B 3 273
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
A. WILLIAM O. SCROGGS
Louisiana State University
B. WILLIAM S. SUTTON
University of Texas
c. JAMES M. FARR
University of Florida
D. R. P. BROOKS
University of Georgia
E. W. M. HUNLEY
Virginia Military Institute,
formerly University of Virginia
F. DAVID YANCEY THOMAS
University of Arkansas
G. E. C. BRANSON
University of North Carolina
H. Jos i AH MORSE
University of South Carolina
i. JAMES D. HOSKINS
University of Tennessee
j. JAMES J. DOSTER
University of Alabama
K. WILLIAM L. KENNON
University of Mississippi
PRESENT MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION
SOUTHERN RACE QUESTIONS
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
NOTE Copies of this publication may be had by applying to the Secre
tary of the Commission, Box 722, Lexington, Va., or to Miss G. C. Mann,
Box 418, Charlottesville, Va.
Organization Meeting, Nashville, May 24, 1912 5
Second Meeting, University of Georgia, December 19, 20, 1912 6
Third Meeting, Richmond, Hampton Institute and University of Vir
ginia, December 18, 19, 20, 1913 12
Fourth Meeting, Washington, D. C, December 14, 15, 1914 18
Fifth Meeting, Montgomery and Tuskegee Institute, May 5, 6, 7, 1915 24
Sixth Meeting, Durham, N. C., Trinity College and University of North
Carolina, January 4, 5, 1916 32
Seventh Meeting, Blue Ridge and Asheville, Aug. 30, 31, Sept. 1, 1916 38
Eighth Meeting, Washington, D. C., August 29, 30, 31, 1917 41
Open Letters to the College Men of the South 45
Work of the Commission, by Dr. (now Governor) C. H. Brough 49
Report of Committee on the Civic Status of the Negro, by Prof.
W O. Scrop r 2 r s. Chairman 53
Report of Committee on Economics, by Prof. R. J. H. DeLoach,
The Economic Condition of the Negroes of Knoxville, by R. G.
An Open Letter on Lynching to the Stuttgart (Ark.) Committee,
by Prof. D. Y. Thomas 72
"I am very glad to express my sincere interest in this work and sympathy
President Wilson to the Commission,
December 15, 1914.
UNIVERSITY COMMISSION ON SOUTHERN RACE
ORGANIZATION MEETING, NASHVILLE, MAY 24, 1912
The organization meeting of the University Commission on Southern
Race Questions was held at the call of Dr. James H. Dillard at the Young
Men's Christian Association Building, Nashville, Tenn.> on the morning of
May 24, 1912. Dr. Dillard presided and outlined his purpose in calling
together representatives of eleven Southern State universities, which was to
foster a scientific approach to the study of the race question in the South.
He stated that he had visited eleven State universities, and had found in each
a cordial response to the plan of establishing a University Commission on
Race Relations, with the idea that such Commission should consult with
leading men in both races, should endeavor to keep informed in regard to the
relations existing between the races, and should aim especially to influence
Southern College men to approach the subject with intelligent information
and with sympathetic interest. Dr. Dillard reviewed existing race conditions
in the South as he saw them, and then called upon the members individually
for an informal expression of opinion. Each member of the Commission
The Commission was composed of one representative from each of eleven
State universities in the South, as follows :
James J. Doster, University of Alabama.
C. H. Brough, University of Arkansas.
James M. Farr, University of Florida.
R. J. H. DeLoach, University of Georgia.
W. O. Scroggs, Louisiana State University.
W. D. Hedleston, University of Mississippi.
Charles W. Bain, University of North Carolina.
Josiah Morse, University of South Carolina.
James D. Hoskins, University of Tennessee.
W. S. Sutton, University of Texas.
William M. Hunley, University of Virginia.
Dr. W. D. Weatherford, who was invited to sit with the Commission,
explained the nature of his work on race matters in the South.
Professor Brough was chosen chairman, and Professor Hunley, secre
tary. The Commission then adjourned to the meeting of the section on the
6 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
race question of the Southern Sociological Congress, having previously
decided to hold its next meeting on December 19, 1912, at the University of
Georgia, Athens, Ga.
SECOND MEETING, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, DECEMBER 19 AND 20, 1912
The second meeting of the University Commission on Southern Race
Questions was held at the University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., December 19
and 20, 1912. Professor Brough, chairman of the Commission, presided.
Three sessions were held, at noon and at 8 o'clock p. M. of the 19th, and at
9 o'clock on the morning of the 20th. All three sessions were held in the
office of Chancellor Barrow, of the university. Those present were:
Professor Doster, University of Alabama.
Professor Brough, University of Arkansas.
Professor Farr, University of Florida.
Professor DeLoach, University of Georgia.
Professor Scroggs, Louisiana State University.
Chancellor Kincannon, representing Professor Hedleston, University of
Professor Bain, University of North Carolina.
Professor Morse, University of South Carolina.
Professor Sutton, University of Texas.
Professor Hunley, University of Virginia.
Dr. Dillard, president of the Jeanes Foundation.
Chancellor Barrow, University of Georgia.
Professor Hoskins was unable to attend on account of illness.
Dr. Dillard, Chancellor Barrow, and President S. C. Mitchell, of the
University of South Carolina, were elected as an Advisory Committee.
The question whether the Commission should permit visitors to attend
the sessions was considered. An invitation to sit with the Commission was
extended to such members of the faculty of the University of Georgia as
Chancellor Barrow should name. It was decided that other persons might
attend at the invitation of the Commission.
Such invitation was extended to Mrs. J. D. Hammond, of Georgia;
Mr. T. J. Woofter, Jr., Phelps-Stokes Fellow at the University of Georgia;
and Dr. J. E. Spingarn, of New York, for the session on the morning of
The secretary read a communication from Dr. J. Franklin Jameson,
director of the Department of Historical Research, Carnegie Institution^
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 7
Washington, D. C., requesting that the Commission cooperate with him in
the preparation of a history of the Negro in the United States. The secre
tary was directed to advise Dr. Jameson that the Commission could not
comply with his request, but that the members, if consulted individually,
would be glad to aid him in any way feasible.
The evening session was devoted to a general discussion of the race ques
tion. The discussion followed in the main an outline which had been pre
pared and sent to each member by Dr. Dillard, as follows :
I. What are the conditions?
(a) Religious: Contributions, excessive denominationalism, lack of
the practical in preaching, etc.
(b) Educational: Self-help, Northern contributions, public schools,
(c) Hygienic: Whole question of health and disease.
(d) Economic: Land ownership, business enterprises, abuse 01
credit system, etc.
(e) Civic: Common carriers, courts of justice, franchise, etc.
Changes and tendencies in the above conditions.
Attitude of Whites.
II. What should, and can, be done, especially by Whites, for improve
III. What may be hoped as to future conditions and relations?
Dr. Dillard gave a short talk and offered suggestions in four main
divisions, as follows:
1. The Economic Advance of the Negro.
(a) Is he advancing?
(b) Is he meeting with encouragement?
(c) Do the white people of the South really want the Negro to
(a) Are methods as now employed the right ones?
(a) What is the South's attitude toward lynching?
(b) Reaction upon Whites worse than effect upon Negroes.
(c) How may conditions be improved?
4. Attitude of Southern white people toward the Negro.
(a) What is it?
8 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
(b) Is it in the main friendly?
(c) Is the friendly feeling of the Whites toward the Negro growing?
(d) How may we help to improve conditions in the best interests of
After a round table discussion, in which Chancellor Barrow, Dr. Dillard,
Chancellor A. A. Kincannon, and every member of the Commission partici
pated, the session adjourned, to meet again at 9 o'clock next day, December 20.
SESSION 9 O'CLOCK A. M., DECEMBER 20, 1912
In calling the Commission to order, Professor Brough read a paper
entitled, "Work of the Commission of Southern Universities on the Race
Question." [Appendix B.]
The chairman called upon each member of the Commission to tell of his
own investigations and of his ideas as to plans for the future work of the
Professor DeLoach said, in part:
"My investigations seem to show that the Negro is very appreciative of
good advice and suggestions along all industrial lines, and will assimilate the
same. By actual demonstration, here in Athens at a farmers' conference, I
have found that each Negro present will listen closely to advice one season,
and bring in a report the next season that he made an increase in yield of
farm crops of from 50 cents to $5 per acre, depending largely upon the
thriftiness of the individual. One young farmer increased his yield of corn
in four years from 20 to 100 bushels per acre on a plot of seven acres. I am
fully persuaded that we can not afford any longer to let the natural resources
of the South, so generally left in the hands of the Negro, drift into the
Mississippi River and the Atlantic Ocean. A word to the Negroes may be
the means of saving millions to the South annually. It requires only one
generation to waste natural resources in the form of soil that it has taken ages
to form, and which can not be regained in a hundred years. One way to pre
vent the waste is to give the Negro, who does his full share of wasting, access
to scientific methods, especially since he responds so readily to this sort of
advice. We should find out in dollars and cents just what this advice would
be worth to the Negro and to the South and to the nation annually. This can
be done by circulating cards and blanks to be filled in during the spring of
1913 and the fall of the same year, after the harvest is over. The success of
this plan will depend largely upon how much work is done this winter in
advising the Negro. I shall carry out this plan in part if I have to bear the
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 9
whole expense of it. I believe heartily in this method of helping to preserve
the soil of the South. If each Negro farmer improved annually to the extent
of only one dollar, the South would be $1,500,000 better off next year.
"There are figures, that have been carefully worked out, which tend to
show that Negroes do best when reduced in numbers compared with the
white population. Dissemination seems to be the only way to make Negroes
better citizens in industrial, educational, and all other lines. They do best
where their opportunity to imitate the white people is greatest, and where
they can get most advice."
Professor Sutton, of the University of Texas, said of the work of the
"The problem to be attacked by this Commission is extraordinarily
complex. The problems of all the institutions of civilized life must be con
sidered the problems of the home, the church, the school, the State, the
industrial world, and civil society. In a great measure our work will involve
a patient and careful examination of actual facts. This examination must be
made before rational conclusions can be reached. The study of concrete
situations is absolutely necessary. For example, the study of a community of
Negroes in Madison County, Texas, will reveal whether the members of that
community are growing in wealth, in health, and in intellectual, moral, and
religious power. A single problem that should be studied in this way is that
of the housing of the Negroes in the South. There are many other problems
that should be studied in the same manner."
Professor Doster, of the University of Alabama, presented his ideas as
to procedure in this way:
"1. The Commission should gather facts concerning the economic,
social, religious, and educational conditions of the Negro.
"2. Should these facts, when collected, warrant such action, the Com
mission should urge the State universities and other higher institutions of
learning in the South to offer, through their departments of sociology and
kindred departments, courses dealing with race relations.
"3. The elevation of the Negro is chiefly a matter of education. To
educate the Negro and at the same time promote good feeling between the
races is a delicate task. Agencies controlled by ideals in accord with the
spirit of the South should be provided for training Negro ministers, teachers,
and supervisors of schools. The courses of study in the Negro elementary
schools should be directly related to the environment of the Negro child and,
in the main, should be vocational in character.
10 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
"4. It must be borne in mind that any attempt to elevate the Negro
must be met with a corresponding attempt to improve the condition of the
poorer white classes of the South. Otherwise racial antagonism will be
increased rather than diminished."
Professor Scroggs, of Louisiana State University, said:
"The four great needs in dealing with our Southern race problems are
education, cooperation, publicity, and patience. As to education, I believe it
is highly desirable that a course of instruction in the race question should be
given in every institution for higher education in the South. In such a course
it should be the object to place before the students the best thought of repre
sentative American citizens on this subject, and to assist them in adopting a
rational viewpoint on all matters concerning interracial relations. This would
undoubtedly have a good effect, but even then much more will remain to be
done. The real problem, I believe, is not so much to reach the university stu
dent as it is to reach the man who lives on Jones' -Creek-at-the-Head-of-the-
Hollow. He is not influenced by the printed page, but by the spoken word,
and the only spoken word he ever hears on this subject is from one of his
own group or from the lips of the demagogue. There is a possible antidote
for the demagogue at this point in the rural clergyman. In the rural regions
of the South the power of the pastor is still great, but he is prone to emphasize
the other-worldiness of Christianity ; his theology needs to be socialized. The
white churches are doing some work for the improvement of racial relations
in the cities, but as four-fifths of our colored people live in the country, the
Negro really presents a problem for the rural church. Ministers, educators,
and all other influential citizens need to be brought into cooperation so as to
get the best thought of the country on the Negro problem before the masses
of the people. It is time that sane Southern sentiments should receive as much
attention as the blasphemies of the demagogue. We ought, then, to formulate
a program of cooperation and publicity.
"And we shall have to practice patience. Whatever progress is achieved
will come through a process of evolution. It is just as foolhardy to attempt
to force the mental development of a group as it is to attempt to hasten the
mental development of a child. No better example of the folly of attempting
to force the process of social evolution can be given than that shown in the
history of Reconstruction. But we can aid in the process of evolution by
helping to increase the Negro's wants. As soon as his wants are satisfied he
stops work. If his standard of living were higher and this means simply
more wants to be satisfied he would be a much greater social asset than he is
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 11
to-day. The Negro's legitimate wants can not be increased in a day; they
must develop by a proper kind of training conducted, perhaps, through
several generations. This further emphasizes the need of patience."
Professor Farr, of the University of Florida, said:
"Fundamental to my plan is the conception that the work we are under
taking is the work of the eleven Southern State universities, not of the mem
bers of the Commission as individuals nor even as representatives of their
various institutions. It is too large a field for investigation by eleven men
who are all very busy, and if it is to be done at all it can be done only by
enlisting the resources of the schools in it.
"The first step should be to break the subject up into its essential lines of
inquiry and to appoint a committee from our body to head and direct the
investigation along each of these lines.
"Second, to have each institution organize a class in sociology to study
the race problem, largely by the laboratory method, using the town and
county in which the university is located as the field for investigation. The
class should be as large as possible and contain representatives from as many
of the towns and counties of the State as can be secured.
"The committees of our Commission should formulate lines of inquiry
and methods of investigation, transmit them to the instructors of these vari
ous classes, and keep in active communication with these instructors and the
work of their classes. In this way we shall have, at the end of the school
year, a body of young men interested in the subject, trained in methods of
investigation, working under our committees and representing a large part
of the field under investigation.
"Third, these students should, during the coming summer, devote a part of
their time to investigating conditions in their home counties and accumulating
data after the methods in which they were trained during the school year.
"The success of such a plan will depend upon several considerations :
the active sympathy and cooperation of all members of the faculty of the
university; an enthusiastic presentation of the subject to the student body so
as to get a large, representative, and able body of students to join the class;
the ability and zeal of the instructor in charge of the class ; and the energy
and wisdom of our committees in pushing forward the work.
"This plan has primarily in view a feasible method of conducting investi
gations to procure data. It has further advantages of opening up a channel
through which our future work of formulating results and recommending
action may be broadly transmitted to the public of our various States."
12 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
Professor Morse, of the University of South Carolina, suggested that the
Commission should become an agency for the dissemination of authoritative
information covering the race problem. Also, that the Commission recom
mend that the Southern colleges and universities send experts and lecturers to
Negro agricultural and educational meetings, and that courses in the study of
the race problem be introduced in Southern colleges and universities where
they are not already offered.
Professor Bain told of the work being done at the University of North
Carolina, and Professor Hunley spoke about the investigations under way at
the University of Virginia.
The following working committees were appointed by the chairman :
On Religious Questions Professors Doster, Kennon, 1 and Morse.
On Educational Questions Professors Sutton, Farr, and Doster.
On Hygienic Questions Professors Morse, Kennon, and Bain.
On Economic Questions Professors DeLoach, Hoskins, and Brough.
On Civic Questions Professors Scroggs, Sutton, and Hunley.
On Race Adjustment Professors Farr, Bain, and Hunley.
Professors Brough, Farr, and Hunley were constituted the Executive
Dr. Spingarn spoke of his pleasure in being permitted to be present, and
paid high tribute to the value of the Commission's work.
Mrs. Hammond described her experiences in working among Southern
Negroes, and Mr. Woofter spoke of his studies as Phelps-Stokes Fellow at
the University of Georgia.
The Commission adjourned at 2 p. M., December 20, to meet again at
Richmond, Va., December 18, 1913.
THIRD MEETING, RICHMOND, HAMPTON INSTITUTE, AND THE
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, DECEMBER 18, 19, AND 20, 1913
The third meeting of the University Commission on Southern Race
Questions was held on December 18, 19, and 20, 1913. Two sessions were
held at the Richmond Hotel, Richmond, Va., on December 18, one session at
Hampton Institute, Hampton, Va., on December 19, and one session at the
University of Virginia on December 20.
The first session was called to order by Chairman Brough at 2 p. M.,
December 18, at the Richmond Hotel. Those present were:
1 Prof. Hedleston, of the University of Mississippi, having resigned, Professor W.
L. Kennon was appointed in his place.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 13
Professors James J. Doster, Alabama; C. H. Brough, Arkansas; James
M. Farr, Florida; R. J. H. DeLoach, Georgia; W. O. Scroggs, Louisiana;
William L. Kennon, Mississippi; Charles W. Bain, North Carolina; Josiah
Morse, South Carolina ; W. S. Sutton, Texas ; James D. Hoskins, Tennessee ;
W. M. Hunley, Virginia; and Drs. S. C. Mitchell and James H. Dillard, of
the Advisory Committee.
The secretary read a letter from Dr. J. E. Spingarn requesting the privi
lege of attending the sessions. After discussion, the secretary was authorized
to send him a telegram advising him that he would be permitted to sit with
the Commission at all but executive sessions.
Dr. Dillard spoke of the opportunity before the Commission of perform
ing a great service for the South in studying the race question carefully, acting
deliberately, and speaking, when occasion arose, authoritatively. He said
there was a feeling in the South of the need of means to speak out on the
Negro question as contrasted with the means identified with the demagogue.
Heretofore, he said, the best thought of Southern white people on the Negro
question had not been expressed.
An invitation was extended to President R. E. Blackwell, of Randolph-
Macon College, and Jackson Davis to attend the session. Dr. Mitchell,
of the Advisory Committee, spoke briefly of the changed conditions in the
South, especially from the point of view of the attitude of Southern white
people toward a serious study of race conditions. He said the Commission
could help matters by fostering a right approach to the consideration of the
Negro's status in Southern life, and urged moderation and patience in ar
riving at conclusions. He added that already the influence of the Commission
was felt in many ways in the Southern States. President Blackwell and Mr.
Davis spoke briefly of education for Negroes, especially of phases of the
situation in Virginia.
Dr. Dillard suggested that the members of the Commission speak as
representatives of their respective States as to Negro education : Is the senti
ment for educating the Negro growing in the South ? The answer from every
member was, in the main, in the affirmative. Special points made by several
Dr. Sutton : Need of better training for Negroes along industrial lines.
Fit them for the actual life they must lead. There is great need of better
ways of spending money for Negro education than at present used. Teach
the Negro the dignity of manual labor, find what is most necessary for his
14 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
happiness as a human being in the world in which he must live, what will best
conduce to his becoming a good citizen, and emphasize that. Three needs in
education especially felt:
1. To know better what to teach the Negro.
2. To know better how to teach the Negro.
3. To have better supervision of Negro schools.
Professor Farr : Comparative tables would be of great service in show
ing that the amount of money spent on Negro education is comparatively very
Professor Doster: Greatest obstacle to education of the Negro in
Alabama is educational condition of the poor white. Can not expect more aid
to Negro education unless corresponding amount be given to White. But
general conditions favoring education of Negroes are encouraging.
Dr. Bain: Sentiment in North Carolina is in favor of educating the
Negro. The great need is of competent Negro teachers. With competent
Negro teachers the situation would be greatly improved.
Professor DeLoach: Sentiment in Georgia good for Negro education,
but some prejudice among Whites against educated Negro farm hands. Real
need is of educating white people to the point where they will appreciate the
increased efficiency of the Negro who has had the benefit of industrial
Dr. Morse: Some prejudice against Negro education in South Carolina.
Poor teachers and politics have had much to do with conditions there.
Dr. Kennon: No distinct sentiment against Negro education in
Mississippi. Great demand for trained Negro workmen in all lines, so
emphasis should be put on industrial education.
After a general discussion the Commission adjourned, to meet again at
Mrs. B. B. Munford was invited to attend the evening session. She
spoke about the segregation plan for Richmond, and of the interest of the
people of Richmond in the aims of the Commission.
Rion McKissick, of the Times Dispatch, was invited to attend the
evening session. He spoke briefly of the satisfaction felt by thinking
Southern people that a body of Southern university men had set about a
serious study of Southern race conditions, and of the good effect that would
be sure to follow.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 15
Dr. Brough read a paper dealing with phases of the economic life of the
The following tentative reports of committees were submitted in written
form (others were submitted orally by the chairmen) :
COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC QUESTIONS
We are expecting only to give some idea of the present conditions of the
Negro, and of his economic habits, and to outline a system of investigation
for the future study of the subject. The figures we find on the subject do
not satisfy the, conditions of a complete investigation, and it will be our pur
pose to get statistical data on certain heretofore neglected phases of the
question, so that we can make the work constructive and consecutive.
This being our purpose in a general way, we have thought best to classify
the study as follows:
The City-Country Population of the Negro.
Property Other than Land Owned by Negroes.
Relation of Negro Holdings to Price of Land.
The Cropping System.
Standing Rent System.
The Probable Basis of Ascendency.
The Application of Education to the Negro Farmer and Mechanic.
The Present-Day Organizations for the Economic Uplift of the Negro
COMMITTEE ON Civic QUESTIONS
Plan of study :
I. The Negro and the Federal Government.
1. Resume of Federal Civil Rights Legislation.
2. The Federal Government and Negro Suffrage.
3. The Negro's Rights as an Interstate Passenger.
4. The Negro's Position as a Government Employe.
II. The Negro and the State Governments.
1. State Legislation on the Civil Rights of the Negro.
2. Separation of Races in:
(a) Hotels and Restaurants.
(b) Places of Amusement.
(c) Churches, Cemeteries, and Eleemosynary Institutions.
(d) National Guard.
(e) Public Schools.
16 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
3. The Negro as an Intra- State Passenger.
4. The Political Status of the Negro.
(a) Resume of the History of Negro Suffrage.
(b) Present Status of Suffrage Legislation.
(c) Actual Operation of Suffrage Laws.
5. The Negro Before the State Courts.
(a) As Defendant or Plaintiff.
(b) As Witness.
(c) As Lawyer.
(d) As Juror.
6. The Negro and the Division of the School Fund.
7. The Negro and Mob Violence.
III. The Negro and the Municipal Governments.
1. Segregation of Races by City Ordinances.
2. Separation in Street Cars.
3. The Negro's Share in Public Improvements, e. g., Libraries,
Parks, Driveways, Playgrounds.
4. Housing the Negro in Southern Cities.
5. Policing, Cleaning, and Lighting of Streets in Negro Quarters.
Following a discussion of reports submitted in writing and orally, the
Commission adjourned, to meet again at Hampton the following day.
VISIT TO HAMPTON INSTITUTE AND SESSION THERE
The Commission left Richmond on the morning of December 19 and
were met at Hampton by a delegation from Hampton Institute. A trip was
made over the Institute grounds, and after luncheon a session was held in the
office of Dr. Hollis B. Frissell, principal of the Institute. Addresses were
made by Dr. Frissell, members of his staff, Major R. R. Moton, and by several
members of the Commission.
Professor Sutton later presented the following:
"Reactions of members of the University Commission on Race Questions
in the South to what was seen and heard at Hampton Institute Friday,
December 19, 1913:
"1. The principal, the members of the faculty, and the students appear
to be greatly interested in their work. Their behavior towards one another
appears natural. The principal and many members of the faculty, though
white persons engaged in teaching Negroes, do not wear an apologetic air;
they act as if they were men engaged in a perfectly normal and useful work.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 17
"2. What impressed me most at Hampton was the conquest of the two
greatest enemies of the Negro or, for that matter, of any people idleness
"3. The reaction of Industrial Education on an individual Negro soul;
Major Moton looking beyond industrialism to justice.
"4. Efficiency and advantages of industrial education.
"5. Industriousness, system, cleanliness, earnestness.
"6. The earnest desire for better relations between the races."
On December 20, at 11 o'clock A. M., the Commission reconvened at
Madison Hall, University of Virginia. The following letter was sent by
President Edwin A. Alderman, who was unable to be present:
"The so-called race question, which means the right adjustment of rela
tions between the white man and the colored man in American life, still
remains perhaps our most complex and momentous public question. On the
whole, no man can deny that this complex problem has been handled for the
past thirty years with a great deal of instinctive wisdom by the people of the
South, and the result of their constructive thought has been acquiesced in by
the people of the North with remarkable and commendable faith and confi
dence. The problem, however, is not settled, and probably never will be, but
may be counted upon to present difficult phases to every generation. Indeed,
a certain paralysis of feeling about the whole matter, due to exhaustion, I am
inclined to think, seems to have overtaken both sections, and those who are
seeking to think quietly about the matter should be grateful for the fact that
the Negro has somehow gotten off the Southerner's nerves and out of the
"Both sections have turned with unity of effort to bring about a change
in the spirit and machinery of our democracy, whereby they believe the inter
est of all the people can best be advanced. It is wise that, in this breathing
spell, patient, wise, scientific, just men should labor at the problem and seek
to place it where it belongs among the great economic and sociological ques
tions of the time."
The secretary was authorized to send a telegram to President Alderman
thanking him for his letter and extending to him the Commission's best wishes
for speedy restoration to health.
President Alderman was elected to membership on the Advisory Com
18 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
The chairman called upon each member for a short talk about his own
particular study of Southern race questions. Each one responded. After a
general discussion the Commission adjourned, to meet again in Washington
on December 15, 1914.
FOURTH MEETING, WASHINGTON, D. C., DECEMBER 14 AND 15, 1914
The fourth meeting of the Commission was held in Washington, D. C.,
December 14 and 15, 1914. An informal session was held at the Raleigh
Hotel on the evening of December 14. Those present were:
Professors C. H. Brough, W. S. Sutton, Josiah Morse, W. L. Kennon,
James J. Doster, James M. Farr, James D. Hoskins, W. O. Scroggs, Charles
W. Bain, R. J. H. DeLoach, W. M. Hunley, and Drs. Mitchell and Dillard.
On the morning of December 15 the members of the Commission were
received at the White House by President Wilson. Dr. Brough, as chairman,
was spokesman for the Commission. He explained its purpose and described
its personnel. In response, President Wilson said :
"I am very glad to express my sincere interest in this work and sympathy
with it. I think that men like yourselves can be trusted to see this great ques
tion at every angle. There isn't any question, it seems to me, into which more
candor needs to be put, or more thorough human good feeling, than this. I
know myself, as a Southern man, how sincerely the heart of the South desires
the good of the Negro and the advancement of his race on all sound and
sensible lines, and everything that can be done in that direction is of the high
est value. It is a matter of common understanding.
"There is a charming story told about Charles Lamb. The conversation
in his little circle turned upon some men who were not present, and Lamb,
who, you know, stuttered, said, 'I hate that fellow.' His friend said, 'Charles,
I didn't know you knew him.' Lamb said, 'I don't; I can't hate a fellow I
"I think that is a very profound human fact. You can not hate a man
you know. And our object is to know the needs of the Negro and sympa
thetically help him in every way that is possible for his good and for our good.
I can only bid you Godspeed in what is a very necessary and great under
Leaving the White House, the Commission proceeded to the administra
tion building of George Washington University, where the members were
greeted by Admiral Charles H. Stockton, president of the university. The
first formal session was held at 11 o'clock, Dr. Brough presiding. Admiral
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 19
Stockton made a short address of welcome and spoke of his belief that the
good of both races could only be attained ultimately by means of such investi
gation as the Commission was undertaking.
Dr. Brough called upon President Mitchell, who said that the European
war had emphasized the fact that there must be something more than racial
and national sentiment in solving the questions of humanity. "Inclusion, and
not exclusion, must be the policy pursued in studying race questions," he said.
He congratulated the Commission on its method of approach, and said that
nowhere in the South did gloom exist as to the ultimate solution of the prob
lem upon a broad and just basis.
Dr. Dillard was the next speaker. He said he was satisfied that there was
a growing sentiment among white leaders of the South in favor of the educa
tion of the Negro race; that he had come to realize that there was already a
large number of able leaders in the colored race itself, and that he believed
this fact was not recognized generally either in the North or the South. The
work of the Commission, and among the Y. M. C. A.'s of the South, he be
lieved to be the most beneficent work on the race question.
"We do not know," he said, "how many able Negroes, capable and will
ing to lead their race to better things, there are in the South to-day." He
added that happily there was a change in the type of white leadership in the
South in race matters, and that there was a pronounced disposition for
cooperation between white and black in a great many ways. He concluded by
saying that he thought one of the biggest benefits that would come from such
work as the Commission was trying to do would be the stimulation of the
thought of the younger generation of white men of the South, and urged that
the whole question of the relation of the races be put on a basis of common
humanity to replace the relation of master and slave.
The work of the student holders of the Phelps-Stokes Fellowships estab
lished at the University of Georgia and the University of Virginia was next
discussed. The success already attained by this means in interesting Southern
students in race questions in the right way was so apparent that a committee
was appointed to draw a resolution to be sent to Mr. Anson Phelps Stokes for
the consideration of the Phelps-Stokes Trustees, urging that additional Fel
lowships be established at other Southern universities. Professors DeLoach,
Hoskins, and Hunley were appointed to compose the resolution. Their re
port was adopted, as follows :
"In consideration of the fact that the Phelps-Stokes Fellowships at the
University of Virginia and the University of Georgia have accomplished most
20 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
excellent results, besides arousing the interest of hundreds of students at those
institutions in a serious and scientific study of Southern Race Questions,
"And in view of the growing importance of having first-hand informa
tion on the present status of race relationship in the South,
"And in view of the great difficulty of developing methods of securing
such information on account of the many obstacles that obviously confront
"Therefore be it Resolved, That we are in sympathy with the method
typified by these Fellowships, and
"Resolved, That we respectfully request the establishment of additional
Fellowships at other Southern State universities.
"UNIVERSITY COMMISSION ON SOUTHERN RACE QUESTIONS."
The members of the Commission were the guests of Admiral C. H.
Stockton and Dr. Charles Monroe, of George Washington University, at
luncheon at the Cosmos Club.
The afternoon session was called to order at 3 o'clock. Dr. Thomas
Jesse Jones, of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, was invited to tell of his work in the
field of Negro education in the Southern States. He gave an interesting dis
cussion of various phases of his studies. Before doing so he took occasion to
speak of his interest in the work of the Commission. He said he was looking
forward with hope to what it may do, particularly in the way of getting
young Southern white men to study and take a deep interest in race relation
ships in a sane and helpful way. He emphasized the importance of getting
Southern men to tackle the problem, and said the North was beginning to
have confidence in the Southern people to handle the difficult matter them
selves. He saw a twofold responsibility and opportunity for the Commission :
First, to get scientifically accurate information, and, second, to create right
convictions in the minds of Southern people.
Dr. Sutton followed Dr. Jones. He said the North and South must
work the race question out together, or it will never be worked out at all.
He urged that in the matter of education, especially, the work be undertaken
from the point of view of the whole citizenship of the State. He argued for
uniform standards and more attention to the right sort of training for the
Negro, with a view to making him a more useful member of society.
Dr. Doster spoke of the difficulty of getting better schools for Negroes
in the South without at the same time doing as much or more for the poor
whites. More and better progress was being made in Alabama at this time,
he said, than at any other time in the field of education for both races. He
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 21
spoke of the transformation that has taken place in school buildings in
Alabama, and in the condition of school grounds. Negroes themselves, he
said, are helping wonderfully in all these things for their own schools. In
matters having to do with sanitation, he said, the improvement in Negro
schools was especially noticeable.
Dr. Farr said he was convinced that the white people of the South were
not opposed to education for the Negro, if they could be convinced that educa
tion would do the Negro any good. Many white people, he said, are not so
convinced at this time, and he thought one of the best things the Commission
could do would be to show those who scoff at the value of education for the
Negro wherein they are wrong, and to set them right. When the Southern
white people are convinced that education will help the Negro to be a better
man and to render a greater service to the South, then, he said, he was sure
the white people would be willing to divide with the Negro on an equitable
After hearing from the other members of the Commission as to con
ditions in their respective States, Dr. Brough read a paper on "Recent Negro
The concluding session of the meeting was held at the Raleigh Hotel,
beginning at 8 o'clock in the evening. Dr. Morse proposed a resolution of
thanks to Admiral Stockton and Dr. Monroe for their hospitality. Such a
resolution was adopted and forwarded by the secretary.
Drs. Morse and Kennon, speaking on the work of the Commission,
believed that perhaps the most effective work the Commission could do would
be to stimulate the thought of students in Southern universities along sane
and dispassionate lines in race matters. To this end, they thought the best
way to proceed would be for each of the members to strive to arouse such
interest among the students of his own institution. Therefore, they sug
gested that such available funds as the Commission might have should be
divided among the several members and used by them as prizes for creditable
work in race investigation by their own students. Dr. Hoskins, Dr. Bain,
and others shared this view, emphasizing their belief that the most important
service any organization could perform at this time was to bring young men
of the South to a better understanding of the Negro, and to encourage them
to study questions affecting the Negro in the proper way. Dr. Hoskins stated
that at the University of Tennessee this sort of work had been going on for
some time, and students who a short time ago were indifferent, if not antago
nistic, to such study, were now alive to the need of a right understanding of
race conditions, and were reading books and making investigations in a way
22 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
that would have been thought impossible a few years ago. The Commission
could not do better than stimulate this sort of thing among students of the
South, he said, and he proposed that until the next meeting each member
devote as much time as possible to efforts to stir up his own students. He
referred to results already apparent, and, as evidence of the new spirit among
Southern students, he read a report entitled, "The Economic Condition of the
Negroes of Knoxville." prepared by Mr. R. G. San ford, a student at the
University of Tennessee. [Appendix E.]
Dr. Scroggs said that last year, students at Louisiana State University
had, for the first time, done actual work among the Negroes of Baton Rouge
in an effort to understand conditions. He said they had organized a club for
the study and discussion of race questions, and many of the best students
showed great interest in the work.
Dr. Kennon reported that at Mississippi the Y. M. C. A. had undertaken
similar study and had enlisted the active cooperation of many of the leading
Dr. ' Farr stated that at Florida a three-hour course in Southern race
questions had been started with great promise, and that university credit was
being given for creditable work done. He mentioned fourteen students who
were actively engaged in this field, where a short time ago there were no stu
dents at all at work.
Similar reports were made concerning student activity at Virginia,
Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, and North Carolina.
It was agreed that until the next meeting the Commission apply itself
chiefly to efforts to bring the students of the South to a realization of the
need of studying race questions scientifically and sympathetically.
The next subject discussed was that of publication. Dr. Morse spoke of
the danger of haste, and urged that the Commission think well and long
before speaking officially. Care should be exercised, he said, in giving to the
public statements that might be taken as coming from the Commission as a
body. He suggested the appointment of an editorial board, which should
serve as an agency to assemble such facts as the Commission should decide
to publish, and give them out. The Commission adopted this suggestion and
appointed the secretary to serve temporarily in this capacity.
Dr. Brough next called for reports from the various committees. Drs.
Morse, Bain, and Kennon spoke of improved hygienic conditions among the
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 23
Negroes of their respective localities, Dr. Bain referring especially to a "clean
up week" undertaken with great success by the Negroes of Chapel Hill, N. C.
Dr. Doster, in his report on religious conditions among the Negroes of
Alabama, laid stress on the lack of cooperation between white and Negro
Drs. Sutton, Doster, and Farr submitted a report for the Committee on
Dr. DeLoach, in his report for the Committee on Economic Phases of
the Negro Question, gave a stimulating review of the improvement in the
earning capacity of Negroes in Georgia, especially Negro farmers, in the last
three years. He said this earning capacity had increased from 10 to 33 per
cent in that period. He spoke of canning clubs among colored boys and
girls, and of the good results attained in this and other ways. Young Negro
farmers were anxious to learn improved methods, he said, and readily fol
lowed the advice of their white neighbors and friends. He discussed the
tenant system, and then told of his plans for the coming year, which would
aim to get accurate information as to economic conditions among the Georgia
Dr. Scroggs, chairman of the Committee on Civic Relations, submitted a
report on that subject. [Appendix C.]
The Commission then had a very frank discussion as to the general out
look. Each member gave his personal views. Some expressed doubt that,
outside of the highly intelligent classes of white people, there was among the
Southern white people any real desire to help the Negro advance to better
conditions of living. Others believed that there was a disposition to help the
Negro, provided it could be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the white
people that such aid really did the Negro good, made him a better worker and
a better citizen. All agreed that the most pressing need at present was to
educate the Southern white people. To do this, one of the most effective
agencies at hand was believed to be the Commission, working through
Southern students who could, if they would, transform the average white
man's attitude toward the Negro in the near future. Patience, however, it
was emphasized, was absolutely necessary, as well as care and lack of haste in
A resolution was adopted extending an invitation to Mr. Anson Phelps
Stokes to meet with the Commission at Montgomery, Ala., on May 5.
The Commission adjourned at 12:45 A. M., December 16.
24 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
FIFTH MEETING, MONTGOMERY AND TTISKEGEE INSTITUTE,
MAY 5, 6, AND 7, 1915
The fifth meeting of the Commission was called to order at 3 p. M., May
5, 1915, at the Exchange Hotel, Montgomery, Ala. Dr. DeLoach occupied
the chair and was chosen chairman for the meeting in place of Dr. Brough,
who was absent. The members present were :
Professors Hoskins, Kennon, Morse, Doster, Scroggs, DeLoach, Hunley,
and Dr. Dillard.
Absent: Dr. Brough, Dr. Farr, and Dr. Sutton.
The chair welcomed Prof. E. C. Branson, of the University of North
Carolina, as a member of the Commission, succeeding Dr. Charles W. Bain,
who died last winter.
The chair also welcomed Dr. J. Carleton Bell, of the University of Texas,
who represented that institution at the meeting in place of Dr. Sutton, who
was prevented by illness from attending.
Dr. Farr, of the University of Florida, sent word of his regret in being
unavoidably prevented from being present, as did Dr. Brough.
The chair appointed a committee, consisting of Professors Scroggs,
chairman; Hoskins, and the secretary, to compose a minute on the death of
Dr. Bain. The following was presented as the report of this committee and
was adopted :
"The University Commission on Southern Race Questions, having heard
with profound regret of the death of one of its members, Charles Wesley
Bain, of the University of North Carolina, desires, at its session in Mont
gomery, Ala., on May 5, 1915, to record its appreciation of his services in
connection with this organization, and to express its sympathy with the
bereaved family and with the faculty of the University which he so ably
"By his genial disposition and personal charm Professor Bain endeared
himself to the members of this Commission, and his death brings to each of
them a sense of keen personal loss.
"It is hereby ordered that a copy of this testimonial be spread upon the
minutes of this Commission, and that a copy be forwarded to Professor Bain's
family and to the faculty of the University of North Carolina.
W. O. SCROGGS, Chairman,
JAMES D. HOSKINS,
W. M. HUNLEY."
A. *CHARLES W. BAIN
University of North Carolina
B. tCiiARLES II. BROUGII c. $R. J. H. DELOACH
University of Arkansas University of Gcoryia
FORMER MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION
*Died March 15, 1915.
fNow Governor of the State.
JNow residing in Chicago.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 25
The secretary sent a copy of this minute to Mrs. Bain and to newspapers
in North and South Carolina and Norfolk, Va. It was printed in these papers
and was, in addition, made the basis of editorial comment in two of them. It
was also printed in publications of the University of North Carolina, the Uni
versity of South Carolina, and the University of Virginia.
Dr. Dillard was asked by the chair to start discussion. He spoke of the
importance the race question in the South was assuming, and said that it was
becoming more and more important from every point of view as time passed.
He had once thought it well, perhaps, to let it drop from active discussion for a
few years, but this was impossible in view of the fact that ill-disposed people
will talk, so the well-disposed must talk about it. Speaking of the Commis
sion, he said it was a real force and had already justified its existence. He
thought the reflex influence of the Commission on the thought and attitude of
young men in Southern colleges and universities was of great value. If we
could look back to this time from twenty-five years hence, he said, we should
not be ashamed of the part the Commission played. The immediate job before
us, however, he said, was to get the better class of white people in the South
interested in the race question so interested that they would feel the need of
speaking out frankly when occasion required. As to the future work of the
Commission, he doubted whether it should attempt, except so far as it might
use college students, to be an investigating body. Data can be better collected,
and will be collected, by other agencies more adequately prepared for such
work. The Commission should study these facts and use them. The Com
mission, furthermore, he said, should hear from as many persons as possible
who are interested in Southern race matters. He suggested that a meeting
be held in the North at some future time, so that the members of this body
might get the point of view, first hand, of people up there who are thinking
along the same general line.
The chair welcomed Dr. W. D. Weatherford, of the Y. M. C. A., and
Mr. J. L. Sibley, State Rural School Agent in Alabama.
Dr. Weatherford spoke of the influence of college professors on the
thought of students, and saw in that a source of great service on the part of
the Commission. He said much progress had been made in the last five years
in race conditions in the South. Institutions of learning, both for white and
black, he said, were doing an important work in bringing speakers to address
their students on the subject, and he commended those institutions that have
incorporated courses in race study in the curriculum. The Negroes them
selves, he said, were beginning to study in a serious way their own problems.
He stated that there was a decided increase in the interest taken in race ques-
26 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
tions by Southern college women who heretofore have been pessimistic about
the whole thing and loath to take personal part in studying any phase of it.
Now, he said, about 1,500 Southern college women are actively engaged in
the study, and there are about 5,000 Southern college men similarly employed.
One difficulty, he said, was to get white and colored people to come together
and talk the thing over. Such conferences he thought essential to a full under
standing of different points of view and relative needs. But, in spite of the
difficulty, a number of such meetings between white citizens and leading
colored men are held every year in Southern communities. One of the great
est needs at present, he said, was to induce Southern white people to realize
that they bear a heavy responsibility to the Negro. Leading white people of
the South, and the best colored people, he said, are putting much faith in the
attitude of college men, and that is where this Commission can render its
greatest service, namely, in giving Southern students a right point of view.
Mr. Sibley spoke briefly about the Negro schools in Alabama. He stated
that in Alabama there was very little opposition to the vocational idea in
Negro education, and that there was not much opposition to the Negro buying
land. "Our experience is," he said, "that when the Negro owns land he is a
better citizen, because it gives him a real stake in the county. Least race fric
tion is to be found in counties where the Negro owns land." He also said
that there was a widespread improvement in the attitude of Southern white
people toward the Negro. "In many small communities white citizens are
earnestly trying to help the Negroes from the point of view of civic, moral,
economic, and educational progress. In Montgomery," he added, "the Civic
League of the white people and a similar league composed of leading Negroes
work together admirably. This sort of thing," he said, "is going on quietly
in the South to a much greater extent than is generally recognized."
Mr. J. Wyatt Rushton, of the University of Alabama, was presented to
the Commission. He spoke of his work in Tuscaloosa in studying the status
of the Negro artisan. He seemed to think that, in the main, the white artisan
was driving the skilled Negro out.
There followed a general discussion dealing with the objects of the Com
mission, how it should conduct its work, and what that work should be; also
with the question of land ownership by Negroes, and whether there is really
any improvement, fundamentally, in the desire of the great mass of Southern
people to see the Negro better educated and to have him become a better citi
zen. Further discussion was reserved for a later session.
Before adjournment, Dr. Hoskins presented a report about work being
done at the University of Tennessee under the direction of Prof. T. W.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 27
Glocker, of that University, in investigating housing conditions, economic wel
fare, and insurance among the Negroes of Knoxville.
The second session was convened at 8 o'clock. Professor Branson
started discussion with a review of efforts in North Carolina, chiefly under
the direction of University people, in trying to aid the Negro. He spoke par
ticularly of the Negro community sanitation survey in North Carolina, one of
the first and best-conducted surveys of the kind ever undertaken. Referring
to the work of the Commission, he said it had not yet broken into the student
life of the South as it should. He suggested that a syllabus, consisting of
15 or 20 problems, be prepared and sent to civic clubs, literary societies,
Y. M. C. A.'s, etc., of the Southern colleges, with the request that students be
put to work on those problems. In this way, he thought, the influence of the
Commission might be widely spread and a large number of students be
brought into the field of actual investigation, the result being a better point of
view for them. Something similar to this had been done, he said, through the
debating clubs of the University of North Carolina.
This suggestion of preparing a syllabus was favorably received by the
Commission, and it was moved that it be discussed at length at a later meeting.
Dr. Bell, after presenting Dr. Sutton's regrets and good wishes to the
Commission, discussed race conditions in Texas. The race question there, he
said, was complicated by the presence of Mexicans and others in addition to
the Negroes, and the matter was made more difficult by reason of that fact.
The most important and encouraging progressive step in Texas in recent
years, he said, was the passage of a compulsory education law. "It will not
be universally enforced," he said, "but it furnishes a rallying point for every
one interested in public education of all the people, irrespective of race."
There was a general feeling in Texas, he believed, for education of Negroes,
provided as much, or more, were done for Whites at the same time. "There
are a great many, however," he said, "who still sincerely oppose education of
the Negro." He spoke of efforts now being made by a number of white edu
cators to have Negro schools put on the same basis as schools for white
children. "The biggest problem in Texas," he said, "is to induce the white
people to accept the Negro on the basis of what he can do."
The chair introduced Superintendent Feagin, of Alabama. He said
Alabama had more of a white problem than a Negro problem from the school
point of view. Last year, he said, the school attendance of Negroes was one
per cent better than of Whites. He thought conditions in Alabama were far
better than they had ever been, and were improving steadily ; but he said the
Negro was not yet getting a square deal in educational support. Alabama's
28 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
real problem, he said, was concerned with ignorant, prejudiced white people,
who were apparently incapable of seeing any ultimate value in educating the
Negro. "We do not need compulsory education for Negroes," he said, "but
we do need it for white people."
Jackson Davis, of Virginia, gave a short review of conditions in Vir
ginia. He thought the political issue was becoming less and less important,
and that the land-tenure question was looming up with grave possibilities of
friction between the races. He also said a need that was widely felt at present
was for secondary schools for Negro teachers.
In the course of general discussion, the impression seemed to be that as
the Negro in the South improved in educational and economic well-being the
danger of friction increased. Also, that as there was less friction on this
account, and less probability of it, in rural communities, the Negro should be
induced, if possible, to stay in the country.
The chair called on members of the Commission individually to tell of
conditions in their respective states. These reports showed, in the main, that
while much remained to be done, and many of the white people of the
South were apparently more or less indifferent, if not opposed, to Negro
progress, yet there was decided improvement and faith in greater progress
in the immediate future.
William H. San ford, of the Montgomery bar, accepted an invitation to
address the Commission, but was called away unexpectedly. He sent the
paper he had prepared, which was read by the secretary.
The Commission adjourned to Tuskegee, where the third session was
called to order in Tantum Hall at 11 A. M. next day, May 6.
Dr. Booker T. Washington attended two sessions. He made a short
address of welcome and answered questions asked by members of the
Dr. Washington said colored people were glad that the Commission was
identified with the race study movement. The Commission, he said, was
making it easier for others to work for the uplift of the Negro. He was
especially glad that the Commission was composed of teachers. "Right pub
lic sentiment at educational centers will go far indeed." The most trouble
some thing in the South, he said, was distorted relations and reports. "If we
could get the actual facts as to race relations in the South before the public,"
he said, "we should get along pretty well with conditions as they are. The
trouble is, most Southern white people do not know the facts about the Negro.
They get their information largely in roundabout ways. "I think," he con-
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 29
tinued, "that we are nearing the end of political opposition to the Negro as
expressed in party platforms. The Negro has put as many men into office as
he can afford to do, and I hope the last one has ridden in on the back of the
Negro. It is a hopeful sign that the Negro is ceasing to be an independent
"Some white people seem to think that the Negro is trying to edge into
political control and social equality. As a matter of fact, such questions are
scarcely ever discussed among Negroes. One very essential thing is to remove
from the minds of white people the idea that the Negro is ambitious for
political and social control. The fact is that as the Negro becomes educated
he finds increasing satisfaction among the members of his own race. If white
people would pop unexpectedly into Negro homes they would be surprised at
the conditions there, and would then understand why the Negro finds satis
faction in his own home circle.
"Our great problem now is to get ordinary white men to favor Negro
education. If the vast number of Negroes are to be educated at all, it must
be in the rural public schools. White men will vote funds for Negro education
just in proportion to their belief in the value of that education. Educational
and political leaders must, and do, consider the opinion of the average white
man, so the big problem is how to convince him. When he knows the facts
about the value to the whole country, as well as to the Negro himself, of edu
cation, he must be convinced. We are trying to instil into the Negro mind
that if education does not make the Negro humble, simple, and of service to
the community, then it will not be encouraged. When the white people know
that the Negro understands this, I feel that much of the opposition now
encountered will disappear. And all the time we ought to remember that the
Negro is just beginning to understand the meaning of education. Let us try
to make progress in the big, fundamental things; the little jolts will then
"This Commission is working in the right direction, and, I believe, is
going as fast as it ought to go. Its present policy, as I understand it, is right.
"As to the influence of the educated Negro on the uneducated, while it
is not true here, yet in many large cities it is a fact that the educated Negroes
are weaned away from the masses and grow very sensitive in many cases.
We should try to keep the young, educated Negro from becoming bitter in
his attitude toward people and things in general. Therefore, I believe in
industrial education, which tends to make the Negro lose himself in his job.
He does not then have so much opportunity to become bitter.
30 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
"We hope for great things from the young, educated white people of the
South. Here is another point of contact between the Commission and the
best work that is being done. If white Southern college men and women get
the right point of view they will not fail to see the importance of educating
all the people, white and black.
"Large landowners who oppose Negro education are growing fewer in
number. Some of them are actually supporting students at Tuskegee.
"The railroads are giving more attention to the comfort and convenience
of Negro passengers. There is great improvement and encouragement in that
"There is little, if any, opposition, generally speaking, to the Negro buy
ing land. If the Negro has the money, his greatest difficulty is to get out of
the way of the white man who has land to sell.
"Capable Negro artisans have no difficulty getting jobs under favorable
conditions. The graduates of Tuskegee are having no trouble at all. Those
who fear increased friction when the Negro becomes better educated and
better trained to take part in skilled occupations overlook the fact that all the
time white public opinion is getting broader and broader too. Some friction,
however, is bound to come in this transition period. It is sure to end, how
ever, in a readjustment on a higher plane.
"Colored people feel very keenly about the way crime committed, or
alleged to have been committed, by Negroes is played up in the newspapers.
We never see the Negro's good qualities mentioned. As a rule, when a
Negro's name appears in the newspapers he has done something to somebody,
or somebody has done something to him. It may be true that the newspaper's
attitude toward the Negro does not influence white public opinion as much as
the Negro thinks, but it is bound to affect the point of view of those white
people who do not know the Negro."
Dr. Washington concluded by saying that he spoke for the educated
Negroes of the country when he commended the aim of the Commission and
its present methods. He said he knew that already the mere use of the
names of the members, as representatives of Southern State universities, had
been a source of great encouragement to those who were working to bring
about a permanent basis for race adjustment in the South.
Twelve members of the staff of Tuskegee attended the morning session.
Each one spoke briefly of the attitude of the educated Negro, which, though
pessimistic in many instances, was, on the whole, hopeful. They seemed par
ticularly eager to effect a better understanding between the educated white
man and the educated Negro.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 31
Others who addressed the Commission were Superintendent W. B. Riley,
of Macon County, Emmett J. Scott, and Prof. W. T. B. Williams.
The Commission was taken by automobile over the farm at Tuskegee,
and then on an inspection tour of the buildings, class sections, and shops.
The members of the Commission were the guests of honor at an assembly
in the main auditorium on the night of May 6. Addresses were made by
Dr. Washington, Dr. Dillard, Professors Scroggs, Branson, and DeLoach.
The closing session was held in Tantum Hall on the afternoon of May 7.
The chairman of the Committee on Economic Conditions of Negroes in
the South submitted a report. [Appendix D.]
It was decided to have the office of chairman of the Commission filled
annually. Dr. Sutton was chosen chairman of the next meeting, time and
place being left for selection to a committee composed of the chairman, Dr.
Dillard, and the secretary.
The secretary was authorized to purchase a gift to be sent in the name
of the Commission to Tantum Hall as an expression of the Commission's
appreciation of the hospitality extended by the matron and young women of
that hall. The secretary sent a silver flower stand, suitably inscribed, in care
of Dr. Washington, from whom he received a cordial letter of acknowledg
The last hour and a half of the last session were devoted to a frank dis
cussion of plans of the Commission for the future.
Dr. Scroggs submitted an outline for investigation as to the civic status
of the Negro.
Dr. Bell spoke of work being done in Texas by students under the direc
tion of Dr. Sutton, some of whose advanced students were engaged in making
surveys of two colleges for Negroes in Austin Tillotson and Samuel Huston
colleges. The president of the former is a white man, and nearly all the
members of the faculty belong to the white race; while the president and the
members of the faculty of the latter are Negroes. "The survey," said Dr.
Bell, "is to include the more important items bearing upon school efficiency,
such as the school plant, organization and administration, the teachers, the
pupils, the course of study, and finances. Among the minor problems which
the young men will attempt to solve is the relative ability of full-blood Negroes
and mulattoes as disclosed in their school work. Especial attention is to be
given to the operation of dormitories. A still more comprehensive problem is
to determine what need exists for each of the schools, and to what extent that
need is being satisfied. Effort will be made to find out, if possible, what are
32 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
the definite aims which the management of each of these schools is seeking to
realize. Another problem of great difficulty centers around the course of
study. Is each of these schools offering such culture material as will help to
relate the students to their future environment ? In a word, it is the purpose
of the survey to discover to what extent each of these schools is functioning
in the preparation of colored students for rational, effective service."
Dr. Kennon, Dr. Morse, Dr. Hoskins, Dr. Branson, and Dr. DeLoach
described investigations and studies by students at their respective universities
and by others in their respective communities.
The Commission adjourned at 5 P. M., May 7, 1915.
SIXTH MEETING, DURHAM, N. C., TRINITY COLLEGE AND THE UNIVERSITY
OF NORTH CAROLINA, JANUARY 4 AND 5, 1916
The sixth meeting of the Commission was called to order at the Mai-
bourne Hotel, Durham, N. C., on the morning of January 4, by the chairman,
Dr. W. S. Sutton. All the members were present except Dr. Farr and
Dr. Dillard presented a note from President W. P. Few, of Trinity Col
lege, on behalf of some of the leading colored business men of Durham, in
viting the Commission to hold a session at the North Carolina Mutual and
Provident Association building. The invitation was accepted.
Dr. Dillard had proposed that a copy of the minutes of the meeting held
at Tuskegee be sent Mr. Anson Phelps Stokes. This was done, and a reply
from Mr. Stokes stated that he was greatly pleased with the sort of work
the Commission was doing, and that he appreciated the thought in bringing it
to his attention in this way.
The chief business considered at the Durham meeting was a proposed
letter on lynching to be addressed to the college men of the South. The draft
submitted by Dr. Morse was taken up a paragraph at a time and carefully
considered from every point of view. The draft, with amendments, was
referred to a committee composed of Dr. Morse, Dr. Scroggs, and Dr.
DeLoach for final wording, and when reported to the Commission was
adopted and ordered published. [Appendix A (I).]
A copy of the letter was sent to the Associated Press, and copies were
sent by telegraph to the leading Southern and several Northern newspapers.
Four hundred copies were later sent to college, university, denominational,
and other papers, and to libraries and other institutions. As far as the secre
tary was able to learn, the letter was widely circulated through the press and
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 33
was printed in many college papers. It was favorably commented upon edi
torially in many instances, and in some was highly commended.
Rev. Dr. E. R. Leyburn, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of
Durham, was a guest at the afternoon session. He spoke briefly in commen
dation of the aim of the Commission, and the influence it must have, not only
in bringing about a wiser consideration of race questions in the South, but
also in the general way of encouraging open discussion of all matters of vital
public interest. He thought the Commission would exert a helpful influence
in destroying an undoubted aloofness that had grown up between the college
and the community in many parts of the South. "The college," he said,
"should be an aid to the community in handling all public questions," and he
believed the University Commission was already rendering service in making
possible greater cooperation between the college and the community, and a
better understanding of each other's point of view. He said the Commission
was helping to put the colleges in the right relation to the masses of the
people. "When it is understood," he said, "that the college can and will help,
not only its own crowd, but the people at large as well, the mass of the people
will rally to its support and will fall in behind public movements championed
by the college."
The evening session was held in the board rooms of the North Carolina
Mutual and Provident Association. This is an insurance and banking com
pany whose officers and directors are the leading colored men of Durham,
twelve of whom were present. President Few, of Trinity College, accom
panied the Commission and took part in the meeting. Dr. Sutton called on
several of the colored men present to speak to the Commission frankly on any
topic that was of particular interest to them. Three subjects were empha
sized segregation, education, and industry.
Dr. A. M. Moore spoke of segregation and its effect on the Negro and
on the white man in the South. He said that the Negro objected to the treat
ment he received after segregation was accomplished. "The Negro," he said,
"prefers to live to himself. Segregation will always follow naturally, pro
vided the treatment given the Negro in the way of paving, sewerage, and
general conditions of life is reasonably decent. Even here in Durham, where
we have had no trouble at all about this question, the Negro section is poorly
paved, where paved at all ; the lighting is miserable, and the sewerage question
is so inadequately handled that conditions are a menace to health. It is only
natural that, in view of this situation, which seems to be general, the Negro
should look with disfavor on the idea of segregation. We naturally segregate
ourselves. All we ask is justice."
34 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
Dr. Moore pointed out how dangerous to the safety and health of the
white people of a community was this neglect of the section occupied by
Negroes. "The Negro section of many a Southern town," he said, "is a
breeding place for germs of disease and crime, largely because of miserable
sanitary and housing conditions."
Dr. Moore also spoke of Negro education, and said the greatest need
felt among Southern Negroes at this time was that of competent teachers.
"The teachers," he said, "are so poorly prepared and paid that the Negro
schools are seriously handicapped. The Negroes of Durham are working
hard to improve this condition, but not much can be done without the help of
the white people."
C. C. Spaulding, general manager of the North Carolina Mutual and
Provident Association, spoke of the industrial growth of the Negroes in
North Carolina. He estimated that the assessed valuation of property
owned by Negroes in North Carolina had increased more than 30 per cent in
the last year. Also, that the Negroes of Durham alone paid taxes last year
on $500,000 assessment. He said the Negro owed much to the kindly counsel
of his white friends, and he believed the white business men of Durham were
as proud of the progress the Negroes were making as the Negroes themselves
were. This feeling, he said, was especially noticeable among the young white
men, which, he said, was a most encouraging sign from the point of view of
cordial relationship. He believed conditions in Durham were exceptional, but
he thought there was general improvement throughout the South, with a few
exceptions here and there.
John Merrick, said to be the wealthiest Negro in the Carolinas, in the
course of an unusually interesting talk, said the members of the Commission
would never know how great was the encouragement felt by the thinking
Negroes of the South when they learned that a number of Southern college
and university professors were taking the trouble to go about the South,
encourage white and colored men to meet together and talk frankly about
their mutual problems, and hear both sides of the much-misunderstood race
question. He said he was sure he spoke for thousands of influential Negroes
when he said that no single thing had occurred in the South in many years
that had had such a stimulating effect on the thinking Negroes as the organi
zation of a body of Southern college men with the object, among others, of
encouraging open and unprejudiced consideration of all matters affecting
The meeting was concluded with an informal round table question and
answer discussion, in which the members of the Commission, President Few,
Dr. Ley burn, and several of the Negroes present took part.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 35
The morning session on the 5th of January was held at Trinity College.
In addition to President Few, the following members of Trinity College
faculty were present and spoke briefly about various phases of the race
W. K. Boyd, Professor of History ; E. C. Brooks, Professor of Educa
tion; W. F. Laprade, Professor of Political Science; R. L. Flowers, Pro
fessor of Mathematics, and W. H. Glasson, Professor of Economics.
Professor Brooks spoke of a school survey which he had recently com
pleted in Durham. One of the results of this survey, he said, was the
discovery that the teeth and eyes of the Negro school children were in much
better condition than were those of the white school children. It was also
found, he said, that the Negro children were far more proficient at manual
exercises than the white children, and that the white children excelled in
academic studies. He believed that home conditions had much to do with
these results, and not incapacity on the part of Negro children to master book
learning. A culture background, be believed, was essential in most cases to
progress with book studies for both white and black, and he believed the lack
of such background was responsible largely for the failure of Negro children
to measure up well in comparison with white children. But these conclusions,
he said, were tentative, and he recommended a wide survey of the whole
South, which might, he said, shed light on the question concerning the wisest
way to use funds voted for educational purposes to the best advantage of
both white and black.
Professor Boyd said he was surprised to find how eagerly his students
at Trinity went about the study of race questions when given topics bearing
on the general subject for discussion as class exercises. He thought this
practice should be encouraged at all Southern colleges. Southern college men,
he said, should be brought face to face in a scholarly way with the race
problem, and he said he had found essay writing, with such subjects as segre
gation, education of Negroes, manual training versus book learning, the
Negro in politics, the colored church, the colored minister as a leader, the
Negro business man, the Negro and the trade union, the Negro club, social
and beneficial, etc., both interesting to the student and productive of good
Professor Laprade thought the Negro should be taught to have race
pride, to be proud to be a Negro. Economic independence, he said, and what
Dr. Dillard had referred to as a new attitude on the part of the white man
namely, to treat the Negro man to man, and not as master and servant were
the most desirable aids to this race pride.
36 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
Professor Glasson said factory life in the South showed that the Negro
was not holding his own industrially. "The Negro can not live a decent life,"
he said, "without the opportunity to earn and the desire to have decent living."
President Few said he was again impressed with one great service the
Commission could perform, and that was to induce thoughtful white men of
the South to have the courage to do the right thing in dealing with the
Negroes in their communities. "Washington Duke's attitude toward the
Negro," he said, "did much to make possible the excellent conditions between
the races in Durham."
The following telegram from Clarence H. Poe was received and read to
"Keenly regret inability to accept your invitation. I should like to
emphasize that there are three parties to the race problem first, the Negro;
second, the wealthy or professional white man unaffected by Negro competi
tion; third, the poor, laboring white man who does, and must, face such
competition. I would not have less sympathy or thought for the Negro, but
more for the disadvantaged white man. Hope your Commission will study
this third factor, and also inquire if separate grouping does not encourage
better Negro leadership and community life; also make a study of mulatto
traits and achievements as distinguished from pure Negro, and inquire to
what extent mulattoes are increasing."
A paper, dealing with "Booker T. Washington as a Leader in the Field
of Negro Education in the South," was presented by Professor Doster.
The Commission then adjourned, to meet again in the afternoon at
After dinner at the home of Professor Branson a meeting was held in
Peabody Hall, University of North Carolina. The following members of the
faculty of the University were present and took part in the discussions :
Dean M. H. Stacy; Dean C. L. Raper, Professor of Economics; H. W.
Chase, Professor of Psychology; Archibald Henderson, Professor of Pure
Mathematics; M. C. S. Noble, Professor of Pedagogy; T. J. Wilson, As
sociate Professor of Latin; K. P. Battle, Professor Emeritus of History; J.
G. deR. Hamilton, Professor of History; E. L. Rankin, of the Department
of University Extension, and H. H. Williams, Professor of Philosophy.
President E. K. Graham sent a cordial letter of welcome, in which he ex
pressed keen regret that an engagement in New York prevented his being
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 37
Professor Williams spoke of the inadequate pay and training of Negro
school teachers. He said he was almost ready to state as his belief that many
Negro teachers who were available were worse than no teachers at all.
Professor Chase said too few facts were available as to relative mental
ability of white and black school children. He thought a very helpful thing
would be a careful psychological study of white and black school children,
with the object of finding out, if possible, how the education of the children
of both races should be directed. He felt sure, he said, that through ignorance
a great deal of time and money was being wasted.
Dr. Battle spoke earnestly against segregation. He said that he believed
segregation made matters worse wherever and however it was tried. As to
rural segregation specifically, he said he believed a Negro neighbor was a
decided help rather than a hindrance to the white man.
Professor Hamilton said there was widespread ignorance throughout the
country of the rural Negro. Permanent improvement in the lot of the Negro
in the South, he said, can only come after we understand the Negro who lives
not in the cities or the more or less thickly populated sections, but away off in
the country. We'll never get far in this business, he said, until we know the
point of view of the genuine common country Negro, and we know little, if
anything, about him now.
Professor Wilson said the University of North Carolina was beginning,
with much success, to include the Negro in the work of the extension depart
ment. Bible classes and reading clubs were conducted by students, he said,
and were largely attended by the Negroes of Chapel Hill and vicinity. The
students, he said, showed lively interest in the work.
Professor Henderson spoke of the fact that the Negro youth of ability
was constantly being drawn away from the South. He believed that the edu
cated Negro youth would be of great service if kept at home. One reason
why the educated, progressive young Negroes leave the South, he said, was
the lack of sympathy and encouragement from their white neighbors. "We
do not seem to get the point of view," he said, "of the educated young Negro
to-day. We don't understand him. This lack of understanding breeds dis
trust. On the other hand, the ignorant Negro is still exploited in many ways
by white men. We must try to protect the ignorant Negro from his own
ignorance, and also we must try to make it worth while for the young Negro
of the better sort to stay in the South."
Dean Stacy said he believed the political question was settling itself, as
segregation and other questions would if permitted to .be worked out natu
rally. "Negroes vote here in Chapel Hill," he said, "and there is no white
opposition at all, so far as I know."
38 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
At the business session Professor Hoskins was unanimously elected
chairman for the next meeting.
It was decided to hold the next meeting late in August, the exact time
and place to be fixed by the chairman and Dr. Dillard. This meeting, it was
decided, should last at least three days, when the work of the Commission and
its usefulness in the future might be fully discussed.
The conference adjourned at 3 :30 P. M., January 5.
SEVENTH MEETING, BLUE RIDGE AND ASHEVILLE, N. C.,
AUGUST 30, 31, AND SEPTEMBER 1, 1916
The seventh meeting of the Commission was called to order in Lee Hall,
Blue Ridge, N. C., at 10 A. M., August 30, 1916, by the chairman, Professor
Hoskins. Mr. C. F. Quillian, representing Dr. Weatherford, welcomed the
Commission to Blue Ridge. He made particular reference to the class con
ducted by Dr. Branson at Blue Ridge, and stated that the meeting of the
Commission there emphasized in a very helpful way the attention given by the
Blue Ridge conferences to social matters.
The chairman called on Dr. Dillard, who referred to the first open
letter to the college students of the South. He said he had heard many
favorable comments on this letter in the North and South, and said it seemed
to him to be exactly in line with the sort of thing the Commission should do.
A big problem in the South, he said, was the creation of sound public opinion,
not only as to the Negro, but in many other ways. ' There are plenty of
people in the South," he said, "who are ready to stand by the man who speaks
in the name of justice." He suggested that the Commission issue another
letter, this one to deal primarily with the education of the Negro.
The chairman called on each member of the Commission to discuss con
ditions of race relationship in his own State. This resulted in an "experience
meeting" of great interest. The general impression seemed to be that
Southern white men were more ready now than ever before to uphold the idea
of justice to the Negro, and that there was a frankness in discussing race
matters that was absent a few years ago. There seemed to be a growing
willingness to share educational funds more equitably, the railroads were
giving Negroes better accommodations, the white business men were taking
more interest in Negro business men and their organizations, municipal
governments were more ready to consider living conditions in the Negro quar
ters of Southern cities relatively to those obtaining in the sections occupied by
white people, trade unions were showing a more sympathetic feeling toward
Negro workmen, etc. Dr. Kennon mentioned the fact that in conferring the
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 39
degree of doctor of laws recently, the University of Mississippi emphasized
the point that the degree was conferred in that instance in recognition of
studies made by the man who received it in the field of race relationships.
Reports from the Southern States showed somewhat improved conditions
of Negro living and opportunity. An earnest discussion followed, in which
each member of the Commission gave his views as to the future of the Negro
in the South. All seemed to think that the real problem ultimately would be :
What will be the attitude of the South when the Negro is economically and
educationally capable, in large numbers, of competing in a fair field with the
At present, it was pointed out, the ignorant white man's jealousy of and
antipathy toward the well-to-do, as well as the shiftless Negro, constituted a
problem of grave concern.
Dr. Sutton expressed the belief that the white man would develop in his
attitude as the Negro developed in his opportunity and capability, and that
it was a waste of time to anticipate the problems of the future. "Our busi
ness," he said, "is to see that the Negro becomes as good a citizen now as
possible, with opportunities commensurate with his aptitudes, economically
Dr. Thomas, in the course of a statement as to conditions in Arkansas,
read a letter which he wrote in condemnation of a recent lynching in that
State. The letter was printed in the newspapers. Dr. Scroggs suggested that
the letter be incorporated in the minutes of the Commission, and Dr. Morse
moved that the Commission formally approve it. [Appendix F.]
A committee consisting of Professors Sutton, Morse, and Scroggs was
appointed to draft a letter dealing with the education of the Negro.
MEETINGS IN ASHEVILLE
B. C. Caldwell, of the Slater and Jeanes Funds, addressed the Com
mission at the morning session at the Battery Park Hotel, Asheville, on
August 31 . Among other things, he spoke of the liberal attitude of Southern
newspapers toward the Negro and his achievements and derelictions. He
thought there was a growing tendency among Southern newspapers to be just
to the Negro. The effect of this, he said, was tremendous from the point of
view of public opinion. He also spoke of the better chances of the Southern
Negro nowadays in trades and other forms of business enterprise.
The report of the committee on the second letter was considered and
further discussion postponed to a later session.
40 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
In the afternoon the Commission's guests included Dr. Carl V. Reynolds,
City Health Officer of Asheville; Rev. Dr. Robert F. Campbell, pastor of the
First Presbyterian Church of Asheville; D. Hiden Ramsey, Commis
sioner of Public Safety of Asheville; and Rev. Willis Clark, rector of the
Episcopal Church of Asheville.
Dr. Reynolds spoke of the Negro and public health. He said that in a
large measure the burden of a high death rate was unjustly saddled on the
Negro. The Negro was really immune to a great many diseases, he said. He
spoke of the fact that living conditions forced on Negroes in many localities
made adequate protection against tuberculosis an impossibility.
Dr. Campbell said the mere fact of the Commission was heartening. He
commended the policy of trying to reach college students. In the South there
is vast ignorance of the Negro by the white, he said, and he thought the Com
mission was on the right track in its efforts to arouse the interest of Southern
college men in the question of race relationships.
Rev. Mr. Clark thought the point of greatest contact between the races
was religion, and he urged that colored ministers be induced to work with
the white people who were seeking the improvement of the conditions of the
mass of the colored people.
Mr. Ramsey spoke especially of the Negro criminal. The masses of the
Negroes, he said, do not, as a rule, recognize any social obligation on their
part to help enforce and keep the law. It was also a fact, he said, that sen
tence to jail was not as great a social detriment to the Negro as to the white
man. The same penalty that would deter a white man would not deter the
average Negro. He further stated that the ownership of property seemed to
curb criminality among Negroes. He found that among Negro criminals
there were very few who owned property.
In the evening the Commission held a meeting at the City Hall in Ashe
ville, at which time Dr. J. W. Walker and Dr. R. H. Bryant, colored physi
cians; Rev. C. B. Dusenbury, pastor of the colored Presbyterian Church;
B. J. Jackson, a successful colored business man; and W. S. Lee and J. H.
Michael, principals of the colored schools, spoke to the Commission. As
many as twenty Negro citizens were present, as well as a number of white
citizens, including several city officials.
The concluding session was devoted to a revision of the proposed second
letter to the college men of the South. [Appendix A (II).]
Professor E. C. Branson, of the University of North Carolina, was
chosen chairman of the Commission for the succeeding year.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 41
The selection of the time and place of the next meeting was left to a
committee consisting of the chairman, Dr. Dillard, and the secretary.
Those present at the meeting were :
Prof. E. C. Branson, Dr. William L. Kennon, Dr. Josiah Morse, Prof.
James J. Doster, Prof. James D. Hoskins (chairman), Dr. William O.
Scroggs, Dr. William S. Sutton, Dr. David Y. Thomas, Prof. William M.
Hunley (secretary), Dr. James H. Dillard.
EIGHTH MEETING, WASHINGTON, D. C., AUGUST 29, 30, AND 31, 1917
The eighth meeting of the Commission was held in Washington on
August 29, 30, and 31, 1917. Professor Branson presided at the several ses
sions. All the members were present except Professors Farr, Kennon, and
The meeting was scheduled to be held in Washington chiefly that the
members might have an opportunity of attending the sessions of the Educa
tional Conference held at the call of the United States Commissioner of
The Commission's first session was called to order in one of the rooms
of the Bureau of Labor Building on the evening of August 29. The minutes
of the last meeting were read and approved.
Guests of the Commission included Dr. Thomas Jesse Jones, George
Foster Peabody, Julius Rosenwald, Dr. R. R. Moton, T. J. Woofter, Jr.,
T. R. Snaveley, R. H. Leavell, Prof. W. T. B. Williams, and Prof. Francis D.
Dr. Jones extended an invitation to the Commission to attend as many
sessions of the conference on Negro education as possible. On motion of
Dr. Sutton, it was decided that the members attend as the Commission.
Professor Branson explained the purposes of the Commission and out
lined its activities. He then called on several of the guests to speak briefly
about Negro Migration, which, he said, was to be the chief subject that the
Commission would consider at this meeting. Those who spoke were Mr.
Peabody, Mr. Rosenwald, Dr. Moton, Mr. Woofter, Mr. Snaveley, Mr.
Leavell, Professor Williams, and Dr. Tyson.
It seemed to be the consensus 'of opinion that the cause of the Negro
leaving the South was a natural one, namely, that he was influenced in part
by dissatisfaction with conditions under which he was forced to live, and
mainly, perhaps, because of the lure of higher wages.
After a general discussion the session adjourned, to meet again on
August 30th at the Hotel Raleigh.
42 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
SESSION AT THE RALEIGH
The Commission was called to order by the chairman at 10 o'clock A. M.
Before proceeding to the educational conferences there was a brief discussion
of Negro Education, in which the following points were emphasized:
"The importance of elementary schools to the economic, hygienic, and
moral welfare of the white and colored people of the Southern states is funda
"The reports of State superintendents are practically unanimous in their
presentation of the poverty and inadequacy of the elementary schools.
"The elementary schools are peculiarly the responsibility of public
"The State and Jeanes Fund supervisors are rendering great service in
awakening the interest of State and local authorities.
"There are great possibilities in the private schools in improving the
In the afternoon the Commission met in a room in the Department of
the Interior Building. President John Hope, of Morehouse College, Atlanta,
spoke of the growing feeling among the Negroes of Atlanta that "it won't
do no good." In nineteen years, he said, Atlanta had gone backward in
public school facilities for the Negro. There is no Negro high school in
Atlanta, he said, and only about three in the State of Georgia. He stated
that in the Atlanta colored schools there was no industrial training at all.
He added, however, that the Negroes had voted for school bonds and had
been promised additional schools. "The Negroes have complained and have
received a respectful hearing from the school board," he said, "but they still
believe that it ' won't do no good.' The Negroes are growing restless. When
Atlanta was 'cleaned up,' the Negro quarter was ignored. These things are
conducive to migration."
Prof. Monroe N. Work, of Tuskegee, gave his impressions of the migra
tion. "It is a leaderless movement," he said, "and presents the greatest oppor
tunity since emancipation for readjustment of racial relations." He said
good should come out of the exodus : better health conditions, less crime, and
better educational facilities in the South.
Discussion brought out the fact that there was a considerable migration
of whites, as well as blacks. President Hope stated that he had seen labor
agents in Cincinnati getting Negro laborers to go South to work in Alabama
mines. He said many Negroes were going, and this constituted a counter-
migration movement of considerable importance.
i MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 43
Prof. George E. Haynes, of Fisk University, pointed out that the move
ment of the Negro to the North had been going on since the Civil War,
especially since 1880. He said the Negro was going cityward, more to
Northern than to Southern cities. He said he had traveled extensively in the
South in the past year and had found districts where there were no emigrants ;
in other districts the population had almost vanished. In the districts of the
last-mentioned kind, he said, racial troubles were more frequent.
Discussion indicated that the opinion was prevalent among students of
the question that migration so far had not been very harmful to the South;
that conditions in the North where the Negroes had gone in large numbers
were in many cases a repetition of those prevailing in the Southern sections
of large Negro population ; that there was as yet no very pronounced short
age of labor, and that better racial relations, based on frankness, fairness, and
knowledge, would check the migration movement.
NIGHT SESSION AT THE RALEIGH
The Commission convened again at the Raleigh at 8 p. M. On motion of
Dr. Sutton the secretary was directed to write a letter of sympathy on behalf
of the Commission to Mrs. Frissell on the death of her husband, Dr. H. B.
Professor Doster was unanimously chosen chairman for the year fol
lowing this meeting.
There was discussion of a proposal presented by Dr. Dillard that the
Commission authorize Mrs. J. D. Hammond to act as publicity director and
send to the newspapers articles dealing with the Negro question and allied
topics. The Commission decided to leave the proposal with the chairman, sub
ject to final vote by the members.
Dr. Morse presented a letter to be sent out as a third open letter to the
college men of the South. After some discussion and amendment it was unani
mously adopted, subject to the approval of the absent members. It was de
cided that the secretary should publish the letter. [Appendix A (III).]
It was decided that the Commission should attend the closing sessions
of the educational conference on August 31st.
The Commission then adjourned, subject to the call of the chairman.
From the large amount of matter so far collected the papers contained in
the following Appendix were selected for publication in these Minutes as
being perhaps of most immediate interest and of most value for future
OPEN LETTERS FROM THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION ON SOUTHERN RACE QUESTIONS
TO THE COLLEGE MEN OF THE SOUTH
This letter is not written to convince you that lynching is a crime, for you know it
already. Its object is to urge you to show others whenever opportunity presents itself that
lynching does more than rob its victims of their constitutional rights and of their lives. It
simultaneously lynches law and justice and civilization, and outrages all the finer human
sentiments and feelings.
The wrong that it does to the wretched victims is almost as nothing compared to the
injury it does to the lynchers themselves, to the community, and to society at large.
Lynching is a contagious social disease, and as such is of deep concern to every
American citizen and to every lover of civilization. It is especially of concern to you, and
you can do much to abolish it. Vice and crime know that their best, though unconscious
and unwilling allies, are luke-warmness and timidity on the part of educated, "good" citi
zens. Wrong is weaker than right, and must yield whenever right is persistent and
It is, of course, no argument in favor of lynching, nor can we derive any legitimate
satisfaction from the fact that it is not confined to any one section of our country and that
the victims are not always black. One of the bad features of lynching is that it quickly
becomes a habit, and, like all bad habits, deepens and widens rapidly. Formerly lynchings
were mainly incited by rape and murder, but the habit has spread until now such outrages
are committed for much less serious crimes.
The records of lynching for 1914, compiled by three different agencies, give the total
number for the year as 52, 54, and 74, the authority for these figures being Tuskegee Insti
tute, the Chicago Tribune, and the Crisis, respectively.
The conflicting reports can not be harmonized, but, to avoid any possibility of exag
geration, we may employ the most conservative of these for analysis.
It reveals these facts : Number lynched colored : male 46, female 3 ; white : male 3,
female 0. Total 52.
Crimes charged against victims: Murder 13, robbery and murder 6, robbery and
attempted murder 1, suspected of murder 1, rape 6, attempted rape 1, killing an officer 5,
wounding officer 1, murderous assault 3, alleged murderous assault 1, biting off a man's
chin 1, accused of wounding a person 1, killing person in quarrel 4, beating child to death 1,
trying to force way into woman's room 1, stealing shoes 1, stealing mules 1, setting fire to
barn 2, assisting a man to escape who had wounded another 1, being found under a house 1.
The three women were lynched for the following reasons: One, 17 years old, for
killing a man who, it was reported, had raped her; the second was accused of beating a
child to death; the third was accused of helping her husband set fire to a barn. In the
last case, both husband and wife were lynched in the presence of their 4-year-old child.
46 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
It should be especially noted that of the fifty-two persons lynched, only seven two
white and five colored or 13 per cent, were charged with the crime against womanhood.
This shows clearly how far and how quickly the habit has spread beyond the bounds set by
those who first resorted to lynching as- a remedy.
According to states, the lynchings were distributed as follows : Alabama 2, Arkansas 1,
Florida 4, Georgia 2, Louisiana 12, Mississippi 12, Missouri 1, New Mexico 1, North Dakota
1, North Carolina 1, Oklahoma 3, Oregon 1, South Carolina 4, Tennessee 1, Texas 6.
The same agency which reported fifty-two lynchings for 1914 makes the following
report for 1915: Number lynched colored: male 51, female 3; white: male 14, female 0.
Total 68. This is an increase of 16, or 30 per cent, over the total number for 1914.
According to states, the lynchings for 1915 were distributed as follows: Alabama 9,
Arkansas 5, Florida 5, Georgia 18, Illinois 1, Kentucky 5, Louisiana 2, Mississippi 9, Missouri
2, Ohio 1, Oklahoma 3, South Carolina 1, Tennessee 2, Texas 5.
It is worthy of note that in at least four cases it later was discovered that the victims
of the mob were innocent of the crime of which they were accused.
These are the terrible facts. Is there no remedy? Have we not sufficient legal intelli
gence and machinery to take care of every case of crime committed? Must we fall back
on the methods of the jungle? Civilization rests on obedience to law, which means the
substitution of reason and deliberation for impulse, instinct, and passion. It is easy and
tempting to obey the latter, but to be governed by the former requires self-conrol, which
comes from the interposition of thought between impulse and action. Herein lies the .college
man's opportunity to serve his fellows; to interpose deliberation between their impulses
and action, and in that way to control both.
Society has a right to expect college men to help in moulding opinion and shaping
conduct in matters of this sort. It is their privilege and duty to cooperate with others in
leading crusades against crime and mob rule and for law and civilization. The college man
belongs in the front rank of those fighting for moral and social progress. For this reason
the University Commission makes its first appeal to you and urges you strongly to cooperate
with the press, the pulpit, the bar, officers of the law, and all other agencies striving to
eliminate this great evil, by speaking out boldly when speech is needed and letting your
influence be felt against it in decided, unmistakable measure and manner.
(Signed) W. S. SUTTON, Texas,
JOSIAH MORSE, South Carolina,
W. L. KENNON, Mississippi,
W. O. SCROGGS, Louisiana,
JAMES D. HOSKINS, Tennessee,
R. J. H. DELOACH, Georgia,
W. M. HUNLEY, Virginia,
E. C. BRANSON, North Carolina,
JAMES M. FARR, Florida,
D. Y. THOMAS, Arkansas,
J. J. DOSTER, Alabama.
January 5, 1916.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 47
In its first open letter to college men of the South, issued at the beginning of the
present year, the University Commission urged them to unite their efforts with those of the
press, the pulpit, the bar, the officers of the law, and all other agencies laboring for the elimi
nation of the monster evil of mob violence. These agencies have labored diligently and with
substantial results, as is indicated by the decrease of the average annual number of lynch-
ings from 171 for the decade 1886-1895 to 70 for the decade 1906-1915. Nevertheless, the
Commission wishes to reiterate its appeal with renewed emphasis, knowing that the. eradica
tion of so virulent a social disease as the lynching mania can be effected only by the pro
longed and vigorous efforts of sane and patriotic citizens.
In this letter the Commission wishes to direct the attention of the college men to the
educational aspect of the race question, inasmuch as the solution of all human problems
ultimately rests upon rightly directed education. In its last analysis, education simply means
bringing forth all the native capacities of the individual for the benefit both of himself
and of society. It is axiomatic that a developed plant, animal, or man is far more valuable
to society than the undeveloped. It is likewise obvious that ignorance is the most fruitful
source of human ills. Furthermore, it is as true in a social as in a physical sense that a
chain is no stronger than its weakest link. The good results thus far obtained, as shown
by the Negro's progress within recent years, prompt the Commission to urge the extension
of his educational opportunities.
The inadequate provision for the education of the Negro is more than an injustice to
him; it is an injury to the white man. The South can not realize its destiny if one-third of
its population is undeveloped and inefficient. For our common welfare we must strive to
cure disease wherever we find it, strengthen whatever is weak, and develop all that is
undeveloped. The initial steps for increasing the efficiency and usefulness of the Negro
race must necessarily be taken in the school room. There can be no denying that more
and better schools, with better trained and better paid teachers, more adequate supervision
and longer terms, are needed for the blacks, as well as the whites. The Negro schools are,
of course, parts of the school systems of their respective states, and as such share in the
progress and prosperity of their state systems. Our appeal is for a larger share for the
Negro, on the ground of the common welfare and common justice. He is the weakest link
in our civilization, and our welfare is indissolubly bound up with his.
Many means are open to the college men of the South for arousing greater public
interest in this matter and for promoting a more vigorous public effort to this end. A
right attitude in this, as in all other important public questions, is a condition precedent to
success. For this reason the Commission addresses to Southern college men this special
(Signed) J. J. DOSTER, Alabama,
D. Y. THOMAS, Arkansas,
JAMES M. FARR, Florida,
R. J. H. DELOACH, Georgia,
WILLIAM O. SCROGGS, Louisiana,
W. L. KENNON, Mississippi,
E. C. BRANSON, North Carolina,
JOSIAH MORSE, South Carolina,
JAMES D. HOSKINS, Tennessee,
WILLIAM S. SUTTON, Texas,
September 1, 1916. W. M. HUNLEY, Virginia.
48 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
On two previous occasions the University Commission on Southern Race Questions
addressed open letters to the college men of the South, setting forth briefly the results of
their studies and conferences on topics of importance to both races. The first of these dealt
with the lynching evil, and, after pointing out the inherent injustice of it and its menace
to the established institutions of society, emphasized the fact that human actions are like
boomerangs, affecting those who act as much as, if not more than, those who are acted upon.
It is becoming more and more recognized that the white race in many subtle ways has
suffered more from lynching and its consequences than has the black.
The second letter dealt with the education of the Negro, and stressed the need of
larger support, better teachers, longer terms, and more adequate facilities, again on the
ground of inherent justice of the proposal, and the fact that in doing for others we do
even more for ourselves.
In the present letter the Commission wishes to address the college men on what it
considers the most immediate pressing problem of the South, and one of the most important
for the nation, namely, Negro Migration. The present migration of the Negro is not an
anomalous phenomenon in human affairs. The economic and social laws that affect the
lives and actions of white men produce practically the same effects upon the Negro. It
should not be surprising, therefore, to find him obeying so promptly and in such large
numbers the economic law of demand and supply. There was no extensive migration until
the industrial centers, facing a dangerous shortage of labor, owing to the complete shutting
off of the European sources of supply, turned to the South, where large sources were
available. And so they sent their agents, with very alluring promises,' and liberally used the
Negro press, hand-bills, letters, lecturers, and other means designed quickly to uproot the
Negro and draw him to the railroads, factories, and mines, where his labor is sorely needed.
The dollar has lured the Negro to the East and North, as it has lured the white man even
to the most inaccessible and forbidding regions of the earth. But the human being is
moved and held not by money alone. Birthplace, home ties, family, friends, associations
and attachments of numerous kinds, fair treatment, opportunity to labor and enjoy the
legitimate fruits of labor, assurance of even-handed justice in the courts, good educational
facilities, sanitary living conditions, tolerance, and sympathy these things, and others like
them, make an even stronger appeal to the human mind and heart than does money.
The South can not compete on a financial basis with other sections of the country for
the labor of the Negro, but the South can easily keep her Negroes against all allurements
if she will give them a larger measure of those things that human beings hold dearer than
material goods. Generosity begets gratitude, and gratitude grips and holds man more
powerfully than hooks of steel. It is axiomatic that fair dealing, sympathy, patience, toler
ance, and other human virtues benefit those who exercise them even more than the
beneficiaries of them. It pays to be just and kind, both spiritually and materially. Surely
the South has nothing to lose and much to gain by adopting an attitude like that indicated
(Signed) E. C. BRANSON, Professor of Rural Economics and Sociology, University
of North Carolina.
R. P. BROOKS, Professor of History, University of Georgia.
JAS. J. DOSTER (chairman), Dean of the School of Education, and Pro
fessor of Education, University of Alabama.
A. DAVID C. BARROW
Chancellor of the University of
c. SAMUEL C. MITCHELL
President of Delaware College,
formerly of the University of South
EDWIN A. ALDERMAN
President of the University of Virginia
JAMES II. DILLARD
President of the Slater and Jeanes
Boards, formerly Professor in Tulanc
University, New Orleans
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 49
JAMES M. FARR, Professor of English, University of Florida.
JAMES D. HOSKINS, Dean of the University of Tennessee.
W. M. HUNLEY (secretary), Professor of Economics and Political Science,
Virginia Military Institute.
W. L. KENNON, Professor of Physics, University of Mississippi.
JOSIAH MORSE, Professor of Psychology and Philosophy, University of
W. O. SCROGGS, Professor of Economics and Sociology, Louisiana State
W. S. SUTTON, Dean of the School of Education, University of Texas.
D. Y. THOMAS, Professor of History and Political Science, University of
WORK OF THE COMMISSION OF SOUTHERN UNIVERSITIES ON THE RACE QUESTION
(Presented at the Second Meeting, University of Georgia, December 19, 1912, by
C. H. Brough, Chairman)
Thinking that this Commission could do no better than follow the constructive outline
which Dr. Dillard has mapped out, I invite suggestions along the following lines:
I. What are the conditions?
(a) Religious : Contributions, excessive denominationalism, lack of the practical in
(b) Educational : Self-help, Northern contributions, public schools, etc.
(c) Hygienic: Whole question of health and disease.
(d) Economic: Land ownership, business enterprises, abuse of credit system, etc.
(e) Civic: Common carriers, courts of justice, franchise, etc.
II. What should, and can, be done, especially by whites, for improvement?
III. W r hat may be hoped as to future conditions and relations?
With reference to the religious contributions to the betterment of the Negro, it may
be said that our churches have been pursuing a "penny-wise and pound-foolish economy."
The Presbyterians last year gave an average of three postage stamps per member to the
work. The Methodists averaged less than the price of a cheap soda water just a five-cent
one. The Southern Baptist Convention has only been asking from its large membership
$15,000 annually for this tremendous work. In view of these conditions, as Southern
churchmen we may well echo the passionately eloquent outburst of Dr. W. D. Weatherford,
one of the most profound thinkers and virile writers on the Negro question, and the leader
of the young men of the South in their Y. M. C. A. work, "Do we mean to say by our
niggardly gifts that these people are helpless and worthless in the sight of God? Do we
mean to say that one cent per member is doing our share in evangelizing the whole race?
God pity the Southern Christians, the Southern churches, and the Southern States if we do
not awake to our responsibility in this hour of opportunity."
But the responsibility for deplorable religious conditions among the Negroes is not
altogether with the whites. While it is true that the Negro is by nature a religious and
emotional animal, while there are approximately 4,500,000 church members among the
10,000,000 Negroes in the United States, and these churches represent property values of
50 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
nearly $40,000,000, yet it is also painfully true that excessive denominationalism and
ecclesiastical rivalry and dissensions prevent the formation of strong, compact organizations
among them, and, as a result, there are twice as many church organizations as there should
be, congregations are small, and the salaries paid their preachers are not large enough to
secure competent men.
In connection with the character of the average Negro preacher, it is interesting to
note that in an investigation made by Atlanta University concerning the character of the
Negro ministry, of two hundred Negro laymen who were asked their opinion of the moral
character of Negro preachers, only thirty-seven gave decided answers of approval. Among
faults mentioned by these Negro laymen were selfishness, deceptiveness, love of money,
sexual impurity, dogmatism, laziness, and ignorance, and to these may be added the fact
that preaching is generally of a highly emotional type and is wholly lacking in any practical
moral message. At the April meeting of the Southern Sociological Congress I trust that
some one will discuss the necessity of holding up before the Negroes the conception of the
Perfect Man of Galilee of unblemished character and spotless purity, who went about doing
good, as well as the conception of a Saviour of power and a Christ of divinity.
Educationally, the Negroes of the South have made remarkable progress. In 1880,
of the Negro population above ten years of age, 70 per cent was illiterate. By the end of
the next decade this illiteracy had been reduced to 57.1 per cent, and by the close of the
century it had declined to 44.5 per cent. During the last ten years of the nineteenth century
there was an increase of the Negro population of 1,087,000 in the school age of ten years
and over, yet, despite this increase, there was a decrease in illiteracy of 190,000. In 1912
there are over 2,000,000 between the ages of five and eighteen, or 54 per cent of the total
number of educable Negro children, enrolled in the common schools of the former slave
States, and the percentage of illiteracy among the Negroes is only 27.5 per cent.
In the State of Arkansas, for the year ending June 30, 1912, 109,731 Negro children
were enrolled in the common schools out of a total educable Negro population of 175,503,
and the percentage of illiteracy among the Negroes was only 26.2 per cent. Besides the
Branch Normal at Pine Bluff, maintained by the State at an annual expense of $15,000 an
institution which has graduated 236 Negro men and women in the thirty-eight years of its
useful history and six splendid Negro high schools at Fort Smith, Helena, Hot Springs,
Little Rock, and Pine Bluff, there are six denominational high schools and colleges in
Arkansas that are giving the Negroes an academic education and practical instruction in
manual training, domestic science, practical carpentry, and scientific agriculture. These
facts tell the story of praiseworthy sacrifice, frugality, struggle, and aspiration.
The amount devoted to Negro education in the South for the forty years ending with
the academic session 1910-11 is approximately $166,000,000. Of this amount the Negro is
beginning to pay a fair proportion, especially in North Carolina and Virginia. But the
Southern white people have borne the brunt of the burden, meriting the stately eulogy of
the late lamented commissioner of education, William T. Harris, that "the Southern white
people, in the organization and management of systems of public schools, manifest wonderful
and remarkable self-sacrifice," and also the tribute of Dr. Lyman Abbott, editor of The
Outlook, "While Northern benevolence has spent tens of thousands in the South to educate
the Negroes, Southern patriotism has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for the same
purpose. This has been done voluntarily and without aid from the Federal Government."
The South as a whole has appreciated the truth of the six axioms in the program of
Negro education so admirably set forth by Dr. W. S. Sutton, of the University of Texas, in
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 51
a recent bulletin, and she boldly affirms that the highest welfare of the "black child of
Providence" committed to her keeping lies not in social or even political equality, but in
equality of industrial opportunity and educational enlightenment.
In the problem of Negro education, the keystone of the arch is the rural school,
which has been shamefully neglected. Dr. Dillard, by his wise administration of the Jeanes
and Slater Funds, has rendered an invaluable service in the improvement of rural Negro
schools, employing at the present time 117 supervisors in 119 Southern counties at an
average annual salary of $301.38 to competent teachers who cooperate with the county
examiners and superintendents in the supervision of Negro schools. The question has been
raised by Hon. George B. Cook, superintendent of Public Instruction in Arkansas, as to
whether these supervisors and the funds for their employment should not be placed under
the immediate control of the State Departments of Education by Dr. Dillard, and I respect
fully submit this as a fruitful subject for discussion by this Commission.
Closely allied to the proper solution of the problem of Negro education are the prac
tical questions of better hygienic conditions and housing, the reduction of the fearful
mortality rate now devastating the race, and the prevention of disease. At the present the
death rate of the Negroes is 28 per 1,000 as opposed to 15 per 1,000 for the whites. The
chief causes of this excessive death rate among the Negroes seem to be infant mortality,
scrofula, venereal troubles, consumption, and intestinal diseases. According to Hoffman,
over 50 per cent of the Negro children born in Richmond, Va., die before they are one
year old. This is due primarily to sexual immorality, enfeebled constitutions of parents,
and infant starvation, all of which can be reduced by teaching the Negroes the elementary
laws of health.
The highest medical authorities agree that the Negro has a predisposition to con
sumption, due to his small chest expansion and the insignificant weight of his lungs (only
4 ounces), and this theory seems to be borne out by the fact that the excess of Negro
deaths over whites from consumption is 105 per cent in the representative Southern cities.
But however strong the influence of heredity, it is undeniable that consumption, the hook
worm, and fevers of all kinds are caused in a large measure by the miserable housing con
ditions prevalent among the Negroes. Poor housing, back alleys, no ventilation, poor ventila
tion, and no sunshine do much to foster disease of all kinds.
Furthermore, people can not be moral as long as they are herded together like cattle,
without privacy or decency. If a mother, a father, three grown daughters, and men
boarders have to sleep in two small rooms, as is frequently the case, we must expect lack
of modesty, promiscuity, illegitimacy, and sexual diseases. It is plainly our duty to preach
the gospel of hygienic evangelism to our unfortunate "neighbors in black," for the
Ciceronian maxim, "Mens sana in cor pore sano," is fundamental in education. Certainly
he who is instrumental in causing the Negro to build two and three-room houses where
only a one-room shack stood before, and to construct one sleeping porch where none was
before, deserves more at the hands of his fellow-man than the whole race of demagogues
Economic progress has been the handmaid of educational enlightenment in the
improvement of the Negro. Indeed, to the Negro the South owes a debt of real gratitude
for her rapid agricultural growth, and in no less degree does every true son of the South
owe the Negro a debt of gratitude for his unselfishness, his faithfulness, and his devotion
to the white people of Dixieland, not only during the dark and bloody days of the Civil
War, but during the trying days of our industrial and political renaissance.
52 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
To the Negro, either as an independent owner, tenant, or laborer, we partly owe the
increase in the number of our farms from 504,000 in 1860 to over 2,000,000 at the present
time; the increase in our farm values from $2,048,000 in 1860 to $4,500,000 at the present
time; the decrease in the size of our farm unit from 321 acres in 1860 to 84 acres at the
In this substantial progress of our glorious Southland the Negro has had a distinct
and commendable share. It has been estimated by workers in the Census Bureau that in
1890 Negroes were cultivating, either as owners, tenants, or hired laborers, one hundred
million acres of land, and at the present time the estimated value of property owned by
Negroes in the United States is $750,000,000. Of the 214,678 farmers in Arkansas in 1910,
63,593, or almost 30 per cent, were Negroes, and of these Negro farmers 14,662, or 23 per
cent, were owners and 48,885, or 77 per cent, were tenants. In the United States as a whole,
at the period of the last decennial census, there were 2,143,176 Negroes engaged in farming,
1,324,160 in domestic and personal service, 275,149 in manufacturing and mechanical pur
suits, 209,154 in trade and transportation, and 47,324 in professional service a remarkable
showing for a race that emerged barely three centuries ago from the night of African
darkness and depravity.
However, there are four well-defined retarding forces to the fullest economic develop
ment of the Negro in the South, and to these evils this Commission should give thoughtful
and earnest consideration : the tenant system, the one-crop system, .the abuse of the credit
system, and rural isolation. I believe that industrial education, teaching the Negro the
lessons of the nobility of toil, the value of thrift and honesty, the advantages attaching
to the division of labor and the diversification of industry, and the dangers lurking in the
seductive credit system will prove an effective panacea for these self-evident evils.
Therefore, as a Southern man, born, raised, and educated in the proud commonwealth
of Mississippi, I welcome the splendid efforts of such men as Booker T. Washington, of
the Tuskegee Institute; Major Moton, of Hampton Institute; Joseph Price, of Livingtone
College, North Carolina ; Charles Banks and Isaia.h Montgomery, of Mississippi ; and
Joseph A. Booker and E. T. Venegar, of Arkansas, in behalf of the industrial education
of their race.
As the sons of proud Anglo-Saxon sires, we of the South doubt seriously the wisdom
of the enfranchisement of an inferior race. We believe that Reconstruction Rule was "a
reign of ignorance, mongrelism, and depravity," that the Negro is the cheapest voter and
the greatest Bourbon in American politics, North and South alike, and that as a political
factor he has been a disturbing factor in our civic life. Personally, I believe in the
Mississippi educational qualification test for suffrage, sanely administered, with as much
ardor as in a literacy test for foreign immigration.
However, "a condition and not a theory confronts us." As an American citizen the
Negro is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the equal protection of
our laws for the safeguarding of these inalienable rights. The regulation of suffrage in
the South, as well as in the North, is and always will be determined by the principle of
expediency. But none but the most prejudiced Negro-hater, who oftentimes goes to the
extreme of denying that any black man can have a white soul, would controvert the propo
sition that in the administration of quasi-public utilities and courts of justice the Negro
is entitled to the fair and equal protection of the law. Separate coach laws are wise, but
discriminations in service are wrong.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 53
If "law hath her seat in the bosom of God and her voice in the harmony of the
world, all things paying obeisance to her, the greatest as not exempt from her power and
the least as feeling her protecting care," then the meanest Negro on a Southern plantation
is entitled to the same consideration in the administration of justice as the proudest scion
of a cultured Cavalier.
It is, indeed, a travesty on Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence to send a Negro to the peni
tentiary for a term of eighteen years for selling a gallon of whiskey in violation of law
and at the same time allow scores of white murderers to go unpunished, as was recently
stated to be a fact by a Governor of a Southern state. Even if it be only theoretically
true that "all people are created free and equal/' and if, as a practical proposition, the
Negro is a "ham sandwich for the Caucasian race," it is undeniably true that he is entitled
to the equal protection of our laws and to the rights safeguarding every American citizen
under the beneficent provisions of the Constitution of the United States.
If I may use the eloquent words of the golden-tongued, clear-visioned, and lion-
hearted Bishop Charles B. Galloway, "The race problem is no question for small politicians,
but for broad-minded, patriotic statesmen. I\ is not for non-resident theorists, but for
clear-visioned humanitarians. All our dealings with the Negro should be in the spirit of the
Man of Galilee."
The task confronting this Commission, composed of Southern white men and repre
senting the universities of the South, is Atlean in its magnitude and fraught with tre
mendous significance. I believe that ours is a noble mission that of discussing the ways
and means of bettering the religious, educational, hygienic, economic, and civic conditions
of an inferior race. I believe that by protesting against the miscegenation of the races we
can recognize the sacredness of the individual white and the individual Negro and do much
to preserve that racial integrity recently jeopardized by the Johnson-Cameron misalliance.
I believe that by preaching the gospel of industrial education to the whites and Negroes
alike we can develop a stronger consciousness of social responsibility. I believe that by the
recognition of the fact that in the Negro are to be found the essential elements of human
nature, capable of conscious evolution through education and economic and religious better
ment, we will be led at last to a conception of a world unity, whose Author and Finisher
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE CIVIC STATUS OF THE NEGRO
(Presented at the Fourth Meeting, Washington, D. C., December 15, 1914, by W. O. Scroggs,
Chairman of the Committee)
The Committee on the Civic Status of the Negro, appointed at the meeting of the
Commission of Southern Universities on Race Problems held in Athens, Ga., in December,
1912, realized at the outset that the first work of their organization was "to find itself."
Study, investigation, and discussion have now convinced this committee that the one great
task before the people of the South is to develop a more rational viewpoint on all matters
pertaining to interracial relations. Our people as a whole feel very much on this subject,
but they know very little. Most of the discussion of the problem that we hear is merely
an airing of the emotions. But few of our citizens are familiar with the actual civic,
economic, educational, hygienic, or religious conditions among the Negroes of their own
communities, and with so little knowledge at hand they can form no real judgment as to
the public policy that intelligent citizens should advocate.
54 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
Fortunately, our thinking men and women are coming to realize how little is really
known, and a great change is noticeable in their attitude toward what we usually call "the
race problem." In the past there was a tendency on their part to leave the question alone,
and there was a belief, or at least a frequently expressed hope, that the problem would
eventually solve itself if only discussion and agitation were not allowed to disturb the
forces of racial adjustment. But time has shown that discussion and agitation will not
subside, and that while the enlightened citizenship of the South has sat in silence the voice
of the demagogue has been heard throughout the length and breadth of the land, quaking
with the assumed fear of "Negro domination," and shouting in stentorian tones for "Anglo-
Saxon supremacy." Politicians of this stripe have found that the race issue possesses
wonderful possibilities in the way of vote-getting, and they have not scrupled to fan the
flames of race prejudice, even to the extent of advocating mob violence, if this seemed an
effective means of riding into power.
It is unnecessary for us to say that such types of men have not voiced the sentiment
of the thinking South. Nevertheless, they have reached a vastly greater audience than have
those who entertain enlightened opinion on this subject. Where one man has read a book
by such exponents of straight thinking on Southern problems as Stone, Murphy, Page,
Weatherford, or Mrs. Hammond, it is safe to assume that a hundred have heard or read
the Negrophobic diatribes of designing office seekers ; and while the latter have raged
and imagined vain things, bench and bar, preacher and teacher, with a few notable excep
tions, have sat mute and lethargic, and by their silence have given an impression of probable
acquiescence in such views. Of the views of earnest students on this vital problem the man
on the street is densely ignorant, and who can blame him?
In the last few years, however, the thinking as well as the feeling South has been
making itself heard, and its voice has been growing ever louder and stronger. The social
conscience of this section has found its expression in the Southern Sociological Congress,
which has declared for "the solving of the race problem in a spirit of helpfulness to the
Negro and of equal justice to both races." With this splendid ideal the members of this
Commission are in hearty sympathy. This does not mean, of course, that we ourselves are
actually to undertake to solve this tremendous social question, but it is our firm conviction
that the difficulties are enormously increased by the all-pervading ignorance to which we
have just referred. We regard it as our function, therefore, to turn on the light wherever
we may; and if by any means we can assist in supplying knowledge where now we find
only blind prejudice and ignorance, we believe that our duty will have been performed.
In studying the civic status of the Negro we find three distinct phases : the first coin
cides with the period of slavery and lasts till 1865 ; the second corresponds roughly to the
Reconstruction era and ends with the judicial annulment of the Civil Rights Act in 1883;
the last period, which still continues, has been marked by a general undoing of Reconstruc
tion and by a tendency on the part of the American people to leave the civic status of the
colored population to be determined by the slow process of evolution.
THE Civic STATUS OF THE NEGRO BEFORE 1865
During the period before 1865 slavery was the normal condition of the vast majority
of the Negroes, and those who were not enslaved suffered serious disabilities. Even in
colonial times there were sporadic outbreaks of mob violence against persons of color,
which are in many respects analagous to the race riots of modern times. Two examples
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 55
often cited are the riots in the city of New York in 1712 and 1741, due to incendiarism on
the part of slaves. In both cases numbers of Negroes were hanged, burned at the stake,
and otherwise punished. In 1788 the Massachusetts legislature passed a law providing that
"no person being an African or Negro, other than a subject of the Emperor of Morocco
or a citizen of some one of the United States (to be evidenced by a certificate from the
Secretary of the State of which he is a citizen), shall tarry within this Commonwealth for
a longer time than two months." * This law was never enforced, and in 1822 a legislative
committee declared that the harsh "Black Laws" of other states were driving Negroes into
Massachusetts, and that the committee viewed with alarm "the increase of a species of
population which threatened to become both injurious and burdensome. 2 A Connecticut
judge in 1833 ruled that a Negro was a person and not a citizen. In 1803 Ohio required
every free Negro who came into the State to give bond in the sum of five hundred dollars.
Oregon (1849), Iowa (1851), Indiana (1851), and Illinois (1835) forbade free Negroes to
come within their borders, and Delaware permitted them to come only from Maryland. Ohio,
Iowa, and Maryland denied Negroes the right to testify in cases in which white persons
were involved. Before the Civil War, Negroes were excluded from the militia service.
New York excluded them from the basis of State (not Federal) representation unless they
paid taxes, and in 1838 forbade colored aliens to hold real estate. 8
Much opposition, not only to mixed schools, but also to separate schools for colored
pupils, developed at various places in the North. The suppression of a school for Negroes
established in Canterbury, Conn., in 1833 by Miss Prudence Crandall is a case in point.
The founder of the school was sent to jail for violation of a law requiring the consent of
the civil authorities for the establishment of such an institution, and when the verdict
against her was set aside on technical grounds a mob attacked and damaged the school
building and caused the abandonment of the philanthropic undertaking. 4 In New York
City, until the Civil War, the street railway companies allowed Negroes equal privileges
with whites on some of their cars, but on others compelled them to ride on the front plat
form. In 1855 a colored minister, James W. C. Pennington, insisted on taking a seat in
a car not designated for colored persons and was forcibly ejected by a conductor. He com
plained so strenuously to a policeman that the officer arrested him for disorderly conduct.
He brought suit against the company, but a jury declared that the corporation was within
its rights in excluding a person on account of color. 6
The incidents thus cited might be multiplied many times over, but they will suffice
to show the civic status of the Negro in the North before the War between the States made
him the ward of the nation. In the Southern States, during this period, the position of free
Negroes was likewise unenviable. Louisiana did not permit them to enter the State. Vir
ginia (1850) stipulated that they must leave the State within twelve months after their
emancipation or forfeit their freedom. In Maryland any free Negro leaving the State for
more than thirty days became a non-resident and subject to the laws excluding Negroes.
In Missouri, Negro schools and religious meetings were declared to be unlawful assemblies.
1 ]ohn Daniels, In Freedom's Birthplace, 27.
2 Ibid., 28.
8 Wm. Yates, Rights of Coloured Men, pp. yi, vii; B. T. Washington, Story of the
Negro, I, 199; G. T. Stephenson, Race Distinctions in American Law, 36-39; Trimble,
Slavery in the United States of America (London, 1863).
4 Wm. Yates, Rights of Coloured Men, 54.
5 New York Herald, May 25, 1855, and December 20, 1856.
56 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
The problem of the free Negro, with which the Northern States especially had
wrestled before 1865, became likewise a Southern problem after the emancipation of the
slaves, but it was a problem magnified a hundredfold. As a result, a crop of "Black Laws"
sprang up in the South between 1865 and 1868 which would have placed the former slaves
in a position like that occupied by free Negroes in both the Northern and Southern States
before the war. These laws were made the occasion for the Federal intervention which
made the Negro, for the time being, an object of special Government protection.
Civic STATUS OF THE NEGRO, 1865-1883
The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, proclaimed a
part of the organic law on December 18, 1865, destroyed the last vestiges of chattel slavery
in this country and secured for every Negro the status of a free man but not the status
of a citizen. The dictum of the Supreme Court, enunciated eight years previously in the
Dred Scott case, had been to the effect that slaves were not citizens and could not become
citizens, even when emancipated or descended from free Negroes. To secure to the freed-
men full rights of citizenship, the Federal Congress, broadly interpreting its power to
enforce the Thirteenth Amendment by proper legislation, on April 9, 1866, passed the
so-called first Civil Rights bill over the veto of President Johnson. This measure aimed
directly at the Dred Scott decision by declaring that "all persons born in the United States
and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed," were citizens of the
United States, and, as such, regardless of race, color, or previous conditions of servitude,
they were entitled "to full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of
person and property, as is enjoyed by white citizens." In the next few months a number
of cases involving the constitutionality of this measure reached the lower courts, but the
adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, proclaimed in effect on July 28, 1868, rendered a
decision by the higher courts unnecessary. This amendment incorporated the gist of the
law of 1866 into the Federal Constitution by declaring : "All persons born or naturalized
in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United
States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which
shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any
State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, or deny
to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The main purpose
of this amendment was undoubtedly to remove all question as to the constitutionality of
the Civil Rights Act, and in 1870 this last measure was again placed upon the statute books
in almost its original form. In 1875 a second Civil Rights law was enacted which prescribed
full and equal accommodations for all citizens, regardless of color, in hotels, public con
veyances, and places of amusement, and prescribed heavy penalties for violations of the
This measure marked the culmination of Federal legislation in behalf of the civil
rights of the black man. And now, four decades thereafter, we may well inquire what
benefits have been obtained from it by the Negro race. The Fourteenth Amendment, which
was designed solely for the Negro's protection, has been employed in a manner far removed
from the intentions of its authors. The litigation that has arisen under it has been con
cerned with the State control of corporate wealth rather than with racial relations. Accord
ing to Mr. Charles W. Collins, by 1912 604 cases involving the interpretation of this
amendment had been passed upon by the Supreme Court, and of these only twenty-eight
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 57
had any connection with the status of the Negro. 1 Even before a case directly involving
the rights of colored men had reached the Court that body had handed down a decision in
the Slaughter House Cases which indicated that the Negroes' gains from the adoption of
the Amendment were a negligible quantity. These cases had no direct bearing on the race
question, but the Court, in interpreting that part of the Amendment which declared that
"no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities
of citizens of the United States," held that Federal citizenship was distinct from state
citizenship, and that the Amendment did not empower the Federal Government to interfere
with the privileges and immunities inherent in State citizenship. 2 In other words, the
Amendment was intended only to prevent a state from abridging the privileges and immuni
ties appertaining to Federal citizenship, and, in case of alleged curtailment of his rights by
private acts of individuals, the citizen should appeal to the police power of his State and
not to the United States.
In 1875 the first case in which the rights of Negroes under the Amendment were
directly involved came before the Court. 3 A number of white men in Louisiana had
forcibly broken up a Negro political meeting and had been tried and convicted in the
United States Circuit Court for violation of the Act of 1870. The Supreme Court set
aside the conviction on the ground that the law was unauthorized by the Fourteenth Amend
ment, and that when a person's rights were invaded by another he must not appeal to the
Federal Government for protection. This decision, it will be observed, was strictly in
accord with the principles enumerated in the Slaughter House Cases.
Finally, in 1883 the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which, as has been said before, marked
the culmination of the special favors bestowed upon the Negro by a Radical Congress, was
declared unconstitutional on grounds similar to those enunciated in the two preceding cases.
This decision was based on hearings in five separate cases involving the Negro's civil
rights, which the Court considered as a unit, inasmuch as they all hinged upon the constitu
tionality of the first two sections of the Act of 1875. The facts upon which the issues
had been made up in these cases were: the exclusion of Negroes from hotels in Kansas
and in Missouri, from the dress circle of a theater in San Francisco, from full enjoyment
of accommodations in the Grand Opera House of New York City, and from a 'ladies' car"
of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad Company. The Court held that these were acts
of private persons, and that the sections of the Civil Rights Act extending Federal protec
tion to citizens of the United States against such acts were not authorized by the Four
teenth Amendment, which did not empower Congress to invade and destroy the police power
of the States.
By thus setting aside the Act of 1875 the Supreme Court virtually served notice upon
the Negro that he was no longer "the ward of the nation," and that he must plunge into
the stream of our common civic life and sink or swim. Indeed, the Court expressly
declared : "When a man has emerged from slavery and, by the aid of beneficent legislation,
has shaken off the inseparable concomitants of that State, there must be some stage in the
progress of his elevation when he takes the rank of a mere citizen, and ceases to be the
special favorite of the laws, and when his rights as a citizen or a man are to be protected
in the ordinary modes by which other men's rights are protected."
1 Collins, The Fourteenth Amendment and the States, 46-47.
2 Collins, op. cit, 48.
8 U. S. vs. Cruikshank, 92 U. S., 542.
58 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
This decision put an end to direct legislation by Congress in behalf of the Negro
race. It marks the close of the regime of special protection and the beginning of a regime
of natural selection. Of the twenty-eight appeals for Federal intervention in support of the
Negto's civil rights, as alleged to be guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment, only
six were decided in favor of the complaining party. All six of these cases dealt with the
right of Negroes to sit on juries, a topic that will be considered elsewhere in this report.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court, in interpreting the Amendment, has held that a
State may inflict a heavier penalty for the crimes of adultery and fornication when com
mitted by persons of different races than when committed by persons of the same race;
that it may separate the races on passenger trains; and that in general the Negro must
seek his protection in the police power of his State, like any other citizen. The Court has
also decided, indirectly, that a State may separate the races in the schools within its
As a result of the overthrow of the Civil Rights legislation of the Federal Government,
the burden of securing these rights for the Negro has devolved upon the several States.
So long as the Federal Government appeared to be actively intervening in behalf of the
colored man the States of the North did very little in the matter. On the other hand, in
the Southern States, which were then under the control of carpet-bag governments, there
was a bumper crop of Civil Rights legislation. After 1883, however, the situation had
become reversed. Southern legislatures were rapidly repealing the distasteful legislation of
the Reconstruction period, and Northern legislatures, seeing that Federal intervention had
proven a broken reed, began to enact measures designed to secure equal accommodations for
both races in all public places. Many of the State laws practically duplicate the Federal
statute of 1875. Nineteen states have enacted such measures, and twelve of these did so
within two years after the Federal law was declared unconstitutional. 2
In all communities where diverse elements of population are found in considerable
numbers there is a noticeable tendency toward their differentiation and segregation. Our
American cities have their Italian quarters, their Yiddish districts, and their China towns.
The same phenomenon is observed wherever there is a large number of Negroes. In both
Northern and Southern communities there are considerable areas inhabited almost exclu
sively by members of the colored race. This voluntary segregation is generally accepted
as a matter of course by members of both races, because it accords with their wishes. "All
flesh consorteth according to kind, and a man will cleave unto his like."
Inasmuch as the color line runs nearly parallel with the poverty line, living conditions
in the Negro quarters of our cities closely resemble those of the slums. North and South
the urban Negro population is to be found living in poorly built, insanitary dwellings, on
filthy and neglected streets, and frequently in an atmosphere permeated with vice. It is
quite natural that certain more prosperous members of the race should seek to escape from
such untoward conditions and secure homes in more desirable sections. In doing this they
are not necessarily seeking to force themselves upon their white neighbors, but may be
attracted by the clean and well-paved streets, the well-kept homes, and the more generally
wholesome environment. The Negroes as a race are not any more inclined than are the
1 Collins, op. cit., 48-80.
2 Stephenson, Race Distinctions in American Law, 111-124.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 59
whites to force themselves into places where they are not wanted, and even where individual
colored citizens show any such tendency to intrude it will frequently be found that white
sympathizers are egging them on. But it matters not for what reason a Negro may enter
a white residence district, he is likely soon to discover that his arrival is most unwelcome to
his new neighbors. In all parts of the country many and varied expedients have been
employed to exclude the colored population from certain portions of our cities. In Kansas
City, in 1909, the Tenth Ward Citizens' Association was formed for the purpose of forcing
the removal of Negroes from a section of the tenth ward. 1 In the same city, in 1910 and
1911, a number of Negro homes in a white residential section were dynamited. 2 In North
Berkeley, Cal., the citizens organized to exclude Chinese, Japanese, and Negroes -from the
best residence districts. 3 In St. Louis a Civic Realty Company was formed for the purpose
of creating public sentiment against the selling of property to Negroes. 4 In Atlanta, in 1910,
fifty real estate dealers agreed to lease or sell no property to Negroes within the limits of
a district designated as white by a so-called Fourth Ward Progressive Club. 5 During the
year 1911 trouble resulting from the purchase by Negroes of property in white residential
sections was reported in Scranton, Pa., Kalamazoo, Mich., Logansport, Ind., and Seattle,
The invasion of exclusively white blocks by ambitious, well-to-do Negroes is most
likely to occur in cities which have a relatively small colored population and in which the
Negroes have become accustomed to assert themselves more frequently than they do where
the color line is drawn less loosely. This fact will explain why such a large proportion of
the incidents just enumerated occurred in Northern rather than Southern cities. It is inter
esting to note, however, that in many Southern communities the segregation of the races
is by no means complete. It is not a very rare sight in some of the older towns of the
lower South to find one or two unobtrusive Negro families living in the same block with
the better class of whites. Such cases are no indication of the lack of racial antipathy; the
whites merely tolerate the presence of the Negroes because the latter "know their place"
and make no attempt to force themselves upon the attention of their neighbors. Instances
of this kind are seldom observed in the newer towns, and are growing continually less
common elsewhere, as both races seem to prefer to live apart.
In addition to this general segregation, there are a number of instances of the com
plete exclusion of Negroes from white communities and of whites from Negro communities.
Among the towns which do not tolerate the presence of the colored man may be mentioned
Comanche, Big Spring, Childress, Dalhart, Plainview, and Snyder, in the State of Texas ;
Blackwell, Hominy, Miami, Norman, and Elk City, Oklahoma; Cullman (a German settle
ment), and Fairhope (a colony of Northern single-taxers), in the State of Alabama; and
Syracuse, in Ohio. Winston County, Alabama, with a total population, in 1910, of 12,885,
contained only 54 Negroes.
On the other hand, there are some thirty towns inhabited exclusively by Negroes, and
also a large number of unincorporated Negro settlements. The most important of these
1 The Crisis, 2:98.
2 Ibid., 3:161-162.
8 Ibid., 2 :98.
4 Ibid., 1 :6-7.
5 The city of Atlanta later passed an ordinance providing for the segregation of the
races. Vide infra.
6 The Crisis, February, May, and July, 1911.
60 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
Negro communities is Boley, Okla., with a population, in 1910, of 1,334. This town owns
and operates its own waterworks system, and has an electric light plant which is also owned
and operated by Negroes.
All these instances of racial segregation have been secured without formal legislative
action. In recent years, however, a tendency has developed on the part of a number of
Southern municipalities to enforce the separation of the races into different residence dis
tricts by law. This movement is receiving increasing attention, and has already made some
headway. If the experience of the cities which are testing this plan seems to justify it, and
no constitutional obstacles are encountered, a very large number of other municipalities
may be expected to employ some similar expedient.
The legal segregation of the races in municipalities had its beginning in 1910. In that
year the purchase of property by a Negro lawyer on McCulloch Street, a fashionable resi
dence section of Baltimore, brought the matter to an issue in that city and resulted in the
enactment, on December 19, of the so-called West segregation ordinance. 1 This measure
provided that no white family should move into a block where a majority of the residents
were Negroes, and that no Negro should occupy a residence in a block where a majority
of the residents were white. The ordinace was at once tested in the courts, and, on
February 4, 1911, was declared invalid. A second ordinance was then passed to meet the
objections of the courts. This applied only to all-white and all-Negro blocks, and allowed
blocks in which members of both races were residing to remain mixed until the residents
came to belong wholly to one race. Some question as to the regularity of the passage of
this measure was raised, and it was reenacted without change of phraseology. This measure,
like the first, also encountered judicial obstacles and was held invalid by the Court of
Appeals on the ground that it did not protect vested rights. Nothing daunted, the city
council passed a fourth segregation ordinance on December 25, 1913.
The example of Baltimore was quickly followed by the cities of Richmond, Norfolk,
and Ashland, Virginia. The Richmond ordinance, enacted April 19, 1911, declares a block
white when a majority of its residents are white, and colored when a majority of residents
are colored. On March 12, 1912, the Virginia legislature passed a general State law per
mitting municipalities so desiring to designate certain sections of their area for white and
other sections for colored residents. In accordance with this statute, legal segregation was
effected in Roanoke, Va., on March 15, 1913.
Other cities which have adopted segregation ordinances are Greenville and Anderson,
South Carolina; Greensboro and Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Atlanta, Ga. The
matter has been discussed in a number of other municipalities. The Atlanta ordinance, like
that of Baltimore, does not apply to mixed districts, but only to blocks occupied wholly by
members of one race. In Greenville, however, the ordinance applies when two-thirds of
the residents are of the same race. In Norfolk the designation of the color of a block
depends upon ownership, as well as occupancy. The block is black or white according as
a majority of the frontage is owned or occupied by blacks or whites, respectively. To
avoid constitutional difficulties, the law of Virginia and the ordinances of Richmond, Balti
more, Norfolk, and Atlanta provide that no person shall be required to remove from the
place where he was residing when the measure was passed. By several of these ordinances
schools, churches, and other buildings are segregated, as well as residences.
J The measure was named after Councilman George W. West, who fathered it.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 61
The constitutionality of these various ordinances has not yet been definitely passed
upon. The first and third Baltimore ordinances were declared invalid because they inter
fered with vested rights, but the courts upheld the constitutionality of the principle of segre
gation. The ordinance of Winston-Salem was deemed invalid by the Supreme Court of
North Carolina on the ground that a municipality could not enact such a measure without
first obtaining legislative sanction therefor, but the real question at issue was not passed
It is needless to discuss the constitutional aspects of this measure; for, as
Mr. Gilbert T. Stephenson has well said, some constitutional method may always be found
for the adoption of any policy that is wise and sound. Segregation, therefore, should be
considered from the viewpoint of social justice. Advocates of municipal segregation by
law defend it on racial, social, and economic grounds. The elimination of mixed blocks
is desirable, it is said, because in them is found only the lowest element of the white
population, and it is from such a grouping that miscegenation is most likely to arise. In
the second place, racial antipathies are greatest between Negroes and the poorer whites,
and the separation of these elements will promote law and order and reduce social friction
to a minimum. Again, segregation is held to be desirable for economic reasons ; whenever
Negroes move into a community real estate values tend to depreciate. Finally, it is argued,
segregation has been developing by informal social action during a period of many years,
and formal action by statute or ordinance only completes the process.
The opponents of segregation do not deny that the presence of a Negro family in
a city block tends to depress property values in their neighborhood, but they urge that the
upward progress of a race should not be made to "depend on the price of land." It is
claimed, also, that the segregated Negro quarters will be neglected by the municipal
authorities so far as lighting, paving, drainage, sewerage, street cleaning, garbage collection,
and policing are concerned, and that the Negroes will be restricted by law to living in the
most undesirable parts of the city. The results of segregation in several cities are cited
as already proving this contention. It is worthy of note, too, that when segregation was
being discussed in Richmond a number of prominent white women appeared before the city
council and urged that if the measure were enacted the needs of the Negroes should no
longer be neglected.
RACIAL SEGREGATION IN RURAL DISTRICTS
Until 1913, efforts to create separate residence districts for the races by law were
confined to cities. In August of that year Mr. Clarence Poe, editor of the Progressive
Farmer, formally advocated a plan for racial segregation in rural districts. He secured for
it the unanimous endorsement of the North Carolina State Farmers' Union, and urged upon
the North Carolina legislature the enactment of his plan into law. The author of the scheme
summarizes it as follows: "Wherever the greater part of the land acreage in any given
district that may be laid off is owned by one race, a majority of the voters in such a district
shall have the right to say, if they wish, that in the future no land shall be sold to a person
of a different race, provided such action is approved or allowed (as being justified by con
siderations of peace, protection, and social life of the community) by a reviewing judge or
board of county commissioners."
An examination of this proposed measure will show that whatever may have been
the intention of its framer, it will not in actual practice secure the complete segregation of
the races in rural communities. Negroes owning land at the time the measure went into
62 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
effect would not be affected, and colored laborers and tenants might still remain in the
districts adopting the plan. Mr. Poe's plan is simply a scheme to enable the voters in
any district to put an end to the sale of lands to Negroes. As very few Negroes vote,
it would be impossible for them to exclude whites from any community, even if they out
numbered the whites ten to one and owned the greater portion of the land.
The author of this plan advances eight reasons for its adoption: (1) Rural segrega
tion is necessary to give white farmers and their families a satisfying social life; (2) it
will insure them greater safety and protection; (3) it will secure better schools, churches,
and other agencies of community welfare for both races ; (4) it will make possible a greater
degree of cooperation in rural communities, as racial divisions have proven a great barrier
to cooperative enterprises; (5) it will improve the moral side of racial relationships;
(6) by checking the crowding out of whites by blacks and providing all-white communities
it will attract to the South a larger proportion of immigrants from other sections and
countries than this region now receives; (7) segregation will make it possible for young
men, who will not at present compete with negro labor, to go into the white districts as
tenants, save and become independent landholders ; (8) it will protect certain rural districts
from absentee landlords, who sell lands to Negroes regardless of the feelings of the white
Every one familiar with conditions in the rural South will admit the existence of most
of the evils of which Mr. Poe complains, but it does not follow therefrom that his plan
offers a remedy. That there is an unmistakable tendency for the black counties to grow
blacker is fully attested by the Federal census. This crowding of the whites by the blacks
may not be attributed to the greater efficiency of the latter, as it has been clearly shown
that the progress of the Negroes in the South varies almost inversely with their numerical
ratio to the whole population. 1 The Negroes are most backward where they greatly out
number the whites, and they crowd out the whites in these communities just as unskilled
laborers with low standards of living tend to crowd out the more highly skilled workmen
in industrial centers, and as Mongolian laborers have tended to crowd out Caucasians in
our Pacific States. The principle of Gresham's law seems operative in the case of labor,
as well as in that of money.
But to admit these facts as stated by Mr. Poe is to cut the ground from under his
argument for segregation. If the whites suffer from the presence of masses of unskilled,
low-standard colored labor the obvious remedy is to take measures for increasing its skill
and raising its standards. Segregation, instead of achieving this result, will work in the
opposite direction, as experience fully proves that black districts tend to retrograde. The
Negroes do best in those communities where they are outnumbered by the whites. If segre
gation were in effect in any Southern community the most thrifty and industrious Negroes,
desiring to acquire land, would be compelled to move elsewhere, leaving behind them the
shiftless and inefficient of their race; and the last state of that community would be worse
than the first.
Mr. Stephenson has pointed out that the removal of the incentive on the part of a
Negro tenant to acquire land of his own would tend to aggravate the already acute tenant
problem; that efforts to bring about segregation in any rural district would intensify race
friction ; and that after separation was achieved only the worst elements of both races would
1 On this point consult the article by Dr. R. P. Brooks entitled, "A Local Study of the
Race Problem," in the Political Science Quarterly, 26:201 f.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 63
be brought into contact with each other. 1 To these objections we might add the statement
that if segregation in municipalities is likely to result in the neglect of the colored residence
sections the same results would appear, and probably in much more aggravated form, in
rural districts. Solidly black rural communities would hardly secure roads, bridges, schools,
policing, and sanitary supervision of the same character as found in white communities in
the same county. Morever, as the Negroes must take the least desirable sections of cities
for their quarters, they would probably have to do likewise if they were segregated in the
country; and each colored district might show a tendency to become a little bit of "darkest
Africa," with deleterious results to both races.
The principle of segregation in municipalities and in rural districts rests on an entirely
different basis from that of racial segregation on railway trains and public places. In the
latter case only personal rights are involved; in the former both rights of person and
property. Moreover, where the races are separated in conveyances and public places, it is
possible to give absolutely equal accommodations. In the case of municipal and rural
segregation physical limitations make this obviously impossible.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS
(Presented at the Fifth Meeting, Tuskegee Institute, May 6, 1915, by R. J. H. DeLoach,
Chairman of the Committee)
The chairman of this committee wishes to express regrets that he could not have had
more constant contact with the members of the Commission, and especially of the Com
mittee on Economics. It seems that a meeting together of the members of the committee
would have brought out many ideas of practical value to its work. Correspondence is not
satisfactory in matters of this kind. However, since we have had no meeting, we shall
render separate reports as best we can, in the hope that something we have done may prove
of value to the future workers and of interest to those thinking along these lines.
The one theme that has been running through my mind is "The Basis of Efficiency,"
or the effect on the Negro race of some kind of definite training. I have wondered how
much justice there is in the statement, "Education spoils the Negro," or "The Negro will
not stand education."
After all, the basis of progress is a question of education and its relation to our
industrial life. There is more in knowing how to do a thing and then doing it than there
is in knowing per se. If we can put this kind of a test to the Negro race, it seems that
justice to ourselves as a race, as well as to the Negro himself, would cause us to issue an
impartial statement of our investigations along this line. To make an investigation valuable,
the investigator must set aside in the beginning any preconceived idea or sentiment that
would tend to qualify his conclusions. Let the truth stand for itself. That certain kinds
of training have seemed to prove ineffective in certain specific instances when applied to
the Negro does not argue that all will fail under even any set of conditions. Perhaps the
safety of the South, the conservation of her great natural resources, will depend on the
training of her citizens for service. If so, it will hardly prove economical to restrict the
training to any class or race. If better service can be rendered by training in any case, it
ought to be so in every case, and it is to this phase of the race question that I have been
devoting time and study.
1 South Atlantic Quarterly, 13:107-117.
64 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
What are the ordinary tests of fitness for service? Perhaps the most effective one
is the fruits of trained servants. If these measure up to a high standard, the training has
not been in vain. If efficiency proves to be in proportion to training, then it seems to me
that we should be much concerned about the training itself.
The three kinds of measurements that I have used among Negroes are as follows :
Actual increase in yields of farm crops as a result of definite kinds of instruction, the
results of club work among Negroes, and the relation of savings to citizenship.
There may be other phases of the subject more important than these, but I have the
facts to prove beyond a doubt that these are important. There are so many phases of any
important question that the nature of an investigation of it must depend largely on the
individual who undertakes it. It is a matter of taste and judgment as to just how one
tackles the problem.
Granting, then, that my own study of this question has been guided very largely by
the problem as I see it, I turn now to a report on the facts that have come under my
THE EFFECTS OF DEFINITE INSTRUCTION ON THE INCREASED YIELD IN FARM CROPS
I have brought to the attention of this Commission before now my connection with a
Farmers' Conference in Athens, Ga., composed entirely of Negro farmers, landowners,
tenants, and day hands. There seemed to be no difference, when it came to interest, whether
a man was a tenant or a landowner. At this conference, which was organized several
years ago, the same farmers have been coming back every year and reporting on the progress
they have made from year to year whether the instruction they have received has made
them better farmers. They found it rather hard to get accurate measurements for quite a
while. They overcame this, however, eventually, and learned to give rather accurate figures
on all produce raised. We will take the two reports for the years 1912 and 1913 and see
the difference, after very careful instruction in the winter, between the two crops grown, on
proper diversification of crops, on deep cultivation, the proper application of fertilizers, and
top-dressing of winter grain with nitrate of soda. The following table shows the result:
Crops 1912 1913
Bushels corn raised 10,221 12,636
Bushels oats raised 2,830 4,923
Bushels wheat raised 743 1,065
Bushels rye raised 42 64^2
Bales cotton raised 1,072 1,136
Bales hay raised 5,342 6,972
Landed possessions 2,850.7 acres 3,066.7 acres
Land cultivated 2,762 acres 2,706 acres
Greatest yield per acre of corn 50 bushels 75 bushels
Greatest yield per acre of cotton 1^ bales 2 bales
Live Stock Owned
Mules, head 126 127
Horses, head 40 37
Cows, head , 125 130
Hogs, head 185 225
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 65
It will be observed that the members of this conference owned more acres but culti
vated less acres in 1913 than in 1912. It will also be observed that they raised far bigger
crops in 1913 than in 1912. In fact, they actually produced $8,867 more farm produce in
1913 than in 1912, and they did it on 56 acres less land. The conference cost them prac
tically nothing; it lasts two days annually, and many of the members return home at night
to look after the farm. They increased their earning capacity about $88 per capita in one
year by getting definite instruction in the elementary principles of agriculture. The tenants
learned the lessons and used them. The hired hands did the same. They made more for
the landowners and for themselves. These are facts, not theories. There are other con
ferences in different places doing just as good work.
I would like to have time to tell many interesting things about this one conference,
but time does not permit. I must go on to the next division of the work.
CLUB WORK AMONG NEGROES
I wish that I might have had the time and what little funds I needed to get together
this information. My own State, Georgia, has practically no Negro club work at all. The
three States that are active along this line, and from which I get my information, are Vir
ginia, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. Prof. N. C. Newbold, State Agent Rural Schools
for North Carolina, has given me much assistance in getting together the information from
that State, and a colored teacher, Miss Annie Peters, has helped me to get information about
In North Carolina there are fourteen counties organized in this work, and the General
Education Board gives $884 with which to pay the salaries of the instructors. Each county
has a definite program of work and an instructor for a definite period of time. In some
counties as much as fourteen weeks are given to club work, while in others four weeks
are given. To do the work in all these counties requires more than one instructor doing
work at any one time. The entire time devoted to the work equals 132 weeks of service.
The first question that arises in the mind of a Southern-born person is, "Will the
Negro take to this kind of work with any degree of seriousness?"
The following figures will answer this query. There were organized in the State 73
boys' and girls' clubs and 25 men's and women's clubs. Enrolled in these clubs were 580 boys
and girls and 316 men and women. Three hundred and seven gardens were cultivated
under the direction of the supervisor, and there was a total of 793 people cultivating
gardens. In this short report we have time to deal only with totals for the entire fourteen
There were canned in 1914 :
7,466 cans tomatoes.
6,790 cans corn and other vegetables.
17,197 cans fruits apples, peaches, pears.
7,857 cans berries.
4,367 cans fruits, preserves, etc.
4,575 glasses jelly.
256 jars pickles and catsup.
66 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
This makes a total of 49,301 cans of vegetables, fruits, preserves, jellies, and pickles,
which, valued at the low average of 15 cents per can, would be worth $7,395. The instruction
for this cost only $844, as we stated above, which leaves $6,551 to the credit of the venture,
or an average of $7.35 per person enrolled.
Presuming that the training received even more than paid for the time and work of
the students, every dollar invested returned $7.35, to say nothing of the lift it gave to the
The following summarizes the reports of agents from some of the counties; quota
tions from reports of agents:
"At least $150 for three locations." "Aside from practical knowledge of gardening
given, work has meant a saving of at least $700 to the families in the county." "About
$95.00 to $100.00" (meaning value of canned goods). "A higher standard was set in com
munities where this work was carried on." "It was very gratifying to see the interest
manifested by the mothers and even the fathers." "A start in good gardens." "Work
done worth thousands of dollars in the future." "The work has aroused much interest in
home gardening." "In many cases the women were more eager to learn than the girls."
"The work has meant much." "The work has been a decided success." "The women and
girls were highly pleased in learning to can the new way." "The people have thanked me
over and over for the help I have given thm." "Worth about $200.00."
In many places it is thought that this kind of work among Negroes would find very
little or no support from State and county officials along educational lines. On the con
trary, we find just the opposite, as will be shown from the following comments on the
work made by the county superintendents of education:
"It is hard to estimate the value . . . They tell me many families have saved
supplies for the winter, whereas before they did not save anything." "I hope the work
will be continued." "I am favorably impressed, and think the work well worth the money."
"I heartily endorse the work. It is encouraging to see with what enthusiasm the people
are taking hold of it." "We hope to continue the work." "The people are interested, and
the work has been a success."
From Oklahoma we get good reports, but the information is not so well wrought out.
In that State 584 boys and girls have joined the clubs, and some of them have won prizes
at county fairs, and many have canned food for winter supplies. One girl put up 75 cans
of vegetables for home use.
The third phase of the subject to which I have devoted attention is the Relation of
Savings to Citizenship, or whether the Negro who saves is more desirable as a neighbor
than the one who fails to save.
I have also planned to investigate if the habit of saving goes hand in hand with
training and efficiency, and how the Negro who saves is regarded by his white neighbors.
This is a big question, and will require time to work out.
For collecting this data I have had the cooperation of the Phelps-Stokes Fellow in
the University of Georgia and of Dr. H. W. Odum, Professor of Rural Education.
Blanks have been printed and circulated by an Athens banker to other bankers
throughout the State of Georgia, asking for amounts deposited in the banks by Negroes,
and for the names of Negroes, so the question can be taken up directly with the depositors.
Many difficulties are in the way of this piece of work, but the following shows the general
drift of the investigation:
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 67
Certain elementary conclusions are evident from the study of results. First: It is
very difficult to obtain information concerning Negro thrift. Second : The amount of
Negro deposits in banks is small. Third: The banks, as a rule, make no effort to obtain
Negro deposits. Fourth : In some cases such deposits are discouraged. Fifth : The atti
tude of the average bank reporting shows little interest in the subject and the usual
dogmatism. Sixth : There are exceptions showing interest in this question. Seventh :
There are numerous exceptions showing thrift among the Negroes.
Further conclusions concerning the details of thrift may be gained from an examina
tion of the following facts:
(1) Some 40 per cent of the banks to whom questionnaires were sent replied.
(2) Of these replies, about 16 per cent gave us little or no information.
(3) Of the Negro depositors, the following occupations were represented: merchants,
farmers, laborers, servants, laundresses, teachers, ministers, housekeepers, draymen, mail
carriers, hotel keepers, and a few skilled workers.
(4) Of these, fully 60 per cent were farmers, the next in order being laborers,
servants, teachers, merchants, ministers.
(5) The deposits ranged from $1,000, the largest, to 4 cents, the smallest, while the
average deposit was $88.36.
(6) The length of time in which the deposit has been carried varied from twelve
years to a few months, the average being about \ l /2 years.
(7) Of the depositors, the most common amounts reported were between $20.00 and
$30.00 and between $100.00 and $200.00.
(8) Some of the banks wrote that the Negroes' accounts meant nothing, and were
more trouble than they were worth. One wrote: "We have no accounts, and want none."
Another wrote: "Negroes can not stand prosperity, so what's the use of wasting time
with them? All that a Negro needs is something to eat and wear. A big per cent of the
criminals are Negroes that can read and write, and most of the murderers are Negroes
that are educated Negroes. If a Negro gets money he is sure to invest it in a place where
you would rather he would not be. A city might need increase in thrift, and raise the
Negroes to a higher standing, but the country needs more work done."
(9) Some 15 banks reported no Negro deposits at all.
THE POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS LINE OF INVESTIGATION
In Alabama alone the Negroes own and control 5,100,000 acres of land, or
350,000 acres more than they controlled in 1900. They actually farm 3,563,000 acres, or
500,000 more than they farmed in 1900. In ten years the number of Negro farmers increased
over 17 per cent.
The soil will forever remain the basis of our source of supplies, and we should be
interested in any movement to improve the soil, and especially if, by so doing, we shall be
able to improve, at the same time, the citizens who till the soil. Laying aside all feeling
in the matter, it should be our desire to help foster justice and happiness among any people
that contribute largely to our own happiness. If by making the Negro a better producer
we can as easily make him a better citizen and a happier individual, how shall we justify
ourselves in a failure to do this? Booker Washington said: "In nine cases out of ten,
where a Negro in the South is found owning property, he has had an individual white man
or a group of Southern white men to help guide and encourage him in this respect."
(Atlanta Journal, January 13, 1910.)
68 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
In "A Social Study of the Race Problem/' by Dr. R. P. Brooks, we find from his
investigations that the Negro is a better citizen and is thought better of among his white
neighbors in communities where there are few of them in proportion to the whites. This
study indicates a need of increasing the whites in proportion to the blacks, which he sug
gests might be done in two ways, viz.: by the emigration of Negroes to other sections of
the country, and by encouraging the immigration of white people to the South.
Dr. Brooks also concluded from his investigation that (page 210) a system of land
tenure, known as the "Standing Rent System," is the cause of much thriftlessness among
Negroes, while the Negro prefers this to the other prevailing system called "Cropping
System," by which the renter pays a certain per cent of the crops, and the landlord super
vises in a measure the operations of the farm. It was found that the Negro preferred
freedom even at the expense of a better livelihood. In the counties where the whites
largely outnumbered the blacks the Cropping System prevailed and the Negroes became
more thrifty and eventually became landowners.
The first published report of the Phelps-Stokes Fellowship at the University of
Georgia, by T. J. Woofter, Jr., shows clearly the necessity for better training among the
Negro servants. There is a great financial loss to the white homes of the South on account
of the inefficiency of Negro servants. Besides, their ignorance of the laws of health makes
us question the safety of employing such help at all. When they are a little better trained
they desert the homes and do other things. Adjustment is much needed here.
In the second published report of the Phelps-Stokes Fellowship of the University of
Georgia, by W. B. Hill, it was discovered that there were 912 Negro farmers in the County
of Clarke, while there were only 470 white farmers. Fourteen per cent of the Negroes
owned their farms, while 37 per cent of the farmers owned the farms they were working.
While there was a much larger per cent of white farmers owning their land, yet almost
as many Negroes own farms in Clarke County as white. In fact, 127 Negroes and 163 whites
own farms in the county. It was learned in this investigation that a lack of training on
the part of Negroes proves very costly.
The Phelps-Stokes Fellow at the University of Georgia this year is Mr. W. H.
Johnston, who is working on the present status of Negro education in Georgia. From
his findings up to the present time it would seem that the efforts along this line are so
meager that they could almost be considered wasted. The work is inadequate and spread
out so thin that it makes very little impression on the race.
Governor O'Neal, a few days ago, while on a visit to Tuskegee, said of Alabama : "If
we take our proper position as a State in agricultural development, the scientific knowledge
and skill which we furnish from our schools and institutions must be furnished to every
man that tills the soil in this State if we are to reach the highest agricultural development.
"Again, can any State afford to leave any portion of its population in ignorance?
Elementary education should be the birthright of every son and every daughter of the
State, because ignorance has ever been the deadly foe of free government."
Reverting, then, to the idea with which we set out in this report, if we wish efficiency,
and if the basis of efficiency is special training and instruction, and if the safety of the
State and of the health of the people shall depend on efficiency which comes only by
instruction, then I am prepared to believe that the South will awake and press forward to
its completion this great work of racial adjustment by making a close study of the needs
of her citizenship and then supplying this need.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 69
THE ECONOMIC CONDITION OF THE NEGROES OF KNOXVILLE
(By R. G. Sanford, Student in the University of Tennessee. Presented at the Fourth
Meeting, Washington, D. C, December 15, 1914, by Prof. James D. Hoskins)
A survey of the city shows that the Negro of Knoxville has made much progress
during recent years. His present condition is not ideal, by any means, but is such as
should cause satisfaction to the people of this city, since it shows progress.
The Negro has made consistent gains in savings, and to-day we find a very good pro
portion of the Negroes owning homes and carrying bank accounts. The cashiers and
presidents of the banks have been called upon and asked to give estimates as to the number
of depositors, both white and black, and an estimate as to the average size of each race's
account. The estimates were made in a careful and conservative way. When we take
into account the number of banks called upon, and the fact that they represent the savings
of the city and county, we can see the value of such an investigation. The result of this
investigation shows, first: that the relative size of the Negro account is small as compared
with that of the white man; and, second: that the number of Negro bank accounts as
compared with the white is small. The average bank account of the Negro is about
$50.00 as compared with the average white account of about $300.00. There is a total of
1,300 Negro depositors out of a population for the county of 12,709. Then only 10 per cent
are depositors at the bank. There are 35,000 white depositors out of a population of 81,476,
which means that 43 per cent carry bank accounts. The county was taken for the basis
of comparison, since the banks more nearly represent the savings of the county. Although
the number and average size of the colored bank account is small, it shows progress. We
must not forget that the Negro started fifty years ago without anything. When he was
released from the bonds of slavery he knew nothing of saving or thrift as compared with
the white man. He had only been civilized then for about half a century. He was young
in the civilized world to work beside the older and stronger man of many centuries of
civilization. The complexity of modern civilization was too great for a people of so simple
life. We should feel gratified at his gains, although his present holdings appear small as
compared with the white man.
The colored man has learned some valuable lessons from the white. It seems that
the white people of Knoxville have shown a friendlier disposition to help the Negro than
the average Southern city. We can see the value of this cooperation when we see that the
domestic servant is the best class of savers among the Negro race, for in this service the
Negro is brought in close contact with the white race and in a friendlier spirit than in
any other work the Negro performs. The family in whose home the Negro is working
takes an interest in the cook or maid and insists that she begin a savings account. Some
banks have found it necessary to make some discrimination in opening accounts with
Negroes because they tend to run very short-time accounts, with expense unproportionate
to the value of the account. By far the greater number of the colored accounts are found
in the savings department. Among other interesting points of information, there are
quite a number of one-dollar accounts among the Negroes; on the other hand, there are
Negroes carrying sufficient deposits to write checks running up into the thousands of
70 MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
The Negroes have saved sufficient amounts to buy homes. During the last fifteen or
twenty years there has been a remarkable increase in home owning among the Negroes.
This statement is based upon estimates given by a number of real estate managers, cashiers
of banks, and leaders among the colored race. The estimates of the percentage of increased
home owning have varied considerably, but considering as my best source of authority the
companies that have been in business over the longest period of time and have undoubtedly
made the greatest number of real estate sales, since they have the largest part of the busi
ness, I state that there has been an increase in home owning during the period just men
tioned of 100 per cent. I give this as a very conservative estimate. One man in a position
to know estimated the increase as high as 400 per cent. While there has been this great
increase in home owning, there is as yet a relatively small number of Negroes who now
own their homes. I would say that 30 per cent would be a fair estimate, averaging all the
Negro sections of the city.
The condition of the Negro homes will not favorably compare with the homes of
the white people of Knoxville as a whole; a fair percentage of the Negro homes are in
moderately gpod condition.
This leads to the discussion of segregation. The Negroes have segregated themselves
in three or four sections of the city, the two principal segregated districts being Mechanics-
ville, in North Knoxville, and a section of East Knoxville, with Vine Street as a central
street running east and west. This segregation is the result of natural conditions working
to the best interest of all, as was suggested by a prominent Negro leader and emphasized
by some white leaders. The Negroes bought out the property of the whites in each section
gradually. People who live in the Negro section say that the property has not decreased in
value as a result of the increased number of Negro homes ; rather the property has
increased in value in the same proportion as the other property in the city.
Next, and closely allied to the savings, is the credit of the Negro. The Negro
abuses the credit system ; that is, a proportionately greater number of Negroes ask for
credit than do the whites. Twice as many whites trade with installment credit stores as
do the Negroes, but, considering the population of one Negro to six whites, we find that
the Negro frequents these stores three times as often as do the whites. The result of a
visit with a pawnshop proprietor showed that, according to the population, the Negro fre
quents this place of business six times as often as does the white man.
As a debtor the Negro account is held more valuable than the white man on the
same economic plane. All men consulted on this point the installment house, the collection
agency, and the real estate firms' representatives were agreed on this question. The prin
cipal reasons advanced as to why the Negro account was more valuable than the white are :
First, that while heads of the families of the two races are working for the same amount,
the Negro family has an additional source of income because the Mother and children
find employment of various kinds. Second, the living expense of the Negro family is less
than that of the white. Third, the Negro is less intelligent and, therefore, more easily
forced to pay his obligations. Fourth, the Negro is more honest. This may have some
value when we think of the Negro as a young and innocent race as compared with the white
race of much maturity in the scale of civilization.
As a social problem we are interested in finding out the tendency of the Negro toward
poverty. Under this head we are interested in the results of the investigation of the
Associated Charities, of the County Alms House, and the Free Clinic. The annual report
of the Associated Charities for the year ending November 1, 1914, shows that 792 white
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 71
families applied for help as compared with 71 Negro families. This means that the white
man calls for charity twice as often as does the Negro. The usual relief given the Negro
was employment, while that given the white man was more often material aid. When we
turn our attention to the County Alms House we find nearly the same results as estab
lished by the Associated Charities. There are sixty whites to six Negroes. The third
institution to be treated under poverty brings out the exception to the rule established in
the two institutions first considered. At the Free Clinic there are two Negroes to receive
free treatment to one white man.
It has been suggested that the condition of the Negro in Knoxville is probably better
than in most other cities of the South. The factors determining his well-being are: First,
fewness in numbers means greater opportunities. Second, good advice from the leaders of
his own race who have made a success. Third, the friendly disposition of the two races
and the good advice of the whites.
In the conclusion of this paper I want to sum up, as briefly as possible, the results
of the survey. First, as to the savings in comparison with the whites, the number of Negro
bank depositors is small, and so is the relative size of their accounts. The Negro has
increased in home owning during the last fifteen years at a rapid rate; the condition of
his home is from poor to fair ; still a relatively small per cent own their homes. Second,
segregation has been brought about by a natural law. Third, the Negro abuses the credit
system, but is considered a better debtor than the white man on the same economic plane.
Fourth, as to poverty, out of the three relief institutions, two show that he does not call
for help in proportion to his numbers. Fifth, the factors that have meant most to his well-
being in Knoxville are good leaders among his own race who have made a success, good
advice from the whites, and, last, fewness in numbers has meant greater opportunity.
THE ECONOMIC CONDITION OF THE NEGROES OF TENNESSEE
Of the total population of 2,184,789 for the State of Tennessee, 473,088, or 21.7 per
cent, are Negroes. That is, there is an average for the State of four whites to one Negro.
There has been a decrease in the population of the State, 1900-1910, of 1 per cent of
Negroes as compared with an increase of 8.1 per cent for the entire population of the State.
Of the total 473,088 Negroes, there are 114,544 in the four principal cities. About one-
fourth of the Negroes live in these cities, and nearly half of this number live in Memphis.
There we find 52,441, or 40 per cent, of the total population of the city are Negroes. Nash
ville has a total Negro population of 36,523, which represents 23.1 per cent of her total
population. There is then a total of 358,544 Negroes living outside of these four principal
cities. They are living in the small towns and rural sections. Of the total number (246,375)
of Negroes engaged in gainful occupations, 107,933 are engaged in the three principal
agricultural groups, or nearly 50 per cent of the Negroes do farm labor. The next largest
group is that of domestic and personal service of 62,598 Negroes, or about 25 per cent. The
next in order is the unskilled trades group of 30,000, or about 8 per cent. The remaining
17 per cent are scattered among the skilled trades and professions.
The rural conditions were studied by means of a questionnaire conducted in our State
University. The questions were given to the upper-classmen. The papers received were
from forty-one pupils, representing 29 counties, distributed over the State" in the following
proportion : East Tennessee 7, Middle Tennessee 12, and West Tennessee 10. The answers
given to the questions are based on estimates. They are valuable, since they show, in the
main, what seems to be the conditions prevailing in Tennessee.
72 . MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION
These reports show that a small number of Negroes pay cash rent for their land,
probably 15 per cent, and that about 75 per cent of the Negroes living on the farm pay
rent by share; probably about 10 per cent of the Negroes in the rural districts own their
homes. The papers were explicit and uniform in the conclusion as to the conditions of the
homes of all the Negroes on the farm, namely, that they are in poor condition. On the
question pertaining to the numbers who owned sufficient work stock to make a crop with,
and the condition of the same, the papers showed that about one-fourth of the Negroes
owned sufficient stock, that the stock was poorly cared for and is of a cheap grade. The
greater portion of the Negroes about three-fourths buy their supplies on a credit. The
last question was intended to find out the efficiency of the Negro as compared with
foreigners. Since the number of foreigners in the State is so small only 18,459, or less
than 1 per cent of the total population of the State the answer to this question can not
be of so much general value. But in every case where there was an appreciable number
of foreigners they were reported to be far more thrifty and efficient than the Negro.
AN OPEN LETTER ON LYNCHING TO THE STUTTGART (ARK.) COMMITTEE
The press of the State has recently published a letter purporting to come from a
committee of the mob which lynched the Negro at Stuttgart. Of course they seek to
justify their action. In view of this and of other lynchings in this and other States, the
following facts, as given in the address of the Race Commission last winter, (Jan. 5, 1916),
ought to be of interest to the Stuttgart committee and to the people of the State:
[Here follow the statistics.]
The Stuttgart committee signed themselves, "Yours for the proper and unfailing
enforcement of the law." "On the contrary, if the law were enforced now you would be
on the way to the gallows," I would say to this committee. "You are undermining all
respect for the law. One of the dearest rights to every American is the right of trial in
open court, yet you have robbed the victim of this right. In doing this you have paved the
way to- the violation of other rights. Where will it end? The above figures show that
lynching is now used for trivial crimes, sometimes, no doubt, for personal spite or vengeance.
Lynching is a serious social disease, and you are helping to spread it. Six Negroes were
lynched last week, one in Texas and five in Florida.
"You say that your victim was charged with a heinous crime. True, and if guilty he
deserved the extreme penalty of the law. You say that he confessed to you. Granted.
Then people who believe in the death penalty must admit that he deserved to die.
"But in civilized countries only one authority is allowed to kill the State. You have
lynched both the victim and the law.
"Why have you done this? Perhaps you will say, 'Because of the law's delays. If
left to the courts, there not only would have been delay, he might even have failed of
"You also claim to have hanged him in as humane a manner as possible. His death,
you claim, was much more humane than that of Sir Roger Casement recently executed in
England for treason.
MINUTES OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMISSION 73
"But let us compare your action with that of the English people. Treason is a fear
ful crime, yet they left it to the courts. So far as I have seen, there was no talk of lynching.
Indeed, I think that lynching is practically unknown in England. There was little delay
in the courts, and there was punishment.
"Our courts sometimes are slow, and there are exasperating delays, but will lynching
the accused improve the courts? Why not begin on our judges, lawyers, and juries? Can
we not make our courts as good as those of the English people, whose descendants we are
and whose courts we borrowed? Yet they never can equal the English courts until they
are backed by equal respect for the law on the part of the people. Then we shall have
no such outbreaks of lynchings as frequently occur in Georgia and occurred last week in
As there are no "obvious reasons" for withholding my name, I sign:
"Yours for the proper and unfailing enforcement of the law," including the sup
pression of lynchings,
DAVID Y. THOMAS.
INDEX OF NAMES
Abbott, Lyman, 50.
Bain, Mrs. C. W., 25.
Banks, Charles, 52.
Battle, K. P., 37.
Bell, J. C., 24, 27, 31.
Blackwell, R. E., 13.
Booker, J. A., 52.
Boyd, W. K., 35.
Brooks, E. C., 35.
Bryant, R. H., 40.
Caldwell, B. C., 39.
Campbell, R. F., 40.
Casement, Sir Roger, 72.
Chase, H. W., 37.
Clark, Willis, 40.
Collins, C. W., 56.
Cook, G. B., 51.
Crandall, Miss Prudence, 55.
Daniels, John, 55.
Davis, Jackson, 13, 28.
Dusenbury, C. B., 40.
Feagin, W. F., 27.
Few, W. P., 32, 33, 35, 36.
Flowers, R. L., 35.
Frissell, H. B., 16, 43.
Frissell, Mrs. H. B., 43.
Galloway, C. B., 53.
Glasson, W. H., 35, 36.
Glocker, T. W., 27.
Graham, E. K., 36.
Hamilton, J. G. DeR., 37.
Hammond, Mrs. J. D., 6, 43, 54.
Harris, W. T., 50.
Haynes, G. E., 43.
Henderson, Archibald, 37.
Hill, W. B., 68.
(Not including members of Commission)
Hoffman, F. L., 51.
Hope, John, 42.
Jackson, B. J., 40.
Jameson, J. F., 6, 7.
Johnson, President Andrew, 56.
Johnston, W. H., 68.
Jones, T. J., 20, 41.
Kincannon, A. A., 6, 8.
Laprade, W. F, 35.
Leavell, R. H., 41.
Lee, W. S., 40.
Leyburn, E. R., 33, 34.
McKissick, Rion, 14.
Merrick, John, 34.
Michael, J. H., 40.
Monroe, Charles, 20.
Montgomery, Isaiah, 52.
Moore, A. M, 33.
Moton, R. R., 16, 41, 52.
Munford, Mrs. B. B., 14.
Murphy, E. G., 54.
Newbold, N. C., 65.
Noble, M. C. S., 36.
Odum, H. W., 66.
O'Neal, Emmet, 68.
Page, W. H., 54.
Peabody, G. F., 41.
Pennington, J. W. C., 55.
Peters, Miss Annie, 65.
Poe, Clarence H., 36, 61, 62.
Price, Joseph, 52.
Quillian, C. F., 38.
Ramsey, D. H., 40.
Rankin, E. L., 36.
Raper, C. L., 36.
Reynolds, C. V., 40.
Riley, W. B., 31.
Rosenwald, Julius, 41.
Rushton, J. W., 26.
Sanford, R. G., 22, 69.
Sanford, W. H., 28.
Scott, E. J., 31.
Sibley, J. L, 25.
Snaveley, T. R., 41.
Spalding, C. C., 34.
Spingarn, J. E., 6, 12, 13.
Stacy, M. H., 36, 37.
Stephenson, G. T., 55, 58, 61.
Stockton, C. H., 20, 21.
Stokes. A. P., 19, 23, 32.
Stone, A. H., 54.
Tyson, F. D., 41.
Venegar, E. T., 52.
Walker, J. W., 40.
Washington, B. T., 28, 29, 30, 52, 55, 67.
Weatherford, W. D., 5, 25, 38, 49, 54.
West, G. W., 60.
Williams, H. H., 37.
Williams, W. T. B., 31, 41.
Wilson, T. J., 36, 37.
Wilson, President Woodrow, 18.
Woofter, T. J., Jr., 6, 41, 68.
Work, M. N., 42.
Yates, William, 55.
THIS BOOK IS DUE ON THE LAST DATE
BOOKS REQUESTED BY ANOTHER BORROWER
ARE SUBJECT TO IMMEDIATE RECALL
LIBRARY, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS
Book Slip-Series 458
on Southern Race
Minutes of the Univer
sity commission on south
ern race questions.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA