thyself, and the glory shall be to the Father and Son and the Holy 

ihost forever and ever. Amen. 

The author of this book feels grateful that he shares 
^especially in this prayer, as he pastored this same church 
o nobly established by this servant of the Most High. At 
i:lie death of Mr. Ferrill, October 12, 1854, the Lexing- 
ton Observer said '*that he rests from his labors and his 
works do follow him.'* He had justly acquired an im- 
mense influence among the colored people of this city and 
surrounding country, and he always exercised this influ- 
ence with prudence and for the furtherance of good morals 
and religion. 

The Kentucky Gazette, March 6, 1878, speaking of his 
death, said : 

326 MEN OF BiARK. 

The colored people of Lexington are tinder a lasting debt and obliga- 
tion to Brother Ferrill ; for he did more for their elevation and instruc- 
tion than all other agencies combined, and we know that the masters of 
his people regarded him as a most useful and valuable assistant in gov- 
erning and controlling them, and often averted harsher means. It i» 
well to familiarize the generation that has sprung up since his death 
with the history of his blameless and useful life, for the lessons that it 
teaches can hardly be lost upon them. This good man is remembered by 
persons now living in Lexington, who worshiped him almost as a saint, 
and are never weary of telling of his good deeds. It is said, that in * 
marrying slaves he used a very sensible ceremony. He pronounced them 
" united until death or distance do them part." Long may he be remem- 
bered, and his example of holiness and faithfidness be an inspiration to 
the rising generation. 





A. B., LL. B., LL. D. 

Chief Civil Service Examiner— Lawyer— Metaphysician, Logician and 
Orator— Prize Essayist— Dean of the Law Department of Howard 

WITHOUT doubt the gentleman whose name stands 
at the head of this page is one of the most accom- 
plished scholars in polite literature among us. In this 
statement not an adjective is wasted, nor is it misused. His 
studies range over a vast field of learning. His taste is 
gesthetical, and can be compared to the eagle in its flights. 
He was never known to produce a poor article froifthispen. 
He is an orator of the finest kind, differing fi-om Douglass 
and Langston only in the degree in which they differ from 
each other. As w^e shall show his career, it can easilv be 
seen that he has spent his life among books and has had 
the good judgment to use Bacon^s advice when writing 
of studies: **Some books are to be tasted, others to be 
swallowed and some few to be read and digested ; that is 
some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read 
b?it not curiously, and some few to be read wholly and 
wnth diligence and attention. Reading maketh a full 


man, conference a ready man, writing an exact man." 
All three of these characteristics belong to Mr. Greener, 
who has risen to his present status from a poor boy, for 
he supported a widowed mother by working as a porter 
while quite a lad. He was bom in Philadelphia, Pennsyl- 
vania, and lived in Boston from the time he was five years 
of age. He was educated at the grammar school of Cam- 
bridge, and then spent two years preparing for college at 
Oberlin, Ohio, and finished his preparations at Phillips 
Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, the oldest in this 
country. He graduated from Harvard University as a 
Bachelor of Arts in 1870, when he was about twenty-six 
years old, and was immediately made principal in the 
male department of the institute for the colored youth in 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from September, 1870, to 
December, 1872. He followed in this position the highly 
cultured and distinguished Octavius V. Catto, who was 
shot in a riot in 1871. Mr. Greener was the first one to be 
with him after his assassination. From January 1 to 
July 1, J 873, he was principal of the Sumner High School, 
Washington, District of Columbia, and was also associate 
editor of the New National Era, frpm April to October of 
that same year. September, 1873, found him at work in 
the office of the United States attorney for the District of 
Columbia. Two months later, in the same year, he was 
elected professor of metaphysics and logic in the Univers- 
ity of South Carolina at Columbia, which chair he ac- 
cepted and filled with great credit until March, 1877, 
when the university was closed by the Hampton Legisla- 
ture. While he was a professor in this universitv He 



assisted in the departments of Latin and Greek, and also 
taught classes in International law and the Constitution 
of the United States. He was active in politics, though 
he never held a political office. At the same time he was 
librarian of the university from May 14 to October 31, 
1875, when he rearranged the thirty thousand volumes 
and prepared a catalogue. He also wrote an interesting 
monograph on the rare books of the library, which he 
read before the American Philological Association, in June, 
1877, at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Mary- 
land. For his labors at the librarv even the Charleston 
News and Courier found words of praise. In 1875 also he 
was chosen by a concurrent resolution of the General 
Assembly of South Carolina a member of a commission 
whose duty it was to revise the school system of the 
State. In this commission he was the only one who had 
not been the president of the college. He also found time 
to complete his law studies, which he had begun in Phila- 
delphia and had continued in the office of the attorney for 
the District of Columbia, by graduating from the law 
school of the South Carolina University, under Judge 
Moses, at the head of his class, and was admitted to prac- 
tice in the Supreme Court of South Carolina, December 
20, 1876, and the Bar of the District of Columbia, April 
14, 1877. In 1877 he became instructor in the Law De- 
partment in Howard University, and on the death of John 
II. Cooke, esq., in 1879, he was elected dean. September, 
1880, he resigned the deanship and became a law clerk of 
the first comptroller of the United States treasury, Hon. 
William Lawrence of Ohio, which position he held until 


February 28, 1882, and then begun the active practice of 
law. He was an associate counsel with A. K. Brown^ 
esq., in the defense of J. M. W. Stone, indicted for wife 
murder, and made the opening speech for the defense in 
the argument for a new trial, and assisted in the general 
conduct of the case. It will be remembered that Stone's 
head was cut off by the rope, clean from his neck, when 
he was hung, one of the few instances of the kind on 
record. In the preparation of his law cases, Mr. Greener 
is as careful as he would be in the preparation of an ora- 
tion on any literary subject. His researches are indicative 
of his breadth of learning and acquaintance with text 
books in the matter at hand. 

He was associate counsel with Hon. Jeremiah Wilson in 
the famous extradition case of Samuel L. Perry, one of 
those who had been originally exodized from North Care- 
Una, and whose extradition was demanded by Governor 
Jarvis on the trumped up charge of forgery. Mr. Greener 
made the argument before Justice Wiley, of the Supreme 
Court of the District of Columbia, on the habeas corpus 
hearing, going over all the cases of extradition from 1791 
down to the present time. In this argument he was opn 
posed to Hon. R. T. Merrick, Tilden's counsel in the elec- 
torial commission, and counsel for the Government in the 
Star Route cases. Mr. Greener won the case and Perrv 
was released from custody. He was also associated with 
Hon. Martin I.Townsend.United States district attomev, 
in the Whittaker court of inquiry, in April and May, 1880, 
and made the legal argument before the secretary of war, 
Hon. Alex. Ramsey, for the release of Whittaker and the 


granting of a court-martial. Whittaker was the colored 
student noted at West Point as the one whose ears were 
mutilated, and it was charged that he had tied himself and 
then mutilated his own ears, which seems to have been im- 
possible. The result of his argument was that indefinite 
leave was immediately granted and a court-martial was 
ordered by President Hayes, December 28, 1880. He was 
also associated as counsel with ex-Governor Daniel H. 
Chamberlin, from January 20 to June 15, 1881, in defense 
of Cadet Whittaker during the court-martial. Mr. Greener 
was also secretary of the original exodus committee, with 
Senator Windom president, and was chairman of the first 
delegation that waited on Senator Windom afiber his 
speech, and stated the grievances of the colored people. 
He debated the exodus question with Hon. Fred Douglass. 
Washington, District of Columbia, and at the Social 
Science congress, at Saratoga, New York, September 13, 
1879. In that year, also, he lectured all through the 
Western States and wrote many articles to the newspapers 
on the different phases of the movement. Professor 
Greener has had a large experience in political speaking, 
and has done a great deal of political work. In 1876 he 
also canvassed the Third Congressional district of South 
Carolina for Haves and Wheeler and Chamberlin. His ex- 
perience is enrolled on the Senate miscellaneous documents, 
Number 48, Senator Cameron's (Wisconsin) report, pages 
223 to 228, volume 1, and he was the only man who made 
the entire circuit of the district and spoke at every adver- 
tised place. After the overthrow of the Republican govern- 
^ment in that State, he returned to Washington and has 


attended to his profession ever since. In every campaign 
his services have been in active demand, and he has spoken 
since 1877 in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New 
Jersey, Ohio and New York. 

He was a member of the Republican conference of one 
hmidred, held in New York City, August 4, 1880, and rep- 
resented South Carolina. He has represented that State 
in the Union League of America from 1876 to 1879, and is 
at present president of the South Carolina Republican as- 
sociation, Washington, District of Columbia. 

This charming talker took an active part in the Republi- 
can campaign of 1884, speaking in seven States for Blaine 
and Logan. July, 1885, he was appointed secretary of the 
Grant Memorial association, in the State of New York, 
and October 9, 1885, he was appointed chief examiner of the 
municipal civil service of New York City by Mayor Grace. 
He now holds both positions, having been re-appointed to 
the latter by Mayor Hewitt. Mr. Greener has filled a very 
large place in the afiTairs of this country, and has risen so 
fast in the minds of the people that his name is linked with 
the names of Douglass and Langston, though a much 
younger man than either of them . In Masonic circles he has 
been active for the union of the colored Masonic bodies. 
He was initiated, passed, and raised, in Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania, in 1872. 

He has served as E. C, Gethsemene Commandery of 
Knights Templars, District of Columbia, 1873, and Grand 
Commander of the Supreme Council of Ancient Accepted 
Scottish Right, 33d degree, South and Western jurisdic- 
tion. He was one of the committee of thirty on the inaug- 


oral ceremonies of Garfield and Arthur. The title of LL. D 
was conferred upon him by the College of Liberia, Mon- 
rovia, West Africa, January 13, 1873. We furnish here a 
list of the subjects of the many addresses which Dr. Greener 
has delivered, and which will in some measure show the 
range of his mind as well as the variety of subjects over 
^which he roamed with such ease. The elegance and charm 
of their diction, together with the profound reasoning and 
extensive research have made them ever pleasing to those 
who have had the good fortune to hear them. 

We have briefly portrayed in some feeble way the rise and 
progress of Professor Greener, but we cannot do justice to 
the brilliant career he has so far had, nor can we predict 
how large a place he will yet fill in the affairs of his race. 
Though bom fi-ee, he has met the same difficulties which 
others have met who were bom slaves, because he was 
identified with that downcast and humble race which suf- 
fered because of their color and their condition. 

Mr. Greener is a gentleman of much literary taste, and 
has the knack of getting hold of many relics — some of 
great value. Among them may be mentioned * Banneker's 
Almanac,' 1792; fac simile copy of his letter to Thomas 
Jefferson, which sold at a recent sale in New York for $18. 
'Walker's Appeal,' (Garnet edition) ; an original bill of the 
sale of a slave; 'Gregorie's Histo de la litt. des Negres,' 
presented to Angelina Grimke by John Rankin ; a copy of 
the Freedom* s Journal^ published in New York City, 1827 
—8, the first colored paper in the United States ; very many- 
rare papers on colonization; * Negromania/ by Campbell^ 


of Philadelphia ; the lisl of the original documents for the 
abolition of slave-trade, etc. 

I append here a list of the subjects of his best orations. 
They can be judged from their titles, and show that his 
reading has been over a very wide range, and that he has 
the taste of an exceedingly high and cultivated mind : 

1. " Fifteenth Amendment Celebration," at Troy, New York, April 28, 

2. Celebration of Emancipation in the District of Colmnbia, April 15, 

3. " Charles Sumner, the Idealist, Statesman and Scholar,'* an ina^g 
nral address, University of South Carolina, Columbia, June 24,1874. 

4. " The Public Life and Political Writings of John Milton/* a lectim 
at Charleston, South Carolina. Maxx:h, 1874. 

5. An oration pronounced at the celebration of Saint John the Baptist, 
June 24, 1876, at Savannah, Georgia. 

6. " The Library of the University of South Carolina, its Rare and 
Curious Books," prepared for the American Philological Association, 
June 11, 1877. 

7. ** The Missionary Work of Education among the Colored People of 
the South,'* an address delivered at the dedication of St. Maiy's Protests 
ant Episcopal Academy, Baltimore, Maryland, September 17, 1877. 

8. "The Great Pyramid, its Age, Builders, and Purpose,** a lectuir; 
Washington, District of Columbia, April 29, 1878. 

9. Address at the emancipation celebration, Washington, District oi 
Columbia, January 1,1879: "The Political Condition of the Colored 
PeopJe of the South.** 

10. " The Academic Life," an address before the students of the Atpbm, 
Phi Society, Howard University, November 26, 1878. 

11. "The Life and Services of William Lloyd Garrison." a eulogy be- 
fore the colored citizens of Baltimore, Maryland, June 19, 1879. 

12. A Masonic address in honor of the union of the craft in Maryland 
and Virginia; Washington, District of Columbia, June 24, 1878. 

13. "Socrates as a Teacher,** a lecture delivered at Washington, Dis- 
trict of Columbia, April 5, 1880. 



14. "The Intellectual Position of the Negro," (a reply to James Par- 
ton), National Qnarterly Review (New York City), Jnly, 1880. 

15. Decoration Day address before Lincoln Post No. 7, 0. A. R., Depart- 
ment of Maryland, May 30, 1880. 

16. * * The Educational and Industrial Progress of the Colored People, * * 
an address before the citizens of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Musical 
Fond hall, January 4, 1881. 

17. An address at dedication of Lincoln statue. Prospect Park, Brook* 
lyn, New York, at invitation of Devins Post No. 148, G. A. R., Department 
of New York, May 30, 1881. 

18. Celebration of the fifteenth amendment by the colored citizens of 
Fftdenck, Maryland, August 24, 1881. 

19. An address before the students of the Garnet Literary association, 
Lincoln University, Oxford, Pennsylvania, June 6, 1881. 

20. ** Success, a Duty," at Bethel church, New York City, a lecture, 
December 28, 1880. 

21. Masonic address at la3ring of comer-stone of Calvary Baptist 
church, Columbia, South Carolina, December 14, 1875. 

22. ** The Gospel of Work," a lecture before the Progressive Working- 
men's club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 1, 1881. 

23. ** Free Speech in Ireland,** address at the Irish Land League, Wash- 
ington, District of Columbia, October 28, 1882. 

24. ''Benjamin Banneker, the Negro Astronomer," a lecture, Wash- 
ington, District of Columbia, February 1, 1882. 

25. The twentieth anniversary of emancipation in the District of 
Columbia, April 17, 1882. 

26. *' Henry Highland Garnet,*' a eulogy delivered at Cooper Insti- 
tute, New York, at the request of the colored citizens of New York City, 
May 10, 1882. 

27. '* The African Roscius," an essa}' on Ira Aldridge, the Negro Amer- 
ican tragedian, read at the closing exercises of the Monday Night Liter- 
ary club, Washington, District of Columbia, June 9, 1882. 

28. Address at Tuskegee Normal school, Tuskegee, Alabama, June 29, 




Sea Captain— Wealthy Ship Owner— Petitions to the Massachusetts Leg- 
islature against ''Taxation Without Representation"— Petition 

IT takes recognized skill for a man to be commander of 
a vessel. Ship owners seldom run the risk of ignorant 
management, for they cannot well afford the losses which 
would probably follow such a line of conduct, but in this 
case the son of a slave became the captain and owner of 
his own vessel. His boldness is, therefore, remarkable, and 
yet not so when we remember that he is the son of a 
native African on his father's side and of Indian blood on 
his mother's side. He inherited, from his father, some 
land and other property which was not profitable, but he 
determined to make a man of himself, and to that end was 
diligent and industrious. He became efficient in mathe- 
matics and navigation. His intellect was very vigorous 
and the power of concentration was so great that his 
knowledge of the latter subject was gained in two weeks, 
and with it he commanded Negro crews for many years, 
in his voyages to England, Russia, West Indies, Africa and 
the whole coast of North America, especially its eastern 


coast. He was only fourteen when his father died. He 
-was bom in 1759, in Cutterhnnker, one of the Elizabeth 
islands, near New Bedford, Massachusetts. At the age of 
sixteen he w^as a deck-hand on a vessel destined to the 
Gulf of Mexico ; his second voyage was to the West Indies. 
On his third voyage he was captured by the British, and 
detained in prison in New York three months. At this 
time the Revolutionary War was in progress. Paul and 
his brother John having been called on to pay personal 
taxes by the collector, they both refused to do so. They 
w^cre given so much trouble about it, that finally they 
agreed, in the language of Oliver Goldsmith, ** to stoop to 
conquer." They paid the taxes, as it was a trifling sum, 
and determined to make an appeal to the Massachusetts 
Legislature, believing in the doctrine that they had heard 
all of their lives, that there should be **no taxation with- 
out representation.*' 

In defiance of the prejudice of the times, their appeal was 
heard and a law^ was enacted by the Legislature rendering 
all free persons of color liable to taxation according to the 
ratio established for the white men, and, at the same time, 
granting to them full privileges that belonged to any 
other citizen of Massachusetts. 

What a glorious result ! See what a strong man can do 
by using that power which he has. Let us emulate his 
example. The right of petition is still ours. There are 
still many rights denied us which we could get by simply 
reaching out our hands to take them. Let the colored 
people of that State honor this grand man ; and we trUvSt 
that yet some testimonial to his memory shall be reared. 


It is with this hope that we have given him a place in this 
book. Let no one despise youth. We are so apt to think 
that young men are extravagant and indiscreet when they 
are bold enough to oppose what might seem, or what is, 
"popidar opinion.** Do right if you stand alone, remem- 
bering there are blows to take as well as to give. There 
were many colored people at that time who thought these 
colored men were fools, and said they were violating the 
law because they didn't obey what was an unjust law. 
Be discreet and attempt much, if but little be gained. There 
is honor even in a righteous effort. 

Paul was only about twenty-one years old when he 
accomplished this result, scarcely able to vote when the 
privilege was granted. He made many trips with his vessel 
to Connecticut and traded all along her coast ; sailed as 
far as the Banks of St. George, and secured large cargoes of 
codfish, opening up an extensive fish trade, which gave 
employment to great numbers. In 1797 Paul tried to 
establish a school, but the people quarreled over the 
location and many other things, and he finally built a 
school-house at his own expense on his own grounds, and 
allowed everybody to attend that desired, thus establish- 
ing a "public school" in Massachusetts. He owned sev- 
eral vessels, of 12, 18, 25, 42 and 60 tons burden, respec- 
tively. The last one was called the Ranger, He had a 
half interest in one of 162 tons burden, and th^-ee-fourths 
interest in one of 268 ; this was called the Alpha^ which 
was built in 1806. He had a half interest in one called the. 
Traveler ^ of 109 tons burden. 


A book written by William C. Nell, a colored man, in 
1855, gives the following description of Cuffee : 

He was tall, well-formed and athletic ; his deportment conciliating yet 
dignified and prepossessing; his countenance blending gravity with 
modesty and sweetness, and firmness with gentleness and humanity. In 
speech and habit, plain and unostentatious. His whole exterior indi- 
cated a man of respectability and piety, and such would a stranger have 
supposed him to be, at first sight. He was a Quaker in his religious 
views. He carefully maintained a strict integrity and uprightness in all his 
transactions in trade, believing himself to be accountable to God for the 
mode of using and acquiring his possessions. On these grounds he would 
not deal in intoxicating liquors or slaves, though he might have done 
cither without violating the laws of his country, and with great pros- 
pects of pecuniary gain. 

The 'American Encyclopedia * has this to say of him : 

In the latter part of his life, Cuffee encouraged the emigration of free 
people to Sierra Leone. He corresponded with prominent friends of this 
enterprise in Great Britain and Africa, and in 1811 visited the colony in 
bis own vessel to determine for himself its ' advantages. In 1815 he 
carried out to Sierra Leone thirty-eight colored persons as emigrants, 
thirty of them at his own expense, and on his arrival furnishing them 
with the means of subsistence, spending in this enterprise nearly four 
thousand dollars. 

This good man terminated his labors and his life ended 
in the seventh day of the ninth month, 1817. 




Financier and Pulpit Orator. 

HE is the oldest son of Henry and Harriet Walters. 
His birthplace was Bardstown, Nelson county^ 
Kentucky, August 1, 1858. Early in life he showed signs 
of piety, and was afterwards heard to say, "I was bom 
to preach the gospel." This was the constant theme of 
his youthful days, and is the business of his present life. 
He entered a private school taught by Mrs. Amanda 
Hines, at Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1866, where he re- 
mained about eighteen months. The following year Mr. 
William Lawrence, a more efficient teacher, opened a pay 
school, which Alexander entered at once and continued 
in it until 1869. This teacher was succeeded by Miss 
Addie Miller of Louisville, Kentucky, who, teaching for a 
short time was succeeded by Mr. Rowan WicklifTe of Lex- 
ington, Kentucky. Soon after he took charge of the school 
he made a proposition to the Methodist and Baptist 
churches (they being the only two colored churches in the 
town) to teach a young man of each congregation free of 
charge. This proposition was accepted by the officers of 



eacb congregation, and the officials ot the A. M. E. church 
chose Alexander Walters, the subject of this sketch. He 
remained in this school for two years, and, in the fall of 
1870, having professed a hope in Christ, he united with 
the A. M. E. Zion church, Bardstown, Kentucky. 

In 1871 he left his home for Louisville, Kentucky, and for 
two or three years was employed as a waiter in private 
families, hotels and on steamboats. In 1876 he went to 
Indianapolis, Indiana, and here he began the study of the- 
ology under the Rev. D. P. Seaton of the A. M. E. church, 
and was licensed to preach by Rev. Anthony Bunch of the 
A. M. E. Zion church, May, 1877. 

He married Miss Katie Knox of Louisville, Kentucky, 
August 28, 1877. Joined the Kentucky annual conference 
of the A. M. E. Zion church, at Indianapolis, Indiana, 
September 8, 1878, and was sent to the Corydon circuit, 
Cory don, Kentucky, by the same conference, and remained 
there two years. He taught the public school the last year 
of his pastorate, and was ordained deacon at St. Louis, 
July 10, 1879. He was then sent to Cloverport circuit, 
Cloverport, Kentucky, April 10, 1880, and remained there 
sixteen months ; he also taught school at this point during 
his stay. He was stationed at the 5th Street church, 
Louisville, Kentucky-, in 1881, and was ordained elder at 
Louisville, Kentucky, September 8, 1882. Then he was 
transferred to the California conference, and was stationed 
at San Francisco, California, in 1883. 

The church here was built at a cost of eighty thousand 
dollars, and is considered the finest and largest church in 
the Zion connection. 


Rev. Walters has a fine open face, and by his pen and 
upright moral life made his mark— for he has ever been 
considered one of the brightest stars of the Zion connection. 
He was sent by this church as a delegate to the general 
conference of the Zion connection, which met in New York 
City, May 3, 1884. He was elected first assistant secre- 
tary of the general conference. While east he visited 
Washington, D. C, and had an interview with President 
Arthur, also Governor Patterson of Pennsylvania. It 
was by his aid and influence that Professor J. C. Price^ 
President of Zion Wesley College was enabled to raise, 
while on the Pacific slope, in 1885, eighty-six hundred 

While West he was made a member of several white 

associations (notable among them were a Biblical class, 
taught by Professor J. P. Ferguson of the Presbyte- 
rian church, which was taught daily at the Adelphia 
theatre, on California street, near Kearney), the Young 
Men's Christian Association, and a class which met every 
Saturday for the study of Sabbath school lessons; this 
class was taught by Rev. M. M. Gibson, D. D. He w^as 
also elected a member of the Executive Board of the Min- 
isterial Union, San Francisco, California, being the only 
colored member of the board. 

He was transferred to the Tennessee conference in 1886, 
and is now stationed in Knoxville, Tennessee, in charge 
of one of the finest churches in the South. Elder Walters 
bears a spotless reputation, and is honored and loved by 
all who know him. He is a close student, an indefatiga- 
ble worker for the upbuilding of his race. As an orator^ 


he is superior to most of the young men, and even the old 
ones in his church. He is affable, kind and gentlemanly, 
ivinning by his elegant manner all those who come in con- 
tact with him. His habits of life are plain, his methods 
of TYork practical, and his success is always of the highest 
order. His plan has always been in entering a new work, 
to secure at once a first-class instructor to help him in his 
studies, and thereby he has become familiar with the 
classics and the realm of ancient literature. As a histo- 
rian, he deals largely in those phrases which lead toward 
the cultivation of race-pride, and the demonstration of 
those facts and principles which go to encourage enter- 
prise and self-pride among his own people. He has won- 
derful faith in the future of the race, being by no means 
discouraged on account of present difficulties, and pro- 
motes with most earnest zeal every effort made in his 
church and community that looks toward the ameliora- 
tion of the condition of colored people. As a pastor, 
revivalist and a church financier, he has had great success. 
To such young men the future looks for great things. 





Astronomer— Philosopher— Inventor— Philanthropist. 

N the darkness there was light, and the fire of his intel- 
lect attracted universal attention to himself and made- 
for him undying and imperishable fame. This remarkable 
genius and devoted son was bom in Baltimore county, 
Maryland, November 9, 1731, near the village of Ellicott's 
Mills . It is thought that his parents were full blooded Afric- 
ans, but George W. Williams, the historian, says his grand- 
mother was a white emigrant who married a Negro whose 
freedom she purchased ; and of the four children bom to 
them, one was a girl who married Robert Banneker, of 
whom Benjamin was the only child. 

His parents accumulated sufficient means to buy a few 
acres and build a small cabin. The son was sent to school 
in the neighborhood, where he learned reading, writing and 
arithmetic. When Benjamin reached a suitable age he was 
compelled to assist his aged parents in their labors, but 
every spare moment found him ** ciphering** and storing 
his mind with useful knowledge. His mother was active 
enough to do the work of the house, and when seventy 
years old caught her chickens by running them do wn with- 


out apparent fatigue. The place of his location was thickly 
^lettled ; though he was known as a boy of intelligence, yet 
bis neighbors took but little notice of him. He w^as deter- 
niined to acquire knowledge, and while his hands worked 
liard, his brain was planning and solving problems in 
arithmetic. His observation extended to all around him, 
and his memory was retentive and he lost nothing. But the 
little education he had acquired was all his parents, who 
were poor, could give him. Yet little by little he stored it 
^11 up, and in the course of time became superior to most 
of his white neighbors, who had more favorable opportuni- 
ties £uid werein better circumstances than he was. His fame 
h^id spread so rapidly that they beganto say to one another : 
** Tliat black Ben is a smart fellow. He can make anything 
lie sets out to ; and how much he knows ! I wonder where 
^^ Flicked it all up?' 

^^*^ 1770 he made a clock which was an excellent time- 
^^'^^- He had never seen a clock, as such a thing was un- 
^-^"^v^n in the region in which he lived, but he had seen a 
^^^^li which so attracted his attention that he as- 
™ ^^ to make something like it. His greatest difficulty 
"^^ xn makmg the hour and minute hands correspond in 
^ ^^T- motion, but by perseverance he succeeded, though he 
»^^^ never read the Latin motto, '" Perse verentia omnia 
^^^<^et," yet he did persevere and succeeded. This was the 
*^^t clock ever made in this countrv, and it excited much 
attention, especially because it was made by a Xegro. Mr. 
Ellicott, the owner of the mills, became ver^' much inter- 
ested in the self-taught machinist, and let him have many 
books, among which was one on astronomy. This new 


supply of knowledge so interested Banneker that he 
thought of nothing else. This kind gentleman, who had 
allowed him to use his books, for some reason failed to ex- 
plain the subject of the books when h^ gave them to him, 
but when he met him again he was surprised to find Ban- 
neker independent of all instruction. He had mastered all 

the difficult problems contained in them. 


From this time the study of astronomy became the great 
object of his life. Soon he could calculate when the sun 
or moon should be eclipsed, and at what time every star 
would rise. In this he was so accurate that mistakes were 
never found. In order to pursue his studies he sold hi& 
land his parents had left him and bought an annuity on 
which he lived, in the little cabin of his birth. As he was 
never seen tilling the soil, his ignorant neighbors began 
to abuse him. They called him lazy when they peeped into 
his cabin and saw him asleep in the day-time. They were 
ignorant of the fact of his watching the stars all night 
and ciphering out his calculation. Banneker, instead of 
resenting all this bad feeling, endeavored to live in such a 
way as to demand their respect. His generous heart made 
him always kind and ready to oblige everybody. 

A sketch of his life is found in the * History of the Negro 
Race in America,' by the Hon. George W. Williams, from 
which the following extract is taken : 

The following? question was propounded by Banneker to Mr. Geoi^ 
BUicott, and was solved by Benjamin Hollo well of Alexandria : 

A cooper and vintner sat down for a talk, 
Both being so groggy that neither could walk. 
Says cooper to vintner, " I am the first of my trade, 


There is no kind of vessel but what I have made 

And of any shape, sir— just what you will— 

And of any size, sir, from a ton to a gill !" 

''Then,*' says the vintner, *'you are the man for me; 

Make me a vessel, if we can agree. 

The top and the bottom diameter define, 

To bear that proportion as fifteen to nine ; 

Thirty-five inches are just what I- crave, 

No more and no less, in the depth will I have ; 

Just thirty-nine gallons this vessel must hold— 

Then I will reward you with silver and gold — 

Give me your promise, my honest old friend ?** 

"Ill make it tomorrow, that you may depend !*' 

So the next day the cooper, his work to discharge, 

Soon made a new vessel, but made it too large ; 

He took out some staves, which made it too small, 

And then cursed the vessel, the vintner and all. 

He beat on his breast ; " By the powers/' he swore. 

He never would work at his trade any more ! 

Now my worthy friend, find out if you can, 

The vessel's dimensions and comfort the man. 

(Signed) Benjamin Bannekbr. 

The answer to this question is as follows : The greater 
diameter of Banneker*s tub must be 24. 746 inches, and the 
lesser diameter 14.8476 inches. 

In 1792, though limited in means and scanty education, 
he prepared an excellent almanac, which was published by 
Goddard & Angell of Baltimore. In the preface they ex- 
pressed themselves as highly gratified with the opportu- 
nity of presenting to the public such an extraordinary 
effort of genius calculated by a sable son of Africa. This 
was the first almanac ever published in this country. Be- 
sides astronomical calculations, it contained much useful 
knowledge of a general nature and interesting selections of 


prose and verse. Professor R. T. Greener owns a copy of 
this almanac. Banneker sent a manuscript copy in his own 
handwriting to Thomas Jefferson, then secretary of state 
and afterwards President of the United States. In address- 
ing him he said : 

Those of my complexion have long been considered rather brutish than 
human — scarcely capable of mental endowments. But, in consequence of 
the reports that have reached me, I hope I may safely admit that you 
are measurably friendly and well disposed toward us. I trust that you 
will agree with me in thinking that one universal Father hath given 
being to us all ; that he has not only made us all of one flesh, but haa 
also, without partiality, afforded us all the same sensations and endowed 
us all with the same faculties ; and that, however various we may be in 
society or religion, however diversified in situation or color, we are all of 
the same family and all stand in the same relation to Him. Now, sir, if 
this is founded in truth, I apprehend you will readily embrace every op- 
portunity to eradicate the absurd and false ideas and opinions which so 
generally prevail with respect to us. 

Suffer me, sir, to recall to your mind that when the tjrranny of the 
British crown was exerted to reduce you to servitude, your abhorrence 
thereof was so excited that you publicly held forth this true and invalua- 
ble doctrine, worthy to be recorded and remembered in all succeeding 
ages: *'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men art 
created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain 
inalienable rights ; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of 

Your tender feelings for yourselves engaged you thus to declare. Yon 
were then impressed with proper ideas of the great value of liberty, and 
the free possession of those blessings to which you are entitled by na- 
ture. But, sir, how pitiable it is to reflect that, although you are so fully 
convinced of the benevolence of the Father of mankind, and of his equal 
and impartial distribution of those rights and privileges which He had 
conferred upon them, that you should at the same time counteract His 
mercies in detaining, by fraud and violence, so numerous a part of my 
brethren under groaning captivity and cruel oppression ; that you should 


at the same time be found guilt^f of that most criminal act which you 
detested in others with respect to yonradves. 

Sir, I freely and most cheerfrilly acknowledge that I am of the African 
race ; and in that color -which is natural to them I am of the deepest dye. 
But, with a sense of the most profound gratitude to the Supreme Ruler 
of the uniYerse, I confess that I am not under that state of t3rrannical 
thraldom and inhuman captirity to which so many of my brethren are 
doomed. I have abundantly tasted of those blessings which proceed 
from that free and unequaled liberty with which you are favored. 

Sir, I suppose your knowledge of the situation of my brethren is too 
extensiTC for it to need a recital here. Neither shall I presume to pre- 
scribe methods by which they may be relieved, otherwise than by recom- 
mending to you and others to wean yourselves from those narrow 
prejudices you have imbibed with respect to them, and to do as Job pro- 
posed to his friends— "put your souls in their souls' stead." Thus shall 
your hearts be enlarged with kindness and benevolence toward them,, 
and you will need neither the direction of myself or others in what man- 
ner to proceed. 

I took up my pen to direct to you, as a present, a copy of an Almanac 
I have calculated for the succeeding year. I ardently hope that your 
candor and generosity will plead with you in ray behalf. S3rmpathy 
and affection for my brethren has caused my enlargement thus far; it 
was not originally my design. 

The Almanac is a production of my arduous study. I have long had 
unbounded desires to become acquainted with the secrets of nature, and 
I have had to gratify my curiousity herein through my own assiduous 
application to astronomical study, in which I need not recount to you 
the many difficulties and disadvantages I have had to encounter. I con- 
clude by subscribing myself, with the most profound respect, your most 

humble servant, 

B. Bannbkbr. 

To this letter Jefferson made the following reply : 

Sit , I thank you sincerely for your letter, and for the Almanac it con- 
tained. Nobody wishes more than 1 do to sec such proofs as you exhibit 
that nature has given to our black brethren talents equal to those of 
the other colors of men, and that the appearance of a want of them is 


owing only to the degraded condition of their existence both in 
and America. I can add, with truth, that no one wishes more ardently 
to see a good system commenced for raising the condition, both of their 
body and mind, to what it ought be, as fast a» the imbecility of their 
present existence, and other drcmnstances which cannot be neglected, 
will admit. I have taken the liberty of sending yonr Almanac to Mon* 
sienr Condorcet, Secretary of the Academy of Sciences at Paris, and to 
members of the Philanthropic Society, because I considered it a docu- 
ment to which your whole color had a right, for their justificatioo 
against the doubts which have been entertained of them. I am, with 

great esteem, sir, your most obedient servant, 

Thomas Jbppbrson. 

In 1803 Mr. Jefferson invited the astronomer to visit 
him at Monticello, but the increasing infirmities of 
age made it imprudent to undertake the journey. His 
almanacs sold well for ten years, and the income, added 
to his annuity, gave him a very comfortable support; 
and, what was a still greater satisfaction to him, was 
the consciousness of doing something to help the cause 
of his oppressed people by proving to the world that 
nature had endowed them with good capacities. 

After 1802 he found himself too old to calculate any 
more almanacs, but as long as he lived he continued to be 
deeply interested in his various studies. 

He died in 1804, in his seventy-second year; his remains 
were buried near the dwelling that he had occupied during 
his life. Hismodeoflife was regular and retired. He was 
kind and generous to all around him ; his head was cov- 
ered with thick white hair, which gave him a venerable 
appearance; his dress was uniformly superfine drab broad- 
cloth, made in the old, plain style, coat with straight 
collar, a long waist and a broad-brimmed hat. His color 


liiras not quite black, but decidedly Negro. In his personal 
appearance he is said to have borne a striking resemblance 
to the statue of Benjamin Franklin, at the library at 

Banneker's abilities have often been brought forward as 
ail argument against the enslavement of his race, and ever 
since he has been quoted as a proof of the mental capacity 
of Africans. Surely the smoldering embers of the latent 
fires of their ancient greatness was awakened in him, and 
the thousands of camp-fires of an intellectual revival can 
be seen now on the highest hilltop, climbing the moun- 
tains, at its base, down the valley and in its darkest 





Corresponding Secretary and Beloved Disciple. 

ONE of the humblest and most devoted Christians 
I ever knew is Rev. R. DfeBaptiste. A very unosten- 
tatious servant of God is the man of whom I now write. 
Many have enjoyed the sunshine of his life and yet failed 
to recognize the cause of their growth and prosperity. 
Personally, I can bear testimony to his interest in young 
men, and his fatherly, tender advice to even the "stranger 
within his gate." Of Old Virginia's sons, none have given 
to the West a better life of honest toil for the people 
than he. Fredericksburg may well be proud of him. He 
was bom November 11, 1831. William and Eliza DeBap- 
tiste sought to educate their children, and though they 
had many difficulties to encounter, they nevertheless suc- 
ceeded In giving them a fair education, in the State of Vir- 
ginia, under the regime of slavery. The father made his 
own residence a school-house, his own children and a few 
of those of his relatives were pupils, first taught by a col- 
ored man and then by an educated Scotch-Irishman, wh 
had been a teacher in Scotland, the police oflicers o 

K- BtliAPnsTE. 



watching the premises to detect some incidents leading to 
evidence that a Negro school was being conducted there. 
Fines and imprisonment would have followed the dis- 
covery. Mr. DeBaptiste was ordained to the ministry in 
the Baptist denomination at Mount Pleasant, Ohio, by a 
council called by the Union Baptist church, Cincinnati, 
Ohio, of the First and Ninth streets white churches, and 
the Union and Ziori colored churches of Cincinnati, and 
the church at Lockland were represented in the council. 
He taught the public schools for colored youth and chil- 
dren of Springfield township, at Mount Pleasant, three 
years. He organized and pastored the colored Baptist 
church at this place from 1860 to 1863; baptized twelve 
converts as constituent members, took pastoral charge of 
Olivet Baptist church, Chicago, August, 1863; held it 
continuously till Februarj^ 1882. In the meanwhile, pur- 
chasing two building sites at a cost of $16,000, built two 
church edifices, both brick, with a seating capacity, the 
one of 800 and the other of 1200, costing respectively, $15- 
000 and $18,000. Received over seventeen hundred persons 
to membership — about forty-eight per cent, by baptism. 
The net increase for the first five years averaged one hun- 
dred per year, and over fifty per cent, of that number by 
baptism. He was elected corresponding secretary of the 
Wood River association in 1864; has held it ever since, 
being re-elected every year, though absent at three or four 
sessions. He was also elected recording secretary of the 
Northwestern and Southern Baptist convention at its or- 
ganization in St. Louis in 1865 ; was elected corresponding 
secretary at the annual meeting, 1866. He was elected 

354 MEN OP M^RK. 

president of the consolidated American Baptist Missionary 
convention at its first meeting, held in Nashville, Tennes- 
see; was re-elected every year successively for four years. 
At Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1870, he was not pres- 
ent, but was, nevertheless, re-elected. In 1871, being 
absent from the meeting at Brooklyn, New York, he was 
not re-elected. In 1872 was again elected president aiid 
held the office by re-election at every meeting till 1877 at 
Richmond, Virginia, and was then elected corresponding- 
secretary of the Foreign Mission department of this work^, 
continued in that office until the meeting in Cincinnati _ 
1879, but it was no longer a consolidation. 

In 1870 he was elected president of the Baptist Fre^ 
Mission society (white) at its anniversary meeting in Cinar 
cinnati, Ohio, and corresponding secretary of the Americar-, 
Baptist National convention, which met August 25 t _^ 
29, in St. Louis, Missouri, at which time he read a pap^^ 
of the greatest importance to the denomination. Tlrz£ 
American Baptist Publication Society of Philadelphia, i -i 
its annual year book, has hitherto enumerated o 
eight hundred thousand colored Baptists for the Unit 
States, but it was left for Richard DeBaptiste to give t 
larger final results. It will not be out of place to give he:^ 
the remarkable statistics which he furnished, though, 
course, much condensed : ** Three hundred and eleven ass- 
ciations, 9,097 churches in 255 associations, ordaine 
ministers 4,590 in 218 associations, with a total 
shipof l,071,902colored Baptists, "without any baptui 
having been gathered for that ' year from the States 
West Virginia, New York, California, Colorado, Delaw 


Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsyl- 
vania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Ala- 
bama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South 
Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. 

During his lifetime he has been a frequent contributot 
both to religious and secular journals, white and colored, 
and held the positionof editor of one secular and one religi- 
ous journal, and corresponding editor of two others. He 
held the first position conjointly with Rev. G. C. Booth, 
on the Conservator of Chicago, for a year or nearly that 
time, the second or third year after it started, and on the 
Western Herald from September, 1884, to December, 1^85. 
He was corresponding editor of the Monitor, a short-lived 
paper started by the Rev. H. H. White of St. Louis, Mis- 
souri, and for several years on the National Monitor o{ 
Brooklyn, New York, Rev. R. L. Perry, editor. 

Having had only an English education in his youth, he 
lias not failed to take advantage of the opportunities pre- 
sented him for a thorough knowledge in the many branches 
of learning. He attended school about three years after 
x-emoving from Virginia to Michigan, receiving in this 
school only instruction in English branches. The first 
'teacher he had was Richard Dillingham, a Quaker, who 
was afterwards apprehended for helping several families to 
escape ft-om slavery. He received such rough and cruel 
treatment that he died fi-om the effects of it in prison, at 
Nashville, Tennessee. His second teacher was Rev. Samuel 
H. Davis, the pastor of the Second Baptist church of 
Detroit. In this city he also studied German, French, 
Latin, Greek and theology. He attended the lectures at 



the University of Chicago during the first two years, at 

what is now known as the Morgan Park Theological 

Seminary. He was married in the fall of 1855 to Miss 

Georgiana Brische of Cincinnati, Ohio, who died Novem- | ajr- 

ber 2, 1872. He was married again August, 1885, and 

this wife died April, 1886. He has three children, two of I ise^ 

them members of the church and very proficient in music. ■ g^- 

None of them are very healthy, which has caused him much ■ ]*2 

grief and sorrow; "truly he is a man afflidled with sorrows ^ I ^ 

and acquainted with grief." 

This man has devoted his lile to the ministry. In a 
priiftate letter to the author he once said : 

Beginning my manhood in a mercantile business, I had a fair prospect of 
success, carrrying on the business of bricklayer and plasterer's trade. 
This mode of living I inherited from my father and uncles, William an<l 
Edward DeBaptiste, they being in their days the largest contractors and 
builders of the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the surrounding 
country; but I unreservedly gave up all my worldly prospects and 
projects in obedience to the call of my Master to enter his vineyard, to 
•* occupy till he comes." He has said : ** He that forsaketh homes, lands, 
brothers and sisters for my sake and the gospel's, shall have homes^ 
lands, brothers and sisters." 

With very little worldly goods he is still cheerful and 
willing to spend and be spent for the Master's cause. 
At this writing he is pastor of a small church, declining 
many larger fields that he might secure a home and better 
prospects for the fiiture of his children. It might be well 
to say that Mr. DeBaptiste comes of a historic family.^ 
There has been a representative of his family in each of th 
great wars of this country. His grandfather, John 
Baptiste, was in the Revolutionary war ; his uncle G 


in the War of 1812; and two brothers, George and Ben- 
jamin, in the War of the Rebellion. 

The Rev. R. DeBaptiste is a man of whom the denomina- 
tion is proud, and the State University, Louisville, Ken- 
tucky, recognizing his great services to the cause of 
Christ, as well as his many gifts and attainments, con- 
ferred on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity, May 17, 
1887, an honor he will wear with dignity. 

The name of Richard DeBaptiste will always linger in 
the memory of those who know him as a man of Chester- 
fieldian manners and rare attainments in literary affairs, 
and a man "full of the Hcly Ghost." 




Representative from the Third Senatorial District, Chicago. Cook 
County, Illinois— From the Plowhandles to the Legislature— From 
the Capacity of a Waiter to that of a Legislator. 

IN presenting this sketch we have given some of the 
events which have taken place in the life of the Illinois 
colored Legislator. His position, from that of slave to 
public office holder, was not attained by a single jump, 
but by a series of repeated struggles and endeavors to 
remove hindering causes to become a respected man and 
public-spirited citizen. He first saw the rays of light at 
Winchester, Clark county, Kentucky, in 1846, and is the 
eldest of three living children. His father's name was 
Antonio Ecton, and his mother's, Martha George. His 
childhood and youth were spent in slavery. When yet a 
mere babe he was sent with other boys of his age, and 
older, to weed the crops. As he grew older he became a 
full hand at the plow and any other laborious tasks he 
was called upon to do. No matter what his occupation, 
he prided himself on doing whatever he did well, and 
herein lies his success. At the age of fifteen or sixteen the 
war came and his native State was soon made a thor- 


oughfare for the contending armies. At the close of the 
-war, about Jtine, 1865, George and a friend <}etermined to 
•'make way for liberty," having received a set of "free 
I)apers,*' written for them by a white Abolitionist, which 
even at that late date were necessary to every traveling 
Negro to insure recognition of freedom^ as slaves in Ken- 
tucky were not liberated until some months after the 
Emancipation Proclamation. With the amount of thirty 
or forty dollars which they had saved up, they started. 
The nearest railroad station being Paris, Kentucky, they 
reached it after walking nearly the entire distance of 
eighteen miles. The sight of a steam car was novel to 
them, and their astonishment can well be imagined. They 
boarded a train bound for Cincinnati Ohio, and here found 
tfieir **free papers" necessary, as on entering a car the 
white passengers demanded a sight of their passes. Arriv 
ing at their destination they were taken as deck hands on 
the steam packet Sherman, plying in the pig-iron and salt 
^'*^<3e between that port and Wheeling, West Virginia, 
^eoi-ge left this work after one trip, and on the return of 
^ packet to Cincinnati he found employment at the old 
^^^^dway House, where he worked and saved one hun- 
^^^ dollars. He afterwards worked at the ** Walnut 
^^^et House,*' the '* Burnett House," and the **Spencer 
^^Use." While at the ** Walnut Street House '' he became 
^>^ct:im to small-pox. He speedil}- recovered, however, 
^^mg to kindness from one of his nurses. On returning. 
^ Aivork he began to attend night school, taught by Miss 
"^^^11^1 Brown, who teaches at present on the suburbs of 
oinnati. He made rapid progress, and what learning 


he acquired he has* been adding to ever since. On leaving 
Cincinnati, October 28, 1873, he went to Chicago and 
took charge of a dining room at the ** Hotel WoodruflF," 
where he remained up to his nomination and election to a 
seat in the Thirty-fifth General Assembly. As a legislator 
he will reflect credit upon his constituency. Mr. Ecton is 
no orator, but as a good listener, intelligent voter and 
close student he has few to surpass him. By strict appli- 
cation to business and economy that marked his earlier 
' days, he has saved sufficient to purchase property worth 
ten thousand dollars. He wedded Miss Patti R. Allen of 
Winchester, Kentucky. Their union is childless, but their 
home is thronged by a brilliant set of intelligent people, and 
both he and his wife take a great interest in passing 
events. He is a member of Bethesda Baptist church, and 
is identified with the Prudence Crandall Club, and has 
taken ** master '* degree in masonry. If his word be given, 
he can be relied upon to do as he says. He will win for 
himself the credit in the Legislature that he has hitherto 





Professor of Rhetoric and Sciences — Hebraist — Musician. 

ONE of the bright lights that beamed forth from the 
State of Tennessee and first shed its rays into a little 
Negro cabin in Nashville, August 23, 1852, was when a 
son was bom to George and Clara Ensley. 

The chains of slavery held this child, and although its 
grasp was not so painful as in many cases, yet he was a 
victim to its cruelty. His maternal grandsire was his 
master, and he desired his slaves to read and write, and at 
one time he purchased books and employed a man to teach 
the slave children to read. 

Mr. Ensley does not remember when he could not read 
the Bible, and both his parents were good readers. When 
he was old enough he became body servant and buggy 
boy for the reserved, dignified old man, with snow white 
locks, who owned him. To Mr. Ensley it was always a 
a problem how he could be a grandchild with his white 
playmates, who too were grandchildren of the same old 
man, and be treated so differently, and why he must say 
**01d Mass'* while his mates said lovingly ** grandpa.'* 
Notwithstanding all this, Mr. Ensley was treated remark- 


ably well for a slave lad, and often was he commended for 
his capabilities. On one occasion he was ordered to water 
his master's cows in the pasture till noon. This command 
he disobeyed and for his disobedience his master attempted 
to whip him, but he ran away to the Yankee camps hard 
by, and remained hidden under empty cracker boxes for 
some time until the old man had abandoned the search. 
He remained in camp until the division moved away to 
Murfreesboro and advised him to return home to his 

He went home secretly and hid in his mother's room 
under the bed, where his master found him and gfave him 
the whipping he had escaped so long, and exacted from. 
him the promise never to run away again. His master 
owned large estates, and to this lad was given the respon- 
sibility of collecting rents and depositing the same in the 
bank . Thus Mr. Ensley worked on as a slave until the South- 
em cause was lost. Then he continued in the employ of 
the same old gentleman, who paid the young man and all 
his slaves for the service rendered him ; besides, he gave to - ^ 
each of his men employees two fine young mules and a cow ^^ 
and a calf The cow and calf were taken home, and th< 
mules left on the plantation. Soon the old man died ani 
his estate went to his son, and the Negroes who had beei 
in his employ were left poor. Mr. Ensley attributes hij 
fame now and all he is to his devoted Christian mother 
whom his grandsire had settled on an excellent estate 
thirty acres and left comfortably fixed. This was in 186( 
At this time the free schools opened about four miles froi 
Mr. Ensley 's home, and a happy day it was for this la( 


\elio now had a slight opportunity to slake his insatiable 
thirst for learning ; but this was for a short time only. His 
mother married and his step-father would not let him at- 
tend school and live at home. Because young Ensley went 
to school one day against his step-father's will, he was 
sent from home, notwithstanding the tears and pleadings 
of a loving mother. After he left, his mother sought and 
fairought him home, where he was obliged to work for this 
new master and go to school with his permit when he had 
nothing else to do. 

*' Notwithstanding all this," said Mr. Ensley, "I worked 
and studied, and not only kept up with my classes but 
ahead of them." Benjamin Holmes, one of the original 
famous jubilee singers, was his teacher, and, when he 
resigned to go on his mission of song, Mr. Ensley was 
installed as his successor. But the labors as teacher, 
where only yesterday he was a pupil, were hard. The 
children left school, and only by indefatigable labor in the 
Sunday school and day school did he succeed, but the 
success was indeed a victory wonderful and worthy of 
note. The day school grew to its former size, and the 
Sunday school never was so large before. Soon Mr. 
Ensley^ professed a hope in Jesus, and was baptized and 
joined the church, where he was made deacon, which posi- 
tion he held for several years. Although in earlier years 
he had felt called to the ministry, he feared he might be 
mistaken, but his doubts were not confirmed bv the words 
of a good brother who now dwells above. This brother 
laid the matter before the brethren, and the church sent a 
committee to tell him that he ought to preach. Mr. 


Ensley felt the need of preparation, and in February, 1871, 
entered Roger Williams University, under the guardian 
ship of that venerable man. Dr. Phillips, where, with his 
usual application, he toiled and toiled until he was almost 
a physical wreck and his future was less bright. Quite to 
his surprise he learned that his church had licensed him to 
preach. Mr. Ensley was filled with ambition and a bum* 
ing desire to be a man worthy of the love of God and the 
respect of his fellowmen. 

Music had a charm for him and he had devoted much 
time to this art. He always had a love for oratory, and, 
though he has never given himself to this, yet he has been 
very successful in his many lectures throughout the country, 
where the musicof his voice and his graphic style have held 
audiences spell-bound.' Many letters of appreciation are 
in his possession from friends and hearers who have 
listened to his instructive words. With Dr. Phillips he 
made his first tour to the North, where he, with this good 
man, represented the work in the Home Mission schools, 
and in that visit the centennial at Philadelphia attracted 
his attention. In June, 1878, he graduated fi-om Roger 
Williams University, third in his class, and immediately 
went North, where he entered Newton Theological Semin- 
€iry, Newton Centre, Massachusetts. After three years, 
toil he graduated, one of the favored seven fi-om a large 
class to give an oration graduation day, and he was the 
only colored one. After graduating, Mr. Ensley was 
ofiered many situations and the chosen one was Raleigh, 
North Carolina, where he was professor of theology and 


After a year he went to Howard University, at a salary 
of one thousand dollars, where he enjoyed his work very 
mnch. At this time he was married to an estimable and 
most accomplished young woman, who has supported him 
in every work to which he has devoted his time. Alcorn 
University now called him, and there he and his family 
removed, and to him was assigned the honorable position 
of professor of rhetoric, natural sciences and vocal music. 
This young man is a scholarly Hebrew student, and has a 
brilliant future before him, and well may the race be proud 
of Newell Houston Ensley. 

The professor is a man of many fine traits of character. 
His manners are polished, his whole demeanor dignified 
and courtly, and his conversation witty, even brilliant. 
In his lectures he does not follow old stereotyped phrases 
nor hackneyed expressions, but his humor bubbles up like 
a pure rill at the foot of a mountain. His voice is musical, 
his gestures graceful and his whole appearance captivating. 
An audience is at once taken with his earnestness, breadth 
and depth of thought, the extended reach after truth, and 
the skilful presentation of his facts and arguments. 
Among the themes he delights to dwell upon are **Tous- 
saint L'Ouverture,'' ** Pluck versus Luck,** *^The Rights of 
Women,'* ** Temperance** and **The Rights of the Negro.*' 
In his advocacy of women, he insists that they arc entitled 
to '*Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,*' and he 
would brush away every custom and barrier that prevents 
the gaining of these objects. In this I certainly agree 
with him. Yet he is very cautious that he does not appear 
ridiculous, but advances solid argument for all he claims 


for them. In this respect he is at once progressive and 

aggressive, for this is a subject that is gaining more and 

more attention — while it has its antagonists even among 

The professor has a funny way of putting some things, 

and so I end this sketch with an extract from a speech 

made in St. Albans, Vermont, in 1880. It has an amusing 

turn which for quaintness and point rather causes a smile 

when read. 

"the benefit of the negro's color." 

He denied the statement that the Negroes were not an original race; 
they were largely imitative, he admitted, bat there were three of the 
white men's vices which his people did not imitate — they were not skep- 
tics, they were not infidels, and they did not commit suicide. Then he 
quoted a certain bit of philosophy, illustrating the advantages the race 
had on this question of suicide, namely : White reflects light, and there- 
fore the face of the white man rejects the light, and he goes through life 
a melancholy creature ; while the face of the black man absorbs light, 
which penetrates to his soul and makes him a glad, careless, jolly crea- 
ture. Just here Mr. Ensley applied this same bit of philosophy to Whit- 
taker, the West Point cadet. Now Whittaker, says the speaker, is three 
parts white and two parts black ; if he had been a black man, he would 
never have injured himself— as the court, you remember, decided that he 
did mutilate himself; if he had been a white man, he would have hung 
himself; but as he was neither white nor black, why he hurt himself just 
a little. 

The professor aspires to the poet's chair, and communes 
occasionally with the muses. I give here a short poem, 
simply to show the trend of his mind. It was written for 
the Roger Williams* Record, April, 1886. 



Write your name upon the sand, 

The waves will wash it out again. 

Trace it on the crystal foam. 

No sooner is it writ than gone. 

Carve it in the solid oak, 

'Tis shattered by the lightning's stroke. 

Chisel it in marble deep, 

'Twill crumble down— it cannot keep. 

Seeker for the sweets of fame, 
On things so frail, write not thy name. 
With thee 'twill wither, die, rot ; 
On things so frail, then, write it not. 
Would'st thou have thy name endure ? 
Go, write it in the Book of Life, 
Engrnve it on the hearts of men. 
By humble deeds performed in love. 




Preacher— Editor and Soliciting Agent. 

EV. CHRISTOPHER H. PAYNE was born near the 

Red Sulphur Springs, Monroe county, Virginia, now 
West Virginia, September 7, 1848. His parents were free. 
His father was free-born, and his mother, who had been 
brought up a slave, was set free by her old master, James 
Ellison. After her freedom she was married to Thomas 
Payne. These two persons were among the first colored 
people whow^ere lawfully married in the county of Monroe. 
The subject of tliis sketch was the only child bom to their 
union. When he was very young his father went to Bal- 
timore, Maryland, with a drove of cattle, caught the small- 
pox and died, leaving his wife a widow, and his little son 
fatherless. Mrs. Payne finding herself alone in the world, 
with none to comfort her but her aged mother and her in- 
fant son, decided to devote her entire time to the rearing 
and training of the boy who was the idol of her life. Hav- 
ing received the rudiments of an English education at the 
hands of her old master, who is supposed to have been her 
father, she set about teaching the little boy, and so zealous 


was she in her work that he does not remember when he 
could first read. When he was quite young the war began, 
and because he was a free Negro, and his mother having 
no protection, she had to see the little child go into the 
army as a servant. Here he remained, except when at home 
on a pass, until 1864, when he left the service and went 
down on New river, in the southern part of Monroe county 
(now Summers county), and obtained employment from a 
Mr. Vincent Swinney, where he remained until the Confed- 
eracy was broken up by the victorious armies of the 
United States. 

It was at this place he made the acquaintance of Miss 
Ann Hargro, whom he married while yet a mere boy. This 
union has been a very peaceful one. In 1866 he left home 
and walked through the mountains to Charleston, on the 
Kanawha river, where he took a steamboat and went to 
Ohio and spent some time traveling in that State and in 
the State of Kentucky. Finally he returned to Charleston 
and he remained for more than a year, working in the 
day and attending school at night. After an absence of 
about fifteen months he returned to his home and began 
teaching in Monroe, Mercer and Sumner counties in the 
winter, and farming in the summer. In 1875 he was con- 
verted and baptized in Indian creek, near where he was 
bom, on the fourteenth of October, by Rev. G. W. Des- 
kins. On the twenty-second of February, 1876, he was 
licensed to preach the gospel, and on the twenty-ninth of 
May, 1877, aftera very rigid examination, he was ordained 
to the full work of the gospel ministry by a council com- 


posed of five of the most intelligent and influential brethren 
who belonged to the Greenbrier association. 

In September, 1877, he entered the Richmond Institute 
in Richmond, Virginia, and began a course of study. Pass- 
ing the examinations in many of the primary studies, he 
entered the senior class in the Preparatory Department, 
and pursued his studies with such energy and success that 
he soon gained the confidence and respect of all his teachers 
and fellow students. At the close of the session, in the 
spring of 1878, he went back to his field of labor in West 
Virginia, and found the Baptist cause in such a bad condi- 
tion that he remained out of school, working, preaching, 
and organizing churches and Sunday schools until the fall 
of 1880, when he returned to school at Richmond, Virginia, 
and remained three j'cars. Soon after entering school he 
accepted a call to the Moore Street Baptist church, and 
preached Sunday, after doing his class work all the week. 
Notwithstanding this double work, he maintained a very 
respectable standing in all his classes, and succeeded in 
giving satisfaction to his congregation, which steadily in- 
creased during the entire time of his pastorate. 

He is regarded as possibly the best preacher the school 
ever turned out. He is a fine speaker, pointed and logical ; 
possessing a fine flow of language, he never fails to im- 
press his hearers favorably. He was appointed by the 
American Baptist Publication Society of Philadelphia as 
Sunday school missionary for the Eastern district of 
Virginia, and after his graduation he attended the anni- 
versaries of the denomination, which were held i|i May, 
1883, at Saratoga Springs, New York, and there delivered 



and address before the Publication Society which was 
highly praised by many of the leading journals of the 
land, both religious and secular. As soon as the meeting 
closed, he returned to Virginia and entered upon his work. 
His district embraced all the largest cities in the State, 
and the most densely populated counties, and for nine 
months he labored most earnestly among the people, 
preaching, lecturing and delivering Sunday school ad- 
dresses, organizing Sunday schools and Sunday school 
unions, until from Staunton to Norfolk, and from Alexan- 
dria to Danville, Sunday schools, churches, associations 
and individuals became familiar with his labor and suc- 
cess. Many persons were led to Christ by his efforts, but 
in January, 1884, on account of failing health, caused by 
overwork, he tendered his resignation to the society which 
was accepted to take effect the first of March. After 
winding up his affairs with the societ}"^ he returned to his 
native State, West Virginia, and in April, 1884, took 
charge of the First Baptist church of Coal Valley. Since 
he has become pastor, the church has added about one 
hundred to its membership, and is now one of the most 
prosperous in the State. It was chiefly through his efforts 
that the West Virginia Baptist State convention was 
organized, and he was made its first president. For manj^ 
years he was moderator of the only association of the 
State. He has been among the principal leaders of all the 
w^ork of the denominaton in the State. He was one of the 
founders of the West Virginia EnterprisCy the only weekly 
newspaper published by colored men in the State. H 
conceived a plan last year for putting on foot a school c 


higher grade in the State with an industrial department 
attached ; and now his energy is being bent in that direc- 
tion, having been appointed by the Executive Board of 
the West Virginia Baptist State convention, correspond- 
ing secretary and agent. The work of raising means, 
securing the property and starting the school rests largely 
upon him, so that he is now preacher, editor and soliciting 

About five hundred persons have been converted through 
his efforts, about three hundred of whom he has baptized. 
Nine churches and two Sunday schools have been organ- 
ized by him, and in his eleven years of ministerial labors 
he has preached more than fifteen hundred sermons, deliv- 
ered more than five hundred lectures and addresses, and 
during all his struggles and labors he has come out more 
than conqueror. His noble wife has stood by him in 
every effort, and by her energj% pluck and discretion, ren- 
dered him such aid as only a true wife can. 

He feels a deep sense of gratitude towards Rev. C. li^ 
Corey, D. D., president of the Richmond Institute, 
Charles J. Pickford of Lynn, Massachusetts, and ma 
others for aid and encouragement given him in times 
his great need and severe struggles. For it was indeei 
struggle for a man to spend four years in school, with^ 
wife and five children, an aged mother and grandm 
dependent upon him, and as he now expresses it, G- 
alone led and raised him up to do the great work and ha. 
at the same time raised up the means whereby he co 
accomplish it. Difficulties only brightened him, and w^ 


a strong hold on the affections of the people much more 
may be expected of him. 

His virtues are many and can never be forgotten, and 
his word is his bond. He is a vigorous and pointed writer, 
as is. evidenced by his efforts through the paper. His ag- 
gressiveness is in the right direction and in behalf of his 
race and denomination. 



Educator— Editor and Agitator. 

FEW men are better known than Professor Peter H. 
Clark, who began life March, 1829. He has accom- 
plished very much in his career, and is a real student, with 
vigorous intelledl and constitutionally well prepared for a 
great amount of mental labor. Until 1844 Cincinnati 
furnished him a very poor chance for education, but Rev. 
Hiram S. Gilmore opened a high school this year and he 
entered as one of the pupils. By the correctness of hi^^ 
habits, industry in his lessons and faithfulness in a^^ 
things, he was given an assistant's place in the school, 
at the same time he continued his own studies in t1 
highest branches. Leaving school in 1848, he refused 
take employment with his father, who was a barl 
because it would make him move around at the dicta.^ 
of every class of white men. He apprenticed himself t' 
liberal artisan, Thomas Vamey, to learn stereotyping, 
was strange at this day that a white man should tak< 
colored boy, but Mr. Clark gives some prominent reas^ 
for this line of conduct : First, he advanced two hundi 


dollars to Mr. Vamey to assist him in his business; 
second, Mr. Vamey's wife was a correspondent of the 
New York Tribune* and they were both naturally affected 
with the spirit of that paper, which Horace Greeley edited 
with so much ability; and in the same building was 
Stanley Matthews, who was editor of the Herald, a Free- 
soil paper. Just about the time Mr. Clark was able to do 
the work of a stereotyper, his employer sold out and went 
to California, and his successor in the business had no use 
for a colored man. In 1849 the Ohio Legislature passed a 
law allowing the colored people to organize schools and 
control them, which they did. Mr. Clark was employed 
as teacher. After three months the Council refused to pay 
him on the ground that the colored people, not being 
citizens and voters, could not be trustees, and their em. 
ploying teachers was not legal. After a contest in the 
lower courts, the Supreme Court declared the law sound 
and the colored trustees were sustained. He was work- 
ing in the barber shop when he was examined and 
appointed as a teacher. After his father died he had 
charge of the shop. He quarrelled one day with a white 
customer who wanted him to introduce him (the white 
man) to colored ladies at a fair. The white man being 
refused, declared he would not shave with him any more 
as he shaved ** niggers.'* This shows that he was then run 
ning a civil rights barber shop. Mr. Clark threw the cup 
on the floor in rage and disgust, and declared he would never 
shave another white man, and, if he did, he would cut his 
In 1850 he started for Africa, disgusted as he was by the 


bitter prejudice of the times. But henever went anyfurther 
than New Orleans. He returned to Cincinnati in a short time 
and in 1852 took an aftive part in tha State ponvention in 
which the * * emigration movement ' ' was discussed. He ad- 
vocated that America was the home of those who were 
bom here. In 1853 we find him secretary of the National 
convention of colored men, held in Rochester, New York. 
The same year he had trouble with the school board, 
which now had no colored men on it. They charged that 
he commented on the scriptures contrary to law, because 
h** selected diflFerent passages in reading the morning 
lessons. Mr. Clark is Unitarian in his religious convic- 
tions, and has been for many years. He has often been 
misunderstood as to his religious views, and it may be^ 

because many do not understand the Unitarian religion 

The advocates of Unitarianism hold that each individual 
is responsible to God for the opinions which he entertains—- 
and that where there is responsibility there must of necessitjj^ 
be perfedl freedom of thinking and adling. Neither primL^ 
tive fathers nor ecclesiastic councils, nor synods, nor estab^ 
lished creeds possess any absolute authority for the ng. 
They hold to the absolute unity of the Supreme Beings 
thus necessarily denying the dodlrine of the trinity or thr 
persons in one God. They teach that Christ was the fi 
and greatest of all created beings ; that he was the wise 
and best personage who ever existed on the earth ; that 
mission was divine, being what He Himself declared it 
be, sent by God '* to bear witness to the truth ;" that tr 
Holy Spirit is not a separate personal entity, but 
inducnce which the Creator exercises upon the minds 


nien under such circumstances as may comport with His 
^11 and ptu^oses. See statement of dodlrines of this 
<^hurch in 'History of all Religions,' by Schmucker, page 

He lost his place, however, and went clerking. He fin- 
ely opened a grocery store for himself In 1855 he tried 
'the tempestuous life of an editor, by publishing the Herald 
of Freedom. It died early, but was, when alive, a very 
efficient organ, filled with vigorous matter. He was next 
<^alled to fill the editorial chair on a Free-soil paper, printed 
^t Newport, Kentucky. At this time it was unlawful for 
^ Ireed colored person to enter the **dark and bloody 
ground," but no one disturbed him though he worked at 
iis desk for several months; but William S. Bailey, who 
was the owner of the paper, was often mobbed for its sen- 
timents. In 1856 he was on the staff of Fred Douglass' 
paper- In 1857 he was recalled to the public schools, to 
which was added later a high school known as ** Gaines' 
High School," of which he was principal for thirty years, 
being relieved last year by the Republican board as pay- 
ment, perhaps, for his independence in voting for the Dem- 
ooratic party and sustaining its principles. To his humanity 
^^Kid tender heart are due the laws which provided for the 
^ot tie colored paupers and insane of the State. He 
^P tile petition and personally visited the law-mak- 

^j ^^'^mbus, urging its passage. In 1853 the Na- 

:J ^ ^ ^^'^"V'ention of colored men met in Syracuse. He 

t^^ ^ Constitution of the ** National Equal Rights 

3enT>i ' "^^*liich did so much to instruct and control our 


As a politician he has had the varying fortunes incident 
to such a life. At Syracuse, New York, the Liberal party 
held their convention, and he then declared his faith in the 
Republican party, and from that date, sometime in 1856, 
to 1872 he was a devoted member of the party. No man 
could be more sincere and consecrated to his principles 
than he; and his brilliant talents as an orator and 
an organizer were felt in the movements in several cam- 
paigns. He was an important factor in the city, county, 
State and National affairs. Two years later he joined 
what was known as the **new departure," in company 
with such men as Hon. George Hoadly, Stanley Mat- 
thews, and others. Their principles were ** universal suf- 
frage and universal amnesty." 

Mr. Clark is a man of great and liberal ideas. He believes 
that the colored man has not had his dues from the Re- 
publican party. Sure it is he has never received from any 
party, neither Republican nor Democrat, what his services 
merit. In 1878 he was a candidate for State school com- 
missioner on the Workingman's ticket, receiving fifteen 
thousand votes. He is also trustee in the State University, 
appointed by Governor Hoadly, a Democrat. In 1882 
he aided the Democrats in the county and State elections, 
and as soon as the Legislature was organized, being Dem- 
ocratic by his aid, they drew up and submitted to him the 
civil rights bill, which he approved. It was passed and 
signed by the governor. Many have judged him severeK- 
for tne stand he has taken at times, but as he is so honest 
and manly, and labored for his race, why should free men 
find fault in a free countrv with a free man ? No one ever 


charged him with corruption; no one ever appealed to him 
for aid that did not get it. Mr. Clark deserves credit for 
following his convictions. He is no trickster nor sneaking 
slave. If more colored men would refuse and resent the 
slights put upon them, and the kicks also, the race would 
be recognized more in party councils. Mr. Clark suffered 
more for his politics from his colored brethren than from 
the whites. He certainly made it possible for colored men 
now in position to get the honors they have. Had Mr. 
Clark been silent. Republicans would not have been so 
ready to accord honor to colored men, at least not in dis- 
tinguished positions ; had he submitted, the others would 
still be slaves with their noses on the grindstone, or holding 
little petty positions as "ward bummers.'* And many 
that bask in the sunshine that he prepared have spit upon 
him. He has frequently had small offices offered him, which 
he has declined. He will be no man's servant, to run at his 
beck and call. Without patronage to bestow, he would 
have to suffer many indignities which he would not take, 
hence his refusal. A white man of his ability and learning 
-would be president of a State college or governor of the 

We had already written this sketch when the following 
letter appeared in the New York Freeman, of March 29, 
1887. It can only be fair to produce it here as his opinion 
touching the subject, especially «ince it rather harmonizes 
with my own. Of course there were others contending for 
recognition, but they made their fights in the ranks, and 
when denied stayed there. It took nerve for such men as 
Clark, Matthews, Trotter and Downing, to break away 


from the lash of white men and the ahal aha! aha! of 
black men. Men admire pluck even in bad men. They 
always applaud a deed that marks one as especially val- 
orous—who does not admire Napoleon though his crimes 
were many ? It is alleged that Milton so dignified Satan 
that, instead of hating him for his wicked rebellion, we 
sympathize with him and bemoan his fall. I confess to 
some of the spirit that delights in boldness, daring, pluck, 
and though not exactly in harmony with Mr. Clark's line 
of procedure, he has my respect for the manly stand he 
took in these matters. It is now becoming very fashion- 
able, aye, popular, and he will cease to be lonesome. But 
here is the letter. His advice is good, and the Ohio pre- 
scription might serve as a remedy for National affairs. 



To the Editor of The New York Freeman : 

Frequently after a successful hunt the question is asked, "Who killed 
the bear?" In like spirit the question is being asked, **Who destroyed 
the Black Laws of Ohio, the * knuckle close ' colored Republicans or the 
'kickers'?'* A brief look at history will help us answer that question. 
For more than twenty years of Republican rule, beginning with John 
Brough and ending w^ith Charles Foster, no governor of that party ever 
suggested the propriety of repealing those laws. And the colored peo- 
ple, by a strange neglect, scarcely seemed to be conscious of their exist- 
ence and seldom asked for their repeal. There was a sort of notion 
prevalent that to ask the Republicans of Ohio to do justice to her 
colored citizens would embarrass the party in its alleged fight against 
wrong in the South. It is true that the resolutions of the Chillicothe 


GonTcntioii, bdd in 1873, demanded the abrogation of all such laws, trat 
most of the participants in that convention were soon whipped back 
into the ranks of the Republican party. Others, more stem in spirit, 
were so hounded bj partisans, white and black, that they took refuge in 
the opposing party. In the course of that twenty years, colored voters 
of Ohio were rallied time and again to the support of the Republican 
party in the name of ** Political and Civil Equality" for the colored 
people of the South; but oddly enough, the ** Political and Civil" in- 
equality of her own people was unnoticed. 
But in 1883 there came into the governor's office, aided thereto by the 
otcs of sundry thousands of colored "kickers," a man who, remember- 
ing the Scriptural injunction, "first cast out the beam out of thine own 
eye, and then thou shalt see clearly to cast out the mote of thy brother's 
eye," wasted no space in bewailing the condition of our brethren in the 
South, a condition beyond the control of the Ohio Legislature, but said 
concerning the laws which oppressed the colored people of his own 
State, " The existing legal discriminations on **ocount of color are not 
based on character or conduct and have no relation to mental or moral 
fitness for civil usefulness, but are rather relics of prejudice which had its 
origin in slavery. I recommend their total repeal." That governor was 
George Hoadly and the thousands of colored men who, throwing off 
party shackles, had voted for him, found their reward in these noble 
words, so earnestly and honestly spoken in their behalf. Prompted by 
these words, there came a shower of p)etitions from colored men asking 
for civil equalitj' in Ohio. The majority of these were honest petitions, 
but many were sent for the purpose of emphasizing what the senders 
supposed was difference of opinion between the governor and the Demo- 
crat Legislature that was elected with him. But the Legislature listened 
to the governor and enacted a law to guard the civil rights of all. 

Thus challenged, the Republican managers did not dare to go into 
another election without bringing back those colored voters whose 
defection had given the State to the Democracy. They gave out political 
patronage with a free hand, they nominated three colored men to seats 
in the Legislature and were profuse in their promises that all laws 
making distinctions on account of color should be abolished, if colored 
men would again come unitedly to the aid of the party. The result was 
the election of Foraker. Hoadly in going out, and Foraker in coming 


in, advised that the remnant of the Black Laws should be abolished. 
And they were. If you ask the question of any ''kicker/' "who abol- 
ished the Black Laws ?'* he will slap himself upon the breast and say ** I 
did it, with my free ballot." The "kickers" of Ohio are satisfied with 
the results of their plan and are prepared to recommend it to their 
brethren in other States. Indeed, some of them are asking if there is not 
a chance for the use of their tactics on the broad field of National 


Peter H. Clark. 
Cincinnati, March. 16. 1887. 

The Wilberforce University has conferred on him the title 
of A. M., and well does he deserve it. He is the leading 
Negro educator in America. 

Mr. Clark has reared several children. His oldest daugh- 
ter, Ernestine, is the wife of J. Street Nesbit, a letter- 
carrier ; she graduated from the ** Gaines' High School "and 
afterwards from the Cincinnati Normal school, being the 
first colored girl who, without denying her race, was 
admitted to that institution. Afterward obtaining the 
highest grade certificate granted to women, she taught 
for three years in the ** Gaines' High School;" she is pro- 
ficient in vocal and instrumental music and drawing. His 
second daughter, Consuelo Clark, graduated from the 
McMicken School of Art ; she took a high school certifi- 
cate, and also a certificate in drawing, and then studied 
medicine for four years, graduating at last from the 
"School of Medicine of the Boston University." She is 
now practicing her profession in the city of Cincinnati. 
His son Herbert is a graduate from the ** Gaines' High 
School," and taught for three years at Alcorn, Mississippi. 
Was also deputy sheriff for two years, and ganger in the 
-first Ohio collection district. It can be very well seen that 


there is talent of a high order in the family, and in his old 
age may he have the blessing and comfort of his children. 
He has saved but little, and can well reflect that he has 
spent his money judiciously in the education of his family 
^nd fitting them to take their places in the world. 

3845 MEN OF MARK. 



Musical Author and Arranger^Performer on the Guitar, Flute and: 
Piano Forte. ^ 

Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, 
To soften rocks or bend the knotted oak. 


His very foot hath music in it. 

— Mkklc. 

IT SO happens that the history of music furnishes some 
of the most remarkable talents found in the biogra- 
phy of art. Some of its greatest results are usually at- 
tained by simple means, and the exercise of ordinary 
qualities. Excellence in the art, as in everything else, can 
only be achieved by dint of painstaking labor. The sub- 
ject of this sketch is a good example of what can be done 
by steady application. 

Mr. Holland was bom in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1819. 
His father was a farmer. In childhood his talent bespoke 
so much of a bright future, that he was determined to cul- 
tivate it. In a dense forest shut out from the noise and 
bustle of a busy town, he was afforded but few opportu- 
nities for either hearing or learning music. Yet nature 


JUSTIN noi.i.ANn. 



taught him the purity of her tones, by the songs of the 
birds, and no doubt better fitted him for the greatness he 
achieved. He grasped every opportunity that came in his 
way, and used it to an advantage. When less than four- 
teen, he walked on Sunday to a log meeting-house, five 
miles away, to listen to, and also mingle his voice in such 
music as the place and people were able to produce. He 
often delighted himself with an old song book that came 
into his possession, and the tunes he gave them, while 
formed by himself, far surpassed those which really be- 
longed to them. When fourteen he left the home of his 
birth and went to Boston from which he made his way to 
Chelsea, Massachusetts. At this place he earnestly began 
the study of music. He became acquainted with a distin- 
guished musician, Signor Mariam Perez, whose perform- 
ance upon the guitar he enjoyed very much. So charmed 
was he by the sweetness, tone and fine expressions which 
were brought from this instrument, by its skilled per- 
former, that he determined to give his whole attention to 
the study, not that he thought of being looked upon as a 
master performer, as was Perez, but chiefly for his 
own amusement. 

Mr. Simon Knaebel, an arranger of music, was his first 
teacher; he also took lessons from Mr. William Shubert, 
who was known as an expert in music on the guitar. Mr. 
Holland, in his eagerness to learn, made rapid progress 
and became a favorite pupil, on account of his ability to 
play duets with his instructor. He also evinced much 
skill with the eight keyed flute, taking lessons on this in- 
strument from Mr. Pollock, a Scotch gentleman. Mr. 


Holland was poor, but poverty was no hindrance to his 
talents. He worked hard to defray his expenses, which 
were quite heavy, and the only time he had to practice, 
was part of his hours for sleep. 

In 1841, he entered Oberlin College, for the purpose of 
obtaining a better education, where he diligently pursued 
his studies, and made rapid advancement. In the same 
year he was the author of a book of three hundred and 
twenty-four pages, on the subject of ** Choral Reform." 
In 1845, he went to Cleveland, Ohio, and while looking 
for something to do, his fame as a musician brought him 
applications, requesting him to teach music to the best 
people of the place. 

James M. Trotter, in * Music and Some Highly Musical 
People,' a work of considerable merit and worthy to be in 
the hands of all intelligent people, says : 

His character had now become finely formed, he being quite noticeable 
for his gentlemanly', scholarly qualities, and for the close attention he 
gave to the subjedl of music and with all that concerned the true 
advancement in the profession, in which he now resolved to remain 
for life. 

As illustrating the principles by which he was guided, 
the following extradl from a letter written to a friend will 
help to define some of his inner motives : 

I adopted as a rule of guidance for myself that I would do justice to 
the learner in ray efforts to impart tohimagood knowledge of the elcment- 
arj' principles of music and a corre<5l system of fingering ( on the guitar), as 
practiced by and taught in the works by the best masters of Europe. I 
also decided that in my intercourse as a teacher I would preserve a most 
cautious, circum8pe<Sl demeanor, considering the relation a mere busincas 
one, which gave me no claims upon my pupils' attention or hospitality 



bejond what any ordinary business matter would- give. . I am not 
aware, therefore, that anyone has ever had cause to complain of my 
demeanor or that I have been in any case presumptuous. 

He headed the profession in the city, in which he was a 
proficient instrudlor ; and, to make himself more perfedl, he 
applied himself to the study of French, Spanish and 
Italian, in order to be able to read the systems of foreign 
musicians in their native tongue. By his persistent 
energy he found himself able to use the above mentioned 
languages with much self-complacency, and which were 
£l\so of great benefit to him in his profession. His success 
was due to common sense application and unremitting 
perseverance. His gift came by nature, but he perfedled it 
by selfnnilture. He took up a subjedl and pursued it with 
tinflagging energy ; he could not rest until he had reached 
the goal of his ambition. He did much in making the 
musical compositions of others for other instruments suit- 
able for guitar practice by his skilful arrangement. In 
this country he was without equal, and stood on a level 
with the best foreign performers. 

In 1848 he published many arrangements for the guitar, 
which were eagerly purchased by guitar students. It is 
said that most all of the music for that instrument has 
under it the name of Holland. He also wrote instruction 
books for the guitar, which were highly valued because of 
the simple methods and clearness of explanations, and are 
considered the best ever published. In 1876 Mr. Brainard, 
publisher, issued a volume known as * Holland's Method 
for the Guitar.' 

All these years his pecuniary circumstances were em- 



barrassing. Often he had not the means to buy food to 
sustain his body. At one time when this was the case he 
had some work to do for which he was to receive a good 
little sum. It was Sunday, and he began work at 7 p. m. 
and continued till 8 a. m. the next morning. He took the 
work and delivered it to his customer and returned with a 
light heart, for he had been well paid for his services. 

His gentlemanly demeanor and true politeness towards 
his pupils caused them to entertain for him the deepest 
feelings of respeft and the highest admiration. 

Besides being a skillful guitarist, Mr. Holland was also 
regarded as a fine pianist and flutist. As a man of modest 
pretensions, he never sought public applause. He has 
very seldom appeared in public, and seemed to prefer a 
quieter and more sequestered life. His chief work is * Hol- 
land's Comprehensive Method for the Guitar/ written 
for and published by J. L. Peters & Company of New 
York, in 1874. It is noticeable that of all the musical 
firms for whom he has written, only one knew him per- 
sonally, though he has written for J. L. Peters & Compan\% 
G. W. Brainard, D. P. Faulds of Louisville, Kentuck\% 
and John Church of Cincinnati. 

He was a distinguished Mason, and held many impor- 
tant offices in this order. He was the representative in this 
country of the Grand Lodges of France and Peru, each 
appointment being considered a very rare distinction. The 
Ohio Lodge presented him with a gold watch, as a token 
of their appreciation. Many such a noble life, full of good 
and earnest labor, inspires others of the race to strive for 
higher things, and to overcome difiiculties to attain such. 



He died in the city of New Orleans very recently and the 
Cleveland Plain Dealer said of him : 

The many friends and pupils of Professor Justin Holland will learn 
vrith great sorrow of his death in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Thurs- 
day, March 24. For several years he had been in delicate health, and 
liite last fall went South in the hope of finding a cure by change of cli- 
mate. But congestion of the brain, the result of a slight cold, set in, and in 
his exhausted physical condition, soon ended his life. He was sixty-seven 
years and eight months of age. Professor Holland has made Cleveland 
his home for years, and sought in this city to create and maintain a love 
for the guitar and guitar music such as had never been here before. Time 
can tell how great was his success, but he stood foremost among the 
xnembers of his profession, as his name is more widely known than any 
other American guitarist. As a man, when one came to know him, the 
old professor possessed a heart flowing over with love for his pupils, and 
no favor was too great to be asked. He will be sadly missed in musical 
circles here, and it will be many years before Cleveland possesses another 
g^tarist so gifted, so educated and so able to arouse a love for one of 
the noblest musical instruments. 





President State Normal and Indastrial School, HuntsviUe, Alabanub^ 

Editor and Lawyer. 

ville, Cumberland county, North Carolina, July 
12, 1849, of slave parents. His father escaped to Canada 
in 1854, and made several unsuccessfiil attempts to pro- 
cure the freedom of his family. The subjedl of this sketch, 
with all the other children, took the maiden name of their 
mother, who belonged to one of the largest and most 
influential families of the town. The family had never 
been separated, and, in 1857, when the two brothers were 
sent to distant parts of the South to be heard of no more, 
and the mother, with William and the younger brother, 
sold in the Richmond market, almost unbearable grief fell 
upon all hearts. This undermined the health of the mother 
and no other trader wanted her. It seemed that the two 
boys must be separated from her; but by some understand- 
ing no separation could take place without the consent of 
the two, and it was thought this could be easily obtained. 
So the boys were summoned to the office of the trader la 
Richmond, who offered them handfuls of gold and made 









many fair promises of a charming **Hfe out west" if they 
w^ould consent to leave their mother, who, it was 
promised, should join them' later. Without any knowl- 
edge or warning of what was going on except such as only 
a mother's heart could know, at this juncture she mysteri- 
ously appeared upon the scene, and, seen only by the 
boys, was enabled to warn them by the expression on her 
face (for not a word was spoken) that told that the 
promises were of no account, and that the gold would be 
taken from them after they consented ; consequently, alj 
were sold and carried into Alabama together, where they 
remained until the close of the war, when the death 
of the younger brother was soon followed by that of 
the mother, and William was left alone. In 1863, when 
the Federal armies invaded north Alabama, the boys were 
carried into the back hills to keep them from the** Yankees.'* 
The mother was left in the city of Hunts ville, thinking that 
her children would hold her, but she escaped with the army 
and sent back for the children, who, by the perfedl system 
of grape- vine telegraphy well known to the colored people, 
and so long carried on while they were in slavery, learned 
of all these things, and were ever seeking an opportunity 
to be united vnth her. Finally the hour came, and, leaving 
home one Sunday afternoon, met each other in the forests, 
and, through swamps, over mountains, and wading tw^o 
rivers, that Sunday night they reached the Federal lines, 
twenty-five miles away, and were united with their 
mother, to whom they yvere fondly attached. They 
entered the Freedmen*s school at Stevenson, Alabama. 
Cicero soon died. When the war closed William waited on 


an oflBcer for a year's food, clothing and schooling. How- 
ever incredible it may appear, in 1866, at the age of 
seventeen years, he took charge of a county school, being 
the first to teach a colored school outside of a city in 
North Alabama. 

His trials with the Ku Klux would require too much 
space for the relation, but he had many and severe difficul- 
ties. Closing his first session, he spent the following 
summer at service in a hotel on top of Lookout mountain, 
where he earned enough to defray his expenses in school 
the next session. He next worked in a restaurant in Nash- 
ville by day and attended night school. Afterwards he did 
night service at a restaurant and attended day school. He 
then undertook the task of teaching regularly, in which he 
has given abundant satisfaction, made much progress and 
developed into a professor. Desiring to advance, he pro- 
cured chemical and philosophical instruments and walked 
eight miles once a week, paying one dollar, to hear a 
lecture on these branches. He also paid six dollars per 
month for private instrudlion in Latin and the higher 
mathematics. Unfortunately he took part in politics; he 
was enrolling clerk in the Alabama I-/egislatureinl872and 
'74, and was associate editor of the Negro Watchman in 
the year 1874; also he was a nominee of the Republican 
party for the Legislature. In 1875 he was appointed by 
President Grant receiver of public monies for the northern 
district of Alabama, which position he declined, to accept 
a position as principal of the city school of Huntsville, to 
which he had been eleAed without solicitation. He 
was one of the secretaries of the Colored National Civil 



Sights conTention, which met in Washington in 1873. He 
was dedled president of the State Normal and Industrial 
school, and professor of sciences and pedagogics in 1876, 
which position he now holds. He has made of this school 
all that it is. 

He has been highly honored by various societies of which 
he is a member ; was appointed a notary public by Gover- 
nor Cobb in 1882; he was editor and proprietor of the 
Hun tsville Herald from 1878 until 1883, and was admitted 
to practice before the Supreme Court of Alabama- in 1883. 
He is a minister in the A. M. E. church and a great Sunday 
school worker; for push and energy he has but few equals, 
^nd will surely accomplish more in his life. 

In 1884 he was united in marriage with Maria H. 
^hecden of Huntsville, since which time he has lived a 
pleasant and profitable life. He is highly respedled by all 
ijvho kbow him. His school has been a great success and 
receives the yearly commendation from the commissioners, 
Hon. A. S. Fletcher, Hon. J. R. Mayhew and J. D. Brandon. 
As a disciplinarian, he easily ranks among the most suc- 
cessful ; for the students catch the spirit of the teacher and 
go forth into life filled with the high notions which ought 
to occupy the attention of the youth of this da3\ From 
the foregoing it will be seen that he is a self-made man, 
who wrung success from doubtful circumstances and 
brought himself into prominence. And he feels proud of 
his graduation from what he facetiously calls the **Pine 
Knot College.** What men have done, others can do. 
Reader, take courage, go forward ; you can and will win. 




Advocate 'of Human Rights— Minister of the Gospel and Agitator — Di- 
rector of the Bureau of Forestry — Member of the Board of Education 
of the City of Columbus, Ohio. 

THE State of Ohio has had within its borders one of the 
strongest men in the United States, a man whose 
soul has been on fire on account of the outrages perpe- 
trated against colored people, and who never lost an. 
opportunity to speak and write with vigor against aK 
species of outrages and to ally himself persistently with 
those elements that look toward the bettering of the con- 
dition of those for whom he advocated. His philanthro- 
phy has not, however, confined itself to his owti race; but 
those who know him have always done him the justice to 
say that his interest extended to all classes who are op- 
pressed and downtrodden. 

He was bom in Richmond, Virginia, A. D., 1817. He 
attended school from the time he learned to talk and was 
instructed in common branches until he reached his tenth 
year, when he was apprenticed to the barber's business. 
His boss was barber for the most aristocratic class of citi- 
zens of Richmond, and he improved every opportunity 



afforded him for cultivating his mind by conversation and 
association with the customers. He was always ready to 
accept instruction from any who would take the pains to 
impart it to him. 

After settling in Ohio he received private instruction 
from an Englishman, one of the ablest educators and 
ripest scholars in the city where he lived. As long as he 
continued the barber's business he had the good fortune to 
have as customers the cream of the intelligent people in the 
city of Columbus. His patrons comprised statesmen, sci- 
entists, men of all professions, professors of colleges, phy- 
sicians, lawyers, merchants and capitalists. This sort of 
education is often more valuable than college training; it 
gives one the practical experience of life. Theory from 
books may assist in many enterprises in life, but to pursue 
life itself unto a successful end takes practical every-day 
experience — not only that which we ourselves gain, but 
through observation and contact with others. At the 
age of twelve he settled in the city of Columbus, where he 
now resides. He embraced religion and was baptized into 
the communion of the Second Baptist church of Columbus, 
Ohio, by Elder Wallace Shelton, in the spring of 1840. He 
was ordained an elder in 1849 and was chosen pastor of 
^aid church in 1862, and here he has labored continuously 
until the present time. He has served as trustee of the 
**. Institute for the Blind '' of Ohio by appointment of Gov- 
ernor Charles Foster for four years. He was appointed 
trustee of the Athens University of Ohio by ex-Governor 
George Hoadly, but was rejected by a Democratic Senate 
because they regarded him as an ultra-Republican. He 


lias served four years as member of the City Council of 
Columbus, and was chosen vice-president of that body. 
He was unanimously appointed a member of the Board of 
Education to fill the vacancy on the board. And at the 
next election thereof was elected a member, which position 
he now holds. 

He has just been re-elected to the position on the School 
Board by a majority of 512 votes over a Democratic op- 
ponent. This is very indicative of his standing in that 
city, for the issue of the daily Ohio State Journal^ Colum- 
bus, Ohio, April 5, 1887, says : 

The result of yesterday*s Section shows the success of the entire Deni* 
ocratic city ticket by m^orities ranging from 4O0 to 800. When it is 
remembered that he is a stalwart Republican, his election is a subject of 

The following letter also shows a new appointment 
made by the governor of that State : 

State of Ohio, Executive Department, 
Office of the Governor, Columbus, March 3, 1887. 
Hon. Jambs Poindexter, Columbus, Ohio. 

Dear Sir : I am directed by the governor to notify you that he has 
.appointed you to be a member of the Board of Directors of the State 
Forestry Bureau for the term of six years, commencing April 28, 1887, 
And to say that a commission has been forwarded to you according^ly 
Ijy this day's mail. 1 enclose herewith an official oath — which you mrill 
please execute and return to this office. 

Very respectfully, 

C.E. Prior, Ex-Clerk.- 

In the early days of colored men's freedom he was the 
first colored man in Ohio nominated by the Republican 
party to a seat in the House of Representatives, but was 



defeated at the polls. He is a member of the Pastors' 
Union, where the ministers are all white except himself; 
nevertheless, he was president? of said union. He was 
empanelled asa jnror on the petit jury of the United States 
court at its last session and was unanimously chosen 
foreman of said jury, though, with the exception of himself, 
it was composed of white men taken from the best citizens 
of the State. He has the honor of being the only colored 
man in the State of Ohio who has been a foreman of a jury 
in a United States court. This may seem a small matter 
to mention in a man's life, and yet, because of existing 
prejudices, even such small honors have been withheld 
from colored men, and it is here related in order that those 
who read may see that character, honor and veracity will 
gain credence among all classes of people and a man be 
respedled for what he is worth, that the color of the skin 
will not prevent men from rising mid the direst circum- 
stances if they will be true to themselves. Rev. James 
Poindexter has been president of the society known as the 
"Sons of Protedlion'' for thirty years of its forty three 
years existence. The term of office when organized was 
only six months, but for the last twenty-five years the 
term has been twelve months. Thus he has been in 
many ways made the recipient of much confidence and 
esteem by his fellow-citizens of all colors, nationalities and 
conditions. As regards his aggressiveness, he might be 
called aggressiveness itself, but facfls speak louder than 
\%'ords. No man in Ohio, even a regular employee of a 
daily paper, has contributed to the press or made more 
speeches on all matters relating to the rights, freedom, 


enfranchisement and elevation of our race, or on matters 
relating to the public welfare, than Mr. Poindexter. If he 
should be asked why he has not been further recognized by 
appointments to office, the answer could be readily given 
that he has esteemed his position as a minister of the 
gospel and the pastor of a kind-hearted, faithful member- 
ship of much more importance than official positions. 
Then, too, in his defense of an oppressed people, and in the 
utterances of such opinions as are even ahead of the times, 
I have no doubt he has played the part of a patriot, of a 
race defender, rather than a suppliant for small favors at 
the hands of petty politicians, who know not how to 
honor a man who is true to himself and the people. He 
never took his opinions from any man. His inspiration 
has l)een drawn from the word of God and his life has com- 
ported with his teachings, and thereby made him a power 
among men and one of the most vehement writers upon 
the subjedls heretofore referred to. Specimens of his 
manner and style of speaking can be given and will 
verifv the statement we have made. The Columbus 
Capital and Dispatch very frequently reports his addresses 
and sermons in full. On the subject of ** Pulpit and 
Politics,*' delivered before the Pastors' Union, he spoke as 
follows : 

Nor can the preacher more than any other citizen plead his religious 
work or the sacrcdness of that work as an exemption from duty. Going 
to the Bible to learn the relation of the pulpit to politics, and accepting 
the prophets, Christ, and the apostles and the pulpit of their times, and 
their precepts and examples as the guide of the pulpit to-day, I think 
that the conclusion will be that wherever that is a sin to be rebuked, no 
matter by whom committed, and ill to be averted or good to be achieved 


bj our conntiy or mankind, there is a place for the pulpit to make itself 
ielt and heard. The truth is, all the help the preachers and all other 
good and worthy citizens can give by taking hold of politics is needed in 
order to keep the goTemment out of bad hands and seotre the ends for 
which goYemmcnts are formed. 

Speaking about the pulpit in connection with slavery he 
said some very keen things. It will be remembered that 
the Northern pulpit was often silent on the question of 
slavery; holding off with hypocrisy rather than respect 
for the proprieties of the pulpit; keeping their mouths 
closed for fear of losing their positions, rather than declar- 
ing the word of God. While on the other hand the South 
was preaching " Servants obey your masters *' and holding 
the colored people in slavery and taking their earnings 
for themselves. It left the Negro at the mercy of those 
who bound them in slavery. Even the best, or what was 
supposed to be the best, element in the world, was either 
silent or against him. Said he : 

Now it is a fact worthy of note in this connection that objections to 
preachers holding with politics generally comes from the thing assailed. 
Advocates of slavery never objected to the preachers who, in or out of 
the pulpit, maintained that the Bible sanctions slavery, or preached 
oflen from the text "iiervants be obedient to your masters." Men who 
gave their sympathy to the rebellion never scolded the preacher who 
argued that the Constitution conferred no authority on the government 
to coerce a State or one who justified the legislator who said, "not a 
dollar and not a man to whip the South," nor would man pecuniarih' 
interested in the whiskey and beer traffic utter a note of dissent if all 
preachers would unite in denouncing legislative intervention to control 
that traffic as a sumptuary legislation. It will not be denied that some 
good persons deprecate the presence of the pulpit in politics; that it is so 
unclean a thing that it cannot be touched without taint, unfitting one 
for spiritual usefulness. Such persons are deceived, as a careful perusal 


of the Bible with careful inspection of the lives, priyate and public, of the 
preachers referred to, will show. 

As a preacher of the gospel, every subject within the 
range of human interest has received his attention. In a 
letter to the editor of the Ohio State Journal he shows 
how he has trained his people. This is a lesson to young 
ministers who have congregations and who desire their 
people to be profited and made strong in earthly things- 
as well as heavenly. He says : 

The colored people are a reading people ; my charge comprises families 
of all grades of financial standing, and I visit the whole of them, eyery 
family, and where I find little else I find a newspaper; many of my peo- 
ple take firom three to four dailies, Ohio State Journal Eycniag JHa- 
patch. Commercial Gazette and not unfrequently Cincinnati Inqnirer or 
the Columbus Times; and nearly every family one or more Sunday 
morning papers, and appear, as they are, a reading people ; and as pas- 
tor of a church it is part of my religion to inculcate in all the rising. 
generation the duty of making themselves as familiar with the Consti- 
tution of the United States and laws of their country as these relate to- 
the rights and duties of the citizens, as with the Bible. 

October 5, 1885, the Ohio State Journal gives a sermon 
in full which he preached to his congregation on ^* The 
Crime of Buying and Selling Votes." He thundei^ from 
his pulpit in most vehement and powerful language 
against the crime of selling votes, and held up to scorn 
and ridicule those who bought them as well as those who* 
sold; and declared among other things, **that our votes 
are not ours in any such sense that we may dispose of 
them as we choose for our own pleasure or profit, as we 
may any other kind of property. They belong to the 
whole people ; they are ours in trust to be conscientiously 





itsed by us to promote the safetj', peace and prosperity o^ 
the whole. The trust itself is the highest, most important, 
most sacred ever vouchsafed by the Almighty God to a 
free self-governing people ; in the exercise of it, it is the pri- 
mary duty of the voter to see to it that the individual for 
whom he votes is an honest, capable man, one who knows 
bow to discharge the duties of the office and has the integ- 
rity to discharge those duties in the light of an all-wise 
God. " How much better our people would vote and what 
better rulers would be selected all over the country if the 
preachers would take the opportunity of telling them how 
to live as well as talking about the ** Gold-paved streets of 
the New Jerusalem ' * so much . Some are content in preach- 
ing if they can get up a shout of hallelujah, and constantly 
keep men's minds off the transitory things of life, as they 
choose to call it, and turn their attention entirely above. 
Thousands on top of thousands are made to think of 
heaven and are never directed how to live within the four 
walls of their own rooms ; and they delight to deal in the 
rhapsodies and joys of the eternal world and are emi- 
nently careless about showing them how to get there. 

Mr. Poindextcr further referred to the fact that there 
are colored men mean enough to sell their votes, but not 
many of them ; and that there are white men mean enough 
to sell their votes as well as black ones ; and worse than 
all. that there are white men recreant enough to buy the 
votes of both white and black. He says : 

When the bad men of the South wanted to defeat all the results of the 
war, they brought to bear on the colored people the persuasiveness of 
the revolver, bowie knife, shotgun and halter, and when the world stood 

40:2 MEN OF MARK. 

aghast and cried shame, shame, the South responded, *'No,no, not at afl, 
not at all ; if the North was in our place it would do as we do ; it would 
be compelled to do as we do. The Neg^o is ignorant and as a conse- 
quence he is vicious, cannot tell the truth, steals everj'thing he puts his 
hands upon, and must be scourged to his work, is insulting to white 
people; our women shudder when they meet him on the highway and 
have a right to ; and above all and worse than all, he won't vote with 
his old masters.*' 

And then with all the vigor of his soul, with all his 
wrath aroused, he continued his sermon with this vigorous 
question : 

This self-evident damning lie was exhibited as a true bill against the 
Southern people by too many good people of the North, and as a conse- 
quence they were left to the tender mercies of the men whom they had 
helped to defeat in their cherished object, and that to destroy the only 
free government on the earth. I denounce this charge against the colored 
people of the South. A self-evident lie, because the men most entitled to 
be believed — men. who, when the fight was over, accepted the situation 
and went to work to rebuild their prostrate States — say it is a lie: say 
the Negro is a good citizen : saj' that when the strong men of the Con- 
federacy were in the army, their women and chiklren were undisturbed 
and safein the hands of the Negro, and no single case of tlie outrages now 
so lavishly attributed to them, and so readily l)elieved in the North, was 
known to occur. I denounce the charge as a damning lie on the colored 
man, because it docs not present him as he is, but does present him as the 
monster two and a half centuries of barbarous, oppression would seem 
calculated to make him, and thus obtained that credence in the North, 
which, to its shame, leaves the poor creature in a condition worse than 
-when he was a slave. 

These extracts can better epitomize the life and character 
of Mr. Poindexter than any words of comment which 
might here be given. To show the estimation in which he 
is held by the citizens of Columbus, the following letter is 
given. The writer was solicited by Mr. Poindexter to 


accept the position on the bench of the Stipreme Court of 
the State, which had been tendered by Governor Foraker, 
and to this solicitation he replied in the following words : 

Rev. James Poindextbr, 

My Dear S/r:— Yotu* fiivor of yesterday came to my hand in the 

I received many letters and telegrams urging me to accept the appoint- 
ment ten^dered by the governor, but I assure you in all sincerity that none 
of them had the persuasive influence on my judgment which your favor 
'would have had if it had been received before I determined, and had com- 
municated my determination to the governor. The considerations you 
urge upon my attention are very cogent, and the sentiment and tone of 
your entire letter show that you have a just appreciation of the judicial 
office. When I may happen to meet you I will communicate to you the 
reason which influenced my mind in declining to accept, as they relate 

to my personal affairs. 

With great respect, 

Richard A. Harrison. 

Mr. Poindexter has succeeded in surrounding himself 
with many comforts: he has a good home and a fine 
library, and many other comforts which go to make a 
home happy, and he dwells, as we have said, with a people 
who know how to appreciate his years of hard service for 
Christ and the race. No man is better known and hon- 
ored. In the United States he has been a wall of fire 
against wrong, a generous supporter to every cause that 
needs assistance. 

Faithful to every trust, careful, painstaking, and noble- 
hearted, though obliged to disagree with many, he has yet 
maintained fi-iendly relations with all classes who respect 
manhood wherever it is possessed. If this sketch preserves 
a. little of the history of his life, we trust that it will in- 


spire some other to give a more extended history of this 
man whose deeds have entered into the affairs of the last 
half century. 

Much has been said about the black laws of the States 
Mr. Poindexter has been fighting that mountain of iniquity 
all his life, and younger men have arisen, and the opportu- 
• nity having been presented, brought about largely by just 
such men as Mr. Poindexter, who were pioneers in these 
matters, they have had the opportunity by position and 
learning to do much which he could not accomplish. Had 
Mr. Poindexter lived in a Republican county, things which 
have existed could not have possibly remained to this day, 
for he would have been in the Legislature warring against 
these things years ago. No man has done more in the 
State to arouse the feeling and popular sentiment against 
the outrages of these laws than Mr. Poindexter, and that 
finally through the Ely-Amett bill his past labors will be a 
fitting reward. No matter who may have a place against 
men, he must not be forgotten. 

This eminent agitator. Rev. James Poindexter, delivered 
the baccalaureate sermon before the graduating class of the 
State University, Louisville, Kentucky, May 15, 1887. 
The old veteran of sixty years* service thrilled every heart, 
and the vast congregation in the Calvary Baptist church 
—Rev. C. H. Parrish, pastor— felt the powerful effects of 
his arguments, and were stirred to do greater works for 
Christ. On Tuesday night. May 17, 1887, the degree of 
Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him. 




Foreman of the Pattern Shops of the Eagle Works Manufacturing Com- 
]iany, Chicago, Illinois. Mathematician— Carpenter — Draughtsman 
—Foreman of the Liberty Iron Works Pattern Shop. 

TO Speak of one who has made a success in this depart- 
ment is indeed a pleasure, for in this work he has had the 
honor of showing Negro talent and also overcoming those 
obstacles that defeat success in many men. It used to be 
that only white men could do the ** bossing/' but the bot- 
tom rail is on the top, and Mr. Hancock is now doing 
such work as guides over seven hundred white employees 
and gives satisfaction to his generous employers. We have 
said elsewhere that brains will tell, and here is an indisput- 
able evidence. Do you think he would be employed if he 
could not do the work ? No, indeed, not a bit of it. He is 
competent, and that indeed is the reason. Why should the 
firm trust him with the disposition of their thousands un- 
less he could make them thousands ? The truth is they do 
not know his superior, and hence employ him. It is a 
praiseworthy thing that his employers could see the man, 
the artist, the draughtsman, and be influenced neither by 
the color of his skin nor the drops of blood that may be 

40f> MEN OF MARK. 

in his veins attributable to black parents. I am indebted 
to a sketch, which appeared in the columns of the Detroit 
PJaindealer, May 14, 1886, for many of the facts which 
appear here. 

Mr. Hancock was bom of free parents at Ne^wrbeme, 
North Carolina, November 22, 1832. His fatlier, William 
H. Hancock, is a hale old gentleman, still alive, residing 
at Chicago, Illinois. At an early age Richard was sent to 
a private school in his native town, the public schools of 
which, and indeed the laws of the "Old North State, "beings 
then opposed to the education of Negro children. Here he- 
mastered the rudiments of a common school course, and. 
when thirteen years old began as a carpenter's apprentice 
under his father. He worked nine years at the bench ; by 
that time having gained a thorough knowledge of the 
trade, and attained his majority, he left North Carolina 
and went to New Haven, Connecticut. He soon found 
employment at his trade with Messrs] Atwater & Treat 
and Doolittle & Company, two white firms that were not 
slow in recognizing him as an efficient workman. ** Join- 
ering*' was the particular branch of the trade at which he 
had been engaged up to this time. 

He finally drifted to Lockport, New York, where he fol- 
lowed ship carpentry two years, building canal boats, 
after which he was taken into the employ of the Holly 
Manufacturing Company, with whom he remained four 
years. While with them he learned pattern-making, a 
branch of the trade that requires first of all a complete 
mastery of carpentry, besides an acquaintance with higher 
mathematics, a knowledge of draughting and the constant 


exercise of the very best judgment. For four years he 
worked and studied to make himself proficient, and at the 
end of that period had mastered all the theory and much of 
the practical details of that branch of the trade. 

In 1862 he came to Chicago, and shortly after was given 
employment as a pattern-maker in the shops of the Eagle 
Works Manufacturing Company, whose president, Mr. P. 
W. Gates, was a true and tried friend of the Negro, when all 
the law and nearly all the public sentiment of the land 
was in favor of keeping him in slavery. At that time this 
company had the largest machine and boiler shops and 
foundry that was in operation in the West. 

After working as a journeyman .two years, he was pro- 
moted to the foremanship of the pattern department, and 
had in his charge fourteen men, all of whom were white. 
To serve under a Negro foreman, no matter if he did know 
more about the business than they did, was too much for 
their Northern blood, so they ** struck." For three days 
Mr. Hancock was "monarch of all he surveyed.'* But the 
prospect was not a pleasing one, for the shop was crowded 
with orders and there was more work to get out than he 
could perform unaided. So fearing that its delayed execu- 
tion might injure him with his employers, he went before 
the president and tendered his resignation. After hearing 
him through, Mr. Gates quietly said: **0h! go back to 
work. It will all come right in an hundred years." He 
obeyed. Other pattern-makers to fill the places of the 
strikers were soon engaged, and ten years subsequent 
service with the same firm showed that less than a century 
could make all things right. 


While with the Eagle Works Company, he was instru- 
mental in teaching two colored young men trades — ^Mr. 
Beverly Meeks as a machinist, and Mr. John Johnson as a 
pattern-maker. The former is now in the employ of the 
C. & N. W. Railroad Company at their shops in Detroit, 
while the latter is plying his trade at Denver, Colorado. 
He also used his influence with good eflect to secure work 
at their trades for other colored men in the foundry and 
blacksmith shops of the works. 

In 1873 the firm for which he worked went out of busi- 
ness, and a new firm, composed of two of his former super- 
intendents, Messrs. Eraser and Chalmers, started the 
Liberty Iron Works in -this city. They showed their confi- 
dence in his ability by immediately placing him at the head 
of their pattern shops. Their business soon reached large 
proportions, requiring now the constant services of over 
seven hundred skilled employees, fifteen of whom are kept 
busy making patterns. The firm makes a specialty of 
manufacturing intricate mining machinery, and in the 
course of a year gets out an almost infinite variety of inde- 
scribable work, for most of which new patterns have to be 
made. All of the work must conform strictly to the draw- 
ings in every particular. This will show the importance 
of the position held by Mr. Hancock in the second largest 
establishment of the kind in this country. He has been 
with his present employers fifteen years, commands a good 
salary, and is held in high esteem by them and his fellow- 
workmen. In the same shop with him is his son George, 
who is also regarded as an efficient pattern-maker. 

In private life Mr. Hancock is a public-spirited and pro- 


gressive citizen ; a member of several societies, in some of 
which he holds a high rank, notably the Masonic frater- 
nity; a vestryman of St. Thomas* Episcopal church, and 
an interesting talker at the literary sessions of the Pru- 
dence Crandall circle. He has a cosy home on Fulton street, 
where, assisted by his wife, an amiable and intelligent 
ladv, his many friends are msde welcome. 


410 MBN OP MAfiK. 


Author of a Greek Text Book — Scientist— Lecturer — Scholar— Stndcnt of 
Sanscrit, Zend, Gothic and Luthanian Languages. 

THE names of the parents of the subject of this sketch 
were Jesse and Frances Scarborough. His father 
was set free by his old master about fifteen years before 
the war began, and three thousand dollars were left in the 
hands of his guardian, so that if he should desire to leave the 
South, he might do so. Further, it was stipulated with 
the railroad authorities, in whose employ he was for forty 
years, that half of the money he received as wages should 
be given him and the other retained by them to meet his 
doctor's bills and other demands, should he get sick. If 
he left the South, the half retained by them or as much of 
it as was not spent should be given to him. He remained 
in Georgia, as his wife was nominally a slave and could 
not accompany him if he went North. The conditions 
above stated were never fulfilled and he received none of 
the money. 

Young Scarborough was bom, February 16, 1852, in 
Macon, Bibb county, Georgia. Of course, under the cir- 
cumstances stated, he was nominally a slave, and his early 


days were spent in Macon, where he began to go to school 
as early as six years of age. He would go out day after 
day, ostensibly to play, but with his books concealed 
under his arm. He spent six or eight hours each day in 
school till he could read well, and had gathered a good 
knowledge of geography, grammar and arithmetic. At the 
age of ten he took regular lessons in writing under an old 
South Carolinian and rebel of the bitterest type ; despite 
the strict laws then existing against Negro education, it 
mras miraculous that a man hating the Negroes as this 
white man did, would take such an interest in a colored 
youth, and would even go to the extent of teaching him the 
art of penmanship. But ** God works in a mysterious way 
his wonders to perform." This man's name was J. C. 
Thomas, and he is now dead ; it would be a pleasure in- 
deed if he were living to see his young pupil so distin- 
guished for his learning, and so prominent in the educa- 
tional councils of the Nation. 

Young Scarborough was also taught by his playmates, 
who were white boys, receiving much instruction directly 
and indirectly. His parents having had a common school 
education were able to assist him very much by way of 
direction in his studies, in secret, until the war closed. 
He was put to the study of books by his parents as soon 
as they were able to do so. 

He remembers one or two narrow escapes he had during 
his early life, which, when seen in the light of his present 
career, shows that God preserves those for whom he has 
special work. He was eight years old, on a fourth of July 
dav. When he was returning from seeing a military pa- 


r^de, he had to pass through a long bridge ; here he met 
two men very drunk, who seized him and held him through 
the window over the rushing waters below, from which 
terrible fate he was rescued by passers-by. During the 
war, friends would come to see the family without passes. 
Though a boy, he used to give them a safe permit home, 
signing their master's name. Many colored people would 
run the gauntlet with no other passport than that given 
by him. He began the study of music when he was twelve 
years old, and as there was no law against this, he used to 
practice twice a week openly. At the age of ten he had 
been elected secretary of one of the most prominent organ- 
izations among the colored people in Macon, Georgia. 
Such meetings were allowed during the war by the whites, 
provided the members got a permit. He received a slight 
fee for such services. During this period when not en- 
gaged in study, he worked at the shoemaker's trade, and 
just before the war closed he spent one year at the trade 
as a regular apprentice. Even in those days his intellect 
gave him advantages over many, and his services were 
always in demand, for he was called on to read the papers 
every morning by the men at work, and talk about and 
explain the movements of the two contending armies. 
When the war closed he passed from grade to grade in the 
schools, until 1867, when he entered the Lewis High 
School and finished in 1869. With this preparation, and 
with studious habits, a lad of seventeen he entered the 
Atlanta University, to prepare for Yale College. He re- 
mained at this institution two years and then entered 
Oberlin College, in Ohio, and graduated in 1875. Immedi- 


ateiy after graduation he returned to Macon and accepted 
a position offered by the American Missionary Society to 
teach Latin, Greek and mathematics in the Lewis High 
School ; but in September he returned to Oberlin, and gave 
several months study to theology in the seminary, devot- 
ing himself especially to Hellenistic, Greek and Hebrew. 
During the winter he was called to the principalship of 
Payne Institute, located at Cokesburg, South Carolina, 
now merged into the Allen University of Columbia, South 

While he was studying, he always taught during the 
summers to aid in his support, having positions at Albany 
Enterprise Academy, Albany, Ohio, and district school at 
Blooraingburg, Ohio, Howard Normal school at Cuthbert, 
Georgia, and two selected schools at Macon, Georgia. 

He was called to his present position in the fall of 1877, 
and established the post-office at Wilberforce, Ohio, and 
\vas commissioned its first postmaster in 1879. Here he 
organized the first reading-room for young men, and was 
its president until he resigned in 1881. He assisted J. W. 
Fitch in editing the Authors* Review and Scrap-book, 
printed in Pittsburgh. His duties were such that he could 
not do justice to his work, so he sold out his share in the 
firm. This periodical succeeded well in its intent — to fill a 
need in the school-room. 

Professor Scarborough is one of the brightest lights in 
the colored race. He has a masterly mind and a compre- 
hensive grasp of all subjects which he investigates. His 
fort is the classics, more particularly Greek. He has been 
acknowledged as a scholar, more by his authorship of a 


Greek text-book and on account of his associations in caA- 
nent scientific societies and his association with learned 
men, than perhaps any other thing. He has read several 
papers before the Philological Association on the themotic 
vowel in the Greek verb, in Homer and Virgil, etc. He is a 
member of the American Philological association, elected 
at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, July, 
1882, and also a member of the American Spelling Reform 
Association, elected at Dartmouth College, July, 1883, Han- 
over, New Hampshire. He is a member of the Alodem 
Language Association of America, elected at Johns Hop- 
kins University, Baltimore, Maryland, December, 1884; a 
member of the American Social Science Association, elected 
at Saratoga, New York, September 1, 1885 ; member of the 
American Foreign Antislavery Society, elected jn 1883. in 
New York; amemberofthel.O. Good Templars. Heisalso 
connected with the A. M. E. church. Was brought up in 
part a Presbjrterian, and his mother is still a Presbyterian, 
while his father when living was an African Methodist. 

This church is justly proud of this eminent and progres- 
sive scholar, and there seems to }ye no jealousy among the 
older members that this young man should take such a 
prominent stand in the literary affairs of the times. He 
was a delegate to the Centennial of Methodism at Balti- 
more, December, 1884, and was very useful in said meeting. 
He has held various positions in his church, that always 
delights to honor him. He has been trustee and 
Sunday school superintendent several times, and at this 
writing fills both positions. He is in constant demand to 
deliver orations and lectures upon various subjects. He 


-vras invited to read a paper upon ''Industrial Schools," 
before the colored teachers convention in Missouri ; had a 
similar invitation to read a paper on the ** Sphere of the 
Colored Teacher, ' ' before the colored teachers of Springfield , 
Ohio ; read a paper before the Georgia Colored Teachers' 
Association on "The Importance of Union in Works of 
the Colored People of the Country." He has lectured on 
various topics at various places. Many of these lectures 
have been published. He has written much for the press, 
and his articles are always acceptable. 

After the death of Professor Wiley Lane of Howard Uni- 
versity, he was prominently spoken of as his successor in 
the chair of Greek at said university. In the trustee board 
he was beaten by the votes of the white men who voted 
for a white man, while the colored men voted for him. He 
"was the choice of Frederick Douglass, Francis J. Grimke, 
William Waring, Bishop John M. Brown, and Mr. Cook, 
who were trustees at the time. This was in April, 1885. 
Letters of indorsement were sent him from New York, 
Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Washington and Baltimore, 
in fact from all parts of the country. This proved that he 
was recognized as a specialist in the department of Greek 
by the leading colored people of the United States, espec- 
ially the scholars of them. He has been invited to take a 
position in the Brooklyn school, but did not accept. After 
graduation he was solicited to go to Africa and engage in 
literary pursuits, that of learning and translating the lan- 
guages, with a salary of $1,800. This he refused, preferr- 
ing to make his mark in this country. He was invited to 
give, in the form of a paper, his views on the study of 

4-16 MEN OP MARK. 

the cla43sic languages in a course of liberal education be- 
fore the convention of teachers in the State of New York^ 
in 1884. 

His career has been unusually brilliant, and should he 
live long will leave behind him a course of life worthy of 
emulation. He received the degree of A. B. from the Depart- 
ment of Philosophy and the Arts at Oberlin College in 1875 ; 
his degree of A. M., in course in 1878, and the degree of 
LL. D. from Liberia College, West Africa, 1882. 

In 1881, A. S. Barnes & Company of New York, placed 
upon the market his 'First Lessons in Greek,' of which 
Professor Greener said : ** It is no small degree of praise to 
say that he has done just what he undertook. Amid 
the number of books of this class there is none more ac- 
curate or complete." Professor Gregory of Howard Uni- 
versity said : ** He has succeeded in avoiding the mistake 
made by so many authors of presenting many unnecessary 
complications in a first book, which serve to mislead and 
confuse the beginner.*' Professor Alexander Kerr of the 
University of Wisconsin, said: Professor Scarborough 
has shown good taste and good judgment in avoiding 
long and complex sentences for translation, and in hold- 
ing himself to a clear and concise statement of the nidi- 
mentary forms of the language.'' He sent a copy of his 
book to John F. Slater, who gave a million dollars to 
educate the colored race, and received the following reply : 

Norwich, Connecticut, June 28, 1882. 
Professor Wblliam S. Scarborough. 

Dear Sir: — Your book entitled 'First Lessons in Greek,' has been duly 
received by me. If I may hope that what I h.ivc tried to do for the 



promtii^tion of education among your race should result in any more 
snch publications I shall feel that my efforts have been amply rewarded. 

Very truly yours, 

John F. Slater. 

He has also published several pamphlets, one called 
"Our Civil Status," forty pages, in 1884. This was read 
at the Inter-State convention of colored men held at 
Pittsburgh, in April of that year. Another thirty-six page 
pamphlet on the "Birds of Aristophanes: A Theory of 
Interpretation," published by D. C. Heath & Company of 
Boston. This was a paper read before the American 
Philological Association at Cornell University, Ithaca^ 
New York, July, 1886. He also has in manuscript, "Ques- 
tions on the Latin Language with Appendix;" also the 
tw^entj'^-first and twenty-second books of Livy, based on 
the German editions of * Weissenbom ' and *061fflin.' It 
Ai%411 probablj' be published in 1887 by the University Pub- 
lication Company of New York. He is also preparing 
c:>ther Latin and Greek works which will be revised and 
^^nnotated by Professor W. B. Frost of Oberlin college, as 
^^oon as readv. 

Professor Scarborough's range of studies is very wide, 
i Ticluding a knowledge of the modem languages, also San- 
:, Zend, Gothic, Luthanian, Old Slavonic, which he uses 
aids in his special labors. He is at home in all kindred 
studies. While giving much attention to these matters, 
lie has several times been elected to various positions in 
Ills county and State. Was one of the signers of a call for 
«i convention which met in Columbus, Ohio, December, 
1883, to consider the civil status of the colored men in 


Ohio. He was appointed by the State Central committee 
to organize ''Equal Rights Leagues," in the Seventh dia- 
trict of Ohio. 

In 1883 he was married to Miss Sarah C. Bierce. She 
is a very intelligent woman and cultivated writer, who 
secures opportunities for exercising her gifts at good pay. 
She is a graduate of the Oswego Normal school of New 
York, and filled a principalship of the Normal department 
of Wilberforce for three years. The ceremony was per- 
formed by the lamented Bishop W. F. Dickerson. 

xn worldly goods Professor Scarborough is worth any- 
where fron? seven to ten thousand dollars, and his fame 
and fortune are both on the increase. 




Instructor of Mathematics— Secretary of the American National Baptist 
Convention — Agent of the American Baptist Publication Society. • 

THE secretary is a native of the ** Pelican" State; his 
parents lived at Cypremore, St. Mary's Parish, 
Louisiana. Their names were S. T. and Mary Clanton. 
They rejoiced at the birth of S. T. Clanton, jr., March 27, 
1857. The parents were anxious for the boy to be edu- 
cated, and he labored faithfully to assist them by obedi- 
ence and closely following their advice. In order to 
further accomplish their desires, the boy was sent to New 
Orleans, where he attended the Government school in 
1862, when he was only about five years old. 

When he passed the examinatioii for the High school, 
he could not go to the white school, and there were none 
for the colored, so he entered the New Orleans University 
and graduated in li878 with the usual title of A. B. In 
December of the same year he was appointed instructor of 
mathematics in Leland University of New Orleans. He 
resigned this position in May, 1880, that he might enter 
in the next September upon a course of theology in the 
Baptist Union Theological Seminary at Morgan Park, 


Illinois, from which in May, 1883, he graduated -with the 
degree of B. D. 

In June, 1883, he was eledled Sunday-school missionary 
of the American Baptist Publication Society, and has been 
in that position ever since. He had, however, labored on 
several occasions for this same society and this perma- 
nent appointment was only the result of great confidence 
in him when he labored for them on previous occasions, 
in the summers of 1877, 1879 and 1880, in Louisiana 
fend Illinois. In the summers of 1881 and 1882 he alsb 
labored faithfully in their employ. 

He married one of the most discreet, amiable and ac- 
complished women in the country, June 6, 1883, at the 
residence of her parents, John and Rebecca Bird, in Deca- 
tur, Illinois. She was then Miss Olive Bird, and educated 
in the Public and High school of her native citj\ Mr. 
Clanton began life as a brickla^'er, and has made remark- 
able progress in this short time ; he bids fair to accomplish 
much, being a man of perseverance and tact. In the coun- 
cils of his brethren, his opinion has great weight. His 
father dying when he was about nine years old, left him 
and his sisters to the care of a hardworking, loving 
mother, who with her own hands, unaided, was enabled 
to educate three children — Solomon, of whom we write 
especially ; Elvina A. Clanton, graduated from the Leland 
University, from the scientific course with the title of B. S., 
and P. A. Clanton, who graduated from the same school 
in classified course with the title of A. B. What a monu- 
ment to one pair of hands ! What a blessing is a good 
mother ! 



Secretary Clanton has filled one term as secretary of the 
American Baptist Foreign Mission convention, which is 
doing work in Africa, sustaining missionaries there ; and 
was eledled August 25, 1886, as secretary of the American 
Baptist National convention. As a writer he is fluent and 
yet cogent, smooth yet forcible, graceful and yet vigor- 
ous. He has accumulated some property and lives com- 




Principal State Normal School, North Carolina. 

IN the little village of Crosbyville, Fairfield county. 
South Carolina, on the twenty-second of December, 
1850, the subject of this sketch, Rev. John Oliver Crosby, 
was bom in slavery. His mother's name was Sylvia. She 
came from Richmond, Virginia, when she was only twelve 
years old, having been sold to a speculator at the sale of 
John Tinsley to satisfy his creditors. His father was 
Thomas Crosby. At a very early age John Oliver 'was 
apprenticed to the carpenter's trade, which he learned so 
rapidly that at the age of twelve he was made foreman and 
superintended the building of numerous small houses of 
from two to ten rooms each. In 1860 Thomas Crosby 
died, and the same year the Crosby estate was sold. Mary 
Q. Crosby bought the young carpenter for $1260. His 
apprenticeship ending, he moved to Shelton's Depot and 
became the slave of William Stanton, who had married his 
young mistress, Miss Crosby. In 1864 Mr. Stanton was 
drafted into the Confederate service and sent to Florence, 
South Carolina, to guard Federal prisoners. In the stun- 


mcr Mr. Stanton came home on a furlough, and on his 
return took the boy John along as a servant. At Colum- 
bia, Stanton and all other reserved soldiers returning to 
their commands were stopped by order of the govern- 
ment and put on duty as a guard at a prison containing 
about fourteen htmdred Federal prisoners. This prison 
was about three miles west of Columbia, across the Con- 
garee river, and about half a mile from the Saluda river. 
General Means was in command, and being an intimate 
friend of Stanton's, Stanton was appointed by him sutler 
to the prisoners. Prom this time he made his headquart- 
ers in Columbia. John Oliver spent the greater part of his 
time at the headquarters of General Means, where he made 
himself useful as a servant, and occasionally acting as 
drummer, beating the reveille and other signals. 

The boy despised slavery, and had always studiously and 
artfully avoided addressing his owners as ** master." He 
therefore resolved to assist the prisoners in every way 
possible. There were three ways in which this could be 
done. First, some of the prisoners were allowed to go out 
on parol to get wood, and as John was well known at 
the camp and allowed to go everywhere he pleased, he 
w^ould occasionally furnish a prisoner with sufficient pro- 
visions to last two or three days. In this way the pris- 
oner could spend several days in accomplishing his escape 
from the neighborhood. Secondly, he could furnish some 
of the prisoners with an occasional newspaper, giving the 
Confederate movements. But the greatest services were 
rendered in a very different way. At the headquarters, in a 
tent next to the one occupied by General Means himself, 


and to which John Oliver had free access at all times, vrcre 
two large baskets. These baskets were the recipients of 
all the mail brought from the "prison post-office" to be 
forwarded to wives and friends in the North. Three young 
men were daily occupied reading these letters ; those deemed 
fit to be sent on were put into one basket, and those con- 
taining any objectionable matter were thrown into the 
other basket. More than two-thirds of the letters were 
thus rejected and went to the flames. John Oliver conceived 
a plan by which some of the ** refused letters" could be 
forwarded to their destination. The mail would leave the 
camp at eleven o'clock daily, and as all the letters exam- 
ined betw^een this time and the next day were allowed to 
remain in the basket, he would transfer from twenty to 
thirty letters daily from the rejected basket to the one con- 
taining the "approved letters." 

After the war he went to live with his mother on a farm 
in Chester county. He remained there about one year; 
but he and his stepfather could never agree, as the "old 
man" despised ** laming" and said it was "spilin" all the 
boys on the place. John was also pretty expert at figures 
up to division, and could read well in the second reader. 
He was to the boys on the plantation what * Webster*© 
Dictionary' is to the learned, and, notwithstanding his 
ragged condition, was a favorite with all the old people. 
His mother was a woman of fine sense, her greatest 
blunder being the seleAion of a husband. This is a 
common blunder with women who have children. Ho^w 
many yotmg men would become usefiil but for this very 
thing; they are hedged in on all sides by men of bhmt 


feelings, of roagii natures and of a lack of appreciation that . 
ought to be given to the aspiring hopes of children. With 
his mother's advice, he resolved to make his escape from 
this paternal slavery far worse than the other. Promising 
to return to his mother in due time, he started from home late 
one afternoon, carrying with him a smaller brother. They 
had no money and only a pound of bacon and a com ash 
cake. Their mother was not a Christian, but they felt 
while on their journey that their mother was praying for 
them. Aft;er some hardships the boys reached Winnsboro, 
a town of fifteen hundred inhabitants, thirty-five miles 
distant. Being poorly clad, they found some difficulty in 
getting employment. On the second day, however, he got 
a place for himself and his brother. He was at this time 
in good circumstances, and completing a course in music 
at one of our leading colleges, Mr. Crosby entered school, 
working at odd times for support and paying for tuition 
by ringing a school bell. He soon got to be president of a 
debating club and teacher of the only colored Sunday 
school in town. Having joined the Union league, and be- 
coming prominent in the county politics, he was appointed 
in the spring of 1869, by Governor R. H. Scott, the census 
taker for Fairfield county. He entered Biddle University in 
the fall of 1869 and the Shaw University in 1870, grad- 
uating fi-om the latter in 1874. He has since graduated 
fi*om the National School of Elocution and Oratory, being 
the first colored man whoever graduated fi-om this famous 
institution. Mr. Crosby resolved to enter the ministry; 
his first work in this line was done in the summer of 1872 
as a student missionary under the auspices of the Amen- 


can Baptist Home Mission Society of New York. He 
was assigned Mecklenburg county as a field of labor. 
During the four months after the commission was girtst 
him he raised two hundred dollars for the FiiBt Baptist 
church of Charlotte and eighty dollars for Shaw Univav 
sity, besides organizing a churchy at West Holly, Nortb 
Carolina, which has now a large and flourishing congrega* 
tion. In 1874 he was ordained and took charge of the 
first Colored Baptist church of Warrington, North Caro- 
lina. In 1875 Mr. Crosby was elected delegate fi-om 
Warren county to the State Constitutional convention, 
which fi*amed the present constitution of the State. He 
took an active part in the deliberations and vigorously 
opposed by speeches and vote every ordinance aimed 
directly or indirectly at his race. In 1880 he was called to 
the Dixonville Baptist church of Salisbury, and during the 
same year became principal of the State Colored Normal 
school, located at the same place. These two important 
positions he still holds. He has also been moderator of 
one of the largest Baptist associations in North Carolina 
since 1881. He is chairman of the Home Mission board of 
the North Carolina State convention and editor of the 
Golddust, the organ of the colored Baptists of the State. 
He is connected with numerous other positions, boards 
and business enterprises. 

To name and give an account of all the honors conferred 
and positions bestowed upon this worthy son of the old 
North State would occupy more space than can be allowed 
in a book of this size. He has baptized more than twelve 
hundred persons. Mr. Crosby occupies a place in the firont 



rank as a preacher. He is one of the most popular and 
successful men in his denomination, which mmibers more 
than one hundred and ten thousand in this State. Not- 
withstanding his charitable habits, he is worth more than 
four thousand dollars— the fruits of his own toil. He has 
risen by degrees from poverty and obscurity to one of the 
most honorable stations in the State. 

-428 MEN OF MASK. 



Secretary of State — State Treasurer— Professor of Languages— Principal 
of the High School, Washington, District of Columbia. 

HE was born at Charleston, South Carolina, Janu- 
ary 1, 1837, and was sent to school at five years 
of age, where he remained until he was twelve. He was 
then apprenticed to the carpenter's trade for five years, 
after which he worked as journeyman for four years. 
When he was twenty-one years old he left the bench and 
with one thousand dollars, which he had saved as a jour- 
neyman, started- for Glasgow, Scotland, to obtain a colle- 
giate education, to which he aspired. His ultimate aim 
was to prepare for the ministry. He studied four years at 
the University at Glasgow, and three years at the Presby- 
terian seminaries at Edinburgh and London. The cost of 
his education was about three thousand dollars, in addi- 
tion to one thousand dollars, which he had saved before 
starting. Notwithstanding he was pursuing these courses, 
he worked during vacations at his trade and other em-' 
ployments, making about one thousand dollars. In a 
competitive examination among the graduates of four 
colleges, he won a scholarship of one thousand dollars. 


and then removed to London, England, and finished the 
remaining two years of his course. This was a very re- 
markable feat, and in this respeA I think he stands ahnost 
alone. But this was not all. While at the university at 
Glasgow, he won the fifth prize in Latin, among two hun- 
dred students in his class, and the seventh in Greek among 
one hundred and fifty students. He returned to the United 
States in the summer of 1864, and was settled as pastor 
of the Temple Street Congregational church in New 
Haven, Connecticut, August 1, 1864. The American Mis- 
sionary Association of New York requested him to estab- 
lish and take charge of a Normal school of colored pupils 
in Charleston, South Carolina, August 1, 1865, which he 
accepted and presided over for three years. In this time 
he was noted as a scholar of rare attainments, and though 
a very quiet, unassuming man, he was not negledled or 
overlooked by his friends, who eledled him a member of 
the Constitutional convention of South Carolina in Janu- 
ary, 1868, established under the reconstruction acts. 
August the first, of the same year, he was eledled secretary 
of State and served four years. Now while he was 
serving his first term as secretary of State, he was eledled 
professor of Latin at Howard University. He resigned 
the position of secretary and accepted the professorship. 
The governor of South Carolina protested against his 
^resignation, and suggested that he retain the office and 
appoint a deputy secretary of State. As Mr. Cardoza 
^'ad only fourteen months to serve, this was finally agreed 
^pon. He then taught at Howard until March, 1872, 
^^ '^turned to South Carolina at the earnest solicitatioui 


of his fiHiends, to accept the position of State treasttrery to 
which he was eledled August 1, 1872. 

After he had served out the first term of the treasurer- 
ship, he was re-eleAed in 1876, but the downfall of Repub- 
licanism at that time prevented the exercises of the duties 
of the office. The transfer of the Republican State govern- 
ment of South Carolina and Louisiana to the Democrats 
by a coup c/' etat is perfeAly familiar to all. During his 
ti^asurership he handled between six and seven milUon 
dollars and eight million in bonds and stocks. His books 
were carefully and thoroughly examined by a committee 
of the Democratic Legislature after his term of office ex- 
pired, with an expert accountant, and they reported his 
books correct. He was appointed to a clerkship in the 
Treasury Department at Washington, District of Co- 
Itmibia, by Secretary John Sherman, in 1878, and remained 
for six years, when he was appointed principal of the Col- 
ored High School of Washington, District of Columbia, 
which position he now holds. The school has an enroll- 
ment of about two hundred and fifty pupils — two hundred 
females and fifty males, nearly all. of whom are preparing 
for teachers. The work is of very great importance; is 
far-reaching in its influence, as these shall go out fi-ont his 
care to manage schools in the several sections of this 
country. Mr. Cardoza was married to Miss Catherine 
Romena Howell of New Haven, Connedlicut, December, 
1864. They have been blessed with six children— four 
boys and two girls, both of whom died in infancy. Mr. 
Cardoza is an educator of very fine talent ; is very digni- 
fied in bearing, and polished in his manner. He was my 


professor in Latin while a junior in college, and I remem- 
ber him as a courtly gentleman who treated his classes 
with the greatest of kindness. It never occurred to me 
that I might publicly thank him for his kindness and pa- 
tience with two fun-loving students, especially one. 




Attorney at Law— Legislator— United States Deputy Collector. 

NORTH CAROLINA is well represented by the intelli- 
gent, progressive and popular John S. Leary, wha 
was bom at Fayetteville in that State, August 17, 1845. 
His parents were named Matthew and Julia Leary. His 
father was bom in North Carolina in 1797; his grand- 
father was Aaron Revels, who was a free colored man and 
a Revolutionary soldier in the American army. His mother 
was bom in France, and was six years old when her j 
parents came to this country in 1810. Mr. Leary had a. ^ 
brother by the name of Louis Sheridan Leary, who was 
with John Brown at Harper's Ferry and was killed there 
October 17, 1859. 

The subject of this sketch attended school in his native 
town for a period of eight years prior to the civil war. , 
During the time he was under the care and instruction of 
six different teachers, five of whom were white persons, and 
one a colored woman. After quitting school he learned 
the trade of a saddler and harness-maker in his father's 
shop, who was a manufacturer, and carried on that busi- 




• i 

: I 


JOHN 8. LBARY. 433 

S8 for fijfty years in Fayetteville. The steady habits and 
isiness qualities of Mr. Leary, combined with strict hon- 
ty, purity of life and fidelity to trusts, made him a very 
>pular man among all classes of citizens ; and in the year 
J68 he was elected, from Cumberland county, a member 
* the Legislature of the State of North Carolina. Having 
rved with satisfaction to all his friends for two years, 
id having the good will of the opposing party, showing 
"eat intelligence and deep foresight into the laws, and 
omptly attending to every duty connected with the 
Bee, made him a very strong candidate for the second 
rm, to which he was elected and served with singular 
>ility until the close of the session. In 1871 he went to 
ashington. District of Columbia, and entered the Law 
apartment of Howard University, from which he grad- 
Lted with the title of LL. B. Here he was a favorite with 
e members of every department of the institution ; his 
ntlemanly manners, his politeness and high intellectual 
tainments gave him the confidence and good will of all. 
le writer remembers him at this period, being at that 
ne a member of the university. After graduation, he 
turned home and was examined by the State Supreme 
Durt, and admitted to practice in all the courts of the 
ate, since which time he has continued in his profession. 
e was alderman in the town of Fayetteville for two 
ars, namely, 1876—7. He was school committeeman for 
period of four years, both for white and colored schools 
the town, namely, 1878-79-80-81. He has attended as 
delegate fi"om Cumberland county every Republican 
ate convention since the year 1867; was alternate dele- 


gate to the National Republican convention held at 
Chicago in 1880, and delegate to the National Republican 
convention held at the same place in 1884. 

Mr. Leary was appointed United States deputy collector 
for the fourth district of North Carolina, Internal Revenue 
Department, May 1, 1881, which position he held for four 
years, going out of office when Mr. Cleveland became 
President of the United States. In the book published for 
the benefit of the State in the way of bringing emigrants 
thereto, Mr. Leary is given mention as one of the leading 
men of the State. It says of him that he is a man of 
influence among a large circle of people in the city of Fay- 
etteville and the State, and is well suited to hold positions 
of trust; and in the Legislature of 1868 to '70, he votc^ 
with the minority against the fraudulent bonds. He is 
president of the North Carolina Industrial Association; he 
is an Odd Fellow, having joined the order in 1875, and 
was a delegate to the A. M. C, which assembled in Rich- 
mond, Virginia, in 1880. As honorary commissioner for 
the State of North Carolina, for the colored department in 
the World's Cotton Exposition, held in New Orleans in 1884, 
he did much to show forth the industrial condition of the 
colored people. He is a member of the Protestant Episco- 
pal church, having been confirmed in 1867. He has been 
married twice ; his first wife was Miss Alice B. Thomas of 
Raleigh, North Carolina, who died October 13, 1880; the 
fi-uits of this union were two children, both dead. His 
present wife was Miss Nannie E. Latham of Charlotte, 
North Carolina, to whom he was married July 14, 1886. 



He has a comfortable home in the city, a splendid law 
library, and a small farm about two and a half miles hom 
the city. With these surroundings he dwells in the midst 
of people who delight to honor him. 



E. S. PORTER, A. B., M. D. 

Physician on the Sanitary Force of Louieville, Kentucky — Medical 
Attendant at the Orphans' Home and State University — Lecturer. 

THIS quiet, unassuming gentleman has made his mark 
as a dispenser of wisdom in the line of the healing art. 
It was said of ^Esculapius ' ' that he was of a quick and lively 
genius, and made such progress that he soon became not 
only a great physician but was reckoned a god and inventpr 
of medicine, and is said to have restored many to life. And 
Jupiter is said to have feared that men, being put in posses- 
sion of the means of triumphing over death, might refuse 
honor to the gods ; so he struck -^sculapius dead with a 
thunderbolt, for which Apollo, the father of ^sculapius, de- 
stroyed the Cyclops that forged the thunderbolt for Jove." 
It used to be the colored people who, taking the place of 
Tupiter, slew all colored physicians, so to speak. Though 
these men had enlisted themselves in doing good for man- 
kind, their traducers would declare that there were none 
good ; no, not one. There se€;ms to be among the same 
class of our people a very foolish notion that nobody but 
a white man can be a competent doctor, lawyer or profes- 
sional man of any kind. This may be owing to their- 

E. S. PORTER. 437 

training, but it is time that they had gotten out of such 
thoughts, for by holding such opinion they unwittingly 
confess judgment and attribute the lack of skill in these 
matters to the inferiority of the race and color rather than 
brains . And notwithstanding the difficulties which colored 
physicians meet in attempting to practice, or rather, I 
might say, had met (for many of these foolish prejudices 
are passing away), many have risen to eminence. 

Dr. Porter has succeeded in building up an extensive 
practice, and still lives. The life of a doctor is full of in- 
stances worthy of record, and while their professional 
deeds of mercy are many, they go **unhonored and 
unsung.'' Their losses also are heavy, and they can never 
refuse to answer a call, for tne ethics of the profession lead 
them to relieve suffering at all times, pay or no pay. 

He is the son of Jesse and Priscilla Porter, and was bom 
in the State of Delaware, October 19, 1848. This was the 
place of his youthful days, for not until he was fourteen 
years of age did he leave that ** little monarchy '' to make 
his way in the world. Thence he went to New York. 
Through the influence of a lady who took much interest in 
him, he w^as led to undertake a classical course at Lincoln 
University, Oxford, Pennsylvania. He began at the bottom 
rounds and through seven years he made his way to the 
graduating platform, where he was awarded his degree of 
Bachelor of Arts. This was in 1873. Going back to New 
York, he entered the Brooklyn Medical College, completing 
the full course of medicine, anatomy, surgery and hospital 
practice, and graduated with some distinction in his class 
in 1876. While looking for some place to practice, he 



wandered to the west and settled in Tennessee for one 
year. Not finding it to his liking, he moved to LrOuisville 
in 1878, and has there made a splendid reputation and 
settled the question of lack of prosperity in the practice of 
medicine. Contrary to the usual way, we have yet to find 
a colored person who has no confidence in him as a physi- 
cian. His practice is extensive and constantly increasing. 

He was elected on the sanitary force of Louisville in the 
years 1882, '83 and '84. He was chosen physician to the 
Orphans' Home by the proper authorities in 1882, which 
position he still holds. He is also physician to the State 
University, and also lecturer on physiology and hygiene in 
the same university. This position he has held since 1881, 
and to the satisfaction of all concerned. 

He was married to Miss Lucy Bohannon, March 20, 
1884. She is one of the prominent members of the cele- 
brated Fifth Street Baptist church choir, and contributes 
very much to his success by her amiable manners, and she 
presides over his home with dignity and grace. 

The doctor himself is a genteel, refined man, and all who 
know him loVe him. He is a special favorite with the 
children, a thing to be commended — ^for no child ought to 
be afraid of a doctor or a minister. His ability has never 
been questioned by the practitioners in the city. He has 
sat in counsel with Drs. E. D. Force, William M. Griffith, 
Thomas J. Griffith and P. G. Tnmnell. It would not be an 
exaggeration to state that his future is very brilliant and 
his chances for wealth very favorable. 




The First and Only Native American Catholic Priest of African Descent, 
throogh both Parents, on the Continent. 

A FEW months ago it was flashed over the wires that 
Augustus Tolton had been ordained to the office of 
priest in Rome. The papers took up the news and sang 
the praise of the man who had by perseverance climbed to 
a strange, new position for one of his nationality. Many 
men of note have simply drifted with the current into 
positions held by a father, but this man attracts us be- 
cause the circumstances under which he achieved eminence 
w^ere far from the beaten paths made b^' the steady tramp 
of hundreds who had gone before. The career of Rev. 
Augustus Tolton is one of difficulties surmounted. 

The subject of our sketch was bom in Ralls county, 
Missouri, April 1, 1854, of slave parentage. His father, 
Peter Tolton, enlisted in the Union Army when the civil 
w^ar broke out, and died in the hospital in St. Louis. His 
mother, Martha Jane Tolton, a Kentuckian by birth, 
made a bold stroke for life and freedom shortly after. 
After much planning, the day of decision came. Taking 
the babe of twenty months in her arms, a daughter of 


nine years, and little **Gussie" of seven to trudge by her 
side, she journeyed night and day through almost desolate 
regions and over almost impassable roads, with the s\vift 
feet of a hunted deer. Having crossed two counties her 
feet almost touched free soil, when new danger arose. 
On the banks of the Mississippi at Hannibal, they were 
challenged as runaway slaves, but some Federal soldiers 
interposed and smuggled her across the river that night. 
Pausing long enough to draw one breath of fiee air, the 
pilgrims dragged their weary limbs twenty-one miles far- 
ther to Quincy, Illinois, the town in which he was reared 
and from which he was called to Rome. Cradled amid 
such events, schooled during such a period, drinking aspi- 
rations from such a mother, mighty energies and impulses 
were sown for future reaping. Mts. Tolton found no 
hand ao help feed the hungry mouths. She was sur- 
rounded by poverty so grinding that at the age of seven 
her boy was put in a tobacco factory and for twelve years 
filled his father's place in providing for the younger chil- 

During this period at odd times, when the factory would 
close, in winter, and nights when others were sleeping, he 
would be pouring over books, mastering this and that 
study. In 1872 his health failed, and acting on the advice 
of friends he gave up the factory work, and devoted his 
time exclusively to study. The children were sent to St. 
Boniface's and St. Peter's schools (white), but some race 
trouble arising, they withdrew and entered Lincoln, a 
non-Catholic school. The pastor of the church of which 
Mrs. Tolton was a member, Father McGirr, hearing of 



I ' 


the difficulty, ordered their withdrawal and opened his 
own school to colored children. This was about 1863. 
As time passed, a wild hope took possession of Augustus. 
His soul longed for the holy office of a priest, and on the 
day of his first communion, when Father McGirr, who had 
watched year after year the exceptional purity, talent and 
goodness of the poor boy up to that time, suggested the 
priesthood, his cup of joy was full— his mind made 
up. Rev. Father Astrop and Rev. Theodore Wegmann 
believing firmly that his vocation should be that of a 
priest, urged his Latin studies, and instructed him, to- 
gether with two German students, in Latin, Greek, Ger- 
man, English, etc. He was considered the best in the 
catechism class when he first communed, and now reads 
and speaks German as fluently as English. All seemed 
smooth sailing when suddenly his instructors are called to 
new fields of labor. Are his hopes to be dashed to the 
ground ? No ; in the dispensations of Providence we get 
what is needed at the right time. A priest in Northern 
Missouri hearing that Mrs. Tolton would make him a 
suitable housekeeper secured her services, promising to 
keep the son in his studies. The bargain proved a bad 
one, and mother and son were soon back in Quincy, the 
latter hard at work with the soda firm of J. J. Flynn & 
Company, and studying before and after hours only as an 
ambitious youth can, assisted by Father Reinhardt, in 
charge of St. Mary's church and hospital, and two Fran- 
ciscans, Fathers Francis and Engelbert. Although the 
Franciscan College threw open its doors to him, poverty 
prevented him attending except early and late, after 


school hours, and then it was always a race with 
first to the college, then to the hospital, and then to the 
rectory chasing knowledge. The heaTens for him were 
again overcast. Rev. Reinhardt departed for another 
field ; Father Engelbert conld not keep the appointments 
any longer. With his feet in the path to Propaganda 
College, Rome, he could not turn back. An opening w^as 
soon made. Says the St. Joseph's Advocate : 

All credited the Rt. Rev. Peter Joseph Baltes, late bishop of Alton, to 
which diocese Quincy belongs, as having sent Augustus Tolton to the 
Propaganda College ; but Father Tolton himself speaks of a prior credit 
as due to the Franciscans, and as having the higher daim to his gratir 
tude. He names first of all in this connection the Rev. Father Michael 
Richardt, O. S. F., formerly of Quincy, but now of Teutopolis, lUinois^ 
who sends this valuable letter in answer to our inquiries : 

St. Joseph's Diocesan College, 
Teutopolis, Effingham County, Illinois, March 12, 1887. 
Rev, and Dear Sir: — 

I am in receipt of your esteemed favor of the eighth inst., by which you 
solicit information about Rev. August Tolton, the first colored priest of 
this countrj'. I made the acquaintance of Mr. August Tolton, at Quincy, 
Illinois, about the year 1877. I then had formed the intention to do 
something for the spiritual welfar** of the colored people at Quincy. I 
found Mr. August Tolton to be a pious, modest and studious yoon^ 
man, and requested him to aid me in my undertaking, as I was not ac- 
quainted with any body of the colored population. Soon he had a 
numlicr of children together, both of Catholic and Protestant parents^ 
whom I commenced to instruct in the Catholic religion every Sunday. 
The first lessons I gave them in the parochial school-house of St. 
Francis' congregation; but, in a short time, for convenience sake, we 
located our Sunday school in the centre of the city. The colored children 
liked it so well that a proposition I made to them to open a free day 
school was hailed with joy. Always assisted by Mr. August Tolton and 
his worthy mother, an accomplished lady and devoted Catholic, I sooo 


liad a schoolroom in an abandoned schoolhouse of St. Boniface's congre- 
gation, both Rev. J. Janssen, the rector of St. Boniface's congregation, 
and good Catholics assisting me to famish the same. At my request, the 
Kev. Mother Caroline, snperioress of the Sisters of Notre Dame at Mil- 
-waiikee^ appointed, gratuitously. Sister M. Herlinde to teach the school, 
-which we opened with twenty-one children. Notwithstanding the oppo- 
sition and indignation meetings of the Methodist and Baptist colored 
congregations, we^ soon had forty children, and within the next year 
bad, with the help of God, the happiness of solemnizing several times 
baptisms, first communions, confirmations and marriages. When I, 
compelled by overwork and nervous prostration, had to leave Quincy, 
the school was closed for some time, but was re-opened by Rev. Theodore 
Bmener, then rector of St. Bomfieuie's church, and is ever since in exist- 
ence, and yet conducte d by the same faithful and zealous Sister M. 
Herlinde, assisted by a candidate. Rev. Bruener secured also, not with- 
out the help of the Franciscan Monastery of Quincy, Catholic worship 
for the little colored congregation in the same schoolhouse, which had 
been a Protestant church. Rev. August Tolton has at present charge of 
the whole little and difficult mission. 

Here you wish to know how it happened to pass that Mr. August 
Tolton became a priest and who directed him to Rome. As far as I know, 
I conceived that -idea first and communicated it to the (late) Right Rev. 
Bishop P. I. Baltes. When, soon thereafter, that prelate made his visit 
** ad limiua Apostolorum,*^ he tried to get the young student, Mr. A. 
Tolton, into the Propaganda, but in vain. I then wrote to our Most 
Rev. Father General, Most Rev. P. Bernardino, a Partu Rometino, who 
resides at Roma and he succeeded in securing Mr. A. Tolton's reception 
into the College "De Propaganda Fide'* where he soon thereafter began 
and finally ended his studies. I had last summer the happiness to see 
him a priest in New York City, just on his arrival from Rome. May it 
please Divine Providence to achieve much good through Rev. A. Tolton 
for the salvation of the colored race in this country. 

With the greatest respect I am. Dear Sir, yours in Christ, 

P. Michael Richardt, O. S. F. 
Rector of St. Joseph's Diocesan College, Teutopolis, Illinois. 

Spending several years there, he returned to the United 


States, after having finished the course of study, bearing -; 

the honors of priesthood and receiving a warm vrelcome - 

from the inhabitantsofQuincy, where he is laboring. Says ^ 
the Washington People^ s Advocate : 

The arrival in this country of an American-bom black priest of 
Roman Catholic church, marks an era in the work of this church for 
•evangelization of the Negro. To-day an ex-slave returns from Rome 
perform the priestly office in his native land, an evidence that the Eter- 
nal church, whatever the popular belief as to its variable policj 
things to all men " has planted its foot firmly against caste in the priesi 
hood. Father Tolton is but the advance guard. We look forward 
see the day when the colored priests of the Catholic church will be a^ 
numerous, proportionally, as those of any other denomination, and when 
one in whose veins flows the blood of the land of St. Aqgustiiie, wil/ 
chant the pater noster before the altar of his memorial, the St. Augustine 
church of this city. 

When theordination of Father Tolton was proclaimed, 
a few secular journals discredited the statement that he 
was the first native Africo- American set aside to the priest- 
hood. They claimed that years previous Bishop England • 
proclaimed the first colored priest at Charleston, South 
Carolina. The St. Joseph Advocate, a quarterly, of Janu- 
ary, 1887, published by Father J. H. Green, Baltimore, 
Maryland, in the interest of the colored people of the 
United States, after much research says : 

How easy to slip on historic ice ! Not a shred of probability that a 
Charleston bishop with only one or two small churches at his See, would 
or could afford the expense and risk of educating one for the priesthood, 
who, by the constitution and laws of South Carolina, would not be 
allowed to cross the border ! There is a tradition among Catholics in 
Charleston that a priest of color on board a vessel bound for South 
America, and which, by stress of weather was driven in'-o that harbor, 


yavas spared the honor of a police eacort to the felon's hotel by the great 
icflnence of Bishop Bngland, who got permission to hold him in charge 
till his Tcssd got ready for sea. Even this is stoutly denied by one who 
ought to know a thing or two, who resided in the very house of the 
bishop at the time, and is still living, a nonagenarian in her perfe<Sl 
senses ! Monsignor Corcoran does not believe one word of the Father 
Paddington story in relation to Charleston ; and who knows more about 
the past of his own city than the learned Dr. Corcoran ? Certainly no 
other Catholic living, except it be the Rev. P. G. McGowan, now of 
Arkansas, who resided in Charleston sixteen years, dating back all the 
-way to 1831, many years living with the great bishop on the banks of 
the Ashley, and there ordained by him. Here before us is a letter from 
this venerable priest dated the fifteenth instant, in which he says, '' As to 
the ordination of a black priest by Bishop England of pious memory, in 
Charleston, and residing there, there was no such thing. So nothing of 
the kind took place in my time nor. since I left. It seems to me that 
Bishop England ordained some colored priests in San Domingo or Hayt,. 
while visiting there two or three times in the performance of legatine 
duties for Pope Gregory the Sixteenth, of pious memory, who held him in 
great esteem." Bishop England took possession of that new See on the 
last dav of 1820, so our search for the needle in the bundle of straw 
which hadn't it, from the year of his return to Ireland, "on a visit to 
his native city, Cork," till the arrival of Father McGowan, is brought 
down to a pretty fine point indeed (a point of time wholh' inadequate 
to the education and ordination of anybody) by this valuable letter, 
which covers every inch of the chronological space back to 1831. Will 
our contemporaries who have copied that fiction for histon' be good 
enough to make the amende honorable bj- .sending this messenger in 

And then gives also the following notice : 

And so we have in our midst to-day a colored priest, a 
native American, once a slave and the son of slaves, one of the ante 
bellum "four millions'* said to be incapable of education, moral habits 
and what not, upon which assumption their degradation was boldly 
justified; no hybrid, but the genuine article; a typical Africo- American, 
the very one of all others we long to see chosen ; not your ideal octoroon 


if possible, quadroon at the most, Caucasian in chiseling, Seniitic in 
coloring, a pinch-nosed, thin-lipped and straight-haired 'Mook-at-me,*' as 
if picked out for a compromise because of his proboscis and not of his 
brains, to show well on a perch with that degree of gamboge which 
comes nearest to whitewash when the stubbles are removed, and he slips 
out like a peeled onion, spruce, tidy, oil-tongued, a "nice young man,** 
slippery and sanctimonious, of course. Nothing of the kind is Father 
Tolton, as our per&ct facsimile of his photograph shows; the vivmi and 
striking likeness of a solid man, true as steel, without a shadow of prc^ 
tension, well up in his sacred duties, able to converse and preach in more 
than one language, humble as a child, boasting of his African blood, and 
all aglow with devotion and love for his race. As he passes throngh the 
streets of Quincy, white gentlemen raise their hats, and priests at tahles 
take back seats to give him the place of honor. We have seen it; not^ 
once or twice, but almost every time — MANHOOD ! And on the part of 
the laity, what a plain act of faith in the power and wisdom of Christ's 
Spouse on earth, which can and wiV/ elevate the lowest above the highest 
and invest him with a dignity above that of the greatest earthly 





Aiithpr— Lcctiire]>-|I]storian of the Negro Race— Foreign Travel* 
Medical Doctor. 

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, has the honor of giving to 
the world one of the most illustrious and earnest 
men, who did much in his lifetime to distinguish himself as 
viell as to make known the virtues of the race, their origin 
and history, and marked for special mention a few of its 
eminent sons and daughters. Bom of slave parents in 
1816, he was in youth taken to St. Louis, Missouri, and 
was hired to a steamboat captain. After a year or so he 
was put in the printing office of Elijah P. Lovejoy. Going 
off on a steamboat, he escaped North. In 1834 he took 
to boating again, and aided many a slave to Kansas 
while acting as a steward. In 1843 he accepted an agency 
to lecture for the Anti-Slavery Society and continued his la- 
bors in connection with that mission until 1849, when he 
took a trip to England. When it was understood that he 
was going to England, the American Peace Society chose 
him to represent them at the Peace Congress held in Paris. 
The executive committee of the American Anti-Slavery 
Society gave him strong recommendations to distin- 


guished people in Britain. He set sail for England, July 
18, 1849; arriving at Liverpool, proceeded at once to 
Dublin, where he was warmly received and given a public 
welcome. He spent many years in Europe and had con- 
siderable attention paid him. He was an admirable pub- 
lic speaker, and charmed large audiences at the Peace Con- 
gress in Paris and in many gatherings in London. At 
this congress Victor Hugo presided and Richard Cobden, 
Esq., and such distinguished men paid him flattering 
attention. Mr. Brown is known as an author and lee* 
turer. On one occasion he visited his native State to 
speak in both of the National associations for the sup- 
port of temperance, and on the schools among freedmen. 
After holding a meeting at* Louisville he started on a trip to 
speak at Pleasureville and was met by a colored man who 
told him that the meeting was five miles in the country. 
Following the man, they started to walk the distance, hav- 
ing waited a long time for a conveyance that was said to 
be coming for them. After some time they heard horses com- 
ing before and behind them. He was finally captured by a 
number of Ku-Klux and carried to a house where a man, 
presumably one of their party, was afflicted with the cfc- 
lirium tremens. The doctor's wit not forsaking him, he 
said he could cure the man ; that he was a dealer in the 
black art and well acquainted with the devil. Having his 
doctor's case with him, he asked if he might be permitted 
to go into a room byhimself for awhile, which was granted. 
While in there he charged his syringe with a solution of 
acetate of morphia, and put the instrument in his vest 
pocket. Returning to the room he requested the aid of 


tliese men to bold the sick man while he made passes upon 
him, as if mesmerizing him; very quickly injecting the 
solution with his needle syringe into the man's leg, it was 
but a short time before he was quiet. This produced a 
iTvonderful impression upon them and saved his neck. His 
power having already been displayed, the leader of the 
band, who was called "Cap," was also suffering from a 
pain in his thigh. The doctor offered to cure him, if he 
would retire with him to the other room, which was done. 
While in there he injected the solution into **Cap" who 
soon fell asleep. All but one went away, giving him but a 
few hours to live, and leaving one man, who was full of 
whiskey, on guard. This one soon fell asleep and the 
woman of the house knowing that they had set four 
o'clock as the time to hang the doctor, kindly called the 
dog in, which the doctor had been wondering how to dis- 
pose of, and told him to leave, which the doctor was not 
long in doing. He got to town and took the morning 
train to Louisville, and decided never to return to that 
neighborhood again. 

The doctor is an author of many books, among which 
may be mentioned * Sketches of Places and People Abroad,' 
published in 1854 ; a drama entitled a ' Doe Face ; ' the 

* Escape or Leap for Freedom ; ' * The Black Man, ' published 
in 1863, which ran through ten editions in three years, 

* Clotelle,' a romance founded on fact, one of the most thrill- 
ing that was ever written, the * Negro in the Rebellion,' 
published in 1866; *The Rising Sun' in 1874, and numer- 
ous other works. In this last work he has given a sketch 
of the race beginning with the Ethiopians and Egyptians, 


describing the slave-trade of Hayti and the repttblic of 
Liberia; John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry; proclama- 
tion of Freedom; the blacks enlisted in battle; the aboli- 
tionists and representative men of the race. His services 
to the race cannot be estimated. Few men have done as 
much by their writings as he to elevate and instrudl his 
people. His books were very extensively read and brought 
quite a large sum of money, many of them running through 
more than ten editions. 




Solo Violinist — Orchestra Conductor. 

HE was bom in Princeton, New Jersey, December 20, 
1854. His parents, Charies A. and Sarah E. Craig, 
moved to New York City in 1861, where he entered the 
Grammar schbol No. 4, Mrs. S. J. S. Garnet, principal. He 
graduated in 1869. He was always apt and smart 
in school. He was especially bright in mathematics, 
grammar, history, drawing, etc., and was the leading 
singer of the school. He commenced the study of violin 
playing and music in 1868, and made his debut before a 
New York audience as a violinist at a concert in Cooper 
Union in 1870. From that time he rapidly improved, and 
organized the orchestra known as **Craig*s Orchestra'* in 
18"/ 2. He then gradually worked his way to the rank of a 
first-class musician and conductor, and now enjo^^s the 
honoi of being the representative colored violin soloist and 
musical director of the race. His orchestra is quoted as 
being second to none, and his fame as a soloist extends 
throughout the entire United States and also some foreign 
countries. He has performed and conducted in all the 


principal cities, such as Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn^ 
Providence, Newport, New York, Trenton, Scranton, 
Pennsylvania; Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania; Washington, 
D. C; and Baltimore, Maryland; and all through the 
States of Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut and other 
New England States. He has appeared in the most 
prominent concerts in the city of New York, and with all 
the greatest colored talent, such as Madame Selika, Mrs. 
Nelly Brown Mitchell, Adelaide G. Smith and Flora 
Batson ; and with such eminent male voices as Mr. L. L. 
Brown, the famous basso ; Mr. William I. Powell, the cele- 
brated baritone and humorist; Thomas Chestnut, the 
famous tenor. Mr. Craig is also a composer of music, and 
has given great attention to harmony under the best 
teacher in this country, Mr. C. C. Muller, a German. He 
has a large number of compositions, and has arranged 
music in every form, both vocal and instrumental, and is 
concert master of the Mendelssohn School of Music, and is 
the first and only colored conductor who is a member of 
the Musical Mutual Protective Union of New York City, 
of which such men as T. S. Gilmore, Dr. Damrosch, Cappa 
and Theo. Thomas are associate members. His orchestra 
and himself are unrivaled at present in the country. He is 
also a manager of some repute in New York City, and has 
given and managed some of the most noted musical affairs 
ever put upon the stage in the great metropolis. When he 
appeared in Lexington Avenue opera house, October 29, 
1886, the New York Freeman said of this distinguished 
musician : 


Professor William F. Craig, the young prince of Negro violinists, 
monnted the elevated platform and waved his bow over the twenty 
mnsicians, and his enthusiastic admirers let forth a perfect storm of 
applause. The music was of the very best, and judging from the con- 
stant applause the musical appetites of the audience could not be easily 

* When he appeared in Steinway Hall, January 20, 1887, 
the New York Herald said : 

Mr. W. F. Craig, the violinist, is well known to New York audiences 
as a perfect master of his instrument. His performances of the '* Pan- 
taisie of Faust" and **De Bcriot's Seventh Air Varie" were marked by 
, exquisite harmony, firm yet delicate. ^ 

September 20, 1886, the New York World pays a com- 
pliment to Mr. Craig as follows : 

Walter F. Craig, who is from home visiting a sick relative, is the 
musician of the race. He was the first colored man who ioined the 
Musicians* Protective Union of this city. He is a composer and violinist 
and leads an orchestra reputed good. 

He is about twenty-seven years old, and was graduated 
from the Seventeenth Street Grammar school. His 
orchestra furnished the music for the grand dramatic 
festival and full dr^ss ball at the time when Mr. J. A. 
Ameaux appeared in the complete cast as Richard HI, 
October 29, 1886, at Lexington Avenue opera house. 

It can be seen from these testimonials that Mr. Craig has 
a reputation that is not without a true basis. Ranking 
very high in the scale of musical eminence. 




President of the Selma University, Selma, Alabama. 

N 1856, at Charleston, South Carolina, Mrs. Ellen 

Puree, the wife of William Puree, gave birth to Charles 
L. Puree, the subject of this sketch. His mother was a 
slave and his father hired her time in order that she might 
be able to live with him. In youth Mr. Puree had very 
many trials and hardships, consequent upon his parents' 
poverty. At fourteen he learned a trade. In 1875 he was 
converted and immersed by the Rev. Jacob Lagare. In 
1,878 and '79, he attended Benedict Institute, under the 
tuition of Rev. Lewis Colby, D. D., and graduated from 
the Richmond Seminary after four years* study under the 
teaching of Rev. Charles H. Corey, D. D. His class num- 
bered fourteen. Two of that number went to Africa as 
missionaries, the Rev. J. J. Coles and the Rev. J. H. Pres- 
ley. After graduation, in 1883, he held the pastorate of a 
large church of eleven hundred members at Society Hill, 
South Carolina, which he resigned to accept the chair of 
Greek and Latin at the Selma University, at Selma, Ala- 
bama, November, 1886. Since his graduation he has 
studied Hebrew, and taken a supplementary Greek course 


throtigh the Correspondence Bureau. He is a hard stu- 
dent, and has made it the aim of his life to be always 
studying and learning a portion of his time every day. 
His motto is naturally ' * Dies Sine Linea, ' ' The most of his 
education he paid for himself by hard work, both in and out 
of school and often consoled himself with the thought that if 
he could, with the many hardships which he had, he ^ould 
educate himself. Surely many of those young people who 
have more opportunities need not stay away from school 
or fall short of equipping themselves for life's battles. He 
delivered the Baccolaureate sermon at Lincoln Normal 
University, the State Normal, at Marion, Alabama, June, 
1884. It was the best ever delivered there. The ch^- 
man of the board complimented him by saying it was 
"Bullion*^ Grammar," meaning thereby that it was a 
specimen of grammatical and literary excellence. He has 
a wife and one child. He was married in Philadel- 
phia, by the Rev. William C. Dennis, January 7, 1885. 
On the resignation of E. M. Brawley, D. D., he was pro- 
moted to the presidency of the Selma University by the 
unanimous vote of the board, which was endorsed unani- 
mously by the General Convention of the Baptists of the 
State of Alabama. The position which he now holds 
gives assurance of a wide field of extended usefulness both 
for himself and for the university. He is a man of strictly 
temperate habits, very quiet in his demeanor, earnest in 
his purposes and devoted to the causes which ought to be 
of interest to all. He has good influence over the students 
who admire him for the perseverance with which he has 
risen from poverty to a position of influence and useful- 


' ness. His life ought to be a lesson to every student. It 
^ ought to be an inspiration to every poor boy and none 
need despair. Though the road be hard, there is hope for 
all as is proven by the career of Mr Puree. His scholastic 
' habits, sound judgment and diligent application to busi- 
' ness gives assurances of a magnificent future. Let Ala- 
bama take pride in her distinguished president who shall 
preside over the destinies of many of her future sons and 

CHAS. ;., I'UKL'E. 



Distinguished French Negro — Dramatist and Novelist — Voluminotis 

VERY few colored people know Alexander Dumas as 
one of the family, not being thoroughly acquainted 
with the absence of colorphobia in foreign countries. He 
has become so distinguished that his name enters into £he 
ranks of the literati without question as to color, and no 
one asks what his color is, but simply refers to his works. 
The prolific French novelist and dramatist was the son of 
Alexander, who was himself the son of Marquis Davy de 
la Pailleterie and a Negro girl, Louisa Dumas of San 
Domingo. The mother of Dumas was named Marie 
LaBouret, an innkeeper's daughter, who was very fair, 
and it is a fact that some of the most tender and touching 
lines of his memoirs are those which refer to the boyhood 
days when she cared for him. It is truly remarkable what 
part the mothers play in the history of men's lives. It is 
said that the father of Demosthenes was a blacksmith; 
Euripides, a dealer in vegetables; Socrates, a mediocre 
sculptor ; Columbus, a woolcarder ; Shakespeare, a 
butcher; Cromwell, a brewer; and of Linneus, a poor 


country minister ; but the greatness of these men has been 
accorded by those who speak of them, to the gentility of 
their mothers. ; 

The family was very poor, and about 1823 he entered 
Paris, where he was destined to do such marvelous literary 
work as would astonish its citizens. By looking at several 
authorities, there seems to be a difference of opinion as ta 
what is bad among his writings, but it does not materially 
interfere with the facts, and does not, therefore, play much 
part in what I am about to say. At fifteen he was a 
clerk ; at eighteen he began writing ; he wrote much, but 
at first received no praise nor compensation for his work, 
but in 1826, when he was only twenty-four years old, his 
fame as an author began with the 'Novelles.' In 1829 he 
put on the stage an historical play ** Henry III, etsacoi/r/^ 
which met the sharpest shafts of the critics because he dis- 
regarded all the stage proprieties of the times, but gained 
the applause of the populace and brought thousands to 
his purse. The Duke of Orleans led the applause, and so 
pleased and interested was he in this play when put upon 
the stage that he appointed Dumas as his librarian. 

Dumas was now on the topmost wave of success. His 
best known works are * Les Trois, * * The Three Musketeers, * 
in eight volumes, 'Monte Christo,' twelve volumes, and 
*Le Reine MargQt,' six volumes. Much of his literature is 
classed as immoral. It might be considered immoral in 
America, but certainly is not considered so in France, 
and perhaps the times in which he lived had something to 
do with the character of his writings. Whatever may be 
said of him, his name cannot be omitted from the triumphs 



of literature. It is said that his name is attached to over 
t^^'-dve hundred separate works. Says the * American 
Encryclopedia ': 

1846 he made a contract to furnish two newspapers with an 

It nf mail— lipt nqiinl to maty voluuro a jnear, and this exclusive 

plays and other productions. Such fecundity raised the question 

'vvla^'ther he was really the author of the books attached to his name. A 

la'^'w^roit in which he was involved in 1847 with the contractors of the 

I^rrc^seand Constitutionnely brought to light the fact that he had engaged 

to 'fYarnish these jottmals with more volumes than a rapid penman could 

cveaA copy. But though he made liberal use of the talents of assistants, 

^^ crl aimed sufficient share in the j^an and execution of all the work to 

m£i.lce it truly his own^ and the judicial decision finaUy supported his 

ol&iix]. Herein the ge n eros i t y of Dumas is shown, for it was his custom 

^rlieveyer a poor author with no reputation desired his assistance he 

^^^n gave him a plot, drawing all the outlines and scenes, and permitted 

Mtn to work it up, after which Dtmias put his name to it and the poor 

anther reaped the pecuniary benefit. There is another Dumas, the son 

®f the distinguished dramatist, now living in France, who was bom July 

^^* 1824, and who has inherited some of his father's talent. He was 

^^^ed a member of the French Academy in 1875. He is the result of a 

"'On between his father and Ida Ferrier, an actress of Porte Saint 

'Martin in 1842. 

^ketches of all three Dumas will be found in vari- 
ous places, but of the father of this younger Dumas see 
^ * American Encyclopedia,* * Encyclopedia Britannica,' 
^^^xnber's Encyclopedia,' and a sketch of the *Life and 


^''^ntures of Alexander Dumas,' b}^ Perry Fitzgerald, in 


-4^0 MEN OF MARK. 



A Successful Pastor— Trustee of Selma Universitj. 

THIS popular and influential pastor deserves mentio^ 
for the trouble he has had to overcome and m; 

his life successful. Hard, persevering labor and stroi 
faith in the Almighty has wrought miracles for him, 
through him many things. He was bom in North Cax"< 
lina, Granville county, January 20, 1847. His pareni 
William and Matilda Pettiford, were free, and consequeni 
he followed the condition of his parents, and was 
While a boy, he had little opportunity more than 
a few lessons on Saturdays and Sundays ; at ten years oi 
age he could read very well. His parents sold their li"ttl« 
farm and removed to Person county. North Carolina^ 
where he had the benefit of private instruction, by which B, 
fair knowledge of the common branches was obtaiiie€3. 
Being the oldest child, a part of the burdens of the family 
were placed on his shoulders ; but all the time he continaec) 
his studies and would get help here and there froxavsAi" 
viduals. The rigorous duties of the farm were indeed ^ 
heavy task, but, nothing daunted, only served as th^ 


means to rise in the hands of this struggling young man. 

Those days seem now as many of the best; they toughened 

his muscles, gave him confidence and patience. With all 

this he has become an ambitious and hard working min- 

( 'ster. Converted July 4, 1868, and baptized August 3, 

1868, by Ezekiel Horton, in Salisbury, North Carolina, 

that life was begun which made of the rude farmer boy 

^ apostle of Christ and an upright, honest man. Soon 

^"C place of clerk to the Pleasant Grove church of which 

'^^ Was a member was vacant, and he was elected to the 

vacancy by unanimous vote. July 4, 1869; the young 

nian was married to Miss Mary Jane Farley, daughter of 

Joseph Farley. 

Scarcity of business forced him to change his place of 

'^idence from North Carolina to Selma, Alabama, Decem- 

^^^r, 3, 1869, w^here his knowledge of farming and books 

secured him work near Uniontown, not only as a farm 

'^^.nd but as a teacher. Affliction came to him in the loss 

^f the partner of his bosom on March 8, 1870, only about 

eight months of married life having been enjoyed. This 

"^ermined his course in getting further education ; with a 

^^^nder purse but strong arms and a full heart, he entered 

tii^ State Normal school at Marion, Alabama, and re- 

^^ined seven years, teaching in vacations to secure the 

^^^^«ssary means to pay expenses the following year. Once 

^^^ess came on and the term opening, found no money on 

*^^^^d with which to commence; but nothing daunted, a 

J'^Id of work was sought ; a garden was found in which he 

^^C)rked hard two and a half hours before and after school 

^^ ten cents an hour. This enabled him to get through 

-dft^ MBN OF MARK. 

jiuMliql dollars- His fiiist effort was direAed to canceliiig 

id creAmg a building suitable to present needs 
jBii CO fbtnre growth. This was a work of no light un- 

Being cordially received by all classes of citi- 
he was much encouraged in the work. By August, 
ISi^ tlK indebtedness was all paid off, and a building 
mud raised. August 18, the first stone for the new 
^uu i clu re was laid, and on the ninth of November services 
w«re held in it. The collection on that day amounted to a 
large sum. The building is large, being 40x80, and sub- 
$canttally built» and when completed will prove an orna- 
ment to the architeftural beauty of the city. Up to the 
pre:$ent writing there has been seven thousand dollars 
paid upon the property, and on account of the recent rise 
iu property in Birmingham, the building could not be pur- 
cfaaiseil iu its present localitj" for twenty-five thousand 
dollars. The total membership of the church is now four 
hundred and twenty-five. 

His family consists of wife and three children. His wife 
is a lady of education, fiiU of energy and push, and in all 
hi* labors contributes very largely by way of encourage- 
lueut and material help. At present he is president of the 
Miiusterial Association in Birmingham, and also a mem- 
ber of the trustee board of Selma University; president 
^.vt' the Negro American Publishing Company, publishing 
the Acyro Anwrknn Journal of that city. 

Materially he has prospered ; the wonderful growth of 
that city and rapid advancement in the price of real estate 
have benefited him so that his property on Sixteenth 
tircct is valued at eight thousand dollars. Besides this 


Springs, Alabama. November 23, 1880, he was again 
married, to Miss Delia Boyd, a daughter of Richard and 
Caroline Boyd of Selma, Alabama. 

He received a letter of dismission from the First Baptist 
chnrch of Marion, Alabama, and united with the St. 
Philips Street Baptist church, at whose request he was 
ordained to the Gospel ministry, November 21, 1880. 
Rev. W. A. Burch, then pastor, j)reached the ordination 
sermon; Rev. W. H. McAlpine gave the charge. These 
took part also with Revs. H. Stevens and John Dozier in 
the laying on of the hands after a rigid examination, as- 
sisted by Brother H. Woodsmall. He then moved to 
Union Springs, and here his first work was to release a 
church of a large debt and to repair and refit the edifice. 
The membership also was largely increased. At this place 
his first heir, Carry Bell Pettiford, was bom, September 
22, 1882. During this time he continued pursuing the 
study of theology under private tuition and was principal 
of the city school. On the last Sabbath of February, 
3.883, he resigned this charge to accept a call to the Six- 
"^eenth Street church at Birmingham, being urged to ac- 
pt it by many of the leading men of the State, who 
presented to him that he could render the best service to 
^he church in the larger field which this great progressive 
-city afforded. The church at Union Springs refused to 
accept his resignation, and the pulpit was not perma- 
nently filled until the year after. When he took charge in 
Birmingham, there was only a membership of about one 
hundred and fifty, and the church was holding services in a 
down-town store room ; while the debt amounted to five 



he has half interest in another piece of real estate of which 
the total valuation is placed at twenty thousand dollars. 
The reverend gentleman has always so comported himself 
as to gain the recommendation of the State officials and of 
all with whom he associates. Of him Brother. H. Wood- 
small says, in a letter of recormmendation to the American 
Baptist Home Mission Society : 

I take special pleasure in commending Rev. W. R. Pettiford, pastor of 
the Colored Baptist church, Birmingham, as a minister worthy of the 
Christian regard and confidence of all whom it may concern. I have 
i^noiK'n him during the past eight years; he was assistant teacher and a 
^upil in the Alabama Baptist Normal Theological school at Selma 
ibout three years, during the time I had charge of that institution. He 
vas for quite awhile financial agent of the school and collected a large 
Linount of money. He not only made a successful agent but faithfully 
tccounted for all monies collected. He was equally faithful as a mission- 
ary, and I have always found him a man of admirable spirit, as well as 
ftonest and trustworthy. His influence can but be good in any commu- 
nity where he may labor. I regard it as a specially fortunate thing for 
-he Baptist cause that he is pastor of one of the leading churches in' 
Birmingham at this time. 

No man in the United States has better means of know- 
ing the general worth of Southern ministers than the 
brother who writes the above letter. He has lectured to 
more colored ministers in the South in any one year than 
perhaps any other Southern missionary has in any five 
years, and his testimony is acceptable in every district in 
the, South where he has labored. 


he has half interest in another piece of real estate of which 
the total valuation is placed at twenty thousand dollars. 
The reverend gentleman has always so comported himself 
as to gain the recommendation of the State officials and of 
all with whom he associates. Of him Brother. H. Wood- 
small says, in a letter of recormmendation to the American 
Baptist Home Mission Society : 

I take special pleasure in commending Rev. W. R. Pettiford, pastor of 
the Colored Baptist church, Birmingham, as a minister worthy of the 
Christian regard and confidence of all whom it may concern. I have 
known him daring the past eight years ; he was assistant teacher and a 
pupil in the Alabama Baptist Normal Theological school at Selma 
about three years, during the time I had charge of that institution. He 
was for quite awhile financial agent of the school and collected a large 
amount of money. He not only made a successful agent but faithfully 
accounted for all monies collected. He was equally faithful as a mission- 
ary, and I have always found him a man of admirable spirit, as well as 
honest and trustworthy. His influence can but be good in any commu- 
nity where he may labor. I regard it as a specially fortunate thing for 
the Baptist cause that he is pastor of one of the leading churches in" 
Birmingham at this time. 

No man in the United States has better means of know- 
ing the general worth of Southern ministers than the 
brother who writes the above letter. He has lectured to 
more colored ministers in the South in any one year than 
perhaps any other Southern missionary has in any five 
years, and his testimony is acceptable in every district in 
the South where he has labored. 




Congressman — Eloquent Orator — Distinguished Disciple of Blackstone. 

THE most scholarly Negro in any of the United States 
Congresses was the Hon. Robert Brown Elliott. 
His fame has been heralded to all quarters of the globe. 
He was a man of ability and unqt^estionable intelligence. 
His eloquence and logic carried his hearers into transports 
of joy, and swept his enemies before him like chaff before 
the wind. South Carolina sent more Congressmen to 
Washington than any Southern State — Rainey, Ransier, 
Smalls, Cain, DeLarge — but Elliott was easily chief in 
learning, knowledge of law and the arts of debate. 

This distinguished lawyer, orator and member of the 
United States House of Representatives, was bom in 
Boston, Massachusetts, August 11, 1842. His parents 
were West Indians who had settled in this country. While 
a boy, he attended private school in his native city. 
Shortly after this he was sent to the Island of Jamaica, 
where he had superior advantages in the grammar schools. 
Thence he was sent to England, and in 1853 he entered 
High Holbon Academy, London. Three years later he 
was admitted to the celebrated Eton, one of the colleges 


of the University of London, from which he graduated 
wth high rank in 1859. Adopting the law as a profession, 
he began study under Sergeant Fitz Herbert of the London 
bar. He soon returned to the United States and began 
the foundation of that illustrious career which made him 
the centre of attraction. His eminent teachers, travels in 
Ireland, Scotland^South America and the West Indies, had 
broadened his views of life and ripened his understanding. 
Choosing South Carolina as his home, he commenced his 
life work there as a printer on the Charleston Leader, which 
afterwards became the Missionary Record, owned by the 
lamented and eminent Bishop R. H. Cain, D. D. Soon Mr. 
Elliott became editor, and his powers were shown in the 
masterly articles he produced. When Congress began the 
reconstruction of the South, Elliott's eloquence and wis- 
dom was in demand in South Carolina. He was elected 
to the convention from the Edgefield district. For fourteen 
days after the Constitutional Convention had met, he said 
not a word. This was his first public service under the 
election of the people, but when he did speak, it was the 
xnaking of him. After the adoption of the Constitution he 
"was elected from Barnwell county to the Lower House of 
^he State Legislature, serving from July 6, 1868, to Oc- 
-tober 23, 1870. The governor of the State appointed him 
assistant adjutant-general of the State, March 25, 1869, 
which he held until elected a representative fi-om South 
Carolina to the Forty-second Congress of the United 
States as a Republican, receiving 20,564 votes against 
13,997 votes for J. E. Bacon, a Democrat. He served until 
March 4, 1871, when he resigned. During this session he 


made a most excellent impfession on the countrj" ; nailed 
Beck, the member from Kentucky, to the wall, tingled the 
ears of Harris from Virginia, sent the following shaft full 
in the face of Alexander Stephens and drove him from the 
House. Said he : 

I meet him only as an adversary, nor shall age or any other consider- 
ation restrain me from saying that he now offers this government, which 
he has done his utmost to destroy, a very poor return for its magnani- 
mous treatment, to come here to seek to continue, by the assertion of 
doctrines obnoxious to the true principles of our government, the bur- 
dens and oppressions which rests upon five millions of his countrymen, 
who never fail to lift their earnest prayers for the success of this govern- 
ment, when the gentleman was seeking to break up the union of their 
States, and to blot the American Republic from the galaxy of nations. 

I will give a passage taken from a very fine ** Eulogy on 
the Life and Public Services of R. B. Elliott,*' delivered by 
Professor D. A. Straker, LL. D., Columbia, South Caro- 
lina, September 24, 1884. Mr. Straker was formerly a 
law partner of Mr. Elliott, and is competent to speak of 
his life : 

There was none abler to defend the rights of the Negro race against 
the opposition of Georgia's famous son than Robert Brown Elliott. This 
legislative battle for equal rights was an event in the history of the 
United States — nay, of the world — never before witnessed. There stood 
in the halls of Congress the representatives of divergent principles and 
conflicting ideas about human rights. There stood slavery and freedom, 
the advocates of rights for the white man only and the advocate of equal 
rights for all citizens before the law. Face to face stood the Anglo- 
Saxon and the undoubted African. The issue was before them ; the contest 
began. Mr. Stephens was brought in the House in the accustomed 
manner— in his chair. He was even in such a condition looked upon as a 
giant among the Democratic Philistines. He severely arraigned the con- 
stitutionality of the Civil Rights bill and its policy, as did Mr. Beck of 


KentQckj and Mr. Harris of Virginia, who indulged in great bitter- 
ness of speech.. At the* dose of Mr. Stephens* speech in the House of Rep- 
resentatives, now filled in every possible manner with United States 
Senators, who had suspended their labors to witness this sight, foreign 
ministers, judges, lawyers, clergymen, s'-ientists, authors and the laity 
innumerable, all were there to witness the political miracle, and if God 
was God to worship Him, and if Baal was God to worship him. , Eager 
eyes were fixed, doubting hearts pulsated with accelerated motion, when 
at last Mr. Elliott arose and in reply to Mr. Stephens, said: "Mr. 
Speaker: Whik I am. sincerely grateful for the high mark of courtesy that 
has been accorded me by this House, it is a matter of regret to mc that 
it is necessary at this day that I should rise in the presence of an AmeH' 
can Congress to advocate a bill which simply asserts rights and equal 
privileges for all classes of American citizens. I regret, sir, that the dark 
hue of my skin may lend a color to the imputation that I am controlled 
by motives personal to myself in my advocacy of this great measure of 
natural justice. Sir, the motive that impels me is restricted by no such 
narrow boundary, but is as broad as your Constitution. I advocate it, 
«ir, because it is right. The bill, however, not only appeals to your 
justice but it demands a response to 3'our gratitude. In the events that 
led to the achievement of American independence, the Negro was not an 
inactive or unconcerned spectator. He bore his part bravely upon many 
battlefields, although uncheered by that certain hope of political elevation 
^which victory would secure to the white man. The tall granite shaft, which 
a gratified State has reared above its sons who fell in defending FortGris- 
wold against the attack of Benedict Arnold, Ijears the name of John 
Freeman and others of the African race who then cemented with their 
blood the comer-stone of your Republic. In the State which I have had 
the honor in part to represent, the rifle of the black man rang out against 
the troops of the British crown in the darkest d.iys of the American 
Revolution." In these words every man saw the greatness, the ability, 
and the patriotism of the speaker. Mr. Elliott then continued his 
speech, addressing himself to the legal, constitutional, political and 
social features of the Civil Rights bill, in which he completely annihilated 
the Georgia statesman. He then paid his attention to Mr. Beck of Keri- 
tuckj', who had during the debate endeavored to cast odium upon the 
Negro, and to vaunt the chivalry of his own State, little thinking that 


there was in a Negro's brain or intelligence a foeman in retort worthj of 
his steel. Mr. Elliott reminded the Kentucky statesman that in the 
second war of American independence General Jackson reported of the 
white Kentucky soldiers that " at the very moment when the entire dis- 
comfiture of the enemy was looked for, with a confidence amounting to 
certainty, the Kentucky reinforcements, in whom so much reliance had 
been placed, ingloriously Bed." And, with the culture of a well-skilled 
debater, Mr. Elliott then turned to Mr. Beck and said : '* In quoting this 
indisputable piece of history, I do so only by way of admonition, and not 
to question the well-attested gallantry of the true Kentuckian, and to 
suggest to the gentleman that he should not flaunt his heraldry so 
proudly while he bears this barsinister on the military escutcheon of his 
State— a State which answered the call of the Republic in 1881, when 
treason thundered at the very gates of the Capital, by coldly declaring 
her neutrality in the impending struggle. The Negro, true to that 
patriotism that has ever characterized and marked his history, came to 
the aid of the government in its eflFort to maintain the Constitution. 
To that government he now appeals, that Constitution he now in- 
vokes for protection against unjust prejudices founded upon caste." 

He was re-elected to the Forty-third Congress as a Re — 
publican, receiving 21,627 votes against 1094 votes for^ 
W. H. McCan, Democrat, serving from December 1, 1873, 
to May, 1874, when he resigned to accept the very lucra- 
tive position of sheriff. In the second Congress of which 
he was a member, he delivered, April, 1871, his famous 
and long to be remembered speech on the ** Bill to Enforce 
the Provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Con- 
stitution," or better known as the *'Ku Klux Bill." May 
30, 1872, he again wrestled with the giants, and smote 
them **hip and thigh.'* Voorhees and Beck felt the sting of 
his words when he hurled the most fitting rebuke at them 
after thev had made strictures on the financial. condition 
of the State government of South Carolina. He returned 


home and was elected to the Legislature again. General 
Elliott made some mistakes in life in being easily deceived 
by men who used his talents to prop their tottering for- 
tunes. Mr. Straker said : 

nt although himaelf unstained by anychaige or charges by any conrt, 
he did not forget his political associates less fortunate, and whenever 
one was found in the coils of Democratic accusation, he freely gave what 
assistance he could to his release, both as a lawyer and a former political 
friend. In this service he did not stop to ask whether the Republican in 
trouNe was his friend or not. Frequently it happened that he was his 
bitterest political foe and detractor of his just merits ; yet he stood by 
him in his hour of trial, and gave him what advice he could. He was 
counsel in several cases in which these political trials occurred, and yet 
a few base detractors would rob him of his good name. And why, sir ? 
Because " base envy withers at another*s joy, And hates that excellence 
it cannot reach.*' When the din and roar of Democratic political perse- 
cution had ended, and the fire of their revenge had been quenched, Gen- 
eral Elliott's public life still remained untouched by legal accusation. 
Mr. Elliott then ceased political life and continued the practice of his 
profession, contenting himself with the pleasant reeollection of having 
done his public duty faithfully and impartially. 

In 1881 General Elliott was appointed by Hon. John 
Sherman, secretary United States treasury, special agent of 
the treasury, with headquarters at Charleston, South Caro- 
lina. As a delegate to the National Republican conven- 
tion at Chicago, June, 1879, he seconded the nomination 
of John Sherman for President of the United States. When, 
therefore, Garfield fell by the hand of the assassin, a 
change of administration threw him out of office, though 
he had been first transferred to New Orleans, Louisiana. 
He re-entered his profession there, having a branch officf 
in Pensacola, Florida, conducted by Messrs. DeTucker 8c 

' 472 MEN OF MARK. 

^Thompson. He was a very brilliant Mason, and did much 
'to re-establish its societies in South Carolina. He laid 
down his life in the city of New Orleans, August 9, 1884, 
11 p. M., and was buried with ancient rights and cere- 
monies, on Sunday, August 10, 1884. The Plaindealer^ 
Robert Pelham editor, said of him : 

I With Robert B. Elliott has passed away one of the brightest t3rpes of 
American manhood and Negro capability. He was a model of the possi- 
bilities of a race ; pushing against the tide of opposition, he reached an 
eminence in scholarship and oratory which is enjoyed by a few only. H' 
was qualified to meet the demands of the times and grasp them. This 
he always did. In the halls of Congress he held the representatives 
spell-bound by his eloquence. In his social life he was affable and court- 
eous. He was a bom leader, made so by indomitable will and untiring 
energy. In his passing away, he leaves an influence that will inspire 
many to persevere, and his teaching will continue to develop nobler and 
truer conceptions of an exalted manhood, such as would be worthy to 
occupy the position before the American people that he has filled so 

Eloquent men pay tribute to eloquent men, and hence 
**The Old Man Eloquent*' pays the following tribute to 
General Elliott, in the New York Globe: 

Living as I have done, in an atmosphere of doubt and disparagement 
of the abilities and possibilities of the colored race, early taught that 
ignorance and mental weakness were stamped by God upon the mem- 
bers of that race, Robert Brown Elliott was to me a most grateful sur- 
■prise, and in fact a marvel. Upon sight and hearing of this man, I was 
chained to the spot with admiration and a feeling akin to wonder. 
• There was no doubt as to complexion, form or feature. To all otit- 
ward seeming, he might have been an ordinary Negro, one who might 
have delved as I have done, with spade and pickaxe. Yet from under his 
dark brow there blazed an intellect worthy of a place in the highest 
iegislative hall of the Nation. I have known but one other black man to 


be compared with Elliott, and that was Samuel R. Ward, who, like 
£lliott, died in the midst of his years. The thought of both men makes 
me sad. We are not over rich with such men, and we may well mourn 
'when one such has fallen. I, with thousands who knew the ability of 
young Elliott, was hoping and waiting to see him emerge from his late 
comparative obscurity and take his place again in the halls of Congress. 
But alas ! he is gone, and we can only hope that the same power that 
^ave us one Elliott will give us anc>thcr in the near future. 

Frederick Douglass. 




Principal of Lincoln Institute — Oratorial Prize Winner at Brown UniTcr- 
sity, Providence, Rhode Island. 

PROFESSOR PAGE was bom under the yoke of slavery 
in the town of Warrenton, Fauquar county, Virgi- 
nia, December 29, 1853. His parents were named Horace 
and Elizabeth Page. In early childhood he exhibited 
strong moral affections which have grown as he has 
advanced in years ; although often placed under the con- 
trol of persons who were in the habit of drinking intoxi- 
cating liquors, yet his invariable practice was to refuse 
when such liquors were offered him. This habit of total 
abstinence he has carried from childhood into manhood, 
and he has become a man of soberness as well as sobriety. 
Horace Page moved his family to Washington, District of 
Columbia, in 1862. The opportunity here presented itself 
to Inman, and he was sent to the private school of Mr. 
George F. T. Cook, which he attended a little over three 
years, and where he made a good record. He was hired 
out for several years, and in this way helped to support 
the family. During this time he attended night school 
taught by the late Professor George B. Vashon, from 


whom he obtained an elementary knowledge of the Latin 
language, ^ocm after tl^ opening of Howard University, 
young Page resolved* to enter it as a student. His father 
being unable to pay for him, he went to the university and 
applied for work which he obtained immediately. At that 
time the university grounds had not been graded and the 
authorities were willing to employ industrious students, 
to do the work. Although quite young and unaccus- 
tomed to this kind of labor, Inman, nothing daunted, full 
of ambition, went to work as an ordinary laborer at the 
rate of fifteen cents per hour. He continued to work in this- 
way until the beginning of the summer vacation, when he, 
with a few other students, decided to continue this work 
during the entire vacation. His zeal for study soon gave 
him a promotion to a janitorship, which he held until he 
was placed in charge of the university building. When 
General 0. 0. Howard was closing the affairs of the Freed- 
men's Bureau, Page was employed as one of his clerks. 
In this way he was enabled to attend the university' until 
1873. In the fall of 1873 he entered Brown University, at 
Providence, Rhode Island, he and his friend George 
W. Milford being the first colored students to enter that 
institution. Although he met with considerable prejudice, 
both fi-om students and professors, he continued to strug- 
gle and at the close of the sophomore year succeeded in 
winning a prize in an oratorical contest, which established 
his claim for recognition ; and to emphasize their endorse- 
ment, his classmates selected him to write a history of the 
class in the junior year. Towards the close of that year 
he was selected by the faculty to deliver an oration at the 


junior exhibition, which was pronounced by the Provi- 
dence Journal, a leading newspaper in Providence, Rhode 
Island, **the ablest oration of the day." The impression 
made upon his white classmates by his scholarship, his 
orations and the "History *' of the junior year, made him 
a prominent candidate for the position of class orator at 
the close of the senior year. Although a memberof a class 
of over fifty white students which contained many brilliant 
young men of the best New England families, yet Inman 
E. Page, the Negro, was unanimously chosen to fill the 
position for which the ablest students were accustomed 
to struggle every year. This was a triumph indeed. He 
delivered an oration which attracted general attention, 
not only because of the ability evinced, but also because 
he was the first young man of color who had been seledled 
by white young men to wear such an honor. The subjedl 
of the oration was the ** Intellectual Prospects of Amer- 
ica.'* While he was delivering hi^ oration, Professor D. 
W. Phillips, now of the Roger Williams' University, Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, was sitting in the audience. Soon after 
the exercises were over he stepped up to him and offered 
him a position in the Natchez Seminary, Natchez, Missis- 
sippi. Mr. Page graduated with the degree of A. B. in the 
fall of 1877 and entered upon the duties of his position in 
the Natchez Seminary, where he gave satisfaction to the 
American Baptist Home Missionary Society, which em- 
ployed him, and the colored people of Mississippi, who 
were interested in the institution. At the close of his 
year's work he went to Providence, Rhode Island, where 
he married Miss Zelia R. Ball, a young lady of fine prom- 



ise, who had graduated in 1875 from the Wilberforce Uni- 
versity of Xenia, Ohio. 

In 1878 he was employed as a teacher in the Lincoln Insti- 
tnte, Jeflferson City, Missouri. For two years he was the 
only regular colored teacher in the institute, but at the 
close of his second session the board of trustees 
place the school in the hands of colored teachers, with 
Mc. Page at its head. To those who thought the change 
an experiment, there was no confirmation of their opinions, 
nor were they made ashamed. Mr. Page succeeded in 
raising the enrollment from ninety-seven to one hundred 
and fifty-three the first year, and reduced the expenses to 
students by introducing the "club system." He secured 
appropriations from the Legislature with which to build 
a dormitory for young men, costing seven thousand eight 
hundred dollars, and one for young ladies costing nine 
thousand dollars, and other appropriations aggregating 
about three thousand dollars. He also secured bi-ennial 
appropriations by his solicitations and addresses before 
the Legislature from ten thousand to sixteen thousand 

In 1880 he received the degree of A. M. from his alma 
mater. Brown University. In 1883 Mr. Page was made 
president of a convention called to meet in Jefferson City 
for the purpose of organizing , a State teachers* association 
in Missouri, and was afterwards elected president of the 
association for three successive terms. 

A Springfield paper, published by white men, speaking 
of Mr. Page, says: 


He 18 now only thirty-two years of age and ranks with the most 
scholarly and cultivated men in Missouri, white or colored. Liiicoln 
Institute was never so prosperous as during his presidency. His ad- 
dresses abound in 'happy hits and salutary advice to his race. Lai^ 
audiences are not only edified but captivated by his scholarly eloquence 
and simplicity'- of speech. He carried in himself one of the finest illtistra- 
tions of what a thorough education can do for a colored man. 

On the fifth of January last he was elected president of a 
conference of leading citizens in Jefferson City for the pur- 
pose of memorializing the Legislature for an industrial 
«chool, and for more advanced educational facilities for the 
colored youth of the State. In the summer of 1885 he 
was invited to read a paper before the white, teachers of 
Missouri on the educational needs of the Negro in Missouri, 
which made such a marked impression that he was unani- 
mously elected an honorary member of their convention, 
receiving a vote of thanks and a pledge that the association 
would use its influence to promote the interest of Lincoln 
Institute. At the recent teachers' association held in St. 
Louis, P. H. Murry, of the St, Louis Advance^ paid him 
the following compliment : 

He succeeded in proving at this convention his eminent fitness, both in 
culture and moral force, to preside over the educational interest of col- 
ored youth of Missouri. Races do not produce great men in very rapicl 
succession. There may be many brilliant men, but with defects so ap- 
parent that their brilliancy is overcast with a cloud, and men who arc 
possessed with native ability, can bring their culture, their moral char- 
acter and habits of industry bravely to the front, side by side, and evenly 
developed, have the elements of success and usefulness, which brilliancy 
•alone cannot secure. What the Negroes need among the educators of the 
State is a man of deep convictions, high sense of duty, unswerving wll 
force and eminent culture ; a man whose presence commands respect, and 
such a man we verily believe is Professor Page. 


I have known Professor Page for many years, and can 
bear personal testimony to his greatness of heart, to the 
.generosity of his feelings, and his deep sense of responsi- 
bility to God. While a student in Howard University he 
was converted and united with the Baptist church, with 
which he has ever held pleasant relations ; his manly bear- 
ing, dignified demeanor, and cultured mind bear rich 
fruits, and his personal enthusiasm impresses those under 
his care to such an extent that they cannot fail to become 
useful citizens and prominent individuals. This, however, 
can only be attained personally by those who have the 
privilege as well as the honor to sit at his feet and have at 
least a g^at blessing, and are considerably helped toward 
the attainment of those things which befit them for useful 
lives. But the best of men have their enemies, and Profes- 
sor Page has had his trials like all men. The following, 
taken from the Jefferson City Daily Tribune ^ is as fine an 
indorsement as any man would need. It is an honorable 
document and deserves a place here, and it speaks more 
eloquently than anything I might say : 

The following testimonial of the regard and high esteem in which the 
citizens of this place hold Professor 1. E. Page, both as a private citizen 
and the head of Lincoln Institute, should serve as an ample refutation 
of all the false reports trumped up by mischievous and meddlesome people 
to injure his standing and that of the school among the colored people 
of the State : 

" Inasmuch as certain false and injurious reports have been published 
concerning the management of Lincoln Institute, and derogatory to the 
high standing of Professor Page and wife, we, the undersigned, feel that 
«ome testimonial is due the public in this regard, and cheerfully subscribe 
to the following facts : 

" Professor Page and his wife have resided in this city eight years, and 


for six years theinstittite has been under their management. Doring this 
time the work of the school has been improving from year to year and 
has been at all times better than under any former management. 

"Professor Page has labored earnestly and with marked success for 
the upbuilding of Lincoln Institute. He has extended the couseof study, 
increased the attendance and secured from the State large sums of money 
for the support of the school. He is an educator of ability and high in- 
tellectual attainments, a gentleman of refined manners and a sincere and 
earnest Christian, possessing at once the respect and good.will of the 
best citizens of this city. We see no cause for complaint either against 
Professor Page or his wife. Their influence has alwajrs been exerted 
for the best interests of Lincoln Institute and the elevation of the col- 
ored race. 


"Arnold Kijekel, president board of regents; L. C. Krauthoff, vice- 
president board of regents; R. E. Young, M. D., board of regents; Oscar 
G. Burch, board of regents; Jesse W. Henry, board of regents; W. E. 
Coleman, State superintendent public schools; W. T. Carrington, editor 
Missouri School Journal; Fred Rommel, J. S. Fleming, banker: A. 
Brandenljerger, pharmaceutist; H. B. Church, merchant; J. A. Thomas» 
George W. Dupee, G. Branham, Howard Barnes, A. McCreary, T. C. 
Capleton, August Kroeger, deputy county clerk; W. H. Lusk, clerk 
Circuit Court, Cole county; Nelson C. Burch, attorney at law; John T. 
Craven, merchant; Jacob J. Peets, Hiram King, Wm. G. McCart^', post- 
master; F. J. Fromme, Wm. W. Wagner, sheriff of Cole county; W. Q. 
Dallmeyer, Louis Wolferman, merchant; James Hines, Harry Collins. J. 
M. Tompkins, C. A. Dixon, John A. Lindhardt, merchant; Archie Drake, 
John Gordon, C. C. Branham, Henry Bolton, Harrison Ramsey, sr.^ 
board of trustees, A. M. E. church; W. H. Jackson, barber; Phil. T. 
Miller, jr., D. D. S.; Warwick Winston, D. D. S.; Jas. E. McHenry, D. H. 
Mclntyre, ex-attomey-general ; Robert McCulloch, register of lands; 
Prosser Ray, Nathan C. Kouns, O. W. Gauss, pastor Presbyterian 
church; Hugo Monnig, Rudolph Dallmeyer, C. B. Oldham, J. H. 
Edwards, A. C. Shoup, R. E. Oldham, superintendent public school: 
Thos. M. Cobb, pastor M. E. church; J. M. Hays, J. L. Moore. 
J. W. Carter, C. W. Thomas, W. W. Hutchinson, S. W. Cox, H. 
Nitchy, S. P. Lewis, pastor Baptist church ; John Delahay, John H. 
Dirck, J. A. Thomas, G. A. Fisher, J. T. Thorpe, physician; P. T. Ellis, 
L. C. Lohman, Jack Scott, H. M. Ramsey, jr., D. W. Anthony.. 



ii ' 


* W-' 


I • 

B. K. IX>VB. r 48 V 






From the Ditch to the Pastorate of Five Thousand Christians— Editor 


of The Cmtennial Record of Georgia— Associate Editor^Honored 
of God. 

HE was reared a slave and had no educational advan- 
tages before the Emancipation ; he worked on the 
farm until 1870. He was bom July 27, 1850, in Perry 
county, near Marion, Alabama. Being very anxious for 
an education he quit the farm at the time mentioned, and 
in 1870 entered Lincoln University, Marion, Alabama. 
After studying one term he reached the highest class ex- 
cept one in the school. He found he had learned many 
things imperfectly. He left this school and returned to 


the farm in 1872. and from that to ditching, accumulating 
by this means enough money to leave home again ; there- 
fore, November 17, 1872, he went to Augusta, Georgia, 
where he entered the Augusta Institute, under the late 
Rev. Joseph T. Robert, D. D., LL. D. Previous to this he 
was licensed to preach, and December 12, 1875, at Au- 
gusta, Georgia, he was ordained. He was baptized into 
the fellowship of the Siloam Baptist church by the Rev. W. 
H. Mcintosh, for whom he had a great attachment. In 


the Augusta Institute he gained the front rank in his 
classes ; he entered the lowest, but soon reached the head 
of the first class which he led until he finished school in 
1877. Under the auspices of the Home Mission Board of 
New York and the Georgia Mission Society;. he was ap- 
pointed missionary for the State of Georgia ; this position 
he filled to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. July 1, 
1879, he resigned and took charge of the First Baptist 
church of Thomasville, Georgia. The house of worship 
was repaired during his stay there, and four hundred and 
fifty |)ersons baptized. October 1, 1881, he left this 
church and accepted the missionary position of the State 
of Georgia, under the auspices of the American Baptist 
Publication Society. This position he held for some time 
and gave entire satisfaction. October 1, 1885, he resigned 
and accepted the pastorate of the First Aftncan Baptist 
church at Savannah, Georgia. Since he has held that 
•church he has baptized eight hundred and ninety-three 
persons. This church numbers five thousand members. 
He has held many positions of trust and honor among the 
brethren of his State, has been an assistant teacher at one 
time under Dr. Robert, and has taught three public 
schools. He has been appointed editor of the Centennial 
Record of the Negro Baptists of Georgia, which will be 
read at their first centennial meeting in 1888. He is also 
associate editor of the Georgia Sentinel, a Baptist paper 
printed at Augusta, Georgia. He is considered an elo- 
quent speaker and deep thinker ; has strong affections and 
IS certainly persistent in pressing his views. He has the 
honor of holding perhaps the largest church in the United 


E. K. LOVE. 483 

States, and perhaps in the world. To be able to do this 
great work isevidence conclusive of his possessing eminent 
poinrer over men. His position is one that makes him as 
especially favored of God who has called him to this ex* 
alted station. 




Professional Tragedian, "Black Booth"— Editor—Poet— Graduate of thr 
French Institutions of Learning. 

THE father of J. A. Ameaux was Jean Ameaux, a Par- 
isian by birth. His mother was named Louisa Belle 
before her marriage, and was of French descent. Young 
Arneaux was bom in the State of Georgia in 1855, and is 
therefore only thirty-two years of age ; he is still a young 
man and is destined to rise to a wonderful eminence in his 
profession. He is following fast in the footsteps of the late 
lamented Ira Aldridge, the great impersonator and remark- 
able actor. He is of medium height, fair and handsome. 
He often in a joke sa^-s he was bom handsome, traded it 
off for a fortune, and is now bankrupt of both. This is bv 
no means true. His manner is winning and his conversa-^ 
tion learned, filled with wit and humor. He is an enthu-^ 
siast in his profession, and as he has the material which 
will develop greatness in any department of life, it would 
be strange if he did not accomplish very much should life 
be S])ared to him. His accent is slightly tinctured with sl 
flavor of French, and one would imagine himself in the 
presence of a Frenchman who spoke English tolerably welL 

J. A. ARNEAUX. 485 

His movements are graceful and have the polish of a Par- 
isian. No ^oubt he takes these qualities fro^i his father 
and inherits them from his mother's blood. He attracts 
by his jovial good fellowship, but nevertheless is weighty in 
argument and as skilful with the pen as with the sword in 
his masterpiece (Richard HI). Losing his mother early in 
life, when only twelve years of age, he lost the tender care 
of her faithful hand and the tenderness of her love. 

In 1865 he attended the first public school in his native 
city where he only learned his a, b, c's ; next attended a 
small private school where he learned the fundamental 
branches. Then entering Beech Institute, he graduated 
after close application for four years. Then it occurred to 
him to go North and seek a better education. His parents 
had owned some property, but it had not yielded very 
much, so he was forced to work and pay his own expenses. 
In New York he was a student in German, Latin and other 
kindred studies. Being ambitious, he next went to Prov- 
idence, Rhode Island, where he entered Berlitz School of 
Languages and mastered French. 

While a school boy in the lower grades he had a reputa- 
tion for special excellence in the English studies, and was a 
good speller, easily mastering hard words which troubled 
others. His success was phenomenal at the Berlitz school, 
for he secured the head of the class with ease, after only a 
short time. He then visited Paris, and took two courses, 
one in the Academic Royal Des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres 
et Morals et Politique. On his way to New York return- 
ing home, he stopped at London and saw many of the 
: sights and scenes worthy of visitation. After much study 


be appeared as a song and dance artist, and fflfecT eir- 
gagements at the celebrated Tony Pastor's Metropolitan 
theater on Broadway, New York, as well as at the old Globe 

Mr. Ameaox's first appearance in legitimate drama was 
in 1876, at the Third AFeirae theater, where he appeared 
as Tom Walcbtt, a Southern planter, in a dramaaf Soatheni 
life called * * Under the Yoke, or Bond and Free. * * Although 
he had read Shakespeare, it was not until the spring of 
1884 he took to study for the stage. He began after being 
repeatedly urged by a theatrical manager, with the char- 
acter of lago, in which he made his debut at the Brooklyn 
Atheneum, June 17, 1884. The New York Daily News, 
commenting on his acting, said : 

Mr. J. A. Ameaux, as lago, surprised even his most ardent admirers 
with this difficult character to portray. He did what was his to do in a 
manner which proves beyond question that he possesses a keen preception. 
of the cunning and craft necessary to a faithful copy of the accomplished 
villain. The whole play was lago, and Mr. Ameaux's interpretation the 
best and truest in the entire cast. 

Thus encouraged he formed the first Shakespearian 
troupe of colored tragedians, now known to fame as the 
Astor Place Tragedy company. Under Mr. Ameaux's man- 
agement this company appeared at several of the leading 
theaters in the city, including the Academy of Music. But 
it was not until 1885 that Mr. Ameaux's ambition was 
triumphantly crowned, when he appeared for the first time 
to advantage in Shakspeare's tragedy of Richard III. His • 
debut in Richard III was in a contest for a gold medal' 
given to amateurs for excellence by the New York Enter— 

J. A. ARNBAUX. 487 

prise. At this contest the prize was awarded to him by 
the New York Snn^ the newspaper men being judges upon 
the occasion. His next appearance in Richard III was in 
Providence, Rhode Island. Shortly after returning to New 
York he was tendered a testimonial reception and a banquet 
by the leading men and women of his race. In this testi- 
monial he played Richard III and was crowned by a com- 
mittee of ladies with a wreath of laurels, and an address 
was made in his behalf by an eminent professor. 

On the twenty-ninth of last October, Mr. Ameaux ap- 
peared in the Lexington Avenue opera house, and the fol- 
lowing criticisms were made by prominent journalists. The 
Baltimore, Maryland, Director^ says : 

We have seen him in the difficult role of the Duke of Glostcr, we have 
also seen Macreadj, Booth and Barrett in the same character, and we are 
free to say that Mr. Ameaux 's conception of the character, his superb 
management of the part he assumed, were perfect. 

The New York Clipper has said : 

Mr. Ameaux is the rising star of the race. 

The New York Sun said : 

Mr. Ameaux scored success as Richard the Third and carried off the 

"Mr. Ameaux," said the New York Daily News, "merits 
the title of ' Black Booth.* *' January 29, 1887, he played 
to a most refined and elegant assembly of people in the 
Academy of Music, in Philadelphia. The North American 
gave the following criticism : 

In his conception of the title role, Mr. J. A. Ameaux followed In 
most respects that of the best of living exemplars of the part, Mr. Edwin 


\ Booth, and \ie could not have taken a-better model; but Mr. Ameaux is 
evidently ndt satisfied with being a mere imitator, for there were certain 
features botji in his reading and in His manner that showed originality. 


His walk, for instance, was something peculiarly his own, and if it ap- 
parently lacked the silent dragging of the foot of the generally translated 
. morose and cruel Gloster, its rather flippant step was in accordance with 
his well-sustained theory that Richard was a villain whose humors rap- 
idly changed;from wicked to jocose. It was in this spirit of merriment 
that Mr. Ameaux made Richard take the audience in his confidence bv a 
lightness of phrasing after each of his gravest deeds that showed the 
insincerity of Richard's good professions. 

The idea- is a novel one and most effective.. The eveuness of Mr. 
Amcaux's performance, and his accurate recital of the lines, deserve great 
praise and shpwed earnest and careful study. 

A correspondent of the Philadelphia Gazette and special 
correspondent in Philadelphia for the Cleveland Gazette 

The most effective and artistic scene given by Mr. Arneaux was the 
lovemaking with Lady Anne. In so passionate and natural a manner 
did he portray Gloster's well-concealed subtilty in his declaration^ to 
Lady Anne, and his supreme vanity upon his success in winning her. 
with such skill and pleasing inflection, that his ability as an actor was 
beyond question. But it was not until Richard was aroused from his 
dream bv the terrifying visitations of the ghost of the murdered King 
Henr3', that the audience were made fully aware of the wonderful talents 
of this briUiant young actor. It is useless to go into detail of this scene; 
suffice to say that his rendition of it stamped him a man of great 
I promise. 

Mr. Ameaux has been employed at different times as a 
writer on the staff of the New York World, and is at this 
time engaged in writing sketches of the leading editors and 
educators for the Sunday edition of The New York Sun 
and the New York World, In 1884 he was emplo\'ed upon 


T I 



I ■ 

. I 


■ I 

. j 




! I 


J. A. ARNEAUX. 489 

the last named journal, and resigned to take the associate 
editorship of the Literary Enterprise, He soon became the 
editor and changed the name to the New York Enterprise ^ 
ijvhen he became sole proprietor. His office was burned 
out December 14, 1886, since which time the paper has been 
suspended ; but while it was alive it was one of the best 
^nd most ably conducted journals in the country. In this 
paper he advocated the total abolition of the word color, 
and the substitution thereof of the word Africo-Ameri- 
can, and has induced many to adopt this word in their edi- 
torial work. He also advocated industrial schools, which 
can be seen in a pamphlet read at the Sailors' and Soldiers' 
Reunion, recently held at Dajrton, Ohio. He also advo- 
•cated an African Historical Society for the purpose of 
preserving the writings and deeds of the colored authors 
and prominent persons in the race. He has written sev- 
eral poems, one as a tribute to Wendell Phillips ; also an 
epic poem upon General Grant at Appomatox. This poem 
was the subject of a prize which was offered in a contest 
among several young colored aspirants, and at the same 
time secured much praise and comment for its rhetorical 
composition as well as the subject matter. He has issued 
a pamphlet of ** Richard IH/' adapted for amateurs and 
the drawing room. He entered and graduated from the 
New York Grand Conservatory of Music and Elocution, 
where he gave diligent and ardent study for the purpose 
of completing his preparations for the stage. The future 
of Mr. Ameaux is in his own hands, and if he continues to 
succeed, will \'et immortalize himself and bring credit and 
honor to the race. 



We attach here a correspondence which will explain 
itself and show his immediate purpose : 


J. A. Arneaux, EsQ.-^Bsteetned Sir: Being apDrised of your intenrioir 
of retiring from the stage for a period of two jrears for the purpose of 
studying— thus equipping yourself thoroughly for yonr noble callings 
we, the undersigned members of the Board of Governors of the Man* 
hattun League, beg to evince our appreciation for what you hare 
a1read\' accomplished and applaud your resolution by tendering you a 
farewell testimonial and banquet and reception at any hall you may 
designate and any time that will suit your convenietiGe. And beg to 
further request that you afford us the pleasure of witnessing upon the 
same evening a performance of a part or the whole of your favorite- 
Shakespearean play. Hoping you may win your way to the realm of im> 
mortal fame, we remain yours admiringly, Rufus Hurburt, chairman ; 
Charles Brodie, secretary ; C. R. Dorsey, J. B. Gamer, W. Landrick^ 
Frederick Banket. 

New York, April 5. 

To the Members of the Board of Governors of Manhattan League— 

Rufus Hurburt, Chairman : 

Dear Friends: — It affords me the greatest pleasure of my life to accept 
the token of high esteem you so generously offer me, and hope ere my 
race of life is ended to fully merit the bounteous honors you have be- 
stowed upon me. I shall be pleased to have the testimonial take place at 
Clarendon Hall on the evening of April 29, and, if it pleases your will^ 
with the assistance of Messrs. Thomas T. Symmons, George Smith, J. 
W. Harris and Misses Henrietta Vinton Davis and Beriie T. Toney, who 
have generously made a similar offer, render several of the most import- 
ant scenes, including the last act of Shakespeare's tragedy of Macbeth. 
Yours, with exalted fraternal regard, 


New York, April 6. 




First Bishop of the A. M. E. Church— Founder of that Faith— An Emi- 
nent Preacher— A Devout Man. 

THE life and works of Richard Allen should now be 
read with much interest on account of the follow- 
ing notice that defines a very important epoch in the A. 
M. E. church: 

Episcopal Rooms, African M. E. Church, 
No. 1424 R. I. Avenue, 
Washington, District of Columbia, February 4, 1887. 

To THE Bishops, Ministers And Members of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Church : 

My Dear Brethren: — ** Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest'* the 
aubjoct-matter of circular — ^the *' Centennial of African Methodism.'* Its 
contents are more than a mere passing interest. ** Remember the days 
of old ; consider the years of man}' generations : Ask your father, and he 
M-ill show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. Remember all the 
vray wliich the Lord thy God led thee one hundred years in the wilder- 

Next November will be one hundred years since Richard Allen and his 
compeers left St. George's M. E. church, in the city of Philadelphia, 
(1787) and the bishops of the serai-annual meeting adopted the follow- 
ing preamble and resolutions : 

Whereas: November next, 1887, will be one hundred years since 
Richard APen, Absalom Jones and others left the St. George's Mctho- 


dist Episcopal church in Philadelphia, because *' the colored people belong- 
ing to the Methodist Society of Philadelphia convened together in order 
to take into consideration the evils under which they labored, arising 
from unkind treatment of their white brethren, who considered them a 
nuisance in the house of worship, and even pulled them off their knees, 
while in the act of prayer, and ordered them to the back seats." (See 
preface to the " A. M. E. Church Discipline.**) And, 

Whereas: This is the most decisive act of the religious colored 
people in the United States, and we know of none like it of the descend- 
ants of Africa in the world; if we except the resolve of the Haitians 
under Toussaint, Christophe Petiou and Boyer. These men were to 
Hayti and San Domingo, in a civil and politicial sense, what Allen, 
Jones, Tapsico and others were to the colored Christians of America; 
their act was manhood, freedom, and manhood Christianity. Wc most 
fully recognize their action a success — a republic we have — ^all therefore 
recognize their manhood because their acts prove it. To resist oppres- 
sion in Church or State is manly. Toussaint and Allen are by us hon- 
ored, revered and loved. The success of Allen and his compeers is dem- 
onstrated, for it has given us the largest colored organization in the 
world. It is therefore proper and right that we should commemorate 
an event so important and so full of interest to us as a race. Therefore 
be it, 

Resolvedy first. That the chief pastors of the African Methodist Episco- 
pal church request that next November, a date in that month be here- 
after fixed, to commemorate the one hundredth year since onr existence 
commenced, and that services be held at all our churches throughout the 
connection. The order of exercises to be fixed by each conference, quar- 
terly conference, and pastor and each church. A general arrangement 
to be fixed by a committee hereafter appointed. 

Resolvedy second. As our publishing interest has long suffered, because 
of her indebtedness, that a contribution be made by all of our churches, 
and whatever is collected to be appropriated to assist in the paying off 
of debts now resting on our publication department 


Committee of Arrangements. • 

J. M. Brown, 
T. M. D. Ward, 
H. M. Turner. 
R. R. DisNB\, 
B. W. Arnett 



The growth of the A. M. E. church is a splendid tribute 
to the Negro genius. Of all the denominations under the 
name of ''Methodist/' white or black, it has seemed to 
have touched the heart of the Negro and made him a man 
of power. Its institutions and laws are the result of 
Negro genius, and is also the exhibition of his executive 
ability and abundant wisdom. 

When Richard Allen manifested his faith in the future 
and declared himself no longer willing to have the body 
and blood of Christ prostituted by being withheld from 
him until his white brethren (?) were served, he put his 
foot on the neck of hell-bom prejudice and stamped it so 
hard that hell resounded with anger and a new song was 
given to the angels in heaven. 

It was in the early days of 1816, when the times were 
not favorable to the expression of a dissent from anything 
a white man did in Church or State. And he is revered bv 
the African Methodist Episcopal church as the founder of 
their faith. Says one of their scholarly writers : 

If Luther was the apostle to mind freedom, and Wesley to soul freedom, 
then Allen was the apostle of human freedom, or liberty of mind and 
body. If Luther's motto was, '* The just shall live by faith; " and Wes- 
ley's, "The world is my parish;'* Allen's was, "I perceive of a truth 
that God is no respecter of persons." The sons of Allen, through Bishop 
Payne, have formulated the sentiment of the three as follows: " God, our 
Father: Christ, our Redeemder; and Man, our Brother." 

Many a time when a boy have I seen the tomb of Richard 
Allen in the little railing in front of the ** Big Bethel " in the 
city of Philadelphia. This, the first church of the denomi- 
nation, stands as a proud monument to the religious zeal 


of Richard Allen. It stands on the site of an old black- 
smith shop where the first meeting was held, and as the 
generations pass this monument on the outside of the 
church, and go within the walls of " Big Bethel " they feel 
that Allen still lives. Often good "men's deeds areinterred 
with their bones," but in this noble man's career we see a 
dignified manhood and religious zeal become the inspir- 
ation of four hundred thousand of those who follow in his 
footsteps. The Rev. B. W. Amett has, in a graphic descrip- 
tion of the times which I give here, shown how great 
was the cause for their separation fi-om the white church: 

The causes which- led to the organization of the African M. B. charch 
are numerous ; but a few facts will give an idea of the principal reason 
of our origin. After the close of the War of the Revolution, while the 
world was rejoicing at the establishment of a government whose declared 
principles were universal, political, civil and religiotis liberty, and livldk 
the\' were singing the anthems of peace, there was another mighty con- 
flict going on — not on the battlefield, with sabre and musket, but in the 
churches and the social circles of the land. Prejudice, the unrelenting 
enemy of the oppressed and weak, was asserting its power ; and from 
the year 1787 to 1816, the conflict continued without cessation. The 
colored portion of the numerous congregations of the North and South 
were wronged, proscribed, ostracised and compelled to sit in the back 
seats in the sanctuary of the Lord. The sons of toil and the daughters 
of oppression remained on these seats for some time, hoping that some 
of the members, at least, would receive a sufficient atnount of grace to 
enable them to treat these children of sorrow with Christian courtesy* 
But they were doomed to disappointment; for soon bad yielded to worse, 
and they were sent up into the dusty galleries. There, high above the 
congregation, they had to serve the Lord silently — for not an amen must 
come down from the sable band. These and other indignities our fathers 
bore with Christian patience for a number of years. They were denied 
the communion of the Lord's Supper until all the white members bad 
partaken. This treatment continued until forbearance ceased to be a 


^firtve, and our fathers drew out from among them ; for the watchfires 
•of soul-ireedom were burning in their bosoms. These were kindled and 
fed by the sentiments of the age in which they lived;. for on every side 
-could be heard the watchword of the Nation — "All men are bom free 
and equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inahenable rights, 
among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." 

Allen was a man of independent character, and was cdn- 

verted at the age of seventeen. His influence, though a 

slave, was so great that his master allowed him to preach 

and have preachers to preach for him, as he pleased. His 

master was converted under his preaching, and yet I have 

some doubt of his conversion, as he made poor slave 

Richard Allen purchase his freedom. This man may have 

been a Christian; * *God , ' ' who * ' moves in a mysterious way, ' ' 

may have done something for his soul, but he took Allen's 

money when he should have set him free. How they can 

ever harmonize God's words with their conduct will take 

a ** general judgment *' to tell. If for noother thingit were 

need'ed, it will be good for that. However, he had three 

^ble, honest men to stand by him : Rev. Absalom Jones, 

William White and Downs Ginnings, and they determined 

t:o ei:ect a building for the colored people. Says an article 

in the Christian Recorder : 

This undertaking met with strong opposition from both white men in 
"the Saint George's M. E. church and prominent colored men, while some 
of both classes encouraged him. Ministers of the M. E. church threat- 
ened to disown him and his followers, but with much sagacitj' he told 
them that if they turned him out otherwise than in accordance with dis- 
cipline, he would seek redress. His own language is: "We are deter- 
mined to seek out for ourselves, the Lord being our helper." He and his 
friends narrated to these brethren of the M. E. church the especial griev- 
ances suffered in their communion (?) He also told them : ** If you deny us 


youf name (Methodist), you cannot seal up the Scrip t ure from us or deny 
us a name in heaven. We believe heaven i» free for all who worship in 
spirit and truth." 

With maoly dignity and a clear indication that he knew 
he was cutting loose entirely from a great body of people,, 
believing as he did on religious doctrines, he said, when told 
finally that he would be disowned : * * This was a trial I never 
had to pass through, but I was confident that the great 
Head of the church would support us." Restates that on 
the first day he and Absalom Jones canvassed for money 
with which to purchase. They raised three hundred and 
sixty dollars after he had been authorized by the commit- 
tee. He bought a lot on Sixth street, near Lombard, the 
site of the present Bethel church, Philadelphia. The com- 
mittee agreed to purchase a lot on Fifth street and threw 
the Bethel lot on his hands. Having the true grit of man- 
hood in his moral constitution, he said : "I would rather 
keep it myself than forfeit the agreement I have made." 
This he did. He says : 

As I was the first proposer for an African church, I put the first spade 
into the ground to dig the cellar (basement) for the same. The old black- 
smith shop was made a temple in which to worship God. On canvassing, 
the little society it was found that a majority preferred joining the 
Church of England, rather than force themselves upon the Methodist 
Episcopal society, by which they considered themselves badly treated. 
But Allen was a Methodist, and though but one other member of the 
society agreed with him, he stuck to the old church, again showing the 
true metal for a leader of the»colored Americans. 

Richard Allen was bom in Philadelphia in 1760. At sev- 
enteen he united with the Methodist society in the State of 
Delaware. At twenty-two he commenced preaching, and 






P I 


i» ■: 


traveled through the Middle States extensively. He was 
>rdaiiied a deacon in 1799, by Rt. Rev. Francis Ashbury, 
nshop of the Methodist church. At the organization of 
he A. M. E. church, A. D. 1816, he was elected and 
>rdained the first African bishop in America. The foUow- 
ng names were enrolled in the first conference held on this 
xrcasion : 

Rev. Richard Allen, Jacob Tapisco, Clayton Durham, 
fames Champion, Thomas Webster, of Philadelphia, Penn- 
sylvania; Daniel Coker, Richard Williams, Henry Hardin, 
Stephen Hill, Edward Williamson, Nicholas Gailliard, of 
Baltimore, Maryland ; Peter Spencer, of Wilmington, Del- 
iware ; Jacob March, Edward Jackson, William Andrews^ 
rf Attleboro, Pennsylvania ; Peter Cuff, Salem, New 

These men had faith in God and faith in themselves, and 
the splendid results of this day show that they did not 
miscalculate their calling. The power of this denomination 
s felt in the land ; its leaders are courageous, bold and in- 
diligent, and it has some of the ablest men in the country 
Q its ranks. My personal relations with them have been of 
he warmest kind, and I give them credit for utilizing every 
lan they can lay hold on, and they know how to nurse 
heir young eaglets into strong eagles, and to put their best 
florts at work for the spreading of their views. 




Lawyer — Legislator — President of the Tennessee Fair Association — 
Orator — Speech in the Legislature on Mobs. 

IT is wonderful how easy some men rise in the world and 
how hard others struggle to accomplish the same 
ends. Every step with some seems marked with bitter 
trials; severe hardships and apparently insurmountable 
difficulties; but when at last the goal has been attained 
the prize seems ever sc^weet — aye, sweeter than it could 
possibly be without the conflicts and discouragements. 
Samuel Allen McElwee is a brave soul, who can wear on 
his forehead ad astra per aspera ** through difficulties to 
the stars. '* The chains of slavery bound his body not 
half so tightly as ignorance his mind. Already his voice 
holds the Tennessee Legislature with fixed attention while 
he defends his race and advocates the bettering of their 
condition. When the war ended he could not read. His 
father moved from Madison county, Tennessee, to Hey- 
w^ood county, Tennessee, in 1866. He was a farmer boy 
for many years, going to school only three months in the 
year ; yet the boy studied till midnight, burning patiently 
the light which would give him opportunity to read, and 


which in after years gave him a brighter light whereby he 
might see the condition of his race and find a remedy for 
thek «any ills. Though worn with the daily toils, he 
never neglected his studies, and at each examination day 
entered with his class and passed the test, from the year 
1868 until 1874. He then taught school awhile. He 
often tells how at the time he had been influenced by the 
National Era^ Fred Douglass' paper, and how a thirst 
entered his soul for more education. He matriculated at 
Oberlin and waited on the table, picked currants and 
washed windows for his board. He then went to Missis- 
sippi at the end of that year, where he taught school for 
five years. After that he secured a school in Alabama for 
a time, and on one occasion, failing to secure employment, 
walked thirty miles to secure a school in Tennessee. He 
was often without money and even a place to sleep. Still 
anxious to get means for returning to college, he com- 
menced selling Lyman's Historical Charts, Bibles and 
medicines, from which he became known as a great ** Chill 
Doctor/* He, however, could not return to school, and 
determined to study Latin, German and algebra under a 
a private teacher. After teaching a very large school in 
the day, he would walk ten miles two nights in the week 
to recite to a white student at Vanderbilt University, and 
if this effort meets some young man's eyes it is sincerely 
hoped that he will make the same effort as young Mc- 
Elwee. Victory awaits the daring, and reward always 
follows the persevering. His story of privations and 
sufferings, of the long tramps, selling maps, and his zeal 
for books so weighed upon the student teacher's mind 


that he told the president of Fisk University of the ambiti- 
ous boy. He was invited by the president to enter the 
university. After one year in the senior preparatory class, 
for which he found himself prepared, he entered college and 
graduated thence May 26, 1883. 

June 30, 1887, Mr. McElwee will only be twenty-nine 
jrears old, and yet he seems a natural bom politician, 
having canvassed his county every year save one since 
he was fourteen years of age. In the campaign of 
1882 he traveled over the Eighth and Ninth congres- 
sional districts for the Republican party, advocating 
a just settlement of the State debt. He took his 
seat in the Tennessee Legislature, January 1, 1883, 
while he was still a student. He has just completed his 
third term. He studied law in the Central Tennessee 
College in Nashville, and graduated thence in 1885. He 
was a delegate to the Chicago convention which nom- 
inated Hon. James G. Blaine, and with six others voted for 
him on every ballot. In the Republican State convention 
of 1886 he was elected temporary chairman. Mr. Mc- 
Elwee takes a deep interest in the moral, social and in- 
dustrial future of his people, and is president of the West 
Tennessee Colored Fair Association and the Memphis Fair 
Association. He was a commissioner in the colored 
department of the New Orleans Exposition, placing his 
State in a very favorable attitude. Mr. McElwee is a 
very magnetic speaker, forcible debater and indefatigable 
worker, a manly man and a truly honest citizen. Under 
the caption of a "Remarkable Record,*' this was written 


by a Kentucky editor after hearing him deHver a party 
speech in Hopkinsville, Kentucky : 

A biographical sketch of this gentleman reads like a romance. No 
colored man in the South ever rose as rapidly npbn the rounds of the 
ladder of fame. In 1879, Mr. McElwee was an ignorant, friendless col- 
ored tramp, going over the country, disposing of maps and charts in 
order to put bread in his mouth, and keep body and soul together. In 
the summer of the year above mentioned he tramped from Hopkinsville 
to Nashville, a distance of seventy-two miles in three days, in order to 
attend school. He was eledled to the Tennessee Legislature in 1882 
without opposition, and was successful in having a bill passed appropri- 
ating sixty-six hundred dollars towards further protedlion, progress and 
prosperity of the Normal school. In 1884 he was again ele<5led his own 
successor, beating his opponent, Mr. H. C. Nolan, a popular white Dem- 
ocrat, by a large majority. It was in this last session of the Legislar 
ture that this able colored man fought a hard and successful battle in 
passing a bill appropriating eighty-five thousand dollars to the West 
Tennessee Insane Asylum, and also fifty-five hundred dollars to the Deaf 
and Dumb Institution. He is a brilliant conversationalist and eloquent 
political orator ; his countenance is pleasing and intelledlual and the for- 
mation of his head favorable to the belief that he possesses a phrenolog- 
ical development of a very superior character; the dogmas of philosophy 
and crudities of theology are impaled by his humor, and his wit is so 
boundless that it crops out often in his more serious utterances. 

A man's associates can generally give good testimony 
as to his standing, so we quote a speech of R. R. Butler, 
who was seledled by the Republicans of the Legislature 
to nominate Mr. McElwee for Speaker of the House of 
Representatives of the State of Tennessee during his sec- 
ond term. He says : 

Mr. Speaker : It affords me much pleasure to nominate a candidate for 
speaker, one who was a slave in the days of slavery, which 1 thank God 
have passed away. One that by his own strong arm and determined 
will, and being blessed with a splendid intelle<5l, graduating a short time 


since at /the Pisk University in this city with high honors, and those of 
us here who served with him in the last Legislature remember his gentle- 
manly bearing and industrious habits, always vigilant and active, look- 
ing after the interest of his constituents and especially his race. I mean 
the honorable S. A. McElwee of Hcywood county. I am proud of this 
occasion, and it is but another evidence of where the race must look for 
recognition. Having been bom in the midst of slavery, and a slave- 
holder myself, I am grateful to know that I state the feelings and senti- 
ments of my party associates. I would not say a disparaging word of 
the gentleman nominated by the Democrats. I have served with him a 
long time, rating him to be an honest man and will preside over the 
deliberations of this house impartially and will treat the minority with 
fairness. While I say that much in justice to Mr. Hanson, I can say of a: 
truth that S. A. McElwee is the peer of any member on this floor, and 
will make an excellent speaker, and it affords me much pleasure to vote- 
for him. 

The future is big with promises for Mr. McElwee, and if 
his course is as steady in the future as it has been in the 
past, much can be expedled from him in the way of honors, 
and he will lend inspiration to those around him. The 
Union, published in Nashville, gives a two column extract. 
from his speech delivered on the subject of ** Mobs '' in the 
Tennessee Legislature, the issue of February 23, 1887. 
The words are those of a scholar, an orator and a patriot. 
They are full of wisdom and statesmanship— full of courr 
age and boldness. 

Said he : 

It is remarkable to note the sameness with which all these reports read. 
It seems as if some man in this country* had the patent by which these 
reports are written. Statistics do not show the number of Negroes who 
have in the past few years been sentenced in Judge Lynch's court, but . 
judging from the number coming under our observation we are convinced « 
that the number is most astounding. So prevalent and constant are the • 


reports flashed over the country in regard to Ijmching of Negroes that 
we are forced to seek shelter with the poets and cry, " O for a lodge In 
some vast wilderness, some boundless contiguity of shade, where rumor 
of oppression and deceit, of successful or unsuccessful mobs might never 
reach me more.*' My ear is pained, my soul is sick with every day's re- 
port of wrong and outrage perpetrated upon the Negroes by mob violence, 
I am not here, Mr. Speaker, asking any special legislation in the interest of 
the Negroes, but in behalf of a race of outraged human beings. I stand here 
to-day and enter my most solemn protest against mob violence in Tennes- 
see. Hundreds of Negroes, yes thousands, from all parts of this Southland, 
are to-day numbered with the silent majority, gone to eternity without 
a tomb to mark their last resting place, as the result of mob violence for 
crimes which they never committed. As we to-day legislate on this 
question, the spirits of these Negroes made perfect in the paradisiacal re- 
gion of God, in convention assembled, with united voices, are asking the 
question, *' Great God, when will this Nation treat the Negro as an Amer- 
ican citizen, whether he be in Maine, among her tall pines, or in the South, 
where the magnolia blossoms grow?" Mr. Speaker, Tennessee should 
place the seal of eternal condemnation upon mob violence. ** Your sins 
will find you out.'* The spirit of God will not always strive with man. 
For years American slavery was the great sin of the Nation. In the 
course of time God made clear his disapproval of this National sin by a 
National calamity. Four years of destructive and bloody war rent our 
country in twain and left our Southland devastated. The war came as 
the result of sin ; let us sin no more lest a greater calamity befall ns. We 
have had several cases of mob violence in Tennessee within the past six 
months. The sayingthat "light itself is a great corrective, "is as true as 
trite. What is the position of the public press on mob violence ? 

I stand here to-day, Mr. Speaker, as a member of this body and a lover 
of my people, and indict the public press of the State for condoning, by 
its silence, the wrongs and outrages perpetrated upon the Negroes of the 
State by mob violence. Who doubts for a moment but that the public 
press of the State could bum out mob violence in Tennessee as effectually 
as the mirrors of Archimedes burned the Roman ships in the harbor of 
S3'racuse ? Read the dailies and the majority of the weeklies, and yon 
will find them on the mobs at Jackson, Dyersburg andMcKcnzieasdumb 
as an oyster. The mob at Dyersburg took place in broad day-light, anS 

} 504 MEN OP MARK. 

as the result of that mob hundreds of Negroes refused to attend the 
end annual exhibition of the West Tennessee Colored Pair Association, 
which was held at Dyersburg in October, 1886. The mob at Jackson is 

, without a parallel in the annals of our State. Go with me, Mr. Speaker 
and gentlemen, to Jackson and look at that poor woman, with that 
weakness and tenderness common to women, as she is taken from the 
jail and followed by that motly crowd to the courtyard. The bell is 
rung, they enter the jail and strip her of every garment, and order her 
to march — buffeting, kicking, and spearing her with sharp sticks on the 
march. " She was led as a sheep to the slaughter ; and like a lamb dumb 
before her shearer, so opened she not her mouth. *' She was swung up. 
her body riddled with bullet^ and orders issued not to interfere with her 
until after nine o*clock the next morning, in order that she might be seen. 
Men who spoke against it and said it was an outrage, had to leave town. 
Others who thought of giving vent to their feelings en masse by series of 
resolutions, were told that they had not better attempt it. Mr. Speaker, 
society prepares crime, and the criminal is only the instrument by which 

I it is accomplished . 

I therefore again indict the public press and citizens of Madison county 
for the foul play upon the person of Eliza Wood, and hold them to a 
strict account before the bar of eternal justice for the wrong done. The 
mobs of Jackson, McKenzic and Dyersburg are mentioned because they 
;are the most recent, not because they are exceptional or that we lack 
other examples. Grant, for the sake of argument, that these parties were 
guilty, does that make it right and accord with our principles of justice? 
When the citizens of Madison, Dyer and Carroll go to judgment with the 
blood of Eliza Wood, Matt Washington and Charles Dinwiddie on their 
garments, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in that da.y 
jthan it will be for Jackson, Dyersburg and McKenzie. Por two hundred 
^d fifty years, Mr. Speaker, we were regarded as chattel. More than 
twenty years ago \ve were made citizens, and as such we ask at your 
hands that protection which is common to American citizens. The sainted 
parfield told us to go home and make friends with our neighbors. We 
/are here to-day knocking at your door and ask that you ** entreat us not 
ito leave you or return from following after you ; for whitlirr you go we 
,feill go, and where you lodge we will lodge ; your people shall be our 
l^eople, and your God our God ; where you die will we die, and there wffl 



l)e buried ; the Lord do so unto us, and more also, if aught but death 
part you and us." If this mob violence continues, its inHuence upon soci- 
ety will be worse than the malign influence which Cataline wielded over 
the reckless and abandoned youth of Rome. Mob violence is sowing in 
America a seed that will ripen in a conspiracy that will eclipse in gigan- 
tic proportions the great conspiracy of Cataline to lay Rome in ashes and 
deluge its streets in blood, for the purpose of enriching those who were 
to apply the torch and wield the dagger. Mr. Speaker, the time has 
passed in the history of this Nation for race wars. We cannot afford it. 
There are at present questions of very great importance demanding the 
attention of both races. They call for the united effort on the part of 
both. The labor question, tariff and public service are all important, the 
interest of the white man is the interest of the black man, that which 
hurts one will hurt the other; therefore, as a humble representative of the 
Negro race, and as a member of this body, I stand here to-day and waTe 
the flag of truce between the races and demand a reformation in South- 
em society by the passage of this bill. 

The bill was defeated, but great excitement was pro- 
duced by the terrible lashing which they received. His 
style was impressive and they listened with no slight inter- 
est to his powerful arraignment. Itv^'ill yet bear fruit and 
do good. All the members of the Legislature have a high 
respect for his ability, integrity and loyalty to his constit- 
uents. His popularity with the people of his race is un- 
bounded, and he is careful to live honorably and with 
soberness, thus challenging their admiration and courting 
their friendship. 




Pint Amenran Missionary to Africa— The God-sent Missionary. 

CAREY was an earnest disciple of Christ. He began- 
life as a poor tobacco packer in a warehouse in 
Richmond, Virginia. Bom about 1780, he lived a very 
profane and wicked life. About 1807, in the gallery of a 
Baptist church, he heard a sermon from the third chapter 
of John, and he was so impressed with the story of Nico- 
demus that he determined to learn to read, that he might 
know the story for himself, and be able to repeat it word 
for word as he heard it. A Testament was his first read- 
ing book. He was a prudent man, who made and saved 
money with which he purchased his freedom. While in a 
night school, to the astonishment of everybody he an- 
nounced his intention of going to Africa as a missionary. 
His teacher, William Crane, had that night been lecturing 
to them on the Messrs Burgess & Mills report of an explo- 
ration on the coast of Africa. The matter so stirred, up 
Carey that it made him declare his intention as heretofore 
stated. He was worth about fifteen hundred dollars in 
real estate, and his employer not desiring to lose his ser- 



vices, oflfered to raise his salary two hundred dollars more 
per year: but Carey having fully consecrated himself to 
this service, accepted an appointment as missionary of the 
"Tri-ennial Convention" and set sail to Africa, accom- 
panied by Rev. Collin Teague, who was the first American 
to go to that co imtfy on such an errand. Teague was a 
great admirer of Carey, and once said very enthusiastic- 
ally to a white man, ** I don't hear any of your white 
ministers that can preach like Lott Carey.*' He sailed on 
the twenty-third of January, 1820, and after forty-four 
days reached Sierra Leone. Says the story of * Baptist 
Missions :' ** The agent of the Colonization Company had 
not yet purchased any land, and therefore could not receive 
him and his friend Teague as cultivators of the soil . ' ' Hence 
they were obliged for some months to work as mechan- 
ics. In 1824 he was appointed physician to the set- 
tlers in Africa, a position, the duties of which his studies 
of the diseases of the country enabled him to discharge. 
In 1828 he became acting governor of Liberia. It is said 
that in 1823 Mr. Carey and his fellow-colonists lost confi- 
dence in the administration of the colored society. They 
found its government oppressive and demanded reform. 
Some few of the malcontents took advantage of the gen- 
eral insubordination and siezed a portion of the public 
stores. We have only Governor Ashmun's account of 
'these transactions. However, Lott Carey declared that 
lie acted only on principle in the matter, which was after- 
^jvards compromised, and on his death-bed Mr. Ashmun 
xwged that he should be permanently appointed to con- 
duct the affairs of the colony, expressing perfect confidence 


in his integrity and in his ability to discharge the duties 
of the oflBce. 

Sometimes they would have difficulties with the natives 
in Liberia, and it was necessary to do fighting as well as 
preaching. Carey was pretty good at both, and lost his 
life while making cartridges. An explosion took place in 
"which he was badly injured, and after lingering some days 
he died, November 10, 1828, leaving many to mourn his 
loss, and besides, leaving as a legacy to the American peo- 
ple the life of a devoted missionary. It has been said the 
Negroes have no fine feelings and that they are but little 
above irrational animals, but here is a man with no cir- 
cumstances to inspire him, bearing in bis heart a tender 
love for the Africans who knew not Christ, even though 
he, himself, was fettered with the chains of American 
slavery, and could see something for him to do in relieving 
others who, while free in body, were chained in sin. It is 
a remarkable fact that Lott Carey is the namesake of 
William Carey, the '^singing cobbler" of London, who 
first carried the gospel to the dark skinned races of India. 
The white and the black Carey shall forever live side by 
side in the hearts of those who 'sympathize with down- 
trodden people. It has been said that the race has not 
iumished sufficient great men for biographers and ency- 
clopedists to take cognizance of them, but here is a man 
who was bom before this century began its course, whose 
name is imbedded in the history of his time and solidly 
wedged in the great books of the age. 

Fair sketches will be found of his life in the American 
Baptist Missionary Union literature, the story of *Bap- 


tist Missions/ 'Encyclopedia of Missions,' by Harry New- 
comb, 'American Encyclopedia,* and in a sketch called 
"Africa in Brief," by the Rev. J. J. Coles, present mission- 
ary to the Vey tribes in Africa. 



Lawyer — Minister Resident and Consul-General — Charge de Affaires- 
President of the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute — Formerly 
Dean and Professor of Law in Howard University. 

ONE of the greatest Negroes in America is the subject 
of this sketch. His name has become a household 
word, especially among the younger generation, and his 
deeds shine brightly alongside of those of even older men. 
My personal acquaintance with him dates from the time I 
was a student attending Howard University, in 1870, to 
the present day. I remember him well as a man who did 
not fear to speak his opinions. In those days there were 
many colored men who bowed and scraped to any kind of 
bloated, shoddy aristocracy. We all had faith in him, and 
I remember distinctly that of all the six hundred students 
at that time, not one could have been found who believed 
Langston thought himself less than the best citizen of the 
country. At present, however, we have to deal with his 
distinct acts which, developed him into the great man we 
now find him. 

He was bom in Louisa county, Virginia, December 14, 
1829, and is, in blood, Indian, Negro and Anglo-Saxon. He 


has the fortitude of the first, the pride of the second and 
the progressiveness of the third. He was bom in slavery 
and takes, since his father was his owner, the name of his 
mother's family, which was Indian and Negro mainly, and 
was closely related to the family of Pocahontas. In this 
he can make the boast that he belongs to the F. F. Vs. 
Emancipated when a mere child upon the death of his 
father, by his will and testament he was sent to the State 
of Ohio, where he grew to manhood, and was educated and 
pursued a professional and official life to the year 1867. 

In 1884 he entered Oberlin College, located at Oberlin, 
Ohio, and graduated after five years regular collegiate 
study in 1849. He then sought admission to a law 
school, conducted by Mr. J. W. Fowler at Ballston Spa, 
New York, but was refused admission on account of his 
color. He was advised to edge his way into the school, 
claiming he was a Frenchman or Spaniard coming from 
the West Indies, Central or South America, for he could 
well pass for either, but his open manly nature scorned a 
trick even for success. He next tried to gain admission to 
a law school in Cincinnati, Ohio, conducted by Judge Tim- 
othy Walker, but he was refused here too, with the kind 
assurance from the judge that he being a young colored 
man could not find himself at home with white scholars. 
That man never made a greater mistake in his life. 

He was forced to seek a situation as a student in some 
lawyer's office, and his success in this direction was poor 
enough, as few white lawyers in our country were ready in 
1849 to take a Negro law-student into their offices. Only' 
the Hon. Sherlock J. Andrews of Cleveland, Ohio, would 


consent to furnish Langston books, with an occasional 
opportunity for explanation of law doctrines and princi- 
ples, so that no interference was made in ordinary office 
business. Of course there was little accomplished in this 
way, and the attempt under such cruel embarrassments 
only served to discourage him, so he abandoned the study 
for awhile, and entered the Theological Department of 
Oberlin College, from which he graduated in 1853. Then 
he entered upon the study of law under the tuition of Hon. 
Philemon Bliss of Elyria, Ohio, at the time one of the first 
lawyers of the Ohio bar, distinguished especially for his 
excellent culture, and his anti-slavery sentiments and ut- 
terances, as well as his large and commanding influence in 
the community. About one year later Mr. Langston 
appeared by order of the court for examination, with ref- 
erence to his admission to the bar, before a special com- 
mittee appointed by the court, composed of two Democrats 
and one Whig. The matter of admitting colored men to 
the bar was novel . No one of this class up to that time had 
the temerity to offer himself as a candidate for auch &n 
honor. Mr. Langston was in the lead so far as the west- 
em part of the country was concerned, but his erudition 
in law was so apparent, and his general knowledge, clas- 
sic and scientific, so profound, that he at once w^on the 
favor of the committee ; but here again was the ghost of 
color. "Shall a Negro or mulatto be admitted to the 
Ohio bar?" '^Can he be, legally?" At once the answer 
was made to these questions in the negative and in the 
judicial phrase with emphasis. The old Whig member of 
the committee, a man of generous and manly sentiment 



r t 



'. I 




suggested to his colleagues and the court composed of five 
distinguished lawyers, that it might be well in view of the 
late decision of the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio to 
inquire whether Langston wrfb either a Negro or mulatto ; 
**for," he urged, "Judge Bliss is taking care of his case:'* 
whereupon the color of Langston was inquired into and 
when it had been decided that he had more white than 
Negro blood, as it was phrased, he was ordered to be 
sworn by the court as a lawyer, October 24, 1854. Con- 
stant and uninterrupted scholastic labors including school 
teaching during the winter season from 1844 to 1855, 
eleven consecutive years, had considerably disturbed Mr. 
Langston's health. At the suggestion of his physician, he 
went, therefore, as soon as he was admitted to the bar, 
upon a farm in Brownhelm, Lorain county, Ohio. This 
was a rich, popular, intelligent and progressive commu- 
nity of white people in one of the best sections of the West- 
em Reserve. He was the only colored person residing in 
that part of Ohio, but he no sooner purchased his farm 
and settled among these good people, than he was cor- 
dially welcomed with opportunity for the employment of 
all the ability, legal and otherwise, which he possessed. 
One week, just after he had moved into this new home, a 
leading Democrat lawyer of the community called ujxjn 
him to assist in a trial of a very important case involving 
several questions of possession and occupancy of land, 
requiring consideration and verdict of a jury. Mr. Lang- 
ston was, of course, delighted with such a call, and he 
hastened to accept it. It was well he did so, for no man 
ever gained a greater advantage and more various than 


that which came to him from the call of his friend, Mr. 
Hamilton Perry. For the first time, in the fall of 1854, 
on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, a colored lawyer ap- 
peared in an important suit as the assistant of a white 
attorney. The court, the witnesses, the lawyers, except 
Langston, were all white. Such was the success of the 
colored lawyer in connection with this case that he found 
himself at once surrounded by numerous clients with fat re- 
tainers. From that time he grew in business and influence 
rapidly and solidly. The spring eledlions in 1875 in the State 
of Ohio was signalized for the first time by the nomination 
and choice to the clerkship of one of the most advancec' 
townships of the State, of a colored man, upon a total 
white vote. For the first time, too, in the history of our 
country, a colored man had been elected to an office of 
responsibilities and emoluments upon a popular choice. 
This fortunate colored man was Lawyer Langston. He 
was immediately called in view thereof to take part as 
one of the orators of the May meeting of the American 
Anti-slaver\' Society, held in 1855 in New York City. 

The speech on that occasion was of such character in 
sentiment, delivery and effect as to secure its full report 
and publication in the daily papers of New York and the 
leading journals and periodicals of the Anti-slavery societies 
of the times. Those who heard the speech of the young 
orator never can forget how his first sentences were 
uttered. His words were these : 

A nation may lose its liberties and be a century in finding it out. 
Where is the American liberty ? 


In its farTeacHixiis: and'huoad sweep, slavery has stricken down the free- 

dotA of us all; 
And American slavery itself has gone glimmering into the things that 

A schoolboy ^s tale, the wonder of an hour. 

In his capacity as clerk in Brownhelm township, Mr. 
Langston was given special opportunities in connection 
w^ith his profession, but he was, by reason of his peculiar 
relations to the Board of Education of the township, given 
special duties as regarded its common schools. Indeed he 
was ex-officio school visitor. In the fall of 1860, Mr. 
Langston was engaged in looking after the school inter- 
ests of the colored youth of Ohio, organizing schools 
among them and supplying teachers thereof, traversing the 
entire State from Lake Erie to the Ohio river. When the 
war came, Mr. Langston signalized his conduct by loyal 
patriotic labors in favor maintaining the authority of the 
government, and although he did not go into the field as 
a soldier, he engaged actively in recruiting troops and did 
more, perhaps, than any other single man to recruit the 
Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth regiments, to the latter of 
which regiments he gave the colors. He also recruited the 
Fifth regiment of colored troops of Ohio, to which also he 
gave colors, and finally when he thought the colored 
American should be given the full recognition which he 
had won, as introduced to Secretary Stanton by General 
James A. Garfield, he asked of that great war joflficer a 
commission as colonel, with permission to recruit and 
command a colored regiment oflficered by colored men who 
had already won distinction in the service. Suchpropo- 



sition was taken under discussion by the government, but 
it was not decided in time to give Mr. Langston his com- 
mission before the war closed. 

Moving to Oberlin in 1856, Mr. Langston was at once 
elected clerk of the township of Russia ; next year a mem- 
ber of the council of the incorporated village of Oberlin 
for two years, and a member of the Board of Education in 
that village, successively for eleven years. In this time he 
became especially distinguished for his skill in examining 
witnesses and his eloquence and power in addressing courts 
and juries. 

Mr. Langston was an able, bold, determined advocate, 
using tongue, pen, and all the force of his nature and learn- 
ing in behalf of the enslaved and oppressed colored Ameri- 
cans, demanding for them freedom, legal rights, and 
educational advantages. In 1867 Mr. Langston was 
invited by General 0. 0. Howard, through the influence of 
the Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court, Hon. Salmon P. 
Chase, to act as general inspector of the schools of the 
freed people of the country. It was in July of the same 
year that he made his first trip southward on the errand 
indicated. He went entirely through the State of Missis- 
sippi on this trip, visiting and speaking in every prominent 
place in the South. On his return he found President 
Johnson declaring at the White House and throap^h the 
journals of the country, that he intended to relieve General 
O. 0. Howard of the commissionership of the ** Bureau of 
Freedmen, Refugees and Abandoned Lands,'' to which he 
had been appointed by President Abraham Lincoln, and 
that he would appoint thereto Langston, if he would 



:onsent to take the place. • Langston would not consent 
to such a change, claiming that General Howard should be 
retained and supported in his position, going even so far as 
to tell General Howard all that the President held and said 
against him, and tendering his services in his support, to 
the extent of a call upon and an argument to General U.S. 
Grant in his behalf. He did call upon General Grant, then 
secretary of war, whom he found altogether ready and 
willing to hear all that could be said in General Howard's 
favor. In his interview with General Grant, Mr. Langston 
became enamored of him and made bold to say to him 
that the advocacy of such sentiments as he had so clearly 
and eloquently expressed with regard to the reconstruction, 
the rights, the education and the care of the newly eman- 
cipated classes, would make him the next President of the 
United States. General Grant was elected to the position. 
About this time President Johnson offered to Mr. Langs- 
ton the mission to Hayti. This he declined, preferring to 
remain at home. 

This same year, 1867, he was admitted to practice in 
the Supreme Court of the United States, on the motion of 
Hon. James A. Garfield. He continued to act as general 
inspector of Freedmen's schools, traveling throughout the 
South during the time, to 1869, when he was called to a 
professorship in the Law Department of Howard Univer- 
sity. He at once became Dean of that department, organ- 
izing it, and for seven years he was at the head of what 
was recognized as one of the finest law schools in the 
country, and graduating therefrom many of the first 
white and colored male and female students of the law 




:hut ever went from such an institution. It was- from thiis 
><hool, while under his charge, that the* first female 
stmlent of the law in the world, a young, colored lady, 
Miss C. B. Ray of New York, was awarded a diploma. 
IHirfaig the last two years that Professor Langston 
remained at Howard University he was, by especial 
request, made vice-president and acting president of the 
institution. He filled this position with such marked 
efficiency and success, that at the close of his first year of* 
such service the Board of Trustees of the universitv con- 
ferred upon him by special arrangement and in an especial' 
and impressive manner, with address by General Howard, _ 
the degree of LL. D. During this time he was appointed 
by President Grant a member of the Board of Health of 
the District of Columbia. For seven years he acted as — 
attorney of the board and for one year as its secretary. 
As a sanitarist, he was able and efficient. 

In 1877 Mr. Langston was appointed bj" President 
Hayes United States minister resident and consul-generaL 
to Hayli. In this position he served his country in aim 
acceptable and conscientious manner, as the records of the * 
State department will show, from September 1, 1877, to- 
to Jul3% 1885, almost eight years. As a diplomat he was 
an entire success, and the citizens always found him ready 
to serve them, as well as the officers; and the people of 
the country, near whose government he resided, united in 
bearing testimony to the fact. Besides being the Dean of 
the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, he was most of the^ 
time while in Hajrti, a personal and great favorite in gen- 
eral society. It was as the Etean of the Diplomatic Corps; 



that, during the yellow fever in the country when the very 
popular representative of the French government died of 
such disease, he pronounced an eulogy upon him at his 
tomb, in the French language, of such character and order 
of elegance and beauty that it found its way into the 
public journals of Paris and brought to him, through the 
French government, the cordial acknowledgments of the 


family and friends of the deceased ambassador. In the 
government of San Domingo, Mr. Langston was cAar^ de 
affaires of our government, and his relation with the 
officers of that government, though many of the matters 
he had to deal with were like most of those in Hayti, diffi- 
cult and trying, he won the warmest respect and consider- 
ation from all parties concerned. On the thirtieth of 
Janaury, 1885, Mr. Langston, of his own choice, resigned 
the position of United States minister resident to Presi- 
dent Arthur, having resolved on the expiration of his 
administration to return to this country and enter again 
upon the practice of his profession. After considerable 
delay, in July, 1885, he returned, and was at once employed 
by one of the first business houses of the country to attend 
to its interests in the West Indies. He made a single trip 
in such services, when, upon his return in the same year, 
he found that he had been elected by the Board of Educa- 
tion of Virginia, President of the Virginia Normal and 
Collegiate Institute, which was founded by the govern- 
ment in 1882, and supported by popular appropriations 
of twenty thousand dollars annually. The faculty, as at 
present constituted, is composed of ten well educated, 
scholarly persons, four ladies and six gentlemen. In 


addition to the ordinary departments and courses of 
study established and pursued in the institute, covering 
all the branches of the higher mathematics, philosophical, 
scientific and classical studies, the law provides for and 
creates a summer school for the public school teachers, 
which was attended at the last session by over two 
Jiundred teachers. The estimate put upon President 
Langston in his present position by the officials of the 
educational department of the government of Virginia, is 
discovered in the following words of the late superintend- 
ent of public instructions of Virginia, Hon. J. B. Fair, in 
his annual report for 1§85 : • 

After considering the applications of all who presented their claims for 
the place, the board determined not to confine its selection to applicants, 
but to seek out a man that would add most dignity and weight to the 
position, and whether he had applied or not to tender him the appoint- 
ment. After taking into consideration the education, intelligence, 
honesty, energy and general ability', Hon. John Mercer Langston, ex- 
minister to Hayti, was considered pre-eminently fitted for the great work, 
and the Board of Education, November 19, 1885, unanimously elected 
him President of the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute. This was 
done without solicitation on the part of Professor Langston or his 
friends. Indeed he knew nothing of it until the official announcement of 
the action taken by the board was made. This was one of the extremely 
rare cases on record where the office sought the man, and we believe the 
quest was well rewarded. Fortunately for his race and State, he is a 
I Virginian by birth, and he had patriotism enough to accept the honor and 
assume the res]x>nsibilities of building up an institution which has in its 
compass the grandest possibilities, and which reaps a wide and untilkd 
field of usefulness. President Langston 's reputation is national, and he 
not only enjoys the highest esteem and confidence of his own |)eople, but 
\)y his education and ability commands respect of all with whom he is 
thrown in contact. 


The following resolutions show how the president is 
appreciated by those over whom he presides : At the close 
of his usual Thursday lecture, on the twentiethof January, 
1887, Professor D. B. Williams, on behalf of the faculty of 
the institute and its two hundred students, presented the 
following preamble and resolutions : 

Whereas, The Hon. J. M. Langston, LL. D., did at a very critical 
period in the history of the institute, accept the presidency unanimously 
tendered him without his solicitation by the Honorable Board of Bduca- 
tion at much personal pecuniary sacrifice, and 

Whereas, He has succeeded so well not only in placing it upon a foHd 
foundation, but is rapidly making it one of the leading institutions of the 
•country ; therefore be it 

Resolved, first : That we regard our president as being ftdly equipped 
for the great work in which he is now engaged, in everything that pcp* 
tains to intellectual ability, high moral purpose and religions cnltnre. 

Resolved y That his coming into Virginia as an educator has proved 
a great blessing to the people of the commonwealth and is indicative of 
great future results for good. 

Resolved, That in these resolutions we voice the sentiment of the pe<^ 
pie of the State by asserting that his administration of the affairs has 
been entirely successful, and has caused the sons and daughters of Vir- 
ginia to turn th'-ir faces toward this fountain of learning. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be handsomely engrossed by 
the committee and presented to the president. 

He is amongst the most scholarly', refined and accom- 
plished gentlemen of the race. Surrounded as he is by 
wealth, and even luxury, he is a good parent, and owes 
much to his charming wife, who has been a great help to 
him in reaching this eminence. She has made his home 
pleasant and entertained his guests well, all of which goes 
a great distance towards a man's promotion. He has 
many testimonials of all kinds, that show his standing 


among men and testify to the worth of his character:. 
What a beautiful picture is the engrossed resolution of the 
Board of Health of the District of Columbia, awarded 
President Langston as he took his leave of it in 1877, as 
the same hangs upon the wall of the broad and magnifi- 
cent passage of his residence, and his certificate of life-long 
membership as a fellow of the great English philosoph- 
ical association, the Victoria Institute, composed of the 
distinguished scholars and thinkers of the world. Then 
still how beautiful and interesting to witness the fact that 
a great library, law, scientific, literary, commercial, indus- 
trial, in the French, Spanish, Hebrew, Greek, Latin and 
English languages, gathered by him during the thirty-five 
years of his student life, occupying cases located in every 
part of his house, inside and outside the library room 
proper — every available nook and comer thereof. 

It seems only a question of time when Mr. Langston 
will be made member of Congress from Virginia, and may 
it be so. He would be heard from on the most important 
questions of the day, nor would the matters pertaining to- 
the race be neglected. 

Let me close with the opinion of the Montgomery (Ala- 
bama) Heraldj concerning President Langston : 

It is impossible for the Fourth Virginia Congressional District to elect 
a man that would reflect more credit upon his constituents and race, or 
American statesmanship, than Mr. Langston. He is undoubtedly the 
highest type of Africo-American citizenship. All through his long, event- 
ful, venturous course, leaping with giant-like strides, from the valley of 
obscurity to the summit of human grandeur and manly excellence, not 
one act of his has tended to reflect dishonor upon himself, his people, or 
his country. 


To which we add a comment from another Negro Jour- 

This country has never yet produced a more remarkable man than 
Hon. John M. Langston. He is a man of observation, and nothing es- 
capes his keen and penetrating eye, with knowledge of humian nature 
that it would be almost impossible to deceive him. The life and services 
of no man will fill a brighter page in history than his. The future histo- 
rians wiU record the remarkable fact that he has been equal to every emer- 
gency, and used only honorable means to attain his ends. 


Baptist Divine — President of a College— Editor of a Weekly Journal. 

REV. W. H. McALPINE was born in Buckingham 
county, Virginia, near Farmersville, June, 1847. 
He was carried to Alabama by a Negro speculator when 
about three years old, in company with his mother and 
younger brother. His mother, brother and himself were 
sold by the speculator to a Presbyterian minister by the 
name of Robert McAlpine, in Coosa county, Alabama. 
His owner died when he was about eight years old, and 
the property being divided William was separated from 
his mother and taken by one of the sons of the McAlpine 
family, who was a doctor, and lived in Talladega county, 
Alabama. Here William remained in the family of Dr. 
McAlpine until the close of the late war. As it was cus- 
tomary for young boys to be nurses to the white children, 
we are not surprised to find him a nurse in that family for 
about ten years. Mrs. Dr. McAlpine being a Northern 
woman and not well pleased with the way Southern peo- 
ple taught their children, would not send hers to the 
school, but had them taught at home, when she did not 
teach them herself The young slave being the nurse, and 


equired to be in the white people's house with the chil- 
Iren, and not allowed to assemble with those of his own 
ace, and even not allowed to eat and sleep with them, 
earned to read and write, and gained some knowledge of 
trithmetic, grammar and geography. He was separated 
rom his mother from the time he was eight years old, in 
855, until 1874, and for sixteen years of that time didn't 
ven know whether she was living or dead. He never 
aw his father to know him. 

He was converted to Christianity and joined a white 
iaptist church in the town of Talladega, Alabama, just 
ne year before the close of the war of secession, under 
^ev. J. J. D. Renfroe, D. D. In 1866 he worked at the 
arpenter's trade. In the summer of the same year he 
aught school in Mardisville, a little village about five 
liles from Talladega. In the winter of the same year he 
ntered the Talladega College, and not being able to pay 
)r his board and buy his books and clothing, and having 
sfused proffered aid, hired out himself and worked mom- 
igs, evenings and Saturdays in order to pay for the same 
nd go to school during school hours. In a few months 
fter conversion he felt that he was called to the work of 
[ic gospel ministry, but refused for some years to accept 
license from his church, as he believed in thorough prep- 

Mr. McAlpine remained in connection with the Talla- 
ega College, from 1868 to 1873, and only lacked six 
lonths of graduating in 1874. He was licensed in 1869 
nd ordained in 1871, being called to the pastoral charge 
f a colored Baptist church in the town of Talladega, 


Alabama, in the fall of 1871. The calr was accepted. 
The present house of worship for the colored Baptists of 
Talladega was erected during the pastorate of Rev. Mr. 
McAlpine. He was also pastor of a Baptist church about 
seven miles from the city, when he gave up that church. 
He was called to the pastorate of the church at Jackson- 
ville, Cannelton county, Alabama, where he also taught 
public schools for several sessions." He was instrumental 
in organizing the Rushing Springs, Mount Pilgrim and 
Snow Creek associations in North Alabama. 

While pastor in Talladega, he attended the college there, 
and during vacation was employed by Rev. E. M. Cra- 
vath, field secretary of the American Missionary Associa- 
tion, to canvass the State for students for the institution. 
The following is a letter from him at the close of the term 
of canvass: 

New York, March 2, 1871. 
William H. McAlpine, Talladega, Alabama. 

Dear Sir: Yours with bill, March 14, is to hand. Mr. Safford will 
pay you the balance due on account, and 1 feel sure that you have done 
us good work in the State, that will tell in the results more largely in 
the future. 1 hope that you will succeed in your efforts for the church, 
and that a blessifig may rest upon your labors. 

Very truly yours, 

E. M. Cravath. 

• Rev. Mr. McAlpine was in the first meeting held in Ala- 
bama, in 1868, for the organization of the Colored Baptist 
Missionary State convention, and has attended every 
time except two since its organization. In the session of 
the above named association, November, 1873, in the city 
o{ Tuscaloosa, Alabama, when the white and colored con- 


•ventions had a meeting in the same city, and at the same 
time, Mr. McAlpine framed and oflfered a resolution to 
attempt the estabHshment of the present Selma Univer- 
sity ; and while the same was pending before the colored 
convention, a committee was appointed from the colored 
body to bear the resolution to the white brethren in their 
<:onvention and ask their advice on the subject. The 
white brethren appointed a committee to advise the col- 
ored brethren, said committee consisting of Revs. Drs. 
Tague, Cleveland and Winkler. The committee waited on 
the Colored convention and advised them to turn what 
money they had over to them, and they would send such 
young men off to school as they, the colored brethren, 
deemed fit, and not to undertake to establish a school, as 
such a thing would be folly. In the face of these gray- 
headed D. D's., Rev. McAlpine arose and asked to differ 
from them as having quite a different view, and succeeded 
in convincing the convention that it was their duty to 
attempt to establish saM institution. 

In the 1874 session of this convention, in the city of 
Mobile, Alabama, he was chosen to canvass the State six 
months of 1875, and try what could be done for raising 
money for the proposed school. During this time he 
raised two hundred dollars above expenses, and awakened 
such interest all over the State that the next session 'of 
the convention was fuller than ever before, and about four 
hundred dollars was in the treasury after adjournment. 
He was then employed by the convention for the whole 
year of 1876, and raised over five hundred dollars above 



expenses ; there was left in the treasury about one thous- 
and dollars. 

Having been elected traveling and financial agent for 
1877, and not thinking the prospects favorable for raising 
money, he resigned and took charge of the Marion Baptist 
church. Arrangements, however, were made with him by 
the State Board to conduct the agency and do what he 
could to raise money in the field. In the fall of 1877, in 
convention, in the citj' of Bufala, it was decided to locate 
the school, now called Selma University, in Selma, Ala- 
bama. The convention had at that time one thousand 
dollars to put into property, and with that amount pur- 
chased the old Fair Grounds of Selma, for which they con- 
tracted to pay three thousand dollars. It was through 
the efforts of this earnest laborer that the school has been 
established, and the colored Baptists own a school sec- 
ond to none in the State. 

In 1881 his brethren, seeing his adaptability to the work, 
elected him president of the institution, which position he 
held for two years. Feeling that the school needed a more 
scholarly man at its head, against the advice of all the 
board of trustees, teachers and students, he resigned. As 
soon as the church at Marion heard of his resignation, he 
was forthwith called back to the pastoral charge. 

When the Baptist Foreign Mission convention of the 
United States was organized in the city of Montgomery, 
Alabama, in 1880, he was elected president, and served 
two sessions, and could have filled the office a third term 
but refused to let his name go before them as a candidate, 
because the constitution prescribed two terms for the 


WILLIAM H. M 'alpine. 529 

presidency; althoagh the members would have then and 
there changed the constitution, he stoutly refused. When 
the Baptist Pioneer was started, in 1878, he was chosen 
editor, and held the position till 1882, when he resigned 
in favor of Rev. E. M. Brawley, D. D., who succeeded him 
as president of Selma University. For six years his ser- 
vices were given as a member of the Board of Trustees of 
Lincoln Normal University, at Marion, Alabama, he being 
the only colored member of the board. He was for three 
years pastor of a large country church near Marion, 
which church had eight hundred members, and was 
served in connection with the Marion church, which 
church he now serves. 

He is a man of fine parts, genteel, intelligent, faithful 
and earnest. He is much respected and beloved by all 
who know him. As he grows in age, he grows in wisdom, 
and the work of Alabama Baptists is largely guided by 
liis suggestions. He has arisen to many offices of honor 
and trust, because he is always on the side of right. 




Rector of St. Luke's Church, Washington, District of Columbia— Pit>- 
fessor of Mental and Moral Science in the College of Liberia— Author. 

BISHOP HOOD says Dr. Crummell is among the most 
scholarly black men of the age. He is prominently 
a representative man of the Protestant Episcopal church. 
He is the son of a royal paternity on the one side and a 
free bom maternity on the other side. He was therefore 

■ » • • • 

bom free in the city of New York. His father was the son 
•of a king and was bom on Timanee, West Africa, a country 
a:djoining Sierra Leone. He lived till he was thirteen years 
in the usual manner common to boys, and yet when quite 
young he began to study in what was known as the Mul- 
berry Street school in New York City. His classmates were 
such men of fame as George T. Downing, Patrick Reason, 
Professor Charles L. Reason, Ira Aldridge, Dr. James Mc- 
Cune, Samuel Ringgold and Henry Highland Garnet. In the 
year 1831, Rev. Peter Williams, a white preacher, estab- 
lished a high school for the purpose of giving an oppor- 
tunity to the colored youth of New York City to study 
the classics. In this school also, were found Garnet, 
Sidney and Crummell, but it» /acilities were not the best, 





and after hearing of a new school started in Canaan, New 
Hampshire, the parents of these boys, who had formed a 
close intimacy with each other, decided to send them there, 
as no color line was drawn. On arriving at the school 
they were welcomed by the students, about thirty in num- 
ber, in the most generous manner. Fourteen colored lads 
had gathered there seeking superior advantages. They 
had not been in the place more than three months when 
the people in the neighborhood decided to break up the 
** nigger school;" and the end came w^hen the people 
brought ninety oxen and pulled down the building, and 
threw it in a swamp half a mile from the place. This was 
accomplished after two days hard labor. They then 
drove the scholars out of town. Mr. Crummell relates the 
circumstances in an eulogy on Garnet, which he delivered 
May 4-, 1882, when he said : 

Meanwhile, under Garnet as our leader, the boys in our boarding 
house were molding bullets, expecting an attack upon our dwelling. 
About eleven o'clock at night the tramp of horses was beard approach- 
inar: and as one rapid rider passed the house he fired at it. Garnet 
quickly replied to it by a discharge from a double barrelled shotgun 
which blazed away through the w*indow- At once the hills for many a 
mile around reverberated with the sound. Lights were seen from scores 
of houses on ever}- side of the town, and Anllagcs far and near were in a 
state of great excitement. But the musket shot bj- Garnet doubtless 
saved our lives. The cowardly ruffians dared not attack us. Notice, 
however, was given us to quit the State ixithm a fortnight- When wc 
lef:. the Canaan mob assembled on the outskirts of the Tillage and fired 
5^1d-piece5 charged with oowdcr at our wagon. 

This Canaan was not bv any means the sweet Canaan 
that the good old colored people love to sing about. In 


1836 Mr. Crummell attended the Oneida Institute at 
Whitesboro, a manual labor school which had been opened 
for colored boys by Beriah Green. Here our student 
triumphantly entered and spent three very happy and 
prosperous years. In 1839 Mr. Crummeil was received as 
a candidate for Holy Orders, tmder the tuition of Rev. 
Peter Williams, rector of St. Phillip's church, of which he 
was a member. He applied for admission to the General 
Theological Seminary of the Episcopal church, but was not 
admitted on account of color. He was received in the 
diocese of Massachusetts, and in the established order and 
procedure of his denomination was ordained to the 
diaconate by Bishop Griswold. He was a hard student, 
and after much theological training he was admitted to 
the Priest's Orders by Bishop Lee of Delaware. He was 
enabled afterwards to take a course in the Queen's College, 
Cambridge, England, where he completed his studies and 
after graduation went as a missionary to Africa, where he 
was rector of a parish and Professor of Mental and Moral 
Science in Liberia. While in Africa he was a leading spirit 
in every public meeting, and was often called upon to use 
his pen and voice in addressing the people by special 
invitation. It will not be out of place to give some idea 
of the great preacher's style and thoughts by excerpts 
from his writings. On the subject of **The Responsibility 
of the First Fathers of a Country, for its Future Life and 
Character," delivered to the young men of Monrovia, 
Liberia, West Africa, the first of December, 1863, he said : 

I ask you also, what will you do? Look around you, then, at the 
vast moral waste that surrounds us in this country and throughout this 


•continent, and think of the muhitudinooa minds and thevast enefgiet of 
the i>ainfiil labors of the martyr-Hke selfHMcrifioe on the part of both 
'Church and State, which are to be expended from generation to gener- 
ation.ere the great work of God and hmnanity on this soil will approach 
its consummation. Open yonr ejesnpoa thedeep rista of grand ftitnritj ; 
glance along the long alleys of comtQg times, crowded with the rising 
generations of both emigrant and native, coming np into life and falKng 
into the ranks of society and the State; and then think of all the sober, 
earnest work that is to be done by us in our day to prepare them for the 
burdens and duties of their position. Yon will have to participate in 
this work, and, therefore, I entreat you, gird up your loins, young man, 
for duty. Serve God and serve your country just where you arc, how- 
ever lowly your position, however rugged your pathway, serve God and 
not the devil. Serve your country and not your lusts, and this, by 
meeting the duties of your kphere ; not by leaving them, bat by ennobling 
them by faithfulness and manhood. 

In an address delivered at the anniversary of the Penn* 
sylvania Colonization Society, in October, 1865, upon the 
snbject "How shall the Regeneration of Africa be Ef- 
fected," he said: 

It is all God*s work. To him be the glory. While for two hundred 
. and forty years the brutal hand of violence has been at the black man's 
throat, God has been neither blind nor quiet. He has seen it all ; He has 
been moving, too, amid it all, latent and restrained in power, although 
atrocious and repulsive as it has ever been to Him. To use the words 
5f another, " the ways of God are not found within narrow limits." He 
hurries not Himself to display to-day the consequences of the principle 
that he yesterday laid down; He will draw it out in the lapse of ages 
when the hour is come. 

Winding up that same address, he used these beautifiil 
words, after having urged them to use every endeavor to 
go as missionaries to other countries, said : 

And then, in a sense far deeper, more real than ever he thought of when 
' he uttered them, will the words of Henry Clay be realised— that every 


shipload of emigrants to this country will be a rix^lbad' of misrionariesv 
carrying the gospel to Africa, and even now, the time, it seems to me, 
has come; and *'the day is at hand," and all the great obstacles to the 
redemption of Africa are well nigh removed ; the wide door of saving 
opportunity is open; and now good men everywhere should seize the 
"staff of accomplishment," and enter in at once, and claim that conti*- 
nent for their Lord. 

In 1862 he published a volume of addresses, most of 
them delivered in Africa. They are varied as to their sub- 
jects, full of learning and written with the intention to 
promote the cause of God and the people. Perhaps the 
most sublime and elegant thought is found in one deliv- 
ered upon the subject of **God and the Nation," from 
which a short extract is given in order to show his confix 
dence in the God of Nations. He said : 

Our only safety under the moral governments of this world is in fasten- 
ing our country upK>n the throne of God. Without Him there is no life, ini 
the body nor in our souls, in the States nor in institutions, in nature in 
plants nor in trees, in the depths of the sea, amid the whirling hosts of the* 
Heavens, and so there is no life in the Nation without God. " In Him 
is life," and there is none besides. All growth proceeds from Him, 
whether it be the tiny plant '* beneath the mossy stone " or the spiritual. 
• vitality of the grandest archangel in the eternal Heavens. All fixedness, 
all endurance depend on Him, whether it be the firm seating of the hills 
around us, or the everlasting permanency of the eternal throne, . . . 
and therefore I say again — "God and our Country*' — for if this idea, 
in all its true relations, governs the minds of this people, then shall our 
country be unto God forever for a people, and for a name, for a praise, 
and for glory. For happy is the people that is in such a caae, 3rea, 
blessed are the people who have the Lord for their God. In 1883 he- 
published a volume of sermons to which an introduction is g^ven by the- 
Rt. Rev. Thomas M. Clark, D. D., LL. D., bishop of Rhode Island, and. 
so far there seems to be only three colored men who have published vol- 
umes of sermons. The first was probably the Rev. William Douglas,, 


formerly rector of St. Thomas church, in the citj of PhOaddphia; the 
second was Rev. Alexander Cmmmdl, D. D., and the other wat Bishop 
James W. Hood, D. D. 

His writings are chaste, scholarly, instmctiye and enters 
taining. They flow from a heart full of tenderness and 
love toward mankind and show a simple fidth in Christy 
which is touching and tender. He longs for a higher spir- 
ituality himself, and seeks to impress the same earnestness 
of soul into the minds of others. In personal appearance 
the doctor is slender, very neat and trim. He is a true 
African in color, and his intellectual development is of the 
highest order. His retiring disposition, his earnest enthusi- 
asm and kindly demeanor are all very noticeable and gfre 
him a commanding presence. One feels like venerating his 
frost- white hair and patriarchal style, to the extent that 
he would rather stand than sit in his presence, not because 
he overawes one by his sternness, but because you wish to 
honor him. He has had abundant success in all his under- 
takings. He has a fine church and congregation, and his 
affable, genial manners do much towards maintaining it. 
in the capital of the Nation, a place of public worship. 
His refined and ladylike wife assists him in her devotion 
to the cause of the church and seeks to aid hi. ministry by 
attention to the missionary labors incident to the life of 
a successful minister. 




A Member of the House of Representatives and the only Colored State 
Solicitor and Prosecuting Attorney. 


AMONG the representative men of our race, George H. 
White holds an important position. He is a young 
man, having been bom in 1852, and is scholarly, dignified 
and powerful. In his alma mater, Howard University, 
Washington, District of Columbia, where he graduated 
from an elective course in 1877, he was known for his 
excellence in science; and mathematics, and especially liter- 
ary tastes which have characterized his life. As a teacher 
in the public schools and Presbyterian Parochial School, 
and the Normal School of North Carolina, he was most 

The Supreme Court granted him, in 1879, a license to 
practice law in the Courts of North Carolina after he had 
completed that study under Judge Clark. But not only as 
a lawyer has this young man made his mark, still in this, 
his chosen avocation, his achievements are unrivaled. 

Such wonderful skill has Mr. White always shown in the 
management of famous cases, often winning against the 
ablest white lawyers of Newbem, North Carolina, that 


the last Republican convention chose to nominate him 
over many white lawyers for State solicitor of the Second 
Judicial District. By an overwhelming vote was Mr. 
"White elected, and January 1, 1887, he entered into oflSce. 

Previous to this election he was a member of the North 
Carolina Legislature, and for two years he was aneflScient 
worker in the House of Representatives at Raleigh. Later 
in the State Senate, for the good of his people and his State, 
he devoted his untiring energies, and he aided much in 
-securing Normal schools throughout his native State. As 
a speaker, Mr. White is eloquent ; as an advocate, clear- 
sighted, pointed and wise; and the persuasive address 
with which he holds audiences spellbound, has won for 
him many honors in public life. 

During the Centennial celebration in Philadelphia, Mr. 
White served as assistant in charge of the United States 
Coast Survey. 

He is not an active politician. His desire is to honor his 
profession and uplift himself and race by his sterling worth. 
Such men elevate the race and prove that they are suscep- 
tible of high culture and that they can rise amid difficulties 
and embarrassments. The law opens a wide field for 
-eloquence, learning and fame, and it is an incentive to the 
young to be pointed to such examples. His alma mater 
has had much honor reflected on her by such men as the 
Bon. G. H. White. 




Eminent Lawyer — Assistant Attorney-General of Shelby conntj, Ten- 
nessee — Eloquent Oratoi^-Legislator. 

THIS gentleman was bom September 30, 1850, on 
Cumberland Mountains, while his father and mother 
were en route from North Carolina to Mississippi, and as 
his parents continued their journey as soon as circum- 
stances would permit and settled in Mississippi, he claims 
this as his native State. His parents were named Josiah 
and Nancy Settle. His mother belonged to his father, who 
was one of the famous Settle family of Rockingham, North 
Carolina. He had no wife at the time he began raising a 
family by his former slave, being at that time a widower. 
Unlike a great many Southern men of his time, he was de- 
voted to his children and their mother. After a few years 
residence in Mississippi, he manumitted his children and 
their mother. After he had made them free he was informed 
that they could not remain in Mississippi as the laws of 
the State forbade **Free Negroes'* residing therein. In 
March, 1856, he carried them to Hamilton, Ohio, where 
he bought them a home and located them there, spending 
his summers with them, and the remainder of the year 


Upon his Southern plantation. Soon another difficulty 
presented itself. His Northern neighbors told him that he 
could not continue his relations with his family unless he 
was married. His reply to this was: **That is what I 
have always desired to do/' and in 1858 the mother of his 
children became his lawful wife in the presence of their 
children, whom the law, at the same time, in its beneficence, 
made legitimate. He then went backwards and forwards 
attending to his property in Mississippi. At the breaking 
out of the war, being a Union man, he came North and 
remained until he died in 1869. 

There is not a nobler specimen of manhood in the history 
of the South than this Southerner, who dared to do right. 
"Joe,"as hewas familiarly called, first attended school near 
Hamilton, Ohio, where there were no colored schools and 
few colored people, and mixed schools were not very popular 
in the State of Ohio at that period. When he was finally 
allowed to enter a little country school, he had to com- 
mence fighting at the same time. Sometimes his teachers 
were so prejudiced that it was impossible for him to attend 
and stand the punishment of teachers and scholars com- 
bined. Finally a good Christian woman, and an excellent 
teacher, took charge of the school and gave the * * odd sheep * ' 
a chance. He soon became deeply attached to her, and she 
took a warm interest in him, and it was not long before he 
became first in all of his classes. It was this kind woman 
who first inspired him with a desire for something more 
than a "country school-house.** He went to Oberlin, Ohio, 
in the spring of 1866, where he prepared for and entered 
college in 1868. He was chosen one of the orators to rep- 


resent his class when they entered college, an honor much 
coveted by the students. In the spring of 1869 his father 
died, and at the close of his freshman year he left Oberlin 
College and went to Washington city and entered the 
sophomore class of Howard University, where he pursued 
his college studies and taught in the Preparatory Depart- 
ment. He graduated from the College Department of the 
Howard University in 1872, together with J. M. Gregory 
and A. C. O'Hear, the class of 1872 being the first class 
that was ever graduated from the College Department. 

During the last two years of his college course, he clerked 
for a white man in the educational division of the Freed- 
man's Bureau ; during the latter part of his Senior year, 
he was elected reading clerk of the House of Delegates, 
Washington then being under a territorial form of govern- 
ment; and at the time of his graduation was performing 
his duties as reading clerk, and teaching two classes a day 
at the University, and pursuing his own studies at the 
same time. Immediately after his graduation from college, 
he joined the Law Department. He took an active part in 
the district politics, and held many places of honor and 
profit. He was clerk in the Board of Public Works until 
its expiration, then accountant in the Board of Audits. 

He was also trustee of the county schools for District of 
Columbia. During the presidential campaign of 1872, he 
canvassed several counties in Maryland, where his youth 
and brilliancy created quite a sensation. He also made 
speeches in Ohio, speaking at Dayton, Cleveland and other 
places. At Dayton, he spoke after Gen. John Harlan, and 
after the meeting was given a banquet, he being the first col- 


oredman at that time who had ever delivered a speech from 
-the court-house steps of Vallandigham's home. Upon his 
.graduation from the Law Department, he was selected as 
one of the orators to represent his class. He was admit- 
"ted to the bar of the Supreme Court of District of Colum- 
lia^ but he determined to locate in Mississippi. He left 
"Washington for that purpose in March, 1875, and was ad- 
mitted to the bar in Mississippi upon an examination at 
^icksburg, but traveled ovei" a considerable portion of 
-the State before he found a favorable location. He finally 
located at Sardis, Panola Co., in the North-western part 
of the State, and formed a partnership with Hon. D. T. J. 
Matthews, under the firm name of Settle & Matthews. 
He returned to Washington, and married Miss T. T. Vogel- 
sang of Annapolis, Maryland, a refined and cultivated 
lady, already distinguished for her superior mental quali- 
ties, and she has made him a faithful wife. He returned 
with his bride to the South, and commenced there the 
practice of law. In August of the same year he was 
unanimously nominated by the Republican convention for 
the position of District Attorney of the Twelfth Judicial Dis- 
trict of the State of Mississippi, in which there was a Re- 
publican majority of 2500. The result of the elections in 
Mississippi in the year 1875 was a revolution of the poli- 
tics of the South, and the virtual death of Republicanism 
in that part of the country, and Mr. Settle was of course 
defeated with all the rest; but he made an active and vig- 
orous canvass, filling his appointments wherever made, 
knowing that he did so at the risk of his life. In 1876 he 
was a member of the State convention, which sent dele- 


gates to the National Republican convention at Cincinnati, 
Ohio. He was elected as a delegate, and was also selected 
as Republican elector for the State-at-large, on the Hayes 
and Wheeler ticket, in that convention. He was the only 
delegate from Mississippi who voted for the nomination of 
Roscoe Conkling for President, and continued to vote for 
him as long as his name was before the convention. In 
this convention he was selected by the members of the 
Mississippi delegation to second the nomination of Stewart 
L. Woodford of New York, for Vice-President, and ad- 
dressed the convention in a telling speech. In 1880 he was 
again chosen as Republican elector oii the Garfield and 
Arthur ticket. 

In 1882 he was strongly urged to become a Republican 
candidate for Congress from the Second Congressional Dis- 
trict of Mississippi. At the time. Gen. Jas. R. Chalmers 
moved from the Shoestring district to the Second, and Mr. 
Settle only declined to do so at the earnest solicitation of 
some leading Republicans in Jackson and Washington City, 
District of Columbia. Being induced to believe the inter- 
ests of the Republican party demanded the indorsement of 
Gen. Chalmers, and in the convention where he could have 
been nominated with ease, he withdrew, and himself in an 
eloquent speech placed the name of Chalmers before the 
convention. He was made chairman of the Republican 
Congressional Executive Committee, and made a thorough 
canvass of the district, and Chalmers was elected by a 
handsome majority. In 1883 some of the Republicans 
and Democrats made a fusion ticket for county officers and 
members of the Legislature. This, Mr. Settle vigorously 


opposedv and became a candidate for the Legislature on an 
:independent ticket. It was during this canvass that he 
xnade the most brilliant efforts of his life ; he was met by 
^he ablest speakers of both parties on every stump in 
-the country, and although he was single-handed, he was be- 
fore the people irresistibly, and was triumphantly elected 
"by more than twelve hundred majority. 

During his term in the Legislature, he won golden opin- 
ions on every side, and was regarded as one of the ablest 
men in the House. The first time he rose to address the 
House he won all hearers, and ever after that he had no 
trouble in getting the eye of the speaker. He never 
addressed the speaker unless he had something to say, and 
possessed the happy faculty of knowing when he had 
finished. At the adjournment of the Legislature he was 
presented with a gold-headed cane, as a token of the 
esteem in which he was held. Upon his return to his 
home he determined to abandon active participation in 
politics and devote his time to the practice of law, and 
moving from Mississippi he located at Memphis. In the 
spring of 1885, about two months after his location at 
Memphis, he was appointed Assistant Attorney-General 
of the Criminal Court of Shelby county, which position he 
held until the expiration of General Turner's term of office. 
During this time he was left almost in entire charge of all 
the responsibilities and duties of the position, and so 
thorough and able was his management of the prosecu- 
tion, that he was on several occasions complimented by 
the Court from the bench, and at all times enjoyed the un- 
bounded confidence of the of the Attorney-General and the 

544 M£N OP MARK. 

Court. During his term of office as Assistant Attorney^ 
General, Mr. Settle built up for himself a good practice. 
He is now engaged in the practice of law at Memphis, 
where he enjoys the esteem and confidence of the entire 
bar. His practice is constantly growing, and as he is a 
comparatively young man, his prospects are very flat- 
tering. In religion he is inclined to the Episcopalian 
views. This orator did not disappoint the expectations 
of his friends. While in school, we all admired him and 
predicted a splendid career. I remember hearing him make 
a Sunday school address to the pioneer Sunday school in 
Hillsdale, District of Columbia, and his eloquence was 
such that it was never forgotten. **Joe** owes much to 
Theresa, as she was called in the Howard, when Mr. Settle 
courted her. It is hoped that he will yet live many days 
to fulfill the measure of honor that awaits so learned a 
disciple ofBlackstone. While in Memphis once, we heard 
it said **that young man is too eloquent to be a prosecutor 
for the State, because the jury would be so blinded by his 
eloquence that the opposing counsel could not persuade 
them to give a verdict of acquittal." 




.=4KK>i Teacher in the SlaTcry DaycH-Mustctan— Mail Agent— Rerenin 
Agent— Grand Master U. B. of Friendship. 

'HE narrative here given of* the career of William H. 
Gibson, Sr., is worthy of perusal. Beginning life 
^^^- nmble, he has become one of most respected citizens of 
^L^rouisville, Kentucky. Philip and Amelia Gibson, free 
jgroes in the city of Baltimore, were the parents of this 
lonored son. 

They gave him all the advantages of an education, that 
'^he city of his birth offered to the Negro child, and in 1834, 
^^hen he was but five years of age, he could read. Continu- 
ing his studies, he had for several years as instructor John 
Tortie, a prominent teacher. 

His color prevented him from learning the printer's trade 
as his parents desired, but it did not close every avenue 
for advancement. He served for ten years as porter in the 
book store of the Lutheran Book Company, and the kind- 
ness of the clerks at that place enabled him to continue his 
studies. Bishop D. A. Payne, D. D., was one of his instuc^ 
tors in English and Latin grammar . Music was one study 
that possessed his soul, and he began its study in boyhood. 


under the best teachers of Baltimore in vocal music, and 
Professor James Anderson, violinist. The Sharpe Street 
choir and' musical associations of that city were honored 
with his membership. In 184Y he moved to Louisville 
-frith Rev. James Harper, and with Robert Lane he taught 
in this city, opening a day and a night school, and a sing- 
ing school in the basement of the Methodist church, comer 
of Fourth and Green Streets. His school numbered from 
fifty to one hundred pupils, many of whom were slaves 
whose masters gave them written permits to attend school. 
His singing classes were led by the violin. 

Ue introduced the first instrumental music in the colored 
churches of this city, which was regarded by many as a 
sacrilege and intolerable. The study of the piano and 
guitar were added to his accomplishments, and he imparted 
to others of this knowledge, until the breaking out of the 
Rebellion, in September, 1862. which closed schools and 
churches in this citv. 

He then went to Indianapolis, Indiana, and taught a 
school partially supported by the ** Friends,'* for the freed 
children of the soldiers in the war. 

Daring his whole life he served on many important com- 
mittees, and held many positions of trust. In May, 1863, 
he received a commission from Colonel Condee, recruiting 
officer of the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Colored Regiment,to 
raise colored soldiers. He accepted the commission for 
Louisville, Charleston, Albany and Jeffersonville, Indiana. 
In Indiana he succeeded in recruiting, but the military auth- 
orities of Louisville decided that Massachusetts had no 
rieht to Kentucky recruits, and he was arrested and ordered 


to leave the State. He returned to Indiana and thence 
to Leavenworth, Klansas, where he taught partly under 
the supervision of the American Missionary Society until 
the close of the war, when he returned to Louisville, July 
1866, and his schools were reorganized under the Freed- 
men's Bureau. He taught day and night until 1874, when 
he resigned to accept the position of assistant cashier in 
the Freedman's bank. This position he held until it closed. 
In 1870 he received a commission from General Grant, 
as mail agent on the Knoxville branch of the L. & N. R. R. 
He was transferred at the expiration of eight months to 
the Lexington branch. On his second trip he was attacked 
by the Ku-klux-clan, and his life was so endangered that a 
military guard attended him for some months. 

In 1874 he received an appointment in the Revenue De- 
partment as United States gauger, which position he re- 
tained until the defeat of the Republican administration. 
In 1847 he was initiated in the Masonic fraternity in 
Baltimore, Maryland. He organized Enterprise Lodge, 
No. 3., and Mt. Moriah Lodge, No. 1, of Louisville. In 1859 
he was elected Grand Junior Warden of Grand Lodge of 
Ohio, and was Grand Master of Kentucky in 1872, and 
has taken all degrees to Knights Templars. In 1869 he 
was a delegate to the colored National Convention held 
in Washington, District of Columbia. 

In the city of Louisville, W. H. Gibson, Esq., will always 
hold an exalted place in the hearts of its citizens, as no 
project has been on foot for the improvement of the 
minds and morals of its citizens that has not met his sanc- 
tion. In the Sunday school he is an active worker, and 


OBORGB W. WnXIiLlfil. 648 



The Most Bminent N^ro Historian in the World— An Author of World* 
Wide Reputation— Legislatox^udge Advocate of the Grand Army of 
the Republic— Novelist— Scholar^Magnetic Orator— Bditor— Soldier 
— Preachci^-Lawyci^-Poet and Traveler. 

AMONG the intellectual stars whkh shine in the zenith 
of the Negro world, increasing in brightness day by 
day, dispensing its light to the dark comers of the world, 
is the Hon. George Washington Williams. He was bom at 
Bedford Spring, Bedford county, Pennsylvania, on the six- 
teenth day of October, 1849. His mother's maiden name 
was Nellie or Helen Rouse, who came of Negro and German 
parentage. His father was of Welsh and Negro extrac- 
tion. He was a man of large mould, standing about six 
feet high and weighing from one hundred and eighty to 
two hundred pounds. His mother was medium in size, of 
fair complexion, large dark eyes and black hair, and was 
a woman of rare intellectual power, speaking German flu- 
ently, and was well up with the times in current literature. 
She was noted for her dramatic and elocutionary powers, 
of which the son is possessed of a large share, no doubt 
inherited from his mother. 



When young George was about three years dd, his par- 
ents moved to Newcastle, Lawrence county, Pennsylvania, 
and his early education was obtained in that State and in 
Massachusetts, comprising two years with a private 
tutor, four years in the common and high schools, two 
years in an academy, and four years at Newton Center, 

He was enlisted in the United States volunteer army by 
Major George L. Stems, and served until the dose of the 
war. Being only fourteen years old he ran away from 
home and begged to be accepted, even against the advice 
of the examining surgeon. He didn't give his own name 
when he enlisted, but used that of one of his half uncles.. 
By his intelligence and attention to the duties of a soldier, 
he rose rapidly from one grade to another, beginning a» 
private and ending the war as sergeant-major of his regi- 
ment. Having been severely wounded he was discharged 
from the service, but soon re-enlisted and was detailed on 
the staff of General Jackson in 1865, and accompanied him 
in May to Texas. While there he was ordered to be mus- 
tered out, and he immediately enlisted in the Mexican 
army, where he was at once made orderly sergeant of the 
First battery from the State of Tampico, and in just one: 
week was made assistant inspector-general of artillery,., 
with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. After the capture and 
death of Maximillian he returned to the United States and 
entered the cavalry service of the regular army, serving in 
the Comanche campaign of 1867 with conspicuous bravery. 
February, 1868, while at Fort Arbuckle, this hero ^wau. 
converted, and in late autumn left the army for civil Kfc,. 


having been convinced as a Christian that killing people in 
time of peace as a profession was not the noblest life a man 
conld live'. As soon as he completed his six hundred miles' 
journey across the plains, he went to St. Louis, Missouri. 

His fatlier was a Unitarian, and his mother a devoted 
member of the Lutheran church ; but the son read the New; 
Testament and came to the conclusion that the Baptist 
church, in practices and doctrines, came up to the New 
Testament standard. Not being acquainted with a single 
person in St. Louis, save a few officers at General Sheri- 
dan's headquarters, he sallied forth into the streets to in- 
quire for a Baptist church. Singularly enough the first 
man he met was a deacon in a church of that denomina- 
tion, and on the following day, which was the Sabbath, he 
told his experience in the First Baptist church and was 
that evening baptized into the fellowship of the Baptist 
communion by the Rev. H. H. White. 

From 1868 to 1874 he devoted himself to study, and 
graduated from the Newton Theological Institution, June 
10, 1874, delivering an oration on **The Early Church in 
Africa." Here at once can be seen the tendency of Mr. 
Williams. He always inquires into the history of some 
subject connected with the race. He early developed the 
power of search and the love for deep investigation, and 
thus laid the foundation for his present and future life, 
which has become so widely connected with historical sub- 
jects which materialized themselves into the great histories 
which he has written. He was licensed to preach June 1, 
1874, as the following will show : 


This is to certify that the Watertown Baptist church, having confidence 
in the Christian character and fitness of our brother, George W. Williams, 
did on the thirty-first of May, 1874, unanimously vote to give him license 
to preach the Gospel of Christ. 

In behalf of the church, 

William Blodgett, 

Church Clerk. 
Watertown, Jane 1, 1874. 

His ordination to the Gospel ministry took place at 
Watertown, Massachusetts, June 11, 1874, under the call 
of the First Baptist church in Watertown. 

April 4, 1874, he feceived a call to the Twelfth Street 
Baptist church in Boston,. He accepted this call, and the 
following services were held by way of recognition of the 
new pastor. Sermon by Rev. Dr. George Lorimer, from 
1 Corinthians chapter i, 16-17 verses. Prayer of Recog- 
nition, by Rev. R. M. Neale, D. D. Charge, Rev. D. C. 
Eddy. Hand of Fellowship, Rev. J. T. Beckley . 

While pastor of this church he wrote the history of its 
struggles and labors, for the purpose of calling the atten- 
tion of the charitable to its pecuniary needs. The church 
had done excellent work among the colored people of the 
West End and deserved to be sustained. It was organized 
in 1840, with an original. membership of only about forty, 
whovsrithdrew from the First Independent Baptist church. 
The volume contains eighty pages and was published in a 
popular form, by James H. Earle, No. 11 Comhill. While 
pastor of this* church, he preached a memorial sermon 
before the Robert A. Bell Post 134, Grand Army of the 
Republic, Sunday, May 24, 1874. 

Mr. Williams applied to the Massachusetts Legislature 



for the position of chaplain. The request was not granted, 
but he made an open and plain request for that which 
he desired. 

He served the Twelfth Street Baptist church one year as 
-supply before he was ordained, and was pastor one year. 
The Divine favor that was shown him was an evidence of 
the fruitfiilness of his ministry. His relation was termi- 
nated with that church in August, 1875, by his own vol- 
untary resignation. He then went to the city of Washing- 
ton, and the following notice is given of his purpose for 
visiting that city, in a speech which he delivered in the 
Presbyterian church, at a meeting held for the purpose of 
taking steps towards establishing a journal in that city 
to be managed by colored men, and devoted to the inter- 
ests of the colored people. The report says: "The Rev. 
George W. Williams delivered an eloquent aadress in 
which he stated that he proposed to establish a journal 
in the District of Columbia, devoted to the interests of 
colored people." There was no question as to the neces- 
sity of such a journal. It was offered in objection that 
the colored people were not a reading people, but educa- 
tional statistics of the country show that within the last 
decade they have become a reading people. 

Speaking of Horace Greeley, he said that he considered 
him the most remarkable man of the nineteenth century 
in every respect, and especially in journalism. He, Mr. 
Williams, proposed to edit a paper devoted to the colored 
people — politics, art, and the events of the day. 

He had been waiting a long time for an opportunity 
and was willing to sacrifice everything in the enterprise. 




because duty urged him. Mr. Douglass, in this meetings 
said that he had listened to Mr. Williams with great sat- 
isfaction, and was impressed with his range of vision and 
decided ability. A committee was appointed to draft 
resolutions ; said committee consisted of Messrs Frederick 
Douglass, J. B. Sampson and M. M. Holland. The fol- 
lowing is one of the most important resolutions which 
they reported. 

Resolved : That we have heard with satitfaction the proposition of 
Rev. George W. Williams to estaUish such a journal in Washington, and 
we will do what we can to make the proposed enterprise a success. 

The following persons took part in this meeting : Those 
above mentioned and Messrs. Barbadoes, Wall, Smith, 
Matthews, Emerson, Wilson, Professor John M. Lang- 
ston and C. C. Crusoe. The result was the establishment 
of the Commoner, which did good service during its ex- 

December 22, 1875, he was appointed in the Post Office 
Department at Washington, District of Columbia. He 
accepted, but resigned this position February 15, 1876, 

He was called to take pastoral charge of the Union Bap- 
tist Church of Cincinnati, Ohio, on Thursday, February 
10, 1876, which he accepted, and preached his first sermon 
on Sabbath, February 20, 1876. He was installed as 
pastor of the Union Baptist church, Thursday evening, 
March 2, 1876. 

July 21, 1876, at the forty-fifth anniversary of their 
church, he delivered an address, in which he reviewed some- 
what the history of the church. An extract of the address is. 
heregiven to assist in preserving the history of that church,. 




and also to pay tribute to some distingxiished men who 
have done service in founding and sustaining this old and 
substantial church : 

Protn 1831 to 1835, the pulpit of the Branch of Enon Church was 
filled by supplies, as the brethren were able to serve them. Drs. Lynd 
and Patterson often administered the Eucharist, baptized and preached 
as they found opportunity. In 1832, the venerable Elijah Porte was 
«:ti08en to take the temporary oversight of the church. He was a man 
of fervent piety, unabating zeal, wisdom and discretion. He was a suc- 
oessful business man, and the same system, energy and caution which 
<3istinguished him in business, made him a leader among his brethren— a 
leader at once safe and judicious. How much the church owes to the 
j^aithftilness of Elijah Forte can not well be estimated. 

After the Church was re-organized as the African Union Baptist church, 
-the same year, 1835. the Rev. David Nickens was called to take the pas- 
-toral ov e i wig ht of the church. He was probably the first ordained col- 
ored minister in Ohio. He did not possess the culture of the schools, and 
yet he was no stranger to books, especially the Bible. He was not fluent 
in speech, but careful. He was faithful to every trust, and earnest in 
manner. He accomplished much, baptized manj', was loved by his peo- 
ple, respected by all classes, and died in the midst of his labors, deeply 
lamented, in 1838. 

His ministry was brief, though wonderfully successful. During these 
four years he had organized a day and Sunday school, which were flour- 
ishing at the time of his death, receiving, per annum, $300. 

The church was casting about for a shepherd, and laid hands upon a 
young man by the name of Charles Satchell. He was a young man oi 
promise, and the church gave him the splendid opportunities that made 
him one of the most eminent divines the Colored Baptists have produced 
during the last half century. 

The Rev. Charles Satchell was every inch a general. He cast his eye 
over the field in which he was to marshal his little company, and care- 
fully reviewed his troops. His policy was to make every member sensi- 
ble of individual responsibility, and found something for every one to do. 
He soon had a working church, because he was a working pastor, and 
bis example was contagious. His sick were well cared for, the dying re- 


ceived the consolations of Christianity from the lips of a faithful pastor, 
and the wayward were afibctionately sought and brought back to the 
love and service of Christ. 

As early as 1841, the church had grown under Satchell's administra- 
tion, from forty-five to two hundred and seventy-five. And its strength 
was not to be found in its numbers, but in the intelligence and spirituality 
•of its members. He was a teacher as well as a pastor. He continued 
to work successfully for eight years, when he resigned, to the regret of 
his charge, and was succeeded by the Rev. Allen Graham. He was the 
-esteemed pastor of the church for two years, working successfully and 

In 1850 the Rev. W. P. Newman followed brother Graham, and re- 
signed in 1852 to accept a call to Canada. The late Rev. Henry Adams 
became pastor of this church immediately upon the retirement of New- 
man, and remained until 1855. Rev. H. L. Simpson was the successor 
•of Adams, and held the pulpit for a term of three years. Rev. H. H. 
White, the polished writr and graceful speaker, followed Simpson in a 
pastorate of three years, and did well. 

The Rev. W. P. Newman was tendered the pastoral charge of the 
•church again tind accepted. He was a man of spotless integrity, scrupu- 
lously conscientious, and strong in his likes and dislikes. He was unos- 
tentatious and generous in his private relations, earnest, forcible, orig- 
inal, and, at times, rough and severe; he was no apologetical, but rather 
a polemical preacher. He had the spirit of a reformer, with boldness and * 
severity not always judicious or praiseworthy. The sinner who sat 
under his preaching, felt his searching, burning language, and felt eyevy 
word was directed at him. He was unsparing in his denunciation of 
every species of ungodliness, whether in or out of the church, and was 
feared by one and respected by the other. 

He was just in the most successful days of his ministry, when on the 
third of August, 1866, he was cut off by a brief but severe sickness from 

The Rev. H. L. Simpson was recalled, and served until 1869, three 
years, when he tendered his resignation as pastor. 

The Rev. James H. Magee was called during the same 3'ear, and was 
pastor for four years. 



The jmlpit was Tacant for some time, when it was supplied by Revs* 
Campbdlf Emery, Sage, Stone, Early, Bamett, Thardkill and Darnell. 

Daring the first ten years of the churches existence, it grew so large 
that there was no longer sufficient sittings in the small edifice on Central 
Avenue. The brethren were casting about for another location, when a 
proposition came from the trustees of the First Baptist church, to the 
efiect that their building on Baker Street could be had for $9000, its- 
actual worth being $12000, and thereby donating $3000. The ofler was 
accepted, and in 1839 this church began to worship on Baker Street, and 
continued there for a quarter of a century. 

Prom 1864 to 1874, ten years, the church enjoyed great prosperity, in 

spiritnal as well as temporal things. It paid all its debts, gave with an 

Unsparing hand, and enjoyed many glorious revivals. She had a strong 

fiold upon the young people of this city, and a reputation for intelligence 

^nd usefulness throughout the Southwest, and especially in Ohio. 

This church has set apart to the Gospel ministry twenty of its mem- 
:^ers» many of whom are faithful workers. The reverend brethren Shel- 
i-on, Scott, Passitt, Webb and Early are the sons of this church, and 
tamest pastors in or near this city. 

About twenty members of this church, led by our venerable brother, 
dder Henry Williams, Senior, withdrew with their letters, and formed 
^he Zion Baptist church, in 1842. The church grew in numbers, and be- 
crame quite influential under the pastoral charge of Rev. Wallace Shel ton. 

Rev. G. W. Williams resigned December 1, 1877. Sep- 

"^ember 2, 1878, he was appointed internal revenue store- 

Iceeper by the Secretary of the Treasury, and served also 

in the Auditor's office as secretary of the four million 

dollar fund to build the Cincinnati Southern railroad. 

He studied law in the office of Judge Alphonso Taft and 
the Cincinnati Law School ; and was admitted to practice 
in the Supreme Circuit Court of the State of Ohio in the 
city of Columbus, June 7, 1881 ; and admitted in the 
Supreme Judicial Court at Boston, within the aforesaid 
Suffolk count}', on the second Tuesday in September, A. D., 


1883. He began his political life in Cincinnati. At first 
he was averse to going into politics, as he said in a 
speech at Hopkin's hall when addressing an enthusiastic 
meeting of colored Republicans: 

As a rule, I believe that ministers of the Gospel should remain as far 
from the political arena as possible. But when the storm clouds thicken 
and darken our National sky, when the hand of treason is at the throat 
of the Nation, when the temple of justice, humanity and equality is 
about to be desecrated by traitors ; when the Constitution is about to 
be eliminated and the gracious, benign amendments thereof to be ren- 
dered nugatory; when the proud institutions of America — our joy at 
home, and our glory among the civilized powers of the earth — are 
imperiled, I would be false to the race to which I am bound by the ties 
of consanguinity, false to the flag under which I fought, false to the great 
issues of this hour, false to the instincts and impulsesof my better nature 
and deserving of the execrations of God and man, if I did not lend my 
pen, my voice, my soul, to the cause of the illustrious Republican party. 

September, 1877, he was nominated for the Legislature 
from Hamilton county, Ohio. At the ratification meeting 
of the colored Republicans, Mr. Williams delivered an 
address of which the following is an extract. Said he: 

My friends and fellow citizens — I appreciate the high public spirit of 
which this large and enthusiastic meeting is bom. I am deeply touched 
by the manifold expressions of kindly sentiment concerning myself, 
and am cheered by the pledges already made to support the Republican 
party in the approaching canvass. I would, indeed, be an ingrate if I 
were insensible to the honor conferred upon me by my party and race. 
I did not seek the nomination, did not ask it. The part}' and my friends 
bestowed it with lavish hands, and, as I believe, with honest intentions. 
I said to my friends, who urged me to be a candidate for legislative 
honors, that I would yield to their wishes if it were certain I would serve 
the whole people. The nomination was made with a heartiness that led 
tnt to believe that the leaders of the Republican party, at least, honestly 
desired to give proper representation to the colored people ; and that 


^wben a colored man, representing the people, should come to the front, 
they would give him their unqualified support. Then, when I turned to 
my people and found them almost a unit as to my nomination, there was 
but one thing left for me to do, and that was to accept the nomination— 
this unsought compliment. 

I was not a stranger to every person when I came to this beautiful 
Queen City. I was known to quite a number of the people, either per- 
sonally or through the press. From 1863 till the present moment I have 
identified myself with the various interests of my race and country. 
Upon the field of battle, under the mellow and enlightening blaze of the 
student's lamp, in the wide and useful field of journalism, in>the sacred 
pulpit and in the political arena, I have striven for all that is noble, just 
and of good report. I was welcomed to your city by white and black 
men, by Democrats and Republicans, by saints and sinners. And I now 
call you to witness that I have labored for my people and party with 
zeal and faithfulness.' For this you have honored me with a foremost 
place in your midst, a warm place in your hearts and confidence. One 
could scarcely be affected by a spirit of vainglory, standing where I 
stand to-night. I stand here, .not for myself, not for the three thousand 
loyal colored men in this county, not for the fifteen thousand colored 
voters in this grand old commonwealth ; but I stand here as a represen- 
tative of the sovereign people. I am before you, fellow citizens, as an 
exponent and defender of the immortal teachings of the Republican 
party, the party that represents the loyal sentiment and political con- 
science of the American people. 

During his term as a member of the Legislature, he was 
chairman of the committee on library, special committee 
on railroad terminal facilities ; second member of the com- 
mittee on universities and colleges, and took part in all 
the legislation, and secured the passage of several bills re- 
ferring to police, railroad legislation and school legislation. 

He has been a member of the Grand Army of the Repub- 
lic for many years, and has been a National delegate and 
officer from the beginning of his membership. January 26 

560 m£:n of mark. 

and 27, 1881, the fifth annual encampment of the abore 
order met at Columbus, Ohio, at which time he was ap- 
pointed to deliver a speech in response to the welcomini^ ad* 
dress of the mayor. . In the minutes of the session ^vrhich 
met at Cincinnati, January 18 and 19, 1882, will be found 
his report ias judge-advocate of the department of Ohio, 
Grand Army of the Republic. 

Mr. Williams is a man who has delivered many orations 
upon many topics and is still in great demand as an orator. 
As an author he has written two standard works, 'The 
History of the Negro Race in America from 1819 to 1880; 
Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers and as Citizens, together 
with a Preliminary Consideration of the Unity of the Hu- 
man Family.' * An Historical Sketch of Africa and an Ac- 
count of the Negro Government of Sierra Leone, Africa.' 

At this writing he has in Harper Brothers' press a vol- 
uminous work on the 'Negro as a Soldier.' We will gfive 
two criticisms of his 'History of the Negro Race, 'simply to 
show how the work is estimated. The first will be from 
the Westminster Review, London, England, which ^was 
sent to him with the compliments of that magazine, July, 
1883. It says: 

A * History of the Negroes ' ( the author insists on the propriety ofspeD- 
ing the word with a capital ) has just been brought out by the first col- 
ored member of the Ohio Legislature and late Judge-Advocate of the 
Grand Army of the Republic of Ohio. He gives no particulars about hi» 
own life, whether he was ever a slave or not ; but to judge from the hon- 
orable position he has attained, he must have been bom before the eman- 
cipation of his race, though his portrait shows him to be still a yoimg 
man, probably not of pure African blood, with the face indicating deac^ 
headedness and resolution. The materials have been collected with gxeat. 


\ official docmnenta in most cases printed in full ; and though a mem- 
ber of an oppressed race cannot be expected to write calmly about the 
'wrongs of his people, there is no needless or offensive vituperation. Tht 
style is clear and straightforward, with a few Americanisms here and 
there, some of which will be new to many of his readers on this side, as 
the verb " to enthuse, " meaning to inspire Enthusiasm. 

From the Kansas City Review of Science we give the fol- 

Having r e fe rred quite fully to the general scope of this work in the 
April ntunber of the Review, it is unnecessary to recur to it or to 
repeat the favorable comments then made upon the ability and skill man- 
ifested by the author in handling his subject. The present volume is de- 
voted to an account of the Negro race in America between the years 1610 
and 1800. Commencing with the unity of mankind and considering the 
snl^ect in the light of philology, ethnology and Egyptology, the author 
proceeds to discuss primitive Negro civilization, the Negro kingdoms ol 
Africa, the Ashantee Empire, African idiosyncrasies, languages, literature 
and religion, Sierra Leone, the Republic of Liberia, etc. 

In part two heconsiders the history of slavery in the Colonies of Vir- 
ginia, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, 
Rhode Island, Newjersey, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania 
and Georgia, giving the laws regulating slavery in each, and many other 
facts which have been collected with great pains and carefully condensed. 
Part three is devoted to an account of the services of the Negro during 
the Revolution, including their military employment, the legal status, 
the statutory prohibition against educating them ; notices of Banneker, 
the Negro astronomer; Fuller, the mathematician, and Derham,the phy- 
sician; slavery during the Revolution as a political and legal problem. 

Mr. Williams, though a ver\' dark-skinned and pronounced Negro, is a 
lawyer and has been a member of the Ohio Legislature. He is a vigorous 
writer and a hard student. In the preparation of these volumes he has 
consulted over twelve thousand volumes, besides thousands of pamph- 
lets, and has succeeded in producing a work which will be authority on 
the subject treated until a better one is produced, which is likely to be a 
long time. 


The honorable gentleman has traveled extensively in our 
own country, especially giving some attention to Mexico 
and New Mexico, and has visited nearly every country in 
Europe, and though quite a young man, he has d^stin- 
guished himself so that with all justice the following titles 
can be given him : Reverend, Honorable, Colonel, Editor, 
Traveler, Legislator, Lawyer, Orator, Poet, Historian and 
Novelist. Space forbids us to give quotations from all of 
his writings, but we will content ourselves with giving 
some at the close of this sketch. 

One matter we might refer to here, before we close the 
biographical part of this work, and that is his appoint- 
ment at the expiring hour of the Congress just before the 
inauguration of President Grover Cleveland. It will be 
remembered that President Arthur appointed him to office 
very nearly, if UQt the last act of his administration as 
President of the United States, and Grover Cleveland found 
him in office confirmed as Minister to Havti, and the 
following extract which I take from the New York Tribune 
will give sufficient explanation of the matter. It will be 
remembered also that he did not fill the position, but was 
removed and another substituted in his place : 

Washington, April 20. — Mr. Williams, United States Minister to 
Hayti, addressed to President Cleveland, on April 13, a letter of which 
the following is a copy : 

**It is unnecessary for me to give you the history of my case. It is 
brief and a matter of public record. You will remember, however, that 
when T called to pay my respects a month ago, I informed you of my 
■nomination and confirmation as United States Minister Resident and 
Consul-General to Hayti. When you expressed pleasure at this state- 
ment, which was news to you, I abandoned my avowed purpose often- 


ring my resignation. Several weeks later I learned that a fight was 
ing made against my appointment. Vice-President Hendricks had told 
i that he wanted the position. I came to yon, Mr. President, and told 
•a that if the administration had a candidate for the Haytian mission 
vould resign. Yon told me that you had no candidate. I then told 
»u that a fight was being made against me in the dark, and that I un- 
rstood that an effort was being made to have me recalled. Yon told 
e that my recall had been suggested, but that the matter would be 
dicially considered. Your promise of fair play, Mr. President, gave me 
mfidence. I had then, and have now, absolute confidence in your prom- 
e. I have sent two communications to the Department of State. I have 
ceived no reply. After waiting forty-two daj's since I took the oath of 
Bee, I called to-day to draw my thirty days pay for ** waiting instruc- 
>n8.** After waiting an hour in the public hall, I sa>w the secretary in 
private room. I was informed that there were charges pending against 
. I asked for a copy but was refused. I was subsequently informed 
"the chief clerk that I could have my thirty days' salary, provided I 
►■uld write my resignation. He said the secretary had sent him to me. 
alined. I declined to be bribed to resign with charges hanging over 
' head. This is a very brief statement of the case, but there are man^* 
>TC important matters that I cannot properly mention at this time. 
* Air. President, I appeal to you for justice and fair play. My case 
iises to be a p>ersonal matter from to-day. I am on trial before the 
untry for my race, and, as far as I am concerned as a young man now 
nie time in public life, I cannot injustice to myself seek a back door. 
I. m a public officer; let my case have the same open examination that 
^ry honest official should court ; let the charges l>e made in the light ; 
^y accusers face me, and if I shall Im found unfit for public station, 
'^e be dismissed. If I shall endure the test, let me have my rights. I 
^^e no claim to perfection, but I do honestly believe that I have striven 
^ a man and a gentlemen. I have no apolog>' to offer for my record 
^ tJnion soldier and Republican citizen. I have not always felt enthu- 
*^ic over the candidate of my party, and sometimes have wished 
'^ Uiy party had pursued a different policy. But all parties are human, 
^ party policy is rather dictated by what is necessary rather than b^- 
^t is right in the abstract. I rejoice in the noble record of the Repub- 
^ party, and yet sincerely and honestly wish the present Democratic 


^^-n'^t -'^^- '" see tV^e 3-^^ i^-^^ ^w 

U'-"!; :».-' *rl «^«'- ^ ' ' 


He does not go into society except on rare occasions and 
len proYes himself a congenial and racy conversational- 
±. There is but one place in which he may be found regu- 
irly, except prevented by indisposition or inclement 
ireather, and that is the Thursday evening prayer meet- 
ag. He is a member of the Baptist church, and during his 
Christian life has been an active Sunday school and Young 
fcden's Christian Association worker, until a severe attack 
>f pneumonia and increased literary duties admonished 
lim to husband his strength. 

Few persons have had the privilege of knowing him inti- 
mately, but those who have come in close contact with him 
^ially have found him an intelligent and interesting 
-ntleman. He is loyal to his friends, but pays little ^at- 
n-tion to his enemies, except they provoke and bring 
^out war; then it may be said of him truly ** Beware of 
le wrath of a patient man.'' He is the equal or the su- 
-rior in general learning, information and originality of 
^y of the representative colored men in this country. He 

familiar with the classics, with several modem lan- 
^ages, and is well-informed upon all questions of domes- 
c and foreign politics. He writes poetry with grace and 
nction and is authorit}^ on English classics. As an 
i"ator he takes first rank. He has written three novels 
nd a tragedy ; the last two productions are destined to 
I'eate a profound sensation on both sides of the Atlantic 
ind give him additional fame. Although a good lawyer, 
^nd, in the practice making a good deal of money, his real 
tastes are those of the scholar and literary man ; and the 
^^t of his life will be devoted to literary pursuits. 


At the commencement of the State UniYersity, LonasYille^ 
Kentucky, May 17, 1887, the Hon. G. W. WiUiama deUv-* 
ered an oration on ' ' Books and Reading : Hoiv to read^ 
what to read, and ^when to read." The oration? was ^ 
masterpiece and at the same tmie a voluminana index t^ 
the orators reading, an epitome of the yarinl «ttd eztei:::^ 
sive historical research after wisdom. At lAis time tt::::: 
degree of LL. D. was conferred on him by lAeatithoritt^i.. 
of the State University. The " Em^ka," the socifity befc^^ 
whom he lectured, was especially proud of tb^honoi: 
ferred on him. 




A. B., A. M., LL. D. 

Hebrew, German and French Scholar— Professor in the Atlanta Baptist 

IN slave life there were many pleasant scenes, many lives 
that ran smoothly and presented pictures of a happy 
home, and it was the wont of American slaveholders to 
liken slavery to the patriarchal days of father Abraham. 

It was under very favorable scenes that W. E. Holmes 
was bom in the city of Augusta, Georgia, January 22, 
1856. Has parents were slaves, his father belonging to 
one family and his mother to another. Separated as they 
were, the care and responsibility of rearing him devolved 
upon his mother. Fortunately for her, in the immediate 
service of her master, w^ho was a planter, she never spent 
a day. From early youth to the close of the war she was 
hired out, and the family in whose employ she passed the 
last fourteen years of her slave life, consisting of a father, 
mother and son, were very kind. The head of the family 
was a contracting carpenter and did business on a large 
scale, and as is characteristic with most Southern men, lived 
an easy and flowing life, never thinking of providing for the 


wants of his family. There being no children on his premises, 
he took a liking to young William at an early age, and made 
a pet of him. He ate at his table, slept in his bed, and 
accompanied him in his walks. In this kind treatment his 
wife and son vied with him . His home was indeed a pleasant 
one. Books and papers were not kept from him, or indeed 
anything which was elevating and ennobling in its ten- 
dencies. His mother being able to read, early inspired him 
with a love for books, and taught him tc read simple par- 
agraphs with some degree of ease. During the last years 
of the war she sent him every day to school, carefully con- 
cealing his books under his clothes to avoid arrest; for 
the elementary instructions of Negro youth in slavery was 
forbidden, and the authorities were ever on the alert. 

All over the South they were preparing in this secret 
manner a host to go forth and raise up their people, for 
had not this been the case our race would never have 
made such progress in so short a time. The war closing 
in 1865, gave better opportunities for continuing her la- 
bors, which she did, until 1871. During those years he 
enjoyed the instruction of some of the best teachers from 
New England. On account of ill health, he suspended 
studies that year, and was hired out to a cabinet-maker 
and undertaker, in whose employ he continued two years, 
but he still kept up his studies. On December 10, 1874, 
he was converted and joined the Thankful Baptist church, 
at Augusta, and onthe seventh of February following, was 
baptized in the Savannah river. That year he began school 
again at the Augusta Institute, prosecuting his studies 
for seven years without interruption— four years in the city 


of Augusta, and three in the city of Atlanta, after the re- 
moYal of the school to that city, and its incorporation 
under the name of the *' Atlanta Seminary," Dr. Joseph T. 
Roberts, President. 

He was a trustworthy disciple of that good man to whom 
he owes much for his instruction. Shortly after he entered 
the institution, he was gradually promoted till graduation, 
when he was made a full professor. Besides doing the 
work of the prescribed course of literary and theological 
studies, he has had good instruction in branches not taught 
in the seminary. In addition to careful preliminary 
instruction in the Hebrew language, he has been favored 
with the personal training of Dr. William R. Harper, the 
learned professor of Oriental languages at Yale University, 
and for two years he pursued the study of German under 
a gentleman who completed his education in one of the 
German Universities, and French under a graduate of Col- 
by University. He was licensed to preach on the twenty- 
first of June, 1878, and on the second of September, 1881, 
was ordained to the ministry. In May, 1883, he was 
elected to the corresponding secretaryship of the Mission- 
ary Baptist Convention of Georgia, a body representing 
more than one hundred and thirty thousand communi- 
cants. He held the position for one year. The pressure 
of business being so great as to require his full time for the 
school, he declined re-election. He is still however officially 
-connected with the convention and attends it every year. 
The denominational and educational work — a work in 
which he feels a deep interest, and which to-day he is labor- 
ing to advance, attracts much of his attention. Recently 


he delivered a speech at Spelman's Ufinrersity, which prob- 
ably epitomizes his views concerning the race, his subject 
being : " A Problem to be Solved. " 
He said : 

The National Baptist of Philadelphia says: " Let the N^^ alone.'" 
This is just where tho trouble lies. He has been let alone and aererdj 
alone. George W. Cable thinks that at once the Negro should be ad* 
mitted to mingle freely with those surrounding him. I don't think sow 
Bishop Dudley of Kentucky says that the Caucasian sboold help us.. 
This is f^ood. The sentiment of Pred Douglass, that inter-marriage with 
a dominant race will settle all difficulties, is of course out of considera- 
tion. Grady thinks that if the whole matter be left to the South, that 
she is able to settle it. The South has had time to do it, and she has no: 
done it. Who, then, shall solve this problem ? It must be solved by the 
colored people themselves ; so said Charles Dudley Warner^ and with his 
view mine accords. 

In pointing out the steps to be taken in the solution of 
this problem, he said : 

There are three, the first is to make solid moral progress; I want oui — 
people to recognize the fact that there is rottenness and evil in society, 
and to that remember, until this is remedied we must keep out moathft-=- 
shut. Second step is to make cowmon social progress as we are too 
free and familiar, though not wishing to underrate the kindly hospital — 
ity, not wishing that we should be social icebergs, yet dignity is to be- 
cultivated. Much that is called politeness, is downright vulgarity. 
The third step is to make sound mental progress. We must have men 
of learning that are broad and deep. 

Speaking of industrial education, he emphasized the im- 
portance of handiwork, saying that ** the colored men and 
women must come to recognize the fact that if they aie 
to hold their own in America beside the progressive Can- 


casian, they must learn to work, the training of head and 
hand must go side by side.*' 

The degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon him 
by the University of Chicago, June 11, 1884. He is worth 
about five thousand dollars in property. He married Miss 
Elizabeth Easley, a graduate of the Atlanta University, 
July 15^ 1885« who taught ia Ifc c publi c schools of Atlanta. 
He is a man universally beloved and admired by all whu 
know him. 





A Self-Made Man — A Graduate from the School of Adversity. 

KNOWING of the many difficulties through which the 
good man whose name stands at the head of this 
sketch has psssed, and admiring his success, which has 
been wrung from the severest circumstances, and delight- 
ing to honor such, it is with marked pleasure that we in- 
troduce a few words concerning his struggles and the 
manner in which he has succeeded in compassing every 
trouble and arriving at the place where he has be- 
come an honored citizen, useful preacher, a man distin- 
guished among the race and his brethren in the ministry. 
He was bom in 1832 at Nesley's Bend, on the Cumber- 
land river, ten miles above Nashville. His mother's name 
was Sylvonia. She was the property of a Major Hall, 
who had brought her from Virginia when a baby in her 
mother's arms. His father's name was Lewis, and was 
the property of a man named Poster ; and serving said 
owner as coachman, he was allowed to visit his wife only 
once a year. There were eleven children in the family. 
After the death of Mr. Hall, the mother and children 


became the property of his only daughter, Anna, who 
hired out all the children that were old enough to leave 
their mother. When seven years old, young Vandervall 
was taken on New Year's day to the hiring ground to be 
hired out. An old white man came to him, saying, ** Come 
with me.'* He was afraid of white people, and then the 
thought of leaving his mother was terrible. He snatched 
him violently from his mother's arms and threw him on a 
sharp-backed horse and carried him twenty-two miles 
away from all that was dear to him on the earth. 

He was compelled to sleep on the floor, with only one 
quilt in which he rolled himself as well as he could and 
cried all night. A white lady next day tried to comfort 
him, but he was broken-hearted and dreadfully homesick. 
After several months he became accustomed to the place 
and remembered the prayer that his mother taught him. 
He slept in the house with the white people, and every 
night after they had gone to bed, he would go down on 
his knees and say his prayers. Sometimes as he was 
doing so, it seemed as if his mother's hand was resting on 
his head ; then the tears would flow freely down his cheek. 
Those were bitter days with the young boy. He stayed 
there three years and enjoyed one advantage of unspeak- 
able importance : he was permitted to attend school, and 
the white boys at home taught him to spell. After this 
time he was taken to Nashville and hired to a man by the 
name of Garite, who was a minister of the gospel and also 
kept a boarding house. At that time all the children had 
reached maturity and the guardian, Mr. Steele, was re- 
leased and the property was now divided. Mr. Charles 


Hall secured him as part of his share, and came out one 
night to get him to go to Kansas. He ran off and did not 
return while he was there. He was shortly bought by- 
Mr. Vandervall, with whom he was living, for the price of 
five hundred dollars. When he was fifteen years old he 
was converted and became more thirsty for knowledge, 
which he gained by attending night school, being aided 
very much by John Vandervall, the son of his master. He 
paid for his lessons by splitting rails. His spare time 
was given to holding prayer meetings and doing other 
religious work. Having been immersed by Elder Peter 
Tuckenway, he began preaching at the age of sixteen, 
walking twenty miles to appointments, and feeding five 
hundred at times with the bread of eternal life. He was 
the only colored Baptist raised in the neighborhood since 
the split in the denomination which occurred at that time. 
The brother who baptized him and indoctrinated him, as 
was common at the time, was called very hard names, 
but he was strong in the faith. Sometimes he preached 
for what was called the ** Old Baptists,'' who were greatly 
in the majority — especially when there were a dozen or 
more to follow him, their object being to tear him to 
pieces. They would say, **He is young, he doesn't know 
any better." He was the wonder of the day, on account 
of his being so young. 

He was married to Miss Martha Nicholson of Hill 
Brook, by the Rev. Daniel Watkins, and was sent shortly 
after his marriage to work on a railroad, and was, by 
this arrangement, permitted to live with his wife ; but the 
man who had hired him, finding he could read and write. 


ibused him so that he ran away, went home, and per- 
suaded his master to let him go to Nashville and work, 
'hich he did. For this privilege he paid $200 a year. In 
»ix months more, he had his wife living with him, having 
irranged to pay for her time also. Next, a horse and dray 
bought, with which he made considerable money, 
>ut he was destined to more trouble. An old white man 
-told him one day that his master was fixing to sell him 
^to one Dr. Wallace, to go South and drive a team. He 
^<ireamt the night before that he was sold. On the Sunday 
following he went home to his owners, and when he ar- 
rived they were in the wood-lot and he told them his 
-dream. Mr. Barter said it was not so, but his wife said it 
was. After some conversation, he told them he could not 
believe that they could sell him, as they had promised not 
to do so. Mr. Vandervall said to him, **God is just, and 
every man shall have to give an account of himself to God. 
Now, Mr. Barter, how would you like it to be treated as 
you have treated me?" *'I should not like it,'* said he. 
He threw the blame on his wife, and said she would not 
rest until it was done. He then asked Mr. Barter what 
he was to do, and then Mr. Barter swore that he would 
not sign the papers. 

Vandervall then asked them to let him keep on paying 
for his time as he had started to do, and further asked if 
he had ever been untrue to them, or ever gave them any 
trouble. They answered **No.'* He then asked why he 
wanted to sell him from his wife. To this they made no 
reply. Mr. Barter then said that he was willing that Van- 
dervall should have a chance to buy himself, if he could do 




SO. This was agreed upon, and the price fixed at $1800, 
$500 cash. With all his promises, Mr. Barter, before he 
was through paying for him, sent a ** nigger trader" to 
see him. Mr. Vandervall mounted his horse, and stayed 
away from home day and night. He secured Mr. R. L. 
Bell to become his executor ; to him he looked for all pro- 
tection in money matters. 

Amid great difficulties, however, he succeeded at last in 
raising the money, but in the meantime his troubles were 
aggravated by the loss of several horses. Grief and hard 
work began to show themselves on his health. All this 
time of great darkness his wife was a help-mate indeed to 
him. Finallv, his health was restored, and he started out 
again full of hope and courage, to secure blessings for him- 
self and family. God with his unerring hand upheld him. 

Wherever he went to preach, large audiences greeted 
him. On account of his power over men, he was sent as 
an evangelist, and met with great success. It seemed for 
a while as if the clouds were breaking away, but this did 
not last long. His wife belonged to an old bachelor 
who died, and another trouble came upon them, and they 
were sore afflicted. There were rumors that his wife would 
be set lree,butshe was sold to a man named Nelson Nichol- 
son, her own father's grandson. Mr. Vandervall again 
hired his wife from him. He had saved a little money and 
he deposited it in the bank of Tennessee, and when it broke 

he lost it, and thus had another fall. A short time after 


that, Mr. Nicholson, who bought his wife, called at the 
hotel where he was at work, and inquired to whom he be- 
longed, saying that he did not want to separate him from 



his wife, but that he would have to leave town, and would 
either sell his wife to his owner, or he would buy him. It 


ended with the young man, whom his wife had partly 
brought up, buying him, but he had hardly finished paying 
for her when the war broke out. From that time until the 
"war closed they both hired their time. 

Mr. Nicholson, who owned his wife, was rather weak- 
minded, and allowed a Mr. McKenzie to persuade him to 
let him have Mr. Vandervall, his wife and child. It was a 
wicked plot to accomplish a selfish purpose. Both hus- 
band and wife moved away, but stayed, however, only a 
year, when they returned to the city. Several of their 
children were dead, but amid all these troubles he has 
given education to those who are now living. James N. 
Vandervall is a graduate of the Medical Department of 
the Central Tennessee College, and is now practicing medi- 
cine in Waco, Texas. His son and two daughters obtained 
their education at Roger Williams University. 

He has been living in East Tennessee about fifteen years, 
and when he first settled in that place there was no Bap- 
tist church. The Lord has been with them and blessed 
their labors, and now there is a neat plain building and a 
membership of nine hundred. Some years ago his church 
made him a life member of the American Baptist Publi- 
cation Society. For many years he was President of the 
State Sabbath School convention. Since the death of 
Rev. N. G. Murray, he has been President of the Baptist 
State convention. In the early days of reconstruction he 
was one of those who aided Dr. J. B. Simmons in selecting 
the place where the Roger Williams University now stands. 



serving as a trustee when the school was chartered and 
since that time. The degree of D. D. was conferred upon 
him by this institution during the commencement of 1886. 
His work in organization of churches is worthy of mention, 
for he has organized nine churches. 

After freedom came, he was married to his wife under 
the laws by the Rev. D. W. Phillips, his staunch friend and 
adviser. He has succeeded in gathering around him many 
friends, a valuable home and a good library. 

Thus ends the life of a man who suflFered in the bonds of 
American slavery and yet has risen to prominence. 



* • 





Preacher — Soldier — Treasurer^Author. 

IN Shelby county, Kentucky, January, 1840, was bom 
Elijah P. Marrs, the subject of this sketch. His 
-mother and father were Virginians by birth, the latter of 
-whom received his freedom at the age of thirty years from 
an indulgent master. When quite a boy, Mr. Marrs dis- 
played such elements in his character for successful work 
in the things that developed the spiritual being, that the 
Tieighboring folks called him a ** little preacher." 

Although the laws pf Kentucky forbade the Negro to 
acquire such knowledge as books give, yet Mr. Roberson, 
his owner, being a Christian, desired that he should know 
-enough to read the Scripture, and accordingly secretly 
taught him when still very young. At the age of eleven he 
professed hope in Christ and was baptized at Simpsonville 
by Rev. Charles Wells. He says with all sincerity that he 
never uttered an oath or spent a cent for liquor in his life. 
The year Abraham Lincoln was made President, manhood 
in him asserted itself. He devoured the contents of news- 
papers and books, and being the only colored man, except 


his brother, H. C. (now deceased), in the neighborhood wha 
could read, he kept the colored people in the community 
well informed on the state of affairs. At this time Shelby 
county was threatened with Confederate soldiers, and his 
former master warned him to be on the alert and not be 
captured ; but though heeding the caution given, he mus- 
tered a company of twenty-seven men, Sunday night, Sep- 
tember 25, 1864, armed them with clubs, and as their 
captain, armed himself with an old pistol which had long 
discharged its last shot, marched a distance of twenty-two 
miles to Louisville and enlisted in the United States army.. 
Two days later he was made a sergeant of Company L,. 
Twelfth United States Heavy Artillery. His army life was 
full of excitement, and his company took part in several 
important engagements. While at home on a furlough be- 
fore being mustered out, in 1866, he was attacked by a 
mob of Confederates, but having his presence of mind he 
held his ground and dispersed his assailants. 

August 3, 1871, he married Miss Julia Gray, of Shelby- 
ville, who died April, 1876. He has been a very successful 
teacher in Shelbyville, La Grange, Louisville, Beargrass, 
and other places in Kentucky. June 16, 1873, he was 
licensed to preach at the New Castle Baptist church, 
thereby realizing his boyhood dreams, and was ordained 
to the gospel ministry August 22, 1875. He has held no 
small place in the estimation of his fellow men. He was a 
delegate to the first educational convention held in Ken- 
tucky in 1868, and in the first political convention in 1869, 
looking forward to the ratificationof the Fifteenth Amend- 
ment . He enrolled himself as a member, and was appointed 


-a committeeman oi^ resolutions. He was a member of the 
•convention which nominated Governor Harlan, and was 
also in the State convention of colored men that met in Lex- 
ington, Kentucky, in 1882, and the National convention of 
colored men which met in Louisville in 1883, and the great 
educational convention which met in Frankfort in 1884. 
He has been a member of the Executive Board of the Gen- 
- ^ral Association of Colored Baptists for six years ; a mem- 
t>er and secretary of the Executive Board of the Centra) 
IDistrict Association, and for twelve years secretary of the 
'CZentral Diatfidt Association, and is at present treasurer of 
lie Generdl Association. From 1879 to 1880 he was busi- 
less manager for the State University, then known as the 
^t^ormal and Theological Institute. March 16, 1880, he 
called to the pastorate of the Beargrass church, which 
►osition he has held until this time, excepting an interval 
*{ three months. This is one of the most successful churches 
the State, though by no means the largest. 
He has published a book containing a sketch of his life, 
hich has brought him considerable revenue. It treats of 
Xnis army life, his life as a teacher, of his ministerial labors. 
Xle has assisted in setting apart to the work of the gospel 
xninistry fifteen young men. He has amassed some worldly 
^oods, in value to the extent of $3,500. Mr. Marrs is a 
xnan admired by all who know him. His quiet, gentle- 
^nanly deportment makes him beloved by all the brethren. 
TFsually in earnest, he is no enthusiast, but when he under- 
takes a thing he goes through with it. He is a strong 
friend to the cause of education, and can be depended on to 
be on the side of temperance and againstthecause of Satan 


at all times. Above all he is a true preacher of the WordI? 
and a friend in truth and sincerity to those, wha prxuri 
themselves worthy. 



Presiding Elder of the M. E. Chuich— His Hairbreadth Escapes. 

ON June 30, 1830, our subject was bom in Reading, 
Pennsylvania. His parents were Henry and Cath- 
arine Jones, His father was a slave on the eastern shores 
of Maryland, up to the age of twenty-6ve, when he made 
his escape into Pennsylvania, where he raised a family of 
eight children, five of whom are living. Daniel left home at 
ten years of age to learn the barber's trade in the city 
of Philadelphia, where he worked at this employment for 
seven j'cars ; but becoming disgusted with it, he concluded 
to go to sea. After quite a lengthy voyage he landed in 
Charleston, South Carolina, and being of a venturesome 
disposition he went ashore with the mate to see the sights, 
having been warned at the same time of the risk he would 
run in so doing; nevertheless he thought he would try it. 
At nine o'clock a bell rang as a warning for all the colored 
people to get in the house ; and as he did nht understand 
the signal, of course he did not retire. Mr. Jones is so fair 
that at first the patrols did not discover that he was not 
a "simon pure;" and when they undertook to arrest 
him, then began a mighty race for the vessel, which was 


footed in dead earnest ; being fleet of foot, he managed to 
make his escape, and never had a desire to repeat the 

On the sixteenth of January , 1 849, he started around Cape 
Horn for the newly discovered gold fields of California, in 
one of the first of a class of clipper ships. Gray Eagle, 
After sailing four months and two days, passing into the 
Golden Gate he entered the harbor of San Francisco. He 
worked in the gold mines of California and Oregon for 
five years with good success, and concluded to make the 
latter place his home ; and so he located at Jacksonville, 
for some years and then, on recommendation of physicians, 
he moved to Cresent City, California, on the seashore. He 
recovered his health and moved to Salem, the capital of 
the State of Oregon. Here he lived in the midst of the 
famous Oregon Indian War and had many narrow escapes 
from death. One especially, he says, he shall never forget. 
A white man with whom he was traveling on horse- 
back, requested him to leave the main road with him that 
he might talk with some Indians that he saw a few hun- 
dred yards from the roadside, and about half a mile from 
the Indian camp. He found an Indian whom he said had 
a short time previous killed a relative of his. He drew 
his revolver and quickly shot the Indian dead. He started 
up the mountain side at full speed, leaving Mr. Jones 
almost dumfounded at the side of the gasping Indian. 
The shot and screams of the poor fellow brought the 
entire Indian camp to the spot with cocked revolvers and 
rifles. They rushed upon him with the intention of slaying 
him. He thought surely his time had come and that his 


race had been run to the end. But, like the disHples at 

Pentecost, he talked diflFerent tongues very rapidly until 

they understood that he was not the man who did the 

oowardly deed. Lieutenant Underwood of the United 

States Army, had charge of the Indians, taking them to 

"the reservation, and to him, under God, was his preser- 

"vation largely due. 

He taught school in Jacksonville and Salem, Oregon, 
^t diflFerent periods. In the latter place he joined the M. 
. church in 1869. He was converted really in the middle 
f the street in the city of Philadelphia at the age of twelve, 
T>ut didn't unite with any church until the time mentioned. 
lie was licensed to exhort soon after, attaching himself to 
-^he church, and was soon admitted on trial in the Oregon 
Conference. He entered the Williamette University at 
-Salem, being the first colored man ever admitted within 
its walls as a student. A young white man in the class 
refused to recite in the algebra class with him because of 
a dread of the contact. The teacher, Mr. O. Frambes, 
with his big, sympathetic heart, told him at once to pack 
up his little bundle and leave the institution ; but a good 
night's rest and a cool reconsideration caused him to be- 
come reconciled, and the next morning found him working 
at the ** minus and plus, '' for he had just discovered the 
unknown ** quantity '* in Jones. 

In 1873 Bishop R. S. Foster gave Mr. Jones about as 
long a transfer as Methodist preachers usually get, four 
thousand miles, from the Oregon to the Newark, New Jer- 
sey conference. He was stationed for three years at New- 
ark, New Jersey, and then transferred to Cmcinnati, Ohio, 


where he remained one year, and was sent to Indianapolis, 
Indiana, as pastor for two jrears, and was then appointed 
presiding elder of the Lexington, Kentucky, district, by 
Bishop Wiley. After serving four years, he was returned 
to the pastorate at Paris for two years, and then to Win- 
chester, Kentucky, as pastor of Clark's chapel. He re- 
ceived the ordination of deacon at the hands of Bishop 
Edmund S. Jones, and as an elder at the hands of Bishop 
Edward Ames. 

His intellectual qualities and goodness of heart made 
him a general favorite with his brethren, and he received 
a number of votes for bishop at the general conference in 
1880, at Cincinnati, Ohio. 

He was elected a delegate from the State of Oregon, to 
the Civil Rights convention, which met in Washington, 
District of Columbia, in 1873. Also a delegate from the 
same State, to the National Convention of Colored Men, 
which met in Nashville, in 1880. He was elected delegate 
to the Educational convention which met in the citv of 
Lexington, Kentucky ; was one of the committee to present 
the work necessary to the Legislature at Frankfort ; though 
not present at Frankfort, on account of having to perform 
the funeral services of a valued friend, he was thoroughly 
interested in the work accomplished. 

He was married at Jacksonville, Oregon, in 1862, and 
the fruits of the union are four children. Two of them 
sleep quietly on the shores of the Pacific, one waits in the 
cemetery' at Paris, Kentucky, for the great reunion, the 
other is still spared to cheer and comfort the hearts of the 
parents, and in some measure supply the place of those 


departed. He canvassed the State of Indiana in 1878, on 
behalf of the State candidates on the Republican ticket ; 
was president of the Blaine club at Paris, Kentucky, dur- 
ing the National campaign. He also delivered the Fourth 
of July oration at Greencastle, Indiana, •at the Odd 
Fellows' celebration in 1878. Said oration received the 
highest compliments of the citizens and the press, and was 
published in full in the Indianapolis Journal, He also de- 
livered a eulogy at the death of Senator O. P. Morton, the 
same year, which was published in the same paper. He 
has been an occasional correspondent of the Cincinnati 
Commercial Gazette ; has edited a couple of papers of a 
local nature in Paris, Kentuckv. 

Rev. Daniel Jones is especially noted for his high degree 
of courtesy, politeness and intellectual culture. His daily 
walk and conversation is worthy of commendation, and 
makes for himself a host of friends. His quiet and unas- 
suming manners, his graceful and elegant speech, his highly 
persuasive language, brings tears to sinner's eyes, and 
moulds the lives of God's people. He has been preserved 
by Him through the many dangers of an early life, and 
through the vicissitudes of travel to preach the gospel, 
and has been used by Him as an instrument of good. His 
pen and voice are never silent, and his excellent character 
and splendid reputation does much to give him influence 
for the purpose of elevating his race. 

588 MEN OF MARK.. 



Baptist Preacher. 


REV. HENRY N. JETER, pastor of Shaoli Baptist 
church, Newport, R. I., was born in Charlotte county, 
Ya., October 7, 1851. His parents, Riland and Mary Jeter, 
were slaves and consequently had much to undergo in the 
rearing of their family and the education of their children. 
In 1862 his father was compelled by the rebels who 
owned him, to throw up breastworks to protect the South- 
em army (which was doing all in their power to keep the 
Negroes in slavery) from the shots of the Federal soldiers, 
and this same year as a recompense for the service he had 
rendered, he was shot by a Confederate soldier. After the 
Emancipation Proclamation, being yet a lad, Mr. Jeter 
served as a shoemaker apprentice, during which time he 
improved his mind, being always anxious for an education, 
by attending night school in the city of Lynchburg, Va. 
In 1868, he found Christ precious to his soul, and was 
buried with him in baptism, Rev. Sampson White, pastor 
of the First African Baptist church, Lynchburg, officiating. 
This same year he felt that he was called to proclaim the 
unspeakable riches of God, and to better fit himself for this 


'callitig, in 1869 he entered Wayland Seminary, Washing^ 
ton, District of ColttmJbia, where, under the efficient teach- 
ing of Rev. G. M. P. King, D. D., for six years, he carefully 
prepared himself for subsequent labors. 

His first charge was Shiloh Baptist church, Newport, 
Rhode Island, where he was ordained June 24, 1875. Here 
he labored, a single young man with all the ardor and 
zealousness of a devoted Christian minister. In 1878 
he married Miss Thomasinia Hamilton of JBrooklyn, a very 
cultured and accomplished young woman, the daughter 
of Mr. Thomas Hamilton, then editor and proprietor of 
the Anglo-Airican^ a paper published in New York City. . 

With his helpmeet he returned to his church, where with 
renewed strenth and new support, he continued his work, 
which is often extremely arduous and of much importaqpe 
because of its location. 

Newport, on the New England coast, is a summer resort, 
and thither people from all parts of the United States 
throughout the summer months go, to throw of the re- 
straint of home cares and renew their vigor for the year 
to come. As spiritual and physical growth must go hand 
in hand, Mr. Jeter bends his efforts to influence for good, 
through the light of Shiloh church, the many visitors from 
far and near who come to that city. Extremely successful 
has he been in this his first and only pastorate, for nearly 
twelve years ; and by his untiring energy, the church has 
been enlarged and has built a parsonage and made repairs 
to the amount of $9000, and is now jm a flourishing con- 
dition. Mr. and Mrs. Jeter are the parents of four chil-' 
dren, one boy and three girls. 




Divine — Editor — State Senator — Commissioner of Public Works. 

ONE of the leading spirits in the State of Arkansas is 
the Rev. J. T. White, pastor of the Second Baptist 
church of Helena, Arkansas, whose life began in New 
Providence, Clark county, Indiana, August 25, 1837. His 
parents, James and Catharine, were members of the Sec- 
ond Baptist church of Indianapolis, Indiana, from 1850 
to their death in 1860. 

He received a good common school education with 
which he started in life. Having professed a hope in 
Christ at the age of seventeen, four years later he entered 
the gospel ministry. In the spring of 1865 he was sent 
as a messenger from his church to the Consolidated Amer- 
ican Baptist convention which met in the city of St. Louis 
at the First Baptist church. While there he received a call 
from Helena, and on the twenty-first of August, 1865, 
entered upon the pastoral work of the church. 

He found things in a very confused state, as would nat- 
urally be the case just after the close of the war. It was as 
late as the fourth of July, 1865, that a hotly contested 

J. T. WHITB. 591 

battle fought between the Federal and Confederate forces 
At this place, startled the people in the neighborhood. He 
£ound a handful of Baptists worshiping in the govem- 
xnent stable, which had been appropriated to their use. 
Colonel Benzonia kindly permitted them to move into the 
old Cumberland church, where services were held for two 

He then built a house 45x70 feet, and moved into it in 
3.867. This building cost eighteen hundred dollars, and 
still stands as a reminder of the past. 

In this plain, unassuming place there were at least two 
thousand persons converted and baptized by the hands of 
the pastor. In the year 1868, the reconstruction of the 
Southern States took place under the direction of Con- 
gress, and Rev. White was induced to enter the canvass 
for reconstruction, and in the fall of 1868 he was eleiSled 
to the State convention, to frame a constitution for the 
government of Arkansas. He assisted in the canvass for 
the ratification of the constitution, and was sent to the 
House of Representatives in the fall of the same year, to 
which position he was re-elected twice. He was then 
honored with a seat in the State Senate, in which position 
he served one full term, after which he was appointed by 
the governor to the position of commissioner of public 
works and internal improvements. 

It was during this period that he built a two story 
brick church edifice for his people at Helena, Arkansas, at 
at cost of eighteen thousand dollars, and a frame cnurch 
in the city of Little Rock, Arkansas, which cost two thou- 
sand dollars. One of the saddest afflictions of his life was 


the loss of this fine brick church by fire. However, he 
rallied his forces and again built a fifteen thousand dollar 
church which is about completed. The pulpit, gallery and 
assembly chairs, with which the house is seated, make it the 
handsomest church in the State. The audience room is 
45x80 feet. The whole number that have been baptized 
during his twenty-one years ministry is at least five thou- 

The Rev. J. T. White also organized an Arkansas Mis- 
sionary Baptist convention in 1867, assisted by many 
brethren in the city of Little Rock, which organization 
still lives. Later he organized the first District Associa* 

When the reaction took place and the State went into 
the hands of Democracy, a convention was called to frame 
a new constitution, and in 1874 Elder White was eledled 
to this convention. He then entered upon a college pro- 
ject, raised ^five thousand dollars, which was expended on 
what was known as the Helena University; but it was 
too much for him, the project fell through, and the prop- 
erty still remains encumbered, and is valued at one thou- 
sand six hundred dollars. 

For the last three years he has turned his attention to a 
society work known as the Benevolent and Church Aid 
Society. In connection wnth this work he edits the Arkan- 
sas RevieWf a paper devoted to the religious, political and 
educational interests of his race. This journal is a credit- 
able one, and staunch in the defense of the race. Elder 
White is a man of fine personal appearance, rather tall 
and powerfully built. He is a true friend to progress; his 





J. T. WHITE. 5^3 

most excellent traits are devotion to principle and stead- 
fastness to friends ; and no matter how he may choose to 
diflfer from one, he will always be given the credit of sin- 
cerity. His standing among the people of the State is 
good, and he is certainly deserving of all he has reaped in 
that line. His studies have been over a wide range, and 
have deepened and broadened his views of men and things. 
He writes with a facile pen, free thoughts, clear head and 
forcible style. He is often more vigorous than others pro- 
fess to be ; but he speaks often only what they think but 
are too cowardly to whisper above their breaths. Alto- 


gether he is a strong, capable and earnest man, with a 
large friture before him. 

594* ■ MBN OF HARK. 



The last Colored State Senator in the Mississippi Legislature— Moderator 
of the State Conventipn — Member of the Board of Police. 

IN the Black Belt of Mississippi lives one of the colored 
race who is very prominent in that section of the 
country, and his influence extends to all parts of the State 
and adjoining States. He was born in Wilkinson county, 
Mississippi, June 29, 1844. His owner was Emily Haile. 
His boyhood days were passed on the plantation until 
'3863, when he went into the army and remained until 
December, 1864. 

Previous to 1862 Mr. Gayles had succeeded in having 
his letters taught him by Miss Elizabeth Powell of New 
York, who was at that time employed as a school teacher 
by Mrs. Nancy Barrow, to teach her two prls. Young 
Gayles seemed to have a natural love for reading the Bible 
and hymn-book, and as he progressed in study they be- 
came his constant friends and companions. 

November 21, 1867, he was called before an ecclesiastical 
council by the Mount Horeb Baptist church of Greenville, 
Mississippi, for ordination, with Rev. M. B. Black, mod- 
erator. Brother J F. Gilmore, clerk. Rev. Thomas Epps 

G. W. GAYLB8. 596 

and others of the council, who joined in the work of set- 
ting him apart for the work of the gospel ministry. He 
then went to Bolivar county, and organized a Baptist 
church that is known as the Kindling Altar church, of 
which he is pastoring still. 

In 1872 he was appointed missionary for the counties 
of Bolivar and Sunflower, where he served for many years, 
after which he wast appointed missionary for Coahoma 
county. On September 17, 1869, he was appointed mem- 
ber of the Board of Police for District Number Three, Bol- 
ivar county, by Governor A. Ames, brevet major-general 
of the United States army, and on the second of August, 
1870, he was appointed Justice of the Peace for the Fifth 
district, Bolivar county, by Governor J. L. Alcorn. Or 
the twenty-ninth of August, 1870, Rev. G. W. Gayles wan 
appointed supervisor for the Fifth district, where he served 
until November, 1870. He was elected a member of the 
Mississippi Legislature, and held that position for four 
years, being returned in 1877 as State Senator, represent- 
ing the Twenty-eighth Senatorial district, composing the 
counties of Bolivar, Coahoma and Quitman, which posi- 
tion Senator Gayles has held ever since by re-election, and 
he is the only colored senator in the Mississippi Legisla- 
ture, there being none other since 1875. In 1874 he was 
elected corresponding secretary of the Baptist State^Mis- 
sionary Convention of Mississippi, and in July, 1876, he 
was elected President of the Baptist Missionary State con- 
vention, and has held said position ever since by re-elec- 
tion. Under his excellent administration, the Baptist con- 
vention has been a success. They bought a printing press 


in 1880, and elected him editor of the paper known as the 
Baptist Signal Also a college was bought in the city 
of Natchez, costing about six thousand dollars, which has- 
been opened,, and has been in operation for about three 
years. It is an honor to the State of Mississippi. 

Rev. Mr. Gayles figured prominently in the National 
Baptist convention in St. Louis, held August 25, 1886^ 
where the writer met him, and found in him a quiet, unas- 
suming gentleman. His manners were winning, and it is 
indeed apparent that his upright life and his perseverance 
in the discharge of every duty has caused his election to 
the many positions he has held. 

His people are remarkably proud of him ; he is popular 
with all classes ; ever ready to distribute favors, and de- 
lights to treat all men with becoming respect. Holding as 
he does this important position in the Mississippi Legis- 
lature, he has an opportunity for good, and surely his ser- 
vices must be considered of value to his constituents, or 
they would not have kept him there all these years. No 
taint has ever yet been brought against his name in con- 
nection with bribery or corruption in his legislative duties. 
He is universally respected by his associates, noted for his 
zeal and wisdom in the votes which cast upon all impor- 
tant measures ; he has become the last of his line in so di^^ 
tinguished a position. 




:'A t t oni e y^ at'law— Thcfest Colored Judge in the United States— -An Active 
Politician— An .Aflyocate of Industrial Education — Contractor and 

THIS genCleman was born in Philadelphia, April, 1828. 
His father was a Methodist minister and died when 
this son was not more than eight years old. His mother 
was an industrious, frugal woman, and devoted herself to 
her children. Young Gibbs, by earnest labors, remained in 
school until he had acquired a good common school educa- 
tion. At this time he was apprenticed to a carpenter and 
builder, and after thoroughly learning this trade, at the 
end of his apprenticeship became a contractor and builder 
on his own account. He improved all the time and made 
every opportunity tell by cultivating himself in literary 
matters. At the age of twenty-one he was a conspicuous 
member of the Philomathcon Institute of Philadelphia, a 
literary association in which Messrs Purvis, Douglass, 
Whipper, Weir, and other noted colored men were active 
members. Feeling keenly the degradation and oppression 
• of his fellow men, and knowing some of the obstacles to 
: success that barred their aspiration and progress on every 


side, he turned every attention to the refievnig^€Ff the hard- 
ships that environed them, and to tMs end he became a 
member of the anti-slavery Societj,. aoui ai shrewd, active 
agent and worker on the **Undergjrottttd! Railiroad." Wil- 
liam and Allen Craft, '* Box '\6rawiii„aaiidliii]ainy others well 
known in the Anti-slavery period,, weire axdfixl by this man 
in their eventful escape. The narroBw Imii^. of his native 
city offered for Mr. Gibbs little chance for work. Near 
this time, 1849, Fred. Douglass and the late Charles. 
Lenox Remond visited Philadelphia to take part in the 
Anti-slavery convention of that year, and being impressed 
with the advanced ideas of this young man, and with his- 
earnest manner and general information on the anti-slavery 
work, they persuaded him to start on a lecture tour, 
in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. While thus engaged 
the fever for gold in California broke out, and as he learned 
from many the success that might be made in that new 
land, at the close of his lecture tour he attempted the 
then expensive and hazardous trip to the far West. He 
arrived at San Francisco the latter part of 1850, poor in 
purse but rich in manhood. In this city ordinary mechan- 
ics were getting from five to ten dollars a day, common 
laborers two and a half. At first he obtained work at his 
trade, but after two or three refusals of white mechanics 
to labor with him, he resolved to quit the business. He- 
then formed a partnership with Nathan Pointer in the- 
clothing business, in which he was very successfiil. In 
1852 he entered into a larger enterprise with Peter Lester- 
as partner, under the name of Lester & Gibbs. They did: 
an extensive business as importers of fine boots ^nd shoeBy. 


importing all their goods from first class firms in Londan^ 
Paris, Philadelphia and New York. 

Notwithstanding his flourishing business had made great 
demands on his time;, he was ever mindful of his race, and 
in 1851, with the late Jonas H. Townsend, W. H. Newby, 
William H. Hall, and other prominent colored men of San 
Francisco, he drew up and published in the Alia California^ 
a series of resolutions that clearly defined the rights of the 
American Negro and their determination to rise and resist 
encroachments on them. This was the first expression of 
the colored citizens in that State, and it fell with great 
power on the pro-slavery Democrats. Mr. Gibbs was one 
of the proprietors, publishers and contributors to the first 
colored paper published in California, The Miner of the 
Times. He was a member of the conventions of 1854, '55 
and '57, and took prominent part in the deliberations and 
always served on important committees. When an at- 
tempt was made to enforce the obnoxious act of the Legis- 
latui-e, known as the ** Voters' Poll-tax," levied upon the 
colored men of the State, although disfranchised, the 
heroic stand of such men as Lester and Gibbs made this 
poll tax in San Francisco so unpopular that it was finally 

In 1858 the gold discoveries on the Frazer river in Brit- 
ish Columbia interested the aggressive Gibbs and he em- 
barked for Vancouver Island, and in due time reached Vic- 
toria where he was successful in a mercantile life, tmtil he 
amassed quite a fortune. He was so popular that in 1866 
he was elected by a flattering majority to represent the 
most aristocratic ward in the Common Council in Victoria. 


The following year he was re-elected without opposition 
to the same office. The Governor of the colony and other 
official persons were his associates. 

When the anthracite coal on Queen Charlotte's Is- 
land was discoYcred, he became a large shareholder in an 
English company y and was elected one of the directors. 
After expending about sixty thousand dollars in prospect- 
ing and surveys, with no substantial results, they adver- 
tised for tenders for buildings, railroads, etc. Judge Gibbs 
put in a bid and, although not the lowest, on account of 
his integrity and responsibility he secured the contract 
and in spite of many difficulties, in twelve months, the spec- 
ified time, he sent the first cargo of anthracite coal dug on 
the Pacific coast to the directors and to the market. He 
shortly after returned to the United States, where he en- 
tered and graduated firom the Law Department of a leading 
university, in 1870 ; then he went South and settled in Lit- 
tle Rock, Arkansas, entering the law firm of Benjamin & 
Barnes, in that place, where he continued his studies and 
was admitted to the bar. One year after, he was appointed 
county attorney of Pulaski county, the capital county of 
the State. In 1873, he was elected to the office of city 
judge, the first colored man ever elected to such a position 
in the United States. In 1872 Judge Gibbs was a delegate 
fi-om Arkansas to the National Convention of colored men 
at New Orleans. He canvassed his state for Joseph Brooks 
for Governor, against Baxter the traitor, who betrayed 
Arkansas into the hands of the Democrats. He was 
a delegate to the National Convention of colored men 
at Nashville, Tennessee, of which body he became Pres- 


ident. In 1876 be ran on the Republican ticket as Pres- 
idential elector-at-large for the State of Arkansas, and 
led by several thousand votes over every other candidate 
on the ticket. In June, 1876, he was appointed by Pres- 
ident Hayes, register of the United States Land Office at 
Little Rock, Arkansas. To this position he was reappointed 
in 1881. The subject of industrial education and indus- 
trial schools has claimed much of his attention, and he was 
instrumental very largely in the calling of an industrial 
convention, during the Exposition at New Orleans, at which 
meeting he was unanimously elected president. Judge 
Gibbs with ex-Congressman James P. Rapier, was a com- 
mittee to visit Kansas and report upon the condition of 
the exodusting freedmen. He was a delegate to the Re- 
publican National Convention at Cincinnati in 1876, and 
one of the "immortal 306" who voted for Grant in the 
convention at Chicago, November, 1880 ; was elected a dele- 
gate to the last Republican National convention; two other 
colored men and himself, only, voting for Arthur in oppo- 
sition to the other three-fourths of the delegation. He was 
commissioner of the colored exhibits to the World's Ex- 
position at New Orleans for the State of Arkansas. He 
is a member of the Bar Association of Little Rock, to which 
his brother attorneys unanimously elected him in 1882. 
He is a member of the Howard Association (the friend of 
the poor and needy of Little Rock), and also a member of 
the Board of Visitors of public schools. . His wealth 
enabled him to become a partner in the Electric Light 
company and a large shareholder in several other manu- 
facturing companies of Little Rock, and in that city Hy^g 


in a handsome residence, besides owning a large amount 
of business and resident property there and elsewhere. In 
the various walks of life he has commanded respect and 
won golden opinions from those even from whom he dif- 
fered politically. 

He has had the pleasure of seeing his daughter Ida grad^ 
uate from the OberUn College and take her place among 
the educators of the country, being employed in the Hunts- 
ville formal school. The judge takes a lively interest in 
everything pertaining to the improvement of the race ; he is a 
good friend, an able lawyer and a distinguished man. He 
is brave, true and honest, having always the courage to 
adhere to his convictions. 






Grand Master — Secretary — Business Manager— Letter Carrier. 

ONE of the men in the State of Kentucky who has the 
clearest head and brightest mind is the subject of 
this sketch. He was born at Brandenburg, Meade county, 
Kentucky, July 26, 1847, and when quite a child was 
brought to the city of Louisville, where he has since had 
his residence. Bom a slave, he had more privileges than 
was usual in those days, and was always ready to take 
advantage of every opportunity which gave him increased 
power in matters pertaining to the development of the 
mind. In Louisville he attended a private school taught 
by Revs. Henry Adams, William H. Gibson and R. T. W. 
James, and was considered a very bright scholar, always 
leading his classes. When he became a man he taught 
school at Frankfort and Louisville, and occupied several 
responsible positions with the railroads in Louisville, and 
was for several years messenger for the cashier and pur- 
chasing agent of the L. & N. Railroad company, and even 
to this day the agents of the company are his devoted 
friends, often doing him great favors. In 1876, in the 

'604 MBN OP MARK. 

month of February, he severed his connection with the L. 
& N. Railroad company, and was appointed a letter-car- 
rier in the Louisville postoffice, being the first colored man 
to occupy such a position in the State. He has always 
ranked "first class," and besides receiving many recog- 
nitions at the hands of his associates, who are mostly 
white men, he was elected as their representative to the 
National Letter-Carrier's Association, held in Philadelphia 
in 1882. 

No person in the postoffice knows more of the general 
character of the work, and can better interpret the laws 
than he. He has given strict attention to these questions, 
and instructs many of the new carriers who have been put 
on from time to time. 

He professed religion in 1867, and was baptized at 
Frankfort, Kentucky, by Rev. R. Martin. He joined the 
Fifth Street Baptist church in Louisville shortly after, and 
has ever been an active worker in this church. He has been 
associated with every enterprise therein, and is truly one 
of the leading men, and contributes without stint his time 
and talents to make the church prosperous and secure for 
it all the blessings that can come from assiduous labors in 
its interests. He was secretary of the choir for many 
years, and has for many years past been its leader. This 
choir has a musical reputation that it has sustained for 
several years without question. 

In the Sabbath school there is a large class known as the 

"Infant Class," the largest in the city and State, and 

usually has from one hundred to one hundred and fifty 

•children in it. This class he has taught for seventeen years, 


mainly by blackboard lessons, in which he is well skilled 
and to which matter he gives daily attention, so that the 
lessons on the Sabbath can be well prepared. The children 
graduate from this class and enter the higher departments 
of this school. Many of the brightest members of this 
chmx!h have been instructed in this class, and have become 
useftd members of society and weU acquainted with the 
Scriptures. He has also been assistant superintendent of 
the Sabbath school since 1884. He has always been inter- 
ested in public affairs, attending nearly all the conventions 
in the State, political and otherwise, and filled many im- 
portant positions in them. In the last convention of the 
State, held for the purpose of petitioning the Legislature 
in regard to civil rights and the Normal school, he was 
temporary chairman and secretary of the permanent body. 
He is also at present secretary of the State Executive 
Committee and has been ever since November, 1885. 

In denominational enterprises he is earnest and faithful. 
He was one of the secretaries of the National Baptist con- 
\'ention held in St. Louis, August 25, 1886, secretary of 
the Kentucky Baptist State convention for several years, 
and was also its secretary in 1873, and statistical secre- 
tary in 1876. He was also secretary of the General As- 
sociation of Colored Baptists of Kentucky, holding said 
position from 1877 until the present time. 

He has been identified with the State University at Louis- 
ville since its establishment, and has filled the position 
as chairman of the Board of Trustees. In this department 
of labor he has shown zeal, earnestness and self-sacri- 
fice, and has labored most perse veringly for its success. 

•606 MEN OF MARK. 

In the early history of the public schools of the city of 
Louisville, he was secretary and subsequently chairman of 
the Board of Visitors, and to him much of the excellent 
condition of these schools is due. Many times it has been 
said that this one or the other white gentleman has done so 
much for the public schools, but it does appear that too 
much neglect has been shown in giving to the Board of Vis- 
itors the due meed of praise for their constant petitioning, 
and the consideration for the upbuilding of the schools ; and 
perhaps it could be said with justice that no colored man 
in the city of Louisville has secured more appointments 
for colored teachers than W. H. Steward. 

The American Baptist^ the organ of several Baptist or- 
ganizations, was issued in January, 1879, since which 
time he has been associated withit as city editor, associate 
editor, editor and business manager. He joined the Ma- 
sonic fraternity in 1881, and has made rapid progress in 
that order, having been Worshipful Master of United 
Lodge No 12, High Priest of Enterprise Chapter No. 4, 
Eminent Commander of Cyrene Commandry No. 1, and 
twice elected Worshipful Master of the Grand Lodge of 
Kentucky, which position he now fills acceptably to all 
the craft. He is a most liberal man, contributing freely to 
every cause that is presented to him. No one appeals to 
him without having the appeal granted, if it lies in his 
power. With these generous emotions in his heart, it is 
no wonder that he gives much attention to the Orphans' 
Home of this city. He is a member of its Board of Direc- 
tors, and has endeavored faithfully to discharge his duty 
to this much neglected class. In all his undertakings, he 

18 zealous, earnest and faithftil. He encourages the younger 
men of the race, endeavoring to have them seek the higher 
walks of life and accomplish much that would at first 
seem to be di£Gicult, but which ought to be accomplished 
with little effort. This is a constant cax« to him, to see 
that these men make use of the time which God has given 
to them. As a writer, he has gceat power of expression, 
and readily reaches the point he desires to make without 
any circuitous methods. As a speaker, he is eloquent, for- 
cible and convincing. His language is smooth, elegant 
and persuasive, and succeeds in holding the attention of 
his audiences. His power with men is derived from the 
effort he makes to serve a friend and to be true to the 
vows of a true Mason and a worthy master. 



Learned and Eloquent Presbyterian Divine — Touching Memorial ott 
Leaving Washington, District of Columbia. 

MR. GRIMKE'S parents were named Henry and Nancys 
Grimke. He was bom in Charleston, South Car- 
olina, November 4, 1850. His mother was a slave. On 
the death of his father, however, a change took place, 
when he was only a few years old. The children were all 
left free and placed under the guardian care of his father's 
oldest son, E. Montague Grimke, who faithfully discharged 
his duty towards them until Frank was about ten years 
old, when this guardian undertook to enslave them, which 
made some complications of course. Although a boy, 
Frank determined that he would not submit to such an 
outrage. He ran off and went into the Confederate army 
as the valet to one of the officers, in which position he con- 
tinued for about two years. On visiting Charleston one 
day w^ith the regiment to which he was attached, and 
which was stationed in Castle Pinckney, a fort in the har- 
bor, he was suddenly arrested just as he was about to step 
into a boat on his return to the fort, and thrown into jail, 
or what is known as the work-house in Charleston. Hero 



lie remained for several months, and was taken danger- 
ously ill from exposure and bad treatment, and came very- 
near losing his life. It was only by being finally removed 
to his mother's house andby very skillful treatment that he 
recovered from this dangerous illness. Having thus fallen 
into the hands of this half-brother and guardian, who feared 
that he would go away again, he sold him, before he was 
well enabled to go out, to an officer, and again he went 
back in the army, remaining until the close of the war. 
Through the influence of Mrs. Pillsbury, who was then in 
charge of Morris Street school in Charleston, which he 
attended for awhile, his brother and himself went North 
for the purpose of being educated. Frank went to 
Stoneham, Massachusetts, into the family of a Doctor 
John Brown. With this family he was to remain with a 
view of studying medicine, but his treatment by them 
was so diflferent from what he had been led to expect that 
he left them. During the whole stay with them he was 
forced to sleep in an open bam in the hayloft, with no 
other mattress than the hay and no other bedstead than 
the floor. He very soon found warm friends with Mr. and 
Mrs. Lyman Dyke, who took him into their shoe factory, 
where he began to learn the shoe-making business. Soon, 
however, he was summoned by Mrs. Pillsbury to report at 
once to Lincoln University, in Chester county, Pennsylva- 
via, where arrangements had been made for the prosecu- 
tion of his studies. As a student he ranked very high, and 
received the approbation of the professors and was ac- 
knowledged superior among the students. He graduated 
from the College Department of this institution in 1870 as 


valedictorian of his class. Immediately ai);erwards he 
began the study of law in the Law Department of the uni- 
versity, which at that time, in 1871, was on the university 
grounds. The next year he acted as financial agent of the 
university. The year after, he resumed his legal studies in 
the same department, which in the meantime had been re- 
moved to West Chester, Pennsylvania. The next year he 
went to Washington, District of Columbia, and entered 
the Law Department of Howard University. While there 
he decided to turn his thoughts to the ministry. In the 
fall of 1875, therefore, he entered the Princeton Theological 
Seminary, from which he graduated in 1878, and immedi- 
ately went to Washington as pastor of the Fifteenth 
Street Presbyterian church, where he remained until Octo- 
ber, 1885. When he was about to leave his flock the fol- 
lowing testimonial was adopted : 

• At a farewell reception tendered by the congregation and friends of 
the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian church, Tuesday evening, November 2, 
1885, in behalf of the congregation, visitors and friends, who, Sunday 
after Sunday, and from time to time, have listened to the words of wis- 
dom from the lips of Mr. Grimke, pastor of this church, we beg leave to 
express our deep regret at his departure from our midst. Circumstances 
over which we cannot exercise control, as well as the voice of his Master, 
call him to another field of labor and duty. He leaves behind warm 
hearts and devoted friends, whose affection for him and his helpmate is 
best known from the true enthusiasm manifested on the morning of his 
farewell sermon. The language of that occasion being, " May God be 
with you both, since it has been decreed that for a while we must be 
parted.*' The earthly activities of this life are circumscribed by time and 
space, but the divine and essential genius which informs and inspires that 
life is boundless in the sweep of its influence and immortal in the energy of 
its activity. If any fraction of this community may claim the tight to 
do honor and reverence to om* friend Mr. Grimke, it is as it slioiild 1x^ 


those of us who have profited by the words of wisdom that have fallen 
from his lips and the influence exerted by contact with him. His serrices 
here have been a vast accession to a cause already moving forward with 
assured success. Remembering his work and the good deeds left behind 
him, and how he has, by the measure of unselfish devotion taught us, 
by precept and example, the way to be lifted up and strengthened, we 
make this feeble attempt to pay reverential respects, and extend the meed 
and honor of praise and true regard of him whom we shall ever know aa 
our friend and benefactor. In the language of 'another: 

" For seven years, he, with a pulse that felt for human needs. 
And eyes that saw among the meanest weeds 
Plants that through civilization, yet might bless 

The world with flowers and fruit of usefulness. 
And all he spake accorded with his deeds." 

We sincerely commend him to those to whom he goes, in the land of 
flowers and sweet perfumes, of generous and hospitable people. May he 
find warm hearts, devoted friends and helping hands, to remind him of 
those to whom he now says, '* Good friends, for a while, farewell." 

F. F. Shadd, 
President of the Meeting. 

As a preacher, Mr. Grimke stands foremost in our 
country. He is an eloquent divine, and speaks with ease 
and grace. President James McCosh, of Princeton Col- 
lege, said of him : **I have heard him preach, and I feel as 
if I could listen to such preaching with profi^from Sab- 
bath to Sabbath; and I rejoice to find that the colored 
people of Washington have such a man to minister to 

Mr. Grimke's reception in Jacksonville, Florida, as the 
pastor of the Laurel Street Presbyterian church, was com- 
mented upon in this wise by the Southern Leader^ whose 
editor, J. Willis Menard, is himself scholarly and eminent. 
He said : 


His sennons, always delivered from the manascript, are models offorce 
perspicuity and elegant rhetoric; while his deep piety, correct life and 
earnest devotion to his work, have won for him nniversal respect and 
love. The people of Jacksonville, in particular, and the people in the 
South, in general, are to be congratulated on securing this scholarly and 
eminent divine. The growth of his influence and usefulness is but a 
matter of time and opportunity. Recently he was called to Tuskegee, 
Alabama, where he lectured before a vast audience, and a letter appeared 
in the Montgomery Herald, which said : "The Rev. Mr.Grimke, the most 
learned and profound thinker of the race arrived here last Saturday 
morning, one day too late ; however he came in time to do inexpressible 
good. Sunday morning he preached to the school and town friends from 
the sixth verse of Christ*s Sermon on the Mount, ' Blessed are they which 
do hunger and thirst after righteousness.' Sunday night a lecture took 
place in the lecture room. He emphasized the very fact that in order for 
the race to make itself felt upon other races as a mass, it must have ed- 
ucation, morals and wealth. We wish every colored man in this countiy 
could hear that able young man and distinguished divine. Mr. Grimke 
has probably one of the most valuable libraries owned by colored men 
in the United States, consisting of over one thousand volumes of weU 
selected works on theology, philosophy, history, science, art and gen- 
eral literature, together virith quite a number of choice pictures." 

We could scarcely write of Mr. Grimke without referring 
to his distinguished wife, who was before marriage named 
Miss Charlotte Forten of Philadelphia, who was well 
known ini^he literary world. She has been a true minis- 
ter's wife, and has done much to make his ministerial ca- 
reer successful. Mr. Grimke bids fair to raise the tone of 
ministerial life in Florida as he has in Washington. The 
purity of his character and the quietness of his de- 
meanor affect all favorably who come in contact with 
him. South Carolina has a great reason to be proud of 
her distinguished son, who has reflected so much credit 
upon her. 




Kctident in England Ten Years — Legislator — Pngitive from Prqndioe. 

COLONEL ROBERT HARLAN was bom in Mecklen- 
burg county, Virginia, December 12, 1816. His 
father was a white man, and his mother three parts 
white. Coming to Kentucky when eight years of age, he 
was brought up by the Hon. James Harlan, father of the 
Hon. John M. Harlan, at present associate justice of the 
Supreme Court of the United States. 

As a boy, Mr. Harlan was bright, intelligent, and ambi- 
tious ; and although a slave under the law, he was allowed 
unusual freedom. There were no schools in Kentucky for 
colored people, and no provisions for their education ; but 
he was taught the elements of an education by Mr. Har- 
lan's older sons, and with this start he displayed an intel- 
ligence beyond what was usual with the better class of 
his race. Allowed to hire his time, as was not unfre^ 
quent in slave States, he learned the barber's trade in 
Louisville, and opened and conducted a barber shop in 
Harrodsburg, and subsequently a grocery at Lexington. 
In 184?8 he went to California, where, in a short time he 
amassed a fortune of forty-five thousand dollars in gold, 


which he brought back and invested in Cincinnati, Ohio. 
With his new found wealth he built two beautiful stone 
front houses on Fifth street, east of Broadway, and be- 
came the owner of Bull's first class photographic and 
daguerreotype gallery, which he fitted up in a style sur- 
passing any similar gallery in this country, and conducted 
the business for a time with success. During this period 
he visited the World's .Fair in London, in 1851. About 
this time, notwithstanding since his early manhood he 
had with the consent of his owner traveled without re- 
striction, visiting almost every State in the Union besides 
Canada and countries of the Old World and located in a free 
State, he voluntarily returned to Kentucky and arranged 
for a formal acknowledgment of his fii-eedom, paying five 
hundred dollars for the same. Thus all his life, performing 
all his obligations, whether legally binding or not, he has 
been trusted, and never forfeited the confidence reposed in 

As soon as he was settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, he took 
an active interest in all affairs tending to improve and 
benefit his race. He was trustee of the colored schools 
and was elected and served as trustee of the Colored Or- 
phan Asylum. The first school-house erected in Cincin- 
nati for the education of the colored youth was the result 
mainly of his efforts. To escape the prejudice existing 
against men of his color in 1858, he took his family to 
England, residing there until 1868, when he returned home. 
He was selected as "orator of the day *' for the first cele- 
bration of the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment, and 
was always prominent in the councils of his party, being 


the first and only colored man that ever was a member of 
the Republican State Central Committee of Ohio ; he was 
also delegate-at*Iarge to the National convention that 
nominated Grant, in 1872. He has been delegate of the 
city, State, and county conventions for ten years; and in 
all conventions called to consider the interests of the col- 
ored race he has been a prominent actor. He was tempo- 
rary chairman in the National convention held at Nash- 
ville in 1876. He has frequently declined foreign counsul- 
ships tendered him. In 1875 he raised a battalion of four 
hundred men, being commissioned as colonel by Governor 
Rutherford B. Hayes. During General Grant's administra- 
tion he was special agent-at-large of the Post Office De- 
partment. President Hayes offered him a position in 
Cincinnati which he declined. In 1880, as the Republican 
candidate for the Legislature, he came within three hun- 
dred and twenty votes, out of a total vote of fifty-seven 
thousand, of defeating his popular Democratic opponent. 
General Devereaux. In 1884 he was alternate delegate 
for the State-at-large to the National Republican conven- 
tion. He was appointed in 1881 special agent of the 
Treasury Department by President Chester A. Arthur, 
which position he held until removed by President Grover 
Cleveland as **an offensive partisan." In 1886 he was 
elected on the Republican ticket a member of the State 
Legislature, which position he filled to the entire satisfac- 
tion of his constituents, both white and colored, and with 
credit to himself and profit to the State and county. He 
took an active part in the abolition of the ** Black Laws.*' 
Mr. Harlan is well posted in county, State and National 


affairs ; is a close reader and a thorough student of polit- 
ical economy. He has been a life-long Republican and is a 
man of whom his race should feel proud, for he is a stal- 
wart defender of their rights. The genial colonel has a 
big heart and enjoys sport as much as any one; indeed he 
is specially fond of horse-flesh, and can relish a fine animal 
as only a native Kentuckian knows how. 



1 • 


! I 




A Learned Neg^o— Student at Halle— Skilled in Latin and Greek— Philo- 
sophical Lecturer— Received Doctorate from the Universityof Witten- 
berg— Made Counselor of State by the Court of Berlin. 

BORN in Guinea, was brought to Europe when very 
young, and the Princess of Brunswick took charge 
of his education. He pursued his studies at Halle, in 
Saxony, and at Wittenberg, and so distinguished himself 
by his talents and good conduct that the rector and 
council of the university of the last mentioned town gave 
a public testimony to them in a letter of congratulation. 
Amo, skilled in the knowledge of the Latin and Greek 
languages, delivered, with success, private lectures on 
philosophy, which are highly praised in the same letter. 
In an abstract, published by the dean of the philosophical 
faculty, it is said of this learned Negro, that, having 
examined the systems of the ancients and modems, he 
selected and taught all that was best of them. Besides 
his knowledge of Latin and Greek, he spoke Hebrew, 
French, Dutch and German, and was well versed in as- 
tronomy. In 1774 Amo published dissertations on some 
subjects which obtained the approbation of the University 


of Wittenberg, and the degree of doctor was conferred upon 
him. The title of one of these was 'Dtsserth inauguralis 
pbilosophica dehumanse mentis Apatbeia : sensensionis ac 
facultates sentiendi in mente bumanse absentia^ et earum 
in corpore nostra organico ac vivo praesentia^ quamprae- 
side^ etc.f publice defendit autor Aut, GuiL Amo Guinea — 
ahr pbilosopbi^e, ect. L, C. magister^ etc., 1734, 4^ 

Another was entitled * Disputatio pbilosopbica continens 
ideam distiectam earum quae competunt vel menti veT 
corpori nostro viva et organico, quam consentiente 
amplissimorum pbilosopborum ordine praeside Af. Aut. 
Guil, Amo, Guinea— afer de/endit Joa. Tbeod. Mainer, 

pbilos,, etj. V. Cultor, in 4^, 1734, Wittenbergae,* 

At the conclusion of these works are letters of approba- 
tion fit)m the rector of the University of Wittenberg, whOr 
in speaking of one of them, said : ** It underwent no change, 
because it was well executed, and indicates a mind exer- 
cised in reflection." In a letter addressed to him by the 
president, he styles Amo, ** vir nobilissime et clarissime.** 
The University of Wittenberg has not evinced a belief in the 
absurd prejudice which exists against the colored portion 
of mankind. 

The Court of Berlin conferred upon Amo the title of 
Counselor of State, but after the death of his benefactress, 
the Princess of Brunswick, Amo fell into a profound mel- 
ancholy, and resolved to leave Europe, in which he had 
resided for thirty years, and to return to the place of his 
birth at Axim, on the gold coast. There he received, in 
1753, a vd^t from the intelligent traveler, David Henry 


Gallandat, who mentions him in the Memoirs of the 
Academy of Plessinque, of which he was a member. Amo, 
at that time about fifty years of age, led there the life of a 
recluse. His father and a sister were living with him, and 
he had a brother who was a slave in Surinam. Some time 
after, it appears, he left Axim and settled at Chama. 

The Abbe Gregoire, fi-om whose work the foregoing par- 
ticulars are translated, says that he made unavailing 
researches to ascertain whether Amo published any other 
works, or at what period he died. 

This sketch was taken from the work entitled * A Tribute 
for the Negro,' published in 1848, by Armistead. 

R. L. PliRRY. 

-620 MBN OP MARK. 



Bditor— Ethnologist— Besayist— Logician— Profound Student of Negro 
History — Scholar in the Greek, Latin and Hebrew Languages. 

THE father of Rev. Mr. Perry was named Lewis Perry. 
He was a preacher of the Baptist faith. His mother's 
name was Maria. She, too, was an adherent of the same 
faith. Both of them were the slaves of one Archibald W. 
Overton, Smith county, Tennessee. His father escaped to 
Canada when the boy was only seven years old. He was 
a very fine mechanic, carpenter and cabinet maker. He 
hired his own time from his owner, and was energetic 
enough to secure the means and carry the family to Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, where the boy ranked as a free child, at- 
tending the school for free Negroes, taught by Mrs. Sally 
Porter. After his father ran awa\\ this temporary free- 
dom was terminated, and the whole family were taken 
back to the plantation. The schooling which 3'oung Rufus 
had at this time and which he had received in Nashville, 
doomed him to the contempt of his fellow-bondsmen, and 
soon won for him among the white people the reputation 
of a "dangerous nigger." He became so ** dangerous" 
that in August, 1852, he was sold to a Negro trader, to be 




' w 

;. i: 

I I 

r ^ 


R0FU8 L. PBRRT. 621 

carried to Mississippi, but he remained with this trader 
only three weeks. Before he gotready to take him to Mis- 
sissippi, he brought his reputed ''dangerousness" andvrrit- 
inginto requisition. He also fled to Canada. Mr. Perry was 
converted in the year 1854, and feeling a call firom God, he 
decided to enter the ministry. To this end he stiodied in 
Kalamazoo, Michigan, at the Kalamazoo Seminary, with 
the class of 1861, and was ordained as pastor of the Sec- 
ond Baptist church at Ann Arbor, Michigan, on or about 
October 9, 1861, by a council of which the Rev. Samuel 
Cornelius was moderator, and Professor James R. Boise 
was clerk. 

As a preacher, he is fluent graceful and earnest. He is a 
very logical, clear reasoner, close and active debater, deep 
thinker and an excellent writer. He is a man of splendid 
natural abilities, and goes at once to the bottom of any 
subject that he undertakes. His life has been full of suc- 
cess, filling very many positions in his church. He was 
pastor at St. Catherine's, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York. 
In 1865 he entered upon the general missionary and edu- 
cational work among the freedmen, and has until the pres- 
ent day labored for the education, evangelization and gen* 
eral elevation of his race, serving as superintendent of 
schools for freedmen, and as editor of the Sunbeam^ co- 
ordinate editor of the American Baptist^ now the Baptist 
Weekly of New York, editor of the People* a Journal and 
publisher of the National Monitor^ the last of which is 
still in existence, and is a spicy paper, full of matter of in- 
terest to his denomination, and such general literature as 
is elevating in its tone. He was for ten years correspond- 


ing secretary of the Consolidated American Baptist Mis- 
sionary convention, and is at present Corresponding Secre- 
tary of the American Educational Association, and of the 
American Baptist Free Mission Society. He has given 
much attention to the study of ethnology and the classics. 
He has recently written a work entitled * The Cushite, or 
the Children of Ham as seen by the Ancient Historians and 
Poets.' In it he has exhibited wonderful research, and a 
more than ordinary grasp of the subject under considera- 
tion. After quoting very largely from many historians, 
he says : 

From these come three g^at and distinctly marked streams of people, 
reaching to this time through a period of four thousand two hundred 
and thirty-four years ; and presenting us, from the earliest ages of writ- 
ten history, a white Europe, a black Africa and a yellow Asia. In the 
race of life, the Cushite led the van for nearly fifteen centuries ; and the 
Greek theatres in which he played the best, the regions of his noblest 
deeds and grandeur, were Egypt and Ethiopia. 

But the enemies of the Negro maintain that the distinguished Ethio- 
pians and the Egyptians of such frequent and favorable mention, in both 
sacred and profane history, were not black men. They ingeniously ex- 
plained the black men away and cunningly substituted some other race. 
They seemingly forget that the ancient language is a constructive tale- 
bearer ; that its roots are etymological indices, twinkling like the fixed 
stars to light up the pathway of the scholar engaged in historic research. 

One very eloquent passage shows the truth of our asser- 
tion that he is very learned and that his knowledge of 
history is not superficial, but extensive, deep and varied. 
Speaking of the Hamites, he says : 

He has had a checkered life it is true, but so have the Shemitic and the 
Japhetic families. He has been master and he has been slave ; but this is 
no less true of Ham than of Japhet. In the world's history of the rise 


and &11 of nations, no race, no color, can boast of exemption from mis- 
Ibrtmie. But no race can boast of a higher celebrity in ancient times 
than the Negro, then called Cushites by the Hebrews and Ethiopians by 
the Greeks. 

We can be pardoned for giving another extensive quota- 
tion from this admirable work because we desire to show 
the ability of the man. Our statement as to his mental 
capacity and rare attainments might need endorsement 
did we not give specimens of his ability. We give this 
passage as much to show his eloquence and inform the 
reader as for any other purpose. We also hope that in 
doing this that it will cause the reader to view the whole 
work. He says: 

On looking back over the centuries to the beginning of the Christian 
«ra,toNoah, and noting the rise and fall of great men and great nations, 
we see none more conspicuous than the children of Ham. Greece had 
her Athens and could boast of Homer, Herodotus, Plato, Solon, Soc- 
rates and Demosthenes, and a host of other poets, historians, philoso- 
phers and orators, and of her great Alexander. Persia had her Cyrus 
the Great, her Cambyscs. her Darius, and her religious Zoroaster. China 
had her g^eat cities Wtillcd in so that nothing could come in or go out 
but the theosopic philosophy of her deified Confucius. Rome had her 
noted patricians, and, like Greece, her poets, orators, historians and 
generals, and begat for herself a great name ; but before all these is the 
land of Ham, of Cush and the Cushite ; the land of the chosen of God in 
which to train his peculiar jieople, and as a city of refiige for his own 
son, when Herod sought to slay him. Africa had her Cushite; Meroe 
had her Thebes, her Memphis, her sciences and her wonderful works of 
art. She had a great commercial traffic with the nations of the East, 
borne from country to country by numerous caravans. She had her 
high priests, whose sacred hieroglyphics bespoke their reverence for their 
gods. She had a thousand thousand soldiers, infantry and calvary, 
with generals of unequaled prowess. She had her astronomers, physi- 
dans, and wise men— men of deeds, rather than words, actions rather 



than theory. She had her Sesostris, her Memnon, her Shishak, her Z^ 
rah, her Nitocris, her Queen of Sheba, her Candace and her long Kne of 
great Pharaohs mentioned in Sacred Scripture. She had her Hannibal 
and her Terrence, the one distinguished for being the greatest general of 
whom the Romans ever measured swords, and the other for giving polish 
to the Roman tongue and for giving expression to a philanthropic senti- 
ment for which even the Christian age produces nothing grander. 

On the question which is so much agitated this day 
whether the Negro will be absorbed by the white people^ 
whether he will be annihilated or entirely disappear in 
any form from our country, he says : ♦ 

Though undoubtedly more susceptible to amalgamation with the 
fiunilies of Shem and Japhet with whom he has more or less mingled for 
three thousand years, the Cushite still preserves his identity. He has 
neither been absorbed by social coition nor destroyed by nefarious color- 
phobia. He is here to stay, for God has so willed it, and so fixed it, by 
endowing him with a superior and indestructible fecundity. 

These specimens are sufficient to show the opinions ot 
the Rev. Mr. Perry upon the Negro question in several 
phases. Sketches of his life may be found in the * Baptist 
Encyclopedia,' by Cathcart, and in the * Rising Sun,* by 
William Wells Brown. 

Rev. Rufus L. Perry has long been recognized for his 
many valuable attainments in letters and deep philosophi- 
cal research. At the commencement of the State Univer- 
sity, Louisville, Kentucky, May 16, 1887, he delivered a 
learned scientific lecture on the subject ** Light." On the 
following night the authorities, through the president of 
the university, conferred on him the title of Doctor of 
Philosophy— a title he well deserves. 

Without doubt, Rufus L. Perry is one of the ablest men 


in the United States. He is a splendid type of the Negro 
genius. As an editor especial for twenty long years, he 
has filled among the Baptists the same position as B. T. 
Tanner, D. D., among the Methodists. His pen has never 
failed in all these years to warn the race of dangers ahead. 
He always puts God first and his race next. His genius is 
consecrated to God, and he finds ample scope for his rare, 
splendid talents in assailing enemies as well as aggressively 
attacking maligners of the race.- He has had a sword 
sometimes apparently dipped in wrath, and with giant 
force driven in the vitals of those who dared assail him 
and his cause ; but he did it not for self but for the cause. 
May the future give vast opportunities for the use of his 
powerful intellect, conquering error and planting truth. 






Financier and Church Builder — Christian Pioneer. 

THE subject of this sketch was bom in Henderson 
county, Kentucky, Feb. 14, 1815. He was a slave. His 
mother belonged to Jonathan Taylor, who was her master 
and his father. He treated them very kindly and showed him 
many favors which the other colored children were denied. 
His master became financially embarrassed and his slaves 
were taken for debt. Among a large number taken away 
by the sherift' was young Taylor's mother with her infant 
in her arms, ajid her four grown sons who were half broth- 
ers to him also. Bartlett was at that time about seven 
vears old and has never seen or heard of his mother since. 
At the age of nine his owners moved from Henderson 
county to Oldham county, taking his sisters and himself 
with them, and settled on a farm six miles north of La 
Grange. When twelve years old his sisters and himself 
were taken to Westport and sold for his master's debts. 
He was bought by his master's brother, who willed him to 
his former owners, the youngest four children to be sold 
when the youngest of these became of age, and the money 
to be divided among them. Fortunately he was returned 


to the same people, where he remained until he was nine- 
teen years of age. Then one of his oldest daughters mar- 
ried a Mr. Berry, who became quite attached to him. He 
moved to Louisville and hired his time and learned the 
butchers' trade. Disagreeing with his master he was then 
hired to a Mr. Clisindoff, who was one of the largest beef 
merchants in the city. For his services he received three 
hundred dollars per year. Being in pretty good circtmi- 
stances he resolved to purchase his freedom, being assured 
by the thre^ young girls to whom he fell in the division of 
the property that he should have the privilege of buying 
himself. He then began saving money, which he made at 
odd times from the profit of pigs' feet and beef-tripe, and 
other articles which he had the privilege of selling. . He 
accumulated money rapidly. In a short period he had 
saved eighteen hundred dollars. A particular colored friend 
of his got into his confidence and learned that he had this 
sum and borrowed fourteen hundred dollars, and another 
borrowed four hundred dollars, each telling him that when 
he was ready to buy himself they would return the money 
with good interest, which each failed to do, and he had no 
proof that he had let them have the money, and thus lost 

His associates were of the best at the time, and he en- 
deavored to so deport himself as to gain the favor of all 
well disposed persons. He was determined not to take 
unto himself a wife until he was a free man ; so having a 
desire to marry he wrote to his owners that hp had a wish 
to purchase his freedom. The time, September 20, 1840, 
was set for the sale when he was to be sold to the highest 


bidder at La Grange court-house. Mr. Brent, who was 
to manage the sale, was a debtor to one of the heirs, and 
he had never seen Bartlett. He wrote, however, for him 
to be sure to meet him at the appointed time. When Bart- 
lett got there he was without a cent of money. Neverthe- 
less, he went to La Grange to meet the sale, trusting in the 
Lord. He was sold upon the block for two thousand dol- 
lars, himself being the highest bidder. He informed Mr. 
Brent of being defrauded of all his money, which he had 
saved for the purpose, and he then became responsible for 
the money, and gave him his free papers, believing that he 
would receive the monev, which he did in 1840. He then 
married Mrs. Jane McCune of Abington, Virginia. 

Being destitute of learning, he began to go to night 
school to Robert Lane and took writing of different 
teachers, his last one being the late Rev. Henry Adams of 
the Fifth Street Baptist church, who kept one of the free 
schools permitted in the South in the times of slavery. 
There were not many such schools, perhaps four or five in 
the whole South. In this way he learned to read, write 
and cipher, never going to day school in his life. Immed- 
iately after he was freed he began butchering, wholesaleing 
and retailing beef, mutton and pork, also packing and 
shipping large quantities, trading and shipping live stock 
South. He accumulated money rapidly, and in two years 
was in possession of six houses and lots on East Market 
street, but going security for a man named J. A. Gray, he 
had to pay. that man's debt in 1858, which took all the 
property he had besides a large amount of money. 

He lost his first wife in 1846, leaving three daughters. 


Two of them lived to be grown and were engaged in school 
teaching. The oldest, Mrs. Mary F. Scott, is still living. 

In 1848 he was married to his present wife, Mariam A. 
McGill of Vincennes, Indiana. He is blest with one son who 
is twenty-four years old. This young man stood the civil 
service examination in June, 1884, for the postal service 
of the United States, and received the second highest aver- 
age and was offered a position but declined, having come 
to the conclusion that he would make school teaching a 
profession. He is now teaching, and principal of one of 
the branch schools in the public schools of Louisville. In 
1858 Mr. Taylor bought and built in the southeastern 
portion of the city where he has his present home. His 
property and other valuables are worth not less than 
fifteen thousand dollars. Having been impressed for a 
•considerable length of time to preach the gospel, he finally 
took up mission work and continued on that for about 
four years. In 1866 he was appointed by Bishop J. P., 
Campbell, D. D., LL. D., itinerant worker, which he has 
been for twentv years. He has been the founder of and 
built a great manychurhes. He was appointed and served 
as a delegate to the Fifth General Conference of the A.M. 
E. church, to which he belongs. He was made treasurer 
of Wilberforce Universit\' in 1864, and held the office for 
several years, and was a trustee of the institution for six- 
teen years. 

In Bowling Green, Kentucky, he bought the ground and 
built a church in 1872 and paid over nine thousand dollars 
on it. In 1874 he was stationed at Cynthiana and found 
a church partly erected, neither the ground nor build- 



ing paid for, and both in the hands of the sheriflF. He 
raised money and paid the indebtedness and 'finished the 
church at a cost of $8000. In 1881 he returned to Shelby- 
ville, Kentucky, and while pastoring the church there he 
saw the great necessity for a building for a graded school. 
He laid the matter before the people, then met the trustees 
of the town, and with their approval, bargained and 
bought a brick building with eight rooms and nearly four 
acres of ground, for $2150; was instrumental in establish- 
ing the school and the employment of four teachers. In 
1884 he was sent to Ashbury Chapel, Louisville, and 
rebuilt the church which had previously been destroyed by 
fire, and was successful in raising $2150, and paid it in the 
hands of the trustees. 

At the close of the late war, he was appointed missionary 
at lar^e for the states of Kentucky and Tennessee, and 
received into the connection a large number of churches 
and members, the exact number of which it would be im- 
possible for him to give, as they are received into the 
country churches, but the number was many thousand . He 
lives in the citj" of Louisville, and is respected very highly 
for his earnestness in Christian work, and his faithfuhiess 
in every department of life. 




Dean of the College Department of Howard University — Linguist. 

JAMES MONROE GREGORY was bom at Lexington, 
Virginia, January 23, 1849. His parents were Henry 
L. and M aria A . Gregory . Within the year 1 849 the family 
went to reside at Lynchburg, even then a flourishing man- 
ufacturing center, with superior business advantages. 
The sentiment here towards {people of color — the free as 
well as the slave — was possibly more liberal than in any 
other part of Virginia. Evidence of this may be seen in 
the fact that to-day there is no cit\' in the South of equal 
population, where the colored j^eople have accumulated 
more property and conduct more business enterprises than 
in Lynchburg. In 1859 they moved to Cleveland, Ohio, 
where j'oung Gregory entered the public schools, being 
among the first colored boys to avail himself of their 
superior system of training. He at first encountered con- 
siderable ill-feeling on account of color, but he was soon 
as great a favorite among the boys as he already was 
among the teachers. 

Temporarily residing in La Porte, Indiana, he attended 
a private school. Afterwards he went to Chicago, and 


there remained a while in the public school. Returning 
after a while to his home in Cleveland, he entered first the 
Grammar school of that city, and then the High school. 
In 1865 he entered the Preparatory Department of OberliM 
College. In one of his public addresses, he pays it the fol- 
lowing glowing and well deserved tribute : 

Before the War of the Rebellion we find colored students here and there 
admitted to the colleges of the North, but Oberlin was the only college 
professedly a school that received and welcomed them. It is the only one 
whose officers and students were heartily enlisted in the anti-slavery 
cause, which, under the leadership of such men as Garr