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Full text of "The Slater and Jeanes funds, an educator's approach to a difficult social problem"

185 
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1918- 
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33 



THE TRUSTEES OF THE JOHN F. SLATER FUND 
Occasional Papers No. 28 



THE SLATER AND JEANES FUNDS, 

AN EDUCATOR'S APPROACH TO A DIFFICULT 
SOCIAL PROBLEM 



BY 

WILL W. ALEXANDER 



1934 



TRUSTEES OF 

THE JOHN F. SLATER FUND 

JUNE, 1934 



Albert Shaw 
Chairman of the Board 

Arthur D. Wright 
President 

W. Russell Bowie 

James Hardy Dillard 

Joseph D. Eggleston 

John M. Glenn 

Warren Kearny 

James H. Kirkland 

Josiah Morse 

Leslie W. Snow 

C. C. S PAULDING 



OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT 

726 JACKSON PLACE, N. W. 

WASHINGTON, D. C. 



THE SLATER AND JEANES FUNDS, 

AN EDUCATOR'S APPROACH TO A DIFFICULT 
SOCIAL PROBLEM 



An address delivered at Hampton Institute, Virginia, 
on April the 27th, 1933, in celebration of the fiftieth 
anniversary of the establishment of the John F. Slater 
Fund and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the establish- 
ment of the Negro Rural School Fund (Anna T. Jeanes 
Foundation) 



BY 
WILL W. ALEXANDER 

Executive Director, Commission on Interracial Cooperation 
Acting President Dillard University, New Orleans, Louisiana 



1934 



Introduction 

ON March the 4th, 1882, Mr. John F. Slater wrote his let- 
ter to the men whom he had selected as Trustees for 
the new fund that he was creating, telling- them that 
he was prepared to turn over to them securities to the amount 
of one million dollars ($1,000,000). It may therefore well be 
said that this is the founding- date for the John F. Slater Fund. 

While the Deed of Trust of the Negro Rural School Fund 
(Anna T. Jeanes Foundation) is dated April 22nd, 1907, and 
the Charter November 20th, 1907, the first meeting of the 
Trustees was not held until February 29th, 1908, which may 
well be taken as the starting point for this Fund. 

In view of the above facts the Trustees of the two Funds 
felt that it would be appropriate to celebrate in some manner 
the fiftieth anniversary of the Slater Fund and the twenty- 
fifth anniversary of the Jeanes Fund by anniversary exercises 
at some appropriate time and place. It seemed to all concerned 
that nothing could be more fitting than to hold these exercises 
at Hampton Institute and make them part of the annual 
Hampton anniversary exercises. Through the cooperation of 
President Arthur Howe this was easily arranged. In seek- 
ing a person to make the anniversary address it seemed 
peculiarly fitting and appropriate to invite Dr. W. W. Alex- 
ander, Executive Director of the Commission on Interracial 
Cooperation and President of Dillard University, New Or- 
leans, Louisiana. Dr. Alexander is perhaps in a better posi- 
tion than any other single man to interpret the value and 
effects of any individual, fund or movement on the general 
interracial situation in the Southern States and the address 
he delivered on this occasion is a valuable contribution to the 
documents bearing on the development of interracial rela- 
tionships in the Southern States of the United States. It is 
desirable that this address be preserved and made permanent 
through publication as one of the Occasional Papers of the 
John F. Slater Fund. 

Arthur D Wright 
June 1, 1934. 






©lit 



The Slater and Jeanes Funds, 
An Educator's Approach to a Difficult Social 

Problem 

MR. CHAIRMAN AND FRIENDS : It is an unmerited 
honor that I should be accorded the privilege of speak- 
ing on the anniversary of these two funds which have 
played so important a part in the development of Southern 
life during the last half century. There are persons present 
who, because of their long years of intimate association with 
these funds, would be better able than I to speak in detail of 
their accomplishments. I can assure you, however, that there 
are none who surpass me in admiration for their noble work. 
The occasion is made doubly delightful by the fact that the 
meeting is held here at Hampton. This is appropriate, for the 
history of Hampton and the history of these funds are insepa- 
rable ; the history of neither would have been the same with- 
out the other. Hampton's growth would not have been as 
steady and sustained had she not early become a preferred 
beneficiary of the Slater Fund. On the other hand, the trus- 
tees of the Slater Fund were fortunate to find a field for the 
investment of their energies which would yield so large a re- 
turn as has Hampton Institute. It was a fortunate day for 
the Slater Fund when its second agent, Dr. J. L. M. Curry, 
convinced the trustees that they should select a few institu- 
tions which would seem to justify special cultivation. As a 
result, Hampton and Tuskegee for a long period of years re- 
ceived the largest gifts made to any of the institutions bene- 
fitting from the Slater Fund. 

The invitation to speak at this anniversary led me to ex- 
amine with such care as the time and my ability would per- 
mit the printed records of these funds from their beginning. 
I have read the entire fifty annual reports of the Slater Fund, 
all the occasional papers, and such printed material as is 
available on the work of the Jeanes Fund. I look upon these 
as worthy of a place among the most important original 
documents bearing on the social development of the South 



THE SLATER AND JEANES FUNDS 

during the past fifty years. These records will become more 
and more significant as we increasingly realize the importance 
of historical perspective in effective social effort. 

In examining these fascinating records, I found myself in 
a quandary as to this address. The bare story of the work of 
these two funds was so fascinating that it seemed the most 
appropriate thing on this occasion simply to recite that as it 
unfolded. There were two reasons for not doing this ; the time 
would not permit, and Dr. Wright had specifically requested 
that I give attention to some interpretation of the value of the 
work to the South. 

In turning through the records, one's attention is arrested 
by interesting glimpses of the founders, Mr. John F. Slater 
of Connecticut and Miss Anna T. Jeanes of Pennsylvania. In 
a time of increasing secularism, it is interesting to note that 
both of them seemed to have been moved by religious motives. 
Belief in the good life and the reality of goodness at the heart 
of things has been productive of good results in the life of 
mankind. In our revolt against outworn dogma and sterile 
religious institutionalism, it is possible to lose sight of the fact 
that the most important contributions to human welfare 
usually have been made by those who believe that back of the 
universe is a goodness that seeks to cooperate with men in 
their struggle for excellence. 

Mr. Slater had inherited from his father a weaving busi- 
ness. This he had expanded. He had prospered also by in- 
vestments in railroad enterprises in the West. Fifty years ago 
a million dollars was considered a very large sum of money, 
yet examination of the records indicates that in giving this 
sum to Negro education Mr. Slater did not once allow him- 
self to get into the limelight. This indicates beyond doubt 
that he was a gentleman. Feeling a sense of responsibility for 
his wealth, he first considered giving a museum and library 
to his home city. He had a habit of spending four evenings 
each week in conversation with a neighbor, Moses Paine. Mr. 
Paine had an interest in Negroes, and shared his interest 
with his friend Slater. While these conversations were under 
way, Mr. Slater's pastor preached a sermon on the opportu- 



SOCIAL PROBLEM 

nity of advancing- human welfare by the use of wealth. At the 
close of the sermon, Mr. Slater informed the pastor of his 
decision to contribute a million dollars for Negro education. 
The records seem to prove that the announcing letter, setting 
forth the principles under which the fund was to be adminis- 
tered, was written by the pastor. The conditions of the gift 
were very general. The income from the million dollars was 
to be used "for the uplifting of the lately-emancipated popula- 
tion of the Southern States." The complete responsibility for 
the investment of the capital fund and the specific means to 
be employed in carrying out the purpose of the donor were 
left entirely to the trustees. Rarely have a group of trustees 
been given such complete liberty. 

Twenty-five years after Mr. Slater's gift, Miss Anna T. 
Jeanes of Philadelphia, set aside a million dollars for the estab- 
lishment of a fund for Negro rural schools. Her family had 
been engaged in the South American trade. Being a Quaker, 
she had a traditional interest in Negroes. Her decision to 
establish the fund followed personal contacts with Dr. Friz- 
zell, Dr. Washington, and others, and an extended corres- 
pondence with Mr. George Foster Peabody, which seems to 
have exerted the final influence. Letter-writing with Mr. 
Peabody is a creative art, and this is but one illustration of his 
remarkable ability to use personal correspondence as a means 
of contributing to the advancement of mankind. 

Miss Jeanes surrounded her gift with specific limitations. 
It was to be used only for the promotion of rural education. 
Her interests were in the masses of the people at the bottom, 
"little people," forgotten, in out-of-the-way places. The capi- 
tal fund was always to be invested only in government bonds. 
Miss Jeanes seems to have embodied to a high degree the 
qualities of realism which have made Quakers the most effec- 
tive of all those who in modern times have sought to organize 
life around the highest idealism. Some time after the estab- 
lishment of the Jeanes Fund, the trustees felt that the limita- 
tions which the founder had specified as to the investment 
of the funds were not wise and that a more liberal policy 
regarding investments would yield larger returns. A very 



THE SLATER AND JEANES FUNDS 

influential committee from the trustees, composed of Presi- 
dent Taft, Mr. George Foster Peabody, and Dr. Dillard, was 
appointed to wait upon Miss Jeanes and call her attention to 
this limitation. She was old and small of stature. She listened 
attentively to her important visitors and then, with becoming 
Quaker firmness, announced that she would make no change 
whatever in the conditions set for the investment of the 
funds. This generation of trustees who have had to guide the 
Fund through the present period of depression have come to 
have a new respect for Miss Jeanes' wisdom as to investments. 

The gift of Mr. Slater was an adventure in faith, for in 1882 
Negroes were just beginning to take their first hesitant steps 
in what in fifty years was to prove to be an unparalleled ad- 
vance. It is recorded in the first report of the Slater trustees 
in 1883 that "the Rev. Booker T. Washington" had recently 
founded an institute at Tuskegee, Alabama, on a 580-acre 
tract of land and that at that time there were 169 students, 
a staff of ten teachers, and bulidings, including those under 
construction, worth $20,000. There were then in America 
seven million Negroes, six and a half million of whom were in 
the South. One million eight hundred forty thousand five 
hundred eighty-five were children of school age. One million 
thirty-eight thousand and twenty-six of these were not in 
school. Slightly less than fifty per cent of all the white chil- 
dren of school age in the Southern States were in school. 
Illiteracy was the rule among white and colored in great 
sections of the South. Between 1870 and 1880 the number 
of illiterate voters increased in each of the Southern States, 
the total increase for the ten-year period being one hundred 
eighty-seven thousand six hundred and seventy-one. The 
average school term for all, white and colored, was four 
months. The average attendance for colored children enrolled 
was three months. The first annual report of the Slater 
Fund contains the information that, with one exception, the 
states distributed the tax funds without regard to race, a prac- 
tice which has not been maintained. 

On the other hand, the gift of Miss Jeanes in 1907 was an 
investment in a going concern. Booker T. Washington was no 



SOCIAL PROBLEM 

longer "the Rev. Booker T. Washington," head of an incon- 
spicuous institute in Alabama. In twenty-five years, he had 
become one of the outstanding citizens of the Nation and had 
given a redefinition of what it meant to be a Negro. 

Mr. Slater invited a very distinguished group of men to 
become the first trustees of his fund ; Ex-President Ruther- 
ford B. Hayes of Ohio, Chief Justice Waite of Washington, 
Mr. William E. Dodge of New York, Bishop Phillips Brooks 
of Massachusetts, President Daniel C. Gilman of John Hop- 
kins University, Mr. John H. Stewart of New York, Ex- 
Governor Alfred H. Colquitt of Georgia, Mr. Morris K. Jesup 
of New York, and Rev. James P. Boyce of Kentucky. It is 
easily apparent that these are the distinguished names in 
America, in business, in statesmanship, and in religion. They 
represented all sections of the country, North and South. The 
trustees of these two funds have always been men of this type. 
Whatever else may be said of American Negroes, they have a 
right to be proud of their friends, for the most distinguished 
men in America have counted it an honor to have a part in 
the development of the destinies of Negroes in the national life. 

It is to the credit of the Slater Fund that here for the first 
time was laid down the fundamental principle that the leader- 
ship of the South was an essential element in the development 
of Negro education. The South as a whole was not in the 
mood, nor was it in possession of the funds, to do this task 
alone. The North could not save Negroes in spite of the 
South. It was apparent that the task must be done by the 
best of the North and the best of the South working together. 
This idea was embodied in the first trusteeship of the Slater 
Fund and was symbolized by Bishop Brooks of Boston and 
Governor Colquitt of Georgia. Since that time, this has been 
a guiding principle of all those who have sought wisely to 
promote the education and welfare of Negroes. 

The early reports of the meetings of the trustees of the 
Slater Fund indicate great uncertainty as to the best methods 
of going about this work. In the original meeting, therefore, 
the very first act of the trustees was to provide for a special 



THE SLATER AND JEANES FUNDS 

study of the situation in the South. So far as I know, this 
was the first of the series of studies which from that day to 
this have been carried on by those who have been dealing with 
Southern problems. If there ever was a situation which seemed 
to demand action and not study, it was the situation which 
the first Slater Board faced. Men of smaller wisdom would 
have insisted that action and not study was needed, but here 
is the mark of the educator's approach to this problem. If 
he is a genuine educator, he will realize that study is always 
as important as action, for he knows that more causes have 
been lost by those who acted without study than by those 
who deferred action in order that there might be time for 
thought. That a man is running at top speed is no proof that 
he knows where he is going. The man who hesitates because 
he also thinks is a leader who can be followed with safety, 
and the truly educated man realizes that the task of thinking 
is never done. One good thing about life is that it forces men 
to use their brains. Primitive men and children irritated by 
uncertainties seek to abolish them by magic or by irrational 
protest. The educated man knows that there are few impor- 
tant questions which can be answered by either a simple 
"yes" or "no." Furthermore, an educated man knows that 
noise and protest is no evidence of either moral earnestness 
or wisdom, and that it requires more courage to go forward 
a step at a time as the light breaks than to yell in childish 
frustration against conditions that need to be changed. In the 
construction of a better order of human life, the builders have 
usually had to make their plans as they went forward and to be 
ready to change them on short notice. 

We miss the point if we think that the most important con- 
tribution of these boards has been the money which they have 
given. I had an impulse to find out just how much had been 
contributed over the years, but before I could turn through 
the pages and make the calculation I realized that the amount 
of money involved was not an important consideration. The 
most important contribution which these boards have made 
has been that from the beginning Haygood, Curry, Buttrick, 
W. T. B. Williams, B. C. Caldwell, James H. Dillard, and now 

8 



SOCIAL PROBLEM 

Arthur D. Wright, as intelligent men as could have been 
found, have been set free to move about over the South and 
think freely and quietly about the people and their needs. 
These men have done much of the thinking about education for 
the South in the past fifty years. Dr. Glover of Cambridge 
has said that the early Christians triumphed in the Roman 
Empire because they out-lived, out-died, and out-thought their 
neighbors. The most difficult task which any people have to 
get done is straight thinking about education. Therefore, 
these funds have rendered to the South and to the Nation a 
major service by dedicating a group of men, worthy to be 
among the philosopher rulers of Plato, to travel over the 
South, helping to develop an effective educational policy. 

I cannot resist the temptation t osay a word about some of 
these men. The first agent, Dr. Atticus G. Haygood, was a 
distinguished churchman who left the presidency of Emory 
College to become the agent of the Slater Fund, and I think it 
is not out of place to say that he left the Slater Fund to drop 
almost into oblivion to become a Methodist bishop. Bishop 
Haygood left behind two books which give an accurate cross 
section of his thinking. One is called "Our Brother in Black," 
and the other, "Pleas for Progress." At a time when the South 
was sectional, he was national in his outlook. He challenged 
the theory of the inferiority of Negroes. Within the shadow of 
reconstruction and in Georgia, he said boldly that the Negro 
must be a citizen in every sense of the word and that he could 
be made a good citizen. When Northern people who came 
South to teach Negroes met unfriendliness on the part of 
the community, Bishop Haygood sought them out and found 
some way to make them understand that there was one 
Southerner who approved of what they were doing. Once 
when Dr. Eggleston was asked if he believed in the education 
of the Negro, he replied, "Which Negro?" It is well enough 
in discussing Southerners to say which Southerner one means. 
No section of this country has produced a man of greater 
breadth than Atticus G. Haygood, the first agent of the Fund. 

The second agent, J. L. M. Curry, was a Georgian, a grad- 



THE SLATER AND JEANES FUNDS 

uate of the University of Georgia and of Harvard. As a 
young man, he had been impressed by Horace Mann, and out 
of that contact came a vision that enabled him to become in 
a real sense the father of the public school system in the 
South. Dr. Curry had a commanding intellect, great force of 
character, and an inexhaustible source of energy that sent 
him constantly over the South, winning the approval of gov- 
ernors and legislators and overcoming the indifference and dis- 
couragement of the general public. He and Booker Washing- 
ton were possibly the most dynamic personalities in the 
Southern life of that generation. So powerful was his mind 
that even now the reading of one of his reports to the trustees 
leaves one exhausted. 

The first two agents of the Slater Fund were Southern men. 
The third was not a Southerner, though he was perhaps the 
truest friend the South has had since the Civil War. I refer, 
of course, to Mr. Wallace A. Buttrick, whose understanding, 
sympathy, patience, wisdom, and faith enabled him to make a 
priceless contribution to the development of life in the South. 
Dr. Buttrick was the agent of the Fund for only a short time, 
and yet out of that administration came contributions of major 
importance, the greatest of which was that he brought into 
the Fund W. T. B. Williams and James H. Dillard. A sec- 
ond contribution of vast importance was that through his 
influence the work of the various philanthropic funds and 
foundations became a great cooperative enterprise, unparalleled 
in this country. This included also the cooperation of state 
departments and local boards of education. Dr. Dillard reports 
one school in the establishment of which the following co- 
operated : The Slater Fund, the General Education Board, the 
Rosenwald Fund, the Smith-Hughes Fund of the federal gov- 
ernment, the state, the county, voluntary contributions from 
the people, and, as I recall, the Carnegie Corporation. This is 
an example in cooperation which might well be followed by the 
church, the state, and private enterprises, for it is to the dis- 
credit of good people and good movements, even the church, 
that their efforts are as a rule poorly coordinated. 

Among those who have served the Slater Board as Field 

10 



SOCIAL PROBLEM 

Agent, mention should be made of Dr. G. S. Dickerman, a 
Congregationalist minister from Connecticut. Although his 
term of service was for only three years, 1907 to 1^10, he de- 
voted himself to his duties in an unselfish and conscientious 
manner. Dr. Dickerman is still living in Hartford, Connecticut. 

I want to say a word here about a man who illustrates per- 
fectly how easily committees which award medals for distin- 
guished service go astray. So far as I know, W. T. B. 
Williams has never been given a medal or any other public 
recognition for his work in education, and yet he is without 
doubt one of the most useful educators of the present genera- 
tion.* A graduate of Harvard University and the embodiment 
of the true spirit of the teacher, he has gone about his work in 
a way that has won the respect and admiration of those whose 
privilege it has been to be associated with him. Without 
blatancy or bitterness, he has lived the life of an educational 
statesman. In my opinion, he and Dr. Dillard have demon- 
strated the most effective method of interracial cooperation 
which has been seen in the South, and here in this presence I 
want to request this audience to become a committee, of which 
I will act as chairman, to confer upon W. T. B. Williams an 
award of affection, honor, and esteem, designating him as a 
Southern educator of highest rank, and as a useful citizen 
whose example might well be followed by all of us. 

B. C. Caldwell has been intimately associated with Dr. Dil- 
lard and Mr. Williams in the development of the work of these 
funds during the latter period. Dr. Dillard never showed 
greater wisdom than in the selection of Mr. Caldwell as his 
associate in this work. Mr. Caldwell brought to his task un- 
usual qualifications. He was already an outstanding leader in 
Southern education. He is a man of genuine culture, has a 
keen sense of humor, and is entirely free from self-seeking. 
He has a rare charm of manner which put at ease the highest 
and the lowest of the many people with whom he had to deal 
throughout the South. Three characteristics marked his work 



*Editor's Note — In the early spring of 1934 Mr. Williams was award- 
ed the Spingarn Medal, which is given annually to an outstanding 
Negro leader. 

11 



THE SLATER AND JEANES FUNDS 

— his faithfulness in attention to details, the great respect and 
consideration which he always manifested toward the Jeanes 
teachers and other workers under his supervision and direc- 
tion, and a complete self-effacement. So thoroughly was he 
dominated by the latter that the extent and value of his work 
for Southern education will never be known fully. 

To me there always has been something puzzling about Dr. 
Dillard. I have never been quite able to classify him as to 
politics, religion, or social philosophy. In these days, it is 
considered important to know whether a man is a radical or a 
conservative. My great perplexity about Dr. Dillard has been 
on this point. Sometimes he has seemed as radical as a "red" ; 
at other times, safe and conservative. This perplexity no doubt 
grew out of the fact that Dr. Dillard could never belong to any 
camp of partisans whatever. He is neither a conservative nor 
a radical, but rather intelligent and just. Though a Southerner 
in the highest sense, he is first a citizen of the world. James 
Hardy Dillard, in my opinion, represents the highest type of 
civilized, cultured, Christian personality. His journeyings up 
and down in the South have been of inestimable value. 

Perhaps here is the real value of these philanthropic funds. 
Plato long ago said that the ideal government was a govern- 
ment of philosophers. Our double handicap in America has 
been a scarcity of philosophers and the fact that they have not 
been given a chance to govern. These philanthropic organiza- 
tions have set free a group of rare men who have devoted 
themselves to the tasks of social and educational reconstruction 
in the South. It is worth while, I think, to emphasize the value 
of setting them free, for without the freedom which this work 
has given them they could not have succeeded in serving as 
they did. Democracy very much needs some servants whom it 
does not directly control. To have placed Dr. Dillard in the 
United States Senate, where it would have been necessary for 
him to spend much of his time finding out what the people 
back home thought, would have handicapped him tragically. 
Even the details of college administration or of a bishopric 
would have been a handicap. Above everything else, such 
men need to be free, and democracy needs their free service. 

12 



SOCIAL PROBLEM 

The men who have acted as agents for these two funds, 
which in reality in their work have been one, represent 
widely varying types, and yet a reading of the records of 
their endeavors leaves one conscious that there have 
been certain unifying principles running through all this 
work. The outstanding impression about Bishop Haygood 
was his faith in the Nation, in the South, and in Negroes. Not 
for one moment did he ever seem to feel despair in regard to 
the final outworking of this problem. This attitude has been 
shared by every agent of these funds. It is no blind optimism, 
but it rather represents faith that human beings if brought 
under the influence of the truth can be led to live by it. This, 
of course, sounds easier than it is to accomplish, but it fur- 
nishes a basis for hopefulness regarding any human situation. 
As one looks back over the achievement of these fifty years, 
he is forced to confess that, discouraging as our present sit- 
uation is, it has a basis to justify our faith in the future such 
as did not exist in the situation which these pioneers faced. 
America can solve her race problem according to the principles 
of democracy and Christianity. The greatest need in its solu- 
tion in the future is a succession of leaders, white and colored, 
who believe that it can be done and who are willing to live 
faithfully and industriously, and if necessary sacrificially, to 
make their faith real. Anything that is right can be accom- 
plished in this universe in which we live. Man's dream of civ- 
ilization is the most vital and most powerful thing that has 
ever emerged in the history of the universe and it can be 
followed with assurance. That man is most successful in deal- 
ing with things as they are who is moved by an abiding faith 
in things as they ought to be. 

In the beginning of Negro education, there were those 
who were impelled with such conviction as to its importance 
that they were willing to undertake to educate the Negro in 
spite of the South, difficult as that might be. To J. L. M. 
Curry, probably more than to anyone else, we are under ob- 
ligation for insisting that the salvation of Negroes is a part 
of the salvation of the South. There is no way under the 
sun by which Negroes could be saved except as a part of the 
whole South. 

13 



THE SLATER AND JEANES FUNDS 

Of course, it goes without saying that there is no way by 
which the South can save itself economically or culturally 
which does not also save the Negro. This explains why these 
funds gradually came to do the major part of their work in 
connection with state and county departments of education and 
through state institutions. In doing this, they have strength- 
ened the permanent forces of education in the South and 
enabled the South to take a long step toward the provision of 
an educational program which will include all of its citizens 
without discrimination as to race. In cooperating thus with the 
state departments, these funds have helped the South to realize 
that the Negro is not an alien, but as much a part of the South 
as anyone else. 

Underneath this guiding principle, of course, is the philoso- 
phy that only those things are permanent which come from 
within. Dr. Dillard was applying this principle when he estab- 
lished the Jeanes teachers and the county training schools. The 
first appeal for aid in the employment of a Jeanes teacher was 
an appeal for help to meet a need growing out of an actual 
situation in Negro education. The three letters that came in 
one year from the field, inquiring about a central school of 
higher grade in the counties, were an indication to Dr. Dillard 
that here was an unfolding in the vital process of education. 
The rapid and unprecedented growth of the Jeanes teachers 
and the county training schools is an indication of the wisdom 
of this philosophy. 

The old-time religious leaders used to speak of tides of the 
spirit. They were speaking of reality. Dr. Dillard in particular 
believed in the validity of these movements and impulses which 
arose from among the people. He seemed to consider it his 
greatest work to search sympathetically for evidences of such 
movements and when he found them to throw the weight of the 
funds behind them with the assurance that under such condi- 
tions there would be permanent growth and development. He 
went over the South, not to tell educational leaders what they 
ought to do for Negro schools, but to discover what the best 
of them desired to do and, with the use of a little money, to 

14 



SOCIAL PROBLEM 

help them to live up to their best desires. Movements beginning 
under these conditions always spread. 

Long-distance treatments are difficult to administer and heal- 
ing influences are most effective when their source is nearest 
the point of need. It is not very effective to get a long distance 
away from a troubled situation and punch it with a sharp stick. 
Yet this is the way some people try to help. It was a great 
hour when Booker T. Washington, with the cooperation of 
black-belt white and colored leaders, established in the heart 
of the black belt a great healing institution. It was probably 
an equally significant occasion when the states themselves 
established out of tax money state institutions of a higher 
grade at Petersburg, Prairie View, Orangeburg, Tallahassee, 
and other places. It is fitting that Dillard University, which 
is being developed at New Orleans, should have grown to a 
large degree out of a conviction on the part of New Orleans 
citizens, white as well as colored, that such an institution was 
needed. Ultimately, the primary responsibility for Negro edu- 
cation must be borne by the communities where it is needed. I 
am not saying that the time will soon come when we can dis- 
pense with outside help, but I am saying that there must come 
a time when throughout the South thousands of white citizens 
will have the same feeling toward their local institutions for 
Negroes that the founders and supporters of Hampton have 
had toward this institution. 

As a part of this effort to develop an indigenous educational 
system for Negroes in the South, probably no single factor 
has been more important than the work of the state agents 
operating out of the various state departments of education. 
There is much about the South to humiliate one, but I never 
think of these state agents and their work without a feeling 
of pride. The South has produced nothing finer and more im- 
portant than these men. They are today the pioneer leaders 
in the advance of Negro education. They came up out of the 
South and their emergence was made possible by the wise and 
sympathetic work of the leaders of these funds. The presence 
of these men in the state departments of education is not an 

15 



THE SLATER AND JEANES FUNDS 

accident ; it is the result of the clear vision of Dr. Buttrick and 
Dr. Dillard. 

A man came into my office the other day to tell me that the 
only way by which human rights, white and colored, in the 
South could be made secure was by completely destroying what 
we have now and building up a new Communistic state. He 
showed me a map containing the rearrangement of the people 
according to the Communist plan. On it was a black republic, 
occupying the territory which is now Alabama and Georgia 
and other parts of the deep black South, where Negroes, under 
the Communist plan, would be given a segregated home in a re- 
public of their own. Such despair of the present situation may 
be justified, and there may be nothing left for Negroes except to 
throw in their lot with those who accept despair as the only 
alternative and feel that all that we now have must be destroyed 
before anything good can be built up. I would not for one 
moment question any man's right to become a revolutionist and 
try to destroy what has been built up here in America. How- 
ever, looking back over the years which we have under review 
tonight, I for one am not ready to despair. I do not believe 
that this history which we are reviewing forces us to despair. 
These men have builded upon a rock, and what they have done 
will abide. Another generation of white and colored leaders 
in the future will come upon these foundations and find that 
they are true and unmovable and in joy will build upon them 
that finer civilization of the future. 



16 



Occasional Papers Published by the Trustees 
of the John F. Slater Fund 

1. Documents Relating to the Origin and Work of the Slater Trus- 

tees, 1894. 

2. A Brief Memoir of the Life of John F. Slater, by Rev. S. H. Howe, 

D.D., 1894. 

3. Education of the Negroes Since 1860, by J. L. M. Curry, LL.D., 

1894. 

4. Statistics of the Negroes in the United States, by Henry Gannett, 

of the United States Geological Survey, 1894. 

5. Difficulties, Complications, and Limitations Connected with the 

Education of the Negro, by J. L. M. Curry, LL.D., 1895. 

6. Occupations of the Negroes, by Henry Gannett, of the United 

States Geological Survey, 1895. 

7. The Negroes and the Atlanta Exposition, by Alice M. Bacon, of 

the Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute, Virginia, 1896. 

8. Report of the Fifth Tuskegee Negro Conference, by John Quincy 

Johnson, 1896. 

9. A Report Concerning the Colored Women of the South,'" b^y'itlrs. 

E. C. Hobson and Mrs. C. E. Hopkins, 1896. •* -* / 

10. A study in Black and White, by Daniel C. Gilman, 1897. 

11. The South and the Negro, by Bishop Charles B. Galloway, of the 

Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1904. 

12. Report of the Society of the Southern Industrial Classes, Norfolk, 

Va., 1907. 

13. Report on Negro Universities in the South, by W. T. B. Williams, 

1913. 

14. County Teacher Training Schools for Negroes, 1913. 

15. Duplication of Schools for Negro Youths, by W. T. B. Williams, 

1914. 

16. Sketch of Bishop Atticus G. Haygood, by Rev. G. B. Winton, 

D.D., 1915. 

17. Memorial Address in Honor of Dr. Booker T. Washington, 1916. 

18. Suggested Course for County Training Schools, 1917. 

19. Southern Women and Racial Adjustments, by Mrs. L. H. Ham- 

mond, 1917; 2nd ed., 1920. 

20. Reference List of Southern Colored Schools, 1918; 2nd ed., 1921; 

3d ed., 1925. 

21. Report on Negro Universities and Colleges, by W. T. B. Williams, 

1922. 

22. Early Effort for Industrial Education, by Benjamin Brawley, 1923. 

23. Study of County Training Schools, by Leo M. Favrot, 1923. 

24. Five Letters of University Commission, 1927. 

25. Native African Races and Culture, by James Weldon Johnson, 1927. 

26. A Decade of Negro Self-Expression, by Alain Locke, 1928. 

27. Selected Writings of James Hardy Dillard, 1932; 2nd ed., 1933. 

28. The Slater and Jeanes Funds, An Educator's Approach to a Diffi- 

cult Social Problem, by W. W. Alexander, 1934.